show choir = cool…what?

I’m thinking of a scenario… surely you’ve had one like this before. You meet someone new, instantly recognize them, but have no idea how or why you know them. Tonight, this happened to me as I was amongst a few new friends that I met several weeks ago. It’s sort of an awkward scenario because you don’t want to be the first person to say, “I know you from somewhere,” in case you really don’t… which would then make you look like a total creeper. Although I knew I had no reason to recognize them, their faces seemed so familiar. During continual conversation, we all realized simultaneously why we recognized each other… we were in show choir at different high schools in Indianapolis.


They were not embarrassed, but I was. For the past four years or so, I have been in cities that have absolutely no appreciation for show choir… Cincinnati, OH and Winston-Salem, NC. To them, show choir is for the outcasts and weirdos–and although I was probably both of those things, I was under the delusion in high school that show choir was amazingly cool.

Except… now that I think about how “intense” I thought it was… I get all the more embarrassed. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

It brought me down memory lane for a few moments as they asked what competitions I went to, what “shows” I was in, which “row” I claimed, etc. We all laughed and made fun of how strange the “Show Choir World” is, one in which boundaries are foreign and being with the same group of people day and night is completely healthy and normal.

All that to say, I do have show choir to thank for my abilities to dance horribly on command or be in front of people without stagefright. And one day, if I ever have a little girl that says, “Mommy, I want to be in Show Choir,” I will reply with, “Honey, let’s try ballet instead.”

new beginnings.

Alrighty–time for a “new beginning” update. I’ve had quite a few changes in the past week, so I’ll do this thing secretary style and give them a little order.

#1. My computer has been revived. Thanks to having Mark Durham in my life, aka Pater Familia, I can blow up my computer and then have him put it back together. This is not the first time this has happened… last time, laundry detergent was coming out the backend of my MacBook. Yes–I am that good.

#2. I’m a resident of Broadway. Really, it’s fate. Our bathroom still does not have a sink, I’m brushing my teeth in an unfinished kitchen, and my bed has wheels. Did I mention that I live with two of my favorite people in the world, walk next door to have a wardrobe change, and sit on the front porch in the mornings in preparation for the day? Because of all of those things… I love my life.

#3. I’m on staff at Chapel Rock Christian Church. I had my first “official” day today–you know you’re official when you have a nametag and a list of phone extensions for everyone else in the office. I was greeted with a vase full of flowers and an office with a window (very important). Love it so far and I’m anticipating the things to come.

#4. One of my best friends is a no longer a “Miss.” Her wedding was stinkin’ beautiful for all the right reasons… and I even made it through without balling my eyes out, which is a huge step for me. Although my feet had quite a few blisters, beauty is pain. Their ceremony was intimate and just plain lovely. :)

#5. I’m an early riser. I don’t know what it is–the sunlight in my bedroom or a renewed sense of energy, but I have naturally woken up daily around 7am. And it actually feels pretty good.

Welp, that’s all for now. Perhaps I will experience a new beginning coming home from work today as I attempt to fight the traffic of Meridian street for the first time… more tomorrow, or next week. :-)

Just call me Crash Durham.

I’ve had many “firsts” here at Pinedale. First time living in the South… first time sweating in the Spring season… first time having to say, “make that tea UN-sweetened, please.” However, perhaps the most monumental “first” was accomplished last night as I obliviously drove down into a ditch while attempting to make a U-turn.

Yes, I am okay. Yes, my car is alright. No, I wasn’t intoxicated.
Last night as I was waiting for Candace outside the church, I pulled off to the side to get out of the way of those trying to get to the highway. Welp, Candace came out… got in, and I thought, “hmm… I either back up or make a quick U-turn. I’m in a little rabbit, surely this is no big deal.” What I failed to realize was that I was about to make a U-turn into a ginormo ditch, so what was seemingly “no big deal” turned into a tiny problem. The “somewhat-level” grass dropped down. At first, I assumed I just miscalculated and tried to put it in reverse (yes, I really am that dumb). Within seconds, about ten students came running to my car, and one youth leader said, “You’re going to need to call a tow truck.” I looked out my window to the ground and replied, “Wait a minute, are my back wheels in the air?”
Fortunately for me, an elder at Pinedale owns a body shop and came to my rescue. My car is fine, no catastrophic damage done. Funniest part of all? Although I would love to tell you I was dodging a deer or a small child, I really just drove straight down into the ditch thinking it was a flat-level plain.

