Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another chapter closed.

2012. In some ways, it was the most life-changing year of my life. So many places, so many faces, so many new, strange, unique, and completely God-made experiences! Those are the memories I want to keep forever. Others, like breakups with friends, hurt and distrust--I've buried. I've surrendered to my Jesus. And that's the miracle of 2012; learning the true meaning of complete surrender.  I'm done with worrying about living my life according to other people's standards; I am me. And I must follow His perfect, unique path for my future.


That's 2013. An adventure into the unknown. Pages--like my heart put into poetry--blank and waiting to be filled by the Master of life. Aside from the SAICFF (more on that in a minute) I don't have many plans. . . .and it's a little frightening. My heart left the Shire and my comfortable Hobbit hole long ago; The World is Ahead!


--my 21st birthday.  if i could stop time (because seriously, i'm getting old!) i'd stay right here. 21 is somewhere between maturing-young-adult and little girl who doesn't NEED (or want) to grow up. . .yet. and i'm happy that way. 22 will be great, i'm sure. . .but after 22 comes 23. . .then jumps to 25. and right now i don't even want to think 30. (Peter Pan, i'll always love you!) the interesting part of turning 22 is that i'll be celebrating it in TX. and i've already gotten a Kindle Fire HD as an early birthday gift. which is pretty awesome. :)

{taken in MI by my friend Danielle

--attended the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival with a whole crew-ful of beautiful people. we drove alll the way from Ohio, and while i'll admit that overnight road-trips and i don't get along, it was one of the best experiences of my life! we sang, talked non-stop, rarely slept, ate nothing but sandwiches, granola bars, and M&M's, cried, laughed, debated, nearly lost the ball-bearings on a tire, stayed overnight in a parking lot (while said tire was being repaired,) ate more M&M's, watched countless movies, sang some more, met hundreds upon hundreds of people, talked a lot, had the van window broken into, danced, ate a few more granola bars, and bonded in the deepest way possible. i love my friends.

--drove down to Branson MO for Vision Forum's Titanic 100. it was a gorgeous event, full of speeches, special music, and a 3-course dinner on the showboat Branson Belle. plus Anna and I got to spend it with our daddy. :)

--lost my precious Banjo-man Nick in June. as some of you probably remember, Nick was the Yorkie i got as a therapy dog--at least, that's what i hoped he'd become. it's still very difficult for me to talk about, and i try NOT to think. putting down my puppy was the worst thing i've ever done--one of the hardest, most challenging decisions of my life. i went through a lot of guilt. i cried until my TMJ flared and my throat was sore. but now, looking back, weighing the facts, and through lots of support from my family, friends, and prayer, i know my decision was the right one.

{Nick in his Christmas jammies, about five months before he died}

i miss you, little buddy. thanks for leaving your squeaky-puppy for me to snuggle. it smells like you, and whenever i see it, i see YOU, scampering in the backyard with your beautiful, silky coat, floppy ears, and a mouthful of squeaky-puppy.
". . .because I knew you. . .I have been changed for good." 

--spent over 2 months sewing a ballgown and all the trimmings for Beyond the Mask, an Independent Christian film by Burns Family Studios. Though extremely challenging, (think layer upon layer of clothing--all authentic, hand-drafted re-productions) working with the Ohio branch of the BTM costume team was hugely rewarding! i learned so much, and while i'm STILL not an expert seamstress. . .the seam-ripper and i aren't on the friendliest terms anymore. WIN! 

{sneak-peak of my finished gown. the second picture is post-huge hairstyle. :P }

--went on an epic week-long vacation to North Carolina and my forever-beloved Tennessee. ok, so i had the worst head-cold of my life (curse you, sun-poisoning!) and hardly remember anything about Dollywood. . .but swimming for the first time ever in the real-life Atlantic ocean was total bliss. if that's what you'd like to call being knocked over by every single wave. it's what you get at 4'9. ;)  i loved exploring the tiny, secluded island of Baldhead--where Blackbeard and other pirates supposedly roamed, once upon a time--in a golf cart. that is, Blackbeard wasn't in a golf cart. we were. oh my, but all the little golf-cart garages! sooo adorable. i want one. 


things to remember on vacation: always, always, ALWAYS wear sunscreen on the beach. otherwise ones knees are prone to turning bright-pink and hurting horribly. and ones face may turn red. and one may get a horrible head-cold. and then one may not be able to properly enjoy cabins-in-the-Smokies and hillbilly bluegrass jams across the NC/VA border. word to the wise.

