Sar and I flew back to Chicago from TX on Monday evening. My next destination is Iowa, but I couldn't be in the city and not see camp girls. This means I woke up before the sun, drove to La Grange and met Chachi, Ella, Nina, Em and Kat at Starbucks before school. So early and so worth it. I loved being able to sit with them while they were still half asleep, Emily was finishing English homework, they're talking about class and Spring Break and just living real life. This is exactly what I get to do with my Young Life girls at home but it was special to have the chance to just be with these girls today.
I dropped Emily off at school early for test corrections and Nina and Kat told me to just come into school with them. I've had LT campers since I first started being a counselor and have visited this city a dozen times but have never actually been in the school.
Showing up at LT high school on a Tuesday morning is definitely a surprise. We spotted both Maeve and Val before they saw me. I called their names and then hugged them both. They each got tears in their eyes and were just so confused, "Why are you here?" Rain and Maddie knew that I'd be there and I luckily got to see them for a second too. I saw Blaze and met their friend Caria who has never been to camp but told me she loves Tecumseh and even pointed out that it's #tecumsehtuesday. When the bell rang the girls went to class and I headed back to my car. Such a great adventure before it was even 8am.
The biggest chunk of my day was spent in the car driving to Iowa. Never did I ever think I'd visit Iowa. My friend Brenna Boat at Hope was from Pella, Iowa and I knew Michelle and the Mooney's went to Drake. Other than those connections, I didn't really know anything about the state.
One of my goals for this year was to visit Sarah Mooney at Drake. She's a Senior and I wanted to be able to see her life and meet her friends here before she graduates. I remember when I was at Hope that I wished my camp friends could see that campus and the people that made it feel like home. So I set my GPS for Des Moines and headed West. My leisurely ride was filled with a book on CD (I felt like my parents), Diet Coke, pit stops at Subway and an outlet mall, and lots of wide open land dotted with silos and barns.
I made it to Drake and was elated to be reunited with Smoon, one of my very best friends. She showed me around DG and introduced me to a couple friends. Michelle, aka Peanut aka Sarah's sister, came over after class to hang out with us. Peanut is a riot and I'm so glad I'll get to play with her this week too.
Smoon and I were in Teton together in 2007 and have been friends ever since. This past summer we were CILT counselors together and I loved getting to work side by side with her. I'm so thrilled that we'll both be returning as CILT counselors this upcoming summer.
We ate dinner with Peanut which was filled with funny and random stories. I hung out in Peanut's dorm for awhile and met her friends before going back to DG for the night. Sar and I are just really good at being friends whether we're having a heart to heart or making lists or watching TV. I'm excited to get to spend the next couple days just being part of her life here.
I met Michelle when she was just a Blazer, later got to be her CILT counselor and these days she's on staff with me. Really crazy to think I've watched her grow up in a sense. She's precious and I'm so glad that I'll get to play with her here too.
We had been talking about April Fool's Day jokes but hadn't done one yet. I had the idea to post the following on Instagram at about 10:00. Smoon and I felt pretty confident that people would comment for a free friendship bracelet. We just kept hitting refresh on my phone as we watched all of the comments poor in. In just 15 minutes there were over 100 comments on the picture and only about 5 people that asked if it was for April Fools.
Once all the comments were in I posted this to let people know it had just been a joke. Sorry I couldn't randomly pass out 100 friendship bracelets today but it was pretty funny.