06 December 2011

self portraits.

last year's. 

this year's. 

Self portraits are funny things. It's weird to spend so much time looking at your own face, trying to make it as perfect -and accurate- as possible. Admittedly, I had more fun creating a vector image of myself, but I miss drawing. I'll open up my sketchbook every once in awhile and flip through the drawings. It's disappointing to look at some of them, the ones that I slacked off on and drew in a matter of minutes. There are a few others, though, like pages and pages of hands, and a recreation of three Da Vinci drawings, that I spent more time on and turned out nicely.

Next semester I'm hoping for a photography class. I know virtually nothing about photography, aside from what I can do with my camera. Besides learning a lot, if I end up going for some sort of photography major in college, it'll be nice to have the easy classes (like drawing 1, photoshop, and intro to photography) out of the way.


27 November 2011

somewhat coherent thoughts.

I love Thanksgiving. I complain about it and whine, but I really do love it. This year was low-key and relaxed, followed by a low-key and relaxed Black Friday. Followed by a long day at work, followed by a busy and productive today. Emphasis on the busy and productive. I'm a little proud of myself. We went to the library after church today and I refrained from reading any of my new books. Then, I emailed my world civ prof and convinced her that it was a good idea to use one of the Vlogbrothers videos in our presentation on the French Revolution tomorrow. #ftw 

Also. December may include an epic roadtrip. It's all very maybe at the moment (I just asked my parents tonight), and we have to convince various parents, figure out driving & gas, ect. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a yes. ;)

I'm in this weird inbetween stage in blogging. I want to write, but I have nothing to say. Don't expect anything for the next week- I have the SAT on Saturday and I need to study every chance I have. Once that's over, though, I'll try to push through and get back to a regular blogging schedule.

That's life lately.

(blog! fix yourself! why must you do that weird spacing thing where it looks like I fell asleep on the return key?)

21 November 2011

big and little things. (grateful: part two.)


I used to keep a list of things that I was thankful for. Every night, I'd write down eight or twelve things, huge, important things (like God and my family) and little details like a new scarf. I'm not sure when or why I stopped writing them down, but books like this one and things like Thanksgiving remind me.

I'm super thankful for Thanksgiving break. I have tentative plans with my sisters to go see Hugo at some point during break. We all loved the book, and the movie looks magical.

I'm thankful for my church. We've been going there since we moved to Indiana, four and a half years ago. It's grown a lot since then, and it's been so fun to see it grow and change.

Best friends. Wow, I'm so, so thankful for them. Whether it's a picture of the Beatles texted to me, or tickle fights on the couch (sorry we were so noisy, Mom), they make everything better.

I'm incredibly thankful for Mom and Dad. I feel sad for you because you've (likely) never met them, and my parents are wonderful. I'm not even joking (or saying this because I know that they'll read it), they're some of the most amazing people I know. (The rest of my family goes on this list as well, fyi.)

I'm thankful for: the Beatles, skype dates with Bleah, Florence + the Machine's song Shake it Out, John Green's upcoming book, quiz days at econ class, the way my purse always smells like gum, days where the sky is really grey, the way my Toms fit perfectly after wearing them all summer long, and that one bookstore in Paris.

13 November 2011

grateful: part one.

One week until Thanksgiving- time for the yearly thankful list. It's no secret that Thanksgiving isn't my favorite holiday (too many potatoes) but I love setting aside time to reflect on the things in my life that I'm thankful for. 


I'm thankful for new favorite ways to drink coffee. The Jumping Bean at Taylor (possibly my favorite coffee shop ever) serves a delicious dirty chai. Vanilla chai + a shot of espresso= amazing. 

I'm thankful for Wednesday nights. I look forward to it all week long, counting down the days. My youth group is brilliant. I'm beyond thankful for Taco Bell afterwards. It fills my weekly laugh quota, and then some. 

