Currently in good ole Chicago waiting to catch my next flight to get back to the Rice and Duck Capitol of the World. I am feeling pretty thankful for the past 5 days in Ohio. I have never been to Ohio so it is kind of cool to add that to my list of travels. Miami of Ohio University was where I was staying and it is a cool campus, however I must say that TCU is still my place. The week was a lot more challenging than I thought it was going to be. The Wooden Institute's job was to challenge all those attending and man did it do just that. I am exhausted.
I went in thinking it was going to be like a conference, but I was wrong. The thing about an institute is that the schedule is planned for you and by the end you will have all been through the same experience. We were up early, going all day, and then getting in bed late. Needless to say, I will be thankful for my own bed tonight.
This week had me constantly thinking and challenging myself and my views on how my chapter of Beta Theta Pi was operating. I went in thinking that we were this great chapter. Don't get my wrong, we are and I am proud of all we have done in a short amount of time, but we, as a chapter, don't want to lose this good place we are in. The thought of that happening scares me. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to go to Wooden. They gave us opportunity after opportunity to see areas of improvement. We did this by meeting in small groups, talking one on one, and using our facilitators to guide us.
The coolest thing about this experience, besides seeing the heart and history of Beta Theta Pi, was meeting other Beta's from all over the world. Because every one of our chapters are different. We were able to learn from each other and I loved that. I have tons of great ideas and things to take back to my chapter, thanks to all my brothers from all over.
I have to give a small shout to my small group. (Seal Team 6) I could not have asked for a better group of young men to make this week all that it was. We immediately clicked and that made this week extra special. I know I was the quiet one in the group, but that is just my style of leadership. Trust me, I heard everything you said and I am thankful for all we were able to teach each other in such a short amount of time. Long live seal team 6!
Between diving into the ritual, making friendships, giving back, emerging in beta history, seeing where it all began, and having great leaders to help make this week so purposeful, I am so thankful for the Wooden Institute. It is almost hard to put into words all that went through my head this week, but all you need to know is I now have the skills I need to do great things as a leader, as a Beta, and as a dreamer. I have a new found fire lit within me to go back this fall with courage to make a difference in my chapter. It was a productive, tiring, much needed experience.
Speaking of brothers and Chicago .. I want to give some birthday love to my first guy friend at TCU and one of the best guys I know. Michael Drake, thanks for being a constant light in my life and thanks for always looking out for me. Your actions show me everyday that you are a one of a kind friend.I hope you are having the best time across the pond. I can't think of a better way to spend the day! I love you my dude and I look forward to reuniting soon! I hope you know how thankful I am for you!
I am proud and thankful to be a beta! Now I just need a little sleep! This past week is one that will keep me thankful for as long as I live... That is the biggest blessing!
Southern and Thankful
Today I had a realization and it was a good one at that. "Giving Of Self" was kind of the theme for today and man was it well worth it. What this term means is that today we took the time to give some of ourselves and in return we felt a huge reward. Basically we did community service work, but the area and the perspective I gained as a result was different.
My group went to a trailer park and worked on the ground for the grounds keeper. I know when a lot of people think of the South or the country folk, they often picture a trailer park/mobile home. I have never had that experience or have really never been on the grounds. There is nothing wrong with that lifestyle, but it is much different than the life I have lived. I love seeing the world through a different view and today I got to do just that. I walked the whole grounds with a local resident and worker. We sprayed roundoff pretty much everywhere. The people are different, but stereotypes have always portrayed them as "trashy". It is my own fault for falling into that stereotype. This lady was so sweet and so nice. Her home was beautiful and what I loved about this area was that everyone had a little something different to really put character into their home. Her thing was bright flowers. She had them everywhere and it was honestly very pretty. She also had two huge gardens. My dad would have loved that! I just hate how I fall into stereotype and let it ruin my view of the the world around me. It really is a shame. That is something that I really need to work on.
After the whole experience, I was really thankful for it. I got to give back to this cool community that has been hosting me this week and I learned that life is not about where you live or what you do, it's about how you live it. Just like you can always find something to be thankful for, you can always find something to be happy about. It is a choice. I kind of talked about that yesterday, but this reassured me of that. Makes me feel good!
