Monday, April 30

Dear April Child

This month seems to have flown by extremely fast. Like super-speed. It's crazy to me that just next month I'll be turing eighteen, and graduating from high school. Weird, right? I have big plans for the month of May, as it's my birthday month! So here we go into another round-up!

On the blog-

  • Ivory Giraffes had 25 posts in April, 1,645 visitors (just a wee bit less than last month), 56 comments, and 7 new readers! (Hi, new readers! I'm so glad you joined me, and I can't wait to read your comments and connect more with you!) 
  • I was interviewed by the ever stunning Abbigayle!
  • I explained Why I Blog.
  • I posted five outfits. 
Off the blog-

  • I went down to Bethel to watch my cousin graduate.
  • I went to Florida for ten days (and saw the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!)
  • I joined Instagram ( @hannahbyard ) 
  • Went to two of Hunter's track meets!
  • Bought my first ever Essie nail polish! 
  • Tried three different kinds of fish (HUGE accomplishment
  • Finished writing this. Ha. 
Sweet April Child
It's the spring of your youth
Cherish these precious days 
Summer comes all too soon. 

Saturday, April 28

Look Who Did an Interview

I know I already posted today but I just had to let you all know that you should probably (meaning definitely!) hop on over to TrueBlueAbbi to check out the interview I did with her!

In Which I Talk About My BFFL

This whole month I've been on the go, go, go! It's been a crazy month, and I'm really not sure how all of a sudden it's almost over. And even weirder, almost my eighteenth birthday. Like, really? The girl who is still getting asked if she needs a "Kids Menu" is turning eighteen? Anywho, that's not what I wanted to write about. (Seriously. Show me a person who can ramble more and I'll be amazed.
What I was initially getting at is that I've been traveling a lot this month... actually the past two months. I went down to Bethel at the end of March, and then I went down to Florida a few weeks ago and now. Now. I'm on my way back to Bethel to see my wonderful, lovely, beautiful, favoritest cousin Casie graduate. 

Dear Casie,
I remember my first night ever going to youth. At that point you hated going, but you told me that you would come with me. So we went, and it was awful. I got made fun of, and you hated being there. I could tell. But it was fun because you were with me. You've always been the older, wiser, cooler, awesome person that I've looked up to. My role model in every way. The summer that you graduated high school we became a lot closer, and it was great. I never understood why you let me, a puny little eighth grader, follow you are like a puppy dog. But I always appreciated that you and your friends always included me, and never acted like I was obnoxious. It made me have so much respect for you, especially now when I'm the age you were and find myself more annoyed than compassionate about kids younger than me. 
WHen I found out that you were moving to Indiana, I bawled. I didn't want you to leave me, but I knew I was being selfish and you had to do what was best or you. Now, I'm so glad that you went. I can see how much you've grown in these past four years and I can't for that to happen to me too. You were always the kind of girl I wanted to be, but now you're the kind of woman I want to be. (As cheesy as that sounds...)
You have always been my role model. Someone that I've looked up to, and aspired to be like and I am so proud of you. Proud of your accomplishments in graduating. But more so proud of you keeping yourself strong in God. You inspire me to be better. To be more faithful, and always more compassionate. I love you, Cas. And I can't wait to see what else you do with your life, because it will be amazing. I'm going to miss you even more once you move even farther from me, but, just like Bethel, I know it's what's best for you. Happy Graduation, and congratulations, Casie. 
Your Mini-Me 

Friday, April 27

Summed Up In Ten Pictures

DSC_0106 DSC_0200 DSC_0243 DSC_0439 DSC_0468 DSC_0470 DSC_0645 DSC_0701 DSC_0704
1, 2, 3) My favorite thing on the entire trip by far was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. That right there, m'dear is pumpkin juice... which is the bomb. 4) My sister Jadi (the Ravenclaw) loves Despicable Me! 5) Magic Kingdom! 5) The view from our second hotel room in Clearwater, Florida. 6) Discovery Cove at breakfast time! 7) It was actually chilly at Discovery Cove, and I always get millions of goosebumps! 8, 9, 10) Discovery Cove is just so cool. From the dolphins, to the sharks, to the coral reef! 

All in all, I had a great vacation. There were some parts that I would have liked to take out, but, hey. Life ain't perfect. Basically I'm just really glad to be back home, even if that means snow instead of sunburns. 

