What Staying at Home Looks like for Me

Since moving back from CDA, my life has had quite a few changes!

The most significant of course is that all my schooling is now online. I actually don’t mind that too much, surprisingly. I miss seeing my friends at school, and I think I learn better in a classroom environment, but having my school online has helped me in terms of scheduling. Especially with the school magazine this semester.

Not too glamorous pic a classmate captured of me working on the magazine at our old Airbnb.

Taking 8 classes (double of a full-time semester) has been a bit challenging in terms of I don’t have time for all my homework, especially with the school magazine. This week is production week, and I spent all last week trying to get as much homework out of the way so I could spend this week on the magazine. It comes to a point where I’ll have to admit, I’ve done my best and spent countless hours and late nights on it. It’s as good as it’s gonna get.

So in short, that’s what staying at home looks for me. Working on school nonstop. But there are also the moments…

Like when I took a walk down the driveway and realized I looked like a little kid running away from home to all the passerby.

Or had a three-way FaceTime with my long-distance bestie so I could meet her military boyfriend.

Or invited my sisters over and we spent an all-nighter binge-watching the seventh season of “When Calls the Heart.” (Seriously LOVE that show. Team Nathan or Lucas, folks? My vote is with Lucas!)

From left to right: Nathan, Elizabeth, and Lucas from “When Calls the Heart”

Those are the memories I’ll remember. What memories have you been making?

Thoughts with Hannah

Hi my dear friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared something like this (and it pains me to think that as it is the most important thing in my life). As I sit here trying to get through my homework load at my newly arranged yet already cluttered workspace (much like my newly transitioned but already disorderly life), I realize that all too often when times are good, I tend to stick these serious issues in the backseat while I enjoy the drive. It’s not a new thought! But sometimes it takes a change to help me remember and reflect once again on to Whom I owe my joy, and why life is worth the living. And that’s what I’m here to share.  I’d like to talk about the greatest love story in history, and that starts with creation.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1. God created us in His own image and breathed in us life. But we sinned against him because we were not satisfied with what He had given us, and our unity with God was broken. But from the very beginning, God created a way for sinners to be reconciled, and that Way was Jesus. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 2:5.

Jesus was God’s only begotten Son, fully God yet fully Man, and the only One who had lived a perfect and undefiled life, therefore the only One who could lift the curse we had brought on ourselves. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:5. Jesus suffered a painful and humiliating death on a cross to pay for the salvation of His people. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Rom. 10:9.

Salvation is a free gift. We didn’t earn it, we couldn’t, and all we have to do to receive it is to believe and confess. While everything in the world we see seems to be changing so drastically, this Truth never changes. Jesus is way to eternal life. Don’t take that lightly! “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28. Jesus is the reason that we can rejoice in the midst of suffering because He is Enough. He will never leave us nor forsake us!

 “I hadn’t asked Him to forgive me of all the sin in my life, and I realized all along that I had just been depending on my good works, and maybe my parent’s faith, to get to heaven.

And boy is that a joke, ’cause when I was on the brink of death, I realized that nothing I ever did was enough to pay for what I had done.

It had taken me all of just a minute then to recognize that the only thing that stood between me and eternal damnation . . . was the cross. So while I was lying there in that coffin, I asked Jesus to save me and make me His forever, because I don’t think I took it seriously before, but a close brush with death can make you rethink your life all over, and I knew right then that I didn’t want to live anymore without living for Jesus.”

-Excerpt from “The Summer of Our Lives,” some book that will start in existence if this old self will ever get around to finishing it.

October Highlights

I should really be doing homework…but I’ve had brain fog for the last couple days, compliments of a cold plus my wisdom teeth getting pulled out (which by the way, laughing gas is like the funnest thing ever just saying. And my dentist [yeah, dentist, not oral surgeon] was super cool and let me look at my holes mid procedure).

So here’s my October highlights.

I had a super fun sister date with my lil’ sis for her b-day. We had sushi and watched the new Spider-man. This picture was taken at the harvest carnival where we helped run games.

I also got to help a friend cook for another harvest carnival in Montana. That was a lot of fun, and gave me another opportunity to wear my prairie dress and sport my camera. I’ve also been able to play with studio lighting at my college.

