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Count Your Many Blessings

Saying that I am wonderfully and truly blessed could not begin to describe how I am feeling at this moment. I am completely blown away by God's goodness. Every moment of every day, no matter what. 100% unconditional, selfless love. Wow. Just... wow.

Really, I could rave for days, but this day in particular has got me thinking. I started reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts this morning and I'm already hooked, compiling a list of my own. She writes about how ingratitude was rooted in the fall of man and how joy is to be found in all situations, if we only look. We have so much to be thankful for! And we were made for a life of intimacy with Christ, and what better way to honor him than to sing his praises for how he has blessed us!

I'll keep you updated on the reading with a review once it's finished. But for now, here are a few of the things on my list:

-the smell of cinnamon vanilla candles
-Starbucks' Christmas cups
-rainy days under a favorite umbrella
-Quartet with Grand Piano
-my wonderful theatre department
-being only 1.5 hours away from home
-the first spoonful of peanut butter in a new jar
-having entire conversations without words, and the knowing smile that follows
-the gift of faithful, compassionate mentors
-my sweet brother's big brown eyes
-the moment before the curtain opens and the show begins
-knowing all the words to Beauty & the Beast
-bright yellow flowers
-baking adventures with my roommate

And the list goes on and on.

7 Pretty Things on {Sunday}

Once again, I am linking up at Gussy Sews. Isn't it great? I've always enjoyed her {7 Pretty Things on Sunday} posts and here is a great opportunity to find dozens of "7's" and share my own. These have all been found via pinterest, of course. So enjoy!

Source: etsy.com via Bailey on Pinterest

Journaling Through January; "Currently's"

I am currently...

Listening to: Anchored in Love by Jenny & Tyler.
Wearing: BU sweatpants, a PINK sweatshirt, plum tanktop.
Thinking about: everything that needs to be done today.
Looking forward to: dancing at Wild West tonight with friends.
Reading: Spiritual Leadership, RED, The Hunger Games.
Planning: for our LG girls' house next year!
Thankful for: the cast, crew, and rehearsal process of Quartet with Grand Piano.
Feeling: tired but content.
Needing: more sleep and motivation to clean.
Wishing for: exciting adventures this year.
Praying: that I'll continue to enjoy the "today" and not wish it away for tomorrow.
Enjoying: spending a Saturday at home cleaning, writing, and crafting.
Discovering: more and more how blessed I am!
Dreaming: of waltzing to Smile; after rehearsals it sticks with me even in sleep.

Along For the Ride

InstaYear 2012; Weeks 2 & 3

So much for my plans to update every day, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. I have decided that this blog will not be a burden. It is going to be a joy. An escape. It will be lovely. I don't have to be on a schedule or feel bad for not updating "as I should" or "regularly." No one even reads it at this point. It is simply going to be a place for me. And for you, should there ever be any you's out there :)

These past two weeks have been crazy. Literally. Once school started life got turned upside down in the best ways. Classes and auditions, work and friends. You name it, it threw itself into the mix. Here is a brief look into the last two weeks of my life. Enjoy!

Favorite latest purchase. Let's spend Sunday together. A little late night inspiration.

January 7: One of my favorite recent purchases. I've been a follower of Design Sponge and some of it's contributors for over a year and now it is finally mine!
January 8: I LOVE my camera. It has a special place on my desk and I really need to take it out more. This Sunday I spent a few hours with my friend Zach taking his headshots.
January 9: This night I watched A Midsummer Night's Dreams and read all the short plays in Quartet with Grand Piano while preparing for auditions.

Quality time on the library. A little inspiration. The best encouragement.

January 10: I've found a new love for spending time in the library. All I need are my plays, planner, and a good cup of Starbucks' hot chocolate. 
January 11: Tumblr is another great place to find inspiration. This was quite meaningful to me this week.
January 12: "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." Psalm 42:11

Another exciting day at work. Quartet with Grand Piano. Grace has been quite the theme of the week.

