anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Word for 2015

Each year, for the past few years (read:2) I've chosen a word for the year. I still make lists of goals (I'm currently up to 21 goals for the new year...), but I try and choose an overarching theme. This year, my word was Trust. If you haven't guessed already, I have a horrible time trusting people. It's hard for me to believe that people have good intentions, especially when this was the year that my best friend of 8 years decided that we weren't really going to be friends anymore. More than that though, I have a hard time trusting God. I know that He wants what is best for me and that he wants me to be happy, but sometimes I can't help feeling that he also wants to take everything from me that I really want. 
That's not really a good way to live. 
So I decided to choose Trust, and readied myself for a humdinger of a year. I was just sure that this year I was asking God to throw everything at me and then laugh while I tried to cope and hold onto my word. 
He didn't. 
I definitely had struggles this year. It was hard and I had to really learn the principle of "But if not.." but overall, He had my back. He took care of me, and Heaven knows that He kept me sane this year when things did not go my way. I definitely wasn't perfect at my word, but I definitely think that I grew this year. 

So, for the coming year, I chose the word Diligence. I have a lot of things that I should be doing, but I only get about half of them done half the time. So this next year I want to try and do better at that. I'm thinking about also choosing Kindness as my word for this coming year (I know, now I'm getting crazy, two words! For one year?). I think I struggle with being kind more than I'd like to. 

What are your goals for the coming year? If you were to pick a word to focus on, what would you choose? 

In case you were wondering what I chose last year, it was Balance. That one will probably crop up again. Also, if you were curious about the other goals I made for next year...

  1. Read 10 Church books (autobiographies, things written by apostles...)
  2. 1 hour of Violin per week
  3. Write every day
  4. 365 days of scripture study
  5. 1 institute class per semester, and graduate from Institute
  6. 365 conference talks
  7. 52 temple visits
  8. 12, 24 hour fasts
  9. All three hours of church, 52 Sundays (I tend to not do this when I go to homecomings, or farewells, or those sorts of things)
  10. Prayer on Knees morning and night 365 days
  11. Kinder to everyone
  12. Better blogging :)
  13. Run twice a week
  14. 100% visiting teaching
  15. Study the Sunday School and Relief Society Lessons
  16. Temple Prep
  17. Revise one book
  18. Finish at least 2 first drafts
  19. Memorize 25 scriptures
  20. Index 250 names
  21. Take 5 names to the temple. 
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I thought I was getting Fat...

So we've talked about how I am a skinny girl. I think it's one of those things that is kind of obvious, but anyway, yeah, I am a skinny girl. However, while I never have had an eating disorder, I have always been terrified of getting fat. And probably not for the reasons that you think. Or maybe, who knows what normal people think about getting fat. Anyway, the reason I have been afraid to get fat is partially because I have never in living memory been fat (I was kind of a chunky little baby), but also because being skinny is part of my identity. I have always been the skinny one. It's part of what you might describe me as if you were trying to ask someone if they knew me.

My friend has been getting skinnier and skinnier. And has rapidly been approaching my weight (I hover around 116-124), and so when he told me he was almost there, I thought it would be funny to see if I weighed more than him. I hadn't checked my weight on the scale for awhile and I've been pretty active as of late (trying to get into running and going dancing once a week), so I figured it wouldn't even be close. 

I ran off to the scale and weighed myself.

Wait, what?

129. I have never weighed 129 in my life. Never. Not even in college when I was eating either ramen noodles or fast food. 

Really not funny.

I tried to tell myself that it was no big deal, that I must have gained muscle weight or something. I went back out and told everyone, trying to be non-chalant that I now weighed both more than I have in my entire life, and also that I now weighed more than my friend. 

Inside I was screaming.  Should I be running more? Eating less crap? Maybe the day had finally come when my metabolism broke and I'd be sentenced to being fat for the rest of my life and never get to eat another french fry. In the words of hyperbole and a half, that would be too many. 

I tried not to worry about it, especially because I had Zero time to do anything about it with our Disneyland trip only a few days away. I considered running on vacation. Finding a way not to eat the bad food. But in the end, I decided to do nothing and hope that I could pretend that this was all a bad dream. My jeans still fit fine. I didn't look fat to myself, but that number on the scale was eating me alive. 

We got back from vacation, and I decided to weigh myself again. Praying that the number had gone down, and really praying that I hadn't somehow tripped over the 130 mark.

I stepped on the scale. 128.3. No dice. Even with all the walking at Disneyland. I was still dead in the water. (forgive me for the many water references lately. I just wrote a novel about mermaids...).

Then my little sister picked up the scale and moved it. She had me step on the scale again. I doubted that anything would change, but I did it.


