Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't Stop Believin': The Glee Project

I did it! My online audition for The Glee Project is up and waiting for all your love.  I'll be at the open auditions here in New York, too, on Sunday.  If I am cast, I'll compete with a bunch of other talented, fabulous Gleeks for a role on Glee next season.  Please "like," "share," and comment on my video as much as you can, and please pass it on to your friends via Facebook, twitter, and whatever else strikes your fancy.  

Thanks so much for your support! Love you all! xoxo

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricanes and Spaghettios

I bought a can of Trader Joe's brand spaghettios for the hurricane.  Because it was either that, clam chowder, or green beans.  (Talk about a gutted store!)  And while the hurricane wasn't all it cracked up to be and my power never went out, it's still a quick meal.  I'm unpacking a bunch of boxes from storage today, so I thought I'd give the o's a go.

Let's just say nostalgia got the better of me when I bought this can of tomato-y goo.  Spaghettios must have been much tastier as a seven-year-old.

Mediocre canned food aside, things have been pretty great here in the city.  I was prepared for the worst when we got news of Irene (which, for me, wasn't until 5pm on Thursday at work!), and we got off relatively unscathed.  Areas like Coney Island, the Rockaways, Staten Island, and Battery Park took a hit because they're low-lying coastal areas.  But it could have been so much worse.  Thinking that we'd see window-blowing, basement-flooding conditions, I took before-and-after shots outside my apartment.

Before, just across the street, around noon on Saturday

 Before, the empty lot at the end of the block


 Afterward, around noon on Sunday

Apart from a large but short-lived puddle in the corner of the empty lot, plus a few blown-about pieces of trees and bushes, you'd never know New York saw a Category 1.  At least here in Harlem.  Things are quite a bit soggier downtown.

Speaking of my new place in Harlem, here's a shot of the gorgeous City College of New York (better known as CUNY).  I snapped it on my phone last night while walking back from the bank and stretching my cabin-fevered legs.

So there you go! Things are great here on the East Coast.  We're moving into my favorite time of year, I'm living in a beautiful new apartment with two lovely new friends, and work at Trader Joe's is still fantastic.  I'll be back to auditions within a week or so, once I get all settled here.  

Thanks for keeping up with me, and thanks, especially for all the concerned calls, texts, and FB posts during our crazy weekend of weather.  We made it!  Love you all. xoxo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

summer sweetness

It's been a great couple of weeks. :)

Last Thursday, I go in for an interview with the Trader Joe's here on the Upper West Side.  You may wonder why, of all things, I'm applying with Trader Joe's.  After all, I swore I'd never work retail, especially grocery.  But circumstances change, and I'm open to a lot of options.  Part-time status earns me a 10% employee discount and full benefits.  My medical, dental, and vision coverage with Dad's insurance policy expires at the end of the summer, so the benefits with TJ's are especially attractive.  It's either that route or $400 out-of-pocket every month.  Considering I'm not a chronically ill individual (thanks be to God), I can't see forking over hundreds every month.  And frankly, my budget won't stand it.

So I interview with Kelly on Thursday afternoon.  She's super nice, the interview is really informal and fun, and as I leave with a firm handshake and wide smile, she tells me she'll pass along my application and "I really like your energy." Awesome.  Talk it up, lady.  Get me Interview #2.

And she does. Just a few hours later, as I'm on my way to Ben's 23rd birthday party at West 3rd Common, I get a call.  I'm asked if I'm available to come in the next day at 1pm to interview with Bobby.  YES, I'm available!!!  I show up to the birthday bash high on adrenaline.  Gourmet Mac and Cheese, a decidedly "adult" board game, and a bottle of cider round things out for a very fun, carefree night.

The interview with Bobby on Friday goes well, but he asks challenging questions, and when all is said and done, I don't really know where I stand.  He's a little hard to read, and unlike my experience with Kelly, I leave feeling a bit uneasy.  But I've prayed about the situation a lot, and I know God has my best interests at hand, and whatever happens is what needs to happen.  I've long since quit my end of the guessing game with God.  It's so much better to be surprised and roll with it than to pointlessly agonize and worry about every detail.

On my way out, Bobby tells me if they're interested in hiring me, I'll hear by Tuesday at the latest.  I hate the waiting game.  I might as well be six years old again, already itching in July for Christmas to hurry up and get here.  I've never been too good at the whole patience thing.

