February 2011 - further up and further in

Monday, February 28, 2011

Because You Asked... {and Day 20}

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Because You Asked... {and Day 20}
So, a couple of you commented on my last post and said you wanna hear me play guitar. *cough, cough* Samarah & Lily *cough cough*

I don't know why, but I obliged. ;)

(If you're reading this post in an email or blog reader, you'll probably have to visit my blog in order to see the video.)

The story behind this song is kind of strange. I had been upset about something - what on earth it was, I have no idea - but I was in my room, and I just picked up my guitar. I started playing random chords, and somehow they formed themselves into a song. I guess you could call it 'freestyling'. I had been recording on my mp3 player, but to this day I don't remember why. The first version I recorded was really, really rough. Because I was just playing to get the emotions out, a lot of the chords were messed up and buzzed. So I rerecorded it to sound better - but I still think it kept a lot of its feel. Hence the title 'In the Valley' - it was written when I was as far from the mountaintop as I could get. I hope that maybe it encourages you, if you're in the valley too. ♥ Remember, you're not alone in this fight. Jesus will walk with you.

I'd appreciate any comments you have! :)

A Hobby

Goodness gracious, there are so many! Writing, reading, Tweeting, playing guitar, listening to music...

I will not talk about the above subjects, though, since they're pretty obvious, and I feel like I'd just be repeating myself. So, I'll tell you something I've never told you before:

One of my hobbies is sitting on the couch in front of the television, watching movies or TV shows.

No joke.

Okay, I only do it about once a week, or in the evenings to watch Dr. Quinn. But I really like watching movies. It's getting to the point where I'm running out of movies to watch! :-/ I love momentarily being transported to another world, and a lot of times, movies inspire me about things I can write.

Movies I've watched & enjoyed lately...

1. Julie & Julia (I kind of liked this one.)
2. Penelope 
3. Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Can't say that all of these would be good family movies. I watched all three of them with just my mom and I. (Mom, I love our mom/daughter times together!) But they're all really great movies with positive messages. Anyway, I'll stop my movie rant now. I kind of feel lame that that's my only hobby. I do crochet and do productive things, in sporadic amounts. ;) What are your hobbies?

Funny story... last night, I was up till midnight, searching for one particular notebook for about an hour. I was so up tight about it, because I was super inspired to write and I couldn't. (I have a thing about keeping certain stories in their own notebooks.) Finally, I just went to bed without it. Tonight, I was upstairs in my room and found my notebook on my windowsill, soggy with condensation. Sheesh, who leaves their notebook on the window sill? Apparently I do...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Introducing My Guitar {Day 19: A Talent}

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Introducing My Guitar {Day 19: A Talent}
Honestly? A talent? I'm afraid to put anything on this post for fear of sounding conceited or supercilious.

Okay, okay. Fine.

I like to play guitar.

Whether I'm talented at it, I don't know. But I do know that I love playing. I got my guitar in February of 2008, as a HUGE answer to prayer. (You can read that story here.) I only started pursuing guitar this past summer though, teaching myself, and now I am in love. There's just something about music that has the power to heal and bear witness to God's amazing love. That's what I love about it.

For the sake of sounding geeky, here's a list of guitar chords I know.

C, Csus, D, Dsus, Dm, E, Em, Fmaj7, G, G7, A, Am, Asus2, B, Bm

And my favorite songs to play...

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been - Relient K
You and Me - Lifehouse
Vanilla Twilight - Owl City
Hot Air Balloon - Owl City
The Right One - Stellar Kart
Take Me As I Am - FM Static
You Are More - Tenth Avenue North

My favorite chord progression is probably C, G, Am, and F (Fmaj7). There are a lot of songs that use that chord progression, and I think it sounds awesome. My favorite chords are G, Em, D, and Csus. Csus sounds amazing!

[/end of guitar rant]

And you know how I named my bass Ben? Well, I can't think of a name for this guitar. Except for Grant. Still, it hasn't really stuck like Ben did. It does sound cute, though - Ben the bass, and Grant the guitar. They're both named after two of the favorite characters I've ever written - Grant Stokely from Chandler & Paislee (my NaNo novel), and Ben Carter from Reese's Pieces.

The sound of my fingers or my pick rubbing against the strings is probably one of my favorite sounds in the world. So is the sound of the chord reverberating as it fades away. I know, I know. I'm sentimental. ;)

I'm really sorry to those who have commented and not gotten a response. Normally I use the weekend to catch up on those sorts of things, but I woke up with a nasty cold and have not been feeling my best. I'm not ignoring you, I promise! Thank you for all your comments! ♥ If you want to connect with me further, I'm on Twitter. :) It's the perfect way to waste time, especially when I'm sick. :P

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm Alive Again {Day 18}

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I'm Alive Again {Day 18}
Today's challenge is a hard one. A time when I felt passionate and alive?

