101 in 1001: A Six-Month Update

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It’s been six months since I started my 101 in 1001 challenge and it’s been quite the ride. I started off really well, crossing off quite a bit in the first couple of months! Now that school has started, I haven’t been able to work on as many goals as I’d like, but progress is progress and all that matters is that I’m moving forward.

Goals I’ve crossed off:

8. Go through my clothes and donate what I don’t wear (August 2018)

This goal was easy to cross off, especially during the week of packing for college. I went through every article of clothing I had and made sure to donate the ones I didn’t wear but were still in good condition.

11. Spend 15 minutes outside everyday for a month (August/Sep. 2018)

Spending time outside everyday made things relaxing and calm. I normally eat my meals outside on the patio of the cafeteria unless it’s too cold to be outside.

12. Bike somewhere (July 2018)

During our summer vacation, my family and I took a spontaneous trip to the beach for Independence Day. We biked through a small town and over many hills to the sandy beach. It was so much fun and I loved it! My favorite part was, of course, being with my family, but I also loved the wind in my hair and the smell of the salty air.

13. Go skating again (September 2018)

This goal I was a little afraid about because I didn’t want to fall and get hurt. However, falling is something that we just have to face. I went roller skating with my friends for a birthday celebration and it was a lot of fun! I hadn’t been roller skating before that, but I had been ice skating and it was pretty similar. I did fall at one point, but it wasn’t too bad!

31. Sing around a fire pit with some friends (June 2018)

This summer I visited my aunt with my family and spent the weekend with her and some of her friends. One night was all sat around a fire pit and sang songs as my sister played her ukulele. It was so nice and calming.

34. Have an early morning Bible study outside (July 2018)

There is something special about reading the Bible outside in the morning. It’s calming and quiet and makes it easier to hear what God is trying to say through His word, I think.

41. Reconnect with an old friend (August 2018)

This August I was able to connect with a friend from middle school over Instagram. She was one of my closest friends and when I left the school to be homeschooled, we lost touch. It was good to hear from her again and to know that she is doing well!

42. Start a birthday tradition (June 2018)

I have always loved the idea of birthday traditions. They always seem so much fun and a great way to have something to look forward to! My sister, her friend, and I started a birthday tradition for my sister’s birthday.

45. Take a road trip (May 2018)

My friends and I for our senior trip took a road trip to the beach. It was a great way to get away from school and the stress of preparing for graduation while also being able to hang out and talk with each other.

46. Visit a city I’ve never been to before (May 2018)

This summer my family and I went to Philadelphia to celebrate a family member’s wedding. I had never been to Philly before but I loved the city, the food, and the history behind it all! It was a nice trip and I loved seeing family.

50. Play an instrument on the beach (May 2018)

During my senior trip, my friends and I took a late night walk one night with ukuleles. There’s something calming about the beach at night and music makes it even more fun.

51. Have a picnic (June 2018)

My family invited a couple of our close friends and their families to go to the mountains with us for a couple of days. We spent one of the days hiking to waterfalls and enjoying the outdoors. This was the perfect opportunity to take a picnic with a beautiful view.

56. Go on a spontaneous trip (August 2018)

I love the beach and so does my mom, so when she had the idea to have a spontaneous trip to the beach for the day, of course I said yes. The drive was long but the hours on the beach was so worth it!

69. Have a photoshoot (September 2018)

Sometimes you just need to grab a camera and take some pictures with a group of friends. I am blessed to go to a school that has a beautiful green space which is commonly used to photo shoots by photographers around town. We followed suit and had our own photoshoot!

75. Paint on a canvas (June 2018)

Painting is something that I haven’t had many opportunities to do but I love doing. I was able to get together with two of my friends and we painted on canvas to create three individual paintings that go together. It was a great way to relax and hang out with each other.

83. Have a spa day (June 2018)

Sometimes you just need to take care of yourself and spend a day relaxing. Bath bombs, a bubble bath, face mask, and a good book make for a great day.

91. Journal every day for a month (June/July 2018)

I love journaling but it can be hard to fit it in everyday especially when days are busy. This goal was tougher than the rest in that I really needed to be intentional about the time and how I was using it. I like to journal at night before bed but that means going upstairs earlier and not falling asleep first. I am glad that I finished this goal before school because it’s a lot harder to find time to journal now that I am in college.