{pics by Anna}

--saw my friends and Celtic band The High Kings in concert. again. That makes 7 concerts now. 

 {R-Darren (my favorit-est King) gives the BEST squishy-daddy hugs. he's an absolute sweetheart.}

--went to a rodeo for the first time. as in bull-riding. yes, i'm addicted. 

{by Anna}

--lived through another Ohio Summer Rendezvous! it was my third year as main event planner and hostess, and thanks to my co-planners-in-crime, OSR '12 was truly the best yet. 

--worked with the (MI branch) BTM Costume team AND appeared as an extra in the masquerade ball scene. see, this is why i haven't put up a proper BTM post. there was so much beauty in the 9 days we worked in MI, it can't be put into words.

sewing until 7:30 AM. . . root-beer floats at all hours of the night, deadlines, colds, eating way too much, laughing our heads off. seeing set for the first time! o.O i won't even TRY to explain. let's put it this way--i am an incredibly blessed girl. i have bonded with the most incredible people in all the world. i have lived in a household of crazy-amazing young ladies. i have BEEN IN A MOVIE.

and i was hugged twice by John Rhys-Davies. 

the end.

i can't wait to see what God does with BTM--it's hugely fascinating, watching the Independent film movement revolutionize the world.  

{pics my Anna}

to my Beyond the Mask family:
"Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Till they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye".

you have no idea how much you mean to me. i love each and every one of you--for your uniqueness, your spirit and love for the Lord. for your purpose and oneness of mind. for embracing me in your circle, even though i knew you for only 9 days. thank you so much! 

{copyright Joe Henline}

And now stretches this white, empty canvas--this thing called 2013. Already I see so many changes. Watching my "little sisters grow up, for example. how does that happen? just a couple weeks ago I had a deep heart-to-heart with my 15 year old sister Julia. Once these chats were secluded to the "older set". Julia isn't a little girl anymore. I've seen--and am seeing--her blossom into a young lady who is smart, thoughtful, sincere, and in ways very above me in maturity. That girl is going to teach me a lot, I can tell. 

{our parents. i'm assuming dad got wet from the fountain. ;) } 
{L-R: me, Julia, Maria, Lidia, Anna}

2013. Who are you? So far we've seen The Hobbit together, I've booked tickets to the SAICFF 2013, I'm turning 22. . .and everything stops there.

Write upon these pages Lord. Make them Yours. I give them to YOU.


  1. You are joking right . . . John Rhys-Davies HUGGED you?

    1. hahhaa. . .no. He REALLY hugged me. ^_^ And we talked about the glaze on the cookie props. B)

    2. ohmygosh. (forgot to say this in my comment), but that is pretty amazing... like, really amazingly amazing!!! wow. ;) that must have been pretty and freakishly awesome. ;)

    3. Wow! That is so awesome! How exciting :) How did you get into this movie anyway? That would be so fun!

    4. It's a long story. ;) Basically a friend of mine asked me and my sister Anna if we'd like to dance in the movie. (we have been English Country Dancing for over 4 years now.) He was the assistant costume manager for Beyond the Mask and lives nearby, so we jumped at the opportunity. It was quite the venture--sewing our own costumes (unlike the other extras, who had theirs made for them,) AND everything that goes underneath. So--stays, under-petticoat, shift, over-petticoat, and gown. The only things we didn't make ourselves were the hoops and kerchiefs. I'm actually working on a costume-vlog now. :)

