Another Trip to Mexico !!

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Sometimes I forget that another country is just a half-day’s car ride away from where I live. During my semester in Italy, I thought it was a miracle that you could drive from one country to another, my brain not quite recognizing that essentially the same thing is possible here in Oklahoma. Sure, it’s not the most exciting car drive, but Mexico is a truly beautiful place.

This is my fourth spring break spent at Casa Hogar Getsemani, a children’s home in Morelos, Mexico, and each time I go I fall more and more in love with the people who live and work there. It’s an almost-idyllic place: pastel-painted houses, a mini-farm with ducks and chickens, children laughing and playing on the outdoor playground. It’s such a gift to be able to spend a week there each year, cooking meals for the kids and house parents and doing anything possible to lend an extra hand. It’s hard to put these kind of experiences into words, though, so I’ll include a few pictures to maybe give a little peek into the past week.

קפה עברי

This semester I enrolled in a Hebrew class, probably because I’m crazy, but also because I wanted to stretch myself and try to tackle a language outside the sphere of the Romance languages. I don’t think I knew what I was really getting myself into, until on the first day we started learning a new alphabet and I realized I hadn’t done anything like that since I was around 2 or 3 years old. Well, now we’re nearly three months in and (praise the Lord) I think I’ve finally mastered the alphabet and can now say simple sentences like “I have a fish” and “I love chocolate,” which is honestly all you really need to know how to say, right?

Well, along with forming a tiny family within my nine-person Hebrew class, I’ve also become a full-fledged member of the Hebrew club. My first Hebrew club meeting was a little painful because at that point I could barely manage to reply “Good” (טוב) when someone asked me how I was doing, but as I’m slowly becoming more proficient they’re becoming more enjoyable. Our professor is possibly the kindest person I’ve ever met, and always bribes us with treats from Israel like rugelech and bamba, which are both ridiculously delicious. Recently the Hebrew Club had a bake sale to raise funds which was much more successful than anyone dreamed, so hopefully I’ll have some exciting updates before the end of the semester!

That being said, I would seriously encourage anyone who wants to get out of their language comfort zone to consider Hebrew, one of the oldest living languages in the world! It’s difficult but the rewarding feeling of knowing how to write a word using a different alphabet is completely worth it.

Tierra Tinta Conferencia

It’s starting to hit me that I’m in my last year of undergrad and that the real world is quickly approaching, which simultaneously excites and terrifies me. There are so many things that I’m going to miss about the college environment, especially the wide range of free lectures that are offered on campus. There is always something to learn about, which I’ll miss when I no longer have the opportunity to do so. One such free lecture that I attended was a lecture from the Tierra Tinta conference which is a Modern Languages conference put on each year by Tierra Tinta, a graduate student organization of the department of Modern Languages, Literatures, & Linguistics at OU. I attended the lecture of the keynote speaker Eliza Rizo, a professor from the University of Iowa State. She spoke on the theater of Ecuatorial Guinea and how it is shaped by the unique culture of that Central African country. Her lecture reminded me that there will always be something new to learn, no matter how much education you’ve had or how many years you’ve spent studying that subject, because many of my Spanish professors admitted they knew little-to-nothing about the culture and theater of Ecuatorial Guinea and how it relates to the culture of other Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Below, I’ll explain in Spanish what I took away from the lecture and how it influenced my understanding of the culture of Ecuatorial Guinea.

Yo asistí a la ponencia de la oradora principal, Eliza Rizo, una profesora en la Universidad de Iowa State. Ella habló sobre el teatro en Guinea Ecuatorial y como lo forma la identidad “atlántico” del país. Ella propuso que el idea que uno se puede clamar “atlántico” como su identidad, distinto de identidades puramente “africano” o “latino” e incluso “afrohispanico.” Ella menciona que los oficiales del país y el pueblo tienen ideas muy diferentes sobre su identidad nacional y los lenguajes que están hablados allí. Doctora Rizo usa el ejemplo del Antígona, una obra de teatro griega que ha sido cambiado para ser apropiado para la cultura de Guinea Ecutatorial. Ella menciona la influencia de la colonización que todavía tiene un impacto en el país hoy, que causa un énfasis muy fuerte en la moralidad y ideales cristianos. Ella termina su ponencia por explicando que el teatro de Guinea Ecuatorial es un teatro con su propia identidad: un teatro africano con aspectos hispanos que puede ser llamado “Atlántico”.


Tomorrow is Tuesday, and also the start of the 3rd week of Sophomore year. The past two weeks have been a wild ride, let me tell you. My new classes, new job, and new internship have all presented unique challenges. Nonetheless, I feel like I have managed really well and I am so excited for the rest of the upcoming year.

