Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Blog Button.

I finally designed a blog button. This is just the image, not the actual button. I haven't uploaded it yet. What do you think?
Is there something I should change? Is it too plain? I guess I'll just stick with it for now.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guest Posters?

My family and I are going on vacation the second week of July. If I could have one or two guest posters for that time period, that would be awesome! I'd also be happy to return the favor sometime. If you're interested, please let me know in the comments and leave your email address (let me know if you don't want it published). I've never had a guest poster before, and only guest posted once, so I'm not 100% sure how it works, but I'll muddle through.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Few Kinds of Happy.

summersoaked {via my pinterest}
- That intense relief you feel when waking up from a nightmare and have finally convinced yourself that it wasn't real, and then turning over and closing your eyes knowing all is right with the world.
- Going to a store that you had been to a few years before and remembered not being impressed and now wanting to buy out the entire store (Old Navy!)
- Actually having fun with your little brother, making each other laugh and playing card games.
- Planning a day to go hiking and swimming at a local lake with your favorite cousins.
- Enjoying work because your coworkers are so awesome.

What kinds of happy have you been experiencing lately?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On Blogging and Such.

Why do I blog? It's a question I'm sure every blogger asks themselves at some point. What makes me want to pour out my thoughts and dreams to strangers (excuse the term, there was nothing better to use!) that I barely know beyond their name and reading their blog? For me anyway, I blog because I want to find people like me. People who love words and pictures. People who are genuine, passionate and maybe a little unconventional. Most important of all, people who love Jesus. That's only one reason, though. I also blog because my blog is kind of like a journal for me. I have tried countless times to write a journal on paper, but it lacked anything to motivate me. With my blog, I have that motivation: feedback, encouragement and the knowledge that the words I write matter to other people. Blogging is my favorite outlet. Even though I'm fairly new to it, I've fallen in love with it already.
 My Philosophy on Blogging: 
I have read blogs that made the blogger seem as though he or she has a perfect life. Some bloggers carve out the prettiest or most exciting parts of their lives and, along with breathtaking pictures, weave the story into a flawless blog post. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading posts like this but an entire blog like this gets old to me. I want to see their imperfections. I want to read about their occasional doubts, insecurities and mistakes and see how they used those to make themselves a better person.  I want to see their whole life, not just the edited, orchestrated parts of it. That's the kind of blogger I want to be, above all genuine and complete in my life story. If my readers begin to think they know me, I want them to know the real me and not just one side of me. Even though this blog will most likely only be a phase of my life,  I want it to be the most accurate representation of that phase possible. How else can I find people like me if I don't show who I really am?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Bedroom.

This is continuing the "about me" series of posts I'm doing. I believe that you can tell a lot about a person from the way their bedroom looks. Here's mine:
A note: I'm not the biggest fan of pink anymore, but repainting my room is a BIG project, and I'm just not feeling up to it. Picture the walls either this color or this color, and that's my room. That's my laptop on my bed, which I love to pieces and unfortunately have not named yet. And by the way, ignore the messiness on the dresser. I just cleaned it yesterday, but you know how these things go.
My "darkroom" wall decorations. It's about as artsy-craftsy as I get. I printed out a couple of pictures I took, hung up some twine using pushpins, and hung them up with clothespins. The curtains were also one of my more crafty endeavors. I just pinned ribbons on the curtain rod.
My bookshelf♥. As you can see by the books stacked up, I am in need of a bigger shelf. That black spotted thing on the middle shelf is my cow-pig that I made in art class in 8th grade. He's papier mache.
Keeping up with the book theme, Here is my bedside table. Yes, these books are in addition to the ones on my shelf. Only one is a library book. They're all books that I am currently reading or want to read. They are, from top to bottom, The Lord of the Rings series (reading The Hobbit now), To Kill a Mockingbird, The Memory Keeper's Daughter (almost finished!), The Poisonwood Bible, The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson (Which I am slowly wading my way through), Les Mis (Which I can't get up the courage to start. Look how fat it is!) and finally Agnes Grey. I'm one of those people who is usually reading multiple books at once and who has twice as many books on the to-read pile as I am reading. It's never ending.
Lastly, my desk, which looks much more orderly than usual because I just cleaned my room yesterday. I rarely ever sit at it, usually I just use it as a place to hold 1. my clean laundry 2. my schoolwork and 3. All of the things that I just have to keep but have no real use for. I suppose you could say I'm a bit of  a hoarder. Just a tad.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my bedroom. Just be glad that I cleaned it before taking pictures, or you would be in a state of mild shock right now. What does my room say about me? I'm a reader. I'm a bit disorganized. I like photography. I guess that's about it. What does your bedroom say about you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Corner of the World.

