Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shooting at Cans: Sunday Afternoon Fun

I said I would blog about my afternoon shooting!
Rather than doing a "weekend" post, I wanted to give the great fun I had on Sunday its own moment in the spotlight.

Sunday was warm-ish and beautiful!  After church and lunch, I wrote my article about the pageant Saturday night.  Pastor Steve and Trey were going to go around the farm looking at trees for firewood.  But, the Daytona 500 was on television, so they were watching it (due to my near vicinity, I absorbed some NASCAR....more than ever before).

When I heard Pastor Steve mention taking the guns out, I really wanted to go.  So, we all went shooting on the farm.  Trey and I set up Sprite cans on the hillside, Pastor Steve pulled the guns out, and we commenced target practice.

I don't remember the last time I shot a gun (probably a BB gun at camp).  I wanted to shoot the 12-Gauge...but apparently it is loud and kicks hard.  So, I tentatively took the gun....and then became nervous.  I would almost pull the trigger, and then get scared, start to laugh, and make faces...yes, there is a picture.

I did, finally, shoot it.  It wasn't as loud, and didn't kick as hard, as I was anticipating.  The second time I shot it, I didn't pull it tightly into my shoulder, resulting in an injured (ok, sore) bicep.  After my third shot, I decided I would go back to the 22.

We all shot and had fun.  Trey took  special care in turning the cans a certain direction.  And, our Sunday was properly spent.

First shot of the afternoon!

Nervous....about to shoot.  Love that Trey and I are both laughing!

Post shooting.  It didn't knock me over...but it was a jolt.

Monday, February 25, 2013

One Day of My Awesome Weekend!

Yesterday I received the nicest comment from a friend.
She noted the diversity in my life lately, shown through two albums I posted.

In one, I was having lunch and tea with a friend.
In the other, I was shooting a 12-Gauge and a 22 (post to come).

Both were fabulous.

Friday was a snow day.  Instead of subbing in the computer lab at the elementary school, Scarlet and I finally got together!  I tried a delicious Shepherd's Pie and she had the soup.  We sipped Earl Grey tea, and enjoyed catching up on life.

After we lunched, I drove up to the paper and enjoyed hanging out in the newsroom and doing my first editing of the Saturday paper.  Love being a reporter.  I think I need to watch an old reporter movie.  I'm feeling some Cary.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dear Friday: A Busy and Fulfilling Week

I love the starkness of the winter in this photo.
Photo by K.L.R.
Dear Friday,  Thank you for arriving and bringing a snow day with you.
Dear Week, You've been awesome.  Subbing, reporting, hanging out with people...and, I'm blanking on the rest.  It's been busy, to say the least.
Dear Middle School and High School Students, never doubt that I think you all are awesome!
Dear Virginia, I like you.  Your mountains are beautiful.
Dear Elizabeth and Fam, Happy Moving Day tomorrow!!!  I can't wait to see your new house!
Dear Science, Prepare for an English Minor to be teaching you for two weeks...should be interesting!
Dear Feet, I'm sorry I stood on you in five inch heels for a little bit too long the other day.
Dear Pastor Steve and Roy, Thank you for taking care of me and making sure my car didn't explode in my face.  It's nice that some people know about cars so that those of us who don't....can still drive : )
Dear Shaver's, Thanks for letting me live with you part-time!
Dear Jobs, I love you.  Seriously.  Writing and hanging out with students.  How fun!!!
Dear Weekend, Let's have some fun!

P.S. Dear State Troopers, Please leave me alone.  I'm sure you are very nice, but pulling me over when I'm going the speed limit startles me.  Yes, my car is now properly inspected.  Thank you for checking.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Not-So-Starving Starving Artist

I know I just used this photo, but it seems fitting.  And this is my blog
I want to share a little about my jobs.

I am a substitute teacher and a part-time newspaper reporter.

Both jobs are amazing.  I love being around students.  No, I don't anticipate becoming a teacher, but I love youth.  They are fun, full of life, and still so malleable.  It is refreshing to see a younger generation enjoying themselves, learning, and growing up.  My favorite age group is middle and high school.  But, I love all the ages.

