Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Christmas Traditions

December 16, 2011

If something happens two years in a row that is totally a tradition, right?
Good.
Because I really like this one.

I got bundled up with some good friends from Dallas, made mint hot cocoa and drove around looking at Christmas lights.  Talk about warm and fuzzy holiday feelings.

Isn’t Christmas time grand?
Hooray for traditions.

*photos taken by (& borrowed from) my good friend, Richard Muske 

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Ya Gotta Run…

September 8, 2011

Last night, I was taking an evening jog around my neighborhood just before sunset.  It’s my favorite time to run.  I was thinking about dreams and what it means to pursue them and why taking the first step to pursuing a dream is always so terrifying.  Why is that? The fear is paralyzing and hard to avoid.  Hmmm…

Moving on…

As I was finishing up my jog, I could see the sunset peeking over the trees and buildings but just far enough away where I couldn’t quite catch all of it.  I wanted to see it so bad but felt like God was saying – ‘You can see this, but ya gotta run for it.’

So I ran.  And goodness am I glad that I did.

I think the same applies to our dreams.  We can reach them but we gotta run.  They won’t be realized by standing still.  Even if the fear tells us otherwise.

One of THOSE conversations…

August 7, 2011

I’m chatting away with my buddy Kyle Reed, (one of those motivating asks great questions kind of friends), and we both brought up certain things we want to learn to do but haven’t really started…for whatever reason.  That’s where the list below was born.  We decided to come up with five things to accomplish before December 2011.  Yea, goals aren’t my strong suite but I’m realizing how important they are. That’s the key really, to make goals about things that are truly important to you.  If they aren’t, you won’t accomplish them.  At least, that’s how it works in my life.

So…here they are!
Say ‘ello to my-

‘Top 5 Things Laura Elizabeth Stephens Will Wrangle Into Submission By December 2011!!’
(Doesn’t it look official all bolded and underlined?!)

1.  Learn to sew with a machine!!
This weekend, my sweet friend Amy K let me take over her apartment and sewing machine.  She has been a fabulous and patient teacher.  We are both working through Elsie’s DIY Dress-Up online course and it’s been a blast.  I already finished my first project!!! YES!!

2.  Run a half marathon. 
My first week of training is complete!  Two weeks ago, I couldn’t even run one mile without wanting to hurl myself into on-coming traffic. Dramatic much?  Just slightly.  Anyways, one week down and a lot more to go before the half on December 4.  My main motivation?  Cute new shoes.

 3.  Save $1,500 before December for a New Years trip!  Pay cash for the entire thing. 
I opened up a savings account yesterday for travel.  Like I mentioned on Twitter,  some girls grow up dreaming about and planning their wedding day.  Me?  I’ve always spent my time dreaming about seeing the world and planning to do it.  I can’t stop!  I guess you could say travel is my drug.  The savings account will go towards my trip to Paris or London for New Years.  Seeing fireworks over Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower?! Oh my.

4.  Learn to use my Canon G10. 
I rely way too heavily on my iPhone.  Plus, I’m realizing that it’s best to not only post my instagram pics and pictures I take with my phone.  It’s so hard to learn!! But now I have some editing software and a new computer that will make this a lot easier.  Thankfully!  So….between now and December I’ll have some new photos!! I’m pretty excited.

5.  Learn to edit photos.  Photos NOT taken with my iPhone.
I signed up for One to One classes at the Apple store.  I’m super excited because I’m planning to learn how to edit photos AND videos.  I work better if somebody is by my side directing me.  Yea, you self learners make me a little jealous.  Lucky you.  *smile

So that’s that!  Wish me luck.  Do you have any goals to accomplish in 2011?  Let me know!
Oh, all photos were taken with my iPhone except the Eiffel Tower….that one was from google images.  However, I’ll have my own pic in January.  Yep.

Trading In My Summer Flats….

August 1, 2011

…for running shoes.

I started training for my first half marathon tonight!  Yep, I’m still going through with it.  Thankfully, there’s a pretty sweet training guide for running newbies like myself.  The half is in December but I’ve got a long way to go before I’m up for it.  However, there is one pretty cool thing about it (besides the money raised for the marathon going to help those in need in Africa).  I get new running shoes!!

I’m leaning towards the Brooks Ghost 4.  Know anything about running shoes?  Do you have a pair that you absolutely love?  Hook a sister up with the information!  I want to join your cool little running crew!!!  I just need the right shoes and I’m IN!  Ok, I know it’s more than the shoes but this part is pretty fun.

I’m off to sleep now!!

