life-saver

hey everyone! I hope y’all have been watching the Olympics during the last couple days. I freaking love the Olympics and I always make my family watch the opening ceremonies – every. single. moment. the parade of nations of one of my favorite things about them. I love seeing all the beautiful people, hearing the interesting stories surrounding the teams, and critiquing their outfits ūüėÄ

so I doing something a bit different today. loren did this tag a while ago on her blog and I decided to do it and share it with y’all!

who is God to you.png

rules:

‚Äď thank the person who tagged you and link back to their blog or website.

‚Äď nominate five bloggers to do the who is God to you?¬†tag.

‚Äď answer the five questions and give five new¬†questions for the people you nominated to answer. if you want, you can use the same five questions as the last person.

‚Äď display the¬†who is God to you? logo in your blog post.

God's love

loren’s questions:

1) who is God to you?

God is my Father and my gracious Savior. He has saved my soul and my life and He still loves me even when I let Him down, time and time again.

2) what is your favorite bible verse?

john 8:32 –¬†‘then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’

this verse has always managed to give me chills and it constantly reaffirms my belief in absolute truth and it inspires me to be an advocate of truth

3) what advice would you give to other people following the Lord?

never ever assume that following the Lord will be easy. it is full of high times and low times. persevere during the low times, because the highs are so worth it. and never miss a chance to tell others about your hope in God, even if you’re scared. I have missed so many opportunities due to fear and it is a horrible feeling knowing you could have helped someone and didn’t. chase after holiness and righteousness and always, ALWAYS help and love others.

4) when did you become a christian?

I was 10 years old. it was funny, I thought I had already been saved, but I was compelled to raise my hand during a service and as the pastor prayed, I felt my heart being wiped clean. it was an incredible experience.

5) what’s your favorite worship song?

gosh, I have so many. ‘So Will I (100 Billion X)’ by Hillsong United is one of my favorites right now. I also love ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury, but one of my all-time favorites is the hymn ‘Come Thou Fount’.

I tag:

rebekah @ rebekah elle

chelsea @ an ordinary pen

mckenna @ alternate galaxy

eleni @ ellie’s corner

victoria @ a gathering of dreams

my questions:

1. who is God to you?

2. which book of the Bible is your favorite?

3. what was a defining moment in your life as a Christian? 

4. who is your favorite Bible character and why?

5. what is your favorite worship song and why?

seek God

that was fun! I’m glad that I got to share my beliefs with y’all in this way ūüôā

if I did not tag you and you want to do the tag anyway, please feel free to use my question and don’t forget to tag me once you post your answers! ūüėČ

have a good week, everyone! I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, but I hope you have a nice one, whether you spend it with someone you love or spend it on the couch, eating pizza and watching Marvel movies. either one is good ūüėČ ‚̧

 

 

Advertisements

meet my children (beautiful people)

hey everyone! first, an announcement! as soon as you are available, check out Victoria’s blog, where I have just been featured as a guest on the famous So Your Character Is From… series, talking about the part of the United States that I call home – the West Coast!

alright, today we have a very special post. you are, in fact, about to meet some of my lovely¬†children characters! I hope y’all are as excited as I am! I have been fleshing out these characters since October, when I was planning my NaNo novel. I took a very nice long break from my book during the holidays, but I’m slowly developing it a bit more. and while I (of course) have issues with these characters, I do love them so much. but I will let you develop your own opinions of them ūüėČ

I used one of the original Beautiful People formats for this. thanks to Sky and Cait for hosting such a wonderful program! ūüôā

Beautiful Peolpe

What is their full name?

C: Claire Dominis

claire

T:¬†Takumi ‘Umi’ Edwards

umi

L: Alexandra ‘Lexy’ Gilman

lexy

minus the freckles

Does his or her name have a special meaning?

C: Not that I know of.

T: No, except that it highlights my Japanese ancestry.

L:¬†no one called me Lexy growing up, but when I got older, I preferred to be called that. and spelling ‘Lexy’ with an i just didn’t feel right, so I started spelling it with a y. my parents weren’t happy about it, but then again, they weren’t happy with many of the things I did.

Does your character have a methodical or disorganized personality?

C: I generally like to be more methodical.

T: No comment.

L:¬†I’ll¬†tell you. you’d think my side of the office would be the one that was messy, right? wrong. I have a place for almost everything. I detest clutter. Umi’s desk, on the other hand, is a complete mess. books, pieces of paper, opened sugar packets… once, I found a used tea bag on his desk. a wet tea bag, just lying there, ruining the varnish on the wood. it was so disgusting. I made him clean it up.

lexy's pin

Does he or she think inside themselves more than they talk out loud to their friends? (more importantly, does he or she actually have friends?)

C: I generally think ‘inside myself’, as you put it. I just prefer to say think.¬†I have a few friends, not as many as I used to. Most of them were involved in ballet with me, so when I left, they cut off ties. Luckily, my best friend lives in D.C., close to my home, so we see each other more often than before.

T, avoiding the question Рagain: I work too much to have many friends.

umi's sticker

L: Umi thinks out loud a lot and it gets kind of annoying. I generally think to myself, and if I really need to rant, my dog is a wonderful listener.

Is there something he or she is afraid of?

C:¬†I’m afraid that others will think that I am a bad person. I’m afraid that my family’s reputation will flounder. And I’m afraid that I’ll fail as a sister.

T:¬†I don’t want to be seen as useless.

L: I’m afraid that I won’t be able to prove myself or make people take me seriously.

Does he or she write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?

C: I used to be a professional ballet dancer. I still dance in my basement studio, but I only do it for fun now.

claire's ballet
Claire, probably

T: Drinking tea is an art form in itself.

umi's tea

L:¬†I like taking pictures and writing. my photography is usually more edgy and I like to make people think. my writing is very personal and raw, generally drawing from personal experiences that I’ve had.

