I always thought I wanted to tour, but it never happened. — When I started Belmont Showcase Series I fell in love with live event production (and Dan LOL). I wanted nothing more than to production manage a showcase, and I did it. I wanted nothing more than to intern at Sound Image, and I did it. I wanted nothing more than to finish Audio 2 in one piece, and I did it. When I graduated, I was so set on knowing that touring would be my career that I failed to see God setting up something bigger. What I ended up seeing was disappointment.
For three years, I watched friends go on tour and was silently jealous. For three years, I was “stuck” doing corporate shows. For three years, I worked my butt off with “nothing” to show for it. For three years, I was bitter and angry at God. For three years, I could not even be slightly content with what I had. I was so sure that God was going to come through. Why would he light a fire only to put it out? I waited three years.
Girl, you were wrong. You had it all wrong.
Earlier this year, I started therapy. I started having more candid conversations with friends about my stuck-ness, my fears, and the absolute mess that my life had become. I handed over all my anger and fear to Jesus through some incredibly awful journal entries and prayers. There were a lot of tears and harsh words, but thankfully my friends, my husband, and Jesus are all so, so gracious. I found a fitness studio I absolutely adore. I put my head down, and went to work every day I could doing whatever I could. I worked some awful events to pay bills. I chose to be grateful, even if it meant thinking “I am very grateful for this awful client having a budget big enough to pay me to work their awful event.” I stopped thinking about climbing some arbitrary ladder in the event world. I focused on doing a good job at whatever gig I was on. I stopped hinging my identity on work, and just let go. I placed every ounce of trust in Jesus. And then some wild things happened.
I went on a weekend run on a tour in August. I managed a show for that tour on September 1, and will do a few more this fall. I worked my seventh Welcome Week at Belmont. I was hired for an event, and I got it completely on my own. No referrals, no recommendations— just me, a resumé, and an interview. That led to another gig. I’ve done graphics for so many events this summer, I can’t even remember what the conferences were about. I fell in love with corporate shows, and their intricacies. I started telling people I want to be a show caller. Lol what?
I’m not bragging about me. I’m bragging about Jesus. He came through. I was so frustrated that what I wanted didn’t happen. I didn’t hear him saying “You just wait.”
I’ve been so busy this summer and fall. My house is a mess. I couldn’t tell you the last time my clothes were actually put away. I started feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of the month so I decided to take this week off. Two weeks ago, I told my sweet, patient husband Dan that I was taking this week off no matter what. I’ve been going nonstop since July. I wanted to rest. But he asked if I wanted to join the production team for Salt because they needed another person. I flipped and flopped. Shocker, I ended up saying yes. And I am so glad I did.
Last night, I started out my “job” bawling like a baby at this video of a man named Roger Flournoy who considered cerebral palsy a gift from God. Please watch this. He said he struggles with loneliness, and I lost it. I started crying like a baby. I am sitting in the front row trying to get speakers on stage, and my mascara is running down my face. I knew I was in for it at that moment.
I go to church on my own every Sunday in my electric wheelchair. I really enjoy that, because I am a greeter at the 11:15 service. My favorite part is seeing all kinds of faces. That is such a joy, because I recognize that the church is made up of all kinds of people. I don’t have to listen to lies that since I am disabled, I am not important. God made me who I am, and I was born with cerebral palsy not because of an accident but on purpose. When I think of on purpose, I say ‘Oh man! How can I not worship God!’ Because He loved me that much to give me CP so I can encourage the whole body of the church and non-believers. It actually brings me to tears, and I am very humbled because not everybody gets the gift of realizing that. God gave me this life, to not waste it, but to use it. -Roger Flournoy
Last night Chris Durso spoke about Mary and Martha being upset at Jesus not coming through on his promise of Lazarus not dying. The waiting. The frustration. There are two instances of “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus knows on Day One he’s dead. He doesn’t show up until Day Four. There was a lot of “if you had been here,” going on in those three years of frustration. And to my frustration and questioning, and to Mary and Martha, Jesus answered “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Did I not tell you? You just wait.
“Can you worship the Lord on day three in the waiting, knowing that the promise of day four is coming?” – Chris Durso
I can now say I’ve helped stage manage a show from the audience because even speakers need a little worship time.
Back again sharing a bunch of new purchases from the past few months.
Preorder was ROUGH. I was on the west coast, and Dan was at home. So at midnight PST/ 2 AM CST, we were ordering phones together. I couldn’t get through so Dan had to order mine after he ordered his. They shipped earlier than expected too! I bought this folio case, and both it and my phone miraculously arrived on the same day. I knew I wanted a wallet case so when Apple released this one, I thought “Oh, great!” But I hated the case in the beginning for reasons I can’t really explain. It just didn’t feel right. It’s grown on me though in the last few days, and I really like having it. I went out for a friend’s birthday this week, and it was so great having my phone, license, and credit card all in one place without the bulk of a true wristlet or wallet.
