Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings


God bless you all on this Easter Day!
I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating the rising of Christ!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making Miracles Happen

Pre-edited photo from: http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/38/topic/771671
Ever since I was younger,
I have always loved the way communities are able to come
together for events to support cancer and other detrimental diseases. 
Obviously, I would be more in favor of not having a reason
for these events in the first place,
but that is life, I suppose.
In my hometown, 
a Cancer Walk is hosted each June. 
Teams sign-up and stay in tents overnight,
  while a member of their team walks on the track at all times.
Earlier in the evening, the community
is invited to come and walk from booth to booth,
while enjoying entertainment and purchasing items to support the cause.
Once the sun goes down,
luminaries lining the track are lit and the entire park along the lake is glowing.
The event ignites so many emotions.
It is both a celebration of survivors and the lives of those who lost their battle to cancer.
 
During my freshman year of college,
I participated in a similar event--Relay for Life.

 My friend, Emily and I walked around the indoor track over 100 times!!
We were a part of a health professional team of girls from our residence hall.
Since then, I have made donations on a couple different occasions via the blogging world.
Some may say that it is silly to donate to someone that you do not even
know on a personal level.
However, anytime I hear of a person, children in particular, suffering of cancer,
every ounce of me wants to do at least something to make a difference.
For example, last November I donated to a young boy fighting cancer 
who I heard about through Erin at Living in Yellow.
Later that month, I also heard of a young girl also in need 
after reading a post from Katie at Keep Calm and Carry On.
It's amazing how the blogging world can have such a positive influence!
Next Saturday, I will be taking part in my first SDSU State-A-Thon.
State-A-Thon is a marathon event for college students and Miracle Families
from the Children's Miracle Network. 
Last year, the students participating in the event exceeded their goal
by raising $70,970.08!
Who said college students were only good for partying and napping?!?
I am thrilled to be a part of this cause this year. 
Once I have raised my goal amount,
I will attend the marathon next Saturday and will have the opportunity
to meet the miracle families and hear of their remarkable stories. 
How can YOU help out?
Go to my State-A-Thon Donation Page:
And select "Support me!"

Then fill-out the donation form and pat yourself on the back!
I would really appreciate your support 
and if you would share this with your friends and family.

Stay tuned the next couple weeks--
I will be sure to keep you posted on my progress
and share about the event itself.

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P.S. Happy Easter Eve! :-)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bringin' Out the Inner Child

Pre-edited photo from: http://fi-sha.blogspot.com/2011/01/blow-baby-blow.html

Last weekend was the notorious Pub Crawl
in my college town.
Let me tell you,
this little lady was crawlin'...
Okay...
So I guess I wasn't crawling in a drunken stupor.
Actually, I skipped pub crawl all together.
My boyfriend, Brian, and I actually took a 
quick trip to Target (I was feeling deprived)
and we ended up making our own fun 
as a result of the Target dollar section.

That's right,
we purchased race cars in a package of two
for $1.00.
What a bargain.
Instead of crawling from bar to bar,
we literally crawled across the kitchen floor chasing our cars.
Pinky (aka my car) clearly won a majority of our races.
Though, Brian may disagree.
Sure, I could have gone downtown with friends and had plenty of fun.
Call me an old soul (or a child, in this instance),
but sometimes I just prefer to stay-in for the night
in a comfy pair of sweatpants and act like a child. 
Schoolwork and other life stressors make me take life so seriously
a majority of the time.
Sometimes it is nice to be able to kick back and be silly.

Take a break from your crazy, busy life
and do something fun from your childhood...
Trust me, the work will be waiting for you later.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Second Favorite Thing

Home. Home. Home. 
That is what is on my mind this fine Spring day.
We reached a whopping 50+ degrees today,
here in South Dakota and I am oh, so ready to
hit the road and head back to my hometown
for Easter Break.
I haven't been home since precisely the morning of
December 26, 2012.
Heck, I haven't even seen my dad or brother OR
my yellow lab, Maggie this year.
(Mom came to visit a couple months ago, luckily.)
That is by far the longest time I have gone without
going home.
Hurry up, tomorrow! 
Hurry up!

