Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Make Your Fake Toms Really Muddy // Photo Journal

I've walked on a highway, I mean, with my actual feet on the actual road that the cars are supposed to go one, twice in my life.  The first time was in Texas, immediately after our car got in a fight with a bunch of other cars and made such a big mess that they had to block off all of the lanes.  Sure, our car was totaled and we were going to have to extend our vacation a few days, but I GOT TO WALK ON THE HIGHWAY!  My five year old self thought that it was pretty much the best thing ever, though.  

On Sunday, I got a chance to walk on the highway again under slightly less destructive circumstances.  An interstate near us has recently been redone, and they (I have no idea who "they" are.  The highway people?) opened it up for a couple hours for people to walk, bike, roller blade, and unicycle up and down it to their hearts' content.  By the way, it wasn't just one, um . . . unicycler?  Unicyclist?  Unicycling professional?  Apparently unicycling is becoming a mainstream skill and I need to brush up on my sense of balance and general coordination so that I can participate and be like the cool kids.  You heard it here first. 

After parking, we had to walk along the top of the highway to an on ramp to get in.  Isn't that a weird blurry sight, with all those people and no cars?  Jonah and I decided that 96 should permanently become a walking highway.

 If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these already.  In you don't, 1) rude! and 2) you have not seen these yet.  We're witty and so these had to happen.

We finally reached the on ramp, where I forced Jonah to be my personal photographer and take pictures of me walking.  I think I'm going to have to fire him, because I specifically told him to make me look pretty, and this is what I got.

Not pretty.  So, yeah.  He's looking for work, if anyone wants him.

So, anyway, my ex-photog and I made a beeline for the median as soon as we hit the cement.  I told him to "Do something cool," and so he did, obviously.

I then managed to climb up, in my dress, while still maintaining a little bit of modesty.  I mean, I wear bikinis in public so I guess this wasn't that bad.

We walked around and people watched / paparazzi'd the crowd.  You guys, I did not get a single unicycle picture and I don't know how that happened but I swear they were everywhere else!

The sky started to look like this (you're supposed to be noticing the dark clouds) and then it rained.  Don't worry, I had a rain jacket, but my camera didn't and so that put a damper (ha, ha) on the whole paparazzi - ing thing.

The weather was obviously very intense, because look at that little scooter boy trying to protect his face from the driving winds.

When we'd had enough of getting drilled in the face with cold rain drops, we escaped by running up the embankment, which was made out of vicious shoe-eating mud, and through a gate that someone had conveniently placed at the top.

On the way back to the car, we heard the high school marching band playing.  A huge crowd was gathered around, and band members sat on the median and entertained them. So fun!

And that, my friends, is the best and most efficient way to make your fake Toms really muddy. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

God First in Time Management // Big Rocks First

Hey, everyone!  Thanks for coming back!  If you're new to the party, what your eyeballs are observing right now is the third installment in a monthish-long series that Itunu from Beyoutiful Beauties and I have been working on together.  Each week, we've been writing posts on each of our blogs about how to keep God first in an area of our lives, writing on the same general topic but with different focuses.  It's been pretty cool so far, if it's okay for me to like my own Instagram here for a second.

This week's about putting God first in the way we spend our time, and I'm going to go all pastor on you and start this thing off with an illustration.  My mom has used it to explain time management to me a lot, and she's basically a management guru, so you're welcome.

Pretend that I gave you a mason jar, a bunch of sand, a few big rocks (but small enough to fit inside of the mason jar, duh) and some bouncy balls.  Let's say that the jar represents how much time you have and the objects represent the ways you use your time.  The rocks are the most important things;  for me, that would be God, the people in my life, and school.  The bouncy balls are the slightly less important things: my blog, my pets, sports, baking, reading - hobby-type things.  The sand is the little stuff that's kind of fun but doesn't have much redeeming value and isn't that important - it's the social media, the TV, the coloring of princess pictures.  There's nothing wrong with it, but it's definitely not necessary. 

