Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

Another year has come and gone.  What a year it has been.  This year has been full of changes and adventures.  I did a fair amount of traveling throughout the year.  In March, I traveled with my college choir to sing in the Big Apple.  While there, we shopped until we dropped, took millions of pictures sight singing, and saw three Broadway shows!  What a trip.  In June, my brother and I traveled with our cousin to San Francisco to visit her sister.  I could write an entire series of posts on that amazing adventure, but I'll leave that for another day.  Our trip was full of sight seeing, catching up, and plenty of eating!  We then took a small vacation to the beach and before I knew it, my sophomore year of college began.  

The fall semester flew by as I was involved with school, chorale, church, and a local musical.  I believe I finally came to understand the saying "stretching yourself too thin."  This being said, I maintained strong relationships with my friends and family, while keeping my grades up as well.  I was a crazy semester (as you can tell from my lack of blogging) but I have absolutely no regrets.  Through the play, I was able to rekindle old friendships and form many new.

In September, I decided to take control of my health in regards to weight.  I had been attending Zumba classes for over a year, but to no real avail in terms of weight loss.  Sure, I was physically feeling better by exercising regularly, but I was seeing no changes to appearance.  I finally joined Weight Watchers and couldn't be more happy.  Since the middle of September, I have successful lost 25 pounds, simply by watching what I eat.  The most valuable thing I've learned from joining this program is portion control and smart choices.  My goal is to lose 15 more.  All in good time.

I pray that your life be blessed in the New Year.  Take/make time to visit with friends and family.  Love everyone.  Most importantly, take care of yourself.  Best wishes!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas rush is through...

I always enter a blasé period of time right after Christmas.  Don't get me wrong.  The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year.  What's not to like?  The smells, the lights, the decor, the food - everything about the season is wonderful, except for one thing - the hustle and bustle.  The rushing from here and there and everywhere to complete the daunting and numerous tasks of the season.  Buying tons of gifts, wrapping all those gifts up (ok, I admit, I love wrapping presents), keeping the house immaculately clean, cooking food, and don't forget -  shopping, shopping, shopping.  When I was younger, I used to thrive off of this hustle and bustle.  As my life gets even busier with school, church, singing, acting, etc. I have come to value the importance of friends and family.  I appreciate the times that we just sit and chat more often these days.  Sometimes it is just nice to sit, relax, and enjoy the company.

Last Friday night, a small group of Advanced Chorus alumni from GHS assembled for our annual Christmas carolling outing.  We spent the evening carolling to some of our favorite teachers.  It was great catching up with some great friends.  Here is a photo taken at Mrs. Clanton's house.

Christmas was still a little bit sad around our house as our family lost Granny right around this time last year.  We still managed to have a wonderful day relaxing, eating entirely too much, and unwrapping tons of presents.  In years past, it seems that the presents made me most happy on Christmas day.  This year especially, I noticed that I felt differently.  I certainly appreciate and enjoy the gifts, but as I received more and more text messages and emails from friends and family containing kind words and holiday greetings, I came to realize that these things mean much more than anything bought from a store.  We managed to get a few "good" family photos in our annual Christmas day photo shoot.

 Yes, this is really my family...

There is just so much excitement and build up for one day that after the Christmas rush is through we say, now what?  Do we simply return to our hectic daily lives with no thought about it?  I think this is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.  We should take this time to refocus on the important aspects of life.  Don't get me wrong - careers, goals, and aspirations are important aspects of life and success, but these ideas must be balanced with other aspects of life.  Don't forget the importance of family and friends.  Take/make time to visit and maintain relationships.  Don't forget to take time for yourself either.  Go get a massage.  Take care of your body, mind, and soul.  Remember these things as you enter the New Year.


Friday, December 14, 2012


Ok people.  I survived two of the craziest weeks in my educational career, thus far.  I realize that I have been missing in action.  The whole point of blogging is being able to share moments from the crazy ride we call life.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to breathe the last two weeks - but that's ok!  Now to enjoy a month long break from school!  Before I begin a series of "catch up" posts, I have to tell you about the strangest thing that happened the other night at Choir practice.

