Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winter. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tunes for Tuesday... Christmas music

Hello Lovely Readers,

After my last Tunes for Tuesday (link) where I shared music that inspired me while I was writing I thought this week it would be fun to share my favorite Christmas Music... In no particular order.

Even though I said no particular order this has been my favorite Christmas song this year
Song: Mary Did You Know?
By: Pentatonix 

Song: God Rest Ye Merry Men
By: Mercy Me

I listen to this song probably all year round--it is so beautiful
Song: O Come O Come Emanuel
By: Bethany Dillon

Song: O Holy Night
By: Carrie Underwood

I like these next 2 songs because I am from Oklahoma
Song: Oklahoma Christmas
By: Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire

Song: BC Clark's Jingle

I know this song gets dissed for being too materialistic
but I have memories of singing it with my sister
Song: Santa Baby
 By: Eartha Kitt

Song: Carol of the Bells
By: Pentatonix

No Christmas song list would be complete without this
 Song: Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
By: Judy Garland

Ah! So many Christmas songs I love... it is probably favorite type of music. And while in some ways I wish I listened to it all year round I am glad to keep it special for this time of year.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow is all around me (Pt 2)

As most of you know (and if you don't know you might be under a rock) the North East was hit with a massive snow storm. I am not brave enough to go out in the middle of a blizzard but I did leave my apartment today and took some pictures.

From yesterday as the snow was coming down
I'm inside looking out 

Darcy enjoying the snow day

Today I had to get out and do some errands.... fortunately the sun was out
Can you see the bike handles? 

Waiting for the T
It is the fence then the road and then snow

After work I walked around the Commons

I thought these people sitting on the bench were funny

I like the snow like this. 

The trees in the middle are usually an island in the middle of a pond

George Washington in all his glory
Walking on Commonwealth Ave through the Back Bay is so pretty

One of my favorite places... Boston Public Library

Across the street from the BPL is Trinity Church.
I love is part of Boston because it show the blend of old architecture and the new
with the John Hancock Tower (the one that's all glass).

Another cool church... plus that pile of snow is awesome.

I am sharing my love of snow now because it is the first real snow we have. Plus now I love it, but I know come March I will miserable. I love Boston and I can't imagine my life anywhere else but I am not going to lie...

this will always be preferred over the cold weather. 

But I like snow days if they give me time to fun write, to read some of my writing click here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow is all around me...

The view outside my window... not that it was
ever great but it is just white outside.
I owe the picture of the ocean to my friend. 
We are having a beautiful day here in Boston... well it beautiful if you don't have to go outside. And since our Governor has told us not to go outside I am going to listen. So here I am inside and I thought it would be a lovely excuse to get some writing in. One thing I have wanted to do now that I am out of grad-school is to back to my own fun writing

I have mentioned a few times that the way I like to creatively write is by writing things by hand and then typing it up. So I have written a lot but I have not kept up on my typing and sharing my story with you my lovely readers. Sorry about that... I will try to be better. 

My last post of my story was just a little snip it. But if you remember Mattie has run off to the back woods and her and Kelby have a bit of a romantic moment.

Well here is more of the story. This part is really to help build Lady Adelaide and Mattie's relationship and give Lady Adelaide some back story. Hope you enjoy...

She could not say what she was feeling, she was only thirteen and all she felt this way before. She had trembled when he touched her cheek but it didn't scare her it felt comforting.

            Mattie was so happy when he took her back in the way through Cranston Court. He informed the butler, Mr. Doyle, the butler that Miss Mathilda was there and that she wished to see Lady Welford. Mr. Doyle looked quite astonished to hear Kelby who was so far beneath him speak so commanding to him. To be honest Mattie was quite astonished herself. Kelby was always the quite brother, he never talked of his dreams or pledge to the fraternity of exploring the world. Most of the time it was hard what was going on behind his chestnut eyes. He was already reading he seemed happier in the world of his books. Though he appeared to enjoy the company of books more people he was never cold or un-thoughtful. He was just reserved and respectful.

