Saturday, December 31, 2011

a look back on 2011.

Well, in 15 hours it will be 2012.
And. I. Am. Stoked.

2011 has had many up's and down's.
I got good grades.
I worked at Walmart for a month.
I made new friends.
I still cried too much over silly things.
I have a baby cousin who is just too cute for words!
I'm broke.
I made more memories with my friends and family that I'm going to cherish forever.

And I finally found a boy who doesn't care if my hair looks like a lion's mane, or that I am a complete nerd, or that I can be a major diva sometimes. He just likes me for ME and that has been the greatest blessing of 2011.

Although this year has been great, I have VERY high hopes for 2012.

London, 9 months.
Nine freakin months.

Happy New Year! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas love.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love the spirit of love, faith and family that's in the air during the month of December. I'm in such a good mood the whole month, I don't even mind the snow!

As a child, my siblings and I would wake up around 5 on Christmas morning and have to wait until my dad got home from milking the cows, which was usually around 8. We would watch movies and pester my mom for three hours. When my dad was finally home we would have to wait on the stairs until our parents gave us the okay to come running down and into the living room, where we would exclaim and squeal at all the presents under the tree. We opened our stockings first; I remember one Christmas we all got dinosaur figurines from The Land Before Time movies. After that we passed out all the presents to each other and then ripped them open to see what Santa brought.
Now, my parents have to wake me up on Christmas morning when it's time to open presents!

As I've grown up the real meaning of Christmas has become more and more apparent. My parents would always remind us that the reason for the season was the birth of Jesus and we would read the Bible on Christmas morning.
But the meaning of Christmas is more than just celebrating Jesus's birthday. It's about celebrating love and family. Jesus's birth into the world changed everything; he is a symbol of love for so many people in the world. Despite what many people believe of Christianity, our faith is based around loving everyone, because that's how Jesus lived his life. Christmas is a time to remind yourself the true meaning of life; which is to love unconditionally and irrevocably.
Just like Jesus did.

Merry Christmas, my dearest friends.

Also, Happy 3 Month Anniversary to my wonderful boyfriend. I adore you :)

Friday, December 23, 2011


Dear Lana,

Meet me in Northwest Park at eight.
Fancy dress required.


My best friend and roommate Anya giggled after reading the note. "What are you going to wear?" She asked.
"I don't know! I don't have any fancy dresses here with me!" Anya was quiet for a moment while she thought. Then her green eyes brightened and she ran upstairs. "What are you doing!?" I yelled.
"Hold on!" I sat on the couch and re-read the note three more times.
I had met Zane at a party a couple years ago. We had bonded over hating parties and Anya puking over his shoes. We exchanged numbers, went on a few dates and he asked me to be his. We've been inseparable ever since.
A few minutes later Anya rushed downstairs with her coat and purse and my coat and purse.
"We're going shopping. Let's go." She threw me my coat and left before I could even object.

Two hours later and seven shops visited, I still had no dress.
"That's it, we're going to Fancy Thrift Stores." Anya pulled into the parking lot of a tiny, off beat thrift store that I had never stepped in before.
"I'm screwed." I said, defeated and tired.
"No. We will find you a damn dress. C'mon!" Anya pulled me into the store and we searched for twenty minutes in the small woman's section.
"Shoulder pads and sequins galore." I said.
"Yea, no luck here either..." Anya said looking around. The only person working was an elderly woman who was knitting at the cash register.
"Excuse me, miss. But do you have any dresses in back?" Anya asked the lady. She looked slightly startled but smiled warmly.
"As a matter of fact we do! Come with me." She sat her knitting down and started walking towards the back.
"You stay here." Anya told me and left. I glanced through the racks one more time but it was pointless. A few minutes later Anya came rushing out from the back room.
"Holy cow. Lana, you will not believe your luck." The old lady came from the back room holding the dress of my dreams.
It was light purple and strapless, with a full ruffled skirt. The bodice was plain, except for a simple brocaded belt around the waist with a diamond in the center.
"Here you go, dear." the lady handed me the dress and I just stared at it.
"Go try it on!" Anya pushed me in the dressing room. I slipped into the dress and had never felt more beautiful in my whole life.
"Holy sweet mother of pearl." Anya muttered when I walked out.
"I want this dress."
"You need this dress."
"How much?" I asked.
"$50." The lady answered.
"I only have $20..." I said to Anya.
"We'll put it on my credit card. Consider it an early birthday present." My eyes filled with tears and I embraced her.
"Thank you."
"You are welcome dear. Now get dressed so we can get back to the apartment!!"

Anya dropped me off at the entrance to the park at 7:58.
"You better tell me all about it later!!" She exclaimed.
"I will, I will!" Anya grinned.
"You look smashing, darling." I smiled.
"Thank you for everything today. I owe you."
"Pish posh! Now go!" I shut her car door and walked into the park.
Anya had curled my hair and pinned some of it back. I borrowed her silver heels and I wore the elephant necklace Zane had given me for our one year anniversary.
When I reached the center of the park, I was surprised to find twinkling silver lights covering all the trees. Zane sat on the park bench wearing a white button up, black pants and a blue tie that matched his eyes that I loved so much.
"Wow." He muttered and stood up. I blushed and approached him.
"You look very handsome." I complimented.
"You look... stunning. Words can't even describe..." He said, staring at me. I looked into his eyes and grinned. I always loved looking into his eyes, because I could see the love he felt for me radiating out of them. It warmed my soul and made my heart skip a beat.
"Thank you." I kissed him on the cheek. He took my hands in his.
"Lana Marie Harrick... I love you with all my soul and heart. I thank God for you every night. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone but you." My heart nearly stopped when he knelt on one knee. "I took a visit to your parents last week." He pulled out a tiny black box and tears formed in my eyes. "I asked them a very important question and they give their love and blessing. But the most important question of all is... Lana, will you marry me?" I didn't even need to see the ring before I gasped out "Yes! Yes, I will marry you!"
Tears came down my cheeks as we embraced and kissed. My heart was soaring with happiness. He slipped my beautiful ring on my finger and kissed me.
"Let's get married now." The words were out of my mouth before I could think. He looked at me, blue eyes wide.
"Yes. Now. I don't care where, let's just hop on a plane and go somewhere." Zane laughed.
"I love you." He kissed me and then led me out of the park, off to the airport where we hopped on a plane to New York and got married in a small chapel from a man in a ninja turtle costume, with his wife as our witness in a Power Ranger costume.

