October 22, 2016

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Hello, lovelies!

Just this last month, I had the incredible opportunity to travel by plane to the sunny state of Colorado. My trip was full of breathtaking mountaintop views, drives through pretty city streets, and amazing restaurants. But one of the greatest experiences of all was seeing the magnificent Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver. As soon as I stepped through those heavy wooden doors, I felt at home. I only had the opportunity to view the church, but I can only imagine how beautiful mass is in such an incredible place of worship. The marble floors, ornate stained glass windows, and statues of holy men and women were such beautiful sights. It is only natural that such beautiful things point to God, beauty Himself.



I'm really starting to understand that to be truly living a life with Christ, it isn't always taking one big leap of faith. I'm realizing it is several (sometimes really hard) steps I need to take to grow closer in my relationship with Him. God gave us the beautiful gift of free will, so each new day we have a choice, a choice to live out what we are all called to do which is to live in union with God. So I encourage you to be courageous and say YES to God's call with great passion and love in your heart, no matter what you're struggling with now. God is stronger than your difficulties. He may not take away the cross you were given, however He is a merciful and loving Father and will give you the necessary strength + grace needed to combat life's troubles. Pray, and Be Not Afraid.

Much love,
Abbey Noelle

September 25, 2016

Update + Other Exciting Things

Hello beautiful friends!

With my vanilla bean frappuccino in hand (Okay but seriously, I wish I had vanilla frap right now) I'd like to fill you guys in on what exactly has been going on in my life, and what has been consuming the time I would have normally put into blogging! 

The beginning of my summer in June was pretty chill (I say that ironically, guilty.) However once July hit my life started to turn upside down in the best possible way + got incredibly busy. I started work as a PCA spending time with a little girl with Down Syndrome. If you didn't know, PCA stands for Personal Care Assistant! I'm going to be so honest with you guys, this job is hard. I was only working between 7-10 hours a week, but my hours weren't broken up throughout the week so when I went to work I was working all day with no break. The girl I work with (yes, I'm still going at it!) is as sweet as can be, but spending that much time one on one with a special needs child can be very emotionally draining. There was a point where I questioned whether or not I should really be in this line of work, or whether or not I was capable of going on. But I pulled through by the grace of God and I'm now working much more reasonable hours. I now only work once a week for 3 or so hours. I'm picking up another job soon to cover my expenses (I like shopping..lol) but as a side job, it's perfect and I'm so grateful. 

Towards the end of July I went to a week long strings camp with a few of my siblings, and that was such an incredible opportunity! Growing up I took private violin lessons for a couple of years, but then I stopped for a few years + then we moved from Michigan to Minnesota. So when I started playing again for violin camp, I hadn't played in roughly a decade. I'm still a beginner by all means so don't dream up an image of me gracefully playing the violin. I started up lessons again this past Friday, so I look forward to maybe playing with some grace after 2 semesters of lessons. ;) 

If you aren't Catholic you may not be aware of what Totus Tuus is, but it's a program much like VBS for Catholic youth. I was a little wary of joining, but my gosh I'm so glad I did. So after a week of going to violin camp everyday, I almost immediately started a new week of crazy activity. Totus Tuus consisted of two programs during the day. The day program started at 9:00 am and lasted until roughly 2:00-2:30 pm and this was for 1st-6th graders. The evening program started at 7:00 pm and lasted until 10:00 (sometimes even later for us who like to socialize..aka me) this was for anyone in 7th-12th grade. Because I'm a senior this year, I went to both programs! I volunteered as a teacher helper for the day program and attended as a student for the evening. Never have I ever felt so free to be me then during Totus Tuus. Not only were the adults + other students my age involved in Totus Tuus super authentic and encouraging people, but I made several little friends with the oh so cute kids during the day. Being around lots of amazing Catholics all day everyday was an INCREDIBLE experience + my extroverted heart was so full with love for God and His people. I came home exhausted every night, but so ready to wake up the next day and do it all over again. Friendships grew + my heart that had felt so broken this spring was made new. Totus Tuus is what I needed for my heart to heal + a stepping stone to a life of truly living for Christ. I don't know how to express to you how much the people I met or grew to know better mean to me, but I do know that these individuals will stay in my heart + prayers. 

Because there are so many young people in my area, we had an amazing turnout of teens for the Totus Tuus night program. I saw an opportunity to get us back together again after TT ended, and I brought it to the attention of my tri-parish priest. It turned out that he had the same idea as well! All credit goes to the Holy Spirit for putting that desire to start a group for young Catholics in our hearts. Since then with the added help from Jonah an awesome guy from the area, we've been working as a trio to get something going. It has been a challenging adventure + they're great guys on fire for Christ and it's been an honor working alongside them.

I got offered not one, but two volunteer teaching positions in my area this fall! The first is teaching an arts + crafts class to little kids between 2nd and 4th grade for the local Homeschool co-op, which has been a blast to say the least. They're such great kids and so incredibly fun to teach! And the second position is for a program in my church called Faith Formation, which is a weekly catechist class for elementary students in Public schools. I'm teaching 6th grade, which is an interesting adventure. I'm hoping to really touch their hearts with the love + strength of God by this teaching opportunity. I'm not sure if God is calling me to be a teacher in the future, but it has definitely been on my mind lately as a possibility.

I mentioned it on Instagram, but I made a trip out to the gorgeous state of Colorado this month for a week and it was such a rad experience. I traveled out by plane (my first flight ever!) with my darling grandma and there we stayed with my uncle, aunt and cousin in Denver. We stayed an entire week + we saw so much in that time that I'm still awed at how much I got to experience, how much of Gods incredible beauty + creation I had the chance to see in person. I want to share pictures on the blog, but that'll be in a separate post where I can chat with you a little more on my trip. This post is getting too long already, but I have so much of my life I want to share with you that has happened in a matter of months and I'm giddy with excitement. Life is beautiful. 

As you have probably noticed (unless you happen to be new! In which case, welcome lovely!) the blog looks completely different now! I've been planning to change up not only the look of my blog, but also the content I'm putting out for several months now and I'm so completely overjoyed to have finally pulled it together to be able to share my plans with you! This blog started when I was a young teen, and my reason for starting this blog was so I would have a place to share my photos + little thoughts. Somewhere along the road I discovered a passion for fashion and this blog of mine turned into a style blog with the occasional lifestyle post. Now older and with a new sense of who I am and how I want to impact not the world but the people in it, I have new goals for this blog WHICH IS SO EXCITING. I seriously cannot contain my excitement! I still intend on posting my outfits and style advice, but with that I want to bring more authenticity to this space. I want to talk about my Catholic faith and how it has impacted my life so greatly + what it has taught me about love and other beautiful things. Finally, I want this to be a space where I can be my myself completely + share my heart with those in the world. I want to inspire. To love. To encourage.

I hope you find love + community here, lovelies.

With many hugs and much love,
Abbey Noelle