ελλάδα ~ pt. 1

hey y’all! I’m back from my trip! I’m sorry for not scheduling a post for last week, but now you’ll have a bit of a dump haha.

some of you who follow my personal instagram account may know where I was for 10 days, but if you don’t, listen and believe. or don’t, it’s your choice.

I was in Greece on a missions trip along with my brothers and a group from our church! we assembled a playground at the mission center and helped at a refugee hang-out center, where Syrian, Afghan, and other refugees would come during the week.

I’ll be sharing a bit about my time in that singular country and experience 🙂

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day 1

we woke up at 4am to get to the airport. I absolutely love going to the airport and Greece has always been a dream destination for me, so I was very excited. we met up with our team of 9 other people, said goodbye to our parents, and checked in! we had time before we boarded our flight to Toronto to have breakfast and race up and down the hallways and on those moving walkway things. oh and the ex-pro football player Joe Montana was on our flight, so that was cool. most/all of my celebrity sightings happen at airports haha.

I was able to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi for the first time (I have some strong opinions on this movie that I’ll share in a later post) and the Greatest Showman again before we landed in Toronto. from there, it was a mad dash to our connecting flight and then we were waiting on the tarmac for 2 hours waiting for the high winds to die down. and there were no screens on this plane. it was pretty horrible. but I survived.

day 2

we arrived at Greece at around 11am the next day Greece time (1 am California time). we were met by two vans from the center where we were staying/building the playground and a car from our mission partners. we drove the short distance to the center, put our suitcases in our rooms, and headed to the dining room/hang out area for a debrief and lunch. after lunch, we walked up to the site where we were to build the playground and after that, we took naps. that was nice. I don’t remember what else happened … oh wait. we went out to a gyro place on the Aegean Sea. it had an amazing view.

aegean sea 2

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this gyro contained chicken, french fries, tzatziki sauce, and tomato. I couldn’t finish it, but it was amazing nonetheless 
day 3

the overseer of our project arrived in the morning before church. he had a really dry sense of humor, so I knew I was going to like him.

after we had a morning prayer time and breakfast, I helped chop vegetables for dinner. later, five of our group went to the Home Spot to hang out with the refugee kids and the rest of us went to our hosts’ church. everything was in Greek, but there were a few worship songs that I recognized. we also had an in-ear translation device, so I was able to understand some of the message. we didn’t stay long after the service, since our hosts took us out to lunch.

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ah yes, I met a turtle on the way back on Sunday

 we started staking out the ground for the playground that afternoon and I helped to set up for evening service at the center. when people started arriving, I met a few refugees and my younger brother and I got caught up in a game of frisbee with some local kids. most of them spoke really good English, but they generally spoke in Greek. worship was mostly in Greek, but they had the English words below the Greek on the screen. then after some introductions, the kids went to their separate classes. I thought it would be interesting to join the high school group, so I followed them down to their classroom. aaaaand it was all in Greek. a guy that I had met earlier offered to translate for me, but after a while, I decided it was too awkward and I didn’t want to bother him anymore, so I went back upstairs. the preaching was already over at that point, so I didn’t really get anything out of that service. oops. after the service ended, I just hung out, ate amazing food, and talked to a few people before heading to bed.

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day 4

after breakfast, we all walked up to the work site to help a bit before some of us went to the Home Spot. I don’t remember what I did, just that I didn’t want to get too dirty before leaving. on the way back to the house before three other ladies and I left, one of my roommates (and my church’s missions director) took a detour with me to pet a horse 😀

we drove to the Home Spot, about 30-45 minutes away from where we were staying. there were a lot of older boys and men, some little kids, and women, both older and younger in age. we spent most of the day talking to one young man and teaching him some English. it was a very informal setting. I had thought we would be doing more concrete things, and instead I was offering stickers to kids and playing peekaboo to keep babies from crying and trying to communicate with people mostly using some form of unofficial sign language. I was able to help out in an English class for women later in the day. I also met a beautiful 17-year-old girl and her adorable little sister. they were so sweet and amazing.

I was so tired on the drive home, but I was able to stay awake until we went to dinner at our mission partners, F & A’s, house. we had moussaka, which is layered eggplant, ground lamb, tomatoes, and cheese. it was amazing. my younger brother fell asleep after dinner, so our host F showed him to the basement downstairs so that he could sleep. after dinner we had a nut cake (I think it’s called karidopita) that was one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted in my life. we left soon after that and I went straight to bed when we got back to the house.

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our hosts had a beautiful climbing rose outside their home

day 5

I planned to help on the play site today, so that’s what took up my morning. I shoveled dirt and held things and accidentally fell into two separate holes. so thankful I didn’t sprain anything.

fairly early on in the morning, my stomach started feeling funny, but I took a break in the shade and had water, and then I felt better for a little while. but then it came back. and it didn’t go away. I went back to the house before lunch, thinking I would rest a bit. I ended up getting worse. to spare you the details, I’m pretty sure I got food poisoning. not sure how and not sure why no one else got sick if that was the case, but I digress.

I spent the night on the top floor in a room of my own instead of sharing one with two other women. even though I took a Tylenol to help me sleep, due to a slight fever, I didn’t sleep well.

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me trying to be all artsy with the stairs in the house and not succeeding
day 6

I ate hardly anything all day and felt super weak. I was able/kinda forced myself to walk up the work site to sit in the sun and act as a sort of moral support for everyone who was working. walked back down for lunch, feeling a bit guilty about not being able to help work, and quickly abandoned my idea to go back up to the work site after lunch to watch them finish. instead I planted myself on the couch in the hang-out room, ate some dried fruit, read, and ended up falling asleep.

