Friday, July 29, 2011


I've got this itch. It starts in the valley of my knuckles and slowly spreads to take over my entire self. This itch dances across my skin and skitters through my brain (yes, through my brain!). My fingers don't scratch this itch. This peculiar sensation is alleviated by time spent dreaming. This itch seems to intensify as I place my head amongst the clouds and begin to think of traveling the world.

For now, I state-hop. I like to think of it as my strange little jig where I meet fun people and see strange sights. It's like the preparation for the country-hopping I'll hopefully do one day.

My summer shenanigans have included adventures in Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas. Yeah, this was all pretty much somewhat planned by yours truly.

Since Texas has been the most recent adventure, allow me to share a few sights that greatly amused me.

Upon my first evening in the hotel, I walked down to the lobby and passed the indoor pool. Sitting as cool as you please in the jacuzzi were two cowboys in swimming trunks with cowboy hats set squarely upon their heads. I exclaimed, "LOOK! Cowboys wearing their cowboy hats in the jacuzzi." I'm really glad that the indoor swimming area was enclosed. Hopefully, they didn't hear me.

A favorite thing of Mississippi is how a majority of people use "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am." With their southern purr, I feel as though I'm being wooed with these two little words especially since they keep saying "yes" to me. I also love seeing all these baby cows everywhere. They are just TOO cute!

Missouri reminds me of my home state. It's full of hills and mountains. When I see hills covered in trees and quaint homes, I feel right at home. My heart warms and a smile of contentment fills my face.

My state-hopping shall soon come to an end. In some senses, I don't mind. However, I have to say that my itch to travel abroad has picked up. Here's to dreaming and to funny people!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inspired by People: Family

Priorities, priorities.
Get your priorities straight.
I've heard that line a lot. Mostly in movies to irresponsible characters and sometimes to myself. Over the past couple of months a thought has been very much on the fore front of my mind.


I am thankful for my family. Because we're crazy. Because we don't get along perfectly. Because we know how to irritate each other in the least amount of time possible. And yet, we love each other. I don't know how or why we love each other, but somehow we do.

In my family, I'm the oldest child - the guinea pig, the test drive child, the one that the parents learned on. I had 18 lovely years at home in the security of the family nest. I had 16 years with my sister where we lived under the same roof and only 13 years with my brother. I adore these kiddos.

via (I mean I don't look exactly like this. Maybe a bad hair day)

My mom - she drives me crazy (yep, she'll probably see this). We're very alike; yet, we're not. She speaks her mind always (a blunt honesty that makes me cringe, but i'm also slightly jealous of). My mother has a servant's heart - that is how she chooses to love on people. My mother is a solution-finder. My mom is the one who carries home-made bread to the neighbors - not on a yearly basis, but more on a weekly basis. She's a good steward of the things that she's been given.

via (bread. isn't this just awesome?!)

My dad - he's a quiet soul, but there's a lot more to him than meets the eye. We're also very alike; yet, different. After all, I'm a girl and he's a guy. Growing up, people commented on how much I looked like him (except that i was a girl). My dad has the gift of encouragement. He uses words. He uses hugs. He uses music (did i mention that he recently decided to relearn guitar?). I have never doubted his love for me or his belief in my ability to succeed. He's steadfast.

via (watching my dad put forth the effort to relearn guitar was pretty inspirational.)

My sister - another quiet soul with a charismatic creativity. She's the type that walks into department stores, eyes up the clothing, returns home, and creates the desired item (why didn't I get that ability?!). She's a listener. She's sweet in an innocent and loving way. I like to say that she's my built-in best friend (on a side note, when we were youngsters, we rarely fought. But when we did, it was fast and furious).

via (So my sister's sewing isn't quite like this. But, you get the idea)

My brother - a technical friendly genius who likes to help people. My brother has befriended a good handful of elderly neighbors and is aiding them with their computer abilities. Never have I met such a boy with such a heart to serve other people. He's always been a smiley person with an eagerness to please others. Although he leaves me in the dust with his technical talk sometimes, he definitely is a help to have around when one can't figure out the TV, DVD, and Dish (seriously, tech-savvy brothers should be a part of the package for these things).

via (this looks exactly like my brother. well, except for the caricature part!)

I am thankful for my family.

It's so easy to take the things right in front of you for granted. It's easy to see everything bad about these people who live so close to your own life. It's so easy to complain about what we don't have or what we do have. But, can you practice thankfulness even when you don't feel like being thankful? Life moves quickly. So be thankful.

What kind of awesome family do you have?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Captivation: Women of Gaza

I am captivated by this image taken by Tanya Habjouqa in her series entitled Women of Gaza.

I implore you to go look through the Women of Gaza photography HERE.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Wild Flower Walk

Feet in hot pink mud boots with a basket on her arm, my cousin set out with me on a walk. We went in search of wild flowers. For days, we'd been driving down these country roads watching black-eyed susans nod their heads at us. For days, queen anne's lace sophisticatedly taunted us from the windy freedom of the side of the road.

Yesterday afternoon, we went in search of beauty.

As the hot sunshine made sweat slide down our backs and our mud boots plodded along the road, our eyes searched out bright bits of colors. Like children (for we are children sometimes), we hunted out these treasures of color.

Long before our walk had ended, our basket brimmed with flowers. My cousin walking beside me sighs and says to me, "I feel so relaxed right now. I don't really know why I wasn't relaxed before, but now I am."

I looked at her oddly. Musing on her words, I could only thing that sunshine, flowers, buzzing flies, sweat, and a comfortable camaraderie are therapeutic. More than that, we were participating in an activity that girls had done for decades. We sought beauty.

Summer begs for idyllic adventures and simple activities with those one loves. It's so easy to appreciate pictures of nature from the view of our couch and computer, but there is nothing like a personal snapshot of nature that one sees in the midst of the bugs, sweat, and sunshine. Perhaps a personal snapshot won't last as long as paper and ink; however, a personal snapshot is like a slideshow that never stops. Keep creating these moments for yourself and others.

In twenty years, I might not remember this wildflower walk. But, I will remember this summer spent with my cousins. And who knows, my cousin might recall this walk.

Go pick some wild flowers and revel in the beauty that has been granted us on this earth. And have a lovely Independence Day!