Saturday, June 29

Day 29

Day #29: Share up to 5 pieces of music.

Hello friends, so I am typing today's post on my phone via the Blogger app for the iPhone. Why am I doing this you may ask? Well I am sitting on a coach bus right now (one of 2) that is taking myself, a handful of adults and - most importantly - our High school aged youth from church to San Antonio, Texas! Check out to find out about the event we will be at all of this next week. Us and over 23,000 other people too from all over I might add!

SO back the bus thing - getting like 90 people from St. Louis to Texas has involved me sitting on a bus since 6am this morning.

In a perfect world, since I have known that this trip and the final days of my June blogging challenge would collide I might have considered working on this post some in advance. We all know that didn't happen so here I sit with my little app! 

Alright. Up to 5 pieces of music with memories etc...hmmm.

 Anything by All Time Low reminds me of my first summer working out in Colorado. I ran almost everyday - along with my dear friend Val - and my playlist for running that summer consisted mainly of music from All Time Low (.they also make me think of Adam since he introduced me to them)

Anything by Jack Johnson is just my favorite no matter what. I just love his music, it's always perfect to me and makes me feel  instantly happier or more relaxed or just generally improves my mood without fail.

Random but Gwen Stefani music reminds me of my Senior year of high school - much to my brothers dismay I loved listening and singing along to her latest songs on the way home from school in the afternoons. 

Anything by Kip Fox brings memories of worship. Look up his stuff. The end. 

Can't figure how to post links or anything tonight! Currently about an hour from being in San Antonio! Tomorrow our group is headed to church at a local church in the morning and then will spend the rest of the day doing a service project for a local high school. I'm really looking forward to passing out in a hotel bed tonight!

On. - last thing - I am officially done packing and moved out of my apartment as of early this morning when I turned my keys in!! Can't wait to unpack into my new home in a couples of weeks, yay :)

Thursday, June 27

Day 27

Day #27: Reflect on the term "Letting go"

Have you ever physically let something go before? Like dropped a plate of food or accidentally lost hold on a balloon (worst.)? "Letting go" is kind of a load term since really, I can think of a whole list of ways to let go of things both physically and emotionally/spiritually. Ah! Words are silly sometimes. 

My brain typically thinks in pictures though and makes little stories out of pictures so 2 came to my mind when I saw the prompt for today. 

(1) Freshman year of college, I lived 4 floors up from the laundry room and Adam lived 3 floors up from the laundry which meant come time to do laundry (which was a relative thing at best) - us resourceful college kids realized it was way more time efficient (Read: fun) to drop our bags of laundry down the middle of the stairs all the way down to the bottom floor of our building. This usually worked out just great and provided small entertainment that college kids thrive off of. The exception however to this whole plan was the time that Adam let go of his bag of laundry before remembering to take his entire container of laundry detergent out. End result? Let's just say a plastic laundry detergent container did not quite hold up after being dropped 3 stories down onto a concrete floor. What a mess. Funny memory though!

(2) A handful of times so far in my short 23 years of life I have had the opportunity to teach people how to ride a bike. One of these times, was working with the youngest of my brothers. The whole event of convincing a tiny person that it makes sense for them to want to propel themselves faster and faster so that they can balance easier is really quite something. 

My bike warrior for the afternoon. 
I mean seriously - think back to when you first learned how to ride a bike if you can - the whole feeling of wobbling and knowing that any second you could be sent flying onto the hard unforgiving ground is just not the most comforting feeling to experience. So the whole fact that achieving balance on a two-wheeler requires a healthy dose of forward focus, bravery, and speed is really asking a lot of someone who still probably needs help putting toothpaste on their own toothbrush.
Regardless of the ridiculousness, riding a bike without training wheels is also something of a growing-up rite of passage. 

SO at the end of a summer before going back to college a couple of years ago I was determined to help teach my (logically) terrified brother how to ride his bike. Whew. What an afternoon . Lots of pep talks, strategizing, explanation, awkward bent over walk/running...falls. All of which builds towards moment after moment where we work closer and closer towards me letting go of the back of his bike. 

