Dear Reader,

Like most of you know, I have a 2015 bucket list of things that I want to accomplish this year and things that are in my control and doable. But I also have a lifetime bucket list of things that may not be possible to complete in 2015 but will hopefully occur at least once in my life.

Well this weekend, one of those things happened to me.

I have always wanted to witness a proposal. I mean, it’s such a big event in a stranger’s life, but it’s so exciting to see! But it’s not like I could ever plan it like, oh I think I’m going to witness someone propose to their significant other today, so it’s always just been on my bucket list and forgotten about until it happened!

My friend and I were walking back to our dorm from the hockey game on Saturday night and this girl comes up to us and says, “Do you guys know where the arch is?”

So we started explaining, but we were pretty close and she had been out all day drinking so we ended up just walking her towards it and she explains, “Yeah my friend’s getting proposed to today.”

WHAT! So Ashley and I freak out about how adorable this is, especially since at Miami the Arch is kind of iconic. Legend has it that if you kiss your significant other at midnight underneath it, you’ll get married and become Miami Mergers.

So this girl keeps talking, saying, “Yeah my friend texted me an hour ago saying ‘I’m going to propose to my girlfriend in like an hour, I’d really like it if you could be there.'” And this poor girl who had been drinking at beat the clock and then broken was now trying to navigate campus in the dark to witness her friends’ proposal!

But we asked her and she said we could absolutely watch if we wanted to, as long as we weren’t right next to them or anything. So we kept a good distance and watched him get down on one knee, freaked out, and then realized he was there alone and was just lighting the candles. And then they kept blowing out, and the girl wasn’t really anywhere to be seen, so we waited five minutes and left.

So okay, I didn’t witness the actual proposal, but I probably would have if it weren’t so cold and dark and far away.

Alright, it may not be the best story ever but I’m counting it you guys! Sure, I hope I’ll witness an actual proposal some day, but this was exciting for me! And we got to hear about this couple from her friend and see how he was at least going to surprise her. So it counts.

I’m counting it.

And since I’ll be at Miami for three and a half more years, I’m sure I’ll witness at least one more similar to this relatively soon.



2015 Bucket List

Dear Reader,

For those of you who don’t know me, I love bucket lists. I actually love lists in general–my phone is filled with lists of songs, things to do, potential baby or character names, ideas that I get, things that make me laugh, and anything else that I feel needs to be written down.

In the past, though, my bucket lists haven’t been very successful. Yet, I continue to make them and continue to fail.

But I think I figured out why this continues to happen–I always seem to forget about them. And then I’ll remember, but it’ll either be too late or I won’t be motivated anymore, and the whole project ends up failing.

So this year, I’m going to make one slight change. (After all, it was Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results).

In order for me to complete this list, I’m going to make it constantly on my mind. I’ll put it everywhere and set goals for it and check in regularly and be persistent about it. And, hopefully, I’ll be successful.

But, either way, bucket lists are fun to make and planning for the future has always been a joy for me. As Margo Roth Spiegelman says, “the pleasure isn’t doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” (I don’t know if I agree with that completely, but I do take pleasure in making plans.)

So, without further ado, my 2015 bucket list:

