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Ingrid Rekedal

Ingrid Rekedal says:

The Whirlwind

I love my roommate, Taylor, to death. She is incredibly thoughtful and I have never met someone so willing to include everybody! But she is not known for her punctuality.

Moving out of the dorms is a huge job. It is crazy how much stuff you accumulate over the course of a year and between packing, storing, and cleaning the job takes quite a bit of time. Two days before you leave for the summer you have to sign up for a time for an RA to come check your room to make sure it is totally clean. So, we signed up and put Taylor on one of the last slots of the night (10:30pm) just it case packing took longer than we expected.

Our last day finally came. I spent all day packing: splitting my stuff into piles, packing it, cleaning the room, etc. Taylor was busy with a few more finals. That evening we went out to dinner one last time with our friends and planned to come back and attack the room in order to be ready by 10:30. Well, I went back to the room…and Taylor said she had to run an errand real quick. By the time it was 8:30 I was getting worried. I had spent the last 7 hours packing and I wasn’t done. Taylor hadn’t even started and she only had two hours left. By 9:00 she finally came back. My suitemates and I realized there was no way she was going to make it in time if we didn’t all pitch in…

…I have never seen 5 girls clean a room so efficiently. The next hour and a half was a whirlwind. We threw her entire closet into her car, emptied her drawers, cleared her dresser, took her bed apart, we even managed to stuff a mini-fridge into her car and a second one into her friend’s car!! At 10:20 we were so close to being finished but not close enough to be ready by 10:30 so our RA graciously allowed us to push back the room check until 11:00pm. We swept, dusted, and wiped the walls and floor. And were completely finished by the time the RA came in. WHEW! Biggest whirlwind of my life!

Can you guess what the RA said when she checked our room? “This is the cleanest room I’ve seen yet!” (little did she know it was accomplished in probably ¼ of the time the other rooms were cleaned)

Perhaps you are wondering what that ‘errand’ was that made Taylor late. She was making little end of the year gifts for each of us. You can see her priorities! She is seriously so kind and I’ll miss her this summer.

So we did it! And it was actually fun because we were doing it together. Now I can relax on my plane ride home. California here I come, Happy Summer Ya’ll!!!

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Joey Hutton

Joey Hutton says:

The Day After Today

I’m a traditionalist. I like doing the same thing the same way at the same time. It’s a Hobbit life for me. Every year on the last day of school, I play a song from the underrated Disney movie A Goofy Movie. Bring back the memories or culture yourself with the video below.

Every morning of the last day of school, I’d jump out of bed, slip the DVD into the player and skip to the opening song. I’d boost the volume so the whole house could hear the good news of another completed school year. More recently with the assistance of social media, I’ve just posted the video online to spread the news to all my Internet friends.

Now, I have come to the last last day of school. I’m done with algebra tests, mystery meat, home economics, text books, pep rallies, and science slumber parties. This song used to be a declaration that summer was here for 104 days. Tomorrow, it won’t proclaim a victory over another school year or prophesy the spoils of summer. This year, it’ll serve as recognition to the seniors that worked hard for eight semesters…give or take a few. (more…)

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Joey Hutton

Joey Hutton says:

An Outsider

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the Mackey classroom, I had only two things on my mind: I’m done with finals and what am I supposed to do now?

For the 22 years I’ve been on God’s green Earth, I’ve been in school. Preschool to kindergarten. First grade to high school graduate. College freshie to, in 72 hours, a college graduate. If there’s been a constant in my life, it’s been school. With school comes work, deadlines, and summer break. Now since I will be entering the realm outside of school I’ve realized that there will still be work and deadlines, but summer break will be a thing of the past. My heart.

This is an expected transitional time in my life. I’m done with school, I’m living off campus and away from my family, I’m getting married… a whole lot of new things coming my way. This is all very new territory for me. I’ve never been a college graduate. I’ve never not been in school. I’ve never had a job that didn’t involve cleaning toilets or serving food… not the same job, thankfully. And I’ve never been a husband or a provider for another living being. Lots of new, scary things heading my way.

In some ways, I feel lost. I’m a stranger entering a new world attempting unfamiliar feats. I don’t like new things. In my heart, I am a Hobbit. I prefer to just stay in my comfort zone and do what I’ve always done. But like any good story about a Hobbit, there is an unexpected journey that leads to an adventure.

