I'm Just Saying

Announcing: Feature Fridays!

newsThis week has been one of discovery in my blogging world, and I’m going to attempt to get right to the point as to why before I dive off into a speech.

Last Saturday I wrote a post about how basically my blog has been really disappointing me lately and I couldn’t really figure out why. I was depressed with where my blogging had gotten to and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Then only three days later I wrote a post that totally changed everything and made me realize what the problem was: I have gotten to a point in my blogging that is depressing and disappointing because I’ve stopped writing about the things that I’m passionate about.

I’ve spent so much time wondering, what is my blog about? And I’ve gotten hung up on the idea of posting my observations on life, and this has just left me in and endless cycle of some things I’m currently pondering, and then it leads to depressing things and etc. In short, I’ve spent to much time forcing observations and deep ideas when I really could have just been talking about things that excite me, like I did with my second post.

So, I am, after much consideration, going to do something that I’ve been thinking about extradoing for a long time: I’m going to establish a static post. A post that you can count on every single week. It will be called “Feature Fridays”.

On Feature Friday I will, that’s right, feature different people. As a history major I have realized that people are really what life is about, learning about people, studying them, befriending them, loving them. This totally explains my love of Frank Sinatra! So, Feature Fridays will definitely become a thing starting today. I will feature historical figures I find fascinating, well known people now, and just the ordinary folk in my life! Who knows, maybe one of you will end up being featured in the near future!

As today is the very first Feature Friday I have been thinking a great deal about who I should feature. I have really only come up with one conclusion that seemed rather obvious. What one person has had more of an impact on my life than this one?

So today I’m going to tell you about my mother. She doesn’t know I’m doing this so for that reason I won’t be able to give you a picture of her, but my mother is completely and totally amazing. She was married to my father on her 20th birthday. They have now been married over 31 years, have 10 children, and own a sizable farm. My mother works hard every single day to make sure that my hoard of siblings and I, and now the army of 16.5 grandchildren, are happy, healthy, and loved.

Besides being an incredible wife, mother, and grandmother my mom is also one of the funniest people on this earth. I will freely admit I get my glorious sense of humor and wonderful wit from her. She is a dreamer and so creative! She knows how to organize and plan everything from a casual family get together to luxurious meals for my father’s business guests.

My mom is also incredibly spiritual, with a strong love for Jesus Christ and firm testimony of His teachings. Her testimony has had a profound impact on my life. She is incredibly innocent and humble, is pretty much incapable of lying unless it’s about Christmas presents, and is truly an angel. She has always supported me in everything I wanted to do, even if I could tell she wasn’t 100% comfortable with it. She loves us no matter what. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

I'm Just Saying

The Wisdom Of Bike Paths

bike pathI remember sunlight. Hot, hot sunlight falling in giant golden waves from a wide, blue sky. So hot that the cement of the sidewalk burned my feet through my shoes. The air was so thick that the only relief was getting on our bikes and riding along, just to get moving through the humidity. There came a point when I just had to acknowledge that I would never be dry again.

There were bike paths we used. We’d fly down the sidewalks, skirts flying, through groves of trees where cicadas chirped loudly. At first I hated that sound. Probably because one tried to attack me once. We’d ride under the trees, in the dappled light, and come out on the other side in a whoosh of air.

I miss it that feeling.

My religious mission ended about nine months ago now. I cannot believe that it has been that long. And though it was a huge part of my life, so incredibly vital, it isn’t something that I talk about a lot on this blog.

To be fair, there’s lots that I don’t talk with you about.

It’s not as though I feel guilty or anything. I’m sure there is a lot that the blogs I follow don’t share either. And that’s fine. We can all choose our level of privacy. I’ve just chosen that mine be pretty strict. sunflowers

The reason that I bring up my mission tonight is because I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now. I mean, A LOT! You probably guessed this by my lack of posting, which I apologize for. Honestly I’ve just been trying to keep my head above water here.

But my mission changed my life forever. It changed me. To this day, my mission has an impact on my daily life and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that it always will.

There were many times out there in that Texas heat that I felt so incredibly alone. Interesting, when I knew that I was on the Lord’s errand. It seems so beautifully intricate to me now, though, how God works. How He teaches us things. There were many things I didn’t understand then that I understand right now. In this moment.

