Sunday, May 27, 2012

My week in pics!

Had a pretty good week this week! It was my first full week without theater & it was nice. I love doing a show, but i definitely enjoy the time off, too!

On Tuesday I met up with a friend after work & we walked the lakes together!
It was HOT. (But not as hot as it is now! Yikes!)

On Thursday this doggie got groomed. He needed it, as you can see!
I love how he crosses his paws like that. Cutie!
I don't know why i never take "after" pics. Looks like he loses about 10 pounds just from a haircut! 

I also bought myself some lip gloss from work. It's called Mango Juice & I LOVE IT.

Here's another picture from Thursday morning. Two of my coworkers, Genia & Jamie. Jamie was getting all silly with her scarf. She's having a baby boy in June, so this week coming up is her last week with us & then she is going to be home - for good! She gets to be a stay-at-home mom! I am happy for her! But MAN, we are going to miss this girl BIG TIME!

Friday, this little beauty had her bone marrow transplant. I don't know if you saw this post, but she got sick and ended up having to have a transplant. Her little brother, Alex, was the donor. They both had their surgeries on Friday at St. Jude's & both were successful. She has 3 more sinus surgeries this week (one was today, one on Tuesday & one on Thursday), so please keep her & her family in your prayers!

Also on Friday, I met up with one of my favorite people for dinner! CHARLYNN!
I love this chic so much. You just don't even know! 

And then yesterday, I got to meet the almost two week old, Natalie Joy. Oh, dear. I was in HEAVEN. Total bliss. I really could have sat in that chair holding her all night. Not even kidding. She's so sweet. :)

So yeah. Great week. Even better weekend. And I'm off tomorrow! YIPEE!

Happy Weekend. xoxo

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Seek First

Sunday's sermon was really good, and it was one of those sermons that was not planned. You know... he had a different sermon planned. One with plenty of notes to accompany it. But then God spoke to him at the last minute and he jotted down a few verses on post-it notes, and spoke on something else entirely. 

I love when that happens.

Covenant Community Church

Pastor Jeff was very serious when he began to speak, explaining how this message was so heavy on his heart for us. And at the very beginning, as he was bringing up his main point of the message, what he said struck me. It convicted me, if I'm honest.

"Do not let your want & desire for certain things become greater than your desire for God." 

Later, he said it a different way: "Do not let your hunger for things become greater than your hunger for God." 

Hmmm.

There are some things I want really bad. Two things. One is material, one is far more important than that. I want them so bad, it hurts. I ache. I yearn. I cry. I beg & plead with God.

Do i want them more than i want GOD?

Well, I mean, when you say it like THAT... of course i want God. Of course I want him more than I want these other things. I mean...right?

But i have even been angry with him at times for not giving me what i am asking for. For giving these things to EVERYONE ELSE but me. "Hello, God? Seriously? PLEASE!! You know how much I want this. You know how much I need this. You said ask, seek, knock & it will be given to us!" and so on & so forth.

"Do not let your want & desire for certain things become greater than your desire for God."

It's not something I've ever thought about before. Me & God, we're good. We're close. I love Him. I know He loves me. But my prayers these days have definitely been me asking & begging & praying for these things. More than asking for Him to draw me closer to him. To do whatever it takes in my life to bring me closer to Him. To light me on fire for Him. To help me shine for Him.

Because my vision is so clouded by these other things i WANT. And seriously, I'm not talking about little things. I'm talking about very important things. I am not trying to say that my wants & desires are insignificant. They're not, and that's not the point.

The point is, what does he want from me? What is he asking me to do with my desires? I think he is wanting me to put them aside. To desire HIM. To hunger for HIM. And i shouldn't be afraid to do this. He has always proven faithful. He has always had my back. He has always answered my prayers, even if, at the time, I thought he was late on fulfilling these requests! He still answered them, and it turned out that His timing was a whole lot better than mine.

 My wishes & dreams & desires? Or my walk with God? My relationship with God is most important. He is the one who has saved me from so much. He is the one who turned all of my depression, self-hate, gloom, loneliness, & despair into total utter JOY. He is the one who brought peace in my life. And he is the one who is Faithful. Who has ALWAYS come through for me.

