Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bye, 2015.

2015 was a big year. Holy cow. I rang in the New Year in Colorado for a wedding, finished up senior year of college and my internship. I graduated from college.  I started a big kid job. I started ANOTHER big kid job. I learned a lot. For the past couple of years I have tried to jot down a few goals for the year or ideas about trips I wanted to take and places I wanted to see. So I decided to look back on my goals from 2015 to see how I measured up. For starters, I really didn't make many goals for 2015. I literally scratched out the '4' in '2014 Goals' and made it a '5'. I scratched off everything I accomplished in 2014 and added some things at the end. Super classy and adult like. Something tells me I probably procrastinated on setting goals. On the list for 2015 was:

  • graduate from college 
  • read more books
  • maybe go to grad school?
  • see a whale (note: this was left over from 2014)
  • be more gracious
  • cook more
  • move off campus (note: this is leftover from 2014 and is now a joke)
  • breathe (note: in my journal this says 'Hahahaha' next to it)
So, I did a pretty good job. I graduated from college! Which is still hard to swallow sometimes. I did read more books. I read a lot of them for school, but I also read through part of the Divergent Series (I lost Allegiant, so I didn't finish it). I also reread some favorites: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I didn't see a whale or start graduate school, but there's always 2016 for that. Here are some of my 2016 goals: 
  • actually start grad school
  • still read more books
  • see a whale (maybe 2016 will be the year)
  • actually complete the #52ListsProject
  • journal more
  • go on 2 road trips
  • blog more
  • eat more Chinese food with friends
  • decorate my apartment
  • participate in National Service Week in April
  • pet an otter



So the #2015bestnine thing was going around on Instagram and I checked it out. It picked the photos of mine with the most likes and generated a collage out of them. As much as I loved those memories, they weren't my best nine moments of the year. So, I made my own:
  1. Aaron Gillespie came to the Bean, plus it was spring break, so we had to take a picture of the OG LifeGroup Crew. 
  2. This is a picture of the cabin from "The Arkansas Trip" also known as "The Hiking Trip" and "The Trip of Which We Do Not Speak". Stories still vary on what happened during that weekend, but I'm thankful it happened. Every friend group needs a road trip where you all just fall apart at the seams. It made for an incredibly funny (after the fact) story. 
  3. Silver Dollar City with my best friends. I've made so many memories with these three, they're my best friends and my family. 
  4. It's really unusual to have a girlfriend group of 8 girls. But we make it work with group texts and Facebook messaging. 
  5. My family at my graduation. Need I even say #squadgoals? 
  6. I stared at this picture of my desk all summer, missing my group from HOBY ILCS 2015, missing my HOBY family, and counting down to seeing them again.
  7. The Beasley Hall staff went to Silver Dollar City to see Santa, and the lights, and ride some roller coasters. It was a magical night. 
  8. Beasley Hall at the 2015 Homecoming parade. 
  9. #Camptreat2015 was an adventure I will not soon forget. Who's bright idea was it to take some kids into the wilderness for a weekend? (Mine.) They loved every minute, I loved about half of them. It was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time, and definitely one of the funniest. 
I'm also including some of my favorite jams from 2015. This isn't an exhaustive list of all the songs I listened to. To be honest, this playlist is missing a lot of Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and NeedtoBreathe, but these are the highlights. Caution: Not all of these songs came out in 2015, less than half. But these are representative of all my best memories from the year. I dare you to make it through the whole playlist without dancing along. 


Special shout out to Beka Todd for the FLETCHER love, Ashley Pyeatt for trying to tell my about Johnnyswim when I didn't listen to you in the car in Nashville, and Leslie Knope for having Gloria Estefan as your first campaign song.

Note: Gotta Go My Own Way is on here because of that a cappella video with that little boy. I searched online for like 30 minutes trying to find the full version with no success.

