Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Beginning (Again?)

Different seasons always bring an itch of change. (Especially when you start the Summer season with a photographic journey to Cali...) I don't know what it is, but the fresh air of a brand new season brings on an itch for the starting of something new. I am feeling so blessed to be a daughter of our creator, not needing a specific event to change, but the simple change of season is enough. A new beginning. A forgiving of the past, and a step towards a new self. The self I want to be. I have big goals for myself, and I believe the realization that there is always need for change, always need for small steps for growing-is one of the biggest steps to achieving those big huge "impossible" goals. Small steps, it's really all it takes.

But here I am. The beginning of Summer. Just back from the most inspirational trips of my entire life, and I am falling into the same old boring habits. Eating gross food too much (McDonald's, why do you exist on my menu of choice? Really? Sick.), spending too much time "getting inspired" on the internet rather than doing anything inspiring, spending too much money, and just overall being a lazy bum. Truth is, I am a daughter of the King. And lazy bum is not at all a representation of Him. So I was feeling the itch. And I started making lists of how to be better, and what to do better, and changes that need to be made. But I kept on making excuses as to why they were "unreachable" for the time (like not having attractive running shoes. Really, Melodie? Who are you?) and big excuses to start "later on". 

Today I woke up with a HUGE itch. Goodness, can't I just get things done? I was feeling overwhelmed by the lazy pit I was living in and needed a big huge change. So I did my first run today. 1.64mi in 21min. And I was dang proud when I heard the robot voice say, "You've reached one mile" over my headphones, even if it took me 13 minutes of "running" to get there. I was dang proud. I got home, and read. Studied my Bible. Wrote. Spent time with my little brother. Then I went to work. And when I was done with work, I came home. And here I am writing a blog. And I'm about to head to handy-dandy youtube in order to get some piano lessons going as well. 
I've been stuck on James 1. The part where it instructs us to be ACTIVELY LIVING the Word, rather than simply knowing it. I do not wish to be a woman who forgets my appearance directly after I have seen it. I want to be living in Christ's name, representing His huge self through every bit of me. I don't want to sit in a lazy pit. But I want to live as I have been claiming to live for the past few months. 

Decisions should start to be made. Creativity should pour from my pores.
And Arcade Fire's Wake Up anthem is going to be my theme song for the last stretch of my run for a very long time.

Hello world, I'm awake again.
Where is the Summer bringing you?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Really Big Adventure.

I promised a few weekends ago a post that I was unable to post due to last minute planning and being entirely myself. This is that blog and then some.

If you have been keeping up with me, I have been talking a lot about something called A Really Big Adventure. I'm going to start at the very beginning, and go to the very end, explaining this adventure to you all.

Last Christmas, Chris gifted me with a gallery. He chose the place (which is stunning, and beyond perfection), and allowed me to choose the date. I chose October (Don't worry, more information will be coming out about the gallery in the future).
Then began the process of what to shoot. I first began this process of all these inspiring people, and how I would shoot them and what I would make it look like, etc. But I got ahead of myself, and was very quickly forgetting the heart behind it. I sat down, readjusted my thinkers, and allowed myself to clearly think of the things that I wanted to show as my individual self for this gallery.
Something kept sticking out to me, but I just kept shoving it back. It was "impossible".
My idea was to take a big group of friends, drive to California, rent a VW van, drive up the coast together, camping along the way. I've always loved travel and road trips. I desire community within the groups of people I know. I belong behind a camera, shooting things that I love and am passionate about. My desire was for raw community. The bringing together of souls that are meant to live in joy. The chance to create real emotion and creativity and passion and desire and depth. To live by community for nine days, bringing us all closer and closer to a common goal.
One day, I was venting to Chris about all of my ideas and he quickly shut down the idea that this could be impossible. He told me to sit and look at things practically, and I may find they are not as hard.
So I did.

And I found exactly what he said I would find.
This wasn't going to be as hard as I thought.

I brought up the idea to my Mom first, and she didn't completely oppose to the thought. Which is always a good sign. I brought it up to my Dad, and he didn't mind the thought either.
So I kept digging deeper. I sent out invitations to a large group of people I wanted to come. 9 people ended up coming to the meeting, and I was encouraged by the responses.
7 people (including Chris and myself) committed to coming.
We hit a bump in the road, and were unable to get the car we wanted, or the VW van.
Chris's parents agreed to letting us borrow their van.
We booked reservations. We budgeted for over and above.
We bought multiple packs of film for all our cameras.
And soon it was the night before the trip and I was packing my bag and I realized that this was real. My dream was coming true.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, I haven't even barely told you what it was.
A Really Big Adventure quick logistics overview-
Over 3,000 miles.

From Colorado Springs, to Santa Monica, up the coast to Napa Valley, and all the way back. In an old Honda Odyssey van that fits exactly seven people and barely enough room for bags, sleeping bags, tent supplies, food, and all the other things people bring on trips.
9 days.
Tent camping for 5 nights, a hostel for 2.

