Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year in Review

January
I hold my 2013 awards. I write and celebrate my 300th blog post. After dealing with some stomach issues, I decide to go gluten and dairy free. I stay on that diet for about a month before quitting. We celebrate my moms birthday with a homemade chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.

February 
I start doing Week of Fun again. I remember Murphy. My writing gets a little personal. I talk about dealing with OCD. I make homemade Valentine cards for my family and go out to eat for the holiday. February upholds it's title as my least favorite month when I get sick right at the end of it. My parents go away for a few days and M and I try to do all of the fun things we had planned despite me feeling terribly. We watch 3 Oscar nominated movies in one weekend. I end the month with a cartilage piercing.

March
I write about the proudest moment of my life. I'm really excited to welcome Spring. I have an awesome break where I road trip with Claire. E celebrates her birthday and I reflect on our sisterhood.

April
My life goals change once again and I buy tickets to my first ever gymnastics event. I share my top ten American gymnasts list. My dog Ruby turns 6. I talk about my deepest desire. Easter falls on a beautiful sunny Sunday. I reflect on my friendship with Claire. I turn 20 and it's awesome.

May
My Sophmore year comes to a close and as I prepare to switch colleges, I reflect on the passed for years. The 8th anniversary of my back surgery passes. School ends and I throw myself into writing. I thoroughly enjoy the festivities around Memorial Day.

June
I write my Summer Goals. Just when things are going really well, everything falls apart. I donate my hair for the fifth time. Despite my inner struggles, I want to enjoy my Summer. I write about my favorite subject: time. VBS week comes around and M and I guide a cute little group of first graders. I review another gymnast memoir.

July
I take advantage of the nice weather and spend many days hanging out in my backyard pool. We celebrate the Fourth of July with family and new friends. I visit NYC for the first time ever. We go on a bus tour, shop, see a Broadway show and walk...a lot. Despite what I wrote in the post, I now would like to visit again. I reflect on the worst day of my life, one year later. I have a very busy weekend. Finally it's time to head out to Chicago and I am so excited!

August
I have the time of my life at the Secret Classic. I have my 3 year bloggiversary! A trip the the hometown fairgrounnds proves to be a lot of fun. I talk about having faith through trials. I list my favorite gymnastics routines. I revisit my summer goals and realize that I accomplished more than ever before! School gets off to a bit of a shaky start until I end up changing my major for good.

September
I declare my love for Sia's music and announce that I have started a new gymnastics blog. I start boxing and love it! I visit my orthopedist and eye doctor but leave with more questions.

October
The month starts off in a very busy fashion. Between working out and school and Bible study, I'm almost always doing something. My short story gets workshopped and I get some amazingly good feedback and encouragement from my professor. 1989 comes out and I'm slightly disappointed. I quietly celebrate my half birthday. I get to live my dream and dress up as a gymnast for a Halloween party.

November
I start up Week of Fun again. I spent four days in Chicago with Claire and her family, it leaves me with a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I muse for the fourth time. I explain why I write once again. I celebrate a nice Thanksgiving and go Black Friday shopping the next morning. I start documenting my fitness journey.

December
Exam week causes me to go off the grid. I do a 12 Days of Christmas Series. I'm not sick on Christmas for the first time in three years and it's awesome! I wrap up the year by celebrating new years with Claire.

I was thinking today that 2014 was a really important year for me. Probably not as visible for others looking in but I really took my writing to the next level. I wrote two books over the Summer and I was told by someone who really knows that I'm a talented writer. I now know that I need to pursue this talent even if it took awhile to figure it out. I have some goals for myself for the new year but i'm not going to make a big thing out of them, if they happen, they happen. It's all in God's hands.
See you in 2015!!
-G-


Sunday, December 28, 2014

And Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Christmas morning was wonderful. I felt great (not sick!!) and my parents blessed my sisters and I with some wonderful gifts. I got a new smart cover for my ipad, my old pink one is soooo beat up. I also got a new Vera Bradley bag that I use for school, again my old one was falling apart. I got a new book and the first season of Make it or Break it on DVD. Amongst other thoughtful gifts, I was most happy to give the presents I had bought for my family. Everyone seemed to really like what I gave them so it was really special.

After we were done opening gifts, we relaxed and hung out before my grandma and aunt came over, I tried to take a nap twice but was woken up for visitors. Oh well, Christmas only comes once a year! My favorite aunt and uncle always have a tradition of coming over before we all meet up with the rest of my dads side of the family at my other uncles house. We exchange gifts and they are always so creative. This year they got me a white noise machine because they know how I hate to deal with the upstairs noise in my basement room. They also gave me a desk calender and the game Scattegories (our favorite game we've never owned). I'm so thankful for them.

After they left we got everything together and headed to my Uncle M's. When we arrived we greeted everyone and had some tasty appetizers. Man do I love shrimp. I might have filled up a bit too much because I wasn't too hungry for dinner but I managed ;). I tried to take a plate from the "adult" table in the dining room but was immediately intercepted by my aunt! Banished the kitchen "kid" table again where the average age is probably around 24...ahh well, kids once kids for life! It was still fun to eat with my cousins who I don't see very often, it was nice to laugh and catch up. Alas, I don't think a family gathering on my dads side will ever happen without someone bringing up the incident  from summer 2013. No one will ever forget that day...

After dinner we gathered in the living room and started getting together the gift exchange. This year, there wasn't too much that I really wanted. Not that the things my family made weren't impressive, there was a wine holder and a sturdy wooden shelf and photography and more. I just didn't have much use for a lot of it. Luckily, I ended up with what I wanted which was my grandma's painting . My grandma is a great artist and I have another water color of hers that will look perfect framed next to my new one. Stay tuned for pictures of my new and improved room.

After the exchange we gave out family gifts. My aunt bought me a beautiful glass beaded bracelet that actually fit me! My grandma baked some of her delicious cookies and I was more than happy to give her her gift in return. I bound my works from my creative writing class this semester. It's tradition for me to give her something I've written for Christmas and I've been doing so for 6 years. After presents we had desert and hung out. As usual, my family was the last to leave! When we got home, M watched her Dr. Who Christmas special in the family room so I retreated to the living room to watch New Girl. (That show is so hilarious, I'm watching it through for the second time).

