Saturday, May 31, 2014

A roller coaster of a year

"What are you feeling? You graduate in a week, how do you feel about that? You're moving 7 hours away in 3 months, are you nervous? All your friends are going to be gone, but most of them will stay in Lexington, don't you wish you were staying in Lexington? How do you feel?"

MENTAL BREAKDOWN OCCURS.

Yes, I know all of these things are happening, thank you for bringing them up at any point without warning and letting my brain swarm on anything that sounds like any of these questions. 

But today, I'm just going to say that I feel healthy.

No, I'm not on some great clean diet, and no, I haven't run a 5k this morning, but I feel really, really healthy. Which is something that's greatly overlooked in this crazy year. I think I started out this year in a weird, yet excited state where I was still coming off my LBW high (yes, almost a year later and it still affects me) and missing all of my great friends. Senior year in terms of schoolwork is incredibly easy, but in terms of life, not so easy. Maybe that's just me, but the year starts off in mid-August, when the Common App's already been out for two weeks and some of your classmates are starting the first day of school with it already finished. Let the panic ensue, as you realize that you don't know who you are or what to do. 

Everything hits you so suddenly, even though you've known about it for four years and if you're lucky like me, you still even had extra help from people at school. Everything starts to become this sneaky whisper among your friends and peers as you hear from everyone applying for school, but no one will actually say it because "so-and-so is applying there, too". I have dealt with four years of high school and have been lucky enough to escape social drama, but I have never seen anything like this. It's a constant comparison of your GPA to their GPA and ACT scores a few points here and there, and it feels like every single thing is important to your college application, and thus, to your life. You take crazy insane ACT classes because at that point in time, every. single. point. matters. (Reality check: it doesn't.)

You start to write essays where you're asked to analyze everything about who you are, but it may not even be who you are, it's more of how you want colleges to see you. Maybe you apply Early Decision like me and wait on pins and needles for that December 15th date where you know you have the chance to know where you're living for the next four years. And maybe you applied ED like me and get rejected, finding out that the dream school that's perfect for you doesn't think you're perfect for them, and of course, this rejection happens the night before your hardest final.

So then you decide to apply to more schools, making your list total up to 15 colleges and spend your winter break worrying about how you can possibly add more extracurriculars to your resume and how many more recommendations you can get and applying to more schools, the bills only racking in as you send every standardized test score in to every school. 

And then January 9th comes and you're finished applying to schools! No more Common App crashing the night that an app is due and no more little yellow circles telling you that you're still not finished, because you are finally finished! All stress is gone, it's just up to the colleges now, right?! And sadly, I'm going to tell you no.

Now, I really am a positive person. I don't want you to think that you're going to spend the first semester of your senior year as psycho as me, but if you are as psycho as me, then that's how it feels. There were PLENTY of fun things that happened in that first half of the year...these were the things I blogged about, y'all! Fun things! I didn't want to put the stressful things on here. 

That's how first semester goes, and then second semester is just a little bit different for everyone. Some have been accepted into their dream schools and already know, but second semester is when all of the decisions come and different people do different things. Mine was full of surprises and happiness and stress and sadness, which all have made me who I am today, even just a few months later. You're having fun, but you're still trying to figure out the hypothetical situations of which school you could attend and from January until March, you're asked almost every single day where you're going to school. You have lots of interviews and consider visiting schools. Maybe you've heard back from some schools (hey, I heard back from Richmond in the first week of January) and the money you've been awarded, but you still don't know because not all of the decisions have been released, and they won't be until April 1st.

Maybe you float along through those months because your mind is focused on April 1st. Now, again, I don't want to completely depress you, because those months were still incredibly amazing. I would not trade them in for anything in the world because so many new people entered my life during these months. Because your college apps have already been sent in, you're trying to figure out which things you actually enjoy, and which things you were only doing because you wanted to put them on an app. The college decision week comes, and if you're like me, you hear 8 different rejections and 3 different wait list spots within 36 hours. Yeah, and those were wait list schools that I really thought I had a good chance at, so that overall feeling kind of sucked. I remember my dad saying that it was about getting back up on your bike after you've fallen off it, and those rejections didn't hurt as badly as I thought they would. But it was still an odd feeling to then go on my senior year spring break with my best friends, just having found out everything I had wanted all year (one of my decisions actually came while we were in the car). It was this feeling of knowing I had poured my life and soul into getting into college for four years, and just like that, it was all over. 

