A quirky blog centering around the simple things that make me smile daily.

Monday, May 8, 2017

...Keeps the Stress AWAY!

Ahhhh. The dreaded week before finals! As I lock myself in my room, and spend more time than usual in the library, Mount Mercy hosts 'Stress Buster' events this entire week. On the agenda for Spring Stress Buster Week 2017:

Monday: Petting Zoo and smoothies
Tuesday: Arts and crafts
Wednesday: massages and a candy bar
Thursday: Pet therapy and Improv Show
Friday: Minuete to Win It games
Sunday: Late night breakfast

Although this is a stressful week for students, these events are usually pretty fun and stress relieving! However, I have to say I don't see how today's stress buster event could beat any other stress buster events ever.

I was surrounded by many little kids today at the petting zoo and I loved every minute of it. Kids as in baby goats, that is!

I had goats when I was younger. Their names were Lucy and Greta, and they loved letting me ride on them, and eating our grass. Lucy was big and brown, with a white tail. (During deer hunting season we would have to make sure she was pinned up in the barn where hunters wouldn't mistake her for a white-tailed deer!) Greta was short and fat with black and grey fur. I often miss those silly animals. So when I walked out to the green space to check out the petting zoo, my day was suddenly made when I saw they had goats.

Thank you MMU, for not only releasing my stress, but making my day so much better!

 A smile a day most definitely keeps the stress away! Especially if goats are involved!


Monday, May 1, 2017

...means all play and no work?

In my Intro to Journalism class, we had the opportunity to tour the office of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Further, we got to sit in on a meeting! At the beginning of the semester, I was using this Journalism class just as a means to fill my schedule, yet I never thought I would be enjoying it this much.

Sitting in a conference room at The Gazette, editors and reporters came in with heavy duty notebooks and coffee. Two of my favorite things! As the meeting started, they discussed how the stories were progressing and when they thought their stories would be done to be published. As they talked, I tried to picture myself working in a place like that. (I was wearing my glasses that day so I especially felt like I blended in) 

My idea of a perfect view! Wouldn't this make a great office?! :)

The web manager was also present in the meeting and he showed how many views each online story got from the day before. I'm not sure if that was a routine check or something, but I found that to be especially cool. 

Although I am not an official staff member of the Mount Mercy Times, I hope to be a staff member possibly my Junior or Senior year, or even next year! I appreciated how the personnel at The Gazette gave us feedback on how we could possibly expand our audience for the Mount Mercy Times, and how we could get people more involved. 

I hear so many people say, "I don't want a desk job", yet, I think I would be perfectly content sitting in one of those offices, attending meetings, and writing as my career.

Although I'm not 100% on what I want to do, touring The Gazette, reminded me that journalism writing is still on the table for me! I have enjoyed my Intro to Journalism class a lot more than what I anticipated. Although I am not on the newspaper staff (yet), I have enjoyed the process, attending events, writing the stories, then finally seeing my stories in print! My newspaper stories are adoring my mini fridge in my dorm room! :)

I was thankful for the opportunity to tour The Gazette and even more thankful for the doors that are opening up to me as a result of Into to Journalism!

Although, writing is considered a job for the many PR reps, newspaper reporters, and many other occupations, I think a job down that path would be more like play, instead of work! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

... Keeps the negativity away!

While scrolling through my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat these past couple days, I came to two realizations. One, I have way too many social media accounts, and two, it seems like everyone I know is on Spring break somewhere on a beach. Meanwhile, Cedar Rapids just got hit with a nice snow fall, and I'll be spending my Spring break working.

Bundled up in my winter coat, (that I had to take down from storage) I couldn't help but feel discouraged. It's mid March, snow is on the ground, and I just want to be on Spring break already!

This meme is totally how I'm feeling right now!
As I was sitting in the University Center one evening doing my homework, and trying to not look outside at the snow that was falling, I saw a picture pop up on my Facebook newsfeed of a red barn covered in snow and surrounded with beautiful snow covered trees. The barn reminded me of the barns at home, and how beautiful the snow is against our red buildings. I looked up, and looked outside to observe the snow fall. The lights from the UC reflecting on the snow made the snow glisten, and the light posts outside made the snow flakes look much bigger. The snow on the ground laid completely undisturbed and peaceful. Maybe this white stuff isn't so bad...