Will the coffee-addicts please stand up?

Not long ago, I lived with a coffee-addict. I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee, much less the taste. I made fun of her addiction… pretending to be better than her since I didn’t have to rely on caffeinated drinks.

Then I had an 8am class with an incredibly monotone professor, and suddenly, coffee sounded delicious. Every other morning, I headed to the coffee shop before class to grab myself a latte, and soon those lattes became coffee with cream and sugar, and soon after that… I went for the hard stuff–straight-up black coffee.

Now, I have nothing to say for myself. I’d like to blame it on the fact that two of my co-workers get an extra large coffee from Sheetz, but truth is, I did this to myself. I fell victim and now there is absolutely no turning back. I’m full-blown addicted to this poisonous, addictive drink.

For the past few months, I’ve been getting headaches almost every Saturday–and just yesterday I realized the root behind the symptom. I sleep in on Saturdays… forgoing coffee and going straight to lunch with ice water. No caffeine. It is no longer a mystery. I depend on this poisonous, addictive drink–plain and simple.

There are worse things, I suppose. Admitting is the first step to recovery… except, I fully don’t intend on recovering.

Best Birthday Breakfast… ever.

Alrighty, you avid readers (all 3 of you) … I will make my best attempts to convey our engagement in blog-like form. I have to warn you though, there is simply no possible way that my words can do it any sort of justice. I would have to hire a real writer for that. So as for now, you get me. Slight disclaimer: I have been to Atlanta and back in 48 hours, my mind is still in Jr. High mode, and I am running on minimal sleep. Give me a little grace. :)

Kyle flew down here last Saturday to spend the week in Winston. Saturday was a blur–he had woken up at 3am to fly to Greensboro, therefore he was pretty much out of sorts the rest of the day. Sunday was busy, he met lots of people and we called the night early and said our goodbyes. We had planned on going to Duke that Monday, which we did… very satisfying for both Kyle and myself. We snuck into Cameron Indoor Stadium–which I must admit was a bit of a milestone in our relationship. Kyle was a little hesitant to go in because it said “closed practice” and the lights were turned off, but CLEARLY no one was practicing and honestly… what harm could it do? What were they going to do, arrest us? No. So we braved it and walked around the stadium long enough for Kyle to feel complete. We are basically bad to the bone.

Tuesday came and went, pretty normal day. I went to work and Kyle read/played basketball/hung out by himself. He met some more people that night–such a trooper. We stopped by Food Lion on our way home from a friend’s house to get breakfast supplies for my Birthday breakfast. We had planned on making breakfast and LuAnn & Wayne’s (where he was staying for the week), and so I went to grab a six eggs (how many eggs can two people eat?) and he grabbed the carton full of twenty eggs. He said we could leave the rest for LuAnn & Wayne. Hmm. Weird… I dismissed it and laughed it off as Kyle being Kyle.

Wednesday morning, I arrived at LuAnn & Wayne’s on time (a victory for me), and Kyle came to the door in complete disarray, appearing as though his eyes were crusted shut and said, “Hey, sorry, I just woke up… I will go get ready. Start making breakfast. I love you, I’m so sorry. Oh… and… don’t go upstairs, your present isn’t wrapped yet. Oh yes, and Happy Birthday.” Trying not to show my aggravation, I smiled sweetly and chuckled on the inside knowing that somehow Kyle always seemed to wake-up late on days that matter. Minutes later, Kyle waltzed into the kitchen, asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. After receiving instruction, I opened my eyes and he was on one knee and gently said, “Anne, will you marry me?” I whispered yes without hesitation, and before I could say anything else, Kyle interrupted with, “Hold on, your other present is upstairs. Come follow me.” What? Two presents?

