Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorite Moments of 2008

This year has been full of surprises. I have been one busy chickie and due to the busy-ness, the Christmas letter that I wrote turned into a New Year's letter. It's pretty great recap of my year, so I thought that I would include it along with some of my favorite memories and moments from 2008.

As an independent member of society, I decided it might be nice to send out a New Year's letter of my own and let folks know what was going on in my life. (Truthfully, I was going to send a Christmas letter and time just got away from me. Oops. This may serve as more of a reminder that I am growing up than asking for a can opener and a tea kettle for Christmas. Yes, I really did.)

I am a junior at Columbus State University here in Columbus, Georgia. I am majoring in Journalism and Photography. After changing my major about six times (and no, that is not an exaggeration), I have finally made up my mind. I have a lot of passion for both writing and photography. After I get my undergraduate, I would like to get my masters. Whether it will be in Journalism or Photography, I am not sure yet.

I moved out of Mom and Dad's house at the end of August of 2007. I am living in an apartment complex approximately twenty minutes away from Upatoi (where Mom and Dad live). I am about five minutes from Campus and ten minutes from work. It is so nice! I live with two other girls, Jessica and Genine. They are fantastic and we get along well. We each have our own rooms and bathrooms, so there is no lack of personal space. I have a sweet dog named Surls. He is a yellow lab who was abandoned in the park. He lives with Mom and Dad right because he is so big, but he is my little buddy. Although he can be a handful at times, I am glad that God threw him my way.

I am working at the Springer Opera House as the Education Assistant. My job duties include preparing study guides for the schools coming to see our productions, conducting workshops in the schools, teaching and assisting in the classes that our theater provides, and pretty much anything else my boss tells me to do. It also includes being cast in shows if they need me. I was cast as Piglet in Winnie the Pooh and the bride in Father of the Bride earlier this season. It's a great job and one that I love going to everyday.

Travel has become a favorite hobby. At the end of this summer, I took a trip to D.C. to see friends and wander the city. I went last year for fall break with Mom and Caroline, but loved it so much that I decided to go again, this time alone. I was able to stand on the south lawn of the White House and watch Marine One land with the President, First Lady, and Press Secretary all on board. What a treat!

God has really been working in my life in the past year and I have never been happier in Him. He has blessed me beyond what I ever could have imagined! I am a Yong Life leader at Shaw High School here in Columbus. For those of you who don't know what YL is, we reach out to high school students and share Jesus Christ with them. My kids are a huge part of my life. I am in daily awe of God's love, grace, and mercy in my life. I am learning how to thank Him for the good, as well as the not so good in my life, realizing fully that He has “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give (me) a future and a hope...” (Jeremiah 29:11)

That is my life up to speed. I am very busy and extremely happy. Life has thrown me some curve balls in the past year, but I am fully content with the life that God has blessed me with. What an awesome God we serve!

  • Snow day '08. This day is not only one of my favorites from the year, but it ranks in my top five favorite days of all time. Mom took me, Katie, and Ben to find the snow when it hit Georgia in early January of this year. It was a great day with family and one that I will treasure always.
  • Sharptop Cove. Experiencing this great Young Life camp with new friends and old friends and getting the best and most surprising surprise I have ever received, makes this early February weekend a weekend that I will never forget. Jesus spoke to my heart in a totally new and inspiring way. It was that weekend that I knew "I was made for this."
  • My first Club at Shaw Highschool. Matt and Rich made me pretend that I was the pizza girl that just happened to fall in love with Young Life and become a leader. There are still kids who are confused by this. Hehe.
  • My summer trip to the Garvin home. Amanda was preaching at Cannon UMC and I was invited to come and spend the weekend. It was a great weekend of swimming, shopping, and fellowship with one of my favorite families.
  • Springer Theater Academy. I was only involved for one week, but it was a great week. My summer was far too memorable in a not so great way and it was a nice ending to a not so nice summer.
  • Washington, D.C. The last week of July, I went to D.C. to see some friends. It was a wonderful opportunity to get some much needed alone time and experience the big city alone. I was (and am) very proud of myself and not using a map, concealing my camera, and crossing the street before the light told me to. I prided myself in being a non-tourist.
  • Country's Midnight Run. After hurting my knee and not being able to run all summer, I was able to run two of the three miles of the Country's 5k at the end of August. I finished in 35 minutes, which I was pretty proud of considering the fact that I had not run in a couple of months.
  • The Vander-Baker nuptials. Two of my dearest friends were joined in holy matrimony in early September. It was one of the most fun weekends. Lots of friends, old and new. And tons of good food, good music, and genuine joy and excitement for two fabulous people.
  • My job. That morning that I had coffee with Mr. Ron and later got my current job at the Springer Opera House was a very exciting moment for me. I am finally in a job that I love, in a building that I love, with people I love and who love me. Yay!
  • Father of the Bride. Mr. Ron casting me as the bride in FOB was a neat part of my year. It was the only role that I really wanted this season and being given the opportunity to do something that I love so much was really an honor.
  • Thanksgiving. It sounds so silly, but I have never been as excited as I was this year about my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is so special to me, but having all of my friends home this year made the holiday that much more exciting. I am truly blessed to have friends like mine.
This list seems short to me and I know that there are other moments that have slipped my mind. I am thinking of them right now. Joining my church was a huge deal. Going to the beach with Caroline and Liz was a joy and a blessing. Lucy being home this summer and driving the Mustang everywhere. And getting my dog, Surls, was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I am blessed beyond compare and there are no words adequate enough to express my joy and contentment in the life that my Savior has given me. He is worthy to be praised and mighty in His works.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This week I learned...

  1. I can cook, but I don't like to do it alone.
  2. I am not the greatest driver (I didn't really learn this this week, but I thought I would throw it in there).
  3. Alone time is something that I crave every now and again.
  4. I am more conservative than I thought I was.
  5. Girlfriends are priceless.
  6. A clean apartment is far more enjoyable than a dirty one.
  7. Community is a bigger deal to me than I once thought.
  8. A sweet text message goes a long way.
  9. Friendship is something to guard and protect.
  10. Driving on empty is almost always bad news.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The 2nd Annual Garcia-Garvin Christmas Shopping Weekend

As I write, I am sitting in the living room of one of my best friends, Kathryn G. I came up to her home in Atlanta yesterday afternoon and plan on heading home tomorrow.

This has been a good weekend for me. Good girl time, good quotes, and a lot of thinking, both on the road and in quiet moments. Time with my sweet friend, Kathryn, is always fun and I treasure our friendship.

I serve an awesome God who pursues me relentlessly. The ride up to Atlanta was productive God time and my thoughts were and are stayed on Him. It is times like these, when He consumes my thoughts, that I know He is pursuing me and working in my heart. He has used this weekend and this Holiday season to pull me even closer into His loving arms. His love and mercy are evident to me as He humbles my heart and shows me my imperfections and my unrighteousness. I am in awe of His grace and greatness.

Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. -Psalm 34:3

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

That's "Merry Christmas" in Spanish for those of you who don't speak the mother tongue. Hehe.

I have realized that the older my siblings and I have gotten, the less we care about getting up super early on Christmas morning. However, with a ten year old and seven year old who do still care about getting up super early, we were all up before eight. Not that early, I suppose. But still. Mom says that Ben made it to seven thirty, which is pretty good, all things considered.

Last night, Mary Lou, Jess, Mom, and I stayed up watching old home videos of past Christmases. Hilarious. There were some classic lines. Allow me to share.

