Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beauties Blogging Books: Finis

Happy day after Christmas! I hope you and yours had as much joy celebrating the birth of our Savior as my family and I did, and that it was a holiday stuffed full of good memories.

Since my post last week, I finished The Looking Glass Wars, but not before I took a break on Sunday and read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (If you haven't read it, you should get on that. Stat.  Three reasons why: 1. It's EXCELLENT. 2. It's being made into a movie next year, and I am a firm believer in the book before the movie. 3. It's EXCELLENT!)

Anyway, my journey with Alyss Heart has drawn to a close. I'm saddened, because it was a fun trip. There is something about mystically magical lands that may or may not exists with BA warriors and called off weddings that tickles my fancy. [Disclaimer: I do love weddings and would be mortified if I attended one that got interrupted, but in fictional circumstances, they're great.]

There were two particular scenes in this last portion of the book that I absolutely loved. The first comes when Alyss' tutor is trying to convince her that she IS capable of ruling Wonderland. He says, "Your imagination has not gone, Alyss, because there is nowhere it can go to. It is within you whether you like it or not." This was awesome. And really rather encouraging. Sometimes, during my pathetic attempts at writing my own stories, I feel as though my imagination abandons me. But it doesn't. It's always there. I just have to dig around and find it. My imagination will never go anywhere. It may get buried by the realities of life, but it's still there and I can call it forth at will. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. (If you haven't picked up on this yet, I'm a huge believer in an active imagination. I don't care how old you are. If you don't imagine things, I can't trust you.)

The second scene is when the Blue Caterpillar is having a chat with Alyss about the fact that she fled Wonderland at the beginning of the story. It is sometimes braver to run. "By running, you live to face further uncertainty and trouble...She who runs from her enemies until she has the strength to do otherwise is both brave and wise." Alyss didn't roll over and give up. She booked it out of there, not knowing what she was escaping too, only believing that it had to better than what she left. And it's true. When you escape from something, there is no way of being certain what you are going to. It is diving head first into the unknown, clinging to a shred of hope. If that's not courage, I don't know what is. Of course, there's the whole responsibility thing, and fleeing from that, but that's a whole different story. Alyss came back when needed and was willing to step up to the plate.

In conclusion, I rather enjoyed The Looking Glass Wars.

I'm not certain how far Clarissa is in her month with Emma, but if she still has a ways to go, I may consider blogging The Fault in Our Stars. Or I might just do that anyway, because it was so dang good.

Thanks for hanging out with me through this!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Beauties Blogging Books: Wishing for Wonderland

Today I am continuing in my adventure with Clarissa of B+B. In this here second post of our book blogging adventure, I am pleased to inform you that I have more than twenty pages read for this chunk. Huzzah! Overall, I'm still loving the story, however there are some aspects that I think feel rushed and could have been fleshed out a little more. So that's a bit of a bummer.

Basically, what has happened thus far is that war has broken out in Wonderland and Alyss has leapt through a portal and landed in London (it's all very Disney's Enchanted if you ask me). It isn't long before she realizes that our home here on Earth actually kind of sucks. Nobody believes her tales about Wonderland, she isn't treated like a princess, and her powers of imaginations go AWOL. Suffice it to say Alyss is NOT a happy camper.

And who can blame her? If I were to go about telling tales of a fantastical land that can't possibly exist, everyone would think I'm crazy. (They also don't react well to my declarations of pretending to be a dragon when it's cold enough to see my breath, but I digress.) Nobody treats ME like a princess. My powers of imagination only exist on paper...and even then it's sporadic. Psh. I'm starting to wish I could pop through puddles into a magical land but, like Alyss, I'm stuck here and have to make the most of my situation.

More to the specifics of things I enjoyed while reading this week. An English prince falls in love with Alyss, which is bound to happen in these circumstances, and describes her as "a delectable puzzle of a creature". While I'm not certain how I feel about the whole "delectable" business, I found it a sentiment that accurately described the craziness that is most women, but still remained entirely tactful. Where are the non-fiction men like that? Do they even exist? He also describes her as an "uncommon commoner". Even after adjusting to the social customs and norms of England in the late 1800's, Alyss still stands out. She still longs for something more.

Like Alyss, I often find myself wishing for my own Wonderland.

That's about all I have for you this week, without going all English major on you and ranting about themes and development and symbolism. Don't forget to check out Clarissa's post this week!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beauties Blogging Books: Queendoms and Imagination

My friend Clarissa over at Blunders and Blessings approached me a few weeks ago with a proposition to blog through a book with her during winter break. I agreed. She introduces us Beauties Blogging Books over on the B+B. If you don't feel like reading that whole post, I'll give you the Sparknotes version: We borrowed books from each other and are going to blog about them once a week through the month of December. The book I selected is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. She's been talking it up to me for quite some time now, and I decided it was a good choice for this endeavor.

