Saturday, March 29, 2014

the one with pictures and deep thoughts

I'm gonna be *that* person today. The one who doesn't post on their blog for months and then suddenly posts a mile long post complete with every single detail of their lives. Okay, maybe it won't be a mile long, and I promise it won't contain every detail of my life, but still. You get my point. 

A month ago my beautiful cousin, Jess, came home for her spring break. We went shopping, ate frozen yogurt, and laughed giggled (because that is what you do when you are around Jess) way too much. It was awesome.

I feel like I have been completely lacking in the photography department lately. I have close to zero inspiration, and I can't even remember the last time I actually did a photo shoot (that lasted longer than 10 minutes) with a person. (My dog doesn't count...right?) But I did capture the above image on the way to a country gospel concert in a tiny town south of where I live. 

 Okay. Can we just pause right here to appreciate how amazing these people are?? Grandma recently celebrated her birthday, and my cousin Gretchen wrote a tribute to both her and Grandpa. (Read them here and here. Trust me, you won't want to miss them.) I have thoroughly enjoyed living next to my grandparents. They are two of the strongest, most loving, most respected, most amazing people in the whole world. I could go on and on about them, but I feel like I would just be repeating what Gretchen said. Just go read those two posts and then come back (or don't...either way).

I feel like I have so much to say about this picture, but I have no idea how to say it. (Don't worry, that doesn't make sense to me either.) Recently I have had this new-found love for God's Word. I haven't really been reading through any book in particular, just kinda skipping around each time I open it up. The verse underlined in the picture is Philippians 1:6 which says, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." I love this verse for so many reason, but I think a big one is just where I am in life. Freshman in college, just trying to figure out exactly what I want in life, and what direction I am heading. I often forget that God hasn't finished writing my story. He is still working in my life, and yet I don't always act (or think) like that is true. So this verse is a bit of a spiritual punch in the gut, reminding me that He is not done with me and that He still has some pretty legit stuff in store for me.

 Speaking of legit, I got to spend the past weekend at Washington Family Ranch in Antelope, OR. I went with a whole bunch of other college kids (see picture below) to help get the camp ready for summer. I honestly can't remember when I had that much fun. We worked in the mornings and early afternoons, and then had free time for a couple hours before dinner and a speaker in the evenings. Beautiful views + awesome people + no cell phone service + manual labor + no homework = plain old awesomeness. 

 Yeah. These are the peeps I went with. They are all super crazy. (In a good way.) 

 And now for the best part of the whole trip. (Drum roll, please.) I got to spend approx. 18 hours tearing down old fence. (That's me in the middle of the picture, behind the four-wheeler.) And no, I am not being sarcastic about it being the best part. This is the kind of stuff I live for, folks!! The whole thing was made even more fun by the fact that a lot of the people on our work crew didn't really know what they were doing, so I got to feel like I actually did. I didn't know anybody on the crew going into it (which caused the introvert in me to revolt), but I ended up making some friends and just having a blast with everybody. 

 And it didn't hurt anything that this was they type of stuff we got to look at all day. Hashtag best day ever!
(Photo credit goes to the awesome Sarah Gillihan.)
But seriously people, if you get a chance, go there. It is beautiful, awesome, and you'll get to eat some really great food and meet some even greater people.

The day after we got back, my parents and broskie and I headed to the beach for the day. We actually didn't even walk on the beach (which is super sad), but we did get Tillamook Ice Cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. (Ok, what is up with this picture?! As I slump. Hey, at least Matt is smiling.)

Man, I love where I live. (And that little furry creature in the center of the picture.)

 I love traveling. I love meeting new people. I love getting away from everyday life. But I really love coming home. 

 That's pretty much all the news I can muster up for now. If you have made it this far, congratulations. You obviously have no life. (Just kidding! Maybe...)  

I want to leave you with something that I was thinking about up there on those hills coiling barbed wire for hours. You know the verse in Psalm 23? The one that says, "He restores my soul"? I challenge you to figure out where that spot is...the spot where God restores your soul. I really felt that up there, and while it may not be feasible for me to drive 4 hours every time my soul needs restored, I also get recharged down at both the creek and the river that snake through the property where I live. I found myself asking why I don't walk down there more often...why do I curl up with a TV show after a long day at school instead of grabbing my dog and bolting for the river? My challenge to myself is to make recharging and spending time in God's Word more of a priority than catching up on Once Upon a Time. And I would challenge you to do the same thing. Find that spot where your soul gets restored, and then make it a priority to go there. I don't think we will regret it. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Choose

(This is my own version of Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday.)

Yesterday my General Psychology class got canceled because of the sunshine. No joke. The professor sent out an email that contained these words: "In light of the current circumstances, meaning sunshine and 60 degrees, I am declaring a psychological mental health day." After jumping up and down with excitement (at least on the inside) I figured I would get some math homework done. But when my friend called me and asked if I wanted to go take some pictures around campus, I was rather quick to say yes. 

I chose to put down my pencil, and pick up my camera. These are the pictures that came from that choice. 

(If you would like to see more of my photography, go check out my Facebook page, and consider giving it a "like"!)