Oregon, Day 7: The Game

Hey guys!

Sorry I’m posting this so late. . .

Today has just been amazing! It has really been a DREAM!!!

We went to church as usual, which means that we left the house at 9:45a.m. and didn’t get home until 6:15p.m.

Yep. That’s church for us. . . AND I LOVE IT!

Anyway, after church we invited over some friends.

The guy who went to New Zealand. His brother-in-law. His roommate. And, our worship leader.

(Just a side note. The roommate, William, said something that I hadn’t thought of in YEARS! He called me Gracie by accident, which is understandable. And, then he called me Gracie Lou. I remembered tonight that everyone back home in Texas called me “Gracie Lou.” My teachers called me that, so did my friends, and even my family did. I had forgotten that. It brought a smile to my face. 😊)

So, they came over and we played The Game.

The Game is also known as Marbles and Jokers, but with slightly different rules.

If you don’t know either game. . . Well, they are like Sorry, but if Sorry was on steroids.

So. . .

I’m not going to explain the game because it’s WAYYYY too complicated to even try to explain over a blog post, but I wanted to mention it anyway.

I love this game SO MUCH because it brings strangers together. Take tonight for example.

The guy who went to New Zealand is a complete stranger to me, as is his roommate. I know next to nothing about either one of them. I haven’t spoken two words to either one, and tonight I got to watch them and laugh with them and play with them.

They are actually really cool people, quirks and all! 😊😏

I love nights like these! I love being able to just enjoy the life I’ve been given and the people I’ve met. . .

They make life worth all the trials. They’re family, whether they’re blood or not.

I know that I could put my life in their hands and be completely safe.

I may miss Texas because of the friends that live there, but I could NEVER call it home, because home is now the beautiful place called Oregon!

I’m SOOOO grateful my parents moved our family here, even if it meant sacrificing idols in our lives. This is where I was meant to be. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 6: Glow and Snow

Hi y’all!

Last night we made glow in the dark BODIES!

I was so tired by that point so they didn’t make it in my last post, but I wanted to show y’all anyway!

Here’s a few of us. . .

Yeah. We had fun!

And, we even played a live game Among Us!!!

Glory was the Imposter and literally killed us all except for Bella!

Anyway, that was last night.

Today, we went to the snow park again!!!

As you can see, we had an ABSOLUTELY amazing time!

I’m going to be so sad when they leave next week. πŸ˜₯😫

These kids are my besties for life. . .

I just realized that this blog is legit like my diary! 🀣😏

Guys, cherish the ones that you love and the ones that love you. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 5: TURKEY day

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

I hope your day has been AMAZING!

Because of our faith, we don’t celebrate holidays since most of them have pagan roots.

But. . .

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays we do celebrate!!!

I just LOVE food!

It’s kind of what I live for. πŸ˜‚

And, to all the guys out there, some women (like me) don’t want gifts. If you just give them food, they’ll be fine

I’d be content with only a milkshake. 🀣

Anyway, I want to mention a few things I’m grateful for. . .

I’m thankful for. . .

My family.

Friends.

Color.

Life.

Joy.

Creativity.

New beginnings.

Remember to count your blessings because you may not have them one day! Be grateful for what God has given you!

I hope y’all have a WONDERFUL day!!!

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 4: Scamalot

Guys, y’all should know what happened to me today after looking at the title of my post. . .

Today has been FRUSTRATING to say the least!

So. . . Basically, my earbuds shorted again for like the THOUSANDTH time!

And, I decided that I was going to upgrade my $10 Apple earbuds and get Beat headphones, so that I wouldn’t have to keep replacing my earbuds. . .

So, I got on my computer and searched “Beats wireless solo 3,” which is the model of headphones Alyssa has.

And, if you search that, the first website that pops up is. . .

Then you are taken to this site. . .

GUYS!!! This is a SCAM!

All of these website links are LINKED to the SAME website:

www.beatsdre.website/

www.waacup.com/beats_headset/shop_now

www.we.space/

Beats by Dr. Dre IS A SCAM!!!

(If you buy them online and not from Best Buy.)

I bought a set of silver Beats solo 3 headphones. And, then I got a confirmation email from pay pal. . . But, I don’t have pay pal so it wanted me to confirm my account.

This made me start digging into what I had just done.

I noticed the email I got DID NOT have an order number on it. . .πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

I got even more suspicious that I had been duped when I couldn’t find the number.

So, I went to the support system and got on three different chats trying to figure out if I could just cancel my order.

