Powered by Blogger.

As We Travel Onward {Sister's Graduation}

"My little baby's all grown up and saving China..."

Okay, so she's not Mulan but she comes pretty close. My little sister Shelby graduated high school on Tuesday and I cannot believe we are now BOTH in college. Mom and Dad can't believe it either. It was just yesterday that she and I were at TCA as a second and a fifth grader, scared out of our minds to start a new school. Only days later (really three years) we changed schools yet again and faced some of the most trying and influential years of our lives at FHS and FMS. Now, I'm at Baylor and she's off to TWU in the fall. We're growing up, and goodness isn't my sister gorgeous?

Some people mistake us for twins. Some people ask if she's adopted. Others think she is years older than me. She and I have never thought we looked similar at all (and usually ask the people who think we're twins if they're crazy), but over the years we've slowly noticed the shift. And, as sisters, we fight and argue and the like, but recently we've become much closer than I thought we would. We are as different as night and day in both looks and personalities, but a friendship is growing.

Kobi is practically a second sister to me and definitely part of the family. She has a younger brother around Mitchell's age and the two are attached at the hip at the girls' volleyball games and events. I haven't been home much this year, but Kobi is always eager to talk and a joy to be around. She's headed to Louisiana for school and I'm so proud of her.

And of course, we can't forget Justin. They've been dating for around nine months and are quite the good looking couple. We tease her and call him "the old man" since he's a few years older than ME, but it's all in good fun. He's great to her and respects my parents well. Plus, Mitchell adores him. Justin's turned Mitch into a traitor and the boy proudly sports is UT gear (...the Baylor Bear in me cringes) but things could be worse. I get the feeling Justin's going to be sticking around for a while.

As a family, our schedules are some of the craziest. Rarely are all five of us home at the same time. Dad works nights, mom works downtown, Mitchell has school and Awanas as well as a handful of friends, and Shelby is zipping around town all evening. Being almost two hours away at college hasn't helped me fit in there much, but we are trying. It was great to have everyone together for a few days to celebrate this transition for Shelby. Mom says it hasn't hit her yet and it won't until they drop her off at her dorm in August. We shall see.

When Inspiration Comes {Writing Again}

Writing. Pen to paper. Finger to keys. Backspace. Space. Erase.
The ominous blinking line. Write something. Write something. Write something.
Hesitation. Excitement. Peace and pleasure. Wondering.
More than my own eyes. Yours. His. Theirs. Wondering.
Characters and detail, romance and adventure. Sadness and truth, reality and memories.
Every last drop of it.

The click, click, click of the keys, the glow of the letters in a dark room.
Hope bursting through, words spilling out.
It's about time.
Reflection. Amazement. Inconsequential rambling.
Stream of consciousness.
The song unsung.
Rhythm, texture, alliteration, allusion, alas. One word too few.
Judgement? Freedom. The first amendment. The internet. The duty to oneself.

Late. Early. A new day. A new start. A new page.
Perfect timing.
Writing? Breathing. Trying? Releasing.
No rules to follow, no games to play.
Me, myself, and I.
The line. The ominous blinking line.
Terror? Torture? Friend.
It's about time.

Do you know how long it's been since I've written? I don't even know how long it's been. Fiction, inspiration, poetry, plays. Any of it and all of it. My mind has had a clamp over it for quite some time, and the words have refused to flow. But now, now I'm ready to write again. And that makes me so excited.

Dear Me, Dear You, Dear Friday

Dear Friday, it is so good to see you! This week has been incredibly long and you have been highly anticipated. Plus you bring home. That is always a good thing.
Dear Home, I will be home this evening. I cannot wait to watch Transformers with Mitchell, garage sale with Mom, and catch up on life with Dad and Shelby. Home shall be good to me.
Dear Shelby, you are not allowed to graduate next week. My baby sister cannot grow up and go off to college. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that, but I'm pretty sure I don't like it.
Dear Journal, I am four pages away from finishing you and starting this beautiful yellow beauty to the left! You have been good to me since August, giving me a place to write my hopes, dreams, fears, and prayers since the start of my junior year, but now that has come to a close and so must you.
Dear Study Abroad, only four weeks! Four weeks and a couple of days until I board a plane for London to spend three of the best weeks of my life traveling with friends, seeing shows, and enjoying God's creation and adventures for me in Europe.
Dear You, just a short update today. I'm exhausted.

