Reunion with My Long Lost Childhood Friend!

Date: Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Time: 3pm

Location: my toasty warm room

It was just a normal Sunday for me and my family. I woke up, read my bible, worked out, went to church, and ate brunch at the Original Pancake House. We had returned from brunch and I was just laying in bed trying to “help” my mom order pictures via Walgreens. All of a sudden the doorbell rang. That’s not that unusual. I just let my mom get it. It was probably some kid selling something, right? What do I hear, though? My mom was yelling, “Hannah, it’s Madhu!!!”

Madhu—as in my childhood neighbor and best friend who I have not seen in over 10 years standing here at my door step. I was amazed, elated, and completely in shock.

Let me back up to when the story all began. My family moved into our house back when I was 4 years old. Maybe around a year later, Madhu and her family moved in. I was an extremely shy child, and I hated interacting with new kids, but Madhu immediately was ready to play. She loved our swing set and plethora of toys. While our dog scared her slightly, she came over to play with me almost every single day. One of my favorite memories was exchanging riddles with one another (nerdy, I know haha). Soon enough, I realized that Madhu was an amazing, bubbly friend, and I took the initiative to start knocking on her door after school to play. Honestly, when I think back on my childhood, I remember these times with Madhu.

Sadly, her dad got a job in New Jersey, so when I was about 10, she had to move away. Madhu and I had to say our goodbyes, but I had her new address, so I wanted to keep in touch with her (this was before I knew how to use social media). Soon afterwards, I lost her address information, and needless to say, I was devastated. I had no way of contacting her. Years later, I tried finding her on social media, but I couldn’t find her because I didn’t know her full name. She was just Madhu back then.So that was it. My friendship with her was over.

Or so I thought…

Now more than ever, I believe that God is up in heaven orchestrating miracles large and small. I never, ever thought I would see Madhu again. What are the odds that she comes back to Wisconsin to visit after all these years? How did she have the bravery to ring our doorbell not knowing that we would still live here? How is it that not only I was here to see Madhu, but also my mom, dad, and brother? Think about it. Sure I am on break, but normally I am at work at this time. Also, I almost decided to try to go on a Nicaragua trip rather than my children’s medical trip to Arkansas. Had that been the case, I wouldn’t be at home right now. I would be in a different country.

I truly believe that it was not a coincidence that Madhu stopped by today. I almost cried out of joy because I was so happy to see her, even if it was for only 15 minutes. I’m so thankful for even this short time to see her again, and now I have her contact information so that we can keep in touch from time to time. I know years have passed since we have seen each other, so I don’t expect this one reunion to make us instant best friends, but I am so happy for the chance to be able to communicate with her again.

God is so good. He never ceases to amaze me that is for sure.

img_2950

Lots of love,
Hannah

Will You Accept this Rose?

In case you haven’t seen, a new season of the Bachelor is on. Now, I never thought I would be the type of girl who would enjoy the Bachelor/Bachelorette, but I watched the last season with JoJo as the bachelorette and now I’m hooked. On Monday I stayed up late to watch the first episode of this season, and I have to say that I am pleased with both Nick and some of the women. I don’t really know how Nick portrayed himself in previous Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons, but now he seems really mature and grounded by his family. Plus, he is from Wisconsin (so am I)! Also, some of the women are lawyers, nurses, etc—they actually have real careers. Right now, I am rooting for the neonatal nurse who is also from Wisconsin. We will see what happens in the following episodes…

ABC-NICK-VIALL1-ml-161226_1_12x5_1600.jpg

Anyways, all of this talk about the Bachelor has gotten me thinking about my perspective on dating. For the record, I have yet to date anyone. Whenever I come home, family members and friends are constantly asking me if I am interested in someone. It drives me crazy. Yes, I am 20 years old, and yes maybe most girls my age have at least dated someone, but I personally don’t want to date just to date. I’m not interested in hooking up with guys. I want a real relationship, so therefore, I want to wait for a guy who is mature, caring, thoughtful, funny (the list goes on).

At this point, I feel so young. At age 20, I am barely an adult. I am still in college, and I have intentions on going to medical school and starting a career. I don’t envision myself settling down soon, so I wish people wouldn’t pressure me to be in a relationship. Also, as much as I would like to be in a romantic relationship with someone, I feel as though God is giving me a message saying that I still need to work on the relationships I already have in my life. I love my family, but I need to improve my attitude around them. I want to work on letting my guard down around them and showing them how much I love and appreciate them. As far as friends go, I barely have time as it is to see them because I get caught up in school and other activities. I need to make more of an effort to spend quality time with them, so that they can see how much they all mean to me.

