Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Renee DeVault

By

January 18, 2016

The Awkward Dinosaur Tries New Things

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

It’s a new semester, a new year, with new classes, a new job, and a time to try new things and start new habits.

This week I have begun all sorts of new things.

First of all I began my new job as Managing Editor and News Editor of the Trailblazer. I have a new office on campus and brand new coworkers.

20160118_192304355_iOS

I got to decorate my office which was awesome and it’s really nice to have a place of my own to get some work done during the day.

I’ve been loving my new classes but probably my favorite so far is Hebrew. I have been missing learning languages. In High School I took French and American Sign Language but neither were nearly as challenging as I predict Hebrew is going to be.

First of all, it reads right to left and the written version has no vowels. I’ve been kind of obsessive about learning the alphabet and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to do for a class in a while. It sounds crazy but I love languages and writing. Learning how to write in completely new characters has been awesome.

20160118_213620595_iOS

It’s good to take on new challenges. Isn’t that what college is for? Learning new things and challenging ourselves in order to grow? Hard classes are some of my favorite things. Next to raindrops on roses of course.

Speaking of a challenge, I have been looking for new things to do with friends on campus. Just because we live in Olathe, Kansas and attend a smaller private school doesn’t mean we can’t have wild and crazy times.

So naturally we have taken to starting fires, setting up hammocks, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

20160117_023622890_iOS

Fire is fun.

Contained and mostly safe fire is probably the best for our uses. It’s a really good winter activity, especially if one has a craving for marshmallows and allergy friendly hot dogs.

20160116_040227719_iOS

Gabe hung a hammock in his suit in Uphaus. It is incredibly fun and added some much needed extra seating to the suit for watching movies, and Youtube, and Netflix, and really anything. It’s like camping…but with air conditioning and a bathroom with running water.

20160116_043837709_iOS

Dungeons and Dragons is awesome. I very much enjoy it much more than I thought that I would. It reminds me of pretend games that I would play when I was a little kid, except for with dice…and five other nerds on the same quest.

Basically Alex wrote a game for us and helped us create characters and we all learned how to play. I’ve played twice now and have absolutely loved it so far. it’s something I never would have tried before but I very much enjoyed it.

Try new things, especially when it’s harmless fun like using fictional characters to explore magical elf scholar caves and fight skeletons.

Another new thing I’m trying this semester is being more intentional about date nights.

20160115_011201086_iOS

There are lots of great places to go on cheapish dates around MNU. Quinn and I went to Black Dog Coffee house in Lenexa on Thursday. They have some awesome specialty latte’s and the atmosphere is just so cute. Quinn and I sat in the bakery next door.

I really want to make sure that in this semester I take care of things that are really important to me. One of those things is definitely Quinn. Setting aside a date night out of our weeks keeps our schedules from getting too busy to make time for each other.

This semester is going to be full of new challenges and new things to enjoy, but I want to always have time in my life for my friends, Quinn, my family, and God.

Oh…and messing with Jordan.

I want to always have time to mess with Jordan.

20160117_222656401_iOS

20160117_222646338_iOS

Isaac Walker

By

January 15, 2016

A Look Back On My Break

January 15, 2016 | By | One Comment

Hey friends!

So this week concludes the first week of classes of second semester here at MNU.  Personally, I am not fully recovered from Winter Break.  It is a strange feeling because I was ready to come back to school.  Being a young adult and going back home is kind of weird.  My mom still wanted to know where I was going, who I was with, and when I would be home.  It really did not make me angry.  It was just kind of inconvenient because living here on campus, you get use to not having to tell anyone any of the details of your outings.

Thankfully, for most of my break I was not home.  The day MNU got out for winter break, I hopped on a plane with my younger brother and flew to Pennsylvania to see our father.

We were on the plane by 6:30am...We were not the happiest people on the plane.

We were on the plane by 6:30am…We were not the happiest people on the plane.

