been doin’ stuff. ain’t been bloggin’.

Huh.

I slacked off, I did.

Oops.

Want some photos?

Really, I don’t know how else to introduce this. “Have a slice of life! Go back pre-Christmas wid I!” Or, “I know people. Here’s their muggies.” Maybe even, “Have fun going back to school, cuz of I aint!”

Did I mention I’ve graduated college?

Ok. Party time!

But before that, some stuff happened. Because Thanksgiving evening, the sibs were swing dancing in the living room and yeah, that’s pretty epic. Have you ever seen a mug shot of people’s feet?wpid-2014-11-27-08.57.51-1.jpg.jpeg

Black Friday is the Official Christmas Decorating Day. Mum’s like, OCDD about it. [Ahahaaaaa bad pun. Sorreh. But not.]

But the point is, KK darlin’ and I put all the pretty red all over Bruno, and I think he actually liked it. Dad did too for about a second and a half and then it had to go. wpid-2014-11-29-02.39.09-2.jpg.jpegThen there’s this chile, who’s basically amazing and I love her and why can’t she come over right now and interrupt me and make me all smiley and stupid? Baby doll child, come home. An order.

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{Today I move from imigraaaaant / to high society!}

Fortuosity, by Tommy Steele, on “The Happiest Millionaire”. That’s what came on spotify at the moment. Go listen to it.

Going forward. The graduated thing! Mumsy had me a surprise party! I love surprises. They got me home and I opened the door and saw the broski! He’s supposed to be at college, so that was a surprise.

“You having friends over?”

“Yeah, cuz that’s – ” but I stopped him; I saw a cake on the table and assumed it was for my sister.

“For Christa’s birthday?”

“No, that’s what you do when there’s a graduation!”

The first realizing begins to happen – snail-paced.

“A party? Why wasn’t I invited?!” #stupidstupidstupid

“Because… it was a … surprise…?”

Oh!

Wow. Some grad I make. Can’t realize when I’ve been given a surprise party! Ha. wpid-2014-12-16-07.32.44-1.jpg.jpegThe lit major failed at Taboo. (That’s I: laugh.)

Kape, get this.

My bestie gotted me coffee, and chat time, AND a SECOND surprise party! May have been some of my best moments this year. But honestly, darling, who doesn’t like coffee and games and surprises and cake and mugs and The Hobbit Premier and all that for a surprise party present?wpid-2015-01-04-02.57.52-1.jpg.jpeg

This is my fave. The peeps are re-doing their floor. So they painted me a graduation congratulation mural on the unfinished floor. And signed it. And yeah.wpid-2014-12-21-08.12.57-1.jpg.jpegSo. Wassa uppa on your end, eh?

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Do Them Hard Things

I had a happy moment last week.

I passed a test. The last test.

I passed the last test.

I still have some courses left, but I have finished the last test. That’s important because so many reasons. It’s college. (I love passing college tests.) I’m working so hard for a collegiate presidential signature to say I’ve learned lots of literature. I started a few years ago and put on my deadline face and worked to be done by this month.

I’m not. I missed a goal. This month came and I had fifteen credits on a spreadsheet tacked to my closet door, watching me even in my sleep. Now there’s less. There’s six. It’s not zero, but it’s not fifteen either.

(That spreadsheet there on the right? Yeah. It didn’t used to be highlighted, but now, what’s done is blue. It’s mostly blue. I’ve mostly shaken my blues. It’s a happy change.)wpid-wp-1411935570685.jpeg

This spring picked me up and threw my plan a ways off and said “Let’s take a ride” and wouldn’t put me down, so we went on a ride and I couldn’t quite reach the plan, laying down there where the dust was.

We were short-staffed at work, and I took a trip, and I failed a test and things were a bit hard and unhappy for a while. Studying was difficult and it didn’t always work, and I took a test and missed it, and I cried.

Now? Now things have looked up. I made a new plan and a new goal, and I’m meeting it. I picked a new graduation and pressed on and jumped wide and hard over the hurdles without skimming my toes on their paint or knocking my knees on their heads.

There was another hard moment too, a while ago. Back before I had my plan planned onto a spreadsheet, I cried and stressed and questioned about which college? And which degree? And in-state? And why would this be so hard on my soul and my happy and my tear ducts?

That’s gone now too. It’s there upstairs being alive and remembered and I’m not inviting it back. I know I’ll cry days and I’ll question days, but I’m not bringing that old furniture downstairs to ruin my happy, promising rooms.

Now I’m being an overcomer, and I’m going to keep trying things and doing things and being afraid of things, and then looking at that feared thing all wide-eyed and stupid-happy and doing it.

Imma keep being a Cliff-Jumper.

(That there rocky spot off my finger – I stood there and shook a wee and flew, and loved it. Photo creds to Bestie, right here.)

