Graduation Through the Eyes of a Runner.

So my little brother graduated two weekends ago.

I can’t not call him that. My little brother…

Even though he is 18. A college student. A man with a full time job. A foot taller than me (not really but it feels like it.) And starting the next stage of his life.

As I was making a video for him for graduation I was going through pictures and remembering each stage of our lives. From the baby stages, to the toddler stages, to the awkward middle school years, to now.

From the easy, carefree stages, to the hard divorce years, to trying to find our personality stages, to trying to find our passion stages.

The stages of our lives that we have been through together have been hard, wonderful, painful, perfect, horrible, and beautiful at the same time.

Every time I see him on stage, holding the spotlight, dancing, singing, performing, I can’t help but grin and tear up a little. He is such a marvelous little brother. Or maybe I should start saying, man.  As he enters the next stage of his life, I am so proud.

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Graduation is such an odd time that makes you contemplate all these stages you (or your little brother) have been through. However, college is an even odder time that forces you to contemplate every part of yourself that have resulted from these stages.

So here is to contemplation.

Thoughts heavily doused in prayer, dosed with regrets, holding on by dreams, and all thought in love.  

 

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“Who Will I Be” Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Have you ever felt that feeling of the wind blowing through your hair? That weightless feeling as your bike speeds along? The joy of the sun on your face?

Well I have, and all I have to say is This is just so beautiful.

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Today has been a day for contemplations: both of who I am and who I desire to be. Anything from a workout, a pedicure, time at the pool, or just sitting and feeling the fan has brought this out in me.

Who I am. At the surface I am a girl, a daughter, a sister, a blonde, a person, a part of this Earth.

But it is what I have constructed myself to be that truly is who I am. I am a friend, a runner, a believer, a lover of nature, an eternal optimist, a baker, a romantic, a shoe lover, a cheapskate, an adventurer, a reader, a writer, a counselor.

Will I remain these things? What will the future be? Who will I be?

 

(and after that serious note, ending with “Who will I be,” I must be mature and end with a quote from Camp Rock)

“Who will I be
It’s up to me
All the never ending possibilities
I get to make the future what I want to be
If I can make up any one and know the choice is up to me
Who will I be”

 

And with that, who will you be?

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Fruitfulness Through the Eyes of a Runner.

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As my eyes slowly close I feel the sun beat down on my skin baking the thin layer of water off my bronzed skin. Today is so wonderful.

 

As I listen to the chatter of the family lying next to me, it is all in love.

As I listen to the laughter of the children playing next to me, it is all in joy.

As I listen to the beating of the heart inside of me, it is all in peace.

As I listen to the sounds of the ocean humming next to me, it is all in patience.

As I listen to the words of a friend sounding next to me, it is all in kindness.

As I listen to discipline of the parents next to me, it is all in goodness.

As I listen to the needs in my brokenness, it is all in faithfulness.

As I listen to the patter of feet running next to me, it is all in gentleness.

As I listen to the desires of my heart, it is all in self-control.

 

Everything about today has seemed abundant, abundant and fruitful. From a relaxing morning, a fun day on the beach, to productivity in the afternoon, wonderful conversations with my wonderful family, and a strong run. Abundance and fruitfulness must be acknowledged.

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Molting Through the Eyes (and Heart) of a Runner.

I realized while out on my run two days ago, it has been a little over a year since I started this blog.

This blog has changed and metamorphosed completely in the past year. I wanted to explain a little why.

At first, this blog was just supposed to share the sights I saw while running around the country, the city, different states, and new places. But then I realized I see with so much more than just my two eyes.

I also see with these hands that type this post, my lungs that fill with the crisp morning air, this brain that searches for these words, but mostly, my heart; this heart that feels, loves, breaks, and molts.

I have been doing a lot of molting this past year, and with it has come a shift in what I use to see. I realize, to fully see, experience, and enjoy, I must look with more than my two eyes. I must look with the full being God created. And when I do this, I can truly experience life.

I can truly experience life, love, joy, runs, movement, laughter, smiles, crying, pain, happiness, but most importantly, I can experience God.

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This summer, my blog will undergo some changes: I will be posting more regularly, I will be doing a redesign which will include more tabs and information, I will be expanding my network, and exploring what this blogging world really is, this blog will be molting, similar to me in the past year.

Rittenhouse Square Through the Eyes of a Runner.

She sits with her head bowed over her note pad scribbling ferverishly, getting her thoughts down before they quickly flee her busy mind. Soaking up the warm rays of the golden sun that peeks through the midst of trees, she expresses herself. 

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He stretches, taking a break from the depth of the novel he is so engrossed in to reenter the fast paced world. Feeling is muscles contract, he is one with his body once more. 

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She reaches after her son, hoping to shield him from the dangerous world that continues around them. Discussing with her friend the beauty of the day, she sees the beauty in her son. 

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He laughs aloud while discussing the latest email from his agent with his wife. Letting the slight breeze reenergize him before he has to head back to the studio for a second shift. 

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These people, all so engrossed in life sit and stand only feet away from each other, I wonder if they know each other exist? I wonder if they acknowledge each other? I wonder if they are able to find he common joy of this beautiful day with each other? 

As I smile at these beautiful people I pass, I hope they feel my desire to share the joys with them. 

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“So now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

Sleep Soundly Dear City Through the Eyes of a Runner.

My cup of coffee steams against the chilled window leaving traces of the life within the heat. My body seems to radiate heat in this same manner, as I begin to cool from a hot bath. Ah coffee, bath, nightgown, sleepy eyes. Taking time for me is so nice. It’s only 7:00 pm and I am already winding down for bed. Tonight proves to be a wonderful, relaxing, restful one.

As I smile at the world below being covered in white pixie dust.

