I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted an updated fangirl report on here. But to be honest, as you get older, adulting is a thing and it can totally harsh your fangirl mellow. But that being said after tomorrow…I’ll have some more fun news to report for you!
Tomorrow, I have tickets to see the man, the myth, the legend- Justin Timberlake in his MAN OF THE WOODS TOUR. If you remember, seeing J.T. in concert is on my Fall Bucket List…so I am super happy to be able to check that one off!
It has been a while since I’ve seen him in concert. My Fangirl life is pretty well documented on this blog though. See lists of posts below…
Needless to say, I feel like JT is kind of doing his thing this tour. He isn’t really attending many award shows because he’s touring, and to be honest I haven’t been keeping up with the award shows either. He isn’t really doing many public appearances, again, because he’s touring. And I’m doing life on my end, and we just meet in the middle. Haha. Normally I’m like tracking his every move, but ya homegirl has a busy life now! I feel like I barely have enough time in a day! Haha. Thanks to his instagram I can still keep up. But I’ve learned not everything has to be super urgent.
Was I excited when his new album came out?
Did I buy it?
Did I have a private dance party, alone in my room, at midnight.
Do I continue to purchase *NSYNC tees like a psycho?
Um of course.
[They just released VOL. 2 of the new *NSYNCmerch collection. (that doormat tho! haha)]
Did I try to get tickets when they went on sale?
Yup was on Ticketmaster bright and early, and no luck!
So I realized something. If I want to go. I will make it happen. I kept checking back and waited out those damn ticket prices, til I felt the price was reasonable and the seats were decent enough. I love you JT, but I am not made of money bro! Ticketmaster was legit, driving me crazy. But after a while, I finally got my tickets a few weeks ago, and it’s a go for tomorrow!
Me and my best friend are wearing matching t-shirts, I found in Target HERE, and I have my Fangirl To Do/Prep List ready to go for when I get out of work today. #NERD
Tomorrow is going to be so crazy, I have work, then I have to rush home, change and head out! I am so freakin’ excited though! It’s going to feel like old times. Nostalgia.
^Me and my best friend…I can’t wait to add a new picture to this! 😀
I haven’t let myself watch too much footage from the concert, because I knew I was planning to go. But I have seen the vibe of it, very campfire, woodsy, earthy. I love it, and I am with it. Although I feel like my obsession with this album isn’t as strong as my others, but this album is definitely feel good, chill vibes. And I’m ready for it. I am getting pumped writing this as I listen to the album, lol. [Flannel is playing right now- has become one of my favorites.] And I’m sure he’s going to throw in the nostalgia hits, #Cry Me A River, #What Goes Around, #Mirrors. Omg I am so ready, you guys! Last time I did a whole vlog situation, but honestly it was very time consuming and I filmed a get ready with me and all that too, and I just don’t have the time for that this year. I’m rushing home to go see him as it is. Besides, sometimes you just want to be in the moment and not worry about having to capture it on a recording device. So as much as I would love to have another JT concert vlog for MLW, I think I’ll just stick to crappy cell phone coverage and my oh so wise words. 😉 But I will of course be doing a concert review!
So stay tuned for that!
Fangirl TO DO/PREP List:
Pick an outfit- accessories, shoes, jacket, makeup look, hair style- Ugh! I have a few ideas for an outfit but I haven’t really made an official decision yet! #GirlProblems
Clear out cell camera (always getting full, gosh! #memories)
Listen to JT albums (gotta get them singing skills ready!)#NOVOICEATWORKONTHURSDAY
Directions for venue (just in case I have a mental fart and can’t remember where I’m going, it’s possible! haha)
Chat with bestie/confirm plans
Also quick side note: J.T. wrote a BOOK! It comes out literally in ONE WEEK, Next Tuesday, October 30th! And yes I will be buying it. Hey maybe I’ll do a little book review! 😉 Seriously though, is there anything this dude can’t do?
