30 September 2016

My Thoughts On 50 Movies This Summer

As you might already know, over the summer months I decided to up my "film major" game, and actually watch some of those movies I kept purposing to watch but never did.  "Some" being fifty.  Which was a ridiculous but also awesome idea.

So, today, the last day of September, I'd like to finally give you guys the recap of those fifty films and what I (personally) thought of them.

(in order of release)
  1. Inception (2010) - Lives up to the hype. 5/5
  2. I Was a Male War Bride (1949) - Pretty bland; funny at parts. 2.5/5
  3. Hercules (1997) - I understand why I hadn't watched it until now. 3.5/5
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) - Man destroys family for aliens. 1.5/5
  5. The Emporer's New Groove (2000) - Amusing but not quite my sense of humor. 2.5/5
  6. The Tree of Life (2011) - Absolutely brilliant journey through life. 5/5
  7. Beyond the Mask (2015) - Pretty solid and really fun. 4/5
  8. Gone with the Wind (1939) - I loathe this well-made film with a burning passion. 1.5/5
  9. The Love Bug (1968) - One of the genuinely funniest movies ever; also Dean Jones. 4.5/5
  10. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Ehm, it was rough. 2/5
  11. Psycho (1960) - Not sure what made me think I should watch this. 1.5/5
  12. Now You See Me (2013) - Not great, not terrible. 3/5
  13. Rear Window (1954) - Murder seen through the window really is a murder okay then. 3/5
  14. Belle (2013) - Surprisingly great; a different kind of period drama. 4/5
  15. The Ten Commandments (1956) - Moses' hair just keeps getting better. 3.5/5
  16. Alice in Wonderland (2010) - Could've been way better. 2.5/5
  17. Hail, Caesar! (2016) - Seriously amusing commentary on classic Hollywood. 4/5
  18. Days of Heaven (1978) - Boring movie, bad subject. 1/5
  19. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - The first one is the only good one. 2.5/5 
  20. Citizen Kane (1941) - I can go along with the opinion that it's the greatest film ever made. 4.5/5
  21. Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - Absolutely beautiful story of the power of filmmaking. 4.5/5
  22. Zootopia (2016) - Could barely get past the political correctness. 2.5/5
  23. The Martian (2015) - Fantastically made, seriously fun. 4/5
  24. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) - Well made but kinda boring. 3.5/5
  25. Bella (2006) - Great subject, but not super interesting as a whole. 3.5/5
  26. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - Not bad, but not really my cup of tea. 3/5
  27. Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) - Just watch Prince of Egypt instead. 2/5
  28. Faith Like Potatoes (2006) - A surprisingly good movie about a Christian in Africa. 3.5/5
  29. An American in Paris (1951) - Gene Kelly isn't my fav. 3.5/5
  30. And Then There Were None (1945) - Not as good as the book, but still good. 4.5/5
  31. Spider-Man 2 (2004) - I didn't hate it... maybe even enjoyed it. 4/5
  32. The Maltese Falcon (1941) - Depressing, but not bad. 3.5/5
  33. August Rush (2007) - Except for the not-so-great backstory, wow so pretty. 4/5
  34. End of the Spear (2005) - Uhmmm my parents wanted to watch this. 3.5/5
  35. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) - Seriously so nice. 3.5/5
  36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) - Nothing short of magnificent. 5/5
  37. Mr. Holmes (2015) - Most boring well made film ever. 2.5/5
  38. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) - It's not bad, it's not great -- it's just fun. 3.5/5
  39. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) - Somehow it ended up being a good story. 4/5
  40. Love & Friendship (2016) - Slightly problematic period drama. 3/5
  41. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - Barely got through it. 2.5/5
  42. Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - Actually upheld the spirit of the book, I felt. 4.5/5
  43. The Swan (1956) - The ending ruined everything they were going for. 2.5/5
  44. Les Miserables (1998) - An important story. 3.5/5
  45. The Finest Hours (2016) - Chris Pine was reason enough for me to dislike it. 3/5
  46. In the Heart of the Sea (2015) - Wow, yes, a solid "I liked it." 4/5
  47. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - Brilliance (that probably informed Winter Soldier). 5/5
  48. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) - That dear Mr. Smith though. 4.5/5
  49. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) - Hm, not bad, not great, and too long. 3.5/5
  50. Stagecoach (1939) - Surprisingly good for a western that I thought I wouldn't like? 3.5/5
And there you have it.  That's kind of alot, right?  Not sure if I'm going to do this 50 films thing again next summer... ;)

Before I get back to working on feeling better from my annual Fall cold, here's a few of my favorite movies from the list that I can whole-heartedly recommend:
  • Inception
  • The Tree of Life
  • Beyond the Mask
  • The Love Bug
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • The Manchurian Candidate (a bit mature, but really good)
And there you have it, friends!  Which movies from my list have you seen??  And would you agree with my assessments of them? :)

11 September 2016

A "Strange" New Cosplay: The (Refashioned) Tunic

So, my second year of college is going fantastically.  But instead of doing the whole "weekly update" thing that I did last year, I think I'm going to give myself a bit more freedom this time 'round and just blog about what's been goin' on in my life as I feel like it blogging about it.  And so, the first of these posts from sophomore year is this one right here, featuring my next cosplay...

With just 53 days (I'm definitely not counting) until the latest Marvel Studios film (Doctor Strange) is released, my costume for opening night is starting to take shape.  And the shape looks pretty decent so far, too, which is always a good thing.?? ;)

I've been working on it on and off the past few weekends and weeknights when I don't have homework (or when I want to avoid homework... shhhh), and I've also been doing a ton -- and I mean a TON -- of online research for it as well.  You don't really think about all those random little things like his pendant (the Eye of Agamotto), the belts, the trims on the armwraps, etc etc, until you sit down and try to figure out where/how you're going to buy/make all of it.

