Sunday, July 27, 2014

just be you

Lately, I've been thinking back to the importance of just being you.

Just learning to unapologetically, completely, be you. With all your quirks and your weirdness. With all your normalcies. With every last authentic ounce of your being, just be you.

"I have never met someone who is living a bold and successful life--and by successful, I mean prosperous, kind, and in touch with the meaningfulness of what they're doing--who has apologized for being perfectionistic, mercurial, unrelenting, or whatever their slightly controversial hallmark characteristics are.

You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too soft, too loud, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you loose your edge." {pin it here!!}

The one thing that you have that everyone else doesn't, is you. Your voice and stories and personality. Your style. But being you isn't about just embracing your best qualities--it's about embracing your not-so-great qualities, too. The things that society has told us aren't 'right'.

Because really? What is normal?

So speak softly, or talk really loud.
Drink too much coffee, or just drink tea.
Overplan, overanalyze, and overthink.
Or let things go.
Dress up, dress down.
Get up early.
Stay up late.
Work long hours.

Do whatever it takes, whatever works for you, and don't hold back for fear of 'being weird'. Because nothing is ridiculous. Normalcy isn't reality. And there's no point in being anything but bold.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A History of Pretty Dresses

Here, then, is a tribute to all the fancy dresses that have served me well. :)

eighth grade

So 8th grade was my first dance (oh my word SUCH a HOMESCHOOLER). It was the semi-formal at 4-H Teen Conference, and I wore my 'cranberry dress' that I got as a Christmas present. :)

B and I are way too cool for you.

First dance of freshman year was prom! My friend Maggie organized this one as a senior project, and it's still one of the most fun dances I've ever been to! I wore a retro-inspired black dress Mum and Dad gave me for a Christmas present (can you spot a trend? :P).

All the single ladies!!
Back at 4-H Teen Conference, I went a more casual route and wore a strapless eyelet dress I found at a thrift store. While I loved the idea of this dress, it was a bit big, which made for a rather obnoxious night of constantly pulling it up. Never made that mistake again!!


In my sophomore year I went to Atlanta for National 4-H Congress. There were two awesome dances (again, they belong on the list of favorite dances ever!). Only one was formal, and since I had to bring something that could be rolled up in a suitcase, I re-used my black dress from freshman prom!

And none of us were ready for a photo...
Choosing a dress for sophomore prom was...interesting. I planned to make my dress, but after all the frustration of the actual construction, I abandoned the finished project and instead stole a dress from Deanna. We made countless jokes that I looked like Megara from Hercules, and she was Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I totally see it! :)

That summer, at my third TC, I forgave the dress I made (grudgingly, but still) and wore it to the semi. While the dress is far from perfect, I'm still glad I wore it to something.

It was so windy on the boat...almost had a Marilyn Monroe moment!

Seems too soon for a re-cap, but I loved my junior year dress. I bought the Lady Love Song dress from Modcloth when it went on sale in December, and wore it to both prom and TC semi!! Gosh, I love this dress. It's retro yet somehow modern, surprising comfortable, and just a ton of fun.


Since I enjoy over planning things, but only when I can ignore timely things that actually need my attention, I've already thought about next years dress/es.

For prom and TC semi, I've been eyeing the Cumulus Cascade Dress from Modcloth. I love how wonderfully 60's mod it is, and all the lace, but I'm worried a bit about length. It's only 33.5 inches...and I'm we'll have to see.

I'd also like to get a fun dress for my graduation. Still very little idea about what I'd like to do, but hey, at least I know what I want to wear! I love this Lunch with the Ladies Dress from Modcloth (again). The flowers...and the bow...the lovely back...and pockets! Again, though: I'm a little worried about length.

So, there we go! My life of pretty dresses. :) I really do love my clothes...not gonna lie.

PS-Tomorrow I have a tryout for TOI...crossed fingers much appreciated!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

me things

Here's a list of my 'quirks'. Ack, that word.

1.) I spill at least one glass of water, every day. I'm not even kidding! It's a curse!! I'll either be gesturing while talking and whack it off the table, or I'll leave it on the floor and knock it over. Or I'll sit on it, again when I leave it on the floor. Mum doesn't even say anything anymore, she just rolls her eyes. It's expected.

2.) I get obsessive over my pen choice. They have to feel good, write good, and preferably not have black ink. Or red ink. And I don't like neon pink...I had to bring a neon pink pen to lit class, and I worried everyone was making assumptions about my personality based on my ink color choice. Because, let's be honest, that's something I would do.