I’ve completed 17 of my 101 goals! How have you all been coming along in your 101 in 1001 journey? You can view the complete list of goals here for inspiration for your own list.

God’s Perfect and Powerful Love

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Love. That is one thing that no one can live without. And yet, it is the thing that we, as a society, have broken. Love has seemed to have lost its meaning. After all, there is no way that we can love another person perfectly.

There is hope, though, because we are loved by a perfect and wonderful Father. As Christians, we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. This powerful miracle is the ultimate example of God’s love for us. Jesus defeated death so that we could spend eternity with Him. John 13:1 says this:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

As sinful and fallen people, it is impossible to love the way that God loves us. Despite the pain of our immense sin that was placed on Him, Jesus fought and destroyed death so we could have a relationship with Him. And through all of the pain, all of the sufferings, He still loved us. Isn’t that perfect love?

My challenge for you this week is to remember how powerful and perfect God’s love for us is. Remember that, even when we don’t feel loved, God loves us with an unending, all-powerful love.

signi

My 2018 Goals

Hello, friends! You have survived the first week of the new year! Yay! How has it been so far? My days have been pretty crazy as my second quarter of school ends this week and we are scrambling to have enough assignments in the grade book.

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It’s that time again to reflect on the past year and make goals for the future. 2018 is going to be a big year for me, as it is the year that I graduate high school and enter the world of college. While I am very excited for this year, I know it’s going to include lots of scary and uncomfortable changes. But that’s what life is full of! So the best thing is to make this year a great year. You with me? Here are my 6 goals to make this year great.


1. Grow in my devotion to God.

Every year I have had a different theme representing who I wanted to be and focus on for the year. Last year, my theme was peace and the year before it was hope. This year, my theme is devotion. As I looked back on 2017, I noticed how my relationship with Him has faltered a bit due to doubt and personal struggles. What I realize now is that I was resisting God because I wanted so desperately to be in control of things in my life. But, I’m not in control, God is. This year, I want to work on growing closer to God and trusting in Him for my future.

2. Keep my family relationship strong.

My family isn’t perfect but they are wonderful and I love them. We are already seeing the stress that senior year brings but I don’t want that to hinder our family relationship. This year, I want to continue to keep our relationship strong, even while I’m at college.

3. Stay connected to my friends.

I have been so blessed to have great friends who are very involved in our community as well as each other. But that also means that we are constantly busy. While we may not be around all of the time, I still want to stay connected to my friends and keep my relationships with them.

4. Finish Senior year strong.

Senioritis is real. I didn’t realize how real it was until I got my first acceptance letter. Although there is a lot of pressure among my senior class to give up and stop caring now that I’ve been accepted to college, I need to continue doing my best work in class and outside of class. To do this I will:

  • Set priorities
  • Stay organized
  • Stay motivated

5. Invest in myself.

I believe that a healthy mind and body leads to healthy relationships and a happier life. This year, I want to really make an effort to invest in myself. This can include getting back into photography as a creative outlet, writing music as a way to de-stress, and learning to say no when I am stressed and in need of rest.

6. Invest in my blog.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I took a couple of breaks this year. Part of that was because of my sanity, the other part being health-related. While I don’t know what this year will have in store for me, I want to put in a greater effort to be involved in this lovely blogging community. Specifically, I’d like to:

  • Host a giveaway!
  • Comment on 200 posts through the year.
  • and Host guests for collabs!

So that’s what my 2018 looks like! What are your goals for the New Year? Are there any things that you are really excited for this year?

signi

25 Things I Love About Spring

Hey, guys! So yesterday was the first day of Spring! YAY!  If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE Spring. The flowers, the weather, the patterns; everything is so beautiful this time of year! There are so many things to like about spring, I decided to make a list. So here are 25 things I love about spring.

