Seattle Adventure

I don’t know if you remember (I didn’t until just now), but in my Guardians of the Galaxy Review, I mentioned that I had been on a mission trip to Seattle and would be blogging about it soon. Ladies and gentlemen, soon has arrived. Let’s begin.

Our team of about 20 teens and 4 adults left for Seattle on August 3rd and arrived back on August 8th. Over the course of the trip, we helped out in the local food bank, sorted endless amounts of shoes in a confined space tailored specifically for 17 people or less, painted, weeded, chainsawed (definitely a word), just generally were very helpful. At each place we volunteered at, we received the same comment: “There just seems to be a real unity in your group.” Maybe they knew this, maybe they didn’t, but we all firmly believe that the unity they saw was unity in Christ… I group coming together for one common goal: to do God’s work. It was an amazing thing.

The working was awesome, but my favorite part of every day was the evening, because every night, after we were done working and we all had gone to the showers (the church we were staying at, sadly, didn’t have showers on the premises, so we had to drive to separate public showers), my youth pastor had hand-picked a place for us to go and worship and have devotional time. The first night we went to Gasworks Park, the second night we went to Ballard Locks, and on third day we went to Golden Gardens, on the Puget Sound, and did church on the beach. No matter where we went, though, it was just a great experience to go out into those public places and feel God so strongly. As people walked by, sometime they would just stop for a moment and watch us ascribe to the Lord glory due His name.

On the last day, we got some free time and we were able to go to a Mariner’s Game and take an afternoon at Wild Waves before we headed home, but through every moment of the trip, it was just amazing to be able to form such strong, Godly relationships with everyone on the trip. It was incredible.

–Gracie

To Be a Grown-Up

Every child has their moment. That moment, in the midst of a temper tantrum, where they scream at their parents: “I can’t wait until I’m a grown-up so I can do whatever I want!!!”

For me, I remember distinctly, as a young’n, thinking, “I can’t wait until I grow up, so I can chew gum whenever I want.” Little did I know that, not only would the opportunity to monitor my own gum chewing come sooner than later, but, also, that wasn’t even close to everything being a grown-up has to offer.

Now, as I approach my senior year of high school, and am still not by any means a “grown-up,” I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what the future has in store. Where will I go to college? What will I do for a living? Will I get married and have a family of my own? All of these are questions that I ask myself often. Still, the desire to be a grown-up comes in waves now. There are days, often, where the future is really very intimidating, and all I really desire is to crawl under my covers and return to those days of a nap per day and limited gum chewing.

But still, more often than not, the future is an exciting place. Just this evening, as I walked home from my big sister’s first real show with real actors for a real job, I was struck again by that desire. That little voice, saying, “I can’t wait until I’m a grown-up!” This time, it wasn’t the desire to “do whatever I want,” necessarily, and definitely not the desire to chew gum all the live long day, but simply the desire to go off on my own. To have that independence that I’ve never experienced before. To live in my own home, have my own job, my own car, my own food. All this to say, I am immeasurably greatful for the blessed life God has given me so far, and the family I was born into… but not a day goes by when I don’t long to know what the future holds.

I think that’s something that’s really a privilege of a relationship with God. Because, thanks to Him, I don’t hold my own future. If I made my own plans for my own life, it would, quite frankly, suck. But He holds my life in the palm of His hand. This is something that I’ve recently found an awful lot of hope in: the fact that I don’t have to worry about tomorrow or the next day or the day after that, because my Heavenly Daddy has it all figured out. Just the other day, He showed me this verse:

1 Corinthians 2:9, “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him—”

God has huge, AMAZING plans for me, and for you… and who knows? Maybe his plan for me involves all the chewing gum my little heart desires(:

–Gracie Isabella–

Haircut Addictions

Lately, I’ve heard a couple times that cutting your hair is addicting, and I have to say… I believe that completely.

Anybody who knows me well or has known me long knows that I get bored with my hair very easily. Ever since I was a young’n, I never let my hair just grow or kept it at a certain length for more than a year or maybe two. When I was about 12, I had grown my hair out pretty long:

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I was an awkward 12-year-old…

and I decided to have it bobbed.

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Yup… still awkward…

After that, it only made it to my shoulders

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At least I’m wearing a cute dress.

when I got a pixie cut at 13.

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Model-status sisters make the awkwardness lessen.

After that, I was REALLY patient and let my hair grow for about 2 solid years, letting it get nice and long.

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Tree.

My plan was to honestly let it get to about my waist, but my hair is CRAZY thick, so when it started getting too long, it started getting hard to take care of… still, I kept it long, only got some side bangs cut.

