Life: May / June 2020

May _ June

Better late than never, right? I got to mid-June and realized that I still needed to do my post for May and basically decided to combine them. May was pretty slow and basically nothing happened anyway, so if I add in June there are more stories to tell. 🙂

– Friends

So May was kinda cool, I celebrated my birthday and was able to have some friends over to hang out in the backyard with me. We played Heads Up! and ate cupcakes and it was overall very fun. I’ve gotten to see my friends a lot more and reconnect and do a ton of activities outside so that’s a big yay!

Recently my friends and I have been hammocking a ton with our lovely Eno hammocks. We bike on some of the trails in town and then go off the trail and into the woods and usually get eaten alive by mosquitoes, but it’s all in good fun. We just have to remember to take bug spray.

– Quarantine

Quarantine is pretty much coming to a close in Alaska. Our state reopened so we can go to restaurants, shops, and pretty soon, church. My family in general still isn’t eating out (unless it’s something like pizza) or doing shared food which is slightly awkward at barbecues but oh well. Unfortunately, a lot of cities have had to mandate masks because literally NO ONE wears them so that’s blown up and sparked a ton of debates in my state. At least we can be safe inside now.

My family decided to have me and my brother stop going to youth group though, because a lot of people at my church are way too comfortable getting way too close to other people. That’s really sad to me because now I can’t hang out with my friends at my youth group or help out with the younger kids at our middle school youth group. But I’d rather be safe than sorry, you know?

– Skiing

Ski training continues! I’m hiking, downhill biking, doing core exercises, and rollerskiing to prep for swim and ski season. (That reminds me, today is interval day 😉 I think all of my training is really paying off and I feel a lot stronger . . . plus when I flex in the mirror I actually look kind of muscular . . . don’t tell anyone. 😂 I went rollerskiing with a few guy friends the other day and one of them got their pole stuck in a storm drain and it snapped in half . . . so stuff like that happens. Oops.

– Storytime 😬

My brother and dad and I are very into downhill mountain biking and we go all the time. For a while, we were going around five nights a week. About four weeks ago, my dad sent it a little too hard on a jump and the back of his bike hit him from behind and he went down really hard. I was right behind him, so I braked really hard, almost running into him, and helped him pull his bike off the trail. Later that night, at around midnight, I heard this huge crash from upstairs and I got out of bed. Turns out, my dad had a HUGE bruise on his lower stomach and the blood had drained out of his head and to his stomach, causing him to pass out. What worse is he pulled my mom’s dresser on top of himself as he fell, and it was on half of his body. My mom called 911 and eight paramedics showed up at our house with an ambulance and two fire trucks. It was extremely scary, but my dad didn’t need surgery or anything. And now he’s back to biking, although he has to go kind of slow and be careful.

So that was our excitement for June!

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– The good stuff

  • I went camping with one of my friends and her family and my family the other week and it was super nice to not have to social distance with them as much . . . their family is super careful like ours so we’re more comfortable around each other 🙂
  • The weather has been amazing, it hit 75 on the Fourth of July!
  • Speaking of the Fourth, I had a massive food coma . . .
  • We did do takeout for something other than pizza for Father’s Day – we got Thai food, and it was DELICIOUS after four months of not eating it (although the time before that I got food poisoning, so it was a nice little break, lol)
  • We sold our old minivan and now my Subaru has an actual parking spot in the driveway 😂
  • I redid the photo light string in my room, the one you can check out in this post, with updated pictures of this last school year!
  • I GOT CHACOS FOR MY BIRTHDAY (those are shoes, by the way, lol)

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– May / June favorites

What I’ve been listening to:

  • “Summer Feelings” by Lennon Stella ft. Charlie Puth
  • “Miracles” by Colton Dixon
  • “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink
  • “Savage Love” by Jason Derulo
  • all of Gabby Barrett’s album, “Goldmine”

Shows I’ve been binging:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Outer Banks
  • Dead to Me

Books I’ve been reading:

  • the Scythe series by Neal Shustermann
  • re-reading the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber
  • Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson
  • not a ton of reading this month, unfortunately . . .

That’s about it for May and June! I hope everyone in the US had an amazing Fourth of July!

How’s everyone’s summer going? Are your quarantine restrictions lifting? How was your Fourth of July?

XOXO,

Morgan

 

Sunshine Blogger Award (Thanks, Faye!)

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Long time no see! Well, not that long I suppose. I’ve been outside, enjoying our beautiful summer (I hope y’all are doing the same).

