Friday, July 31, 2009


Today I was looking at some before and afters on Design*Sponge (I've already mentioned how much I love before and afters...) and I saw the picture below. In my opinion, they didn't really do that much to improve the room, but they did add sunflowers, which kind of redeems the makeover. That reminds me...

I love sunflowers. They are my favorite. That is all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gag Reels...

I love to laugh. And I love it when other people laugh. And I love it when I laugh at myself. And I love it when other people laugh at themselves. With that said... I love gag reels. You know, the clips of actors when they mess up their lines in movies and laugh at themselves. I love it! I love genuine laughing, and I feel like gag reels always display that, plus they're funny so I laugh myself. They're just great!

When watching a new DVD, normally the first thing I do when I put the disc in the DVD player is I click on the Special Features and I check to see if they have included a gag reel. If they haven't, I'm pretty bummed... But if they have, I get way excited! I make myself wait until after I watch the entire movie to watch it though... it makes it that much more enjoyable.

Anyway, I've been watching all the seasons of Friends this summer (one of my summer goals) and they have a gag reel on most of the seasons. It's great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Blog, I promise...

I started this blog November of last year. I haven't been going at it for a whole year and I am already slowing down. Maybe when I started, it wasn't realistic to think that I could keep it going at the pace that I was. It was kind of like a new toy where you play with it non-stop, and then it gradually is not new anymore and you find better things to play with.

But, I desire to post a lot. The original thing that I loved about blogging was that it made me think deeply about my day. I would look around to find things that I appreciate that some people may not, and then I would come back and write about them. I don't know if the reason why I haven't been blogging very much is: 1. Because I have already written about most of the things that I find lovely, or 2. Because I have stopped looking for them.

Either way... things need to change. Not because I need to write something for the few people who read this, but because I need to reopen my mind to the beauties of this world (I know that was cheesey, but please don't throw up.) Anyway, this is my promise, to my inanimate blog, or to you few wonderful people who read this: I'm going to try harder.

I will be back soon to blog about something spectacular, or something not so spectacular that only I notice and deserves some spotlight. Until then...

(After posting this, I realized it closely resembles my friend Valeria's most recent post, only hers was more to the point and I dragged mine out more than necessary. Sorry V, I wasn't trying to be a copycat.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


While in New York, Valeria proposed the question, "So now that you've been to New York, where is the next place you want to travel?" That's a good question... I have no idea.

That got me thinking about how many places I've been. Pretty much every summer since I can remember my parents have taken us on a vacation. I haven't really been out of the United States other than the Dominican Republic and Mexico, but in the continental U.S. I have been places and seen things that a lot of people have never experienced. I think I took this for granted until I realized that it isn't common and I'm extremely blessed. My appreciation also grew after taking a vacation of my own and realizing how expensive it is... :) So anyway, thanks Mom and Dad: for valuing the art of travel enough to make it work for a big family of 6. I am so thankful for the places I've been and the things I've seen.

So back to Valeria's question... where to next? In the States, I still haven't really gone northeast or northwest: I haven't seen D.C. or anything up there and I hear from some really cool people that Portland is the place to be, so maybe I'll go there. Of course, there's Europe, and Africa, and South America... Oh, the places I will (or at least hope to) go....

(Below are pictures from some of the trips I've taken in the past 3 years.)

Pigeon Forge, TN///San Diego, CA
Estes Park, CO///Chicago, IL

Las Vegas, NV///Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

St. Simons Island, GA///Croc, Mexico

Anna Maria Island, FL///Shreveport, LA

Monday, July 20, 2009

I (heart) New York

I went to New York this weekend to visit my roommate/friend (what word did we decide best describes our friendship?) Valeria with my other roommate/friend Sarah. It was a fantastic weekend. I spent way too much money and ate way too much food but it was awesome.

I'm sure I will write more later but here are a few of my random observations and thoughts about New York.

-They don't give you refills on Diet Coke but they always give you a lemon.
-I don't like Times Square or anything touristy... but I love little neighborhoods like Chelsea (pictured above).
-Peoples' fuses are shorter there. I'm glad I grew up in the Midwest so my temper isn't quite as intense.
-Speaking of the Midwest, everyone thinks it's lame there, except for a really nice guy with a dog named Simba that we met in Central Park.
-Speaking of parks, even though New York is full of buildings and streets and insanity, it has some of the greatest parks I've ever experienced (my favorites were Bryant and Central).
-I have no idea how they find space and time to film so many movies there... it's kind of chaos.
-I have never been to a city older than New York: the architecture and history (although I didn't experience much of it, which was just fine with me) was amazing.
-I want to go back. Three days wasn't enough, although I suppose it was because I almost cleared out my checking account.

What a great weekend... more to come though. I feel like one blog post doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

High Schoolers...

This week I helped out with our youth group church camp. The kids split up in three groups and each group got $500 a day to go out and be generous and bless people in Kansas City in whatever way the group wanted. It was a really cool thing. Generosity is for sure not one of my gifts, so it was really neat for me to see the cool things that happen when people are generous.

It was interesting being around high schoolers, as well. I know I spent all last summer interning with a youth group so I should be used to it, but there was something different about this group. It made me realize that there are some things I really do and don't miss about high school.

