Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016/Hello 2017

2016.

A lot of people have been saying bad things about you 2016, and it’s true that not all of you was great.

But a lot happened this year and now is the time to reflect upon it.
The end of 2015, I had finished the first semester of my Senior year at a new college. Some of my friends weren’t coming back the following semester and I knew I only had one semester left until I was supposed to figure out something else to do and hopefully get a job in my major. So, 2016 seemed like a mystery to me. I knew it was full of possibility but I wasn’t sure how everything was going to unfold.

Well, let’s start with my last semester of college. I had some really neat things happen and really cool opportunities in my last semester. One of the major things in my life was getting to deepen in friendships made at the end of 2015 and make new friendships too. Of course, I never have forgotten the friendships made in the Fall semester of 2015 that I didn’t get to see as often, but it was nice to make more and grow with them too. There were a lot of Disney movie nights, coffee, and taco bell runs. But on the academic side, I also got the very wonderful opportunity of being a media intern for a couple of days at SUN’NFUN in Lakeland where I got an article published in their newspaper. I also got featured and had a newspaper article written about my friend and I in a newspaper as well. It was a lot of firsts and it really did grow me. I also got to be apart of my very first improve show put on by the drama club. It may have been a seemingly small thing, but I feel like it improved my acting skills and was something I’ll always treasure.

Now, let’s talk graduation. Graduation came and flew with bittersweet emotions. I was leaving something so very comfortable to me and something I liked. I liked learning and I liked being a student. It was something I have been for most of my life and I was leaving school behind. Thankfully, I got to graduate with a myriad of my friends and I had a great graduation really. But I knew the lingering question of “what’s next” wouldn’t leave me alone until I found out the answer to it. So came Summer.

Summer. It was a long Summer. But Summer taught me a lesson I already knew but to a different degree. I learned to wait. The previous Summer when my college “Clearwater Christian College” closed and I had to find a new one to go to for the Fall semester, I learned to wait and be patient. Here I was again with a different situation but the same problem. I learned to pray more fervently again. I applied like crazy, submitted online articles to online magazines, and even went to a couple of interviews. I thought it’d be easy to get a job for the Summer. It wasn’t. Nothing worked and nothing happened and a few times I felt like a failure. I had neglected to reach out to the preschool I used to work at because I thought God might have been calling me to a different workplace to get other experience.

However, as the Summer went on and I wasn’t getting anywhere, I finally reached out to the preschool and the very same day that school started back up again for my younger sister and my older sister Gracie started up her new job as a teacher, I got a call back from that preschool asking me to start as soon as possible. I knew there was a purpose and it was a blessing that God gave me a job that day. I also learned that I was wrong and I was needed back at the preschool. I also was reminded how much I love working with kids. I also, looking back, got to see the little blessings I received in not having a job for the summer. I got to go on a wonderful trip to GA where I went blackberry picking and made blackberry pie and went to a drive-in movie theater all for my first time. I got to help out with my church’s VBS which I am unsure if I will be able to do this Summer. I got to spend quality time with my El Salvadorian friend Claudia who was able to spend a week here in FL. I got to spend a lot f time with my friend Heidi before she got a job as a nurse at Tampa General. There were so many little blessings that I didn’t see right away but I see now.

The last part of the year has been spent working at the preschool which I am still currently working at for now. This year my goal and aim is to get my license and maybe then try to reach out and find a job in my major or seek an internship in journalism. I don’t really know what 2017 will hold because I have learned to wait and seek God and to not expect anything. I had plans, but they fell through because it wasn’t where God wanted me at that point in time in life. I don’t know how long God wants me to be at the preschool but I am content being where He wants me to be for now. I am waiting, and I am listening. I do not mind waiting anymore. There is no hurry. I don’t need a grand job right this instant. I will stay where He wants me and I will love these children while I am here and I can.

That being said, I don’t think 2016 was too bad for me. It was a year of change but I think changes happen every new season. There are many chapters in a year I have learned and a year holds a book. So, a new book awaits me. It’s entitled; “2017”. I am ready to see what it holds for me and hopefully I will hold on to this lesson of waiting and the beauty within the wait. I know I stressed and worried way too much that Summer of 2016 and though I am glad I learned from it, I don’t want to repeat it. I don’t want to have to re-learn it this year.

So, 2017, what do I hope for? I hope to continue working with the Rainbow Village ministry I am apart of and to continue to love the kids there and get to know them more. I hope to deepen my prayer life and pray radical prayers. I pray for patience at the preschool and to continue to love the children with God’s love. I pray that I learn to rest in God during the moments of waiting in my life. I hope to learn from my mistakes. I hope to go with God’s plan and to stop trying to figure out my own plans. I hope to invest in God’s word more so I may be ready to give answers when asked questions about God and His word.