I was redirected to Apple’s support chats, NOT DR. DRE’S website support chats.

THERE’S A DIFFERENCE!!!

One woman searched my order in her system FOUR different ways before telling me to try calling directly from a chat on the Beats by Dre website.

I did, and the guy was from Apple, which is NOT where I purchased the headphones from.

He was super nice and after seven minutes of explaining the situation to him, he told me I had been scammed. . .πŸ˜–πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜₯πŸ˜«πŸ˜’

I was so frustrated that people try to scam innocent people out of their money!

UGHHH.

I went around and around for 2 hours trying to fix the mess I got myself into!!!

Anyway, I contacted my bank and after the holidays are over, the bank will help me get my money back; until then, they froze my card.

And, now I’ll have to get another one. . .

And while all this is happening, I’m having a mental breakdown because I’ve never delt with a scam so severe first hand. . .

But, as I was crying tears of pain and frustration, everyone else, all 10 of them, were in the living room waiting for me to come play a game with them! 😣

I was embarrassed, but the game we played was fun! My team won 9 out of the 11 rounds we played!

Anyway, please, PLEASE don’t fall into this trap that I fell into! Let your friends and family know that it may seem like an innocent website but it’s NOT!

Stay safe tomorrow! 😘

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 3: Waterfall Adventure

Today, we went to Tumalo Falls!!!

The walk there was soooo BEAUTIFUL, but soooo LONG.

(7 MILES IN TOTAL!)

My dad accidentally led our friends’ parents to believe that this was a 25 minute walk. . .

We were gone for 3 HOURS!

And, poor ZACH!!!

He only got about a hundred yards in the wheelchair before we realized it was going to be too hard to push him through the snow. πŸ˜₯

But, Zach was being a good sport about everything. 😁

So, he and my mom stayed behind in the car and waited for us to get back. . .

I felt SOOOO bad because I wanted him to get to experience all the beauty too!

. . . But, I helped redeem the day by begging our parents to take us to Chick-fil-A for milkshakes!

Here’s the boys’ reaction when they found out we were going to get the shakes. . .

They are such a mess! But I love them for their quirks! 🀣

We got our shakes before heading home to make some dinner and chill out.

Everybody is TIRED, and I’m sure we’re going to be sore in the morning. 😊😏😫

It was a good day. . .

I feel like God in Genesis 1 when it says, “And he created day and night, and it was good.” 😊

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll get some rest. 😁😍

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 2: SponTUNEous

Hi y’all!

So, today we just chilled for the most part. . . But, we played this game called SponTUNEous!

So, it’s kind of like a verbal form of charades.

You start off by naming a word. Let’s use “eye” for an example.

So, I would say “eye” and everyone else had 15 seconds to sing 5 words of a song that include the word “eye.”

And when there’s a tie, you battle out with insanely crazy words like “Polaroid” or “often.”

The first person to sing 5 words wins the ability to roll the dice!

They then roll two dice and advance that number of spaces on the board. But, there are spaces where you’ll draw a card with crazy challenges on them.

Sounds simple enough, right? πŸ™„

Well, if you happen to get the word “often,” can you name a song off the top of your head with “often” in it???

Yeah, neither did we.

But, if you think back carefully, you’ll remember that Arabian Nights from Aladdin has a lyric with “often” in it.

Remember. . .

“Arabian nights, like Arabian days. . . More often than not are hotter than hot in a lot of good ways. . .”

It was so much fun. . . Except for the fact that I don’t actually listen to music, so it was REALLY difficult for me.

I was ALWAYS in last place. 😊

I just listen to Disney songs and Christian music, so I couldn’t name ANY songs with the words that my parents and friends were using.

And, on top of that, I can’t sing, and they all CAN, so they kept expecting me to sing the lyrics when I would chime in.

The thing is, the game is actually marketed as a “no talent required” game, so I technically didn’t have to sing the lyrics but I felt bad just because they can sing great and I can’t.

Anyway, I shouldn’t let it bother me. And, I typically won’t let it bother me, but when they bring up the fact that I don’t or won’t sing the lyrics, it kind of crushes a piece of my heart inside.

But, it’s okay! I know it’s not my talent and that’s okay!!! πŸ˜€

It was a good day today. . .😁

I’m going to be sad when they have to leave, but it’s okay!

Because we’ll see them in a month and a half after they leave!!!

They are the reason we’re going to Texas in January. . . At least part of the reason. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

I cant wait for tomorrow’s events!