I didn’t eat much for dinner, but moved back downstairs to my shared room that night.

okay, the next part is going to be longer, so I’ll stop here 🙂 I hope you guys enjoyed reading! I have a lot more pictures, but I hope y’all understand that I can’t show you pictures of the kids without permission.

I’ll be back in a few days with pt. 2! ❤

all pictures are mine – DO NOT take/use without express permission

 

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april 2k18

what a full month! I turned a year older, gained 5 hours on my driving permit, and went to the library four times! I also cried my eyes out at the movie theater watching Avengers: Infinity War.

okay, I’m keeping this intro short, because there is quite a bit on content down below, so let us begin 🙂

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events

4/1 – Easter Sunday

what a glorious day! I helped my mom at church for both morning services. it was kind of tiring, and I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to be doing the majority of the time (once a guy came up asking for water, and since I didn’t know that there were water bottles in the cabinet right by my feet, I sweetly told him to go outside, grab a paper cup, and fill it up at the water fountain inside. just … so classy.), but I still enjoyed myself. and I got to take some tulips home at the end of the morning. then we went to my uncle and aunt’s house for dessert in the afternoon 🙂

sometime in the first week was my birthday

I went out with my mom on my birthday! we went to a local café and had pastries and coffee, and then we went to some nearby shops and bought a few things. the rest of day consisted in doing school and waiting to open presents after dinner XD I got a(nother) mug (reddish-orange with a ‘T’ on the side) and a gift card from my uncle and aunt, two hot-air balloon banners from my younger brother (one is currently hanging above my closet doors), a tardis-shaped piggy bank from my older brother, and a dress, a cardigan, and a pair of overalls from my parents. then we ate cake and finished watching ‘the sound of music’. it was a pretty good birthday 🙂

4/7 – library trip

I went to the library for the first time in forever! I trotted up three levels in my new overalls and my black high-tops, feeling so hipster, to the teen section and picked up three books, one of which I didn’t read 😛

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4/14 – library (again) and icicles! 

I hung out with a leader from my church. we went to the library so I could return the books I had borrowed a week earlier and pick up new ones and then we got ice cream at icicles! it’s a really cool ice cream place where they spread the ice cream really thin and then roll it up into little cylinders. it tasted amazing.

4/15 – birthday party

I had some friends over for a party and it was so much fun. my dad filled the house with balloons, my mom filled the house with delicious smells, and my friends and I filled the house with laughter. so poetic. we played card games and ‘mafia’ and we ate delicious foods and listened to my amazing music and it was just so much fun.

4/16 – hair cut

I got about 9 inches cut off my hair. it’s about shoulder-length now and I really like how it looks. I’ll probably keep it this length for a while.

4/21 – library (again) and gelato

yup, I went to the library again. a different one this time (one I like better than my local one) with my cousin. it was really hot, so we got gelato and sat and talked and then took our time walking through a park on the way back to her house. when I say ‘taking our time’ I mean we sat on the grass and took pictures of each other and read a little bit and ‘aww’ed over cute dogs and just … existed. on the way back, there were very few cars driving by, so we took that opportunity to walk in the middle of the street. it felt very summer-y (especially since it was 80 degrees F) and like how being a teenager should feel like .. although it would have been even more perfect if we had a few more of our friends with us. ah yes, I am an extrovert. how can you tell.

forget

4/27 – movies

I went to see Infinity War with my younger brother. it was amazing and I cried.

4/28 – rock climbing

I went rock climbing again! I had a lot of fun and I was able to climb more than last time without feeling like my arms were going to fall off. I also tried bouldering, which doesn’t use a harness and where you deal with overhangs and things like that. you don’t climb half as high, but it works different muscles and really forces you to rely on your hands, feet, and core instead of a harness and your belay partner. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to go again 🙂

entertainment

listened: when you’re home // mandy gonzalez, christopher jackson, ‘in the heights’ original broadway company | this is it // scotty mccreery | numb // david archuleta | sunrise // mandy gonzalez, christopher jackson, ‘in the heights’ original broadway company | 139 / dead of night // leeland | robarte un beso // carlos vives, sebastian yatra | when we were young // sasha hromyk | this is gospel // panic! at the disco | single city // michael mott, loren allred | roots // parmalee | class of 2017 mash-up // anthem lights | say something // a great big world, christina aguilera | happier // ed sheeran |dare you to move/who i am hates who i’ve been/to get to me // mass anthem

read: the great gatsby // f. scott fitzgerald (3/5) | the last battle // c.s. lewis (5/5) | the fever code // james dashner (3.5/5) | the raven boys // maggie stiefvater (4/5) | the dream thieves // maggie stiefvater (3/5) | blue lily, lily blue // maggie stiefvater (3.5/5) {read mini reviews here}

watched: the lord of the rings (10000/5) | ben hur (3.5/5) | avengers: infinity war (5/5) {read mini reviews here}

flowers

blog posts

march reviews

march 2k18

three songs // a tag

whatever happens

april reviews

learned

I’m undergoing a process of discovering and understanding what being a Christ-follower is supposed to be like, and how I’m supposed to act and interact both with God and with those around me. it’s a little frustrating that I’m still figuring that out after all this time, but I’m thankful for grace ❤

