Friday, November 14, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Finding God

Last fall I went through a phase of desperately needing to better understand the world and my place in it. An overwhelming direction from God led me back to church after having been away since I was a young girl. I didn't know much about my faith, and I didn't know where to attend church. All I knew was that I needed to find that place. 

The first church I visited was Portland's Church of Christian Science -- it's right beside a Lutheran church where I meant to attend service. I didn't realize where I was until the sermon was starting so I politely stayed. The messages I heard there didn't help me connect with my faith and the church vibe wasn't the warm comforting love I needed. The next Sunday I attended church at First Presbyterian. Ever since that Sunday the people there have been a second family.

My first service happened to be the day all the different church organizations set up a table and recruited church-goers to extend their faith to a new activity. A few sweet, sweet ladies reached out to me and asked if I would like to join their women's Bible Study. The focus and concentration I put on God during those meetings has gave me a better direction to serve Him. I learned to love myself and others. I learned to forgive. And most of all I learned that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and will forever seek to better my relationship with Him. 

Last November I was baptized as a member of First Presbyterian. My parents came and I was surrounded by love from them and ladies in my Bible studies. At first I was embarrassed that I was being baptized as an adult, but now I am happy that I will always be able to remember and cherish that experience. One thing that was very special for me was being baptized my our associate pastor. She is inspiration for the Christian I want to be; dedicated but admittedly not perfect, and progressive yet traditional. I was the first person she ever baptized (with the exception of a Cabbage Patch doll at seminary, apparently) which made it extra memorable for both of us. 

My parents and myself at First Pres after my baptism (November 2013). I am holding the fantastic study Bible I was gifted from my Bible study ladies.
Since that day I have learned to better understand and love myself, those around me, and the world we life in. I am far from understanding what it means to be a Christian, but the endless journey of trying to better understand that has led me to be the best version of myself. I can never thank God enough for leading me toward his Grace. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top Preppy Blogs to Follow

I am always looking for new bloggers to follow. The list of blogs I regularly read consists of country prep, city prep, southern prep, fashion focused, lifestyle focused, blogs with hundreds of thounsands of views, and blogs where I am usually the only visited -- a huge range. Thank the Lord for Bloglovin so I can easily keep track of them all. (Follow me HERE!) I decided to share a top 5 list of my favorite prep blogs right now a.) I can suggest awesome blogs to readers who are interested, and b.) in hopes you'll share your favorites with me :)

The College Prepster - I love Carly. She always seems to have her life together which is inspiring for me. Her day-to-day life is interesting and between her puppy Teddy and beau Garrett there is alot of cute pictures.

Living in Yellow - Erin's posts are some of my favorites. There's never a dull in quality or diversity. She regularly posts beautiful fashion photos along with great life stories and tips. She is really upfront and honest which makes her relatable and I really enjoy that.

Prep in Your Step - This is the perfect blog I need to read. Preppy fashion and inspiration to get fit. Her passion for running makes Dorothy really inspiring to follow. Her posts are consistently really interesting as well!

Sweet Southern Prep - Aesthetically this is one of my blogger inspirations. Ashley does a great job making her blog, and her life is really interesting to learn about. Also, her and her husband have the cutest children.

Southern Curls & Pearls - I can't even explain my love for Caitlin. I am head-over-heels obsessed with her hair. If anyone can help me get curls like that please do.

Essentially all five of these women are gorgeous, live beautiful lives, and make me want to be a better person. Do you have a blog? I'd love to check it out! If not I'd also appreciate suggestions for other blogs I should read :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good-Bye Pumpkin Spice Everything Season

My parents came and visited me on Halloween weekend. I hadn't saw them since I left home in August so it was a really nice visit. They were only here for two days so I wanted to make the most of our time together. Fortunately the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island was still open for a couple days after Halloween. Otherwise I am not sure what we would have done. Every one gets excited for fall activities, but they all end after Halloween (at least here) leaving nothing to do for the rest of the fall. 

My dad went about his own business while my mom and I went to the Pumpkin Patch. After Halloween all the pumpkins were free so she took a few little ones home for Thanksgiving decor. We both had a blast even though I got lost on the drive there and it was a little cold. I'm glad it was still open for a couple days after Halloween, because I don't have alot of ideas for late fall activities.

It is still beautiful outside, but increasingly colder and more rainy. Today I it was 32 degrees when I woke up and is suppose to snow tomorrow (what??). I need to come up with a list of fun things to do while it's cold out. It's definitely still fall, but a much colder version of the season I was so excited for in September. Cabin-fever is already setting in, and I don't want to spend two months of my senior year bored. 
Does anyone have any fun activity suggestions??

Top (J.Crew) | Boots Ariat-Pendleton | Messenger Bag similar - Pendelton  | Coat - Barbour | Scarf - Nordstrom Rack

PS: Excuse the photo quality. 1. I forgot a memory card so these were taken on my phone, and 2. my mom is less than a profession photographer.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Lewis & Clark and My Team

All year long I try to be reflective and thankful for the blessings around me. November is an opportunity to share my thanks with others so I wanted to do a Thanksgiving series this month. I decided to post once a week on Thursdays discussing a larger topic as opposed to every single day in hope that my writing will be a more thought through and in depth. 

This week I want to talk about going to school at Lewis & Clark College and my debate team. I talk about both these things quite often, because they are very important to my life right now. My undergrad years have been completely defined by coming to school at LC and deciding to debate. There have been multiple times where I have questioned if coming here was the right choice or if spending my time debating was what I actually want. In the end I realize that those choices have surrounded me with some of the most amazing people I know and I am genuinely happier than I have ever been before.