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  1. Easter service at church!
  2. Seeing everyone outside.
  3. Sitting outside on the patio with a good book.
  4. Baby animals!
  5. Being about to put away the big winter coats.
  6. Opening the windows to the fresh breeze.
  7. Pulling out the shorts after a long stretch of winter.
  8. Easter break with family and friends! How perfect is that? :)
  9. Pastel colored everything!
  10. Picnics by the lake complete with books, iced tea, and kites.
  11. Bike rides down to the park.
  12. The soft, fresh feeling in the air.
  13. All of the beautiful blooming flowers! I mean just look at these;
  14. Waking up to the birds. Such a beautiful sound. <3
  15. Fresh vegetables and fruits!
  16. Looking for four-leaf clovers in the backyard.
  17. Travel opportunities.
  18. Spring smells.
  19. Rainy mornings.
  20. The fresh green of the new leaves.
  21. Beautiful weather.
  22. Watching the clouds roll across the clear blue sky.
  23. Summer on the horizon.
  24. Tulips, tulips, and more tulips. :)
  25. The sense of rebirth and beginnings that fill the air during springtime.

What do you love about spring? Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a great day!

signi

2 Years and 200 Followers

Two years ago a girl decided it was finally time for her to published her very first blog post. Two years later, she is still blogging and loves it to pieces. That girl is me.

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Hey, everyone! Today is October 25th which means it’s my 2 year blogiversary! Yay! This blog has grown so much over the last two years and I can’t believe that I’ve made it this far.

First Steps

I started blogging because I loved writing and I wanted to try something new. When my friends started their blogs in the fall of 2014, I decided it was time to make my contribution to the WordPress feed. That’s when I started my blog, Life As A Homeschooled Teen. I posted my first blog post titled, “Welcome One, Welcome All“. The posts following that one were sporadic and I wasn’t getting very many views but I pressed on hoping that someday, I would reach 100 followers.

In 2015, I struggled with coming up with posts that I felt were “worthy” to post. While trying to figure something out, I came up with the “To-Bake List” which is getting more and more popular. I also started my “Monthly Favorites” posts which I love posting because they help me to take a minute to remember what I did instead of flying through life with no end point. If that makes any sense.

Then I Decided I Wanted A Change

I was tired of being stuck with writer’s block and wanted to change. The 2016 New Year was a perfect place to start. I started a notebook with hundreds of blog post ideas and made calendars to keep me on track. My goal was to post 2-3 every week which I’ve pretty much kept up since then.

I posted about school, hosted a Q&A, talked about my Spring Break, and wrote letters to my sisters. Basically, I started posting things I was passionate about and loved to talk about. Eventually, my views shot up and I reached 100 followers in May. I celebrated with a giveaway (which I will hold again once I reach 250 followers).

In August, I decided to go back to school and Life As A Homeschooled Teen turned into Happily Abi. I redesigned my blog and also started up a Google+ page. Then I wrote a mini-series on my homeschooling experience. Just 5 short months after I reached 100 followers, I reached 200!

Two Years Strong

I am so excited about everything that has happened on my blog. It’s been a long journey but it was worth every minute. I wanted to thank you all for all of your support and encouragement. I couldn’t have gotten here without you! And of course, I must thank my Lord and Savior for giving me this gift in the first place. Many, many thanks! :)

I also need to thank my mother who is AMAZING and cleared out her whole day just to make me a tart and decorate the kitchen to celebrate these two years. Gah, she’s the best! :D

 


Again, thanks to all of you for everything! I hope that you’ll continue this journey with me. Love to all!
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25 Things I Loved About Being Homeschooled

Hey, everyone! So ever since I posted this big news post, I’ve gotten questions pertaining to homeschooling and my big switch. So I decided to create a mini-series and answer all your questions. This is part 2- 25 Things I loved about being homeschooled.

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I absolutely loved being homeschooled and everything that came with it.

  1. You don’t have to wake up early every morning.
  2. But you have the option of waking up early to get everything done before 11:00 so you can have a free day.
  3. No school lunches – Homemade meals are the best!
  4. You can learn what you are actually interested in.
  5. Field trips to the coffee shop! Any time of the day.
  6. No dress code! (Although I could only wear my pjs on Fridays).
  7. Birthdays are holidays.
  8. Hot chocolate and homework in front of the fireplace? Yes, please!
  9. You can spend more time with family.
  10. There is no busy work.
  11. You can take naps when you really need it.
  12. You don’t have to rush in the mornings!
  13. PE = doing pilates in the comfort of your home WITHOUT the uniforms.
  14. Did I mention that I didn’t have school on Fridays?
  15. You’re not confined to a classroom.
  16. There’s freedom to go on fun trips in the middle of the school week.
  17. There’s more time to do the things you love to do.
  18. Homeschooling in high school gives you opportunities for great scholarships for college.
  19. Never getting stuck in traffic.
  20. Three, four, or even five-day weekends. Yes, it’s possible!
  21. Graduating early is totally an option.
  22. You can learn the way you understand.
  23. There are lots of opportunities to travel.
  24. It’s the best way to learn how to be self-motivated.
  25. You can do fun things like starting a blog!

