Family · Life · Movies and Television

who am i?

Don’t worry. This isn’t the angst ridden “where do I belong in the world?” “who am I really?” type of post that the title might lead you to believe it is. There are no whiffs of existential crisis to be found here. Instead, I have for you a grumpy cat (though not the grumpy cat), a sassy redhead, and a bookworm. Confused? So am I.

Let me explain.

A few months ago there was this weird game going about. I don’t remember if it was a general weird game, or if it was just something that my family came up with. Anyways, the game was basically just finding three characters, whether they be from book or movie, that describes your personality. However, rather than pick the characters ourselves, we had to rely on the decisions of others. Like I said, I’m not really sure where this strange game came from.

After many hours of deliberation and false starts, my sisters finally decided on the three characters that, together, pretty faithfully describe my hodge-podge personality.

1. Garfield 

I really shouldn’t be surprised that this character was the first, and quickest pick, of the lot. With our rampant sarcastic wit, often pessimistic attitudes, general grumpiness, dry sense of humor, and love of lasagna, sleep, and candy, this sassy, orange tabby and I are scarily alike.

Some may have quickly tried to defend themselves when given this comparison. I mean, he can be kind of a jerk. He is a cat, after all. From me, however, there were no complaints. I knew that what my sisters said was true. Besides, I’ve actually always loved Garfield. He just…gets me. You know?

Destiny has deigned that Garfield and I be kindred spirits, and I must say that I am perfectly okay with it.

2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

Pick number two was, of course, the lovely Belle. While I may not be a French beauty, I do love to read. Which is probably the only reason this character was picked for me.

I would like to point out, however, that I actually have much more in common with her than our love for books. For example:

a) I am a big daydreamer.

b) I am a hopeless romantic with high expectations (no Gastons for me).

c) I have a case of wanderlust that would make your head spin.

d) I enjoy spending my afternoons reading to sheep.

e) I have a tendency to burst out into song whilst twirling about.

So, as you can see, I’m at least 33.3% Disney princess. Now, if I could just find myself a tragically misunderstood prince with a castle and a swoon-worthy library.

(P.S. Please don’t take the reading to sheep thing seriously. I don’t actually do that.)

3. Donna Noble (Doctor Who)

When I asked my sister why she thinks I’m like Donna, she replied with one word: Strange. Thanks, sis. 

Me and Donna Noble are actually a lot alike. Besides being strange, we’re both super stubborn, sassy, and sarcastic. We also both try to act tough and aloof to disguise the fact that our metaphorical insides are actually quite mushy. *laughs to hide the tears*

Really, it seems the only difference between me and this sassy redhead, besides the hair, age, and her Britishness, is the fact that I’ve never gone on adventures with a handsome time travelling alien. This actually upsets me more than you might think.

If you see a blue phone box floating around in the sky, let me know.


peak of rebellion

Once upon a time, a few months ago….

No, wait. That doesn’t feel right. Let’s try again.

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Sort of. I guess you could call me a…wimpy rebel? A rebel who is also afraid of getting in trouble? Is there a word for that? A…um…you get the point.

For years I was, and admittedly continue to be, dictated by the fear of getting in trouble by authority figures, something that I unfortunately lacked when among my own people. Growing up, I was in a constant state of flux between rebellion and “perfect citizen.” At home, I was a devil child. At school, never a better student did you see.
My at-home rebellion was never anything huge: hiding the vitamins I didn’t want to take under seat cushions, avoiding doing chores of any sort, riding my bicycle around the block without my mother’s permission, etc… Normal spoiled-and-stubborn-youngest-child stuff. I’m sure that my family would say that I am much worse than I am letting on, in which case I would probably have to agree. I blush to think of some of the things I said and did when I was younger. I’m blushing now just thinking about thinking about it. But, still. In the world of rebellion, it would be considered very minor league stuff.

Which is why getting a tattoo is my peak of rebellion.

My family members, once they discovered my rebellious actions, reacted with surprise and exasperation. The surprise came from their knowledge of my needle phobia. The exasperation came from…well, it seems like I’m always doing something to exasperate them.

Aside: It frustrates me that people can’t seem to grasp the difference between syringes and tattoo needles. Yes, it’s true that I despise the terrifyingly long needles that are used for inserting or removing liquids directly into and from my bloodstream. However, tattoo needles, and needles used for piercing ears and such, don’t commit such heinous crimes. Therefore, I have no reason to fear them. Tattoo needles may indeed insert liquid into the skin, causing a butt load of pain in the process, but they’re not nearly as intrusive as syringes. It’s not that complex an idea! Or, maybe it is, and this is just my contradictory personality at work again.

Sorry. I’m getting off track.

Anyway, unlike most television portrayals of such ventures, my tattoo was not the result of a night of wild, drunken, spontaneous rebellion. Well, the timing was a bit spontaneous. There wasn’t any wild drunkenness, though. Sorry to disappoint. The truth is that I had wanted a tattoo for a few years, and I was tired of waiting. Plus, my friend Shawna was wanting one too.

