Home from Camp

Hi friends. It’s been awhile. Over a month in fact since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been away at camp as a camp counselor! We have limited access to internet so there was really no way for a blog post to happen. But that’s okay.

This summer was one of the best summer’s I’ve had at camp. It was also one of the hardest. Camp is such a special place that I can’t really put it into words. I’ll try anyway:) I decided to collect some of my favorite camp counselor quotes and create a few of my own to try to express how amazing and unique this experience is.

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“Three and a half weeks flew by. I already miss being called Elf, the basically non-existent water pressure in the showers, laughing with my co (counselor) until we cried by the end of the week because our children were just that crazy, fighting to get my girls to sleep, carrying my sleeping campers back from campfire, starting one match (more likely one box) fires in the rain. I miss the family I have at camp and pigtail Thursdays. Now it’s back to real life where socks with crocs aren’t actually fashionable and sleep is  an actual thing (until college starts).”

“My backpack could rival Mary Poppins magic carpet bag.”

“Silent conversations across the table with my co are the key to survival.”

“Chocolate and Jesus get me through most of my days.”

“Camp has taught me more than I could learn from anywhere else.”

“Camp breaks you down farther than you ever thought you could go, but somehow you always leave refreshed.”

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This summer, I was a mother, a teacher, a cook, a firefighter, a nurse and a doctor, a friend, a confidant, a cleaning lady, a horse wrangler, a student, a singer and an actor, an author, and so much more. Where else could I go to get the same experience? And why would I want to?

 

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Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Hi friends! So we are in vacation down in Virginia! I meant to write this two days ago, but Monday ended up being a pretty lazy (much needed!) day so now I am finally getting around to it.

I’ll probably try to get a vacation post up sometime next week with all the pictures, but for now, I have a review of my new Fitbit Charge 2! I got this about a week ago, and I absolutely love it. I got one of the special edition colors, lavender and rose gold, which are two of my favorite colors/color combination. I am very glad that I went ahead and spent the little bit of extra money to get this color.

I have been charging it every other night, but it could probably go every three nights before needing to be charged.

Things that it measures: 

  • time
  • steps
  • heart rate
  • miles traveled
  • flights of stairs climbed
  • active minutes per day
  • sleep
  • water intake

Other features:

  • tracks exercise/different kind of exercise
  • stopwatch
  • guided breathing
  • “silent” alarms
  • bluetooth connection to your phone

 

This is what the app’s home screen looks like. It’s very user friendly.

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I don’t know what it’s thinking with the weight tracker. I haven’t put my weight in…

 

Okay, so I think I will walk through each of these features and give a run down of sorts about what I like about it and what I wish would be different.

Starting with the time…the Fitbit app gives me several different options for how the clock face can look. This is how I chose to have mine:

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Since my “main goal” is steps, that is what appears on my clock screen. That number “48” is the number of steps per hour. Maybe I should get up now if I’ve only walked that in 45 minutes:)

One thing I really like about this Fitbit is that one of your goals is to get 250+ steps every hour. I have mine set to send me reminders if I haven’t reached that goal 10 minutes before the hour. And it sends reminders from 9am-6pm. You can change both of those settings, but I have found that it really works for me like this. Right now, my goal is 8,000 steps every day. I haven’t reached that goal yet, but I’m hoping that once I get home from vacation, I’ll start hitting it most days. I know that I will for sure get over 10,000 every day at camp and once I get to college I will also be doing a ton of walking.

Like most Fitbits, it also measures heart rate. In the app, I can see my averages for just sitting and also working out. I’m pretty sure that it uses heart rate to calculate my “cardio fitness” a.k.a. how fit I am.

I am still trying to figure out how/what Fitbit counts as a flight of stairs. For instance, it doesn’t count me going down a flight of stairs, which makes sense. But sometimes it doesn’t count me going up the stairs either. I have to figure out how to move my arms in order for it to count the stairs I guess. I have my goal set to 14 flights each day right now, and I have been reaching that goal most days!

