Breath In. Breathe Out. Hilary Duff has a New Album!

OMGosh! Am I dreaming? Hilary Duff has a new album! Excuse me a moment while a fan girl for a few minutes! I just, can’t believe she has a new album! She’s basically the reason I’ve dubbed myself Obsessive Girl! When I was as young as seven years old, Hilary Duff was basically my reason to watch anything! I literally cried at night when Lizzie McGuire came on, and I couldn’t watch it, because I was so young that it was my bed time! Gah! I’m so excited right now that I might cry just from the excitement! Okay, okay. *breathe in, breathe out* I’m good, I’m good. Now, let’s talk about Hilary Duff, because THIS is what dreams are made of!

Hilary Duff. Any household with anyone born in the 90’s or sooner recognizes this name as a common household name. She was adored by just about every nineties born girl in the United States for her quirkiness and ability to play relatable characters, such as “Lizzie McGuire,” Sam Montgomery in “A Cinderella Story,” Kelly in “Cadet Kelly,” and so many other characters. In addition to her many acting roles, she also released four albums entitled “Metamorphosis,” “Most Wanted,” “Dignity,” and “Hilary Duff.” She is one of the few Disney stars that few parents could ever question in regards to whether they wanted their children looking up to her, because she was clean and wholesome, and to this day has always had a strong head on her shoulders. While many of the other stars from her time have squandered their careers away to drugs and alcohol, Hilary Duff has grown up, gotten married, and raised an adorable little boy named Luca. Today, she is making a huge come back by starring in a television series called “Younger” and releasing her brand new album, “Breath In. Breathe Out.”

Sparks – The lyrics to this song are as cliché as pop lyrics come. It’s all about how nothing else in this world matters as long as we’re together, because when I’m with you all I know is sparks, so baby come closer and don’t let go. Honestly though, it almost doesn’t even matter what the lyrics are saying because the upbeat tempo makes it virtually impossible not to dance to the beat.

My Kind – A song about a guy who seems way to good to be true. How is he real? He stands out in a crowd, makes me want to let down my walls, and just be here in the moment with him. However, I need to make sure this is real, because I don’t want to waste my time.

One in A Million – Upon hearing the title one would assume this is a cliché pop song. Really, it’s not as cliché as one would expect though. Typically, a song with a title like this would be about a girl who finds this guy or relationship to be a one in a million chance and like a dream. This song isn’t really like that though. He seems to want to take a break from the relationship, while she’s supposed to wait on the sidelines, waiting for him to make up his mind. It should be easier to deal with this, because he hasn’t actually done anything wrong, but that actually makes it worse, because she knows she’s worth it and shouldn’t have to wait for him to make up his mind.

Confetti – The sound of this song is a little more like a traditional Hilary Duff song than the others. The lyrics are cute and simple. It’s about a girl who falls to pieces because of him, but in a good way, because he’s so irresistible and as surreal as a daydream. It’s a cute new twist on what it feels like to fall in love.

Breathe In. Breathe Out. – The title track. It’s about remembering everything about the relationship. It’s a girl trying to let go of the relationship that wasn’t what she thought it was. She has to pretend to be over him, so she’s thinking only about breathing in and breathing out. Basically, it’s the song written the moment after the break up when you realize it’s all over and nothing will ever be the same so you have to fake a smile and just keep going in life.

Lies – Just upon hearing the title, you assume it’s about a lying jerk who doesn’t know what he’s got and that’s exactly what it’s about. This girl is strong, independent, and so done with the lies that she’s moving on. It’s a power anthem for every girl (or a guy) who has ever reached the point in a relationship where she realizes he’s not the prince charming she thought he was, but a deceiving serpent with captivating and hypnotizing eyes.

Arms Around a Memory – It’s over now and all they have left are memories. She desperately wants to wrap her arms around the memory of him, because she misses him and wants what they had back, but she can’t and that’s upsetting. Because she can’t put her arms around the memory, and because as she wants him here, she also wants him to disappear, so she begs him to remember to forget her.

Stay in Love – As the title implies, this is a song about a relationship that is falling apart. It’s not what it used to be. There’s no passion or emotion. It’s as cliché as it sounds, but like the first track of this album, it almost doesn’t matter what the song is about, because the upbeat tempo leave you wanting nothing more than to forget your own worries and just dance.