Thursday, April 26

it's the little things...

DSC_0004DSC_0002 finishing a good book. And a book about the ghost of Mozart to boot! I'm sort of a big critic of books/movies and I really liked this one. I'm sort of a huge Mozart fan (but more-so a Beethoven fan) and I actually kind of like books with a  little bit of spook in 'em. Which this book doesn't really have, unless you count friendly ghosts spooky. 
Also, there is nothing else in the world quite like drinking anything Stewart's. I'm more of an Orange Cream Soda gal myself, but this Cherries'n Cream is pretty good too. I basically just love drinking anything in glass bottles. 

Wednesday, April 25

10 Random Questions

I was tagged by Noelle of I Hear a Bell to do this video, and you know me and vlogs! I love 'em. I'm quite hyper in this video so excuse my weirdness. Also, I've realized that there is no way I can make a short video. It's impossible. 

I Tag:
Abbi (who also has a really great giveaway going on her blog right now!) 

And anyone else who wants to do it. If you do end up doing it, give me a link! 

Tuesday, April 24

What I Wore// Learning to Love Again

Pink & Creme Striped Top- Levi's; Skinny Jeans- Delia's; TOMS; 
Life is sort of completely beautiful and really unpredictable most of the time. I'm really a fan of living, and I don't just mean breathing in and out. I mean really living, and to me part of really living is just simply being and appreciating the world around me. 
So thank you wind for tickling my cheek, and thank you dirt for the wonderful feeling I get when I squish you between my toes. And thank you kind people who hold doors open for me, even when I'm a ways behind you. Thank you kind nurses who give me shots in the leg instead of the arm. You're all what makes this world bearable despite the depressing parts, actually more than bearable. You're what makes it wonderful. 

Monday, April 23

Right Now...

I am Hannah Lauren Byard.
I think about death a lot. In a not-depressing way.  
I am happy most of the time, but especially when with the boy.
I have a spot on my forehead that needs some serious popping.
I miss my Daddy. 
I fear people in masks, and costumes. 
I feel like not going to my Doctor's appointment. 
I smell like Ivory soap. 
I usually laugh. 
I search for Hello Kitty paraphernalia. 
I wonder about the future. 
I regret caring too much about people who don't care an ounce back. 
I love broccoli! 
I care probably too much about what people think. 
I tell the best puns. 
I worry that I'm not good enough. 
I am not tall. 
I remember camping with my cousin in her backyard and sneaking into her house to get graham crackers and frosting. 
I believe that not everything happens for a reason. 
I sing all the time. 
I don't always take my own advice about inner beauty. 
I don't like parties with lots of noise. 
I write to relieve stress and be happy. 
I win games of Scrabble against Hunter... except for once. 
I dance when I want to annoy my mother. 
I wish that wishes actually came true. 
I never stop believing that there is a God who loves me deeply. 
I listen to music all the time, different genres depending on what I'm doing. 
I don't understand why people insist on bullying others, and must be continually rude. 
I can usually be found sitting at my piano bench. 
I need to get back into my running routine. 
I forget most everything. 

Borrowed from the lovely Brandilyn. :) 

Saturday, April 21

In Which I Talk About Being Homeschooled

Remember back in March when I went down to Bethel College to audition for the music program and for a potential scholarship? Yeah. So do I. And ever since then I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for a letter telling me about what the outcome was. And then I went on vacation. During which time my letter came. 
*Insert squeals of excitement* 

I opened it yesterday, and just had to tell you all what officially happened. Drumroll puhlease! 

I just received my second, count 'em one and two, scholarship from non-other than Bethel College! Stellar right? All my worrying, and practicing for months has payed off. I now have an academic scholarship and a music scholarship! 

In so many ways this is just freaking me out more about leaving, like it really is gonna happen. But then I'm so excited. I know this is not only where I want to be, but where I need to be. All these years of being told and believing that because I was home schooled I wasn't going to be prepared, and that I was missing out, and it might be hard to get into college has just been proved completely wrong. Being home schooled certainly isn't for everyone, and I will never go out and say it's the only and best way to be schooled because everyone is different, but it is effective and anyone saying anything else simply doesn't know what they're talking about. 