Saturday morning, I am determined to run off all my anxious energy.  I lace up my Sauconys and run west across town in what I feel is a bizarre workout combo: a white tee, running shorts, my Nathan runner's pack (for my phone, keys, ID, and debit card), and a bikini top.  Yep.  After 2+ miles down the Greenway, I stop on the water at 72nd St.  At 11am, it's hotter than the blazes--at least for this mild-blooded Northwesterner--and I congratulate myself on my clever plan.  

At 72nd St. (and two other locations in the city), the Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking every weekend, all summer long.  Volunteers and donor-sponsored equipment means there's no catch.  You just sign a waiver, pick up a life vest, and wait your turn in line.  Awesome!  I take my kayak out and paddle around for about 20 minutes.  It's the perfect cool-down after a hot run.  And seriously, if we have to suffer the heat by being sticky and wet all day, it might as well be thanks to the Hudson rather than sweat, right?  I think so.  After docking my kayak, thanking the nice volunteers, and catching the train home, I decide I'll be back next weekend with Mom, Daddy, and Chelsea. (They fly in TOMORROW!!!!)

Laura and I round out Saturday night at her place, over homemade spaghetti and So You Think You Can Dance from the DVR.  It's so nice just to kick back with a good old friend and relax.  We can be total bums with our pasta, sparkling wine, and cupcakes.  No judgment.  Who needs therapy?  We both agree we need to do this more often. :)

I'm at home after church on Sunday, making lunch, when the call comes.  These days, every unknown number on my cell makes my stomach do a little flip-flop.  (I never know if it's going to be a job offer, a casting director, or some other random twist of events.  Anything can happen in this city.)  I answer, and the guy--whose name I missed in my blurry fog of anticipation--tells me I'm hired.  At which point I proceed to do a skillfully restrained happy dance--you know the kind--and all but gush my thanks.  Orientation is on Thursday. 

Pete's sermon that morning was "God Keeps His Promises" (scripture reference below).
And boy, does He.  Every single one of them.  Trader Joe's may not seem like such a big deal, but in the scheme of my little life, I think it is.  And I give God all the credit.

Hebrews 6:13-20 (NIV)
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Monday morning, I'm up early for three calls.  They close the Mary Poppins audition to non-Equity, so I don't even have to bother with Pearl.  I hang out with my friend Bryna at AEA, hoping to be seen for Nice Work If You Can Get It and Camelot.  I get to sing for the first, but the folks with Camelot ask us to come back tomorrow.  It's only 2:30, so I still have a lot of my day left.  Awesome. :)

I do the same routine this morning: up at 6:30, out the door by 8, on the list at AEA by 8:30.  Little do I know what a whirlwind I'm in for!  The monitor for the New York Musical Theatre Festival calls me in around 10:30.  I sing "A Summer In Ohio"--definitely a new favorite--which goes over well.  One of the guys behind the table asks me where "Gon-ZAH-ga" University is.  Ha.  Spokane.  That's what happens when you're from the west coast.  At home, everyone west of the Dakotas has at least heard of the basketball team.  New York casting folks, however, don't seem concerned about the geography of Eastern Washington, much less college basketball (and I don't blame them).  But it's nice to be talked to in the room, beyond the obligatory "hello." :)  Thanks, Gon-ZAH-ga.  I'll take it.  

I schlep myself and my things back to the non-Equity lounge, the space to which we underlings are relegated until we earn our much-coveted Equity cards.  I sign up again on the Camelot list since my name was called while I was on line for the other audition.  And just as  I'm about to sit down, monitor #2 calls me in.  Well, alrighty, folks! We're going back-to-back!  I'm still buzzing a little bit from being in the last room, so I focus on breathing more and gathering my thoughts.   

Camelot asks us for 16 bars of a standard up-tempo.  I love up-tempos, but singing just 16 is always so hard.  The music moves much faster, and I always wish for at least a 32-bar allowance.  Still, I choose a chunk from the middle of "I Have Confidence."  

And what does the girl in front of me sing?  The end of the same song.  

I stand there in the hall, grinning (how ironic!), knowing that I'd be foolish to change my game plan now.  So I pull up my bootstraps, greet the room smartly, and make my good-humored announcement: "Well, she gave you the end of the song.  I'm gonna give you some of the guts of the song!"  My ego silently thanks them for their chuckled response.  And I sing my bit.

