Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Corrie ten Boom & Thankfulness

I'm just popping in real quick to say "thank you!!" for all the sweet comments on my "Mission Trip?" post. You guys are so encouraging and I love every word you type!
Image result for corrie ten boom quotes
*photo is not my own*
My grandparents are coming to visit soon, and I am super excited about all that we will do with them--one of the things being a trip to the Big Island! I'll be sure to bring my phone and take plenty of photos!

You are so incredibly loved!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

for the good Christian girls ft. Hawaii rainy days

 "Being a believer in Jesus isn't about doing something you hate because that would be the greatest sacrifice for God. No, it is about becoming and learning who God made you to be. You don't have to pretend to like certain things or be a certain way. One college major is not more pleasing to God than another. He made each one of us with the flair of an artist, yet sometimes we insist upon falling into the same predictable molds. Could it be possible that the thing you really want to do is the thing you were actually made to do?"
These are the words from "Graceful", one of my most favorite books of all time. I learned about Graceful through my Goodreads account, ordered it on Amazon, and started reading it right away.

Oh. My. Goodness. This book has completely changed the way I view my own life as a Christian girl. I have often felt crushed by the pressure of always doing the right thing, knowing all the right answers, and appearing perfect to everyone I meet. Emily Freeman took these pressures, and showed me that Jesus has already made me perfect in Him. The work is already done. I don't need to put up a false front or be someone I'm not for Jesus to love me. He sees me, no-makeup-hot-mess me , and loves me more than I could ever possibly begin to imagine.

This book has changed the way I view the Christian life, and I completely recommend for you to read it, too.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mission Trip?

 Fun times dog sitting!'s so good to be back! I haven't had the inspiration to get back to blogging, but so much is going on in my life lately that I wanted a space to share my thoughts.

A BIG opportunity has come up--I have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Cambodia! I am completely torn. On one hand, I know that I have been praying that God would open doors for me to go to Cambodia. It is my dream to go, and I know that for me, going on this mission trip will be a life-changing trip. On the other hand, though, Cambodia is a very poor, dangerous country. I have already been told it is a given that I will get lice and dysentery. There are problems with human trafficking & robberies.

My parents are concerned and my dad has decided that if I go, he also goes with me to make sure I am safe. Another downside is that I will have to raise $3,500. I have never fundraised before, so this will really require me to get outside my comfort zone. I am not sure what to do! I have to have my applications turned in in a month, so I am going to really have to pray for the right answer. I think I already do though. I really feel called to go. In fact, a few months ago I was searching online to find a mission trip and in frustration, I prayed, "Lord, if it is your will for me to go to Cambodia, please create an opportunity!" Sure enough, an hour later I looked on my youth group Facebook page an saw the most recent post, which read: "Cambodia 2018." I was so, so thrilled! I told everyone I could about God's answered prayer to me. I was going to Cambodia! God heard me!! This is amazing! My dad kind of sat me down and told me of all the dangers and his concerns. He is 50/50. He wants me to go, and have this amazing opportunity, but he wants to keep me out of harm's way. This post was kind of all over the place, but I have a ton on my mind. It feels good to write it all out!

So, please pray for me, friends! Any advice or scripture would be greatly appreciated!

You are so amazingly loved!


Friday, May 26, 2017

4 Best Places to Shop for Modest Swimwear

Finding affordable, classy swimsuits is hard, especially when you want to be a little bit more modest. Today I have compiled a list of my favorite online (or in store) places to shop for modest swimsuits.

ann in garden party

(Shown above: "Anne in Garden Party")
I discovered Rey Swimwear a few months ago, and I still can't believe how pretty these swimsuits are! They are ethically made, modest, and cute. The suits are a bit pricey, some can be over $100. Because of that, I have not ordered a swimsuit from here (yet) but hope to in the future!

Modest Swimwear, Swim Top for Women - Style "Rebekah" - SwimTop, Tee, Shirt

I ordered a swimsuit from Cover Up For Christ last year for my trip to the Outer Banks. Bree is so sweet and an incredibly talented seamstress. My swimsuit (same as pictured above) came quickly, and was very well made. I definitely recommend this shop!

(Shown above: "Lemon Rose Double-Cinch Tankini Top")
My mom and I both ordered swimsuits from here a few months ago, and they are super cute! Limericki suits are reasonably priced and they always seem to have great sales and deals going on!

Women's Striped High Neck One Piece Swimsuit Blue - Clean Water. Image 1 of 3.
4. Target
(Shown above: Women's Stripped High Neck One Piece Swimsuit Blue - Clean Water)
Target has a wide variety of one piece swimsuits (631 online to be exact) and it is very easy to find cute, modest, affordable swimsuits. I ordered the swimsuit shown above last night on sale for $35.

