“Have you blogged yet this month?”

A question I’ve been asked multiple times. “Why haven’t you blogged?” or “IT’S ALMOST AUGUST”. Well, here we go, July’s post- possibly with minimal effort.

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The last post I made was in June, when I did a May recap… and I promised I’d blog all about Lauren’s trip to the Netherlands. I jokingly said it’d be a week after June 13th, but even that didn’t happen. It’s now a month later… and here are some highlights!

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May 23rd Lauren and I got off the plane (since the last update I gave was us getting on the plane…)

Honestly, I’m going to go into generalizations for now. We slept a lot, and some days we were just lazy. So I’ll talk about the big things.

We went to the market on Saturdays and introduced Lauren to loempias and baopao. I still eat it every Saturday, and I’m about 99% certain she misses the food more than anything. She also tried the Dutch style fries, frikandel, kroket, bitterballen, eirbal, and she really liked the kaassoufle. We took her to the Pancake Ship in Groningen too, and that was an awesome time.

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Lauren modeled for me so I could work on my photography, she went to band practices with me, and also attended my band concert on the island of Schiermonnikoog with my family and I. We walked in the North Sea- until it started raining on us. Even then it was still amazing.

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We hid ducks, went for bike rides, introduced her to my great-grandmother who is 92 years old, and eventually got back onto a plane on June 13th.

 

During all this time, my car once again decided it didn’t want to work; the right rear spring completely breaking in half. Lauren took me down to Columbus to get my uniforms and clothing in preparation for the Cyber Defense Training Academy.

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I saw my bamboo, and got a good night’s sleep in Columbus. In the morning, my boyfriend picked me up and we went to CoSi.

WAIT WAIT WAIT What? Did I just say boyfriend? Yessir, I did. That’s a thing that happened in May, too. (Whoa, he wasn’t even mentioned in the last post? Nope…) His name’s Andrew and he’s pretty cool. He’s a sweetheart.

So, yeah. CoSi was pretty awesome. The planetarium was absolutely my favorite part. *cough* Pluto is a planet *cough*. We saw Kat that day too, because she stopped by to bring me my ABU cover. I missed her so much, oh my goodness.

On June 16-18th, the Thunder over the Valley air show happened. It was my second time helping at the YARS Air Show as a Civil Air Patrol cadet, and it was fantastic.

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I acted as cadet commander: coordinating teams, ensuring everyone is safe and well taken care of, as well as taking photos.

The left photo was taken by me of the Calypso Pass done by the USAF Thunderbirds #5 and #6; Solo and Opposing Solo. On Friday, I had the incredible opportunity to meet the Thunderbirds.

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On the right, USAF Thunderbirds Commander Lt Col Jason Heard (Thunderbird #1) signs a fellow cadet’s pilot logbook.

Thunder Over the Valley was an incredible experience this year, from meeting the Thunderbirds, working directly with USAF Security Forces, and running through a downpour to make sure all cadets were inside, to trying to balance it with Relay for Life of Poland the night before. Yes, I attended Relay for Life and got a solid four hours of sleep. I also absolutely ate three Arby’s roast beef sandwiches. The cravings were real.

I did a photoshoot for a friend, I ate Dunkin, I slept, I went to CAP and CyberPatriot, and that was my week before CDTA. Of course, I have to give Preston Volkswagen a quick shout-out for letting me get Papa John’s Pizza delivered to the dealership as I sat there waiting to hear back about my money pit *ahem* car.

Then… The 2017 Cyber Defense Training Academy, Maryland Campus.

On June 23rd, I finally was able to put a face to the names- and the voices I’d spent countless hours talking to via conference calls. On June 23rd, the best week of my life was about to begin.

In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect. New people. New facility. New location of the CDTA. Everyone was a little unsure- but we all had a common goal: to train an upcoming generation of cyber warriors. We would let nothing get in the way of this goal. We had some mishaps. We had some miscommunication. At the end of the day however, we all came together and laughed. Senior and cadet staff alike.

