Monday, August 29, 2011

trains, planes, and automobiles.

This morning I bought an automobile. Was it a mistake? We'll see. I drove it for the first time today. When it changes gears it feels like you're driving a stick shift (it's automatic). And on the way home the check engine light came on. Not what I was hoping for, seeing that it's my first car and the first day I've had it. But it'll all work out..I hope.

Also, tonight I gave my first piano lesson. I am officially a piano teacher now. (Condensed sales pitch...I'm 16, have played the piano for 11 years, and want to teach you or your kid to play the piano. Email me: annashelley95@yahoo.com.) It went pretty well. I was freaking out before, but took Rachel's advice..."give them lots of candy and they'll like you." I think it worked. She ran to her mom saying, "I got candy!!!" Was it a success? I think so.

Another plus from this piano lesson is the money I make doing it. I'm sort of in desperate need of money. Not only do I have a car to pay my parents back for, but it's also hard to live life with only a Kohl's gift card and a few kuai in your wallet (the latter of which will only do me good in China). The other week Rachel and I were chilling in downtown Reidsville (which is surprisingly better than it sounds...but it deserves a post to itself) when we came across a cool cupcake/bakery-ish place. I got a brownie...who paid for it? Rachel. Today Rachel and I were chilling on Wendover and got lunch while at Costco. Who paid for it? Rachel's dad. So, it does seem to do me good and get me some free food, but my poor friends are going to be broke if I don't put some cash in my wallet.

I'm almost done. I promise. But I just want to say that if you don't watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy on a regular basis, you should consider it. Wheel of fortune...an exercise for the brain. Jeopardy...nice and educational. When you don't have cable, you learn to enjoy the things that come on the 4 channels that you get. And just in case you don't know...it's kids' week on Jeopardy. It makes you feel extremely smart. I'm pretty Harvey could win it.

Also...after this I'm going to stop putting the links to my blog posts on Facebook. If you really want to read my blog, you can check it. If you don't, then it'll be one less thing on your news feed that you get tired of.

Last...this is just a random picture. I got bored today and changed it up a little. I thought I might as well show it to someone. Shout-out to Ashley Shelley - the beautiful person that appears in this picture (with her husband who happens to be my brother), and who is also the creator of a fantastic blog that you should all read.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Here's to bomb threats, tweeting, and Zac Efron.

I have always thought that a good blogger should blog often. Preferably every day. More than once a day becomes a little overwhelming for the reader, because if they check your blog every other day they have to do a lot of catching up. (This is why I don't like the Young House Love blog..every time I go to their blog there's like 10 new posts.) If a blogger blogs, say, once a week (or less) it becomes boring to the reader. When a reader checks a blog every day but only 1 out of every 7 days there is a post, it slowly slips from its place on the list of favorite-blogs-I-read. I have found that a post per day is the perfect amount. If a blogger posts much more often or much less often than this, the reader gets tired of either reading it or checking it and begins to call it lame. You may be thinking, "Well, some people just don't have a lot of cool happenings in their lives so there isn't a whole lot to blog about." If you don't have enough in your life to blog about frequently and you can't be creative enough to come up with something to write about, then you probably shouldn't have a blog. Just my opinion.

I am not, by any means, a professional blogger, but I wouldn't hesitate to call myself a professional blog reader. It's sort of bad how much I read blogs. I'm gonna put myself out on a limb and call it an obsession.

So my point in all of this? If I were to make a list of not-lame bloggers, I wouldn't make the cut. When was the last time I blogged? It was, in fact, August 16th...which was, in fact, 11 days ago. Definitely wouldn't make the cut...not even close.

When I came back from China I couldn't decide if I wanted to continue blogging or not. Well, I knew I did. But the wanna-be-as-cool-as-possible-for-a-person-like-me came out in me and thought it would be sort of lame for me to have a blog. So I blogged every once in a while, but didn't really stick with it. But as you can see, I didn't give it up completely, so I guess I'm still blogging. My goal is to not be a lame blogger, and post frequently. It probably won't be every day...because surprisingly I'm a 16 year old girl who has friends and has a life. Teenagers shouldn't spend their time locked in their rooms reading all sorts of magazines trying to find something that will spark their creativity and inspire them to blog about something. I will not have a lame junior year. Yes, I will have a lame blog, but not a lame junior year.

