Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the year of commotion ends

I guess 2014 wasn't bad, but it was crazy and beautiful and reviving and confusing all at the same time. It went by fast; I know that. 2014 was the fastest year of my life and someone else, someone more experienced than me, told me that it just keeps getting faster. That thought scares me.

If I could describe this year, I would say it was like when you're staring out the car window and going fast, while everything slips by you in a blur. This year was a blurry one. I got back from Chad at the end of 2013 and I felt like I was thrust into a completely new world at the beginning of 2014. I starting getting used to being a barista (ok, I'm still not used to it and I'll always be learning things even now), I started a semester of nursing at a vocational school and then finished that semester. I hated feeling like I didn't have time to do all things I get excited about, like writing, making photographs and working on all the random projects I do. I missed not feeling overwhelmed with school and though I was learning, it wasn't easy. During all this, I bought a car and started driving on my own -- boy, am I thankful for my Passport! I still can't really believe it's mine. I kept studying over the summer when nursing classes ended. I officially started my photography business (which is crazy to think about). Seeing my friend Hannah in Georgia at the end of summer was definitely a highlight of this year! Then after that I felt like my life consisted of studying and more studying. Oh, and I finished another draft of a book. (I need to re-write/edit all these books in 2015.) Honestly, the last few months have been a little exhausting and rough, but I'm okay. God is good; He's always here and He doesn't give up on me. Remembering that is what keeps me going somedays.

With all that being said; bring on 2015!

some fave pics from the past year . . .

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

slow down

Hey you yes, you with the many things you have to get done and the to-do list that never seems to end. Yes, you with all your plans looming above you like dark peaks; plans forever haunting you in the back of your head. It seems to never end, doesn't it? It's possible to stop, ya know, to escape. Actually, it's not just possible and it's not only attainable. It's essential. No one should live like they're always rushing; no one can ever live like that and if they do . . . well, then they're not truly living.

So today (yeah, I know it's Christmas eve and you still have all those things to do) step back and breathe. Let go of the darkness and let it pass. Is what you're worrying about worth keeping you from living your life full? Is it worth missing out? I know it's easy to get stressed, especially this time of year, but do you want to rejoice this season or not? You can't be content if you're constantly grasping for the next thing. So sit back. Take a deep breath and just be. Be where you are; be okay with that.

Monday, December 22, 2014


This is an iPhone pic of me looking happy to have finished high school and trying to look normal while my sister jumps in the background. It feels good to be done, guys. Now I'm off to go work all the unfinished projects I have—though first let me catch up on sleep. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

nanowrimo/november favorites/december goals

November flew by, but I guess all of life is flying by lately. I'm getting old. Though maybe I'm trying to do a little too much at once, because my memory is starting to blur and seventeen-year-olds probably shouldn't have memory issues (and I just spelled "memorie". what).

The photographs below are of candles, chocolate, and me writing my book, then trying to make my writer's life look much better than it actually is. Even though I took the pictures in dark light. It isn't all candles and chocolate, just so you know. And I actually wasn't writing . . . I was sidetracked, taking pictures. Most of my writing life consists of me getting distracted, running around outside in the woods at 11pm trying to think of ideas, getting distracted, and maybe writing some. Maybe. I participated in National Novel Writing Month this November, which is why I only posted once or twice. I really was going to post about writing, but I didn't, and since I only took a grand total of eight photos this month (not including paid photoshoots, ok), I decided to just put the photos in this post and talk about writing here, too. Since I don't have time to take more pictures now. Anyway though, I did finish the writing challenge and the 1st draft of my 2nd book in my 1st series (sorry that's confusing) is completed.

I don't even remember what my favorites were this month.

reading - I didn't read a single book, unless studying the ACT textbook counts.

watching - I didn't watch any movies. Oh wait, I did. A good friend of mine had a sleepover and she forced us to watch Stardust. It was hilarious to watch it with her and her brother (we talked half the time), but I would probably never watch it again.

listening - areweouttathewoodsyetareweouttathewoodsyetareweouttathewoods. That was a jumbled mess to anyone who hasn't listened to TS's (I guess she's going by that now?) new album. I liked it and I don't know if I still do. Tenth Avenue North released a new album, though, and since they're my ultimate favorite, of course it's all I've been listening to in my car. Music pretty much got me through writing every morning at 5 or every night at 11. The Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, The Avengers soundtrack, Mockingjay soundtrack and Civil Wars have all been playing on my iTunes radio.

wearing - Probably whatever I wore yesterday. Seriously, though. I haven't really had time to be creative with outfits and I don't want to buy clothes, so I've been wearing the same couple of turtleneck shirts over and over. They keep me warm. And I kinda forgot about makeup this month.

eating - dark chocolate. dark chocolate with almonds. dark chocolate with espresso bean. dark chocolate and peanut butter. I've eaten a lot of chocolate, a lot of soup, and a lot of cliff/protein bars. Thanksgiving dinner was good, though.

drinking - tons and tons of hot tea, all kinds of it. Chai, cinnamon spice, green, acai berry, and I have more, I just can't remember them all right now. I also drank a fair amount of black coffee, as usual.

exercising - I really didn't do that much in November, honestly. I ran here and there, but I stopped training for the mini, I just had too much going on.

