Monday, February 28, 2011


Just a few things I have come across that I cannot help but love...

1. The sweetness of summer is captured in the sunlit honey on the saucer. I am finally ready for that wonderful season to begin.

2. I am halfway obsessed with finding these adorable little faces to look at. Photos are as close as I will ever get to having a pup of my own. 

3. I would love to spend time in my life living on a street just like this. Character is found in every brick.

4. Mason jar lanterns could not be any more perfect. 

5. I will own a bike just like this one day and ride it to my favorite bench in the middle of a park to enjoy the warm sun on my face and strawberry lemonade whenever I see fit.

Currently Listening: "Heaven When We're Home" by The Wailin' Jennys


  Everything about this photo makes me smile. This hair color is simply divine and uniquely rich; if only I had the stomach to try such an endeavor. A plum cardigan hides her shoulders. A statement, aqua ring dresses her curled finger and a colorful scarf disguises the absence of a necklace. I see a soft expression accompanied by a thoughtful stare. No doubt this picture was staged, but the effect that it takes on the observers is undeniable. Beautiful. A lot of people say that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." For much time I did not fully understand the weight of this statement. In short, you decide what is beautiful. Making the thought of strangers count as if they were a lifeline, many of us search for approval by standards of what other people consider acceptable or pretty. The statement above removes the power from anyone other than yourself.
  The saying that many people quickly pass over is "beauty is only skin-deep." Often times the truth of this gets pushed aside. This beauty is the one that is bought in a store, salon, or doctor's office. Time and money is spent on the alteration of the original treasure that was received with a first breath.
  Imagine a wedding day. A bride has spent months pouring her life into details and design. Her dreams have been taking shape just as imagined. One of the most important details of this day is the pure white dress that the bride will wear as she takes her confident steps toward her best friend and groom. As the clock ticks toward the final minutes, she goes to get her dress. Unzipping the bag, her breath catches in her chest as she beholds the awful sight. It is all wrong. Her dress was long; this dress was short. Her dress had detail of lace; this dress was covered in sequins. A most valued piece of the perfect day and it was ruined.
  The story is of a dress.  If material and thread means that much to a woman, how much more do us children mean to our creator. Just wishing that we could be something we are not is like destroying the wedding dress that is not our own. We were imagined, designed, and stitched; carefully each piece was placed to form the perfect result. Peace replaces worry when settling reaches the heart. In 1 Samuel we are told that "man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart." A beautiful heart defeats a pretty face.
  As much as I adore the sweet and pretty things in life, they will pass away. The scarf will become old news and the ring will be forgotten in a cluttered jewelry box. Hair color shall fade and wrinkles will crawl across the young face. Maybe the young lady is as gorgeous inside as this photo depicts her appearance; beauty that matters.

Picture found at A Beautiful Mess.

Currently Listening: "Sailboats" by Brooke Fraser

Monday, February 21, 2011


  Tonight I decided to accompany dinner with the movie, "Julie & Julia." I have found much delight being a party of one for the evening. My taco soup and tortilla chips don't quite seem to be up to par while watching such an array of French cooking but none-the-less, it tickled my taste buds. "Julie & Julia" tells the story of two women discovering their adoration for food and culinary art about five decades apart. Julia Child, after following her husband in an adventure to live in France, decides to go to a cooking school to further her knowledge and occupy her plentiful time. Her love for cooking leads her to co-author a French cookbook for all of the "American servant-less cooks."  Julie Powell becomes distraught with her melancholy life of a cubicle and decides to cook her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child. She documents this endeavor by writing a daily blog for a year. Julie finds herself traveling through hills and valleys of emotion, but in the end enjoying her boldness to tackle such an assignment.
  Movies based on true stories have just something about them. Although the account is not first-hand and actors have been hired to re-create the story, it succeeds to savor every detail. The film is set in a dichotomy of locations comparing the adorable French town to the city of Brooklyn, New York where sleep is a foreign treasure. One thing to admire about the French is their respect for the time devoted to meals. My "tv-dinner" this evening would be a disgrace to the French culture; dinner is not to be an event observed out of obligation but time set aside to be with family and friends.
  Hopefully one day I will be blessed with an opportunity to travel to Europe and live amidst the French. No longer just hear of the bakery on the corner that gives special attention to the pastries and fresh bread baked daily, but buy some of my own. A different culture. A life outside of normalcy, at least as America knows it. I would like to do many things. Cooking an entire meal that is tasteful and enjoyable is written on my list of things to accomplish before I turn nineteen. I shall begin my search for the meal that will cross the item off of my list. For anyone that has yet to enjoy their dinner this evening, Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


  It is good to have goals. Whatever size, big or small, the urge to be, do, finish or even begin is important. People need to have dreams for them to come true. Around the start of the new year I began thinking about New Year's resolutions. Everyone has heard of this phenomenon that in the coming year they will change this, this, that, oh and that too. Most of the time just a short while into the year those, once important goals, become just another fleeting thought. I will be honest, many resolutions have come and gone in my own life. The only plan of mine that has been a success is refraining from drinking carbonated beverages (going on two years.) Our world has taught us that it is okay to give up. Better yet, the mind set of "why even try" has infected the minds of people young and old. Don't succumb to the lessening expectations of the world around us. Scrawled in chalk on my friends wall is the saying, "life is an occasion, rise to it." At first, reading those few words caused me to ponder; am I making the most of the life I live? For some more than others it is hard to find the much-talked-about silver lining on the passing clouds. My hopes are held high that grass turns greener for you.
  My heart is to encourage. I find things I love to do and make sure I make time for them in my day. If you knew how many to-do lists I acquire each day you would think I am ridiculous, but it helps me. Life should be enjoyed. Stepping foot out on my back porch today pulled the corners of my small grin into a wide smile. Birds of every feather sang their sweet songs as the wind caused the bare trees to dance in anticipation of their fresh foliage. New beginnings is what Spring dangles before us. 
  One of my many lists was inspired by a blog that I tend to read. I recently turned eighteen in January and thought that this list would encourage me to accomplish goals in the coming year. "18 things to do before I turn 19." A novel idea. Tasks ranging from small to large are numbered on the page. A few items I've already brought to fruition! It's not impossible. Each morning we wake up to a gift. 