I ask you to put everything into the jar.  You pour the sand in first, then add the bouncy balls.  By the time you start to add the big rocks to the jar, they don't fit!  You beg me for another try, and I graciously grant it.  This time, the big rocks go in first.  Next, you add the bouncy balls.  They fall into the gaps between the rocks, like they were always meant to fit there.  Finally, the sand fills in the cracks and runs out just before spilling over the brin. 

This, my mom says, is how life works.  When we put the big stuff first, everything else just falls into its intended place.  I would venture to guess that adding God to the "big rocks" category helps things to fall into place even better, because he's God and he's really good at that kind of stuff. 

I'm guessing that, if you've been walking with God for a while, a lot of what I've said so far isn't news to you.   You know that God needs to come first, and that he should be one of the big rocks in your life.  You might have even tried your hand at actually fitting the objects into the mason jar at some Jesus-related event or something.  For the most part, we know that God should be the first priority in our lives, but we don't know how. 

Be All Business

Besides the mason jar illustration, my mom/time management guru has lots of other brilliant stuff to say about how to use my time most efficiently.  One practice that she recommends time and again is to make appointments for everything you do, especially the hard stuff and especially the important stuff.  Well, spending time with God is both important and difficult.  I mean, on the one hand, we need and desire to our very core to be in a relationship with him; that much is a given because of how we're created.  On the other hand, though, being with God rubs against the grain of our sinful nature.  Time spent in the Bible and prayer often shows us that we're doing stuff wrong, and no one likes to be told that we're doing stuff wrong.  It's hard!

Therefore, add it to your schedule.  Plan our a specific block of time to spend with God and write it in your planner or type it into your phone or tell it to your personal assistant and then actually do it.  Hold your appointment to God like you would any other engagement - that means not planning other events for the same time or showing up late or leaving early.  A great relationship with God takes commitment, and this is a really good place to start! 

Expect to Be Uncomfortable

Our little illustration shows that everything we enjoy about life can fit into it if we put God first, but that doesn't mean that those activities won't have to fit in a different way.  For instance, you might have to give up prime working / running / TV watching hours in order to devote that time to being with God. (But, I mean, treadmills and Netflix, so nice try.)  Shifting how all the little pieces of your life fit together will surely cause discomfort - the bouncy balls aren't used to having to squeeze in between the rocks, and the sand won't like having to wait its turn to get involved.  They'll demand their old places back, in the bottom of the jar where your full attention is.  Ignore them!  You know what you're doing!  The big rocks stay at the bottom of the jar, without question. 

God has to be first, because he's what we as his followers build our lives on.  We know that, but knowing isn't enough - creating a strong relationship with him takes real commitment.  Get started strong by saying a quick prayer asking God to help you to put him first.  And after that, you best be whipping out your planner and scheduling the heck out of it with God-time. //

Next week will (most likely) be the last post in our God First series, so show up then and read some more about God being first!  Also, head over to Itunu's blog and check out what she had to say about keeping God first in the way we use our time, because she's smart and writes good words.  I hope this was helpful to you!

Have a great day!


Monday, September 22, 2014

I Take Pictures of Leaves // Picture Practice

I'm linking up with Just Beachy Blog today to share some of my favorite fall photos!  Check back later for a vlog  (whoop. whoop!) about all things blogging.  Also, if someone wants to clear some space on my dinosaur laptop while I'm at school so I can make that happen, that would be great.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Sometimes I Run // I Should Really Be a Fitness Blogger

One time, I tried to be fitness blogger for like a day.  As in, I created a whole new blog and dedicated it to all things health/fitness and NO I AM NOT GIVING YOU THE URL ITS EMBARASSING.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that it was literally a one-day stint.  I had this thought that if I was constantly blogging about kale chips and pilates and stuff, I would naturally want to eat kale chips, do pilates,  and otherwise lead an obsessively healthy lifestyle.  Well, just for the record, it doesn't work that way, nor is living a lifestyle that is obsessively anything in any way a good thing. The more you know.

