9/27/2015

Ten Funniest Pins on Pinterest

So, in follow up to my useful post, Ten Most Useful Pins I've Found, I present you with...


So as I said before, Pinterest can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use it. But I've seen some pins that made me cry from tears of laughter! My stomach hurts the next day because I used my abs so much to laugh! And I want to share the joy with you, so grab the person closest to you and make sure that you've used the restroom recently.

The Ten Funniest Pins on Pinterest (Plus four double points. So it's really fourteen. The more the merrier, right?) 


1.

                              I can't stop laughing!!!!!


I remember that my sisters, Mom, and I watched a movie when I stumbled across this pin. Once I read it I started laughing so hard that we had to pause the movie so that I could explain, and then we all started laughing so hard that the movie stayed on the backburner for a while. Seriously, sing this line out and try not to explode with the giggles!

2.
RDJ


Innocent Gwyneth acting normal and such when BAM. RDJ acts like RDJ. And the world applauses him for it. 

3. 

hilarious:

I have no words, except this caused so many laughs over the past few years that this employee deserves a medal. 

"And the award to most entertaining cake decorator goes to Walmart Employee!" 

"Dis be Airwerkaa, and I would jus' like ta say t'ank ya to myself for makin' the world a better place, and under neat that, I'm off to the McDonalads." 

And when she went to McDonald's she wore... 

She has. Panties. On her head. Uh. There is no need of a clever caption. She has panties on her head. Panties.:

4.

Funny: Say it with me: 

Pants on the ground, pants of the ground. You lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground. 

5. 

Legolas and Kili:

And I know which shampoo they use too... 

So funny!:
6. 

HAHAHAHAHAHA:
Accuracy at its finest. 

7. 

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!:

'Cause let me tell you, nothing says attractive like indentions from the excerpt of a laundry hamper.  

8. 

I can't stop laughing

Because...

 :

9. 

Hawkeye is feeling fabulous…:
But is Hawkeye more fabulous than Gandalf? 

Gandalf the FABULOUS!:

10. 

If you thought the fanny pack was bad, add a puppy!:

And to close out this laugh session, I present you with the first pin ever pinned to my Happiness Board. You don't know how much fun I had scrolling through the entire board with my sisters all around me! I'm hoarse from laughing, and I hope that you are too! 

Check out even more funny pins on my Pinterest account: Hannah ~Grace in Everything~ . And comment below which one made you worry for your bladder control! 

Princess Hannah 

9/26/2015

Honestly Hannah

I tried starting this post too many times, but nothing seemed to work, so as I scrape every last molecule out of the peanut butter jar, I will jump right into it:

I'm honestly Hannah.

And honestly, I posed for this picture. But I still love it!

Honesty can evade me as a blogger. It's not like I tell lies, nor do I intentionally avoid the truth of the matter, but sometimes I get very good at pretending. I fool myself into thinking that I can do it all. I believe the lies of Satan that tell me that I must look perfect, and believing lies never leads to good things.

And so today I want to show you me. I invite you into the ways of honesty, not with a list of all the ways I stink, but with a real, silly, deep, and random list of Honestly Hannah facts. For I know no other way to dispel the lies than to stand in the truth, big and small truths alike.

I want to be real to all y'all reading this post. I want to encourage you, make you laugh, and form a community here that makes Jesus smile. But I can't do that without revealing myself, something I've found difficult to do. For I always thought that to say much about myself would waste your time, look selfish, and not benefit anyone, but maybe to show you me means to invite you into a role bigger than reader-of-a-blog. To show you me means to invite you, whoever reads this, into a friendship, an accountability partnership, and an encouraging family-ship in Christ.

This begins with honesty. Honesty is the platform of relationships, and I want to dedicate the rest of this post less to preach-y, long paragraphs that I so love to write and more to the simple truths of Hannah in hopes that you join with me in doing life together. (Although I can't promise no more preach-y paragraphs. I'm being honestly Hannah after all.)


-I am such a list person. Color-coded pens and check marks have always made me smile and oftentimes cry. Really, it's a love/hate relationship, but it must be part of who God made me to be, because I started the list-life before I can remember, jotting down misspelled Christmas list and organizing little childhood games. (Are you surprised that this post formats itself as a list?)

