Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Once A King or Queen of Narnia...

I have a slight obsession with the Chronicles of Narnia. I guess I always have. Sure, I like The Hunger Games and other such books, but The Chronicles of Narnia mean so much more to me than those stories. Here are the reasons why:
1. They were part of my childhood. I can't have been much older than 8 when I first picked up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe unaware that that book would become one of the stories that I hold closest to my heart. I've read the entire series through since then, some of the books multiple times, and I plan hope to read them through again this summer. It's one of those stories that you get something new out of every time you read it.
2. The way C.S. Lewis wrote the stories is phenomenal. The only way that I can describe it is that they are written the way the above picture looks. There's a magical feel about the words. They're beautiful in their simplicity. The books are written for children but, as C.S. Lewis wrote in the dedication of TLWW to his goddaughter Lucy Barfield, "some day, you will be old enough to read fairy tales again." He wrote the book for two audiences, and there are parts that older people can appreciate just as much as young children appreciate the fanciful stories and talking animals.
3. The deeper meaning that I touched on in the last paragraph: there are so many good messages in these stories. Good always triumphs over Evil. Aslan is like God. at the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, he even tells the children, "There [on earth] I have another name." They actually left that line in the movie, which was surprising to me but also made me happy. At the end of The Last Battle, they all go to Aslan's Country, which is very much like heaven. The last lines of TLB are perhaps my favorite in the entire series:
4. Each book is a completely new and different story. Still, they all fit together in the end and all of the characters and events connect somehow. The characters are real and believable and it's an adventure-epic through and through.

So, that was me obsessing about my favorite series. Don't ask me what my favorite book is, because that would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. It can't be done. I'm not really sure what sparked this renewed appreciation of the books for me. Perhaps it was looking at everyone's pinterest boards of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games which gave me the idea to start a Narnia board. As you can see, it snowballed from there. If you haven't read the books and you haven't gathered this already, I highly recommend that you read them, even though they are supposed to be children's books!
{{All images via my Pinterst Narnia board}}

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Because.

This is kind of a just because post (Hence the title. Captain Obvious strikes again). I feel like posting but don't really have anything particularly planned out. I just want to write, but I'm not even sure about what. Ever have one of those days when it feels like there is something inside your brain just screaming to get out, but you can't figure out just what it is? That's me today.
What I've been thinking about nearly constantly is summer. But then again, who hasn't? I only have six more days of high school ever, and then it's just two and a half months of blissful freedom before I start a whole new adventure. I'm so ready for these used-up Yesterdays to be over and to move full speed ahead into Tomorrow. Of all of the changes I've faced in my life, this is the first one that I have been genuinely excited about and accepting of with very little apprehension. I'm just so ready for the old chapter to end so I can turn the page.
You see, through middle school and high school, I've always been that one kid in some of your classes who rarely says a word, who everyone forgets is even there until the teacher calls on them to answer a question. The one who is labeled as shy and awkward and maybe worse things. The thing is, that's not really me. At home or with my friends, I'm a completely different person. I can be loud, occasionally obnoxious, and sometimes I goof off too much. I am capable of intelligent conversation and I'm prone to obsessing over things. I don't even really understand why I can't be that person in school. Maybe because it's easier to meet their expectations than to try to change them. College is my chance to change that, to get away from those people who think that I'm that person. I hope that in college it can be different, that I can be the person I am at work, at youth group, at home. I just hope that I don't get nervous and tongue tied and ruin it for myself for yet another four years.

This felt a lot like a journal entry, even though I was never one to journal and could never keep one going for more than a month. Maybe this was more for me than for you. I needed to get that down, I guess. I apologize for rambling. A real post will hopefully come soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

At Grandma's House

I love going to my Grandma's house. If you asked me I'd probably say it's one of my favorite places to go. Ever since I was little my family has been going there with my aunts, uncles and cousins every Sunday night. We were there yesterday and I snapped some pictures so I decided I'd do a post about it.
This is the kitchen window. My Grandma spends a lot of time in the kitchen because she loves cooking and baking. I may be biased, but I think she's the best cook ever. Whenever I go to her house I know there'll be cookies or pie or cupcakes to eat after dinner.

