Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Expectations

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things"
-Robert Brault
(A poor quality phone picture but for some reason I love this picture. Honeymoon 08/11 Disneyworld)

This Monday I am talking about expectations. If, 7 years ago, when I graduated from high school you would have told me where I would be now, I would have probably laughed in your face. Now, I guess I should say I don't regret where I am today, but it is not where I thought I would be at 18. I figured I would traipsing in foreign countries, doing good in the world. 

That is the thing of expectations, they are never what you want them to be, but they can be sneaky and be better then what you thought you wanted. I have always had a urge to travel. But when I look back I  realize I have gotten many opportunities to travel. I have been to New Orleans, Dallas, Florida, Vegas, plus I have explored the beautiful lands around my home. And while I thought I would be this independent women traveling the globe, now I have a traveling partner. I might be biased, but D is the best to travel with. While in public I am more shy and reserved, D is outgoing and can easily strike up a conversation with anyone. He is up to trying most anything and it is always an adventure with him. 

I read this article about 21 secrets in your 20s and it really highlighted many of the thoughts that go through me head. Like the one below:

" Life will never feel like it’s “supposed to”. Being twentysomething can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you’ll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today."

 So while I thought I would be widely more successful at this point, I have come to the following realizations: 
1. Nothing is ever what I expected it to be, usually its better and sometimes its not. 

2. I can ONLY control what I can control. If I have no control over it, its no use to feel sorry or to dwell on how unfair things are. It is what it is. I deal. 

3. D is my home. Cheesy as it sounds, no matter where we are as long as we are together we are home.

 4. Patience is essential, and a skill I am constantly working on. 

5. Cherish relationships, make sure you tell people how important they are. You never know what is around the corner. 

 So todays inspiration is to focus on the current, celebrate accomplishments, small or big, and remember that dreams and goals are great things to have, but life has a funny way of giving us exactly what we need.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Global History of the Last 500 Years

Last week in my Global Environmental History class I was asked to simply explain the global history in the last 500 years. I didn't have to use citations or make it too complicated and it had to be done in a page or less. Well, ok thats a huge span of time in a short space of writing BUT I didn't have to use citations (which never happens in my world) so I took a bit of a creative writing point of view on it. My professor said I exemplified ironic domination. :) Let me know what you think in the comments. I find the relationship between humans and the environment complex and fascinating.

(Summer 2012, D took this at his Field Camp, Central Idaho)

            "The defining story of the globe is best told through stories that weave tales of man defending the land, ridding of animals, and taking in the spirit which surrounds them. The public takes these stories and creates vivid pictures of a harmonious relationship between man and nature. Heroes, villains, and victims are portrayed in our tales. These tales shape our view of the history that we, the human race, have implemented on this earth. We often separate the history in before and after. There is the before, when there was no white man, and after, when they came and terrorized the land.
In the last 500 years, it is said humans came, conquered and took what they wanted. They maximized their resources to have a life that was considered “the good life” and did not think about the consequences for future generations. But, one has to consider who “they” are. Many feel the need to subject “they” to the white man, but like natural disasters, there is no prejudice from the human race on who does and doesn’t take the resources. While stories tell the horror of the white man, as he brought in a corrupt trade, disease, and devastation of natural resources, there is the other side of the story. The side where all man played a role on changing the earth, as they seeped and impacted in what many consider the natural environment. All men adventured into new lands, and little by little, changed how the earth looked and how humans today see it.
So one would think that this is the end of the story, that man figured out how to use the land with future generations in mind, how to modify agriculture to feed the masses, but there is a slight problem. Man, as much to their dismay, will always be subjected to the whims of nature. Our earth lets us use the land, lets us live on it, until it decides that there is a need for change. Natural disasters are the earth’s way of telling humans, through most of history, that man shouldn’t get too comfortable for there is always something hidden around the corner. "

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pick Me Up Playlist

It's Wednesday, the middle of week, so close to the weekend but still so far away. So today I thought I would bring you a pick me up playlist. These songs have been on repeat for the last couple weeks and I feel like it would be only right to share this awesomeness.

I have a slight obsession with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I am not sure why, but I love the communal sound of their music, it brings me back to a kid when all I would listen to was oldies. Florence always makes me happy. Lana Del Rey I find myself listening to more, she is kinda dark but I am all for a strong female. And the Youngblood Hawke song reminds me of a book that I have wait till summer to read. The Chad Valley song was in Warm Bodies and I fell in love with it. I use Shazam a lot on my phone, but during the movie I felt it might be rude to pull out my phone to Shazam the song. :) So I waiting till I got home to look it up. Now I can't stop listening to it.

So I hope you all enjoy this pick me up playlist!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Rediscovering

"To Dream anything you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."  -George Bernard Shaw

(Summer 2012- Utah. Nothing like a mountain stream on a hot summer day to remember the things you love)

As a kid or in high school, we, many times, have big goals and dreams. And then you turn 18, go out on your own, live your life and start to realize that those goals and dreams are harder to accomplish. You need time, you need money, you need an education, you need.....But today's inspiration is to not let go of those goals. To rediscover yourself and what makes you, what drives you to succeed and what makes you happy. 