A few days after this sermon, i was driving home & was thinking about what our pastor said. I was thinking about it again, it just kept going through my head. "Do not let your hunger for certain things become greater than your hunger for God." And i was suddenly brought back to when i was in my late teens or early twenties. My youth pastor was ministering to me. He gave me a word of knowledge. And it included a certain Bible verse. I guess i bring up my youth pastor saying this verse to me even though I have read this verse a million times, because i just hear his voice in my head saying it to me,

"Relentlessly pursue the vision & the call. The Bible says, "Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, THEN ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED UNTO YOU."

To let go of my desires in order to put my desire for God FIRST... it seems scary. Like by letting go, i won't receive those things. But God knows my needs. He knows my desires. And He is faithful. He is not going to not answers my prayers! And you know... this doesn't mean i will stop praying for them. It just means that I will seek God, too. I will seek Him FIRST.

So interesting and comforting to read the verse in its context.

I hope this speaks to you as well.

Matthew 6:25-33

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, or what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much  more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you - you of little faith? 

So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


Do not let your hunger for things become greater than your hunger for God. Seek Him FIRST.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This took me way too long... :o)

I saw this on Tricia Nae's blog (one of my new favorite bloggers) yesterday & wanted to join in!

A little late to the party, is that okay?!





Tricia found it from Jenn, the host of this link up. Jenn has a really cute blog. Check it out! 
 
CURRENT BOOK
I'm reading this -
- and I'm not really enjoying it all that much. This is one of my favorite authors, and it was the only book by her I hadn't read, so naturally i snatched it up. Kind of disappointed. I will finish it. I'm almost there. But we have a Barnes & Noble date tomorrow, so I can't wait to pick up something new to read!

CURRENT PLAYLIST
I just keep Pandora going on my iPhone at work, and I love it. I don't have the playlist per se, just all the songs Pandora chooses. I just do the quick mix, and my radio stations are: Adele, Mandisa, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, Kari Jobe, Bethany Dillon, Sara Bareilles, Haley Reinhart, Crystal Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Nichole Nordeman, Alicia Keys, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, Footloose Radio, I Wanna Dance With Somebody Radio, Broadway Radio....

From all of these, i get a pretty amazing playlist. 

Although the fact that i like Alicia Keys makes Pandora think i like rap? Um, no. 

Also, I had to delete my Chris Daughtry station, because no matter how many times i did a "thumbs down" to Nickelback songs, they STILL played Nickelback. Um, seriously? NO. 

Oh, but i do love Pandora. It's wonderful! 

CURRENT COLOR
I like fuschia & aqua

And orange. And yellow. And pink. And gray. 

But right now, mostly fuschia & aqua. Together.

CURRENT FOOD
I had boudin balls with dinner and they were amazing!

CURRENT FAVORITE SHOW
Oh, y'all. I love me some Grey's Anatomy. Just finished Season 8 last night. I think i have to wait until SEPTEMBER for next season?! Oh, dear.

I am going to miss Lexie, though...**Spoiler Alert** please do not kill me, i know that wasn't enough warning, but i'm pretty sure if you are into Grey's, you already saw the finale. Wikipedia spoiled it for me, so...

CURRENT NEED
a massage
a clean house
a pedi
a car wash
(those are my top four wishes right now.)

CURRENT BANES OF MY EXISTENCE
my alarm clock
stupid rules 

CURRENT CELEBRITY CRUSH
Pretty much anyone on Grey's, but mostly Dr. Callie Torres 
 
I just love her. Fun fact. According to Wikipedia...know how Sara Ramirez (aka, callie, above) got on Grey's? The ABC producers saw her on Broadway in Spamalot. They loved her performance so much that they offered her a role on any ABC show she wanted. She chose Grey's. Being that my first love is theater, i just think that is pretty cool! 

I also have a celebrity crush on everyone else on Grey's. 

I am so sorry for all the talk on Grey's. As I said, i saw the finale last night so it's still in my brain. 

CURRENT #1 BLESSING
THIS MAN, RIGHT HERE
CURRENT INDULGENCE
Tonight, it was coffee... my throat hurts! :(

And also, these. Um...they were supposed to be a part of a gift. I cannot be trusted.