The active minutes per day. It counts the minutes that you are “moderately active for more than 10 minutes at a time.” My goal right now is 30 minutes every day which is the recommended amount. This is fairly simple to reach the goal every day for me. If I do a 30 minute workout along with a warm up and cool down, I’m easily at 40 minutes every day.

This is probably the coolest part of the Charge 2. It measures sleep! Every morning I wake up and look at my stats from the night. I set my goals: 8 hrs of sleep every night, bedtime 11pm, wake up 7am. I also set it to send me a “bedtime” reminder at 10 pm every night. It shows me how much sleep I got, time awake, time in REM, time in light sleep, and time in deep sleep. It also tells me if I met the sleep goals that I have set. Here are my stats from last night.

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I had a Fitbit Charge HR before the Charge 2 and from what I can remember, the Charge HR didn’t have an easy to use button for tracking workouts. With the Charge 2, I scroll to the workout screen and tap through the options such as “running, elliptical, biking, intervals, or treadmill” to name a few. I just have to press and hold for the workout timer to start. I can click the button once to take a rest, and press and hold again to stop it. By doing this, it will track the time, the steps, and the calories I burned for that workout. Then when my Fitbit syncs to the app, I can see charts with all of that information.

The guided breathing is pretty cool! Options for 2 minutes or 5 minutes. Once it “recognizes your breath” you have to inhale and exhale along with a circle that gets bigger and smaller. When you breathe to the right rhythm, you get sparkles! If you don’t breathe to the rhythm, you don’t get sparkles….and I love my sparkles:) I haven’t used this yet (except to test it out), but I think that it will be very helpful when my life starts to get stressful again.

The silent alarm option just means that it vibrates on your wrist so it won’t wake anyone else up. I loved this with my Charge HR, and I love it with the Charge 2. I don’t know about you, but hearing that same song come on my phone every morning gets obnoxious very fast. It’s loud and repetitive. If you’re like me and leave it on snooze and then leave your phone upstairs, it is frustrating to go find your phone to turn it off. Anyway, I love the vibrating alarm!

When I had a Charge HR, I didn’t have a smartphone so I’m not sure if it had bluetooth, but now I have one so I connected my Charge 2 to my phone. It gives options for everything. You can turn on/off whether you want calls, messages, and calendar events individually. For instance, I have messaging and calls connected, but I decided that I didn’t want calendar events coming to my Fitbit. With the messages, I can choose from getting notifications of my text messages, hangouts (not even sure what that is), or Facebook messenger. I chose my text messages since that is my main communication.

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I also started playing around with the community part of this today. You can add friends for a little competition and join groups of all different kinds. For example there are weight loss groups, healthy sleep groups, and healthy eating groups. There are also groups in the major cities like Chicago, NYC, Sacramento, etc. So many options!

One more thing. The Fitbit actually detaches from the wrist band to charge which also means that I can get other fun bands!

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Overall, I would definitely recommend this Fitbit to a friend. It is perfect for me, and how I want to use it.

Here is the one that I bought from Amazon. I got it in a size large. I have pretty small wrists, but I wear it comfortably on the first hole.

Have a good Wednesday friends!

 

 

Life Flies By

Happy late Friday night! Well, I am FINISHED with my classes. I have finished high school. Eep!! I took my last final (Econ, bleh) yesterday *I had a window seat, and it was raining, and the curtain was open, and it was great* I think my finals went pretty well, but I will get all of my grades by next Wednesday.

I can’t even put into words how happy I am to be done with this part of my schooling career. Just…well…15 more years minimum. >4 years undergrad (at Albion College!), 4 years of med school, 5 years of general surgery residency, and 2 years of pediatric surgery fellowship< That’s my plan for now at least.

