Tuesday, February 28, 2012

tuesday.

reading in bed
[via pinterest]
I'm still not sure whether I like Tuesdays or not. They aren't Mondays - so that's good. I go to school T/TH - and that's mostly good. But Tuesdays are at the start of the week, and in the middle of the afternoon on a particularly looooong Tuesday, it's depressing to think you still have most of the week in front of you.

Today's been a pretty good day. I got a full night's sleep, turned in my spanish homework (always a plus, yes?), got a satisfactory test grade, hijacked my cousin's Facebook for a little while at school - mostly browsing pictures from Oliver!, saw "Rolf" in the school cafeteria *hehe*, walked on the brick wall all the way from the school entrance to the round-about/bus stop singing "Oom Pah Pah" and annoying my sister, and I'm planning on working some more on my sewing project [a new dress!] this afternoon. Oh, it's been alright. Nothing particularly...out of the ordinary :P


It's just Tuesday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

desires of your heart.

Convicted.

That's how I feel right now. And it's not bad type of conviction either. It's one of the healthy kinds.

You see, I'm a dreamer. That's why I have a bucket list. But even though I dream, I honestly don't expect many (if any) of those dreams to come true. And when they do...it's awesome. Recently, doors have been opening for me to do things that were so obscure, so not-possible, that I've been standing in a bit of a daze, trying to take it all in.  And these are little things. Like getting Double Superior at festival, or getting a consistent job at preschool, or going to Oliver!, or auditioning for Sound of Music, or even doing drama at all.
Paris Opera House

But there are bigger things I dream of. And I know God can give me those dreams too, if they're in His will.

Aha. Key point. IF.

My struggle right now: God has been answering my prayers left and right, in ways I did not expect. He has given me so many wonderful things. But somehow I feel, even though I'm not exactly sure how it feels, that just maybe I'm getting cocky. Is it too much to ask, God? Just let me be Liesl. Let me go to Nicaragua. Make me that awesome, completely 100% patient big sister I'm longing to be. And, yes, that other biggish-little silly wish too.
Vintage prom.

All I know is that I *want* to be God's will, desperately. And I also know that the concepts "commit your way to the Lord", "He will give you the desires of your heart", "When we are completely in Him, He will give us what we ask for", "We are happiest when we are entirely dependent on God" have come more than five times in ONE WEEK. Church, Kisses From Katie, family devotions, even the introduction to Oliver! for cryin' out loud....and I do know that that means God wants me to take it to heart. Even if that means giving up something that's not of Him.

So I wait.....hopefully patiently. Staying in the Word, praying for direction, and hoping, hoping, hoping that MY desires are HIS desires.Bible

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

dearest walter with hardboiled egg

Yesterday I left the house fully expecting to get the competition, listen to my friend and few competitors play, and then play my piece at my scheduled time: 10:42am.

Well, we got there about two minutes after my friend started, so we had to wait outside the door. While we were waiting, one of the adorable older ladies who runs the competition came up to me and said, "Dear, we've had a cancellation right here - would you like to play instead?" As in, next. I had literally been in the building for two minutes, expecting to play in an hour. So I stood there, listening to the familiar, rather comforting, chords of Chopin's Military Polonnaise through the door, and heard the seconds ticking away in my head as I had to make that rather quick decision. My hands were warm, they weren't wet or sweaty or gummy, my adrenaline was up, but I wasn't nervous. I heard myself say, "Sure."

*cough*

So when Dodger came out, I was "ready." Five minutes later, I went in. And introduced myself. And played. And I didn't have to start four times (yes!) and C# waltz flowed right, and the Minute...well...it was good. I didn't win, but I'm pleased with my performance and SO SO glad to have it behind me.

Pinned Image
Mark Lester as Oliver Twist
At noon, my aunt took me out on my "birthday lunch." We went to our fantastic local Mediterranean restaurant, then to Barnes and Noble (where I went bonkers and came out with three new books: Selected Works of O. Henry, Oliver Twist, and Pygmalion And Other Plays by George Bernard Shaw). Then we headed off to her house to watch the 1968 version of Oliver! - which I am now in love with. Jack Wild is beyond adorable.