A year or so later, I'm trying to make some healthy changes in a less drastic way ... but it's making me think that I may have missed my calling when I gave up that fitness blog in the first place.  I mean, I'm pretty good at this!  Example:

Exercise plan: 

 Run (almost) every day.  Except if they're showing iCarly reruns on TV that are only showing during the perfect window of time when temperature, humidity, and wind speed are ideal for running.  Or if you just ate a fudge chocolate chip brownie or few or a big meal.  Time your run only when you're feeling really confident or planning on running less than a mile so you can go fast the whole time.  That being said, if you've misjudged how fast you're feeling on a particular day, you can always blame your Map My Run app for not GPS tracking you correctly.  Like that time that you headed out for a fast mile run and ended up taking over eight minutes to do it?  Chalk that up to Map My Run.  You don't need that kind of negativity in your life - it'll only slow you down.

Also, don't forget to take LOTS of recovery time.  You're working really hard.

Nutrition plan: 

First of all, peanut butter.  Oh my gosh you guys, THE PEANUT BUTTER.  In copius amounts that would seem excessive if they hadn't been recommended to you by a healthcare proffessional (me) (jk please don't sue me).  I like to pair mine with a nice big spoon, because, hello, protein.
Speaking of which, make sure to drink a lot of "protein" shakes that actually taste like chocolate ice cream.   Peanut butter works well with these, too, incidentally.  Those things will power you through then intense cardio training that we alread talked about, plus they taste like ice cream. That's a win-win. 

So, fitness blogger, right?  Maybe I'll give it another shot.  Until then, enjoy your Friday and your whole entire weekend! 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ice Cream Hangover & Cold Showers // #CanWeNot

Hey you guys!  Today's the day - the #CanWeNot linkup is officially going live!  No longer do you have to sit back and let Nina and I have all the fun - you get to participate this week, too. That, and you get to meet a bunch of other bloggers who are ranting about their #canwenot moments, and who doesn't want to do that?  I think that last sentence was a logical fallacy, but if it gets you to try this link up than it's cool, right?  #CanWeNot is basically a great big girl talk minus the half-gallon of ice cream and spoons.  Come to think of it, maybe we need to find a way to incorporate half gallons of ice cream. Or just gallons. Yes?

Anyway, since you're going to be participating in #CanWeNot from now until death do us part, you're going to need to know how this works!

1.  Write a post including all of your #CanWeNot moments from the week.  (For examples of #CanWeNot moments, see below.)

2. Make sure to link back to Nina's #CanWeNot post for that day or mine so that you can connect with the rest of the link up. You can do that by simply adding a link that connects to one of our blogs in your post or grabbing this button to add.

3.  Add your link to the gadget at the end of this post to participate and let a bunch of other people read what you have to say.

4.Take a few minutes to read the other posts and meet some fellow bloggers - so fun!

Without further ado, my #CanWeNots for the week:

When my dog pooped on the floor of my room.  More accurately, he pooped on my clothes that were on my floor.  I don't know if you guys have ever woken up to the smell of dog poop, but I wouldn't recommend it.  I would recommend instead getting a nice crate with a humongous lock on it and locking your dog in it all night.  Watch out, Eddie.  #canwenot

Then there was the time that my shower at school didn't bother producing hot water until I was rinsing the conditioner out of my hair.  Only slightly worse than being being sweaty longer than necessary is attempting to get clean in a cold shower.   #canwenot

Also, there was the time that I lost my self control and ate way more spoonfuls of chocolate moose tracks straight out of the container than I should have WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS I promise I didn't eat the whole half gallon completely by myself.  But yeah anyway that one didn't really become a #canwenot until the next morning when I felt like I was going to die. Feeling like you're dying unnecessarily is definitely a #canwenot.

This morning, I tried to ice my knee on the way to school, because it hurt and I needed relief.  Actually, I succeeded in icing it.  The trouble started when I put the bag of ice in my gym bag with plans to throw it away once I got into the building.  And then the trouble worsened when I forgot about it.  When the ice decided to go and melt, getting my practice clothes and volleyball shoes soaked through, things were downright tragic.  So, I'm not sure if this #canwenot is to the ice for doing what it physically had to do or to myself for forgetting about it. Let's blame the ice.  #canwenot, ice?  Forreal. Gosh.