-Hannah Montana was my show as a girl. Maybe the mutual name fascinated me or the innocent glamour, but I loved the early seasons. I even bought a wig and dressed up as Hannah Montana for Halloween! No matter what Miley does, I will always remember her as the girl who would rock the stage and then turn around to say "sweet niblets." But I'm glad that my yearning to be famous just like Miley faded away. The truth is, we can never get the best of both worlds.


-I feel lonely sometimes. This haunts me at times and lingers in the back of my head at other times. Today I felt the stab of loneliness and couldn't stop the tears from flowing down my face. I've never experienced that group of people that I belong with, nor have many of my friendships lasted like I wanted them to. I really want college to change all of this, but fear tells me that I should prepare for the worst. Good thing that Grace Trumps Fear.

-I love cats. It's pretty straightforward, but I really am a cat person. My cat is the best, but of course, your cat is wonderful too (if you have a cat). (See pictures of my wonderful kitties here.)

-I stay up waayyy too late. In fact, the idea I once held of going to bed "early" tonight slowly faded away as this post came together. Somehow, the little things that define getting ready for bed gather up and slow me down. And the tireder I become, the more I hate going to bed. It's not a good cycle y'all. Not good at all. (Follow my newly-reused Twitter account here.)


-TV is my detox. When I need to escape lists and can't find other ways of pushing back my bedtime, TV comes to the rescue! Somehow, when I find someone who watches the same shows as I do, I feel much more connected, so in hopes that we share some common TV shows, here's the list (of course) in a tentative order of favorites:

Patrick Jane from The Mentalist petting a rabbit
  • Alias (so intriguing and a Netflix must)
  • Sherlock (what can I say?) 
  • Psych ("You know that's right")
  • Forever (I can still hope for season two, right?)
  • Once Upon  Time (I'm a sucker for fairytales)
  • Merlin (and medieval adventures)
  • The Mentalist (and shows that involve people who love tea and crimes)
  • The Blacklist (don't skip an episode)
  • Downton Abbey (I'll admit that I watch it for the costumes)
  • Agents of SHIELD (It says Marvel, I watch it)
  • I Love Lucy ("Lucy... you've got some 'splaining to do!") 
  • The Cosby Show (the 80s version of Blackish)
  • White Collar (the first show I marathoned) 

-I am a perfectionist. You probably already know this, but I struggle with perfectionism in every aspect of life. But in many areas, I can fake it. The difficulty in easily succeeding in many areas of life is that I consider success to be my identity. What am I if not an all As, skinniest girl in the room, perfect ballerina, creative blogger person that I should be? Perfectionism waits for me at every corner and I must look to Christ as my identity, but even that can become an evaluation point for me, a way for me to be perfectly dependent on Christ for the sake of my own achievement not Christ's glory.

-If it involves a ball (as in a spherical object that people throw at each other for some strange reason), count me out. I always thought that I wasn't a competitive person, and to an extent, I'm not. But I think that really, I just want to win. And if I know that I can't win, I don't play. And I will never win when it comes to sports, so I don't play (see the above point to make sense of this).

This is my kind of ball!


-Cinderella was my favorite Disney Princess (until Tangled came out). Two reasons: one, I wanted a different Disney Princess than my other family members, and Belle was already taken (plus Beauty and the Beast had the scary wolf scene), and two, she dressed up and went to a ball (as in the kind that involves fancy dresses and dancing), what's not to love? And the new remake stole my heart! (I reviewed it forever ago here.)

-I love to read, but I don't spend very much time reading. I used to read so many books, but as school and dance increased and my need to get things done also increased, I read less and less. I still read around 25 books a year, but not as many books as I would like. I think that I've let the fast-moving world take away my ability to just sit and read in the afternoon.

Pride and Prejudice

It is almost midnight, so I guess I should wrap this up (see point five). I will double-check this post tomorrow and add a picture or two (see point seven), and after I post it, I will look too often to check my page views and comments (see point seven and three). But I hope that this post helps you to connect more with me! There were so many things that I wanted to say when I started thinking of this post, but what I want most is for you and I to encourage each other and start to live honestly right where we are. Please comment below any random thought that came into your head while you read this post, something honestly you.

