tired thoughts

sinking sun.
i find that when i'm tired, i can write some very profound, meaningful pieces, if i do say so myself. it's something i've tried when fully awake, and i understand now that it can only be achieved when i am tired or in deep observation. i realized today, that after spending three hours in the pure sun with friends at a pool party, after schooling and rushing to dress and square dancing lessons with my family, i was tired. so tired. i'm not exactly sure whether it was the i-want-to-go-to-sleep-now-tired, or the i'll-just-make-tea-and-listen-to-beethoven-and-rewind-tired. i'm still tired, and i'm afraid i can't gather my thoughts enough for a meaningful post, so here they are, etched into a screenshot:
goodnight, darlings.


fun times will come

life is a little slow-going right now. not much has happened, but more will be happening soon, like how i'm looking forward to seeing my bestie tomorrow. we're going to travel to the big city to watch Shakespeare in the park, and then have a sleepover which will include picture taking, random laughing fits, and fun times. saturday there's a city wide yard sale, and next week i'll be shooting one of my favorite little's 6th birthday party. and after that? well, we'll just have to wait and see.
what are your plans for the week?


in the woods

tree hair
in the woods
such a peaceful and quiet evening, here in the woods.  the river is carrying on a steady rhythm, the birds are tweeting ever so lightly, and the wind is tickling the trees.  it seems to me as if the forest is singing a song, every instrument never missing a beat, always playing perfectly.  a great resting place for my stressed and busy mind.  I think I quite like it here.

*pictures taken on our weekend camping trip, where there was in fact a river rushing, birds singing, and tree branches dangling

So here's the thing:

I'm going to camp this year. I have lots of summer plans. Life is going to be very unpredictable this summer. I can't promise a certain day or time or really anything. And that's all completely fine by me. But that will mean leaving this precious little blog tucked away for a while. So here's the thing: I won't be posting on AOU this summer...and we'll just have to see if I'll be back in the fall. But I know all the other girls will be just as fantastic without me! It will be sad leaving you all (even if it's just for a little while), but I'll definitely keep up with what's going on.

Until next time (if I can fit it in my schedule) and you'll see me in the comments,
Megan Kristine


the filmmakers journey

i hope you enjoy this lovely post by morgan! it is very informative and entertaining about the world of filmmaking, something that i (jocee) want to possibly get into in later years. do read and show her some love at her blog!

It all started with a daydream. I was thirteen, the summer of 0'9. I have always loved building forts and dressing up and calling all my friends over to play house. That was my utopia.

So on an ordinary summer day , I was cleaning out "my" land (actually it's the backyard where all my "houses" are built). And then, boom! An idea for a movie struck me! Which was weird because making movies was never anything I had ever thought about. But suddenly here I was in my dress up skirt determined to make a movie about the mid-west. So, what I did was quickly emailed all my friends and started writing out my ideas. All of them quickly agreed and only a few days later we shot my first movie; Little Clinic in the Woods. The story was about three girls moving from New York city to a place called Sikeston Missouri. Being use to the city life they were, the girls naturally had a few struggles adjusting to their new life. I was so proud of my first movie! But we had a few problems..  Back in those days my family still owned one of those big clunky video cameras that took vhs, so the battery was either dying or I was running out of tape space. But all to say we had alot of fun, and I was forever hooked on movie-making.

A few years passed and I was still making movies , but I felt like it was time to move on to more interesting stories, and not just my amateur comedies.  So last Fall, I came up with yet another idea. Robin Hood. Well, technically it's Robin & Rowan Hood, the epic story of a peasant girl who has skill with the bow. I spent seven months on that film, when all my other movies just took a few hours. But I learned so much, and enjoyed every minute! I am very proud of it, and I am looking forward to my next movie idea ;)
I have learned alot about being a director. Mostly about myself. I have always liked organizing, directing various projects and of course sewing and dressing up. I found it pretty cool how everything I am interested (almost everything) falls under the category of film. It has been an amazing journey. Last year I won a library video contest in which the reward was $50 gift card to Best-Buy. I used that to buy a more in depth software. That same week I was blessed with a really really good video camera, which I still use.
And this summer I am filming my Uncle's wedding.
I am a dreamer. I can't wait to see what the future holds for me. Right now I am almost seventeen, I am a photographer, writer, designer and many many other things.
I hope you enjoyed a little bit about my story. The place at where I am now, is because I listened to a daydream the summer of 09.