I can't really pin down one, exactly. But I would have to say that there are a couple times I feel passionate and alive. First, when I write. And second, when I encounter Jesus in a personal way.

1. When I write.

I feel passionate and alive when I write - but perhaps the more accurate term would be when I'm inspired. That doesn't happen often enough, in my opinion. When I write something that makes me proud to be a writer - that's when I feel passionate and alive. When I know God is guiding my pen, and we're writing the story together; that's when I feel alive. When I create something beautiful, something wonderful. That's when I feel alive.

2. When I meet with Jesus.

This doesn't happen enough either. In fact, I wish it happened a lot more often. There have been a couple times I've met him in a new and startling way. It was at youth group. I had recently been diagnosed with a chronic pain syndrome, and I was mad at God, to be quite honest. I didn't even know I was mad at Him until the walls around my heart crumbled to the ground. I had distanced myself from Him, just because I didn't understand why He'd given me this trial. He met me there, at youth group, and I must say, I will never be the same. He wrapped his arms around me, hugging me, drawing me close. And he asked for my heart. I gave it to him, once again. I surrendered. And that's when I truly felt alive again.

P.S. - Need a dose of randomness? Check this out! Because who doesn't love bacon?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Aslan {Day 17: An Art Piece}

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Aslan {Day 17: An Art Piece}
My first reaction when I saw today's post: "An art piece?? Seriously?!"

I'm not really an artist. And while I appreciate artists, I'm not really that into art.

So I've been thinking all day about WHAT to post.

And then it hit me. The only art I really like is Narnia concept art.


To me, this is one of the most beautiful moments in the movie (Prince Caspian). The reunion of Aslan and Lucy, and the loyalty and simple faith of their relationship is wonderful. It's the kind of relationship I want to have with my Savior. Running into his arms. Savoring every moment. And loving him with every fiber in my being.

I can't wait to meet him face to face. And when we do, I think it'll look a little something like this piece of concept art. I long for the day when we'll be reunited once more. But until then, I'll just wait, falling more and more in love with him each day, and waiting until we're together again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Say Goodbye & Dental Care {Day 16}

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Say Goodbye & Dental Care {Day 16}
I feel music. It speaks to my soul. And a lot of songs make me cry, whether they're sad or not. Because that in and of itself is the power, and the beauty of music.

So today, I've decided to go to both sides of the spectrum. What songs make me cry, and what make me laugh? First up: a song I cry at. It's... a Skillet song.

Say Goodbye

I know Skillet isn't typically the band you would cry at. But for some reason, I cry at this song. I know how it is to lose someone close to you - whether they die, or they walk out of your life. And I guess it's partly because there are certain moments I miss, about my childhood, that seem to be reflected in this song.

I actually wrote a short story last night. It was based on both Say Goodbye and another Skillet song, Those Nights. You know those moments where you're proud to be a writer? Yeah, last night was one of those times. The short story was so deep, so personal. And I don't even know why. It's about Brant and Grace... and their moments of saying goodbye. I might end up posting it on my blog... would you like that?

And now I'm going to do what Bleah did and post a song that makes me laugh... this song is by Owl City.

Dental Care

I was introduced to this song by someone on the NarniaWeb forums, and I laughed so hard - because I had just gone to the dentist. It still makes me laugh. "I've been to the dentist so many times I know the drill..."

Here are some more songs that make me cry, and I don't even know why...
It's Not Over - Stellar Kart
Wish You Well - TFK

And songs that make me laugh:
Maintain Consciousness - Relient K
Sadie Hawkins Dance - Relient K

The music video to this song makes me HAPPY! But that's beside the point.

Anyway, what are some of your favorite songs? Do you laugh, or cry? Or are you just shaking your head in wonder at the fact that music makes me emotional?

Another Hero (or Heroine...?)

Thursday, February 24, 2011 1
Another Hero (or Heroine...?)
My other hero would have to be my mom.

She has sacrificed so much for us. She has done everything in her power to stay home with us, no matter what the cost. She is beautiful, kind, and loving. I love her so much, and she is truly my example for the kind of woman I want to become. She loves unconditionally, and always has the best words of advice, no matter what's wrong. She listens to God and truly is a follower of him. She has such a way with little kids, and ministers to them like her own. She cooks the best food ever, and she's always there for me. I am so glad God gave her to me, and my dad. Thank you, Mom, for being so amazing, beautiful, and following God's own heart. I love you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Heroes {Day 15: People I Admire}

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My Heroes {Day 15: People I Admire}
This post is dedicated to just a few of the people I admire.