And I would also love it for any fellow bloggers to steal this idea and post their own Honestly posts. Let's start living in a community, girls! Let's impact each other in more meaningful ways than we can imagine, and this all starts with honesty.

Expect more Honestly Hannah posts in the future, as well as some other exciting things coming up!

Princess Hannah

9/20/2015

Blurry Photos and Lived-In Moments

I don't know about you, but I want to live a picture-perfect life. 

I want to be passionate for Jesus, the funnest person to hang out with, constant with my responsibilities, fashionable in all places except home, and confident in who I am. I don't necessarily desire a trouble-free life, but a life where I always see through the trials and interpret Jesus through every circumstance like a picture-perfect, Jesus-following, lifestyle-blogger does. I yearn for a clear life, a purposeful life, a beautiful life full of those "moments" that we love to talk about but rarely understand. 

Is that a bad thing to want? 

And so I study the Bible, smile at people, keep up with my planner, write lengthy entries, master mascara, and trust Jesus through all. 

Or at least, I want to trust Him. 

But really, sometimes I trust me more than God. I lean on my own definition of a picture-perfect life rather than God's Truth of what makes life's photos meaningful. I choose the clear pictures with correct composition, slightly artsy but still realistic. I post the beautiful photos displaying the beautiful moments that I once thought should dominate my life. I edit them to look brighter, more contrasted, and clearer. I caption them with a story that displays the realness of life through the grace of God in my own unique words that most people just skim. 

This symbolizes my yearning for a beautiful life, a "picture-perfect" life, which just means a life in which everything should be beautiful and good all of the time. Even the messes. 

Is that wrong? 

No. Well, not necessarily. Wanting to capture the beautiful moments spurs even more beautiful moments. Desiring to pursue God in every way pushes us to obedience and love (which are connected). Acting diligently and consistently honors God and strengthens our character. 

But I believe that we pass over so much more potential for life in our pursuit of a picture-perfect life. We delete the blurry photos, the mid-expression pictures that someone tagged us in, and the pictures where we smile more with one eye than the other. We ignore the moments where we just did the usual or had to wait at every red light or felt torn in a thousand directions. But what if, my dear friends, God used those pictures and moments in our life as well? What if His definition of a picture-perfect life contained the mess-up photos and not-so-beautiful moments? What would that look like? 


As I looked through my beach photos to support my post about joyful vacationing, I noticed some pictures that didn't fit the picture-perfect category. They didn't turn out clear and colorful with a good focus and subject. They instead looked grainy and blurry, a bit confused and unclear. 

But something about these pictures touched me in a way none of the other pictures could. These blurry photos captured more than a pretty image, they captured life. They captured the sound of the waves echoing back and forth. I could feel the humid air frizzing my hair and sand in between my toes rubbing away all of my hard-earned calluses. 

These pictures whispered something to me, and it wasn't until I sat down and started typing this post that I figured out what they wanted to show me: 

Life is more than "picture-perfect." 


You see, I've lived in pursuit of the picture-perfect life and even still live in it. And maybe you struggle with these thoughts as well. Maybe we both long for something more than a life composed of stranded "beautiful moments" with deserts of "ordinary" in-between. We want every moment to be beautiful and every moment to have worth, and the problem here is that we forget that not everything worthy is beautiful and not everything beautiful is worthy. Maybe that's why we both want to disregard the blurry, almost ugly photos and moments of our lives, because we don't believe that they have worth. 

But let me tell you (and this goes first for me) this: 

...wait for it...

The blurry photos hold worth too! 


The question is, how? I know no better place to check than God's Word! (All italics mine. Keep a watch for them, though, because they emphasise the parts that key into the meaning of blurry moments.)

"The stone the builders rejected [hint, hint- Jesus]
has become the cornerstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:22-24)

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.)

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." 
(Colossians 1:27)

What do these verses say about the blurry pictures and the not-so-glamorous moments of life that seem to weigh us down? How can the lived-in parts of life take on meaning? 

Let me tell you!

In Christ. 

That's it. 

In Christ, every moment holds meaning simply because Christ is in it. 


That doesn't make every moment "beautiful" or "picture-perfect," but it does mean that we possess the Spirit of God in us, and that can change everything. Jesus has saved us this very day, and that alone makes every day worthy of praise, from the days where nothing important seemed to happen, to the days where we got soaked with rain on the way to the library. And all because of Jesus. 