Wanderlust. Mine has been recently temporarily satisfied. This evening we got back from Florida where my family and I spent time on the most beautiful beach ever, we saw friends, got sunburned, built huge sand sculptures, and finally got to see my Daddy graduate from seminary. Until next time, at least I have the sweet sound of an airplane taking off and landing still ringing in my ears.

Do you have wanderlust?



the colors of the sky

I had considered not going outside and just to stay in the comfort of my warm room. But the desire to capture the beautiful watercolor sky made me get up and charge outside in pursue of a picture. I'm so glad I did because God had a wonderful surprise waiting for me across the street. I actually kind of stopped running for a moment when I spotted the brilliant rainbow reaching across the sky. I am thankful for moments like these. Just these random moments of pure unexpected beauty.

xo, Hayley

sprinkler party.

it happened when daddy and i stopped by grandma's house to water her grass. the sprinkler was acting up, wouldn't oscillate like it was supposed to. we were both getting frustrated, but there was one who didn't mind in the slightest.

a small sparrow was spying on us in the grass, if you can believe it. it sat so you could barely see its face {but it's a sparrow, and we're almost six feet tall}, and it's eyes were more curious than anything else. the sprinkler wouldn't budge, it just watered in the same spot, and daddy proceeded to fix it. so, in a small act of brashness, the sparrow hopped up from its hiding place and into where the sprinkler penetrated. it fluttered about, danced when it got wet, and left to tell his friends.

but the funny thing was, when he came back, no other sparrows did. but i'm sure he was okay with that. he had his very own sprinkler party.

so when daddy finally got the sprinkler working, and we left to go to the gym, you could see the sparrow through the rear window, hopping about to keep up with the water.

{pea ess: my apologies for yesterday, seems alot of us are doing that.}


dreams don't turn to dust

when i was a little girl, my future occupation changed daily.
if you were to ask me: "grace, what do you want to be when you grow up?" the answer was always changing. one day it could be a vet, the next a firefighter, and after that maybe a ballerina.
everything i wanted to be when i was little was always outrageous and comical, and when i look back at it, i am surprised i actually dreamed of such things, because now just thinking about some of those jobs scare me out of my mind.
but like almost every little girl, i always dreamed of being a princess.
for my eighth birthday, before we moved to Texas, our family went to one of those Medieval Times shows. i, of course, wanted to get a pretty princess hat as a souvenir.
i got one.
and i still have it, six years later.
dreams, no matter how silly and childish they may be, should never be forgotten.
so... what do you want to be when you grow up?


at 11:30pm

window at dawn

it was 11:30pm, Kendall and I both had tests the next day, and busy schedules to wake up to.  so, naturally, we decided to watch a movie and play monopoly.
we took four hours deciding which game piece to be (I chose the Titanic, of course, which Kendall replied to by saying "you're going down."  because cheesy puns are frequent here).
every now and then we'd realize ohmygosh it's 1am and I have to get up in 5 hours, but then we would carry on with the game playing and the movie watching and the belly laughing.
it's in that moment I realize this is what makes life special.

it wasn't until last wednesday at around 3:30am that I sat up in bed and realized "I didn't post on AOU. O.O"  sorry about that.  sometimes I come to the conclusion that I'm human and I forget things.
but then I quickly brush it off with a nah.


Inside, Outside, Upside Down.