Maybe I won't be able to go to prom in a few weeks (although i personally think it sounds quite fun), and maybe I won't be able to walk with a (tacky and polyestercap and gown on to get my diploma. Sure, I may not have as many high school friends as the average Jane. But, I can tell you I never missed out. I went to a homecoming, bad decision by the way, I have the best lifelong friends anyone could ask for. Heck, I've even dealt with the not-great parts of high school. Like mean girls, and drama that I didn't know I could be a part of when I don't even know the people. 

My high school experience may be different from "normal" people, but I've never claimed, or wanted, to be normal anyways. But guess what? It worked for me. I got into the college I've wanted to attend forever, and I even got a few scholarships. And really, that's what's important right? Doing what is best for you. Getting the education that you personally need. For me it was being home schooled. For you it may be public or private school. 

When it comes down to it, I'm so grateful for how my education turned out. And now I'm excited to start a new chapter in my schooling. I'm nervous, scared, petrified, and so pumped. 

Friday, April 20

What I Wore// Like Pelican Fly

Blouse- Forever21; Jeans- Delia's; TOMS; Nailpolish- OPI
I wore this to fly back home on Wednesday. 
I told everyone on Instagram about getting my first ever pair of Toms, and these are them! I'm hardcore in love with them. Not only are they some of the comfiest shoes ever (annnd they're grey, and you know my love of grey), but the whole idea of them is one of the best things I've ever heard of. I've fasted for 30 hours to feed hungry children, bought paper necklaces to help women involved in sex trafficking, and now I'll wear Toms so that kids can wear proper shoes. I know I'm not doing a huge thing, but it's something. Something that I personally can do. 

Well, I'm off to finally see my handsome boy run in his track meet! I'm freakishly excited/nervous to see him, is that weird? The nervous part, I mean? Maybe anxious is the better word, here. I'm not entirely sure. Anywho, I'll talk to you all at a later date and hopefully next week I'll be able to do a couple big posts full of pictures from my holiday. (Yes. I know I'm not British. But I'm trying to say holiday instead of vacation, but I don't think it's gonna work for me. Or sound nearly as cool with my American accent. Bummer.

P.S. As usual all photo credit goes to my sister, NoĆ«lle. I just wanted to clarify as there are some pretty rad photos not of me, so it's probably not 100% easy to tell. 
Also, I'm switching to smaller font. Tell me if it's hard to read, cause I'll switch it back. But for now, I like it. 

Thursday, April 19

I'm Going Home, To the Place Where I Belong

Dear Michigan, 
Although you are cold, I've missed you. Florida is nice, but it's nothing compared to you. The ocean's nice, but I prefer Lake Michigan. Palm trees are nice, but birch trees are better. You're my home and nowhere else will ever compare.
Your Lifetime Resident,

Dear Mercy Roo & Sophie Bophie, 
I've missed your stinky butt, Soph. And your pointy nose. And your pretty eyelashes. I miss hearing you bark at the horse, and everyday at two o'clock when the mail comes. I've missed your squinty eyes, Mercy. And when you knead my legs and chest every morning. I even miss when you give me hives on my neck and face. I'm excited to see you both. 
Your Owner,

Dear Bed,
I miss you, I'll never leave you again. I promise... Well, except when I do leave again. 
I love you always,

Dear Hunter,
I saved you for last, cause you're most important. I've missed you loads. By the time I see you it will have been two weeks since I saw you last. It makes me realize how much going to Bethel is going to suck, but it's also made me realize that we can do it. I love you more than you know. I'm so excited to hug you, and just look at your beautiful blue eyes. To jump in your arms, and kiss your cheek. I love you. 
Yours Forever,