2017, I am ready.

So, as the clock ticks away closer and closer to midnight, I wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year.

I am ready for more memories, changes and moments.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

NC and Christmas pictures


Downtown Charlotte Ornament Sculpture


 Billy Graham Library


 Hammock Outside Cabin


  Macadensville


Rainy Forest City


Backyard View



Christmas Tree in the Cabin


  Statue in Spartanburg


 My dog getting into the Christmas spirit.



  Santa's Letter

 Frosty's Christmas bow collection.






Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas and North Carolina and Hi!

Hello, friends.
So, let's talk about Christmas and mountains, shall we?

My week in the mountains was still, calming, and Christmas filled.
It started off with me doing a morning shift at my work where I got up before the sun, sipped coffee and got to wish kids a merry Christmas. Then we drove on into NC reaching our cabin at 2 am.
The cabin was cozy with a fireplace, Christmas tree, Christmas coffee mugs, and an outdoor deck with a hammock and a stunning view of the mountains. Now, the only downside to this trip was that where we were located was pretty far from cities and towns and things to do during our stay. Everything we went to was anywhere from an hour to 2 hour drive away. However, we got to catch up on Christmas movie watching usually partnered with tea, hot cocoa or coffee and we did a lot of Christmas light looking.

The first day we drove into this place called Forest City where we checked out small shops, ate an early dinner at a cute café, and drank lattes (mine was gingerbread) as we walked and checked out the lights in the foggy and wet air.

The second day we went to downtown Spartanburg where we took picture with many art creations and statues, found a cute ice cream shop where I had the best green tea ice cream ever, spot and explored a cute hiking store and then from there drove into Hollywild which was a Christmas light drive through exhibit where cows, deer, goats, zebras, donkeys and zedonks came up to your car door to eat crackers. Not every animal came up but you could at least see them all. Then there was a zoo part of it in which I got to pet a zebra and a camel for my first time. It was definitely an adventure.

The third day was thai food ( a family favorite), visiting and strolling down Mcadenville (also nicknamed Christmas town due to it's amazing and elaborate Christmas decorations), brisk weather with friendly people, buckeye brownies and warm caramel apple cider.

The fourth was probably my favorite day which consisted of a drive to downtown Charlotte, the eating at King's Kitchen which was a cute restaurant that made the best fried chicken that I ate with sweet tea and cornbread and got to live that southern life, a small german village in which we got some jam from, a huge ornament statue, then a drive to the Billy Graham library which was a huge museum about Billy Graham but also had caroling, a live nativity scene, and carriage rides. It was the coldest night and the line was about an hour for the carriage ride but we waited and it was worth the wait because the ride was beautiful going through a street decorated with luminaries and the driver was a friendly old soul.

To send us off, we strolled through Forest City once again, watched my favorite Christmas movie; "It's a Wonderful Life" as well as "Elf", found a cute coffee shop where I got a Winter Maple Latte and an espresso muffin, and made it to the cabin in time to see a gorgeous sun set upon the mountains turning the sky yellow to orange to pink to black where the city lights came out and pretended to my stars fallen to the bottom of the mountains.

Then we came home and it was soon to be Christmas! Christmas Eve my family and I went to and called up about 8 different stores to find an ingredient we needed for our Christmas roast which we did finally find (thank goodness). Each story was busy, yes, but surprisingly friendly! Plus, it was an adventure and most stores also had samples. :D Then we opened our one Christmas present (which is always a book) before going out to eat at a lovely, quaint place called Cristinos. After eating, we went to a close by neighborhood that also gets pretty decked out for Christmas and enjoyed different decorations and some of our old favorites. Following that was Christmas Eve service which never disappoints. Always a beautiful and still candlelit service and a sermon that makes you reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas and what a big deal it was for Christ to come down to earth as a baby. Following that was the getting of pie and coffee at Village Inn where laughter was shared and hyperness and joy started running through our veins. We returned to our neighborhood also lit up with luminaries and we wrote our pretend Santa letter and read a couple of Christmas stories before sleeping the night away.

Night faded into day which turned into Christmas, Christmas present opening, dunkin donut munchkins for breakfast, church service, a starbucks run (with a grande latte given to me for the price of a tall), opening of stockings, the watching of "The Santa Claus", a roast beef feast, a large group of friends coming over and people who now are our friends ( but we previously hadn't met before), game playing, coffee, desserts, and a champagne toast to send Christmas a farewell.

It may have been one of the most unique Christmas's we've ever had, but it was one of the bests.
That's how December has been for me and I'm sad that it will be soon gone but ready for a new year with new memories to be made.

But anyways, hi!
Enough about me.
How was your Christmas?



Friday, December 23, 2016

Anxiety; Let's Talk About It

So.
Something you might not know about me;
I have anxiety at times.

