October 13, 2012

The Weekly Review

Wow! Where to begin with this week? There were so many incredible highlights, but I also feel pretty exhausted from everything. I guess I will just start with Monday, as usual.

Monday:
I went to the grocery store with my mom, since it's the typical Monday routine. As soon as we got home, we heard that President Obama had just landed. I'm not an Obama fan, but the President is the President, so my mom and I drove out to the airport to see the plane. Well, we couldn't see the plane, so we were about to turn to head to the old terminal, when the cops put up orange cones, so we couldn't move. He didn't tell us anything, just kept walking. We were really confused at what was going on, so we asked the guy across the way from us, who said it would be twenty minutes before we could leave, because the motorcade would be passing that way. Why they couldn't let just one more car go, I don't know...But, I'm glad they did stop us, because that's something I've always wanted to say that I was able to do. I couldn't believe how fast they were going; it was insane. We stopped at WalGreen's on the way home, because they are now selling a ton of Taylor Swift school supplies. Luckily, they did have a few things and I was SO happy. The rest of the day was pretty normal from there.


                                            video



Tuesday:
I had my creative writing class, so I carpooled with my friend, Michele, again. She filled me in all about her new internship that she's doing with the city, so that was cool to hear her stories. When we got to Taft, I went to the library, as I've been doing the past couple weeks to kill time before my class starts. My friend, Amanda, from class was there, so we talked all about critiques and how interesting the class is.
Class finally started, and I was so nervous after submitting my next assignment. I had decided to do a narrative, non-fiction type thing, and I was just waiting for everyone to hate it. I was really surprised at how many people liked it, except for one of the same girls who said it wasn't her "cup of tea," but oh well. You can't please everyone, and this class is definitely helping me realize not to take everything to heart. Even our teacher really expressed how much he liked it, and that I should continue with it, so I remember more details and things like that.
I had a horrible sore throat that day, so I didn't feel good at all. I wanted to just lay down on the couch and sleep, but my best friend was supposed to come over, and I was really looking forward to that.

We were going to just postpone it, but I took some DayQuil and was okay for the time being, so she still came over. We had so much fun! She's one of those people that we can just spend hours talking, and not run out of things to say. Good thing too, because that's exactly what we did. We sat on my bed and gabbed about anything and everything that came to mind. They were quite eventful conversations, let me just say. "I cannot..." was a big topic of discussion, and just how annoying it is. But, it became our thing, and it was hilarious.
I got this in the mail, and I don't even really remember sending it.



Wednesday:

I woke up at 3:30 a.m extremely sick...Once again, that's a normal occurrence, so I'm used to it. I was throwing up, feeling miserable; took some medicine and tried to get comfortable. I watched a little TV, and fell asleep close to 5, waking up again a little after 9. I stayed in my pj's all day, watching One Tree Hill and whatever else I could find. I wanted to get better before all of the family came in for my grandpa's birthday. It was a really nice fall day to just be at home.

Thursday:
There were a lot of preparations for the family still left to be done. I felt really blah still, and debated on going to class, but since a new project was being introduced, I decided to go. I spent the morning relaxing on the couch, watching the KTLA morning news, and drinking coffee. There was really no better way to start the day. Luckily, my friend didn't have to pick me up until 10, so I got to sleep in a little too, which was awesome.



My creative writing class was a little low in attendance, so it felt more laid back. He talked to us about submitting our work to a magazine. I had no idea there were so many places in publication or how much really goes into the process of submitting. That's a big assignment that is due, so I'll have to do some research in how I want to do it.
The drive home from Taft was beautiful; the sky was dark and gray, looking close to rain and thunderstorms. You can definitely tell that fall is in the air.


