Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Girl Defined Book Giveaway Winner Announced!

Good morning friends!

Using the fantabulous services of www.random.org, a winner has been selected!!

Let's have a drumroll for our winner.......Emily Peters!!

Congratulations, Emily! I love it when my friends win!! =)
Please send an email to Girl Defined (bethany@girldefined.com) with your address and they will ship your free book out to you!

For all the rest of you who didn't win...go over to Girl Defined and purchase this book for yourselves!

Also thanks for y'alls patience in waiting for the winner announcement til Tuesday instead of Monday. Yesterday flew by and I must confess I completely forgot about posting the winner yesterday morning! #keepingitreal

Have a wonderful day!
-Chels

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Girl Defined Guest Post + Giveaway!

Friends, I am so very excited to announce the release of this book. I am also honored to be teaming up with Girl Defined to host this giveaway of their book here on my blog today!

Honestly I hardly know how to sum up this book into a review. I finished reading it recently + it is completely life changing and extremely LIFE GIVING
I would put this book on my list of TOP FIVE BOOKS that women should read. It will change your view of femininity, family, faith, beauty...the whole nine yards of who you should desire to be as a woman of God!

Kristen + Bethany (the authors) are the real deal. I have yet to formally meet them (hoping for this fall!) but their testimony + example goes before them and all over the internet to thousands of women as they write and speak about their journey with Jesus. You won't want to miss owning your own copy of this fabulous book! 

Enter your first and last name in the comment section for a chance to win your own copy. For additional entries, share this post via the tabs right below the comment tab, and then leave additional comments with the link to your share!

I don't want to take away anymore time from Kristen's guest post, so on to that!
The Power of Embracing God-Defined Womanhood  (Free Book Giveaway) 

"She starred in thirty major films and was awarded the Golden Globe for “Female World Film Favorite.” She started her own production company and was voted "2nd Greatest Movie Star” of all time by Premiere Magazine. She was chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History.”

This blonde bombshell was beautiful, talented, successful, and seemed to have everything a woman could dream of, except for one thing – happiness.

Sadly, this famous superstar committed suicide on August 5, 1962. She was only 36 years old. Her makeup covered face, dyed blonde hair, and sparkling clothes only hid what she was feeling on the inside. 

Depressed. Unloved. Alone. 

This is the true story of America’s most iconic woman, Marilyn Monroe.

As I’ve studied the life of this beautiful and famous woman, I can’t help but ask the questions, “Why would a woman who had everything still commit suicide?” “Why wasn’t the fame, beauty, money, and guys enough to satisfy her?”

Sadly, not many people stop to ask these tough questions about Marilyn’s tragic life. Instead of questioning her fruitless quest for happiness, many of us follow right in her footsteps. 

My sister, Bethany, and I wrote a more detailed version of Marilyn’s story in the opening chapters of our new book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity. 

Like Marilyn, millions of modern women are chasing after happiness and satisfaction down the same dead end road. Without even realizing it, many of us have bought into Hollywood’s popular lies about beauty, femininity, and identity. 

In chapter three of our new book, Girl Defined, we refer to these crafty lies as “counterfeit femininity.” As Christian women, many of us buy into the lies that to be worth anything we need to be pretty, sexy, smart, athletic, skinny, wealthy, popular, etc. 

We believe the lie that our worth as a female is based on our beauty and on our personal accomplishments.

Believing that lie is right where Marilyn went wrong, and it’s right where many of us go wrong as well. 

“The moment we allow culture to define our womanhood is the moment we take our first wrong turn.” -Girl Defined 

Whether you’re the “hottest blonde bombshell” on the planet or not, if we define our womanhood on anything other than God’s timeless Word, we will always feel empty inside. We will forever struggle with feelings of worthlessness and depression until we turn to the only One who has the power to fill our void. 

True worth, identity and satisfaction cannot be found outside of God’s beautiful design for us as females. And that’s where the BEST news comes into play: Our status of worthiness has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God.

No matter how famous and pretty a woman is, or how poor and unattractive she is, her worth and value are found in the same place. 

Our worth doesn’t come from anything we can do, but from everything Christ already did for us. If you’re a Christian, God calls you a child of God. And because you’re a child of God, He looks at you and sees royalty. You are a daughter of the most high King.

Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For Thou has possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well."

Not only are you a daughter of the King, God was knitting you together in your mother’s womb to look just the way you are. Just like an artist creating a masterpiece, God handcrafted your hair color, eye color, skin tone, height, nose shape, ears, and body to look just the way He wanted it to.