At this point in my life, I know that I should not be searching for a boyfriend. I already have amazing relationships in my life that I can to continue to strengthen, and I also really want to focus on attaining a fulfilling career. I trust that when the time is right, God will place an amazing guy into my life. I just want to encourage any of you who also are struggling with being single right now to not settle for any person you stumble upon. Use this time to grow as an individual and to spend time with the important individuals who are already a part of your life. I truly believe that God is the best matchmaker out there, so I’m just going to (try to) patiently wait for the guy he has in store for me.

Lots of love,
Hannah

Every Moment Matters: Tips for Time Management

 

time-management

A new year means new goals for everyone, right? I know as a college student, having better time management and increasing productivity are goals I constantly strive for. While I am a real person who does have days with zero motivation, I have to say that in general,  I have succeeded with my time management and productivity, so much so that my friends look to me as a model for how they should be structuring their days. So today, I’d like to share with you my top time management and productivity tips so that 2017 can be a productive year with as much happiness and as little stress as possible.

Balance

The key to time management and productivity is realizing that all of your time should not be spent on work. For me personally, I think your day should be split into quiet time, work time, and you time. Quiet time is a time to think, read, reflect, and to just be still. Work time is to obviously work. Finally you time is time  to relax, hang out with friends, and do the activities that you enjoy doing. I truly believe that part of your day needs to be spent not working. Some people say they can camp out in the library all day and study, but that is false. People need breaks to refresh their minds. I find that if you create this balance, you can work more effectively during your study time and therefore, get more accomplished in a shorter period of time.

Prepare the Night Before

Before I go to bed, I prep for the following day. That is, I gather all the materials that I will need for the next day and I will make a to do list. For instance, if I know that I won’t have time to come back to the dorm at all the next day, I might pack a lunch/snacks, put together a workout bag, and gather any books or homework that I need. That way, I will have everything I need with me, and I don’t have to waste time walking back to my dorm to go get something I forgot.

To-Do Lists/ Planners

There is no right or wrong way to have a to-do list or a planner. There are so many options out there, you just have to find what works for you. For me, I like to have a planner specifically to write down my homework for each day. In addition, I like to have to-do lists on my phone or on post-it notes. When I make to-do lists, I like to have an “immediate” to-do list, as in the items that I need to accomplish today, and then have an “extras” list of things that need to get done in the future, but aren’t pressing. This allows me to really prioritize the key items that need to get done today, and then if I have extra time, I can check off items off of the “extras” list. Also, I sometimes fill my “extras” list with productive procrastination tasks– tasks that don’t really help me accomplish homework, but still need to be done. A lot of times I add random errands or chores to this list. That way, if I need to take a break, I can check off one of these chores. It’s a rest from doing homework, but you still do something that is productive in a different way. Win, win.

Another tip I have is to structure your to do list almost as if it is a schedule of your day. For example, my “immediate” to-do list might look like this:

Wake up

Eat breakfast

Read bible

Go to Genetics

Read for O.Chem

Eat Lunch

Do O. Chem Worksheet

Go to Office Hour…

So on this to-do list, you will see that I have really easy items on the list to check off like waking up and going to class. In between these scheduled events I have to go to, I add in the homework or tasks that I think I can accomplish during that gap of time. I structure my list like this for a few reasons. One, it is really nice to check off easy items on the list. It feels like your are accomplishing something just by doing simple things like eating or going to work. Then, outlining my list as if it were a schedule of my day allows me to not only see what I have to do, but when I think I will do those tasks. If you only know what you need to accomplish, but not when you plan on accomplishing those tasks, you will not be as productive as possible.

Start Your Mornings Peacefully

I cannot stress this enough. Wake up early so that you do not have to rush around in the morning. It is so important to have time to be still, and for me that works best if I start my days with time just for myself. In the mornings, I usually wake up, eat breakfast, and take time to read the news and my bible. This time in the morning sets the tone for my day. Instead of waking up frazzled and rushing to make it to class, I have the opportunity to begin my day peacefully, which allows me to be less stressed out as the day goes on.