CURRENT OUTFIT
Well, it's 11 pm. So, grey t-shirt & pink/green striped pj pants. COZY.

CURRENT EXCITEMENT
Off work on Monday!!
Beaux Arts Ball next Saturday!!

CURRENT MOOD
I'm getting verrrry sleepy

CURRENT FAVORITE QUOTE OR BIBLE VERSE
"The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

CURRENT WISH LIST ITEM
besidestheobviouslikeahouseandababy

A massage.
I could also use a new purse & some cute shoes!
A vacation, too. That would be nice!
You can always check out my pinterest "wish list" board. I don't mind.

CURRENT FAVORITE PRODUCTS
There are some perks to working at Aveda.
I love the Smooth Infusion shampoo & conditioner.
But i recently got their Rosemary Mint Hand & Body wash. I am obsessed with it. It smells SO GOOD!

And after a very long time of searching for the right mascara, i have found it in Mary Kay. I kid not. Thanks to my sister-in-law, i discovered the best mascara EVER. I love it.

And my favorite lipstick is Clinique. Bamboo Pink. LOVE!

* * * * * * * 

Alright now. Time for bed. Happy weekend. :)

Just a little Q & A



Just felt like answering some questions for ya!

FIVE QUESTION FRIDAY
Link up here!

1. Are you a napper? 

Yes. Yes, indeed. I am not one of those people who cannot take naps. A one hour nap for me can cure a bad mood, make a headache go away, or give me just enough energy to make it through the rest of the day. 

2. What was your favorite subject in school? Most hated?

Favorite: English & musical theater in high school. Psychology & Speech in college.

Least Favorite: Science & math in high school. Science & Math in college.

3. Did you have the something new, old, borrowed, blue at your wedding? What were they?

New was my dress. 
Old was my late papaw's hankie, wrapped around my bouquet. 
Borrowed was my jewelry, from my sister. 
Blue was some cute little decals on my shoes. :)


4. What one thing are you determined to do this summer?

Just enjoy it!? Maybe find a pool?! We can't go to the beach or anything this year... I haven't accrued any vacation time at my job. I knew i wouldn't be going anywhere this summer, but just in the last few days i've been bummed about it. CRAVING a road trip to the beach or something!! Oh-well. I definitely have a fun June ahead! :)

5. Ice cream or popsicles? 

Snowballs. :)

source

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bittersweet

Well, the show is over & that's always a little bittersweet.

I was SO ready for it to end, just because of all of the craziness we endured, but today am kind of feeling like something is missing. I don't usually feel like that. I'm usually just OVER IT by the time I get to the last show! But this one was just a great experience. Very trying, at times, but very rewarding in the end.

I don't really feel like doing the show again... but i will definitely miss working with this group of people!

I am so proud of how my crew came together & made the impossible happen. And the cast was a joy to work with... no tempers or attitude problems or diva-like behavior. Just good people! And good comedy on the stage, it was a fun show to get to see every night!

This was my facebook status after I got home from the cast party last night.



And then, yes, I began to tag every person involved with the show. :) Such love for this cast & crew!

I just could NOT have done it without such a fantastic backstage crew & production team. 

But life goes on & I am excited for what is to come! Lots of fun scheduled for June!!

 The cast in costume before our last performance

With my most favorite director to work with, Keith :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oh, the beauty of live theatre...

Um...yeah. 

All i can say is... I have never been MORE ready for a show to end! 

That sounded mean, but i think even my awesome assistant, Emily, will understand where i am coming from! It's just that this has been a little stressful! The rehearsal process was great, tech week went fairly smoothly, but the actual run of the show (which is normally where you just slide into autopilot - if such a thing exits in theatre) has been crazy! 

This might be easier to understand in list format. 

