A year and 3 months later…

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{random picture of beans to entice you to read this post}

I wasn’t exactly sure how to start this back up… “Stuff that happened in 2014″ or “While I was out” seemed too… well I guess it indicates that someone was paying attention. And… I think it that knowing no one is caused me to always sway back and forth between the decision “to blog… or not to blog?” I realized over the last year (and 3 months) while my blog was down that, I really missed it! I’ve never been the upcoming blogger who shares my posts on Facebook trying to get my friends to read what college-smart opinion I have. I take the whole, “write like you speak” approach way too far. And I don’t have a system, blog schedule or specific topic or goal in mind.

I just like to blog.

And I decided that is enough reason to continue it. I need something I can do that is truly a hobby. When I sing, it’s not just for the enjoyment of singing… It’s all serious and it’s my school! And let’s be honest, cleaning is not a hobby no matter how much I enjoy it. I’m not a crafter, fashionista, photographer, graphic designer or a “creative.”

I’m Nerdy Peacock.

And quite frankly, there’s nothing quite like that out there.

So to my future self and possibly only reader, hello. March 10th was a great day. {Yes, March 10th} I’ve had insomnia so ignore the March 11th date stamp ;)

Welcome 2014!

It’s crazy to think 2014 has already arrived. It just almost sounds weird and “apocalypsey.” However, as much as it sounds like it doesn’t even exist, it is here. It is now. And so am I.

Some of the most humorous NY posts are, “new year, new me” and “{insert previous year here} had some up and downs but… ” As my best friend said, “Really, you can change yourself overnight? Because I have a lot of things to work on and that would really save me some time” and what year doesn’t have ups and downs? Isn’t that called life?

All typical making fun of people aside, it is nice to see friends and family having some drive, passion and desire to change and work on making themselves better people. Even if it only lasts a few days, months or {for those people we envy} the whole 365, the excitement of new a year is something to be cheery about.

For me, a I had a wonderful time reflecting on 2013. I will spare you and do 13 highlights as opposed to 2013. ;)

  1. I was in my first “opera” {Amahl and the Night Visitors}
  2. Auditioned and Transfered universities
  3. Completed INSANITY
  4. Got my own car, Gershwin
  5. Dyed my hair red
  6. Wore leggings as pants
  7. Purchased TOMS
  8. Saw the West Side Story Broadway tour
  9. Became a Legacy Lady
  10. Did my first hair show
  11. Realized how much I LOVE my major
  12. Watched chick flicks and liked them. And admitted that.
  13. Met some freakin awesome people and made some of the best friendships ever.

In an arithmetic way I will sum it up by saying: it was a great year. So I hope you have some wonderful memories to treasure about this past year, think of some ways to improve, your ups and downs of life and find a way to be a “new you” this 2014.

Happy New Year.

the dead week that died

After returning from a fabulous Thanksgiving break I had to return to the most dreaded week of the year, dead week. But before I complain and whine about such week I will first share my Thanksgiving fun.

We went to my grandparents and celebrated a wonderful sit-down Thanksgiving meal. It was mum’s first gluten-free Thanksgiving and my aunt made a homemade broccoli and rice casserole {which happens to be my favorite holiday dish}.

Here you can see us not only enjoying our delicious meal but also discussing our government healthcare options like our president suggested.

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I was also able to get a decent picture of my hair {lighting determines its color} and my lovely brother.

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Not to mention, I got to see my super cute dog, Suka.

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Needless to say it was a great break, until I had to return.

The worst part about dead week is that even though you have final exams to study for, final projects, assignments to complete and you are STILL taking tests in classes and finishing up course material… you have class.

And this my friends is why it is called dead week.

But eventually… a really great phenomenon happens.

Dead week dies.

In my case, it died a day early because school was cancelled due to a snow day. Also… my vocal jury was cancelled which was a real answer to a real prayer.

So… just like we watched Carrie Underwood and her gang so *wonderfully* preform last night, “So long.. Farewell” dead week. See you next sem.

~Cheers

bitter sweet

It is a very puzzling phenomenon when you find yourself loosing excitement and joy about something you were once so passionate about. I find myself slowly no longer being satisfied with where I am at and wanting to move on. Yet there is part of me that keeps waiting for those old feelings and sensations to return, hoping that I will stay put.

Yet, as much as try to bring back what was in the past, the truth is things have changed. It is no longer like it once was… or maybe I’m just beginning to see what was really there.

Either way…

It is time to reflect on all the wonderful things. It is important to not become bitter in remembering the sweetness. So with that it is time to “so long” and “farewell.”

It is indeed…bitter sweet.

 

don’t FALL and BREAK yourself

It’s that wonderful time of year when the weather starts getting chilly. Everyone starts pulling out their scarves, comfy sweaters and boots. You can add a little “pumpkin spice” to just about anything and your refreshed from Fall Break.

Yes, it just ended it for me but it was a wonderful week of relaxing and enjoying family and friends.

So here’s fall. *cheers*

 

 

just be more.