Afterward, the first thing they say is, "You do have confidence, singing that right after she did!"

"Yeah, well, I wasn't going to change my cut last-minute.  It's either sing what you've got or scramble and sweat right before you walk through the door."  They definitely agree with me on that one.  Smiles all around. :)

I thank them and glide right out of the room, savoring the sweetness of doing something good for myself.  Sticking to your guns and being brave is sometimes the best--and most rewarded--policy.

Mom and Daddy and Chelsea fly into JFK tomorrow afternoon for a week-long visit.  Mom was here last August, but it'll be the first time Dad and Chels see the city.  I can't wait.  I'm totally going to go bonkers-tourist-cheesy with them.  And I don't care who laughs. :)

Thanks for reading, guys.  Your quiet, steady support means the world.  Love you all. xoxo

Monday, June 20, 2011


There are so many things about New York that I love right now.  

Like summer thunderstorms.  Except when you're at the airport, your plane is diverted to Philadelphia, said plane is stuck in Philadelphia due to an oil spill on the runway, your flight from JFK is delayed three times, then it's canceled, and you don't know until 3am the morning of your brother and sister's graduation that you'll be home for said graduation--instead of making a connection in Salt Lake City during the ceremony.  Thanks a lot, Delta.  (Don't worry; I made it home in time.)

Then there's napping in Central Park--and Central Park, in general.  Not to mention all the free concerts, Shakespeare, and other events.

My already-lovely weekends are made even better by extra-sunny church time at City Grace.  Gotta love those massive windows!  Throw in a dinner with a friend, a free Starbucks Mocha Lite Frappuccino (free drink every 15!), or a kid playing "Chopsticks" on Moira Fain's Sing for Hope piano at Tavern on the Green, and we're golden.

And of course, what is summer without ice cream?  My new obsession: je & jo ice cream, specifically the Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookie Dough.  Total foodgasm.

But despite all the sunny loveliness, I see things every day that remind me it's not all beautiful.  Or simple.  Or good.  Or pixie-dust fixable.  

Earlier this week after work, I load up on some produce at Whole Foods.  Mangoes, peaches, apples, celery, lemons.  On the way home, a man passes through the C train, asking for help with food or money.  His speech is slow and labored, his frame bent with the burden of too many hungry days, too much hardship, and very little recognition, let alone respect.  "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  I am sorry to disturb you.  But I am in desperate need of help..."  He would like a warm meal.  Or money.  

Since moving to the city, I've struggled with how to respond to people who are homeless and asking for help.  Once in a while, I'll offer change, but it seems like such pittance--almost an afterthought as far as real compassion goes.  So food has seemed to be the best I can offer.  Lucky for me, this time I have a bag full of good things from Whole Foods.  

We're almost at my stop, so I stuff my fist to the bottom of the bag and fish out a fuzzy, near-ripe peach.  I stand and offer it to him, "Sir, would you like a peach?"  Obviously discouraged, he shakes his head, points to his mouth, and mutters "Sorry, no teeth."  Sure enough, most of his teeth are missing.  I exit the train, peach in hand, and say to myself, "at least you tried."  It's frustrating.  I want to help.  But dental issues aren't something you think about when you're a middle-class girl with dental insurance and a mouth that probably cost her parents about three grand.

After church today, some of us stay to listen to a talk by Jonathan Walton, Director of the New York City Urban Project.  I learn dental problems are a common challenge for people who are homeless.  I am not the first person whose food offering has been turned down.  I also take away a few helpful nuggets that will make me a bit more useful and sensitive when I interact with those in need.  Ask him his name.  Introduce yourself.  If she's asking for money, offer to walk with her and buy her a meal.  Don't just sympathize, empathize.  Ask about his or her situation, and if you don't understand, ask questions.  Be an active listener.  Don't feel like you have to feed everyone or fix everything.  One person at a time is all we are called to.  We are simply called to be the hands and feet of Jesus; we're not asked to be the entire body.