Soon enough it was time to go to bed and finish up another Christmas. It's so crazy to have so much anticipation and buildup to a holiday that goes by so quickly. On one hand, I'm always so excited for it to come, but on the other, I don't want it to go by so fast. The balance is tricky! This years Christmas was such a good one, I was just so happy to feel well and enjoy it to the fullest. I'm more thankful than anything for my God sending His Son for us!
-G-

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2 Turtle Doves

Looking back on Christmas Eve, I think it was one of the best that I've had in awhile. I had a small scare in the wee hours of the morning where I thought I was seriously going to get sick again but I think I just ate too late the night before.

Needless to say I was up early that morning and I kept my mom company while she got ready for work and as the rest of my family trickled downstairs I began to feel better. After my mom left we put Titanic on (we'd long decided to watch it on Christmas Eve). It's not exactly a holiday movie but for some reason it feels that way to us. We hadn't actually seen it all the way through in about 3 years so it was great fun and a good time killer. As tradition had it we made those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Somehow, M screwed them up and they came out more as lumps than rolls. They were still tasty though so all was well.

After the movie, I went and took a shower and finished reading some Christmas books. Then I wrapped some last minute gifts and before we knew it, it was time to pick up my mom from work. Once we got home it was time to start getting ready for our church service. I pulled together an outfit last minute that was really quite nice. M had given me her present early in order to aide my wardrobe crisis so I got to wear my new vegan leather circle skirt and a white lace top. We were nearly late for church but made it just in time to take our usual seats. They had the kids come up front and be like a litle audience for the story of Jesus's birth. It was cute. To end, the whole congregation lights candles and we sing Silent Night. I think it's one of my favorite parts of Christmas to look around and see the flickering fire light and hear one of my favorite carols.

We had to briefly stop home before heading to my cousins house, I helped my dad wrap a last minute switch of gifts and then off we went. For the past three years we've been going to my aunts on Christmas Eve but that wasn't to be this year. I was really hooping that we could go back to being at my grandpa's house but then health issues came up so my cousin B offered to host at her big new house. I didn't know what to expect (I'd only been there once, right after they moved in) but it was really cozy and nice. I ate right away because I was super hungry and then there was a minor incident where I spilled some red wine on E, the carpet and the table cloth. Not my finest moment. When that was taken care of we got to mingle and relax before letting the kids (there are 4 kids, 4 and under) open gifts. It was fun to watch. Then it was time for the adult gift exchange where I didn't want anything at all but my own gift that I brought. I wound up with a pancake maker and a flashlight...yeah I was a little displeased but it's the thought that counts.

We stayed and talked for about an hour more before heading home around 11. Once at our own house we chilled by the tree before heading off to bed. M and I talked for awhile before falling asleep and before we knew it, it was Christmas morning!! Stay tuned!
-G-

Monday, December 22, 2014

3 French Hens

Well we are truly almost there! Tonight I'm going to take a little stroll down memory lane and recall Christmas past.

I think my most memorable Christmas to date was when I was 6, I had been hoping and hoping for an American girl doll. Let me tell you, there is nothing like the excitement of seeing that red doll sized box under the wrapping paper! I had actually been hoping for the doll Kit but as it was her debut year, she was out of stock and my parents got me Felicity instead, I didn't care a bit! M got Molly and both of our dolls came with their Christmas outfits and books. Later that day we went over to my aunts house and I remember parading around with Felicity happily. The following year I did receive Kit and I was just as excited!

Another year that stands out was when I was 10 and desperately wanted a guinea pig. Sure enough, I found my little friend underneath the tree in a red cage. He was orange and white and I named him Pumpkin. I loved him so much! Even though he lived a (very) short life, I will always think fondly of my first pet.

When I was in 7th grade I started to get into music and wanted an ipod. I did not expect to get one but I did! I named my silver nano Metallica (not after the heavy metal band, but just because of the color) I had a strange array of pop/folk/old rock songs for a few years before I found my musical preference

Hopefully, this year will go down as one of my most memorable as well, and not because of gifts but because of Jesus and family and love :)
-G-.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

4 Calling Birds

We always get together with my dads side of the family on Christmas day and we have a lot of artistic people in the family. About 12 years ago we started doing a homemade gift exchange. Now, people don't make things like pencil holders or cookies, they seriously put their talents to use and come up with some amazing ideas. There have been mirrors and clocks and mosaics and much more. I always have so much trouble coming up with ideas and this year was no exception. Fortunately, my mom had been online looking for some ideas for herself and she came across a really cool one. All I needed was two canvas, paint swatches, toilet paper rolls, and a stick! Bet you won't guess what it came out to look like!

Drum roll.....

 I'm pretty proud of it if I do say so myself! I just painted the canvas, cut the stick down to size, cut strips of toilet paper rolls and fitted them with the pain swatch pieces. Then I set everything in place with hot glue. It really only took me just over an hour and it was fun! Hopefully everyone in the family likes it just as much. Perhaps people will actually fight for my gifts for once!
-G-

Saturday, December 20, 2014

5 Golden Rings!!

Today was the day of wrapping! I wrapped nearly everything and it took about 2 hours. My sisters wrapped too. The finished product:
Featuring the vacuum cleaners cord.

In just a few hours we're having movie night with my favorite aunt and uncle. Fun times ahead and only five days until Christmas!!
-G-

6 Geese A'laying

This was actually yesterday, ah well.

I have no shame in the fact that I like to read my old favorite kids books around Christmas. For example, I borrowed all of the American Girl Christmas books and the Main Street book by Ann M Martin.

I'll also pull out the holiday BSC books because hey, once a superfan, always a superfan. What do you like to read around Christmas??
-G-

Thursday, December 18, 2014

7 Swans A'swimming

There's always that "one thing" that you just have to get over with and then the real Christmas fun can begin! For me it's working tomorrow and then working out right afterward. I need to work for money and I want to box for fitness but it still seems like a drag. Ahh well, 24 hours from now and I'm home free!!
One week until Christmas!!
-G-

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

8 Maids A'milking

Ahhh Christmastime. And oh to be Ruby with not a care in the world!

9 Ladies Dancing

Yesterday I Christmas shopped for 8 hours. Enough said. Here are my do's and don'ts

Do...
  1. Eat a nice hearty meal beforehand and bring a little snack like a granola bar or something. I forgot the granola bar and paid the price. 
  2. Wear comfortable shoes. 
  3. Bring a list and have some sort of game plan, nothing worse than walking around a mail aimlessly. 
  4. Bring enough money-and then some. Nothing wrong with having leftover cash but you don't want to come up short. 
  5. Treat yourself to lunch, it's a good way to break up the day and recharge. 
Don't...
  1. Be too rigid. If you had an idea for a gift and it's not there, don't worry about it. You might be able to find it somewhere else or find something else. 
  2. Be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Go in a store you never have before, there might be some hidden gems. My mom and I went into a boutique that's been there for a year for the first time and I found (unbeknownst to her) her present there. 
  3. Over think it. If you think someone would like something and that's your initial though, go for it! M and I always over analyze our gifts for each other and it only brings on stress. This year I went with my gut and hopefully it pays off! 
  4. Let yourself get tired, keep going or you'll be sure to fall into a funk. 
  5. Be afraid to call it a night when you've had enough, I still have a few more things to get but I sure as heck wasn't going to make it ten hours!
Hope this helps!
-G-

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Lords A'leaping!

