I Got Lost On A Retreat (But I survived! :D) And I Have Pictures To Tell The Tale

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Well, this is gonna be a random typical post with a random typical person and random typical pictures, glad you could stop by! πŸ˜€ Heya everyone! Happy Monday and the start of a long painful slow death.

I don’t know if you guys like travel posts, but I sure do! So, here goes before my brother finds our DVDs and I have to start school. XD

Anyway, last weekend was a prettyΒ amazing weekend, one being that it was the weekend and two being that I got to go on my church’s youth winter retreat, which is a big deal considering there’s only like 10 of us and the last retreat was way back in 2008. And I fell hard for the whole thing.

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The world was quiet there. Still. Cold. Welcoming. The roads just stretched on and on and if I had the wheel, I wouldn’t have stopped driving. I also woulda crashed. πŸ˜› But thankfully, neither happened. What did happen was a staying up late Bible study wherein we talked about the Rapture (still trying to figure out why), pizza, worship, and goofing around. Oh, and playing cards past 2. And than sharing our testimonies til 3.

I dunno, it was weird, but it was nice, too. πŸ™‚

But forget that- that’s not the best part. XD

I’ve been trying for weeks now to practice shooting in manual- which is so stinkin’ hard at night- and when we came there I immediately let everyone know I wasn’t gonna follow lights out because the stars were there and who needs sleep when you have the stars?

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So while everyone was playing cards, I walked around the place. Quiet. Still. Semi-creepy. I like to think I got better at night photography.

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As for the stars themselves… I TRIED KAY. I tried.

Also, it’s humanly impossible to rewrite the stars friends. They’re too far up.

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That was… pathetic.

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Also pathetic. I can’t believe I took this at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and this was all I got. *facesmacks* Someone give me tips or something please.

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Slightly better.

I was so excited when I took these photos though- I actually laid on the ground and raised my camera up- remind me to bring a tripod next time. XD I’m pretty sure I left tons of room for improvement- but hey, I walked around in the cold air by myself and had my lens fogged up. It was worth it. πŸ™‚

And then I did the same thing again after like.. 4 hours of sleep because I was busy muttering Galatians at 3 and insomnia wasn’t a friendly, but it was morning, the sun was coming up, and there’s a part where Gale convinces her mom to let her stay up early to shoot the sunrise.

I wasn’t gonna let the opportunity slip by my window!

I even got two very groggy friends to come with me at 7:14 AM. And we set out in jammies.

No sun.

Nothing. Nada.

Rats!

Again, though, it was worth it- no regrets here. πŸ˜€

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There’s a lot of good memories.

Jogging to the lodge for breakfast and covertly sneaking bacon.

Feeling silly because we had to singΒ  really upbeat version of Jesus Loves Me.

Spending the morning reading the Word.

Scrambling to the gym and playing volleyball. Losing. I can’t serve- my dumb fist can take a punch, but not a spike. -_-

Playing ball hockey with a friend (also dude, thanks for not rubbing it in my face that I’m bad at it)

Trying to reach a ridiculously high curl up bar.

Giving up and heading outside where it was quiet and still and peaceful.

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Laughing at the poor unfortunates who trapped themselves in the cycle of fear that was the see-saw, and vowing to post their reactions online. I didn’t because I’m nice.

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Walking to the tiny lake and skipping rocks over the frozen surface. It made a satisfying thud sound.

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Scaling a tree and staying there while everyone was busy trying to throw a rock to the other side. And failing. I have a lot of blackmail to use now.

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Walking around, laughing with friends, forgetting that I’m not 10 and school starts day after tomorrow and so much is depending on me not messing up. Enjoying fresh air and being goofy. (Well, I’m always goofy but you know what I mean)

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Eating lunch and not caring about the lack of internet or that I didn’t bring my laptop, because who needs a screen when there a people around you and you’re here, aren’t you? πŸ™‚

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Getting lost and just taking picture after picture because finally, manual works, hooray! I also really like these pictures. I got something really close to a sunflare. πŸ˜€

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Just enjoying being alone and happy because I could walk wherever I wanted and not worry about my parents being worried I’d be kidnapped and taken to Budapest to work for the FBI. XD When you’re close to the city, everything’s gotta be worried about.