*I do not take credit for the JT album or the JT book cover image.*
As I reflect on 2017, sifting through my memory jar, my Instagram and my blog posts, I realize SO MUCH happened this year. At the start of the year I made a vision board that I framed. It was made of just cool funky colors and images to match my room, but it also had one main word in the center and that word was CHANGE. I wanted to change and work on so many things and I wanted to make that word my mantra. As someone who fears change, I wanted 2017 to be the year I embraced it. And even though I had my ups and downs, my tearful breakdowns, my stressed out moments, and I lost a very special person- My Grandma very early on in 2017, I still managed to make some incredible memories.
I’d I have to say that I rose to the occasion and embraced change. I changed. And this year I’m hoping to continue to change. To better myself, my life, my relationships and my career.
So here are My 2017 Highlights.
(in no particular order-but categorized)
-I rung in 2017 with my dad’s side of the family- my parents, my cousins, my aunt, and my grandparents. We even got to skype my brother and sister in law who were on their honeymoon in Hawaii at the time. I dressed up, made glitter cups, ate fun finger foods, and lit up sparklers as we had an impromptu dance party outside. It was a blast. It was in fact the last Holiday I got to spend with my Grandmother before she passed in February. I’m glad my family got to have that time together. It was also a huge family reunion when she passed, family and friends from all over came to be together. Although such a sad time, it was beautiful to see how much love there is and how many people wanted to share in honoring her life. Read more about that journey HERE.
-Many family dinners, my brother hosted a few holidays at his new house- memorial day, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas 2017, and New Year’s! My mom also hosted a few family dinners too. A lot of time spent with my immediate family. ❤
-I became a Titi. (In Spanish it means Aunt.) My sister in law and brother found out they were expecting their first child, so we got to be apart of the baby kicks and all that, I even got to sit in on one of their sonogram visits! We were all there for the birth and for hospital visits and for her Welcome Home. We also got to be with her for her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! She’s precious. I’m obsessed.
-My family/friends welcomed a few new babies- my cousin’s baby girl, my brother and sister in law’s baby (my niece!!!!), and one of my oldest friends- Kate’s baby boy.
-I attended special occasions like, my little cousin’s first birthday- it was a mickey mouse clubhouse theme!, my best friend Roe’s engagement party (where I was asked to be one of her maid of honors), I also went for several bridesmaids dresses, and got to see both my best friend’s in their wedding dresses during their hunt for the perfect dress! Attended my other best friend Jenny’s shower, bachelorette party,rehearsal dinner and wedding, where I was her maid of honor and my other friend Kate’s wedding/baby shower and her wedding!
-Took a Zumba class.
-I caught up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while!
-Had a few girls nights/day in/out. Got to see my best friend Jenny’s new place. Had lunch with my mom and my best friend and her mom. Met up with a high school friend a few times, had some sushi and froyo with some work friends, and went to visit with old middle school friends.
-I dragged my Aunt and my mom to the Mermaid Parade, in the rain and we ended up having a blast! Of course I dressed up!
-I got to see my two little girl cousins in their Talent Show, my other boy cousin in his school play where he played Mufasa in Lion King Jr. and my God Daughter’s first dance recital!!! I love going to creative things like that, they are so inspirational. And I always end up tearing up. I love art!
-I read milk & honey.
-I went to the Polar Express again!
-My cousin moved back from Florida for a few months. So I got to see him, and it was nice because he hasn’t been home for that long in a long time.
-Had a fun park day with my God daughter and her baby brother.
-I spent the 4th of July at home with some family, we had food outside and then went on our roof to watch fireworks.
-My family and I went to this old neighborhood amusement park we used to go to as kids, and we played mini golf and I beat my brother! HA! 😉
-Had a fun Beach Day with my mom, cousins, and Aunt. I only made it to the beach once that summer, but at least it was once!
-Started doing holiday/festive themed bulletin boards for my classes to display their Creative Writing work.
-My job hosted a Talent Show and my class did a skit called “School Struggles,” and they did so good!
-I got a bunch of last day of Summer cards from kids I work with. The word around my co-workers was I got the most. 😉 I was kind of super flattered and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂
-A few movie projects were completed by my kids in my Film Making class.
-Chaperoned a few trips- one was to see Captain Underpants (which was surprisingly really entertaining!) at this really cool theater with reclining comfy seats, blankets, pillows and food service! The other was to the Museum of Moving Image which was really cool! We even got a special viewing of Moana.
