Monday, April 29, 2013


It's a crippling monster.
It's a hand that grips the heart, that tugs hard and then pulls the heart right out of its home.
It's a voice that whispers horrible, terrible thoughts into your ear. You're not enough. You'll never be enough. You won't succeed. You're just going to go off and fail- why should you try?

I've let this monster called fear reign over my life. Always the overly cautious child, I wasn't one to try new things. The voices in my head told me terrible things. They told me that sliding down that water slide would cause me to die. I shouldn't swim because I'd drown. That speck of dirt in my drink? Probably poisonous. These voices in my head told me that my "friends" would always betray me. That  should never ever ever let anyone get close. These voices told me that I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, friendly enough. I thought if I just tried harder that I could get these voices to go away- but they didn't leave. They made my mind their home. They infested my brain. They took control of my life- and I allowed them to. I didn't fight too hard. It was easier to believe the lies that they told me- or at least that's what they said.

I've ruined too many friendships. I've missed so many opportunities. I've lost so much. I think I'm starting to realize that fear is really an awful friend to have. It's a controlling, manipulative "friend". You see though, it's comfortable. It's the way that I've always lived. It's the way that I've always interacted. It's the way that I've always dealt with new and unknown situations. It's the "easy" way out. But, I don't want to be friends with fear anymore. I don't want to have this constant companion hanging over my shoulder. I don't want this little gray cloud to follow me everywhere I go. I want to be free. I want to have adventures. I want to live abundantly and love fully. I want to reach my dreams.

Months ago, I applied to the MSW program at Alabama. I was freaked out about it and it was a pretty last minute decision. In February, I found out that I was accepted to the program. I freaked out about it, made a visit to T-Town, and got completely overwhelmed. Since I was in the midst of treatment, I decided that it was best to defer my enrollment. For the past two months, I've regretted that decision. Ever since I was in 8th grade, I've wanted to be a social worker. Sure, I've played around with different majors. But in my heart, I wanted to help people. I wanted to love people. Since 8th grade, I've been planning this thing. But now that my dream is literally in the palm of my hand? I'm freaked out.  I'm just not sure what to do.

Today I took a stand against fear. Even though I'm scared and nervous, I'm also excited. I emailed the university and "undeferred". Tonight, I registered for classes.

It's scary. I'm terrified about field experiences. I'm terrified about living in a new town. But, I don't want to listen to those voices anymore. I want to be free. I want to live and love abundantly. One of my favorite quotes describes it perfectly:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 
-Marianne Williamson
I'm not free from my fear, yet. I'm still anxious and nervous and terrified. But, I know that God has a plan for my life. The fingerprints of God have been all over this entire process. Every single part of it has lined up perfectly and come together. It's like God is sending me a sign. Even though the voices of fear seem to be shouting, the voice of God whispers softly in my ear,
It's going to be okay. I'm going to work everything out. While it might seem overwhelming right now, trust me. I've got this. I'm right here with you, holding your hand.
Nervous about professors? I parted the Red Sea and rescued a nation from captivity. I've got this. 
Nervous about financial aid? I created the Earth you walk upon. Trust me. 
Nervous about internships? Ever heard of a guy named Daniel? I rescued him from the lions den. I think I can handle whatever situation you are sent into. 
Nervous about where you're going to live? I raised my Son from the DEAD.
 So, for this moment, I'm choosing faith- even though I'm blinded by fear and can't see. I'm not letting fear stop me from my dreams. I'm not letting fear take over. I'm trusting. I'm waiting anxiously to see the face of God. I'm choosing to let situations come as they may. Are my worries valid? Yeah, sure. Could things go horribly wrong? Yeah, sure. But, for today, I'm choosing the path of peace. I'm choosing faith. I'm choosing life...a life lived abundantly.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

my heart is a cathedral.

I love JJ Heller. I'm totally obsessed with her new CD (new meaning it came out in March, but it's still new to me!). I mean, I'm like a middle school girl over it. It's ridiculous. If you haven't downloaded it yet, I'm going to recommend it. It's kind of my favorite. :)
It was really hard to pick just one song to grab some lyrics from. I like them all! But, I really like these lines from "Create in Me". The imagery of a dark cathedral is how my heart feels sometimes. I feel like I'm taking two steps forward and one step back. The joy- the song- just isn't always there. But, I know that God is building something beautiful out of the brokenness. I know that he's changing my routine and he's bringing light into the darkness. He's bringing the song back to my cathedral. :)