So, one Saturday we hopped in the car and headed to the City.  

As soon as we arrived at the tattoo parlor, I felt immediately out of place. The blackout windows, rock music, big bulky guys covered in piercings and tattoos, and slightly inappropriate pictures on the walls did not blend with my middle-class, small-town self. It probably didn’t help that I was wearing a tank top covered in cute little cartoon moons and earrings in the shape of owls.

This alienness greatly increased when I revealed to the tattoo artists what I was there for: a pattern of simple little birds on my ankle. Their dismayed and exasperated expressions immediately informed me what a cliche and teenage-white-girl request I had made. Which, honestly seemed kind of rude and uppity. I mean, I’m sorry, good sir, that I don’t also want the image of a creepy leprechaun permanently etched onto my shoulder. Besides, I wanted birds before they were cool.

Despite their disapproval of our tattoo choices, and obvious doubt that I would go through with it, they agreed to oblige us. Appointments were made, time blurred, papers were signed, money was passed, and before I knew it I was sitting in a slightly creepy dentist-like chair in the back of the parlor getting my first tattoo.

Some of you may be wondering: Was it painful? Well…Have you ever had a tooth drilled when your mouth is only half numbed up? Cause it reminded me of that. For Shawna, it felt a bit different, “like an electric kitten scratch on some parts, and on other parts like he was holding a burning cigarette onto my skin.” Really, Shawna? How do you know what that feels like? Despite the negative, and slightly strange, mental images that I’ve just given you, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.

Still, it’s not an experience I’m likely to forget anytime soon. Especially since it’s now immortalized on the internet.

And, no, I don’t regret my decision.

Family · Life · Words

here today, gone tomorrow

I’m not a huge fan of goodbyes. Unfortunately, life is just chock full of them. The next goodbye I’ll have to make is to my sister, Shannon.

As she recently accepted a fancy new job in the City, Shannon will soon be leaving her modest little Weatherford apartment to start a new-ish life. Although she’ll only be an hour or so away, I’m actually quite sad about this. And, no one quite appreciates my love of puns like her. Despite this, I am also super happy for, and proud of, her. She worked hard to get her Master’s degree and land this job.

So, in honor of Shannon’s accomplishments, and as a sort of virtual farewell card, I thought I would write a little “Shannon Appreciation” post. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. Should I write the things I’ll miss most? Should I list her best qualities and quirks? Should I talk about my top favorite sisterly memories? Should I just put a bunch of quotes? Finally, I decided to wing it and do all of them. So, without further ado:

1.Things I’ll Miss Most

There are lots of things I’ll miss. I’ll also miss driving around with her while singing along to her IPod. I’ll miss dancing around the dining room while our dad stares at us like we’re lunatics. I’ll miss releasing our frustrations together by screaming like pterodactyls.

To be honest, however, I’ll most miss invading her territory in order to stay up late together and watch British television whilst eating ice cream. Out of all of my siblings, I’d have to say Shannon is the closest to myself in terms of likes and dislikes. We’re both English majors. We both love to read. We both like to write. We’re both awkward, adorably so. At least, Shannon is. She’s like a baby penguin. I’m more like…well,something much less adorable.

Sometimes you just need a fellow nerdy introvert to be weird with. Shannon is one of those fellows. I am selfishly sad that she will no longer be available to me at a moment’s notice. Plus, no one else appreciates my love of puns like her.

I’ll also miss the hugs.

2.My Favorite Shannon Qualities and Quirks

  • Her eating-something-yummy happy dance
  • Her funny stories
  • Her funnier dreams
  • Her excitement over children’s books
  • Her perfect and pale vampire-like skin
  • Her passion for cookies
  • Her creativity and wit
  • Her fondness for all things British (something we share)
  • And, in a moment of seriousness, her gentleness, innocence, compassion, and love for her family and friends.

3.Top Sisterly Memories

There are just too many things to choose from, such as the time we had each other in Secret Santa and got each other almost identical presents. So, instead, here are some pictures, including one from our days as small humans.

And now, the quotes:

“Courage, dear heart.”
-C. S. Lewis

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
-C. S. Lewis

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
-Jane Austen

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”
-Dr. Seuss

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien

“Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new!”
-Kenneth Grahame

“We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” 
Doctor Who

I shall miss you dearly, Slothfather. I wish you good luck. 😉

P.S. For those of you who are wondering about that last comment, you can find the backstory on Shannon’s blog right here.


an ever growing pile

It is time once again for the making of my annual “To Read” list. Last year was a complete and utter failure. I only ended up reading about 3 books from my list. It’s sad, really. I remember the days when I would finish 3 three books in a week, let a alone in a year. Growing up really sucks sometimes. This year, however, I don’t have to worry about tests and essays and books only partially read (enough to pass a class.) I am determined to read and read and read, like the good old days.