What is his or her favorite book? (or genre of books)

C: My favorite book is The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. I read a lot of religious and philosophical books.

T: I only enjoy factual books: biographies, history books, ones like that.

L: YA. lots of YA. high fantasy, contemporary, and ALL the science-fiction, especially the ones set in space.

lexy's shirt

Who is his or her favorite author and/or someone that inspires him or her?

C:¬†As can perhaps be guessed, I enjoy reading C.S. Lewis’ books.

T: Alexander Hamilton is one of my role models.

L:¬†honestly, Claire inspires me. she’s so regal and womanly and she makes me want to be a better example to others.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

C: chocolate and coffee

claire's coffee.jpg

T: green tea and bubblegum

L: anything with nuts in it

Favorite season of the year?

C:¬†I don’t really have a favorite season. Every season was beautiful in New York City and I got to enjoy lots of different seasons in different cities around the world when I went on tour.

T:¬†I don’t have one. I get allergies in spring and fall, summer is too hot, and winter is too *bleep*ing cold.

L: I always say that fall is my favorite season, until spring comes. it happens every year. spring is just so beautiful and soft and warm.

claire's strength
basically the premise of my whole story

thanks, everyone (yes, you too, Umi), for coming out and answering these questions!

let me know what you thought of my children in the comments! also, go check out Victoria’s blog! she’s an amazing person and fellow nerd! ūüôā

 

 

january 2018

the first month of 2018 is basically over. wow.

a lot of things – good and not-so-good – happened this month for me, so I thought I would share with y’all ūüôā

enjoyed

1/1 – new year’s day in SF with some family from out of town

photo-4

my uncle, aunt, and three of my cousins were visiting from SoCal, and I ended up going with some of them to SF on the 1st. I almost never go to the City, so it was kind of fun to be a tourist in my own hometown backyard. we walked along the water and stopped at a restaurant on one of the famous piers for appetizers.

photo-5
 

sunset view from our table. the Golden Gate Bridge is somewhere in the background. you can see it if you look hard enough.

 

we walked back to our car at Fort Mason in the dark and my uncle took a picture of me, my older brother, and my cousin M in front of the Ghirardelli sign.

Ghiradeli_54_990x660
 

not my picture

 

1/12-15 – weekend at winter camp with church youth group

I wrote a post about that here

1/20 – movies with A, my youth group leader

we went to see the Greatest Showman and it was amazing

GSOE_D16_010917_2622.cr2

 

1/26-1/30 – visit from family

my cousin D from Washington, his wife L, and 1-year-old daughter A came to visit. I visited them at my grandparents’ house on Saturday, even though I was kind of sick (and still am #yolo). D was at a basketball game, but I got to see L and A for the first time in more than a year. on Sunday, they attended our church and we all went on a walk later, then had tea and sweets when we got back. it took some time, but A was warming up to me by the time they left. she is the sweetest, most adorable thing. I like to think she looks like me.

entertainment

watched: Iron Man (3.5/5 stars) / Emma (5/5 stars) / The Greatest Showman (5/5 stars) / Amazing Grace (4/5 stars) / To Catch A Thief (4/5 stars) / The Martian (3.5/5 stars) / Much Ado About Nothing (3.5/5 stars)

finished reading: Rilla of Ingleside (5/5 stars) / The House of the Seven Gables (3.5/5 stars) / Perelandra (4.5/5 stars)

started reading: That Hideous Strength (currently 4/5 stars) / Moby Dick (currently 3.5/5 stars)

journal entries

10 January 2018, 11:15 pm

first entry of the New Year, haha. well, today was a¬†purple day. almost a blue day, but it ended up purple. after all the yellow and orange, it’s¬†refreshing to see another color on my mood tracker, even if it isn’t a positive one. I’m gonna miss K.

and yes, I only had one journal entry this month. I’m not terribly regular with writing.

school

so I’m taking Advanced Bio this year and I’ve been enjoying it so far. but I was studying the nervous system this month … and it was not fun. HOWEVER. I still pushed myself to study and understand it and I got a good score on my test. so. that has been very encouraging and has shown me that just because I don’t enjoy/understand something, it doesn’t mean that I have the right to flunk.

learned

see section just superior to this

that I am still a sinner, but that grace is indescribably relieving

that you don’t have to have a fever to have a full body ache

kids don’t have to take a shining to you right away; be persistent, active, and present – and they will eventually warm up to you. and if not, that’s okay too

I have replaced Katie Gregoire as the ‘relationship guru who’s never been in a relationship before’

I’ve learned many more things this month, but that’ll do for now

judge them
 

imma start putting this into practice

 

okaaaay, that’s all for this month XD

I’ll see y’all next month – FEBRUARY¬†and Valentine’s Day – how about let’s not go there right now, thanks.

have y’all ever been to San Francisco? have you seen the movies I saw/read the books I read? and what are your opinions on Boromir? talk to me in the comments!

mini reviews pt. 1

wassup, y’all. I’m actually posting something on time for once. yay, me.

I’ve seen some great movies recently, and I also finished a few books, so I have a couple mini-reviews for y’all today.

Books

The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne

the house of the seven gables.jpg

I read this book for school. I was really excited to read it and I enjoyed it a lot. The characters are interesting, not like most characters in most classical novels. Phoebe, especially, isn’t the ‘boring, unrelatable angel’ (creds to Chelsea for that line ūüėČ ) that the majority of classical authors tend to portray their young female characters as.

