2011 was a big year for me! I had a big, elaborate post planned, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I’m going to hit some of the highlights of my year!
I finished my first year of college. Whew, didn’t think I would ever finish that spring semester! It seemed to drag on a bit, but it finally ended, and the result of the work I put in was placement on the Dean’s List. I have no problem traveling and going and doing, but when I left for college I had to face the fact that I hadn’t been away from home for more than a week and now here I was, moving 260 miles away. There was some homesickness, but I made new friends and found a church and all was well. I’m now done with my third semester. I’m “officially” a junior, but I’m going to use my full four years. No need to enter the real world any faster than necessary right?
I spent the first half of Spring Break working with the homeless. A small team came up from LSU and we worked in Shreveport. I had absolutely no idea how much homelessness and sex trafficking exist in a city 20 minutes from where I grew up. We visited places I had never heard of, much less been to. I learned a lot, and I served and I was blessed. I have continued my relationships with some of the people I met that week, and it’s incredible to see their joy and faith even though they have some tough circumstances.
I got “Chainsaw Certified.” After the spring semester ended, the BCM at LSU took a group to Tuscaloosa, AL to help with disaster relief for a couple days. I got chainsaw certification before we left, so technically I can now be on any disaster relief chainsaw team that is needed. We heard stories, pulled limbs, cut apart trees that had fallen, and prayed with those who had lost so much.
My family went to Puerto Rico! It was my first trip to the beautiful island. We went to see family friends and had a wonderful time at the rum factory, the beaches, baseball games, and Old San Juan.
I started running. There’s a little more detail on my About Me page, but basically after doing 10 weeks of bootcamp classes with my now-roomies, I knew I needed something else. Some motivation, an exercise plan. I heard some friends talk about their experience with the Rock’n’Roll New Orleans Half Marathon, so I talked some friends into joining me for this ridiculous feat. That was 11 months before the March 2012 race. Now, I’ve been running consistently for the last six months, and I’m loving it! I love how it makes me feel – I’m getting stronger. I’ve logged about 200 miles this year, but I think it’s just the start.
I had a fab 19th birthday weekend. Old friends and new friends and “Eye of the Tiger” cake: a girl couldn’t ask for much better!
I was a Camp Fuego counselor for two weeks. It was fabulous! I spent two weeks at Camp Bethany in Bethany, Louisiana (Don’t even try to find it on a map). It was an awesome two weeks. I had two groups of amazing campers and got to know the rest of the staff really well.
Midnight ziplining in the mountains of New Mexico. Such an adrenaline rush! Can’t wait to do that again sometime.
I was involved in my first car wreck. And it was terrifying. I was t-boned on a busy street at 5pm traffic in Baton Rouge. The wreck wasn’t my fault. Thankfully, Caroline and Em were in the car with me. Everyone was ok, but I froze after we were hit. If they hadn’t been there to call 911 and tell me to get out of the car, it would have been a whole different scene. It was over a week before I could drive anything again, and several weeks after that before I could be in a car without flinching.
I pay rent now. I’m not a real grown-up yet, but paying rent is a quick way to make you feel like one! I really enjoy having an apartment and my own room now, so it’s definitely worth it.
L SU goes 13-0! There were some nail-biting moments, lots of screaming and jumping and celebrating. The “Painted Posse” is a group of guys, mostly from the BCM, who paint up and sit on the front row. I helped paint them this year. Ever want to make some new friends? Paint their bodies.
This was just a few of the big moments of 2011! It was a great year. I lost a friend or two, but I made many, many more. Friends who encourage and keep me accountable. I learned how much can be accomplished when I rely on God to be my strength.