S U M M E R '18 Life Update // Leaving for College + Blog Changes

by - 8:07 PM

Um. So. Apparently I've only been posting once a month all summer??

Yeah. Apparently.

I keep promising that posts will be more frequent but *cough* that obviously hasn't happened. The short of it? I'm super busy, and even when I have time to write blog posts, I just . . . have no motivation.

All the posts I want to write are ginormous monsters (Europe trip recap, Realm Makers recap, etc.), and I'm intimidated by them. :P Thus the life update.

 I'm sorry to say that I don't know how I can keep up with blogging while at college (heck, I can't even keep up with it during the summer). I WANT to blog in college . . . but I'm not sure how often I will. Gonna be honest: blogging is hard. It's a lot of fun, yes, but also very time-consuming and challenging. SERIOUSLY. It takes like . . . half a day to write a post sometimes. (Yeahhhhh it's kind of ridiculous.)

While I will try to keep posts coming during the semester, I can't promise they will be consistent. I'm considering changing the format and/or types of posts to make it easier for me to stay on top of it.

So, I have a question for you guys: would you rather have long posts less frequently or short ones more frequently? 

I'm thinking I'll change up the types of posts I put on here, too. Although I will continue to primarily blog about writing and books, I would like to allow myself the freedom to post other things as well. I don't want to be confined to my "genre," for lack of a better word. Please bear with me as I experiment with things and try to find a good balance of different kinds of posts. I understand if you aren't interested in everything I post, but I will attempt to post things that you guys will like. Feedback is definitely welcome!

OKAY - blogging changes aside, let's get on to the life update! *glitter explosion*

+ allll the Hitchcock movies. I saw Notorious (1947) a few weeks ago, and it was SO GOOD. Complex characters, intense plot, amazing suspense, and impressive cinematography. Also, Ingrid Bergman is <333 I also watched Dial M for Murder (1954), which was really good, even though my brain hurt at the end (eheh) and Rope (1948). Rope was good . . . but slightly depressing and not what I expected. It was a really well-made film but kinda left me feeling unsettled and disturbed at the end

A Quiet Place. I saw this in theaters in May and WOWWWWWWWW. This was a masterpiece. No joke, my friends. I never watch horror movies (they're usually just full of gore and all kinds of ick :P), and frankly, wouldn't really classify this as such. It's more of a suspense film.  The characters are AMAZING, the acting top-notch (gotta love Emily Blunt), and the cinematography and concept ingenious. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Like . . . this might actually be one of the best-made films I've ever seen. It completely crushed my feels, and oddly enough, it actually was rather heart-warming in its own way. I love that this movie was centered around family and explored a lot of deeper themes. Plus, I can't get over the concept. (Just look up the synopsis!!) The fact that it had very little dialogue at all and utilized silence made it so much more intense. My nerves were raw by the end of this movie. xD

CONTENT: I do feel the need to mention that this is rated PG-13 for a reason. While it's never gory, there is a good deal of blood shown and a lot of intense scenes (including one in which a character gives birth, shown with some detail). It's a genuinely scary movie, so I wouldn't recommend it if you don't like that kind of thing. There's no language at all (a Hollywood "horror" movie without language?? *gasp* :P), but it's a very intense movie so . . . yeah. You've been warned. ;)

+ tons of old favorites. The Young Victoria (*ALL THE HEART EYES*), Pride and Prejudice (2005), Anne of Green Gables, The Great Mouse Detective, Princess Diaries, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) . . . *happy sigh* If you haven't watched one of these movies, your life isn't complete, my friends. I could rave about them all forever if you let me, but I'm pressed for time - lucky for you. ;)

Sadly, I've been in the world's worst reading slump up until a few weeks ago. IT LASTED SO LONG, GUYS. I was having a hard time getting into basically every book I read.  And the ones I did read ended up being 2- and 3-star books for the most part. Thankfully, the slump is over now . . . just in time for college. xD Here are some of the good (and bad) books I've read lately:

+ FAWKES. I have a whole review up on Goodreads but suffice to say, this was one of the few books I've read worthy of all the hype. I had a couple issues with it, sadly, but it was still INCREDIBLE and deserved every star I gave it.

+ Winnie-the-Pooh. Just . . . all the happy feels, my friends. <3 It made me smile so much. Hopefully I can see Christopher Robin tomorrow, squeezed in amidst the packing and college prep craziness!

