Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Mostly Picture Update

Hello Lovely Readers,

I hope this New Years is finding you well... I know its only been six days but if you are like me you are still writing 2015 and then doing your best to make the 5 look like a 6. A few of my last post have been about movies, books, and favorite Christmas songs so I thought it was time for a little update on my life. 

I know Christmas is behind us but I am still replaying the moments I had with my family...

 A morning selfie of my nephew and I (he loves me even if it doesn't look like he does in this picture)
... he is showing signs of having red hair so I call him "little ginger man"
This is us at the park... notice the short sleeves, yeah Christmas in Houston is hot and humid
Playing with my niece and nephew... they invented the game "Squish Attack Aunt Blaire"
Helping my "little ginger man" open his first Christmas gift from me... Yep its a book
Books was unintentionally my theme for gifts

So even though the weather did not feel like Christmas with the family and the kids it was very Christmas-y

Speaking of books...
I am currently re-reading Mansfield Park and it quickly topping my list of favorite Jane Austen novels. Emma and Sense and Sensibility are at the top of my list but this one is joining the ranks. It is not the typical Austen novel because Fanny Price is not like her other heroines who speak their minds or stand up for themselves... no Fanny spends most of the time sitting around and thinking about the people around her, she is also often ignored by her family, and she seems okay with this because she doesn't want attention. The very first time I read this I couldn't finish it because she was so quiet and so mousy that I couldn't stand Fanny Price... now with age I have begun to love her.
Great article "In Defense of Fanny Price" {link}
If you are looking for a modern update of Mansfield Park I recommend the YouTube Series "From Mansfield with Love" (link to channel)

Here is a short trailer:
It is told as a video letter from Franks (Fanny) Price to her brother who is in the navy (or something like that) and she is recording her life for him. Thus far I have enjoyed these YouTube series updates on classic literature... so good job media specialist on keeping us in love with classic stories.

With my progress in NaNoWriMo (I got to 35,000 words) I was able to finish the first part of my story and made a good start on part 2... so I am eagerly making progress on it. After November, I didn't get much writing done, and while I was away for Christmas I didn't get any writing done (I did do some minimal editing on the plane rides). That's okay, as my friend reminds me I am doing this for myself... and while I would one day love to be published I am not on any deadline. Though I do have the goal of finishing the rough draft this story and get to the editing process. Though sometimes after writing a scene I think "Oh this would be much better someplace else" so my outline has gotten a bit of editing to it... and I think I might have to go back and re-write some scenes. Oh well... I love this process and enjoying the moments.

 I don't have a lot of prime time shows I am watching right now. But New Year's weekend was a good TV/ Movie weekend for me.
My friend and I went to go see Star Wars ep. 7 on New Year's day and then I watched the Sherlock "The Abominable Bride" episode. I don't want to give away any spoilers on either one of these things but I thought both were great... obviously for different reasons.
Also this weekend was special as it was the premier of Downton Abbey season 6.
Uh once again I don't want to give out any spoilers but the scenes between Mr. Carson. Mrs. Hughes, and Mrs. Patmore were my favorite. 
{Scenes from ep.1}
 Also over Christmas the show When Calls the Heart, also released their special episode. 
When Calls the Heart, is probably one of my guilty pleasures but I don't care it is a cheesy Hallmark Channel on the frontier period drama.
Needless to say my fangirl heart was very happy over New Years.

Usually I end these updates with a YouTube video I have recently discovered... and I don't want to break with tradition.
Song: "Hello" by Adele (cover)
Clips: Gilmore Girls- Rory and Jess

I think this song is actually quite fitting for their relationship and as the cover is sung by man, I think it tells the story from Jess's perspective.
I am eagerly awaiting for the release of the Netflix reunion episodes that last time I checked were to begin being filmed this year. YEAH!

Hope you have a good day.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A long book blurb... part 2

Hello Lovely Readers,

I know I don't usually post two days in a row but I want to finish up the details of my "26 book challenge" before 2016 (tomorrow). In my previous post I wrote about books I highly enjoyed and books I pulled at my heart strings... but there are other books I read and I wanted to let you know about them.

For the love of history...

I love history so much that not only did I get my bachelor's degree but also got my master's in history, though I will admit sometimes I have a hard time reading historical books because they are rather dry and so I usually turn to historical fiction. If historical fiction is good the author will make you feel as if the past is a live for you. In my previous post I shared a lot of historical fictions I loved reading this year but I am also pleased to announce I found some nonfiction I enjoyed.

