Guest Letters to 2013

Launching into a new 2014 year flips one of those reflection switches that makes me dissect the good and bad of the past 365 days. I brought in some friends to share their growth and words to 2013, writing a letter to themselves or the past year. Each of these girls is such a picture of love, generosity and creativity. I am so blessed to have them as friends in my lil life. Happy New Years!

Dear 2013,
To be honest, I’ve been waiting for you to end ever since you took an unexpected turn late in the year. Most of you seems like a big dream, both the good and bad memories a little too painful to remember. Nonetheless, since the fog is beginning to lift and I believe in a God who ordains things even before time begins, I want to reflect on what He taught me through you: thankfulness. So…Thank you, 2013, for teaching me perspective. You allowed me to see the poverty of others, but also the true beauty of simple faith. Thank you for reminding me to cherish my family. They care for me the most of anybody and will always be there to cry, laugh, smile, and do life with. Thank you for showing me the Lord’s favor even in the simple things. What a privilege it was to find it in the praise of a co-worker, the encouraging words of a friend, the smile of children, and the knowledge of a job well done. Thank you for showing me anew the wonderful sacrifice Jesus gave on the cross – oh Lord how you love me! Thank you for showing me what it means to lean on, be confident in, and trust in the Lord’s plan, especially when I don’t understand. And thank you most of all, 2013, for reminding me that your 365 days are just another piece of the bigger story. They may not have been what I expected, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to look back and reflect on some (of the many!) purposes they have contributed to for my life. I am thankful for…you.
Sincerely, Katy

 photo Screenshot2013-12-31at92651AM_zpsd9e0a630.pngDear 2013,
I had some pretty high expectations for you. I wanted to grow in some areas like wisdom, listening & obeying, and loving my neighbor. I wanted some circumstances to change completely like having this season of singleness come to a close or finally putting in my application for YWAM. I had some goals I wanted to reach like consistently being a woman of my word and returning text messages/facebook messages/letters in a timely manner. As
I look over my list of goals and areas in which I wanted to see change and growth, what I see most is Jesus. God showed up in every area on my list. He is a faithful God!! More often than not, though, Jesus didn't show up in the way I thought He would or even should. He is continually teaching me that He is more than I could ever think or imagine. Yes, God is love, but He is more. Indeed, God is discipline, but He is more. Praise God He is faithful, but He is more, friends!! Jesus is more and I could not be more grateful. I serve a God who is beyond human comprehension and that helps me to trust Him. Because I don't understand God, I can trust that while I may not see it or understand why I find myself in the circumstances I do, He is working a plan that is for my good and His glory.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~Romans 8: 28 & 31

Remaining firmly planted,

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Bear's Den. Isaac - Monday Morning Motivation

Bear's Den just being breathtaking and vocally ingenious as usual. I love these dudes. The candle lighting background is perfect for this last December 2013 post. Swell.

Seven Day Snapshots

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Oh poor, neglected little blog. So sorry for my time away. Between the holidays and house hopping and hedgehog getting and sick sick sicking - I have managed to leave you in the dust this week. My apologies, I shall be more on the blog this next year. Pinkie promise.

Now for some updates:
-Got to double date with this studly couple loads over the past month. Finding any excuse to grab a bit or treat or movie, we tend to see these two oodles. Speaking of, we are all on our own laptops in their living room as I type.
-The in-laws purchased this precious little frenchie in New York a few weeks ago. We are bonding like new bffs. She is such a cutie. Especially when we just snooze on the couch.
-Bopants likes to take selfies on my phone. Note to the wise: don't take selfies if you aren't willing to have them make a baby blog debut.
-Prepping for Christmas Eve, we served as prayer partners for our church prior to the services. We stopped in the worship room to hone in our painting skills.
-Taco Villa. Be my spice of life anyday.
-Lots of snuggles and photos and matching outfits for us over the holiday break. My favorite is my crew snuggling on the bed as my mom and sister giggle over the internet and my dad is annoyed, just trying to finish Mockingjay. Sorry for the ending disappointment, pops.
-Aimee loved her science book and flipped over to her favorite page for a photo op.
-Meet our newest family member, Alaska! She is such a sweetie. We are trying our darnest to train her to walk through hoops and love people. Slow but steady progress.

