Something old, something new

Our final Blogtember challenge from Jenni was to document the story of something old that has special meaning to you. I mentioned briefly in my wedding post that my dress had been worn by my grandma, momma bear and now, myself. The story isn't necessarily super sentimental or planned, but more of Jesus just being a cool sneaky tot.
Behold, my lovely 50s family loved wedding dress.
 photo 1c8e5370-f1ab-43e5-9c4e-38450d5ebdcf_zps7898b7a8.jpg The weekend after my engagement, my family had a trip planned to San Antonio so we just penciled in some bridal boutique shopping. Say Yes to the Dress definitely inflated my expectations for what type of try-on experience to expect. After struggling with years of body image abuse and frustration, I found myself overwhelmed with all the choices and the whole battling the body in the mirror ordeal. I loved so many different wedding dresses (many in the beautiful Disney princess line) but none really fit with my style or wedding theme. After praying and thinkin and chatting and overthinking some more, I called my mom and asked what was the likelihood that the dress she wore (originally her mothers) could fit me and/or be cleaned/altered after 50 years. We did loads of research and one of the only cleaners in the States that still worked with the fabric was in Kansas City. In a few weeks, we had a Prayer Conference there - so Jesus provided and all the pieces fell into place for the dress to stick it out for one more bride!  photo 9f27edc5-7bb6-4703-a7ff-ddf871b87276_zps6cb5fd25.jpg Wearing a FREE and sentimental wedding dress was a perfect random happenstance. I am so thankful that we all just happened to be around the same height/weight and that this dress has a remarkable aging grace I'm hoping also rubbed off on me! One of the biggest blessings was that my mom did not once pressure or try to influence me one way or the other in wearing this dress for my wedding. She was supportive of whatever I chose to wear. Sometimes when material items or jobs or houses or connections are "passed down" from somebody else to us, there is a sense of forced control or our personal lack of freedom. In many situations, I've watched people harbor bitterness or resentment because they felt that they never had a choice in accepting gifts or fill-in-the-passed-down-thing-here. I had such a special day and loved giving that dress a new lady and party to embrace life in for one night! photo abd42821-6eb7-4115-910b-c78b2e15a396_zps51f87224.jpg
Thanks Blogtember for challenging my creativity and connecting me with other lovely bloggers!!

The Paper Kites. Featherstone - Monday Morning Motivation

Stick with these beautiful vocals and woodland tinies till 2:56. Que Monday Morning Motivation at it's finest.

Bopants' Blog Debut

For quite some time now, I've been politely asking  obnoxiously begging Bopants to be a regular contributor here on the interwebs. This blog serves as my documented chronicles of life, which has now joyfully been joined with another stud. So much of who I am is linked to who Bopants is and how we create our life together. If we were bands, I'd be Freelance Whales - throwing in as many cool instruments, voices, ideas together in one song to encompass the minefield that is my mind, while Bo would be Jack Johnson- sticking to one solid vocal and guitar focus. He often says far more profound things using far less words. Where as I am off the charts extrovert, this man would be content as a clam in his introvert world. In more ways than one, he is the ying to my yang. Much like our celebrity look alikes, The Ying Yang Twins. Having trouble mentally comparing us to this 2000 rap duo, no problem I've made our comparison handy for you.  photo yingyangtwins_zps24a54640.jpg
See, twinkies. Now without further ado, please put your hands together and welcome husband to the blog world!

     My wife tells me I need to drink more water. "Honey, a pot of coffee is like 97% water. I think I'm good." This kind of statement never goes over well. I also explain that I am very good at managing my nutrition: I often drink sweet tea (easy on the sweet), eat a banana every other day, and something green twice a week. But to be honest, I really shouldn't be delving too far into my nutritious habits, seeing as I've been sick the entire month of September. 
     Four months into marriage (!!!) and God as already taught me so much. I wish I could say that I couldn't fit it all into one page, but I would be lying. The truth is, I've been learning a few 4 or 5 things recurrently. This is probably because we, as humans, can't handle much. We are full of selfishness, pride, greed, and envy. Being in a marriage amplifies these very tendencies (or at least our awareness of them.) Being in a marriage makes it very clear just how sinful you are. (By the way, isn't that what we have with God? As a Church, we are the Bride of Christ.) This is a "Good" occurrence! The more we become aware of our own sin, the more we realize how much we need Jesus. This is called sanctification. 
      You should always have someone in your life (whether or not you're married) that is showing you these very things. If you don't, you end up getting addicted to coffee and thinking that it is a good source of hydration. You might think that you get by just fine on your own, especially if you're an introvert (as I am), but then you find yourself sick for an entire month. You may think you have it all together, but then you realize that you can't save yourself, or your family, or your teacher, or your dog. We need people around us that remind us of these things, because if you're like me, you wouldn't drink much Water if you had your way.