  • Theresa (1998)-"This is great! I got everything I asked for!"
  • Mary Lou (1998)-"Oh. My. Gosh. Oh. My. Gosh. I got Lisa Frank! Oh. My. Gosh."
  • Sarah Ann(????)- In response to something Caroline received; "Oh. I want that."
  • Dad(1998)-"Beth, did we not get J-O-E a H-O-R-S? (yes, he left off the "e" and continued to do so every time he spelled it.)
We did our best this morning to incorporate a lot of these lines. I really did get everything that I asked for.

  • A can opener.
  • A tea pot.
  • A sweater.
  • A watch.
  • Mascara.
  • Bobby Pins.
  • "Wicked" the book.
You know you are getting old when you ask for kitchen stuff for Christmas.

My favorite gift to give were the pictures that Anthony took of all the kids for my parents.


The picture was a huge hit. We also gave them individual shots. So cute.

This morning has been pretty quiet. That is one of the things that I love about our Christmas. Alway pretty quiet and laid back. We just enjoy one another all day.

I have been using this line all over the place, but I am thankful for peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled. What a glorious thought! Because our Saviour was pleased as man with men to dwell, we are reconciled with God above! Glory to God in the Highest! Hallelujah!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

What a busy day! There were gifts to give and receive, lunch with the Bakers, last minute shopping to do, and a Christmas Eve service to prepare for.

Today, I am most grateful for:
  • The birth of our Saviour
  • Family
  • Friends
  • A reliable car
  • Good food
  • Good music
  • Laughter
  • Pure joy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just a dream.

The blinds were closed. The room was a normal temperature. Was she holding Grace Kelly? Not really sure. The girl seemed to resemble Monaco's Princess and the film world's sweetheart. Regardless, "Grace" was thrashing about the room, somewhat like a mentally ill child. The conversation was normal. Questions and answers. Stories and jokes. Outbursts and calming, soothing reassurances.

Then it happened. There was a loud crash from outside the house. Screams. She jumped up and ran out of the room. Outside, her dad and several siblings are kneeling over something or someone in the front yard. There is a miniature collie sitting at the end of the driveway, licking her paws.
She see headlights in the ditch across the street. She runs, screaming all the way. "Please, don't be dead. Please, don't be dead." Finally across the street, she sees that the drivers window is unrolled and there is a white bib over the face of the driver. Tears streaming down her face, she lifts the bib to find that a breathing tube is already coming out of her mother's mouth. She whispers "I love you, Mom." Barely audible, her mother whispers the same and her eyes close. Dead. She thinks that there is a little girl in the back seat, but can't get back there to find out.

She sits up straight in bed. It was only dream. Just a dream. No one is dead and there was no crash. No dogs. No Dad kneeling over something in the yard. No screams. No impaired child thrashing on the floor. It was just a dream. Nothing horrible has happened. All is right with the world. It's all over. She's awake now.

And this is why she hates to dream.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Job

I enjoy my job a great deal. Actually, I really love my job. My job centers around children and education, but I also get to work behind the scenes or in the spotlight with the various productions that the Springer puts on. I am going to talk about both parts of my job, but today I am going to focus on one aspect of it.

I am doing my "day job" in the Academy office, but I am also working on "A Tuna Christmas" in Foley Hall. For those of you who do not know much about this show, Ron Anderson and Paul Pierce play about twelve characters a piece, men and women, adults and children. It is pretty darn funny. There are three stage hands back stage. I am one of them and Kern C. and Ben R. finish out the team. We have the most fun with the show when Ron and Paul are having a good time. I can't explain the feeling that I get when Ron or Paul walk off stage laughing to themselves about what happened on stage, the audience's reaction to what happened on stage, or both. The fact that they enjoy their job makes me enjoy mine so much more.

I found the same to be true when I was working on "Father of the Bride." Ron Anderson directed the show and his obvious enjoyment of the show and the people in the show made the experience all the richer.

I have been a part of Springer productions for the past ten years and I have always felt safe, loved, and cared for. Paul has a saying that I love to hear; "The first time you're here, you're a guest. The second time, you're family." How true that is.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Praising God in all you do.

Psalm 148

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.

2 Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.

4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.

6 He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.

7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,

9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,

10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,

11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,

12 young men and maidens,
old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

14 He has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD.


Our sermon this morning was based on this passage of scripture. I thought that my pastor did an excellent job of explaining it's meaning and I want to share.

The psalmist talks about how each part of creation praises God by existing in the manner in which He created them to exist. As Pastor Douglas put it, the same goes for humans. We praise God and glorify Him by doing what He created us to do to the best of our ability and in His name. It is so simple. According to the shorter catechism, man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I believe that God gave each of us unique gifts and ways in which to glorify and praise Him. So, whether you are a dentist, actor, plumber, lawyer, real estate agent, student, or a stay at home mom, God has given us each the opportunity and ability to praise Him. That is why He created us. To glorify and enjoy Him forever. I think that the beauty of the gospel is the simplicity of it's message. Whatever we do, it should be done in God's name and to the best of our ability.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Decorating at the Garcia House

There is most definitely a method to the holiday madness in the Garcia home. Everything from picking out the tree to the last bell on the fireplace is dictated by tradition and me. Ok, so maybe not me, but pretty close.

Let's start with the tree. All the kids and my mother will tell you that I usually pick out the tree. And I do. Pretty much every year. However, this year, Mary Lou picked it out. It took a long time and I mean a VERY long time to pick out this year's tree. There was another couple picking out their tree at the same time and the man came up to my mom and said "My gosh, it's like the U.N." My mom just smiled and said "You have no idea."

Next comes the actual decorating. The first thing on the agenda is to push the couch and Dad's chair back and turn them around to face the tree. Let me just go ahead and say that Dad does not do much in the way of decorating. He just sits back and bites his tongue as we take over.

After moving furniture around, the next thing is the lights which Jess and I do. This happens with very little bickering between the two of us. Ben wanted to help with the lights, but we put him in charge of the berries and various other strands of random goodies. He and Katie ended up doing those.

While the lights and berries were going on the tree, Caroline and Mary Lou were going through the ornaments and separating them by child into piles on the floor. This way all we had to do was grab our ornaments. Again, tradition is key here, people.

With the lights and ornaments on the tree, it's time for the Angel. Dad had this angel before he and Mom got married. The Angel has it's own little box and on the box her FULL name is written. By full name, I mean Naomi Suzanne Louise Elizabeth Ann. Those are the middle names of all the girls in our family. Each year, someone else gets to put the angel on the tree. However, with eight of us, that means you get to do it every eight years. Katie did it this year, Ben is next year, and that means that I get to do it in 2010. Go me.

The next step is to turn the lights in the living room off and plug the lights on the tree in. Dad's only real job is to say his one line. The line goes like this: "This is the prettiest tree we have ever had!" Every year, same thing.

We finish up with cookies and hot chocolate. Pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Reason for My Faith

For you formed my inward parts, you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for You are
fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are Your works! You know
me well; my frame was not hidden from You, when I was
being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of
the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in Your
book were written, every one of them, the days that were
formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How
precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum
of them!

Psalms 139:13-17

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I am sitting on my bed in my favorite pajama pants. They are canary yellow. Bright, beautiful yellow.

The words that I want to say don't want to come out right now. My head is pounding from crying so much. I haven't cried that much in a very long time. Horrible things happening to children does that to me. Injustice, oppression, ignorance, and hatred do that to me. I am talking about a film called "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." I just returned home from seeing this film. I knew going into it that I was going to have a difficult time. My mother and all of my friends told me to be prepared for the horrific nature of the subject matter. All through the previews all I could say was that I was nervous. And I was. Still, I had no idea how moved I would be.

I don't want to give away anything for those of you who have not seen this brilliant movie, however, I do want to touch on several moments or realizations that jumped out at me.

