Friday, May 21, 2010

ten things and then some.

Listening To: On Love by Jennifer Knapp
Simple Perfection: "Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom's cause. As I walk from earth into eternity ..." - Brooke Fraser, from the song Hosanna

As I type, the sky gets darker. Crazy foreboding times! I feel like I'm writing a storm. :) As you probably know by now, I'm wild about rainy days. A friend of mine likes to tease that I'm far more emo than I like to admit because 1.) I love dark, rainy weather (as long as I am not driving in it ... and as long as my family isn't driving in it) and 2.)I like angsty singer/songwriter music and 3.) because I like to wear black. It's not that I don't vary clothing colors -- I do. I just like black most of all. I think black looks pretty and contrasty against pale skin. (See? So emo.). So this dark rainy day? Is weirdly lifting my mood.

I've decided to change the order of my next two posts. I'd planned on writing about the simple (but awesome) way my mom taught me to study the Bible back in High School. But I want to work on that post just a smidge longer. So today I'm talking about some random topics courtesy of Kristin ...

Kristin, alias Miss Vintage Girl, sent the cutest blog award this direction. I adore Kristin's blog ... this girl is way too talented for her own good. "Crafty" doesn't even begin to describe the bags and wallets and cell phone covers and iPod covers (etc. etc. etc.) I've seen on her site. Her work is lovely. She has an eye for gorgeous fabric and knows how to pair colors and textures and designs. Her style is the best kind of vintage; the kind that pulls from other iconic time periods but still looks original and modern. She's a classy girl with a classy blog that you'll love (if you don't already read it). Thanks for the sweet award, Miss Kristin! :)

(How adorable is the girl holding the flowers?! I want to hug her.) The rules for this award state that I tell you ten random things about myself. And then, if I didn't feel like being a rebel rule-breaker, I would tag ten lucky people. Instead, I'll just extend the offer to play along if you feel like it! :)

1. I'm extremely anxious to read Matched by Ally Condie. When I first read about this book a couple of months ago, I mass emailed my bookloving friends the textual equivalent of jumpy claps. The blurb from Ally's blog says Matched is a dystopian love story, about a society where people pick 1.) who you fall in love with, 2.) what you do with your life and 3.) how long you live. Cassia, the sassy protag in this novel, is okay with that. And when her bff Xavier's face flashes up on the matching screen, she's still okay with that. ... but just before the screen goes dark, she sees the face of a boy named Ky. And even though the Society tells her it was just a fluke, and Xavier is "The One", and go on your way now and enjoy the rest of your determined-by-someone-else-existence ... Cassia can't stop wondering what if.

And, as you know, wondering what if tends to open the door for all manner of dangerous and wonderful adventures :) I'm smitten with the plot already. Doomed love stories? Please. They're like my kryptonite. As if the book couldn't get more appealing, I noticed that it was edited by Julie Strauss-Gabel. She's edited so many books I adore. I typically find a thank-you to Julie Strauss-Gabel at the end of books that are poetic and fast-moving and impossible to forget. (Is it lame that I always read the thank-you section in a book?)

Other things that excite me about this book: 1.) It sounds just a little bit like The Giver, which ranks in my top 10 favorite books of all time. Matched sounds wholly original, but I think it will have that same thread of urgency running through it. The setting sounds a bit reminiscent of The Giver too. Can you see it a little bit? 2.) The cover is complete gorgeousness. When covers skew artsy and metaphorical like this one? Gah! In the words of Rachel Zoe: I die. And 3.) I've read Ally's blog for awhile now and she seems genuinely nice. It wouldn't matter if she wasn't, of course. I'm sure there are jerks who write beautiful books. An author's personality isn't a factor in whether or not I buy a book (I take that back ... if an author comes off like a pompous jerk, I definitely wouldn't buy the book).

Still, when I see success raining down on genuinely kind people, the warm fuzzies attack and I'm convinced all is right with the world. Ally is holding a contest on her blog through May 31 to win an ARC of Matched. If you happen to win, and you decide to share it with me ... I'll bake you cookies. And if I win ... I'll gladly regift. However. As I happen to be the most unlucky girl who ever walked this big-blue planet, I'm assuming the winnings will pass us by, and I'll just have to wait until November to discuss this book :) Still! Let us not be swayed in our quest for an ARC! One ... Two ... Three ... Break! :)

2. I love musicals. When I went to London during college, I mostly camped out on the West End looking for cheap theater tickets. Now I get mailings from every city within a four hour radius that has a Broadway tour coming through. Stage musicals are my fave, but I like movie musicals too. One of my favorite movie musicals is Disney's One and Only Genuine Original Family Band. I thought I'd list it here because, much like Halloween is Grinch Night ... nobody seems to know what I'm talking about when I mention it. Not only is Family Band fun, full of music you'll be singing for days, but it has a really cool history lesson attached. And it's funny. And there's a sweet, cheesy love story. (Don't misunderstand: this movie isn't good because it's moving. It's good because it's a fun, corny musical.) I don't think my family likes it when I watch it though, because, at random/inappropriate times, like right after we say grace at dinner, I'll shout: "Stephen Grover Cleveland is the man this country needs!"

