Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#1


My Friends!  I am so glad you're here!

Today is the first day of my blog's re-launch, and I'm so incredibly excited!

First, some information for my history nerds ....

     I started blogging in college (circa 2002) using Xanga (can you believe it?). At the beginning of 2008, I switched to the blogger platform, and "yourstrulyh.blogspot.com" was born.  In the middle of 2013, I re-branded to The Young Museum.  In 2013, I got involved with The Influence Network and attended The Conference in September.

     The Conference blew my mind, you guys.  I realized my space, voice, and overall "brand" could be used as a ministry, of sorts, and my current blog wasn't scratching that itch.

Six months...fifty-eight emails...four hundred and thirty two prayers later...and this blog was born.

     And now, for those of you that like a good (short) story...

     The year 2013 was brutal.  We have a tiny hallway that connects our bathroom and two other bedrooms.  I used to come home from work, sit on the floor, and cry to Tim in that hallway while he showered.

     I started thinking about how badly I wanted a life that inspired "cartwheels down the hall" instead of crying, and...let me tell you...The Lord did not disappoint, cause things are now on the up & up. ;)

With that being said, I'm so glad you're here.

When I started dreaming about a re-brand, I wrote a list of prayers / desires /wishes for the blog and the words to come.

The one that stood out the most...that would become my "Manifesto!" was this...

I wanted The Lord to use this space to help women strengthen their faith, marriages, friendships and homes. 

So... here we are.  With busy hands & an open heart. 

Curious.  Anxious.  Excited.  

My best to you.

Love & I'm so glad you exist, 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Influence Conference Recap #2: Why I Almost Didn't Go (and why you SHOULD)

     I so desperately want to participate in The Influence Conference Re-Cap Link- Up, but I'm finding myself holding my cards really tightly to my chest these days.

I did not know how much This Conference would change me...there are lots of things on my heart that I haven't even shared with Tim or my family so far (my dad  had minor/expected surgery yesterday so we're still letting the dust settle).

But also, I'm still just "sitting" on things and letting them sink in.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm changing the rules just a bit.  ;)

     I think there will be a lot of people using the Influence Network links who (perhaps) didn't go to Influence this year...for various reasons.  I wanted to share reasons why I DIDN'T go last year (and almost chickened out in 2013) in the hopes that it will help give someone else the courage to go next time.

If you DID go...how did The Lord speak truth into your life and expectations about the conference? What would you say to encourage someone else to go next year?  Please feel free to share in the comments!

     The second purpose is to link back to it next year so all those first-timers can find some encouragement in 2014. ( I wanted to write it now while it was all still fresh in my mind).

      I also wanted to include tips & things I was glad I did before the conference (i.e. prepare your heart), but this post was getting, um. Long.  To say the least.  Check back in the near future.  I'll link back as needed.

Ok.  Get comfy.  :)

I will tell you that when someone asked me about this conference (before I attended), I would dodge the question.  

I was a.) completely overwhelmed and b.) did not know what to expect.  

Here were some of my fears, and my attempts at talking you OUT of them, in case they're your fears, too...  

I will be the smallest blogger there...

    Um. Some people there haven't even started blogging, yet.  They just wanted to come learn, make connections, and hear about Jesus.  <<<<<  That  =  awesome.  

I don't have time to network beforehand....

     Don't sweat this.  I didn't network THAT much (too scared = silly), and I still had an amazing time, and felt like I connected with some wonderful people.  

     This was a series of instagram exchanges I had with my (new) friend :) Rachel.  (Posted with permission).  I'm posting these just so you can see how easy it is!  Rachel posted a photo and used the #influenceconf hashtag...and the rest was history.  

     I know it seems a little ridiculous that I'm posting this, but one of the points that Kate made during her session was, "Don't assume that people know the basics."  I was a social media newbie (and still am).  I had no idea how to reach out...the entire world of twitter was lost on me.  (I'm getting better).  ;)

If you're new, intimidated, shy, etc.  This is for you.  :)

 (my old name was hollysoyoung) These are all separate Instagram posts, but our convo. is highlighted in pink.  The former teacher in me was SO excited to HIGHLIGHT! Heehee!



And we didn't even get a picture together.  :(  But I did meet her in person, and she's adorable and lovely.  

     If someone doesn't respond, don't sweat it.  Everyone has their own "stuff" going on.  Use the hashtag. Reach out.  Keep trying.

