i am a huge fan of alastair humphreys and his work. one of the things he encourages people to do is to take #microadventures.
over the summer i took 2!
for the longest i had talked about taking a day trip to abilene, tx. a place i’ve never been that’s relatively not too far from me. a little over a 3 hour drive from my home.
one night i told myself i would wake up in the morning, get in my car, and drive to abilene, tx. the next morning i woke up feeling unwell and it was stormy outside. a perfect excuse to stay home. i got a later start than i wanted, but i got in my car and headed west.
storms normally move east and so a little into my trip things cleared up and i started to feel better.
where do you go in abilene, tx? the zoo!
i got to hand feed the giraffes! awesomeness. the abilene zoo is a lovely little quaint place, except for the area that houses a live smelly skunk! :)
it was only abilene but i had never been that far west in my life.
i was actually quite surprised at how much the landscape had changed by just driving 3 hours west of the dallas/fort worth area. i am use to seeing prairies and pines.
if you read my blog you probably know about the california road trip dream, in my head i imagined what it would be like to just keep driving the interstate west.
the second microadventure was a mini camping trip on my birthday!
i convinced some friends to join me at lake tawakoni, a little over an hour from home.
camping outdoors in a tent was a first. i am sure some of my friends will say “thanks, but no thanks” on the next camping invite! haha.
i attempted to do research on pinterest and i visited bass pro shops in order to prepare for the trip. overall? it wasn’t too bad.
it was HOT being that it was august in texas. the most surprising thing, though, is how much it cooled down around 4am. the most annoying thing was the sound of the locust/crickets throughout the night. and there was just tons of flying bugs in general.
morning came with a sigh of victory. we had owned the night! and CHECK! camping came off my things to do list.
since i went camping on my actual birthday i celebrated my birthday the day before at my parents.
this fall i will be headed to mexico again! i will be photographing a destination wedding! can’t wait. and here in texas i want to find a good monarch butterfly viewing spot or festival for their annual migration trip to mexico.
the monarchs are coming!!!! :)
i’ve been attempting to update my blog at least once a month, and so here i am sliding in before the 1st of august.
hello my friends. how are you guys? are you well? are you whole? are you living your purpose? hit reply and talk to me!
the summer started off rough on memorial day when my one and only cousin on my mom’s side was gunned down and killed in memphis, tn. i am thankful to God for bringing my family from that earth shattering phone call/moment to a place of peace in someway about it all. seeing and experiencing grief within yourself and within the lives of the people you love changes your world.
and oh, how do i transition from that? thanks for those who prayed for my family.
there have been a couple changes in my life…
i started grad school! studying for my masters in education. i have finished my first class! yay me! i’ve been having tons of fun over at keepcalmandteachon.com and creating teacher products for my teacherspayteachers.com store. my focus of study is curriculum and instruction. eventually i want to create a preschool curriculum for parents.
God has opened a door for me to teach at a new school this upcoming school year! after 6 years, and spending my whole teaching career at one school, i will be venturing off into uncharted territory for me. i will be teaching 1st grade for the 1st time! as a member of generation y i am proud of myself for sticking it out for 6 years at one place of employment but i also believe change is an opportunity for growth. putting in my resignation letter was happiness and a tinge of sadness at the same time. i will miss the people (students and teachers) from my old school the most. and i am an introvert, so i worry some about my new social work environment. this year i am using donorschoose.com for the first time, check out my donorschoose project for my classroom! a donation of any size is greatly appreciated!
recently i literally shaved most of my hair off! it was a just do it! type of thing. i had been talking about it for like foreverrrr. i am attempting to incorporate a little less talk and a little more action in my life. there are some pictures over on my instagram account. my 9 year old nephew was like, “gloria, you are getting punked out!” you know what they say, a women who cuts her hair is about to change her life!
i’ve been working on a book project for the past few months that i wanted done by august. so not happening unless i shut myself in a closet and write nonstop for at least a week! summers are weird for me, though. i always find myself feeling some kind of way. hence the benjamin franklin quote, “do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. keep in the sunlight.” and that’s the challenge, to stay in the sunlight! it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by everything.
next week i turn 33!!!!!!!! and !!!!!!! again! it’s like whoa. mid 30’s! for my birthday i want to do a glamping trip! anyone want to join me? ;)
early in the spring i showed my second grade class a video about spring and within the video was a baby bird floundering around its nest, jumping in, jumping out, clinging onto the tree bark for dear life, skidding and climbing back into the nest. one of my students made a remark of how the bird was afraid of flying, in response another student observed it differently, “he is not afraid of flying, he is afraid of falling.”
it was so matter-of-fact the way my student assessed the real problem, and in that little bird i saw myself. climbing back into safe spots, spending energy on not falling…when God wants me to get my focus off falling and focus on flying. focus on my purpose, the things he put me on this earth to do.
as i watched the little bird do everything in its power not to fall i wanted to tell the bird that it didn’t have to go through all the doubt and fear because it is fully equipped to just jump and fly.
and in the same way God has equipped us to live out our purpose, but yet often our actions are based on a fear of failure.
just jump, chase your dreams, because here is the deal…
chances are natural instincts will kick in.
chances are you won’t actually fall.
chances are you were born to do it.
chances are you’ll be amazing at it.
