Bailing on Canada | Estherville & Okoboji 2k18

Long time with no writing! I was hoping to update my blog as much as possible over my vacation spent with family when my parents went to Canada, but we got to be so busy that it made it a lot harder. But I took tons of pictures, so I'm thrilled to recap this now!

I got home yesterday and just finished unpacking a little bit ago (as of 3:44 from June 23, 2018). I had quite the amount of bags to unpack: when I left, I had brought five bags. Yeah, I know that sounds like a lot, but since my mom was bringing her huge suitcase that I normally take for all of my clothes, I ended up bringing three bags of clothes. Yes, I brought the whole summer portion of my closet, and I'm glad I did: I was able to wear a new outfit everyday, haha! And I made Grandma take a picture of me everyday so I can post them all like the wannabe fashion blogger I am! Haha just kidding, but I am saving them for a future blog post on modesty.

I did only end up bringing one bag for my entertainment type things, and for once I brought only the bare minimum for those. So it all balanced out. And then my fifth bag was just my purse, so I don't know if that really counts. I ended up coming home with NINE bags though, but that's because they were smaller bags of things I bought that wouldn't fit anywhere else. I got a lot of good deals and things I bought that I'll go over, too!

First things first, my parents and brother went up to Canada with some friends, and it sounds like they had a good time! I already recapped our first trip to Canada as a family here, here, and here. I never did post our second trip, which was last year, and honestly that's because it wasn't too interesting on my end at least. I determined the fishing life isn't my life, so I mainly stayed at the cabin and read. Canada was still beautiful, though, and I did have pictures that I never posted, so I'll show you them below here:

*we went to Cabela's on the way up, Tobie's with amazing donuts, and attempted to feed deer
**Hunter caught a huge fish right off our dock when our parents were out fishing, so I helped him but he had most of it done himself, and then these guys in the cabin next to us had just come back from fishing and helped us store the fish—it's mounted in his room now
***on the way home, I got Arby's and went by the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild


I already miss everyone and Estherville so much I could cry. It's always a blast, and I'm already making plans to go up again. I blogged some images of my first day there here. I went up to Estherville to stay with my grandparents a couple days before my family left for Canada. They were spending the night at my uncle's house, also, so I would have a few days to talk to them before they had to battle finding an internet connection. I had fun just hanging out with my grandparents and making the rounds at ShopKo and Dollar General.

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I had ordered some jeans from American Eagle that (finally!) came back in stock, so as soon as Mom and I saw that, we jumped on them and bought them and had them shipped up to Estherville because I would be up there when they came. Also about that swimsuit, that didn't get shipped until after we left to see our relatives up in the Cities, so I hope nobody has stolen it or the elements haven't destroyed it...because I guess Estherville is drowning right now with all the rain...

That night we made it a goal to walk down on their recreational trail everyday, so we headed down.

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This is random, but I was kind of proud of myself because I made it a goal to shower every single day I was up there (because normally when I'm up there I slack off and then always regret it because I have greasy hair in all of my pictures), and so I actually did that, AND I actually rotated through both of my shampoos I'm supposed to be using every other day, so yeah, now if I can just get that disciplined with my writing, Bible study, and fitness routines we'll be good.... I also had had horrible drainage for the majority of my time up there, but it got better with each day, and I had to take these horrible pills that tasted disgusting on your tongue, and they were so big that I about gagged on one of them each time I took them. Ugh. Good memories.

The next day, I went for a bike ride with my Gramps. It was cool in the mornings with a faint breeze, and since I wore an airy top it was bearable. We didn't get to ride bikes much later though due to the humidity and high temperatures. But we went on an extensive ride that day, clear down by the hospital and then headed south down by this church that always greets us upon coming into town. Then we had to find a place to cross the busy highway that goes through downtown, and it was uphill from there. We were definitely shot after that, but I loved it.

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He also took me for our truck ride!! No visit to Estherville is complete without one of those.

Grams also took me on some rides out to Fort Defiance, and I love being able to talk with her on those.

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My older cousin Kirsten who I'm super close to and who feels like more of an older sister than a cousin called us frequently, which is always fun getting to talk to her, especially past midnight when Grams is ready to kill us both. ;D

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We also went to their VFW to talk with some extended relatives. I enjoyed the company of everyone and was glad I put on that long-sleeved shirt, which Grandma nagged me to change into because it was freezing.

Hey look... It's me with Grandma in her signature pose, on the phone. ;) <3

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All the small town vibes <3

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My family also recently introduced me to Forrest Gump, and oh my gosh, that just may be one of my next favorite movies. So Grams and I watched it at night and only finished it in three days, haha. That's because she was too tired the one night and then too busy on the phone the next, haha.

The next day, we headed over to Spencer because Gramps got his windshield destroyed when a rock hit it when he was going to pick up Grandma after her trip. It turns out they ordered the wrong one, which he was not at all happy about, but we at least got to go shopping down at their little strip mall. It had rained heavily the night before, and thankfully we got back before more storms came, because Grandpa said that if it hailed on his car with all of the damage it already had he was going to drive it off a cliff... ;D

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I went into JCPenney with Grandma, and I found two new summer tops that were both up to 70% off! The material also felt really nice, too, and not at all cheap. Then we went to Hobby Lobby, a store Grandpa and Grandma love that I do also now, and their girly room decor took my breath away! I think it was supposed to be marketed at five year old girls, so I guess I'm still five...? I don't know, but I absolutely loved it.

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Then at Hobby Lobby, I got this frame for my room. It's hard to see completely what it says because I haven't taken the packaging off of it yet, but it says "Live big little girl." I liked that a lot, even though I don't know if I'm so little anymore, but I probably act like one with all of my far fetched dreams and fantasies. ;)

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We did our nightly walk again, and I believe we also went to the Dollar General again. I can't remember what day this was, but on one day Grandma had to go to the Dollar Store so many times—I think five, no lie—and Gramps was so exasperated, he was like, we should move it to our front yard. ;D

Here I'm under the bridge that goes over the trail downtown. It has a weird echo, and every time we walk underneath it I morbidly wonder about it collapsing on us... I'm sure it's fine though, and it is definitely different to walk underneath it, but I like it. The trail is a blast to walk on and so is the Swinging Bridge.

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The next morning I bought six donuts at Casey's because they had some deal going for that. And I ate all six of them over the span of two days. My diet is so good, you guys. I don't even know what to do about it, except keep eating. :D

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I actually did do some sporadic writing on my book, and there were some times just driving around the town, under the perfect sunset, that my heart seemed to just swell with the story and the themes and the thoughts I had that I just can't get over until I write about. If that's not motivation to write, I don't know what is. So I am going to seriously start working on it.