To this sock that is on my left foot and has a hole right where my big toe is, resulting in a very cold big toe that keeps slipping out through the hole and making me very uncomfortable.  Not to mention that my foot looks like a hobo foot.  #canwenot.

Speaking of uncomfortable, can we talk about that permanent wedgie I had during volleyball practice today?  Why do wedgies even need to happen, ever? #canwenot.

Losing, as in volleyball games.  I'm competitive, and so losing is not fun for me and I'd really prefer not to.  In addition, not making mistakes would be beyond fabulous.  #canwenot?

A couple days ago, I woke up to some really pretty, soothing music.  "Oh, that's nice! My phone decide to play lullabies to me at 5:00 AM!  I can definitely sleep to this!"  It wasn't until I woke up again, this time around 6:30, that I realized that that soothing music had been my alarm.  Also, that I had half an hour to shower and get ready for school. #canwenot.

How about those hand spasms? Like the one I had today that sent my smoothie cup and all its contents into a mess on the counter just as I had finished adding the last ingredient.  Is this something I should see a doctor about?  I would love to be able to make my smoothies on the first try.  #canwenot.

Does anyone else have extremely sensitive ears?  Like, when you go running and it's colder than sixty degrees and your ears are exposed they almost freeze off?  And if they don't freeze off they just hurt really, really badly? No?  Well, I have those, and if I could change one thing about my body . . . well, sorry ears.  But you'd be the first to go.  Since I'm probably never going to have that option, though . . . #canwenot?

And that's all she wrote. Literally.


P.S. What are your #canwenot moments from this week?

P.S. again:  My link up tool isn't working, so go link up with Nina! Go go go!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Campaigning #OrNaw // Homecoming Queen

Mid-September means that homecoming season is in full swing, and as a high school student, I am completely geeking out about it.  I mean, come on DRESSES AND FOOTBALL AND DECORATING HALLWAYS AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES?  Yes, please.  I might die of excitement, but it'll be worth it.

Homecoming week officially starts next Monday, but the school's already buzzing with rumors about the themes of the dress up days and who's going with who and what the girls' dresses look like. Student council is hammering out all the details, and today, the vote that determines the eight nominees for Homecoming court was held.  I did my civic duty and selected the eight guys and eight girls who I thought, in my expert opinion, deserved a shot at being a part of Homecoming court.  At the time, I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to make it and also that I didn't really care.  Um, you guys?  I MADE IT and I definitely did care.  Ask my heart (it tried to escape my rib cage while the names were being announced) and the sweat glands on my palms (they did some work.)  

Unfortunately, there were no paper bags available, but I definitely really really needed one!

So, I was nominated for possible Homecoming royalty along with a few of my closest friends, and that was really cool.  The funny thing is that when you get nominated for Homecoming court, your mind starts to do things to you.  Okay, maybe not you as in you.  You as in me.  I started to be really proud of myself, like to a point that was not at all good. It was all, "I can't believe I made it and she didn't.  I MUST BE THE BEST FREAKING PERSON ON THIS WHOLE ENTIRE PLANET!"  

Which I'm not, so that was not cool. 

Then, I started to plan out what I would say in the campaign video that the Homecoming court gets to make very year.  Each court member is interviewed, and one of the questions is something about why you think you should be homecoming king or queen.  I've got a couple ideas, so I thought that as long as I'm being an arrogant jerk I could run them by you.  Cool? 

1.  Humble:  "Oh, I don't really even care!  It's just been such an honor to be a part of this and I wish the very very veerrrrrry best to the rest of these girls, who are the three best human beings in the world, along with being beautiful, smart, pretty, funny, adventurous, industrious, and stylish.  I don't know what I would do without them." 

