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Below are my top 8 biggest pet peeves right now:

8. The Color Wheel. If you’re in Comm Design, you know what I mean. Colors are supposed to be simple. Anyone should be able to get them. But nope, not when you throw McDonald’s and Notre Dame into the mix! And since when are orange and blue NOT complimentary colors??

7. When people don’t say hi. I know you know me. Is it so hard to say “Hi” in passing? At least offer me a smile of acknowledgment. Jeez…

6. When people don’t email me back. (cough-mentorgroup-cough)

5. When people use the wrong door when entering or exiting buildings. How am I supposed to get through when you are in MY door?

4. When professors keep talking and the clock definitely says 10 till. Your class is over. I have other classes I need to get to.

3. Law. Specifically Communication Law. More specifically trying to remember 29480 cases and terms that I can’t even pronounce.

2. When someone I’ve met more than once can’t remember my name. Tiffany is a pretty simple name I think. This is so rude. When you still don’t know my name after multiple times of me telling it to you, you are basically saying “You are not worth remembering.”

1. Facebook statuses that always say something like this, “I love my boy. (Enter date they started dating here) <3” or “Blah blah blah (Enter g/f’s initials here).” It’s pretty ridiculous when every single one of your statuses has to have something to do with your significant other. Get a life.

Agree with any of these? Please comment and let me know I’m not alone…


This past summer I worked as a counselor at a church camp in Southern Indiana. No, not Springhill–PYOCA! I worked there two summers ago and loved it. That was the best summer of my life. I knew there was no way this summer would ever live up to that one. This past summer wasn’t at all what I expected. It was a roller coaster ride for sure– full of ups and downs. One second I’d be laughing and living it up, the next I’d be crying and ready to quit. God challenged me a lot this summer. He taught me that it’s not about MY plan, but HIS. He’s in control and there’s nothing I can do about it.

See, my first summer at Pyoca changed me. I grew so much. It was an experience that was all about me. This past summer wasn’t about me at all. It was about the campers. God pushed me to my breaking point and then pushed me some more so I could learn that it’s not about ME, it’s about serving HIM for THEM (the campers). It was a hard lesson to learn.

When looking back, it could be easy to remember all the hard times, all the times I was ready to pack up and leave for home. But instead, I choose to remember the good parts- the fun, laughter, and even challenging memories. So here are some of my favorite memories from Summer 2010. (in no particular order)

1. Evening with Eric: Eric and I left camp to go to Walmart. We left in my car with the windows down and the music blaring. At Walmart, he bought weights and I bought basketball shorts. We went through the drive-through at Steak N Shake so he could get our favorite milkshake- Mint Cookies and Creme. Then we laughed all the way back to camp as we talked about all the things driving us crazy. At one point he asked me a question while shoving a spoon full of ice cream into my mouth and then expected me to answer! When we got back, we went to a secret spot and talked about some really deep stuff.

Eric and I

2. The Beginning of Love Me: One day Aida asked me to draw on her white shirt using some colorful markers. So I wrote “love me” across the front along with some other silly things on the back and sleeves. It looked pretty pathetic but she liked it. Of course, as I was finishing Rich asked us to do it somewhere else or have her take the shirt off for me to write on it. (I was writing on her boobs hehe) A few weeks later, Aida said she had a present for me. She gave me a shirt she had tie-dyed herself and wrote “love me” on. It was beautiful- just like our friendship.

Aida and I: LOVE ME

3. The Lakehouse: One weekend, some of us went to Natalie’s lakehouse for a refreshing/relaxing/enjoyable break. First of all, her lakehouse is awesome. I loved sitting on the porch swing, sleeping, and best of all playing in the lake! The first night, we took the boat out, thanks to Mait. We got to go for a late night swim under the stars. The next day, we took the boat out again and this time we went inter-tubing. I’d only been once before and didn’t like it, but this time was lots of fun! I also loved just sitting on the boat basking in the sun or when Mait got the boat going really fast and the front end would come up really high.

As you can tell I was very scared at first. But don't worry, I was smiling after awhile!

4. The Dance: At the last minute one night we had a talent show. All of the girl counselors in that camp (Allison, Aida, Megan, and I) decided to do a dance to Eenie Meanie  by Justin Beiber and Sean Kingston. We dressed in the brightest colors we could find and I put my hair into the highest ponytail I could get it into. We were the last act and we didn’t have anything planned. We just got up there and danced our hearts out, being as silly and energetic as possible. Everyone loved it!

Aida, Megan, Me, and Allison

5. The Sleepover: One night Mike Mike, Aida and I went to a grocery store and bought apple juice, ice cream, and a movie. First of all, dancing in the car on the way there and back would have made my night even if we hadn’t done everything else. We sneaked into the kitchen to get bowls and ice and who knows what all. Then we went to the staff house to watch the movie and chow down. Later that night, we had a sleepover in Spruce where we stayed up late and talked and laughed.