2016 is right around the corner! Get ready, friends! It's going to be good.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rainy Day Traditions

My favorite movie is The Princess Diaries (closely followed by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe although sometimes I think it's tied). Some days I think I can remember the day I first got the VHS copy of the movie. But that's probably a stretch. I do, oddly enough, remember more details in this movie than almost any other. I chalk that up to how many times I've seen it. I watched it hundreds of times growing up. Maybe thousands. Like, it's really getting up there. There are not many movies that I know like the back of my hand (add Remember the Titans to the list with the other two movies I've mentioned and that's about it.).

At some point during my growing affection for this movie, I started a tradition. You know those days that are dreary and rainy, that make you want to find the fuzziest blanket you own, and lay on the couch and drink some hot tea? Those days are the best days God ever created (unpopular opinion, I know). Those days are my favorite days, so on them I started watching my favorite movie. (Note: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement came out near this time = MARATHON). Every so often I would substitute another movie instead, but this one would always make it back to my number one spot. 



After I moved away for college, I quickly realized something. I did not own many movies on DVD. I think I owned like 3. This was quickly rectified thanks to the Wal-Mart $5 bin. But over the four years I was in college I never bought The Princess Diaries on DVD. You might be thinking, "She claims this is her favorite movie, but she doesn't even own it. Psh." Yeah, I don't really know. Maybe it's because the old VHS copy would welcome me home on breaks. Maybe it's because I didn't need to movie to say every single line in the movie in my head. Maybe it's because distance makes the heart grow fonder. Regardless of the reason, I did not own a DVD copy of this movie until October 2015. Yikes. 

I can thank The Princess Diaries for a lot of things (the soundtrack, for starters.), but one of the greatest things I can thank The Princess Diaries for is connecting me with one of my best friends. I had to scroll back through a couple hundred Facebook messages to find the conversation I remember so well, but I did it. Let me paint the scene for you: It's fall, 2013. I'm in a class called Dealing with Death and Dying. It's a Tuesday evening, because unfortunately for me, this is a night class. 6 - 8:45 PM. I'm sitting behind Beka Todd. I don't know her super well, but I really like her sense of humor and I think she's really cool. We had mutual friends and mutual experiences and actually went on a road trip together. We were on the cusp of becoming best friends, and Anne Hathaway pushed us right over the edge. During this particular class, we were having mock debates over our opinions of euthanasia (which we both previously thought was "youth in Asia"). We were chatting on Facebook during class. After we established that euthanasia and "youth in Asia" were not the same thing, Beka pointed out something very important. She said/typed, "This debate reminds me of 'and now for the affirmative *velcro sound* I love that sound'." I know we had talked about our love for the movie before, but once someone can quote the exact scene you're already thinking of in your head it is like a match made in heaven. 

The conversation went on for the remainder of class. We talked about other things, sent each other funny links, and Beka ultimately blamed me for making her laugh out loud in class. Without the connection Beka and I have (thanks, Anne) we would probably still be pretty good friends. Something about the movie just makes friendship and rainy days a little bit better. Also, it's always a good thing when your friends get your obscure movie quotes without even batting an eye. Basically, it's simple. There are just some movies you can't watch with other people, for whatever reason. If you are easily annoyed by someone knowing every line (and song) in a movie AND saying them out loud, then don't watch The Princess Diaries with us. There is literally a time when I watched it in mixed company and had to sit on my hands so that I didn't say anything. Torture. 


