Things I liked before they were trendy:

Avocado toast


Ahem. My dad is 1/2 Chilean. Avocado toast is a staple. It doesn’t need any of that fancy stuff though, just some pepper, large grain salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice and you’re good to go mejita. 


Rose gold


I used to browse engagement rings on Etsy obsessively almost 5 years ago. I LOVVVEEED all the rose gold rings. Now you can find rose gold laundry hampers. 


High waisted jeans


They fit me better, look better on me, and suit the 50s vibe I’ve been inspired by since I watched Sabrina (starring Queen Audrey Hepburn) around 5 years ago. Could never find these except online until very recently. 


Neck scarves 


French, a la Audrey Roman Holiday, chic, and practical. How could I not love them? However, I couldn’t find them outside of antique stores till Spring 2017. 


Cat-eye sunglasses 


So 50s chic. Also became a trend Spring 2017. 


Cactus 


I was born in Arizona. During car trips back to visit family it was a tradition that whoever saw the first saguaro cactus got a quarter. (I’ve always been tempted to eat a prickly pear fruit. My mouth waters when I look at them. I still have no idea what they taste like.) And now you can find cactus print on everything. Or baby cactus in any home. 


Wonder Woman 


Before Gal Gadot mega-graced the big screens, I already loved the best female superhero in existence. TBH I got a bit jealous when literally everyone on earth was such a big fan of her record-breaking debut this year. WHY DID IT TAKE THE WORLD THIS LONG. 


Embroidered clothing


Just brings me back to when I was still little. Now everyone and their aunt Lucy has an embroidered baseball cap. 


Gingham 


A lovely red gingham dress with black accents just screams “toddler growing up in the early 2000s midwest” to me. Too specific? 


Gluten free stuff


All these new GF dieters don’t know what it was like pre “gluten free fad”. There wasn’t a GF bun option at your local burger place way back in 2009 when my brothers first had gluten cut out of their diets. Most people didn’t even know what gluten was, let alone have an alternative. 

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3 ways that MBTI has helped me and 3 big MBTI mistakes I’ve learned to avoid

If you’ve been on the internet for long enough you’ve probably come across MBTI (which stands for Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator) chatter or lists. It’s something I’ve become mildly obsessed with in the past two years because it is to interesting and just fun! But in my experience there are upsides as well as downsides to the MBTI. Here are three of each. 

  1. MBTI is a great way to figure yourself out. I’m sure everyone at some point in their life has felt like they were a crazy weirdo. MBTI helps relieve some of that. You learn that there are other people like you out there. 
  2. It can assist you out of ruts in your personality. I’m an ISFJ, but when I first took the test (in a rough part of my life) I got ISTJ. I realized later on that it’s common for ISFJs to become jaded during trying periods of their lives. I read about how ISFJs can get unstuck from a apathetic state and move on and it helped me. I’m a Feeler if there ever was one. 
  3. It helps you understand people. Finding out someone’s personality type is for me like finding buried treasure. There’s so much information, so many resources. So many ways you can easily figure out how to encourage them, help them through a rough time, or just be understanding to them. 
  1. Blaming character flaws on your personality type and then not even attempting to change them because that’s “how you are” is very wrong but very easy to fall into. As an ISFJ, I usually see “passive aggressive” on the list of ISFJ faults. I see that as a way to change those behavioral patterns in my life. But that can also be used as an easy excuse to continue to be passive aggressive. 
  2. You shouldn’t use someone’s type against them. Or be prejudiced against certain people because you know about their types and have pre-conceived notions about who they are as a person. Also I don’t recommend paying too much attention to any list that say your type “shouldn’t get along with/like” this type. As God’s children we’re supposed to love EVERYONE. I suggest reading every MBTI article with a large grain of Bible salt. 
  3. Don’t try to change yourself to be a more stereotypical version of your “type”. There are billions of people in this world and billions who have lived before us and no two people are exactly alike. God created us all with individual personalities and souls. He’s an artist who didn’t paint only 16 portraits, but billions. We shouldn’t shove ourselves into a box for the box’s sake. It’s unhealthy and insulting to our Creator. 

