Friday, July 31, 2009

84/365 - Camp Kids = Love

Westside YMCA
Lansing, MI

Thursday, July 30, 2009

83/365 - Girlfriends

Today was my last full day in Michigan. I worked, then Allison and I took the kids to McDonald's to play, then I spent my afternoon hanging out with Leah and packing some more. For dinner, I met up with some of my friends from my Grand Valley days and we had a good time. It was great to see everyone for one little last hoorah before I take off and I'm happy I got to see them one last time.

I'm completely packed except for what I need to use tomorrow morning to get ready. I think I am ready for this move. I am hoping a job comes my way quickly and I am going to try extra hard to get myself settled in and working as soon as possible. I'm strangely content right now, but I like it. It'll be nice moving somewhere that is in the same damn time zone as home, that's for sure!

Carrabba's - Lansing, MI

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

82/365 - Beep Beep! Here Comes the Short Bus!

When I was home over Christmas, Allison and I went to Cheddar's for some drinks and it was an awesomely hilarious good time. We decided it would be a good idea to do it again before I move, so we met up tonight for a few drinks. I kept snapping pictures of her at all of the best times and I have quite the collection now. I love Allison. She makes me laugh every day. She makes me smile every day. She's a great friend and I am so happy to have her in my life. We ride the short bus together (beep beep!)

Cheddar's - Lansing, MI

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

81/365 - Brain Freeze

Today was awesome. We all met up at Sharp Park to play frisbee and tennis and had a great time. Afterwards, I decided to treat everyone to ice cream cones at QD. It's half-off day so we all got ridiculously large (I'm talking 4 giant scoops--probably 8 inches tall) ice cream cones. All for a grand total of $4.63. It was incredible. We had an awesome photo shoot in the parking lot while trying to eat our ice cream cones. It was hot today so they were melting pretty rapidly. We all took funny pictures of us with brain freeze, which led me to this post.

I love ice cream and I love good friends!

Quality Dairy - Lansing, MI

Monday, July 27, 2009

80/365 - Nothing But Love

Molly. Arianna. Diego. Allison.

These four have made this summer the most incredible summer I think I've ever had. I move to North Carolina on Friday and am really, really sad to leave these guys behind. I can probably count on one hand the number of days all summer I went without seeing any of these guys. I've laughed louder and harder than I think I ever have in my entire life and have smiled until my face hurts. We've had some great memories this summer and I know we'll all look back to the summer of '09 with nothing but wonderful memories. I've had dozens of great friends throughout my life: some have come and gone, others are still around (and thank God for them) but after spending practically every day with some, if not all of these four, I've learned that I really am going to be leaving something incredible behind when I move. I have no doubts whatsoever that our friendship will diminish over the distance, and it's a good feeling to know that I have so many people that make saying goodbye to so hard.

So Molly, Arianna, Diego, and Allison... thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing such endless joy to my life this summer. It's one I'll never forget. I love you all!

Wacousta Elementary - Wacousta, MI

Sunday, July 26, 2009

79/365 - Blast From the Past

Today I went to the pond to hang out with my family and grill out and "celebrate" both of my parents' birthdays. It was pointed out to be that this little hand print in the cement that I've seen a million times is mine. I thought it was cute and I can't believe I never knew it was mine!!

The pond - Lansing, MI

Saturday, July 25, 2009

78/365 - Pack it Up

I spent hours upon hours today packing and moving stuff downstairs. I got quite a bit done, which is nice. I have 6 days left in Lansing and I want to spend them with people, not sitting at home packing. Hopefully I'll get another chunk done tomorrow so I can really enjoy my last few days with friends and family.

My bedroom - Lansing, MI

Friday, July 24, 2009

77/365 - Family Ties

Today my mom, grandmas, and I went to Bonnie's Place for dinner. This restaurant has the best burgers in town and wins the award every year. I wanted a nice picture with both of my grandmas, especially since I'm moving in a week and I thought it'd be nice to have a recent photo of the three of us. I thought it would be hilarious to get a picture of us doing the 'Jose' and I love how it turned out. My Grandma Sanford kept bringing it up and didn't get it and she thought it meant something more than it does and we just kept laughing at her and telling her that there really wasn't anything to get. It's merely a stupid thing that I've caught onto and think it hilarious. Either way, it was a great dinner and I enjoyed spending the time with my family.

