The best of times. The worst of times.

  • I dressed up like a hipster and went to the tea garden with the best of friends
  • I was a fairy queen
  • I played music
  • I carpooled with Josiah everywhere
  • I recoded an EP with PS
  • I turned 18
  • I went to the Bon Bons
  • I became a member of my church
  • I started courting my best friend
  • I went to Prom with Kevin and we looked awesome
  • I found a magic alley way with Moriah
  • I had an art class in a tree
  • I sat under a bridge with Kevin and Beth
  • I visted Sus with Beth
  • I learned to pray a lot
  • I saw a turtle get run over
  • I auditioned for the X factor
  • I sat in the SC and chatted
  • I went on a walk with someone who I didn’t know and still don’t
  • I drove to Chicago
  • I gave mud high fives
  • I danced like a fairy with Anna…right into Band of Brothers…awkward
  • I read a play on the Stranz’s couch and we laughed until I though we were going to die
  • I quit my diet
  • I got all dressed up in purple and went to the Oscars
  •  I had tea at Emily’s…a lot. Sometimes dressed up
  • I ran around barefoot at YEAH and didn’t get kicked out.
  • I was in a “A street car named desire” for a showcase and it was my favorite
  • I sang in a barn that was like 80 degrees
  • I had the coolest grad party of all times ever
  • I went to the beach with my brothers
  • I went on a 8 mile walk with Dan and got the worst sunburn ever
  • I graduated
  • I passed PE
  • I went to The Hunger Games at midnight dressed up
  • I got a good score in AP design
  • I got my first job at a pizza place to save money for a epic trip
  • I sparkled for weeks
  • I helped Kevin paint his room
  • I ate a lemon tart in a valley
  • I did a makeup fast
  • I had a lot of really hard conversations
  • I lost some friends
  • I made some friends
  • I felt like I had my whole life ahead of me and it didn’t scare me like it does now
  • I got up at 7 on Tuesdays to Skype
  • I stayed up till 2 am often talking with big brother Dan
  • I saw a truck explode with Kevin and Dan on our Tuesday adventures
  • I recorded a CD for a birthday
  • I ran on a bridge with Kevin
  • I wrote countless letters to Ireland
  • I flew across the sea alone
  • I changed flights
  • I had jetlag
  • I got surprise picked up at the airport
  • I ran on the beach in Ireland
  • I worked at a cottage
  • I was a hippie
  • I sang at a pub
  • I met midges
  • I made friends from all over the world
  • I collected shells in Galway
  • I sang for the doughnut man with Taka
  • I bought a hat
  • I asked the dairy farm to jump our car for us at 6am
  • I walked and walked and walked and walked
  • I went sailing at a loch
  • I broke a car window
  • I painted a lot
  • I played tractor
  • I took a train alone
  • I took a bus alone
  • I took a cab alone
  • I got letters each week from Katie
  • I went swimming in a very cold river
  • I went diving for water lillies with Lauren
  • I got hair wraps
  • I sat in the trees and looked down at the horse in the valley
  • I  got picked up and went back to Killkeel
  • I had a four pound pickernic
  • I talked to cops
  • I heard a bagpipe band
  • I met so many friends that I now love very much.
  • I stayed up late watching movies and eating candy
  • I guessed cactus
  • I went to Belfast
  • I went to Dunluce
  • I went to Giants Causeway
  • I had a sleep over with Keri
  • I played with play dough
  • I listed to Ben Howard in the flat
  • I threw pebbles at a window
  • I sang Rachel and Lauren to sleep
  • I did some swing with Elijah at town square
  • I went to Silent Valley
  • I climbed a mountain
  • I swam in the Irish sea
  • I sang in church
  • I ate a lot
  • I sang with John and Elijah
  • I looked at the stars on the beach
  • I saw a jelly fish
  • I had tea
  • I did a lot in Ireland and then I went home
  • I had drama getting home (well Elijah and I did)
  • I cried in the airport and was very thankful for a shoulder
  • I took the L in Chicago with Elijah at like 12 am
  • I got on a bus with Elijah and came home
  • I went swimming the day I got home
  • I went on my first date
  • I went on a epic road trip
  • I swam in a swimming hole
  • I sat in a kiddie pool-twice
  • I went paintballing
  • I got a job as a waitress
  • I was part of Ladies Society
  • I fell in love
  • I drove to pick up milk with my mom
  • I watched all the Twilight movies
  • I had my first heart break
  • My best friend got engaged
  • My other best friend went to Italy
  • My best friend got married
  • I was in my first wedding
  • I went to a wedding in Wisconsin
  • I danced like a fool
  • I got side bangs
  • I cut my hair
  • I spent awesome Sundays with great friends
  • I lived with the O’Neals
  • I played Just dance and about died
  • I got asked out for lunch and didn’t go
  • I moved to Kentucky
  • I was in my first small group
  • I got a GPS
  • I was in my last play with CB
  • I was a TA for Carla
  • I decorated a room
  • I cried a lot
  • I laughed a lot
  • I saw Les Mis
  • I surprised my family in Canada
  • I came home and found that home wasn’t where I wanted it to be
  • I felt like the list was not enough but left it as it was so I could make more memories. 15995_10200293737971783_1611849120_n 66000_415916345148966_1227316998_n 68627_10152314624475436_820938348_n 166080_3297524150118_1374836565_n 185453_372674112806523_1827062114_n 284872_394779990575890_1526736176_n-1 76709_378824702209263_921845231_n
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A young spirit, with an old soul.

