03 July 2013

Promote Your Blog: Day 3 of #31dbbb

Day 3's assignment is to "promote your blog." Promoting my blog is something I see as based on opportunity...I can't just be like "OK! I'ma promote a post today!" It has to happen naturally. Like if someone posts something incredibly similar to a thing I just wrote, I might link them over. Also, I comment on other blogs a lot, in the hopes that people might click over to me.

All that to say, there isn't really a specific post I can write to meet today's assignment.


My organization tendencies demand that I have a post for every day so when people click the label "#31dbbb," they will see 31 posts in numerical order.


I can only assume that other bloggers participating in #31dbbb have had a similar problem. (That is, the problem of not being able to promote themselves in one day. Probably not everyone is as bothered by organization as I am, so not having a post today may or may not be a problem.) So, in order to solve the organization problem for me and the promotion problem for them, I intend to dedicate today's post to promoting the blogs of others!! YAY! (Disclaimer: These are in the order of the alphabet, not favoritism. Tried to do favorites, but I really can't choose!)

First and foremost, Becky Lewis. This incredible woman has spent the last year traveling all over the world to preach the gospel. Her love for The Lord and heart for ministry are written between the lines of every word on this blog. Her stories are phenomenally beautiful and inspiring. I'd encourage you to go start at the beginning and read it like a book. It's worth it.

From Novels to Board Books gets me laughing every time. I thoroughly enjoy every funny anecdote and beautiful story. I especially love that she's a reader like me! She posts about books all the time, and I love it. Can't get enough. The first time I visited her page, I spent like 20 minutes looking at all the books in the header photo, trying to figure out which ones I'd read. (Most of them.) Clearly, we are soul-mates and meant to be BFFs.

I cannot get over the title "I Still Hate Pickles." Never fails to make me smile. Her witty style and wonderful voice make all of her posts, whether funny or serious, thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, she's even commented on some of my posts which totally made my day! By the way, Kirstin, if you happen to be reading this, what is the inspiration for that title anyway? You just have always hated pickles? Or is there a story behind that?

Ice Scream Mama is just all around hilarious. My favorite post by her also happens to, in my opinion, explain her personality better than any other. At least it explains her personality the way I see it. (Go check it out! It's so fun.) Have y'all ever watched Bunheads? Y'know Boo (my favorite character)? Y'know her mom (my second favorite character)? This woman reminds me SO MUCH of her! Just the way she thinks and the way she writes...so fun.

Where do I even start talking about Life With Greyson + Parker? Her writing about her kids with "super powers" is fascinating to me. I think her strongest point is her photography, though the writing is excellent as well. The beautiful pictures and stories have made m fall in love with her two wonderful children. God Bless her and her wonderful family.

You have probably all heard of Momastery, since she's like one of the most famous bloggers ever. She even has a book. And she tours. But I like her, so I'm giving her a shout-out anyway. Her funny posts get me laughing out loud, and the serious ones get me thinking hard, whether or not I agree with them. I agree about half of the time...and that's part of what I like about her! We differ on some things, we agree on others, so either way, it'll get me thinking. That's what I enjoy about her blog.

Last but most certainly NOT least, Victoria Elizabeth Barnes. Her obsession with CraigsList and her tendency to buy junk she doesn't need is thoroughly relate-able as well has hilariously amusing. I am in the process of going through the archives to read her entire blog. That's how much I love it. And y'all, that's true love.

Thank you for your time, and remember to promote your own blog or someone else's today!

02 July 2013

List Post: Day 2 of #31dbbb

Today is July second, day 2 of "31 Days to Build a Better Blog." It's also Tuesday, meaning it's time to write for Yeah Write's 116th weekly challenge grid. This is my two-birds-with-one-stone post. You can find details for both by clicking the badges below. Day 2's assignment is to write a list post, so here's mine!

[insert number here] Reasons I Hate Writing Lists:

1. You have to pick a catchy number, like 10, 15, 101, 21, 33, or something like that. What if I think of one more, or one less?? As you can see above, I abandoned all pretenses and didn't even tell you how many. Heck yeah. I went there. Leaving you in wonderment. You have no idea how many things are on here! This could be the only one. Or there could just be some boring number like 4. Or maybe there are a LOT. Like eternal amounts. Maybe this is the list that never ends. MAYBE YOU'LL BE IN FRONT OF THIS SCREEN FO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

B) They force you to stay on one topic. I don't like that! I stick to one topic in essays and speeches. This is where I go to write! No pressure, no rules, just whatever comes out. I don't wanna commit. I like to ramble. Why shouldn't I chase rabbit trails? Bunnies are cute! They have long ears and their fur is super soft. Sometimes they make difficult pets, though. So that's sad. Also, sometimes they don't get along with dogs. Plus, dogs are cute. Especially puppies. And especially golden retrievers. Friendly. Dogs. Up. SQUIRREL. I can't handle it. Too much pressure. Speaking of pressure....