I felt like the author delayed informing the readers of an important development, even after what happened becomes obvious, so that was kind of annoying. like, I already know what happened, but you still haven’t said what is so blatantly obvious. and another time, he leaves us guessing what happened to a particular character for the majority of the book. some people may prefer a long-drawn-out disclosure, but it got frustrating after a hundred pages or so of hearing about something bad happening to this character and not knowing what it was and how it happened.

overall though it was entertaining and the writing style was a good mix of dialogue, imagery, and informational chapters (especially considering the genre XD)

rating: 3.5/5 stars

Perelandra – C.S. Lewis

Perelandra

so as some of you may know, I got the Space Trilogy by Lewis for Christmas. I finished¬†Out of the Silent Planet in two days, but it took me some while to get into Perelandra. I’m not sure if that was because I wanted to enjoy it or because I was too ‘busy’ to sit down and read it.

ANYWAYS, I finally finished it. and it was amazing.

it’s similar to¬†Out of the Silent Planet in writing style and the fact that Lewis is describing a different planet, but the content is very different. the planet of Perelandra is as different from its sister planet, Malacandra, as lettuce and passion fruit. that makes total sense to me.

anyways. I absolutely loved reading Lewis’ descriptions of the planet Venus and all the different animals and plants and people that live on it. and now I want a dragon.

the whole struggle against evil contained in this book is very raw and real and revealed a lot about our present struggle with evil that I had never noticed. and the character of the Un-man made me realize what evil can look and sound like if it was in a bodily, human form as displayed here.

but by far my favorite part of this book was the theological part and all the truth that was contained in the main character’s thoughts. aaaand I have so much to say on this, that I will have to post a whole review/positive rant on this book later.

rating: 4.5/5 stars
Movies

Amazing Grace

Amazinggraceposter.jpg

I saw this movie about William Wilberforce a few nights ago with my family

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many actors and actresses that I recognized (ROMOLA GARAI. TOBY JONES. FREAKING BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH.) in such a groundbreaking movie.

I loved seeing the story of how slavery in the British colonies was repealed and how many people were involved to procure basic human rights for ‘the least of these’. it was incredible to see how the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ was involved in the story as well.

the story did seem a little slow, but I appreciate that the directors kept the story real and didn’t try to put too many theatrical fights or explosions or anything like that in it. it also inspired me to be more outspoken in regards to exposing modern-day slavery.

rating: 4/5 stars

To Catch A Thief

To_Catch_a_Thief.jpg

I don’t watch enough old movies, so I was excited to see that this movie was playing on demand

I MEAN, IT’S CARY GRANT AND PRINCESS GRACE KELLY

old movies are so subtly funny and dramatic and so different from movies that are coming out these days, that I can’t help but enjoy them. this one was no exception.

Cary Grant was hilarious – especially his facial expressions -, Grace Kelly was regal, I SPOTTED ALFRED HITCHCOCK – he was the one who made cameos in his movies cool, not Peter Jackson, not Stan Lee -, and I honestly had no idea who the thief was. I mean, I had an idea, but it wasn’t based on solid evidence. so I was (pleasantly? not-so-pleasantly?) surprised when they were revealed.

the movie was set in Nice and Cannes, so we got to see the gorgeous French Riviera and majestic villas as low-key dramatic car chases went on.

I don’t think I have any criticisms for this movie, except for the fact that theft plays a large part and some characters act like it is just a tool and not the morally degrading act that is actually is.

rating: 4/5 stars

The Greatest Showman

The_Greatest_Showman_poster.png

YES, I FINALLY WENT TO THE MOVIES TO SEE THIS.

I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a month, and I finally got to see the movie that I’ve heard so many good things about.¬†and it was amazing

it reminded me a little bit of the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, with regards to the music and the brilliant imagery. obviously different though. and I think I liked this movie better.

this isn’t a legitimate complaint, I don’t think, but when I was sitting in the theater, I had expected the music to encompass me more, but it didn’t. it sounded flatter than when I had listened to it before. I’m not sure if that’s just because of the positioning of the speakers or what. it was only really disappointing in the beginning of the movie, and it didn’t affect me as much later on.

I loved Hugh Jackman’s character. I loved Michelle Williams’ character. I loved Zac Efron’s character (his rasp when he sang, oh my gosh. it was amazing). I loved seeing Zendaya’s vulnerable side, although I wish we could have learned a bit more about her. the bearded lady and the little man made me laugh. and the music, as always, moved me.

I would love to see this movie again soon, but for now, I’ll settle for listening to the soundtrack ūüėČ

rating: 5/5 stars
the greatest showman.jpg

allllrighty then. I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into my entertainment life ūüėõ thanks for reading!

have you seen any of these movies or read any of these books? what did you think of them? any recommendations for me? talk to me in the comments!

featured image taken from pinterest

 

 

 

 

already not yet

praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

I came back from camp yesterday

 

and for the first time since I can remember, the sadness and nostalgia I’ve felt after coming home has absolutely nothing to do with the specific place I was in the whole weekend and everything to do with the worship experience and the people I shared it with

don’t get me wrong – I’ve always felt a special connection to the worship and the friends that I spent time with at camp

but this time, the¬†place didn’t make much of an impression on me –¬†and I’m thankful for that. yes, I want to go back next year. yes, it was beautiful, even if there was no snow. but that’s not the important thing. that’s not even¬†one of the important things.

the important things:

i.¬†I got closer to girls that I didn’t know very well before¬†| I was in a cabin with 7 senior girls, one sophomore, and our counselor. I’ve known three of the senior girls for as long as I can remember, and I had gone with them and two of the other girls on a retreat in 7th grade. we have never been super close, but we learned to trust and appreciate each other over the three days we spent together.