1. A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor by Greg King- I picked this book up a couple of years ago when I visited Newport, RI and was swept away in the Gilded Age and I wanted to read anything about that era. A Season of Splendor is a wide view of the time period focusing on different prominent families, their wealth, their culture including balls, clothing and mansions and what brought about the end of the era. I underlined and tabbed many of the pages in order to go back and use as a reference in future writing projects.

2.  Testament of Youth by Vera Brittian- is the memoir of Vera Brittian who left her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in WWI. She served in London, in Malta and on the Western Front and sadly by the end of the war she had almost everyone she loved. I will admit the writing is a bit dry as I think she is trying to sound like an educated woman and to be taken seriously and not to be seen as a frivolous emotional author. I recommend this book with the companion read Chronicle of Youth which is selected pieces of her diary (selected by editor) she kept during the war... I think these two together give a better insight into her life, her experiences, her emotions and the impact World War I had on people. However, if you cannot get around to reading both books I recommend the movie Testament of Youth as I think it blends together both these works.

3. Mary Queen Scots by Anotonia Fraser - I will admit that I got intrigued to read this book because I enjoyed the historical fiction version portrayed on the CW and I honestly wanted to know how much was fact and how much was fictionalized. This book also has a special spot in my heart as I bought it in Paris at the Shakespeare and Company. Though it is thick do not let it intimate you as Fraser is a great writer and tells the history in a capturing way... I found myself tearing through it. 

Books I am glad I crossed off my literary list...

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B White- Though I love reading now I did not read much as a child and sometimes I feel I missed out on childhood classics one being Charlotte's Web. 

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury-Is not in my typical genre of reading but I really enjoyed it and made me think about the future and the progress of society. 

General reccomendations...

1. The Chance by Karen Kingsbury- Looking for something light, maybe a beach read or a vacation read... this is a good book. It centers around Ellie and Nolan who years ago buried letters to each other (telling the other one how they felt). Now eleven years later (2013) they are to meet up and dig up the buried letters and read them. In those eleven years their lives have changed differently. Ellie no longer has the faith she once had and lives as a single mom in California and trying to make ends meet. Nolan is an NBA star but has had his own personal tragedies that has only fueled his faith and his athletic drive. Can they go back to the days of their innocent childhood and rekindle their feeling they had for each other as teenagers? Can they forgive past hurts and pains? 

2. The Storied Life of A.J Frikry by Gabrielle Zevin- This was a simple book and reminded me of a good update of Silas Marner by George Elliot. A.J Frikry lives a quiet life owning a bookstore until he meets a publishing book seller and has his treasured possession stolen. Both these actions leave him to create a new life for himself and open his heart to a girl left in his book store. I did not like reading Silas Marner in high school but I enjoyed this update. 

3.The Blue Castle by L.M Montgomery- looking for a little bit of lighthearted frivolousness, look to The Blue Castle, Valancy Stirling as always lived at the service and mockery of her relatives and yet she yearns for a place all her own. When she finally thinks that her life is going to end she decides to live the life she always wants speaking her mind and pursuing love. I think Valancy is a great character for giving courage of those wanting to seek out a place to belong.

To see other books I read for this challenge click on this "26 book challenge" page (link)

I have already seen some book challenges on Pinterest for 2016 (link) and while I liked this challenge as it kept me motivated to read post grad-school, I won't be doing another challenge. I have lots of books I want to read or re-read on my list and I think I will be making my way through those. Though through some encouragement of my sister, I will try to be better in 2016 and in the future of having a page of books I like. I currently have "Books to get Lost In" (link) but it is not very up to date and I want to share more books I have read. I will working on compiling a list of books I love and recommend for you all... will keep you updated when that is officially published. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Blurb... Goodbye Piccadilly

Hello lovely readers,

Last week I finished the book Goodbye Piccadilly by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. I have read a few books of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles in her "Morland Dynasty" series which range from the Renaissance to the 1920s time period, so you can find a time period you can enjoy. You will probably not be surprised but I like the books set in the Edwardian Period to the 1920s... so I was intrigued when I saw she is writing a series just about World War I.

The story is mostly set around the Hunter family... who are middle class with the husband working as a banker and the wife stays at home to mind the household and servants. The story starts off a little slow and what is happening in mainland Europe is just in the back ground. My main criticism of the story is that their are a lot of characters. While there are the Hunters and their 5 maybe 6 kids, there is also their servants, Mr. Hunter's sister and her own plot line. I am hoping as this is a series that we will get to see all these characters plots unfold and it won't be fruitless to keep track of their stories.

