Home Sweet Home

Today I have officially been home for a week, and only three of those days I have actually been in St. Ansgar!  Since being back in Iowa I have spent quality time with my niece and nephew, completely unpacked, and threw myself back into life as I know it.  It is almost like I never left, with a few exceptions.


I will start working again this weekend, and it can’t come soon enough.  I just love being busy all the time and interacting with so many people.

Summer class will begin June 9th.  I can’t really say I am excited about this class but I know that taking it now will be beneficial in the long run.  Wish me luck!

The little princess, Alissa, will be a month old in a few days!


The last couple days of our trip was mostly driving.  We did, however, stop in Custer, South Dakota to see Don and Jill Hart.  Jill is my mom’s cousin, and it was so much fun telling stories and catching up on life with them for the evening!

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I’m not sure what the future holds for this blog, but it will definitely hold a special place in my heart.  It gave me so much joy to be able to share my experiences through this media- who knew I would love to write?!  I may continue to post about new experiences as I go through life, so check back every once in a while!  Once I decide on something, there will also most likely be a name change.

Thank you to all my readers who have been my motivation for writing!


ChicaInChico ~ S


Homeward Bound: Yellowstone

Today we didn’t get very far, but we saw lots of cool things!

We made it to Yellowstone National Park and our first stop was Old Faithful.  IMG_3634 IMG_3712 IMG_3711

Then to Kepler’s Cascade…

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Yellowstone Lake..

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We made it to Upper Falls, where the canyon was very colorful.  The colors are caused by minerals in the fluids of the hot springs altering the chemistry of the rocks.  So pretty!

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Mom was determined to take a hike on a snow covered path, Bridgette and I got worried and headed in after her!

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And then it started snowing and hailing!


Next was Dragon’s Mouth Springs.  They named it this because the water surges from the cave like the lashing of a dragon’s tongue.


Mud volcano:  it once spewed mud into treetops but is now just a bubbling, muddy water until it blew itself apart!


Sulfur Cauldron- boy does that stink!!  Ten times more acidic than lemon juice!

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Lots and lots of buffalo!  These were my favorite.  They were super chill and had awesome beards!

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On our way out of the park we saw a black bear cub and goats, so cool! We also saw some bears earlier in the park but they were very far away.

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Once we were out of the park, driving through Wyoming was amazing.  I was in awe and am currently considering moving out here at some point in my life!

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Lastly, mom and Bridgette loved taking selfies today 🙂 I was having a bad hair day so that wasn’t going to happen for me. Check em out!

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And just because she is adorable…


Tomorrow we end in South Dakota!


Hey peeps!

Today was a very uneventful day filled with lots of driving and that’s about it.  We spent most of the day in Nevada and I was so  bored I about ripped my eyes out!  However, it was much more green than it was in January so that was neat.  Fly over it if ya can 🙂

Some pictures from today:




Tomorrow we aren’t traveling very far and are spending most of the day in Yellowstone.  Slowly but surely making it back to you, Iowa! I am getting crazy impatient!



Homeward Bound: Yosemite

Hellllloooo from Reno, Nevada!

First and most importantly, HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY to the main man in my life.  I can’t imagine life without this little crazy guy!


We had a long day traveling through Yosemite National Park, but boy did we get some beautiful views.  By the time we had driven all the way through, we were all exhausted and very hungry.  We ended our day here in Reno and tomorrow will travel across Nevada and into Idaho, a full day of driving.  Wish us luck- and pray we are all still loving each other at the end of the day! 🙂

Pictures of our day:

A farm stand on the way to Yosemite had these BOMB cherries.  Heaven in my mouth!

A farm stand on the way to Yosemite had these BOMB cherries. Heaven in my mouth!


At 8000 feet, WE FOUND SNOW! Happy happy girl:)

At 8000 feet, WE FOUND SNOW! Happy happy girl:)


Where's mom?

Where’s mom?



Sooooo pretty

Sooooo pretty

The two peaks in the background are two of the highest peaks in Yosemite.  They are reddish instead of white because they are the exposed core of an ancient volcanic mountain range.  Fun Fact!

The two peaks in the background are two of the highest peaks in Yosemite. They are reddish instead of white because they are the exposed core of an ancient volcanic mountain range. Fun Fact!


And then it was time to leave California…. Yes, I cried.  I am such an emotional being!  Until next time, Cali, I loveee youuuu!




My emotions are confused.

My adventure in Chico came to a close today.  It is weird looking back at how sad and scared to leave Iowa and everyone I love, and realizing I felt that way again today as I left my dear friend.  My mind still wants to think that I will be going back and spending time with her tomorrow – but I won’t.  My heart broke a little saying goodbye to Margaret, not knowing when I would see her again.  We were inseparable for four months.  I miss her so much already.


I picked up Mom and Bridgette in San Fran today as well. We took Bridge on the trolley…


and to see the sea lions and get sourdough bread at Fisherman’s wharf..

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…and a pedi-cab gave us a ride back to our hotel, poor guy.


And then we went to a Giants game at AT&T Park! They said that tonight was the 266th consecutive regular season sell out – impressive!  If anyone is ever thinking about going there, GO! The food is awesome, and the atmosphere is so fun.  Just take a jacket, chilly!