True, there are payoffs in the unknown future. For one thing, all these amazing movies are coming out before 2015 is done. I’ve already seen Age of Ultron and I can’t wait for Jurassic World, Inside-Out, and The Force Awakens. Those are things to look forward to. The next best thing, if not the best thing, is being married to my most special friend. That’s certainly helping with the uneasy feelings of the future. Finally, there is exploring the unknown. I don’t like surprises, but I like figuring out a good mystery.

My future is a mystery. There are perils and adventures as well as beauty and charm waiting for me. Though I like to plan ahead and be in my comfort place, I do enjoy new adventures, whether they’re familiar or not.

This weekend, I’ll take the first step of my journey into the unknown. I’ll walk across that platform and toss my square-shaped hat in the air, declaring to the world that I’m a college graduate and an outsider to the world beyond school… and I’m ready.

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Joey Hutton

Joey Hutton says:

I Tried, But I Did Not…

Happy Intergalactic STAR WARS Day.

Like in our favorite movies that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, unexpected things can happen. Your enemy turns out to be your father, the girl you’ve been crushing on is actually your sister, or more recently, you take over an hour to type a blog about Star Wars quotes to inspire fellow students to stay on target throughout the final week of school when suddenly… the computer crashes and you lose everything you’ve been working on for more than 100 Imperial minutes. Echuta.

It was a well done blog, if I say so myself. I briefly dissected these quotes and stated how they can apply to college students during finals week.

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

“Let’s keep a little optimism here.” Han Solo

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

I have faith that the masses can read these quotes and figure out what insights I may have had. Now they are completely open to interpretation. I’d take more time to discuss that your point of focus reflects what you truly care about, but now I’m tired. I’d mention that maintaining a good attitude is important in this time of stress, but I need to focus on studying for finals. I tried to post a better blog earlier, but sadly, I did NOT. I even made a joke about grabbing finals by their Gundark-like ears and ripping them off, but now that dorky joke is lost in the vacuum of space and time.

Good luck with finals and May the Fourth be with you.

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Michael Perrotti

Michael Perrotti says:

What Will You Choose: The Boat or The Crashing Waves

What are you afraid of? Maybe it’s heights? Or spiders? Or if you’re anything like me it’s ants? Yes, I am afraid of ants. Why you may ask? It is because when there is one ant, there is never just one. Ants travel in colonies; which means if there is one ant, there is bound to be tens, hundreds or even thousands more right around the corner. This may just be a silly fear of mine, but just the thought of thousands of ants just freaks me out!

This morning I went to Crosspoint church in downtown Nashville, and let me tell you it was one of those services where I just felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me. Pastor Pete Wilson was finishing up this series about fear after his new book, “What Keeps You up at Night?” The past few weeks we have been walking through Scripture looking into this idea of fear and how we as the church are supposed to handle it. Pete touched on many points about fear and how we are to handle it, but today especially he focused on how our fear effects our personal relationship and view of God. Does fear really impact the relationship you have with God? If you fear too much can you even say you trust in God? What does fear even have to do with my spiritual life? Well, let’s dive into this a little bit more.

First things first; do you think you have a fear problem? Well, the answer to that no matter who you are is, no. There is no such thing as a fear problem. It is a faith problem. Fear, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary is, “an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger: a feeling of being afraid.” What does this definition say about one’s faith? Is fear created by an overwhelming trust in the God you serve, or by the lack of that very faith we claim to have as Christians? Fear has become a facet of our lives that came about due to the fall of man, many years ago. If we lived in complete harmony with our Father the way Adam and Eve did before the fall, what would there be to be afraid of? Nothing! Fear has been instilled in us by the very one who took us away from that perfect harmony we once had. Fear is created in a human by a lack of knowledge about God. As Pastor Pete would put it, “The more you know about who God is, the more you can trust Him without fear.”

One of the biggest fears that I struggle with is the fear of the unknown. What will happen if I go here for the summer? What will happen if I start this relationship? How will this end if I do this? I am the type of person who likes to have a plan for things and sometimes I struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone just because of the mere fact that I do not know. I personally never thought of fear as being a lack of faith in God. I trust in God with my whole heart and know that He guides me and has a plan for me. Yet, why is it so hard for me to be afraid of where I will be in a few days, months, or even years? I always had the mentality that as I would continue to mature in my spiritual walk I would begin to know more about my future. Almost as if God would reveal His plan to me, or that I would become more knowing of what would happen to me. To be honest with you, it’s the complete opposite. To sum it up in the words of Pastor Pete, “The more spiritually mature we are, the less certainty we actually need.” So, instantly I began to question myself.