Here’s one of my favorite studio shots

The Sentinel’s fall magazine is almost ready for print (just like our semester is coming close to an end, yay!) and that’s super great especially because I’m so done with going to coffee shops. What started out as a super fun project had turned into a dreaded chore, but I’ve successfully been acquainted with every coffee shop within 2 miles of campus so mission achieved.

The school hosted a roller skating night

And I know I did other things but maybe this brain fog is just too strong for me to think. There was also a concert, a couple dances and plays, Panda Express runs, and most likely mad librarians in there somewhere. Probably the best memory is my friend tearing across the Student Union Building at the mention of free cookies.

Hope you all have a happy, happy fall!

House pictures, as promised

Here are some house pictures, as I promised a couple months ago. Hehe. It’s been fun getting to do a little interior decorating. Currently, the kitchen is a complete disaster because of the canning season, so no pics of that. Well, not a complete disaster, but my sister is working her way through 1 million apples so the peels are coming out of our ears.

Here’s the living room.

Before:

(sorry for the bad cellphone pic)

After:

I painted the walls Cloud Cover, a slightly grayish-white. The tables came from Facebook yardsale and the couch from a secondhand store. I decided to go with a slight beach and travel theme.

I found the matching anchor pillows at Goodwill for $2.99 each.

The lighthouse coasters were also from Goodwill.

This old wine box serves as a shoeholder.

And, yeah, I love indoor plants.

Here’s the dining room before picture:

Sorry, another phone picture.

And after:

And there’s my laptop and camera junk….and a hammer…on the table

I tried to add light by putting in the little mirrors but they sort of do nothing but look cute.

And here’s a few pictures of the tidier parts of the kitchen.

And of course, the bathroom. Sorry, I have no good before pictures.

Yes, that’s a real plant.
I found that little message in a bottle at a thrift shop last year.
I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

August/September Highlights

Sometime towards the end of August

I feel like I begin every highlight post with “the month has just flown by,” but that’s how I feel every month!

School started! I’m taking a lot of fun classes this semester including voice, a journalism class in which I’m an editor for the school paper (and I get part of tuition paid through that!), and a photography class. It’s a new season once again, fall is making its entrance. . . we’ve even had snow already!

As I look back on this summer, honestly, I didn’t do that much. I mean I did a lot, but nothing memorable. (Isn’t that sad?!) Mostly just worked and crammed in two college courses (which was super hard). So that was fun, NOT! But I made it! (And I’d probably do it again next year just to finish up.) I’m hoping to make this fall season a little more exciting and try to work on my book again if the rest of my schedule would just calm itself down a bit.

10/07/19…..oh geez

But for now, I am loving my photography class! I have learned so much about operating a camera this past month. I love photographing people especially and recently did a newborn shoot which was super fun.

And hey, I did another fun thing! I went to Lake Moraine and Lake Louise up in Canada….gotta use that ol’ passport again.

That beautiful blue just soothes the soul.

And besides that, I’ve just been working on my place a bit. Pictures will come soon, I promise.

P.S: Take me to a pumpkin patch and we can be friends forever.

Seasons of Change

Change is inevitable. It’s not always bad, nor good. But it always happens.

A friend once told me that my life was like a movie. And now I see what she means. My life has changed crazily and rapidly. In one year, I went from a 4-H homeschool girl with big dreams and plenty of time for adventures to a run-from-class-to-class college student juggling two jobs.

But the dreams are still there.

Dreams of traveling the world with a pen and paper, the wind in your face and sun on your hair. Of early mornings in the garden with coffee, and late nights on the porch rocker watching the starts come out. Of sleeping on the beach and hiking in the mountain. Of getting the last paragraph typed.

I had this dream my life would be.

And so I’ve let go of my lifeguard job so I could have more time to start my little business and more time to write. Time. Every time I’ve let go of something to free myself up, I’ve looked back and wondered how I lived through that season.

And that’s life.

The real and the messy. The mud, blood, and tears.

Well, not too much blood. So far my worst injury was shooting myself with a nail gun and I aim to keep it that way. So let’s hope my aim is better.

Here’s to the raw.

I cried last night. And have lately…a lot. With everything swirling out of your control, sometimes the weight of the world seems upon you. But it’s not. And it’s under His control.

Isn’t it so awesome that our God never changes?

Be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Ruth Cye Jones

March Highlights

03/25/19

Did someone say spring?

Yes! I did.

