Thursday, December 31, 2009

The wind down of '09 and the wind up 2010.

I'm going to state the obvious here. 2009 is leaving us, and soon we will start the beginning of a whole new year. Hard to believe how fast the time has flown, and as I get older the saying, "Life is Short," rings truer and truer. Here is a brief run-down on my big accomplishments from 2009.
  •  In March 2009, I spent seven days in Israel. Instead of taking the ten days I had off from school for spring break and going partying on the beach or crashing someplace random like most of my peers, I was given the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land with my school to get academic credit. I went with one of my good, good friends. We graduated from high school together, and while on the trip I was getting over a horrible cold but she stuck with me even when I was pretty out of it. Here's one of my favorite pictures from that trip.  

-Also, another picture from that trip is my picture for this blog. That's me in front of the Dead Sea.

  • In April I traveled with some friends to Washington D.C., where I marched and rallied for awareness of the Invisible Children. I have known about the child soldiers of Joseph since early high school but only recently has the issue been getting the attention it deserves. Peace talks are underway, hopefully the war in Uganda can end and countless children be healed from the horrors of war. If you don't know about the Invisible Children check out

  • February was a big month for me. I completed a digital short, spoofing an SNL video with my friends about my college, youtube. That same month I was an assistant producer on a music video for a local band called Point of Honor. The theme was an epic battle between the band and a lot of hungry zombies. I was definitely happy to be working behind the scenes as all the actors other than the band members were covered in chocolate sauce and liquid latex. 

  • All spring semester I had been working with a group to finish on of my biggest projects yet. A student film; Cold Crimes. We started the planning late January, began filming in February, and scrambled to finish it by April. But we completed it and I learned a lot from the experience. I was the producer, and I loved it. While not a perfect project, it is a project I can be proud to say I was a part of. Cold Crimes part 1   

  • In June I hit three milestones. One June 5th I bought my first DSLR with my own money. Soon after I  proceeded to join Flickr. Then on June 13th I shot my first wedding. I also helped with the wedding video so there was another photographer there, which took a lot of pressure off. And finally, on June 17th, I left my teenage years behind me. It was a sad, sad day in my eyes. I truly loved being a teen, I could essentially get away with anything. I didn't have to worry about financial stuff and if I got in trouble with the law (Ha! Not likely) then I would probably get off with a warning. Now I have to be an adult. :(

  • In September my R.D. (Resident Director) at school had a baby. I was given the chance to shoot her baby pictures, something that I really enjoyed doing. The family was so gracious in working with me as I asked them to keep changing the baby girl's clothes, holding her this way, looking that way. But at the end we came up with some beautiful pictures, and I hope they love how they turned out as much as I do.   

  • In October, I was approached by my good friend Megan about doing her engagement photos. Even though I was pretty busy with school, I couldn't resist the opportunity. I wasn't able to get all the pictures we took back to her until November (Oops) but it sure was fun!

  • And to end up the list of big accomplishments, in December I finished one of my harder classes at my college. A script writing class. And I completed a feature length film script! Oh my goodness it took so long. I pulled an all nighter to finish it. That definitely wasn't the plan, as I had the script idea stuck in my head since 2008, but getting really sick with the flu and then having to catch up on several upper-level classes made me leave the script-writing alone for a few days, then turned into weeks, then turned into, "Oh no, my script is due in three days!!!" Yeah, it was bad. But I didn't quit and now I have a script I can sell. Any directors/big shot producers out there who would like to buy a script?
Anyway, while many things happened in 2009, this list holds some of my biggest memories. They are not necessarily in order, and I know I have left many things out. I probably should go back and add a few comments about my last year performing in the colorguard. But it's late, and how can I summarize four months of hard work into a few sentences? I'm still going to be in the Marching Band in the fall, but behind the scenes instead of front and center. 

Now, just something quick about 2010. I have at the top of this blog in Orange a little blurb saying, 'What's next on the list? Travel Plans and Photography lessons. I am completely serious. I haven't revealed my love of photography before because I didn't have a plan for it. Travel plans, well that one is easy. I am planning on going somewhere over the summer (still praying for the Philippines!), even if it doesn't work out for me to go, I will be in the air, somehow, someway. But now for the photography lessons. I had been toying with the idea of taking on a 365 project ever since I discovered what one was. I knew it would be a challenge, and that's what I want. But more recently, I've decided to narrow it down even more. I am now planning on doing a self-portrait 365 project. I will be taking a picture of myself every single day until I complete the 365 days. Not conventional pictures, but all kinds of pictures. I want creativity, I want spontaneity and planning. Tomorrow I am going to write out a list of specific shots I want to get, and deadlines on which to have them done by. Oh sure, on some days I might get lazy, but on most days I want to think outside the box. 

And no, this is not a project to puff up my ego. For my future career it is important to have as much understanding of the camera as possible. I'm not worried about always looking pretty, or to break into the business as a model. That's not who I am. I genuinely want to accomplish this project for the challenge, the creativity, and to become as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. 

I guess this is it for now. For 2010 one new picture will be posted everyday I have access to a computer. And as for Travel posts, I am planning on updating at least weekly, if not bi-weekly as the trip gets closer. Please join in my journey as I take on my biggest item on my list yet. As my friend Grace would say, Hollar!!!  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My journey since September.

