Letter #661: Chicago Spontaneity

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Dear spontaneity,

Deciding to go on a “spring break’ trip 48 hours before departure is the epitome of you.

My life is typically very planned. I thrive with consistency and discipline.

But everyone needs you in their life. Everyone.

I don’t care how disciplined you are, we all need to have some unplanned fun. Everyone.

That’s why 48 hours before departure, my friends and I decided to go to Chicago! Somehow we always seem to land on our feet, find great deals and have a blast in the process. Our Chigaco adventure was no different.

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Roadtrip to Quincy, IL…Home of THE Brooke Ledawn! Road my first train from there to Chicago! Fun couple of days with Brooke and Laine!
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Happy St. Party’s Day from the “green” Chicago River!

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My favorite picture from the trip…thanks Asian tourists for capturing this!
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Oh hey Chitown!!! Kicking on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Tower!
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The Gardens at the Navy Pier…finally a picture without coats! And I had real Chicago pizza today!!
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Navy Pier, Chicago skyline and friends that don’t miss a beat!

Here’s to making mems,

Lover of adventure

Where’s the most spontaneous place you’ve traveled?!

Letter #534: Summer of Fun

Dear summer,

Last week I took a moment to reflect on the serious reasons why you were so great. Today, let’s look at the ridiculous and awesome side of why when people ask me how my time at camp was I describe it as fun!

The crazier and more outlandish you are at camp, the more exciting it’s going to be. Sometimes in life I operate with the mindset of why, but when it comes to camp and making memories we more often than not ask the question why not. If we’re going to celebrate Christmas in July, why wouldn’t Santa make an appearance?! If I’m going to be the host of “The Dance Off,’ why wouldn’t I wear a giant pimp hat, pants with knee pockets and get dubbed Glen CoCo?! If we’re going to do a Disney dinner theater, why wouldn’t I dress up like Rafiki and use an infant as Simba?! These are the questions I ask myself on a daily basis during you, and this is one of many reasons I LOVE my job!

Santa coming in on a sleigh at lunch! Staff were elves and reindeer and helped pull the sleigh (a trash can roller) and pass out gifts (camper’s mail from the office)!
I feel like Belle and Snow White’s faces say it all! Glen CoCo’s dance moves at their finest!
Rafiki and Simba at the U.S.S. YWUYAAB Dinner Theater. Campers went nuts in this moment every term! Clearly over Simba, not Rafiki!
Tribal night received a makeover this summer. Big Chief and the tribal council paddled in on canoes and performed the ‘Eagle Dance’ as new campers received their tribe. SO many hilarious memories!!

I work at a middle school camp. If middle schoolers aren’t having fun, then bottom line is they could care less what you have to tell them about anything. Fun is at the core of getting to speak truth into their lives. Then, we hope and pray they receive some of it. Heck, I’m 25 and am more likely to embrace what someone is trying to tell me if I’m having fun! In my opinion, “if it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth it!’ Having fun and laughing along the way is invaluable. Laughter allows relationships to be built in a way nothing else allows. I think I laughed more in 2012 than I have any other year.

The Captain of the U.S.S. YWUYAAB. Could I look anymore mischievous?! Also, please note how awesome all the princesses look in the opening photo while, as usual, I’m in the most ridiculous get up imaginable!!!!
“I’m just the clown from the Bronx!” (And people wonder why I don’t have a boyfriend?!)
Ruby Stonehenge, tour guide on a Flintstone Mobile at our Bedrock Boulder Bash Party.

There are so many reasons why you were great this year, but the priceless memories we made along the way definitely rank up there pretty high.

Unbelievably thankful for a sense of humor and a really fun team…now go “Arouse and seize the day!”

Lindsay, “What role do you need me to play today,’ Rother

Letter #422: Writing Switch

Dear writing,

After pounding out a 10 page paper for my grad school class final, the last thing I want to do is write an extensive post on here today. Therefore, I’m not going to do it. I will say I’m almost done with my class this semester which means I only have two classes left to finish my masters!

I’ll also say I really don’t mind doing you even when it is for school. I don’t know when the flip switched and I started to enjoy you, but it’s a fun switch to flip. I’ve also decided when I write for school, I refuse to just write for school. I will always find a way to creatively make you interesting, useful or at least fun for me. Example: I wrote about the movie, The Help, for my team-building final…and in case you’re wondering, I made it work real well! In order to successfully do this, I was required to watch the movie at least twice to gain valuable insight and research! Hello…fun for me and enjoyable for my professor and classmates to read!

Thus, I’m all written out for today. However, when you can, write about things you love and enjoy. Write stories that will impact people and that will allow you to learn as you work. Write for fun and with a purpose rather than just getting through an assignment. Maybe, just maybe, your flip will switch too!

Written out for the day,

Flipper of writing light switches

Letter #330: Stitches, Scars, Stories

Dear fear,

Yesterday, you were conquered. Conquered might be an overstatement, but for the first time in more than a year I rode the Teryx. You see, the last time we met was the day after camp a year ago. A few of my friends from the Kanakuk Institute and I stayed the night at a family’s house we had gotten to know during our time in Branson. To this day, they are two of my favorite people and are unbelievably gracious to me.

After a good night’s sleep, we decided to get a morning of four-wheeling in before we all made our drives home. Off we went. Two girls on two four-wheelers; Jack in the Teryx. What a day?! Perfect ending to a great year at the Institute and a great summer at camp.

This pretty well sums up the morning!

About two hours into the adventure I decided Jack needed some company, so I hopped in the Teryx with him. Not two minutes into my Teryx ride, a fluke of a deal happened. Jack was taking a turn, the wheel got stuck in a hole and the next three seconds of my life seemed like an eternity.

Two minutes before it all went down...

