One of my “resolutions” for this year is to write more often.  With that in mind, I have given myself weekly writing prompts and will occasionally share my musings and written adventures here.

Fall is warm sun on your skin and a cool breeze in the air.  It’s flannel shirts and jeans.

Fall smells clean.  The air is clear, no longer heavy with heat and humidity.  The breeze carries the scent of leaves and bonfires.

Fall is a carefree time filled with spontaneous walks through the woods.  The satisfying sound of crunching leaves creates a background track to the laughter and conversation of friends reunited.

Fall is balmy days and cool evenings.  The question, “do I need a coat?” is heard nearly every day.

Fall is the chance to finally break out the favorite pair of boots and endless supply of scarves.

Fall is the last chance to get some sunbathing in.  It is football and chili and s’mores.

Fall is thunderstorms–the pounding of rain, the crack of lightening, the boom of thunder that reverberates in the chest.  The smell of clean air.

Fall is camping.  The smell of rain and wet leaves and smoke hangs in the air.  There’s a slight chill–just enough for sleeves to be unrolled or sweatshirts pulled on.  It is Dad reading by the campfire and the Buckeyes or Browns on the radio and card games played by the light of a lantern.

Fall is muddy shoes and trail runs and sore, satisfied muscles.

Fall is family and excitement.

The beginning of fall is the end of summer, but it is also the dawn of the best time of the year.


father/daughter bonding.







13.1 miles: done!

About a year and a half ago I started running with the ultimate goal of running a marathon with my dad.  Last weekend I hit a big milestone in that journey: the completion of my first half marathon!  We ran the Dayton River Corridor Classic which has a course that follows a bike path along with river.  It was a beautiful day, perfect for a long run.  The starting line was chilly but the sky cleared within the first couple miles leaving us with a beautiful, blue sky for the rest of the run.

My goal time was about 2 hours 16 minutes–a 10 min/mile pace, which is what I trained at on my long runs.  My official time was 2:05, putting me right in the middle of the finishers (301 of 601) and number 17 in my age group.  I had a great time (something I never thought I’d say about running) and am looking forward to the next one!


mile 6

Feeling good at mile 6.



One more mile!






The first of many medals I plan on earning.








life lessons from college

1.  Hot glue fixes everything.

2.  If hot glue doesn’t fix it, tea does.

3.  You will always look back on the previous year and think, “I was so immature.”  If you ever stop thinking that, you’ve stopped growing.

4.  Always celebrate birthdays.  Regardless of tests, work or other responsibilities.  It can be as simple as getting pizza with a couple friends.  Celebrating in the midst of it all keeps life from getting bogged down with the mundane.

5.  Remember that everything ends.  Even organic chemistry.

6.  Invest in relationships NOW.  As a junior, I’m facing the fact that most of my friends will be leaving in two years and that’s pretty rough.  But for now they’re stuck here with me so I’m doing what I can to cherish those friendships.

7.  Knitting is cool.

8.  Learn how to say no and not feel bad about it.  You can’t attend every event, volunteer with every group, donate to every organization.  And they don’t expect you to.

9.  Ask people who are more mature than you to invest in you.  You will learn so much.

10.  Find someone younger than you to invest in.  You will learn so much.

11.  Stop complaining.  Everyone is busy, everyone has drama, no one knows what the future looks like.  (I’m pointing to the mirror on this one.)

12.  Buy some nice pens and never let anyone borrow them.

13.  Collect some worthless pens for aforementioned “borrowing”.

14.  Everyone under the age of 17 is basically 12.

15.  Gen eds (or anything you are being required to do that seems completely irrelevant) may seem like a waste of time.  Get off your high horse, put away the saddle and realize you don’t know everything.  (Again, speaking to myself.)

16.  Sometimes you don’t like the rules and sometimes you don’t agree with them.  Deal with it.  You put yourself under someone else’s authority and, in doing so, agreed to follow the rules.  If you don’t like the rules, leave.

17.  Family is important.  Even if you’re not one to get homesick, you’ll find that your little brother’s football games are a lot more important when it’s not possible for you to see him play.  Invest in your family; especially your younger siblings.