It's not an everyday struggle in my life,
so it's not something I really talk about.

I guess I've also never really felt like I needed to talk about it all that much.

Because there's not a whole lot to do when you get anxiety.

Because what anxiety is, is feeling anxious when you have no reason to.
It pops out of nowhere.
You feel your heart pounding like it's going to come out of your chest
and breathing feels so much harder than it really is.

At least, that's how it is for me.

Today, I was watching "It's Christmas Charlie Brown" with my family and drinking hot cocoa and all the sudden it happened.

I felt anxious.

I wasn't stressed about Christmas or felt like I needed to get something done or worried about the future or anything.

It just happened.

I don't know why it does when it does, but I got to say something.

Now, I don't wish for or am necessarily glad I get anxiety sometimes but I do have to say that I am thankful in a weird sorta way.
Every time I get anxiety, my instinct and want is to go dive into the scriptures and pray.
That's where I know I'll find comfort and rest.
Sometimes it still takes me awhile to feel at peace, but the Bible is what calms me down ultimately.

Some days I know I really need the Bible and yet I still ignore it.

However, when anxiety comes my way, I can't ignore my need for the Bible.
I don't know if that's why I get it, but it definitely reminds me of what an idiot I am for the days when I forgo the peace, wisdom, and nourishment I get from the Bible.
He's always there for me on the days I choose not to come to Him and the days I choose to come to Him.
He is faithful.

I am a human.
And I am an idiot sometimes.

I need Him everyday but I tend to forget that sometimes until reminders like anxiety attacks bring me back to Him.

So, I'm not saying there is a magic cure to anxiety.
But I am saying that there is a reason for me to be thankful for my anxiety.
And I am saying that my burdens are set free when I take them to the one who died for me.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace." -- Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts today.

I was going to make a post about Christmas and about my trip to the mountains but God had different plans for my post today.

I will write about both of those, but I'm not sure when that will be.
So, for now,
Merry Christmas!

I hope it's merry and bright and full of the joy that only comes through Christ Jesus.

The one who humbled Himself and came down to earth as a baby lying in a manger full of farm animals although He is a King and the Son of God and deserves the Highest of Praise.

May we humble ourselves this Christmas and give Him the praise He deserves and worship Him.
Pride on the floor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sweeeet sweet Carolina

Three more days until I get to visit quite possibly my favorite state in America,
get to breathe some cold and mountainy air,
live that cozy cabin life,
visit Christmas town,
ride in a horse drawn carriage,
and just enjoy the Christmas season all the more.


North Carolina, I love thee.
Take me deeper into December and closer to Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Merry Souls

This weekend has been;

 antlered and red nosed preschool children,
some shopping and Christmas cheer,
colder weather paired with Christmas light looking and chocolate coffee,
Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas watching with the younger sis by the Christmas tree,
A Christmas Parade where I got to throw beads and candy from a decked out parade float and wish tons of children and adults a Merry Christmas,
Michael Buble's rendition of Jingle Bells that I may never get out of my head,
A late night breakfast dinner at Perkins with friends and fam,
Some more Christmas present wrapping,
Botanical Gardens Lights,
How The Grinch Stole Christmas,
Pie and Cocoa,
.

merry souls/warm hearts/ soft snuggles with my Frosty dog that children think is made out of snow/



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmasy but not Christmas Movies

This post is to appreciate the movies that I dearly love that are not "technically" Christmas movies but have Christmas featured in their movies and make me want to watch them when Christmastime comes around.


There is "Little Women" featuring my favorite literary character "Jo March" portrayed by Winona Ryder. This movie features some Christmas singing ("Here We Come A Caroling"), some ice skating, and a house decorated for Christmas complete with a tree and all. Oh, and we can't forget the snow.


This movie features a Christmas spent in a cold basement where snowballs are thrown and a snowman is made and Christmas music is played on an accordion. There are also multiple scenes featuring snow. In the book it covers multiple years and Christmas is mentioned throughout the years as well, but this movie only contains one Christmas scene but it is quite a heartwarming Christmas scene. A book is made and given as a present, and cigars are exchanged for books, and it's a good and merry Christmas. The rest of the movie isn't really that merry, but this scene sure is.


Now, this movie is one of my favorite movies of all time and is completely underrated. You probably haven't heard of it, but it's called "The Mighty." It's another heartwarming and sad movie but it's so, so beautiful. I couldn't find the Christmas scene in pictures but this scene takes place after Christmas. Unfortunately, something bad happens on Christmas ( but I won't give any spoilers because I want YOU to go and watch it for yourself) and due to the bad occurrence, they aren't able to celebrate Christmas ON Christmas. However, snow is seen here annnd you do get to witness their post-Christmas celebration which still contains Christmas music, Christmas cheer, a Christmas tree, a big Christmas dinner and just the celebration of friendship in this scene. A present is also given as well as a challenge.