It was spontaneous, beautiful, and magical.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

thoughts on facebook.

I really like Facebook.
It's not just because I can stalk my old classmates that I never talked to, procrastinate on homework assignments or update my friends on my boring life.

It's because it keeps me connected.

Think about it. We are the most interconnected generation of all time.
As long as we're friends on Facebook I'll be able to stay in touch with high school and college friends long after I graduate and my family after I move away from Fremont. I'm very grateful for that, because I don't want to wonder sometime down the road "What ever happened to so and so?" I can just look on their Facebook or even message them! Facebook's new profile setup called Timeline is a prime example of that. I think it's wonderful gift for our generation, I truly do.

Some people might claim that we've lost our privacy with Facebook, but that's only if you abuse it. Sure, there are people on Facebook that put WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION on it, but that's there own fault. I find the people that complain about Facebook are usually the ones misusing it. If you use Facebook correctly, it's just another communication tool, like the phone.

So unless Facebook really messes up, I don't plan on ever deleting my account.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

how beer saved the world

The Discovery Channel put together an hour long documentary on how beer has changed history.

Here are some of the things I learned from watching this documentary:

1) Beer is the reason the Agricultural Revolution began, which means we can thank beer for writing, math, the plow and the wheel.
2) Egyptians paid the workers that were building the pyramids in beer. One gallon of beer a day. They also wanted to go onto the afterlife, so they had the chance to drink even MORE beer. So basically, the ancient Egyptians were a bunch of drunks. :P
3) Ancient beer was very low in alcohol but was chopped full of minerals and vitamins. So no beer belly for the ancient people!
4) Ancient beer ALSO beat modern medicine by 3,000 years with the use of antibiotics.
5) Medieval beer saved millions of lives, because they began to brew the beer which killed the bacterias living in the nasty water!
6) The Medieval people drank 6 TIMES the amount of beer we drink today.
7) "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin
8) As Americans, we should be especially grateful for beer. The Pilgrims would have never made it over from England without it!
10) The men that were part of the Boston Tea Party.... were drunk.
11) Our National Anthem's melody... is the same of that of an old drinking song. Words changed, melody stayed the same.
12) Beer is the basis for modern medicine. It helped Louis Pasteur find germs!
13) The first refrigeration device was developed for the beer industry.
14) Ford Automotive was not the first industry to change factory production. Ten years before Ford ever opened his assembly line, beer was changing the face of production.
15) #1 Adult Beverage all over the world.

I have never drank beer, but I now have a greater appreciation for it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

30 Day HP Challenge combined into 1 Day

Day 1 - Your favorite book
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
The seventh book is a favorite, because it wrapped the series up perfectly. 
The fourth book has been a long time favorite, because it's just a fun novel to read, but at the same time it changes the whole series with the return of Voldemort. We can see the impending evil and we wonder how it's going to all end. 

Day 2 - Your favorite movie 
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 and part 2"
Both are bloody brilliant films. Just fantastic.

Day 3 - Is there any of the film adaptations that have made you angry because they’ve ignored important parts of the book? 
I really did not like "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."
I feel like they left SO much out at the end, with the conversation between Harry and Dumbledore, that really left the last three movies having to make up for those mistakes.

Day 4 - Least favorite female character and why?
Dolores Umbridge.
She's a bitch.

Day 5 - Favorite male character and why?
Ronald Weasley.
I'm partial to gingers. 
Also, I really like how Ron grew during the series into a hero, instead of just the side-kick.

Day 6 - What house would you want to be in?
I am such a proud Hufflepuff.

Day 7 - Favorite female character and why?
Hermione Granger.
She is the definition of a strong, intelligent and independent female character! 
I have always admired and looked up to her.

Day 8 - What do you think would be your favorite lesson?
I feel like I would really enjoy Charms, because that's where you would learn all the fun spells!

Day 9 - Least favorite male character?
I feel like Voldemort is an obvious answer... but I'm just going to go with him.

Day 10 - Horcruxes or Hallows?
Hallows. duh.

Day 11 - What character would you say you are most like?

Day 12 - Favorite relationship?
Ron and Hermione :)

Day 13 - Least favorite movie?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, for reasons already explained.

Day 14 - Team Voldemort or Team Harry?

Day 15 - Who would be your best friends at Hogwarts (Three Only)
Luna. Hermione. Neville.

Day 16 - Who is your favorite Death Eater?
Does Draco count?

Day 17 - Are you excited about the Deathly Hallows movies or scared they won’t do the book justice? 
Well, this is obviously old.
But I love those movies.

Day 18 - Least favorite book?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
I guess I just feel like it was a filler novel. I'm not saying I hated it, it's just not my favorite.

Day 19 - Do you prefer the books or the movies?
omg. books. duh.

Day 20 - If you got to meet one member of the cast, who would it be?
Can I meet Emma and Rupert at the same time?