I felt like laughing. Screaming, jumping for joy! I hadn't gotten fat! I could still be the skinny girl. The scale literally was broken. Or, apparently does not measure accurately unless it is on a level surface. 

But it got me to thinking. What am I going to do when I do get fat? Or at the very least, pregnant? (I sincerely hope to never get fat.) To be honest. I don't really know. I don't know what I'm going to do when the day comes that. I don't know how I will cope with not being the skinny girl. All I know is that I am so grateful that I'm not getting fat. And yes, I know that 130 would not make me fat. Clearly it would not hurt me a bit to gain a little weight, the real problem is that my body likes to hover lower. So if I go over that, then maybe my whole body will be broken and swing far to the other side. I was worried not that I would be 130, but that the number wouldn't stop there. 

So I don't have all the answers, but I thought that it was worth sharing. I have insecurities, yes. 
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Solid, Liquid and Gas

The last few months have been absolutely crazy. I've been busy. I've been sleep deprived. I have been stressed out of my mind. I have gone past my breaking point and had to keep moving because there was no other option. 

The other night, I was talking with Hatred! and Merr about the Christmas Carol. We were talking about the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Merr did something amazing. She equated them to Solids, Liquids, and Gas. 

The Past is solid. There is nothing that we can do to change it. It is what it is and it will continue to be what it is no matter what we do.

The Present is liquid. It's flowing constantly and moving from Present to past. It's always coming at us and it can change.

The Future is gas. It's the most volatile, changing and unattainable as holding a handful of air. 

Right now it really seems like the present is a liquid. Coming at me straight in the face and forcing its way down my throat. 

But, you know what, like A Christmas Carol, I have found a bit of a happy ending. I have learned that I can breathe water. I am much more amphibious than I had ever supposed. I wouldn't have known that if life hadn't forced my head underwater like Life Waterboarding. I have been keel hauled the last few months, but I can swim. Just so long as I don't keep thinking to myself that I can't breathe underwater, because that, is when I drown. 

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Christmas Vacation

Guess who was so busy sewing outfits for Disneyland after NaNoWriMo was over that I didn't even really think about the blog since the beginning of this month? Well, actually that's kind of a false statement, I thought about it a lot, but it got put on the back burner. Mostly because I lost my mind these past few months. Seriously, I have been so sleep deprived, stressed, and busy that I will probably do almost nothing until Christmas break is over. I won't even feel bad about it. 

And because I know you're all DYING to see my disneyland pictures...

  1. The traditional Once Upon A Time picture. Seriously, this is tradition
  2. We were waiting to line up for world of color and so decided to take a bunch of selfies for the game, "Reaction Face". I think this one was "if you won a million dollars."
  3. Our nails that we did for Disneyland. These are actually Charissa's, and if I do say so myself, I did a pretty good job with that castle...
  4. Pirate Day while waiting to go into Indiana Jones!
  5. My Minnie dress! I can't WAIT to go dancing in this baby. And it has POCKETS!
  6. The castle :)
  7. Rapunzel in Beast's library!
  8. The ocean. Oh, the ocean... I needed that. So much. Literally our miracle on 34th street (because the beach was on 34th street! :) )
  9. Charissa on the beach
  10. Belle day, once again in Beast's library
  11. World of color at the floating lanterns part! Oh how I love Tangled.
  12. Charissa's wicked sweet Ariel outfit. Seriously, she got a lot of comments. It was epic.
  13. Charissa on pirate day!
  14. The sunset on the drive home from California 
  15. Our last night there and we finally got a picture in front of the Mickey.
  16. And the traditional And They Lived Happily Ever After Picture!
Also, I feel you should all know that apparently vacations don't like me! I got 3 new bruises and sprained my toe! What a jerk right?

It was a wonderful vacation though! Seriously, I think I rode Indiana Jones and Pirates at least 5 times a piece. I also ate a turkey leg, ate at the Carnation Cafe once, had their hot chocolate and popcorn and had ice cream from the Ghirardelli ice cream place, and of course, a Dole Whip. Other than that I was hungry almost the whole trip. I got full, but never satisfied. You know how that feels? Well, while we were on the road we ate well, but when we got there I stayed hungry. 

Also, I keep planning to have  Dole Whip off with all the pinterest Dole Recipes, but I still haven't done it.

Are you going on vacation? If you could go to Disneyland tomorrow, which ride would you want to ride most?

I will for sure write another post before Christmas, but I'm going to do this anyway, 
Merry Christmas!!!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So You Want To Be My Best Friend...

So, I was going to give you all a list of all the people I have ever been friends with, but then I realized that I would then have to come up with pseudonyms for all of them... and that is a lot of pseudonyms. So instead, I give you the steps to becoming my best friend (because you know you want a fancy pseudonym).

