Sunday, January 30, 2011


so incredibly long.
just a warning.

annapolis maryland.
the home of the united states naval academy.
the place I spent a week last summer.
the place I am filling out the ever long application for.
the place I may be spending the next four years of my life.

well even if I dont spend any more time there... the week I spent there is a week I will never forget.

so let me start at the beginning.
I was playing aau basketball in april of my sophomore year, and although I had heard of the naval academy... I had never really thought about it or pictured myself there.
but when I got some feedback from their coach after my tournament I became intrigued.
so I went on the athletic website and filled out a recruiting questionarre. and I guess thats how my name got in the system up there.
and then I tore my acl. so the rest of the summer I didnt play any basketball, and didnt really have any contact with any coaches... or navy for that matter.
so with lots and lots of rehab I was ready to go by the time for the regular season of high school ball.
but thats beside the point.
well anyways sometime in february of my junior year I got something in the mail that said...

come to the naval academys summer seminar.

well it said a lot more than that but I am pretty sure I applied that night.
I honestly didnt think I would be accepted but about two months later I got a letter that said something like this....

congrats on being accepted to the naval academy summer seminar (nass)
you were one of only about 700 selected to attend week two.

so anyways. I was pretty excited. I ordered my plane tickets to annapolis, ran a few miles every morning the week before, and tried to get myself ready for what would be the hardest week ever.
but it was also the greatest week ever.
I will never forget the people or the experiences.
I made friends from all around the country.
these people right here.

beautiful rachel(:
from louisianna.

alexxis. basketball brought us together.
from texas.

andrew. the best interview helper everrrrr.
from california.

justin. he was at navy this weekend(:
from oklahoma.

and chelsea. known to the third platoon as j-wow.
fist pumps on the party bus(:
you had to be there to understand.
she is from jersey.

and then there is my squad.
sqaud 2.
they were the best.

and of course I have to tell about the greatest platoon in the history of nass.
alpha 3-2.

thats us right there.
we really got on the other platoons nerves that week.
we were so loud and stuck together.
and it didnt help that we were awesome at everything.

so this is pretty much how our week went.
we got there saturday. and stayed until thursday.
getting about fourteen hours of sleep the entire week.
we would wake up at about four thirty with people screaming at us pounding on our doors.. and the we would run... you never walked.... to the pt field. one day we had a navy seal do our morning pep....
I almost died.
then we would run back to bancroft hall (the largest dormitory in the world.)

the light green roof is all of the dorm.
its ridiculously huge.

after that we would have a few minutes to shower and stuff.
then we would meet for breakfast.
the whole brigade would eat together but it wasnt like most college cafeteria style eating.
you ate with your squad, all around a table and then the tables around you were all part of your platoon.
each table was served platters and you passed the food around like you were eating dinner with your family... because when you are at the academy the people in your squad and platoon are your family.
plus there were tons of fantastic games that everyone played at your tables. and then each table came up with a random chow call that you said before you left your table.
it was chaotic and loud, but tons of fun.

after breakfast we had briefs and classes.
the classes were so fun... yeah I know that sounds crazy.. school fun? but yeah everything was so interesting.
we got to go out on boats, look at space satellites, got to "go to war" virtually of course, learned what to do if your submarine was to leak, picked apart a chapter of pride and prejudice, and then the coolest class of all was physics....
also known as the magic show.

these guys were hilarious.
and everything they showed us blew our minds.

then we would eat lunch and go back to another class.
I got to see the spot where the speed of light was discovered... yeah that was pretty cool.
then we would have drill.
and let me tell you drill was intense stuff.
everyone took it so serious because they wanted to win.
after drill we would have a little bit of free time then off to dinner.
after dinner the real fun began.
we had more briefs and the whole brigade would go crazy.
we had a lot of working out throughout the day but I think the biggest workout was the spirit missions at night.

talk about awesome. they were awesome.
we would crawl in the underground tunnels, break into buildings and jump off extremely high diving boards, and yeah other awesome secret stuff that I probably shouldnt tell about.
so basically you got back to sleep at around two or three and then woke up again at four thirty to start all over.

on wednesday we had mock sea trials.
the absolute best day of the entire week.
here is a little bit of what we did.

wet and sandy.
the wetter and sandier the better.

the endurance course.

log pt, a little martial arts, and guns.

pool phase.

and finally the track.
where you did the stupid tunnel of love for like an hour.
and carried "injured or dead" soldiers around the track.
I was an injured one so I was carried.
which I personally think may have been worse than the light jog.

we also took a quick break during the day to eat one of these.