But!  Both the sewing and the research proess have been going fabulously, and I'm already way ahead of schedule to finish this costume by November 4th. ;)

Okay I seriously need to cut the chit-chat and get to the pics.

To start off, I altered (transformed would be a better word probs) this jacket and pencil skirt set, donated to me by my grandmother, into the main tunic.  Seriously, Grammie, thank you so much for the contributions, they could not have been more perfect. :D

The alteration process was seriously so fun, and since the garments were already nice, high quality pieces with lining and everything, the tunic turned out to be way higher quality than I would have made it otherwise, which is kinda cool.  OH and did I mention freeeeee???  Budget cosplaying for the win.

First of all, I altered the jacket into an attractive size and removed those depressing sleeves and shoulder pads:


THAT COLLAR/NECKLINE THOUGH.  And the fabric.  UGH I don't think I will never get over the perfection of this thing.  Gorgeous and actually quite screen accurate.

Then, I neatly destroyed the pencil skirt to form the bottom half of the tunic...

No I'm not making bermuda shorts I PROMISE

Sewed them together, aaaaaaaaaaaaand...

VOILA.  Except it looks better in real life.  BUT I just have to add a button where that pin is, and fem Doctor Strange's tunic is complete!

*yay for cosplay progress*

More updates coming soooon.. :D

28 August 2016

The Night Before Sophomore Year

Pretty sure my second year of college starts tomorrow.

Say WHAT?!

But we'll skip the part where I go on and on about how fast time flies, how I can't believe I'm already a sophomore, how excited I am to be back at college, how I'm looking forward to seeing what God does in the next year--

Oops I guess I didn't skip that part.

Aaaanyway -- let's see if I can wrap up the happenings of the past few weeks a bit more succinctly... ;)

So, summer in Washington state ended up being really great, and I made lots of memories while my family and I were out there. There was also some serious sister-bonding time (I'm lookin' at you, Dani), which was so great. Lots of laughs, too -- but that's a given with me, right?

Sorry not sorry guys, I laugh too much. Get over it and laugh with me. It's good for you.

Tonight, the last day before my self-imposed deadline, I am about to complete my ridiculous 50-movie summer watchlist, with the 1939 classic Stagecoach (which looks great I'm psyched). Honestly, I still can't decide if the 50 movies was a good or a bad idea, but regardless, I've had seriously so much fun glutting myself on films over the past three months. ;)

No, but seriously -- I feel so much more knowledgeable about filmmaking and films in general, after finally having seen the ultimate classics like Citizen Kane and Gone With the Wind. It's been great, guys. Not sure if I'll do it again (maybe on a smaller scale), but it was great.

Oh, and if you're at all interested in seeing what films the list comprised of... here it is. I must give the disclaimer that not all of them were good, per say -- you can see my ratings on the list there. ;) Sometime in the coming weeks, I plan to do an extensive post concerning all the movies that I DO recommend off the list, which is gonna be way fun.

Let's see, what else has been going on.... oh! Just this week, I helped out with the New Student Seminar (and other events of freshman orientation) at my university, to fulfill the required 20 hours of Christian/community service hours for the semester -- and let me tell you, it was amazing.

We stuffed and handed out tons and tons of bags and brochures and T-shirts to the dear freshmen, helped them find their way around the campus buildings, and I think all 35 of us helpers went home with heatstroke -- BUT, I also think we'd all say that it was totally worth it, just to be able to be a part of welcoming the 4,000ish new students. I know I do, anyway!

So, to wrap up this post, and for my final bit of news from the summer...

Drumroll please.

so enthusiastic
A new cosplay is iiiiin the works!!!

can you guess what it's gonna be can you can you
More on that at a later date -- for now, I gotta go pick out my outfit for my second first day of college... ;)

30 July 2016

A Long-Gestating Sewing Project

Once upon a time, several years ago, in a department store far, far away... I spied a black shirt dress. I loved the style, the color, the fabric... everything except the fact that it was about 12 inches too short.  And, because I am not one to just put up with that, I snapped a picture, hung it back up on the rack, and made a mental note to make one someday just like it that fit me properly.

And a couple months ago, that project, which I hinted about all last semester, finally came to fruition!

(Photo credits go to my fantastic sister, Danielle)

I highly recommend the pattern that I used, Simplicity 8014! It was a moderately difficult build; not too confusing, just rather time consuming. I made it one size smaller than the envelope suggested, and it fit perfectly without any other modifications or alterations. I'm considering making a second dress from the pattern, perhaps with the mandarin collar and shorter sleeves, out of a more summer-y fabric? We'll see. :)

As for the fabric I used, the black "peach skin" polyester I got from Joann is probably the most comfortable and beautiful fabric I've ever worn.  It literally feels like peach skin, and flows like a nice quality silk.  Literally amazing... buuuut kinda a pain to work with, as with pretty much any silky-style fabric. :P

Oh, and with this project, I mastered buttonholes! Good thing, too, since I had to make something like twenty for this dress... ;D  My oldie sewing machine doesn't have the cool buttonhole setting like some of the newer models, but I figured out how to do them manually easily enough.  It was actually kind of fun, now that I think of it... ;)

So, that's the project I worked on all Spring semester long, finally completed! I hope you all are enjoying your summer (I am!) -- and happy almost August! ^_^

15 July 2016

Life Lately in the Summer Months

- Where I Am -

Currently breathing in the crisp air of the great North West.