3. I'm jealous of writers who do great vlogs. I'm so bad in front of a camera; very self-conscious and awkward and unfunny. Cameras terrify me. But I almost tried to vlog this past weekend. I saw a banner near my brother's apartment advertising a fundraiser where a group of clowns would be passing out barbecue. And I thought ... this is something in need of video documentation! I ended up not channeling my inner Spielberg, but I thought I would let you know that I thought about it. Mostly, I just wanted you to have that visual of clowns, passing out barbecue, stuck in your mind all weekend. *evil laugh*

4. I'm reading an interesting book called A Sweet & Bitter Providence by John Piper. It's a short book, examining the story of Ruth and Boaz (one of my faves!!). I don't read John Piper at the rate some of my friends do. Piper gets to the point, usually in a terse way. He's smart with so much great stuff to say. I tend to sway toward more flowery writing styles. Still! I think this book is really good. He looks specifically at issues of sexuality and ethnocentrism in the book of Ruth, then makes great commentary on how society looks at those issues now (specifically how Christians look at those issues). This book is very well written and smart. And I'm learning so much. For example: did you know the Ruth and Boaz had an interracial marriage? Isn't that awesome?! I never realized that until I read this book.

5. I like to paint my nails funky colors. (Do you like how we transition from serious topics to pointless ones?) My nails are currently painted a color called "conquistadorable" - it's like the color of a raspberry popsicle. I'm obsessed with it. It's fun to see little flashes of pinkish-red while I type :) I'm also partial to a color called Mr. Right Now (that I discovered at Sephora) and a purplish-red called "manicurist of seville". I'm convinced one of my prouder achievements in life was the day I learned to paint my right hand without making a mess.

6. Some new songs I've downloaded recently include: Apologies by Grace Potter and the Nocturnes, The Curse by Josh Ritter, Heart That's Pounding by Sally Seltmann, Devil's Spoke by Laura Marling, and Not So Sure by Joe Pug. All are recommended. I also downloaded the entire Jennifer Knapp album and it is incredible. Not that I'm surprised, or anything.

7. Strawberries are my favorite food. If you've ever eaten a strawberry and thought ... meh ... I highly recommend trying them again now that they're in season. They're so delicious. Beyond strawberries, my favorite foods are all things that nest together in the tip-top of the food pyramid waiting to ravage my insides. Like chocolate chip cookies and tacos, etc.

8. Storms make me nervous. I like dark skies and heavy rain but I've been afraid of storms since I was a kid. My dog doesn't like them either. We mostly hide under the covers until they pass.

9. I prefer black ink to any other color. Unless I'm editing. If I'm editing, I go purple or pink.

10. I'm working through an amazing Bible Study by Beth Moore called Breaking Free. I just finished week three and, even though I'm only this far in, I don't have words yet to describe what it's doing to my heart. I'm overwhelmed. I hope, by the end, I'll be able to write a little bit more about the journey I've been on. To close one day's study, Beth asked that you turn to Job 38 and read the whole chapter aloud. I've loved this passage for a long time. And when I find passages like that, that mean something special to me, it sort of feels like finding a sweet old love letter that hits your heart the same way it did the first time you opened it. This week when I read Job 38, it made me teary. If you get some time alone, maybe find a little rainy corner of the world where you can be by yourself for awhile, I highly recommend reading Job 38. It's a perfect storm.

I would love to hear ten randoms from you in the comments! Happy weekending :)


  1. Congrats on your award! Interesting are ten random things about me...
    1# I have a fear of whales, I don't know why, I just do.
    2# I get mad when people diss the color yellow, cuz it's totally the best.
    3# I would do anything for a good snowcone right now.
    4# I'm reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, it's awesome.
    5# I'll be 16 in 9 days, I think it's 9, I stink at numbers.
    6# MY song, that's forever been my song is Free by Ginny Owens.
    7# Johnny Depp is my favorite actor.
    8# I would be perfectly happy if all I had to do all day was read something weird like a book of quotes or modern american history.
    9# Martin Luther King Jr. is a hero of mine.
    10# I'm a Jo, just a total Jo March.