Emily P. Freeman, in her book Simply Tuesday (which inspired these thoughts), writes this: 

"What gives meaning is not the moments themselves but the presence of Christ with us in the midst of them. To learn to live well in ordinary time is to keep company with Christ on our simple Tuesdays and remember how he delights in keeping company with us." (Simply Tuesday, page 47. Once I finish reading her wonderful words I will post a review and a giveaway!) 

So we have a challenge now to live joyfully and intentionally in the regular rhythms of life. We can start to treasure those blurry photos because we know that they hold meaning in Christ. We can start to pay attention to the Kingdom of God all around us because now we might recognize it with clearer eyes, for sometimes the Kingdom of God is in the midst of us but we can't see it because it looks like a blurry photo. 


This is hard. And I don't pretend that I live this way, but I'm starting to. This way of living takes work and concentration; it takes Jesus. Because let's face it, we can't do this on our own. But I believe that this is the only way to truly live, my dear friends. 

So join me in letting the blurry photos become your favorites. Let the lived-in moments bring joy to your heart as you find that because Christ is in every moment, every moment holds meaning. 

Live In Christ as Christ Lives In You! 

Princess Hannah 

p.s. Would y'all like a follow-up post on this on how to apply this In Christ living in practical ways? I meant to put some examples in this post, but I had so much else to say that these new thoughts would have made the post too long. Please comment below if you would want to hear more on these thoughts! Also, please comment your thoughts on blurry photos and lived-in mome

9/12/2015

12 Hints for Joy Filled Trips

If I could have picked to vacation anywhere for Labor Day weekend, I would have picked the beach. The rhythmic waves and relaxed schedule ends summer on a perfect note, in my opinion, giving me one last taste of the long hot days with nothing to do before the fall schedule starts to kick in in full swing. 

And guess what? 

My wish came true and my family and I went on a mini beach vacation with some friends of ours! 

But just like any trip, my attitude going into the trip determined the amount of fun that I experienced. Going on a road trip to the next town over can make as many memories as going to Disney World, if only I make up my mind to have fun and not let the moments pass me by, whether the moments contain happiness or something-less-than-happiness. 

And so, without further ado, here is how I make every little trip something special in twelve little steps that you can remember on your next trip, be it a fourteen hour drive to the Big City or a little detour to the zoo on your way to grandma's house. 

Hint One- Start the Fun Immediately 

Never forget the potential of the car ride (or plane ride or boat ride or hyppogrif ride). In fact, I can remember some car rides more than the actual trip, like the time my family and I performed our own version of the Oscars or the time that some friends and I made up a story about a kingdom with a government based off of Rock Paper Scissors. 

On our drive to the beach, we watched the gorgeous sunset, talked about current politics, brainstormed for an upcoming school project, wore the gorgeous little "barefoot sandals" that Rebecca made us, and jammed to TobyMac's new album, This is Not a Test. (All of which included some rather entertaining time-lapse videos made by yours truly.) But you can also see Chloe's great post about How To Have a Productive Car Trip for some other great ideas!



Hint Two- Marvel at Your Housing

Even if you stay at the Sleep Inn, go into the room and throw your bags by the bed. Flop onto the pillows and run into the bathroom to admire the shower that you won't have to clean. Luckily for us, Mom chose a very cute little beach condo for us to stay in, and I took pictures before our stuff dominated the whole area!


Hint Three- Wear Something New

Maybe only I understand the power of a new (or rarely worn) outfit, but wearing something special makes any day even more spectacular. I mean, how can a giant floppy hat go wrong? (Well, it could fly off into the strong gusts of wind, but that's why I held onto it.) So put on new and exciting outfit in preparation for the day! (And don't forget about the selfie process that inevitably follows wearing a new outfit.)


Hint Four- Strike a Pose

Don't just leave it at the selfie, but let someone else capture you in your fabulous outfit! And don't stop at that, but grab a friend and capture your adventures in silly smiles and candid shots. I typically regret not taking lots of pictures at vacations, but at the same time, I don't want to focus so much on capturing moments that I forget to live them! A great way to prevent this from happening is to take pictures before every event but choose only one (or two for a long trip) event in which you want to focus on taking pictures. That way you can always go back and view the joy from your travels but still see the world apart from behind the lens.





