Saturday, September 8, 2012

A day in the life of my iphone..

As I was talking to my mother this morning on the phone, we had one of the discussions we have had many times before.

iphones. Why I love them, and why I hate all other phones. Ok, hate is a strong word. I highly dislike all other phones. It's not that I think everyone needs an iphone. Because they don't. I don't need an iphone. Just like I don't need that Macbook pro or new kitchen tool or new dress. But they are all helpful, and I use them daily. They make my life easier, and in many ways, simplify it. You are probably thinking right now, "I can see how a kitchen tool, and maybe even a dress can simplify your life, but technology just makes my life more complicated! How can you say a iphone, or even a laptop, simplify your life?"

I have gotten comments on that subject from many people. I will say something about loving my iphone, and they make a comment on how their life is "simpler" and "less-cluttered" because they don't have a smart phone. And that may be true, but I think a lot of the times people think that people who own iphones just own them because they sit around on Facebook and Instagram all day. Or play angry birds or a host of other games. And it's true, I do know some people who own iphones and just sit on Facebook all day. And I also know people who own iphones and just play Angry Birds all day. But I am not one of them, and I know more people who don't use them for that purpose then people who do.

 When I mentioned this to my mom today, I told her that I had the idea to write a post about all the times I use my iphone in a day. To give people a glance as to what I really do with this magical device I am always talking about. She loved the idea. So here I am.

A day in the life of my iphone:

6:00 am- Alarm on iphone goes off. I turn alarm off, and drag myself out of bed.
6:01am- I turn off the lullaby music that has been playing on my iphone all night, because I forgot to put the sleep setting on. (Yes, I do fall asleep to lullaby music. Don't judge.)
6:05am- I start my bible study, using the bible app on my phone. (I only do this sometimes, but when I am doing a bible study that jumps from passage to passage a lot, I find it much easier to use the bible app.)
6:10am- I find a name I really like while doing bible study, and I look up the meaning in the baby names app on my phone. If I decide that I really like it, I put it in the names file on my notes app in my phone. (For some reason, I always find names I like while doing bible study. This literally happens almost every morning.)
6:25am- I get ready for the day, sometimes turning my morning playlist on to get my day going.
7:20am- As I am racing out the door to get kids to school, I glance at my iphone and realize the clock in the house is 5 minutes fast. *deep breath*
7:50am- Once home, I make a list of the school I need to get done that day, (on the reminders app).
8:00am- I take my iphone with me running, and either put my head phones in and call a friend, or turn on music.  (Iphone headphones have a microphone in them so they work kind of like a bluetooth. Very handy while walking.)
9:00am-I start school, and turn on my classical music pandora list. (on the pandora app.)
9:40am- I take a break from school and either check e-mail on my computer, or Instagram on my iphone.
9:45am- I resume school and classical music. I normally try to work in 40-60 minute increments all morning.
12:30pm- I take a break for lunch and remember a recipe someone sent me. I look it up on my iphone.
1:00pm- I use the reminder app on my phone to set an alarm for what time I need to pick up the kids and what time I need to head out shopping.

(I am just going to note here. The one time I have not been recording is taking pictures. I probably take at least 10 pictures a day using my iphone camera. I love it's quality and how convient it is since I always have my phone on me.)

I go shopping. Wherever I go (Grocery shopping, Target, various stores.) I make a grocery list on my phone.
Since I am new to the area, I get lost. (This happened going to church the other day. Even though I printed out map-quest directions, I missed my left turn.) I pull over and use my map app to find where I need to go.
Before I get out of my car to go into the store I use my reverse camera like a mirror to check my make-up.
I use the calculator app to calculate something in the store.
I then use my USAA app to check the balance of my bank account because I always forget to do this before I leave home!
As I am standing in line in the store, I check my Instagram app. If the line I super long I may open up my Kindle app and read.
I decide I would like an afternoon drink and use the app to find the closest Starbucks.

6:00pm- I play music while cooking dinner.
8:00pm-I use the my phone to make multiple calls to my mother and various friends.
10:00pm- I turn on lullaby music before I fall asleep and set my alarm for the next morning.