Our culture may not consider you to be very special, but God does. And He’s the only One who owns the rights to say how worthy you are. 

If Marilyn Monroe had understood these truths, her life probably would have ended very differently. The secret to true happiness in this world is to keep your eyes and heart on THE Truth. The minute you look to someone or something other than Christ to define your worth and identity, you will go downhill. It’s a guarantee. 

As Psalm 16:11 says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand their are pleasures forevermore."

The more I have come to understand and embrace God’s design for my life, the happier and more fulfilled I have become. I challenge you to take the time to learn more about God’s beautiful design for womanhood! I hope you’ll grab a copy of Girl Defined and continuing discovering God’s amazing and beautiful design for your life as a female. 

If you’ve ever struggled with feelings of worthlessness, discontentment with your body, lack of fulfillment, relationship problems, or confusion about your identity - this book is for you. 

In closing, I would love to give you a FREE copy of my new book! Just comment below to be automatically entered into the book giveaway contest."

Written by: Kristen Clark

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So there it is: a little taste of the book for you, and now a chance for you to enter and win your own! Simply comment below with your first and last name. Can't wait for one of you to win this fabulous book!

GIVEAWAY ENDS SUNDAY NIGHT, AUGUST 14th, @ 11:59PM. 
Winner will be announced Monday morning!

I'll close this post with a quote from the book:

"When I actively embrace biblical womanhood, my soul finds complete rest. When I take God at His word and value the things He values, I find real purpose. When I live out my womanhood for God's glory and not my own, even the mundane tasks become meaningful!"
-Girl Defined

So good, and so true!
-Chels

Friday, August 5, 2016

Introducing the IN TUNE BAND + Their New Single!

Well, well, well...its not every day I get to make an announcement like this one! 

But here we go. MY LITTLE BROS HAVE RELEASED THEIR FIRST SINGLE!

First of all, let me say that I am SO PROUD of my brothers. They are literally the greatest in the land and I cannot think of one thing that would make them any better. (I'm serious, too) 

They are hard workers, good conversationists, deep thinkers, inventors, scholars, and most importantly, they are men of God and men of CHARACTER. 

As if all that wasn't quite a bit already, they are also amazing musicians. Honestly, the skill of these guys just blows my mind. They practice and practice and PRACTICE for hours on end, committed to always reaching for the next level of expertise. 

Through the Bible Bee, they met their friend Joe, who also happens to be another incredible musician. Even though he lives in Florida, and they live in Iowa, these guys have been privileged to spend quite a bit of time together at the yearly National Bible Bee Competitions. (Joe's sister and Josh have competed against each other at Nationals for the past five years, and Denver and Joe have competed against each other a number of times as well)
We've also had several family get-togethers that have occurred when we've been on tour and performing in southern Florida. And more recently, Joe's sister attended two of Allison's retreats, so Joe flew along out with her to hang out with our guys during the retreat. 

You had to understand these four guys. They're just not quite normal. (and I mean that as a complement) Most teenage boys would spend their hang out time sitting around goofing off on their phones, or playing video games, or watching movies. 

Not so with these young men. They work together, and study Bible Bee, and play sports, and spend hours discussing almost every subject you could imagine. What other teenagers do you know who have a mock debate with one representing Bernie Sanders, one representing Marco Rubio, and one being the ever present FOX News moderator? And literally if it wasn't for the fact that their voices are different and they obviously look totally different from the above mentioned individuals, you honestly would think it was the real people because the boys have listened to and studied them so much that they know how to reenact their main points and defend their various hot button issues.

I told you these guys were a little different. =)

They enjoy doing all of that, but still one of their favorite things to do is to JAM OUT together. They love arranging music and giving everything they play a "highly individual" sounding twist. =) Just listen to their band bio that is on their website:

"The In Tune Band is a collection of farmers, city-slickers and would-be politicians who share a love for bluegrass. Their original, smooth and unpredictable style is the result of sporadic practice meets and bizarre brainstorming sessions. Although they are just getting started on their collective musical careers, the In Tune band members appreciate instrumental bluegrass done right, and relish every opportunity to subject classic tunes to their creative juices."