So here’s a picture from the beginning of finals week…

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If I look exhausted…it’s because I was

And a picture from the end of finals…

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#treatyourself

 

This morning, I was super lazy and watched TV all morning before I had to venture out into the down pour to go volunteer at the hospital. But it’s okay because I haven’t done that (well at least guilt free) for awhile. Starting Monday, I have A LOT to do, at least it feels that way.

Let’s see…finish Albion placement tests, schedule out some blog posts and *hopefully* get some written, clean my room, organize all my school stuff from the last four years, clean out my clothes and see what I need to get, make a college supply list…

Okay, okay that’s not all happening on Monday, thank goodness. But I do feel like I need to get it all down on paper and really organize it in my mind to see what I need to get done this summer. I am also really excited to be able to workout consistently now that school is done. That should feel good.

Even though I have finished my classes, I have to wait until June 3rd to graduate. Oh! That brings a whole other list of things I have to work on: plan decorations for grad party, find dress for graduation, plan food for party, finish learning my piano pieces for my senior recital.

So yes, I will probably be just as busy if not more than when I was in school, but I love, love, love this kind of stuff so I am ready to get started!! Also, it has been raining almost nonstop for the last two days and is supposed to keep raining the entire weekend. IT’S PERFECT!!!

Also (final “also”, I promise), I wanted to say congratulations to my cousin who graduated from college today!! (Even though he doesn’t read this:D)

Have a safe weekend, friends ❤

 

When the computer doesn’t work…

So this is a Happy Easter, 18th birthday, almost finals week kind of post.

The weather was beautiful for Easter! It was one of the first really nice days we had had in awhile so we were able to wear dresses…without the sweaters!! 😉 I had pictures to put up which would have made this more interesting, but for some reason they aren’t uploading…oh well.

I turned 18! Again, I had pictures, but my laptop has a mind of its own sometimes. If I can get it to work, I’ll put them up at some point. But anyway, my dad got me a beautiful locket! And my mom got tickets for us, my sister, and Noni to go see Julianne and Derek Hough on their tour!! I am beyond excited 🙂

And this is my last week of real classes, next week is finals. So I am pretty sure that we have learned all the new material and now it’s just all review. It’s crazy to think that in two weeks I’ll be done with high school! And in just over a month, I will officially be graduated!

Now to get through those finals…

DSP- Part 3: My final college decision!

 

Hi friends and happy Friday! Today, I have my final college decision for you. I wrote about my weekend at Albion college this week. Monday I posted about my day in general and Wednesday, I posted about the other sessions I went to. Go check them out!

That day was one of the biggest factors in my final decision. Everyone made me feel so welcome and at home. I learned about all of the amazing opportunities offered to me, and I feel like I will fit right in.

Needless to say, I have officially committed to Albion College! Class of 2021.

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#Albion2021

 

Here are the areas that I want to get involved in:

  • Honors program
  • Gerstacker institute
  • Healthcare institute
  • Equestrian team (either western or hunt seat)
  • Christian campus ministry
  • Greek life (sorority)
  • and other student organizations/clubs

 

My major: exercise science

My minor: ???

My track: premed, with plans of going to medical school and becoming a physician (right now, I want to be a pediatric surgeon, neonatologist, or Ob/Gyn)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people in my class, making friends and finding potential roommates. I have 9 weeks left of high school. Eep! I want to enjoy this as much as I can and get the best grades possible.

Senioritis is a real thing guys:p

But it’s Friday, I’m finishing up my Spring Break, so I’ll be back at it again come Monday.

#GoBrits!

Distinguished Honors Program- Part 1

Hi all:)

Last weekend I made the trip with my momma to Albion College in Michigan. I went up there to compete in their Distinguished Honors Program (DSP). You can read more about it by following the link, but basically I was invited up there to present on a topic of my choosing for 15 minutes in front of a couple faculty members. The faculty then had 15 minutes to ask me questions about my presentation, why I chose the topic I did, and other questions about me personally (present and future plans).

