Thursday, December 20, 2012


When September began, I had no idea what would happen in the next few months. My decisions until that point were being made and finalized, and I finally felt like I was in action.

Growing up is a weird feeling, and I never thought I would be done with college. But, I am. I am here, with a degree, done. I feel a little scared but mostly excited. I have been home watching the snow fall over and over again. Sitting in the sauna and hot tubbing multiple times a day. I really have met relaxation at it's finest. I forgot what it felt like to not have plans or the stress tension aching in my shoulders. My parent's fridge is always full with fresh fruit and veggies. I am jobless and now schooless.

It's all just one big adventure after another. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My first friend at UCA was Elliot. We were two of the 16 freshman in our high school, so naturally we found each other, and stuck together like glue. She was the only one who was fearless enough to be crazy with me.I know that we came across as annoying and obnoxious to the rest of our class, but we were enthusiasts! We found a place at UCA that carried on through our senior year.

Elliot and I haven't spent any time together in the last year, so seeing her last night was such a treat. We got together for dinner on a whim, and those two hours we spent together were not enough! You know there is a true friendship bond when it feels like we never left freshman year. Love you Elle!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hillary's Tips and Tricks to Driving

Since I am in a long distance relationship, I am usually in my car driving across the state on my free time. With that said, I have developed some techniques to make my drive faster and more fun.

For speeding:
1. Never be the person leading the speeders, you will be the first one caught, middle speeder is the sweet spot.
2. If you must be the first person, allow the followers to get adapted then addicted to your fast pace. Then slow down, that way they can't take going slow and have to pass you. This is the time you speed and follow, BOOM.
3. If you do get pulled over for speeding, say you have diarrhea and were speeding to get to a bathroom.

For fun:
1. Pick a time limit where you have to sing out loud the entire time. Even if you don't know the words, keep singing. It makes you laugh at yourself.
2. If stuck in traffic for a long time, dance like you are karate chopping the air. It makes you laugh at yourself too!
3. Count your blessings
4. Take deep breaths, we don't take enough of those.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stepping In Dog Poop

I've been so overwhelmed lately, that there is rarely a moment that I don't have this pit in my stomach reminding me of how much I have left to do. There is ALWAYS something running through my mind.

Part of my job is picking up 16 kids from work in a huge van, it is actually a really funny sight seeing little me picking 16 kids up from school. The school that I am assigned to has 2 ADHD high functioning autistics and a boy who is developmentally slow with delayed speech development. Let me tell you, all three of these kids can not speak full sentences, let alone really say any whole words, so it is the most entertaining thing seeing them get into my van hyped up and watching them interact.

Today, the boy who is developmentally slow, was the first one to my van. He happened to step in the biggest pile of dog poop as he climbed into the van, and stepped on a seat and dragged it through the van. Oh man, it was so unfortunate, and hearing him say "sumtin smwells" was so funny it was impossible to be frustrated. All the kids were refusing to get into the van because it smelled like dog poop. I was freezing, trying to use leaves to scrape the poop off his shoe, and just laughing as I tried to get everyone under control (while this was going on, there was a boy using a stick the length of a living room to play with dog throw up) . This wonderful moment, was the brief moment that pit in my stomach wasn't there. I just can't imagine life without these pooper steppers.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Through all the hectic days I am experiencing, I am still taking time off to hang with my favorite singer Trevor Hall. Tomorrow we meet for the 4th time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


It's amazing to me how one moment I can feel so unmotivated or indecisive. Then, once I have a decision I will fight for it. 
Sometimes it dies and sometimes it doesn't. 
I am fighting hard right now, and soon it will all be over. 
This is where my motivations and decisions are focused on right now:

- In two months I will graduate with my degree in Psychology 
- On November 8 I am taking the GRE (pray for me!)
- I am applying to 3 Occupational Therapy Programs (Pray for me here too!)
- I am trying to get my 40 hours of observation in while working, interning, going to school, applying to schools, and studying for the GRE. 

I am fighting real hard right now, because I finally know what I want. Maybe it will die or change, but I am fighting and working my butt off to get where I want to be. The cool thing is, I am trying to get where I want to go but am totally happy where I am now. I think it is a special thing that I am excited for where I am AND where I am going. This is definitely contentment. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three things:

1. I am obsessed with this CD, especially this song. It's cool Allen Stone is singing with Macklemore!
2. I am seeing Macklemore next Tuesday!

