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On the day after the Fourth of July, I accomplished the toughest physical challenge I have experienced in my life. Every time I go to Portland to visit my family, my uncle plans a hiking trip with me. It’s one of the things I look forward to most every year. This year, we decided to hike Mt. St. Helens. I knew it would be harder than all our other trips but I had no idea quite what I was getting myself into. The summit was over 8000 ft from ground level. It took us seven hours to get to the top and three and a half to get down. We were climbing up huge piles of boulders and hiking up the steep, snowy ridges with trekking poles. It was like climbing stairs for seven hours nonstop. At times, I really didn’t think I could do it, but I could not get that far and not make it to the top. We would start climbing up one ridge and think that when we got to the top of that one, we would be there. Then we would see another ridge that was even steeper. And another. And another. It was never-ending! Reaching the top was one of the highlights in my life, though. The view was absolutely breathtaking and experiencing it with my uncle and cousin was unforgettable. We got to see the massive lava dome inside the volcano, which is still active. So amazing.

Getting down was the fun part. We sat on big pieces of plastic with an ice ax under one arm and slid down the mountain, using the ice ax as brakes. Best sledding ever!

I could not have asked for a better adventure. I learned a lot about myself. Now I know that when I am ready to give up on something, I can push myself and accomplish anything I set my mind to. God is always on my side, pushing me to be the best I can be. 

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It has been way too long since I last posted! Life has been so great. I have had great times with friends and family and have FINALLY been able to relax and unwind from school. I recently decided to get a twitter which I’ve actually really been enjoying! I also have become addicted to the show “Dexter.” I’ve finished two seasons in the past week. I’m currently re-reading all the Harry Potter books and “Captivating”, which are all fabulous books. Last week I was lucky enough to go see Paul Simon at Chastain Park with my best friend Jordan and her awesome family. It was a blast! I then went to Jordan’s farm house with some of our fantastic friends where we did lots of exploring, swimming, watching movies, and taking pictures of a beautiful sunset! This week Jordan is in China on a mission trip so I will be relaxing and spending time with my dad and some other awesome friends. :) Life is good.

Invisible Children Inc. is being so incredibly generous and giving away a trip to Uganda to the top weekly fundraiser each week until April 25, the big day! What an incredible opportunity! Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to forward it along to anyone that wants to help! :)

Start each day with a grateful heart.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I need to be more grateful in life. I am so blessed with great family, great friends, a great education, and so much more. Yet, I never stop and think about how much I should be thanking God for these blessings. So my advice for the day is to start each morning off with a prayer to God just thanking him for one thing in specific each day. God is so great and blesses us with so much that I honestly believe I will never run out of things to thank him for!

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Last night Danny McBride and David Gordon Green came to UGA for a meet and greet, pre-screening, and Q & A session. It was so awesome! I got to meet them and see their new movie “Your Highness.” It was a really funny movie, but it was pretty gross. I’m not one for gore and it was really gory. But it was pretty funny! I think I have met more celebrities in the past couple weeks than I ever have in my life. I’m lovin’ it! :)

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I spent the rest of my spring break at home. One day I went to Spa Sydell with my wonderful mom and we got hot stone massages, facials, and pedicures. So great and relaxing! That night I went to The Melting Pot for dinner with my best friend in the world Jordan Foxworthy and her sister Jules, who I consider my little sister too because I love her so much, and her cousin Sarah, who is awesome! Dinner at the Melting Pot is a tradition for us. We love it! The next day I went to the mall with my mom and picked out my dress for my sorority’s formal! Woo! The next day was great!! My fabulous friends Jordan, Darien, David, and Nick came over and we had lunch at my house then headed to the Forum shopping center to play some Jack Vale style pranks. Such fun! We had dinner at La Parilla then headed downtown to see Demetri Martin! He is so funny and his show was fantastic! We even got to meet him after! :) He’s an awesome guy! After that, we went to Waffle House and everyone came back to my house and we played Just Dance and Michael Jackson on the Wii and watched The Strangers. Such a fun night!!