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Hammering out tunes on the old piano in the corner.

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Driving away and just staring at all the farms and barns and horses and honestly, the scene reminds me of Just Come Home and now I really wanna finish that book XD Who knew two hours of fields was the push I needed? Not me.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough- but I’ll finish with saying that I’m grateful I got to go. I was planning to grumble about it to myself, but I guess God changed my heart because I have so much to be grateful for about that. For bacon, duh. For wandering. For the woods. For that guy who believed I could jump a fence if I tried hard enough. For friends. For family. For being challenged to love the Bible more.

What did I just say about rambling XD

Alright. Get to work guys- have a great Monday!

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Scribble Scrabble: Snippets, Observations, And A Carol

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Monday. Dreadful, dreadful day. If Saturday brings out the best in us, Monday brings the worst.

Yet today wasn’t all that bad. If you don’t count the dreary sky, aching everything, tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, and *gasp* participles. In all seriousness though, I’m grateful for the day.

One, National Bible Bee Competition (Or Nats for short) started today. It’s unbelievably encouraging to see so many kids come out and own God’s Word and proclaim it, and I’m shook, to understate, to count myself one of the many who joined the Summer Study. Shook, grateful, blessed, have at the thesaurus.

Two, I managed to get out another carol (yes, I’m sorry for buggin’ y’all it’s just really fun to play these hymns! Even if my renditions are horrible XD) O Come, O Come Emmanuel brings yet hope for me, hope and a promise.

(Also, shoutout if you want to hear a specific song! I’ll do my best not to mess it up. πŸ™‚ )
Hymn Print O Come O Come Emmanuel by LamplightsPrints on Etsy, $14.00

Three, snippets.

But no context so you all can suffer. πŸ˜‰

She’s alone for Christmas, and somehow it hurts more and more every year.

But come now, in the deep bustle in New York City, you’d think a few more people would be flying the day solo. Right?

_Not a soul_, Andrea Marti thought bitterly as she looked around her, hand clutched on skateboard as she crossed the street. There was a couple walking in front of her, more like they were slow dancing to some music only they could hear, a guy eagerly holding his small- daughter, it had to be, she was so tiny, an old wrinkled man and an old wrinkled lady, laughing as they looked around at the gently falling snow. And some pigeon was nestled against a dog.

A pigeon had a dog.

A pigeon.

Writing seems to help a lot with the craziness of life, and Just Come Home is almost done.

Almost.

I’m a mess of a writer.

But here’s a snippet from that too. πŸ˜›

β€œLittle annoying brat-how dare she say that about Mom the way she did..” Zeke muttered my thoughts, handing me a water bottle. He was being unusually kind and helpful, which meant I was in worse than I thought I was. He was the one who got Mom to check on me, apparently I was thrashing in my sleep or something. I don’t really wanna talk about it. But it was bad enough to let me stay home from school indefinitely. And I should know, my head was throbbing.

And to think I wanted to publish this mess of a story. *sighs* it’s my mess however- so at least there’s that small comfort.

And besides my thoughts, well, that’s it. πŸ™‚

Oh, no. you don’t want to know about my thoughts. That’s even more of a mess. Like how sometimes I feel bad for praying the same thing over and over but I know I mean it and it’s hard to understand that God doesn’t tire of me babbling the same thing; like how hope is something everyone wants but nobody quite knows how to get; like how heroes, even fictional ones, mean the world to us because if we’re honest we want to be the heroes; like how the mind can be quickly swayed by what’s around it; like how there should be an episode where Connie plans Trent and Mandy’s wedding cause how awesome would that be; like how the future seems super uncertain and trust is shaky; like how in the world is this month over already; like how am I gonna handle school and life; like why can’t I think straight for once.