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 1: Snow Park

So, today was the first day I got to spend with my family that flew here all the way from Texas just to visit us!!!

We had a BLAST!

We had a snowball fight, went sledding, took a slight tour of the forest, and visited with friends while eating good food!

It’s hard, though, because my best friend doesn’t want to share me with his brothers and sister.

And, I want to spend time with ALL of them.

And, poor Zach can’t do much with his knee, so I want to make sure that I spend time with him too, so he’s not alone. . .

It’s complicated.

But, what’s even more complicated is that Zach is my childhood crush ever since we were in kindergarten.

What’s even MORE complicated is that I started to like his younger brother, who is my best friend, but after I revealed something I shouldn’t have, he kind of let me go and I let him go.

And, Zach. . .

He’s just amazing. I haven’t really gotten to talk to him in the past 4 years, but so far we’ve talked a lot since they arrived yesterday. . .

And, he’s a great guy, a little immature, but still a great kid. 😊

Anyway, we had fun today at the snow park and chilling by our fire pit!

I’ll update y’all on tomorrow’s events!

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

BEST GIFT EVER!

So, I know I’ve written a LOT in the past 24 hours, but I need to make another post before I go to bed tonight/this morning. . .

Our parents had been acting suspicious all week, but I just assumed that our grandparents were coming to visit us because that is what they led us to believe.

How I was wrong!!!

So, my sisters tried to figure out the big secret because they weren’t convinced that our grandparents were coming to visit us.

I knew someone was coming, but I didn’t know who. And, because I had been going along with my parents’ every wish for the past 2 weeks, my parents just assumed that I knew who was coming. . .

But, I didn’t.

And, I knew that if I didn’t look into what my parents were trying to keep from me, I would have a much more enjoyable experience when it came time for the surprise to be revealed.

One thing led to another until my dad was leaving the house because the alarms at his work were going off, which led to us girls watching The Notebook with our mom which led to my dad coming home with our guests. . .

And, I cried. 😁

Because they happened to be my best friends from Texas!!!

I had NO idea. . .

(By the way, this is the same family that Zach belongs to! You know, the friend that literally just had KNEE SURGERY!!!)

. . .We’re not related to each other at all, but we refer to each other’s parents as “uncle” and “aunt.” We’re THAT close.

They are family to me, and they always will be. 😊

IT WAS THE BEST SURPRISE EVER!

And that folks is why you NEVER try to look into your parents’ suspicious behavior because it could end up being the best gift you will ever be given!!!

Thank you Mom and Dad! I know you made this possible and I am ETERNALLY grateful!!!

I’ll post pictures as we have adventures for the next 10 days!

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Good Grief!!!

Oh, no!

What have I done?!

So. . .

I don’t know what I did or how it happened, but. . .

So, hypothetically, if some guy liked you, but you don’t like him like THAT, what would you do???

Because, I showed up to church today and this kid kept hugging me!

And, he has NEVER done that before, like NEVER.

He came to the same Bible study as me this Thursday and kept sitting beside me, saying, “You looked sad so I thought I’d keep you company.” That’s when I first noticed his behavior.

Again, after all the hugs today, he sat beside me when we were chatting in a group with some adults.

GUYS!!! This is a twelve-year-old!

I’m SEVENTEEN!

And, I could see myself dating someone who is 22 or 23 (a five year difference).

But, it’s different and weird if a 12 year-old likes me.

And, the thing is, he’s a sweet kid, so I don’t want to hurt him. . .

We have the same problem with this girl at my church, but she targets older men, like WAY older. And, I know this kid is only five years younger and not twenty years younger than me, but it’s still inappropriate for him to be doing that to me (hugging me over and over, I mean) with our age difference.

I can understand the girls at my church hugging me and even the younger kids, boy or girl, but I can’t allow him to keep doing this. . .

It’s not fair to him or to me.

But, I don’t know what to do, because this kid used to be serious, and now he’s loosened up and has become this free spirited boy. . .

I don’t want to hurt him and forever scar him because I rejected him . .

And, I’ll admit that I intentionally reached out to him several months ago because I just wanted him to feel like he had someone he could vent to, someone to come to since he’s from a broken family.

So. . . I’ll quit texting him. But, I only really do that on Wednesday nights to see if his mom remembered we had youth. We don’t text other than that.

And, about the hugs. . . I guess I won’t hug him back until he gets a hint or until it becomes a problem.

I honest to goodness didn’t expect THIS to happen!

I love the kids at my church; they’re like younger siblings to me and I would never intentionally try to hurt one of them. That’s why this is such a delicate matter. . .