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Sissy got a haircut too (:

Then the addiction returned, so I felt I needed more of a change. It began with these bangs:

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Banyan Tree for the win!

And then I really got sick of it, so I cut it to my collarbone with real bangs

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BABY GOATS

And… then… this happened.

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hehehe my face is swollen because of wisdom teeth ^_^

So that’s where I am now.

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how this blog post happened… but there it is. The past 4 years of my life, documented through haircuts.

All that to say, I love my new pixie cut. And I love having people tell me I look like Hazel Grace Lancaster.

And if any of you know of a haircutters anonymous support group I could go to… let me know.

–Gracie

Quick ‘n’ Easy Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy

Hey guys… sorry about the lack of posts this past week, I was on a mission trip in Seattle… AMAZING, by the way. I might do an overview post on it soon.

For now, though I am here with a quick and easy review on the new-ish-ly released film Guardians of the Galaxy. Notice that I did say “quick and easy” so I really won’t be saying much.

Honestly, all I can really, genuinely say is this: Well done, Marvel. Very, very well done.

Also, I’d like to go on record and say that I was one of the only people in my friend group to predict that this movie would be wonderful… so… I told you so.

Another thing: Karen Gillan, it’s good to see you back (:

And lastly, Awesome Mix: Volumes 1-2… my new soundtrack to my life.

That’s all, thanks.

Let me know what y’all thought!!!

Wisdom Teeth //Day 2//

We have officially plowed our way through day two of Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery!!!

 

OUCH.

 

That was my first thought when I woke up at 7:30 am after my pain medication had worn off. Therefore, I took more medication, then went back to bed. Once it kicked in, I was able to sleep until about 10-ish and then I dragged myself out of bed. I took the opportunity (being awake) to brush my teeth for the first time in over 24 hours and also take a shower. Then I obliged myself to more Netlfix and Pinterest until my lovely friend (the one who was poking my chin yesterday) came over to keep me company. The first really bright spot in my day was when her brother (the one who let my balloon go) came in with her “just to see if I’m doing okay.”

Then my friend and I spent the remainder of the morning/early afternoon watching such shows as Dragon Tales, New Girl, and ANT Farm (good quality television right there).

After she left, I looked in the mirror and realized (to my chagrin) that there was a fair amount of swelling occurring in my right cheek. I made the decision very early in this process to not have chipmunk cheeks, so I immediately upped my diligence in constantly having an ice pack headdress (or, as my friend’s dad called it, my “jaw bra”) wrapped around my face. I can’t say that the swelling has gone down, but the pain definitely has.

Good News: Today, I was allowed to brush my teeth, swish saltwater in my mouth, and eat hot, soft foods (in addition to cold, soft foods). I was still not, however, allowed to drink out of a straw or spit.

So my diet today consisted of yogurt, pudding, pureed soup, a smoothie, and a milkshake. Very substantial.

And tonight’s romantic comedy: The Proposal… genius.

 

My goals for tomorrow are to make sure my face stops swelling and make sure is starts hurting less. Achievable enough? I suppose we shall see…

WISDOM TEETH OUT!!! //Day 1//

Holo friends!!!

Fun fact: I got my wisdom teeth out! So, I thought, since firstly: I haven’t really blogged anything super interesting in a while, and secondly: I have nothing better to do except watch telly and read, I would tell you guys about it.

SO. UPDATES.

My first day:  My surgery was at 8:30, and I live about 5 minutes away from the surgery place, so I woke up at 8:00 to “Waiting for Superman” by Daughtry and, like any decent person, listened to the whole song before getting out of bed, my only consolation when I did get out of bed being the fact that I was going to right back to sleep in about half an hour. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, put on a sufficiently baggy MNU t-shirt with leggings, and I arrived at the oral surgery place right on time. A very nice man came to call me in. I went back into the operation room all alone (a big step for me), and the nice man sat me down in the big chair, and asked me some questions. Here’s the thing guys: I was super nervous about this surgery, but everyone there was SO nice, and it made me SO un-nervous. I firmly believe that God put these people in that room for me. So the nice man was just going on and on about when he got his wisdom teeth out and how easy it was. Then he put these sticky things on me to “monitor my heartbeat” (which sounded a little bit to me like “make sure you don’t die”) and gave me oxygen to “calm me down.” Then a nice lady came in and gave me my sleep IV and put one of those fancy finger clip things that people get in the hospitals in the movies (I can’t describe to you how legit I felt). As I lay there, calming down, the oral surgeon came in and said to me, and I quote, “In a second, you’re going to go to sleep; just go on your own personal vacation…” (way less creepy than it sounds to me typing it right now) I have to say, falling asleep was probably my favorite part of this whole process.

