Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dodge Ball & Running & Friends // Weekend Recap

Hey there!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend - you think I'm just saying that, but I mean it sincerely.  Remember when I gave away free stuff that one time? Well, we have a free stuff winner!  Huge congrats to Christy Spurlock of Spurlock Sweet Adventures - I'll be right over to help you spend your Target money.   

If you're not Christy Spurlock, I'm really sorry.  I bet you wish you had $50 to spend at Target.  I know I do - I'm not her, either. 

You may have noticed that my sidebar looks a little different today, and if you didn't, I'm very offended.  Jk.  Consider the "About Me" that's over there right now to be a sneak peek at the new design that I'm working on right now, and don't be surprised if things look a little rough around here for the next few days.  It's a work in progress.

My weekend started out with an intense study session at Panera after school and track practice on Friday.  The AP Psychology exam is in just over a week, so obviously I was all business and spent way too much time taking pictures of our smoothies.  Figures. 

Once some actually studying got done, I headed home for a little Shark Tank watching with my parents and an early bedtime to make sure I was ready for Saturday's track meet!  ( Last week I stayed up until 2 the night before.  Never. Again.)

This week's meet was great because we didn't have to be there until noon, which meant sleeping in and time to relax in the morning.  We spent most of the afternoon braving the wind and relative cold, but the sun was out by the time my brother ran his 3200.  

I will never stop being amazed at the fact that people actually volunteer to run around the track 8 times.  Bravo, all of you. 

After the meet, the younger siblings and I headed home for a quick bite to eat and then to school for a dodge ball tournament.  It's an annual event, but for one reason or another I haven't been able to play until this year.  I was pretty excited about it!  Our team had really cool matching shirts that, fortunately, didn't show how intensely I was sweating.  I had no idea how hard 2 minute dodge ball games could be.  Also evidenced by: my still very sore shoulder.  

We had two wins and two losses, with one of the wins being very close and very satisfying.  So, no, we didn't win and I may have lost a bet because of it, but it was so fun! Worth it. (Hint: If you click here or if you follow me on Twitter, you can see the play of the game, courtesy of yours truly. They laughed at me and I still don't get why.)   

Post dodge ball tourney, I spent the night with some friends.  Late night brownies, Jessa Duggar's wedding, chick flicks, and all the weird stuff that happens when you're up too late - it all happened.  So good!  I told everyone that I was going to visit them every weekend when we're in college and make them have a sleepover with me, and I think they thought I was joking.  That's cute.  

Sunday morning meant waking up early to get home after too few hours of sleep in time for church and work afterwards.  The rest of the day was spent running, doing blog and school work, and eating chocolate.  I'd be a liar if I didn't list that as a major activity.  

What about you?   What fun things did you do this weekend?  



P.S.  Pssst . . . there's a link up right here tomorrow!  Don't forget to come hang out, and bring your It's a Fine, Fine Life post with you! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Leting Myself Be Known // If You Read This Email

First things first:  a huge thanks to the people who have helped me to get It's a Fine, Fine Life started (check out their links here.) It's so cool to see this idea becoming real as different bloggers get involved. For the eleventy billionth time:  I'm pretty excited about it.  

In other news, I got mock-elected for "Best Smile" in my senior class, which means that I get to have another picture of myself smiling awkwardly in the yearbook in addition to the one that's always there, year after year.  I find the whole situation ironic because that photo over on the left is a pretty accurate representation of how smiling usually goes to me.  I promise: the vast majority of pictures taken of me look almost exactly like that one.  

That was such a humble brag.  I hate that I did that, but not enough to take if out of this post, so I guess now we know something about me.  I'm a humble bragger.  Actually, I just kind of really wanted an excuse to use that photo on the internet.

In other other news, I've stumbled on some really great internet things lately.  Here you go: the 50 most beautiful quotes in The Great Gatsby + confessions at The Daily Tay (read the comments and thank me later) + beautiful, anonymous emails.  

Especially the emails. 

Allison, who always finds the coolest internet things for me to obsess over, did it again with If You Find This Email.  It's a website that publishes the letters that were never sent - to old friends grown apart or between people who have never met.  It all started with hundreds of emails, begging to be read.  Behind those, people needing desperately to be heard.  There are long, crazy stories and short lines of really great words, and I fell in love instantly.  As I scrolled down the page, through months of emails, I couldn't help but be amazed at the sheer number of people who had so much to say and only this place to say it.   

