Thankful Thursday-Darrell Edition

With most of my best friends, it took me a while to open up/warm up. A conversation here, a class there, and slowly we’d develop this close bond of eternal friendship.
But it wasn’t like that with Darrell.
She’s that friend that, within less than 10 minutes of meeting (no, really), I knew she’d have an important role in my life (and it probably had something to do with us fan-girling over Sailor Moonimage). She’s that friend that I honestly don’t remember ever NOT knowing, NOT being her best friend.
…hasn’t she always been there?

Most of you know one major thing about Darrell: She’s obsessed with theatre. It is her life, and it’s her passion. I could probably write an entire post on just this alone; about how professional, creative, and diligent she is while doing anything involved with RLT-but I want to get a bit more personal.

She is how I am even able to function right now.

She gets up every morning, makes sure Small Lady is dressed and fed if she’s hungry, and take her to day care. My shift starts at 5am, and I used to bring Small Lady into work with me, taking her to day care when I got a break around 9:30-10am. However, with my car on it’s last leg, me now biking to work, and my work schedule being more busy this school year, it’s nearly impossible to bring her to work. One day Darrell offered to start taking her to day care before she headed to work each day, and I reluctantly accepted, knowing I honestly had no other choice. Darrell helping me out in this way makes all the difference in the world. I’m not stressed at work with a toddler, trying to finish tasks by a certain time, and Small Lady actually gets enough sleep these days. This act of kindness alone is more than I could ever repay, but here are many other reasons why I’m grateful for and love Darell:

  • She makes me laugh so hard it hurts.
  • She’s quite entertaining to watch play video games.
  • Her eggplant Parmesan is scrumptious.
  • She always lets me catch a ride to Addams Family rehearsals.
  • Her makeup skills (especially when it comes to eye shadow) are totally rad.
  • If I need a way to get groceries, she’s one of the first people who offers her car or offers to take me.
  • She immediately connected with Momma and Rosa, and we’re all pretty sure she’s a long lost sister.
  • I haven’t had this many inside jokes with someone since high school.

And the most important of all:  She simply loves me, and she loves my Small Lady. image

She’s one of the strongest people I know, but has one of the most kind and gentle hearts I’ve ever seen.

I love you, so very much, Darrell. I just want to say thank you for everything you do for Small Lady and me.

Love,
Nancy

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Thankful Thursday: Corey Edition

This week’s Thankful Thursday post is very, very special.
I try to write about people I don’t see often. You know, the ones I still love, but don’t get to see all the time to tell them I love them and that I appreciate them being in my life.

But sometimes I forget the ones that I see every day, need reminding, too…

Thinking back to how we first met, I don’t remember much. Corey swears we had a few conversations here and there in high school, and I just always smile and nod because I honestly don’t remember. After I graduated, I remember him coming around KaleidoSno, and we’d flirt, be friends, then not be friends-you know, just regular, awkward teenagers, haha.

Those times soon developed into some of my fondest memories, though.
After work, Corey and I would always find ourselves in late-night adventures with my sidekick Andy, and his side kick Kevin. We’d immaturely drive around town, rapping orders into the McDonald’s intercom, or screaming at people on the streets while wearing a JigSaw mask. I still pee myself a little, laughing so hard, remembering those 2009 nights…
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Before Corey went out of town for college, we got to spend some time together as roomies. He stayed with Amanda and I, always making us laughing and making us “spaghetti casserole”.  It made getting snowed in that January of 2011, not so bad…
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College and Colorado adventures separated us for quite some time, and there were times we both wondered if we were still friends. We’d occasionally check in on one another, making plans to hang out, but things just weren’t the same. We loved one another from afar, and went our separate ways.

However, fall of last year, God crossed our paths again. Corey called to let me know he was “coming home”, and we would soon be reunited. Together, at last! I was involved with Rocky Horror downtown at the time, and he immediately jumped in to help.  He’d help out at the theatre, he’d watch Small Lady during rehearsal and I’d pay him with homemade quiche, and it was like we were never apart.
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The new year came in with my roomie telling me she wanted to get her own place, and I’m still thanking God that he worked things out so Corey could move in and be my new roomie. I have never, ever been happier.

But I could sit for literally hours, typing up fond memories and replaying my history of friendship with Corey.
So, let me just say this:

I am so grateful for Corey because I feel lost without him.

