Monday, December 7, 2015

It's the little things

Little moments pile up every day, and it's so easy to miss them. I'm trying to be more intentional about using my camera to capture some of those moments. As I look through my pictures from the past couple of months, they bring back memories of my little sister drawing pictures for other people and playing with the toys I used to play with. There are images of soccer games and church events. Those are the little things that matter, even though they seem small. It's when we bring glory to God through the little things that we are practicing a life of godliness. When the big events come along, we'll be far more ready to glorify and serve Him if we're in the habit of doing so in the day-to-day business of life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Back in August, I had all these grand ideas about what the school year would look like. I would dedicate a lot of time to my Etsy shop, blog consistently, spend time with people, all while staying on top of my schoolwork and working 25 hours a week. I even planned to do the "Write 31" challenge in October which is where you pick a topic and blog about it every day in October.

But then all of my grand plans came crashing down around me. My courseload took a lot more time than I thought it would. Working at 3:00 am three days completely consumes those days, even though I get out by 12. I haven't blogged in over a month. I haven't added many items to my Etsy shop.
For the past month, I've been gradually feeling more overwhelmed with everything I have to do. Some days I just don't get much crossed off my to-do list. Some days end in tears.

But I keep reminding myself that this is the phase of life I am in. Life will always be crazy, I know, but it won't be like this forever. I need to apply myself and give everything I have to where I am now rather than hoping for it all to pass away. God has me here for a reason, teaching me that not everything goes my way and I can't control everything in my life. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites // 6

This week has finally felt like fall. Earlier this week, it was so chilly I even pulled out my handknit socks for the first time this season. I wish fall could just stay forever.

Do you ever find that you music preferences change with the seasons? During the summer I listen to more upbeat, acoustic music, but once the cooler months roll around I listen to a lot of Michael Buble, Josh Groban, and Andrea Bocelli. You can listen to a few of my favorites in this playlist.

// This week I finally purchased some tea from Winterwoods Tea Co. They make organic, loose leaf teas, and the flavors I have tried are amazing. //

// I love fandom-related yarns, and I'm not the only one. How about this yarn called Vincent and the Doctor? Or "Little, Big Blue Box? Or, if Austen is more your thing, why not buy some Lizzy and Darcy yarn? //

// And while I'm on the about this adorable Doctor Who yarn bowl? //

// I'm a big fan of peanut butter, so this poster is so accurate. //

// I've been wanting to learn the entrelac knitting technique, and this tutorial makes it look fairly simple. //

// If you're into crafting or artsy things, you need to check out Creative Bug. For $5 a month, you have unlimited access to so many different crafting and art classes, and you can download one a month to keep for life. I'm so excited to watch some of the classes. //

What have you been loving this week? What are some of your favorite things about fall?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday // 8

101. A new camera which will allow me to better capture life's little (and big) moments.
102. Discovering new musicians.
103. The way that food can bring people together.
104. God's strength and patience, the only things that keep my mouth closed rather than lashing out.
105. Encouraging words.
106. Beautiful quotes which put into words the things I feel but cannot express.
107. My church family. I love being able to talk to people from several different generations within the span of ten minutes.
108. Desperately needed rain.
109. The quiet of early mornings.
110. Hot chocolate.

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, September 14, 2015

So much to find out about

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive - it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination, then, would there?"

-Anne of Green Gables-

When fall comes around, I find myself pulling out my quote notebook and pulling out all of my Anne quotes which seem to perfectly describe the wonders of this season.

Also, I bought a new camera!!! It's a Nikon D5300, and it's my first dslr. It was the perfect thing to come home to today. I'm still trying to decide on a name. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Plans change

I should know by now that things don't always (or, rather, hardly ever) go according to my personal plans. God has His own plans for me, and He has been teaching me this past year that I need to stop attempting to control everything. 

I didn't mention it much, but last year I went away to a Christian college about nine hours away from my home. It was an amazing school, I was in a wonderful one-year program called Israel and Archaeology. Once the year was over, my plan was to stay there and get my bachelor's in accounting and then maybe even my master's. I applied for and received a position as an RA, so I would have a job. I was so happy to have the next four-five years of my life planned out.

But then. (How many things turn on those few words?). In between semesters, I started having doubts about where I was headed. As amazing as the school was, it was expensive, as most colleges tend to be. I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to study. I considered transferring to my sister's Bible college, about an hour and a half away from where I was currently attending school, but as a transfer I wouldn't get the scholarships I needed. So that backup plan was gone.

After many tearful video and phone calls with my parents, I made a decision that would have seemed like a failure to the high school Emily. I decided to move back home and attend community college studying business. Back in high school, it seemed like the "smart students" went away for school while the people who weren't really going anywhere went to school locally. But I needed to realize that what other people, especially mostly disinterested ones, think about my choices does not matter. 
I'm happy with my choice. I haven't had to pay anything for school or textbooks this fall without taking out any loans. I'm saving money and able to work more hours and save more. I still don't have any long-range plans, but at least I'm not taking out thousands of dollars in loans with no plans.