I am not conforming to the trailer park, but I will say if I had to I would do the best to make the best out of it because that is what life is about. Giving back can be a huge benefit to those you are helping and to yourself. Take this as an example! I am pretty thankful for it!
Southern and Thankful
Can't keep the eyes open, but just wanted to stop by and say that I need some prayers for the rest of this institute. I'm so tried and between contact issues and some help from a doctor this trip is not easy and that's not counting all the discussion and leading I am trying to learn from. Also, I'm pretty sure my air doesn't work and I am sleeping in the desert... It's fine though. I am thankful to be positive. But let me say... This positive vibe is fading! Keep all of us in your prayers here at Wooden! This should also remind you to look for the positive things in life and hold on to that when it is so easy to be negative. I know I am trying so hard to be positive! That deserves some serious thanks. Hang in there and I'll try and do the same.
Southern and Thankful
Day one at the Wooden Institution: the weather is great and things could be worse. I wasn't really looking forward to this, but now that I'm here, I'm thankful that I came. We've only had one official day and I have already learned so much! My small group is pretty cool and I can tell over the next 4 days we're going to grow with each other and be ready to take what we learn back to our own chapter. I mean, it's crazy making friends from all over the U.S. I love that!
Today the exciting part was going to THE beta theta pi headquarters. I mean it's not something I was dying to see, but being there and seeing where Beta is run is pretty cool. I REALLY need to get to bed because I have to be up early, but today I'm thankful to see the part of beta where all the magic happens. I hope you all remember that there is more to life than what we know! It is always good to be thankful for those that work hard to make something go great. It is incredible to see first hand. Stay thankful!
Southern and Thankful
Coming to you live from Oxford, Ohio and let me tell you today has been a day.
Why may you ask am I in Ohio? Time will tell! I am here at the founding place of my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, in Oxford for a special leadership conference. I am not sure what we will be doing, but I know (or my parents have said) this will be a great experience. I am excited to learn more about Beta and meet others from all around the world. It will be an experience. Also, this is my first time in Ohio so I am excited to experience that.
Anyways, I am going to do my best to keep you all updated, but until Monday I may be a little here and there. I don't really know yet. But today's day of travel was one to remember.
I do not. Let me repeat: do not like traveling alone. I don't care where it is I am going to, I don't like to be in a space full of people by myself. It may be because I don't like having to really be in charge, but either way I don't like it. It is also not easy when the travel gets all messed up.
I flew from Arkansas to Chicago to Dayton.
I had a connecting flight that was 45 min long and naturally my first flight wasn't on time making everything else get messy. I was also flying an airline that I had never flown before. So that was also confusing. The hardest part was that my ride was leaving the airport at 9:30 and if I missed it, I missed it. My second flight then got delayed having me arrive to Dayton at 9:30, which was technically too late. I of course panicked. My mom reminded me that I was in a safe place and God had a hand in all of this. Something I easily forget when I am stressed. It may not have been my plan, but it was a plan and a plan God was and always is making for me. After a couple of conversations with a director of the program, he had arranged for the bus to wait on me. I then got Starbucks, stopped a prayed, got on the next flight where I didn't have anyone sitting next to me #blessed, and even arrived early and was able to meet my friend. I did all that worrying and stressing today for no reason. Life is sometimes funny that way! So next time your plan falls apart, let this remind you that another plan is in place, one better than your original one. God's safe place is the only place I want to be. I will keep this in mind as the unknown is heavy over the next couple of days. I can't wait to learn a lot and share my experience with you. Stay tuned and keep us in your prayers. Being thankful does have it's rewards! Remember that!
Southern and Thankful
Happy Memorial Day to each of you!
Today, I have been doing a lot of thinking about all the things I have gained because of those who have fought so I can be free. I have gained a huge appreciation for the brave and because of them I am able to dream. We often forget about those who are over seas, and even those here at home, protecting us and making this world a better place. I can think of a couple of service men and women who are very special to me, therefore I want you to know I am thankful for you and all you do. REALLY. I am able to dream on because of you. It the best gift you can give all of us. I thank you for that!