Brave Heart – This relationship is like a game or a carnival ride going round and round in circles. She doesn’t want to let go of the relationship, but she knows she needs to for the sake of her own sanity. She’s scared to death to let go, but she knows she can, because she has a brave heart. She would never change anything about their relationship and she will forever keep every letter he’s ever written to her, but that doesn’t mean she won’t let go and move on.

Tattoo – This is the song that has stuck out to me the most from this album. Maybe it’s because I knew Ed Sheeran co-wrote it with Miss Duff, or maybe it’s because it’s a truly phenomenal song, I’m not quite sure, but it is a fabulous song! It’s a slightly more artistic take on the typical song about how love leaves marks that will never go away—like a scar or tattoo, that not only affects how you appear, but also how you feel on the inside. It’s a beautiful reminder of how scars and tattoos are the beautiful remains of pain felt and love lost.

Picture This – It’s about how a relationship is never exactly what you expected it to be. In this case, it’s better than she expected. Some things are regretted, but most of it has been beautiful and wonderful. She wants to remember all of the good things that were a part of their relationship.

Night Like This (featuring Kendall Schmidt) – This is another song that stuck out to me. It’s two potential lovers who feel electrified and mystified just by being near each other. The lyrics aren’t exactly my favorite, but it’s fun to listen to. It’s also interesting to experience on personal level, or as a third party, the power of new and exciting potential love.

Needless to say, despite the fact that I’m not as into pop these days as I used to be, I do love this album. Sure, there are certain points when I think, “yeah, this is why I don’t really listen to pop anymore,” but for the most part it is a good album. The lyrics are catchy and fun, the music is upbeat and dance worthy, and the general feel of the album is nostalgia mixed with themes perfect for anyone who has grown up as fan of Hilary Duff, because the themes of this album have matured with Hilary Duff and her fans. Maybe I’m being biased, as I’m the kind of girl who is “once a fan, always a fan,” but regardless of how I feel about the album, I suggest you listen to it for yourself and form your own opinions!

What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

About thirty minutes before we got out of work tonight, my friend and coworker asked me a very important question. Have you ever thought about walking away from it all? It all refers to my faith. As I drove home from work, I thought about the profoundness of such a simple question. Have I ever thought about walking away from my faith, or more importantly, my God? I was quick to answer no, absolutely not! In my answer I quoted Britt Nicole’s song “All This Time” and said, “A line from one of my favorite songs says, ‘People ask why do I believe what I believe. Well, I’m not the same me and that’s all the proof I need.’” While that’s true, I realized while I was driving and thinking that it’s not quite as simple as that. As I thought about having never walked away from my faith, I thought about another question she asked. What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Thinking of this question made me realize what my answer to the other question is: I’ve never considered walking away because of what I do when I don’t know what to do. What do I do? I cast my cares, concerns, worries, and anxiety upon the Lord. I do this because He takes care of me, He carries my burdens, and He cares about me.

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.

He will not permit the godly (those believing in God) to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22

Jesus Takes Care of Me. How do I know He will take care of me? I know, because He has proven it on more than one occasion—three that I remember more distinctly than any others.

1)                  Years ago, when I was still a very young driver, I accidently locked my keys in the car. This was terrifying for me, because it was the set of keys that we had. I knew that we had a “clicker” for the doors inside, but I also knew that it hadn’t worked for years. Desperate to get the keys out of the van though, I ran inside and found the clicker in a basket in the kitchen. I tried clicking it a few times, but it didn’t work. Then, I started frantically praying, begging God to let the clicker work “just this once.” After a few more tries, it did actually work. The doors came unlocked and I was able to get the keys out of the car. After I got the keys out of the van, just like before, the clicker didn’t work again.

2)                  Another time when God took care of me was when I locked the keys in the car again (I did that more times than I’d like to admit) in the church parking lot on a Sunday morning. This time, the keys were left in the ignition with the engine running. I don’t know how I managed to leave the keys in the running ignition and also lock them in the car, but I did. One of the men at church didn’t live too far away and he knew how to force the window down so we could unlock the car. This should have eased my anxiety, but it didn’t, because I knew that the gas tank was low. I started praying for the Lord to make the car not run out of gas, because I had just enough left to get to the gas station. When we ended up opening the car, I looked at the gas indicator and I was shocked to see that the arrow was showing more than it had been showing earlier. One might say the scare made me forget how much gas was in the tank, but I know that isn’t true. I always know exactly how much gas is in the tank, so that I know when I need to get gas.

