April 13, 2018

One does not simply get a job and keep it

Hi, my friends!

Well. I know I've been gone from the blogosphere for longer stretches than this, but it feels longer. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.

Before I go on, be warned that this post is heavily laced with sarcasm and overloaded with gifs. It's all true, but my reactions may be a little...exaggerated. :P
This is exactly Peter's thoughts right here. << sooooo perfect!

It's also full of craziness. Because my life has been crazy lately.

Onward to insanity!

-My family just moved across-the-state.  (Without professional movers, mind you. You don't realize how much junk everyone owns until you're packing it all in boxes and wondering how people lived back in the 1800's when apparently we can't live without ten thousand picture frames, five seasons of Little House in the Prairie (which we rarely watch), a record player and our old childhood train track.)

-Days after moving into our rental house, I (stupidly) began applying for jobs on indeed.com, thinking it would take at least two or three weeks before getting a call. Guess what? I proceeded to get interviews set up in a matter of days.

-I got two interviews, one for a hotel front desk position that asked stupid questions like "what's the most constructive personal criticism you ever received?" "where do you see yourself in five years?"

-The second interview was way more laid back and normal. It was a hostess position at a popular "family" restaurant that you can see on every other exit sign across America. (No, not Cracker Barrel, the other one.) The manager actually offered me the position about halfway through the "interview" and....after going home and talking about it with my parents, I accepted. I mean, why not, right? I've been trying to get a job for practically a year now, and I was always kind of intrigued by the restaurant business. (Basically because one of my favorite childhood computer games was Diner Dash.)

Sooooo....I finally got a job! I could earn money now!

-I went in to do scary paperwork like taxes and stuff; things I've never had to deal with before. It wasn't actually as bad as I thought but that's only because mommy helped me understand it all BEFORE I went in. (haha)

-I went shopping for all-black shoes and black shirts for said job because apparently they have a dress code. *shrugs*

-I started my first day....the same day my dad started HIS first day at his job. (I DID NOT PLAN THIS. We all were pretty much sitting around looking at each other the night before like, "How.....how did this happen?")

-I got up at 6:30 for said job. Ugh. (Let's be real, that's when I started to think about quitting. haha)

-I started work. I guess I was really scared because a customer told me I looked terrified. I laughed and told him "well, it's my first day". He was nice about it and actually made me laugh at myself and relax a bit. But still. YEAH I'M TERRIFIED I'M A CHILD.

-I also got scared stiff by the "map" that shows where guests have to sit, according to how many waitresses are working. On the outside I was like....


But on the inside....

I. would. never. learn. how. to. do. this. Dishonor on me! Dishonor on my family! Dishonor on my cow! 

-Funny thing happened. By about noon I had learned the chart so well that I was practically seating all the guests. :P (See how I overreact?) Later on, the shift manager even told me I was doing such a good job and that she felt confident enough to give me my own register tomorrow, so that I could be responsible for handling customers' pay. It was so nice to hear!! Someone had confidence in me. Ahh thank you, Mrs. Lynde, I shall always consider you a benefactress.


-Speaking of benefactresses, there were plenty of people who didn't seem to care at all that it was my first day (like, I'd say, "sorry, it's my first day" and get little to no reaction. Thanks, people. :P) But there was one lady who was SO SWEET and every time she saw me she'd ask how it was going and would say things like "you've got this!" and I was just...agh. There are still nice people in this world, guys. <3

 -But now for the bad news. At the end of my measly 6 hour shift, I was in a lot of physical pain. See, I had scoliosis surgery when I was young and since then chronic back/neck pain is pretty much something I deal with on a daily basis. It varies day by day, and thankfully most normal days aren't too bad. But certain things (sitting for a long time, uncomfortable chairs, dehydration) can trigger it and I was definitely feeling it after standing for pretty much 6 hours straight.

I really hate to use this pain as an excuse, because my pride rebels. :P I hate feeling "weak" or unable to do what everyone else my age can do easily enough.