1. Remember my name. 
I know, this is super difficult. I can't tell you the number of times I have been called Rachelle (which I actually like that name. It's just not mine). 

2. Ask to hang out with me.
I can't tell you the number of times I wasn't sure that someone was my friend until they invited me to do something. Also, I always have this fear that if I call someone to hang out and they don't want to, then they'll hang out with me because they feel like they have to. 

3. Listen to me. (AKA don't cut me off)
Maybe this should actually be a how not to make me hate you list... anyway, I have spent a lot of my life listening to other people because they cut me off, and while I would love to listen to you, there's got to be reciprocation.

4. Make a list of all the things we should do.
Somehow with almost every best friend I've ever had we've created a list of things we should do together. Hike someplace. Go ride horses. Drive somewhere...

5. Get into the inside jokes.
Because we will have a lot of them. Probably too many. It's a thing I will not apologize for. 

6. Love me for me, and I'll love you for you.
We don't have to be exactly the same, that would be boring and probably annoying. I don't have to approve of everything you do and you don't have to approve of everything I do, but if you love me anyway, then you are a keeper my friend. 

7. Be loyal.
Enough said.

Ok so there it is! Alright, here is the list of best friends too...
1. Purple Leader
2. Hair Cutter
3. Horse Rider
4. Prima Ballerina
5. Two Pint
6. Bruiser
7. Hooker
8. Paper Rose
9. Smiles
10. The Best of Both Worlds
11. Breakfast at Tiffany's
12. Wingman
13. Care Bear 
14. Super Great
15. Ginger Snap

So, what does it take to be YOUR best friend? 'Cause hey, I'd like a fancy pseudonym too :)

Happy Random Fact Wednesday! Hope you all have a great day!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Life Lately, A Ramble

I just love when I make notes about blog posts that I want to write and then completely forget what I meant by them. For example, "The Martyrs list".  I have no idea what that means. Seriously, no idea. 

So instead of telling you about that (whatever that is), I'm going to give you a couple updates on life! Since I haven't done the weekend recaps lately (Partially because I wasn't sure if people even liked them and partially because I was really busy and didn't take any pictures last month). 

First of all, this happened.

I got brave and chopped my hair back again. This is the shortest I've ever gone! Day two and I still love it! However, since I've never gone this short before, there's a chance that someday I'll start missing my long hair. Oh me and my hair...

Second, I survived NaNoWriMo and for the first time, actually finished the first draft within the 30 days, not just hitting 50000 words!
I don't know which was worse, last November or this one. I was behind more consistently than I've ever been before, which is not something that you want to be doing. I skipped dancing once to catch up because I was 5000 words behind... but I finished a day ahead! That's right, a novel in 29 days and this is the second first draft that I've finished this year!

Remember the dance fight?

My little sister ended up being my partner (although my nephew was a close second choice) and if you ask me, we totally won. Our competition didn't really even fight us for it!
Basically what happened with the dance fight in the first place is that I thought it was just a joke... but then turned into a real thing.

If you were wondering what I'm currently reading (because I'm always reading something)

I also just saw The Giver. I really liked it! How did everyone else feel about it? We were going to see Maze Runner as well, but dollar theaters... 1 hour of waiting for them to fix the movie and they gave up and gave us vouchers. 

Anyway, my new camera is coming today! I'm really excited and I will be a better blogger this month, promise :)

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

If I never stop blogging...

Guess what guys! I'm alive. I know you were all starting to get a little worried, but rest assured, now that I've finished my novel I'm back! Also, I will be getting a new camera soon and so pictures (recent ones) will be returning to the blog.

My little sister and I had an interesting conversation about what would happen if I wasn't actually alive. In case you were wondering, should I die before I quit blogging, Charissa will write you all a nice farewell post. 

I really have no idea how long I'll blog, or how long blogging will be a thing, but what if it never ended? 

"Dos and don'ts of Retirement home fashion. 10 tips and tricks."
"A review of homes to spend your last days in."
"How I avoided getting dentures and other tales of a 90 year old fashionista."
"A trip to the Pond!"
"Throw back thursday... yeah, it's still kicking, just like me!" (Really though, I wonder how long Throw back thursday can survive.)
"How to rock a walker!"
"Top ten wheelchairs and a give away!"
"My 18th trip to the hospital."

Instead of Mommy bloggers, Granny Bloggers will abound. 

I have a feeling it will be grand. And hilarious. And hopefully very entertaining for everyone to read. 

