Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 Goals Update: April


1: one self portrait (per week)
Still going strong! There are way too many of these with my knitting, however that is what I've been doing. Besides, working, of course, but I'm not going to dare setting up my tripod and timer while at work one day. That would be too far.
week fourteen | week fifteen | week sixteen | week seventeen 

2: compose photos (every day)
Success! I'm pretty sure there was at least one day this month that I forgot to take a picture, but I made up for it the next day, so all is well.
094 | 095 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 107 | 108 | 110 | 114 | 116 | 117 | 120 - which is at the top of this post

3: read the Bible (every day)
Ok! Yes! There is progress with this one. It's not an everyday thing just yet, but I have started a Bible reading plan (which you can read more about here) that I am doing a decent job keeping up with. I find it's best when I listen to the audio from YouVersion on the way to work, however I have had multiple problems where I'll be halfway through a chapter and it starts again at the beginning, so I'm still trying to figure that out. Otherwise, it is getting read. Right now I'm about to be two days behind, but I'll catch up.

4: journal (daily)
There is also progress here! I got a new journal about halfway through the month and have started journaling again from there. I'm a few months behind in my last journal, so I'm still trying to figure out what to do with that. There are too many things higher on my list to worry about that.

5: blog (daily)
Success! Of course I wish the posts were more exciting, but blogging isn't my job, it's just a form of documentation for me, and simple posts are exactly why I have a blog.

6: walk

7: bike

8: 52 projects
If I have 17 self portraits so far, that means I should have 17 projects, right? If that's the case, I'm down by two, but in reality I have two projects that just need to be blocked, so I'm good. (I'm terrified of blocking. There. I said it. Now I have to overcome it. Soon...)
project 11 | project 12 | project 13 | project 14 | project 15

9: 52 books
Fail. I'm eight books behind, I think. However, I should be able to catch up if I ever get around to dedicating the time to reading the Harry Potter series. I'm halfway through the first one, and I want to read! I really do!, but I've decided I should probably focus my evenings more on training for working in the kitchen at work.
what I read this month

10: experiment with photography
Success! It was just snapping a few photos of an event I was at anyway, but I think it counts because, well, it's my list of goals and I get to make the rules. (:

11: make six new meals for the family

12: learn to play the keyboard

13: at least one photo book
Fail. I've made zero progress on the book I started last month, and have actually gone in reverse on it, if anything. I really don't expect to actually do this one until later in the year anyway.

14: travel

- rl

Previous 2014 Goals Posts:
Original List
January Update
February Update
March Update

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What I Read This Month

Right now, I have about a million book series I just want to binge read. First up, Harry Potter. 

So, here are the books I completed this month:
9. Christy Miller's Diary by Robin Jones Gunn (not pictured)
I love this book series, and particularly this special book that expands from the original series.

& the books I'm still working on going into next month:
- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
I didn't open this book a single time this month. Oi!
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
I'm so excited to finally read this series. I started it about a week ago, but am only 80 pages in. I'm hoping to just speed right through these within the next week or so. If I don't, I'll end up actually understanding some of the posts I see on tumblr about it and I cannot stand spoilers. It's a lot different than I thought it would be, but I like it.

- rl

Previous What I Read This Month posts:
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

(Little) Sister Date #2

The spread: ham and cheese sandwiches, soda, and chips.
Little sister.
Another "I promise this is a smile". 
Books we got from the library.

Oh, man, these sister dates were such a good idea. Yesterday, while our parents went to dinner with some friends, little sister and I had our second date.

Our first stop was the library, where we spent an hour browsing and getting to know the place. We saw countless books we'd love to read, but resisted to taking only four home with us. They are all books little sister wanted to read, with Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries being mainly "mine". Did you know there are over 10 books in that series? How come no one bothered to tell me this?! I am so excited to read this series.

Next we went to Target, then Walmart, and Schlotzsky's for dinner. You may or may not notice it, but we both somehow ended up wearing the same shirts we had on during our first sister date. On our way home we stopped by Redbox and picked up one of my favorite movies: August: Osage County.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Self Portrait (17/52)

As much as I wish I could have a really creative self portrait each week, I won't. Which is fine, really, because the goal is to get a self portrait each week, not create some beautiful, canvas-worthy, image each week. I actually quite like this week's because I'm continually fascinated by the art of knitting.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mexican Train


Today I worked, then we had friends over for dinner, followed by Mexican Train. It was a hash tag good day. (:

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Casa Rita's

I'm not so sure most would consider it a night out, but it was to me. The family (minus big sister, who was working) and I ate at Casa Rita's, a restaurant my parents are obsessed with. I, of course, stuck with my usual Mexican food choice of a chicken enchilada, rice, and beans. My parents had the beef enchiladas, and little sister had a (gigantic) burrito.