I came home and was pooped out. My grandma was there when I got back, because they were waiting on my grandpa to bring the car over so my aunt and uncle would be able to use it while they're here. I had thought about going, but I had no energy, so the three of them went without me. I decided to make lunch, and while they were gone, there was a phone call from Burbank. I almost didn't answer it because I figured it was something with politics, but then I thought, "What if it's Ellen?" My mom and I had been writing in for about a month, as soon as I found out that Taylor Swift would be on the show. The lady asked for my mom, and I told her she wasn't there, so I took a message and told her I'd have her call back as soon as she got home. I was freaking out on the inside, and immediately text my mom. I really didn't feel like eating lunch or finishing homework after that. But, I did it. It was so hard focusing and not getting anxious the rest of the night.
Around 7, or possibly a little before, we got another phone call from Burbank. This time it was for me. She explained that I had been selected for Taylor Swift's performance on the Ellen show, and that she would perform about five songs. I was SO excited! I couldn't believe that it had actually worked! So, I booked the tickets and was posting it on Facebook/Twitter, and calling my dad. Things could not be more perfect. I also don't understand why certain people can't just be happy for others, and feel the need to belittle their experiences just because they're jealous. GET OVER IT AND YOURSELF. Alright, I'm done.
That night, we ate dinner and hung around for a bit, because we had to pick my aunt and uncle up at the airport around 10. I was so excited to see them, even though it had only been two weeks since the last time. I blasted Taylor in the car, in honor of all the excitement with her, and I was pumped. We sat in the lobby of the airport, while I rambled quotes from One Tree Hill and texted my friend, Sarah about The Vampire Diaries. I couldn't wait to get home to watch.
My aunt and uncle came in, and my dad started doing jumping jacks in the middle of the airport to greet them; it was awesome and I love him for it. He's never afraid to just have fun; doesn't matter where we are. We came home after that, because my other aunt and uncle would be meeting us there too. It was a big family gathering, as we all stood in the kitchen, catching up with one another. If you haven't caught on already, I really love being with family and all the togetherness. It gives me warm and fuzzies inside.
After everyone started getting ready for bed, I was finally able to watch The Vampire Diaries and I was SO excited. That deserves its own post alone, so stay tuned.



This time around, I'm going to include Friday in my "weekend" post, so be on the lookout for that as well.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend :)

~Shelby




October 11, 2012

It's Finally Feeling A Lot More Like Fall

The Vampire Diaries Flashbacks


In honor of the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries premiering tomorrow night, I decided to look up some videos on YouTube of my favorite scenes. After watching Damon and Elena, it's quite possible that I might be turning to Team Delena. GASP! I never thought I'd say that, because I was for Stefan from the beginning. However, when he went off the deep end, I found it really hard to love him through it. So, kudos to Elena for doing that. Anyway, part of me is starting to think that Damon loves her more than Stefan, but he's always the second pick, and Stefan is the beloved who gets everything he wants. So many thoughts, so many feelings...Ah! I'll probably change my mind before tomorrow night anyway, and all throughout the season. They're both good for her in different ways. I can't wait to see how it all goes down this season. It sounds like there will be a lot of twists and a lot of different elements this time around, so we shall see!

I think Damon is my favorite character, partially because I think Ian Somerhalder is perfect for the role, and another reason is that his sarcastic and witty lines are just genius. Here here are some of my favorites:

Damon: You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger...I want you to get everything you're looking for. But, for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Bonnie: It was her call.
Damon: Know what else was her call? Every bad thing ever.

Damon: Dear diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie, will haunt me, forever.

Damon: Dead vampire is redundant 

Elena: Why don't you ever let anyone see the good in you?
Damon: When people see good, they expect good. And I don't want to live up to anyone's expectations.


Here is a Delena montage I found .

Here is a Stelena montage I found.

Also, this is how Vampire Diaries fans watch the show. Honestly, if you're a true fan and have watched from the beginning, this girl makes such a great point. HAHA! So, if you couldn't tell before...I am excited about tomorrow. Expect a full review on tomorrow night's show! YAY!

That's all for now,
Shelby

October 10, 2012

Nashville Series Premiere


Alright, I've been really excited about this show since they first started talking about it whenever. I was getting even more pumped for it after seeing Hayden Panetierre at CMA Fest to promote the show, and watching the first fifteen minutes of the pilot several nights in a row at LP Field. I tuned in tonight to watch, after hearing so many great reviews from my "country music" friends on Twitter.