"...Subject classic tunes to their creative juices." Yes, perfect description. =) 

Besides that, I feel like just their band bio description would make you want to buy the song. Haven't you always wanted to hear what a "bizarre brainstorming session" sounds like? 
Perfect opportunity, coming right up. =)

I know, I know...when you hear "Do Re Mi" you're thinking-"what, that old song off of "The Sound of Music"?" Haha. NOT AT ALL. You really must hear their arrangement. Hop on over to iTunes and listen to the twenty-second sample, and see if you don't just click the "BUY" button because you're dying to hear the rest of the unusualness. =)

This single is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon, at these links. Go buy it for yourself---its only $.99 and it will be a dollar well-spent to have a fun + snappy tune to add to your music collection! Also please do them a favor and give them a five-star review on Amazon, too! (assuming you like it, of course!)

Also, in case you are curious, instrument credits are as follows:
Josh-DOBRO
Denver-VIOLIN
Joe-BANJO, GUITAR + MANDOLIN
Taylor-BASS GUITAR

Anyways, that was definitely a sufficient promo so I'm going to close that portion of the post...=)

I was honored with the opportunity to take their cover photo and thought I'd share a few of my favorites from our shoot.
We were running late from work + chores, trying to get out the door for church. We literally took these pictures in five minutes flat.

The photoshoot was a little last minute and thrown together, so I just asked them to pose however they wanted, since it was their project and their picture and I was basically just the one providing the camera. =)

Looking the pictures over afterwards proved to be entertaining, because Denver + Joe definitely had this "solemn/macho" look/idea in mind, whereas Taylor just always smiles for the camera so I don't think he had a serious face on any of the pictures, and Josh was somewhere halfway in-between.

Case in point. =)

Some thought the whole "gazing off into oblivion" idea was a little too much.
 I think this pose could be perfected in the future. =)

Outfit Coordination credits go to Joe + Denver. They did quite well.

If their musical careers don't take off, they could consider fashion design, don't you think?
Worst case scenario, I think there's a very real possibility that a comedy show somewhere might give them a job. =)

"Josh, Denver, Joe, + Taylor...I'm so proud of you guys! It was great to be a little part of your project and I'm excited to see how God is going to continue using each one of you to lift up His name with your talents!"
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If you like this new single and would like to encourage these guys in their musical endeavors, please use the tabs below to share this post and these links through your social media! Thank-you!

Also don't forget to check out the links at the top to purchase this song for yourself!

Have a great weekend, friends! 
-Chels

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Promo Pictures for the Sweet Peach Company

Every once in a while people ask me if I'm still doing photography.

The answer is yes and no. =)
No, as in that I'm not promoting or advertising; I haven't done updated pricing guides for quite a while, and I haven't done a typical business shoot for a "real" client (as in scheduled + billed in a regular way) for several years. 

Yes, in that I still take pictures! For the most part, these days, I use my phone just because I almost always have it with me and it is so much easier. Phone photos have taken over for a lot of my candid lifestyle-style pictures. However I still use my "real camera" for blog header shots, special projects, etc. 

This past year I've been able to do a number of unique photo projects for friends and family. Most of them have taken 10-15 minutes to do and almost all of them were very-last minute ideas. =) But they have been a lot of fun and its been great to pull out my camera and do some professional shooting again.

All that brings me to this post. 

A friend of mine from NY runs a company called The Sweet Peach Company, in which they specialize in selling fresh Georgia peaches, and working with businesses that use their peaches in their product. We were planning to spend a few days in NY with my grandparents and relatives, and my friend asked me if I would shoot a few pictures for some of the summer promos with his company. 

Well, peaches and pictures and little girls? And then getting paid with more peaches? I think yes!

I used my two little sisters and a few of their cousins for my models. Rebs especially was just so excited. I told her, "Rebs, its pretty low-key; I'm just going to be taking a few pictures of you drinking a peach smoothie and eating peach fry-pies." 
Her response: "I know but I'm SOOO excited!! This will be my FIRST time being a MODEL!!!!" =)

Enjoy a few of my favorites!
If you've never had a peach fry pie...well, you should just go find one directly. They are DEE licious!
So much fun..I could photograph little girls and peach products for daaaaays.

Now that y'all have a proper peach craving after seeing all this yumminess, I hope you'll go find yourself some of this delicious fruit and make something peachy for yourself to eat! =)

Or better yet if you live in the Fingerlakes area you can just go check out the Sweet Peach Company in person at one of their market stands!

Have a great evening, my friends!
Chels

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Several More Openings for Family Camp!!

The countdown is on..just one month til FAMILY CAMP! Family camp is Sunday-Friday, September 11-16th this year, and it is one of my very favorite weeks out of my entire year.