We went to the library later just to look around. I wanted to get a feel for the young adult books, to get an idea of any I might want to buy. I am SO picky about the books I read anymore because they are all so redundant—especially YA. As if teenagers can't handle any deep things of substance. And sometimes they will put deep problems in the books, but you know what is always missing? DEEP THEMES. I don't know if I was in the best of moods after reading all the summaries, haha. I have such a deep desire to make my stories different from the norms, but who knows if that even sells? Even most of Christian fiction is repetitive and fluffy: sure, they give their characters problems—that are all miraculously solved. It's annoying because it's not authentic.

But anyway, enough on that rant. I LOVE their library. While ours is more modern and sleek, theirs is more classic and timeless. I think I like their look more to be honest.

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They also have the best furniture and these cute tables that I loved. I also like how theirs is two stories. The library gives such a fancy addition to the downtown.

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I got to go eat out with Grams at Godfather's again, and then we hurried home to see company and had some nice chats. I always love being able to talk deep with her though. 

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Their town is so pretty, I love committing it to memory. <3

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I did stay up late working on the draft of a letter to you know who that I've been promising on here, but it got late and you know how Grandma gets when it's "too late," and then we went to meet my cousin Kirsten the next day (yay!!!) so I never got time to finish it up there. I will eventually, though.

For a year, Kirsten and I had been planning to go jet skiing over at Okoboji, and we had set money aside to rent one. We also had other plans to do things, and we got mostly everything we wanted to done. Both of us had just recently bought leather jackets, so we wanted to get tons of pictures together. We made poor Grams come out with us to the Swinging Bridge where we bossed her around with different photography commands. I'm sure she was close to throwing us off the bridge, but we made sure to thank her profusely, especially since she actually got quite the batch of good pics haha!

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Then we made Grams take us out to Fort Defiance, too. :)

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We had some downright hilarious photos as we attempted to get this one:

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Kirsten requested that we eat at Godfather's, which of course I wasn't going to deny just because I ate out the night before. We were rowdy when we arrived—we were the only ones there—haha. And then when we went to ShopKo, Kirsten yelled "I gotta go pee!" a little too loud, right by a worker, haha. Memories. Since I'd gotten pizza the night before at Godfather's, I decided to try their chicken. It was so much better than what I remembered it to be; I loved it.

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Kirsten and I also went for a bike ride around the neighborhood.

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We brought Kirsten with on our nightly walks and of course made Grams take more pictures.

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That night we did our nails, and I finally used some of my polish from my large collection of nail polish I've neglected since 6th grade (right Mom?). It was a blast, except I'm so slow and messy when it comes to doing my nails. I need to do it more often.

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We stayed up until three something talking about everything: guys we like and our types of guys, inside jokes, deep questions that are going into my book, psychology, creepy stories, our memories, etc. I love having someone like her to talk to.

The next day was going to be the day we had planned for: jet skiing at 'Boji and all the fun things around there! There was a place to rent a jet ski just off of Arnold's Park. We wanted that so we could have something as a landmark so we didn't get lost out in the lake haha.

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Jet skiing was so awesome. Seriously. It affirmed my dreams to live on a lake and get a bunch of toys for the water, a jet ski now being top of the list. We didn't venture too far away, but we did go out to the center of West Lake Okoboji. Maybe if we're braver next time we'll go under the bridge that we drive over coming into Spirit Lake like we saw some other people on jet skis do. :) We also couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a blistering hot day, but honestly, those are the days you want because the water is cold if not, and the coolness of the water on your skin is that much more refreshing when you're out there. Plus, you do get WET, as we found out, so if it's hotter outside you dry off faster.

We rented a jet ski for half an hour, and I made Kirsten drive. ;) I think she was worried about it, but she did a great job. We rode it as fast as we could (only like 7 mph...for some reason I thought they could go up to 70 like a car and I have no idea why I thought that haha). She was also smart about her driving, too, though, because the last thing we wanted was to tip over! And there were some solid waves out there because it's a very populated lake. We made sure to slow down for those, but I absolutely loved each second of it. I let my arms dangle around Kirsten's waist and made sure I stayed snug against her so that I wouldn't fly off, but I really think that's harder than one imagines. Both of us agreed we would do it again, and hopefully we can! We didn't think we would get as wet as we did but wore a spare change of clothes just in case, and I'm glad we did. The water temperature was just right: my bare feet were getting scorched as we walked down to the jet ski, but letting my feet rest on the sides of it where the water collected felt amazing. Kirsten took the brunt of the splashing waves, haha, while I ducked behind her. But being the back, water would spray up from behind and splash me, too. I absolutely loved it. I wish we would have gotten more pictures of us on it, or that we had a Go Pro. We both agreed that if we ever become rich like a lot of the people over here, the first investment we're going to make is a photographer who can follow us around and take pictures, haha. :D

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At first we didn't know if we'd be able to get to go jet skiing but had a backup plan of going canoeing if not. I'm so thankful we got to go jet skiing though. I'm very thankful that God blessed us with those moments together. For years we've driven over the lakes, and I've watched as all of the people had their fun on the lakes, and so it was really special to finally be able to get to be a part of that. I hope we can do something like that again next year, and who knows, maybe one day I will make my dream come true of having a lake house on 'Boji. ;)

Okay, then there were these pictures when we were done that Grams took. They crack me up. I just love how our movements are completely identical to each other—in this picture we look like zombies or something, and then Kirsten has an even better one of us where we're looking over to the side and we LITERALLY look like the real BigFoot. Yeah, I can see that one: two BigFoots spotted live in action on the coast of Arnold's Park.

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The lake life in 'Boji? Heck yes. Canada? Sorry, but I had my two years and was more than ready for this change of pace. ;)

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We went into a nearby restroom to change into drier, fancier clothes. And then got pictures!!! Duh.

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They've been making some new changes to the park, which look awesome. I thought it would've changed in appearance a lot more than it has, but I'm okay with that because I wouldn't want the look to be unrecognizable. But Kirsten and I went walking through all of the shops, and there was this new museum for rock and roll and a new fun area with this huge slide we might try one day haha. Then up at the Emporium, they have a brand new Lilly Pulitzer store. OH, MY GOSH. I died, because I've always admired Lilly Pulitzer from afar and wish I had the budget to splurge on their clothes. The shop was so cute, and I found two tops easily I would've loved, each only $100! Not. I totally don't have a budget for that right now, but maybe one day... Nonetheless, I'm glad they have the store; it's adorable.

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We also did the free Mirror Maze and Tipsy House inside the park, which are always fun. We got gum balls from the golf course I've always wanted to golf at and even won a yellow gum ball, which means a free round for one person to golf there! So then we made Grams take this picture, too:

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We went to go eat at the Spirit Lake Dairy Queen (it never fails). Originally we had wanted to eat at a restaurant on the lake, but they were unbelievably crowded. Kirsten and I tried to check out one, and you could barely walk.