Suddenly, one of my top schools was a school that I didn't even want to apply to and had zero interest in attending at first, but because of life happening and all, you plan a trip to go visit and love it. Spring break was weird because I was planning these two other trips to visit colleges and the countdown to May 1st, the deadline for all college deposits, had begun. Every day you woke up with the feeling that it was a day closer to having to decide where you're going to school, and that feeling killed me. Even one of my best friends on spring break was waiting on a phone call to be told whether or not she would be awarded a scholarship that would determine where she's going. 

(And then you get sun poisoning and lose 10 pounds and maybe that's where your unhealthy eating habits begin.)

Then you get back late Saturday night from spring break and Sunday morning you travel to a different city to see your boyfriend and throw up in the bathroom of the restaurant without him knowing because you're still trying to stay strong and be invincible, when really, you have the plague (aka still sun poisoning) and have to go to a different state that night to visit a college. Then you go with your mom three hours away and have a meltdown in a restaurant because you're told that your other potential college choice isn't what your parents want for you. 

You visit the school and love it, even though you never thought you would (and you still can't eat anything), but cry the whole way home because everything is scary and you're freaked out by the future.

So you get back Monday night (and watch your UK Cats lose the national championship to UConn....) and try not to say anything to your friends who are asking about your spontaneous college visit, but Friday morning, you get up early and drive to a school that's ultimately more expensive and further away. How easy it would be to have decided on the other school when that's what's logical! But oh no, you fall in love with this school. You can't think of any other option because this is home. This is home away from Lexington and where you belong and you just know it, deep down in your gut and you want to buy everything from the bookstore and move in right then.

You know your college decision is already basically made, but you can't say anything about it on social media (because you're a freaking blogger....okay, maybe not everyone's a blogger) and you're scared to tell people because it's not official and it's hard to tell the people you care about that you want to move 7 hours away. It scares you to accept the reality that everything, and absolutely everything, is changing. 

So many other things are happening, because you're getting excited by your friends making decisions and nervous for them, but the same sorts of feelings are happening for them, too. They're freaked out by parents telling them days before deadlines that they want something different. You're so overcome with happiness with your friends that you forget about your own decision.

Then, you announce your college decision and deposit at your school, and immediate satisfaction comes. YOU KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO SCHOOL. This is what you've waited on the whole year, your whole life basically! 

Then, "the feels" start (or maybe they've already started). The last of everything. Prom and senior skip day and even your last AP test have you feeling a little bit sad and old. Everything is still so much fun. No one really cares about things anymore and you're just having so much doggone fun. Then it gets to be two weeks before the day you graduate and you realize that you may not want this to end. All of the things you wanted to end, you're not ready for it to all be over. High school may have been good or bad, but it's hard to accept that it's just over. And now, here you are, the week before you graduate high school and leave completely, so many other things having happened in a week, and for once, you feel healthy. Or rather, I feel healthy. 

I am sad and happy and excited and scared and confused, but have I not been all of those things all year? I feel healthy because I feel courageous. It took a lot of courage to go through so many things and rejections, but I feel like maybe, I have this whole thing in my hands. In a week, I'll no longer be bound to a public high school system and no longer legally stuck to spending my hours in a certain place. I am healthy because my happiness isn't affected by other people and institutions as much as it had felt.

Why did I write this post? To make myself seem completely dramatic to those older than me? To scare the crap out of those younger than me? No. I wrote this post because it was my truth this year. It was my complete truth of feeling unhealthy and out of bounds and ALL sorts of feelings. This year has been the happiest I've ever felt and the saddest I've ever felt. I assure you that not everyone feels like this, no worries. I have grown so incredibly much this year and it only makes me excited for the rest of my life. I have zero idea where my life is going (only that it's going to Richmond, Virginia) and I may or may not have a meltdown about this frequently. But because of all of the stuff that's happened this year, I know I can do it. I have complete trust in the Lord and all of the things He has planned for me. It's easy to see this time as an ending, but as cheesy as it sounds, it really is just the beginning. And for that, I praise God and thank Him for these opportunities to begin my life again. 

I'm excited for seeing where this blog takes me, spending time with my friends and family for these last couple of months, getting tan (and hopefully not sun poisoning), becoming physically healthy again, trying new things, baking, loving Kentucky and all it has to offer, painting my nails whatever color I desire, writing more about life and trying to share advice about high school/college applications, sleeping as late or waking up as early as I wish, and just watching my life take itself in a new path. 

