Sunday, January 17, 2016

Alive and Well: Life Throws Curve Balls from Time to Time

My dear, lovely followers,
It has been, to my utter shock, an entire year since last I posted here (optimistically touting that I would resume my regular schedule in the near future). Well, I suppose you may be wondering what in the world could have happened to me to cause such prolonged radio silence. It boils down to pure business in the Spring, and multiple life changes over the rest of the year.
     2015 was, by far, one of the most topsy-turvy years of my existence. As you may have known, I forget whether I mentioned it or not, I was asked to be the stage manager for "Annie Get Your Gun" last Spring semester. This entailed far more than I ever could have imagined, but I would not trade the experience for anything. I was enrolled in 18 credit hours, I worked 8 hours a week, and I spent at least 40 hours a week on the show. Needless to say, I was not in possession of any free time to be spent on blogging. The show was a tremendous success in the end, with all three performances sold out and lifelong friendships formed. I left for home that summer without the slightest realization that I would not be returning again.
     I may have mentioned before that my dad is a pastor. He had been at the same church for 8.5 years in Colorado, but God saw fit to open a new door for my family. In May, he was voted into a new church, two weeks later my sister, Rachael, got married, and two weeks after that we moved to California. It was about this time that I started thinking about my education. This move more than doubled the distance to be traveled to school. I began to consider transferring to my dad's alma mater, which is a mere 3.5 hours from my new home. Everything snowballed faster than I could blink, and by late June, I was enrolled in my new university.
     It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and the goodbyes were painful, but I am so blessed to be where I am now. Last semester was bumpy at times, but that was to be expected. It is never a smooth process to completely change your life. In fact, nothing in my life is the same as it was a year ago. Kimm and her husband Johan moved into the States, though it was a tricky process due to bureaucracy. Kimm ended up coming to live with us for a couple of weeks because of the entire mess, which wasn't a bad deal for us, although she rather missed her husband. Rachael and her husband, Jared, also had a career change and moved from their first home. I suppose they thought getting married was not enough of a change for them. The main point being that life brings changes, and sometimes they are all at once.
     We were blessed to have everyone with us for Christmas, and we all went to Disneyland like the grown up children we are. It was marvelous to be in fifty degree weather in the middle of winter. This is one thing I am definitely enjoying!
     It is a brand new year now, and I am sure that life will continue to surprise us, twisting and turning in unexpected ways. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy New Year to all!

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year and a Fresh Start

     Well! This is quite shameful, and I do apologize. I can't believe that I haven't posted in over two months! I promise I have not abandoned my little blog. Truth be told, I have very little in the way of excuses, except that I got into the pattern of not blogging and it was nice to sit still for a while (especially during finals, though that was ages ago now). More and more I realize the freedom that comes from silence online. It is amazing how much the internet can control your life if you are not careful. I have never loved social media, but I have been drawn in by it on occasion. I am beginning to realize that memories are sometimes more special if they are unrecorded and live only in your mind. Then you are free to share those things with whom you will and there is meaning behind it. However, there is also a balance. I have said before that I love this blog for the purpose of recording my life. I think of it as more of an online diary (properly guarded, since it is in the public eye, from too many specific details). But, overall, that is what I love about this space. This is a place where I can share without imposing myself on others. Thank you so much for sticking around and caring about what I have to say, it really means a lot to me. Perhaps in this year I will even manage to organize myself!
     I have been quite busy doing nothing these past few weeks. The last weeks of school were very busy for me. I am the stage manager for our upcoming musical, "Annie Get Your Gun," and as such I was part of the casting process. This on top of finals made for a busy, albeit wonderful last few weeks of school. I am really going to enjoy this role. Although it may be difficult to see from my blog, I thrive in positions that require organization and problem solving. I am so excited to work on this production with some wonderful people. "Pygmalion" was a great success, and I only wish that it had lasted longer. I was Mrs. Higgins, as you may remember, and it was such fun! I managed to make it through without any forgotten lines, and I was quite pleased. I was blessed to have my family come to see me as well.

