Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thoughts of Love // Part Three

I'm having trouble writing the introduction to this one. I'm not sure why. I guess I think the poem (or whatever you want to call it) itself says pretty much all that I want to say in this post. This part three is mostly about relationships, and about how we sometimes push our true feelings aside when someone asks us how we are, and instead of saying, "I'm not doing too well today. I'm having trouble with...etc.," we say, "I'm fine, how are you?" and don't even expect the other person to answer any different, either. I feel like I do this way too often in my relationships. I tell my coworkers a story and want them to say, "Whoa, that's so cool," but when they tell me a story in return, I try to act like it doesn't affect me, even if it does. I'm not sure why I do that, and I hate it. I don't want anyone to react to me in that, "Cool, but I'm not really interested," way. I like to make people laugh, or feel excited, or gasp in amazement about something that happened to me. I don't always give them the same response, though, and it's not fair. This is something I want to work on. I can't expect to receive something that I have no intention of giving in return. This poem is about wanting to feel something, anything different than the same ol', same ol' feeling that grabs us every so often, and about how maybe we can pull ourselves out of it.

Have you ever wanted to feel 
something different, 
however uncomfortable?

Do you miss your toes tingling
from cold, wrapped in a blanket,
trying to get warm,
and out of nowhere a shiver
shaking your shoulders?

Do you press on your
bruise, not really to see if it
still hurts;
you know it does.
But the dull throb intrigues you?

Do you feel the pull to a new
relationship, and know in your heart
that it won't end the way you'd like it,
but still plunge yourself into it
as deeply as you can,
though it'll mean the pain 
will be that much greater
when it falls apart?

You're human.

We try to tell ourselves we don't care about what happens to us so that we can be more interested in other people. 

But if you aren't excited about what you did today, how can you be excited about someone else's life? 

And when other people aren't interested in each other, we get depressed, because what meaning does our life have if no one appreciates it, not even ourselves?

But the thing is, we're all just pretending.

We do care about our lives and we care about other people. 

We just don't want them to know it. 

Because somehow it's become cool to pretend like nothing phases you, your life is in control, and you don't need emotions, whether sad or joyful, to knock you off balance.

What a lie.

You get bored of anything if you do it too much. 

One of these days, we'll get tired of pretending and share ourselves with each other.

What are your thoughts on this part three? How are you feeling about life at this time? Excited? Anxious? Just kind of blah? I think I'm currently all three at this time, to be honest. :) As always, thanks for reading, please comment below, and have a great week!

- Maddie

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thoughts of Love // Part Two

This next part might be hard to think about, at first. For me, though, it goes along the lines of love being selfless. 

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful.... Love does not insist on its own way." (1 Cor 13:4-5, RSV) 

All too often, we are told that to be in love means pining after someone, and not resting or feeling a moment's peace until they are with us. We see in movies and shows people trying to sabotage their "true love's" relationships, or even just trying to win them over while they're in a relationship with someone else so that their loved one will realize that the person is "the one for them." But think about that. If you really love someone, you want them to be happy. And since when do we know what will make another person truly happy? Maybe they would be happier with someone other than us. What makes us happy is not always going to make someone else happy. Not to say that we can't be sad if someone we love doesn't return the feeling. It does hurt. But I think that if we truly love a person, we will be happy for them no matter what they choose, as long as it's not a harmful decision. We will respect their relationships; we won't flirt with our crush when they are already with someone else, etc. To me, that shows the person more love and respect than it does when we throw ourselves at them and try to show them that we're so much better than whoever they're with.

Let's be respectful to each other, and truly love each other.

is there any way to describe wanting to be together with someone, but also being happy when they're with another?

you know you love them and they might never know, but that's okay.

you love them so much that you just want the best for them, no matter what that may be.

you know you should be jealous, but why force a wrong feeling when you can just be grateful that they're happy?

Do you agree with me? Or do I just not understand what it's like to be in love? Chat with me in the comments below! And, as always, thank you so much for reading, everyone!

- Maddie

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thoughts of Love // Part One

So, here goes another apology:

I'm so sorry that I never stick to my schedule, even when I say I'm going to. You guys don't deserve that.