There's a certain charm to being able to watch a movie and it feel like the first time, every time. The Princess Diaries feels like that for me. I still laugh at, "It's a wango?" and I still hear "Believe It Convention" instead of "Bulimic Convention". When Mia runs on the grass? Oh, you better believe I scream the gibberish in another language like I know exactly what I'm saying. You know what Eleanor Roosevelt said? No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  It's tradition, almost ritual, for me to ask the same exact questions every time during the movie. Like why does the Prime Minister's wife shove that frozen stuff in her mouth? Why does Michael like M&Ms on his pizza? Why didn't Mia wear prettier shoes to the ball? Honestly, I also think we can blame my love of corndogs on this movie too. During that Death and Dying class, we had to write a funeral plan. In my plan, I have requested that if I die I want them to put "This is a non-riot hearse." on the window of my hearse. The Princess Diaries Waltz is my alarm in the morning. I have also decided that when I get married, I'll be walking out of the church to Miracles Happen by Myra (from the closing credits--which was also my most played track of 2015 according to Spotify). 


So here I am, December 12th, 2015. It's raining and my favorite movie is playing. This movie offers the same amount of magic and charm as it did in 2001, and I hope it always will. If you haven't seen The Princess Diaries in a while (or ever!), I strongly suggest you stop what you are doing and watch it. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Roses are red, Dresses are blue...

You remember about ten years ago when we were just on the beginning of our loving Blake Lively phase and starting to grow out of our calling Alexis Bledel, 'Rory' in everything she played phase? That was the year that we also got Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I never read any of the books, because honestly I don't remember being a big fan of the movie. But I do remember just how magical I thought it would be to have a glamorous long distance friendship with fancy pants. The early 00's were notorious for romancing long distance friendships. I blame the up and coming fascination we had with texting in 2005. 

Fast forward to December 2012, Sarah Doell buys an adorable dress for the holiday. It's short and simple and blue and flouncy (for lack of a better word). It's the best little dress. It's a shade of blue and a style that is flattering for anyone...and, apparently, it fits everyone. Having the world's most versatile dress means one thing is for sure: it will get passed around. And sure enough. One by one, my friends would wear the dress to fancy events. Sarah VandaVeer wore it for her birthday one year, I think someone wore it to the Mozarkian one year, and now me. 

I finally got the chance to throw that bad boy on this past weekend. It was a little weird. I mean, we borrowed clothes all the time during college. It's not a big deal. But for one dress to fit so many different girls and be flattering on every single one of them is weird. But the magic of the dress prevailed. 

Me feat. the Magic Blue Dress

So I got to thinking, my dreams have come true. "The Magic Blue Dress" (as it is affectionately called) is our version of the jeans from the movie. Now, we don't write on them and we definitely wash the dress (I think...). The dress reminds me of the good old days, when we all lived in the same place. Although we have only traded the dress off a few times over the past three years, it's been a symbol of our friendship, and more recently a symbol of our long distance friendships. I'm nostalgic, almost to a fault. So to say that I don't miss skipping class for personal snow days at Auburn House or movie nights at Pike House would be a lie. Being so close to my girls was one of the best parts of college. But now we're working through transition--in different stages of life and in different places. Springfield, Bolivar, Saint Louis. For now. Single, engaged, married. Still in school & teaching. Working. Applying for graduate school and medical school. Looking at moving vs. thinking about staying put. Last year, learning and living in the same place was already hard. Now we're doing it with distance between us. 

Ultimately we're learning what it looks like to rely on the Lord for comfort and support. These girls are good at reminding me about that. I'm thankful for conversations with them. The conversations are challenging. I think we debate via group text better than most presidential candidates.  Even when the texts come out of order or worse, I'm gone for 2 hours and miss 40 texts (Sorry for whoever works a 9 to 5). We talk a lot about God, food, trips, and current events. I'm challenged and encouraged by them daily. 

So far, more than half of us have worn the dress. I don't know how long we'll pass it around. Probably until all of us wear it at least once. And hopefully someone will use it as a bridesmaids dress because it's actually perfect. 



"So basically...you could say we bleed blue. " -Abbi 









Tuesday, June 16, 2015

6 Hobbies I Tried to Have


6 Hobbies I Tried to Have: 
This is a semi-humorous account of 6 hobbies that I attempted to have. Some of them I still would love to be able to master, and then some of them I'm completely over. But I was feeling nostalgic, and it seemed like a good way for me to share a little bit of my life with you.