  1. Corrie Ten Boom. She had such courage; such faith. I admire her so much. She was so ready to forgive, even in the face of all she'd gone through in the concentration camps. She is my role model, and an example of what it truly means to love and forgive.
  2. C.S. Lewis. He's the writer of my favorite series, but he's so much more. He was a devoted Christian; a child of God; and a man who truly followed Jesus. He's my role model (as far as his heart for God). I want to write like him someday.
  3. Owl City. I admire the way he's able to take pictures, sing, and write lyrics. The way he's able to make a song speak to me, whether it's about Jesus or Seattle. And the way he gives credit to God alone, letting Jesus' light shine through him.
  4. My dad. I admire him in so many ways. His wisdom; his heart for God; the way he talks to me on my level in a way no one else can. I admire his strength, and the way he has hope in the face of difficulty. I admire the way he can talk to God about anything and everything; and the fearless trust he has in God. I admire the fact that he has sacrificed so much to raise me in the ways of God, and that I am so important to him that he would die for me. I admire the way he is courageous and ready to die for his faith, no matter what may come. And I admire his heart; the way he is brave and strong. I love you, Daddy.
  5. Jesus. You're my ultimate role model, and I love you. Thank you for giving your all so I could have You. 
Blog readers, I'd like to introduce you to these five people. They are my heroes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Disneyland {Day 14: A Vacation I'd Like to Take}

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Disneyland {Day 14: A Vacation I'd Like to Take}
Well, I'm quite sorry, but I can't pick just one. I'd love to go just about anywhere. However, if I HAD to choose one, it would be...

Disneyland. Enough said.
The last time I went there, I was 6 months old. Needless to say, I don't remember anything.

Actually, I'd be happy to get anyplace that I can smell salty sea air and feel sand between my toes. (Sad to say, I've never been to the beach.) That includes Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Florida.

I'd still like to go to Disneyland (or World) with my family in order to create memories that will last forever. And I firmly believe that you are never too old for Disney. So whether I'm 16 or 160 when we go... I'm sure I'll love it. No matter what.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure(s) - {Day 13}

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My Guilty Pleasure(s) - {Day 13}
Oh, I can totally write this.
What's my guilty pleasure?
These things.

Potato chips, tortilla chips, French chips... (I'm pretty sure that the last one is actually considered a French fry. ;) You name it, I love it. It's the one junk food I still eat and LOVE. I love the way they crunch between my teeth, the way some of them melt in my mouth, and all the saltiness. It makes my day when I pick up a chip loaded with salt. There are only a few of them in each bag, but it's worth eating a whole bag in order to get to that one chip.

Wow. I sound crazy. But just get a bag of chips, and you'll realize what I'm talking about. 

My favorite kind of tortilla chips are the ones with lime on them. We have tortilla chips more often than potato ones, and I rely on them to satisfy my crunchy needs. They usually do, but when we do have potato chips, it's still amazing. 

This is another guilty pleasure. Chocolate. But not just any chocolate. It has to be DARK chocolate.

I hated dark chocolate until my dad started getting it on a regular basis. He would give me and my siblings a couple squares at a time, and I was finally converted to the taste. Now I can never go back to milk chocolate.

The only milk chocolate exception I have is Reese's Pieces butter cups. Those are pieces of heaven - can I have an amen? ;) I even like dipping my dark chocolate into peanut butter to make it taste like one.

Okay, now if you'll excuse me, I am now hungry. I need to go raid the chocolate stash. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

{Day 12: A Wedding Song}

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{Day 12: A Wedding Song}
Well, I'm obviously not married, and will not be getting married for a while. ;)

There are so many songs I'd like to play. So get ready for a bunch of them. :P Of course, it all depends on what my husband wants and what songs God is impressing on my heart at the time, but these are some songs I really like. I couldn't pick just one. xP

This is a song that's really romantic (and clean! Gotta love clean love songs!) I love playing it on my guitar.

You and Me - Lifehouse

And then there's this. It's my life's message. My life's song. It's gotten me through all the hardest times in my life lately. I. Love. It.
I want it to be a reminder to my husband and I that no matter what happens in our life together, Christ is our light, our strength, our song.

In Christ Alone - Owl City

This song is beautiful too. But I don't know if I'll play it at my wedding. I might cry if I do.

Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman

I thought I could post this entry until I remembered one more song. This song has consistently remained one of my favorites. It's a beautiful reminder of how much God loves us, and how we truly are his beloved. Like the song says, "it's a mystery."

