Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Year in Pictures

These aren't necessarily my favorite pictures that I've taken, it's more of an overview of where I was and what I did in the past year. A highlights reel, if you will.



(A surprising lack of photos here)

Things I forgot about: This picture.
(My favorite month)







Friday, December 27, 2013

Rewind, Be Kind

A photo that could probably describe many people's year.
The year is nearly over, and boy howdy how little I have blogged. I always take pride in this thing, and yet I neglect it so much. It's okay though, the blog's inanimate and doesn't really care what I do with it, so I don't feel too bad.

But this year, important things happened. And I don't just mean like, cool things, I mean, life-changing, eye-opening, world-flipping, wonderful and terrible things happened.

I won't put these in particular order, but the things that come to my head first are going to go first.

My sweet little niece was born in January, as you may remember from this post. She's healthy, getting bigger every day, and babbling like she's got something to tell you. She's also lifting herself up and crawling around, so any day now I'm ready for her to walk over to me!

Caleb was fantastic and proposed this summer in the most perfect-for-me way. Now we're planning a wedding set for summer.

I worked two different sports-related jobs and thus decided that becoming a sports media relations person perhaps was not the dream I wanted to follow like I had previously thought. My jobs offered a lot of experience though, and I liked them.

A friend died at a very young age. It hit hard for a lot of people, including me, my roommates, and Caleb. He was a good kid, and even in death it seems as if he is still touching lives.

I perfected my banana bread recipe. (Don't tell me this isn't life-changing. It's my specialty.)

We had a snow and ice storm that kept us stuck in the house for nearly a week. So much roommate bonding happened. It was good.

I made new friends and got to know current friends even better, which has also made me so much more happy this year than ever before.

Many friends got married this year, some of which allowed me the honor of being a part of their ceremonies.

I got my first fancy camera, and now I can take some decent pictures that are sharp and good quality. Heading on my way to grow my hopes of becoming a photographer.

And that about sums up everything I can remember. If you're lucky and I'm really diligent, I may post a photo year in review in the days to come.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Twas the Fifth Snowed-In Snow Day

 Twas the fifth snowed-in snow day, and all through the BTB House
Three creatures were stirring, and maybe a mouse.
The tree had been set up by the drafty old door
And that was the first day, to be followed by more.

The females were nestled in a row on the couch
And watched tons of movies, while stuck in a slouch.
Kelsy in her pajamas, and Hannah in her pajamas, and Tam in her pajamas,
Were all settled in wishing they were in the Bahamas.

When out in the yard arose such a loud noise,
We jumped on the futon and spied some young boys.
They had ruined the snow on our near-perfect lawn
So we decided to give up, and turned with a yawn.

In betwixt every movie, the girls would all stop
And remember the things that they once had forgot.
"Be productive! Do homework! Clean the house! Put on clothes!"
They'd say o'er and o'er, but forgot again, I suppose.

The second snow day came, and the girls all arose
To see that the snow would have frozen their toes.
So they hunkered back down on the couch, so quiet and comfy
To snapchat each other, with faces so frumpy

On the third snow day, the girls woke up sour,
And one did not get out of her bed til the 6 o'clock hour.
She read and she read til her eyes started crossing,
And the other two girls just ate cookies with no frosting.

On the fourth snow day, the girls ventured outside
To attend a church service and pimp their sweet ride
They received free food and had some good giggles
And went back to home to get rid of the wiggles.

The fifth snow day was met with a groan
As the girls began homework, each on their own
But that didn't last, as they grew more distracted,
They blew up social media like some little frat kid.

Alas, they know these days will not last,
When they can procrastinate and be distracted so fast
For finals approach, and break cometh soon,
The girls must begin waking up before noon.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lessons Learned From...The Catching Fire Movie

If you haven't seen the new Hunger Games movie, don't worry, I don't thiiiink I'm going to spoil it for you...especially if you read the books. In which case, don't complain--you already know what's going to happen.

This is my attempt at trying to blog more frequently, so I'm going to try to do a "Lessons Learned From..." series. We'll see how it goes.

First up is Catching Fire. Oh my. Here are the lessons I learned from it:

1.  Tearing up comes naturally when Jennifer Lawrence is onscreen being emotionally distressed.

2.  Wearing a mockingjay necklace to the movie is totally cool.

2b.  Until you walk out after the movie and a line of people is there staring at you as you leave.

