LOSING CONTROL OF THE PLAN

There’s so much I feel like I want to talk about right now, it’s kind of crazy. So, here I am! It’s currently been 17 days since I last left my house due to the COVID-19 quarantine. So much has changed in the last 17 days that I’m not even sure where to begin.

I’m starting to get used to being at home and working remotely. I’m an extrovert, so finding energy is pretty hard. I’ve had two days thus far where I woke up with zero energy or drive. You don’t realize just how much getting out of the house and around other people affects your energy until you’re forced to stay inside. I’ve learned that on those days, it’s just better to work in bed. I try to keep up a “getting ready” routine, but on the days when I feel low, I need to just grab my laptop in bed. We found out the other day that graduation commencement is canceled, and that really didn’t help.

Most people who know me know I’m constantly planning things. I carry my Passion Planner everywhere I got, put my plans into every device calendar I have and am constantly populating Pinterest boards with ideas. It’s easy, during this season, to think “nothing is turning out the way I planned!” I had such high expectations for this year. I wanted to spend time with friends, go on trips that would bond us, celebrate graduating college with my friends and family, and move back to Orlando. I had outfits envisioned, suitcases purchased, poses chosen for photos, and announcements designed. Not a single one of those is happening. It’s a hard reality to face for a planner. I’ve had to white-out so much in my planner for the next few weeks, and it’s honestly depressing to dwell on. We’re in a state in the world where planning literally anything is practically impossible. Things are continuously changing and we don’t know what we’re going to face tomorrow. Losing control in this way has been a hard pill for me to swallow.

However, I know this season is teaching me. Through continuous change, disappointment, and grieving, I will learn. I will learn to be happy with living in the moment. I will learn to cherish what I have even more. I will learn to keep rising. I will learn to let go of control. The truth is, the plan has never been mine. God has had a plan for my life since day one. A plan I try my best to follow, but a plan that will inevitably be greater than I could even start to imagine. If I just keep listening and dreaming, I’ll find my way to the ultimate plan.

There will be more bumps in the road. What the world is experiencing right now has changed everything. Society as we know it will likely never be the same. So, apparently, the world was in need of a big change. Even if we can’t see it right now behind all the statistics, sorrow, and disappointments, the future is bright. Think of how much stronger we’ll all be once we make it through. We are quite literally living through what will be chapters worth of future generations History books. It’ll be quite the story to tell one day!

In the meantime, I will continue going day-by-day. I’ll stay at home, social distance, and wash my hands to help keep from spreading this nasty virus and try to ignore my hypochondriac voice in my head. I’ll try my best to find the bright spots in the midst of this crazy time. It can be hard to be thankful right now, but it’s important to take note of even the small things. Here are some of mine:

  • Catching up with my DCP friends that will always be family, no matter the distance.
  • Having a yard to wander around in for some sunshine.
  • The time to pick up some new hobbies and get things done.
  • Stray cats trusting me to be their friend.
  • The Comfy my mom bought me. AKA – my quarantine universe.
  • Access to healthcare & all those who are working it.
  • My family doing their best to keep us all sane while in a house together.
  • Vlogs that make life seem more normal.
  • Nintendo Switch & Animal Crossing (my new obsession – add me as a friend on Switch).
  • My friends who I’m able to stay in touch with via phones, Zoom, & Snapchat.
  • Having a space to stay healthy & safe.

Don’t forget to take a moment to be thankful during this season. It may feel like we’re all living through a nightmare, but we’ll wake up from it into a new tomorrow.

❤ / Bail

A LIFE UPDATE | DCP SPRING 2019

First of all, sorry I’ve been a little MIA on the updates. I know a lot of people back home have enjoyed staying connected through reading my posts (at least I hope so). I’ve been a little busy! Between work, school, and hanging out with friends, I haven’t had much time to myself. But, here I am, back on the blog with a life update. Buckle up, because my brain is ready for a dump.

Time is a weird concept. I think I say that a lot, but especially recently. As I continue to settle into life in Orlando, I’m constantly surprised by time. The days run together and the thoughts of what my life used to be are becoming fainter. Every day that I drive into work underneath the Walt Disney World sign I have to pinch myself as a reminder that this isn’t always what my life has been like. My program is going by so fast, and yet it feels like I’ve been here forever. That’s something I’m not too mad about either. I’m glad this place feels like home.