Aida, Mike Mike, and I

6. BBC (Bed Building Crew): During work camp, Aida and I were sent to Brad (the beastly master maintenance man). We learned how to build beds that day and then we built a bunch of them. We even built a bunk bed! This may sound more like work than fun, but believe me when you’re with Aida anything becomes fun.

We ❤ Fat Max! (Disclaimer: Inside Joke)

7. Guys Night: Sometimes Eric and I would go to Nate’s for the weekend. We’d eat Doritos and play Call of Duty until late hours of the night. I would help them get to level 26 (or some other high number) by yelling out “RED!” whenever one of them got low on ammo and the other one would have to start shooting. It’s serious business when you have 1039484 nazi zombies coming towards you. Then I would get to play. Back then, my goal was to kill 10 of those zombies and I did reach that goal after many many tries. Now I’m up to killing 69 so I’ve gotten much much better. All I have to do is invert the controller and get the Thompson. This was always fun because I felt like just one of the guys.

Nazi zombies are SCARY.

8. Adventure Week: One week I was the director for the Jr. High Adventure Camp. I planned a trip to West Virginia where we camped out of tents at a National park. I drove a 15 passenger van there which was an adventure in itself. But I’m remembering all the good parts so we’ll move on… We went white water rafting which was the best part of my whole summer for sure. I was so scared but it ended up being awesome! I never once fell out of the raft and neither did any of my kids. Guess my prayers were working! We also did a canopy tour in the gorge. It was so fun! I love zip-lines!

The New River in WV

9. The Dock: One night T and I went out to the dock and sat and looked at the water and the stars. We talked for a long time about all kinds of things. He’s a very good listener and I always enjoyed our talks. But this night was really cool because of the atmosphere. It was a very clear night and the water was beautiful.

That's T. 🙂

10. Campers: I have so many good memories with the campers that I will wrap them all into #10. I loved seeing my old campers from two years ago and how they’ve grown. I loved the deep conversations I’d have with campers, the very silly conversations, the dance parties, and the bracelet making. I loved swimming, energizers, singing, Bible lessons, and especially the smiles and joy they brought to me. Overall, they made my summer worth it.

“Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.” -Matthew 21:18-19

This was the basic theme for our Sunday School lesson today. Many, including myself, would look at this verse and think, “Why’s Jesus so grumpy?” I immediately thought, “That poor tree, it wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t even the season for figs!” (Which is explained in Mark)

However, here’s the point of this passage. This fig tree had lots of healthy leaves on it but no fruit. It looked like it was a good tree but it wasn’t. It was being deceptive. This is an analogy. The fig tree represents all those people who are trying to deceive God. To me, it’s about those people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Jesus isn’t going to have any of that. He shows his disciples what happens to deceivers.

I thought it was so interesting that this was our lesson today because this past week I wrote a paper about another passage from the Bible that really relates.

“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.” – Matthew 12:33

If we are good, we will produce good fruit. What’s good fruit? Anything that produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) If we are bad, we will produce bad fruit. What’s bad fruit? Anything that produces worry, insecurity, hate, sorrow, anger, or anything else opposite of the things above.

The world tells us our value relies on our performance. Are you smart enough for an Ivy League college? Can you throw a football like Peyton Manning? Can you draw a masterpiece? Can you sing like Whitney Houston? If not, you’re not good enough. You don’t have what it takes. You must keep achieving because you’re worth is based on your success and accomplishments.

But God tells us, it’s not about what you can DO. It’s about who you ARE. See, Jesus already DID it for us. He erased our sins and mistakes and imperfections. There’s nothing we can do to make ourselves worthy, Jesus did it for us. If we believe in God, we are a healthy tree that produces good fruit. Otherwise, we are unhealthy trees that can only produce bad fruit. Then there are fig trees which pretend to be good on the inside, producing bright healthy leaves but they produce no real fruit because they aren’t healthy on the inside.

So in summary, it’s not about your performance. It’s about who you are on the inside- your core, your spirit. So stop focusing on your outer appearance or your accomplishments or what other people think of you. “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7

If your heart is in the right place, you will produce good fruit.

In the words of Tenth Avenue North:

There’s a girl in the corner with tear stains on her eyes from the places she’s wandered and the shame she can’t hide. She says, “How did I get here? I’m not who I once was. And I’m crippled by the fear that I’ve fallen too far to love.” But don’t you know who you are? What’s been done for you? You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade. Well she tries to believe it- that she’s been given new life but she can’t shake the feeling that it’s not true tonight. She knows all the answers and she’s rehearsed all the lines. So she’ll try to do better but then she’s too weak to try. But don’t you know who you are? You are more than the choices that you make. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade. Because this is not about what you’ve done, but what’s been done for you. This is not about where you’ve been, but where your brokenness leads you to. This is not about what you feel, but what He felt to forgive you, and what He felt to make you loved. You’ve been remade.