We actually got Gramps to go mini golfing in the park with us! Since it was Father's Day, he got to go free. It was actually way cheaper than I expected it to be but very crowded. It wasn't horrible though. I really enjoyed it, except it got a bit long after awhile especially with the heat. Every once in awhile there was a breeze. Ha, actually there was a breeze a lot, because our balls kept going all over the place, and Kirsten's and my hair kept flying everywhere during pictures. It was fun though, and I'm glad we got to do it. Grams kept score for us; I don't think golf is her thing. We always joke with Gramps about mini golf because a long time ago he went mini golfing, got mad, and hit the ball clear over the highway! Normally that's how I feel because we went mini golfing the year before, and I did absolutely horrible. Gramps beat us by a lot, and Kirsten and I almost tied for last, but Kirsten lost by a couple more points. Kirsten's ball really liked her: it kept coming back down the hill to the starting point hahaha.

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Gramps also took us for truck rides, too, which we enjoy. We went on the Swinging Bridge again, too.

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On a ride around town, the sunlight peeking through the clouds was an awesome sight:

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Kirsten wanted to watch Forrest Gump with me since it had been years since she'd seen it, so I was more than happy to because I'm obsessed with it! We stole some of Grandma's M&M's from her food she was saving for circle at church the next day, and I sprinkled them on my popcorn. We paused the movie for awhile though to talk with Grams, which I loved. Kir and I had some honest talks that I loved getting to talk with her over, like our unfiltered, raw thoughts on different types of people. It felt good to be able to connect like that. You know, the more I think about how lonely I feel, what God has lain on my heart is that I'm not as alone as I thought. At school, yes, and in my faith, yes. But He knows how to send just the right people, like my cousins. Getting to talk with Kirsten is like getting to talk with the older sister I wish I had or the best friend I've been wanting. I appreciate that so much. I also love that we can have our own inside jokes, jokes that are better off not told with Grams in the room...haha. :)

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The next day, Grandma had to lead circle for church. We were planning to go to Spirit Lake afterwards just to check out Walmart. Kir and I went for a bike ride while we were waiting. Grams had to be at church early to get ready, and the route we took led us by the church, and we saw her car. So we were like, let's stop and say hi! So we did. The church was quiet and black, with hardly any lights on. Kirsten and I were trying to find her, but we couldn't. Evidently she was outside and then tried to hide from us with one of her friends. It was funny. Their church is decorated really nice. What was even FUNNIER, though, is what happened a half hour after Grams said it would be over. We wanted to hurry and get over to Spirit Lake because Kirsten wanted to check out a consignment shop that would be closing soon, so we decided to walk down to the church since it wasn't that far away. On our way over there, I made the comment that what if Grams drives right by us? We were hoping we could find her and then just get a ride back.

We got down by where the church was, and then Kirsten and I couldn't remember which road it was we took that led us to the front of the church. We started down one road, but then we realized that it would probably take us by the back of the church, so we'd have to walk around. I told her to keep her eyes peeled for Grandma, just in case. Then all of a sudden from the road over a block, I see her driving by. I quickly yell to Kirsten that that's her, so we actually RAN to the end of our road to go meet her. Mind you, Kirsten and I do not RUN, and we were certainly not dressed in running attire. We must have been a sight: running as fast as we possibly could right down the middle of the road, waving our arms and yelling. And Grandma? We watch as she drives right by us, not even slowing down. Kir and I were exhausted, and then we had to walk all the way home. Haha, good times...

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Shortly after we made our way over to Walmart in Spirit Lake. I sucked on gum balls that we got from trying to get a bunch of yellow ones for mini golfing, haha. Mom says this looks like my tongue. Yeah, I wish I had a pink tongue, that'd be interesting.

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I think Kir was kind of disappointed in their Okoboji clothing selection. I stayed by her to help her pick something out, but she couldn't find anything really. Then we went to the makeup section together and talked about some of our fave makeup brands and which ones we haven't found to be the best. We really waned to look at the nail polish in particular. When we did our nails, I had let Kirsten borrow a gold color I had, and so she wanted to find one like mine. We also wanted to find a rose gold color, and I wanted a bright neon pink color. She found her gold, and I found my colors, too. Then we did self checkout, which I just LOVE.

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It was our last night to walk, so we enjoyed doing that together. Grandpa would always drive us down and drop us off by the Rock Garden, where the trail begins, and then he parks down by the Swinging Bridge.

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We finished watching our movie, and Kirsten and I got preoccupied making food Instagram accounts. It was her idea; we decided that since we have so many pictures of our food, we should make accounts for them, haha. You can follow mine here!

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After that we had to take Kirsten back. :( The time with her flew; I wish we had a lot more. The three of us, my grandparents and me, were headed to the Twin Cities to see relatives. My other older cousin, Amanda, just graduated this year, so we were going to help them get ready for her graduation party. I am also very close to Amanda like I am Kirsten. I love getting to talk with her, too. We had a blast together and got to do everything we wanted to do. On the way up, Kirsten wanted a donut from Casey's, so we got an awesome breakfast.

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When we made it up there, Amanda and I convinced Grandpa to take us to Marshall's. Kirsten introduced me to that store last year, which is a store with expensive stuff for really cheap. I got this plain black tee I'd been needing from Ralph Lauren for half its original price.

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We had Wendy's for supper, one of Gramps' faves. He also likes Hardee's, and when we were back in Estherville, I introduced him to their shakes, which he didn't even know they had.

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Amanda and I had fun going on Pinterest looking up pins of hot guys, looking through her collection of books, and bugging Grams by keeping her up until two thirty. On our first full day, we decided to go to Barnes and Noble, our favorite.

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Afterwards we went to a nearby mall and checked out some stores. I got a few things there that were on sale from my fave store, though not as much as I thought. So I had a lot of money left over, even after buying three books. They also had the cutest puppies there in a pet store!! We had been to this mall last year, and I fell in love with them then. I wish they would let you hold them...