Goodnight, I love you, you’re pretty, Jesus loves you, the end.

So…I’m a Runner Now

July 15, 2011

{me in Sudan with some major cuties/ Daniel Davis Photography}

Every once in a while, I’ll have the realization that life is so incredibly boring when I make it all about myself.  Not only that…but I have about 85 years, if I’m lucky, to do something about it.  This is what brings me to being a new runner aaaaaand why I hope you’re here.  Thanks, by the way, for even checking this out.

Let me start off by saying that I am not, I repeat NOT, a runner.  At this present time, I can’t even jog 5 miles without wanting to crawl into the nearest ditch and die while begging for it to be over.  Ok, that was a little dramatic but not by much.  I’m in bad shape for a skinny 30 year old (on July 29!!) who loves cupcakes and bubble tea.  (We can talk about that later.)

About a week ago, World Vision approached our work place with a need and explained how we could join together to raise money for villages in Africa to have clean water.  Water!  The most basic thing we need to survive and there are literally thousands who die daily because they don’t have it.  Heck yes, I’ll get off of my computer and run 13.2 miles for that!  So, on December 4, I’m running a half marathon with Team World Vision to raise awareness and funding for villages in Africa so that these sweet children and their families can have clean drinking water and a chance for a better life.

{orphanage in Sudan….love}

Here’s what I love about the folks at WV!  World Vision works with communities in desperate need to help provide things like clean water, good food, education, medical care, and economic opportunity.  They truly care about changing the world and it shows.  However, we do need your help.  Yes, you knew this was coming!!!  Each person on our team has a goal to raise $1,300 by race day. S o…I’m shooting for $2,000.  Why?  Because if I raise it, that means 40 people have water for LIFE!!!!  Yes, it’s true.  $50 provides clean water for one person for the rest of their life.  That…is…awesome.

{My favorite photo I’ve ever taken….ever!!! Sudan!}

I was able to spend some time in Sudan and Uganda two years ago and I know first-hand how much this would mean to the people there.  You can read about my trip here.  Being there wrecked my heart but also made me realize how closely tied all of us really are.  In this day and age, it’s amazing that we don’t ever have to step foot in a country to help.  We can save lives by simply clicking a donate button.  They need help.  We can give it.  I’m asking you to help me. Please.  (puppy dog eyes…)

Will you make a tax-deductible donation to support my efforts?  It’s easy!  Just click here!  Together we can help change lives in Africa and in the process maybe even change ourselves.

I love you forever and ever. Thank you for being in my life.

I should go start training now,
Laura Elizabeth

{orphanage in Sudan// Daniel Davis Photography}

30 Days

June 15, 2011

20110615-093343.jpg

Today was the start of my ’30 Days Without Coffee & Soda’ challenge. I only decided to start this yesterday so I’d say today was successful, considering I had zero planning going into it. Cold turkey, baby. Just how I like it.

My reasonings aren’t spiritual or thought provoking. More of a healthy lifestyle choice for a month. I’m curious to see if I feel more alert, have clearer skin & less jittery mornings. I’ll be 30 in a month and a half and I would like to enter that addiction free. Unless we’re talking about my addiction to pretty dresses and acoustic guitars. That isn’t going anywhere.

Just call this my adult science fair project. I might even end up with a gold medal or something. Now if I can make it through morning two. *wink

*photo taken with my iPhone

Maybe? Maybe Not.

May 5, 2011

MacBook or no MacBook?  This is the question I’ve been asking myself for three years now.

Tumblr_ljwsnvl0k91qfvvcoo1_500_large{We Heart It}

I’ve been using my {free} work computer for four years.  This means I don’t have a computer of my own.  This also means that I haven’t had to pay for internet OR a computer in four years.  Sweet!! Yep, it really is.  However, I think I’d love a pretty little MacBook to do a few things like edit videos, photoshop, video blogs, skype, and more that I can’t do on this little laptop I currently have.

Tumblr_lk7hhwko121qjnnu9o1_400_large
{We Heart It}

What to do…what to do?!

Are Macs really that amazing?  Do I continue the bliss of free or do I save up and get a Mac, which means I’ll start paying for internet.  These are the questions I’m asking tonight while the rest of the world is in Cinco de Mayo craziness.  Hehe.  Alright, my Scotland and Ireland travel books are calling my name!! I have lots to do before heading out on Saturday!!!!!! YES!!!

Have a good night!!!

Happy Birthday!