I followed him upstairs, feeling a little unnerved about this whole second present thing… I’m not good with surprises–my quota was about up for one day. He opened the door and there sat three familiar, smiling faces–Caitlin, Laura, and Stephanie–three of my closest friends from high school and college. I screamed as though I had just won Deal or No Deal, and then walked in two of our other friends from college–Jared and Josh. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! They proceeded to tell me that they drove through the night, arrived at 6am, and were here just for my birthday/engagement. Kyle had arranged it all. Every question I had, he had already taken care of… what about this? What about the plane ticket? What about work today? What about the photoshoot? Took care of it. He knew that I would want my friends around to show their support, so he brought them to me.

So, there you have it. I really am such a lucky girl… er, woman.


A couple of weeks ago, my friend Cait came to visit me down in sunny, southern North Carolina. Except… it wasn’t sunny, and really, Winston-Salem isn’t ALL that Southern. Anyway, we were driving around the city and discovered that Maya Angelou lives in Winston and is an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University. WHAT!? Maya…Angelou… as in THE Maya Angelou? Yes. You really would think people would wear this fact on their sleeve, like, “Hello, welcome to Winston-Salem, the home of Maya Angelou.” I know that’s what I would be saying.

A few days later, I came across this quote of hers that rings quite loudly in my own life recently, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Hmm. I got to thinking about that… analyzing it, wondering what sparked that thought for Maya. After running through a plethora of possibilities, I began to internalize it. I don’t speak because I think I have the answers; I don’t write because I know the solutions to the world’s problems. I speak, sing, write, cry, laugh, scream… all because I have a song. A story. And the story goes like this: I have been rescued by a God that captured my soul and heart, and to Him, I owe my life.

I guess that I hope that the stories we tell, sing, or write are not for the pure sake of knowing answers. I think all of us would agree that it is much easier to pay attention or listen to anyone that actually believes the story they’re telling. When it’s from the heart, suddenly no one cares about cliches, lame jokes, or even repeats. I certainly long to be heard–not because I found the truth, but because the Truth found me. THAT, my friends, is a song worth singing.

Warning: Perfectionist gone mediocre.

I have this … quirk. Actually, I’m not really sure what to call it. I think it’s a quirk, but it could very well be a huge problem that haunts the majority of my daily tasks. We’ll call it perfectionism. I have recently been re-learning the concept that one’s weakness is also their strength, and in my case, that cliche certainly rings true. Welcome to my world–the world of re-thinking, over-analyzing, re-writing, procrastinating, then worrying about the procrastinating until finally I have worried myself into a headache in which I then decide to actually accomplish what I first set out to accomplish. Exhausting, right?

The good thing about being a perfectionist is that I demand success from myself. Mediocrity is a four-letter word, and I continually ask myself, “How could I do this better?” Of course, the drawback is that I also frequently set myself up for failure. If I am going to do something halfway–I shy away and say eh, another day, another time… then which I procrastinate and the entire process recycles.

This has been my experience with blogging. When I looked up “blog” in the dictionary (conveniently stored in my Widgets, thank you Steve Jobs), it said, “A website on which an individual or group of users produces an ongoing narrative.” Hmm… ongoing narrative, sounds both riveting and excruciatingly boring. At any rate, I have made up my mind to stop being such a perfectionist loser and to instead create a blog–one in which I believe it has been deemed acceptable by those in charge of Blog Land to make grammatical errors, write about pointless everyday events/things, and even misspell a few words. Sometimes I may have something revelatory to say (which is highly doubtful), and other times… I will be a bunch of mumbo jumbo. No matter what the product comes out to, I will make use of this little blog for exactly the purpose in which it started… to be a bunch of mumbo jumbo, that somebody, somewhere will stumble upon, glean from, laugh at, and then move onto another site in Internet world. (Props to Al Gore… you didn’t know? He invented the net.)

All that to say, welcome. You may laugh at me, cry with me, or grow so bored you fall asleep. Either way, I’m starting over in my “blogging experience.” I make no promises.