Here’s to You, 2013.

This… this was a year, guys.

 

I would do a month-by-month recap, but it honestly just all blurs together, so that’s hard.

Early 2013 was spent doing school and working on my favorite play of all time, Arcadia. However, it wasn’t long before life started to fall a part at the seams. Arcadia got canned  because it didn’t fit our school’s mission statement, and so everyone got recast into The Importance of Being Earnest. I was upset, but it wasn’t the biggest deal in the world.  I was still spending time on stage with ‘theatre people.’

But then – then I got sick. I spent 10 days in the hospital. I got cut from the play. I honestly doubted I would be able to finish the semester. I had a blood clot in each lung and my Ulcerative Colitis flared back up and, honestly, I felt quite hopeless.

I spent over a week doing breathing treatments, getting shots in my stomach, being poked and prodded and scanned and checked – and somehow not falling behind on my schoolwork. It is really a testament to how good God is that I made it through that semester with a 4.0. Once I was discharged from the hospital, I spent the rest of the semester at an inner-city school in Jackson student-teaching fifth graders, and I fell in love with upper elementary reading. My time in the Jackson Public School System was definitely a highlight of the year.

Summer brought on many new experiences. I went out on a limb and broke through a lot of insecurities I have about myself and auditioned for community theatre. In the novel Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Annabeth says, “At camp you train and train. And that’s all cool and everything, but the real world is where the monsters are. That’s where you learn whether you’re any good or not.” And that’s kind of how I have felt about acting this past decade. Junior high, high school, college… I did plays. I learned how to act. And that was good, but I only knew I was a decent actress compared to the people I was with in school. I didn’t know how my acting would hold up in the ‘real world.’ Auditioning for Noises Off was by far one of the scariest and rewarding experiences of my life. I worked with wonderful people and had a blast, and it inspired me to do two more shows this year.

I student taught a wonderful fourth grade class. I got to read Percy Jackson with them and I already miss them so much. My student-teaching experience was so good and I will treasure this fall in my heart for many years to come. I am so excited to take on a fifth grade class for the rest of the year, and the plus side? I only have 11 kids!

My friend Lauren got married and I was an honorary bridesmaid. We spent a wonderful weekend in French Camp celebrating her beautiful vows! And I caught the bouquet!

And of course, I can’t wrap up 2013 without talking about my graduation! College has been a journey. I went from an engaged 19 year old English major, to taking an entire year off as a single girl, to changing my major and spending three and a half more years pursuing elementary education. It has been a wild ride, but I have never felt more proud of myself than when I walked across that stage to receive my diploma.

 

I am ending 2013 in my own apartment in the heart of Jackson, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects of things to come, and I really plan on stepping up the game on the blog (y’all… I have a week of scheduled posts. This has never happened before!) Make sure you check back tomorrow for 2014’s resolutions!

 

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And after that prolonged hiatus…

Well friends, I am back! I know I dropped off the face of the earth without any warning, and I would say I’m sorry… but I’m not. Sometimes life catches up with you, and so does family, and so does work, and so do fifty thousand other things that, in the long run, are far more important than blogging. So while I was sad to be absent for a couple of months, it was good for me. And now that I’m back on track, I figured a return to the good old blog was necessary!

So what have I been up to, you ask?

Well, most importantly…

… I graduated! Friday, to be exact. I finished with a 3.55 GPA, meaning I graduated with honors! I am so honored that my friends and family could attend. It was a very special day for me, and now I have a big world to face and a diploma to do it with!

I also am getting ready to move into an apartment in Jackson right after Christmas. I’m very excited, and hope to show you progress of decorating my little place as well!

Anything else of interest? So glad you asked!

I was an honorary bridesmaid in my friend Lauren’s wedding. I might have caught the bouquet…

I was three characters (Ghost of Christmas Past, Fan, and Belle) in The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge in Madison. It was a great experience and I worked with some really fun people. I’m hoping to try out for some professional productions in the future, so I’d love it if y’all could send me some ‘break a legs’!

I’m so glad it’s Christmas. It’s one of my favorite times of the year and I love to give gifts! I picked some special things out for my family this year – and even though I know times are tough and nobody else is really doing gifts, I’m so excited for them to open their gifts!

I wish you and yours the best!

Wedding Weekend.

When my friend Lauren got engaged last spring, I was ecstatic. She is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. I met her my fall semester of my first year of college. We were both freshmen. Someone had dropped out of the play that I was in, and who should step in but Lauren? We have grown closer over the years, and I am so glad I get to call her a friend. Her wedding was in French Camp at a place we both grew up going to camp at, Camp of the Rising Son. It’s always funny to see just how connected people are — we could have run into each other as campers in the late 90s – who knows? It was a special place to her, because she and Sonny both worked at CRS as counselors as well.