{note: ‘sanctification’ is an ongoing process in the life of Christ-follower. I constantly need to be reminded that God is always remaking me, little by little, into the person I was created to be.}

all pictures are taken from Pinterest

I’m heading out on a special trip in a few days and I won’t be back for more than a week, but I’ll try to schedule a post for y’all, so you won’t miss me too much 😉 I can’t wait to tell y’all about it when I get back! ❤

april reviews

so I read a lot this month, haha. I also increased my goodreads reading goal by 10 books, so … yay, I’m challenging myself. so far, I’ve read 19/60 books.

this review will be kind of long, so let’s get right into it

Books

The Great Gatsby // F. Scott Fitzgerald

the great gatsby

I was so excited to read this book for school … and it was not what I expected. I mean, I don’t know what I expected … but it wasn’t that.

the writing style was kind of stilted and choppy, which made it hard for me to visualize what was going on and enjoy the actual act of reading. there was a part closer to the end, though, that was really nice to read and made me smile.

there are a few curse words (honestly not as bad as I was expecting) and there was also a rather graphic description of a murder scene. lots of characters are engaged in affairs, whether behind their spouse’s back, or with someone’s else’s spouse. or both. there is also quite a bit of drinking.

even with all of those negative elements, I enjoyed it quite a bit. it was very intriguing to read about that time period and the different ways that people lived and talked and formulated relationships. it was heartbreaking and uplifting and off-putting and captivating all at the same time.

3/5

The Last Battle // C.S. Lewis

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guuuyyys I love this book. I mean, just look at the cover! it’s always been one of my favorites in the Chronicles of Narnia and I just … IT’S AMAZING. the beginning and basically all of the part when the characters are still in Narnia is pretty painful and makes me want to cry. and that darn cat. I always forget if he’s good or bad and every time … ugh. but the last few chapters are soooo incredible and give me chills and … here, see for yourself –

‘”… The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

‘And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’

5/5

The Fever Code // James Dashner

the fever code

I finally finished the Maze Runner series! yay! I’ve been waiting and waiting to read this book and I finally found it at the library and snatched it up and began reading it.

the Maze Runner series isn’t my favorite YA series, but I did enjoy it. this book seemed less violent than the first four, although there is still some serious, upsetting content. I can’t remember if I cried … but I probably didn’t. if you are familiar with the Maze Runner series, then you know what to expect: lies and secrets and experiments and Cranks and the Flare … also, I don’t feel like the book explained much of what was supposed to be going on. like, now we know who built the Maze and how, but there are still a lot of questions that don’t get answered.

it’s not my least favorite book in the series, but it wasn’t my favorite either. I guess these books just aren’t my favorite thing, but if you liked the first ones, for sure read this one.

4/5

The Raven Cycle series // Maggie Stiefvater

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WOW. there was a lot of hype surrounding the Raven Cycle series, so (after accidentally picking up Six of Crows, cause I thought it was the Raven Boys [I mean, crows, ravens, come on]) I finally got around to reading it!

the characters were my favorite part! they are just so wonderful and the author did a wonderful job with adding little details to make them more real and have them just jump off the page. I didn’t like Ronan at first, but now I love him, although he’s arguably the most problematic (yet softest) of the Raven Boys. Gansey is pretty great, morally better than Ronan, making him a little less interesting to me, but he’s still amazing. Poor Adam is sweet and deserves everyone’s love. Blue can tick me off sometimes (she’s very easily annoyed, which annoys me haha), but I love her fashion and her comebacks are pretty great. NOAH MY BABY NOAH. he’s so pure and sweet and hurting and I just love him so much.

there are a lot of negative things involved in these books though. rather exhaustive list following: occult magic (one of main characters comes from a family of psychics), language (lots of it, mostly from Ronan, as well as another character in The Dream Thieves), mention of drug and alcohol use, physical abuse of a character (which is condemned in the books, unlike most of the other negative elements mentioned here), a homosexual relationship in the last book (as well as hints of a gay character in the first three), some kissing, and violence, (explosions, blood, fighting, etc.). the last book, which I am still reading, is a lot darker than the first three, dealing with something that seems to be demonic in nature.

I wouldn’t recommend these books to anyone younger than 16 years old, and even then, I would say be cautious, because the content contained in these books can really affect your worldview if you aren’t careful.

The Raven Boys – 4/5 | The Dream Thieves – 3/5 | Blue Lily, Lily Blue – 3.5/5 | The Raven King – currently 3.5/5
Movies

The Lord of the Rings

the last battle

if you know anything about me, it’s that I love the Lord of the Rings. I did a few posts about it recently (here and here). I watched it again soon after a my birthday as a present to myself 🙂 it’s really hard to do a review for a movie that you’ve seen so many times and know inside and out, but I will do my best.

the music, the costumes, the scenery (hardly any green screen was used in the making of these movies, unlike the Hobbit movies), and the acting are all impeccable, not to mention the characters, their dynamics with each other, and the pervading sense of right, wrong, and duty.

as it is a story about good vs. evil, there are battles and mutant creatures and violent scenes, but compared to some movies and tv shows that are popular now, it stays pretty clean. I know that some people are also wary of magic, but the wizards use magic quite sparingly.

I would say watch it at least once in your life. if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but you might find that you have another new favorite movie trilogy 😉

10000/5 (or 5/5, depending on your preference)

Ben-Hur

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as old movies go, this one wasn’t spectacular. obviously the story is great (still haven’t read the book haha oops), but I just think this particular adaptation was lacking. the acting wasn’t particularly good, I found it hard to care about the characters (even giving all they went through), and the chariot race was too prolonged (that sounds lame, but seriously, it was boring). I don’t know if this should be a genuine complaint, but the timeline of Jesus’ ministry and death didn’t seem accurate? like one day, He’s preaching the Sermon on the Mount, the next we hear He’s in Jerusalem, but when the characters get there to look for Him, He’s already at the trial. there was about a week in between His arrival in Jerusalem and His death, but the movie just rushed from one event to the next without giving any context of time in between.

