Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Non-Blogmopolitan Quiz

1. Something you think is... 

certifiably disgusting: Socks and Sperrys. Like, who are you?
absolutely amazing: New shipments from Vineyard Vines; their boxes just make me so happy. 

2. A compliment you've been given that's made you...
feel on top of the world: "You always look so put together." This was actually in my 8 AM which I arrived 20 minutes early to, fully dressed, hair and makeup done and coffee in hand. Go me. 
pretty upset: "You look really tired." Well thanks, I'm only getting five hours of sleep per night and I have 8 AM class across campus every day except Monday, but thank you. Love you too. 

3. A name you...
hate: Cameron
love: Windsor Michael (don't ask me why because I really couldn't tell you)

4. Something people say about you that you...
know is entirely false: "You're from California? You must hate it here." 
think is on point: "You are the most patriotic person I know." 

5. A taste you...
can't stand: Mayonnaise and cold scrambled eggs in the caf...gross. 
can't get enough of: Peanut Butter Captain Crunch (an acquired college taste) and mint chapstick.

6. A song you always...
turn off immediately: Lips Are Movin' by Megan Trainor...just no. 
belt out the lyrics to: Afire Love by Ed Sheeran

7. Animal you...

fear: Snakes of all kinds, I don't even want to think about them.
need in your life right this instant: A puppy, duh.

8. Something you...
will never ever eat: Blood sausage. Why do Germans always try to convince you that it's really not that bad?
would eat for every meal if you were given the chance: Sushi or Knoephla (it's a North Dakota thing, look it up.) 

9. To enhance your looks you...
would love to, but would probably never resort to: Getting my eyebrows done? Why spend money though when I can do them myself.
just stick to: My makeup routine that is as basic as I am. 
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Monday, January 26, 2015

The Prepster Tag

Image via Etsy

1.What's your definition of preppy? Classy, clean, well groomed, well educated, well spoken and well dressed. 
2.Whats your all time favorite brand? Vineyard Vines. 
3.Favorite Lilly print? This, this and this. There is truly nothing like a good Lilly. 
4. Favorite preppy Youtuber? Sarah Belle
5. Jack Rogers or Sperrys? Sperrys. But a Jack Rogers purchase will be happening this spring. 
6. Jeans or Khakis? I rarely wear either lately because leggings take the cake, but I'm going to have to say jeans, even though khakis are amazing. 
7. Opinion on Oxfords? The shirts or the shoes? Love both, but I would personally choose the shirts.
8. Duck boots, Riding Boots, or Hunters? It really depends on the outfit and the weather. I love my riding boots but Duck Boots are perfect for the snow and look great with an oversized button up, leggings and ball I'm going to go with both Duck and Riding boots (and while I love a good pair of Hunters, it doesn't rain here as much as it snows so I haven't had the need to purchase a pair yet.)
9. Navy or Black? Black is classic, but in my humble opinion, navy is the new black. 
10. Scale of 1-10 how much do you love J.Crew? A 10. It would be more though if they were more wallet-friendly. Obviously. 
11. Favorite Ralph Lauren clothing item? Ball caps, because they are perfect for bad hair days, when it's windy/snowing or really just absolutely whenever. This is my personal favorite. 
12. Pearls or bows? I occasionally wear bows in my hair (when I actually do my hair) but I'm going to have to say pearls. 
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

ND Leadership Conference Weekend

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the North Dakota Leadership Conference in Castleton, which is about 15 miles out of Fargo, making it about a two hour and 45 minute drive from Bismarck. To be honest, we were all unsure of what to expect (Rachel also went) and they made a point of keeping us in the dark until the very last minute. Our student body president reached out to us in an email a few weeks back basically telling us we were attending this conference, but even he wasn't told exactly what to expect. 

It ended up being a great weekend and I learned a lot more than I expected I would. The forum leaders included the former Republican governor of North Dakota, Ed Schafer and his lovely First Lady, Nancy. They provided excellent insight into what it was like to perform in the political realm while also trying to raise Nancy's young children and they were a lovely witness to what a totally selfless and healthy marriage looks like. 

The theme of the conference was purpose, and we dove deep into discussions about what it means to have a purpose, what it takes to find that purpose, and what actions it requires to fulfill that purpose. We talked about relationships, both dating and marriage and deep personal friendships. Leadership through faith was an important component of the talks and there were many faith based accounts and stories of faith journeys that were extremely inspiring. Former president of the University of Mary, Sister Thomas Welder, led a women's panel and talked about the struggles she faced on her journey to entering the convent. She also touched on the at times daunting task of being the first female leader of the school, but also how she received a great level of respect and admiration as her order was the one which founded the college. 