Yup, that happened a lot. Notice brother #4 standing off to the side looking kinda skeptical of this whole
"learning how to ride a bike and trusting my sister to teach me" thing!
In case you have never learned how to ride a bike or been in any way around someone who has - Basic strategy here is: Hold the underside of the bike seat firmly which gives some feeling of stability to the person riding the bike, allows you (the seat holder) to have some reasonable amount of steering control, and succeeds in you not being in the line of sight of the learning bike rider should (when!) you choose to let go. Read: they might not realize you're not holding on right away, out of sight out of mind right?

Well, my brother is strapping his helmet back on and I'm clearly trying to think of a new plan.
So that's basically it - eventually there is more letting go happening and less holding on. Letting go with my brother's training scenario was really hard sometimes because if I let go and he fell - he had the tendency to get really upset and take it out on me or second guess himself on his own progress. Hello, we are human and I don't think anyone really actually likes to fail?! Holding on was way easier to want to do at the beginning of our afternoon together because my brother really was not ready for me to even think about letting go (and let's face it, I wasn't either). BUT there is a turning point, where holding on becomes harder than just sucking it up and letting go. Once my brother started feeling more confident and peddling faster - holding onto his seat and crouching and running all at the same time without getting my shins attacked by his bike wheel was increasingly challenging. Best solution? To let go. He was ready (even if he didn't realize it) and me holding on was going to hurt both of us. 

Teamwork :)

I guess that my personal reflection in all of this - practically speaking - is that holding on AND letting go are always going to be options. Life is messy. Letting go of anything can be a moment filled with fear or hope - or maybe even both at the same time. Holding on can be the same way. Praying God grants me wisdom to do both. 

Wednesday, June 26

Day 26

Day #26: Something you read online. Leave a link. Discuss if you like.

WHEW. So this afternoon/evening has been a BIG adventure of moving things out of my apartment. Specifically the main large (and heavy/awkward) pieces of furniture I have. Thankfully, our friend Kevin was free to come help out. What a lifesaver & a good friend, seriously people.

All of that accomplished now,  I am worn out and so ready for bed - really seriously debated just skipping blogging tonight but this wouldn't be a challenge if it was easy or something right? Ha. Well anyways - here we go.

I have to keep telling myself this :)

It's interesting in some way that today's prompt was to leave a link of something that I read online - since today the Supreme Court made a ruling on the topic of same-sex marriage in this country. Most of the new stories & links of reading online today all had something to say about the supreme court ruling. Whether you agree or disagree with the ruling made today - today was a historic & eventful day in our Nation's history.

So I shall leave some of the variety of links and news stories I have read today in light of historic events. Plus two stories I read this morning that had nothing to do with Supreme Court anything - but just made for interesting reads :) The challenge says discuss if you if you like - discuss. Goodnight everyone.

Tuesday, June 25

Day 25

Day #25: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget. Good or bad.

First thought that jumped to my mind for today's challenge was Adam proposing. Someone telling you that they love everything about you enough to want to spend forever together...kind of a big deal in my book. I will never forget that moment or that night. Looking forward to more memories soon - can't wait to start our marriage. 37 more days, woohoo!

Will you marry me?

Monday, June 24

Day 24

Day #24: Your top 3 worst traits.

24 days into this little challenge and we have moved way beyond just sharing what I had to eat during my day (lucky you!), I'm definitely okay with that - even if that means today reflecting on what my worst traits. Shout out to all my friends and family who love me in spite of the following:

  1. I get way too caught up in trying to do everything with perfection. This often adds unnecessary stress to my life.
  2. I'm not good at having help with things - if I can do something on my own I prefer it that way.
  3. I get irrationally cranky about little things when I'm having bad day. I let little things become really big things.

Sunday, June 23

Day 23

Day #23: Share what you've learned that school won't teach you

For what its worth - I had to dig this picture out for today's post, since I'm sure I make a face like this when I attempt to give advice. Adam also usually responds to my advice with a similar face to the one he is making in this picture. One guess what I did today? Yup, you're right. Packing. I also went to church, but then after a nap & it was back to planning and packing. As I write this we have quite the thunderstorm going on here. I really LOVE the sound of storms. Actually, it seems like there has been a storm almost every night of this weekend now that I think about it. Interesting. Well anyways - here's a short list of some things I've learned. What would you add? :)

I've learned that you should...

