Monday, June 28, 2010

What should have been "Airplane Adventures"...

Every summer since the third grade, I've gone to visit my sisters that live in Tennessee. I have always stayed for two weeks, and this year I wanted to try something a little different: 3 weeks. Two weeks is too short. Plus, I'm older. This is where the story gets interesting.

We booked a flight for me to fly to Tennessee. I would fly from South Bend to Chicago, have a 3 hour layover, then go from Chicago to Nashville. Seems pretty simple, right? I can handle this.

We drive to South Bend. We go up to the United Airlines counter, and want to check me in. (I'm not sure what the employee's name is, so we'll just call her "Frizzy Hair Lady".)

Mom: "We need to check Brittney Schermerhorn in."

Frizzy Hair Lady: "Sorry. Her flight's been cancelled."

Mom: "What? Do you have anything else she could get on?"

Frizzy Hair Lady: "No."

Ashley: "Not one flight, one seat?"

Frizzy Hair Lady: "No. But she could get on a bus and try to catch her connecting flight in Chicago."

Mom: "A bus? She's a minor!"

Frizzy Hair Lady: "Well, it's up to you."


By this time, my family and I had been trying to figure out what we could do so I could get to Tennessee. After we thought we had a plan, we had to go talk to Frizzy Hair Lady again to see if I could get transfered to my sister's flight with Delta. No one is at the counter, so we ring this bell. She comes up front, and says that she can't help us, the airline needs her help with a flight that just came in. There is three other people standing in line.

Frizzy Hair Lady: "Sorry. Can't help you. Flight just came in they need my help with. Be back in 30 minutes."

Ashley: "You can't just help us really quick?"

Frizzy Hair Lady: "No. I can in 30 minutes."

Frizzy Hair Lady exits.

We decide this is the final straw. My sisters flight kept getting more and more delayed, so we decide to just rent a car and drive it.

I got my hopes up for nothing. Thank you, Frizzy Hair Lady. Your courtesy made it all the better.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Think Twice.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where theives break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be."
-Matthew 6:19-21

Don't get me wrong, I love my iPod, my cell phone, and all the other uneccessary blessings God had brought into my life. Everyone's got something that you don't need, but is nice to have. I think a lot of the time we take these blessings for granted - and don't realize how lucky we are to have all of these things. But sometimes... we get a little carried away, and can only see what we DON'T have, not what we do have. But the fact is... guys, you don't need that new Element skateboard, and girls don't need that brand new Abercrombie & Fitch fleece hoodie. Trust me. But I do know how it feels to want something you can't have; we all do. Although what you have to remember is that nothing we have here matters. Nothing. I'll say it again. Nothing we have here matters in the end. We live on this earth for a short time, and can't take anyting with us once we're gone. Yet all we worry about is what we don't have? Feeling this way in the first place probably wasn't your fault. In America, we want what we want, and we want it now. Frankly, we're selfish, self-centered, and feel jealous way too easily. But the thing is, just because you felt that way in the first place, doesn't mean you have to continue to feel like that.

Don't turn your thoughts inward, always thinking about what you don't have, but think about the people in other parts of the world, who have absolutely nothing.

The organization called Nothing But Nets is providing children in Africa that are in malaria-prone areas, with mosquito nets to put around their bed when they sleep at night, when mosquitoes are most prone to transmit the disease. The nets cost just $10 dollars, and the risk of people getting malaria goes down by 90%.

Another organization, called Blood:Water Mission, has a program called Forty Days, where people that sign up, don't drink anything but water over the forty days of Lent. They then take the money they would have spent on coffee, pop, what have you, and donate it to Blood:Water. They provide clean drinking water in areas that it is not readily available.

These are both great examples of what you can do to help others. We should always be aware that while we may think we don't have much, we have SO much more than others. Be thankful for what you have, now. It's so much more than the rest of the world.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nothing is Forever

On Monday morning around 9:40am, I found out that my aunt Connie, my dad’s deceased brother’s wife, had died. I didn’t know her very well, but the fact of knowing a family member had passed still had its effects on me. Her husband died two years ago, and now that both of them are gone, makes realize that once something’s gone, something’s gone. Every once in a while when I got a chance to see either of them, they would always talk about all of the funny memories and stories they had with their two sets of twins. Although I may have only heard a few of the book-worthy stories, it made me realize that I will never have another chance to hear those. Of course a death in the family is always a shock, but we should never assume that you’ll for sure see the person again. I regret not getting to know my aunt and uncle better, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Treat each day like your last, and know that nothing is forever.

Go Midwest! (What?)

When my friend Lindsey Phillips originally asked me to go with her, her mom, her grandma, and Jenna Hetmansperger to Mall of America for a few days, I was pretty much thrillled. I mean, Mall of America! This was going to be one awesome trip. Me and two of my best friends, on a road trip. Final destination: Mall of America.