January 13: Work, work, work. The majority of what I've done since the break has been to work. Even with the rush at the store for textbooks, it wasn't that bad.
January 14: I was cast in Quartet with Grand Piano! I was so surprised and excited to find out that I will be playing Cheryl in Little Airplanes of the Heart. So great!
January 15: My planner. Something near and dear to me, full of to-do's and inspirational quotes.

Indeed. I couldn't be happier in this moment. All set for rehearsal. Such a diligent note-taker. Study abroad 2012, here I come.

January 16: I was still glowing and bursting with excitement over being cast. Such a wonderful day!
January 17: At our first rehearsal we were told to get a notebook to bring with us every week. I promptly found an unused Moleskin and decorated it in tribute to the shows.
January 18: This summer I will be studying abroad with BU Theater. This week I wrote the largest check of my life to begin paying for it. Then at Starbucks the free book of the day is a 2012 international travel guide. How great!

Haven't been on this side of campus in a while. I forget to wear my BUT jersey every week...

January 19: Yesterday, I had dinner with some of my lovely freshmen from lifegroup and I realized it was one of the first times I had ventured to the other side of campus this semester. It's so gorgeous over there.
January 20: And finally, today, I once again forgot to wear my BUT jersey. I'm such a good Druid Vice President right? We're supposed to wear them to workshop each Friday but they aren't the most comfortable things and they're really, really hot. Did I mention it was 78 degrees today? Yes, in JANUARY.

Beautiful Bedrooms; Inspiration with Gussy Sews

On my previous blog, one of my favorite weekly events was the link up at Gussy Sews. Every Thursday blogs would all post on her page with posts full of colorful, inspiring pictures of whatever the topic was. This week's them is {BEDROOM}.

I have been blessed with having my own room for the past two years. Our apartment is small but this space is entirely mine. It is packed to the brim with books, pillows, pictures, and the like. Next year, however, I will be most likely sharing a room with my dear friend Alyssa, so some of these things will have to go. Pinterest, as you know, is one of my favorite pastimes, and I have collected quite the assortment of inspiring images for bedrooms in the present and beyond.

Here is my favorite. I adore all of these colors, especially the coral dresser.
So many patterns done so well!

This tufted headboard is gorgeous! And I love the bold painting above it.
Patterned curtains make an interesting addition offsetting the white beautifully.

More bright colors mixed with white. The yellow is divine, paired with green and navy quite nicely.
And I really enjoy the garland hanging over the headboard.

I love the headboard in this one too and the grey chevron pillow.
The second is a must next year, I believe! Again, primarily white, but still stunning.

So there you have it. This week at Gussy Sews. Until next time,
Bailey Jean

Looking Forward, Pressing On

It is a year of opportunity. A year of new beginnings, chances to take, and changes. And there are many things I am looking forward to in the months to come. For today, I thought I'd share a few, especially since some are swiftly approaching.

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream & Quartet with Grand Piano
These are the two upcoming shows in our season this semester and auditions are only a few days away. I am both excited and nervous for them to finally be here. We found out this season in December of 2010 and I've been looking forward to this for over a year now. And it's finally here. Midsummer is my favorite Shakespearean play and it has always been a dream of mine to be in it. But Quartet is a series of short plays which are all very good as well! And both shows are being directed by two WONDERFUL professors. Really, either would be a dream come true. And I've never been in a main stage before so this could be my chance. Auditions are on Thursday then callbacks are Friday and Saturday. I'm assuming the cast list will be posted the following Friday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Every year my church's college ministry goes on a mission trip to the border during Spring Break. We call it Awaken and it is truly a life-changing experience. Last year was my first time to go and it was incredible! I made so many wonderful friends and grew closer to the ones I already had. I was also so challenged and encouraged in my walk with God, freed from so many lies I had been believing and weight that I had felt on my shoulders. The surrender was difficult but sweet and I grew to appreciate the community I'm in so much more than I had. I can't wait to go again, this time with a slightly different group, and I can't wait to see what's in store for everyone!