Normally, I give a "family camp shoutout" around springtime every year, to let people know that it's time to sign up for camp. I didn't do that this year because we were basically full by spring.

But now...well, the sad news is that we had several cancellations. But the good news is that this means that there are now more openings available!

The thing that makes this camp very unique is that it isn't limited to a certain age group or anything. Even though its called "Homeschool Family Camp", it isn't limited to homeschoolers, or just families either. Every year we have small families, large families, young families, old families (okay, sorry-that sounds strange), grandparents, single guys, single girls, sibling sets...you name it!
Last year our youngest attendee was two weeks old and the oldest was in their seventies!
So basically if your age is between those two, you qualify to come and are subsequently invited. =)

People come from all over the USA and Canada to attend this camp. Family Camp is special because everyone at camp desires to make Jesus the CENTER of everything that happens. We have some of the sweetest attendees you could imagine! The people who have been attending for years chip right in by reaching out and making the "newbies" feel welcome and right at home...and over and over again I hear from new attendees, "Everyone was just SO FRIENDLY! We made so many friends and felt SO LOVED."

So the long and short of it is that there are two RV hookups left, as well as several spots for single guys, and several spots for single girls. (we have a girls' cabin and a guys' cabin)

I'm reaching out here on my blog because I know that a large number of my readers are teenagers or young people in their twenties. In this age especially, it isn't easy to find friends who are totally committed to living for Jesus and making a difference for Him. But it is always encouraging when you do meet other young people like this and get a chance to have uplifting conversations and discussions about life, values, and your faith! We have a great group of young people at camp and if you're looking to make some new friends, this just might be the opportunity for you.

I would also love it if any of you readers who have attended previously (specifically young people) would be willing to comment and share even just a sentence or two about why you loved camp and maybe what a highlight was for you?
Hopefully this will encourage other readers to branch out and sign up...even if they don't know a soul there! =)

For you new readers who haven't read our family blog or the recaps from the past few years...you can get a little taste of Family Camp by clicking the following links,
9th Annual Family Camp Recap
8th Annual Family Camp Recap

I'm totally serious-I would LOVE it if some of you readers could come! I'm hoping to get the few remaining spaces filled by the end of this week, so you don't have long to sign up. Please drop me a line via email if you are interested and I would be happy to send you a registration form and get you registered! daughterofvision@gmail.com

Can't wait to hear from some of you! 
  -Chels

Available Photography Internship in the Midwest

Y'all, my friend Hannah, over at Hannah Elise Photography, is doing another one of her photography internships! Hannah is one of my dearest friends and also happens to be pretty much the most awesome photographer around. (if you've been reading my blog for a while you have seen her pictures here-in fact she is the one who took the shots of me for my blog header here!)

She just extended the deadline for her internship and is taking a few more applicants!

Many of you readers have emailed me over the years asking photography-related questions. I do my best to answer, but I haven't had tons of experience in the photography field and my thought when I get these emails is, "if only these girls could go to a class or something where they could learn these things, hands-on and in-person!"

This internship is THAT EXACTLY. Besides being an incredible photographer, Hannah has years of experience and skill in so many areas, including public relations and marketing and all sorts of things! Add to all that the fact that she is amazing at connecting with people...and you have a recipe for a stellar photography internship.

Head on over to her blog to get all the details!

Enjoy your Wednesday!
-Chels

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sisterhood Adventure || A Roadtrip to Manitoba

Upon the occasion of the birth of a certain charming little gentleman...it was decided that it was once again time to embark upon another Canadian adventure, this time to take another visit to Manitoba, to visit the aforementioned gentleman. (and his parents, naturally!)
(for previous epistles of our road trips to this land, see here and here)
The trip was quite pleasant and was made even more so by delicious coffee and conversation. =)
This was the first road trip we have ever taken in which sister love spent more time behind the wheel than I did. I left on the trip quite exhausted and spent much of our traveling time slumbering soundly.
Our drive up was mostly uneventful. Quite calm and peaceful. Sister was driving when we went through the border and the guard literally barely even glanced at our passports. I couldn't believe it. (if you remember from past experiences-see above links at top of post-I have quite a repertoire of border crossing stories) This was sister's first time driving us through the border and it seemed rather unfair that it would go so smoothly for her. I rejoiced in her success however. =)
The only "moment" that occurred was a very stressful fifteen minutes in which we were driving on E and couldn't find a gas station ANYWHERE. (for those of you who have been through the Pembina border area before, you know what we mean-there's just not much there at all for quite a ways!) For most of that time I was sleeping and had no idea of what was happening. I woke up to us driving through a little town, and I said, "wait, why are we not on the main road?" And sister said, "Well...we've been on E for quite a while now, and so I am desperately searching for gas. So you could pray for that, if you want to."
It's not that we're worried about being stranded somewhere.
But when you are out in the middle of nowhere, and you have NO phone reception whatsoever...then, yeah, it's not really a good time to run out of gas.
Praise the Lord, we finally found a gas station before completely running out!
We made it to Neepawa in record time and arrived in time for dinner.