That night, back at home, my inbox was alive with conversations going back and forth between myself and fellow friends/competitors as we discussed our performances and how we did. Personally, I think we all did great, and showed well.

And today I was feeling a little in the dumps when I got an email from the casting director for TSOM giving age and height requirements for each "VonTrapp" child for the callbacks...and I'm one inch "too short" for Liesl. Ouch. So there goes that. BUT, then I got an email from her saying that she's calling me back anyway. So here we go again :) One more shot...and I'd better make it worth it, yes?

It's snowing right now, the world is a regular winterwonderland. I'm feeling a little less-than-well due to other stuff, so I'm not outside, but the kids are and "having a marvelous time." And I'm inside, with the fire blazing away, wearing a cozy sweater, reading my new books, pinning, and dreaming. It's a Fine Life! :)

xoxo

O.G.

p.s. If you're wondering about the title, it's the punch line from one of my favorite O. Henry stories: "Springtime a la Carte". Read it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

in the stars

It has been an incredibly rough week. Incredibly.

And that's probably due pretty much one hundred percent to this piano competition on Saturday.

Now, in general, I love performing. I love being the center of attention. I love piano. I love performing piano. But only when I know what I'm doing.

stairway to heaven - amen! <3
[via pintrest]
Not that I don't right now. It's just, I didn't know a month ago. So it's been hard. In fact, I've had nightmares. Actual honest-to-goodness nightmares about Bach's Invention No. 13 (which was a thorn in my side at age fourteen and I vowed I would never play it again. Ha.) and Chopin's Minute Waltz (which I know I will love once this competition is over and the pressure is off). Mornings when I woke up feeling like I'd dropped off a cliff and left my stomach up on top - sure that Saturday is going to be an epic fail.

My parents have been helpful....some. They tell me to practice, which, of course, is wise, but annoying to hear - if you know what I mean. My siblings have been...themselves. My teacher told me today that she was proud of me - probably the first encouraging word she's given me about those pieces. Ouch. My friends have been supportive - but many of them are practicing for the exact same thing, so we all just commiserate.

Today, honestly, was awful. My piano lesson went well, my teacher seems confident, but all that pent up worry and overwhelmedness and tiredness and ready-to-be-done-itis kicked in on the way home and I was SO glad my spanish teacher cancelled class today because I was about to lose it. At home, I just sat in the bathroom and cried for ten minutes, begged God to help me just to get through this weekend, washed my face, and flopped on my bed. I thought I should listen to my iPod, but he refused to work (poor Gavroche has never been the same since his washing) so I did Government instead. Then I took a nap. Then I did more Government.

And Mama came up and sat on my bed. I knew what was coming. So I helped her: "Would you feel better, Mama, if I went downstairs and practiced?"

So that's what I've done for the past thirty minutes, and now I'm blogging. It's kinda therapeutic. And now all I want to do is eat something sweet and buy new music off iTunes. I don't care what, just something I don't have :D

But I'll stop venting now. It felt nice to write away my frustration. Sorry you had to get an earful though....

---------------

A few positive things DID happen this week. It's looking more and more like I'll get to head to Central America this summer for at least a few weeks. Titiana and I auditioned for a production of The Sound of Music and everything went really well. (we'll get our parts by March 2nd.) I went and picked up our tickets for Oliver!. And I had a particularly interesting dream last night that actually made me think this morning when I woke up, and has had me thinking all day. It triggered some interesting thought processes, brought up some questions, and left me with this phrase [an actual quote from the dream]:
Starry starry night
[via pintrest]
"It's up there. My future. It's in the stars."

Strange, and thought-provoking. I have absolutely no idea what it means, and since I don't actually put any weight on dreams at all, it could mean nothing. =)

But I DO know that God is using, and has used, the stars to tell the entire story of salvation, as well as to announce the birth of His Son. And He knows what my whole life looks like, He can see how everything will work for His glory - even this nerve-wracking piano competition. It's actually comforting to know that He put every star in place - He made those glorious heavens. Every star has a name, and He knows each one.