Organizing your wrapping paper bin 101.

First, asses the situation...

REALLY BAD. E had rummaged through a few days ago and left it in even more shambles than it had been.
Next, cut away the ripped/wrinkled/frayed edges of wrapping paper to leave the roll smooth and orderly.
Put just the tiniest peace of tape to keep the rolls from unraveling.
When the bin is emptied out completely, you'll probably be left with a bunch of scraps.
After you've sorted through the scraps, vacuum it out.

Sort the contents into piles. Wrapping paper, boxes, bags and tags separated.
Finally, put them back in in an orderly fashion and take inventory. We definitely need more tags as well as wrapping paper. I think we've had those rolls for at least two or three years now! Tomorrow, we shall replenish the stock!
-G-

Sunday, December 14, 2014

11 Pipers Piping

Today I shall name some of my favorite Christmas movies!!

  1. The Family Stone: this one is an absolute must. It's the perfect mix of humor and emotion. It always leaves me with a lasting impression. Also, the score is by the very talented Michael Giacchino.
  2. It's a Wonderful Life: Classic and a must-see. It's a long film but it takes you through a near-lifetime, love it. 
  3. The Polar Express: Between the magic, the animation and the music, this one is awesome. We watch it on our bit projector screen. 
  4. Annie: I hate the original, sorry not sorry. But the 1999 remake is pretty much flawless. Alicia Morton is adorable, Kathy Bates is at her best and who can deny the strange attractiveness of Rooster?? 
  5. About a Boy: Hugh Grant is hilariously aloof and a young Nicholas Holt is adorable. The storyline goes from dark, to frustrating to heartwarming. 
So there you have it! My top five and can you believe I haven't watched any of them yet?? Never fear, The Family Stone will viewed tonight!
-G-

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12 Drummers Drumming

And so begins my fun new Christmas series: The 12 Days of Christmas!! Each day from now until Christmas I'll do some sort of holiday post. Today I'm going to share some of my favorite ornaments from my Christmas tree.

The above ornament was from my dads childhood home, it's cool to have something that continues to stay in the family.
You can't really tell what this one is but it's a glass ballerina dancing. It's been broken a few times so it only has one leg but that just makes it more impressive :)
This one is very simple and meaningful.
My mom got this in a gift exchange awhile ago and I've always thought it was so beautiful. There's definitely something timeless bout bulbs.
 This one is in honor of my first Christmas. All the way back from 1994. It has all of the characters in "Hey Diddle Diddle" nursery rhyme. I have loved this one ever since I can remember.
 This one makes me laugh because it's so very half hazard. One year we realized that our dog Ruby didn't have an ornament in her honor so I took a broken one and pasted her picture in it and scrawled her name on it. I could have at least wrote nicely!
My great Aunt gave me this a loooong time ago and it still plays the Nutcracker theme if you hit the bottom of it.
My mom had my sisters and I each pick out a new ornament for the tree each year when I was 10. This is from the second year of doing this in 2005. I always loved the way this one looked like actual dough and candy.
 My first year of picking out a new ornament. I still think this one is pretty.
Once when M and I were little my mom had this idea to do a craft to make Santa ornaments. It ended up being very tedious and involved, needless to say, my mom was the only one her finished hers. But it's super cute, right?
Behold! My newest ornament. It reminds me of a book my mom used to read me that took place in Sweden and involving some rogue trolls. I've name it Tonkus for no reason at all.
I originally had this same ornament, only the panda was being flown by blimp. Unfortunately, puppy Ruby chewed it to bits. This is the replacement but it's just as cute!

See you tomorrow! What are your favorite ornmanets??
-G-

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

If I'm MIA for a Week...

It's because of papers and finals and portfolios and all of that exciting stuff.
Blech.

I'll be really jazzed when it's next Friday at 10:00 am and my last exam is over and I'm driving home. The next month of freedom stretching forth like a red carpet of possibilities.

I'm a little bummed because I have to work tomorrow from 3-7 (MY LAST EVENING SHIFT!) and I have a lot of school stuff to get done. It would have been nice to have that time to do it but ah well. I have to buy Christmas presents somehow, right? Right.

Ok, so that's that. I'm off to write some more of my paper on Americanah, having just finished my paper on Sylvia Plath.

-G-

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Diary of a Fit Girl-November

Now that I've been working out for over two months, I've learned a few things about getting physically fit. I thought it would be a fun idea for me to share some things that have helped me so that maybe others can be inspired or have their own input.

I work out three-four times a week for an hour. I've found that working out in the morning (8 or 10) makes me feel the best and mid afternoon workouts (4 o'clock) are the hardest. I go to a boxing gym so we have 15 minutes of cardio warm up and then 8 three minute rounds of boxing followed by a 10 minute cool down. The cardio can be tough but it's really what gets me going and pumped up. I love planking, situps and tree-climbers but I'm not a fan of sit-ups or squats. Still, everything is important for a well balanced workout.

Something I really struggled with early on was feeling nauseous while working out. Now I know not to eat close to the workout and I think that's why four o'clock is a hard time for me since I eat lunch around one. Honestly, being hungry before working out is the only way I won't feel sick at all so morning is great because I don't eat beforehand.

Typically I wear leggings or capri workout pants and baggy t-shirts. Sometimes I'll wear a tighter tank top if I feel like it. My tennis shoes are Asics and they're super light and comfortable. I always wear my hair back in a ponytail and remove all of my jewelry.

I've been seeing great results so far, my stomach has firmed up and gotten some definition and my arms and legs have really become more muscular. I feel a lot better about myself and I've come to enjoy working out. I can finally say that I know longer thing "I"m never coming back here!" each workout!
-G-

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for Everything (even our crappy pies)

Thanksgiving yesterday was lovely! Probably one of the best in a long, long time. We hosted it at my house and my mom and E did a great job decorating. My parents made great food and everyone on my dads side of the family attended. I took a long nap before everyone arrived so I was nice and refreshed.