I'm also going to say right now that there are times when I simply cannot write. The words won't come out, or if they do, they don't come out how I want them to, and I would rather you have nothing to read than say something that I really want to say in words that don't describe exactly what I really mean. I don't want to have to say, "You know a few weeks ago when I mentioned such-and-such? Okay, now I've thought of a better way to explain it."

So, that's why I haven't been posting lately. I'm not going to promise that there will be a post every Tuesday, but I'm also not going to say that I won't have a post schedule at all. So, let's just say that when I do post, it will be on Tuesdays, whether that be 3 Tuesdays in a row or 5 Tuesdays apart.

Now, Thoughts of Love // Part One

At first, I was going to combine a bunch of different thoughts about love all together in this post, but I think I'm going to make them into three or maybe more separate parts to be posted over the next few weeks; sometimes it's easier to process things in small bits instead of all at once. So here is part one. It wasn't meant to be a poem when I first wrote it: writing in short sentences on different lines helps me to process and write down my thoughts better. But then I realized that more of the lines rhymed than I'd thought, so it is practically a poem. :)

You don't always have to be the best.
It's not a competition to see
Who can show 
Who likes whom the most profoundly.
Is this love?
I think so.
I think it's being willing to do
Anything for the one you love,
And also being willing for them to do
Anything for you.
Love is me letting you be you
And you letting me be me
And neither of us feeling like we have to
Repay or outdo the other in 
Giving gifts or energy.

Have a great week, everyone! Thank you for reading. :)

- Maddie

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Hey, everyone! I'm sorry that I haven't posted for the last two Tuesdays :( Here's a poem to make it up to you (although, it probably won't cheer you up too well).

You didn't have to.
You didn't have to try to forget.
Now look what it's done to you.
It's the only thought in your head.
That's the problem with problems.
You try so hard to make them go away that they just stay.

Obsessions, obsessions.
Is that what happens?
You become over involved in everything that you do?
You have to stop.
You can't keep living this way.
But don't commit to that too seriously, either, for even that could go wrong.

I don't know what to do.
I can't help you in a way I know how.
You need help from someone who isn't me.
For your own good, the sooner you accept it, the better.
For all of us.

Thanks for reading! Stay awesome 

- Maddie

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Time - MMC (July 11, 2016)

Four months, and thirteen days. There was a time when you thought there would never be a day that would go by when you wouldn't see each other, and now it's been over four months. A fire that spread in less than five minutes is to blame for this.

Thoughts of Ariel spin around in your mind as you pull your feet up onto the hard wooden chair where you are sitting and rest your head on your knees. The tears you didn't know you had inside you come rushing out, and you wrap your arms around the top of your knees, your left arm pressing into your forehead. Your fingers dig into your arms as you try to squeeze the pain out of your chest and pass it on to anywhere but there.

Minutes tick by. From just the sound of your wristwatch, you count the time that passes: seven minutes, fourteen seconds. Ariel used to think it was funny how you always knew exactly how much time was left until the bell would ring for the next class without even glancing at your watch... Your sobs start afresh from the remembrance, and you begin to rock back and forth, thinking maybe it will help you to regain your calm.

Your tears finally slow, and once you rub away the blur, you realize the thing you must do. Somehow, the thought of her watching from above as you play the music she taught you already calms you. Keeping in time, your fingers move across the burnt piano keys, growing less and less shaky with each note played. You feel the ache in your chest being released, and the thoughts of your friend slow in their spinning. Time ticks by, and you realize that there are two things the fire wasn't able to take from you: time, and her piano.

Hey, everyone! I haven't done a Monday's Minutes Challenge in forever, and it feels so good to write one again! I used the picture prompt this week and my story is 310 words. Thank you, Tessa, for hosting!

- Maddie

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Music Love // September 2016

Hello, lovelies!

Happy Fall, first of all! This is an exciting time of the year. There is actually a chill in the air, which just started on Sunday. I can finally start wearing boots and flannels and sipping hot drinks!

Today, I'm going to share some music that I've recently been loving. I won't say much about it. I'll just let it speak for itself :) Tell me what you think!

- Maddie

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Video For You

FYI: The "today" I'm referring to is Sunday.