Well, I love the scenery and the soundtrack, seeing as it is Nashville and all of the music is country. Right up my alley, so with that I was sold. I also love the concept that we've never seen something on a scale like this established as a TV show. It's only usually movies that we see the rock star lives portrayed; that alone makes this interesting to see how it will play out. However, the story lines are a bit hard to follow and right now the characters just don't seem very likable to me. It didn't feel like we were watching the pilot; it felt like we were seeing what would've been the second or third episode. There were a lot of back stories to each character that were only hinted around, but not quite fully developed, and they were jumping around so much, it was hard to stay straight with who was who, other than the main two. Or maybe it was just because my parents were talking in some of the important spots...Not sure.  

I'm sorry, but why do all of the plots in TV shows and movies about country artists  tend to be so stereotypical and dark? I get that there's always going to be a "business" side of Nashville/country music that we don't see, but is it really like this? Not all country artists (or artists of any genre for that matter) are fame hungry and deceitful behind the scenes. There are plenty of artists out there that are (shocker) still faithful to their spouses, live a normal life, have kids and take them to soccer practice, all while living out their rock star fantasies that they've had since they were five. It all ends up feeling very Country Strong; depressing and sad. I really hope that isn't the case with this one.

I look forward to seeing how things progress in the next episode and even the one after that to decide whether I really want to keep watching or not. I'm intrigued to see how some of the characters tie together and what becomes of it all. But, if nothing else, this show did remind me of my love for Nashville and made me replay some really incredible memories back there, as they showed clips at the Grand Ole Opry and The Bluebird Cafe. One of these days I will live back there, pursuing a career in Country music, somehow, someway. It will always have such a special place in my heart and I hope to visit again someday soon. If you've never been....What are you waiting for?!

That's all for now,
Shelby

The Weekend Review

Saturday:
So, obviously you know that most of Saturday was spent at church for the women's conference, and I was so sad to see it come to an end. I learned so much, and like Pastor Lydia said, "If we aren't growing, we're dying." We constantly need to be working on our relationship with God and things that we can change in ourselves, in order to be the best that we can be.
When the conference ended, my mom picked me up and we went home for a bit. A little while after my dad got home, we decided to have lunch at a BBQ restaurant. It was so good as always. After, we ended up going across the street to look at furniture. We ended up getting a new couch! I really like it. It won't come in for another couple weeks, but it was still exciting. Other than the fact that the lady who sold it to us thought that I was fourteen. Uhh, yeah, the young age thing is not such a compliment right now.
We went to Home Good's for a bit because mom wanted to check some things out. I always find the coolest inspirational wall art. So, of course, I had to take pictures of them.


We also went to Wal-Mart to get a few things (where I got Justin Bieber's mom's book), then we went out to dinner. We made one last stop at WalGreen's, then came home to move all of our furniture back into the house. I don't think I've ever moved more things in my life than I have this year, haha. Once we got most of the house situated again, we decided to reward ourselves with milkshakes from Carls Jr. Might I add, they were quite delicious.

Sunday:
Sunday's are pretty typical because we usually have church, and this Sunday was no different. It was the first time we'd been back since traveling and everything, so it was nice. We were there a few minutes before church, so we got a chance to say hi to some people, which was nice.
The service was incredible as always. I am blown away by the love at our church, and I am excited to see what God has in store for all of us, as well as changes coming up at the church. This week's sermon was on "Living a no regrets life." It kind of went hand in hand with some of the things that stood out to me at the women's conference.
Satan's goal in life is to kill our joy and destroy the dreams God has for us. God's purpose is to give us life and give us joy. There are four ways to hold onto that joy:

  • Love (it is also the root of passion)
  • Integrity
  • Forgiveness
  • Enthusiasm
I've found myself bitter and a little more negative than what I've been trying to work on this year. There are so many things I have to be excited about, not only "superficially", but more importantly in what God has planned for me. I shouldn't be sitting here complaining or griping about it, I should be thrilled with a smile on my face, getting into action for whatever it is I want to tackle. In whatever we do here on earth, it should bring glory to God. That is the only way we will find true joy or happiness in life. 

After church, we went to lunch, then came home. I worked on homework a good portion of the time, and helped my parents move some furniture here and there when they needed it. We spent most of the day doing that, and ended up just ordering pizza for dinner. It was a nice night, taking in the sights of what almost felt like a new home. My mom also brought out our fall decorations, so it feels even more "home-y" than before. Ah, I love this time of year. 