Hope you had a dandy holiday and made some sweet memories :]

Poppy Girls. The Call - Monday Morning Motivation

Not only is this song just an utter delight, but hold out till 4:20 at the end of the song when one of the girl's gets a lovely surprise. I bawled like a baby. Every time I watched it.. whoops.

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Here's another collaborative antidote from Miss Madison Mae aka one of my bestest friends in this entire universe (Dr. Who included). To see our previous letters to each other, click here. Since we are currently, and quite brokenheartedly, separated by this huge state of Texas we started online memoirs of daily lifeage to one another. I love this lil peanut!

D- A dear,
A female D’Ann.
Wellsssssssssss- a drop of Bo’s family!
(Obviously I have been feeling inspired by the remake of The Sound of Music. Not really though- I didn’t even watch it.)

Sorry this letter has been delayed in reaching your little (e) mailbox. Between finals, moving for the third time in six months, and printing The Eckleburg Project, November just upped and walked away from me. And by “upped and walked,” I really mean hop, skipped, danced, twerked, jump roped, and sprinted out of sight.

My new room is mostly done, so I will save that little goodie as a surprise once it is completely finished. WHOOP! Mean time- I will show you what my blood, sweat, and tears (mostly tears) has gone to for the past six months: BEHOLD EDITION 2, ISSUE 1 OF THE MAGAZINE!
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Naturally, we’ve already started preparing for Edition 2, Issue 2. That should be printed in April sometime. Whoop-a-whoop-dee-whoopidy-whoop! We also have a new Managing Editor (aka, my right hand (wo)man). Meet Gabi! In all her cute glory.

Not too much else has been going on over in little Bryan/College Station. I have been loving this true winter that Texas was getting there for a while and was able to bundle up nice and warm and embrace true winter. 

See? Embracing true winter in my very cold, but happy state. Aleenah and I, as well as a few others from Mic Check Poetry had the lovely opportunity to help lead poetry workshops at Brazos Juvenile Justice Center this semester. In the frigid photo above, we were at a showcase where the youths from our program got to come out and read their work out loud! It was really amazing and inspiring to see these young folks get out their express themselves. Our main philosophy of the whole workshop is “I have a voice, and my voice is important.” Awesome to see those kids embracing that, without a doubt. Here is the rest of gang from the Art for Life program!

Now that Christmas break is in session and TEP stuff will be slowing down soon, I am planning on embracing all the movies, books, and writing all the things. I have already watched Anastsia, Garden State, and Donnie Darko. All solid choices let me tell you. photo 0b606e07-f218-46b3-96c3-78c703a493da_zpsb552e14f.png Garden State is one of my favorite movies, as you are well aware of, so I thought I would just show you one of my favorite scenes. I I love this scene, not because I fully agree with it, but because I think everyone can relate to it in some degree or another. I have been thinking a lot about this concept of home and comfort, about how home isn’t a building, but people. It’s oddly comforting, yet disjointing, to realize my idea of home as a child was spot on, but also so wrong all at once. Okay- off my morning analytical rant that probably makes little to no sense (Madi has yet to have her morning dose of caffeine).

I’ll end on this note now (get it?!? NOTE! Music?!)- I’ve been listening to a lot of Irish folk music thanks to my friend, Bill. Here is one my favorites. I hope you enjoy it! I love you little D’Ann riding on a Segway to the moon (pie) and back, hoarding loads of pumpkin and other holiday goodies.

Till next time,
Madi Mae

December Goals & Wishes

 photo dec_zps97a0e5bb.jpgOne of our newer life habits has been attempting to goal set each month. As you can tell, we are running a little bit behind this December due to finals and work and Christmas parties and that never ending shopping list. Better late than never; my new motto. See our past month goal lists here!

Last month, I completed almost all my list. One of the most rewarding check offs was making a new friend. My new amiga, Katie, is seriously one of the coolest jelly beans in the bag. We hit it off immediately! I can tell that we are going to be trouble makers for life.
 photo 1ab_zpsa019bd49.jpg Annie's December Goals/Weekly Wishes
-join the Downton Abbey bandwagon and binge watch all seasons
-visit College Station to scarf down all my favorite seasonal eats
-phone call 3 friends
-bike on our stationary bike at least 3 times a week

Bopant's December Goals/Weekly Wishes
-catch up on leisure reading
-bake something yummy
-go look at Christmas lights
-complete our 12 Dates of Christmas tradition
The Nectar Collective

Pentatonix. Little Drummer Boy - Monday Morning Motivation

Today I am sharing two delightful videos because sometimes life needs a little extra icing. The more the merrier, am I right? These both are each unique and pure pictures of the joy of this holiday season. One of my dreams has been to perform in an orchestra and sing in an acappella group, so these wrap up my life dreams rather nicely. Hope you enjoy :]

10 Things You Might Not Know About Us

This was one of those weeks that blew by and I woke up this morning realizing I neglected this poor blog and have left it bare since Monday. I figured to shake things up, Bopants and I could share 5 things you might not know about us.

