Distance

I have been cleaning a lot recently. During one of my cleaning sessions I came across my box filled with loose leaf writings. I love to see all of the random thoughts and feelings I have scribbled down over the years and to go back and read them makes me feel like I have actually accomplished something as a writer (or that I am at least on my way to accomplishing something). I have come across partially written poems, writing prompts, free writes, story ideas and random tid bits of feelings that were hastily scrawled onto the piece of paper in the hopes of releasing some of the emotion and capturing it as best I could.

I have decided to be brave and finally share some of my writings with the world. I always used to think that my writings were just silly little bits and pieces of thoughts from a teenage girl that nobody cared to read. But now that I go back and read some of the things I have written, I see that there is some knowledge behind it. Of course, my writing is far from perfect; I will always be learning and growing as a writer. But I think it will be good for me to start sharing my writings. So from time-to-time, I will share some fragments of my writing, old and new, on my blog.

Here is a creative writing prompt that I did last year. I was to write about something ugly – war, fear, hate, cruelty, etc. – but find the beauty (silver lining) in it. I chose to write about Distance. My boyfriend and I were apart at the time and the distance between us was something I was struggling with. And now, a year later, I find myself in the very same situation. So finding this writing prompt was a good reminder for me that beauty can be found in every situation. It is not very long or life changing, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Distance

written: June 3, 2013

Distance can be a hard thing to bear. It tears and separates us and makes us feel the sting of loneliness and heartache. Distance can physically come between two people and also emotionally between them. When distance physically comes between two people, those people can change drastically. This can be extremely painful when the changes become so noticeable and the two people who were once so close, become complete strangers. This is distance at its ugliest.

But there is beauty in distance, a light at the end of a dark tunnel that only two people who truly love each other can see. Distance may tear us apart physically, but that does not mean that we have to be torn apart emotionally. In fact, distance can serve as a time for two people to search themselves and get to know themselves and each other better. If two people really, truly love each other, then distance will bring them closer, not tear them apart. And that is the beautiful thing about distance.

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I Left My Heart in New York City

It has been a little over two years now since I went to New York City for my first (and only) time. It seems like it was only yesterday I was there though. I have been longing to go back ever since I left. And now, since I am thinking about that glorious city, I have decided to dedicate a post to it.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures I captured while I was in New York City and some feelings I happened to scribble down two years ago:

Lights, lights every where you look. Some of them flashing, some as still as the night itself. People always surround me here, never seeing the same face twice. People from every race and every nation. Faces of sorrow and hate, of experience and inexperience. Some of these faces look lost; they may know where they are at in the vicinity but they know neither where they are at in life or where they are going. People dressed in all different types of clothes; some in suits, some in heels, others in rags crumpled up on the ground. It amazes me that these people let nothing get in their way. They keep moving in rain or shine because they have to make a living.

The people of the city are so beautiful to me, in their many colored clothes and fancy accessories. Some of them kind, others that act like you’re not there. Old men in the park reading the morning paper, colored men on the side lines filling the air with sweet notes of Jazz. They smile at the people that pass by them and hope that somebody will throw some change into their box.

As funny as it may sound, I think I liked the city best in the mist and rain. The city had an air of mystery and wonder that hung about it in this weather, wonder that made me feel that if I had conquered this city, I could conquer the world. But conquer the world as I might, I did not want to be anywhere but there, in the city that never sleeps. Any store and any kind of food can be found in this glorious city. In this magical city one can travel forwards or backwards in time. It is the one place I have felt nearest to the big Hollywood stars. Standing where Miss Audrey Hepburn stood, walking where Amanda Seyfried walked. Many before them and many more to come after them.

Written: June 2012

Time is Slipping Away

It’s been a while since I have posted anything on here. I had all of these wonderful ideas of blog posts that I would write, such as my going vegan for a week, new recipes, etc. But the truth is that I just haven’t felt very inspired or motivated to photograph anything or to write. And you know what, that’s okay. I’ve been spending more time cleaning up around my house and cracking open a few good books and just hanging out with my family and pets. I’m learning that I don’t always have to have something extravagant or astounding to post on here. Simpler is better sometimes.

I’d love to be writing about grand adventures I’ve been having, but in all honesty my summer hasn’t been very exciting so far. I find myself looking forward to going back to school in August (crazy right!) and being able to hang out with friends and learning about the things I love and the things like math that I don’t love at all. I think that part of this reasoning is because I am ready to start my senior year and be done with college and move on to the next chapter of my life. Another reason is that it just feels good to be busy and doing something productive. The lazy days of summer are nice for about a month, but after that I start feeling restless and feeling like I have just a little bit too much free time on my hands.

I say that I’m ready to go back to school already because I feel like I’ve almost had enough lazy summer days. But in reality, summer has just begun. And summer is meant to be a time for relaxing and breathing in the fresh air, a time to take things a bit more slowly and actually enjoy and savor each moment. While I’ve had my lazy days, they haven’t exactly been relaxing. I come up with all of these little chores and tasks that I need to do and try to do too much multitasking (which we know doesn’t really accomplish that much). And then if I don’t fulfill these tasks or I feel like doing something other than what I wrote on my to do list, I end up feeling like I am wasting my time because I’m not doing what was written on that little sheet of paper. But that’s how I should be spending my summer months!