Beloved - Tenth Avenue North

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rainy Day {Day 11: A Recent Photo}

Saturday, February 19, 2011 1
Rainy Day {Day 11: A Recent Photo}
It's raining outside. I actually had no idea it was possible to rain in February. I missed the rain. Usually, I like rain better than snow. As long as I don't have anything to do, rain is amazing.

It brings back good memories. One time, I was having a really bad day, and my friend told me to go laugh hysterically in the rain. I couldn't do it because of the lightning, but it still brightened my day. :) Later, when we met in person, it ended up raining - so we were able to laugh hysterically in the rain together. :D Thinking about those times makes me not feel so overcast.

If I wasn't so comfortable inside, I'd go outside and take pictures. I've always wanted to capture rain on film. There are so many things I want to capture on film, but I can't because it just wouldn't be the same as experiencing it in real life.

Okay, onto the blog challenge.
day 1: a favorite song.
day 2: a favorite movie.
day 3: a favorite book.
day 4: a favorite television program.
day 5: a favorite quote.
day 6: a moment you wish you could relive.
day 7: five things you couldn't possibly live without.
day 8: a thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
day 9: a photo you took.
day 10: a photo of you taken over ten years ago.
day 11: a photo of you taken recently.
day 12: a song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
day 13: a guilty pleasure.
day 14: a vacation you would like to take.
day 15: a person you admire.
day 16: a song that makes you cry.
day 17: an art piece.
day 18: a time when you felt passionate and alive.
day 19: a talent of yours.
day 20: a hobby of yours.
day 21: something you know you do differently than most people.
day 22: a website.
day 23: a way in which you want to be remembered.
day 24: a movie no one would expect you to love.
day 25: a recipe.
day 26: a childhood memory.
day 27: a physical feature you love.
day 28: hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days

So, here's the thing. I"m a no-face blogger. That means that, aside from yesterday's photos, I will probably never show a picture of my whole face. Partials are okay, but full on pictures aren't. So, I decided to post a sort of picture of me.

This picture was taken very recently - yesterday, in fact. That's about as recent as I could get. My brother and I were taking pictures like crazy - he was using my camera, and I was using my dad's. We both snapped a picture of each other at the same time. I love using my Dad's camera - it makes me feel so official! :)

And then of course, there's this one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Conglomeration {Day 10: A 10-year-old Photo}

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Conglomeration {Day 10: A 10-year-old Photo}

Welcome: To a Conglomeration

v. con·glom·er·at·ed, con·glom·er·at·ing, con·glom·er·ates
1. To form or gather into a mass or whole.
2. To form into or merge with a corporate conglomerate.
To cause to form into a mass or whole.

 That's what this blog post is gonna be. ;)


Day 10: A Picture of You Taken Over 10 Years Ago

Hold on tight, folks. 'Cuz this is a rare occasion. You get to see: A PICTURE OF ME.
I know, crazy, right?
Now, obviously this isn't what I look like NOW. I've grown up a little bit... er, a lot.
But wasn't I SO CUTE?!? *fights back a wave of nostalgia*
And this is probably the only full-faced photo you'll EVER see of me. I still like dandelions... especially when I blow on them. It's annoying to my parents, but it's so romantic to watch all those little seeds scatter in the wind.
I miss those days. *wistful sigh*


What I'm Doing *RIGHT* Now

I'm sitting here staring at a plateful of kiwi. We specifically asked Mom to buy cinnamon rolls at the store. She came home with them, much to my delight, but instead my brother and I raided the fridge and have been eating fruit rather than high fructose corn syrup. Kiwi, watermelon... and chips. (That's not a fruit, but it should be it's own food group. :P) I'm so full I don't know if I can handle any cinnamony goodness. Okay, who am I kidding? I'm always up for cinnamon rolls.

Quote of the Day

Me [in an unusually random mood]: *bursts out singing at the top of my lungs* "But drenched in vanilla twilight, I'll sit on the front porch all night, waist deep in thought, because when I think of you, I don't feel so alone..."
Mom: "Do you really want to sit on the front porch all night?"

A Thought

God has really been impressing the thought on me of 'sheep' lately. Everywhere I go, it seems that a verse jumps out to me about sheep. Ironically, this Christmas, our shepherd didn't manage to make it into the Christmas decorations box. Mom kept it on our microwave as a reminder that we're caring for God's sheep each day. It seems that God wants to remind me of that. Hmm.


*Several* Links

I've been wanting to share this for a while now. This is such an accurate depiction of me, it's not even funny. It was also loosely based off of my main character, Reese, in Reese's Pieces, my current novel.

