happy birthday to moi.

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happy birthday to me… and this thing i’m holding.

Wellsies, looks like I’ve finally made it to another birthday.

WHEW.

Which birthday, you ask?  My twenty-first.  I guess it’s pretty special.  I mean, I can finally drink legally now, which I’ll probably take advantage of, like… once a year.  (I’ve tasted wine and beer before before and they’re both just… no.  I’m interested in trying champagne, though, which will happen tonight – YAY.)

I’ve done so much this year that I can hardly believe it was a YEAR ago that I made that Twenty One Before Twenty One list!!!

And, speaking of, let’s take a look at it and see how I did.  (I forgot to look through this or print it out to make sure I did the things.  Whoops.)

  • Ride a roller-coaster – LOL.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  I didn’t get the opportunity to do it, either.
  • Go to Disney – Lol again.  We didn’t get to go, but I did drive by it twice (and I’ll get to that later).
  • Finish writing The Art of Letting Go (and immediately start editing it) – Check!  Hey, I actually did this!  I’m super proud of myself, so yay.  I’m almost done editing it, too (just starting chapter ten of eighteen), so that’s farther along that I thought I’d be.
  • Try to publish The Art of Letting Go… via the traditional route (aka with an agent and through a publishing house) – Haven’t started trying yet, but I’m getting there.  I’m researching, so…?
  • Start a third novel or finish Sneakers and Hot Fudge Sundaes – I’m gonna say that I did this one because I’ve started plotting my third novel in my mind and on a secret Pinterest board.  I can’t give any details out, but I’ll say that it’s gonna be good.  Hopefully.
  • Reach ninety credits in my degree (Senior Status!) – ALMOST!!!  I’m at 75 credits, but I’ll hopefully be at 81 by Christmas.  YAHO.
  • Do NaNo at least twice – LOL.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.
  • Go see a touring Broadway musical – Nope, but I did see a musical at Reinhardt the other day and it was fantastic.
  • Participate in a play – Nope.  My sister did, though, and I’ve got my sights set on auditions for another play next year.
  • Read sixty books – I’m at 59 for the whole year so far (starting from January), and I know I read a ton after my birthday last year, so that happened.
  • Attempt some fanfiction (Eva, you’ll have to help me on this one) – This one definitely happened.  I did one as a Christmas present last year, and I’ve got another on the way.
  • Learn a few really hard pieces on the piano – Nope.
  • Practice violin more – LOL.
  • Look Up more – I’m gonna give myself this one because I do feel like I put down my phone a lot (even though I got an iPhone for Christmas last year) and enjoyed life.  This year has been incredible, and I’ve tried not to miss out on it.  I’ve read a lot, written a lot, and thought a lot.
  • Attempt a fanvid – This one only happened in my mind.
  • Organize a dance – I don’t know what I was thinking with this one.
  • Write more film reviewsDoes my Top Five Christian Movies post count?  I think it does.  I’ll check this one off.
  • Play in more weddings – Nope.  I haven’t played in a single wedding since last November, but that’s okay.
  • Read the Bible more – I got on a schedule of reading my Bible every night and it’s really helped me focus on God more.  Even if I lose track of Him during the day, it’s good to bring everything back to Him at night.
  • Pray more – I’m not going to check this one off because I think I could always do better with this.  I don’t pray as much as I’d like, and I know my relationship with the Lord suffers because of it.
  • Learn to love God more – Same with this one.  No matter how much I do and how much I fall in love with Jesus, I feel like I can always do more.  The trials I’ve been through this year have brought me to my knees more than I can count and I’m grateful that the Lord has brought me closer to Him through all of it.

7/21 isn’t great, but it’s not too shabby either, considering half of these were put on here on a whim.  XD  (But I did discover Twenty One Pilots, so that needs to be a thing.)

However, if I’d known half the things I would do this past year when I wrote this list, I would’ve given myself a lot more slack (which is why I’m not doing a Twenty-Two Before Twenty-Two list).  Because I did a lot.

For starters, I traveled with my three siblings to Indianapolis for a conference.  ALL BY OURSELVES.  NO PARENTS.  It was a beautiful thing.  (Of course, I only drove like five hours total because the hour I was able to drive on the way back was through the Tennessee mountains with eighteen-wheelers LITERALLY DRIVING ME NUTS.)  (“Driving.”  Lol.  Pun intended.)

Also, I took an entire road trip by myself.  By myself, people.  Do I need to emphasize that?  I will.  BY MYSELF.  I drove almost eight hours round-trip on roads I wasn’t comfortable with in a state I’d hardly ever been to before to go babysit kids I’d never met before for an entire weekend, all with a 12-year-old girl I’d never met before (who was asleep the entire way back).  That’s probably the most insane thing I’ve done this year.  (And I drove past Disney twice.  Talk about battle of wills.)

Plus, I went camping with my sister and a friend all by ourselves.  For an entire weekend!  And our family left our church, which was super hard, but I won’t get into that now.

Anyway, all that to say… I’ve had a busy year, full of adulting like crazy.  (For example, I just rescheduled a test from LSU and got a proctor lined up, aaaaand I just sent heart-eyed emojis to my sister in reply to a picture of her full gas tank gauge.  Can’t really get more adult than that (unless I have kids which, LOL, ain’t gonna happen for a while).)

So, I’m entering the next year of my life cautiously optimistic.  I have no idea what’s gonna happen (I know that we’re gonna build a house, though, which will be an adventure, and that we have to find a church, which will also be an adventure…), but I’m super excited.

And you all get to experience it, too, because I’ll be blogging along the way.

TO ANOTHER YEAR OF AWESOME!

twenty-one before twenty-one

Today, I turn twenty years old.

(Insert obligatory WUUUUUUUUUT.)

I’ve loved being a teenager, but I feel totally ready to be almost an adult.  I say almost because I’ve been thinking about this age a lot, and I’ve decided that twenty years of age is going to feel a little weird.  After all, you’re no longer in your teen years, but not quite an adult yet because you haven’t actually turned “legal” yet.

All that said, I want to make my twentieth year the best one yet.  I want to do things – meaningful things, things with eternal value.  And what better way to do that than to make a list?  (I love lists.)  So here we go.

Twenty-One Before Twenty-One (in no particular order)

  • Ride a roller-coaster
  • Go to Disney
  • Finish writing The Art of Letting Go (and immediately start editing it)
  • Try to publish The Art of Letting Go… via the traditional route (aka with an agent and through a publishing house)
  • Start a third novel or finish Sneakers and Hot Fudge Sundaes
  • Reach ninety credits in my degree (Senior Status!)
  • Do NaNo at least twice
  • Go see a touring Broadway musical
  • Participate in a play
  • Read sixty books
  • Attempt some fanfiction (Eva, you’ll have to help me on this one)
  • Learn a few really hard pieces on the piano
  • Practice violin more
  • Look Up more
  • Attempt a fanvid
  • Organize a dance
  • Write more film reviews
  • Play in more weddings
  • Read the Bible more
  • Pray more
  • Learn to love God more

There we go!  Twenty-one things to do before I turn twenty-one.  I’ll post the list again on or around my twenty-first birthday and we’ll see how much I got done!