Once we got to PA, we were going non stop till the 31st of December!  I had one, and only one request though.  I HAD to see the new Star Wars movie.  Thankfully that was an easy request for our dad to fill.  I loved it with all my heart.  Also while we were with our dad, we did a lot of hiking.  We hiked along various parts of the Appalachian Trail.  I had never been hiking in PA before and I was kind of surprised how beautiful it is. Here are a few pics I took while we hiked.

This part of the Appalachian Trail went through a field. This is the lowest part of the entire trail.

This part of the Appalachian Trail went through a field. This is the lowest part of the entire trail.

This is where it started to get super rocky. It was awesome but very exhausting.

This is where it started to get super rocky. It was awesome but very exhausting.

We did not walk the whole trail. I found out it is actually pretty long. Here is a selfie I took at a pretty high point of the trail.

We did not walk the whole trail. I found out it is actually pretty long. Here is a selfie I took at a pretty high point of the trail.

Another pic from the high point. My big head isn't in it. Your're welcome.

Another pic from the high point. My big head isn’t in it. You’re welcome.

We did some other activities.  My dad had to work a few days so me and brother hung out at his apartment some.  We did not have access to a car, so we rode bikes around the cool town our dad lives in.

Young Asher on his bike.

Young Asher on his bike.

When we were not riding bikes, we were watching court shows on tv.  I became addicted to them…Judge Judy is my new #WCW.

One of the last days in PA, we drove Washington DC.  I had never been before and it was pretty awesome!  Sadly Obama was not there and I did not get to meet him…

We parked in the garage of this insanely nice hotel.

We parked in the garage of this insanely nice hotel.

Our first stop was to the Holocaust Museum. Not much needs to be said about it. It was beautiful, sad, amazing, and heart breaking all at once.

Our first stop was to the Holocaust Museum. Not much needs to be said about it. It was beautiful, sad, amazing, and heart breaking all at once.

Here is the Washington Monument. This is as close as I got...

Here is the Washington Monument. This is as close as I got…

As you can see, this is the one and only White House. Obama did not come out to say hi and the security guards outside would let me any closer...

As you can see, this is the one and only White House. Obama did not come out to say hi and the security guards outside would let me any closer to look in the windows…

We took a lot of selfies...I think my dad just discovered what they were and wanted to take them all the time!

We took a lot of selfies…I think my dad just discovered what they were and wanted to take them all the time!

After PA, we flew to Florida to meet our mom there.  We stayed with her brother and his family.  We went to the beach, an old military fort, and did some shopping.  We were there from January 1-6.  Here some pics I took while in FL.

Took this on the plane ride from PA to FL.

Took this on the plane ride from PA to FL.

It was pretty gloomy every day in FL, but it was still nice out.

It was pretty gloomy every day in FL, but it was still nice out.

This is a group photo of all the cousins and their significant others.

This is a group photo of all the cousins and their significant others.

This is me and my cousins precious, little child Lincoln Deahn.

This is me and my cousins precious, little child Lincoln Deahn.

Overall, I really enjoyed my winter break.  I got to spend it with loved ones I do not get to see regularly anymore.  At the same time, I am happy to be back here at MNU.

I hope you all had a great break and that you got to spend it with people you love you!  I hope this next semester is the best one yet for you all as well!

Until nest time friends!

Lynsie Petersen

By

January 13, 2016

Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Tells Your Story?

January 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

My current favorite musical is about America’s founding father, Alexander Hamilton. It’s simply titled “Hamilton: An American Musical”. The show opens with the song, “Alexander Hamilton”, and it gives a brief description of who Alexander was and where he came from. I could take you song by song, but there are 46 songs and it would take longer than most people are willing to read, so I’ll sum it up: the musical covers the life and death of Alexander Hamilton and it doesn’t skip the “dirty laundry”.

Ham Scene

Hamilton stars Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza).

