Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy Things.

Hey y'all!
It's been a rough couple of days at Casa de Estrella, so today I decided to focus on things that make me happy! So, here are 5 things on my table today that are making me smile.

1. Fresh Cut Flowers 
I love fresh cut flowers, but I don't indulge in them enough. Last week, the old fashioned rose bush bloomed as did the two peony bushes! Peonies have always been one of my favorite flowers, and total motivation to have a spring wedding. The old fashioned rose has such a distinct aroma and I am catching whiffs of it from across the room. It's the smaller pink one nestled between the two peonies.  I cut them off and then hand-tied them with some twine that I found on my sister's potting table. I put them in some tap water and I am enjoying them immensely. I'm also keeping a constant watch to make sure that no bugs are crawling out of them...

2. My Homemade iPad Case
My sister made this for me when I first got my iPad and I'm still obsessed with it. She had given me some options of fabric, and naturally, I chose the one with the hedgehogs all over it. She made the pattern herself, and really, let's be honest, I wasn't surprised when she told me that. (This is the woman who made my other sister's wedding dress and all the bridesmaid dresses. She's too creative.) It's slightly padded, but not puffy....if that makes sense. It's like quilted on the inside. So yeah. the colors are happy, and I love hedgehogs, so it kind of makes sense! 

3. Sephora by O.P.I Nail Color
I love this stuff. I bought it three summers ago, and haven't worn it as much as I would like, but when I do wear it, it just makes me feel fancy. The color is "I Only Shop Vintage" and it's a nice "nude" shade. Now, when I say "nude" I don't mean pink...I mean "nude" as in, "it matches MY skin tone." It's not a heavy gold, and it's a bit sparkly. The JCPenny I used to frequent when I lived at home dropped a Sephora in the middle of the store. It was a nice addition, and this is the only thing I ever bought there. You can find this color online

4. "The Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas 
I've been reading this book for almost a year. I have one chapter left, and I'm going to be sad to have it all finished. I mean, sure I can read it again. But this book has been a huge reason why my view of marriage has literally been turned upside down. The subtitle is "What if God designed marriage to make us holy, more than to make us happy?" He touches on conflict, forgiveness, prayer, and of course, sex, and how all of these things can lead us not only closer to our spouse, but also closer to the cross. I NEVER highlight or underline books, but this one is littered. It also has a study guide at the back of the book if you decide to dig deeper. I think I'll be using that when I decide to read it again. You can purchase "The Sacred Marriage" on Amazon. 

5. A Lace Table Runner
I have no idea where this lace table runner (that you see in all of the pictures), came from. I wanted a pretty background for my pictures, so I grabbed the first lacy thing I found. I love lace. I didn't used to until I met Lando and started looking at more modern wedding dresses. I think the detailing is super intricate and it makes anything look and feel more classic and flowy. You can often find antique lace at estate sales, or antique stores! 

So these are the things that are making me smile today! Leave a comment and tell me what things cheer you up when you're feeling blue! 

Shine Bright! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Year 25: I'M ENGAGED!!!!!

Most of you reading this now already know but this is my official announcement to the world that on April 11th, Lando asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and I said, (and I quote directly): "Ohmygosh. Ohmygosh. Ohmygosh.........YES!"

The whole thing was a complete and total surprise to me. Lando orchestrated the whole thing, and it was beautifully, and SNEAKILY executed by the ENTIRE cast and crew of "Godspell," my best friend Liesl, my family, and a few friends who knew it was happening, so they came to see the show and The Proposal. The entire experience of "Godspell" was amazing, and life-changing for many of us involved, and this was the cherry on top of the sweetest bowl of ice cream ever invented.