Eat

This one is pretty self explanatory, yet people forget to do it if they feel to “busy”. I don’t care how busy you are, you still need to fuel your body. Eat. Seriously. And don’t eat crap either. Eat food to nourish your bodies so that you can have energy to get through the day. If you are particularly busy like me, make sure you pack snacks so that if you can’t get to the cafeteria right away, at least you have food to hold you over. My favorite snacks currently are any of the Kind granola bars or cocoa dusted almonds. Delicious.

Workout

I am a huge proponent of working out because it clears your mind, reduces stress, gives you energy, and countless other benefits. A workout does not have to be long– maybe it’s just a quick 10 minute walk or bike ride. The point is, a workout is that “you” time I mentioned earlier. It is a chance to give your mind and eyes a break from reading and studying. Without a doubt, when I work out, I am more productive because of the energy it gives me. In fact, the times when I am busiest during the semester are the times where I workout the most because it helps me focus afterwards on the tasks that I still need to accomplish.

Sleep

Again this is obvious, but sleep is so important. I don’t care how much you feel like you need to study for an exam. Without proper sleep, you are going to be tired during the day, which makes you less focused, therefore, less productive. I consciously make an effort to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night because for me, lack of sleep just leads to poor performance on my part. I would rather sacrifice doing more homework/studying for sleep any day. If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that the amount of material that you cram in by staying up late is so insignificant that it’s not worth staying up for. I personally think it is best to have a time where you consistently go to bed because your body really does thrive on a set routine.

Find a Schedule that Works for You

Lastly, it is important to note that everyone’s bodies work differently. So while I personally like to be up by 6am and go to bed at 11pm, that may not work for everyone. What is important is to create a schedule that allows you to have your work time when you are most alert. For me, I am very productive late mornings and early evenings. I always hit a slump in the afternoon, so I know not to do any intense homework during that time. If you don’t know when you are most alert, just spend a few days journalling how you feel energy-wise every hour that you are awake. You will soon find recurring patterns where you feel energized or fatigued.

I hope these tips are helpful for making 2017 your most productive and balanced year yet.

everymoment.jpg

Lots of love,
Hannah

Hasta Luego 2016!

Here we are–December 31, 2016. Just like that, another year has flown by. This year was characterized by college, friends, family, and travels both small and large scale. While I’m sad that life occurs too quickly, all I can say is that I am thankful to be where I am today. I’m healthy, happy, loved, supported, and so much more due to the communities that I have been blessed with. I’d just like to take a moment to recall some of my favorite memories with you.

  1. January: Learning about the HIV/AIDS social justice issue on my service trip to Chicago, IL
  2. June: Shadowing an OB/GYN and getting to use the doppler to hear a baby’s heartbeat
  3. July: Visiting Seattle, WA and Alaska on a cruise with my family
  4. July: Exploring Chicago, IL with my mom: visiting Navy Pier, shopping, eating delicious food
  5. August: Completing my first triathlon despite the terrifying swim portion
  6. August: Being a camp counselor to a precious foster child at Royal Family Kids Camp
  7. Summer: Hiking and exploring Milwaukee with my high school friends
  8. School year: Having my job on the ALIVE team, being a TRIPS leader, spending time with my friends, beginning research, connecting with my professors, and so much more

best-9-2016

I have high hopes for 2017. First, I have my children’s medical trip to Arkansas. Then, I need to make it through second semester of sophomore year. I will be taking Organic Chemistry, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Physics, and the Christian Tradition. While it will probably be another hard semester, I am excited to be reunited with my friends and professors. In the summer, I hope to do some kind of race, travel somewhere, and volunteer at Royal Family Kids Camp, Finally, the goal in the fall is to spend the semester in Quito, Ecuador!

There are so many amazing opportunities to look forward to in 2017, but I’m hoping this year to be less future-focused, but rather enjoy one day at a time. I feel like that’s the only way to help time slow down just a hare so that I can take in all of these memories. 2017 will definitely be a year of new experiences especially with the leadership roles that I am taking on and with the traveling that I will be doing. Most importantly, I hope that 2017 is a year of spiritual growth for me. I want to continue deepening my faith and challenging myself to trust God’s plan for me.

happy-new-year-picture

Happy New Year!
Hannah

The Secret Life of a Selfless Giver with Selfish Tendencies

Anyone who knows me can attest that I genuinely enjoy helping people. Why do I offer to stay at work until 2:30am at times or tutor students in chemistry when I really don’t have the time? It’s because of that feeling you get when you know someone is appreciating the work you are doing for them. This world needs more goodness in it, and I want to help spread it, but I got to thinking, at the root of it all, is my service for the good of others or for myself?