Do you have MBTI tips or warnings? What is your “type”? Leave a comment! 

DISCLAIMER: MBTI is NOT in any way involved with astrology or horoscopes. It’s based on research and science and not superstition (which can be an understandable assumption at first glance). 

2nd Blogiversary & Givaway 



Hello lovelies! ❤️

It’s been too long since I posted something of substance on this cobweb-collecting corner of the internet. I’m not a very good blogger but I do think about my readers a lot and it’s the thought that counts right? *cries in shame* 

ANYWHO! My blog has existed for two whole years now! I started it in the back room of my Nana’s house in Arizona. I worked on it for an entire day. I still haven’t figured out the ins and out 100% and I’m (obviously) still not posting consistently, but so many of you have humbled me by talking about how much my blog has impacted you and I’m surprised every time. I pause and I’m like “Wow God. You knew what You we’re doing when You inspired me to start this seemingly silly, insignificant blog.” 

You guys are what keep this thing going. So I want to thank you with a giveaway. (And maybe a video at some point?)

SO. In order to enter you must:

  1. Be following my blog and
  2. Answer the following questions:
  • What is your greatest passion that is unique to you?
  • What unique gift has God given (or is cultivating in) you that pertains to how you relate to other people? Are you empathetic? A good listener? A great practical helper? 
  • What is one of your weaknesses and how is God working you through it? 

You can either comment them below or on my corresponding Instagram or Facebook posts since commenting on blogs is sometimes a hassle. 😂

After you all have commented I will assign you a number and then use a random generator to pick a number for me. The giveaway will close November 19th and I will chose a winner on November 20th. 

“…But…what’s in the giveaway?”

 I’m collecting little ideas here and there already, and more details will follow. 😉

Thank you for reading! ❤️ Hopefully I’ll come up with something interesting to post on here soon. It’s been a weird year. 😂

Being an Oldest Sister: Pros and Cons

1. Pro:

You get first dibs and first say in pretty much everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You want the leftover coffee? HAHAHA YOU THOUGHT!”

 

2. Con:

You also are responsible for pretty much everything.

“How was I supposed to know they didn’t make their bed?”

 

3. Pro:

All your siblings look up to you and adore you.


4. Con:

They fight for your approval.

“But I love ALL of you. Equally.”

 

5. Pro:

You get to stay up late and hang out with your parents.

“Binge Parks and Rec and gobble ice cream? YeAS PLEAZZZ!”

 

6. Con:

Finishing a conversation with them in the middle of the day is rare.

*How I look when a sibling interrupts me for the millionth time*

 

7. Pro:

There’s always someone to cuddle with.

Blog Tag — and an apology


Amaris (aka Phoebe) over at The Storybook Journal (one of my absolute favorite blogs) tagged me in something… in April…. And I feel awful that I didn’t see it until this week. I’ve sort of slipped out of the blogging world this year.


Not because I wanted to, but life just seems so busy and spontaneous. Sure there were plenty of times when I watched TV or scrolled through Instagram when I could’ve been catching up on all the lovely blogs I follow.


But my brain just never went there. So to all you amazing people with amazing blogs that I love to read but just haven’t, I am very, very sorry. My heart kinda hurts. Know that I still love you guys and I’m going to try better the rest of this year. *hugs and kisses*


So after all that mushy sad stuff, how about I do the tag eh? Thank you so much Phoebe! You are a WONDERFUL blogger friend. (Seriously guys, just go check out her blog. It’s enchanting.)