So, yeah, I wanted to try something new, and it was fun doing the video! It's not the best, but hopefully it was at least a little interesting. Was that how you guys pictured me acting in real life? ;)

Comment and let me know what you've been up to! I hope you all had a good week and that you'll have an even better rest of this week!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10 Picture Books I Would Unashamedly Read Now

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

How has your week been? I feel like it went by really fast. Anyway, today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for the theme "My Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books of X Genre," and giving you my top ten favorite picture books that I would still read today. Yeah, I know, it's not really a genre, but I figured if I did something like historical fiction, you guys would go, "Ugh, Maddie, we've heard you rant about Moon Over Manifest, The Golden Thread, Out of the Dust, etc. like 1,000 times, do you really need to tell us again?" So I decided to be nice and a little bit creative (cause that's always a good thing) and I came up with this.

Tea with Milk

Okay, so I pretty much adore this book. I think my mom read it to me and my siblings for school when I was like 9 or 10. It's about a Japanese girl who is born in America and feels at home here, but is homesick when she moves back to Japan. It's really interesting learning about the cultural differences. When the time comes for her to marry, her parents hire a matchmaker. She gets upset and decides to find her way on her own, and I believe she meets a man who had the same life situation and they get married and it's a really awesome biracial book with awesome prose. We used to own it and now we don't and I'm still sad that we don't have it, and I'm planning on buying it for myself soon because I'm still a child at heart... Wait, scratch that. You don't have to still be a child to like this book. C.S. Lewis said, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." This is a good children's story, folks. As are all of the rest of the books on my list and you have to agree with me because my opinion is law. I'm going to buy this soon because it's a good book and you all can judge, but I don't care (and I don't think you would judge anyway). ;)

Love You Forever

Um, it's about loving your mom forever and moms loving their kids forever. What more could be said? I can still hear my mom's voice reading the words, and that just makes me really happy, but also kind of sad. I'll love my mommy forever. <3

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So they made this into a movie a year or two ago, and it looks really cheesy and I'm upset. The book used to be one of my favorites when I was little. It's one of those that you can't remember a time when you first read it because your mom probably read it to you before you could remember (literally). It's a really cute book and I might consider buying this one, too, just because I think it would cheer me up when I'm having a bad day. It's funny because some of the things Alexander gets mad about are so trivial and silly, but if it were happening to me, I would probably not be having it either. So if you're having a bad day, reach for this book and I can pretty safely say you'll feel a little better after reading it.

The Berenstain Bears

Okay, I'm pretty sure I was still reading these when I was 12... yeah, yeah, I know. But these books have good lessons and the people er, bears in the stories actually take a while to come to conclusions. I mean the plot lasts longer than just two pages. Anyway, I guess I've pretty much always kept loving the things I loved in childhood, even if I had first read or watched it now I would not, you know what I mean? I mean I think I still love some things because I remember how much I used to love it when I was younger and I feel like it's a part of me and it's harder to tell myself I'm too old for it than to just keep liking it, even if it makes me look like a baby.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Look at that cover though. It's so super cute. It makes me really happy. It's about how a little mouse would become your friend if you gave him a cookie. That my friends is what I call adorable.

Fox In Sox

I'm not gonna lie, I first read this book like this year, I think. This is my one year old brother's favorite book, so if he was crying, I would be like, "Hey, Xav, do you want to read Fox In Sox?" and he would stop and be happy and go find the book and bring it to me and we would read it over and over, mostly through skipping around back and forth all around the pages. I would be reading it (which, if you don't know, is all tongue twisters) and he would just stop every once in a while and look at me and smile like everything that was coming out of my mouth was gibberish and he thought it was hilarious. So yeah, I love this book and I also need to get my own copy. By the way, I really miss my little brother right now.


This is my name, of course this is gonna be on my list. Oh, it's actually pronounced differently, by the way. Mine is pronounced Madelyn and the character's is pronounced Madeline. I actually tried to get my parents to change the pronunciation when I was like 8 or 9 because I thought it would be cool. Idk, don't ask. But anyway, I had a lot of Madeline things when I was little. A Madeline barbie doll, a Christmas tree ornament, most of the books, a few of the TV show episodes, the movie... I think it's funny because Madeline the character is "the smallest one" and everyone is always commenting about how tiny I am. She also has a big scar from surgery and I do too. Aaaaanyway....