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It’s a Monday, and a hard day sometimes, and maybe it’s a Monday month for you, or year. Maybe you just hope it gets easier. It does. You will be ok. Don’t be afraid to jump, darling. So tell me:

What are you scared-silly and brave about?

Lovelies by Others


So I’m stalling.

I’ll admit it.

I’ve got projects going which aren’t finished and just need a girl to sit and do them. But let me mention that usually, twenty-somethings have a lot of somethings to sit down and do? They don’t all always happen.

So what’s happening is some stalling, and some hopefully-I-actually-get-to-that-tonight-ing, and some blogging about other stuff. Let me start – no I’ll end with that. Let me start with an adorable person – Kaylah.

This sweet pic is copied from that post – obs I can’t take any photo credit. I had to though. Look at that sweet tattoo on her right leg. The sheer amount of animal prints and designs in her outfit makes me happy.

So it was ridiculously handy how recently I graduated from highschool, cuz my face ain’t changed. So yeah – that’s a senior picture over there on the profile side of things. But uh – the hair’s changed. It’s mostly gone. I think the most I can claim is about three inches when I stretch it out. Summers? Amazing. Feels like I have shed a wool blanket. Winters? Um. Shivery. Fortunately there’s a good solution that’s all the rage right now. Ain’t I lucky?

gorgeous cowl, nice blog Like the color block and texture at the changes. Definitely adaptable to crochet!

Yay for cowls! I just picked up some yarn to make this. But like I said – there’s projects just wanting a girl.

I did actually make something like this last year, not knowing how handy it would be THIS year. (And you said you wanted to see my short hair anyway, right?)

wpid-wp-1410397850450.jpegNow – I’ll be honest. (It appears to be something I do well, if awkwardly sometimes.)

Much as I want my coffee and cocoa, there’s a yummy recipe over at Paper’n’Stitch for popsicles that sounds heavenly. Can we have another few days of summer just for this please?

Getting back to that amazing thing I wanted to use at the beginning. Actually there’s two things.

I love mountains. I love camping. This person understands. (photo credit to Oleg Grigoryev).

This is one of those things I will do, if I have any say in the matter. Right away? Perhaps not. Maybe not even soon.

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And this song – Oceans, by Hillsong United

Both these things just speak to the soul that is down there, waiting for mountains and fearless living.

What makes you happy this weekend?

Gratefulness

Perhaps it’s an awkward title, but I like it. There’s the because. I sat and listened and lost focus and tried to pay attention in a Bible study, one night. We read Isaiah 53. Mark chatted about it as usual, and then introduced the awkward silence by asking us what our reactions were.

“Gratefulness, I guess,” Caleb said meditatively.

Gratefulness – what an awkward word! my brain spat out. (I didn’t actually say it.) Why not say gratitude?

Yeah I slapped myself for that. Caleb’s a friend, and Christ is my savior, and I wanted to hear a different word? Oh Gianna. I repented then and haven’t stopped. So now I say gratefulness, and count grace, and smile because Caleb knew what was important more than I – Jesus and his mercy.

Thanks for that lesson, dude.

And that’s basically this post. Gratefulness. Happy little things. Learning to count God’s gracious gifts and number them – impossible as it is – in photos and words and happy moments.

So anyway. Here’s my grateful list of today.

wpid-wp-1410181118263.jpegI am grateful for blog ideas. Don’t read too much here. Spoilers, wot! But mostly I took a picture of what I’ve already posted.

wpid-img_20140908_082320.jpgI’m to be a legend folks. That’s just exciting, wot. Time to go #liveacrazydream (more on that when it actually happens. 🙂

wpid-wp-1410182255902.jpegSo maybe, when I take a hand off the steering, I get swerve-y and off and it’s weird, and maybe I almost went in the ditch. But maybe not, if you’re of the gracious ones. But the biking was a fun time, anyway.

wpid-wp-1410182069077.jpegAnd sunsets are always a good time. Especially if you’re biking. And picturing. And smiling. And it’s autumn. Win-win-win-win-win (and yeah, I just actually counted all that.)

wpid-wp-1410181844749.jpegYeah so it’s cocoa weather, and pleasepleaseplease don’t try to tell me it’s still 70 during the day, because it’s cocoa’n’coffe’n’hoodie weather, which is my favorite. Have your seventies, sweeties. I’ll drink my cocoa.

wpid-wp-1409284661537.jpegThese people are awesome. Like on the right, there’s KK. She’s my awesome sister, as somebody boldly pointed out the other day. But yeah, I’m already aware. I mean – she’s the one taking herself a selfie, here, with a phone she didn’t have permission to use. (Darn you, girl.)

