Ode to Summer Music

Just Life and Stuff

Several events have inspired me to write this post. Firstly….

I GOT TICKETS TO GO SEE MUMFORD AND SOOOONNS.

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My favorite band of all time! I got the special “email invite,” (since apparently I’m a big enough fan to get an invite or something like that) and bought a few tickets for my friends and I to go in September. I’m a little excited.

SO ANYWAYS, I’ve really gotten into digging up new music. Specifically, folk/indie/rock music, which I adore. So I thought I would share my newer discoveries on here.

1. The Oh Hellos

I got hooked on the Oh Hellos last semester, and they are one of my all-time favorites. If you listen to “Through the Deep, Dark Valley” from start to finish, it tells an intricate story full of metaphors and allusions. They are similar to Of Monsters and Men and their lead male and female vocalists are phenomenal.

Listen: Second Child, Restless Child

2. The Doodads and Don’ts

I can’t get enough of Riverbed and War. They remind me of the Head and the Heart. This band has a pretty small following (note how hipster I am right now) but has some pretty powerful lyrics and strings. Plus, I’m all about those male harmonies.

Listen: Riverbed

3. Josh Garrels

I really started listening to Josh last winter, and he is awesome. He has a very unique sound. His music is very chill, I played it while studying for last semester’s tests. Look up the lyrics to Farther Along. Woah.

Listen: Farther Along

4. Casey Abrams

I vaguely remember him from Idol, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I listened to his album. His voice is crazy different and I love it. His songs remind me of summer.

Listen: Ghosts

5. The Rend Collective Experiment

Gareth Gilkeson has a voice similar to Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE (also one of my favorites) and their sound is a mix between the Oh Hellos and Mumford.

Listen: Come On My Soul

Of course, I have to include something from my favorite band ever: Mumford.

Happy Listening!

K

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The Camp Grace Experience.

God, Relating Publicly

The past six weeks have been crazy. They flew by so quickly, but I have memories of long days full of hours of taking pictures and updating websites, social networks, drives, etc. I have to say, these memories are also of the best summer job I’ve ever had.

Camp has impacted my life in more ways than I will ever know. This was my first paid PR job, and I must say, I LOVED it. I feel like my job was God’s way of confirming that I chose the right career to pursue. I loved spreading the word about camp. I loved seeing the numbers rise on our Facebook page. I loved starting the camp blog and updating it for hundreds to read each week.  I loved taking pictures and choosing which ones to use for publicity. Most of all, I loved seeing many kids’ lives being changed because of camp, and knowing that I’m helping people on the outside realize that lives are being changed is a beautiful feeling.

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I will never forget the kid’s smiling faces when they reached the top of the rock wall, or passed the swim test, or rode a horse without help. I will never forget camp wide cheers, my coworker’s hilarious  skits, or huge group games. I will never, EVER forget my first Thursday night CrossTalk in the amphitheater with the sun setting over the lake. That night was the first night I watched through tear-filled eyes as fifty campers opened their hearts to God for the first time. That alone made the exhausting work week worth every second.

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Now camp is over, but I still get the opportunity to live on campus and do marketing work for a little while longer. Summer camp may be over for 2013, but that means its time to raise support for 2014. I’ll be working with camp as long as they need me, and I cannot wait to see how camp will continue to grow in the next year!

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  – K

Baby You’re a Fiiiirework.

Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly

I was a little sad this year because yesterday was the first July Fourth in about five years that I haven’t spent the day with my best friend’s family at their lake house. While I missed swimming/boating/pigging out with my friends and second family, spending the Fourth at camp was pretty amazing. Somebody had bought a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks for us to shoot over the lake.Image

They were absolutely stunning. The teen girls at camp were screaming and loving it. Actually, I was screaming and loving it too, along with my fellow staff members.

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Today is our last full day of summer camp. I’m sad to see the kids go, but I cannot wait to celebrate a successful summer with the staff this weekend. I’d say it’s been a pretty great six weeks of camp.

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As of Friday at 4:00 PM, I’ve been in existence for two decades. I still feel about four years younger, so I guess it’s the mindset that counts.

To be honest, the last week of work was rough. I had a stomach bug, both of my chacos broke, I had a massive headache, we lost all power for eight hours at camp, and I had the most embarrassing moment of my life. However, I am deciding to view the beginning of my third decade as a fresh start. July is going to be more laid back for me (hopefully) and I get to travel and get ready to move into my new house.

Although work has been pretty taxing lately, I still see that God is good and He is at work. I can see lives being changed because of camp, and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. The next step of my job is to reach out to donors and potential supporters through publications, and I’m looking forward to this new PR side of my position.

On another note, my family got a new PUPPY! Her name is Nala and she is a baby yellow lab. I am madly in love.

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Also, one very excellent part of my birthday was my beautiful, scrumptious, perfect, delicious, fabulous CAKE.

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This masterpiece (was) a gift from my best friend from camp and my sweet bosses. It was a red velvet cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, one of my all time favorite restaurants on the planet. I can honestly say that this sucker was the best birthday cake I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had a lot of cake.