Writing for a newspaper is something I didn't think I wanted to do.  Even before attending the World Journalism Institute, I said I would like to do magazine journalism but not newspaper journalism.  Where do I find myself?  Writing for a small town newspaper!  It is fantastic.  I've grown a lot, even in the few weeks I've been writing.  Creating an article is like putting together a puzzle without a picture to reference, and I'm creating the pieces as I go along.

Sometimes I become frustrated that I don't have a job to wake up for every day.  Other times, I fear people's opinions.  Are they thinking I'm a lazy bum?  But, then it dawns on me, I get to write for a living, I get to spend time with kids, and I'm not pinned down to one thing.  So many people envy the "starving artist" persona, and I, in a sense, get to be that for a time.  I'm certainly not starving, but I get to do two things I love...write and spend time with awesome teenagers, pre-teens, and kids (and participate in educating them).

Daddy once gave me a piece of advice.  He told me, "Do what you love, and find a way to get paid for it." (The quote may not be exact, but nonetheless, it's going in quotation marks)

I certainly didn't envision myself as a reporter...even a month and a half ago.  Yet, here I am.  But, as always, God has a plan.  Life is an adventure.  It's exciting, and I can't wait to see what happens next!  For now, I'm spending time with people I love, rebuilding friendships, and gaining a deep love for where I live.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Party in the Sanctuary!

Nearly seven years ago I attended a wedding to beat all weddings.
The bride even sang at her own wedding.
Of course, when the bride is Stephanie Clark, what do you expect?

Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to attend Ms. Clark's licensing ceremony to be an evangelist.
As one of the few white faces in attendance, it was an awesome trip into a community and culture that never fails to leave me with a smile on my face.
I recognized many in the congregation.
Some I went to school with in 8th grade (talk about a while!).
Others I recognized as local pastors.
I looked at the lady sitting next to me and realized I'd seen her leaving church earlier that day.

The choir sang.
The congregation joined in.
Heads bobbing.
And even a little dancing.

Rev. Cannon spoke scripture.
Singing would continue.
It was peaceful.
I heard the words, knew the truth, and sensed a peace in the room.
It was the comfortable feeling that makes you never want to get up.

A community of believers.
All family and friends of Ms. Clark.
Everyone celebrating a lady we love, and embracing her as she starts a new phase.

When Ms. Clark stood to give her sermon, the first words out of her mouth were in song.
She acknowledged and thanked every person in the room for coming.
By every person, I mean, EVERY person.
She called out family, mentors, friends, churches, everyone.

Afterwards, a delicious meal was shared by everyone.
Laughter, talking, food, drink...it was a party.

Last night was the definition and execution of the word community.
The word is often tossed around.
Come to an event like last night, and you will know what it means.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What If She Hadn't Been Given Life?

I think a lot.
My brain is constantly going.
If I'm bored, I come up with something to think about.
I've even been known to make myself sick over analyzing something.

One of my new favorite places to ponder is at the gym.
Specifically, while doing weights.
It is calming and relaxing.
A good thought flow.

Yesterday, and I don't remember how this popped into my head, I began thinking about babies.
I thought about the babies who have been aborted and will never have their potential realized.
The arguments for a woman's right to her own body came into my head.
I thought about murder, and the way people, and our judicial system, view it.

I am not a conservative "women should only be in the home" person.
In fact, I cannot wait to have a career that I love.
One of my thought battles is how to find a balance in life as a woman.
But, I believe everyone has a right to life.

What makes the difference in a life while in the womb versus out of the womb?
Every human being has grown inside a uterus.
What changes during the birthing process that they go from a fetus to a baby?
The baby is the same on the outside as the inside.  Why, then, does the location of the baby give a woman a choice to whether or not her child will live?
We execute murderers.  We give murderers life imprisonment.  We even imprison for accidental deaths under the reason that a life was taken.
Why is that life any different from the one growing inside a woman?