  1. Children are not born with prejudices. These are taught to them by their parents and those around them who have the power to influence their impressionable minds.
  2. Children forgive easily. Their best friend can betray them in the worst way, whether it be tattle-tailing or much worse, and friendship still prevails.
  3. No matter how much "duty" calls, God gave us, as fallen and warped as we are, the ability to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.
  4. Racism exists in many forms and although some are unfamiliar to us in today's world, the impact need not be lost. History repeats itself and we should be mindful of the mistakes of the past so that we can prevent it from happening again.
  5. Hatred is overpowering and disgusting. It is something else that children are not born with. It takes adults to teach that lesson.
I have been noticing the power of racism and closed-mindedness a great deal in my own life . From those who dislike someone for the color of their skin to those who cannot tolerate the religious or political views of those around them. Prejudices are harmful to people and the relationships shared by those people. The holocaust happened because someone thought that a certain race was unfit for our world. Racism. Someone thought that they were better than someone else because of the color of their hair, eyes, and facial features. Someone thought that they were superior because they were "Christians" and not Jewish. Because they were light skinned and not olive toned. Because they were German and not a decedent of Jacob. How is this any different than today? Don't some people think that they are better than those who have a darker colored skin? Or because they worship God and not Allah? Or because they are a Republican or Democrat? Doesn't it sound the same? Don't we hate based on the differences we see in others? Don't we discriminate against those who are different than us or those who think differently? This is what started the greatest massacre of the human race that the world has ever known. Hate. Discrimination. Ignorance. Arrogance. Not understanding someone and what they believe does not warrant hatred or racism.

There is no excuse for the intolerance of someone based on the color of their skin, the religion they practice, or the political view they hold. Especially in a country where the rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and the equality of all men has been handed to this generation, and the past several generations, on a silver platter. Perhaps that is the problem. Perhaps not having to fight for our voices to be heard and the ability to practice the religion of our choice has made us numb to the stories of the past and problems of the present. What happened over seventy years ago in Europe can not be reversed or changed, but we can prevent it from happening again. The best place to start is at home. Inside yourself. Working to understand one another and loving your neighbor as you love yourself regardless of varying view points. We are called to do unto others as we would have others do unto us. There are no "ifs", "ands", or "buts."

Do you want to be persecuted because you are Mexican, Catholic, Asian, African-American, Republican, Jewish, German, Moderate, Muslim, Democrat, Christian, or just plain old American?

I didn't think so.

Friday, December 05, 2008

More Christmas Clues

  • Finals
  • The fact that the library is crammed with students
  • The Financial Aid office is less helpful than usual
  • Looks of stress, worry, and misery on the face of every college student in America
  • The fact that my usual bed time hits 1 or 2 am because of all-nighters

Not the most cheerful clues, but clues all the same. These same clues work for signs of summer as well. One more week and I am home free for several weeks. Praise Jesus.

Two tests down. Two more tests and one research paper to go.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nobody Knows It But Me

There’s a place that I travel

when I want to roam

and nobody knows it but me.

The roads don’t go there

and the signs stay home

and nobody knows it but me.

It’s far far away and way way afar.

It’s over the moon and the sea.

And wherever you’re going

that’s wherever you are

and nobody knows it but me.

-Patrick O'Leary



The Story behind the poem-

The director was Eric Saarinen. The actress was photographer Sally Gall. James Garner recited the poem. Art Director Brad Neeley had the idea. We shot it in the Yukon and British Columbia. I’m the poet. Yes, it was the poem on that Chevy Tahoe commercial that came out in the fall of 2002. No, you didn't hear it when you were a child. Your Grandmother didn't read it to you. Or your Grandpa or your Dad. But I know what you mean: it was written to capture that childlike carefree sense of wonder and adventure. And Mr. Garner gave it a soothing sitting-on-your-poppa's-lap sort of feeling. People loved the spot. They really loved the poem. They found it hauntingly familiar. Was is Robert Frost? Robert Louis Stevenson? Walt Whitman? They were amazed and skeptical to hear it was written by an advertising copywriter from Detroit. I got dozens of emails and letters and phone calls. So did GM. Newspapers were flooded with queries about the poem. Radio stations, too. For a few months it seemed that everyone in America was wondering about it. What happened next was weird in the extreme. People made Christmas cards of the poem. People put it on their office walls. Sent it as a valentine. Insisted on House Silence whenever the commercial played. It gave a unique comfort to people. Cancer patients read it in the hospital. Lonely people found great solace in the words. A middle-school class memorized it and recited it. Dozens of discussion groups online chatted it up. A grammy-award-winning composer wrote a song to the lyrics. So did a bluegrass band. One woman did a beautiful cross stitch of the poem. It is on my office wall. Today, some five years later I still get the occasional email about it. It’s strange to be swept up in such a cultural phenomenon. It's very humbling to have moved so many so deeply.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Christmas!

The following means nothing in reminding me that the Holidays are upon us:

  • Ben telling Mom what he wants for Christmas.
  • Christmas decorations being up in the mall, on the streets, etc.
  • Christmas music on the radio.
  • Christmas movies on Lifetime.
  • The fact that I am shopping for Christmas presents.
  • The weather.
However, these things DO remind me that Christmas is near:

  • The lights in my window are up.
  • I am going to get a Christmas tree.
  • Kids are rehearsing their Christmas pageant at church.
  • The Advent calendar is going up and Ben is sneaking candy out of it.
  • A Tuna Christmas is happening at the Springer...again.
  • The middle-aged ladies in my life have pulled out the Christmas sweaters.

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 was a wonderful one despite being one sick girl. I spent most of Sunday-Wednesday on a couch. It didn't really matter which couch or whose couch I was on as long as I could lay down and hack the day away.

Wednesday night I transported myself from my couch to my mom's couch. Thursday was full of family, food, friends, and films. I spent the day at my parents house. We invited a family from my parents' church to spend the day with us. After the food was eaten and the leftovers put away, everyone headed to the movies. Mom took the little ones to see Bolt, the older kids went and saw Australia, and I headed out to see Twilight with some friends home on Thanksgiving Break.

This Thanksgiving, I found myself thankful for more than I deserve. Along with my material needs; house, food, care, school, etc..., I find myself thankful for things that you can't see but feel with your whole heart. My family and friends, my country, the fact that my problems and grievances are so small compared to what they could be or to what other people experience. I am loved by the people that matter and I am always taken care of by my Heavenly Father. I have friendships that are lasting and those people are blessings that are far more than I could ever ask for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

God Bless Fort Benning

God Bless Fort Benning is an annual event where we take a day to thank the men and women who serve our country. The Springer always takes stilt walkers. I don't really have a lot to say about the day. It was one that left me a bit speechless. You can read what the Ledger Enquirer wrote. They say a picture says a thousand words. Here are a couple from yesterday.




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mr. Don

I am sitting at my parents house, my tummy full after dad's excellent meal of hamburgers and homemade french fries, and enjoying the company of my siblings, parents, and a dear family friend, Don Dunstch.


As I sit here typing away, surrounded by the sounds of Texas Tech playing Oklahoma, Ben's play by play of the game, and general buzz of the Garcia house hold, I am once again reminded of how blessed I am. It was this time last year that Mr. Don was here visiting from Colorado. Only two weeks before, I had rededicated my life to the Lord and, in God's perfect timing, Mr. Don had come down for his annual hunting trip. A little background, Mr. Don is one of Dad's dearest friends. They were stationed at Ft. Benning together. Mr. Don is a huge spiritual encouragement in my dad's life and has become the same for me. He and his wife, Susan, have a ministry in Denver, Colorado called Quest Ministries. They have a community of folks who meet with them in their home every week. Don is a physical therapist. God has given his an incredible personality that draws people to him and he is constantly in the position to share the gospel with those around him. Mr. Don came to know the Lord through Young Life. What an awesome encouragement to me, as a Young Life leader. He lives in Denver, which is about 110 miles from Buena Vista, Colorado where Frontier Ranch is located.

