Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - The Music Edition

Usually, the last day of the month I post a playlist of the top ten songs I've been listening to this month.

However, since it's New Years Eve, and I posted earlier this week about the books I've read in 2012, here are the songs that have been playing almost non-stop all year.

(Tomorrow or sometime later this week I'll do a whole year wrap up post... hopefully...)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ALL OF THE BOOKS - AKA I Say the Word "Excited" A Lot.



Here are the questions so YOU can answer them! If you don't read a lot of books, adjust them so you can talk about TV shows, movies, games, YouTube, blogs, WHATEVER. You also can ask me other questions about books. I tried to keep the video as short as possible so I had to cut out a lot of commentary.


1) How many books did you read this year?
2) Which book surprised you the most?
3) Which book were you the most disappointed in?
4) Did you start any new book series?
5) Did you wrap up any series?
6) Which book had your favorite cover?
7) What books are you looking forward to in 2013?
8) Do you have any goals for 2013?
9) Any other books that deserve a shout out?
10) What are you currently reading?
11) What are your top 3 books for 2012?

Also, I received a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas - and I don't know how to spend it! Check out my to-read list on Good Reads and let me know how you think I should spend it. Or give me your own book recommendations!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Overwhelmed

Warning: this is the first time I've tried blogging from my iPad... We'll see how it goes. Therefore, if there are mistakes and mishaps, I'm sorry.

The last few weeks I've been a bit overwhelmed. Which I guess can be common around the holiday season. Everyone is busy and stressed because of various things. December is simply a stressful time for a lot of people. Working at a church, I'm no exception. Although now things have calmed down now that my duties at church are over and I'm home with my family.

I haven't been overwhelmed with busyness however.

A couple of weeks ago I felt overwhelmed by darkness.

The darkness of this world.

By the way, this was before the tragedy in Connecticut.

I was talking with the jr. high youth in my Sunday school class about it one week, and we noted that while Christmas/Advent is a happy time, we tend to notice the sadness of the world more during this season. I talked to them about how with weather and the time of year, December is the coldest and darkest time of year. We talked about seasonal depression and how the darkness can bring people further into their sadness.

We notice the poor more so this time of year, and how much or little we have.

People who feel alone in the world feel even more so around the holidays.

Losing loved ones is hard enough, but when it happens in December there is an even darker cloud which covers our hearts.

And yes... the sting of violence is much stronger in December than it is at other seasons.

One of the occupational hazards of youth ministry, or any ministry and several other occupations actually, is that sometimes you learn more about people than you really want to.

I remember when I was in college and in my ministry classes I sort of looked forward to this. I didn't enjoy hearing then hurts of other people, it broke my heart. However, it motivated me even more than before to go into ministry. To help others.

Now... a lot of times I wish I could shut my ears and close my eyes. There are times it's just too much. The darkness is overwhelming.

Yet... That's part of what I love about Christmas and Advent.

When we are surrounded by darkness, we notice a single lit candle all the more.

We might be surrounded by darkness, but all we need is a beam of light from a flashlight in front of us to guide our feet.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ... The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:5, 9, 14

That light shines with hope, peace, joy, and love. Whether it is the full sun beaming down on you, or a simple candle in a dark room.

Maybe you love every moment of December and getting ready for whatever holiday it is that you celebrate. Which is awesome. Maybe you dread this time of year and are just waiting for it all to be over. Or maybe you're somewhere in between the two extremes. Any of these are fine.

Wherever you are this Christmas Eve, however you are feeling, I hope you see the light which shines in the darkness.

As Hank Green said in his video responding to Connecticut, remembering that for every gun shot that is fired there are hundreds of more hugs.

The light that brings us hope. The constant light that comes into our dark world, no matter what happens or how we are feeling at a certain moment.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Warm and Cozy

With the weather down here in Missouri turning cold and blustery, my traveling back up to cold Chicago for Christmas, and the world ending today... some coziness is just what's needed.




I clearly don't know how to take a self-portrait without making a silly face.







Linking up with Nicole and Neely for their Cozy Holiday Link-Up.

How are you staying warm and cozy now that winter (FINALLY for some of us) has come?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Restoring Our Faith In The Season

I have a lot of thoughts that have been going through my mind over the past week. I was going to post about them today... but there has been such an overdose of "heavy thinking" lately with Friday... I decided I'll post it later. Maybe on Wednesday or Friday or something.

However - Mondays are miserable enough. We need something happy. Something to help us restore our faith in God and humanity.

Books of course!

Books have always been special to me - even at Christmas. When I was a kid we had a big sack which had a picture of a teddy bear with a Santa hat on him, and inside were our special Christmas books that only came out of hiding after Thanksgiving.

Even now, if you looked carefully at my apartment photos, you'll see that I have included Christmas books in my own decorations for the season.

I want to share with you four of my favorite Christmas books. These books are WONDERFUL and always help me to get into the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Deck the Halls

It's been about 2-3 months since I moved into my new apartment.

And I haven't shown you all pictures of it yet.

Fail.

However - since I just cleaned this weekend for the youth group Christmas party and it's all decorated, I figured this would be an awesome time to show it off to you all!

Enjoy the picture dump.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Need To Get Better About Doing Things On Time...

So... remember how last month I did that whole thing where I wrote 50,000 words in one month? Yeah... about that.

Here's my wrap-up video for NaNoWriMo... 10 days late.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Turning into an Old Lutheran

This past weekend I went shopping - which isn't usual for this time of year. (Yay for getting to be Santa! Or in my case, one of his elves. And yes that was a short joke.) My first stop was to buy an Advent Wreath and I went to our local Christian bookstore.