I did enjoy seeing Judah Ben-Hur work with the horses and I loved how he embraced his Jewish ancestry. I would like to see the newer version, though. I think I would enjoy it more.

3/5

Avengers: Infinity War

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the most anticipated movie of the year, for me at least, was incredible. the feels though. the feels are still hitting hard (I’m obviously staying away from spoilers and I will stay away from specific things as well, in order to keep this short).

first of all, let’s talk about that poster. it’s gorgeous. okay, now back to the review.

aside from the pain, there weren’t a lot of things I disliked about this movie. the Avengers and the Guardians were mostly unselfish and didn’t think twice before jumping into the fray to save the universe. most of the jokes were funny and semi-appropriate. obviously, with the Guardians, you’re going to get some inappropriate ones thrown in the mix.

the character dynamics were great. Thor and Rocket. Tony and Dr. Strange. Tony and Peter Quill. STEVE AND GROOT. ROCKET AND BUCKY. NAT AND WANDA AND OKOYE. PETER QUILL AND THOR. RHODEY AND SAM. TONY AND PETER PARKER. WOW.

obviously with so many characters, some faves did not get as much screen time as others (still crying about that), but I was never confused about what was going on. there was the space team dealing with their thing, and there was the earth team dealing with their things. some Tumblr theories and guesses came true, others didn’t, some we’ll have to wait until next year to (hopefully) witness.

as for negative things, obviously there is a war going on, so there will be carnage. we see flashbacks where people get killed, people are constantly trying to beat up Thanos and Thanos is beating them up back, and there are other fights between Thanos’ army and our heroes. basically, lots of people die.

there are so many other things involved in this movie, so I would recommend seeing it yourself. unless you haven’t seen any other Marvel movies … and then I would not recommend seeing this. just a warning.

I need to see it again … for Wakanda. and for all my faves. I can’t wait until next year.

5/5

wow, I’m sorry this was so long. let me know if you’ve read any of these books or seen any of these movies in the comments below! if you want to scream about Infinity War with me, we can do that over email 🙂

 

 

skin & bones

hey y’all! another short story for you today is below! but before you begin, a few updates: I’M GOING TO SEE INFINITY WAR TOMORROW OMG I can’t believe it. I’ll let y’all know how it goes next week in my monthly reviews and recaps. I might even dedicate a post specifically to it 🙂

also, I’ll be gone on a trip the second week of May. I’m not comfortable sharing details right now, but I will share some when I get back. I’ll have a post scheduled while I’m gone so you won’t miss anything 😉

alright, now on to the story!
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Gabrielle stands in front of her mirror and assesses her image, just as she does every single morning. It’s still not perfect, but it’s getting there.

That consolation will have to do for now.

She trudges downstairs to the kitchen. Her step-mom left a plate with a cream-cheese-and-honey-slathered bagel on it. Gabrielle deliberately ignores it – partly because “really? Cream-cheese and honey?” – and instead reaches for the glass of orange juice, forgetting her resolve to only drink water in the mornings. Hey, at least it’s not milk.

Grabbing her backpack, she heads out the door, making sure to lock it behind her. A quick pause on the porch to send a text to Preston and to gather up some energy for the walk to school, and she’s off.

Her friend Preston meets her at the bottom of the high school steps, just as he does every morning – except it’s taking her a little bit longer to get to school every day. And every day, she looks a little thinner, less happy, less healthy. Maybe it’s a good time to give her the present.

After school, Preston hands Gabrielle a present. It’s wrapped as only a boy can wrap it, and it feels heavy, like a book. Preston elicits a promise from Gabrielle that she won’t open it until she gets home.

Thirty minutes later, Gabrielle inserts her key into the lock, turns it, and enters the home she shares with her family. She sets her ever-heavier backpack down, but her thin frame doesn’t straighten even then.

She takes Preston’s present to the table and sits down, again ignoring the snack her step-mom put out for her.

The wrapping slowly, deliberately, comes off and a new Bible is left in Gabrielle’s thin hands. Good; she was interested in reading one.

Someone left a bookmark towards the back of the book, so Gabrielle opens it there, hoping to find some sort of encouragement or interesting story.

Instead, this verse comes to light: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Gabrielle sits silent for a little bit. She guesses that it makes sense, if God indeed made us, that He would want us to take care of ourselves. But isn’t that what she has been doing?

She stands up and walks to the mirror in the hallway and takes a good look at herself. She doesn’t expect to notice that her eyes are sunken, her arms are thin and weak, and her ankles are projecting out some the bolts on Frankenstein. This is not what she wanted. Hardly.

She walks back to the table, sits down, and thinks for a little bit. Finally, she closes the Bible, pulls the plate of mini cucumber sandwiches towards her, and begins to eat, slowly but thankfully.

This is just the beginning, she thinks that evening as she sits and laughs with her family, more full and content than she has been in a long time.

whatever happens

I originally shared this story on my writing account on the now-defunct website Polyvore  (*waves to the friends I know from there whose blogs I now follow*). some of my friends graciously retrieved some of my little snippets from there once I couldn’t log on anymore, so thank you to Grace and Hannah 🙂

I just took a quote and wrote a little story around it, so I hope you guys like it 🙂

‘Whatever happens, from this moment on
I swear I am your friend.’