Seven Day Snapshots

 photo apples_zps98daea42.jpg  photo apple3_zpsa5213e48.jpg  photo apples2_zps2dfaa589.jpg  photo 19a8ca84-271e-4dcc-9779-b1246606eecb_zps3e219548.jpg  photo d55275a6-a207-4f29-93f0-59a4b2b181b6_zpsf50cc61b.jpg  photo tights_zps23905d64.jpg  photo peiwei_zpsb8f9c72b.jpg  photo pop_zps48cc1e6e.jpg
Fall fever is in the air and infecting every part of my existence this week. Our local apple orchard hosted their annual "Apple Butter Festival" last weekend, so we rounded up some of our favorite fellow apple lovers and soaked up the wonderful weather and yummy eats. The country store was just gorgeous- basically my mental snapshot of all good things that embody fall. Papa Bear and I went to watch "To Kill a Mockingbird" at our local cinema, which might I add was FULL TO THE BRIM. Lubbockites know a good thing when it comes along. Such a swell experience to watch one America's best novel's in black and white original film format. I've downed an embarrassing amount of tea and sported my favorite ensemble of tights&dress more times than I'd care to admit the past few days. The weather reminded me of our honeymoon in Europe, so I've been busting out our souvenir mugs at every possible chance. Momma Bear and I bonded loads this past week while our husbands were off jet setting the country. Staying up too late, stuffing our chompers full of Chinese and catching up on tv shows were not only great for our relationship but so refreshing for my soul. The model shot of the gent on the right is my one and only Papa Bear! It's really apparent in photos, like this one, where my strikingly good looks come from. It takes some star quality genes to produce that Hollywood worthy mugshot. Happy kick off to Fall you cyberweb amigos!

The Bedroom Ball Pit - Monday Morning Motivation

Because sometimes we all need the motivation inspired by twin British chaps fulfilling a lifelong dream of constructing a bedroom ballpit. Carry on, dear readers, in achieving those dreams.

Fall Fiction Book Reviews

 photo fallficton_edited-1_zpsaf7e8a79.jpg Something about this dreamy cool weather beckons me to burrow in our papasan chair, reading loads of fiction until the wee morning hours. Thankfully, my trip to the library was a success and I thoroughly enjoyed each book even though they are MAJORLY different.

1. The Cuckoo's Calling: Jo Rowling constantly shakes up society by throwing us curveballs. Publishing this mystery novel under alias Robert Galbraith allowed this renowned author to explore a new writing style and genre freely. I was pleasantly surprised with the character development and plot twists. Detective Cormoran Strike, was one of the most delightfully "normal" main characters I've met in quite a long while. If you are looking for a solid mystery fiction piece, I'd recommend with flying colors.
-Book quote: “How easy it was to capitalize on a person’s own bent for self-destruction; how simple to nudge them into non-being, then to stand back and shrug and agree that it had been the inevitable result of a chaotic, catastrophic life.”

2. Cinder: Essentially if you like the show Once Upon a Time then chances are you'll be a fan of this fiction. Loosely based on Cinderella, we are thrown into a futuristic society with of course some teen angst, rebellion and love. I enjoyed the creative tie-ins to our world and the fairytale story, along with the Young Adult Sci-Fi elements. Probably would have been more engaged a couple years ago, but still liked the read.
-Book quote: “Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”  

3. Tell the Wolves I'm Home: Written from the perspective of 14-year-old June, this tale stole my heart away. Struck a similar cord as "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the sense of perspectives and narrator voice. Set in 1987, we see an in-depth account of a family's response to AIDS and reaction of society. The characters were entrancing and I learned from how we have or haven't grown as a population in response to things we don't know much about.
-Book quote: “That's the secret. If you always make sure you're exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won't care if you die tomorrow.”  

4. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: In this lovely book, an imaginary friend narrates to readers from the limitations of a child's mind and personal experiences. A creative piece channeling our inner imagination and examining society's response to a "different" child (similar to autism). I was definitely surprised the depth of emotion, self preservation and relationships incorporated into each page.
-Book quote: “You have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are.”  