As I walked in, the first things I saw were snowflakes, snowmen, mugs, plates, stockings, little books... all of those "kitchy" items one normally finds around Christmastime that people feel like they need to fill their home with Christmas cheer. (Which all you really need is to sing for all to hear... haven't they seen Elf? My goodness.) Yet... no Advent wreaths to be found. One of the workers had to help be find one because they were literally in the back row of the store.

It bothered me.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Music Will Help Me Win!

What? It's the last day of November already?

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With all of NaNoWriMo going on ... I've kind of lost track of time. Especially this week since I was OUTRAGEOUSLY BEHIND on my novel and every spare moment has been dedicated to getting my word count up. Once tomorrow hits and I've won NaNoWriMo for the 5th year in a row (losing is not an option) I will be able to dedicate my "free time" to other things. Which include but are not exclusive to:

- Reading books vs. writing them. I learned while reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green... reading during NaNoWriMo is a poor life choice.The list of books I want to read had at least doubled this month.

- Working on Letters Not Sent, the newest project I'm heading up with Nate St. Pierre.

- Finishing decorating my apartment for Christmas and posting photos of said decorations on the blog.

- Actually writing legit blog posts. (Have several ideas for December. Yay!)

- Socializing with the outside world.

- Editing and revising the travesty that is my novel.

- Seeing ALL OF THE MOVIES that are coming out this holiday season,

In the meantime... I'm off to go write at least 4,000 more words. Here are the top 10 songs I've been listening to this month to keep me motivated:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Just Realized, I have Plot Holes and My Writing Really Sucks

So... I'm super behind on NaNoWriMo. Instead of writing, I made a video about it last night. Cause you know... clearly that will get words onto the page.


I didn't get any writing done last night. Oops.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Thanksgiving - Not Thanksgiving - Post

I feel like Thanksgiving has taken over the world.

Granted - it's in two days. Therefore, it should be taking over. Or at least it's been taking over my Facebook. (I don't think corporate America has gotten the memo that Thanksgiving happens BEFORE Christmas.) Every single day my timeline has been flooded with the daily statuses of thanks. Which is a good thing. It's been awesome to see people appreciating all that they have. I started to do this by linking up every week with my friend Rachel on her blog Life In the Moment.

That lasted about a week.

The truth is, I've been a brat. 

I know I have a lot to be thankful for this season. I have a wonderful family, a job, a roof over my head, food on the table (even if it is just mac and cheese sometimes), clothes on my back, fantastic friends, supportive co-workers, the best dog ever, etc. But to be honest I haven't been in a very thankful mood lately. 

There really is no explanation for it, other than I'm a brat. 

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I feel like I'm that annoying kid at the end of the school year who only shows up to class because their parents are forcing them to. 

I leave for Chicago in 16 hours. Not that I'm counting or anything.

All I can think about is how I'm going to be in Chicago, I'll see my family, eat turkey, hang out with some old friends I haven't seen in awhile, see Les Miserables at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and basically... not be in Missouri.

Even then, I start to complain about how I have to drive six hours up there and how it's a major cut into my NaNoWriMo writing time. 

(Which even that I've been having a hard time focusing. I'm 2,032 words behind by the way. Although I am beginning to get out of my bad writing rut I've been in for the past week or so.) 

I'm just so... so... over it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Longest Upload Time EVER

So... YouTube has been acting ridiculous lately.

It took like... 2+ hours for this to upload.

OVER TWO HOURS PEOPLE. 

And no, that is not an exaggeration.

But, it's okay. Because I hit 20,000 words in NaNoWriMo last night!!!!! (If you want my current word count, check out the button to the right of my blog page.)

I also give some tips about loving your story and how to stay motivated to write.

It took over two hours for this to load my friends. So it better get about a million views.

Monday, November 12, 2012

All Dogs Go to Heaven

If you were hanging out on Twitter this past Friday, you probably noticed that I wasn't in the greatest of moods. Which led to me tweeting:



Thankfully, some friends did cheer me up. One friend even asked if pictures of animals that weren't cute would help

Surprisingly, these did in fact make me feel better.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you probably figured out what was putting me in such a sad mood on Friday night. 

My mom had texted me as I was driving to Port Cape (doing lights and sound for their most recent play, A Christmas Cactus. You can still come see it this weekend Thursday-Saturday!) that our family dog Josie had a stroke Thursday night and Friday they had to put her down.

With having to do the play, I did what anyone would do. Be an actress and pretend everything is okay. It didn't hit me until later that night after I was able to talk to my mom and hear the whole story. 

I felt so silly for being sad. Josie was old. I mean... REALLY old. We'd had her since I was nine years old. (I'm 26 now for those of you keeping count.) I hadn't even lived with her in the same house for years, and I have Bandit at my apartment. And she's a dog, it's not like my sister or something. 

But it still broke my heart. Especially after Mom told me how Dad cried when they put her in the car to take her to the vet one last time. 

It also made me want to watch All Dogs Go To Heaven.

When I go up to Chicago for Thanksgiving (in 9 days!!!!!!) she won't be there. Yeah, lately when I've visited my parents she didn't always see me and she would freak out whenever someone petted her because she had no idea what was going on, but she was the sweetest dog. Josie was the perfect dog for my family.