From June 23rd to July 1st, I had the incredible experience of serving as the Cadet Commander for the Maryland Campus of the Cyber Defense Training Academy, Civil Air Patrol’s #2 most applied to National Cadet Special Activity. At the end of the week, we graduated 51 new Cyberspace Familiarization Course students, and I could not be more proud of them.

I, of course, didn’t do it alone. I had an amazing group of staff; cadet and senior, that supported me every step of the way.

Waking up every morning and seeing the NSA, spending hours among nerds and learning new things, gaining leadership experience, my soap, the Scepter for the Septic, sharks and minnows, ER Flight, spreadsheets, radios, pillows, mopping, beautiful sunsets, Colonel panic, geofilters, cowsay, eating chocolate with the girls on a washing machine, and Cleveland-sized groundhogs were all just a few moments and memories that made the week an amazing one. Here are a few photos!

 

So yeah, CDTA was amazing. Thank you to everyone who made CDTA-MD 2017 an amazing, memorable experience.

After CDTA, I slept. I needed sleep, man. Like. 16 straight hours plus the drive home.

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On July 3rd, I did a photoshoot for a six month birthday. It was a fantastic experience, and I learned so much. Kamry is an absolutely beautiful baby girl, and her family was great to work with.

I designed the basket she’s laying in to the left by myself, and I was so proud of it. The flowers and fabric matched her outfit gorgeously.

I spent the Fourth of July in Conneaut, first with WWII Higgins Boats (I love D-Day Conneaut perhaps a little too much) and then at the beach, swimming and tanning (okay, so I actually took a nap and got a little darker). It was a perfect day. I took a panorama of the beach, and I’ll do the same during D-Day Conneaut this year. I am the Public Affairs Officer in Charge, and I’m so incredibly excited. Kat is Cadet Commander and I can’t wait to see where the activity goes this year. Also, The Fourth of July is my mom’s birthday, so hey hey happy birthday to her!

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July 5th I got on a plane and came back to the Netherlands, where I am now. I’ve done lots of rabbit cuddling, and I even went to Germany with my grandparents on a trip to take photos of FC Groningen’s training camp. I even worked out (and am working out) consistently for the first time in my life. High school track doesn’t count.

It’s been a good month. I’m an SDA and a month away from becoming a Cadet Major in the Civil Air Patrol. I’m a month away from starting college and my major. I’m so excited for all these changes coming up in my life. Leaving my family will suck like heck, but I’m pumped to be the first on my family to go to college, to be the first with a degree.

So hey. Let’s review those goals I set last month. I definitely explored more, and I even had to speak German! I tried new things (like speaking German). Not giving a shit what people think is a work-in-progress, but it’s going better. Photography… yeah, I met that goal. Let’s keep it going! Lastly, be the best person I can be for others. I think I met this goal. I wrote that when I was super tired and in all honesty I’m not sure what I exactly meant with it. How I’m interpreting it now, I met that goal.

New goals? Hmmm.

  1. Blog in a timely manner
  2. Keep working out
  3. Sleep

There we go. Nice and simple. Maybe. Let’s see if I actually blog on August 1st this time. It’d be my first “on-time” post in a month. #Goals.

The rest of July is going to go by so fast, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. But I’m going to have a kick-ass rest of the month, and I hope you do to!

Take every chance, drop every fear.

~E.♥

I did one of those “100 things about you” posts from Facebook.

The result? Probably being unfollowed on my blog, and boring a few readers to death. 

Well, here we go. I’ll put my responses in purple and bold.