  1. What are you wearing right now? A lacy pink top and floral chinos.
  2. If you could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be? A fashion designer in the 1950’s, living in Hollywood or something. I’d want my office to be mostly windows and filled with plants, and have a fun, lovely staff. Ahhh it just sounds amazing.
  3. Is there a celebrity that gets on your nerves for some reason? Why/how do they bug you? Ugh ok, I REAAAALY don’t like Jennifer Lawrence. *hides from Hunger Games fans* She’s absolutely not classy, she acts like a comedian in real life but is like a talking piece of wood in the movies I’ve seen her in. Those are just my opinions though.
  4. Do you have any strange phobias? No, not really. Seeing a cockroach always makes me have a stronger reaction than most bugs. I’ve always been terrified of getting bit by a black widow though, and I actually had to kill one a few weeks back, while it was killing a poor, innocent honey bee. *sniff* Poor lil bee!
  5. Is there a movie or a TV show that you could watch over and over again and never tire of? The Lord of the Rings for a movie, and The Office for a show.
  6. Are you looking forward to anything exciting right now? I have a baby sister due in October!!! *throws pink confetti in the air* 
  7. Would you rather go to a book store or a craft store if you only had time for one? Probably a book store… I would spend too much in a craft store. I don’t even crochet anymore but I saw a sale for my favorite yarn in an email and my heart jumped a little. I still want some of that yarn darnit!
  8. Which historical figure do you admire most? I’ve always really admired John and Abigail Adams. I feel like they were the most truly conservative founding father and mother. They opposed slavery while others (I’m looking at you Tommy J.) insisted on keeping theirs. Abigail is a woman of virtue who definitely deserves more recognition.
  9. Do you prefer early Spring or late Spring? This is actually hard to answer! But I’m going to have to go with early. My birthday is in the beginning of March (which technically isn’t Spring yet but eh) and I like how its still a bit cool out. And just the freshness and optimism that comes with the beginning of Spring! It’s so good!
  10. Did you pull any practical jokes or pranks this April Fools Day? I actually did. So my sister has this strange aversion to Nicolas Cage (don’t ask why, she really doesn’t know). Our hallway upstairs is covered in family and baby photos. I spent a bit of my evening March 31st printing off different sized Nicolas Cage faces and taping them over pictures of my sister. It took her quite a while to figure it out! XD The weather pulled a prank on us as well. It snowed. Not like a tiny little dusting either. Golfball sized snowflake clumps fell from the sky, when it had been in the 70s days before. It was crazy!!!
  11. Does your family decorate the house for seasons and holidays? If so, who does the decorating? We do! Mom usually does it with us kids, but my Dad helps with Christmas decor. 

So here are my questions!

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world at any time in history in whatever social class you want, where, when, and what would they be?
  2. What is your dream occupation?
  3. If you could learn a skill from one famous person, dead or alive, who would you choose?
  4. If you could change one thing in all of history, what would it be?
  5. If you had to live in one already existing fantasy world, which would you choose?
  6. Do you want to date and get married? Why or why not?
  7. If you got your dream dog right now, what would you name it?
  8. What would you want your life to look like in five years?
  9. Who is your favorite actress?
  10. What is your favorite movie that makes you cry?
  11. Do you have a job (volunteer or not)? What do you do? (Babysitting and working in the church count as answers.)

And I am tagging Nina, Leah, Shelby and whoever else reads this! If you don’t have a blog, leave an answer in the comments! I’d still love to hear them!


 

 

The Coronation: A Book Review 

Last month I read The Coronation (The Tales of Tarsurella Book 1) by Livy Jarmusch (find her online magazine here!). It is a fiction, almost fantasy that takes place in the 21st Century (how cool is that?!?). This book includes many good, Christian themes, but I think the one that stood out to me most was guarding your heart. 

This story gives voice to several main characters: the royal siblings, their romantic interests, the retiring king of Tarsurella, and the royal staff. Most of the book follows the events of the eldest royal child Addison’s coronation and search for the right wife and queen. It also follows along with some of his younger sisters and their romantic interests. 

The climax was completely unexpected on my part, and it was nice to be surprised by something so exciting as opposed to seeing it coming from the first chapters.

 I breezed through The Coronation in one day, which is something I haven’t done in years! The ending left me wanting more and I absolutely can’t wait for part 2! 

This book was so entertaining but it had so many good lessons masterfully sprinkled throughout. One wasn’t sacrificed for the other in this story. Jesus was presented to readers very plainly. I was so touched and even convicted at parts that I couldn’t hold back tears. You just know the author loves Jesus. 

There are an abundance of characters which means that everyone who reads it should find at least one that they can relate to, and even learn from. 

