Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A 16th Birthday Message to Elisabeth (5/18/2016)

On this day, May 18th, 2016 my amazing best friend, Elisabeth, turns 16 years old. Not only that, but May 22 will mark two years since I first stumbled across her blog and left a comment. I still can't solve the mystery of how it came into my feed; my best guess is that she posted the link in a Christian blogging community I was part of. Whatever the case, I clicked the link and smiled as I viewed her latest post on her 14th birthday, including her  Lord of the Rings selfies, and noted that she and I were almost exactly the same age. So I left a comment, not sure if she would comment back, and honestly not caring overmuch at this stage
However, she did comment back, and one way or another, we ended up following each other on Google+, then eventually emailing, and then (I think it really was only around a month later) talking on the phone. In retrospect, some of our conversations are so funny; that random one about one small theological issue which we (very politely) disagreed on comes to mind for some reason. I remember during our very first conversation, my phone kept beeping and I was too dumb to realize that it was because the battery was low. XD (Bear with me as I switch my writing style at this point). The onlyo thing I really remember talking about during first conversation was something about your little brother Josiah being loud or getting out of bed (or something like that) while you were spending the night at your grandma's and that you were annoyed about it. I'm not really sure exactly what was said there; I probably have it all wrong. :)
One of my favorite early memories of talking on the phone with you was in summer of 2014; my parents had company, but they went outside by the bonfire, and I was curled up in the rocking chair in the living room, eating ice cream and talking to you. (That was the time you told me about spraining your ankle when you went on a day trip with your family). Of course, after we hung up I watched Doctor Who with my siblings. Yes, that fact is completely relevant.

And even though it took us WAY too long to get around to doing it, lways love Skyping with you! I can't wait for our Skype birthday party. (And even more for when, Lord willing, you come to "whichever state I live in")
December 2015 (Photo credit to my sister, Natalie)
 May 2016 (Photo credit to Elisabeth's sister, Allie)
All that to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISSIE!! You are the best, and I hope the next year is the best one of all. I hope you never feel the need to stop being you! Most importantly, I pray that you continue to grow in your faith. :)
Elisabeth's blog//Reflections of the Heart
Elisabeth's YouTube channel
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Never Again (5/9/2016)

As the warm, coziness of early evening approached, I slipped outside, feeling the need to feel the breeze on my cheeks. Stepping out on onto the porch, I clenched my hands over the rough wooden railing and closed my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I noticed something--tonight the air smelt of summer; not only that, it brought to mind summers of my childhood. I leaned my head further back, my stomach turning with a hint of deep sadness, as I remembered those early childhood days of swinging with my brother and sister in the backyard at our old house, of playing “Ready Set Go” around the big tree in that yard. Of days spent completely in the pool, joined by my older sister and her baby boy. Of days spent running through the sprinkler, filled with excitement at the thought of our impending vacation. Of playing “Pesky Squirrel” with friends I have known my entire life. I thought of bare feet, smoothies, birthday parties, and playing dolls with my sister. And I longed for it back. I could never recapture the happiness of those days. I could never recapture the little girl who was who she was, no apologies offered. I could never recapture the little girl who didn’t over analyze everything anyone said to her; who simply loved without abandon. I could never again be that child who saw the world as a wondrous place; who saw life as an adventure to be pursued with joy. I could never be that child again. I sighed, and slowly dragged my feet to go back indoors, back to the reality of my present life as a nearly 16 year old, a part of my heart still breaking to go back to the life I once had.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happenings (Farewell April!)

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments on my last post! I do appreciate you all so much and will try to reply to them soon. :)
The past couple of weeks were crazy! A wonderful collection of memories have been collected and tucked away for spring 2016.
Thinking back...
On Saturday, April 16, I helped with the homeschool fair put on by my school (I just realized how odd that sentence sounded!). It was surprisingly fun, especially as I had my hilarious three year old nephew with me to tote around and introduce to friends. He is such a ham and so fun to have with me. :) It was also wonderful because that was his birthday and we got to spend some of it with him! Afterwards, we went with some friends to see God's Not Dead 2. It was fun, but I was an overtired emotional wreck that night that my poor mother had to deal with that night.
We also had several extra choir practices going on in preparation for our choir concert. We normally only have practice after class on Tuesdays, but leading up to the concert we not only went late with practices (two nights we didn't even get back from school until 7:00), but had practices on Mondays and Fridays in choir members homes as well.
The next weekend (April 22-24), I went with my mom on the women's retreat with my church. I wasn't originally planning on going, but my friend Ariana was going and asked if I was going to. I really wanted to spend time with her; we were in Hansel and Gretel together, and she is totally awesome, but I don't get to see her much. So I decided to go and we had loads of fun!:)
Of course we ended up going to coffee! Somehow my mom and I barely talked, so she made fun of me at devotional time (in front of everyone), because she was napping and didn't know we went to coffee with a group of others until she saw this picture on Facebook. Ha!
Wednesday following the retreat was a laid back, fun day spent with my second family. I was supposed to go to youth group, but in a random turn of events my family left without me, so I just stayed with the said second family and had a relaxing evening. :)
This last Friday, (April 29th,) was our choir concert! It was a full day, starting with costume measurements in the morning. Our friend Alekai's mom took it upon herself at the last minute to make costumes for the girls, and one for one of Alekai's songs. They turned out great!
We got to the church to begin setting up and do a run through of the concert around 2:30, and the concert began at 7:00. It meant so much to me to see all the people who came out to see us! :)
Backstage fun...(it creeps me out that my sister Natalie and I have the exact same expression in the picture of us girls below...)

My oldest niece, Alahna, was so excited to join our choir as a special guest for the part of Gretl in "So Long, Farewell" from the Sound of Music. She did an amazing job!


My friend Malia and me. She is not part of the choir, but came to see us. She is awesome! :)

Our friend, Evan, and me. I was trying to get pictures with all the guys (I already had TONS with the girls from backstage), but I only managed to get one with Evan, because...

....when I asked Alekai for one, this is what happened instead:
....and I just didn't have the energy to track down all the other guys after that. XD
Afterwards, we all went to Big Scoop to celebrate and had more fun, although we were all tired and ready to get home by the end of it all. :)


 Other weekend events included a birthday party for a friend, and PUPPIES in the Taft household! We are having so much fun with them. :)
 One other recent happening was that my lovely sister (who is turning 17 tomorrow by the way!), and I won awards for our editorials in our school's writer's conference this year. That was pretty awesome, although I discovered only afterwards how bad my hair looked. :)
 The 11/12th grade division award winners and our teacher. :)
Well, there you have it! A VERY long summary of what life has been like! :) Hopefully sometime soon I'll learn to condense my posts down a bit. But today is not that day! 
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