I initially questioned how historically accurate this musical could be, I mean, it’s a hip hop musical about the founding fathers. If it was too correct, it’d be boring. I launched into a month of in depth research on Hamilton. Nearly 98% of it is what actually happened. The composer/author had to  take a small bit of dramatic license to make the story work. The only things he changed were minor details that really didn’t affect the story as a whole. This show is far from boring. The first note draws you in and doesn’t let you go until 2 hours and 45 minutes have passed.

While the show covers several topics, including the American Revolution, Boston Tea Party, and the first sex scandal in American politics, the underlying message is legacy. Alexander spends the entire show trying to leave his legacy behind. He does this with his financial system and all of his writings.

Ham Shot

Alexander sings repeatedly that he is not throwing away his shot.

Hame Up

Hamilton also encourages his friends to rise up and leave a legacy.

Alexander’s life is cut short because his enemy, Aaron Burr, challenged him to a duel and was not a man of honor and shot Alex in between his ribs, killing him. Hamilton’s loving wife spent the next 50 years telling his story, as well as creating her own legacy.

I put myself back into the narrative. I stop wasting time on tears, I live another 50 years. It’s not enough.  I interview every soldier who fought by your side. I try to make sense of your thousands of pages of writings. You really do write like you’re running out of time…And I’m still not through. I ask myself, “What would you do if you had more time?” … I raise funds in D.C. for the Washington Monument, I speak out against slavery. You could have done so much more if you only had time. And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell our story? Oh, can I show you what I’m proudest of? I established the first private orphanage in New York City. I help to raise hundreds of children. I get to see them growing up. In their eyes, I see you Alexander, I see you every time. And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell my story?

-Eliza Schuyler Hamilton “Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story”

Ham Banner

Ham Art

All of this has gotten me thinking about important legacies. Mother Theresa left a legacy of love. She fed and loved orphans like Christ, much like Eliza Hamilton did. George Washington left a legacy of being an amazing leader, Hitler left a legacy, so did Osama Bin Laden. Legacies aren’t always positive, it’s how you’re remembered, and sometimes, it’s negative. (One of the lyrics in “Hamilton” is “History has its eyes on you”. This is true for all people.)

How will I be remembered? I asked my best friend what he would say at my funeral if I died. He knows me better than I know myself and his response was “There are some people who walk into your life and just sort of stick themselves there and refuse to leave. Lynsie was one of those people, and I’m thankful. We could play off each other’s energy really well and we were always there for each other. I’m just torn up that she was hit by a falling airplane before she got a chance to realize her dreams. *mic drop, exit stage left*”

Apparently, I’ll be leaving a good legacy with him, but (echoing Eliza’s plea) will it be enough? Will he tell my story? If I manage to become the actress I dream of being, how will I use that fame? Will I be remembered as a wannabe or a superstar? The one everyone wanted to work with or the diva that everyone secretly hated?

Ham Collage

I have decided that 2016 is the year where I start leaving my legacy. I want to be remembered past my grandchildren.

Ham Tweet

I want to be the Eliza in the sea of Peggy*s!

What legacy do you want to leave? If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends what they would say at your funeral. And if you don’t like the answers, may I encourage you to start now and leave your mark on history! History has its eyes on you! :)

*Peggy Schuyler was Eliza’s younger sister who died at 43 and literally did nothing besides marry a 19 year old at age 25.

Mackenzie Theiler

By

January 12, 2016

🌤 Recap of My Winter Break in Cali 🌤

January 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

Getting to go back home to California, for Christmas and New Year’s, was amazing. I got to see and spend time with all my friends and family, that I had missed so much. It was nice to catch up with my friends, talking about how our fall semester was, what we did, and what our plans were, while we were home.

For Christmas Eve morning, my mom and I have a tradition, where we bake all kinds of sweets for Santa and the family.

Chocolate Brownie Christmas Tree's & Peppermint GramCracker Fudge

Homemade Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies & Peppermint GramCracker Fudge

My Family Christmas Day

My Family Christmas Day

For New Year’s, my mom decided to host, the celebration, at our house. One of our close family friend’s, is a HUGE foodie! We tried so many different exotic food’s. I have never tasted such, spectacular and delicious food.