For myself, in high school I use to write stories. I read a lot and it seemed natural that I would write too.  When I graduated and went to college, I remember that my first ever college test was an essay test in history (my major) and I got a D+. Most dealing with how I wrote it. Yep, it sucked. I to take an extra English class and had to write a lot when I first started school. When I left high school, I couldn't write myself out of a paper bag.  Academic writing is a different monster than creative writing or fiction. It is a writing that seems never to  be good enough. Your professors are constantly pointing out where you could improve, or where you lacked. In a way, it gives you tough skin. I easily take constructive criticism in academic writing, it's nothing new for me. When I get good grades in my writing, I get nervous, like maybe the professor didn't actually read it, just glanced over it. 

But, now, as a grad student, I feel that I can write a decent paper. (Or at least, I think I can hehe) I can connect arguments and back it up with peer reviewed information. I feel guilty when I am in a non academic world writing or  about a topic and I don't cite it.

 And, now 7 years later from when I left high school (7 years! That makes me feel old!) , I am again writing for the fun of it. Stories that flood my head, characters that speak in my mind. I don't know if these stories will ever leave my computer or if anyone will ever see them and I don't plan on quitting school and becoming an author, but for now, I feel like I am rediscovering the things I love. And I love it.

So go out, rediscover a hobby, just remember that you can do what you can accomplish goals and dreams. Sometimes it just takes some time, but it can be done :) 

P.S. For those who love books and music, Gabi Daniels is hosting a fun giveaway where you can create a playlist for your favorite characters!! I submitted my playlist, have you?? :) 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Drinking Series

So I am on instagram!!! You all should follow me (kruecait) but as I looked at my last four pictures I noticed a theme. See below:

See the theme?? Apparently I always have a beverage around me somewhere. My friends suggested I start a Drinking series. They might have been joking, but hey, why the hell not!! So plan on seeing ever so often on here my drinking series. Completely pointless, yet somewhat appeasing. Your welcome. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Favorite Couple

I have been blessed in my life to be surrounded by so many people who shower me with love and support. It is truly amazing that little ol me is  inspired everyday by the awesome people in my life. So the first thing to say on Valentines Day is THANK YOU. You all know who you are. You all have made me who I am today and I love you guys: family, friends, and everything in between.

Second, when I was asked the question that was posed yesterday on the blog, my mind first went to a certain couple from a book I read while in high school.

I love Sarah Dessen and even at the age of 24, I still read anything that she publishes. I have read all of her books and most of them multiple times. My favorite couple, though, is hands down Wes and Macy from The Truth About Forever.

Macy is struggling with trying to be perfect and Wes comes from a chaotic background. When Macy happens to stumble upon this chaos, she embraces it and soon Wes and Macy start to play a game that leads to some great moments, to a place where together they are perfect, within their own definition.

This book was first published in 2004, and today the YA market has exploded. Many of the books deal with hard issues and how these couples deal with it, but Wes and Macy have such finesse, Dessen is the true expert in YA and I found that this couple was perfect. There was no hot steamy scenes in this book but quite conversations, and complete understanding of each other. I guess this is why I love these two so much. Together they make each other stronger and they are completely content with each other. They don't need to change each other, but completely accept the other.

I guess, I was able to find myself in this book in a way. The first thing I noticed about D when we started to date was that he just let me be, he didn't try to change me but instead embraced what I loved, what I was passionate about and completely supported me. We can sit and not talk, just enjoy each others companies, and at other times he can make me laugh like no one else. He lets me be silly and lets me love.

Our first Christmas together, D and I had only been dating for about a month and a half. So it was that awkward time where it was so new you didnt know you if got him a present and what kind to get. Well, D was spot on in his gift. See I love all the seasons but I love me some winter and pretty sure every winter I am purchasing a new coat. I have a bazillion scarfs, hats, sweaters. Yea, its a problem. So on our first Christmas, my sweet D bought me a beautiful high quality wooden coat rack. Now usually only 80 year old women like coat racks, but for me, it was perfect. I still have it today. It was amazing that after only a short time, D got me a gift that was wholeheartedly ME.

So for me Wes and Macy are one of the best couples out there in written in the pages of books because I can relate, I know that in the chaos D is calm, just as Wes is to Macy and at the same time D brings out the non perfect in, accepting me for who I am. In the end, isn't that all we want??

From The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen:

That was the thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just this instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening. Right then, as I ran with Wes into that bright sun, and every moment afterwards. Look, there. Now. Now. Now.

And of course, I will leave you with a long song. I am sure you didn't expect anything less.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Great Couples Through The Pages and on the Screen

A friend last week asked which couple had the best love story, or who was the best couple in fiction, movies, history ect. I was like, wait I only get to pick one??? Ya you are going to have to give me time to figure that out. And I had wanted to reread a book or two to make sure I was remembering correctly some great couples out there. So today I plan on making a few lists of awesome couples and tomorrow, for the big day of love, I plan on highlighting one of top couples and how it realtes with D and I.