As a kid, since I was small and breakable, we didn't want a big/hyper/crazy dog that would jump on me and cause me to break my bones more than necessary. Josie was small (not as small as Bandit, but I don't think she grew to be over 10lbs) and calm as could be. Yes, she had her crazy dog and puppy moments as all dogs do, but generally she was very peaceful. The most wonderful little white fluffball.

What made me smile though, was how supportive people were. The French exchange student who lived with us for a year in high school told us how sorry she was that Josie was gone, and even she was sad about it. A couple of childhood friends shared with  me how sad they were to see Josie go because they knew her too. I texted another friend right away, the girl I've known my entire life, and she immediately texted my mom to see how she was doing. Although she understood, she lost her childhood dog not that long ago as well. Even the youth who met my dog during our mission trip this summer were shocked when I told them at youth group last night.

I feel a little silly - because Josie was a dog. But I don't feel as silly anymore. People who don't have pets may not get it, and that's okay. Fellow animal lovers though - they totally understand and have been so supportive! I mean, there's a reason we all cry during Marley and Me, and every other sad animal movie. Our pets are so special!

I'm sorry for the depressing post, but I do want to end on a happy note.

I kind of took a break from having people contribute to my blog - but that stops today! I'm combining two of my themes. Share with me your pet and family stories! Since pets are part of our families, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I feel like it's a good time to hear about your pets and your families.

Share funny stories, pictures, traditions, your first pet, your current pet, - ANYTHING AND ANYONE about your family! The good, the bad, sad, ugly, hilarious - you name it I want to know. 

You can share in the comments and I'll post them up on the blog, or you can email them to me: lovewokemeupthismorning@gmail.com

Can't wait to hear your stories!

We miss you Josie! 1995-2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

13,880. Not Bad- BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH

I've been writing like a crazy person!

Kind of.

Here's my most recent update on NaNoWriMo:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Prayer

Papa God,

This morning I woke up with a bad taste in my mouth. I've been dreading today for months now, and I kinda wish it never came.

But you haven't ended the world yet, so here it is. 

You know my heart, and you know my opinions. Since no one is ever 100% in line with your wishes, I pray that at least some of my heart is there with yours. My ballot is cast now though, and there is no turning back now. So I don't want to pray about that.


Original photo from here. Edited by me through PicMonkey.
Be with your people. Those who love you, and those who don't.

Remind us that no matter what happens today, you are in control.

Remind us that no matter what happens today, we are your children first.

We are your children before our political party, and even our country. 

Help us to see each other that way after the results have been declared.

For those whose vote wins - let them be happy, but also be gracious. Remembering that it is you who put that person/those people in office for a particular reason. Also to remember that those who did not vote that way still have a valid opinion, and hearts, and minds, that should be respected.

For those whose vote does not win - remind them that you are in control. Your plans are so much bigger than ours. While they may be sad, and it's okay to be sad, let them lose graciously. To not attack the party who did win, and to still honor those in office. 

For people like me who hate today, help us to be patient with others. To not snap every time someone reminds them to go vote. To not judge those who disagree with them. To get through without hurting anyone.

It's going to be a hard day, and I know I'm going to struggle with all of these things. 

So most of all - help me to be gracious, understanding, un-judging, loving, and to remember that I am your child before a political party.

I am your child before I am an American. 

In your name,

Amen

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Put A Spell On You

Instead of my normal top 10 songs list of the month - here are some songs for you to jam out to on this wonderfully spooky night of the year!

I love Halloween, which may or may not surprise you. It's one of the reasons why I'm a bad youth minister (probably) - but I love vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. So this is a fun day! Besides, it's the one day a year you can dress us in a Hogwarts costume and people won't think you're weird.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

In case you need some encouragement for National Novel Writing Month in 2 DAYS.


If you still have excuses to not write a novel in November - check out Kristina's (I Talk To Snakes) pep talk for this year. She basically debunks every single excuse to not do NaNoWriMo.

So...? What are you waiting for? GO GET READY!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Even Rich Proper Fictional Characters Can Be Awkward

Last week I found one of the greatest deals in the history of the universe at Target. (Of course.)

The 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice was on sale for $4.75.

I know some of you don't like that version - but I don't care. I LOVE it. I can't believe I didn't own it until now. In spite of being completely broke, I bought it.

I have now watched it at least 3 times, as one does.

No? Just me? People don't typically watch Pride and Prejudice on repeat? Drat.

I think it's because the last few months I've been hooked on The Lizzie Bennett Diaries on YouTube, and well... a girl can only wait to see Mr. Darcy for so long!

One of the things I love about this movie is how delightfully awkward some of the characters and scenes are. While watching it, I came to the conclusion that this movie could actually be called "How to Be Awkward by Jane Austin."

Here's what I mean:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grateful

I need to stop complaining.

I feel like I complain a lot and don't really appreciate what I have.

So today, I'm linking up with my friend, Rachel, from Life in the Moment. Every week until the end of the year she's hosting "Gratitude Project 2012."

Yeah, I know, another link up. I said I wouldn't do as many of these. But it's good to try and be grateful for things in life, to remember them, and give your friends some linkage along the way.

This week I am grateful for...

Friends who will randomly go with you to concerts for bands you have never heard of before.

Creative people who push the limits and explore brand new ways of doing things, and without knowing it, challenge me to be more creative and put more thought into my own work.

Even when it seems like you're at your end, God provides.

Parents who are patient when you're stranded on the side of the highway for 2+ hours with their children.

My mom who puts up with my crap all of the time.

People who are understanding, even if you feel as though you are failing all of the time.