3.  Peeta is, and always will be, the obvious choice. At least to me. (He bakes, he's caring. Only problem=he keeps almost dying, but, I mean, everyone has their flaws.)

4.  Stories are almost (almost) always better when characters tragically die. It pulls you in.

5.  The word "catnip" will never sound cool, no matter how many times Liam Hemsworth says it.

6.  Even shallow people have deep feelings. *Oh, Effie*

7.  Sometimes making friends comes easiest when you don't really want to make friends.

8.  Keep people that are close to you in the loop.

9.  Keeping people close to you doesn't always mean they won't get hurt.

10.  There is always a bigger picture. Your plan is only a tiny part of that bigger picture, and sometimes, it's not even in the bigger picture. It's like, your plan is right outside the force field that is the bigger picture, and you don't know about it until you shoot a kink in it and a plane comes down in the hole you shot in the bigger picture and takes you away and you wake up and then someone tells you the bigger picture.

Phew...did that one make sense?

Cool promo from interwebs

Also, Catching Fire is just a really good movie. Go see it while you have the chance!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Well, would you look at that? It's Thanksgiving. That means it's only, what, like three weeks away from Christmas break beginning? For that, I am thankful.

Speaking of thankful, why don't I tell you some other things I am thankful for this year?

First, of course, I've gotta be thankful for my Caleb. He's great, he's thoughtful, he's clever, he's more than I could ever deserve.
Also, he is pretty.
Then, also of course, I'm thankful for my sweet niece. She's our family's miracle baby and has grown quite large over the almost-first-year of her life.

On to less mushy things now.

I am thankful for:
  • the college church group I get to be a part of
  • finally having a smart phone
  • my photojournalism class
  •  learning how to make banana pudding (tonight!)
  • my own puppy and my parents' puppy being great cuddle buddies
  • my grandparents having a stock of (now-vintage) clothes that I fit into
  • friends who actually enjoy thrift shopping with me
  • almost being done with college
  • flannel
  • the ability to read
  • snapchat (honestly never thought I'd say that, but it keeps me in contact with friends in a hilarious way
  • Doctor Who and the countless hours Caleb and I have spent watching it
  • a billion other things, like trees, and lakes, and paper, and skype, and the list could go on and on

RFC fall retreat

3 years together!

Books books books
I'm just glad to be here, I guess. I'm glad I'm where I am, even if I'm sometimes sad while I'm there. It's a nice life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dating Isn't Disney

Guys, I can tell you right now that this post is so not Raven.

There is an epidemic that has swept the female nation, and it's nothing new. Girls think that they are entitled to...get this...a Disney movie relationship.

Which is funny, because the last time I checked, nearly every Disney movie involved the guy lying to the girl, or having anger issues, or being super shallow...but I digress. That's not my point.

I recently saw a post on Pinterest about Disney first dates -- Aladdin took Jasmine on a magic carpet ride, some princesses got to dance outdoors or at a ball, Ariel and Eric and Eugene and Rapunzel went on a boat ride -- and then at the bottom of the photo set, there was a picture of a repulsed girl and a boy in a movie theater with the caption "Get creative guys the standards are high."

This is funny, don't get me wrong. But the problem is that I really think girls feel this way. Girls really think that relationships should be like the movies. The guy should always be the one changing for the girl, the guy should be the one who is in the wrong and the girl will always be right, or the guy should always save the girl from the messes she gets in to.

I've got a surprise for y'all...that's wrong!

A relationship is a two-way street. The girl doesn't get to stay stuck in her ways and make the guy change. It has to be a give-and-take. Thinking that you are fine the way you are doesn't mean that you're correct. It means you probably have that plank in your eye. A relationship sometimes seems to be all about change -- changing to meet each other's needs, to help each other grow, to keep each other from temptations.

Relationships are about realizing that you aren't always right, even if you are older/more mature/smarter/or whatever other excuse you have. The point of a relationship isn't to be right all the time, it's about putting someone else's needs before your own. Let's pretend you are arguing about whose turn it is to buy dinner. (A lame example, but it's the best I can think of right now.) He says it's her turn and she says it's his. The relationship shouldn't be about trying to back track and see who bought the last meal. It should be about going ahead and saying you'll get the meal, even if you are 110% positive you got it last time too.

