Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It's September! Know what this means? Pumpkin everything is back, it's time to start wearing boots again, and somebody is gonna have to wake Green Day up again here in a hot minute.

It's basically October, which means it is almost Thanksgiving. As far as I'm concerned, it might as well be Christmas. Let's skip right to Christmas cookies, Christmas movies, and Christmas music. I will never be tired of Christmas music. I'm already warming my voice up to hit those high notes in All I Want For Christmas. Mariah ain't got nothing on me.

This is semester got off to a crazy start. After Welcome Week, I dove head first into school and work and my internship. All of those things are going well, and I am finally falling into a routine. It took a good long while, but I finally have adjusted to waking up early, cooking dinners, finding time for homework.

So far, I have been doing my best to cherish memories. Senior year is no joke. Every ten seconds I get asked "What are you thinking about doing after graduation?" and every thirty seconds I get a panic attack thinking "Maybe I'll just drop out and own that cupcake shop after all." But after a year (almost) of practicing being "all in", I know how to deal with that mentality. So I get out my journal and I make a gratitude list. I list all the things I'm thankful for, and in doing so I toss anxiety and fear right out the window.  I remember how much I am thankful for my life and how much I am loved. Even just little things like watching kids play Octopus tag on Wednesday nights or meeting social workers who love their jobs.

+Trinkets from August

Springfield Cardinals game for $5 AND I got to hold this sweet little lady.


I love these people. 

You don't know college until you pile into a minivan with 8 other people you only barely know, ride around town putting your name in drawings to win stuff, and eating lunch together. This is what community looks like. 

Notcho Ordinary Taco has my heart. 

Pyeatt always captures my best. 

Sometimes my early bird personality surrenders to the night owl and I stay up late with friends talking about life and longboarding. I can't longboard, so I just talk about what little I know about life. 

When hiking gets rained out, we do the next best thing: Apple picking. 

Apple Picking and movies make us tired. 

Sometimes I am absolutely baffled that I get to do life with such cool people. I didn't think anything could top my Summer of Dreams, but this community of mine comes pretty close. God has wrapped up so many little life lessons in friends, conversations, and experiences I did not ever think to receive. He meets me where I am and He will never let me go. He will also do the same for you, friends.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Open Letter to the Class of 2018

I need you to know something. I'm so glad you are here. I'm so thankful that The Lord has placed you at SBU. I am equally thankful that He has placed it on my heart to write this "Open Letter to the Class of 2018". This was a weird thing to write because I have not met you yet. But God's plan is bigger than mine, so I let Him take the reins. As a senior at SBU, I have had my fair share of college life experiences. I once rocked a tutu for the homecoming parade, I held a position in Student Life as the Servant Leader Connections Chair for Welcome Week, and I worked for a semester in the Call Center. This year I will embark on a few new experiences like living off campus, doing my senior internship, and leading a small group. But one thing is for sure, I do not claim and cannot claim to be an expert. I feel like sometimes I know less about life than I did when I started college. That's not meant to be discouraging, that's just me being honest. I will tell you this much, when you get to SBU this week you will be met with challenges like you will not believe. For many of you, it may be your first time away from your family for any extended period of time. And no, summer camp and mission trips don't count. But maybe that's not a challenge for you, maybe you don't mind the distance. Perhaps your challenge will be paying attention in classes that don't interest you. Perhaps you will struggle most with the freedom of staying up as late as you want, whenever you want, and no one can tell you to go to sleep. That's okay. 

Whatever your struggle might be, I want you to remember this: you only get to be a freshman in college one time. I know that sounds a lot like YOLO, and they are just a little bit similar. Track with me here for just a little bit. You will only be a freshman in college one time. ONCE. This transition, from high school to college will happen this one time. You don't want to miss this. You are going to want to look back on your freshman year of college knowing that you were undoubtedly changed, and that you experienced exceptional growth. I confidently believe that this will be true for each of you. 

One thing I learned/am learning, is that college is meant to be a journey. You will never get it. I have not graduated yet, but from what I can tell, there is not a switch that just flips on once you cross the stage. Your transition into college will prepare you for what the rest of your life will be, a journey. It doesn't stop until you're dead. To be successful in this journey does not mean that you have all the best grades, all the best clothes, all the best friends, etc. To be successful on this journey requires you to be honest with yourself about where you are with your relationship with God. Because when you strip away your grades, your friends, and your worldly life all that will be left is you before the throne of God. The best companionship is found in the Lord because unlike sketchy, real life relationships He will never leave you, nor will He forsake you. He knows everything about and He still loves you. He knows every stupid mistake you will ever make, and he still loves you. Doesn't get much better than that. In every aspect of your life, God has orchestrated a masterpiece of a plan. He knows about every opportunity you will ever have, and He knows which ones you'll take and which ones you'll pass up. 