  • Call your mom everyday, it's good for both of you
  • Fold & put away your laundry the second it's dry, otherwise it will sit in a pile somewhere in your house for at least a week
  • Make time to listen to people & have genuine conversations
  • Be honest. Lying never gets you as far as you think it will.
  • Read books. I don't even care what kind, just read what you like to read
  • Always go the extra mile, whatever that looks like.
  • Not showering won't kill you
  • Find something you like learning more about & seek it out
  • Hug everyone you are close to as often as possible.
  • Tell people how you feel about them, especially what you love & value about them
  • Ask the hard questions of others & more importantly yourself
  • Don't stop connecting with friends, no matter how far away they do or don't live.
  • Relationships matter! Work to make them count.
  • Be outside whenever possible

Saturday, June 22

Day 22

Day #22: Rant about something. Tell us how you really feel.

Pre-rant rant: I woke up this morning with full intentions AND an idea for what I wanted to rant about today, started working on work & packing [see a theme for my week? Ugh.] and wouldn't you know, my best intentions & planning went out the door and it's now almost 11 at night and I'm now actually sitting down to blog while I wait for dinner to finish baking. Don't judge me. Most frustrating about this all? 11 at night is not my most creative time of time  > unless you count the creativity that it took to put together a meal with the food I have left that needs to be eaten up before I move. I however do not count that as truly creative, maybe more just desperate & hungry < I know that this is not my prime clear thinking time of day, started the morning with an idea, and here we still are. Ok. Pre-rant rant over.

Onto my original and most sincere rant about something. In my case, I can think of nothing better or more appropriate for me to compose a small & legitimate rant about than mornings. Mornings & the variety of challenges that come with them, are probably the singular thing you would find me ranting about the most in non-blog form. Also, probably the singular thing I consistently rant about too, like for most of my life as far back as I can remember kinda consistent. Before reading the rest of this rant you should know that I am the kind of person who hits snooze a million times & who hates being rushed in the mornings so therefore will wake up hours and hours before I really need to do anything just so I can lay in bed and wake up for a while. Okay, continue on!

Preach it sister!

Universally, a giant problem [I think] with mornings is that they always set themselves up for failure. They either (1) do not come fast enough - for example Christmas morning or the night before anything exciting is about to happen OR the (2) come far too quickly - for example those nights were you get to bed way too late and wake up in sheer disbelief that your night could possibly be over already. So mornings really have a lose-lose thing going for them from the get go. Night really gets the WAY better end of the deal. Most people generally look forward to night - end of the work day, dinner, time with friends & family, the sports game is on, catching a movie or heading to a concert, going out, dates, sleeping, get the idea.

The other major, and again [I believe] universal rough spot with mornings is that they are MUCH more high risk situations than nights. Here is what I mean. If something does not go well or according to plan with your morning - you likely can & will set of a domino-esque chain of disasters throughout the rest of your day. 

Woke up too late? You might miss an important meeting at work, forget your lunch, not have time to shower, have time to shower but no time to make yourself presentable after that, be late in general to whatever the first thing is you needed to do that day and therefore force the rest of your day's schedule to adjust accordingly...this is not good people.

Night time or afternoon risks however as so much more low key & low stress. If something goes wrong in your afternoon or evening - first of all, it's probably as a direct result of something disastrous from your morning and second - there is only  less than half of your day left & far better things to look forward to that will easily erase any troubles that have popped up.

Literally what I look like every morning. One eye kinda cracked open to see if this whole morning thing is really about to take place.

Now personally, my extra beef with morning is that there is just a lot thrown at you the second you climb out of your bed. This would include lights, sounds, other people - it's all a little much for me considering I just experienced none of those things during the last chunk of hours I was blissfully asleep. In addition to the 2 universal problems I already explained effecting my morning experience I also have the added situation of needing something to wear for the day. Ladies you know what I am talking about here. This part of my morning rarely goes by without some major catastrophe happening. Read: I can't find anything I like to wear. Lame? Maybe. But this is my rant.