-My job hosted an end of the year carnival- with blowup rides, a photo booth, DJ, and a Taco truck…can you guys what was my favorite part—T-A-C-O!!!!
–Stranger Things & Fuller House released new seasons and they are killing the game!
-That’s So Raven got a Reboot- Raven’s Home– the nostalgia is real! Raven and Chelsea still crack me up!
–Will & Grace got a Reboot as well, and they haven’t changed a bit!
-Got hooked on and binged Scream the TV series
-Also got hooked on Riverdale…and fell in love with a new ship- #BUGHEAD
-Bethany Joy Lenz was in a new film on Lifetime- Snowed Inn Christmas, and my best friend Roe and I watched it during our “Best Friend Christmas” tradition we have every year where we get together and exchange our gifts and watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate and Sangria while munching on snacks. And let me tell you this movie was AWESOME! It had everything- Christmas magic, humor, romance, heart, a handsome guy, and our girl Joy! Duh? 😉
-I fell in love with lighting candles, and wearing big comfy sweaters, which if you know me I used to shy away from because scents and fear of overheating myself would cause my anxiety to spike. I know that sounds like a weird highlight, but for me it means that I’m able to manage my anxiety in a way I wasn’t able to before. And do things people normally don’t think twice about.
-I had a pretty fun fall- a lot of fall vibes, went to a pumpkin patch and got my fall goodies, lit candles, bought festive soaps and décor. Watched a bunch of Halloween movies, I even ordered Halloweentown on DVD, (FINALLY!).
-Had a Stranger Things Premiere Party (post COMING SOON!)
-I had a really special moment in confession this year. Read more about it HERE.
-I sent my god daughter and her baby brother (my second cousins) and my niece my special hand made, Santa Letters. It’s a tradition I started with my God daughter when she was born. I write a letter to her from Santa and mail it. So I continued it for her brother and of course I had to start it for my new little niece! ❤
-I was given a few special gifts in honor of my new role as “Titi,” two t-shirts, a bracelet and an ornament.
-I baked my butt off for this holiday season- for Thanksgiving I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies with Reese’s Pieces, and for Christmas I made Chocolate cake batter cookies with Peppermint kisses in the middle and then White cake mix cookies with Milk Chocolate kisses in the middle and I also made a Berry Crumble.
-I’m learning my limits, and when to say no. I’m a fixer, and I realize rationally I can’t fix what I can’t control. And in this life there is a whole lot we have no control over!
-I put my birthday gift-Ninja bulletto good use and started making smoothies!
-I continue to decorate and organize my room.
-Last Summer, I died my hair BLUE! and now it’s like a green/teal. I have yet to post pics, but that’ll be a post COMING SOON! After the last wedding I’m in, in July, I’m thinking of doing another color next Summer…maybe purple? 😉
That was my year in review as you can see, A LOT HAPPENED. And after my family was hit with a major heartache and loss early in the year, it’s an amazing thing to say that for the most part 2017 was a really good year. Looking back on all these memories, I realize that so much change happened and I managed to get through it all and make the most of it- at least I tried in most cases. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard, or scary, but I realized that a lot of the changes were good, happy things. And although they can come with stress too, I’m happy to say that I had so many good things to celebrate. I hope 2018 is just a celebratory for my friends and family but also for myself. 2017 was a lot about me showing up for other people, and although I don’t regret it, I realize I still didn’t get to do a lot of what I set out to do in 2017. So I hope to accomplish them in 2018. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue being there for my family and friends, it just means learning when to say no, and learning when to make myself a priority. Like Sophia Bush once yet,
“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”
I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, 2018! May all your dreams for this year come true. Cheers!
Before we roll into the new year I just wanted to do a little reflection/recap on #BLOGMAS.
I actually did it!!!! 25 days, 25 posts- a post a day, everyday!
There were many times I doubted if I would stick to it. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know there are many times I let life sidetrack me from my blogging goals.
However, this was something I set out to do, to see if I could actually meet the challenge.
