On May 24, my baby sister graduated from high school.  I remember my brother and I teasing her, “the year 2014 is so far from now,” back when we graduation in ’06 and ’08.  The teasing continued as she realized Nick and I would both graduate twice before she graduated once.  But the day finally came.  Sami accepted her diploma, walked the halls one last time, and opened the door to new beginnings.

I am the sister who worries about her sister’s future, who wants her to succeed, and experience as little pain (if any) in life as possible.  But graduation doesn’t represent worries or a life free from experiencing all the human emotions.  If anything the graduating possess the spectrum of human emotion.  There is happiness in celebrating with family and friends.  There are tears in remembering the good and bad of high school.  There is fear in facing the unknown future.  There is humility in recognizing the accomplishments made were from someone’s sacrifice.  And there is pure joy in life as steps are taken to discover self and define purpose.

I am proud of you Sam Bam.  My hope for you, and any one else graduating whether high school or college, is to truly experience this life chapter.   Don’t let those emotions ruin the experience or run tyrant, but bring them to the foot of the cross.  If there is fear, tell your Savior.  If there is joy, present it to the King.



Sami’s trip to South Dakota

Yesterday morning I sent my sister back off to Colorado.  Is it bad that I was secretly hoping for a massive blizzard so she would have to stay a few more days?

Sami and her boyfriend, Jordan, drove up to South Dakota on Thursday morning.  I have been anticipating this visit for weeks and now it is hard to believe that it has come and pass.  I wanted to write this post to recap our weekend happenings and share some images my sister took on her smart phone.  You may even want to visit South Dakota for yourself after reading about some of the attractions we visited in Sioux Falls.

Since Friday was their first full day in Vermillion, and David and I worked, Sami and Jordan slept in and went out for coffee at one of the local favorites – Cafe Brule.  The cinnamon rolls there are to DIE for plus you get the Mid-West hospitality service.  They then came to the Dakota Dome to visit me at work, meet my co-workers, and watch the Special Olympics swimming.  Our night was spent eating hamburgers, baking the chewiest, softest cookies, and watching American Hustle.

kitchen cookies

After and filling and delicious breakfast at home, we drove to Sioux Falls where we spent the rest of our day. Our first stop was to the  Falls Park. Unfortunately the air was brisk and temperatures were low, so we did a drove around of the waterfalls.  B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) was our next stop for Parmesan Garlic boneless wings and March Madness.  The boys could easily stay and be content eating and watching basketball.  Sami and I, could not.  We left the boys for a few hours and went on a hunt for a coffee shop.  We found a gem, Black Sheep Coffee.  The locally ran shop sold fair trade coffee and homemade chia.  Art from local artists was on display and the place was filled with chatter.  The metal tables and mixed matched seating inspired Sami’s artistic ability to snap a picture of our white mocha and chia.


We ended our night with a movie experience like no other.  Gravity was showing at the Wells Fargo Cinedome located in the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science.  We were reclined in theater chairs with a surrounding screen view of Sandra Bullock floating through space.

It was a wonderful weekend chatting with my sister and getting to know her boyfriend.  David and I enjoyed their company and loved experiencing a little piece of South Dakota with them.

Now only 2 months until her graduation and seeing the rest of my family!