Any suggestions???

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

My Purge. . .

Hey guys!

I know I’ve been radio silent for the past two days; y’all know that isn’t usual for me. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜

But there was a reason for my pause in posts. . .

You see, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to fast from not only food, but also from technology for two days.

So, on Wednesday night at 5:30, I started my fast.

No laptop.

No phone.

No food.

There were only three exceptions to my 48 hours of cleansing.

  1. I needed my phone to use as an alarm in the mornings because I’m a heavy sleeper.
  2. I needed to use my laptop to turn in school assignments that were due.
  3. And, at the 24 hour mark, I could drink a half cup of a smoothie of some kind.

I have fasted MANY times before in my life, whether it was to lose weight, to follow a Biblical command, or to intercede for a special person.

Needless to say, I wasn’t too worried about the food part of my fast, but I thought it would be easier to give up my tech than to give up my food.

Oh, how I was wrong! πŸ˜†

My technology fast. . .

GEESH! I didn’t think it would be hard because I’m not attached to my phone like my little sister is.

You can ask my family; I NEVER have my phone on me.

However, all throughout the fast, I would want to do little things that I wouldn’t necessarily consider apart of technology, such as depositing a check through my bank’s app, or editing my novel on a program only installed on my laptop.

It kept killing me how I couldn’t perform insignificant tasks such as listening to music or checking my email or playing a video game with my sister.

It was rough, but not impossible.

To make it so that I couldn’t “cheat” during the fast, I also forbade myself from sleeping throughout the day so that I couldn’t sleep through the fast. I wanted myself to actually experience the full effect of ditching technology and food for 48 hours. . .

I think it was worth it because I was able to understand where I stand in life.

At that moment, I would rather give up food than technology, and that shouldn’t be the case. This “challenge,” this test told me that I need to change my priorities in life.

And, it wasn’t that I was trying to binge watch a TV series or anything extreme; I just constantly wanted to get on the internet to get answers or write stories or stalk people on Facebook. πŸ˜‚ Those all require using technology believe it or not.

And, I was addicted to tech; not to the point of trying to cheat during my fast, but I definitely had my moments where I would think about just looking up something real quick.

It’s tests like these that prove what kind of people we are, and what we truly value in life. And for me, that was tech over food.

I don’t think I ever fully realized that until yesterday. πŸ˜₯

Speaking of yesterday. . .

(I’m turning this post in a different direction now. 😊)

Yesterday marked a momentous occasion for me.

It’s not something big, but it is significant enough in my life that it’s worth celebrating with a Dutch Bros. chocolate milk shake. 😁😏

Yesterday, I reached the target weight I had hoped to be at this month.

So, within the last six monthsβ€”since my mom was diagnosed with cancerβ€”I have lost 20 pounds!

I know that may not sound like a lot, but according to research you’re supposed to lose weight at an average pace of 1-2 pounds per week. I lost 8 pounds in five months, and in the past month I lost the other 12 pounds. . .

(I don’t want this post to sound like I’m body shaming myself or over weight people, but I need to write this post as if to have closure about all the anxiety I’ve had in the past about being over weight.)

And, honestly, no one in my family can tell that I’ve lost weight because they’re so used to how I look now, but here’s a comparison for y’all who didn’t know me in June:

Me @ 165 lbs. . .

I HATED taking pictures because of the way I looked!

Me @ 145 lbs. . .

(The first picture is from today!)

It may just be me, but I look like a COMPLETELY different person!

I know I’m supposed to love myself for who I am, but I also know that I should take care of the body God gave me. . .

(I also know there are filters on so that you can see reindeer antlers, but just look at the shape of my face and smile, or even the bags under my eyes!)

Just by looking at my face, you can tell that I’ve lost weight, and I plan on continuing to maintain my healthier lifestyle from now on; I don’t EVER want to gain weight from neglecting my body.

Again, this post isn’t meant to body shame myself or anyone else! It’s meant to encourage others, because if I can put the effort into myself to lose weightβ€”trust meβ€”anyone can!!!

I am not a person who openly admits that I need help or I’m over weight or I eat too much or I eat unhealthy! I keep my insecurities to myself 😣☹ But, I’m learning how to not only deal with my insecurities, but also how to conquer them!!! πŸ€—

I hope my “purge” results help inspire you to figure out what is important to you in life! And, I hope my diet/exercise results help inspire y’all to shoot for the stars!

Never let doubt keep you from doing the impossible!

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

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