I wish I was one of those farmgirls who can lift hay bales and do manual labor, no problem. But....yeah, I'm not. I can't even stand around for 6 hours.


I'm sure my pain was partly due to stress and tension as well, but when I came home and told my parents all about it and we weighed out all the pros and cons (biggest con being that my pain didn't go away until nighttime, even after some painkillers. My shift only ended at 2:00!) I decided I was just going to quit. Being that I was on training, I didn't need to go in the next day. I kept going back and forth, stressing about it. I didn't want to quit. I wanted to give it a second chance. But just one day was enough to tell me I wouldn't last long at this job anyways. My pain was the deal breaker. But there were  dozen other things I disliked about the job, and I knew that if I stuck it out it'd be only a matter of time till I found a new one. And that wouldn't particularly be fair to the restaurant, to train me and invest time and money into me for only a month or two of work.

#me quitting :P

-This sounds pretty wimpy, but another major thing I disliked about the job was the amount of responsibility the hostess has. I would have to seat guests, check them out at the register, box bakery items, do some light cleaning, and take carry-out orders on the phone. And if I messed one of this things up, I could have a bunch of angry waitresses or customers on my hands and THAT'S JUST SCARY.

And I hadn't even started to learn how to do carry-out orders yet.

And that involved answering the phone.


-I called the next morning and told them I wasn't coming in. They were way cooler about it then I expected, especially due to dreaming about it the night before. I frequently dream about things I'm stressing out about doing. Like later that week when I dreamt about going in to drop off my apron and name badge. But when I did that, it again wasn't as bad as I thought. I'm such a drama queen.

But yeahhh. Anyways. To say my life has been strange lately is an understatement. 

(And that's only the condensed version of SOME events. I feel like more craziness has happened to me in the last month than in some years. It's been insane.)


To balance the craziness of this post, here on some happy things:

 I just read The Witch of Blackbird Pond and ahhhh it was so good. I may review it sometime. (I WANT to.....but there's been plenty of blog posts I've wanted to write and never did. RIP.)

• When my parents are gone my brother and I have such crazy parties. The most recent time they were gone, we played a Lego video game and rented Jurassic World on clearplay and when mom and dad came home they brought pizza. Ahh, that was great. We're off the chain. :P


•Watching the 4th season of Road to Avonlea and shipping Gus and Felicty HARD. They're so cute. <3 <3 <3 (That part when he said, "That's my girl" after she came back from Kingsport? AWWW FEELS.)

•I recently made some cinnamon scones and blueberry scones and ohhh they were so good. Here's the cinnamon recipe and here's the blueberry.  (Hint: I used heavy cream instead of milk for the blueberry glaze and that made it like 10x even better.) (But either way, that recipe was pretty amazing.)

Words of encouragement from mr adam young himself

•I bought The Greatest Showman on dvd and just watched it yesterday with my parents (who hadn't seen it yet) and brother. It was just as good as the first time. And my parents liked it!!! Yay!! :D

•This video that some friends ( this person and this person) showed me and my brother:


I know it's crazy, but I laugh every time and my brother and I quote it WAY too much. 

This video is just so darn cute, awww. YOU CAN DO IT, PUPPY! ♥

•Owl City's new song New York. Ahhhhhhh GUYYYSS. I LOVE IT. And the music video is just perfect. Here you go:



•This meme, below. It's so true.

YES IT IS


All right, I have to stop and save some of this for my REAL "lately" post. Which may be a long time coming, because spring does NOT want to seem to arrive. :P

Love y'll so much!! If you made it through this post, congratulations! You're a trooper.

So...how have YOU been lately?

March 13, 2018

Lately//Winter 2018

The task of writing and posting my "Lately" post for winter 2017-2018 has been on my to-do list forever. Since December, I think. So here I finally am. Just in time for spring! :P (ha)
.
Let's jump right in. Lately I've been....

