Saturday, December 31, 2011

Full Circle

look at us...where we've been...

2011 was a year of ups and downs.

I've changed. I've grown.

I've become closer to friends and grew away from others. I've met new people and made new friends. I've feel like I've grown closer to my family.

I've learned so much. My perspective has changed. I've been challenged. I've been changed.
worrying doesn't get me anywhere because it's like a rocking gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Circumstances and storms have spun around me. I've worried about...everything. But found encouragement and freedom in the words of friends.

I look back and have to say...I don't have any regrets. Not really.

I try not to let things I can't change bother me.
There are things that happened - hey, it's life after all - that I wish didn't go down the way they did, but I'm all the stronger for it and wouldn't change it if I could.

I have no regrets.

Okay, I take that back. One regret. I wish I had worked harder on math. But that isn't quite the type of regret to which I was referring.

Basically, it is what it is. And I am thankful for it, all of it.

I spent a week on stage with some of my best friends. I was able to go to Fine Arts festival for the first time. Camp for the fourth time. I saw friends lives changed by the power and hope of God. I got to spend a week with my best friend at her grandparents. I learned how to drive. I turned seventeen.

Every moment, every tear, every laugh, every hug, sigh, photograph and scream of frustration was worth it. Sure I don't have a definitive reason why it was worth it right now, but someday I will.

And all in all, this year has come full circle. Sure everything changes, but that's just it; everything comes back around. Full circle. It changes, but it just as surely changes back and into something new. Maybe it only makes sense to me, but here's to 2012.

look at us
where we've been
see the view it's changin' changin'
look and see
how we've come
all the way around this time

on we live
on we fight
now it's all the way full circle
things have changed
and gone away
goin' back just to go forward

here we've been
and here we've come
its come around full circle

we can't go back
no inch no mile
it's past
we've come
full circle

this is it
here we are
the old is changed
to new again
time it flies
flies away
we've come around full circle

people come
and people go
hoping just for a tomorrow
it has come
it is here
yesterday, today, tomorrow

look at us
where we've been
see the world
it's changin' changin'
look and see
how we've come
all the way around this time

on we live
on we fight
now it's all the way
full circle

by me - written over the span of the year - unfinished

Friday, December 30, 2011

10 things that make my life all the sweeter because they exist


  1. encouragement unexpected. sometimes you never even knew you need it, until something uplifting is whispered to your soul.


  2. inspiration when everything begins to flow. together. apart. around. when it all just works. inexplicably. when the flame of creativity burns bright.


  3. words are like fire. are encouragement. are inspiration. are a weapon. mightier than the sword. can hurt or can calm. can build or destroy. words are like fire.


  4. family

  5. photography how I have missed it. I need a good camera. haven't shot a photo in so very, very, long. my very dreams have been influenced by my desire to take pictures.


  6. blank pages there's something so inspiring about a blank page. a new beginning. like a new year. part of me dreads 2012. the passing of time. but part of me is excited at this blank page. a new year. to make my own. to change. to grow. to dream. and of course, with that excitement and inspiration that is a black page. a new year. there is just as much nervousness about it. just as much fear. just as much promise.


  7. light a reminder. of hope. life. fire.


  8. Hosea isn't a book of the Bible mentioned a lot, but it's probably my favorite. It's the story of a man that God led to marry a woman who was...well, basically a prostitute. Every time she left Hosea he always took her back. Even paying her way out of slavery. It's the story that God takes us back. Even when we mess up...royally. No matter what we do, how much we sin, disobey or our actions displease Him; He loves us. We are His people and repentance will bring restoration and freedom.


  9. history so much can be learned from the past. from mistakes made. battles lost. if only one would take the time. to listen. to learn. to understand. no wonder the world makes so many mistakes. so many mistakes already made.


  10. prayers

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blessed Birth of Our Savior

Flyleaf's Christmas Song

a frightened, virgin, teenage girl
receives a message that defies the laws of this world
all she can do is weep and nod
she's to bring into this world
the Son of God

God's angels sound their trumpets
and blow their horns
tonight the long awaited Savior is to be born
the goodness bound by satan it has been torn
with this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

a star appears fulfilling ancient prophecy
there's an ounce of fear as wise men follow faithfully
the virgin Mary brings forth the human savior
and this future king sleeps soundly in the manger
soundly in the manger

God's angels sound their trumpets
and blow their horns
tonight the long awaited Savior is to be born
the goodness bound by satan it has been torn
with this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

tonight He is born so one day He can die
to heal hearts that are torn and live the perfect life
so He hang upon a cross and we can take His life
so we can live as sinners
and He can pay the price
tonight He is born so one day He can die
but He will rise again

God's angels sound their trumpets
and blow their horns
tonight the long awaited Savior is to be born
the goodness bound by satan it has been torn
with this baby's precious brow ready for thorns

Once again the time of year has come. It's hard to believe that Christmas, and New Year are inevitably upon us.
2011 is nearly gone.
I don't know where this past year went, but 2012 is nigh upon us.
"Unto us a Savior is born, unto us a Son is given..."
-Isaiah 9:6

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us

Tomorrow is Christmas, the day on which we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Despite the glamor, superficiality and all around commercialized scene that has become Christmas, JESUS is the reason for the season.

After all, it is CHRISTmas, right?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

10 things that make my life all the sweeter because they exist

  1. Simon's Cat hilarious, utterly hilarious cartoon cat videos on YouTube. Short, sweet, and so, so funny.

  2. making jewelry I decided to fix / revamp something I made for myself a while back today and was surprised just how much I miss the creative - if tedious - art of making jewelry.

  3. family

  4. board games! okay, this one does tie in with family. we like to play games. board games, card games, tons of fun. we don't do it a lot thought, because otherwise it would get old. so we mainly sit down and play games (for hours) during birthday's, thanksgiving, Christmas and the like. we started really playing games day before yesterday, so much fun!

  5. warmth my room is kind of cold in the winter because the heat doesn't quite reach that far. so I'm kind of a blanket hoarder. I have a TON. warm is good!