- What I'm Wearing -

The shirt dress I made over the course of the last semester.
(Blog post on that coming soon!)

i'm no model but i try really hard

- What I'm Reading -
(from the Bible)

Daniel. God will have the glory due Him.

- What I'm Reading -
(from the library)

Re-reading Dragon Slippers, and about to embark in the next two
adventures in the series for the first time.

- What I'm Laughing At -

The Russian Hacker.

- What I'm Watching -

Classics of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s... such as, Citizen Kane, Psycho, and The Maltese Falcon.

- What I'm Listening To -

Heathenssssssssssss. And hymns, weirdly?

- What I'm Cooking -

- What I'm Doing -

Riding Icelandic ponies.

- What I'm Not Doing -

Pokemon GO.

- What I'm Writing -

He steps forward.

Now see here, sir -- Sirs! What is  
the meaning of this, here, see here 
...? I mean, if I may ... good sir? 
Sirs ... I mean ... you there ...   
here ...                            

Sylvie pats Hayes’ arm.

Well done, dear.                    
(to the large men)           
You heard ‘im! What exactly do you  
think you’re doing, blocking our    
way in this manner? Do you even     
know who I am?! I’m your princess!  
So you had better have a good       
reason for this outrage, or -- or --
Well, I’ll do something, and I can  
assure you it will not be pleasant. 

The large men’s faces betray their amusement at the odd pair.

Ah, we’re here to kidnap you,       

- What I'm Looking Forward To -

Getting back to my university in the fall. ^_^

- What I'm Learning -

Joy is a choice. Choose it every day.

27 June 2016

One More Step in the Journey

Every time I go through what I feel like is the lowest low I've ever experienced in my walk with God, I, somehow, a few weeks later, come out of it feeling stronger than I've ever been before. And today, it's time to tell you about the latest in the series.

Hope you enjoy the ride. ;) So, where did this latest low start...

The week after summer break started. I was alone, stuck inside my own head with all my faults, insecurities, and twisted thoughts. I kept things bottled up -- I tend to do that, though you wouldn't think it from the state of this blog. ;) See, until resolution comes, I deal with my own thoughts.

Me and God, that is. But this time, the latter wasn't a part of that equation.

In those weeks, I felt like I just kept learning more and more about God's holiness... and more and more of my own depravity. I sunk deep into a self-made prison, all the while screaming for God to help, to pull me up... but... He just, didn't. And I couldn't understand why.

My heart was so heavy, my mind so cluttered, my soul so dark. I felt isolated.

So there I was. At the lowest low, the tipping point, the bend in the river...

And then this weekend, something changed.

First, God spoke to me, taught me something that wasn't condemnation, and I finally felt a slight sense of peace. The turmoil my heart had became numb to lessened, and a piece of my broken spirit clicked into place somehow, somewhere deep within.

Another day, another click.

I slowly loosened my grip on the shriveled bits of self-confidence I had been clutching to so fervently, and let them go. I stepped out in faith in a few, small ways. I truly and fully gave my decimated self to God, and asked him to put me back together the way He wanted -- because, quite honestly, I was at the end of my rope.

Another day, another piece clicked into place.

Not all at once, but bit by bit, the pieces of my true identity in Christ were put in their proper places. Truth was poured into me from all different angles, until one last drop brought my cup to overflowing -- and there they came, coursing down my cheeks: salty drops of hope, joy, life.

With those tears, peace returned to a different me from five weeks ago.

A good different -- the kind of "different" that only comes through struggling and wrestling and crying and holding in there even when nothing "feels right." The kind of "different" that is not for the faint of heart. The kind of "different" that defines those chosen by God.

The kind of different that feels like sore muscles. A good, meaningful kind of hurt.

To (kind of) sum all this up...

These past five weeks have been really, really hard.

I've been a total and absolute mess. God made me come face to face with some hard truths and some dark places. He dragged me through it all -- and He dragged me out the other side stronger than ever. Growing pains? For real. But growing pains are good. And that's why, now,

I'm okay.

Thanks for asking.

How are you?


P.S. This video is just a little thing I created last week with some footage of that thunderstorm I mentioned earlier. Something of a creative outlet, as well as a creative exploration of God in relation to a thunderstorm.

02 June 2016

On The Topic of Invisibility

Talking about my invisible illness (crohn's, IBS, UC, or whatever exactly it is I have -- I was never given an official name) seems kinda taboo. Yes, it is embarrassing. It is a weakness. But it's also something I have to deal with every stinkin' day of my life. So, seeing "Crohn's Disease" trending on facebook today made my heart skip a beat, because seeing someone dealing with something much worse than me shout out to the world what she has to deal with... well, it made me want to shout out to the world what I have to deal with.

So, let me tell ya about me and my invisible illness, because its effect on my life has been pretty extreme. First of all, it has hindered me from so many opportunities I would have loved to experience (missions trip? not even an option). It has turned some fun times into disastrous experiences in mere seconds. It has made me struggle daily against living in fear of it. It has also made me the best person to ask where the nearest restroom is. ;)

But I thank God daily, because it's only by His grace that I didn't end up just like that girl who made Crohn's trending. He gave me my mother, who knows about nutrition and naturopathic methods, so that instead of having my entire gut removed, I have to follow a very limiting diet. It's tough, it's embarrassing, it's sometimes socially isolating. But I would choose not eating ice cream over having a bag attached to my stomach any day of the week.