Beauty & History Carved in Stone

Advanced Directing. Every time those words roll off my lips or come to mind, I smile. Sometimes, it still feels surreal. Others, it's a reality I cannot wait to plunge into. As one of the four students in the Advanced Directing class, my first project is to direct a scene from one of William Shakespeare's plays, setting it on location somewhere within fifteen minutes of campus. I have chosen to direct Act 5, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet, the scene in the tomb where they end their lives in order to be together.

My first thought was to direct the scene in a church, and stage it much like a funeral. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of setting it in a graveyard. In the evening. Can't you see it? But, I had to find an actual location. So last week, my fellow director Zach and I went scouting for locations for our scenes. We ventured through a local park for his then headed to the cemetery for mine. We both came out with great possibilities!

This next one is possibly one of my favorite finds with the most potential. I found another that I am absolutely in love with and will probably use, but I want to keep it a secret for now :). I picture it at dusk with candles and a stunningly, tragically beautiful Juliet waiting for her Romeo. Oh my, I'm so excited to get started!

What do you think?

Summer 2012 Reading List

There is nothing quite like a good book on a summer afternoon. Or a good book to keep you company behind the counter of the university book store for five hours, which is my story this summer. Traffic is pretty low and has been since finals, but once summer session 1 starts I'm sure more students will be in for their textbooks. Until then, here are a few of the titles I'm working through. My summer 2012 reading list:

1. Kisses From Katie {by Katie Davis}
---The story of a young woman following God's call for her life to Uganda and her story of service and adoption.
2. Redeeming Love {by Francine Rivers}
---A beautiful take on the story of Hosea, set in the gold rush of the 1800's.
3. Spiritual Leadership {by J. O. Sanders)
---Principles of Christian leadership, learning the servant heart of Christ and how to implement it into your spheres of influence.
4. The Lucky One {by Nicholas Sparks}
---Recently a hit movie, the story of a returning soldier and his efforts to thank the woman who saved his life and won his heart in the aftermath.
5. Hadassah {by Tommy Tenney}
---A novel of Queen Esther and her journey from Jewish commoner to wife of the king, and the story of her bravery that saved a nation.
6. Search for Significance {by Robert McGee}
---A journey learning how to be free to enjoy Christ's love, no longer placing our worth in our successes or material things.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia {by C.S. Lewis}
---The classic tales of a whimsical world where good faces evil in an enchanting tale, paralleling the battle against evil in our own world and the power of Christ to deliver us all.

Just a glimpse into what I'm planning to read thus far. I've just finished Kisses From Katie and I'm 3/4 the way through Redeeming Love. Tomorrow sometime I shall venture to the library and do a little digging. I'm looking for a few others to add to the list.  Any suggestions?

{Reader's Review} Kisses From Katie

Some books simply move you. 
They can move you to laughter or tears. They can spur you to action or frighten you to inaction. Sometimes it is the subject matter, others the eloquent language. Maybe it is the name of the author that gives you a glimpse of what lies ahead before even opening the cover. An inspiring picture may grace the book jacket or one so horrendous that you rip it off and tuck it away. Whatever the reason or way, some books simply move you. And this book moved me.

The cover picture was telling, the name was unfamiliar, and the style of writing was clean, simple, and inviting. The story inside --the message within-- was one I'll never forget. It is a story of a girl who said "Yes" to Jesus with her whole heart and it turned her world upside down. Her yes took her to Uganda. Her yes filled her days with dirt and disease. Her yes brought her fourteen adopted daughters at the young age of 22. The key here: she continued to say "Yes!"

I had never heard of Katie Davis before picking up this book at Barnes & Noble. Honestly, I had only heard of the book once, spotting the brightly colored cover on a friend's instagram. Roaming the Christian Inspiration section, I saw it again and before I knew it, I was out the door, book in hand. I remember debating whether to buy it or borrow it, back and forth, back and forth. But now I am so thankful to have it in my library because I plan to read it again and again, and maybe even lend it to a friend or two. Actually, there's no maybe about it. It is quite worth the read!