What does this mean to me then, if I claim to trust in God yet still have this fear of the unknown? I think it may serve as a reminder to me that despite my trust and faith in Him, I still have room to grow spiritually. There are still things in my life that I need to hand over to Him, and there are still things that I can continue to learn about Him. How we go about living our own personal lives is just a reflection of our beliefs and views of God. If we live life constantly questioning our place and our trust in the future do we really believe that He holds the future? Do we really trust in God as much as we like to say we do, if we live our life cautiously, because we are afraid to make a wrong move, or make a wrong decision? Do we fear the future or the end so much, that we never even take that first step or try to start a new beginning? If we live our lives with the trust and faith in God we are called to have as Christians we would not even question our worth or place that we are in for even a split second. We would not even have that fear to keep us from stepping out into the unknown. We would be willing to leave the boat and stand upon the crashing waves. But how exactly are we supposed to live a life without fear? I mean, God does call us to not fear, or “Fear thou not” over 300 times in Scripture, but how do we actually obtain that lifestyle?

PRAYER. There is no other answer that is so simple, yet so deep. The only way that you can rid yourself of the fear that is so deeply engraved in you is, prayer. It is through your prayer and reflection that you will learn more about the God you serve, therefore being able to trust in Him fully, dissipating all fear. The most important thing we will ever have in our minds is what we believe about God. So, let us pray in order to seek that important knowledge. Ask God to remind you of what He has done for you. Remember those days when you thought you were at the end of your line or that you were done with that relationship, or that job? If you go back and think on those moments you will see that God was right there with you working through every bad moment, bad timing, or bad mistake you made. He was always with you and will always be with you. Let your prayer start with thankfulness and celebration for all of the good He has done in your life. You must be willing to celebrate the faithfulness of God in your past in order to take the next steps to trust Him with your future, because those prayers of thankfulness and celebration should soon turn into prayers of forgiveness and repentance. We do not live perfect lives. We are not perfect people. But, our God loves us through our impurities and imperfections and we must bring those to Him in prayer. We must pray asking for forgiveness. We must allow Him, the gardener, to remove the weeds from our lives and help make us whole again. For He tells us, “In Christ you are a new creation; the old is gone, and the new has come.” Can I get an amen?!? Isn’t it so wonderful that we serve a God who loves us even when we’ve strayed? It is wonderful. Let the answer to your fear be prayer.

It seems as if it might just be an easy fix. Just prayer more, trust God, and your fears will go away, right? Or some of you may be saying, “Well, it’s just the same old stuff they told me in Sunday school years ago.” Well, let me tell you brother and sisters, there is no easy fix, and this fear thing is a problem. The concept of fear is the top thing God calls us out in Scripture to get rid of above any other sin or imperfection we might have. We are called to not fear over 300 times in Scripture, and we need to pay attention to it. But, it goes beyond just prayer and scripture readings when it comes to getting rid of the fear in your life. It becomes a personal decision you must make. Similar to the decision we make as Christians when we decide to take that first step proclaiming our love for Christ, we must make a decision to not fear.

Do you trust God enough to say that you do not fear those things you once were afraid of?

Do you believe in a God that is all-powerful and all-knowing that fear within you should not exist?

Will you stand on the boat, or step out onto the crashing waves?

Just remember, you may not know what tomorrow holds, but you sure know who holds it.

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Ingrid Rekedal

Ingrid Rekedal says:

ONE MORE Clean Room Check!!!

Today marks my last Thursday as a TNU Freshman!! Wow, that is crazy.
Thursday also happens to be clean room check day. Every week my RA checks the rooms to make sure we are keeping them clean.
If we don’t have the following requirements we get fined:
*no clothes on the ground
*bed made
*furniture dusted
*sink cleaned
*room vacuumed
*bathroom cleaned

This week is no exception. In fact, there is actually more pressure tonight. On top of meeting the usual requirements, I am in the middle of packing my stuff for summer storage. And, it is the last clean room check before the BIG one, which is when we check out of the dorms for the summer. You know what that means? Deep cleaning. You know what that means?…. PRETEND YOU ARE A MODERN-DAY CINDERELLA (I may or may not have actually watched Disney’s original Cinderella as I cleaned my room)
But, I did it! And it will be so much easier next week since I put so much effort into it this week. Almost there, one week left – one more week to avoid getting a fine for a less than clean room!
Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 8.15.31 PM
The big bad warning
Packing Up! One week left.
If you’ve gotta clean…
…at least use the time to do some dreaming.