With all of that said... I wouldn't trade my invisible illness experience for anything -- because it has brought me closer to God than anything else would have or could have. When just getting through a day of classes and work is trying, I have no option but to rely on God to help me through. And that's the beauty of an invisible illness, I think. When God's the only one around who knows what's going on, you learn to become very reliant on Him -- for strength, hope, and perseverance.

Friends, I pray this further knowledge won't make you view me any differently, but that it will just serve to deepen your understanding of my character and why I am who I am. Because, at my core, I'm just like you -- a sinner, saved by grace, fighting through a trial God has allowed, to become the person He wants me to be.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and God bless. ^_^

16 May 2016

College Semester 2: ...And Accounted For

Current feels:

These past two weeks have been pretty much the fullest two weeks of my college experience so far.  And I loved every moment.

May 2nd & 3rd: Last classes, Monday and Tuesday.

May 4th: Wednesday off; HAPPY STAR WARS DAY hehe.

May 5th &6th: Finals Thursday and Friday -- as well as CIVIL WAR.


With screenwriting peeps. :D
First of all, Winter Soldier still has 1st place in my heart out of the Captain America trilogy. ;)



May 7th: Saturday, I participated in the first annual LU Four Hour Film Festival!!

I was assigned the manager position, which I thoroughly enjoyed, basically being a producer type of person.  But it was really a collaborative effort between all of us -- fun, crazy, nerve-wreaking, and nooooow I just want to do it again because there's so many things I would do differently and so much I learned about making a film in four hours. ;)

Overall, it was wonderful for just getting experience shooting a film off the cuff, with a group of people you've never met before, in a very tight time frame, with absolutely no prep, no budget, no actors, and no equipment except the cameras on our phones.  Plus, I had fun, and it made me even more excited to get into the film program where I'll be able to make movies all the time.


Sooooo... a few photos from the day courtesy of the festival's Facebook page:

Our team, "Rogue Two," being given our genre to work with.
Hard at work editing before the 5:30pm deadline!
And if you'd care to see the amusing end result, entitled "Gum-Shoe"... it's odd, be forewarned.  We had to include a shoe as a prop, the line "Trust the process" at some point in the dialogue, and our assigned genre was "mystery," soooo... yeah.  This is what came about. ;D

Oh, and keep an eye out for my little cameo (heh heh)...

May 8th: Sunday was church, chilling, and studying.

May 9th: More finals Monday, and the last 2nd Monday Cinema of the semester.

2nd Monday Cinema is a movie night the film program puts on every month, and this month, they showed all the short films shot at the Four Hour Film Festival, gave out awards to the various winners, showed BTS from the day -- and, of course, had everyone dress up for the occasion. ;)

Accepting our award of "Best Use of Dialogue," at the 2nd Monday Cinema awards night!
May 10th: LAST FINAL, for Screenwriting class, that Tuesday!!!  My script was finally read out loud (the very last of the whole class), and I turned in the final draft of my script, The Final Truth.

(Speaking of which... if any of you are interested in reading it, shoot me an email @ adventuresofanelvenprincess@gmail.com and I'll let you do just that!! It's only 13 pages, so no time commitment. And, feedback, people. I'd love to get some. :D)

May 11th: Wednesday we went to a matinee showing of Beauty and the Beast, which I've been helping to create the costumes for, for the past two months!  So that was kind of awesome... and the show really was wonderfully done.

May 12th: Thursday was my last day of work at the costume shop until the Fall -- 'twas a bittersweet day. :)

May 13th, 14th, 15th, & 16th: Finally time to chill out and do all the things I said I'd do once the semester came to an end, because...

Summer is finally HERE.

01 May 2016

Fifteen; Counting down to Summer and Civil War

I thought this last full week of classes of my freshman year would go by sooooooo slooooooow... but it really didn't.

A few things that happened this week...
  • Friday was opening night for the production of Beauty and the Beast that we've been working on in the costume shop for the past few months!!  It's wonderful to have all those costumes finished.  And I'm so excited to go see the play myself Tuesday after next!  I've heard it's absolutely magical.
  • In a literal throw back -- or rather, throw down -- to my childhood, I skinned both my knees and elbows quite nicely as I dashed to meet my sister, who was waiting in her car to pick me up from work.  Don't ask me how it happened. One minute I was on my feet and the next I was on my face.  Oh well.  Battle scars to add some realism to my Cap cosplay for next week..? ;)
  • Also on Friday, I completed my apparel project in sewing class!!  I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it's a winter coat -- and it turned out quite nicely, I'd say!  It's seriously such a lovely design.  I'll be sure to share some pictures once I get it back from being graded. :)

Now, a few things that will happen in the next two weeks...
  • In only nine days, my first year of college will be over.  In just nine days!!  Half of me is thrilled, and the other half is kinda depressed...  But, honestly, I do think I'm ready for freshman year to be over, and to move on to sophomore year.  Sophomore year is gonna be fun. :D
  • But, also in nine days, summer will finally be here!!!  So. much. excite.  I'm still waiting on God for direction of what exactly I should spend my three free months doing, but in the meantime, just the thought of being able to sleep in and not having to do homework... EEP.

Finally, to address the event we've all been waiting for...


Ahem. Only four days until we get to see Captain America: Civil War.  FOUR STINKIN' DAYS.  Need I remind you that I've been waiting for this movie since forevaaaaaaaaaah... basically since Winter Soldier, but mostly since Age of Ultron...

And now it's almost HERE.