My dear city, I pray you can sleep soundly tonight.

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Family Colloquialisms Through the Eyes of a Runner.

“Oh mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy, a kid will eat ivy too, wouldn’t you?”

“It’s only guacamole but I like it I love it, I want some more of it.”

I am reminded in the presence of others, some things I do and say are weird.

We all pick up weird sayings and habits from our families. And it is always amusing and amazing to hear other people’s sayings, and find out which ones of my own are not common.

Coming to college, I found out my mixture of Virginian and Ohioan roots are not the way everyone was raised. It is constantly amusing to hear colloquialisms that were unused in my own home, but used regularly in others.

I love learning these cultural differences.

Who would have thought that I would be talking about the “cultural differences” between someone raised in Maryland and myself in Virginia.

But here I am. I can’t help but laugh after I say something and get that weird dumbfounded look from my friends that mean they have never before heard what I just said. It’s so cute.

And funny, because I do the same thing to my other friends.

What do you say or do that is weird or unique to your family?

Comment Below!

 

 

A Year in Review Through the Eyes of a Runner.

I would probably have to say 2013 has been my most challenging year yet. 

Some of the best and worst things have happened in this year, but because of Jesus I have gotten through it all!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

Beginning my year, I thought I was driving in the right direction, but I’ve discovered the second you think you can do it on your own God shows us a mountain that we can’t just drive through without him!

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Driving the Country Roads

 

With the commencement of 2013 brought my first semester of statistics…..

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First day of Spring Semester Freshman Year!

But it also brought fun adventures in New York City and Philadelphia with my amazing little brother!

Philadelphia Exploring!

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Wicked on Broadway!

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Philadelphia Exploring!

It brought movie nights with friends.

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Life of Pi Movie Night!

And first snowfalls…

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First Philadelphia Snowfall I witnessed

And second snowfalls….

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Snowy Night of Housing Discussion Dinner!

 

Outings with friends, halls, and Wharton Women…

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Max Brenners with Wharton Women!

 

 

It brought Trips home…

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Valentines Day Weekend

Coffee…

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Midterms…

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Midterms…

Many Birthdays…

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Arianna’s and Robin’s Birthday Celebration!

And more trips home…

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Spring Break Creations!

It brought Mommy to Philadelphia!

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Mommy and Mallory’s Trip to Philadelphia

More movie nights with friends!

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Movie Night on Cold April Days

And volunteering with my friends! (now roommates too!!!!)

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Prism Interfaith Service Day

I saw my little brother perform in Carnegie Hall!

 

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Brendan at Carnegie Hall!

Experienced my first Fling!

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Roomies at Spring Fling!!

I explored West Philly with a great friend (now roommate!!)

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Cute Little Bookshops on Rainy Days!

It brought Salsa Dancing on Friday Nights!

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Salsa Dancing!

It brought lots of random dancing!

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College Green Dancing!

 2013 brought Train and John Legend to Penn! (for free!!)

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Train Concert!

And meetings with celebrities!

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Brittany Snow!

I sailed for the first time in 2013!

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Wharton Leadership Venture Sailing Team!

It brought cupcakes and finals…

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Crumbs ventures during Finals Week!

It brought the end of my freshman year, the end of BEPP 250, move out, and an awesome final night in Philadelphia!

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All packed up, goodbye 403 Hopkinson

It brought a summer working at Walmart and the start of my blog…

https://lifethroughtheeyesofarunner.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/changes-through-the-eyes-of-a-runner-from-philly-to-bedford/

With the summer came hiking and camping!

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Appalachian Trail Hiking and Camping!  https://lifethroughtheeyesofarunner.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/camping-through-the-eyes-of-a-runner/

 

 

It brought fun country adventures…

It brought Mayhem in Mexico!

It brought trips to South Carolina with my boyfriend!

Time on the lake…

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Smith Mountain Lake!

I ran my first half Marathon!

I returned to Philadelphia as a sophomore!

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NSO not being a freshman! 🙂

I became single…

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Salsa Dancing!

I fell in love with my roommates!

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New York with 2 of my 3 wonderful roommates!

It brought White Water Rafting!

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Wharton Leadership Venture White Water Rafting!

I went to New York City for the 5th and 6th times this year

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New York City during Fall Break!

I dressed up and danced…. A LOT!

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1920’s Party!

I had a lot of fun!

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Halloween!

I became not so single and chopped off all my hair! 🙂

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Tyler and I at a 76ers Game!

I ran my second (and best!) Half Marathon!!!

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8:41 miles at the Philadelphia Half Marathon!

I came home for Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving with the Family!

 

I witnessed more snow….

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Roommies in the Snow!

I celebrated Christmas over and over and over again!!!

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Decorating before Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Day at Papa’s

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Bedlam Christmas Party!

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Christmas at Tyler’s Aunt’s House! (when meeting the family!)

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Cru Christmas Party with my FSG girls!

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912 Harnwell’s Christmas Party!

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Zeta’s Christmas Formal!

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FSG Christmas Party!

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Christmas Eve at Angel’s!

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Christmas Dinner at Mommy’s!

But the last moment of the year was one of my favorites! Radiate! The Winter Cru Conference! Ringing in 2014 while worshiping God is the most amazing thing!

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1920’s Ringing in the New Year Party!

 

Now all I’ve talked about in this Photo Review is the positive.

 

The things that I desired not to take pictures of in my year: a 3 week flu sickness, failing finals, crying, a LOT, becoming depressed, doubting myself, not feeling close to God, hating myself, distancing myself from people, feeling sad, that pit in my stomach, and so much more.

Through all those un-picture-worthy moments I have been shaped. God has used those gross, lowly times to grow me! 

 

Happy 2014 all!