As a history student I look at the past every day, it is one of my main passions and makes my heart so happy. These past weeks since being in school again have broken my soul wide open, and things are pouring out of it that I forgot about.

pietaI look at Michelangelo’s work and can’t breathe. His sculpture literally takes my breath away. It makes me cry. Looking at his work Pieta is nothing less than a spiritual experience. His works are so beautiful it aches.

Leonardo da Vinci has forever been one of my all time favorite historical figures. It is only recently that I realize how much his work pulls at my heartstrings. His paintings bring about an awe that I cannot suppress.

I have discovered that Anglo-Saxon literature breathes a fire into my blood. When I read the opening lines of Beowulf I couldn’t help myself: tears welled in my eyes. There was one passage in particular that caused an actual gasp to come from me. A man sees Beowulf and says about him, “He is truly noble.”

This pulled at me in a way I could neither deny nor explain. I’ve been fascinated with the word “noble” for a long while now. In fact, I have a canvas on my wall painted in royal blue with the word NOBLE painted on it in big gold letters. It reminds me daily of what it means to be a noble person, and to act as one.

All of this beauty and inspiration has gotten the wheels in my mind turning in ways they haven’t for a long time. To be honest, I was beginning to fear that I’d lost my talents and passions. I was beginning to fear that my ambitions were gone and that my thirst for knowledge had been drained.

mondaI’ve come to find the opposite has happened. It is as if my mind cannot get enough, and it’s spilling into my heart and soul. And instead of filling, they are only expanding and crying out for more beauty and knowledge. It is incredible to me how it is all working. I sit in awe and wonder how I’ll ever learn it all, how I’ll ever hold everything I wish to know.

And then I think of the practical things. Where will life fit in this scholarly road? For surely one must put scholarly pursuits aside at some point to just enjoy the sunshine.

And there we come to another theme in my life. The sunshine. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been thinking so much about my mission.

I miss the sunshine! I haven’t seen it in days, and my soul is craving it. I just keep reminding myself that someday it will shine and someday there will be green grass again. Grass that you can lay in and roll around in, sunshine that will tan your skin, and the heat will just sit there and roll over you, and it will feel incredible. And all of that sunshine will just go right into your soul. And that is beautiful.

And with it all there has been a lot of confusion. A lot of loneliness. It is strange to think that being surrounded by thousands of people I could feel lonely. But I do. My family isn’t even that far away, but still I feel separated from them in a strange way.

And I don’t know how to make it all fit. Life and family and knowledge and learning. And nobleI know that it can, and I know that it will. But the sidewalk isn’t as illuminated as it was in Texas. The way to go doesn’t seem as clear. But then again, at the time it didn’t either. At the time, apart from all of the wonderful things I was doing and becoming, I was having the hardest time I’d ever had in my life. I couldn’t see the way. But eventually I did, and when the answers came they were brilliant.

Lately I have been going through an experience similar to one I had previous to my mission, where I was confused and felt lost. I felt that something was missing but I didn’t know what. The answer that I received then was very simple: Have faith and continue on in what you know.

I did that. And the answer did come. Though it isn’t exactly the same now, it is similar. I sundon’t necessarily feel as if something is missing so much as I feel that it isn’t all coming together. It has been strange because in many ways I’m very, very happy. All of this learning has fed my soul in a way it sorely needed, and brought me a kind of joy that I’ve dearly missed.

But in the things that I don’t understand, I can have faith. I can continue forward in what I do know and trust that the rest will come with time. I can remember that the sun is still shining, even if I can’t see it, and soon it will be warm again.

For Laughs

The Eleventh Hour

awkwardNothing like waiting until 11:16 pm to being working on the daily prompt for the day! I am going to be totally honest with you, which is something I’m a fan of. I’ve gotten to this point in my life where I’m just tired of everyone’s fluff and I’m ready to be real. So, I’m writing this post for two reasons.

#1 Traffic on my blog is bad…really bad. This possibly has to do with the fact that I keep posting at the times my stats say are the worst. Of course. But seriously! It’s been a while since anybody was around. I’ve been so excited about posts recently and then I just sit here looking at the stats bar like…cool. I had a good story, but I guess I’ll just go eat chocolate now. And come back in five minutes to see if anybody agreed with me. Anyway, Daily Prompts usually help kick start the process of making us all feel better about our stats.

#2 I spent a really long time hunting down my bucket list, which I posted many moons ago, only to find that it has 8 items on it. Granted, this is an old bucket list but to be truthful the items on it are either the same or have been replaced by other items. So I feel like there would still be roughly 8 items on this list even if I were to rewrite it.