And finally, perhaps most relative to the post to which I earlier referred, who ever said that guys had to be the romantic and creative ones in the relationship? Who and what even defines romantic or creative in terms of dates for you? If your answer is "Disney" or "movies" you ought to rethink your individuality. YOU are the only person who should tell you what romantic is, and what creative is. Not some corporation that caters to the desires of young females who believe that happiness is finding a prince to woo you with his looks.

My first date with my now-fiance began at Arby's and ended at a movie theater. And yeah, maybe that isn't "creative" like going on a magic carpet ride or being woken up by a kiss because I was poisoned by an apple. But he asked me where I wanted to go, and that's where I told him I wanted to go (much to his surprise.) And at that point, as it was only our first date, he did not know what kind of activities I liked, but he knew that I thought movies were okay, and he took me to the movies.

Do you know what? I thought it was romantic and creative enough. Because dangit, there was a guy willing to dish out some money so that I could have a nice night. Later dates got more creative and romantic, of course, because he learned what I liked and didn't like. That doesn't happen on a first date, ladies.

So, just remember, romantic only means what you think it means. Not what Disney and other movies tell you it means.

Let's play a game called "Let's be honest" real quick.
Let's be honest...
   if you woke up to a guy kissing you that you didn't know...would you really be cool with that?
   if a guy that you didn't know very well took you into the woods so that you could dance...would that not freak you out at first?
   if a guy lied to you for a long time and then took you flying at like 80 miles an hour with no you really think you'd be able to sing a romantic song during it, and would you not be like, gagging from lack of oxygen?
   if a guy locked you up and told you you could only eat when he ate and you couldn't see your dad ever again, do you really think you'd be like, oh, he gave me a sparkly dress, I'll fall in love with him?
   if a guy took time out of his day and money out of his bank to take you to a movie that, most likely, you wanted to see, would you not be happy?

Please excuse the rant-ish sentiments here, but I feel that this is something many young ladies need to hear.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Surprise! Engagement. (Well, a month ago)

Well, my dear few readers, I think I have neglected to tell you something pretty important.

I'm engaged.

Is that not crazy? Most of you probably already know this, as it happened over a month ago, but I thought I'd give it a bloggy whirl anyway.

So there we were, just on a normal day date. Mr. Caleb suggested we go shopping and that he buy me a new outfit. How could I refuse that? He found me a dazzler, a white dress with blue and green flowers on it. He even got himself a new shirt, and we were going to put them on for the second half of the date.

After the shopping, we went to our favorite arcade and goofed off for an hour before he dropped me off at my house to get ready. I put on my fancy new dress and some makeup (in case we took any pictures, I wanted to pop, of course.)

He picked me up and we ate at Colton's, where I got treated to some fantastic sirloin. While we dined, however, Caleb's friend called. That should have been the red flag. His friend apparently said that he wanted Caleb to hang out later that week. In reality, he told Caleb the original location for his proposal was unavailable due to a concert.

So Caleb told me that we were early for the last part of the date, so why not go to Walmart and print out some pictures from our adventure the day before? (See below)

The friend called again, this time apparently saying he needed Caleb to bring ice cream. In reality, telling him he had secured a different park for his proposal.

We were supposedly still early for the last part of the date, so Caleb thought he'd take me to Wilson Park, AKA Fairy Park, where there is a castle and pretty trees. Whenever we got there, though, I started feeling nervous and reaaaally needed to use the bathroom. I hopped out of his truck and asked him if it'd be cool if I just went right through the bushes to where I knew the bathrooms were. He kinda flinched and told me to sit at a picnic table.

I complied with a sloshy bladder.

He came and sat next to me with the pictures we had printed and said that he thought we would just look at them.

His hands were about as shaky as this fish:
At one point, he just shoved them over to me and said, "Here you read this!" and I saw that there were notes at the back of the pictures. They read that Caleb and I always had great times together, by random occurrence most of the time. The next notes said,

"Will you"
"Please look up. I'm trying to propose here!"
I looked over and there he was, on one knee, asking me to marry him. Of course I was crying and of course I said yes.

And of course Caleb was magnificent and had his friend's wife (who is also my friend/former roommate) hiding - in those pesky bushes that I wasn't allowed to go through to get to the bathrooms, I might add - and taking pictures of it all.

He's a keeper.