Moving!
Well, that is I will be moving. Very soon. My family is in the chaos of another move yet again. Thankfully it's not from totally opposite ends of the country like last time, just to a different area of our state. Nevertheless, it's a whirlwind of mixed emotions—fear and excitement and doubt and hope. My parents have long wanted to move to this new area we're about to call home. And though I have certain regrets and fears about the whole matter, God's hand has been undoubtedly in this process—so I'm trying my best to trust His plan and not my limited sight. That's all I'll say for now. If I go AWOL from the blogging world, you'll know why! (Although I'm hoping that won't happen.)


Reading:
~I finished reading the Harry Potter series back  in December. I still want to write a post about that series sometimes. *squints into the hazy, far-distant future* Yup. Sometime. (Suffice to say I LOVED the series and I'd definitely recommend them, as far as your conscience allows for it. I know some people have their doubts regarding the series and that's totally fine. I may share my own thoughts on the matter someday. :))

~I re-read An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott and found afresh how delightful and touching this story is. Even with the antique flavor of a by-gone age, this book contains a heroine that is so relatable. She struggles with so many things we struggle with now-a-days--finding joy and contentment in our day to day life, whether it's at home or work, learning how to build healthy, meaningful relationships, and being the best possible version of yourself that you can be. I just...really love this book. It conveys so many beautiful truths and lessons, without being preachy or moralistic. Though anyone can enjoy it, I think it's an especially inspiring read for us girls, because it deals so much with what we women should aspire to be—in any age. It encouraged and convicted me in so many areas, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

~Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Yeah, this lived up to its name. Because Marissa Meyer must be heartless to write such a depressing story. It was brilliant and humorous and wonderful (ha).....until. That Happened. And That. And That. Ughhhh. If I ever read it again, I may not read the ending because IT'S SO SAD.
(Guys. Jest is so precious. <3)

~I read Meeting God at Every Turn by Catherine Marshall and WOW. This spoke to my heart, touching on many different topics, but mostly on the topic of trust. Trust for God's plan, His purpose, and His guidance. This book was beautiful. I already knew I love Catherine Marshall's writing, but this book cemented the opinion for me. She has such a way of writing that makes you feel you're reading a personal letter from her, not a book published for millions to read. Please put her on your to-read list, especially this one. It contains so much truth and encouragement.
Food for thought... “A Christian has no business being satisfied with mediocrity. He's supposed to reach for the stars. Why not? He's not on his own anymore. He has God's help now.” from Christy by Catherine Marshall

~Courtesy of a very dear friend (*waves*), I was introduced to George MacDonald's writing this winter, with The Fisherman's Lady and The Marquis' Secret. And I'm quite a fan now. ;) His writing is lyrical and full of God's Truth. I love that real, raw issues are dealt with in the story (very carefully, of course) and shown in the light of God's goodness. The hero never conforms to evil, but he never shys away from confronting it and calling it out, either. (Malcolm, the hero, is totally deserving of a the title of "hero". There are very few fictional heroes that truly embody that word, in every sense of the word. But he totally does.)


Watching:
(For the record, I've been compiling this list of movies as far back as autumn, not winter. So hang on to your hats, it's going to be quite a list.)

(Also, many of these movies were watched on Clearplay, so I can't vouch for the content of all of them. Please use your own discretion when choosing what to watch, but if you have questions, I'd be happy to answer them. :))

The Finest Hours
This movie was so good. It's based on a true story about the Coast Guard in February 1952, in Massachusetts. I loved the tense excitement of the plot, the romance between Bernie and Miriam, and the determination and bravery of those men—the men on the sinking tanker (especially the engineer) and those who set out to rescue them, despite the opposition of their superiors. To me, it was a story about doing the right thing, no matter what the odds. And it was epic.

(Also, hearing Chris Pine and Holliday Grainger and all the actors put on New England accents for the whole movie was too cool.)

Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), D. A. Brown (Michael Raymond-James) and the rest of the crew of the SS Pendleton struggle to keep their ship from sinking in Disney's THE FINEST HOURS, the heroic action-thriller presented in Digital 3D(TM) and IMAX (c) 3D based on the extraordinary true story of the most daring rescue in the history of the Coast Guard.