This year, my sister, Bethany, provided me with the push needed to get back in the saddle. She challenged me, along with two of our other sisters, to one of those ready-made reading lists that can be found on Facebook or Pinterest. You know the ones I mean. They provide a list of categories, leaving it up to the participants to find books that fit.

There are plenty of books I could choose from. The real difficulty is narrowing it down. I have an ever growing pile of novels that are waiting to be read. I’ll probably die surrounded by piles books I meant to read. For most categories, I was able to find a book (or books) in a breeze. Others were not so easy. Do you know how difficult it is to find a book with my name in it? Pretty hard. Much harder than I thought it would be, at least. And harder more to find one that I might actually want to sit down and read. As for the “book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year…”

They want me to fail, don’t they?

Wish me luck.

  • A book you read in school:
    • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • A book from your childhood:
    • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • A book published over 100 years ago: 
    • Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  • A book published in the last year: 
    • Fear the Drowning Deep, Sarah Glen Marsh
  • A non-fiction:
    • The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis
  • A book written by a male author:
    • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum
  • A book written by a female author:
    • Austenland, Shannon Hale
  • A book by someone who isn’t a (professional) writer:
    • Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis, Douglas Gresham
  • A book that became a film:
    • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  • A book published in the 20th century:
    • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea #2), Ursula K. Le Guin
  • A book set in your hometown/region:
    • Where the Heart Is, Billie Letts
  • A book with someone’s name in the title:
    • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg
  • A book with a number in the title:
    • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • A book with a character with your first name:
    • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • A book someone else recommended to you:
    • The Schwa Was Here, Neal Shusterman
  • A book with over 500 pages:
    • Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • A book you can finish in a day:
    • Love and Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch
  • A previously banned book:
    • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
  • A book with a one-word title:
    • Phantastes, George MacDonald
  • A book translated from another language: 
    • Beowulf, Translated by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • A book that improve a specific area of your life:
    • All Groan Up, Paul Angone
  • A memoir or journal:
    • Night, Elie Wiesel
  • A book written by someone younger than you:
    • ???
  • A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year:
    • ???
  • An award-winning book:
    • The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Stedman
  • A self-published book:
    • Eragon, Christopher Paolini


Holidays · Life

traditionally spooky

Although I haven’t enjoyed constantly hearing about “Pumpkin Spice this” and “Pumpkin Spice that,” I cannot deny how much I love fall. Although winter is my absolute favorite season of the year, fall is a very close second.

Fall means cool breezes, crunchy leaves, cozy cardigans, and scarves galore! There is just something about pumpkins, and changing leaves, and chilly air that just makes my heart warm. To be honest, fall makes me just plain giddy! And, for someone who’s normally a pessimist, that’s saying a lot.

Not to mention that it is keeper of two of the best holidays of the year: my birthday and Halloween. I always get excited for Halloween, even though it’s not socially acceptable for me to get dressed up and trick or treat anymore.

Yesterday’s October photo challenge was movie, which is kind of fitting. Even though I always hate myself for it, I have a bad habit of watching a ton of scary movies during the Halloween season. Growing up with a bunch of older siblings, I am familiar with many of the classic 80s horror movies. And, I don’t mean those gross, slasher, crazy person movies that play on TV nonstop during October. To show what I mean, I’ve provided a list of some of my favorite Halloween movies, the ones I grew up watching with my crazy, scary movie obsessed siblings.

These are my ingredients for a successful Halloween movie marathon, plus plenty of candy corn and chocolate:

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure


Hocus Pocus

House on Haunted Hill

The Changeling

Monster Squad

Lady in White

Watcher in the Woods

The Conjuring

Woman in Black

College · Life

watching and waiting

This past year has been one to remember. Really, it has. My sister got engaged, married, and moved to the City  within a 5 month period. (Super fun. Not stressful at all.) And, I also started my senior year at college. Just three more months, and I am free. Again, not stressful at all. (Am I fooling you?)

Okay, so not a lot has happened, but what did happen was pretty big. I had some pretty big, life-changing moments going on this past year. And, there are many more to come.

With everything that’s changed, and everything that’s yet to change, I’ve found myself becoming more and more nostalgic. It’s hard for me not to miss the way things used to be. When you’re the youngest of ten children, growing up can be…hard. I’ve spent the last fourteen years of my life watching the people I love slowly leave. Now, I’m all alone in a house that used to be bursting with life.

Rather tragic really.

As fate would have it, today’s “October photo challenge” was “baby picture.” So, of course, pouring over the literally hundreds of photos my mother has collected over the years brought more than a few memories. I didn’t get teary-eyed or anything, cause I love not having to share a room, but it did make me miss my happy childhood. Especially now, as I enter the next, possibly the most important, chapter of my adult life. Which is kind of terrifying.

But, not only do I miss the people who have left me behind, I’m also a bit jealous. I’m on the edge of a precipice, one I’ve watched so many people jump off of. But I can’t follow them. Not yet. I have to wait.

But, I’m almost there.