We all gathered in the Choir room for what we thought would be a routine Wednesday night rehearsal.  Little did we know that this rehearsal would be far from routine and ordinary.  As the rehearsal came to order, I noticed that Pastor was making his way around the church, locking all of the doors.  This didn't strike me odd since he had to leave early.  As we began to sing, I heard a knock at the door.  Just a few Choir members running late for rehearsal.  No big deal.  As we continued rehearsing, I heard the door open and close.  But wait!  The door was locked.  I looked back and caught the glimpse of a red sleeve trimmed in white.  Nah, it couldn't be.  The jolly man in red?  Without even noticing it, out loud I said, "Santa?!"  "I saw him too!" exclaimed Carly.  Well, at least I wasn't the only crazy one there.  But the door was locked.  How could this alleged Santa get in?  Our Choir director explained that Santa doesn't need a key to get through locked doors.

Come to find out, a fellow Choir member had been all over town, dressed as Santa, delivering gifts to those less fortunate.  He has a key to the church and decided to just let himself in, aiming to not disrupt Choir rehearsal. 

During the chaos of the Holiday season, remember to enjoy the little things.  We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and tending to the millions of things to do before the big day that we forget exactly why we are celebrating.  

More to come...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Looking ahead...

Well, here it is 10:15, the night before I start a long 2 1/2 week haul.  That's right.  The storm is about to hit.  Today I've tried to work ahead and rest up before the hectic push to the end of the semester.  I had planned on publishing the big "Seussical" post this weekend, but it looks like that probably won't happen until break.  Sorry.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  My break consisted of eating entirely too much turkey, decorating, volunteering, and of course, homework.  On Saturday, I traveled with my cousin's and their church group to Boone to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child processing center.  This is fourth year packing/processing shoe boxes.  We always have such a great time!  It also serves as a reminder of God's many blessings!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of yet another crazy rehearsal week.  I have dress rehearsals every night this week with a concerts Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  We finish up classes next week, then I have three days of finals and that's it - I'll be free at last!  I don't see much time for blogging until break, but I look forward to catching you up.  Thanks for checking in!

If you're in the area this weekend, come see "A Chorale Christmas" - Friday, Nov. 30, 7:00 pm and Saturday, Dec. 1, 3:00 pm.  

My motto for the coming weeks: "Keep Calm and Carry On"

Stay cool and enjoy the holiday season, people.  Talk to you soon!


Sunday, November 18, 2012


Welp folks, we had a great run of "Seussical!"  I only have a chance to briefly check in.  I have tons of work to do before Wednesday.  Thankfully (no pun intended), Thanksgiving is this week.  I'm in much need of a break.  I will catch you, my faithful readers, up this weekend on all of the crazy fun from "Seussical."  Thank you for hanging in there and checking back often during my absence.  Until then, a quote very fitting to the days emotions:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
- Dr. Seuss


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Long time no see.  I hope y'all are doing well!  What about this weather we're having?  Crazy, huh!?  I hope you had a wonderful Halloween.  I wish I could've posted earlier, but alas, not enough hours in the day.

I had quite a fun day myself!  We all decided to dress up for Chorale rehearsal today.  Problem was, I had class from 8:15 right until time for Chorale at 11:30, so I trudged myself through the blistering air and snow flurries dressed in costume - people staring the whole way.  And my costume was quite subtle.  See...

I can only imagine how they might have looked at me if I went all out.  Makayla and I dressed as The Black Eyed Peas!
Side note: 
I realize that most of the photos I post, you can see in my Instagram feed as well.  I only do this to my absolute favorite photos so you can see them in all their glory.

I got back in town just in time to help promote "Seussical" downtown at Halloween happenings.  Once again, I bundled up in my winter gear and headed out to brave the conditions.  Well, maybe I'm a bit dramatic.  It wasn't that bad.  We handed out flyers and candy while singing songs from the show.  While I'm on the "Seussical" front, WE OPEN NEXT WEEK!!!  I can't believe how time just keeps slipping away.  It seems like we just started the show.  We have great deal of work to do before next Friday night, but the show is really coming together.  I always freak out during the weeks the precede the show, but I remind myself of a quote from Leonard Bernstein:  "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time."  Be sure to get your tickets before they are gone!

After I got home from Halloween happenings, we had a few special trick-or-treaters and then I had to hit the books.  Instead of watching Hocus Pocus for the 23980234958th time this season, I took a Music History quiz - the joys of being a college student.  Oh well.  Luckily I have tomorrow "off" if that's what you can call it.  I don't have to go to campus, but I will be catching up on homework, and continuing some classroom observations.

