2017

In my last post, I covered a few topics that I feel passionately about. However, they were more serious than I usually keep my posts and I’d like to now share with you some good things that went down in 2016, and my hopes for the coming year.

I learned to stand on my own two feet.

Albeit not always successfully, but I’ve become, as Grace likes to put it, “A Grown Ass Woman” since my parents left in July. I’ve held down my job for over a year, and while working part time, I got A’s and B’s for the third semester in a row.

 

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One of those B’s is in Biology…That’s right people, I CAN SCIENCE!!

 

Along with that, I bought my own groceries and managed to still pay most of my school bills. I’m still having a hard time with those pesky overdue library books though…

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True story Charlie Brown…

 

I made friends with my roommate and have managed to work with her to rearrange our room, and make it closer to what the both of us want…I still can’t get away from those posters though…

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Isn’t it beautiful…?

Hands down, the best thing to happen to me this year has been Mark.

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This kooky and amazing young man has been my stalwart knight this year. His kindness, affection, joy, and faith both in me and even more so in God has been a constant help in this season of change and stress. He is the first to remind me to pray about what’s bothering me, and the first to remind me to pray for those I love. He’s the first to encourage me when I’m feeling lost, or concerned about what’s going on around me. He’s the first to comfort me when I’m hurt, angry, sad, or having an epic spiraling existential crisis of a panic attack.

He makes me laugh, boisterous, crazy, wild laughter of the kind that only Hope and Grace have managed to wheedle out of me.

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We’re riding a merry-go-round…yes, we’re six, yes, we’re okay with it.

He never fails to do so… even when I’m upset with him he manages to make me smile, and I find it nearly impossible to stay angry. Hell, I think I can only really admit to being ready to yell at him once, and even then, I’m learning carefully to let go of moments of anger and I’m finding that grace comes easily when you care deeply for someone.

We dance so easily together. Our “offstage” chemistry, translates to our dancing, and I find him easier to follow than anyone I’ve ever danced with. You could attribute it to constant practice together, but I prefer to credit our trust in one another, and our natural habit to fall in step and in sync.

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As President and Vice-President of our swing dancing club, we’re constantly doing demonstrations and teaching basic skills.

We don’t dance much right now. In April, Mark tore his ACL and is out of commission following a reconstructive surgery on the muscle. He’s walking again, and we’re all thanking God and continuing to pray for his safe and speedy recovery…he doesn’t like to be stuck sitting around, and he has been for far too long. He’s a nearly impossible patient, and often refuses to sit still, but he’s getting there. 😉

Which brings me to his family. His wonderful, fun, supportive, all around great family. They’ve welcomed me with open arms, and a whole bunch of fun. A weekend with them is a weekend well spent, full of meaningful conversations, video gaming, poking fun at one another, and amazing food. I’m so thankful for how they’ve given me a chance to get to know all of them, and how they’ve gotten to know me. Christmas came with a gift from them I couldn’t have expected. The new pair of Docs was an amazing beautiful gift, and I was so happy with it, I cried. Their welcome, and acceptance of the strange creature that is America is just as amazing, more so, because I often find that it’s hard for people to do. I’m so thankful for that.

Mark is a goof, he’s constantly cracking jokes, or stealing my glasses…

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But. When I need him to stop and talk to me, and listen. He does. He’s taken and is still taking the time to learn my quirks, my habits, my small changes in facial expression that mean I’m actually having an internal panic attack and need someone to pull me aside and tell me it’s okay. He’s figured out that I’ve been locking things away for so long, that it takes poking and prodding and ten times of asking me if I’m okay, knowing I’m not, to get me to tell anyone what’s wrong. He’s coming to understand that I don’t distrust him, in fact, he’s one of the few I trust, but that I have an issue with being vulnerable. I hate it. Crying doesn’t make me feel better, it makes me feel small, and I don’t like being small, or potentially weak in someone else’s eyes. I’ve found, with him, it’s okay to be vulnerable, and to cry…I’ve done my fair share of that this year, more than I have in a long time, and that’s okay, because he listens, and he talks with me, and he doesn’t dismiss it as just being emotional.

I could go on forever about him, but I’ll end with this. Mark has a beautiful, energetic, kind, and loving soul. He’s almost universally liked, and he makes friends wherever he goes. He is handsome, not just physically, but he exudes the kind of handsome that only comes from a person that is strong in their faith and lets the Spirit work in them.

