That’s a wrap

As I wrap up my senior year, I feel like I constantly have a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Everything is coming to a close with my high school life, but, at the same time, I know that there are so many opportunities ahead of me. I wrote a poem for my AP English class that I would like to share.

A Senior’s Prayer by Stacie Bartels

Oh, give us pleasure with each passing day;
And give us not to think so far away
As college, jobs, families–keep us here
Enjoying the end of our senior year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the busy halls,
Bid us remember our football filled falls;
And make us happy in the last few games,
The crowd cheering, for the last time, our names.

And make us happy in the ringing bells
That they say we’ll miss, but only time tells
If we might remember our high school years–
All of our memories: the smiles and tears.

For these are the days like no other days;
Gone soon, like that awkward Junior High phase.
Wherever we go, wherever we roam,
Platteview High School will always be home.

All in all, I loved high school. I know I am going to miss it, but I can’t wait to look up and see all that life has to offer me.


When exactly do we become an adult?

I turned eighteen last August, but I can’t say that I feel any different than I did when I was seventeen. I still live with my parents, go to school, and hang out with my friends on the weekends–with parental permission, of course. I know in Nebraska that legal adulthood is nineteen, but the generally accepted age of becoming an adult, here, in America, is eighteen.

The thing is, though, like it said before, I don’t feel like like an adult. In my mind, becoming an adult is supporting yourself and displaying a level of maturity beyond your years. This being said, it seems like it would be almost impossible to put an age on this landmark. Everyone finds themselves in different situations in life that create the need to take different actions. If my parents kicked me out of the house on my eighteenth birthday, I feel like I would almost be forced into becoming an adult, because I would have to take on so many more responsibilities. At the same time though, someone who is kicked out of the house or starts living on their own, can still remain a child. It all depends on the actions and choices that you make.

Entering adulthood, to me, can not be given a certain age. You become an adult when you mature. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. You are an adult when you realize your responsibilities and act on them accordingly.

I would like to put out there though: Being an adult doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the fun of being a kid. I feel like there is always a little part of you that will remain a kid, no matter what age.

What do I learn in school?

“What did you learn at school today?”

As we sit around the dinner table each evening, this is a question that is regularly presented by my parents.

Sometimes my brother and I reply that we didn’t learn anything, but I know this isn’t true.

I learn a lot in school. However, sometimes I don’t think that it is necessarily what my teachers thought they were teaching.

Being in multiple AP and advanced courses, I always have a full plate in front of me. It often seems like it should be impossible for me to absorb all of the information presented to me, but somehow I manage. I think this is due to the process of time management that I’ve been taught over the years. Each day that my teachers assign homework and I know I have an activity that is going to take up my evening, I am taught that I need to step back and prioritize what needs to get done. Essentially, every homework assignment I have is teaching me something other than the material we are covering in class.

In school I learn important communication skills. With such a vast variety of people in my midst, I am forced to be in situations that require communication skills that might not be used if I wasn’t at school: I have to communicate with my teachers about difficult concepts or missed days, I have to communicate with my peers on subjects that we might disagree on, and I have to keep a polite, friendly attitude toward everyone I come across.

Scholastically speaking, I have learned quite a bit as well. I think that my teachers do a great job of teaching their subjects in my classes. I mean, I know a lot more about Calculus than I ever thought I would! So, when the question, “What are you really learning in school?”, comes up, I can honestly say, more than you’d think. There is a lot more to school than the academics, and I think that is a good thing.

Thin mints

The world is currently in the midst of Girl Scout cookie season.

I gave up sweets for lent.

Let’s just say, it’s been rough…

…and it hasn’t even been a week.

No, I’m not crazy.

If we get technical about it, I actually gave up both sweets and snacks for lent. Therefore, I can’t have any snacks between meals, unless they are a healthy addition to my daily diet, and I can have no sweets whatsoever. Many people ask me if I’m Catholic when they hear that I’ve given things up for lent, but I’m not Catholic, I’m Methodist, and this seems to throw a curve ball at people sometimes.

I would like to focus this blog post about the reasons that I, PERSONALLY, give things up for the season of lent.

During lent, Christians are preparing for Easter. It is supposed to be a time where you can grow in your faith. It might seem odd to give up something like sweets an snacks to grow in your faith, but I think its a wonderful thing. In my opinion, it all comes to your personal relationship with God. I feel like eating all of that junk is weighing me down, and if I can’t feel good about what I’m giving my body, I feel like I lose focus on what is most important: my relationship with God. Therefore, giving up these things is opening me up to a better lifestyle. I want to be my best self because I think that’s what The Creator wants for all of us; I want to be my best self, but, not for myself…For Him–If that makes sense. (Sorry for all of that crazy punctuation!)