Now those are just some of the ways I use my phone on a daily basis. Some days (especially when I am traveling) I use it a lot more, and other days I will use it less.
Here are some of the other times my phone comes in handy:
~When you are sitting somewhere with a bored toddler. I normally pull out the camera app and use the reverse camera like a photo booth to take silly pictures with the toddler.

~When you need to find a restaurant to eat at. As we all know, I am quite the foodie, and I have a couple of foodie apps on my phone. Urbanspoon and Localmind are my favorite.

~When I want to share something I am doing with a picture via Facebook or Instagram. Honestly, this is the best. Who wants to upload pictures if you have to go through the whole process of attaching the camera to your computer when you get home, uploading the picture to your computer, then uploading it to Facebook?

~If I need to take a bus or a metro somewhere. The maps app on my phone (comes standard with all iphones) tells me when and where I can catch the closest bus/metro.

~If I need to call a taxi. I have a app on my phone that allows me to find a taxi that's close, call the taxi, and even pay for the taxi via my phone.

~If I forget an address for somewhere I'm going. I do this a lot! I will either look it up in my e-mail if someone sent it to me or just google the address I need.

~If I need an update on what the weather is going to be like later in the week, or even I need to see what it's going to be like in a different part of the country next week!

~If I am in a store and need to compare a price. We are Amazon Prime members, and use Amazon to buy many things. I have a Amazon price check app on my phone that just scans the item's barcode and tells me what price Amazon offer this for. Many times, especially on books, the price is much cheaper!

~If I need to deposit a check. The USAA app lets you deposit a check in about 1 minute with just your iphone! And it puts the money directly into your account. It's amazing. Especially when you get paid 3-5 times a week via check. (Babysitting.)

~If I am in a store (like Joann's) and forgot to bring my 40% off coupon with me. Joann's has an app that allows me to pull up all their local coupons right on my phone!

That is all I can think of for now, and I am sure I am missing some of the ways I use it, but you get the idea!

If you notice, I don't use my phone to play games. I don't have a single game on my phone. I just don't enjoy it.
You may also notice that I only used my phone to check Instagram twice. (I probably check Instagram on average of 2-5 times a day. But each time is about a 5 minute period. It depends on how busy I am. If I am wanting around a lot, I will check Instagram more. If I don't wait in a single line that day, I may forget to check Instagram the entire day.) And you will probably also notice that I didn't use my phone for Facebook a single time. I rarely check Facebook on my phone. I don't like doing it. I would much rather sit down on the big screen of my laptop and check Facebook when I am home.

Please don't misunderstand this post. I am not saying in anyway that everyone should own an iphone. I am also not saying that you could only do all of these things with an iphone. I am just saying that my iphone combines pretty much every electronic device I need, which in turn simplifies my life immensely.

And the last question I get asked a lot is: "Why an Iphone? There are so many smart phones out there! Iphones are just another thing that everyone has because everyone else has one."

I have two answers to this question:
I like iphones above any other smart phone (yes, I have used a droid before) because of their design. I like their sleek, simple, smart design. I like Apple products in general. But everyone is different. I am not going to stop being your friend if you own a Droid (my best friend owned one. And she is still my best friend!). I just prefer an iphone to any other smart phone out there.

My second answer is goes with the second question:
 Iphones, like Honda Odysseys, are popular for a reason. Everyone doesn't just have them because they are cool. (Though that may be the reason for some.) They are things that have been proven again and again to be useful, made with quality, and long-lasting.

So if you are trying to decide today on wether or not you would like an iphone, I would advice to walk into your local Apple store. Test drive an iphone like you would test drive a car. Do your research. See what people are saying about them. Try them and their competitor's out. My guess is, you won't be disappointed. I certainly haven't. :)


Monday, September 3, 2012

Up, Up and away.

Growing up.
 Those are two words that came into my vocabulary from time to time, but I don't think I ever understood the deep meaning behind them until recently. It all started one night as I was sitting in my room about two weeks ago. My mind was swimming with logistics (as it always is), except this time, those logistics were a little different then they had ever been before.