Sweaters and scarves.

Coffee.
gp12

What are you grateful for this week?

Also, I need some blog advice. In case you missed it, check out my post from yesterday and share with me your ideas.

And - three days in a row with something posted. Not bad for someone who is lacking inspiration, huh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dilemma

I have found myself with a dilemma.

On the one hand, it's kind of a good one. I've figured out my problem with why I haven't had any blog inspiration lately.

On the other hand - I don't have a solution.

It's not that I don't have things to talk about. So many times people say "My life is boring", "I don't have anything to say", and let's be honest - it simply isn't true. When we truly think about it, we all have something we want to say. Even if it is just about what outfit we wore, or the song we're listening to on repeat at the moment, the movie we watched recently, the book we're reading, the people we're hanging out with, etc.

There's always something to say.

It's figuring out which one to talk about.

This is where I get stuck. While trying to decide what I want to write about (or make a video about), I go through a series of censors.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apparently You All Are Fascinated With Me

Awhile back, one of my blog friends (Fire Fairy) nominated me for the Libester Award!

I'd gotten this award in the past, so I didn't respond to it right away.

Then... Kirstie wrote a post about it because apparently she was nominated as well and nominated me.

Which was a good reminder for me since I obviously hadn't gotten to writing this post yet. Therefore, here are the answers both wonderful ladies sent to me. Thanks so much for the nominations! I love you both and EVERYONE needs to go follow your blogs!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Currently: Blah

I feel like I'm in a blogging rut.

I have nothing to write about!

I do... kind of. Sometime I'll post pictures and/or a video of my weekend with a bunch of Jr. High kids that I just had. (And trust me... it was an adventure... as it always is when you're surrounded by 11-14 year olds...) 

But... I haven't had any insightful thoughts. The only thing lately I've been thinking about is "I'm tired. ALL THE TIME. Lets go take a nap." Or moving. Or NaNoWriMo. Or how I haven't had motivation for anything lately.

And let's face it... you can only blog about those things for so long before it gets old. 

So that's where I'm at right now. 

I'm sure eventually inspiration will hit again, and I'll be posting all about NaNoWriMo, and once my apartment is all put together you'll get a video or photos. But for now... I'm just blah.

In the meantime, I found a fun "currently" list of questions over on Angie's blog, Lariats and Lavender. So here you go! It's not an original post or anything and I hate doing posts that are solely link-ups and such, but at least this will give you a taste of what I'm thinking about and doing lately. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fridays Letters

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Dear Jr. High Youth (and high school & adult counselors)- We leave for the Jr. High Retreat this weekend! I'm so excited. This is my favorite part of the fall when it comes to youth ministry. We're going to have A BLAST.

Dear NaNoWriMo Forums- Thank you for existing so I can be inspired and get ideas for my novel next month.

Dear Ginny- Thank you for apartment/dog sitting for me this weekend. I know Bandit will love the company!

Dear Nate- I'm sorry that I've been failing on our project. I'm the worst leader of this ever. I will work on it - I PROMISE. Also, ::internet hug::. You're awesome.

Dear Kirstie, Alice, and Lor- I'M GOING TO SEE YOU ALL IN JANUARY AHHHHHH!!!!!! Best week EVER!

What letters do you all have this week?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Your Yearly Fall Overdose

On top of having an awesome weekend if some of my old college friends, even more awesome stuff happened.

I got presents!!!!!

For the second year in a row, Meg from Megnificent Life, hosted a fall gift swap!

Basically, you enter the swap, leave ideas of things you want, get paired up with another blogger, and you exchange gifts! It's really fun.

This year, Meg added a link-up so all of us could share what we received in the mail.

Let me tell you - the girl I got paired up with (Lisa from Something Infinitely Interesting) is AMAZING! Getting this gift package from her has been the highlight of my week so far. There was just wonderful gift after wonderful gift. It was like Christmas!

Only... in October.

Christmas in October, anyone? You know - like Nightmare Before Christmas. Kinda.


Source
Here's a peek at what I got (prepare for some major girl moments. If this doesn't interest you, I won't be offended if you run off to do something else.):

Monday, October 15, 2012

ROAD TRIP!

Last weekend I was in my friend Stacey's wedding in Michigan. It was EXACTLY what I needed. After the move to my new apartment, a weekend road trip with some of my college friends was welcome. Here's a peek into our weekend...


What happens when you get together with old friends?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nerd Land

Now that I've moved into my new apartment (for the most part, there are a few boxes still left to unpack) and I'm done being a bridesmaid in Michigan, I can now dedicate October to what is really important.

Preparation for National Novel Writing Month.

The last few days I've been drowning in the forums and researching steampunk and creating characters like a fiend. It's glorious. Welcome to the world of nerd-dom. We'll have a Firefly marathon later. (Seriously, can we have a Firefly marathon? I haven't done one in awhile and I need to hang out with some browncoats.) If I'm not working I'm planning my NaNoWriMo novel. Yesterday, I hung out with Leah and we helped each other plan. I'm so excited.

To help you in your own NaNoWriMo planning adventures, I wanted to share with you the top four resources that I have been using for my fifth year of crazy novel writing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What Jr. Highers Teach Me About Faith

One of my duties as youth minister is to teach confirmation. I co-teach our first year class (6th graders mostly) along with our lay-minister. The thing that stinks about is is that all year I get attached to a class, and then I rarely see them the next year. I hear from the pastors how the 2nd year class is going, but I wish I could be in there with them and seeing how they grow.