7 passionate people.
People I specifically chose, and that specifically chose this trip. 5 girls. 2 guys.
6 different cameras.
Canon 5d Markii. Instax wide. Instax mini. 360 spinner. Polaroid Land Camera. Canon AE-1. (and don't forget iPhones.)

Although this trip may be able to summed up in quick logistics, it is not at all what this trip was to me.
A Really Big Adventure was my little girl dreams coming true. The people that were involved have the biggest hearts I have seen. I have shared so many laughs, so many smiles, and been able to be a part of so many beautiful hearts for nine entire days.

It is crazy to me to think that in nine days I have been through six different states, camped on a beach, climbed a cliff, trespassed a little, ate the most beautiful food, been to my first MoMA, rode my first cable car and bus, saw quite a few skunks, shot photos by the ocean, on a dock, in tents, and much more. The best part is that this trip was not about me, but about the opportunity to care for other people. To see depth inside of them and capture it in many poses and/or candid moments. I am filled to the brim with desire to see these people go far. Filled with intensity to create. Filled with the fulfillment of dreams coming true.

Words cannot yet describe.
Be on the lookout for smaller posts about smaller situations. This trip is lingering in the depths of my heart and I am so glad to say we did it. And we did it together.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It seems like I blog most when I'm trying not to blog. And when I make it a goal to blog more, I go a long amount of time posting nothing. Forgive me, I'm not used to having the role of a "blogger".

As far as fashion goes, I feel like I've been dressing more how I want to, rather than the grungiest jeans and t-shirt I can find. More dresses, etc.
Chris has become quite the great shopper lately too. Here's a couple photos from our date the other day.

Some things have been hitting home lately. I've been diving deep into who I am as a person, and the things I am longing to live out. I'm taking chances, and trying new things. But at the same time I am soaking up the bits of life that are average and normal. Trying to get into the swing of things as a person, and fall in love with average again. Ya know?

Just wanted to share a post about a song that I love.
It's called "Walk Through Hell" by Say Anything. I first heard this song years ago, from a dear friend, and have forever loved it. Whenever it comes on I belt out the words, and can't help but sing it for hours after I've heard the song.
Today, as it came through my shuffled iPod, and as I was belting out every single word by heart, I pondered why this song has always, and will always, be a favorite of mine.
I mean, really, it gives me goosebumps.  All it is is another silly love song!!

But as I  was singing the words of a man wanting to redeem the woman he loves from the "empty little dreams" of people around her, I realized the story that it is saying to my soul.
This is a story of Jesus Christ. He went through what we could call hell in order to save us. He said to us that his soles are useless without us, so He would walk through hell for us.

Okay. Maybe it's a cheesy way to look at the song. I know some people don't like taking "secular" music and turning them into Christian ones. But if you see the depth of this song, and it's entirety, there's a story we don't even understand there. This girl in the song is longing to be saved, even if she doesn't know it yet. This man in the song is desperate for her attention, begging for her to come back to him, to the person she was made to be.

If you haven't heard it, give it a listen.

p.s. be on the lookout for another blog post this weekend about a magical adventure I will be embarking on!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm not doing very well on this whole blogging thing, am I?
I have a lot of things on my mind, so I'm just going to go for it to get them out of my head before I can sleep. They're not bad things, but simply things that I will continue thinking "I should have blogged/written about (insert topic)" so much so that I can't sleep.

To begin, an "outfit post". I know you might not like me for this, because it's a mirror picture I took before I went out. I could say something like, "I didn't have time" or whatever. But the truth is I was a little embarrassed. It's hard to get back in the self-portrait game. Especially when this time it's all about what I'm looking like.
coat-thrifted, sweater- sister's closet, shirt- Charlotte Russe (I think...), pants- sister's closet, shoes- Goodwill

I also got a haircut with Christopher at Floyd's the other day. If you live anywhere near a Floyd's, go. It's such a fun experience. Especially when a haircut is made into a date night!!

School has four days left. It'll be nice to say I have a year of college under my belt at sixteen, but at the same time, has it done anything for me except make me tired and cranky? I'm not sure what it is I'm expected to learn, but I'm still waiting around for it with open arms. Maybe it is simply to learn about the human lives around me, and the insanity some of them have instilled in their brains as truth. Who knows.

Christopher made our first reservation for A Really Big Adventure tonight. I almost cried. When all this began, it was just a silly idea I would do "someday". But it is here and now and beyond real. I am so excited for all the things to come.

Speaking of our adventure, we're going to California. And before I go, these swimsuits are calling my name a little.
(click photos for link)

Anyone know of any place to find really great vintage style swimsuits? I want something super cute, and a little more modest than what you can find in a lot of store these days! :)

On a whole 'nother note, Chris showed me this series that is inspiring me in so many ways.