Bonnie's Place - Lansing, MI

Thursday, July 23, 2009

76/365 - Remembrance

Today I decided to go for a drive to a local gift shop to look for a Higgins Lake hoodie. As I was driving I passed this really cool mini memorial and had to stop and take pictures. There was a military camp nearby and this little grassy area was decorated really cool with tons of mini American flags and some steel replicas of some of the memorials in D.C. I've never seen anything like it and it was really neat to see. Thanks to all of the men and women who fight and serve our country during these hard times. May God bless you and keep you and your families safe.

Military Camp - Roscommon, MI

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

75/365 - Row Row Row Your Boat

We started our morning off with a nice kayak ride. It wasn't the nicest of days, but no rain makes for decent kayaking weather! I love to kayak. It's a good workout and it really sets my mind free. Being out on the water like that can really relax me, yet give me a good workout. Someday I hope to own a kayak and have somewhere to use it regularly.

Higgins Lake - Roscommon, MI

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

74/365 - Whistle Like the Wind

Today I went up to Higgins Lake to spend a few days with Allison and her family. I love it up there and the place they were staying at was super cool. During dinner I was blowing into my bottle to make the whistling sound and the kids thought it was the coolest thing ever. I decided to try to teach Diego, but he couldn't seem to do it. Then his sister tried and was semi-successful. Then their cousin wanted to try. Next thing I knew, all three of them were trying to blow into the bottle at the same time. I love this shot!

Higgins Lake - Roscommon, MI

Monday, July 20, 2009

73/365 - Holycraptheseareamazing Cookies

I kid you not, these cookies are really called Holycraptheseareamazing cookies. I discovered the recipe last summer and have gotten so many people hooked on them. Every Friday at work we have a potluck and I usually am asked to bring them. They go over well. The best part is that they take maybe 15 minutes and are only 5 ingredients. I figure I can share the recipe and spread the love.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup karo syrup. Still until well mixed and melted to a thinner consistency.

Reduce heat to meduim-low and stir in one 18oz jar or peanut butter (of your preference.) Stir until peanut butter is melted.

In a large mixing bowl, measure out 6 cups of corn flakes. Pour the peanut butter mixture over top and stir until well mixed.

With a cookie scooper, spoon, or your hands, drop balls onto parchment paper (wax paper works fine too.)

Drizzle with baker's chocolate. (I usually use 60% cacao.) I've found it's easiest to dip a spoon into the melted chocolate and drizzle it over an entire row of balls at a time instead of trying to do it one by one.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to ask any questions!

My kitchen - Lansing, MI

Sunday, July 19, 2009

72/365 - Silent Screaming

So all I did today was run errands, clean, and pack. It's now 10:30 and I just realized I haven't taken a picture yet today. This is the first time this has happened during my blog, so that's not bad. I was messing around with Photo Booth on my Mac and decided I'd just have to use a picture from there. I took a bunch and decided to go with this one.

My bedroom - Lansing, MI

Saturday, July 18, 2009

71/365 - Flea Market Fun

So today Allison and I met up with Kelly for breakfast. Then we decided to go to the 28th St. flea market to see what kinds of treasures we could find there. Kelly and I found some adorble hats along with some bouquets. Aren't we pretty?

28th St. Flea Market - Grand Rapids, MI

Friday, July 17, 2009

70/365 - Simply Smiles

This afternoon I headed up to Grand Rapids for my cousin Joe's wedding. It was a pretty ceremony and I got to see lots of family and some friends from school too. Joe and Natalie were adorable during the service and I am so happy for the two of them. The reception was an absolute blast as well. I was a dancing machine and had so much fun dancing with my family (including my dad and even my grandma) and just singing at the top of my lungs. I did the Alligator (yes, in a dress) and loved it. Later on in the night, a bunch of us girls had formed a circle around the bride and she was spinning and making her dress fan out. My brother then decided to place his finger over her head and act like he was spinning her. It was awesome and of course I ran to get my camera. This picture is amazing and one of my favorites I've taken so far. Definitely in the top 5.

Congratulations Joe and Natalie! I wish you many long years of happiness and prosperity!

The University Club - Grand Rapids, MI

Thursday, July 16, 2009

69/365 - I Love My Job

This is why I love my job. You be mean to me, I put you in the trash.

Well, there's very few kids I'd actually DO it to, namely just Arianna. Others would just receive threats. Either way, my job is awesome.