In Kisses from Katie, Katie shares her story. After graduating high school, she planned to take a year off, serving at a school in Uganda. Within that year, her roots began to grow in the dry, red dirt and her heart became tied to the villages in which she was working. Her work: sharing the love of Jesus in any and every way possible. There was a language barrier, she was out of her comfort zone, and she came in contact with poverty, disease, and filth daily. But she had been given a key to the Kingdom and she wanted these children and their families to go with her.

She writes time and time again that she is hardly heroic, but was simply following her calling. Our calling. To give of ourselves to others, making disciples of all nations. She did not go on a short term trip to convert as many natives as possible. She went to disciple them, to share the love of the Lord with those who may have never experienced love before, giving her time, her resources, her abilities --all of which the Lord had given her-- to see peoples hearts healed and turned toward her Creator.

We may not all be called to be missionaries abroad, but we are called to live a missional life. Our mission: to love God, to love others, and to multiply the lifestyle that Jesus demonstrated for us while on earth, serving others and telling the world of His goodness, sacrifice, and salvation. For some, it will mean leaving our homeland for a distant nation. For others, it will mean standing boldly within our homes, workplaces, and schools, sowing widely so that others can know the love of our Father.

This book challenged me. It moved me and it challenged me and I don't want to lose this by turning the last page. My life is not about me. It is not about this blog, it's not about school; it's not about what I wear or what I eat or how many followers I have on Twitter. It's about Him and furthering His Kingdom. How easily we forget that.

As for Kisses From Katie, I recommend it with my whole heart! Your faith will be stirred, your heart will be broken, and you will want to do more.  If you have a heart for adoption, this book will increase your aching for the abandoned and inspire you to either keep pursuing it and to continue to trust our Father to be such a figure to the fatherless. It is beautiful!

The story doesn't end here. Katie is a blogger too, on occasion, and it is the best way to keep up with the goings-on of her life in Uganda. You can find her at Kisses From Katie.  Her non-profit ministry, Amazima, can be found and followed at their Facebook page, their blog, or on their website as well. From any of these locations you can read more about Katie and even donate to her cause and ministry.  I highly encourage you to read the book and get involved. If nothing else, add Katie and Amazima to your prayers. The Lord hears us when we call and the power of prayer is greater than we think.  I'll leave you with this, one of my favorite quotes posted by the Amazima site: "Compassion means to become close to the one who suffers. But we can come close to another person only when we are willing to become vulnerable ourselves. A compassionate person says: 'I am your brother; I am your sister; I am human, fragile, and mortal, just like you. I am not scandalized by your tears, nor afraid of your pain." Henri Nouwen.

Read Kisses From Katie! It will change your life and stir your heart!

{Undergoing Construction}

Today my lovely little blog will be undergoing  underwent some changes. Maybe a new header, blog size, and background. Who knows what else :) Please bare with me and the messiness!

Looks like I'm finished finagling {that's a real word!} with the layout for today.
New header? Check!
New welcome badge? Check!
Wider layout? Check!
Everything else? Maybe later this week.
I think I'll sit on this look for a while and see what it does to me.

A quote and a bit of music to tide you over :)

My InstaWeek {Playing Catch Up}

My sense of time is completely gone. Wednesday felt like Monday and Friday came out of nowhere. Thankfully, my mental clock usually catches up by the weekend. I always know when it's Saturday :) The past two weeks have been wonderFUL(L) and I'd say it's time to play catch up.

I officially moved out of #71. Claire and I have called it home for two years and it was quite well lived-in. We spent hours in the kitchen baking cookie-brownies and insanely delicious (and large) cakes for the Student Society Scholarship auction, and the living room was always full of friends, beignets, and playing a Disney classic. Our crafting and sewing area was typically overflowing with fabrics, Sing costumes, magazines, and freshmen pouring over their costume elements projects. Everything I owned was in that apartment and it is now in boxes, waiting for the next place. #71, we had our good times and our bad (remember when the water heater exploded? not my favorite day) but you brought me much joy. So long and farewell. Be kind to the new kids. You'll learn to like them soon enough.

Speaking of moving, we put an offer on our soon-to-be new house. We'll close in a month then start the moving process. It is the oddball of the street, not quite fitting in with the other cottage-like homes on the block, but it certainly has character. The inside is beautiful (I'll post more on her later) and Mom is very happy. My drive home has added fifteen minutes, but I don't mind one bit.