Although I feel like the odd duck, there's one thing that I don't have in common with most bloggers: I am not an avid reader. However, I have been striving to become one, primarily via Maud Hart Lovelace's timeless classics. Currently I'm nibbling through "Betsy Was a Junior," and if you were here, you could find me reading everywhere. In the perfect branch of my favorite tree, on my bed by twinkle light, tucked in my favorite nook of the roof.
I'm not exactly sure why I like these books as much as I do. Maybe it's because they've shaped my childhood, ever since my mother read me "Betsy-Tacy" when I was four. Maybe it's because some of the stories made me laugh until my sides hurt. Or maybe it's because all of the characters have something that I don't have: a tight-knit community of co-ed friends, in a time where picnics, parties on the lawn, and singing around the piano were everyday occasions. Either way, they'll keep me on my way to being avid about books.

Are you an avid reader?



summer is coming

You know summer is approaching when the sun is streaming through your window in the morning. When you walk down stairs and it smells like fresh grass and summer breeze because the screens on the windows were left open over night. When the sun goes down at nine o'clock every night. You know summer is coming when you hang out with your friends late on a school nights wishing that school wasn't the next day. When you're camping outside in your friends yard and you can see the stars very clearly. When you start having gym class outside because it's so nice. When you and your friends begin making plans for the summer and day dreaming. You know summer is coming when you start counting down the days of school.

Summer is going to be so great.

xo, Hayley


from the ant's perspective.

what the world is like from their eyes.



the season ends

the sun is blazing. 
the crowd is cheering. 
the first pitch is thrown. 
the Flag is uncovered and the Stars & Stripes wave proudly. 
the boys dressed in red shirts with FEAST Patriots written in white and sport shorts run onto the field. 
i place my hand over my heart and sing along to the National Anthem. 
pride swells. a smile spreads. the heat burns. 
this is the end of the season. 
today was a nice day. 


my sanctuary

It's the place I go when I need to be alone. When the walls around me are confining, and I need space to breathe. It's my hideout, where I think things through, write, and dream. It's my place where I go to be me, and where I don't need to be anything more. 
 It's where where I find quiet. When I'm alone in the fields with the sky above me I feel free, and there's just nothing like it. I feel like I can go where I want to go...be who I wanna be...and there's nothing holding me back. 
   It's big and beautiful and there's always more to learn, there's always more to see, always more to remember, always more that inspires me climb higher, and dream bigger. And when I get caught up in the daily trials, I take the wooded outside path again, and stay until I have arranged my thoughts.
Because life is more than the day-to-day struggles and difficulties. It's so much more than that. Life is about following God. It's about being who you are, and who God's called you to be. It's about remembering what's really important, and what will last forever. Because things like, love, and faith, and God...those are the things that really matter...and always will.


carli nicole


Old Family Treasures

I've always loved old things. 
Ever since I can remember, I've gone antiquing with my mom and collecting old treasures. But the best treasures are the ones that come from a few branches up the family tree. 

My grandparents came to town yesterday, and my grandma brought my sister and me a treasure. This little  treasure, although probably not worth much, meant more to us than any fifty-dollar bill. It was a beautiful sketch by my great grandma Helen, drawn sometime in the mid-thirties.

great grandma Helen
When grandma revealed the brittle, yellowed paper, my sister and I gasped and oohed. Something so old and yet a piece of family history at the same time. The girls in the picture wore feminine clothes, obviously made for the thirties, which made me want to step into the picture and stand right there at the moment it was drawn.

We decided to frame it. It will hang on our walls for years, and remind us of the legacy of our grandmother and spur us to be remembered like her. It may also spur me to brush up on my sketching.

Do you have any old family treasures?



the breakfast meeting

breakfast is a rather important event in my home. joy is mommy's constant companion whilst concoctions like pancakes, waffles, bacon, or sausage are being prepared in the kitchen, and no matter late breakfast ends up being {we are infamous for eating our first meal at around noon}, everyone sits at the table and joy brings everyone to attention.