Let’s rewind back to my high school days. My mind back then was focused on getting into college, so I did anything that would look good on an application. National Honor Society, Key Club, Spanish Honor Society… if it involved service of some kind, I probably dabbled in it. Sure, I enjoyed being able to provide service to others, but in reality, I only volunteered for my personal gain.

Now I’ve grown a lot since my days in high school. I now realize that life on Earth is so unpredictably short, so I need to fill my time with the things that truly matter to me. For instance, Royal Family Kids Camp will forever be a part of my life. I can genuinely say that attend camp to help the kids witness God’s love. If my heart wasn’t in it for the right reasons, I wouldn’t ever make it through the week because working with foster children is exhausting. These kids come with a lot of emotional baggage, and if you go in with selfish intentions, God won’t have the space to work in your camper.

That being said, though, I still have moments where my selfish inclinations start outweighing my desire to be selfless. At a stressful day of work, sometimes I only focus on my paycheck or the fact that this will help me get into medical school. Other days make me realize how much I love caring for my residents. Can I just say that I love elderly people because they are wise, witty, and all around wonderful? The other day, I helped a lady fix her drawer and they next moment she was giving me a hug because she was so grateful for my help. I love it when I can take the extra 30 seconds to make my residents feel happy, important, and beautiful/handsome.

I was reading my Bible the other day, and I stumbled upon 1 Corinthians 13 about love. Verse 5 spoke to me in particular stating that love “does not seek its own interests”. It was a crucial reminder to me that the love I share with the people I serve needs to be selfless. If I am giving of time to others, but I do it for my own accord, I‘m not showing Christ’s love.

In a few weeks, I will be co-leading a group of about 10 college students down to Little Rock, Arkansas for a children’s medical service trip at the hospital there. It will be really easy to get stuck in a rut of just seeing how this is a great opportunity for my future. After all it will be great leadership and medical experience. This trip, though, is not about making myself feel good; it’s about listening to the stories of the families I meet, encouraging others to have faith in the team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who are taking care of their child, and engaging with the children so that they can have time to relax and to just have fun. As I continue to get older, I hope that I work through my selfishness and instead serve others with unconditional, selfless love.

fohnh1482934716

Lots of love,

Hannah

The Question I Hate Getting Asked

Winter break is treating me well. There is nothing better than sleeping in (that’s til about 7:30am for me), reading in bed, and hanging out with family and friends. However, whenever I see people that I haven’t talked to in awhile, I always get asked, “What are your plans for the future?” or some other version of that same question. It drives me nuts because I have to come up with a concise answer when in actuality I should really say, “I have no clue what I am doing with my life. I’m considering about 10 career options at the moment.”

I hate being in this period of the unknown. For me, I always find comfort in having a plan (as well as back up plans). As far as the future goes, I just never feel certain on anything. For a year now, I have been pretty set on going to medical school, which seems like a great option for me. I love school, I am dedicated, and I genuinely want to help people. How can I be certain, though, that becoming a doctor will bring me the most fulfillment and joy? Medical school requires a lot of sacrifice and work, and if I decide to go that route, I want to be certain that it is the best option for me. I have also considered other health careers, such as becoming a PA, a nutritionist, or a physical therapist. If the medical field is not the right place for me, I have considered a career in public health or in food science because they both deal with health and nutrition in settings outside of a hospital.

All in all, I’m straight up confused. I think it bothers me so much because at the end of the day, I want to follow God’s plan for me. I want to seek the vocation that he calls be to pursue, but I so often try to control my future. I’m in a constant internal battle between trying to surrender to God and trying to take matters into my own hands. I honestly pray that I can be free of the anxiety that comes with the unknown future. I wish I could be better at living each day as its own, rather than planning for the years to come. Hopefully, I can learn to trust  that God will show me what I am passionate about through my interactions with others in my daily life. Right now I know that I am passionate about serving foster children and caring for those who are vulnerable in society. I am interested in traveling, health, all things science (NOT PHYSICS), and social justice issues regarding malnourishment in the world and environmental problems. All I can do right now is have faith that God will show me the path that I am supposed to take based on the opportunities that he either gives me or closes off from me.

Rather than tensing up when asked the dreaded career question, my goal is to work on making peace with the fact that I do not know. Instead it is a great opportunity to let God be God and to allow him to really work through me. If you have any encouraging words or advice that helped you decide on your career path, feel free to share them with me!