Two out of three books I got I liked. One was from a series I had already read and loved, but I wanted to buy it for myself. Another was the first book in a series by an author I loved because of their other previous series. And that series is actually being made into a movie on Netflix, and I'm already cringing over it. I've never read books first and then had movies made after them. Usually I see movies first, and then I go read the books. I know some people think that's weird, but my reasoning is that I can't stand it to go to all that work visualizing people in my head and having everything ruined by the movie. Which is happening with this! I was telling one of my older friends this clear back in December when I saw who they had got casted for all the people. They're, like, slaughtering everyone in my head. There's supposed to be this boy in the books who's like your stereotypical hot guy, right? And the actor they got to play him, oh my gosh, I just can't. I love his hair, but that's it. It just goes downhill from there. And then there's supposed to be this nerdy guy who's also supposed to be cute that the girl likes, and the actor they got for him literally looks like he has the face of a five year old. I know that sounds awful, but I'm serious. I had to do a double take when I saw him, like what character is he even playing?! And then there's supposed to be your boy next door guy who's supposed to just be average looking...and he's hotter than all of them combined. It's a mess. But I'm going to watch it anyway, and probably cry over the fact that the boy next door is cuter than supposed hot guy. You just don't make that mistake. It's unforgivable.

Anyway, that's super off topic. The last book was a new one I had bought, over a girl with mental illness and who meets this cute neighbor. I already had my concerns about it because I absolutely hate it when there's someone with a ton of problems and then someone else comes in to save the day. It actually wasn't like that though, it was way too slow and almost didn't even have a plot I thought. But you know, being a writer, I don't think reading a book is ever wasted, even if I didn't like it. A) It still helps that I'm reading, no matter if I like it or not. It's good practice. B) If I don't like a story, that helps me narrow down what I want to write about. Like okay, I wanted to read this book about forgiveness, but I felt they didn't dig in deep enough, so in my book I'll go way deeper, for example. The more I read, the more I want to write. This sounds bad, but I think it's because I honestly don't like the way books are wrote anymore. Like I mentioned earlier, they are all the same thing practically. It inspires me to write my own books, books that are diverse and interesting and authentic and deep. I really do need to get writing, I miss it so much.

I still have a blast reading, though. Amanda and I were holed up in her room, me sitting on the bed or floor with a blanket and her on the opposite end reading on her phone. I finished all three books in the two full days we were there. It was so much fun; it gives me so much joy. Then with my leftover money (and her family gave me money as a late birthday gift, thank you!!!), I bought five+ new books on Amazon last night because they're much cheaper on there, so you can buy more. I can't wait. I wish they would come sooner.

We also went with Grandma to the store, and Amanda and I were just a little embarrassed when we were checking out, and they tell us that you can get another box of donut holes free since we bought one. We were already done checking out, so Amanda and I said to just forget it, but Grams goes running back to get one, and then we're just left standing there when someone is supposed to pay... The guy behind us made some joke about how he would have bought them too or something. It was amusing.

On our last full day, we went to Target. I bought this planner I needed for next year, for $16... It was pretty and thick with lots of space to take notes and places to record specific times, which my old planner didn't have. However, I'm that girl who uses a planner diligently for the first few months until gradually by the end of the year I don't use it at all. So I hope this doesn't happen with this one. But $16, that may be motivation to not slack off...

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That night we went walking down to Walgreens together with Grams. By their busy road and everything...

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That night, Kirsten called Grandma, and Amanda and I put her on speaker so that all three of us could talk. Honestly, how do you even describe the warm feelings you get in your heart from moments like that? From being understood and just getting to goof around over inside jokes and everything? They're like the best friends I don't have, and I'm so thankful God has put them in my life.

The last day, my family came home from Canada and was going to stop and visit with their family for awhile. The visit was really nice, and I enjoyed getting to see everyone. The week flew by, but it was a great start to my summer.

On the way home, I was heading back with my family. Going through the Cities, we passed this big, sleek building that had to do with neuroscience. Sometimes I am filled with a sense of longing as I contemplate where I'll be in my future. I don't know why, but sometimes I think of myself dressing professionally, working in a big city in a pristine building like that. It's probably a shallow desire—after all, that's the American dream, and I hate to be one of those people who wants the cliche things everyone else does. But only God knows, and if I can give Him glory through a position like that, then I'll do it. More Christians need to be in positions like that, and I'd be more than willing to do it.

Here is back in Iowa... Man, I do love my state, though. I have a hard time thinking that I'll move away from it, but I know that all depends on jobs, my future family, etc. But no matter where I end up, I'll be thankful I was raised here.

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My dad picked out a souvenir for me from Canada. I never did get a souvenir from Canada when I was up there because I never found anything that really caught my eye. However, what Dad got me far exceeded my expectations. I don't think I could've asked for anything better. This pretty dreamcatcher is a representation of the Native American culture up there, and it's so gorgeous that it will definitely be used as a decoration in my room.

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I am so thankful for these memories. It has been the perfect boost to my mood after freshman year. I regret spending the better half of freshman year being such a baby about things and letting myself develop mindsets I never wanted to have. But I am so thankful that God is faithful and that He never gives up on me. I hope I can get right with Him this summer, too, back into the healthy thought patterns He's helped me have. And I know He will. I had to do a lot of growing up during 9th grade, but I'm thankful for that. Looking back on it all, it was worth it.

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Ontario, Canada Adventures #3: Getting Stuck, Kayaking, Etc.

This will be the LAST post (first post and second post) over our trip to Canada :( It was a lot of fun! We'll be going back again sometime, though! For the last few days, I have some FUN things to tell you about based on the post title...

The next day it was raining, and we decided to go to a nearby town and check it out. We hoped to see a moose but had no such luck.

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But we did see a waterfall!!!

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I also finished Disappoint with God. Remind me to do a blog post over more Christian books I've read and loved. I also have really big news about one of the goals I completed, and I'll get to it in one of my devotions. Also, if you think I said I was going to do that devotional but now am backing out, I'm not. I've just been taking some time to brainstorm devotion ideas and the content I want to put in them. I will start releasing them soon!!

Anyway, Dad and Mom went out by themselves, and Hunter and I played Sorry. I'm pretty sure I won.

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Mom and I went for some walks while Dad and Hunter cleaned fish.

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The next day I decided to go fishing again.

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The next day I went out again because we were going to a new lake.

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This time I brought something to do when I was bored - writing! The boys are passionate about fishing; I'm passionate about writing, so I worked on writing for a series I'm going to eventually do.

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So, about getting stuck... We tried going through this little entrance to this one place, and the entrance was maybe not even 7 feet wide, and there was mud and these weeds everywhere....

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That was intense as we tried not to get stuck in there.

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FUNNN TIMESSS.

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We made it, though.

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#trendsetter

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On our last day, just Dad and I went fishing and caught some pretty big fish.

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Then Hunter and I got to go KAYAKING, which was one of my summer goals!

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I thought that kayaking would be hard and that I'd fall out, but Hunter tried it while I was fishing and told me it's a lot of fun, and you don't tip over easily. He was right. I only tipped over three times. ;) Jk we had a lot of fun doing that. I might just do that the entire time next time we're in Canada! Also, our canoeing lessons in PE really paid off haha, or I wouldn't have known what to do. ;)

Well one hour of sleep later we had to get up and go home. Waking up at four o'clock. That was awful. Absolutely awful. STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT IT. This picture was like the only good thing that came out of that.