Then little sister and I dropped our parents off at home and went to Dollar Tree and Wal Mart, where I bought yarn for a decent amount of "secret" projects. They are secret because I'll have to keep them off the blog until I gift them sometime in May. Will I still do WIP Wednesday even if it shows them? Yes, but I'll just have to be knitting at a pace where they'll only be at the beginning when Wednesday comes around.

Now, however, it's time to work on my shawl a little bit before bed. I live a simple life, y'all.

- rl

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Covered in Dust


There on a desk in my room sits a machine. It's covered in dust and buried behind (partcipation) soccer trophies dating back ten years and yarn dating back a few months. Yet, this machine, and the art that comes with it, has somehow made its way into my brain for days now. Maybe this will finally be the summer I learn how to use it. I've got blouses, bags, and blankets (quilts, really, but I had to keep up the alliteration) that I'm itching to try my hand at.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday

This week I'm going to take on a new type of project: a shawl! I'm really excited about this. I listed out all the projects I still want to do/feel like I need to do out of Margaret Radcliffe's Circular Knitting Workshop, then decided I was just not feeling it, so I decided to go with this simple shawl for my first. Honestly, I have no clue what this will be used for once it's finished, but I just really wanted to try something new. There are too many things to be knitted to only knit the things you feel obligated to do.

- rl

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

(Little) Sister Date #1

The spread: enchilada, tortillas, beans, rice, and burrito.
Little sister.
I promise I'm smiling here. I have a tiny smile, ok? Also, one of the buttons on my new shirt is unbuttoned?! #annoying (photo by little sister) 

Last week, little sister and I went on our first sister date. We had actually planned on starting these little dates before I got accepted to Moody, so it worked out really well that I got my acceptance letter right before we headed out for this first one. Now they're even more meaningful, and the plan is to have at least one a week, even if it's just to a local fast food Mexican restaurant and Target, like last week's was.

- rl

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lent + A Plan

For Lent this year I gave up all beverages except for milk and water. I never thought I would be able to do that. I've always been so attached to soda, but it really wasn't too awful. Sure, it was a tad torturous to have to smell Dr. Pepper when I got a drink for someone at work, and I definitely started craving it in the last week or so, but besides that I was fine. I considered continuing on this path, then decided against it. I definitely am going to cut back on my intake of it, but I still want to have it sometimes. Maybe one day I'll try the flavored water stuff my mom has been doing the last few weeks.

Now onto the second part of this post: starting today, I will be reading the entire Bible before I move into my dorm on August 20. I attempted something similar to this last year, but didn't get very far in. This time around I'm going to do it. I'm starting in the New Testament, then reading the Old Testament. You are more than welcome to join me in this endeavor. I created a Google doc here which lists the passages by the day. I wrote this all out on notecards that I'm going to hang on my wall so I can mark off each day. I also included how many days until I move in, but I didn't think anybody else really cared about that part. You can print out the document and keep it in your Bible or something if that works for you.

Let me know if you're doing it as well so we can keep each other accountable! I have about two days of wiggle room in there for myself, and I hope to not go over that. If you want to start this another day, however, then feel free to.

- rl

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Self Portrait (16/52)


Today is actually when I thought about announcing what my letter said. I seriously considered not telling anybody until today. I'm cruel, obviously. I eventually decided to post about it the day of only because I wanted it to be on here with the actual date up top. My OCD triumphed my cruelty...this time. (;

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Project 15/52: Capucine

I'm so in love with this hat! It was easy and somewhat mindless while still being super interesting. About half the hat was knit flat, and then joined in the round. I especially love that it has ribbing, garter stitch, and stockinette stitch. The tassels were simple enough, but definitely not the prettiest things you've ever seen.

