2/18/2017

nostalgia

nostalgia // noun // a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.



I love nostalgia. It's weird and beautiful and melancholy and perceptive and heart-warming. It's wistful and sentimental. It's happy and sad. I love that you can't have nostalgia for bad memories - and I love that nostalgia isn't really about memories, it's more about past aspects - like a particular smell, or a smile, or a book, or a room. I love that nostalgia can dawn suddenly, unexpectedly, and make you think, pause; remember, reminisce about the good days past. I love that it reminds us that life has been good and that life is good - because one day we'll be filled with nostalgia for now.

I love nostalgia. It's a nice word too; it sounds nice and it has a twist to it - it's a clever word. It's a word that every individual interprets differently - a word so personal and intimate that no-one can describe quite what nostalgia feels for themselves.



Cows in pastures makes me nostalgic; mainly because we used to live across the road to fields with cows (also chickens; although not in the same field) and I walked there plenty of times. Also, every year we'd go to this farm in Switzerland and yep, you guessed it, cows with bells around their necks - chewing their hearts out on the dewy morning grass - were always part of our stay there.



Newborn babies make me nostalgic. Their crazy small fingers; toenails; ears... their innocence, their pure perfection; their delicate, gorgeous, gorgeous beauty. I love their eyes - looking at things without knowing things, looking at faces and trusting people without knowing a thing. I love their little noses and their kissable feet and wrinkly fingers and ugh goshdarnit they're so terribly adorable. Even if they're ugly and wrinkled, they have tear-drop-worthy gorgeousness about their beings. You get it if you stare at one long enough.

A friend from Church recently had a little boy and I got to hold him (yeahhh for like, five minutes) and his black eyes peering at me from his teensy face just UGH IT'S LIKE MAGIC I TELL YOU.

I guess newborns make me nostalgic because I've so many memories of newborn siblings - going to the hospital and fighting for a turn to hold said new sibling. So many memories of sorting out baby clothes and smelling baby shampoo (best . smell . ever . Can I have an amen?) and feeling those small fingers cling around one of mine. Holding a new sibling always sort of felt like holding part of me... part of my blood; in my young arms - a freakin' human being with a life ahead. Blank pages to fill.



Ladybird books make me nostalgic. (For anyone who doesn't know, Ladybird books aren't books about insects... they're about all sorts of things. They were made in Britain, I believe, to learn kids how to read.) Whenever I was ill, I would take all of them (and we have a lot of ladybird books) and I would read them all in my bed. I loved reading about Peter and Jane and the dolls and the horses and the cookies and the beach and Punch and Judy and just yes I loved it. I personally think the stories are stupid now, but yeah speak about nostalgia.

The Cinderella Ladybird book pictured above makes me so so nostalgic because I have such a vivid memory of discovering it between some boring French grammar books at Grandma and Granddad's house and yes lil' seven-year-old me was like ahhhh this book is the best book ever. I put it back there and every time we revisited, I would go back and reread it. I still kinda want Cinderella's dresses. Obviously mainly the pink one on the cover.



Banana shaped moons make me nostalgic. Now I love full moons; glorious and cunning and smart in the dark sky - but spiky banana moons remind me of when I was little and I would freak out and point at it because IT'S SO EXCITING. LOOK MAMA THERE'S THE MOOOON.



Astrid Lingdren's stories make me nostalgic. I used to be such an Astrid Lingdren fan. I had no idea she was a Swedish author; for me she was the author of 'Madieke en Liesbet' and I thought she lived in Belgium and I felt like she wrote them right to me. 