I am grateful that God has placed people like Mr. Don in my life. I am grateful for Mr. Don's insight and wisdom, his ministry that not only ministers to those in Colorado, but to people like me who gain encouragement and insight for their own ministries.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Siblings

**For the next few days I am going to share some things I am most thankful for. Here is Thankfulness: Part One.

Caroline Elizabeth, Sarah Ann, Mary Louise, Jesse Thomas, Joseph William, Katherine Suzanne, and Benjamin Clark Garcia are the best gifts that my parents could have given to me. These kiddos are lovely, brilliant, witty, talented, compassionate, and gracious human beings who have blessed my life beyond compare. I adore them and although I am not the world's greatest big sister, I hope they know how much I love their company, friendship, and the fact that we share the same D.N.A..

Caroline is so very talented and has a heart that I wish I could imitate. She is one tough cookie. Sarah Ann is a one of a kind. She is BRILLIANT, hilarious, and independent. Her strength is something that I admire and covet. Mary Lou is tenderhearted, stubborn, and outspoken. She loves with everything she has and without holding back. Jess is the big (little) brother that I have alway wanted. He is protective of his sisters and I love that about him. Joe is so sweet and compassionate. I can alway count on him for a hug and an "I love you, T!". Katie is the true independent in our family. She is just as content to play alone as with others. She is sassy and sweet all mixed together. If you look up the definition of "Youngest Child", Ben Garcia's face is all you need. Ben is a sneaky little booger, but he has the sweetest heart. He is a hard worker, extremely loyal, and puts his little heart into everything he does.

I am so very grateful for these seven people.


Rush, Rush, Rush

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Ever. I love Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Arbor Day, St. Patty's, and the rest, but Thanksgiving is the absolute best. There are no expectations of anything except food, fellowship, and football. I enjoy the smells, sounds, and the general scene of the day.

Traditions in the Garcia household include watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while putting the last minute touches on the house, cooking for hours on end, taking a pie or two to the nearest fire station, and going to a movie. The days that follow Thanksgiving are full of leftovers and Christmas decorations, but those don't come until after.

I feel as if Thanksgiving is becoming the forgotten holiday. We start seeing Halloween decor in August and before Halloween is over, we see Christmas lights at the mall. I hate that. If you read my post about the Christmas music on a local radio station, you know how strongly I feel about Christmas and it's place on the calendar. I just wish that we would all slow down for a minute and savor the entire holiday season and that includes Thanksgiving. I abhor the rush of the season. I enjoy the holidays so very much and I hate it when they are over. Why not slow down a bit?

For the next few days I am going to share specific things for which I am grateful and why. I hope you enjoy the read and I hope that encourages you to stop and think about the people and situations in your life for which you are thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspiration

As I walked into work this afternoon, I walked past the scene shop. A bevy of noises were coming from the room that holds a large part of the Peter Pan set. Hammers, saws, drills, and oldies music spilled over into the green room. I smiled as I continued my way up the stairs, but paused when I looked back over my shoulder and saw Paul Pierce, the Artistic Director, bent over a set piece, hammer in hand. It was a deja vu for me. One of my most vivid memories of Paul is from 2002. We were in the middle of our production of Annie, which was my first main stage production at the Springer. Something had fallen off a set piece moments before the curtain went up. Next thing I know, Paul, in his tux, is standing in a chair, nail in mouth, hammer in hand, fixing the set. I remember being somewhat intimidated by Paul at the time and seeing him do what any stage manager, scene shop dude, or technician would do, made me that much more in awe of him, but brought him more down to the level of human being for me. It was just as normal to him to fix the set as it was and is to work on the budget, plan the next season, and sell big ideas to major companies. What a wonderful example of work ethic and humility.

This is one of the reasons that I love theatre so much. We all work together to make sure the job gets done. From the Artistic Director working in the scene shop to the Lighting Designer also designing sound and sending a tour out, we all do what it takes to make it perfectly wonderful for our audience. It wouldn't be possible without every team member.

Speaking of wonderful shows, Peter Pan opens the day after Thanksgiving and runs through December 23. Call the Box Office for tickets! 706.327.3688

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foundations

"You are not the person I thought you were." That kind of comment will take you aback, I don't care who you are. It takes you by even more surprise when you feel that you have been as open as a person can be.

I received this comment after a conversation about politics. I feel as if I have explained myself as best I can in that regard with my post on 11.06.08. I don't feel like I can explain myself anymore at this time. Honestly, I feel like Micah put it the best. The mere thought of a political conversation exhausts me. Politics in general I could handle, but defending where I stand and why makes me feel the need for a nap. But I digress. My point wasn't necessarily politics. My point is humans and what makes us who we are.

Inasmuch as the comment above was about politics when it was made to me, I am pretty sure that the same person would feel that way about me on a number of different issues and levels. My views on education, faith, religion, Christians, economics, Global Warming, homosexuality, morals, and ethics would most certainly startle some folks. Mostly because, in their own minds, it makes me not who they thought I was. I want to challenge that mindset.

As I continue to experience the new and different situations that life throws my way, my viewpoint changes and grows. My ideas are challenged and swayed. I believe that learning what you believe is a journey. Being open minded and willing to admit when you are wrong, when you have changed your mind, or chosen another path is called growing up. Please note that I said my ideas. Not my foundation. Just because I make a decision that differs from my family or close friends does not mean that my foundation has been cracked, moved, or changed in any way. I am still Theresa Garcia, daughter of the King. My foundation remains the same because I am His. My decisions are made based on my knowledge of His grace and mercy in my life. I have the ability to make decisions with a glorious mind because He made the glorious mind that has the ability to make decisions.

That being said, I am exactly who I have always been. Strong-willed, stubborn, independent me lives on. I am just learning to be more open-minded, loving, considerate, and gracious. Mixed in with all of that, I am growing some thicker skin and becoming the person has been inside me all along and is dying to come out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good Customer Service

Around this time last year, my BBFUD*, Melissa, called me and left a voicemail (which, by the way, I still have) where she was shrieking into my ear that Sunny 100 was already playing Christmas music. We expressed our displeasure about this untimely expression of Christmas cheer for weeks afterwards. This year, it was my turn to leave the shrieking voicemail. When I got into my car on Monday morning to head to class, I naturally turned my radio on. It was on Sunny 100 from the night before and the next thing I know, Jingle Bell Hop is playing though my speakers. Talk about irate. I couldn't believe that my favorite radio station was doing this to me. So, in true Theresa form, I wrote an email.

Dear Alan,

I am going to go ahead and say that I love Sunny 100. Even more so now that Boomer doesn't really exist and Sunny 100's music has become even better than before. I stay tuned in, except when I am listening to you on Rooster in the mornings. However, starting Christmas music on NOVEMBER 10TH, a full 18 days before Thanksgiving, is ridiculous. By the time that Christmas actually gets here, you are sick of the music even if you don't start it until the first of December. I am ok with it starting Thanksgiving weekend, but you have to admit that two and a half weeks before we even get to the turkey is a little crazy. I just can't take it.

Sorry to complain. But again, it's just too much.

Thanks,
Theresa Garcia

Alan Quinn is the Program Director. I had also just done a spot with him on Rooster 106.1 for a Halloween Special, so I felt like I could tell him what I thought. The next morning when I turned my radio on, I thought my email had worked. However, the 80's ballad I thought I was hearing turned into a weird 80's Christmas song. I promptly turned my radio to another station.

