Dear Boys,

Dear Baker,

I think I've messed things up with you pretty badly. I feel like I should probably feel a little worse about that...

Thank you for the fun, though.
Now good riddance!

Dear D,

You're on my bad side again.
I think you just might be fun to strongly dislike.


Dear Peewee,

Don't be ridiculous! It's the fact that she agrees with you that has me a bit worried...


Dear Tech-y,

He's being ridiculous, right?
And NO means NO.


Dear Ewok,

I think you're funny.
You think I'm funny.
Let's be funny together!


Dear Dough-boi,

You are the most adorable kind of awkward, that really leans more towards not-awkward-at-all. That's my favorite kind!


Dear B-Face,

I can't even begin to tell you how strange it is to think that you are pretty much officially out of my life. As in, I'm probably never going to see you again. I'm not sure if I'm relieved, or what. You've caused me quite a lot of issues over the past few years. Not that you ever meant to, it just happened that way. So I should be relieved, but you were kind of a big part of my life. It's just...weird.
I'm glad we didn't say good-bye. That probably would've turned out even weirder.
So this is my goodbye - I wish you the absolute bestest, and I hope you find the one for you when you come home.

Return with honor!


Being Taught and Learning

So who out there has forgotten about my Happiness Project?
Yeah, me too.

But life's been teaching me a lot - about who I am, who I'm becoming, my relationships...and I haven't been enjoying all of it. But sometimes enjoying it isn't really the point. The times when I was just focused on how much I didn't like the situation I was in, I should have been opening myself to learn from the lessons I was being blessed with.
That's how  we progress in life - by letting go of our pride and our own ideas of how things should be. I'll get to that point eventually... Thankfully, Heavenly Father has proven that He loves me unconditionally and is willing to reteach me lessons as often as I need them, until I allow myself to really learn them, and he's given me tons of wonderful people in my life to help me get to that point.

I really need to learn to stop letting me get in the way of becoming who I'm meant to be.

P.S. The Happiness Project will be getting a bit of a makeover, to better fit with what I've been learning about myself...it turns out that the plan I made for myself a year ago doesn't quite fit who I am right now. But it'll be back soon!




But supppose both sides of a decision are going to make you some kind of unhappy...
then what?


Dear Boys,

Dear Train,

I'm totally taking credit for this (yet again. What would you do without me?) You are going to have so much fun!!!


Dear Junior,

You're too cute! And I totally let you win those games. Ish.


Dear Duck,

Wish it was you. Just a little.


Dear Baker,

I'm sure it would have been adorable, and I appreciate the thought! It's your own fault for being so pushy earlier. So don't go taking it out on her.


Dear D,

Hope you're going with Kayla's plan. It's cuter than yours.


Dear Louis,

It's not going to be awkward. It's not. We'll flirt any awkwardness away - that's what we do best, isn't it?


My dearest Spaniard,

Just found out that you won't be coming in town this summer.
That really stinks. Like, a lot.
I'm bummed.

La Senorita

My dearest Stripling Warrior,

I've been on a major wedding kick lately...you should see the rapid growth of my Wedding board on Pinterest. And I've realized that you really don't need to stress about the proposal. I don't need bells and whistles and fireworks. Just you.
I'd prefer it wasn't in public - that's my one request. I've got an ugly crying face.

All my love and then some,
Your Virtuous Woman...in training


[What I've Been Doing]


I've made this craaaazy discovery:
Not blogging is much easier than blogging.
There is no effort whatsoever involved in not blogging, and once you've gotten used to that...it's hard to start putting effort in on a regular basis again.
I haven't really been doing much in the past few weeks, so I've had plenty of time to blog - time that I instead spent watching chick flicks and period dramas and reading all the books I hadn't had time to read since school started and hanging out with family and eating.
So I haven't been blogging, 
but I think that that was time well-spent.