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

68/365 - My Pseudo Little Sister

Here is another person who is overdue for an appearance in my blog. There might have been slight bribery with this one, but she definitely deserves to be here. I've known Molly since she was real little, like 4 or 5. I used to hang out with her in her mom's classroom and I'd babysit for her and her sister on occasion too, which I always enjoyed. A classmate of mine used to babysit them before I did and I was always so ridiculously jealous of her. Yeah, I'm lame, I know. But seriously. I was SO jealous.

Once I hit high school, I saw less of Molly, but once college came around we kind of started talking more. For as long as I can remember, I've viewed Molly as a little sister, which she very well could have been. The older we both get, the more we talk and the stronger our friendship grows and I love it! It doesn't bother me in the slightest that I'm 7 years older than she is and I'm really happy that she is still in my life today, and most likely will be for a long, long time. She's already asking if I'm going to be home for her open house next summer, which makes me smile a lot. Molly is a terrific girl with a really good head on her shoulders and I'm proud of the person she's become. I love you!

Corner Cone - Grand Ledge, MI

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

67/365 - Silly on Skates

This week, Allison and I get to work together with Skating Camp. Today we were taking pictures and we had loads of fun. I love taking group pictures and then getting one shot being completely goofy. It's so totally candid and no two are ever alike. It's my favorite. We've got a pretty fun group this week with the exception of a few annoying ones (as always) but I love my job and I can't believe how fast this summer is going by!!

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Monday, July 13, 2009

66/365 - My Loves

Today we got to hang out in my basement and play on the Wii and it was fun as always. This is just like a picture the three of us took when I was home from Hawaii for Christmas and I love it. These kids have become such a huge part of my life and I've really enjoyed watching them grow up. I'm fairly certain I'll be around for a while. I love them both so much!

My Basement - Lansing, MI

Sunday, July 12, 2009

65/365 - Number One Fan

All week I've been volunteering at Common Ground, which is an outdoor music festival of sorts in Lansing. Nothing super huge, but it always has a good turnout and some good bands. This year I volunteered 6 of the 7 nights in the beer tent and had an absolute blast. People think I'm crazy for willingly working every night but I enjoy it. I get to hang out with some cool people and the people watching is always great too. Not to mention getting to hear all the concerts for free too, which is a small perk! This year I got to hear Huey Lewis and the News, Sherly Crow, David Cook, 3 Doors Down, Jet, Satefysuit, and Parachute, to name a few. Sheryl Crow was absolutely phenomenal and 3 Doors Down was great too!

So I spent my Sunday night at the beer tent in the middle of the lot where people had their chairs set up. It was pretty slow going at first so we were just hanging out. Mrs. P and I were messing around and being all hard core to some of the songs, which was hilarious. She then decided to stand up on the chair and rock out, and I told her to stay there because she was totally going to make her grand entrance into my blog.

I've known Mrs. P since I was in 6th grade when she was my teacher. I had a few pretty significant things occur in my life all within that year and she really reached out to me and saved my lost soul. I remember just writing these ridiculously long e-mails rambling about my problems with friends and other typical twelve year old drama that no one really wants to hear. But she listened, she offered support, and just let me ramble, which is what I really needed to do. She never had to do any of it and I'm sure there were times when she was busy and had other things to worry about, but getting short e-mails back from her were the things I looked forward to the most. While I was having major problems trying to fit into a crowd where I didn't belong and wasn't happy, I also had another significant event happen to me, which I kept private from my peers for several years. While I never talked about it with anyone, I assume she knew what was going on, as did my other teachers. She is the reason I want to be a teacher and the reason I want to teach 6th grade. Middle school is rough for many reasons... hormones, people trying to fit in and be cool, among other things. I struggled through middle school, like most others, and am now inspired to teach that age and hopefully be a positive adult role model to my students just as Mrs. P was to me. It's amazing how just one person can really make a difference and I want to pay it forward.

It's going on almost 13 years since I was a 6th grader, but Mrs. P and her family are still ever present in my life. I love spending time with them and being around them makes me happier than anyone could ever guess. I've pretty much watched her girls grow up and they are both awesome and I love having them in my life.

Wow, I'm super nostalgic now.

