A Look into My Senior Photos

     Y’all.  I graduate in sixteen days.  SIXTEEN DAYS!  Despite all the late nights and long days that made it feel like high school would never end, I feel like I should still be a freshman (that was my favorite year, after all).  Anyways, with graduation comes graduation announcements, which means senior photos.  I had my grandmother (a mostly-retired independent professional photographer) take my senior photos while I was in Texas for spring break, and I absolutely love how they turned out!  Today I’m sharing a few of my favorites with y’all, all unedited!  Enjoy!

IMG_9993.jpg

IMG_9994.jpg

     One reason why I specifically wanted my senior photos taken in Texas (aside from my family ties and adoration for the state) was my obsession with the gorgeous bluebonnets!    These flowers bloom all over the place in Texas every spring and I hadn’t seen them in person in ages.  Aren’t they just the prettiest?

IMG_9963.jpg

IMG_9962.jpg

IMG_9969

IMG_9970.jpg

IMG_9981.jpg

IMG_9999.jpg

IMG_0006.jpg

IMG_0007.jpg

     I only wore two outfits for my photos, one with a white J.Crew tank and jeans and another with a Baylor tee shirt!  Y’all know I love the simplicity of a white shirt, and I adore the ruffles on this one!  This tank is actually a couple seasons old, but white tanks aren’t hard to find and are perfect for simple and elegant photos like these.  I kept my accessories pretty simple (I actually took off my friendship bracelets for once).

Thanks for reading!

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 Collab

     Happy New Year!  Today is the first page in the 365-page story of 2019, what a thought!  Today I’m keeping a now three-year tradition (crazy right?) with my sweet blogging friend, Cayleigh from CNPrepster, in collaborating on a post sharing our resolutions for the new year.  I seriously adore Cayleigh’s blog and am so grateful for the friendship we’ve formed through the blogging community over the past few years.  I’m so excited to see what she has in store for her blog and life in 2019!  Be sure to read her post on her resolutions for 2019 here.  As some of you may already know, 2019 is the year that holds my high school graduation, meaning it’ll be full of bittersweet lasts and nervewracking yet exciting firsts!  I’ll be heading to Baylor University in Waco, Texas (14 hours away from my current home in South Carolina) next fall to study journalism and apparel merchandising, and while I can’t wait to begin college I’m also in awe of the fact that my high school career is almost over.  I’m hoping these resolutions will push me towards my ultimate goals for 2019 and serve as reminders of the life I want to live this year, one that finds joy in every moment and never takes a second for granted.  Without further adieu, here are my resolutions for 2019!

Untitled.001

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’ve had a fabulous time celebrating the New Year and that your 2019 is full of blessings, lessons, and fabulous experiences!  Don’t forget to check out Cayleigh’s post here.Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

Off to Saranac Village

     As you can see from the title, I’m going off the grid yet again.  Tomorrow I’m flying to Saranac Lake, New York for Work Crew at YoungLife’s camp, Saranac Village!  I’m so excited to serve for four weeks with lots of friends I haven’t even met yet and without technology distracting me.  However, I hate leaving y’all without new content so I’ve made some arrangements!

     One of my favorite things about blogging is the community of sweet girls I’ve met, and five of them will be helping me post while I’m away!  I’ve scheduled lots of posts to go up throughout the time that I’m gone, but each of these girls have also written their own posts that will go up on my blog!  Emma from Simply IntrospectiveBrooke from Live the Prep Life, Cayleigh from CNPrepster, Olivia from Absolutely Olivia, and McKenzie from Styled by McKenz will all be guest posting on my blog and taking over my Instagram account at one point or another over these next four weeks!  I’m so excited for y’all to read their posts, they’re awesome and I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

     Now, more about Work Crew, because I want y’all to know all about it and pray for me!  I’m going to be what YoungLife has nicknamed a “tawashie,” or part of the housekeeping crew.  I’ll be spending the next four weeks cleaning bathrooms, folding blankets, and helping with lots of other odd jobs.  While that might not sound like the most fun way to spend a month of my summer, doing it in a place as gorgeous as Saranac Village, with people as kind and fun as the other Work Crew kids I’m about to meet, and for a God as good as the one I serve sounds like the best thing I could possibly be doing with my summer.  Several of my YoungLife leaders did Work Crew at various other YoungLife camps while they were in high school and they’re all so excited for me and have spent the past few months telling me just how much fun I’m going to have.  I truly could not possibly be more thrilled to have this opportunity to spend a whole month on a YoungLife property serving God by helping other high schoolers have the same experience I had when I spent a week at YoungLife summer camp at Frontier Ranch in Colorado last summer.  Aside from serving in the form of cleaning and other manual labor, I’ll also be sharing my testimony with kids at camp.  I’m definitely most nervous about this aspect of Work Crew, because while I’m confident in my story and don’t struggle to share my life in writing like I do here, I’m an awful public speaker.  I know my testimony has the potential to impact the kids I share it with, but I’m afraid I won’t present it the right way because I’ll panic.  Please pray for my time at Work Crew and travels in general, but I’d especially like to ask you to pray for the sharing of my testimony.  I need God to ease my nerves and speak through me.