III: Picking a topic is SOOOO HARD. It's too much pressure. I cant do it. That's why I picked a non topic. I got so frustrated trying to pick one that I just gave up on life and decided to write about why this is not. My. Thing.

Pi-- Yeah, rhymes! That complicates things. Some people rhyme their lists. Y'know, that's fine. I respect that. But could you not do it at me?? Thanks.

4 and one quarter... The instructions said to "leave a lot of white space." Yeah, my blog is green. And requesting that is insensitive. Other backgrounds have feelings too, y'know.

Last => Lists are unnecessary. They just are. I am against them and do not wish to write another. But please, continue writing yours! They're great fun to read!!

What's that? I'm supposed to write them because they're fun to read? I don't understand that. What are your words? I don't see your point. You think it's selfish that I want to read them but am unwilling to write them? Well, I think your mom's selfish. So. Yeah.

Feel free to post feedback in comments below.(:

01 July 2013

It's Alright to be "Widdle-Biddy"

You may remember from my previous posts that I am a chronic babysitter. I love it. Fun-size candies called  "fun" for a reason, short books are often more fun than long ones, and little people are my favorite people! I have taken care of pretty much all ages of children, but it's not often that I watch baby babies (like under a year old). So most of the diapers I change are toddler size. So today, on my way to change that of a baby merely six weeks old, I was awed to find this....

I'm sorry, do you see how tiny that is?? SO! STINKIN'! CUTE! (See how I put my hand in the picture for size comparison?? And remember that I'm a skinny little teenage girl...that's one small hand.)

"Oh mah goodness! Da widdle-biddy diapers for da widdle-biddy booty dat makes the widdle-bitty poopsies!!!" (four-year-old big brother was greatly amused by this comment, even though he's gotta know by now that baby talk is my most favorite language ever.) 

I'm just saying, thats the cutest crap-catcher I have ever seen. Thought y'all might like to know.

What random objects have you found adorable today? And what silly comments have you made about them??

Elevator Pitch: Day 1 of #31dbbb

My favorite blogger thing I've ever done, Yeah Write, is hosting "31 Days to Better Your Blog" this July. In case you're like me and didn't know what day it was till your professor opened up the quiz due that day...let me fill you in: today is the first of July! Thus, it's day #1 of 31dbbb (which to me looks like it should be pronounced thirty-one-du-booh. Don't ask why). The day-one assignment is to write and elevator pitch: something you could say to a person on a elevator who has asked, but doesn't really care, what your blog is about. The idea is to make them care! I rejected my first few ideas upon remembering that it's supposed to make my blog sound good...yeah, not all possible descriptions would do that. So here's my pitch. If it sounds like a blog you'd enjoy, go ahead and subscribe! You'll probably like it! If it sounds like something you wouldn't be into, you're probably right.

My blog is essentially an edited journal. I start with the kind of thoughts that one would normally put in a journal; then I try to make them sound like good writing. I'd like to write a book someday, and the blog keeps my writing in good practice. (I am now cautiously trying to read your facial expression. If your eyes are glazed over, I'll change the subject. If you seem interested...)

My posts span a variety of topics, from my faith to my daily life to random things I've found amusing.  In the words of Albus Dumbledore, "There is almost nothing more interesting than almost anyone's life story." Not to brag, but I ain't just anyone! (Just kidding.) And this is my life story: the live-version. Slo-mo, writing it as it happens. I also write for contests and memes and such, so sometimes I find inspiration from the prompts of other writers rather than just what I've been up to. Sometimes I think those posts end up better because its a focus on my writing and my voice rather than just my experience. However, the fabric of the blog that defines it consists of the personal story telling who I am. My blog is my life as an open book. It's the easiest way to meet me without meeting me.

Also, I probably use WAY more italics and capital letters than I should. But I know you can HANDLE that!

If you have any feedback (other than too many italics and all-caps) comment below!

