February 24, 2014

the struggle is real.

I know I posted on Sunday night, but overall, it has been a little quieter on the blog here lately.  I am normally quite okay with just falling off into blog-space for periods of time.  Everyone needs a rest, everyone needs some time to recharge. I know there are weeks that all I can think about is blogging, then there are other weeks where my thoughts are consumed with living life.  It's natural...and it happens to every blogger.

But lately, this space has been a little quieter because I want to make this space a little bit better.  I don't plan on doing a design haul anytime soon, but I have really tried to make higher quality pictures a goal of mine.  I love looking at blogs that have amazing pictures...they draw me in and make the story that much better.  I see the value in them, but I am just not a photographer. End of story.

So...last week I had the perfect time to take fun, good quality pictures...and I forgot my camera. Back to the i-Phone pictures I went.  I am so glad that we have the technology to capture the moments we wouldn't have been able to before, but there is a huge quality difference, and it bothers me. To the point that I don't want to blog because I don't have quality photos. Forgetting my camera seems to be the biggest problem I face and I hope that I find a way to change that.  

Do you struggle with taking quality pictures and carrying your camera?  I could use some advice!

February 23, 2014

let people find their happiness.

There aren't many days that go by in my life that I don't think of my kids at St. Pauls High School. Even though I was only there for six months, I know that those kids taught me more than I probably taught them.  I felt like a parent to eighty kids each day for six months.  I ate lunch with them, I spent early mornings and late nights at school teaching, learning, and living life with eighty kids...kids that taught me how to live life a little differently and that there is always a story behind everything.
Frequently, I would look back on my own childhood and compare it to theirs.  Our wants and needs were much different.  For example...I wanted lunchables, they want to go out to eat; I wanted a horse; they want the latest gadget.  Even though many of these kids were only 4-8 years younger than me, I realized how different my generation was from theirs.  Its crazy to me how much a view on life can change so quickly.  
My parents forced me to take piano lessons when I was in the second grade up until I was a young teenager.  I was bribed with marshmallows for my practice during the week, then a sugar cookie from the local bakery after my lesson with Ms. Stemple.  People...it took a lot of focus for me to sit at that piano each day when all I could dream of was horses.

I wanted to take riding lessons more than anything else.  I was always looking at horse magazines, reading Saddle Club books, and even got so desperate that I cut out horse pictures and posted them everywhere around the house...just to remind my parents.

I finally got some riding lessons...and my first horse Kyah. 
You know what? I loved that horse. I was passionate about horses...I worked at the barn on the weekends, I rode other people's horses, and got thrown off more times than I can count.  But, I loved it and still do.

Now, you are probably reading this wondering where the heck I am going with this post...but people do things that motivate them, they do things that they are passionate about.  Some of my kids at St. Pauls weren't passionate about academics, but man, they would do any type of handiwork for me in a heartbeat. I wasn't passionate about piano, but I loved horses. People have different things that fuel their energy.  My roommate loves working out, my brother likes golf, and my friend at work is passionate about vintage antiques.  

We all have something inside of us that captures our attention and nobody will stop us from achieving it.  So, the next time you try to force someone to do something that they may not like, think about something you didn't like.  We all have that "thing", mine was piano, yours may be something else.  Naturally, people will do what makes them happy.  If they are unhappy about their self-image, they will go through steps to change it.  If they are unhappy with their landscaping at their home, they will change it. Most people want to do things that make them happy...and happy people are what make living life a little bit more enjoyable.

Did you ever feel forced to do something? 

February 3, 2014

you find out who your friends are...

I'm not that smart.  As a matter of fact, most things that I am halfway decent at are because I made stupid decisions, or fell flat on my tail at some point in my life.  So...girls (actually anybody), listen to me when I say this.

Don't ever give up on your friends. 
Start dating someone? Don't forget about your friends. 
Move to a new location? Don't forget about your old friends.  
Start a family? Don't forget to include your friends.

See a trend here?

Lately, my life has been about developing a strong friend circle.  Agriculture is a male-dominated industry, so naturally, I grew up around and became friends with guys.  A good guy friend is extremely valuable to a woman, but having a couple of girls that you can pour your heart and soul into is important as well.  I want and need a strong friend circle.

Thankfully, I have two wonderful ladies at work that I absolutely love spending time with.  We lean on each other when the times get tough and spend a lot of time together outside of work.  We all have different interests, but we mesh those interests together beautifully.  
My Sunday school class has blossomed into a great group of friends that I have really started to enjoy. I moved churches in search of fellowship with people my age and couldn't have picked a better place to land. We sit together at church, go out to eat together, and even pull for our beloved not-so-good  Wolfpack. These people challenge me and remind me how important it is to be part of a community of believers.

Right now, I am satisfied with where I am in life. Do I feel the pressures of dating and getting married?  Absolutely. But, I have found that listening to my own heart is the best way for me to love and live during this season of life. I am learning what makes me happy and what makes me sad. I am realizing that where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be.

This community of bloggers has done so much for me too...when I felt lost and without friends, many of you picked me up and encouraged me to be the best that I can be.  I love that I have gotten to meet some of you and cannot wait to meet more of you as time goes on. 
As I sit back and think about it, my friend circle is rather large. Some live near, others live far, but we still stick together through the good times and bad.  My problems are theirs and their problems are mine...and that what makes our friendship special. I still am best friends with some of those that I met in elementary, middle, high school, and college.

After watching crying through waaaaaayyyyy too many Hallmark movies this weekend, I saw this quote after each Hallmark commercial.
Life is a special occasion.  Celebrate each and every day.

I think I have a lot to celebrate. I hope you do too! 

P.S. I hope some of you enjoyed these throwback pictures! And if you're not pictured...you are still my friend :)