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Good bye, lodge!

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I went right back into my healthy eating ways.

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We drove all the way home, all 12 hours. Surprisingly it didn't feel that long. I was just happy I had my data back ;) We also picked up Willard!

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I loved our family trip. It was nice getting away and having fun together. I also had lots of time to read my Bible and that book and write and all that good stuff. I definitely can't wait to do it again. And I do believe in the power of prayer. Not everything worked out perfectly, but God got us through anyway. Thanks for following along!

Ontario, Canada Adventures #2: Fishing and Southerns

Fishing

This is pretty much what the entire rest of the week consisted of. But it was fun! Yes, I enjoyed being woke up at eight or earlier in the morning. I actually did enjoy fishing, though. I definitely am not as crazy about fishing as Hunter or Dad, and after the first two days of it, I opted for relaxing in the cabin and trying to get the internet to work.*

*You know what, I can live without the internet, so don't even go there people. I wrote a lot, and I read DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD. See, meaningful things. But you never know if something will work until you try every two minutes, right? Right?! I was just dedicated, okay...

I got woke up way too early. I don't even remember when. It was just too early. In the summertime, I don't get up until 10am+. But do people respect that? NO. Anyway, Hunter was already yapping about catching a Northern, and I was sick of hearing that word, so I called them Southerns. And Westerns. And Easterns. But Southerns are the most common. And I told him Northerns were extinct. He didn't believe me and became really annoyed. What are sisters for?

Hunter was also very fond of me speaking in a French accent. Did I mention how much I love French in the previous post about Canada? Well, I love French accents. LA CANADIONS!!!

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I didn't want to miss our first day of fishing, though, so I got out of bed reluctantly. Off we went...

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We started with three people fishing, and that turned out to be a disaster and very complicated since Dad is the only fishing expert and the only one who knows how to drive a boat well (sorry Mom; bless your heart for trying). Hunter got his line stuck in the prop. Finally we just used two, and that worked better. For the most part, it was very relaxing, and taking in all of the scenery was so much fun.

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Mom wore a life jacket; I didn't. I'M A REBEL.

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We went back to the cabin and ate lunch. Then I took a nap and was woke up from that too when we wanted to go back out.

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This time we went to a lake that wasn't very far from our lodge. It was Mom and I's favorite.

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Our views down the river:

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Our lodge had a beach area, so we ventured off to check it out.

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Then I went to bed, and nobody told me otherwise.

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The next day we woke up, and it was pretty hazy.

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We went to the nearby lake from the previous evening, and on the land we decided to make our own rock pile!

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Tada!

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If I remember correctly, later that night everyone else went back out, and I stayed in the cabin to read. And fight with the internet. Good times. It ended up storming, and my family made it back just in time. Afterwards, there was a beautiful rainbow, which, sorry not sorry, that is a promise from God, not the other stuff our society is turning it into (Genesis 9:13).

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We had fun family bonding over this game!! Especially when we played Monopoly!!!

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I was more than ready to go to bed.

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Stay tuned for more!!!

Ontario, Canada Adventures #1: Animals, Donuts, Goals & More

We just got back from our week long family vacation in Ontario, Canada! It was a blast and totally exceeded my expectations! I was going to make this one big post about our entire trip, but after seeing that I took 73 pictures the day before our trip when we went up to the Cities and the day we spent all day in the car, I realized that probably wasn't a wise idea. So today I'm going to talk about mainly these 3 things:

Animals - Donuts - Goals Fulfilled - & More!

First let's talk about Willy. The night before the night before (that's not a typo; I'm just making this really complicated) Canada, we took Willy up to his grandma's for the week.

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He saw his cousins!! I'm sure they had a lot of fun.... During the night they were there, they chased each other behind the couch, and I'm surprised they didn't kill Grandma's cat who hangs out behind there; in the process, I think they knocked a pillow or something clear down the stairs and brought out the drop cord. Dogs.

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When we got home, we* had to pack. I thought I actually did a good job. I think I brought too many nice, school type clothes. I wish I would've brought more athletic clothes. Oh, and I'm so glad I didn't bring all those shoes. Mom wouldn't let me, and I reluctantly listened. She really didn't want me to bring nicer clothes, but I insisted for the pictures. Well, most of the pictures are of me in sweats, hoodies and sliders. Now she can say I told you so. Just do it, Mom. You know you want to.

*I had to pack. I'm good at procrastinating like that.

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Traveling to Canada* selfie!

*Actually, it was to the Twin Cities to see my relatives. It was about a 12 hour drive from our house to our lodge in Canada. We split the drive up in three parts: part one the Twin Cities, 5 hours from our house to there; part two the border, about 4 hours from the Cities to there; part three the lodge, about another 4 hours from the border to there. We stayed at our relatives' house for the night and the next day drove to our lodge, which made for about an 8 hour drive.

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I found the name of the rest area place I was at last summer when I was staying with my grandparents, and we had to pick up Hunter here. It's called Trail's!

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I prayed a lot over this trip, and while there were obstacles (I'll tell you them as I blog more of the week), it turned out really well. God provided. I hope you can see some of that through this travel recap. He's always teaching me things, and I did learn a lot on this trip.

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We ate at Trail's, and I thought the food was okay. I wanted a picture of me drinking my pop because I wanted to document practically everything of this trip since I felt like I didn't do enough for our trip to Florida. I asked Mom to take this picture, and Dad is like, "Are you going to document every little thing?" My answer: "Yes." Duh!

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Hunter didn't want pictures of, like, anything. Finally, I forced him to take this one. Because I figured one day in his future he's going to want to look back and remember that time he was at a rest area called Trail's getting ice cream. That's important stuff to remember, guys. I'm a great sister.... I know.

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The ice cream was my favorite part ;)

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I got my usual picture with this dude.

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Our next stop was Cabela's to pick up bait!

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Then it was up to the Cities!

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We went by the US Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings.

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Good thing we had Dad; we finally made it through the Cities and to my relatives' house. It was so nice catching up, and that was one goal completed!

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My cousins and I went for walks with Grams. We make her do that a lot; read about that here.

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Now the part we've all been waiting for: DONUTS! We stopped at a place called Tobie's the next day as we made our way up to Canada. These were the best donuts I've everrr had.

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This was taken in Minnesota, but these trees are everywhere in Canada. The scenery was beautiful. No more fifty million cornfields!

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Dad let us stop in Eveleth at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Museum. Hunter had wanted to visit it so badly ever since he knew we'd pass by on our trip up, and I also wanted to because I love hockey.

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These were my favorite things ;)

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We had a great time there, and we got the whole place to ourselves!!