I think I’ll leave you to you own thoughts now- I’ve bombarded you with words long enough. πŸ™‚

November Is Over

Mercy, dreadful apparition! Don’t you go spreading lies, it’s not December yet. New year’s Day was yesterday, you big scary ghost called Time!

Oh.

Heh. Yeah, sorry, I’ll just go take that back. My bad.

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Bokeh. Wow. So original .

 

 

Someone start telling time to slow down please. I can’t believe it’s already December. Also known as the last month of the year. The year’s almost over people. HOW.

I’ll be honest, November had its rough times, but it also had its good times. I guess that’s the way life works sometimes.

First of all, NaNoWriMo is over for the year. Say what!? But, yes, it’s indeed over. And I’m surprised. I have no clue how I wasn’t as stressed out and less writer’s blocked as in July, and still wrote 14 posts on here and 2 on Welcome to Odyssey (which I will return to rant abut stuff, don’t you worry about that πŸ˜‰ ) and this wordcount was higher than my last one. I learned some things too. Like it’s better to set a daily wordcount and rest every day; switch spots, if you can, as often as possible so you don’t get bored; listen to the Captain America Winter Soldier soundtracks because they get your heart pumping; keep going; severely limit Pinterest to a half hour a week; and get equal amounts of sleep and caffeine; and that I give terrible advice.

That being said. Did I win?

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*starts to scream in 20 different languages* I can’t believe.

I hit my original goal of 30k without killing myself.

I’m still in semi shock, because, as you can see..

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I finished a day early. Which is insane. I mean it did cost me my sanity, my supply of dark chocolate, a test, and watching all of Home Improvement, but I did it!

I’m so, so grateful.

Plus, Just Come Home is well on its way to being finished. And I am excited/scared to edit it. So yeah, that’s been a huge highlight.

Let’s see, what else happened?

-Y’all, I was watching a Toy Story Christmas (Time Forgot Something) short and I died. The themes you guys, the themes, the plot, the characters!! LIKE THAT IS HOW YOU DO A STORY PEOPLE! And that’s only a short! So that was pretty inspiring, and I kinda wanna hike over to Pixar and ask if they need a vertically challenged intern.

-I wrote for my life and contemplated drinking coffee

-I re-read this awesome book and I’m dying, my childhood is gone

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-I WON NANOWRIMO AHHHHHHHH! And then I stayed up all night celebrating by reading books and taking late night pictures in manual. MANUAL.

-Now that it’s December, I had the crazy idea of a kind of advent calendar by covering 25 Christmas Carols and then posting them for you lovely people to hear how horrible I am. Thing is though, 1. is this a good idea, and 2. I know lots of us don’t celebrate Christmas for reasons that are really deep and good, so would you guys be okay with that?

-I may or may not have considered changing the URL of this blog. *gasps* I’d still keep the title, but maybe change the URL to drivingtheharddrive. But I’m too busy and tired and lazy to make a decision, because I like how things are now, and cause that makes me sound all brave and tough… and I’m not. XD

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-Spent late hours talking to awesome people and laughing my head off and whacking it on the couch

-Alpha read some amazing books and read some for review (which I promise will come out soon. Later. Eventually.)

-walked out in a 12 am snowfall when things weren’t too good and just felt better being in the cold

-waited in vain for the Avenger 4 trailer, and I’m starting to think it’ll never come out

-wrote cards and am about to mail ’em off to lovely people

-baked brownies when I was frustrated at life and somehow that helped

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Weird? yes. I’m not sure why I took this picture. XD

 

 

-listened to Adventures In Odyssey and have more headcanons than I have actual canon

-skated and had a blast

-somehow cleared up most of my homework

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-enjoyed writing on fancy stationary

-died in class (I fell asleep in both History and Science like once each)

-got used to mayo on ham and cheese sandwiches

-worked on secret project

-also at the same time practicing my voice πŸ˜›

-wrote fanfic! (not sharing. sorry. XD)

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-above is a picture of a stuffed penguin. I have no idea why he’s here or what for.

