I’m alive. And in Florida.

I swear that I do not even have time to poop at this place. I’m down here in Daytona Beach, Florida leading a high school mission trip and this is the first second I’ve had online since Friday night.

It’s amazing and awesome and God is here changing hearts and lives. And don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll write tons about that as soon as I get back to the real world.

For now though, here are some pictures to keep you happy 🙂

mission trip hair

How I wear my hair almost every day here.


I wrote my name in the sand, and then a youth kid wrote “I heart” How cool is that?


A seashell by the seashore.

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Hit me up real quick

1. I’ve been doing some really cool things lately while newspapering. Including: Covering the Hawks parade, writing about Great America here and here, and making video magic!

2. Mosquitoes suck. Literally. All of my blood. Or at least all the blood in the back of my neck. I feel a little sad when I kill them, what with the whole vegetarian thing I’ve got going on, but then I don’t because HELLO! they were totally just sucking my freaking blood.

3. I’m going to Florida Saturday for a mission trip!!! Holy sunshine!! For those wondering, I raised $595 from my friends on a family!!! THAT IS INSANE!! GOD IS AWESOME!! If you sent me money I love you now. And I will send you a super awesome thank you card when we get back. True promise.

4. I wish I liked soccer, because there seems to be a lot of that on TV these days, and the players are pretty hot. I’m a sucker for an accent.

5. I cannot wait to move to Naperville! They have a mall, and a Whole Foods, and my best friend. It’s going to be supa fun times people! (Anyone with a pick-up truck want to hook a girl up with some moving help?? June 27-28).

7. Also, the move comes with the new job, which brings with it some much needed financial stability. I cannot wait to get regular oil changes people!

8. Speaking of being broke, I really should have bought new contacts like yesterday, but I didn’t want to use $30 for such things. Instead, I’ve been wearing this two-week pair since about March. (What’s that letter you say? Umm, isn’t that a B? Oh, an E you say? Hmm.) I’m planning to just leave them in my eyes through the mission trip because I don’t want to take them out and have the break. Sounds like a plan to me!

8. Jesse left. I miss him. I’ll live. I’ll move on. But I still miss him.

9. I hate my hair. I hate it with all my hair heart. It’s not brown, it’s not blonde. It’s blah. I try to dye it blonde, but my roots show up in like three seconds and make me look like white trash. I try to dye it brown and it fades in 2.3 showers. HELP ME HAIR FAIRY! HELP ME!

10. Go Hawks! (Jonathan Toews, call me!)

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My friend Lynn (Note: post also contains super awesome announcement)

To understand Lynn Stack, you have to watch her cook.

She doesn’t just make a breakfast burrito, or macaroni and cheese or lasagna.


Lynn makes a breakfast burrito filled with happiness and vegetables I can’t even name. And she make macaroni and cheese that tastes like heaven and noodles and has bubbly cheesy goodness on the top. And, her lasagna is more awesome than sauce.

Lynn doesn’t worry about measuring, or specific ingredients, or cook times on some recipe card. She just has faith that everything will come together and that she’ll have the right things in her fridge at any given moment to make the best dinner ever.

She’s always right.

That’s how she looks at people too.

She never judges them, or worries that something isn’t exactly the way it should be. She just knows that between God and their core, everything you need to make the best person ever is already right in front of you.

That’s how she’s always looked at me.

I’ve never seen an ounce of doubt in her eyes. She let me help with our church youth group before she even knew my last name. She had faith in my lessons even before I had faith in them myself. And she’s pushed me to do things (like plan a mission trip) that I wouldn’t have leaped into before I met her.

Which is why leaving her is going to suck so bad.

I recently was offered and accepted a job as a paid part-time youth leader at a church in Bolingbrook. And I’m happier than I could ever be ever about it. The church is AMAZING, the position feels like a calling, and I’m excited to grow with God in this area of my life.

But, because the job is kind of far, I’m planning to move in with my best friend ever April in Naperville and then commute between the youth leader job and my newspaper job in Crystal Lake. I know that Bolingbrook isn’t really THAT far from Woodstock, but I also know that I’m not going to get to see Lynn nearly as much as I’d like.

The irony is, of course, that without her faith in me, I never would have gotten the job in the first place. She wrote me a letter of recommendation, and prayed for me and was nothing but “Congratulations” when she found out I’d accepted.

She tells me I’m going to do great things and change lives and be awesome.

And because she believes it, I kind of believe it too.

Thank you for that Lynn.

Seriously. Thank. You.

(And don’t feel weird about sending me on my way with some macaroni and cheese).

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