            Kelby could not take her beyond the back stairs he for he could not be seen upstairs. So Mr. Doyle showed her through to the salon to the sitting room where Lady Welford was found. Mr. Doyle gave Mattie a stern glare as she waited for her presence to be announce, it was clear he was not happy with her. Mattie tried to adjust her hair and fix her dress but to Mr. Doyle she was only a child, one of no importance or standing. He questioned why she should get such special privilege with Lady Welford. He thought if she was to seen by the lady she should come through the front door with a proper calling, not being lead by a stable hand. And he was right, Mattie was a nobody, a nobody Lady Adelaide should notice but Lady Adelaide had made it quite clear during all their visits that Mattie was most welcome.

            "Oh yes do let her in," Mattie heard Lady Adelaide. "My dearest Mattie, you are soaked through do not tell me you work out in the storm.
            "I was my Lady," Mattie replied properly as Mr. Doyle was still in the room. "But Kelby Gray took me to some shelter, however it was too late by then."
            "Doyle, can you send Mrs. Banks in here, we must get our guest a new dress and some tea."
            "Yes my lady," he then left.
            "Oh my dearest Mattie, when I said to come as often you could, I did not mean anyway."
            "I am sorry Lady Adelaide I am disturbing you."
            "No, no not at all. You are not a disturbance. You will always be welcomed. I just didn't mean—Oh well you are here, and I am so glad you are."
            "I am sorry for my mother's behavior. You are so good and you do not deserve my deserve my mother's cold words."
            "I know I am an oddity amongst other ladies, finding no amusement in society. I know this could be looked as proud or conceited and I do hope I am not those things." Mattie shook head to confirm that Lady Adelaide was not. "You see I used to enjoy those events, I would attend balls till three or four in the morning. I would go to the theater and attend Ascot. Whatever the season demanded of me I did it with great joy."

            It was easy to imagine Lady Adelaide the jewel in any ballroom, she was so beautiful and genteel. She would be sure to have every man yearning for hand, and all the girls red with jealously of the attention she received.

            "Can I tell you a secret?"
            Mattie nodded.

            "You see, as much as I loved the season once my daughter died I just never had the heart for it anymore. I went to the season after the morning period and it crushed me that my little Aurora would never be presented, she would never have her first dance, and she would never find a husband. I could not watch all the festivities thinking how she would never be able to do any of it. It breaks my heart still." Mattie placed her hand on top of Lady Adelaide's. "That is until I met you." Lady Adelaide smiled at her. "You my dearest Mattie. You are so much like her in looks and sweet manners. I know you have your own family, but I want to love and dote on you as quite my own."

            Mattie wanted to hug her, but in Mattie did not want to spoil Lady Adelaide's dress so Mattie just sat there with their hands intertwined. Then when Mrs. Banks walked in Mattie pulled away knowing it was improper.

            "Your ladyship?"
            "Mrs. Banks, will you see to our guest. She needs a dry gown and then please prepare some tea for us."
            "Yes your ladyship,"
            "Oh and Mrs. Banks, send a note to Southerton Greens to let them know where she is and pleas make sure to keep the motor standing by when she is ready to leave. We would not have her walking and potentially getting caught in the rain again."
            "Yes my lady"

            Mattie follows Mrs. Banks storing up all that Lady Adelaide had said to her. To lose a daughter must be the biggest heart ache. Though Mattie was overjoyed to know she had softened the heart ache even if it was just for a little bit.

Lady Adelaide is suppose to be a mother
figure to Mattie
            Mattie thought she would have been taken back to Aurora' room, as she had the first time she came to Cranston. Instead she was taken to another side of the house. The room looked as if it had a brand new coat of paint on the walls as it still carried the scent of new paint. It was a light robin egg blue with little stencil drawing of little daisies around the crown molding. Daisies had always been her favorite flowers and in these details the room felt as if it had been made for her. Then the maid brought out a clean dress, Mattie had the impression that this dress could have come out of her own closet. Lady Adelaide must have ordered a new dress. Had Lady Adelaide done all this so Mattie could call this spot in Cranston all her own?