Then on the left, there’s a bestie (so maybe my bestie and I both blog) and I really didn’t know it was possible for anybody besides God to know me so well. Gosh, girl. How does you does it?

wpid-wp-1410181687881.jpegSpeaking of that girl, she gave me this book, which has been designated the thankfulness journal. Lookit all the writing there. God is good, isn’t he?

wpid-wp-1410181542058.jpegOh um. There’s dirt under my nails. I play ultimate and do crazy outside stuff. So it happens. I’ll be grateful for that too. *awkward grin*

Note coffee on that list.

Yeah. I really like my coffee.

Tell me something you’re grateful for. I’d love to hear.

Just a Little Life

I’ve got this lovely idea to tell a coffee story and include an iced coffee recipe, but I can’t seem to get the right pictures. Rawr. So instead you get to know what I’ve been doing lately.

Lots, for one. I’ll illustrate. wpid-wp-1409763247716.jpeg

 

Ah, mornings. I got me a lap-swimming pass, some goggles and a new suit. Time to make them all pay for themselves. I wake up at 6 and begin to doubt every shred of benefit I’ve heard comes from exercise. Really, GG. You are stupid to be up right now. Then I swim. Then at 7:30, I can pat myself on the back for having eaten, worked out and showered all so early. So yeah. This early morning photo was AFTER I swam. Crazy me.

 

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So I had a half-hour of time. I went for a walk. There was a half-squishy (not turribly squishy, just a little soft) apple lying on the sidewalk. Looked yummy enough on the parts that weren’t squishy, and I felt adventurous. I also found a bottle cap. So the walk, the apple and the bottle cap became a picture. That is all. (By the by, I was right. The apple was sweet and tangy – everything an apple should be.)

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You must remember hearing how much I love food.

It hasn’t changed. This photo grew out of the fact that we had tomatoes, chicken, peppers, spinach and mushrooms in the fridge, but no idea what too eat. KK googled a recipe. We ended up sauteing onions and mushrooms first (while cooking chicken separately), then adding in the above mentioned ingredients. We finished by layering it in a 9×13 pan with uncooked spaghetti (shoulda been lasagna…). It was good, but we definitely should have waited for lasagna noodles. The spaghetti stuck together and didn’t cook thoroughly. But hey for adventures and mostly-yummy meals and creativity!

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Do you blow bubbles? I blow bubbles. It’s amazing. It’s also very difficult to photograph.

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Mmmmcamping. I am sweetly endeared to places where we’ve been camping. I get a bit possessive of these places, especially after we’ve been there several years and I know them well. I’m thinking of Frost.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.

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All weekend I was trying to put my phone down and spend time with my family (gosh we have a good time together). At the same time, I just wanted to take pictures of so many things! So I compromised by showing them some of the photos and asking for adulation. Satisfactory, right? They’re such a great crowd. Oh, and notice the little brother in blue, posed like he’s gonna catch something. So my family’s weird too. Dad didn’t want to carry everything from the truck (he was standing beside me) to the table. So he tossed it to my siblings.

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Campfires. That is all.

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It’s september, and the word is magic. The first day rolled in bright and chill and the last shred of grudge I held against the early-turning leaves dissipated in the joy of autumn. Autumn. The word rolls over my tongue in a sweet sigh.

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KK! You have to get a picture of that crazy car! Isn’t it just amusing?

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I am completely taken with his asymmetrical ears and that soft, soft fur. Beorn, you amazing puppy, come home with me please? (Also, what better name than Beorn for a full German Shepherd still growing into his sizeable heritage?!) He didn’t come home with me. But we’d have been perfect for each other, I know.

How was your weekend, everybody?

Happy autumn!

The Dailies

There’s a lovely soul I know. She (Ann Voskamp) talks about counting grace and giving thanks and trying trying to keep your pen and grace-list up and speedy with God’s grace to you. It’s been a struggle for me – me who loves and ponders words and holds laughter like a mis-timed jack-in-the-box that springs up unwarranted. Me who answers pastor’s “Are you in love with life” pulpit question with the slickest, happiest “yes, I love life”. Me who counts blessings separate in each little leaf and moon-beam and joke.

But much as my little heart wanders from joy to thirst with the quickness of a deserter, so also God’s grace is something I cannot stop declaring.

It’s in my name.

Gianna. God is gracious.

My existence, my handle, my identity all declare his glory and generosity.

I love it that way. I love the way my name testifies to his love, and my pen can testify to his faithfulness in all the little daily things.

So that’s what this list is – the dailies. The sweet, the spicy, the beautiful and ponderous and laughable and shocking and happy and intelligent (maybe.)

Happy Monday!

Giant bubbles with rainbow skin shrinking back in a slow, soft pop? Yes.

This happy, random story. Ah, but to be there. (Photo cred to Inna at Paperraindrops).

Dailies - Anni's Post

Society6 has lovely art, and Takmaj has some of the loveliest. Find some of it here.

Dailies - art

Those lyrics, and that cheer. Amen.

Then rain came down an artist, and painted everything bright and beautiful.

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Grace always!

-GG