At the end of the 2nd year confirmation class, they have to write an essay called "What my Faith in Jesus Means to Me." They read it the Friday before they get confirmed in front of their families, friends, the church elders, and other congregation members who wish to attend. It's a pretty cool night. Those little 6th graders who don't know which way they are going suddenly are teenagers (or almost teenagers), all dressed up, looking almost adult-like, sharing these deep and intense thoughts about God, faith, and life.

I get to read their rough drafts. I love it. What's cool is that a lot of times not even their parents have heard these before they read them in front of everyone. I get to have a sneak peek into their thoughts before everyone else.

What's even better - is that they teach me about faith.

I Think The Internet Is Trying To Tell Me Something

This morning, I was watching this awesome YouTube video by Ralph and Lou. I discovered their YouTube channel during VEDA. They are all kinds of awesome and their latest video is a perfect depiction of their ridiculousness.

While watching the video, I was bombarded with these ads:



Google - ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING?????

Friday, September 28, 2012

Holy September Batman!

This month... just... crazy.

The play I was in.

Finding a roommate.

Then losing a roommate.

Then getting an apartment on my own.

Getting my roommate back and possibly a house.

Then both of those going away.

And I'm moving this weekend.

I started babysitting a six year old every afternoon.

There is also the normal crazy that happens all through life. I also watched all of season 3 of The Vampire Diaries this month. It's been intense, let me tell you.When this whole apartment switch is done I'm taking a nap.

In the meantime, here is the music that has been getting me through September.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just Keep Writing...

Hello, friends! When Brittany had a calling for guest bloggers I jumped right in! I have been taking a bit of a break from guest blogging lately, but I'm so excited to be back in. Feel free to stop by my blog or to contact me anytime. I love making new friends!

What motivated you to start blogging?

For me it's never been a question of "why" I blog. More like, "Why not?" I've been writing my entire life. It's simply part of who I am. My first "blog" was through a site called Xanga and I used it as a way to keep in touch with people when I went off to college. Then Facebook came around and I started using their notes feature in place of Xanga, but a few years ago I decided to have an official blog and that's how Love Woke Me Up This Morning started!

Want to read more of this post? I'm guest blogging over at Delightfully Awkward today! (In case you hadn't figured that out from my first paragraph.) 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh Look At That- I'm Versatile

One of my newest blog friends nominated me!

Thanks so much Brittany! You can check out her blog at This Beautiful Life.

TBL

My goodness there are a lot of awards floating around the blog world.

However, I don't really mind. It shows how supportive the blog world is and it helps you to get your name out there, but also other bloggers too.

So, here we go.


Monday, September 17, 2012

So... That Didn't Work Out as Planned

LIFE OF MEGWarning: This is kind of a long story. So grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice), get comfortable, and enjoy.
 
It's amazing how quickly plans can change.

One moment you're doing one thing, the next it's completely different. Then another minute later that plan gets turned on it's head and a few hours later you're driving up to a leasing office and signing the application for a one bedroom apartment.

Yup. My living situation has changed yet again. Twice. Maybe three times.

In case you missed it, check out my last post on this subject. Let's just say that the title of that post was quite accurate (Jinx) because I was so excited I ended up jinxing myself.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fridays Letters


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Dear Starbucks, thank you for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Salted Caramel Mochas. Whoever invented them needs to get a medal.

Dear Leslie, thanks for lunch last week. I needed it. I miss our girl time. 

Dear Ginny, feel free to steal my internet anytime you want. It's nice to have someone around more often. I"m so glad you're back!

Dear Charter, why do you hate me? Seriously. Glee is my favorite show and you just HAD to have issues with my connection during the season premiere. WHY WHY WHY? I can't wait until I don't have to use you anymore.

Dear National Youth Gathering, thank you for FINALLY getting me the pre-registration materials. They were crazy late, but at least they are here now.

Dear Apartment People, I know I've gone back and forth like crazy about my living situation. But you've been patient and understanding - I'm so blessed! Thank you! (And yes, blog friends, there WILL be another update on this soon. 'Cause plans have changed... again.)

Dear Partners in Ministry Group, While 1/2 of our little group has left over the summer, it was great to see new faces yesterday and it was so fun to be able to get together again! Here's to another year of supporting each other in ministry!

Dear SEMO Fair, I'm glad you'll be gone tomorrow. Life is far too complicated when you're in town.

Dear Cast and Directors of The Smell of the Kill, we're gonna ROCK THIS PLAY tonight! It has been so much fun working with all of you and how we've become like a little family. We get on each others nerves and get frustrated, but in the end we still love each other. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Points of Impact

"The moment of impact. The moment of impact proves potential for change. Has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict.Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before. While sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you've never thought you've found them. That's the big thing about moments like these. You can't, no matter how hard you try, controlling how it's gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding parts go where they may. And wait. For the next collision."


Leo and Paige's Wedding, and, Source
This past weekend I received in my mailbox The Vow from the glorious Netflix. (Don't judge. I like sappy movies. Get over it. Also, Channing Tatum is in it.) One of the big themes in this movie is "points of impact."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jinx

Previously, on Love Woke Me Up This Morning... (said in an awesome TV voice)

My former roommate lost her job and moved out - taking her two cats with her. Which left me  roommate-less and several hundred dollars poorer.

I searched far and wide for the perfect person to be my next roommate.

I even repainted the room so it would be nice and shiny and clean for whoever this person would be.