  1. become an Aunt – I always start my bucket lists with something inevitable, and my sister just happens to be due in February, so this is fitting
  2. rush a sorority
  3. complete The Empty Shelf Challenge
  4. submit a piece of my work to be published – not even get published. Just take the step and put yourself out there!
  5. travel outside of the country
  6. be able to run a 7-minute mile – this may not seem like a big accomplishment at all, but it has been a while since I’ve even attempted to run a mile, so if I can end 2015 with a 7-minute mile under my belt, I’ll be content.
  7. go somewhere new
  8. learn to draw – just one thing! a puppy, a pelican, a person (don’t mind the accidental alliteration)–I just want to have one thing I can sort of draw kind of well.
  9. at least start a scrapbook 
  10. watch 50 new movies
  11. make a jar for memories
  12. be confident in a bathing suit
  13. write at least 3 letters to 23-year-old Sammy – this one requires more information that the rest, so I’ll probably just end up doing a whole other post about it when the time comes.
  14. run a 5k
  15. finish my daily sudoku puzzles (from 2014) – failed project from 2014, meet 2015.
  16. go to a concert
  17. learn 365 new words – ideally one a day, but we know how I tend to handle daily tasks (see #15).
  18. have a birthday “party” – it’s been a solid 5 years since I’ve had one, and I keep meaning to at least celebrate my birthday with friends, but it never happens. So maybe 19 will be the year
  19. go to the batting cages
  20. watch the sunrise
  21. learn how to use chopsticks
  22. color my hair – dye a streak purple, go read, dip-dye it pink–something that I can only get away with because I’m young
  23. join a new club
  24. explore interesting buildings on campus that I’ve never seen before
  25. write a letter – put pen to paper, lick the envelope, smack a stamp on it. We don’t do this as much anymore and that makes me sad.
  26. attend a random lecture for a class I don’t take
  27. people watch 
  28. take a hot bath/have a spa day – candlelight, calming music, a few drops of lavender essential oil, this is one I can’t wait to get checked off the list.
  29. learn how to skate backwards
  30. talk to strangers – just random people in general. I can be very shy but I find people fascinating. So this is just kind of a persistent reminder for me to reach out and interact with other human beings every once in a while
  31. volunteer
  32. reach 300 followers on Sincerely Sammy – let’s be ambitious.
  33. take senior pictures with Sarah
  34. learn how to juggle
  35. be someone’s inspiration for 2016 – not exactly something I can check off (unless someone comes up and tells me I inspire them, I guess), but I always like putting something like this on here. It’s a good goal to strive for.

Well, there you have it. Most of those are things I have been meaning to get around to for ages (learning how to use chopsticks, making a jar for memories), so on the list they go.

Feel free to comment any suggestions for the list–or let me know what you plan to accomplish in 2015! I just love these things.

There’s nothing like the promise of a new year.



PS. I’m diggin this tune: The Mother We Share – CHVRCHES

My Week in San Antonio

Dear Reader,

This year, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to San Antonio, Texas, for FCCLA’s National Leadership Conference. For those of you who don’t know, FCCLA stands for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America and is open to any student enrolled in a Family and Consumer Science class. Because I took a teaching professions class this year, I joined FCCLA and participated in a STAR event at the regional, state, and national competitions.

So, last Saturday, I left my hometown for the Detroit airport, flew into Atlanta, Georgia, and then connected to a flight arriving in San Antonio, Texas. We ended up getting to the hotel at around 3AM because of some scheduling issues involving our shuttle, but the next morning we got up around 8 and traveled to New Braunfels to visit the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which has been voted the World’s Best Waterpark for 16 years in a row. Needless to say, it was amazing. I mostly just went in the lazy river, rode the master blaster, and sat in an inner tube in the falls, but it was such a fun day.

I was so happy that we finally landed that I felt obliged to take a selfie.

I was so happy when we finally landed that I felt obliged to take a selfie.

The view from our room on the 19th floor.

The view from our room on the 19th floor.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center--where most of our meetings took place.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center–where most of our meetings took place.

On Monday I presented my STAR event, which was in the category of nutrition and wellness, but because I think it would be pretty boring to read about, I’ll skip through the details. Basically I just helped my family lose weight and presented it to three judges who looked extremely bored and uninterested, no matter how excited or passionate I tried to seem. So I thought I did awful, but, as we found out on Thursday, I received a gold (the highest) rating. So I guess I just got myself worked up for nothing, which seems to happen to me a lot.

The rest of the day was spent at the mall and roaming around the cities with the new people I met, and we ate dinner that night on the river.

A nice eating area in the center of the mall.

A nice eating area in the center of the mall.

An old friend, Colleen, and I reconnected on this trip and ventured off, forgetting that we would have no one to take a picture of us so we opted for yet another selfie.

An old friend, Colleen, and I reconnected on this trip and ventured off, forgetting that we would have no one to take a picture of us so we opted for yet another selfie.

Where we ate dinner on the river on Monday night.

Where we ate dinner on the river on Monday night.

The next morning I went to an 8AM seminar about texting and driving, which truly opened my eyes. I think the #ItCanWait campaign is so important and am enforcing it with everyone I can. Distracted driving is dangerous and texting behind the wheel is just not a risk worth taking.

Afterwards, I helped my friends prepare for their presentation and went sight-seeing with some people from the group. We also hung out on the 5th floor roof that day and sat in big, comfy couches that overlooked the city.