He has seen my heart break, and he has held me as I’ve sobbed.
He’s made fun of me, then laughed along with me because we know whatever he said was true.
He’s helped me open up and to love, in ways I’ve only dreamed before.
He has been on stage with me, he’s been backstage with me.
He’s encouraged me, uplifted me, and made me feel whole.
He’s sang Disney songs with me, and has cooked with me.
He’s beaten himself down, not knowing he’s the one holding me up.
He’s thanked me for being there for him, when he has no idea how he’s been there for me.
He has created a home I’ve always wanted: A home full of love, always open to our friends and family. A place of joy, but a place you can also come to when you’re in pain. We’ve had people break down in our kitchen, break down in our living room.
We’ve had people bent over with laughter in our hallways, and people cheering on the night on our front porch.
He is so giving, and so compassionate to every. Single. Person. He. Meets.
And, for some reason, I got lucky enough to be able to be around it every day of my life.

Most of all, though, he loves my Small Lady, even more than he loves me.
And she loves him, and wouldn’t know what to do without him, too.
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I’ve wanted to build a home for my daughter, where we can always say:
If we run out of money, we’ll pay with kindness.
If we run out of food, we’ll live off love.
If we lose all our worldly possessions…then we’ll have so much room, in which to dance.

Because of you, Corey, Small Lady is able to live in such a home. And I just wanted to say:

Thank you.
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My Soul Mate

When most of us hear the term soul mate, we often think of a romantic partner. I’ve never let myself believe that God blessed us with only ONE soul mate, when our souls deserve so many more magical connections. I don’t think a soul mate has to be this romantic partner you end up marrying, and they’re “the one”, etc.  What about our friends? Our best, deepest-loving friendships without whom we could not survive? Webster itself states:
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I’ve always called Andy my Soul Mate. Even in high school, when we weren’t that close, I felt an internal connection to her. I was constantly in awe of her beauty, talent, and beliefs. In fact, I still am.

When we reconnected after high school, it was like a friendship I’d never experienced before. Not to say she was better than any of my other best friends- just, different. And it was exactly what my soul needed.

We’d stay up all night, talking about God, love, the spirits, and the unknown. We’d go on adventures and laugh so hard I’d pee myself a little or she’d throw up. We were inseparable, and people fought over who’d hang with us next. People ‘on the outside’-you know, people around town who didn’t really know us, or wasn’t our friend- thought we were dating because it was supposedly impossible to have a friend of the same sex SO close.  I pity them and their lack of experiences, still today.

Even though we’ve gotten older, grown up, and have became busy with our new lives, I still feel her presence at times. Our souls still talk to one another, and we know that no amount of miles could take away how much we love one another.

I basically said all that to lead up to this: The last of April is a very, very hard time for me.
Six years ago, after one of our adventures, Andy and I came home (home being my parents’ house at the time), and we-along with my mother- found Daddy that night. I’ve never seen anyone so still, so empty.
The whole night is a blur. I remember bits and pieces, like telling Momma to go be with him if she could drive, waking up Rosa to tell her Daddy wasn’t breathing, and us going outside to sit in the wet grass to pray. I still have moments when I think of that night, and my heart will remind me of something else; another blur to add to the current collage. The only thing that stands out from that night is Andy. My best friend. It was her birthday. And yet she stood by me and Rosa, kneeling in the grass with us, and being there for us. I don’t even remember when she eventually left. All I know is, when her body drove away, her soul stayed. She was the only reason I survived the rest of the night.
And now, when the stars are scattered across the sky in a similar manner as they were that night, all I have to do is text Andy something along the lines of “The sky looks like it did that night.” and she knows exactly to what I am referring, always. I may say “It’s one of those nights”, and she knows it means our souls are having some one-on-one time. I often imagine them out for a “stroll”…
The last of every April is very hard for me because it’s my best friend’s birthday, and also the death-anniversary of my father. I ride an emotional roller coaster equivalent to the Goliath, and sometimes I still feel guilty about Daddy passing right with Andy’s birthday-even though it isn’t my fault.

But in saying all this, I didn’t mention Daddy out of pity, or even heartbreak. I definitely didn’t tell you the story of that night to take away from my best friend’s special day….but to shine extra light on her.