Hint Five- Explore

You don't go new places every day (unless you have a really cool job), and so make the most of it! Take a walk on the beach or take the round-about way to get to dinner. Open your eyes to the newness of your surroundings, even taking joy in the bumps along the road.



Step Six- Leave Your Mark on Your Surroundings

Now, this may prove difficult depending where you go, but if possible (legally), leave a little piece of you behind. A drawing in the sand or chalk painting in the park. A generous tip for the waitress or simple act of kindness to an elderly couple. Leave a little bit behind for the location to remember you.



Hint Seven- Look at the World From a New Angle

There's nothing like a new environment to make me see things differently. I see the reflections, the curves, and the patterns in a new way. And of course I must take pictures of these things (on the designated picture-taking day especially).



But don't stop at just taking artsy pictures! Do something from a different angle, a different you. Do something bold and adventurous that makes you a bit uncomfortable yet thrilled at the same time! For me, I went parasailing on the beach and loved it!


Hint Eight- Get Creative

I find that using my creativity enhances wherever I am and whatever I'm doing. And so I like to do one creative thing everywhere I go! Don't just pose for the camera pose. (And if you're a ballerina, things makes things a bit easier.) Write a poem inspired by the setting, outline a blog post, or compose a song, whatever you like to do to get those creative thoughts active!






Hint Nine- Pause
Yes, that's right. Pause. For a moment, don't do anything. And let that moment turn into a minute, which turns into five minutes, which turns into an hour. Let that hour seep into your soul and clear the busy, vacation-mode mind that never wants to stop going.

Take a walk for no reason, sleep in late because you can, or savor those minutes of darkness to hear the unfamiliar sounds of a new place comfort you to sleep.









Hint Ten- Do Something Your Inner Kid Would Do

You know those places you wanted to visit as a kid? What about those things that you wanted to do at those places you wanted to go? Let your five year-old self take control for a bit and do something childish. Build a sandcastle, play in the park, visit the toy store, or order something off of the kids menu (and if you're brave, ask for the accompanying coloring sheet and crayons). These are the things that you will remember!



Hint Ten- Make Memories Together

While all of the previous hints can make a trip joyful and memory-filled, none of them matter if you don't appreciate the people that you travel with. This step may prove the hardest for me because I like to do things and try things and go places, but others in my family feel more comfortable at a slower pace. So I may not get to all of these things above, but if that makes my family happier, than that should make me happier! For the best memories aren't the memories where you got to do whatever you wanted, but the memories filled with community and laughter and togetherness.



But even if you unite with your fellow travelers, if you forget to include Jesus, the joy goes away. Happiness will remain. You will make memories. But joy, that only comes from Jesus.



Again, this is where I struggled, for the busy schedule and crammed space encouraged me to forgo time to take joy in Jesus during my trip to the beach. In fact, during almost every vacation I struggle to interact with Jesus. But I know that I need to be still in Him all of the time, and I know that so much more joy and excitement will fill my adventures when they stop focusing on me and start looking for Jesus.


Hint Eleven- Reflect on the Way Home

That ride home can hold much joy as well, although I've noticed that it typically doesn't vibrate with as much energy as the ride towards the vacation does. Something that I find makes the ride home meaningful, though, is reflecting upon the previous trip. What will you remember most? What challenged you? What would you do again? Make a conversation about it!



Hint Twelve- Take a Bit of the Trip Back

This step doesn't apply to the trip but the return back to reality, for the joy of a trip can last so much longer than the physical time of the adventure. Don't forget to look back on the lessons learned, the adventures had, and the rest obtained. Smile at the jokes that your friends said all of those day ago while you got lost on your way to the show. Pause from the rush of life for a minute while you look at the photos you took, photos which represent much more than just smiles and scenic spaces.


So next time you go on a trip, no matter how long or short, remember to appreciate all of the moments, grand and small, as you make this the best trip ever simply because you can!

Thank you for reading, and make sure to comment below what you like to think of when going on a trip! Also, what did you do on Labor Day weekend?

Princess Hannah


p.s. if you live in the South and pass through a place that sells Blue Bell Ice Cream on the way home, maybe you should buy a half-gallon. Or two. Or four.