sweater weather

“Personally, I like to think my brother is having a college experience like they do in the movies. I don't mean the big fraternity party kind of movie. More like the movie where the guy meets a smart girl who wears a lot of sweaters and drinks cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I think something like that would be very good for him, especially if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find 'super models' strange. I don't know why this is.” - Perks of Being a Wallflower. 
As a college freshman I'm still pretty new and easily overwhelmed by this whole college experience thing. Incidentally, despite the hullabaloo that is college with it's eminent deadlines and the ruckus of growing up that kind of comes with that I really must say that I'm loving my personal college experience. I always wanted college to be something I acknowledge, I'm surrounded by a lot of students who sort of view it as an in and out thing that they don't really take the time to appreciate where we are in our lives right now. Perhaps I only care so much because I was homeschooled and we homeschoolers tend to be a little more zealous about life and social interactions in general then your A-typical jaded public school attendee.

Either way, I'm excited to be that girl, in the sweaters with her Starbucks loving life even when I have an exam or an English paper looming over my head.

So here's to higher education, big sweaters, caffeine and social interactions. Hoozah!



the picture on the wall

You know when you hang a new picture on the wall? At first, you glance at it every single time you pass by. Maybe you even smile & stop to admire it. But then after a while, it just seems to sort of blend into the landscape. It becomes 'just' a picture. 'Just' a photo. You pass by it every single day, you see it... but you don't. Not really. It becomes something that's just there.

Until... one day. The day that picture gets taken down. You pass by that place where it used to hang & you immediately notice that something is amiss. You can't quite put your finger on it, but you know something is missing. So you look around & you notice the wall... & it is bare. Where once was colour, a dreamy landscape, a smiling face... there remains now only an echo. A rectangular imprint on the wall where that frame once hung. That square of paint which the sun's rays had never had the chance to brighten... until now.

And in that moment you realize just how much that picture transformed the place where it used to hang. Maybe it was for the better, or maybe for the worse. Maybe you miss it, or maybe you don't. But whatever the case, there is a valuable lesson to be learned from that picture: the little things, however little, matter. Maybe we don't see them, or maybe we like to pretend we don't, or maybe we just never stopped to look... but they do.

Look around. Observe. Admire. Because the little things, so often taken for granted, won't always stick around forever. One day they will take with the current & swim away. Please, don't let that be the day you realize how much they mean to you.

hugs, eve


the night owl

IMG_4341 IMG_4350 IMG_4358 IMG_4352IMG_4362_640px  IMG_4364
snooze buttons, and loud groans, and cold toes.
wrinkled clothes, and messy braids, and a swipe of mascara.
overfilled notebooks, and heavy backpacks, and comfortable sneakers.
hot tea, and frosty air, and warm car heaters.
rushed, sleepy, same.

I don't particularly like mornings. Maybe it's sleepily pulling myself out of the warm blankets and into the chilling air, or maybe it's fixing my hair when it would rather be anything but fixed at this hour, or maybe it's the anticipation of my day to follow, whether good or bad.
Whatever it is, these are my mornings, on the days when I have to get up to see them.
(and also crappy, rushed pictures of my morning tea.)

x, abby


a place of my own

I absolutely love my room.
It's just like me; quiet, unorganized, soft.
It started out with a beach theme, but that quickly changed as did I over the 3 months of renovation.
I love the green and blue walls, and the stack of cd's and magazines found right where I placed them. (strategically under the bunk bed).
I love the string of ribbon in which I purposely put up, to try and help put my clips all together in one place.
I love my dresser, and how I top it off with my over sized collection of bath and body works and baby lips.
I love my cork board, with pins where I hang my necklaces.
and I love the lamp in the corner, which goes unnoticed by most, but softly lights the room,  giving it a warm feeling and making it my own.