I related a lot to Addison, and a bit to both Chastity and Hope. Also I love that one of the staff is named Clark, and he ends up being a hero. I couldn’t help but compare him to one of my favorite fictional heroes who shares his name. (I have yet to ask Miss Jarmusch if this was done intentionally or not. *winks at Livy*) 

So if you’re itching to read a book with adventure, romance, engaging characters and plot, a most importantly a focus on Christ, you will love The Coronation! 

Thank you so much Livy for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour! 

The Gentle and Quiet (???) Spirit


(Thoughts I had while doing my own personal Bible reading) 

1 Peter 3:4
A verse that has always bothered me because I thought it meant I needed to change my personality. I think of all the times I get excited and bubbly while having fun, or during Bible study I discover something new and exciting or read something that causes deep thoughts to come to the forefront of my mind, and I have to let them out. I don’t like the thought that I, as a Christian woman, have to be “quiet.” Gentle, I don’t mind because I’m not as gentle as I should be, and I want to work on it. But quiet? Isn’t that a little old fashioned? But I missed a very key word here. Spirit. “Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” How often are things in the Bible called very precious in Gods sight? Not often! And yet this is something that God considers precious. If you look at verse 5, it says that in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves. Let take a look at some holy women of the Bible. 

We’ll start with Deborah in Judges. Not only was she the one God’s people came to for Judgement and advice, but she prophesied, led the Israelites into battle against the Canaanites (along with Barak), and sang a victorious song of praise to God afterwards. Was she quiet in the verbal sense of the word? Not at all. 

Next Ruth. Her mother in law told her to pursue Boaz for their redemption from their pitiful state. Did she argue? No. But did she pursue Boaz’s favor by following him and boldly talking to him? Yes! This is not what I would consider “quiet.” 

Next we’ll jump into 1 Samuel 25 to Abigail. In perhaps one of the boldest moves made by a woman in the Old Testament, she confronted a wildly bloodthirsty pre-King David and 400 of his wildly bloodthirsty men. In order to bring peace and to keep David from forfeiting his crown, she brought food at the risk of losing her own life. She prophesied to what God’s plans were for David’s life and urged him to keep from bloodshed and stay true to God, and God would make for him an “enduring house.” Wow. Would you consider this quiet? Not me! 

Now in the book of Esther. She goes before the Babylonian king uninvited, at the risk of losing her life, and pleads for the lives of her people. In the meantime accusing his right hand man, Haman, of deceiving him. Bold in every sense of the word! Her courage and unabashed need to be heard kept an entire people, the people of God, from going extinct. 

I could go on, but I think my point has been made. Have we girls of the post feminist movement started to misinterpret parts of the New Testament, the very Word of God, as misogynistic (I hate typing that word out by the way 😂)? Maybe even without realizing it? If God doesn’t mean “women should be seen and not heard” in 1 Peter 3:4, what does He mean? Why is this thing that is commanded to only women (which I think is very special) so precious in His sight? To quote Elizabeth George, “Quiet has to do with a tranquility arising from within, causing no disturbance to others. Quiet means bearing with tranquility the disturbances caused by others. Quiet applies to words, countenances, and actions.” (Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, pg 13, 14)

I think here God means a quietness that comes from within. A quietness that maybe only women are able to convey, and all these bold, peacemaking Biblical heroines do convey. It comes from our God-given spirits, an ability to bring peace to a situation or people in general. Maybe this is a characteristic of God that is given to us, but we have foolishly discounted it because a (roughly) 6,000 year history of men abusing their God given, for-a-purpose, ultimate dominion over the earth. But because legalistic men and women have misinterpreted this verse as a tool to keep women, in the verbal sense of the word, quiet, does this mean that we women should cover it with a black pen so we don’t feel convicted or commanded by this verse? Absolutely not. It’s important. Christian women are commanded and have the power to be peacemakers. Starting in their own homes and spreading to their friendships, churches, workplaces, and the entire world. And it’s PRECIOUS in God’s sight! How amazing is that? 