For a crazy wild and crazy fun year, thank you all. Thank you to my blog readers who shared in all of my feelings and thank you to all of my friends and family who have dealt with my many antics this year.

And don't worry, I have a feeling there will be lots more of reflecting coming up. Can't get rid of this girl.

xoxo,
Meredith

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Scalloped Bag

Well, hey, blog world. I have a lot to say and a lot going on (IN A LITTLE OVER A WEEK I WILL NO LONGER BE A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WHAT THE HECK) and it's almost that I have so much to say and I'm feeling so much I don't even know where to start. But I figured I'd make a short post from an outfit a few weeks ago!

Hello, sweet bridal showers! Like I talked about in a previous post, summer skirts (and dresses) make the world go 'round. I know people are all excited for wearing shorts....but come on. If you don't think throwing on a cool skirt or dress in the summer is more comfortable, you're crazy. This is my sister's dress (whoops) that I love so much!


Dress: Old Navy | Shoes: DSW | Bracelet: Macy's


This picture was one that I actually got a lot of comments on and I was so excited about because I was stoked about this bag. It seems almost sorta Sarah Vickers-esque? Regardless, the scallops had my heart fluttering. I wish I knew where it was from, but I got it brand new from this random consignment shop and the tags in it are ambiguous. If anyone finds one similar to it, let me know!


Yes, I know that I am naturally 5'11" and yes, I know that wedges are only going to make me approximately 6'2". Deal with it. I am tall and can wear tall shoes if I want. (Even though I think it makes my momma feel short...sorry!)

What a fun day and I'm wishing my sweet cousin getting married the best!

xoxo,
Meredith

Saturday, May 24, 2014

#MySummerStyle

Ahhh, sweet, sweet summer time. I'm one of those people who would rather it be really stinking hot than freezing cold (y'all got that feeling through all of my angst against the polar vortex posts), and there is nothing better than this time of the year, especially when summer is sweet and new and fresh!

Which is why I'm super excited to be linking up with Sarah from Sarah Smile for #MySummerStyle! Be sure to visit her blog and the others linked up to read all about everyone's different summer styles!

There are a blue million songs that make me think of summer (1, 2, 3) that mostly include country songs, but goodness, there's something about summer that allows little things to just make you plain happy. I am incredibly excited for this summer, but I still have to finish school and graduate first!

When I think of summer, I think of.....

PASTELS AND BRIGHTS.


The other day when I was texting my friends about what color to paint my nails (obvi a huge decision and the biggest worrier in my life), I had totally forgotten about my favorite light blue color that I only save for the summer. It's Dreamer by Revlon and the baby blue just makes me crave warm weather and pastel clothes. 


Pastels also mean Lilly Pulitzer, so of course I touched it up with my Lilly watch (similar). That watch set was  a find a long time ago that I've always been so happy with! It's so light and makes me feel so summery. 

And of course, summer for this girl is always about drinking gallons of water. I drink water like it's nobody's business, which is why I'm obsessed with my Kate Spade tumbler. It's actually so much larger than normal tumblers and was one of the sweetest gifts I've ever received! I don't think they don't sell the striped one anymore, but here's an adorable polka dot one

Now, summer is not all about sitting inside on your computer, but some days need a lil bit of Pinterest inspiration (where you can work on all your crafts and recipes you've pinned!)...



The Pinterest addiction is at an all-time high during the summer and boards filled of cute swimsuits keep me loving the season.

Speaking of being outside, I had to share just a few photos from playing tennis with my friends on Election Day (where I got to vote!!!!!!)--


Hittin' that nae nae?



Sweet sister Shelby and I played with wooden rackets. We aren't very good at all, but I don't think those two facts are related....


And of course, summer is all about enjoying the sunshine whenever you can!

What are your favorite things about summer? What instantly makes you think about the wonderful season?

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Way I Galaxy It: ModCloth

I am incredibly excited to share with you the weekly Wanelo outfit challenge for ModCloth, one of the best online shopping sites out there. ModCloth is fabulous because their styles are so chic and eccentric and quirky and can basically fit the needs of any stylish girl out there. So check out these pieces all on my Wanelo story. If we're being honest, I'd kind of abandoned my Wanelo account (follow me @monogrammeredith and @modcloth!), but I think I've found a new addiction... it's actually perfect for finding and shopping for good pieces in a more organized manner!
