Now, this is definitely not to say that I think that everyone should give something up during the Lenten season. As I said before, I feel like it just depends on where you are in your faith walk, and it’s just a really personal thing. If you feel like adding or giving something up in your life with strengthen your faith, then I’d say go for it!

If anything, I’d just say to remember WHY your doing what you’re doing. Use the Lenten season to grow in your faith and prepare for Easter, and maybe some of the good habits you form during this time, with stick even after the holiday.

As far a the Girl Scout cookie thing goes, I probably shouldn’t complain too much. It’s such a small thing in relation to this big world. I’ll just keep looking up, and reaching for what I know is important.

Writing Magic

When I was younger, I came up with lots of crazy ideas for things I wanted to do. I wanted to start a pre-school, so I set up a tiny school in my basement and made folders and homework for my students. At one point I had my own web-show too. That lasted for a couple of episodes. I remember having a tiny jewelry store on the trailer that sat in my driveway, but I don’t remember there being many customers… I would get so upset with my mom, because, while allowing me to do all of these things, she would always act like they were just games that I was playing, as opposed to the things I told her I COULD do. However, there was one idea I had that was different than all the rest.

I wanted to be a writer.

The other day, I found my old notebooks hiding in a tub in the bottom of the cabinet in my room. I suppose they weren’t really “hiding”, since I knew they were there, but I decided to crack them open to see what was inside. What I found made me smile and brought back a string of memories from my childhood. In each notebook was a story, or two that I had started to write. They were so much fun to read! I remember thinking that I wanted to be an author and write stories just like the authors in my favorite books did.

Around the time I wrote those stories, I remember Santa Claus bringing me a book called “Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly” by Gail Carson Levine. She was one of my favorite authors then, and I absolutely adored that book. It inspired me to write magical stories of my own.

My parents and family definitely encouraged my writing. I have an uncle who lives down in Arizona that designed a popular hiking website. He helped me create my own website.. The site was called Magic Pen Depot, and it was supposed to be a website where authors could share their stories. It never became very popular, but a couple of my friends created users, and it was a lot of fun. I was very proud of it. Unfortunately, it no longer exists, but the memories of it do!

I wish I was still as passionate about writing as I used to be. I still love the idea of it, but I don’t know what I’d write. Maybe I’ll have to start a blog after I get out of high school, because I do enjoy writing on here!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

All-State Experience

This last week, I sang in the 2014 Nebraska All-State Chorus. It was an indescribable experience. This is my second year attending All-State, but I was just as blown away as I was the first time. The sound that the choir makes is breathtaking. I feel so blessed to have been a part of making such a beautiful sound.

In its entirety, All-State was three days and two nights. The girls that sat around me were kind and fun to be around. One girl that sat to my left had a lovely accent. Being so interested in other cultures, I couldn’t help but to ask her about it. She told me that she moved here from Mexico three years ago, and I told her about how interested I was in learning Spanish. Then, it was time to sing again, but during our next break between songs our conversation started up again. This time, it was turned around, and sort of comical!

The girl turned to me and said that is sounded like I had an accent as well, and she asked if I was from Germany! I laughed and told her I was not. She was surprised and then described to me a foreign exchange student at her school that was from Germany…who I apparently looked and sounded just like.

The topic came up a few times later, and I found the entire situation to be quite charming. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Overall, this is one of the smaller things that I found made my experience at All-State so wonderful. I’m glad I can look up I see that there are so many little things that make great things so great.

Oh! Also, if you ever get the chance to go watch the All-State Chorus perform, I highly suggest it! Have a lovely week! Happy Thanksgiving! (:


The wintery season is upon us. Though it is not yet technically winter, Nebraska has decided to throw some snow at us. I thought it was funny, because a foreign exchange student from my school listed on Facebook the she was so surprised there was snow in November! This can only bring a smile to a Nebraskan’s face, considering the weather here is highly unpredictable, and some years we have snow in October! The thing about winter, however, is that, while some people love it, others absolutely despise it. Even if wee are hone latter, we have to try and look at the bright side of things during these dark, cold days.
When I was in about sixth grade, I walked a little boy to school every single day. He was a kindergartner at the time, and, once the excitement of snow ball fights and fort building was over, he decided that winter was not his favorite. I can still picture him trudging through the snow, with his backpack and snow boots, crying to me, “It’s going to be winter foreverrrrrrr”. I tried explaining to him that it would end eventually, but he wasn’t convinced until the snow melted and the grass turned green.
We all think like he did at some point, though it might not be as dramatic (: After the Thanksgiving feasts, the merriment of Christmas, and the excitement of New Years, we all kind of grow tired of the cold and the snow. We have to remember that each season will end, and bring the next, and each season is special. We have to look up and enjoy nature, enjoy the holidays for what they really mean, and enjoy the fact that we get to experience them.