Things I Don't Miss:
-Doing whatever is necessary to get attention

Things I Do Miss:
-Being able to be silly and chat about silly things like Zac Efron
-Doing fun things as a group like making bracelets (like the ones I made above)
-Having sleepovers
-Believing you can realistically change the world

It was a great week. I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Ozarks.

My family went to the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend with our good friends the Wilts. Now, I know I've written about the lake before, but this weekend was so perfect that I had to write about it again.

Friday night we got there in time to swim before the sun went down. Because it had been cloudy most of the day, but cleared just in time for the sun to set, it made for a pretty beautiful evening. Saturday the sun was out all day so we spend lots of time outside. We had tons of good times swimming, jet skiing, boating, tubing, eating, playing games, etc. Today it rained in the morning but we managed to fit in some skiing before we had to leave this afternoon.

I would say one of my highlights was just being on the boat. I love boats. I love the wind and the waves. I love how peaceful everything gets when you just sit there and ride and enjoy the feeling of it all. I also love how much fun can be had with a boat, as well. Tubing and skiing is so much fun. My mom said she loved watching people tube because their smiles are so genuine and I completely agree.

It was just a quality weekend full of good community and fun times.

(The sunset that greeted us on Friday night
and Megan and I headed out for a jet ski ride.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dance Sequences!

Tonight I got to see a sneak preview of the movie "500 Days of Summer" with Joel. It was a good movie. I would say I liked the production of the movie: the music, the wardrobe, the setting, the cinematography (I can actually say that because I took a cinematography class at MU, therefore, I know... ha, kind of, I got a B) more than the actual plot. The plot was pretty good but not amazing. I guess overall I would say my eyes enjoyed watching the movie more than my heart did.

Anyway, this movie had a random dance sequence in it, and I loved it. Which got me thinking about how I love when movies put random dances in scenes that they don't necessarily belong. Some of the movies that I thought of with some fun dance sequences:

-500 Days of Summer (duh...)
-Slumdog Millionaire
-Napoleon Dynamite
-She's All That
-13 Going On 30

If I ever make a movie, you better believe there will be some type of dance sequence in it. Some people may find them dumb, but overall, I think they create more smiles than not, so I say they're great.

Here's the 13 Going On 30 dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. This is probably my least favorite of all the dance sequences that I mentioned above, but it's the only one I could find on YouTube. It's still fun... so enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Condensation... really?

"It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."
Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs
This quote was in August's Real Simple magazine. I liked it because I feel like it pretty much sums up my blog and my life.

Tonight I went to Starbucks to read on the patio. I was greeted by an incredibly nice barrista, got myself a Passion Tea Lemonade (or something like that), escaped in music with my iPod, soaked up the beautiful weather, and read. It was perfect. All of a sudden I was looking at my cup and found the condensation beautiful. I know, you may be thinking, "Man, it doesn't take much for Abby to find something to be beautiful. What are her standards?" It's true... it doesn't take much for me, but I guess that's a good thing.

Anyway, I took some pictures and figured my little insight about condensation went well with this quote, so I went for it...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July!

Photographer Glynis Selina Arban took these pictures. I like how they depict the 4th of July. I think I like these because they really aren't examples of spectacular photography... but they for sure capture the moment. I wish I was hanging out with these people.

Actually, I wish I was in Derby, Kansas with my family. Doing sparklers. Or taking pictures of people doing sparklers. Instead I will be in Leavenworth, Kansas... selling sparklers. ("Oh, poor Abby..." Not really. I'll stop trying to make you feel sorry for me. It's not THAT bad.)

Happy 4th of July, everyone! I hope you enjoy it as much as these people in these pictures are!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Strawberries and Unoriginality.

I saw this picture on a blog, Design*Sponge. Do you get sick of me stealing thoughts from other blogs and putting them on here? What can I say... I'm basically unoriginal... and I felt like it just embodies summer. I don't know how... it just does and it makes me smile. So because I have been surrounded by Pop-Its and Saturn Missiles for the past week and a half, and don't have much to say myself... I'll let other good blogs do the talking.

So anyway, this picture was a runner up for some summer photo contest. A woman named Jodi McKee took it. Thanks Jodi McKee... your picture makes me smile.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"I'm female and I'm taken by trees."

The other day I was reading a blog, Design for Mankind, and it was showcasing a Russian photographer (not sure her name, they just identified her by her Flickr name) who described herself as this: "I'm female and I'm taken by trees." I'd say that is pretty representative of myself as well. I used to think I mainly preferred bare trees, but after enjoying a beautiful summer with full, green trees... I think I am just "taken by trees" in general.

Last night I was driving through the country, with the windows down (of course...), Taylor Swift blasting (a little bit embarrassed about that one, but you have to get the whole feel), cool breeze blowing in my hair, and the setting sun coming in and out of the trees as I made my way down the hilly road. It was one of those moments of perfection where I literally thought, "Man, what a beautiful place this world is." Lately, I have been in awe of how alive everything is. I love the green of summer. I love the fullness of the trees. I love the surprise cool nights after days of intense heat.

Of course, I took some pictures... With every wonderful moment I'm always torn with the thought, "Do I just stand here and enjoy this or do I try to capture it so I can remember it forever?" The pictures never do the real thing justice, but I always enjoy trying. With that said, I left my camera at the fireworks stand so the pictures of the photographer who's quote inspired this post will have to do.