Have a great Sunday!
Enjoy this picture from the horrible, no good, very bad date that I went on a week ago. Maybe I'll tell you about it later ;)
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Super Powers! Imagined and Real :)

Sometimes I wish that I had superpowers. Most notably, I wish that I could fly (all my Peter Pan fans out there feel me?). Other great super powers to have would be the ability to stop time or to never need sleep (Do you even know how much I could accomplish if sleep were not a necessary part of life? Also, do you know how much time I could waste?).

For random fact Wednesday, I thought I'd share some of my super powers with you.

For the record, these are not actual super powers, but I think they're pretty great anyways. Also, this picture is from roughly 5 years ago...

1. I can create an inside joke with anyone. Slash if I start making inside jokes with you, we'll probably make so many that you'll have to forget some of them to remember the inside joke of the day. It's a gift.

2. I can command myself to sleep. In other words, I don't sleep until I tell myself, go to sleep. Except once, and that was seriously the most disorienting experience of my life. I do not know how you people live your lives all the time... you could be taken by sleep at any time!

3. I can command others to do things and they do them without question. This was something that I only discovered over the summer when I commanded my friend Hatred to jump out of the car and get us a table at a restaurant. I don't think the car had even stopped moving. And then I realized that things like this had happened before. Don't worry, I don't use my powers for evil. 

4. I can rip a Carl's Jr. Spicy Chicken sandwich perfectly in half. I know, it's a strange power to have, but it's completely true!

5. And as previously mentioned in other posts. I can take away my own agency. So very useful for so many things. It both helps and hurts me. Because it means that I can do things like procrastinate, because I know that later, I will do it, I don't have a choice, and because I know that I will do it, I don't worry about it. It doesn't stress me out.

6. I do scary things when other people are afraid. It's like someone being scared switches off my ability to be scared. I don't know why. Mostly this only happens when they're afraid to kill something (Read: Spiders), or try something new. Even if I was scared before, all of a sudden I'm like, yeah! I got this! Watch me go! 

Those are the only ones I can think of at the moment! Do you have any superpowers? Let's hear them! Have a great Wednesday! Be sure to get lots of sleep tonight if you're planning on hitting black Friday shopping!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The 30 or Better Movie Club

Good Morning! Or afternoon, or whatever it is where you are :) 
So I've been listening to this song by Ed Sheeran lately called Wake Me Up, which is totally cute, but has one swear word, so I won't put a link here. Anyway, there's a line in it about how he thinks that the girl he's with loves Shrek because they've watched it twelve times. So, I thought I'd give you a list of movies that I've watched 30 times or more. Not that I've really made a tally, but I'm pretty sure I know which ones I've watched at least that many times.

1. Beauty and the Beast
Belle is my favorite princess. I really love Rapunzel too, but Belle is my original favorite princess.

2. The Princess Bride
May or may not have watched this one every night for a month straight in high school. Also, if you haven't read the book. You should do that, because it is FANTASTIC.

3. Peter Pan (2003 with Jeremy Sumpter)
Have I mentioned that I love Peter Pan?

4. Chronicles of Narnia
All of them, including the animated version from when I was really little. They're just so good! Seriously, any time I want to inspire myself to be a better person I just watch them and suddenly it's like, why would I ever want to do anything bad ever?

5. The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions
This used to be my go to when I went to bed. I've probably seen the beginning of Fellowship more than a hundred times, but I have seen all of them all the way through a lot of times. I still cry at the end of the third one.

6. The Incredibles
Not sure why I watched this one so much, I just remember that I really loved it. My little sister won't let me watch it anymore...

7. Father of the Bride 2
If anyone asks me what my favorite movie is (what kind of question is that really?), this is the one that I usually say. It's funny and fantastic. I actually kind of want to watch it right now. 

8. Pirates of the Carribean
I just love them. Enough said.

What are your favorite movies? Which ones do you watch over and over again?

Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, November 17, 2014

How Choice Makes Love Mean Something

I was thinking about this yesterday. Ironically, I also really wanted to punch certain boys in the face yesterday. (As a side note, thank you to everyone who also wanted to punch them in the face and supported my doing so, should I ever decide to do that.) Anyway, this was very nearly going to be a rant post about how much I think boys are complete and total idiots right now. Well, one boy, but that's beside the point. 

Instead, I'm going to talk about how great love is.

(Credit for the photo: Charissa, it's the local lock bridge. Someday I may cheesily put my own lock there)

So I was talking with my mom yesterday about how a lot of people my age are either not getting married, or are getting divorced, and I think that part of it is because they don't realize that love is a choice. They think that falling in love is something that happens to you, instead of something you choose. Like being the victim of a massive practical joke if you fall in love and then someone falls out.

I don't believe in "falling" in love. You make a choice, maybe not consciously, but it's made, and you can unmake it and you can make it again. 