I luuurved reading about Madieke (I think; Margaret in English? Not sure. I read 'em in Dutch and it doesn't feel right in any other language, haha) and her adventures in her red house with her sister Liesbet. I wanted to throw meatballs from the roof and have an Easter chocolate man and all that. I wanted to be like Lisa in 'The Children of Noisy Village' (the English title sounds so wrong; but I shall use it for my dear readers. Appreciate all I do.) and have an attic room and collect pictures and own a lamb. And have the perfectest life. :-)

Basically, I wanted to live in an Astrid Lingdren book. And the gorgeous, full-colour picture books that I found in the library (see picture above) didn't really help. (Seriously when I found that picture on Pinterest a whole GUST (no, WIND) of nostalgia swept over me.) (#personalfeels)



Seagulls make me nostalgic because I remember being so excited to see them on what-felt-like-the-longest-journey-ever to England. Seeing seagulls meant we were in Calais which meant we were going to board on the ferry, which meant we were going to see the White Cliffs of Dover (ugh yes the White Cliffs of Dover give me such nostalgia... please; don't get me started!), which meant we were going to be in England. I love seagulls. Also the sound of them... nothing screams more beach and coast. It's a beautiful sound.


Library cards make me so nostalgic. The stamps marking the history of the travels of a book, the library ladies stamping new stamps on the card (I always wanted to do it because it sounded like so much fun to do)... I miss the library card days, guys. 

So. Many. Library memories. I'm so glad that libraries hadn't yet 'fully developed' into computer-generated libraries in my childhood. I'm so glad I associate stamps and library cards with books. I'm so glad that when I visit a library now I still expect the crunch of the stamp to interrupt the bookish silence in the air. I'm sad that it doesn't. I don't care about the efficiency of computer-technology-look-it-up libraries; I WISH LIBRARY CARDS WERE STILL A THING.

I miss the tiny library that lived near the local church before it disappeared and joined the big, modern one. Just thinking about that adorable library makes me nostalgic because it was literally the cutest place in the world and I always wanted to go there when Mama went. I would come home with BAGS of books (frequently the same ones over and over) and it was the bomb. (*whisper* I know you have no idea what I'm talking about but please, allow me to have my trip down memory lane.)


Pettson and Findus books make me nostalgic. I got these from frequent library visits (and haven't read one in aaages) and my word, so much nostalgia. They're basically books about this old man and his cat (the cat is the coolest kid ever) and the pictures are just gold - filled with adorable detail; little weird creatures peeping from rugs and corners, little bits and bobs... I poured myself into these books. I want to reread them all so badly right now. (If I have kids, these are on my to-buy-for-their-birthdays list; for sure.)


Tapes make me nostalgic. REMEMBER THESE??? When you could put them in CARS? (Sheesh, I'm only eighteen. I should not be feeling this old.) My favourite childhood tape was one my dad made of my older brother singing Nursery Rhymes and Christmas songs. Oh, and there was one tape of annoying Nursery Rhyme songs that my sister Hannah and my brother Daniel ALWAYS listened to - I was so sick of it I hid it in the garden with my older brother. (Still good memories.)

The Martine/Tiny books give me nostalgia. I'm sorry to - once again - talk about books none of you probably know about, but the Tiny (not a word meaning small; it's a name. Don't laugh. Her name is Tiny. It's from the name Martine.) books basically are my childhood. They're MINE. None of my sisters like them much and I can't see why because I when I look back at my childhood I see Tiny books Tiny books Tiny books

We still have almost all of them - all 50-something. Tiny was this girl with the perfect life and the pictures are perfect and it's so unrealistic and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH... *goes downstairs to reread them all*


Film rolls make me nostalgic. The old camera has now long been buried and been replaced by a sporty grey lil' pocket-sized thing, and I miss the film roll days, readers. I always wanted to have it after the pictures had been developed... I always had a fascination for it, I guess. I mean, how on earth was my face on this brown see-through object?


There you go... some stuff that makes me wistful and sentimental and nostalgic. 

For some reason, so does a frying pan filled with eggs, but I have no idea why. So do the Little House on the Prairie books of course - I didn't dare even mention those because you'd all be like: "UGHH I KNOW SHHH DON'T SAY IT AGAIN." :-P 

Now, if you read all of this, consider yourself my friend. (I realise it might have been boring for some people. That's okay. Nostalgia is different for different people; I told you in the early realms of this post, if you've been paying any attention.) Does any of the things I listed make you nostalgic? If so, consider yourself my friend as well. Tell me about all the personal feels in the comment section; I'm all ears.