Captain America: Civil War
Guuyyyyyss. Every time I watch a Marvel supehero movie I think "YES. THIS IS THE BEST ONE." But then I watched this one.....and I think this may be the best one. Maybe. I don't know. :P

I have a lot of feels about Marvel that would not fit into this post, so I better save them for another day.

Guardians of the Galaxy 1 &2
GROOT. (That's all I'm going to say for now.) (Also, Rocket Racoon.) (And just...so much. <3)
groot, Marvel, and guardians of the galaxy Bild

Naploeon Dynamite
At the urging of some friends, my family watched this movie and....I'm still not sure what to say. It. Is. Hysterical. But weird. And cringey. Mostly weird. Basically, you should watch it but you may hate me afterwards. :P (But honestly, Anna, you were right. It's ridiculously quotable. ;D)
Image result for napoleon dynamite tina gif
I don't know why this scene cracks me up so much, but it does xD



The Greatest Showman
Short opinion? LOVED IT. Long opinion? Read my review here.

The Last Jedi
*Sigh* This would take much longer to go into than I have time for. Let's just say, there were certain parts I REALLY liked, but on the whole I found the movie much too meandering for my taste. I expected BIG things to happen, especially regarding the characters and the choices they make and the relationships between them all. I feel as if this story is still beginning too much, and how are they ever going to wrap it all up in only one movie???

Poe was epic, though. As usual. Whatever happens, I'm on his side. :P


Me: POE YES

While You Were Sleeping
Awww, this movie!! This was adorable and funny and just so darn cute. (Also, I may or may not have fell just a little bit in love with Jack in this movie....which is weird and awkward, as he plays Brian Denton in Newsies. :P)

Road to Avonlea
My mom and I are in the middle of watching this show, and all I can say is "where have you been all my life??" This show feels like happiness and childhood mixed together. <3 I absolutely adore it.
Reminds me of Road to Avonlea :)

The Jungle Book
Now THIS was really cool. Yes, granted, it's very different from the original. But I hardly minded, because a) to be honest, The Jungle Book was never one of my favorite Disney movies. And b) I just found this version so exciting and colorful. I really enjoyed it. :) Bill Murray as Baloo was hysterical, and I loved Bagheera. Mowgli was great, too. And though I think it's a little strange that he didn't end up leaving the jungle, I'm glad they didn't have him leave just because he saw a pretty village girl and decided to follow her. I never liked that about the end of the original. :P

(I do  need to re-watch the original, though, to refresh my opinion.)

Pete's Dragon
This movie gets an A+ on the aesthetic. Between the plaid shirts and the towering pines and the varying shades of green, I felt completely immersed in northern wonder and ready to take a road trip to Canada or wherever it is that it's so beautiful. Pete and Elliot were both very cute (also Jack, for that matter) (just sayin') (cough), but my brother and I both agreed that the story was kind of draggy and slow. Still, we enjoyed it.
(And yet the ending made me sob like a baby, I don't know whyyyy)
(Yeah, I do. Because I'm overemotional, that's why. :P)

Petes dragon 2016
Peter Rabbit
Now this I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did! It was hilarious! I loved it. I still am not 100% in approval of the "modern" take on Miss Potter's lovely characters....but it hardly matters, considering how happy I felt walking out of the theater. If you're in doubts about seeing this movie, doubt no more. It's bright and funny and BRITISH. ♥ Go see it. (Then we can talk about the cute animals, the lovely British countryside, the adorable romance, the music...basically everything.)

Thor Ragnorak

The whole plot of Thor and Loki's sister was boring in my opinion. And kind of ridiculous. How many secrets does this family have?? But most of this movie was so hysterically funny that anything that annoyed or bored me didn't really matter. Seeing Thor and Bruce Banner work together was GREAT.  (Tony and the gypsy. xD) And Loki was priceless, per usual. And then there was this scene....
Funny Pictures | Memes | Thor | Hulk

Writing:
Not much, I'm afraid. Most of my writing-related energy has gone into brainstorming, especially after some tantalizing ideas presented themselves for the characters in the fairytale retelling series I'm planning/writing/editing, etc. But you'll have to wait to find out more..... ;)

Listening:

This ^^^ is amzing. I only recently started listening to the The Gray Havens, and they have a LOT of good songs, but this one is definitely one of my favorites.