From the title of my post,
you might be curious as to what my top two favorites are...
Well I'd hate to keep you wading in suspense.
#1. Receiving mail.
Love it. 
Of course bills are the exception to this favorite,
but I adore receiving little notecards with a sweet note
or a carepackage in the mail.
I swear, sometimes I even online shop,
simply so I can experience the anticipation of receiving a package in the mail.

#2. Giving Gifts
Especially on less gift-y holidays,
I love giving friends and families fun little gifts.

For Valentine's Day,
I went crazy with little gifts.
I love brightening people's days with little surprises.
So, for Easter, I decided to give a couple little gifts to
the interns that I work with.
Of course, I forgot to bring them to work today!!
So, Angie and Kelsey,
if you are reading this,
sorry to ruin the surprise for you but you will get 
these the next time I see you! :-)


Step 1: I purchased some spring-y tins in the dollar section at Target.
Step 2: I filled the bottom of the tin with some colorful shredded paper.
 
Step 3: I found some fun little gifts to fill the bucket at Walmart.
I wanted to avoid candy (gotta live up to my future RD credential), 
so I stuffed them with some Special K treats and a mini bottle of wine. 
I also brought out my inner child, by including some bouncy balls.
To top it all off, I included a Sally Hansen nail polish in a pastel color.
Step 4: Voila.

There you have it.
Super easy.
If you try this gift idea,
re-pin me on Pinterest
and tweet me a picture on Twitter.

Happy Easter Weekend!! :-)

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Career+Passion=Beautiful Thing


I am not sure what has gotten into me lately.
Maybe it's the fact that there are less than 2 months of school left,
that I have my last two semesters of college completely mapped out,
or that I have started researching internships,
but I have been so jazzed about my future as a Registered Dietitian.
Now that I think about it,
everything related to my career has been giving me both
butterflies and feelings of anticipation recently.

At South Dakota State University,
I help coordinate the Annual Health and Nutritional Sciences Conference.
This past Monday and Tuesday, our hard work paid off as we hosted speakers
in the nutrition field from across the country. 
Hearing these individuals report on their research and practice made me even more
eager to begin my dietetic internship.
As I finish off junior year of college,
the time has come where I need to start narrowing down my potential
internship locations.
The dietetics program is a unique area of study at the university.
After 4-years of undergraduate coursework,
you must apply for an approved internship in order to sit for your RD exam.
As my dietetics coordinator says,
"In dietetics, you can't just tootle up to someone and ask for an internship,
like in other majors."
{We have the most adorable/hilarious dietetic coordinator at SDSU}
Since the application process is quite intense, 
part of a class assignment was to look into internships we might be interested in.
Check out my top 6!
My  top choices will probably change about a million times before I actually
apply, but it is exciting to look at places I could possibly live within the next couple of years.

Another reason I have been excited about dietetics lately
has been my internship with Bel Brands and the Boys and Girls Club.
I, along with 2 other interns, are writing nutrition curriculum for youth.
As I was working on the details of a MyPlate lesson,
I came across these awesome plates.


Of course I had to buy a couple of  plates for myself--
even though they were intended for kids.
We "big kids" could use some nutritional reminders as well.

In the midst of feeling overwhelmed by school
and extra activities,
I was quickly reminded of why I am in this major
and what my future might hold.
Sometimes the stress in my life shields
my passion for becoming a dietitian.
This past week truly reinforced how fitting this major is for me.

I hope that you too have something in your life that you are
able to pour your energy into that is as rewarding as my field of study.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

SPD: Modge Podge=Crafter's BFF


It has been quite some time since I have taken part in the Saw it. Pinned it. Did it.  Link-up...
In fact, it has just been a long time since I have blogged, in general.
Needless to say, 
I have missed sharing my latest projects and becoming inspired by the 
posts of the creative ladies in the blogging world. 