Now comes the recovery. Before you ask, I made a very strict no-filming policy for this whole process, so I have no “loopy” footage of the drive home. All I really remember is that the nice man, when I woke up, escorted me into a recovery room, and the oral surgeon talked at me and my mom for a while about recovery stuff (I remember nothing) and then we left. All I remember (and all Mommy’s told me) is that I was really happy and super excited about the fact that I couldn’t feel my face. I remember smiling a lot, even though it hurt like heck. At the time, couldn’t feel my cheeks, my chin, my lower lip, or my tongue AT ALL.

So then I got home and sat on my nice green comfy chair and watched, like, 10 episodes of Hannah Montana, my mommy (my WONDERFUL mommy) buying me smoothies and changing my gauze, and cleaning smoothie off my face while I tried to find my mouth with my smoothie spoon (trying to feed smoothie to my chin… really funny…), then drooled because… I was numb. After a while, my tongue started tingling, but my lip and chin were still dead.

My two lovely best friends came to visit for a short time. One bringing flowers and a card, and dressing like a monk (which really actually just means wearing a brown hoodie) because I had told her that with my ice pack head wrap, I looked like a swollen nun. My other friend arrived with talk of a balloon that her family had bought, but that her four-year-old brother had inadvertently let float away. They proceeded to then describe the balloon to me, and I really think it was fantastic. Thanks guys, it’s the thought that counts. This friend also made it her mission to persistently exploit my numb chin, touching it (I thought she was fake-touching it at first… I could feel NOTHING), then telling her little sister and aforementioned four-year-old brother to touch it too (for the record, I was legitimately okay with this). Then her sister says, “Hey, so someone could totally just come in and draw on your face and you would have no idea!” I can’t say I am legitimately okay with the evil gleam that proceeded into my best friend’s eye at this point. I will be sleeping with one eye open tonight. GOOD NEWS though, my chin is now tingly, as my tongue was before, so I am expecting full feeling my morning.

After my friends left, I spent the remainder of my evening finishing the last episodes of “New Girl,” catching up on YouTube subscriptions, changing my gauze (done with that, thank goodness), and trying to put chap stick on my lips. My chin is very well moisturized, ladies and gentlemen.

I am now getting ready to eat dinner, my choices consisting of applesauce, pudding, jell-o, or a smoothie, and my mother and I are going to watch “Miss Congeniality,” that being the movie chosen out of an assortment of rom-coms, retrieved from Blockbuster for my viewing enjoyment.

To finish, our current status is: No longer numb in the tongue, and growing less numb in the chin and lower lip, done bleeding, not really in pain, fed up with sitting alone at the computer with only Netflix and Pinterest to keep me company, and hoping for some longer-term visitors tomorrow!

Should be a fun next couple of days! UPDATES TOMORROW!

–Gracie

 

Happy Anniversary to Me!!!

Today, I got my blog and saw a tiny orange trophy in the upper right-hand corner. My first thought was, “What? I’ve never seen that shape on my blog before…” So I clicked on it, like, “Whatever… maybe it’s a special comment…” and it’s like, “CONGRATULATIONS OH MY GOSH YOU’VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR A YEAR pleasekeepbloggingwithwordpress FANFAAAARE!!!!!!!!!!”

My response: “Oh… I had no idea… okay cool.”

So, I guess it’s “officially” this blog’s one year anniversary, but I feel like it’s a bit of a cop-out since I fell off the face of the earth earlier this year. Still, props to you guys for sticking with me, all my faithful followers.

I guess what I’m most excited about is just that I gave “Peculiar Treasures” a little facelift a few days ago, and I felt a little bit guilty about it at first because I felt like I needed an excuse to do something like that. But now I have an excuse, so… yay me?

To many more adventures!

-Gracie-

A thing about firsts.

Wasp:

This is my sister’s first post on her blog!!! Follow her!!! She’s amazing!!! :D

Originally posted on Once Upon A Time.....:

There was a book I used to read when I was small: “The Very Last First Time,” by Jan Andrews, apparently. It was a book about the first time a little Alaskan girl went under the frozen ice of the ocean to harvest clams. Alone. I used to read that book over and over, thinking about my own “last first times.”

First steps.

First birthday.

First sleepover.

First day of high school.

First drive, all by my self.

They never stop. But they do change. And, like that little girl under Alaskan ice, they get lonelier.

Yesterday, I spent my very last first night more than 2o miles from home without any one member of my beloved family. Alone.