But I will give you an update on what's been going on lately.

1. School started. First day at GTCC? A 56 year old lady called in a bomb threat because she couldn't come to class and she thought if she missed class it would mess up her financial aid. Everyone had to evacuate campus and classes were cancelled for the day. This kind lady is now in jail.

Disclaimer: This is not, in fact, the lady who called in the bomb threat. And neither does she have any connection GTCC or bombs. (Actually, she has a connection to animal cruelty.) I just thought the picture fit nicely.

2. I'm getting a car. After searching and searching, our neighbors put one out in their yard for sale. We called them, Dad drove it around, and I'm gladly purchasing it from them. Next on my list of things to purchase: a UNC sticker to put on my car.

3. I went to a Thirty-One party today. The hostess happened to be my fantastic sister-in-law Ashley Shelley. So overwhelming..so many bags..and patterns..and colors..and options. I ended up with one thing. A poor girl like me who is buying a car can't afford purses these days.

4. Being able to drive is so wonderful. Now I'm just waiting for the day when I can get my restrictions off.

5. I ran out of gas the other night. I sat on the side of the road with Rachel to wait for my parents to pick us up. It was a good experience.

6. I want to get into Twitter. Word on the street is it's the cool thing these days. Follow me. imsothug843.

7. The name of my blog and the description of my blog (on the right-hand side) still have not changed, even though this blog clearly doesn't have much to do with being an aunt anymore, but I just can't bring myself to change it.


8. Number 7 makes me sad. I wish my posts were still about Harvey. I miss him. And his parents.

9. I need to watch High School Musical. In fact, I think I'll do that right now.




Here's to bomb threats, tweeting, and Zac Efron.

Over and out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

thank the good Lord for Skype.

I'm ready for school to start.

I never thought I'd actually believe these words. But it's true. I'm dying for school to start, really. For a number of reasons. 1. I'm in desperate need of routine so that my life can get back to normal. 2. I've been out of school since April..it just feels like I've been out way too long. 3. I'm not feeling so smart.. I feel like I can barely add and subtract. 4. I've recently gotten a desire to learn. Probably because for 2 and a half months I lived with a person who happens to love learning, is a genius, reads constantly, and uses big words. His name is Josh Shelley.

So this is why I want school to start. Thankfully I only have to wait another week. Now let's be honest...once school starts I will probably take back everything I ever said. But for now, I'm ready.

For some reason recently I've gotten into reading. I have read 5 books this year. Which is like...some sort of insane record for myself. Unless you're counting Nancy Drew or the Boxcar Children, I really have never read books. All 5 books that I have read have been excellent. Radical (by David Platt), Radical Together (by David Platt), the Case for Christ (by Lee Strobel), High Heels to Tractor Wheels (by Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman), and the Blind Side (by Michael Lewis). I recommend them all.

I wasn't a huge huge fan of the Pioneer Woman's book...it was a little boring and pretty much said the same thing for the first 20 chapters. They went on a date, kissed, and went home. About 50 times. And she writes about each one. And they're all exactly the same. But it was still a good book.

In other news, Josh, Danielle, and the Harv are leaving on Friday. To go back to China. Believe me...I begged to go with them. I miss China. And boy am I gonna miss these 3 people. Life will be weird (and quiet) with no screaming babies. I'm holding onto the hope that they'll be coming back not too long from now. And I'm also skipping out on the airport Friday morning. Goodbyes are terrible. But goodbyes at the airport are worse. Everyone is there, crying and hugging. Everyone is sad. You say goodbye. And then you have to stand there for like 20 minutes and watch them go through security and walk toward the gate. And then cry some more.

