second look

I confuse myself.
I've always been a firm believer that things like personality and character trump outward appearances.  How someone dresses and presents himself/herself isn't as important as their morals and beliefs.  It's not all about looks.
This is a little hard for me to remember sometimes because I'm an extremely visual person.  I'm hyper aware of how things look, how they appeal to myself and others, the kinds of messages they're communicating, et cetera.  This visual focus is a great asset in my photography pursuits.
I also tend to put a lot of thought into my wardrobe, what I wear when, and how I do my hair and makeup.  I know that outside appearances should not define a person, but at the same time, there are people who do put a lot of stock into appearances.  And I know that if I am going to start a photography business, I need to maintain a certain level of professionalism when meeting with clients and working photo shoots.  That professionalism depends on, among other things, my appearance.
It's my constant internal struggle: Outward appearances should not matter, but I am visually stimulated to no end.

so much more

This song speaks for itself.

You are beautiful.



I'm a little excited right now.  :)  I've gone and splurged on some clothing items for myself.  In most people's eyes it's probably not seen as a "splurge" because the items were very reasonably priced.  But I'm the kind of person that saves every bit of money I can and doesn't buy something unless I really need it.  These were "wants" and not "needs" and that's why I'm excited!  I rarely treat myself to such things.
The first is a pair of blue knit fingerless gloves from Amazon.  My hands are always cold no matter what time of year it is.  The sleeves of my jackets and long sleeve shirts are stretched out from constantly pulling them over my hands.  Also, my hands get cold when I spend hours on the computer editing images.  So I think these will work nicely.  They do sort of fall into the "need" category, but it's a need I've been putting off for quite a while.  A friend of mine suggested looking at the gloves in the bicycle section of Wal-Mart and other such stores.  I'll check into that too next time I'm in the area.
The second splurge is a couple of t-shirts from The Swell Season.  I'm on their mailing list and they sent out a message yesterday saying all their t-shirts are 50% off through Sunday.  Only once have I bought a band t-shirt (Family Force 5 at Agape Festival last year) and I really like The Swell Season, so I jumped at the opportunity.  I bought the green trailer t-shirt and the black and blue zebra t-shirt.  I really like the designs of all the things they have in their store.  They even have cute little toddler size t-shirts!  Their posters are awesome too.  I'm going to keep those in mind for the next time I feel like indulging.  :)
So yep, those are my once in a blue moon gifts to myself.  They'll be arriving in the mail within the next week or so.  I'm very excited!!



I really love this book.  It's always been a favorite of mine.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Pavillion On The Links are the stories I like the most from this book.  I've checked it out from the library so many times, I ought to just buy a copy.  There's something special though about old books.  Reading a story from a brand new book isn't the same as reading it from a volume loved and cherished for several years.  I love old books.  :)


fairy tale

I'm not one of those girls that absolutely loves romantic chick flick kind of movies.  (I don't even like the color pink.)  However, there are a select few that I enjoy, including Beauty and the Beast.  You have to have at least one favorite animated Disney movie, right?  :)
There's a movie coming out in March that's sort of a modern take on Beauty and the Beast.  It's called Beastly and I'm kind of interested in it.  Yeah, I know, remaking such a classic tale could easily be a flop, especially if you're attempting to modernize it.
There are a couple other things that make me wonder how well this movie will go over.  Vanessa Hudgens stars as the "Belle" character while Mary-Kate Olsen portrays the "wicked witch" who curses the poor Beast.  Nothing against these two actresses, but I don't highly value their acting skills.  I haven't seen Vanessa in anything that's not High School Musical-esque and was never a  big fan of the Olsen twins' work.  But hey, maybe they'll surprise me and do a fantastic job!  I haven't really heard of the actor who plays the "beast", Alex Pettyfer, so I don't have an opinion on him, but he's in another new movie coming out: I Am Number Four.
What drew me to Beastly is how they portray the "beast", how they disfigure him.

Look at the intricate and artistic designs on his skin!  I really like it.  It's such a unique take on disfigurement.  Like, it's so strange and slightly grotesque that it's beautiful.  If they have such talented people in the make up department and artistic direction of their movie, they have to be doing something right. I'm hoping this is a sign that the acting, script, and plot will be up to snuff.  If it is, this movie could take a place among my other few favorite chick flicks.  We'll have to wait until March to find out!  (Or if what usually happens in my house happens again, I won't get to see it while it's still in theaters and I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.)


date night

Looking back on the past two years of my life, I realized something.

I was always wanting to be with someone.

I wasn't happy with being single.  The entire time either I was looking for someone or well-meaning individuals were encouraging me to look for someone and/or trying to set me up with someone.
I know that God created men and women to be together.  He instituted marriage, created the opposite sexes to support and love each other, to have families and teach them of His love.  I know that God put all of that into motion.  But the Bible also says it's ok to be single as long as you're not burning with lust and tempted to do things that should be saved for when you're married.
So, shouldn't I be content with being myself by myself?  At least for now while I wait for God's plans to unfold?



January was a hard month.  I dealt with difficult situations and emotions I had never experienced before.  And I'm pretty sure all the stress contributed to me getting sick not once but twice last month.  (I'm not one who gets sick easily.)
I'm pulling through though.  Rebuilding myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Getting myself to a place better than "normal".  Painting helps.  Writing helps.  Listening to music and singing helps.  It's people that help the most though.  Family and friends have been invaluable.  And lots of prayer.
OAFC this past weekend was just what I needed.  It was like back in the old days when I was the only guitarist in the South East Illinois group.  A nice weekend with a small group of people that all worked splendidly together.  And I pretty much was the only guitarist.  It was a really great weekend.
There were times when I felt like I wasn't all there, that part of me was missing, or that I was distanced from everyone.  But I pulled myself out of that hole of self pity, not wanting to sink to the bottom like I had last month.  Sometime between the beginning of the first church service and the end of Sunday school, I was consistently and genuinely happy again.  We completed the second church service and enjoyed the potluck with the church members afterward, and it was all wonderful.  I was thriving in the atmosphere, euphoric to be with friends and among such amazing and loving people.  I miss them so much.
I'm still not 100% back to where I was before, and my goal is to be better than I was before.  It's a process.  It takes time, support from those around you, and help from God.  With His help, I'm going to be better than ever.  Just watch.  :)


for you

Yep, another post about music.  Nothing wrong with that.  :)

Giving Up by Ingrid Michaelson

What if we stop having a ball?
What if the paint chips from the wall?
What if there's always cups in the sink?
What if I'm not what you think I am?

What if I fall further than you?
What if you dream of somebody new?
What if I never let you win, chase you with a rolling pin?
Well what if I do?

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

What if our baby comes home after nine?
What it your eyes close before mine?
What if you lose yourself sometimes? Then I'll be the one to find you
Safe in my heart

I am giving up on making passes and
I am giving up on half empty glasses and
I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

I am giving up
I am giving up
I am giving up on greener grasses

I am giving up for you
I am giving up for you
I am giving up