1. Cake Decorating: Have you ever been to a wedding and seen a beautiful cake and thought, "I can totally do that!" Welcome to the club. The summer after I was in 10th or 11th grade, I was all into weddings and I wanted to be able to do all inclusive planning. So that included the cake. Plus, I learned that you can make fondant from scratch and that's just dope. So I wanted to learn how to make those cute scalloped patterns and pretty roses on cakes. I never made it to the class. I tried to make icing myself one time and that was it. It was mostly sugar and some vanilla I think, but I couldn't figure out what made icing thicker (mind you, I was just guessing because this was still a little before Pinterest). I also thought that I could ice 96 mini cupcakes in one afternoon, but that is another story. (See number 5).

2. Sewing: When I was like 9 my mom signed me up for a sewing class. Mind you, I'm left handed, so cutting in straight lines didn't really go well for me anyway, but then I tried to cut stuff like fleece. If you look up nightmare in the dictionary, it's a picture of me trying to cut in a straight line.  But after a few weeks, I got pretty good at cutting. But then we had to do the actual sewing part. I was okay at it, but then we skipped from making very simple coasters to A REVERSIBLE TOTE BAG. I mean it had so many steps I am still recovering. There was a plastic mesh bottom piece that I remember having trouble with.I had to sew it inside the bag. How on earth people make clothes is unknown to me...like how. I haven't gotten past the fleece blanket. It was at that moment, I knew I was done. It was sad. But, in happier news...I got that sewing machine back. Old Faithful. So here's to trying my hand at sewing again (Stay tuned. This could be laughable.)

3. Interior Decorating: I can't even remember how this was a thing. I know that I come from a long line of house lovers and HGTV watchers, so that's probably it.  But I definitely had this software called Home Designer. That's it. Home. Designer. But let me tell you, I could create a killer two-story home with furnished BONUS ROOMS. Dining room tables, game rooms, kitchens. EVERYTHING. Now, this dream job/hobby is a little bit hereditary. I come from a family of Model Home tourists. When new neighborhoods go up, we would go visit the model homes and dream. I grew up watching Trading Spaces. We even DID Trading Spaces at my house. My sister decorated my room and I decorated hers (Complete with teams and paint and furniture. Thanks, Mom & Dad). That being said, I still really love house stuff, but I can definitely go to a department store and not have to go walk past the pretty beds. (JCPenny Home Store, I'm looking at you.)

4. Fashion Designer: I also went through the fashion designing stage, but also who didn't. But if you remember from my sewing days, I can't cut. Also, if you know anything about me, you know I can't draw. I still love fashion and clothes so very much, and shoes even more. But the whole designing thing didn't last. I did once try my hand at paper dolls, but it also didn't work. Just know, there was a lot of zebra print involved. A good amount of neon colors also made an appearance. Just imagine.

5. Cupcake maker: For a few months in high school, I considered not going to college so that I could open  a cupcake shop. It was going to be adorable. I'm not sharing the name, because on the off chance I decide to follow that dream I need to make sure no one has stolen it. But although I don't dream of owning a cupcake shop anymore, I still love baking. Don't worry, that passion will never go away (hopefully).But there was an attempt one February, where I wanted to make some mini cupcakes. If you have ever been curious about how many cupcakes you make with one box of cake mix, let me help you out... it is no less than 96 cupcakes. Yes, exactly, FOUR LESS THAN 100. And you know how long it takes to ice them? WAY LONGER THAN A SUNDAY AFTERNOON. You will have to freeze half, and ice them over the course of the next few months. Unless you have a deep freeze, don't bother.