It’s been almost exactly a month since school started. Getting back into the swing of things, figuring out how to manage the new semester and trying to remember everyone’s names. Yep, it’s sophomore year.

So far it has been a bit of a ride. I have a some-what heavy load. Trying to juggle a job that I have overworked myself at. And am in the midst of considering a transfer. To put it simply, I am a tad bit overwhelmed.

Part of my feelings are attributed to my perfectionist peacock self. I am all too hard on myself and want to do really well at everything I attempt. I have no desire to be told “that was great” or “good work.” The only thing I don’t respond  negatively to myself with is excellence. And…since I rarely achieve that, I am more-often than not overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed and want to give up.

Then starts this rut of being of being like the majority of people trying to do better, be more, aim higher, and achieve more. This brings me to write about a man named Sean Kouplen who I heard speak at a student ministry last night.

He talked about all of those people in our lives that seem to just have it together. They are happy, they are doing what they love, the seem so, “put together.” So he interviewed them on a quest to find out what their secret was. He shared the five things that they all have in common, and I would like to share them with you:

More and More

  1. Develop a clear vision of who you want to be
  2. Commit to being the best in everything we do
  3. Focus more on others and less on ourselves
  4. Be more grateful for what we have been given
  5. Believe the best is yet to come

So with that, I ask that join me to “#bemore” as Sandi Karkowski would say. Write these on your mirror or window. Every morning think of who you want to be, do your best, focus on other, be grateful, and believe that the future is bright.

Don’t be perfect. Just be more.

CHEERS!
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Visit Sean Kouplen’s website here to learn more about his story and his book! 

*The five steps to being “More and More” are from Sean Kouplen’s sermon given at Elevate in Broken Arrow, OK on September 12, 2013. 

 

 

It’s Over

Just like the title of one my favorite Roy Orbison songs… It’s Over. My freshman year of college is officially complete. I survived one out the supposedly four best years of my life. It flew by like a frisbee on an April afternoon.

Here’s a look on the past 9 months of my life.

One of my favorite parts about Tulsa is the coffee shops. Here was my first outing with the people who became some of my best friends. We called ourselves “The Sexy Six.”

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My next favorite memory was my very first Roommate Date. I convinced my date to wear these awesome reindeer ears. We also kinda matched. After iceskating I got a scar on my foot in the shape of heart. Needless to say, this moment will always be with me. 

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My floor, Imago Dei, was superb. For one of our first brother-sister wing events we played Bigger or Better. Yeah, we got a dryer.

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#Twapel was and will always be a great part of my ORU experience. My friend Kendal and I did a shout out to @TwapelCats one Friday. You can also see my lovely, experienced photo bomber of a friend, Jacob, in the background.

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My best Valentine’s Day to date (pun) was this year. Our brother wing sang to us and look at the Nerdy Peacock pillow my friend made me :)

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ORU worships nights were alway a great refresher. I sure do love my university!

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The year ended on a good note with the Imago Dei/Quest/Full Armor 2013 Banquet. I had a great date and great time with friends. I also decided I should probably take dance as an elective. :o

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That isn’t even close to how great my first year. ORU was wonderful. My friends were fantastic. And I can’t wait for sophomore year to begin!

RIP Freshman Year.

August 11, 2012 – May 5, 2013

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In the Crook of a Steinway

Steinway & Sons My college auditions are over, and what a great experience they were. My first time to stand on a stage, in the crook of a Steinway & Sons Piano, singing Mozart and Quilter. I felt so at home, so in my niche, and so eager to do this as a career.

With singing, it’s alway been hard to decide if I wanted to do it as a career or just a hobby. When I was about twelve, this was the time that High School Musical became all the rage, I realized that singing was actually cool. I had always thought of it as the nerdy, artsy thing to do (which I am totally okay with now, not when you’re an awkward twelve). High School Musical changed the opinions of acne-faced pre-teens across America, and that changed me.

Yet, it wasn’t until about six months ago that I really committed to the degree, Vocal Performance that is. My parents will vouch when I say I am still not entirely sure. For now, however, I am entirely sure. There’s something different about this degree than any other degree I could see myself doing: aspiration. I have considered so many careers, but what I have realized is that none of them have an aspiration. Performance is something that I aspire to be the best I can be at. I sometimes do not want to perform because I don’t like presenting something that is not my full capability, unlike other things that I simply just want to do “good enough” on. I have a dream, a vision, and a goal. And I believe in it. I believe it so much that as I begin to think about the days when that dream comes to pass, I am overjoyed and almost begin to weep (which is rare for me, ha).

Aspiration is the key. You have to want to move forward. Some things stay east and west. But the greatest go north. Move forward. Dream big. And aspire to something greater than yourself, all while staying in the crook of a steinway.

The Email I Never I sent….

Dear _______,

I always wanted to write an email to Steve. I thought it would be so entirely cool, even if he didn’t reply, but I never got around to it.

