Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hello friends! 
This week July drew to an end...months seem to speed by faster as I get older. 30 days is a mere blink, and you'll miss it. 

All She Wrote is undergoing exciting changes! I have decided that I'm going to take the month of August to refocus and rebrand this little space ((if you want to use the technical terms)). In no way am I shutting down; I just want to be able to focus 100% this month on the refocusing and rebranding . 

I can't wait to see what yall think! It's all done with you in mind. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a quiet place

I'm an extroverted introvert. 

I thrive off of alone time. I thrive off of people time. It just depends on the day and the mood. But when I don't get alone time, it ain't pretty. I feel stressed, and stretched to the limit, and it typically brings about some form of anxiety. 

Since this season has me living with my parents again, where it's never quiet or empty, I have to carve out alone time. I have always been good about it, but lately, it's been HARD. I work 11 hour days, so when I get home i typically fall asleep on the couch before 830. My weekends are spent catching up on family and friends, and the only "me" time I get is walking the dog, if I'm lucky. 

What is working for me in this season is crashing at friend's houses. Let me rephrase that: when my friends are out of town, I house/dog sit and I get a few days of rejuvenating bliss. It's HEAVEN. I get to watch tv and movvies. I can read. I can catch up on Jesus time and finish lesson plans. 

I didn't realize how much I loved living alone til now. Reading the book Finding Spiritual Whitespace opened my eyes to a whole new way of life; forever I am grateful for that. So instead of letting a chaotic schedule and long hours tear me apart, I'm using it to draw closer to the Lord and take better care of me. I never truly understood that concept til now. 

What season of life are you in friend? Are you able to take better care of yourself, or are you in a season of taking care of others?

xo, bethany

Thursday, July 17, 2014

She's so refined.

As a young lady who adores vintage, I am enamored with regality, elegance, refinement- all things that old movie stars drip with. The characteristics ladies like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly and Maureen O'Hara emboldened are a rarity in this day and age. Cultural refinement wasn't an option. It resulted from spending time on intellectual pursuits. I had a mama who always carried herself with poise. She once said to me, "Young women need to be well rounded and refined; they ought to carry conversations with grace yet be able to don a dress for a dance or a glove for a ball game, and have fun doing it". 

The word "elegance" always calls to mind a song from "Hello, Dolly!", which goes like this-

"We've got elegance, we were born with elegance, 
and with elegance, we'll carry on" 

Born with elegance. 
 Are we still born with elegance? Carrying elegance on. Do we carry elegance on? 

It saddens me to see the current culture. We place more value in cheap, quick thrills than we do in developing long term characteristics. Gone are the days of elegance. Gone are the dignified days. Our world is determined to stomp out anyone and anything that still has class. Elegance has become a lost art. For many of us, it's an art form that we didn't learn. Like most women, I'm learning elegance. Because whether you're eight or eighty, it's always beautiful to be elegant.  

Say no to anything that is not important to you, and honor your limits.
Get enough sleep.
Spend your lunchtime as sacred you-time.
Wear your pretty clothes.
Limit your media consumption.
When you are in someone’s presence, really be with them.
Do more of what comes naturally to you.  Where there’s ease, there’s elegance.
Give creative and thoughtful gifts. 
Send thank you notes. 
 Speak eloquently and thoughtfully.
silence can be stunning.
Be kind with your words about others.
Don’t lose your cool in public.
Keep a tidy workspace…but also accept a little clutter and mess
Document what you are blessed with and what you are grateful for periodically.
Keep up with what’s going on in the world.
Be gentle, with your words, your actions, your choices.
Be able to laugh at yourself, at situations, and with others.
Devour old films, music, books, art, architecture, and nature.
Surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
Encourage people.
Spend your days doing what you’re passionate about.
Don’t allow your mood to dictate your manners.
Have good role models, people who do something with their day to day life.
Let hard times grow you, not throw you.
Believe you are beautiful.

I hope you’re inspired to practice elegance today.

Xx, bethany

ps. check out my sweet friend's RUBY series. Be inspired by some Jesus loving, elegant, classy women. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beth's Bet>>>All She Read: A Name Change & Firewall Review

When I first started reviewing books for publishers, I needed a series' title that would tie it all together. My mom came up with "Beth's Bet"- like, Bethany would bet on your life because this book was so good. I liked it and went with it. But it kept bugging me. 

I realized not every book I read was going to be bet-your-life-worthy. I needed a new series title. The inner war was waged. Can I do that? People already know it as Beth's Bet. But you don't like that title. Yeah, true, so what will we change it to?

All She Read. Yep. It hit me like lightning. So from her on out, the book review series that was Beth's Bet is officially All She Read.  I have changed all previous titles and tags to make it easier for you to find the past & future book reviews, too. 

On to the actual book review...

Firewall by Diann Mills. 

First, can we swoon over that book model? Hello. 

Anyways. Beautiful tech geek Taryn Young is abandoned by her husband in the airport on her way to their honeymoon after a bomb goes off in the terminal. She gets pulled out of the wreckage. When she comes to, she's under scrutiny from the FBI. They believe she is behind the bombing. She sets out to find her husband- and she doesn't like what she finds- and to prove herself free. She comes across her murdered best friend, and learns that her best friend's daughter has been kidnapped. So she turns to the one man she can trust: FBI Agent Grayson Hall. You all know where this is going. cue romantic music as they run for their lives.....