Thanks for reading!  See y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Saranac sometime when I get back.

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

     For those of you who don’t know (probably most of you because I don’t know who actually keeps up with bloggers’ birthdays), today I’m seventeen!  I’m so excited for all this year has in store and I know blogging will continue to play a big role in my life as I conquer this year of college applications (and acceptances and denials), AP classes, good memories, and the many “lasts” of high school.  That being said, as much as I’ve overshared on my “Meet Faith” page (check it out here if you haven’t already!), there’s definitely still a lot you don’t know about me.  Today, since it is my seventeenth birthday, I’m sharing seventeen things you didn’t already know about me!  I hope this post helps you get a better sense of who I am.  Enjoy!

  1. Yes, I’m from the South.  No, I don’t like sweet tea!
  2. I’ve moved cities three times over the course of my life (so far).
  3. I love cats and mine, Hercules, is the sweetest.
  4. I have a serious issue waking up to alarm clocks.  It’s not even that I hit snooze, it’s just that I don’t hear it if I’m remotely tired.
  5. I prefer big cities over small towns.
  6. I have a fish named James Pond II (the first one died and the name was just to good to avoid reusing, I mean come on).
  7. I want to go to college in Texas and major in journalism there.
  8. I think music is about feeling, and you can feel a song without words (hence my love for ODESZA’s instrumental tracks).
  9. I just began getting involved in YoungLife my freshman year of high school and have already been to YoungLife properties (camps) eight different times (for YoungLife fall weekends, YoungLife summer camp, Work Crew Weekends, Wyldlife winter weekend, and Wyldlife summer camp).
  10. I consider dark chocolate a food (not a dessert!) and it’s definitely my favorite.
  11. My favorite subject in school has been English as long as I can remember, and I like writing more than reading.
  12. My favorite Bible verse is John 10:10.
  13. I’ve seen Taylor Swift in concert three times and have an emotional attachment to her because her first big hits (“Picture to Burn” and “Our Song” especially) got my mom (and my little sister and I) through her divorce with my dad when I was six.
  14. My Chick-fil-A order is a #1 with no pickles on a multigrain bun (I swear the multigrain buns are way better).
  15. My biggest shopping weakness is definitely a cheap top (like under $20).
  16. I want to have a dog named Chanel as an adult.
  17. I would like to think I’m somewhat wise but I definitely have a younger personality (my jokes are all dumb and I fit in way too well with my eighth grade Wyldlife girls).

Thanks for reading!  Can you relate to any of these?  Tell me how we’re alike in the comments!

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

Off to Southwind

     This post is nothing formal, just a little explanation of what’s going to be happening on my blog and Instagram this weekend!  I’m so excited to be heading to Southwind, a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida, for Wyldlife camp this weekend (Thursday to Monday)!  If you’re unfamiliar with Wyldlife, it’s YoungLife’s (the Christian ministry targeted at teenagers which I’m super involved in – read more about their mission here) middle school ministry.  Similarly to how YoungLife is largely led by college students, most of my area’s Wyldlife leaders are high school students, myself included!  I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to lead at summer camp this year and I could not be more thrilled to have the chance to travel to another one of YoungLife’s gorgeous properties with my area’s sweet middle schoolers!  Our time at camp will include lots of fun activities like swimming in a pool and lake, watching hilarious skits, eating amazing food, experiencing a ton of awesome surprises, and learning more about a relationship with God.  Going to a YoungLife camp entails lack of access to technology (excluding cameras) for the duration of our time at camp to exclude distractions from the purpose of going to camp.  That means I physically won’t be able to post on my Instagram or blog while I’m gone, but someone else can!

     While I’m away, I have Cali from A Touch of Southern Style (@atouchofsouthernstyle on Instagram) taking over my Instagram for me (she’ll be posting my pictures I’ve scheduled for her) and I’ve scheduled two blog posts (including my June playlist and a new Scripture Sunday) to go up Friday and Sunday while I’m gone!  Cali is so sweet to do this for me and I know y’all will love her, so definitely check out her Instagram and blog!

     Blogging aside, I would really appreciate your prayers this (long) weekend!  I’m stoked to have the opportunity to be used by God at Southwind and I want to be the very best leader I can be.  Please pray that God would ease my nerves, help me interact well and form strong relationship with my girls at camp, and use me to model a healthy relationship with Him.  I’m definitely more excited than nervous about leading at Wyldlife camp this time around, but I still want to be sure I’m serving as a window to God for the kids at camp, not a window to me.

Thanks for reading, see y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Southwind!  Have a great weekend!