Such great memories we always make with cousin love and her husband. So good to be back with them again. We had many great conversations and lots of laughter around that little kitchen table!

Of course meeting this little man was just amazing. We had such grand times of snuggles and giggles!
Baby laundry folding, gift unwrapping, and fun things of that nature commenced.
Our visit landed right on cousin dearie's birthday which was so special. Loved being there for it and making some amazing birthday memories with her!
His shoes!! His little tummy! =)
The first morning was spent walking and picking up a few groceries in the little town of Neepawa. 
Back home, a delicious lunch was prepared by these two while I attended to the baby. =)
I gave cousin a Pioneer Woman cookbook as one of her birthday gifts and whilst drooling over the many recipes therein, a certain sandwich recipe was discovered. It was a dreamy combination of apricot preserves, turkey breast, and cheese, all melted between bread into panini sandwiches.
It did not disappoint! Combined with fresh tomato basil cream soup, it was the perfect lunch!
Birthday cheesecake pie, brought over by cousins' mother-in-law on her birthday.
We had lots and lots of chats about life, him and I. =)
A late night of the legendary Bean Game, complete with much laughter and competitive goodwill. =) Well, mostly goodwill. We may have, once or twice, thought about losing our tempers at cousin's husband's way of weaseling in and winning effortlessly. Like how did he do that?!
But overall everyone was mostly kind to each other. =)
If you haven't played this game, you need to check into it. We love it!
One day we ladies and lil man went out on the town. (aka, to the nearby metropolis of Brandon) 
We had a lovely time filled with many adventures. 
First stop was for coffee. Naturally. 
Cousin dearie took the us to try a new certain little hipster joint which was declared a national success. 
The cups were quite small but the coffee was strong and the latte art superb and the taste divine so the smallness was willingly excused. =)
Next stop was Value Village.
Value Village is Canada's epitome of a grand thrift store chain and a most delightful place to find treasures. Sister and I make it our goal to visit a VV at least once every time we go to Canada.

While sister and cousin dear tried on a multitude of items in the dressing rooms, the little man and yours truly had a most wonderful hat-modeling session with the row of hats hanging outside of the dressing rooms. This experience involved him looking at the phone screen with wide and sometimes perturbed eyes and myself trying to take a decent selfie without completely dying laughing at how hilarious he looked in some of the styles. In the midst of this little adventure he lost some of his breakfast but thankfully the hats were spared and things were cleaned up and back to normal in record time.
Record, that is, when you have a shopping cart full of clothes and you are trying to locate the diaper bag and wipes underneath everything while holding a chubby baby and trying not to get aforementioned breakfast over more things than yourself and child. =)
As you can tell by this picture...an adventure was incurred.
After purchases were made, we ladies headed out to the truck. It so happened that due to certain malfunctions, it was necessary to unlock the truck with the key, manually. Cousin dear inserted the key and turned but to no avail. She tried several times but just could not get the door unlocked. Sister and I tried our skills at various key insertion moves and twists and tricks but nothing worked. The door simply would not be unlocked. Someone mentioned asking for help but no one was wanting to that so all three continued trying to their utmost to unlock that stubborn door.
Finally a certain husband was called and the tale of woe poured out.
It seemed that he thought that the key was not being inserted properly which was somewhat offensive to us ladies as we had all been trying our UTMOST and had each inserted the key many many times. Cousins' husband mentioned asking a man for help. I was vehemently apposed to this suggestion (why in the world would a man be able to unlock the truck if three women couldn't? Exactly!) 
but eventually the situation became so desperate that cousin determined to ask for help. She flagged down a gentleman and he came to our assistance. He tried and tried but to no avail as well. He was so sweet though-he had the dearest British accent and was genuinely kind.
At last it was decided that we would have to call in professional assistance. Which we did...and then went back inside of VV to wait. By this time we were all starved, and to tell the truth, we were all feeling somewhat grumpy. Thankfully we were together which meant that we really couldn't be grumpy for long, no matter how frustrated and hungry we may have been.
Within 15 minutes the pros arrived. Well, their company logo arrived, along with a boy who looked more like a teenage bum than someone who would actually be able to successfully unlock our truck. However, he got it unlocked, and we were eternally grateful, and we got in the truck and laughed and laughed. =)
Lunch at a dear little pita place. #pitaloversunite
Now this is cool. I didn't even know signs like this existed. But I am a huge fan. Seriously, what better people to honor than new parents and mothers?
Shopping places everywhere should take note and implement this. I was so impressed.
At the mall, a visit was made to this sweet little tea shop that was bright and cheery and smelled divine!
it was also sister's and my first time to be introduced to Ardenes.
(a Canadian chain similar to, oh, maybe like a mash-up of Rue21 + Forever21 + Maurices?)
We loved it!
Current life motto. I dearly loved this sign on a store we were passing, and I took a picture so I wouldn't forget it. =)
Did I mention that we ate like queens?!
Breakfast of champions with baby of champions.
Snuggles with the sleeping angel boy.
Yet another delectable lunch. (observe little squish in the corner. Doesn't he look so huggable?!)
Afternoon caffeinated beverages. Always with plenty of whipped cream!
The last night of the visit there was a grand little cookout. The sun was shining and the fire kept away the minimal chill. Such a lovely time.
Last hugs and coffees. So very blessed to have this lady in my life. She is the dearest soul.
On the way home, we went a bit off the beaten trail and drove over along the top of Minnesota, to International Falls, to surprise one of our dear friends for her birthday.
The surprise was a COMPLETE success and the big hat, the birthday singing, and the unexpected "whipped cream in the face event" will never be forgotten!
It was a short and sweet stop of just two hours, but we talked non-stop, ate delicious mexican food, and had a grand time celebrating life + friendship!
Love these girls!