I know there are plenty of Christmas movie classics out there, and they are all great and watch-worthy. I watch several of them every year as a tradition. However, I challenge you this year dear readers to step outside the box and watch one of these movies. Add to the Christmas spirit in a sort of abstract way. Get to experience different kinds of Christmas's. Let your hearts melt and be moved with these movies. They truly are beautiful.

Have you seen any of these before?
If so, what are your opinions?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Deck them Halls, Folks!

This weekend was a very Christmasy weekend.
It smelled of pine and sounded like laughter and felt like warm beating hearts.

Friday was Polar Express Day at the preschool meaning we got to come to work in pajamas, eat popcorn and the kids watched Polar Express. Right after work my fam and I ate at Bonefish Grill and then went to a "Christmas play" that wasn't very good or very Christmasy. We left at intermission and instead drove down neighborhoods to look for Christmas lights. It wasn't the best experience in the world but we Andos made the best of it because that's what we do.

Saturday was the watching of a lame movie entitled; "The Christmas Bunny", a friend coming over, the decorating of a trailer to ride in a Christmas parade next weekend and test rides in it around the neighborhood as Michael Buble's rendition of "Jingle Bells" played loudly, a drive-thru live Nativity scene, Downtown St. Pete adventures consisting of gelato, fluffy dogs, Christmas lights, horse carriages, a tour through the Vinoy hotel, and the such.

Sunday was church, subway, Starbucks, guests over for dinner and desserts, and laughter and talks on our back porch.

It was just a good weekend.
And now it's over.
But I'm not too sad, you know.
Because more Christmas days are upon us.
I can't help but be excited.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December brings adventures

Such as ice cream and boardwalks with Christmas decorated shops and having shoes stolen.
It also was deep conversations and Starbucks and drawings from kids as well as classic Christmas music and the wrapping of Christmas presents and taking small children to walk in a Christmas tree lot.
The smell of pine lingering on clothes and residing in nostrils.
I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit.
I am just wishing for a little bit cooler weather.
However, if Florida does not provide, North Carolina surely will and my trip up there is roughly two weeks away.

I'm holding on, holding on, holding on.

Hello, lovely December.
Hello.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Leftovers and Christmas Joy

Moana,
Shopping,
Starbucks,
Bonfire and Music nights,
Gilmore Girls Revival,
A Bridal Shower,
Some Christmas shopping,
Tree Trimming,
Special Ornaments,
Leftovers (so many delicious leftovers),
Christmas charades,
Rudolph and Whitey the Snowman watching,
Christmas paper telephone,
Annual friend tree trim picture,
Christmas music channel,
Christmas Blend Coffee,
family + friends + joy
.

That has been my Friday and Saturday and I have treasured and loved these moments and days.
I know Sunday will come and go and Monday will soon be here greeting me with work.
But I love this weekend and the memories and joy and cheer will continue to take me along all the way to Christmas.

I love this season.
The Christmas season is here, my friends, it's here.

Any Christmas traditions you have?
How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Cranberry Woods and Cranberry Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

My Thanksgiving consisted of usual traditions and a bit of drama.
But hey, what's a Thanksgiving without a bit of drama?
I'm just kidding.

But really when I go back to past Thanksgivings, there have been some Thanksgiving with some drama that at the time seemed big, but now are just memories to add and keep.

One was an "ex" (long story) of mine coming back in town and playing soccer on Thanksgiving in which I had no idea he'd be there and I awkwardly had to interact with.

One was  having a highschool best friend of mine come to Thanksgiving after we previously had a fight and hadn't mended things yet when she showed up for Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm not going to explain the drama that took place this Thanksgiving, but I guess I'm just saying it happens and it turns out okay anyways. My highschool best friend mended things with me after the Thanksgiving and the "ex" of mine kinda disappeared after that and I don't have to interact with him again. Also, even if I do interact with him by some odd chance in the future, I don't even really care if I do because I'm over that. It was a long time ago.

So, this will just add on to the list of a bit of drama served on Thanksgiving but it didn't ruin Thanksgiving. I still got to play annual Thanksgiving soccer with church friends and it was a fun group and we had a good time. Then my sister and I made our also traditional trip to get coffee before heading home to help out around the house, watch the Macy's Day Parade (that we had taped on TV) and we made turkey cookies. Then guests arrived and we ate the usual mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and (of course) the beautiful, glorious turkey. It was a wonderful feast.

Then we just talked and enjoyed each other's company and when our stomachs were emptied a bit, we feasted on ginger pumpkin pie, regular pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cheesecake, and (also of course) coffee.