The day before, M and made our customary 4 pies. Last year we finally perfected our apple pie and were excited to do it again. Unfortunately, my dad had bought some sort of weird, thick flower that pretty much ruined our dough and our chocolate pie. The only good ones were the pumpkins which we couldn't take credit for because they were from a ready to make can. Ah well...there's always next year and I should give thanks in all things right??

Dinner was great! I fasted for most of the day so I would be extra hungry and I definitely got my fill. It's always so nice to look down the long dining room table and see the people you love most. I'm so close with that side of the family and I can really be myself around them. We all get along and I am well aware of how rare that can be. I am so thankful to be blessed with such an incredible family.

After dinner (and the pie disappointment) we hung out and played Scattegories, one of my favorite games. I won round two! After everyone left around 11, we stayed downstairs for a little bit and then headed off to bed. This morning my mom and sisters and I woke up at 5 and went doorbusting at a local book store and then to the mall. We got home around 10:30 and I ate some leftovers and took another nap! Tonight we're going to see Catching Fire so here's to hoping it's good! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
-G-

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't Cry Over Spilled Sprite

Earlier today I accompanied my dad on a trip to the grocery store in preparation for Thanksgiving.We bought sweet potatoes and yams and ingredients for the four pies M and I make every year. We bought a turkey and cranberries. The last thing we needed, since we are hosting this year, were some drinks. We went down the soft drinks aisle and grabbed liter of Dr. Pepper and I suggested Sprite. My dad was looking through the list when I went to get it. The Sprite was on the highest shelf, barracked behind some plastic stoppers. Without the stoppers, I could have gotten the bottle with little issue if I stood on my tiptoes. But they made it hard for me to actually pull out the Sprite because I'm too short to reach over and get it. Anyway, I thought I could jimmy the bottle over the stoppers so that it sort of fell and I could catch it. Bad idea. I did not catch it.

The bottle flew to the ground, shot across the aisle in a fizzy line of fire and landed on it's base with the cap popped off. In the words of an older man next to me it was actually, "Pretty cool." But alas, it was not cool for long. I'd made a big mess and as the scowling lady shopper informed me, I had "Sprite all over my Uggs." Yeah, I know, thanks for making me feel worse. My dad informed an employee and they took care of the spill. I felt so bad and embarrassed that I honestly felt like crying. At first I tried to play off my emotion as a sort of woe is me, I'm too short to reach anything properly! But then I was honest with myself and realized I pretty much did something stupid that I could have known wouldn't have ended well. I could have just as easily asked my dad to get the bottle for me.

At the checkout I was helping load the groceries when an employee came over and said she would load them, no problem. I then said I had just spilled a bunch of Sprite and needed to work it off. It was a joke of course but I think she could tell I felt really bad so she said, "Don't worry about it, things like that happen all the time! Don't feel bad, it's nothing that can't be fixed." And then I felt a lot better. :) Spilled Sprite? It happens.

-G-

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why I (choose to) Write Part 4

So, here we go. I've changed my major again...I know right? This time. I swear it's. For. Real. I've finally decided to study what I love and study what I'm good at. I'm going to be an English major with focus on creative writing. Honestly, I'm really happy. I've spent over two years trying to figure out what to do, trying to figure out all of these logistics. At the end of the day, I want to study the craft that I'm passionate about. I know people will scoff at this, and I get it. It's not as though I'm going to graduate and go right into a comfy career. Right now, it's not about that for me. And I've said it before, it's never been about having this high powered, high paying job. I'd rather do something I love and figure out the rest as it comes. Ideally (and I say this VERY ideally seeing as it's easier said than done), I would get married and stay home and raise my kids while writing on the side. Before that happens I may pursue some other options after graduating to make sure I'm getting a steady income.

I love writing. I mean I really love it. I've been writing since I learned how and nothing has brought me more joy. Since taking this Creative Writing class this semester, I've realized that I am truly good at it. From reading this blog, you might be scratching your head. I know my posts are hardly polished but this is a place where I write freely and don't edit or try and figure out a "better way to put it." My real passion is fiction writing anyway. God gave me this gift, something I'm talented in and that I love to do. I'm not going to waste it for some other job that I feel like I should be doing. I want to do this because I want to, not because I feel obligated. I know relatives will be skeptical. Goodness knows I've been fielding questions about my major decision for three years. I've gotten so tired of answering them! For so long my answer was ever changing and finally became, "I don't know." Now I do know and I'm not going to apologize for finally doing what I should have done all along. I'm a writer and I want to write.

So that's it, that's my final answer.
-G-

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Midnovember Musings 2014

It's that time again! I can't believe it's been three years since I first started this post. Even though it's a little passed "mid" November, my musings are as follows!

I think in my past musings I've spoken a lot about the upcoming Christmas season. As much as I can't wait for it, I haven't been thinking about it as much this year. Probably because I've been busy. But how crazy is it that Thanksgiving is in just over one week?? Once it hits November, time seems to fly and we'll be putting up our Christmas tree in no time. I have  high hopes for the holiday this year. I've been sick for the last two so I'm hoping and praying to feel well this year. I have loved Christmas myt whole life and truly, nothing makes me happier than a lit tree and cozy fire and Christmas music. I love it!

Ha, the song "Let it Go" just came on my iphone. How appropriate! It's been a year since Frozen literally took the world by storm. I didn't see it until January but it still feels Christmas-y to me. The weather has finally changed to it's winter ways. It seemed to take awhile this year but it's been cold and snowy a week now. I don't love this weather but as long as we have a white Christmas, I'm happy!
-G-

Midnovember Musings
1 year ago
2 years ago
3 years ago

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chicago Dreaming

So I spent the last four days in Chicago, visiting with family and seeing the sights. All that jazz. I had a good time, I think I hyped the trip up a lot in my mind so it didn't quite live up to my expectations. There was a little tension and some hiccups but all in all, it was a good time. I'm not a fan of cities and I'm not a fan of the cold so I really sucked it up and was a good sport. I was happy to see C but there is always the feeling that I'll soon be leaving. Her life is so very different than mine these days. Her values are different, I think even she is different. I think all of that is ok but sometimes it seems blaring that we don't have too much in common. Still, we'll always be best friends.

In other news, I realized that I missed my annual post so I'll need to get on that asap!
-G-

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feeling Lost and Found

That's how I've been feeling lately. There are points when it seems like I'm really happy with everything and content with my life. Other times I am impatient and anxious for my life to "begin". I know I need to be in school and I know I need to live at home right now. That doesn't change the fact that I wish otherwise sometimes. I see people I know getting married, heck I see people on TV getting married and I'm envious. I've said it numerous times on here before, I'm not a career driven person. I have always been driven by my dream of being a wife and mother. Some think that's lame or settling or a "waste" but I feel the opposite.