Currently Listening: "The Moon" by The Swell Season

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


  Last Thursday, an unusually warm day for February, I drove down to Lenox Mall with a soundtrack of Kings of Leon's "Only By the Night."  With my windows rolled down, my love for Autumn diminished for just a few minutes. The venture into the downtown area never ceases to amaze me. Even if one passes the same buildings on a routine trip, nothing looks the same. Each day takes on a new story and adventure in the city. The right turn off of Interstate eighty-five makes a part of my heart leap. The unique buildings and overgrown greenery line the street as you draw nearer to Lenox square. This was my first trip to the area on my own. Normally company would be welcomed, but that day lonesome was my friend. The mess of my mind could have been a contributing symptom.
  Traveling to a part of town where the likelihood of seeing someone I know is low gives me a feeling of peace; almost as if for a couple of hours I left the country. Faces pass. Feet shuffle. Bodies move with only two motives; one being on a mission and the other to spend a leisurely day window shopping. The purpose of the trip was to purchase a gift for my friend that turned the big one-eight on Sunday. As long as I was down there, I decided to enjoy the trip.
  A few items were bought; seldom do I not find a steal. I meandered around, observing the groups of people and interactions. Competing scents from every store swarmed me as I passed each store front. People spoke in a normal tone but the amount of voices created a cacophonous hum silencing the faint music whispering from overhead speakers. A backwards feeling of comfort joined the estranged shopper. Freedom of thought. Thoughts that normally turn into a conversation with the Lord.
  I found myself secluded with my hopes, dreams, fears, and prayers while surrounded by people. It was a good day. Life moves fast. Many times we get caught up in progressing to the next best thing that we forget how much we have in the here-and-now. Lesson learned: God is in no rush. It is not something that is easy to believe or understand in our microwave society. Contentment is not found in the price tags of a mall. Thankfully, contentment comes from someone that is unchanging and faithful.

Currently Listening: "The Park" by Feist

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

poison & wine.

  Last evening I was blessed with the opportunity to travel into the land of bulldogs to witness one of many performances of The Civil Wars' rise to fame. Packed into a small bar/restaurant, anticipation built as the clock ticked closer to half past eight. A sweet, quirky artist, Lucy Schwartz, opened the show combining arts of clapping, do-da's and some impressive harmonica skills; within minutes hearts were captured.
  This was not the first time I had seen The Civil Wars. Back in October, The Melting Point hosted them with a following of forty at best, many of whom were only there for a nice dinner that happened to be accompanied by some impressive background music. This was not the case last night. The audience was well informed in what they were about to experience. Whether the grape-vine had led them to this spot or God's fortunate hand of fate, a sight was to be had.
  Soon after things were cleaned up, John Paul White emerged from a wooden door to the left. His plaid bow-tie laid casually on each side of his collar as he tuned his strings to perfection. Joy Williams made her entrance in her black dress and matching heels holding a cup of hot tea in one hand and a glass of rich, red wine in the other. With the first note of "Tip of My Tongue," the room fell silent and the audience swooned.
  It could have been the way J.P. broke a string a few minutes in and restrung it without a second thought. It could have been Joy's endearing smile as she swayed to the melodies that finally weren't only in her dreams. It could have been the talent that resonated from the stage with every passing second.
But though all of these things were nice and made the evening that much better, the moment that I remember the most is Joy Williams clasping her hands at her heart and looking upward after finishing the one song they carried from their EP to their album, "Poison & Wine."
  This intimacy is priceless. Many bands let stardom diminish the memories from where they came. The Civil Wars create an atmosphere where everyone is a vital part. Autographs will be signed and t-shirts will be bought. Pictures will be taken and more shows will be sold out. I hope all of these things further this sweet duo's career, but more than anything I pray that none of what was felt last night is lost.

Currently Listening: "To Whom it May Concern" by The Civil Wars

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


  Today was foggy, rainy, muggy and just a day that most people would like to forget. A day when no matter how hard you try to do things on time, well, efficiently, things repeatedly turn out wrong. Misery can draw the best and worst out of people. I make no case that I was a perfect example for the "best." Bad days just can't be okay. We don't realize how much our our lives truly affect others. Negativity not only takes a toll on health and demeanor but the opportunity to share life and love with every passer-by. Wouldn't it be great to be a face that people can count on? It's not a strength that we can muster on our own, but is an assured one we can find in Him.

  This little sketch to the left is mine. I seldom share anything I draw with others. It is nothing amazing or award-winning, but rather simple and raw.There is somewhat of a safety in keeping your works to yourself. No one can judge something if they never see it. That idea is, as the British would say, rubbish. Even if the rest of the world hates what you do and think it is the worst creation, idea, or plan, the fact that you had the courage to share is enough. I want courage. It makes us speak when the audience is disappearing. It stirs us to sketch when the traces of graphite only look like lines on a page. The Avett Brothers speak of courage in the form of pride in their song"The Perfect Space". "I wanna have pride like my mother has. And not like the kind in the bible that turns you bad." Many people only associate pride with petty, pompous personalities; this character will bring one's demise. A small dose is what you need. Confidence; an assurance from deep within that makes the decision, no matter what anyone else thinks. 

Currently Listening: "Denton, TX" by Damien Jurado