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I walk away from the scene, trying to act inconspicuous. It doesn’t work. I hear the cry of ‘Stop that girl!’ start up, and I start running. A girl ahead of me starts running, too.

I yell at her, “No, not you!” She doesn’t listen, but instead turns her head and motions for me to follow her. I obey.

She leads me down an alley, over a fence and into a large dark niche in the wall. “They probably won’t follow us over that fence,” she whispers in my ear. A few minutes pass and all sounds of pursuit disappear before she takes my hand and furtively leads me a few blocks down to the train station.

She nods to the keeper, who turns away, and hops into an open box-car. I nervously follow her.

“Won’t he alert the authorities?” I ask, as the train pulls away from the station.

The girl moves her long, dark hair away from her face – I notice a few sections of deep purple in it – and shakes her head.

“Naw. The station master knows me well. He won’t tell.”

A few more miles of fields and small homesteads pass in silence. It gets darker the closer I get to home.

The other girl breaks the silence. “So why did you steal that piece of bread from the man?” Her eyes peer at me, as if trying to get to the bottom of my heart and read my motives.

I shake my head and reply, “I didn’t. I kept the other guy from stealing it. If they knew what they were looking for, they would have found the loaf right where it should have been.”

More silence and the train begins to slow down.

“I’m Tris, by the way,” I say, sticking out my hand.

She slowly takes it, and staring me in the eye, says, “Nice to meet ya, Tris. Bell. Well, Bella, but everyone calls me Bell.”

The train is going to slow now, that I decide it would be good to jump off and head home.

I prepare myself, but then Bell grabs my shoulder and says, “Whatever happens, from this moment on, I swear I am your friend.” I nod, tears threatening to make an appearance. Our eyes meet for the last time and I jump off.

I watch the train as it disappears around the corner and behind the grove of trees into the night, and then follow suit as the last light of day disappears from the sky.

I need to get home quickly.

My mother is waiting.

three songs // a tag

this tag has been sitting in my drafts for a month now. it’s taken forever to get down, I don’t know why.

I got this from rebekah, so a million thanks to her 🙂

all links lead to spotify

peace will win.jpg
car radio // twenty-one pilots
1. three songs that come up when you put your phone on shuffle

how we roll // britt nicole | angels we have heard on high (live) // for king & country | no compromise (daniel) // peter furler (music inspired by the story)

2. three last songs you listened to

best of 2013 mash-up // anthem lights | may we all // florida georgia line | message man // twenty-one pilots

3. three songs you were recently obsessed with

these are all songs from the ‘in the heights’ soundtrack. no, I’m not that obsessed 😛

benny’s dispatch // christopher jackson | breathe // ‘in the heights’ original broadway company | inútil // carlos gomez

my mind off you
when you’re home // maddy gonzalez, christopher jackson, ‘in the heights’ original broadway company
4. three songs that you know thanks to your parents

basically anything by casting crowns, mercy me, third day, the newsboys, or dc talk

5. three songs you wish you could forget (because listening to them hurts)

someone that loves you // HONNE, izzy bizu | come back…be here // taylor swift | forgive me // group 1 crew {the first two songs are just sad, but the last one I listened to a lot when I was going through a tough time and I really wanted to believe the words, but it was soooo hard}

6. three songs you wish you could erase from history (because they’re terrible)

I honestly hate every breath you take // the police. I just think it’s overrated, it doesn’t sound that great, and the chorus kinda sounds like something a serial killer/stalker would say. aaand that’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

7. three songs you didn’t expect to like but eventually loved

take on me // a-ha | he llorado (como un niño) // juan magán, gente de zona | sign of the times // harry styles

8. three songs that remind you most of summer and vacation

he llorado (como un niño) // juan magán, gente de zona | don’t you worry child – radio edit // swedish house mafia | long live rock & roll // daughtry

9. three songs that get you in the Christmas Mood

heaven everywhere // francesca battistelli | humbug // owl city | it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas // michael bublé

10. three favourite spooky songs

the sound of silence // disturbed | remember this // nf | love/war // jonathan thulin

the sound of silence
the sound of silence
11. three favourite songs from movie or TV series soundtrack

concerning hobbits // howard shore (the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring [original motion picture soundtrack]) | end of the line // henry jackman (captain america: the winter soldier [original motion picture soundtrack]) | madame de pompadour // murray gold (doctor who [original television soundtrack])

12. three favourite songs from video games

the streets of whiterun (from “skyrim: the elder scrolls v) // the wild conductor | and that’s the only one I know, cause I’m not really into video games

13. three songs you want at your funeral

welcome home // michael w. smith | the great day (second coming) // michael w. smith, darlene zshech (music inspired by the story) | finally home // mercyme

14. three songs you want at your wedding

i don’t dance // lee brice | to the moon and back (unplugged) // chris mann | forever yours // michael w. smith

i don't dance
i don’t dance
15. three songs you want to dance with your love to

heartbeat // carrie underwood | break on me // keith urban | in case you didn’t know // brett young

16. three favourite songs to write to

opening titles // rob lane (john adams [music from the hbo miniseries]) | evenstar // howard shore, isabel bayrakdarian (the lord of the rings: the two towers [original motion picture soundtrack]) | the gravel road – score // james newton howard (the village) {I had to fight to keep all of these from being from ‘the lord of the rings’ XD}

17. three songs that remind you of your family

perfect love // jadon lavik | a song for mama (cover) // anthem lights | dirt // florida georgia line

