Friday, August 16, 2013

The Most Me

I wrote a post here in July of 2011. I was in a place of wanting to figure out myself and what I wanted out of life on a deep level.

From Spring 2011 onward, I went through about 10 months of lots of soul searching, lots of guilt, and feeling pulled in so many different directions. I wanted to figure out what truly made me happy and what made me feel the most "me." I had reached a point where my faith did not sit right with me anymore and I wanted to live a life without that to see how that felt. I can only say all of things because this has been something I have been really thinking about over the past two years and I now feel compelled to say it out loud---via the blog world.

The worst part of this choice is I felt estranged from everyone for quite some time. My family was always my family and accepted me as such. But, when I ventured away from strict Christianity, I felt guilty if I talked to any of those former friends, and I just wasn't ready to have any of "those" conversations.  Consequently, those friendships vanished. I had to start from scratch, which was lonely. It felt awkward for a long time--like I was in limbo between my former self and who I was becoming. I

I now no longer feel like my former self and "what I was becoming" are two separate worlds. I've begun to connect with a few old friends again because I finally feel right in my own skin. I feel like myself and I can finally talk about it. I still feel like I may disappoint people or draw uncomfortable comments/conversations. I will never be "okay" with that fact, but I am comfortable enough because I have finally gained enough confidence in myself. 

I cannot say I have it all figured out in the least, but I feel happier in the process. I am figuring out my spirituality and faith day-by-day as I continue to strive for what makes me feel the most "me." Looking back on that quote I posted 2 years ago, speaks volumes to what I've been doing over the past 2 years--letting go of the life I had planned in order to figure out what is ahead of me. It's that simple.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Life Update 4.5: Sister's Wedding #2

When I got home for the wedding (a mere week before the big event), I found out that my sister had planned just about ZERO decorations for all the extra tables at the reception. Cards, gifts, guestbook, cake...all the extra junk. 

Over the months leading up to the wedding, my sister kept complaining about how my mom kept buying "unnecessary" paraphernalia for the wedding. {Something very characteristic of my overly prepared mother.} I got to play the middleman as they complained commented about each other. Oh, the joys that can only come from a sister's wedding.

Nevertheless, we barely had anything left after decorating for the rehearsal dinner {that my sister casually asked my mom to do the DAY before} and planning for misc. reception tables.

....that awkward moment when your mom reminds you that she is a genius and always right....yet again....

Fortunately, I was there to save the day with my creative flair (utilizing a majority of the "unnecessary" stuff my mom bought). I don't have the final pictures of the decor, but here is a little taste. Also, a link to the post of Shutterfly guestbook I had to have rush delivered for her special day! 

Sign for guest book and ceremony seating

This banner hung on the mirror above the gift table
{Mom, I realize you did most of the work on all the decorations, but I like to continue to take credit when it's not my own---just to keep up with tradition}

The sisters & mama before she walked down the aisle
It was a beautiful wedding with great touches added by my intelligent, hilarious, creative sister. She even had my oldest sister perform with her modern dance group!  Hair, make-up, and spray tan brought to you by my sister's pocketbook--beauty care is always best when paid for by other people.

I, of course, cried through my maid of honor speech--yet totally nailed the jokes. VERY proud of myself to this day because I'm terrible at public speaking.  We danced to a live jazz band and I successfully got Jaylen (my 5 year old niece) to dance with me. You can check out real photos from the night via the photographer's website. 

Dancing, drinks, family, and celebration = a perfect affair.

My snookered sister at the end of the night...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Life Update 4: Sister's Wedding #1

One of the most exciting events of the past year has been my sister's wedding.

I got to play maid of honor...which honestly didn't require much work. I still feel guilty by the fact that I didn't do much. I blame it on the fact that I live all the way up in Seattle AND was in my first year of insanity teaching.  Other times I like to tell myself that my sister is just a very independent and decisive person who likes to make decisions for herself. The jury is still out on this one....

I did get to plan her bachelorette party that ended up being perfect for her. {I'll happily pat myself on the back for this one since it was a surprising success.} Good to know I actually know my sister pretty well.  Here's the invite made on Tiny Prints--the printing website I like to use when I am willing to pay a little extra for cute and high quality items.

This format worked perfectly as people could casually linger in for drinks or choose to join later in the night. Or--for the lesser friends--choose to leave early {BOO!}. This allowed for more people to join and for the right people left at the end.

We started at one of her favorite places for drinks then headed over to Famous Dave's for some BBQ. Being theatre folk, all of her friends had great movie choices as gifts for Alyssa. Surprisingly enough, she didn't get any doubles OR movies she already owned! I wish I took pictures of the goody bags I made, but they included these sunglasses. My mom questioned this purchase, but as you can see I hit a homerun among her friends...

We ended the night at a live improv show. My sister has been involved in theatre since she could talk and used to coach a teen improv group, so it seemed appropriate. Luckily, she has some loud great theatre friends and drank just enough liquid confidence to end up on stage as part of a skit. She turned into an actress even on her walk to the stage....

It was an amazing night with my sister and a great start to my week home for the wedding. I attended a few kickboxing classes with her over the week that thoroughly kicked my butt... However, I learned how exhilarating it was to punch and kick something--definitely some anger management I'll use during the school year. 

Come back tomorrow for pictures and details about the wedding and reception!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Life Update 3: New Creations

I've made a handful of random things over the past two years. Here is yet another review with pictures...please excuse the fact that I obviously don't have an expensive camera or quality photography skills.

Clock for my classroom

Chocolate Whoopie Pies - Superbowl 2012
Bacon covered cheese ball made for Superbowl 2013

A few cards I made this summer. I LOVE to make homemade cards and definitely need to tap into this creative part of myself more often. It's so exciting to pop these in the mail and send my creation to someone special.
Very excited about this one. Picture & quote display in my studio apartment.
I call it my Happiness Wall

Far away view. Excuse the mess & the poor photo quality...

Wall Display made of shoe boxes, a lid, & some scrapbook paper--displays my items collected from traveling

Alcohol Bouquet - August 2012

Close up of Connor's Birthday bouquet

Beer Cake - Connor's birthday 2012

One of my favorite people to make things for is Connor--of course {my dad is the 1st favorite though}.

I've made a few great cards and a "52 things I love about you" on the back of playing cards book that I definitely need to take pictures of...

Edward's Profile - Christmas 2012
Wine & Painting Class - December 2012