First, I'd like to start with a little disclaimer. I am all for strong, independent womanhood, and my opinions may possibly be taken as being of the feminist persuasion. They aren't. I just really appreciate a lot of what feminism stands for. However, I am more than anxious for the day when God brings the man into my life that I am going to marry, and will assume the role of a submissive wife with joy. Not a feminist. Just....independent...That may or may not come up during the course of this.

Second, I absolutely adore adaptations of literature. And I'm not talking adaptations of the fan fiction sort. I'm talking let's-take-this-story-from-a-different-perspective sort. For example, Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, and Roald Dahl's versions of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. So The Looking Glass Wars is right up my alley, as it is an adaption of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Third. My initial thoughts are that I like it. The first sentence opens the book with a flashback to a time when "bloodshed spattered the doorstep of every Wonderlander". Yes. My exceptionally morbid mind loved it. Also, Wonderland is a Queendom, not a Kingdom. The queen holds the power. I was a fan. (This is where my first point comes in...not feminist.) I'm also a huge fan of the importance of the imagination as an asset in the novel. The power of the imagination doesn't diminish with age--it is honed. The power of imagination seems to be the Queen's greatest asset in ruling her people. I'm loving it, because though I am 21, I haven't quite gotten over the power and magic that exists in a healthy imagination.

I really haven't gotten much farther than that, but hopefully I'll be a lot farther along the next time I write. I'll also be linking to B+B so you can enjoy Clarissa's take on Jane Austen's Emma. Go check out her first post here!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm a Mess

Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of your favorite holiday beverage. Get comfy. Because we're going to get real today. It's going to be messy, but it needs to happen.

When I changed the name of my blog to Daisies and Daydreams, I wrote about why I chose that and what it symbolized. You can read that post here. I mentioned how I thought daisies are a picture of how a young woman ought to be. Y'all, I was not that young woman this quarter. Far from it.

As you've probably gathered if you been here before, I don't handle disappointment and opposition well. I like things to fit neatly in a box with no muss, no fuss. I like knowing what to expect and being able to depend on things. In those instances, I can be daisy-like.

Of course, that's not what God had in store for me this quarter. This quarter was the antithesis of my ideal situation. I took a class that tried my patience every single day. No coherent lectures? Check. Insulting us as students? Check. Crossword puzzle midterm? Check. Group project? Check. One thing after another tried my type A personality, and I didn't like it.So I did what I usually do when I'm upset: I got grumpy and cynical.

I spent most of the class in a very angry mood, and I didn't care if he or anyone else knew it. No. I wanted him to know it. I rolled my eyes at every mention of the bell curve. I cringed at bar codes. I was neither forgiving nor understanding of the fact that he ran his class differently than I think it should have been. So I stewed in anger and bitterness for the past 10 weeks. I was not sweet. I was not optimistic. And I definitely wasn't overflowing with joy.

And I am ashamed.

This class was (you guessed it) another learning experience. Not of the academic sort, but of the life-lesson sort. I learned how NOT to handle something.  I didn't take it to the Lord in prayer. I didn't seek Him for peace, grace, guidance, or patience. I asked Him why. I prayed for a change in my professor when I should have asked for a change in myself.  I'm still a mess in need of her God, and His unending love and patience for me is overwhelming. That is cause for rejoicing and thankfulness. Each and every day.

Matthew 5:3-10 NIV
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are  the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Oh man. Here I am. Spending my last morning in Iowa. I head back to California this afternoon, and believe me when I say it is a bittersweet thought.

I didn't expect to love it here as much as I have. I mean, let's face it. This is IOWA. There's not a whole lot here. But I've grown to really love and appreciate it, and there is a lot that I'm going to miss about it. For example:
 ~Brother and Sister-in-Law
~My new church family
~The green-ness (Note: NOT the humidity. Just the green.)
~Gong Fu Tea
Among other things.

But at the same time, I'm excited to return home. As awesome as it was to get away, and as much as I'm disappointed my time here is ending, home is just that. HOME. It's familiar. It's comfortable. It's where I belong. For now, anyway.

It's been a great summer, and I hoping that it will have been just what I needed before jumping back into school in the next few weeks. Ew. School. [Boo! Hiss!]

Psalm 116: 1-2 ESV
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Foiled Plans

Do you ever plan something and then it doesn't work out the way you thought it would? Because that seems to be how my life goes. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to spend my summer with my brother and sister-in-law.I had this brilliant vision of coming out here, getting an awesome part time job, spending tons of time with my family, and being all around busy.