Dear Boys,

Dear Baker,

Erm...well. I really don't know where we stand right now...so it'd be nice if you could clue me in. Okay? I'm pretty much over all that awkwardness, if that helps at all.
And get it over with already, if you're going to.


Dear Duck,

50 days.


Dear Tech-y,

I think I don't like how pushy you're being...I can manage my own life, really.
Thank you anyway, ish.


Dear Train,

You can't imagine how happy I am with this new twist in things! I'm quite determined to get you two together, somehow....


Dear B-Face,

I'm pretty darn impressed that you remembered me saying that I loved miniature rose bushes. Now you've got the distinction of being two firsts for me - no one's ever gotten me flowers before!

Thank you!

Dear D,

Just do it already! You have too many excuses. Rude.


Dear Deere,

You know what I realized? You never came back. Not for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or any part of Winter Break. I'm kinda super bummed.


Dear Whiz,

I think I'll go back to having you be my most favorite...life was simpler then.



The Liebster Award ... second edition

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Jess from Black and White with a Little Bit of Pink!

This is how the award works. Each person awarded must:
+ post 11 things about themselves {whoops. Didn't know about that one last time}
+ Answer the 11 questions provided for them
+ Create 11 more questions for their nominees
+ Spread the bloggy love! Nominate up to 11 more 
bloggers with under 200 followers

First things first - 11 things about me. I'll try to make them interesting...

#1) The number of exclamation points matters. One is good. If it's super exciting and more are necessary, then three or more are fabulous - but never only two. It seriously drives me crazy when there are only two exclamation points. That's probably one of the most arbitrary pet peeves ever.

#2) Everything in my room has a specific order. Clothes, nail polish, sharpies, highlighters - rainbow color order. Books, CDs - alphabetically. School assignments, letters, memory box - chronologically. Sheet music, stationary - by occasion. And so on...

#3) I can't actually pop my fingers...but I go through the motions anyway, when I'm nervous. Or bored.

#4) Some of my fingers are double-jointed. See that finger up there? Back in ... seventh grade, I think,  all of my friend were double jointed and they could do that with all of their fingers, but I couldn't. I was insanely jealous...and then one day I was just sitting on my bed reading (I even remember what I was reading -Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. That's how momentous this was for me!) and moving my fingers without really thinking about it, and all of a sudden I looked at my hand and lo and behold, my finger was doing that! I seriously got up and danced around my room to celebrate. Now I can do that with both of my middle fingers and my left ring finger. 

#5) When I'm concentrating really hard, I stick out my tongue. It doesn't matter what I'm doing - if I'm not also concentrating on keeping my tongue in my mouth, out it goes.

#6) Speaking of tongues...I can touch my nose with my tongue. Sometimes I just can't believe how amazing I am.

#7) I've kept a journal consistently since I was in 3rd grade. I have a drawer full of them now, and I'm still going. So if someone doesn't know what to get me as a gift...a journal is always a safe bet. That, or socks. I love socks.

#8) I cry, like, all the time. When I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm proud, when they recognize veterans, when I hear a really beautiful piece of music or see a gorgeous painting...I can usually stop myself from full-on crying, but I get teary-eyed. It's kind of ridiculous.

#9) I'm kind of vain about my handwriting. I think it's really pretty.

#10) I say "like" way too much. I don't even think about it...then this guy from Germany mentioned it and for the rest of that conversation it bugged me whenever I said it, but I couldn't stop! No worries, though, I've gone back to blissfully not noticing when I say it.

#11) Once upon a time, I had a poem I wrote published in a magazine. It was a super-ghetto magazine, but still. I had sent the poem to four or five literary magazines that published works from teenagers, and I was pretty excited when I actually heard back from one. 

And now for the questions - and Jess came up with some rather interesting ones....

#1) WHY the heck do you blog?? I mean seriously, what's the point? When I've gotten out of the blogging mood, I ask myself the same thing. And I think when I'm out of the mood, there really is no point. As much as I love my readers, I blog for me. I blog to be inspired, and hopefully to inspire. I want to be inspired to be grateful, to be happy, to forgive, to have fun, to be better.