Faye nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award – my first award on SS&SS! Thank you so much Faye. Go check out her blog, everyone!

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your blog post.

The questions for me:

What is your favorite song and why?

My favorite song changes on a regular basis, but the one I keep coming back to is “Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid. I love Ed Sheeran’s voice and for some reason the lyrics in this song really resonate with me. The beat is also great!

Favorite book series and why?

My all-time favorite is The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick. The series is middle-grade fiction and I discovered it years and years ago, but the characters are all so different (it’s told from five different POVs) and the plot lines of each book are creative and fun. Plus, the author’s sense of humor is absolutely hysterical. They’re a great read for any age in my opinion.

Favorite movie and why?

I love The Parent Trap – the original and the remake. I can’t really choose which one is better. The twins are so mischevious and the movie is super entertaining.

Favorite flower and why?

My favorite flowers are hydrangeas because they’re super puffy (in a sense) and come in all different colors – depending on the pH level of the soil, in fact!

Favorite memory and why?

There are so many to choose from! I used to live in California (after being born in Alaska and relocated back and forth) and I have a lot of great memories from living there. My favorite one is actually from the day after I moved there. I got to meet our neighbor’s Chihuahua, Chloe. I was only eight at the time and Chloe and her owner were the first people I met there. Chloe passed away last year, but my own Chihuahua, Callie, reminds me of her.

What is a small thing you are incredibly proud of?

Hmm. (Anyone else have the problem where they have problems answering questions they would normally have an immediate answer to?) I guess I’m pretty proud of my bookshelf, actually. The one that’s rainbow color-coordinated, remember?

Do you have a bunch of friends or a few or really close friends?

I’m going to have to say I’m smack dab in the middle, honestly. I have two friend groups – my school/ski friends and my church friends. And then I have super close friends who aren’t in either of those groups who I love to death.

Are you a straight A’s kinda student, a few B’s and C’s, or failing kind of student?

Straight A’s, lol.

Do you play an instrument and if so, for how long?

I played piano for about nine years. I occasionally will go sit down and play, but I don’t do it consistently anymore. I would like to pick it back up, but I’m not sure I have the time.

What is a fact about yourself that is immediately apparent to new people that you meet?

Probably the fact that I’m pretty athletic. Besides the fact that I wear workout clothes a lot, I look like I’m in good shape. (Year-round ski training kind of shows.) 😂

Alternatively, what is a fact about yourself that only your closest friends (and now the internet) knows?

This is already on my blog, but the fact that I love swingsets! It’s easy to share that kind of information to my fifty followers, but I only have a couple of friends in real life who know that.

Here’s who I’m nominating:

Tess @ impatient, imperfect

Emmie @ Diary of a Daydreamer

Anyone over @ Yes, We Are Insane 🙂

Olivia @ Blogging and Bubble Tea

Arabella @ Sparks of Ara

Diamond @ I Have 12% of a Plan

… and anyone else who wants to do it!

Your questions are (I knew I was forgetting something . . .)

  • What is something huge you’ve accomplished that when you look back on, you are incredibly proud of?
  • Something you absolutely have to do before you die?
  • Biggest regret in the last month/year/your entire life?
  • What is something you would love to do, but you are too scared to do it?
  • What is something you admire that other people can do, but you can’t? (It can be about their personality or an actual skill.)
  • Go-to outfit?
  • What does your dream room look like?
  • What is the first thing you would do if you were the opposite gender? (Lol for me, it’s running at night . . .)
  • Favorite song to jam to in the car?
  • What moment in your life would you love to go back and re-live?
  • Where would you absolutely love to be right now?

Have fun! Thanks again for the fun award, Faith!

XOXO,

Morgan

 

I Made Mint Chip Ice Cream | Melty Melty Melt

This should be fun!

Ice cream is my favorite dessert – no, food – and it’s getting hot outside and it’s the perfect treat to cool you off.

You guys. I don’t cook. I can’t cook, rather. I burn everything, even things that should not physically burn. I do like baking a lot, though. I’m not sure where ice cream falls. But whatever. I made some, and if you would like to follow my incredibly uncomplicated (hehe) instructions, you can make some for yourself! (Or your family. Mine ate it all.)

For this recipe, you will need an ice cream processor. You can’t just put it in the freezer and expect it to do something. Haha.

I’m loosely following this recipe. Mint chip is my favorite flavor, and I’ve never made ice cream before, so we’re starting with something basic.

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Ingredients!