Speaking of those who encourage me to dream and be the best me, tonight I said, "see you later" to a lady who has had a huge impact on my life and on this town. Especially in the high school. I had the privilege of having Ms. Maddy Dragich her first year teaching in Stuttgart and now, years later, she is going to impact kids lives in a whole new place. They are very lucky kids, they just don't know it yet! In that year I had you as a teacher, I learned a lot about geometry, but most importantly I learned what it looks like to take in all life had to offer. I am thankful that Teach for America sent us you. I have never really told you, but you opened up my view of how I could get into college and how awesome this time of my life would be. Then I was even more blessed to spend a whole summer with you outside of school in the summer program. I learned a lot about myself that summer. Man how I would love to go back! In fact, I remember that was the first I learned what a blog was. That summer was incredible looking back. It was also one of the first times I officially visited TCU! I could thank you for days, but I really must thank you for making a difference in my life and telling me that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I would not have ended up at TCU if it weren't for you that summer. I, and many others, thank you for that summer. I also know many others thank you for being a light at SHS. I know they will miss you, but to hear what is coming next for you makes me so excited! Today when you said you have kept up with my blog and seeing how much you knew about me made my heart so happy. It is so nice to know that someone is there for you and always supports you. It really made me so thankful for you Ms. Dragich! Congrats on a great career here and good luck on this next adventure that I already know you are going to be great at. Please please please stay in touch! (picture below is way old... don't judge us)
Life is all about being thankful, making relationships with people like Ms. Dragich, and realizing how important it is to notice what others do so that you can be the best you. This world is full of bad people, but it is also full of great people. That I am extremely thankful for!
Southern and Thankful
Like this if you have been fully enjoying your Memorial Day weekend like my family and I have been!!!
Sorry for the lack of thankfulness, but sometimes you gotta try your best to unplug and enjoy the people and times around you. If you don't, it will quickly pass you by. So,I have been doing just that!
It has been so fun to be back in Hot Springs, tubing and boating on Lake Hamilton! That is when you know it's officially summer. This summer is a little more exciting because some good friends of ours have recently gotten a place over here and this has already brought some great memories.
I'm so glad I got to experience the lake with the Homra's and Dunklins. Thanks for the great food, great times, and great laughs.
My favorite memory from the weekend is on Saturday morning at 2:30 a.m. Hillary came from Texas to be with us, which we were so happy about! But, because of her job schedule, she didn't get off till around 10ish, hence the late arrival. We left for the lake late ourselves, as we attended SHS graduation beforehand. After arriving and unloading, we tried our hardest to stay up and await her arrival... but, it didn't happen. Madison, Lauren, and I all fell asleep, but luckily woke up when Hill arrived. She came in all full of energy, of course. We all were in a state of delusion... We were sleeping downstairs and Hillary asks me to carry her bag downstairs. So...I agree. I pick up the bag, and it was so heavy! I asked her why, and Hill said it was because she brought 4 pair of wedges for the boat because Madison told her to look cute all weekend... Welcome to the fam! The weekend was full of fun times and laughs like this... Couldn't ask for anything better!
I am just thankful for time with family and friends. Being away makes me realize how precious that time is. From the tube to the fish fry to a mini golf family competition, this weekend made me extra thankful! I hope you all enjoyed this weekend and I hope you all found lots to be thankful for. Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Southern and Thankful
It is currently 2:45 and for some reason I cannot sleep. Not getting enough sleep really stresses me out and usually about now I would have already been downstairs to wake my Dad with some hope that he would be able to magically make me go to sleep. I'll spare him of that tonight as long as he doesn't wake me up at the crack of dawn in a few hours (let's all take a moment to pray he doesn't... lol).
I always seem to spend more time thinking about why I can't sleep then simply going to sleep. That is something I never can really figure out. I like to think that it is God's way of saying I need to be thinking or spending time in prayer. So that is exactly what I am doing.