Three years ago, I wish I had known what I know now. I wish I had taken the opportunity to live well in community on campus. Living in the dorms was one of the most amazing experiences of my short life. I wish that when I was a freshman, I would have taken advantage of a few more late night talks, a few more opportunities to do activities with my hall, and I wish I had taken a few more hours to serve and love my RA and girls on my hall. One of my good friends lived on my hall freshman year, and I don't remember sharing any moments with her. Sure, we're friends now, and that's all well and good. If I had been just a little bit braver, maybe I would have gone across the hall and started our friendship story a chapter early. I don't regret dorm living. A new place, a new crowd of people, new friends, new classes, new teachers. I get it. Everything is new. But don't let that stop you. You can only be afraid of change for so long.

Once you get to know me, you'll understand one fundamental thing about the way I live my life. I don't run. Even if someone was chasing me, I think I would try my hand at sarcasm before running away. So when I think back on one of the single most formative moments of my freshman year, it almost seems like a lie. It's SBU Homecoming week 2011, Friday. Probably about 3:15 PM. So far this semester, Homecoming was the only thing I had participated in. The most notable events thus far had been one weird bonfire with my Welcome Week group and a Meyer dance party. It's not that I wasn't having fun, but I had yet to have an experience that took a little bit of courage. At about 3:25 PM the group in the lobby preparing for the bed races realized they needed one more person. Five minutes of internal, mental wrestling and I agreed to be the fourth runner. I took the opportunity to be involved outside of my comfort zone. I don't remember Bed Races at all. I don't remember what place we got, except I am pretty sure it wasn't first...or second...probably not third either. I just cheated and looked at a picture to remember what I was wearing. I remember exactly what I was thinking when though. I was thinking (internally screaming), "Why not?" 

Here's the thing about my bed races moment, it was not the most exciting thing that has happened to me at SBU. It paved the way for some pretty amazing memories. Do I think my life would be different if I had been on the sidelines that year instead on running with the bed? Probably not much. I probably wouldn't even be able to notice the difference. I just probably would have had a different "bed races" experience. Hopefully, freshman year Trinity would have taken a different opportunity to be all in, and say, "Why not?". That moment was the catalyst for a few more moments to come. This journey is far from over. I have to constantly remind myself that my doubts and preconceived notions should not stand in the way of my everyday "Why not?"s. Three years later, and I still have to convince myself that "Why not?" is a good justification for new experiences. I'm glad that when I said "Why not?" to running in the bed races three years ago that I also thought to say "Why not?" to joining a UAC committee, applying for an internship at Freshwater Church, choosing Social Work as my major, and applying for Welcome Week.

I guess what I'm telling you is that you need to be courageous. Courageous comes from the Latin root word cor-, meaning "heart" or "soul". Over time, the definition has become to the equivalent of bravery or fearless. It has also been used to explain the importance of living your life with your whole heart. Live your freshman year of college with your whole heart. Find those deep dark crevices that have never been explored and fill them with grace, love, and Jesus Christ. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, getting C's, and standing in lines in Mellers. Life may be tough, but one thing is for sure : You aren't in this alone. Welcome Week is one of the greatest examples of that. Upperclassmen giving up their final week of summer to make sure that you get settled into life here. You know why? Because someone did it for them. We're a family here, we take care of each other. We walk alongside each other when life gets tough (which it will) and we celebrate together when life is good. College is a crazy mixture of both, and sometimes at the same time. You will find that you are not required to walk this alone. You can't, you are not strong enough, we wouldn't want you to. You have a God who has prepared each day for you and ordered each step of your life. Allow Him to direct you. Trust me, He will put those "Why not?" moments in front of you. 

It is my prayer that in those moments, where you are thinking (or internally screaming) "Why not?", that you would trust God's plan for your life. Especially while you are here, sharing life with us. Welcome home.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

J U L Y + Trinkets

Well this is the part of the summer where I start to lose routine in my day to day life. When school's out, I forget which day of the week it is and I screw up my sleep schedule until I start taking "naps" instead of sleeping a full 8 hours. I've been blessed by this summer and the people I've spent it with.

So far this month I :
-Went on an amazing road trip with my wonderful friends to Nashville. It was such an adventure and still one of my favorite parts of summer. 

-I got my ears pierced. I have been telling myself that I would get my second piercing on my lobes since my 18th birthday. Then I was gonna do it on my 20th. Then just one day when I felt like it. And then finally, my 21st birthday came and went and I couldn't wait any longer. So on the 4th of July, Happy Birthday America!, I got my ears pierced. What hurt the most was how many times I accidentally hit my ears with my hands. Sleeping was horrible, every time I turned over (which was a lot) I hit my ears. I finally got that under control, though. 