Ah.  I'm so scared, guys.  Seriously.  I just know I'm gonna be traumatized.  At least it'll be fun to get all decked out in my ol' fem Cap costume again...and cry my eyeballs out, but ya know, it's all good.  UGH it's going to be so good.  SO GOOD.  All the review so far are stellar.  And, hello, according to Rotten Tomatoes it's 94% fresh, versus Winter Soldier's 89%.  And we all know how good Winter Soldier is.

Speaking of which, I'm gonna watch that piece of cinematic brilliance tonight in preparation for Civil War, following The First Avenger two weeks ago, so I better head off and continue plugging away at homework for COMS (speech) class.

Au revoir, mes amis.  If you don't hear from me next week, I think you know what my cause of death will be.

24 April 2016

The Joy and Movie Night of the Fourteenth Week

Friends, I could just cry.

My cup of joy has continued to overflow this week, just as it did last week.  And, again, I have no reason except God.  I mean, for goodness sake, it's the end of the semester!  Final projects and assignments are all coming up next week, finals are the week after and fast approaching -- AND there is absolutely no way I can get it all done, and do well, and not die.  That is, without God.

I think this is a good place to be.

Being physically and mentally unable to do everything that needs to get done, means that you're going to be running on Supernatural Power during that time, if you surrender.  In those moments, you can know that God is working with you, and in you, and through you, because, otherwise, you would fail miserably -- just crash and burn.  And it wouldn't be pretty.

But when God steps in... it all works out, better than you could ever do on your own.

So, that's what I'm holding to right now.  That, and the residual happiness from the movie night I hosted for the wonderful people in my Screenwriting class yesterday.  God laid the idea on my heart, and He brought it to fruition and to success.  He also brought the guests: 10 of my classmates, out of the 30, came -- and even our awesome professor showed up!!

We really had such a great group.

As for what we watched: 2001: A Space Odyssey -- and I haven't the slightest idea of where to start with that.  It was, in all: bizarre, suspenseful, incredible, mesmerizing, confusing, beautiful, and boring as all get out.  And I'm so glad I didn't know that before I picked it for the night -- or else I wouldn't have, and would've missed out on a fabulous experience full of hilarity and craziness. ;)

So, in conclusion to this post, I honestly don't know if it's possible that anyone got more joy out of the little movie night than I did... it was a perfect end to a wonderful (and hectic) week. :)

18 April 2016

3-Teen: Joy and Snapshots

I'm swamped for time, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

Thank you for your words of encouragement on last week's post -- in the words of Paul, "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers."

Since last week, my joy has increased exponentially, and I have no explanation except God.  I've been learning so much about joy as a fruit of the Spirit, and it's been absolutely incredible to be able to bear that fruit in my life so tangibly.  I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.

The weird thing about that is -- everything is pretty much the same, just the usual classes, work, and homework, plus a few get-togethers and lunches and skype calls with various lovely people at school and across the world (lookin' at you, Evie dear, and your human and ibis and duck friends).

I need to wrap this up and finish homework for my personal finance class, but first, an awesome truth about me right now: I'm more spiritually mature than I've ever been before in my entire life.  Never have I felt so close to God, so in-tune to His desires and plans... ah.  My heart is so full.

Well, here's to growing more -- because friend, I am so painfully far from perfect.  But by God's grace, He's working on me and in me, little by little.

this is how I feel on the inside too
avengers band-aids make everything better

parts of the whole

reading scripts and enjoying silence

project WIP for sewing class

part of one of five mobcaps I made at work
alone and yet not lonely

12 April 2016

12: Making Friends and Influencing People?

I've realized something.

Lately, it hasn't been the sewing, the screenwriting, the costume-creating, that has been dominating my thoughts.  Of course, I've thought about those things a whole lot -- but what's been persistently on my mind is God, and people.  Which is actually awesome, now that I really think about it.

But, it's been tough, see.  It's because I've been lonely.

How could someone be lonely while seeing so many people every day, you ask?  Because of fear, disconnect, rejection... Some days are so much better than others, when I feel connected and alive and happy -- but other days are really, really isolating.  Yeah, well, like today.

Today, I felt isolated.

Isolation hurts my soul, because, yes, I am extroverted.  I'm also guarded, shy, fearful.  So many things swirl inside my head, things that no one ever hears because I "know" they don't care to hear them.  I'm scared of what people will think of me and of how people will respond to me.

I can talk so big, but when the rubber meets the road, I'm a coward.

Nowadays, rarely do I say what I want to say.  Funny things, opinionated things, encouraging things -- just the usual candid conversation.  I feel like I'm just bad at that, though.  I feel like so many things I say are so seriously stupid -- so why would I ever try to say more??

That's my problem.

I care too much about what people think of me, and it's hindering my ability to make friends and influence people.  I know for a fact that I'm cutting myself off more so than others are cutting me off.  And I don't want to, because, truly, I love people so much.

I mean, what's more important than God and humans?

My heart is heavy from college life, and I could use a lift.  My dear family and you dear internet friends are really the only genuine human encouragement I feel these days.  You guys say, even without words, "You're really awesome, you encourage me, I hope I encourage you, and I'm so glad you're in my life."

Thank you so, so much for that.

But at school, I suppose I just gotta keep trusting God, that He'll lead me through the loneliness -- whether that's out, or even further in.  Thank God I don't have to overcome this alone, and that, even if I never do become truly "un-isolated" in college, I've got Him to pull me through.

A theme song for Week 13:

04 April 2016

My Own Character Development / The Eleventh

Beatsheet format today to show the pretty cool story of last week (God is the greatest author ever, dontcha know??).
Hello dear friends.