ii.¬†I tried new things | I was so excited to ice-skate the whole weekend. and guess what? I went ice skating exactly¬†once for about half an hour. now that a rink reopened back home, I can go whenever I want. but what I can’t do, like tubing? and riding in a boxsled made from cardboard and duct tape? I did that. (okay, I didn’t actually ride the boxsled, but I helped build it and I would have gone, but seniors had priority.) even though there was no snow except for the fake stuff they made, I did get to see ice and frost-encrusted leaves and my breath forming clouds around my head when I talked. I saw the Milky Way for the first time that I could remember and saw thousands more stars than I do at home. I felt the cold when I forgot/didn’t have time to grab a jacket before we went on a walk. I helped build a sled out of¬†cardboard and¬†duct tape ALONE. I stood on a picnic table in order to see over the mass of people at open mic night, terrified the whole time that it would tip over and I would be embarrassed in front of hundreds of people. and…

iii.¬†I made new friends¬†| in addition to getting closer to the girls mentioned above, I met new people and got closer to people I had already met. a counselor from my church’s south campus – sophomore twins from my campus – two boys from the youth group that my friend P goes to during the week – three girls that I had never really talked to (turns out two of them had played volleyball against me in the past) – in addition to all the strangers I bantered with while in line for dinner, in line at the store, in line to give our dirty dishes to the kitchen staff, while skating and after chapel. some (abridged) examples of our conversations:

me, in response to¬†something an announcer said¬†during breakfast: ‘I love you too! I love everyone here!’
kid near me,¬†touching¬†his hand to¬†his chest: ‘I’m blessed.’
me: ‘yes, God bless you.’
kid’s friend, hopefully joking: ‘now kiss.’
kid: ‘normally I date girls before I do that.’
me, playing along, but¬†definitely serious: ‘I think I’m gonna have to draw the line right there.’

me, pointing to a collection box for¬†people who visit from Northern California: ‘that’s where it’s at.’
kid, pointing to the Southern California one:¬†‘nah, that’s where it’s at.’
me:¬†‘hmm, I have family there, so I guess it’s okay.’
still me, heaving a huge sarcastic sigh:¬†‘I gUEss.’

I was¬†playing sudoku on the drive home. the sophomore twins were sitting behind me and my friend P, and one of them, B, kept substituting different words for ‘sudoku’. at one point, he leaned over and asked if I was ‘still playing¬†sacrilege’. I almost cried from laughter.

moving on…

iv.¬†I¬†experienced¬†the Holy Spirit¬†moving among us and doing great things¬†| possibly the most subtly incredible moment of my life happened on Sunday night. the night before, P told us in our cabin that she receives dreams and visions from the Lord and that she had received one that night during worship at chapel. in it, she saw lightning shoot out from the band performing into everyone’s hearts, individually. it interested me and kind of awed me as well (I have a friend that receives visions from God!), but I hadn’t felt anything different that night, so I didn’t think too deeply into it. until the next night.

the first two nights, the speaker was mainly focused on showing us that everything that we looked for to fill us never could or can and we tend to fall into sin rather than realize that Jesus is the only Person who can fill us. but on Sunday, he hit his ‘but God’ point. God is just, but He is also good and loving and offered us a way. after he finished his message, the band played ‘In Christ Alone’.

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.

as those lines rang out through the chapel, my voice cracked and tears began streaming down my face. I heard P next to me stop singing and felt her kneel down. I knew she was overcome.

we were dismissed, but allowed to stay in chapel to pray and be with each other. I looked around and saw many kids from my church still sitting, tears evident on each face. a brother and sister (from one of two sets of triplets that went on the trip with our church) were hugging each other and crying. there was a group of kids from a sister church huddled around laying hands on a boy and praying for him. I caught pieces of whispered conversation between friends. I heard prayers that touched me. I laid hands on people. I gave hugs. I held hands with others as we prayed. and I was reminded of P’s vision. and I firmly believe that it came true.

that as we sang¬†and as He stands in victory, God did indeed touch every single person in that building in some way, even those who don’t believe they need Him. every person received a lightning bolt to their heart at the same moment in time. not one person walked out of there the same as when they had walked in just a short while earlier.

I cannot stress just how incredible this was. my brain is still having a tough time comprehending it. one girl said that she looked around the balcony where we were as the song was still going on and she saw ‘everyone crying‘. that was just it. everyone, at the same time, broke down, as the Lord touched them. praise God.

a classmate of mine, K, said that he couldn’t wait to tell all of his friends about what happened that night. others surrendered themselves to Christ for the first time. even more rededicated their lives to Him. and I was supremely proud of them. and I was happy. no, more than that. I was full of joy. thank God for that night. that night of love and joy and peace. praise God.

praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
1516062203110
taken from instagram

I’m home once more – and I miss my friends, the old ones and the new ones – and I miss worshipping every night and morning, singing¬†You are presence, presence, presence, perfect – You are perfect, perfect, perfect, justice¬†– I miss making clouds that obscure my sight and envelop my head for two perfect moments – I miss being able to see the Milky Way and Orion’s Belt and the Seven Sisters – I miss rapping ‘Aaron Burr Sir’ with P – I miss seeing guitarist Nick jumping around stage and hearing him play the saxophone – I miss hearing announcer Jonny’s voice and his corny jokes and I want to relive the hug he gave me and I want to hear the emotion in his voice again as he thanked me for sharing my gratitude with him.

and there are a million other little things that I wish I could hold again, in order to appreciate them one last time. but the only thing I can do Рindeed the only thing that is right for me to do is to thank God Рto thank Him for all those little things Рfor all the big things too Рfor the joy He gave me and my friends Рfor allowing us to win second place in the Boxsled Blitz Рfor the opportunity to have deep talks with friends and counselors Рand for the new life that He gives us when we simply ask. thank You, Lord.

no guilt in life, no fear in death,
this is the power of Christ in me;
from life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
no power of hell, no scheme of man,
can ever pluck me from His hand;
till He returns or calls me home,
here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

to the lonely with the broken hearts, let’s run

You are moving, moving, moving, freedom – You are freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom

 

 

 

letting off some steam

first things first: HAPPY NEW YEAR more than a week later ūüôā

so I forgot that I was supposed to have a blog post up yesterday until the middle of the afternoon and then I was working on it for a couple of hours, but didn’t finish, and then I didn’t feel like posting what I was working on, so I’m doing this instead ūüėõ