I'm thankful for sites like harperteen.com and our online library, providing me with books whenever I have internet. (If you're looking for a Hunger Games like dystopia, Divergent should still be available on harperteen.) 

I'm thankful for my job. It's so nice having a way to make money. Besides that, I've made some amazing friends there, and I love working there. I spent five or ten minutes today talking to my table 5 about Holland- people who take an interest in my life make me thankful. 

No list would be complete without Hannah, Carlotta, Libby, Abbey, and Kendall. I've gotten close to these lovely ladies recently, and their friendship is a huge blessing. 

I'm thankful for books. I just bought Markus Zusak's first three books, and I'm working my way through the first one. It's no Book Thief, but it'll do. (Did you know he's writing a new book? It's not scheduled to be out until September, and I'm so excited. I'll have to figure out a way to get an ARC. ;)) I'm at 139 individual books this year, not counting the ones that I've read two or three or four times. Reading is my favorite. 

I'm thankful for Taylor. Being on campus & making friends (Hi, Anna & Jess!) is so fun. Photoshop class, saying hi to my professor from last semester, recognizing people from classes, coffee from the Jumping Bean...the list of things I love about it goes on and on. 

I'm thankful for Europe, France, and my summer in general. The last two summers have been a little bit mind-blowing. It's weird looking back on them, because so much happened. I know that a lot of you have been reading this since before I was in Jordan, so you've read a little bit about both summers, but it's not the same as being there. It's still a little crazy to me that I was actually able to go. 

Part two will coming soon. 

07 November 2011

crazy nostalgia {guest post by Libby}

November is a good month for nostalgia; rainy days and cups of tea and dreams of warmth make a good recipe for looking back. I love pulling out old photo albums and seeing myself and my brother as babies, my parents on their wedding day, even my grandparents on trips when they were just parents. I like the way you couldn't quite see their faces and how my grandad composed cheap film photos with such care and the fact that they've been kept safe under vellum for thirty-odd years now.

Even my memories, however few there may be, are jolted by photos and things my parents or brother say or write. The mention of squirrels takes me back to Montreal, when I bake a photo of myself aged five decorating biscuits comes into my head, certain family jokes remind me of times in my life. 
Maybe this is why I blog and take pictures; a journal of words and photos which I can use to track the everyday moments and the fleeting times. Perhaps when I am older, I will have children of my own or nieces and nephews, and they will ask "Libby, what were you like when you were fourteen?" And I could, because I'm trying to print photos as well as store them online, show them every mundane photo of whatever I'd baked, and my cup of hot chocolate, and the scenes from the car window. Most of them will be unedited, but they will have probably faded slightly, gone speckled, or got scratched.
This feeling of wanting to capture moments is why I take pictures and fill journals. To remember, on rainy November days in twenty or thirty years time, who I was and what I did.

Do you ever feel crazily nostalgic?

06 November 2011

john green is jealous of me.

(dad and i, waiting for john.) 

I've been clicking back to this page for nearly a week, trying to find a way to formulate my thoughts and excitement into a cohesive blog post. I'm not sure that will happen, but I'll give it my best shot and attempt to capture a little bit of Tuesday.

I drove up to Indy with my parents on Tuesday. My mom had a flight to catch, and I wanted to attend John Green's event at Butler University. My dad and I arrived at Clowes with a little less than an hour and a half before John took the stage. We drove around the neighborhood, grabbed some food, and wandered back to Clowes, an hour before it was scheduled to start. Fourth row seats gave us a great view of the stage, and, ultimately, John.

There's no way that I have enough patience to write out, in detail, (or you enough patience to read it all) everything that happened that night, so I'll just go for the highlights. (However, if you would like it nicely summed up, here you go.)

It was a bit surreal when John walked out on the stage. Besides writing books, he and his brother run a youtube channel that's developed into an online community. Because of this, I've heard John talk many times, and I know what he looks like. I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but it was so weird when he sounded the same in real life as he does on youtube.