  1. Are you named after someone? Not that I know of…
  2. When was the last time you cried? Oh goodness. Sometime this past week.  
  3. Do you like your handwriting? Yeah.
  4. Do you have freckles? I do indeed.
  5. What is your favorite lunch meat? I am not a fan of lunch meat… at all.
  6. Do you have any kids? Nope. I prefer to wait a decade or so longer.
  7. Do you use sarcasm? No, never. What’s sarcasm?
  8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep, but not the adenoids.
  9. Would you bungee jump? Probably not, but skydiving is on my bucket list.
  10. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops!
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Usually.
  12. Do you think you’re strong? It depends.
  13. What is your favorite ice cream? Strawberry Cheesecake from Katie’s Korner!
  14. What is the first thing you notice about people? How they act/behave. (Fidgety, etc.)
  15. Red or pink? Black.
  16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? I guess my acne. But what the heck kind of question is this? I want to think about stuff I like. Like my eyes. *cue empowerment*
  17. What was the last thing you ate? A mini cheese pizza.
  18. What are you listening to? The Offspring.
  19. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Black.
  20. Favorite smell? Thunderstorms.
  21. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? On the phone… that would’ve been a Cadet Advisory Council conference call.  
  22. Favorite sport to watch? Hmm… I wanted to be original, but I’m not. Probably soccer or football.
  23. What color is your hair? Like… 5 colors. My roots are like, brownish blonde (my natural color these days I guess) but the rest of my hair is this awkward faded red color.
  24. Eye color? Blue.
  25. Do you wear contacts? Some days. I prefer glasses.
  26. Favorite food? Dunkin Donuts’s Turkey Cheddar and Bacon comes close.
  27. Scary movies or happy endings? Ooooo, this is hard. Both. But if I had to pick, I guess toss me a happy ending.
  28. Last movie you watched? The Santa Clause 2.
  29. What color shirt are you wearing? Gray.
  30. Summer or winter? Summer.
  31. Hugs or kisses? Kisses.
  32. What is on your lock screen? A picture of a runway with a plane taking off that says “Take Me Away” in some pretty font.
  33. Last show you watched? I binge watched NCIS two nights ago.
  34. Favorite sound? Chords. Like, music chords. Mmmm.
  35. Rolling stones or Beatles? The Beatles all the way.
  36. What is the farthest you have traveled? Well, I mean, I’ve lived on two separate parts of the earth so there’s that.
  37. Do you have a special talent? I like to think I’m a half decent cornet/trumpet player.
  38. Where were you born? The Netherlands.
  39. Computer or Television? Computer all the way.
  40. What book are you currently reading? “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King.
  41. Any tattoos? Not… yet. 
  42. What color is your house? Brick-colored.
  43. What color is your car? It’s called “Reflex Silver” and is Volkswagen-specific.
  44. Do you have any pets? A cat named Ophelia. Past pets include Booplesnoot and Dwayne the Dwarf Hamsters- Cats Skittles, Shakespeare, Herbie, Mozart, and Rataplan- and Buckshot the Bunny.
  45. Mountain Hideaway or Beach House? Mountain Hideaway.
  46. What is on your mouse pad? The CyberPatriot logo on one, a dog on the other, and my mouse on the third.
  47. What is your earliest memory? My bear party when I turned five.
  48. What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Those darn Halloween Shots from the bar that night my friend from Berlin visited.
  49. What is your favorite vegetable? Spinach.
  50. Do you remember your first day at school? In America, yes.
  51. What is the worst exam result you remember ever getting? An F in Freshman Physics. And I got high-fived for it. That teacher was the best.
  52. How tall are you? I want to believe I’m 5’7” but I’ve always been 5’6″ and a half when I’m measured “professionally”.
  53. Can you swim? Like a fish.
  54. Who is your favorite movie actress? Natalie Portman.
  55. Who is your favorite movie actor? Christian Slater, Rami Malek, or Leonardo DiCaprio.
  56. Who is your favorite historical figure (been dead for at least 100 years)? Guy Fawkes.
  57. Who is your favorite superheroine? Does Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer count?
  58. Who is your favorite superhero? IRON MAN IRON MAN IRON MAN