I am just not ready for Christmas music yet. I am sorry, but I can't bring myself to listen to it when Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived. It's too much for me.

I had stopped thinking about the silliness of Christmas music playing a full two weeks before Thanksgiving until this morning. I am sitting in my office, working away when I look over at my phone and see that I have missed a call. I have a new voicemail. The voicemail is from Jennifer Newman, the Marketing Director at Clear Channel Radio. Clear Channel owns Sunny 100 and Roster 106.1, among other stations. Jennifer says that she got my email and would like to talk to me when I get the chance. I laughed a little and called her back. A very pleasant sounding woman answers the phone. "Hello, this is Jennifer", the voice says. "Hello! This is Theresa Garcia", I reply. After a minute or so of "So glad you called!" and "Thank you for calling me back!", Jennifer sets out to explain why Sunny 100 had decided to start playing Christmas music so early. She said that because of the economy and heaviness in the air, they had decided to start spreading joy a little earlier this year. She noted that it had taken her a day or two to adjust to the fa-la-la-la-la's so early as well, but that she was now in the groove. I laughed and said that while I appreciated the reasoning behind the Christmas music playing 18 days before Thanksgiving, I wouldn't be listening quite yet. She understood and said that she looked forward to me listening when I was ready. Haha.

I thought the conversation was over, but Jennifer went on to say that she read my blog! How awesome is that! She wanted to talk about my political posts, which of course I was more than happy to indulge her in.

I have to say, even though I will not be listening to Sunny 100 (or Mix 95.7) until after Thanksgiving, Clear Channel Radio has exceptional customer service. I was not really expecting a response of any kind, much less a phone call from the Marketing Director. Kudos to Jennifer for her personal touch and kind words. No explanation was really needed and she went the extra mile. Thank you for that!

*For those of you who are unclear about the definition of BFFUD, it means Best Friends Forever Until Death. Ben Garcia came up with this term for his relationship with our sister, Sarah Ann. I have since stolen the term and made it my own.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Goodnight, Moon.

Thursday morning, Mr. Ron took Kern and I to Atlanta to see "Goodnight, Moon" at the Alliance Theatre. I wasn't sure what to expect not having read the script, however I was ready for pretty much anything.

It is always interesting to me to see how other people approach children's theatre. There isn't necessarily a right or wrong way, in my opinion. There are general guidelines that most choose to go by, but the parameters are broad.

This Thursday morning at the Alliance Theatre seemed much like a Thursday morning at the Springer. Buses were pulling up, children were piling out, and teachers were counting and recounting heads. Mr. Ron remarked with a laugh that kids in Atlanta look a lot like kids in Columbus. He is a clever, clever man. But, I digress.

We took our seats several minutes before the show and my attention went, once again, to the children in the audience. They were excited and fidgety. As soon as the house lights went down, so did the chatter and you could hear the "Ooos" and "Ahhs" as the drop revealed a starry night and a man in a night cap, partially hidden by some "clouds". This was the piano player. The curtain speech was a recorded voice, which in my opinion is an unwise decision in children's theare. An actual person should, in my opinion, come out and give the curtain speech, giving the children someone to focus on. This allows for a thorough explanation of what is expected of the audience. Considering the age of the children in the audience, it was quite possible that many, if not most, had never been to the theatre before.

The house lights dimmed once more and the starry night went away, revealing in it's place the great green room. I was more than a little awe struck at the exactness of the set. It was as if the picture in the book had come to life. The characters were charming, the music bright and inviting, and the special effects were just the icing on the cake.

The Bunny, in particular, had a stage presence that grabbed the kids attention. The mouse did little to nothing for me, while the Old Lady-who-whispered-hush had a voice that made me melt. Her rendition of "Goodnight, Moon" had me in tears. (Shocking, I know.) The Tooth Fairy, Larry, made an appearance and the actor playing this character was just great. His deadpan humor and exceptional comedic timing helped to move the show along and secure him a place of admiration in my heart. He was fantastic.

The special effects are something worth talking about. From the lamp that moved to the clock with eyes to the covers on the bed moving to the end of the bed to the fireplace decorations that came alive to the doll house, the cow that jumped over the moon, the bears in the picture and the man on the moon, the effects were phenomenal.

There was only one moment in the show where they lost not only the kids, but me as well. The mouse had a ballad and for whatever reason, be it her or the song, the kids began to fidget and squirm...and so did I.

Overall, a wonderful experience. There is still time to see this show, as it runs through this weekend. Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy?

I am carefully calculating the following words and the impact that they will inevitably have. Since this is my blog, I can rant about whatever I want to rant about and you get to choose whether to read it or not. Everyone will find something that they do not agree with in the following post. How awesome am I that I am making sure that no one feels left out in being mad at Theresa?

I have kept quiet on a number of political issue during the past year and a half. However, some comments and conversations have changed my mind on the subject of keeping my mouth shut. My mom told me the other day that Bi-Partisanship is taking the easy way out. That sissies remain bi-partisan and that I was not a sissy. She's right, I'm not. During a conversation last night, Kim remarked that another friend of ours was a Republican, but you respected her for it because she was open about what she believed and you couldn't argue with her. So, with all of this in mind, I am going to be partisan. I am going to tell you who I voted for. I am going to tell you why I voted for these people. And I am going to unashamedly stand by my words. I don't want any flack about it. I don't want to be berated for it. I don't judge your beliefs. I may not agree with you, but who am I to judge you based on what you believe?

Are you ready for this? I am not sure that you are, but here goes.

On the local level, I voted mostly democratic. Julia Slater, John Darr, Stephen Hyles, Alonza Whitaker, etc. I voted for these men and women for a variety of reasons. I know some of them personally and I heard all of them speak at political forums. They gave strong, levelheaded, detailed plans for what they planned to do while in office. I was impressed with them and voted accordingly. State level, I did not vote for Saxby Chambliss because of the bailout vote. I voted for the Independent. I voted for Seth Harp for Georgia State Senate. He has been effective in past terms and I have confidence in him for the coming term. I know that none of you really care about any of the previous candidates that I named. You all want to know who I voted for in the Presidential Election and I am getting there. I want to say a few things first and I want you to read it before you scroll down to see who I voted for.

I am against abortion. I believe that it is wrong. The bible is explicit on murder and when a baby becomes a person. Although I have never been raped and impregnated by that rapist, because of these beliefs that I have, added to the mother in me, I cannot imagine killing the baby inside me. Adoption, yes, although personally, I would find that difficult as well. Please don't take this to mean that I think that the adoption part is wrong. No!! I am saying that personally, I have a hard time putting my mind around it.

I am against big government. The constitution is extremely detailed as to the job of the government and it's role in our lives. Read it and you will see. I don't think that the government should tell tell doctors how to practice medicine, tell small business owners how to run their business, or tell parents how to raise or educate their children.

I am for tax breaks and lowering taxes. I know that taxes are necessary and I am not against paying them. Obama's tax plan won't be great for my family. However, it won't be terrible. It will take away the break that G.W. gave us and put us more in the Clinton-era. Not all bad. The economy flourished during Clinton's time in office.

There are other issues that I have opinions on and if you ask me, I will share with you what they are. If I don't have an opinion, I will be honest and tell you. I don't have all the answers and I haven't made up my mind on everything out there. Even some of the important issues. However, the issues that I do understand and know about, I will talk about and share my thoughts on.

And now the moments you have all been waiting for. Who did Theresa vote for? Drum roll, please!!!!