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Homeschooling was awesome and I absolutely loved it. If you have any questions or a suggestion for this series, email me: happilyabi@gmail.com

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Want to read more? Check out these posts.

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25 Things I Love About Fall

Hey, everyone! So I have a dilemma… the calendar tells me it’s fall but the weather is so far from being fall-like that it actually feels like summer. Not only that, but my school is freezing. So here’s my question, what am I supposed to wear?! Let me know if you have any suggestions for me! While you’re thinking about that, here are 25 things I LOVE about Fall!

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  1. Fall clothes look so cute! And they are comfortable. Win win.
  2. Foggy mornings.
  3. Candy corn, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, hot tea, hot chocolate.
  4. Holding warm drinks when it’s cold.
  5. Fuzzy socks.
  6. Long walks around the neighborhood.
  7. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
  8. Infinity scarfs.
  9. Being back at school!
  10. Brown boots.
  11. Apple cider, apple muffins, apple everything.
  12. The beautiful colors! They make the prettiest pictures like these:
  13. Studying by a cozy fireplace.
  14. Hot soups.
  15. Bath And Body Works’ scents.
  16. Decorating pumpkins.
  17. Warm candles.
  18. Spending time with family.
  19. Warm blankets.
  20. The feeling of the cool, crisp air on your cheeks.
  21. All of the fun fall activities!
  22. Nail polish colors.
  23. And the clothing colors.
  24. All of the writing inspiration.
  25. Looking forward to the upcoming holidays.

What do you love about the fall weather or just fall in general?

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Dear Sis

Dear Sis,

And so it ends; your birthday week. 13 years old and finally a teenager! You have many adventures ahead of you, so many things to look forward to. But with those adventures, come trials and things will get hard. Just keep being your happy self and I think you’ll be fine. :)

One of the things that I’ve always loved about you is that you’re motivated and persistent. You aim high and dream big dreams and that’s amazing! Never lose that. I fully believe that you will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to. And while I still struggle getting out of bed every morning, you are ready to jump up and get things done. I think we all need a little more of that haha. :)

But I think the thing that I love most about you is that you still love your family. I know that even when I’m off to college, I can count on you to call and visit and be the one to randomly show up to my class just to run up behind me and scare me. I don’t know what life will bring us in the future, but I know that God has a plan for you. An amazing, wonderful, incredible plan.

So here’s to my pink-loving, chocolate-eating, bubbly littlest sister.
Happy Birthday!

Love,
Abi

Thankful for Love

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Do you ever just stop and think of all the people who love you? Not like “I know them so it counts” love. I’m talking about the “I will drop anything and everything to come help you” type of love. Maybe your list would start like:

  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Sister
  • Brother

And… That’s it. And then you start to think and you come up with a few more.

  • Grandmom
  • Opa
  • Oma
  • Nanny
  • Dog

And then you’re like “Oh yeah!” And you add 20 more people.

  • BFF
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Friends
  • Family friends
  • Sunday School leader
  • Nephews
  • Nieces
  • Cousins
  • Teachers
  • Pastors

And then you’re like “Wow! That’s a lot!” But there are tons of more people who love you, people you don’t even know or have never met but they are praying for you and they love you! That’s a lot of love! It can’t get better than this, can it? Yes, it can! God loves you. How much? Like, a lot. More than everyone you know could ever love you all put together!

Psalm 36:5 says that God’s love is steadfast and extends to the heavens. That’s REALLY far which means that God loves you a lot! I am so happy that we can go to God for everything and anything, knowing that He loves us and will always be there for us! It’s just one of the many things that I’m thankful for. :)

Let me know what you are most thankful for and don’t forget to follow! :)

signi