Friday, September 28, 2012

I can't write you down

I was talking with a friend who is stuck in a sticky situation with a past love of hers. We laid in our backyard eating dinner with our hands and just talking about boys... Girls do this OH SO WELL.

When it comes to who we are going to love or let go, it is a life-changing and sometimes the most heartbreaking moment one will ever experience. It always helps to try and sort things out when we compare what we had with another person and why this ONE single person can have such an impact on our hearts.

I was 15 when I started my list of qualities that I wanted in the person I married. Of course the list was the "perfect boy." I added and subtracted as I got older and dated more and more. Let me make this clear, by stating more and more, I mean I dated a lot. All different boys, and mostly for very short periods of time. I learned from each one and sometimes I felt like that boy was quite perfect.

I met Drew two years ago, and I can't say he is everything on my list. He is better. I can honestly say he has qualities I never could have imagined to put on that list (the good qualities). He isn't that "perfect boy" but he is perfect for me.

I'm not sure if there really is one person created for everyone, but I do know that for some reason I am in love with a boy that I couldn't make into list. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

dear God, thank you for this beautiful life and forgive me if i don't love it enough

I am in the process of applying to graduate school right now. A couple of weeks ago, I found out that I was graduating in December. Since that exciting and scary realization, I have begun to see everyday as closer to this part of my life that is ending. 

I was really freaking out the first couple weeks of school. I went from being this student ready for her senior year, to a frantic almost graduate that felt totally unprepared. From one life moment to the next. Everyday is getting closer to December.

Growing up...

There is so much to think about when we venture off into a new chapter. I think about all those big life changing hoops I've jumped through , and how great life has really turned out for me... 

So, when I am planning the future I tell myself, "Everything is going to be OK." My mom taught me that one, and it is one of the most true statements I've heard. 

PS- Meet my best friends and roomies- I'm so very thankful for these 5 ladies.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blessings and Gravity

I am completely blessed to be at the Northeast Youth Center, that place completes the “helper” in me. I have set my goals, and am already focusing on what I can do to fulfill these goals through the children and my experience there. Right now, I am trying to be as genuinely kind as I can, so that I can really gain the trust and love of the little tikes in my life. The counselor inside me wants to know the history of these children’s lives- where they came from, where they are, what makes them sad or happy, and most of all, why?
I am so passionate about developmental psychology; it helps me create the stories of these children. My two main focuses are Kobe and Sam. Kobe is absolutely adorable, super easy kid for the most part. Kobe has autism, and I think that is probably why he is one of the favorites at the center. I have never had experience with autism, so it excites me to be able to observe and interact with Kobe. Sam is pretty difficult, sometimes rough at times, and she seems very disconnected in some way. I am not sure if Sam has actually been diagnosed with a disorder, but I can tell I learn a lot from her. Sam gravitates toward me, and although she may not be a favorite, she makes me feel important and special too, it’s a precious thing. 

Monday, July 23, 2012


Cherry harvest is a chaotic time for my family, but it is over. Cherries have been picked, packed by the family's small hands, and sold to the cherry lovers in our world.  My sister had a wedding reception. And we have gladly accepted multiple friends and family members into our home since the first day of summer. Life has been lived fully in the Madden home the last two months.

A couple weeks ago, my mom came into my bedroom at 4 in morning and told me my aunt had died. Ever since I heard those words slip so fast out of her mouth, I have almost refused to accept that she is actually gone. forever. For some reason, losing someone hurts so badly, but at the same time seem so unreal. It is silly to think that I still expect to see her soon. Because my whole life she has been here. And now, for the rest of my life, she won't be here.

Gillian is my aunt (my mom's only sibling). She likes to be called GG though. She is our aunt GG.

Anyone who has met GG would say that she is unique and quite eccentric. She grew up in Venice Beach, CA, and she had that written all over her from her widespread vocabulary to her choice of dress. For my 9th birthday I got to go visit her and my grandparents. That was all I wanted to do, was hang out with Aunt Gillian. We bought a ten dollar bike for me to ride around the boardwalk with her for the time while I was there, and it was one of the best times of my life. Seriously, she is one of the funnest people ever. Being around her was always an adventure. Even before she was gone, I would always reminisce about my times with her. I spent most of my life with her, she would come and go, but when she would come and stay for long amounts of time, she was a hit with us girls. She loved us. She would tell me I was her favorite, I think that I was the only one she told that to... haha...

