Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

And here we are. It's New Year's Eve and everyone is getting ready to celebrate. We're looking back at the last 12 months and looking forward to the next. Some are ready to party with friends, while others, like myself, will be with family when midnight rolls in. In case you need a refresher- here are the highlights of 2013 for me. It was a year of changes, theatre, and a lot of endings, goodbyes, and lasts.

Warning- there are A LOT of photos. If you just want a quick Instagram video, you can watch this:


This is the month I mainly remember for meeting Kirstie, Lor, and Alice in Orlando! We went to Hogwarts and Disney and it was fabulous.

Back in Cape, was also the Abbott Awards for the local community theatre. The play I was in (Smell of the Kill) won for best show!


The first memorable part of February was when I taught my last session of Peer Ministry Training and brought along these three amazing teenagers. (I'm going to miss these guys so much!)

Then, later that month I went up to St. Louis and visited the Fabulous Fox Theatre for the first time to see The Book of Mormon!


I was in another play! River City Players put together a vintage style radio show and I was one of the singers!

Then, with Easter being so early, I saw the 7th graders get confirmed on Palm Sunday.


I don't have photos- but the first thing I did in April was go wedding dress shopping with my sister! While, it ended up being a long day of white fluffy dresses, it was still an important day to remember. You only help your sister pick out her wedding dress once! (Hopefully.)

I also went on some outdoor adventures once spring came into full bloom with my friend Ginny.

April was also the month of the Boston bombing - and while we were reminded of how awful people can be, we also were reminded how great they can be as well. This video was one of my favorite reactions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91a19xnXNvo

Then.... I got cast as the Nanny in Romeo and Juliet, the first play for the new theatre company Acting Out!

But, I also stuck in there my last confirmation retreat. (So many lasts!)


This means the month of May was basically consumed with rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet. 

However, one of my friends also got married in May! My sister, and her sister were both bridesmaids in the wedding. They all looked beautiful!

However, what I'll always remember the most from May is that at the beginning of the month is when I told my senior pastor I would no longer be a youth minister. It was probably the biggest moment of the year for me because it meant all of the thoughts and feelings I was having about ministry became real and I was finally doing something about it. It was terrifying and exciting, and it paved the way for the rest of 2013.


Finally- Romeo and Juliet! Even though we got rained out our last day. It was outrageously depressing. Which also happened to be the same week as Vacation Bible School. Basically, both dress rehearsal week for a play is insanity, and VBS week at a church is insanity. Put both together? Basically I must have had a death wish.

It's a good thing both were fantastic.

I also began watching Supernatural and began a love affair with the Winchester brothers. Hello there boys.


Generally, July is the month when I'm never in town. It was the month of my last big trips with St. Andrew. National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Camp SonRise, and a mission trip to Alabama. All three were wonderful- but also bitter sweet because these were always highlights of my year for youth ministry and they were my last ones. Yet, I couldn't share what I was thinking because no one knew my plans yet. As enjoyable as they were, it was rough.


Compared to July - August was downright boring! But, I did attend a leadership simulcast via Willow Creek was is always awesome, I participated in VEDA for the second year in a row, and my friend Kelli got married!


This month, I wrapped up my second show with Acting Out!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, began working on a River City Players show which I was the assistant director, Nuts, Bolts, and Carnations,  and was cast in Acting Out!'s final show, Night of the Living Dead. When I look back - it's amazing how 2013 was focused on theatre. Which I LOVE! I worked with such wonderful casts and directors, and I made some amazing friendships through these shows. It made my last year in Cape Girardeau totally worth it.


I was the Tardis for Halloween, Night of the Living Dead opened and closed, my friends Michael and Katrina welcomed their second child into the world, and I led my final Jr. High Retreat. But personally, the biggest moment was finally announcing to the congregation I was leaving ministry. Between that and the saddest episode of Glee that week, I was an emotional wreck. But at least everything was out in the open. You can read all about it here.


Or as I know it... NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! AKA- one of my favorite times of year. I won for the 6th year in a row and I am so excited about this novel still. If I can get the drafts done, I'm going to be seriously considering sending out query letters for this project.

Beyond that though, there was also Thanksgiving with my family and the closing night of my last play in Cape Girardeau.


And now here we are. December. A month of goodbyes, getting snowed in, job searching, packing, and preparing for Christmas.


Oh yeah... and I got two tattoos which my friend Michael has named my "quarter life crisis."

My right forearm
My left calf/ankle

Glossy Blonde

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Week in Review

First off, I want to apologize for the crazy that was my blog on Friday. First, the link-up tool wasn't working, and then it just messed everything else up. My layout was screwy, people couldn't comment, links weren't working - it was awful. But it seems as though everything is cleared up and working again. So, if you want to participate in the 2013 Book Wrap-Up - you still can! Just click here

Okay, moving on.

