Monday, March 28, 2011

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

First things first-- The band Alex is a guitarist for in Dallas just released their first album on iTunes. Check it out- Love Revolution by NOVA. I am very proud, and I know that this is only the beginning!

From the first day I met Alex over 6.5 years ago, music has been what I associate him with more than anything. We met through marching band (our first conversation was actually in the band hall, of all places), and since then, I have watched him lead our high school band as a drum major, become an All-State saxophone player, perform two recitals, student teach in a competitive program, earn a music education degree, and teach so many young students how to play instruments through private lessons. He is now out in California working on a master's degree in music performance while teaching even more lessons, accompanying a student choir, and pursuing his dream of writing, recording, and performing his own music.

I have always loved music, but Alex has made me think about it so differently, whether he's introducing me to new songs, helping me to understand music, or attempting to teach me guitar chords. I have helped introduce him to some of the music he likes now (particularly Keith Urban), but having a boyfriend whose passion is music has given me a new perspective. Everyone identifies with music on some level. We have different tastes, but we all relate to it and appreciate it. There is no shortage of talent in the world or people to appreciate it, but we need people who are passionate to put their heart in writing and performing new music for us, and use it to change lives-- bring people together, help them through hard times, introduce them to something new, all of that and more.

Music is Alex's passion. He seems so at peace when he is playing guitar, and he could talk to you about music all day. He is such a patient teacher, and he truly loves what he is doing when he's writing or performing. So many people these days settle for a career but are unhappy with their lives, but music is what gets Alex fired up. I think my favorite thing is to watch him lead worship at church, because he does such a wonderful job of using his talent to praise God through music and inspires us all to do the same. I always think to myself that Alex makes me feel so content whenever I am with him and makes me want to be a better person, and I think a lot this comes from his unending faith and deep love for music. I know that no matter what he does with these gifts, he will inspire others, and that's what the world needs-- people who are passionate about something and can light that passion in others.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break 2011

My post is called "Spring Break 2011," but this was actually the first time since the age of 5 that I have not had a spring break. Even though I sure felt like I could have used one, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It helps that I have an awesome boss who let me take two half days to relax and spend time with Alex! So really, what made it feel like spring break was that he was home, as well as my little sister!!

Here are the highlights of my break--something good happened every day!

Friday-- Alex came home! We watched Due Date with his family. It was pretty funny, but a lot like The Hangover, just not as good!

Saturday--Double date! After we went shopping (and I found many things that I've been looking for), Alex and I met up with Allison and Lance at Firefly, an Asian fusion restaurant in Addison. Lance became one of my closest friends while I was at TCU, and once he started dating Allison almost a year ago, she and I really hit it off and have become great friends. She and I are so much alike and I feel like I can talk to her about anything. We had a really fun double date-- yummy dinner, entertaining atmosphere, and laughing at people in the bar area seriously playing a life-sized Jenga. Hopefully more double dates this summer!

Sunday-- Church with Alex's family. I am blanking on what else we did on this day, but I think this was the night we watched (500) Days of Summer...such a great movie, and really cool now that we have sat on that bench in the park!

Monday-- After I had work and a TAG Board meeting, I met up with Alex and Doug, Alex's former roommate, and Doug's girlfriend Renee. Renee was house/dogsitting for a family, so they cooked an amazing dinner and I showed up just in time to eat it! : ) It was really nice to see them...they are another couple that I just love.

Tuesday-- TAG "Off to the Races"! This was the kick-off celebration and invitation-signing party for the Think Ahead Group's Derby Dallas: Bet on Your Brain party on the day of the Kentucky Derby. It is going to be so fun-- at a gorgeous home in Preston Hollow, yummy food, mint juleps, fancy hats & Southern attire, music, lawn games-- a total blast! The kick-off party was so fun, and we got the invitations ready to be mailed. We also took this really fun group photo.

Wednesday--I took a half day, and Alex and I went to Dallas Heritage Village/Old City Park. I used to go on field trips there all the time, so it really took me back to my childhood. It's really pretty just to walk through, and they have all these homes and buildings set up just as they were in Dallas at the beginning of the 1900's. Check it out if you haven't been there! We finished the day with ice cream, a yummy dinner cooked by Alex's mom, and watching TV.

Thursday-- St. Patrick's Day and my parents' 27th wedding anniversary! I surprised my parents with a card and flowers that morning, and got to take another half day at work. That evening, we celebrated my parents' anniversary and St. Patrick's Day! I introduced my friends to Telephone Pictionary, which was a blast. It was a smaller group so it was easier to all talk and play a game.

Friday--Had dinner with my former roomie, Caroline, and was her "assistant" at a rehearsal dinner for my co-worker, where she played the video she made for them. Caroline is your girl if you ever need a video for weddings, graduations, birthdays, etc.!

Saturday-- Alex's last night in Texas. We rented Paranormal Activity 2, which was pretty scary but not as good as the first one, and I introduced him to the amazingness of Sour Patch Kids. We had a relaxing and wonderful last evening together.

Sunday-- Church again, and then I celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday. He asked for a bottle of Maker's Mark for his birthday... if I live to be that old, I hope to be just as spirited. I then spent a little longer with Alex before he had to leave for the airport. It will be seven weeks before I see him again... I hope it goes by quickly. It never gets any easier!

All in all, a really nice week. Now I am staying busy and counting down the days to summer! Hope everyone else had a highlight-filled spring break!

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Patience means waiting for God's time..."

It's so crazy to think about what I was doing during this time a year ago... going to San Antonio for a spring break trip, trying to recover from mono, wondering where Alex would be going to grad school, and worrying about finding a job and graduating in a matter of weeks. I was happy, but I was also very anxious about the future and the unknown.

Fast forward one year and here I am-- 7 months into a full-time job that I love, 7 months into doing a long-distance relationship, saving money, paying bills, and having fun in my free time. I've decided that this point in my life is kind of an "in-between stage." When I was younger, I would picture my future in very specific stages-- the stage where I was in college, earning my degree and having fun, and then the "after college stage," where I would suddenly become an adult overnight. This stage in my head meant a job, moving out, getting married, and eventually having kids. I have learned in this first year out of school that my visions weren't quite right. I am in a phase where I am a semi-adult, at least by my own definition. I have a salary job, pay for my own clothes, entertainment, gas, car insurance, credit card, and some pretty hefty college loans. I am 23 and legally can make my own decisions and support myself if I so choose. However, I live at home with my parents, and they still pay for the house, the utilities, and the groceries. This is such a blessing, because life is expensive! Living at home for a while is definitely helping me so much.. and I am putting money in savings every month.

Still, I struggle with this "limbo land" status. I have days where I am completely content with things exactly as they are, but I also have days where I am impatient and ready to move out of my house and be completely independent, pay off my loans, be in the same city as Alex, and get married. I worry about the future just as much as I did a year ago, except that now I have new things to worry about. The things I used to worry about are in the past. I have no idea how these new worries will turn out, but what I need to remember is that God has a plan for my life. One of my favorite quotes is "Patience means waiting for God's time without doubting His love." I have it written on a Post-It note in my jewelry box so that I see it every morning, and it reminds me that things in my life will happen according to God's divine plan, not on MY own time schedule, because He knows best. And through it all, I cannot doubt His love for me, because everything will become clear, even when life is scary and uncertain.

What I am going to work on, and hope to update about in this blog, is becoming content with life exactly as it is now. Yes, this may be an unusual phase in my life, but I only am in this place once, and I will move on to the next phase soon enough. I need to be okay with what God has given me now, and put my full trust in the beautiful plan He has unfolding for me.