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We continued driving to the border and encountered some storms...

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So fun times. The driving went pretty smoothly if you exclude the time Dad opened a pop as he drove and made it explode. Then he handed it over to Mom as it sprayed everywhere because he was driving. She appreciated that.

Anyway, Border Bob's kind of has a little bit of everything and, as it says, it is the last building in the United States before we reached the border.

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We had prayed that the border would go well, and it did. It exceeded our expectations. But even if it didn't... I had this book to read haha. But this book is really so good. I bought it at the church retreat I went to in March and actually met Philip Yancey. He signed it, too! This book answered so many of my questions about suffering and why God allows it...all that. I know there are many good books about those topics out there, but for me personally, this one set the bar really high.

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This is pretty much what you see in Canada: trees and water. And islands! So there are these trees on little islands out in the middle of all this water like you can see below, and believe it or not, people actually build houses on them and live there.

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There are also tons of rocks and rock piles, which are little piles of rocks on these big cliffs. We saw probably hundreds of those on the way over to our lodge. Dad told Hunter they were from Bigfoot. Dad also said we wouldn't see any jets in Canada. Now what is that in the picture? Oh, just a jet.

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This is a gigantic version of what a rock pile could look like. At the place we stopped, they had little souvenirs, and they had little rock piles you could buy as well as a slip of paper of what they really meant. They had something to do with directions and people recording where to go... I don't remember. That's why we have Google.

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Lots of lakes, rivers, rock piles, trees, and lodges that weren't ours later, we finally made it to ours, got checked in, and yay! Also, we saw a bear on the way up. Right at the beginning of our four hour drive to the lodge, too. It was laying down in grass on the side of the road, and it was clear as day. It was awesome! But then when we turned around it hid in the trees, and we didn't get a good picture.

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Our view. I loved it.

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We got to listen to these planes take off all day and early in the morning. I was woke up way too early though so I didn't care in the morning; I slept right through them. Dad was up at four in the morning!

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Ahhh vacation.

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The view is beautiful. We had a relaxing night. We didn't do much. Hunter and Dad got some of the poles ready. There were two bedrooms each with three beds; Mom and Dad slept in one and Hunter and me in the other. The third bed is like a bunk bed, and we put all of our luggage up there. It worked out really well.

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Above all, that day I learned to trust in God's plan and that only I can control how joyful I am. I can be stressed about the trip and everything that could go wrong, or I could trust that even if something did happen, God would be there to help me through it. I chose to trust Him. And He didn't let me down. Even when I feel let down by God, I am reminded of all the good and that He is working even in the worst of circumstances. And the worst things can be turned into something beautiful if you trust in Him.

Dad was right when he said you feel pretty close to God up there.

Stay tuned for more!!

Hunter's Wish: Orlando, Florida

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May 3, The Day Before

I am getting so excited to leave tomorrow morning! As of right now, we have to get up in 6 hours. I am totally stoked, I've had a blast at our hotel in Des Moines, and that's just a slice of what's to come this week. So, here's a little recap of the day (you can see most of these pics on Instagram, my main social media).

First we had to drop Willy off with my grandma, and then we went to go eat at the Machine Shed in Des Moines. There were some geese with adorable babies we saw hanging out!

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Our flight leaves at six, so we got to stay in a hotel for the night.

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Like I said, we have to get up EARLY. 3 am early. But that doesn't stop us from swimming and playing basketball in the pool!

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Kind of anxious to fly! Technically I've flown before, but I don't know how young I was and don't remember a darn thing. And it's Hunter's first time too... Stay tuned for more pics!


May 4, Arrival

Today is a flying day! I am nervous but also excited. We had an awesome experience at the airport. We had to get up at three thirty, and we took a shuttle over to the airport. Security was fairly easy, and then we just had to wait. Then Hunter got a present from them, met the pilots, and got to go into the cockpit!

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Then it was time to get down to business. Despite my face in the picture, I was pretty anxiety filled.

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Turns out I am a person who LOVES to fly! One of these days I want to fly at night and see the lights.

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We had a three hour layover in Chicago, and the view coming in for landing was incredible!

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Even went over Lake Michigan!

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During the layover, I began "Chasing Sunsets" by Karen Kingsbury (which I've been reading every night and as soon as I finish this I am going to keep reading). It consisted mainly of reading, playing games on my phone, stretching legs on the awesome moving sidewalks *insert what they're really called* and then we ate as well.

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And round 2 begins!

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Once we arrived in Orlando, we had to go pick up our checked bags and get the rental car, which was a bit of a hassle. Then trying to get to the hotel... Let's just say know where you're going, have a GPS ready when you're on the Orlando freeways, hang on, and get ready for some explicit language.

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We had some issues with the hotel and Hunter's vest that kind of got us stressed out unfortunately. They all got worked out, though, and then later that night we headed outside to the pool. I am in love with Florida's palm trees. I need to figure out how to get some on the plane.

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We went swimming a little bit at night - it was awesome!

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Other random things that occurred: We were all shot and took a nap before we went swimming. Then we ate Pizza Hut from the hotel. Then...

What I don't have pictures of is our crazy little ride through Orlando trying to find a Walmart. Ugh. Good times. You haven't lived until you've done that. Poor dad had to drive with everyone frantically shouting random directions. And the GPS ended up being right. One point for technology. Honestly, we could have died! First because you take a chance every time you get in a car, but then add super busy traffic, pitch darkness, a confused GPS and ramblings from everyone else... Like one time we came to a split between an exit and the interstate, and we drove right off one into another. You had to be there. It was scary. A ride all by itself.

The good news was that we finally found Walmart and got our crap (er, helpful stuff, but that's what it looked like to me when you practically throw up in your own car just to get STUFF) so yeah. I was freezing, too. I still had my swimsuit on underneath my clothes, and my hair was a tangled wet mess. And who knew Walmarts could be so busy at ten p.m. on a Monday night?! I hope they didn't risk their life trying to get *helpful stuff*...

Thankfully everyone learned to trust the GPS. She took us right back to our hotel, and we saw some pretty cool scenery. I think my only prayer when we got back to the hotel was thank you God for life...

It ended up being okay, but it was one frantic day! Here is my little tip if you're going to visit Orlando: 1) don't go anywhere you don't know at night, 2) if you're the driver: wear earplugs, and put the GPS out of your family's site, and 3) use your dang seat belts because good stinking riddance. Orlando traffic is intense.

Well good night America!


May 5, Discovery Cove

The main thing of Hunter's wish was to swim with dolphins. In Orlando, there is a park owned by SeaWorld called Discovery Cove. It is a pure tropical paradise. I would go back in a heartbeat. I could even live there!