What do you like about your room?


nostalgia and pain and memories past.

this week i had nostalgia hit me really hard. i've been thinking a lot about my "early" years, before we moved to texas. i was eight when we moved, and i was painfully shy, and i only had two friends (true story).
we had been talking about maryland and possibly flying me and my twin brother back up north, and later that night, it hit me. i hadn't been to my state of birth in years, maybe five. but that night, i could see my favorite place in the whole world. a place i know better than my home here in texas, or my old house back east.

i was back at my pop pop's house and i could see everything in vivid detail. the hard wooden stairs to the right, his office with the little glass figures and american eagle and big desk to the left, the kitchen straight ahead. the sitting room was right around the corner, with a soft, fluffy carpet, and a little table with a chess board printed on top and a locked drawer that i always had fun playing with. if you continued ahead, you would come upon the dining room, which we rarely ever ate in. it's kind of dark, and has a table with room for six. to the left, there's an entrance to the kitchen, which is light and airy and full of sweet things. then there's a large t.v. and a couch and a lounge chair (which is everyone's favorite chair). walk out the french doors to the side and you're outside on a wooden deck, surrounded by tall trees. there's some outdoor furniture and a grill, i believe.
upstairs, there are four rooms and one bathroom. there is a little playroom all of the cousins used to play in all the time. we had a jar of smurf toys, and a little play shopping cart. across the hall there is a bedroom, then next to that one is another bedroom, with a lone, queen-sized bed and light purple sheets. it's my favorite room, outside of pop pop's office. then there's the master-bedroom, which is huge, and full of stuffed animals and pictures.
if you go back down the stairs, and just before you enter the kitchen, and on your right, there's a door that leads to the basement. it's a little chilly and damp, and there are boxes piled high every where, full of junk and treasures and stories.
outside the red front door, you'll see other houses that hold other stories of many kinds from various people all throughout time. my pop pop's house sits on a little hill, and i remember running down the driveway, trying not fall flat on my face.
this is my favorite place in the whole wide world. really. truly. it is.
i haven't been inside that house in who-knows-how-long, but it's still my favorite.

all these images and more flooded my brain that night. i cried. because i miss that house, i miss the light on the walls, i miss the smell of sweet, sugary things in the kitchen, i miss the memories i made. i miss it all.
sometimes, it feels like a little eight-year-old girl also named grace found her way inside my brain and replaced my first eight years with her eight years and it makes me sad. i was so young when we left, and i thought that we would always live up north and we would never leave and so i took everything for granted. i makes me sad.

sometimes, nostalgia hurts, and it makes you cry. but it helps me remember my vow to life: to remember every little detail and enjoy my crazy/boring/simple/awkward/little life. who knows what might happen next. pain is here to remind us we're growing. and sometimes we just don't want to accept that, but at some point in time, we must. it's a must thing, pain is. pain demands to be felt.
nostalgia is a sad, happy, weird, good thing and i think it's a reminder from God that we're still alive and breathing and feeling and hurting and we're still here to make more memories. i just have to remember to remind myself about this reminder.
xx, gracie


teach me how to love

carry my heart
away from the dark
teach me to love
like you do

carry my weight
of burdens and pain
teach me to hope
like you do

i need the light
of your deep eyes
to shine through
and pierce the night

i need you
i need your love
to wrap its way
around me

carry my heart
into your heart
and keep safe
in there

cause i need
your light
to make me all fine
what's left of me
is too broken

the loneliness is
so much to face
the cuts and the bruises
never go away

you and me together
make me all better
do i make you
better too

so teach me to laugh
teach me to dream
teach me to love
like you

xoxo, candace


because it's me; because i am present.

i like this picture. i like it because my unmade bed is peeking out in the corner and because the outlet is begging to be noticed just behind my left elbow. because the stack of books, CD collections, and vinyl records are 'photobombing' on the bottom left. i like this picture because my shirt is poorly tucked in, because my hair is horribly combed and not curled under, because the bedframe is too saturated and and the pillowcases don't match the sham, and because there's a bit of marshmallow creme creeping through the corner of my mouth.

i like this picture because i'm not in a studio, i'm not wearing clothes that i wouldn't buy, i'm not giving you pouty lips or smoky eyes, and my hair isn't perfectly crimped, blown back by an enormous fan. i know these things are all too stereotypical, but i like this picture. i like it because it's me in a skirt stolen from my mom's closet, with a necklace on my forehead instead of my neck. i like it because i'm present, because there is no underlining theme or art, but because i'm sitting on my calves staring out the window like i always do (stare, that is), wondering if anyone out there has stopped to stare back. 

xx, jocee.


c'est quoi l'amour?