I think I had chicken fajita with rice... or something like that.
but I was one of the lucky ones with the peanut butter in mine.
apparently that what they live off.

so about ten hours later were had finally finished sea trials.
so you think we were done for the day.... ohh no. it was only like 1900hours.
also known as seven o clock.

and then we had indoc.
the worst thirty minutes ever.
first of all they go on this big story about how mad at us they are and so we all report on deck and they tell us to turn around and face the wall.
the lights arent all on and its so so so quiet.
then all of a sudden out of nowhere people start screaming and yelling and asking you questions from your rate sheet you were supposed to learn and if you dont know it.. you do pushups and get CHEWED out.
to be honest it was kinda fun but so intense that they are litterally only allowed to do it for thirty minutes because people start to freak out and begin to get dehydrated because of how much you are sweating.
the medics come around and make you drink water... 
and occasionlly you get asked really awesome questions like would you rather be a giraffe or an elephant.
and then after those long thirty minutes.
you are soaking from sweat and your whole company huddles together and you have been promoted.
from that point on you got to call all your leaders by their first names.

then you went and showered, it was hands down the best shower of my life.
then you go on a beyond perfect spirit mission.

so as you can see I fell in love with everything about the naval academy.
and this week I will find out if I got a nomination from virginia foxx.
if so that will mean I am triple qualified which will then allow me an excellent chance to get into the academy.
I have to say I am incredibly nervous but also very excited.
I know whatever happens God has me in his hands.
and His plan is best.

but before I go.
there is one more story I must tell.

after drill practice one night my platoon decided to take the long way back to bancroft.
we went through the cemetery.
this was one of the most sombering moments of my entire life.
each of our squad leaders told a story about one grave in particular.
I will never forget any of them but this one was why I believe I fell in love with the academy.

this was told by my platoon leader. chris miller. aka daddy. (:
her name was kristen dickmann.
everyone in her class loved her.
she was great to be around and was a fantastic leader.
she was so well known around the yard because she was so kind.
first class miller knew her very well.
they were plebes (navys name for freshman) together.
and just a week before they were going to climb herndon (a monument that the plebes climb at the end of their freshman year to grab a cap and officially be "plebes no more") she was found unresponsive in her room and died in the hospital a few hours later.

for the first time in the history of the academy they placed a female cover on the top rather than a males.

the entire class of 2011 were devestated.
miller said they had lost a valuable member of the team. and then he corrected himself and said no.... we lost a valuable member of our family.

that is when I realized that the people here were apart of something so much bigger than themselves.
something truly worthwhile.
somewhere where its not all about social status, money, or fame.
somewhere where its about the person next to you.
and the sailors or soldiers you will eventually lead into battle.

and just maybe I will get to be apart of it too.

go navy.
beat army.

thanks to all who serve.
in all branches.
america owes you big time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

are amazed.

play the song.
it goes with the whole blog.

all of God's creation leaves me awestruck.
but there are three things in particular that really amaze me.

the ocean. the stars. and trees.

I am a big fan of

-spending days upon end at the beach.
my favorite beach in the world is called fort desoto. 
its fantasticcccccccc.

this is where I want to get married.
I took this this summer while I was mentally planning my wedding.

-laying beneath the stars every summer night.
I am sad to say I dont have a favorite star.
but I will tell you my dream vacation is space.

-and just staring in wonder at trees on super windy days.

and then when I think about how this all came into existence I am even more amazed.
I mean really... think about it.
God just spoke and it was there.
and to go even further...
if He had wanted to, He could have just thought it into existence.
my mind cant even begin to comprehend that...

but anyways.

I know you all are thinking wow she is really weird.
but I dont really care.
this is important stuff.

the most important tree in my life is this one.

this tree is a daily reminder that Jesus loves me more than I can fathom.
which gives me chills.
I wish I could love Him a quarter as much as He loves me.

and second on the list of great trees is this one.
I have a ton of pictures of it but I took these yesterday.
so this is what it looks like during the winter.