I was looking at my Snapchat memories and “on this day” last year was the last time I was in Orlando. I was here with a group of amazing people from First Christian Church for a conference called Exponential. On that day I was having so much fun with people I love and didn’t have a clue where my life would take me. One year later and I’m back in Orlando, have been living here for over a month and a half, and am working for Walt Disney World. Crazy, right? I can’t believe that was a whole year ago and how much has changed since then.

I do miss home and the people there. I miss my family and friends. I miss my cat and all the fur babies I pet sit for. I’m extra thankful for things like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and FaceTime that keep me plugged into people’s lives back home so I don’t have such a big case of FOMO.

I’m also thinking a lot about the future. Do I want to apply for a DCP extension and stay in Orlando through the Summer? Is Orlando where I want to move to post graduation in 2020? Do I want to do a professional internship with Disney at some point? All very important questions that I need to try and figure out. I know whatever happens, it is God’s plan, but it’s easy to start to worry and contemplate.

For now, I’m just taking things day by day and trying to soak up every moment that I can. I’m still in love with where I work and the people I work with. Of course, there are hard days when dealing with thousands of people, but the magical moments like having a kid exclaim, “this has been the BEST DAY EVER,” make them seem so much smaller. My coworkers also make coming to work every day a joy. I honestly miss them when I’m off (but enjoy having time to rest, shop, & explore). They’re quickly becoming some of my favorite people and close friends. I can’t say enough good things about how this program is going.

I hope everyone is doing well! I miss all y’all in Tennessee, and am sending you my love.

❤ / Bail

ONE MONTH IN | DCP SPRING 2019

It’s been one month until since my DCP journey began and I moved into my apartment in Orlando. What is time? I can’t believe so much time has already passed when it feels like just yesterday I was leaving the snowy mountains of Tennessee. It’s been a month full of learning, growing, immense joy, and some stress all mixed together.

Overall, my DCP has been an amazing experience already. I’ve been learning constantly, about my job, guest interaction, doing things on my own, and myself in general. I love my job and what I’m doing, mostly in part thanks to the people I work with. My coworkers are amazing and I have great leaders and coordinators who have answered my many questions and are just awesome to work with.

I get to talk to so many new people every day and I’ve enjoyed seeing the joy on people’s faces as they describe the fun they’ve had at Animal Kingdom. It’s especially rewarding when coming from a little kid. Seeing them spring up from their strollers telling me it’s been the “best day ever” or receiving a surprise hug from a little girl that got to see so many “cool animals.” Seeing people smiling and excited about what they’ve experienced is why I wanted to do this program. I wanted to work for a company that excels at making people happy!

Of course, I have had my rough days. Not so much when dealing with guests, but more so when dealing with myself. It’s been hard to be so far away from my family friends and back at home. A lot of the people I hold dear to my heart are struggling through something right now and a big part of me wishes I could be there to help out. I pray for them constantly and send any support I can from where I’m at, but I do wish I could do more.

I also had my first mini-crisis yesterday. I lost my keys. Yeah, I made an oops! Not only was it my car key, but my apartment key was also attached. You can imagine how that would be an issue. I knew there were only a few places they could be, but no matter how hard I searched I couldn’t find them! I may have gone into full-on panic mode. I went the whole day without them and had to spend the day worrying about who could possibly have them or if I was going to have to get a new apartment key and somehow manage to get someone to make me a new car key! I had to miss out on galentine’s day brunch because of it which just added onto my already bummed feeling. This was the first unfortunate thing to happen while I’ve been here so that probably amplified my anxiety about it all. Luckily, they were found by last night underneath the passenger seat of one of my roommate’s cars. I’m so thankful to have them back and will now be stapling them to my body (okay, maybe not that extreme but you get what I mean).

Other than the little hiccups and stresses that come with adjusting to being on my own, I have had the best time here in Orlando. I’m loving going to the parks with my days off, am enjoying getting to know my amazing coworkers, and making really great friends! Just from this one month, I have been reminded over and over again that this is the place I am meant to be at right now. God is continuing to reveal that this is a part of the plan for my life, and I couldn’t be happier with the phase of life I’m in.