After John talked and read from the first chapter of his upcoming book, The Fault in Our Stars, he opened up the mikes for questions. I jumped up, second in line at the right mike. The girl in front of me, Katrina, asked for a high-five from John, which he gave her. He answered another question, and then, ahhh: John Green was looking at me, and making eye contact with me. One of the characters in TFIOS, named Isaac, has eye cancer. I asked John if he intentionally named the character with eye cancer a name that sounds like eye sick. (Isaac = eye sick.) He laughed, (yes, I made John Green laugh) and explained that he named Isaac after the biblical Isaac, who became blind later in life. Gus was sitting directly behind us, and he managed to film a little bit of my question.

I slipped out of the auditorium a minute or two early so we wouldn't have to wait in such a long line to get my copy of Paper Towns signed. Last week, my friend Chris wrote on my facebook telling me that he was a huge fan of John Green. There was no way that I could have the opportunity to get him a signature and not do it (plus, it gave me more time to talk to John!). :) I fished through my purse and found a boarding pass from my trip to France. After John signed my book, I slid the boarding pass over to him.

"This one's for my friend Chris. He lives in South Africa."
"Wow, South Africa!"
"Yeah, we met in the Middle East a few summers ago."
"You're quite the world traveler. I'm jealous."

It was the highlight of my life.

Best wishes,

31 October 2011

a story of a girl + fall {guest post by Carlotta}

Hey there lovelies, I'm Carlotta. I'm so happy to be posting for Katie today -- it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of her photography and beautiful words and just her beautiful self in general, so I was thrilled when she asked me to guest post. So here's the deal, y'all. Fall tends to be the topic that every blogger talks to death, myself included. The perfectly descriptive colors of the leaves, the cool air, the bonfires, et cetera. But today, instead of using adjective after adjective, I'm going to tell you a story instead.
favorite socks.
Once upon a time there was a girl. This girl spent the better part of her second semester of each school year waiting with bated breath for that sweet, sweet week in late May, the week where finals are completed, classes are done, and there's freedom for three whole months, forever and ever amen. So the girl enters summer in a state of euphoria, relishing in this little thing called I-finally-have-time-to-do-things-other-than-school. Summer is spent working on projects, vacations, long sleepovers, early mornings at the farmer's market, and reading by the pool. And then, just when everything is perfect, visions of school supplies and back to school sales begin to dance in the girl's head -- and not in a good way. They haunt her. She wonders why this season of freedom must be swapped for a season of school and so she lives the rest of the summer in feigned ignorance of the inevitable first day of school.
Time marches on, and before she knows it, early September is upon her. A stack of crisp new books, rows of perfect pencils, and perfectly untouched notebooks accompany her to the first class of the year. And once she gets past the schoolwork, she looks around and starts noticing things. She begins to see the slowly changing leaves, gets excited about wearing something other than a tank and shorts, starts craving soups and hot chocolate, and burrow deeper under the extra blanket on her bed. September is more of a tentative step, an unsure transition between autumn and summer, but by the time October rolls around, this girl has abandoned summer and is on the rooftops screaming her affection for fall. (this is all summer has to say: traitor.)
So yes, this girl is me. And I am now head over heels for fall and wishing it wasn't going as fast as it is. But that's okay, because Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and for that, I'm excited too. Happy Fall!
i'm carlotta -- writer, photographer, artist, foodie, and christian. i blog about life and fashion and pretty things at pastor's girl's ponderings. i'm a fashion enthusiast and lover of stripes and scarves. rarely am i found without my camera. my feet are perpetually cold. i believe that life is beautiful and call the windy plains of oklahoma home. favorites include anything chocolate, sunflare, good books, and pretty shoes. it's a pleasure to meet you.

28 October 2011

I don't like disappearing// rambling.