I finally made it to Knoxville for a much needed weekend with my boys!  The stress of school was really getting to me so I'm thankful that I took time to go.  The problem is - I miss them more than ever now.  I've come to realize that we never forget our friends.  We simply learn and adapt to live without seeing them on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.  After spending the weekend catching up, I realized how much I really miss them.  I guess that's just more of an excuse to go visit more.

I guess that's all for now.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Break

My dear faithful readers,

I give you my greatest apologies for not blogging lately.  I can tell you have been checking in frequently and I am sorry I have not posted anything for you to read.  There is no need to provide a million excuses because if I got started, we would be here all night.  Anyway, on to catching you up on my crazy but wonderful life!

Well, yet another Fall Break is coming to a close.  I plan on sleeping in tomorrow in hopes of storing up enough energy to help me survive the coming weeks.  All of you know that I am involved in everything under the sun.  A few weeks ago I finally came to the realization that I am going to be extremely busy for the rest of my life, so why not embrace it?  I am constantly on the go, but I wouldn't have it any other.  After reading through the last few posts, I realized that many of them hardly any direction and nearly no flow.  Sorry.  I guess that's what I get for blogging late at night when my brain has turned to mush.  

A few weeks ago, my precious little cousin, Hannah, turned 4!  We had a small party for her.  Nothing extravagant but I think she really enjoyed it.

My rehearsal schedule has been insane lately preparing for our first Chorale concert of the season, which took place last Sunday.  The concert went very well and was enjoyed by all!  Now on to Christmas music - my favorite!

A few of my Chorale friends!

This past Saturday night, we celebrated our friend Artie's 30th Birthday party.  We all dressed up as movie characters.

I went as Harry Potter and Tyler went as Indiana Jones.  Sadly, a lot of people didn't know who I was.  What is wrong with society these days?  Haha!  We had a wonderful time sitting around the fire pit and catching up.  Heather and Artie dressed as characters from 80's film Revenge of the Nerds.  Grayson dressed up as well.

Even though this photo speaks for itself, I will say that this is the most awesome kid ever!  Don't you just want to mush him!   He brings a great deal of joy into my life every time I keep him.

Last night was our annual Church hayride - always one of my favorite events of the year!  It was originally scheduled during my Concert last week, but due to the rain, the Church was forced to postpone, which was great for me!  My best friend Morgan was home for break as well, so we had a wonderful time catching up on the last few months.

Unfortunately, I was bitten by some terrible creature over ten times last night!  There must have been some bug in the hay because Tyler and Mom were bitten as well.  While observing today (more below) I began to itch.  One by one, small spots began popping up.  Oh no, I thought.  I've been in Elementary school one day and I already have the chicken pox.  I never had them as a child.  I did receive the vaccine and the booster, but you never know.  Turns out that I'm simply covered with bug bites.  Nothing a few Benadryl won' fix tonight.

I also have some EXTREMELY exciting news!  I will be spending my Spring Break in London!  I have been given the opportunity to take this trip with small women's vocal ensemble called "Ten Times a Lady!"  My voice professor directs this women's ensemble and asked if I would like to go.  Well, certainly.  Of course I won't be singing on this trip since it's the Ladies tour, but I'm sure we will have a wonderful time!  More about that to come!

I spent today observing in an Elementary school.  Although this was not my ideal way of spending my break, I learned a great deal.  It simply confirmed my passion to teach children.  I'm excited to see what the future has in store.

This weekend, I'm heading to Knoxville to spend time with my best friends, Brock and Jonathon.  As you probably read in a previous post, my plans to visit a few weeks ago were nixed.  Fingers crossed for no scheduling conflicts this time!

Friday night, I put my "mad awesome" Photoshop skills to use.  Actually, I'm terrible with Photoshop, but somehow I managed to create a Facebook coverphoto to promote the show.  All of the white space (to the left) is where the profile picture conveniently sits next to the Cat.  Anyway, I was pretty proud of it.  Tickets went on sale TODAY!  Call now before they are gone!  This is a show you will not want to miss!

Once again, I've successfully completed a blog post that hardly flows.  I guess that's just the way my brain works.  I always have a million things on my mind and I guess that's the way it will always be.  Mind as well embrace it.

peace and blessings y'all.