And despite the fact that I'm not fashion savvy at ALL, I'm on Polyvore. It truly is extremely fun to play with things and figure out what clothes work and what doesn't. If you're there too, feel free to add me (just tell me who you are. :P) I'm always looking for new sets. Here are a few of my favorites, of the ones I've made.

(inspired by the movie Penelope)
(inspired by a character in my novel with Hannah Grace)
(inspired by my novel with Ashley - for more info on that, check out Ashen Sky Life.)

The End

Okay... so now you know what a conglomeration is! I shall now let you browse the internet in peace... until tomorrow. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Green, Green, & Green {Day 9: A Photo I Took}

Thursday, February 17, 2011 3
Green, Green, & Green {Day 9: A Photo I Took}
I took this picture a while back, but for some reason never posted it. So, since today is the day I'm supposed to post a photo I took, per the instructions of the blog challenge, I decided to post it.

Note the mug of green tea in the left-hand corner. This is something I drink quite often.
Note the Ted Dekker book, Black, in the right-hand corner. That man can write.
Note the notebook. With the green spiral. I loveeee to write. Ironically, I don't think I've ever written anything in that notebook.
Note the green pen. It had to be green in order to fit with the photo.
(I normally use cheap ballpoint pens, or really expensive gel ones. Depends on my mood... or the story.)

I was bored one night, and all these items seemed to be lying there. Ready to use at my disposal. So I did the natural thing:

I took a picture.

Despite what Kermit would lead you to believe,

It's pretty easy being green.

(even though my favorite color is purple.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'll be out of my mind... how about now? {Day 8: A Thank You Letter...Or Two}

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2
I'll be out of my mind... how about now? {Day 8: A Thank You Letter...Or Two}
(Note: I am exhausted and NOT in the mood to do this blogpost at all. Hence the randomness.)

Dear Owl City,

You've taught me the importance of cold hot air balloons. You've taught me about fireflies and vanilla twilight. You made me want to visit Seattle and the Saltwater Room. And you reminded me that my hope lies in Christ alone.

Thank you for making such great music.

Yours truly,
-A Fan

Whoa, whoa. Stop. That was a cute blog post. But did Owl City really change my life?

Not to the magnitude that Someone else did.

Let's change this around.

Dear Jesus,

You've taught me the importance of love. You've taught me about learning, loving, and grace. You've made me want to follow You all of my days and fall deeper in love with You each day. And You've reminded me that my hope lies in You alone. The fact that YOU, the maker of the universe, loves me and holds me in the palm of your hand, still blows me away. The fact you hold every tear that falls and every prayer that's prayed boggles my mind. And the fact that you became human and cry with my pain makes my heart melt. 

Thanks for making me and molding me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for walking with me. You won't regret it. And I will never, ever, ever, for a minute, ever regret loving you.

Yours forever,
-Your beloved

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Me in a Nutshell {Day 7: Five Things I Can't Live Without}

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Me in a Nutshell {Day 7: Five Things I Can't Live Without}
This is going to be quick, since we're going to watch an episode of Dr. Quinn soon. :) So, without further ado, the 5 main things I'd hate to live without.

  1. Jesus. Enough said. I mean, he's the very air I breathe. And seriously - I'd keel over and die without him. He's my prince charming, the one who sustains my very life. And God, the creator of the universe, loves me with a deep love. The same one who painted the stars loves ME. Wow.
  2. Music. Ash and I were talking, and we both decided that we feel music a lot deeper than most people. And it's so true. I'd be lost without music as a way to express the deepest feelings of my heart. This includes being able to play my acoustic guitar too.
  3. Friends & Family. My family is the reason I'm still here. They give me advice when I need it, they step in for me when I need it, and they are always there for me. Same with my friends - my unbiological family members. I love them so much. And you guys! You're my followers, and I love you. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. You guys are amazing.
  4. My imagination. This includes writing, daydreaming, and everything I use my imagination for. I could probably learn to survive without my sight or my hearing. But my imagination? No. It's what keeps me sane.
  5. The internet. Okay, so, I feel kind of dumb saying this, but the internet has helped me so much. My friends basically live in here, since most of my friendships are long distance. I also use it for school, to expand my knowledge, and just to let my feelings out. I could probably live without it, so that's why it's at the bottom of this list. But still.
So there ya go. The 5 things I couldn't live without. Guess you could say it's me in a nutshell.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Last Summer {Day 6: A Moment You Wish You Could Relive}

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Last Summer {Day 6: A Moment You Wish You Could Relive}
There are so many moments I wish I could relive. The day I accepted Jesus as my savior, for example. (I was three so I don't remember much about it.) Or the days where my family and I went on a vacation. Or when I held each of my younger siblings for the first time. Like I said, there are so many. But for some reason, today I've been feeling particularly nostalgic. The reason for my nostalgia?