A couple of months ago, I was on a Pinning rampage.
I ate, drank and slept Pinterest.
(Which is quite possible when you think about it...)
I was inspired by the following fabric, Modge Podged letters:

Pin to: Need to Try
Original Post

 

At the same time, I had a ton of scrapbook pieces laying around
from another one of my projects.
So I decided to use these scraps and modify the original fabric pin.
Resourceful.

For my rendition, you will need:
-Scrapbook paper
-Scrapbook scissors with fun edges
-Modge Podge
-Sponge Brush (for applying Modge Podge)
-Cardboard Paper letters (I got mine from Hobby Lobby)

 
Cut the scrapbook paper into strips, or various sizes, with the fun scissors. 
In sections of the cardboard letter, brush Modge Podge onto the letter and 
place the scrapbook paper on top. 
Continue to cover the cardboard letter (like a collage)
until all surfaces are covered.
As you go, cover the scrapbook paper with a layer of Modge Podge.
This will help seal the paper onto the cardboard and create a shiny finished product.


 
Allow the finished product to dry completely, for several hours. 
 
Finally, display the letters where you can admire them.
Voila!
For my letters, I used my initials and have them displayed on my desk.
Another idea would be to spell a short word with your letters.
Be sure to repin my rendition from my Bloggin' Pinterest board
and also link up with Beautiful Mess and Keep Calm & Carry On
for this week's Saw it. Pinned it. Did it.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n5OnhxEZV4A/UUsGUmuGU-I/AAAAAAAAO0M/6lB7FYWlqf4/s1600/SPDButton2.jpg

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

We Depart to Serve


             

 Woah! I am surprised I still am able to recall my password to my blogging account.
It has been far, far too long since I have spilled what is on my mind.
No wonder I have been going a bit crazy lately.
All work and no play makes, Amanda one grouchy girl.
So now that my writing is back in action, let's consider this play, shall we?!

Last time I wrote, I was at the ALDE conference in Indianapolis 
(what a wonderful experience).
Since then, I have been on the run--nonstop.
Between classes, studying, projects, internship tasks, and Spring Break,
I have not been able to set aside as much time for blogging as I would prefer. 
Luckily, life is slowing down a bit in the upcoming week--
and thank goodness, because blogging helps me keep my sanity...or not.
you decide. 

This morning, I gave my first sermon...like ever.
(Channeling my inner T-Swift, for ya'll)
I was nervous, because I am far from being an ordained minister.
For some reason, they don't put "sermon writing" in my core classes.
Crazy, crazy, right?
 So with absolutely no experience, I gave it my best shot.
Even if I didn't nail it, the best part about the experience was the forgiving audience. ;)

To help tell a little about my Spring Break Mission Trip to San Diego and Tijuana with the University Lutheran Center, I have shared my sermon from the gospel reading, John 12:1-8, with you below.

Enjoy and God Bless! :)
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          In the Gospel this morning, the story taken from the book of John is a familiar one during this time of Lent It is 6 days before Passover and Jesus has arrived in Bethany. Lazarus, Martha and Mary have decided to host a meal in honor of Jesus. As I’m sure you all are well aware, earlier in the Bible, Jesus restored Lazarus to life 4 days after his death. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I or my sibling had experienced such an encounter as being raised from the dead, I think I’d be throwing some sort of party as well. Although, during this time, I’m not entirely sure whether I would be graciously throwing this party or simply hosting it out of fear of what other powers a person possess who is able to bring life to the dead. This is probably why some people were so skeptical of Jesus when He said he was the Son of God—it’s pretty big thing to wrap your mind around.  So Martha serves the meal, while Lazarus accompanies Jesus at the table. Sounds like a typical dinner party, right? Well here is where I think I would have to “dine and dash!” Mary, or Mary Magdalene as many refer to her as, kneels at Jesus’s feet and washes them. You know those special foot baths you see at spas, or even the ones you purchase from Walmart? Well I can tell you one thing for certain, they were no where to be found! Instead, Mary cracks into a fresh bottle of nard, which is the finest of perfumes at that time—think fancier and more costly than a bottle of Chanel No. 9—and proceeds to dump the entire bottle onto Jesus’s feet.



