Thursday, December 31, 2009

poems from my past

i found my old baby books, and within them i found these two little gems that made me feel so beautiful tonight:

A GIFT OF LOVE (by Aunt "Tante" Cheri)
One year ago, this glorious day,
an early April morn,
with hopeful hearts that helped us pray,
a tiny babe would soon be born

This little one from heaven above
would bring our family joy,
this tiny bundle came with Love,
was it to be a girl or boy?

Amanda Lynn, this babe was you
who, the twenty-second came,
with golden curls and eyes of blue,
setting hearts aglow with flame.

I've been Aunt Cher these past twelve years
to birthday niece, dear Heather,
with your request, my second Dear,
I'm your "godmom" blessed forever!

How blessed I am to see the world
through your precious eyes.
With each new day, my precious girl
brings Love and wonder and surprise

The sound of music can be heard
when tiny fingers play
o'ne piano keys, and not a word
need express joy of the day.

Amanda Loves so many things,
so dear to my own heart.
Books, and dolls; butterfly wings,
all of these you're now a part.

You've introduced me to new friends
so very dear to you,
these friends you share will never end,
magnets and Ernie, Winnie-the-Pooh!

A small discoverer, you'll soon become
of flowers, birds and bugs,
but I will cherish getting some
of Amanda's Love and special hugs!

You are my Precious Moment,
my cuddly Little Lamb,
my bonnie lass in her sun bonnet,
you've made me glad of who I am.

And so today, you're one year old
you give my heart a lift,
and through the years, you'll recall I've told
how you have been my special gift.

As you walk the path of life,
tho' sometimes rough it seems,
don't forget amid the strife,
to stop and play with life's sunbeams.

Please Dear Lord, may I remember,
this year that gave a start,
of memories to warm me in December,
of Love forever in my heart.

May Jesus always hold you in
His gentle arms of Love,
and bless and keep Amanda Lynn,
my gift that came from Heav'n above.

(my gift of Love to my Godchild and Niece, Amanda Lynn Barnett, Aprill 22 1990)


OH TO AMANDA (by cousin Heather VanDyke (Fleming))
I have a cousin that's really neat!
She's that age where she can't eat meat.
She drinks that milk and not that mush!
And soon on that swing, she'll need a push.
Amanda's cute and small,
and soon mommy can take her to the mall.
Daddy's there waiting for her
and he'll play cat and make a purr!
Grandpa's there to make Amanda laugh
Grandma's there to give her a bath!
Now the Aunts are there to give her a hug
and Amanda will give her Uncles a mug.
Now Amanda will think cousins are important too
We don't tell her what to do!

Love, Heather (June 18 1989)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

love your body

i got a perfect body
but sometimes i forget
i got a perfect body

-regina spektor

we just all need to remember this sometimes

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

oh you bring

You opened my eyes to see
all the wonder and awe
of Christ in me

groovin' in the grove (an outdoor worship service at hope college the night before classes begin) was the other night. BEAUTIFUL. absolutely beautiful.

this year is going to be good. no, GREAT.

every song that was sung was beautiful and filled my heart with joy and i couldn't keep the smile off my face. God is SO GOOD and he always finds a way to bring peace to my soul. even if it's just through the simple words of a song.

to you

by kenneth koch

i love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
that will solve a murder case unsolved for years
because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
through which he saw her head, connecting with
her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
roof in her heart. for this we live a thousand years;
for this we love, and we live because we love, we are not
inside a bottle, thank goodness! i love you as a
kid searches for a goat; i am crazier than shirttails
in the wind, when you're near, a wind blows from
the big blue sea, so shiny so deep and so unlike us;
i think i am bicycling across an africa of green and white
always, to be near you, even in my heart
when i'm awake, which swims, and also i believe that you
are trustworthy as the sidewalk which leads me to
the place where i again think of you, a new
harmony of thoughts! i love you as the sunlight leads the
of a ship which sails
from hartford to miami, and i love you
best at dawn, when even before i am awake the sun
receives me in the questions which you always pose.

Monday, August 17, 2009

finding joy in the simple things

during my final week of camp, one of my six-year-old campers had a loose tooth.
(her very first loose tooth, i might add!)
it was extra wiggly one day, and she kept playing with it, so i took her inside to pull it out.
she grabbed it and tugged. when she saw it sitting in her hand she just started giggling!
she then proceeded to skip around the church singing "i lost my too-ooth! i lost my too-ooth!"
i was filled with joy watching this little girl laugh and sing and be so happy about something so simple as losing her first tooth.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


i had an english professor tell me once:
"you are an english major, so there should never be a time in your life when you say, 'there are no words to describe this.'"

i have realized this summer that this statement is ridiculous.
i have seen beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary and i have felt feelings of sadness and joy so strong that i just cry and/or smile because i have no other way of expressing how i feel.

although words are wonderful and can usually express how i feel in the most perfect way, it is such a beautiful thing to know that God gave us other ways of expressing ourselves and that He placed people in our lives that we can share these feelings with and they just know how we feel without actually having to say anything.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the tame animals, over all the earth, and over all the small crawling animals on the earth."
-Genesis 1:26

Then the
Lord God took dust from the ground and formed a man from it. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nose, and the man became a living person.
-Genesis 2:7