How one makes the most out of an unfortunate circumstance, is all about perspective.  By remaining bitter towards Old Man Winter, I was bound to have a grumpy Spring break, creeping enviously on all the beach posts on social media. By accepting the fact Mother Nature does what she wants, and making the most out of the snow and my break from classes, my Spring break is headed down a much more pleasant road.

No, I won't be spending my Spring break somewhere where it is 75 degrees and sunny, and that's ok. I'm anxious to get home and see the snow on our own red barns. However, I will enjoy living vicariously through my Facebook friends' beach adventures!

Seeing the pretty side of the snowfall will keep me smiling, and a smile a day keeps the negativity away!  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

...Shoos the homesickness away

This past weekend, I decided to go home to see my family. It was a beautiful day, and as I turned on to our road, I had all the windows opened and was inhaling the fresh country air. Getting a strong whiff of cow manure is always an indication that I'm home! My nose has experienced many different smells living in Cedar Rapids,  The City of Five Smells, yet surprisingly, I miss the smell of cow manure. Wow. Never thought I would say that.

My weekend at home was spent the way most weekends at the Orton household went. Friday nights where my dad falls asleep in the living room recliner, my brother comes home late, and we scavenge the house for food, and finally settle on chicken strips. Saturdays where Mom and I run to town because we "need just a couple things", then return 4 hours later with a car load of bags and groceries. Then we order pizza because we are too tired to cook. Sundays where Dad and my brother tinker outside. However, the weather was so beautiful on Sunday, my mom and I decided to take a walk.

Living out in the country, the only walking 'path' we have is along the road. So we decided to head into town to walk the trail at Rodeo Park. It was a beautiful day, and there were many people out and about disk golfing, walking the trails, and playing on the jungle gyms. 

Rodeo Park Trail in Fort Madison, Iowa
My favorite part about Mom and I's walk together, was as we were walking up a hill, I yelled, "Wow, this hill has a twist at the top." My mom misunderstood me and thought I said, "Wow, this hill has a Twix at the top." She was hopelessly disappointed when we reached the top of the hill and there was no Twix candy bar in sight. We joked and laughed about that the rest of our walk together.  

Moving away from home has really helped me appreciate my home, my family, and where I came from. I love my small corner of the world that is Southeast Iowa, and I am proud of my upbringing and where I was raised. Visiting home invigorated me and was just the treatment I needed to head back to school refreshed and ready to start another week! 

Leaving to go back to MMU was hard that day, but looking back on that weekend, a smile a day shoos the homesickness away!  

FUN FACT: My middle name is 'Lee' after the county I'm from. You can take the girl out of Lee County, but you can't take the Lee County out of the girl!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

...Keeps the nosebleed seats away!

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend a Twenty One Pilots concert in Sioux Falls with my boyfriend and a group of our friends! (If you haven't heard of Twenty One Pilots, check them out at in the video below!) As excited as I was to finally experience their live show, I was afraid I would need binoculars to even see them. We were in the nosebleed sections. Aka, the 'poor college student' seats.


However, after traipsing up to our seats, there were people sitting in what was supposed to be our seats. After trying to straighten the situation out, which they were being ever so difficult by the way, we finally decided to find an usher to help us out. We ran into not an usher, but the supervisor! The supervisor was really apologetic and offered us different seats, not promising them to be any closer to the stage; But at this point, could we really get any farther away? No. The answer was no. We graciously accepted the new tickets and hurried to take our new seats.

So as it turns out, our new seats were not just better than our old seats. THEY WERE AMAZINGLY BETTER. We went from section 312 in our nosebleed seats, to section 7!

                                                          View from our new seats!

I enjoyed every second of the three and a half hour concert. Granted, I would have enjoyed the concert from our nosebleed seats, but being so close made the experience so much better. (Added bonus: We didn't have to pay extra for the seat switch!) Plus, I didn't need to pull out the binoculars! So thankful for our good fortune that made the Twenty One Pilots concert a night I won't easily forget, and left me grinning from ear to ear the rest of the weekend.

A smile a day keeps the nosebleed seats away!