As November 4th has come and gone, we have seen yet another election. This is only my second time voting, but, both times, I have just been humbled by the fact that we are truly blessed to live in a country that’s allows us to give our input on important matters. However, voting needs to be something that we use to our advantage. Last year, my persuasive speech for the speech team concerned the topic: “Why everyone should be an informed voter”. I think this is a really important concept. Without being informed, how do you know if you are contributing to the betterment or worsening of our nation? I think yet another aspect of looking up is acknowledging all of the factors that come to making an informed decision on how you should vote.
A lot of the time, if think people are conformists when it comes to voting. They just vote on whatever or whomever they see is popular to the rest of the population. People will more than likely vote for whatever or whomever their party supports, rather than analyzing the entire situation and forming their own opinions. As sad as it may be, politicians often will lie or trick their audience in order to get them to lean their way. Even though this is immoral, we have to take the situation as it is and make sure that we are informed before marking our ballots.
Bottom line, we would be doing ourselves and each other a favor by becoming informed before we cast our votes. Research things that you are unsure about. If you are going to vote on something, being unsure is not the way to go about business! We all need to stop conforming, so that we can secure a better tomorrow. We need to look up and see what needs to be done in this country, and get it done!



Spanish is one of my passions. I absolutely love learning it. In school, I am in the fourth year of Spanish, and in college I plan to major on the subject, along with a science that is yet to be determined. I don’t know what it is that makes me enjoy it so much, but I always have. I like the idea of being able to talk with other people in a language that isn’t native to my own. Plus, as I have mentioned before, I plan to study abroad, and a Spanish speaking country is at the top of my list!

The past few days in Spanish class, we have been talking about why Spanish is such an important language to be learning, as well as discussing the reasons that people don’t want to learn it. Regarding the latter, we talked about how Spanish is seen as useless, or too difficult. We talked about how a lot of people in America think that Hispanic-Americans should learn English, because “that’s what we speak here”. While everyone is titled to their own opinion, I just want to share a few facts that I learned that show that maybe people should think twice before blowing off the language.

To start off, I would like to make it clear that the U.S. does not have an official language. Sure, we do mainly speak English, but the number of people speaking Spanish is creeping higher year after year. Spanish is spoken by roughly 37 million residents of the United States. What I find crazy is that predictions state that, by 2050 (36 years from now), the U.S.A. will be that largest Spanish speaking country in the entire world. This is only a prediction, but it is still an astonishing thought!

As far as Spanish being hard goes, I would like to point out that English isn’t all that easy either. In fact, if you think about it, we have a pretty difficult language! My Spanish teacher shared a few images with us that prove this fact, and I will share one here:

english poem

This cute, little poem speaks profoundly of how tough English can be. There is no saying that Spanish isn’t hard, however, it is most definitely not out of anyone’s reach.

There are multiple other reasons as to why it is a good idea to learn Spanish. In efforts to get a job, having that ability to speak in Spanish will help immensely, especially in the years to come. This can be said for all jobs, but speaking Spanish could also land you a job as a translator, which can pay quite nicely. In the future, I plan to become a PA (Physicians Assistant), and I would love to be able to implement the the use of the language if I see any patients who who feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. Jobs aside, you just never know when you will run across the need for the language. It could be as you are walking through the grocery store, or it could be in the midst of an emergency situation. It is a good tool to have!

All in all, I think that we all need to look up and become aware of the cultures around us. There is so much out there to be discovered! I, personally, can’t wait to keep learning more about Spanish, and hopefully someday I will be able to visit Spain or another Spanish speaking country and experience the vibrant culture first hand.  Until then, I plan to keep on studying the language and to keep on encouraging others to do the same.



The flower


Allison's Flower

One of the hardest things for me to do is to forget the things that don’t go the way that I want them to. I have such high expectations for myself, and I always have this set idea of how I think things should go. This can be said about many areas of my life… I can’t say I’m too proud of it. Something I have always tried to drill into my head it that it’s not up to me how things turn out. Ultimately, it is someone greater who decides— He knows what he is doing. I don’t know why this is so hard for me to swallow, but it is.

If I could do one thing for myself in instances when I am feeling down about the past or worried about the future, it would be to take a look around me. We can get so bogged down in the woes of past events that didn’t go our way or the trials of the future that we think we need to spend time worrying about. However, this simply isn’t the way to go about life.

I saw a picture on Instagram today taken by my wonderful friend Allison Bogges, and it just made me smile. The flower in the picture was simply gorgeous and the colors were breathtakingly vibrant. Now, of course, we can’t always look up to see beautiful flowers in front of us, but we can look up and see the beautiful things in life. I am so blessed in so many ways. So what if something doesn’t go how I’d like it to go? So what if I have trials ahead of me? So what? I am blessed. I have so much grace surrounding me that I shouldn’t focus on the things that bother me… And neither should you. I hope you have a wonderful week.