          As if this act isn’t astonishing enough, she then uses her hair to wipe them dry. Every time I hear this part of the passage, I can just picture my mom cringing—she is definitely not a foot person and I must say that I inherited that same trait from her!! Throughout this, I am so shocked by the foot washing that I am distracted from the point that Judas brings up,

“Why was the perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?”

A valid point, don’t you agree? Although, John is quick to remind us that Judas is a thief and later betrays Jesus. It is clear that he would not have given to the poor anyway. However, the point he asks us to consider is one I am familiar with.


            This past Spring Break, I joined the University Lutheran Center for my third Mission trip. This year we went to San Diego and Tijuana. My freshman year was spent in Los Angeles and my sophomore year we were in Denver. Each time I am struck with the question—
“Why spend money to go across the country to serve others when there are poor among us in SD?”
Or
“Why do you waste money on travel when you could just send more money towards the projects instead?”
         In fact, both are such valid points that I always struggle to best articulate the importance of the trips. I’m not the only one with this struggle. An article entitled “Short-term missions: Paratrooper Incursion or "Zaccheus Encounter”? by Hunter Farell,, who served as a missionary in Peru for ten years, he discusses how such trips are often perceived as a “paratrooper”—meaning the interest is short term, the focus is more on doing a project rather than developing relationships, little follow-up, very little personal transformation. As you can imagine from the negativity of this description, this is clearly not the way we would want to be perceived. On the other hand, the article also described a Zaccheus encounter as “persevering and long-term, personable and developing relationships, extensive follow-up, and consisting of profound personal transformations.” Over the course of this past Spring Break to San Diego and Tijuana, I truly believe that our service fit those descriptors. During past trips, I always felt so rushed. It was always one service project after the next, that by the end of the week when someone asked me what we did, I could hardly even remember one project. However, this last trip was more unique. Instead of constant work, we focused more on the emersion into the culture and spotting Jesus each day. At the end of each day, we came together as a group and shared our “junk, joys and Jesus for the day—similar to using highs and lows. 


            Throughout the trip, we used public transit systems to navigate the city. Even though this was not a scheduled project for our mission work, it was amazing the number of people who heard about how we were spending our Spring Break, as opposed to the stereotypical ways in which many college students spend their Spring Breaks. 
 


          We also built more lasting relationships during our visit to Tijuana. While staying in Tijuana for a couple of nights, we stayed at a deportation site for men called “Casa Del Migrantes.” While there, we dined with the men and listened to their stories. It was both incredible and frightening to hear of what these men endured to try and make a safer living situation for their families. Many spoke of being arrested and thrown in prisons with such awful living conditions that then would have preferred to be dead, or being abandoned in the extreme climate of the Arizona deserts by their coyote—the people who guide the migrants to their destinations. While at “Casa del Migrantes,” we didn’t even do a service project, yet we were able to make a difference in the lives of those men simply by listening and expressing God’s love. But more importantly, those men were able to impact our lives as well.

            Another part of our trip was spent outside of an orphanage in Tijuana. While there, we helped with some tasks, but the true presence of God was when the children arrived. We dined and played with the kids. They didn’t care that we were from South Dakota and spoke little to no Spanish. They were just thrilled to have us there. 

Talk about unconditional love.
            You see, THAT is what these trips are all about. They are about so much more than simply serving the poor. As Farell describes it “[they] enable us to meet Jesus in the brokenness of the poor and oppressed communities in which we work. Such and encounter…creates horizontal and mutual relationships more characteristic of the Body of Christ.”

            Mary could have just given Jesus a bucket of sudsy water and said, “Here. Clean up, big guy.” His feet would have been just as clean and probably more “manly” scented. And just think of how satisified Judas would have been. Instead, Mary throws herself into serving Jesus. 

            When speaking on this very text, Pastor James Kegal said,

“We enter God’s house to worship and we depart to serve.” 

As you leave here today, I encourage you to do that very thing. Worship God, but then go out and build these lasting relationships and use your energy to serve Him.



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