At times I console myself and think, "Ok, how hard can it be to find someone who loves me?" other times I think, "No one is ever going to want me!" It's such a hard thing because I personally cannot do anything unless someone else takes an interest. I hate feeling out of control. I hate to feel lame because I've never even had a boyfriend. Ugh, just seeing it types makes me sad.

Through it all, I know that this is a time to be patient and trusting in God. It's not easy but I know that everything will happen in His time. We talked about this in Bible study last week that God isn't a cruel mastermind who takes pleasure in tricking us or stringing us along. I'm not in this situation for no reason. I know that God knows my desires and dreams and that He will answer my prayers when the time is right.

It's just hard sometimes. That's all.
-G-

Fact Friday

  1. I have to go quickly down stairs, it feels strange any other way. 
  2. I'll eat pretty much anything but I'm a bit scared of sea food. 
  3. I used to write primarily poetry for a few years but now I rarely do at all. 
  4. French toast is my favorite breakfast food. 
  5. I can't look at picture of bees without freaking out. 
-G-

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

  • M on her birthday!!! 
  • Short day of school
  • Fun trip to the mall
  • Birthday dinner and cake 
  • Poetry class cancelled for tomorrow
  • A comfy bed to fall asleep in

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Word Wednesday

Writing Prompt: How old were you when you started to feel "grown up" and stopped being childlike?

This is a tough one because I've always had a very strong sense of self and was a pretty precocious kid. I always felt a bit more grown up than my peers. However, I maintained a lot of kid-like qualities for awhile which I think was good. I'm tempted to say that I was 12 (when I had surgery) when I stopped being so innocent. However, after I recovered, both mentally and physical, I went back to being fun loving in a lot of ways. Especially with my friends. I'm going to say that I truly started to feel grown up when I was 17 and in my Junior year of high school. I'd had my license for about a year and realized that I was comfortable being independent and taking care of myself. The next year held a lot of personal responsibility so it just sort of became a gradual progression. Now I feel adult and also not. I'll always have that little girl in my soul :)
-G-

Truth Tuesday

Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: During the week I wake up at 6:15, leave for school at 7:15 and get home at 3:15. I do homework and work out for an hour, usually at 4 or 5. Then I eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed.

Q: Do you miss your old school and living on campus?
A: That's a whole post in itself but I do and I don't. I was looking at old pictures the other day and I found the ones I took right before I packed up my room. It definitely made me nostalgic.

Q: What are you planning on doing in Chicago?
A: Well, hanging out with Claire for sure! We'll go to  museums, explore the city and hopefully Claire's campus. One of the days is also Claire's moms birthday (she's coming too), so I'm assuming we'll do something special for that.


Q: You haven't added a new book to your page in awhile...?
A: I've been a terrible reader. Part of it is school, part of it is not knowing what to read. It's bad and I'm going to do something about it.


Q: Are you still writing your book series?
A: I'm not currently working on the third book because it was just too much between school and editing the second one. So I'm planning on finishing the editing process and then getting back into writing new material.

Thanks for all the questions!
-G-

Monday, November 3, 2014

Memory Monday

I'm going to start up my "Week of Fun" again in an effort to get me posting more :)

Here is today's memory:

When I was between the ages of 12-15 I spent an enormous amount of time at my best friend Claire's house and she spent a lot of time at mine. One particular summer night we were sitting at her dining room table and creating characters. We were both writers and she's an artist so we drew them as well. Our characters were actresses, so we drew them and wrote out Q&A interview with them. I believe mine was called Ivy Bellamy ;). I can remember the glow of the light and the sound of crickets from the open windows. Her mom was outside talking to a family member and I think we may have eavesdropped for a bit.

I remember we kept those characters going for awhile, calling each other on the phone and going through different scenarios. I loved how creative we were. We never watched TV, maybe movies at night and the occasional Sims binge but mostly we wrote or played with dolls (when we were a bit too old :).

I did a memory of me and Claire today because I will be seeing her in 10 days!!! The big happy news is that I get to visit her in Chicago, it should be a great time. I can't wait!

-G-

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

 So who guessed my costume??? I got to dress up as my dream and it was awesome!! Even though I couldn't do any double doubles or giants on a high bar, I at least looked the part. This picture is actually from yesterday and not the actual holiday. On Halloween we had people over our house and took our younger cousins out trick or treating. It was rainy and a little cold but still a lot of fun. Saturday was the day I was waiting for though :). My aunt and uncle had a costume party in their new barn. E did my hair and makeup (with me instructing her) and we achieved what I think is quite an authentic gymnast look.
Above are the pumpkins that my sisters and I carved. Mine is the one in the middle with the boils. I like to get the funkiest pumpkins I can find but this year I didn't get to pick it out. M did a pretty good job though!
Happy Halloween!!
-G-

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy (half) Birthday to Me!

Wooo! 20 1/2! Can't believe it's been six months since my birthday and six months until my next birthday! Craziness!

Anyway, I just wanted to do a post this year since I forgot last year!
-G-

Monday, October 27, 2014

Now and Then

Title is the little reference to my favorite coming of age film from the 90's. :)

Today Taylor Swifts new album 1989 came out. I can so vividly remember writing about when Red came out two years ago. It's crazy because it feels like it could just be a couple of months ago but it's been two years. So much has changed since I was sitting alone in my dorm room as the sun shown down on my desk.

My initial fears about 1989 were pretty much confirmed right away. The album is very different from anything she's ever done. Lots of backup vocals, lot's of repetition, lots of mature lyrics. All of those things are ok but all at once, it was a little much to take in. Upon my first listen, I was really unsure and a bit let down. After a few more times, I started to appreciate some songs that I had previously dismissed, that happens to me a lot. I think I like it, even if it is a big change in her music style. I think I'm beginning to appreciate different types of music now though so it's all good. I think Clean, Bad Blood and Out of the Woods are fabulous. I Know Places, How You Get the Girl and Style are super fun was well.

Anyway, the album release was just one of those reminders that time has gone by so quickly and now my life is so different than it was. Different, but not bad.
-G-

Friday, October 24, 2014

Midnight

So much for blogging every day this week, huh? It's officially Friday and this is the first time I've logged in. The reason: insanely busy. I am not used to this caliber of busy, but that's another post in itself. Anyway, I've been working out every day, baking, bible study, homework, errands, working (where I was tonight), and more. I need this weekend to recharge. Thankfully, it's not going to be as packed as I originally thought as we cancelled the big plans we had for Saturday. I'm fine with it, because I'm so worn down.