One of the things that I think defines a person the most, whether they are willing to admit it or not, is the place where they grew up. Every nuance of life in that place becomes ingrained into their daily routine and even long after they leave it, that place still runs in their blood. That is why I wanted to do a post about the little town that I grew up in and live in still.
The town is so small that there isn't even one traffic light. Basically, it consists of one main street with smaller streets branching from it and scattered houses and farmland in the outer limits. There are two playgrounds, one newer and more well-kept and one smaller and beginning to fall apart but that holds more of my childhood memories. There is a baseball field at each playground and the state of their upkeep coincides with that of the playgrounds. There is one little-league team which my brother played on when he was younger but now, for all I know, may have dissolved to nothing. There is a small pizza shop, two small diners and your run-of-the-mill convenience store. There are two small churches in town, neither of which I attend. There is also a small library which I visit fairly often. It is a very sweet little place which has been fixed up quite a lot in the last years. They always have coffee and baked treats for sale. It feels like I have read most of the books that I might have any interest in, but there is a fairly steady stream of new arrivals. The town's one "claim to fame," if you could even call it that, is that there is an intersection with a train track going through it, supposedly the only place like it in the U.S. (which I find hard to believe).
 We live in a fairly conservative area and there are quite a few Amish living near our town and in the surrounding areas and counties. Many people I know firmly believe that with living in a small town comes having a small mind. This may be true for some, but I like to believe that I am open to new ideas and new people. My personal beliefs are considered conservative by many but I've never been one to put down or hate on others even if our beliefs differ from mine. I believe the way this small town has influenced me the most is in my preference of normal, comfortable, average living in which nothing much changes rather than living life on the edge, never knowing for sure what will come from day to day. It's true that I often shy away from change but as I go out into the world I hope that my fear of it is lessening.
As small towns go I suppose it is fairly normal in all respects. I'm sure there are hundreds and thousands just like it throughout the U.S. and beyond. It's the place I call home, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
P.S. I apologize for the lack of pictures. I haven't really taken any of my town to speak of. Perhaps some pictures of the playground I told you about will come along shortly.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Snippets {1}

This is something different from what I usually write. I'm not usually too into this fiction/romance/mush kind of thing, but I sort of like this little snippet. It's been floating around in my head for a while now.

She let out a small sigh as she closed the cover of the book, finished at last. Even though he was driving, he couldn't resist stealing a glance at her. She was looking out the window, far away in another world, her hand resting gently and almost lovingly on the cover of the book. Wisps of red-brown hair that had escaped her ponytail fluttered softly around her face in the breeze from the open window. He felt a fresh wave of love for her wash over his heart, filling it ever fuller. This was the girl who considered Les Misérables beach reading, the girl whose camera never left her side. She was the most genuine person he'd ever met as well as slightly unconventional, and the depth of his love for her surprised even himself.
She must have felt his gaze on her for those fleeting seconds because she turned and looked at him, flashing the contagious smile that had enraptured him in the first place. She reached for his hand and slid her fingers between his, and his only though at that moment was that this must be happiness in it's purest form.

So, what do you think? I sort of like this kind of writing, though it feels more shallow than my normal writings. It was fun for something different though.
♥♥ Kristin

My Week In Review.