I drive by this tree everyday of my life.
and it is my daily reminder of just how awesome God is.

this tree is my favorite of all trees...
and I like trees.

take suggestions.

so I honestly can say I am not a fan of reading....
most of the time.
I like to read GOOD books.
not stupid ones with no meaning.
and as a part of my new years resolutions I wanted to read three books.

so I need suggestions.
and I need them fast.

thanks guys.

i love the way old books look.

Monday, January 24, 2011

share a little sunshine.

friday night I went somewhere I do not particularly like going.
this place.

I have been to this place quite a few times.
I had to stay overnight due to an allergic reaction.
I had acl surgery here, and had to stay the night again.
and... I go to the building right next to it all the time for physical therapy.
I actually sometimes refer to it as my home away from home.

but friday I wasnt there for me.
I was there for her.

this is my favorite eleven year old in the whole entire world.
I love love love her to death.
her name is Hannah.

Hannah was born with this super rare blood disease.
and has struggled with it on and off her entire life.
well sometime around June of this year I recieved a phone call from her mom Michelle at around nine at night..
which I didnt think too much about because our families are really close and the summer before last I spent every day with her two children, Hannah and her son Aaron.
so I answered and heard Michelle crying. the first thing she said was Hannah was in the hospital.
my heart sank.
I knew that she hadnt been feeling the greatest but I didnt know it was this bad.
so I called my mom and dad and told them what was going on and my dad went straight to the hospital.

to make a long story short the hospital and doctors had no idea what was wrong.
she ended up having her gallbladder removed and was sent to a liver specialist in Chicago.
this guy was supposed to be the number one liver doctor in the world...
but for whatever reason he had no idea what to do.

so back home she came.
I have never been so worried about someone.
I along with everyone else that attends my church prayed for her daily.
and I was constantly checking in on her.

we were all extremely worried and she was beginning to only get worse.

then a miracle happened and she began to get better.

well she has still not been one hundred percent so the doctors decided to remove her spleen.
and they did that on thursday.
so friday I went to the hospital...
when I got there she was sleeping.
and I heard all the wonderful stories about her bluntness with the doctors and nurses.

let me tell you a little bit about hannah.
she will tell you how it is...
for example.
after her surgery she didnt want any lights on and so the nurses would use flashlights when they came in the rooms.
well hannah didnt like that too much so she told them that their flashlights were a little bright.

she has no tact but that is one of the reasons I love her so much.
she is like one my best friends.
she is my little sister.
and my world is a lot happier with her a part of it.
she is a small piece of sunshine(:

I love her so much.
and I am happy to say she got out of the hospital today.

I am so proud of how strong she is and has been through this whole process.

keep your head up hannah.
God has you in his hands.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

move. and grow.

before you start reading... I am going to warn you
this is wayy tooo long.
but I had to say it all.
so good luck.

my life has truly been an adventure.
God has blessed me an allowed me to travel all around the world.

but some of the times I traveled.. it wasnt for vacation purposes...
it was because I was moving.

you hear all these horror stories about moving and how awful being the new kid is and how leaving your friends sucks and how your life is ruined..
well guess what. those stories are true.

I have moved eleven times in 18 years. 
now granted not all these moves were MAJOR but still. a move is a move.

lets start from the beginning.
I was born in eastern kentucky.
in a tiny town called williamson. in a small hospital where my grandmother delivered me.
after I left the hospital, my momma and I lived in an even smaller town in west virginia that also happened to be called williamson. we lived with my mommas parents.
and a few weeks later... we made the biggest move of my life.
this move was so gigantic there wasnt even need for a moving truck (last time I checked they dont drive through the atlantic ocean)
we moved to germany.

you see my dad was in the army.
and of course the two most important girls in his life couldnt leave him hanging.
so we moved here.

and while I was there I almost died while my dad was out on the field for a few months, I stole multiple food items from grocery stores and ice cream men (I didnt know any better I was like three), I learned a little german, and I became friends with this girl.

when I was almost four my dad was stationed in tennessee. 
so off we went. 

