One of those

It was one of those days. You know, long stressful, tiring, and just overall hectic. It wasn’t necessarily a bad day; it was just a day where all I wanted was to come home.

I want to be first to admit that I’m selfless and at times down right understanding of life’s many obstacles, but the truth is sometimes I beat myself up way too much– dramatically speaking. When I allow day likes these to get the best of me, negative energy is also transmitted onto those I care the most about. It’s easy to ignore rude comments or standoffish attitudes, but in reality those things hurt.

As I sit here and examine my poor choices in life, I think back to my time in Mexico and that wonderful Mission Trip I was a part of and instantly want to go back in time. But, I can’t. I also think of the relaxing walks I’d take with Micah and immediately I want it to be that day again.

Yes, today wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Tomorrow may not be better. On Friday things might start to look up just in time for a slow down on Saturday. In times like these, when I’m having one of those days, I look back at the memories. Because sometimes it’s okay to enjoy the good times after all they did exist. All the while those moments give me hope.

I hope you’re enjoying your Wednesday, and if you aren’t, remember it’s just one of those days. Enjoy these photos. As always.

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Mission Trip: VBS

My most favorite aspect of this mission trip was being able to interact with the children of Tizimin during Vacation Bible School.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0283.JPGThis wonderful lady, who has literally been sent by God, for these children heads up the school/church responsible for their formation. Her name is Magdalena Saldana. She has the spirit of a lion. The will of an eagle. The grace of a peacock. The love of a mother. During her time with DCI, she has lead more than 100 children into her facility to present the gospel of the Lord. The children who attended VBS instantly gave her the respect and love that she deserved. She touched my heart. As an educator, I praise people who devote their lives to the children. For her, what better way than through the teachings of Jesus Christ.

DSC_0394DSC_0451For four days we interacted with more than 90 children from all walks of life. Micah and I were in charge of registering these kids before they entered camp. We were the first people they saw. Some of them were confident, shook our hands, told us their names, and walked on in ready for the day to begin. Others seemed lost, confused, and scared. Some children where homeless. Some children didn’t have parents.

It was a tug at my heart, when Magdalena ask a little boy why he had been absent for so long. He responded, “our house has been ceased and right now we are kind of living where ever we can.” (Deep sigh) It was difficult to hear these types of things. It was difficult to see some of them walking barefoot. To see some skinny. To see runny noses.

But then my heart would rejoice when I would hear a giggle. When I would see a smile.

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-6
Many times I have heard it said that one must be childlike to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I didn’t quite understood what that meant, but seeing the children of Tizimin worshiping Jesus, singing, dancing, being carefree in His name made me think that it really didn’t matter what I wore, where I lived, what my life circumstances were. If I worshiped Jesus without a care in the world, like these children, I literally had nothing to fear. And that’s what these kids where, fearless. Interested. Eager. Willing. They wanted to learn. They wanted to know more about the man who died to save them.
After registration, the kids danced and singed. Then came studying. Our group taught lessons on Esther, the king’s armor, love, and understanding. Micah and I would sit in the back and observe them. It’s like they were hungry for love.
1On the second to last day, one of the group leaders ask Micah and I to lead the last lesson. I instantly agreed without even consulting Micah. Fear suddenly paralyzed me. And my good friend insecurity had a lot to say. But Micah, my love, instantly reminded me of how capable I was and with his help we presented the 10 Commandments to the children. Micah presented the ice breaker with a game of “Micah dice” (Simon says, or Micah says). Then I transitioned with “how do we know what God says?” “How do we know what to do?”
There I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me, helping me, giving me the confidence and the will that I needed to the point where 100% of the children were engaged. High five Ms. Rojas and thanks for the help Mr. Womacks.
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The rest of the time with the kids was spent on various activities, like arts and crafts, painting, coloring, praying, playing with sports equipment. Micah’s interaction with the children touched my heart as well. Many of the boys loved him. He was so good with the children. Maybe they saw what I see everyday in him–his good and noble heart. This boy, Brian, was our favorite. He often times wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye, hugging me and high- fiving Micah.
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The boys would literally gravitate towards Micah, I felt so proud of him.
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I felt a deep connection to this little girl, because Micah pointed out she looked like me. I agree. Ever since then, we gravitated towards each other.
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Micah and this little guy kept secrets and it was adorable.
VBS was inspiring to say the least. I felt like I went in thinking I was going to set an example, be uplifting, to teach, and to give, but in reality these children taught me to strive to be better. To self grow. To self love. To love without measure beyond the circumstances. Now my goal in life is to have a heart like these little ones.
Tomorrow, I’m going to share with you all about the eye exams we participated in.
Until then and as always.