Ladies first.
1. My sister and I, who have been close friends and fellow trouble makers since the beginning of time, used to pester Momma & Papa Bear all the stinkin time about how we would not be complete until they adopted us a baby brother from Mexico. I have literally no idea what made us decide that was the key to family completion, but for years we would cry and yell and ask Santa for a lil Mexican baby brother.

2. Having a snow bengal cat is my DREAM. These kittens are hypoallergenic & unfortunately cost thousands of dollars. Why does money have to trample my future happiness with this priceless cutie.  I mean does life get any better than >> that little nugget of joy?!? *so note: if you want to be my new favorite human, this would be the perfect present

3. In my high school glory nightmare days, I was a cool kid mathlete and my nickname throughout school was Dibble.  To this day, I can walk into grocery stores or restaurants and have someone call "Hey Dibble!" Funny how those random things from way back when stick.
*note: our team memorized this hilarious/somewhat vulgar Mean Girls rap and would chant it down the halls in competition. Lolz.

4. This past weekend I might have binge watched hours of Catfish: The TV Show & I Killed My BFF.. Needless to say, most the week I have been paranoid about everyone online and all my friends.

5. My all time favorite TV show and character combo is Gilmore Girls. Such a brilliant cast, humor and set. I own all the seasons and have most the shows memorized. Over Thanksgiving, I watched just about every snow/Thanksgiving episode. My favorite of those is when Lorelei and Rory have to scarf down 6 Thanksgiving meals. Those girl's appetites are my inspiration.
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All of those still in favor of Jess & Rory, please say aye!

Now for Mr. Bopants:
1. I used to be the drummer in a hardcore screamo band.  True life.  photo drum_zpsa532abd3.jpg 2. Fueling my love of the north and cold weather, I have been skiing on just about every mountain in Colorado.

3. I like to consider myself a French enthusiast. This summer my knowledge was challenged in France with some major successes and failures.

4. Pretty commonly, I am mistaken for Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the Hunger Games. One day, Annie & I will make a killer HG couple costume.  photo b27fe355-b64e-466d-ae13-56277e8a2b80_zpsd8a068b0.jpg 5. Lastly, I like to think I am on the verge of being famous via a viral YouTube video.

That's all folks! Thanks and gig 'em. What are some fun facts about you?

Local Natives. Bowery - Monday Morning Motivation

It's no secret that Local Natives forever ranks as one of my favorite creative and influential bands to date. The pure beauty of this performance is double whoop worthy. Makes me wish I had more ballet or musical talent. Alas, I shall just reign down my praises instead.

Happy (belated) Turkey Day!

This Thanksgiving, we celebrated with some of Bo's family the weekend before! So on actual Thanksgiving Day we spent some of the day with my father-in-law's family and loads of the day with my energetic, food adoring crew. We tried some new recipes including marinated cheese (which was the biggest hit of the meal!) and mac&cheese with green olives!! Sisskykins and I have a grand time trying out new dishes each holiday. Last year, we had an entire Greek feast the day after Christmas. Twas delightful.
 photo t4_zpse05c1271.jpg  photo t1_zpse748e02c.jpg Gima brought us each festive holiday hats that we enjoyed sporting before the meal. Sammy Sue (Sissykin's sweet babysitting buddy she has watched for years now) also came to join our party.  photo t2_zps55faf8a4.jpg Pops relived his Harley days, diggin out his leather gloves to match his leather hat. You can take the motorcycle out of the man but you can't take the man out of the motorcycle.  photo t3_zpsd20ba7c0.jpg Decorating the tree was a highlight as always. Our house has been decorated for weeks, so it was extra festive to have another house to vomit Christmas cheer on! Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with joy, laughter, cheer and cheese! P.s. Our internet has been fickle for the past few weeks, so sorry about the lack of prompt posts. I'm still churning out some new ideas for this baby blog!

