Last semester I joined my school's newspaper staff. If some of y'all have been watching my monthly vlogs, you'll know that I am a designer for them. Recently got given the job as Art Director for the rest of the semester, so go me!
For my second full day in Austin, we decided this was gonna be our hiking day, which meant having a well placed breakfast that would hold us all over until the late afternoon. Day 2 was definitely an out-of-body experience getting to be with family and just generally enjoying myself for once.
This spring break (#sb2k16) I was extremely lucky to spend part of it in Austin, TX with family. With everything that has been going on in the beginning of the year, this family time was very much needed and I could never thank my cousins enough for opening their door to me and letting me become part of their household.
This post and the next two will be heavily filled with photos and little excerpts about my time in Austin.
I got very lucky this Spring Break. Instead of not being able to really enjoy it, I actually get to spend the first half of it with my cousins in Austin, Texas. Ever since I had visited them several years ago for Winter Break, I fell in love with their city, and have been itching to go back. ACL just does not give you enough time to really explore the city.
Why do I travel?
I travel to see the sunset on a different coast. Because it's not about itineraries, planned tourist spots or luxury hotels. It's about getting lost in a city and loosing yourself, only to find yourself. It's only eating food specifically from that country and not chain foods. It's becoming so immersed in the culture you leave a part of yourself there and take a part of there home with you.
It's about being left speechless, not by the wonders of world but by the little things; whether its the countryside or the people. It's about learning the culture and being submersed in it. I travel to learn all the tips and tricks to pack less and experience more.
I travel to see the work of God on snow-capped mountains and fields filled to the brim with flowers. It is to see animals in their own natural habitat and not behind bars or glass. It is to be left in awe and wonder of how different two sides of the world are. It is using the same feet that stepped into crystal blue waters in the tropics to hike across hills in the Greenbelt. It is not knowing where you will end up but being happy to be moving.
I travel so when I am looking back, I do not regret the "what if's" because they turned out to be "I can and I will." I travel because my heart aches to be in places that I have never been in. I travel because I realized that we were not meant to just pay bills and die. I travel to learn that life begins right outside of your comfort zone.
I travel so I can learn to appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
I travel to open my eyes to the world around. I travel because if God had intended me to stay in one place, I would have roots instead of feet.
To travel to a place I know is fun but also kind of safe. But to travel to a place I have never been before is exciting and exhilarating.
This past weekend was one of those times, even though I was still in Texas, I hadn't really been up the east coast of it before. Taking the crazy plunge to go visit our (ex) boss but also to visit the park, Marissa and I took the drive up the coast to Galveston.
The 4 and a half hour drive was something new, but luckily we filled it up with blasting songs and lovely chatter.
The biggest problem we had the entire trip was upon arrival we realized that because we didn't book the hotel ourselves we didn't quite know who's name the room would be under, but thankfully we had the confirmation number and that problem became not a problem anymore.
I could sit here and type out my entire weekend, but I thought the photos would do it more justice than I would. This past weekend was absolutely stellar and Galveston is definitely up on my list to go back to.
Until next time,
As the summer winds down to a close, I get the chance to reflect on what this summer has taught me and how much I've changed. I am still having trouble believing that it is already going to be Fall and time for another semester of school. Soon it'll be Halloween (my favorite Holiday; lots of exciting things for that month), Thanksgiving, Christmas than another new year is upon us.
I never would have thought this summer would make an impact on me and my life, I just knew I would be doing something exciting (and scary) for the first time. Confused? Let's rewind back a couple of months.
In January, I gave my commitment to serve as a TL for two camps in July, without even pausing to think that I had no idea what I was doing with my faith, how am I supposed to teach little ones. Fast forward to May, the finals were rolling to a close, I managed to scrape past Spanish and Philosophy with passing grades and now brought the opening season for Schlitterbahn, along with the news I'd be promoted from cashier to lead to supervisor all in the matter of 2 days.
June brought my first glimpse of how a Still Water summer would go. It also brought along my first single road-trip ever and that was exciting yet scary because it was right after the Wimberly floods so I couldn't take the planned route, but also because it would be an almost 4 hour car-ride with no one but myself. Although my parents had their concerns, I arrived safely and in one piece (minus a quick panic attack and going the wrong way). Spending 4 days out in Blanco at the Franklin Family Ranch for Tribal Leader training was a beautiful way to start the summer, and it made me extremely excited for camp in July.
July felt like a quick month with myself spending 9 days out at FFR again for camp. But it also brought along the excitement of my little sister starting school. That was a tough day to send her off into the world. After my trip for camp, July crawled by at a snail's pace.
August has been one of the exciting months for me. The first week brought me participating in the first ever Champ Camp down here in Corpus! But it also brought my road-trip to New Braunfels for my absolute favorite band, R5. I am still having a hard time believing that I actually got to see them live and in person. Plus the biggest event in my life this summer happened in August. I moved! Still trying to get used to it honestly. Even now, as I sit in my new room, typing up ideas for posts, it still hasn't hit me.
My summer has been filled with meeting new people, crazy times, highs and lows, trying new things and just enjoying life. Although it was a nice break, I am more than ready to hit up those school books and learn new things for my degree, even though I have a feeling that once school really starts up, I'll be back to counting down the days until summer vacation.
Until next time my lovelies,
I recently just got back from being gone 9 days (NINE!). And as you can guess, I was at camp, no not as a camper but as part of the staff. First camp as part of the Core Team and the second one as a TL, both jobs being exciting and fulfilling.
I know I have spoken about Still Water in previous posts, and all of those have been leading up to this one. I made the commitment early on in the year to help out for Rookie Camp, and I have been counting down the days ever since.