I’M RANTING

a little bit

I just feel like getting a couple of things off of my chest and therefore diminish the greatness of them in my mind a little bit, that’s all

so I will begin

i.¬†school started a couple of days ago, but I haven’t gotten into the groove of things yet, and that’s bothering me

ii.¬†I’m paranoid that I won’t be able to go to winter camp this weekend because of paperwork issues, even though those are easily resolved and I’m confirmed to go anyways

iii. one of my best friends is moving across the country for college tomorrow and I didn’t get to say goodbye in person

School's got me like

iv. I’m watching the BBC Emma miniseries again with my parents, but I’m not enjoying it as much as I used to and I don’t know why

v. I’m an indecisive freak person, so when I went shopping yesterday with my mom, I got a Peanuts t-shirt that had Woodstock embroidered on the pocket and a little music note coming out of the pocket, and when I got home, I was a little upset cause I thought I should have gotten the light blue one with Schroeder playing piano on it, because it went better with both pairs of jeans that I bought. never mind that I got the jeans after I got the t-shirt and couldn’t have known that I would get a pair of grey jeans. I’m okay with it now, but it was so frustrating and anxiety-inducing at the time.

PEANUTS
voila, le shirt that I got. I like how simple and understated it is, unlike the other one. I love graphic t-shirts, but I didn’t want something that screamed ‘GRAPHIC T-SHIRRRRRTTTTT’ [photo taken from Uniqlo’s website]

vi.¬†and¬†I think that’s about it

short rant, albeit necessary

I’ve been filling out a mood tracker for this year and so far I’ve mainly been experiencing two emotions (going off of my mood tracker): happiness (yellow) and tired-ness (orange. and yes, that is a word)

mood tracker
not mine (taken from Pinterest), but just to give you the general idea

but I think today, I might finally fill in another color ūüėõ

allllllrightyyyyy then, that’s about all I’ve got for today. I’ll be back from camp on Monday, which will hopefully give me enough time to formulate a blog post for y’all.

I’m searching for inspiration for future blog posts, so please comment suggestions/requests down below! thanks! ‚̧

year in review

one more day … one day more

and this year is over

I can remember where I was and what I was doing on New Year’s Eve last year almost like it was yesterday

and now it’s almost New Year’s Eve again

and I’ve changed –¬†I’ve grown –¬†I’ve matured

some things have changed and some things have stayed the same

I am becoming more myself each and every single day –¬†I’m becoming closer to who I am meant to be every moment

and yet I’m not satisfied

can we ever be satisfied? it is possible to be comfortable enough to say ‘ah yes, I want to stay this way forever’? life is full of seasons; sometimes we’re in a place where we can say, ‘I’m okay for now; I would like to stay here’ and other times we’re actively trying to change. and other times we don’t realize we’ve changed until months have passed and things that bothered or scared us in the past don’t bother or scare us anymore.

this year was different from I thought it would be like when it began. and while I have plans and hopes and dreams for the next one, I realize that not all of them will be fulfilled. 2018 will not be the year of my dreams; at least, not all of it. dreams may come true – I may have wonderful moments with friends and family – my love may be requited – I may be perfectly healthy and get my ideal athletic body back – I may get all As – I may make incredible art and¬†finally finish writing a book – but in all likelihood, these things won’t happen. some of them might, but not all of them. and that’s okay. I have many more years for these things to be realized.

and while this year was difficult, it wasn’t without its beautiful, joyful, shining moments

I kept a monthly journal for most of the year and I would like to share some of it here. I missed a couple of months due to either forgetting or traveling, but I have most of the important things down.

photo-4
 

double rainbow outside my house one afternoon in early January

 

January –
enjoyed: playing volleyball | french class | watching movies with my younger brother answered prayers: no injuries | peace and joy for myself
entertainment: watched Thor 1 / The Dark World, the Hobbit franchise, the Avengers, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, and A Tale of Two Cities (1980) | read 1 Corinthians and Isle of Swords | finished the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Other Stories | began reading Isle of Fire and Les Misérables

february.PNG
 

since I hardly took any pictures in February, here’s¬†something I took a screenshot of that month from Instagram

 

February –¬†
enjoyed: more volleyball | seeing friends |making new friends | spending time with my parents
answered prayers: teammate healed from illness | health and wellness for family members
entertainment: watched Emma (2011), Pride and Prejudice (2005), and Sense and Sensibility (2007) | read the Hobbit | continued Les Misérables | finished Isle of Fire
achievements: realized sin in my life and took steps to overcome it | discovered a diet plan for Lent that would work for me

march
 

conversation with my brother on my mom’s phone where he¬†kept¬†clicking the recommended words and came up with a very strange message

 

March –
enjoyed: fasting for Lent | going to a wedding | seeing a special someone | going to the movies to see Beauty and the Beast with my cousin | driving to an overnight volleyball tournament with my dad
answered prayers: physical healing for family members
entertainment: watched Persuasion (2007), Captain America: The First Avenger / The Winter Soldier, Beauty and the Beast, Doctor Who (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship), and episodes 1-11 of Little Dorrit | read the Goose Girl | continued Les Misérables |began Lady Jane Grey and the Royal Diaries РMarie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles
achievements: read more | strove to be understanding and respectful

april
 

epic picture of myself and two of my best friends heading to a goat farm the day before my birthday, taken by another of my best friends

 

April
enjoyed: celebratory birthday beach trip with friends | birthday tea party with mother, aunt, and cousin, and subsequent sleepover with cousin | spring break | Easter in SoCal with family | getting my braces off
answered prayers: physical healing for myself | protection for family in travels
entertainment: finished watching Little Dorrit | finished reading Lady Jane Grey
achievements:¬†turned in a form for a future guest blog post (this was one of the months were I forgot to write some and so I’m not sure what else happened)

may
 

post-finals lunch celebration with cousin L in May

 