Somewhere in all of this coffee and breakfast enter the equation. I am a big fan of breakfast. If there was a post topic for me to share my great love for something breakfast would be a STRONG favorite for that. Coffee is nice in the mornings too. Somehow thanks to cultural influences from basically everywhere - a person holding a coffee cup in the morning silently communicates to all around them that the person drinking the coffee in the cup might actually need it & with the coffee they also might need some space in their morning. Thanks to a variety of mission trips, sleepovers, events in my life where I have had to interact with people in the mornings - especially post high school - I have learned that I personally have really strong feelings about mornings and that morning Kyla can be honestly quite scary if you're not aware she exists. As a result I at least try to tone it down a bit if it's the first time you've ever met me now.

Adam bravely called me every M/W morning of our freshman year of college to make sure I was awake for a class we were in together - and literally ever since then still bravely & lovingly called/calls me every morning without fail to make sure I was up/am up. [You see why I am marrying this man?!]

Like I said, Adam is very brave & generally patient with this conversation every morning.

I'm sure his family can tell stories of some of the first times I ever came home with Adam during college & their experiences with meeting daytime me & morning version of me. Yikes. The morning adventures with my family growing up, also probably way too many stories where I did not tone any of my ranting feelings about mornings down. I seem to remember some phase where I actually refused to turn lights on in the morning anywhere & Mom was not so much a fan of that. Oh well - live and learn.
So to wrap this rant up since I am now running the risk of this rant turning into a list of sorts of who you could talk to validate that I really do feel generally ranty (is that a word?) towards mornings. I shall remind you, whoever you are that is reading this, that whatever your personal experience with mornings is you have to at least admit that my universal problems with them are valid. My personal struggles just make the universal ones to me more dramatic and annoying since they always seem to be working against me. Speaking of, I have a morning coming up way too soon.

Friday, June 21

Day 21

Day #21: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

Hooray! A trip down memory lane. This is a very fitting post to work on this week for two reasons:

(1) I am in the middle of packing up my apartment which is the ultimate trip down memory lane as I sift through all my belongings making decisions on what to pack, throw away, give away...etc.

(2) Since it is major packing week, a post where you, my lovely readers, venture off to look at other posts from more interesting times in my life is perfect.

Today would have made for an incredibly dull thing to read about. Packpackpackpackpack. You get the idea. I am making grand progress though which is encouraging! Alrighty, enough of me procrastinating packing - check out some of these oldies but goodies in my blog's life - Happy reading!

Adam & The Snake (One of the funniest posts from our Japan adventures, but they are all favorites, so check them out!)

November on Fast Forward          Encouragement        Gratitude           Day #4         Day #15

Thursday, June 20

Day 20

Day #20: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now

Real life, I feel like I am running out of energy right now. Between work, getting ready to move, and wedding planning I'm starting to feel totally zapped from being pulled in every possible direction.

Even my run today was evidence of this. Today was one of those day's where I talked myself into going for a run knowing it would make me feel more refreshed - however I didn't really plan well for the humidity outside or drink enough water today in general aka I ended my run feeling more frustrated then when I started. Ugh.

Thankfully, I checked my mail at the end of my run and my earrings I picked out for the wedding had finally come in - so that was a nice little surprise for the day! However, back to the struggle bus I'm riding, I can't wait to at least have packing completed -  I think that will help. Also, dinner needs to happen soon - ask me if I have a plan for that right now? Worst.

Okay enough is enough. Looking forward to sharing some of my favorite posts from my blog archives with you all tomorrow. Also, you should all enjoy this pep talk from a small child (since I am clearly not in a pep talk kinda mood today) > PEP TALK

Wednesday, June 19

Day 19

Day #19: Five of your favorite blogs & what you love about them

Yay! I love sharing blogs, finding out what others are reading, looking for new blogs, revisited old get the idea. My list of favorites is every changing, but the 5 I picked to share with you today are definitely staples amongst all my other blog enjoyment (you know, like writing one myself). Check them out! I would love to hear of new blogs to check out too, so feel free to comment with some of your favs. Happy Wednesday all.

Atypical Type A - The name + tagline of this blog alone speak to my soul, ha!