18. three songs that remind you of your friends

this is my year (matoma remix) // family force 5 | let me see ya girl // cole swindell | let’s run // the eagle and child

19. three songs that are your guilty pleasure

let me see ya girl // cole swindell {kind of a suggestive song, but I have a lot of special memories attached to it} | 24k magic // bruno mars {has some bad words in it, but it’s heckin’ fun to dance to}| sincerely me // mike faist, ben platt, will roland {also has a couple of bad words/inappropriate lines, but it’s soooo fun to sing/dance to}

sincerely me

20. three songs that remind you of fictional characters

my demons // starset (bucky barnes) | 7 years // lukas graham (steve rogers) | sit still, look pretty // daya (basically any bada** female character)

21. three songs of your childhood

what if i stumble? // dc talk | give me your eyes // brandon heath | one world // tobymac feat. siti monroe

22. three songs you listen to when you’re sad

round here buzz // eric church | afire love // ed sheeran | addict with a pen // twenty-one pilots

23. three songs that never fail to get you pumped up

the other side // hugh jackman, zac efron (the greatest showman [original motion picture soundtrack]) | northern sky // capital kings, kb | abc café/red & black // eddie redmayne, aaron tveit, students (les misérables: the motion picture soundtrack deluxe [deluxe edition])

24. three favourite old songs

bohemian rhapsody (cover) // pentatonix | breakfast // newsboys | just reach out // petra

bohemian rhapsody

25. three favourite songs of 2017

what ifs // kane brown, lauren alaina | green lights // nf | death of a bachelor // panic! at the disco

26. three favourite non-English songs

creo en it // reik | he llorado (como un niño) // juan magán, gente de zona {yeah, I know I already mentioned this one [twice], but I love it} | je t’aimais, je t’aime et je t’aimerai // amandine bourgeois

27. three songs that remind you of your birthday

this is my year (matoma remix) // family force 5 | the happy birthday song | and that’s all that I can think of?

28. three best songs to drive to

heh, I just started driving, and I’m not comfortable with driving and listening to music at the same time yet … so I don’t know – but I’m going to say country as a genre is good to drive to

dirt
dirt // florida georgia line
29. three songs that influenced you most (some songs change or save lives)

thy will // hillary scott & the scott family {my family was considering a life-changing decision a while ago, and one night, while listening to k-love, this song came on and reminded me that God had everything planned and would do what was best for us} | mansion // nf {this mostly influenced my music taste, but it didn’t change my life necessarily} | even if // kutless {I was still overcoming bitterness and regret for leaving gymnastics, but then this song calmed me and still continues to calm me when I’m going through difficult situations}

30. three songs you really want your followers to know (for reasons other than all those above)

found/tonight // ben platt, lin-manuel miranda {two of my favorite broadway actors, singing songs from two of my favorite musicals? yes please} | oh shenandoah {it’s an american folk song and it’s soooo beautiful} | the soliloquy // noah mac {I started listening to this guy when he was on the Voice, and he’s so incredible}

fear will lose.jpg
car radio // twenty-one pilots

I know a few people who might like to do this, so I’m not going to tag anyone. if you want to do it, feel free 🙂

if you listen to any of these songs and like them, let me know! and give me recommendations in the comments!

march 2k18

well. that was fast.

it’s funny: february – the shortest month – seemed to last forever and march passed by in a blink

and now it’s april, my birthday month! exciting, exciting.

I had a pretty full, fun month (see below 😉 )

plants

enjoyed

3/1 – babysitting/driving

I drove for the first time without an instructor! I drove most of the way home from my babysitting job with my mom. it was fun, but also exhausting.

3/4 – ladies’ tea

my mom, aunt, cousin L, and I went to church one Sunday afternoon for a ladies’ tea. the tea was good, the food was good, the speakers were amazing. it was a lot of fun.

3/18 – anniversary lunch

most of my family on my dad’s side went out for lunch at a chinese place after church to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary. after lunch was over, I went over to L’s house to hang out and get coffee. I also bought a captain america pin at a cute little boutique.

3/24 – surprise birthday party

I went to a surprise birthday party for L’s boyfriend D. it was a lot of fun seeing him and L together and hanging out with friends.

glasses

3/29 – great america

I went to california’s great america! I went with L and D, as well as D’s sister, D’s friend, and my younger brother, who had never been before. it was a lot of fun. I went on the drop tower for the first time, which was absolutely terrifying, and yet I didn’t hate it. I also went on flight deck after everyone else had gone twice. I hated that ride the last time I went, but I was willing to try it again … and I for sure won’t go on it next time. I almost blacked out at one point … and I’m not really the type of person to do that. I had tons of fun though and got a nice burn on my scalp and the back of my neck XD

3/30 – good friday

I went to the good friday service at my church with my older brother N. it was great! the music, the stories … and it was nice to be in a cool place after the hot day that we had.