Being an Entrepreneur is Hard


I read an article called (I’m paraphrasing) “How to know you’re meant to be an entrepreneur.” One of the reasons was, if you started businesses all the time as a kid. I definitely did that. When I was seven I planned a lemonade stand at my grandmas house (she lives on a very quiet, not busy street but that didn’t deter me). After that I gave massages for a dime, ran a “library” with my own books out of my room, started a homemade cookie business, inspired garage sales, babysat, and had a million business ideas. I would have so much passion for my business idea early on. I would get a rush of pure energy and excitement as I planned it out. And then reality would set in and my dreams would take a back seat. I sold so many cookies, but I never actually made a substantial amount of money because I would use all my earnings to buy ingredients. It was fun, but not profitable. I lived in Tucson for 6 months and found a small coffee shop that would sell homemade crafts for free, so I meticulously crocheted several sets of washcloths, packaged them prettily, and priced them accordingly. I was so excited. I sold 2 sets out of the 4 or 5 I made. Then the business shut down, and I never got my unsold washcloths back. Time after time my “business ventures” have ended in disappointment. And for someone like me who has never had a desire to go to college, it was especially discouraging. If I couldn’t even succeed in selling something little and cheap, how was I supposed to make a living as an adult? Babysitting is fine, but it can be unpredictable and you can’t always fall in love with your clients (I have been very blessed by some great babysitting jobs over the years, so don’t give up!) 

That’s where Young Living comes in. My mom discovered Young Living essential oils when I was 15, and began working as an independent distributor at the same time. At first she struggled a lot. It was rough to see her work so hard and only one person show up to her oil parties (this has happened more than 3 times in only one year and a couple months of having parties). I would even shed a few tears about it sometimes; it just hurt me to know she felt like a failure or like she wasn’t doing good enough. I could sympathize with that. Once I turned 16 I too became an independent distributor. It’s been a slow beginning for me as well, but not as bad as her because by the time I started my mom had a good support system going and was able to build my down line. But I have a unique problem — my friends are not grown women with a paycheck, they are broke teens who are overwhelmed with school and cars and college and LIFE. How am I supposed to be successful and help my friends if they can’t even afford it? For the most part I have yet to figure this out. How to pursue a passion that I’ve always had, maintain amazing relationships, and reach people I care about with something as life changing as essential oils are without them thinking I see them as extra cash or them seeing me like a crazy hippy witch. One day I hope to have girls like me to throw oil parties with, celebrate small victories with (like making Senior Star!), and educate people with. But for now it’s me and mom. I get a paycheck every month, I help people with their oil questions all the time, and I assist my mom every day. My end goal, if it’s God’s will, is to continue making rank and reach a point where I COULD be completely independent. I’d love to buy a house and be able to make it “mine”. Sometimes this seems improbable and like wishful thinking, but I know this business won’t just drop out from under me like every other of my ideas has. I finally have an outlet for my passion, and this time it seriously helps people and I’m confident in the products I’m representing, because I was skeptical at first but then I actually experienced them and I could hardly believe it. 

God made each of us with different passions: some have a great talent with animals, some with children, some with the hurt and dying, some with struggling people overseas, some with art, music, dancing, some with sciences or teaching. And some  (like the forgotten portions of Proverbs 31, verses 13, 16, 18, and 24 in particular) with entrepreneurship.  When someone asks you what you’re doing for college, you can say with confidence “I am/hope to be an entrepreneur.” If you’re building your business (whatever it may be) in a God honoring way, it’s not something to be ashamed of. You are not greedy or less intelligent compared to your more academic peers because of your career choice. You don’t shirk from hard work and being creative and putting yourself out there to survive. And that’s why it’s hard, but oh so amazing, to be an entrepreneur. 

Q&A 

This was a long time in the coming, I’m really sorry I’ve neglected my blog all year! I hope you guys enjoy these answers to your questions! You asked some great ones! 

Q: What makeup products do you use?

A: Young Living lipgloss/perfume set, Bling highlighter stick (in silver), Covergirl mascara (in very black), EOS lip balm, and ULTA brand eyeshadow. 

Q: Favorite thing to do with your family? 

A: Probably talk! We have good conversations, of the theological and nerdy sorts and everything in between. Besides that I really like watching movies/TV shows together. 