I chose to present on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I talked about the historical significance of SIDS, the official definition, common factors and precautions, first responders, how it affects parents, and why I chose to present on this.

I was SO nervous. I was sick to my stomach and dizzy and had a dry mouth leading up to my presentation, but I had to sit through several sessions and an informal interview before I could present. It was a long day of waiting:)

When I first got invited to participate, I absolutely did not want to do it. I didn’t want to speak in front of professors and I didn’t want to take that much time to prepare for it. I am glad that I did it though. I had so much fun that day during the other sessions and especially during my presentation.

I was competing for a full tuition scholarship. Sadly, I just found out today that I didn’t win the scholarship, but I did receive a money voucher called an “experience voucher” that I can use on studying abroad, conferences, and other Albion related expenses that aren’t necessarily a college expense. I wish that I had won, but it’s okay, I had fun doing it and that day was important.

I have more to say, but I decided to break it up into three different posts. SO, I’ll talk more about those sessions that I went to later this week! Happy Monday, friends:)

 

Just the Beginning

Today I had my first cadaver lab! It was one of the best experiences I have had in school so far. I am starting to feel like a pre-med student!

Speaking of pre-med…I scheduled my classes for next semester:

*Physics
*Pre-calculus
*Anatomy & physiology II

=12 credit hours

I am excited to be taking ALL math and science. However, I had previously told myself that I would NOT take a math class in the spring OR an 8am class…I am taking both of those (A&P is the 8am).

I know it will be a heavy load, but I’m ready for it, and it could always be worse! And this is just the beginning of my many years of science classes 😀

(Oh, and it’s raining. So cadaver lab + scheduling classes + rainy night=perfect day.)

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Cuddle in and enjoy your night! I’m off to watch Dancing With the Stars<3

Purdue University: College Visit #7

Happy Tuesday to you all! I have been meaning to write this post for several days, and I am just now getting around to it:) A few weeks ago, I think I mentioned this, I visited my friend at Purdue. It was just supposed to be a “friend trip”, but…I ended up loving the school itself…for a lot of reasons, but most importantly, it seems to have almost everything I love about all my other schools. Before I looked into Purdue, I wished that I could find a school that had every aspect I was looking for, and in came Purdue.

Things I loved:

  1. Equestrian team
  2. Renowned biological sciences department
  3. Variety of biology majors
  4. Big school (it’s Big10)
  5. Quaint college town
  6. Football (and other sports)
  7. Close to Indianapolis (!)

Things I didn’t love:

  1. Not a big city like Indi or Columbus or Chicago

I really can’t think of things that I didn’t like about Purdue…if I think of anything, I’ll add it:)

Also a bonus but not completely reasons to go here:

  1. My friend Megan is a student
  2. My friend Heather is also applying (potential roommate…!!)
  3. The honors dorms are brand new and feel like a hotel 😀

I applied a now I just have to wait for a decision! Not sure when they come out though.

I had an amazing visit with Heather and Megan, and now I just miss them more:)

 

 

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We were in camp mode: no makeup, no doing hair 😀

 

And then I came home and had a fun visit with Aunt Emily and Phil and celebrating Noni’s birthday.

So I have applied to all the schools on my list: Purdue, Albion, BGSU, OSU, Wittenberg, Butler, Hope, UChicago. I decided to apply to UChicago because it does offer me a lot, and I liked the school when I visited. The only reason I didn’t want to apply at first was because I didn’t think I could get in with my ACT score–>which is NOT a good reason, ha ha.

In other college news, I’ve been accepted to Albion as well!!!! I couldn’t believe it when I got the letter. I actually got home from Purdue and found it in the mailbox. That is the best thing to come home to after a long, sleepy drive. Three decisions in, five more to go.

In A&P we are learning all of the muscles. We just finished all of the bones and bony landmarks/muscle and nervous tissue. Now we are onto the muscles and nerves and joints. In two weeks, we get to take a trip to the cadaver lab! My friend and I can’t wait for that.