You will need 6 ounces of chocolate chips, a pinch or so of salt, a cup of heavy whipping cream, a cup of milk, six egg yolks (not shown, because we only had four eggs at the time and our chickens had make more eggs before I could get very far in the recipe, which resulted in the actual ice cream consumption being delayed by a day), 2/3 cup sugar, and either peppermint extract or food-grade peppermint essential oil.

Measure that milk and heavy cream . . . (they look the same lol)

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As well as the sugar . . .

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And the salt . . . and put it all in a pan.

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Stir stir stir! Combine it as much as you can.

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Put it on the stove and heat it over medium until all the sugar dissolves (this may take a little bit, be patient).

While that is combining, chop up your chocolate chips to whatever size you want. Just make sure whatever size they are will work in your ice cream processor. Mine won’t work with any add-ins bigger than the size of a chocolate chip.

Then pop those in the freezer in a plastic bag.

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Next, we’re going to whisk the egg yolks together. Ooh, pretty yellow color.

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Slowly pour the milk-cream mixture into the eggs. If you pour it in all at once, the heat will cook the eggs and then you’re going to have scrambled eggs and that’s yucko.

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Put it back on the stove and heat it up until it begins to thicken. It should coat the back of your spoon (preferably a wooden spoon, mine is not) and not run and be drippy everywhere.

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Get a bowl of ice water . . .

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And pull the mixture off the stove. Put it in the ice bath for about five minutes to stop the cooking.

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Now we’re going to add the peppermint! This is to taste, and if you’re using peppermint extract you’ll need more to get a miny flavor than if you’re using essential oil. Make sure your oil is food-grade! Some is and some isn’t. This Young Living Vitality peppermint essential oil is food-grade (not sponsored). I used five drops, but my mom said it was too minty so it’s really personal preference. I thought it was just right. You can taste the mixture to see if it’s the flavor you want.

Now, you’re going to either leave the mixture in the ice water for about twenty minutes – or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours, which is better. You just want it to be completely chilled.

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Now, process the mixture in your ice cream machine. Mine is this Cuisinart that I got for my birthday. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

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Add in the frozen chocolate, carefully folding it in.

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Ta-da!

Now, leave the ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (NOT the processor bowl –  that can damage it, apparently) for a couple of hours to solidify.

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My final product!

Guys, it tasted like legit ice cream . . . I’m honestly kind of surprised. The ice cream is pretty yellow for mint chip, it’s more of a vanilla-y color, but other than that, it’s real mint chip ice cream!

Would y’all try this ice cream? Have you ever made ice cream before? What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know!

XOXO,

Morgan

Got Assumptions? | Your Q’s and my A’s

Salmon New Year Goals Facebook Post

Earlier this week I asked you guys to leave me assumptions and boy did some of you have some good guesses!

This is really fun to do so maybe I’ll have a Q&A later this summer.

Diamond’s questions:

  • You want to get married within the next ten years

I would like to get married within the next ten years, yes! Not until after college though.

  • You like Star Wars, but prefer Marvel

I actually like Star Wars more than Marvel, but honestly I am not super familiar with either of them. My favorite Marvel character is Spider-Man, but for the majority of superheroes I really could not tell you who is Marvel and who is DC. 😂

  • Your personality is a ESFP

I am actually a ENFP (I think . . . I haven’t taken that test in quite some time).

  • You want to travel abroad for at least a year

I would LOVE to travel abroad for a year . . . I almost went on a two-week exchange over spring break but I wound up dropping the trip – which was a smart decision on my part because obviously it got cancelled anyway. We were supposed to go to Martinique, which is a French-speaking island in the Caribbean.

Grace’s questions:

  • Your real name is Christina Claire

Oddly specific – but no 😂

  • You’re an enneagram one

I am an enneagram one! Good guess! (Enneagram ones are “moral perfectionists” or “reformers” – if you don’t know what an enneagram is, click here to learn more.)

  • You absolutely love books and having a schedule

Correct . . . and also correct 😉

  • You hate lavender

Hahaha this is so random. I don’t care for the smell of lavender, no – but even if I did, I’m allergic to it so it’s not a good idea to have in my house anyway.

  • You’re about 17

Ahhh, I was waiting for someone to guess my age! I’m not 17, but you are not far off 😉

  • You love dogs

I do love dogs. I have four of them!

  • You really really like your boyfriend and potentially would like to marry him one day, maybe when you’re in college or close to graduating college

Again this is so specific I love it 😂 No comment . . . excpet I will say I don’t intend to get married until after I graduate.