 

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He has a strong moral compass, a love for children, and dreams for a bright future. He sees God’s work in the tiny everyday things we pass, constantly pointing out His creation in the nature around campus, or in an insect that he finds online. He is seeking Christ passionately, and encouraging me to do the same. I couldn’t ask for more in a partner, and that’s what I feel we are more than anything else. Partners. In relationship, in crime 😉 , in learning, in fun, in whatever God leads us to do. My prayer for this new year of 2017 is that God will lead us in this relationship, that he will continue to teach us about each other, and that we grow in Him, and follow His plan, not ours. Whatever that may be.

“Men can be such jerks, but then…God created Italians.”

I’m thankful for my wonderful Italian Spider-Mark, may 2017 be just as wonderful, and more so than 2016.

Much Love,

MAE ❤

 

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2016

2016 has been a year of trials, not only for singular members of our society, but for everyone. My second year at Aquinas began with my parents moving across the country, me moving in with my grandparents, and having to figure out a bill of over $1000 monthly to pay tuition as I lived on campus during the school season.

This year we lost many prominent celebrities that hold places in many hearts: 

 

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, Doris Roberts, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Christina Grimmie, Anton Yelchin, Gene Wilder, Sharon Jones, Ron Glass, E.R Braithwaite, Zsa Zsa Gabor,  George Michael, and Prince are among those we lost this year.

 

Then, just when we thought we could make it through the last of 2016 without losing anyone else that was part of the glue of our favorite fandom Carrie Fisher, our favorite Empire fighting, fun loving, bi-polar, all around wonderful princess passed away on the 27th. Not 24 hours later, her mother the amazingly talented Debbie Reynolds who co-starred alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain,” passed away as well.

We will never forget these talented individuals.

The nation has also seen troubles of its own: 

*Flint Michigan has been without clean water for too long, people are still suffering effects of the contamination: Please donate or find information on how you can volunteer here: http://www.helpforflint.com/action

Those on the liberal side coped with the loss of their presidential candidate, and those on the conservative celebrated their victory. Along with this election cycle came riots, peaceful protests, and vandalism. It also brought about ruptures in homes, and the workplace. Even our normally tolerant campus lacked peace following the election as many “coped” with the country’s choice.

The election cycle, no matter who took the presidency, opened the eyes of many to the violence and prejudice inherent in our country. There was a resurgence of those groups that are racially and socially prejudiced, as well as a spike in their actions against the LGBTQ community, African-American Individuals, Muslim and Arabic families, immigrants (be they legal or otherwise), and refugees.

This saddens me. That our country could have regressed so far that we are prejudiced, and able to act with such violence of word and deed against our neighbors; that my Facebook feed is constantly full of news of another shooting, or a violent attack on the street; that muslim women should be asked by their families to remove their hijabs in fear of their being attacked on the street, when it is their right, living in the country they do, to freely express their religion in this way. It saddens me, because if someone tried to take the freedoms of the white, Christian communities away in this way, then, and only then, would many people consider it “religious persecution.” Just because we do not believe what they do, or the same way that they chose to worship, does not mean that we have the right to violently attack them, verbally, physically, mentally, on social media or off. Just because we are the majority, does not mean that we have any more rights than those in the minority, or any less for that matter.

The United States was built to be a country of equal opportunity, but we have become so ingrown to our own ideas and ways of life that we cannot possibly accept others. I might remind you that places like New York were built on the backs of immigrants. Not on the rich, white, Christian upper class. To top it all off, the colonies started as an escape from religious persecution in Europe, what we are doing to many minorities today seems to me an echo of what we came to this place to escape.

It has not only been the nation that suffered blows in 2016: 

Europe is making peace with the Brexit, England’s choice to leave the European Union, which, much like our election, left the country torn on many accounts.

Greater than Brexit, is the crisis in Aleppo. This civil war has been going on since 2012, but, as it came to its head these last few months, it began to get more and more media coverage. Aleppo, which as of 2011 was the largest city in Syria, and mainly full of civilians, has been bombed without qualms. Hospitals, schools, and other civilian buildings have been targeted, leaving thousands dead, and thousands injured. Since 2011 there are over 450,000 people dead, at least 50,000 of which are children. This crisis began as a small protest, and has expanded into the war that we are watching today.