Something pretty exciting for me may be happening next month and I'm pretty stoked. But I don't want to write about it yet in case it doesn't pan out. We shall see! Also, another hint about my Halloween costume: it's all one piece.
I WILL be blogging more this weekend, be on the lookout!!
-G-

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stuff

Wow, I've truly been a terrible blogger this month. Bad bad bad. Here's a bit of what's been going down:

  • School work, and lots of it. Everything seems to be piling up at the same time. Is it Christmas break yet??
  • Halloween preparations!! On the actual holiday we're having a little get together at our house with a lot of my younger cousins. The day after my aunt and uncle are hosting a party in their new barn. I have part of my costume ready, hint: It's red and shiny. 
  • Taylor Swifts second single from 1989 is pretty awesome! Definitely puts me more at ease for the rest of her album (being released in 7 days!!)
  • Ebola doesn't scare me...until I go to work and have to deal with more blood than ever before. 
  • I've joined a monthly choir at Church and we performed for the first time today. It was a blast!
I have a bunch of posts that I've wanted tow write but haven't been very motivated. However, this week I'm going to force myself to write one post every day so get ready!
-G-

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Busy October

I've been writing a lot for school so I haven't much felt like writing on here but I do like to keep the ole blog updated!

For my creative writing class we had to write a complete short story and have a big workshop. I ot the most awesome feedback from my professor, I have never felt so encouraged! It just reminds me that writing truly is my passion and it's something I can say I'm truly good at. My other classes have been plugging along, I can't believe it's already time to take midterms! How crazy is that? I swear that before I know it it will be Thanksgiving.

Speaking of holidays...my favorite Uncle and Aunt are finally going to have a big Halloween party this year! I'm SO excited. I didn't know what to dress up as and I wanted it to be something really great. I went through a lot of ideas but I finally realized that I should be something that makes ME happy, not necessarily what everyone will like. So I decided to be an Olympic gymnast because when will I ever get to wear a leotard in my life other than Halloween??? My costume is currently in the mail and I'll post a picture when I get it. I just bought a plain red, competition leotard and I'm going to embellish it to look like the team uniform from London. Then I'll pull my hair back with a braid going into a ponytail, wear a medal and some warm up pants. I can't wait!

Besides the party, there will be a lot going on this month. I'll be babysitting a few days, working weekly and we'll be making a trip to an awesome amusement park that we go to every year. On Monday, M and I don't have class so the two of us and my mom will be going to a Columbus day parade to watch E in her marching band. I didn't get to go last year so it should be a good time. 

Also happening this month...Taylor Swifts new album is coming out! I initially hated "Shake it Off" but it's grown on me. My only worry is that all of the songs will be fast paced/dance songs. I know they're fun but what I've always loved about TS is her slowed down, story type songs. I'll always love her as an artist but I hope I'm not disappointed.

I've continued to work out about 3 times a week and really, I'm so happy about it. Though every work out I think, "I am NOT doing this again." when I'm in the thick of it. I always end up feeling great afterward and glad I put in the effort. It's a tough program but very rewarding, I think everyone should work out if they are able.

Another reason I haven't been blogging much is because the gymnastics world championships has been going on for about a week now. I've been covering it on my other blog (link on the sidebar) . Once that is over with after this weekend, I'll have more time to write on here.
-G-.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Box it Off

It's been two weeks now that I've been working out at a local boxing gym. The classes are an hour long and led by tough (but nice) trainers. It helps to have someone spurring me along and I feel really good afterwards. It's been inspiring me to eat healthier too which is always a plus.

I'm not trying to lose a ton of weight. I'm a thin person by nature. I just want to tone up and be the best me that I can be! This morning I worked out at 8 am, for someone who isn't crazy about waking up early, I don't mind that much. It's a good way to start off the day and gives me a lot of energy.

Tonight my mom and sisters and I are going to see the movie Gone Girl. My mom and I read the book and M is currently reading it. The book was pretty awesome and the movie looks just as good. I'm excited!!
-G-

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life is Good!

I've really been feeling content lately and loving this season of life that I am in. It took a little bit to adjust to going to school at home again and to the new campus but now I'm realizing that I like this setup for the time being. I enjoy my classes and I like this new school. For the first time in quite awhile, I don't have a dark cloud of some impeding unpleasantness hanging over my head.

Working has been good, I don't love evening shift but it's important that I save money so I'm officially on a spending freeze-yay! Ha, I did have to buy a new jacket out of necessity though.

I've also started working out and eating healthier. My family is very health conscious but there is usually some sort of sweet that I eat too much of in the house. I'm really excited to get in better shape though and to start feeling better on the whole.

This weekend should be a good one, M and I are going to do something fun with El on Saturday and then we have a family gathering that night. Sunday we have Church and then I'll be babysitting my favorite family :).

Anyway, I just wanted to document the fact that everything is going so well and how thankful I am. Happy Autumn to all!
-G-

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Randomness

  • This week didn't seem too long but it was draining. I was very happy to see Friday yesterday!
  • I've decided to begin working out. Today was the first morning and after I worked through the nausea and headache, I felt really good. 
  • I did some deep fall cleaning in my room, vacuuming and organizing. Nothing I love more than a good decluttered space. 
  • I've got my fingers crossed that we'll go out to dinner tonight, we have this family Italian place that we've been going to since I was born. M and I calculated that we haven't been there in 7 months so it's time!!
  • Last night I went to the mall and got a new pair of black leggings and a nice black sweater. Both will serve me well this winter. 
  • Today the weather is like summer again, for what I'm thinking will be the last time. I just got back in from cloud watching and soaking it up. 
  • I love my creative writing class and all of the great feedback the professor has been giving me!!
Happy Saturday!!
-G-

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blessings Unnoticed, Blessings Unappreciated

I can still remember the headache that started it off. I was in seventh grade and just got home from figure skating. My head had been hurting pretty much all day but it began to intensify. We were out of liquid Motrin and I could not swallow pills so I had to wait for my mom to get home from work with a new bottled. It was agony, I have never been in that much pain before or since and this is coming from someone who had 13 hour back surgery.

