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 ❤

 

YaF

So, the title of this post is probably a word that you’ve never heard before. YaF stands for Youth at Fifth. This is my Youth Group.

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This picture is from a few years back, but it will give you an idea of how large our group is.

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This is our AMAZING youth leader Christian. (As the Doctor would say “Bow Ties are cool!”) He’s quirky, fun and hilarious, but most of all he cares about each and every one of us in the group. He is more than willing to listen to prayer requests, concerns or funny stories that we might have. He is an amazing person and the first leader of a youth group that I have truly trusted (even when I have NO IDEA what’s coming next or happening at any given time.)

Christian also has a tendency to come up with games that enjoy immensely and are completely terrified of…like this one…

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This is me… I’m wrapped in saran wrap and covered in shaving cream…I’m a human snow person! This was a few years ago, my first year in YaF, somehow I managed not to get a bunch of shaving cream in my hair…still not sure how, but there you go… By the way, our team won!

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Then there’s moments like this…

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And this…

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And the there’s also the fact that Christian has mastered the art of taking embarrassing pictures of me…

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And by embarrassing, I mean things like this…

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I’m in the background…just, you know, dying…

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All the weird games and embarrassing pictures aside, we go on some amazing adventures. The first year I was in YaF we went to Kissimmee Florida. The week that we were there was spent volunteering at Give Kids The World. (Check out http://www.gktw.org/) GKTW is a non-profit organization that partners with Make a Wish Foundation. They give kids (with terminal or life threatening illnesses)and their families a week in the GKTW village. They get a villa all to themselves as well as access to the attractions at the village, such as…

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The hand carved Belgian Carousel,

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The Gingerbread House, which is the dining hall, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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The Castle of miracles, this is one of my favorite places in the village. Inside is the home of the Star Fairy. When kids come to GKTW one of the first things they do is come to the Castle. When they arrive they write their name on a small gold star, which is then put into a box and the kids watch as the star fairy carries the star up to her tower. The next day the kids are able to come back and find their star somewhere on the wall or ceiling. They recently built another room in the castle to accommodate all the stars, here’s a glimpse of what it looks like…

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Also inside the castle is the pillow tree,

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(Sorry for the bad pic…my camera hates me…) Here the kids can design a pillow! The tree shakes and makes noises, there are buttons and levers to push and pull, and the pillow is made in seconds! Did I mention that there’s also a wishing well that sounds like it’s eating the coins you throw in? No? Well there is! There’s also a slide that is small but tons of fun to ride down…

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Yeah…just like that…

There’s also a tree outside, that snores constantly, His name is Ol’ Elmer…

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It would be fun to sit next to him and read, if it weren’t for the fact that I am VERY easily distracted…

So, did I mention that the families that come to GKTW get all of this for free? And that every attraction/building is wheelchair accessible?! Not only that, but the families get tickets to the attractions in Orlando! Most of all, the volunteers at GKTW make it a priority to “Never say no” to the kids who visit the village. As long as what they want isn’t dangerous, the volunteers will do their absolute best to make sure the kids get what they’ve asked for.

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As Winston Churchill once said (this is on a mosaic in the village) “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.” I think this applies to our youth group and to the rest of the world too. Whether we’re in Florida, Trinidad, Colorado, New Orleans or even home in Grand Rapids, we’re constantly volunteering and showing God’s love through our actions. I think that’s what I love best about this youth group. In the youth groups I’ve been a part of in the past, if we went on a trip, it was for our own enjoyment only. Maybe we’d learn some Bible verses or hear a Christian speaker give their testimony, but it was mostly about bettering our relationship with Christ. Don’t get me wrong that’s great! But, at YaF we’re bettering our relationship with Christ through showing His love to others, as well as building relationships with other Christians of our own age. We accept anyone, and make them feel at home. I’ve never felt like I belong the way I belong at YaF. We’re weird and quirky, but we’re also relatable and when we go into a place, you can bet we’re going to include everyone and have a great time! There’s nothing like a YaF trip or meeting. We learn things about each other that we never would have known otherwise.