I am 18-years-old.

I am a adult in the world’s eyes. All grown up, yet I feel so young and immature like I am not worthy of the age bestowed upon me on the 26th of February. I haven’t been to very many places. I haven’t seen very many things. I don’t know a plethora of fancy words-in fact plethora is about as fancy as I get.

I will always be a child in many ways. I hope that I always look at the world as one big small town where everyone has only kind things to say and smiles to give away. I hope I always love to play in the mud. I hope I never stop running outside as soon as I smell the rain. I hope putting on shoes never becomes a habit, and my feet always stay callused. I want to have tea parties in fancy dresses till I am 98. I never want to stop dreaming-they say that dreams are only for the young. I don’t believe that. I never want to stop laughing at myself. I don’t want to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. And I don’t ever want to forget how much grace I have been shown by Christ my savior.

I have strong beliefs that I would follow to the death-beliefs that I will carry with me to the grave. I know my limits. I have learned the rules the world plays by-I know that I don’t like them-I know I am not interested in playing along. I know what I want to look for in this life. I want to enjoy all the little things that God sends my way. I believe that everything that happens is for my good. I know that the world is a scary place full of evil. And I know that God is a huge God who covers and protects me with his love. I know that death is not something to be afraid of.

They say that those with the most birthdays live the longest. Each year will bring me to a new place in my life. There will always be a new adventure waiting for me to take. I pray that God give me the grace for each new adventure. And it won’t be every year that God gives me the adventure that I hope and pray for.

Forever. I want to be a young spirit, with an old soul.

Dream little one, see the world just begun

Shoot a dream in your arm
and sleep away

It’s not the stuff that kills you,
that keeps your life at bay
Every crash
pulls you in reach
Of a watershed of signal flares
that cover your beach

These are just placebos
to make us feel all right
Illusions in our pockets make our feather
float us high
For a second I thought I saw you eyelids rise
A moment, something restless caught you by surprise,
Surprise, surprise

We are so beautiful
when we sleep
Hearts of gold and eyes so
deep, deep, deep
But love won’t cure the chaos
And hope won’t hide the loss
And peace is not the heroine
that shouts above the cause
And love is wild for reasons
And hope though short in sight
Might be the only thing that
wakes you by surprise
Surprise, surprise

Dream little one
See the world just begun

Love is wild for reasons
And hope feels short in sight
Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise
For a moment I thought I saw your eyelids rise

Surprise, surprise, surprise…

What do you want?


I want to be skinny. I want to be fit. I want to have beautiful nails and hair. I want to have a flat smooth stomach. I want to wake up early everyday and work out. I want to look like she does. I want my face to be clear of blemish. I want to have big eyes and waxed eyebrows. I want to have tan skin that shines and is soft. I want to have red lips that always look glossed. I want to have little arms that are strong. I want to have long legs. I want to have little ears that look great with earrings. I want to eat as little as I can. I want to be hot. I want to bring glory to myself.


I want to have tight abs from laughing and a wrinkled face from smiling. I want to have healthy legs from walking miles and miles next to people that I love. I want to have short nails that I can’t keep nice because they are always in the dish water. I want to have eyes full of wisdom. I want to have buff ears from listening. I want to have a strong back from carried children and building a home. I want to have freckles from being out in the sun. I want to have a bit of a tummy from eating ice-cream in the kitchen at midnight with my sister too often. I want to have headaches from reading the Bible for too long. I want to have ready hands from serving other. I want to bring glory to God.


My Hannah Girl

Empty spot at the foot of my bed.


Scraps of meat thrown in the trash.


Two tin bowls put up on the shelf.


No barking when there is knock on the door.


No using my phone at night when it is dark at night to make sure I don’t step on a tail.


A patch of yard covered in dirt rather than grass.