  2. Matched sounds super interesting! I'll definitely have to put that one on my list of things to read.

    1. I am picture-obsessed, I think. I have 80 snapshots hanging on my bedroom walls. I can't help it; seeing my friends' smiling faces and remembering fun things makes me happy!
    2. I really, really like Mat Kearney right now. I like his style and I like his lyrics. Good stuff.
    3. I'm going to Europe in exactly 2 weeks! I am super excited--Austria, Switzerland, & Germany, here I come!
    4. I am ridiculously directionally challenged. I once got lost 6 times in one week in the town that I've lived in for 8 years (pretty impressive, considering I only drove twice that week). Wednesday, I got so lost that I drove 100 miles in one day. It was awesome.
    5. I love people and their differences. I love the unique, quirky things that make a person who they are. They make things so interesting!
    6. I am constantly trying to figure myself out, weird as that may be. I can't quite do it--I'm a huge mix of opposites!
    7. Two reasons I'm excited about this fall: The Weepies release their new album and The Civil Wars (of which Joy Williams is a member) debut their full-length album.
    8. I love all things adventurous (especially if they involve the outdoors)! There are so many crazy things that I'm dying to try, but haven't had the chance to...yet.
    9. I'm a huge fan of great design. Graphic, interior, fashion, you name it. I love it.
    10. I should probably be banned from bookstores, for the sake of my bank account. Sigh.

    Have a great weekend! :)

  3. fun random facts! here are mine:

    1. I love rainy days, maybe even more than sunny days
    2. i will do ANYTHING to get a fun picture
    3. i'm obsessed with southern accents
    4. writing makes me happy, except journaling. i hate journaling (though i wish i loved it).
    5. i LOVE country music
    6. i am not a people person -- i could be completely alone for a week and be totally fine
    7. i love to travel, which is a good thing since i'm a missionary kid
    8. i have a strange, but very real, fear of butterflies
    9. pink is my absolute favorite color
    10. i really wish i was a jane austen fan. but i just can't read her stuff (except pride and prejudice). it's just too slow. which makes me sad and sometimes lonely every time i meet yet another girl in love with her work.

    happy saturday! :)

  4. That is so fun!
    Okay, here are my ten random facts:
    1. I just graduated high school yesterday!
    2. I like eating Fritos with cheesy mashed potatoes (Weird, I know)
    3. I despise cats!
    4. Reese Pieces are my favorite candy
    5. I love to cook and try new things in the kitchen
    6. My favorite color is lime green
    7. I love rain on a tin roof
    8. I love quotes! They are hanging all over the wall above my bed.
    9. I absolutely love the country and people of Haiti! Hopefully one day I will go there to be a missionary
    10. I get "writers block" easily. I hate it!

  5. Hey Natalie!

    My mom's doing Breaking Free too - she says she likes it. Maybe I'll do it later, once I have time :).
    Ok, here goes 10 random things:
    1. My toes go numb in pointe shoes that fit.
    2. I'm the only one in my class with that condition, and they envy me for it :).
    3. When I'm bored, I dance
    4. I think clear braces are really cool - Mom doesn't think so at all (she comes from the dark ages of silver braces).
    5. I have a dance show coming up!
    6. I'm done school for the year
    7. I loove biology and dissecting, but I can't stand watching people get shots.
    8. I'm reading "Don't Waste Your Life".
    9. I want to be a physical therapist for dancers
    10. I love your blog!!!


  6. 1) I used to say sparkles were my favorite colour, but now I know it is actually pink.
    2) After spending a semester in London (a few years ago) I find myself adding random "U"s in words that don't need them (see #1) or mindlessly switching "E"s and "R"s
    3) I always cut my hair short then get mad because I can no longer curl it
    4) My favorite thing to eat is a sandwich
    5) I've been told that if Monica and Chandler ever had a kid I would be that child
    6) I think little dogs are just rats in disguise. Dogs should be large making them easier to hug!
    7) My bff strongly disagrees with my feelings towards little dogs. (she would carry hers in her purse if he would sit still long enough) It is the one thing we actually argue about
    8) Though I'm "too old" for it I can't get enough teen fiction
    9) When at the beach I love to take a nap
    10) I want to move to Ashland, Oregon (home of the super amazing Oregon Shakespeare Festival)

  7. So I really want to read that book , Mathched, now. It sounds fantastic! :) I won't type ten random things now..I'm headed off to a busy after noon! But Mr. Right Now is a fabulous nail color, black is the ONLY ink I use to write. It's classy. Annnnnddd I was going to buy Beth Moore's bible study Breaking Free yesterday for a friend's birthday.(I bought All I Need is Jesus and a Good Pair of Jeans, instead. Hilarious book.)But I will have to check it out now!