As you can see, November wasn't really that interesting. I'm not planning on December being that interesting, either, because I want to enjoy Christmastime (maybe it'll actually be interesting, who knows) and I'm trying to finish high school this month, too. WHAT DID I JUST SAY. I don't know, I don't know. I can't believe I'm almost done.

My goals for December are to finish high school, edit some of the book I just wrote, take way more pictures than I did in November, listen to Christmas music, make some creative and thoughtful presents for people, keep up with running and working out, drink more tea, and just do my best whatever I'm doing. And maybe blog more, too.

Friday, November 14, 2014

never ashamed

Sometimes I don't see how bad something has become until it's become really bad. Lately I've been doing a lot (or trying really hard to) and it's left me exhausted. I can't keep it up, I can't keep trying. If I have a goal or a project I'm working on, I thrive on the thought of getting that done or doing it right.  And if I can't, I feel like I've failed then it gets worse; I feel like I am a failure.

But the thing is, I'm not. When I feel like I've failed and when I feel like I can't do it all, I need to remember that I can't do it all. I'm not perfect and I'm not going to be. I know other people aren't perfect. Then why do I have these high expectations of perfection for myself, so that when I fail to meet those expectations I end up failing deeper and deeper into discouragement? Why?

I've been trying too hard and trusting too little. Instead of looking to Him, Jesus, as the one who has saved me, I've been trying to save myself. It's stupid and pointless. I've already been saved, I've already been given life, I am already worth it. I don't have to do things to make myself worthy enough. I am worth it, because of Him.

It's like I'm climbing up a steep, icy cliff. I keep reaching for the next place to grab onto and the cliff just becomes higher. Then I want to look back -- I want to look back on all the things I've messed up on in the past, all my failures, all my dirtiness. I tell myself how awful and worthless I am. I'm ashamed. Then I keep trying to climb, because maybe if I can reach to a high enough place, I will become worthy and I will have accomplished something. The whole time I'm missing that instead of looking to myself for my worth, I should be looking to Him. I shouldn't be looking at myself at all.

When I'm so focused and caught up in myself, I'm going to miss my purpose. My purpose isn't to be a perfect person and never make mistakes (if that was my purpose, I would've failed that one a long time ago). My purpose is to keep pushing, with my eyes on Him, even when it gets rough and even when I feel like I can't keep going. When I can't keep going, I cling to Jesus. My purpose is simply this: to love Him and to love the people He's made. That's it.

"Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." PSALM 34:5

Monday, November 10, 2014

october favorites

(yes, I know we're well into November, but this is how I roll)

reading - I finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy while I was on vacation, which was something I'd been meaning to do forever and hadn't found the time for. I finished a curriculum that had a bunch of good classics (or just good solid books in general). The last one I read was Alas, Babylon, which I thought I would hate, but it was prob one of my favorites from the whole year. I also read/skimmed through a bunch of plot structure books to prepare for National Novel Writing Month (which is now, yikes).

watching - I read more, so I didn't watch a ton of movies, but I did watch Return of the King after reading the book. It was long, but good. That's pretty much all of the movie watching I did, but I've been liking random vlog channels on youtube. For some reason I find other people's night or morning routines entertaining . . . no clue why, I'm weird.

listening - I went through a huge country phase and so Tim McGraw was playing a lot. (I think I listened to "Highway Don't Care" every single day.) The last week of October we were in Florida and I always end up listening to Owl City's more upbeat songs then. They just fit. Colbie Caillat's "Try" was on repeat a lot, I needed to hear that more.

wearing - I really like wearing short skirts or dresses with leggings. It's super comfortable and jeans can be so uncomfortable sometimes. The best thing is when you find that the skirt has pockets. When I was on vacation I was wearing t-shirts and shorts everyday. good stuff.

eating - So I've been loving (not that I ever haven't) the new fall menu where I work. We have this chicken curry salad, grilled sandwiches, and pumpkin chili. Eggs have been on the menu a lot at our house -- all the chickens starting laying at the same time so it seems like we eat eggs every meal.

drinking - Black coffee was the thing for me in October. And iced green tea.

This was kinda a last minute thing, but I'm planning on making next month's better. I've been writing a lot for National Novel Writing Month so yeah, this was kinda rushed.

What have you all been loving this October? any favorite random things?