However, all that my searching led to were recovering alcoholics with eleven year old sons, divorcees who backed out, and an insurmountable of supposed "international students" who would "send me their deposit" in the mail.

I then began the hunt for a new home. One that would be less expensive.

This too failed me. The only places that I would be able to afford either would not allow me to have pets or were in a place where I would fear for my life.

The months went by and my worries rose as I saw the number in my bank account dwindle.

...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye Bye August

So... tomorrow is September.

That's crazy talk!

I have seriously been neglecting the blog this month.

Okay, maybe not seriously, but I feel as though I haven't been posting much. This is for two reasons.

1) I simply don't have a whole lot to blog about. Now that summer is over and school has started up again, my life is pretty boring. I go to work, play practice, come home, sleep. Repeat. Eating, researching steampunk, and watching Netflix is thrown in there as well. (Anyone else completely addicted to Vampire Diaries? Cause I totally am.) I could write random stupid stuff, but you lovely readers deserve better than that.

2) I've been busy doing VEDA (Vlog Every Day August). If you haven't seen my videos, check out my YouTube channel here. Even though the videos are short, it takes a lot of time to make them. I'm getting the hang of it and it's been pretty fun. Although I'll be glad to not do this every single day. While I've been enjoying VEDA - it's a lot of work and I don't have time to make every single video awesome. BUT, if anyone has tips or knows how to do certain effects (like showing recaps of your previous video...), let me know! I want to learn more.

That's been my August.

Which means it's time to share with you the songs I've been listening to all month!

Also, in September I am taking a break from sponsors. I feel like I haven't been the best sponsor host and need to rethink some things. Maybe in October I'll it up again and it will be even better! In the meantime, check out my sponsor from August and September - Angie! She's outrageously awesome and I think you will love love love her! Her blog is: http://www.lariatsandlavender.com/ She's one of the sweetest people you will find on the internet. I promise.

One of my favorite pictures of Angie!
I will still continue monthly themes for anyone who wants to guest blog. September's theme is "All God's Creatures." Which means... ANIMALS!!!!

Anyways. Back to the music I've been listening to.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First World Problems

This weekend I got a new phone.

It was long past due. When I first got my Samsung Smiley - I loved it. It was exactly what I needed. Then as time went on... it was time for a new one. Especially when your co-workers who are in their 60s are making fun of you because your phone is lame and you'll be missing the taco party - you know it's time for a new phone.


Also, since I am currently roommate-less - I need to cut back on my expenses. So when my contract was up I decided to switch over to my family's family plan. That way I would only have to pay my part of the plan and not be all on my own. Which means... NEW CELL PHONE!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Still Small Voice

There is so much noise in this world.

Between pop up ads on the internet, commercials, promotional emails, Facebook statuses, blog posts, You Tube videos, and everything else - sometimes all of the noise can get overwhelming.

There are times I don't blame hermits for living in a hole. At least you don't have to deal with all of the noise.

I know sometimes I contribute to the noise - we all do. We all have voices and we want them to be heard.

This past Thursday and Friday I went to a local church that was hosting the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. The church Willow Creek in the Chicago area had a two day summit for leaders (church and business) with talks and interviews from leaders around the world. Politians, enterpenuers, pastors, authors, etc. Then other churches and locations around the globe act as hosts and have it live-casted over the web. So it's almost like you really are there at the summit. You get the same name badges, registration, room decorations, and even snacks as the live location. Only... you're watching a screen and not people on a stage.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!



"The Liebster award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The meaning: Libster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome." 

I was nominated by Alexandra of This Journey of Journeys! Thank you, sweetie! I feel so loved. <3 p="p">

I have been nominated for this award before. (You can check it out, here.) As these float around the internet pretty often, I'm taking a break from nominating other people and naming 11 facts about myself. After awhile you start to run out! However, here are the answers to the questions Alexandra asked me:

What is your favorite thing about summer?
I love how busy I am over the summer. It gets pretty crazy, and by the end I'm completely exhausted. But it's a great change of pace from the day-to-day sitting in the office work that I normally do. 

If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be?
I want to fly! That way I can go visit my friends and family who live far away more often. 

What is your favorite home decor item?
In my bedroom I have these awesome wall decals around the windows. They are pink, teal, black, and white flowers, butterflies, and twirly swirly things. Since the walls of my apartment are white, they really give the room that extra "pop" it needs to make it happy and cheerful.

Favorite music?
As lame as it seems - showtunes. I just love musical soundtracks! You always have the most talented singers, and it tells a story. 

Ice cream: vanilla or chocolate?
Mmmmm. Vanilla with chocolate syrup all over it. 

If you could only take one book with you (for the rest of your life) on a desert island, what would it be?
Just ONE?????? Ugh that's so sad. What if all seven Harry Potter books were in one volume. Would that count? ;)

Now I'm asking YOU! How would you answer these questions?

Also- I've decided to join in on VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August)! Check out my YouTube page and don't forget to subscribe so you can see all of my video blogs this month! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Apparently There's This Thing Called "VEDA" Going On...

Well, I'm totally late to the party.

The last few days I've seen  A LOT more video blogs popping up than usual. Apparently it's because there is this thing called VEDA happening right now. (Vlog Every Day in August)

I'm seven days late... but late is better than never, right? Right.

I won't post every video that I make this month - but here is my first one.

If you want to see all of them - check out my YouTube channel!


Monday, August 6, 2012

The Woes of a Writing Nerd

Summer is now over and I am in the mood for fall.

You would think that fall began in late September - but it doesn't. 