18.  Somehow, a strand of Christmas lights can make any room look homey.

19.  If it’s important, make time for it.

20.  Life is happening now; don’t miss it by always looking at the future.  To quote Switchfoot, “This is your life–are you who you want to be?”


impossible dreams

Last night the junior class council planned a bonfire complete with s’mores and apple cider (the latter of which, to be honest, was the only reason I went).  Toward the end of the night, as the crowd was slowly dispersing, I broke away from my friends to stand near the fire.  As I was standing there, the guy next to me started talking to me.  But it wasn’t one of those “are you having fun?  Isn’t the weather nice?  Do you like bonfires?” kind of awkward conversations.  He asked my name then asked me, “If you could do anything at all without any consequences whatsoever, what would you do?”  My first reaction was, “This is kinda weird.  I don’t even know this guy.”  But I answered his question and, as he continued to prompt me with more questions, getting me to give a more complete answer, I found myself having a good conversation with a stranger.  By the end of it, this guy knew some things about me that most of my friends don’t know.  Not because they’re secrets, but simply because no one has ever asked.

I’ve been thinking about that conversation ever since.  It was a mere 5-10 minutes of me just talking about my impossible dreams but it was one of the highlights of my night.  It made me realize how little my friends know about me and how little I know of them, not because we’re keeping secrets but simply because we don’t ask.  I’m always so caught up in my own little world–my schoolwork and struggles and fears–that I rarely invest time in such seemingly pointless conversations.  But this is what life is made of–impossible dreams and our timid steps to recreate them in reality.  Sometimes those dreams are my escape and sometimes they’re my motivation but they are part of me.  And I’m not the only one.  We all have our own strange and impossible dreams yet, even though they reveal so much about who we are, few people know about them.  Simply because no one has ever asked.

When this guy was asking me about my dreams, asking “why?” and “what would you do then?”, he wasn’t just talking to fill the silence or pass the time.  He was genuinely trying to get to know me; he wanted to hear my answers.  In fact, he didn’t talk about himself once.  He just listened.  That’s something I don’t do enough of.  It turns out that this short and unimportant conversation wasn’t so unimportant after all.


Along those lines, here are some interesting tidbits I’ve discovered over the last couple weeks:

six running trails across the country–I would love to explore the country via running trails!

These oven mitts are the cleverest thing I’ve seen in a while.

Nerdy jewelry–what could be better?

If someone buys me this shirt or this shirt, I will wear it for my half marathon in a couple weeks.


the beginning of junior year: an update

My junior year of college is now in full swing and it’s awfully exciting.  Since there are many people who are important in my life and I cannot call every one of you and update you on what’s going on, I’ve decided to dust off this blog and give you a peek into my latest adventures.  That is, after all, half the reason I created it in the first place.

To answer the first question people have: my summer was good.  I lived in an apartment down here in Cedarville.  My time was split between working full time as a pharmacy technician, taking physics at a nearby community college, and running.  That left time for a 50th wedding anniversary party (Congratulations, Grandma and Grandpa!), two weddings and a couple visits home.  Though I regret not being home for the summer, I did grow in unexpected ways and did truly enjoy my summer.

This year I am living in a unit with seven other girls.  Five of us are pharmacy majors and it’s already been so much fun!  As far as classes go, I have a lighter load this semester since I’m only taking four classes.  That, however, in no way means I’m working any less hard.  One of those classes is the dreaded Human Structure & Function (essentially A&P).  Besides studying for that class, I fill my free time with intramural soccer, Club 517 (the ministry to middle schoolers I’m part of), working, unit dinners and tea drinking (it’s an important thing in our unit).  I’m also looking forward to using this new-found free time to become more involved in pharmacy related outreach (more about that in the future, I’m sure).

Speaking of pharmacy, as many of you already know, I have completed and passed the PCAT (pharmacy admissions test; comparable to the MCAT for doctors) and am now beginning the next step of applying to the school of pharmacy.  It’s hard to believe that in just one year I will be weeks into my first year of the doctorate program, wearing the coveted white coat, having earned the title “student pharmacist”.

This year holds a lot of exciting potential and I can’t wait to see it all unfold.  As I wrap up, I’d like to share a couple of prayer requests for those who’d like to know how to pray more specifically for me.  Because of my various involvements, I am in a position to share Christ’s love with a number of people in specific ways.  Please pray for wisdom for me and softened hearts for them.  I know this is personal and slightly unusual but it’s important to me.

Thank you so much for your support of me–your encouraging words make such a huge impact on my days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I just discovered two spiders hanging out above my bed that I need to take care of.


a relationship ended.

Dear Organic Chemistry,

I’m writing this letter because I’m not sure how else to tell you (because we were never very good at communication).  I’m breaking up with you.  We’ve been through a lot together in the last night months: tears, sleepless nights, chemicals burns, exploding unknowns, headaches and much more.  It’s been an eventful–even exciting–year.  But I can’t do it any more.