29 June 2013

What I'm Watching / Enjoying

Kirstin at I Still Hate Pickles shared some videos she and her kids have enjoyed, and asked what her readers have been watching. I just couldn't resist sharing this little gem:


While sharing this with my mom, I noticed another, similar gem in the sidebar. Indian Thriller. What...

I don't even know where to start.


I know; it's the greatest thing you've ever seen. No, don't thank me. It's no trouble. Really.

But actually, I took "what have you been watching?" to mean basically, "what have you been enjoying?" So now that I've listed videos, some memes I've been enjoying.

Well, that escalated quickly!



And things I've been reading:

Memorable quotes...

"I have a totally ill-advised fondness for anyone named Rocky."

"Is there any description [of a mirror] that could possibly be more appealing to me than something that looks like a KINGDOM?"

Memorable quotes...
"One friend suggested I post pictures but blur his face. Another advised me to wield the black bar, like the magazines do for the fashion nightmares they spot on the streets. Both would make him look like a criminal. (And that’s every mother’s worst fear.)"
"I use my cats’ names for some magazine subscriptions. Seamus (yes, that’s his real name) receives credit cards offers in the mail. And his offers are better mine."

Memorable quotes...
"I am ordering myself a peanut butter and cappuccino covered in chocolate crunchies. Neither my five or eight year-old want anything. Really?"
"'Mommy ran over a parking lot!'"

So that's what I've been watchin / enjoying. Hope you enjoyed it too.

28 June 2013

Five Minute Friday: In Between

I must be crazy, but I'm doing this. Writing for five minutes straight and posting the unedited version of whatever comes out.

You can find brief instructions and this week's prompt for the crazy thing I'm doing here. More detailed instructions are here or at the button at the bottom. Feel free to join the madness!


I haven't yet graduated high school, but I feel as if I'm already in between it and college. I'm taking college classes dual-credit, and I don't have much high school left for next year (my last year). Enjoying the in-between period can get hard sometimes...I find myself feeling anxious about what I'll face next year, anxious to finish up this four-year season of my life. I need to stop and smell the roses. They won't smell the same this time next year!!

I guess it makes it even harder that most of my friends are a year older. I feel ready to be where they're at. But I'm not. (Really, I'm not! I promise. I have to keep telling myself that...)

I am determined to enjoy this next year. It's the last year I'll have to enjoy the freedoms that come with dependence, before applying the restraints of responsibility. It's my last year as a minor. Probably my last year at home. And most likely less busy than I'll ever findmyself again. So I need to enjoy the in-between time, and stop stretching from season to season. Because the season I'm stretching for will never really arrive.


Wow, that went fast. Dang it, I was on a roll! OK, please excuse any spelling and grammar mistakes because I'm really not even glancing back up at that. It would be impossible for me to do so without totally re-writing the whole thing, and that would destroy the point. Be sure to check out this other five minute Friday, and please click the link below and write your own! Have fun!

Five Minute Friday

27 June 2013

The Tunnel, the Tate, and the Towel

I need to post something today, because I didn't yesterday. However, nothing of consequence has happened in my life....I'll just give you some tid-bits.

My carpal-tunnel has returned.This started a little over a year ago. I think it began due to a myriad of things... 1) I take school pretty seriously. Given the fact that I'm an English major, this means a LOT of writing. 2) I play keyboard for a worship band at my church. 3) For my foreign language, I chose ASL (American Sign Language). No lips, just hands. Work those fingers, gurl! 4) I work at a tutoring center, which mostly consists of grading papers. More writing. 5) I really enjoy typing on laptops / iPads in bed rather than at a desk in a chair with armrests.

Last year, it started around April but healed somewhat when I started wearing a brace and exercising it, and it basically went away when school ended. It came back a couple weeks before Christmas break and again before Summer, but I'd just resume the brace-wearing and wrist-exercising, and then the school break would do away with it. It went away when this summer began. Then, I started blogging.


But y'know,who cares? Not me! I can wear a brace, no problem! So I'mma keep blogging. Throwing caution to the wind!

In other news, The Catherine Tate show is the funniest thing ever. My personal favorite character:

Close second:

DISCLAIMER: This show is not kid-friendly. One character she plays drops the "F-bomb" incredibly often (I get the impression it's not quite as taboo across the pond), and some others will say crass lines here and there, usually unexpectedly.

Also, in case you didn't know, I love singing in the shower. Seriously. Just got out, and I feel way cleaner and refreshed than I would if I hadn't sang. Taylor Swift is usually my choice of tunes to belt out, although Ed Sheeran has recently made the list, and I occasionally feel like Luke Bryan or Florida Georgia Line.

