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

 

 

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

 

 

You and I

Hello everyone! It’s been a busy few days, but I have a new video for you! 🙂 This is one of my favorite songs: You and I by Ingrid Michaelson. It’s sweet, and funny, and just generally pretty fun to play. hahaha, I’m not going to tell you how many takes it took to get the song right all the way through 😉

This isn’t what I intended to post, I’m working on something else, but it’s not ready yet, so you’re just going to have to wait and see! 😉

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Museum Visit

So, no singing today, as between work and a fun visit this morning I haven’t had time to record another video. Instead, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite things at the Public Museum here in Grand Rapids.

We’ll start with the new Wildlife Explorer exhibit. It’s a National Geographic exhibit, that’s only visiting for a few months before it travels to the next town. Usually these smaller traveling exhibits aren’t that great, kind of small, and kid based, not something I’m often too interested in, but I have to admit that this particular exhibit was pretty cool.

It featured a dog sled (pulled here by my little sister’s porcupine Pricilla) and a scuba diver:

And a giant polar bear, who my sister was approached in trepidation at first:

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But they were fast friends after that:
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It was a pretty great exhibit, and a cool learning opportunity for kids like my sister who love animals and all the special things that make them amazing.

The rest of the trip was spent visiting some old haunts. I’ve been to this particular museum a hundred times, and I know most of the exhibits’ little quirks and secrets. My two favorites are the Spillman Carousel, and “Old Grand Rapids.”

The Spillman Carousel was built in 1928 and is still in working order. In fact, its music still plays music from the original Wurlitzer Band Organ!

 

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Not the best picture…but there were about 40 screaming children getting off the carousel at the time…best I could do.

The main carousel is made up of 44 hand carved horses, with real horse hair tails. They’re all painted in bright colors and dressed to the nines in their jeweled saddles and bridles. There are also two chariots, and, besides the horses, a whale, a tiger, a giraffe, a deer, a goat, and a camel.

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This guy was my riding companion today. Pretty handsome, don’t you think? 😉

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Rides are only a dollar, and if you’re a museum member, they’re free, as many times as you want to ride. 🙂 Little sister and I have taken advantage of that fact many, many times.

My very favorite part of the museum though, is “Old Grand Rapids.” A cobblestoned and historically accurate blast from the past, this exhibit hosts many different venues, often manned by museum volunteers in period (turn of the century) costume.

There’s a grocer, which is packed to the brim with both real and fake goods. For example, the boxes of cereal and other goods of that kind, are all real. However, the wonderful looking cherry pie on the counter? Not so much.

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There’s the print shop, which wasn’t manned today, but usually has a volunteer making museum bookmarks on their pedal powered printing press.

There’s also Rudell Drug Store, which is not just a replica. This is the actual store, that was transplanted “as is” to the museum after it closed. There’s an old school soda fountain, a crazy cool cash register, and my favorite bit, all the old medicine’s and perfume bottles. They all still have the original liquids and medicines in them!

Of course, a trip to Turn of the Century GR wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Herpolsheimer’s. Those of you in the know concerning the literature world, will know that this store was featured in Chris Van Allsberg’s famous Polar Express. The museum has recreated the iconic storefront, and filled it with items left over from the store’s glory years.

Of course, the surrounding streets are just as exciting. There’s an antique car, the train station at the entrance, a horse drawn street car, and an old fashioned bicycle that you can actually ride, and much more!

That’s only a small taste of what we visited and revisited today, there are so many more exhibits to see, and so much more to interact with. It’s hardly ever boring, and with a multitude of events year round, the museum is keeping it’s patrons busy and interested.

Hopefully I’ll have another video for you guys in the next few days, but for now…

Love to all, as always,

Mae

 

Old Crow Medicine Show

So, I got excited about posting and made another video! This one is an old favorite of mine that I learned on the Trinidad and Tobago YaF trip Sophomore year. I was a favorite of one of the YaFers and we ended up singing it several times on that trip and then again when I learned it on Uke, for the following year’s Florida trip.

I hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe on YouTube, and here as well!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Little Reminders

There’s this guy I know, and every once in a while, when you catch him tired, and introspective…he’ll say something heartfelt and beautiful. Tonight, he brought up his passion for science and life, and it reminded me of something that I forget way too often.

Life is full of beauty. Little teeny tiny things that we don’t see going on, that are making the planet turn.

But see, this guy reminded me of something else, something he said the other day, but didn’t sink in entirely until now.

See, the thing is, that science unintentionally proves the existence of a higher power. Life is too intricate and too complex to have just happened. There had to be someone directing it, and tonight, I experienced the joy of seeing someone I care about find joy in this fact. For me, it’s music, my last post, RENT, little acts of kindness that make up what I see as God’s love on earth.

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For this guy…it’s looking at the woods, the sunlight, a worm on the ground, and seeing God’s amazing creation, and then turning around and getting to see it again in what he’s studying on a daily basis.

For each of us it’s different, and I was reminded of that tonight, all thanks to one person and their ineffable ability to make the everyday extraordinary, just by being them….

Whatever that thing is for you, I hope you find it, and I hope you get to see someone else get one of these reminders, because it’s beautiful and humbling.

Love to all, as always,

Mae