One thing, in particular, that Jonathan said settled right into my bones: other languages have the right idea in putting the adjective after the noun.  A person's situation should never define them.  He is not a homeless man.  He is a man who is homeless.  She is not a prostitute.  She is a woman who is being prostituted.  Condemn the injustice of the situation, not the struggles of the individual.  Very often, prostituted women are trafficked.  Some homeless people have suffered monumental trauma and simply cannot find a way to cope.  Jonathan told us about a man whose wife had been killed by a drunk driver.  He couldn't bear to return to a closet full of her clothes, so he never went home.  

I guess this is all to say that while you're enjoying your je & jo ice cream and concerts in the park, take time to listen to the difficult stories.  Leave home ten minutes early to talk with the woman you pass on the corner of 34th and 10th every day on your way to work.  Pack some extra food whenever you leave the house.  Give away your post-dinner to-go box.  Offer the man on the train a peach, and then take him to Jamba Juice when you learn the peach won't work. 

It's the little things that count.  And we all have time for that.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cheers to the hot intellectuals!

From my latest message on

"I'm impressed by your profile because it is very articulate. The quality of your writing is in the top 5% of what I have seen."

Is it silly that I find this immensely flattering?  I know: NEEEERRRRRD.  But I'd so much rather read this than what some other loser wrote me a while back: "hey babe, what is your bra size? do you...?" (You don't even want to know the end of that question.)

And no, I didn't make that one up.

Cheers to the hot intellectuals! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Catch-up! (And mustard!)

So much has happened in the last couple months that I hardly know where to start!

After finishing my first half-marathon, I hit a bit of a bump in the road: my knee started giving me trouble.  And it wasn't even the "bad" knee, the one that I messed up in soccer about ten years ago.  I couldn't figure out what had happened because there was no clear moment of injury.  But with the counself of some athlete/med student friends, I iced, took some ibuprofen, and bought a fancy compression brace.  And you know what? I think things are almost back to normal!  Going up and down stairs doesn't bother me anymore like it did.  And I've gone for several little runs in the Park--braced, of course--just to test the waters.  So far so good!  I'm on my way back to a normal running routine!  And gosh, there couldn't be a better time of year to run.  Central Park--and all of New York, really--is just glorious right now.  I think May and June might shape up to be my favorite months in this city.  :)

Since April, I've also got my hands on a pretty little box of one hundred new headshots, thanks to the talented Ronnie Nelson.  Here's what I have printed now:

I never thought I'd go within ten feet of blonde (I'm stubborn about conforming to any image status-quo or stereotype), but this is just the start.  I'm scheduled for another round of highlights next month, and I can't wait.  I also started getting really vain about the length of my hair before I got it cut, but I love the shorter length, and I know it'll serve me well going into the sticky, drippy, sweat-while-you're-standing-still New York City summer.

I also never, ever expected to pull off mustard yellow.  But I took a chance on this sweater last fall (thanks, Burlington Coat Factory!), and this photo ended up being a favorite with a ton of my friends who were kind enough to offer their input on my headshots.  I like how my friend Jayana put it: "You and this sweater get along really well."  And my brother, the infinitely cooler third of our sibling contingency, added, "Brother likes this one."  'Nuff said.  If brother likes it, it must be good. :) So, this headshot is the next to go to print--as soon as I've banked a few more paychecks. 

In other news, despite being out of auditions for way too long, I've done quite a bit of work lately.  Last Friday, I went out on a limb and answered a call for "strong movers/dancers" needed for a movie musical flash mob.  I showed up to rehearsal, learned the routine, and gave myself a pat on the back for not chickening out beforehand.  And you know, it wasn't that bad.  I held my own.  

We shot the film, directed by VP Boyle in association with the New York Film Academy, on Sunday.  What a great experience.  We brushed up our moves in the morning, then spent all day shooting at the NYFA Cafe.  Coming from theatre, it's weird to do the same take over and over from different angles.  I'm used to so much continuity with live theatre.  But half the fun was doing it more than once--that and the reactions of passersby.  And boy, that guy in the street food cart must have had the best day ever on the job.  He got to watch us sing and dance all day long.  :)

The film's working title is It Is What It Is, and its release is scheduled for January of next year.  Keep you posted!  In the meantime, here's a clip of our work on-set.  The quality isn't terrific, but you get the idea.  I'm in the hot pink sweater.


Over the weekend, I also helped shoot a music video in Times Square with my friend Christine.  I'll post the youtube link as soon as it's up for viewing.  