It was a fun night and I love Thanksgiving no matter what happens.
And alas, the holiday season is upon us.
LET'S GO CHRISTMAS.

Fa-la-la-la la-la la-la!

So how was your Thanksgiving folks!?
Do tell!

(oh p.s. I have my cranberry woods candle lit right now which is what prompted me to title this post cranberry woods and cranberry sauce because it sounded thanksgivingy and less boring than some title like; "Happy Thanksgiving".

Monday, November 21, 2016

Barn Weddings, Cold Weather, And (as per usually always) Coffee

Saturday I got to go down to crosspoint farm and witness a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception for a lovely couple that took place literally in a barn.

There were many, many twinkling lights.

There was a cat, a horse, country music, dancing, wooden tables, sweet tea, laughter, friends, photobooth pictures, s'mores, a bonfire, and the color of warmth and happiness that people could breath in, that the girls could wear on their dresses and that men scratched into their red beards.

There were floating lanterns that painted the sky like burning wishes released into the night air. One would seem to think they were competing with the stars but eventually the lanterns floated away because they actually weren't competing with the stars at all.

They were just trying to get people to look up, and people did.
Once eyes fell upon the lanterns in the sky,
the burning wishes flew away,

However,
the eyes stayed up.

You see, the wishes faded into the stars.
And the stars are always up there.


Sunday I got the chance to join in fellowship with my ministry friends and kids we minister to.
We made hand turkeys, played games, connected, and talked about and dove into the Bible and the topic of identity.
Then the sky turned yellowish blue as the sun said goodbye and we clung tightly to our jackets and let the cold air fill our lungs.
We gave a proper goodbye and ending to the day by meeting afterwards at Dunkin Donuts.

A Dunkin Donuts that was so nicely decorated for Christmas complete with a Christmas tree topped with a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup and all.

Our weary souls were refreshed and revived and encouraged with the meeting of like-minded believers and followers in Christ and the drinking of warm liquids (for me; a peppermint mocha latte).

We ended the day with talk of the upcoming holidays and we left merry and bright.

Today wasn't as eventful as my weekend but I'm still feeling the merry and bright.

Thanksgiving is coming and so is a myriad of cheerful events and friends to celebrate the season with.

I'm ready for it all.

My heart is open and ready for embracing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Wilderness of Manitoba

Look up the song "November" by the aforementioned band and listen to their live version that involves the crackling of a bonfire while they sing this lofty November song while you read this post.

So, it's been awhile once again.
I'm sorry.

This preschool job has got be getting sick constantly.

It's okay though, I will survive. I'm not here to talk about that.

Instead, I'm talking about November.

Such a colorful, Autumny, smoky, thankful word.

November kicked in with
a bonfire,
a Hallmark cozy (and predictable yes) Christmas movie,
short day/long evenings,
featuring
pie consumption,
Frozen viewings complete with sparkling cider, fuzzy blankets, and singing,
Dunkin AND Starbucks runs (definitely enjoying those red cups though),
Prancing through the Christmas section at Walmart,
Feeling like I'm covered with pixie dust just by putting a bit of gingerbread latte sugar scrub on my hands in Bath and Body Works,
Football games in 60 degree weather, complete with a jacket, hot chocolate and the reading of Harry Potter,
Uno Slam in an elevator,
and just friends and family.


But I don't mean just friends and family.
Friends and Family are what make Novembers.
What make the holidays.
What makes life.
I mean coming after my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is.

But really, all these material things, pshhhh.

Friends and family and memories and laughter and adventures.
Yes.

Novembers.


Tell me about your November thus far.
Won'tcha?




Friday, November 4, 2016

All at once October collapsed into November

You know that F.Scott Fitzgerald quote that says; "All at once Summer collapsed into Fall", well I feel like that happened with October into November.

October was nice, but it soared and now it's November.
I like November so it's okay, but October had spread out events and it's already over and November is going to be even busier so I'm sure it will flyby even faster.

In case you were wondering, my Halloween was a good one.
I dressed up as Woody, watched my preschool kids walk around and have a little "parade" all dressed up as I handed them candy, got some fries at Wendy's, finished all of work and went straight to the YMCA where I worked a booth and handed out more candy. It was a pretty good day.

Unfortunately, November 1st I woke up with the stomach flu and Nov. 2nd I was working on getting over it as well.

Yesterday, however, was pretty decent and I got myself my first gingerbread latte of the season, went on a walk, ate some apple pie, got hugs from little kids at the preschool, played with sidewalk chalk with my little one year old class, and it was just pleasant. Yesterday, it felt like November to me.

And now, I'm excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bring on the holidays, bring it.

How was your October?
Are you a "let the Christmas carols commence" type of person?
Or are you a "C'mon, it's still Fall, it's not time to celebrate Christmas yet/ give me my turkey" type of person?