+ Threads of Blue. Despite having remembered almost nothing from book one (#oops), this was just as beautiful and meaningful and bittersweet as the first one.

+ Salt to the Sea. I WILL NEVER RECOVER. MY FEELS ARE SHREDDED. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP. This was honestly so gorgeously painful to read. I loved it so much! It took me a long time to really get into it and feel invested in the story, and I have a few issues with the content - but otherwise, it's one of the best historical books I've read. SO POWERFUL. (If you have questions about content, don't hesitate to ask. I will hopefully do a full review on Goodreads at some point as well!)

+ Roadside Assistance. WOW THIS WAS BAD. I'm not going off on another rant - don't worry. But if you enjoy reading 1-star reviews, I have a juicy one up on Goodreads. ;)

+ A Monster Calls. Unfortunately, this book really messed with my head a lot in an unhealthy way and I contemplated not finishing it. It didn't sit well with me at all. It's a shame because I had such high hopes coming into it! (Once again, I wrote a review for this.)

+ ALL MY FAVES. Since I've been having a relatively mediocre reading year in 2018, I've been rereading a lot of favorites, including Paper Crowns, The Lady and the Lionheart, and The Penderwicks in Spring. ALL THE PRECIOUSES. <3

I've been actually writing a good amount the past couple weeks, and it feels blissful. My goal for the month was to write 3k in my novella/novel/I-don't-know-how-long-it-really-is-because-my-stories-end-up-way-too-long. :P It's my very first contemporary, and it's called Something Like Home. There's big families, vinyl records, black-and-white-movies, snow, small towns, adorable cinnamon roll characters, photography, an adorable couple, deep themes, and LITERALLY SO MUCH MORE. I love this story and its characters to death.

I've officially exceeded my monthly goal as of Friday, and I have over 3.5k written! I cranked a whole 1,000 of those words just a couple days ago. I'm quite pleased with the progress I've been making consistently almost every day, and I can't wait to share more about my project in the future. If anyone's interested, I might just do a post officially introducing it to you guys, with a synopsis and "cover" and Pinterest board and playlist and EVERYTHING. 'Twill be a good time. ;)


+ First of all, Europe was a thing. Yeah - I went to Europe two months ago and basically had the time of my life. It was magical, and I WANT TO GO BAAAACK. *cries* I'm hoping to get an actual recap with toooons of photos up at some point. (Sorry it's taking so long!!) But as I may have mentioned before, Paris is my favorite city of all time now. It felt like magic. <3

+ Realm Makersssss. This is yet another thing I need to recap, but suffice to say . . . I loved it. I socialized more than I do the whole year basically (*COUGH*), met TONS of my darling blogger friends, learned a boatload of amazing writing advice, met some of my favorite authors, got books signed, ate tacos and pizza, and just generally had a blast. I also felt so spiritually refreshed afterward. If you have the opportunity to go to Realm Makers, do it. One of my favorite memories from this year was somebody coming up to me and saying that my Realm Makers recap post from last year was what inspired them to come. I mean . . . wow. It was so humbling to hear this. A full recap for this year is coming your way at some point because I have so much to share!

+ I saw my FIRST shooting star. And then promptly proceeded to listen to Owl City's song "Shooting Star." xD It was honestly a really surreal experience, which sounds kind of funny, I know. But it just reminded me once again of how amazing my Creator is and how lucky I am to live in a world where shooting stars exist. <3

+ I pulled an all-nighter. This has become something of a summer tradition now. I stayed up until sunrise and did lots of art, wrote a poem, listened to music, and read a few pages of a book (I would have read more but it was making me sleepy, haha). Surprisingly, pulling an all-nighter really fun if you do things like this. I can't imagine enjoying it when I'm trying to cram for finals, though. Ahem.

+ summer stuff. Hanging out with my bestie, swimming, eating WAYYYY too much ice cream (lol), playing my ukulele, doing watercolor, shopping for my dorm room, doing an early birthday celebration, reading, s'mores, watching sunsets, movie marathons, making summer playlists, watermelon nails, raspberry lemonade, juicy peaches, and late nights. <33 (Can you tell I kind of love summer??)