  6. shoeswhile I like going barefoot, almost prefer to not wear shoes there are so many people everywhere who don't have shoes. the other day, I accidentally stepped on a piece of glass, ouch. and while for me, it was stupid for taking the garbage out not wearing shoes, for some it's something that can't be avoided because they have no shoes.

  7. sun shine what can I say, it's winter and where I live it means snow, cold and overcast. I don't mind it so much but there are days when the lack of sunlight seems unbearable and each ray is beautiful.

  8. random conversations you know the ones, that seem to move from one thing to the next and are inexplicably entertaining. where you can't remember what it started with or how you came to be on a certain subject. yeah.

  9. friends they make me realize that I'm either crazier than I had before thought, or more sane (just depends haha). but above all, they remind me that I'm not alone. (ERIC ;)

  10. imagination without it, life would be oh-so dull.

reading: the scorpio races by maggie stiefvater --- listening: playing god by paramore

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Tree Campout

My family has this tradition, of camping out under the Christmas tree. It's something I haven't done in a while.

But, yesterday I put up the Christmas tree and we decided to camp out under the tree.

So, now it's night two of the Christmas tree campout.

Here are some of my Christmas tree campout necessities.

a tree or is that kind of a no-brainer?

my bible good time as any to do some reading

my notebook ah to write of course

ipod music, Christmas-y and Enya of course

a good book My literary companions:

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Rather reminiscent of my favorite TV show Bones the Ruth Galloway mysteries have a strong, scientist heroine. Though where Dr. Brennan (Bones) is an anthropologist, Dr. Galloway is an archaeologist. Also, this series is set in the UK, Norfolk to be exact, and focuses heavily on Celtic mythology and history a lot. LOVE. I finished the first book in a few days, very good.

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
I'm something of  Meg Cabot fan. While I don't like all her books, I've read all the YA series' and she never fails to make me laugh. Since I desired something funnier than the crime novels of late I decided to take crime and comedy and see how Meg did.

The exciting Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Discovered this talented author when I read the first book in her fae series Lament. Her newest book is definitely exciting, have barely been able to put it down!

And of course, some comfy warm blankets and pillows.

What is one of your Christmas traditions?

Have a Laugh

This is cute, and adorable and so, so, so very funny.

If have cats, have had cats or even are a dog person, you're sure to laugh. Hilarious.

This is what one of my older cats was like when we got kittens years ago. Ah memories.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 things that make my life all the sweeter because they exist

  1. lip balm - complete and total lip-saver! particularly Burts Bees replenishing pomegranate.
  2. laughter - rather self explanatory
  3. blog design - something I enjoy doing...usually there is a challenge to present itself. Thinking about doing something winter-y. what does everyone think? vote here
  4. photography - I haven't taken pictures in so long. I mean good pictures, with a real camera, not Instagram on my iPod which tides me over. I currently have no good camera to take pictures with. Sure we have a little family camera but everyone hates using it it's temperamental and takes rubbish pictures. I long for a good digital camera. My mom gave me her old film camera though. I really want to learn how to use it. I have to wait until I have some money though, for film and developing. Expensive stuff.
  5. gel pens - I used to have a lot of those, used them for all kinds of stuff. I've be rediscovering the use of them lately, for use on Christmas cards and the like. Fun stuff.
  6. To Write Love On Her Arms - I've posted about it before, but I love TWLOHA. And I have something really cool to tell you! Remember last week when I posted asking everyone to vote? Well, To Write Love On Her Arms was  in the running to win a million dollar grant, something they could do so much with. I'm extremely happy to say that all the voting paid off (and some praying on my part ;) and TWLOHA won!!
  7. books - I tend to count this one a lot. books and writing. a story is a powerful thing.
  8. my job - thankful. so thankful.
  9. Christmas music! - 'tis the season!
  10. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told - I'm not one for Romeo & Juliet. Depressing. Twilight? Pathetic. But the Bible? Now there is a love story. The story of Gods love for us. Yeah, I know, us.

reading: the crossing places by elly griffiths & the scorpio races by maggie stiefvater ---- listening: barlowgirl Christmas album & enya

Monday, December 05, 2011

10 things that make life all the sweeter because they exist

  1. health - I've been sick off and on for the past couple weeks. being healthy is definitely something I take for granted.
  2. time - something that flies away. something that there never quite seems to be enough of.
  3. comedy - hahaha (what can I say?)
  4. shoes - there are people in other countries, people in our country that don't have shoes. I happen to have more than one pair.
  5. water - the water for my entire town went out yesterday. not having water to wash clothes or take a shower makes a person realize just how much we rely on it.
  6. warmth - our house has a wood furnace, and it's over a hundred years old so what it takes to be warm is something I know about.
  7. instagram - fun fun app that makes terrible ipod pictures look so much better
  8. writing - not much else for me to say. I think it's rather self explanatory for anyone else who writes
  9. my best friend  - Lauren. who is amazing. I love that girl to death, she's my sister. her 18th birthday was on Sunday so here's a birthday shout out to the most amazing girl ever!
  10. my mom - I know I don't listen much or do what she says. I know she does more than we ever give her credit for, so here's to you mom, love you!

Friday, December 02, 2011

First Impressions in Writing

I just submitted my final paper for English 101! 

The assignment was to write a 500 - 1000 word process analysis about some point of the writing process and I chose the beginning of a paper, the introduction!
In the spirit of celebration, I've decided to post the paper for all you writers or other students entering in to college English classes.