  • Your favorite candy is Swedish Fish

I like Swedish Fish a lot! They’re not my favorite, but one of my top five for sure.

  • You really really want to travel more with your BFF

For sure! That’s a dream of mine.

Natalie’s questions:

  • Your favorite ice cream flavor is pistachio

I do like pistachio ice cream, yes. However, my favorite is mint chip!

  • You wear your hair down most of the time, but put it up in a ponytail for skiing and such

Correct! I wear my hair down unless it needs to be washed or it’s really hot, or if I’m doing something athletic – such as skiing!

  • You like baking

I love baking. Baking makes me exhausted so I can only bake one thing at a time, but it’s really rewarding (and delicious!)

Ashlynn’s questions:

(More like facts tbh because she knows me in real life.)

  • You recently officially changed the spelling of your real name

I did do that! My name was spelled one way until I was twelve, when I decided to change it. I’ve always disliked the way my name was spelled and changed it to something I like a lot more. I dealed with correcting the spelling a lot for friends and teachers and a couple of months ago my mom surprised me with a brand-new birth certificate. 🙂

  • You know too many languages

Haha I do . . . I almost-fluently speak French and ASL, and I’m learning Spanish and Russian.

  • You have two middle names

I do. 😝

  • You love whipped coffee

So I’ve only made this once but I do love it and I’m going to make it again tomorrow ahaha.

  • You and your boy are very cute together

Again, no comment . . . you guys. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  • You are beautiful

Awww wow I love you. 💛

  • There are a lot of animals in your house like silly frogs

Um yes there are. We have four dogs, one bunny, chickens, and yes, my brother has a frog (and a few fish too).

That is all the questions I have for today! Thanks to everyone who guessed. I hope y’all are enjoying your weekend. 🙂

XOXO,

Morgan

 

Got Assumptions? | How Much Do You Think You Know?

Salmon New Year Goals Facebook Post

This post idea literally just popped into my brain and I thought, wow, I know I just posted two days ago, but wouldn’t this be fun to do? I’ve seen this around the blogosphere (I think Mary did one too) and thought I would jump on the bandwagon.

I blog anonymously, of course, but I do talk about my personal life quite a bit (after all, this is a personal blog . . .) But the question is, based on the information you guys have gathered over the last year, what do you think you know about Morgan McCartie?

I’m genuinely very curious.

So ask away! What do you think my real name is? My age? Things I like and dislike? It can literally be anything, guys. I may not be able to give you an honest answer for privacy reasons, but you are welcome to try. 😉

I can’t wait to see what y’all think about me! I’ll post your questions and my answers later this week/early next week, depending on how quickly I get responses.

XOXO,

Morgan

Life: April 2020

Blue Gray Background Sweet Quotes

Well, we made it. April and quarantine month #2! I don’t know how it went for y’all, but this month was definitely a lot better than March, which was basically an emotional roller coaster. I’m going to model this month’s wrapper-y post somewhat like last month – quarantine edition!

(End boring intro)

– Friends

So obviously, our school closure that was supposed to end by May 1st changed to being the entire year. The tedious routine of going to school is never something I thought I would miss, but I do. For my friend’s birthday, a bunch of us went over to her front yard and stayed apart and talked for awhile. And today, I went over to another friend, A’s, house and (staying ten feet apart and wearing masks) we filmed a video for our youth group challenge. After we did the first take, my A’s little sister pointed behind us and yelled “moose!” And sure enough, there was a cow running up the lawn (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a female moose). We scattered quickly as A’s mom started yelling at the moose to not eat her tulips.

For April Fool’s Day, my friend D and I played a prank on our other friend, E. D spent hours recreating E’s Instagram account by using screenshots of all of his posts and using almost the exact same account name. I FaceTimed E and told him that there was someone on Instagram with the same account as him, and when he checked it out, he freaked out and starting asking who would be creepy enough to have the same account as him. When D and I told him it was us, he just called us idiots and we started laughing hysterically . . . it was the best. 🙂

– Quarantine

Quarantine continues, guys! There’s honestly not a lot to say here . . . I’ve been doing puzzles, watching a lot of Outer Banks and Love is Blind, and working on my current writing project, which is my book So You Can Understand Me. I’ve been Zooming a ton with my friends and commiserating about not being able to hang out. And I’ve been streaming A LOT of online YouTube workouts. 😂

– School

Thankfully, I’m almost done with school. I think technically my last day is in late May, but I’ll be done with almost all of my classes by this Friday (I already finished my two foreign language classes, though!) The only thing I’ll have going on is a online writing workshop I’m doing until late June, which is when I’ll be done with my history curriculum, too. (That’s a homeschool class though, so it’s okay – remember I’m part-time public schooled and part-time homeschooled.) Being this close to the end of the year is super exciting, and I’m not going to bore y’all by continuing to talk further, as I’m sure you guys are just as thrilled to be done as I am. Keep up with the Zooms, guys!