I hope this post helped you find some cute new suits!
Happy Summer, everyone!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LUOA & Wipeouts

On Thursday last week, I finished 8th grade! It was a struggle for me, because I was doing 4-6 math lessons some days! Teaching Textbooks thought it would be fun to sneak in 30 extra review lessons. Thanks a lot. Anyway, I'm glad I'm done and look forward to starting my freshman year of high school!
For high school next year, I am going to mix it up a little and start taking online classes with Liberty University Online Academy. I got enrolled two days ago, and already have received my course schedule & school email address. I am a bit nervous to try something new, but so far so good! :)
For Mothers' Day this past Sunday, my family went to church, then came home, hung out a bit, and went to the Bellows. The waves were really big, and I wiped out, like, a lot. I was bodysurfing for a little while (and getting better!! Score!) when I got a bit overly confident and brought my boogie board out with me. The hard thing about a boogie board is that when a big wave comes, you can't duck dive under it (or at least I can't), so it sends you tumbling back to the beach. Time after time I would get up, adjust my bathing suit, and look back at the water where all the other boogie boarders were, riding waves and doing amazing. It is very frustrating. Hopefully I with get the hang of it soon. Hopefully.
Woah, I really flip-flopped subjects.
What are you doing for school next year?
What are you doing this summer?

Monday, May 8, 2017

I don't have my life together--Honest Words from Yours Truly

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I unexpectedly took a three-month blogging break, and I actually don't have a single good excuse. I just really didn't feel like writing a blog post. To be honest with you guys, sometimes I feel like I have to fit some "homeschooled Christian teen girl 'blogger mold,' " and live an absolutely perfect life. Great relationships with siblings and parents, perfect friends, incredible writing and photography skills, and a motivation to do lots of schoolwork, bake, write, sew, and kick that TBR list in the butt that I just don't possess. Throughout the past few months, whenever I thought about doing a blog post, I immediately thought: " 'I can't do a blog post, I just fought with my brother,' or, 'I totally handled that situation wrong,' or, 'I'm just in a bad mood today.' "

Recently, I have been learning the value of complete honesty and authenticity. I have always appreciated people who say it how it is, and refuse to sugar-coat the truth. So, that is what I am striving for on this blog. I must admit, in the past, I have made things happening in my life out to seem better on the blog. I can be a pretty self-conscious person, and I oftentimes have little fears that creep in that say "you can't say your day was bad, that makes you look like a bad Christian!" and things like that.

In all honesty, I don't have my life together. I struggle to find the motivation to do school/workout/read/do chores/be productive sometimes. I don't have a perfect family. Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough, or smart enough, or thin enough. But you know what? That's okay. It's how we respond to these doubts and fears that really matters.

In my life (and blog) I am going to strive for complete authenticity. Care to join me?  :)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Catching a Wave

 "Meatball" the dog. He was staring at us through the window.
photo (the first two) credits to Roby (yes, he did make me design his entire blog so I could use his photos)
^Attempting to comfort Lexi while she has to endure the worst thing in the world... A BATH!!

I love doing adventurous things.

I've touched the Eiffel Tower, gone on rollercoasters, visited Stone Henge, played in the ocean for countless hours, hiked up many mountains, and sat on an alligator. Last Saturday, my friend and her family picked me up in their big red van and took us to the beach for a couple hours of surfing! I was so excited and nervous. I think I did okay, but I pretty much only went on my knees, and was on my feet for 1/4 of a second, till I belly flopped in the water. Paddling out to the waves was definitely the HARDEST part. My arms felt like wet noodles the entire time, and felt so for days after!
 Thursday night, my mom got a text, and turns out, my friend invited me to go surfing with her again on Saturday (now today)! Of course I said YES! This time, though, Roby got to come, and he spent some time on the beach learning while my friend and I got to paddle out in the chilly, crystal-clear ocean water. Roby paddled out, and we all just kind of hung out, waiting for the perfect wave to come our way. A decent wave came and I caught it! I was lying on my stomach, and something (maybe it was the fact that about four people were watching me) made me want to go for it. In one fluid movement, I pushed up with my arms and jumped to my feet. I was riding the wave! It felt so good. After a few seconds, I fell sideways off my board, hearing cheering.

After that, I rode about 4 or 5 more waves on my feet. It's such an amazing and fun feeling! The waves started getting pretty choppy, and I had a hard time finding a good wave to ride. So, I paddled back in, handed my board to one of my friend's younger siblings, and just played in the ocean, talking and swimming around. I got to go back out again, but the waves were no good. It had gotten increasingly windier, and I just couldn't find any good waves. It was really frustrating. I only got 1 at the end, when I was paddling back in, and rode it for a second before falling into the water. But, I did it, and I was so happy.

I am so thankful that now I can at least say I know how to surf, and I have caught a few waves! :) I just wish I could go again tomorrow!