First Impressions in Writing

Introductions can be daunting. Throughout life meeting new people and keeping to social etiquette can be awkward. In the same way, writing an introduction for your paper can be daunting. It has its awkward moments and periods of writers block during rough drafts. We’re all beginners at some point; all needing encouragement and guidance to start off. So to help you start, here is some writing wisdom to assist in your introductions.
            To start off, for any piece of writing you need something to write about. To get started, know your topic. If you have an assigned prompt and are unfamiliar with the topic you’ve been given, do research to be more comfortable writing about it. Make sure you understand the topic and know how it is you’re going to present it. For example, if you paper is an argument, are you arguing for or against your topic? Or if it’s persuasive, are you persuading people to take a stand for or against it? Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re knowledgeable in your topic and aware of your approach.
            Once you have a good grasp on your topic, it’s time to develop your thesis. When writing a paper your thesis is one of the most important things you’ll be graded on. It’s the declaration of what your paper is all about, the essence of your piece of writing. As ‘The Little Seagull’ handbook puts it, the thesis is “a statement that identifies the topic and main point of a piece of writing, giving readers an idea of what the text will cover”. Take care in developing your thesis, for without it, what is your paper about?
            Now that the topic and thesis are taken care of, it’s time to cover vocabulary. Wording is important in an introduction, both on paper and in life. If you were to have the opportunity to meet the Queen of England you wouldn’t greet her with an “oh my gosh! It’s great to see you!!!” but rather a formal and polite greeting appropriate for the circumstance. In the same way, you wouldn’t greet your best friend upon seeing them for the first time in two years with a reserved, “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance Your Highness.” So when you’re writing your introduction, make sure you’re using the correct wording. It needs to be appropriate for the circumstance: meaning your audience and your topic.
Something else to keep in mind is that the wording of your introduction also needs to pique the readers’ interest. To catch their eye try making a statement your audience can relate to. For example, at the beginning of this paper the statement “Introductions can be daunting.” is something a student could empathize with. But, as the introduction continues, the parallels between introductions in life and on paper can help those with less writing experience relate to the topic as well. To engage your readers right away, try asking a question pertaining to your topic. ‘The Norton Sampler’ gives the example that “In an essay about the physical benefits of laughter, a writer might open with this question: “Is laughter really the best medicine?”
Since the introduction of your paper is the beginning, it needs to have continuation value. It’s the first impression your paper gives to the audience and should to entice them to continue reading. Make sure your introduction is apt in explaining to the reader what your paper is about, that way successfully leads into the body of your piece.
            The introduction is a crucial part of any piece of writing. The first words read are integral to how your audience will respond to the piece as a whole. As the first impression in writing is so important, we all need some encouragement and guidance when we first start off. Each of these guidelines – topic, thesis, wording, and continuation value – is important to any introduction. Follow them, add your own flare and there’s no introduction you can’t conquer. So get out there and write!

Works Cited

Cooley, Thomas. The Norton Sampler Seventh Edition: Short Stories for Composition. New York: Norton, 2010. Print.
Bullock, Richard, Francine Weinberg, The Little Seagull Handbook. New York, Norton, 2011. Print.

Need Your Help

To Write Love On Her Arms is one of the most amazing organizations ever.
It is one of my favorite organizations along with Voice of the Martyrs, Love146 and World Vision.

The Mission Statement for To Write Love On Her Arms:

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

To learn more about TWLOHA I encourage you to read their vision, the story of how they came to be and what it is they do.

Here's the reason for this post in the words of TWLOHA founder, Jamie Tworkowski:

December is here and so is the final round of voting for the American Giving Awards presented by Chase. TWLOHA is one of five charities with a chance to win $1,000,000. Your support helped us win Round 1 back in October and now we’re looking at the chance not only to win this money but to do it on national television, as the Awards will be broadcast nationwide on NBC.

Your support got us here and we need you now more than ever. Winning this money would allow us to take our message of hope and help on the road to more places and in more creative ways than ever before. Beyond that, we think the chance to speak to a national television audience is something pretty special.

You can vote once daily today [BLOG NOTE::THIS E-MAIL IS FROM DECEMBER 1ST] thru 12/8, so we’re asking for 8 votes over the next 8 days. If you want to do more, you can tweet, retweet, post on Facebook and Tumblr, even host a voting party at your school or in your community. We've created a Facebook event page if you want to join the community of people voting. There’s room to get creative. There’s room for your passion and your voice.

TWLOHA started small and we’ve seen amazing doors open as we’ve continued to journey together. That’s what it’s all about.

To see our big idea (how we would spend the money) and to cast your first vote, go here.

On behalf of the entire TWLOHA team, thank you for supporting us and thank you for caring about other people.

Let's win this thing together.

So to all my readers, please vote :-) and thank you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

weekly playlist

Here are some of my music addictions for this week...songs I've kept on repeat.

a new song from one of my favorite bands - Switchfoot

Kelly Clarkson...honestly, not an artist I've ever listened to a lot. in fact, the only song of hers besides this one I can name is 'Breakaway' from The Princess Diaries II

I'm something of a Gleek. I don't necessarily agree with everything on the show but I inexplicably enjoy it. This, is definitely my favorite Glee mash-up if not my favorite Glee performance.

Demi Lovato may not have the best voice in the world. And yeah, she was a Disney girl. Yes, she was in rehab for a while; but not for drugs. I happen to love this song, and the story behind it.

such a great beat. love switchfoot!

this song...oh this song! I love it so much! it's beautiful. after I heard it the first time, it was the only song I listened to for almost three days.

reading: the power of six by pittacus lore - the replacement by brenna yovanoff - there you'll find me by jenny b. jones

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 things that make life all the sweeter because they exist

  1. Christmas Time it's something that I look forward to. Sure there are still sad times just like any other time of the year, but all around, I love Christmas time. The smell and feel of winter all around me. The sound of Christmas music. (I have some seriously awesome Christmas fact I posted about it last year!)

  2. bucket list I started my bucket list the other day. Crazy things I want to do before I die (no I don't have a terminal illness - as far as I know - I just wanted to make one). There's some pretty wacky things on that list, but I have absolutely enjoyed creating it. I'm considering posting it in fact.

  3. music just in general. I love the stuff. Every morning I wake up with music playing in my head. Usually when I read something it will make me think of a song which is perfect for it (maybe I should be a book-soundtrack creator. do they have those?). And of course, when someone says something, always makes me think of a song with those words in it.
    (When my friend Savanah's little sister Mercy was born this spring, she called me from the hospital to say it was a girl and that they were thinking of naming her Mercy. Automatically had Justice & Mercy by Flyleaf playing in my head. Yep.)

