Thursday, May 23, 2013

Music Majors Go Hiking

So Hannah and I found out that Micah and Rachel had never been to Chilhowee let alone Benton Falls so we went on a hike there today. Hannah's birthday is the final day of our may session class so afterwards we plan on going again and finding the 100 foot waterfall that supposedly exists as well. It was perfect weather, and we also swam in the lake. It was so relaxing and just what I needed to calm me down before I leave for Chicago tomorrow.

Micah, Me, Rachel, and Hannah 

Bahahahah my favorite one of the day. 

Climbing Benton 

I am proud of these shots haha. 

Friends. :) 

Being silly. 

My personal favorite bahahah. 

Better werk.

I love having great girlfriends to adventure with!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? Thou Art Sweaty and Disgusting Please Go Away.

So after a nightmare of a day on my first day as a summer school student finding out I got a D in my theory class and having to drop my two summer classes cuz I was not longer able to take them unless I had a c minus or above, I joined music history which I was going to take this fall and am retaking theory 3 with a different professor in the fall instead.

This of course sets me back even more and to say I am pissed is an understatement. I feel my grade is unfair and I worked harder than almost everyone in that class. I just ugh. Right now I really hate college and feel like an idiot.

Thankfully my Music History class is right up my alley and Dr. Warner is restoring my faith in teachers. I had my first exam Tuesday and I did really well and I am loving the intimate class atmosphere with only Dr. Warner and 4 other students. I have two more weeks to go and then I am done with it! This Friday I leave for my dear friend Frank's wedding to his fiancee Tess in Chicago. Frank is the older brother of my best friend Jenna and our families have been close ever since I can remember. Today Frank graduated law school with his doctorate and now in a week he's getting married! As his "little sister" and close friend I am so proud of him and have marveled at how his life has just fallen into place. He is living proof to me that hard work and dedication pays off. I look up to him a lot. I know his road hasn't always been easy. Frank and Tess have asked me to sing Ave Maria at their wedding which I find amazing since they haven't even heard me sing!! I am a little nervous since I've never sang at a wedding before and I don't want to mess up their day, but I think it's going to be fine. I leave Friday, the wedding is Sat and Sunday I race home to continue class.

Summer school has been so great because my class runs from 1-3:30 M-Th and so I can sleep in and I have Fridays off, plus music and history? Two of my favorite things to study! Since I have had a lot of free time, I've spent a lot of time with summer school friends and such. Deon's roomate this past year Tyler is a good friend of mine and sadly is transferring to a school back in Florida. Since he was here for an extra week after Deon left, I hung out with him and finally completed some more things on my bucket list.

Every student at Lee has certain "Lee experiences" that you have to have done. Some of these are:

  • Going to Chilhowee (completed)
  • Swimming at the Blue Hole 
  • Climbing the library roof (completed)
  • Cliff jumping
  • Going to Mexiwings for Taco Tuesday (completed)
  • Going to Mtn View hotel to see the view (completed) 
  • Fountain hopping (completed)

Those are just a few of the things you experience being a Lee student. Since I had never climbed the library or the English building, Tyler and I did both of those things and ate Taco Bell up there lol. The English building is really high and a little scarier to climb but really fun! We took some pics. 

The view from the English building roof. 

Tyler and I

A few days later, my best friend Delanie showed up and spent 4 days with me. I have missed her so much I was so glad she came. We went and saw Gatsby (very good btw), and yesterday we spent the day with Millie in Chattanooga.



This one is my favorite!! 

Millie, Me, Delanie. 

It's been a great two weeks. I love summer school! I am ready to go home though and see my mom. :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

When We Criticize the Church

Readers (if anyone actually reads this blog),

I've been meaning to post, but I'm actually trying to have a life right now. :P  A lot has happened, and will be updating soon. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about this blog I follow called Recovering Grace. It's a blog where people write their experiences about growing up with the teachings of Bill Gothard, IBLP, ATI, and all that stuff. I went to a church and was surrounded by families that lived and breathed that stuff. My parent's never bought into it, but I got sucked in for a few years because all of my close friends influenced me that way without even trying. It's hard when you're a home schooled teenager surrounded by almost nothing but those controlling influences. It was really damaging to me in a lot of ways and I couldn't write my experiences with Gothard teachings in one blog post...that's a series for another day. What I will say is I believe his teachings are wrong, very damaging mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and I will never support them. If you want to know more about it, Recovering Grace is a great way to start.