I'm back with my family, my friends, and my church. Do I miss the friendships I made this past year? Yes. Do I miss being that far away from my family? No. Do I regret my decision? No, not at all. Missing something doesn't mean you shouldn't have made the choice or that you made the "wrong" choice. 

This isn't what I had planned, but it's where I am.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Favorites // 5

Here we are again, with another Friday Favorites. I also just realized that the last post I put up was a Friday Favorites. Oops. I promise I have something different scheduled for this weekend. :)

// Any girl who loves music should have this skirt. It's just too cute. The website also has a bunch of other wicked cute clothing. (Sorry, sometimes I have to let my Mainer show). //

// I know I've mentioned this blog and podcast before, but I loved this post over at The Art of Simple about setting autumn resolutions rather than New Year's resolutions. I think I'm going to do this today. //

// Homeward Bound by Allyse Smith. I sang this song in my high school chorus a few years ago and loved it, then my Spotify Discover playlist chose it for me this week and I fell in love with it again. //

// Also, I listened to every song The Gray Havens have on Spotify, especially Gray Flowers and Train Station. Again, thank you Spotify Discover (students only have to pay about $5 a month instead of $9 for Spotify premium. So worth it). //

// I just bought a refurbished Nikon D5300 yesterday. I am so, so excited to get my first dSLR in the mail soon. Also, slightly terrified that I spent that much money on one thing. //

// And in honor of all the tv shows starting up again this fall...any Once fans, particularly Rumbelle shippers will appreciate this pin, And this one. And all of you Whovians (it starts on Saturday!!!): Shut up and just cry your eyes out. //

What have you been loving this week? Are any of your favorite tv shows coming back this fall? 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Favorites // 4

Another week, another round of Friday favorites!
(Also, posts three days in a row? What is this?)

// This headband tutorial looks pretty easy. I need to make some of these. //

// I bought some of these mason jar lids at Target last week. I've been enjoying drinking iced tea out of them as I say good-bye to summer. //

// Felicia's Stash Less series over at The Craft Sessions. They've been making me think about being more purposeful in the yarn and craft supplies I purchase. //

// This encouragement to make a real connection with people instead of just surface level connections online. //

// The movie Leap Year. It's so cute, plus the Ireland scenery and accents are gorgeous. //

What have you been loving this week?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thankful Thursday // 7

91. Technology that allows me to take college courses online.
92. Having people I know come into my work to say hello.
93. Headbands/headscarves for bad hair days.
94. Quiet early morning walks.
95. Ministry opportunities.
96. Fresh beginnings in fall.
97. My family's sense of humor.
98. Little sister giggles.
99. Old pictures that bring back so many good memories.
100. Little sisters (aged 9, 7, and 4) who enjoy watching Jane Austen movies.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Simply Tuesday...on a Wednesday // Yarn Along

Reading and knitting are two of my favorite things, and I love doing them at the same time whenever possible. This book, though, is hard to do that with because I just want to underline so many wonderful quotes in it. Simply Tuesday is an amazing book by Emily Freeman that's all about celebrating the little things. It's one of those books that just has to be read slowly, and that's okay.

These socks are the Anne Socks from an edition of Jane Austen Knits (one of the only knitting magazines I invest in) knit with Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn, one of my favorite sock yarns.

What have you been reading or knitting lately? What's up next on your list?yarn

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites // 3

Time for another round of Friday Favorites! This is my last week of summer vacation, so I've been enjoying just relaxing (between 3:00am work shifts, that is...)

// Acacia Rachel posted some tips for how to be more productive here. They are so good. I'm thinking of writing them out and putting them up near my desk as a constant reminder. //

// I love mugs so much. I love these fandom mugs as well as this knitting mug. //

// The Emma Approved series. I've been rewatching it this week and remembering just how much I love Jane Austen, Emma, and this video series. If you've never watched it but are an Austen fan, or even if you aren't. you should watch this series. It's so good and entertaining and adorable and all around amazing. //

// Emily Freeman's new book, Simply Tuesday. I just started it (on Tuesday, actually, but not on purpose) but I already love it. She has so many good thoughts about celebrating the small things in life. The book is only about $9 on Amazon right now, too. //

// And because no Friday Favorites is complete without some sort of fandom reference...go here for some Doctor Who feels, if you're up to it. //

What have you been doing and loving this week? Do you collect mugs?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thankful Thursday // 6

I want to consciously look for joy in the little things, so this series is a way for me to find things to be thankful for on a daily basis.