  4. getting things in the mail whether it's ordering things online (which is how I shop) or receiving something from a friend (even better!) I love getting things in the mail. Says something about me doesn't it. And yes, I do also like to watch the washing machine through the little window/door. haha

  5. electricity seriously. kind of a self-explanatory one there. when the power goes's craziness.

  6. wifi an off-shoot of electricity, I know, but still. So reliant on it. For school, contact with the outside world. All that good stuff. when the wifi goes's more than just craziness.

  7. encouragement a few words. a facebook post. a bible verse. a tweet. a smile. something going right. a butterfly. encouragement can come from so many different places, but is all the more uplifting, all the more inspiring when it just pops up out of seemingly nowhere.

  8.  imagination (needs no explanation)

  9. MEAD composition books love them. to death. always carrying one around in my bag. they're low cost, affordable so I never have to worry about filling it up with weird things, not writing on a page, doodling all over them. definitely my chosen writing keeper. other than my computer.

  10. Flyleaf favorite band. favorite tunes. great testimonies behind the band, in the band members. just amazing. totally inspires me, keeps me going. LOVE. In fact, meeting Lacey Mosley - Sturm (lead singer of Flyleaf) is on my bucket list. So is seeing them in concert with my best friend Lauren. this is Flyleaf

reading: the power of six by pittacus lore -- listening: christmas song by flyleaf -- loving: youversion ipod bible app

P.S. the about and favorites pages have been changed and updated!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Harry Potter

my books
I have something to say.
Something many people find controversial. Something that will probably cause more than one of you to stop following my blog.

It's about Harry Potter.
I've read Harry Potter, I love the books, the movies, and have grown up with the story.

Do I look at Harry Potter as evil? Not anymore than anything else.

In this recent article the exorcist for the Catholic church said that "Harry Potter and yoga are evil."

Well, I don't have an opinion on yoga as I haven't done any research into the matter but I do have an opinion about what he's said of Harry Potter.

His premise is that "In Harry Potter the devil acts in a crafty and covert manner" and “Practising yoga is satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter".

You know what? Satan can use the Bible just as much as Harry Potter to make people do evil things. What I'm saying is that Satan can use Harry Potter, but only as much as the next thing. In fact, Satan has worked through the bible to make people do evil things; slavery, the crusades, polygamy...shall I go on?

Did I mention this is coming from a man whose "favorite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist." and PROMOTES HORROR MOVIES such as "The Rite, a film about exorcism starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest."

It seems pretty stupid to me, saying that satan can work through Harry Potter as if it's the worst and only outlet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


speculation cover by a fan

I remember when everyone first started speculating about the final book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

It had taken so long after Eragon for both Eldest and Brisingr to be released. Originally it was only going to be a trilogy, but the third and final book would have been about a foot thick.

I found this cover though google images and for a while wondered if it might be the real thing. It looked rather like the art of the cover designer for the previous books. However, in each of his cover designs for previous books he signed his name. This cover, no tag. So it couldn't be real.

It still got me excited!

Well, that was about a year or two ago and at the beginning of the month, the actual, final installment of the Inheritance Cycle released.

actual cover
It kind of sneaked up on me...I'm  not very good with time to say the least.

A few weeks before I had been surprised to find it on the library's website for e-book checkout. Obviously it wasn't available yet, but I was able to put a hold on it...first in line!

Then another surprise: the book released at midnight so I figured I would be able to check out the e-book for my Kindle at midnight. But the release was midnight on the east coast. Yep, that meant I got to start reading at 9:00 on November 7th.

I was so excited, it was just crazy.
I think though, that little brother was even more excited than me! Since he usually gets the audiobook, and the only print copy we had was on my Kindle he was trying so hard to get me to read to him! I actually did end up reading to him, til my voice was gone in fact. The next few days were spent with me or my dad reading to him, until - surprise number 3 - the audio book was available for digital download from the library.

The final book was so well written, so well wrapped up. It was completely bittersweet to see the series end. Christopher Paolini has weaved such a story, created such a world it's...beautiful.

And the quotableness is an abundance.

So, to send off a great series, a wonderful legend, here are some of my favorite quotable quotes from Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

You cannot predict every eventuality, and you cannot guarantee success every time you face an enemy, but by seeing all and discounting nothing, you may adapt without hesitation to any change.
The warrior who can adapt the easiest to the unexpected is the warrior who will live the longest.

Beware of the shadows, Eragon. Strange things lurk in dark places,

It's impossible to go through life unscathed. Nor should you want to. By the hurts we accumulate, we measure our follies and our accomplishments.

Why does everything have to be so hard? he wondered.
Because said Saphira, everyone wants to eat, but no one wants to be eaten.

If it's a girl, name her something fierce.

for more of The Inheritance Cycle head over to

reading: the replacement by brenna yovanoff -- listening: buachaill on eirne by damian mcginty & celtic thunder

Friday, November 25, 2011

post thanksgiving ::: finals week

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

I had a lot of fun spending the time with friends and family...not to mention some good food!

No Black Friday shopping for me though! I live in a small town far, far away from stores who have sales though I don't think I would go if I could!

hmmnn...though I have to say it would depend on the store and how crowded it would be!

Well, this next week or so here is finals week for me *gulp*. College finals for this quarter. Really nervous. But at the same time pretty confident.

When midterms rolled around they completely caught me by surprise and I was freaking out. Though, for half of the midterms week I wasn't able to do any work because my computer was down. Yeah, that was bad. Fortunately, I did surprisingly well!

I figure I've made it this far, I can make it through finals!

I have my final portfolio for English to submit by Sunday night, not too worried about that as both my essays are really good! I'll probably be posting the final draft of my human trafficking essay sometime. It's not going to be the same as the draft I posted the other day as I have made some changes so that it better conforms to the directions as given by my teacher.