“if you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – paulo coelho
happy spring! it’s been a harsh winter here in north texas. never had so many bad weather days in my teaching career. but yay, spring is here!
the other week one of my writer friends posted this video on fb. it’s an awesome video about how a small number of wolves changed rivers at yellowstone. watch and be amazed, and consider what small change you can make in your life.
have a great productive weekend!
the other week i posted this picture over on twitter. i attended an event where they gave all the ladies roses. a very sweet gesture that women LOVE. i get them home and i realize i have no vase to put them in. and so while this picture of these roses are beautiful the truth is that they are in a plastic water bottle. i started to think, how am i going to say “i would love for a guy to give me flowers!” when i don’t even have a proper vase to put them in?
so the question is…
are you prepared/ready to receive what God wants to give to you?
think about it. and then make any necessary adjustments.
happy valentine’s day lovely people! here is my 3rd edition of 14 things for valentine’s day list!
1. what the world needs now
i love this song and i love this version.
2. somebody loves you, mr. hatch by eileen spinelli
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.
“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”
After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
i will be reading this book to my students! really cute book!
3. e.e. cummings
“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” by e e cummings is one of my favorite poems! there is a new book out about his life that looks fascinating that i desire to read!
not familiar with his work? start with “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]“.
4. the story of danny and annie
i randomly came across this story on pbs one day, and then i get on youtube and somehow i run into it again. i think it is worth sharing.
no need for you to do all that research on the perfect relationship…it has already been done!
7. the greatest love of all
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” – the message (msg) john 3:16-18
8. forget the chocolates!
give the gift of adoption. help protect the future of nature. give the gift of a symbolic wwf adoption to your loved ones. many animals to choose from.
9. a lesson in love
learn how to say love in a new language.
10. thanks, but no thanks!
in the classic book anne of green gables, published in 1908, gilbert attempts to give a pink candy heart with the words “you are sweet” to anne, who promptly grinds it under her heel. don’t blame you anne…those things are NA-STY!! but to learn more about these famous candy hearts check out wikipedia.com’s entry on them.
11. top 10 words for valentine’s day
ok, this list is really starting to show my nerdy side. check out merriam-webser’s list of the top 10 words for valentine’s day.
12. yay for romantic comedies opening up this weekend
like? winter’s tale!
13. the 2011 list
yep, putting the previous editions of the list on the list is cheating a little bit. but check out the lists from previous years.
14. the 2013 list
“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief,
and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young
and then left,” says your God.
– The Message (MSG)
today is my favorite holiday, dr. martin luther king, jr. day (here in the u.s.). to celebrate here are 7 mlk quotes/images to ponder, recite, and perhaps share!
every morning i turn on t. d. jakes at 6:30am on daystar. and i always learn a thing or two about God or myself. on friday i went to brick house at the potter’s house and saw bishop t.d. jakes, and he really laid it out for young adults and how this is our primetime. he shared how when he was 30 he wrote his first book and how that book went on to sell 5 million copies. i left the service feeling an urgency to just really go for it in 2014, and i left with tons of notes…
1. don’t spend energy boxing with a ghost
“what are you doing with this moment?” you can’t waste time thinking about who did you wrong or who didn’t do something for you. it’s the past. focus your energy on the now. this is your life. you’ll never be as young as you are now.
2. give faith a job
“knuckle with life and make life give you what you see in your spirit.” you must roll up your sleeve! have hope, give faith a job!
3. it’s primetime!
brick house is a young adult ministry at the potter’s house, and bishop jakes referred to this time in our lives as our prime. we are generation now. if you don’t go for it now you are not going to get it. it takes a good 10 years to really build something successful. start building! be like noah, and move with fear…get the job done. don’t miss your opportunity!
4. be extraordinary
“there is no blessing on the ordinary only on the extraordinary.” don’t have a spirit of entitlement. do more than what others are willing to do. extraordinary people eat like they are pregnant. be hungry.
5. punch harder
“you can do it, but it is harder than you think it is, but you have to punch harder!” this right here…really spoke to me. being committed to your dreams is really hard day in and day out, but nothing great comes easy.
* * *
no matter what life stage you are in it is never too late to live out God’s purpose for your life! start now.
quick 2013 recap: 2013 was an interesting year. i had some sizzles and fizzles. THANKS for all the support. i sold more books in 2013 than any other year in my life, but at the same time i felt extremely frustrated with everything. and quite frankly, a bit burnt out. i am committed to stand my ground, though. too legit to quit! believing in isaiah 40:31!
stand your ground
during the christmas holiday i watched home alone (for the 50th time!). in the movie the main character, kevin, goes to a christmas service and engages in a conversation with his not so scary neighbor and knows more than ever that he must go home and defend his home from the two bad guys that are trying to burglarize his home. the hour bell on the clock strikes, he knows it is time to get to business, “carol of the bells” is playing, and he starts running home to stand his ground. complete cinematic genius. don’t take my word for it…
watch > Home Alone – Running Home (Carol of the Bells)
“this is my house, i have to defend it!”
kevin gets home and he speaks it out, he makes a declaration to defend his home. and we all know how the story ends. yes, speak it out, affirm what is yours. and defend it!
defend your life. defend your turf. defend your purpose. DEFEND YOUR DREAMS IN 2014! protect them. don’t let anyone take what is yours. fight back the enemy. fight against complacency, distractions, laziness, self doubt, and ANYTHING that keeps you away from your divine purpose and dreams. know your why. know why you must fight, why you must not give up, and defend.
i pray many blessings over your life in 2014!