Blueberries for Sal

I actually don't remember much about this book, but I remember it is really adorable and since I don't remember it, that makes me want to find it and read it now.

Abel's Moon

This book is about a dad who travels and then tells his kids really awesome adventure stories. And then I think he builds them a secret fort thing where they can have their own adventures and pretend it's a spaceship or anything they want, and then when he comes home they can all tell each other stories. Basically, it's a book about a really awesome family who knows how to have fun.

Imagine a Night

I read this this year, I believe. The best thing about this book is the illustrations. If you look closely at the pictures, there are hidden people or faces, or the blanket on the bed looks like a field, etc. It's just really cool and creative.

So there it is, people! My favorite picture books of ever. Are any of yours on this list? Are you surprised that I actually came up with 10 books for a Top Ten Tuesday post this time? I hope you're having an awesome week!

Also, I have been changing a few little things on my blog, and I was wondering what you thought about the new look. Any suggestions?

Okay, peace out.

- Maddie

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Facing Fears: Is Love Really Worth the Pain?

This is something I have been reflecting on a lot lately.

In the middle of August, I had the chance to visit my best friends one last time before they left for their mission in England. It was lovely. Soccer and walks and chocolate. Videos, 3 am talks, a concert, and ice cream. Not getting lost, just not finding our way. Rounding the traffic circle seven times before getting off on the right road. Talking in our sleep and laughing at each other. Sitting in silence and feeling comfortable because we've known one another for six years and we've been through just about everything together. Saying, "Well, I don't know about you, but you're pretty much my best friend." And the other rolling their eyes and responding, "Well, duh, you're my best friend, too." I had such a wonderful time, such a perfect balance of deep conversations mixed with silly nothings, that when I left, I left depressed. There was an overwhelming feeling of the people I was closest to outside of my family being separated from me across the ocean and the burning question in the back of my mind, "Will it ever be the same?" We're all growing up, finding our paths in life. What if the next time we see each other one of us or both of us have a boyfriend? What if we somehow grow apart? When will we even see each other next? Why do we never seem to get enough time with the person who understands us the best?

I've never regretted knowing and loving the people that I am closest to in my life. I've never wished I hadn't gotten to know someone as well as I have, or that we hadn't been so close. But after I got back from my visit, when I thought about the new relationships that I could be cultivating here in my new home, I had to ask myself, "Do I want the pain that's going to come with this later? Should I just leave things as they are and not try to make actual friends with people here, but just keep things casual? Should I love now and be hurt later, or be lonely now and it won't matter later? Is love worth the pain? I know I would think so if I really did come to love this person. But right now, while I have the chance to save us both the heartache, should I prevent it?"

It's tough to be always moving. I don't know how attached to get to one place. It may seem like we'll be there for a long time - that this will finally be the last place we'll move to for a few years, if not that we've finally found somewhere to settle permanently; but the reality is, it's probably not going to turn out that way, no matter how it may seem now. My family hasn't lived in one place for longer than a year since 2010. But the thing is, I've enjoyed pretty much every place we've lived since then, and I know that if I move somewhere else, I'll most likely enjoy it there, too. So the hard part is moving and leaving behind the ones you love in that place and not knowing if or when you will ever get the chance to see them again, but also knowing that if you stay where you are, you could be missing out on falling in love with more people and places, too.

It's also sometimes hard being an introvert. I think it takes us longer to get to know people and to open up ourselves, and I feel like a lot of the time when I am just starting to feel comfortable around people, that's when we leave.

After the trip, I wrote this in my journal, "Do I really want to live here for years? Is staying in one place for years and years something I'm capable of? I don't want to always be moving, but since I always am, it's hard to picture me not. And I wonder if I would be able to stand it.... I guess I'm feeling lonely right now. I mean, where do I really belong? I've never wished that I hadn't met any of my friends, but at the same time, it just makes everything so much more difficult. I want to make friends here, but which will be worse: the pain of having no one to talk to, or the ache when I have to leave? I want to live here for a long time, but I don't. I want to get to know people more closely, but if I don't stay, it will make it harder to leave. Or what if they leave? Ever since I can remember, I'm the one who has moved away. I've moved on and left them, and met new people and been to new places, and I miss the people I've left behind, but at least I have a distraction. They have to stay where they are and go on with their lives without me, and I don't know if I could stand to switch places because I'm sure people handle it better than I would.... I guess that's what I want to know. Is it better to not have as much love, and therefore not have as much hurt? Or does the love always outweigh the pain?"

