Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Improv

 This past weekend with the help of Myke and the element of surprise I took my first Improv class.

I drove us to the Community Center without knowing why we were there, just that we were doing something for the next two hours. We walked in and the woman at the front desk asked "Volleyball or Improv?" My stomach dropped. Now, this is something that's on my 30 Before 30 list, but that doesn't mean I'm not scared of it. Scared of looking stupid, scared of being laughed at, scared of doing it wrong.

We walk into the room she points us to and there's a tall, friendly man - David. Myke informs him that I don't know why I'm here except for the word "improv", but of course I've figured it out at this point. More people begin to walk in and I stare at each of them.

Children, could be nice.
Single ladies, we all want each other to succeed.
Single men, already smiling and friendly.
People that know Myke - they'll be nice to me right? Just by proxy of knowing him?

I decide this seems like a pretty safe space. I don't want to laugh at these people, I don't want them to fail so I assume they feel the same about me.

David starts talking and announces, officially, where I am - Improv for Beginners Work Shop.

I am not completely in the dark when it comes to improv and a lot of the games we played were not a surprise to me. What was a surprise is how well I did. I mean that in the way of reacting to others and focusing on the group as a whole to give and receive my cues. A lot of the things we did I believe could also be used for team building.

I died three times in those two hours - once by gun, once by slipping and drowning, and once by tire to the face! I also received a lot of great gifts - a Ninja Turtles head band, a hairless puppy, and a book about knots. I went to a disco, a water park, a demolition derby, a dance party, and a kitchen!

I had so much fun and am soooo glad that Myke surprised me with this. I put it on my list because I was scared of it and not knowing what I was getting into took all the anxiety of it for me. I had a headache when we left from laughing so much.

Have you guys ever taken an improv class or been in improv? What do you think about it?

Until Next Time,
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ways to Shake It Off

Sometimes I just get into a funk and a need a small pick me up. Especially turning this very changing time in my life. I've been upgrading my eating habits, working out, AND just got done moving. Phew. I wanted to share with you a guys a few things that put a smile on my face when I need it most.

  • Chai Tea Lattes
    • Add 1/4 cup steaming water to a chai tea bag in your mug.
    • Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
    • Add 3/4 cup steaming milk, 2 splendas, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
    • Let steep for 3-5 minutes or whenever you want.
    • Drink and enjoy.

  • Play Disney's Tsum Tsum 
    • One game takes 60 seconds (generally). I get to look at cute disney characters and just completely focus on something different for a minute. It's free to download in your app store!

  • Drinking Out of Cups
    • This video has been quoted so many times between me and Leah. There's like two sentences in here that I really hate, but the rest of the video is so hilarious I have to share it with you guys. It's NSFW and has adult language. There's your warning.

  • Dance Party
    • For your enjoyment, here's my dance mix on Spotify. 

  • Sloth Cam 
    • They also have many other animals, but nothing makes me smile like watching a sloth sleep. I'm actually pretty good about catching them doing stuff - like eating.

Until Next Time,
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Minnesnowta

Last week I talked about the anxiety I experienced when traveling to Minnesota from Oklahoma for Christmas. What I didn't talk about was all the FUN I had! So let's get into that now!

So, obviously I got to hang out with and meet so many of Myke's wonderful friends and family. Luckily for me, I had already met quite a few of them including his aunt and one cousin. A lot of our vacation was spent in kitchens, living and dining rooms - talking and laughing and eating delicious made with love food. When we made it out and about I discovered lots of things.

First of all, nature. This Christmas was not so harsh. I felt right at home in the ice, fog, and sludgy mess. There are a lot of lakes in Minnesota. No but really. Lake Superior looks like a whole state of water. Just as far as you can see - water. They also have so many trees. A lot of the trees are weird stick trees; Myke said those are paper trees. Which makes sense because I think they look like pencils. I didn't see any moose, but people tell me they live there as well.

So, Myke said to me we had to get there by Saturday to take a train. Done. It's on my 30 Before 30 list and now it's not. I didn't realize where the train was taking us though - Bentleyville. There's a really cool history of the event on their webpage, but I'll explain it to you like Myke explained it to me. This guy set up a bunch of awesome lights at his house. He continued to make the light display grow and grow until too many people were showing up and he needed to have more parking. Then they moved it to downtown Duluth so more people could look at it. It's America's largest free light display and it's amazing. And that's where this magical train took us.