Throughout the past few weeks, I have made an effort to be intentional. “Intentional” is often flung around in meaningful conversation or blog posts and is a word that I ponder often. What does it mean to be intentional? And why is it so important?

Although I am not sure exactly what everyone else means when they use the word “intentional,” I have come up with my own definition.

Being intentional – living in the moment. considering others thoughts / needs when making decisions for yourself. offering unsolicited support to others. paying attention to what is important in the moment. not getting distracted by future worries. spending time in the most productive and thoughtful manner. operating based on general thoughtfulness. 

I hope to be intentional with my thoughts and actions in the upcoming months. This semester has been great and I am so thrilled to see what great things are to come.

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks.

Me after the first day of school. The first day was, as always, a little overwhelming! I watched the movie “Sing” that night, btw.
A celebratory “WE SURVIVED THE FIRST WEEK” dinner! This week, I want to have a “WE SURVIVED THE THIRD WEEK” dinner. I’m down to celebrate every week for the rest of the year, honestly.
YAY for the first game of the season. OU beat UTEP with massive victory.

Post-Summer Reflection

I am still deciding what exactly I want this blog to be. I want it to be a place where I can document my experiences for myself and whoever else casually stumbles upon it. While I still struggle to figure this out, here is a casual update on my life and what I am thinking about nowadays.

The summer after my freshman year is coming to a close. The past three months has been filled with lots of self-reflection and general thought.

My freshman year was filled with many feelings and experiences that were previously foreign. There were college classes, new friends from across the country, date parties, sorority gatherings, and many clubs to apply for. There was love, loss, and an overwhelming sense of helplessness. All of these experiences and feelings have contributed to a major feeling of growth. I feel that my general mentality, passions, and goals have shifted from where they stood last year. I feel that I have since become more selfless, compassionate, worldly, and empathetic. These changes that I have seen within myself have made me realize just how much I have left to grow and mature. I am constantly trying to improve myself and that effort will never end.

Throughout my first year of college, I have learned to embrace vulnerability and ask for help. I have found mentors that encourage me to dare greatly, learn from failure, and work towards overcoming obstacles. I have found friends that put great effort into uplifting me in every situation. I have developed passions in areas that I have never considered to be relevant. I have been put in tough situations that were alleviated with dedication and perseverance. I have learned that life is the most precious thing and that it is absolutely worth fighting for. I have met many who did not grow up with the same support or other privileges that I had. I have learned to embrace new perspectives and see things from varying viewpoints. I have seen the consequences of sheltering oneself from uncomfortable and unfamiliar experiences. I have seen the incredible success of pure dedication and intention. I have learned how to love myself – faults and quirks included.

I have never once felt such a profound sense of self. For the first time in my entire life, I feel that I know exactly who and what I want to be.

Work Week! I Moved! A New Chapter!

Every year, Panhellenic hosts a big event for all of the chapters to come out and show “Pan love.” Each chapter dresses up in their theme / colors.

After returning from Mexico, it was time to start the next chapter in my life. 10 days after returning to the USA, I moved in to my sorority house to prepare for recruitment. I was / am so excited to have the opportunity to live in the house with all of my great pals!

My roomie Sarah and I in our new room!

After we moved in, we immediately started preparation for recruitment. This process was rather overwhelming, to be honest. We learned door songs, watched talented sisters practice their speaking / special singing parts, and decorated various rooms in our house. Of course, we also had lots of fun too: snow cones on our big lawn, a carnival-themed dinner, late night Sonic runs. This all took place over the course of the week. Tomorrow, recruitment starts and I am both nervous and excited. It should be interesting, that’s for sure!

It was my friend Katie’s birthday the other day. We surprised her by blindfolding her and taking her to some of her favorite places around Norman and decorating her room.
We had “Alumni Night” where the alumni come and watch some of the productions / songs that we have prepared for recruitment week.
Katie girl!! <3

As I said, recruitment starts tomorrow. Wish us luck and sanity, please!

Leaving Security, Choosing Joy

Wow. I don’t even know where to start this post, honestly.

Maybe with Proverbs 16:9. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” How true this is. And how good this is.

Since I was 16, my plans were to graduate with a nursing degree and come out of college with a solid career that would give me good pay, good hours, and a good job security. As a nurse, I would make a lot of money and not really have to worry about the future. It was my security blanket.

So I ignored the still, small voice that reminded me that I hate the smell of hospitals. Ignored the quiver in my stomach every time someone talked about blood. Struggled and cried my way through the science classes that I knew deep down were not my passion. Put on a brave smiling face and told everyone that nursing was my passion because I was afraid to admit that I was only choosing this path out of a fear of the unknown. Submitted my application to nursing school and rejoiced over my acceptance letter because it was my ticket to a life of comfort and security. Or so I thought.