Haha, yes I know that was a lame joke.

I’m so thrilled that spring break is here, and I only have 5 weeks left at school! . . . .then 2 free weeks before summer semester starts……

But for now, FREEDOM!

###

04/15/19

Then I ended up covering shifts but it’s all good.

So here’s my March highlights now I’m finally above the waters a bit.

It’s finally warming up, so between classes we go out on the beach! My college campus is conveniently located on the shores of lake Coeur d’Alene.

I chaperoned at a youth retreat in Montana where I snapped this pic at an old phone booth of the highway. We climbed up the buttes behind the campus in snow a few feet deep for some fun. 

This YMCA office has been my homework place lately during my breaks. Which I actually should be doing at the moment since I got an assignment due. Until next time, cheers!

February Highlights

I picked my college degree focus!

Well, I picked two actually: Journalism and photography.

And this is the girl who was never going to go to college. Hahahaha

I started out attending school last fall, with the intention of taking only English classes so I could better my writing skills. I ended up taking English and joining a choir. (I thought I was just signing up for voice lessons, haha.)

And then….

I thought college was kinda cool

….and I found out I only needed to take one math class to compete a degree.

Fun Fact: I hate math.

So,

I decided to get an AA.

Originally, I was going to go for English. But then my adviser enrolled me in a journalism class that I ended up loving. And I realized I didn’t like the English program.

After some research, I found out with only 4 more classes, so one semester, I could add an AA in photography, too.

So let’s hope I get through college soon so I have more time for writing.

This wasn’t a regular monthly highlight. But, that’s cause all I’ve done this month is work and school.

But here’s a photo of my latest toy I borrowed from the journalism department. Pretty soon you should start seeing some shots. Let’s hope I’m a natural 🙂

this is a picture of a camera, but I
would like to point out that my Converse are pretty sweet, too

10 Fun (and random) Facts About Me

1. I’m studying in college for a journalism and a photography AA. I’m super crazy about grades and will do all extra credit work. My plan is to go to school over the summer so I can get done faster, but online so I can work more hours (although I’m already pretty much full-time). If you asked me what I looked forward to most each day I’d tell you bedtime. (I know I’ve become so boring.)

2. I’ve become a shoe freak over the last couple years. I just got a pair of checkerboard vans I’m in love with (swoon). I love skateboard shoes and sneakers! But no heels! I actually just bought my first pair of heels today because I needed black shoes for my choir concert and they were the cheapest shoes at the thrift shop. I’m throwing them out directly after the concert. Who invented such painful flimsy contraptions?

3. I waitress at a Mexican restaurant and lifeguard at the YMCA. I love both my jobs and I think they’re pretty cool. One of my bucket list items is to work as many different odd jobs as possible, so I’d like to add the ski resort this winter.

4. Right now my favorite TV shows are When Calls the Heart and Liv & Maddie. My all-time favorite is Bonanza! (Cause Candy is the best!)

5. I LOVE the Canadian Anne of Green Gables! I could do an Anne marathon any night! (Well, any night I wasn’t at work or had homework due…)

6. My style…..I love jeans and a sweatshirt. And if I’m home its sweatpants. In summer I run in T-shirts and swim shorts.

7. I try to be creative but often fail. I was going to buy a cute daily planner to journal and sketch in but I opted out for the cheap $2 one in the end, which was a good decision because all I fill it with is to-do lists.

8. I think it would be super fun to run an old-fashioned 1940s ice cream parlor.

9. I plan to work on a cruise ship when I finish up college, so I can “see the world.”

10. When I get enough funds, I plan to build the “Ponderosa.” (That super cool ranch in Bonanza.) I realllllly want a bunkhouse. Then I can host retreats.

November-January Highlights

Hi friends! Sorry it took me so long to get this post out. Life has been super busy lately and I had to fly out of state for some family business. Here’s a recap of my last couple of months.

YMCA

I got a 2nd job life-guarding at the YMCA. I really enjoyed the course because I’ve always thought First Aid was interesting. It’ll also help me when I write about my character who lifeguards in an upcoming book :).

Ski Resort

I had a blast skiing at the local ski resort. I plan to try snowboarding next, so we’ll see how that goes. 🙂

I also had another choir concert, started back up with school, bleached my hair a little lighter, and got braces. It’s been a busy past few months. 🙂