3. An abundance of free time!
I'm only taking thirteen hours this semester. Four classes. That's it! For a girl who has taken 17 or 18 every semester since the start of freshman year, this is mind blowing. I have one class M/W/F and three on T/Th. I work 2-5 every day and some in the mornings, but otherwise I have so much more spare time! What to do with it? How to handle it? Now those are entirely different questions. I'm not used to it, honestly. I've always been one to pack my schedule because I didn't feel like I was being productive if my planner wasn't exploding with meetings and places to be. But not this semester. I am excited for the free time. I'm just praying for the right way to use it.

4. BU Theatre Study Abroad Summer 2012
I first heard about this trip in fall of 2009. So it's needless to say that it can't get here fast enough. I will be spending 3 weeks in Europe with 20 theatre majors and 3 professors, studying playwrights and theatre in various cultures, seeing many shows and simply enjoying the time traveling! It's been four years since I was last overseas and I can't wait to go back. We will spend 7 days in London, 7 in Paris, a few in Stratford and Brussels, too. The World Shakespeare Festival is going to be in London because of the Olympics and I am just beside myself to get there!

5. Senior year.
Woah. I said it. The "S" word. Right now, it's forbidden because I can't bear to think of the current seniors leaving. But my time is coming shortly. Soon. Too quickly. But it will be here. And I'm excited. I'm excited to see how things change between then and now and what stays the same. There is so much time still. You never know what can happen in six months. You never know what can happen in a day! Senior year will begin in August and finish in the following May. It's incredible how close we are but I'm not rushing there yet.

There are my top five. I could list a few more, but those are the biggest I'd say.
And you never know what surprises the year might hold. I could have no idea :)
Until next time,
Bailey Jean

InstaYear 2012

Instagram was the first app I downloaded when I opened my iPhone. As the former owner of an android phone, I'll admit I was jealous of my apple-owning friends for this nifty photo filter and photostreaming application.  It's simple, easy to use, and you're just a few clicks away from sharing vintage-looking photos with your followers and friends. Now, I'm not one that takes dozens of pictures with it every day --and there are many that do, believe me, I follow some--  but I use it on occasion and it's pretty fun.

In order to try to get myself to take more pictures every day, I've started a project called InstaYear 2012. One Instagram uploaded per day to capture what my day held. Six days in and here we are:

New Year's Eve at Cowboys Dancehall. Excited for new beginnings this year.

January 1: All of our boots from bringing in the New Year at Cowboy's Dancehall. (Seth's, mine, Carissa's, Kelly's, and Justin's).
January 2: This is the cover of a new notebook. Just a reminder that every day is a new day for the taking.

My grandmother's dolls. I miss her dearly. Disney movie marathons always help me clean.

January 3: Cleaning my desk, I found Grammy's  dolls. My favorite to play with when we visited. It's been almost 3 years since she passed.
January 4: Still cleaning. And with cleaning always comes a Disney movie marathon. Sleeping Beauty is a must.

Finding memories as I clean. Happy birthday to me. The closet door reminder. The most important accessories to put on every day.

January 5: More cleaning? You guessed it. This is a collage from my 6th birthday party. Still love me some sequins and glitter.
January 6: I have this hung on the door of my closet. I good reminder when I'm stressing over what to wear that the clothes are not what's important.

All for now. You'll see more next week.
Until next time,
Bailey Jean

Design on a Dime {Not a Cent Spent}

The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have one. So here I go.

I have a problem.

Whew. That was easy, right? Well, it would probably help if I admitted what problem I have. And that is that I spend too much money on crafting and decorating.. things. Anything. From Hobby Lobby to JoAnn's, Goodwill and Spice, I just can't help it.

But now I can! And I will!

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but it seems from sheer lack of will power (and wallet-power) that I ever undertook the feat. So, as part of my New Year's resolutions to save money and make the most of my free time, I am not going to spend a dime on anything craft/decorating related until March.

This means no trips to Hobby Lobby, no wandering through fabric stores for hours, and no printing coupons every morning (at least I tried to save a little there!). The Christmas season was particularly hazardous to my savings and I have a box of unfinished Christmas crafts to prove it.