2.  I could try referencing a popular movie, "If I'm elected Homecoming queen, I'll do that Mean Girls thing where Cady breaks the crown into pieces and gives it to everyone" should work.

3.  Or, there's straight up honesty, "Well, the Homecoming king last year was really hot, and the Homecoming king from the previous year always crowns the new queen.  So, I was thinking that if I was queen and Mike crowned me, that could be a really great bonding moment for us and then we could fall in love and live happily ever after."  Except that might be taking it a liiiittle too far, maybe?

4.  Funny.  #OrNaw, because I am not a comedian.  Let's be honest. 

5.  Pull the my-mom-was-homecoming-queen-in-college card.  "It would just be so cool to continue the family legacy."  That has a nice ring to it.  

6.  If all else fails, I can just take a page straight out of the stereotypical beauty pageant book. "I just think that we need to end world hunger.  For the children!" 

In all seriousness though, I really did spend a lot of my shower time thinking about that and other Homecoming court related stuff.  I'm suddenly really interested in something that I thought I didn't care about twelve hours ago!  I've heard really awful stuff about girls fighting over Homecoming Queen stuff and torn apart friendships and feelings hurt, and I know that's not going to come from this group.  I'm also determined not to let the fact that I'm up for the highly prestigious role as Homecoming court member affect what I do.  I want to be able to just enjoy the whole thing without being fake or having any more arrogant, jerk-like thoughts.  

And then, if I do make it onto Homecoming court, I will refer back to this list for ideas.  Because, you know.  I have to say something.  


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

God First in Media // Start Thinking

This week, we're talking about how to put God first in the music we listen to, the music videos we watch, and the Pins we pin - we're talking media!  This one's a big issue, considering the fact that 1) entertainment is super prevalent in our world today and 2) a lot of said entertainment is not God-pleasing.  People struggling to live in a world that is bent on glorifying all the things that God can't stand have tried so many different approaches to dealing with this, with varying amounts of success.  Christian movies take the silver screen and Christian artists give concerts in front of huge crowds and there is a Christian romance novel for every Nicholas Sparks ever written.  I think, though, that creating a Christian version of every offensive form of entertainment isn't the end-all solution to the issue. I think the way we think is.  In order to chase after God in every area of life,  Christ-followers need to learn to think critically about the messages we absorb through every use of entertainment.

Listen to what I meant, not what I said

The issue of "bad" language in various forms of media is revisited again and again - why?  More important than the individual "bad" words that are found in entertainment is the idea that those words, when put together, plant in our heads.  A song that is completely free of swear words can easily convince my subconscious that drinking until I don't know what's going on is a good way to spend my time or that my parents are idiots.  In the same way, swear words don't make a song, movie, or book unwholesome.  I believe that there are really horrible things that happen in the world, and that sometimes we need to use language with a strong enough connotation to match it.  

What's more important than the words themselves is what they are saying to you.  When we consume entertainment, we can't be passive.  We have to ask ourselves what message a movie is broadcasting, what a magazine is telling us about how satisfied we should be with what we currently have, what kind of behavior a song is telling us is okay.  Is the entertainment that we're consuming helping or hurting our walk with God?  I find that, whether I like it or not, that question is pretty easy to answer most of the time.  If I'm being honest with myself, there is really no neutrality in the messages that I let wash over my brain.  I'd like to think that I can listen to current music that isn't God-pleasing without having it affect me, but it does, in small ways.  For me, I have to cut that kind of stuff out of my life almost completely or it will start to consume me.

Whatever causes you to stumble

Jesus says in Matthew 18:8, "If your hand or foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better to enter life maimed or crippled than two have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire."  Another part of choosing our entertainment as Christians is to be wise as to what kind of things make our personal walk with Christ more difficult.  We know what goes against God's heart, but there may be additional messages that each of us struggles with specifically.  For example: love songs.  Does God have a problem with love, when it is experienced according to his plan? Of course not!  But a love song, even one about the most pure, God-pleasing kind of love, can make my heart ache for human love.  And you know, I don't need that.  I have a really cute cat.  Also, Jesus.