Epionce Medical Barrier Cream & Epionce Enriched Firming Mask
Last summer, I saw my dermatologist about my ridiculous hormonal acne. She put me on a retin A cream that has done wonders for my hyperpigmentation, but it makes my skin so dry. In September, I went in for dermaplaning with the aesthetician at my dermatology office, and she recommended this super moisturizing cream along with an enriched firming mask. I use the barrier cream every night after using the retin A cream, and it’s been a game changer, especially over the last week when the temperatures have been below 25 every day. I use the enriched firming mask once a week unless I feel extremely dry. I couldn’t recommend these products enough for someone who has dry skin.
LLBean Sweater Fleece
In October (of last year?! When did 2018 happen?!), I went to Portland, Oregon for an event. The highlight of that trip was going to Seattle for a few days before taking an Amtrak train to Portland for the event. The low part of the trip was my Columbia fleece just falling apart. The zipper got stuck, and when I tried to fix it, it ripped on both sides causing the little bungee cord things around the bottom to come out too. There was a Columbia store directly across from our hotel so during a break I popped in to buy a new fleece. Apparently in the four years I haven’t purchased a classic Columbia fleece, they’ve redone the fit, and the quality just wasn’t the same. Talk about a letdown.
When I got back and started getting out jackets and coats for late fall and winter, I remembered my LLBean sweater fleece pullover. I love that thing so I bought a full zip black sweater fleece for work. Every event space has a different opinion on what “comfortable” is for a temperature. A great fleece jacket is always a must-have for me on events. It fits as expected, and is the perfect softness.
Nike Tanjun Racer
To make a long story short, I took a seasonal job at Kohl’s during December to have something to do over a notoriously slow-for-events month. I didn’t spend my entire paychecks there, but I did make a few purchases with a great discount. I guess I have a thing for sneakers now because I bought another pair. I bought these Nike Tanjun Racers, and they’re just a great shoe. I wore them a ton to work at Kohl’s, and they’re dark enough that I don’t mind wearing them to most events with my show blacks.
I got two of these in the mail yesterday, and I 100% plan to take them up on their wear it for 30 days wash and wear guarantee. But after one day, I’m pretty sure I’ll keep them. If you decide to return bras, Knix donates them to a women’s charity, which is pretty dang cool.
Ubiquiti AmpliFi HF Home WiFi System
Y’all, for over a year, we had problems getting the WiFi to work in bedrooms upstairs and sometimes in our breakfast area. We could only have our Comcast router in one spot, and it caused issues for other rooms in the house. We researched for months about WiFi mesh systems, and finally settled on this one. LIFE CHANGED. Dan and I are no longer slamming our mouses (mice?) down on the desk in a fit of rage while trying to get work done.
Y’all. I had two big paychecks come in during the third week of August. The worst part about freelancing is the budgeting aspect. I can handle the crazy hours,and the walking into the unknown, but the budgeting sometimes gets to me. I worked ten days of an 11 day gig July 19th through 29th. I got my check on August 24th. It was a lovely paycheck that was worth the work and the wait. Couple that with my paycheck from my SIXTH! Belmont Welcome Week, I was able set a budget for September and October. That’s the hard part about freelancing. Two big checks come in at once, and I can’t just spend blindly. They’ve got to go toward paying bills. Oh, and then there’s the whole not get lazy and find some more gigs thing.
Throughout the summer, I had focused on paying off hospital bills so I didn’t spend or set aside money for some things I needed or had my eye on. I set aside a portion of my paychecks to buy some things. Here are some of my recent purchases that I love!
Tula Probiotic Skincare
I found out about this brand when I read Krista’s post about her skincare routine. I’ve been following her for a long time, and I think we have really similar skin problems. Late last fall, I started developing acne along my chin and forehead. It was so bad, it actually hurt! I tried everything. When I was younger, I never had terrible acne- only the occasional zit. I cut out added sugar and stopped drinking Coke. I changed a lot of eating habits. I started working out more and washing my face immediately after. I even caved and bought Proactiv! (Side note: I could write an entire post about what it’s like to cancel Proactiv.) None of this worked. I finally bought this Neutrogena wash T on a whim because I saw that it had a much high concentration of benzoyl peroxide than Proactiv did! (Seriously, do not buy Proactiv!) It immediately helped my forehead and chin clear up, but I still had discoloration on my forehead. At my annual skin exam, I told my dermatologist nurse practitioner that we had to do something. I just couldn’t deal with this anymore. She recommended we try some topical creams. It’s made a huge difference. Seriously, if you’re having skin issues, go see a dermatologist! I wasted so much money on so many products when I could have put that money toward going to the dermatologist.