Next on the agenda is a project with the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  Thanks to Ben Bonnema, I'm being brought in as a replacement for one of the roles in La Sayona, a brand new 20-minute musical by Maria Alexandra Beech and Salomon Lerner.  I saw the premier reading of it at Tisch last week, and I get to perform with them at a second reading this Thursday at The Duplex.  If you can make it, RSVP at the event page here.

So, all in all, it's been a grand spring, and I can't wait for all that summer has in store!  Thanks for keeping up with me.  It's great to know I have so much support, both here and back at home.  Love you all! xoxo

Because we all need goals

Ok.  Here's a running list--nowhere near complete--of things I want to accomplish by the end of 2011.  Check in with me every so often to see how I'm doing, will you?
  • Take improv classes with Upright Citizens Brigade
  • Buy ballet and tap shoes; then take ballet and tap
  • Find an acting coach; study regularly
  • Take VP Boyle's Build Your Book class  - Done June 2011
  • Go to at least four calls every week this summer
  • Save $2,400 by the end of July

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Wow, guys. I was totally overwhelmed by your support.  We hit the $400 mark, and I think a few checks should still be rolling in.  Thanks so much for backing me up on this. :)

Today's race was terrific.  With 11 hydration stations, a bunch of blue Powerade, several high school drumlines, and an old-school funk/rock band of fifty-something guys, I made it through 13.1 miles.  My official time was 2:33:46, which comes out to a pace of 11 minutes, 43.7 seconds per mile.  It's my first real run ever, so I was pretty happy with the result. :)

Professional photos will be available soon, and I'll share as many of those as possible.  I'm also expecting a few shots from friends at church, plus a video--put together by my friends Christy and Ben--which should be posted to YouTube at some point.

So thanks, again, for your wonderful support.  It's been a great day--for me and for the kids in Africa who'll have access to clean water, thanks to you. :)

Love you all.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Race Day!

Okay, folks.  It's right around the corner.  24 hours from now, I'll be in Flushing Meadows, Queens running the New York 13.1 to benefit World Vision and their well-building efforts in Africa.  I picked up my official Team World Vision shirt and my race tag today.  It even has my name printed on it! :)  I'll try to post pictures tomorrow night.

It's not too late to sponsor me and give a little of your hard-earned cash to the cause.  You can make a tax-deductible donation here.  I'm at 35% of my goal.  Now see if you can blow me away by closing the gap in the next few hours.  

"Runners, take your mark, get set, Go!"

See you at the finish line. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chunky Spiced Apple and Oat Muffins

Chunky Spiced Apple and Oat Muffins
(adapted from Oat Applesauce Muffins at

1 c. rolled oats 
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour (I used all-purpose, but whole wheat would be ideal)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. Trader Joe's Chunky Spiced Apples (or regular applesauce)
1 egg

1. Place oats in a small bowl, pour in buttermilk.  Let sit for two hours at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar.  Stir in oat/buttermilk mixture, spiced apples, and egg; mix well.  Pour batter into prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

My Fair...Frankenstein?

I was seen at an audition today.

And as cheese-ball as it may sound to a lot of you, in the words of my dear mother, "Praise the Lord!"

My alarm goes off at 6:15, and for a moment, I wonder why I do this on my day off.  I'm out the door by 7:30, and with the help of a couple audition buddies and a lot of text messages, I sign up for four auditions.  Three of them are planned: two Maine regional theatre seasons and a production of My Fair Lady.  The fourth is just by accident.  My friend, Alissa, puts me on the list of a non-Equity tour of the new Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein.  Sure.  Why not, right?  

As luck would have it, it ends up being the only call of the four that actually see non-Equity actors today.  So on a whim, I gratefully sing my 16 bars of the first funny thing I could think of: "If I Were A Bell" from Guys and Dolls.  Who gives a rip whether it's "right" for the audition?  I realize I'm probably not wearing the right dress, either, because, frankly, I'd hoped to sing for My Fair Lady.  But what the heck!  I'm having a ball.  I actually get to sing for the first time in a long time.  The people behind the table are super nice and responsive.  And as I walk out, the nice guy at the door quips, "That was my favorite version of that number I've heard in a long time."  Terrific.  No invitation to come back for the dance call tomorrow, but you know what?  It's still a great end to the day.  Even if it has taken me nine hours and four subway trains to get here.

