Monday, December 31, 2012

The year has come to a close...

... yep, I'm going to join everyone in recapping 2012, and planning for 2013 on my blog. :)

This year has been a growing, learning, and changing year for me. We went through a long process of switching churches, which was a tough time for me, but looking back, I can see that the Lord really worked on me during that time, and grew me in my walk with Him. It also forced me to make lots of new friends, and meet up with some old ones, and I look forward to deepening those friendships in the years to come. :)

2012 highlights:

• Engagements and weddings - LOTS of them! It's so fun to see a bunch of my friends get married, and it's extra fun because I get to help out with their weddings! yippeee!

• Babysitting 4 kids for a week. Such a fun (exhausting) experience!!

• Becoming an "adopted Aunt" to 3 adorable kiddos. You've seen them on this blog before. Love them to death, and looooove it when their little voices can be heard screaming "Auntyyyyy Taraaaaaaaa!!!" :)

• Getting my puppy!!! Love him so much!!!!

• Arranging music for Liberty Day. It was lots of work, and stressful at times, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do that! (especially getting to sit in all the rehearsals, and put in my 2 cents!)

• Voice lessons. It's really fun to see how much my voice has changed over the past year, and look through all the songs I've learned!

• Our TITANIC BALL!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more??? It was SO much fun!!! I need to dance again....

• Lots of get-togethers with friends over the summer... sleepovers, volleyball games, Six Flags, camp fires, it's all so much fun!

• Finishing my new room!!!!! YAY!

• Teaching piano. Wow, what a learning experience for me! I'm so excited to start up again this week after a short break for the end of the year!

• Thanksgiving with family. Always a highlight of the year for me. I love sitting together, playing games, eating food, and laughing. We don't get to see our cousins very much, as they live in a different state, but we always try to get together for Thanksgiving. My favorite part of the day, though, is when we gather around the HUGE feast and Opa prays... he has a Dutch accent, and when he talks, you can hear it, but it's not overpowering, but when he prays, it comes out in full force. I just LOVE that!!!

• The Do-It-Yourself Messiah. It's a December tradition that I love!! Taking the train, the walk through COLD and WINDY Chicago, singing for 3 hours, and then the train ride back, where we sing for another hour and a half (because we didn't sing enough already!). I've been doing that since I was 11, and hope to keep doing it for MANY more years!

• And finally, this past week, going to the Illini basketball game with Dad. His friend got us seats in one of the "suites" (a.k.a. rich people seats), and it was SO cool! I'm talking, leather couches, delux food, cookies the size of your face, personal bathroom and coat closet, awesome view of the court, and a personal waiter. Oh, and parking 5 steps away from the door, with a sectioned-off lane to get out of the lot and avoid the crazy traffic. Yep, rather a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience for me!!

That's just a few of the fabulous things that happened in 2012! It would take all day to mention everything! :)

Plans for 2013:

• "The Messiah Project". I'm going to try to learn the piano accompaniment to Handel's Messiah. It'll be a lot to do, but should be FUN!

• Read more books. I hardly read ANYTHING this past year, and I think I need to be better about that!!!

• Do vocal competitions... scary.

• Plan another ball. Because the last one was so much fun!

• Sew a medieval kirtle, and "woodsy" type accessories. I need something to match my new bow and arrow set! :)

• "The Downton Abbey Project". An attempt to sketch every ladies' outfit in Season 1 of Downton Abbey, and analyze the construction. And maybe make a few dresses along the way........

• Spend more time in God's Word. This is on my list every year.

• And above all, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!!

What are some of your highlights of 2012, and plans for 2013??

P.S. Remember the 1950's dress I mentioned in my last post... the one I said would be up last week? It's almost done, and I will get photos soon... sorry for the delay - hard to get sewing done at the end of the year, especially when your project is being difficult. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pictures of the finished room!!

I know. Finally.

It's been *so* close to being done for so long. Actually, it's not officially done, because I still need to get the right sized pictures in the frames. I just had to stick a bunch of 4x6 pictures in them anyway because I was tired of having people I don't know staring down at me from my wall. *creepy*

I went with a vintage, french, postcard, eiffel tower theme. 

Hobby Lobby and World Market are dangerous stores, people!

I LOVE my full sized mirror! Never had one before - have no idea what I did without it! :) It also turns and on the back side is a book shelf. Score!

The pillows were the first things I got for my room, which made me decide to do this theme. I was debating between this and a very bold/modern look. Then I saw these pillows and said "I need them" and the decision was made.

Funny thing is that my sister is also re-doing her room, and the first thing she got was pillows too! :)

So there you have it! Sorry it took so long to get up pictures! Today I'm going to try to work more on my 1950's dress and have pictures up sometime next week - no promises though! :) 

Oh, and last picture - me with a bunch of the gifts my parents gave me for my birthday. You could title this picture "The Many Different Sides of Tara":

Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert on CD, Beatrix Potter collection, Bow, and a sweatshirt that says, "Caution: Prone to Sudden Outbursts of Song". Um, yes, that's me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Feeling blessed

I'm so blessed to have so many friends in my life.

Today I turned 19 (eek), and had a very busy day - teaching my fabulous piano students (love you guys!!), lunch with Wendy (who just happened to be in the neighborhood - surprises are so fun!), my voice lesson (where I got to sing one of my favorite comic pieces), and then I came home to a LOAD of birthday messages in my inbox, family blog, and pinterest. I am so grateful for everyone in my life.

I am incredibly blessed.

Thanks to everyone who made my day with your kind notes! Love you all!!

P.S. 1950's dress in the works. Stay tuned.

P.S. #2 My room is two steps to being done as well...... pictures to come

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