During French class last semester when watching the international news, we were hearing more and more reports of Syrian refugees being turned away; The fear, of course, being that, “they might be terrorists.”

Matthew 25:35-40 says For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” 

There are many nations, that although they state they have a separation of church and state, can claim themselves to be a Christian nation. Out of fear, we do not live this…out of fear, we treat customers differently, or go so far as to refuse refugees entry into our country. By rejecting those in need, we also reject Him. He who never rejects us, not even at our lowliest, and who asks us to act as He would…

“Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” 

I think we all need to remember this going into 2017…

“Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” 

Food for thought,

Love to all, As Always,

Mae ❤

 

Grace The Great

To my amazing Gracie on her 19th birthday… I know… I’m late.

Deal with it.

You like me too much to care.

This is for you:

Grace, you are so wonderfully amazing. Today, yesterday, and all the days.

For almost eight long years, you’ve stood by my side without qualms. Sure, there were a few years in the middle that we lost contact, but those only matter because we both grew, and came back with a stronger basis for our friendship.

Today, on this, the start of your 19th year, I want to remind you of a few things:

You are BEAUTIFUL

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Seriously, look at you. Even in that tiger onesie, you’re gorgeous. And, I might add, effortlessly glamorous…

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I mean seriously, you’re Marilyn Monroe reincarnate, albeit, a geeky homeschooled version, but, you’re just plain gorgeous.

You are so f****** STRONG

You have seen some s***, real and hard, but you have not only overcome it, you have blossomed.

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I cannot even imagine what it is to live through what you have, and still manage to have such a beautiful outlook on the world and the people in it. Your grace (no pun intended) abounds for everyone, even those who annoy you the most, and your heart goes out to those in need, so much so, that I worry that you care for others more often than you care for your own needs. Your determination in this and many other matters is something I envy at times, and your fierce wit is something I can only aspire to someday match.

I remember running around in your backyard, taking photos (something you were prodigiously talented at even then) like it wasn’t almost five years ago. We were some crazy kids back then….and still making questionable hair decisions…

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Your excitement for life is abounding, insane, and without end. Even on your worst days, you can’t help but find excitement in the small and inconspicuous aspects of our daily monotony.

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You love unconditionally. Your siblings, your friends, my sister, me, your grandmother, your parents. All are your people, all matter to you so much, that your anger when they are injured, or disrespected, is uncontainable. And your joy in their presence, the same.

You are so damned confident. I often can’t believe how confident you are. I couldn’t go out into the world doing half the things you do and come out the other side bravely. I’d be a complete mess. This confidence exudes in your every action, I know you like to say “Fake it till you make it” a wonderful cliche, but really you don’t fake it as much as you’d like us to think. You are just that confident in yourself, even if you don’t realize it yet.

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Lastly my friend, you’re such a beautiful soul, brave, kind, and good too. You make me laugh, with reckless abandon, so, a few lifetime quotes to end….

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“Get your vehicle out of the driveway Zach!”

“YOLO Bitches”

“Lord have Mercy……….On his soul…..”

and finally, always remember….

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“BUTT CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!”

Happy Birthday Grace, may 19 be one of the best,

Much love, and don’t you dare forget it,

Mae

 

 

Bright Star

So, I didn’t post about it at the time, but the Tony Awards is my very favorite event of the year. As documented by my dear Gracie friend this year…I get very excited…

As those of you who follow the wonderful world of Broadway already know, Hamilton swept almost every category it was nominated in. If I’m remembering correctly (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) the only notable categories they did not win were: Best Leading Actress in a Musical, which went to the phenomenal Cynthia Erivo for her role as Celie in The Color Purple. And Best Scenic Design of a Musical which went to the revival of She Loves Me. They took home 12 of the 16 they were nominated for.

There were other musicals that caught my eye though, specifically Bright Star, a gorgeous Bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin, and Edie Brickell.

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The story set mainly in the 1940s but, frequently flashing back to to the 1920s, focuses on publisher Alice; Who goes on a journey of self discovery while searching for her long lost child. We see her young years in Zebulon in the 20s, and her journey as an older woman in the 40s.

Alice was played by the magnificent Carmen Cusack, and her love interest was played by Paul Alexander Nolan.

Sadly, the show closed June 26th, after a short run on the Great White Way. However, there are plenty of performances online from the show that you can watch, and the album is available as well. It’s worth a listen.