This is meadow tea. My grandma always has a gallon of this ready to drink on Sunday evenings. It's like mint tea and it's really good!

These are my aunt, uncle and Dad's handprints. The smallest one in the middle is my aunt's. They made them in art class when they were in elementary school, and my grandma's kept them all these years. I think all of the memories that are packed into that house are what I love most about it. All of the yesterdays floating around that house are what make it so inviting to me today. I can imagine my dad running around and playing there just like my cousins do now.

My grandma also loves flowers. She has a lot growing around her house and she always has some cut and arranged prettily in a vase on the table. The flowers add extra cheer to the familiar old place. I love that, even though we're there every week, she still takes the time to make the house look nice.

We love to play cards. Almost every week we play one game or another. This is Dutch Blitz, you may not be familiar with it because it's kind of a Pennsylvania thing. We also play Rook, Five Crowns and Snitch. It always gets a little crazy because my family is playfully competitive and we're always joking with one another.

This is the view from the back porch. My Grandma lives in the country, and I love it there so much. There's so much more to take pictures of there than where I live in town. It's so peaceful and sometimes it's nice to just be there away from the world.
So anyway, that's my Grandma's house. I just wanted to share a part of my life with you and I'd have to say that this is one of my favorite parts.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Five

1. Going to sleep on a Friday night and knowing that you have a three day weekend ahead of you
2. Finding out that your best friend just got a job where you work
3. The end of the last full week of high school - ever
4. Slowly learning how to use your new camera
5. Having a stack of books waiting to be read in the summer, when you will finally have free time

Okay, I know it's late, but it's still technically Friday and I didn't do a friday five last week, so I didn't want to skip it two weeks in a row.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On Disappointment.

We've all felt it at one time or another. Maybe someone let us down, or maybe we let ourselves down. Today, my major disappointment was finding out that I didn't place in the photography contest that I entered at school. I'm not trying to sound conceited, so I hope it doesn't come across that way, but I was just really hoping that I might get one of the five places. I don't know about you, but when I get disappointed like that, I'm always the first person that I start beating up on. I was asking myself things like, "Why did I even bother entering? If I'm so bad at photography, why did I get that nice, expensive camera? Why am I so pathetic?" and so it goes.
Just when I really started fuming about this, angry partly at myself and partly at the judges, there was that little prick at my heart. It was God, teaching me one of those lessons again. Telling me that this wasn't worth beating myself up over. Telling me that cliche phrase that everyone says but few people really integrate into their life: everything happens for a reason. I should learn to grow from my disappointments. We all should. Sometimes God sets things in our path that aren't going to go our way, and it's not just for His amusement. There are a number of things that we can learn from every kind of disappointment:
1. People are imperfect and so it is inevitable that they will disappoint you at one time or another. God is the only one that you can completely rely on to never let you down. There is no person that can completely fulfill your need for contentment, support and love.
2. When you let yourself down, that is a lesson that you in your own power can never be the person that you need to be. You can't rely completely on yourself to do everything right. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but you alone are not enough to steer your life in the right direction.
3. Finally, this is what I learned from my own personal disappointment: being a good photographer does not just come naturally. Even the best photographers have gotten to where they are because they have practiced continually to improve their skills. If I keep on practicing, taking picture after picture until I learn how to use my camera and unique perspectives to take pictures that i am completely happy with, I might win the next contest that comes along. Until then, the only thing to do is work at bettering myself rather than wallowing in self-pity about something that is in my power to change.

Ok, this has been a different type of post for me. I hope it wasn't too rambly or too preachy, the topic is just something that has really been weighing on my heart lately and I wanted to share it with you guys.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Some Words.

So, I thought that I would share some little snippets that I wrote. I can't say that they're anything groundbreaking, but I wanted to share them.

Anatomy of a Moment
And in that moment there lay everything. And nothing. Dreams realized, elusive hopes solidified, life taking on meaning it had never held before. And she went on oblivious, the moment unacknowledged until thousands more had passed. And as The Day came, the forgotten moment became enshrined in her heart. Life, Realized.