+ PREPPING FOR COLLEGE. I'm in a bit of time crunch to get this post done so excuse the relatively unedited rambles. ;)

Why the time crunch?? BECAUSE I'M LEAVING FOR COLLEGE IN 3 DAYS. This is not a drill. O_O

To anyone who's new here or wasn't aware, I'm going to Liberty University this week as an incoming sophomore. :)

I'm kind of freaking out majorly because I have so much to do before then (cleaning, packing, studying for/taking an exam, getting the rest of my dorm stuff, etc.). I had to say goodbye to my church family and my best friend today and . . . it was really hard. I've been a bit of an emotional mess this summer since it's the last one I have before I leave home for college. It honestly doesn't even feel real to me - kind of like it's a dream and I'll wake up and everything will be normal again.

But it's VERY real and VERY quickly approaching.

People keep asking me if I'm excited, but right now, I'm at a point where I just don't want to go. Yes, I'm excited about Liberty - it's my dream school and I'm amazed at the blessings God has given me to reach this point. But the reality of it is, I'm really sad right now. I'm having a hard time not getting emotional and nostalgic about everything. It's really hard for me to deal with change, and I just want things to stay safe and normal and familiar.

So right now, I'm wanting to cling to the last few days I have left. I want summer to last forever. And don't even get me started on how hard it's been to say all the goodbyes. (Dreading saying farewell to my parents. D:)

While I'm currently feeling really sad and nervous about going to college, I do know that I can get through this. God has given me everything I need to succeed, and I know this change - though hard for a season - will be so good for me. His plans are higher than mine, and life wasn't meant to be lived in a comfort zone. (Much to my hobbit heart's dismay. ;)) There are so many adventures in store, and I'm excited to take you all along with me!

WHEW, THAT WAS LONG. Sorry for all the rambling, my friends. (You know how I am. xD) There's just been so much happening, and I wanted to fill you in on as much as possible before I leave for college! (IT'S COMING UP SO SOON HALP)

Tell me, lovelies: how has your summer been?? What was your favorite memory from the summer? Ever seen a shooting star? (And do you have any tips for a newbie college student?) Please let me know what you would prefer for my posts: shorter ones more often or long ones less frequently. I LOVE YOU ALLLL. <3

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  1. I loved this post and hearing about all the things! I honestly don't know which type of post I'd prefer from you. Because I looove your longer ones, but having posts more frequently is also so appealing. GAH. I DON'T KNOW. Maaaybe shorter, more frequent posts? Just because I do so love hearing from my Mary. <3

    I'm so excited to hear you've been writing. YAY, MARY! AND OH MY GOODNESS YES DO I WANT TO GET A POST ABOUT THIS NEW BOOK. YES YES YESSSSS!!!!!!!! Pleeeease??? *puppy dog eyes*

    I'm really sorry to hear you're having a hard time leaving everyone and dealing with all the stress. I can definitely imagine it's overwhelming! And goodbyes are THE. WORST. I've been having to say a LOT of goodbyes lately and it's tearing me apart. But I am just sure God has many amazing people for you to meet at Liberty, AND amazing adventures. You've been extra in my prayers lately, 'cause I knew the date was rapidly coming up, and I shall absolutely continue praying.

    It's going to be amazing, Mary. I just know it. I cannot wait to see all the beautiful things God unfolds in your life during this new chapter! <333

    1. AHHH YOU ARE PRECIOUS. <3 *hugs* Love you, girl! Thanks for the feedback. I'm thinking of trying out some shorter posts and maybe trying to post every week or two? It kind of depends how my schedule works out in college. I may not be able to post consistently, but even a couple times a month is better than my current "schedule." :P

      EEEP THANK YOUUUUUUU!!!!! I have the bad habit of starting new projects and running after plot bunnies. Ehehe. xD Hopefullyyyyy this ends up being a novella, though? Or at least a short novel. I don't need another massive project. ;) I'm thinking I might just do a post about it next time!

      Oh my goodness - it just makes me feel so honored to hear that you've been praying for me. That means a lot, my dearest. <3 Ackk, goodbyes are SO. HARD. I know that you can relate!! It's people like you who keep me going. *huggles*

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, CHRISTINE! You are such a blessing in my life. <333

  2. Hmm. Shorter and more frequent posts are fun, but also remembering to post shortly and frequently can be a little difficult- maybe wait a bit until you’re settled into your fall schedule to decide.

    College sounds like such a scary place at first. It’s painted as this big menacing cloud of unknown challenges, but I promise it is not going to be the end of the world! The first week or so is going to be a little bit easier, academic-wise, and though you may feel extremely stressed at first, just hang in there and it will be alright. Try and be friendly to at least two or three people, and if you stick with them they’ll more than likely stick with you too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

    You’ve got this!