Here’s to the next month of my program and everything that it will hold!

</3, Bailey

 

WHEN WORRY BECOMES RELIEF

A few posts ago called April Showers – Month In Review, I mentioned something scary that was going on in my life. At the end of April, I found a spot on my breast. It wasn’t one of the typical lumps that would cause a person to be thinking cancer, but with both my paternal and maternal grandmothers having face breast cancer I wasn’t taking any chances. I went to see my primary care physician who prescribes a weeks worth of skin lesion antibiotics. The spot improved some but what was still there. Two weeks after that and nothing had changed, so back to the doctor I went. I had a full breast examination and wad referred to a dermatologist to see if it could be a skin issue. At this point, I just wanted an answer. I was starting to let my brain get inside of itself and would assume the worst of the situation. What if I had cancer?

This question circulated my thoughts several times. Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers had breast cancer, so it isn’t unlikely that I’ll have my own issues with the disease. Even so, my mind started racing with thoughts at the idea that I may have it, “I’m too young to get cancer, I’ll be strong enough to fight it, I’ve never been to a hospital or had surgery how am I supposed to go through chemo, what if they can’t get a diagnosis soon enough, what if I need a mastectomy.” These were all some of the thoughts that floated around in my skull in the darkness as I’d try to fall asleep. During the day, I was fine! I went to work, laughed with friends, and lived my life. It’s the quiet darkness where your mind begins to wander and slip into the bad, paranoid thoughts that are usually suppressed during the day. Some might say *cough* my mom *cough* that I’m an over-worrier when it comes to health-related issues and should never be allowed on WebMD. I think in this case I had somewhat of a right to be worried.

After two months of having this undiagnosable spot, I was referred to a dermatologist. The word “cancer” had been thrown around by my primary care a few times, but she wanted to see if it was a skin issue before sending me to have a breast ultrasound. The day before my birthday I went to the dermatologist. In under a minute of meeting the doctor, she said: “Alright, let’s get you numbed up and we’ll cut into this to get to the bottom of it.”…. yeah, not what I wanted to hear. Regardless, I laid back, had three needle pokes and waited for the numbness to kick in. The doctor came back in and sliced into me. Happy last day of 19 to me. Some happiness did kick in during this slightly traumatic experience because she said it was just a cyst. I never thought that having a cyst would make me feel relieved, but in this situation it did.

I can still feel the heavy sigh of relief I let out on that day. In the same sense, I honestly wasn’t sure how I should feel. I felt bad for everyone who didn’t get the same turn of events that I had received, which made me feel selfish for being happy for my own good news. I felt bad for everyone who has battled cancer or had someone close to them who has. Knowing how scared I was living with the slight possibility of having it made my heart break for everyone who actually does or did have to deal with it. I am praying for each and every person who is afflicted by cancer. I pray for strength for those afflicted, wisdom for those who are working to treat it, and compassion for those who can help. My worry was able to become relief, but that doesn’t happen as much as it should for everyone else. I thank God for each and every day I get to live a healthy, happy life. I just hope I’m using the time I have to make people smile, spread the good news, and be a positive force in this seemigly chaotic world.

xx,

Bails

PRO & CON LIST ABOUT MY LIFE RIGHT NOW

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I love making lists. Lists make things organized, easy to read, and fun! While I was thinking of a different way to write about everything going on in my life right now, I thought why not make a list? It’s good to remember what you’re thankful for & acknowledge what you’re struggling with every now & then. So, here are 3 of my pros & cons that are going on in my life right now.

PROS (things I’m super thankful for that make me smile extra big):

MY JOB – I just love my job. The work that I’m doing pairs perfectly with what I’m learning in classes so I’m getting “real world experience” that I also find extremely enjoyable. Plus, the people that I work for are just the best. They’re some of the funniest & most talented people I know. I’m so thankful for how they continue to pour knowledge into me, lift me up, & bless my life.

GOOD HEALTH – *Knock on wood* I HAVEN’T BEEN SICK SINCE NEW YEARS! This is a huge pro considering my health track record from last year. Two solid months with no significant illness is really good for me. Hopefully, this is a good sign for the rest of the year!