Wednesday, April 18


I sat down with my rock candy and my laptop on a fluffy white bed surrounded by noises of the ocean. Finally. Internet that works, and is free to boot. I, of course, log onto Blogger and immediately write up a quick blog post. Anxious to finish it up so I can get caught up on my blog reading. I scroll through my dashboard, and one by one click on the links. I opened up ClothedMuch and snuggled in to read Melissa's post on confidence. You all know how much I talk about inner beauty and all that jazz, so I was excited to read this article that she linked to. I read it. I loved it. I agreed with it. 
It also made me sad. I've seen more people in the last few days than I probably do in a year back home. So that means a lot more little girls. And, to be honest, we're country bumpkins out in Bliss Michigan. Most little girls that I know around here I more worried about racing calves and dirt bikes than putting on makeup. At least until they're in their teen years. But here. I see little girls, under ten years old, wearing makeup. And I'm so sad. I mean, I totally get that it's not my place to say how old one has to be before wearing makeup. I didn't start wearing makeup until I was nearly sixteen (and by makeup I mean mascara.), but by no means does that mean everyone else has to withhold from makeup wearing until they're older too. But, ten? Why should a ten year old have to worry about how they look? They should be having fun. Especially at Disneyworld. Trying not to puke on Space Mountain, and meeting Minnie and Mickey. Not worrying about if their mascara is running after getting soaked on Splash Mountain. 
I'm so saddened by the pressure that has been put on little girls. To be skinny. To look "perfect" (whatever perfect even is...), to have boyfriends. It's not necessary, and it makes me want to purposely go out of the house feeling confident but not dressed to the nines. I feel pressure on me, and being nearly eighteen I can handle it. I can deal with it. But the same amount of pressure is being put on ten year olds, and I'm not so sure how long they can handle it. 
I want the world to know that anybody can be pretty. Anyone. But not everyone can be beautiful. And being beautiful is a lot more important that being physically pretty. 

May you be beautiful. May you feel beautiful. May you exude your beauty from your soul into your outer being. May you always realize that your worth comes not from the clothes on your back, or the foundation on your face but rather the kindness of your heart. 

Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against the use of makeup. I, personally, don't wear it much because I'm a lazy human and I really have no idea how to wear it. Wearing makeup at a young age is your own choice, and more power to you if you're great at it. Just don't let it become who you are. Also, I'd like to make aware that just like all little girls I played dress up when I was little thing with my older cousin and she would put lipgloss on me and things such as that. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about little girls who daily wear makeup to feel beautiful, and think that that's the only way they can go out of the house. Now that I've written you a novel (in mini text no-less, sorry if you can't read it...) I will officially sign off. :) 

Tuesday, April 17

I Love You...

Goodmorning texts. You're wonderful and make my day start off all happy-like. 

Sunshine. You make my skin brown and my heart smile. 

New phone. You have Internet and Instagram, you are seriously a wonderful invention. 

Nailpolish. You make my fingers and toes pretty and not all naked. 

German men by the pool side. I could listen to you yelling at each other all day long, so please continue to do so in your foreign tongue. 

Dolphins. You make my Mother happy. (So happy, in fact, that she skipped a step and landed on her bum.

McDonalds. You have the best sweet tea a girl could ask for. Seriously. I can feel you eroding my teeth, but I love you anyways. 

Shang the Pillow Pet Panda. You give me something to cuddle with, and everyone knows how much I love cuddles.

Sydney. For giving me this idea, and for posting adorable videos of your baby.  

Hunter. I miss you so much, and I can't want to see your freckled face and blue eyes in a couple of days. I can't believe how much I've missed you over this week, it's crazy. I'm excited to see you in your track meet Friday. 
P.S. Out of all these things, I love you most. 

Monday, April 16

MMH #24

1. I love how people can make florals and stripes look like they belong together. When I was little I always used to mix prints and my dear ole' mom would tell me that you cannot wear stripes and polka dots together, but look mother! Look at this! Now I'm with the height of fashion. 

2. If you've never heard of Levi the Poet, I urge you to give it a listen and then look at some of his other stuff. He has so much passion. I've had the pleasure of seeing him live, and he might be even more passionate in person. I get ticked off when people don't give him the time of day because of his piercings and tattoos. 

3. I know that Anthropologie is nothing new to everyone else in the world, but this country bumpkin had never been in one before. Let's just say I was smitten, and will be saving my money so I can purchase a sock or something. 

4. I love this tutorial for making flare jeans into skinnies! Plus I know this girl IRL, and I'm obsessed with her blog as a whole. It's just so... prettiful. The colors. The photos. Everything. 

5. Last, but certainly not least, how about this outfit? The colors. The chambray. The summeriness. Evvvverything is gorgeous. 

Sunday, April 15

What I Wore// Fun in the Sun


Navy Bow Skirt- Forever21; Coral & Grey Tank- Forever21; Cami- JC Penney

Florida is beautiful, and I'm overjoyed that I can wear skirts sans tights and tank tops sans cardigan. It's beautiful, and I'm loving it. I've gotten a wee bit of a tan, but my new mission is to become super tan. So I better go lay in the sun, instead of typing! Annnnd go!