– Skiing

The summer training has begun . . . if you aren’t super familiar with how cross-country skiing summer training works, we use what are called rollerskis (picture below) to imitate snow skiing. Now that the snow is melted in town, I can ski on pavement! Last summer it got up to 100 degrees here, which made rollerskiing absolutely torturous. But hey, when you love skiing . . .

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Not my image, and not sponsored by Fischer – though that would be cool

We use poles to make it as much like actual skiing as we can, and it’s super fun – and a ton of work. Seriously, after today’s ski, my abs are killing me. Rollerskis also don’t have brakes, which means if you start going down a steep hill . . . well, that’s the last we’ll be hearing from you. 😂 Just kidding, just kidding.

Or not.

– The good things

There was a lot of good this month! First off . . .

I BOUGHT A CAR!

I am now the proud owner of a Subaru. I guess it works. I ski. I sort of already portray that image to the outside world.

When I told A I bought a car I made her guess what kind it was and her first guess was a Subaru. When I asked her if I seemed like the kind of person who would drive one of those, she instantly said yes. So yeah, I guess it works. 😂

Second, because prom is obviously cancelled, I decided not to waste a perfectly good dress and decided to dress up and do my hair and makeup anyway. Here’s the final result:

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Hehe my dress is too long and it touches the dirt but it’s okay. 😉

Also . . . I cut a total of three inches off my hair since quarantine started, so it’s nice to have shorter hair again.

One last thing. It’s summer in Alaska, which means we get to have another Midnight Sun and be forced to use blackout shades in an effort to get decent sleep. It’s a lot of fun to be out at 11:30 at night and have it be warm and sunny!

Anyway, this month has overall felt more stable than last month. We have summer to look forward to. Everything will be okay. Continue to stay safe and far apart.

XOXO,

Morgan

How was your April? How close to being done with school are you? Are you ready for summer? 😉

So You Can Understand Me | Camp NaNoWriMo | #40k

Hey look, it’s another NaNoWriMo post . . .

Welcome to my first writing-related post on SS&SS! I talk about what I’m reading quite often and give y’all book reviews, but since it’s April and Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share a bit about the novel I’m writing.

So You Can Understand Me is not my first novel, nor is it my second. I finished what is now a 66k word novel for NaNoWriMo in eighth grade. It was probably the biggest accomplishment of my entire life, right up there with making state for skiing this year. I finished it that November with around 30k words, but continued to work on it the next year and more than doubled the word count. I now consider it finished, though I really don’t know if I’ll ever publish it. The writing is pretty juvenile, but I’ve edited the manuscript three times and it’s improved very much.

Anyway, this post is not about that book, it’s about the novel I’m titling So You Can Understand Me – though that may be nothing more than a working title. My word count goal for Camp is 40k, but if I’m not finished telling the story at that point, I’ll extend it. I’m writing this post on April 3rd, and my current word count is 5,731, but by the time y’all read this it’ll be much higher.

The book is categorized as young adult fiction, and I’m going to give you the basic plot and descriptions of characters (along with pictures!) I saw a post like this on a friend’s blog and I thought it would be super fun to do on mine (shoutout to Faye over at EOAJ! She is also one of my Camp NaNo writing buddies).

(This story is losely inspired by a fantastic middle-grade fiction book called Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder. Highly, highly recommend it.)

The Synopsis

“15-year-old Harlie Castello lives with her alcoholic mother Jennifer, fending for herself and hiding from the endless questions from her teachers and best friend. Desperate to understand her mothers actions and intentions, Harlie finds herself tranpsorted into a different time, when her mother was a very different person. As Harlie begins to get to know her mother in a way she never thought possible, she gains understanding and discovers secrets burried beneath decades of pain.”

The Plot

Harlie gets into a huge accident one night and winds up in a coma for two weeks. During those two weeks, she spends time back in the late 1980s, as her mother’s sister Danah. The twist – Harlie had no idea her mom had a sister. She spends what is supposedly four months (less time than that in real life, of course) in 1989 getting to know her mom as a teenager.