Brief timeline of events, so you have some background before watching the video. (Yes, there's a video). On Sunday the 6th, the cast performed for several of Calvary's church services. It was a fun day, and it was also the day we were to load the set into the State Theatre. Our choreographer Sara asked if I wanted to ride with her from the one church service to the theatre and help unload things. I said sure! I was free for the rest of the day and it would be no problem. We sat in the lobby of the theatre because church was still going on, and I was just on my phone texting, and on facebook while Sara was working on a few things for the week. I thought nothing of the fact that none of the other cast members showed up for about 2 hours. It was a beautiful day and I was content to just be. As it turns out, Sara was The Diverter. As she was holding me hostage in the theatre, Lando was at my house in Boalsburg asking my parents for their blessing. (Side Note: Ladies....just...I don't care how non-traditional you are, this is seriously an important step for your guy to do before he proposes.) They obviously said yes! Lando later told me that they also took time to pray with him at the end of the conversation! Of course that made me cry! I feel so blessed to have parents who love and support us!

The rest of the week was pretty normal. Tech and dress rehearsals, being able to finally use our AMAZING set, and having a rocking opening night on Thursday the 10th.

Then came Friday. It was a dreary rainy State College day, but I. Did. Not. Care. My best friend was coming to town to see the show!! Liesl and I have been best friends for 5 years. She's always there to put me back on track and make sure I'm not becoming more of a hot mess than I already am. She's inspiring, and strong and just a beautiful woman of God. And she was coming to see my show. She also brought with her two friends from Lancaster, our former camper AJ, and his mom Michele. AJ and I have a special bond, and Michele is seriously one of the nicest people ever. We all went out to dinner, and Lando and Andrew (the guy plying Jesus) met up with us. Lando and Liesl exchanged a big hug and I rolled my eyes. "You guys love each other a little too much." I said. "Yep. We do." Lando replied, barely making eye contact with me. Lando sat on the other side of Liesl and we all talked and joked and enjoyed some good food. We went down to the theatre to get ready and at one point Lando was sitting on the couch in the green room staring off into space. I asked if he was alright, and he said his stomach was feeling a little off. I just figured it was pre-show jitters, so I let him have his space. (#ActorProblems). The show was great despite a tiny problem of missing a parable (an ENTIRE parable), I was feeling dehydrated, and then I swapped some words around in my song. In the grand scheme of things. It was no big deal.

At the end of the show we had our curtain call, and we went back to the dressing rooms to change. Our stage manager caught me and said "Hey Star, whenever you're done, head upstairs. We have a light cue that we need to adjust during 'All Good Gifts.'" I said sure, but that I really needed to grab a bottle of water and I had friends waiting for me, and hopefully they would stay. I sent a text to all my friends to not go anywhere because we needed to fix a light cue. They all assured me they would wait. We all headed back upstairs and I was chugging water like it was going out of style. Sara, once again, doing her job, came over to me and said, "here Star, I'll hold your water for you." and snatched it out of my hands. I was so upset. All I wanted to do was drink some water. For heaven's sake, someone was passing around a cookie and they didn't get that taken away! I was like, alright, fine. Whatever. And that's when this happened.

As you can see. I was pretty excited, as were the rest of our friends. What I still can't believe is how EVERYONE lied to me (and didn't feel bad about it!), and kept the whole event a secret. I feel so blessed to have been able to share the stage with all of these amazing people, and to have them be a part of a moment that will live on in my memory forever! It was also extra special because Lando had invited some of our other mutual theatre friends to be there, and my friend Katrina, who had NO idea what was going on, happened to be at the show that night too! It was so overwhelming to have that much support right away! Oh, I called my mom after the camera was turned off, and her response was "We've been checking our phones ALL NIGHT!" I have such a great cheer-leading section!

So that happened, and we are full speed ahead planning this expensive party. We are so excited and feel so blessed that we're able to spend a joyous time together with friends and family along the way!

I'm going to try hard to blog, but please forgive me if I allow another time lapse! I'm auditioning for King Lear in July, so perhaps that will allow for some good stories. (Provided I get cast!)

Feel free to share the video, and please reach out to me with any any wedding-related questions/comments, (either offering suggestions, or asking for some), as we are getting a really good education on how to do this. We are headed to a venue this afternoon and I'm praying this is the one!!

Thank you to everyone who has already shared so many kind words and invaluable advice with us! We appreciate it more than you know! We love you all!

Carry on my warrior friends, and as always, Shine Bright!

 PS: Here's a picture of the ring! Lando did a great job, with the help of his Best Men, Ben and Colin. Love you three guys so much!!