I reasoned with myself, "thousands of young people have done this. They have all moved out of their parents house, wether to get married, go to college or live on their own. Why am I any different? Why is my mind having a hard time wrapping it's self around this idea?" And then it struck me. This was new to me. Not the moving part, not the packing up, leaving a house, unpacking, making new friends part. That was all familiar in a strange sort of way (probably because I had done it nine times before. The new part was that I was doing it alone.  Without my family, without my parents. It was also strange because I had to pick and choose what to take. And that seemed like an enormous task as I didn't want to take too little with me, but as stuff piled up, it all began to seem like too much for my three month stay. So with my logistical brain running around like a horse on a race track, and my hands packing up boxes like I had 2 hours left instead of the 60 I really had, I let my thoughts wander off to a place they rarely go. A place where I thought and asked deep questions of myself, and of God.

 I knew that moving to Nashville for the fall semester of school was where He wanted me. I had prayed and talked it all over with my parents and other people months before, and I had felt His clear leading. So why did I now feel like it was all a bad idea? Why was my brain going separate ways? Part of me was super excited about my time in Nashville. I knew I loved the family I moving in with, and I also knew that my new job of part time nanny, part time student, would fit me well. But then there was this other, little part of my brian-the part I didn't go to very often-that kept going to how much I would miss my family, my friends, my home. I would miss all these little things that happen every day. From getting up and enjoying my morning tea, to lunch with my mom, my dad coming home, making dinner and laughing in the kitchen late into the night while baking with my sister. The thing that puzzled me most was that I had been traveling all spring and summer, and had missed many of those events in the same way I was going to over the next three month. But I think -after the fact, looking back onto that late night- what was getting me was the newness of this unique circumstance. And the fact that I felt like this move was some rite of passage. Some sort of moving from childhood into adulthood.

That night, I ended up slowing down that horse, and putting my hands at rest. I remembered a song I had heard about a year ago, and I curled up in bed and listened to it's words. Words I felt that came from my very core at that moment. (Taylor Swift songs-though sometimes annoying- have a way of speaking words when you can not.)

There I sat, in the still and quiet of the night, curled up in my bed. Those words pinging off the deepest part of my brain.  All I could think about was how many moments I had not appreciated. But I guess that is part of life. You like those little moments so much more when they are gone. 

All of these thoughts almost got forgotten in the back of my mind, until this Sunday. I was trying out my first church in Nashville, and I was super excited to go. Then I left late, the drive took longer then I thought, and I got lost. When I finally walked in the doors of that church I was relieved. For about 5 entire seconds. Suddenly I felt all alone. Not that the church was not welcoming, it was just a lot harder then I thought to walk into somewhere completely strange, alone. As worship started, I had a lot of feelings coming on rather quickly. I felt scared, lonely, intimidated and frustrated. I knew that church was the last place on earth I should feel lonely! After all, I am surrounded by like-minded believers, not to mention having an all-knowing God beside me every step of the way. I kept trying to shove those thoughts through my brain, as I fought back tears of homesickness. Church has always been a social place for me, and a lot of the time it's one of the days of the week I get to see many of my friends. So walking into church all alone, watching as friends greeted one another with hugs and laughter, was a painful reminder of just how far way all of my friends were.

As the first song ended, my mind started clearing up, and I was able to put my focus where it belonged- on God. I felt His nearness, and though it was the exact feeling I had been hoping for, it was just what I needed in the moment. Though the church turned out being very friendly and nice, it was too far away, so I will not be returning.

My point of this entire post being- Growing up is hard. It is beautiful, but it's hard. I wouldn't change one moment of my childhood, but I do wish that it wouldn't have flown by so fast. And that I hadn't been so ready to be an adult. Maybe I have learned my lesson. Maybe I will treasure the moments of my young adult year just a little bit more. Hopefully, I will.

When I sat down to write today, I had a totally different subject in mind. But as I started typing, these words just flowed out. So I guess they were ones that needed to be said :)