ANYWAY. I’ve been on the lookout for a new face wash. When using a retinol cream, it was recommended that I don’t use a medicated face wash since it could irritate my skin and cause dryness. I had been using Fresh’s soy face cleanser, but I wasn’t 100% set on it. In Krista’s post, she mentioned that her facialist will only let her use Tula’s cleanser. I first bought the discovery kit two weeks ago, and I’ve already ordered the full size of the cleanser and Hydrating Day & Night Cream. These have already made a huge difference in my skin. You know that kinda slick but tight feeling some facial cleanser leave you with and you mistake it was clean? This cleanser doesn’t do that! The moisturizer is perfectly light, but not so light you feel like it’s not doing anything. I cannot recommend this brand enough. I’m definitely a loyal Tula customer now. If you’re interested in a monthly subscription, Tula’s brand website offers a monthly delivery that you can save 10% on.
Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Shoes
So I bought this awesome pair of Nikes a while back, and I’m lowkey obsessed with them. They’re super comfy to workout in, and the teal color of gorgeous. I wanted to buy another pair of them just to have a “pristine” pair. I know this is completely irrational. But you’re talking to the girl who just bought four more of the same shirt because she didn’t want to ruin the original one and not have another one. I don’t have a shopping problems, but when I find something I love, I go hard. I own ten of the same black shirt from Old Navy because I’m obsessed with them. Watchu gonna do?
I’ve never considered myself a sneaker obsessed person though, not even a shoes obsessed person. I’ve always been a Nike girl; I’ve never owned another brand since I’ve been making attire decisions for myself. I swear by original Converse. They are my everyday go-to. The most expensive pairs of shoes I own are two pairs from the Red Wing Heritage line. DAMN. They were expensive, but I adore them. Throw in some classic heels, some summer sandals, a pair of cowboy boots, some dressy ankle boots, and Chacos, and that’s my shoe wardrobe. But I bought those stupid teal Nikes, and all of a sudden I wanted EVERY PAIR of sneakers. Tennis shoes is what I grew up calling them. WHATEVER. I want them ALL. Who am I?!
So, I’ve been looking around for a pair of sneaks that aren’t my teal Nikes that I work out and walk the dog in and that aren’t my Chucks. Enter these Adidas shoes. I saw them on Academy’s website, and I thought “Hmm. These might be a good.” I oogled over them for a bit before biting the bullet, going to Academy, and buying the damn things. They’re incredibly comfy and really cute. They’re perfect for running around town. I legit haven’t owned Adidas shoes since I was little. I don’t even care about betraying Nike at this point.
When I graduated from Belmont, I had no idea I would fall totally in love with doing graphics for live events. I’ll always love doing audio, but man, there’s something special about helping shape visuals for live events. Over the last few years though, I’ve been staring at computers a lot more at work than when I was just doing audio. I’ve walked out of shows with heavy eyes and a headache just from staring at computers. I can handle the long or early hours and the not eating good meals at appropriate times. Looking at the monitors for so long started to bother me.
Krista featured this company in a recent post, and I was super intrigued. I honestly thought the whole computer glasses thing was a little hokey and didn’t think they could help me. Krista is surrounded by monitors at work, and she said these glasses have been a game changer for her. Since my work situation is similar to hers in that there are SO MANY screens EVERYWHERE when I’m doing graphics, I figured why not try it.
So I bought a pair. They’ve completely changed my life. I thought I would only use them at work, but I’ve used them pretty much any time I’ve been in front of my computer or TV. My eyes don’t feel as strained after a long show call, and I haven’t had any headaches. If you work a ton with computers, I cannot recommend these enough!
Juice Beauty Moisturizer
I’m really into finding safe, effective sunscreen every summer. It’s always an adventure going through EWG’s sunscreen guide. I’ve found a few awesome sunscreens that I really love, but I have struggled finding a SPF moisturizer that actually moisturizes AND protects my skin. I tried out this Juice Beauty oil free 30 SPF moisturizer and ended up liking it. When I first opened it and put it on my fingers, I was super skeptical. It looks like it has a light tint to it, but it goes on clear. It also doesn’t have a typical SPF moisturizer smell. It weirded me out a little in the beginning, but I’ve gotten used to it over the last few months. It’s been a great daily moisturizer. It doesn’t feel like it’s sliding off my face when I’m walking the dog or working out. It’s a bit hard to rub in so I find myself having to take my time and remind myself to not rub hard.
Full disclosure: I haven’t put this on under any makeup other than eyeliner and mascara. I don’t think this would be the best moisturizer to use under foundation even if you used a primer too. I probably won’t put foundation or anything else on top of this. It’s almost too thick to be used under foundation. Generally when I wear a full face of makeup, I’m not going to be spending any time outside so I usually skip a SPF moisturizer anyway.
If you try any of these, let me know!