Look around. There is SO MUCH BEAUTY in this earth. All of that is from God.
I've been thinking a lot lately about God's creation.
We, us humans, are God's favorite creation because He created us in His own image. He spoke everything into existence. Everything except for us. He took the time to form us from the dust with his own hands and breathed His own breathe into us. Of all the wonderful and beautiful things God created, He thinks we are the most beautiful.
And I think that's something that we need to remember.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

these balls hanging above them were so neat! they were spinning and had different shapes and colors moving over them. at this particular point they had videos of each member on the balls. SO COOL!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"every good day is good in its very own way"

shirley road shirley by a weather

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i really want to ride in a hot air balloon. from it, you'd be able to see so many beautiful things. beautiful skies and beautiful landscapes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

morning elegance

Thursday, May 21, 2009


this past weekend i went to cleveland to run a 10k and to watch my friend mollie run the marathon!
watching people finish the marathon was one of the most inspiring things i've ever seen in my life. there were people of all ages finishing the race (26.2 miles!), and most of them looked ecstatic about what they had just accomplished. many children ra
n out to finish the race with their parents, and that was one of the cutest things i've ever seen! here are some of my favorite pictures from the finish line:

this man ran the entire marathon with these flags on his back honoring war vets:

i spent a good hour looking for this man in particular. he was finishing the marathon, waved his arm, and said, "come on gang!" and a group of kids ran out to meet him. he picked up the baby and put her on his shoulders and finished the race like that. it was adorable!

Monday, May 11, 2009


my good friend rachel is currently studying abroad in japan.
she is having some trouble breaking the language barrier, but she is able to communicate with her family, and she mentioned that she's been able to watch them interact with and love one another.
about this she said,

"at least one thing is the same in every language."

gosh, that is a nice thing to say.
love has no boundaries. love is powerful.

some very nice photos

wedding photography

whether you like weddings or not you should look at this website because these wedding photos are all so nice.


toast is a clothing/house and home catalogue. they sell such nice things, and their photos are so beautiful. these are some of my favorites from the most recent catalogues.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

to make your ears smile

coldplay - prospekt's march ep
specifically the song 'postcards from far away'

stars - sad robots ep
specifically the song 'undertow'

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


here are some of my favorite quotes from the past couple of months:

"but who cared what they thought? none of them had ever had their hand licked by a cheetah."
-from the glass castle by jeannette walls

"i was confident that nothing could get any worse than it had been, and that thought made me smile a lot."
-from a long way gone: memoirs of a boy soldier by ishmael beah

"i knew i could never forget my past, but i wanted to stop talking about it so that i would be fully present in my new life"
-from a long way gone: memoirs of a boy soldier by ishmael beah

"if you are alive, there is hope for a better day and for something good to happen."
-from a long way gone: memoirs of a boy soldier by ishmael beah

"are you alright? yea, you're alright. you're alive!"
-from "garden state"

"think of someone who makes you smile"
-from a dove chocolate

"i imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with pain."
-from "notes of a native son" by james baldwin

have you ever read the perks of being a wallflower?
i recommend reading it if you haven't. i recommend reading it again if you have.
i have read it four times through, and i have a lot of favorite quotes from that book, but i will share only a few with you here.

"what's the point of using words nobody else knows or can say comfortably?"

"then, i turned around and walked to my room and closed the door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be."

"five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way."

"and there it was. downtown. lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder...and in that moment, i swear we were infinite."

"the sky was overcast with clouds, and the air felt like a warm bath. i don't think i've ever felt that clean."

"if you listen to the song 'asleep,' and you think about those pretty weather days that make you remember things, and you think about the prettiest eyes you've known, and you cry, and the person holds you back, then i think you will see the photograph."

my favorite things

my friend lyndi has a journal, and she has all of her friends list the things that make them joyful in this journal.

here is my list of things that make me joyful. i add to this everyday, so keep in mind that this is not everything:

the smell of candles burning, going home after not being there for a while, mountains, sunrises, hope friends, home friends, clare and mom and dad and natalie and the rest of my extended family, reading, trampolines, freeze pops, warm rainy days, my big comfy bed, bamboo, sharing music with my friends, big cities, blowing bubbles, sunsets over lake michigan, sitting and listening to my friends play guitar, bonfires, bike rides, cold showers, running, the beach, audrey hepburn, libraries, hope college (especially in the spring), picnics, lighthouses, airplanes, the first snowfall of winter - but also the first warm day after a long winter, crunchy leaves, the color red, fruit snacks, harry potter, sleeping with thick socks on, dressing up, dancing, going out to eat, dad's cooking, springhill, pictures, tea, coffee, white hot chocolate, the smell of flowers, grand haven, ann arbor, olivia and ella and their beautiful smiles, babies/kids in general, driving with the windows down, playing scrabble with mom, camping, roller coasters, mac n cheese, milk and cookies, handwritten letters, annie wannie, dresses, sandals, mowing the lawn, baking, seeing the results of hard work, painting, drawing, art museums, history, zoos, sleeping in (especially being able to wake up and just lay there), hearing my grandma's life story, not knowing what the future holds, GOD - His amazing grace and ability to somehow always make me happy, face-to-face conversations, bomb, caramel, moose tracks ice cream, putting on lotion, the smell of laundry, post cards, ice cold water after a long run, saunas, hot tubs, old family photos, just sitting and listening to everyone sing in chapel, unconditional love, children laughing, puppies and kittens and letting them lick my hand, mix cds, naps, cuddling, memoirs, dancing, running when the sun's out, running early in the morning, running in the rain, friday night beds, napping in the pine grove, talking about God with my close friends, dad's christmas cookies, making eye contact with someone and feeling a deep connection with them for a brief moment, watching movies late at night, surprise visits, road trips, going on dates, knitting, discovering new places, traveling/exploring, trains, sleepovers, waking up and not feeling tired, holding hands, Jamaica, sign language, trena/michelle/and casey's voices, napping on the beach, sweating from doing hard work, having my hair played with, giving head rubs...

what are some of your favorite things?

dancing around the world

an introduction

hello hello !!

i am starting this blog because there are a lot of things that i find beautiful and a lot of things that bring me joy, and i want to share these things with the world.

i will post quotes, pictures, videos, thoughts, dreams, movies, lyrics, etc etc