I found this list earlier this week and thought it was great on the literary front: Modern Day YA

Great Couples from books -Ya this gets a whole list by itself

1.Edward and Bella from Twilight <--- HAHA JK. This couple drives me nuts.
1. Will and Layken from Slammed by Colleen Hoover
2. Caroline and Simon from Wallbanger  by Alice Clayton
3. Maggie and Caleb form the Significance Series by Shelly Crane
4. Aiden and Alex from the Convent Series by Jennifer Armentrout
5. Rachel and Gabe from Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
6. Dan and Phoebe from It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
7. Jamie and Claire form the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
8. Tris and Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth
9. Henry and Clare from The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
10. Cam and Anna from Sea Swept by Nora Roberts (actually all 4 books in this series really shows the love of finding love and family)

And then there are others who portray their love on the screen rather then in pages

1.Romeo and Juliet, but the one with Leo and Claire Danes (I don't care how old I am, Leo is quite dreamy)
2. Bones and Booth from Bones on FOX
3.Lily and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother on CBS
4. Mandy Moore and Shane West in the movie A Walk To Remember
5.  Lexi and Mark from Grey's Anatomy on ABC :(

And honestly there are tons more. But I want to hear what YOU think. Who do you think are great couples out there!! Share it, let me know!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review: Unravel Me

Unravel Me by Tahreh Mafi 

Blurb from Goodreads:
tick tick tick tick tick it's almost time for war. Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life

So I have, twice, bypassed really great books. What happens is I read epic books (such as Divergent and Slammed) and then to try to deal  with my book hangover, I read books that are quite excellent to only think they are ok because I had just read epicness. Unravel Me is the second book in the trilogy by Mafi and I read the first book, Shatter Me, right after Divergent. After a friend read Shatter Me and was like, um this books rocks, I was like...wait...did I miss something. The answer is YES I did miss something. I missed how awesome Shatter Me was. And I am sorry. So last week I reread Shatter Me, the novella in between Destroy Me and then read  Unravel Me as soon as it came out.

And I must say. This book. Was BEYOND amazing. First lets talk writing. Mafi is a rare talent in her unique writing. It is like a breath of fresh air, how she breaks the writing rules but it still flows oh so wonderfully. How you feel the emotion she is trying to get across. In this book by chapter 15 I had to take a break because my heart was literally hurting. And then Mafi throws in little bits of greatness such as this:

My head is full of missing buttons and shards of glass and broken pencil tips.

The next great thing, well person, in this book is Kenji. I have never loved a non love interest side character as much as I have loved Kenji. He is A. Hilarious B. Honest C.Kick Ass. The scene where he is confronting Juliette was amazing. It seems that Kenji really gets the point, doesn't mess around even though he is such a wise ass.

And the oh-so-wonderful-heart-fluttering love triangle. In this book it was everything I wanted and nothing that I expected. Mafi said it best

"My emotions jump out of a plane" 

Yep that was what I was feeling this whole book.

Many people say this book has a X Man vibe, and well I have never seen X Man, so I don't really know but I do know that you all must rush out and read this series. You wont regret it. You will actually probable thank me. Bow down, shower me with gifts. Or not. But all the same, if you are looking for a great dystopian read, with action, a crazy CRAZY love triangle, put this on the TOP of your TBR list.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Love, Actually

Love Actually is one of my most favorite Christmas movies, and while I understand that this Thursday is Valentines Day, I think that this movie is a prime example that well, as cheesy as it sounds, love it all around us. I, personally, think that poor Valentines Day gets a bad rap. It is an either/or type of deal. Either you are madly in love and it is the day your significant other showers you with gifts and flowers galore, or your single and you hate hate this holiday.

So for this Monday's Inspiration and I am focusing that VDay is MORE than just recognizing that you have the best partner ever, but to realize and look at how many people love you and support you. That while at times you think that you might be alone in your dealings, there are people just waiting around the corner, that love you, that support you. So this Vday relish in the fact that you got awesome flowers and super tasty chocolate, but also tell the people around you that you love them. That you appreciate  them.

And if you are anti Vday...well get over it (I'm known for my bluntness and lack of filter). Seriously, find your own true meaning in it, make it your own holiday, find what works best for you. Just because one person sees it one way (or how it is portrayed in the commercialized public) does not mean you have to see it that way.

And because I am a Sappy Sap I am leaving you with a love song.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Inspiration: The Simple Things

Sometimes life is so hectic and a constant balancing act. This last week for me has less than stellar. It has been crazy busy with things I can control and things I cannot. It can overly frustrating and difficult to handle all of life's problems at time. So this week's Monday Inspiration deals with focusing on the simple things and how it brings you joy. It also focuses on dealing with situations you have no control over and it let it be, to understand that you can only do so much. 

This last week, in the chaos, there has been great moments. Waking up on Sunday and enjoying coffee with D, free of any distractions, and just simply taking. Its been hanging out with friends that get you, that let you say what you want free of judgement. It's friends telling me its ok to feel sad. It's everyday I can take in the snow covered mountains and just breathe. To be blessed that I live in such a beautiful part of the world. It's finalizing a project for the semester and be sincerely excited for it. It's D using science and geology for excuses that are too cute to say no to. It's all of this and more. 

So this week, focus on the simple things that bring you joy.