Maybe there's a star with my name.

"When You Wish Upon A Star" jiminy cricket *hehe*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

eighteenth.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Day Wreath
[via pintrest]
I've always enjoyed Valentine's Day. I don't know why, but I also don't why anyone *wouldn't* like it. Honestly, LOVE is a word that encompasses so much, and RELATIONSHIP can mean anything from you and sister to you and your spouse or you and your friend. Even you and your pet. Anyway. :)

"A Whole New World" aladdin and jasmine


Mama and Daddy have always given us chocolate on Valentine's Day, and we always make and send valentines to grandparents and sometimes friends as well. Any excuse to make a craft, right? :D
Russell Stover dark chocolate Roman Nougat
[via pintrest]

"Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You?" the music man [1962]

And while yes, I am a *very* romantic person with lots of dreams, and I am looking forward to the day when I'll celebrate Valentine's Day with a particular type of special person.......I am happy as a cricket joyfully resting in the love of my family, friends, and most of all, Jesus Christ.
Purity Ring
[via pintrest]

Yes, this is my eighteenth Valentine's Day...still untouched, unkissed, undated. (gosh, that last one makes me sound like some type of carbon-dated rock :P) Not that I'm counting :D But seriously. I'm so thankful that God convicted both my parents and myself about how important purity really is. Sometimes it feels like a restraint, other times I feel incredible freedom just knowing where my boundaries are. And the respect others have for me is something I would never trade for anything. You'd be surprised how honored a girl who's keeping herself pure actually gets from others. Priceless, if you ask me.

But that doesn't keep me from listening to sappy [or not so sappy] love songs and enjoying good romantic period dramas, chick flicks, or musicals. I mean, even *guys* like those sometimes. hehe.

Anyway.

Anne of Green Gables
[via pintrest]


"All I Ask of You" phantom of the opera


So, to get myself in the romantic mood, I spent Sunday reading the last three Little House books, plus Anne of the Island. Just because. I didn't even get into bed until nearly midnight.

Last night we had another group class [which was terrible piano-wise, but amazing in every other aspect.] and then hung out at friends' house for several hours and didn't get home till almost midnight again. And tonight we're going to Bible study, and I'll probably do something fun with myself afterwards in honor of the day - because I'm cool like that.
Mickey & Judy   --   Andrew  'Andy'  Hardy and Betsy Booth in "The Andy Hardy" series of the 40's
[via pintrest]

I hope you all are having a splendidly lovely day, full of love and joy! And never forget that there is Someone Who will always love you - no matter who else does or doesn't.

Happy Valentine's Day again from me to you!

♥xoxoxo♥xoxoxo♥xoxoxo♥xoxoxo♥xoxoxo♥

O.G.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

{five} - peppermint love.


a very strong weakness with yours truly.
peppermint...
anything and everything peppermint.

Peppermint.
i've been known to have three candycanes in one day. (oops.)

Peppermint Bark and Peppermint Bark Cookies
and almost ate an entire tin of peppermint bark at Sarah's Christmas party in December.

Peppermint Mocha
as well as putting away more than ten peppermint mochas in the months of December and January combined.

Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
this looks like heaven. and probably tastes like it too.


and my favorite ice cream is Whole Foods' Chocolate Peppermint ice cream. too bad it's only carried at Christmas time.

Hmm. Something tells me that these "love" posts are making me out to be a bit of a sugar-consumer, what with coke post and now peppermint...but hey. it's only every once and a while that I let myself have so much sugar, and maybe it's because those times are so few and far between that they are some of my favorites :D

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{four} - 70s love.