In the beginning, I felt it was pretty easy to post, because I had a few posts already scheduled and ready to go. It was just a matter of checking in on things and then posting to social media. So it was a breeze- then it got harder as I had to post in real time. Every day, I had to set aside time to make sure I could write, edit, and post all in one day. And this is when I realized just how difficult it could be.
With all the holiday things going on- the shopping, the planning, and other things in life like friendships, family, and work, it was difficult to stay on track. Towards the end, I was uploading minutes before midnight! But I made it!
I even blogged ON Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day. I had planned to schedule those ahead of time, but it just got so stressful and so busy, with baking and last minute shopping for the little things. This Christmas was absolutely insane, a lot of traveling around, and it just felt like I was going and going non-stop. I have a new little niece so we had a lot of new special traditions this year.
So in between all that, I was typing up posts on the go, on my crappy cell phone. Making myself slightly car sick! Lol. Hey, at least you can’t say that’s not dedication! Right?
Needless to say not only was my cell phone giving me trouble, my laptop decided to die on me too! So in the face of this challenge I had given myself, it felt like there were a lot of obstacles against me. But I pushed past every one. I borrowed my mom’s computer, my aunt’s computer, to continue the journey, I typed notes into my cellphone, I excused myself on Christmas Eve and Day to upload on my brother’s computer, all on minimal hours of sleep and holiday stress. Just so I could prove to myself that I could do this. And I did. Wherever I went I had BLOGMAS on the brain.
I know it may not be a big deal to some of you reading this, but to me, it’s a huge deal. I often let this blog slide, when I have a lot going on in my life, because it’s my blog, I can pick up whenever or wherever I want. But giving myself a challenge, made me feel like I was being held accountable for something. Don’t get me wrong I felt rude at times sneaking away to write or sneaking off to work on a post/use someone else’s computer to post. (NOT THAT I USED WITHOUT ASKING PERMISSION, lol, because that would just be rude.) I just mean that I did feel bad doing something for myself in the middle of the holidays where your supposed to be sharing it with others. But it was important to me, and I think they all (or at least I hope they all) understood. I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying time with my family. I did what I had to do for BLOGMAS and shut the computer down and resumed my family time.
Another thing I had to come to terms with when posting daily, (because I didn’t always have time to plan and pre-write) was that I couldn’t over-analyze my ideas for my posts. I got an idea, if it was feasible in a day, I ran with it. It usually will take me hours to write, edit and post. Especially if it’s a short story. But with BLOGMAS I was in a bit of a constant time crunch. So I had to leave my perfectionism behind. At times it was hard, because I felt like it wasn’t my best work, but BLOGMAS was a learning experience. You don’t have to love what you write, everyday, but writing everyday is great for a writer to do.
My posts were all Christmas related, which was not my initial intension. But it kind of just happened that way, I guess I was inspired by the season.
Another thing that was new to me, was posting regularly to my social media websites for this blog during BLOGMAS. In case you didn’t know michelleleighwrites is on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram! Come follow along! I’d love to chat with you! 😉 And as someone who personally doesn’t post to social media everyday, it took some getting used to. But it was a cool experience.
I know I also mentioned this to you guys at some point, how my WordPress accountneeds updating and I haven’t been able to do that yet, so my photo memory is extremely limited, and so it was a challenge to post without images. I always like to have an image accompany my writing, I feel like it adds a visual aspect. I had to go in and delete images to make room for the few new ones I needed, or work with images I already had. There were many weird obstacles during BLOGMAS, and usually when things like that have happened in the past in life, I would just be like “Oh well, it’s not working, I can’t do it.” But not this time. I set a goal and I met it! I think there was only one day where I posted to social media a few minutes late, but it was posted on the blog, on time, so I was in the clear! Lol.
It was a long BLOGMAS journey, but it kind of flew by and the more the time passed, the days grew and the numbers on the calendar kept climbing, and I kept posting and it just started to become part of my routine and it started to feel really good. There were times I thought to myself, “I’ve got this,” and there were times where I was like, “Oh no, I’m going to miss my deadline!” But I did it, I posted every day from December 1-25 and I am super proud I was able to commit to it and complete the task I set out to do. For myself, but also for all of you.
Thank you for reading… (and if you missed any days of the MLW #BLOGMAS series, I will link them all down below for you to browse.)