I love this hat. I'm already thinking about how, in Chicago, I'll probably wear a tighter hat, then this hat on top of it. I'm going to need that double warmth if this winter is going to be anything like this last one.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Want to Remember: Chigago


As I mentioned yesterday, today marks one year since I received my acceptance letter to Moody. Yesterday is when I got the letter in the mail that I was accepted - again! miraculously - for this fall. So, I thought, what better picture for today than of an item I got last year on this day?

You see, last year I posted about my acceptance early enough in the afternoon, so when Kristal, one of my friends from yearbook, checked her phone after getting off work at Papa John's, she told her coworkers, our friends, about my acceptance, and then not long after that she called me and told me to go outside. Her and two of our other friends brought me a pizza! The picture above is what they wrote on the inside top of the box, and when I finished the pizza I cut that off and have had it displayed in my room all year. I definitely plan on taking it with me to Chicago. You gotta love that Caroline put Chigago instead of Chicago, then made a tumblr reference.

Aw, now I'm missing yearbook + our lunch table.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

God's Grace


Can you believe it? I can't!

(Almost) one year ago today I received a letter similar to this one. Today when I checked the mail, like I have every day since Moody's Admission social media sites said they had sent the letters, I found this on top. That beautiful blue logo (what better school color for a blue-lover like me?) with my name in the middle. I walked inside and got ready for my sister date with little sister then sat on my bed and opened it up.

I was kind of shocked, I think. There was only one envelope this year, so I figured either I was accepted into the Chicago but not in the GAP program, or was accepted into the FYOP program. (If neither of those terms make any sense to you, you may want to read two of my previous posts about Moody: here and here.) Turns out I was accepted to Chicago AND the GAP program, but the letter for GAP was just behind the first letter. I would like to think that I am the reason for that, as rumor has it (not rumor, my mother) emailed her boss, Dr. Ramesh Richard, the link to my original blog post and he emailed it to the PRESIDENT of Moody in Chicago, Dr. Paul Nyquist, because, well, Dr. Richard was one of Dr. Nyquist's professors when he attended Dallas Theological Seminary. I actually was able to meet Dr. Nyquist last June because of that connection.

Anyway, off that bunny trail: I was accepted to the Chicago campus. Just like last year, I have to keep reading that first line again and again to make sure that I really DID get accepted.

And that is the story of how I felt God's grace two years in a row.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

A bit of an informal picture for today, for a number of reasons which are boring and involve me not feeling like learning something new. I was able to finish this hat up shortly after I took this picture, however, and I'm so happy with the finished product. Full post to come soon...

- rl

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today my order from thredUP arrived! I placed my order last Monday and have been looking forward to it all week. I ordered five pairs of jeans and six tops all for under $50!

You see, I'm not a fashionista. Like, at all. I love my jeans and a t-shirt. I do, however, feel it is time to start buying smart and at least somewhat putting together outfits, as in actually understanding that there are "basics" I need to have in my closet that I can layer and use wisely.

I hate having a bunch of shirts in my closet that I don't wear. I was able to pass a few on to little sister tonight, and I'll probably donate a few more. Now if only I could figure out how to get rid of at least half of my beloved t-shirts, all with sentimental value...

I will be buying from thredUP again, for sure! It has me confident that I'll never have to pay over $5 on any clothes ever again, and that feels good! If you would also like to purchase from there (and I highly recommend that you do!!), both of us can get $10 off when you use this link.

- rl

Monday, April 14, 2014

Metro Relief Open House

Little sister stirring the soup.
Dad pouring the soup into the cambros.
The pantry.
Dad praying with the staff and volunteers before the open house started.
Little sister and I serving soup from the bus. (photo by mom)
The view before you step down into the well that puts you at street level to serve the soup.
Dad showing mom how to serve up the soup.
103/365 : Soup - ready to be consumed by local friends to raise awareness about what Metro Relief does.

Yesterday my family and I spent a few hours up at Metro Relief here in The Colony. They had an open house where people who are curious what exactly they do could come and experience it all a little bit. There were tours around the building, including the pantry area which provides meals for over 200 families a month. People were also invited to come outside - despite the rain - and get a cup of soup and some bread, served up just how they do it twice a week in their urban outreaches.

I haven't posted about it on here yet, but this is actually where my dad spends his days now. He quit his long-time job of truck driving a few months ago and is now raising support and serving in Fort Worth and Dallas with Metro. That is why we were there serving. I have a food handler's license (part of working at a fast food restaurant), so I was there to boss around my mom and little sister, who I was serving soup with. Little sister and I were in the well, which put us at about the same level as everyone else, and we found out what people wanted - soup? lemonade? water? cookie? - and our mom served it up and handed it to us.

