Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Thoughts


1. I have fully embraced my simplistic hipster-with-an-affinity-for-modern-sleekness style. I used to love wear more bright colors and head-to-toe coordinated outfits, but now (and for a while) I'm drawn to neutral tones, denim, ankle boots, leggings, and simple make-up. 

I call it being almost 22 - or wearing only what I really like. It feels good to rotate core items and mix-and-match. It's almost a little...dare I say it....like a capsule wardrobe. 

2. I have a nice little routine down when I'm not rushing thirty million different places...I come "home", drop my backpack, slip off my boots (it's usually boots I'm wearing these days) and slip on my moccasins, light my favorite Bath&Body Works candle (either Ski Lodge or Fireside), and put on Chet Baker. Jazz + candles make everything better.

3. I haven't blogged...really, anything lately. No Real Life Wednesdays, no Modest Mondays, no nothing. And it's been good. I never intended to really take a blogging sabbatical, but it felt good not to blog, not to worry about posts, not to feel the pressure of page views and whether someone commented, and if they weren't did that mean I needed to  revamp my blog?

For the first time in, ever, I stopped constantly checking my blog and just enjoyed reading others' blogs. I stayed constant on IG and Pinned as always, because, well, we all know it's my version of therapy. Mostly I lived and tried to be present in my daily life. It was good because the past two months contained challenges and tasks and emotions I never saw coming...my spirit + mind + body couldn't have handled anything extra. I'm grateful I listened to God's nudge to take a step back. I needed it.

Which is why it was so refreshing to check back this past week and see sweet comments from a few of you readers. I might not have hundreds of followers, but I'm happy just to have some special, kind souls who brighten my day with their words. Thank you, friends.

4. I've been eating a great deal of chicken and salad lately...and occasionally, pizza. Because I've somehow reached a place of peace with my body and so I know how much to feed it now and how much is too much. I'm on a chicken Ceasar salad kick though and am riding it for as long as I can. Meaning, it's what I eat every day. That and iced coffee/iced lattes/iced Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks.

5. I've felt more "me" in the past month than I ever have...it's what happens Junior year, I think. You've settled into your skin, into your core friend group, into who you want to be, into what you like and what you dislike. And I am okay with the person I am becoming. I am okay with the person I am.

I like her. She's come a long way...she's calmer, quieter, much more introverted, wears leggings + yoga pants, dyes her hair if she wants to, loves deeply, and knows that change - while painful - is always good.

She's falling in love with winter, and with December; with Advent and the promise of Christmas.

The promise of a new year. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lately

 

via

Fall arrived, bewitchingly late and lingered for a few weekends with a lovely smile only to be replaced by her sister Winter - cool, strong, and grey as the sea on a stormy day.

Cold winds are the herald of each day...and life is already shifting. 

My mother asks me if there is excitement that my junior year is nearly halfway over - and I am silent with the answer 'no.' Autumn came and disappeared all too quickly, leaving me regretful and wistful for more time. But isn't that always what we want...more time? 

Because harsh winds and bitingly cold nights mean spring will come soon, and that means goodbyes will come soon. Change has always been hard for me. I love the regular, the familiar, the never-ending. Give me excitement and variety and spontaneity, yes - but never take from me the things, the places + the people I love best. 

But change shakes up your soul. Tragedy makes you stand tall. Loss makes you strong. Loneliness and goodbyes make you realize life goes on. As painful as certain moments can be. 

You can't force time to stand still...just as you cannot force someone to love you. 

This season has been one of bittersweetness...clearer than the last for I know myself well now. It's been deeper and richer as certain friendships strengthen and others fade and family is more precious than ever. 

It's been a semester full of much goodness and struggles and friends. We've talked of life...of its inherent painfulness and its messy, raw beauty. Of love languages and our life purposes, of kissing and the difference between boys + girls, of families and upbringings, of people and hearts and how to best love others. There've been laughs and sharings of hearts over flickering candles, meals cooked and shared, late night deep talks, tears and even boughs of anger, much Disney quotes and dancing, and always always hugs.
 
                 

                    

I'm learning to love winter and stopping every day to enjoy the cold...to treasure the cups of coffee, the flickering candles, the cozy + warm sweaters, the grey skies, the hint of Christmas excitement, the expectant hush of Advent, and the cheer of December.

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine



I've started post after post...begun typing, feeling that I should be full of words to say. Especially after an absence, after this silence. But each time, my fingers falter and the words fade away...and I am left with a blank white screen before me.

To have nothing to say is a rare occurance for me. And yet, here I am.

Typing away, unsure what will spill out. Unsure if there is anything to spill out.

Silence gives one pause + time to think. Do my words matter? What do I have to offer? Am I only painting a picture of cheer and smiles and pink and all things bright + colorful? Am I growing beyond that? 

I'm no longer the young girl who began this blog so many years ago - exuberant and buoyant and wide-eyed. Whose world was made up of fantasy stories, books, and innocent dreams of childhood. But my world is larger now. It no longer simply encompasses the boundaries of my bedroom and the safety of home. The world stretches and widens and horizons glimmer with the unknown.

Only now, some of it is known. Time goes on and years pass. As your world expands, so too does your soul. Everything leaves its mark, causes it to grow: love, discipline, trials, fear, change, and even loss.

It is awe-inspiring and overwhelming to realize that one's world never completely settles. It's always changing, always expanding, always reverberating with something - whether it's truth, pain, or love. In many ways, the silence has been good for me. In many more ways, something is urging me to remain in the silence.

To stay and listen - be.

A distant voice whispers, 'But you should write...update.'