So now that we are all clear as to why I’ve written this post, we come to the very sad conclusion that I can’t even answer the prompt. So. There’s that.


I'm Just Saying

All The Things I Promised

gift boxI recently realized that on this blog of mine I have made many promises. I have said I would keep you updated on things, promised posts, and now that I think about it, none of these things has ever actually happened. So today, I’m going to deliver on a few promises.

#1 – The Red Wool Package

In early December I wrote a post about a Christmas story that I was writing. I talked about how I was very excited about it and promised to keep you updated on how it all went. Well, as life often does, everything got busy very quickly thereafter. I was working crazy hours, trying to spend time with my family and enjoy the holidays, and when it was all said and done I never quite got it finished. Although this is kind of a sad follow-up, I don’t actually feel too bad about the way things turned out. You see, the whole story was basically about a man who has shut himself away emotionally from people that really care about him. And in the end, through a mysterious gift he receives at Christmas time, he is able to open himself up and receive what life has to offer. At the time I felt that if I were to shut myself away and force myself into getting that story done, then I would be missing the message of my own story. But don’t give up on it! Someday that one is going to be great.

#2 – The Here And Now

The here and now. What I look like in this very moment. This is the picture I accidentally took trying to take a really good one. It doesn’t get more real than this.

One of my blogging friends recently mentioned that I never talk about what is happening right now. Which is totally true. Even though my blog isn’t technically anonymous (I mean you do know my name and what I look like after all), there is still A LOT that you don’t know about me! I’ve done this for several reasons. The first of which is because I tend to be a pretty private person. I’ve never been one to post long rants about the goings on in my life on social media.

The second reason actually has to do with my religion. My religion is a gigantic part of my life, in fact it basically IS my life. There is nothing about my life that isn’t affected by my religion. Because of this, if I were to be totally, completely, 100% open and honest with you about everything that happens in my life, you’d get a lot of doctrinal commentary. This isn’t a bad thing and I’m not ashamed of my beliefs in any way. I just decided very early on that I wasn’t going to expose the nuts and bolts of what I believe to be true just to give you background on what I’m thinking that day.

But to be honest, I want to be better about sharing more of the right here and now with you.

And so, for now, these are the things I want to follow up on, the promises I’m keeping. Here is another one I’ll keep: I promise to keep my promises in the future.

For Laughs

Today-As Told By My Hair

hair is perfectThe first day of class! It’s the first day of class in over a year and a half! Oh, yeah! I mean, I’m always a big tangly in the morning, but you brushed me out so that helped tremendously. What’s this? Curls! Yes! I would be absolutely delighted to curl for you today. In fact, I’ll curl even better than I normally do because today is a big day for you.

Okay, time to leave! You’ve got this! I’ll even bounce for you while you walk. Oh, yes, this redness and curls is goin’ on! Wait….wait…what’s actually going on here? Why are you wandering around like you’re lost? And WHY do you keep tucking me behind your ears like you’re nervous? And WHY are you sweating? Oh, yes, you’re wearing a huge coat and walking up these ridiculous hills. Don’t worry about it, you hairsprayed me so I’ll keep it all together up here. Gotcha covered, girl.

Okay, I guess the wandering is over, because you’re sitting in this strange don't touchclassroom surrounded by strange people. Oh, wait! I know those people! Do you think they notice I’m still parted in the middle? Why would they, that’s stupid. Is this a science class? This professor clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The entire class is in a state of confusion. As are you because you keep touching me like I can help you solve these issues. I’m sorry, lady, but my job is to keep things held together up here, no fix your professor’s too quiet voice and confessions of inadequacy.

Okay, you’re walking again. Here’s a campus map. Good! You’re good at reading maps! By the way, sorry that these bangs are a little straight. I know I said I got you covered, but there is only so much I can do when you are all nervous and keep touching them! Just focus. Oh goodness! Doesn’t your next class start soon? Why are you STILL wandering around? Oh…my…gosh. You’re lost. You. Are. Lost.

hair repayFinally! You made it. Okay, I realize that after all this wandering and walking and hills and nervousness and watery eyes from too bright sun and showing up to class clearly late that you’re worried about this whole thing going on up here. (Not to mention you haven’t even looked in a mirror…) But don’t worry. I’m thinking…beach waves are definitely still in! These people don’t have any clue that I didn’t start out that way!