This is my favorite time of year because romance and the color pink are all socially acceptable. In honor of Valentines Day I thought I'd share a short love story that I wrote last week with you.
I was sitting next to you in biology, do you remember? We were sitting there while the professor spoke in that broken English that you said could probably lull you to sleep at night, you’d also said jokingly once or twice that the only thing that did keep you awake in biology class was me.
         Now, while I’d like to translate that into some romantic gesture but I know it wasn't  you see I like extra credit so I answer a lot of questions and since you sit next to me and I’m sounding like the guy who at auctions who talks a mile a minute I don’t think you could actually get any sleep. I often wondered how often you regretted picking my table at the beginning of the semester.
       That semester was half-over, do you remember? We’d just been released, early that day I think. You asked if I wanted to get coffee or something because it was cold, and really I wanted cocoa. Except that I said no, I don’t know why I said no my next class wasn't for an hour, but I said not and continued shoving overstuffed binders and folders into my way-to-heavy backpack.
         “Okay well maybe another time?” you said.
       I felt awkward, which isn’t new because I always feel awkward but I felt oddly awkward today which was, well, odd.
        “Yeah sure. Let me give you my number”
       My friend Kim told me later that he probably thought I was being forward and would be attracted to that, but I wasn’t being forward I was being logical. How could we do it another time if he didn’t have my number, when usually I wouldn’t have any time after biology? And what was the likelihood that we would be released early “another time”?
       I recited it to you and you put the ten digits into your phone, area code and all, and then you typed a name for my contact information. I looked over your shoulder and I saw that you put Lizi from biology 1301. Which I thought was funny, like you have any other biology classes, or like you would take any other ones after this, like you would even keep my number pass this semester to get confused with any other Lizi’s from biology class.
      It was in that moment that I realized I didn’t want to be Lizi from biology class, and I wondered what it could possibly change to. Maybe we’d become friends and it would be Lizi Holden, my first and last name like everyone else in your contacts [or so I presumed]. Or maybe we would fall in love and it would be Baby with a heart. Or My Darling. Or The Girlfriend with a kissy emoticon. I think that I’d very much like it to say My Lizi, or That Girl I’m in Love with. I know the latter is kind of lengthy, but I like that it’s lengthy and straightforward at the same time. I like that anytime I would text you or call you if someone looked at your phone they would know without a doubt that I’m not just your Baby, or you Girlfriend, or even that we’re cute and sentimental and you call me Darling like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe piece. No, I’d be that girl you love. I think I’d rather be that then your girlfriend.
      It’s the end of the semester now, and I don’t mean to bother you but we never did get that coffee and I’m not asking you to go to Starbucks with me or even IHOP, I just wanted to know if you still have my number, and if I’m still just Lizi from biology, or if I’m something else. 

I hope everyone has a really lovely day.


nature's silence

Silence is such a quaint term. Can you actually hear it? No, most people would say, because silence is nothing but the absence of sound... right? Well, no. Silence is much, much more than that. You can hear it, just as long as you listen hard enough.

Silence is among the foamy waves, crashing on a sandy shore. In the trickle of a river among the tall grasses of a meadow. In a wood at dawn, among the ancient tree trunks. Amid the early morning mist, stretching across the countryside. In the patter of rain on a windowpane. It is the rumble of thunder before a storm. Silence is in the wind, whistling across the trees. In falling leaves during autumn. It is a snowflake, just settling on the ground. The first rays of sun, peeking over a hill. In birdsong in the morning & cricket lullabies at evening. It is the little peepholes of twinkling light, poked through the dark fabric of our night sky. It is in the golden light at sunset.

Nature's silence is everywhere. It listens, understands, & inspires. It connects with the deepest parts of our souls. All we have to do is slow down & observe a bit more. Be attentive. Can you hear it a little more clearly now?

hugs, eve


the boy who whistles

I watched him every day we were there. He never saw me but I always saw him. In my head I called him the boy who whistles. And the boy who whistles made me smile by living up to his name. Every day he would walk to the water, whistling whatever was in his head, I never knew what it was. Sometimes his dog would tag along or he would go barefoot or he would wear a towel around his shoulders. But he always whistled. It was such a carefree and happy sound that it stuck with me.
I never spoke to him, he never spoke to me. He never saw me, or maybe he did. The girl with a notebook, maybe that’s who I was to him. But probably not.
The boy who whistles taught me a valuable lesson in life, and he taught it to me without words, without recognition, without meaning to. He taught it quietly so that it’s remembered loudly.