This past week was so much fun. From Monday through Thursday, I was at a campground with my youth group. We have a rather small youth group, and only about  seven kids went on the trip. Every day after eating breakfast at the camp, we went and did some small project. We painted a propane tank and parts of a house, we pulled weeds, we cleaned our church, we volunteered at a homeless shelter, and we volunteered at a material resource center. Of course, besides working, we also had a lot of down time to hang out and play games. Every evening, we played volleyball as well as some card games - Scum and Dutch Blitz, if you are familiar with either. The campground also has a really nice pool, with fountains and a slide:
That was a lot of fun. Still, believe it or not, that wasn't my favorite part of last week. My favorite part was the weekend and camping at Spruce Lake. Every year, my church goes there on the same weekend: Father's Day weekend. It's one of my favorite places ever. It's in the woods and so quiet and peaceful. All of my friends from church are there, and we have a blast. I managed to take a few pictures:

This is the view behind our campsite (It looks a lot better in person!):

And, as you most likely assumed from the name, there is a small lake:
I love this place so much. Every year, I'm sad to leave and I'm already anxious to go back next year. If I didn't already have SO MANY things to do over summer, I would want to work there as a counselor.

So that was my week. I enjoyed it immensely, but I'm still glad to be home again so I can get into my summer routine. Within the next week I plan to do a series of posts that will hopefully help you, my readers, get to know me better. Also, I believe a "snippets" post is in order seeing as the halfway point of the month has already passed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Photo Contest.

I am entering a photo contest at Diary of a Beautiful Soul. It's an editing contest, and I don't have much experience with editing my photos, but I just found out about PicMonkey so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here is my entry:



It's not a big difference, but I like how the colors seem so much brighter. If you like photography, you should  enter too! There's an awesome prize.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happiness :: My Definition.

What you DON'T need to be happy:
- a boyfriend/girlfriend
- a pretty face
- a fancy cell phone
- a closetful of fashionable clothing
- lots and lots of friends
- everyone's approval
- anything else the world deems important and even necessary

What you DO need to be happy:
It's just that simple.

These are things I must remind myself of on an almost daily basis, but I'm getting better. True happiness can never come from things of the world because the secular world is in its very definition imperfect. God is perfect though, and no matter what society tries to tell you, he is the only source of the true happiness everyone longs for. Trying to get it any other way is futile.

{{I will be posting about my week with the youth group, as well as the upcoming weekend camping with my church, on Monday. Until then I just wanted to share this with you, it's something that's been on my mind.}}


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Some Quotes.

As you already know, I'm kind of crazy about quotes. I made these and I'm pretty proud of them if I do say so myself:

{This one doesn't look quite right to me... I'll have to work on it.}

In other blog news, I've decided to use both of the monthly ideas that I mentioned in the last post: On or around the first of the month I will post a list of things that I am looking forward to in that month and about halfway through the month I will post a snippet of my writing. I think, for now anyway, I will be discontinuing Friday Five.
This is my last post until Friday at the earliest but most likely Monday.

Have a good week, lovelies!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Some Updates.

1. I'm considering not doing Friday Five anymore. It's kind of annoying to me to have to blog every Friday, and then I normally can't think of anything to say anyway. What do you guys think? I feel like it isn't very interesting to you either.
2. I completely forgot to mention that I am going to be gone this entire week. We're going to a Youth Week at a local campground and I'm super excited. I wish I had thought of it earlier, then I could have asked for guest posters. Oh well. So anyway, I might post once more tomorrow, and then that will be it until possibly next Friday, but most likely next Monday. I could schedule a post, but again, I didn't think of it soon enough and now I have all of this packing and such to do.
3. While I'm discontinuing Friday Five, I would still like to have somewhat of a regular, perhaps monthly, posting. One idea I had was on the first of the month post a snippet of my writing from sometime in the last month. Another idea was that on the first of each month I could write a list of what I look forward to in that month. What do you think? I want this blog to be something that you, my readers, are interested in. Which of the two do you like better? Do you have any ideas for me?


It Happened.