SCHOOL – I’m really proud of myself for staying on top of things this semester. I have been working really hard to keep school my first priority (sometimes I let work get in the way because I think I’m ready to be a full-blown businesswoman adult) & I haven’t slipped up so far. My dedication is being reflected in my grades which makes me super happy.

CONS (things I’m struggling with & trusting that God is working on something through):

I MISS TWO OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE – this has probably been the biggest struggles recently. My Dory (we call each other Squishy & Dory from Finding Nemo) has been off in Australia kicking butt & taking names. I’m super proud of everything that she’s doing & know she’s having a great experience, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss being able to see, call, & text her. I am, however thankful for Snapchat keeping our convos (although brief) alive. I can’t wait to reunite in May & go on many Summer adventures. Preston is also still living in Montana and although we text every single day, I cannot wait for him to move back to Tennessee. It’s really hard when you can’t see some of your favorite people in person. I just really wish they were both here. I know through this God is testing my patience in the waiting  & strength.

FINALS ARE IN ONE MONTH – Where has time gone? It just hit me how close finals are & I don’t think I’m ready for them to be so soon. They come at the end of every semester, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how fast each semester goes by. Godspeed & go Bucs to all my fellow ETSU students in this one month we have left.

MY DOG ISN’T DOING TOO WELL – It’s a hard reality I have had to try & grasp. My dog is dying. He’s 14 years old so this shouldn’t be unexpected. Nevertheless, it absolutely breaks my heart. He’s started not being able to stand and just falls randomly & cries. I know once he’s gone he’ll be with his dad (my uncle Bobby) in heaven but it’s still hard to grasp he’ll be gone. Especially with my best friends not being around I’m beginning to sink into a feeling of loneliness knowing my Buddy will likely be gone soon too.

What are some things your thankful for or could use some prayer about right now?

xx,

Bails

 

 

 

TOP FIVE FAVORITE PLACES

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” That right there is a quote that I completely believe in. The memories you make and who you become are often rooted in the places you’ve been. One of the best feelings in the world is returning to your favorite places and being flooded with good memories and the familiar, warm feelings that come with them. So, here are some of my favorite places where the memories come back and it almost feels like another home:

Charlotte, NC – This one has to be number one on the list because it is where my story starts. It’s where I was born, lived for five years, and where my dad currently works. I still remember the warm Summer days spent sitting outside our house in the culdesac waiting for the ice-cream truck to come by & all the kids would go running. As I grew older, we spent a lot of weekend vacations wandering around downtown, cheering on the Panthers from Bank of America Stadium, and eating Price’s chicken in Romare Bearden Park.  I’ve always had this conflicted feeling about where home is in comparison to Johnson City & Charlotte. I was born in Charlotte but spent the majority of my life in Johnson City, but whose to say it can’t be both?

Orlando, FL – Specifically Walt Disney World & Universal Studios. I love theme parks & Orlando is the home to some pretty great ones. My 16th birthday trip was to Disney & right before my 18th birthday we spent a week at Universal (not birthday related, just lucky that mom had a conference in Orlando) & one day at Disney to celebrate. Being at Universal & Disney fills me with a joy and energy that only theme parks to do. I mean they are the happiest place on earth!

Charleston, SC – Charleston is a really beautiful city. It also holds a lot of memories from my childhood vacations to Folly Beach and an eighth-grade school trip to Charleston. It’s an old city that is filled with history, great places to shop, and a beautiful seafront. There’s a short drive from Charleston to Folly Beach, which is also a great place. Folly Beach isn’t commercialized so it’s never too busy. It’s the perfect place for early morning walks to the pier spent looking for sand dollars.

Harrisburg & Hershey, PA – Lots of memories over the years have been made in Pennsylvania. My dad is from Harrisburg & that’s where his family still is. I love going up there and visiting Schmidt’s sausage shop, Hersheypark/Chocolate World, and more. Visiting Uncle Bobby and going to the Kipona festival was something I always looked forward to. We used to go every year for a labor day weekend family reunion at our great-aunt Ruth’s house. Since she’s been gone we haven’t had any big family reunions, but we try and go up every year to visit my cousin Jessica, her husband Matt, and their two adorable little boys Dylan & Noah (& now there is another little bundle of joy along the way!!). The nine/ ten-hour car ride may not be the best, but the destination sure is (& honorary mention to the dairy corner that had the BEST custard that we always stop at along the way). It is a place filled with a lot of love and memories.