Day 21 - Out of all the characters that died, if you could bring one back, who would it be?

Day 22 - Harry Potter or Twilight?

Day 23 - Any part of the books or movies that makes you cry?
There were many parts that made me cry, mostly whenever someone died.

Day 24 - Any particular scene you wished would have been put in the movie, but wasn’t?

Day 25 - Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different, ie Neville married Luna?
I have never been a fan of Harry/Ginny.
I think Harry/Luna would have been adorable.
But I also really enjoy Neville/Luna, so it's hard for me to decide. 

Day 26 - If you would be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be?

Day 27 - Would you rather own the Invisibility Cloak, The Resurrection Stone or The Elder Wand? 
Invisibility Cloak.

Day 28 - Do you listen to Wizard Wrock, what do you think about it?
I don't listen to, but I think it's unique and creative!

Day 29 - Did you enjoy A Very Potter Musical?
Holy shit, yes.

Day 30 - What affect has Harry Potter made on your life and how much does it mean to you? 
I'm already said this in a previous blogpost, but Harry Potter has taught me a lot about death, love, and friendship.
I wouldn't be who I am without Harry.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

a day of thanks.

I am thankful for...

  • My family, who is my backbone and constant support in everything I do.
  • My friends, who encourage my crazy antics and who I turn to when I need a hug, sarcastic comment or advice.
  • Matt, for a wonderful two months and being my best friend.
  • Having the opportunity to receive a higher education.
  • My mother's cooking.
  • My hometown.
  • The time I get to spend with my family this year, because I won't be here next year.
  • A good book. 
Eat some turkey with your family and be thankful for all that God has blessed you with!

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

tragic history.

I love History.
I wouldn't be majoring in it if I didn't.
But sometimes, it can be really hard to learn about the tragedies humanity has endured over the years.

In my HST 102 class this week we had one lecture on World War II and another lecture on the Holocaust. 
To hear that 50 million people lost their lives during a 6 year period is... well, just awful. 
6 million Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust. One quarter of them were from shooting operations in Eastern Europe and the other three fourths died in concentration camps. 

50,000,000 soldiers and citizens
6,000,000 Jews

I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to live in Europe during that time. 
The really tragic thing about this... is that historians believe that over 50% of the German population (as well as countless other nations) knew what was happening to the Jewish population, and did nothing.

I think the reason I'm drawn to history as a career and a passion is because we can learn about our mistakes, and how to prevent them from happening again.
I realize that genocide is still a reality for thousands around the world and that war has been around since the beginning of time and always will be.
But that doesn't mean it's okay.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

one month.

One month ago today I changed my Facebook relationship status from "single" to "in a relationship."

I may be a hopeful romantic, but I'm not the type to go all mushy gushy on every month anniversaries. But seeing as this is the longest (and happiest) I have ever been in a relationship, I'm feeling pretty giddy and blessed today!

Matthew Thomas, thank you for making me one of the happiest and luckiest girls in the world. I like you more than the flowers like the rain. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

a poem in the style of ee cummings.

i like to fly; 
in the sky- 
with you.

(i hunger after you)

i will take you -to the blue
in the sky

(bones crushing)

with a flame in
my belly ;

And a flame in
my heart,

oh my.

(your taste

i’m a beast of 
the air;
but -i can care
and love for you.

(i’m a Monster) 

Can anyone guess what inspired this poem? 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a poem for my boyfriend.

You listen to metal.
I like pop and country.
You have a scientific mind.
I am a hopeful romantic.
You like Lord of the Rings.
I am a Harry Potter fan girl.
You like muffins.
I like cupcakes.
     You were a band geek.
I was a theatre nerd.
You belong in Slytherin.
I belong in Hufflepuff.
We like Chinese.
We watch “The Office” obsessively.
We enjoy reading.
We have terrible allergies.
We drink too much caffeine.
We value family.
We have the same optimistic outlook on life.
We love music.
We are nerds.
I like you.
You like me.
We like each other.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

tattoo ideas.

My 20th birthday is on February 27th, 2012.
On that day, I will be getting my first tattoo.

Growing up, I never saw the point in tattoo's. I thought they were stupid and a waste of money.
But when the last Harry Potter movie came out over the summer (I'm still in shock that it's all done...) I realized I wanted to get a Harry Potter related tattoo.

When I told my family this, they immediately turned it down and said it was stupid of me, especially because I wanted it to be Harry Potter themed.
But to me, a tattoo is a personal thing. It has to have special meaning to me and only me.
Harry Potter has shaped me into the person I am today. It holds more meaning to me than some people realize.
So, why not get a tattoo showing off my love for the Boy Who Lived?

Problem though. I don't know what to get. So, here are some pictures of my tattoo ideas, and if you guys could help me narrow them down and make a selection, I would greatly appreciate it! :)

Idea #1: I would get this either on my shoulder or side... Not really sure. Oh, and the saying is Hogwart's motto: Draco dormiens nunquam titilandus.

Idea #2: I would get the lightning bolt on the inside of one of my fingers. Very discreet.

Idea #3: I feel like this is kinda cliche, but it's still a possibility. Probably get it on my side or ankle.

 Idea #4: My original idea, and it would go on my wrist.

Idea #5: A combination of 2 and 4, and would go on my wrist or side.

Idea #6: Not HP related, but still something I might get later on...

Idea #7: Again, not HP related but I'm definitely getting this one on my foot sometime.

Idea #8: Across my back. My boyfriend doesn't approve, but I think I'll be able to change his mind. Classy, right? 

Monday, October 3, 2011


Life is dandy right now, and I have a lot of reasons to smile.