In my world, fall begins the moment all of my summer activities are done. (Now if only the weather agreed with me..) VBS is long over, we've taken the annual trip to 6 Flags, we've been to Camp SonRise, Camp Noah is finished, and we had a great mission trip with the youth. All that's left is one more wedding and that's this weekend. 

My schedule has been cleaned out (except for play practice) and all of the teenagers are getting ready to get back to school which starts up again next week. (I know, they start school crazy early around here.) 

My mind is now focused on our back to school kick-off, school sports games being put into my planner, and brainstorming themes for the next few months.

I am in fall mode. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fridays Letters

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Dear Teenagers- How is it that after spending 24/7 with you all last week that I'm still not tired of you? Seriously. You were the best group I've ever taken on a trip and I'm loving seeing how your friendships have grown with each other and how they are lasting even beyond Chicago. God did amazing things through you last week!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Share the Love

Source
When I see things like this, they make me feel uneasy. Read it closely. Do you notice something?

It's all about you.

Be with the one that makes YOU happy.
The one that makes YOU smile.
That one that makes YOU laugh.

...

As long as YOU are happy
That is what you should do.

All of these things are great. You should be with someone who makes you happy, and smile, and laugh, etc. But is that all there is to love?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Soundtrack






Is it seriously the end of July already? How does each month always pass me by like this? Seriously.

It's been a crazy month, but a good one. Don't worry - I'll have posts about the two amazing weeks I've had recently!

But for now - here are the top 10 songs that I've been playing this month. Again, summer is my busiest time at work so it is spent with teenagers pretty much 24/7. Which means they control the music in my car.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Ending

They always say you should write what you know.

I've tried that - and it doesn't work. Not for me at least.

I'm not quite sure what it is. Maybe I feel like what I know is too boring. Maybe I just don't know how to make it sound interesting and entertaining.

Seriously though - dragons, fairies, and unicorns are much more fun. That's part of why I write fairy tales. If you get stuck in a boring spot, just throw in a dragon and you have an adventure.

Want to read more of this post? I'm over at Alexandra's blog This Journey of Journeys today!


Source


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life is an Adventure

Emmy's Note:  Today's guest post for July's theme of "Words to Live By" is from one of my sponsors, Alexandra! Whenever she talks about how much she has traveled and all of the places that she's been to, I sometimes forget that she's only 17! You can read about more of her adventures at This Journey of Journeys

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” –Helen Keller

Source
These words inspire me.  I’m a lucky person because I’ve had opportunities to travel far away, and go to “exotic” places. I lived on my own for 3 months at age 17, and I’m about to head off to college out of state.
But it’s not the grand travels that are our adventures. That might be the plot of a movie; girl falls in love in Italy, girl discovers herself while living alone, girl eats a taco in new jersey- ok that last one is just silly, but I would love a taco ;)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Random Stuff About Me- In a Video!

Kirstie, of A Succession of Busy Nothings, tagged me in an 11 Facts/11 Questions meme. So - here you go! Also, as I was editing this video I realized that I seem very flighty/valley-girl/obnoxious in this. I have no idea what was going on with that. Like... the hair flipping and the way I'm talking. Crazy. I must have been in a weird mood. So I apologize now.




AND... here are my 11 questions for all of YOU! Feel free to answer them in the comments, or make your own video blog!


1) What is the latest book you have read/are currently reading?
2) Worst story you've ever heard/read/seen?
3) One thing you think people between ages 22 and 30 need to hear/know?
4) Tell me your favorite wedding story.
5) If you could have one pet in all of the universe(s) what would it be?
6) If you could take out ANYONE for coffee and pick their brain for a few hours (real or imaginary), who would it be?
7) What is your favorite board game?
8) What is one thing that you wish you were better at?
9) Name one thing about yourself that you never want to change.
10) Who is your favorite Disney character?
11) What band/singer are you currently obsessed with?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When It's Time To Walk Away

GUYS.

I met a boy the other day.

It was at a party, we hung out, flirted, he was really sweet, cute, had tattoos, loved Jesus, and it was awesome. Nothing crazy over the top, but considering that in the town I live in I haven't found ANY guy that I've been into. ANY. The spontaneous flirt session was welcome.

That is what I wrote about on my Tumblr the other day. (I have a private Tumblr that only about five people know about. And no - I will not give the link. It's not that I don't love you all, it's just... no one knows me on there. It's kinda fun.) Then... someone commented....

Want to read more of this post? I'm blogging over at Just Sandy today!!!!




Source

Monday, July 9, 2012

No... Lutherans and Catholics are NOT the Same Thing

After a refreshing dip in the pool we all gathered around the table laughing, drying off, and grabbing the last extra pieces of pizza. When it's been about 110 degrees every single day for ten days with outrageous humidity, getting wet was exactly what the doctor ordered. And making a few new friends was pretty awesome too.

"Yeah, I'm the bad youth minister and I'm blasting Lady Gaga all the way up as I pull into the church parking lot," I joke to my new friends.

"Not Christian music?" one of the guys asks, surprised.

I shrug as I ring my hair out. Water splashes onto the ground. "I used to be really into the Christian music scene, and I like some of it, but not a whole lot anymore."

"I don't like much of it either," one of the other guys says. I'm a little relieved as he says this. In some circles I at times feel a little guilty that the popular Christian station in town is my last resort for music.

"But I also grew up in a really old school Lutheran church," I add. "Hymns, chanting, the whole thing."

The second guy laughs. "Oh, so you're like Catholic!"