I got to be home for my dad’s birthday! My mom and I, planned a surprise trip to Lake Tahoe.

Let it Snow ❄️

Let it Snow ❄️

Well, now, Spring Semester has begun, and it is back to the grinding stone for the next 3 to 4 months. I will defiantly miss my mother’s cooking and my families company. Now, it is back to the cafe food and being with these incredible people at MNU.

 

Katie Linsey

By

January 12, 2016

Welcome to the Suite Life

January 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

Living in Spindle 306 is so fun… and strange at times. Our living area is full of crazy and weird things. Here’s a virtual tour of our suite… and why you should come visit sometime. :)

Paper snowflakes on the ceiling.

snowflakes

Christmas time in Spindle 306 is a blast, including these homemade snowflakes that stay up all winter.

A scooter garage.

scooters

Yes, we actually use them. Scooter rides in the parking lot happen often.

Lamps with no bulbs in them.

lamps

I honestly have no clue why we don’t have lightbulbs in some of our lamps. Decoration, I guess?

A toilet paper pyramid in the bathroom.

toilet paper

You never know when MNU is going to run out of toilet paper, so you stock up when you can.

Mounted deer head.

deerhead

This was a perfect find in the Target dollar section. It looks like a combination of a moose, dog, and pig.

Ken dolls. 

dolls

We started out with just Chad (on left), and then Justin Bieber came to live with us for this semester. They’re a blast to have around!

Hairy floor.

carpet

No matter how many times we vacuum, there will always be hair on the floor. It’s great when we’re working out and finish with hair all over our leggings.

A coat tree that looks like a person in the dark.

coat tree

I swear this thing has scared me so many times. Definitely convenient though.

Enough canned soup to last a year.

soup

It seems like everyone in our suite enjoys eating soup often. There is so much of it. It’s great for those nights when Campus Center just doesn’t cut it.

So… there you have it! A little tour of Spindle 306 and how fun the dorm life can be. :)

-KT

Katie Linsey

By

January 12, 2016

10 Ways You Know You’re in College

January 12, 2016 | By | No Comments

1. Some days you eat one meal, and some days you eat four. 

Meal times are not guaranteed in college. It’s easy to be running around so much that you forget about eating altogether. And then, of course, there are those late night fast food runs because you have tons of homework to do and you can’t get it done without something to snack on.

2. If you’re dressing nice, it’s likely because you ran out of clean jeans to wear.

People always compliment me when I’m wearing leggings and a dress, but little do they know it’s only because I don’t have any other options.

3. Ramen noodles and canned soup are your idea of a home cooked meal.

Don’t want to go to the cafeteria, but don’t want to spend money… which translates into microwavable foods in your dorm.

4. You nap more than you did when you were in kindergarten.

Every night before I fall asleep, I plan my nap times for the next day. And “sorry I’m busy” usually means I have a planned nap.

5. You know when every restaurant in your college town closes.

Late night fourth meals happen frequently in college, which means knowing the last possible minute you can show up to Applebee’s or Sonic for cheap food.

6. You claim you’re “so busy,” and yet still find time to watch hours of Netflix a week.

Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your precious Netflix time. Multi-tasking is a beautiful thing.

7. You debate driving to a class that would take you 5 minutes to walk to.

Yeah, I need the exercise… but it’s cold outside. And even when it’s nice outside, there’s always an excuse.

8. You will go to nearly any event as long as they have free food.

I’ve been to meetings that don’t interest me at all, just because I heard there was going to be free food. I hope I’m not the only one in that boat.

9. You are always “broke,” regardless of how much money you have.

Even when you have money, you don’t have money. So I just get used to saying I’m broke without having to check my bank account.

10. Every minute of sleep counts.

There is a very large difference between an 8am and a 9am. 30 more minutes of sleep is a big deal.