I know that I don't want to be a teacher anymore.
I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with a history major, but I'm not worried.

I have a wonderful boyfriend, and I think he's going to be around for a while.

I don't have to take that stupid EDU class anymore with the terrible professor, so my Monday's and Wednesday's are 10X better.

My two best friends are adorable. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I had my hairs cut today, and my hair is cute now.

I've been sleeping well lately, which is nice.

Did I mention that I really, really like my boyfriend? :D

Thursday, September 15, 2011


If it weren't for completely wonderful friends and family, I would leave for London tonight.

I mean, I also need way more money than I have, but I can still dream. 

I honestly think I might live in England one day. 

Not just to study abroad, but as in actually have a home and a job there. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my future lately, and it's a definite possibility. 

I guess we'll wait and see, won't we?

Friday, September 9, 2011

country at heart.

Earlier this week, I went on a long walk around Mt. Pleasant with two of my friends. It was beautiful and relaxing... but it didn't feel like home.
It was then I realized that I missed seeing corn and hay fields every day. I missed the rural landscape I was used to. So that night, another one of my friends and I went on a drive and we both were so excited when we found a dirt road and corn fields.

Spending the whole summer in my hometown was difficult most of the time, because I was used to my independence and freedom during school and I missed my college friends a lot. But I did learn something last summer and that was how much I love living in a rural community.

While I was growing up I went through different phases of liking or hating my country roots. All through out high school, I hated it. I hated country music, I hated milking cows (I don't think I will ever NOT hate milking cows though), I hated the stereotypes that came along with being from my hometown, etc.

It wasn't until this summer that I realized how wrong I was to hate all of that.
While I won't live on a farm for the rest of my life, or probably not even in my hometown, I'll always be country at heart. I don't hate country music anymore. Lady Antebellum is actually one of my favorite artists, right along with We The Kings and Lady Gaga. I'm so proud to tell people that I grew up on a farm, because I know the meaning of hard work, and I don't mind getting a little dirt under my fingernails.

I might not look like your stereotypical country girl, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. I was made in rural America, and that's where my heart will always be.

Also, I secretly love demo derbys... but don't tell anyone that, I don't want people thinking I'm a major hick!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

words of wisdom.


remember this, my friends.

Elephant Love Medley from "Moulin Rouge"

PS. I love being back at Central. I love every thing about this place, even when I have to deal with stupid classmates and annoying professors.

Monday, August 22, 2011

7 things.

7 places I'd like to visit...

1) London. I actually plan on being there in a year from now. (HOLY SHIT.)
2) Berlin, so I can visit my German soul sister Kubie.
3) Rome.
4) Australia 
5) Moscow
6) Spain
7) Dublin, another place I will probably visit in a year from now... 

7 things I'd like to accomplish before I die...

1) Write a novel
2) Have my own family
3) Meet JK Rowling
4) Visit all the homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder
5) See a Broadway show
6) Be a good teacher. I know that's broad, but I can't really decide how to phrase it...
7) Direct my own theatre production

7 things that annoy me...

1) Ignorance
2) Blind hatred
3) Mean people
4) Really terrible music
5) Unappreciative people
6) My own anxiety 
7) Humidity 

7 things that make me happy...

1) Sunshine
2) Curling up with a good book
3) When I see an elderly couple holding hands
4) My friends and their ridiculousness
5) Good hair days
6) Michael Buble
7) Disney movies

7 movies that I love...

1) How to Train Your Dragon
2) Slumdog Millionaire
3) Tangled
4) Becoming Jane
5) Crazy, Stupid, Love
6) Aladdin
7) The King's Speech

7 things I'd like to own...

1) An old truck, for the country girl in me. 
2) A time machine
3) A dragon
4) A ukulele 
5) All the books I could ever think of
6) Another pair of Converse would be nice...
7) oh! A Hogwarts acceptance letter :)

7 favorite songs...

1) Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble
2) Hey, Soul Sister by Train
3) I'm Yours by Jason Mraz 
4) Skyway Avenue by We The Kings
5) Story of Your Life by We The Kings
6) Our Kind of Love by Lady Antebellum
7) Fearless by Taylor Swift

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    definition of a hopeful romantic.

    I feel like I should have explained my name in a much earlier blog, but I guess it's better late than never!

    Most people use the term "hopeless romantic" when they describe someone who believes in love, and cries at sappy movies and all that junk. Well, I don't think that's a very accurate term, for me at least.
    By saying someone is hopeless implies that they have no hope, no faith, or no belief.
    To call me a "hopeless" romantic is the very opposite of what I am.

    I have complete hope that I will find love.
    I have faith in love and it's abilities.
    I believe in true love.

    Like the awesome Hank Green said in his last vlog, "Loving each other is pretty much the most important thing we do. It's not just the reason the each of us as individuals exist, it's the reason why our species and our civilization exist. It's the only reason why we can do these marvelous, magnificent human things!"

    And that's why I am a hopeFUL romantic.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011


    I am an optimistic.
    A few days ago I was thinking about differences between being an optimistic and a pessimistic. Here is my conclusion:

    It's easy to be a pessimistic. Even I will admit that if I stopped and thought about it, life can suck hard core sometimes. So, it's easy to just always think the worse of people and the world, because you don't have hope and faith.
    To be an optimistic is difficult. You have to look at the shitty world and think "It will get better." You have to hope for the best, even when the world is telling you not to. You have to fight every day to be strong and happy. On most days, it's easy. Then you get days where you feel like giving up and becoming a pessimistic. Some people do, and it's because they are tired of being strong. Some people don't, and they keep going through life because they know life is worth all the trials and tribulations.

