Friday, March 26, 2010

Wedding Bells!

My dear friend Tara got married this past weekend (March 21) in the most beautiful, God-centered ceremony I have ever attended. I can't even explain how lovely it was. She, of course, was stunning in her gown, and David couldn't take his eyes off her. All of the hymns were sung a cappella in four-part harmony. The minister's message was all about how the marriage relationship should mirror the relationship between Christ and the church. He kept pulling back to the big picture Christ-church and then focusing in on David-Tara, and it really put God at the focus of the day, which is exactly what Tara and David wanted in their wedding.

Also adding to the excitement of this week, I was officially named the manager of the Wheeling Symphony Youth Orchestra and received a pay raise. Hooray! Lots more work, but I'm relishing the busy-ness that has filled this week.

That's all for now because I have to vacate my table at my favorite restaurant to accommodate other guests, and I no longer have Internet at home. I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Second Wind Dreams

My mom, Laurie, works for an organization called Second Wind Dreams, which is dedicated to improving the perspective of aging through innovative educational experiences and their phenomenal dreams program. Last week, she had the opportunity to speak on a local radio show - The Broadcast on WKKX - about the program and some of the local dreams that are in the works. Listeners could call in if they were willing or able to help make a particular dream come true or if they just wanted some more info about the program or organization.

Well, by the end of the radio segment, all four of the dreams that she shared were on their way to coming true. I look forward to seeing them happen in real life. There's nothing like the joy on an elder's face when something he or she has been wishing for comes true. The dreams from the radio show are these:

  • A couple (80 and 85 years old) who used to have season tickets to WVU football but who haven't been able to attend in a while because of health reasons wants to attend the WVU-Pitt game.
  • A World War II vet would like to have his memoir printed and bound for his family.
  • A Steelers fan would like to meet one or more of the members of the Steel Curtain, the 1970's defensive line.
  • A woman would like to meet Dolly Parton. (This lady is a sleeping dreamer. A sleeping dreamer has Alzheimer's disease or dementia and may not be able to communicate the dream verbally, but through information provided by the family, dreamweavers are able to determine what would improve the quality of life of the dreamer. This dreamer has listened to Dolly Parton for many years, and when she is agitated, Dolly's music is what calms her best.)
For more information about the dreams program or any of the educational opportunities offered by Second Wind Dreams, including the groundbreaking Virtual Dementia Tour, visit their website at

Here's a video of a dream come true:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happiness Is...

...fellowship with old & new friends and a whole weekend of dancing at ORLX.

This weekend, I was incredibly blessed to be able to spend time with friends and to make some new ones and to deepen existing friendships. Staying with Julie, Hayley, and Janet was a really upbuilding and encouraging experience. We had fantastic conversations and ate delicious food. Since the weekend, Julie and I have been back and forth on facebook, being a blessing to each other. It's been such an encouraging friendship already, and I'm so glad that God has put her in my life. I also got to see Julia, whom I met in Pittsburgh back in November, and Frank and Erin, my hosts from Soflex, and Frank and I danced more than once and not at four in the morning the last night of the exchange (which is what ended up happening at Soflex).

Food-wise, the whole weekend was amazing. Friday, my new buddy Alan made eggs-in-a-basket for breakfast, ziti rigate for lunch, and spaghetti with hilarious sauce for dinner. The sauce was hilarious because the recipe called for a cup of cheap merlot, and Alan went a little overboard with the merlot. So much so you could taste it heavily in the sauce. We all had a good laugh over it. There was Steak 'n' Shake Friday late night and Denny's Saturday and Sunday. Before the dance Sunday, the girls and I had California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza (barbecue chicken and white), which was quite yummy!

Dance-wise, also amazing. I wish I could dance more up here, and when I finally get around to getting my license, I fully intend to. There are so many dance scenes within driving distance: Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Lancaster. Even DC & Philly aren't so far. Anyway, this weekend was really encouraging dance-wise, too. I felt really solid, and I had a great fast dance with Tim during which he helped me with some arm issues I was having and told me I didn't get heavy when the music got fast. (For any non-dancer reading this, that's a good thing - the not getting heavy part.) So yay! There were bunches of other fabulous dances, several with Hurley and a fantastic one with J. I spent a song at Saturday late trading phrases with Don and helped start a solo Charleston jam Sunday at Lake Eola. Solo Charleston is a blast, and I had so much fun rocking out on the stage with a couple of friends. Don told me my solo dancing was looking good. Julie and I danced with a couple of little girls who were just spending the day at the park. They were so much fun.

I saw some old friends for the first time in about a year and renewed those friendships, one of which had gotten kind of awkward because of events a couple of years ago. That also was encouraging to me. There were a few friends I didn't get to see, but there is always next time, and I look forward to reuniting with them when that day arrives. :)

The memorial service for my friend's dad was lovely, and she seems to be doing well, all things considered. A few of her other friends from school were there, including dear David, my favorite duck-calling pastor. Mikel and I had a great drive up to Ocala and back, blasting Glee and Wicked and Dr. Horrible, among other things, and singing along.

Overall, this weekend was such a blessing, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to take the trip.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, I turn 24! It is my favorite facebook love day of the year - all those notifications. However, I wanted to take a moment to wish you a wonderful day as well!

I have a day full of excitement and fun planned and a weekend of dancing (mostly) in Florida to celebrate with friends and family (and friends who feel like family). I have a new apartment, and this afternoon, I get to see my friend Megan, whom I haven't seen since our Footloose cast party last August, to record some voiceover for an audio driving tour. (Hello $35 I wasn't expecting!) All in all, it's looking to be a pretty fabulous birthday.

This weekend, I am staying with my new friend Julie, whom I just met in January, but who is absolutely fantastic and full of grace and compassion and wonderful godly qualities. I will get to see my dear friend Julia from DC. It's been since November that we got to spend time together in person. Of course, there are dozens of other friends with whom I will share amazing dances and conversation and food and fun! Hooray!

It's already been such a blessed year, and I can't wait to see what else is in store. God is truly amazing and has been so faithful to me even when I have not been faithful to Him. I look forward to a year spent in His light and love and sharing Him with those around me.