Anyway, so we drove over there (which was much easier and simpler and SAFER than Walmart) and right from the start it was pretty cool.

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We got checked in and all that good stuff, and then we went to eat breakfast. You don't have to pay anything for the food or snacks during the day, because you pay for all of that when checking in. We did not have to pay for anything, though, because Make-A-Wish covers that. The food was pretty good!

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After we ate, one of the things we wanted to do before we got our wetsuits and vests on was a room full of birds. We got bird food, and one of the birds landed on my arm and ate out of my food cup! It was pretty cool. It took awhile for us to finally get our stuff on before heading to do something, but finally we arrived at the Grand Reef. This was a really cool snorkeling place! Lots of beautiful, vibrant fish and stingrays floated under you! It started out shallow and then got deep. And by the way, the stingrays were harmless. I needed reassurance on that one too.

We got our snorkels and headed into the water, only to freeze. It was cold and full of salt for the animals. I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I don't have any pics yet, but Hunter had a waterproof disposable camera that had some, so we'll see when we can get those off. The snorkels were a pain in the butt at first. My dad finally got the hang of it and showed us all, and once you learn how it's really fun. My dad and I went to the deeper part of the water, and Dad took Hunter's camera to get some pics. It was hilarious because two good sized stingrays were swimming right below us while Dad was taking pics, so the camera was making a noise... Well, I thought that was the vibration of their stingers, and I got freaked out... Hahaha. I wish we would have done more of this since there were sharks in a tank we missed, but it was so cold in that water. 

Then we had our scheduled dolphin interaction to report to! It was amazing! The water was also freezing, but you got used to it. The trainers showed my family and two other couples in our group some really cool things the dolphins can do! Then each of us held out a signal, and the dolphin would put her face in our hands so we could give her a kiss! Then we got our picture with her.

Also, look how pale we all are! It's hilarious - our skin tones match her belly!

Then we swam out aways for the dolphin swim! We had a choice between deep or shallow; Dad and I did deep and Hunter and Mom shallow.

Afterwards we ate, explored a little more, and then Hunter wanted to see the otters. Along the way we found a really cool tropical area with multiple lazy rivers. I could have floated in those rivers all day.

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It was one of the best days ever. Later on at the hotel, we went by the swimming pool at night again, but we were swimmed out. I took the palm trees on a little photoshoot. We stayed at the Marriott: Residence Inn by SeaWorld just for the record. Over all, that was a pretty dang awesome hotel. I needed to take the bed home with me.

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So excited for SeaWorld tomorrow!


May 6, SeaWorld VIP Tour

We had to be up nice and early again since we had a VIP tour at SeaWorld waiting for us, thanks to Make-A-Wish! It was funny because as we were checking in, one of the ladies came up to us, and we won a VIP tour. In the end we decided to stick with the original one because it offered more, but it was pretty ironic.

At first I was kind of stressed and vowed to myself I wasn't going on any rides. A few hours later, I found myself high atop the Kraken. We'll get to that later. It was so hot, and I get pretty faint easily during the heat, so I wasn't feeling too good and just wanted to get the tour started with. However sick I may have felt in the morning, the afternoon made up for it. It was an amazing day, and shout outs to our tour guide Fabian. He did his job perfectly, and I think without the tour we wouldn't have got a nearly as amazing experience. He also helped convince me to get on the Kraken. Actually, he told me to get on the Kraken! He was all like, "Okay so you two *points to Mom and Hunter* can go check out blah blah blah and now you two come with me for the Kraken." I'm like, seriously... But again more details to come because I actually owe him big for that.

Okay, time for picture overload!

We ate breakfast at the hotel, and then thank the Lord for shuttles. We took one of those over, although I'm sure we would have been fine driving. The sign was literally right down the road.

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By the entrance with Mom and Dad.

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Then we had some time to explore before we had to meet up with Fabian. At the time, we didn't know he was our guide yet.

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Fabian was great. From the first attraction we visited, we already felt like it was going to be a great day and that he knew what he was doing. First stop was the aquarium.

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Fascinating octopus.

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Can you guess what this is?! It's a seahorse!!! That looks like a plant! There's a name for it that Fabian told us, but I can't remember it off the top of my head. He gave us these cool trading cards with info so we won't forget.

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The aquarium was absolutely beautiful!

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After the aquarium we went to feed the sea lions, and then we went to one of their many shows, Sea Lion High. It was a hilarious and overall awesome show!

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Then we went straight over to One Ocean, the show featuring the killer whales Shamu and her friends. Pretty amazing!

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After those shows it was time for a lunch break. Fabian went off to do what he needed to do, and we went to go find one of the restaurants. The food was pretty good, and afterwards we had about forty minutes left before we went back to meet up with Fabian. We went on the Sky Tower, a slow enclosed "ride" that turned gently and gave you a birds eye view of the entire park. We got a really good picture of Kraken!

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When we met back up with Fabian, we still had one more show to see. First, we got to go feed the stingrays! (And yes, they did not have their stingers.) At first, I was so freaked out to feed them. This little huge pool that wasn't even a foot tall had practically no openings. Stingrays filled up the majority of it. We had to find an opening, get the headless fish between our fingers, stick it deep down, and they'd slurp it up like we would spaghetti. I was so hesitant at first but finally took the plunge, and it was awesome! It was such a weird yet fascinating feeling. We got to touch the stingrays too, and they felt like pure rubber. Honestly, they are incredible creatures.

Fabian also showed us what their stinger looks like, it was in a box type thing and had come off of a stingray. They look like glass with spikes. Ouch! I also learned it's kind of like when a bee stings. They want to avoid it at all costs because once they sting it breaks, and it takes a year for a new stinger to grow back. Fabian said the most common place to get stung was your foot because they would be underneath the sand on beaches *or something like that*, and you could accidentally step on one and it would be their reaction. If you did a special shuffle they'd feel your vibration though and swim out. I'd do the shuffle. Those stingers don't look like something you want in your foot.

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The next show we saw involved dolphins and acrobats. I think it was honestly my favorite.

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After the show, we went to see a 3D show about turtles called TurtleTrek. It was so cool! Before we got to take a look at some sea turtles and manatees.

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This would be the gap where I was forced upon the Kraken. The good news was that since we had Fabian to lead us up, we got on right away which meant I didn't have time to stress. I put my sliders in a cubby so I was barefoot, which felt really nice in the hot weather. We were in the second row (I was not too happy about that at first), and then it was time to pull our blue whatever the heck they're called's on. And this time I did not scream that I didn't get it the first try.*
*If you want to read about that embarrassing fiasco go here and see #3.