I also finally got around to downloading an app so that I can make my own handwriting fonts (I'm pretty excited about this, can you tell?). I used it to make the graphic above, and it kind of reminds me of "teacher" handwriting. I guess it's because I wrote slowly and worked carefully on each letter? Maybe I should slow down a little more often! :) If you like it, click below to get the download link! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"That's SO 70s" Refashion

Back in November, I found some dresses at the thrift store that I wanted to refashion. I kept putting it off and putting it off, but I finally got around to refashioning my "homeschool mom" dress here. For that dress, all I really had to do was trim the bottom and hem it. But, on that same thrifting journey, I found another dress. It was a dress that would need quite a bit of work. It was a refashion more at the level of  New Dress a Day
It kind of reminds me of dresses that I've seen my Mom wear in old pictures from her high school and college days. The amount of ruffles on this dress was crazy. I felt like I was stuck in a bad movie. Over the past month, I've worked bit by bit on this dress. I could only handle a little at a time. First, I removed the big ruffle collar from around the neck using a seam ripper. Then I cut some of the length off to make it a little shorter. About this time, I got frustrated and threw it across the room. It still wasn't looking right. I really was thinking that there was no hope for this dress. It was a little tight fitting, so not much room or material to work with. I didn't even take pictures, because I thought that there was no way for this to work out.

I thought that the flutter sleeves might look cute, but the dress was still too reminiscent of something I would have worn when I was five. 
Insert cute picture from when I was five-ish.
We moved up a few decades, but not enough. Cutting the flutter sleeves off really didn't help the thing, so once again it was thrown across the room and put up for a few days. Once again, no pictures of these steps because I was frustrated.

Then, I got the bright idea to cut the straps off (that's all that was left of the sleeves at this point). Which was a great idea, except for the fact that there was no way I could wear this dress strapless (it was cut the wrong way, and not made for that). I didn't want to mess with the zipper, so I got the idea to use the ribbon that had been used as a belt to make it into a "pillowcase-type" dress. I adjusted the zipper to make it start further down, folded the material over, and made a tunnel for the ribbon to go through. Finally, it started to look like something I could work with.
Pardon the iPhoneography. Not the best lighting.
I haven't hemmed the bottom yet, but I think it's good. It's a little dressier than I normally wear, but it could be cute for the right occasion. I mean, it has a BOW! Plus, it just makes me smile when I think about how it started out looking so silly!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the journey

I started this little blog during my freshman year of college. I'd dabbled in blogging for a few years (please tell me that I'm not the only one that was obsessed with Xanga in high school- I think my entire life story is out there-), so it wasn't a completely foreign thing to me. This blog is a little bit more sane than my Xanga. If you ever need a laugh at my expense, click on over. I was ridiculous. 
Awesome senior picture that perfectly describes my high school awkwardness.
Scratch that- I'm still pretty awkward.
(Yes, that is a calculator. TI-89 was my best friend. He was almost my prom date.)
Four years ago, I was ending my freshman year of college at Auburn. Four years ago today, I blogged about a little fish named Gus-gus Herman (he was a great fish, but he's dead now).
Spring Break Freshman Year. My baby brothers were so little! :)
Three years ago, I was an education major at AUM. Three years ago today, I wrote this post about Operation Beautiful. Even though I didn't exactly believe everything I was writing (and I still struggle with it), it's a post that I look back on sometimes when I need a little reminder.
Way too excited about observation hours, but I miss those days.
Two years ago, I was in my first semester at Huntingdon. I was in the midst of writing my final paper for my first religion class (that convinced me I needed to change my major), so I wrote about how God is always faithful as shown in the story of Noah.
My best friend. She's super amazing and I'm so glad to have her in my life! 
One year ago, I did a catch up post for my Sunday Sparkle project. :) I was completely overwhelmed by the school year at that point. Philosophy and Ethics were killer. I think that I was going crazy. But I made it. I survived- AND I pulled out an A for both!
Totally true. Stickers are my favorite
Not a picture of me. But it makes me giggle every time I see it. :)
Well, yesterday. But whatever.
Thank goodness I'm not the same silly, ridiculous person I was in high school (okay, so maybe I'm still a little crazy- but not THAT crazy!). I'm not even the same person I was four years ago when I started this blog. I don't even want to be that girl. I've learned so much. I've grown up. I've matured in my faith. Oh- and I finished college (even though it still doesn't really seem like it). I finished- and I finished strong. I finished well. I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of the progress that I've made. That picture up there represents so much. That award? It's for the highest grade point average in the department for the previous semester. Even with all of the messy stuff I was sorting through, I got a 4.0 last fall. I graduated with a 3.7 even though I battled my way through the last semester. There were moments that I thought I wouldn't make it. There were moments I wanted to give up, give in, and quit. There were days that I contemplated taking a medical leave of absence- my mind wasn't in the right place. I was struggling to keep my head afloat. I was struggling with assignments, struggling to make it to class, struggling to stay awake, struggling to pretend like everything was okay.