April 26, 2011

37380059_large{We Heart It}

Happy one year birthday to my little blog!  Yes, it’s true.  An entire year has already passed since I started blogging.  I rarely stick with much of anything long term – boys, hobbies, learning to play the guitar, favorite color, limiting my sugar intake, etc – so I’m especially proud to have a blog anniversary and even happier about the things I’ve learned during this time!!

Things I’ve learned over the past year about blogging:

1::The world is much smaller than we think.  I’ve met some incredible people through the blog world and for this I’m entirely thankful.

2::Inspiration is only a click away.  There are about 20 blogs that I read every single day and I’ve been inspired so much by the men and women behind them.  Thank you for blogging!

3::Be consistent.  I’ve had a few people tell me that it’s best to blog at least 4-5 times a week.  This has been my goal, although there have been many weeks where I haven’t even gotten close to making this mark.  This is something I hope to improve in the days to come.

4::Be honest.  Love people.  Share your heart. 

5::Blog about things that interest you, not just what everybody else seems to be blogging about.  Not only am I happier doing this but people get a chance to see who I really am! 

6::Interact often with those around you.  It’s valuable to take the time to pour into the blog community.  Plus, it’s just good manners. 

7::Be positive.  I think it’s best to share hard times and drama with a good friend over a cup of coffee.  That’s why you won’t be seeing any of that here.  Sure, I have bad days like everybody else but I’m just choosing not to blog about it.  Just a personal choice.  That’s all.

8::It’s ok if it isn’t perfect.  Blog anyway. 

9::Pictures are your best friend!!! I’ve LOVED taking photos throughout theispast year and posting them for my friends and family to see.  It’s expanded my creative mindset and allowed me to share my travels with the world.  Plus, posts are just so much better with pretty photos.

10::I have some amazing readers and I am super duper over the moon thankful for every kind word, every link shared, every piece of advice, every friend I’ve made…thank you, thank you, thank you.  You make it worth blogging another year.  *hug


{iPhone photo taken last weekend}

Lent:: 40 Days of Letters

March 11, 2011

Tumblr_ldz0ncnphh1qffirdo1_500_large{we heart it}

I’m really awful at goals when I set them for myself.  This is why I didn’t give lent too much of a thought, personally.  I love what it means and self discipline can be rewarding in a number of ways but I’m just….awful….at….it!  This may be why I’m starting my lent goal 3 days late.  Better late than never is my current motto.

I’ve decided to write a letter every day for 40 days.  Yes, a real handwritten snail mail put a stamp on it (which reminds me, I need to get those) letter.  I think it could be fun and who doesn’t love a pretty surprise in the mail?  Yea….exactly.  This will always help me to focus outward and to think about the people I’m sending them too.  It will also give me a chance to pray for them…which I will. 

Would you like some snail mail love from me?  I’m sending a letter to 10 of my blog friends! Just let me know where to send it!  If you would like a pretty little letter, email me your address – laura72981(at)aol.com.  I’ll randomly choose 10 people to send one too.  Hooray! 

Are you participating in lent this year?  If so, what are you doing and why?  Have a lovely weekend!

Like A Child

February 20, 2011

I made my own Valentines this year for the first time since 4th grade.

{taken with my iPhone}

I used my typewriter, some vintage buttons, doilys (what a silly word), glue sticks, a bicycle stamp and a few hours I didn’t have.  There’s something to this art therapy thing, I believe.

{my Valentine}

As much joy as I got making pretty Valentines for my friends and family, I think I got more from the act of creating something with my hands.  You see, when I was a child I constantly created.  I made all sorts of crafty things and never stopped to critically observe each piece, wondering if they were pretty enough or if this was something I was good at.  I just made….to bring something into existence that wasn’t there before.  That’s the only reason, because it made me happy. 

But somewhere down the line I stopped making things.  I started believing the lie in my head that said I wasn’t creative enough and would never be ‘one of those people’….you know, the super amazingly wonderful artsy types that we all aspire to be like {someday}. 

Where did this believe originate from?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe when it became ‘cooler’ to play with makeup rather than make homemade Valentine’s cards or when ‘popular’ was based on the brand of clothes you wore and not original creations made in your bedroom, with a glue gun and popsicle sticks. 

Wherever the lie started, it’s finally being removed from my thoughts.  This makes me wonder.  What else did we love as a child and then suddenly, before we even realized, that love became replaced with the idea that it was a silly thing to love in the first place and we weren’t really good enough at it anyway to care?  It’s quite silly and I’m over it.  I’m going to go make something now.  Have a great Sunday!

{little me}

The pursuit of truth  and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
-Einstein