           Alright, this post is is to go over why I started this blog and how God has been molding my journey since I've started it.
          I have always wanted to spend a semester abroad, but unfortunately my school doesn't really offer that option. They will, however, work with you to get an internship abroad. So I thought I'd go my junior year, spring semester. That way I wouldn't miss marching band, and I would still be at school for my entire senior year. I started working for this in November of my sophomore year through my professional advisor, Ms. Viets. Then in the spring I contacted the LU abroad department and began the process of working through a missions agency to help a Christian organization in my field (Communications-Broadcasting). Over the summer I decided to go through the International Missions Board and filled out the application, including getting most of my references in. This fall I met with Matt Rawlins, LU abroad's director, along with Che', my mentor through the process. Here is the link to my first post, it goes into more detail as to where I was right then.
         Then I started the process of picking a project. Top contender was the project in India. I would be leaving in just a few days if I had be allowed to go there, what a weird thought. Next came Prague. I really thought this was going to be the internship for me. I really, really did. Everything seemed to be going right. Here is the story,
         I told Che' and she told her boss to put my name down. Then the next day that internship closed, and I was left going, "What just happened?" I had no other choice but to move my time to the summer. This was a very disappointing move because I had taken some advanced classes specifically so I could miss school in the spring semester. I had to go back and tell all my friends and professors what happened. I know they didn't think too much of it, but I was really upset and embarrassed. After getting over myself, I found an awesome internship in the Philippines. It is basically working with this group called Nehemiah Teams, and they do it all. Orphan work, Agriculture and more. Here is their website if you want to check it out,
          Currently I am waiting for everything to be processed, which normally I am a patient person, but I am starting to lose it. I can't really do much until I receive confirmation that I am going, which is the most frustrating thing. But as soon as I hear some good news, I am going to start the ball rolling. Get some new travel gear, raise the money to fund the missions trip (about $2,000), buying a plane ticket (22 hr flight!), it will never end. But this is where I am right now, and hopefully this post explains a bit of where I was and where I hope to go.

If this post seems to "me" centered, let me know, but I'm just trying to be honest. I am working on my spiritual life, and I know that not everyone who reads this blog  is going to be a Christian. In fact they will probably think I'm crazy. So I'm trying to find a happy medium. We'll see how this thing molds out after I get going a little more. And feel free to ask me any questions, I realize I might not have covered everything that has happened so far.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Doing some inquirous reading.

 Since beginning to plan for my trip over the summer, I have branched out and started to regularly read websites that talk about traveling. Many discuss all the ins and outs of what they do and of course how much money it takes for them to travel freely. They are all very encouraging about taking the plunge from regular society. And quite possibly after this summer I might want to become a "Travel Ninja" as one blogger calls it, or a "Professional Hobo" as another does. This guy is currently in the Philippines, which is why I chose to link to this post. There is a touch of language, but nothing to bad. Here is the link if you are interested!

I think next post I will discuss exactly what internship I am applying for and where I see this blog heading for 2010. I have some exciting things planned!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Ok, so I was planning on updating the day after my last post. But I got pretty discouraged when I found out that I might not get word back about my internship until January. Such a bummer. I know I have a spot in the IMB which is the organization through whom I am doing my internship. So to hear that I have to wait so long until I am actually signed up for the trip I want is so frustrating. I feel like I have done everything on my part to be where I need to be, yet I am still stuck in waiting mode. Sigh.
But I did find out something very encouraging. And it is too coincidental to not be a God thing. Tuesday around noon I decided to eat in my school's dining hall, where I happened to bump into a friend.. We decided to eat together and catch up, since the last time we talked was early October. After settling down to eat, we began to discuss break plans. Two of our close friends are getting married in May, with her as the Maid of Honor, so naturally after talking about Christmas break we brought up the summer. As I told her my plans for the Philippines, she started to laugh. She then told me that I was going to find this really funny. It turns out that she is also going to be spending two months in the Philippines. We started digging deeper into the specifics. I couldn't believe that she's applying to the same team through the IMB just like I am. The only difference is she is going to work in an orphanage for two months while I'll be doing media. There are a few teams in the Philippines under the same organization, so while the chances of us getting to see each other while over there is slim, it is really comforting to know that I will not be alone while away so far from home. We might even be able to fly out together. Which would help to survive the 22 hour flight without being completely bored. Hopefully both of us will be processed through without any problems. I know both of us will be crushed if we are denied.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Why must we be such impatient creatures? Even back in the Garden, man was impatient. I think God laughs when we get worked up over things that conspire over months, weeks, days, minutes. I imagine that what stretches into a lifetime of waiting for us, is not even a drop in the bucket to Him.

On Thursday I talked to my mentor, Che', and she said she would sign me up for the internship in the Philippines. But I still have yet to hear back on whether it has gone through or not, or if I really can go this time. Last time I got my hopes up so much, then God slammed the door shut. So now I feel like I am walking in the dark, just waiting for a hand to reach out and confirm that I am going in the right direction. I'm going to text Che' tomorrow, just so I can finally start moving with purpose again.

 Because once I have conformation I really get to start hammering out the details. Not mention telling my entire family I'll be spending two months in the Philippines instead of working with my uncle, which is going to be hard. Wow, pretty soon everything is going to start moving so fast. But still, this bit of waiting is so hard to bear. Hopefully I'll have some good news to post tomorrow.