Opening Image: Last week, and particularly last weekend, was wonderful.  Okay, I lied.  Last week was not completely wonderful.

The Setup/Break Into Two: The first part of the week was kinda boring and I low-key wanted to quit my job (yes the one I haven't even had for two months yet), because I was sick of not having time to do all the fun things I wanted to do.

Fun and Games: But Tuesday was still a fun day, as I got to have lunch with some friends from screenwriting, and chat with them and some others before class.

Midpoint: Then, halfway through the school week I came down with a cold -- AGAIN.  And just as I was starting to get back to being joyful.  I had a terrible attitude about it, and was mad at God for making me deal with that again so soon (you know how it goes).

Dark Night of the Soul: So Thursday I did some sulking -- mostly over the cold deal, but also subconsciously over lack of positive social interaction aaand the existence of some negative interactions that day at school.

Break Into Three: Like I said though, my week really was wonderful -- the "wonderful" part just didn't start until Thursday evening, by God fixing my attitude concerning my current daily life (due in part to a conversation with my oldest sister Alissa).  But I still wanted to quit my job, and I was still without a whole lotta joy, aaaand I was still sick.

Finale: The next day, Friday, promised a wonderful treat: earlier in the week, Paris, one of you amazing people who follow the writings of my convoluted life, reached out, saying she was coming to CFAW here at LU, and asking if we could connect over the weekend!!  Well, of course, I immediately agreed, and we made plans for her to come to my classes and eat lunch with me on Friday.  We also ended up going to the Rend Collective concert together that evening (which was absolutely faaaantaaaastic and I seriously love them so much), as well as the fashion show Saturday evening (which was absolutely amazing and I can't wait to be a part of it next year)!!

Finale (cont): Anyway, Friday and Saturday came and went, and I had the most fantastic time with Paris.  It might seem like it was me who was all unselfish and sweet -- but honestly, I think I might have had more fun being all hospitable and hanging out with her than she did hanging with me (;D).  So, dear, it was such a joy to meet and hang out and fangirl with you, and again, thank you so so much for reaching out.  I'm excited to stay in touch and see where God leads you!!

Final Image: And the finale of the week, in my daily perusal of my Bloglovin' feed, I saw this article: "Six Ways God's at Work in You - At Work", from the fantastic and always inspiring/convicting Desiring God blog.

Finale Image (cont): K God.  Thank u.  I think I get it now.  I think I know now I'm where I'm supposed to be, here in this job, and I know I want to serve you better in it.  Thanks for the joy, I needed it.  Thanks for the confidence boost -- I needed that too.  And thanks especially for taking the trouble to work on my character development -- you know I need it.

Yes.  I'm ready for the 12th Week now.

~          ~          ~

P.S. EVIE!!!  That's a shout out to Evie.  Long overdue.  Y'see, we got to skype each other two weeks ago, and it was so so so fun, and she gave a shout out on HER BLOG, but I didn't on MY BLOG.  Which was upsetting.  So, dear Evie, thanks for that skype call.  It literally made my day.  Gotta do it again soon, k?? ;)

29 March 2016

Ten. Easter. Etc.


If I told you that I forgot about blogging until 20 minutes before midnight on Monday because I put it off on Sunday, would you believe me?  Well, you should, because I did.  Oops.

Anyway, this week was fairly routine, except for the celebration of just THE GREATEST ACT IN ALL OF HISTORY.  Last Friday, Good Friday, is the best Friday out of every Friday of the year, because on that day, many, many years ago, Christ died so that we might live.

But, you know, the story did not end there.  Three days later, Christ rose from the stinkin' DEAD and the greatest act history has ever known was completed.  There has never been such a beautiful display of love, nor will there ever be.  That's why Easter is awesome.  And don't you forget it. :)

Between the Easter celebrations, I did lotsa homework -- the most fun of which, was finally getting to start work on my short film script for screenwriting class!!  Oh my word was it fun, to finally see the idea that I've been developing for sooo long FINALLY become words on a page, actually looking like a real script (because it IS a real script)... yes, such a marvelous feeling. ^_^

After this class, and realizing how much I truly do love script writing, and not failing too terribly at it, I don't think I'd mind becoming a screenwriter.  Stories are so powerful, guys, and to be the person who gets to create that story in the first place?  That's an awesome thing.  But, you know, costumes are also a thing so I probably won't ever become a screenwriter.  But, you never know! ;)

Speaking of stories, as we all know, Batman v. Superman came out this weekend... and naw, I didn't go see it, simply because I knew I wouldn't enjoy it -- or at least not enough to warrant the $9.  I might see it when it's at Redbox, but with Civil War coming up, I know there's just no reason for me to bother with sub-par superheroes-becoming-enemies stories.  So, yeah.  I just thought I should address that before moving on, since it's a wee bit of a big deal in the fangirl world. ;)

And now speaking of Civil War, I will leave you with this masterfully edited video entitled, "The Road to Civil War," showing beautifully the history behind this movie.  The feels are strong with this one, so prepare yourself...

20 March 2016

the 9th Week Break, in Spring

First of all, happy first day of Spring and Palm Sunday.  This marks the end of an absolutely wonderful spring break.

w/ Emily behind the camera
At the beginning of the break, those three friends I mentioned last week came to visit, and what a wonderful time we had.  Catching up on all the crazy life happenings... touring Liberty... giggling uncontrollably over Bad Lip Reading songs (such as this classic)... watching both Star Trek movies (sorry, Karis, but Star Wars still has my heart)... going ice skating... coloring our hair pink and blue with hair chalk... handling real human lungs (thanks, Crystal, my sister and science nerd)... singing some very bad karaoke... well, you get the gist of it. ;)

Needless to say, their visit was such a fun way to start off the break.