Last summer.

I don't really know what exactly about it I wish I could relive. Last summer isn't really a moment - it's a mix of a million different ones. But that's why I love it. It was when I felt alive and free. (I still do, of course, just not in the same way.) It's when I could run around barefoot in a shorts and a t-shirt, feeling fresh air on my face. Currently, in February, if I ran around barefoot people would think I was crazy and I'd freeze to death. :P
[This picture is ironic since I've never been to the beach. But it makes me think of summer anyway.]

For me, music marks certain points in my life. And for me, last summer could be perfectly described by Stellar Kart's Everything Is Different Now album. I bought it in March for $5, after my friend Ashley said she bought it ... and loved it. Since Ash and I have very similar music tastes, I bought it... and I loved it. 

For some reason, when I listen to that album now, I'm transported back to summer. I hardly listen to that album anymore, but today my mp3 player was on shuffle and it played three SK songs back-to-back. (That's not shuffling, but that's okay.) I was thinking about what to post on my blog for today, as I was listening to music, and for some reason those two things collided, to bring you this post: a post about summer.

Last summer.

The weather was pleasantly warm. The sky was uncannily blue. I was wearing flip flops and shorts. I remember going shopping and then sitting outside on the grass to wait for my mom to pick us up. I remember going to the mountains to spend time with my dear aunt and her family. I remember the last lunch we had with the girls on my mom's side of the family before my grandma left for Arizona. I remember buying my second Relient K album, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right But Three Do, which is another that personifies last summer for me. This song came up on my shuffle too, reminding me of summer.

Summer is coming soon. It's not going to be the same as last summer, but maybe I will get to relive last summer after all. In a whole new way, creating new memories, buying new albums. Living last summer all over again. 

In Christ Alone

Monday, February 14, 2011 2
In Christ Alone
I put a widget on my sidebar yesterday containing Owl City's In Christ Alone, so that whoever comes to my blog will be able to press play and hear words of hope as they read the words I've written. But I didn't realize it would impact me.

It's been a harder day. I mean, to be honest, I was crying a few minutes ago. Why? Because my laptop is currently unusable.

Yeah. It's kind of dumb, but you have to understand where I'm coming from. My dad is disabled, and I have chronic pain, so the result is that we stay home a lot. Like, all the time. So my computer is my only window to the outside world.

Now, I have other computers to use. But in the midst of everything, that didn't seem to comfort me.

Until I logged onto my mom's computer, went to my blog, and pressed play.

Those words brought everything back to perspective. In CHRIST alone, my hope is found.

Not in a computer. Not in things. Not in my followers.


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

He'll Pick You Up {Day 5: A Favorite Quote}

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He'll Pick You Up {Day 5: A Favorite Quote}
I am the kind of girl who loves quotes. I even have a whole page dedicated to them on my blog. So you can imagine that it was super hard to figure out which one to feature in this post. But after I thought about it, there was one quote that has really inspired me and reminded me about the one gift I have that I treasure above anything else: Grace.
“Each time you fall He’ll pick you up. He knows your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection.” – C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"We Are Robin Hood!" {Day 4: A Favorite Show}

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"We Are Robin Hood!" {Day 4: A Favorite Show}
L-R: Much, Little John, Robin, Allan, Djaq, Will
It's probably kind of obvious to everyone what this post is going to end up being about - especially since I've already written about it, one of my many fandoms. But will I let that stop me?

A clue: no.

Robin Hood

This is probably all my Pip's fault. She's a diehard Robin Hood fanatic, and when the BBC show came out on Netflix, she just HAD to watch it. And since we talk about our latest fandoms quite a lot, I ended up hearing ALL about this mysterious show called Robin Hood.

By the time I actually got around to watching it for myself, I already knew all of the characters by name, and a lot of the plot twists. So I was already a Hoodie - I just didn't know it yet.

To quote my previous post about this amazing show -

Nevertheless, for one reason or another, it was still took a couple months before I watched the first episode on July 27th, 2009 (I remember the date because that's when Pip & Ebee came to visit). Sadly, Ebee's computer shut down three-quarters of the way through, and we didn't get to watch the end. (Talk about a cliffhanger.)

Believe it or not, it wasn't until a year later that I finally got the urge to watch the first episode again. And after that, there was no going back. I was hooded... er, hooked. I got my brother into it as well, and together we spent the summer watching Seasons 1 & 2 (my personal favorites). Season 3 is something I prefer to block out of my memory, but 6 months and two fanfics later, I am still a Hoodie.