I'm not trying to win a case.  It's just been a while since I vocalized thoughts about the injustice of abortion and my own thoughts on it.

I'm thankful for the mother's of the babies I love for choosing to keep them.  Without those sweet faces, my life would be lacking pieces of joy!

Below are pictures of my cousin, Ami, from ultrasound to this past Wednesday.  Isn't she beautiful!  And, notice in the ultrasound that you can see facial characteristics that she still has! 
Ultrasound; About 5 months along (from the mommy)
Ultrasound; About 7 months along (from the mommy)
Newborn (Photo from Elizabeth, the mommy)

Just over 3 months (from the mommy)
Thanksgiving: 9 months
Summer 2012; 17 months
Christmas 2012; 22 months
This Week (2/13/13); Almost 2 yrs

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent...More Than a Tradition

Lent is upon us.
To be completely honest, I'm feeling a little smug that I just enjoyed a super s'more (super means chocolate, butterscotch, and white chocolate chips).

Lent and I are not the best of friends.  It's the kind of relationship that really wants to happen...but then life happens.  Not being raised in a Lent practicing family, it was a new process in which for me to participate when I first began attending my wonderful Columbia church.

I didn't participate the first year because I was not prepared for it and didn't want to do it meaninglessly.  Last year I prepared and was all set to go.  But, my flesh won.  I just didn't see the point.  I didn't like denying myself.  Also, it became legalistic in my mind...which was not the point.

So, this year, Lent snuck up on me...after thinking about it periodically.  I didn't know if I would participate.  If I participated, I didn't know what it would look like.  I saw someone refer to a Lenten season they once experienced and how much of a growing time it was for them with God.  After much thinking, mulling, praying, journaling, I've entered into Lent, albeit differently than last year.

I would love to hear thoughts on Lent, reading suggestions on Lent (as I'd like to have a greater understanding), and any other thoughts you care to share!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Funny Valentine

Kitty Love from Rillian < 3
Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you found joy in the day in surprising ways!
(Wow, that sounds cliche...but I'm being sincere!)

On this Valentine's Day, I had no expectations, other than not expecting it to be a big deal.  I didn't view it as Singles Awareness Day.  In fact, even when I have a boyfriend/fiance/husband, I want it to be special and unique, not a day to celebrate love commercialization has created.

Anyway, I sleepily awoke, made a cup of tea, and enjoyed catching up on the most recent Downton Abbey. It was a wonderful.

The final (partially eaten) product! Yuuum!
While making breakfast, I commented on three cookie looking things to my Grandmother.  She said, "Well, they were supposed to be a surprise."  I told her I didn't see a thing : )  But, she let me scrape the icing bowls that decorated all the cookies!

Happy guy! I am aware he looks like a giant.  At 6'1", he's not far off ;)
Michael's (my brother) new cell phone arrived.  I found a giant bag of Starbursts for him.  I hid the phone in the Starbursts (Mama's awesome idea).  So, when I handed him the bag, he thought it was awesome.  Then he kept asking about the phone.  I kept avoiding it.  Suddenly, the bag started to ring!  Crazy, right?  Ha, he got this goofy, surprised look of realization on his face.  Surprise=Awesome.

My surprise, special Valentine moments:
-Daddy texted me.
-The FedEx delivery man turned to walk away, and then said, "Happy Valentine's Day!"
-I texted Pastor Steve, telling him I hoped BCHS beat PMHS tonight.  He replied, and added "Happy Valentine's Day."
-Mr. Orr called me to check in, see how I am doing, and to update on AMBEX stuff.  As we were hanging up, he said, "Oh, Happy Valentine's Day!"
-Grandmother gave me a giant sugar cookie covered in peppermint icing!
-Mama brought me loose leaf Earl Grey tea (i.e. practically impossible to find in these U.S. of A).