I was really praying that God would speak to me. There are times that I want to hear clearly God's voice more than anything, and that was one of those days. I didn't get an answer when I opened the Bible, and I went about the day in a deep sadness. At work, during my lunch break, I was surprised to see that Mia was online at the same time I was, and we were able to talk until I had to go back to work. She asked me how I was, and I almost just replied with the typical, "Fine, how are you?" But I caught myself and decided to tell her what I was really feeling. Sometimes it feels weird saying things like that over the internet and not in person, but as she was already in England, that would not be happening soon.

So I asked her, "Should I make friends now and be sad later when I leave, or be lonely now and it won't matter later?" I didn't use the word "pain" at all.

When she wrote back, she said, "Don't be lonely now. That's my advice. I feel like the pain is worth it." 

Her choice of words answered exactly what I had asked for earlier in prayer, "Does love always outweigh the pain?" There was such an inexplicable feeling of comfort that came with having received an answer to my fear from God and my best friend at the same time.

A few days later, I wrote in my journal, "I've come to realize that with life there comes pain, no matter how you choose to live it. I would be hurt if no one loved me. If I was deliberately abused, I would of course be hurt, too. And if I love someone and they love me and we never see each other again, we will hurt then, the same. But if I choose the latter, at least I'll have some happiness, too. I'll have the joy of memories. I'll always look back and be glad I knew them instead of the nagging feeling in the back of my mind saying, 'What if I had?'

"Life, love, and pain go hand in hand, no matter how you choose to look at it. Therefore, the choice that stands is not, 'if' we should love, but 'how' we should give and receive it."

We all have these fears at some time or another, don't we? You obviously know now that I do. Have you ever felt this way? The funny thing is, if we all thought this way and then chose to not love so as not to be hurt, how would life go on? We would all be so afraid to step out and go to new places and meet new people because of the possibly of getting hurt later that we would miss out on so much.

So go ahead and make that step. Get to know that person better who you were afraid to become close to. We shouldn't become too attached to anyone or anything because it wouldn't be good for us to be completely crushed if something were to happen, but that 'maybe' shouldn't prevent us from creating good, strong relationships now.

I want to hear your thoughts on this subject. I want these topics to be things we can share with each other. Little heart to heart conversations. It's good to know that people have the same feelings; that you're not the only one who feels a certain way. Not that you're glad someone else is going through the same ugly situation, but that since they are, you're glad they didn't just keep it to themself and think that they were the only ones with that problem. I want Facing Fears to become a regular post topic, and hopefully will post one once a month. What do you guys think?

And to end, I wanted to share a poem I wrote before leaving my family in Montana. I haven't shared some of my writing in forever, so here's a bit for you. Thank you for being patient with me, and for all of your wonderful comments on my last post. You don't know how warm it made me feel inside. You all are wonderful.

(I had titled it Fears Forgotten, but I'm not sure if I think it fits the best, now. Oh, well.)

It's good to know
You will be missed;
To know your loneliness is 
Worth something.
Nice to have the words taken
Right out of your mouth:
"Call me."
"Write me."
"Keep in touch."
"Tell me everything."
"I'll see you soon, won't I?"
Easier to breathe once your fears are taken away.
Honey, you're friends.
Stop worrying.

Peace, everyone. Until next time.

- Maddie

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In Which I Come Back From Hibernation

Hello, everyone!

No, I didn't die.

Thanks for your concern.

I'm really sorry for the pain you've been going through not knowing when and/or if I was going to post again.

Nothing tragic has happened to keep me from blogging except for maybe living an adult life. I just haven't had much time, and when I have, I have preferred to use that time to relax my frazzled mind.