I voted for John McCain. No one is really surprised, I know. I voted for McCain mostly because of his position on domestic issues. I will also admit that part of voting for McCain was because that was what was expected of me. Not very gutsy of me, huh? I regret not being more assertive with my voice and opinion. I regret being scared of what my friends and family would think of me if I voiced my true feelings.

I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat. I consider myself a moderate with conservative leanings and I am ok with that. I am confident in my beliefs. I will defend my beliefs and if I don't have an opinion or just don't know, I will be honest and tell you.

Happy? You know who I voted for. You know why. If you have questions, I will answer them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Really, Ralph?

This is too much, really. Thank you, Shep, for not letting Mr. Nader get away with that comment.



Watch this to the end.

11.04.08

I wish that I knew exactly where to start. Tuesday was a day full of new experiences, good and bad, and a day that I won't forget for a very long time.

I arrived at the precinct that I was assigned to for our local election campaigning around 7am. I was only there for about 20 minutes when woman rolled down her window and yelled out some nasty remarks. Great way to start the day. I was there until about 9am, leaving only to get my cup of election day coffee that Anthony got me from Starbucks and meet my mom at the next precinct on our list. After standing on the corner of Macon Road and Auburn Avenue for over an hour, I was off to grab a bite to eat and take a power nap. With both of those things accomplished, I was back on the streets waving, smiling, and counting down the hours until it would all be over. This is where it became somewhat exciting for me personally. A poll worker came out and asked me to leave because she said that I could not campaign in front of the precinct. The law states that I must be 150 yards away from the door at which the polling is taking place. I was well over 150 yards away. I stated the law to the poll worker and remarked that I would be more than ok if she wanted to call downtown to have someone come measure and/or explain the law. She did not take this very well. She made a phone call while I stood there waiting. She talked in a hushed whisper, with her back to me. When she hung up, she turned around with a smug look on her face. She told me that that law stated that I needed to be 150 yards from the wall of the building. I corrected her once again, remarking that even if that were the case, I was well over the required number of yards away from the building. I stated once more that I would be happy for someone to come and measure, but that I would not leave. She got pretty huffy at that point and said that she had asked me to leave and if I couldn't do that..."Then what?" I asked. "I am far enough away and this obviously is not about how far away I am. You don't want me to campaign. " She walked off at this point. I was there for another hour and she never came back out. I was half expecting the police to come and try to arrest me. However, I did not need anyone to come and post bail for me.

I deserved a hot shower after my long day on the campaign trail. That and I don't think that anyone wanted to smell me. I rushed home to shower and change before the little shin-dig that we put together for my Uncle Terry. We all met at the hotel and waited anxiously for the local news coverage that never happened. I swear, there is zero point for the severely under-talented newscasters of Columbus, Georgia to break into ABC and MSNBC's professional coverage to tell us who is winning the National Election. Please. Local news happened once and then the numbers stayed the same for the next three hours. There will be letters to the editor about this one. After hours of knowing nothing, we packed up and headed home. Later, I found the number to the elections office and called every half hour to get the latest numbers. I know that poor lady was tired of hearing my voice, but dag-nabit, I was mad. We lost. Big time. However, 22% of the vote for a first timer is not bad. Plus, it was a three person contest and the vote was split by Steve Miller. I am not entirely disappointed with the outcome.

After watching the outcome of the election with friends and eating at Denny's, it was time to call it a night. I laid awake for awhile thinking about the impact that this elction would have on our nation and the world as a whole. Our President-Elect, Barack Obama remarked that "We are, and always will be, the United States of America" and that " In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people." Regardless of party affiliation, we are the United States of America. We are a nation that has disagreed on many an issue and after 232 years we are still here, still a democratic nation, and still operate using the same documents that our founding fathers left us with. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh this afternoon and he said that this is not the time to abandon what you believe. This is not the time to stop fighting for what you think is right. This is the time to pull together and make it work. If you didn't vote for Barack Obama, this is not the time to throw your hands up in the air and ignore the issues for the next four years. It is a time to pay attention, be involved, and work together with your neighbors to make sure that President-Elect Obama has a presidency that is successful for the American people.

It was an interesting and historic night for our nation. I am celebrating the historic nature of the night and thankful that we live in a nation where all men are created equal and that the people have a voice. Last night proved that we really do live in a nation of democracy. The people voted and they got what they voted for. That is something to celebrate regardless of party affiliation.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Way

Ever heard the song "My Way"? It was popularized by Frank Sinatra in the 50's, although it was a French song originally and the French version has little to do with the English translation. But, I digress. The song is about a man who is dying and is looking back over his life. He says that he has lived a full life and each moment, planned and unplanned, has been precious and crucial to who he is. He talks about regrets and tough moments and how through it all, he did it his way. An interesting song. Not one that I am fond of. I don't like the melody. However, it helps me in making a point.

This plan that I have talked about in several posts, is just that. A plan. It is not set in stone. It is not something that I am married to, so to speak. It is merely a guideline for where I think I would like to go. It helps me to stay on a track of some sort. How does this connect to "My Way"? My plan has nothing to do with anyone or anything other than me. Sounds selfish, I know. But hear me out. What I mean is that this plan, solid or not, is based on ideas, hopes, and dreams that belong to me. The profession that I choose, the city that I choose to do it in, and the way that I plan to go about it, are all ideas and choices that I have made and come up with on my own. Yes, there are outside influences. There always are. But, the plan is based on what I feel is right for me. I'm doing it "My Way", if you will.

Again, how does this relate to the song "My Way"? Read the lyrics.

And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain. My friend, Ill say it clear, I'll state my case, of which I'm certain. I've lived a life thats full. I've traveled each and every highway; And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets, I've had a few; But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course; Each careful step along the byway, But more, much more than this, I did it my way. Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall; And did it my way. I've loved, I've laughed and cried. I've had my fill; my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing. To think I did all that; And may I say - not in a shy way, No, oh no not me, I did it my way. For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows - And did it my way!

That's one way of looking at the kind of life I want to live. I want to live a life that is full. I want to have traveled as many roads as possible. I want to laugh and cry, gain a little, lose a little. I want to live well. The plan involves living well doing a variety of things, in a variety of places. We'll see what happens.

My Love Story

Caroline and Liz have been journaling their love stories and I had said that I wanted to do it too. However, time does not seem to be on my side. So, instead of journaling the same way that my sweet lady friends are, I am going to use my favorite method and write it here.

I am sure that you are thinking that by "love story" I am talking about my "l-o-v-e" story. However, I am talking about the love story that was written for me before the beginning of time. The one that started with a man who gave his life for me. What girl doesn't want to know that the man who is pursuing her would give his life for. Well, I found my dream guy because this man loved me so much that he died the most painful death imaginable to save me. He died on a cross for me and we hadn't even begun our relationship yet. That is love!

Let's start where I actually come into the story. It all started in April 30th, 1988. I was born. Crazy, yeah? That my love story starts then? Well, it does, so stick with me. My parents kept telling me about this guy. They would read me stories about him, sing songs about him, encourage me to talk to him (even though I couldn't see him), and take me to hear other people talk about him. And they weren't the only ones. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and friends all talked about this guy all the time.

I distinctly remember a Sunday morning when I told my dad I wanted to be in a relationship with this guy. I was five. WHOA. I'm sorry, what? That's right, I was five. And my dad said ok. This is getting crazier, I know. Here's the thing, we still hadn't met and wouldn't for a long time. We talked a lot, but we never saw one another. Very long distance thing going on here. Stick with me, OK? I promise this story rocks.

Years went by and I would tell people I was in a relationship with this person, but looking back, I think it was more because my parents wanted me to be and not something I was really into. High school was weird because we were still in a relationship, but it was off and on. I couldn't make up my mind.