Always and Again: Two Way

I’ve spent the majority of the day browsing through my blog. It really came to my surprise how much I’ve changed. Not in a major way. Not in the way that I feel I’m a different person entirely. But in the way this blog has evolved. It’s been such a learning experience getting to see how much my style has changed. This blog has continued to be a place where I can express who I am through my clothes. Some of my posts have been so ridiculous and I’ve worn some questionable items, but it’s nothing I regret. A major thing that I’ve notice is that I feel more confident, secure, and even adventurous in how I dress and express myself. Even how I pose has improved. There are still so many things I want to do with this blog and I’m really excited to see where it goes and what I learn. I love to write. I love photography. I love clothes. So for now, I’ll enjoy everything this blog to offer me. An escape.

Now as I was looking around, I came to discover some pieces that I’ve worn on here multiple times and I thought I’d share how I repeat them. It’s been awhile since I’ve done this series. The main thing with my clothes is that I only buy items I know I’m going to wear more than three times. Check out these two items and how I’ve styled them. Which is your favorite?

4 Long Plaid

My long plaid shirt from Forever 21. I wore it in the winter time underneath my favorite leather jacket for a cool girl vibe. That’s how I ultimately feel about this shirt. Cool. Just recently I showed it off a bit more by wearing nothing but it around town. Again, I felt cool.

5 Green Jumpsuit

This is my favorite jumpsuit because the color is so neat. The first time I wore this green jumpsuit from Forever 21 was in the fall. I paired it with booties and my fuzzy jacket. Lately I layered it with a white t-shirt and sandals for an every-day-look. It’s just everything. I can’t wait to wear this thing again.

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I’ve got a weekend packed of cleaning and organizing before Micah and I head out to Mexico for our mission trip. We are both really excited about it. I can’t wait to share with you all how I’m packing. Stay tune. Have a good week. I’ll see you all on Monday again. As always.

Friday stroll

Yesterday it literally rained cats and dogs. We’ve been pretty blessed this year with the amount of rain Kansas has received. So there’s nothing to complain about.

My day was spent shopping at Target and TJMAXX. I’m excited to show you all some of the things I’ve picked up. I’m also going to try to be more creative with IG and possibly post a haul on my findings.

In the meantime I’m excited to blog about this top I picked up from Loft. I’ve been shopping there lately because I’m absolutely in love with their petite section. It’s amazing and figure forming. I mainly shop here for my teacher wardrobe, but I enjoy a top that is perfect for a Friday afternoon stroll.

Micah and I are heading to his buddy’s wedding up state. It’s gonna be a great weekend road trip con mi vida. Wishing you the best. See you Monday. As always.

Summer training

I used to pride myself on my body and work ethic on maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Since I’ve grown older and the more responsibilities I’ve had to tackle on, I’ve realized that I’ve majorly neglected my body. This school year was a little rough for me because I found myself with a lot on my plate. It’s nice to keep active work wise, but once May hit me I realized that I had entered a mild state of depression.

Self-doubt and even self-worth slowly started to climb into my head. I tried my hardest to ignore this vague feeling by mounting another task or by simply taking a nap. I would look at myself in the mirror after a long day and I would just feel self-conscience about who was looking back at me. Needless to say I was depressed. Great! I didn’t have time to be depressed. What I didn’t realize was that me not giving myself a chance to fully acknowledge the fact of what I was feeling, was just making things worse.

As the school year came to a close I was determined to go back to my daily routine of at least running a couple of miles of running and so came today as the first day of “Aley getting her life on track because she cares about herself.” It felt nice to run a total of .5 miles. It felt nice to squat a total of 5 times. It felt good do a total of 20 Russian Twists. Yay!

And… with sweat coming down my face, I smiled to myself, and that ladies and gents felt good!

I know sometimes we get caught up with work and our daily lives consume us, that we forget what truly makes us who we are. I encourage you to take the time to breath, to enjoy yourself, to get back in the gym, get back to tending that garden, to reading that book, to those bubble bathes, to laughing, to pausing, gosh darn it you deserve it. Don’t ignore signs of fatigue, loneliness, guilt, worthlessness.

Listen to yourself. Please yourself. That’s the only person that truly matters.