Suddenly, Harlie finds herself in the mid-1990s, when her mom was in college. No longer playing the role of her mom’s little sister, she realizes she is now her mom’s roommate, Mackenzie. Same situation plays out – she spends a while with her college-aged mother before traveling forwards in time once more.

Now, it’s the early 2000s, when Harlie was just a baby. Instead of taking on the role of some important person in her mom’s life, she is now an invisible bystander. She observes her mom and her now-absent dad fight and fight and fight some more, until the moment when her dad ups and leaves. In present time, Harlie had absolutely no idea why her dad left, but now she gets to see the entire backstory.

The story is broken up into those three parts, and at the end Harlie wakes up in the hospital. Her mother, realizing how close she came to almost losing her daughter, takes steps to recover from her alcohol addiction. Harlie also makes contact with her father, who she hasn’t seen since he walked out that day so many years ago.

The Characters

Yay! Now for the fun part!

So obviously, these Internet photos are super airbrushed and very unrealistic-looking, but you get the idea.

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Harlie
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Jennifer as an adult – picture her with green eyes
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Danah
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Jennifer as a teenager
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Mackenzie
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Harlie’s dad – though he doesn’t have a beard (or a name)

And there you have it! #pleasedontstealmybookideaandplagiarizeit

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? What do you think of my story idea? Would you read it if you picked it up at the bookstore? Do you have any suggestions or feedback for me?

XOXO,

Morgan

What I’m Listening To | Quarantine Playlist

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Hola, mis amigos.

While it may have been nice for the government to announce the coronavirus as an April Fool’s joke, let’s be realistic.

March may have felt like an entire year, and we’re still at home. I don’t know about you, but I have music playing constantly in the background whenever I’m in my room (which is about 95% of the time). As I mentioned in my Life post at the end of March, I upgraded to Spotify premium so I could play my music in whatever order I wanted. Probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – if you’re thinking about upgrading, I 10/10 recommend.

Because I listen to music so much, I’m always cycling through playlists and getting tired of the same old songs. If you have the same struggle, maybe this playlist will give you some good ideas!

Quick disclaimer, though . . . check with your parents before you listen to these songs! These are just my personal jams at the moment and different families have different rules about music enjoyment. None of these songs have parental advisory labels on them but you should still check.

So without further ado, here’s a mix of my main playlists, in no particular order:

  • shut up – Greyson Chance
  • Rebels – Ivy Adara
  • Out of Love – Alessia Cara
  • Dazed & Confused – Ruel
  • So Am I – Ava Max
  • I Believe You – FLETCHER
  • Fortress – Lennon Stella
  • Rooting For You – Alessia Cara
  • Wasted Youth – FLETCHER
  • Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
  • Heartless – Kanye West
  • Friends – Ella Henderson
  • Over My Head – FLETCHER
  • Face To Face – Ruel
  • Famous – Ivy Adara
  • Princess – FLETCHER
  • Saturday Nights – Khalid
  • War Paint – FLETCHER
  • Sunday Best – Surfaces
  • Ring – Selena Gomez
  • Real Thing – Ruel
  • Give Your Heart a Break – Demi Lovato
  • Replay – Zendaya
  • Younger – Ruel
  • Almost Love – Sabrina Carpenter
  • Ruin That For Me – Avenue Beat
  • Glorious – Ella Henderson
  • L.A. – Rosie Darling & OKO
  • Ghost – Oliver Nelson Remix – Ella Henderson & Oliver Nelson
  • Riptide – Vance Joy
  • I Found You – Andy Grammer & Cash Cash
  • Lost – Blake Rose
  • Seeing Other People – MacKenzie Porter
  • Living Proof – Camila Cabello
  • stupid – Tate McRae (love love love this one and if you have TikTok you’ll probably recognize it)
  • Too Young – Sabrina Carpenter (Sabrina Carpenter’s older music is really good)
  • Clearly – Grace VanderWaal
  • Thumbs – Sabrina Carpenter
  • Seamless – Sabrina Carpenter
  • Have It All – Jason Mraz
  • Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
  • La Di Da – Lennon Stella (10/10 a great song)
  • Wild Things – Alessia Cara (this one is a bop!)
  • death bed – Powfu
  • Maniac – Conan Gray (dance party, anyone?)
  • Had It All – Parachute
  • Someone To You – BANNERS
  • Peer Pressure – James Bay
  • River of Tears – Alessia Cara
  • In My Head – Peter Manos
  • better off – Jeremy Zucker
  • Yellow Lights – Harry Hudson
  • If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe & Julia Michaels (another one off TikTok)
  • Complicated – Olivia O’Brien
  • All My Friends – AJ Mitchell
  • Dancing With Your Ghost – Sasha Sloan (also a bop, kind of a sad bop, but a bop nonetheless)
  • Hard Sometimes – Ruel
  • Worst of You – Maisie Peters
  • Keep On – Sasha Sloan
  • Salt – Ava Max
  • scared – Jeremy Zucker
  • smiling when i die – Sasha Sloan
  • Still Into You – Meadowlark