Basically, things get weird when Bridgette and I get together.  Thanks for the awesome genes, Momma. 🙂

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Tomorrow we head to Yosemite! And then leave Cali………



7 Things I Learned While Studying, That Have Nothing to do With My Courses

1. When under pressure, my brain can only remember 62/196 countries of the world.  That is 32%.  That number needs some improvement.  Thank you, internet, for providing me entertaining study breaks! #Nerd

2. Making people laugh is one of the greatest feelings in the world.  I appreciate that feeling.

3. Applying for big girl jobs is stressful, and I don’t mind putting off that task for a few more years. (Margaret is working on applications.)

4. Sugar only provides a short burst of energy.  Given, I have known this for years, but it is extra apparent as I stare at my empty Sour Patch Kids box.

5. Banging note cards against your forehead does not, in fact, insert the material into your brain.  You must actually study the said note cards.

6. People are crazy.  Just take a lap around the library and you’ll see what I mean.

7. I am an excellent procrastinator.  Hence, this post.


I think too much


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I have 5 days left as ChicaINChico… Friday morning I pack up and head out.  It’s such a surreal feeling.  The closer it gets, the more anxiety I feel – I didn’t do enough, I didn’t see enough.  Where did all my time go?

I am going to miss this city so much.  The AMAZING farmer’s markets, dry heat, and great friends.  The cutest restaurants, coffee shops, and stores downtown.  Flowers all year.  Murals everywhere you go.  And of course the gorgeous Bidwell Park.

I also have anxiety about returning home.  Is life going to begin again like I never left? Will I be able to transition right back in to a regular routine?  Do I still have friends at home?! 😉 Am I the same Sam that they knew 4 months ago?  What does my life LOOK like now?

I guess I don’t know how to say “goodbye” to my life here and say “hello, again” to my life back home… tumblr_md3gkyywuk1rj8xvjo1_400

On a brighter note, we went hiking today!  We didn’t go with any plans for a certain trail, which is why we ended up paving our own trail.  We climbed down a big rock face, jumped over creeks, attempted free climbing some formations, and then scaled back up to the top.  It was exhilirating and probably not the smartest thing we have ever done but it was blast.  I found my inner child that is carefree and adventuresome, not afraid of the “what-ifs.”  What an amazing feeling.

Some pictures from today and my week!

Celebrating the last day of classes!

Celebrating the last day of classes!

Hula dancers and lots of joy at the Thursday night market with Katie!

Hula dancers and lots of joy at the Thursday night market with Katie!



Feeling Accomplished


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I had this urge to make a video of my time here.  So, I did, and I hope you all love it as much as I do.  Basically, it’s 16 weeks of life in 13.5 minutes.

I only have 9 days left in Chico, and 15 days until I am home.  Where has the time gone?!  I am hoping for lots of fun in these last few days!

Please send out a few prayers to the Big Guy upstairs these next two weeks.  First, please pray for safe travel. Not just for me, but also for my mom and sister as they fly out to California and then drive back to Iowa with me.  Secondly, please pray for a good transition back into life in Iowa.  It is probably an unnecessary worry, but help me put it all into God’s hands.  I appreciate all of you 🙂

Enjoy the video by clicking on this link! :):)



Just beautiful


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I would like to start off this post by introducing you all to Ms. Alissa Ann Heimer!  This little princess joined the world at 3:17 May 1st.  I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET HER! Such a beautiful reminder of God’s miracles in our everyday life:)

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So, Friday afternoon Margaret, Devon, and I decided to drive to Monterey and spend part of the weekend on the beach.  We got to the beach right at sunset and it was quite beautiful!


I am getting pretty artsy with my picture taking, compared to the start of this journey.  [it helps to have someone that likes being photographed like Margaret:)]


Someone had the brilliant idea of sleeping in my car to save money — we are all broke.  Needless to say, I was regretting this decision in the morning.  I had spent the entire night either unable to find a position comfortable enough to sleep or watching people coming and going in the area.


By 6:30 we were all awake and ready to hunt down some coffee.

When the sun started peaking out from behind the clouds, we made our way back to the beach even though it was rather chilly due to wind.  We watched many scuba divers, walkers and runners, kayakers, paddle boarders, dogs, children, kites, sail boats, and sea lions through out the day.

I love the ocean.  It’s strong yet playful.  It’s beautiful and full of creatures.  It’s the perfect lullaby and a great relaxant.  It’s sad to realize that I am unsure of the next time I will get to visit and splash in the tide.


So long Pacific, I love you.  Until next time my friend!


We drove through the San Juan Valley on our way back to Chico.  I’m not sure what they grow there, but I was very tempted to stop and ask.  Agricultural curiosity is in my blood – Thanks Dad, sincerely!  We also passed the San Luis Reservoir.  It was a very dry lake surrounded by these mountains of sand-like ground.  I think I probably said “this is SO beautiful” at least ten times, and I drove slower than necessary to take it all in.

It is hard to believe that there are only 12 days left until I leave Chico to join my mom and Bridgette in San Francisco.  Did I do everything I wanted to?  Am I satisfied with my experience?  I don’t want to leave with any regrets.




This is what Alissa thinks of my singing I guess :))