May –
I somehow managed to not write anything for May – the only thing I know for certain is that I officially survived my second year of high school (and Spanish finals) and I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with my cousin L

june
 

exploring around the creek at camp

 

June
enjoyed:¬†my older brother’s high school graduation party | family camp | someone’s birthday party | time with my church leader to talk | shopping with my mom, aunt, and cousin | camp needs to be said again – learning what it means to live again
answered prayers:¬†protection while at camp | protection for camp friends returning home | help to overcome camp ‘withdrawals’
entertainment: read Six of Crows | a few psalms | continued Les Misérables | began the Anne of Green Gables series
achievements:¬†posted on my blog | prayed more | learned to recognize God’s Voice and that of the Liar | made new friends
learned:¬†I am to be a servant to others, but ultimately to God | I am to be an evangelist | intimate prayer is a blessing | being authentic is hard but worth it | people will always make fun of me – I have to learn to fall on God when they do |I must put aside my fear | I shouldn’t judge people based on my perception of them

july : august.JPG
 

#familygoals at the Mus√©e d’Orsay in Paris

 

July / August 
enjoyed: spending Independence Day in the country and setting off fireworks |traveling to and from Europe | movie night with high school ministry | birthday parties | playing keys at high school ministry | beach with friends | being a VBS leader
answered prayers: protection while in Europe
entertainment: read Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and the Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring | finally finished Les Misérables two days before leaving for vacation | saw Spider-Man: Homecoming with cousin L
achievements: journaled and took pictures during vacation in Europe | lived in the moment | gave myself and my services to others | practiced French and Ukrainian | put aside fear | started a workout plan

september.PNG

September
enjoyed:¬†playing keys at church | singing for the high school ministry | Labor Day barbecue with family | first day of school | church’s 50th anniversary services | cousin L’s birthday | babysitting one of the cutest baby’s in the world | running with my dad twice a week | going to SoCal for my cousin N’s football game
answered prayers: protection while traveling | my younger brother and his soccer team
entertainment:¬†read¬†Anne of the Island and Anne of Windy Poplars | continued the Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers and the Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma |¬†watched¬†some Doctor Who
achievements: school! | ran 12 miles in two weeks | read | finished puzzles | started new job | got an A on my first science exam
learned: I am a fearful control freak and that needs to change | I still love dogs | I love SoCal too | I like babies and older kids, but not toddlers | football is fun | I can be a little punk the majority of the time and that needs to change too | I freaking love my family | life is difficult, but it is also amazing

october
 

happy october from the hay maze/pumpkin patch

 

October
enjoyed:¬†babysitting the previously mentioned ‘cutest baby in the world’ | listening to new music | spending a morning with my cousin L, drinking coffee and eating scones | going to a hay maze with another church’s youth group
entertainment:¬†finished¬†the Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Two Towers |¬†began¬†reading¬†the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King |¬†continued¬†the Anne of Green Gables series |¬†watched¬†Spider-Man: Homecoming again and A.D.: the Bible Continues |¬†listened to¬†‘Painted Skies’, ‘Perception’, ‘Evolve’, and many more new songs, including Christmas ones |¬†read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle for school and started reading the Last of the Mohicans
achievements:¬†started driver’s ed! | plotted for NaNoWriMo novel
learned: I get paranoid about stupid pointless things | everything doesn’t have to be perfect in order for me to be happy and enjoy life | it’s okay to be the odd one out | sometimes I need to take time for myself after giving so much to other people

november.JPG
 

ah yes, the famous typewriter from my instagram, found in an antique shop in November

 

November
enjoyed:¬†making the cutest baby in the world laugh | celebrating my older brother’s birthday | girls’ retreat | movies with cousin L | Thanksgiving
answered prayers: peace for myself | a good Thanksgiving
entertainment: finished reading the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King | continued the Anne of Green Gables series | watched Thor: Ragnarök twice | listened to more Ed Sheeran and Noah Mac | watched loads of Hallmark Christmas movies
achievements:¬†continued driver’s ed | wrote more than 8k words | ran 3 miles in the rain | was more kind w/ less effort | loved others | stepped out of my comfort zone | baked a lot | played more piano
learned:¬†rest days are very important | peace and rest are very underrated | maybe I’m better off writing snippets and short stories for now | I need to draw more often | I need to take notice of my sense more often | prayer is precious | I love making people happy

december
 

the last present of 2017

 

and finally December
enjoyed:¬†performing in church skit | field trip to Alcatraz Island | buying gifts for friends and family | spending an evening with a young girl while watching movies, eating pizza, and dancing to Christmas music | Christmas Eve with family | opening presents on Christmas morning | helping my youth pastor’s family pack their moving truck | going to the beach with my family, then getting ice cream and clam chowder for dinner
answered prayers: any anger, jealousy, and loneliness in me to subside | my Christmas for be full of love and joy
entertainment:¬†watched¬†more Hallmark Christmas movies, the Adventures of Tintin, Thor: the Dark World, the Doctor Who Christmas special, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Willy Wonka is my spirit animal), and Dunkirk (which was amazing, by the way) | continued reading the Anne of Green Gables series (almost done!) |¬†began reading¬†the Space Trilogy –¬†finished¬†Out of the Silent Planet, currently reading Perelandra
achievements:¬†completed driver’s ed | bought gifts for family and friends | helped decorate the house for Christmas | baked Christmas cookies
learned:¬†growth is good | my role right now is be an encourager and a helper to those God has placed in my life | hard work is good | it’s okay to not be okay … just know it’s also okay to ask for help and guidance | organization is actually kinda fun | whatever happens, 2018 will be a year of growth and learning … and that is the best thing I could ask for

also december

 

and with that, I wish you a blessed New Year. may you learn, may you grow, may you discover who God made you to be. may you remember that life is beautiful, even though sometimes it hurts. I’ll see you next year ūüôā much love, Tania ‚̧