My favorite artists at the moment are Sasha Sloan, Sabrina Carpenter, Alessia Cara, Ruel, and FLETCHER (though you have to be careful with some of her songs, because there’s quite a bit of profanity in a couple of them. These ones are clean though).

I also listen to quite a bit of Christian and country music, but neither of those genres really mix well with the playlist above, so I might save those for a later post if y’all are interested in seeing some of that.

Also I know some of those songs are better known for their TikTok videos, but I actually don’t even have TikTok. 😂 I see them on Instagram sometimes, however.

One last thing before I wrap this post up – you guys left so many sweet and supportive commens on my Life: March post and let me just say, they made my week! The responses from that post were completely unexpected but most welcome. Thank you for your support, I’m so glad to have made so many great friends on the blogosphere. 🙂

What music have y’all been listening to recently? Do you like any of the songs above? What are your song recommendations for me? I’m always up for new music!

XOXO,

Morgan

Life: March 2020

 

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This about sums up my emotions this month

 

Alas, March comes to a close.

Maybe it’s not alas. To be honest, March has not been the greatest month of my life. Or anyone’s, for that matter.

Normally if I was to write a month recap it would include stuff from every aspect of my life, except those have all been put on an indefinite hold until the coronavirus is all over. So instead of categorizing my month into different parts, it’s going to kind of be a random jumble of what went on.

*disclaimer* this post is probably going to contain some mini – or not so mini – rants about COVID-19, so if you don’t want to see that, please move on to another post. (Not political rants, just personal opinion rants.) This post might also be a little long – I’m kind of writing it to help me process and look back on in the future.

Enjoy . . .

– Friends?

This is where it gets sad. I really can’t remember if I mentioned this on SS&SS yet, but we’ve been self-quarantining since March 1st because my grandma lives with us and she’s elderly, and my dad and brother both have bad asthma. So for our personal safety, my parents decided to pull us out of school the first week of March and not hang out with friends or go to church. I kept the real reason I wasn’t at school a secret from my friends that first week to avoid being called “crazy.” And then spring break happened the second week of March and I started to tell more of my friends because they started wondering why I couldn’t hang out with them over the break. Towards the end of break, the school district announced we wouldn’t be returning to school for another week – and the next day, they pushed that out until March 30th. Now, schools are closed until May 1 (which is about two weeks before summer break starts). In conclusion, I didn’t have to keep it a secret after that.

And now the biggest problem as far as my friends are concerned is seriously how much I miss them. I’ve gotten super close to a group of friends at school who ski with me, as well as some girls at my youth group and then some friends from AHG. I miss them all a ton – not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was with them at that very moment.

– Quarantine

Quarantine has been . . . an interesting experience. I can’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been totally awful, either. The biggest issue for me is I can’t leave my house to ski (I’m a competitive cross-country skier, which y’all know already), and that makes me super depressed. My family has spent a lot of time watching movies, but I’ve also been hiding in my room, so that’s not super great. But now that it’s the end of the month, our city has basically shut down and people are expected to stay at home unless they go outside for recreation, and then they have to stay six feet apart from other people. So I’m not alone anymore – all of my friends are going through the same thing I am.

– Swimming / Skiing

At the end of last year’s ski season, I got very depressed because I wasn’t training with a club team after the school season was over, and because of that I didn’t motivate myself enough to go ski on a daily basis. I was really hoping to avoid that this year, and now I can’t. I was planning on starting club swimming at the beginning of March for a couple of months until the club skiing season started and then do both of those simultaneously all summer. And now I’m not doing either, so instead I’m doing online workouts by myself – and a few times a week, I FaceTime my friend M (who doesn’t live in Alaska) and we workout together. That’s been super fun.

– Master of FaceTime

So yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve become this month. I would love to figure out how much time I’ve spent on video chat with people this month, because I know the number would be pretty high. I’ve probably spent a good few days of my life on FaceTime with my friends since the beginning of the month.