I’ll be very sad when my time as a YaFer is finished, but once a YaFer always a YaFer and you can bet I’ll be back for a visit every once in a while! I plan to make the most of the year I have left before Graduation. We’re going back to Florida this year, and I can’t wait to be back in a position to minister to those kids just by smiling and helping them have a GREAT time! The best way to minister to someone is to be their friend. That is what I’ve learned from YaF, and the fact that I learn something new every week and that every trip is a new and exciting chance to minister makes me so proud to be a member of the YaFer family. So thank you to Christian and to all of the leaders, I’ve learned so much from you, and I can’t wait to learn more!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

A Truly Special Introduction

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This is my half-sister Kaelee

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She’s totally crazy…(That’s her boyfriend by the way!)

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Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she’s a beautiful soul…

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She’s about ten months younger than I am, but that doesn’t matter.

I haven’t known her for long, but already I know that she is beautiful inside and outside. Most of all she is a devoted and caring friend, one of the few that I have. So Kaelee, on your (SWEET) sixteenth birthday I have a bit of a gift for you…it’s not much, but I think you’ll like it…

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First of all…

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The gentlemanly, gorgeous and roguishly handsome Tom Hiddleston…

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Who is more than willing to stand up and fight dragons for you…(with a little help from me of course :D)

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Benedict Cumberbatch, looking dashing as usual…

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And attempting to figure out what makes you so AMAZING!! (I assured him that it’s just the amazingness of you…that and being related to me!) 😉

And lastly…

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One VERY interesting picture of David Tennant…

Happy Birthday little sis! You’re amazing and I can’t wait to know you more! (Even than I already do!) You’re a beautiful soul, and forget anyone who thinks otherwise! It’s your birthday, knock ’em dead girlie! I love you!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Welcome to Mae’s Corner!

So. Yeah. Hi internet! I’m Mae. This is my blog. It’s not about anything particular, I may post constant streams of randomness. Or maybe I’ll be serious sometimes. It doesn’t really matter! This is my little corner of the universe to do with as I please!

 So first a little bit about me, I’m sixteen, I’m home schooled, I’m a junior in high school. I love to sing, I love to write. I REALLY love Broadway and musical theater. New York is my favorite place in the world right now, but more tangible is The GRCT. (Grand Rapids Civic Theater) I may have only been in one show there, but the month I spent working and hanging out in the theater made it feel like a second home. I’m an avid player of HERinteractive’s Nancy Drew mystery games (no they aren’t just for kids!!) and Sherlock fan/Whovian. So you’ll probably see a lot of posts about those three things. Also there will probably be funny memes of Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch (that last name is so strange…even he admitted that it sounds like a sneeze!) and other random things I find on the magical internet! 

I may also post excerpts from what I’m writing, pictures of things I’m sewing, and random posts about my annoying dog, and equally annoying (but not on the same level) little sister. Whom I love dearly. When I don’t want to kill her. (Totally kidding Mom, I’d never actually hurt her!) As a side note, no matter how constantly I complain about her antics, I really do love her! She’s a bright light in my very boring life! There may also be posts about my awesome half-sister Krazy K. She’s cool, but more on that later.

At the end of the day, as you’ll see from my ABOUT page, I’m just a crazy teenager trying to find out who she is and what she wants to be. Along with that though, I want to learn to be the very best I can be every moment, even if that means that I don’t know what the future holds. I’m gonna leave that up to God. It’s gonna be hard and some days I may find myself on here complaining about everything and everyone. That’s okay though, because this is my little corner of the universe, and when someone gives me a laptop (that actually works) and a blank word document, I’m damn well gonna give them something amazing to read!

So welcome to my journey, I can’t wait to see where I leads me! And I can only hope that you’ll come along with me.

Love, as always,

Mae

Disclaimer: If anyone from YaF is reading this and actually reads all the way to this part. If you call me Mae at YaF, please beware, you will get a death glare and it will be painful for both of us.