Q: Family traditions you love?

A: Our nightly Bible study and our birthday outing with just mom and dad. 

Q: Books/movies you had high hopes for, but didn’t enjoy?

A: A movie that disappointed me the most was Tomorrowland. I was so looking forward to seeing Walt Disney’s imagination come to life in a way it hadn’t ever before, and instead 3/4 of the movie was a random girl and guy running/driving away. Ugh. 

Q: Top 3 favorite YouTubers?

A: Girl Defined Ministries, How it Should Have Ended, and Blimey Cow. 

Q: Favorite Christian Books?

A: Hudson Taylors Spiritual Secret, Do Hard Things, Stepping Heavenward, Pilgrims Progress, and Preparing to be a Help Meet. 

Q: Your passions and how you use them for God? 

A: I have a passion for writing. I try and use my writing as a way to point people to Christ, my blog and Instagram being a big part of that. I also have a passion for reaching out to people who may be hurting, which I’m not as good at but I’m trying! 

Q: Favorite books?

A: All the above mentioned books, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, The Bronze Bow, The Viking Quest series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and several Janette Oke books. 

Q: Favorite books for singles?

A: Preparing to be a Help Meet and Stepping Heavenward. 

Q: How oils have and are transforming your health?

A: Oils have impacted almost every part of my life! Not a day goes by when I don’t come in contact with them somehow. My skin is clearer, my immune system works better, I have less toxins in my body, I smell better, I could go on! 

Q: Favorite computer game/app/or video game? 

A: I have a confession: I really don’t ever play video games, or even apps on my phone! But I love watching my dad or brother play Shadow of Mordor and the Arkham Knight trilogy so those are my favorites

Q: Favorite hairstyle?

A: Well I like half up styles best but my hair is normally in a convenient knot at the back of my head

Q: Favorite store?

A: Trader Joe’s!!! And Natural Grocers. For clothing I really like Old Navy and H&M

Q: What’s your favorite recipe to make?

A: Probably my chili. I actually won grand prize at a chili cook off when I was 13! 

Q: What are your top 5 movies of all time?

A: This is probably that hardest question I’ve ever had to answer. AHH. Ok I’ll narrow it down. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Man of Steel, and Back to the a Future. 

Q: What is your least favorite music genre?

A: Country. I like Bluegrass and Folk, but NOT Country. 

Q: What is your favorite season?

A: Spring! If I could make it Spring all year long I totally would. It’s warm but not too warm, there are green things and flowers everywhere, and it’s just so fresh and optimistic. 

Q: What’s your favorite Bible verse?

A: Another hard question since I have a billion favorite Bible verses. Romans 8:38-39 is very dear to my heart though. 

Q: What have you learned from being an older sister?

A: Oh, so so much! I’m still learning patience, responsibility, kindness, gentleness, and how to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’ve noticed what my siblings really need from me is for me to be gentle and kind. They react so amazingly to being treated that way. 

Q: What kind of phone do you have? And do you like it? 

A: I have an iPhone SE, and I like it a lot!

There you go! I hope you like my answers! This was really fun to do, thank you so much to the people who gave me these great questions! 

2016 


This year. I don’t really think I can define it as really good or really bad. Health-wise I didn’t feel great. It felt like one thing after the other all year, whether it was random pains or stomach issues or just a lack of energy and motivation. Ick. School-wise I kinda failed. My room was messy most of the time. I didn’t keep up with my chores or what went into my stomach. I ate sugar and drank coffee even though they made me feel sick. I didn’t publish half as many blog posts as I wanted to. I spent way too much time on social media. I didn’t write as much as I wanted too. I did hardly any reading outside of school (and Bible of course), which included a vast amount of books, and classics too. But still, I didn’t even try to make time.