For part of high school, I kept the books for the JV and Varsity girl's basketball teams.  One Valentine's Day we had an away game.  I was staying with the Shaver's that week, and got home very late.  I checked the kitchen table for any notes they may have left me.  What did I find?  A Valentine's card from Pastor Steve.  So sweet that he had thought of me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life, TV Moments, and That Darn Car

I thought the late nights, writing till the wee hours, ended with university.
Then, I took a job reporting for the newspaper.
Last night, after a particularly long meeting (2hr 1 min), I wrote till 2AM.
A couple of details and proofreading was all that remained for the morning.
I sat in my bed, too tired to get up, brush my teeth, and go back to bed.
Morning came quickly (waking up began at 6 and finished at 7:08).

With my article off to the newsroom, I scurried to get ready (in 35 minutes) to go see Elizabeth and the girls in Roanoke.  Oh my goodness.  Such a great time riding with Kae Lacy and Bella to ROA.  After they went to BSF, I drove see my cousins.  Isabelle and Amelie are so sweet, cuddly, precious, and complete characters!  Love them.  Dearly.  I'm thankful for even the shortest of visits with them.

Shocker of all shocks, I took a nap this afternoon.  Yep.  A rare occurrence in my life.

Do you remember that episode of Andy Griffith where the men all think women are the only sex that gossips?  Well, tonight I heard two men that were a prime example of how wrong Andy and the boys were.  Welcome to rural VA, where all the country stereotypes showcased on TV are REAL LIFE.

Recently cars have this radar called "Kirsten-is-coming-quick-turn-in-front-of-her-and-go-ten-miles-below-the-speed-limit."

Talk about a fast way to make me mad.  Cut in front of me and then drive like we're---oh wait, towns don't have 15mph speed limits.

Well, have a happy night!

Isabelle playing with her Dora dollhouse

Ami...ohmyword. The cuteness.

Being silly and cuddling under her princess blanket :)

Ami kissing her mommy < 3

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cute Attire: A Reporter Must

I've made it my goal to always dress well when covering a story.
None of my jobs have an office.
I don't get to wake up, dress up, and go out for the day.
So, when I get to socialize, I like to keep it classy ;)

Tonight I wanted to wear a skirt or dress (one of my favorite dresses has gone missing, as have my black tights--making me limited to my brown or bright blue tights).

It helps to feel nice while sitting through long meetings, wondering if you are writing down the info you need.

(Sorry, pictures are scarce from this outfit.  I was running short on time...and my camera died.)

 Dress: Bridesmaid from Hannah and Aaron's wedding; Jacket: Borrowed (and never returned) from Ginny; Tights: Gift; Shoes: Target

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Day I Went to Pre-School

Today I substituted for pre-school.
I was hesitant going into the day.
However, exhausted as I am at the end, it was a good day.

The children are so little and sweet.
They are smart little cookies.
And, they speak truth...that can break my heart.

I asked a little boy, while he was rolling out play-doh, if he liked to make cookies with his mommy and daddy.
His response?  "I don't have a dad."

Oh my word.  How do I talk to kids anymore?  I don't want to remind them of what they don't have!

Like I said, I'm pooped.
Destressing with my compy and Miss Congeniality.
Trey's basketball game later.

Happy Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Attempting Fashion Blogging

I love seeing fashion shots, candid photos, and life shared on the blogs I read.
But, I've been hesitant to try fashion blogging.
And, I don't think about taking pictures of myself till it's too late.

However, I have a tripod...I might as well put it to use.

While watching Legally Blonde, I decided to take some self-photos.
During commercials, I tried to figure out how to take shots without a tripod or someone to help me.
But, it was kind of fun : )
And, I get to show you all my cute, leopard print ballet flats (seriously, after I had to finally throw out my last pair, I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair).

Well, happy Sunday evening.
Enjoy the Grammys.
And, have a fabulous week!

Aren't they fab?  Shoes: J.Crew

Favorite lipstick from FACE Stockholm for J.Crew

And, the Queen Is...