When she asked me to cut cake and be an honorary bridesmaid a few weeks later, there was no way that I could say no! I drove up the Trace on Friday night and joined them for the sweetest rehearsal dinner I have ever been to. The toasts made me cry and Lauren looked like an angel! All the bridesmaids then helped set up for the following day, and then we had a fun night of nails and movies with Lauren before the Big Day.

The day of the wedding was so relaxed. We woke up, headed over to the Bed and Breakfast for a bridesmaid brunch (the bacon, though… so good.) Lauren, though she will ever deny it, was the most laid back bride I’ve ever seen. We got ready, I did Lauren’s hair, and when she walked out of the room with her dress on, everybody’s jaws hit the floor. It was beautiful. We took pictures with the photographer, and then came back and crashed for an hour or so.

 

 

The wedding ceremony was beautiful and so full of Christ. And the reception… well, it was amazing. I think she had the best cake-cutters around, if you ask me! The food was great, the dancing was fun, the company was ideal, and I may have caught the bouquet.

 

 

 

Best wedding I have been to in a minute. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Gunn!

Happy Halloween!

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I have been teaching all day for student teaching, writing lesson plans, being evaluated, going to play rehearsals, running, and feeling all kinds of worn out, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t take some time out for my favorite holiday!

My Halloween week started out great. I saw The Grapes of Wrath at New Stage Theatre here in Jackson (and right around the corner from where I will be moving!) You can read my review I wrote for the college paper here. If you just want one word? Incredible. If you are in the Jackson area between now and November 3, it’s worth the money.

Friday night, I joined my friends and we took an outing to Fondren Public for drinks, and then headed to The Warehouse Theatre to watch an improv show put on by The Misfit Monkies. We laughed our rears off, and my friend Matt even won a monkey mask as a door prize. They do a lot around Jackson, and are a lot of fun to watch.

Saturday, we went costume shopping in preparation for our Haunted House adventure that evening. We all have big kid jobs, so it’s kind of hard to get together and do something when Halloween falls on a weeknight. Plus, I had rehearsal until 9, and teachers tend to be very sleepy. So we celebrated early – and got weird looks at all the restaurants we visited prior to the haunted house. Who cares?! It was a blast!

 

In regards to the Haunted House, we went to Seasons in Flowood. I get scared pretty easily (I saw the new Carrie and spent half of it hiding behind my hand), so this was terrifying to me. Chainsaws and 3D glasses and people jumping at me… instant freak out. But it was all in good fun, except where I fell and scraped my knee. And considering I take blood thinners… you can guess how that turned out. I have a pretty wonderful bruise to commemorate the occasion, though!

To top it all off, yesterday was Super Hero day at school, so of course we went all out with DIY capes made of old t-shirts.

And you’d think that would be enough, but Halloween ISN’T OVER, y’all! Due to the storms last night, trick-or-treating is happening tonight and I’m helping hand out candy in Madison. I’m about to come up with another quick costume.

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Positivity Monday… Because I Can.

I know, I know. It’s not Sunday. I’m a horrible blogger, yada, yada, yada. Say what you want, but I am happy with my little updates here and there while I sort my life out. As much as I love my blog, sometimes there truly are bigger fish to fry. That being said, I feel like I have a lot to share today!

1. I found a place to live! This was one of my biggest concerns about post-grad life. And frankly, I still am a little scared about it. While I have found an apartment and a roommate, the apartment manager still has to approve my tenant application, bad credit and all. But the apartment is cute, my would-be roommate is sweet, she has two cats, and I’d get the big bedroom. I’ve always lived with my mom aside from the two years I was in a dorm, and I’m ready for a little more independence. It’s right in the heart of Jackson, and one street over from the girl I’ll be carpooling to work with. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better situation. It’s central to all of my community theatres, too, which brings me to…

2, I got cast in another play! I just can’t stay away from the stage too long, it seems. I saw auditions for The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge posted on Facebook, and next thing I knew, I was driving out to Madison to audition. I knew very little about the play, but I have been in A Christmas Carol three times (all as male roles…), so at least I was familiar with the characters. The auditions were fun, and I met a lot of cool people. Like the man who played the veterinarian in My Dog Skip (I might just get starstruck really easily.) I ended up landing not one, not two, but THREE female roles for this play! i’m playing The Ghost of Christmas Past, Fan (Scrooge’s sister), and Belle (Scrooge’s ex-fiance.) I’m really excited to see how this one turns out!

3, A long weekend with my friends. This weekend I pretty much spent every moment I had with my friends. We saw Les Miserables at Mississippi College (which had some really good moments, but left me feeling underwhelmed throughout most of the show… but that’s a post for another day. Someone is going to track me down and kill me now that I’ve made my opinion public, just you watch.) After that, we had a grown-up slumber party, watched Hocus Pocus, drank tasty things, and had a fabulous time together. The next day, we went to a wedding shower for my sweet friend Lauren who gets married in less than three weeks, and then went to see Carrie together. I’m no scary movie person, but I had fun just being with them. It was kind of a slap in the face to walk back into reality last night, but I’m so thankful for my best friends. Having two or three people who love you unconditionally and support your endeavors is one of the most precious gifts any human could ever ask for. My friends are top-notch.