Let me say that it's been a long journey and I've had to overcome a lot of anger about it. It still is a topic that can anger me, however I don't harbor any ill will to anyone I know who still follows those teachings. I know some of you do and this post will probably offend you and I'm sorry if it does, but I have to be honest and say how I feel about it. This doesn't mean we can't be friends! If people can't be mature and continue being friends despite their doctrinal differences then that's pretty sad. I know that it IS possible to be friends with someone even if you don't agree on the same things doctrinally. WOW!! Crazy right? ;)

Since going through everything that I did with Gothard (and believe me, I was one of the lucky ones), it really messed me up emotionally and it caused me to reject God and act in ways I regret and will never do again. Instead of his teachings drawing me nearer to God and reveling in His love and Words, it caused feelings of judgement, inadequacy, overwhelming fear, anxiety, pure isolation, depression, (all of which I am still dealing with today and considering getting counseling for), and instead of seeking out God myself and finding His will for me, it became about everyone trying to be my personal God and inform me how to live my life. That's putting it nicely and neatly. It's way more complex than that.

Since rejecting all of that once and for all when I was around 17, I've been studying up on it a lot and reading different peoples experiences (along with my mother,) and although I am at a Christian college I have had to completely start from scratch and try to figure out how I view God and what I believe without everyone's input on what I SHOULD believe. It's a slow road, but I know Jesus is at the end of it. This article perfectly sums up my journey and I thought it was very powerful. If any of you have been involved and left IBLP, Gothard, ATI any of that you will understand and identify I think with this article. Hope it blesses you. It was just what I needed to read.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Nails and Summer Resolutions

Yesterday morning I had to send Deon off back to Iowa. It really really sucks. I hate how far away from Iowa Pennsylvania is. I'm jealous he gets to go home though. I'm really ready, but I am stuck at Lee for another month for summer classes. We said a very long goodbye, and he gave me a cute little card that I keep reading over and over. I miss him tons already. I think he's going to be able to see me in July though so I just have to count down the days for that and shortly after that it will be time for school again.

This summer I have a lot of goals. I'll be working two jobs hopefully. One as a waitress at the Pineville Tavern, and another at Fire Creek Farm where I've been riding since I was a kid exercising horses. I also plan on going to the gym, exercising and trying to improve my HORRIFIC eating habits. I've gotten really unhealthy and it's taking a toll on me not to mention I've put on a lot of weight. Riding is going to help that alot along with getting to eat real meals lol.

I also plan on doing a lot of reading, continuing to practice my singing, going to the beach, seeing a few concerts, going to Bowmans tower, hanging out in New Hope and Princeton, and visiting the beach quite a lot. I'm determined to keep busy.

I was determined yesterday to not sit around being a cry baby and throwing pity parties for myself, so I went to the nail salon with my friend Amanda. I got fake nails that look like I had a french manicure done. I've never had fake nails before! It was def a guilty pleasure. Being a pianist, I was never allowed to have long nails and I always bit them off anyway. I love them!! So far I've been able to maneuver with them pretty well except when it came to opening a can of Mountain Dew. :P

Adventures at Chilhowee

So it was Nick and Deon's last day in Cleveland and we wanted to do something fun. We originally were going to go swim at the Lake, but we got there and it was a little overcast and cooler than we planned so we decided to drive up to Chilhowee. Chilhowee is the mountains that overlook Lake Ocoee. Nick has never been there. It's absoloutely gorgeous and only about 30 minutes from Lee maybe less. That's where a lot of us go for bonfires and stuff. As you drive up the mountain there are different viewpoints to stop at, so we did that and then near the top is a campground. We parked there because I knew there was a waterfall nearby I'd seen pictures people posted on facebook. We found the trail that led to Benton Falls and walked along it for about 3 miles. We got very hot and weren't even sure if we were on the right trail anymore when we suddenly heard the waterfall in the distance. We hurried the rest of the way down and came to it and WOW. Deon was the first one to see and just went: "Oh CAT LOOK!!!" haha I hadn't seen him so excited in forever.

It's a 65 foot tall waterfall and it's gorgeous! You can walk all around in it. The water  was a little chilly but not too bad. We took lots of pictures.

The first view from Chilhowee

Deon and I spent a whole afternoon reading here once. 