I’m here for you, as always,

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  • Sports bra= Adidas
  • Leggings= Bally Brand found at Kohl’s
  • Running shoes= Nike
  • Jacket =Adidas

Life itself

It seems so selfish to go about my life as if I’m the only one who worries, is stressed out, is busy, or is conflicted. I feel as if every time I blog I have to boast about how busy I am or how complicated my life has been because of this or that.

Today upon opening my e-mails, our administrator informed the school about a recent death. He was a student. He was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend.

Suddenly everything that I’ve been dealing with lately seemed so small.

We were asked to talk to the students about anxiety, stress, and depression.

So here’s my chance to be uplifting, inspirational, caring, kind. And…. I blew it. I read talking points. The students just stared at me like deer caught in taillights.

The truth is, it’s hard to talk about suicide. It’s hard to know what the right thing to say is during a time of confusion. Pain like this is tough. I feel for my students because they are young and life is giving them difficult challenges. Some of them are having to grow up too fast. Some of them are oblivious to hardships. Some of them are independent. Some of them don’t feel they have a voice. What’s harder is that as a teacher, an adult, a mentor, I can’t always relate to them. This is where I’m conflicted because I’m at a loss as to what to say, how far can I invade their personal bubble, how long do I stay present?

It seems that during a death like this there are a million and one questions everyone asks, like why, just for starters. And me? I don’t have all the answers to the way the universe moves.

I sat back down after my award-winning speech on “I’ll be there for you,” and contemplated my struggles, my fears, my moment of depression. For one second, I realized that when depression kept turning off the lights in my life, I wanted to drown myself in sorrow. I wanted so desperately to feel. When that intoxicating desire to feel something took over I was a goner. Next thing I knew I was in the shower shaving my legs and the razor “accidentally” cut my ankle. I didn’t flinch. Instead, I watched as a tiny river of red ran down my leg and into the drain. After that I was addicted to that feeling. Why? Because I could feel something. I wasn’t numb anymore.

So it was back to the shower, time and time again. I never cut too deep, just enough to feel. I was playing with my life. It wasn’t until one evening my mom came home from work and hugged me. She said, let’s go get ice cream. Beyond my endless eye rolls, we went. We had a conversation about nothing. She talked while she savored her chocolate ice cream cone about how growing up she always wanted to explore the African jungle. I asked her why? And she said just because it’s something I know I’ll never get to see. I was puzzled. Why on Earth did my mother have a dream that wasn’t worth achieving. Intrigued, I asked her to explain?

She went on to say that sometimes we have a dream so big and unreachable that it gives us hope. It makes us get up every morning and work hard. It makes us cling to ourselves and to make peace with knowing that God’s will is what we should want.

God’s will. God? Oh yea? (smirk) Then the light switch got turned back on.

I suppose the point of all of this is that sometimes we feel like nothing will matter, like nothing makes sense, like nothing we do can help save a life. Who knew a hug, ice cream, and a unreachable dream would save my life. Give it meaning.

Maybe I should have talked to my students about my struggles to find hope. On the other hand maybe the talking points were enough. Everyone is different. Everyone loves, thinks, acts, feels, and moves differently. That makes us who we are. For me during a time of struggle, like this one, it’s not to necessarily try to understand, but to be there. To help by lending a listening ear. To be present. To be a smile. To be in this life.

On Sunday during church sermon it was said that we always hear the famous words of Mother Teresa, “God wouldn’t give you anything you can’t handle,” and it’s true in a sense. But in reality we should consider God not giving us anything He can’t handle. So we should give Him our troubles. He’s ready. He’s able. He’s for us. Give it to him. Or give it to me and I’ll pass it on to Him.

As always,

With blue

This is yet another old outfit from some file photos that appeared they were lost. I’m glad I’m now finding them because it makes me feel productive when it comes to blogging. We both know I haven’t been very good at keeping everyone updated. I’m trying. Just give me a break.

These photos take me back to the day I purchased this top from JCPenney. I usually buy items like these because they can work in so many settings from work to date nights. It’s timeless pieces like these that really make me fall in love with clothing each and every day. Another reason why I enjoy this top so much is because of the vibrant blue and how well it flows even during windy days. The moment I wore it to school, my students gave me so many compliments. When that happens, I repeat the top, so that’s why I wore it around town.

It’s a gloomy day, but that’s not keeping me from getting things accomplished. As always.