-KT

(Feature image courtesy of www.goldenstateeventsinc.com, edited by Katie Linsey)

Stephanie Krohn

By

January 11, 2016

The Surprise on the Way Back

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

I happen to hate airports lately. Even though I enjoy the opportunity to travel between two countries, the flights take everything from me. I have been to every possible situations on airports: delayed flights, cancelled flights, missing suitcase, and trouble with the security. I almost had to spend a night at the airport one time. Every time I come to the U.S., I have to go through customs and security checks and it is a really long and exhausting process. I have to fill out a paper with all the items I carry and answer questions. When I came in the summer, I had ham sandwiches from home for the long flight; they took them away from me after a dog discovered them while going through the customs. Apparently German ham can be so dangerous. Just kidding, I am glad they have strict security controls. I was just depressed because they gave me a red stamp and I thought I would never make it to the U.S. again.

This time though everything was different!

I was nervous because my flight from London to Chicago kept changing times and I was afraid that I would miss my connection again. Missing connections means an additional two to six hours traveling. And I already need 20 to 30 hours normally, so I was really not happy when I stood at the airport in Hamburg at 5 am in the dark, snowy morning and had to say goodbye to my dad. Luckily my first flight was on time and even boarding was fast. I could even sleep the whole way to London because my mom had filled me up with pills because of my cold. In London, I had to go through securities one more time and for some reason they sent me through the fast track. I thought that I was really lucky and they just made a mistake, but didn’t pay any further attention to it. I waited two more hours in the food court, reading a magazine, until my gate was shown and I took the transit to get there – still perfectly in time. Boarding hasn’t started yet and I could already see the airbus outside waiting. It was a jumbo version of a plane and has two levels of seating. It was my first time flying with a plane this big. I got really excited.

Once on board, I was looking for my seat, 18G. I passed first class and economy and looked at the signs: 22,23,24. Was I really too far? So I went back to find that my seat was in first class. My first thought was that this was a bad joke, but my ticket really said “Club World” which is the first class of British Airways. To be a hundred percent sure I asked the stewardess to help me find my seat and she sent me back to the same spot. I couldnt believe this coincident. I was offered fresh made orange juice and I was given a menu. It was super strange, but I decided to enjoy this lucky opportunity. I had a chair all to myself and so much space. They gave me a real blanket not the thin, fizzy ones from the Economy class and I had big headphones instead of the ear plugs. Not that I would ever complain about Economy; the difference was just huge and I immediately thought about the influence money can have. When people walked to their seats they looked at me as if I was a spoiled child, and I guess I was at this moment, but hey, who wouldn’t take advantage of First Class?

Halfway through the flight, I was served a whole menu. First salad with a side that looked super expensive, then pasta and in the end, everyone got a sandwich for later and a collection of three different, little cakes. I watched a lot of good movies,made my chair into a bed and slept like a baby for the rest of the flight. It was a good experience and it changed my opinion about flying a little bit.

IMG_6638 IMG_6640

IMG_6639 IMG_6643

IMG_6647 IMG_6646 IMG_6645

I almost didn’t want to leave. The rest of the journey was good as well.  I wondered if my parents had something to do with this, but then I remembered that I booked the flight. Ups! Well, if they receive a bill, they at least know I had a save flight.

At the end of the day, I arrived in Los Angeles which is a nine hour difference to Germany. My parents gave me this flight for Christmas to visit my boyfriend in California. They accidently switched up the dates, so that I am going to start school later. It is awesome here, but more of Cali in my next blog in a few days!

 

Renee DeVault

By

January 10, 2016

Resolution vs. Solution

January 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

I have always had an issue with the concept of resolutions. Especially around New Years time because it all seems too overdone. No one is expected to really follow through on theirs and it seems to have become a cultural joke.

When I used to make resolutions I always found myself becoming increasingly depressed as I failed at my resolutions and constantly had to start over and fail again. I’m not sure if this is a personal problem or something common but in either case it raises an issue.

Are resolutions worth making if it’s just going to depress me when I don’t fulfill them?

