I didn’t cry a lot when I was younger.  Sure, I threw the occasional temper tantrum – red faced, feet stomping, ijustwanttogetmyway soimgoingtoshowyoutears – type thing that probably all young girls do because 1. they don’t know better 2. no one is making them grow up right away and 3. it works.  But, I didn’t shed a lot of real, heart wrenching, i-dont-know-what-to-do-with-these-emotions type tears.

…Maybe that’s why I’m making up for it now.

I shared in my I.Am post that I cry when life gets too big.  Well let’s just say that it’s been big lately… like huge.  And so, I’m both humbled and grateful when I remember to search for things that remind me that the world is also small, timid, enclosed.

This must be why I so greatly appreciate that my sister is eight years younger than me. I tell her to work hard, grow up and stop eating peanut butter out of the jar.  And, she reminds me to calm down, laugh a lot and that sometimes a peanut butter sandwich is all that you really need…

So I’m honored to share with you, yet again, one of my sisters essays that she is submitting for a college scholarship.  When I read her piece, it gave me goosebumps… not because it was eloquently written or artistically crafted, but because it was real.  The emotions are real.  It reminds me that the world is still small… which is, a lot of the time, exactly what we all need.


innocent [ˈɪnəsənt]
not corrupted or tainted with evil or unpleasant emotion; sinless; pure


This spring concludes my parents’ twelfth and final year as parents of a Lakewood High student. For eight years, I watched my siblings live what I saw as the greatest experience of their lives: high school. I idolized my sister in her tennis uniform, or dressed up for a school dance. I envied my brother painting his stomach for a football game, and rooted him on as a forward for his basketball team. When my turn came around to attend Lakewood High, I marched through the doors with both feet forward.

I vividly remember my mom picking me up from my first day of freshman year and telling her, with a stack of books in my arms, “I love high school.” It was vibrant, alive, and exciting. Unlike middle school, things were happening in high school. We even got to walk across the street between classes! From that very first walk through the halls to my most recent trek, the past four years have been the time of my life. Cross Country, Student Council, Swim Team, Track & Field, Help2Others, Choir, and National Honor Society are just some of the meaningful activities of which I have been a part. I’ll always remember the time that we shocked the whole school by winning the annual “Deck the Halls” holiday competition freshman year.  Nor will I ever forget my diverse, dysfunctional, family-like chemistry class junior year.

However, I think my most beloved memories at Lakewood High have been those where I have been able to show my school spirit. In a hot pink sports bra, a purple cast on my ankle, and a giant exclamation point smeared on my belly, I stood on the bench, sun in my eyes, at the very first football game of my senior year. I couldn’t help, but think, that this is what high school is all about: cheering on my classmates, next to my classmates, making the best of our last year together. Whether we were best friends, or just acquaintances, there was a simple, unmistakable sense of camaraderie when we were all standing on the bench at that very first football game that I will never forget.

It is no secret that I absolutely love LHS; it is truly my second home. Call me crazy, but I am really going to miss the early-morning student council meetings, nerve-racking swim meets, endless choir concerts, etc., that sometimes totaled fifteen-hour schooldays. I believe the people here are truly one-of-a-kind, coming from a multitude of diverse backgrounds. All of us walk in the footsteps of some extraordinary people, both known and unknown, who continue to inspire me, including my two siblings. Wherever I go in life, I will take with me the experiences that I’ve had at Lakewood High, both inside and outside of the classroom. I am, wholeheartedly, a Ranger for life.



Always be a first rate version of yourself
and not a second rate version of someone else.
~Judy Garland

I came across Shannon’s blog when she linked up to my 31 Days posts a couple of weeks ago. She was subsequently inspired to start her own 30 Days challenge, which will begin April 1st, and I will be participating in as well.  (More on that later.)

A couple of days ago, Shannon blogged about an “I Am” post that her friend Kate started.  It’s intended to be an annual synopsis, at a particular point in time, of your own life and feelings that are derived by completing a series of sentences. So, of course, I decided to join in on the fun.  If you would like to write your own “I Am” post, please enter a link in the comments so we can follow you too!

I Am… constantly evolving.

I Want… a dog!

 I Have… a great family, awesome friends and love for them all.

I Wish… for hope and miracles.

I Hate… envy.

I Fear… the balance of living for yourself and also beyond yourself.

I Hear… the dropping of barbells… all day, every day!

I Search… for truth.

I Wonder… who I can help tomorrow.

I Regret… many things that I remind myself of often.

I Love… chocolate & peanut butter. :)

I Ache… for those who are silent.

I Always… try to be happy.

I Usually… wear heels.

I Am Not… insecure, but I sometimes have insecure moments.

I Dance… in the rain, at the gym & when I’m happy.

I Sing… for myself.

I Never… snap my fingers correctly.

I Rarely… am on time to things.

I Cry… when life gets too big.

I Am Not Always… at the top of my game.

I Lose… at roulette… sometimes. ;)

I’m Confused… by the past and the future.

I Need… people who understand me.

I Should… always think for myself.