     I have been home now for about two weeks, and it is really quite shocking how quickly time is going. Every Christmas that I spend with my family is more special to me now. My oldest sister is married. So far, we have been able to see them every year, because Johan's family lives so far away. But now that Rachael is engaged, things may quickly change around here. Of course, we will always see them every other year, but the off years will be strange. For now, I am simply grateful to be blessed with such a loving family, whom I will miss when they are elsewhere.
     This break has been filled with card games, food, trips to the movies, and one very special trip to the ballet to see the Nutcracker! I have a special place in my heart for ballet, and yet I had never seen the Nutcracker live before. It was just as magical as I hoped it would be, and there is talk of a new Christmas tradition. I can't say I would be opposed!
Now, to one and all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, although I am a bit late in wishing them!
Lots of Love

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Fairy Tale

     Once upon a time there was a College Student. It was Fall time, and since this was her favorite season, she was very happy. Until the day that the storms came. For an entire week the sun did not come out and the rain poured relentlessly down on her; and since she did not own an umbrella, she spent a very soggy and miserable week. All during this time, she kept wishing that she had waterproofed her pretty ankle boots, but she had not got around to it yet, and was forced to wear her waterproofed white sneakers most of the time. Then, at the end of this week, the sun came out again. It was warm and beautiful, and in celebration, she had to wear a summer frock. Of course, it was still quite chilly outside, so she paired her sundress with a maroon sweater. After a week of sneakers, it was beautiful to wear her maroon heals as well.

      Around this same time, the College Student was very much in need of a new school bag. The bag she had been using was simply not practical. She wanted a pretty leather bag that wasn't too big or to floppy. With this in mind, she went to the thrift store on one of these rainy days, and was thrilled to discover a bag that perfectly matched her description and, since it was only $6, she couldn't pass it up. Some things are meant to be. And it was on this sunshiny day that she was finally able to use her new bag; and everyone was much happier in the end.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Splash of Red

      Dark, dreary days call for a pop of color, especially red. There is nothing better than a chilly Fall day in a bright red trench coat.

      I have watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's" several times this semester already, as well as "My Fair Lady". Audrey Hepburn is simply the epitome of elegance. She always inspires me with her simple style that turned heads wherever she went. This day, I decided to wear a simple shirt-dress (which I found at JCPenny's) tied with a black sash, as well as nude heels, a string of pearls, and the red trench coat. I am not a fan of fussy clothing. The clothes that make me happiest are always the tailored, simple pieces without too many frills. I  never want my clothes to wear me, and I have admittedly messed up in this regard on a few occasions. I think that everyone has worn an outfit that turns out to be just too much and regretted it; but style is all about taking chances and discovering what works for you. I love looking to the style icons of the past and trying to decipher what it was that made them special. I don't want to copy anybody, but I do want to be inspired. As you may remember, I had a Marilyn Monroe Summer, and I have learned a lot from reading about her life and studying her style. I think I'll make this an Audrey Hepburn Semester; who knows what the Spring will bring!

     Rehearsal's are becoming intense now. We'll be performing "Pygmalion" the second and third week of November, which is coming very quickly now. I am trying to get my lines memorized, but mostly I am still trying to find Mrs. Higgins' character. Anyway, I know that all will turn out well. Life is rather busy, but it is turning out to be such a wonderful semester! Of course it has its ups and downs, but overall I know that I will fondly remember it. Last Fall I was just trying to get my bearings, but now I know that I belong. I have a wonderful family of friends here, and though it will never replace home, I am so glad to have this college experience. 

     I want to focus on taking the good with the bad, and never neglect what is important. College is a juggling act, and I hope I never drop anything precious. 

Lots of love!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

School Spirit!

     It's that time of year again! Crisp breezes, hot drinks, and football games. Now, I'm not much of a sports fan, but I love going to sporting events. I love Fall time and the beginning of school. There is nothing that brings out school spirit quite like a good old fashioned football game, with cheerleaders and marching bands and school colors everywhere you look.

    The first home football game for my school was last Saturday, and the theme was blackout. It was delightfully chilly that day, so I wore my black pencil skirt, a black turtleneck, a checkered bandanna, and my maroon cardigan - I needed a little of our school colors! It actually got quite cold, and I was glad to get home by the end of it! And yes, I wore heels, and I did "charge" the field in them.