So, because I haven’t posted a video in almost a month, and I love this musical, here’s If You Knew My Story, from Bright Star:

Love to all, As Always,

Mae

 

Answering Your Questions…

So, in my last post, I asked all of you lovely readers for questions about me that you would like answered. Here’s what I got:

Pazzy asks:

If your life actually WAS a movie, what would be the song in the opening credits?

“Better When I’m Dancin'” -Meghan Trainor. Reasons being:

1: I love her, love the song, love to dance, all adds up to wonderfulness.

2: It’s peppy, and would make great opening credits, especially since my life as a movie would be full of the weird, wild, and zany.

3: Just listen to it:

 

Toni H asks:

What is your favorite memory from the past year?

Can I have two? I’m going to have two, and…Can I answer with a picture? I’m going to answer with a picture:

1:

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This girl…(yes I am sitting on her, and yes, we are laughing so hard that we’re crying…deal with it, we’re cool) reconnecting with her has brought back so many wonderful memories, and brought on so many new adventures. The very best memory so far though has to be our recent vandalism and brush with the law…. and when I say brush with the law, i really mean no one saw us….and when I say vandalism what I really mean is that we didn’t even vandalize anything…just threw a sign in a ditch and felt like a bad a**…

2:

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Anything that has to do with this total nut. We have adventures, we have deep conversations, we dance together… We compliment each other in personality and interests, and differ from each other enough that we’re constantly learning about the world through the other person. I’m thankful for the memories we’re making together.

Daryl E asks:

How did you become such a big musical fan?

Ah yes…how did the obsession begin? Haha, well, I started young… My Aunt Betsy, theater person extraordinaire, and my mother brought a copy of the OBC (Original Broadway Cast) recording of Into the Woods into the house.

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Thus began my obsession with al things broadway, and Stephen Sondheim… (genius, I like him better than Lloyd Webber, don’t judge…) In all seriousness though, the movie does not quite measure up to the original, and you have not seen Into the Woods until you have seen the incomparable Bernadette Peters play the witch.

 

NO offense meant to Meryl Streep…but Bernadette just plays off the sarcastic, narcissistic, and slightly (okay often more than slightly) inappropriate witch perfectly!!

Then Betsy brought Wicked into the house and it was ALL over….

 

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Notice how it stars Idina Menzel…10 years before her “Adele Dazeem” stardom.

There’s so much creativity out there, and musicals embrace it. They take me away, and wrap me up in a story full of vibrant characters, conflict, and beautiful music. Honestly, I think musicals were going to find me, whether Betsy brought them in the house or not.

Grace S asks:

Childhood Pets?

I had a lot of goldfish…all of which died under mysterious circumstances…

Then there was Angus…devil cat…spawn of all evil…290181_278016252241450_976412914_o

Just look at those soulless eyes…waiting to kill you at the slightest sign of weakness…*shudder*

And you all know Cooper (or dingus extraordinary, whatever works)

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‘nough said…

CuriouslyCuriousInMichigan asks:

 What’s your favorite flower, and your idea of a perfect date?

Well… until I learned that they could kill my cat, I really loved Sweet Peas, or the idea of Sweet Peas…I’m honestly not sure. They’re weird a** flowers. Anyway I recently discovered and adore the Hybrid Tea Rose…

I love how they have the classic tight rose in the center, but are also large and…blossoming…I guess…hahaha, I don’t need to justify a why, I just love them.

And as for my idea of a perfect date…that’s a little bit harder to answer, I really haven’t considered what my “single perfect date” looks like. To be perfectly honest, I just love a good adventure. Things like museums, antique stores, giant airplane hangars…a really great movie…as long as someone else has made the plan, and I get to spend time with a certain someone 😉 I’m happy…

And finally…

Mark C asks:

What is your favorite place in the world? ( He also asked me about Woodchucks chucking wood, but I refused to answer that one)

Favorite place I’ve been?

‘Cause, my favorite place that I’ve been is New York City, which you’re all aware of. However, specifically, my favorite place is this little book shop in on W 40th.

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It’s called The Drama Book Shop, and it’s a teeny little shop full of scripts and books about the production of Broadway Musicals…It’s my happy place 🙂


 

That’s all I’ve got for you this time around! Hope I answered all the questions to your satisfaction. If not, or if you have more questions for me, you can comment below, or email me at QuestionsForMae@gmail.com, and I’ll do another questions post soon!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Falling Off the Horse

Hello all. It’s been far too long since I posted anything. I don’t have a video for you yet :/ life’s been crazy and I’ve had very little motivation to get anything done that isn’t an absolute necessity. However, I do have a life update, so here we go!