#2) What is your current favorite song and why? Why does it move you? Or is it the kind of song that just makes you dance in the middle of the grocery store? I have one reigning favorite song that I would choose if every song but one had to be destroyed - Come Thou Font. You can read more about that in this post. But I'd say my current favorite song is Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner. Mainly because it's a cute song, and I love his deep voice. I've got a slight obsession with Julie Fowlis's Biodh An Deoch Seo 'n Laimh Mo Ruin, too. I love Gaelic... 

#3) Dream BIG: What is your dream(s)/aspiration(s)? Spill it! I've got a billion of them...I'd love to own a used book store someday. Once I've got some more experience under my belt, I want to start a little graphic design business {with prints and blog designs and such} connected with the blog. I want to be a mother more than anything, once I've married my prince charming. Seven or eight kids sounds nice {don't bother telling me I won't really want that many once I've had the first two. I hear that often enough}. I'm going to run a marathon. I want to jump off a waterfall. Someday I'll go to a Taylor Swift or Keith Urban concert. I'm going to serve a mission. I want to have an adventure. Oh, and I want to be perfect eventually...

#4) Share one of your top embarrassing moments please! I think I tend to repress my embarrassing moments. Or I start thinking they're so hilarious that I can't even remember being embarrassed about them. Let's see...once I was dancing with a guy and he was, like, refusing to help the conversation along...It went something like this:
me: My name's Niamh!
him: I'm [insert name here]
me: So where are you from?
him: [one word answer]
me: What do you do there?
him: [short answer]
me: Cool! I'm Niamh!
me: Oh...wait...um...haha...

#5) How often do you shower during the week? I shower daily - and even though I know you're not supposed to, I wash my hair daily, too. I'm not willing to invest in dry shampoo at this point, and I think feeling clean wins over having uber-healthy hair. I haven't noticed any bad side-effects, anyway. Maybe I'll regret it one day, but for now I'll be enjoying my clean, grease-free hair!

#6) Favorite blog you're currently reading? First of all - I LOVE all the blogs I follow, and they all inspire me, or I wouldn't be following them. I have a strict "will-not-follow-unless-I-love-it" policy in regards to that...which is why I don't win many giveaways, I suppose. But if I had to choose just one favorite, I'd say Elise's Pieces. This was one of the first blogs I started following, and ever since then every post I've read has been kind of perfect for me at the moment I read it...it's kind of strange, actually. But mostly awesome!

#7) What is your favorite thing about yourself? Physically, I love my eyes. Non-physically, I like how if I decide I really want to change something, I will get it done.

#8) Do you fart in public or private? In the blankets or in the bathroom? Embarrassing or hilarious? Oookay, Jess...what kind of question is this? If I get this award again, I'm nominating you and making this one of the questions! Um, private, bathroom, embarrassing. Done.

#9) What wonderful piece of advice/information would you share with yourself 10 years ago? 
It wasn't your fault.

#10) Vodka or tequila? Mixed or in a shot? Or do you prefer club soda? Well, I don't drink, and I don't ever plan on doing so, so I'll take the club soda, thank you! I'd love to have a mock-tail party sometime, though...

#11) What is the greatest encouragement you have received from your journey through the bloggy world? What encouragement would you offer a fellow blogger who is struggling?
Getting comments is the hugest encouragement ever. They really make my day. If a fellow blogger was struggling...I guess I would tell them to think about why they were blogging. I really think blogging should be for your own benefit, first and foremost. If you keep writing about stuff you care about, recognition will come-people will be drawn to your sincerity.