Today's Letters - This is a blog about a married couple (8 years so far) that writes letters to each & love going on adventures together. Honest stuff.

Healthy Girl's Kitchen - One word: YUM.

Engaged & Inspired - I'm getting married people, I probably spend way too much time on this one right now :)

Scott Berkun's Blog - A little different flair than some of the other favorite blogs but Scott Berkun's stuff is so fascinating to me, he is also funny. Adam got me one Berkun's books as a present once and I have been hooked on Berkun's ideas and how he processes them ever since.

Tuesday, June 18

Day 18

Day #18: Tell us a story from your childhood

Once upon a time, my family moved out to Pasadena, California when I was in middle school. This was not a permanent move, it was only temporary. My dad's company needed him out in California for work a lot one summer - so basically the whole family came with to save my dad some travel time! :)

The morning we left for California, since we were going to leave our cars parked at home while we were out of town - we took a limo to get everyone to the airport which was awesome. On the plane my brothers Isaac, Luke and I all sat next to each other and I remember we were obsessed with 2 of the music videos they kept playing on the airplane: A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton and Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow. Yup we were prettttyyyy cool obviously.

Our summer once we got to California was literally JAM PACKED with activities from what I remember. We walked everywhere that was possible [including to the grocery store near our apartment building we were living in, I remember thinking how ridiculous this was!].

The apartment building we were living in had a pool, so my main goal was to just spend as much time at the pool as possibly. My mom's main goal was for us to make the most out of our California time aka we spent as much time as possible on the go. I remember not being a huge fan of every place Mom wanted us to visit and I also remember being less of a fan of the fact that she made my brothers & I journal about everywhere we went either - BUT looking back on this time in my childhood/family's life - what a cool experience and props to my mom for doing everything she could to expose her 4 kids to the California opportunities we had available.

In the short few months that we lived in Pasadena we visited every museum possible - everything from The Getty & Ronald Reagan's Presidential Library to the Guinness World Record Holding Bunny Museum (this was really just a small house shoved full of bunny junk we found out!). We made trips to Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and San Diego. We visited the Tournament of Rose Parade House & Gardens. We went to the library frequently. Pasadena has a super beautiful library - worth stopping in if you are ever in the neighborhood! We hiked (at the time one of my least favorite things we did). We made sure to spend a few days a Legoland. For Mother's Day we went out to Knott's Berry Farm (an amusement park). Mom found a church near our apartment that hosted a free concert series every Wednesday afternoon, so of course we walked to that every week. We made trips to a Target near our apartment that was 2 stories tall AND had an elevator inside which I remember thinking was awesome. We went to a small car race that someone randomly gave my Mom free tickets too. As a family we loved eating at a local place called Wahoo's Fish Tacos. SO GOOD. Just Mom & Peter (who was still an infant) and I spent a weekend in Hollywood. We checked out the Wax Museum, the Guinness World Record Museum & Mann's Chinese Theater. We went to church every Sunday at Pasadena Lutheran - a very old & beautiful church! And this list of things is just what I can remember offhand at 10:45pm tonight!

I'm sure Mom has our California journals somewhere. [Mom if you are reading this, we should find those] I know that I was not a fan of the journaling we had to do the whole time we were there, but looking back on our family's little adventure, what a special time. We survived the 6 of us [at the time] living in a 3 bedroom apartment all summer. Thanks to my parents, especially my Mom, we got to experience as much as possible while we were there. I'm sure now that since tonight I have started thinking more about this memory from my childhood I will later on remember more details about our time there. Definitely cool and almost surreal now 11 years later to think that we lived in California together for a time. Enjoy some pictures I found from our adventures! :) The end.
Playing dress-up at The Getty Museum 

On one of our hiking adventures! Mom & my youngest brother at the time.

More dress up fun!

Peter was so little!

Legoland Trip!

More hiking adventures.

Luke & I at Knott's Berry Farm
One of our many family dinners at Wahoo's Fish Tacos.

Note from my life today: Kind of a rough day overall BUT bright spot, I got to have a wedding dress fitting today so that was AWESOME. Anytime I get to wear that dress is a win. That's all I have to say about that, just wanted to share :)