Think about it, if love were not a choice, then it would be worthless. As worthwhile as finding a penny. But the fact that it is a choice means so much. It means that when someone promises you that they will always love you, it is a choice that they can make or break (otherwise, why would you want them to promise anyway? They wouldn't have any control over it). It means that it wasn't luck. It wasn't fate. It was a choice. Someone chose you. They didn't have to. They didn't have to keep choosing you. But if they do, that means that endlessly you meant something. It meant something. A small infinity of choices choosing you (to paraphrase the fault in our stars). 

And isn't that so much more special than being someone's lucky penny? Someone's destiny?

For me it means that there is always hope. There is always more choices to be made. It means that if someday my marriage is on the rocks (assuming I get married someday), we can choose to fall back in love. It means that even if someone doesn't choose me today, it doesn't mean that someone can't choose me tomorrow. And because I know that love is a choice, I know that I get to pick who I end up with, and they get to pick me, and that is beautiful.

Ok, I'm done soap boxing. Happy Monday! And if you have any thoughts about love, leave them in the comments :)

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Code Name Verity

Well hello there :) Been awhile hasn't it. In all fairness I totally intended to write a post on Wednesday. I had it all planned out. Then quite honestly I woke up Friday morning and I thought, dang, I didn't write that post, when did Wednesday happen? 

It has been CRAZY around here. Seriously, sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in my own life. Do you ever feel like that? I really try not to think too far into the future because I'll just completely stress myself out. I can do that well enough without thinking about my massive to do list, thank you very much.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you guys about this book that I read. It's called, Code Name Verity.

Code Name Verity

It was amazing! Also, warning, it is the start of a series (yet another series...). It's all in first person and I loved the voice in it. It's about World War II and these two women who become friends. Also, there are references to Peter Pan. Which kind of sold me on it, if we're being honest. Not that I didn't love it before, but you throw Peter Pan into the mix and it is definitely a winner. 

Also, another warning, it's sad. You might need tissues. I did not personally cry, but you might, just saying. Yeah.

Anyway, read it! Tell me what you think! Or, if you've already read it, tell me what you thought! :)
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

What I'd Rather Hear Than I'm Beautiful

Last week, or possibly more than a week ago, I was looking through twitter and I came upon this discussion of what a Woman would rather hear from a man than that she's beautiful. So I was thinking about it this morning, and I would be lying if I didn't say that I enjoy hearing that I'm beautiful from a man. But, I would also like to hear a lot of other things. 

I think the thing that is inherently wrong with just wanting to hear that you are beautiful is that you are not your body. You are so much more than your body. And if your body can be counted on to do anything, it can be counted on to change. Someday, I will not be beautiful anymore. At least not in the same way. But, I will always be Rachael. And yes, Rachael is always changing. Hopefully for the better. 

While my physical good looks may decline, beyond my control, changing myself is something that I can control. I can emphasize my strengths, minimize my physical flaws, but they are still there. No amount of work can make me shorter, or the bump on my nose go away, or get rid of the slight webbing on my toes. Nothing can make my hair thicker or my pointer fingers less twisted. Nothing can change that (barring surgery). That is what I was born with. I was born with curly hair that doesn't always cooperate, and eyes that don't see very well despite being a pretty color. There is nothing for me to be proud of in my physical appearance, because I was just lucky. It shouldn't make me more deserving of anyone's love or attention. Yes, this is the world that we live in, based so much on what we see. But even though a man can appreciate what a woman looks like, if that is his defining reason for wanting you, you should definitely drop him like he's hot.

So I would rather hear that I am smart. I would rather hear that I am talented and capable of achieving my goals. I would rather hear that I am faithful, dedicated, and kind. I would rather hear that I am becoming the person that I hope to be, rather than the prettiest girl in the room. 

What would you rather hear? Men included, what would you want to hear from a woman?
Check out the discussion :)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Survive NaNoWriMo: Tips from a 6 Year Winner

So maybe you're off to a rocky start (like me), maybe you're behind (like me), maybe you had no idea what you were going to write about on day 1 and are still a little clueless (like me), well have no fear! This is not the first year that this has happened for me, and if I made it through, then so can you!

There is always some point at which I fall behind in NaNo. Be it laziness (almost every time), busyness, or just lack of motivation to come up with good ideas. But that doesn't mean that you can't win it!