The sitting area on the 5th floor roof.

The sitting area on the 5th floor roof.

The view from our 5th floor roof.

The view from the 5th floor roof.

On Wednesday morning we had another seminar to go to, this one was about fundraising, and walked around some exhibits. Afterwards we spent the day at the Six Flags in San Antonio, where I discovered that I love roller coasters. Despite the fact that I live about an hour from Cedar Point, I’ve only been there twice–and neither times were particularly spectacular. Six Flags, though, was awesome. Who would’ve known that I’m an adrenaline junkie?

By the time Thursday came around, everyone was exhausted. Luckily, our only obligations were the awards ceremony, closing sessions, and the gala–all of which were more fun than I had anticipated and a good way to end the week.

I reconnected with an old friend from soccer, Brissa, and made new friends, Lily and Ryan, while on this trip.

I reconnected with an old friend from soccer, Brissa, and made new friends, Lily and Ryan, while on this trip. This is us right before we left for the gala.

The view from our 5th floor roof at night.

The view from the 5th floor roof at night.

Then on Friday we drove to the San Antonio airport, flew to Chicago, had a two-and-a-half-hour layover, landed in Detroit around 10, and got back to our school by 11. So I got home, showered, unpacked, repacked, caught up with my sister, and left for my friend’s at 1:30 in the morning only to leave less than four hours later for Indiana.

But that’s another adventure.




Summer is a Long Weekend and July is Saturday

Dear Reader,

In a metaphorical sense, this is spot on. June is Friday; maybe you have a half-day of school or maybe you’re entirely free the whole day. Either way, you’re easing into things. You’re planning for the best weekend (summer) of your life. Or maybe you’re ditching all plans and starting with a bang–full-throttle. Then August is Sunday; you’re recovering. You can still go out and have fun, but in the back of your mind you know you have to get ready to go back to school. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s the distant future. After all, it’s Saturday morning and I don’t have a care in the world. I do, however, have a full day ahead of me.

So, I’m ditching my bowl of frosted flakes and early-morning cartoons, getting out of my gently-worn recliner, and grabbing my notebook. Oh yeah, I’m going all-in on this metaphor. And I’m making a July Bucket List.

I am obsessed with bucket lists. I’m obsessed with lists in general, I actually make several a week, and bucket lists give my to-dos the most dramatic deadline ever. I’m also awful with deadlines, and I’m awful with following through after saying something is going to be different. But I’m committing with you, dear reader, as my witness. And it’s going to be unbelievably shameful if I don’t stick to my word this time (so let’s hope this works).

So without further ado, and in no particular order, my July Bucket List:

  1. travel out of the state (I’m leaving on Saturday for Texas, so yes, I’m starting with something that is inevitable. It’s kind of like how I start each daily to-do list with “wake up.” It gets things off to a good start)
  2. deliver cupcakes to friends
  3. get bikini-body confidence–I’ve never been confident in a bathing suit before in my entire life, and I plan to change that
  4. take a picture every day
  5. watch the sunrise–just once out of the whole month of July; I think that’s doable
  6. explore my hometown
  7. chill on a rooftop 
  8. learn how to make sushi
  9. ride a rollercoaster
  10. post 16 entries on blog (one every other day)
  11. volunteer
  12. go to the farmer’s market
  13. learn how to juggle
  14. read 5 books
  15. chinese fire drill–this is one of my favorite things in the world
  16. write the first chapter of my novel
  17. silly string someone
  18. give Jaden her birthday present (it’s seven months late)
  19. go to a water park
  20. finish a sudoku puzzle a day (I’ve been neglecting my calendar)
  21. run a mile everyday for a week 
  22. pull a prank 
  23. finish Sherlock 
  24. finish The Fault in our Stars
  25. finish Looking for Alaska (I’m on the last episode of the third season of Sherlock and I have maybe 50-75 pages of TFIOS and LFA but I’m just really bad at finishing things. I don’t know why.)

Well, I have 29 days to complete 25 items from this list. I think that’s reasonable. Especially since some of them are so stupid, they’ll take minutes to complete. And I’ll obviously be updating my progress on this blog, so let’s hope I stick to my word. Or this will be embarrassing for everyone.

Secondhand embarrassment is real.