Did that happen? Yeah. Not so much.

I submitted a bunch of job applications and none of them worked out. My sister-in-law has spent the better part of the last month out of state training for a new job, and my brother has the weirdest work schedule EVER. Also, not having a car has severely limited my adventuring options. So I've spent the summer sitting on the couch reading (I have completed 7 and a half books) and watching TV shows (9 seasons and counting).

At first, I was on the disappointed side of things. But now that I've had some time to think about it and talk through it with a couple of people, I'm realizing that this was probably a really good thing. I thought what I needed was a job and things to do, when what I've really needed was a genuine break. A time when I could relax, and de-stress after the last quarter of school. A time to rejuvenate. This break has been such a blessing, especially since this kind of thing rarely anybody, really.

It has also been yet another learning experience. (I feel like 2013 has just been a year for that.) I've learned that I like to keep busy. So as much as I might not like my job at home, it is better than not having a job at all. I've learned that relationships are important to me. I used to think that I could easily be a hermit and not deal with anyone. Yet I get so excited to see the people that I've come to know here. I'm treasuring the time I have been getting with everyone. Plus I miss all my California people.

These have been pretty great things to realize, and this has been an awesome way to figure it all out. So now, I have about a month or so longer before I head home, and I'm determined to make the most of it. To be content in my circumstance. To enjoy the relaxation. To revel in the stress-free zone. And to recognize that God knew I needed this break. To thank Him for foiling my plan.

 I Corinthians 8:3 ESV
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Phew. I made it. I finished this quarter. And that, my friends, is reason to rejoice indeed. I finished last Thursday, but this is the first time that I've really felt up to writing about it; also, grades went up yesterday, so I can write with some amount of certainty about things. I ended up passing all of my classes, and managed to pull a glorious B+ in French. HUGE BLESSING ALERT. While I didn't do spectacularly in another class this quarter, I did pass and at this point, I'm okay with that. When I saw it yesterday, I sat and stewed at myself for a good hour and a half, but then realized that, all things considered, it's okay.

Aside from that, it has been a pretty interesting week. I'll sum things up in a list, (which we all know I think are the bee's knees).

     ~I watched some people get married
     ~Left CA for Iowa
     ~Marveled at the sight of the Chicago skyline as my first plane landed (if you haven't seen it, you should. It's beautiful.)
     ~Arrived in Iowa
     ~Visited an AWESOME geek store
     ~Met some people
     ~Went to a minor league baseball game
     ~Discovered that my allergies hate Iowa
     ~Found an adorable cupcakery with delicious cupcakes
     ~Attended a sidewalk chalk drawing contest. Didn't win, but had fun anyway
     ~Broke down and bought allergy medicine
     ~Made plans for Friday night
     ~Remembered I'm supposed to run a 5k on Saturday...oops

Basically, we all decided (my parents, brother, and I) that getting away from home for a little bit would be good for everyone, so here I am. Not home and doing things. It's been great, although I'm sure I'll have a little bit of a meltdown sometime in the next two weeks, but so far, I'm loving it. It's the first real adventure I've been on (aside from starting college). It's been wonderful not having any responsibilities to worry about or due dates for anything, but I am about to embark on a job search for the summer, so we'll see how that goes.

Sometimes you just need new. New sights, new places, new people. So here's to new-even if it is temporary.

2 Peter 1:5-9 ESV
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Learning Experience

I felt like sharing a little something that I have found rather exciting. But, it doesn't start off that way, so I'll just give you the quick, watered-down version.

This quarter I've been taking French 103, and it has been a whole different ball game than French 101 and 102. In short, it has sucked beyond belief. Until recently, I thought I was for sure going to fail the class, but in a surprising turn of events, I have discovered that I might actually pass! Not do well, but pass. (My professor doesn't put any grades online and hasn't given us grades for everything that we've done; therein lies the uncertainty.) And at this point, that's all I can really ask for. I have two days left of class and then the final...on one of those two days, I have a midterm. Yeah. It's weird. I know. My professor just does things like that. The good side is, half of said midterm was covered on a test we just took. Yay! It may not sound like much, but to me, it is crazy exciting.

Also this quarter, I've been taking Biology, Shakespeare, and a Fiction Analysis class. Biology isn't my thing, Shakespeare is, well, Shakespeare, and my Fiction class has been filled with books and movies that I personally don't think are all that great. It's been a rough nine weeks, to say the least, and I wish I could say that I've maintained a cool head and positive attitude the whole time, but that would be a lie. Yet as bad as this quarter has been, it's been a wonderful learning experience. It has basically been a nine week reminder course that I need to keep my trust in God, constantly. It is only by His grace that I can do anything, and I NEED Him. Always. It's been a wonderful lesson, full of opportunities to put it into practice. And for that, I am thankful.