 

 

day-after-christmas blues

haha, not really

I’m over the moon about what I got for Christmas this year, and I’m excited to use it and just… Christmas makes me really happy and I can last on the ‘Christmas high’ for at least a couple days after. then the New Year high starts and that keeps me going for a few weeks.

but enough blabber

stark eye roll
Y’ALL @ ME – haha¬†just wait ūüėõ

I had a nice Christmas! I wasn’t feeling it a couple days ago, but then during church on Sunday, the excitement and wonder really hit me. my family and I went to the earlier morning service on Christmas Eve at church and it was really nice. the kids choir sang and three women sang my favorite Christmas song, ‘O Holy Night’, and OH we sang ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ ūüôā I love that one.

it was so great to be at church, singing my favorite Christmas songs with everyone and just being company with other people who were there for the same reason I was: to reflect on and celebrate the birth of our Savior.

P1000461

then we came home and just relaxed – at least I did – until we left to my uncle and aunt’s house. this was the first year that we younger people didn’t sit at a separate table than the adults (that was because there were less people this year), so that was cool.

after dinner, my cousin L and I watched the Nativity Story, the version with Oscar Isaac ūüôā

I had made chocolate cookies, my younger brother L made an orange cake, cousin L made cookies, and older brother N made oatmeal cranberry cheesecake bars ūüôā OH and there was also this chocolate caramel nut tart. I love caramel sooo much, so I really enjoyed that. it was bomb with a cup of coffee

then we opened presents: the kids did a white elephant exchange (I got another mug from that [my mom wasn’t too happy about it :P] and then L and I exchanged gifts like we do every year. I gave her a cute coin bank and a key holder-thing that she can put her car keys on. she gave me some makeup (I’m pretty excited to wear it, considering I’m just starting out experimenting with makeup. I’m 16 and I’ve hardly worn any in my life :D) and DOCTOR WHO-THEMED SOCKS

P1000489
on the back of the TARDIS ones, it says ‘I’m the Doctor’. the white ones at the top have Daleks on them, and I was wearing ones that were grey and just had the words ‘Doctor Who’ on them ūüôā

the cute Christmas ones (which I’m wearing as I write this) were from my younger brother and the other dark ones are from my parents. and yes, I did ask for socks. I keep getting holes in my nice thick ones ūüėõ

then we watched a little bit of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (my favorite and the best, in my opinion) and then we went home

I woke up early on Christmas morning. early as in 6:30am, which, if I was ten years younger, would have meant that IT’S TIME TO GET UP AND GO SEE IF THERE’S ANYTHING IN MY STOCKING. now all I could think of was, “Lord, I am so tired. please let me fall back asleep again for another two hours, cause the rest of my family won’t be up until at least 9. and I’m honestly not that excited about opening presents.”

P1000479

LOL @ ME. GUESS WHAT: YOU KINDA WERE EXCITED. YOU JUST DIDN’T REALIZE IT.

so yeah XD I ended up falling asleep again, but I slept fitfully until maybe 8 or so. then I just got up and grabbed my phone to listen to music and make random playlists on Spotify until everyone else got up.

WHEN THEY FINALLY DID, we started with our stockings and then we opened presents from each other.

I was pretty excited, and I took a couple pictures, so here *throws pictures with zero aesthetic quality at you* you’re welcome

P1000488
I got the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis! :D:D:D it’s really¬†amazing so far and just… I really love¬†fantasy and sci-fi novels ‚̧ included in this picture is a weekly planner for the year of 2018 (I’m really unorganized, so I’ve been¬†working on ordering my life a little bit), and a milk chocolate gingerbread spice bar ūüėõ

P1000487
HIGH-TOP CONVERSE, Y’ALL. I’m really a hippie now. I seriously¬†love these shoes sooo much. I honestly can’t believe I used to hate this style

I got a couple other things too: a purse from my aunt in SoCal, gum, ginger mints, little scented eraser, aaaaand I think that’s it

my cousin N from SoCal is visiting for the week – he’s best buds with my brother L – so hopefully I’ll be able to hang out with cousin L a little bit. we wanted to go ice-skating and to the movies (she’s not really the musical person, but I’m trying to convince her to see the Greatest Showman with me)

haha, I really feel like spilling all my feels about this year and my hopes for the next, but I think I should save that for another post. this has already been too long, haha

sooooooo, there you have it, y’all! my first Christmas post! kind of an info-dump, but – *shrugs*¬†lo siento, no siento (I’ve always wanted to say that to someone)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well and had the opportunity to go to church at some point, or at least reflect on the incredible miracle that is the birth of Jesus Christ ‚̧

have a wonderful week, y’all!

and remember: Christmas decorations can stay up until at least the first week of the new year ūüėČ

kiss me babe, it’s christmas time

guuuuyyyyys, it’s almost Christmas and I’m happy cause I’ve basically done all of my Christmas shopping and yeessss. I was also really productive when it came to schoolwork and housework yesterday, so I’m feelin’ good ūüôā

I wanted to share some pictures with y’all. I was at our house in the country a few weeks ago, and I went on a walk in the late afternoon to take some pictures.

and I might take a page out of Loren’s book and use song lyrics for my captions ūüôā

P1000413
not a song lyric, but this horse was being kinda rude and kept turning it’s back to me ūüė¶
P1000435
do we need somebody¬†just to feel like we’re alright? is the only reason you’re holding me tonight ’cause we’re scared to be lonely? (scared to be lonely / cover by boyce avenue)
P1000445
lost in the playground, late night nostalgia, open the sky for me now (rubik’s cube / athlete)
P1000440
they¬†won’t see me run, who can blame them? they never look to see me fly, so I never had to lie¬†(tiptoe / imagine dragons)
P1000418
is this the real life? is this just fantasy? … open your eyes, look up to the skies and see … (bohemian rhapsody / cover by¬†pentatonix)
P1000439
please¬†don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere (new year’s day / taylor swift)
P1000416
home, a place where I can go, to take this off my shoulders, someone take me home.¬†it’s been a long time coming. (home / machine gun kelly, x ambassadors, bebe rexha)