Here is how I survive NaNo:
-Write something every day. I'm not saying that you write the 1667 every day, but write something.
-If you are on a roll, don't worry that you've already hit your word count! I am so guilty of this, sometimes I'm just waiting to hit my mark and when I do, I stand up and walk away... Not a good plan.
-Embrace NaNoWriMo/Daylight Savings Time insomnia. I don't know if this is really a thing for anyone else, but it is TOTALLY a thing for me. Whether it be because of the time change or my brain is too busy thinking of new ideas, or some combination of the two, I don't sleep. I went to bed at around 2 last night. Usually I go to bed around 11. In any case, if you're already awake, you might as well be writing!
-Take away your own agency. This kind of sounds harsh, but I do this all the time when I'm trying to reach goals. Basically, I take away this line of thought, "Oh hey I'd like to go running, but it's kind of cold and I'm tired, so if tomorrow it's not cold and I'm not tired, THEN I'll go running." I trade it for this line of thinking, "I'm going running tomorrow, even if it's cold. Even if I'm exhausted, it's happening. Even if I don't want to." It is the most effective way for me to be the person I actually want to be instead of the lazy person that I am. 
-Glue your notebook (or other note taking device) to your hip. Well obviously not literally to your hip, your hand maybe, that would be more practical. Either way, it really helps to be able to jot down what you're thinking whenever you think it, whether you're out with friends or at work. That way the idea is still there for you when you actually have time to write. 
-Tell your friends that you're writing. It's scary. You're afraid they'll make fun of your idea about princes and mermaids and people falling in love, but honestly, I have worked through some of my hardest writing problems with people I thought would laugh. I have fixed plot holes that I didn't see because they asked a question. They will probably be more supportive than you think. 
-Have a lot of fun. I'm not just talking writing here. I write better when I'm experiencing new things. Hang out with your friends. Go for a hike. Play some instrument. Do whatever you love. It adds fuel to the fire, I promise.
-You don't need to have a lot of time, just a lot of determination. If I know what I'm thinking of writing, it only takes me about 30 minutes to type out 1667 words. But in NaNo it takes me longer. Somehow when NaNo comes around I always get really busy. Last year I painted my room and helped build a basement for the entire month. On top of working. And I think I still hung out with friends. The year before that I was going out to hang out with people EVERY SINGLE DAY for the entire month. But both years I told myself I would win, and I did. I was exhausted a lot, but I was so happy. Writing does that for me, and if you're doing NaNo I bet it does for you too. 
-Reward yourself. I always go get Apollo Burger when I hit 50K, but I give myself little rewards and treats along the way. It helps me stay happy and motivated. 
-Don't quit, just because you fell behind. If you write a little extra every day, you'll catch up. Even if you fall behind more than once. You don't have to do a 5k day to win. They always advocate a 5k day to catch up if you fall behind, but I don't know about you, that sounds really daunting to me! I have done a 5k day ONCE in my 6 years of NaNo. And I won't tell you how many times I fell behind (mostly because that would be embarrassing. Also I never counted. Which is good, because it might be depressing if I did).
-Get in a competition with someone. My second year of NaNo I convinced two of my roommates to do it with me. I had one roommate that was ALWAYS ahead on word count. Being the competitive person that I am, I always tried to beat her. Not that I did much, but the moments that I was ahead were sweet sweet victory. I still compete with her, which she doesn't know, she's always some ridiculous amount ahead, like 10k, maybe she's competing with some crazy insane person? In any case, it keeps me motivated. 
-Most importantly, Believe in yourself. If you think you can do it, almost guaranteed you will. Have fun and good luck!

For more inspiration, read some tips from other NaNoers!
NaNoWriMo link up
The Novelista

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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Care and Keeping of Me

So this is actually a requested post (who thought I would ever do a post that someone requested??). With the disappointment that happened a few weeks ago, and my being sick this last weekend (don't you worry! This girl is on the mend! Also several thousand words behind in NaNoWrimo... no big deal), I figured that now was a good time to post this.

Personally I think there should be some massive database out there that has a Care and Keeping of guide for every person on the planet. That way, when they need some good buddies, or just some general support, you could just go look up their file!

Anyways, here's what you do if I'm having a hard time, for any reason...

-Don't ask me about it
-Don't look at my like I might burst into tears, because I might

(Everything in this picture is good. Also this is actually what I buy myself almost every year to survive NaNo, so I kind of take care of myself)

-Do bring me ice cream, french fries (preferably McDonalds with hot mustard sauce), or Naked Juice, or Jamba (Pomegranate Pick Me Up or Carribean Passion are my favorites), or cookies n creme bars, or drops I love those. Flaming hot cheetos, with limon. Or a book, seriously, a good book would make my life.

Small rant. If you've ever taken the love languages test, there's that whole thing about getting gifts. I have taken it several times, and I always get really low on gift giving. As in, I don't like receiving gifts. Which is actually kind of false, I mostly just feel really awkward getting them in front of people. I would be a happy girl if every gift I received for the rest of my life was left on my doorstep for me to find. Or really anywhere to find. 