5. Me Before You: Let me just start by saying I was originally suckered into this story expecting a typical romance read. Needless to say, I spent a humbling amount of time after finishing the story in various stages of :  photo spiderman_crying_zps5752ff4e.gif &  photo brooke_zpsfe43b9d9.gif... Louisa is your small town girl settling for a mediocre life that pays the bills when she becomes the caretaker of Will, a hotshot daredevil left handicapped from a fluke motor accident. Their story deals with forgiveness, love, working in a time of recession and trying to answer life's hardest questions. I would love for everyone I know to read this book and challenge their thoughts and perceptions.
-Book quote: “Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”  

6. Sweet Evil: This is one of those books that takes about a page to explain the plot/backstory. Basically, you meet fallen angels and are taken on an adventure meshing biblical roots and the timeless battle between good and evil. I was challenged quite a bit spiritually, encountering perspectives of demons and Eden. Definitely a surprisingly unique and page turning read!
-Book quote: “We have to face difficulties to find out what our true strengths are. How we come back from failure is a very valuable test.”  

Young the Giant. Strings - Monday Morning Motivation

just. no. words. young the giant rocks our musical reality yet again. hats off to you fellas.

Seven Day Snapshots

 photo 5026d9d9-7e32-4010-a961-39e8bca1408e_zps8af879fd.jpg  photo 2887fbd5-8c93-445c-b805-1642cb861e6d_zps8d1fc395.jpg  photo michaele_zps30e68c9d.jpg  photo 07d51f6d-a7ad-4efa-92ea-95075c735f4a_zpsaea515ae.jpg  photo 066f0957-5dc2-458c-946d-ee76c0206911_zpsb3e26702.jpg  photo 580e2749-d469-4513-937c-8ae1daddaa27_zpsc91a5456.jpg  photo b6a22adb-1ba7-4883-95b8-d1c6253604dd_zps97b41480.jpg  photo letters_zpsf99a21fc.jpg
These past few weeks have been just a collection of kittens, coffee dates, letter writing and social dates. Bopants, one of my dear bridesmaids and myself traveled to Dallas to visit a dear friend and one of my wonderful younger cousins.. who might I add is thriving far more in college than I ever did! Sometimes it's humbling (but also awesome) to watch others just dominate in their given fields. Speaking of fields, we've been able to watch one of our sweet nieces own the softball fields in Lubbock with style and flare. Watching elementary diva girls giggle and chant cheers and intimidate others is just stinking rewarding if I do say so myself. In other news, SOPHIA BUSH and DICK WOLF are collaborating on a new tv show. Can we just dwell on that for 19 seconds. One tree hill brilliance meets law&order SVU. The mirrored responses are from my two roommates who religiously watched both shows with me our sophomore year. Hilarious how similar and enthusiastic they respond - no wonder we were such swell roomies. I also took a lil trip to the library last week and scored some addicting new page turners. So pumped to give you updates!! Hope you've had a swimming week thus far dear readers.

Welcome to the wonderful world of an ENTP

Today's challenge from Jenni over at storyofmylifetheblog was to take this short little Myers-Briggs personality test and respond to your results. Full disclosure, I often like to consider myself above the generalization of personality types tending to default on the mentality that "no one can sum me up."
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Welp, I was seriously freaked when I first took a Myers-Briggs test and felt like God himself had just decoded my entire being and plastered in on the internet for all to read. Needless to say, I'm an advocate.
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We can understand ourselves and our reactions to others so much better after seeing why we think the way we do. Bopants is literally almost complete opposite of me, but you know what they say about all those opposites attracting. Without further ado, here are some summaries of a ENTP (Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Thinking).

-"With Extraverted Intuition dominating their personality, the ENTP's primary interest in life is understanding the world that they live in. They are constantly absorbing ideas and images about the situations they are presented in their lives. Using their intuition to process this information, they are usually extremely quick and accurate in their ability to size up a situation. With the exception of their ENFP cousin, the ENTP has a deeper understanding of their environment than any of the other types." found here

-"ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to argue--both for its own sake, and to enhance their debating skills. ENTPs tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate."found here This helps explain why I loved mock trial and debate back in school days and why to this day I'll sit and argue just about any worldly or theological concept, more often than not being devil's advocate to a concept I don't even necessarily agree with

-"ENTPs are idea people. Their perceptive abilities cause them to see possibilities everywhere. They get excited and enthusiastic about their ideas, and are able to spread their enthusiasm to others. In this way, they get the support that they need to fulfill their visions." found here Can you say spot on?