When I first met you, people warned me about you but I didn’t listen.  We started off pretty good.  As long as I gave you enough of my time and attention, we were alright.  But as time went on and we started to get to know each other better, I realized you had been hiding a lot from me.  You, sir, have a lot of skeletons in your closet.  Not only that, but you are far more difficult to get along with than you’d led me to believe.  But, when first semester came to a close, we’d made it through together and I thought, ‘Huh, that wasn’t so bad.  Maybe we can make it out together.  Maybe I’ll even pick up a chem minor.’

What a joke.

First semester was nothing compared to second semester.  Turns out, everything about you that I thought was difficult was only the beginning.  Every time I learned something new about you, I felt defeated.  Honestly, the relationship became downright abusive.  I could lay on the floor and cry all night long and it wouldn’t make a difference to you.  And when I finally did manage to drift into a light sleep, you haunted every dream.  I’m not putting up with it any longer.

I hope I never see you again.


Ps: you smell bad.



Right now I’m learning about forgiveness.  I’ve never had an issue with forgiving people in the past because I’m very much a “go with the flow” kind of person.  I’ve always been really good at forgiving and forgetting. (especially forgetting.  I’ve been told that’s a sign of aging but I certainly hope not.  I’m only 20.)  And if you think I’m kidding or trying to talk myself up, I’ll give you this bit of information: I’ve only been actually angry three or four times in my life.  We all have different areas we struggle in; mine happen to be ones that don’t include forgiving others.  It’s just never been much of an issue for me.  So anyway, my point is that this is a new journey for me.

I could explain my journey, but that’s not important.  What is important is the lesson I’m learning along the way.

I thought I was fine.  I’ve never struggled with being angry with someone for any length of time or harboring unforgiveness toward someone so I certainly didn’t expect it to be an issue during this journey.  But when I was sitting in church today, I discovered that, rather than throwing out my bitterness and anger, I had buried it deep down inside and it was slowly brewing and growing.  I prayed.  I told God that I had tried and thought it was gone but apparently was still there.  I asked him to scoop it out because I didn’t want to push it down again.  I didn’t want it.  But it didn’t go away.  Instead, during the entire service I could feel it there, in the pit of my stomach, slowly, slowly, feeding off my thoughts, trying to grow.

The sermon, as is par for the course with God, was exactly what I needed to hear.  I was like, “Okay, I’ve got the tools now.  I can deal with this.  Maybe.”  But God wasn’t done.  Right before closing the service in prayer, Pastor said, “If you’re trying to make a decision, whether it’s a relationship, a sin, or anything, come down and talk to someone.”  I was like, “nah, I really don’t want to.  But I should… No.”  Pastor: “Don’t let this chance go by.  Take action and make your decision.  We want to talk with you.”  Brain: “I should.  But it’d be so uncomfortable.  It’s fine.  Just pray.  It’s between me and God anyway.”  Pastor: “Don’t leave without talking to someone.”  Brain: “FINE.”

So I did.  I went down and talked to Pastor.  I told him I was having trouble with forgiveness and about how it was buried after I thought I had scooped it out and asked him how to get rid of it.  He told me something unexpected.  “Do you remember when Jesus told Peter how many times we’re supposed to forgive our neighbor?”  “Yeah, every time.”  “Seventy times seven.  Obviously we don’t keep track and stop at 490.  But forgiveness isn’t a one time thing.  There are times when you have to wake up every morning and choose to forgive the same thing.  Every time your mind comes back to it, you have to actively choose to forgive that person.  Write it down somewhere: I forgive _______.  Obviously not where people can see it because then people will ask about it but put it somewhere where it will be a reminder to you.”

I’d always thought forgiveness was something you did once and then it was all better.  And if it wasn’t, then there was something wrong with you and you hadn’t really forgiven in the first place.  The thing is, that’s partially true.  There is something wrong with me.  I am a filthy sinner who can never cleanse herself of her old sins or stop herself from committing new ones.  Which means I can’t stop myself from being angry.  That’s why I have to forgive every day.  That’s why I need God’s help to forgive.  Because, on my own strength, I can’t forgive even once.  I need God.  If I didn’t have him and was trying to do this entirely on my own, that anger wouldn’t be buried deep in the pit of my stomach.  It would be raging through my entire body, wrecking me.  “What a wretched [woman] I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)

So rather than dwelling on how I think I’ve been wronged, I need to choose to forgive and dwell on how much I’ve been forgiven.  Daily.