Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Literary Heroine Blog Party

Meandering through blogs during littlest one's nap time, I stumbled upon The Literary Heroine blog party from Accordion to Kelly.  I rather adore literature and this looked like so much fun, I had to try it despite the near deadline!  I love discussion questions about books and their characters and all these other super literaryish questions - lovely!

~ The Questions ~

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!

Me? I'm a mess.  But God is working in my life in ways I don't understand, and He's turning my mess of a life into something beautiful.  I long for love; family, close friends, a husband and many children and an assortment of dear pets to surround me.  My camera, books, journals, music, rather original fashion ideas. Me, to be used however God might intend. 

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? 

Selflessness, denial of self in favor of Christ and, in turn, others.  Staying strong when it all falls apart.  Bravery and courage in the face of trials.  A certain kindness and compassion.  And striving to follow God.

Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 

Fanny Price - Mansfield Park - she is one of the few heroines who genuinely puts others first.  She is loyal, wise, passionate, humble, selfless, and loves strongly.  I quite adore her.  I relate to her on many levels (including physicals struggles, and enjoyment of horses), although I find myself struggling and learning daily what she seems to have mastered!

Jane- Jane Eyre - The "feel" of Jane was often so sad, making it hard to read in places because she was so full of unspoken emotion and quite dreary at times.  However, her constant desire to do what was right in the end is what wins me over.  Her heart wrenching, "Mr Rochester, I must leave you." She left the man she loved because he was already married, in spite of the hurt in his eyes and his begging her not to go.  She agonized over how to do this, but would not stay, would not be drawn into the sin as soon as she found out it was there.  What an incredible, inspiring young woman.  

Marianne Dashwood - Sense and Sensibility - I do so love Marianne.  She doesn't start out as a heroine, and we see her character develope throughout the book.  I adore her passion, love for books and music, and her inability to love by halves :)

Primrose Everdeen - The Hunger Games - A young, modern heroine of literature, although more of a secondary character.  The healer.  The little one who grew up fast so she could sacrifice her time and skills to save people (just like her sister Katniss, who is also a wonderful heroine.)  Easy to love.  Stronger than she seems.  Kind, peaceful, she is the kind of heroine that fights for what is right from where is is, giving the warriors a reason to go to war, and come home again.

Five of your favorite historical novels? 
For a balance between classics and those written recently...

Wrapped - Jennifer Bradbury
Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
She Walks In Beauty - Siri Mitchell
(I couldn't pick which Jane Austen novel, can I list "all of them?" XD )

Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? 

Jane - Jane Eyre - She was selfless, she was strong, she thought of others, and she did right.

Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 

Melanie Hamilton - Gone With The Wind - She was a sweet girl.  Strength in her character made up for where it lacked in her body.  She was unfailingly kind and thought well of nearly everyone, but she wasn't blind either.  Also, Rhett Butler thought quite highly of her! Her worst "quality" was her goodness sakes awful husband.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 

Most probably tour Europe.  Take pictures is what I would do, visit all the important places as well as frolic about in the average day to day shop and restaurants.

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 

I'm not incredibly picky.  I have read stories from the time of Noah's flood to the future.  I don't have a favorite, but anywhere from 1700-early 1900s is usually delightful.  I quite adore fairy tales and their fictional times too!

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? 

I love to sing, and don't get that opportunity so very often.  I would easily chose singing.

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 

This is quite difficult!  Any heroine of literature?  I think I would go as Luna Lovegood, from Harry Potter.  She is delightfully quirky and has a lovely spirit.  I would also dress like her, it would be great fun.

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 

Yes (need I say more? no? good, or else I shall be eating some.)

Favorite author(s)? 

Jane Austen <3 , Shannon Hale - I have read multiple works by both and can fairly call them favorite authors, not just one book of theirs a favorite read.

Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? 

My camera, several journals and pens, books, tea, an assortment of vintage dresses, and my family, who wouldn't miss out!

In which century were most of the books you read written?

I read all over the place. Probably a tie between 1800s, modern day, and fantasy/fictional timelines
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 

Very difficult... I would have to say Colonel Brandon - Sense and Sensibility.  I think he is a hero, in the true sense of the word.  He honestly picks up a lot of pieces of some very broken hearts, including his own.  He loves strong, saves many, is kind.  We get the hint that he was more adventurous in his youth, which I would love to have read of!  Not to mention the duel with Willoughby that Jane doesn't actually write as a scene, though she lets us know it happened...

Very very honorable mentions below ;)  but I had to pick the most classic hero of my oh too extensive list.

 Tobias - Divergent - Strong. Protective. Honorable. He says, "I have theory, that sometimes selflessness and bravery aren't all that different."  He is young, not perfect, and it's like seeing him on his journal to become that ultimate hero.

Noah - The Notebook - Steadfast. Persistent.  Willing to give up his own desires for Allie's, even if that means losing her. He truly loves her.

Aragorn and Samwise Gamgee - Lord of the Rings - I have not read the books, but strictly speaking from the movies they are quite extraordinary, but I found it unfair to choose either without reading the books first. With quotes like, "I would have gone with you to the end," and "But I can carry you!" ... true heros 

Describe your ideal dwelling place. 

A house on the beach. Full of windows and many things bright blue.  A library full full full of books.  Lots of lovely chairs.

Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. 

Quirky and eccentric, or elegant and vintage

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? 

Indeed, many times.  Although, by the time I'm done with a book, I usually have grown to like the name.

In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 

Willoughby - Sense and Sensibility.  Making girls fall in love with him when he has no intentions of staying.  And leaving the girls he did fall in love with.  Too smart for his own good, he knew what they wanted, knew just what to say to each of them. Loved some of them.  Married one of them.  Then tried to come back for Marianne?  I think he really did love her. As much as he knew how to love.  And I feel so sorry for him, because he was too late.  "With my head and heart full of your sister, I was forced to play the happy lover to another woman!" Perhaps he should have considered this before attaching himself to said woman? And didn't we want him to almost die of a broken heart over Marianne, as she became so ill while mourning him? ;) However, he "survived." His parting good quality? He always considered her the most beautiful girl in the world.

"For Marianne, however, in spite of his incivility in surviving her loss, he always retained that decided regard which interested him in every thing that befell her, and made her his secret standard of perfection in woman; and many a rising beauty would be slighted by him in after-days as bearing no comparison with Mrs. Brandon." -Sense and Sensibility, last chapter

Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
Other than the Bible, of course . . .
My, I feel very uneducated. I don't remember the last non-fiction book I read! Perhaps I have not read any since I graduated highschool... perhaps this now needs remedied!  

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 

Lemonade, book, sunshine, sunglasses.  Or acquiring an old fashioned bike and riding to the library in a sundress.  Or taking random pictures.  Or a small party with friends and summery food goodness.

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. 

Large, wide brimmed.  Not floppy though.  Mildly adorned with ribbon and perhaps silk flowers.

I also like silk scarfy thingies.  

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 

The transition between teenage years and adulthood is happening - I'm stuck in the middle.  Jesus asked, "Do you love me?"  or "Lovest thou me, more than these?"  and it has been a still is.

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

Psalm 139 is a favorite passage of mine, and has been for many years.  I love the promises.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Look Like Love

Little girl dreams of my first dozen roses.  Homemade cards shaped like hearts.  Foldable valentines (and saving the shiniest, cutest, favouritest ones.) Unjustifiably expensive chocolates that are oh so good (after having taken a bite out of at least six to discard the peculiar ones - and leave those for mom.) Conversation hearts with faded messages. My cat eating my rose any of the years my dad got me one. Some of my first Valentines Day memories.  Then I got older, and it just wasn't for me.  I hung out with my friends, ate any chocolate I could get my hands on, wished for flowers, knew those rather frightening stuffed bears holding hearts weren't for me (nor were the wannabe romantic cards they came with.)  Waiting for the day when roses and [good] chocolate were to be given to me.  Because that was what Valentines Day is about, right?  Yeah, well, maybe not. It's so much more.

This is an entire day devoted to love.  Although, I suppose the reality is that every day should be devoted to love.  We are called to love.  Valentines Day is a day of love.  Unfortunately, as we humans so often do, we forget the purpose of a holiday - or any day, for that matter! We make it about us.  This isn't just a day about romance, but a day about love.  We have such a wonderful opportunity to show the love of Jesus on this day.  And yet, how many times have I sat thinking about myself?  How I have no one to buy me flowers, what I'm going to do, how sorry I am for me.  And how very selfish I am.  Who else is out there hurting? Who else is far more alone than me? Who needs love? And how can I show it to them.

I wanna Look Like Love.
Be more than just enough.
For the hearts that are broken, coming undone.
It's up to you and me, to leave a legacy.
If we're all they ever see.

I babysit three kids. Each of them made me a valentine.  Each of them show me a childlike, unconditional love.  They (and their mamma :D ) had a little gift basket for me full of things I love - bright pens, fun socks, chocolates, and of course the age old conversation hearts.  They all love Valentines Day, and were just so excited to give.  It's such a simple lesson! You'd think it would be just as simple to execute, but instead it's pretty darn hard to grasp the fact that life isn't about us.  And how better to show that, than by giving love? Showing love? Looking like the love of God? Yeah, I think children grasp that better than us.  They give and receive love without reservation. It's quite beautiful.
Let me be the first to admit.
There are days that I just don't have the strength to give.
Don't wanna stay there.

If I believe there's a Savior.
Is the proof in me?
Is He alive and breathing?
Is He what they'll remember?
Is He what they see?
When they look at me.

Do I look like, look like love?

more Valentines photos here  -- lyrics by Britt Nicole, Look Like Love from the album Gold

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"I Two!"

Sammy is growing up!  No longer a baby boy, he's becoming a little toddler with quite the personality and lots of input on everything!  February 12th he turned two <3

To see the rest of his "official" shoot, see here :)

Little boy toddlers are stinkin' adorable, if they are a handful at times XD

My Mamma and Sister joined Samuel's family for a small but fun celebration. It was filled with lots of laughter, sugar, and Choo-Choos! He ran around screaming in excitement for quite some time.  He now knows: big sisters like to help, even if you don't want them to and they end up blowing out your candle; t-shirts are just part of the tissue paper and you need to throw them aside in order to get to the real present; cake before dinner is the better option; blue icing stains your skin; and Daddy's like playing trains just as much as little boys ;)