Second view 

We have pics here from a year ago before we were dating too. 


I love this pic I took of Nick haha. 

Nick and I

I look pooped...that's what finals does to you. It also makes you lose hair. 

At the top of the waterfall!

Benton Falls

Deon was excited haha

This is my fave pic of the day. ;) 

I'm a model and Nick is doing opera.

It was a perfect day and the best way to send off Nick. Deon was supposed to leave the next morning but by the time we made it back it was too late to move all his things into storage so I got him an extra day hehe.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

End of the year.

I am done my sophomore year of college. Although there were some definite major highlights like singing at the inauguration, NATS, passing my UDAE jury, and being in Ladies overall academically and emotionally this was the worst year for me in college yet. I'm pretty scared to get back my grades this semester. I'm sitting here in my almost empty room just reflecting. My suitemates and roommate already left. Lexi and I aren't living together next year sadly, but I am excited to be in an apartment dorm with Cynthia and Anna. I'm going to the lake today with Nick and Deon and maybe Tyler, and then Deon leaves tomorrow morning. Then I have 4 days of hanging out here in my dorm until I can move into summer housing to start summer classes.

   I felt like posting some pics of people who have really impacted me this past year. Warning: There will be LOTS of pics.

My Roommate this past year Lexi has been my rock. We may not have spent much time outside of the room together, but every night we filled each other in on our day and our struggles and our victories. She's been the one who has held me at 1 in the morning as I sobbed my heart out over heartbreaking news, she's been the one who prayed with me, brought me macaroni from Panera on bad days, wrote me encouraging notes, and always loved me. She has such a loving heart and she speaks the Lord's words to me all the time. He has really revealed Himself to me through her.
Lexi and I at Christmas.

That one semester Lexi tried to be a music major lol. 

Our first day of school. I was a lot thinner. :/


Halloween. A Kitty and a Mormon.

 One of my other best girlfriends who I have found to be always loyal and true who I can talk to about ANYTHING is Delanie. Delanie and I met freshman year and she was the girlfriend of a guy neither one of us is friends with really anymore haha. I didn't like her because she was quiet and shy and I mistook it for being a snob. Plus she was dating the guy I currently liked at the time which didn't help matters. Thankfully for me, I gave her a chance and she opened up more and more and then we became the best of friends. She's one of my few friends who is not a music major and I can't be more thankful that she's been so supportive of my choir concerts, and understanding about my crazy schedule. She willingly listens to me rant about school of music drama, boy problems, and my love for taco bell which she fondly calls Taco Hell. This past semester Delanie transferred to MTSU which is closer to her home. I miss her so incredibly much, but we text almost every day, skype, and she's planning on coming to visit while she's on summer break while I'm here doing May classes. She's really been with me through everything good and bad I've dealt with this year. I love her so much!
She had a leaf in her hair haha. 

Freshman year at midnight breakfast. This was when we were getting closer.

 And of course there is this one. My nutty boyfriend of almost a year. It's been quite a ride for us both. He's been my best friend, my chauffeur, my handyman, my nerd and my boyfriend. I'm not sure what God has in store for us for the future. We are taking a summer to think and pray over whether we should be together as a couple anymore. You see, I have a lot of personal problems I have been dealing with and he recently just shared some things with me that he's been through that I think he needs time to heal from. I am feeling like God is telling me that we are meant to only be friends during this period. It's a hard choice to make, but I pray that He gives us both direction and a peace. I hope and pray we end up together eventually, but maybe the timing isn't right. We both have a lot to work on first. Nothings been decided yet we are just taking time to reflect on it all. Either way we love each other and we will stay best friends no matter what. I love Deon for many reasons. I love him because he cries over chick flicks, I love him because he loves music just as much if not more than I do and wants to devote his life to it, I love him because he makes me a stronger, smarter, person who isn't willing to back down from problems, I love him because he stands up for me, I love him because I know he is loyal to me, I love him because of how he cracks up over the dumbest things and is so easily amused, I love how much he adores his cats and dog, I love how committed he is to me, I love how he puts up with me and doesn't want me to be anything other than who I am, I love him for his dark eyes, his hair that grows so crazy fast I feel like every 3 weeks we are getting him yet another hair cut, I love him for his voice, especially when he sings to me, I love him for his work ethic and his intelligence, he doesn't just believe what he's told he questions it and learns about it first before deciding to take it as his own doctrine, I love his passion for teaching and how futuristic he is in his planning. There's many things about him that drive me insane as well and many many things we both need to work on, but I hope that we can eventually be together as one and make a life together.
The day after I became his girlfriend. We went to the Omaha zoo with his family. 