    I'm not degrading pessimistics at all. I see them as optimistics that have led rough lives. I hope that one day they feel like being strong again and look at life in a brighter light.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    saying and doing are two different things.

    I have a habit of planning my future. I like to come up with goals for myself, and some even turn into dreams, that some people don't understand or like... but I don't care.

    However, there are some things I have said before that I want to do, that I know never will happen.
    For example:
    -Kiss a Jonas Brother. Preferably Joe.
    -Marry Charlie McDonnell. Or Rupert Grint. Or Darren Criss.
    -Go on a magic carpet ride.
    -Attend Hogwarts.
    -Watch all of the Vlogbrothers videos. THERE ARE OVER 800.
    -Stop my Mtn. Dew addiction.
    -Start exercising.

    Then there is the list of things I say I want to do, and have every intention of doing.
    -Study abroad in London. 1 year and 1 month away!
    -Write a novel, published or not.
    -Meet JK Rowling and try not to cry when I tell her how much of an inspiration she is to me.
    -Get a tattoo near my heart, or on my wrist, that reads "Mischief Managed."
    -Learn to play the ukulele.
    -See a Broadway show in NYC.
    -Name one of my daughters Emma Hermione.
    -Take my parents to Australia for a well-deserved vacation.

    Now, enough bloggin. It's time to finish that dang Harry Potter fanfic. I've only been putting it off for 7 months... whoops!

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Dear Mr. Potter,

    When I first decided to read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in fourth grade, did I think that I would still be a fan 9 years later? Not really. I didn't realize the impact you would have on my life, but without your story, I wouldn't be the person I am today.
    Sooo many people have dissed Harry Potter, or made snide comments about "Oh, what's the big deal about Harry Potter? Why are you so crazy about it? You're such a nerd."
    You know what I say to those people?
    You wouldn't be saying that if you read the books, especially if you grew up with them.

    Harry, words can't even express what your story means to me. There are numerous points in your tale that moved me to tears, that I could apply to my own life and even helped me become a better person.

    I am a lifelong fan, and am immensely proud to call myself a member of the Harry Potter generation. <3

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    peace of mind.

    I've been struggling with a lot of anxiety lately over big questions. My faith has been tested the past couple of weeks, and I have been feeling down and isolated. I have been praying every night for aide and peace of mind.
    And tonight, God was great.
    I'm not sure how, but while driving I just looked at the sky and felt this weight lift off my shoulders. I felt peaceful and strong. It's almost like God was whispering in my ear, "You will be okay."


    "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength." -Mark 12:30

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    I like...

    purple and yellow.
    nail polish.
    laying in the warm grass, smelling the sweet air and listening to the wind through the trees.
    being moved by a beautiful song.
    holey, mismatching socks.
    pictures that capture wonderful memories.
    looking at the stars on the beach.
    wearing dresses.
    learning about our past.
    being with friends.
    buying books.
    not worrying about waking up on time.
    a cold shower after a sweaty day.
    the feel of my beat up yellow converse.
    the smell of lilacs.
    boys that treat girls with respect.
    fairy tales.
    the thought that i will be in london in a year and two months.
    wrapping up in a warm blanket.
    harry potter.
    being a nerd.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    favorite literary characters.

    I should be cleaning my room, but I couldn't resist writing this blog.

    1) Hermione Granger: I know I'm not the only girl out there that can relate to Hermione. She is an inspiration to so many, because of her confidence, loyalty, intelligence, and determination. Without Hermione, Harry would have been screwed all the way back in the Sorcerer's Stone when they first ran into the forbidden third floor corridor and met Fluffy. Hermione is the strongest female character I have ever encountered in young adult literature, and I would even wager to say of all literature. She sets a true example of what all little girls should aspire to be, especially ones with overly curly and bushy hair. <3

    2) Peeta Mellark: Call me a nerd for saying this, but I wish boys in real life were like Peeta. I think I might shock a lot of you when I say this, but I would choose Peeta over Ron any day. (Don't doubt my love for Ron though. He is still the sexiest ginger ever.)  I honestly think he's the best character in "The Hunger Games" series. While re-reading the series, this has become even more apparent to me. While Katniss is a good character, Peeta is the true star. Like Katniss says all through out "Catching Fire," Peeta is better than all of them.  He puts everyone else before himself, he is kind and gentle, he is intelligent and a genuinely good person. Peeta has always been my favorite, ever since I first read "The Hunger Games" and unless Josh Hutcherson really screws his character up in the upcoming movie, I don't see that changing anytime soon!

    3) Ron Weasley: Loyal. Funny. Quick-tempered. Ginger. Protective. Brave. Those, and more, come to mind when I think of my favorite red-head. Him and Hermione will always be my favorite HP characters, which is fitting since they are also the best couple in the whole wide world. I guess the main reason I love Ron is because he is not perfect. Throughout the series, he struggles and fights with himself and others. He has to grow up a lot and become the hero, while Harry was pretty much thrusted into that role.

    4) Alanna the Lioness: When I first stumbled across "The Song of the Lioness" quartet in the 8th grade, it quickly become a favorite series. Alanna was one of the main reasons. She is such a unique and fun character to read about. Her personal strength and determination is extremely admirable; I don't think I would ever be able to become a woman knight and endure all the hardships she had to in order to earn her shield. Her story fascinated me 5 years ago, and it is still an all-time favorite today.

    5) Laura Ingalls: I grew up on her stories. They are my most worn out books on my bookshelf, even more than Harry Potter! I don't really know why I love her stories, other than they were just simple, realistic stories about a little girl growing up in the prairie. To this day, I plan on visiting all of her homes in the USA. I think it will make a perfect road trip someday!