Last year I announced that I was going to be doing a Mini Vlogmas– that I would vlog from December 23-Decemeber 31st. And I did. However, the editing process was put on a super long overextended hold- I didn’t start/get finished editing until late July/August 2017. While I loved documenting my holiday season with my family and friends, as I thought about publically posting the vlogs, I felt conflicted.
I fully intended on posting my journey of festive fun- full of good food and good company- when it came time to share, I just don’t think my entire family would have all been ok with their life being put on the internet. And I respect that, so I officially decided that I will not be posting these vlogs. Instead I think I will burn them to discs and keep them like my own little home movies to look back on.
However, I decided to share some pics of my Holiday/my To Do List/Schedule instead.
December 23rd-Christmas Shopping
Straightened up my mess of a room.
Ran some errands/Went Shopping at some drug stores and grocery stores for stocking stuffers and all my baking goods.
Made Christmas goody bags for the kiddies in my family.
I shared some Christmas Cards I received from a few of my students.
I filled my stockings by the chimney with care.
Wrapped all Christmas Gifts.
December 24th- Christmas Eve
Did a little Get Ready with Me- hair, makeup, & outfit.
Went to visit my Grandparents and saw a bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins as well!
Went to midnight mass (got baby Jesus blessed and put baby Jesus in our manger at home.)
December 25th- Christmas Day
Baked more cookies!
Opened gifts at home with my family.
Went to visit some more family at my cousin’s house-and we all met the newest family member- my baby boy cousin.
December 26th-God Daughter Sleepover
My god daughter came to have a sleepover.
We played Barbies. (did a mini Barbie mannequin challenge haha)
Had a dance party!
Watched a Barbie movie.
Built a gingerbread house.
Had her favorite for dinner—TACOS!
Built a tent and watched a movie.
December 27th- Pamper Day
Lit some candles.
Did a face mask and hair mask.
Gave myself a manicure.
Did some other girly grooming bits like used a foot scrub and lip scrub, etc.
Ordered take out.
Watched some movies.
December 28th & 30th- Best Friend Christmas/Christmas Exchange
Had my usual Best Friend Christmas Day with my best friend Roe.
We built a gingerbread house.
Sipped on some homemade Coquito.
Youtubed some Mark & Lexie from Grey’s Anatomy.
The 29th- was a super lazy/chill day/I didn’t really have anything to vlog.
Met my other best friend Jenny for dinner and dessert at a cute local Italian place. We had some wine and everything was just so delicious!
We exchanged gifts.
December 31st/January 1st-New Year’s Eve/Day
Went through my 2016 Memory Jar.
Made glitter cups.
Went to my Grandparents and saw some aunts and cousins too!
Had an out door dance party and lit some sparklers.
What a fun, blessed week of family, friends, and happy memories I will cherish forever!
When I finally finished editing all of these vlogs and I was about to upload them to YouTube and share them here with you on this blog, I started to feel something pull at me. And I just started to not feel right about including other people’s images. I love sharing my world with those who keep up with this blog. However, I have a lot of kid’s in my family and I think images of other people’s children should be treated with respect. And I just didn’t feel right putting anything up. I go into a more in-depth description of my experience with video and vlogging in my Video Update post.
Have you ever vlogged before? What’s your take on sharing with strangers?
I love YouTube. I think it’s a super cool, creative way to express oneself. And some of the work these creators put out is so cinematic, it’s like watching a mini movie and I totally dig it! You can get really creative with this medium. So much so, that people are making careers out of it.
VLOGMAS has recently started, and basically if you don’t know what that is, it’s when vloggers (video bloggers) vlog everyday of December leading up to Christmas day. I know there are a million vloggers out there in cyber space. But I thought I’d share with you, who I enjoy watching. So these are my favs…
Each of these ladies are super relatable. Each with their own style and persona. I enjoy their content so much because I feel like if I were to run into them in the mall, or something I could totally have a great conversation with them over coffee and become besties with them. There are certainly more vloggers I enjoy watching, but right now these are the ladies I’m keeping up with this Vlogmas season.