However without resolving to change will I ever?

Is there a better way?

I propose that for real change to happen in a person’s life resolving to change is not enough. Perhaps at least in my life there needs to be less resolution for the future and more solution for the here and now. Some points that I’m exploring…

1, Accountability

I think this is why some people post their resolutions on Facebook. Once it’s public we may feel like we will stick to the goal better. I have seen this work for other people but it does not work for me. Public resolutions may seem like they would keep one more accountable but I think it just adds to the guilt factor when resolutions aren’t being met.

I would propose telling a smaller group of friends or family about what you want to change. The accountability is still there and in times when the plan gets rough you can focus more on getting back on track and less on the guilt of being off track.

Mutual accountability is also a beautiful thing. Finding a few friends who are trying to solve things of their own can be very helpful. Not only can you remind each other of what you want to do but one friend’s success may inspire another’s.

2. Creative Solutions to individual problems

Trying to fit an individualized issue in life into a mass solution may seem at times like fitting a square box into a circular hole. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. When a resolution is made I believe that a creative brainstorming session will almost always be necessary.

Perhaps the popular solution to a problem simply wont work. For example, joining a gym and working out a certain amount of time every day just wont work with a college budget or time table. And if this method is attempted anyway time and time again fails then it can cause resolution depression. The problem may not be with you if the resolution isn’t working out. The problem may be with the method.

Put on your thinking cap. Sit down, make a schedule and look at the realities of your time and resources and try to find a solution which is both possible and fits somewhere naturally in your life.

Ask friends for their help in designing a solution. they may see windows of opportunity or other creative solutions that you can’t. If the first solution or method doesn’t work then go back, be honest, say it doesn’t work and begin brainstorming another solution.

A quest for a solution allows for much more self-given grace than a resolution often does. When you fail or fall short finding a new solution can be more productive than failing the same solution multiple times.

3. Praying

First, I think that before setting out on a quest of self-improvement, God, who knows us best and knows who we were created to be, should be asked to reveal what needs to be changed in order to make us more like him, better able to do his work, and better able to bring praise to him with our lives.

I believe that if we ask God what we should focus energy on changing in order to fulfill these created purposes, he will tell us. Resolving to change and having a God-appointed mission to find a solution are two very different things.

If God calls you to change an aspect of your life or relationship with him then he will give you the tools you need to change it.

Our God seems to care much more about our process than our final product. We put a lot of stock in the product but it is through the relentless, suborn process of trying solution after solution to fully obey God that we develop our character. The difficult process, not the resolution and not the final product, is what equips us to be able to obey a call to change in the next area of our lives that he presents.

 

I do not believe that resolutions are bad. They can be very effective and significantly impact us, our lives, and our likeness of God if the effort goes past the resolution in into a solution. Trust your friends, be willing to try things differently, look for growth in failure, and constantly be asking God for strength and guidance into how to invest the resources that he has given you.

 

 

Div Tosinglo

By

January 7, 2016

I’M NOT WHO I USE TO BE, AND IT”S OK

January 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

Have you ever just sat down, and thought about how much you’ve changed? It sometimes an intimidating thing to do, because change naturally scares us. You’ll definitely experience a lot of it throughout your college years. I hope this blog may help you navigate how to embrace who you’re becoming.

I’ve spent a lot of my winter break thinking about the person I once was. I quickly found myself comparing the old me to who I’ve become. How I use to be great at solving life problems. How fun I use to be. How I use to love being around people all the time. I use to be an open book. The list goes on:

” I use to be more social, what’s wrong with me?”

“I use to be less sensitive, what’s wrong with me?”

“I use to be more sensitive, what’s wrong with me?”

“My priorities are changing, what’s wrong with me?”

I know what you’re thinking “What’s with the redundancy?” Work with me here. Have you ever noticed how quick we as humans are at shedding a bad light on change? We are that way with each other, but most importantly we are that way with ourselves.