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

Progress Update on My Goals for The 2017-2018 School Year

     At the beginning of the school year, I wrote a blog post about my goals fro the 2017-2018 school year.  I began the year with attempting to keep an optimistic mindset, despite hearing the common opinion “junior year is the hardest” about a million times.  Today I’m sharing a progress update to show y’all how I’m doing and hold myself accountable for the areas in which I’ve been slacking, that way I feel more motivated to get to work when I begin second semester on Monday!  If you’re interested in reading the original goals post from September you can find it here!  If you have yet to create goals for your school year, it’s not too late!  You’re more than welcome to use today’s post as inspiration for your own goals for second semester.  The original goals are in italics under their categories and my post-first semester responses regarding my progress follow each one in plain print.  Enjoy!

Academic Goals

  1. Complete the school year with all A’s and B’s. – So far I’ve had all A’s and two B’s!  My two B’s at the end of first semester were both within two points of being A’s, which are better number grades than my B’s sophomore year!
  2. Be somewhat successful in AP Environmental Science (Science isn’t really my best subject.  It’s not that I’m really bad at it, I just typically don’t perform as well in that subject as I do in my other classes). – My final grade in AP Environmental Science for first semester was an 88, which still isn’t quite as high as I’d like it to be, but it’s honestly higher than I expected it to be!  My second quarter grade was actually an A, but unfortunately my first quarter grade was an 87 and my midterm exam wasn’t quite high enough to bring my average up to an A.
  3. Get a 100 on a test. – I have yet to get a 100 on a test, but I’ve had several A’s and even had a 99 on an essay!
  4. Make 4’s and 5’s on my three AP exams at the end of the year. – I haven’t taken the official AP exams yet, so I’m unable to gauge my success in this goal so far.  However, I finished the semester with two A’s and one B in my AP classes!

Athletic Goals

  1. Attend as many preseason lacrosse practices as possible. – I attended all of the preseason lacrosse practices and conditioning workouts offered!
  2. Work out more. – I’m not even going to lie, I’ve done very little to work out outside of lacrosse conditioning and preseason practices.  However, I’ve worked out a few times since the new year began and I plan on becoming more active in 2018!
  3. Play more in lacrosse games than I did last year. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.
  4. Make the varsity lacrosse team again. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.
  5. Score a goal during a varsity lacrosse game. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.

Spiritual Goals

  1. Make lots of new middle school friends as a Wyldlife leader. – Check!  I’ve loved leading Wyldlife thus far and have made a ton of middle school friends!
  2. Go to YoungLife club every week that I possibly can. – I haven’t missed a YoungLife club yet!  Am I really surprised by this though?  Nah.
  3. Feel refreshed after fall weekend at Windy Gap (a YoungLife camp in North Carolina). – This one was easy.  I loved every second of fall weekend at Windy Gap (read my Windy Gap travel diary here), as I always do, and I can’t wait to return next fall!
  4. Read the Bible daily. – I hate to admit this but I really didn’t do a good job of keeping up with my Bible reading during first semester.  However, this semester is off to a promising start as I’ve read at least a chapter everyday since January 1st!  I definitely plan on making this goal last through second semester.
  5. Pray more often. – I’ve begun praying constantly.  I talk to God all the time now and I think it has improved several areas of my life.
  6. Use my devotional daily. – I haven’t been using my devotional daily, but I hope to start doing that once second semester begins (here’s to getting up earlier and having extra time before school).
  7. Go to winter weekend with Wyldlife campers as a leader. – Winter weekend hasn’t happened yet, but I’m hoping to earn a spot leading in a cabin in February!
  8. Apply for a session of YoungLife Work Crew. – I have yet to apply for YoungLife Work Crew, but I have been in discussion with my YoungLife leaders about doing so and they’re going to guide me through the process this semester!

Social Goals

  1. Make five new friends (or at least acquaintances). – Thanks to my chatty AP U.S. History class and lovely yearbook staff members this goal has been accomplished and surpassed!
  2. Do something really fun one weekend with a friend(s). – I attended Music Midtown (read the recap post here) in September with a couple of my friends and we had so much fun.  I will also be traveling to Charleston with a couple close friends in a couple weeks for a girls weekend to celebrate one of my best friends’ birthday!

Blog Goals

  1. Post at least twice a week every week. – With the exception of two weeks, I have kept this goal up pretty well!  I always posted at least once each week, but there were those two weeks that I just felt overwhelmed by writing another post along with my schoolwork and extracurriculars.
  2. Reach 20,000 total site views for 2017. – This goal was reached and surpassed, thanks to you all!
  3. Collaborate with a big brand. – Since the beginning of the school year I’ve collaborated with several small brands and spent another semester as a Jadelynn Brooke high school ambassador, but have yet to collaborate with another big brand.
  4. Host at least three giveaways. – So far I’ve already hosted two giveaways over on my Instagram, so I’d say this goal is going pretty well!  Stay tuned for another exciting giveaway coming soon!

Thanks for reading!  Here’s to accomplishing more goals in second semester.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.53.30 PM