we lived in this big time military town... the kind of place where it was rare to see someone in civilian clothing.
it was hear that I had my first true experience with loss (we had to put my beautiful lab to sleep), it was hear that I cut my bangs down to my forehead, it was hear that I learned how to swim and ride a bike without the training wheels, it was hear that I picked up my first basketball.

about a year and a half later. 
my dad finished his commitment time and was honorably discharged and I thought military life was done for me (yeah I was wrong.)
but anyways. 
we moved to a super tiny house in a super tiny town called alderson west virginia.
ohhh alderson.

let me tell you a little bit about this place.
population: like 1000
the town where martha stewart did her jail time.
the town that has the LARGEST fourth of july celebration in all of west virginia... impressive huh.
alderson is a really unique place.
I loved our second house we moved to while we where there.
virginia street.
what a place to begin to grow up.
this is the place where my little brother entered the world, the place where I started school, the place where I won every fourth of july race known to man, the place where I was on september 11th.
alderson had a lot of firsts for me.
and then in third grade.
this place called florida had to barge in...

up to this point this was the hardest move.
I was finally at the age where I had best friends.....
these girls..

and I did not want to leave them.
I remember the day I hopped in the moving truck.
it was like cruel and unusual punishment.
I just knew that all of my friends and family would eventually forget about me and that everyone down in florida would hate me.
and I also had already decided that I hated florida back.

for the first year we lived there.
I kept my mindset.
I HATED florida.
I hated everything about it... well except the weather maybe.
I didnt have any real friends, we lived in a ghetto apartment complex, and I was experiencing some MAJOR culture shock. 
but can you blame me???
I had just left my small little town of 1000 people and moved to tampa population 343,890.
which made it like the 54th largest city in the united states.

so as you can see I was going through some big changes.
and then we found a house and praise God got out of the apartment complex that was infested with cockroaches. 
we moved into a much quiter neighborhood and things began to get a little better.
I went to faith baptist christian school.
it was a k-12 school so when I was in fifth grade I had the oppurtunity to play on the high school varsity team.
and that is where my love for the sport really started.
florida started to become home.
and I quickly fell in love with many aspects of it.
it was here that I met aaron (my absolute best friend and the person that I love more than I though possible), my current best friend crystal (the one that gives me a daily dose of laughter), and most importantly...
this is where I met Jesus.

so many crucial things happened to me while I lived there.
this is where I really grew up.
I mean I had to if I wanted to be happy... and this is where I learned to be content.

and then of course.. the unthinkable happened.
we moved again.
and this was the worst of all.


what is there to say.
I was totally happy with where I was.
and I thought that I had learned all that could be learned from moving already.
but God had bigger things in store for me, and obviously had more lessons for me to learn.
back to a small town, after five years living in a big city... again with the culture shock.
I had forgotten what small town living was like.. everyone knew everyone.. but of course.
I knew no one.
I was terrified.
and I was just positive that my four years of high school were going to be the most miserable years of my life.
so I started volleyball. and made varsity, and some friends. but still...
not great.
then basketball came along, and again I made varstiy and a few more friends..
but still I missed everyone I had left behind so much I couldnt even enjoy what was happening.
I was scared to get too close to anyone because I was afraid of having to leave them.

and then a very special girl came into my life.

and she made everything 23 million times better.
I have never really thanked her for what she did...
and she may not even know that she did anything spectacular because for her thats just what you should do.
but she is the reason I am not crazy today.
and the reason that high school is filled with countless happy moments.

and after we became close I opened up to a few others and let them in as well.
and now I have a few more best friends that I love and share memories with.

you may wonder why in the world is she telling this looonnnnggg story.
and honestly I dont really blame you if you dont read it.
but its one off those things that you just have to get out.

I am who I am today because of the moves I had to make in life.
God knew exactly what I needed and he gave me the strength to do what he asked of me.
my mom has told me countless times that not many people could do what you have had to do...
and where that may be true, I know for sure that the only reason I was able to do it was because God gave me strength and sent along people to pick me up when I couldnt do it alone.

so really the reason I am boring you with this is to say thank you.
first to say thank you to God.
second to say thank you to my parents for listening to what he said to do.
and third to say thank you to all of you that had a part in my life.
whether your role was big or small.

I wouldnt be the person I am today without these obstacles...
the obstacles which have proven to be some of the best things that have ever happened to me.