Seven Day Snapshots

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Welp, it's been a while since I hammered out a seven day snapshot post! This one cheated a little and is more like a 14-day snapshot. We traveled to Dallas for the Texas Tech/Baylor game with some friends and family. The next weekend we headed out for Austin and College Station to have some pre-Thanksgiving celebrations. Along the way, we had some delicious eats and happy reunions. Seeing my name constantly be spelled in struggle by baristas, bonding with the father & brother in law, pulling all nighters in CStat with my bestest Madi.. so many treats to kick off the holiday season. All the traveling and heavy foods have taken a toll on my body, but all in all - SO WORTH IT.

Lily & Madeleine. In the Middle - Monday Morning Motivation

The harmonies and simplicity of this black&white duet are just adoring. I could have these two follow me around everyday serenading me with advertisements and I would die a happy lady.

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Can we just finally live in the same city already, Miss Madi Mae?!?
 photo 4a_zpse52a34f8.jpg Seeing you last weekend was just the bee's knees and one would think that being reunited for even a mere 9 hours would satisfy my daily missing Madison craving, but alas.. the exact opposite has occurred. I am more frustrated than ever that I can't share the everyday stupid thoughts or hilarious jokes or newest restaurant finds with you. *blahblahblah enter more frustrated immature ramblings here for full authentic effect*  photo a83e5b27-281e-4592-ab7b-803f209bfffd_zps8d27a086.jpg Let's also just thank the sky gods for aligning my road trip weather with pure perfection when I was driving to good ol CStat to come see you. That rainy sky though. Blissfulness at it's finest. Side note: I'm obsessed with this band called Boy & Bear. This rabbit music video basically portrays your soul mate to a T. If I ever see them live, I'm hooking y'all up. I've managed to see 6 movies in the past 6 days. No shame in that, my friend. I could easily go see any of them again. There's just something addictive about watching theaters at the local cinema. It could be:
1. the endless supply of popcorn
2. plush seats that just lure you to sit down for all eternity
3. creative plots and impressive characterization
4. my utter laziness
5. a dandy lil escape from reality to Disney realms, London, Germany & the Capitol
6. all of the above
Which reminds me, CATCH UP ON ONCE UPON A TIME so we can chat about what's going on. I'm in serious need of relishing out that story line with someone equally as invested and outraged.
 photo 2a_zpsf75f07f3.jpg Remember that one time (7 days ago) that I accidentally parked illegally outside Mugwalls due to my incoherent sleepy state?? I feel more rebellious that the College Station cops missed out on such a prime ticketing opportunity. Those fellows always seem to catch me at my weakest. Not. this. time. photo 1a_zpsaefe8198.jpg In summary, I realize I have been all over the place in the post and don't apologize in the slightest. Tis the reason we are such a pair. Miss you to the moon and back in a pumpkin chai serving, Hunger Games re-watching, fuego queso rocketship!

Ringing In the Christmas Cheer

 photo 11a_zps3073a707.jpgChristmas in November for us here in Texas! Last weekend, an early snow storm just in time for us to decorate for Christmas and venture to Austin/College Station for early Thanksgiving celebrations. Seeing Bopant's sisters and my friends in Aggieland was the perfect wrap up to the snow.  photo 6a_zps2069f1f9.jpg photo 7a_zps364920f3.jpgOur lookout gnome was buried belly high in snow, but you don't see him complaining!  photo 5a_zps15db3219.jpg  photo 9a_zps57968553.jpg photo 12a_zpsd1c9a429.jpg
Since we are a bit tight on space in our little cottage, we opted to order a 4 foot tree and have a miniature little bundle of Christmas joy. Officially having our own real place and beginning a decoration collection makes me feel a million times more "adult"ish. Decorating our place and getting into the holiday spirit has been a quality kick-off to the Thanksgiving festivities. In other news, we watched the new Disney movie, Frozen, last night and it was just amazing!! Grab your nearest child and head to your nearest theater asap. I might or might not have teared up in the first 10 minutes.. classic sign of a solid Disney film. Hope you are all each relishing (literally) in this Thanksgiving day and might even be knee-deep in snow! I personally can't wait to stuff my boca full of pumpkin goodies and stuffing from dawn till dusk. What are your favorite holiday treats or traditions?