    6) Percy Jackson: I wish I had learned about Percy way earlier than a year ago. I feel like such an impostor when I say I'm a Percy fan, because the first time I read his books were this winter. But, I guess it's better late than never right? I have always looooved mythology, and Percy's story is such a thrill to read, because of the combination of mythology and present day life. Percy is such a fun, sarcastic, strong character. If only he was a little bit older, I wouldn't feel like such a cougar. :P

    7) Evie Millward: I realize that most of you will read that name and be like "Who?" See, Evie isn't a book character. She is a character from the play "The Distaff Side" by John Van Druten. If you read the title of this blog carefully, you will notice that I said favorite LITERARY characters, meaning characters from any form of literature, plays included! Anyway, why is Evie a favorite? Well, part of it is because I played her when my high school theatre company put on a production of 'The Distaff Side." It wasn't always an easy ride. I really struggled with trying to understand Evie, because she is a middle-aged widow, whose life experiences are vastly different than my own. What I decided was that Evie was a compassionate and wise woman, who loved fiercely and wanted only the best for the ones she loved. She was someone that I could see myself admiring in real life. Evie will always hold a special place in my heart, and is my favorite part I have had so far.

    8) Jonathon of Conte: Best. Royal. Ever. He is another huge reason I love "The Song of the Lioness" quartet. He wasn't always the nicest person, and sometimes all I wanted to do was chuck my book across the wall because of his immaturity... but in the end, I think Jon lived up to his potential and more.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    to be a best friend.

    You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. 
    Or can you?

    Friends are essential to life. Without them, I know i would have gone mentally insane a loooong time ago. They are there when you need to get away from your crazy family. They are there when the going gets rough and you just need some encouragement. They are for a great laugh. Most importantly, they are there to help define you as a person.

    Then there is that one person, or multiple persons, that come into your life and mean even more to you.
    They are called best friends.

    Personally, I have a few best friends. I have met them at different stages in my life, but they have each impacted my life in such a way that, without them, my life would be dramatically different. 
    They are the ones that have been there when I felt like my world was crashing down, and they helped keep it together. 
    I have been through really great times with them, and then I have been through really difficult times with them. We have fought, cried, and laughed together. They are the people that I am not afraid to speak my mind around. They are the people that I appreciate and care about a lot, even if they do make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. 

    "Most important in friendship? Tolerance and loyalty." -JK Rowling

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    harry potter vs. twilight.

    Harry Potter: The series have 7 books, which gives them more time to develop an interesting and well-thought plot. Each of the books has their own plot, but they all follow Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort. The plot is unique and highly detailed; Jo hardly misses a beat throughout the novel, making careful note to tie all the novels together.
    Twilight: While the idea of a vampire falling in love with a human and not wanting to suck her dry could have been interesting, Stephenie’s lack of storytelling abilities doesn’t allow that to happen. The books seem to be all about the same thing: Bella and Edward’s rocky and masochistic relationship. There are a few subplots, but even those aren’t interesting enough to make the books bearable.

    JK ROWLING: Jo is one of the best author’s of our generation. It’s not because she has the eloquent language of the classic authors, but it’s because of her ability to tell a story. She created a masterpiece in that coffee shop over ten years ago, by simply telling a story about an orphan boy who becomes a wizarding hero. Her fantastic mind came up every detail of the series; she knows more about Harry’s world than we, as fans, could even imagine. That, my friends, takes talent.
    STEPHENIE MEYER: Despite going to college for an English degree, Stephenie obviously didn’t learn a thing. There are many grammatical errors throughout the books, as well as terrible descriptions and dialogue. I will admit, she has the ability to draw a person in, but she isn’t able to keep the attention because of her terrible writing abilities.

    -Main Characters: Harry, Ron and Hermione make up one of the best trio’s in literary history. They each bring something to the table, and deliver throughout the series. Harry shows us constantly that just because someone is considered a hero, doesn’t make them any less human. He makes mistakes, he gets scared, but he is still a great hero to all. Ron is “the sidekick”, but shows growth throughout the series and really becomes a hero in a way that’s different from Harry. He’s the comic relief; without him, the readers wouldn’t laugh nearly as much as they do. Hermione is a strong female character, a role model for all the nerdy girls out there.
    -Villains: Voldemort is a bad guy. One could argue that he belongs on the list of “Best Villains in Literature.” He doesn’t give a damn about anyone, and is trying to take over the whole freaking’ world! If that’s not badass, then I don’t know what is.
    -Main Characters: Bella, Edward and Jacob: literature’s worst love triangle ever. Jacob is the only character with some personality, and the only one with a sense of humor. Bella is a one-dimensional, weak female character that only teaches girls that you need a man; otherwise your life is pointless. Edward, while being charming, is also slightly creepy. Who really wants a vampire watching you sleep, night after night?
    -Villains: THERE ARE NONE! You can’t even call the Voltaire villains, because they don’t a damn thing to stop the REAL horror in the story: BELLA AND EDWARD’S RELATIONSHIP! Oh, and James and Victoria aren’t villains. They had the right idea, but a bad follow-through plan.

    HP NERDS: Let’s see… Harry Potter has:
    -An amusement park
    -A musical
    -Wizard Rock
    -The Potter Puppet Pals
    -Awesome charity projects. The Harry Potter Alliance raises money for charity. Jo has written three books for charity!
    TWI-HARDS: What does Twilight have? Parodies. A lot of parodies that make of fun of it, because it sucks, not because it’s good.