Personally, I'm both.
I'm ready to sing Christmas songs and see the decorations in the store (since we don't have really any thanksgiving decorations), but I haven't forgotten about my precious Thanksgiving.

In fact -fun fact- Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday.

What's yours?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Last Octobery Weekend

October is nearing it's end.
So what does that mean?

Well, if you're me, it means;

Lot's of coffee.
A frappula.
A pumpkin spice cup of coffee.
Pumpkin themed games.
Bean Bag Toss.
"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" Bingo.
Candy Corn Bowling.
Apple bobbing.
Apple baseball.
Apples to Apples.
Uno.
Mafia.
Pumpkin Fondu.
Pumpkin Chili.
Pumpkin Alfredo.
Pumpkin Piñata (with lots of candy).
Pumpkin carving (such as funny face carved pumpkin and a tinker bell carved pumpkin).
Pumpkin painting (such as mike wasowski and sully painted pumpkins).
Volleyball.
Bonfires.
S'mores.
Annual hay ride.
Apple pie.
Orange Sherbet Punch.
Lit Pumpkin Candles.
November Mix CD.

Good friends.
Good family.
Good life.

My last October weekend of 2016 has been quite dandy.

Tomorrow's my last October day but then November is creeping up.
It may be the scariest thing about October,
but I will welcome November as much as I welcomed October.

I like them both.

I hope your weekend was just as pleasant and pumpkinfull.

Tell me about it, won't ya?

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

My heart hurts

Ah, to be broken;
a beautiful and painful thing.

The dust in my eye is heavy and wet.
The weeds in my heart need pruning.
The crawling veins in my arms are tired of moving.
The sleepy voice of mine refrains from making a noise tonight.

Because,
I'm broken,
and,
my heart hurts.

A bleeding heart;
a beautiful and painful thing.

Depending on what you do with it...
that is.

Depending on who you let come and stop the bleeding.

You can't stop it.
Your gauze and rags can only stop it for so long.

You need a healer.

I know one.

Would you like to know His name?




Friday, October 21, 2016

Still

Today, at the preschool, there were only three children in the age group I work with.
I work with the young toddlers and I come in during nap time.
When the numbers are big, there are two people to every 5 children in our age group.
Since there were only three, I was by myself.
The three were sleeping peacefully until one of them awoke and started crying and reached her tiny little arms out to me.
So, I took her into my arms and tried to comfort her.
Soon enough, as she rested in my lap and wrapped her fingers around my hand, she fell back to sleep.

Sometimes I bring a book to read while I'm waiting for the children to wake up from their nap time.
But in this moment, I simply held onto the sleeping child and was still.
The music we usually have playing during naptime wasn't working, so it was silent with only the occasional sound of the children breathing in and out as they slept.

It was in those sweet moments that I began to treasure the stillness of it all and recall the verse in Psalm 46 that states; "Be still and know that I am God."

We often forget to be still in our busy everyday life that we forget how much we need to be still.
How beautiful it is to be still.
And how important it is to recognize the might and power of God in these still moments.
How important it is to take these still moments and focus our mind on things above.
How important it is to remember that God is in control our lives every step of the way.

In the chaos and the peace,
God is on the throne.

Often times we forget it, but sometimes we are reminded of it.

Today, the reminder came in the form of a sleeping tiny body full of warmth and a tiny hand wrapped around mine.

I don't always love my job, but today I was reminded of the small joys of it and I am thankful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkins, Coffee, Operatic Phantoms and More

Yesterday was watching "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", Wawa's 24 oz and 79 cent pumpkin spice coffee, 8 preschool kids, a breezy baseball game to watch with friends as the sunset slowly melted before our eyes, pretzels with beer cheese dip outings with the best friend and loud singing of classic songs on the ride home featuring; "Allstar" by the Smashing Pumpkins and Phantom of the Opera songs.

It was a slow morning and a busy afternoon- evening, but it was still a lovely day.
Today was a bit rough, but c'est la vie sometimes.

*sidenote*

Can I just snuggle up in Autumn?
Because I really want to.

Dear Autumn,
come and never leave.
Sincerely,
Sophie



Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Coffee is its own language in itself."

-- Jackie Chan



So, I'm not posting this quote along side this picture to somehow convey that the coffee at Denny's was so amazing because, well, it wasn't.

But, that's not the point.
The point is that so many memories can be shared over a drink of coffee.
Last night, I made amazing memories eating pumpkin pancakes and sipping halfway decent coffee at a diner with my family.
The ceiling starting leaking, so we had to move tables.
Some songs came on the radio that I really disliked.
But those stuff, they didn't matter.

We had a great time, laughing, saying silly things, and excited for going and picking out a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch afterwards while we were all decked out in plaid clothing.