It’s just another week of school–45 days to go!

 

Albion College: College Visit #6

Happy Saturday! This is just a quick post today.

This is the college where I attended Camp Med back in June. Some key highlights of Albion:

  1. Equestrian team
  2. outstanding pre-med advisors
  3. comfortable campus
  4. liberal arts

Some things I didn’t enjoy:

  1. Not near a city per se
  2. small
  3. does not have a church near by

Albion is also an amazing school–academics, students, faculty. Not much I can say against it. One of the biggest draws is their equestrian team.

Albion and Hope are similar in size and academics. I am not sure which I would choose between the two.

Right now, I am really considering if I want small vs. big, urban vs. rural, state vs. private. Every school has its pros and cons. Do I want to go to a state school in Ohio and graduate almost two years early using my CCP credits? Is it worth it to go out of state for four years instead? There are arguments for both. Money and time…

I am not making any decisions now. I’m waiting for all of my decisions to come out and then the financial aid packages before I set my heart on one particular school. Of course, I have a school that comes out on top when I consider my options, but that school has changed several times in the last few months, so I won’t say it now. I have a lot to think about. Quite honestly I would be happy to go to any school on my list: OSU, BGSU, Wittenberg University, Butler University, Albion College, and Hope College. All have strong academics, inviting campuses, close to home, encouraging faculty. It will be a hard decision to make in the end:)

That’s all for now!

Hope College: College Visit #5

Here is the next college visit post promised from yesterday. I made a visit to Hope College in Holland, Michigan several weekends ago. This was my first overnight visit, and I FELL IN LOVE with yet another college.

Despite having to park half a mile away from the admissions office (and making that trek countless times…), sore feet, a dying phone, eating lunch alone, and being low-key sick…it was a successful visit. I was able to talk with faculty in the kinesiology department, take a tour, and then stay overnight with student hosts.

My talk that I had with the kinesiology professor…I found out that at Hope I can no longer major in Athletic Training as a pre-med student (which was my plan). The athletic training gods in the sky have deemed it right to require that students go to grad school in order to become certified athletic trainers. Previously, students could get certified with a bachelors degree in Athletic Training. This rule takes effect in 7 or 8 years, but Hope is implementing it now to make it easier on their students in the long run. So I realized that I would have to major in exercise science in order to get the courses in anatomy and physiology and nutrition and such that I was looking for when I was considering athletic training. After I came to that realization, I had to then decide (or rather start the process of deciding) if an MD was in my future or athletic training instead. Obviously, I still have plenty of time to make that decision…however I am leaning towards majoring in Bio or Chem as a pre-med student and still pursue that medical degree and become a doctor.

Overnight visit…I had an amazing visit with these girls. There were three of them in a triple dorm, all sophomores and all friends from the previous year. They were all science majors too. They were the sweetest girls and took time to talk about school and life and answer my questions. They had a big group of friends that were all in a “science majors dorm” last year so there were a few extra girls that hung out with us for the weekend. They took me to downtown Holland (super cute!! Lots of shops, cobblestone streets…). We went to a volleyball game (I can’t remember who won…) We watched a movie and ate popcorn and made a late night donut run to a kind of sketchy donut shop on the edge of campus (a Hope College must-d0). Oh and we ate cereal for dinner (after eating being responsible and eating real food:)

Okay, on to the college itself…it is a small, Christian, liberal arts college about 10 minutes away from Lake Michigan. I found the people to be welcoming and friendly. The academics are high quality. The campus is beautiful with gorgeous facilities. Students are engaged with each other and their professors. Fun fact: the president of the college and his wife live in a house in the middle of campus. Actually live there! And they have fun events like donuts and cider on their back porch. Or the president will email students and invite them for dinner. Or his wife will invite students to bake cookies with her. How cool is that?!

So Hope is definitely high on my list, and I can see myself as a student there. I have successfully applied, and I should get my decision the week of Thanksgiving!