3.) I'm actually fairly okay with making 'big' decisions...but I can't deal with little ones. This past winter I called Mum to ask her if I should get a coffee, or a hot chocolate. She said "both! Just mix them!" Ah, that woman is brilliant.

4.) I walk like my dad. Look at my dad's footprints in the snow: he walks so his left foot is perfectly straight, but his right foot is always turned out, sometimes so much his footprints make an 'L'. Mine doesn't turn quite that much, BUT they do look very similar. Mum once mistook my boot prints for Dad's, no lie.

5.) I cannot, for the life of me, say y'all. Some people totally pull of saying it, but I can hardly wrap my tongue around it. I also can't say gangster. I'll stick with Wicked, thank you very much.

6.) I'm pretty sure I'm un-diagnosed ADD. *fervent head nodding from all my friends*. Often, the ability to concentrate on a task (especially if the task is at all difficult) is totally lacking. Whoops.

7.) Containers are my friends. When I was younger, I would sort all my toys by type, then put them in labeled shoe boxes, then stack those boxes in my toy box. Now I just make desk organizers and carry multiple wallets at once.

8.) When it doubt, hang it up. I should really take some pictures of my walls to show you guys. One wall is the beginning of a photo collage, the other has sticky notes with specific, organized goals on them. Then I have random papers tacked onto a bulletin board, and another 'dream board', and then I have quotes tacked up on my window frame. I'm obsessed with hanging things up! I cannot stop. 

9.) I have been known to select lipstick color by name. I mean, seriously. Revlon's Gentleman Prefer Pink is my favorite name, but it sadly gets very little use, because it's bubblegum pink.

10.) I have to really love something at a thrift store to buy it if it's more than $3-$5 bucks. It needs to be the type of thing that would haunt my dreams if I didn't get it. Otherwise, it's too expensive!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What Happens in June

June was...crazy. While 'relaxing' isn't exactly the word I'd pick to describe it, it was a nice vacation from the constant chaos of school, skating, and 4-H deadlines. June was all about sleeping a little later, taking a couple of days off from skating without feeling guilty (although, tbh, Icannot wait for Monday so training can get back to normal!), and lots of time with friends!! Sure, I love my to-do lists and being productive...but a carefree June is the absolute best.


The week after Father's Day, our family took off for a week of camping in the mountains. We went up with our friends the M-Fam, a tradition that's been going on so long we can't really remember when it started. I enjoyed looking rockability while mini-gulfing and getting ice cream at an equally-rockability diner:

AJ (the lil' bro), on the other hand, enjoyed being a clown:

I caught up on some summer reading. I'm studying this for tips.Wait, what?

Oh, and gargouilling became the new planking.

So, yup. That happened.

teen conference

After a week at home, AJ and I headed off for NH 4-H Teen Conference. Just some background: TC is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a Sunday-Wednesday of late nights, friends, laughs, inside jokes, all of which ends in a huge emotional puddle. There's workshops, swimming, dances, and lots of 'deep' chats. It's lovely and I wish it never had to end.

TC always reinforces one thing to me: the fact that I have the best friends a girl could hope for. During the school year (and even a lot of the summer!), things get so busy. I think, being homeschooled, you're more likely to have a group of friends with little in common with you. We play different sports, have different interests. We're pursuing different goals, work different summer jobs, and don't always live right down the road from each other. But, that's also what makes our friendships stronger.

We can go a month without seeing each other, and still have no awkwardness. We can go from stupid jokes to deep conversations in 2.5 seconds. We've found the balance between playful banter and always, always having each other's backs. But the absolute best part of our group? The authenticity. You know where you stand. We're honest, we're often blunt, but we love each other.

That's Caleb. We've known each other since we were 6. That's pretty much the case for all of our group--the majority of our lives have been spent around each other. We've quite literally seen each other grow up. And now, as graduation is looming (or for some oldies passed!), there's not a group of people I'd rather go through it with. At the banquet on the last night, sparked by the evening's speaker, we talked about our version of success. And then where we wanted to be in 10 years. Everyone's answers were entirely different. But I love watching everyone pursue their dreams.

Next to Don't Stop Believing, Living on A Prayer is our favorite song. We sing it at every opportunity. And really, that song speaks of everything our group is going through right now. Who knows what the future holds, who knows if what we want now is what will have passed 10 years from now. Frankly, life is scary. I've been getting major anxiety attacks lately about whether or not I'm on the right path. But we've got each other, and that's a lot. 

So, guys: take my hand, and we'll make it--I swear. I'm always here. Thanks for always being there for me.

PS-This happened:

And then this happened:

Yup. S County Boys forever.