My questions are...
#1) What is your favorite piece of artwork/decoration in your room/house?
#2) Item of clothing you couldn't live without?
#3) Fashion trend you fell in love with in 2012?
#4) What's your favorite kind of exercise?
#5) When you're feeling a bit blue, what do you do to get your spirits up?
#6) What are you wearing right now?
#7) If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
#8) If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three people would you want there with you?
#9) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
#10) What's a song that brings back special memories?
#11) Think fast - two truths and a lie! {I'll guess in the comments}

My wonderful nominees are
Brittany at The Sapphire Bee {check out her shop!}
Ann at Hi, From Ann
Haunani at Stuff I Love
Starr at The Kiefer Cottage
aaaand last but not least,
Cassidy at Things Like Skeleton Keys and Me

Go give them some love - and by all means, if you're not already following them, do that! They're definitely worth it. And ladies, answer those questions and pass on the love {let your nominees know in a comment on their blog}! I can't wait to see your posts - comment or shoot me an email when they're up.

P.S. To see my post from the first time I got the  Liebster Award, go here.
P.P.S. You could win an iPad mini at The Freckled Fox right now! Check it out!


High FIVE for Friday!

It's Friday. Well, that came out of nowhere. 
My last weekday out of classes...sigh.
But don't worry - I'll be living it up {by window shopping at the mall}.

Meanwhile, here are my top 5 from this week!


#1) I saw The Hobbit! I've never been a Lord of the Rings fan {I've only read the books...and to be honest, they bored me to death. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous writing, just...so much of it seemed arbitrary. The last book in the trilogy was the only one that I really enjoyed}, but I did like The Hobbit as a book, and I'd say they did pretty well making it into a movie.

#2) Strawberry lemon sorbet frozen yogurt topped with pineapple...I die.

#3) It's 2013! I spent New Year's Eve with some of my favorite people, and started off 2013 with an early breakfast of waffles topped with ice cream. 

#4) I finally got my new header {courtesy of Shaina from Shadylane - check her out!} up! I'll still be tweaking the rest of the design for a while, but it feels good to practically have one of 2013's goals crossed off already!

#5) I went to a super-exciting baptism that everybody's been waiting for forever on Tuesday! And then proceeded to get miserably lost on the way home...but that's just me. Perpetually lost.

And that is just a bit of my pretty darn awesome week. 
I definitely finished off my winter break well!

GOALS {because resolutions are made to be broken}

In 2012, I deliberately did not make any goals or resolutions at the 
beginning of the new year. It was nice to take a break...sometimes, the unrealistic goals 
we have a tendency to make can become a heavy load to carry. 
I'm ready for goals this year, though. So with out further ado - 
In 2013, I will...

+ learn how to type - like, the right way. As in, not looking at the keyboard. 
I'm going to start from scratch, and I've got a few websites I can use to help. This is going to be tough...because I hate typing. But it's a necessary skill and I figure it'll end up 
saving me time, so it'll be worth it!

+ bear my testimony in Church 3 times - this terrifies me. I'm not sure why, but it does. I get up in front of everybody and I freeze and when I'm done I can't even remember anything I said. But this'll be good for me! I need to get more comfortable with it.

+ spend 30 minutes a week with Preach My Gospel - I've got a mission to prepare for, after all! But it'll help in my everyday life, too.

+ work my butt off to get a 25 minute race time next season - I can do it. But that means I can't just stop working out when I'm not doing races...I've kinda gotta start now. Working out is fun!

+ STUDY the Book of Mormon twice, cover to cover - hopefully using up the rest of my old scripture journal and moving into my fancy new one.

+ put more effort into creating friendships through my blog - part 1 of this goal is going to be commenting on at least 2 posts a day. Once I've got that down, I'll proceed from there.

+ find a way to make time for me on a regular basis - I've discovered it's rather important to have a life outside of school...something I've been lacking. As I manage my time more effectively, I'll have more time to relax - to have fun - to sharpen the saw.

+ pay attention to the little things - I need to learn to let things be and stop worrying constantly. It'd be much more worth my while to stop and think about how many things I have to be grateful for - or to look outside myself and see what little thing I might be able to do for someone else.

+ do a bit or reorganizing/redecorating/getting rid of a ton of stuff - self explanatory.