That's all for now,
Shelby

Freedom In Fear- Day 3


Saturday morning, my alarm clock starts playing "The Last Goodbye," by David Cook. Apparently it had been for five minutes straight, but I was just then hearing it. That meant it was time to get up. I let out a small groan, then decided to get ready, so I could make it to church on time for breakfast. My dad dropped me off, and I met up with my friend Micah (we've known each other since 2nd grade. Crazy how time flies). We waited in line, and ended up talking to a lady I'd seen around quite a bit around church before, so it was cool getting to know her.

The breakfast was buffet style with burritos, fruit, parfaits, croissants, orange juice and coffee all lined up. We grabbed food, then sat in another room. Micah and I sat at a table; I didn't really know anyone until a couple minutes later when some other friends joined us. We were all still waking up, so there wasn't much talking going on, but a few of the ladies started discussing the previous night's session. It was cool to hear some of their thoughts, since we were all from different age groups. We finished eating, then headed over to the main sanctuary to get things started. We did some praise and worship, then went right into the next session.

Our Senior Pastor's wife and one of our good family friends, Lydia, spoke. She is also a pastor, and I'm always so excited to hear what she has to say. She's another woman around church that I've admired for a really long time. As I've gotten to know her more myself, I know that she is just as fabulous and someone that is proof of what God can do when we allow Him to.
Anyway, she opened it off by saying, "Get over yourself," because she had her message all planned out the night before, but God had kept her up most of the night going over a few other things for the message after Wendy spoke. The two practically went hand in hand. We all struggle with who we are, and we try to be more like so and so.
Lydia explained how she was born to be a sunflower, but a lot of the time she tried to act like a rose...and it just didn't work out. She has such a bright personality, and trying to fit under the covering of a rose, wasn't meant for her. We have to accept who we are, and be joyous with it. God has called each of us to do things that only we can do, and in doing those things, we can complement one another and bring out the best in our friends and family.
We focus so much on our shortcomings and the things that we're not good at, but when we stop, we can let God do what He really wants to do. Even when we're uncomfortable and insecure, we have to work through those moments, or we can really miss out. That line she said really struck something in me. There are so many times that I've been afraid, but have done whatever it was I needed to, and the payoff was so worth it. There have also been times when I've been afraid, and too often, I've let that hold me back. I've sunk back into that little routine, and God was telling me no more. I have to have a little more faith in myself.
As much as we need to work on things with ourselves, we also need a group of close people that we trust to hold us accountable. Those are the people that will remind us of what God has called us to do or will point out when we aren't quite being ourselves. I'm so thankful that as soon as she said that, I didn't feel this ache in my heart wishing I had that. Instead, I know that there are a really great group of girls I met through church, and otherwise that I've met. And I hope that every woman and girl at the conference (and reading this) has something like that or will find it soon.
When we're struggling with something, we are to admit it to one another so that the enemy doesn't hold it over us. As soon as we let go of that secrecy, Satan no longer has that control on us. God doesn't care about our past, because He can use it to help others. It is our past that helps us to keep moving forward to what our calling is.

There was a short dance routine from a young girl to the song, "I Was Here," By Beyonce. I had never heard the song, but it was beautiful and left an imprint on my heart with its words. I want to die empty, so that on my deathbed, I have no regrets and nothing more to wish I could have done. I want to do everything that God has planned out for me.
"I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know 
I was here."

We watched a video dealing with the A21 Campaign, which is helping bring awareness to the modern day human slavery our world is experiencing. I've been hearing a lot about it, but I'll be honest, I had no idea what an epidemic it has become. The video really woke me up to the bubble I've been living in and how I want to help. Not only with this cause, but to all of the other things I've been naive to. I know I've been quiet for too long, and the enemy uses that against us. We have to stand up for these things and not be bound by the tricks of Satan. 

After that, there was a twenty minute break. I helped out with my friend, Micah, and a few other girls at the A21 Campaign table. We passed out brochures on ways to get involved and pamphlets to get more information. We also accepted donations that go back to the cause to help out. There are many ways to help out with the organization. If you'd like to check it out here is the link to the website . We need to awake from the slumber that we've been in and do something about it. 