Did you know it was my blog's first birthday on July 16th, and I didn't even have a party for it? I know. Shame on me. I'm a terrible parent. No, I really do feel bad. Other bloggers have awesome celebrations planned for their blogs which sometimes go for a week, and they'll have tags, and giveaways for their followers (cause you can't really give your blog a gift, so giving one to the people who support you and your blog is the next best thing), etc. I did not even acknowledge my blog, say thank you to any of you, or even post in like a month. So I'm saying it now: Thank you all so much. You all mean a lot to me. I mean it. It means a lot that you read what I have to say and take time to say that you read it and that you have opinions on what I have to say, as well.

Guys, I'm really sorry. I want you to stay. I want to have things to talk about. I don't want to slip away from posting for so long that I think that no one will be interested if I do decide to post again. I don't want to have a reason to think, "It's too late, now." I feel like I've been a bad blogger, and I want to have a more consistent schedule and really try to stick to it. I've already lost one follower, and I don't want to lose you, too.

I really haven't even been writing fiction, so don't feel left out. My creative side has really been placed on the back burner because work has kind of been burning me out. I really hate it. Not work; I love my job. I hate not having inspiration. It's like I have no inspiration, but I don't even want it/am not even looking for it, but I want to want it and I hate that I don't. I don't want to lose the writer in me. I want to always feel the need to write. I don't know why I don't right now and it bothers me. I guess I need to try to write and the more I do the more inspired I will be.

So life has been really interesting. I've been making new friends. I've been finding my own clothing style. I got my hair cut a different way than I have before. I've been finding new music and movies and shows. I've been figuring out that the stuff my mom used to tell me was healthy for me actually does make me feel good when I eat it instead of when I eat crap. I've been driving all around and having to make my own decisions about what events to say yes to and what to pass up on. I've turned down a relationship. I've said goodbye to my best friends and hoped that I will see them before a year is up. I've had to budget. I've been doing spiritual direction with my priest friend and have to dig and find my weaknesses and my flaws and my sins and try to figure out what will help me overcome them. I've had to push my introverted self to socialize when I don't feel like it because I know I'll be thankful that I did later. I've been learning my limits and finding when I do need alone time. I've been learning who I am as a person and it's a hard journey but I'm glad that I have this opportunity.

I've had a lot of time to think since I've been on my own. I have some thoughts that I want to share, and which I will try to put into words worthy of reading and post soon.

I have approximately two minutes before my alarm rings and I'll have to get ready for work, so I'm going to have to wrap this up quick. I'm really happy to be back, and I have a few post ideas. I will always appreciate receiving requests from you guys about what to post about, so if you have any ideas, please let me know! I love you guys, and I'll see you next Tuesday!

P.S. Maybe we should start planning my blog's second birthday now?

- Maddie

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Coffee Shop Chats - The Third

Yay! I was hoping that Tessa would post another of these. I love these chats! They're so fun. Click the link to see the rules for this link-up!

What I did this week

You won't believe it - I went on a mini road trip by myself! Wednesday was my day off of work, and I had heard that there was adoration outside in the evening around half an hour outside of the city I used to live in. The city was about 1 hr and 1/2 away, and I'd never driven anywhere that far on my own before, so I was nervous, but I made it with the help of my GPS and a phone call to my dad (but, really, guys, my dad is awesome). I arrived in the city in the afternoon around dinner time and was able to see my new baby cousin who is the most adorable little munchkin ever. I had dinner with my grandma, and stopped in at a bookstore before heading out to the church. I met a friend, and we sat together. Adoration was amazing. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of it - adoring our Savior out under the stars. I was able to go to confession, and it was a very peaceful time. I'm really glad I was able to go, even though it was so far away.

Also, that morning, I started spiritual direction with my priest friend who is pastor of the churches on the Reservation where my family is. The first session went well, and I'm excited for this new way to grow closer to God.

Food I've enjoyed made

Guys, I'm really bad in the kitchen, okay? I have been eating super simple things lately, because I don't want to waste food by cooking things that will turn out badly. So mostly sandwiches and cereal - I'm serious. Anyway, the other night I decided to try to make spaghetti. Let's say it wasn't a masterpiece. I think I cooked the noodles too long and the meat I tried to use for the sauce turned out to taste sour. I didn't want to get sick, so I threw the whole thing out and ate candy for dinner. That's a completely healthy alternative, what are you talking about? Ahem.