But for the first time in a long time, I'm not listening. I did not begin this blog for fame or profit or hundreds of followers. I know the secrets to success - post constantly, update readers, find your niche and fill it.

But I think I've forgotten why I began this blog. I think many of us have...we started writing to share, to pour out from ourselves the words and thoughts and beauty that we found in every day life. To share the glimmers and glimpses of sunshine. This isn't a hardened, jaded post to say that I am through with blogging, that it has become too industrialized.

This is me saying that I've been living in the shadows and sunshine. And it's hard to always share that...because sometimes, we're not supposed to share everything with everyone. Sometimes we need to go through growth, through seasons, through changes. And only afterwards can we look back and see what took place.

We don't know we've grown until we already have.

And I'm growing. Again. In a different, deeper, more painful and sweeter way than before. But I'm learning, I think, that I will always experience growth.

And so when the voice whispers, 'you should post,' I whisper back, 'it's not time yet.'

I'm aware that this is a jumble of words and thoughts; I've struggled with finding words for a post for some time...a few nights ago, I was able to attend Switchfoot's last concert of their Fading West tour. And that night - as they played, as Jon Foreman sung with his entire soul and being, as the hundreds of souls in that room were lit by the beauty of music - something shook loose inside of me.

And one of the last songs they played lingered in the air, full of joy and art and the unspeakable expression of human emotion that is music. And I understood more than I did before.

The shadow proves the sunshine.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Break



Hello, friends - I never thought I'd be writing this type of post, but the urge has been there for the past week and it's only fair to update you.

I'm not sure why, but I've been in a bit of a funk about the blog...it started a few weeks ago and I tried to brush it off. Told myself I was just busy, just getting caught up in statistics and the pressure of blogging, etc. But every time I went to post something, I ended up staring at the white screen and feeling like I don't have much to offer. This semester has been a whirl of tasks and to-dos and then there's just plain Life in between all that.

So I need to take a step back...and take a little break. I think some time to recharge and focus on what I need to get done in my day-to-day life will be best. Rest assured, My Spare Oom isn't going anywhere - nor is this a goodbye forever. It might be a week, it might be a couple...I'm not sure.

This is me just saying simply, and honestly, I need a break.

See you sometime soon, friends. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Things (Where I've Been Online)

Hello, friends - popping in to share some links today. I've been quite busy, not only in real life with classes and work, but also online it seems! One friend commented in real life, "I see blog post after blog post popping up on Facebook," and I'm blessed to be able to contribute to some great sites...including wonderful Catholic ones!

Here's where I've been lately:

talked about skirt inspiration for fall fashion over on the St. Peter's blog

shared about the hard seasons in life + why they're not a bad thing on The Catholic Young Woman

and collaborated with Erin of Uniquely Erin for a fashion photoshoot. I loved photographing her!

Happy Tuesday, friends and I'll see you tomorrow! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Real Life Wednesday


1. I started off this gloriously chilly October morning with a pumpkin bagel + pumpkin cream cheese + an iced pumpkin latte. I know, I'm obnoxious. But I still love it.

2. My mum trimmed my hair last week when she was in town (she's cut my brothers' hair for years and us girls finally let her touch our hair) and it feels so good to have healthy ends - I've learned it's especially important to keep it up with dyed hair, like my ombre ends.

3. Since my love of pumpkins reigns supreme, I adored The Clothes Horse's pumpkin patch outfit post...which definitely put mine to shame. But she's so cute and pixyish that I don't mind.

4. I've been looking quite different from my usual self - partly because my hair's been pin-straight for the past three days and partly because I got new glasses. !!! I'm a fan - and apparently they don't look horrible because all my friends keep commenting on them.

5. Can't stop playing this song - can we talk about how lovely classical music elements sound in modern songs? Kudos, Clean Bandit. Kudos. Also, Bohemian Rhapsody is my "walk to class" jam. <3 mamma="" mia="" miaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.="" p="">
6. Love and relationships is something we all like to talk/read about: Amanda's post on love sweetening over time, Clare's post about motherhood being like a sunrise, and (if you don't mind bit of European language) Garance Dore's post about the mythical "Perfect Man."

7. Let's talk fashion. I love hats year-round, but something about fall makes them so effortless to incorporate into a daily outfit. As always, the ever-foxy Caitlin is on point with her style - and her last Fly Friday is no exception. Homegirl knows how to rock that hat. Love that redhead!

8. I posted over on The Catholic Woman about a topic near and dear to my heart - being single. Specifically Why You're Not Any Less of a Person if You Haven't Dated.

9. I'm famously stubborn (it's a bit of a family tendency), so it's very easy for me to say I'm open to God's Will...but actually letting Him enact it is another story. Hannah put it perfectly - we're scared to let God change us. But her post is a beautiful reminder that we need to let Him do what it takes to make us His gold.

10. Fall break starts on Friday and the. excitement. is. real. There will be so much sleep + studying this weekend. And I can't wait.

As always, following Jess for RLW - happy Wednesday, peeps! Do you rock hats? What's your favorite jam lately?
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Modest Monday: Falling into Fall



Helllllllo, friends! This past weekend was glorious because it was so chilly and today is a perfect October day with bright blue skies, blustery winds, and the excitement of Fall Break right around the corner.

So today's Modest Monday post is also perfectly themed...pumpkins + black! Click over to the St. Peter's blog to see more! My obsession with all things pumpkin is as strong as my summer obsession with all things coconut - my ma and little brother were in town for the weekend so we romped in a sea of orange. 'Twas wonderful.

I just finished two midterms, a quiz, and work, so I'm off to class now. Here's to a lovely Monday!