Back to the list
-Do treat me like a normal human being
-Do let me rant about how I feel, without offering advice. Unless asked for.
-Do leave me a note, about anything really. 
-Do ignore the fact that I look sad and leave a lot, probably to go running or to write.
-Do take me for Drives. Anywhere. Walks are also good. 
-Do play with my hair
-Don't dismiss my feelings ("oh, you'll get over it." "Just be more positive!" "Look on the bright side!")
-If I'm sick, leave me to die. I mean periodically leave me crackers and gatorade, but other than that, leave me to die. Don't ask how I'm feeling. I promise it's not a good plan.

Just always remember that if I'm having a hard time, I probably am trying to hide it. I will put on a brave face every time. I don't want anyone to think I'm weak. I don't really expect anyone to take care of me, so mostly if I have a hard time, I'm probably going to take care of myself, but it's always nice to know that people care. So anything you can do to show that you care is really amazing. Anytime you just notice something that makes me happy and then do it, you get extra bonus points, like 10000 extra points. 

What about you? What would go into your "Care and Keeping of" file?

You're all amazing! I hope you have a fantastic Monday and if you too are doing NaNo, good luck! Add me as a buddy if you want! My username is rae_babe16!

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Friday, October 31, 2014

El Dia De Los Muertos

Happy Halloween! I kind of love Halloween, possibly because I've never really grown up and it's a great excuse to dress up. I bet you never would have guessed from all my pictures that I like to dress up...

My Mom never liked Halloween. She always said that she didn't like the idea of us going around begging for candy, but that isn't even my favorite part! I love passing out the candy and seeing all the cute little kids. Plus, tutus, sparkles, tiaras... this is one of the few times a year that it's socially acceptable to wear these things. 

Not that I went that route this year... although I did dress up as a ballerina for dancing on Tuesday!

 Charissa did my make up and put on the jewels for me. I was VERY glittery... that was 3 days ago and there's STILL glitter in my hair. Pretty sure that it's tattooed on, which I'm not actually sad about. :)

This was after dancing, I'm actually surprised that I didn't lose more jewels!

Charissa came up with the idea for us to do El Dia De Los Muertos and I really liked it. Mainly because it's awesome, but also because I've got a little latina blood running in my veins ;) 

It may or may not have taken three hours for us to do each other's make up...But it was good sister time. We had to run to the dollar store to get our flowers and we got some pretty interesting looks. I kind of liked it. 

Hope you all have a fantastic Halloween! What are you dressing up as?
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Best Friend Merr

You ever meet someone and know instantly that you are going to be friends? That was kind of Merr and I. Honestly, I remember seeing her walk the halls in 7th grade with her binder and I thought to myself, "Someday, we're going to be friends." Which is actually really weird because I didn't know her at all. We didn't go to the same elementary school, we didn't have any friends in common, we didn't even have any classes together. But somehow I knew we'd someday make it to friends status.

Also I guess I should tell you that we didn't make it to friend status until 8th grade. And then we were just in the same friend group. I didn't really know that we were friends until Merr called me crying one day to come over. Then I knew that we were buddies if she didn't care that I saw her like that, and that she trusted me enough to comfort her in that kind of state. 

Today is her birthday! My best friend is 25 :) 
I love this girl! I love that we have been friends 10 years. I love that even though we've had a couple fights where I thought we wouldn't be able to move past it, we always have. 
She is smart, she is kind, she shows up for me. That is a mark of a good friend for me. We definitely DO NOT agree on everything, but I always know that I can count on her. I know that I can say anything that's on my mind and she'll listen. 
She's amazing and I'm so grateful that I got to have a best friend like her. I love that when I was up at college she used to chill with my little sister. She is family to me. 
I am definitely not a perfect best friend, but she keeps me around. 
Also, I love that she and I are awesome enough to buy best friend lockets even when both of us are old enough that one of us is graduated from college and the other is home from a mission.
I love that we can get hot chocolate and drive to our spot and spill everything. But seriously, hot chocolate heals all wounds.

P.S. We took these up Millcreek Canyon at the same place that we listened to General Conference and it was GORGEOUS. Seriously, next year you need to get up there when the leaves are changing. It was breathtaking. 

Going up to conference we got in a car accident (if you follow me on facebook you know that Sunday afternoons are not a good time for me to be in a car) and Merr was driving. I was so impressed, she didn't get mad! She handled it all with grace and understanding. She is an amazing human being, I would have been a puddle of tears. 

We're a little weird, but in an awesome way. Promise.

We may or may not have broken the law to take this picture... I'm not really sure. I regret nothing.

Thanks for reading about my awesome best friend! She really is fantastic! I won't even hate you if you borrow our hot chocolate date idea for you and your best friend. Seriously, that's where the secrets come out. In a good way :) 

Also, shout out to my other favorite red head, my little sister who took and edited these photos for me! :)

How did you meet your best friend? How long have you been friends? 
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This is where I say something clever...