Nathan Clark from Wondermade was another keynote speaker who talked about his journey from being a struggling college student looking for God and his purpose in life to becoming the founder of an extremely successful homegrown company manufacturing all natural marshmallows. Through an unsurmountable measure of faith, patience and love, he and his wife were able to put total trust in God and begin something that they loved doing but which turned into something so much more than they could ever have expected. 

Throughout the weekend there were many opportunities for small group discussions and conversations that covered everything from internships to family to travel to where will you be in five years? I am so glad I had the chance to leave my comfort zone and meet some amazing new people and hear their stories. It inspired me to take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves to me and it reminded me that I can truly do anything and everything that I put my mind to and work towards accomplishing. 

What were some highlights from your weekend?

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Crucial Facts of Life

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when abortion was made legal in the United States. Since then, America has lost over 50 million lives; the population of California and Texas put together. The thought of all these helpless children being slaughtered against their will makes me sick to my stomach and fills my eyes with tears. Of course, the main reason is because I cannot believe that we, the land of the free and the brave, have ended more human lives than Hitler and Stalin. The other reason is because I feel so ashamed of my country. Is this really what our nation has become? We believe in upholding the rights of every citizen. But without sustaining the right to life, all other rights are meaningless. 

Image via Google

Today I will touch on some arguments supporting the pro-life position. I do not intend to hurt anyone's thoughts or opinions, but as a Conservative, pro-life supporter, this is what I believe. 
An unborn citizen is entitled to the right to life. These children will never have the opportunity to exercise their rights as citizens as they grow up; they will never be able to contribute to society as they normally would. When a pregnant woman is killed, it's labeled as a double homicide and the child is entitled to the rights of the court and the right of equal justice while still unborn. I am a feminist who will fight for the rights of the unborn women. 

Over population does not exist. See more here. This website has a series of short videos that are very interesting to watch outlining why this world needs more births! Without their contribution to this world, we lose so much potential for growth as a community. Instead of viewing it as one more mouth to feed, we need to view it as two more hands to work and one more mind to provide for ideas and furthering the intelligence of this world. 

Just because a baby requires it's mother's uterus to survive doesn't make the child any less human. It's unbelievable how a life is defined by "intentions", and that the definition of a life is subjective. Many pro-choice supporters claim that because the child depends on the woman for their life source, they are unable to live on their own and thus not considered a human being. But just as a child depends on their mother's uterus as a sustainable environment, so do we rely on the atmosphere and the providence of the earth to provide for our source of life. 

The baby is it's own person, but cannot make it's own choice. Having a completely different set of DNA from the mother starting at conception, the child is not a part of the mother's body. It ought not be the right of the mother to determine when the end of life should be for her child. 

It is a baby, a life, a child. It is amazing the lengths a pro-choice supporter will go to to not refer to their unborn child as a baby. It is not human to them until it is born, it is a fetus. But just as we are referred to as fetuses, we are also referred to as infants, toddlers, children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. It is another stage of human life. The beginning of human life. 

Pro-life supporters are not anti-women. We should not tell women that in order for them to be successful, they cannot have children. It is demeaning. Being able to bring life into this world is what makes us women. Saying we can only be successful without children is like saying a woman must become a man in order to succeed. That is not a very feminist approach to success because we are eliminating that which makes us women. We need to empower women. We need to support them as women and show them they can be a mother and an employer and a wife and a successful entrepreneur. 

The Catholic Church is pro-life before and after birth. I often hear that Catholics only care while the baby is still a fetus, and once it's born they walk away. This is so wrong. This article articulates the statistics much better than I can, and I encourage you to read it. It outlines the multiple institutions and millions of women they serve in the United States each year.  

A child who is the product of rape is still a child. Ask any child who was conceived through rape if they hate their life. They were given the opportunity to live and they have made the best of it. When a pregnancy is in crisis, you don't eliminate the pregnancy, you eliminate the crisis. If the crisis is the price of raising a child, adoption will always stand as a safe and viable option for a mother. There is no doubt they will receive support from those around them to carry their child to term, and they will be grateful they gave their child the opportunity to live. 