Today is Andy’s birthday, and she has been with me through the toughest parts of my life, loving me when I didn’t love myself, making me feel whole when I was broken and incomplete.

I could never, ever write words worthy of a proper ‘Happy Birthday’ for you, my Rei. I love you so, so much.
Here’s to many, many more years of being soul mates.

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❤ Your Makoto

Thankful Thursday: Rosa

This week’s Thankful Thursday post is about my little sister, Rosa.

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I’m blessed enough to have a very strong bond with my little sister. Though we’re five years apart, our bond has been so contagious it has seeped into our separate friendships. I cannot count how many times Rose would come along to hang with my friends and me, or how many times I’d also take off to hang with her and her friends. After all these years, our beautiful friends have simply adopted the other sister as their friend also, and the love just keeps going around.

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We have been through thick and thin together, and we just grow stronger even after arguments. We know each other so well we can often predict the other’s next action, we share the same cackling laugh, and even sound exactly the same on the phone.

I remember purposely injuring myself doing goofy things to make her laugh throughout our childhood, and Rosa and I both find ourselves reliving that childhood when we do the same to make Small Lady laugh.

Though we have many beautiful moments together, I have two favorite: The fact that we each have shared our own passions with one another.

After Small Lady, my deepest passion is the theatre. I don’t even have to be on stage- I can be in the makeup room, helping with a set build, working backstage, etc.- to merely be a part of a production make my heart beat out of my chest, and gives me a feeling of belonging like I’ve never felt. Christmas 2011 I was able to share this passion with my beautiful Rose in RLT’s It’s a Wonderful Life. To be able to share something SO important with someone you care about SO much is one of the most fulfilling and peaceful feelings…

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Just as I love the stage, Rose loves baking. I don’t just mean she’s “good at it” and “enjoys it”- I mean, she cannot go a single week without baking something for someone. I’ve recently realized why my little sister is such an impressive baker….it’s because of her heart.  Think about it: Why are all the good bakers usually the grandmothers and mothers of families? It’s because of the love! It’s not due to everything being measured exactly right, or a certain brand of butter or flour- it’s the love that is pumped from the heart, transferring into every treat with each knead, fold, or mix of the baker’s hands.
And, if you know Rosa, you know she has a lot to give, and a lot of tasty treats to share.
I look up to Rosa in the kitchen, and think of her every time I make something special for Small Lady. Rosa often graces the house with a visit, and my roomie has even begged her to make brownies or cookies as “payment” to stay over because she knows how scrumptious Rosa’s treats are!
I’m so grateful she has shared her treats with me, and I’ve shared my stage with her. 

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If I ever, ever need a shoulder to cry on, or need help out of a bind, Rose never fails to immediately take me under wing. I know it’s not just because I’m her sister- for, I’ve seen her treat so many people this way. She really is one of the most caring people I know.

So, thank you for all the laughs, mending, baking, crying, and loving, Rosa.
I’m so blessed to have someone like you for Small Lady to look up to. ❤

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Thankful Thursday

Well, it’s that time of year again when the leaves turn and fall, the air is filled with fair lights and the scent of funnel cakes and roasted corn, and you can find pumpkin flavored anything at the supermarket. 

For those of us associated with Berry College here in Rome, Ga- this time of year is also means Mountain Day Weekend. The celebration of the college’s founder Martha Berry’s birthday with a weekend full of traditions, reunions, games, etc. There’s even this “Marthapalooza” going on tonight- an on campus carnival in one of the campus’ fields!

And this is where my story begins. Marthapalooza. The last Marthapalooza I attended was five years ago. My roomie at the time and I were hanging with my aunt out of town and drove back home just to come to the carnival. I was super excited because we had plans to meet up with a friend I had known from the internet. I know, I know- you’re thinking “omg, are you serious?!” or “omg, how sketchy/dangerous!” And you would be right- but this guy is one of my best friends now, and every year when I see the posters hanging all over campus for Marthapalooza, I think of him. I think of my dear friend Adrian. 

It didn’t take even 2 hours before we had our first inside joke together, saying the hot cocoa tasted like Chocolate Windex, and I only wish I could remember all the puns he made that night. Though we have about an hour and a half between us, we’ve shared 5 wonderful years of Adrian’s ongoing puns and humor, and he’s always willing to drive a good ways to see me. Over the years, he’s came to Rome several times to hang out with me whether it’s for hiking, board games, or laser tag. He’s one of the few people on this earth I feel would trust me enough to join me on ANY adventure of which I ask him to join.