You know, coming up with blog titles may be the hardest part of blogging for me. Guaranteed I usually think of a better title roughly 20 minutes after I publish a post. Almost without fail. So even if I schedule it to post in a few days, after it finally goes live I'm like, "hey, you know what would be a good title? Not what I named it!" 

Anyway, enough rambling (I seem to be doing a lot of that the last day or two). Guess who just hit 100 posts?? Yup! Me! I will definitely be celebrating today, in between all the other things in my life :)

This last weekend:

Thursday: Middle Picture
I had a hot chocolate date! With my mom. We went to The Chocolate and she let me ramble on about my recent drama. P.S. if you've never been to the chocolate, you should go. Their hot chocolate is AMAZING.
Also, hung out with the Captain! We went to an institute class together and had general good times, which were going to include Netflix, but actually just included a lot of talking.

Friday: Top row
Literally almost the entire day was spent getting ready for a photoshoot and party. But it was kind of awesome. The shoot, not the party so much. You'll get to see all the pretty pictures on Halloween! :)

Saturday: Middle Left and Right
One of my dear roommates from the TreeHouse got married! And I got to see Dizzle. In case you were wondering, that's Diz in the pics. She's pretty much fantastic. Also she's my pen pal which gets her bonus points.

Sunday: Bottom Row
Ok, this was amazing. Steven Sharp Nelson from the Piano Guys came and played. I loved watching him play! We got really good seats so we could see all of his expressions and the way his hands played each note. One of my favorite things was being close enough that you could hear him suck in a quick breath while he was playing. He played with such beautiful emotion, and being such an amazing musician, it was a privilege to watch. Even if my back is still kind of angry from sitting for 3 hours. Worth it. 

This week:
-Dancing (for real this week)
-Party Wednesday?? 
-Merr's birthday!!!
-Halloween party with the EFY crew

-Figure out what I'm writing for NaNoWriMo
-Write one poem 

What are you guys doing for Halloween? Got your costume yet? Are you doing NaNo? :)
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Screwtape Letters

Truly I read this book about a month ago... and I was going to post a review of it, but then it was conference, plus I was talking about The Book Thief at the time. Then I got lazy...
Suffice it to say I've been meaning to post this for awhile. 

The Screwtape Letters

Anyway, I don't know if you have read The Screwtape Letters, but you should! It is amazing! Here are some of my favorite quotes from it. 

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality."

I like this one because I have always wanted to be brave. Don't ask why. Probably because I believed that being brave was a part of being strong and I've always felt that I had to be strong. 

"For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity."

I like the reminder here that the present, is really all we have. I always need this reminder when I'm feeling angry or sad, this moment is all I have. 

"When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever."

I have always been afraid that once I was really doing all that I was supposed to, then I wouldn't be me anymore. I never wanted to be a carbon copy. But I recently came to look at it a different way. Think about the temples, even if you've only ever seen the outside of them. Yes, they are all similar, but none of them are the same. The landscaping is different, the design is different, they're all different. But, they are all perfect. The all function for the same purpose, but they are still unique. That's kind of how I think we'll all turn out. 

"By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the the impossible."

This one was a hard one for me to learn, but this explains it perfectly. Poor self talk doesn't equal humility. We can still acknowledge truths about ourselves as long as we remember that these truths make us no better than anyone else, you can still be humble. 

This was my second time reading The Screwtape Letters and I love that I get new things from it each time. So even if you have read it, you should definitely read it again. Plus, C.S. Lewis, he's pretty much amazing. 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Heart. Part 2

Dear Heart,

Well we've gone and done it again. We got a little stomped on.

I know, I know. I told you it would be ok to take off a little of that shell. Lower the fences a bit. Then a bit more. 

It all seemed like such a good idea at the time. Even though things were totally confusing.

We thought that maybe this time we'd be ok. We thought maybe all those stories like this one would be in the past. 

Guess we needed another one for the list. 

What were all those feelings of, "I've got you." Or, "This is going to be ok"? Maybe we should learn to listen a little bit better. 

But guess what Heart? I think, and don't quote me on this, I think we will be ok. Even if we can't jump straight back into "Happily Singleland" right away. It's kind of nice to feel sometimes. Even if what we're feeling is unpleasant. Ok, even if it really sucks. And let's not lie. This really sucks. 

So I'm sorry I thought things would work out. I'm sorry we're bruised down to the center of us today. But thanks for listening to me. For opening up when I know that it would have been easier to stay closed. Hey, maybe someday we really will make the leap from "Happily Singleland" to "Happily ever after". We've just got to work on our jumping skills. 


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