We are missing 1/3 of our entire generation. Think of the contributions and radical changes we could have made as a generation in the last 40 years to our society. And it could have been someone you loved; your best friend, husband, sibling, coworker, role model. They aren't here and we never had the pleasure of meeting them. This isn't merely another one of my political rants, this isn't about Democrats or Republicans or Catholics or Buddhists or Atheists, this isn't about sixteen year old girls or low income families. None of that has anything to do with the abortion issue. At the end of the day, a baby is a baby, a life is a life, and the more lives our country continues to take, the more difficult it is to remember that this is supposed to be the land of the free and the brave. I realize that this is a controversial issue, however I also realize that the cold hard truth is that life cannot be overlooked, ignored, or tossed in a biohazard receptacle. 

On this day, January 22 2015, forty two years after Roe v. Wade was passed, let us take a moment to remember all the empty seats in the cafeteria, the diapers that don't get purchased, the open spots on the bus to a student government conference and the half empty cubicles at our parent's offices. Let us thank our parents for choosing life and let us make an effort to live our lives to the absolute fullest each and every day. 

{This post was co-written with Rachel Ward, my lovely roommate and best friend}
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Grateful Heart

It's been a while, but I am attempting this whole gratitude series again. I have a problem with sticking to "weekly" reoccurring posts, so I am keeping it as simply My Grateful Heart so that I don't feel like I'm failing or letting myself down if I don't post it every single week. Long story short, here's what I'm thankful for lately; it's the little things that I need to focus on appreciating. 

  1. Night prayer in a candlelit chapel
  2. Tuesday morning phone calls from my cousin
  3. Having a roommate who just happens to be my best friend
  4. Ed Sheeran's X and Taylor Swift's 1989 because they are literally all I've been listening to 
  5. The unspoken truth that preppy people find other preppy people
  6. Washing my makeup off after a long day
  7. Friends who share my political views with whom I can also rant with
  8. Orange juice
  9. The unnaturally warm weather we have been blessed with during the past week 
  10. 20% off
What are you thankful for this week? What has been keeping you positive?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snippets From the Past

I opened my inbox just moments ago and there was an email from Tumblr that read: 
Silent Sentences turned 1 today! 

Wait what?

Then I remembered. My second semester of senior year, I started what I referred to less as a blog and more of a journal. I called it Silent Sentences and only gave the link to a select few. Anyway. I started reading and I was pleasantly surprised with myself. Here is one post that especially stood out to me. Is it egocentric that I'm impressed with myself?

Writer {In The Making}
We watched a documentary on F. Scott Fitzgerald in Literature class today, and it got me thinking about how I used to want to be a writer. My young mind thought that somehow I could write something good enough to maybe be published… I used to write all the time when I was homeschooled. I would write short stories and poems and letters. I wrote a lot of letters. Back then, I wasn’t a user of technology. Of course, I was younger back then, but even kids my age had already started having their own phones. I wasn’t part of that advancing world. I wrote letters. And they weren’t your run-of-the-mill “hi, how are you, hope to hear from you soon” kind of letters. Sometimes I wrote 15 pages, over the span of up to 5 days. I’d send a “weekly letter”. It was like an art form.

Writing has always appealed to and intrigued me. One of my favorite films growing up was the Anne of Green Gables series, (which, after watching I would mimic Anne’s lifestyle, including her writing.) I always dreamed of having my own typewriter, because that was the cool thing to have for a writer. Later, it was my own laptop, and I always pictured myself with a leather satchel full of ink pens and perfect writing paper. The actual writing process was a little more tedious than I thought. I have always struggled with inspiration, and once I have it, actually staying inspired proves to be a problem.

I guess I am a writer, of sorts. I’ve written some pretty good essays for school, and one even won me first place in a competition, which I am continuing this weekend. If I continue to win, I’ll win $$ and perhaps a scholarship. I still write letters once in a while, and since I started this blog, twenty-something posts ago, I consider myself a writer in-the-making. It’s a good feeling.

Writing is a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings with no strings attached. It’s not like saying something to someone, or writing a letter. In those cases, you never know who it could offend or affect. Most of the time I don’t care anymore, because I’ve tried to mature enough to be careful about what I say, but everyone slips. Writing is an art form, still, to this day, even with all the technology and the lack of personalization in today’s world. I’m kinda rambling in this post..I didn’t know what else to write about. The point is this: I feel like I’m finally fulfilling my desire to keep writing in my life, and at the same time, I’m recording some special memories and thoughts and feelings at this very crucial point in my life.

So long for now.

 I am a damn darn good writer and I know that when I apply myself, a whole world opens up to me. It's how I cope. Netflix, ice cream and Ed Sheeran can only help so much. What has continuously proved to save me has been the ability to write down my thoughts, hopes, fears, rants, dreams and desires.  What are your thoughts on writing? Does it benefit you in any special way?