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12 reasons

Micah came to hug me before school today. In hand he held beautiful lavender tulips. All to my liking. Like most days, when I see him, my heart flutters. But this morning was different as we’ve hit a milestone. One Year. Twelve Months. It’s been such an amazing journey with him. We both agree that it hasn’t always been easy and sometimes we’ve questioned if we like each other. But, through it all our love remains constant, caring, forgiving, and everlasting.

Today, we share what we’ve learned from each other during these 12 months.

12 Things I’ve learned about love and Aley:

Things I’ve learned about love…

  1. Love means putting someone else first, but still being yourself. You do not need to try to be the person you think they want. If they love you they want you as is.
  2. Love can be something as simple as watching soccer on TV instead of hoops.
  3. Love is knowing that you still want them to be yours even when you are fighting or upset.
  4. Love makes you see people differently. When you like someone you look for what is wrong with them, when you love someone you look for what is right with them.
  5. Love can be silly.
  6. Love is holding someone accountable to the person they should be.

Things I’ve learned about Aley…

  1. Aley is beautiful. Even though she does this blog she doesn’t believe it all the time. When I first met her I knew she was pretty. Now that I know her I understand her beauty.
  2. She says yes too much. She feels bad telling people no. I’m guessing that’s the only reason she went out with me.
  3. Sometimes she’s crazy.
  4. She cares so much about family. Not just her parents and brothers, but extended family as well.
  5. Watching her swim is comical. She treads water as well as a brick.
  6. She is everything I want.

12 Things I’ve learned about love and Micah:

Things I’ve learned about love…

  1. Love is the cure of all fears, doubts, and insecurities. Letting someone into your heart is scary, but the right person will know exactly how to be your safe haven.
  2. Loving someone’s flaws draws you closer to them. We are all flawed.
  3. Love tells you it’s okay to be crazy
  4. Love is universal it knows not of age, culture, or language
  5. Love is accepting
  6. Love is complicated yet so simple. Sometimes following your heart leads you to find a passion filled so much reward and promise.

Things I’ve learned about Micah…

  1. Micah’s devotion to Jesus is admirable.
  2. Micah is passionate. He will always give you a 100%.
  3. Whether he admits it or not, he owns way to many shoes, even more than I do.
  4. Micah likes to eat, even when it’s my no good cooking.
  5. When I first met Micah, I didn’t think he was human. He’s handsome beyond measure and he’s organized. That intimidated me. Now that he’s let loose, I appreciate his perfect imperfections.
  6. He’s everything I need and more.

San Francisco Part 3

The last time I posted I showcased an outfit I wore to a very unique place.

Today, I’d like to share what my post “through the garden” was all about.

The Japanese Tea Garden.

Now, I know a thing or two about culture. There is beauty in tradition, customs, and belief’s. I’m proud of where I’m from. Yet, I always marvel at other cultures. I know it might not seem like too much to awe about and maybe I’m being a little ignorant, but my visit to the Japanese Tea Garden filled me with wonder. By wonder I mean, admiration at the Japanese culture, their surroundings, and their history. It’s rich. It’s vibrant. It’s fascinating.

The garden was filled with beautiful trees and landscapes, stone lanterns, and structures that literally made me feel as if I was in another world. There was a certain peace and tranquility to this area. This took me to meditate on life.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately… pondering. I’m just lucky I was able to see this garden and even more so that I have these images to help remind me of where I’ve been.

As always.

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In the forest

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Today’s post brings us back to the Muir Redwood Park in San Francisco. Yesterday I mentioned how much I enjoyed visiting this area because I marveled at the beauty of nature.

Today I want to talk about what I wore during the nature walk. I didn’t know this, but San Francisco is notorious for unexpected weather. Go figure, just like Kansas. The weather cooperated the majority of the time I was visiting San Fran. Some days were warm, others cool, other days moist. I didn’t know what it would be like. Much to my surprise leggings were my go too item.

During the nature walk I wore these leggings, which are my favorite because they are thick enough to be warm, but also comfortable enough. In addition, I wore my utilitarian jacket almost everywhere, especially to the park because where the sun didn’t hit–I shivered. One of my favorite brands in active wear is Under Armour, which is where my top is from.

Lastly, I rocked my Royals baseball cap, mainly because I missed home and partly because I wanted to sport a little piece of back home.

This outfit made for walking the park easy, comfortable, and flexible, which is what I needed in order to enjoy every inch of these giants.

Sorry I’m posting so late, as always.

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