The rest of the week wasn't nearly as eventful as those first three days, but it was still amazing and relaxing and fun.  The fam and I watched some good oldies (The Sound of Music truly is a masterpiece)... I did plenty of sewing on that shirt dress I'm making (it's almost done!)... I went shopping for fabric and clothes (both trips were quite successful)... I got to read for PLEASURE for the first time since Christmas break... and, of course, I did get some homework done. ;)

But, alas, school and work begin again tomorrow.  I'm okay with that though.

I'm ready to finish freshman year out strong.  I'm ready to finish working on the costumes for Beauty and the Beast and see the final result.  I'm ready to make the apparel project in sewing class (I'm making a winter coat which I'm SO excited about because I've been wanting to make on for ages).  I'm ready to give some more speeches.  I'm ready to continue learning about personal finance, worldview, and technology.  I'm ready to write the script for my short film.  I'm ready to work hard in school and my job, as something done unto the Lord, and not for men.

Mhmm, I'm so ready for this next half of the semester.

How was your spring break though?  Or have you had it yet?  Happy it's Spring? (I AM) :)

12 March 2016

Halfway Finished with College Semester 2.0

Guess who's on Spring Break????


And it's a good thing too, because this week was a doozy.  I had to present my first big speech in Communications class, an "argument of fact."  So I chose to argue the conspiracy theory that Obama is a terrorist/terrorist sympathizer.  It was fabulous...ly hilarious.

I also had two midterms (which both ended up being super easy), for Communications and Biblical Worldview 2.  Studying for those took some time, though.  Add to that work and homework, and I was maxed out for busyness.  So, it's wonderful that break is finally here and I'll be able to chillax a bit. ;)

At the costume shop, we're currently in the thick of building costumes for Beauty and the Beast!  Everything is very hush hush, but what I can say, is that the costume I've been helping with, for Madame de la Grande Bouche (in other words, the wardrobe) was just completed on Friday, and it looks pretty cool. ;)

But what I'm really excited about for Spring Break, is that three of my best friends from Tennessee are coming up to visit over the weekend!  It feels like I haven't seen them in ages, though it's only been a few months.  It's going to be so much fun to show them around my new hometown and Liberty.  And speaking of which -- they're arriving today!  So, I must keep this post short and sweet, and I'm going to go prep for their arrival... ;)

Oh also this happened this week and it broke my ability to even.  Literally no words to express how stinkin' excited I am for this movie.

Until next week, my dear friends!  I apologize that the past few posts haven't been very interesting -- I'm hoping to get up a fun post about a recent sewing project for next week. :)

06 March 2016

Sick in the Seventh Week

This week, I came down with a cold.  And when I get sick, I have this bad tendency of getting 100% sick.  So, I skipped three days of classes and work, and slept.  This helped me get over the worst of it, but now I get to suffer through the tail end of it... not fun.

While all this is going on, homework has kind of piled up.  So I've been trying not to stress over that, and instead focus on the fact that I only have one more week to get through before Spring break is here, and I will finally have some room to breathe.  Continued prayers for me would be so, so appreciated, if you think of it.

Thanks for letting me have a little pity party there.  But now I need to practice a speech, so I'll keep this post short and sweet, and leave you with these terrible quality photos (thank you, dumb phone) from the past few months, taken around various places on campus -- entitled, "Feat. My Feet." ;)

28 February 2016

Week 6 (x3) Equals 18 Years

Hello once again, my friends.

This week was special, because Wednesday was my 18th birthday.

thank you tom, thanks
And it was absolutely wonderful.  I had sewing and screenwriting class, in between which I read Nehemiah (one of my favorite books of the Old Testament because Nehemiah was an awesome guy) and had lunch by myself.  Then I had work until 6, and when I got home, my family threw me a mini party with just us. We had Paleo hotdogs, sweet potato chips, and roasted brussels sprouts for dinner (ah it was amazing - don't judge me please), and then my older sister Alissa, for dessert, arranged a fruit platter like Cap's shield.  It was nothing less than beautiful, and made me very happy, needless to say.

Then I got to open my presentssss (always fun hehehe), one of which was a gorgeous daffodil plant (a tradition for my birthday, because they always bloomed during it when we lived in GA).  My second older sister Crystal gave me the game "Catch Phrase" - Star Wars edition!!  So, it's all words and phrases relating to the Star Wars universe, and the game itself is shaped as the Millennium Falcon.  Yes, it was way too awesome, and I might have fangirled in a very un-adult way when I saw it... ;)  So we played that for quite a while, and it was so much fun.

Then we all settled down and watched Jurassic World, for the first time for everyone in the fam except me.  The second viewing made me realize just how much I really love that movie.  Epic dinosaurs, cool Chris Pratt, dear Blue running to save everyone, the absolute presh ending... ahh it is just such a crazy, stressful, fun experience to watch and makes me so happy.  I just love it.  I really do. #whosaysgirlscantlikeactionfilms

You know, I hate to end this post so soon, but I've got a speech outline to write that's due day after next, and I really need to get crackin'.  Hey, if you think of it, would you mind praying for me?  For that speech, but also for my health - I'm in a flare with my crohn's currently which I just can't seem to get out of, aaaand I think I'm coming down with a cold, to top it all off.  Thank you so much, I so appreciate it.  I've told you before how blessed I feel that you're in my life, right?  Well, if not, I'm saying it now.  I feel so blessed that you're in my life.