Home, sweet home in Tennessee – Oh Tennessee, how I love you. Johnson City is where I’ve grown, experienced so much, and a chunk of my heart will always live here. Dandridge is also where my mom’s family lives, so of course, it is one of my favorites too. Within Johnson City, some of my favorite specific places would be Trinity Arts Center, good ole’ ETSU, Menchie’s on People St., Willow Springs Park, the Label, and First Christian Church. So much of my life and love is in Johnson City. I don’t see myself living here forever post-graduation, but it will always be home.

With the trend of posting what states you’ve been to on Instagram, I realized I’ve never been to the West Coast so that’s definitely next up on my bucket list. No matter where this journey called life that God has mapped out for me takes me I’ll always be making new memories and my list of favorite places will always be growing.

Top 5 bucket list places:

  • Disneyland California
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (specifically during Christmas)
  • Brighton, England
  • Ireland
  • The Pacific Northwest, US

Where are some of your favorite places?

xx,

Bailey

 

18 Things I’ve Learned in 18 Years of Life

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With my nineteenth birthday right around the corner (June 20th) I have begun thinking a lot about what all has happened this past year of life. I started college at ETSU, I got my first retail job, I decided on a major and minor (basically declared my entire future), and a whole lot in between. Needless to say, it has been a pretty crazy year. There were lots of ups and downs, but I definitely learned a lot. Now as my next year of life approaches I figured it would be good to reflect and make a list of everything I have learned in my 18 short years of life.

1. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to new people.

2. Curly hair is a gift and not a curse.

3. Simple acts of kindness can have the biggest effect.

4. Nobody else is judging you harder than you judge yourself, so stop worrying.

5. Don’t spread yourself too thin or you’ll break.

6. Putting ice in milk makes it 1000x better.

7. Music heals all pain.

8. Something positive will come out of every negative situation if you just give it time.

9. You have to tell people how you feel about them before they disappear from your life.

10. Bananas go with every meal.

11. If you want to succeed you have to give it everything you’ve got.

12. Hold on to what your passionate about and don’t let it go, or else you will regret it.

13. Naps are horrible. They just make you more tired and feel awful!

14. It pays to be early.

15. Pets are the best because they are always there when you need them most.

16. Don’t skip classes. I know it’s tempting, but don’t. Trust me.

17. Slow down and enjoy each day.

18. God is good all the time.

Nineteen seems to be an awkward year where you’re making all of these adult decisions, but people don’t always recognize you as one because it’s still a “teen year.” But, here’s hoping this will be my best year yet (it’s gonna be tough because this time last year I was at Disney. Starting at a disadvantage!)

xx,

Bailey

 

In Memory of My Sunshine

May 6, 2010. That was the day that my life changed. That was the day that God decided it was time for my uncle Bobby to come home. I can remember it like it was yesterday. My mom picked me up like any normal school day and the whole ride home I was thinking about how I had to get ready for dance class later that night. It was a seemingly average. warm Spring day. However, I got home and noticed something was wrong because my dad was home. That was a rarity seeing as dad always worked until 7 or 8 at night and it was just the afternoon. I said hi to him then immediately began to barrel up the stairs saying “I’m gonna get ready far dance!!” But then I heard him say wait. He had my sister and I sit down on the couches and then he began to tear up and choked out the words, “your Uncle Bobby has passed away.”

When I think about those words I feel the same burning behind my eyes and in the pit of my throat that I felt that day. Of course at the time I was just 12 years old and did not know what to think. What do you mean? He can’t be dead. He had just had a simple foot surgery a few days ago and was doing fine. I had just talked to him on the phone a few nights ago.

This can’t be real.

That phrase was what I lived by throughout the days following. We had to pack our bags and make the drive up to Pennsylvania where he lived. We got there and spent the next few days planning the funeral and going through things in his house. We spent a lot of time in his house. The whole time I was there the feeling of “this isn’t real” lived within me. I was constantly expecting for him to come out of his bedroom or around the corner with that huge smile on his face that he always had around us. But, he never did.