I saw the lift bridge from afar many times on our trips to Duluth, but one day we got there just as a huge ship was coming in. The bridge was completely lifted and the ship came in slowly. I saw the guys waving on the ship and then I looked around and noticed that the crowd of people around me was waving back! Then Myke grabbed my hand and we ran under the bridge after the ship went through. It started lowering and I stared up at it, watching as it got closer and closer until it was at arms' length! We hung around for a minute marveling at the view. Then we ran into the Lake Superior Marine Museum. Myke's friend Bryan made sure I saw all the highlights - the lock simulator, creepy cement people in replica boat quarters, and the captain's helm. The website has an awesome webcam where you can view the ships coming in AND the lift bridge if you want to see sort of what I saw!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How to meet your boyfriend's entire family tree and friend groups and live to tell the tale.

Alternatively titled: Anxiety

So, imagine this: Your second Christmas with your boyfriend of a little over a year. The first one spent together with your parents and a pan of lasagna. Now, it's 3 am and you're only part way to your destination after 12 hours of driving. You look over at this great guy you're dating and think "what the hell am I doing? I'm driving to Minnesnowta, away from everyone I've ever known to spend a week plus with people who I hope to heaven like me. And if they don't? Or if we fight? Well I'm stuck." Then you fall back to sleep and wake up and you're there. There's no going back.

Now, keep in mind I have every intention of going across country and falling in love all over again. I want to fall in love with this city he grew up in, his friends, his family, deeper in love with him himself! I have the absolute best of intentions. I also have my old friend Anxiety. All the "what ifs" are flooding my head. I keep telling myself it's going to be okay, but I don't really relax until Christmas Eve.

I wake up and I'm on the verge of tears. Myke leaves and starts preparing for the day. I'm stuck. I'm stuck on the floor of this borrowed bedroom and I can't stop crying. No one even knows what's happening. How can anyone save me if no one knows I'm stuck?

Within an hour I get it together, dress and am ready to face the day. I make it through gift wrapping and bread making and then it's time to meet his mom, his grandparents.

We walk through the door and my heart is pounding, my arms are full, and there's a smile on my face. I am excited to meet them, but there's that little voice in my head trying to mess it up for me.

We eat, we talk, we laugh and without even trying I'm being me. I'm comfortable and I feel at home. I feel included, wanted, and I forget I was anxious at all. We talk about my job, their jobs, our lives. His grandpa reads the passage Luke 2 and tears up as he talks about his love for Jesus Christ. His grandma talks about her love for Him and also for her family. She tears up and laughs, saying she's a "big baby". Myke pushes me gently as if to say "See? We all cry here." They both say how grateful they are to see "their boy" so happy and that I chose to spend this holiday with them.

We move to presents and I am happy to watch other people open. I like watching other peoples' faces more than I like them watching mine! Then his mom is bringing a box, it's large-ish and I know deep in my soul that it's a record player. I shake my head at her, willing her to take it back. I'm going to cry. She encourages me to open it and I peel a corner back. I see the picture - it is a record player. I try to set it down, hope I'm fading into the group. I'm not.

She prods "What is it?" I go all in, ripping the packaging and revealing the only other thing I wanted that Christmas - a record player. Tears fill my eyes and I'm trying to wave them away. Staring down at the box, very quickly "Thank you so much, I really love it." There's silence. They're all staring at me. They see my tears. "Someone else do something now, please." They laugh at my uncomfortableness just like I wanted.

"She's so cute," is all that's said and then they move on. There's more presents, more laughter, more food. I didn't let them know until the next day but I felt like Rudolph in that moment - over come with joy. I could've flown around the room at that moment. Even thinking about the memory brings them to my eyes. I felt surrounded by love, safe, just like with my own family.

From that moment on, that little voice telling me I was going to mess up took it's own vacation.

I called my parents Christmas morning and told that I cried and they didn't even make fun of me! My parents laughed because they know what an emotional mess I am all the time. Myke and I spent the rest of the day with his family. We played 500, ate chips and dip, frozen pizza, and the women talked while the men napped. These are all things I do with my family all the time. I couldn't have felt more at home if they rubbed red dirt on the bottom of all their shoes!

So, what's my advice you're asking?

First, have faith. If the amazing human that you've chosen to spend your life with wants you to meet their family, they really care about you. Their family must realize that and really want to like you too. If you don't like them or they don't like you, this could just be really horrible for everyone. You're not the only one that's nervous. I promise.

Part two, be yourself. Easier said than done I know, but I cried the first time I met Myke's mom and I can tell you - she likes me.  Literally, one of the worst things I could think of happened and it just made his family like me more. You're probably a pretty great person if this other person wants to introduce you to the most important people in their life. Have confidence in yourself AND your love's love.

Last, but not least, try not to waste time worrying about the "what ifs". I can't wait to go back to Minnesota sometime because I know I will feel so much lighter when I'm not trying to carry around all that baggage!


Until Next Time,
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