Every year goes and comes. And when the end of the year comes, sometimes it is nice to reflect on all that has happened during the year, both good and bad. I am an extremely blessed individual and taking the time to reflect on the year helps to remind me of that.
1. First time studying abroad
January 1, 2015 I got the chance to leave the country for the first time and study abroad in Rome, Italy. I went with my best friend Britney and we got to go to Germany and Paris first. We were then in Rome for three weeks. On the weekends we got the chance to travel to Pompeii, Naples, Venice, and Florence. What an amazing trip it was, and it is something I will never forget.
Emily, Liz, and Britney at the Colosseum in Rome
2. Started volunteering once a week at the Children’s Hospital of St. Paul
In November of 2014 I decided I didn’t want to be an education major anymore. I wasn’t entirely sure what my next step was, but one of my professors had mentioned Child Life to me. I began doing a lot of research on this field and realized that it might be something I would really like to do. Because of this, I started volunteering in the Child Life Zone.
My badge for the hospital
3. Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day
Chicago has huge St. Patrick’s Day Festivities, which include a parade as well as dyeing the Chicago River green. My roommate at the time Madie, and our friends Georgia and Kate and I all drove down to Illinois for the weekend. We got there on Friday evening and then took the train into the city on Saturday and drove back to St. Thomas on Sunday. Although I have lived in Illinois for my entire life, I’ve never gotten to go to the city for the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities, so it was super fun!
Kate, Georgia, Liz, and Madie in front of the Bean in Chicago
4. National Day of Prayer at the University of Minnesota
At the end of April/the beginning of May, I got to attend the National Day of Prayer with some friends from Cru. It was an amazing night of worship and prayer. We got to hear a sermon from Francis Chan, and Kari Jobe also performed. I had never really heard of either of these people before, but I’m so glad I got to hear them then.
Photo taken at University of Minnesota Hockey Stadium
5. Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade
For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! Although I was living in Wisconsin at the time of the parade, it just so happened to be a day that I didn’t have to work. I got to go home for the parade, which I went to with my brothers and my mom. We were able to get front row seats on the parade route for when the team came by on the double decker busses! It was so cool to be able to not only see the entire Blackhawks team with their families, but we got to see the Stanley Cup too!
Matt, Chris, Robin (mom), Liz in Chicago at the parade
6. Worked at the Wild Tomato in Door County, WI for the summer
The Wild Tomato is a really good restaurant in Fish Creek, Wisconsin which is in Door County. The Wild Tomato is mostly known for their wood fired pizzas, which are so good! I was a hostess last summer, and it was such a fun job, not only did I get to interact with the hundreds of customers that came to the restaurant, but I also go to work with the amazing staff. It was the perfect summer job, that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Wild Tomato staff during a storm when we lost power
7. Moved back to St. Paul for my Junior Year at St. Thomas
Although living in Door County was like a dream, by the end of the summer I was super excited to move back to St. Paul for my junior year. This year, I moved back on campus into the apartments with some of my best friends. I still can’t believe I’m a junior, but I was so excited to get back to school with my friends again.
Mom and Dad helping me move-in to my apartment
8. First Twins Game for St. Thomas night
For the last two years that I have been living in Minnesota, I have wanted to go to a Minnesota Twins game, but it just never seemed to work out. Finally, I got to go to my first game this past semester. The day started out great with getting our purple St. Thomas edition Twins hats. Britney and I then ran into some people we knew, everything was going great. But, unfortunately, it had rained all day and then continued to rain all night, so my first Twins game actually ended up being cancelled before it even started.
Britney and Liz
9. First Visit to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for Love Your Melon
Being a Love Your Melon Ambassador this year has been one of the highlights of my year!! In September, I got to go to the Children’s hospital for the first time dressed up as super women and walk around the hospital giving hats to children that have cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Love Your Melon is such an amazing organization that I’m so happy to be part of.
Liz, Allie, little boy, Hannah, Jack, and Sammi
10. Tommie Johnnie football game in Collegeville on ESPN
The last two years the Tommie Johnnie football game has been at St. Thomas and has unfortunately ended with a loss for the Tomcats. This year, both teams went in undefeated, so ESPN on the road was covering part of the pregame from 6-8 am in Collegeville (about two hours away from St. Paul). I had this crazy idea, and some of my friends went a long with it, so we woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning and drove up the Collegeville, got on Sports Center on the Road, drove back to St. Paul, and then drove back for the game. Which ended in a Win for the tomcats!!!
Michael, Liz, Britney, Joe; Fathead of Coach Caruso
11. Cru Fall Retreat
Every year Cru has a fall retreat in Osceola, Wisconsin for the different Cru’s in the Twin Cities metro area. This year, I got the help with the planning of the retreat. It was awesome to be able to see how much not only myself, but all those around me were able to grow in their faith and relationship with God at this retreat.
Liz, Jake, Claire all on planning team from St. Thomas
12. St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn
Every year, St. Thomas hosts a St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn Event, and this year was the second year that I got to participate in the event. For this event, we stay up all night until 6:00am, raising money for St. Jude. It’s amazing to see college students come together for something greater then ourselves. This year, Up ‘Til Dawn was more than just a volunteer opportunity for me. This year I really wanted to step up because with my experience with Love Your Melon and the Children’s Hospital I have seen how much these diseases impact a family, and I don’t want anyone else to have to endure that pain and suffering. As a St. Thomas community, we were able to reach and surpass our goal of raising $75,000 for the families at St. Jude!
Liz, Morgan, Michael at Up ‘Til Dawn
13. Applied to study abroad next semester in Ireland and got accepted
After my study abroad last year, I was content that I got to study abroad once and I thought I was good. At the last second, I decided to apply to study abroad in Ireland for next semester. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, but I did it anyways. I am so excited to spend next semester studying in Limerick, Ireland.
14. Research Methods research project accepted for National Conference in Chicago in May 2016
This semester was definitely the hardest one yet. I was finally in classes for my major. Being a psychology major, we have to take a research methods course. This was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken. My group (Katie, Maddie, and Liz) and I decided that we were really excited about our research, so we submitted it to the Midwestern Psychological Association’s annual conference. We really wanted to go, but we weren’t sure. Finals week came, and we found out that our research had gotten accepted. It’s so exciting when all of your hard work finally pays off.
Maddie, Liz H., Katie, Liz R. at mini poster presentation
15. Ended the year in Colorado with family
I couldn’t think of a more perfect end to 2015, than a family vacation to Colorado for a week. We got to go skiing and snowboarding for a few days, and just spend time with family. It has been a nice way to relax.
2015 was such an amazing year, and I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for me!