But what if all change isn’t bad? What if God’s plan isn’t for us to stay the same, but grow and mature. Have you ever noticed that you’re understanding of life has been evolving since you were young? The way you view friendships, love, relationships, trust, your parents aren’t the same as they were ten years ago. That’s because you’re living life, and experiencing things that won’t leave you the same, that can’t leave you the same. There’s a lot of wisdom a person can be granted in living a life open to learning, growing and changing.

God’s intent is to see us grow. He does this by allowing us to experience things. Things like: breakups, graduations, moving, having someone leaving, independence, dating, seasons of solitude, death, etc.. These experiences play a huge role on the people we are, and the people we will someday become. They make us cautious, they remind us that we aren’t invincible, but most importantly they help us find worth and purpose within ourselves.

So, Dear friend don’t let anyone shame you for “changing”. Don’t reach for the old person you use to be because if they could they’d tell you how proud of you they are. They’d tell you that you are stronger, and more ready for this world than they ever were. I hope that by the time you’re finished with your time here you will have grown through and through with each season of life.

Lynsie Petersen

By

January 6, 2016

What is This “Break” of Which You Speak?

January 6, 2016 | By | No Comments

So we’ve given this 3 week period between the Fall and Spring semesters. It’s lovingly referred to as “Winter Break”, but in my life, it’s anything but.

At home, I have 3 siblings, both parents, my maternal grandparents, 3 cats and 2 dogs. In case you lost count, that’s 8 people and 5 pets, all living together in one tiny 3-bedroom house. Plus, my best friend basically lives with me when I’m back home, so that’s a 9th person.

5

Amidst the constant overflow of people, I’m the household chef and baker. I’m in charge of dinner almost every night and have to be ready to bake at a moment’s notice. (My mom has perfected the art of whining for baked goods, as have my grandma’s employees.)

PicMonkey Collage

I got a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Christmas. Her name is Aida and she helps me to bake my cookies, cakes, and pies.

Of course, I reserved a little bit of time to spend with my friends. One day, we went to the Oak Park Mall and just walked around for close to 5 hours, we sang with our high school choir, on Christmas (after 10 PM) we went to IHOP and had “Christmas dinner”, and of course, my best friend and I went to Christmas Eve service at church and (for the first time) she let me pray over her.

3

Christmas Eve service!

4

6

“Christmas Dinner” at IHOP with Felicia and Cameron!

7

Kaitlynn, Cameron, and I in front of the giant Christmas tree at the Oak Park Mall!

1

Pre-Concert. We sang Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah with the current high school students and other alumni.

2

Felicia and I after the choir concert!

I didn’t get a picture, but on January 3rd, Cameron, Felicia, and I went to dinner at Denny’s and then we just wandered through both Walmarts in town for a few hours. I left my house to pick them up at 9:30 PM and I finally got home at 1 AM. It was a great night, full of friendship and laughter.

The biggest “event” of my break was listening becoming completely obsessed with a new musical. Hamilton: an American Musical is currently the biggest show on Broadway, so big in fact that the show is sold out until October 2016 and the nightly lottery (you pay a certain price that’s much cheaper than buying tickets and hope and pray your name gets called, it’s like a raffle for Broadway) was so crowded that West 46th Street (in NYC) went from 4-lane traffic to single lane because of the people in line. For the first time ever, a Broadway lottery had to become completely digital. It’s insane, people WANT to see a hip hop musical about our founding father, Alexander Hamilton. And it’s almost completely historically accurate (the writer had to change only a few minor details to keep the story cohesive).

Hamilton

This is probably my favorite quote…

Playbill Hamilton

If you have any questions about the musical, or even the history, I can probably answer it for you. In fact, my dream role has become Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton because she’s an amazing woman, both in the musical and in history.

And now, I’m prepping for my return to the spring semester and I’m excited to finish my junior year and get another semester closer to graduation!

How did you spend your break? Anything fun or exciting happen? Did you become obsessed with a new show or music? Let me know in the comment section below! :)