 If anything....tag me (@theyoungmuseum).  I love stalking/having stalkers.  :) You won't be able to get rid of me.

(keep in mind, 2014's hashtag might be different)

No one is going to want to meet me....

I have nothing to say on this one.  Stop thinking that.  I want to meet you.  Jesus wants to meet you.  That one is just dumb, and it's a lie from the fire-y pits of hell.  (Dramatic, right?)  

My clothes aren't cute enough...

Guys.  This one is also dumb.  This was a conference full of women from all walks of life.  Wear what you like.  Wear what you feel comfortable in.  These people have never seen you before, so technically, everything in your closet is new.  ;)  I saw jeans...maxi skirts...dresses...leggings....Except for the first night ( I wore a dress/denim jacket), I wore jeans everyday.


I need to go when I've lost more weight/gained more followers.  

Why?  I really want you to think about this answer.  I'll share mine so you can take comfort. 

 My answer comes from a place of vanity and pride.  I didn't want the first impression that people saw of me at a conference to be a.) chubby and b.) a mediocre blogger.  <<< that was hard to admit! 

Because, you know...being thin and popular are requirements if you want to be a disciple for Jesus.  

Moses stuttered.  Paul got the tar beat out of him on a regular basis.  Ruth and Naomi were dead, flat, broke.  

Stop making excuses that come from shallow, empty places for not doing the work of Jesus and ENJOYING things you think might be scary.  I'm talking to myself here, too- sweet friends.  

Let's be confident.  Let's continue working on our goals while moving forward at the same time.

I've lost 9 pounds, thank you very much.  ;)  

((drops the mic))  

Music starts: "I'm sexy & I know it...."  


It's going to be about being a "pretty blogger..."  The sessions will be..."We're pretty...here's how you can be pretty like us..." 

     This could NOT have been farther from the truth.  The Conference founders are some of the most genuine, sincere, down-to-earth bloggers I know.  You're already beautiful because you are made in the image of God, and He loves you.   I got the impression, that these ladies believe...you're already beautiful. You don't need a 45 minute session telling you "how to be that."

Let's be about the work of our Father and focus on our hearts during this conference.  

(Don't get me wrong, there were some really good "strategy" sessions...but they were also Christ-centered and incredibly helpful for my HEART)! 

It's going to be super competitive...you have to stand out.  

     Holy Smokes.  Not true.  My new friend Katie from a place to dwell spent the entire car ride home walking me through The Basics of Twitter (haha), and taking notes for me while I thought out loud (I was driving).

At dinner one night, several other girls gave advice, opinions, and helped brainstorm ideas about ways to become better writers.

Dinner with creative types, writers, new friends, mom's, bloggers, fellow believers = a dream come true!

At the conference, I found a safe place.  

When one of us succeeds, we all succeed...because the goal is to reach people and build community. 

And hold hands, ride unicorns, and slide down rainbows.  ;)  

Jessi ended with this.... (and I cry my head off just thinking about it), 

"We love you.  You are our people, and we are your people."  


* * * * * * * *  

I hope to see you next year.  I'll eat you up, I love you so.  

Love & also one of your people, 

Holls 
#wildandfree  ;) 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Influence Conference Update Part 1

  Oh.  Beautiful People.  How are you!??!?!  I really want to know!

     I just returned from The Influence Conference which is organized by the women behind The Influence Network.  It took place in Indianapolis, and I know a lot of you (via Facebook) are curious about it.  I'm going to post an update in two parts, lest this post-size rival War and Peace (1400 pages, anyone?).

     I'm 58% sure that I'm going to miss something so... Influence ladies, feel free to add details in the comments.  :)

     The Influence Conference was founded by a group of six female bloggers who are passionate about Jesus, their families, and helping women connect online.

     The best explanation I heard all weekend was basically this...


I just loved that.  It's just a group of women (over 250) who want to learn how to make much of Jesus on the internet.

Too many cat videos ( I don't believe there is such a thing).  Cyber-bullying.  Privacy/Censorship issues.  The internet has a bad reputation these days, but I believe The Lord wants to redeem it.

The schedule included workshops and sessions of your choosing (that covered both "life" and "strategy" topics) along with an AMAZING worship service on the final night of the conference.