            "So do you approve?" Mattie hadn't realized that Lady Adelaide was standing in the door way.
            "Very much. How could I not. I feel like everything was done specifically for me."
            "It was my dearest Mattie. I want this to be your special space."
            "Oh thank you," she gave Lady Adelaide a hug.
            "I wanted to show it to you when it wall done, but you came sooner than I expected."
            "Done? But it is perfect now."
            "I haven't quite finished off the pillows or the curtains. I have looked at different samplings but I do not know what would be good."
            "Anything will do."
            "Oh no, not just anything, you deserve the best."
            Mattie gave her another hug.

            How desperately Mattie just wanted to remain in that moment. She felt as life couldn't get any better. Sadly life had to move on, it was just the way of things and within a fortnight Marcus and Parker had to return to school. Marcus always said it was in the changing of the wind that moved life along. So the wind had changed summer was over, and life had to return to its normal pace. 
It is rather odd writing about summer when it is far from summer here
Continue to follow Mattie and the rest of my story through my Grand Days tag 

Friday, January 23, 2015

I am ready for my life to begin

I talk a lot about my faith on this blog, but lately (the last few months) I keep coming back to two questions in my life: 1)What does living in faith mean? 2) What is the purpose of my life? I don't have answers to either of these questions. But I have making some process on these questions and that is what I want to share with you today.

I live my life by pretty much by routine...if you know personally you will not be surprised by this. I like my schedule and knowing whats coming (I do not handle spontaneity well). I get up turn on my coffee pot, have my quiet time while enjoying my first cup of coffee, get ready for work (I put on my moisturizer, then start my makeup, eat breakfast (while moisturizer settles in), take my vitamins, brush teeth, then get dressed (I am paranoid that I will drop toothpaste on my clothes) put on finishing touches, such as perfume, and blush), then I head out for work. Read my book on the T, take the Green Line inbound then switch to the Red line (never really looking up from my book). Usually grab another cup of coffee before sitting down at my desk, talk to my boss about what he would like me to do for the day, then plug my head phones in and listen to NPR. Okay this could go on for a bit, but I think you get my point.., I am a creature of habit and I rather like it (most of the time). Sometimes I wonder if there is something more?

I think this where my original questions come from. Last year I was going through my Bible focusing on verses that I the word "faith" in them (there are a lot).

A couple of years ago with the word "hope" and discovered that hope in God is like a day in Winter knowing that Spring will come and holding on to that. Hope in God is holding onto something we know is coming and keep going forward with that knowledge. (Read more)

There is the classic verse "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1(NIV) and I am not disliking that verse but I am still left wondering what that means for me? How can I live out my faith? What does "living out my faith" even mean? Is it random acts through out my day? Is it a life style change? And if the answer is yes to that then what does that look like like?

I don't think of myself as a visual person but I would like a model for what it means to live out my faith in the 21st century. Does it mean I have to become a missionary? Does it mean I only listen to "Christian" music, and stop watching TV?  I am not sure. This is the part I grapple with. And I feel in my struggle to answer these questions I get stuck.
I am afraid to make a move because what if I make the wrong move. I also afraid if I move without knowing what to do, where will I go next? Not necessarily physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So I let these fears stop me.

On Wednesday night I went to Community Group (Bible study) and we went through the passage Mark 5 about how Jesus heals a man from demon possession. It is one of those stories in Bible, that are great at showing how mighty God and Jesus are, but hard to understand how they apply to our day to day. However, there was one really great question that stuck out... Do we (I) live as if God is in control?

If I am to answer this question honestly, most of the time, No. I mean day by day I know he is in control because he has the power to take my life away, take away everything I think I own, or every person I love. But He doesn't. But most of the time I feel I take advantage of His love, His grace, and all the blessings He has given me. So I in that way I don't feel I live like God is in control because I let myself take over. However, on the flip side of this I know what it is like to not have God in my life. I have had some low moments in my life where I feel I am drowning in an ocean and no one is coming to save me. I have tried to tread what for so long (just to keep my head above the water) but I am tired of that so I stop treading water and sink. Those feeling are very real to me and I know at those moment I need God more than anything.

I have liked "Oceans (where feet may fail)" because of these feelings. 

