Long-Distance Valentines

Oh what? You thought Valentines was over? Think again.

I’ve had many a Valentine’s Day alone. In fact pretty much all of them. Any potential Valentine has managed to time their interest a couple of months around it (whether that was on purpose or not, I have no idea). So major achievement this year when I managed to pin one down (which makes it sound like he was trying to get away, I promise it was by his choice). However, however, I’ve since discovered that there’s something worse/more annoying than not having a Valentines on the 14th, which is having one and not being able to see them. As the title suggests, it’s a long-distance sort of thing. We’re not just talking a few hundred miles either, more like a few thousand. In short, he’s swanned off to Africa for a few months, and that’s about 6,000 miles.

DSCN5166

But hey, they invented post and Facebook! It’s kind of got me a little sentimental. Not entirely sure that’s the word I’m looking for but you know, amazed that we can talk so easily despite the fact there are 8 countries between us. Pretty amazing right? They say that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, so could you imagine what our lives would look like without the conversations we take for granted? What if there were no phone calls or Facebook messages, no texts or emails, even no letters? Would you make the effort to see the people you love or just let those relationships die out?

This week, my goal is to be appreciative of the conversations I have and the ease at which I can do it. I’m going to message people I haven’t spoken to in ages, phone my relatives, write letters to foreign countries, and make the most of this modern technology.

Hannah 

New Year, New Goals

2013 has been a pretty eventful year complete with college drop-outs, starting blogs, weddings, babies, engagements, new friends, old friends, and pretty awesome adventures. I mean come on, we built a fort (look out for that post soon)!

I’m pretty excited for this new year and all the possibilities it already holds, but it’s also kinda scary. This will be the year my friends all go off to Uni and I’ll be left to become fully independent and to move on from how life was in high school. This is the year I’ll gain the responsibility of two more girls to my youth group. And most importantly, this is the year when our Halloween tradition will become really sad, as an 18 and a 19 year old sit and watch High School Musical.

Kutch (1)

So here’s my personal goals for this year:

Fund raise My Ass Off

Yes, that is the term I’ll be using when people ask me what I hope to do this year although maybe not to my grandma. There’s a course in London on leadership in the Church that I want to do once I’ve finished college, problem being that it’s really expensive. I mean really expensive. So I have a feeling that practically everyone I know will immediately attempt to hide their purse every time they see by the end of the year …

Make it to the end of Year 12

I mean, this is my second time around and it’d be kind of embarrassing to have to do it three times. I’m not sure I can cope with the shame of being 19 and still in the same year as I was at 17. This is probably the most important one, but it’s also the one that will involve the most work, and that doesn’t sound very fun at the moment.

Read the Bible at least twice a week

Because it’s a good book that never gets old

Be more organised with this blog

Actually plan things instead of just fluking it on the day, because that’s how I start to ramble about rubbish that no one cares about

Be more organised with youth planning

Being in charge of a youth group really does require more planning than I’m good at. There’s always things I think I should mention or take them too then realise three months later I’ve completely missed it again. But not this year!

Be more organised in life

See above and apply it to literally every situation in day-to-day life. I feel lists are the way forward.

Do more of the 101 challenge!

Seriously, we’ve done so many that we haven’t got round to blogging about yet! Come on girls!

Hannah

Christmas Catch-Up/30 Days of Thankful

Merry Christmas!

Yes, let’s just start with the obvious. There seems to have been a lack in posts over the past few weeks. Reason being, Christmas seems to bring out the extreme lazy in me. At the best of times I’m far from energetic but the idea that I have the option of sitting on the sofa all day seems to drain any sort of motivation away pretty damn fast. And who actually even enjoys not doing anything? Seriously, it would be so much more fun to go out and do something, but somehow I’ve ended up on the other side of Christmas without having done much at all (apart from narrowing down the 204 unread posts on Bloglovin’ to 45. Achievement I know.)

DSCN4995

Of course there is a rather long list of things I should have done over the Christmas period. January mock exams are creeping up quickly and despite the fact that I’ve been telling myself for the past few weeks that as soon as college breaks up ‘I’ll get down to some extreme revision’, I’ve opened my textbooks three times, at the most. Things will not go well there.

DSCN4972

The wedding decorations I made being put to good use as Christmas decorations

But who cares about working! It was Jesus’ birthday and that’s the main thing! We spent the day with my brother and his wife in Nottingham and it may have been my favourite Christmas ever. How can a Christmas not be great when you get a tape measure in your cracker! Highlights included beating thrashing my brother at a game of Checkers, getting Jack Whitehall tickets from my lovely brother, watching my (other) brother and his wife cook their first Christmas dinner together, seeing my dad in a bright pink wig and playing a massive game of nerf-gun-wars with my sister-in-law’s family.

And yes, I’m going to count this as one of my 30 days of thankful because over Christmas Day and Boxing Day I realised that I’m really thankful for my family. That my parents are still happily married and still love to snuggle up on the sofa; that my brother has found a wife who could not be more perfect for him; and that she has opened up a whole new group of relatives that has brought us an even bigger family to love and cherish. So Merry (late) Christmas!