I'd rather say goodbye to them at home, try not to get emotional, and then cry myself to sleep that night. Seems like the better option. If you see me on Friday or any day of the following week and I'm having a breakdown...don't worry. I'm ok. I'm just missing Harvey's piercing scream. And for the first time in my life, I'll want a diaper to change. And a pacifier to put in a crying baby's mouth. And a sister-in-law that lives 10 minutes away. And a brother that teaches me new words....and inspires the genius in me.

Ok this is getting too sad. I'll save the tears for Thursday and Friday and just thank the good Lord for Skype...all day long.

Monday, August 8, 2011

another diarrhea story. this time in a desert..


I have had a request from a dear friend that I post about my most recent diarrhea experience. Refer back to the last diarrhea post and read the disclaimer. Because uh...if you're not one for "crude humor"...whatever that really means...then you may not want to read this.

Here goes nothin.

As you may know, a few weeks ago I went with my youth group on a missions trip to a Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. It was so much fun and although I was close to dead from jet lag, I still had a blast and somehow remained alive for the whole trip with no problems. Except one.

You see, last time that I went with my youth group to Arizona, we went out one night and laid on a mesa and looked at the stars. It's quite incredible, really. You can see so many stars out in the desert and you can even see the milky way galaxy. It's so great. So, being the incredible-experience-lover that I am, I suggested we go do this again.

Now let me interrupt the story to give an important piece of information: it just so happens that around this time alot of people on our team were getting some weird stomach thing and they were having loads of diarrhea, etc. Ok continuing with the story....

Our leaders agreed that it would be good, so we got in the vans and headed out to the mesa. We all sat there while Joseph played his guitar and we sang. My stomach started to feel pretty bad, but I just pushed the thought aside and tried not to notice it. Once we were done we all got up and began to head down the mesa. As we headed down, my stomach started to feel worse and worse and I realized that I needed to go to the bathroom pretty badly. And I didn't just need to urinate. So I continued walking, only to feel the need of a toilet rising. And rising. And rising.

And we all know that when you're trying to "hold it" walking never helps. It's best to just sit still, right? Yeah well I didn't have much of a choice seeing that it's midnight and I'm climbing down a mesa with 20 people behind me. I couldn't just stop, hold up traffic, and yell up to everyone that I did, in fact, need to use the bathroom and I needed to sit for a while. So I kept going.

Well, I reached the bottom of the mesa and realized that I could hold it no longer and I absolutely had to go. So I took off running (once again, not good for attempting to "hold it") to get behind a rock and go before it came out in my pants. And what happened on the way? You guessed it. I didn't make it to the rock, I didn't make it to where I could pull my pants down, I didn't make it at all.

So there I was, standing at the bottom of a mesa, with my shorts full of diarrhea, in the middle of the desert. With my entire youth group only a few feet away. It was great, it really was. So I ran over to one of the youth leaders, Mrs. Lisa, and a friend, Taylor. I proudly exclaimed, "I crapped my pants!!!" We all died laughing. I went back to the rock that I had originally intended to use as a toilet and I pulled down my pants, dumped all of the "waste" out of my pants and just stood there. Mrs. Lisa found a few tissues that I could use but it wasn't nearly enough. I then used a Walmart bag and Taylor's t-shirt to clean myself up. And Taylor, I will never be able to repay you for this incredibly kind deed that you did. Oh, and while all of this happened Mrs. Cindy continues to yell to the entire youth group that I crapped my pants. Thank you Mrs. Cindy, thank you.

Then I left my underwear there, along with the Walmart bag, which are probably still there today. I wrapped Constance's jacket around me and sat on Patrick's t-shirt in the van. I will also never be able to repay them for this. So there I sat, covered in...well never mind. And I think the poor boys in the seat behind me almost passed out from the smell. For this I apologize, Nick and Dane. I began to feel like I was about to throw up but thankfully made it home. My friends greeted me at the door with a towel and kindly led me to the bathroom. It was here that I finished my business on the toilet while Katelyn ever so graciously washed out my shorts in the sink. I still cannot believe she did this and will never forget her kind actions.