Have a HUGE history final. As in, annotated bibliography AND a 5 - 8 page paper. I think it was 5-8...though it's pretty cool my teacher gave us the option to do it in any format we want. Well, except poster board because she hates those haha. But I could do a video or a power point or something instead. Mostly it's the annotated bibliography I'm worried about because it's almost an assignment in itself.

Well, I'm off to bed...I was up for about 22 hours yesterday (long story) and only managed 5 hours of sleep this morning so I'm coming off the adrenaline or whatever it is when you're tired.

read: inheritance by christopher paolini -- listening: at Your feet by Casting Crowns -- loving: pinterest

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving. Here it is again. That time of year.

Most of you are probably spending this time with a number of friends and family, and a meal that has been slaved over for the past few days.

Normally, we don't do anything like that in my family. My extended family all lives hours, if not states, away so we keep things pretty low key.

It's kind of the belief that we should spend time together, instead of separate doing hours of cooking for a 10 minute meal.

 Usually at Thanksgiving if we have a turkey we've made it several days beforehand, and have sandwiches. If we don't have turkey, we usually have pizza, which is fine with me! (super crazy pizza lover here)

This year however, we are going to drive a couple hours to the abode of a family friend who invited us for the holiday. I'm excited! I think of them as family and am looking forward to visiting.

So what am I thankful for? Well...honestly, everything.

I know it's kind of a cliche and easy to say answer but it's true.

The good and the bad all work together for the glory of Him who holds it all, do they not?

Even when bad things happen, and we cannot see the reason in them beyond the sorrow of the moment, the good and the bad are how we grow, how we live.

And I am thankful for life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

. . . stars . . .

Back in February I posted 'when I look at the stars...' sharing one of my favorite pastimes, gazing at the stars along with a piece of my writing.

The title of the post comes from one of my all-time favorite songs, Stars by Switchfoot.

Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

URGENT :: prayer request

I have a quick prayer request for all of you reading this.

I live with my family in a building that's over 100 years old.

Just this afternoon we discovered several large leaks in our roof. Today has been a warmer day and it rained on top of the almost foot of snow which started to melt.
Sadly, we didn't find the largest of the leaks early on and there was quite a lot of water on almost everything in the room.

Thankfully, it looks right now like nothing was permanently damaged and we have buckets under drips.

Prayer for our roof  would be much appreciated!

life. is. sweet.

Quite a while ago now, there was a tag / giveaway contest going on from a beautiful blog called Shilah.

The blog is no longer around, but my prayers go out to the authoress.

She started a little something called...

Life Is Sweet

The idea of Life is Sweet is to post every week with 10 things that make (your) life all the sweeter because they exist.

Personally, I think it was a really good idea. A great prompt to post each week.

So I am going to continue it, hopefully she won't mind.

I don't have anything to giveaway or a contest to enter, just the sharing of an idea, of a love, of reminders of a sweet life.

So please join this movement to remind not only ourselves, but our friends, our family, and our readers there are things that make life worth living.
If you desire to join in this coalition start posting and make sure to include the button.

This image was not made by me and all credit goes to Ara of Shilah. In no way do I intend to pass it off as my own. 


click here to join the event on facebook

10 things that make my life all the sweeter because they exist:

  1. words

    words are powerful. the pen is mightier than the sword. words are like fire. words can make kingdoms fall and rise. words are like fire.
  2. Kindle

    reading on the go! of course it's not the same as a real, touch, feel, smell book. BUT I have the ability to take the dozen and a half books on vacation with me without filling up half my suitcase. (I seriously have done that)
  3. learning

    learn something new every day. never stop learning.
  4. family

    I yell at them. I'm grumpy. I'm pretty terrible. But they still love me. I completely take them for granted.
  5. nothing

    as in, having nothing to do. it's something I used to take for granted before I had a steady job and college classes. now, it's something to savor.
  6. friends

    I just received a package from my best friend in the mail. I am so thankful for her. she helps keep me sane. love that girl!
  7. instagram

    makes those icky iPod pictures look so much better than they are.
  8. pinterest

    totally amazing. totally addicted.
  9. freedom

    freedom isn't free. it's fought for. it's died for. and it's completely taken for granted.
  10. God's Word

    the bible. inspiration. encouragement. completely take it for granted. there's not many other countries in which I could read this book of books, let alone own one.

perspective :: blogging

I haven't been blogging very much. In fact, I haven't really blogged in a long time I just seems like I've been so busy. However, at the same time, there have been opportunities do write, however I decided to turn them down and spend my time elsewhere.

So it made me think, what is the purpose of my blog?

Honestly, I can't think of why I really started blogging.

Perhaps it had something to do with just discovering something new, wanting to try it out.
I had bought my own computer and wanted to have something more than school to use it for.

Mostly, I think it was just because I could.

Sure, it's a good way to put my writing out there...but at the same time I haven't done that much. I seem to worry very much that someone might plagiarize, take my work and claim it as their own.

Yeah, it's a good way to keep in touch with friends and family...but I have more people I don't know reading my blog than there is friends and family reading.

Anymore, I'm not sure why I have a blog. Other than it being something else to add to the list of things I'm avoiding doing.

No more. I've spent a lot of time building this blog, designing numerous templates and looks; many of which have never been used. No more not writing because my perspective has been twisted and I'm seeing as a chore. As something I have to do, but for the wrong reasons.

It's time to switch my perspective back.
It is something I have to do...but not because it's a chore, not because I need to keep readers, not for my "fame".
It's something I have to do: for the sake of my sanity, for the sake of my soul.

I write
NOT for the sake of glory
NOT for the sake of fame
NOT for the sake of success
but for the sake of my soul
-Rachel Joy Scott

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Plain Sight: Modern Slavery

 (this is my most recent paper for my college English 101 class)

In Plain Sight: Modern Slavery

          Human trafficking. Two words that to some, have meaning. Others may only have an inkling of what it is those words mean. While some, don’t even know. Human trafficking didn’t end in this country with the abolishment of slavery and importation of slaves. Human trafficking still happens, and not just in our country or others. But in our cities, our neighborhoods, our backyards; and so often we miss it. We can sit back and wish all we want that things like that just don’t happen. Or, we can open our eyes to what is going on and in turn, learn and open the eyes of others. Together, we can end slavery.