Finally, to highlight that point about loving families, this last picture is one that my dad took. He said he was trying to get a good picture of me but then went on to tell me that my nose is too big and the only way to get a nice photo of me would be if I turned my face away. He’s a charmer. (and a hypocrite, I got that nose from him!)

(P.S. I’ve just noticed, this is our blog’s 200th post! Yay!)

DSCN5004

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#6 – Brother Number 2

Last week my brother became a Master of Research. Sounds pretty clever doesn’t it. But it get’s even cleverer when I tell you that it’s a Masters in Cellular and Molecular Biology, so it’s safe to say I’m a pretty proud little sister.

DSCN4900

Out of the three of us, Luke is definitely the one with the brains and unfortunately also the looks, charm, athletic ability, humour ect. But despite that I’m still pretty thankful for him. Without him, who else would I have snuck into our eldest brother’s room with to rummage through all his drawers (and no we never found anything interesting)? Who would have had pretty violent sumo wrestling matches with me as soon as our mum left the house? Who would I watch Home Alone with every Christmas? He’s awesome and I’m thankful for him.

thirty days

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#5 – Bows Came Back

DSCN4763

One of my favourite memories of childhood is of Christmas at my aunt’s house where my cousin (who I completely idolized and still do – she’s awesome) took me upstairs and gave us matching hair-dos. High ponytails with a big velvet black bows on top. On  a 6 year old that looks absolutely adorable but as I got older I realised that my favourite hairstyle was becoming less acceptable.

UNTIL, bows made a come-back. Fashion and beauty blogs started doing posts on the best hairstyles to use them in, and Pinterest became covered in them. It was awesome. So this week, I’m thankful for being able to bring the bows back out and for my beautiful cousin.

thirty days

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#4 – The Things People Can Do With Paper

Okay, yes that’s a pretty vague title, but what I mean by that is art. Again, art is a pretty vague subject so I’ll narrow it down a bit again. Studying art at A-level means you look at a lot of artists, and I admit that sometimes I look at them and think ‘wait, that’s considered art?!’. But every now and again I come across someone who’s work is just amazing. And an artist like this is what inspired the title of this post. His name is Rob Ryan, and he makes me thankful that we live in a place where people can create things like this and share them with the world. I mean seriously, these are paper cutouts …

rob ryan 1 rob ryan 3 rob ryan 4

thirty days

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#3 – Thanksgiving and American friends

I may be thoroughly English, but I do have quite a large number of American friends, which means that every year I celebrate Thanksgiving. Don’t be tricked into thinking that that means that I know what on earth it’s all about though. In fact, I spent a good majority of my study period today, attempting to work it out, but I’m still pretty much none the wiser (though in all honestly, I did get slightly sidetracked into learning about Belarus. Did you know they found some mammoth fossils there?). Something to do with pilgrims?

Anyway, despite the fact that Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday, we decided to live life on the edge and celebrate four days early. So, yesterday was a day filled with turkey, pumpkin pie and some pretty dodgy American impressions. But it’s not the turkey I’m especially thankful for (though it is pretty good), but the fact that even in times where every single news story seems incredibly depressing, people can still get together and celebrate the good parts in their lives and be thankful.

Also, here’s something I uncovered on my Thanksgiving revision. I learnt a lot …

turkey

thirty days

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#2 – God’s Creativity

As a Christian, I believe that God created everything in this world, so if you don’t believe in the same ideas, just go along with it for now. When God created the world I feel like he had a great time. He could have just decided to make tree, and grass, and flower, but instead he decided to go all out and make hundreds of beautiful, intricate and frankly, weird variations. For example, a few weeks ago at church, someone gave me a bunch of flowers which included the most amazing flower I have ever seen. Seriously, it’s a cabbage:

DSCN4471 DSCN4472

Like what?! Even everyday flowers like roses. Once you actually look at them, they’re absolutely amazing!
DSCN4475

thirty days

So here’s a little challenge for you today, and over the next week. When you see flowers, or  trees, or plants, instead of simply glancing at them look at them, and appreciate the beauty  in every part of His creation.

Hannah

30 Days of Thankful

#1 – This blog

Last week I found this little challenge swimming around the internet (metaphorically of course) and decided that this would be a good way to improve Mondays, by looking at the slightly more positive side. And of course, being the slow movers that we are on this blog, yes we are starting late and yes we will finish late, because that is the story of my life.

Number 1 is this blog. I started this almost a year ago, purely for something to do, and now it’s turning into something that both Katie and I absolutely love doing. We were talking about this the other day, mainly about how we now see every situation as a blogging situation. When I told Katie I was away in Torquay the other day, the first thing she said to me wasn’t ‘have a nice time’ or ‘what’s it like?’, it was ‘make sure you take loads of pretty pictures’. This blog has become a huge part of our lives without us really realising it, and yes that’s pretty cliché but that just means that lots of other people feel the same way.
So if people actually read this or not, I’m thankful for this little space of  creativity, and also incredibly thankful that it’s been almost a year and still none of our friends have managed to find it …

Hannah