This quote makes me happy: “When teachers say, 'This is the best time of your life,' they are wrong. They are only saying that because they’re teachers and they have to look at your weird faces every day. There is no 'best time of your life,' but rather perfect moments, like when someone’s gum falls out of their mouth while they’re telling a story, or when a jerk is walking toward you and accidentally gets hit in the head with a soccer ball. Make sure to store these moments in a safe place in your brain. They will be useful to you in the future, I promise.”

I spent last weekend on that beautiful lake with, among others, these two amazing people. You know that feeling when you come home from from a packed weekend and there's really no way to tell all the stories and share everything that happened? That's how I feel.

I don't like dropping off my blog for so long- it's become such a part of my life that not-blogging feels weird. Libby told me recently that she thought I've been a bit silent lately, and it's completely true. Which, for the record, is ok. I have work and college classes and school and friends and church and just stuff to do. I don't want to be in a place where this blog feels like more of a burden than a good thing. These once-a-week posts are working for me as long as they're working for you. :)

Here's some fun news:

-Markus Zusak is one of my favorite people. Period. He's amazing. If you haven't read any of his books, (my favorite) please fix that. Anyways, a few days ago I tweeted about how excited I am about his new book. (It's not coming out until September, unfortunately!) And then: He. Replied.

Markus Zusak, literary genius, author of one of my favorite books, amazing person, knows that I exist.

-John Green is speaking at Butler Uni on Tuesday. Guess who's going? This girl! *Hopefully* I can carpool with another friend. We'll hang out and eat pizza and meet John Green. Yeah. I'm excited.

-Have you seen the movie posters for the Hunger Games? Rue is my favorite, but I'm not a fan of Haymitch's hair, and what's up with Cato? I would rather not wait until March for this movie, thank you very much.

Is there anything you're particularly excited about?

19 October 2011

we like photobooth.

Also, matching hats and Ally Condie's not-quite-new book. Right now we're watching Aladin together on the projector. It's been a few years since I've seen it, and, while not my favorite Disney movie, it's definitely up there.

Sister things make me happy.

11 October 2011

several stories.

Story One: 
My last class on Mondays ends at 9:15. We always stop at Ski Hi, the old abandoned drive-in theater to drop off Nathaniel, one of Joseph's friends. Because it's October and we're teenagers and we still have time to do stupid things like this, we stopped the car. And we got out. And, armed with only a few struggling flashlights and a full moon, we explored.

I'm not sure if it's trespassing or not, but there were no signs and no squatters, so I think we're ok. :)

I don't think I can really describe how it feels to be running through a dark field at night doing something possibly-illegal. It's another one of those heart-pounding, throat-clenching feelings. The theater is falling apart, both on the inside and the outside. We stumbled upon a huge pile of old film, which I might be able to scavenge for an art project of some sort.

Have you done any exciting, potentially dangerous things lately?

Story Two: 
A few weeks ago, my friend Isaac at work asked me what I like to do. (For future reference: I hate this question. What do I like to do...when?) I told him that I love to read. He made a weird face at me, and then later explained that he just thought that was odd because he doesn't like to read.

Which is ok. I'm fine with people not liking to read. However, he went on to say that he absolutely hates the Catcher in the Rye and I should never read it. I have a problem with that. No one is allowed to go around smack-talking my favorite books.

When I was at the library last week with my family, I picked up Nine Stories, mostly to make a point that just because he hated the Catcher in the Rye, doesn't mean it's a bad book. Or something along those lines. I ended up loving Nine Stories. The first one was about Seymour, who's been in several other Salinger stories/books. It's always fun to find companion stories to books you've read before.

Story Three: 
At Illustrator today, we learned how to use the Symbol Sprayer tool + how to turn 2D objects into 3D objects. My mind was blown. I have one more class period left for it and I'm so sad. It's been my favorite class this entire semester and I'll be sad to see it go.

One of the reasons I like that class so much is because everyone else in the class seems just as genuinely excited about learning as I am. Frequently, when my professor shows us a new tool, there'll be oohs and ahhs from around the room. I love it.