I spent the rest of my spring break at home. One day I went to Spa Sydell with my wonderful mom and we got hot stone massages, facials, and pedicures. So great and relaxing! That night I went to The Melting Pot for dinner with my best friend in the world Jordan Foxworthy and her sister Jules, who I consider my little sister too because I love her so much, and her cousin Sarah, who is awesome! Dinner at the Melting Pot is a tradition for us. We love it! The next day I went to the mall with my mom and picked out my dress for my sorority’s formal! Woo! The next day was great!! My fabulous friends Jordan, Darien, David, and Nick came over and we had lunch at my house then headed to the Forum shopping center to play some Jack Vale style pranks. Such fun! We had dinner at La Parilla then headed downtown to see Demetri Martin! He is so funny and his show was fantastic! We even got to meet him after! :) He’s an awesome guy! After that, we went to Waffle House and everyone came back to my house and we played Just Dance and Michael Jackson on the Wii and watched The Strangers. Such a fun night!!

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So on our last full day in NY, we went on a carriage ride through Central Park, had lunch at the Standard Hotel, shopped in the meat packing district, and finished off the day watching pay-per-view in the room and eating room service desserts. The carriage ride was great! It was very cold, but Central Park is beautiful and I got to play around with some newly discovered effects on my camera! The Standard Hotel is a very modern and hip hotel in the meat packing district. Our lunch there was great! I had some of the best crab I have ever had! We finished the day off watching Paranormal Activity 2 and eating room service. My kind of night :)

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Day 3 of NY. We spent our third day shopping on Fifth Avenue! So fun! We ate lunch at Fred’s in Barney’s. It was delicious! That night we ate at Da Silvano in Soho. It was one of my favorite restaurant experiences of all time! We ate pretty early so we were the only ones in there but apparently it is quite the celebrity hotspot! Everyone that works there is so funny and really enjoys their job and the food is very authentic, delicious Italian food. After dinner, we went to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette on Broadway. We got very lucky and had 3rd row seats for this one!! It was a great show! Very entertaining and funny and Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette were fantastic! I have to admit, after seeing the show, I have a slight crush on Daniel Radcliffe. And by slight I mean huge! He is so cool!

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On the second day of our trip to NY, we started our day with the famous Waldorf Astoria Brunch! What a treat! They had everything from an egg station to a crepe station to caviar to a chocolate fountain and many other desserts and so much more! I had a strawberry and nutella crepe, eggs benedict, cheesecake, flan, french toast, and pancakes! I have now given up desserts so this was sort of my last hoorah! I also ran into my sweet friend Bentley Phelps and her mom! What a great surprise! The celebrity sightings for Day 2 include Tom Waits and Dr. John, two of the inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That was cool! They walked right through our hotel lobby but they were not very keen on taking pictures with anyone so I don’t have any pictures for those sightings, unfortunately. The rest of that day was spent shopping in Soho! Another great day!

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I have been on spring break so my apologies for the long gap between posts! I went to New York with my parents for the first half of spring break. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria this trip which I highly recommend! We arrived on Saturday March 12 and began our day with a little bit of shopping around our hotel and pizza from Jack’s restaurant near Times Square. From there, we went back to the hotel to check in and get our room. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction was going to be held at our hotel on Monday the 14th! So cool! So anyways, that night, we went to see Billy Elliot on Broadway. I absolutely loved it! One of my favorite shows of all time. Great music, great dancing, and great acting! After the show, the cast came on and told us about how they were raising money for the arts programs in nearby schools and that if anyone donated $100 right then, they would get a tour of backstage and get to meet the cast. We were so close to doing it but we took too long deciding and by the time we were about to head towards the stage, the tour was already starting. We walked out of the show and God totally made up for missing out on that opportunity by providing us with some awesome celebrity sightings! (Not that I would ever promote celebrity sightings over donating to a good cause, this was just the silver lining of missing the other great opportunity!) There was a big commotion going on across the street and I heard someone say “Kiefer Sutherland” and I ran! My dad put me up on his shoulders and not only Kiefer Sutherland but also Jim Gaffigan and Chris Noth, a.k.a. “Mr. Big”, were there too! I got some pictures and some memorable eye contact with those awesome people that night! All in all, great day in New York City!