            What exactly is human trafficking? Essentially, human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings: modern slavery. Human trafficking is a transnational crime, meaning it happens in multiple countries the world over. The crime of human trafficking can be for the purposes of selling people for other crimes; sexual exploitation being the most media recognized, but also for forced labor; a crime just as terrible and prevalent as sexual slavery and exploitation.
            People of all ages, genders, nationalities and walks of life can find themselves a victim of human trafficking. The exact number of people trafficked can only be estimated, and in 2005 the International Labor Organization estimated the minimum number of persons in trafficking situations to be 2.45 million. Out of that, an estimated 45,000–50,000 of those persons are trafficked through the United States annually (qtd. in Obuah 1). The United States is among the top 10 destinations for human trafficking (qtd. in Hepburn; Simon 3). In fact, the exact number trafficked through the U.S. every year can only be estimated. However, the majority of persons being trafficked are women and children. “Traffickers often prey on individuals who are poor, unemployed or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets” (qtd. in Obuah 6).
            Victims of human trafficking are often brought to America under false pretenses. The promise of employment, education or marriage can be very tempting (qtd. in Reed). Other victims of human trafficking may have been kidnapped from off the streets, something that happens often to children for the purpose of sexual exploitation (qtd. in “Love146…Child Trafficking Facts”).
More often than not, people in trafficking situations are kept in living conditions that are unhealthy both physically and mentally: forced to work for hours on end (qtd. in Reed) without breaks and given little or no food and clean water (Hepburn; Simon 5).
Victims are often kept enslaved through the trafficker using their “debt” against them. First, victims may be offered employment with a pricey fee to gain the position. After victims have successfully been ensnared, traffickers will charge exorbitant fees for food, housing and other miscellaneous expenses, further indebting the victims (Hepburn; Simon 4, 5). Other ways pimps keep a handle on their victims is through confiscating travel documents, regular rape, beatings, threats upon them and their families and even through the use of drugs (qtd. in Obuah 8).
            While you may be wondering just why it is that human trafficking happens, it goes back to one of the oldest reasons in the book: greed. Believe it or not, the trafficking of persons is an extremely lucrative business for traffickers - i.e. “pimps” - with profits in the billions, and little or no risk to the people committing the crime. In fact, the trafficking of women is even more profitable than the international drugs and arms trade (qtd.  in Obuah 10). Still others estimate that that traffickers profit between $10 and $12 billion dollars annually. And that figure doesn’t even take into consideration the benefits gained by industries and factories who use slave labor (Obuah 10). Even still, the International Labor Office estimated an annual worldwide profit of $44.3 billion (qtd. in Hepburn; Simon 2).
Because of the sex industry traffickers, pimps, and their seedy associates aren’t the only one’s who profit from human trafficking. Some of the biggest U.S. corporations earn tens of millions in profits from the distribution of pornography; pornography that because of lax regulation often illegally uses underage and trafficked persons (Hepburn; Simon 4).
While sexual exploitation and slavery make up a large part of human trafficking, it’s not the only reason traffickers have for doing what they do. 98% of trafficking victims forced into commercial sexual exploitation are women and girls and the 2% left being men and boys (qtd. in Hepburn; Simon 2). But there is also forced labor, 56% of victims being women and girls with 44% being men and boys (qtd. in Hepburn; Simon 2).
The reality is that forced labor is just as bad as sexual slavery.
Since the general activities—[such as] domestic work, farming, factory work, or restaurant work—are all legal activities, there is a perception that ‘it’s not as bad as sex trafficking’, because in sex trafficking people are being forced into an illegal activity (qtd. in Hepburn; Simon 12).
            Trafficking of humans can, and does, happen right under our noses. In fact, “We think of it [prostitution] as a shady business, but the brothels are often homes in residential neighborhoods” (qtd. in Reed). In October 2001 a Rhode Island man was arrested on human trafficking charges, for enticing a 17 year old girl to perform sex acts for money (Sotnik). Around the same time in Connecticut a man is facing life for prostituting a 14 year old girl (“Man faces life for prostituting a minor”). Modern slavery happens, and it happens right here in our country.
            Human trafficking is a problem that spans country and continent. So what can a person like you or I do about it? Well, if knowledge is power the first thing we can do is educate ourselves on the subject. Websites and organizations like, Love146 (, the International Labor Organization (, all have an abundance of information on the subjects of human trafficking, modern slavery, child labor, forced labor, and sexual slavery. Every year the United States government releases a Trafficking in Persons report. “The report gives weight to concrete actions by the US government to combat trafficking and uses a three-tier system to rank countries” (qtd. Obuah 13). The 2011 report can be downloaded online.
            Knowledge on the subject plays a key part in understanding and opening eyes to the realities of human trafficking. But knowledge of warning signs someone may be a victim of human trafficking are equally important. In her article on human trafficking in the Seattle area written for “Seattle Woman Magazine”, Wenda Reed provides some red flags to look for if there’s a chance someone may be a victim of modern slavery.
            As American citizens the few things we have control over is how we spend our time and our money. Companies like Time Warner, Hilton, Westin, AT&T and Marriott all profit from the distribution of pornography, (Hepburn; Simon 4). Because of the aforementioned lax regulations on pornography and the American sex industry, it’s reasonable that by supporting these companies and others it supports human trafficking and sexual exploitation of persons. Perhaps next time you go to spend your money, see what you can find about where your money is going and what it may be supporting.
            There are also organizations that have a heart and drive to aid in the rescue of victims of human trafficking. Love146 is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and resources to combat child sex trafficking. World Vision is a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice; including human and sex trafficking. Check out these organizations and research others (make sure they’re real!) to find out what you can do to make a difference, whether it’s volunteering time or money.
Still yet, all these numbers and statistics cannot even come to show just what is happening and the evils of modern slavery and human trafficking. The number of people victimized and the amount of profit from human trafficking can only ever be guessed at.
We all like to think that bad things don’t happen; at least not in our communities, our cities, or our nation. But the fact of the matter is human trafficking happens everywhere. No matter where you live, human trafficking exists in some way, shape, or form. We come in contact with it everyday though we may not even realize (qtd. in Obauh 3).
We have the choice to continue in our normalcy, preferring to avoid what’s happening. Or, we can choose to educate ourselves and others to the reality that human trafficking happens everywhere; and it’s something that together, we can end.