**Kalyn Nicholsonis also one of my absolute favs, but she is not doing Vlogmas, instead she is waiting until mid December to do her own- 12 days of K-MAS. Can’t wait for that! She did YouTober this October (daily vlogging for the whole month) and it was seriously so good and I looked forward to her videos everyday.
Who do you like watching this VLOGMAS season. Have you ever vlogged, yourself?
January 8th, 2013, I took the leap. A leap that was years and years in the making. I’ve always loved to write but sharing is something that I always halted upon.
Even now it is difficult to hand my work to someone to read, so I put it up here to get it out there.
I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you feel, or how you take what I post on here, but my hope is that you can relate. That you and I have similar hearts and we somehow can understand each other.
“A safe place for the written word.” That is the motto of this blog. That is what this blog represents for me, and in turn I want it to represent that for anyone who reads it, because I know how it feels to be a writer and to feel that level of uncertainty in everything you write and post.
I work with kids and I teach Creative Writing, Film Club (a film analysis type class), and Improv Theater. Our new session started and I switched things up a bit, and instead of Film Club I am doing Film Making.
In college I studied, Film and Broadcasting. Although I can’t say I ever fully felt confident in my film making skills, I know I have it in me, to create something that people can feel from and relate too. For a long time I strayed from filming. It was a creative fear of mine, and to some extent I think it still is. Will I know what I’m doing? What if I mess up? What if I do it wrong? What if no one understands my message? Those questions can really mess with my head and in turn they stop me from doing something I actually really do love.
But as I become more and more in love with YouTube, I get inspired to want to be creative on a different level. I’ve made promises on this blog many times, about wanting to film more, about wanting to create videos based upon my writing. I would dabble in it and then stop, there wasn’t too strong of a follow through. And I feel like I’ve let myself down, and by extension let you down too.
But last year I had the right idea, I didn’t make you promises, I kind of just let myself go and be and see what happened. And in turn a concert vlog was put up. Something I didn’t plan, something that just happened. Being able to look back on that experience is really something cool, and I’m really glad I did it!
I’m a planner by nature and so instinctively I already have a list of goals for 2017. One of them is to expand this blog and to expand my YouTube channel. For years I’ve had a channel and I barely post on it.
I announced I was going to do a short small version of Vlogmas-where vloggers on YouTube video their daily life for the entire month of December. I started my vlogging on December 23rd and continued post Vlogmas and into New Year’s Eve. I took a break on the 28th because there wasn’t anything really going on, but a vlogged for about a week, consistently. I have always thought vlogging was so cool, and I wanted to give it a chance. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at myself for actually doing it!
Spoiler Alert: Editing has been a slow process, but I am actually in the process of uploading my first day on YouTube now! (When they are all edited/posted I will do a whole post with all the links! It’s going to be a while, but I am definitely feeling the editing high from this last once, man I’ve missed that feeling!)
This year is already off to a cool start.
I feel like agreeing to teach film making has given me the push I needed to get myself back into film making. It scares me to be teaching it, but because I took that on, I feel a sense of responsibility to teach my students everything I know and everything I don’t know. Which means I will have to get back into it and research and learn. I’m scared, but I’m really excited. We already got our equipment in and I felt like my heart lit up and my mind started going with ideas. The kids seem really enthusiastic which I think is just want I need to keep up the momentum!
Another thing that I am happy to say is that I have been working on a new short story series- Welcome Home. There are currently two chapters up and the third will be up this coming week!
My posting days may change as well, I feel like Mondays are difficult for me, for some reason. I start to prep a post and then it doesn’t get posted until Tuesday. Same as with Thursday posts, sometimes they don’t get posted until Friday. So I’m going to start to really plan out my schedule and see when the best day to fit in writing and researching is and when the best days for this blog will be. I want to give it the time it deserves. I don’t want to rush content.
I really want this year to inflict change in my life. Good change. Change is something I fear constantly. But change is also what makes life interesting. It’s what gets you from point A to point B an eventually to point Z. Accepting change, living in the now and really challenging myself is what I want to work on this year. It’s all about just being the best version of me, doing my best and striving for greatness.
So thank you for all your support. Thank you for reading, liking, following.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope to interact more with you this year! 😀
I like to believe in the underdogs, because when they make it, the feeling is stronger somehow.