76. A short break between summer and fall classes
77. Coworkers who are fun to work and joke around with
78. Good deals at Goodwill.
79. Golden evening light that makes everything look more beautiful, from people to metal buckets to power lines.
80. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks while driving.
81. Little sisters who ask to rewatch Pride and Prejudice.
82. The joy of my parents coming home after they're gone for a few days.
83. Learning that silence is good. Music or movies don't always need to be playing in the background.
84. Inspiring Instagram posts.
85. Having the independence to go pick up silly things at the store like granola bars and crackers.
86. Fun knitting projects that help reignite my love for knitting.
87. Impromptu mall trips with sisters and friends to just try on dresses.
88. New planners and notebooks.
89. Lovely stationary and craft supplies.
90. Buying things on sale instead of paying full price.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watch your mouth

Proverbs  21:23
"Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles."

James 3:8
"But no man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."

The tongue reveals what is in the heart and it cannot be tamed. Guarding the tongue is an active duty, one that must be always on out minds, not something that we can just put on autopilot. The little tongue can work great things for God as well as destroy people, and it is so much easier to destroy than to build up. But as Solomon points out over and over again in Proverbs, the wise person guards their words even though it's hard. To avoid strife, anger, and destruction, we must guard out words.

It's too easy to throw out a criticism or cruel comment without thinking, and I've been guilty of that more times than I could possibly count. I don't have any great words of wisdom or advice for how you can guard your mouth in five easy steps. All I can say is that it takes prayer, God's strength, and a conscientious effort to watch your mouth. We need to stop making excuses for ourselves when we say things we shouldn't or trying to justify our words and admit when we are wrong or have said something we shouldn't have.

The book of Proverbs constantly contrasts the wise man and the foolish man. The foolish man says whatever pops into his head, leading to trouble, but the wise man is careful with his words and only says that which is good and beneficial. We need to be striving, through God's strength, to be like that wise man, because if we try it on our own we will just end up like the foolish man.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Favorites // 2

I think I need to just decide that blog series I think I will do on a weekly basis should become biweekly or monthly posts because I lose track of time far too quickly. *smile*

Anyway, here are some things I have been loving lately:

// Church picnics. I love fellowshipping for hours after the service ends and being able to visit with people I wouldn't always have time to talk to. //

// This bread recipe. It only takes a couple of hours to make (and only 40 minutes of rising time!) and it makes four loaves. It's super simple and my family loved it, and for once homemade bread lasted us more than one day. //

// These adorable crochet patterns for Disney princesses and other little things. I don't crochet a lot, but a friend shared these with me on Facebook and I desperately want to make one. I also love the fact that so many of my Facebook friends post crafty things on my wall. If you have any favorite patterns, tutorials, etc., feel free to share them with me! I love discovering new projects. //

// This Sherlock inspired planner. I love Sherlock and I love planners, so this one is pretty much perfect. //

// "May you never have cold feet" knitting poster. This is just too cute, and I love all the prints in her Etsy shop. //

// Adorable envelopes. I'm a sucker for cute stationary, and I love the simplicity of these. //

// Grace's journals. Her journaling style is so gorgeous and it always inspires me to begin art journaling instead of just writing. //

// Lately I've been rewatching some of my favorite shows, including Sherlock, Merlin, and Doctor Who as I do homework (sometimes it's the only thing that will keep me awake) and then pinning all the things related to those shows. For my fellow fans:

What have you been loving this week?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Anna Karenina and Sherlock

This week, I've been listening to Anna Karenina on audiobook. It makes the 40 minute round trip to work go by much faster, and audiobooks are wonderful when I'm working on more complicated knitting projects like these Sherlock inspired socks. The pattern is "To Knit While Bored" and you can get it for free on Ravelry. 

// Joining up with Ginny's Yarn Along. //

Also: reality? I took these photos on a piece of paper at my desk. A blogger has to do what a blogger has to do.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Loss of routine

I thrive on routine. I enjoy spontaneity and days with no plans, but I do the best when my days have a rhythm to them. I like waking up at the same time, starting my day with devotions and reading, them proceeding about my day with whatever plans I have. 
I struggle to get things done when I don't have a routine. I drift from one thing to the next, never getting everything done that needs to be accomplished. Throughout high school and my first year of college, my days had a fairly consistent pattern to my days, but this summer everything has been turned upside down. I started working at Dunkin Donuts while taking some online college courses. My work schedule is all over the place which makes it hard to balance everything. I like predictability, and right now nothing is predictable. I like to plan ahead and know generally what's coming, but these past several months have taken that away from me. God has me in this season for a reason. It's a totally different summer than the past several that I have spent volunteering at a Christian summer camp for most of the summer. I'm growing up, and that requires taking on more responsibilities. I need to be okay with that instead of fighting it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stop categorizing

Why do we have this desire to put people into boxes? Introvert or extrovert. Talkative or shy. Right or left brained. Myers-Briggs personality types. Hobbies.