 It's hard to believe, but it really did. Every time that I woke up last night it hit me all over again: I am finally a high school graduate. All of my hard work has finally paid off: studying for AP exams, late night typing to put the finishing touches on research papers and projects, countless hours spent in the school library working on homework, and all this while waking up at 6:30 every morning. I almost can't believe that all of that is truly over for me.
I remember back in Kindergarten, or maybe first grade, in the year 2001(!), the teacher always reminded the class, "In the year 2012, you will be graduating from high school." Back then, it seemed infinities away. Like maybe it wouldn't ever happen, and I'd just be going to school forever. Still, here I am. A high school graduate soon to be college freshman.
I am so ready to move on to the next chapter of my life, because this one really was getting old. Towards the end, I had a pretty serious case of Senioritis and every day was a struggle to drag myself out of bed and force myself to do the same-old schoolday tasks. Now I'm glad I stuck it out to the end and despite my own reluctance, pushed myself to keep doing my best.
There may be some things that I will miss about high school, but I am more than ready to be moving on. I'll miss some of my teachers, two in particular that really encouraged me and gave me such good advice about college and more, but I will be able to go back and visit them in the coming years, and I plan to. I only made a few really good friends and though I will miss them, I believe we will always make time for each other in the future. As for the rest of high school, I am only too glad that now it will be nothing more than a memory. As C.S. Lewis said, I believe that "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."

And, because I do not like to do posts without at least one picture, and because I would like to spare you any pictures of myself in that large, unbecoming gown, here's a picture of my tassle and corsage:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

15 Snapshots.

This is such a cool idea. I stole borrowed it from Molly's blog: Use 15 pins from your pinterest that describe you. I want my readers (no matter how few that may be!) to get a rounded out idea of the real me through more than just the topics I choose to write about. Here, in no particular order, are the 15 snapshots of me:
I see myself as a pretty happy person. I love to laugh, and smiling is my favorite. Happiness is kind of a way of life for me.

It's true. There are books that have had an impact on my life. I love to read. (This is something you already know, but it's so much a part of me that I had to include it.)

Let go & let God. This is kind of my life motto (well, one of them).

I can't pick an ultimate favorite beverage, but this is definitely top 3.

Hawk Nelson = probably my favorite band ever. Subject to change of course.

{{this is harder than I thought it would be!}}

Mustaches that have their own mustaches. Corny things like this make me laugh until I can't breathe and no more sound comes out.

I AM the awkward penguin gif. You'd understand if you were at all familiar with it.


Every time. I am no stranger to midnight sessions of furious typing and gallons of  tea.

Narnia! I will inevitably buy a wardrobe someday and be immensely disappointed that the only thing I find in the back of it is a sheet of wood.

I love potatoes! And food in general makes me happy.

Chiloe: a small island off the coast of Chile. Ever since missionaries from there have spoken at my church, this place has been on my heart. I've never been there yet, but I feel destined to go someday.

I know, I already posted this once, but I really love it. It seems very me though I'm not sure why.

A fact that is very important to me that I must keep reminding myself of.

Of course I had to end with a quote. I love them. Also, C.S. Lewis = genius. This quote has been on my mind lately. I've been applying it to my upcoming graduation though I know that's not quite the type of thing it is referring to.

{{All images via my pinterest}}

So, there's me in a nutshell. I really hope that you feel like you know me better.

Also, I am linking up to Pinspirational Tuesdays at Jessica's blog, Diary of a Beautiful Soul.

Pinspirational Tuesdays


Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's Official.

Everyone has that one moment that, to them, signals that it's finally summer. Maybe it's tasting the first fresh strawberries from the local farmer's market. Maybe it's the first day of summer vacation. Maybe it's the first day that you can wear shorts and leave the sweatshirt in the closet. Maybe it's even June 21, the beginning of summer according to the calendar. Tonight, I realized mine. That one thing that makes me say, "It's official. Summer's here." I was driving home from my grandma's birthday party along this narrow, windy country road that I've fallen in love with, and I saw it. The first faint glimmer that I might have imagined, followed by another and another. The lightning bugs were out, blinking signals to one another through the summer-scented darkness. Some of my happiest summer memories revolve around running barefoot through the grass and cupping one of those magical glowing insects in my palms. Some nights I caught a few in a jar and used their soft glow as a nightlight. I'll admit, some summer evenings I still wander outside for a few moments, just long enough to catch one lightning bug and let it rest on my hand watching the soft glow reflect on my palm and letting my childhood wash over me.
What moment means summer to you?
♥♥ Kristin

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Five.

1. The last day of high school... ever
2. Summer :)
3. Unexpected gifts
4. Not feeling stressed out for the first time in what feels like forever
5. Feeling content with where your life is right now