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I want to upload some more pictures for this post, but honestly, I’m just too pooped at the moment. My flickr page is updated though!

– K

God, Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly

Chillin’

Travel

Spring break basically saved my life. The two weeks before break were full of tests, readings and a project. Luckily, I emerged with all As and a B. However, I needed a break. Desperately.

I went to Orange Beach with two of of my closest friends. The beach was gorgeous. It was windy and the water was too cold to swim in, but just being able to be on the beach for a few days was amazing (I’ve included pictures). I also was able to relax at home for a couple of days and got to visit family and friends. I haven’t been so rested in months.

This year, I’ve learned much about rest and peace, mostly through working too hard and then being forced to relax. Now I need to work on finding a better balance between work and rest, but that will come in time.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

– Matthew 11:28 – 30

– K

Great things He has done.

College

I got a very important email today, one that would determine the outcome of the rest of my college career and influence my entire life. The email told me that I’m officially a part of one of the top Public Relations programs in the country.

This email answered my prayers, gave me a huge relief, and reminded me that God is always sovereign, even when I’m doubtful.

I seriously didn’t think I would get into my major. My grades were right on the “minimum” line, so naturally, I was terrified. So many times I’ve been “not good enough” for many jobs, positions, or people. I couldn’t bare the though of being “not good enough” for what I want to do with my life. Just the idea of rejection has weighed on my shoulders every day for the past few months. Writing, nonprofit, and communicating with others are all things that are close to my heart, and I am passionate about them. PR is my ticket to a career filled with my favorite things. This is why I couldn’t stand the thought of being rejected.

Luckily, I was blessed with acceptance. I owe my major to God’s Grace, since there were many reasons why I shouldn’t have gotten in.  I’ve promised to use my major/career to honor Him, because He gave me the opportunity to go to my favorite school and major in my two favorite things. I want today to always serve as a reminder that God’s plan is great, and I should never doubt Him about anything ever again.

– K

R-E-S-P-E-C-T y’all

Just Life and Stuff

I am disappointed with American citizens tonight.

I am not upset that Obama won. I wasn’t a huge fan of either candidate; both men have good and not-so-good views. I am upset, however, about how people have handled this.

I know tension about politics has gone on for centuries, but tonight I witnessed attacks on social media, degrading comments about the candidates, and complaints about the ignorance of people (usually those of whom belong to the opposite party).

What’s happening? We were made to love one another, and we must RESPECT our leaders. Although I may not agree with our president, I do agree with Romans 13, in that we should respect and honor our leaders.

Even if you disregard the Bible, thousands of people in history have dedicated their lives to achieving equal rights and freedom. We should at least honor these men and women by addressing others (including our leaders) with respect and dignity. Political views DO NOT make people less or greater than others.

Say a prayer for our leaders tonight, and thank God that we have the freedom to choose who they are. We’re forgetting how amazing our country is..

-K

Pictures.

Travel

Tonight I was uploading pictures like I do at least once a week. Then a realization dawned on me. How many pictures have I taken?

If somebody told me I had taken over 1,000,000 pictures in my life, I wouldn’t be surprised. I know I’ve taken at least that many, because about eight or nine out of every ten pictures I delete.

If I’m not mistaken, I have Over 1500 pictures on facebook alone. Probably closer to 2000 (thank God they don’t have an upload limit).

Pictures can be forever, especially if they are uploaded onto the Internet. I forget how powerful they are. After all, there have been periods in my life where I have taken/kept over 100 pictures a day. If something is so numerous, so trivial, and only takes a second to gain, then I see why they can seem so unimportant.
However, what would my life be without my pictures? Nothing. With the exception of the memories of my acquaintances, my various blogs and the occasional home video, my life would be undocumented. I’ve taken countless pictures. Things that I have found pretty or interesting, people who are beautiful and are close to me, and major and minor life evens have all been captured through my lens.

My pictures are truly my in-depth journal. I haven’t really thought about them in that respect until now.

Pictures document the lives of many people. So many keep old photo albums and upload hundreds of photos to the Internet to share (I’ve done both). Photography is a gift that I and many others have taken for granted.

A few days ago marked the year and a half anniversary of me and my Canon, Josey. Josey was purchased by the means of many hours of babysitting and some Christmas money. She was honestly one of the best purchases I’ve ever made (ranking among my Chacos, iPhone and Mac) and I use her all the time. I’m so thankful I was able to buy my camera, without her I wouldn’t have gotten involved with my magazine or landed my internship. It’s amazing where a simple machine can take you.

I’ve been wondering, should I pursue a career involving photography? It’s what I love to do, so I won’t completely dismiss the idea just yet…

Speaking of which, here are some pictures from my SSI trip I took with Dad:

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SB Update 1

Travel

I feel as if as if the last couple days can be best shown in pictures:

First, I made some muffins in the dorm. Yes, I stole milk from a dining hall, using a tervis. Risky, I know.

They turned out pretty well

Now I'm slaving over french...

..but at least I have my all time favorite show: SVU.

I’ll be cooking a lot over the next few days, so get ready for recipes!