Lots of love,
Hannah

My Teenage Years Are Over…

I woke up this morning and realized that it was my birthday. It was like I somehow had forgotten that this day was coming even though I had been thinking about this birthday for a while now. The fact that I am 20 hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it’s crazy to think that I have been alive for two decades.

Twenty years is long time to be alive, but it feels like these past few years have especially flown by. Even though time it going by quickly, it’s so amazing to see how God has been working in my life. Firstly, he allowed me to find some of the best, most compassionate friends I could ever ask for in high school. They constantly ground me in my faith and they challenge me to live a Christian life with more authenticity. Secondly, God has blessed me with such a supportive family. My senior year and even now at times, I still feel at odds with my parents, but the more I am away at college, the more I realize how much they unconditionally love me. Family is something that I cannot take for granted, especially after spending so much time with foster children. The older I get, the more I realize how precious having a family really its.

img_2908

My brother and I this year as we searched for the ideal Christmas tree.

I’m especially grateful for the past year and a half that I have had at college. God has allowed me to learn more about myself and what I am passionate about. I have had the opportunity to partake in a lot of mentorship roles both with college freshmen and with children at a local elementary school. I’ve also been mentored in a way by my professors who are always there to support and encourage me. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better college community.

So now I am here, at age 20. I really have no idea what my future holds, but I’m eager to see what opportunities God has in store for me. I’m excited to see how my story unfolds as I learn how to trust in God more fully. I’m at a place where I really want him to do whatever he pleases with my life instead of me trying to plan every moment of my future. I just know that ultimately I will find the most joy by following God’s will for my life.

As far as birthday plans, I really have none. My parents and I are going to go out to dinner (the restaurant is TBD) and then later we will have Dairy Queen ice cream cake because that is a family tradition. Otherwise, I am just going to rest, read, and relax with my cat (who never leaves my room since I keep it so toasty warm)!

img_2933

Sleeping Beauty

I hope you all have a lovely day! Stay warm 🙂

Lots of love,

Hannah

I’m Alive!

Wow, this is the first night in almost two months where I have had nothing to do. This feeling of nothingness is so blissful– I never want it to end. Today I finally made it to the end of the semester. I had my physics and organic chemistry finals yesterday and then my genetics and theology exams today. I know, it was a horrible line-up. The timing was not ideal, but I managed to power through to the end. I’m so happy that this semester is over. Even though I have thoroughly enjoyed living with my friends and being able to spend time with them, this semester was tough. I felt as though I always needed to be on my A game because if I ever wasn’t, then I would hopelessly fall behind on my work.

But here I am. I came out on top. I don’t know how I did on my finals, but I can honestly say that I did the best that I could have given the circumstances. Also, with all of the people stressing out around me, it was so hard not to get caught up in it all. It’s so easy to get stuck in the cycle of feeling the need to succeed all the time. I used to feel that way (and I still struggle with that at times); it would cause me so much anxiety that I couldn’t sleep and my stomach was constantly a wreck.

If there is one thing that I learned from this semester, it’s that school doesn’t define me. I will fully admit that I am a nerd. I love learning. It’s a part of me that I love, but it can also make me lose sight of the big picture. I am here at school, not for my own good, but hopefully to gain skills to do God’s will. School is not about what information I can regurgitate on an exam or how much better I do in a class compared to someone else. School, along with the other aspects of my life, is never supposed to be centered around me. I’m supposed to be giving all the glory to God.

With that perspective in mind, I was able to get through the stress of finals. God gave me strength, peace, and wisdom to know that being at college is a privilege that most people in the WORLD never get to experience. He has given me the opportunity to learn in an environment that challenges me to think critically and to explore new perspectives. No matter how well I excel at school, I trust that God is going to use me for some greater good. I don’t have to be better than anyone else because I am already good enough in God’s eyes.

That being said, I am really excited for a much needed break! I can’t wait to relax at home with my cat (and with my family and friends). Campus is beautiful here, but it’s bitterly cold. In 24 hours, I’ll be in my room with the space heater cranked up, snuggled in a warm blanket. Nothing is better than going home. I cannot wait! Plus it’s my birthday on Friday, so that will be a fun time too!

If you are in the midst of finals, I pray that they go smoothly. Just remember that this is one small phase of your life. Don’t let these measly tests cause you so much anxiety.

IMG_2923.JPG

My own winter wonderland here on campus! Like I said, it’s lovely to look at (not so lovely to have to walk in).