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fridays Letters

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I've never linked up with Adventures of Newlyweds for "Fridays Letters," but I see a ton of people every week linking up. While I've had posts scheduled and up this week, I haven't actually written a blog yet this week. So... why not?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Old and New Friends

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today, I would love to introduce you to my two sponsors this month. They are AMAZING ladies. To get to know them a bit better, I asked each of them to send me a short bio of themselves and to answer a few summer questions.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Words to Live By

I didn't want to like this character.

I knew what everyone would think.

"He's short, and she's short. Therefore he WOULD be her favorite character."

It's like when people accuse me of loving Snow White because she hangs out with dwarfs. That has NOTHING to do with why I love Snow White. I've loved her since I was 2 and back then I didn't know I was short.

So I didn't want  Tyrion Lannister to be one of my favorite characters in Game of Thrones. A little irrational? Maybe. But that was how I felt.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sisterhood of the Travelling... No, Wait - Sisterhood of the World Bloggers


I've been given The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Jessie of Living A Life of Truth. Yay! I always feel so special when I get these things. :) 

Friday, June 29, 2012

June's Soundtrack

It's the end of June (Already! Crazy!) so here are my top ten songs that I've been listening to this month.

Also - I'm sorry the blog has been taken over by guest posts. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having guest posts because I can feature some really great bloggers. However, I feel like I've barely written anything myself lately. I've been busy so it's been hard to think of actual blog posts to write. Hopefully this will change soon.

As I said, summer is my craziest and busiest time of year. School is out and that means the teenagers have A LOT of time on their hands - so youth activities are in full swing, and therefore my music is being controlled by a lot of high school students.

Thankfully they don't have too terrible of taste. ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Fell In Love

Emmy's Note: Today's final guest post for June's theme of "Art That Touches My Soul" is from one of my newest blog friends- Alexandra! She is one of my sponsors for next month, and while she is an Alabama girl she is NOT your "typical" southern chick. She's lived almost everyhwere and is getting ready to go to college in Huston. Let me tell you, this girl is one AMAZING singer! I'll leave you all a link for her youtube channel because she has a lot of talent, especially for being so young. She's perfect for this month's topic! Alexandra blogs at This Journey of Journies and you can email her at chandelier27aaa@gmail.com.
Art is a kind of neat word, as it encompasses many meanings. I am so grateful to witness art every day, and experience it in all sorts of ways. Everywhere you look you can see miracles and art. Art can be accessed by several senses. Perhaps you might hear me experiencing my art; I sing opera.
It’s a kind of funny story actually. You might want to grab a fuzzy blanket and a cup of coffee.
I have always been with music. And when I say always, I mean, when my mother was pregnant with me she and my Dad went to orchestra concerts and I would kick in her stomach, yearning to be part of the sounds and rhythms. As I grew up I performed in plays and musicals (the first being at age 6, when I was the color red in The Color Factory, which is definitely deep stuff ;) ). Music was always there, keeping me company. I played piano, violin, and sang in the church choir; I think that’s when I first started to love voices making music. (To this day, a men’s ensemble just makes me melt!)
When I hit high school, our family moved to Alabama. Now, this kind of amuses me. I started voice lessons when I got here, and then was asked to be a lead (sort of) in an opera! Keep in mind…I was 15 when this role came around. I had always loved music, and classical music, but had never been in an opera. Oh yeah, and I had never seen one either. I was in an opera before I saw one.
That was all fine and dandy. Operas and musicals came and went. I thought to myself, “this is something I could do. Yeah!”

My Dad is military, so we have done our fair share of travel. Last year brought us to the place that changed my life: Italy. Long story short,  I had the amazing opportunity to spend two months on my own (as in, away from Momma who has always taken care of me) in Milan and Arezzo.  (Arezzo is a little town in Tuscany, not too far from Florence).
Guys….Arezzo changed my life.

I fell in love.

But not with a greasy Italian man. Nor with an imported American dude. In fact, it wasn’t a guy at all!
I fell in love with opera.
Somewhere between the Mozart and Puccini, my heart got captured. And opera has made a permanent home in my heart. I finally knew passion! This love became unexplainable, and honestly incomprehensible. I couldn't believe how much joy had entered into my life, all because of opera. 
Mozart and... source.

Now, as a recent high school graduate, I am off to college to pursue a vocal performance major.

Art changed my life. I found passion. And I couldn’t be more grateful. 

You can check out Alexandra singing here: http://www.youtube.com/user/wwitherow1/videos

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Perfect Photo- Guest Blogger

Emmy's Note: Today's guest blogger is one of my sponsors this month - Mindy! I have a soft spot for photography myself, so I love that Mindy talks about it today! While I'm not a professional photographer or anything, I hardly ever go anywhere without my camera. (The teenagers on trips are always rolling their eyes because I'm snapping pictures of them all of the time!) Mindy also gave links for her blog, Pinterest, email, Facebook, and Twitter. So go check her site out!

Hello! I'm Mindy, from My Life As Mindy and I am so grateful to be a guest today! I tend to write about a lot of different things, but I really love just writing. When Emily gave me the topic of 'Art That Touches My Soul', I was so excited! I knew this was a topic that I would love exploring. 

{Taken by a former student}

Art is an amazing thing. It can bring people together or draw them a part. It can be beautiful to one person and something of disgrace to another. It has been said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. This is true for many things, but especially for Art. 
There are many forms of art. 

music, photographs, paint, digital, dance and lyrics 

This is all considered art.