She loved Sugar Ray, if you haven't listened to them, you should. They brighten up the day. She hated snakes. I once saw her jump so high, scream some weird words, and run off in her platform flip flops into the orchard...she saw a snake and didn't take it well. Every time I walk that path, I imagine that little moment of her freaking out. She has a 9 year old son, Zane. He lived with us most of his life, so having him back seems almost natural. He is comfortable with us for the time being. He calls us his sisters now, and we have willingly accepted that role. GG loved to dance. Zane dances ALL the time. He loves to play youtube videos and just dance. It is fun to see how much of GG Zane has in him. I am glad we still have a part of her with us. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


My relationships are one of my greatest teachers. My mom shows me how easily I can get frustrated. My dad shows me where I got my ability to start laughing and not be able to stop. My sisters show me how loving or mean I can be. My friends show me how much I can mean to a person, and how much my character can shine. My boyfriend shows me how to trust and be understanding. Without people, it would be hard to realize the strengths AND weaknesses that are so instilled in my bones.

I have learned from many situations, that I have a hard time accepting situations that I can not change. My newest teacher is my long distance relationship. Not the person, but the title of the relationship- long distance. 

If I could grab serenity in the air and pull it close to my mind and heart I would. I read through some old journals and one thing I noticed was my serenity- my disposition free from stress. Being really young was easy! 

I like the way my life works when I make my own schedule. Truth is, it never is just my schedule I am working around. So serenity runs from me in the moments where I am no longer in control.

I found this on the side of our fridge today, and in an old journal... Could not be more fitting!

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage for the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." 

I guess I need both serenity and wisdom these days. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Today I found a frog in my hair. It was really funny. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dancing Alone

I am home for the summer and not used to the life that I am living. My busy hectic schedule is no longer existent and it has left me feeling somewhat "life naked." I always want the opposite of what I am experiencing at the time- if I am busy, I want to relax. If I am always around people, I want alone time. If I am alone, I am lonely. If I am free, I wish I was busy.

I am free and no longer surrounded by five other friends in my home, and wishing I was busy and back in my home, with my busy schedule, with my best friends...but since I can't be. I've decided to use weeding 2000 dahlias as therapy. I've decided to use yard tools as my microphones. And to dance like a ridiculous person in the dirt, alone. I think I am more strange when I am alone, but isn't everybody?

My sister and I once had a conversation about all the weird things we did when we were alone... We were in tears from laughing so hard.

Today, I decided to smile randomly throughout my day... I felt really creepy... Kinda like the Joker from Dark Knight

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Struggling Changes People

My sister Whitney and best friend are in Thailand on their first mission trip. I got to talk to them for the first time last night, and it was quite exciting to hear their voices. There have been so many times since they left, that I have wanted to text them something funny or random in my day, and I can't.

I heard they were miserable when they first got there, but they are doing MUCH better since I last talked to them. It was so great to hear Whitney speak like I used to speak about my experiences in India. It makes India feel so real and alive in my life once again. She is beginning to see the strength it takes to serve others and to let go of the daily things we dwell on. She sees the beauty in the small things, and understands what we take for granted.

Ahhh I miss that. It doesn't make me envious, but more than anything, it makes me miss India. I miss those struggles, and I miss those days when it seems like the only thing you can do is to break down and give it all to God. I miss the days when I have to search to find the beauty around me, and be thankful because I have SO much.

Although Whit is struggling, I am so glad she is. Because without mission trips that break us down and make us really miss home and certain types of foods and comfy beds and air conditioning, we become immune to how blessed we really are. And once we can take those moments to understand the great wealth around us, we can learn to be better people. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm not ready to say goodbye to you

Makayla Hamilton is her name. 

This year was completed by her presence. We scream across campus, run to each other every time we see each other, and there is never a dull moment. She is my outlet, she knows my secrets. I'm really not sure what I am going to do without her next her. Saying goodbye is absolutely heartbreaking. Here is to a year with you best friend....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Toilet Paper Tearer

It's amazing how many things around me that I don't notice. Especially, when it is something created to make my life a lot easier. Yesterday, at work, I realized there is a toilet paper tearer on the dispenser! If you haven't seen them in public bathrooms, they are like the sharp edges on a tin foil box.

I used it. My toilet paper had a nice smooth edge and left it all neat for the next person. I am so impressed by this. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whitworth Weekend

This weekend was a blast! I went to celebrate Tom's completion of the MCAT on Friday night. My awesome friend's Austen, Ian, and Jesse had a house show featuring their band Franklin. It was such a fun time, we all danced around their living room.  I am sad that this year is just about to end, I love Whitworth and all the people, there really is no place I'd rather be. It brings me so much joy. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


FaceTime may be one of my favorite things. Today, Drew called me through FaceTime and it was such a splendid surprise to see his face in the middle of the day.