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Michael Perrotti

Michael Perrotti says:

Check That Off My Bucketlist





In my previous blog I talked about raising money for the Music City Marathon. Well that race was this past weekend, but I am still feeling the effects in this very moment. If you allow me to, I am going to take you through the race day preparation up until the race and afterwards.

Friday April 24th, 2015

-I was eating dinner with my cousin and my grandparents when I started to see the news claiming that severe weather was coming into the Nashville area for Saturday morning. This concerned me because I really wanted to run this race and was looking forward to it, and now this weather may change things.

-Later that night I took my protein and carbohydrate supplements to help give me the energy I was going to need in the morning and then at about 10:30pm it was bed-time for me. It was going to be an early morning and I needed my sleep.

Saturday April 25th, 2015

4:00am- Wake up time. The alarm starts going off on the other side of the room and I jump up to turn it off. Shower time and getting ready for the race begin NOW!

5:00am- We pull out of Trevecca’s campus. We start the trip over to parking lot R by LP Field for the race. Surprisingly we pull into the parking lot without hitting any traffic on the way.

6:15am- It’s time for the last restroom stop and time to head to the start line. I ran into Bridgestone Arena to relieve myself one last time before heading to start. Stripped off my heavy clothes all the way down to just my short shorts and my running singlet, and hugged my family and friends goodbye.

6:55am- The National Anthem starts and I become overwhelmed with emotions knowing that this race was going to start soon and I would be off on my first full marathon. But things didn’t happen as quickly as I thought they would.

7:10am- Although the official race start was at 7:00am I did not step off until 7:10am because I was in the 7th corral, or group of runners to take off. That was not bad though considering the fact that there were 43 corrals total.

8:10am- First hour of my race complete and I was feeling great. Was really surprised but I wasn’t sore at all, and my lungs were feeling great.

8:45am- I start approaching the 13.1 mile mark, which in a marathon is exactly halfway through when I first started to feel some pain. This pain continued on for quite a while but I really needed to finish this race so I was going to try and push through.

9:45am- I am really struggling to keep moving and pass a medical tent and quickly step into it to get checked out to see what’s wrong. The people were all really nice and they helped me in every possible way. One lady runs up to me and squirts what I thought was just normal Gatorade into my mouth, but apparently it was salted Gatorade. Talk about a strange flavor! I continued to sit in this tent for about 25 minutes while they stretch me and test everything. They told me, you can go if you want, but the pain will come back. I got up and started again, let’s finish this thing.

10:45am- I am still struggling to move and run and have had to stop multiple times because my leg would cramp up and I wouldn’t be able to move it. Well at the next medical tent I saw I limped my way into it. They did many of the similar things to me, stretching me out, giving me salty Gatorade, and telling me it may be my best option to just stop. In this moment I really questioned myself thinking, “Maybe I should stop, I made it this far and don’t want to hurt myself anymore.” Well no, I did not listen to the nurse of myself and got up and kept running.

11:25am- I was about 2 miles from the finish line. I pushed through the last two miles before this really trying to get to that finish line. But, the next medical tent grabbed my attention as I was limping by and they told me to come in and sit so they could check my vitals and everything. I sat in there for quite a while, and they told me that I should be done. You just did 24 miles and you should be proud of yourself. I was not about to say I ran 24 miles and gave up. I need to finish this thing. After discussing things with the nurse at this station they finally let me go and I was on my way.

12:00pm- I finish the race. It may not have been exactly at 12 but it was close. I was about 450 yards from the finish when I started to hear the erupting applause for all the runners. Right before the final turn there was a group of St. Jude’s people cheering the runners on and I felt an overwhelming sense of adrenaline and picked up my pace so I could sprint across the finish line. I did it. I finished the race. I usually do not get emotional when I accomplish anything, but when the gentleman put that medal on my neck tears started pouring down my race. I did it, I finished the race. There was more to it than just finishing. I pushed through the pain, I raised money for the St. Jude’s kids and families, and I was about to see some of my favorite people after 5 hours of pain and agony.