The two characters I was most interested in were the Hunter daughters Diana and Sadie. Diana is casted as the beauty of the village who has lots of suitors but her focus is on Charles Wroughton, who is the oldest son of the Earl. While Charles is in good position in society he is not the most social person mostly because of nerves and fear of not knowing what to say. So when he catches Diana's eyes he is actually intrigues that this beautiful girl is attracted to him. Of course his family thinks she is just a fortune hunter... and while that might be a bit true she is honestly interested in him.

The next daughter Sadie, is sixteen and loves horse and actually doesn't want to be out in society for her only destiny to be marriage. She gets a position (most likely volunteer) to help ride horses in order to get them ready for soldiers and begins a crush on the veterinarian.  I hope in the other books she will be able to develop and do real war work.

I also hope in the other books they will develop David, the oldest son of the Hunters, who enlisted in the army a few days after the war.

Outside of the Hunter family is the Hunter family servants. Ethel the young housemaid seems a little arrogant and full of herself... she kind of reminded me of the Ethel character in Downton Abbey, I hope she won't suffer the same fate.

I will be honest this book was not that thick (only 392 pages) but it did take me a bit to get through it... I don't think it was honestly the books fault. I love the history this book included it provided me valuable insights into English society at the beginning of WWI. For example: Charles Wroughton is not allowed to write to Diana herself, he has to write to her mother. I mean that definitely doesn't allow for much romance. Also it gave good information on dates and other historical background like the Irish wanting Home Rule and some suffragette information. I personally love these details as they inspired my own writing so I was happy to read them but I don't think the casual reader would care for them.
As the story was about the the same period that I am currently writing about I found the story inspiring and I think I spent some of my usual commute time reading to write out scenes. Also after falling in love with Susanna Kearsley this summer I would love to find an author who wrote WWI novels in her style. Do you have any suggestions?

As I said there are other books, I think only one other is out set in 1915 called Keep the Home Fire Burning but the library doesn't have it yet... so I will keep waiting to see what happens next.

Overall: I liked the story, but I could do with less characters and I don't know if the casual reader would enjoy a lot of the historical content... however I think it proves that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has truly done her work and keeps it based in reality.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Remember God's Faithfulness...The Blessing in My Life.

Hello lovely readers,

Last week I posted "Things seem up in the air" but even as I finished it I did not feel that it was complete. At my church we have been going through a series called "From the Rubble" about the book about Nehemiah with many of the messages hitting very close to home. Last week my friend spoke about our story and how the main point of it is God's faithfulness not our brokenness.

In the book of Nehemiah, some of the Israelites, who have been in captivity come back to Israel to rebuild the wall around the city. They face many oppositions from mental to physical oppositions and yet they are able to complete the tasks in 52 days. Then they are at a lost of knowing what to do and they go to Ezra, who has been in Jerusalem for 14 years and working to rebuild the temple. He read from the book of the law and they here the story about how God makes a promise, but then the people go astray, problems come, people cry out to God and He restores them. And the people listening into the story begin to weep because they focus on the part of the story where their ancestors went astray. However Nehemiah said, Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Okay this is just a brief summary of the story... I suggest you read the whole thing(link to Biblegateway). 

It seems kind of strange to celebrate when we go a stray from God and suffer, but that is not what Nehemiah is saying... Nehemiah is saying to celebrate God's faithfulness. I will admit that I am quick to hold onto pain, and I sometimes hold onto my own flaws and regrets far more than I hold on to the compliments I get or the love I receive.

So here I go... I am going to remember the good things in my life, the things I want to hold onto. 

First, I am thankful to have these two inspiring women as my sisters. Both them have taught me a great amount what it means to faith even in struggles.
 I am blessed to have two sets of wonderful parents who have given me courage, taught me to stand on my own, allowed me to follow my dreams...even if they didn't understand me, and have shown me love is not based on blood. 

I have also been blessed with a great amount of friends here in Boston, and a church that has shaped my second family for me. But the thing I probably love the most in my life are my niece and nephews...they give me hope in the world, joy, and love I didn't know really existed till they came into the world. 
All these people make me who I am. And I am so thankful to them for how they have shaped me.
God has blessed me with these people.