Drinks I've enjoyed

On the plus side, I found a really easy recipe for coffee vanilla milkshakes, and I've been loving those. *Goes to make one so I can take a picture for you to see* 

You're welcome

Music I've enjoyed

I've been noticing lately that my taste in music has changed a little. Or maybe I'm just discovering more music than I knew about before. Either way, I've been enjoying some music my aunt introduced me to, including Switchfoot, and Jack Johnson. Also, one of the only popular songs that I like right now is Hello by Adele. All the feels.

Movies I've enjoyed

Well, it's mainly been shows. I started watching Downton Abbey a few weeks ago, and I was like, "Oh, this is a cute show. Not much feels crushing going on, but I like it. It's interesting." And then came season 3 and I was like, "WHOA SLOW DOWN, NOW YOU'RE OVERDOING THE WHOLE FEELS THING. I TAKE IT BACK, I DIDN'T MEAN IT, GO BACK TO BEING THE INNOCENT LITTLE SHOW THAT YOU WERE AT THE BEGINNING!" I stopped watching it for almost a week just to recover from the shock and get over a character's death (and I had other things I needed to get done). I started season 4 on Saturday morning, and I cried through pretty much the whole first episode. But of course I'm still going to watch the rest. #nerdprobs

Currently loving

My job. Really, guys. I was so, so nervous before I started here. What if I had only liked the people at the old facility, and don't actually like being an aide wherever I go? I was so worried about the probability of being around younger coworkers than at my last job because I'm socially awkward I thought I worked better around older adults. And then I started work, and right away I loved it. I realized that I really do love being a CNA. I love the many different people I am able to work with - coworkers and residents. I love listening to their stories, and how each person has their own little quirks and preferences. I love being an aide, and I hope I'm able to do this for a long time. I really thank God for this blessing because if I didn't like my job, I don't know how I'd make it through the next at least 8 months.

Currently hoping

That I am able to visit my family for Thanksgiving! I don't think that I'll be able to get Christmas off, since I just started working here, and they'll probably give the holiday to the people who worked it last year. So, Thanksgiving seems like the best option to aim for, because New Years is probably pretty big, too. So please pray that I am able to get off for a good few days around Thanksgiving so that I can go see my family!

Looking forward to

A trip to see my best friends Mia and Ellie and Esther in August! The former two are both getting back from World Youth Day and Ellie is also getting back from SPEC, where she worked as a missionary in England for a year. She's bringing her boyfriend, too, and I am excited to meet him in person. Mia and Ellie are both going back to SPEC towards the end of August, so this will be the last I will see them for a while. *Royal sulk because they're leaving me behind* I am really, really hoping to be able to go and visit them, possibly in February, so please pray that that works out, as well!

Quotes I'm enjoying

To Answer Some Questions

What's on your summer reading list?

Okay, so I stayed up till 4 am on Saturday night to finish To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. Yes. Me. Staying up that late to finish a YA book. You know it must have been good. It was so beautifully written, and it felt so real. The dialogue sounded just like how teens talk now days. I could also relate so much to what Lara Jean was feeling when her sister left for college. In my case, I was the big sister who left, but I still felt her pain at being separated from the person she's spent her entire life with, and also the strain of all of the responsibilities she had to take on when Margot left. This book really spoke to me, because I'm going through a lot of what the characters in the book went through (even though I didn't write love letters that got sent out on accident). So, anyway, my quest for the summer is to be able to find and read the second book P.S. I Still Love You. Honestly, I don't really have anything else I'm planning on reading. I mean, I am going to read more, but I don't have something specific. I'm heading out to the library later to get a library card and I'm gonna look around while I'm there.

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?

In all honesty, I did nothing to celebrate. I know. I'm a horrible citizen. But at work we had a 4th of July party for all of the residents and staff and their families on the 1st of the month, so that kind of counts.

Convo Starters

Do you have any big plans for this summer?

Is there some special project you're currently working on, or that you've just completed?

What's on your summer reading list?

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?

Do you write more during the summer or take a break?

What do you drink at Starbucks on hot days?

Do you prefer summer or fall?

- Maddie