People need to be known.  It's almost ironic that, for all the constant connection and instant updates of right now, we're still missing that.  For all that's known about us, so little is known about what's in us.  We crave being real, raw understanding and honest connection.  

And connecting is a two-way street, and vulnerability is essential.  I can think of nothing more terrifying.  Oh, I want to be known, and known well, and I want to avoid the inevitable risk of all that.  I want to only give of myself when it's safe and shrink back when fear tells me that I'm taking it too far.   I don't know if it works that way. 

Safety jeopardizes relationships.  Who would have thought?  By erring on the side of caution when it comes to vulnerability, we gamble our chance of being not just heard, but understood.  I'm thinking that if I'm going to bother knowing people at all, it might be worth the risk to really know them.  And, yeah, to let them know me, as hard as that is. //


P.S.  More blog things at Treasure Tromp, right here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I'm Happy Because I Read Pretty Books // It's a Fine, Fine Life 2

Hey, there!  I'm hoping you had a lovely weekend and spent it partying or on a lake or going on long walks or something equally worthwhile.  The majority of my Saturday (thanks for asking) was spent being sunburnt and windblown and occasionally running at a track meet, which is how lots of spring Saturdays are spent and suits me just fine.  (Oh hey, alliteration.)  That was followed by a mad dash straight from the finish line of my one and only race to work, which may have included a wrong turn and twenty a few miles in the wrong direction.  That is the last time I try to make money and track meet in the same Saturday.  

Other than that, evenings been laid back and given me some quiet hours to sit on the couch and soak up some new reading material, and I couldn't be happier about that.  Actually, the only thing that's making me happier about the insides of these books is their outsides.  And I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I mean look at them!  Look at those coordinating color schemes.

They're so perfect together and something tells me that if the books I'm reading match, I have to be doing something right in life.  Not just anyone can pull that off. 

Did I mention that the words inside are so good, too? Let's talk about those. 

Maybe you've heard of Hannah Brencher? She writes here and in her memoir, but she was first known for writing love letters to all of New York City, in a way that is entirely not creepy.  

The book paints a panorama picture of Hannah's move away from her identity and into big, unknown New York City, and deals with giving things up and hoping for things that seem to big and so many things that a lot of people fight with in some way.  It's an incredibly real, inspiring story, of course.  But what's pulling me in more and more is the way it's told - girlfriend can put words together in such a beautiful way.  Here, you try. 
"I thought this would only be a story to show those children of mine how much human hands do matter.  Within a world that is always talking too loudly about what it means to "matter," I wanted this entire story to tell them the truth of it: that they will matter when the sun is up and when it is down.  When there is sunburn on their shoulders or when their shoes no longer fit.  Or their luggage never arrives.  Or they come back from Paris with a ramshackle heart and one less body beside them.  I wanted this story to convince them that they matter, always, and that the point has never been to know it but just to accept it." 
 I mean, seriously.  I could read it forever just to appreciate how good it sounds.  Keep writing, Hannah!

On the other end of the literature spectrum (but, happily, very close by as far as colors go): Top Dog by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman.  According to the back cover, it's somewhat of a staple among successful, suit wearing types - found  "in briefcases of Wall Street traders and Madison Avenue madmen" and "being debated in the halls of academia."  (Also: in my hands as I sit beside the pool with my eyes squinted barely not shut, preparing for a busy day of more lounging and maybe some beach volleyball.)  Basically, this book is everywhere where big and important things are happening. 

I'll probably read it again when I'm done.  There's a lot of information packed into the pages, most of which I could apply to the things I do in some way.  Lots of new ideas in fewer lines, which makes it both impossible to read quickly and hugely interesting.  It's all about competitions and the people who comprise them: men vs. women, those who crack under pressure vs. those who rise to the occasion, disharmonious teams vs. a group of best friends.  I'm learning so many things that I wish I'd known before, along with a bunch of names of enzymes and things (be prepared for lots of biology-related words!)  It's worth it.  It's given me a lot to think about and has challenged a lot of pretty widely-accepted ideas (yay, free speech and open discussion!)  I'd recommend this one, too. 

It's a fine, fine life for me because I get to read two really good (matching) books!  Why's your life good?  Link up and let me hear it!

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