When we returned from the break, there was a short Q&A with Pastor Lydia and Pastor Wendy. If we had any questions for them about ministry, or any of the topics from the earlier sessions, we were more than welcome to ask. That was a really great time to hear from two women that have seen a lot and lived a lot, and are helping women find their passions and dreams, according to who God has called them to be.  

Pastor James closed up with the last session. He spoke on the value of women, and what we mean to God. Women have the same rights that men do, and we have been appointed by God to be pastors, leaders, and whatever else He wants us to do in the church. There are not a lot of churches that encourage women to really get involved the way ours does, but I couldn't be more thrilled with it. God has called us to do just that. We have to be courageous and bold. If God calls us to be leaders or to run the country, then that is what we are to do. There was a time of prayer at the end, and a song as we walked out. 

I felt this tugging at my heart to talk to Febe about something; we prayed together and exchanged stories, helping one another out. I am so thankful for my friends and that I can call them whenever and they'll be there. 

It was one wonderful weekend, and a lot has been stirred up in my heart. I want to leave a legacy behind, that I know for sure. I just want to do it in a way that honors God and do it according to His plan, rather than just sticking to my own. After all, Father knows best.

That's all for now,
Shelby

Freedom In Fear. Night #2

Me and Febe :)
Last Friday night was beyond incredible! Our "getting connected" pastor, Wendy, spoke. I was really excited about that because she is very passionate about dreams and getting people out of their comfort zones, and really that's what this conference is all about. She wants to help people reach their fullest potential, Even in the few more serious conversations we've had, she has immediately asked me what I want to do, and when I've told her some goals, she'd ask, "What's stopping you?" or something along those lines. I've gotten to know Pastor Wendy a lot better this year, and over the past couple years I watched from afar how she handles herself and how as soon as she walks into the room, you can just see confidence radiating from her. She is bold and extremely fierce; I love that she tells it like it is. But, she explained last night, that it wasn't always that way.

She talked about how on paper everything in her life seemed to fit perfectly, but inside she didn't necessarily feel "happy." Did that even exist? Was there another woman out there that fit what she felt she was missing? She knew she was meant for more in this life, but at the time, it all just felt meaningless. She had plenty of fears, and many that I have a fear of too. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, and several other things.

We can be confident because God is our creator. He loves us more than anything, and we shouldn't get stuck in the web of lies that Satan has us under most of the time. If we keep our eyes on God, He will lead us in the direction that He wants us to. Satan plots us against one another, but you know what? We are so much better together. Instead of eyeing each other up and down, we need to join forces. It should be us against him, not the other way around. Enough is enough. When we know these issues are going on within ourselves and others, we need to take a stand and put a stop to them, not just let them get worse. I for one am done hiding and feeling like I am not enough... because I am.

The entire time that Wendy was speaking, I just kept hearing, "You are a leader..." as a small little voice in my heart. I'm not exactly sure what it means quite yet, but I feel like I'm on the right track to start finding out. I am going to be a woman of vision, doing unimaginable things and dreaming big, rather than living this comfortable life. I was born to do way more than just exist, and so were you. I am tired of walking through life in a slumber, whether it's because of laziness or fear. I want to be prepared and on alert to do the things that God has called me to. I don't want to miss out on a thing.

I am limitless and infinite WITH God...and only through Him can I become what I was made to be.

Some of the ladies from church and a couple of the younger girls sang Katy Perry's "Who Am I Living For?" I was in tears. If you listen to that song, it has such a great spiritual message in there. Definitely a theme song for me at the moment.


After the conference, we walked out into the foyer to see my friends' group, Lonely Avenue. They were kicking off the "After Party", which I had totally forgotten about. There were bright lights set up, music was playing, and everyone was lining up in the coffeehouse to get dessert, mingling with one another. It was so much fun getting to see the women of our church cut loose a bit, singing along to some oldies and a few newer hits, dancing and having a great time with one another. It's great when we can have such a special time like this to really connect and start dreaming about the future again. I was also introduced to several new ladies at the church, which was great getting to know them. Febe and I hung out with her sister and a couple other friends, rocking out to the band, then watched as they started a dance contest of the different eras. That was quite entertaining, let me tell ya! After hanging out with everyone for a couple hours, I decided to head home, since it would be an early start the next morning.
Me and Makenzie
Such a fun time :)

That's all for now,
Shelby