It is finally September. I can practically smell the pumpkin spice lattes and see the beautiful color change in the landscape. With the month of September comes a busy schedule for the seven of us residing in the state officer house. The next 30 days hold a whirlwind of conferences such as PLT (Premier Leadership Training), LDW (Leadership Development Workshop), chapter visits, district kickoffs, and more. Before that whirlwind has a chance to sweep us off our feet, however, we had the pleasure of spending a couple days at the Hickey’s lake house.
The weather was a perfect 75 degrees and sunny for the entirety of our visit. Between enjoying watching the boys be beaten to a pulp by the water as they went tubing and soaking up the sun with the girls (and not getting burnt I might add), the getaway was much needed and much appreciated. So many memories were created on this trip and there are so many stories I could share, but there is one that is a standout in my memory.
On our second day we started the day off right by being on the water. The boys not only conquered tubing, but also expanded their horizons to skiing as well. After completing both feats, the next item on their checklist was to get us girls to join them. Now, you’re probably wondering why we would be hesitant to join them. In answer to that question, all I can say is that—as much as I love them— the boys act exactly as brothers would, and would not flinch at flipping a tube on purpose to see what would happen to us. Lindsey was the first one that caved and went with them (I learned my lesson on the first day when I went with Skylar). I was a little surprised that she went because she was on the fence about it. It took a lot of convincing, but what finally drew her in was when Skylar said “Come on Lindsey, I promise I won’t flip the tube on you. If you go with me I won’t let anything bad happen.” Later that evening after dinner we were all clustered on the couch (because we seem to like trying to fit seven people on one piece of furniture) eating Oreo ice cream and watching TV. It was a completely ordinary situation, nothing lavish or lustrous to it at all. It hit me as I laughed at the story Derek was telling and joked with Lindsey about her upcoming birthday, these six people are my family.
I found a quote by an anonymous author that states “The bond that links family is not one of blood, but one of respect and joy in each other’s life. Some of the closest family members do not grow up under the same roof.” This couldn’t describe our team any better. When I was inducted into office on June 19 I was so excited not only for the year, but for moving in with 6 other amazing individuals and the potential of gaining 6 new best friends. I so underestimated what was to come. Not only did I gain 6 best friends, I gained 3 sisters and 3 brothers. None of us grew up under the same roof, and a couple of us didn’t know each other all that well when we were elected, but now it seems weird when we’re not all together. Our family may seem a little quirky to some, but for us it’s just the right blend of sassy and loving.
Roughly 74 days ago I was elected to serve Indiana FFA with 6 outstanding individuals. Along the way our team became a family. We may not be related by blood, but we all bleed blue and gold and for us that’s enough to claim ourselves as brothers and sisters. As I return from this Labor Day weekend I realize just how blessed I am to have my actual and adopted family. I’m looking forward to returning and continuing on this crazy and breathtaking journey of state office with my team! Wishing you all a great week and hoping you enjoyed your long weekend!
2014-2015 State Treasurer