(Backstory: I thought it would be a good idea to spend a month away from my family while rehearsing for a show. Why I though it would be a good idea…

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An Adventure in Powell’s Books

Let’s talk about happy happy places… like Disneyland… and the theatre… and POWELL’S BOOKS.

I’d only been there once, and I was pretty little, but I actually had an old gift card to this lovely place, and I happened to find myself in Portland yesterday, so… I just put two and two together.

You might remember in my last post how much I’ve really grown to love books in this past year. This being said, it’s no surprise that I would really enjoy a place that looks like this:

Powell's Books || Portland

Powell's Books

^^Look how inviting it looks, guys.^^

So, basically, for those of you who haven’t been acquainted with my lovely friend, Powell’s, it’s basically a GIANT (like, picture the biggest bookstore you can imagine, and multiply that… by SIX) bookstore… filled with… books… yeah. Soooooo like I said, I missed it a lot, even though I didn’t really like it that much the first time (SORRY POWELL’S) so it was really refreshing to step through that door and catch a long whiff (such a fun word) of that irresistible book-smell.

So myself, my sister, and my cousin meandered around the various rooms. Red room first, then purple room, pearl room, rose room etc… we really didn’t have much strategy, but we really enjoyed our disorganization. We even stopped off in the “Rare Book” room.

Powell's Books Rare Book Room. I've never seen this cool sign...hmmm

Seriously, the sign alone was enough to draw me in. In this room, my cousin and I had a friendly little competition to see who could find the most expensive book. I won, with some old set of two books, priced at $14,000.

In addition to simply wandering, I did manage to pull together a nice little hoard of treasures.

If I Stay Gayle Forman

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I picked this one up for it’s regular price of $10.99 as one of my little paperback splurges, and I’ve already started reading it… expect a review soon!

Maze Runner James Dashner

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As you can see, this copy is a different cover, which a wasn’t too excited about, but I thought I’d go ahead and save a few bucks, picking up this one for $4.99. I’m super excited to get into it before the movie comes out.

No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet [If You Don't Know the Author You'd Better Leave Now]

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This one I mostly got just to feel super intelligent. Seriously, though, I’ve been wanting to read this for along time, even more so after I saw the newest movie take on it with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (HIGHLY recommended and TOTALLY clean). I was still pretty intimidated by it though, but now I have… NO FEAR *ba-dum-chh* (I have to admit I prepared that one in advance). OH and it was $4.50.

Love DoesBob Goff

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This one was my big splurge, at $16.99, but I’ve been wanting to read it for forever, and carrying it around made me feel super cool and Christianese.

I was also planning on picking up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars, but they only had it in a paperback, and I’d really like to invest in a hardcover of that one, since it’s very dear to my heart.

So that’s pretty much the gist of my Portland Powell’s adventure. If you’re free anytime, we should head up there, because not only the books, but let’s be honest here, Portland is FANTASTIC.

You in?

Books and I… ♫ So Happy Together ♫

So happy together…

This post is entirely dedicated to my newish-found love of books.

It’s no secret in my world that I have never been the bookworm of the family. My sister, the elder, has had a great love of books since before she could even read. She had a children’s bible, aptly titled “My First Bible,” about 1 1/2 or 2 inches thick, that my mother read to her as a young’n. Even though she couldn’t read it for herself, she had it memorized so perfectly that she would correct Mommy if she even replaced “Jonah” with “him” or forgot and “and” or “the.” It was a wee bit freakish.

I, on the other hand, was always the child who, during school story time (keep in mind, I’m homeschooled), was rolling on the floor and humming, trying to keep moving so I wouldn’t lose focus… while simultaneously still losing focus. Let me just throw out really quickly that nothing much has changed on that side of things. Cassie (the aforementioned elder sister) was the model child when it came to reading of any kind… when she was bored, she read. When I was bored I went something like:

Except imagine Elsa reading a book.

Except I also did that when Cassie was asleep.

Which explains why I was elbowing her ribcage during that scene.

Back on subject, though, I have, recently-ish discovered that books are actually pretty darn great. See, at first, I just liked the idea of books.

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The smell, the look, etc, you know. Then I thought about books I’ve read that I really liked, To Kill a Mickingbird, for instance, or The Giver. And I realized that, hey, I kind of like books. So I started reading them. And I started enjoying them. And it’s been great.

So books and I have been together for about a year or so now, and it’s going great so far. I’ve gone through about 10 this year (which is huge, considering my record before was about 2 a year [willingly]). We’ve learned when to spend some time apart, but, for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing.

I think books and I will be very happy together.