While I've always know that it is true and can be encouraging, I've come to view Philippians 4:13 as one of those fail safe "Sunday School Answers" that you say because you can never go wrong with it, but this quarter I've seen just how marvelous a truth it really is.

Philippians 4.13 NIV
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Welcome to Daisies and Daydreams!

Hi there, friends! So, I don't know if anyone actually reads these silly ramblings of mine (except you, Clarissa. Thanks!), but if you do, then you might notice I've updated things a bit. New background, new title. And that's what I want to talk about today.

I originally named this blog "Randomly Random" simply because I couldn't come up with anything that I liked, that was short enough. Then, today, it just kind of came to me. Daisies and Daydreams. It's really rather perfect. Daisies are "the friendliest flower" to quote Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail. I think daisies are a beautiful picture of what a young woman is supposed to be: sweet, optimistic, and exuberant, just overflowing with a joy that can't help but affect others. Although I am far from this, it's something that I'm striving for and praying about...I know nothing short of God's guidance can get me there.

Now about the second part: daydreams. I'm a daydreamer. I spend a great deal of time wrapped up in my mind thinking about what-could-bes and all those impossible things that I read about in novels. It adds a little pizazz to my otherwise rather mundane life.

So there we are. New look. Same me. Just a little bit more succinctly worded. Have a wonderful weekend!

Psalm 51:10 ESV
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Another quarter is drawing to a close and that means looking forward. Looking forward to that last final. Looking forward to spring break. Looking forward to the next stage of education. Amidst all this, today something paused my looking forward.

Do you ever have those really odd moments that just seem to hit you and you aren't sure why it's a big deal all of a sudden? I had one of those today. I'm house sitting for my aunt and uncle, and as I was getting ready for bed tonight, I noticed something draped over a shelf that I managed to overlook for the past couple days: a beautiful scarf.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Kelly, what does a scarf have to do with anything?" Usually, I'd tell you that it doesn't have a whole lot to do with anything at all. But not today. This scarf is one of four that my grandmother brought back from Israel after a trip she'd taken with our church several years ago. My grandmother passed away almost five years ago (it'll be five years in June), and she was my best friend. It took me a long time to move on, but as they say, time heals all wounds, and I've been able to comfortably remember all the great times I had with her.  But for some really strange reason (I'm telling you, this is only the second time I've seen this scarf, and it's the first time in probably 7 years) the sight of that scarf reminded me of her. I wasn't expecting it, so in that moment, memories started to flood back and I couldn't fight off the tears.

I don't know why I reacted this way tonight. Not now. Not after so long, and with such a minor prompt. I honestly don't understand why, but tonight has been rough. As  I sit here, I think God is trying to give me a subtle reminder that sometimes, stopping and taking a moment to reflect and reminisce is a good thing. I'm all about moving forward and moving on, but sometimes you need to slow it down and revel in awesome memories. So now, I'm putting a temporary halt on that perpetual forward motion. I'm pausing, and giving myself a moment to breathe, a moment to think, a moment to look back.

I'm not sure if this post makes a whole lot of sense, so I apologize if it's weird. I just felt that I needed to share this, and that maybe someone needed this tonight, too.

Psalm 55:22 NIV
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Still Here A Year Later

First of all, I feel that I should apologize for my month-and-a-half hiatus. I got caught up in the Christmas festivities and the first half of a new quarter of school and other nonsense life happenings.

Second of all, it has been over a year since I started this blog, and I'm still here...more or less. I kept at it better than I thought I would, and that is something I take pride in. :)

Thirdly, I'm going to address the really pathetic execution of last year's resolution: to read 100 new books. I kept a record of what I read and when, and looking back at it, I'm a little ashamed at how short of my goal I fell. I only made it through 32...and eight of those were plays that I was required to read for a class. Like I said, pathetic.  But it did, mostly, get me back into the habit of reading a little bit each day. Something I fell out of after I graduated, so it wasn't a complete loss. Plus, I have roughly two whole shelves worth of new books to keep me company for a while.

And now, here I sit, halfway through another quarter of school,and one that has been quite enjoyable, I might add. Finally, I was able to get into some classes that weren't GE's that are required for my major. Two of which are a children's lit class and a poetry class. Both have been wonderful and I've gotten to read some really awesome stuff. You can check out some of it here, here, here, and here. These are probably my favorite things I've encountered this quarter, and I have no doubt I'll come across more.

All in all, it's been an excellent start to 2013.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV
"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."