First, let me say that for most shows, I don't need too many people backstage. I like stage managing plays as opposed to musicals. No music means not as many light & sound cues (and no curtain/turntable ones). UM, except for this show! GEEZ!! It's pretty tech-heavy. VERY tech-heavy. So i NEEDED crew people for this one. I needed 6, MINIMUM. 7 would have been great; 6 was like - "So, you will be killing yourselves to get this to come together, but it's possible". So here's how it all went down...
  • Backstage Crew #1 dropped out of show (tech week).
  • Backstage Crew #2 (the one who took 1's place) fractured her collarbone (the day of opening night).
  • Backstage Crew #3 (who was actually there to do hair & makeup) volunteered to cover crew #2's stuff until she came back.
  • Backstage Crew #2 returned but had new conflicts...could only work 3 more days of the run. 
  • Backstage Crew #3 said she would cover all shows that #2 would not be available for (i do not know what we would have done without #3!).
  • Backstage Crew #4 - who had been planning to not be there Friday since the beginning because of a prior commitment - the sub I had for her since the beginning - called to say she had strep throat & couldn't make it. 
  • I called EIGHT people to sub for Backstage Crew #4 - NONE of them could do it! Backstage Crew #3 assured me she could do #4's stuff AND #2's stuff - with help from the rest of the crew. Yikes, but what else can we do?!
  • Backstage Crew #5 - my ASM - called me Thursday to say she would still come but was SICK. VERY SICK. I am not even going to tell you how sick or you may think i'm awful for making her come! But can i just say i am SO THANKFUL she came?! I can't exactly do the show without her! And I had already called everyone i knew to sub, and no one was available (we are in the month of GRADUATION, as it turns out!).
  • Sound Guy did not show up on Thursday night. I realized this later than i should have - 15 minutes till show time - & gave him a call. He had a root canal & couldn't make it. I might have had a small panic attack! He thought that this other guy was coming. Um...that guy's CAR CAUGHT ON FIRE so he couldn't make it! 
  • After a frantic phone call & a few frantic texts, i got an "i'm on my way" from the director. And he ran sound & will continue to for the rest of the run. I really thought I was going to have to run sound in addition to calling cues. I was not really prepared for this with 10 minutes notice! (I would have done it anyway - but i am pretty sure it would have been a disaster!)  
Do you see what I mean??? 

So i love this show. I love sitting in the light booth with Ms. Ellen, and watching the VERY TALENTED cast on stage. I love laughing when crazy things happen! I love hearing the audience crack up! And i have never been MORE PROUD of my crew members who have worked their booties off & who have pulled together & made the magic happen - even when it seemed impossible. They have been EXCELLENT!

But am i ready for this one to be over? 

YES. 

Yes, indeed. 

So. Tonight we have a show! And since i have everything covered now, it will be FINE. :) Tomorrow we have a matinee.  Then strike. And then the cast party! 

And then a break. 

Ahhhhh.

 My ASM, Emily - who came sick so that the show wouldn't fall apart. :) She even wore a mask to protect us from germs! HA! (Love you, girl!)

 From my view - in the light booth

 My script & my cues!

Me & Ronald, pre-show on Friday. Ha!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just some random thoughts for you.

Today I openly judged a mom for not having her children (three of them, under three years old) in car seats. Not even in seatbelts, mind you. No, they were standing up and walking around the floorboard of the backseat. I seriously have no tolerance for this. It makes me angry. There is no excuse to be driving without your child restrained. I am sure everyone reading this post would agree with me! And when i say "openly judged", i just mean that i happened to pull up next to her car at a red light. So i turned and looked at the kids in the backseat & then looked at her. My face was not judgy at all, i was pretty neutral, but i did look. And she let out a string of profanity! At me! I mean... guilty conscience, much? 

If you know me, you know i am really one of the LEAST judgemental people you will ever meet. I just can't deal with moms who do not protect their children. PUT YOUR KID IN A CARSEAT! Seriously!

* * * * * * * 

You know that beautiful song in the movie, A Walk to Remember? It's called Only Hope? Mandy Moore sings it. Such a beautiful song. If you listen to the words, you'll see that it's a worship song. Anyway, Brad is playing it for a wedding in June. So he just started practicing. So i'm hearing that all the time. And you know what? I will never get sick of it! I LOVE IT! :)

* * * * * * * 

Having a good week at work so far. Thanks again for praying for me!

* * * * * * * 

Kind of confused about where I am in Grey's Anatomy! I thought I caught up but i realized that i watched only half of season 8 & the other half played this year?! I could have been watching that! Argh!! Love that show! 

* * * * * * 

My mom called today. She is packing & heading to Mississippi to help her sister put my Meemaw (their mom, my grandma) in a nursing home. It's time, really. It's been time, honestly.  There have been some issues lately that are causing this to come to pass now. Please pray for my mom & aunts if you think about it! It's going to be tough for all of them & I can't imagine that Meemaw will be happy about this. :( Thank you!!

 * * * * * * * 

In happier news, my good friends Adam & Katie had their baby girl early early this morning! Her name is Natalie Joy & I cannot wait to meet her!

* * * * * * *

Hope your week is going well!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tried & True: Recipes we've loved from Pinterest

This is totally a copycat blog post. My friend Linds (who i actually got to meet in real life - and LOVE her!) recently wrote a post of the same title & it was good to see what she had tried off of Pinterest! Some of them I had already pinned, but had yet to try so it was nice to hear what i should DEFINITELY do, and what isn't really worth my time. Check out her post here!

So here are some recipes I have tried from Pinterest!

Side note: If you are not on Pinterest, let me know & I will invite you. Please don't think it is another thing to waste your time with. It's a plethora of ideas all in one place & if you're adamant that you don't need one more thing, then get rid of facebook & get a Pinterest. I think it would be well worth the trade-off! (Not that I have given up Facebook. It's a love/hate relationship, though, and if something had to go, it wouldn't be Pinterest!)

ANYWAY. 

Low-Carb Chicken Enchilada Bake: Two thumbs WAY up!




This is hands down one of the absolute best recipes I've tried on Pinterest - and super easy! I'm wondering why i haven't made it a second time yet!! I think I will have to do that soon! Very very good.

Cucumber, Tomato & Feta Salad: Two thumbs up!



I made this last year for a reunion and it was gone in no time! It was very good & several people commented on how delicious it was. :) Pretty tangy...but good! :)

Crockpot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup: Two Thumbs WAY up!



I know it's summer time, and the idea of making soup anytime soon doesn't seem likely, but y'all. I can't do this post without this soup. I have made it several times now, and even brought it to a family recently. I've served it to dinner guests too. EVERYONE has absolutely loved it so far. It's Brad's favorite & he says it's better than La Madeline's (I wouldn't say THAT...not better, just different!). 

Crockpot Chicken Tacos (or as i call it, Salsa Chicken): Two thumbs up!!!



This is the best thing EVER for a simple easy lunch. Buy taco toppings you like (we use shredded cheese, guacamole, lettuce & sour cream). Throw boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot, along with salsa & a little taco seasoning. When it's done cooking you just shred the chicken with a fork, put it in a wrap (or with chips as my husband likes it!) & top with your favorite toppings. SO GOOD & SO EASY! I do this now to just have on hand - it's an easy lunch to pack for work!

Rolo Cookies: Two thumbs up!!



If you need a dessert to take to an event, this is the one to make. They were super easy to make (4 ingredients) & they were a big hit at the dinner we went to! Everyone was like "who made these cookies?!?" & they were GONE before any other dessert. Great choice because it is different but still quick & easy to do! They're also pretty. :)

* * * * * * 
 
Well, these are my favorites, and I am inspired to try some more soon!! Be sure to check out Lindsey's post, too! What have you tried & loved from pinterest?! :) 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The weekend is here!!

Well, I am just so thankful that i had 3 good days in a row! Whew! Thanks again to those who prayed for me! I think i was at the end of my rope & I needed just a few good days!! 

We're back into another weekend of shows & it is going well. The review was OKAY... not as good as I was expecting... but the audiences are still LOVING it, and that's all that really matters. The reviewer had a lot of good to say, and he even mentioned me (by name!) & said the stage crew deserved a bow - I've never had a reviewer mention us, that i can remember? So that was cool. He just said a lot that i totally disagree with, too! Oh-well. As mom always says, "That's just one guy's opinion!"

Today we have two shows. Ack. Kill me now. ;) Really it'll be fine. Just a long day. But we'll go out to eat together between shows & that's always fun! 

 Ronald & Erica in costume before the show 

 Amy & Emily - two of our backstage crew - being silly pre-show.

Next weekend is the last weekend of the show. And I'm ready for a break!

* * * * * * 

Last night we had a mini-date. 

Mini-Date: a date squeezed in between work & theater! :) 

The expression on my face is due to me being afraid i would drop my phone. It was easier to hold with my old iphone cover!

* * * * * * 

In other news...

I read two posts lately that really meant a lot to me & I want to share. 

The first is a tragic story, so brace yourselves. The backstory: One of my very good theater friends moved to NYC awhile back & is there pursuing her dreams. She writes here & here & you should check her out, because she is wonderfully funny & it's fun to read about her adventures! Well, she recently wrote this post telling about how her friend there was raped there in a NYC taxi cab. (Sorry. I told you to brace yourself.) 

Well, her friend is now blogging. I hopped on over to her blog & I have to tell you... i was just amazed to read her story & how God is changing her life through this. You would think after this happened, she would not want anything more to do with God. But she has run TO His loving arms & He is doing a work in her life. Please check out her blog, you will be glad you did. She has only written two posts so far. The first tells what happened & the second one is ... well, it made me cry. In a good way. 

* * * * * * 

I also wanted to share this post with you. Angel is a friend, I met her through my husband as his family has known her family for years & many of them were at our wedding. I love reading her blog. Angel's son Jude is a sweetheart, and he has a rare genetic abnormality. She wrote this post the other day & I thought it was beautiful. It is her response to someone's comment about sweet Jude. I love how it is said with no resentment or bitterness at all towards this person. Just honestly expressing what Jude has meant to them. I could say more, but just read it. It's beautiful and well-written.

* * * * * * * 
Saving the exciting news for last! :) 


I also must share with you that my friend Laura's husband wrote a children's book!! Laura is one of my very best friends and i am so excited for them! It is a great book about a daddy's love for his children & how no matter what they do, he will always love them. Sound like someone else you know? Yes, it also has that deeper message of God's love for us. Good stuff. Check it out! I can't wait to buy a copy!

* * * * * * * 

Well, that's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

just a few pics...

So....there are all these pictures - mostly from my phone - that I have yet to share with you! 

So, here you go! 

But if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen them. Sorry! :)
(And if you don't, do! My user name is Lissaraye33.) 


1. Date night with hubby not too long ago at Bistro Byronz. The weather was nice so we sat on the patio. I love that place! Too bad it's too hot now... 

2. It's a button i got that day from work! It's to promote our new product, and the button says "LESS STRESS, MORE LOVE"! I mean... really? I wear this to work daily now...and i will long after we are promoting this product. I like the motto. HA!

3. Pretty water...haha.

4 & 5. Me & my love!

 
Did i show you my new iphone cover???? It's so stinkin CUTE!!!! :) I love it. 


This is a mini-date with my love. :) He's so sweet to me.

Well, there you go! Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Good day.

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who prayed for me after reading my last post. 

I had a much better day today. 

MUCH. BETTER.

And i really appreciate your prayers & sweet comments. :)

Whew! It was just in time, too, because i was at the limit! I needed just ONE GOOD DAY! (Although I hope tomorrow is good also!)

God knew what I needed. And me being mad at him? Well, he didn't hold that against me. ;)

Seriously, I appreciate your prayers. I could feel them. 

I'm not saying things are perfect. And if you think of me tomorrow, please pray for me again!

Today went well... and when i got back from running some work errands, a student ran up to me & gave me a gift card to Smoothie King! 


 It is really important for me to have breakfast, but here lately I haven't had any time to make anything & we're out of granola bars. When this happens, i run to Smoothie King on my daily work errands run. Their Lean One is pretty decent as far as carbs go (unlike everything else on their menu!). Anyway, I have been trying not to do that lately because it's not good on the budget! So to get a gift card there was a sweet surprise indeed.:) She was basically thanking me for putting up with her... but she's a joy anyway because she is HILARIOUS & always cheers me up!

So it's been a good day. And i just wanted to let you know. xoxo


Sunday, May 6, 2012

BRLT's The 39 Steps!!

So, I've been very busy with a show these days. I'm stage managing The 39 Steps, which is a spoof of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film. We have been pretty much non-stop in rehearsals for two weeks. Well, months, but 2 weeks without a night off! I kept thinking... if i could just make it to opening night... i will survive! Well, i made it! It came very quickly! And it's pretty much smooth sailing from here on out! (Knock on wood!)

The show is HILARIOUS. So fun. Lots of work! But I am so glad to be a part of it.

This promo is about 30 seconds long. Watch it! It will make my day!



Yes! 4 actors. 150 characters. It is GREAT FUN. I am loving doing a show with these four actors, too. They are all doing a fantastic job, and there are times where I am laughing so hard I can hardly contain myself. HYSTERICAL. They are each very talented & I wish every one of you could see it. My parents actually came today & loved it! And Brad can't stop talking about how funny it was!

Albert, Erica, Ronald & Robby

I love each one of these. They're all very easy to work with & very down to earth. I have worked with Albert & Ronald many, many times. Ronald & I were in my first show together & we hit it off immediately. I have worked with Robby some, too...he is a great guy with a great family. I have his son Elijah & his sister Jessica working backstage! So that's kind of fun! :) I've never worked with Erica, but I am enjoying getting to know her during this show. She went to my high school but she was a junior when i was a little freshman! And her last show (before this one) was the show right before my FIRST show.. so we haven't had the opportunity to work together until now. Each one of these actors brings so much to the table. They make it so enjoyable!

 Me & my ASM, Emily

My crew? Wow. I am so, so proud of them. My friend Emily is my Assistant Stage Manager. She's done crew before, but she's never worked as ASM or SM. She is usually found ON the stage, but she was interested in learning how to work behind the scenes. She is doing a great job, and I honestly COULD NOT do this show without her. At all. Stage Managers have to "call the show" - meaning, say things like "Standby, lights..." and then at the right time "...lights, GO!" & then the lightboard operator will hit the button for the next light cue to go. There are 90-something light cues! Not to mention the fly's (curtains) going in & out or the turntable! And shadow puppets. Yes, this is the craziest show I've ever done. 

So Emily is basically calling the fly cues & making sure those set changes go smoothly, so i can focus on things like sound & lights! She is doing an awesome job!

Some of my crew: Elijah, Jennifer & Amy!

The rest of my crew? Well. This is their first time to work backstage. And I am just amazed at how well they're doing. They (and Emily, of course) fit right in & once they got the hang of everything, I have not had to worry about a thing! So thankful & so proud! I am enjoying to get to know them, too. Now, Amy (far right) & I have been friends for years... I was in desperate need of crew & I recruited her. And i am thrilled to get to hang out with her & to have her as a part of the BRLT family. She's enjoying it, too!

So we have had rehearsal every night without a break for two weeks. A week. Then tech rehearsal last Saturday. Then another couple of days. And then preview, pay-what-you-can, and opening night. I finally got to relax ALL DAY yesterday until last night's performance. There was a matinee today. 

AND NOW...not another show until Thursday. :) 

Glad for the break! 

So ... that's where I've been! And hey! Come see the show if you're in town & are able!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Church-hopper"

Church-hopper.

Have you ever heard the term? I've heard it a lot. It is said as a negative thing. A bad thing.

I admit, I have used it against people before. In the past, I have called people "church-hoppers". 

Oh, the horror.

My fear is being called a church-hopper. 

But here we are, hopping to another church.Only... not REALLY. Not in a bad way.

This is the thing. All my life, I have been very faithful in church attendance. As a baby, we went to Zoar. My parents started going to Cornerstone when i was very little (preschool age, I think) & I was there until age 9. We moved to Central then & I began attending Victory Academy... and that's when we started to attend the Victory church, too. I went there from age 9 or 10 until I was 26 years old. I was very faithful, there every time the doors were open. My parents started going to Covenant when i was about 17 or so, I'm guessing...  but i stayed where i was. I knew God had put me there, He was doing amazing things in my life there. I was growing in my faith by leaps and bounds. I volunteered most of my time there as a youth leader. And later a youth advisor. Which is basically the same thing, except advisors were older and have more responsibilities. 

It was all very good. I had some great friends, some amazing mentors, I left church with pages of notes from sermons and with a joyful heart. Good times. Honestly, I thought it was the perfect church. And it was pretty near it, but as we all know, there is no such thing as a perfect church. People are involved, after all. ;)

So things change, and in 2006, our church split. It was kind of awful. Everyone ended up at some sort of crossroads. Some people stayed at Victory. Some left to go to a new church being started by our youth pastor. That is what I intended to do. But somehow, i found myself at HeartsEase. And God spoke to me through the pastor there by saying, "Welcome home." More to it than that, but he looked me in the face in front of everyone and said those words and i will never forget it. I was SO conflicted about what to do, where to go, i wanted to go to the new church being started, but i was feeling like God was leading me to HeartsEase. And I needed confirmation. I asked God for wisdom, for confirmation, for something to show me I was in the right place. And God gave it to me, clear as a bell. I stayed there for the next 3 years. I got very involved with the worship team, and so did Brad once we got together. I am still in touch with friends from there, i LOVE the pastor, the people, everything. I cannot explain why, but at some point we realized it wasn't the right place for us anymore. And so we left. We began to look for the right church for us.

Since that time, we have been in a constant state of confusion about where to go to church. We visited a few places, but none of them seemed right. After awhile, it got old. I didn't want to visit another new church. It was a little scary! We ended up not going at all for awhile. Miss so many church services and you will begin to get used to your nice relaxing sunday mornings! Haha. We grew comfortable with that...until my heart began to ACHE because i missed gathering together with other believers each week. Worshiping together and listening to the sermon. We finally decided to just go back to the church I went to for so many years. Victory. I liked a lot about it. It had been five years since the split, and it was good to go back & see some friends I hadn't seen in so many years. Plus, there were lots of new faces, too. I had missed Pastor Terry's teaching. And it didn't hurt that I got to see three of my besties every week now!

But even then, I never felt like God led us there. It's almost like we wrote some church names on slips of paper & drew a name! We just had to PICK A CHURCH already! And so we did. I don't think anything is wrong with this. And I don't think I should feel guilty about being in limbo for awhile. This wasn't an instance of us not walking with God. We were just not sure where to go next, and we were trying to find our place. So we have been at Victory, somewhat sporadically. Enjoying the people, enjoying the pastor, but never feeling like it was necessarily our place. We were done searching for the right church for us, though. We were content to just keep going to Victory. I told God months ago that if he had somewhere else for us, to tell us so we could go there. Otherwise, we would stay at Victory. It's a good place to be.
 
Maybe you think that if God was telling us that it was time to move on from HeartsEase, then he would have had another place waiting for us. Maybe so. But I don't think that our short time at Victory was not a good thing. I got close to some friends that I had been missing awhile. And I got to know some new people, too. And there are some sermons I heard that truly changed my way of thinking, for the better. Nothing is wasted.


So. On Easter Sunday, we went to church with my parents. Just because it was Easter and we wanted to be with family. We fully intended on going back to Victory the following Sunday. Making Covenant our church home wasn't something we were thinking about, at all.  But something clicked on Easter Sunday. I have never wanted to go there before. It's the church my parents started going to when i was about 17. And it's where Brad grew up. I think my family either went there or visited there at some point, too, because i remember being there when i was itty bitty, with Brad's family. Anyway. Something clicked in that service on Easter Sunday. And it clicked for Brad, too. We talked about it the whole way home. I can't explain it but perhaps you know what i mean. We had found our place. And we have been going back ever since.

Every single day i think to myself, "I can't wait til Sunday." It's not that Covenant is "better" than Victory, or that Victory was "better" than HeartsEase. Certainly not! It's that we found where we belong.

I have learned that church-hopping is OKAY, if you are just an honest genuine christian trying to find your place. It's OKAY, y'all. What is not okay is leaving where God brought you just because someone offends you. THAT is probably a better definition of the word "church-hopping". Everyone knows that i am not easily offended at ALL. Nothing happened at Victory or HeartsEase to offend me. I was just searching for home. And we have found it. And we are very very thankful.

:)