A trip home almost always means a trip to the mall. With little to do in my hometown but hit the Starbucks, Walmart, and Chick-fil-a (which I do venture to nearly every time) I hop in my bug and pedal down to the mall. Oh, I can't get enough of that place! I typically head straight for Anthropologie and will no doubt spend my first half hour in there. I am mesmerized by the kitchen gadgets and trinkets and usually walk out with a few. I found some of my favorite plates on sale and snagged a few, along with some precious post cards with adorable terrariums on them by Quill & Ink. These will end up on my wall in my new room.

Lush was a must stop on this trip and I made my first purchase. The woman who helped me led me straight to Lemony Flutter, a citrusy cuticle butter which I am now in love with. The texture and scent are divine and they've already worked wonders on my hands. I love getting my nails done and this is the icing on the cake

Finally, because I am a six-year-old at heart, I wandered into the Disney Store. I left my heart in Disney World over Christmas break and would go back instantly if I could. On this trip to my childhood, I came across the animators' series of dolls which depict the Disney princesses as children. Isn't Belle precious? I don't care if I'm almost 21, I would still happily receive this for my birthday. (Anyone? Anyone?)

Now this was all in good fun, but during the moving out process we stumbled upon some costume jewelry. Carissa went off with a ring and mock proposed to Johnny P. It was quite hilarious and they played it up all night. Aren't they cute?

I went home twice over the past two weeks, once to get boxes for the move and the second time to stay while I was in between apartments and needed a place to stay for a few nights. The second trip included quality time at Barnes & Noble, catching up on journaling and reading and beginning my Advanced Directing SMASH journal. It is such a fun find! While at B&N, I caught sight of someone who looked strikingly like a friend from Baylor. Upon close examination (or stalking via iphone from afar) I realized with great disappointment that it wasn't him. 

My mom and I spent the day together my last day home and we were quite productive! We visited the new house, had a great lunch, then stopped over at Groovy's to do a little shopping. She bought me a pair of Toms to wear in Europe (at least that was the excuse we used for this expensive outing) and a new bag to carry on the plane. How have I gone this long without buying Toms!? They are so comfortable. Also, I'm quite loving the Happy Snails pattern by Vera Bradley and I now have a carry-on bag, wallet, and passport cover to match. Study Abroad, here I come!

At the end of the week, my friend Zach and I spent some time exploring an old cemetery behind campus. It goes on for acres! So much history! I have always thought cemeteries were beautiful and I knew that I wanted to direct my Shakespeare on Location scene inside one. I am doing Act 5, Scene 3 from Romeo and Juliet, the tomb scene in which Paris and Romeo duel then the lovers take their lives, and I want to do it at dusk in front of one of the tombs we found. If I get permission to do so, then it is going to be stunning. We want to be as respectful as possible of the graveyard and it's owners and visitors, so it is going to take a good amount of cooperation and communication with the people who run it. I am confident that things will work out.

What did you do this week?

April Flowers & May Showers {Cilla's Bridal Shower}

It really is that time of year. Two of my friends have gotten engaged in the past two weeks and more and more weddings are drawing nearer by the day. The only one I am involved in is Cilla's wedding this August, as one of SIXTEEN bridesmaids, and last night I was hosted her bridal shower. Kristen and Alyssa, two of the girls I will be living with next year, hosted the shower with me and I must say we made a pretty great team.

After working all day I booked it over to to the house to set up and managed to have it all put together with 10 minutes to spare. I have been scouting Pinterest for weeks for inspiration, and finally ended up with a theme of my own. I found/downloaded a print that said "Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite" and placed it center of the dessert table. I used favorite romance novels and love stories to decorate the rest of the table and tied everything together with torn and scalloped book pages throughout the room. Pictures of Cilla and Jordan graced the set up as well, only fitting to honor the future Mr. & Mrs.

Aren't these ladies lovely? {Cilla, Kristen, Me, Alyssa}. I have had the joy of being discipled by Priscilla for two years now, and this year Kristen and Alyssa joined our weekly meetings. These girls have so much of my heart and I would trust them with my life. I can't wait to live with them in a few short weeks!