3)                  Toward the end of 2014, I was driving in the rain. The rain was heavy and the road was slick. I was getting ready to take an exit when I drove over a wet spot. My car spun out of control in three spirals until I hit the railing facing the opposite direction as traffic. Before I could realize what was happening I turned my car around and exited like normal. In the short amount of time it took me to spin out of control and at the speed the other cars were going, I should not have been able to turn around and keep going without getting hit by another car. It happened though and it’s because, as the words to song the Kari Jobe song that was playing as the accident took place say, “From the first to last breath I breathe, the Lord watches over me.” There’s more to me not being injured though. When I got home and inspected the damage to my car, I saw that the only damage was a broken taillight. What!? I knew I hit the guard rail much harder than that! I felt and heard the impact! God not only takes care of me, but He also takes care of my belongings.

Then Jesus said,

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,

And I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Jesus carries my burdens. I’ve written before about how I once had so many worries and concerns that I became so overwhelmed that I ended up hurting myself in an attempt to relieve myself from some of the pain and burden of it all. I’ve written about how truly miserable and depressed I was during that time. I’ve also written about how God is the one who got me out of the dreadful time in my life. He picked me up, held me in His arms, and carried me in His arms until I could walk on my own again. Since that time, when I let go of my burdens and gave them to the Lord, I come against times when I had to face my stubborn self in the mirror and remind myself that if I don’t open up and share my burdens with the Lord and His daughters whom He has placed in my life to help me live this life, then I will fall back into the “Abyss of Fire” that I analogically wrote about in The Light of Life. Since I gave my burden to the “Light of Life” that first time, I haven’t asked for them back, because I know if He carries them, then I’ll be okay!

Give all your worries and cares to God,

For He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:7

Jesus cares about me. I can’t tell you how many times I used to cry myself to sleep because of the harmful things I’ve thought about myself and about the world around me. It’s been a while since I’ve done that though, because I know the Lord is watching over me and He cares about me. When I feel sad about something, it’s almost as if I can physically feel Jesus’ arms wrap around me to hug me and tell me everything is okay. Sometimes, I even hear Him whispering in my ear, telling me that everything is going to be okay, when I’m scared and worried about something in my life. Sometimes, He shows me He cares though by placing certain people in my life. 1) He shows me He cares by putting people in my life who remind me that He cares for me and watches over me. The three main people who do that in my life are the three people I mention in almost every post—Allie, Holly, and Shelby. 2) He shows me He cares by putting people in my life who I can pour into and show that He cares about me and them. Some of those people are my coworkers, including the girl whose question prompted me to write this post. Other people are the people whom I send somewhat regular scripture text messages to, and other people are those who read this post, my other posts, and who will hopefully one day read the book I’m writing called “The Mask; Her Aid.”

What do I do when I don’t know what to do? Have I ever considered turning away from it all? I cast cares upon the Lord, because He takes care of me, carries my burdens, and cares about me, and that is why I have never considered walking away. I have thought, “What if I walked away, but I’ve never auctioned considered doing it, because I’ve seen in the lives of others what it’s like to walk away from faith—it’s miserable and heartbreaking—and I’ve felt in my heart that life is so much better when I’m clinging to the Lord, giving Him my worries, and letting Him take care of me!

6×01 Recap – Game On, Charles

I write recaps because everything makes more sense when I write it down and share it! 🙂 Actual theories to come shortly!