A collar sitting on the table.


Hannah was the best dog I could have ever asked for. There is way too much to say about her. I will miss her so much. A little bit of my heart was cut when I pet her in the car on the way to the vet. When I held her down as they put her to sleep. When I sang the song Josiah and I used to sing to her when we were little. When I helped dig the hole. When I picked up her body and kissed her head. When I looked at the photos of us when we were little. She was the first living thing I loved to die. This may be dramatic. But you know. Its a big deal to me. I have been trying not to cry for three days. I mean I have been crying. But when I haven’t its not because there were no tears. I love you Hannah Girl. And I don’t care what anyone says. I want to believe that I will see you in heaven. So I do.


This is just a fast post to beg beg beg you all to pray for me. I have a PSEO Math test on Tuesday and I am scared to death of failing. Thats all.

Contented peace

“…Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

The theme of my life has been trust so it seems. Will I trust is God or in myself? When I trust in myself I find that I fail miserably and fall into discouragement and anxiety. When I trust in God I find my soul at peace, I find that God is a God who loves to lavish gifts on me even before I ask for them, I also find that he knows what is right and good for me and he knows what is not. He knows when the right time is, he knows when the wrong time is. So I choose to trust in God.

Over the past few weeks, after a struggle in my heart, I gave up my feelings to God, I trust that he will show me where to go. Over the past few weeks the fact that I wasn’t going to go to school was given up to God, this is something I have prayed about thought about and talked about with people who I trust and value. But many other people judge. However, I have been able to be at peace about these things. Still praying, still hoping, still looking for something, but knowing the whole time that God holds me in his hand and will be faithful to show me what is right for me.

He is showing me things. New things. Everyday. I find myself crying over how good he has been to me. I am learning to wait patiently. My heart is joyful and content. He knows my needs, he is faithful and good. My soul shall not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.


The Lord Jesus Christ is my (Grace Marie’s) tender and loving shepherd; I shall not lack anything that I need.

He gives me rest, to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still peaceful waters.

He restores my soul and will lift me upright when I fall.

He guides me always and brings me onto paths of righteousness when I wander

and he does this for his name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the valley full of failure, sin, and despair,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort and protect me. I will hold on to you.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows with your good gifts of grace.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life, I will have all I desire for

I shall dwell in the house of the Lord with the Lord.


{the last year of life as I have known it}

Well its the last week of my summer. Tragic really. But it has been a good summer and all good things must come to a end. This summer I have learned a lot about people. How I understand them to be as opposed to how they really are. How to be a better friend, how much power I have to make people happy or unhappy (Not fun to learn about). I have also learned a lot about myself. What I want in life, what kind of person I want to be, what kind of people I want to surround myself with.

I have learned a lot about God. How he uses the hard things in our lives to shape us. He makes beautiful things.

This summer I have laughed until I thought I would die, cried until I ran out of tears. I have danced, swam, sung, talked, listened, watched, and learned. I got up to see the sun rise, I stayed up to see the sun set. I jumped in the creek in the early morning, I picnicked and wabawabaed. I went on rides and screamed. I had water fights and screamed. I got stung by a bee and screamed. I screamed a lot. I got stuck in a tree, looked at some art, got dressed up, and ate faster than anyone. I climbed a rock, I hid in a town, I talked by a river, I saw a play, saw fire works in the rain, I jumped in a fountain, and played in the mud. I made amazing friends that I will have for the rest of my life. I said goodbye to friends who are grown up now, and friends that live in far off places, and have more goodbyes coming. It was a great summer and I will never forget it.

But now its time for me to dust off my brain and get back into the school mind set. I am not looking forward to it but I am going to make the best of it, its where God has me right now. So goodbye summer. Hello last year of life as I have known it.

The Valley

This song means a lot to me for many many reasons. It was a song played a lot in my house in Iowa before we made the big move and because I associated it with moving I grew to dislike the song. When we moved to River Ter in the fall it still played at our house a lot. But sitting by the fire place with my family hearing it was comforting in this time when my life had been uprooted and I had no friends who lived with-in three hours or me. Then there was a gap when I didn’t listen to this song. And my life seemed good, I was making friends, I was taking acting classes there seemed to be no darkness in my life, I didn’t need to go to the valley. But this year, it must have been in May, I started listening to this song again, but this time not just hearing it because it was playing, but listening to it. I now see the darkness in my life, but that darkness only brings me into the lights deeper. The lyrics along with the tune (which brings me back to older days which now look beautiful to me) encourage my soul. I find myself up crying in the middle of the night, and this is the song I put on. Please listen to it, and don’t judge it by the style of music that it is. These words are beautiful.

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed