Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week in Review - Week 15

Hello there!  It's been another crazy week around here.  I'm really enjoying my time off from performing, but I'm also starting to get the itch to be onstage again.  I'm anticipating another audition in the next month or so, so with any luck my itch will be scratched in the next little bit (weird imagery...sorry), but I have definitely not been bored since my show closed, so hopefully regardless of the outcome of the audition, I will be able to keep myself busy and social.

I went to see one of the teens I know from community theatre perform as the Baker in his high school's production of "Into the Woods."  I absolutely love this musical and I was blown away by this school's performance!  I was so proud of my friend as he stood on the stage all by himself singing one of his solos.  It was a dream role for him and he rocked it!  I had a little proud mama moment, even though I am obviously not his mama.  After the show, we were standing around talking to him, when all of a sudden I saw one of my favorite college professors from across the room!  I totally freaked out and "fan-girled" him, as my friend called it.  It's true.  I apologized to my friend later for giving him the shaft while I ran up to my old prof, but I'm happy to report that he remembered me and we had a very nice conversation!

There was so much fun happening this week.  I actually think I have a free week this coming week, until next weekend when I am having a mini-reunion at my college to celebrate the retirement of another of my favorite professors!  Eek!!  My heart is aflutter with anticipation!  AH!

All right, all right.  Enough talk about college and theatre.  Without further ado, here are my photos from this week.

April 6: A Shape
On Easter Sunday, my mom found something that I thought I had lost. I bought this Origami Owl necklace maybe a year ago and this past November, completely lost it. I remembered putting it in a bag or purse, but I checked every bag I own, and it was nowhere to be found. On Easter, my mom found it in one of HER rarely used handbags. Yay!

April 7: Beauty

I couldn't think of what to photograph for this day, but when I sat down to write in my journal, I realized how beautiful I thought this book was.  I love the color, and as much as I didn't like Paris when I was there, I did LOVE the Eiffel Tower and thought it was very beautiful.

April 8: Breakfast
I wanted to go to Panera Bread this morning, but I ended up not feeling the greatest and just ate a muffin at home. Here are the spoils.

April 9: Inspired
My mini-daffodils are blooming!  This has inspired me to get outside and start photographing nature again!

April 10: Dark
I almost forgot to take a photo today, so as I was getting ready for bed, I turned off the lights and took this photo of my bedtime setup. :-P

April 11: This Smells so Good
It's no secret that I love my coffee.  I used to love the smell but hate the taste, but obviously, my taste buds finally caught up to my sniffer.

April 12: Something Green
I love the first flowers of spring.  These little flowers were mere green shoots a week ago.  Now they are blooming in all their sunshiny glory.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week in Review - Week 14

Happy Easter, everyone!  He is Risen, indeed!

I have to admit, today was a loooong day and it's only 8:45 as I type this and I'm seriously considering going to bed after I press "Publish".  I woke up at 5:30 this morning to get ready to be at church by 6:30.  Actually, I set my alarm for 5:00, and then fell back asleep.  Ugh!  I never do that... Anyway, it wasn't really a big deal and I got to church on time and even though we were all extremely tired, we had a great time singing at all three services.  We have really been singing some very powerful songs in choir lately.  Every time we came off the platform from singing the song "Forever", my friend and I had chills.  Love that song!

After church, my parents and I headed out to enjoy our day.  It's only the three of us these days, so we went to a restaurant and then bowling at a semi-local casino.  I got a big mug of coffee at the restaurant and still took a nap on the way to bowling and on our way home.  I'm getting too old for this!

Anyway, onto week 14 of the FMS Photo Challenge.  It was another good week, I think.

March 30: On My Table
This one is kind of boring, but I love the pop of red in the peppers.  Obviously, this is just my run-of-the-mill breakfast on my table.

March 31: Two Tone

This day was not a particularly colorful one, but as I got into my car at the end of the day, it suddenly occurred to me that the multitude of clouds in the sky were two-toned.  Perfect!

April 1: Lunch
Woops!  I ate my lunch before I remembered about taking a photo, so these were the two items I had left.  Doesn't that Halo look like a brain?  EW!

April 2: Building

It just continues to rain this week, so I took a photo from inside a building, specifically the Arts Center where I am working the box office for a play this weekend.  It has a "lovely" view of the Post Office building, too.  

April 3: This is Good
I might still be having a bit of "Steel Magnolias" withdrawal.  I started working on my scrapbook pages for the show this week and I really love this title card I made!  It's a famous line that really sums up how I feel about life.

April 4: I Stood Here

You got a little glimpse of it in my "Building" photo, but this brightly painted platform is part of an art installation at the Arts Center.  It's been interesting to hear people's reactions to it.  I kind of dig it, especially in this photo.

April 5: Egg
Of course, today is Easter Sunday!  Our choir director "hid" eggs around the choir room for us.  It was really cute and we laughed when we realized they were for us and not the kids.  Candy for the adults!  YAY!

So that's been my week in photos.  I really feel like this particular set has really captured my life this week, rather than just looking for something pretty to fit the prompts.  I realize that's going to happen when the prompt is just something wacky that wouldn't fit in my daily routine, but I do want to make this a year in photos that really captures my year.  

Have a great week, everyone!  See you in a few!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tidying Up - The Great Clothing Purge

It's spring (even though it doesn't feel like it most days), and that means feeling the need to clean.  I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of clothing that I own lately.  It's not even that I like to shop.  I tend to keep clothes FOREVER and then between gifts, the occasional shopping splurge, and even my mom giving me hand-me-downs (yes, my mom has good taste, so I don't mind wearing her hand-me-downs), I have WAY more clothes than any one person needs.

My normal way to purge is by season.  At the end of winter, for example, I will go through all my long sleeved tops, sweaters, cardigans, blazers, and pants that are specifically winter season stuff and say, "Did I wear this at all this winter?"  If the answer is no, it goes.

That system generally works for me, but recently I've been seeing YouTube videos and book reviews about a book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up".  I haven't read this book, but the basic concept that I'm getting from the different videos I've seen is that the author, who is a Japanese organization guru, tells you to "tidy up" all at once.  She wouldn't approve of my seasonal purges.  Since she wants her clients to do this process all at once, she has an order to how you should purge these items: first clothes, then... books, maybe, and so on until your entire life is "tidied up".  I was most interested in the part about clothes, because that is the area of my life where I have been feeling the most overwhelmed by the volume.

The author encourages her clients to put every single bit of clothing out in a pile on the floor or bed in order to first fully understand the amount of stuff one owns.  I didn't want to do this at first, because I thought it would be a major pain, but then I thought, why not?  I decided to only do this with what was in my actual closet, because I recently organized my dresser drawers and didn't really feel the need to tidy that area.  This was the result... don't judge.

This is horrifying.  Now granted, I've seen videos of other people who have just as big of a pile as I did, and I had no illusions that my situation would be any different.  To actually see it, though... wow.  Now, to be fair, some of these things are many, many years old and I really do feel like I've gotten more than my money's worth out of probably 75% or more of this stuff, so I really can't say that any of the items have been a waste... but still, some of the bulk needed to go.  Obviously.

I left the stuff on hangers to make it easier on myself, and as the author of the book suggests, I picked up each item, decided on a whim if "it brought me joy" (aka... did I like this?  Do I see myself wearing it again?  How do I feel when I'm in it?) and if the answer after a couple of seconds was no, it went in another pile on the floor to be discarded (aka donated or yard sale).  There were a few items that I had to try on to really know, and a few items that I kept, even though the initial thought was "eh, I don't know," but I still think I made a good dent.

Look at all those empty hangers!  I started at 9am and by 12pm when I stopped to eat lunch, I had 5 stuffed garbage bags of clothes and one large tote of shoes.  I'm actually surprised that I didn't get rid of more, but considering that I do the whole seasonal purge thing, I'm not entirely shocked.  I do think that I am a pretty organized, tidy, and even to an extent minimalist-minded person.  You'll laugh at that last statement because of the amount of things on my bed, but hear me out.  It's not that I don't like my stuff.  I'm human, however, I try to keep in mind that stuff is not necessary for my happiness.  I only buy things that I know I really want or need, so when I went through the process of "does this bring me joy," the answer was often "yes".

I still have to go through coats and maybe my dresser drawers again to see if I want to get rid of any exercise gear... but I think I feel pretty good about my "tidying up" progress for a Sunday morning.

If there's one thing that I took away from this, it's that I feel good about my already established idea of how to tidy.  I don't really feel like this "all at once" method was really earth shattering for me.  I'm glad I did it.  It definitely needed to be done, but I don't feel like it was life changing.  I will more than likely do this purge again in about 6 months.  In fact, I think I will schedule a clothing purge in my calendar for 6 months from now.

The positive take-away from my purge:  I probably emptied about about a third of my long wall-to-wall closet.  I reorganized it so that I could easily see the spring/summer things.  There is more space to move the clothing around.  My shoes are more accessible and easily seen now.  Of course, less clutter!

Now that I am fulled by food, it's on to round two: coats and winter accessories, then bags.  Let's see how many more bags I can fill!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Busy Week in Review - Week 13

Hi everyone!  Well, withdrawal did kick in this week and I'm missing my "Steel Magnolia" girls like crazy, but I've also been keeping really busy, so it hasn't been THAT bad.  I started back at choir again this Wednesday.  I always had practices for the play on choir nights, so I had to take a hiatus, but I really like doing the special services, so I'm trying to learn the songs really fast for Easter Sunday services (3 services + about 7 songs = 1 sore throat by noon).  I also went to see my friends perform in the musical "Oliver."  I was slightly apprehensive because this winter has been so bad, they had a lot of their practices cancelled, but like always, they pulled it together and put on a fantastic show.  The two boys that played Oliver and Dodger did an amazing job and my dear friend Alisha was the best Nancy.  Love her!  It was so great to see so many people that I've missed terribly now that I don't perform with that group anymore.

This next week is going to be quite busy, as well.  I am helping out with the box office for another show and have to meet the director to go over my duties.  Then there is another rehearsal for Easter Sunday, then I'll be at the theatre from Thursday-Saturday for the box office, then Easter craziness on Sunday!  After that, things should calm down a little bit, although I do have friends visiting and I'm going to a retirement dinner/final performance for one of my favorite professors in college next weekend.  I'm really looking forward to reuniting with my college theatre friends and seeing one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, "The Tempest".

Anyway, enough blabbing.  You might be tired just reading about my post-show schedule... I know I am!  Here are my photos for the FMS photo challenge, Week 13:

March 23 - Too Much
My friends really are "too much".  Look at this ginormous bouquet my friend brought to closing night.  Also mixed in are some roses from a bouquet another friend brought to opening night!  I'm spoiled! 

March 24 - A Treasure
Like I said, I really am spoiled.  This amazing charm was created by the actress who played Truvy for each of us in the show.  It has our character name with a line that Truvy says to us in the show.  Mine says, "How did you make this coffee?"  LOL!  It was a funny moment.  I will definitely treasure this for the rest of my life.

March 25 - Half
I love chocolate, and for some reason I like to break my chocolate squares in half before I eat them.

March 26 - I love
I love waking up to a gorgeous sunrise.  I know that red sky in the morning is a warning of bad weather to come (which it was) but it's just so gosh darn beautiful!

March 27 - Something White
This little guy has been the subject of a couple other photo prompts over the years.  Plus, I think the idea of a creamer for this prompt is very fitting.

March 28 - Give
My mom gave me this bottle of Magnolia wine for opening night of my play.  I liked it so much, I went and bought 5 bottles to give to the rest of the cast on closing night.

March 29 - Zen
There's nothing really profound to say about this photo, except that flowers are one of things that say "zen" to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Week in Review - Week 12 - Theatre Withdrawal

Well, I have made it through!  Another show has come to a close.  I'm happy to have some time to sleep and keep my house in order again, but I'm also sad and feeling the beginnings of withdrawal.  I loved the women I worked with in "Steel Magnolias" and playing Annelle was truly one of my favorite theatre experiences to date.  If you come to my house at some point over the next week or so, you might walk in on me sobbing because I miss my southern belles so much!

A funny thing happened the other day.  I got recognized in the parking lot of Dollar General as Annelle!  I was walking to my car, and a guy in a minivan yelled out, "Great job!"  I looked around and saw him waving at me, so I waved back and he said, "We had a great time at the show last night."  It was so fun getting recognized.  I don't crave the attention, but it's kind of cool when it happens, because let's be real here, I'm no celebrity (nor would I want to be).

Oh!  I also continued with the FMS PAD challenge!  I honestly cannot believe I took a new photo everyday through all this theatre craziness.  I haven't always been pleased with the pictures I took, but they can't all be winners.  I'm pretty pleased with this week, though.

Without further ado, here they are.

March 16: After 
Today was a gray day, but it was warm, so Mom and I decided to take a walk after work.

March 17: Hobby
One of my many hobbies is making cards.  Today, I made thank you cards for the women in the cast of "Steel Magnolias".  They've been so nice to me that I just wanted to give them something special.

March 18 - Text
One of the things I've been doing is keeping a gratitude journal.  Most recently, I've been writing about the encouragements I've been receiving during this show.  It's a great way to keep my spirits up whenever I'm feeling insecure.

