Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Branching Out Into New Territory...

For as long as I can remember, people have teased me for being "too feminine."

I know. Me? A girly-girl? Ridiculous! :P Not. :)

I am very much of a "pretty-in-pink" philosophy. (Except when I get into my competitive mode and people wonder why I'm still alive...lol) But in all honesty: don't you think it's harder to be a girl nowadays? Especially a girl with spunk?

One on hand, we're told that pretty=sexy. ('Cause you know it just can't mean anything else, right?) On the other, we're encouraged to abandon all feminine "conventions" and turn Rosie the Riveter. I'll confess, it's very hard to find a perfect balance: how to be modest, but still dress with class and flare, not to mention your own personal style. It's something I've struggled with all my life.

BUT no longer. I've recently been inspired by a girl who wore one dress for 100 days to raise money for orphans. You can check out her blog here: misselanious.com (Go through her back posts...)

Anyway, I was so impressed by her good taste, I decided to copy (as best I could) her wardrobe. This is the first outfit I've put together, and I thought I'd share it with you all in case you wanted to play around with the idea. ;)
Black dress, fuschia top, a scarf that I turned into a make-shift belt, a black hat, silver bangle, and black wedge-heel shoes. Simple. Direct. And very cute though I do say so myself. ;)

Now go tackle your wardrobe!
(You'll be amazed to discover how much useful "junk" you actually own!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Changes in Progress

Just a little FYI...

I'm in the process of rearranging some things...in case you hadn't noticed the brightly colored background. Hard to miss. ;) As I don't have a lot of time to spend in one place, please just bear with me as I redecorate. Man, if I'm this is how I am bad with a blog, what am I going to be like with my own house? :D

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home Is Where the Heart Is...

Well, it's official. I've been home for over a week. Hard to believe I was ever on the opposite side of the world...but it's nice to be back and surrounded by family. :) Of course, I miss the friends I made in Austria, the laughter, the teasing, and waking up to that sublime mountain view! But I know deep down that real friendships never die...and that regardless of how far apart we may grow in this life, there's always the hope of Heaven. What a reunion that will be!!! :)
 Me and mom.
 I suddenly feel really short. Where are my heels when I need them? :)
 Even my baby brother has surpassed me. :( And you have to know I'm 5'6".
Little Miss Mia. It took 5 tries just to get her looking AT the camera. :D lol

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Fear of Letting Go.



God's ways are not our ways.
He doesn't operate by our rulebook,
Or submit His work for our review;
He doesn't rush through a difficult situation,
Or give away the ending before it's been written.
He is patient, ever patient, teaching us day by day;
To reach out our hands in the dark...
So that He can grab hold.
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
He knows no constraints of time.
Sometimes He chooses a better plan than the one we devised.
Sometimes, He chooses to answer our prayers.
When we call out, "Lord, open the door, if it's Your will,
And shut it if it's not."
Do we really mean it?
Or when that door slams with a deafening thud...
Do we wonder what went wrong?
Were we really prepared to watch dreams die?
When we cry out, "Lord, take my life, and make it Thine!"
Do we really mean it?
Or like an angry child, snatch it away,
The moment He starts to move in.
Were we really anxious to pick up our cross?
When we throw up our hands and cry,
"Lord, I surrender all!"
Do we really mean it?
Or do we hold on so dearly
That He must say,
"I will work, but first...
You must unclench your fists."

 © OrchardHouseScribblings

Let go for Him today! 

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." ~1 Corinthians 13:12

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Recap of Austria...

Early-morning smiles...
 Sweet fellowship...
 Packing on the calories...:)
Messy dorms...
 Work...
(2 hours washing chicken, my back couldn't take it anymore--lol)
 And more work...
 Great memories...
 Amazing people...
Candid moments...
(I think this picture is absolutely hilarious!)
Picturesque scenery at every turn...
Thank you, God, for an amazing three months in Europe! 
And thank you everyone at Schloss for helping me write this epic chapter of my life! 
I'll never forget it...or the people who made it all worthwhile. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grado, Italy

Because one of the conferences wasn't scheduled to arrive until later in the week, the castle staff treated everyone on SOS to a beach day in Grado. It was beautiful--and stiflingly HOT! :)
 On the bus...
Me and Madeline...
 Grado. It was seriously the flattest beach I'd ever seen. You could walk out into the water for over a 1/4 mile and still wade no deeper than mid-calf...
 Love bein' lazy...
Yes, even in Italy, I don't forget my American snacks. Like the Chips A'hoy bag in the background? :P
Soaking up the sun.
 We stopped in Tarvisio on the way back for dinner. Can I just say that my authentic, Italian tiramisu was like eating a slice of Heaven? Specciale!
Joci and Jimmy, two of my dinner companions...
My room mate, Kelsey, conked out after a hard day's fun! 

I officially LOVE Italy!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Costume Night!!!!

Here are the long awaited pictures I should have uploaded weeks ago...oh, well. Better late than never, right? Enjoy!
(L-R) Savannah, Madeline, Dannii, Laura, Rebekah, Dasha
 Beauty and the Beast...
Kati and Sean were every girl's dream item, engaged at a beautiful castle and counting down the days 'til the wedding. I was *ahem ahem* a crucial part of their relationship. lol Not really. But I DID know about the ring before Kati...and served as Sean's go-to person for ideas...not that I minded in the least! *halo*
 Marius, Hollywood movie star wanna-be. :)
 Alex and his family.
Princess Leia and Cleopatra (aka Leah and me!)
 Josh, who quite obviously went as Tinkerbell...
Maxine, the nurse!
 My room mate and fellow coffee-shop patron, Micayla!!!
 Agi, the fairy...
Brandon, the lumberjack, and Jurek, the farmer...

Overall, it was a great night, filled with lots of fun and laughter. Thanks everyone for being such great sports... despite inaccurate game questionnaires, late night dancing, and less-than-graceful face plants by yours truly! (lol--do guys even know how hard it is for a girl to move with dignity in a floor length dress?!?!?!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food for Thought...

'They were girls still, full of spirits, fun, and youth, but below the the lightheartedness, each cherished a purpose, which seemed to ennoble her womanhood, to give her a certain power, a sustataining satisfaction, a daily stimulus that led her on to daily effort and in time to some success in circumstance or character, which was worth all the patience, hope, and labor of her life.'

An Old Fashioned Girl, Louisa May Alcott