    Have a good weekend!

  8. OOO I wanna read that book now!!! =] It sounds amazing =]

    1) I LOVE taking pictures! People always fear having me at their get togethers or something because they know i'll capture them! My BFF Caleb HATES it.. hence why I love doing it! =]

    2) I'm in desperate need to go shopping for a new bra. Yeah.. random but hey, why be normal =]

    3) I'm going to GA for 4 days! I hven't been since Christmas and I miss my family and friends

    4) I'm bringing my BFF Sarah backwith me! She lives 2 hours from my grents and she's coming down for my 16th birthday! I haven't seen Sarah in 2 and 1/2 years!!!

    5) I'm turning 16!!! LOL Need i say more?

    6) They changed the dates of my softball tourney... to my birthday =[ But hye it'll be okay as long as they dont sing to me =\

    7) Momma and I are going to see the new Nightmare on ELm Street!!! I love scary movies and i've ALWAYS wanted to see one in the theaters!! WOOOH! Plus Kellan Lutz is a gift from God! ;]

    8)I'm offically a junior in High school!! WOOH! Finsihed Thursday! Happy happy me!

    9)I REALLY want to go to the beach! Living in Florida it's hard not too, but when your Momma doesn't like the beach and you dont have a car or lisences... yeah it's not fun

    10) IM ADDICTED TO TWITTER!!!!! It's all I do! I'll even Tweet on the treadmill... yeah.. i know! Follow me! randomfreakness

    Don't ask... name pretty much says all =] LOL

  9. I LOVE old movies. So I have seen Disney's One and Only Genuine Original Family Band:) Great movie!

  10. I am so very excited about Matched as well. The Giver is in my top ten too which is funny since I'm not really a dystopian fan. I got the ALA schedule yesterday for signings and Ally's going to be there-I can't wait!

  11. Thanks so much for all of the kind compliments about my blog, Natalie. =) You made my day!

    "Matched" sounds like a really good book. When you first started describing it, I was thinking that it sounded like "The Giver." I love that book. It's one of those that you can never forget.


  12. Hello!

    I just wanted to let you know that my blog URL has changed to:

    you will have to re-follow it in order for the updates to come to your dashboard.

    Thank you and God bless!


  13. Better late than never. I thought this was an interesting assignment, so here you go. Now your many of these did you not know? Love you tons!

    1. I sometimes sneak off to the bathroom to be able to actually read a book. Something about kids and a husband make this a neccesity.
    2. I absolutely HATE and fear mice with an intensity that scares me. I don't dislike cartoon mice, thank goodness, but Ratatouile was close.
    3. Although I'm a hopeless romantic, I do not believe in love at first sight. Go figure.
    4. I loved being pregnant, even though it was with twins. I loved every moment of it. Granted, I never had morning sickness. That could be one reason. :)
    5. If I go out to a nice restaurant, there's about an 80% chance I'm going to order chicken tenders. The only other choice might be grilled chicken or steak....but those are rare.
    6. I secretly love to wash dishes. It's really the only 'cleaning house' part that I don't mind.
    7. If I could do any job in the world, it would be a toss up of being a newscaster or opening a wedding planning business with my bff.
    8. I now realize that all the advice my parents gave me when I was younger was right. I'm thankful my mom and dad are two of my best friends in the world now. The realization of this didn't hit until I was about 25, lol.
    9. Speaking of best friends, I've known mine since I was about 3 1/2 weeks old. We've spent much of the last ten years living in different cities and sometimes going weeks without talking to each other, but we always pick up where we left off. She's just a shorter, more creative version of me. Which is pretty cool.
    10. I have the greatest in-laws in the world. I consider my sisters-in-law some of my closest friends, and I love how we go to my mother- and father-in-law's house every Saturday evening. One of the reasons could be because my mother-in-law cooks awesome meals for us.....That leads to #11....I love to eat! lol

  14. I'm here from AnnieBlogs. I just have to say I love musicals, too. I think it started in elementary school when our music teacher would have a spring performance every year for the whole school. She did South Pacific (just the cute songs, of course) and The Sound of Music (the whole play). I was in each of those and LOVED every minute of it. Now I'm trying to get someone to travel to Charlotte with me to see Wicked. I will be devastated if it's this close and I don't get to see it. I also randomly start singing songs at the top of my lungs. Right now it's "Defying Gravity" cause, of course, I've listened to the soundtrack over and over...
    From a fellow Southerner.