The very first scene of season six episode one shows a mysterious blonde watching the Liars run through the Doll House in an attempt to escape. When they run out of the doll house, they find themselves outside with a fence surrounding them. Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Mona all start running toward the fence to climb it until Spencer yells at them to stop because it’s an electric fence. Then the door slams shut behind them. They spend a number of days outside without food or water because Charles is angry with them. Eventually he opens the doors for them again and summons them all to follow the lighted passage way. After they enter the dollhouse again, Charles sets off a gas bomb and drags Mona away from the Liars. When they wake up, each of them is naked under white sheets lying on medical tables as if in a representation of being dead in a morgue. Mona walks into the Morgue dressed as Alison in a candy stripper’s outfit. Acting as Alison, she answers the Liars as quickly, but honestly as possible. Then A’s female voice speaks up over the speaker ordering each girl to go to their rooms. At first, Mona tries to defy A’s orders, but then she and the others follow the paths to their rooms. As quickly as their doors close behind them, we hear each Liar scream in horror from what sounds like unseen torture.

Eventually the mysterious blonde girl takes food to the Liars. At the bottom of the door, we see Spencer’s agonized eyes peek through the food slot and she starts screaming Mona’s name. Spencer’s tormented screams trigger those of the other liars and they are soon all calling Mona’s name. The blonde, who we know is not Mona, covers her ears as if to push away the desire to get the girls out. Whoever this girl is (Bethany Young? Sara Harvey?) fans know that she has likely been in the dollhouse since “that night” when one blonde was killed and another blonde, Alison DiLaurentis, went missing—almost three years.

Eventually the Liars’ bedroom doors come open and each girl is prompted to come out. Each of them is dressed in the same kind of clothing that they wore almost three years ago when the “A” torture all began; Aria even has a pink stripe in her hair. They all look as if they just faced the worse kind of torture they have yet to have been put through. This is seemingly proven by the fact that none of them wants to talk about what happened. The female voice directs them to go to Alison’s room where they must prepare for her arrival. They find boxes full of Alison’s things. They also find a newspaper declaring Alison’s innocence in Mona’s murder case, but Hanna believes it’s probably fake. One of the liars asks, “If A brings Ali here, does that mean he won’t need Mona anymore?” As if in answer to this question, fans are shown a desperate shot of Mona trapped in a pit where she is begging Charles to pull her out so that she can prove she will follow through with being Alison this time.

While the Liars are unpacking Alison’s bedroom, Spencer finds a toy in Alison’s box with the initials “C.D.” and Aria finds a message written on the closet wall that says, “He’s going to kill me. – M”

Each girl discovers things in their rooms that prove A has been planning to capture them and trap them in the dollhouse for a very long time—things that they believe have been missing for a very long time. Hanna reads a newspaper that says her mom has been taken to the hospital due to the stress and terror of the Liars being missing. Aria begins to threaten A after talking about how it must be for their families to know they are missing. Spencer begs her to stop though and she does. Spencer says, “A is making this house our home” and tells them that Charles is a DiLaurentis.

Mona sits curled up, rocking back and forth, singing “Hush Little Baby” while in the pit.

The generator shuts off and the Liars try to find their way to Charles’ vault where they will attempt to bargain with him. Spencer leads them to a room where she believes a secret passageway will lead them to Charles’ vault. She is right, because Emily finds a secret door that leads them into the room where Spencer saw the video of Charles, Jason, and Alison with Mrs. DiLaurentis at the Campbell apple farm. In the first room, each of the liars begin to realize that Alison and Charles would have grown up together. As they make their way into Charles’ room, Emily says, “A does have a soul.” The video begins to play again. When it stops playing, Spencer looks directly into A’s camera and says, “Game on, Charles.” She threatens to burn the film for Charles’ video and everything else that is his. When he doesn’t react she sets fire to the film and other things in the room.

Outside of the dollhouse, we see a band of reporters outside the DiLaurentis house waiting for Alison to come out and speak about her friends now that her conviction for Mona’s murder has been overturned. Before Alison comes out of the house, the main reporter talks about how the police and other Rosewood residents assume Andrew Campbell is the mastermind behind all that is going on because he seems to have gone missing at the same time as the Liars. After Alison comes out of her house, she talks about how the liars have been her rock through of the horrible things that she has been through. She begs Andrew not to hurt the liars as Caleb and Ezra collectively listen to Alison speak and then turn away as she finishes her pleading. In the end, Alison begs that no more reporters or police bother her and then turns around to go back inside. Inside her house, she talks with the police and her dad about how calling Andrew out on the video was to make him believe she was alone and hope that he would come try to capture her.