Heading into the pageant!
Slacks: J.Crew; Shoes: GUESS; Purse: J.Crew; Bracelets: NY&Co; Ring: Antique Store

Last night I had a new "beat" added to my list.
I covered a local pageant.
And, I will be covering upcoming pageants, as well!
It was slightly surreal, as I remembered competing on that same stage in a different pageant.
My mother pointed out that the purse I carried was my "Charger purse," just as the dress I wore was my "Charger dress." (Long story.  Short version: my high school's colors are black and orange.  Our team name, The Chargers.  My dress was such a vibrant tangerine/orange, we dubbed it the Charger Dress.)

Between growing up and the pageant being an older age group, it was an interesting experience.
I sat critiquing the outfits chosen.
The person I pegged to win, did not win (although, she won audience's choice...so, I don't know what the judges were thinking).

Attending a pageant in the rural south is an interesting experience.
Please, force any visions of Honey Boo Boo out of your mind.
Here, people cheer for the performers, regardless of talent.
Screams of adoring fans go longer than normal.
People's favorite things...are different.
And, chances are, you went to school with at least one person up there (if you aren't me, an outsider, you may have gone to school with half of them).

The Charger Dress.  Isn't it lovely?

Prom 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2013

You See Romance...I See a Reaction

Sometimes I see a picture, and all I can think of are the technicalities.

An example:

Below is a lovely wedding photo.  Romantic.  Celebratory.  Lovey.
BUT, notice her dress.  All romantic, encircling the bride and groom.  What does this mean for the bride?  The poor thing is getting all scratched and itchy from the grass and leaves!

Source: imgfave.com via Kate on Pinterest

I'm done with my dose of reality (I know, usually I'm like, "Stop!  Don't ruin it!")

Someone Asked ME to Write?

Photo by: K.L.R.

Good Saturday Morning!

Recently, a friend from college invited me to guest blog for him.  I was excited and honored by his request (and a little overwhelmed, as you'll see when you read the topic).

Stephen is an awesome guy!  He is very funny (when I got lost going to visit, he told me to, "Look for the good looking CIU student."), a good conversationalist (evidenced in his writing), and a lover of truth.  He married Caroline a year and a half ago, and as far as I know, they are enjoying life together : )

Keep your eyes open, as he will be guest posting over here pretty soon!

But, for today, go check out my post on his blog!  Then, I recommend perusing his other posts.  He is a thoughtful and articulate writer.  He takes an intellectual and philosophical approach to life through his writing, but he doesn't miss the humanity.  I respect his frankness and the ways he expounds on thoughts.

Friday, February 8, 2013

In a Writing Rut

Writing is therapeutic.
It is my creative outlet...that leaves me satisfied.

Do you remember the line from Little Women where Jo talks about having so many stories in her head?

I don't...have 20 ideas in my head, that is.  I remember the line...hence bringing it up : )

But, I do have several.

My problem is completing them.  I was never good at writing conclusions to my papers in school.  It seems that same issue presents itself in my creative writing.

Sometimes, my beginning is so fantastic....it only goes downhill from there.
Other times, I have an incredible idea, story, something that I want to portray beautifully to the world.  How can I put it all to words?

I've tried brainstorming, outlining, etc.  It helps to an extent...but, I am still stumped.

Any thoughts or ideas you have to share would be appreciated!

The Diamond Fell Off!

I just had a deja vu moment.  You know the kind--sitting, minding your own business, perusing Pinterest, and then, WHAM...you remember that dream.

My dreams have a tendency to be...interesting?  Crazy?  Out there?  You might recommend me for counseling if you could watch them happen...

Well, to shorten last night's dream, I think I was about to get engaged.  The diamond FELL OFF the top of the ring (which wasn't a very pretty band to begin with).  Then, I was having a conversation about wedding bands.  I can't remember if I said it or if someone else said it, but someone reminded us that a SIMPLE band could be used.  Then, I remembered I wanted a band with little diamonds in it...a pave setting, I believe it is called (I had to Google to remember).

And no, my dream did not end in a wedding.

Well, that's all.  I just wanted to share the weird moment I just experienced.

Enjoy a few favorites below (I have more on Pinterest):

Source: google.com via Kirsten on Pinterest

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