I enjoy the show because it satisfies my inner fantasy geek in bite-sized portions, yet is much longer and more interesting than a movie. Clear as mud? I thought so.
(source: www.robinhood2006.com)

There are so many more reasons why I love this show. I've always loved medievalish type stories, and this was no exception. And since I'm a history geek, this show appealed to me even more (it's not really historically correct, but I think it's an interesting blend of modern and ye good olde Robin Hood days). The characters are so endearing too. I love Allan A Dale's roguish personality, Will's quiet and sweet demeanor, Marian's bravery, Much's humor, Little John's strength, Djaq's ability to fight, and Robin's courageous effort to save his town from an Evil Sheriff. Carter is also my favorite side-character ever, and the villains of the show are positively evil. The plots are equally packed with action and romance, and while the BBC writers dive bombed with season 3, that kind of grew on me too. I also LOVE Marian's outfits... <3

As of today, I love sharing my love of Robin Hood to other people. I told my dear friend Wren about it, who in turn introduced the show to her best friend. In addition, my good friend Hannah Grace has been watching them as well, partly due to the influence of Pip & Ebee, who also got their friend, Fin, started on it. It was also a pleasant surprise to find out that my long-time blogging friend Lia was a Hoodie too. The love of Robin Hood goes far and wide, especially when I'm around.

...Have I converted you too?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Deeper Magic {Day 3: A Favorite Book}

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Deeper Magic {Day 3: A Favorite Book}
I don't read as much as I used to, but I say once a bookworm, always a bookworm. Being the bookworm that I am, I've read a TON of books, and as I was trying to figure out what book to write about today, I realized that there are few books that really truly impact me. There are good books that I read that I will remember as being good. But as I think back over them, nothing really sticks out in my mind about them. Don't get me wrong, there are books that I loved while I was reading them, but none of them have really stuck with me as something I need to read over and over again. I realized that's because they have high standards to look up to.

The Chronicles of Narnia.

I was very young when I first entered the magical land of Narnia. My dad had a habit of reading to me before we would go to bed - we would read chapter books, and take the time to read a chapter each night. We read the majority of the American Girl books, the whole Little House on the Prairie series, and The Hobbit. Then one day my dad pulled out a different book. One about four children and a wardrobe. I entered the magical world with Lucy and have never looked back since.

After that, it took me quite a while to realize that there were more books to the series. I always wondered at the cryptic ending of the series, "and that was only the beginning of their adventures in Narnia." I had no clue that there was more to the series - 7 books to be exact. But one day when I was poking around in the basement, I found the books. THE books. The books that, once I read them, added to the way I saw life, adventures, and my Savior. 

I was about six or seven at the time, and I devoured the books, then promptly passed them on to my grandmother. We both loved them. Two years later, the first Narnia movie came out. I. Was. Ecstatic. As a true and devoted Narnia fan, I went to the theater with high hopes, and was not disappointed. I remember walking out of the theater, feeling totally enthralled and still wrapped up in the magic of the movie. I imagined I was Lucy as I walked out of the theater and all through the day, even going so far as to make a wardrobe out of a giant cardboard box that we got with our new water heater. It was as tall as I was, and we made a little door in the back so that we could imagine walking into Narnia. That box holds many fond memories for me, and I remember dressing up in a plaid skirt and knee socks to add to the effect. My siblings had so much fun in that box. It was almost like a whole world of its own.

 All three of the movies have gotten my seal of approval, but the books will always, always have a special place in my heart. Because of Narnia, the love of Jesus and his excruciating yet beautiful sacrifice have become all the more clear to me. Because of Narnia and the writings of one amazing man named C.S. Lewis, I have been impacted forever. And because of Narnia, I have been inspired to write my own fantasy novels and live my own great adventure - the one called life.

This is literally a tunnel of books. I want one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Edward. Don't lick Max." {Day 2: A Favorite Movie}

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"Edward. Don't lick Max." {Day 2: A Favorite Movie}
Hmm. A favorite movie.

Well, I could do the obvious... Narnia. Or I could do Lord of the Rings. Or National Treasure.

But no. Today I chose a movie that endeared itself to my heart faster than you can say "pig nose."

One of my favorite movie posters ever.


It was a Saturday night. Mom and I were looking for something to watch. My dearest mother was looking through our Netflix instant queue, and the next thing I heard was, "Have you ever heard of Penelope?"