When I was in sixth grade I wanted to buy a computer and started to save up my money. I really wanted a white laptop, and that’s what drew me to the MacBook. My parents tried to tell me I didn’t really need that expensive of a laptop at such a young age, but I thought otherwise. I got my computer right before starting high school and it literally kinda changed my life. After owning a Mac, I longed to get on the computer and make videos, work in iMovie, do goofy edits in iPhoto, email colleges and search the internet for new things. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and has been a part of almost everything I do.

Steve’s creations weren’t the only things that inspired me. I researched about his past and how he got started. I thought to myself, “How cool.. this kid who is so young is calling HP and talking to the head guy to ask for parts to build his newest creation!” I often think of Steve at these moments in his life when I am scared to do something due to my young age, lack of experience or lack of education.

My heart is truly sadden that you are gone, Steve. I have never lost anyone close to me, and although I do not know you, it feels as though a part of my life is gone. You will be greatly missed. I hope that you are in Heaven, and I pray for your family, coworkers, friends and fans.

Sincerely,

Me
17yrs. Old
Mac user since April 2008

Children’s Center Bowl

Today is just another Monday. Actually, it is superb Monday!!! It’s one of those days where I have nothing to do, so I get to actually DO stuff. Such as, sort papers, fold laundry (so I can have clean underwear, and maybe get a head start on reading my new book.

Well, since it’s Monday that also means there was a weekend! :D Last Friday we had the 2nd Annual Children’s Center Bowl: Bethany vs. Washington. The Children’s Center (CC) is an amazing place in Bethany, OK that provides care to kids with disabilities. The week leading up to the big game both schools did fundraisers to earn money for the CC. We sold t-shrits, pizza, movie day tickets, and even did some penny wars. After all the money was collected and counting up the several big donations, Washington raised over 8,000 dollars, which is more than the two schools combined raised last year (that was over 7,000). With Bethany’s donations, the schools ended up raising over 10,000 dollars to the CC kids, which was amazing!

The Bethany Pride and Warrior Pride got together and performed two pieces of music in which the CC kids came out and played their music therapy instruments. As drum major, I got too see all the kids and smiles on their faces.

Children's Center BowlOverall, this game was for sure the highlight of my weekend, among other things like hanging out with my friends and having a church picnic. Week End or Week Day, it’s good to be alive.

Goal or Limitation

When setting goals and deciding what to do in life I often have a negative spin on the situation at hand. Instead of thinking of what I could accomplish by setting a goal, I think of what I could I accomplish outside of that goal. I tend to think of goals and focus as limits on my potential and while sometimes this can be true, often it is not. Is the real issue my lack of self-confidence? Is it my desire to do something else, and not having the risk taking guts? Or, could it simply be the reality of not wanting to work hard and aim for something, in fear that success will not be achieved. All I can say is the road gets fuzzier as I walk further down. Analyzation only leads to the desire to go with my “gut” and my “gut” only leads to wanting to check and make sure it’s really the right choice which leads to me to be the lonely kid on the teeter-totter in a park of dismay.

The only way to escape this park is to cry out the One who can give me all the answers and who can join me on my teeter-totter. He is the only one who can comfort me and give me direction. And although it is often hard to hear His voice, it is the voice of peace and assurance, that, while difficult in times of waiting, is rewarding in times of discovery. And so, I wait…. with conflicting thoughts, desires and feelings slowly beginning to receive the answer… the answer He knew all along…the answer He already told me long, long ago.

And so the world turns….

But hasn’t it always turned?

It’s my first official day as a senior and I am a little puzzled about how I should react. I think to myself… “Oh no! I can’t survive life on my own!” Well, after observing some of the things people, who I once thought of as “ahead of me,” have done I realize I am farther along than I think. I say, “I have too much to learn!” and while that is true, I will always be learning, even in my old age. And so I think, “What has God got up his sleeve?” and to that I say, “God doesn’t wear shirts!”

We often put ourselves into thinking that no one else has been in the position we have been in. We exclude ourselves from society thinking we are better, worse, more experienced, not experienced enough and the list goes on, when in reality there over six billion people on the planet; at least one has experienced what we have. These words that I type are stationed at thousands of IP addresses, not just mine….because although I may be eccentric in my little town, so are a lot of other people.

A few weeks ago I was asked in a group setting if I had ever felt like no one understood what it was like to me be. I didn’t raise my hand, and the person who asked the question said everyone should have, and so I pondered the question a bit more. However, I could not bring myself to think such a thing nor could I ever recall myself thinking such a thing. Yes, sometimes I tell my mother, “You just don’t understand!” and while this may be true, that doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t understand. I suppose I just think, Leigha, you’re not THAT special, other people have been in your shoes, they sell them everywhere!

And so, as a new chapter of my life is being opened, I think HOW ARE PEOPLE TO MAKE ALL THESE HUGE, LIFE-CHANGING DECISIONS BEFORE THEY EVEN TURN EIGHTEEN!?! Yet, I remind myself, I am not the only one. The world has turned since the beginning of time, and it will continue to do so for as long as the Creator chooses to practice his basketball skills. And so I will continue to life my life, as the world turns.