One day, when I was about seventeen, I met someone that I really liked. His name was Jared. And the funny thing was, my relationship with the guy I had been with since I was five became even stronger. We talked a lot more and I spent a lot of time reading love letters that he had written me. Still, I was really digging Jared. It turns out, Jared wasn't all I thought he was and I broke up with him. But guess what? That guy from before, he was still around and he helped me get back on my feet. We picked up where we had left off.

It wasn't long after that mess, that he introduced me to this guy named Ben. This was the beginning of my first, honest to goodness, real life romance. I was in love. For real in love for the first time in my life. For the first time in my life, I was willing to give up everything I knew, loved, wanted, and needed for someone else. I had never known love like this before. I was loved in a way that I had never experienced and I knew that this is the way that I wanted to feel forever. Ben seemed to feel the same way. And I know that he did at the time. We began making plans for our future and before I knew it, almost two years had gone by and we were engaged.

I am sure you wondering what happened to the guy that gave up his life for me. Where did he go? Well, to be honest, I kinda dumped him. Ben and I were so happy and while we did talk about him, it wasn't as much as we should have. We thought we had everything under control. Well, we didn't.

Neither one of us were as happy as we pretended to be. I was searching for something and during the month of October in 2007, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ben's mom, Lou, sent me a devotional via email. It was about a woman named Martha and how she had a special, intimate relationship with the same guy that I had been in a relationship with before. The devotional talked about how their relationship was so intimate that Martha knew she could ask for anything and he would give it to her. She was searching for something and he was the answer. This made the wheels in my brain start spinning. Before I knew it, I was revisiting those love letters he had written me so long ago. We started talking again and I was excited about our new found relationship.

The first Sunday in November was like the straw that broke the camel's back. All through Sunday School and Church, I was convicted of my incredible need for this man in my life. I knew that I had been wrong to dump him before. I spent a lot of time talking to him again and got back on the same page. For the next little bit, all I could talk about was him and I wanted to tell everybody that we were back together. Even Ben was excited. I was happier and that was what he wanted to see.

Now, this guy, he has this knack for timing everything perfectly. Three weeks later, my world was rocked when Ben announced that he needed a break. I was devastated. However, the man that had been there through it all made no exception this time either. He was there to comfort and console me.

Ben and I talked and talked and talked. Nothing was coming to a conclusion. In fact, it was getting longer and longer. Then, we were talking less and less and I began to realize that this was the beginning of the end. You know what that other guy did? He made sure that I had friends, family, and plenty of activities to fill my time. He made sure that we spent a lot of time together, talking, writing love letters, and thinking. He told me that He would never leave me or forsake me. He told me that He was enough for me. He told me that He would play the role of my husband, father, and best friend.

What is this awesome guy's name, you ask? Jesus. I'll give you His number. As committed as He is to me, He is very open to being in relationships with other people.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Response

A comment I received on my last post about voting made me think that I need to clarify what I meant when I said it doesn't matter who you vote for. That is not exactly what I meant.

Watch this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scrap Art Music

I have been meaning to write about this for a couple of days now, but things keep getting in the way. Like the election and voting and stuff. Anyway, my friend, Andy, works at the theater across the street from me and we were chatting Tuesday afternoon when he told me that he was loading in Scarp Arts Music. I knew I had friends going, but hadn't given any thought towards going myself. When Andy offered me his two comp tickets, I grabbed them. Who turns down free theatre?

I didn't look up the show until after I took the tickets, not that I wouldn't have taken the tickets anyway, but ya know...

Here's the description from the RiverCenter's website:



Self-described as “Music, Metal, Muscle and a Mini-skirt”, Scrap Arts Music is an engaging and inventive contemporary percussion ensemble that creates an outstanding music experience by combining instruments cleverly fashioned from industrial scraps with high energy choreography. Both visually and acoustically compelling, they create music that ranges from booming percussion to spellbinding soundscapes in a performance that is certain to grip audiences of all ages.


Fashioned from industrial scrap and offbeat materials ranging from accordion parts to artillery shells, Scrap Arts Music's one-of-a-kind instruments are as visually striking as their music is sonically riveting. Audiences from four continents have welcomed this electrifying quintet with unbridled enthusiasm, embracing their intoxicating mix of music, movement and spectacle. Transcending language, culture and age, Scrap Arts Music offers a highly physical, wildly theatrical and thoroughly entertaining taste of the musical vanguard.

Basically, it was Dave Holland and Stomp all mixed together. For those of you who don't know who Dave is, he is/was a local musician here in Columbus. He has moved to Atlanta since that is where most of his gigs are. Dave uses anything and everything to create a very unique orchestra of sorts. He can play anything and everything. His beats are jivin'. Yes, I did just say "his beats are jivin'." And yes, I just said it twice. But it's true. Ask anyone who knows him. And if you ever get the chance to meet Dave, you have got to see him dance. It's life changing, really. But, I digress. The point was to tell you about Scarp Arts Music.

There were four guys and one girl. I have to say, I was super impressed with the girl. She was just as good, if not better, than the guys. I guess the fact that I really only know guy drummers makes me a little bit awed by her.

All in all, a good experience. Having seen Stomp, this was kinda like a repeat or, as Anthony put it, the Green version of Stomp.

Thanks, Andy!

Voting

As I geared myself up to vote this morning, my thoughts were, and still are, full of the significance that goes with voting.

Being a woman, it is kind of a big deal to be able to vote. Women had to protest, go on strike, and burn bras. Come on, folks. Bras are expensive. Seriously though, a lot has gone into providing me the right to vote and I do not take that lightly. Going back even further than womens suffrage, men and women died to afford you and I, not only the right to vote, but to live in a country with a democracy and a voting system. No matter what party you are affiliated with, no one can argue that we have it pretty darn good to live in a country where the people have a voice and the right to elect their leaders.

It doesn't matter who you vote for as long as you get out and vote. Yes, it is a right, but it is also a privilege, honor, and duty.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Children's Books

My co-worker, Kern, asked me a little while ago about my favorite children's books. I had to think about that for a minute. I have read a lot of children's books and I do have favorites, but they are pretty classic and not exactly what she was looking for.

My Grandmother used to read "Goodnight Moon" to me when I was little. I really love this one.


Curious George is another favorite. I don't know what it is about that little monkey that gets me so much, but he sure does get me. Ben Garcia has this little face that he makes that looks just like Curious George. So cute.

I am also a HUGE fan of anything by Beatrix Potter. Hunka-Munka was a personal favorite of mine, as well as my siblings. It was really just too much fun to say Hunka-Munka.

Also, a new favorite is Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. I first heard of this when the Springer did the stage production two summers ago.


Another one that I fell in love with, although I was already in love with this one and I was just re-introduced to this one, is "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series. The Springer did "If you Give a Pig a Party" this past summer and it was just too cute!

Just a small reading list for the younger readers. SJC, take note, ok?

Early Voting

I have to vote early. I hate that. With a fiery passion. I hate it because I really love to vote. Sounds silly and weird, I know. But I do. Voting early seems like opening all of the presents under the tree before Christmas morning and then wrapping them back up again. There is something exhilarating to me about the first Tuesday in November. There is a tension in the air and a buzz all around. And I love it. I really love it. However, I know that my time on Tuesday will be better spent on a street corner with a Terry Yarbrough sign in my hand, then standing in a line to cast my vote for hours and hours. So, I am going to go vote on Thursday morning.