I had already seen his big smile and had a great big hug from him for the last time and I didn’t even know it. I would love to go back in time and cherish those last few moments. I would make sure he knew how loved and important he was to me, and so many others I know. He made sure there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t know how beautiful or important or loved I was. I hope he knew how important he was to me. He was my sunshine and light in the dark.

I know he’s watching over me now, but it just isn’t the same. It never will be and that saddens me. I know that he is dancing with God in heaven free of pain and beaming down on me from above. A lot has happened in my life recently that I have wanted to tell him or wish he could’ve been here for. I edited an entire yearbook, I got an internship, I was a lead in a play, I did my senior dance recital, I graduated high school, I started college at ETSU, I got my first (paid) job, and I recently completed my first year of college. A lot more has happened since he’s been gone, but those are just some of the highlights. I know he was shining his light down on me through it all.

Don’t forget to tell people how much they mean to you. Don’t wait to tell someone how you feel because you never know when they may be gone from your life. Never let your sunshine get dull because they didn’t know how much they meant. Everyone matters and everyone should be loved the way my uncle loved others. I just hope he knew how much others loved him.

 

xx,

Bailey

(If there are any grammatical errors I’m sorry. It was hard enough just to write this and I don’t want to have to read it again.)

The Bright Spot: February 2017 

Now that I don’t feel like complete death (just slightly dead inside now) thanks to the flu I have decided I want to start a monthly list of things that have made me smile and brightened my month called “The Bright Spot!” It’s basically my favorites from the past month. Certain things can turn your month in to a complete positive when you look back at it. I thought it would be nice to share some things that I have been loving or just things from the month that were particularly positives. I am hoping this will inspire you to either discover new things or notice things already in front of you that you love and make you happy!

1. Spring Weather

One of my favorite things to do is roll down the windows of my Chevrolet Malibu and drive around with my music blasting when the weather is nice. This month seemed to produce some really nice days to do just that! I felt myself wanting to go outside more, I got to break out my sandals, and beautiful trees and flowers seem to have begun blooming. I love when it snows but something about this Spring just seems to be getting me really excited!

2. Makeup

I may have had a little splurge in February when it came to the makeup department, but when you have a 20 % off coupon for Ulta and Colourpop offers free shipping it is hard to resist. I’m going to talk through a few makeup products I discovered, and have been loving, this month.

– First is Colourpop Lippie Stix and Super Shock Highlighters. This makeup brand has changed my life! It is quality makeup that is extremely affordable. What isn’t there to love? They’re lippie stix are extremely long lasting and not super drying and they have so many gorgeous color choices! I have about 6 of them and am slowly making my way to owning every shade. They just came out with a creme formula nude lippie stix which I really want to try! Visit Colourpop’s website!


– Second to mention is Real Techniques makeup brushes. I discovered Real Techinques at a recent Ulta visit and in the words of DJ Tanner from Full House, “oh my lanta!” I got the expert face blush for base and it is fantastic. Super soft and does a great job! 

– Third and last in the makeup category is Benefit’s POREfessional. This stuff has been a real life changer. If there’s one thing I have it’s huge pores on my nose and this product does an excellent job of blurring them and also works as a great primer! 

3. Hats

I have always loved the idea of floppy hats. I think they are adorable and when you don’t feel like doing your hair they’re a great way to hide it while looking cute! However, I never though they were for me because I have really big curly hair and not to mention a pretty big head. I decided to go ahead and buy one anyway and I LOVE it. It’s been a lifesaver on days that I’ve felt poorly and just haven’t felt like dealing with my hair. 

This one I got from Charming Charlie at the Mall of Johnson City. Wearing it with a choker (also from CC) gave me a cool “American Horror Story Coven” vibe in the words of my wonderful coworker! 

4. Maurice’s Spring Clothes

When I walked in to Maurice’s a couple of weeks ago and saw all of their Spring clothes I was overjoyed. They had so many things that I loved and I may have went a little crazy. I just can’t resist a nice olive green or blush pink clothing item! They’re a store I’ve always loved and I have to say their new Spring clothes for 2017 exceeded all my expectations. I definitely recommend you checking them out in store or Online! 
What were some things that made your February more positive? 

I hope you all had a wonderful February, and to my fellow ETSU students enjoy Spring Break!!

xx, 

Bailey