2/11/2017

Valentiney Stuff


I'm happily single, but happily appreciative of Valentiney, Romancey Stuff. I, therefore, like many other lovely single ladies, celebrate this month of Romance in my own way... on my own. (No, I didn't suppress a sob while declaring my current state of I-have-no-bae-ness. I have tons of lovely friends and I just read To Kill a Mockingbird and I'm listening to Carrie Underwood so yeah, why would I complain? Really. Keep it together.) (Also, chocolate. There's more when you're single because you don't have to share.) (I realise it's not V-day yet, but I'm an early bug when it comes to cute couples.)

Here are some Valentiney Stuff that give me LOADS AND LOADS OF FEELSIES. Enjoy.


Because Downton Abbey couples always deserve a mention in posts about Romance. Tom + Sybil's epic romance always makes my heart melt and ugh lets not even talk about the disgusting adorableness of Matthew and Mary. (I can't NOT talk about these without italics. They are the epitome of cute.)



This random wedding video made me cry buckets and I don't even know these people. How. I love them and I love how they really, really, really want their marriage to be all about Jesus. Also, they're crazy cute together so that helps.


A buncha random cute pictures I found online. Because it's adorable.



OKAY SO THIS VIDEO. I know, the dude's hair is terrible (okay, fine, it's not my style) but this couple is honestly so so adorable and I now want to have a surprise wedding too. Their passion to have Jesus-centred lives is just heart-warming and I love it when they just cry and laugh and look at each other and then cry and laugh some more. (Yes, I get attached to random people in youtube videos. Welcome to my life.)




Excuse me while I die. TOM AND BARBARA TOM AND BARBARA TOM AND BARBARA. They're seriously so cute that I am at loss for words. (*cue Marilla Cuthbert rolling her eyes at this loss-for-words-fiddlesticks.*) I'm afraid Marilla would roll her eyes a lot at me; especially when I start talking about Emma and Knightley. Just look at these two:



JUST YES. AND YES. I LOVE THEM.



However, of course, the award for the cutest couple ever ever EVER goes to Minnie and Alfie in Lark Rise to Candleford. These two are so freakin adorable together it's literally TIRING to watch. (No, really.)


This is my favourite couple-in-love-song I have ever listened to. (At least, at the moment. These things change.) Carrie Underwood's voice is fire and lightning and roses and candles all rolled into one, and this song is so passionate and calm and soothing and beautiful AHHH I LOVE IT. (Let's listen to it together.)



... if this post doesn't make you appreciate romance, I don't know what will. Happy Valentine's day, folks. If you're single, don't mourn your singleness but yeah, do squeal over cute couples because it makes life a great deal rosier and it's really fun. (Do talk about your favourite cute couples in the comments because I can always do with more sappiness.)

2/09/2017

Crazy huge deal.


Here's something exciting I've been chewing on lately.

God could have easily made a big house, right? Like the stars; with gold and diamonds and white light shining beams from it. He could easily make it huge and visible and have a huge sign on it: "I live here", in letters that shine in the night and shout it out in the day. He could have easily made a high house in the sky, so that parents could point up and tell their kids that "God lives there!" and that we could tell our atheist friend to "just look up; there's His house."

... But he didn't.

You might think that if He did, t'would have made life much simpler for us. A huge proof of God's presence in the sky!

But He did something instead. He looked at you (yes, you; literally anyone on earth) as if you're the only one on earth (this is how God looks at people) and He said, "I want to live in you." He said, Rae, I want to live in you. Emma, I want you to be my house. Lissy, I want to live in you. Hannah, I want you to be my embassy and I'll come and inhabit it. Miss March, I want to live in you. Evie, God says, I want to live in you. Just replace your name with the ones I wrote and think about that for a while.

This is amazing.