I shouldn’t be making strict schedules for myself that I feel bad for not sticking to, I’m supposed to be having a break from school and enjoying the free time that I have. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to keep a list of tasks that need to be done, it’s actually a great reminder for those little daily chores. But what I am saying is that I should be enjoying the freedom that comes with summer instead of sitting back and wishing the summer days away.  I know one day after I have graduated, moved away from home and have started my own life I will look back on these easy summer days and wish that they wouldn’t have slipped through my fingers as fast as they did. I should be using this free time, while I am not in school, to focus on my hobbies and passions and doing the things I love. Things like photography, writing, cooking, painting, reading, etc. I know that when I’m at school all I think about is summer time and the freedom I will have to do theses things and then I don’t end up doing a single one them.

I had time to stop and ponder all of this the other evening when the power was out at my house. There were a lot of thunder storms in the surrounding area and while it didn’t actually rain at my house, we did end up losing power for about two hours. And in those two hours I was able to sit in the peace and quiet of my living room, without any technology to distract me from my thoughts or the sounds of nature. So as I sat listening to the birds chirping outside, I did some reading and journaling, two things I love to do but sadly don’t do as often as I used to. I was able to sit and think about how the summer months would soon start slipping from my grasp and I would be left wondering where the time had gone and what I had wasted my time doing.

So, I have decided to not rush the summer. I am going to take things one day at a time and try to find the joy in whatever comes my way!

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And now I think it’s time for Things to be Happy About, V. II:

Homemade cherry pie w/ vanilla ice cream / / Enjoying a nice quiet house for a change / / Watching the 7th season of Gilmore Girls / / Discovering old issues of the Liberty Champion while cleaning / / A nice clean reading nook / / Folk music / / Big steaming cups of coffee in the morning / / My little sister coming home yesterday / / Thunder storms and the nice cool air they bring / / Thoughtful gifts from my boyfriend 

 

 

Vegan Smoothies/Juices

I have been on a smoothie/juice kick this past week. I feel like I use my blender everyday over the summer. I am always looking for new and interesting smoothie recipes to try and this past week I found four on Pinterest that I decided would be worth trying. Also, I have been trying to incorporate more vegan meals into my diet, so all of these recipes are vegan friendly. I have linked all of the recipes back to the original source. I may have made a few minor changes to mine, so feel free to add your own twist to any of these smoothies!

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Detox Pineapple + Avocado Smoothie

  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 lime

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Strawberry Carrot Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut water, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries
  • 1 cup organic baby carrots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
  • 1 navel orange, peeled

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Ginger Lime Avocado Juice

  • 1 medium avocado
  • juice and zest of 1 lime 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 cup / 250 ml coconut water (or regular water, or nut/seed milk)
  • ½ frozen banana or 1-3 tsp. raw honey, to your taste (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2-3 ice cubes (if desired)

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Not Your Mama’s Ruby Red Juice

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 carrots
  • ½” ginger

To prepare these smoothies I just peeled and cut up the fruits and veggies as necessary and then tossed them into my blender and gave them a whirl. I used my blender for all of these because sadly I do not own a juicer. Maybe one day…

Happy juicing!

 

Things to be Happy About, V. 1

There have been a lot of things on my mind recently that have been causing me to stress and worry more than I probably should. Things like feeling restless and wanting to travel, paying for school, finding a job, making my house look better, etc., etc., etc. I could go on and on naming things that have been getting me down lately and giving me a case of the summer time blues, but what good would that do?

I try to be a positive person. My mom and my grandma are both strong positive women and they have instilled in me the knowledge that it is better to count your blessings and the things you are happy about rather than sit around and dwell on all of the the negative things that creep into your life. Concentrating on the positive things in your life will put you in a happier mood and help to lighten the load you bear.

I have started memorizing scripture with Brendan, focusing on a verse each week. Our verse for this week is Psalm 55:22 which says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”  I am learning to do just that. By giving my worries to God, I am relieved of my burdens and I can focus on all of the blessings in my life.

So I have decided that I am going to try to be more positive minded this summer. I am starting a new series on my blog called “Things to be Happy About” that I will post from time to time. I got this idea from Carlotta Cisternas’ blog (which just happens to be one of my favorite blogs that I read) and thought it would be a great way to remind myself just how blessed I am.

Here are some things that I am happy about this week:

Cooking healthy foods in my kitchen (a luxury I do not have at school) / / Reading the Bible with Brendan over Skype / / New home improvement projects / / Getting back into yoga / / Drinking out of mason jars / / Having time to read good books / / Long car rides and conversations about life with daddy / / The smell of honeysuckle in the air / / My strawberry patch / / Being able to live on campus again in the fall / / Celebrating 16 months together with Brendan / / Getting letters in the mail 

What are some things that you are happy about?