+ get the new blog design in place - I figured I might as well stick something easy to check off in there.

This year's mantra is
And the word is

This is going to be an amazing year.
Just you wait and see.

Covered in Grace


12 for '12


1. In the races I ran, I proved that I could push myself to be better, and I had my best season yet.

2. I saw Hunter Hayes live {and free!} - my first ever concert! {post here}

3. I had fun - I've gone out to do stuff just because I could more this year than I ever have before.

4. I sewed some wearable items!

5. I started a blog.

6. I pushed myself musically - I played a piano/violin duet with my friend, a piano/organ duet (with me on organ!), and organ for Church twice, in addition to being the pianist for several baptisms and a funeral.

7. I started my Happiness Project...and have made significant progress in some areas

8. I survived the most brutal semester of my educational history - and came out with the highest
 GPA I could have gotten. 

9. I expanded my movie education - you know those movies that everybody's been in love with forever? Yeah...I just saw them this year. More accurately, I just saw them in the last 3 months.

10. I read Jesus the Christ.

11. I won a couple giveaways, and was a contributor in another one.

12. I discovered more about who I am and who I'm becoming...and I think I'm liking it. (:

Can you believe that 2012 is over??? Because I can't. 
What were the highlights of your year?


{2012} Year in Review

 2012 was quite the year...
I'm sure I'll be sharing more on that later, but for now-a year in blog posts! Well, not quite a year, because I haven't been a resident of blogland for a full year yet, but it's pretty close!

The first picture of me on the blog...
Fancy, eh?
There are definitely some awkward posts in my first month of blogging! It's interesting to look back and see myself developing my own blogging style {in writing and in the look....I think I went through three or four different designs in this first month alone}and becoming more me on my blog.
So I'm choosing I Stand All Amazed for April. This is one of the least forced-sounding posts - it's just me talking about something I care deeply about.

The first collage I ever made for the blog...oi.
I participated in Mission: Put Together 2012 in May, and It's Over? Already? is my wrap-up post. I really did love that experience - I learned a lot about my personal style and being comfortable with what I wear. And it was nice that I was one of the winners, too....

LOVE is just me chatting about my most favoritest song in the entire world, Come Thou Font.


 July was a busy month! I took trips and made stuff and had tons of fun-enjoying the first full month of no school. I think this was the month that I really came into my blogging voice, too, and I started reaching out and joining linky parties and such.
I'm choosing my first Dear Boys post for July...because I think it's kind of hilarious.
Oh, and one more, because it was very momentous: my first {and probably last} tutorial!

August was a good month for blogging. And I like a ton of the posts...so you get more than one again.
Sorry! {but not really (: }
I made myself have a good month despite the fact that I hated August.
Hating it: It is NOT
Deciding to love it: Paradigm Shift!
Actually loving it!: It is NOT, part 2
Being awarded my first Liebster Award.
Aaaand my Bloggy Goals - which I think I'm actually doing pretty well on, by the way.

I Chose...and It Happened!
Sometimes, I am disciplined enough to choose joy even when everything is going against it.


I loved participating in Project Inspire!

I saw Hunter Hayes live!!!

I wrote a post about How to Post Regularly When Life is INSANE ... which I haven't been following very well as of late...


I'm still having a hard time grasping the fact that it's not December anymore...holy cannoli, it's 2013!
Posting was kinda sparse in December, but I really liked Believing in Something.

And there you have it - 2012 in blog posts. 
I've loved blogging, and the friendships I've made by doing it. Thank you to everyone who reads and comments on this stuff I keep spewing out - it means a lot to me!

There's going to be a change in my blog design coming soon! Remember when I won that giveaway where I got a free blog header? Well, the header's been ready for a while now, I've just been slacking with making my new tabs and buttons and such to match it. But now that I've told y'all about it, I'm accountable to get it done before my winter break is over {I'm back in classes on Monday...ugh}. I love how it's looking so far, and I can't wait to finish it up!

Covered in Grace
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