What followed this day in 2006 was close to five years of daily/semi daily, headaches, worrying about headaches. I had to start carrying purses so that I would always have liquid Motrin on hand or chewables. When I learned to swallow pills, I made sure to bring a water bottle too in order to swallow. Between having OCD, being in pain and being worried about being in pain, I became extremely obsessive. I compared every headache to that one I had that first day. I thought that if i didn't have a headache by 3 then I would be alright. I carefully calculated the time it would take for Motrin to kick in. I worried constantly and I truly believe that the anxiety gave me about half of the headaches. And because I was taking so much Ibueprofen, I was also getting "rebound headaches". Mix those with regular headaches, I was hurting a lot of the time.

When I was in ninth grade, things came to a head. I was getting sick and tired of the pain. I wrote desperate poems and begged my parents to do something. So I went to a specialist, I had an MRI. Eventually I ended up on nightly medication to try and keep the headaches away. In all honesty, I don't think it worked the vast majority of the time. Sometimes I would go on a kick of no headaches, other times I would have to take ibuprofen twice a day.

I took the medication for over a year, maybe two and decided to stop. I still got headaches on and off, though they got a lot better during Junior and Senior. Somewhere along the line, they went away. Not exactly entirely, I still get them here and there but not as severe and nowhere near as often. The constant worry and internal struggle was gone.

I didn't think that much of the headaches mellowing out, I was happy of course but sort of took it matter of factly. Recently, I started thinking about how horrible that time was and how easy it is to forget once things are better. How easy it is to think, "Hmm, that's nice." instead of "Thank you God for taking away the greatest struggle of my life so far. I do not deserve your grace and mercy but I love you so much."

Blessings unnoticed are blessings unappreciated.

God does not have to heal us, he does not to keep us from all harm. Some people will live in constant pain for the rest of their lives. I am so grateful that God not only carried me through these struggles, but took them from me.


Job 6:10 This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

-G-

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sia and Exciting News!

Over the summer, I heard the song Chandelier by Sia and was completely entranced. The uniqueness of her voice coupled with the haunting beautify of the song was enough to make me want to check out her entire album. After previewing it on youtube, I bought it just before we left for our trip to Chicago. Since then, I have been listening to it nonstop. While I write, while I drive, all. the. time. Gosh, I just love her voice and her talent for song writing is off the charts. There's a reason she wrote hits for Rihanna, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Brittany Spears (to name a few). It's funny to me that she spent so many years behind the scenes but (in my opinion) she blows all of those other artists out of the water.

My personal favorite song from her album, 1000 Forms of Fear, is Fire Meet Gasoline. Look it up, it is AMAZING. I also love Burn the Pages and of course, Chandelier. They're all great songs, really.

Sia has said she will not tour which makes me very sad but I respect her wishes. I'll just be listening to her album until she releases another one!

In other, totally unrelated news, I have started a second blog!! It's a gymnastics blog so this one can go back to be entirely about my life. The link is also in my profile but check it out!

-G-

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My 2014 Wolds Team Predictions

Today at school I was so very bored and so I came up with my predictions for the US Team.
Here was my original list:

Simone Biles (duh)
Kyla Ross (duh)
Mykayla Skinner (say it ain't so...)
Madison Kocian (because WOGA)
Alyssa Bauman (because who else is there)
Alt: Desch, Locklear 

Vault: Ross, Skinner, Biles (backup Bauman)
UB: Kocian, Bauman, Ross (backup Biles)
BB: Kocian, Ross, Bauman (backup Skinner??)
FX: Bauman, Skinner, Biles (backup Ross)

Hmm...seems alright?? Then I remembered Locklear! The girl who came from nowhere and has better form than the WOGA's. So I might just switch Bauman for Locklear. But then we run into a problem for FX and possibly beam because apparently Marta doesn't like to use her there. So here is a revised list with Locklear:


Simone Biles (duh)
Kyla Ross (duh)
Mykayla Skinner (say it ain't so...)
Madison Kocian (because WOGA)
Ashton Locklear
Alt: Desch, Bauman

Vault: Ross, Skinner, Biles (backup Kocian?)
UB: Kocian, Ross, Locklear (backup Biles)
BB: Kocian, Ross, Locklear (backup Skinner??)
FX: Ross, Skinner, Biles (backup Kocian)

I'm pretty positive it has to be one of these two teams. I have this weird soft spot for Maddie Desch because she was so promising as a Junior and can't seem to reach her potential as a Senior. If she would just tighten up those floor landings and learn to stay on the beam...
We shall know by the end of next week!
-G-

Friday, September 5, 2014

Life Right Now

I've clearly been a terrible blogger lately, which I apologize for. It always takes me a little bit to get back into the school routine. I've also been writing a lot for my classes and my book so I usually don't feel like writing anymore than I already have! But, I love having this blog so I will prevail.

School is good! I like my classes with the exception of Intro to Poetry. I am not a poetry girl, I don't mind reading it now and again but I HATE dissecting it. And my teacher is just a tad bit overenthusiastic, makes me slightly uneasy. For my creative writing class I have to write a short story this weekend and it will be the first one that gets "workshopped", I'm a little nervous but I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to write about.

In other news...I am now working every Thursday from 3-11 pm. I started yesterday, I haven't worked an evening shift in about 18 months as I usually work days. Let me tell you, after going to school and going on a long walk with my dog, I was already tired when I got there. And it was BUSY...felt like the night would never end. I'll get used to it though and as much as it might stink sometimes, I need to save money.

Claire's birthday is coming up and her mom is going to Chicago for the weekend after, I can't miss school so I'm sending my present with her. I don't know what to buy her yet (don't want to spend too much dinero, like I said, I'm saving money) but I want it to be meaningful. I really miss that girl!

And finally, I've been watching the TV show Finding Carter this summer. It's an MTV series so I wasn't expecting too much but I'm really into it now and the acting is pretty good. This last episode they had the best character get shot and now we don't know if he'll live. WHAT??? He better pull through, that's all I have to say.

I'm going to be doing some gymnastics posts this weekend I think, so stay tuned!
-G-

Thursday, August 28, 2014

School Dayz

Well it has been back to school for me this week! I'm not going to a university closer to home. And guess what??? I have changed my major to English on the writing track. After a pretty rough first day I realized that I needed to like and be passionate about what I'm studying and I finally am. I predict this semester will be a lot of work but it will be a good time as well.

I cannot believe summer is nearly done, this weekend we'll be having some end of season fun that I'm looking forward to. How can these months go by so fast? Before I now it it will be Christmas!

-G-

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Goals Revisited

1. Cut my hair (X)
I got my hair cut and donated it for the fifth time! See this post. I really like how my hair looks short and straightened but I haven't really  mastered how to wear it down and natural. Once it grows a little more I can braid it overnight again.