Whew. Is it really Monday already? Was Christmas really last week? Have I really been back in Chicago for a week now? This is crazy. However, technically it is still only the sixth day of Christmas. (Yes, the 12 days of Christmas actually START on Christmas day. Today we should get six geese-a-laying.) Which means, we're still in the Christmas season and we can keep celebrating. Cue NSYNC "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!" 

However, since I accidentally took a blogging break last week, I'm behind in updating you all on how moving and celebrating with my family went. So... here we go! Be ready for a nice picture dump.

Sunday- my last official day at St. Andrew

If you couldn't tell by my tweets and Facebook posts that morning, for at least the first two hours of the day I couldn't look at anyone in the eye without crying. I even told some people that I wasn't ignoring them, I just didn't want to start crying again.

But, they did have an awesome spread of food between services including this fabulous cake. 

The cake, and all of the other food, was fantastic! One thing you can never fault St. Andrew for is food. They know how to eat there.

They also gave me this beautiful poinsettia.

Also, you can't see it well in this picture, but Pastor Short wore this wig during his sermon when he was pretending to be Joseph. Basically, whenever I felt sad I would picture this in my mind and I would laugh.

 That afternoon, my mom and sister arrived to help me pack, and we had the Christmas pageant. (Which I wrote and helped direct.) Here is my fantastic cast:

 It was an emotional, but very good day. I am so grateful for St. Andrew and all of the support (and Starbucks gift cards!) they have given me over the last 5 1/2 years. I'm going to miss them, and all of my other friends in Cape, so much.

 Monday- Moving Day!

Yeah... that's my empty bedroom in my old apartment. Remember when I was first moving in there and it was a big fiasco? Sigh. Good times, good times. You can read about that story here and here

Basically the whole day was me running errands, us picking up the truck (which was another ridiculous fiasco), packing boxes, driving up to Chicago, and my saying a few final goodbyes. But, I did get a lead on a part-time job that day up in Chicago. Hooray!

Tuesday- Christmas Eve

Which turned out to be the coldest Christmas Eve in a decade according to the Chicago news. It was zero degrees when I woke up, and I had to go out into the cold to get orange juice and coffee cake for our breakfast with my sister and her fiance. I'm sure everyone in Missouri was laughing at me. 

However, we had a lovely Christmas Eve. My sister and her fiance came over for breakfast to exchange gifts and help unload the truck as well as hang out for a little while.  Also, don't my mom decorate the most beautiful tree?

I also must officially live in Chicago now because I received my first pieces of mail. Christmas cards from my friends!

That night Mom and I went to the candlelight service at the church where I grew up and my family are still members. I'll admit, I was nervous about going back and having to answer a lot of awkward questions about why I moved back and what I'm doing now. But I didn't have too many of those, and I even had a quick chat with my 8th grade teacher (who coincidentally was college roommates with the wife of a St. Andrew staff member). She was really supportive and said how we need to go after our dreams while we can. Then, our senior pastor had the most wonderful sermon about praising God and all he has done. It was one of the best Christmas Eve sermons I've heard.

Wednesday- Christmas Day!

AKA- the day my parents and I never get out of our pajamas. Ever.

We did get a light dusting of snow that night, so we can officially say we had a white Christmas.

 All we did was sit around the house, eat, open gifts, unpacked a bit, and watched Christmas movies. It was lovely after all of the crazy of moving. Lazy Christmases are my favorite because you aren't stressed about having to get to places and you can simply enjoy being with your family and soaking in all God has done.

Name that movie!

The Christmas Haul!

Since everyone else in blog land is doing it...

This one from one of my closest friends, and she got me some nail polish along with a fantastic bag/purse for books and tablets. I've been needing a good way to carry around my iPad for awhile now, so this was perfect!

From "Santa" I got a lovely Sephora eye-shadow palette that I can't wait to try out, sweaters and tops, leg warmers,leggings,  a head wrap to keep my ears warm, and a Barnes and Noble gift card.

Then, in the mail, Leah sent me a box of Starbucks k-cups for my Keurig and this pretty ring!

Overall, it was a good week. Christmas was wonderful and relaxing, and now the big move is over. I do get pangs of missing my friends in Missouri, but they've been texting me and my friends up here in Chicago have already been distracting me by going out to eat and catching up. Then this week my family and I are heading over to Indiana to see my mom's side over there for the New Year. I'm so excited to see them!

How was everyone else's week since I kinda disappeared and have no idea what's going on with everyone?

Mingle 240