I'm really lusting over all of these pieces. Like I said, ModCloth is perfect for those dresses and tops and skirts and all sorts of things, and ummmm, look at this dress (The Way I Galaxy It)?! So perfect with other spring and pastel colors. I'm a big fan of finding colors in one dress and pulling them together in everything else, which is why I'm dying by all of the colorful accessories. Especially those precious retro periwinkle shoes! (heart eye emoji)


And a few other ModCloth faves that have the same sweet and soft look....






Which of their dresses is your favorite? Comment or tweet me

xoxo,
Meredith

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Haircuts shouldn't be this dramatic

Okay, guys, I'm getting my hair cut today. Nothing dramatic, but enough to make me squirm a little. I hate haircuts. Does any girl like having their hair cut? Okay, maybe a few out there that love change and exciting things, but c'mon, I do not like the feeling of having something I've worked so hard to grow (because it is a lot of work, right???!) just gone. I'm only really having it trimmed because it's incredibly unhealthy and basically my whole head is a split end. Ya feel me on that?! One time I joked that my whole life is fairly symbolic of a split end.... if you think about it, we're all kind of frayed at the ends, still trying to hold onto one main root. But whatever, that metaphor doesn't really make any sense and I'm getting too into one little life nuisance that (most) every girl goes through and I think the end of the year has me feeling like everything is a metaphor.

But yes, all of my hairs are split and dead and it's actually kind of embarrassing, but I kept putting off this hair cut until after seniors and then after both proms.... and today's the day. Who knows how many inches will come off?! Who knows if I'll post a picture-- because everyone knows that it's a valid excuse, right?! (Just kidding, I probably won't post a picture. I'm already being dramatic over a trim, writing a blog post and all.)

Yesterday when I told my friend I was having it trimmed, she told me that she cries every time she gets her hair cuts. We are both 18 years old. We are legal adults, but still get so worked up over someone taking over our little ounce of power that we have with our hair.

Maybe that's the excuse-- the vulnerability of usually having complete control over our hair that we can't do anything about when some hairdresser takes some of it off. And oh yeah, guys, this is a new hairdresser: let the nerves set in.

Why do we girls get so worked up over getting our hair cut?! Or am I just making a bigger deal out of it than it really is to most girls? Probably just getting worked up over it.

xoxo,
Meredith

Monday, May 12, 2014

Life Lately

Life lately--



National Honor Society inductions! I was so fortunate to have served as an officer for our school's NHS, with my best friend Adam (above) as the president. And then I got to induct two of my other sweet best friends into the new class!

{Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, which was actually perfect for this because of the cap sleeves that kept me cool}


SaraCare was a really cool concert at Union Church in Berea!



And then bowling with Gammon and a few others from his school for a fundraiser.


Our Academy Mentoring showcase, where I presented this whole 200+ hour project as a reflection of the whole year. WOWZA that was weird, but emotional post about that later.

{Dress/Belt: Forever 21, Necklace: eBay, Shoes: Jack Rogers}


Spontaneous trips to Harry's with my other sweet girl



Homeschool graduation was this past Saturday and it just so happened that literally everyone with us was wearing coral or salmon of some sort. Congrats to sweet Jordan for graduating!


Saturday night was fun and brought to you by another pair of seersucker shorts (other than these)... I'm becoming a fan of bigger shorts, which I think means that I'm not 14 years old anymore. So sick of constantly seeing annoying younger girls in booty shorts in public (not okay)! But these were very cool and comfortable for a trip to Orange Leaf with Gammon!

{Shirt: Old Navy, Shorts: J. Crew}


And of course, a delayed post saying Happy Mother's Day to my incredible mother! I know everyone says their mom is the best, but I think it's a general consensus by everyone that knows her that she is the absolute coolest. If I could be half the woman she is, I will have done something amazing. Love her lots!


Kirby and I found ourselves in our summer skirts, which I've realized become my main staple in the summer. Bright colors and fun prints with a solid colored shirt are what I basically live in. I had on a pink gingham skirt with limes {Talbots} and Kirby was killing it in her blue seersucker skirt {Bass}... which I also happen to have and wore here. Our moms love shopping together and giving us the same Christmas gifts. What can I say? Kirbs has great style and is also famous for being featured on Marley Lilly's Instagram (OW OW)!