The other day on the radio, a dj said, "Here's an easy quiz to find out whether you're an introvert or an extrovert: are you happy or disappointed when a social event gets cancelled?" But for me, it's not that easy. Some days I long to be around people and talk to them, but other days I'm content to sit in my room alone all day long. I'v taken many (free) versions of the Myers-Briggs personality types and I've received both introverted and extroverted results. I love being an ambivert, but so often we try to categorize other people and even ourselves by test results, personality traits, or pretty much anything else.

The growing trend of taking Myers-Briggs tests is so cool because it helps us to understand ourselves and others and why we think the way we think and why we get along better with some people than with others, but it can also allow us to make excuses for ourselves about why we can or do not want to do certain things. That's the problem with trying to categorize people. There is so much depth within one person that it is impossible to completely understand everything about them.

So let's stop putting people into boxes, judging them just by the little bit we see of their inner thoughts, sometimes after just meeting them a couple of times. Instead, let's allow people to be themselves and allow us to be ourselves instead of trying to force ourselves to act a certain way.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Favorite Things // 1

Inspired by the lovely Lauren's "Favorite Things" posts, I have decided to share with you what I have been loving this week.

// Using Iconosquare to track stats for my Etsy shop's instagram account. //

// Swan's Island's beautiful yarn and the fact that they are made in my home state of Maine. //

// This Lizzie Bennet Diaries Mug. I love that youtube series, mugs, and tea, so this mug is just too perfect. //

// This cute snail mail idea. I love the idea of putting together sweet packages like that for people but I often don't get around to actually doing it, but this one looks fairly simple and super cute. //

// Smoothie recipes and ideas like this one. Lately I've been working 3:00-10:00 am shifts at my job at Dunkin Donuts, so smoothies are fantastic breakfasts that I can make the night before and drink on my way to work. //

// The Sherlock Christmas Special trailer. I was already excited for the special because it's Sherlock, but this hilarious trailer made me even more excited. //

What have been some of your favorite things this week?

Friday, July 3, 2015

I like being busy

I like being busy.

Well, that's not quite true.

I like the feeling of importance that can come with being busy. I like accomplishing things. I like meeting goals and seeing good results from my work.

That's why things like sitting outside just to be outside, letting myself take a nap, simply cuddling with my little sisters on the couch, and other "non-productive" things can sometimes be hard for me to do. I want to always be doing something.

But lately, I've been learning that I need those times of quiet rest. I'm not advocating for laziness or procrastination, but I need to remember that it's okay to put away my homework and computer and allow myself to rest.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Childhood Friends

There's something about those friends you have known forever. I have made friends at different places at different times in my life, but there are some people who, even if we haven't really talked for a while, we still hit it off like we were still twelve years old and having sleepovers at least once a month.

Through middle school, high school, and even some of elementary school I had three friends that I spent a lot of time with. We did everything together whenever we could. We went to homeschool co-op together, had sleepovers with all of us at least once a month (we even had a rotating schedule of whose house we stayed at), and attempted to do cartwheels on the church lawn during youth group. Over the past couple of years, we have moved our separate ways a bit. One girl is now living in West Virginia, following her dream of working with horses. Another is getting married next year. Another is busy with school, job, and volunteer firefighting. I was at school in Pennsylvania this past year.

But one day a couple of week ago, the three of us still in Maine decided to get together and go for a hike. It wasn't anything fancy. We didn't have to pay any money to go out and do something. We just finally made plans and went. We even video chatted with our friend in the south. We laughed, talked, and got caught up on everything all of us were doing.

As many other friends as I have made and will continue to make, I grew up with these girls. We saw each other through the awkward stages of middle school to where we are now. We have so many shared memories from our childhoods and know embarrassing facts about one another.

These are the friendships that I want to hold on to as I move on through my life. I know we won't always talk a lot or see each other, but we all know that if we need anything, we have each other.

(p.s. my goal is to blog once a week. 10:00 pm on a Saturday night is still within one week, right? right)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memorial Day Family

{we used to be able to take a "stair step" photo of us in age order. we have recently given up trying because the boys are getting too tall}

I love the spontaneous adventures my family goes on. Sometimes we pack and lunch and leave the house with no set destination, and most trips end with ice cream cones. On Memorial Day, we visited the original L.L.Bean store and had a picnic at the beach.

I love sitting back and watching everyone. The boys can be trying to beat each other's running time then turn around and build sand castles with a little sister. The little girls jump the waves together. Zach, the tallest one in the family, spins all of us around on the merry-go-round. Lydia is so patient with the little girls and all of their questions. Abbie and Zach will talk technology and tv shows seamlessly while the rest of us are mostly confused by the terms and subjects. My parents revel in the fact that all of us are home for the summer.