Now that's it is here and gone I am at a lost on what to do with my time until school starts. Isn't that sad? But then again, isn't that how most major events work in people's lives. There is so much hype leading up to the big event then said event comes and goes, and it's like what happened?
I was lucky to go to one camp in my childhood, a Young Life camp, and I loved it, but that was the only one I ever participated in and I feel like I didn't get to fully experience what most kids got to. My heart has always been with kids, my faith and traveling, (and of course photography and writing) so getting to get out of Corpus for a little bit while getting to hang with little ones sounded like the perfect gig.
And it was!
I got to mix being somewhere that wasn't Corpus, hanging out with little kids AND growing more in my faith in one sitting! I don't know how much better it could get. Plus I got to kick around a soccer ball which I have missed immensely. This summer was a struggle for numerous reasons but this trip had me feeling blessed for the lives that I, hopefully, touched, and for the people who have touched mine, everyone from the people I became friends with to the little kids who taught me it's okay to take naps during the day and to always appreciate the small things.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to Still Water for letting me apart of this amazing journey and I cannot wait until next year!
Until next time lovelies,
Photo credit to Still Water
Okay, so it honestly isn't that big of a surprise to friends but maybe to some family members. But I thought this would be a nice way to inform the people.
Yes, I'm moving. No, it isn't very far. It's actually in the same city just closer to school and work. I am really excited because I have never moved to my own place (even though I am sharing with 4 other people), and I am feeling like a little adult. Of course, it is only for a year and if I decide I like it here, and can continue to afford it, I will probably spend my last year here as well.
This wasn't some spontaneous decision either. I did a lot of research of different places because I wanted something for a student budget but also one that was safe and took dogs. Not a lot of requirements but the fair few that mattered. And I was so thankful to have found Aspen Heights, which is student housing but so much better. The homes are actual houses, two stories, ranging from a 2 bedroom home to a 5 bedroom home. Plus they accept dogs, have a dog park for said dogs and is all around awesome!
At first, I had my hesitations because I had my very strong views about not staying at any kind of student housing because it just wasn't me, but after touring the facilities twice, once by myself and the other with my mom, my resolve melted away. I had fallen in love with the place and didn't waste time when it came to signing my lease.
Aspen Heights is probably the perfect place for a student to move to because for me, it is almost down the street from my school but because it's young adult housing and they care for their tenants. I've read so many reviews about how they work their hardest to make sure everyone who lives there is happy.
Now during the last week of August, I pack up everything I have bought and everything I am taking, and move out of my mom's house which to be honest is starting to freak me out a little, but I am so excited because I am becoming me and doing this for me and not for anyone else. I honestly don't think it has quite hit me that I will no longer be able to call on my mom for the little things anymore, and I am just waiting for it to happen.
Counting down the days has become a wonderful reminder from my mom, even if it's in little comments like "21 days until you leave the nest," or "18 days until I don't have to watch Cookie anymore." (Hate to break it to you mom, but you're still gonna have to watch her!)
I do plan on keeping everyone updated with design ideas and decorations as the days come closer so be aware of that but I am also excited to welcome a couple more people into my small group of friends.
So stay tuned for all that and more lovelies!
Until next time,
As I type this post, I am siting on the porch of the cabin I am staying at with some of the other female TL’s (Tribal Leaders), rightly named ‘Creekside’ seeing as how the front faces the creek that runs through the property, listening to Tenth Avenue North. And I have been here about a day already and I do not want to go back to Corpus anytime soon.
Unfortunately, in two days times, I will be completing the 3 hour and 45 minute drive back home. I wish I was staying through the summer out here because they do need a videographer and I was asked (am still being begged to reconsider), but with the promotion at work, I can’t quit then asked to be rehired just because this one summer gig is what I want to do.
Huh.. When I type that, it seems like worth quitting…
NO! BAD MIKAYLA!
Guys, I love my job at Schlitterbahn, don’t worry. I have amazing co-workers and one stellar boss. Besides more opportunities will come up, better ones maybe that involve traveling. Ones that'll come at the opportune moment and that’s when I’ll grab it. Besides, I don’t think I am in that right place to pack up and come out here for the entire summer yet. Maybe next summer…
Anyway! Back to the purpose of this post!
I first got connected to Still Water back in December via Carla and Ron McKee, who later both became city directors or something like that for Corpus. Basically, I had been wanting to go on some sort of trip/retreat whatever, and they said ‘Hey! There is a college retreat coming up with this cool group called Still Water… And it’s FREE.’ So I said “sure! Sounds like fun!”
Later, after having lunch with Carla and two other girls that I go to church with, she explained what exactly Still Water is, and that she thought we should apply at TLs. Again, I was all for it! So I applied, got accepted, and went to the retreat the first weekend of the new year, which I believe you can read about here. And I loved it. I met some awesome people, and fell more in love with serving Christ. February rolled around and it was time for W.O.W. (Weekend of Warriors), which you can read about here. And I knew I had found some sort of calling.
I fell in love with worshiping God and worshiping him with close friends, some I had just met that day. But I also fell in love with working with kids, teens, who either a) didn’t know Christ or b) Knew him but sometimes needed that extra momentum.
So I had waited patiently for school to be over, and for the chance to come out to Franklin Family Ranch for training to experience my first summer as a TL, and it has finally come! This property is so beautiful and I definitely feel God’s handiwork when I look at the landscape and even at the people here. I am surrounded by fellow Christians, my brothers and sisters and I can feel the love pouring out of them.
Now comes the challenge of waiting until my term in July to serve fully as a TL, and I could not be happier.
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing..."