     If you are interested in using your online presence to bring glory to God (whether it is through blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy), and if you long to bring an element of community to the internet (which is often a lonely and frightening place), I encourage you to research The Influence Network/Conference and prayerfully consider attending next year.  #influenceconf if you want to see what this year was all about!  

     I'll be back with a quick, Part 2 update (Myths I believed prior to going to The Conference plus some practical tips), and tomorrow, starts The Nester's 31 Days.  <<<  That = overwhelming...but in a good way....but also kind of a bad way.  Writing for 31 days!?!?!  I might cry.

Please feel free to email me if you have questions:  holls_y@hotmail.com (or write me on Facebook)!

Also!  My twitter & instagram names have changed.  (theyoungmuseum)  It's all coming together!  If only I could get my dishwasher unloaded.

Links to Influence co-founders:

Hayley @ the tiny twig
Jessi @ naptime diaries
Moriah @ Moriah Makes 
Ashley @ written on her heart
Lindsey @ thekublygirl
Rachael @ kincaidparade 


Links to the session speakers (that I attended, for a full schedule, go here):

Hayley & Jessi both spoke during the Friday & Saturday morning sessions, and did an AMAZING job.

Jeff Goins (Hilarious and Helpful)!
Lara Casey (Brilliant)!
Kate Bryan @ the small things (Pinterest Hair Extraordinaire)!
Kim Davis @ oh sweet joy ( sweet as pie, humble, talented, the list goes on)
Rebecca @ better life bags ( inventive, genuine, talented, etc.)

Reeve Coobs, worship

     The absolute best part was that EVERY speaker has a heart for God and wants to see us pursue the dreams He has for us and make much of Him on the internet.


     Did you see anyone other than the speakers above?  What did you take from the conference (loaded question!)?  What did I miss?

Love, goosebumps, and fist bumps,
Holls




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Influence Conference 2013 Link-Up!


     Today, I'm participating in a Meet & Greet link-up in an attempt to get to know the other ladies who will be attending the upcoming Influence Conference.

Hello fellow conference attenders!  :)

     My name is Holly with a Y, and I'm from Cincinnati, OH (Yippee and Go Bucks!)  I live in a tiny house with a red front door with my husband and our two dogs.  I have been blogging for 10 years or so (starting with Xanga!), but am looking forward to diving deeper into the profession of blogging/writing after recently snagging the long-sought-after title of Stay at Home Wife.



     The link-up suggests we share 2 things we'll be sure to pack and 2 things we're looking forward to during the conference.

To Pack

  ( 1 )   I recently re-discovered this lip gloss from C.O. Bigelow buried in another purse.  I've had it for nearly 4 years now, and it's almost time to buy another tube (I've nursed this puppy along...usually I lose these kinds of things before they're empty...heehee)!  It's a great way to add a little bit of color, plus it's minty, too!
   ( 2 )   I'm also bringing lots of hair ties and bobby pins.  My hair is longer than usual, now.  I'm often not sure what to do with it.  Hooray for Pinterest!  Sometimes, I just want it UP!

To Anticipate 

     I'm really looking forward to just digging my heels into the world of blogging, and learning how to not only take it more seriously but also how to better share my heart on this here' space.

     I'm also looking forward to sleeping in a hotel bed.  I think sometimes it just feels a little luxurious!


My best to you.
H.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Uncrumple Me: A post about envy


   I want to start out by telling you, "This is not a post about babies."  But actually, it kind of is...actually...it's a post about whatever you want need it to be.

     For me, this is a post about a numerous amount of things on any one given day.  Houses and fulfilling jobs and all those well-lit, expensively decorated houses everyone is always pinning the heck out of on pinterest.

First, and foremost, this is a post about envy.

Holy smokes.  There it is.

To be quite honest, this draft has been sitting for a long time.  It just takes a while to get all these things out, you know.

Then Sweet Erika from Rouge & Whimsy wrote a post, and I thought about this draft and muttered to myself, "Ok...what the heck?"

And then shortly there after, I ended up hitting "Publish."

What the heck, am I right?

With that being said...
   
     Right now, I am re-reading a book by Lauren Winner called Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life.  It is my favorite book.  It documents Lauren's journey from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity, and I learn something new every time I read it.

Lauren has a married friend named Hannah.

During one particularly awkward encounter, Hannah explains to Lauren that she *might* be in the beginning stages of an affair with another man and is...what's the word?