Change. It is avoided because everyone knows that to face it is to trade the familiar for the unknown and to sacrifice security for a life of uncertainty. Those brave hearts that face it head on do so because they have realized the truth: Only through change can love be found, accomplishments be made, and life be lived. {I'll admit this one needs a little work}

She was unconventional. She loved driving in rain and especially at night because she delighted in the watercolor smear of street signs and brake lights on the road. Fall was her favorite because she could sense the second chance beneath the dying. She stayed up long into the night writing poetry that did not rhyme but had an eloquence all its own. She wore unexpected snatches of color that on anyone else would seem contrived. She was the most genuine person I had ever known, and the way she lived put my existing to shame.

So there is a small sample of the words I write. I suppose I have a strange method of going about it. I can't sit down and say, "I'm going to write now," and have three or four pages finished within the hour. I can't look for inspiration, it has to come to me. The way it usually works is I will see something or hear something that will stick in my head, and words will form around it, and I will edit and revise it in my head countless times before I actually put it on paper that night. I have this nondescript black notebook with pages of these little snippets. They will most likely go no farther than those pages and this blog, but that's okay. And now, I have some last minute homework that I must work on and by this point my rambling must have bored you to tears anyway.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Photography Blog.

So, for a while I've been considering starting a photography blog. Now that my camera came in the mail, I know I'm going to be taking a lot of pictures. I'll try my best not to duplicate too much between the blogs. The goal of this new blog is not to have any words, just pictures. So anyway, here's the link: The One Without The Words. You can follow if you want. I haven't put any pictures up yet, but I promise I will soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

For the Love of Books.

                           -n a person who collects or is fond of books

Yup, I guess you'd say that's me in a nutshell. If you came up to me on the street and asked me, out of nowhere, what my favorite thing to do is, chances are that I would reply with very little hesitation, "reading!" Yes, I raise the nerd flag high. I am unashamed. But that's beside the point.
I love books because with every story you can expand your horizons, travel for miles without leaving the comfort of your home. There are certain books and characters that have become like friends to me, as strange as that may sound. I guess what I'm trying to say is that a familiar story is comforting to me. It never changes, no matter how many times I go back and reread it. There are those books that I just can't shake, that stay with me long after I close the cover leaving my heart with this empty-full feeling that I never know quite what to do with.
Books have taught me lessons that can never be learned in the classroom. From Lucy Pevensie I have learned the value of persistence and the faith of a child. From Jane Eyre I have learned that hard as it may be, if I put my morals and in essence my faith before all other desires, in the end I will get all that I longed for and more. From Anne Shirley I have learned the power of imagination and an optimistic spirit. From Meg Murray I have learned that even the most seemingly plain and untalented can draw strength from their weaknesses. I could go on, but I think you see my point and to go any farther would be overkill.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you're someone who doesn't like to read, give it another chance. Find  a story that interests you and just drink it in. You don't have to jump right into the classics to become a reader. Many of the books that I have been assigned to read in school have been drawn out and boring, so please don't base your opinion on them! Try something on your own. You just may be surprised.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Stuck in my head: "Word of God Speak" by MercyMe
Quoted: "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Lord Chesterfield 

Lately, I've been feeling so lazy and just in general not caring about anything. I've been slacking on my schoolwork, I haven't read my bible in over a week, and I spend most of my time on the internet when I'm not at work or school. As much as I wish that I could change it, everyday is more of the same. My life seems like an endless cycle of school and work, and I don't have any motivation anymore. I need something to make me want to care again, I just don't know what that would be. I guess it's just some sort of combination of this transitory not-quite-summer-but-not-spring-anymore time of year and the fact that I'm graduating in a month. I want to move on with my life, but sitting here doing nothing is not the way to accomplish that. The other bloggers whose blogs I read never seem to be lacking in motivation and inspiration. I wish I could find some.

I've probably bored you to death, but that was just something I had to get out. My next post will be more interesting, promise!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Summer To-Do List.

Stuck in my head: "You Love Me Anyway" by the Sidewalk Prophets
Quoted: "You're so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are." - John Green in The Fault in our Stars.

For some reason, this picture just screams summer to me.

