Just found the title track for your Valentine's Day 2015 mix tape


Top Ten Albums of 2014

Well, since it's the last day of January, I should definitely get this list out. Here it is! Suzie's much awaited, highly sought after annual Top Ten List. These are the albums that I listened to over and over (and over and over) in 2014. They are listed chronologically in the sense that number one was my go-to album at the beginning of the year and number ten was my go-to album towards the end of the year.

Suzie's Top 10 Albums of 2014

1. Post Tropical - James Vincent McMorrow

2. Native Dreamer Kin - Joseph

3. Always EP - Panama

4. Multiply - Ed Sheeran

5. Strange Desire - Bleachers

6. My Everything - Ariana Grande

7. Romantic Works featuring Ren Ford - Keaton Henson

8. Angus & Julia Stone - Angus & Julia Stone

9. 1989 - Taylor Swift

10. Hozier - Hozier

11. In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith

In case you noticed, yes, I did cheat. This is actually a list of 11 instead of 10 =] Anyone else have a "top ten" list they want to share?


autobiographical statement

So I'm sitting here way past my bedtime trying to write an autobiographical statement. I can't be the only one who has had to google "autobiographical statement" to even start that process, right? Shout out to ehow.com. Anyone want to tell me if it's supposed to be single or double spaced? Or maybe tell me how I'm supposed to fit all 13 things ehow.com tells me I need in 2 pages or less? Geez oh pete.

Tonight I've come to the realization that I hate writing things that feel too "formal" (not to be confused with dressing formal, which I love). This means I'm doing a lot of paragraph cutting. I guess if I'm applying to enter a program for a graduate certificate in Christian studies, I probably shouldn't talk about odd changes my body makes when it's been under extended periods of anxiety. And I should probably talk less like I'm writing a blog post. And maybe still be honest, but not in a blunt way that can be misunderstood or something.

This is going to take way longer than I anticipated.

And now, an excerpt from "Suzie's Unused Paragraphs from a Too-Casual Autobiographical Statement:"

Since then, I have stepped into leadership roles as I have felt God guide me. A lot of the time I don’t even like leading. It makes me nervous and scared and sometimes even causes burps or hiccups. But I dislike ignoring God even more. So I've jumped into learning to lead a discussion group (still not my favorite), learning to disciple young women (has anyone really figured that one out?), and learning that leading is a lot less about meetings and know-how, and a lot more about making yourself available, admitting your failures, learning from those failures, and being okay with changing plans because apparently that’s how God wanted it to all work out anyway.

Time to call it a night and try again tomorrow.


my best thought

I have to admit something that you may have already guessed about me:

*deep breath*

I was totally that girl who overused song lyrics in social media. It's true. I posted lyrics to whatever song really spoke to me at the moment in my AIM away messages, Xanga posts, Facebook statuses, basically anywhere you gave me a chance to communicate. It's pretty funny to look back on now (thanks Facebook timeline), and I can say that for the most part I've quit that habit.

The thing is, music is important to me. It's something I've always found comfort in and get excited about. Lyrics still matter to me as well, and I often find myself really admiring or relating to a line or two of a song (I simply resist the urge to post them as my Facebook status every few days).

Anyway, there's a line from the song "Be Thou My Vision" that stood out to me a year or so ago:

"You are my best thought by day or by night"

DUDE. How true! I love that. God is my best thought EVER. I wanted to make a series of images inspired by this song, and since I'm not a graphic designer or anything, I just went with hand-drawn and then painted them.

As a bonus, I'm already chippin' away at those summer goals now that I've finished this art project. Yessssss!


summer goals


There's so much promise in summer. Doesn't the word itself come with a hopeful, relieved sigh? Warm summer nights, cookouts, endless driving with the windows down, days out on the water, arguing with your roommates about how high the air conditioning really needs to be, er, I mean ...