 My week was pretty good, and busy. One of the highlights of my week was getting to talk on the phone with my aunt Jessie! It was so fun, I love her so much.
 Lately I have been eating popcorn and ice cream, yummm!

Thank you so much to Julia for mentioning me in your blog post! That is so sweet of you!

Mahalo for reading!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mango Muffins & Choking on Water

 Yesterday (Thursday) I made some (healthy) mango muffins. Honestly, I feel like I had more fun baking them than eating them! Baking is a serious stress reliever. Do it! :)
It feels really good to be making a new blog post. My week was boring in the beginning (a mix of rainy and unmotivated, ugh!), but on Thursday, it totally turned around. Last evening Roby and I went to youth group, where we played our weekly game of sock warz. Sock warz is where we throw socks filled with flour at people. Basically. As you may guess, it is filled with sweat and exhaustion.

At the end, a youth leader and some of the boys bring in a couple of bright-orange water coolers. Every time, the boys fight to be the first person to get water, and every time, the youth leaders let the girls go first. There was a certain boy, though, that really wanted water. When he heard he would have to wait, he dramatically doubled over and screamed "NO.. WATER!!!!!" My friend looked over at me and smirked, thus beginning laughing far longer than appropriate and choking on water.

Our birds have really been misbehaving. We have a bird feeder in our backyard, and when filled, we have over 20 birds flapping around the yard. We must drive our neighbors insane. It is a never-ending battle for the bird seed. Some birds-that-shall-not-be-named (DOVES) are bigger than the tiny little tropical birds, and they take full advantage of that, by picking the little birds up by the neck and shaking them around till they scream "uncle! uncle!" Sometimes I feel guilty for causing so much violence.

I am going surfing (for the first time EVER) with a friend on Saturday morning. Pray for me guys! Hi, I'm Abi, the girl who got smashed into the sand three times in a row today at the beach. Oh dear. My brother is coming up with all these crazy scenarios of things that could happen to me while surfing. All I know is, there is gonna be an interesting post on Monday or Tuesday!

Mahalo for Reading!

P.S. This is my 100th post!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Please come back another day


Rain, rain go away,
Please come back another day
Since I last posted: rain, rain, relaxing, church, shopping, schoolwork, beach, RAIN. So in other words, life lately has been pretty boring. It poured all day on Saturday, preventing everyone from going surfing and playing in the ocean. I love rain, but when going to the beach is on your radar for the day, and you wake up at 7: 30 a.m. excited to get going, but you soon look outside and sigh. I love rain, but not when it prevents me from going to the beach.
This week...
Number of cracked kindles {1}
Number of times gone to the beach {1}
Number of books finished {0}
Number of pieces of cake eaten {3}
Number of smoothies drank {4}
Number of nights I aspired to go on a run the next morning {2}
Number of mornings I actually went for a run {0}
Number of times I got some random off-the-wall idea {3}
As you can see, I've had a very productive week.
Mahalo for reading!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

10 Things Most People Don't Realize about Hawaii

Before I moved to Hawaii, I heard lots of "information" about life here from people who had vacationed here for a week, never been here, lived here for years, or watched a movie set in Hawaii. With all that information (most of it being false) coming in, it is difficult to figure out what is right and what is just plain lies.

Today, I thought it would be fun to teach you the things I've learned about actual life here, and what things I've learned about Hawaii that I found interesting.

1. Winter lasts half the year.
I've heard others say that Hawaii's only season is summer. True, it may have summer weather, but winter here lasts 6 months long! Winter weather in Hawaii usually means rain, big waves, and a chilly 70-80 degree temperature. Winter goes from November to April, and Summer goes from May to October.

2. The time difference is a bigger inconvenience than you realize.
You check the clock, and think, "yay! This is the perfect time to call so-and-so!" Then, you add 5 hours to your time to figure out what time it is at their house, realizing they are probably eating dinner at the moment. Oh, well.
Sometimes I write a blog post on the computer and publish it after dinner. A couple hours later, I'll check back wondering why no one has read it yet, and realize it's the middle of the night for most people on the mainland.

3. Island time is the real deal.
BTW, your mozzarella sticks will be ready in two hours.

4. Bumps, scrapes, & bruises
I have a cut on my foot from being smashed against the reef by a big wave. Sometimes I'll exit the water, looking down and realizing blood is dripping down my leg from getting cut multiple times by the large, rocky reef. Living here, it is impossible to not have cuts and bruises from the ocean.