There's the other part of this. I will finish what I start. I will take the ideas I've found and collected and actually make them happen WITHOUT going to the store, therefore using ONLY what I already have. Wish me luck! And be on the look out for a few of the following over the next two months.

Until next time,
Bailey Jean

A Pinteresting Wednesday

Pinterest is the latest craze. And I have happily jumped on board. Literally. I was a tumblr girl for a few solid years and enjoyed blogging and reblogging interesting pictures, crafts, quotes and the like. It was mostly for my own pleasure and to save a few favorite ideas for decorating or crafting, but it pales in comparison to Pinterest. At least in that manner.

The organizer in me loves Pinterest because you can save your pins (pictures, quotes, posts, etc.) to specific boards (pages) and organize them. I have around 30 boards ranging from kitchen designs to storage ideas, recipes to DIY links, photography to fashion, and many more. Most recently I created a board to gather ideas for BU Theatre's Winter Banquet (of which I was chair and had a $50 budget). It saved me loads of time and provided so many ideas that my committee pulled off wonderfully.

I highly, highly, highly suggest Pinterest. You can use it for anything. Signing up takes a while unless you receive an invite from someone who already has one. Feel free to ask for one, I'd be happy to help you on your way! Just a warning, it's quite addicting. Be prepared :)

New Year's Resolutions, 2012 Style

God is so good. His love is ovewhelming sometimes. In the moments I begin to wonder or question, even for the smallest second, He reminds me. He shows up in the boldes ways. I am so blessed.

I have no doubts that this next year is going to be incredible. He has big things up His sleeves. In looking at the year ahead, I have come up with my New Year's resolutions finally. Let's give them a go shall we?

1. Dedicated time with Jesus every day. He can't be an afterthought. He should be my first thought.
2. Exercise 3 times per week, at least.
3. Read more! Plays, fiction, nonfiction, Christian inspiration, news, blogs. Just read.
4. Make a 4.0 each semester. I only have three left after all.
5. Take more pictures. Make better use of the camera Mom and Dad gave me.
6. Keep the apartment clean. I need to be responsible with the little if I want to be trusted with much.
7. Save $2,000. Apart from what I am saving to help pay for study abroad.
8. Meet intentionally with people often. My friends are gifts and I should value them more.
9. Blog every week day. So far so good but we are only 3 days in.
10. Spend NO MONEY on crafts/decorations until March. It will help with my savings and I need to use what I already have.
11. Memorize more scripture.
12. Serve more, complain less, and enjoy today!

Twelve resolutions for 2012. Can it be done? Not on my own. Thankfully I can't rely on my own strength to get me through the day. He is my rock. This year is His.

Until next time,
Bailey Jean

A Year of New Beginnings; The Inspired Life

2012 has so much potential. Really, it's exciting to think about. It is wide-open, ready for the taking. I am thrilled. I am also incredibly blessed. Thinking back over 2011 and reading through old journals reminded me of this today. So many prayers answered, so many gifts received. I have grown so much and learned so much! Looking back at January 2nd of last year I had no idea what was in store for me. The surprises couldn't have been better.

This year, I never expected making a list of New Year's Resolutions would be so difficult. I wanted to make them count this year. To make them accomplishable and important, realistic and challenging. They're still in the works.

So for now, here are a few inspiring thoughts to get the year started off right.

Source: etsy.com via Bailey on Pinterest

Until tomorrow,
Bailey Jean

Hello, 2012! Welcome to Anchored in Love!

Here we go again. If you know me, you know that I have the habitual need to start projects anew, especially if the timing is right. And the timing here seems too good to be true. It is the start of a new year, and the start of a new blog for yours truly.

Now, I have had several others and have drifted in and out, changing the look of the site and trying to decide just what to post on the day-to-day. I was thinking and planning myself in circles with the last one. But this one I believe will see me through. Here is where I will share my heart and thoughts, my projects and experiences, allowing you all to follow along should you choose to do so.

Please bear with me as I get settled.
And don't be surprised when this post itself is updated. 
I am simply that tired and that much of a perfectionist. 

Until next time,
Bailey Jean