The Teryx quickly went from four wheels to two, and we were tipping. I felt as if I could have yelled, “Jack, we’re tipping. Shift your weight!!!” Our fate had already been sealed. We were flipping.

As the Teryx landed, my right side served as the door because Teryx’s are doorless. We skidded on gravel for a bit and finally came to a stop. This entire process lasted maybe seven seconds. Praise the Lord I had my seatbelt on for it could have been much worse. Jack was suspended above me in the driver’s seat, got himself out and proceeded to help me.

Look closely in the left corner...see the bloody hole in my arm?!

I was completely overwhelmed, adrenaline racing and simply processing what had happened. Jack’s trying to get me out, but I’m clenched to what I like to call the, “Oh crap bar’…you know the handle that’s above your head in a car! I finally release, crawl over the Teryx and start to walk off the wreck. At this point my friends are on the scene with the regular four-wheelers. One’s laughing and taking pictures, one’s in overzealous go mode and the other is medically knowledgable and making sense to me in the situation.

I decide I’m completely fine and just need to shower to clean out my leg. It just looked like I slid into home times 50. It wasn’t that seriuos. Probably the adrenaline talking, but Laine quickly informed me I needed to sit down…I had a hole in my arm. Hmmm…It started to hit me that this was maybe a bit more serious than I anticipated. If you remember, I was holding the “oh crap bar,’ so when the Teryx landed my elbow nailed the gravel. Bone was visible.

A man heard the crash about half a mile away, came to check on us and finally convinced me to let him take me back to Jack’s house. Brooke rode with me, we threw all my camp laundry out of my car to make room and she quickly drove me to the ER. I still wasn’t convinced this was necessary…my arm was swollen, unbendable and I couldn’t see the damage.

Post cleaning...I would be smiling in the midst of this!

The second I walked in Skaggs, a sweet Puerto Rican nurse rushed me to the back and started gently scrubbing all the rocks out of my leg. She didn’t even make me fill out paperwork until after this!!! If I remember right, her name was even Angel! At this point the adrenaline was wearing off and the stings were more evident. After getting cleaned up, I filled out paperwork and waited to get stitches.

The hole after cleaning, pre stitching...

Thankfully stitches and road rash were all the ramifications. In my opinion the “oh crap bar’ saved me from a broken arm. A couple hours and 12 stitches (3 in my leg, 9 in my arm) later I was put back together.

Doc said he'd never seen an elbow so mauled...a hunk of skin was gone, so he had to get creative!

To this day, this was still one of my favorite days of life. So I have a few scars; it could’ve been SO much worse. Not to mention, what is life without a few bumps in the road in order to gain great stories to share?! This is a story my friends and I will never forget!

So yesterday, a yearish later, I stood before the Teryx again prepared to conquer you in any way necessary. I’ve been kidsitting this week. He’s 12, and I thought four-wheeling would be something a 12 year old boy would like. So we went. You were conquered…I even let him, a 12 year old, drive! No accidents occurred. Fun was had.

This was our view yesterday!!!

As we were driving to Jack’s to begin our adventure, Josh, the 12 year old, says this: “Didn’t a K-West girl flip a four-wheeler with Jack last summer?!” I simply raised my arm, revealed the scar on my elbow and said, “Yup, that was me!”

Grabbin’ you and life by the horns,

Knock me down, but you can’t count me out

{Special thanks and props to Brooke for taking all the pics even when she probably wanted to puke!}

Letter #196: ‘The Consequence Game’

Dear consequences,

You are easily one of my favorite things in the entire world. Many of you are trying to figure out what this even means. Basically, anytime competition’s present, you’re implemented. Playing putt-putt? Loser has one of you. Game of HORSE? Loser must fulfill you. Any event where there’s a winner and loser present, you are able to surface.

Adding you creates more excitement, importance and fun in situations. You create hilarity when you have to be executed. An important rule to “The Consequence Game’ is you must be decided before the event begins. This way, everyone knows the stakes on the line. Every party must agree to accept you upon their demise, then, and only then, the game can commence.

So, I have to brag on myself. “The Consequence Game’ ran rampant during my year at the Kanakuk Institute. Any opportunity for you to show up, you were present. My friends and I had no mercy on the severity of what you would be. Sitting front row for 40 solid hours of class (this may have been the roughest one because I’ve never been a front row sitter). Wearing the same outfit to class for an entire week. Couldn’t wash hair for three days. Hosting a private dinner for a boy of the group’s choosing. I’m dying of laughter just thinking about these happening. Through the course of an entire year, I never lost one of your games. This weekend, I finally reached the end of my string of luck.

K-West Leadership Weekend always results in the card game, 99, taking place. The loser traditionally has to fulfill the leadership team’s choice of you. This year, we created a “Cauldron of Consequences.’ I was blown away by the creativity of our team. The game began, and I was out of my element. Typically, I’m detail-oriented. For some reason, I was highly distracted. All that to say, I lost, which resulted in me drawing from the cauldron. Here is the ridiculous sequence of events:

SO nervous...
Shock and awe...
Dying at the thought of fulfilling what I just read...
My 'cauldron' draw...
Last minute rules and prep...
Game On...diving head first into my consequence!
The K-West Team getting a kick out of my humiliation...

I had to go to the Cooper’s house, in the middle of their K-1 meetings, interrupt and share the Gospel. This sounds awful and blasphemous but know this was approached with tact and every person present was a believer. I found as many props as possible including an Evangicube and took the “Preacher Bob,’ fire and brimstone route. Embarrassing”…absolutely. Hilarious”…you better believe it.

Liven up your day and introduce “The Consequence Game’ at your place of business, in your marriage, among your friends. I promise, it will not disappoint.

Laughing hysterically replaying many of you in my head,

Lover of “The Consequence Game’