Common Ground X - Lansing, MI

Saturday, July 11, 2009

64/365 - From the Sideline

Chippewa Middle School - Okemos, MI

Friday, July 10, 2009

63/365 - Withstanding Gravity

Today was an awesome day at Science Camp. We did a really cool experiment about standing on Dixie Cups. The little teeny paper ones. We bet the kids they could stand on them without crushing them. So to start we had a kid try to stand on just a few, which obviously broke. Then we laid a bunch out and put a piece of cardboard on top and let the kids stand on it one at a time and it didn't break for anyone. They were in awe. Then we got Mr. Aaron up there, who weighs close to 200 pounds and it still didn't break. By this point the kids are going nuts. We had Mr. Aaron stand on it and hold three kids too. Eventually we got Mr. Aaron AND Mr. Jared up there, which had about 400 pounds of weight on the cups. Then we put a 100 pound kid on each of their backs. So we're talking 600 pounds over maybe 100 Dixie Cups. What an awesome experiment and way to end our week!

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Thursday, July 9, 2009

62/365 - Baptism

I worked the beer tent again tonight at Common Ground and this kid kept coming up and saying he wanted us to baptize him in beer (considering I was working for the Lansing Catholic tent) and we kept messing with him. Later on in the night I realized I didn't have a picture yet and asked him if I could get one of him. Of course he agreed and struck a lovely pose for me. So funny!

Riverfront Park - Lansing, MI

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

61/365 - Oobleck

You know that stuff you played with as a kid? The one you never knew if it was a solid or a liquid? I remember being absolutely fascinated by it growing up and the kids certainly still are today. Oobleck is one of the coolest substances I know of and is a great tool to use to discuss states of matter. Is it a solid or a liquid? It all depends on the pressure you use against it. The kids had an absolute blast with it today!

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

60/365 - Don't Drink Me

Wow, already two months' worth of pictures done! Crazy!! Today we did the ever so famous Mentos + Diet Coke experiment. Not sure what happens when you mix the two? Check out the picture! The kids LOVED it!!

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Monday, July 6, 2009

59/365 - She Blinded Me With Science

Today at Science Camp we had the kids design parachutes that would prevent a raw egg from cracking when it hit the ground. Some of them were very creative and succeeded, while others weren't as successful. Science Camp ought to be fun this week! There are 4 of us working it and we have lots of ideas!

Westside YMCA - Lansing, MI

Sunday, July 5, 2009

58/365 - Tag Team

I love spending an afternoon tubing. Especially with some of my best girlfriends! I went four times and boy do my arms hurt!! I love this picture because I'm trying to hard to hang on while being whipped around. So much fun!! Tubing never gets old!

Steph's Lake - Commerce Twp., MI

Saturday, July 4, 2009

57/365 - The Mr. and Mrs.

Today was Sara's wedding. It was an outdoor wedding and the first wedding of a sorority sister I've been to. It was a perfect day and the weather was gorgeous. It was a small wedding and reception, but the perfect size in my opinion. I met Sara before she even came to Grand Valley. She was asking questions on LiveJournal about freshman type stuff and I was answering questions and offering advice and that kind of stuff to her. When she actually moved up to school, I met with her for the first time and helped her move in, rearrange her furniture, and get books. We talked a little bit throughout the year but the next year is when she joined the sorority. I've always loved spending time with Sara. She makes me laugh, she makes me smile, and she's fun to be around. I wish her and Chris all the best and I know we'll continue to keep in touch over the year! Here's to the happy couple!

Addison Oaks - Leonard, MI

Friday, July 3, 2009

56/365 - The New 'Do

Today I got to see my roomies from college. Leah drove up to Lansing and then we drove out to Steph's. While getting our bags out of the back of my car, I decided to bring the wig in for good measure to see what Steph thought. I don't know why I like it so much, but I've had fun and gotten some good reactions out of it. I really like this picture for some reason!

Steph's House - Commerce Twp., MI

Thursday, July 2, 2009

55/365 - My Ladies

Tonight I went out to Grand Rapids with Jessica to meet up with Allison for a Mat Kearney concert. It was freakin' awesome and he was so good live! I've been a fan of his for a while and I'm glad I got to see him! Erin McCarley opened for him and she was really really good too! I'll have to look into getting some of her stuff! Jess and I had a blast on the drive home listening to random songs and screaming them at the top of our lungs. Those are the car rides I love!

The Intersection - Grand Rapids, MI

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

54/365 - Looking Up

The Summit - Lansing, MI