I can't help but feel inspired and ready for whatever summer will bring this year. Too often I think about all these things I want to do in my head and then never get to them. As much as I know goals are good and helpful, I much prefer spontaneity. But maybe it'd be good for me to really, legitimately have a few goals for this summer. Let's give it a shot (thanks Bri):

Eating / cut back on the sweets (I don't need dessert with every meal)
Drinking / a little less coffee wouldn't hurt
Practicing / kayaking
Mastering / the perfect morning routine
Learning / how to be not-awkward with kids
Trying / to go hiking more this summer
Playing / any chance I get
Finishing / an art project or two
Reading / more! Let's say 3 books this summer
Remembering / to stay in touch with those who aren't in front of me
Wearing / my new sunglasses
Cooking / enjoying pre-made meals all summer long
Working / out more often
Traveling / enjoying every minute of a summer full of traveling
Wanting / to still leave room for spontaneity

That was kinda fun. Who knew? =] What kind of goals are you setting for yourself this summer, if any?


finally myself

After over a year of struggling with sadness and depression for reasons I can't really place, I'm finally feeling like myself again.

But not exactly the same "myself" as a couple years ago. Last year I would try to figure out why I was sad all the time, and think back to when I was so excited about life and wonder how I could get back to that. About halfway into my year of what-the-heck-is-happening-to-me? I realized and accepted that I was never going to go back to whoever I thought I was a few years ago. Life changes you and helps you grow and no matter how much I want to be the "excited, passionate, happy Suzie" everyone perceived me to be back then, I can't stay that person forever. I mean, I'm not a totally different person, either. I still get excited about the silliest stuff, I'm still passionate about many things, and I am often still happy.

Maybe I've just been learning that life has different seasons and these seasons help you grow. They help you work for what really matters to you (even if a lot of the time that work is holding onto this tiny little thread of hope) and help you realize more of who you are. Some seasons straight up suck, but so long as you surround yourself with people who love you through it all and hold onto that tiny little thread of hope for dear life, that season will eventually end, and another season will come, and you'll take life a season at a time and learn and grow as you go.

So I'm finally feeling like myself - but a slightly modified "myself," if you will. I'll take it.


Top 10 of 2013

At some point I have to stop using the number of the year for my top albums. I think I'll stop now, since I'm not extremely passionate about 13 albums from the past year.

To be honest with you, I wasn't super involved in the new music scene this year, so music that defines 2013 for me includes plenty of 2012 and 2011 (example: I cheated a bit and used Ellie Goulding's re-issued expanded album "Halcyon Days" even though the original album "Halcyon" was released in 2012). Just putting that out there.

For a reminder: These albums are listed chronologically in the order of personal discovery. In other words, the top of the list is the first album of 2013 that I really loved in 2013. The bottom of the list is the most recent album of 2013 that I loved in 2013.

Suzie's Top 10 Albums of 2013

1. Native - OneRepublic

2. Save Rock And Roll - Fall Out Boy

3. Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend

4. If You Leave - Daughter

5. Halcyon Days - Ellie Goulding

6. Secondhand Rapture - MS MR

7. Bad Blood - Bastille

8. Self-Titled - The Tragic Thrills

9. Everything Is Debatable - Hellogoodbye

10. Midnight Memories - One Direction

I hope you find a new favorite after listening to an album or two from above. Anyone have their own list? Care to share? If you want some other great album suggestions I also have lists from 2012 and 2011.


fighting to be grateful

You know, it's a lot easier to sit and be sad than it is to take a step back and consider all God has blessed me with.

Fighting to be grateful today.


save rock and roll

Oh Fall Out Boy, what can I say to communicate my love for thee?

I'm super stoked for their new album Save Rock and Roll. It's gonna be too legit. How do I know?
1. It's FOB, imeancomeon.
2. The title track features Elton John, which is definitely something to look forward to.
And this presale deal of $7 is saweet!


will you do it for me?

In so many ways, I am spoiled by my heavenly Father. Even considering the contents of today, I have much to be thankful for. And yet tonight all I can do is sit here and cry for more.

Sometimes when life feels rough I want to sit down, throw a tantrum and quit. If I cry enough, can I get out of this? Will you just do this for me, God?