    1. Ahhh, TRUE! I didn't think about that! Great advice. ^_^

      This helped so much, Chloe! Thank you! I know it will take me a while to get through the stress and adjustment period, but after that, it should be easier. At least the first week of classes *is* less difficult in terms of assignments so that should help a little. :)

      Thanks so much, my friend. <3


    Look at this, actually commenting on a post the day it goes up! What has happened to me. XD

    Anyway, it sounds like you've had a rich, full summer and I loved every bit of this post! I am so excited to read Fawkes, as you know, and Salt to the Sea sounds so goooood! ^_^

    As for posts, whichever type would make you less stressed! I know, so helpful. But if those big recap posts you want to do are intimidating right now, maybe just doing shorter, possibly more frequent posts would work best in this season of life. I totally understand how blogging kind of goes out the window when college comes around. :P

    Also--can I just send you a giant hug? It must be so hard to move away to college and have to leave all this familiarity behind for a while, even if you know it's God's plan and He's looking out for you. <3 I'll keep praying for you, my dear! Bright days are ahead!

    1. A TRACEY COMMENT!!!! <3

      *le gasp* What? How can this be true? Not like *I* ever fail to comment on your blog . . . . noooooo. Not me. *cough, cough* :P

      AWWW. Thank you, my dear! It has been a really good, if hectic, summer! Some rough patches but overall full of the joy and good memories that summer holds. <3 YESSSSS YOU NEED TO READ THEM! I actually think you would like Salt to the Sea a lot (and of course, Fawkes is almost a given ;))

      LOL! Thankssss. ;) No, but really, that is good advice! I'm thinking of trying shorter posts and then just seeing how they will fit in with my college schedule, which miiiiight let me post a bit more frequently. Glad that you know how it is!

      *clutches heart and returns giant hug* AWK. I wish I could hug you in person! Thank you so, so much. I've been praying for you, too, darling. Love ya!

  4. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH A POST FOM YOU. I MISSED YOU SO MUCH but it is GREAT you are present on GR most of the time.

    I CANNOT WAIT for your Europe + RM recaps girl! Gonna be so good!

    And YOU ARE GOING TO COLLEGE. *pats your head* you are all grown up and I am proud (kidding. Not really.) But yeah things like this are intimidating. I went to SUMMER CAMP for the first time this summer and I was slightly freaked out at times even though I am an EXTROVERT (tho I may behave more introverted lol).

    ANYWAY. I would actually like shorter more frequent posts. Just cos. I NEEEED YOUUUUU. It sometimes feels like those original bloggers I fell in love with when I arrived on the blogosphere are sloooowly receding into the background and into grown up life business so yeah *cries* I am sad. But still no ... I get that everyone changes and moves on. But I love you all still. I LOVE YOU TOO. Even if you disappear ^.^


    - lisa

  5. Yay you went to REALM MAKERS!! I've heard that's AWESOME! :D

    Thanks for the rambling post, Mary! <3 (Sometimes they can be a lot of fun *cough* to read!)

  6. YOU SAW A QUIET PLACE!!!!! I loved that movie. It was so visually rich, technically welldone, and emotionally charged. Big fan.

  7. Best of luck in college! I love your posts, I don't care how infrequent they are. <3 ;D

  8. This statement here ~> "I socialized more than I do the whole year basically" COULDN'T BE MORE TRUE. XD

    I love all your posts, short, long, somewhere in between. :) But if you don't think you'll be able to post as often in college, I think longer posts when you can would be the way to go, personally. ;) And I totally agree!! Blogging IS hard! I have been so bad about keeping up with a schedule lately too, so don't feel like you're alone in this. ^_^

    I think college will be a great experience, really, and even though it's sad to be moving forward and away from everything you know, you'll always have good memories that you can look back on when you feel alone. The nervousness and sadness will pass. And just remember, that the Lord will be with you, no matter what. <333

  9. I FEEL YOU! I want to blog and be consistent, but I either forget the masterpiece I drafted in my mind the day before, or I just don't have the energy. It's really sad.
    But I'm so excited for you! I know it'll be hard, but I hope you'll be able to transition smoothly and enjoy it.

