Travel Journal//Peru – March 2018

Hello everyone! As I mentioned earlier, I had the chance to go to Peru for 8 days with my school. I got back a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing! I loved the country, loved the people, loved the culture.

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Headed to Lima

Traveling to Lima wasn’t as stressful as I thought it was going to be. And of course, it helped to have friends coming along to have conversations with as we waited in the airport. The flight itself wasn’t too bad either. I had a chance to have a long conversation with a Pastor who was going as a missionary to Peru! It was really encouraging to meet another believer who was so passionate about his faith.

City on the Beach

Our first full day in Peru was spent in Lima.We spent the day walking on the beach and seeing the views from the city above the hills.

Mountains and Culture

Seeing the culture in Peru was really interesting. The markets were crazy busy with people calling out their products as you walk by. With so much going on, sometimes it got overwhelming. But, the people were so nice and just beautiful, especially patient with my broken Spanish. The nature in Peru was probably my favorite part. The flowers bloomed everywhere and the clouds drew attention to the greatness of the mountains.

Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate

Machu Picchu was absolutely breath-taking. The hike up to the Sun Gate was pretty tough but the view was worth the hike. We also got to see some llamas so that was fun!

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca was also really beautiful. I loved seeing how life worked on the floating islands. The weather was perfect and, of course, the boat ride out to the islands was beautiful as well.

Other Pictures

I’m so glad that I took the opportunity to go to Peru with my school. I loved getting to see the beauty in Peru and getting to know the people better.

signi

 

Seeing God in the Everyday

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I pulled into my parking spot and turned off the engine. From where I sat in the parking lot at school, I had a perfect view of the sunrise. Shades of blue merged into purple and pink. Thin clouds raced across the morning sky as birds happily chirped in the cool air.

I watched as the sun rose all too quickly and the sky turned blue. As I continued my school day, I remembered the beauty and wondered how amazing God is! Later, that night, I opened my Bible and read the words that perfectly expressed the awesome beauty I felt only a few hours before.

How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
How plainly it shows what He has done!
Each day announces it to the following day;
each night repeats it to the next.
No speech or words are used, no sound is heard;
yet their message goes out to all the world
and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;
it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,
like an athlete eager to run a race.
Psalm 19:1-5

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wake up some mornings feeling completely away from God. It can be difficult seeing Him work in life when we’re going through the motions and routines.

But, as Psalm 33:6 reminds us, God’s hand is shown throughout all of creation, in the beauty of His created world.

This week, I’d like to challenge you to look for God’s hand in the everyday things such as the sunrises, callings of the birds, and even in the beauty of human life.

signi

Eighteenth Birthday Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! How are you? So today is my eighteenth birthday! Yay! I wanted to do something special to celebrate so I am hosting a giveaway.

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Just like the past two giveaways, there will be TWO winners.

What You Can Win

One person will win this “beauty set.” This prize includes one pair of pink floral socks from Forever 21, one marble necklace also from Forever 21, and one oatmeal, milk & honey bath bomb.

The other person will win this “study set.” This prize includes one mini pink binder, one Dare To Dream marble notebook, and one marble pen.

How To Enter

This is a Raffelcopter Giveaway! Click here to enter.

The giveaway is open from February 4 to February 18, 2018. There are six ways to enter with a total of 8 entry points. Any questions? You can read all of the Terms and Conditions here or email me at happilyabi@gmail.com.

I’m really excited for this giveaway! I hope you have a great day! Good luck :)

signi

Photography: Snow

Hello everyone! How are you? Did you get any snow this week? I did! It snowed on Wednesday so the schools were canceled. Life in the south :)

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The two days off from school were much needed. To celebrate, my family and I went down to the park to go sledding. It was so much fun! It was also so beautiful seeing all of the trees covered with snow.

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In the park, there is a bridge over the little stream. The sound of running water was calming. With the snow, it was even more beautiful.

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There’s something about fresh snow that makes time seem to stop. It’s peaceful and perfect for hot chocolate and reading. :)

Did you get any snow this week? If so, how did you spend your snow day?

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

Looking Back: 2017

Hello, everyone and happy New Year! This year has flown by so quickly! Time really does fly when you’re having fun, or just busy. :)

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2017 has been a crazy year for me. Between all of the travels and my surgery and starting Senior year, I’ve been busy! But I wouldn’t change that business for the world! It makes life interesting. :)

In the beginning of the year, I wanted my theme to be growth. But as life continued, I found that my theme was becoming peace. Peace in my school decisions, peace about the future, and peace about who I am, were all really important for me this year.

Popular Posts

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I posted a list of some things that I Want, some things that I Need, some things to Wear, and some things to Read for my 2017 Christmas Wish List.

Link: here.

 

This year I celebrated 3 years of blogging! I talked a little bit about all of the changes on my blog and how I came to be happy with those changes.

Link: here.

 

This summer I took a trip to Europe with my family to visit my grandparents and cousins. It was so much fun and we took so many pictures.

Link: here.

 

March was a particularly good month for me this year. My family hosted quite a bit of people and we did some traveling too. I also worked on memorizing Bible verses and worked on my photography.

Link: here.

 

 

2017 ended pretty nicely for me too! My sisters and I hosted a group of girls for a New Year’s Eve party. Ending and starting the two years with my friends and family is a blessing and I am so grateful that we had that opportunity.