Our original plan to go to our favorite pizza and outdoor eating place fell through as it was overly crowded on a late Friday evening, so our back up plan was good 'ole Denny's and it didn't disappoint.

Denny's has always been a favorite of mine (partly because it's featured in The Santa Claus) and it's just always has been full of good breakfast food and memories.

It's not the most fancy restaurant, or prettiest, or best tasting food,
but that's totally okay with me.

Because it has a homey environment and that's all that matters.
The waitresses and waiters were nice and joked around with us and I'm sorry,
but I don't think you can get that type of feel or experience at Carrabbas.

I'm a simple person and always will be.

I'll cherish nice, friendly people and friendly atmospheres and diners always.

Anyways, after our lovely dinner, the moon decided to shine ever so bright and we drove quite a bit through the night to our favorite pumpkin patch and found our perfect pumpkin.

Then, as tradition has it, we watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and I made some apple cider.

{Moral of the story; I love coffee, diners, and pumpkins.
Always have, always will.}

Have an October memory you'd like to share?
Comment below!


It was a perfect October evening and nights like those remind me why I love Octobers so much.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Autumn red sent the leaves to their new beds

So,
it's been awhile.
Once again.

So, I'm sorry.

But I'm going to catch you up.

I will tell you that work and being sick has definitely distracted me from blogging.
Also, just life in general.

But anyways, today was a great day so I wanna talk about it.

Today, Florida actually decided to bring on the breezy weather.
It decided to actually feel like Florida Fall.
So, having the morning alone to myself,
I sipped up some coffee on my back porch, savoring the taste and the feel of the breezes while I caught up with a friend of mine who I haven't gotten to talk to in a long time.

Then I ate lunch, got ready for work and brewed me some pumpkin coffee to take there and although I have to wear my uniform t-shirt and jeans, I wore my boots and a plaid shirt with it.

The work day went well and I got plenty of hugs from tiny children and as the sun went down, I ate dinner on my back porch.

Later I had apple cider and a pumpkin cookie to finish of my Fall day plus my Fall music playlist going on.

So, today, was a good October day.

And while we are on the subject of Fall,
I'm going to spam you with wonderful Fall pictures that include the one and only, wonderful, Matthew Gray Gubler.


Here is flannel Mr. Gubler.



Here is spooky and pumpkin headed Mr. Gubler.



Here we have Mr.Gubler showing his love for pumpkins and other gourds while looking gourdgeous himself.


Here Mr.Gubler is hiding behind Fall leaves and he will most likely lose at playing hide-and-seek but it's okay because he's cute and he's along side Fall leaves so it's basically perfect.


Lastly,
we have Mr.Gubler consuming an apple and holding a fur hoodie jacket while describing his dream date which includes Fall things because he loves Fall just like I do.

So, moral of the story; be like Matthew.
And also, Fall is great.
So, to end this post, I will post some Fall pictures I got because I like Fall.
A lot.
A lot, a lot.
Like, a lot.


Happy Fall!

May it be filled with Fall leaves,
fake barns,
scarecrows,
pumpkins,
road trips,
pumpkin spice lattes,
cardigans,
flannel,
boots,
breezy weather,
and more.

Monday, October 3, 2016

This, well, this is a post


I've had stuff to say.
Meaningful stuff.
Deep stuff.
Neat stuff.
But,
because I don't remember what was so important to say,
because I can't think of anything to say right now,
because I am boring,
because I am,
because I,
because,
well,
this
is
it
.

---




Sorry.




---


do you have anything to say?
leave it here
any questions for me?
leave it here
speak your mind
free it
leave it here

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Let's Pretend It's Fall

This weekend was a pretty Fall-ish weekend minus the not so cold weather; but hey, it's Florida.
So, for Florida, it was a good Fall weekend.
Yesterday, after having some family friends over, our family took a trip to Starbucks where I got (I bet you'll never guess) a pumpkin spice latte (enter surprise face here).
Then, we went to Walmart and picked up several items and frolicked around in the Fall themed and decorations aisle.
Afterwards, we came home and my friend came over and we played a card game while eating warm, dutch apple pie and joking around.
I was also wearing my hiking boots because I had to.
I just had to.
Then we all went to a friend's football game which is always a Fall thing to do.
I have good memories associated with football and Fall.
Now, while it wasn't quite cold, it was cool.
It was a nice evening filled with a few breezes and a fun time.

Today started off with church and then a huge dinner/lunch time and then a nap.
I guess those weren't quite Fall-like activities but they were fun nonetheless.
Then I went to downtown St.Pete with my parents where we dropped my little sister off to Nutcracker rehearsal while we strolled on down to Starbucks to get $3 grande Fall themed lattes and as we did so, we recalled memories of past Falls and planned other fun Fall themed activities.
We also stopped at a local market up there and got some new things to try and I got macarons which I oddly love.
It was a pleasant walk and when we walked in the shade, it felt like it could pass as Fall.
Now, I'm in my room and playing the Harry Potter soundtrack and I lit my pumpkin scented candle and enjoying this moment because these are moments that make me happy.