    HARRY POTTER: I won’t argue that the books are the truest book-to-movie adaptations, but they are generally great movies. (With the exception to the 5th movie. That was just terrible.) The acting is top-notch, and they always manage to get some of the finest British talent added to their ensemble. Plus, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One has been nominated for an Oscar. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
    TWILIGHT: I have nothing to comment on about the movie adaptations of the Twilight series, because they don’t even deserve the energy it would take me to type it out my opinion. But, I will mention this: The only awards Twilight has been nominated for worth mentioning are The Razzies. Who cares that the movies took practically every freaking award at the Teen Choice Awards; TEEN FANGIRLS HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.

    HARRY POTTER: The series will continue to live on in the hearts of fans for years to come. And when they have children, they will read Harry’s story to them. And maybe even their grandchildren. His story will continue to affect the lives of people, because his story can speak to everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, etc.
    TWILIGHT: Will you read Twilight to your 12-year-old daughter? Do you want her thinking that moaning for some sparkly vampire is the best way to live her life? Yea, didn’t think so.

    On a final note, Harry would kick Edward’s ass in a duel. Stephenie Meyer even said so.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    the tale of the girl on fire.

    I am hearing of more and more people reading, or recommending, Suzanne Collin's hit trilogy "The Hunger Games."
    Which makes me so incredibly happy, because after Harry Potter, it's probably my favorite book series.

    Let me give you a quick synopsis of the first book!
    Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen year old girl who lives in futuristic North America, which is now a country called Panem. The country is split into 13 districts, and is ruled by The Capital. Panem and The Capital were established after a great war broke out. For a while, the Capital was able to rule the thirteen districts. As time went on, the districts grew weary of their rulers and revolted. At the end of the war, District 13 was destroyed and The Hunger Games were established. The Hunger Games is a yearly tournament where a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are picked from each district. They are placed into an arena, where they are forced to fight for their lives, while their families and friends back home are forced to watch the bloodbath. After Katniss steps up to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games, Katniss and her fellow tribute Peeta Mellark's lives are forever changed.

    I first heard of the series last spring from a friend. She told my best friend and I about them one day while sitting in my car before theatre, and we were both intrigued. I picked up "The Hunger Games" shortly afterwards, and fell in love. I quickly finished the first, and then moved on to "Catching Fire." When I heard that the third wasn't going to be released until August, I was so angry because I wanted to know what was going to happen NOW.
    So, as August approached I pre-ordered "Mockingjay", and bought the first two books. Sadly, because Wal-Mart hates me, I didn't get the book until almost a week after it was released. But I finished it in less than a day, and was left speechless.
    Then I heard there were plans for a movie, and I almost died.

    Whenever people ask me for a good book recommendation, I tell them about "The Hunger Games." My own brother, who hates reading, read the first book for his book report AND LIKED IT. Another one of my friends hates reading, but after I read him (yes, I read it to him. He's really lazy) the first part, he went out and bought himself a copy! I've been trying to get my sister to read them, but she's harder to convince.

    So, why do I recommend these books so much?
    It's not because the writing is so incredibly skilled and refined, like Shakespeare or Dickens. It's meant for a teen audience, so it's not going to be a difficult read.
    It's not because it's a love story and I want to find out if you're Team Peeta or Team Gale. Yes, it has a love story in it, but that is not the main point of the book. (But, in case you guys are wondering, I am totally for the boy with the bread <3) And for the record, The Hunger Games is not the next Twilight. Too completely different plots, better developed characters and much better writing.

    Why I recommend these books, is because it tells a story of a world that is so realistic and all-too-possible that it terrifies and fascinates me. The characters are real, and have a way of getting inside of you and making you cry or cheer for them. It leaves you guessing until the very end how Katniss will or will not survive. It's a book about loss, violence, government, power, independence, love, strength, and overcoming obstacles.

    So, to everyone who has not read "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, I highly recommend it. If you decide it's not the right book for you, I have plenty of other recommendations you might enjoy! :)

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    summer pledge.

    I, Tonya Sue Pell, hereby swear that I will complete the following activities before I move back to Central in mid-August. If I fail to complete each one, I swear to sit down and watch the entirety of "The Hannah Montana Movie", and "The Last Song", two movies I have never watched because of my deep dislike for Miley Cyrus. Here is the list:

    -Re-read "The Hunger Games" trilogy.
    -Re-read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" BEFORE July 15th.
    -Read "Kings and Queens of England," because I bought it a while ago and have not read it yet.
    -Read at least three new books.
    -Finish my Harry Potter fanfiction, because I am a terrible person and have left it sitting unfinished for almost five months.
    -Make adequate progress in all six of the stories I am writing. I'm keeping this goal very open, because I don't want to put too much stress. I am writing SIX stories...

    I wanted to make this list, so I can actually have something to do this summer, other than sit on Facebook or watch movies.
    Plus, I miss reading and writing. I am becoming too lazy for my liking, so this will be a good kick in the butt for me!

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    5 reasons why Finn and Rachel are soul mates.

    Yes, this is stupid and childish and ridiculous and fangirly of me.
    But guess what.
    This is my blog and I can do what I want!

    1) They make beautiful music together. For example: "Faithfully", probably the best duet on Glee. Personally, I think all Finn/Rachel duets are on the list of best duets ever. Oh, and "Borderline/Open Your Heart" is definitely on the list of best mash-ups.
    2) Finn is one of the few guys who can put up with Rachel's diva attitude.
    3) Quinn has treated Finn like crap throughout the series, therefore she should NOT be with him.
    4) Rachel has changed for the better, and I think it's because of Finn. Yea, she's still a diva and can be selfish sometimes, but at least she never lied about being pregnant with Finn's baby.
    5) Finn also pushes himself to be a better person, because of Rachel. He steps up to be a leader, because he doesn't want to disappoint Rachel, and ultimately himself and rest of the Glee club.