Also...

Son of David by Ghost Ship (W O W)

By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North (really encouraging ♥)

Nobody Knows by the Lumineers (I can't decide if this song makes me feel adventurous or sad. :P)

Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift (this is saaaddd)

Newsies: The Broadway Musical Audio (you're welcome ;))

Going to Camp!
This past January, I went to a camp for the first time ever in all of my 19 years. It was a weekend "college and career" camp and I had the company of two friends from church so it wasn't too scary. ;) (All right, I'll admit: I felt a teensy bit homesick by the end of it all, but mostly because I was just so darn tired.)

Despite being exhausted, it was a fantastic weekend. We went tubing in the snow, ice skated late at night, drank cocoa in the dinging hall, among other things. The speaker for our chapel preached a really good message and I can't wait to (hopefully) go again next year.

(Although hopefully it won't be so freezing like it was this time. If I remember correctly, we rarely had temperature above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. :P)
. January . Winter Travel, Adventures & Discoveries

Learning:
That trusting God isn't something to learn once ~ That whenever my mom scolds me for "wallowing" in my depression over certain issues (because I'm prone to do that lol) I always realize she's right, even if I don't want to hear it at the moment :P ~ That change is okay, even when it hurts ~ That forgiveness is REALLY important and so worth it ~ That just because life has to change, doesn't mean it won't be as wonderful as it was before ~ Being joyful and grateful takes determination

And most importantly, that no matter what changes in my life, Christ is steadfast.
“In Christ Alone" by Owl City // Phone Screen format // Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/worshipwallpapers // Follow us on Instagram @worshipwallpapers


*Sigh*. I guess that's all! I wish I could have gone into more detail on a LOT of the things I talked about in this post, but I really must get this post done with. I'm currently in bed with a cold and tomorrow my family has some tasks to accomplish regarding our move, so I hope I can get better in time to be a more helpful member of the family. haha ;)

Hope you're all doing fantastic and that you're NOT sick like me!! I can't wait for spring at this point....I'm ready for some warm weather. :)

What have you been doing this winter, friends?
Are you looking forward to spring, or do you wish winter would last longer?

February 28, 2018

a story about the sky


I've always struggled with worry. It comes and goes in different forms, sometimes dramatic and looming, sometimes small but constant. Lately I've had to deal with little bursts of worry that explode in my face. I shield myself only to look up and see another one coming.

A lot of things are changing for me right now (I could write about hundred posts about the emotional ups and downs of it all, but hopefully I can do at least one soon) (just about the specific change, not the emotional side, don't worry I won't bore you with that). But through it all one verse I've always loved has given me immense comfort.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8)

I have a love/hate relationship with change. I love uncharted, exciting adventures, mixed with tantalizing dreams and plans and challenges.

I hate giving up thing I have loved, whether it be places or people or things that remind me of places and people and eras I can never live over again. (I feel like an old woman sometimes. For goodness sake's, Natalie, you're 19 not 90. You have your whole life ahead of you. :P)

Today, after a morning and early afternoon of feeling tired and worried but bound to accomplish some tedious tasks, I went outside with a cup of tea, my Bible, a book, and a notebook.

Before I did anything, I just sat and breathed in the steam of my tea and looked at the sky. And looked again.

Endless blue, giant clouds carefully shaped into billows and swirls, warm light gilding their edges.

It made my worries feel so small. The sky right above me was so great and glorious—and it was only a patch of the entire great and glorious sky made by an even greater and more glorious Creator.

I read my Bible and prayed and sipped my tea till it grew too cool to enjoy any longer. I felt thankful, looking at the sky. Because my worry will come and go but Jesus is constant. His power beyond anything in this world is constant. His love for me is constant.

And so is His love for you. ♥