Nehemiah asked the Israelites to remember God's faithfulness and I can easily remember His faithfulness by looking back on the blessings God has given me. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Maybe its a Bit Morbid

Post: I Press on Towards the Goal

Hello lovely readers,

I am not usually a person who thinks a lot about death, but lately I have...

In Honduras
After my grandad passed away a couple of years ago, quite by surprise, we had to plan his funeral and besides where he wanted to be buried, it felt like none of us really knew what he wanted. I then began to think if anything did happen to me I would want people to know what passages and songs I liked. So I wrote them down and put them in the back of my Bible (just in case). Then when I went to Honduras I had a weird feeling of peace that I may not come back, so before I left I decided to write a quick note of how I wanted some of my things divided (not that I have much)... but silly things like I want my niece to have my Mary Cassatt prints that I have had since I was a little girl, I wanted my friend to look after my cat (if she was able to) and I wanted my mom to have my Bible. (By the way this note is still in the back of my Bible if anything should happen to me).

So these are as morbid as my thought went, until recently. I blame the last two books I have read... both of them have dealt with death in someway. In The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) Valancy Stirling has lived a life with very strict regulations and always trying to please her family, until she is 29 years old and she goes to the doctor and he tells her she only has at max one more year to live. She decides she is no longer going to live in the confines of her strict family and decides to actually live... it is over all a very sweet story.

But it has got me thinking... what if I only had a year to live?

I would of course like to spend as much time with my family as possible. I think immediately I would like to spend any time I felt well I would want to be with my niece and nephews and soak up enough time with them. I don't think I would want them to see me when I was truly sick... as I would hate for that to be the last image they had of me.
Me at Windsor Castle
I think I would also like to spend time finishing my work in progress (at least in first draft). I have wanted to be a writer all my life but I have many works that I have not completed and I would like to have at least one work done. And then maybe hand it over to some one to see it through to be published.

I have also made a second family up here in Boston, so I would like to be here as well. I have some other thoughts of maybe traveling to England one more time as it is my favorite place outside the U.S. but if I didn't get to it I wouldn't mind. Being around the people I love the most would be most important.

Not to leave you on a completely morbid thought... and having you think I am a morbid person.Valancy's story is not just about what she did with her time it is about how she faced the idea that she was dying. Instead of just sticking too routine she decided to go out and actually live her life. The book is called The Blue Castle because whenever Valancy is sad she dreams up this blue castle to escape to. In the story she decides to chase after her "blue castle" the place she is most comforted. In doing this she speaks up for herself and even finds love.

I understood a lot where Valancy come from...She feels trapped in a life that is not her own. I don't feel trapped bu sometimes I wonder if I hide myself too much. No one likes being vulnerable, but I sometimes fear letting my guard down so much that I feel paralyzed at least mentally. As I was typing up this post, I found this quote on Pinterest:

And it really struck a chord with me. It tied to this post, in my mind, and I thought instead of using time on what I would do if I only had one more year to live, what I should do with my life now?

I will keep you posted. 

Sorry to start the week on such a morbid note. I just wanted to share some thinking.

Have a good day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I am not a photographer

Hello lovely readers,
As I posted last week I took some time off to visit some family and meet my newest nephew and I planned to take lots of photos but I came back with only a handful of photos... so I have come to the conclusion I am not a photographer. So sorry there are not many photos of my trip but here is a glimpse of my time back home.
The main reason I took this trip was to meet my newest nephew... even though it was mid-June in Houston. This is my first time holding him.

This is my niece and I doing arts and crafts together... really drawing dresses.
I could do this for hours with her.
On our road trip making a stop at Buc-ee's.
Only in Texas do you see a gas station as big as most grocery stores.
We did get in a visit to the zoo but I can not even take credit for this photo as my dad took it.
Niece and sister are the only ones looking at camera. I am looking at my nephew.
Oh yeah and that is a lion in the background.

See not many photos... but at least I got some great time being Aunt Blaire which is the best memories I can have. Hope you have a good Monday. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

My world Monday... Time off

Hello lovely readers,

I am taking this "My world Monday" off as to spend some much needed time with my family.
Last full group picture I have with sis and kiddos... pre-newest nephew.
But have no fear I have a post all ready to go for "Writing Wednesday" so check back here Wednesday after 9AM EST.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday #Littleloves

 Hello Lovely Readers,

Through my book challenge and the Twitter #26BookswithBringupBurns I found the blog Typically Ted and found the great badge #LittleLoves

And in the blog it talks about the little loves in your life... so here I go.
It is less than a week from going on my first trip with my mom to Paris. 
My mom and I have been planning this trip for years so I am excited but it seems surreal for it to be coming true. 
Every time I say "surreal" I always think of Noting Hill.