But most importantly, my fictional character twinkies out there include:
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1. The Doctor. Need I say more?
2. Sirius Black, which I would like to refer to as my fictional heartthrob. The dude is not only super hardcore, busting out of jail and attacking werewolves and whathaveyou, but he is a total softy at heart. Swoon.
3. MRS. FRIZZLE!! May she rest in peace. This ginger could easily pass as one of my top 6 role models (real and fictional) to date. Not mad about us being personality sisters one lil bit.

All in all, I embrace my personality type and am constantly learning how to communicate better with others and highlight my strengths rather than focus on my weaknesses or the aspects I'd like to change. What is your personality type? Any responses to what your results said?

Tom Klose. To Hurt and to Be Hurt - Monday Morning Motivation

Let's just wrap up all the lovely aspects of this music video.
1. Insanely snazzy accent
2. Cello as the only backup instrument
3. Jammin in the concert hall of a forest
4. repeat numbers 1-3

What I've Come From

 photo 103158b6-73eb-4c9f-969e-bfe9710409b1_zps04ceea40.jpg Jenni from the blog "Story of My Life" presented a September blog challenge (which I'm not completely committed to yet in full) presented a fun set of posts for bloggers this month. Todays post challenge is to tell where you've come from and what makes you, well you. So I, D'Ann aka Annie aka Danimal aka Hot Tamale shall commence my interweb self dishing. Firstly, marriage to Mr. Bopants has taught me too much to even spell out. But here's a start.
  • Long distance dating will make or break you and can be such a blessing in developing a healthy, lasting relationship
  • Husbands are just little boys at heart that hands down make the swellest roommates
  • Serving together on a prayer team and hosting people in our home has not only grown our love for Christ, but one another
  • Getting married while we're young and ripe has been the best decision of my life
 photo 9fa27e67-d616-401a-bb52-179fdfff525c_zps9050a6e8.jpg This lovely bunch creates the backbone to many of my personal life quirks and personality. I come from:
  • the world's best daddy in the whole wide world. A man who pursues his wife, his daughters, his job and most importantly his Savior whole heartedly
  • momma bear with a fierce prayer life and an authoritative wisdom that never ceases to astound me
  • my first best friend, play doctor and teacher, fellow troublemaker sister who has taught me multiple lessons and creative perspectives over our years together
  • parents that value traveling and always expanded our horizons by saving for educational and experiential splurges
 photo 6207ec0e-6b06-49ca-9b45-b9f828eef564_zps89d971d5.jpg Texas A&M University not only grew my mental capacity loads, but taught me the importance of community and true trustworthy friendships.
  • learning that bucket fulls of good grades and money won't lead to happiness
  • trusting God's plan when you are stuck in times and circumstances that don't float your fancy
  • appreciating diversity, seeing how people from all walks of life are necessary to an organization's success
  • most importantly, TAMU gave me...
 photo 82a41270-b601-420f-ba91-2ec635f3e059_zps014a9945.jpg MADISON MAE!!! The friend who helped me
  • get the guts to start a blog and dive into my scary mind, being open to whatever came crawling out
  • see how accountability and friendship can be the best thing in the whole world but take lots of hard work and awkward conversations 
  • understand that letting people into my messy world always beats trying to protect a so-called "perfect" life
  • confront our closet fears and biggest demons, releasing tremendous joy and freedom into both our little worlds
 photo 074cf35c-42ab-4004-8f50-577a16b15b9d_zpseed43a24.jpg Falling in love with organizations like The Wells Project & The Volunteer Center have
  • developed my leadership skills in realms of volunteering, event planning and getting others on board with your cause
  • opened my eyes to the statistics that 1 in 9 people lack access to clean water and Lubbock alone has over 300 kiddos who are ready TODAY for foster care and adoption
  • brought me friendships and partners that align with the same mission
Just a snapshot into the beautiful tiny pieces that form the jumbled puzzle that is my daily life. Can't wait to hear the grand walks others have come from.

Local Natives. Who Knows Who Cares - Monday Morning Motivation

The Local Natives are long time vocal swooners of my soul. These dudes know how to jam and this picture of them in public spontaneous takeaway show is breathtaking. Can't even contain my adoration of the individual add-in musicians throughout the film. Happy Monday to all!