-basically, enjoyed November as much as I could!

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And amazingly, that’s not all that happened.

Last Saturday, (also known as the day before the wreck that is Black Friday shopping) I got a new charger, because my old one wasn’t working.

And a new laptop.

I got a new laptop.

That’s the part that makes me excited.

Apparently, I use my parents’ laptop too much, and they don’t want me breaking it any time soon. Not sure where they made the conclusion that I should have my own laptop, but they did and I’m so grateful. “It’s so you can develop your writing,” Mom told me. And this is from people who don’t read fiction.

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It’s already gotten me a tom of projects done, and it’s awesome.

And I think that’s the chunk of all that happened. πŸ™‚

 

Playing Favorites (Cause Why Not)

And to end up this post, here’s a bunch of the things that kept me alive this past month. XD

Favorite Book

Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur β€” Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

This. book. *dies* It’s so awesome, so sweet, and so sad!

And I got nothing else to say πŸ˜›

Favorite Song

I love Prince Of Egypt, and I will always, always love listening to this song.

Favorite Quote

One of my favorite musicians: Andrew Peterson. DeAnne, sometimes I wonder if we were twins some how separated at birth.

Andrew Peterson, to understate, is awesome.

What he says is awesome.

There ya go.

So until next time, people. πŸ™‚ I’ll be seeing ya.

HARPs 6 #3! And Lastly, My Favorite Season

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Happy Friday everyone!

Get real comfortable, because I’m about to launch off into another long-winded narrative of my favorites for Starling’s Happy and Random Posts Contest, this time, my favorite season!

As you may know, my team, the Ladybugs, kinda need some more points to shift up into at least second place. And as you may know I’m ultra- competitive. And as you may know, I can talk about something forever, so I apologize in advance!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

*Drumroll*

ANNOUNCING… MY FAVORITE SEASON…..

WINTER!!! πŸ™‚

 

I love winter. First because I was born in it, and second because it’s so nice and cold. Living in a snow covered world is like living in a snow cone.. You can actually eat snow, you know! It’s delicious.

I love snowfall. Taking pictures during a blizzard is really one of my favorite things to do, because- well, you’d have to try it to know what I’m talking about. πŸ™‚

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There’s a stone bench in my neighborhood, and whenever the snow falls, seeing that nice big thick layer of snow just makes me happy for some reason.

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Any thick layer of snow on anything makes me happy, even on railings!

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There are two words that will make me happy during winter: sledding and skating. I just love them like the proud Canadian I am. πŸ˜› Every year that the Winter Olympics comes on (like this year) I’m always watching two things: the bobsledding, and the figure skating. AHH!!Β  Rink time is my favorite time in the winter. (Man, don’t I wish I had some pictures!)

Another thing in the long long list of winter things is hiking. Yeah, I know. It’s too cold, too hard, too tiring. Trust me to choose the hard things to enjoy!

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Winter photography, though, is beautiful. And my favorite kind.Β  (My most favorite!)

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“The fog settles across the moor..” Hey! That sounds pretty good.
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Not only is this blurry, it’s kinda creepy..

 

*sighs happily* Well, that’s me for you. Daydreaming about winter when it’s hot and summer outside.

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Points Calculator!

  1. Β (3 points per post related to the HARPs Contest)- 3 points!
  2. Β (2 points per photo)-Β  28 pictures x 2 = 56 points!
  3. Total: 59 points!
  4. I’m being curious, so I’m gonna add up all my points from this week’s entries: #1 – 43 points #2- 105 points #3- 56 / Total:Β 204!!

I guess we all know by now that I’m really competitive. XD I hope that helps us Ladybugs!

Tune in next time to read, umm… you’ll see!

Thanks for reading!