God Bless. Happy 2017!
Happy 4th to my baby – Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or rather my toddler, you guys this blog is already a toddler!!!!
My camera year is wrong…should say 2016, ignore that mishap.
As I sat down on New Year’s Eve to sift through my memory jar- a bandwagon that I finally hopped on two years ago- I was amazed at how little I felt like I did, because of how quickly I felt the year had flown by. It was a blur for me. But as I dove into these colored pieces of paper, the many memories came flooding back….and a lot actually happened. It’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in the holiday bit at the end of the year, that we forget all the memories we made throughout the year.
So here are some of my most favorite memories- (in no particular order!)
*My 2016 Highlights*
Took my god daughter to see Trolls- “Sophie’s big girl movie date”- Trolls, went to a diner, and saw the Christmas Lights with my family.
Had a little Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere Party but… RIP Glenn still heartbroken: / haven’t watched an episode since then, but my party looked awesome. Read my post HERE!
Celebrated my grandmother’s 83rd birthday with a whole bunch of family.
I made a few job changes and had to bounce around a bit, which was a bit difficult but finally found a place where I am happy for now, it was for the better- I’m building a work family and have made some great friends. Read my post on “adulting” HERE!
I finally got to pretend to be a YouTube vlogger and did a Mini “Vlogmas” from Dec. 23-Dec. 31 into 2017 (Stay Tuned!)
My brother and I started to shoot the first installment of our zombie short, but it got halted because…. #WeddingCraziness #BridalShowerCraziness
michelleleighwrites turned 3!!!!!!! Read my postHERE! (It’s turning 4 in a WEEK!!!!!!)
Justin Timberlake released new music & a video – Can’t Stop The Feeling! (he also produced the soundtrack to Trolls (What a beautiful, fun loving film, highly recommend seeing it!). Read my fangirl report HERE!
Valentine’s Day Girls Nite In with my girls.
Celebrated my Aunt Mary’s birthday with some dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant and had some Pepsi- her favorite drink. Love you Aunt Mary, Miss you!
Bruno Mars new album, listening to it as I write. So obsessed! #24KMagic #Chunky #ThatsWhatILike #VersaceOnTheFloor #Finesse LISTEN
Rocked some obnoxious Christmas Lights for the holidays. #BestDecisionOfMyLife #5BucksWellSpent #ShoutOutToStrangerThings
Received some handmade Christmas cards from my students.
30th Birthdays Celebrations- We hosted a big family dinner for my sister in law and went on an AC family trip for my brother.
Family BBQ’s!!! #Cousins
Best Friend Weekend. – Even at 25, my best friend and I still keep our sleepover tradition going. It started off going to the Zumba class that my best friend teaches, then we had some dinner at her house (BBQ chicken my fav at their house hold-like old times), next we watched our favorite tv show One Tree Hill until 4 AM, Went for breakfast the next morning, got manicures, and shopped a bit. It was so nostalgic and it was just what we needed. #BestFriendMiniWeekend #RoshellWeekend
That Zumba class tho-I had been trying to get to one, forever!
Britney’s back bitches! #GLORY album is just….EPIC! Read my post HERE!
Pineapple float- #SOTRENDY
Took my mom to see the Radio City Spring Spectacular- it was her mother’s day gift and it felt really great to be able to do that for her. What a brilliant show. Visually stunning!
Got hooked on Murder Mystery 13 Part Series American Gothic- so damn good! #SHOUTOUTTOBETHANYJOYLENZ
Started Stranger Things #NetflixIsDangerous
Attended my best friend’s engagement party.
Continued with the annual chop.
Dressed up in Hawaiian theme attire for my cousin’s birthday party.- Read my post HERE!
Finally got to rock the yellow, red, blue look I’ve wanted to try for forever! Read my post HERE!
After the chop, had to try out some new hair do’s – Reverse Space buns.
Marina Squerciati answered my tweet, (cuz we’re besties) ;). #thathashtagtho
My parents treated me to a massive birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant. Got my big gold number balloons too! #BlackAndGold #Family #Friends Read my post HERE!
That TWD finale tho. #WHOISIT? Read my feels HERE!