I still don't have an answer to my original question... but life is not about having an answer. What I do know is that for me faith is living like God is in control. I am still not sure what that looks like but it is a good first step, I think another step I need to take is just to move. I can't keep letting myself be held back, I can't keep making excuses, and I can't keep praying for change without moving. Now where do I go from here? I am not sure but I know God is in control and that is pretty awesome. Because He is the only one who can provide truth, hope, rest, joy, wisdom, strength, and salvation.

About my second question, from the beginning of this blog, I think I will learn as I discover more and more about how to live out my faith. In reading verses on faith I found a great verse "the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love"- Galatians 5:6b (NIV). I think I want this to be more and more true of my life... that I am doing things out love. 

Last night on Parenthood Adam was having a conversation on finding a passion and following that. I know I have passions and I think using those passions to work for God's kingdom is my purpose. I am reading the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and in chapter 7 he states "the ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God." Then he writes "Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills, and abilities. The way you are "wired" is not an accident." I think what I need to do is think about my passions and my gifts and begin thinking how I can use those to do work for God. One thing I will have to be careful about is making sure these are not just activities added to my day and that become motions. I recognize I need God's guidance to have these thoughts, ideas, actions, pursuits, and motives to really change my life. Rick Warren writes, "real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus." And I am ready for my life to begin...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Not forsaken pt. 2

Have you ever heard something that even though it wasn't directed at you, you feel it is meant directed at you. Well this Sunday I had that moment. My church had a sermon today on the words Jesus cries out on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 or Mark 15:14)

I know on this blog I  have spoken about some of the harder times I am going through right now in my life and I have often wondered "why is this happening to me?", "why am I going through this pain?",  "what is this all for?".
Sorry after I wrote out my prayer I realized the post was really long so I decided to split it into two part. So back to the sermon. 

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
How many times have I felt distant from God and alone. We have all had moments where we question God. And the first thing my pastor said that it is okay to question God because our questions mark our walk in our faith. We should turn our questions to God. Then he stated a survey that asked "If you could ask God one question what would it be?" The number one answer dealt with "why does God let suffering happen?" I do not have all the answers but I do not believe God allows suffering to happen. God created our earth to be perfect and it was when sin entered the picture that the world was separated from God's perfection. Jesus who was perfection himself and he took on all the sin on himself and I think in that time He felt all the punishment that sin causes us and he felt the separation we live with. 

God mad Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2 Corinthians 5:21

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:10

So Jesus calls out... "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

This passage comes from the start of Psalm 22. I have been reading Psalm on my own and I have noticed a pattern in then is that they start off calling to God in agony and they end in hope. But between the calling out to God and the hope God gives us there is a verse that my pastor pointed out to us...

For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one: 
He has not hidden His face from him 
but has listened to his cry for help. 
~Psalm 22: 24

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

I do not have all the answers but as I was sitting through the sermon I really like hearing that God has not left me. He has not left me and He has promised He will never leave me. He didn't leave Jesus and He is not going to leave me. I know I am going through some hard times right now and no matter what I feel I know God is with me. After the service I wanted to give my pastor a hug and tell him it was "what I needed to hear." I didn't. 

Now to explain the picture my Church is doing a Instragram project where they are collecting images from the themes of the sermon. As I was walking home I saw a some budding. After all the snow we have had in Boston it was great to see some flowers coming out. I feel this is very symbolic of what is going on in my life. I'm going through a winter but soon it will be spring and I can see a little bit more hope. 

Other passages:
Hebrews 9:26
2 Corinthians 5:18, 19
Romans 6:11, 14

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In need of some light-heartedness

Dear Anne,

When I started writing these letters to you I made a promise to you that I would not write any "fluff" post but right now I need some "fluff." Lots of things in my life seem to be crumbling around me and I cannot think of how to phrase them all. But I didn't want to not write this week so if you will pardon me... I am going to write some fluff. 

Reading the book on the T.
I just got done reading my friend Katharine Grubb's book Falling for Your Madness, which I highly recommend as a great read on the beach over the summer or when you are stuck inside due to a blizzard or like me and just don't want to think about grad-school. I started it on Thursday afternoon and finished it by Sunday and I got swept up in the chivalry of the story. It is great to have such chivalrous character like David to fall for and you know me I am a sucker for a chivalrous hero. 