2. Finish, edit and bind my book (X)
Not only did I do that, I also finished the SECOND book! I loved writing so much this summer, it was such a blessing to be able to explore this talent I was given and run with it. I'm currently working on the third book in the series.

3. Have a perfect day (X)
I had one really great day where Claire and I went on a picnic and then went to the movies but perhaps the best day of all was attending the 2014 Secret Classic in Chicago!

4. Expand my autograph collection (X)
I need to make a post about this but I not only got four new autographs, I met three elite gymnasts from the national team! So awesome!

5. Try and enjoy the city vacation (X)
I actually had a lot more fun than I thought in NYC and contrary to what I wrote, would like to go back sometime soon. Chicago was also a great time (see above) 

6. Improve my relationship with E (X)
Though we still have our struggles and recently had quite a big altercation, I think things are on the up with her and I.

7. Start a new friendship/relationship (_)
Didn't happen this summer :(.

8.Swim a lot/spend a lot of time outside (X)
When it was nice outside, I swam. I also got a new bike that I rode almost every day, it was a great outdoors summer for me!

9. Do one thing crazy (X)
Well, I attended a rather crazy party that was so not me. But, I did it and I put aside a lot of fears because it was my friends birthday and I was gong to be there with her to celebrate.

10. Read at least five books (X)
I did it! Just barely but I did, here are the books I read:
1. Love Life by Rob Lowe
2. Chalked Up by Jennifer Sey
3. Where the Heart is by Billie Letts
4. Four by Veronica Roth
5. The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

11. Enjoy it (X)
I really did enjoy this summer, I got to go on two pretty fun vacations and spend a lot of time with my family. I think this may have been one of the best summer's I've had in awhile! I can't believe it is already over, it went by slowly at first but the last month flew by.

 Goals Accomplished: 10/11 (Best score yet!)

Here's to a great Autumn!
-G-

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Favorite Floor Workers (and Their Best Routines)

10. Anastasia Grishina
 Poor Anastasia totally headcased in 2012 and has since been riddled with injuries. However, in her prime she was quite lovely on FX, Classic dance elements are often lost these days.

9. Tasha Schwikert
I've always enjoyed the little strip-tease section of her routine because it was different and showed that she wasn't just a cookie-cutter gymnast.

8. Shayla Worley
I like Shayla's flexibility and her choreography. She has more of a dancer build really.

7. Shawn Johnson
I know people got kind of weirded out by Shawn using the August Rush music but I love it. I remember watching the 2008 olympics and being so excited when her routine started because I recognized the song right away. Strong tumbling!

6. Ivana Hong
Another routine full of flexibility and actual dance.

5. Aly Raisman
The performance of her life for sure, and it just happened to be at the Olympics! Aly isn't a dancer but I appreciate her music and fun choreography and that first tumbling run-wow!

4. Shannon Miller
Great dance, great artistry. Shannon is the best.

3. Aliya Mustafina
I LOVE THIS MUSIC. And I love her dramatic choreography.

2. Tabitha Yim
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tabitha is one of the few gymnasts who truly felt their music. Perhaps it's because she also ice skated on this side.

1. Sandra Izbasa

Another set of music that I love, so powerful and dynamic.

-G-

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Favorite "Beamers" (and Their Best Routines)

10. Catlaina Ponor
Catalina is definitely a Romanian icon and her long career is quite impressive. I love her aggression and steadiness, she was definitely gold medal worthy for this routine!

9. Terin Humphrey
Artistic and strong at the same time, Terin's consistency on this event is admirable.

9. Yang Yilin
I love the Chinese look on beam and their unique combination skills. Yang has such a lovely and light look on this event.

8. Anna Pavlova
I love Anna's skill where she flips over the beam perpendicular. Such elegance and grace, love that she is currently making a comeback.

6. Amanda Borden
Amanda is SO overlooked by the other members of the MS but she was a true rock. I love her steadiness during this routine, not one bobble! Take note!

5. Chellsie Memmel
I love Chellsie and I love this routine. She mixes the power of a standing full twist with the uniqueness of an illusion turn. Super difficult and she nailed it almost every time.

4. Hollie Vise
I wish more athletes would show off some flexibility like Hollie does, I think a lot of times muscle is hindering them but Hollie had beautiful lines, artistry and still manages to be powerful while tumbling.

3. Kristen Maloney
I'm a huge fan of Kristen, of her consistency and the difficulty she upheld all throughout her career. My favorite part of her routine is her tumbling series when she ends in a full laid out twist down in a split n the beam-impressive!

2. Shannon Miller

Ahhh, the queen of the beam, so graceful and so artistic. I love "the Milller" and I love the somersaults.

1. Shawn Johnson
Better landings there never were! Shawn is so amazing here, no wavers, no balance checks. She OWNS this event.

-G-

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Favorite Bar Workers (and Their Best Routines)

10. Kyla Ross
I know it's not the most difficult routine (upgrade Kyla!) but Kyla has great form and girl can hit a handstand like no other, I noticed that in person when I watched her at this years SC.

9. Ivana Hong
I know that the international judges pretty much hated the uniqueness of this routine but honestly in a sport that has lost some individuality recently, I found it refreshing.

8. Hollie Vise
Poor Hollie was totally screwed over in 2004 but at least she got her moment to shine at the 2003 worlds. Her form is amazing and she works the apparatus so easily.

7. Shannon Miller
Why can no one glue their legs together like this anymore? Seriously, finding a gymnast who can do a cast to handstand without leg separations these days is super rare. I love, love, Shannon's clean lines and form, right down to her toes.

6. Terin Humphrey
 I love Terin, and I love that she earned a surprise silver medal for this in Athens. Clean, sharp and beautifully executed.

6. Mo Huilan
Mo's signature release is AMAZING and the fact that it is now being brought back by Yao Jinan makes me so happy!

5. Beth Tweddle
Beth's bar routines have been eye popping from the moment she stepped onto the scene, chalked full of release moves and more daring than anyone else in her field.

3. Aliya Mustafina
I love Aliya, I love how she came back from injury and is carrying the Russian team through some valley's. I was so happy she won gold in London for this.

2. Chellsie Memmel
I love the ending to Chellsie's bar set, so cool and unique. She continually performed well on this event, even when injured.

1. He Kexin
I'm so happy that He won gold in 2008 instead of her (overrated) close competitor (shall not name names). Love the elegant look she has and her great form.

-G-