 Book 12 in my challenge The Chance fulfills the requirement of reading a book you own but haven't read. My friend gave it to me for my last birthday but I just got around to reading it. It wasn't very long and the story is cute with a good message about hope, forgiveness and second chances. 
Am I the only one who thinks it is odd that books have trailers that are like movie trailers?

Now that both Park and Rec and Parenthood are over I really only have one TV show that I watch on a usual bases and that is Reign. 

However, I just finished watching the show Turn that was on AMC (through Netflix)

{trailer for season1}
And I am not ashamed admit that I watched it mostly because of JJ Fields 
Who yes is a bad guy (well bad if you are rooting for America) but I love him as Mr. Tilney in Northanger Abbey so it was interesting to see him play a bad guy.
Mr Tilney
Also I have started watching Arrested Development for the first time since I did not watch it when it was on TV but I am only a few episodes in and thus far have not felt the need to binge watch it.
 Breaking in new shoes for Paris

Usually I listen to NPR in the morning while at work and then in the afternoon I turn on my Pandora account. I have a 90's Pop Radio station and I love when an N*SYNC songs come on and I still sing every word.

Besides my trip to ParisI am planning a trip to see my sister and meet my newest nephew. 
From my trip meeting my first niece
Still can't believe that picture was taken more than 5 years ago.
Okay those are my #littleloves for the week. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Finding my passion

I want to blog more, I do I really do but right now I feel I am stuck and I feel I have written the same post over and over.

Today in my quiet time I read Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.. I know I have talked about this book before and yet again I am amazed that in reading it that chapters hit me and speak to me in certain ways. I believe there is almost like a power behind reading a book, article or blog post at just the right time. This chapter was about "love" not romantic love but about loving God and others. The greatest commandment is "Love the Lord God with all your heart and all your mind" the second follows "Love your neighbor as yourself." These two ideas sum up the entire ten commandments.

The chapter focuses on we show our love by our time. When I type it out it sounds simple but is it? I am the first one to admit when I am overwhelmed by life I back away from my relationships and just want to focus on my work. Last semester when I was finishing my thesis I felt I had no life besides my thesis and my relationships with my friends and family took a back seat. I thought this was necessary to get through things. But when I finished my thesis I realized how miserably isolated I had become. I also realized I had true friends and family who supported me through all of it and were so ready to rejoice when I was done.
Some of my support team 
When I first started writing this post I thought about saying I was going on hiatus from blogging while I figure things out. Hence, the "under construction" sign because I feel like my life is under construction... being newly graduated and thinking about what to do with my life.

Going back to love: I keep saying I want to make a difference in this world. If you have read my blog long enough you are probably getting annoyed with this phrase. Anyway, as much as I say it... I don't do anything. Which, when typing that out seems ridiculous. If I want to do something I should just start. I guess my question is where?

I have a few friends going through job searches and when they say "I don't know what to do with my life," I ask them "what are you passionate about?" I think I need to turn the question on myself and figure out what I am passionate about and turn that into action. 

If my time is my love then I am showing a great amount of love towards Pinterest, TV, and other mindless things. And why? These things are not eternal. They are hardly life giving. So what is eternal? What is life giving?  

The basic and really hard answer is LOVE. 

So I leave this post with more questions than answers but I think I know my next step... find my passion. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

Done with my thesis 

Hello lovely readers,

It is Christmas time and I feel this a curious time of year, at least for me. It is a time of reflecting about the year that shortly ending and it is a time that we are preparing for the year to come. 

Looking back at this year I feel this year has been filled a lot with my thesis...and maybe thats how it should have been but lately I have felt I spent so much energy, so much time, and devotion to it that I kind of lost focus on what the most important things are in my life. On mentally preparing this post I began to look through my photos (on Facebook) to remember all that has happened over this year. Some of the highlights have been getting to spend so much time with my family; I spent some time with my family in May, August, October and just recently when my parents came up here to see me present my thesis. If you don't know I live in Boston and my family lives all over so I usually see them only twice a year (minus skype dates) so I feel that has been really neat this year. Another highlight this year has been moving in with my current roommate and friend. Last year (until end of August) it was a struggle with my apartment. I never felt like my last place was home. Moving into my new place has felt like home the moment I started unpacking my boxes.
with niece and nephew in May

So as I began to think about 2014 and everything that happened, there have some parts of it I wish I could put behind me and never think about them again, but I know those moments have shaped me. And instead of looking at them with regret I am going to try to give them over to God and let him use them as moments of development. While 2014 has been a mix of both of ups and downs (as years are) it is what 2015 brings that I am most interested in.