 

 

I Have An Announcement!

Well, guys.

Life is getting real.

I graduate in a little over two months. And right when I was sitting here worrying about what life would look like after Christmas, a job landed in my lap.

Not really. But a friend told me about an opening, I applied, I interviewed, and I got it. Simple as that.

I will be taking the position of a fifth grade teacher at a small Christian school in January! To say that I am excited is an understatement. And here’s the kicker. I’m going to have eleven students. I have sixty-three right now. 11. 63. Big difference, no? I’m so excited that I’ll get to work in a Christian environment! And, it’s going to be a much smoother transition for me to enter mid-year rather than to take on a post at a public school.

Now, life isn’t going to be all sunshine and daisies. I am not going to live in the town that I work because it’s not the safest environment, so I’m going to make the 45 minute commute with a friend and we are going to split gas. Because this is a small, private school, my paycheck will not be huge – but it will be enough. 

God is continually watching out for me.

I’m working on a place to live at the moment, and I think that is about to work itself out for me. Pray for me next week as I meet some perspective roommates. Lord willing, it will all be secured soon!

Aside from my exciting news, life has been really good lately. I attended New Stage’s Unframed Season Reveal Party on Saturday, where some friends won awards for their acting talents and I saw some other people and had a grand old time. And because I just can’t stay away from the theatre for too long, I have a lot of theatre stuff coming up. On Monday I’m going to an audition (wish me broken legs!), and then that weekend I am seeing not one, not two, but three plays and that makes me ridiculously happy.

Until next time (Which will be before next week! Promise!)

That Time I Died + Getting To Know You Round 2

Not really. But I feel like I did! Where has the last week and a half even gone?! I’m still trying to work my way through my daily schedule. Sad, I know. But I have phone reminders to blog now! IT’S GONNA HAPPEN, Y’ALL!

First of all, I had a fantastic weekend. Yes, I’m blogging about it a week late. I’m ashamed. But I did! My brother and I went and heard some local music at Fenian’s on Friday, and then Saturday we drove up to Starkville for the MSU game against Troy! We got there early, bought some state gear, and had some fun tailgating and watching the drumline before the game started. My brother’s old RA at Mississippi College transferred to State and is apparently the bully mascot now, so we ran into him and talked for a second, too. Small world, no? The game itself was awesome. I’m so happy I FINALLY got to see my team kick some tail!

I am still really enjoying student teaching. I started teaching third period this week (and I subbed for two days last week and survived my first fire drill… that’s a story for another day). I’m loving teaching. I hear some people tell stories of making it to student-teaching and realizing that they weren’t called to teach. It couldn’t be further from the truth for me. I love teaching. I know it’s what I was made to do. I am exhausted – as in, I got home at 3 yesterday and fell asleep and didn’t wake up til 7, but I love it. So much. I may even have a few interviews coming up, so keep me in your prayers…

I’m also trying to pick up some slack with MSWB. I’m Blogger of the Month there for October, so I’m working on some phobia/fear related posts. And believe me, I have a lot to say on those topics. I hope you enjoy what I contribute. Speaking of MSWB, round two of their getting to know you link-up is here!

1. What is your favorite thing to do in your hometown? I love running in Raymond! It’s a small town, so I feel like I really get to explore on my runs. Is that a dumb answer? I don’t care. I love it!

2. What is the best vacation spot in Mississippi? Natchez is pretty awesome!

3. Tell us about the most fun date night idea in Mississippi. The most fun date night I have ever had here wasn’t really partial to Mississippi. My date, being the poor broke soul he was, took me to the dollar tree and we each picked out five things to do, and then we got Chinese take out and had a picnic. It was a super simple date, but it was so much fun.

4. What is one fun fact that very few people know about you? My stomach is upside down and it is physically impossible for me to burp!

5. Who is your favorite sports team (if you have one) and how did it start? Mississippi State. I feel like I was raised on MSU sports!

6. What are your top three “Best Eats” in Mississippi? 1. Keifer’s. 2. Sal and Mookies. 3. OEC. Variety, right?!

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Teaching, and hopefully still acting. Married, possibly, although who knows!

8. If you could choose an actress to play you in real life, who would you choose and why? It’s a toss-up between Anna Kendrick, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lawrence. I feel like a ‘why’ isn’t even necessary with those three.

9. What is a southern tradition you and your family have? Reading A Cajun Night Before Christmas

10. List 5 things on your Bucket List you hope to do before you die.

1. Do voice-over work.

2. Get a lead role in one of my favorite plays.

3. Have a book published.

4. Find someone who makes me happy.

5. Own a ragdoll cat named Mr. Tumnus.

I aim high, y’all. All around!

Mississippi Women Bloggers