– Rant rant rant

I’m sorry, but I have to just momentarily. The beginning of March was really hard for me – I was a little scared to share my family’s situation with my friends. My few friends who I did tell early on all had very different reactions (some good, some not so good). The people in my life who thought/still think people are overreacting to the coronavirus didn’t get why I was at quarantined at home, and that left me feeling a little helpless . . . it was my parents’ decision, not mine. Another thing is people being selfish, and I don’t mean hoarding toilet paper (although maybe I do mean that too). People being clueless about the situation the world is in and going out in public and potentially spreading COVID-19 may not put THEM at risk – but it puts OTHERS at risk. People like my grandmother, my dad, and my brother. It makes me angry, but there’s also literally nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to overshare here on the Internet because my blog is public, so I’ll stop now.

– The good things

Like I said, quarantine isn’t all bad. I’ve started checking up with friends who live out of state or who I don’t talk to that much to ask how they and their families are doing, and that’s a really good thing. My dad has gotten funnier since he started working from home, and we see him a lot more than we did previously (he spends a lot of time working away from home in a different city in Alaska). I’ve found more time to play with my dogs, as well as blog (as you guys know!) and read purely for fun. I downloaded Spotify premium to listen to the music I want when I want, and I get up early and go ice skating at the rink up the street from us before people start waking up and walking their dogs. My room has stayed very clean, and I broke my nail-biting-when-I’m-stressed habit.  I’ve built stronger relationships with friends because we’re far apart and have to make ourselves think about purposely reaching out to talk. We have to think positively. And seeing all of the companies in the world come together to help our global community has been very inspiring. (Audible in streaming free audiobooks while school is out, guys!) If you need a smile, follow @upworthy on Instagram to see some seriously awe-inspiring videos and pictures.

– God

I don’t talk about God much on my blog, or at least I haven’t in the past. If you don’t already know, I’m a Christian. I haven’t gone to church in about 6-7 ish weeks (to social distance before our quarantine), and going from church three times a week – for services, youth group, and volunteering with the middle school youth group – to not going at all has been extremely difficult for me. Our church is fairly large and I had a hard time connecting with the youth group and other students over the past couple of years, and I really began to feel like I fit in this year and make friends. So to have that taken away from me was one of the worst parts of this. BUT God has really shown Himself to me these last four weeks and I am proud to say I have read my Bible EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am the kind of person who sucks at regularly reading their Bible, but I’ve spent hours reading it and doing Bible study plans online every night, and it has made a HUGE difference in how I’m dealing with our world’s current situation. I’m read the books of Romans and Hebrews and they were both very inspiring and mind-changing (especially Romans – read it, guys!) And fortunately, my youth group has moved to live, online hour-long broadcasts every week, and that has been fantastic. My church is also streaming services online every Sunday, so my family does church at home. (If you’re feeling stressed, go download the YouVersion Bible app and read the plans Anxious for Nothing or Not Afraid: How Christians Can Respond to Crises. The verses from those plans (especially Anxious for Nothing) are so relevant right now.

I’ll end here with this. One thing has stuck with me over the last couple weeks – Philippians 4: 6-7, NLT. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” The verse was talked about on one of our youth group broadcasts, and I’ve seen it repeatedly in my current Bible study plan and on social media. It’s really inspired me, and I hope it inspires you, too.

Anyway, this post has kind of turned into a diary entry and I didn’t really mean for it to, so please accept my sincerest apologies. Kudos to you if you stuck with me all the way through. I love you guys.

Stay safe and at home. Wash your hands. And, most importantly, be kind. Everyone is going through the same things you are.

XOXO,

Morgan

How was your guys’ month? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Homer’s Flowers

Happy Friday, guys! For those of you still in school (which I don’t think is many at this point), you’re basically at the weekend already!

I took these pictures summer before last while I was in Homer, Alaska (which is kind of like at the bottom of Alaska on the gulf, but not on the Aleutian Islands – look at a map maybe, I can’t explain it 😂). They’re really beautiful and I thought it would be nice to share some positivity on the Internet right now. Enjoy!

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This picture was my profile picture for quite a while. 😉

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This one is called fireweed – when it goes to seed at the end of summer, it turns gray and looks ashy from a distance (smoky, like fire). The amount of buds left at the top of the plant are said to tell how long you have before summer is over. (These pictures are from early August.)

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Alaska is a truly beautiful place in the summer – come visit if you ever get a chance!

Hey guys, I need blogging inspiration! I have ideas for some posts, but I want to post the content YOU want to see, also. Comment below something you would like to see on SS&SS!

XOXO,

Morgan