It’s funny how your decisions will eventually catch up with you.

As I was driving around the campus of the OKC Health Sciences center after meeting with my enrollment advisor, I had the moment. You know, the moment when everything catches up with you and you realize you’ve made a ginormous mistake? The moment when the tears come faster than your brain realizes what’s happening and you spend 45 minutes driving the same loop because your heart and your brain and your spirit are all saying something different? The moment when the truth shines through and you stop and wonder why you’ve been lying to yourself for the past five years? Yep, it was that moment.

I realized that the passions that the Lord had placed in my heart were not for nursing. It was my own fleshly passions for comfort, security, and a clear life path that had driven me to pursue this path. I hate blood. I hate hospitals. I hate vomit. I hate needles. I’m not good at comforting sick and hurting people. I have no desire to spend two years studying pharmacology and how to give an IV or a shot. (It honestly feels good to confess this after years and years of pretending that I liked it.) It’s crazy how a desire for pleasure and comfort can be used by the enemy to bring so many lies and so much deception until it’s hard to distinguish what is true and what is not.

But the light has finally come on. The truth has finally come out. I’ve talked with my parents and with other people whose judgement I trust who have helped me to see truth and to pursue it in my life. I’m still working on letting go of the pride that has kept me wrapped up in the identity of a nursing student for so long. I’m still working on facing the fear of an uncertain future that comes with changing a plan I’ve held onto for five years. But I know that no matter what happens, the Lord will determine my steps.

So I’m majoring in Spanish. Basically the opposite of nursing, there’s no real secure or certain path that follows graduating with a degree in Spanish. What I do know, though, is that the Lord has given me a desire to communicate with people, a desire to make them feel comfortable and safe and loved. He has given me the ability to learn languages and to use them. He has been so gracious in tenderly guiding me towards the path that will give me joy rather than security, because in the end, He, not my career or my major, is my only security. I don’t have to know what I’m doing after graduation (or even what I’m doing tomorrow) because He already knows. And his plan is infinitely more beautiful and unique and glorifying than my plan could ever be.

So I’m trusting. I’m letting go of pride. I’m letting go of my identity. I’m pursuing the passions that He’s placed inside of me because they are there for a reason. I’m letting go of fear of the future, of the fear of other people’s judgement, and of a fear of failure and instead believing that He will make my life beautiful and pleasing to Him.

Praise the Lord for freedom. Praise Him for truth. Don’t allow a desire for comfort or security to smother the truth about who you are and what you were made to do. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Live the life He made you to live, because that life is the only life that can truly satisfy.

Thoughts from Paris

This past week in Paris, I decided to venture on my own for a little bit. After leaving the Lourve, where I stayed for four hours with my parents, I decided to head to the Museum of Modern Art. It was about a 49 minute walk, or a 7 minute taxi ride. Being the fit & fun & frugal gal that I am (haha), I decided to walk it. The walk was long, but enjoyable. It went very quickly and I enjoyed having some time to myself. I walked along the Seine river and saw some amazing views of the city.

As I walked, I thought about how I would be the only one to ever have this memory. I would be the only one to remember both the disappointment of realizing that the MoMA was closed and the excitement when I stumbled along a cute bookstore. This, to me, is very special. I really like the idea of traveling alone. At some point in my life, I plan to travel alone. Where I’ll go? Who knows. Wherever I want!

New Year Resolutions Update

Guess who hardly held any of her New Years Resolutions??? THIS GIRL!!

I have been going to bed earlier…. as for the rest of them, however, it’s a little iffy. This semester was academically and personally challenging. Despite the fact that I did not uphold my resolutions, I am happy and feel that 2017 has been a great year. Throughout the rest of this year, I am going to try to “live out” the resolutions.

Better late than never, right?


“List three words that you would use to describe yourself.”

This is a question that I have been asked hundreds of times between leadership camps and interviews. Despite all of this practice, I have always struggled to answer this question. Three words to describe me?

I am organized — no question about it. I’m funny — despite the fact that I laugh at my own jokes AND I’m probably the only person that would describe myself this way. I am decisive — unless it comes to ordering at restaurants.

However, right now, I have never been more sure of a word to describe myself: small.

Over the past 3 weeks, I have traveled through Italy with some of my closest friends. I have been to Rome, Vatican City (does that count???), Florence, Sienna, Arezzo, Pisa, Viareggio, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, and Positano.

These places have all contributed to making me feel small. Now, I don’t mean to say that I feel insignificant or weak. I simply feel that there is so much of this world that I haven’t explored. Sure, the world is big. But this is the first time in my life where I have truly acknowledged this.

I have just arrived in Paris, France. I’m going to spend about a week here before heading back to the states. Upon my arrival home, I’ll share some of my pictures and experiences.

Goodbye for now!