My Brain is Full

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On February 11th, a mere 35 days away, I’m going to take the ACT. I ‘m going to take the test that will be sent to colleges that I might attend someday. It’s one step in a journey towards applying to college, which is a step towards BEING in college, which is a step towards graduating from college, which is a step towards… the rest of my life.

So yeah, it’s not a big deal.

I know that it’s just a test and that college doesn’t mean everything. I know that I don’t need college to live a great life, or even to have a successful career. Still, it’s a big step for me. It has a certain scent to it… it smells like… growing up. Growing up. I hate that phrase today. I wish I was either a little kid or already grown up. Growing up sounds… never-ending and not much fun.

The thing is…

like growing up. I like experiencing new things and being able to see things from a younger person’s perspective because I’ve been there. I like looking back on old memories and seeing how far I’ve come. I like the journey of childhood. I’m glad that mine has been (and is) one of love and learning. There’s never been a question too stupid to ask. There’s never been a wrong that hasn’t been righted in some way.

But I still hate growing up.

I just don’t like right now. Right now I have a lot (a few in reality) of decisions to make. Should I stay here (my hometown) for college or move away? Should I get my driver’s licence? Should I get a job? What job should I get? How do I prioritize all the things in my life? How do I keep up with everything going on and still maintain good relationships with my family, friends, and God?

I’m always thinking of new things to worry about and other things to add to my busy head, but it’s already so full that I can’t possibly add anything else. And I think it’s time to stop trying. I just need to sit tight, study hard, and worry about everything else (or most of “everything else”) after the test. 🙂

Even though I just said all that…

I really love where I am in my life. I love the ups and downs. I love the people and the learning. I love the journey. ❤

More Music Loving

I have been surrounded by music all my life. My mom introduced me to Switchfoot, Shawn MacDonald, and the Newsboys. My dad’s love of Coldplay caused it to become my favorite band to this day. I listened to Baby Mozart as a toddler, and played make-believe with my siblings while classical music played in the background. Music influences and has influenced my life in a deep, personal way.

Some of the music I listened to as a young child:

  • Wherever We Go, Something Beautiful, and He Reigns by the Newsboys
  • All I Need, Take My Hand, and Gravity by Shawn MacDonald
  • I Dare You To Move, This Is Your Life, and Your Love Is A Song by Switchfoot
  • The Scientist, Shiver, and A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay
  • The Show by Lenka
  • The Call by Regina Spektor (Narnia)
  • Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg

Now, I listen to a wide variety of music that I discovered on my own. I listen to everything from Erik Satie to Twenty One Pilots. Here are a few of my favorite songs to date:

  • Concerning Hobbits by Howard Shore (LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring)
  • Gymnopedie 1 by Erik Satie
  • Guns for Hands by Twenty One Pilots
  • The Blues by Switchfoot
  • Oasis/Savannah/Baby by Relient K
  • I Don’t Get To Say I Love You Anymore by Tessa Violet
  • 6/10 by Dodie Clark
  • Warning Sign by Coldplay

I know I talk about music a lot on this blog, but that’s because it’s so important to me. 🙂 I love when music moves me, when it teaches me something, when it embodies a thought or feeling of my own in the music or the lyrics. I hope you like some of my music suggestions, and please share some of your own if you’re into music of any kind.

~ Claire

Smiley and :(

Day Two: Write Something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.

I actually have two:

1. People who have told me how much I smile

Lots of people tell me this and I assume it’s a good thing. 😉 I love smiling and making other people smile.

2. Thoughtlessly said mean comments 

I don’t want to name anything specific that people have said to me, mostly because I don’t like to dwell on them. They’re just little, subtle things, but the more I dwell on them and think about what the person was trying to say the more they hurt. I’ll never forget them because they’ve made me who I am today. My bad experiences have made me a better person and while I’d like to take them back,  I would never take back the lessons I’ve learned because of them.

P.S – So, I didn’t quite stick to my internet ban. My phone’s speakers weren’t working and I quickly looked up a way to fix them. Ugh! I know it’s not much, but I felt like I needed to say it. 

NMC Day 6: Tea Time

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On Saturday I started drinking tea every morning. I pulled out my teacup and teapot and grabbed the tea-tray that we just got from my Grandma. I’ve always been a big tea drinker and my favorite way to drink tea is from my little teacup. 🙂 It’s adorable.

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I was sitting in the kitchen and reading the last chapter of Coronation Summer when I decided that it was definitely a tea sort of day. So I prepared everything and set it all up. It’s funny the things you think of when you have more time to think. img_20160724_070402407.jpg

 

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I like drinking my tea the “English way.” I drink Black tea with milk and sugar. It makes me think of last winter (and many winters before) when my siblings and I would drink a pot (or two) of tea every morning before school.

teas

To Be Honest: I’m missing music immensely. 😦 I’m glad I took a break from it, but I’m very excited to listen to Air For Free and the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. Ugh. Yep. Definietely missing my music. If you want to listen to a sad song, listen to The End of the Wolrd by Skeeter Davis. It’s an old song that I first heard on Granite Flats (an awesome show).

Reading: NMC Day 2

By the way, NMC stands for No Music Challenge. I just wanted to make that clear. 🙂

Reading. Reading. Reading. I love reading. Right now I’m in the middle of a good book called Coronation Summer by Angela Thirkell. It’s set in the late 1830s when Victoria became the Queen of England and is about two friends who travel to London for the festivities. It’s also a love story about how the two girls meet their husbands during the trip. 🙂 I am thoroughly enjoying it!