Story Four: 
It's 12:46. Yes, definitely goodnight now. :)

09 October 2011

october is my favorite.

Sunday afternoons might be the nicest time of the week. 

I spent this afternoon reading (Nine Stories, by JD Salinger), working on my final project for my Illustrator class, and taking + editing photos. I have two more class periods left for Illustrator and I'm sad, to put it lightly. It's my favorite class by far and I'm not ready for it to be over. On the flip side, when Illustrator ends, Photoshop starts. We'll see how that goes. :) 

It's 100% fall here. My dad and I were driving with all the windows down earlier, and every time we drove under a tree, there was that perfect fall-leaves-crunching sound. Abigail, Dad, and I went fishing for a few hours tonight. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I'm looking forward to it getting a little bit chillier, but I'm trying to enjoy the weather now. 

How have you been? 

02 October 2011


I look forward to our yearly trips to the apple orchard every year. There's something about the time spent in the car with the entire family, wandering through the rows of apple trees, and feeding the animals in the petting zoo. Just like last year, and the year before, I spent more time taking photos than picking apples.

I came home from work yesterday to the smell of apples permeating the house. My sisters were halfway through making individual apple pies. We had friends over that evening and enjoyed apple crisp + cider with them. I love this time of year.

The orchard we visit has a petting zoo with an odd assortment of animals. The animals are different every year. Last year, the deer were wandering free in the open enclosure, this year they were penned up. Still close enough to feed, though. ;) 

They had the world's second (third? google says the beaver is the second largest.) largest rodent this year. After seeing a cabybara in a zoo in Arizona years ago, I can now say that I've seen both of the world's two largest rodents.

I've always had issues with shooting photos of people- mainly, I would rather shoot something that stands still. Also, my siblings aren't big fans of photos. :) I think it's easier to take a photo of something that doesn't care how the photo turns out and isn't inconvenienced by standing still for a photo. Regardless of whether or not I decide to be a professional photographer, wedding photography's out for me.

I tried hard to get photos of everyone at the orchard. I'd rather not be looking through the photos a year from now and not have any of my family. Before we left in the morning, I made sure everyone was presentable and photo-ready. I'm quite happy with how they turned out, especially the next two.

He's halfway through the first semester of his senior year and ready for senior photos. I'm the logical choice, because I wouldn't charge and, uh, I'm family. He's not too psyched about that, and neither am I, for reasons listed above. But these two turned out great, so we'll see. Also- my entire family has those eyes. His were just especially sparkly that day.

(edit: he says to clarify that he's nearly 18. so enough with the "he looks so young," comments. ;)) 

I've had a bit of a crazy weekend and not much rest- but how has your week been?

25 September 2011

words for a rainy day.

My coffee is too hot and it burns my throat going down. I still drink it though, not waiting for it to cool off. Today is the first real day (of fall) when I can feel the damp of the rain and the cold just around the corner and I can breathe again without choking on the heat in the air. This changing time is always my favorite time of year; I don’t like extremes, I like the fading of season-to-season. I suppose that fall, in a way, is full of life, not like spring when everything is growing but in the way that everything seem more alive and vibrant during these few short months. I’m going to savor them, drink more than my fair share of Starbucks and take pictures of every leaf and love life because as much as fall is the beginning of the end of the year, this feels like an ending for me too.

I think too closely about endings and beginnings and how they flow in and out of one another. The end of something marks the beginning of something else, and so on.

This is the beginning of...what? My last fall in high school, at least.

Rainy days make me introspective.

And all of this is news to you, but I failed the written test on Tuesday, passed it on Thursday, and I've only driven once since then. I'm in love with my Illustrator class and Pre-Calc isn't horrible. I'm back in a place I haven't been in years, meaning that words mean more than photos and it feels so good to write, as evidenced by the first two paragraphs. My job is perfect and I haven't met anyone I don't like yet. Relient K sings Justin Bieber and Switchfoot has a new album out on Tuesday.