I've been thinking about all the things we overlook, and the things we once called "special" that turn into norms. I remember the first time I took pictures, and the thrill it gave me to take one that I thought was just really good. I remember how excited and passionate I was to be taking these pictures! But now- I often look over it, and don't think twice. It's habit and routine. It's such a wake-up call to be seeing that something that is so close to my heart and being becoming something so mundane and routine. I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life.
So, it's my goal to go back to the beginning. Remember where I was. How excited and open I was to learn and try new things. I want to open up, and try new things with new people. I want to strip down my life to the basics. 
The series above reminded me of the simple joys and beauty in life. Calling to my inner hippy again. I want peace and joy, not this continual strife to get through "another damn day". Life needs a bit of waking up, I'd say. Life needs a little bit of living. I want to be a person that encourages that, and lives it out herself. I encourage you all to remember the beginning and start of something that you love and adored, and has now become simple and mundane. 
Passion, is what it is. I'm pushing myself to just take some time to live and breath it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today I Am Alive

Today I am alive.
Oxygen enters into my lungs.
Blood pumps throughout my veins.
A head on my chest, or a finger on my wrist can assure that my heart is beating.

Today I am alive.
My smiles are because of the beauty I live for.
My aching legs and feet are those of many new steps.
My blinking eyes are tired, but refuse to close completely until my work here is finished.

Today I am alive.
Who do I want to be?
I want to be joy.
I want to be love.
I want to be kindness.
I want to cherish.
I want to hope.
I want to be peaceful.
I want to respect.
I want to lead.
I want to let go.
I want to be.

Today I am alive. And it is resounding to depths of me I have not seen before.

Today I am alive.
What am I living?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today has felt overwhelmingly long. I'm not sure what's going on, because I slept in until almost ten, cuddled and worked with my partner and boyfriend, worked for four hours, and spent time with Christopher, Taylor, and my dear sister Nikki. Who knows? 

I was planning on making my next blog an outfit post, but since I was in pajamas and work clothes all day, I decided against that. So I'm going to start this "blog remix" with a few things that have truly inspired me lately. Something about the springy/summery time seems to really bring out the hippy in me. Can't wait for this wind to die down in the area, so I don't have to wear a thousand layers just to stay warm.

(I don't have the original source photo, and can't seem to find it anywhere! If anyone has it, please share!
I want my hair to look like this. For real. I plan on doing it in the near future.

This outfit is so cute and Summery!

I have ants in my pants for this date. I cannot wait.

Christopher recently went to Canada with his best friend Taylor to shoot a wedding. Although I was unable to be there, I did get to see the beautiful pictures! Chris just got two rolls of film back from Richards Photo Lab and we both fell in love. What an incredible company!

These trousers are just too great!

Working at Starbucks has opened up so many doors to the little coffee nerd inside me. I love coffee, but not like I do now (Goodness! It has only been a week!). I'm already starting to feel the coffee snob in me come out.
Today, Chris gifted me with a new mug (always some of my very favorite gifts from him!), so we went a head and french pressed some Tribute Blend. We both drank it black. It's just too good not to share.

Today is Earth Day, and Good Friday.
I hope we all get the chance to remember the one that not only died for us, but rose again for us. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. His name resounds in my achey soul tonight.

Good Night.

(p.s. please forgive my awful template of the moment. I promise I'll work on getting on board with all the shweet things I can do to personalize it.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Great Many Things

I was reading a blog that quoted Little Women.

Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.
Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.
Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

I should have been a great many things.

I work at Starbucks. Yet I am also a photographer. I am a person of habit. Yet I am also a person of adventure. I am a person of security. Yet I am also a person who loves stepping out of her comfort zone. I am productive yet lazy, I am loud yet shy.

I am a great many things.

I have spent a lot of time, in this past year and more trying to be one thing. 
The girl that is quiet and reserved, laughs loud, wears hippy clothes from goodwill, and reads a lot. I have taken a lot of time to have the "role" and "look" of a photographer.
But that's not who I am.

I am a great many things. 
And I do not want to be anything less.

That being said, I want to act on every. single. one. of. my. passions.
If you know me deep, you know that I could spend hours on end browsing fashion blogs, "window shopping" online, and much more.
I. Like. Fashion.

This blog is going to get a little remix. Kind of in a huge way, but at the same time not really. My words will still be much the same. They will simply be more frequent.
I am going to start posting fashion things. Things that I wear, things that I find and adore of other people wearing, inspiration lists, and wanted lists. 
I am going to post photography inspiration. I want to take photos more, and act on and share the photos that inspire me. 
I want to be a blogger.
My blog will be a reflection of the great many things that I am.
Fashion. Photography. Words. Inspiration. Everything.

I don't really know where I'm going to go with it, or how it will end up, or what it will look like, but it's going to be something very different for me. I want to open up and let a light shine on all of the great many things that I am.

I am a great many things.
Get ready to know them.