So, you think you and I have a lot in common? This one may throw you off a little :D

Due to the fact that our parents grew up in the 70s and early 80s, there is a lot of seventies influence in my music, movie, TV, style, and color tastes. It didn't rub off on all of my siblings, but let me tell you, it certainly did on me. When I hear something by John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Bob Marley, James Taylor, or The Carpenters, I feel like I'm being surrounded in a Daddy-Bear hug. In fact, you've already heard what I do when I see one of those type of songs on jukeboxes or aisle speakers :D

My favorite TV shows are The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Star Trek, etc. My favorite colors are bright ones, like purple and orange and green and blue and yellow. And if we all dressed like the Osmonds, my worldly happiness would be complete. :)

come on, what's not to love!?

Now that doesn't mean that some of the lifestyles, political views, religious leanings, governments, or hippie sides of the 70s are appealing to me or my family. Believe me, the in-depth study on Korea and Vietnam I did for school last year did not leave me with a favorable impression of anti-American feel of the decade. But there is something good in every generation, and I just so happen to love the good of the 70s. :) To each his (or her) own, yes?

That said, let me show some of what I love, okay? And let's start with my favorite subject to do and discuss: MUSIC. Actually, the AM pop of the seventies is probably my favorite non-Christian/secular music genre. Period.
"Carolina In My Mind"
- James Taylor - 1968 -

"A Little Bit of Country, A Little Bit of Rock 'n' Roll"
- Donny and Marie Osmond - 1976 -

"Top of the World"
- The Carpenters - 1972 - 



"Back Home Again"
- John Denver - 1974 -


And then, thanks to Dad, I have a special place for Reggae - that happy "life is good" music. :) I'm telling you, it maybe simple or repetitive, but if you just want to "feel good"....reggae's hard to beat. (haha, literally :P) Just the rasta hair gets on my nerves :P

"Three Little Birds"
- Bob Marley - 1977 - 

"One Love, One Heart"
- Bob Marley - 1977 -

"Lion Sleep Tonight"
- Jimmy Cliff -

There are lots of others, but for the sake of your sanity, and mine, and my parents, I will refrain :D If I'm singing something and dancing around and you don't know the song...now you'll have a better guess :P

I also LOVE the style and colors of the 70s. Not the hippie style, the more normal style. Check these out:

I love peasant blouses - I had quite a few when I was about ten or twelve, but then I outgrew them. This summer will change that :)

I'm one of those weirdos who actually like different colored/pattern bellbottoms - maybe they'll be back in style soon! haha. Not likely.

And isn't it splendid that American Girl just released a new historical doll in 2010...Julie, 1974.





Sweet outfits, no?

And this brings me to another of the things I love about the seventies:
Donny and Marie Osmond
Let me say that I CANNOT get enough of their matching outfits. They are absolutely fantabuilistic. Very seventies, and very cool. And because the Osmond family is such a "squeaky-clean" bunch with a great image and a great family...I feel I have "leave" to like them :D

"The Umbrella Song" - on the Donny and Marie show- 1974-79 ( probably around age 18 & 16 here)
It's hard to see exactly here, but I love the way they look at each other when they sing - sibling groups are the best. Too fun :D

But the 70s didn't just produce good pop music or teen idols (*cough*), there was Christian music breakthrough as well.

Keith Green, sometimes considered the "father of modern Christian worship music", was preforming and composing in the late 70s and early 80s. His is a beautiful story of grace and redemption and God's pursuing love. Sadly, he died in 1982 in a plane crash at the age of 28 (along with two of his four children). But his music lives on, and his songs remain some of my favorite praise songs.

Oh, Lord, You're Beautiful
-Keith Green-

There is a Reedemer
- Keith Green - 

---
So, boggled yet? Hehe. Told you these would be a little unusual :) But lest you worry, I think it's very important that Christians select their music carefully and not listen to anything that will arouse emotions or feelings that contradict God's will and desires and even His law.

Anyway - you have no idea what a fantastic time I had writing this up. I love sharing fun things with y'all that I love.

xoxoxoxo

O.G.

Friday, February 10, 2012

{three} - coke love.

Well, not exactly any kind of coke love. 