 I was also busier than I’ve ever been this year. I made friends that require you to actually see them in person to get to know them. All 2015 I bemoaned the fact that I had no friends, but all 2016 I realized how hard it is to make friends! It’s one of the hardest things I did this year! Some people I thought I would click with I didn’t, and people I never would have expected to click with I did! I realized that you need that click in an acquaintance to really become friends with them, which is a really odd sensation. Some days I just wanted to cry with frustration about how hard it is (some days I actually did). But the relief and joy I got from clicking with people was so great. I realized I’m not that much of a weirdo, people do have the capacity to like me. I have this thing where, when I’m getting to know people, I want to share everything with them. I become like an open book, and later on it embarrasses me when I realize that people probably don’t even care. Some people made me really comfortable opening up to them though, and I’m so grateful to them because I really need that. 

I was also busy with actual work this year! I babysat, started a business, and volunteered at church. I had responsibilities to other people, not just myself and my family. Lots of lessons learned there too. 

My church experience was unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced in my life. I really ate up sermons. I cried during worship. God spoke to me directly through all of it. I also gained a loving church family, one that has blessed us so many times. I made friends with wise adults and was encouraged by them. I learned a lot about God overall. 

So this is super long already, but I would like to give you all a rundown of my year by the month! 


January

Not much happened. We painted our house and unpacked boxes. I drank a lot of cappuccinos, watched Pride and Prejudice (’95), and did school. 


February:

My Nana and Pawpaw visited and we went on a train to Santa Fe. On the 13th I attended a Dating and Relationships seminar at church for all the youths. It was really helpful and informative! 


March

I turned 16! I got my own Young Living Starter Kit as a present. I also found out that my mom was expecting my 10th sibling (counting baby Hope in heaven). 


April:

My great aunt and great uncle, my mom’s cousin, and her kids came for a visit. We explored the petroglyphs only minutes away from our house with them, which was so cool! My aunt and uncle and 6 cousins also came for a visit. My baby brother Elam (which means “forever” in Hebrew) went to be with Jesus and my sister Hope. It was very hard for me to deal with and my heart hurt a lot, but God sustained me through it. 


May:

I got a new pupper! Mollie was the highlight of the month. My Nana and Pawpaw visited again and we went on the train to Santa Fe again. I also got a haircut I regretted but it’s all good now. 😂


June

My aunt surprised my mom for her birthday and visited! We had so much fun with her. 


July

This was when things really started to get busy! VBS was so much fun! I made a new friend (hi Caitlyn!), and got barely any sunburn. There was also a ball, which I was so nervous about but turned out to be some of the most fun I had all year. Also I started another great friendship because of Air Force, fandoms, and weirdness (Emma, you know who you are. 😂) 


August:

A considerable portion of my church left to start a church plant including one of my friends, so everyone was already a little sad. But then the Sunday of their sending off Pastor did a sermon and mentioned, his voice breaking with tears, a family who had lost a child and a job in one year and still trusted God through it. I don’t know if he was talking about my family or not but my tears would not stop flowing. I couldn’t stop crying the rest of the sermon. Talking afterwards was difficult. I called my Nana as soon as we got home from church and told her about it and she encouraged me an comforted me. Thankfully she came for a visit only a week or so later, bringing my Pawpaw and Tío with her. This month I also started getting constant neck and head pain. 

September:

We took a trip to Flagstaff and Tucson, AZ just for fun. We visited the Grand Canyon too! 


October:

My Grandma and Grandpa flew in for a visit. We went to Santa Fe on the train (again 😂), and also to the top of the Sandia mountains which was so amazing! This was also the month Elam was due, so I was a little melancholy all October imagining how happy this month could have been, but also rejoicing in how his little life blessed us! 


November:

I attempted NaNoWriMo but was not successful. I did a lot of shopping and babysitting this month! My aunt, uncle, 6 cousins, and Nana and Pawpaw came for Thanksgiving and my dad’s birthday, which was SO much fun! I also visited the doctor about the pain that started in August and she diagnosed me with tight muscles in my neck and shoulders, and prescribed me massages and helpful essential oils. A relieving visit to be sure! 


December:

My sister had a super fun sleepover for her birthday and we didn’t go to sleep until 4 am. We saw Rogue One on opening day, and it was really great! 😂 I went to 2 Christmas parties and had a lovely Christmas overall. 

So that was pretty much it! How was your year overall?