Being reunited after a summer apart. 

At Ihop reuniting with our friends. 

I look hideous in this but it captures us perfectly. 

One of my favorite pics of him with one of his favorite things...a cat.

Heather was my Big Sister in Ladies of Lee this year. She's smart, sassy, hilariously funny, and a strong independent black woman who don't need no man. :p Whenever she knew I was really down, she was always there to encourage me or check on me and that means a lot. I know she's got a lot of stuff going on too and she IS one of the most popular ladies on our campus ;) but she always had time for me and to go get Hibachi or walking with me from class to class. We won't be in the same choir next year which saddens me, but I'm so excited to see where she goes and what she does in life. Love you girl!
In Chatt for a friends bday. 

End of freshman year at a bonfire.

Jessie lived across the hall from Lexi and I this past year and was also in Ladies with me. Jessie has a servant's heart. She's constantly mothering people, feeding them, cleaning up after them, or just being a shoulder for them to cry on. She is one of the most unselfish people I know and I adore her. She tells me all the time that she loves me and she prays for me and she's def been someone I've had a few late night heart to hearts with and she's just held me and prayed over me. That means so much. She's living with Lexi next year and we won't be in Ladies together anymore, but I hope we never lose our friendship.

She was Pippi Longstocking. 

I don't have many pics of Michael, but he's been one of my best guy friends this year. Michael has been through so much in his life and yet even though he's probably had it worse than a lot of us he gives all of his time and attention to his friends. He's tutored me in theory, listened to me wail about school (let's be real we both wailed and then laid on the floor or went to taco bell), and he's made me die laughing time and again. We will be in Chorale this year together and I could not be more excited. He's my fierce Beyonce (yes that's his name in my phone judge me). Love love love him.

Michael  and Nick studying. 

Millie. Millie and I have been friends almost right off the bat coming to school, but it wasn't till we were in Ladies together that we got super close. Millie knows literally everything about me and vice versa, we struggle with a lot of the same things and it's so great to know I'm not alone. She's so spazzy and hilarious and she is so musically talented it's insane. She's always listened to me and given me advice, cried over theory hw with me, is my New Girl tv show buddy, and came to stay with me for spring break. Millie is never afraid to tell it like it is and has absolutely no filter whatsoever which makes it never a dull moment being her friend! She's doing opera next year so we won't be together quite as much, but she's undoubtedly my best friend and a future bridesmaid in my wedding. :p

Ladies Banquet 

Ladies Florida tour.

Accidental matching day. 

Oh tour...

Our final Ladies concert. 

Nick is the best friend of both Deon and I. Nick is crazy smart, double major in some sort of pre-med and music, has a beautiful tenor voice and knows it. He loves to obnoxiously sing REALLY loudly all over the place especially in Wal Mart as Deon and I run away in embarrassment. He uses it as blackmail. Gets really cranky when hungry, ridiculously happy and giggly over Wreck it Ralph, and I  adore him. Nick's not afraid to give either Deon and I a set down when we're being jerks (mostly Deon let's be real I'm an angel) ;) and he's tutored me relentlessly and patiently in math even though I am the slowest dumbest person alive when it comes to this subject. He's made time to help me with whatever i need and has also been a chauffeur for me. He listens to me constantly about any problems I have and  always asks what he can do. He is so good and kind and I will miss him greatly this summer!

Nick, Michael and I.

There are so many other's who have impacted my life this year that I can't name them all, but I hope this gives you an idea of how blessed I am. No matter what I've been dealing with, I've always had people to love me and be there for me. They have helped me to trust and shown what true loyal friends are. :)

My final piece of news you probably didn't notice that I mentioned is I found out yesterday that I made the Lee University Chorale!! This is probably the best choir at school. Deon is in it as are almost all my good friends. It's been something I've wanted for 2 years and there were finally spots open for sopranos. I am so so so so so so excited for the fall. I love the pieces they choose and since they are a concert choir they don't travel every weekend. Something I am thrilled about!! Next year is going to be great. I can tell.