Okay, the third class was easier. Thank goodness! Wait, where are you going now? For the love of all holy things stop tucking me behind your ears. Haven’t I communicated to you that because I contain a center part the whole tucking motion makes you look like an elf from Lord of the Rings? This is only cool if you are, in fact, an elf. Get it together, lady!

MORE STAIRS?? Huge crowds of people?? Trying to stay positive up here, but seriously? I’m hair, not a miracle worker.

Wait. Wait. Wait. HOLD EVERYTHING. A picture. You’re getting your long hair lip glosspicture taken. Why, why, why are you getting your picture taken? Oh, a campus ID card? Really? Today of all days you had to get a campus ID card? I literally do not care that it was the only way that you could obtain your textbooks. This is ridiculous.

Okay, why aren’t your textbooks in the convenient little black bag like everybody else’s? Of course you’ve got so many that they have to be in a box! You still have to walk across campus back home! With this huge box!

Still walking. I am now sticking to your face because of the wind while you lug this huge box around. I tried, okay? I tried.

hair tragedyNow you’re home. Flopped on your bed with me in a really disgusting bun. I get it. I think you’re just as exhausted as I am. I tried to stay curly and you tried to stay sane. I guess we both failed. I understand I’m a big part of the self-esteem department. That department died a little today, honey. But it’s okay. Put me in a semi-presentable pony tail and go to work. That is all.

Try again tomorrow.


For Laughs

The History Of Serious

If you ever come to a point in your blogging life where you have no idea what to do: this post is for you. If you are sitting in front of your blog, looking at a blinking cursor and a straight line of views: this post is for you.

I have all the answers to your problems. Actually, there is really only one answer. Go to Google, type in “topic generator”, click on the first option, and follow all directions.

You will be given 5 blog post titles, 5 magical ideas that will change your world and revamp your blog. This just might be the exact thing you need on this, the first day of 2016, to really kick off the year correctly. Choose one of these titles, and then use it right away.

You might think I’m kidding. But I am not. I am totally serious. This is serious. Your blog is serious. This year is serious. Don’t do it for me. Do it for you. For your blog. Change history. Seriously.

I'm Just Saying

I Could Talk

lightsI have been in the blog post mood all day long. Yep. Many of you will probably identify with this. I definitely have a specific mood that clearly reads, “Write a fantastic blog post today.” And today that mood has been mine.

Much of the time when I get this mood, something curbs it. Suddenly my creative juices are just…gone. Sometimes I get so worked up about what I’m going to write or what people will say about it that I can’t even handle it and then I end up posting a meme and a post about something nonsensical.

Don’t get me wrong, those posts have been known to be awesome. Some of my funniest posts of all time, really. But today that’s really not what I’m thinking.


I could talk with you about Christmas, and about how much I love it. I could talk about how I don’t understand the “stress of the holidays” mentality. I mean…we’ve known all year long that this was coming. Why didn’t you prepare, people??

When it comes to people being stressed out and freaked out during the holidays, I’m afraid I must quote Erin from the U.S version of The Office when she said very wisely, “I just don’t get it! I’m sorry! I just- I don’t get it!” snowy house

Here’s the way I see it. I celebrate Christmas because I’m a Christian and I love to celebrate the birth of my Savior. And if I truly am celebrating Him, then everything that I do this season is in service to others and is my offering to Him. And therefore, I do not feel stressed. I just feel love and peace. Those glorious things we’re all supposed to feel during Christmas.


I could also talk about college. I am returning to college in January after a very long time away and…I’m a little nervous. Mostly because I’ve transferred schools and so now I feel like a freshman all over again. Which isn’t the greatest feeling ever.


booksI could talk about my novel. It’s coming along so beautifully!! Which is the greatest news on the planet because it’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to write with such fluidity. I’m finally back into that groove of writing where I’m just really, really enjoying it.

Interestingly enough, one of the things that has contributed to this is the mentality of: is this necessary? If something isn’t necessary or at least semi-necessary to the plot, I cut it out immediately. At first I was worried that length would suffer, because I believe that length is a very essential element of a good novel, but I feel as though that part is working itself out. It’s brilliant!


I could talk about how I got a new nephew the other day. He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and is 20 inches long. He’s so tiny and completely perfect. It was an incredible blessing in our family. Both he and my sister are doing very well. What an amazing reminder of what this time of year is really about.