I’m no longer moving in with my grandparents for the school year. My father (spreadsheet maker extraordinaire) helped me figure out my finances so that I can live on campus this year! Which is SUPER exciting!! I got my roommate assignment, we’ve been talking a bit, and she seems pretty cool 🙂 Those of you who are praying individuals can be praying that we get along as well in person as we have over text message.

(For those of you who are wondering, yes, in my last post I did mention a boyfriend. 😀 however, for now, he chooses to remain out of the spotlight, so no posts about him for the time being. Maybe someday 😉 )

My parents and sister made it safely to the sunny shores of California. IMG_5060

Where they are enjoying the sun, the surf, and the multitude of opportunities that await them.

Grace is around a lot right now. We spend a lot of time going on mini adventures, and wreaking havoc on the populace. haha, not really, but we do get ourselves in trouble. 😉

I think that’s all for now…

OH! My next post will be oriented around questions that you (my lovely readers) have for me. So please, comment with any questions you may have, and I’ll answer as many as possible!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

 

 

Quiet and Chaos

So, as many of you may, or may not, at this point know, by mid to late July my parents are packing up our house, my little sister, and Minnalouche the meow, and moving to California. That’s right. California. Land of beaches, Disney Land, Hollywood, YouTubers galore, and most importantly, Silicon Valley.

See, for the past few years, my dad has been slowly training himself in the art of web development, and as it turns out, he’s pretty amazing at it. He’s done a ton of stuff to improve the website for his current employer, but he’s also built websites as a freelance developer for local companies. He’s ready, after 8 years (maybe more) with this company, to move on, and he discovered that he really can’t find the kind of work he’s looking for here. So…the question that has come up several times in the 10 years of my parents’ marriage reared its ugly head once more:  “Do we stay here, in a job that isn’t going anywhere anymore? Or, do we uproot and move across the country?”

Honestly, I think for dad, this was always going to be the final decision. He’s originally from Santa Cruz, and California has SO many opportunities for people in his field.

Of course…that leaves me.

What was I going to do? I’m settled at a good school, I’ve got close friends, a steady boyfriend, a steady job, and have finally settled into a place where I don’t feel like the “odd one out.” I fit where I am, for the first time in a really long time. So I chose to stay here, which of course brought with it its own set of questions. “Will I live on campus?” “Where will I live during the summer?” “Will I live in Cali during that time, and only be here for the school year?” “Can I even afford to stay on campus?”

Thankfully, my in state grandparents answered a fair amount of those questions, and the prayers we’d been sending out. They have an empty(ish) bedroom, and are both in state, and close enough to school that I’m not adding too much time to my commute. This means, I don’t have to live on campus, and I don’t have to move to California.

However, this also means that I will be living, not only apart from my family for the first time, but an entire country (almost) away.

I’ve been asked a lot how I’m feeling about this. By friends, family, my boyfriend asks constantly if I’m okay. And, I tell them, over and over, “I’m fine, it doesn’t bother me that much.” and “I’ll be okay, this is the right thing.”

Here’s the thing that they all know, I’m sure, but aren’t going to say to me, because they know how stubborn I am. I’m not okay. I just can’t say it aloud. I can barely write it. The days are stressful, and I’m basically panicking half the time. I spend a lot of time shrugging it off, and hanging out with friends, distancing myself from the situation.

I heard somewhere that a blog is supposed to be like a diary, only it’s public, and you have to be willing to be vulnerable. I’m not. Never have been. Probably my epic trust issues coming to the surface, but I don’t cry in front of people, and I don’t release my feelings very well.

So…In an effort to release some of them:

  1. I wrote this post. No it’s not all that I’m feeling, no, you probably won’t hear the rest of it here, but hopefully this has broken some of the ice still lingering.
  2. I recorded another video.

This song is from the musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. It’s called quiet, and it pretty much sums up how it feels to be surrounded by stress, and how I feel a lot of the time right now. There are so many thoughts running through my head at once, that it’s a sort of chaos, and I’m not sure how to express it to those around me.

 

Love to all, As always,

Mae

P.S. Please click the title of the video and go watch on YouTube if you can.