It’s a true story, and I never forgot the boy who whistles. I hope I can impact another like he did me. In such a small, intriguing way. I have yet to write a fictional character based off him, I’m waiting for the right story.
x, abby


a short story about my opinions on snow

would you like to know something?
I actually, kinda, really, hate snow.
I don't know what it is about it.
it's probably the hassle of traffic where you slowly inch forward like caterpillars along the road
or and slip of the ice, that coats the driveways so thin you can glide in your sneakers.
personally, I think that this planet would do better off without it

on Sunday, I endeavored to take a few macro shots in my yard with the flakes drifting onto bushes and in the cracks of the bark on the trees.
I learned that this is no easy feat in a sweatshirt and moccasins during twenty-some degree weather. I came out with 3-7 decent shots before quickly rushing inside to snuggle by the laptop, cover myself in a blanket sip my hot chocolate.

so here, I present to you stephanie's 2013 snow pictures:

Enjoy them while they last my honey bunches there ain't gonna be more where that came from this season.

in the end,
I guess I can tolerate the snow in exchange for some pretty pictures.

the end


fluffy cloud, golden sun days.

the weather here in south texas has been consistently beautiful and i-feel-so-alive-and-inspired-ish.
we have had the kitchen windows and screen door open almost every day the last few weeks,
letting the cool breeze flow through the house, filling my soul with hopes and dreams.
the sun has shone gloriously gold every morning, and in the evening it burns orange and pink
behind the trees. the clouds have been fluffy and white against the stark blue sky, and sometimes
they look like brush strokes painted in the evening blue. as much as i adore rainy days, i think i
love these blue sky, fluffy cloud, golden sun days just a little bit more.
how's the weather where you are, friend?


new in town

my name is candace and i like the color blue. i'm crazy about keds and cappuccino ice-cream and san pellegrino. i once ate this thing called nutella and it was instant love (sorry jocee). yes, my life revolves mostly around food. i have this obsession with thrift store sweaters and sock hats. i've always wanted a pet chameleon. or three. and i wear cardigans because of mr. rogers. i have this fear of heights and i love using disposable cameras. i watch america's funniest home videos when i'm bored and i listen to p!nk on the weekends. this is me. this is your new neighbor. i love this new house and i love the girls i'm going to boldly call my sisters. but you see, i'm not perfect or even remotely original. i make mistakes and i mess up big time sometimes. but my purpose in life is to not be perfect or beautiful or famous or funny. my mission is to be who i am. to not give a care to how the world sees me. because in the end, it won't matter how i looked throughout the years. what will be remembered are the things that i did with my life. so that's what my goal is as a new neighbor. to make an impact simply by being me.



to be the first.

currently reading.
i think i realised it a day or so after daddy brought it home from the library. i am the first person to check out this book. there were clues that backed my conclusion, subtle notes that several other people wouldn't think twice about. the smoothness of the cover, the blank checkout log except for my due date, the crisp, sharp edges of each page, and the black ink that showed evidence of this author's masterpiece; prominent and yet just right.

so as i curled up under the covers at a time where the lights were supposed to be out and i was supposed to be asleep, i realised i was the first one to throughly caress each page with my fingertips. to absentmindedly hold down either page and cause a crackling sound in the spine. to fold down the corners of pages where words resonated with me even deeper than the trenches of the ocean.

i am a voracious reader. i have lived so many lives through so many people. seen the most glorious things and felt the most wrenching sobs. though my body is young and my heart is ready to take on the world, my soul carries the feelings of others who have become more than just fictional characters in the many books i have read. the deep, earthy smell of each page is my bread, the vivid descriptions of times gone by are my water.

so here i am, reading the dangers of proximal alphabets by kathleen alcott. i nestle under the covers, alternating positions (on my back, stomach, or side) and promising myself just one more chapter in the wee hours of the morning. and i feel special, because i am the first to do so. 
hi, my name is jocelyn, and i really really really hate nutella. i guess you could say i founded/created this blog, but it wouldn't be what it is without the help of my six wonderful friends. i live for cupcakes and white chocolate, and i have this crazy ability to distinguish a brit from an american without either one of them talking. i write really long blog posts and i refuse to eat waffles without sausage and warm syrup. nice to meet you, i love you. :)
xx, jocee