I have been hearing horror stories from various folks about standing in line for early voting. My friend, Erica, stood in line at the library from ten to three yesterday. My dad went to the college yesterday morning and he was there around 8:20, was number forty in line, it took an hour, and by the time it was his turn there were two hundred and forty people behind him. Yeah. That's just crazy. Think about it, an hour for every forty people. Craziness. Thus, I am going to go and vote early. Even though it pains me to do so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Foot in Front of the Other

*This was written by Cory Southwell. I loved it so much that I had to share. Click here to read his blog.


alarm goes off.

wake up.

don’t want to.

get dressed.

brush my teeth.

make my bed.

ha, yeah right.

trudge down the stairs.

push open the doors.

step outside.

burst of fresh air.

crisp.

clean.

no, not clean.

this is boston.

not home.

crisp.

refreshing.

sunrise.

no clouds.

blue sky.

damp air.

dew on the ground.

cool breeze.

pefect.

early morning jog.

no cars coming.

cross the street.

pick one foot up.

put it down.

other one up.

and down.

up.

down.

up, down.

up, down; up, down.

faster.

and faster.

steady pace.

going strong.

clearing my head.

time passes.

ever so slowly.

rest of the world is moving in slow motion.

i’m passing it by.

up, down; up, down.

up, down.

up.

down.

slowing down.

out of

breath.

shape.

time.

end up back in my room.

tired.

sweaty.

shower.

get dressed.

trudge down the stairs.

push open the doors.

off to class.

Monday, October 20, 2008

And so it goes

Leave it to Ron Anderson to make life a little more complicated than it already was. After leaving LaGrange College, changing my major thirty times (ok, it's only been six times, but still...), and falling in love with journalism and photography, I thought the whole theatre bug was out of my system. Even working at the Springer Opera House and doing Winnie the Pooh didn't make me second guess myself. However, Mr. Ron casting me in Father of the Bride and the process I have gone through with that production has made the wheels in my head start to turn. And I don't know how I feel about that.

In the long term plan that I have in my head, I see myself finishing school, moving to D.C. or somewhere similar and writing for a newspaper or freelancing and writing for several papers, being a photographer and going to crazy places to get the perfect shot, changing the world one picture and/or article at a time, and traveling a good deal. Theatre was not a part of this equation. And I didn't want it to be. I was burnt out and in need of something else. However, I find that this is a job that I enjoy immensely. I get paid to play, read, research, be someone else for a little while, and spend time with really interesting people. I get to be the diversion that people seek when the world goes to hell in a handbag. Because of my job in the theatre, I have a voice that people are listening to. I have the opportunity to impact communities, tell a story that has either never been told or has been forgotten, and relieve the stress that people are feeling in their everyday lives. I am a part of an industry that has survived wars, depressions, and economic recessions. I do like that.

I could be a writer and an actor and a photographer. Either way, I'll be poor. It's not like any of those professions are something that one chooses to do for the money. I could still work with children and be apart of the arts education movement that I am so passionate about. I could freelance and finish that book. I could take pictures on tour, do headshots and other various shoots. This could work. It really could.

Thanks a lot, Mr. Ron.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Opening Night

There is something about opening night that is nerve racking, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. During our cast and crew meeting, our director told us that there are two things that actors think about right before they go on stage; "Is my zipper up?" and "What is my first line?". He's right. I checked my dress and kept repeating "Good Morning, Everybody!" over and over again.

Nerves didn't really hit me tonight. Rehearsals have been so productive and that provided a sense of security. That along with the fact that we have a fantastic team of actors on stage working together to pick each other up should we fall.

Today was a nice, relaxing day. A late morning rehearsal, lunch with Anthony, a trip to the GAP and an errand for Anthony, a trip to Barnes and Noble, back to the theatre for a radio spot (Listen to 95.3 in the morning from 6-8:35), and then we had our first show. Nothing strenuous. I was relaxed, focused, and ready to attack the show with vigor and gusto.

Great audience tonight. They seemed to love the show and we most definitely loved them. Being able to hear how an audience reacts to certain moments made the night fun for all involved.

If you want to read the article from the paper, click here.

The show runs through November 1st! Come see it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Verse of Choice

"...my soul silently waits for God..."

Psalm 62:1

"POOH" Closes

I played my last show for Winnie the Pooh last night. One part of me is sad, while the other is so very glad that I can now focus on just one show. The highlight of my night was the fact that Micah, Tricia, and Sara James Carver, along with Tricia's mom, Mrs. Darrah, all came to see the show.



I was more than thrilled to have them there and to be able to hang out with Micah, Tricia, and Baby Smith afterwards. Nights like last night are my favorite kind. Good friends, good food, and chocolate cake. Oh, and mixed tapes. Is there anything better?

Here's to closing a good show and opening another in 6 days. Cheers!

**Photos by Micah Carver via Mrs. Darrah's camera.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Father of the Bride




I'm sitting in rehearsal on a break and I wanted to let you all know that I am still alive. I know that you were all wondering. My blog posts are further apart and I haven't been seen for a few weeks. I've been living at the Springer. Or at least that is what it feels like. In truth, I have just been in rehearsal, going to school, and trying to squeeze in lunch with my mom, a phone call with my dad and siblings, and all my Young Life friends.

Rehearsals are going well. We blocked the show within the first two days. We have been working through since Thursday of last week, which is pretty good. Today, we are working the first act. Stop and start. Stop and start. Stop and start. I love this part because this is when we actually start to talk about the show and what we mean when we say so and so.

As we move further into this process, I will post part of the journal that I am keeping during rehearsal. (That's for you, Ansley!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sweet Moments

Sweet moment #500483- Watching the V.P. Debate with Ron Anderson and Joe Nelson, while texting Micah. Priceless.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ice Breakers-Ice Cubes

I have fallen in love with these yummy little sugar free lumps of joy. They are cold when you first start chewing and they just have the best flavor. They are somewhat expensive and I hate spending a lot of money on gum since I chew so much of it. But I cannot resist these delicious little treats.

Caroline

On December 14th, 1989, Caroline Elizabeth Garcia was born and 19 month-old, Theresa Naomi, was not happy about this turn of events. This little munchkin was taking over my territory. However, after almost 19 years of having her in my life, I can say that I am truly grateful for her presence in my life.

For lunch today, I met Caroline and our best friend, Liz, at Moe's. Time with these two ladies makes my heart sing and is always uplifting. After playing catch up with each other's lives, we settled into the detailed questions we were dying to ask. Caroline did most of the talking today, as her life details are weighing the heaviest on all our hearts. I am continuously amazed by Caroline and her maturity, her faith, and the peace that flows through her.

I am not going to go into detail about our conversation today, as that would betray Caroline and Liz's confidence, but I do want to share some things about Caroline and what makes her so very special to her big sister.

Caroline balances me out. Whereas I am very much ruled by my emotions, Caroline is more logical and able to think clearly about most issues, putting her emotions aside. Caroline has faith that could move mountains. Even in moments where it would be completely understandable if she fell somewhat apart or doubted the master plan, she appears calm, cool, and collected. As her big sister, I should be setting the example for her, but she sets one for me. I look up to and admire Caroline in every way. She is beautiful, inside and out. She is positive, always looking for the good to come out of any given situation, lovely because she is loved by the One who matters, stronger than almost anyone I have ever met, selfless beyond what most people would consider, obedient to her Heavenly Father, steadfast in what she knows to be right, pure in heart and mind, disciplined, loyal, faithful, joyful, silly, sweet, and my best friend. Caroline is one of those people that makes a room light up with her presence. She is truly a woman of God's own heart and someone that I want to liken myself to.

If you know Caroline, I would encourage you to try and get to know her better. If you don't know Caroline and ever get the chance to meet her, don't miss out on that opportunity. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that your heart would be blessed because of hers. Mine has been.