- I spent the 4th of July with my friends and my Fairy Godparents. We had homemade ice cream and shot off fireworks in the front yard. It was a wonderful time. 

-I made a million cookies. Not working normal hours in the summer makes for a LOT of introspection time. Apparently, I am most introspective when I am baking cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. 

-I went to camp with some girls from Freshwater and we had a blast. It was so much fun to hang out with those little girls for a few days. We played GaGa ball (look it up), made smores, and did archery. It was amazing, our group memorized over 140 bible verses during the weekend. 12 kids. It was really cool because the campers were studying in James, learning about the impact their reactions can have on those around them. I have been reading James during the month of July, a chapter a week, and it was super neat to watch God reveal himself to me in some of the same lessons our campers were learning. Man, I love summer camp. 

All in all, July has been such a good month. It seems like at least once a week I get to share a meal with my friends (only the dream of my life), hanging out with wonderful people, playing Heads Up. I've been busy, busy, busy working on VBS, Welcome Week, and intern things for the fall. 

+Trinkets from July

Camp selfie: The before. 

Archery, like boss. 

For Aubryn's birthday the girls decorated our bunks. 

Lucky girl got to celebrate her birthday at camp!

Studying hard, trying to memorize as much scripture as possible. 

Our watermelon picking skills are on point. 

Breakfast for dinner and friend hangs at Beka Todd's. 

Daily reminders. 

Spades Night: Sitting in between my two favorite people. 

Happy July! Whoo!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Some friends and I went to Nashville this past weekend. We took a little of Nashville and added a little adventure. Nashville + Adventure = #nashventurin

I love friends that can find adventures anywhere. 

Impromptu stop at Mark Twain National Forest was by far one of the best decisions ever. Such a beautiful place. 

Pomegranate tea was a good way to start the day.  //Etcetera Coffee

Selfies all day. 

I found love at a Nashville farmer's market. // The Peach Truck

Barista Parlor

Straight chillin' 

Local Honey --cool vintage store // Local Honey

There was a small vending machine graveyard on the side of the road, so we went in and took a little picture. It was both scary and exhilarating.  Yay for adventures. 
Vintage store inside a trailer? Yes, please. // Sisters of Nature

More or Mark Twain. 

This trip was everything I could have ever dreamed of. These girls are the best, the city was so good to us, and I haven't laughed that hard in such a long time. I am so thankful for all the adventures this summer.

| If you want to see more of our #nashventurin, look for the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. | 
HaleyBeka, & Ashley made up the rest of the Nashventurin crew, they're pretty good road trip buddies. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Fave Apps

I'll be honest, I really like my phone. It is super convenient and a lot of fun. Over time, I have fallen in love with a few apps. This summer, I noticed that I've been using a lot of the same apps over and over again. I just can't get enough of these. And I want to share them with you!

1. Cel.ly: Celly is a way to send text messages to groups of people. You can use it online or with the mobile app. You create "cells" of people so that you can send out information to just those groups of people. Why do I love it so much? It has a pretty stellar "poll" function. You can send out a celly message to your group and ask them a question, give them options, and they can text back their reply. Celly will automatically generate the poll where you can see the breakdown of all the answers and who answered what. Celly also allows you to change the reply feature for each group. For pretty small groups, you can turn the reply feature on so that everyone in your cell will get everyone's reply. You can also change the setting so that the replies will only come to the celly account, no one else will get them. This is my favorite function, because that way I can see what is being said without everyone else getting a million messages. The last function works well for pretty large groups. You can turn the reply function completely off so that no replies will be accepted. Celly members will just get a text message saying that their message is invalid. Using Celly for Welcome Week 2014 has been a huge help. I can send out reminders, ask quick questions (with the super duper handy dandy poll function), and it can send messages to phones that don't get group messages because it doesn't come as a Multimedia Message. SO. COOl.


2. Trello: Trello is a little bit difficult to explain. I haven't completely mastered it yet, but I think I'm figuring it out. If you like making lists, categorizing things by lists, etc. You will love this. Trello allows you to make "Boards", each board has three already made categories: "To Do", "Doing", and "Done". From there, you can add cards to each list. Think of these cards as each item on your to do list. These cards can be as specific or as vague as you want! What made me fall in love with Trello? You can add pictures and other attachments to each card. If you want to remember something by it's image, just add it to the card. You can also add checklists. For instance, if my card was called "Groceries", I could just add a checklist of all the items I wanted to get at the store and check them off within the "Groceries"card. Need to make sure it gets done on time? Just add a due date to your card and it will show up when it's due! Trello can also be used as a community. Working on a project with a friend? You can invite other people to your board and comment on it with them. The activity feed on each card will show what everyone is doing!