6. Dance: I did in fact take dance lessons. If you've ever seen me on a dance floor (or any floor for that matter...) then you've probably wondered, "Is this girl professionally trained? She's a natural." I would be inclined to agree. I feel like I do pretty well with dancing. I remember my dance days well, age 2 (or 3). My first dance recital involved the world's most uncomfortable costumes. A cardboard box (I was a robot) and something teal with sequins (because WHY NOT). I also remember being picked up by a boy (totally not my jam, don't touch me, kid.) and I also remember something about being in a bridal themed number. Those may have been the same thing. I also remember that I had flat feet, so it completely negates the whole "point your toe" foundation of ballet. So that was technically impossible for me, because my foot was literally without an arch.  So dancing fell by the wayside, and when Just Dance entered the scene of video games, I picked back up this hobby. Whether or not I discontinued this hobby, well...I'll see you on the dance floor.

I like looking back on those fond memories of attempting to sew, and that time our kitchen was just cupcakes. Now that I'm all grown up (HA), I can see how my old hobbies have grown me into the person I am today. So that's pretty cool. I love dancing at parties, baking and decorating cupcakes and cookies, buying clothes, and perusing home stores. I hope you enjoyed my tiny trip down memory lane. 


(I just really like this photo and need to put it in a blog post). 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trinkets.

Welp. I haven't made just a Trinkets post since like July. What in the world? What happened? Good grief. I need to get my life together.  It's crazy how fast these days are flying by. Senior year has been good to me.



photo credit: By Heart Photography 

Christmas break was nothing short of magical. I slept so much it's insane. I caught up on sleep from like sophomore year of college. Just in case this Christmas break could be my last, I wanted to make sure it was absolutely fantastic. Which meant a lot of sleep and a lot of Netflix. I adventured through St. Louis, spent some time finding new places in Belleville to hang out, and spending some time with friends. I'll be honest, I did an unhealthy amount of Netflix watching over break, but I did read some books that I have been wanting to read for YEARS. I finally bought the end of a series I've been wanting to finish since 7th grade (yeah, I'm that behind.) and I also "bought" all of the A Wrinkle In Time series. My little fairy tale loving heart was SO excited.

One of the best parts of Christmas break was travelling to Colorado for Natalie and Isaac's wedding.  Morgan and I got to be adults and fly on planes and unnecessarily early hours all by ourselves and take sketchy taxis back to the airport at 4 AM. I loved every minute of it. I got bit by the travel bug and now I just want to plan road trips for DAYS.


The St. Louis Art Museum has my heart. And historic St. Charles has the cutest little shops.  




One day over Christmas Break it was 70 degrees outside. So naturally we took to the park with Sonic Happy Hour, books, and chips and salsa. Now today it's sleeting and gross and yucky snow is still on the ground. Will it ever be spring? Like it's okay, just somebody be honest with me? WILL I EVER KNOW WARMTH AGAIN? 



One day, Pyeatt and I just drove to Arkansas and went to Crystal Bridges because why not. It's cool there, it's pretty there, and my best friend is pretty. (Everything is awesome).  





Bekah came to visit me and it was the absolute best ever because I love her. 




Valentine's weekend this year topped everything. It was perfect. There was Galentine's Day, hanging out with girls at my house and eating way too many donuts and pancakes. And also chocolate chips and whipped cream. A lot of sugar. Then there was a party with my gals where we played all sorts of silly games and watched The Wedding Planner and ate more junk foods. Basically my Valentine's day weekend consisted of junk food, a lot of laughing, and wearing fun dresses. I wish it was Valentine's all year long. 



Here you can see college seniors in their natural habitat singing  screaming the chorus to 'Let It Go'. #noshame But it was in fact the most fun murder mystery I have ever been to. 




So we had a 90's Country party to celebrate Morgan and Doell turning 22. This was our "pose country" take of the group photo. I don't think we'll ever get this right. 



see more of my #2015trinkets on Instagram 

Monday, March 2, 2015

3 Things I Learned in Kid's Ministry

I'm on the tail end of my undergrad college career. With a little over 70 days until Graduation, I've started reminiscing on my experiences in the past few years. Working with kids has been one of my favorite things for years, and they have taught me exponentially more than I could teach them. But here are the top three reoccurring things that I have learned.  