Paul repeatedly talks about personal stumbling blocks in his letters to the churches.  He acknowledges that things like drinking wine or eating meat sacrificed to pagan gods are not morally wrong, but he many times advises new Christians to avoid them altogether to keep their new faith as safe as possible.  When it comes to marriage, Paul tells his audience to take a wife in order to avoid sexual immorality.  The bottom line is that the way the entertainment we consume influences our walk with God is more that just what's against the Ten Commandments and what isn't.  If something is pulling you away from God, it might be time for that thing to pack its bags and head out.

Consider your audience

Another important consideration when you're choosing your entertainment poison is  who is watching you.  In other words, who are you leading?  Let's consult Paul again for this one.   He coordinated and trained almost all of the early church leaders in some way, so he ought to know what a good leader needs.  His go-to list from 1 Timothy 3 is as follows:

-faithful in relationships
-cool and collected
-good reputation with outsiders

Many of the bullet points on Paul's checklist have as much to do with outward appearances as they do with the heart.  We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but the reality is that we as people are constantly evaluating one another based on what we can see.  Therefore, it's really important for us to think about how we're influencing the people around us.  For me, that means being conscious of the kind of movies I watch with my little sister or the concerts I go to with my friends.  Our entertainment doesn't just affect us - if affects everyone with their eyes on us.

Alright,  let's recap because I know I always need that. Think critically about the messages your entertainment is sending you.  Be wise to your personal stumbling blocks.  Be mindful of how your choices affect those around you.  And, of course, there's no substitute for a solid walk with God so that he's able to keep you on the right path.  Right? //

Make sure you all head over to Itunu's blog to check out what she has to say about God and entertainment today!  She always had goooood stuff to say!  Also, tune in next week for another post on an as yet undetermined topic about putting God first!


Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Avoid Running at a Cross Country Meet // Photo Journal

I was so excited to finally be able to make it to one of Jonah's cross country meets!  He's been doing really well and seems to be enjoying it a lot.  It's just the coolest thing ever to watch him do something he's good at!  Plus, meets always seem to include the prettiest scenery and guaranteed hot chocolate.

Saturday morning dawned bright and way too early after a late night at a football game for me, so I found myself a comfy spot on the ground near the finish line as soon as we arrived at the course.  I know my place at cross country meets: you run, I take pictures.

Due to a miscommunication, we arrived at the meet a couple hours before Jonah's race, so we got to watch the girls' races as well!

Mom learned all of the runners' names so that she could encourage them as they ran by.  As a former cheerleader, she was totally in her element.

The weather made it known in no uncertain terms that it's fall now.  We survived with hot drinks and hugs.

We all walked back to the starting line to get Jonah ready for his race.  He definitely had the biggest support team there!

I, of course, had to stop to take pictures of anything vaguely photo worthy (ie, flowers and spray painted lines in the grass) and then run to catch up with everyone else.  Just like every other time I have my camera on me!

The family that warms up together stays together.  Right?

There was an insane amount of kids lined up to race.  I mean, considering the fact that they were voluntarily racing for three miles, I'd expect a little smaller turnout. 

The race started, and the family trekked over to "The Hill" to catch Jonah at another part of the race, looking like supermodels the entire time, obviously.

The view from the top of the hill was really pretty, but I felt for all those who actually had to run up it.  #runningishard.

The shark (that's what they call the golf cart that drives ahead of the first runners to mow over anyone in their way make sure the path is clear) even had trouble climbing the hill.

Jonah overcame it like a pro.  I've been banned from yelling, "Get it, girl!" at him while we're in public, so I just told him his hair looked good..  I think he appreciated that.

After Jonah blew by us at the top of the monster hill, we booked it over to the finish line to see him end his race.  He crossed the line with a time of 21:08, which is about a minute faster than his time last week.  GOOO JONAH.

And that, my friends, is how to avoid running at cross country meets.  Grab a camera and a doughnut and do your best to look very uncoordinated and out of shape.  That should keep you safe!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...