A *most* questionable little gas stop of sorts was visited, amongst multiple other fuel stops. One little pump! But it did the job.
 By the way, in case you have not noticed, our fuel stops are gas stations and Caribou coffee. You know, fuel for the car, and fuel for the drivers. =)

We had a rather desperate two hours of desolation driving along the top of Minnesota, in which we were looking and looking for a bathroom facility. (and finally eventually did find one) 
Other than that, most of the trip up to this point had been quite calm. 

We were nearing the twin cities Saturday evening, zooming right along. I had resumed the wheel and was laser-focused on home. The trip had been lovely but after all, we were nearing the happy sights of my happy place and I was excited to be back. So anyways, we were moving along, in the rain, at an, um, fairly rapid state of speed, and I remarked, half to myself and half to sister, "How completely uneventful this trip has been!"
"No weird border guards, no hold-ups at the border, no major things forgotten, nothing lost, no breakdowns, and we only ran into three sketchy guys! I'd say that was a pretty calm trip compared to our past record. It must be because I let you drive most of the time! I should let you drive more! 
Like literally, nothing has gone wrong. This is crazy."

Friends, the words were out of my mouth no more than five seconds before I popped over a ridge and whizzed right by....well, you know, a keeper of the peace. I did what I do literally every time I pass one of those white cars-I began to pray, "Lord, please, no...not tonight! I want to get home..I don't want to be stopped...just please...." 

Yeah. Like two words into that prayer, things spun into action with a little light show of sorts. 
And you can imagine the rest.

Bless his heart...he really was a nice young guy. We went through the whole thing:
Him, "M'am, are you aware of how fast you were driving?" 
Me, "um, yeah, I have an idea....around __?" 
Him, "HMMMM. And may I ask what's your rush?" 
Me, "Well, umm, I just wanna get home!!!"
(or something equally idiotic-why can I never think of something witty to say at this point?)

He let me off with an "official epistle" (cause that just sounds nicer than saying ticket) 
and told me that he was only going to fine me for half of my offense speed. (in other words, the amount I was over the limit; he only charged me for half)
Which was sweet of him but it was still a horrific amount.
When the whole deal was over and I rolled up my window and resumed driving, everything was deathly still. I stole a glance at sister. She looked back at me: "Well, what am I supposed to say? How many times do we have to talk about this and how many times does this still have to happen?"

*monkey hands over eyes emoji*
It was a lovely journey with the sista, overall. We had a marvelous time, many memories made, and another successful road trip for the books!

Sometimes I feel a little strange posting these adventures, because they are somewhat personal, but I want them documented for myself to remember some day, you know?
Right.

Y'all have an amazing weekend!
 -Chels