    I have always been a Finn/Rachel fan, even when Finn was going through his jerk stage, and when Rachel was being an uber-diva. Basically, it comes down to the simple fact that I think they both are better people when they're in a relationship with one another.

    I will leave on this closing point:
    If Rachel doesn't take Finn...
    He's mine.
    This means you, Jessica. You can have Sam.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    monday afternoon update.

    1) Being home is weird. I haven't decided if it's a good or bad weird yet. It's definitely an adjustment from Calkins Terrace. I miss my dysfunctional family. There will be moments in the day that something will happen and I'll think "Oh! I have to tell Ash and Cynthia about this!" Then I remember that I will have to text or Facebook them... Don't get me wrong, I LOVE not having to worry about homework, tests and grades. But living at home is harder than I remember.

    2) I had the immense pleasure to go to my old theatre company's play on Saturday, and celebrate 35 years of our (now retired) director's accomplishments. What a wonderful night! The play was FANTASTIC, and I was able to talk with my old friends from the company! Plus, it was a really moving night. Throughout the evening I was flooded with memories from my time in theatre. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by people with a common pride and love for the company.

    3) I need a job.

    4) It hit me a few days ago that in approximately 1 year and 3 months from now, I will be in London. Wow....

    5) Pink lemonade doesn't mix very well with gum.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    end of year one.

    Well, I'm no longer a college freshman.
    This year has been one of the fastest years ever. I honestly can't believe that I've lived in Calkins 008 for roughly 9 months. I know my family hates it when I call 008 my home, but it is. I have established a family here, a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless. I have loved living in Calkins more than I ever thought I would. I wouldn't change this year for anything.

    Dear Ashley,
    I am so happy that you made the decision to come to Central. I know that you feel overwhelmed sometimes here, but I really think that you made the right decision. We have both had to grow up this year, but I am fairly certain we have maintained our childish attitude! I could not have asked for better roommates than you, Cynthia, Pam and Anelisa. Calkins 008 will always hold a special place in my heart, and it's because of you!
    Let's be best friends forever, k?
    And seriously, you can visit whenever you want next year. I'm going to need some serious Ashley/Cynthia/Tonya time. :)

    Dear Cynthia,
    When I first heard we were getting a new roommate at the beginning of the year, I was really hesitant. I didn't want some freak or crazy partier living with us.
    And then you moved in, and you weren't at all what I imagined!
    You are one of the craziest, thoughtful, caring, and intelligent friends I have. You are one of the best people to have a deep conversation with at 2 AM, and the best person to make crazy videos with. I am so grateful that you moved in with Ashley and I. Without you as a roommate this year, I would have a lot less memories and one less best friend.
    I will miss you a lot this summer! Whenever I see a cat (KARL!), listen to crazy dance music or watch The Big Bang Theory, I will think of you :)

    Dear Anna,
    Gurl, you crazy.
    Thanks for being there when I was ready to pull my hair out. Thanks for telling me the truth, even when I didn't want to hear it. Thanks for always listening to my insane ramblings about the stupidest things ever. And thanks for that one night when I just needed some encouragement, and you helped me through it.
    Let's make sure we make a lot of time for adventures this summer, okay?

    Dear Meagan,
    Fabiano 208 will be the place to be next year!!
    Safari might have sucked sometimes, but I'm glad I got a really great friend out of it. You are the craziest person I know, but also an awesome friend! Don't go too crazy over the summer, okay? :P

    Dear Corbin,
    You will always be my favorite son. Thank you for giving me a hug when I needed it this year. You are one of the sweetest friends I have, and you better believe that I will be visiting you and that roommate of yours next year!! :)

    Dear Andrew,
    Despite what I have said before, I don't hate you.
    Even if you are a Slytherin... But anyway, thanks for being the loud and obnoxious friend this year. :)
    And I promise not to put hot sauce into your drinks anymore!!

    Dear Katie,
    You basically became our fifth roommate, didn't you? I guess that's okay, since you are living with Cynthia and Ashley next year...
    You are one of the few Honors students I can actually talk to! :P
    You are going to make one of the most kick-ass music teachers ever! Even if you do decide to occasionally drink in class... Thanks for being an awesome friend, Katie! Without you, I wouldn't have "opened my mind to see that maybe Harry Potter isn't as feminist as I thought" or whatever you were trying to prove...

    Dear Marquerite,
    Stupid Central with your crappy Chinese program...
    I will (hopefully) be visiting MSU next year, because of my sister, but the real reason will be to see you!!! I will miss you and your random craziness and stories. Thanks for being a wonderfully awesome friend :)

    Dear Headmaster Scott,
    You are the best RA. Hands down. You have helped make my first year a memorable and fantastic year. Thank you for everything, and if I ever visit North Campus next year, you can bet I will stop by your room to say hello! :)

    Dear Pam,
    I really hope that you enjoyed your first semester at Central! You are such a great roommate. You are sooo intelligent, and I know that you are going to go so far in life!! :)

    Dear Brian,
    You taught me that crazy colored hair is perfectly normal. So is playing WoW all day long! :P And don't worry, I'm sure we will make trips up to North Campus next year! As long as you promise to come on down to visit us!

    Dear Kosta,
    Your passion for music is truly inspiring. I think it's awesome that you are going after your dreams, and I wish you the best of luck! :D

    If I haven't mentioned you in this note, I'm really sorry, but there are simply too many people to write to! I truly LOVE Central, and I know that I made the best decision when I came here.
    I can't wait to see you all again in August! ((Hopefully I will see you before then too!! :D))