Here's to a happy fall.

14 September 2011

prepare for crazy, please.

I haven't exactly been blogging every day, not since I've been back from France. Part of this has to do with the sheer number of hours during the day that I've had to fill. Obviously, that doesn't make sense, but you know that feeling when you have so little to do that you can't bring yourself to do the things you should do, such as blogging? Right, that feeling. 

School is starting back up again. It's going to be a light, easy year for me, the high school portion. The nine college credits hours I'm taking, plus my job, plus high school, should manage to fill my time pretty effectively. If everything goes the way we're hoping, I should graduate in June, one year early.

I began writing this post last week, and as usually happens at the beginning of the school year, the plans for my school were completely different. Currently, the plan is this: I'll take eleven classes this semester, nine or ten next semester, and graduate in June.

Next year is very uncertain; I'll explain more about that in a later post. 

Basically, I just wanted to warn you/fill you in on what happening in my life right now, and offer up an excuse as to why I haven't blogged in eleven days. 

High school starts today, my IWU class started on Monday, and I'm nearly three weeks into Taylor. 

That's life right now. How is school/work/college/whatever else going for you? 

03 September 2011

remember this for me.

"My heart is drumming in my chest so hard it aches, but it's the good kind of ache, like the feeling you get on the first real day of autumn, when the air is crisp and the leaves are all flaring at the edges and the wind smells just vaguely of smoke - like the end and the beginning of something all at once." -Lauren Oliver.

This is what I want to remember about the beginning of this school year: 

I want to remember the way I felt, driving down the road at ten thirty. There was the split-second-decision when the perfect song came on and we drove straight past our turn, just so we could listen to it. The windows were rolled down, we were singing along, and it was perfect.

I want to remember the gut-turning feeling in the middle of my stomach. It was there the first day of work, and there while my shaky hand wrote down the order for my first table. It was there when, sitting in my first Taylor class, I wondered what I was doing there, and if I really wanted to do this again.

I want to remember the lighting storm a few weeks ago. Again, we were driving home at night. The lighting split open the sky again and again and again. I sat in the backseat, my head craned towards it, awestruck, and little frightened.

I want to remember friend things, best friend things, regular friend things, this-is-going-to-be-a-weird-story things. I want to remember playing carpetball in the backyard at youth group, and the way all my friends know I won't drink Dr. Pepper. I want to remember falling asleep while Mumford and Sons played in the background.

anything special you'd like to remember about the school year thus far?

26 August 2011

little lion man.

It was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line...

My life has not been particularly exciting this week. Except for when Jenny B Jones and Natalie Lloyd posted links to my blog. I appropriately freaked out, did a happy dance around my room, then told my best friend. Jenny has a fantastic post today about teaching a writing class.

Also. Work. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I applied for a job and scheduled an interview. My first day was Monday. I absolutely love it. It was just training this week. Next week I Officially Start Waiting Tables. We'll see how it goes. ;)

I start classes at Taylor on Wednesday. Currently, I'm enrolled in an Adobe Illustrator class, a Photoshop class, and an econ class. I'm mostly excited for the Photoshop class. It's a pre-req to all the photography classes, meaning that next semester I can take at least one of them.

That's life lately! How has your week been?

16 August 2011

paris stories.

The first: I was six. We were learning French from Muzzy, and Mum told us that when we moved to Holland, we would be near the Eiffel Tower and French speakers. Remember the summer when it was so hot, and all the old people were dying? That's the first time I went to Paris.

The second: Dad had a speaking appointment or something in Paris, and I tagged along with him. I made my mum French braid my hair so that the little French girls wouldn't laugh at me.

The third: Last summer I was on my way to Jordan, and due to several different things, I missed my connecting flight from Paris to Jordan. Of course, that meant touring Paris for a few hours.

The fourth: nearly a month ago (how is it possible I've been home a month?) I had one day in Paris with my parents.