In the words of Bilbo, "Alas, [eighteen] years is far too short a time to spend among such excellent and admirable people."

 you all. 

21 February 2016

Finding the Spiritual in 5 TØP Songs

I hope you won't mind that I'm deviating from the uuz of "what happened this week" posts, and that you will enjoy this introspective post concerning twenty one pilots instead...

Last May, twenty one pilots happened (again), and, thanks to Faith, I caught on to their undefinable music and joined the clique. So, today, I'd like to share five (in honor of the fifth week of my 2nd semester of college) of my favorite twenty one pilots songs, and the underlying, spiritual nuances that make these songs mean so much to me.  I hope you're encouraged by the following words as much as I always am.
1. Addict With a Pen.

Ever since the very first time I heard it, I recognized this song had captured the essence of my soul, the very essence of my relationship with my maker. Failure, realization, recommission. Void, craving, fulfillment. Pain, balm, healing. A cycle that can only truly be completed in death, the ending to our life of struggle and the beginning of our life of peace.

I try desperately to run through the sand
As I hold the water
In the palm of my hand
Cause it's all that I have
And it's all that I need and
The waves of the water
Mean nothing to me

But I try my best
And all that I can to
Hold tightly onto
What's left in my hand
But no matter how
How tightly I will strain
The sand will slow me down
And the water will drain

I'm just being dramatic
In fact,
I'm only at it again
As an addict with a pen
Who's addicted to the wind
As it blows me back and forth
Mindless, spineless, and pretend
Of course I'll be here again
See you tomorrow
But it's the end of today
End of my ways
As a walking denial
My trial was filed as a crazy
Suicidal head case

But you specialize in dying
You hear me screaming
And I'm lying here just crying
So wash me with your water.

2. March to the Sea.

It wasn't until more recently that it spoke to me -- in the context of my morning walks to class. As I join the throngs of students, I always imagine myself as falling in line in that march to the sea. But I also remember that I am not an idle marcher. I've heard the voice inside my head, saying, "follow Me instead." I am in my place, but now I am marching for my maker.

Then out of the corner of my eye
I see a spaceship in the sky
And hear a voice inside my head:
Follow me instead

Then the wages of war will start
Inside my head with my counterpart
And the emotionless marchers will chant the phrase:
This line's the only way

And then I start down the sand
My eyes are focused on the end of land
But again the voice inside my head says,
Follow me instead

Take me up, seal the door
I don't want to march here anymore
I realize that this line is dead
So I'll follow You instead

So then You put me back in my place
So I might start another day
And once again I will be
In a march to the sea.

Bonus Meanings:

No one looks up anymore
'Cause you might get a raindrop in your eye
And Heaven forbid they see you cry
As we fall in line.

3. Semi-Automatic.

I was confused by it at first -- until I realized just how telling of me this song really is. I've been diagnosed with soul schizophrenia, 'cause I'm all twisted up inside. How often I do not do what I want to do, but what I hate. But, again, this condition is inescapable. Every human is born with soul schizophrenia, and we must simply do our best to live on, live on, live on.

I'm never what I like,
I'm double sided,
and I just can't hide,
I kind of like it
when I make you cry,
'Cause I'm twisted up,
I'm twisted up inside
I'm semi-automatic,
my prayer's schizophrenic,
But I'll live on;
I'll live on;
I'll live on.

4. Holding On to You.

Meanings, meanings, it is full of, which I didn't discover until I truly studied and pondered the lyrics of this song.  The part I always appreciated was the "bonus meanings" I added at the end of these lyrics, but really, the heart of this song is the following exposition of the struggle between flesh and soul. But further still than that, between soul and Maker...

I'm taking over my body,
Back in control,
no more shotty,
I bet a lot of me was lost,
T's uncrossed and I's undotted,
I fought it a lot
And it seems a lot
Like flesh is all I got,
Not anymore,
Flesh out the door,

I must've forgot,
you can't trust me,
I'm open a moment and close when you show it,
Before you know it,
I'm lost at sea,
And now that I write and think about it,
And the story unfolds,
You should take my life,
You should take my soul

You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Sounding down the mountain range
of my left-side brain,
You are surrounding
all my surroundings,
Twisting the kaleidoscope
behind both of my eyes

And I'll be holding on to you.

Bonus meanings:

When we gonna stop with it,
Lyrics that mean nothing,
We were gifted with thought
Is it time to move our feet
To an introspective beat,
It ain't the speakers that bump hearts,
It's our hearts that make the beat.

5. Doubt.

It struck a chord within me the second time I listened to this song, when I caught the words, "I'm no good without You" -- because isn't that just the truth.  On and on the lyrics go, laying bare insecurity and uncertainty... but in between, the rambling is punctuated by a call for help, an S.O.S. begging for mercy, for strength, for love.  The daily cry of our hearts.

Scared of my own image,
Scared of my own immaturity,
Scared of my own ceiling,
Scared I'll die of uncertainty,
Fear might be the death of me,
Fear leads to anxiety,
Don't know what's inside of me

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Temperature is dropping,
Temperature is dropping,
I'm not sure if I can
See this ever stopping,
Shaking hands with the
Dark parts of my thoughts, no,
You are all that I've got, no

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

Gnawing on the bishops,
Claw our way up their system,
Repeating simple phrases,
Someone holy insisted,
I want the markings
Made on my skin,
To mean something to me again,
Hope you haven't left without me
Hope you haven't left without me, please

Don't forget about me,
Don't forget about me,
Even when I doubt you,
I'm no good without you,
no, no, no, no.

What twenty one pilots song is your favorite/means the most to you??