Works Cited
Hepburn, Stephanie; Simon, Rita J. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Human Trafficking in the United States.” Springer Science & Business Media. 27.1-2 (2010): 1-26. Proquest Research Library. Feature. 29 October 2011.
“ United States Child Trafficking Facts”. New Haven, CT: Love146 2009. Web. 29 October 2011.
“Man faces life for prostituting a minor”. News 8. LIN Television Corporation, 25 October 2011. Web. 29 October 2011.
Obuah, Emmanuel. “Combating Global Trafficking in Persons: the Role of the United States Post September 2001”. Palgrave Macmillan. 43.2 (2006):241-265. Proquest Research Library. Feature. 29 October 2011.
Reed, Wenda. “Slaves Among Us: Human Trafficking in the Seattle Area.” Seattle Woman. Caliope Publishing Company, 2010. Web. 27 October 2011.
Sotnik, Kathryn. “Man arrested in human trafficking case”. LIN Television Corporation, 25 October 2011 Web. 28 October 2011.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh Life

Busy. That's the one word that I seem to be using every time someone asks me how I am, how I've been, what's been going on.


college classes

Everything taking it's toll.

It kind of makes me worried. Okay, it really makes me worried.

The fact that I'm only taking three college classes and I'm ready to start pulling my hair out.
Yeah, because of where I live the program's not the best and things could be done more efficiently on their end so it's not all my fault.
But still.

I'm supposed to be catching up on math. Which I'm terrible at. And a few years behind in.



But I've had only three college classes and thus made no progress on math.


Really bad.



And it's kinda stressin' me out.

Okay, really stressing me out mostly.

It makes me feel a bit better to know that I do only have math and science to complete to be done with highschool. Everything else is already done.


Right now I'm feeling a bit long as I don't think about everything I have to stress about...or what I think I have to stress about.

But on to merrier things.

Fall is slowly starting to turn to winter in my Forgotten Corner.

I've had a few different jobs this month, the usual house sitting little things.

And then there was a big job of cleaning bathrooms every weekend for a few weekends.
That was a LOT of work. Seriously. And nasty. But it was a job that landed in my lap, paid well, and was pretty much a God-deal. No way I was turning that down!

And...I now have the job that I have always hoped to have!
Working concessions at the local movie theater. Which is kitty-corner across the street from my house. Great right?!


That's some of what's been going on! Mostly everything...

More later...perhaps...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Worry.

I'm a worrier.
I stress.
I groan.
I procrastinate.
I freak out.
I flip out.
I worry.
I'm a worrier.
It's what I do.
Part of who I am.

And most of the things I worry about, are only there because I picked 'em up and stuck 'em on my shoulders.

Some things that are mine to worry about.
Some things that aren't mine to worry about.
Other things that I created the worry with no reason.

And I can't seem to let go.
To pray, act, let God move.

I worry.
I'm a worrier.

I worry about not trusting God enough.
I worry about "trusting" in a way that's just enabling my procrastination.
I worry about not trusting Him with the right things.
I worry about how other people see me.
I worry I won't graduate high school.
I worry I won't complete math in time to graduate high school.
I worry I won't complete math in time for science.
I worry about college.
I worry about my friends.
I worry about my family.
I worry I don't read my bible or pray enough.
I worry about not going to church
I worry about going to church.
I worry about the fact that my computer is hating me right now.
I worry I write too much.
I worry I don't write enough.
I worry I don't read enough.
I worry I read too much.
I worry I spend my time unwisely.
I worry it's impossible.
I worry it's not worth it.
I worry about driving.
I worry about my health.
I worry about money.
I worry
I worry
I worry

I'm a worrier.

(I'm worried I used worry so much it doesn't even look like a word anymore.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm The Kind Of Person

Who thinks they post about something, but they never actually wrote it down.

Who thinks that thought stayed in their head, but it was actually said out loud.

Who thinks they mentioned something important, when they really just had the conversation in their head.

So it raises the question: am I insane????

While all these facts are true, I believe I have had the comfort of knowing that other people have done that too.

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not insane. (*insert maniacal laugh here*)

That aside, what I really wanted to get to is the fact that things have happened that are so good and bloggable that I actually think up in my head just what I want to say.

And then for some reason actually think I posted something about them.

When, in reality, I most definitely have not.

If you think like I do (does that mean your insane too? hmnn...) then we may both know what this means...

Catch up time!

Firstly, yes. I passed drivers ed. In case anyone was wondering. With flying colors practically...
Okay, well no, not necessarily "flying colors" (I really should look up the meaning of that metaphor...) more like "mostly average with some exemplary traits".
Or somesuchedness as that.

Secondly, yes. I did just write "somesuchedness".

Thirdly, I have been SWAMPED with school work. In fact, its the land of headacheville.

Fourth (ly?), I HAVE A JOB...again...
In case your new (or just don't have a good memory / pay attention...*cough*like me*cough*) where I live, it's hard to get a job.
So, I have had a series of widely different and rather random jobs.
Cat sitter, weed puller, lawn mower, concessionaire, food prep, cleaner, construction...
Well, the list could go on but I'll refrain from the tediousness.
Since the salon I was working / cleaning for closed I no longer have that job.
But, all is not lost.
I was last - minute offered a job to clean the bathrooms at the fall excursion train rides.
I was eager for a job, albeit a tad apprehensive considering what the job entailed.
However, it pays well and when a job leaps out at you like that when nothing else is on your plate, you take it.