  59. Can you name a female scientist other than Madame Curie? Absolutely. Grace Hopper. ♥
  60. Who is your favorite mythological god or goddess? Dionysus. It kinda just stuck after being assigned a project on him in 5th grade.
  61. What is the worst movie you have ever seen? Oh man, probably “VHS” or “VHS2”.
  62. What is the worst TV show you have ever seen? “1,000 Ways to Die”. I hate it.
  63. What is the worst book you have ever read? Probably anything I “read” for summer work in High School. Except for “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom (I sobbed).
  64. If you could go back in time to witness an historical event in person, what event would you want to see? Woodstock, in 1969.
  65. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Hawaii.
  66. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet? Samantha Christoforetti.
  67. If you could become famous for one thing, what would that thing be? Trumpet Performance.
  68. If you could meet any famous person who is dead, who would it be? Heath Ledger.
  69. Have you ever gotten any points on your driving license? That’s a negative, ghost rider. I’ve only ever been pulled over once; for a license plate light that was out.
  70. Have you ever bought alcohol or cigarettes while underage? I mean, alcohol is legal here at 16. That’s underage in America. But. Negative on the cigarettes. (I can barely breathe *without* smoke around. Hah).
  71. Where have you visited that you would like to go back to? Colorado.
  72. What is your favorite way to travel? Airplane, or by car if it’s close enough.
  73. What was the last computer game you played? War Thunder.
  74. What is your favorite movie? It changes weekly. I couldn’t even tell you, probably. Alice, Through the Looking Glass was pretty good. So is Stuart Little.
  75. What is your favorite book? That giant book of Shakespeare plays I own.
  76. What is your favorite song? Anything Blink-182. Or “Timber” by Ke$ha and Pitbull. Or “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics. There’s too many… oops.
  77. What is your favorite city? New York City. 
  78. Have you ever written a song? Yes. And I wrote it down on my bunk bed that’s taken apart now. I have pictures, though. 
  79. Have you ever written a poem? There’s a couple on this blog!
  80. Have you ever been a boy/girl scout? Nope. CAP is pretty awesome though.
  81. Have you ever written a book? I tried.
  82. What is your biggest pet peeve? Not paying attention to detail.
  83. Have you ever blown bubbles in your milk? No, I’m allergic to milk protein.
  84. Would you rather eat a Big Mac or a Whopper? Whopper. Given, there’s no tomato, pickles, ketchup, or onion.
  85. True or False: You would rather eat steak than pizza. It depends on the pizza or steak. Likely it would be False.
  86. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? Oh no… Not those memories…
  87. How did that turn out? I wore headbands for a year.
  88. If you could be any age, what age would you be? 21. Not because alcohol, because it seems you’d finally be treated like an adult.
  89. Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your hair? No, but I did get some on my favorite footie pajamas when I was younger and I was devastated.
  90. Do you ride roller coasters? Heck yeah.
  91. What’s your favorite carnival ride? That monster truck tire thing that rolls you upside-down.
  92. What is your dream car? A 1959 Volkswagen Bus, Type 2.
  93. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first? Wait for the car to fill up with water, thanks MythBusters.
  94. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? Yes, in Florida (at Disney nonetheless). I barely remember it because I was passing out, though. It was my Sophomore year of High School.
  95. Can you pick something up with your toes? Yep. I can also open doors with my feet.
  96. How many remote controls do you have in your house? Three.
  97. Have you ever fallen asleep in school? Sophomore US History taught me how to sleep with my eyes open.
  98. How many times have you flown in an airplane in the last year? In the past 365 days, I have been on 4 separate commercial airliners, and flown a Cessna and a glider.
  99. What’s your favorite number? 19.
  100. A quote to end on? “She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city” -Roman Payne

Well guys, that’s my “100 things about me”. Hopefully I wasn’t too boring :p

As always, thanks for being here.

Stay strong!

-E.