"everyone!" she'd say, even though it'd be just me, mommy and herself, "it is now time for the conbasation meeting, where we all meet at mealtime to have a conbasation!" her voice would be an octave higher than usual, and there'd be a certain trill in her manner as well. also: she doesn't know how to pronounce conversation."miss jocelyn, you may start."

i always start first. each morning, to annoy my sister, the first and only word that comes out of my mouth at the conversation meeting is, "hi." at which time, joy would get very irritated and exclaim, "jocee! rule number three: you cannot say just 'hi' when you are starting a conbasation! dismissed." i don't leave the table, so joy would roll her eyes and turn to mommy, who, sometimes says the same thing. but mommy is never dismissed.

this is our morning routine. after many trial-and-error, a conversation is had, and we laugh in between our bites of pancake and sips of milk, even though it's technically lunchtime.

and the most exhausting part of all of it? this happens at every. meal. of the day.


let it pour

monday night, i turned off the lights and crept into my bed. it was quiet and dark. suddenly, i saw a bright flash of light outside my window. the wind picked up, and i heard something hit the glass pane on the other side of my room. 
it was raining. it was pouring. the wind howled, lighting flashed, rain poured, it was glorious. the smell of rain is the most beautiful smell in the world, i tell you. after months of dry heat, this is just beautiful. yesterday my little brother had fun playing in the giant puddles that had formed in our backyard after the constant rain all day.
i never thought i would be happy about the rain, but now, i can't stop smiling.
what's your favorite kind of weather?



What's a bob?

So. The other night a few friends and I went to THE AVENGERS. (amazing movie, right?) As we were laying on the floor, all covered in blankets and pillows, talking about random things that had happened to us, one of my besties, Melody, began to tell a story. She was talking about the "Save the bob's campaign" that Pancheros was doing. About how anyone who was a bob would get to eat free. It was late. And I don't know if I was actually having a major blonde moment or if it was just lack of sleep, but I was so confused as to what a bob was. What kind of person was a bob? What did you have to do to be a bob? These were the questions rolling through my head. And so I asked, "Guys, what's a bob?" This question was answered by laughter all across the dark room. When they could all finally contain themselves, Mel answers: "It's someone NAMED Bob, Megan."

And that, folks, is a bob.

Have you ever had a major blonde moment?
xo. Megan Kristine


tattered and bruised, dazed and confused

we really enjoyed reading this submission, and i do hope you'll feel encouraged when you read it. so please give some love to lacey, and do stop by her blog! 
Typically, I'm a very happy & bubbly gal; and while joy is an undertone I tend to have, life is not always a bedazzedly wonderful situation. Especially when people let me down. So easily our confidence is in mere mortals, we know they are prone to the same mistakes we are, yet we still, sometime reluctantly, give trust another go around. People are finicky. Some people have experienced physical abuse, and may find it extremely hard to put faith in another person. Even still, others have just been astonished and wounded by people who used to be friends; all they can do is wander aimlessly with a confused expression, full of disbelief. This may or may not be you, but I can bank on the fact that we have all had our fair share of run-ins with disappointment.

One of the most important things I've ever learned is the art and delicacy of forgiveness. It's an ongoing skill and characteristic that has to be apart of you and me just as the language is on the tongue of a native, or as smooth as a well oiled machine. It's a given that forgiveness is a good thing, but clearly, it is another to actually do the forgiving. It's not something you or I will grow out of in time, nor will it ever become an easier action that leads to second nature unless, you proactively practice what you yourself want to receive. We all know the power of words; good, beautiful, elegant words, and mean, hurtful words can have equal gusto. However, fresh, ingeniously organized words evoke a starkly different reaction than those words that take shape as pointed daggers that fly straight to one's heart. It has been said that "the tongue is a small member of the body" yet a very powerful one. How have you been using your words lately? How will you begin to use your words?

It is very important to forgive when you've been hurt because once you've tied up the loose ends, your healing will rise speedily, your wounds seal shut, and your scars diminish. It will never be the easiest thing you've done, but give it a whirl, see what happens.

Put your big girl undies on, and :: forgive. 
p.s. You may recognize the dog in the photo, yes that's Stiggy, Gracie's dog. We're real life buds :)


just write it on the wall

So, I have this amazing mother. And this amazing mother turned the wall in our reading room into a chalk board. After the paint set for three days, finally tonight my sister and I broke the ground... or whatever you want to call drawing on it for the first time. 

  First we had to draw over the entire wall...

... Then we doodled.

It's amazing how something so simple can be so enjoyable.

Do you like to draw with chalk?