Some people hate nicknames and with good reason. As once said: “A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. It is a bugbear to the imagination, and, though we do not believe in it, it still haunts our apprehensions.” – William Hazlitt

However, I’ve only had two nicknames in my 21 years that I’ve disliked. And even still, those two aren’t so bad that they’ve “haunted” me. In fact, I let people call me those names because actually, I love nicknames in general.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like my real name. I think Tiffany is a very pretty name. In fact, it means “appearance of God.” How could you not like that?

But, for some reason, nicknames make me feel closer to someone. If someone has a nickname for me that usually means we’re pretty good friends. I’ve probably had at least 30 nicknames that I like.

Some of those are: Tinaffy, Tiff Tiff, Jungle Claire, T, Panda Bear, T-Fry, Vervosa, Andes, Cupcake, 99, Breakfast, Tiff-Babiff, and the list goes on and on…

So don’t ever be afraid to make up a nickname for me. I’ll most likely enjoy it. And for those of you who already have nicknames for me, thanks. 🙂

Sunshine on my face, journaling, Peanut M&Ms, the wind, cruising with my music loud and the windows down, Jesus, playing in the rain, swing sets, star gazing, horseback riding, playing with kids, board games, the question game, TobyMac, four wheeling, dancing, ice cream, zumba, “the victory sign”, strawberries, fall, playing pig, Take 5 bar, card games, chatting on a roof or balcony, dark chocolate, trucks, piggy back rides,  the beach, eclair bars, butterflies, pedicures, the smell of chocolate cake baking, Pizza Hut, My Boys, making lists, reading, Montana Mike’s, the color purple, The Office, being silly and pulling pranks…

Baxter and I

As you turn onto 700 E. you are surrounded by trees lining the road–that’s pasture. First you’ll see Fred’s house. He has a dog named Baxter that is huge and lovable. He reminds me of a polar bear.

Next, you’ll see the turn for the bottoms. That’s where we usually take the four-wheelers. We go all the way down to the river or the duck pond (I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen a duck there).

Then on the right will be my cousins house. I used to play house and barbies upstairs with the girls. Now we play volleyball or basketball upstairs in the barn. We used to swim in the pool and then lay out on Grandma Lucy’s porch and eat popsickles. Now we ride horses and sit on the roof listening to country music and talking about life.

My brother, cousins and I (Logan, Aubree, Morgan, Mitch and Me)

Keep going and you’ll see Grandma and Grandpa’s house- a big white house with black shutters. It’s been there for over 100 years and it’s always belonged to our family. I used to jump hay bails and play in the grain wagons there with my cousins and brother. As we got older, we’d jump on the trampoline or swing on the tire swing or climb the giant pine tree in the front yard. Now we go to grab sweets from the candy jar and play hours of canasta.

My cousin Reed and I

Down the hill and on the right is my aunt and uncle’s house. That’s where my cousin Sara used to live. She used to be my best friend when I was really really young. Now she lives in California with her husband. I go to that house to swim in the pool and visit my little cousins Cayden and Reed and see their parents.

Next is my house. It’s on the left. My brother and I have lived there all our lives.

I think they should rename our road after us. Here’s the point: I’m really close to my family (not just physically) and I love them so much. They are a huge part of my life. I hope someday I can live on the same road. In fact, my brother, my cousins (who are like siblings to me) and I have all talked about where we’d like to live on that road in the future with our spouses. Who knows, maybe someday…

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to get ahead. I would get off the school bus on Friday, walk in the door and set my backpack next to the kitchen table. As I pulled out my books and started in on my science or math homework my dad would say, “Why don’t you just take a break tonight? You know you have all weekend to do your homework.” That wasn’t an option in my mind. “I’d rather get it all done now so I don’t have to worry about it all weekend,” I’d say.

This carried on through high school and now into college. I realized yesterday how much this trait encompasses my life. It’s not just with homework. Before heading to class that morning, I brushed my teeth. As I squeezed out the toothpaste onto my toothbrush, I realized I was almost out.  No worries though…I’d already bought two new tubes of it for when I ran out. I bought those two weeks ago.

I’d rather get ahead than be behind. Why not go ahead and get that paper done that’s due in two weeks? That way I have time for other things.

Once last semester I sat in class while my professor explained a paper she was assigning. That paper sat finished in the folder on my desk.  Of course I couldn’t tell anyone that–they’d think I was an “over-achiever.” They’d turn my strength into a weakness.

Why do we all do that? We often take something special about someone and turn it into a bad thing. Instead, can’t we just accept them for who they are? Instead of calling me an “over-achiever”, to make yourself feel better- why not be honest and say “Gee, I wish I could be that organized.”

God gave me this drive to be on top of things, to be prepared. I’ve come to realize how great that is. So please don’t bring down my self-esteem anymore than it already is by calling me an “over-achiever” or any other negative name.

So I decided to get a blog like every other writer out there. Why not? I like writing. In fact, I love writing. So it only makes sense. I’m hoping to make this thing a little more personal but I’m still trying to figure out which button does what.

I’m going to start by writing random blogs about myself. So for those of you who don’t know me or don’t know me well, you can get to know the inner workings of me, Tiffany.

So… welcome to my blog!

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