I continued on to my next adventures of the day, putting on two theater performances at my school and went to bed that night feeling like I accomplished something great. To this day my muscles are still sore, and yes I did injure myself during the race and will be on crutches for at least a week for my Achilles. When people see me hobble around they wonder why I didn’t just stop. I’ve been asked this same questions probably a thousand times already, “Was it worth it?” and I only have one response, “YES!” There was a lot more to it than just crossing that line, there was a battle that I fought and won, and there are now children being able to get the help they need because of this race. I feel blessed that the good Lord allowed my Achilles to stay intact with the rest of my leg for me to finish the race and continue to be better than what I could be. This experience has taught me many lessons and I will always remember the moments during this race. We do not live life in a sprint, but rather a marathon, and we will be faced with days of extreme pain and agony and days when we need that medical tent stop, but if we keep pushing through with our eyes focused on the final prize, we can make it. As long as you allow God into your life to help guide you, you can do anything.

And now, I can check that 26.2 off my Bucket List.


Collage 2015-04-26 18_59_10

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Molly Vinson

Molly Vinson says:

Home Away From Home

As the year comes to a close and I start pack my things up, I decided to share with you what my dorm room looks like so you can get some ideas for when you go dorm room shopping! When coming to college you don’t want to bring too much and make it cluttered, but you also don’t want to bring too little and make it feel empty. I always overpack for everything, so naturally when coming to college I overpacked. Shockingly, I found a way to fit everything in my room in a neat and organized way that isn’t too cluttered!IMG_0512

One thing that was very important to me when decorating my room was to make sure that it felt like home. I didn’t want my room to be just an average dorm room, I wanted it to be my home away from home. It was easier for me to accomplish the “homey” feel this year because I worked out the kinks from last year. Also be sure that your personality shines through! Make sure your room can be a place where you can escape from the world and relax. Here are some things that have saved my life and I think are must haves for college:

  • A cube shelf- A cube shelf can be anything that you want it to be! It can store clothes, books, movies, kitchen items, cleaning items or anything else you can think of! Last year I even used it as a T.V. stand so there are endless possibilities! Any additional storage piece that you can bring will definitely come in handy.
  • Storage tubs/baskets- A big thing in college is finding a creative way to store everything you need to live in a house in one room. Storage tubs and containers are so useful and you can pile them under your bed with anything in them that you might not need on an everyday basis!
  • A fan- Fans are amazing. Yes there are air conditioners in each room, but sometimes it just doesn’t get as cool as you’d like so definitely bring a fan! I have a tall, skinny fan that I store in the corner of my room and pull out when I need it. It’s perfect!
  • Slim hangers- you might think hangers are just hangers, but they are important! It’s also important to remember that you are sharing this closet with someone so the more compact your things can be the better! You can find slim hangers all over the place. I bought mine at T.J.Maxx.
  • IMG_0519A lamp- Never underestimate the importance of a lamp! Lamps take up space yes, but they are really great when you are trying to get ready while your roommate is asleep. Or if you are staying up late doing homework and you don’t want to keep up your roommate. The main lights are bright so it’s also nice to have a light that is not as harsh.
  • A carpet- A big thing that helps make your dorm room “homey” is a carpet. Whether that be an area rug or a full carpet is totally up to you! But it is very nice to get out of bed in the morning and not have to touch the cold tile floor. You can go to any local carpet or home improvement store and buy a carpet remnant to fit your room!
  • A printer- Sure there are printers all across campus, but it is really nice to have one of your own that you can use whenever you need it, and you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas to use it!
  • A Keurig- Now even though I don’t personally have one, all my friends told me that I had to tell you all to bring one! I will say I do go use my friends all the time to make hot chocolate. So if you like coffee or hot chocolate, bring a Keurig!
  • A drying rack- Drying racks are a nice because it gives you a convenient spot to hang clothes that you don’t put in the dryer or clothes that didn’t get completely dry in the dryer! Its also nice for towels after you use them so they don’t make your floor or other items in your clothes hamper wet.
  • KnicIMG_0520k Knacks- Little decorations and knick knacks definitely help accomplish the “homey” goal. Any little things that you can put on a shelf or your window sill will be nice touches to your home away from home.
  • Decorations for your wall- Posters, pictures, frames or anything in-between are great to hang on your wall and help spice up your space! When bringing decorations for your wall don’t forget to bring things to hang them with! Glue guns are great for hanging light items and command hooks are a must have.




Now being an RA comes with a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of perks. Such as having your own room, so keep in mind I’m the only one that lives in this space. This is how I set up my room! If you need any ideas on how to set up your room or need help knowing what to bring just call me up! I’ll be happy to help :)


IMG_0514 IMG_0521


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