I'm excited for the next few weeks because they're the last few weeks of school before graduation (*starts crying*) but I know they'll be great!

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"If not us, then who?"

I was having a conversation the other day with someone and they were asking me about my life and my college decision and I was just very eager talking about all of it, like how can you not just go on for days about everything that's going on at this point of senior year? He was asking about my friends and my family and school, and then he asked me about how my relationship with Christ was.

It was one of those things where I was kind of taken back; I could talk for forever about all the other aspects of my life, but how could I forget to check up on the biggest thing of my life? Is my relationship with Christ something that's just kind of there and I forget to maintain? Is it something I'm supposed to maintain, or just live my life through? These sorts of questions get me to my core when I think I'm too busy for God, though I go to church regularly and felt like I was doing. It was something I was putting off because it felt like a note on a to-do list that I just hadn't checked off yet. 

And just like God works His way into everyone's lives at different points, I heard a Matthew West song on the radio. I don't normally listen to the radio and not really Christian radio, but when this started playing, I couldn't help but get hyped about life and God and all the potential in my life that would be working to serve Christ and not myself. 

Because, really, the whole past two months have been solely devoted to myself and how I'm going to be spending my life to serve me as a career tool. But like he says in the song, 

I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God’s hands and feet
But it’s easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
Well, I don’t know about you
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
“I’m gonna do something”

If that doesn't get to you, what does?! The lyrics in this song are incredible and just get me so excited to figure out the ways God is working in my life, but most importantly, how I can serve in His kingdom to spread His incredible love. By the way, the song mentions the salt passage from Matthew, probably one of my favorite Bible passages ever. 


And I really do love a lot of other Matthew West songs if you want that same sort of feel that you get from this one!

"If not us, then who?
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when?"

Have you heard this before? What do you think?

xoxo,
Meredith

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Prom Part II

AND I WENT TO PROM AGAIN and had an absolute blast! I was lucky enough to get another dress (score at Macy's) and so here's my photo overload (I love you, blogging).


the sunglasses were a part of the outfit, no?






We were lucky enough to get photos at Boone Tavern with Gammon's sister and her boyfriend!



Jack Rogers-- the best dancing shoe



If you didn't take mirror pics in a fancy mirror, did you even go anywhere fancy?


They kept asking me, "What kind of faces would Monogram Meredith make?"...



My sweet and wonderful mother/photographer of all these pictures.


Very typical


Neither of us knew what to do for this pose...


And my other photographer/best friend/sister










An 'M' for Monogram Meredith?





Alright, I'm mostly including this photo because I thought my hair looked cool: my mom did it completely herself! We hot rolled it and then braided it... perhaps a blog post coming completely about that!



We're really big fans of selfies.


And on the way to Lexington for dinner with sweet Sadie! We ate at Malone's and had a great time there.


This was the outside of prom (excuse my poor iPhone quality) and it was actually so legit. It was an old factory, called Churchill Weavers, that they had completely redone the inside of and made look phenomenal for the New York theme.


They had this cool red carpet thing where they had everyone come down and take pictures and answer questions.


Shoutout to this unknown fellow who let us take our picture with him.



This was really insanely cool too-- as scared as I was that they were all going to get stuck on the power lines and burn the whole place down, it was amazing for everyone to get these paper lanterns and write their wishes on them and let them float away in the sky.

We went to prom breakfast after that and then a friend's house, then the next morning, stayed on Gammon's farm, which apparently was a very "bloggable" day.


APPARENTLY I am a "city slicker" for having a fear that cows were going to attack me. When he asked me if I was scared of cows, I said no, but didn't realize how close we were going to be to them in their RTV (which, by the way, is this, because I sure as heck didn't know what it was until he told me). It's hilarious how even though we both live in Kentucky, I've lived in Lexington and he's lived in Berea our whole lives and though they're close, they can be so doggone different!



Absolutely beautiful day out!


And of course I took lots of unnecessary selfies. 

All in all, it was an incredibly fun weekend!!


xoxo,
Meredith

PS: Funny story- I got a spray tan (wasn't going to try the whole 'let's get tan real fast in the sun' thing like I tried over spring break) and the lady kept commenting on my awkward tan lines (she called them "tiger stripes") that you can see in the above photo. OH WHALE.