Today was a good day and this weekend was a good weekend and although Florida doesn't have much of a Fall, I think it all has to do with what you make of it.
It may not have changing leaves and crisp weather, but it still has pumpkins and Fall decorations and football and seasonal coffees and nice walks and memories.

So, let's pretend it's Fall.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Spencer Reid Appreciation Post

There's a fictional character.
His name is Spencer Reid.
And he deserves an appreciation post.


First,
because of his hair.






Well, hair and eyes.
But we're not stopping there.
That's just looks.


 There's also the fact that he works at the FBI and he's insanely smart.
Like INSANELY.
He's basically a walking encyclopedia.
He knows everything.
He's just that awesome.


He has a rather LARGE heart.
He's compassionate and loving.
But he doesn't just base love on looks either.
Even though I don't have pictures for it, I just also want to point out that he's super good with kids.
He also took a bullet for a random stranger once.
Because he's just that nice.


You've got to love a guy who reads.
You just gotta.




He's got a rough past, but it doesn't harden him.
If anything, it makes him more relatable.
And endearing.
He is a bit emotional and sensitive, but not overly.
Just the right amount which makes him understanding.



He's also super cute in sunglasses.
Other fun facts that add to his awesomeness:

He loves coffee.
He values his friendships deeply.
He always wears cute ties that are also always crooked.
There's more, I am sure, but I think that's a good list for now.

Let's also point out that the actor, himself, is quite awesome.
Let's give it up for the one and only; Matthew Gray Gubler.


 Maybe one day I'll find a Spencer Reid.
Maybe not.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We are the ants but ants can carry more than you know

One time I used to be descriptive but then the summer breeze ate up my imagination and my weary bones made me want to use my brain less.

But my pinecone head is growing into a pine tree now instead and life is blooming even though spring is long gone.

Just show me a handful of dust and I'll build you a sandcastle out of it.

Because we are the dreamers, the word shakers, the paintbrushes making art with the colors our eyes soak in and our minds tell us about through the pictures of day to day life.

Let us speak.
Hear us roar.
And stand with me.

No sitting anymore.
No more blank stares.

Get up and stand with me and we can climb those snow covered mountains.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

I hope you live a life you're proud of...

You know what's great about life?
It's never too late to make changes to it.
You're never past the point of too far gone.
If you find yourself living a life you do not like; don't keep living it that way.
You can make a change.
And even if the change is different and scary to you; just remember that if you don't like your change, you can always change again.

Life is a learning process.

It's meant to be changed and changed and changed again.

I don't think we'll ever know how we're supposed to live it right off the bat.
And how we live it at 8 years old is going to be different from how we're supposed to live it at 16 years old and different from how we're supposed to live it at 22 years old.

But don't get stuck.

Don't ever get stuck in the mentality of thinking the life you are living has to stay the way it is even if you hate it.

Even if you're miserable and think there is no other way.

There's always another way.

In the book "The Outsiders", there are many characters and there is a lot going on and a lot of it sad. But the one character that made me sad the most is always the character Dallas Winston.

If you haven't read this book, I really hope you will sometime.
If you have, well, you know who I'm talking about then.
Anyways, this boy breaks my heart the most because he doesn't care about his life.
He thinks he doesn't really have one and therefore, does whatever he wants.
He thinks he can't be hurt if he doesn't care.
But, the thing is, he does care about this other kid in the book.
And that kid *spoiler alert* ends up dying.
When that kid dies, Dallas goes a bit crazy and starts up trouble and basically gets himself killed.
The book sort of suggests that he knew he was going to get killed and that's kind of what he wanted.

That's what breaks my heart.
I think Dallas Winston didn't believe that he could change.
He didn't believe his life could change.
He was stuck in this rut and his life was meaningless to him.
In the end, he didn't care about living because he didn't think it was worth living.

He caused trouble with the cops and got arrested a lot because he didn't care.

I think everybody else in the book cared.
I think they realized they could change the way they lived their lives if they needed or wanted to.
Some of them didn't think they needed to and were very mistaken by thinking that.
But Dallas, I think he didn't think he could.

Of course, none of this is written in the book and these are just my thoughts so I don't know if it's necessarily true.
But I write this because I think it's important to realize that your life can change and you can change.
If you don't like the path you're on, you can walk a different path.

It's never too late to choose the right one as long as you are living.

Dallas wasted his life.
That's what is so sad to me.
But, you don't have to waste it.
You can live more and you can be more.