The End.

25 June 2013

To Each His (her) Own

So I took Halle to the park again tonight, and had another interesting experience. After we finished our Chick-fil-A, she ran over to play on the tire swing with some other kids. Those kid's mom was sitting on a nearby bench, singing. Like, really. Singing. She was using that diaphragm and beltin' it out, y'all! I actually like her choice of songs...

...and I'll admit that she had a good voice. But dude, are you at a concert? I mean, I sing with my friends sometimes when we're goofing off all otgether, but she was just by herself and letting it out like she's alone in the shower. Weird. I didn't think too much of it, 'cause y'know, who am I to judge? To each his (or, in this case, her) own, right? Maybe she just likes singing. Maybe she's a professional singer and practicing for her next concert. Maybe She's Lambert herself, in disguise!!

Yeah, I was kinda judging. You would have, too. It was freakin' loud, even with her on the other side of the park.

A few minutes later, she began pushing her kids on the tire swing. She seemed nice, the way she interacted with them and stuff. As I eavesdropped on casually noticed some conversation with her children, I caught that the oldest was named Miranda. Miranda. As in Miranda Lambert. As in the singer. The singer who sings that song, the one she'd been singing. And apparently the only singer she likes, since she'd now moved on to singing Kerosene.

I have nothing against the name Miranda. It's fine. It's posh. But lady, did you really name your kid after your favorite singer and then take her to the park to perform said singer's entire discography?

To each his (her) own. I'm sure you're a lovely person.

I had to stop watching coincidentally observing the scene because Halle wanted to swing. I pushed her for a minute before she ran off to the slide, and I thought, "I can see her from here. I'll swing for a bit too." So I did. My view:

Loved these pics so much, I had to hop down and get some more. Windows into the world of children.

I wonder if people were judging me, as I balanced way up on the swing with my zebra striped iPod, trying to zoom in to see Halle across the park. Maybe even Miranda's mom was judging.

But that really doesn't matter.

To each his (her) own.

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I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills

I wrote this post because it was stuck in my head. I had no idea what it looked like until it came out of my fingers. Please don't mistake it for my testimony or some extreme trial I've gone through recently; it is merely a simple picture of the unnecessary journey so many of us go through before we find Christ's love, or even after we've found it and decided to stray.


I am running. Running, and running, and running. The intense kind of running. Faster than a sprint, but longer than a marathon. For years, I've been running. The ground I cover begins to look familiar, and I wonder if I've been here before.

I am running from myself. From everything I've ever done and ever will do that constantly separates me from joy. If I keep running, maybe I'll find it. Joy. Maybe I can outrun my past and find a whole new world. I think I'm strong enough to do it. But my actions keep chasing me, and they're gaining on me. I don't know what to do.

I'm drowning. Drowning in a sea of evil. Lies, hate, lust, envy...they consume me and begin to swallow me. I am about to die.

Someone, standing on the shore, is watching me. "HELP," I scream. She shakes her head sympathetically. She's been her before, but she can't help. She points to something I've never seen before.

All my life, I have been running in circles around a hill. I have never stopped to look to the top of the hill, at what's been there all along. This girl points her finger, and I look to the top of the hill.

I fling away the suffocating waters and desperately run up the hill. The climb is surprisingly easy; nothing compared to the run I've endured. At the top of the hill, at the foot of the cross, I find the best thing I possibly could have found. Open arms. I am rescued. I am treasured. I am loved.

I weep tears of exhaustion, then turn to tears of joy. I have found my home. I will never leave the foot of the cross.

I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121


24 June 2013

I Don't Believe in Quiet Time

One of the most, if not the most, popular cliche's among Christians is the concept of "quiet time." Quiet time can have a length of anywhere between 5 minutes and an hour or even longer. It's the time when you put away cell phones and social media, maybe even music (though some play Christian music), grab your Bible and highlighter, then get to reading and praying. Sounds great, right? Yes, it does! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the concept of quiet time. It's the practical application that sometimes gets us in trouble.