March 19: Private
After quite a few late nights at the theatre, I woke up with a migraine on Thursday.  I called off of work and shut out the light for awhile.  I needed some privacy.

March 20: Hand-drawn
The most recent thing that I've drawn was a picture of a sea turtle for my good friend's nursery (she loves sea turtles).  I was pretty excited about how this turned out.  Youtube tutorials work wonders!

March 21: Sun-flare
I actually skipped this day and took this picture in the morning of the 22nd.  The 21st was gray, gray, gray... and cold... and rainy... Thank goodness for the sun the next day!

March 22: Leaves
My friends are so great.  One of my friends brought me roses on opening night of my show and another friend brought be a beautiful bunch of wildflowers on closing night.  I'm loved.

There you have it!  I might actually be able to write a few non-FMS themed posts in the near future, but we'll see.  Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Encouragement and Gratitude

In the midst of all the change that was going on in my life at the end of 2014, I decided that I needed to keep a gratitude journal.  I needed something I could look back on that would keep things in perspective when I felt down or insecure.  I have kept journals off and on for years, but if I feel that a lot of them were centered more on the cruddy stuff that went on, which I think is important to document, but is also not something that I want people to find after I'm dead and think, "Wow, she was really negative."  I want my journaling to reflect who I feel that I am inside, which is a very positive, grateful individual.

One thing I decided to do was write an entry on all the encouragements I've received during this season of being in "Steel Magnolias".  I can be a very insecure person, as I touched on in one of my last posts, and it's always good for me to hear encouraging words from people, especially when I don't feel like they are forced.

I do get pretty insecure about my acting ability.  I know I can do it, considering I keep being cast, but when everyone around me is just so incredible, I start to feel inadequate.  This is no one's fault but my own.  I just internalize things, and trust me, being onstage is like putting all your insecurities right out in front of people.

Just like having a boss, the director is the person I aim to please while working on a show.  If he's happy with my performance, than I am, too.  At intermission the other night, as we were walking upstairs to the dressing rooms to prepare for Act 2, my director called me over and gave me a big hug and said how fabulous he thought one of my scenes was that day.  I honestly was thrilled and touched.  When someone says something like that to me, it's not that I want to be praised and to be told how wonderful I am, but when it comes completely unsolicited it just holds so much more wait and makes me feel that God is speaking through that person to my insecurity.  It's kind of like a, "hey, you got this.  I know you've been driving yourself nuts wondering if you're doing it right.  You're doing just fine."

I realized that I really do need to write those things down, not only because I am grateful to those who give me the encouragement, but because they are wonderful little reminders that I am loved and supported and at least somewhat capable of doing what I love.

Life is good, and it's good to document the all those things and to refer back to them.  We can get really mired down in the muck of life, so it's wonderful to have a physical reminder that we really do have a lot of good in our everyday lives.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week 11 in Review

Bam!  Another week in the books, all while spending my evenings at the theatre.  :-)  Our audiences have been spectacular!  I'm telling you, if you go to see a show, your response to the actors onstage definitely affects their energy and performance, as well.  I felt like my character really came to life on opening night, because our audience was just so responsive, I wanted to give them the best Annelle I knew how.

March 9 - Make
One of my goals this year is to get caught up on a lot of my scrapbooking, including using up most of my stash instead of buying a bunch of new things.  I just put in a Stampin' Up order for some fun new stamps... so obviously, I'm not doing too well in that area.

March 10 - Floral
Even though it's been getting warmer around here lately, there are still no flowers in the ground.  This prompt had to come from the basket of fabric flowers from the corner of my living room.

March 11 - Happy Place
By far, my happiest place is on the stage.  It can be incredibly nerve-racking, but it's so fun to entertain a crowd and make them laugh or cry.

March 12 - Details 
It's so wonderful to see the sun again. 

March 13 - Color
I love color!  It's all over my house, including almost exclusively red kitchen appliances.

March 14 - Favorite
My favorite thing to do over the last few weeks is to look down from the cats (i.e. catwalks) onto our awesome set for "Steel Magnolias".  It's just such an interesting perspective.

March 15 - Small
Just a small wine cork from my "Magnolia Gold" wine that my parents bought me for my opening night.

Well, I have a day and a half off from the show, as Mondays are "dark" in the theatre.  I'm not sure what to do with myself, but I'm sure I will find something.  Tonight, it's going to be watching Josh Groban on "Who Do You Think You Are".  Love that guy!