This isn't the first time I've done something like this, however. I posted a little bit last month about my two trips to New York City to serve on the Relief Bus, which is like the mother of Metro, I guess you could say. We also served with Metro Relief a little over a year ago and I blogged about it (on my old blog) here. My favorite place to be when I'm serving on a bus like this is inside, serving the soup and other goods to the people. This time around I found I was much better at chatting with people, which is a huge thanks to working at Chick-fil-A.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Self Portrait (15/52)

This week I actually got a little bit of reading done, before and after work. We spent practically no time at home today, and we'll be heading out super early tomorrow morning for an appointment that involves parallel parking. Ugh.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unique Interests


After (another) long day at work, plus dinner + driving with my parents, this is what I'm doing before bed: listening to a few podcasts and working on my base on Clash of Clans. I've got some unique interests, I suppose.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fiber Fascination


I spent all day at work, which means I spent four of the 13 hours I was there just sitting in the office, because, well, I don't have my license yet. That appointment is Monday... Anyhow, I was able to finish a hat while there, and all it needs now are some tassels, so I decided to use my hand to wind the yarn into a ball, which is when I came across this weird piece of yarn that was oddly morphed with the yarn. I was able to pull it away from the main strand though with no damage, so I'm not sure what it is, besides from an increasing interest in learning more about fiber.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

From the Couch


This nifty little tv/bed tray has changed my life. Ok, that may be slightly dramatic, but I looove it! And I owe it to my "nana Wendy"! I've told my family for months now that I wanted something like this, so when our nana Wendy offered to let little sister and I have the ones she had, they knew they had to surprise me with it. Boy, am I glad they did. I mainly keep my work in progress on it for easy transport from room to room.

Today, for example, I picked up the tray and took it to the couch to watch the Today show before work. Now this evening (after a ten hour work day, yay!) I used it again to knit while watching House Hunters and Friends with my mom. Sounds like a good night to me!

Also, today is the 100th day of the year, apparently, because we have officially reached triple digits in my daily photos! I love milestones, obviously.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

WIP Wednesday

This yarn is so fun. I didn't know what to do with it, though, so I looked to see what other people on ravelry have knit with it and found this fun, unusual hat pattern. I get the feeling this will be a pattern I'll knit again and again because, seriously, it's already looking so warm and cozy.

- rl

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Project 14/52: Helix Hat

I love this hat!! It's a bit LOUD for my personality, but I love it! I was a bit intimidated to try this pattern out, but it ended up being insanely simple. What makes it different from just a regular hat is that I used two skeins of yarn to knit it. I used yarn A, then dropped that yarn and knit the next round with yarn B, and so on. SUPER simple.

It is, like a lot of other projects I've done recently, from Margaret Radcliffe's Circular Knitting Workshop. It's a very simple pattern. The page right before it has all sorts of details on helix knitting, which is awesome because it's one of the things I haven't seen much about on the web. In fact, I just searched "helix" on ravelry and there is only about a page and a half of results and only a few of those involve actual helix knitting.

I actually made a modification to this pattern! I decided to not do the rolled brim and made it ribbed instead. Which means the needle size on the ribbing was two sizes smaller than the body, but it also means I ended up doing about three rows of the body in the smaller needle size. Thankfully, however, this hat is only for me and I can hardly tell the difference. I did mess up for the first few rows of the body, however, which can be seen in the second to last picture. I somehow wrapped the non-variegated yarn in a certain way that it showed on the outside...but then it didn't do it later on.

I will definitely knit this hat again. I really want to knit a blueish version of this one of these days. Right now, however, I am learning all these basic skills and busting the tiny stash I have accumulated.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Project 13/52: Diamond Seed Cloth

Who doesn't love a knit dishcloth? They're fairly simple, depending on the pattern, and they're useful! There's not much to say about this project. It's a dishcloth. It almost feels like cheating to consider these as a project for this year, but it's my challenge and I'll "cheat" if I want to. (;

I'm not so sure I would knit this particular dishcloth again. Honestly, it was exhausting to follow the row-by-row instructions. I haven't really knitted anything that way before. I do like how it turned out, however, so I'm sure it will be just the beginning of my dishcloth pattern collection.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)