  10. Maryyyyy! I'm so excited for you! But I know how hard goodbyes are. I know you're going to do amazing things, though. <3 <3

    Isn't Europe absolutely incredible?! Which parts did you visit? I went in May 2017 to Germany, The Netherlands, and Austria, and they're all the most jaw-dropping places I've ever seen. I want to go back, ugh. (How was Paris?! I've never been but I'm sure it must be magical.)

  11. EUROPE. I really hope that you do a recap post on that, because I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND I MISS IT LIKE CRAZY. I'm so glad that you loved Paris (who couldn't?)! It was one of my favorite places to visit, especially because of my cousins that live there and all of the stories hidden in ever corner (and the FOOD and the BEAUTY and so much YES). And Realm Makers sounds amazing! =)

    Aw, best of luck to you as you prepare to head to college! I'm just about to starting looking at my options for college now that I'm a junior. =O

  12. Loved this post! Thanks to Instagram, I feel like I haven't really "missed" you, but you'll probably have less time for that in college too! And instead be doing all sorts of incredily fun and educational new things :-)

    My summer has been very busy. A long vacation, almost 4 weeks prepping crafts for VBS, and polishing up my book -- so tiring. I'm looking forward to fall, lol! Even though I'll be teaching Sunday school, teaching lit to a nephew, teaching a lit class for our homeschool co-op, and homeschooling my kids, I feel like it will be more peaceful? Fewer bursts of frantic busy-ness, anyway!

  13. OH MY GOSH I SAW MY FIRST SHOOTING STAR THIS SUMMER TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * high-fives you incredibly enthusiastically*

  14. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to take such a big step of independance by doing college away from home. I've been on the other side (with friends leaving me to go to college) and so I kind of know how you feel, but know that your college life will be over soon and you'll be back home before you know it!
    However, you will be missed and I'll definitely be praying for you! You've got this! *fist bump* *hugs*

  15. Agh I know this probably doesn't make you feel better, but I'm very glad to know that I'm not the only one who takes hours to write a post. I've heard such good things about A Quiet Place! I kind of want to watch it because I've heard it's beautiful, but I also don't do scary, so haha we'll see. Salt to the Sea is already on my tbr, and I just added Fawkes, Paper Crowns, and The Lady and the Lionhearted! Thanks for the book and movie recommendations. :)) Ah yikes, I'm sorry you didn't like A Monster Calls. Okay, I read your review- I completely did not think about how it's a book written for kids. Yea, if I think about it, it was a dark book- but I feel like kids books do get pretty dark sometimes. This might be so wrong because memory warps things, but I think that when I was younger (and still today), reading kind of compartmentalizes things for me. Things that would freak me out in real life don't faze me on paper because it feels normal- crazy things happen in books. Those are my thoughts, but I can totally see why you felt what you did. Also, the part at the end of Conor with his mom made me cry. Wow, Europe sounds amazing- I'm excited for your recap! I love love love peaches. Ahh, you saw a shooting star! That's so cool. I have not seen one before, but I did see the Big and Little Dipper this summer at camp- it was absolutely amazing. And Owl City! I've only just started figuring out my music taste, and I really like his sound. I think my favorite song is Not All Superheroes Wear Capes. And agh, this isn't helpful but I would be 100% with either more frequent shorter posts or less frequent longer ones. Your combination of opposite feelings sounds exactly like how I'm going to feel when I got to college. As someone who has three years left before I have to go through that, I can give you no advice from experience. The only thing I have to say is that I've always had this weird dream that I want to keep my door open the first week and have a bunch of baked cookies or brownies in my dorm and have a whiteboard hanging on the door saying to come in for free food, all you have to do is say hi.

  16. Oh my goodness I'm visiting Liberty tomorrow (I'm going to be a senior in HS this year) for a campus tour, and it makes me so happy to know other people who are going there. It's definitely one of my dream universities, but I'm also lowkey nervous to be on a real college campus and all of that xD

  17. The sparkly lady posted!! And I'm so late.... LOL.

    I would actually prefer shorter posts, I think. I miss the weeks without Mary posts!
    The Great Mouse Detective and Winnie the Pooh!! *grins* My happy places! *double high fives*

    OH MY GOODNESS, I want to read one of your stories so baaaaaaaaad – your WIP sounds amazing!!

    Realm Makers and Europe and College – EEEEK! There is so much going on with you! *hugs* Praying for you, dear – and so glad you have had so many incredible experinces in the midst of all the craziness!

    I actually have seen a shooting star – it’s so beautiful!


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