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.

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Books · Life · Words

quote of the day

“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”

-Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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.

Uncategorized

the beginning of the end

Finals are over, summer is here, and I finally have some space to breathe and think freely. And to write.

Sadly, and I never thought I would use that word in this context, this is my last summer before I graduate college. I’ve enrolled for my summer and fall classes, and I am on the fast track to the real world. I’ve been so keen to get through college as quickly as I can, and now that I’m on the last lap, I kind of wish I wasn’t. Strange, huh? I can only blame it on my semi-recent entrance into the terrifying (and not nearly as fun as it looked) sphere of adulthood.

Have you ever heard the saying “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” It’s a quote from my favorite author, C. S. Lewis. It’s been annoyingly buzzing around in my head like a fat persistent bumble bee this past week. With looking at everything that’s about to change, it’s hard not to look back and realize how much has already changed. It feels like just yesterday that I graduated high school. Ironically, the quote above is the same one I used in my valedictorian speech. History does have a knack of repeating itself, doesn’t it?

I would like nothing better than to block out all of this and spend my summer drinking sweet iced tea, baking cookies, reading, and spending a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest. But, life has a way of knocking you back to reality. Everywhere I turn there’s a reminder of everything that’s different, and everything that’s so soon to change. I’ve never been a huge fan of change, but I think I’ve reached to the point of no return. I think it’s high time I start embracing the wave of change that’s been swirling around me for so long, to embrace my responsibilities as an adult and really start thinking about my future.

Now, I don’t want you guys to worry. I still fully intend to bake cookies and spend ridiculous amount of time of Pinterest. I am determined that in my embrace of adulthood I shan’t abandon the sarcastic, awkward, daydreaming child within me. Not that I could even if I tried. She’s a stubborn little bugger.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I think I’ll go rock out to some Disney tunes and look at pictures of cats on the internet. I’m just kidding. I don’t like cats that much.

Photography

a truly belated post

These past few weeks have been so full of college craziness that I slipped so far into November without noticing that its almost Thanksgiving. I also completely forgot to update y’all on my October Photo Challenge. Shame on me. But, the past is the past, and I am here now. As I mentioned in my first Photo Challenge post, I wanted to take the month of October as an opportunity to work on my photography and editing skills, and the results were interesting. I learned a couple of things while participating in the challenge:

  1. Taking good photos is a lot harder than you may think. First of all, it can be difficult to find good subject matter to photograph, especially if you are a college girl in a small town. Then, once you find your subject matter, it may not be so easy to capture the photo you want. I often found myself on all fours or flat on my stomach in order to capture the picture that I wanted.
  2. I discovered that, although it can be frustrating, photography is a great way to share how you see the world. In the process of this Challenge, I discovered something that I truly enjoy doing. Although it would be nice to have a good professional camera to use, and not just my iPhone.

As promised, here are the last of the photos from my October Photo Challenge. If you haven’t seen the first few photos I posted, or if you’d like to look at them again, you can find them in the two previous blog posts. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Capture 11-13

Capture 14-16

Capture 17-19

Capture 20-22

Capture 23-25

Capture 26-28

Capture 29-31

And, here is a complete list of my October Photo Challenge with subjects for each day of the month:

October Photo Challenge

*Remember, you can click on the photos to see a larger image.

Photography

october photo challenge update

Good evening, blog world!

Well, I am all ready for Fall: my room is littered with leaves (fake ones, of course); some friendly scarecrows and Halloween ghosts; and plenty of pumpkins. Fall break is coming up next week, and I already have a list of projects and fun things planned, which I will write more about later. For now, I found a small break from the piles of homework and studying, so I thought I would give you an update on my October Photo Challenge. Enjoy!

P.S. If you are just now tuning in, my photos for the first four days of October are in my last post, Where there are Octobers.

October 5-8October 9-10

*Click on pictures to see a larger image.

Uncategorized

flashback to the early 2000s

Not only is today “Flashback Friday,” it is also the last Friday of summer vacation. That’s right. Next week I will be re-entering the world of late nights, early(ish) mornings, papers, exams, coffee runs, and moments of near insanity. As I prepare for this coming semester, both physically and mentally, I can’t help but think of the good ‘ole days in elementary school. Back then, the most I had to worry about was learning my letters and making sure not to pee my pants in front of my class. Or, bursting into tears because I unexpectedly spotted my kindergarten crush in the school library. (Yes, that happened). Anyways, back to the point, and away from embarrassing stories about my childhood: Here is a list of some of the things I miss most from my pre-college days. Let the flashback begin!

  1. New School Supplies

Yes, yes, I know. This isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but I loved buying new school supplies. It took a little bit of the sting out of having to go back to school. I couldn’t help but admire my new collection of crayons, markers, glue sticks, and #2 pencils. I also couldn’t help but look on with envy as my classmates pulled out brand new multi-colored push up pens, Five Star notebooks, Lisa Frank folders, Elmer’s School Glue GEL, and the amazing 64 pack of Crayola crayons out of their JanSport backpacks. My mom wasn’t a huge fan of buying the “cool” stuff. So many years wasted.

  1. Recess

This one is no surprise. Who doesn’t miss recess? 30 minutes of fresh air, “cops and robbers,” swings, and running away from the boys who liked to pull your ponytail.

  1. Scholastic Book Fairs

Book Fair week was the best week of school ever. I would begin counting down the days until the Book Fair weeks in advance. I remember walking into the library on the first day of the fair with butterflies in my stomach. I absolutely loved breathing in the smell of new books and browsing over all the latest detective gear for kids, before going home and begging my mom to give me some money to support my book addiction. Ah, the days of the Scholastic Book Fair. Those were some of the best days of my childhood. I still have (and read) some of the books I bought there.

  1. Field Trips

I can’t help but miss the exciting days when my class would take a day to go to the Oklahoma Wildlife Refuge Center, or tour the Braums Family Dairy Farm, or walk down to the Tom Stafford Air and Space Museum (located in my hometown). I could’ve done without the long rides on our dirty, smelly school busses, but I loved going on field trips. I felt so grown up, going away on a trip without my parents, and with a killer brown bag lunch (Gatorade and Pringles? Heck yes.)

  1. Super Kids Day

Oh, Super Kids Day. A wonderful day with no classes, tons (or more accurately, tens) of fun activities and contests held on the playground, and the best game of tug o’ war a kid could ask for. I don’t know if every elementary school has this, but I hope they do. This day was one of the best days of school, and a perfect way to end the school year.

  1. Pajama Day

On this day, not only did we get to wear our pajamas to school, we also got to spend the entire day sitting, or lying, on the ground with our pillows, blankies, and a good book, not to mention the wonderful snacks they would sell in the cafeteria. The nerd in me loved these days. I got to spend the whole day reading. In my pajamas. At school. That was the life.

And, that is the end of my walk down memory lane, at least for today. If this post made you smile, or brought forth some of your own memories from school, I’m glad. Now, it’s back to preparing for classes on Monday.

Pretty in Pink <3 this will basically be me on the first day back to college

(Undeniable truth from the classic 80s movie, Pretty in Pink)