That boy makes me laugh a lot.

Most of our conversations involve making the ugliest face possible, but it really works for the both of us. I am such a good ugly face maker.

Drew, thanks for being compassionate, goofy, and always unique. Everyday I am thankful for you. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Seattle and Sunshine

Drew in Kirkland enjoyin' his smoothie. Isn't he a good lookin fella?

This weekend I got to visit Drew in Seattle. It is possibly one of the most exciting things to see him for the first time after being apart.

Anyways, there were too many wonderful things packed into a weekend- I got sunshine and time with some of my favorite people in this world.

PS- I came home to a house that smells like cauliflower, it smells funny!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I have needed new windshield wipers for months now, and since it is raining all the time and sometimes snowing, I figured today would be a good day to get those puppies on my car. I stopped by a gas station today and bought some. A nice man in line offered to help me put them on my car, since it can be tricky.

He was pretty confident in his wiper installing skills, but it did not show in his work. I stood there soaking wet in the snow and rain for about an hour as he tried popping them onto my car. He was a persistent guy, and I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I let him struggle and struggle so he wouldn't embarrass himself too badly. After awhile I called over the gas station worker and he popped them right on. It was an interesting experience, but whoa that man was nice to stand in the snow for so long to help me get my new wipers on! I love seeing how good people can be.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

laugh your head off

"A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." - Hugh Sidey
Jamie is the girl in the middle. She is my roommate and one of my closest friends. Today, I got to watch her play softball for the first time! She is the DH, cause she kicks butt at hitting that ball. Ann, Jamie, and I have a strong bond going on in our house, and it doesn't get much better than laughing for an entire weekend with these two ladies.

Here is our new gettin down in the kitchen song:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I quit working at Nordstrom about a month ago, and now I work at the NEYC. The NEYC is a youth center that provides before and after care/activities for kids in the lowest income area in Washington. Yes, this place does exist in Spokane, and it is sad most people don't understand how much help Spokane REALLY does need.

Since most of the kids I work with are not only poor, but from broken homes and lost parents, we get to provide them with role models and mentors they can't find anywhere else. It is a rewarding job, and I get great experience with learning how to be EXTREMELY patient.

My first day of work, was a little scary. I just stood there patiently waiting in front a box of snacks, as the little kiddies came in, and suddenly turned into monsters, I instantly began to question if my job choice was the right choice. I have never been a fan of little kids, for a long time I really thought I wouldn't have kids of my own.

I work with a lot of Gonzaga and Whitworth students, so it makes for a really fun time. My first couple days, I just observed how well they did with the kids, and how patient they were. Seriously, some of the most patient college kids I have ever met in my life. They don't let a kid screaming his head off even affect their mood, they don't let smashed crackers for miles wipe the smile off their faces... I have learned that these crazy kids have a lot of energy in them that most of them can't contain for various reasons. Some have been abused, most have ADHD.
Autism. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Neglect. I mean the list goes on and on. I am falling in love with these kids. It is a place for them to get love where they can't find in most places. I am learning a lot more about myself through this process, and finding that I am a lot more passionate about kids than I thought.

I definitely get a good laugh every time I step into that crazy building full of opportunities.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Time Wit Ma Girls

This weekend was girl's weekend for me. Since I have a long distance boyfriend my time on weekends is usually dedicated to spending time with him, so my time with my sis and roomies was needing a good weekend to catch up, relax, and hang out. Our house is just so fun! It is amazing with 6 girls living under one roof, that we can get along as well as we do, and still in the end choose each other over anyone else. My weekend consisted of a girl's dinner, concert, birthday party for a cat named Pam, a full day of lounging, a night out at Red Robin, church, and an amazing lunch at the Davenport (it pays to have the parents in town :)). I feel refreshed, and FULL of joy from this weekend.

I am definitely ready to see Drew though, he is my best friend and the biggest doofus out there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This is Drew before our workout (he may or may not be embarrassed by this photo)

If you haven't heard of CrossFit, I suggest you look into it. Drew got me into it, and I am pretty pumped about doing exercise in this way. It kicks my butt almost everyday and I love it. It is a fun challenge that brings me success every time I leave the gym. Carley Brown, you'd like this! :)

PS- Drew's a stud. He's pretty strong and can do a million pull ups.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I think farts are really funny.
Where did farts even begin to be a funny thing?
When did farting in public become an embarrassing thing?
What about picking your nose?
Or tripping in public?