3/31 – baby shower

it wasn’t really a baby shower, as the baby is already over a month old, but the couple lives in a different state, so … we had it late. it was fun to see the couple again and their adorable baby girl, as well as hang out with some girls I hadn’t seen in a while and eat. so. much. good. food.

overalls.jpg

entertainment

listened: be thou my vision // audrey assad | blessed redeemer // casting crowns | old fashioned (original soundtrack album) | stone // lee dewyze | truce, trees, the run and go // twenty one pilots | hero // skillet | hymns, vol. ii album // anthem lights | found/tonight // ben platt, lin-manuel miranda | to the moon and back (unplugged) // chris mann | breathe, benny’s dispatch, inútil // in the heights (original broadway cast recording) | christmas at sea // sting | best of 2014 // anthem lights | run away with me (live) // aaron tveit

read: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe (5/5) ~ the horse and his boy (4.5/5) ~ prince caspian (4/5) ~ the voyage of the dawn treader (5/5) ~ the silver chair (5/5) // c.s. lewis | the adventures of huckleberry finn // mark twain (3.5/5) | the house of mirth // edith wharton (4.5/5) {read the mini reviews for these books here}

started reading: the great gatsby // f. scott fitzgerald (currently 3.5/5) | the last battle // c.s. lewis (5/5)

watched: thor: ragnarök (again) [read full review here] | old fashioned (4/5) | mission impossible: rogue nation (3.5/5) | the hunt for red october (4/5) {read the mini reviews for these movies here}

bee

blog posts

february reviews

it’s a dangerous business

friendship

a far green country

learned

how to drive haha (and not freak out in the process)

I don’t need to feel obligated to do things that I signed up for if they aren’t affecting me positively or if I need to take a break from them to focus on other things

sheets

{all pictures taken from pinterest}

how was your month? have you had spring break yet? did you do anything fun or special for it? talk to me in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

march reviews

I sure have been gone for a while. oops. I feel like I’ve been really busy lately and haven’t had time to blog? I’ve been working on blog posts, but it just feels like they’ll never be ready? anyways, I’m back now and I’ll have my March wrap-up post up soon 🙂

Books

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – The Horse and His Boy – Prince Caspian – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – The Silver Chair // C.S. Lewis

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I’ll try and keep this one short, cause all of the other reviews will be a little long haha. basically all of these books are great (with the slight exception of Prince Caspian, which can get a bit … tedious) and I love them. there is so much wisdom and wonderfulness contained these short books, that I just … can’t. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of all of these. Prince Caspian is the only one that I don’t like as much, because there is hardly any action; the beginning of the book is someone explaining what’s already happened before the Pevensies got to Narnia and the rest is mostly them tramping through the woods trying to find Caspain *yawn* no wonder it took me two weeks to read the first time.

anywho … they’re all pretty great and I love them 🙂

5/5 | 4.5/5 | 4/5 | 5/5 | 5/5

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn // Mark Twain

huck finn

if I didn’t have to read this book for school, I probably wouldn’t have read it … again. I’ve read abridged, children’s versions before, but I think this was the first time I had read the original. it grew on me as I read it, but it still wasn’t my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

there is a lot of lying and dishonesty contained in this book and I’m not a huge fan of reading about even ‘little’ white lies. however, there were a few times, especially toward the end of the book, where I found myself laughing out loud. so I didn’t end up hating as much as I thought I would.

3.5/5

The House of Mirth // Edith Wharton

the house of mirth

ugh … this book. was a roller coaster. from start to finish. well, actually, it basically went downhill from the fist word. you know how things gather momentum as gravity pulls them down? yeah. that was this book.

I really loved it in the beginning and then it made me FEEL just so. freaking. much. when I reached the end, I just wanted to throw it out the window, as tears poured down my cheeks and my breath caught in my throat. yes, I’m dramatic. no, I didn’t throw it out the window. I just threw it on the floor.

don’t read this book if you don’t want to get your heart broken

aside from all the feels, I really loved the style and flow of the writing in this book. I would read it aloud, so I could feel and hear the words just roll effortlessly off my tongue. as for content, it does deal with some more mature issues, money and romantic relationships among them, but it never goes into explicit territory, except for a kiss or two. there is something more serious that happens at the end of the book that I should mention, but I don’t want to give too much away.

4.5/5
Movies

Old Fashioned

old fashioned

I wasn’t very excited to see this movie. we borrowed it from a couple at our church, and … I thought it was going to be cliché and kinda dowdy (fun fact: ‘old-fashioned’ is a synonym for ‘dowdy’). but … I was pleasantly surprised.

yes, there are some very old-fashioned ideas of love and courtship contained in this movie, as well as a few cliché moments, but come on. this kinda movie wouldn’t be the same without a cutesy, cliché moment or two. and there were only one or two.

it was sweet and painful and frustrating and beautiful and it made me feel. aside from the actual story, the soundtrack, the aesthetic, and the cinematography made me nostalgic for a time and place that I have never even experienced. a love and a peace and a comfort that I have yet to encounter.

it’s not a movie for little kids. it can get pretty deep and serious at times, delving into more mature content (serving a PG-13 rating), but still maintaining a clean image.

a romance movie, titled Old-Fasioned? “I may have some ‘old-fashioned’ opinions and ideals myself, but come on!” I thought I wouldn’t like it … and I was proven wrong.

4/5

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

rogue nation

I have mixed feelings about this movie. I like it, but it’s not my favorite (Ghost Protocol is far superior to all the other movies in the franchise combined – in my opinion). as with the other movies in the franchise, violence and some sensual moments kind of mar the special moments for me. it also drags on a bit toward the end. with all that said, it moves very quickly, keeping your on your toes the whole time, and there are some great moments between friends.

3.5/5

The Hunt for Red October

the-hunt-for-red-october

okay, so I saw part of this movie when I was younger and I thought it was boring. and now I saw it again and holy heck, WHY did I think it was boring? cause I couldn’t catch subtleties yet, that’s why. everything about this movie struck me as subtle (except Sean Connery’s Russian. nothing less subtle than that.). the humor is all there, hidden behind serious faces, and for most of the movie, I wasn’t 100% percent sure what was going on. still not sure if that was just me, or if the movie was doing that on purpose. and my favorite part that was my favorite part before I had even seen the movie (cause my friends quote it all the time) WAS SO GOOD.

