Palouse Falls

IMG_8115
IMG_8085My friend Grace and I have been talking about sunrise hikes for a while now. A couple weeks ago we discovered that we both are enamored  of sunrises, sunsets, and anything involving the sky in general. For me, it is where I often see God the greatest –  in the vastness of an open  sky which he so meticulously paints for me day after day. When I am feeling most lost, it is those moments, beneath the sea of clouds or stars that I find myself saturating in His presence.
 We left Pullman at 5:30 a.m. and headed out on a two hour road trip to one of the Palouse’s greatest beauties: Palouse Falls. We were chasing the sunrise – desperate for a glimpse at the moment the sun broke through the clouds into a show of lights and glory. Instead we were met with ever changing shades of gray.

IMG_8092 IMG_8033IMG_8095

IMG_8058IMG_8008IMG_8036 IMG_8033 IMG_8025 IMG_8022 IMG_8000 IMG_8005 IMG_8008

Praise Jesus for early mornings, even when they’re hard.

October Diary

For the longest time I’ve been contemplating the idea of monthly favorites posts, so in favor of my birthday month I figured now would be the time to start. What follows is the love child of a “favorites” post and a diary.

Let’s test the waters…

October Update

I have mixed feelings about the month of October. It is the host month of my birthday and my least favorite holiday, both within hours of each other. With five weekends in this year’s October, each was full to the brim.

IMG_7915My first weekend was spent in Athol, Idaho at Silverwood Theme Park. Each year they revamp the park to suit the season of Halloween – complete with haunted houses, backwards roller coasters, terrifying clowns and the like; affectionately renamed “Scarywood” for the event.

I went last year with a group of five people and this year I spent the night with a team of thirty. Quite the  increase – but so worth it, and since we went the first week of October we had a major discount (like twenty dollars worth) which was prefect because we’re all poor college students.

It was a night full of terror and mischief and I loved every second. (Except for the second when my friend decided to use me as a shield and threw me into a Haunted House wall to escape a rampant clown.)

The following weekend,  I found myself back in Northern Idaho for a retreat with my new church. IMG_7992Becoming part of a new church has been an adventure in itself. It has been a season of self-doubt, processing, and hurting but also a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s pursuit and the faithfulness of living in Godly community.

I was hesitant to take the plunge and spend a whole weekend in the middle of nowhere with my new church family who I had barely begun to know. But it allowed me the opportunity to spend time getting to know the pastor and deepen relationships with girls who have relentlessly pursued me these past couple months.

It was a weekend of rest, and I needed that.  Plus, how could I miss a weekend in the forest making wishes on dandelions?

The third weekend I worked every day in addition to being a part of a fundraiser for the club that I have been appointed Vice President – WSU In It To End It. A national initiative which seeks to spread awareness of Human Trafficking and help the victims in addition to aiding the effort to see the horror end in our lifetime. That experience birthed the post “Meat” but also led to us raising enough money to free a four person family from the brick kilns in India, out of the darkness there is light!

The following weekend I escaped to Spokane with my best friend – you can read about it and see more pictures in this post: Pause.

alic_5
The last weekend of the month was my birthday weekend and Halloween.

Here’s where the controversy over the month of October comes into play: I absolutely despise Halloween but it is the day after my birthday. As a result, for most of my life I have had birthday parties which are a mixture of the holiday and the celebration of life. Its an interesting combination to be wearing a princess tiara in a room full of ghosts and ghouls.

There were a number of parties that were attempted to surprise me, but with so many scheduling conflicts and college stressors out of what I later learned to have been an attempted four parties was finally successful when my friends from church threw me my first ever surprise birthday party complete with gluten-free cake.

IMG_8171IMG_8168Let me tell you why this is such a triumph: one, because I’m pretty difficult to surprise with things, and normally I hate it; two, anything gluten-free is a nightmare. But they somehow managed it, and after a hellish week it was enough to bring me to tears. I wish that I could find the words to say to express how grateful I am, but for know I’m going to let the sheer joy that I felt holding that cake do all of the talking.

19 has never tasted so sweet!

IMG_8170

The following day we had a Birthday celebration at my favorite restaurant (because they have a full gluten free menu), complete with my princess tiara and balloon. And on Saturday we spent our morning costumed and our evening cheering on the Cougs on during the WSU-Stanford game. It was raining the whole time, but I loved every single second. 

IMG_8202
Halloween coffee runs: What happens when a burglar, a cat and a Coug fan walk into a bar? Answer: They order coffee.
IMG_8242
Coug gear for the rainy game.

Cheers to adventures!

Favorites from October

 Coffee Shop Indulgence: Coconut-Caramel Latte

coffee_3

 If you’re a fan of coconut there’s really no reason for you not to drink this… Being hours away from the Coffee Mecca of the nation I find it difficult to escape the longing for a good cup of coffee. I have been a big fan of the Coco-Mo (coconut mocha) for a long time, but I found that switching to caramel actually allows me to taste the coffee and it is incredible. If you have an itching espresso combinations breathed by Angels, this is for you. Try it now, and you can thank me later.

This particular cup of Jo was from my favorite little coffee shop/boutique in Downtown Spokane, Atticus Coffee & Gifts.

NYX Matte Lipstick in SirenIMG_8069
IMG_8067

I actually only bought this color because Ulta had just run out of the matte Copenhagen lip stain (also by NYX), and ended up falling completely in love with it. It’s the perfect fall color – I find every excuse I can to wear it.

buy it here

Our Last Night’s Cover of One Direction’s “Drag Me Down”

I’m obsessed with Matty Mullins, and I’m not even sorry about it. I stumbled into this cover earlier in the month and it has been on repeat ever since. I would be willing to say its better than the original.

Our Last Night: Younger Dreams

1432069977_our-last-night-younger-dreams-coverThis album was released in June, and somehow I missed the memo – probably because I was living in Asia. Finding the cover of the One Direction song reminded me how much I love this band and through the Spotify realm I uncovered this album. I am absolutely in love with everything about it.

Our Last Night is described as an alternative/rock band, but I find that musical genres these days are rather broad. I would describe their sound as a mixture of Memphis May Fire or ADTR and We Came As Romans. The musician-ship is good, but the lyrics are superb. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Buy the album here: iTunes

Lyrics to two of my favorite songs from the album:

Prisoners

Forgotten Souls

Black and White Photography

IMG_8064Despite the fact that my best friend is absolutely adorable and makes taking pictures easy, I have been falling back in love with the art of black and white photography this month. I love the simplicity of a good black and white photo, to remove the colors is sometimes to remove the distraction from the beauty.

Colorful Birthday Flowers IMG_8179   Typically I go for the white roses, my ultimate favorite flower, but I had my breath stolen by these beauties that my family had sent to me for my birthday. Complete with adorable mason-jar vase, the vivid blossoms have been a pleasantry ever since their arrival.

And thus ends the October Update, thanks to everyone who made this month what it was.

 Until next time, wonder on.

Pause

 Sometimes you have to take a day off from life, get in the car with your best friend, drive until you reach the city and chase after fall before it fades into winter. coffee_!Alice_1alice-2alic_5alice-3
leaves_4
leavescoffee_3
coffee-1I have been feeling awfully overwhelmed by the demands of life lately, so I skipped town for a few hours to have a bit of rest. It was glorious.

Not pictured is our fruitless thrift store stops and Chipotle outings.

Here’s to the many more weekends of rest, more opportunities to pause and say “Whoa, God made this all for us” even when we feel like we’re drowning.  

leaves_5