Photo via PDX|Cept

My freshman year of high school I began looking online at colleges. In Eastern Oregon the number of people who end up going to college is lower than in most areas and the majority of those who do seek higher education attend a regional state school. The idea of attending an expensive and competitive private school is more rare. When I set my sights on Lewis & Clark I received alot of snarky yeah, good luck with that! comments. 

When I found out about Lewis & Clark I instantly fell in love with it's beauty (LC is always ranked in the top 5 most beautiful schools in the nation!). I remember staying up late looking at pictures of LC with my mom, but subconsciously telling myself not to get disappointed when my application gets rejected. For four years I dreamed about LC, but never expected to be accepted. I was in Italy when I recieved my "Welcome to Lewis & Clark" email, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. My parents still have my acceptance letter framed and hanging on the wall. It's not that Lewis & Clark is Harvard by any means, but for my family and I it was a big dream that somehow I was lucky enough to achieve. 

Attending school here has been the best decision of my life thus far. The academics are more rigorous than expected and that has encouraged me to learn more than I would have at another school. It also helps that my professors are so supportive. They remember things about me from semester to semester and know what my academic strengths are and push me to overcome my flaws. 

Hands down the best part of my undergrad experience (and probably life thus far, honestly) has been being a part of LC's debate team. I talk about it all the time, because my life is focused around my teammates and our tournaments. The people are super weird, but they're my family. I have hated each of them at points yet love them always. Each member of the team has done something to help me become the person I am now. I am more outgoing, confident, and intelligent than I would be if I had to go through college without their support.
This is the team in 2012 at our annual Christmas party.

This is my eight year of doing debate and still every round teaches me something. I consider myself somewhat intelligent and that is 75% because of debate. The activity itself is really beneficial for me, but most of all it's just really fun. For my last semester I am starting a new partnership with a girl I've never debated with before. Together we should be successful, but regardless of that I know we will have tons of fun together. (There may or may not be matching American flag trucker hats involved...)
Sarah, my partner this semester, and I debating in our favorite round we ever had together.

I am not sure how I became lucky enough to be at Lewis & Clark, but I am thankful for it every single day. 

Other bloggers have been writing Thanksgiving posts that I love reading. If you have posted something similar please share! If not, what are you most thankful for this holiday season?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Insta-Recap + Favorites

As Fall settles in so does the stress. School work is piling up, I am more homesick than ever, and debate is frustrating. It's just that time of the semester, unfortunately. Right now it's hard for me to conceptualize how I can successfully do everything I want to, but I am sure I'll figure it out ... I always do. Until then I am just going to keep pushing along, take a few deep breathes, and enjoy my senior year.

I went pumpkin picking with my best friend. It was a beautiful day and just the type of break from school that I needed. Spending time outdoors; running, fishing, pumpkin picking, whatever is the best for of stress relief. Check out my post from my visit to the pumpkin patch

Officially hot drink season 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't in love with our freshman boys. They're all absolute sweethearts. A few of them started a republicans club on campus which is pretty awesome.

After tournament weekend after tournament weekend I feel like I am constantly traveling. 100% exhausted 24-7.

School. Ugh. Please be easier.

I've been trying to get back into healthy habits, but it is oh so hard. 
Especially when it is always raining or absurdly muddy outside.

October Favorites <3

"God Made Girls" - RaeLynn

This song is so sweet. I have had it on repeat basically all morning. The video is worth a watch as well! RaeLynn is awesome; I can't wait to hear more from her.

I bought this will a sale coupon and wear it almost every day. It's warmer than my favorite Shep Shirt and beyond cozy. They have it in quite a few colors now too. It is a little boxy though so I would suggest getting a smaller size.

Sherelle is everything I want to be in life. She's my new blogger crush. Her and her husband are wheat and potato farmers in Idaho and the blog is wonderfully done. I can't stop looking at all the beautiful photos of her family and farm. 

Even though the entire month was a struggle, October was very enjoyable. How was your October?

Also, if you have instagram comment your handle and I'll follow you. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween, America!

This year Halloween fell on a Friday for the first time since I've been in college. In past years I've stayed home, handed out candy to the neighborhood kids, and did homework like a nerd. I had big plans to do the typical college Halloween thing ... and I ended up attending up at Portland State University listening to philosophers Slavoj Zizek and Jean-Pierre Dupuy speak. A million times more nerdy than doing my Homework. 

All in all I had the privilege of hearing a big-shot academic speak in person for the first time, and I was able to spend a nice evening with some close friends. Sometimes the best plans aren't the biggest ones.

I rarely dress up for Halloween, but for some reason I had the motivation this year. 
This costume might be my favorite thing in the world. Trust me, I will find many opportunities to wear it again in the future.

(Please excuse my disgusting farmer's tan that I try really hard to hide in photos.)

We took the bus to downtown and decided to grab dinner and drinks at Luk Lac. The food and drink I had were delicious! The unfortunate part is that I'm the world's whitest person and had no idea how to order Vietnamese food. My friend Fielding and I had to have the waiter explain what literally everything on the menu was. Finally we decided to get some noodle-thing. Like I said, it ended up being delicious! 

Zizek apparently uses a cellphone #funfact

Pretentious lecture and a slideshow in Comic Sans font. Solid. 

Hearing this two speak was a really cool experience. The content wasn't overly interesting to me personally. JPD decided to shift away from the topic discussion of religion and focus on similar questions about future. As a result hearing them speak together really didn't make for a comprehensive discussion, but whatever. I was mostly just excited to hear these men speak in person. They could have read me the Yellow Pages for all I care.

In the end my Halloween was no where near what I expected it to be. Yet, somehow way better than what I had imagined. Funny how that works out. I hope you all had a WONDERFUL and safe Halloweekend. 

What did you do for the holiday? Did you wear a costume?

Heart Shaped Sunglasses [out of stock - similar]

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