Last weekend was my first weekend working my new job, right after the weekend ended I ended up being offered another job!! And this one is one I have wanted for...well, quite a while. It's the job that I have always thought to myself, "I want that job".
Working concessions at the local movie theater!
So happy! I'll only be working a couple nights a weekend but hey, the movie theater is right across the street from my house and it pays. And I get to see the movies.
Definitely, no complaints!

Lastly, and on a  random note.
A few other places you can follow me,
Pinterest is amazing AND addictive.
Twitter the place where I spout my random thoughts, prayer requests and awesome re-tweets.
Instagram if you have an iPod, iPad or iPhone. Just search for The_Siriana. Or, if you don't, make sure to follow my rag-tag Tumblr where my Instagram shots automatically post.

 Hope you're all well!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


In case you didn't notice when the page loaded, the new design is finally up and working!
Well...hopefully everything's working. Hopefully!
I would love it if you commented to let me know whether or not the 'followers' (journeyers) widget is working. I noticed it wasn't loading a lot after I uploaded the new design.

Let me know what you think! :)
I should update post-wise soon!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

For the Record

I have been attempting to upload a new blog design...for fall / halloween / my birthday.

However, Blogger has decided that it hates me (hopefully just for today) and I can't seem to properly upload the template. It says it's uploaded successfully but the appearance of my blog says otherwise!

Anyone else having this problem? Any helpful advice?

Thanks! :) Hope you're all having a great day, a good school year and a beautiful fall!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

17 Random Factoids

{1} I want to go to Scotland. Really Bad.

{2} Number two last year involved my statement that I'm "not a pink girl". I can now say while I'm still not big into girly pinks, I do like pink again...guess it just kind of came full circle.

{3} I'm currently head over heels for blue nailpolish. Yeah.

{4} I think with a British accent (still true and still weird...still don't know how it's possible)

{5} Last year M&M's were my favorite candy. They're not anymore. Now, its the good stuff. I'm talkin' Lindt's Lindor Truffles. Especially the one's with the light blue wrap.

{6} I long for a new camera. A better camera. More than a point - and - shoot camera. Preferably something with Nikon on it. (Specifically, this one)

{7} I don't read as much as I used to.

{8} I love the Disney show Phineas & Ferb.

{9} TWLOHA is the best organization ever. And I love them.

{10} The concept of driving freaks me out.

{11} Writing is a way of life.

{12} I am much nerdier / geekier / dorkier than I used to be. Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Star Trek, LOTR. Totally. Loving It.

{13} I cannot live without my iPod Touch.

{14} I still don't wear dresses...though I do now own one...that I made...its kind of a dress.

{15} I am utterly addicted to Pinterest. Follow if you are too!

{16} I have the most awesome and amazing best friends in the world.
I'm talkin about you guys, Lauren, Eric, Amanda and Nicole!

{17} I have the most amazing family and we live in the most gorgeous place.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh Yeah

I'm rather reveling in the fact that drivers ed is virtually over.

Had the last 2hr class session yesterday, with only a drive next week to pass and drivers ed will be behind me.

Strangely, I think I'm going to miss that class...

While I definitely won't be missing the curvy mountain pass drive and three days a week of classes and being away from home (and internet), it was a good class.

Had a lot of fun, learned a lot of stuff and I know I'm definitely a better driver now!

In other school - related topics, enjoying my college classes.

English and History are really the big one's right now.

In fact I'm supposed to be writing my English essay right now...but I was stuck...

I guess I could've better spend my stuck-ness time by studying for my History test I also need to have done before days end...

Oh Yeah!


Those days that come around once a year as an anniversary of a birth.

Yep. It's that time of year again.

But I totally forgot. Well, until this last Sunday at least.

I was just sitting, pondering what the week held for me, thinking of the date.

When suddenly I realized.

Saturday is my birthday.

Yep, Saturday. As in tomorrow, Saturday.



I think I'm the only teenager I know of that doesn't get super excited when their birthday comes around...well, that and actually forgets said birthday.

Not doing much. Just finished my birthday dinner tonight because my family will be busy tomorrow. I'm just gonna hang out at home, get some stuff done...that's it.

And that, is just about everything going on right now.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

As of Late

I figure I should do something to keep all you people updated.

It's been the usual for me...a ton of stuff going on but at the same time nothing going on.

I started drivers ed a few weeks ago, officially.

Went and got my learners permit and signed up.

I'm taking it with one of my best friends, Savanah, so that's a plus.

But aside from that, I'm definitely ready to be done!

Don't get me wrong, I've learned a TON (had only driven a couple times before class started) and the teacher is good.

The thing is, its three days a week for six weeks, in a town about 50 miles away, over the curviest mountain pass I've ever been on in Washington.


Have I ever mentioned I used to get car sick a lot when I was younger?

'Cause I did. Quite a bit. And going over those curves day after day is nausea city for me!

Though luckily I have yet to actually get sick. Only feel really ill.

Officially half way done with drivers ed though! Few more weeks to go and we'll be done!

I haven't officially started school yet. I'm working on math but my college classes don't start until the end of the month. Ironically, (and thankfully) they start with only a few days of drivers ed left.

Works out nicely!

Other than that, fall has come to my little neck of the woods.

And. I. Love it.

Fall is my favorite season by far. I'm not sure why, maybe because I'm an autumn - born child, but I absolutely adore autumn.

The smell, the breeze, the changing colors. Ah, love it. Makes me feel alive.

Hope you're all well...even if school has started ;-) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Anyone heard of Instagram?

It's a lovely little app for your iPhone or iPod Touch where you can upload pictures to a "social" if you will but are able to change the pictures with several different choices in filters.


I started this morning and am officially obsessed!

And the cool part?

My iPod touch barely has a megapixel of definition, only two of those pictures are from an actual camera...can you tell which ones?

I can, and actually the 'be original' picture isn't mine, but other than that all the others were taken by me.

Anyone interested in getting the app, its free and I rate it a full 5 stars! {click here for iTunes store}

Which two do you think are actually captured with a camera?

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