This is honestly amazing. Like, it's crazy. It's a crazy huge deal. He could have made a huge big house and He chooses us to be lived in by Him? What a privilege! What an honour! What a love. We don't deserve it and yet He wants to; more than anything. Whenever one of us excepts, He rejoices.

When you hear it this way, it seems ridiculous that we don't want Him living inside us. Still; we're like, 'ugh no thanks,' so freaking often, without fully realising it, maybe. I recently read Forgotten God by Francis Chan and it was all about how we so easily just ignore the Holy Spirit; the God in us. We should not ignore it - it is a huge gift and a beautiful one. Of course, accepting God to live in us, to be a part of our lives, means something. It would have to make a difference or else there'd be no point to it - We have a duty to fulfil. If you want God to live in you; that means you should represent His love, and that is our duty.

I heard this simple message in a talk at Youth Group several weeks ago; and then I read Forgotten God, and then my brother got confirmed and there was a sermon on the Holy Spirit at the service, so I've been thinking about this deal a lot. It makes me so excited. I wake up, feeling challenged. I'm like, "Naomi old girl; today I'm going to try to show people that God is living right inside my body." (Okay, of course, I never feel like I succeed - but I'll keep on trying.)

I challenge you to do that same, dear people of the internet. (Would it sound medieval of me to finish this post with a 'go forthwith'?) ;-)

2/01/2017

Emma Jane

(dark, grainy and blurry picture, but i love it. because this is my favourite person. and now i'll start using capital letters again.)

.............

For some people, she's the girl who played Eponine two years ago; that one that made the whole show seem like it was Broadway quality.
For some people, she's the fun-loving cousin with the Ranger truck. The cousin with the wackiest ideas and the dry sense of humour. (She's dope.)
For some people, she's the one of the three girls of the yellow barn; the one that cleans the rabbit cages and avoids talking to strangers. Because strangers will always be strangers. They're... strange.
For some people, she's the girl with the cowboy boots and the Ford cap who yelled and danced at the Hunter Hayes concert last summer.
For some people, she's the senior ballet-dancer who had her picture in the local newspaper. And who can't handle the ballet-complements.
For some people, she's the country music nut. Carrie Underwood and Josh Turner and the Willis Clan and Sara Evans blazes in her truck till she's sick of it and tells her Belgian friend so she (the friend) can celebrate it.
For some people, she's the novelist; the writer who will definitely one day be famous and who will go to book signings and write widely requested books with more bunnies and cats around her than can be numbered.
For some people, she's the girl who always goes straight to the Christian Fiction section in libraries and bookstores even though she's sick of the genre.
For some people, she's that friend I often talk about; the one I went to visit in June, and the one who's never been on European ground and who must
For some people, she's the (orphaned? :-P) girl that comes to Church with her blonde sister; the girl who sings beautifully and who loves people and Jesus and praising Him.
For some people, she's the girl at writing camp who hated the dead boring poetry lessons but who was the best writer there, period, no buts.
For some people, she lives way to far away and sends cool emails and writes excellent blog posts. They really think she should come and visit loads of blogging friends because that would be fun.
For some people, she's that wickedly talented singer. Just ugh. Don't be so talented, Emma, it's not funny anymore.
For some people, she's the plain awesome sister who makes popcorn on a daily basis, picks westerns at the library, and pens down her nostalgic thoughts into yet another journal. 
For some people, she's the girl at those balls who has starry eyes and hair the colour of hazelnuts. The one that allegedly knows all the lyrics to Hamilton by heart. The one that dressed up as Ann from Roman Holiday for the November ball.

.................

For me, you're my best friend. Emma, you're in loads of people's lives and I'm so so thankful you're in mine. Love you, girl. Happy eighteenth. (Oh yeah, haha, it's your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I got so into writing this post that I forgot about the reason why. Heehee.)

(I mean Haha. *insert winky face cuz duh private-y joke*)

PS, I was going to add; "I'm sure that for some people, you're the girl they secretly want to ask out", but then I decided I'd not because I don't want to start false rumours. You're absolutely welcome, Violet.