I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck… maybe even a “recreational vehicle”. And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that? 

I suppose. 

No papers? 

No papers, state to state. 

Well then, in winter I will live in… Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives. 

Oh, at least.

there was a sad part near the end (why is it always the best people?), but I still really enjoyed the movie

5/5

have you read any great books this month? and have you ever seen the hunt for red october? how about the mission impossible movies? which one is your favorite? talk to me in the comments!

 

a far green country

HAPPY DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE RING

it’s also Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week and I had a nice time at church this morning 🙂

just a quiiiiick update: I’m going to have to pick another day to post on, because I’m working every Tuesday now, and I just don’t have as much time to prepare posts as I used to. so I’m thinking of posting on Thursdays instead, because that’s the only day I don’t really have anything going on, except for Mondays, but I don’t want to post on those days. I won’t be able to post this Thursday, unless I do a scheduled post, cause I have plans, but that’s just an idea. anyways, just a quick update. enjoy the rest of this post 🙂

It Will Shine Out The Clearer

best antagonist

I was going to say Sauron, but then I decided … I actually think Denethor is a really good antagonist. I detest him because of how he treats Faramir, but as an antagonist, he’s pretty great. and we don’t get to see much of Sauron’s personality in LotR (although if you read the Silmarillion, he’s got plenty of personality)

 favorite male character

y’all might have already guessed this one … it’s Faramir. oh yeah. I’ve always liked him and I will never stop. I also Boromir, and Frodo, and Sam, but Faramir will always be my number 1.

My Favorite Character.jpg

favorite female character

aaaaand since I like Faramir so much, y’all might think that I don’t like Éowyn that much. WRONG. she is my second favorite character and my favorite female character. I found myself relating to her in the past and while I can’t say I relate as much now, I still admire and love her.

Éowyn and Théodon

least favorite character

heh. now we come to it. honestly … I think it’s Denethor. I was tempted to say Wormtongue, but I honestly pity him more than anything. Denethor, on the other hand, just disgusts me.

scariest moment

I still enjoy getting that little start of surprise when Bilbo reaches for the Ring

THIS Always Scares Me More

saddest death

I was about to be adamantly for Boromir, and then I remembered how broken I always feel when Haldir dies … so I call a tie between these two. ALTHOUGH. Boromir dies both in the book AND in the movie, so maybe I will say Boromir. I honestly don’t think I can adequately express my love for Boromir. he is just such a special man.

Boromir - 'Nuf Said.jpg

favorite in-book song

‘all that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
from the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring;
renewed shall be blade that was broken,
the crownless again shall be king.’

favorite soundtrack song

oh yeah, it’s a toss-up. between that one that Pippin sings, the one that plays in the extending edition ‘the houses of healing’, and the ‘grey havens.

best “one does not simply”

Use The Wrong Picture

epic actors’ saying

I’m not sure what this means, if it’s supposed to be a quote from the movie, or from an interview or something like that. I’m just gonna leave it blank.

character you pity most

Wormtongue

coolest visual effect

oohhhhh, the Balrog in Moria. it looks so amazing.

most inspiring scene

this one:

‘Hold your ground! Hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!’

your LotR collection

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I have all of the books, plus the Hobbit. I got them secondhand, so they’re not in great condition (the Two Towers is the worst – you can see all the tape I’m using to try and keep it together)

P1000502

I also have two replicas of the Ring itself, a gold one and a black one. my younger brother found the gold one at a military showcasing that we went to, of all places, and my older brother bought the black one, but it doesn’t fit him, so he gave it to me 🙂

best LotR picture ever

this. is the hardest question. there is soooo much amazing fan-art out there, that I can’t pick just one. but I will pick this one.

the shire

it’s so peaceful and the colors are amazing. I feel like a horrible person, having to pick one, but *shrugs* if you want to know more about my obsession, check out my pinterest board haha 😀

 

friendship

my next Lord of the Rings post isn’t quite ready yet, so I’m celebrating some of my friends instead 🙂

[all pictures taken from pinterest]

friends 1

k- // esfj // gryffindor
rock climbing. dog walking. in’n’out. vans (the shoes). taylor swift. guitars. indie music.

katrina 1

hawaii. frozen yogurt. blue and purple neon lights. candy. the ocean. cheap sunglasses. artsy pictures. goats. ultimate frisbee.

p- // I’m guessing xnfx // most likely hufflepuff
les misérables. the ocean. fuzzy pink sweaters. looking at the stars. ice skating.

ice skating

worship music. pinecones. tubing. broadway. musical.y. dancing. the color pink.

t- // probably estp // gryffindor
ping pong. volleyball. artichokes. ‘chicago’. chinese food. fc barcelona. tank tops.

thomas 1

backwards-facing baseball hats. soccer. my brothers. cursive. redbone. 2 am. tournaments. mango smoothies. team captains. foosball. shorts. the color green.

h- // intp // slytherin
coffee. tumblr. writing. imagine dragons concerts. irish dancing. lace-up boots.

hannah 1

all-black everything. books. twenty-one pilots. headphones. sherlock. the maze runner. drawing. sarcasm. oversized sweaters. ripped jeans.

friends 2

my friends are the literal best and I love them so much 🙂

[yes, I do have more friends than the four displayed here 😀 I’ll highlight some more friendships in future posts 🙂 ]