Started an unintentional tradition of taking massive group family photos/selfies.
Bridal expos with my bestie. #MaidofHonor #OnCall
My cousins from Florida surprised us with a quick visit!
Curvy Barbies (and other body shapes and sizes) are a thing! #FINALLY #Variety
Met our newest family member! My god daughter is a big sister!
Started watching a few new tv series- This Is Us (I have to catch up, I’m so behind) and Shades of Blue.
Damn a lot can happen in a year. I am grateful for the blessings 2016 has given me. Of course it wasn’t all marshmallows and honey all the time, but I still fought through obstacles and made beautiful memories. Cheers to 2017, may it be beautiful and happy and healthy for all of you, filled with love and inspiration and success.See you soon friends!
Before I get into what this post in actually titled. I just wanted to clue you in on some things. I have been vlogging as mentioned, but I haven’t edited anything yet,(things have been busy and this holiday season has me exhausted.) So the vlogs will be up at a later date. I have more footage than I thought-initially I planned to just do one massive vlog, but at this rate-it would end up being really long-so I’m probably going to have to break them into smaller vlogs.
Also today I did a lot of ground work for the writing of my newest short story series; Welcome Home. Good stuff coming your way…and I will be posting a new chapter soon.
It’s a beautiful thing when it just comes naturally isn’t it. When that light sparks and a fire is ignited inside you and your fingers can’t type as fast as your mind is going.
It’s such a rush and that’s when you feel like you are doing what you were always meant to do.
But, sadly it isn’t always that easy. In fact more than likely it’s a difficult task to handle on the regular.
I’ve always been creative. Even as a kid, I was always pretending and playing.
And I have always said that if I had a job that I really loved, it wouldn’t feel like work to me.
But you know what -being creative is work. It is some of the hardest work you can do.
It is mentally and emotionally exhausting. So much of your heart is displayed to the world for other people to comment on and critique.
And when the inspiration and the ideas stop, the failure you feel is much more personal and internal, than if you just failed at a regular job related task.
So what do we do when we lack inspiration? When our lights go dim?
Do we give up?
Are we supposed to just accept this fate.
This momentary lack of inspiration.. is it going to be forever?
There are so many creative people in this world, who have missed their calling.
Or who have moved on from their creative talents, because it wasn’t the sensible or “adult” thing to do. Because life pushed them into a corner and they needed to stray away to make ends meet.
It’s no secret that the creative souls struggle. We put ourselves in unhappy circumstances sometimes. We let our creative souls suffer. We sit behind a desk, we turn into daily robots, and crunch numbers.
It’s no place for a creative soul.
I see emotion in things. Love.
I see colors. I see patterns.
I’m trained to analyze and to dig deeper.
What is the meaning behind it all?
So much beauty comes from art, film, music, photography, writing.
These things we treasure, these things we used to escape our stresses.
Yet these are the people who struggle most to make a living.
The cost of life is higher than ever, and gone is the artistic feel at times.
It’s all about the benjamins.
I understand money is important.
Do it for the green.
But if something isn’t right and you feel it in your soul, you are doing it wrong.
It’s time to find that passion you once knew.
Weather it’s painting a blank canvas. Or writing that book you always wanted to write.
Stay in the crummy job, stick it out.
But only long enough until you find some place else to turn to, a job that feeds your creativity.
Because we can’t let the arts die.
I work with kids and I can see how it’s changed.
It’s all academic.
You ask a math question. A million hands go up.
You ask them to talk about their likes, their interests, they freeze.
It’s uncool to be creative, since when?
It fills me with such joy, when I see a child express their creativity, when they are proud of a product they’ve created.
That’s what being a kid, is all about.
It’s that piece of child that should stay within us always.
Allowing anything less, is stealing childhood moments from them, they can’t get back.
So what do we do here?
When we start to notice that artists get the short end of the stick?
So many artists have back up plans-in case.
Why can’t being an artist be the goal, the attainable goal?
This itch to create, to move onto more…to keep going-to climb out of our rut.
Those are the real signs.
They are the pushes.
It’s so easy to get comfortable in life, to feel safe.
But when you think about that, is that really living?