Lots of love,

Hannah

Good Catalyzes Good

Today began on a frustrating note. Being the morning person that I am, I decided to try to get some physics homework out of the way. Forty minutes later, I had attempted two problems and had solved neither of them. This is constant recurring theme in physics. I stare at the problems, get zero answers, and then fantasize about how I would like to burn by physics book.

However, it was the perfect fall day outside– 55°F, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Instead of doing more homework, I went on the most therapeutic run. As I ran, I listened to my favorite music, soaked in the gorgeous fall colors, and just thought aimlessly. Afterwards, it was like the physics incident had never occurred. That run changed my whole entire mood. It was a spark of good that changed my whole attitude for the day.

After the run, I got lunch with a friend from high school. We chatted while sipping on great coffee. It made me so happy to take time to catch up on each other’s lives, especially since I don’t get to see her often anymore. My lunch date was another sprinkling of good.

Later on at church,  1.) there was a baptism, 2.) I sat next to the happiest, cutest,  married elderly couple, and 3.) the priest delivered an amazing homily about leprosy and Christ’s role as a healer. He challenged us to look at our lives and to think about how Christ can physically, emotionally, or spiritually heal us. It was a homily that was challenging, but immensely clear. I needed to hear those words, and I left church feeling spiritually recharged– more good.

The final dose of goodness for the day came from a spontaneous FaceTime call from another high school friend. More chatting ensued, laughs were shared, and afterwards, I felt great.

The moral of the story– good builds on good. So often I let myself become consumed with negativity. I become overwhelmed with how busy I am or how challenging my classes are. Anxiety and stress quickly blind me from seeing the good in the circumstances that I am in. I focus on how quickly a day can turn sour, when in reality, it is just as easy for a day to become really amazing. Thinking back on the homily, right now, I need Christ to cleanse me from these burdens that weigh me down so that I can devote time to the things/people who lift me up– family, friends, spending time in nature, reading a great book, drinking hot coffee, etc. There is a lot of evil that is occurring in this work, but there is also a ton of good being done. Today was just one example of how one positive experience– my run– allowed me to more fully enjoy the rest of my day. Good catalyzes good (Can you tell I’m a science major? hehe). Every smile, laugh, or compliment could be the spark that ignites a chain reaction of good. I pray that I can continue working on changing my mindset from focusing on the negatives of life to relishing all of the sparks of good that are occurring around me.

Lots of love,

Hannah

Apple Picking Adventure

My family has a tradition of going apple picking with our family friends every fall. This tradition has been around for over 20 years–before my parents were even married! Every year, each of our families changes slightly. It’s so cool to look back at pictures from over the years to see how much we kids have grown. Last year, I didn’t have the chance to partake in this yearly ordeal since I was at college. This year, however, I decided to make the trip because creating memories and spending time with family helps me balance school’s chaos.

Early Saturday morning, I got my Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks and drove home. Then we as a family drove to our family friend’s house. There we ate lunch and watched a slideshow of us apple picking throughout the years. It was so precious! After that, we headed to the orchard. Our family filled up two baskets worth of Fuji and Golden delicious apples and ate our fair share of “free samples”– you have to try the apples to know what they taste like right? Apple picking is hard work. I was on top of my brother’s shoulders trying to pick the best apples (which were always at the very top of the trees). At end, I was extremely satisfied with our selections, and now I can eat multiple apples a day for a long time 🙂

img_2849

My brother and I like each other after all.

After picking our apples, we took some mandatory family pictures and then headed to the barn to buy delicious goodies. My all-time favorites include caramel apples, warm apple-cinnamon donuts (yes they are a gift from God), corn salsa, and pumpkin butter.

Then way too quickly, we had to pack up and leave because I wanted to get back to school–to get frozen yogurt, not to study 😉 I got back in the car and jammed out to music until I made it to campus.

Going apple picking was the kind of relief that I needed. School is really crazy, and I feel like I never get a break– or I never want to take a break. While school is important, I don’t want it to rule my life. At the end of the day, I want to look back at my college experience and remember all the the great times that I spent on adventures with family and friends. Academics is one aspect of college, but definitely not the only aspect. I was so happy to take a break from school and spend time with family friends that I haven’t seen in two years. I even got a chance to see my brother, who started his freshman year of college. It was a very full day–full of travel, full of memories, and full of food! I can’t wait to partake in this tradition again next year!

img_2851

This is one of the mandatory photos–all the kiddos need to stand by the scarecrow and measure their heights.

 

Lots of love,

Hannah