Do you know people who never stop talking about things they "read this morning in my quiet time" or "felt laid on my heart during my quiet time"? Do you ever wonder if they only have it so they can say stuff like that?? I do! I have gone through periods of my life where I don't have a regular quiet time. Actually, that's probably most of my life. I guess it would be more accurate to say I've gone through short periods of life when I did have a regular quiet time. These periods usually happen after a camp, Disciple-Now, or some other youth trip. Or they happen on January the first. Of course, I always know that "This time, it'll be different. This time, I really have changed. This time, I won't stop. I'll keep having quiet time. Every day. At X time of day. That's it. Forever." The thing is, that simply is not practical. Things com up. My motivation wears off. Once a day is a lot! And attaching a specific time makes it even more. If something comes up at that time, I feel like it's too late for that day. If this happens several days in a row, I feel like the entire effort has been wasted and it's too late to go back.

Am I the only one who feels this way? The thing is, I wish I didn't feel this way. I wish I could get motivated, commit, and wake up 15 minutes early every morning to spend some sweet time with Jesus. I want to be touched and amazed, to have one of those great quiet-time experiences that other people talk about. Maybe that would make me a Good Christian.

Wait a second...a "Good Christian"? That is not a thing. And thank God it's not! The entire basis of our Faith would crumble if it was. Romans 3:23 tell us, "All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God." All fall short. No one is a "Good Christian."

The other thing is, my expectations are rarely met. In the periods of life where I have woken early for sweet time with Jesus, the time isn't sweet. It's forced.There's too much pressure. Too much expectation for this to blow me away and disappointment when it doesn't. Do you know when I do have sweet time with Jesus? When I'm in my car on my way to class, and I see the sun peering through the rainclouds that continue to pour down over my windshield; I turn off my music, and say a prayer of thanks. When I read a sad story that moves me to tears, and I turn to my Lord who has protected me from the things I'm reading about. When I'm in the shower, and I seize the precious moments of solitude to tell Jesus, as a friend, about my troubles a trials as well as the things I'm thankful for and the reasons I'm head-over-heels in love with Him.

Of course, all of these things lack a very important quiet time ingredient: the Bible. And yes, that is a problem. It would be ideal to read the Bible every day. But that's not just a box to check every morning and then stop worrying about! My Bible is what I turn to when I feel led. I don't read it every single day, and that's a problem I need to fix. However, I don't think quiet-time is the fix. I think the fix is listening. When I pray in the car, through my tears, and as I shower, I need to listen to what my Savior says back to me. Then, I need to find my Bible as soon as possible and look for related words of wisdom. Find confirmation of His love and promises. Get to know gpbetter the God I'm speaking to.

Another good fix is a Bible study. It doesn't replace solitary study, which I think is the main point of quiet time, but it does do a lot for spiritual growth. Plus, I find more accountability in that. People ask why I didn't show up to that, while no one will ever know if I skip my quiet time.

I absolutely love this post, in which my dear friend Becky writes about her dates with Jesus. Have you ever heard that comparison, about treating Jesus like a significant other? I hear it quite a lot, and I really like it. Some point out that if your boyfriend whom you loved wrote you a love letter, you'd read it over and over, take notes, and memorize portions of it. Thus, they say, we should do the same with our Bibles, our love letter from God. I agree! But if we're sticking with that, we should remember that neither a boyfriend nor The Lord would require that we spend a certain amount of time each day reading and studying His letter. Neither would He require a certain amount of minutes at a certain time of day. God is not the overly attached girlfriend anxiously waiting by the phone waiting for our call. He is ready anytime we want to talk, and yes, he desperately wants to hear from us, because He's in love with us! In fact, He loves us too much to guilt us into time with Him. It is our decision. It will be infinitely healthier for us to spend as much time with Him as possible, because His love sustains us. But if we don't have quiet time every morning, He won't strike us with a lightning bolt or open up the earth to swallow us. He will simply wait patiently for us to coming running back into His open arms.

The thing is, there's nothing wrong with quiet time. The title isn't exactly true. If you don't know that I often exaggerate, you don't know me at all. Of course I believe in quiet time. I just don't believe in the strict necessity of that particular formula for quiet time. I don't believe in the label called "quiet time." I don't believe in the pang of guilt I used to feel when others mentioned the amazing revelations of their quiet time and I wondered why mine wasn't as fulfilling. If the formula works for you, great! If you like calling it "quiet time," no problem. But you should never feel that pang of guilt for not following that formula with that label. I don't feel that anymore because I have found fulfillment in my beautifully sporadic dates with Jesus. Spend time with The Lord because you want to, not because you think you have to.

PS, I don't believe in Carpe Diem either. When she talks about Kairos-- that's what I'm talking about! Kairos is my quiet time.