  2. wow... loved reading this, Mich. :) i always love reading over peoples accounts of their year, and it is so interesting to see how people have grown and changed! ;) so, your birthday is February 17? (can't believe i don't know this... bad, bad, bad me.) i'll have to remember that (if i got the date right... baha.) ;)

    simply lovely, girl! hopefully 2013 will be a wonderful year for you. (and hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch a bit more. *hint* haha. ;))


    1. No. It's not February 17th. :P I'll email you the actual date. haha I guess your thinking of last years festival??

  3. You're my six-degrees-of-separation from John Rhys-Davies...thank you. ;-)

    This year is big for me as well. Last month I finished 6 1/2 years of college and now I have a job and a wide open future (scary at times, as I begin to worry about money more than ever). I have realized that God has A LOT to teach me. He gave me the grace to see college through and now some big personal changes need to happen. Scary...working on the exciting part. ;-) My 30s are fast approaching (28 in February O_o )but I am determined that those will be my best years yet. I am happy to leave my 20s behind and I am better off than anyone ever though I'd be (especially me). I'm thankful that I'm not the same person I was when I was your age, BUT there were some great moments then I wish I could relive. Live it up and enjoy every moment! :-)

    This year is going to be great for the both of us. :-)

    1. You are quite welcome. ;)

      It has been such a beautiful and exciting thing, watching you grow, Catherine! You are a huge inspiration to me--thank you from the bottom of my heart. :) I praise the Lord for older-young Christian ladies in my life. ::hugs::

  4. Loved this post! and I'm still jealous that you talked with John Rhys Davies he is like the best actor ever!

    1. He really is. B) And the mans voice is absolutely incredible! o.O He has a lot of "presence" about him. When he first walked on set everything became hushed. . .it was an awesome experience. :)

  5. It sounds like you had a lovely memorable year, with scant time to breath, sometimes those are the best.
    I hope god blesses you and your family with a year twice as amazing as last year.
    Turning 22 doesn't seem like much, but I get what you mean, I just turned 20 and it can be strange, though I like how you described being 20. Happy birthday !
    Blessings Rachel hope

    1. I'm hanging on to every last day of 21 with all my life! hehe You'll love 20 though--it was seriously one of my favorite years. (I know, I know, I'm still very young. . .but these early-adulthood years are so special. :) ) Happy New Year to you!

  6. Sounds like an action-packed year! And that's cool that you got to meet Gimli. ;D


  7. Wow, you have had an amazing year Michaela! Thank you for sharing.
    I can totally relate to the "21 is somewhere between maturing-young-adult and little girl who does not need (or want) to grow up." I just turned 21 in December, and can remember when I thought 18 was ANCIENT. LOL. Growing up is a hard but also a beautiful thing. It is hard for me to not stay perpetually looking behind me at the days that are past, wishing that they could have stayed just a little while longer. I guess I am sentimental...
    Blessings on your 2013!

  8. Absolutely loved reading over your account of 2012!!
    You are such a beautiful, godly young lady inside & out, Michaela! You are truly inspiring, and have brought me closer to Christ just simply by your amazing, one-of-a-kind posts. :) On my list of "2013 hopes" is to meet you!:) That is really one of my #1 wishes.
    <3 from a going-on-seventeen-er ~ Rachel S :)

    1. Rachel, you are such a blessing! I can't begin to tell you how much this encouraged me--I've been meaning to answer all these comments for awhile now, but haven't gotten to them. Thank YOU for being such a joy and a light! I really hope we can somehow meet this year. <3

  9. Wow, that is so neat. I love acting and I've been thinking about how I'd like to be in a movie! I loved reading about your year. Every new year is so full of things that we would never have imagined or planned, and it's exciting to see what 2013 may hold. :)

    1. Have you considered attending the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival? I went last year simply out of curiosity. . .and have been swept into the world of Christian film making. Totally by accident. ;) The SAICFF is an excellent way to meet film makers from around the country--(plus the fellowship in general is amazing.) I highly suggest it! :)


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