Oh, yes.

Blatantly unrepentant.

Or so it seems.

And Lauren, being in her mid-20's and "still" single, has a hard time getting over it.

Because it stinks.  It stinks when people make bad choices and, in turn, get the things we most want.

Houses and babies and new lovers alike.

Hannah is involved with two men while Lauren spends Christmas alone with a box of Lucky Charms and a scratchy afghan.

And then Hannah gets pregnant.  Unfaithful-fornicating-selfish-two-timing Hannah gets her very own bundle of joy.

Joy?

     The rest of this post is mostly just Lauren's reaction.  Someone once commented (on a separate blog) that posting quotes feels a lot like cheating.  And maybe it is.  Maybe I am cheating by posting such a large amount of content by another author, but right now, for some reason, it just feels desperately important.

So.  There you have it.  And below, you'll find Lauren's words. Not mine.

+ + + + + + + + + + +

  When I get home from coffee with Hannah, I sit on my bed and try to picture it.  I try to picture watching her be pregnant, I try to picture the baby shower, I try to picture the newborn, downy person in a pink blanket, and I try, while I picture those things, to picture myself being happy for Hannah, and I can't.  I can't imagine feeling happy.  I just feel jealous and pathetic and lame.  I feel miserable.  On top of feeling jeaouls and miserable, I feel like a bad, selfish person, so uncharitable that I can't summon even a shade of joy when my friends do great, joyful things like have babies.

     Sitting on my bed, I tell God bluntly that I don't have the resources to watch Hannah have this baby. "I really don't want to feel this way," I say.  "I really want to do right by my friend.  But I don't know how to be a friend to her, God."  I don't think I can stand even five mintues of her crib-buying glee.  I don't think I can give her a sympathetic ear when she complains about morning sickness.  I look at my icons.  "I am so jealous I can't stand up straight."  I say.  "If you want me to somehow look on during this pregnancy, you are going to have to give me the eyes to do it with."  If I am going to do something other than crumple up and collapse, it will only be because God does it for me.  Because He will gently pry me apart and prop me upright after I have crumpled into a ball on the floor.    
   
     Somehow, I know He will uncrumple me.  I will be jealous and miserable all through this pregnancy, but I have known God long enough now to know that He will give me enough respite from my jealously to go to Baby Gap.  He will give me enough respite to listen to Hannah talk about her ultrasounds.  If I ask for that respite and open my hands to receive it, He will give it to me.  He will give me enough peace to be her friend.  And knowing God, he might even surprise me.  He might give me, amid the months of envy, a few moments of gratitude and joy.  He might give me a little burst of affection and excitement when I first see that downy bundle of pink.

     Later, in the shower, I get it.  I get that Hannah's pregnancy is my own school of sanctification*.  God is sanctifying Jim and Hannah through marriage and parenthood, but he is not just blessing them and leaving me out in the unblessed cold.  He is using my ridiculous jealousy and my endless self-pity to sanctify me.  

     I will forget that, of course at Hannah's baby shower.  Sitting through that baby shower, I will forget about the sanctification and only remember the pain.  But then I will come home, and I will pray, and I will remember.  I will remember that God does not cause our suffering, but He uses it.

I will remember that He is using that baby shower to somehow grow me into the person He wants me to be.


+ + + + + + + + + + 



Love, and mine usually starts with attached garages, full, finished basements and spacious linen closets,
H.

...and en suite bathrooms....and large pantries.


Sanctification:  to set apart for sacred use, to make holy

There are days when I have either lost this (haha) ^^^ or days when I don't have a clue, either.
Never want to take for granted that everyone who stops by speaks my language.  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Dress, 4 Ways: My 2 Hours as a Fashion Blogger


    So.  I'm fashion blogging today and I feel nervous and excited and pretty silly about the whole thing. If that doesn't make you wanna read this post, I don't know what will.

     When Audrey at Putting Me Together presented the idea of a link-up, I said two things to myself.

 I said, "Self... you should participate.  And.  You should use your Orange Dress."

And so.  It was decided.

     This bad boy is just so versatile.   I've worn it as a dress (can you imagine?), a swimsuit cover-up and have even slept in it on occasion.  It's just that comfy!

Today, I'm going to show you how I've been able to wear the same dress through all 4 seasons.