But today, I realized that even though the last few years have been a roller coaster- I DID IT. I went to three different colleges. I had five different majors. I've gone through so much emotionally. I still don't really know what I want to do with my life. But in the end, with God's help- I did it. I survived. I passed my classes (that I was sure that I was going to fail). I made a 4.0 for the semester. I finished my degree requirements. Yesterday, I received an award that means so much more to me than a piece of paper. It's a symbol that I didn't give up. It's a symbol that even when hard things happen, I can still do it. I can still live life. I can still push through and just do it.

I'm not who I was five years ago- I am so much more. Thank you for sticking around for the journey. I can't wait to see what story I'll be able to tell four or five years from now. There's still so much more in store. Am I nervous? Yep. Do I know what I'm doing with my life yet? Nope! But I know that life is an exciting adventure. I know that God already knows what's going to happen. He holds my life in the palm of his hand. He calls me his precious, beloved daughter. So, I'm trusting in that. I'm trusting that he'll lead me down the path I should go. I'm clinging to his Word. I have faith and believe that great things are in store. Great things.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Address!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm super excited to announce that my blog is once again on it's own little custom domain. I think it makes things way simpler, and this way my full name isn't in the web address (that was just starting to creep me out a bit)! If you follow me through a reader, your services shouldn't be disrupted (because I did all of the domain purchasing through Blogger and it's still the same feed). But, you can update to my new address AND follow my blog on Bloglovin if you don't already! Yay!

Friday, April 5, 2013

favorite fonts: third edition

As you know. I like fonts.
So, let's add a few more to the list.
Just a few that I've gathered over the last few days thanks to Pinterest and that you might see featured in some upcoming design work!

I think my favorite is Janda Stylish Script. What's yours?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marching Forward

It's been awhile. A long while. I didn't plan on taking this long of a break from blogging, but it happened. Honestly, it was kind of nice. I've been stuck in a blogging rut this year, but that is probably a good thing. It's given me the chance to look within and examine myself and why I blog. It's given me a new outlook on where I want to take this blog. This year has brought some major changes to this little space on the internet, even if I haven't blogged all that much. But, now it's April and my head is beginning to rise above the tumultuous waters of the deep. Is everything in my life perfect? Far from it. I feel like nothing and everything has changed in the last month since I've posted. Sometimes I feel like I'm running on a treadmill and while I'm making progress- I'm running the race- the scenery around me isn't changing. But, then I look up and I find myself in an altogether different place than where I began. Life's funny like that sometimes.

But- I think I'm back. I'm getting back into the swing of things. I'm getting back into "real life". I'm starting to exit the fog of treatment and enter the great big world (It's kind of scary, to be honest). Life isn't back to normal, but I'm getting there. I'm starting to think about the future- grad school, job hunting, a general feeling of "What am I going to do with my life?" that I'm sure you are all familiar with. It's scary, but I'm so ready. I'm ready to be free from the bondage that's held me captive for so long. I'm ready to spread my wings and fly!

So, what have I been up to in the last month? Everything. Seriously. March was a month of craziness. It was insane.
Last day of treatment. :)
In other news, my hair is getting crazy long.
There's no way on earth that I could explain everything from March (nor do I really want to), but there was a highlight from the month. During the boys' Spring Break, we took a family trip to Texas to see my Dad's parents. On one of the days, we got to visit the "happiest place on Earth"...not that one- this one!

It was pretty exciting. :)

I also rode a roller coaster with Max. You should know that I'm terribly afraid of coasters (um hello- they go fast and up really high). So, even though this Shamu coaster was for little kids, I still was a little frightened and was horribly nauseous when I got off. Max was a good sport about it (other than laughing about how the two year old behind us was braver than I was), and even rode the carousel with me afterwords.

As you can see, it was a very exciting day at Sea World. We even left with some stuffed Shamus (Well, Des and I did. Mine's named Shamumu. Max got popcorn). Thanks Daddy. :)

And then, Sunday was Easter. 
We dressed fabulously (as usual) and didn't really match at all. But, life was okay because I wore a dress that I got for 50% off from the thrift store- so it was like $2.50 and that made my life complete for some weird, strange, and crazy reason. I'm just silly like that.
Instagram picture via my mom. :)
So yeah. That was March. Full of ups and downs, but we survived. Here's to April being a better blogging month.