I am aching for summer right now, so I decided to compile this list of things I hope to accomplish this summer:
1. Spend less time on the internet.
2. Blog more. (Ok, I know this sounds contradictory to the first one, but the amount of time I spend on Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest is ridiculous. That's what I mainly want to cut back on: pointless, mindless web surfing.)
3. Read, and especially these books:
  • Les Miserables (yes, all 1488 pages of unabridged verbiage. I figure if I'm gonna do this, I should do it right).
  • The Hobbit  and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 
  • Between Shades of Gray
  • Agnes Grey
  • And more that I will not list and frankly have not even decided yet.
4. Work on my photography (It's only a hobby, but I really enjoy it and would like to improve).
5. Learn how to use the manual settings on the camera that I will be getting (I suppose this goes hand in hand with number four).
6. Spend more time outside. And hey, if I happen to get tanner in the process, I won't be complaining.

And I guess that's it. For now, anyway. If I come up with any additions, I may have to do a part two post or something.
Do you have any goals for this summer?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Five.

1. Helping out at the elementary school carnival. It was so much fun, but I am so exhausted. And so sunburned.
2. Getting this camera for my graduation present:     :D
3. Going to attempt to sew a skirt, and hopefully it works out, because it's so hard finding skirts that are knee length. (I'm using this tutorial.)
4. My AP English test is finally over with.
5. I just really like these, uh, whatchamacallums:  { }  Plus I needed a fifth thing. So, there you have it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Rainy Day Post

Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I posted the Pinterest one instead. Today it is not raining, but it is cloudy enough to justify posting this anyway.

Quoted: "A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning" - James Dickey
 This is what it looks like outside my living room window: all cool and grey and rainy and wonderful. Rainy days are my favorite. They are cozy and demand a good book and cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Rain provides soft background noise to my thoughts. I always feel especially inspired on this kind of day. I don't know exactly what it is about rain. Maybe it's the quiet consistency of the pitter-patter on roofs and windows, or maybe it's the soft grey light filtering in through soaked window panes. Either way, these days give me a nostalgic feeling that can never quite be replicated on a bright sunny day.
Falling asleep to the sound of rain is quite possibly one of the most calming feelings in the world. It gives me one of those, "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world" feelings. I think rainy days overall get a bad rap. Do you like rainy days?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pinspirational Tuesday

I am in love with Pinterest (but then again, who isn't?). My account is here Jessica from Diary of a Beautiful Soul has posts like this nearly every Tuesday. I thought it would be fun to make one as well and link up.

These are some of my favorite pins (subject to frequent change, of course.)
This describes my obsession with pinterest incredibly well.
I love this picture so, so much.
Let go & let God
Ok, I know it's for little kids, but Up is possibly one of my favorite movies ever.
C.S. Lewis is practically a genius. I have soo many of his quotes on Pinterest.
This. Is adorable.
I don't know where this is, but I want to go to this place.
So, there it is: a very small sampling of my pins. It was harder than I thought it would be to pick my favorites. Here's the link to Jessica's blog:

Pinspirational Tuesdays

Friday, May 4, 2012


So now I'm writing two posts in a day after writing nothing for an entire week. I feel like such a paradox. This post is just because in the past few hours I have felt an intense longing for summer, and I need to get some of that out. This is what I want rightnow:
And, besides that, flipflops, cutoffs, sunshine, campfires, free time, long days and starry nights, popsicles, thunderstorms (when I'm not trying to sleep thankyouverymuch), picnics and hiking. Summer also means that I will finally have graduated. I'll be off to college come fall and that is terribly frightening and wonderfully exciting all at the same time.
This is one of those weird days where I'm nostalgic for the future, longing for a past that hasn't happened yet. Life is lovely. I know that's a terribly overused phrase and I try to avoid cliche at all cost, but that's just my mood right now. I thought I might share it with you.

Friday Five

Wow, I know, I fail as a blogger. I just don't have any ideas for posts. Plus I'm super busy right now. And I'm kind of hoping for more followers,  but it's not looking too promising. Anyway, on with the Friday five.

1. Going to Green Dragon (a farmers market/flea market near where I live) with my family. Sadly, I didn't think to bring my camera.
2. Having off school today.
3. Sleeping in.
4. Going shopping and actually finding clothes I like.
5. Chocolate. Always chocolate.