We descended and began to climb a huge hill, but it wasn't straight up or anything so I could handle that. I would later find out this is the tallest coaster in Orlando. Then we went down a pretty steep hill (I did not know about) and went up and down and all around and over 600 loops, and it was amazing. I ended up liking it more than my dad, who literally had begged me to go on it the whole dang day. It gave my dad a headache, but it just made me crave more adrenaline rushes. Best ride ever. I would've rode it again.

Afterwards we went on a cool simple ride in a section called Antarctica with all the penguins! It was almost like sitting in a bumper car that spun in a circle and rocked back and forth. The actual room with the penguins was COLD! But you're gonna want to appreciate that on a day as hot as it was.

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We wrapped things up looking at some sharks and other fish, and then the tour was already over! Fabian did an amazing job and truly helped enhance our day. I'll never forget it.

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Tomorrow = Disney parks! We're going to hang out at Animal Kingdom. Can't wait!

P.S. A picture when I was feeding the birds at Discovery Cove!

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May 7, Disney Parks

Today was a day we got to go to any of these four Disney parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Our main thing was Animal Kingdom, but Dad was dying to go in a haunted house, so we went to Hollywood Studios next. I know they don't have a haunted house, but I'll give more details later.

First, the day was already off to a good start with this cute little card, but it was already hotter than the day before.

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I saw some beautiful flowers and ducks, plus this awesome tree they made and carved into true brilliance! It was honestly the coolest thing. Then we used a quick pass to go on a safari we really wanted to do.

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These were some of the highlights from the safari, we saw many great animals:

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This was known as the Upside Down Tree... Can you tell?

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Dad and I rode a really cool ride called Everest, and it wasn't nearly as extreme as the Kraken. I loved it and so did Dad, it took place in this mountain structure with Yeti and all that. It didn't go upside down or anything. It was cool.

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Then we went over to Dinoland at Hunter's request and Hunter (who is terrified of roller coasters) wanted to go on the Primeval something or other. Hunter loved the ride, and we were so proud he did it, but Dad and I HATED it. Talk about rough! It had the most abrupt turns! I would NOT go on it again, but I'm glad Hunter liked it.

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We finished up after that. I enjoyed Animal Kingdom, my whole family did, but we preferred SeaWorld. It wasn't just because of our VIP tour, either. The Disney parks (including Hollywood Studios) were jammed pack and WAY overpriced! We then went to Hollywood Studios and ate before we did anything, and a simple meal that wasn't that great came to forty-five bucks! ABSURD! My dad wanted me to go on the Tower of Terror with him, and I reluctantly said yes. This ride was like the Space Shot except enclosed with four rows and a seatbelt. 

I was so scared! I'm not a fan of scary movies or any of that, much less haunted houses. When you first enter it's a spooky hotel, okay. Then when boarding, you go into this room that was honestly the scariest part! The lights just shut out and lightning flashes, and then the TV comes on... Then you finally board the elevator. Lucky me was in the first row! Great! That meant if something popped up I would die of a heart attack! 

For awhile it's basically things out of The Twilight Zone that didn't scare me. What scared me was the suspense of something popping up. *SPOILER ALERT* Nothing does. So if you are freaked out like me about that, maybe you will just relax and enjoy the ride. I did! The ride itself was awesome! It shoots you up, drops you, repeat. At the top, a window opens so you can see the park. It's not a terrific view, but it's something.

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We ended with a Star Wars ride. Remember how Hunter is terrified of roller coasters? Even though the sign recommended FOR KIDS and Star Wars is his favorite movie, he literally had so much anxiety over going on this. Just Dad and me went at first. The ride was so cool and simple! Hunter had nothing to worry about. Oh my gosh, he literally threw a fit! Not like hitting or anything, but he refused to go on it! At this point things were getting a little ridiculous, and my parents are NOT bad parents for doing this: it's something called tough love. If you went on this ride and then saw Hunter, it would be pretty bad. It's not like we'd recommend something for him he couldn't handle. I told him he'd hate the Kraken.

Okay, so tough love, I don't wanna go's the whole way, ten minutes later: THAT WAS THE BEST RIDE EVER!

My dad had a little talk with him about anxiety and trust, and I hope he learned a valuable lesson that day. Anyway, we got on our shuttle to go back and called it a day. I loved the Disney parks, don't get me wrong, but I definitely prefer SeaWorld's parks. Disney fell kind of flat and like I said: was packed and overpriced. 

It was a great day though! Tomorrow we're trying something a little different...


May 8, Port Canaveral Fishing Trip

Today was our free day and we had scheduled a full day fishing trip out by Port Canaveral. The waves were really high for awhile though so our trip got pushed back a little. So Hunter and I went swimming for the first time during the day!

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We saw this in the sky from an airplane! It said Praise Jesus and You + God = :)

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Then good news! We could go out earlier than planned! We got everything ready and were on our way - DRIVING. It was a pretty simple route, BUT the GPS did not know the specific location we needed to be at in Port Canaveral, only how to get to Port Canaveral itself. So we did that and paid five million tolls. We saw just a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean and huge cruise ships!

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After that we used directions from his website. That's right! We didn't use the GPS for once, and we made it! Basically, it was amazing seeing the ocean, and Tony and Garrett were great to us. The fishing was pretty much horrible, but it was a great experience. We all enjoyed it - even my mom who wasn't feeling so good after she went in the small bathroom. Here are some pics my dad and I took:

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These pics are hilarious! I was asked to take a picture of the boys, and it took 3 times to finally get it right! In the first pic, Dad looks hilarious and in the second pic, Hunter. Then we finally figured it out.

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These were honestly some of my favorite pictures...

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We made it back fine too, thank you. The GPS recognized the hotel, so it took us straight there. It was a great night. God's beauty is majestic. On the way home we talked about all the memories made. So thankful. I don't wanna go home...


May 9, Depart

This was not too much of an interesting day since all we did was fly out. I figured I'd blog about it anyway. We drove to the airport, and the GPS worked again. We dropped off our rental car and went over to the airport. We had a bit of a wait, and there was free internet! Oh, and a McDonald's. I love my happy meals.

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We had another layover in Chicago, but it wasn't nearly as long as the first.

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I love Southwest Airlines because they let you sit wherever you want (unless the plane is full), and they give you free food!

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On the way into Des Moines, I saw Blank Children's Hospital (the blue building) and the blue bridges over the interstates! Hunter and Dad even saw our HOUSE! Not fair.

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What can I say? The trip was amazing. It was our first real family vacation, and it makes me want to travel more. There's something about staying a week in somewhere other than your house that really makes you appreciate life. And I do. I am so thankful for this week of memories. The purpose of Make-A-Wish is to offer hope to kids with life threatening diseases. And it did that. I am so thankful to God for this life. Because it's a good one, even despite the obstacles like driving to Walmart in Orlando. Thanks for tuning in.