Lately, I have been praying a lot to hear God's voice to feel his guidance but in reality I have felt distant from God. I know He is with me and He is the hope I have anchored my life to. Hebrews 10:23- Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful- has been a verse I have had to repeat to myself a lot through the year. I think it is more true lately as I am coming to terms with the fact I am done with school.

Birthday celebrations 

For 23 some odd years, I have been a student and I have almost placed my identity in the fact I am a student. Especially in undergrad and grad school my life has been about the next homework assignment, the next chapter to read, and the next paper to write. In grad school I felt life was on hold until I finished school and sometimes I felt angry I couldn't do things because I was in school.

I have been praying for God to use me in such a way that I would make an impact in this world for Him.  I have also been praying to hear God's voice and feel His guidance.  But I have felt stuck and sometimes useless. I am not blaming Him for this... actually I am holding myself responsible. Because I know I have filled my life with clutter, I sought fulfillment from temporary things. So one thing I really hope for 2015 that He prune and cut things out of my life that are not from Him. This is going to take work on my end, because it is easy for me to turn on the TV, go on Facebook or Pinterest, listen to Spotify and block Him out. But I don't want to do that anymore.
Being a bride's maid in my friends wedding, in July.
On Monday I prayed:
Lord I pray you lead me. Lord there are so many big questions on my mind now. What do I do for a job? Where do I go from here? Lord I need your guidance with these questions. Lord, you are the only one that makes my life make sense and I pray oh Lord I pray you lead me on. 

Then on Tuesday morning I read the passage: 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2. 

Visiting my sister's family in August...
Sadly my nephew was in the hospital.
With nephew in hospital I got to spend a lot
of time with niece... blessing in disguise 
These things may not seem immediately linked but they are in my mind. I think one thing I really need in upcoming year is to renew my mind and heart in God. In that I believe I will be able to truly know what God wants from me. However, I have no idea what that looks like. 

Over the fall my church went through a series called "Resistance" and it was about remembering why we have the Sabbath, a time of rest, a time of remembering what is important to us, and a time to remember what God has done for us, I think over the last year and especially this last fall I have kind of forgotten that.  I say my faith, my friends and family are the most important things in my life... but I felt distant from those things. I have felt very much like I have been drifting through life, not really making connections. So, another thing I would like in 2015 is to really invest or reinvest in things that are important to me. 

Here I want to say I am sorry to anyone that I was not there for over the last year...even if you understood why I am sorry I got so blocked by other things I could not see what was important. 

Fancy night with roommate. 
On the job front I will take my time to figure things out. Fortunately this year I have been blessed with two part time jobs that have really been relief when I have been stressed about money. I think it is important right now to get things worked out in my relationship with God... so I am not going to dwell on that.

I am thankful for this year I have had the support system (friends and family) that I have had. I don't know how I would have been able to get through the struggles I have gone through... and I promise I will not forget it.

I am excited to see what 2015 has in store for me and I am already starting to shape my New Year's resolutions.

1. Invest or re-invest in the relationships I have
2. Work on transforming my mind in order to understand God's purpose for my life.

Those are 2 pretty big things so I will leave it at that for now... if I fail I will (with God) pick back up and try again.

There are other things I am looking forward to as well in 2015.

1. My sister and brother-in-law are expecting their third baby... from the pics above you can see they make cuties so I am excited for this new little one. 
their birth announcement.
2. My mom and I have been dreaming about and plotting a trip to Paris and now done with school, we have been planning one for May. 
Mom and I from recent trip to Boston 
3. Also I have been thinking about going on another short-term missions trip. I remember how impacting my trip to Honduras was and my church does a trip to the Dominican Republic every year and watching the videos of the trips have made me want to go.
4. I am also looking forward to getting back into doing some of my own fun writing. Though I might be writing more with pen and paper than typing... my eyes are getting tired looking at word document. 

"Mary did you know"-Pentatonix
This has been my favorite song this year. 

Merry Christmas!