To everyone who's been praying for a little break in the waves, thanks.  I came up for air today.  Good to go for another two thousand miles. :)

Love you all. xoxo

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gotham half-marathon-ing and apartment hunting

Hey, everyone!  Just a brief update on the major details of my life right now:

I ran 9.53 miles today without stopping, a feat I would have heretofore considered impossible.  If you haven't heard, I am running a half-marathon on April 2.  The New York 13.1 is in just two weeks, and I've been training hard and raising monetary support to help World Vision build wells in Africa.  My goal is $650.  Every dollar counts, and your support helps me to run even when I don't want to (serious!), so please give if you can.  You can make a tax-deductible donation here.  Special thanks to Luis, Bernie, the Hatfields, and Mama for their early show of support. :) You guys rock.

Laura and I are still looking for an apartment and navigating the messy, paperwork-logged swamp that is the New York real estate market.  Prayers for patience, lessened stress, and providence would be SO wonderful.

The audition scene is rough now.  Some days are long, and some are short, but I'm not being seen either way.  I'm going to keep my chin up and keep on keepin' on.  Just know that I probably won't have exciting news on that front until competition with the union lessons up a little (hopefully this summer when more folks are out of town).

God continues to be so good in my life.  He has brought wonderful friends--old and new--into my life, and I've had a bit of breathing space lately to step back from nannying, get out of the city, and even vacation a little.  I visited Vermont for the first time earlier this month.  I also have a jaunt to Washington, D.C. planned for next weekend and a trip to Maine (planned on a whim!) scheduled for next month.

I love you guys.  Thanks so much for keeping up with me.  Your love, encouraging words, prayers, and positive thoughts are a huge support, and I don't take them for granted!

Hopefully, I'll have more exciting news for you soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the start of spring.  I can already see things starting to brighten up here, literally and figuratively. :) 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The world is not flat.

And I have not fallen off the edge.  Promise. :)

It's been since before Christmas that I last updated my blog, and I know many of you have been waiting for me to reappear.  So here I am!

Christmas and January were very busy for me with flights all over the country in all kinds of weather.  Thankfully, I got out of New York just a few days before the massive Boxing Day Blizzard, as it is now called.  I went from New York to Phoenix to Seattle to Phoenix to Kona (Hawaii) to Phoenix and back to New York.  And all in just one month.  That's a lot of time spent at 33,000 feet, folks!  If you're friends with me on Facebook, you can check out all the photos here.  

The newest development here on the home front is that I'm now apartment shopping.  One of my best (and oldest) friends in the world just moved to New York, and we're looking for an apartment together.  The family I work for is selling their apartment--and, consequently, my studio apartment--and will close the deal on May 1.  So Laura and I are on the hunt for a place either here in Manhattan or in Brooklyn.  Ideally, we'd love to be out of here and into our new place by the middle of next month.  Prayers and advice and good vibes are much appreciated! :)

With a big move on our horizon, I have been grateful--albeit exhausted--for lots of work hours.  Last week, especially, was mostly work and sleep for me.  But it's good for the bank account!  In the world of all things theatre, not much has happened in the last few months.  The industry really slows down during the winter, and things are just starting to pick up.  I've been to a few auditions and seen for a couple, but so far, there's nothing major to report.

Another exciting bit of life has to do with my new church home.  I started going to City Grace in September, and I love it there.  I adore the good and beautiful music the worship team puts together each week, the people are terrific, the preaching is solid and engaging--both spiritually and intellectually--and I have really begun to feel at home there, especially in the last few weeks.  One of my pastors, Pete, invited me to join a small group reading through The Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith.  I love it, and meeting with the group has not only helped me connect better and deeper with new friends from church, it has helped me to ponder the week's sermon all week long.  We're reading the book in conjunction with the sermon series on The Sermon on the Mount, and for the first time, what I hear on Sunday morning stays fresh on my heart long past Sunday night.  So thanks to Pete and Ben and Steve for making it all happen.  You guys rock. :) 

I'll try to post some photos to this blog later, but right now my internet is acting up, and things are super slow. So check back soon! :) 

Thanks for reading, everyone.  Happy (belated) Valentine's Day.  Love you lots. :)