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Embracing Left and Right

Today we remembered Martin Luther King Junior. 

Many schools had classes off, and social media was full of inspirational quotes from the man himself. Our university still held the majority of classes, but my political science class was cancelled. Instead, we had to write a response to this question: did Martin Luther King Junior change America? How? After considering the few facts I do know and reading a Wiki-version autobiography, I came up with this answer:

I believe that MLK Junior was a necessary component to the change in America. It is irrational to think that one man could single handedly change an entire country, but he definitely helped the course of America concerning equality and rights. My opinion is that MLK Junior influenced all Americans and continues to be a force in the country because of his actions to pass equality and to fight for rights for African Americans, who at the time, were still being persecuted. America is known as the home of the free and the brave, and I believe that King is a testimony to that. After the Rosa Parks incident, King was the leader of the protests and speeches given in defense of equal rights. Without someone as brave and willing to take these steps towards liberation, who knows where America would stand today concerning the racial variation of it's citizens and their undeniable, God-given rights to equality. 

Now, I took history classes in high school and we uncovered the surface of political policy and governmental issues, but this semester is my first time taking an actual Political Science class. I've always had an attraction to politics, and after being involved in the North Dakota campaigns this past fall, I was able to rediscover that passion. 

It is often said that college students become progressively more liberal during their four years at university. I am blessed to attend a relatively conservative college, but of course it is not completely. I don't have any disdain for those who have a liberal mindset, nor do I ridicule or persecute them, but I feel like this is the stereotype, especially in this day and age. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why my generation has removed itself almost entirely from educating itself on public policy and political issues. We are influenced by our environment, taught by our parents (if they choose to take the steps to educate us) and absorb what we see on social media and television. Being homeschooled as a child and attending a private Catholic school for the last two years of my high school career, I was lucky enough to mostly avoid liberal minded teachers. Again, I have nothing against them as people, I don't have a lack of respect and I do not believe that the Democratic party is stupid or immoral or unjust, I just hold a different set of values and believe in conservative policies. Now that I am in college however, I am more aware of the diversity that is present in the bigger picture, which is the world outside my home, my homeroom and my hometown. I am more aware of the contradicting opinions, morals and beliefs that people have. 

And it's fascinating. 

Only a week into classes, and I have already encountered a varied range of opinions just from the students in my class, let alone the rest of the school. Nobody is completely, 100% educated on any single issue, but most of us lean towards one direction over the other. With this variation of viewpoints, it is important to remember that while I may not always agree, it is required that I listen and am open to considering what others have to say. I tend to be a stubborn person when it comes to what I believe in, and maybe it comes off as snobbish, so welcoming what others have to say, especially those who disagree with what I say and think will be challenging but good for me. I think that it is good to remember that everyone has different backgrounds which have all played a part in shaping their political and religious views. While it can be frustrating at times (especially when I know I am right) it is also exciting and interesting, and I am looking forward to voicing my Republican values and engaging with those who both embrace and oppose them. 

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Moving On

Moving on is like losing a tooth, you both anticipate and dread it. 

Anticipation because in order for something new and healthy to fill it, the old must go; dread because it's most likely going to hurt and it's going to feel empty for a while and emptiness is an awful feeling. 

But moving on, like losing a tooth, is healthy and necessary for true happiness. Sometimes we find ourselves in very poisonous situations, ones that are not benefiting us or adding any positives to our lives. We hold onto these situations, though, because we are scared of letting go of what we know. If bad situations are what we have let ourselves become accustomed to, it is natural that we should fear the unknown, the uncomfortable and the potentially challenging void that awaits us when we let go. 

We know in the back of our minds and hearts that we need to do it; our friends warn us and at times beg us to do it, but oftentimes it takes a completely unexpected occurrence for us to realize how wrong we are and how we need to remove ourselves from said situations. 

Then comes the wake up call.  

Maybe a new person comes into our life, maybe it's a quote, a comment from a best friend that finally resonates with us. And all of the sudden, we realize that we can let go. We realize that it isn't as scary anymore. It isn't as sad or painful. We realize that the time has come to lay it to rest. This doesn't mean that we have to change, it means that we have found within ourselves the power and the will to realize that we deserve better. 

Moving on is scary, it hurts and it's a pain; I speak from firsthand experience. It's not easy, but the moments that occur after we finally let go, the opportunities that present themselves, the new passions we discover, that is what makes it completely worth it. 
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