Classic Coke love. Classic Coke in Glass Bottles love.
Pinned ImageCoke
...."Enjoy life" [1923]......"Thirst asks for nothing more" [1938]....."Passport to Refreshment" [1945].....

My parents drink coke - have for as long as I can remember. And even though they may not drink it as often as they used to and we don't buy it as often....that doesn't mean *we* don't like it :) (hehe, sorry Dad.)

When we went to SC this last summer, we stopped in the little pharmacy that Mama used to go to when she was little. We had Coca-Cola In Glass Bottles there, and I'm never going to be able to take plastic bottled coke seriously again.
Coke.
...."Be really refreshed" [1959]....."Look for the real things" [1974].....

Glass is the only way to go.
It transports me back to another time.....

coke
......."Red White & You" [1986]....."Open Happiness" [2009]....

Maybe it's a Southern thing. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

{two} - prairie love.

This really should've been Tuesday's post, but a day or two late is better than never! February 7, 1867 was the day our dear Laura Ingalls Wilder was born! And February 13, 1957 was Almanzo's birthday, so I guess this is kinda in-between.

The Little House series has been a family staple since I was too young to read. Mama read all the books aloud to us over a year and a half period (2000-2001, approx.) and I remember thinking as we read These Happy Golden Years, "This book is boorrrring...Laura's too old! Let's go back to Plum Creek when she's my age." And now... *cough* I'm actually older than Laura is at the start of Happy Golden Years. Two YEARS older.

Anyway, I did do a whole series of book reviews on the LH books back a few years, in which you can read more about my love of Laura and Little House. They were written when I was fifteen, so the perspective is a little different, and great fun :) I love old blog posts.
my favorite three books...wonder why???

I'm not sure if you all remember, but at the very beginning of I think Long Winter, the first chapter, there's something about Laura freshening up before breakfast, and it mentions that her braids are coiled on her head, but when they're loose, they fall to well below her waist, and undone, her hair is to her knees or something like that. Someday, my hair is going to be that long. Imagine all the fun you could have with it! (and yes, how much it'd weigh :P)



I've always wanted to go out West and see things...and to be honest, I'd rather visit Walnut Grove or DeSmet than do any of the other "typical" things people do when they travel to the Plains. I love that Laura and Almanzo and the entire Ingalls/Wilder clans were *real* people and lived real lives out there...paving the way for their descendants and other Americans after them. They had such spirit and determination, and had their fair share of hardship. The Ingalls family is amazing example of perserverance, and even the later saga of Laura and Almanzo is inspiring. They had to work SO HARD. For everything. Real, ordinary, every day heroes and heroines. I love hard-working people.

Ever since moving out here to the farm-ish place we live now, I've also felt like I have some kind of connection to the Wilder family, since the farm across the street was home for several years to Roger Lea McBride - a friend of Rose Wilder Lane, and author of the Rose Years series. Fun, yes?

And even though I love the books, I still actually enjoy the TV series - even though some of the story is very different. I think they kept the real spirit of the Ingalls family evident, and I even though I would've liked him to have a beard, Michael Landon makes up for it by being just an amazing Pa. :)
My Daddy and I have a relationship *very* similar to Laura and Pa. Actually, watching or reading their conversations in the books and the series is almost like eavesdropping on a talk I've already had with Dad. Especially the older Laura gets, and the more protective Pa becomes :D

And what's funny, is right now we're watching through Seasons 2 and 3, and I'm thinking, "Come on! Laura's so YOUNG, let's get to the *good* episodes when she's 15 and up." :D Yeah, in other words, when Manly comes on the scene. (Season 6) My books literally fall open at chapters where "important" things happen - and if you asked what my favorite literary couple was, I'd *immediately* answer Laura and Almanzo...mainly because it's a *real* literary story, and those are always the best.

Melissa Gilbert and Dean Butler as Laura and Almanzo in TV series

How long has Little House and the Ingalls family been a part of your world? What's your favorite Little House book? And what do you think of the 1970s TV series?

Theme from Little House on the Prairie