I got in the shower while Katelyn and Sarah stood there and talked to me, making sure I was ok, and bringing me clothes. I got dressed headed back to my bed and tried to go to sleep. When I needed to go to the bathroom that night, Katelyn kindly went with me, sat there while I used the toilet, and brought me a trash can when I thought I was going to throw up (which I never did). She convinced me that I should try to go to sleep, so I did. The next morning I slept in and felt pretty weak but after a couple of days I was back to normal.

The day after this lovely experience we had planned to go hike on a mesa. Perfect for a girl with stomach issues. (I made sure I took an extra pair of shorts, just in case.) As we drove in the vans, we passed the place where it all happened. I looked out the window, and there was the Walmart bag, sitting on the side of the mesa. I apologize to the poor Indian children who probably found it soon after, while playing.

Here I am the next day, with the wonderful kid that washed my shorts out:
(notice the backpack...which contained my extra change of clothes...)


My youth group is so kind to not hold this against me and completely shun me.

You have to agree, I've got the best friends a girl could have. And also the best diarrhea stories.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm back...for one more post.

I've been having blogging withdrawals. I actually do miss it. So I figured I'd write one more post. Might as well (right, Harrison?).

I'm at Josh and Danielle's living quarters for the night. This summer they've been living at the chapel house, like they usually do, which always works out quite nicely. Danielle's parents live super close to here, and since it's across the parking lot from where we go to church, it's very convenient to stop by. (In case you don't know my family very well, we pretty much live at our church.) Back to the point...I'm at their living quarters. This is the second time I've spent the night since we've been back to the US of A and that's not nearly enough. But it is so good to be here with them.

I miss life with them. Alot. It's weird not having Harvey there all the time. And it's very weird to have to share him. I'm not a fan of this...at all. Used to I could pretty much hold him whenever I wanted. If he wasn't eating and Josh wasn't holding him, I could have him. He was always there. People weren't constantly trying to hold him. He was "mine." I was his only family member outside of his parents. We had a special bond. But it makes me so sad to think that now he doesn't know my voice and that we don't have such a great connection. It almost brings me to tears.

Again, I'm getting off track. So being here is really nice. But it sort of does weird things to me. For example: I start to go into complete servant mode. While I was in China, I looked for ways to help out. Mom had to remind me often that the reason I was there was to help Danielle adjust to life with a 7-pound, fragile human. So that's what I tried to do. I looked for laundry that needed folding, cups to pick up, diapers to put in the trash can, onesies to put in the dirty clothes basket. That's just what I did. That was my life. And I liked it.

I'm not trying to brag on myself saying that I'm such a good person, I'm just saying, this is how my life went, and enjoyed every minute of it.

It makes me feel guilty that I'm not always in this servant mode. I should constantly be looking for ways to help others, not just when I'm with Josh, Danielle, and Harvey. When I was focused on this task, it was like I would go through the day and not even know how I looked. I didn't know if my hair looked like garbage or not. Why? Because I was thinking about washing the dishes and doing the laundry and not what I looked like. My brain didn't have "time" for me to think to look in the mirror. But the weird thing is...I didn't care. I didn't care that my hair probably looked a wreck. I didn't care that I should probably fix my makeup.

This is how I want to live my life. Where I'm so focused on being a servant to others that I'm not thinking about myself. Yeah, I'll make myself look presentable. But I want to not be obsessed with it.

You know, everyone's favorite girl is always the one who throws on their clothes and makeup and then helps everyone else get ready for whatever the occasion may be. The one who fixes herself up quickly and then assists everybody else by putting on their makeup, or straightening the back of their hair. Do you know that girl? I do. And I always think it's just the greatest thing.

I've got a long way to go. But that's what I'm aiming for. And being with Josh, Danielle, and Harvey brings out the best in me.

So even though I miss Harvey's adorable face, Josh's genius self, Danielle's funny comments, speaking in Chinese, learning how to cut random fruits, and finding out the meanings of long SAT words...I miss being a servant to them. And it will only get worse when they head back across the waters.

We've got roughly 3 weeks to go. And I'm absolutely dreading the day when I have to say goodbye.