I know he doesn’t realize it, but I truly value his friendship, and my life is so much richer since he’s a part of it. I love that his jokes make me both laugh and roll my eyes, how quickly he can solve a Rubik’s Cube, his ability to pull off ANY hair color, and how our conversations cover such a variety of topics. Now that we’re closer than ever, I am SO excited about any and all future escapades and puns.

So, today, I am thankful for Adrian, who always, always makes time for me no matter how busy and how far away I may be.

Thankful Thursday

Today’s Thankful Thursday post is about my dear friend Regina.

Most of you may only see her as this single mom with four kids, who also happens to look great for her age. It, too, took me a while to see past her loud Leo personality and crazy ramblings. I remember wondering why she did the things she did, why she made the decisions she made.

Not too long ago, the answers hit me.

Regina follows her heart. I don’t only mean she’s caring and sincere, etc. She actually follows her heart. With the light bulb flickering above my head, I realized that I may never understand the why or how, others may not understand the why or how- but it doesn’t matter. If you’re truly following your heart no one’s gonna understand anyway. When the light bulb stopped flickering and become a constant light, I stopped wondering about Regina and completely turned myself over to her. I stopped being a question-er and advice-giver, and I became a listener.

Have you guys done that recently? Stop thinking about everything your friends (or anyone for that matter) tell you, and merely listen.
There’s a funny sort of peace and freedom involved.

My heart soon started breaking for Regina- not because I was sad for her, but because I loved her. I started to see more clearly how selfless she was, how caring she was, and how she’d give someone the clothes off her back even though she doesn’t have much herself.

Regina is one of the most sincere and genuine people I’ve met, and I’m thankful God placed her at Berry she could be part of my life.
You know sometimes it’s those with less that give the most.
And as I see the example she tries to set for her children, she becomes one of the people to prove to me that part of happiness isn’t actually about getting what you want- It’s wanting what you’ve already got.
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Here’s to more coffee, talks, and time together.
I love you, Regina

 

THANKFUL THURSDAY

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I’ve realized lately that I’m far more blessed than I can ever deserve. At the age of 25, I have more friends and beautiful people in my life than most see in an entire lifetime. Being insanely busy this summer, I wanted to think of a way to let everyone in my life know I still love them and care for them, even though I’ve been living under a rock lately. Thus, the idea for Thankful Thursdays popped into my head. One by one, weekly, I’ll slowly share with the world the beautiful people God has placed into my life and why I love them so much. Starting with today…

Today I am grateful for my dear friend, Abbie. She’s like a little sister to me, and at times I’m certain we actually ARE genetically kin- and just haven’t found the proof in our family trees yet.
Abbie’s heart is broken easily, not because she is weak or fragile, but because she selflessly puts others before herself and constantly, delicately peels off layers of her big heart to give others to help mend, restore, heal, and shield their own hearts.

She’s one of the few who can pull off being both a soft-spoken lady with a sort of Renaissance beautytumblr_inline_mgpev5ce9X1qdlkyg……and a wild woman of the Amazon with a nice booty.tumblr_inline_mgpev118SL1qdlkyg 😉

 

Being so busy and battling many personal battles at the moment, I’ve seen very few of my friends lately. I’ve seen Abbie almost ever day, however, because she’ll come to Berry just to spend with/check in on me. She’s one of the few reasons I’ve stayed sane lately.

A day doesn’t go by without her creatively spouting off ideas to me to mull over- whether it be cosplaying, home decor, gardening, cooking, or any other DIY projects. Her mind is constantly at work, always thinking outside the box.

Aside from her being so talented, creative, and caring, I also have to mention how grateful I am she also shares my current addiction….My Little Pony.
GO AHEAD, LAUGH! But watching My Little Pony on my lunch break together, and giving each other “gifts” via the game on our phone/Kindle happens to be VERY therapeutic!

I love Abbie all the way from her beautiful and loyal heart….to her fabulous booty. 😉
She is the Applejack

pixel-applejack to my Pinkie Pieimages, and the Sailor Saturnimages (1)to my Sailor Jupiterimages (2).

 

So today, I am thankful for Abigail Lyons.

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For whom are YOU thankful today?