Ali gets a blocked call. Tanner orders her team of officers to be quiet and prompts Alison to answer the phone. When she answers, all they hear is the lyrics to a song called, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” Believing that this call will lead Andrew to come capture Ali, Tanner leads Ali downstairs, locks her in a room, and leaves an officer to watch after her for safety.

Upstairs in Ali’s bedroom, Toby finds a black hoodie sitting in a rocking chair. When he turns the chair around, he and Tanner see that it’s just a dummy with a pig mask with a cell phone ringing in its pocket. Tanner assumes that Alison escaped to go meet Andrew, when in reality, she actually meets up with Caleb and Ezra. The boys assure Alison that Toby is on their team and will always know where they are just in case something bad happens. They also give Alison high heel shoes that have a tracking device in the heel so that they could keep track of her while she went to meet A.

While one of the officers is watching a news video, the reporter was standing outside Radley with words flashing across the screen saying, “Radley Sanitarium’s doors are closed on the heels of unexpected sale” and the doors have a giant sign saying “Permanently Closed.” Also in the video, they see someone in a hat while behind the reporter outside the DiLaurentis house. They assume it’s Andrew, but could it be Jason? Or Charles?

After Caleb and Ezra drop Alison off in the woods, Ali waits. Then she hears the song “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline playing in the distance. She follows the music and finds a deserted car with the radio playing. She opens the door, sits in the driver’s seat, and starts the ignition. A GPS starts talking and directs her to Tyler State Park, Pennsylvania. There the car stops working, her phone has no service, and the Road Side Assistance button doesn’t connect to anyone, but is instead a recording of a male’s voice (which sounds strangely like Peter Hasting’s voice). The male’s voice directs Alison to go to the back of the car, and open the trunk. There she finds a note that says, “Put on the clothes and start walking. Leave everything else behind or they die.”

With a box of things labeled as “Andrew’s” next to her, Tanner reads a journal with a page that says, “It’s people like them, people like Aria with her aloof, doe eyes, and Spencer, that smug over achieving know nothing know it all, and Hanna and Emily that are the root cause of all that is bad in this world. They like games? Well so do I. I fantasize about watching them scream, about watching what it takes to make them turn on each other. It’s not that I hate them, I don’t. They aren’t evil. They just play everyone like they’re game pieces. Like pawns. I’m no pawn, and they can’t play me.” While she’s reading this, Toby comes into the office, explaining that they found a lead on the car that they found in the video with the guy in the ball cap. Toby’s lead is at the same park where Caleb, Ezra, and Alison are.

After a while, when Caleb and Ezra realize that Alison hasn’t moved, they stop driving, get out of the car, and find the car empty. They find the letter for Alison and find that she took off her shoes, but pointed them in the direction in which she went.

While the liars are setting Charles’s room on fire, he is watching them but also watching Alison and trying to decide what is more important to him—the room that seems to have his only personal belongs in it or meeting Alison and bringing her to the dollhouse. While he’s trying to decide, we see another black hooded character watching the liars burn the room. Then A sets off a fire alarm and the girls start running.

At this point, Caleb and Ezra have found Alison wearing the yellow shirt she wore “that night.” They start walking away. Then they hear the fire alarm, go back to where Alison was, and find smoke coming up from the ground. They start digging but then find something in the distance and run toward it.

The liars run away and start searching for Mona. When they find her, she is hysterically happy and begs them to get her out. They find a rope and throw it down to her. When they get her out, they start running until they find a way out of dollhouse.

As Caleb, Ezra, and Alison try to bust the door open to the basement cellar that they find, the girls bust out of the dollhouse through the same door as the smoke from the fire follows them. Hanna runs straight into Caleb’s arms, Alison and Emily run into each other’s arms, Spencer and Mona hug each other, and Aria throws herself into the arms of Ezra who tells her, “I thought I lost you!”

When the police arrive they check Mona’s vital signs. Some of the officers run into the dollhouse and one of them yells, “There’s another girl down here.” A female officer talks to the mysterious blonde girl in the same yellow shirt Bethany and Alison wore and asks her name. “Sara Harvey,” she answers.

One of the girls says, “We met Sara’s friends remember. They’re from Courtland. She went missing when Ali did.” Last, but not least, Emily asks, “Ali, who is Charles DiLaurentis?”