     I have been busy with beginning of the year activities around here, namely auditioning. I auditioned for the school movie first. I didn't expect a part, since the only female character was described as a college athlete . . . so I wasn't too disappointed when I didn't get a callback, and I got some great, and much needed, experience auditioning. Then I auditioned for our school production, which I did get a callback for, and when the play changed, I had to go to callbacks again. I am pleased to announce that I will be playing Mrs. Higgins in "Pygmalion" this semester!This is the first significant role I have ever received, and I am beside myself with excitement!
     I hope to get back to regular blogging again, now that I have settled into my routine. I will be quite busy this semester, which is quite fine by me! I am taking 16 credit hours, I am a main role in the play, and I will be assisting with sewing costumes again. Also, I did bring my sewing machine this year, and I will hopefully find time soon to get some of my waiting projects done.
Lots of love!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Hot Day in Warm Clothes

     I am pretty sure that I did this to myself last year too; I make something new for cold weather, and I can't wait till it's cold to wear it. Oh well, I wore this to church, and it is always cold in there anyway. So, this is my brand new blouse! I found this taffeta for just $5 a yard, and couldn't say no to it. I have only finished the blouse, but there is going to be a matching skirt as well. I am really happy with how this turned out; I think that it is a very comfortable style with its dolman sleeves. I lined it with white muslin, and it's going to be wonderfully warm (already is). The skirt I am wearing comes from the same pattern as the blouse, and I am making the matching skirt the same. I found this skirt to be wonderfully comfortable and practical last year, and currently have not just one, but two skirts cut out in the same pattern waiting to be sewn. I used Retro Butterick 5557, and I absolutely love it. I'm just going to be honest here, many slim skirts make you feel a bit stuffed in like a sausage, but this pattern is very well constructed. It has seams and darts in exactly the right places to make it flattering. Actually, can I just say that about vintage clothing in general? Anyway, back to the blouse. I love all of the details on this blouse. It has beautiful darts all over it, including elbow darts, which I have been dying to try on something. They just look so pretty! I had to do a bit of tinkering to make it fit properly in the bust. I have come to the conclusion that, since I do make my own clothes, I ought to put in just a bit more effort to make sure that it fits as it should in all places. Just because I can zip it doesn't mean that it fits. It's a subtle difference for me, but enough to make me feel better about myself.

     I have been settling into my school routine once again, and it is interesting. I know it's a funny thing to complain about, but I don't have enough to do right now. Last semester I was so busy with school, job, and theatre that I could barely sit down. The main issue there was clashing schedules, though. I want to really push myself this year. I am looking for a job (which is looking hopeful), and I will be auditioning for the campus play and movie this semester. I would like to get involved in some more areas as well, and I have been exploring my options. I think that it is good for me to keep pushing myself; I don't want to miss out on anything, and I know that I can handle it. Not to mention that a resume packed with extra curriculars is a good thing to have.
     I brought my sewing machine this year, and even though I haven't pulled it out yet, I have peace of mind just knowing that it is nearby, ready for me when I need it. I mentioned the two skirts I am making, but I also have a gorgeous green brushed cotton that is to die for, and is being made into a dress. I also have a completed (for ages now) dress that I simply can't wait to wear! It is lined in flannel though, and I don't think it's practical this time of year.
Lots of love to you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A New Year

     The semester has officially begun! I can't believe how quickly that happened, but I am very excited for what this year has to offer. I am moved in, and my room is completely put together. One of the advantages of being a returning student is that I don't have to participate in all of the Launch activities; which basically means that I was able to spend all day Saturday putting my room to rights. As I have mentioned my need for cleanliness before, you can imagine how wonderful it was for me to have no clutter while I slept. I felt bad for my new roommate, Mackenzie, who is a freshman and did have to be out in the heat.

     My suite-mates and I had to get a first day of school picture (sadly, Mackenzie was not present). I don't believe that this dress has ever made it onto the blog, which is quite shocking. It is several years old now, and I made it from Vintage Vogue 1172. I love it, but my one complaint would be that the shoulders are rather restrictive. Other than that, it went together beautifully. I do love Vogue patterns.

     It is interesting to be back in school. I love being able to see all of my friends again, and there is nothing like a fresh start to get one excited! I am determined to make this year even better than last year. The starting place for that goal is in putting myself out there more. I want to have a large circle of great friends, and I have everything I need for that right here. It is basically up to me to put myself out there and develop the friendships I already have, and make new friendships with those I haven't met yet.  Again, there is nothing quite like a new beginning. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here, and there are such fantastic people to know and love all around me.
Whether you are going to school yourself, or have young ones who are; enjoy the wonderful year of learning ahead of you!
Lots of love!