So, how was your 2017? What were some of your favorite parts/memories? I hope that your New Year is just as great!

signi

Exams Are Over! + Recent Posts I Loved

Hello everyone! I survived my exams! I’ve gotten two of my six grades back and I did pretty well so that’s good! While I was gone studying my head off, some of my favorite bloggers posted some great posts that I wanted to share with you! So here are some of the recent blog posts that I loved. :)

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Four Reasons Why You Should Be Writing In A Journal
by Specsclad

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Specsclad started her 25 Days of Self-Care Blogmas posts this December. One of my favorite post from this series so far was her Four Reasons Why You Should Be Writing In A Journal post. (But the rest of her posts have been great too!) I think it’s really nice that she decided to take a different perspective on Blogmas and do the Self-care theme. Be sure to check out her post here and her blog here.


Peru – The Highlights
By Silke

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Silke from Belgenius wrote a post recapping her trip to Peru. I loved seeing all the pictures she took and reading her travel tips. The pictures are really beautiful. Be sure to check out her post here and her blog here.


November – December Illustrations
By Tabi

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Tabi from Busy Bear posted some of her recent drawings from November and December. I love all of her drawings (who wouldn’t?) but I especially loved the one of the whale. It’s so cute and happy! Check out her blog post here and her blog here!


Those were just some of the many posts that I had to catch up on after my break for exams. Be sure to check out these three amazing bloggers’ blogs! I hope you all have a great 2 days until Christmas!

signi

30 Things I’m Thankful For

Hey, everyone! Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Have you started making your shopping list? I’ve been planning with my family and I’m really excited to spend the holiday with all of my relatives. I always look forward to Thanksgiving day. Speaking of Thanksgiving, there are so many things to be thankful for! Here are 30 Things I’m Thankful For.

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  1. God who has saved me despite the many times I’ve failed.
  2. My family who drives me crazy but I still love them.
  3. Friends who are open and accepting no matter what. The ones who encourage me to be my best every day and help me back up when I fall.
  4. Teachers who work with me to help me get better.
  5. Pastors who will sit with me and walk me through things I may not understand.
  6. Sunday School Leaders who have prayed for me and my family week after week.
  7. Military Families and others who work to keep our country safe.
  8. The changing of the seasons and the beauty that comes with each one.
  9. Vacations and the chance to have a break from the business of life.
  10. Flowers which always cheer me up.
  11. Surprise snail mail from family and friends.
  12. Heaters to keep my home warm.
  13. Socks to keep my feet warm (and for sliding around the floors).
  14. Education and the opportunity to learn.
  15. The wonderful food that my mom makes for me every day!
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  16. Cameras and the chance to capture memories in a photo.
  17. Dishwashers! Because who wants to wash all of those pots?
  18. Sunday afternoons full of rest and reading.
  19. Little handwritten notes left in my lunchbox.
  20. Happy moments with family and friends.
  21. Clear nights full of stars and wonder.
  22. The experiences, both good and bad, that have helped me grow into who I am today.
  23. Failures that have helped me learn from my mistakes and encouraged me to do better.
  24. Technology that allows me to communicate with my family all across the world.
  25. Comfortable beds to sleep in!
  26. Family traditions and the memories that come with them.
  27. Books that come with great adventures!
  28. The authors who have inspired me to write.
  29. The many people who love me and pray for me.
  30. All of you who take the time to read my posts! Thank you so much!

What things are you thankful for? What are you looking forward to the most this Thanksgiving? I hope you have a great week!

signi

Motivation Monday//Rest

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“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

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“Come to me, all who are weary and burdered, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

In a world running faster than ever before, it is important to take the time to rest. This time away from the stress of the world is necessary to your health and gives your mind and body a break from running and deadlines. Full rest and peace can only come from God, but we must be willing to receive it. By taking the time to listen for God’s voice, we are opening ourselves up to His rest and peace. My challenge for you is this: make time to rest in Christ today.

signi

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Travel Journal//Europe – June 2017

Hey, everyone! A couple of weeks ago, I got back from an amazing trip to Europe to visit my grandparents and cousins. I had so much fun with all of my family members, seeing some historic sights and meeting some amazing people. I can’t wait to go back!

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At Home in Belgium

We landed in Belgium early in the morning and were greeted by my Oma and Opa. It was so nice seeing them again! Most days of our trip, my family and I would stop by my grandparents house and eat meals with them. Oma’s food is so good!

We took a day trip to a beach and walked for a couple of hours. The beach was beautiful and full of shells. Since it was the 4th of July, we ate some red, white, and blue M&Ms to celebrate. :)

Shopping And Friends

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picture via sis

We spent several days shopping and looking for gifts to bring back home. One of my favorite days was when we stumbled upon a little neighborhood and met a really kind lady in her early 80s. She happily told us stories and showed us to a little chapel where she plays piano every week. It was so nice to meet another believer and to spend some time getting to know her. I know that I will never forget her.

A Short Road Trip

To finish off our vacation, my family and I all took a short three-day road trip to Germany. On the way there, we drove through Luxemburg and then stopped for lunch in France. It was really cool seeing how the culture and buildings looked so different as we passed through the different countries. It was definitely something that we don’t get to experience in America.

Germany was absolutely beautiful! I loved all of the houses and the flowers in the windows made me really happy. :) While in Germany, we took a bergbahn (old mountain train) to the top of a mountain; the view was AMAZING!


I had such a great time in Europe with my family. I can’t wait to go back and see them again! There will be a video coming up soon on my Youtube channel so keep an eye out for that! Have a great day! :)

signi