I was pretty pleased with how the set up turned out, doilies, cupcakes, and all. I spent maybe ten dollars total and otherwise used what I already had. Both of Priscilla's grandmothers, Nana Jane & Nana H, helped out by making the tissue paper flowers and her sister Tess punched out the confetti with her mother. It was quite the family affair! 

Instead of a guest book, we set up a table by the door and gift drop-off for the guests to fill a mason jar with ideas for fun/interesting dates for Cilla and Jordan to draw from once they are married. Priscilla read a handful of them to us at the end of the night and it made for quite a few laughs!

After snacking on the cupcakes and cookies and opening gifts, the married ladies in the room shared advice for Cilla and Jordan to keep in mind in their marriage and it was so inspiring. More than one mother and grandmother became teary-eyed and that made all of us young women do the same. I am so excited for this couple! They have been incredible role models of what a healthy, honoring, Christian relationship looks like.

A Perfect Painting Picnic

Finals are over! Praise the Lord! I am officially a senior in college! Oh. My. Goodness.

Okay, minor freak out is over. But isn't it so fun to say senior?! Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early to finish a paper for my Contemporary Plays class's final. Once that was checked off the list, I headed to lunch with the previous and future Advanced Directors as well as the head of our department Stan. We ate at McAllister's and talked through the course, which only made me even more excited for my senior year! (Okay, I'm finished. Really.)

My acting final was at 2:00 and I must say it went better than expected! I had been having a horrid time with memorizing the lines this time --which is never a problem for me-- so I was pretty worried. But now it is over and finished and I can move on!

In celebration, I picked up Carissa and we headed back to campus and tossed a quilt out on the lawn in front of the theatre for a picnic. We hit up Sonic for happy hour then camped out to read and paint. With Michael Buble Pandora playing in the background, a nice breeze rippling through the grass, it was beautiful! Her painting... well, that was pretty interesting. Once it was finished she laughed at it and told me to paint over it and start again. But we had fun. That's what matters right?

Man I'm going to miss Carissa when she leaves. She'll only be 2 hours away, but still. It won't be like having her down the street or across the hall. We'll have to have a few more of these picnics before the next two weeks are up.

Passing the Torch; Junior/Senior Picnic

A recent addition to the BU Theatre traditions is a junior/senior picnic during finals week. It was a great break from studying, work, and stress to cook out, relax outside, and enjoy being all (or mostly) together one last time before graduation. The seniors took care of the food and the juniors brought the sports equipment. As in, the juniors brought a frisbee, a football, and a volleyball. We are theatre majors after all. Sports are not our forte.

I came late... but it was still a blast! The food was great, the memories were hilarious, and it was a lovely send off for the seniors. I still can't get over the fact that they're leaving. Next year, that will be us.. wow!

Good times.

Family Dinner {BU Theatre Style}

Every year in the theatre department, the incoming freshmen are assigned a Big. As a Big, you are a big brother/sister figure that can welcome them into the department. Bigs and Littles are part of BUT (BU Theatre) Families and my family, I must say, is absolutely amazing! Such wonderful girls!

In the midst of finals, my family took a study break for a potluck family dinner. We brought a wonderful array of fruit, salads, desserts, and parts of the main course to enjoy together. My family is growing every year, but this year we are losing our matriarch, my Big, Carissa Jade. It was so nice to get everyone together one last time.

These ladies are so hilarious and talented, and some of the sweetest people I've ever met. I couldn't ask for a better family. Just a quick update today. I have a final in half an hour, so I best get back to studying.

Blue, Blue, Kettle, Blue {AJ's Capstone}

Tuesday was the Advanced Directors' capstones and I had the privilege of photographing AJ's scene Blue Kettle. It is a one-act-play set in London about a man conning old women into thinking they are his birth mother. However, throughout the play, the characters start replacing words with "blue" and "kettle". It is so seldom in the beginning that it's hardly noticeable, but by the final scene every word is "blue" or "kettle" save one or two. It was fascinating to watch and so fun to capture. I'm finally getting the hang of this camera :)

I cannot wait to direct my own capstone next year. I am eagerly searching through plays in hopes of finding one that fits my fancy. I have 11 months though. Plenty of time to come up with something.