3. Roadtrippers: I love road trips a lot, like a whole lot. More than some types of cake. Roadtrippers is an app where you can plan the perfect road trip. You put in your starting destination and your ending destination and it will map out a route for you. From there, you can select a few different categories, such as: Food, Lodging, Entertainment, Attractions, etc. Roadtrippers will give you options in all those categories along your route. Want to find a fun photo op? Want a quirky, local place to stay? Want to eat at the best place in town? Roadtrippers. Even better, have you been on a trip and have something they missed? You can add a place. I have planned thirteen roadtrips on Roadtrippers. Granted, I've only taken  two of them, I like to dream. And, if I ever come across 13 hours and 52 minutes of free time, I can make it to New Orleans. Oh yeah, they calculate your drive time and add in the average length of visiting time at all the attractions you select. Pretty dope, right?


4. Doodle: Doodle was like my best friend this year. When scheduling meetings with groups of people or Welcome Week interviews, Doodle was the go-to app. With Doodle, you can set up a list of meeting times, basically as many as you want, and email the link to everyone who needs to participate. They get the link and then check the times that they are available. Doodle will then show you the three most popular times. This is a life saver for busy college kids who are involved in too many things. If that wasn't enough to get me hooked, Doodle has a MeetMe profile. You can set up a profile with your schedule and people can choose a time to meet with you. Doodle will you send you an email to either confirm or deny or reschedule. When I get famous, or a full time job (whichever comes first), I would seriously consider paying $40 a year for calendar integration, reminders, and my own domain name.

Doodle | MeetMe: Trinity Griffin

5.  Kitestring: Kitestringis an SMS-based safety app. You can sign up on their website and they assign you a phone number. This number is your Kitestring number. For instance, say that I'm going on a run (which I wouldn't because running is horrible), I would text my Kitestring number "45m". In 45 minutes, Kitestring will text me and ask me to check in. I can either extend my time by texting them "10m" or "15m" for 10 or 15 minutes, or if I have safely made it back to my house, I'll text them my safe word. But if I am walking to my car after a concert, and for whatever reason, I don't check in when Kitestring texts me, they will wait five minutes before sending a message to my emergency contacts. You can change the message say whatever you like. Right now mine says something like "Just give me a call to make sure I'm okay!", and that I sent that message using Kitestring. If I ever feel like I'm in immediate danger, I can text my duress word to Kitestring, and they will immediately text my emergency contacts and tell them to give me a call. What's cool about Kitestring is that if you're in danger and an attacker or kidnapper has your phone, they can't check in without your safe word. Kitestring recommends deleting your text history after each trip so that no one can figure it out. I personally, have never been in a situation where I felt threatened or in danger, but I really like the "better safe than sorry" preparedness I get from Kitestring.

Kitestring: Frequently Asked Questions | Kitestring

What are your favorite apps? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Reunited with some of the greatest people in my life at HOBY 2014


I feel like "started from the bottom now we're here" is an appropriate phrase to describe us. From 2009 to now, still my best HOBY friend. 


Found this shopping cart on my Friday morning walk with Sarah and Katie. I am not sure why it was here, but it made for a pretty fun picture. 

Sparkler fun with the brothers


All my favorite kiddos over at my house to help celebrate my birthday. 

Chalk drawings.

These goons ordered hot wings and were in for a surprise. They didn't even eat half. 

Driving the boat with the Fairy Godparents

Lake day. 

1. Summer is in full swing now, it's almost July. What's happening? Soon it will be the 4th of July WHAT.
2. I am trying my best to cherish all the moments, but they're going fast. So that means I'm taking lots of pictures and writing down all my favorite things.  
3. Psalm 63:3
4. I have been using Trello recently. I love making lists and and organizing things into lists. Trello allows you to make checklists WITHIN lists, add photos, and members (who can help you with your lists). It's a list-maker's dream. 
5. This is truly the summer of dreams -- SO many adventures. Off to Nashville this weekend and then some more Bolivar adventures until South Carolina. 
6. I got the eighth (and final) season of Psych for my birthday. I know, bring on the tears. It's too much. It's almost as bad as Monk ending. (File that under "Things I'm Not Over Just Yet")
7. You know what makes me feel like an adult? Writing checks. Making all my own meals. Look at Grad School. Turning 21. Whew, this is unreal.
8. Things I'm in love with right now: candles, potatoes, glitter, and TJMaxx.