Any way this letter is not to write you a book report but I wanted to write that blurb so you understand this part. In one of their dinners they discuss what five things they love and five things they hate. I will only share my five loves in this letter (as I need some time to remember the good things in my life). 

my nephew wearing the T-shirt
I got him for Christmas
1. I am going to break David's rule of not saying my family... he thinks it is virtuous to say but doesn't say anything about us (p. 37). I am sorry but I think if you want to know me you must know I have a deep love of my family. They shape me so much and  while I am at least a thousand miles away from them they are a constant in my life. And lately I have seen how important they are for me as a support team in my life. But more specifically you have probably seen from my other letters I do have a sort of addiction to my niece and nephew. Last week I was feeling lonely so I made sure to spend some time with kids. I skyped with my sister and through that I drew pictures of princesses with my niece. Then on Friday I spent the afternoon with my best friend's baby. It was what I needed. So I love kids. 

2. I love getting lost in a good a book. Even though I am in grad-school I try to make time to read a fun book on the side. I love when a story can completely take me away from all that is going on in my life and I can disappear into another world. I usually find this true about historical fictions but last year I read the Hunger Games and could not put them down. 

3. My first cup of coffee. I sometimes get up, switch my coffee pot on, and then climb back in bed and wait for it to finish brewing. My first cup always wakes me up. The picture is of my favorite mug. My best friend gave it to me for Christmas and it is absolutely my favorite. This picture is not good but it says "Creative Fuel" and I love my days off when I can sip out of it and actually do some fun writing, which leads me to my number 4. 

4. Getting time to write. It doesn't happen much from going to grad-school, working, and doing life but I love when I find a few minutes to "work" on my story. I put the word work in "" because it is not really work it is a pleasure.  Like my getting lost in a good book I also like getting lost in  my own stories. 

5. Umm... last thing. This is hard because I feel there are many things I love. But I would say this city of Boston. Since the first time I came here I felt like this place was home. While, I love going back home to Oklahoma for the nostalgic aspects. I think Boston was the first place I ever felt like I truly fit in. And even in the cold I still love it here. I also feel God has blessed me here with my school, my friends I have made that have become a second family to me, my church, and most importantly my walk with Him.  
Boston gets more snow. 
Okay thanks for listening to my "fluff" it was good to write this down and remind myself all the goodness in my life. There are more than five things I love but I want to follow David's rule. 

- Blaire 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We found Nemo.

As most of you know the North East was hit by the winter storm of Nemo over the weekend. I spent most of the weekend inside with my fun writing, my novel and Pinterest. I don't have a fancy smartphone so I could not take good pictures of the storm but when the storm stopped I got some pictures. 
This is the view outside of my window this weekend. I know it is an alley so not very pretty. 
Darcy enjoying watching the snow though most of her weekend was spent curled up on my bed, under the covers or on my lap. 
I took this one from my computer... she has gotten in the habit to curl up on the crook of my arm/shoulder as I type on lab top or read my book. Nothing will stop my cat from cuddling when she wants to. 

From my kitchen window. 

After spending all day Friday inside I did venture out of my apartment and this is what I found. 
I loved this truck. 

There is a car buried under there. 

The garden across the street from my apartment.

My street it is still un-shoveled and in some places the sidewalks are un-shoveled too so I walk in the middle of the street.  

 Just pictures of the snow...

I was probably out for 30 minutes before my toes were so frozen in my boots they were in pain so I went back to my cozy apartment. 

Then Sunday I had to leave my cozy apartment and go to the library to get some actually work done. 
The side walk I usually take to school
Minus the porter potty the field was actually rather pretty and I kind of felt like a scene from Little Women, where they are walking through the snow. I don't think I would like to walk through snow in their big dresses. I was finding it hard just to stay stable enough in my boots... I think with hoop skirts I would fall flat on my face.

The Fens all covered in snow

My school's sign. 
They actually did a good job cleaning off the main paths on our campus.. it is good Simmons is not that big. 
Then as I was leaving school I thought the sunset looked so pretty against the building... Sorry I don't think this picture conveys it 

A nice snow man in the field.

I thank you Nemo for coming because you gave me lots of time to relax but please don't come back. I am not a big snow fan.