It's Sunday now, and we left on Thursday. Thursday was pretty much just getting to the Wisconsin Dells. We got stuck in a TWO HOUR traffic jam in Chicago! It wasn't too bad though, considering I was with two awesome people and the movies Rumor Has It and Toy Story. It went a lot quicker considering we were watching movies and talking a whole lot. Anyway, after we finally got through the traffic jam, we got to our hotel a few hours later and didn't do a whole lot that day. Friday, we spent the day at the water/theme park, called Mt. Olympus at the Wisconsin Dells. That was so fun! Although I was a little paranoid about getting my sunburn even MORE sunburned. I had to walk around all day with my towel over my shoulders. But hey. They have one awesome indoor waterpark. I'm talking like 6 or 7 water slides, a couple of pools and a few lazy rivers. The outdoor water slides sure were fun too. That was a good day, definitely one I won't forget.

On Saturday, we drove the rest of the way to Bloomington, Minnesota, to spend the rest of the day at Mall of America. That was fun. There's 560 stores, and 4 floors! It's a good thing we planned on staying the entire day at mall, because we definitely needed it. And honestly... despite all the hype it gets, it really is just a MALL. A big one. I really was expecting a little more than it had to offer, but it sure was fun anyway. But boy, did we do some walking! Friday we had a little run-in with a mall cop... it turns out that on Fridays and Saturdays after 4pm, kids 15 and under have to be with their parent or guardian. We, however, did not know this. So... that was probably one high point of the trip!

The other high point of the trip was DEFINITELY going to the home furnishing store, IKEA. I saw it on the side of the road, and started freaking out because I've wanted to go to one since forever. My sister originally introduced me to it by buying me an alarm clock, a throw pillow, and a couple storage containers that she knew I would love. She also got me the catalog, which was the icing on the cake, what really made me fall in love with IKEA. Unfortunately, we don't have any near us in Michigan. So we spent a few hours browsing, and I definitely got my imagination going. I can't wait to be a homeowner!

All in all, we had a fantastic time. I really enjoyed it, and definitely plan on coming back in the near future. Thanks, Mall of America!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I met Hawk Nelson.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 may have been the best day of my life. I met Jason Dunn, Jon Steingard, Dan Biro, and Justin Benner. I went on their tour bus, I ate a Jason Dunn cheese stick, and Hawk Nelson Cheerios.

The day started out pretty early. Wake up at 6am, be picking a friend up by 7. Three hour drive to Muskegon, Michigan to spend the day at Michigan’s Adventure. Then, Hawk Nelson concert and see my brother-in-law again! Sounds like one great day. And don’t get me wrong, it was.

Michigan’s Adventure may not have the biggest, baddest, meanest roller coasters around, but I sure do like them. When we first got to the park, Anna and I headed for the Corkscrew. I had only been on it one other time, and it was okay. I was pretty much only going on it so she wouldn’t have to go alone. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good warm-up coaster. To keep a long story short, we went on Shivering Timbers twice and Thunderhawk once. I tried to decide if I could actually go on Thunderhawk for about half an hour… But something urged me to do it. Who knows, maybe I have an adventuresome spirit after all? Nah… I doubt it. Must have been something in the water.

I’m glad I did it. Sure, I closed my eyes the entire time I was on Thunderhawk, except for those 2.3 seconds when I opened them and saw sky… but I think I can say that if I get another chance, I will go on it again. Just keep my eyes open.

I have to say, getting to go straight through the gate that everyone is waiting around for the concert by the escort of your brother-in-law, is pretty darn rad. I felt pretty special. They actually had the stage set up in the wave pool. (No… the water was drained. That would have been fun though!) Superchick, John Ruben, and Bread of Stone went on before “Hawk”, and they were all great. I think they knew that we were all there for Hawk Nelson though. The bad part though, was that the boys didn’t come out until 9:20pm. The cool part though, was that during Hawk’s performance, we got to stand up on the audio booth with Josh, the brother-in-law I mentioned. That was really cool. I also saw some sound guy wearing TOMS Shoes! That was pretty neat. I almost said something to him… but didn’t.

Out of all the music I heard that day, I think Hawk Nelson sounded the best. Josh really knows how to do his job, and well. While watching him push all the faders and buttons on his sound board, I asked him how he learned to do all of that. His reply? “Um… I’m not sure!”

Hawk Nelson's tour bus is the best. They don't have their own, but they go through the same company everytime they go on the road. The one they had that day, was pretty darn awesome. Walk on the bus, kitchen/living room. The couches along the wall were so comfy! I could easily live on this bus. But after you go back just a little farther than that, you hit the bunks. They have 12 total. I'd say they're pretty spacious, too. Then just further back then that, is this 'den' area. Did I mention they have satellite TV and internet on the bus? What a hook-up. How could you not live on this bus? It's like... a house on wheels.

Thanks to Josh Chambless, May 22, 2010 was the best day of my life. Thanks again, Josh!