I had, and I have to admit - I was skeptical. I mean, seriously. A girl with a pig nose? An ancient curse? How weird could it get? But Mom and I prayed and both felt at peace about it - especially since my Pip and Ash had both liked it.

Once we hit play, I was immediately enthralled. All my skepticism melted away after about 15 minutes. In its place was a familiar charm that often hits me when I watch fairy tales. I hadn't had that happen to me in a very, very long time, and it hasn't happened since.

"I laughed, I cried... It moved me, Bob."

I was surprised. I was charmed. I laughed like I'd never laughed in my whole life (partly due to the fact that it was late and I was loony, but hey.) And I fell in love with Max, Penelope, Edward, Lemon, and all the wacky characters that make up this film. A lot of them were familiar actors to me - i.e. Simon Woods from Pride & Prejudice (2005), Peter Dinklage from Prince Caspian, Catherine O'Hara from Home Alone, Richard E. Grant from Jack and Sarah (a movie I do not recommend), and James McAvoy from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (my personal favorite).

The plot was amazing, with a few surprises along the way. The humor was...hilarious. And the characters were endearing. What more could I ask for?

[P.S. - The fact that James McAvoy is amazing in this movie helps a lot too. Just saying.]

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Better Late Than Never {Day 1: A Favorite Song}

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Better Late Than Never {Day 1: A Favorite Song}
This post has been floating around in my brain for a while now, but because I'm a procrastinator, and procrastinators procrastinate, I just decided to join the blog challenge that Bleah Briann, Charity and Anna are doing... 9 days late.

I can't promise I'll keep up - but if I do forget to post a day or two, I'll just post the next day. I'll finish it eventually, even if it takes me 60 days instead of 28. Which, I guess, does defeat the purpose of a 'challenge'... but I'm going to be different. ;)

The challenge goes as follows:

Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: A person you admire.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: Hopes, Dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days

So, without further ado...

{A Favorite Song}

Oh my word. Being the music lover that I am, this is going to be pretty much impossible. I love Be My Escape by Relient K; Letters by Stellar Kart, and pretty much every Owl City song (especially In Christ Alone!!)

But I decided this song is going to be my anthem for the year.
(My favorite parts of the song are quoted below.)

Grace - U2

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that, changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
When she goes to work, you can hear the strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings...
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace finds beauty in everything
-Grace, by U2
{source - *clairity* on Flickr}

I can't even begin to describe how much this song means to me. But that's the beauty of music. So I'll let the song speak for itself. 

{Grace finds beauty in everything.}

Edit: This is my 100th post!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Writing Journey

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The Writing Journey

I know a lot of people who have asked the question, "How does someone write?"

Well, honestly, I've never asked the question myself, because writing has been in my blood for ever since I can remember. Now, I've had so many instances of writer's block I can't even count them - and just because someone can write, doesn't make writing easy. But by the same token, just because you think you can't write, doesn't make writing hard.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bikes, Fear, and Closets

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Bikes, Fear, and Closets
My post about the history of my blog inspired me to go back and read some of my old blog posts. I found this one - from when I had JUST started blogging. It's amazing how much these words still ring true! And I find it ironic how something I wrote back when I was 10 could impact me now, nearly 5 years later. Amazing, isn't it?
(This is completely unedited. :P)

Hi everyone! I’m fresh back from the park! What in the world was I doing there?

 I was practicing riding my bike! I bet your thinking, Kylie, you should be able to ride a bike by now…but, I can’t. When I was little, I went to a park to practice. I was doing fine…until I came to a fork in the path. One was a little hill down…and the other was another mountain up (Okay, it wasn’t a mountain, but, I was little! What do you expect?). Guess which one I chose.   I chose the mountain! Down I fell, and I got a big goosebump right on my forehead.

    Well, after that, I was terrified of bikes. I tried to ride, and I would freak out, and I didn’t learn how to ride. So here I am, still learning, and I regret my fear.

    That’s a sort of a metaphor, you know. Fear is a kind of wall, maybe even a prison that keeps us from doing what we want to do. Later,  we regret our fear, but the next time it attacks us, the wall seems just too big to get through.

    Well guess what? Jesus is bigger than our fear, and he can take care of it. He’s always there, and he’ll never leave.

    So the next time you find yourself jumping in a closet when your friend suggests you ride a bike or watch a scary movie, remember what I said, and maybe ask Jesus to help you. He doesn’t want you to be afraid; he wants you to trust him.

    Well, I guess I’d better get to practicing my bike riding! See ya!
I never did learn to ride a bike, because of my frequent headaches. However, this still really applies to my situations in everyday life. As long as we remember that perfect love casts out fear, we have nothing to hide from. I guess I should probably come out of the closet now.