5. Living here is way different than vacationing here.
When vacationing here, you stay in a nice hotel, have fantastic WiFi connection, have fancy dinners,  go to a beach with perfectly white sand with perfectly clear water, going to perfectly planned out tourist traps.
Living here, however, is staying in a small house filled with ants, geckos, centipedes, and who-knows-what. The WiFi stops working 3-4 times a day, and for a treat, locals here go to a nearby food truck (but trust me, the food is amazing, and the guys that work there are so nice!!). Even though life here isn't as luxurious, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love it just the way it is! :)

6. Living here is like living in a bubble.
Imagine this: you mostly just watch Hawaii news on T.V., so the only stuff you really hear about is high surf, winds, volcanoes erupting, and the occasional stolen wallet. Shows are on at weird times, so you mostly just go without. As for listening to the radio, the stations consist of two Christian music stations, about three old Hawaiian music stations, and two old (and I mean old) pop music stations. Radio stations only come in about half the time, anyway. In other words, I don't hear about all the drama surrounding the presidential election, I have absolutely no idea what is going on with reality TV stars on the mainland, and I am clueless about new music. But, I do know the ocean conditions for today, enjoy watching KITV 4 (the news channel), and love the relaxed Hawaii ukelele music.

7. It is super easy to spot tourists.
Hint: they're usually the ones that are in huge groups of people on the shore, taking pictures, while wearing ginormous sunhats and sunglasses.
Or the girls lying in the sand wearing super-skimpy bikinis that would fall off the first time a big wave came their way. Yup.

8. We live off smoothies, fresh fruit, shave ice, and acai bowls.
No explanation necessary.

9. The ocean is pretty safe, if you know what you're doing.
The most common thing I've heard is "what about the sharks?" Something you need to know is that if you are still touching the ground, you have no real reason to be paranoid. If you listen to the lifeguard's instructions and obey them, don't paddle out too far, know what to do if the rip current pulls you out (swim to the side, then swim back), never go to beaches where there is no one is there (that might mean the ocean is filled with box jellyfish), always swim with a friend, and NEVER swim in murky waters (sharks love doing their hunting in murky waters, as fish can't see them, but the sharks can see the fish), you should be perfectly safe. Be smart in the ocean!

10. You develop a love for watching surfing.
Most places have football or soccer, but in Hawaii, we have surfing. I love watching amazing surfers like Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton. People cheer on the mainland when someone scores a touchdown, but here, everyone cheers when someone gets barreled or gets air time.

So, did you learn anything new about Hawaii? What is the most common thing you've heard about Hawaii? Also, if you have any questions, feel free to type them in a comment! I will do my best to respond. :)

Mahalo for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Evil Vog & Psyco the Gecko


Ah, yes. Very flattering.

^photo creds to roby^  You know, you never realize what weird facial expressions you make until someone starts snapping random photos of you. Roby ordered a camera off amazon a couple weeks ago and immediately started taking pictures. It is SO weird being the one in front of the camera instead being the one behind it!
Lately, we have been experiencing vog. The KÄ«lauea Volcano has been erupting on the Big Island for years and years, and the Hawaii tradewinds take the vog (or the smoke that comes out of the volcano) and blows it around to other islands, and, yes, Oahu. It acts like pollen in the air and gives people (myself included) bad allergies. A runny nose, cough, and a tired, sick feeling come with it.

For a couple of weeks, all we've been hearing on T.V. and on the radio is vog, vog, vog. People here truly hate it. Though, there is something comforting about driving home from the beach, wondering why you all of a sudden feel so under the weather, and hearing on the radio that others are going through the exact same thing.

I had a super  active weekend. On Friday, we decided to conquer the Kaelia trail. It ended up taking about four hours, with three hours just climbing up the mountain. That was the most out-of-shape I've felt since I went for a ten-minute run. We met lots of awesome, friendly people who were struggling as much as we were. Hooray for group morale!

On Saturday, we hopped on a bus and went for a seven-hour tour around the island. Our tour guide told us Hawaiian greetings and cheesy jokes.

On Sunday, apparently not learning our lesson from Friday, we went on another hike. I loved  this one, though, because it was short and fun, with a spectacular view. After that, we went to the pool and Roby and I swam non-stop for about two hours.

And THEN, to top it all off, we went to the beach on Monday and I was out body surfing and boogie boarding for three hours.

As you may have already guessed, I am extremely tired today (Tuesday) with a sunburn and vog thrown in. Probably going to do it all again this weekend, though.
I was getting ready to go to the grocery store with my mom when I walked in the bathroom and got a little bit freaked out over what I saw.

Can you see it??
That's right, our family pet, Psyco the gecko, was back! He got bigger due to eating other  family pets, like ants and bugs. Pysco lives on our ceiling, and often moves from room to room. I once spotted him running into my bathroom. No one tries to get rid of him, though, because we think he's cute.

Lots of crazy things have been happening in my life, like going to a new youth group (I had an AWESOME time btw), going to a new church, getting the hang of body surfing, and just trying to find balance in my life.

Also, what do you think about the new design? Doesn't Abby have SO much talent? I am so excited about the new look.
I also updated my about page if you are interested.
Mahalo for reading!'