I love reading and I always have. I love reading books that captivate my attention and heart, and take me on a journey that I can’t pull myself away from. Those are the best kinds of books to me. The ones that won’t let me go. I have found many such books like that in my life, but one of the most captivating books I have ever read is called Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marrillier. I read it while I was at Disney World two years ago. I just brought it for some light reading and because I must always bring a book with me wherever I go. Anyways, I ended up devouring that book. I couldn’t put it down. I read it everywhere; while waiting in line, while eating meals, while on the bus, and at the hotel room. I couldn’t stop reading it.

These past few days have been beautiful days full of happy things, but the thing I have enjoyed the most is sitting on my deck and reading. It takes me back to when reading was all I did. ever. Those were good days and I hope to bring them back, at least somewhat.

Some of my favorite books:

  • The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
  • Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  • Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Please, share some of your favorite books!

Sunset

I watched the sun set over the beach. It’s funny how a little thing like a sunset is really not such a little thing. It’s a beautiful thing and there’s no better way to experience it then to see it by a large body of water. The way the light reflects off of the water and colors the clouds is amazing to see. It’s one part of nature that I have always been in awe of.

Yesterday, when I saw the sunset, I tried to ingrain it into my memory so that I could write about it later. Here is what I remember: large clouds skirting across the western sky, the sun quickly descending into the midst of them. I remember the riot of colors that exploded into being as the sun passed by the clouds. There were pinks, reds, oranges, and gold. I remember the grey-blue of the clouds and the white-tipped waves that rushed to the shore.

I can never see something as it truly is for long, because my imagination takes over and I see a new world. No matter how old and mature I get I never want to stop seeing things as they could be, or imagining things into being. Yesterday, I saw a cloud boat. It was floating near the water, a little to the east of the sunset, away from the docks and moorings of the cloud islands. It was colored pink and a tiny white flag could be seen fluttering in the breeze. Soon, it had sailed away into the evening sky.

There were lots of people down by the shore. There were kids playing in the water and on the dunes. They played in the sand and by the shore. The adults were snapping pictures and walking up and down the beach. I wondered what it would be like if no one worried about taking the perfect picture and we all just watched the sunset instead. Of course, I thought of Look On Up by Relient K. I was seeing that song play out in front of my eyes. Pictures are great, but they can never replace the beauty and wonder of seeing a real sunset.

Those are my thoughts. 🙂

Claire 

 

Outdoor Games

I remember when life was nothing more than finishing school in time to play outside before it got dark. The days between the first snowfall and the first fifty degree day of the spring, were hard ones for me and my siblings and, because we lived to play outside. Every year there were new games to play outside, mostly ones that involved stories of some sort and make-believe. Today, I want to share some of those games, because I miss them. :/

 

1. “House” version 1

First of all, did not call it house. I called this game “home” or “family.” Why? Because I was scared of the TV show House. When I was little it always came on just after either American Idol or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Gosh, I loved that show!!). Anyways, at the beginning of every episode there was a little message that said, “Viewer discretion advised.” For some reason that little message always freaked me out! So, whenever we played “house,” I would call it “home.”

Anyways, the first version of this game was very simple. My siblings and I (four of us in all) would gather all of the fold up tables, outside-furniture cushions, and toy cooking stuff that we could find and put it all in a big pile. One-by-one, we would all pick out the pieces that we wanted, except for my brother. He was always the wanderer (i.e Indian, soldier, police officer etc. who for some reason never had a proper home). After sorting all the stuff, my sisters and I would pick a place for our houses to be. I always picked my favorite spot under the trees at the top of the hill. My sisters always fought over the front porch and the loser had to make-do with our tiny back porch. Most of the actual game was spent visiting each other and getting speeding tickets from my brother when we went too fast down the sidewalk on our scooters and bikes.

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My “home” under the willow and pine trees.

 

2. Mermaids…ish

In my neighborhood we can’t put up a small baby pool. You know, the kind that are like two feet high! So we used our tiny sandbox for a pool and played in the sprinkler that was mostly used to water the grass.

There were many games that could be played with the sprinkler, but the best game was the mermaid game. I learned this game from a friend… who actually had a pool. Basically, we were all mermaids (me and my sisters) and we all lived beside the sprinkler. That was the game. So much fun. XD

 

3. Indians and Settlers

This game was the most fun once we built our deck, before the deck we had a tiny back porch. After the deck was built we used it as a boat for the settlers to come over the “ocean” in. My two sisters and my brother always wanted to be Indians. I always wanted to be a settler because then I could dress up. 🙂 I would pack some dress-up clothes, dishes, and a few books into a box and leave for the “New World” where the Indians lived.

After my arrival in the “New World” I would set up camp and explore, inevitably finding the Indians. War would ensue and or we would become friends. War was much more exciting.

 

4. Grass Soup

Besides playing make-believe “house” games, we would always play cooking games. I learned this game from another friend, or maybe she learned it from us… I can’t remember now. Anyways, it was a great game. We would take all the five-gallon buckets we could find and fill them with water and the cut grass that came out of the mower (I’m not sure if there’s a technical name for that or not). Next, we would add whatever was growing in the yard; dandelions, grass seed, violets, leaves, petals off of random flowers, and of course the secret ingredient. 😉 This could be anything from a blade of grass to our own breath.

We would also play other cooking games. We would collect the broccoli and grape tomatoes that we grew in the garden, add water and voila, we had soup.

 

5. The best game

One year, before the deck was built, we bought a camper and parked it beside our house to clean it up. It stayed there for a while (even though it was violating the neighborhood rules) and we loved to play in it. Behind the camper we had our baby pool (before that too had to be taken down) and every day I would wade through it on my way to the covered wagon, I mean camper. 🙂

 

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It was the best game because we had a pool and a permanent house. I can’t remember why it was so great, but I have fond memories of playing everything from pioneers to camping. It was a great time.

Those are a few of the outdoor games that I played when I was younger. I made so many good memories playing these games and I still remember them fondly. 🙂