I’ll try to get some Christmas pictures up soon. I haven’t taken very many, but I’ll do my best to take more over this week. aaaaand I should be back day after Christmas – I’m trying to come up with a solid schedule for this blogging thing ūüėõ

we’ll be going to my uncle and aunt’s house for Christmas Eve. my brothers and I will all be baking on Saturday, so that should be fun ūüôā I can’t wait to taste all the yummy food ūüėõ

have a very merry Christmas, y’all!

featured photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

I’ve been tagged – liebster award nomination!

first ever tagged tag – *check*

I have been tagged by Chelsea @ An Ordinary Pen¬†for a Liebster Award nomination! this got me so excited because I have never before been tagged for … a tag ūüėõ

alright, let’s begin! first, though, the rules (which I will do my best to adhere to):

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you (thank you so much, Chelsea!)
  2. Answer their eleven questions
  3. Ask eleven questions of your own
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers (wow, do I even know that many?) and let them know they’ve been tagged

1.    Do you enjoy reading biographies? Yes? No? Sometimes?

it honestly depends upon who it is and what they do for a living and all that. I’ve read a lot of biographies for school, but I wouldn’t say that biographies are my favorite genre.

2.   What was the last fantasy novel you read?

hehe, I love fantasy. I think the last fantasy novel I read was … the Lord of the Rings trilogy. again. so I guess my answer is the Return of the King? ūüėÄ

3.   J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis?

UGH, WHY YOU DO THIS TO MEEE? I love them both! I have collections of both of their works and just … why

and now I’m just being dramatic, because if you ask me who my favorite author is, I will definitely say J.R.R. Tolkien. so Tolkien, but … I seriously love Narnia. but Tolkien.

P1000450
me trying to be artsy =¬†didn’t¬†turn out great. also, my books¬†aren’t in great condition, but I got them for free, so…

 

4.  What’s the inspiration behind your blog’s name?

well, I’m low-key a night owl (and I have big eyes [like an owl does], but that’s another story) and I also write. so … night owl, write owl. it sounds similar and it’s a very good description of who I am as a person ūüôā

5.   Do you prefer standalones, trilogies or series?

gosh, such deep questions

I think I generally prefer trilogies/series, cause then I get to live in the bookish world longer than if it was just one book. but don’t make me pick between trilogies and series. I can’t make that kind of commitment right now.

P1000446
peep my surfboard dressed up for winter in the background lol

6.   What’s your favourite book title?

I love the title¬†Rainbow Valley, which is the title of the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series. that book isn’t my favorite of the series, but the title is just so beautiful and magical and fairy-sounding ^-^

7.   Have you ever named one of your characters after yourself?

wow, no, I never thought about that. my name isn’t the most popular name in the world, so if I ever did name a character after myself, it might be a bit too obvious … unless I make the character the complete opposite of me … but still. ’tis something to think about.

8.   What is your favourite metaphor and why?

yikes, I don’t really know. I generally like the really beautiful, poetic ones that have to do with the ocean or rain, cause I really love those two things. very vague, I know ūüėõ

9.   Are there any books/poems/songs you’ve come across which you wish you’d written?

basically anything by rebekah elle. the images she can create using the simplest of words is truly extraordinary. she has an incredible gift and I’m always too in awe to feel anything other than love for her and her words.

the lord of the rings too, cause tolkien’s descriptions are out of this world

10.    Do you prefer antiheros or traditional heroes?

considering my list of favorite characters, it seems that I generally prefer traditional heroes, but there is the occasional antihero that I fall head-over-heels in love with *COUGH COUGH* SYDNEY CARTON *COUGH COUGH*

sydney_carton_by_xxcrowstarxx-d4v8q7t
look at¬†this cute drawing of Sydney ‚̧

11. Have you ever written a retelling?

nope. I’ve thought about it, though. a gender-bent Beauty and the Beast was a crazy idea that came to me one night, that might just be impossible, but it sure was intriguing haha. a retelling would help me with the hardest part of writing (at least for me), which is coming up with a plot that won’t completely fall apart.

okaaaaaayyyyy, now for my questions ūüėČ

  1. do you enjoy classics or do you think they’re boring and overrated? (I’ll try not to judge you if the latter is the case :P)
  2. do you prefer to write/read in first- or third-person?
  3. how often do you use personal experiences to make your writing more authentic? do you actively seek out new experiences to heighten your stories?
  4. do you listen to music when you write? if so, is there a specific genre that you prefer?
  5. where is the strangest place that you have ever found inspiration?
  6. what are your top three favorite quotes from any book that you have ever read?
  7. do you generally like your characters? have you ever written one that you didn’t like?
  8. what is your favorite movie from a story-telling point of view?
  9. do you let anyone read your work(s)-in-progress, or do they have to prove themselves worthy before they can get a peek?
  10. who is your favorite author that not many people have heard of?
  11. on average, how many books do you read in one year?

the nominees (not eleven ūüėõ )

Gabrielle @ theGreatRisingPuzzlement

Loren @ let’s be lost¬†

Bri @ The World Of The Writer

rebekah elle @ the wanderer

We’ll Be Fine

writefury

Alyssa @ writinganyone

Victoria @ A Gathering of Dreams

have fun with this, guys!

also, even if I didn’t tag you, you are very welcome to do this ‚̧

have a great Christmas season, y’all! I hope to be back sooner than later with some pictures (Christmas-y and otherwise), so keep an eye out for that! I love y’all!