1. Expect the unexpected. I have been working with the same lovely group of kiddos for almost four years, and no two days of serving with them has been the same. Sundays, Wednesdays, weekends, camp. It's a new adventure everyday. On any given Wednesday night, there could be blood, an toilet overflowing, a kid could eat a plastic bag, or we could have a fistfight. But on the same night a class could have a discussion on the importance of prayer and how amazing God's grace is in our lives. A few weeks ago, I found myself answering the question "Why can't I be good without God?' to a bunch of K-3rd graders. Even when I pray for opportunities to see the Holy Spirit move in the lives of these kiddos, I'm still so incredibly amazed by what the Lord can do. I never want to lose that sense of amazement. I never want to put my God in a box. I want to pull that sort of thought process into my life on a regular basis. Not only to expect the unexpected in what God can do, but also what kids are capable of. Just as soon as I think I know what's going to happen, they surprise me. They make me love living my life on the edge. 

2. When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" he wasn't kidding. Do not hinder then.The witness they have on their families and each other can be incredible. Just like putting God in a box, I'm sometimes guilty of putting these sweet kiddos in a box as well. The Holy Spirit doesn't discriminate based on age. 1 Timothy 4:12. Just because they're kids, does not mean they cannot witness. Sometimes their innocent outlook on the world is a refreshing perspective on the gospel. They warm my heart.

3. When I declared my major as social work as a freshman, I had no idea what I was getting into. I fell into a season of doubt. I doubted if I made the right decision, if I would even be good at it, or even it was a real passion in my life. One of the most reassuring moments in this collegiate journey took place on a Sunday morning with the sassiest, third grader and our conversation about what happens after death. You can read about that day here. I didn't know how much that day in Kid's Church would impact me. 

A midst all the crazy days serving with kids, I have learned so much. They have an incredible thirst for knowledge. They want to serve the people around them. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bye, 2014.

Happy New Year.

Or whatever. I know January is over, but I still hope you have a Happy New Year. My slow processing brain is still trying to file away all the lessons of 2014 in my little brain Rolodex. Still. But 2015 is here! 2015 is one of those years I never thought would come, just because it always seemed so far away. When I was in the 2nd grade, my class all signed a t-shirt with "Class of 07" on the back. I remember thinking how far away 2007 felt. The journey from 2nd grade to 8th grade was a blur and I don't even remember 2007 anymore (except for Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry.). But then it was 2015. My expected college graduation year. 

May 16, 2015. It's fast approaching. It's going to be crazy. 

So that's how I'm dealing with 2015. It comes in waves. I'm either so excited or so weirded out by the situation that I forget what is happening. But then I start doing stuff like looking at potential Master's of Social Work programs and buying Lisa Frank coloring books at Walgreen's. And yes, those happened in the same day. So I would say I'm handling it very well.

I am taking the new year one day at a time. Which is why it is now February 5th (Happy Birthday, Dad) and I haven't really had the time to blog like I planned. Or to read books or play the piano like I planned. I have actually done nothing like I planned. God is funny. He will probably never stop showing me that, because I am a doofus.


#2015trinkets // Trinkets of 2015 (photo credit: Ashley Pyeatt)

So here it is. 2015. Once month down and eleven more to go. I'm taking this year to focus on you guys. I want to dedicate much less of my life to myself and more of it to serving and loving on the people God has placed in my life this season. I want to hear your stories, I want to sit with you and learn about you. I want to serve alongside you and serve you. I want to have people over for dinner, go get ice cream, and also go get corn dogs. Man, I love a good Sonic run. I also want to pray for you. So let me know how I can be praying for you, friends. Let's do 2015, together. 




Demi and Joe couldn't have said it better.  So why not open up that door? It's what we came here for.