It's got bad guys, guns, an angel dog, and a hilariously funny old uncle. It's set in Houston. It kept me intrigued, and I couldn't often tell where it was going, so those were pluses. BUT I couldn't understand half of it. There was way too much tech lingo/computer science hoopla. Because I didn't understand it all, I skipped the parts with it and just skim-read, which is probably why I couldn't always tell what was going on. So that being said, yall should know that there are only two times I skim-read: when a book is SO good that I want to devour it, or when I'm trying to hurry up and get to the end because reading it is annoying me. 

Honestly, I'd probably read it again. Actually, I'd make my dad translate the computer science stuff. People who can relate to the that stuff will love it. But I don't relate to that stuff, so I just liked it. Then again, I'm the girl who has trouble with a Mac. 

xo, bethany

disclosure: I receive books courtesy of various Christian publishing companies, including Bethany House, Tyndall, and Revell, each of which have blogger review programs. All opinions expressed on All She Wrote regarding the books I receive are mine, unless otherwise indicated.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mud pies.

I let my kids play in the dirt. 

Yupp, you read that right. At least I did. I'm fixing to move to one of the four year old classes, and I assume they have the same obsession with messiness as every other kid does. 

But back to dirt. I know parents and teachers who don't want their kids playing in the dirt. It's just DIRT. If it was good enough for God to make man out of, then it's good enough to run through, and roll around in, and kick up, and draw in. Dirt builds immunity and spurs on creativity. Dirt beckons pouring and sifting and exploring. Hence, we play with dirt. 

It goes along with a point I made in this post

Life with kids is such a good catharsis for me, because I'm forced to evaluate how I look at situations differently. I can try to stop the dirt spreading, and worry myself into a frenzy, or I can choose to throw up my hands, say "oh well", and join in the fun. 

Here's to dirt spreading. xo, bethany

Friday, July 4, 2014

Captain America's Birthday.

I'm baaaaaack! Thank you for being patient with me, as I haven't been posting for the last few weeks. 
Now whoa baby, I don't think I've caught my breath since before VBS, and that was three weeks ago. Thank God for this three day weekend. VBS was a blast. Some people get worn out working VBS, but I thrive on it. Even having to go straight to work afterwards wasn't too much trouble. If you follow me on Instgram, you've seen our #AwkwardFamilyPhotos that our music team created every day, all week. It got a little crazy. 

My mom broke her foot during the week of VBS, so that threw a monkey wrench into family life. A broken foot + progressive Multiple Sclerosis = uhhhh ohhh. Life's looked a lot like this lately ((at least for my dad and sister; I work 11 hour days and only get to see Momma on the weekends)) :
Celebrate America 2014, our church's July 4th celebration, was this last weekend. It's always a hoot and a half. It was a great way to get excited about the Fourth of July. I've been living in a land of Red-White-and-Blue since last Saturday, as this week's theme at preschool/daycare was also July 4th. My 4 year olds were CONVINCED that is not America-the-country's birthday, but CAPTAIN America's birthday. I finally gave up trying to differentiate between the two. 

Speaking of all things Fourth of July, am I wrong to think that today is a day when TV should be playing patriotic movies nonstop? I'm really disappointed in the lack of options offered today. 
((disclosure- we have verizon; I am speaking of verizon's channel guide. I do not know of other provider's options))
I compiled a list of my favorite Americana movies. Yall have fun Netflixing these! 

The Patriot
Gone With The Wind
National Treasure, 1 & 2
Saving Private Ryan
Apollo 13
How The West Was Won
Red Dawn (Chris Hemsworth version)
Forrest Gump
In Harm's Way

My to-do list this week is massive. How about yours? I hope you are all enjoying your fourth of July weekend! 
xo, bethany

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Because it's JUNE!

Hey loves, 
I meant to get this posted earlier this week! Eek. I'm going to be offline this week and much of next, due to a busy schedule with VBS and work. I'll be cramming in babysitting, my dad's birthday, and my grandma's visit, as well as redecorating my four year old classroom, plus my sisteer is out of town Don't look for too much to be happening here during that time. I'll be on instagram, though, so you can keep up with me there! 

To recap the last few weeks...
An old friend graduated this year, so Rachel and I headed to his partay. It is always such a blessing to see him & his family. 

>>with aunt ang<<

>>sister shenanigans<<

I'm reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, which means I'm currently feeling the Golden Age (isn't that me all the time though?). Lana Del Ray's "Young And Beautiful" is on repeat. I ran to Old Navy to grab shorts and came across a darling dress, that reminds me of flappers... 

The drop waist had me sashaying through parking lots and twirling up sidewalks. You're lucky I didn't pair this dress with my forties heels! Born in the wrong generation problems, I tell ya. 

At church this week, we worshipped with one of my favorites- 

"By grace I'm free
You've rescued me
All I am is Yours
I've found a love greater than life itself
I've found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost; now I'm alive in You"

For all the idiotic things I do, Jesus forgives me repeatedly and that is more than I can ever ask for. What a love. What a hope. I'm thankful that we get to worship through song and dance and the Word. 

until next time, prayers for you dear readers.