I always wonder where all these silly/embarrassing things first became silly/embarrassing?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Knowledge Can Cure The Broken

I probably took 20 personality tests in high school alone, and a few more in my college years. My personality hasn't changed much, maybe with a little more maturity I have learned to relax a bit, and have less reasons to be bossy. But overall, I have always been a pretty "sanguine" person. Being a Psychology major leaves me taking classes like Theories of Personality and Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology. I am consistently learning how different people work, as individuals or groups. How different personalities react and interact. How disorders affect an individual.

Someone around me is hurting. And these classes aren't helping me.
My knowledge is almost useless.

I can't relate, I can't help, and I am starting to find myself running away. I want to go into the field of Psychology so I can help, but I am learning that it may be the hardest thing ahead of me. It is scary.

I am beginning to detach myself from this person, losing a connection, being cold and numb, because I don't want to accept there is hurting so deep that no hobby or close friend can help.

The worst part is, is that I can't understand, I can't feel what she is feeling, I can't fix what is being broken, and I can't convince her to love life like I do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

a little piece of heaven

A time full of precious moments. A little piece of Heaven it was, with a little angel named Whitney.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My best friend (and boyfriend) will be back in Washington in 4 days! Life is so much better when he is near by. On a side note- I'm going snowboarding today and am totally pumped!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

it's moments like this that create my passion for seeing the world

I think about India everyday. This is one of my favorite moments while I was there:

I just stood there. Sounds of horns, people, vendors, and cars. Sights of oxen, staring, and more people. India is loud, India is busy, and right then, in that small market, there I stood in the pouring rain. As it poured harder, I didn't see the people and the vendors, I didn't hear the cars and the horns. No, I didn't see. I Didn't hear. I felt. I felt peace, I felt joy, and I felt love. Peace, because I knew where I was standing at that moment, was where I was supposed to be. Joy, because I wanted to be there, and love, simply because God is good. Friends and family, wherever you are, I encourage you to embrace the moments God gives us, and just stand there.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Life Word

Jan Term has begun and my roommates have returned! AnnAlise is still home, but she will be back soon, making our home complete once again! Jamie arrived yesterday and it was such a JOY to see her walk in with her captivating spirit yelling, "Hi Hills!" I love having my roomies back. It makes life a lot more fun that's for sure! My Jan Term class is going to be super easy, fun, and interesting, and that will make this month a time to relax and hang out lots.

I have been catching myself getting into these moods of stressing about money or being too tired or not having enough fun or in other words- just not being able to do what I want when I want.

I don't like that I have been in a funk of such crummy thinking, so I am going to step out of it, take a deep breath, and just be thankful. Because there is so much to be thankful for.

I have a job that allows me to be bubbly and friendly everyday.
I have a job that allows me to hang out with some amazing girls.
I have a home that is cheap to live in and cozy to sleep in.
I have a family that visits me a lot and treats me well.
I have five beautiful roommates who I can count on.
I attend an awesome university.
I have a God that I can rely on.

It's hard not to worry or stress, but when I do, it's always good to stop and remember what I have, where I've been, and to remember what I am thankful for.

When I returned from India I chose a word for my life, "Remember." If you haven't chosen a "life word" you should. It plays a big part in my life. This is an excerpt from "Sex God" that I fell in love with, and helped me find my word.

"When we’re not at peace, when we’re not content, when we aren’t in a good place, our radar gets turned on. we’re looking. searching. and we’re sensory creatures, so it won’t be long before something, or somebody, catches our attention.

and it always revolves around the “if,” doesn’t it? if i just…

the idea creeps into our head and heart that we are lacking, that we are incomplete, that this craving right in front of us is the answer.

the “if” means we have become attached to the idea that we are missing something and that we can be satisfied by whatever it is we have in our sights. there’s a hold, a space, a gap, and we’re on the search. and we may not even realize it. when we are in the right place, the right space–content and at peace–we aren’t on the search, and our radar gets turned off.

this is why gratitude is so central to the life God made for us. until we can center ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, on the life we do get to live, we’ll constantly be looking for another life. that is why the word remember occurs again and again in the Bible. God commands his people to remember who they are, where they’ve been, what they’ve seen, what’s been done for them."

Monday, January 2, 2012

toilet paper

our house is out of toilet paper. i bought four roles before i left and they were gone when i returned 24 hours later. i dont want to get more because my roommates should buy it. but they wont. and this is where i learn to be patient. silly toilet paper...