Tomorrow is a big day for many of my friends and the class of 2015 at Stuttgart High School. I know they are all so excited because I guarantee they can't wait to get away from this place. I and many of you would know because you have been in their same position. Exactly almost a year ago I was in that position. I remember being so excited and so scared at the same time. It is kind of a weird day. One minute you feel one way and then the next you see something that makes you wish you could relive it one more time. Funny how life works like that, huh? If any of you seniors read my blog then you know and have seen how my college journey turned out. I want you to know that you are going to be okay. Today will be the first of many bittersweet days for you, but they will be the days you learn the most and and remember forever.
Thank your teachers.
Thank your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
Thank your classmates.
Thank your friends. Old and new.
Be on time for Mrs. Kerksieck.
Listen to your graduation speeches. You will want to remember them.
Stop worrying about the walk to get your diploma. If you trip, well that is God's way of sending you a memory.
Look around and breath in all that is Ned Mosley Stadium. Once you step off the field you won't ever be the same.
Throw that cap and don't be worried about getting it back. Maroon and White will always find their way back to you!
If you want a good pic, smile towards Mrs. Babe Free... She's your gal!
It is your time. Take it in and be thankful for it!
Your high school career will sadly be over. Be thankful for all you did or didn't do.
Your next chapter is starting. Be thankful for a blank page that is waiting for you.
Know that we all love you and we are all thankful to have you in our world. You are going to do great things. If there was one thing I learned out of a thousand my first year at college, it's that Stuttgart will always be behind you 100%. They are proud and are thankful for the kids they raise. It is very cool to see that from the other side. Soon. Oh so soon, you will be on this side. I hope you are ready because the second you cross over, you will wish you could go right back.
Enjoy tomorrow (technically today) because it truly will be a day like no other. A day you will always always always be thankful for. Happy Graduation Day Class of 2015... It is finally here!
Southern and Thankful
You all know as well as I do anytime spent with your aunt and uncle is a good time. Today, I am thankful for them and a little get away.
You know I am so used to having to make my own plans because if I don't make plans when I am away at college then I will have nothing to do and I will be alone... My teeth cringe at the thought of that. As you know, I am overjoyed with my college decision and TCU, but when you have friends that live all over the world...It becomes a little harder during summertime. I love my family and I have a great time with them, but I have been missing my friends. I am glad that I had to go to LR to take care of some business today because staying with my Auntie Kiss and Uncle Jeff was a nice change for a night.
Lol I sound like I have been trapped on a island or something. I just like to keep things different and fun!
We had hibachi for dinner and watched the DWTS finale. We laughed. We or at least I enjoyed the company.
Today we had to take care of some Southern and Thankful business and may I just say how wonderful my aunt is. She has been helping and encouraging me with a lot of the behind the scenes things and that is something I need and really do appreciate. I love working along side you! Big things are hopefully coming soon and you all should be very excited!!
We ran some errands and she took me to her favorite restaurant. It was so great! She always talks about this place and what they have. It's called Cafe Brazil and I am not really sure what I had (she ordered for me), but it was different and so so good. There was also this "cheesy bread" and it was nothing like I had ever had before. Such a fun lunch date. Thank you for taking me Kiss!
Ever since I can remember it has always been a treat to visit my Kiss and UJ. And incase you were wondering, it will always be a treat! Thanks for loving me and making my laugh. I am sure thankful for times like these!
Southern and Thankful
Don't ask me what I did today because I'm not really sure how to explain, but I do know that it helped my Dad out a lot and that's all that matters!
Now I'm not the type to work in a pharmacy, like my Dad, but when I think about two things...it becomes clear.
1. Work on a Farm
2. Work at the Pharmacy
I think we all know what I would be better at.
Don't think I was mixing drugs or anything!! I was in charge of organization, and that I can handle! My parents and especially my Dad are huge supporters of mine and they always have my best interest at heart. They provide for me and push me to be my best. Anything I can do to help my Dad when he needs it is the least I can do. I may complain, typical, but I understand the importance of doing that for him. I do like learning from him because he and I do share the same ways of leading and doing things. I enjoyed working back behind the counter today and seeing how hard he works and how good he is at what he does. It had been a while until today. He helps me and I am always there to help him. I'm thankful for being with you today, Dad. Thanks for teaching me, challenging me, supporting me, and pushing me. I couldn't reach my dreams without you right behind me. Days like these I will cherish forever and be thankful for!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A student at Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!