      I snagged this orange, print little number (brand: Rhapsody) at a Ross in Los Angeles a few summers back (trying to replace a broken suitcase)!  I grabbed it while we were in line to check out, and didn't even try it on (which is very unlike me).  For the next remaining week of our trip, I wore the heck out of that sucker (and have ever since).

      I felt like this post was a little time consuming, and I made a huge mess out of my closet in the process...haha. How do you ladies make time for this!?!?!

     One more thing...do you see those rosie cheeks?  Yea.  It has been in the upper 80's in Ohio...so...keeping my "cool" while wearing tights and boots was really difficult.  Just a little fun fact about the "behind the scenes" aspect of this post!  Shew-ey!


Here we go!

Spring/Summer

     This has pretty much been my summer uniform.  I like it because this dress doesn't wrinkle AT ALL.  I also like the fact that it has a lot of colors to pull from.



Cami: JCPenney
Purse: Old Navy
Flip Flops: Payless 


Spring/Summer 

      I think this is a good look for a graduation party, rehearsal dinner, or date night.  That was a real cell phone call, by the way.  Needless to say, I just wanted to get this photo shoot over with.




Necklace:  Gap Outlet
Shoes: Old Navy
Purse: Gifted from my days as a bridesmaid! 
 (brand, Daisy Fuentes) 


Fall/Winter 

     This is one of my favorite looks for fall.  These tights are really comfy.   Tim bought them for me for Christmas, and they are more of a jersey/t-shirt material so they don't snag easily.  They are just really wearable.





The Boyfriend Sweater: American Eagle Outfitters (a few years ago)
Tights: Wal-mart (gift from Tim)
Boots:  The Gap

Fall/Winter

     Tim bought me this scarf for Christmas.  I didn't think I would wear this color often (even though I did love the scarf from the start), but man- he nailed it.  I've worn this scarf so much! I wish you could see the boots.  This post has really shown me what great taste my husband has- as these were ALSO a gift from him.  :)




Jacket: Old Navy
Scarf:  Charlotte Rousse (gift from Tim)
Boots:  Dillard's, gift from Tim
(brand, Jessica Simpson)  


     Here are a few photos of other ways/places I've worn this.  Definitely the most well-traveled clothing item I own!  (Below, my friend, Fun James makes an appearance)



Behind the scenes:

     This post was a GIANT step out of my comfort zone!  I truly believe the business of blogging should be personal.  I'm trying to get more comfortable in front of the camera so we can all get to know each other a little better.  ;)  It's coming along.

      Before I forget...the charcoal drawing of Tim and I in the background of my photos was a gift from my friends for my 30th birthday.  Betsy the Kind's husband is a very talented artist and I cried when I opened it. (Tears of joy, Tears of joy)!  It is definitely one of those "grab this if our house catches on fire" kinds of things so I wanted to mention it!

      Also, I kept thinking of the part in Napoleon Dynamite where Kip is upset because his online girlfriend won't send him a "full body shot" because I rarely post "full body shots" only because they are hard to take with a self-timer!


Secondly, while taking the photo of me holding a coffee mug, I kept thinking of this scene from 30 Rock, and it makes me laugh every time...

"It's weird...what do I do with my arms?  I've never thought of that before...is it...THIS?" 


Lastly, I really wanted Scarlett to get in a shot.  I don't know why, and I certainly should have known better.


     Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  Even though I've been blogging for quite a while (anyone remember Xanga?)  I still feel like this blog is in the beginning stages.  We're experiencing milestones (first fashion post), and learning more and more everyday, it seems.

With love & humility,
H.










Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Some Links for You

I've got a few links for you today.  Free of charge because you are just that adorable!  ;)

And because I can't seem to do anything these days without the use of alliteration, I've got something for the home, head, heart, health, and your happiness.

How fun is that?

Here we go!

Home:  Apartment Therapy posted this question about adding color through the use of curtains.

Head:  This is an article about how the city of Columbia (South Carolina) plans to address the issue of homelessness.  Still on the fence about this.

Heart:  The tiny twig posted this great piece about moving out of "The Newlywed Phase" of marriage.  Five years in, and we'll still take all the help we can get.  ;)

Health:  Twelve Healthy Benefits of Zumba (Ole'!)

Happiness:  I thought it would only be appropriate to end with a "dog adoption success story."  Here's one from Petfinder's, "A Happy Tail" section.

Hooray!  

Love and take care of each other,
H.