After the year that was 2016, 2017 had to go up from there. Dallas and I started the year by going to Chicago interviews to grad schools for him as he wanted to go back to school for his Masters in Directing. You can see that here.
February was fairly quiet with rehearsals for Shrek the Musical. I was also in the middle of launching a new program for Tween Sessions that would be geared toward the younger age group to initially get parents to document those years of growth of their children. It was amazing to work with this group of young adults and to see their personalities bloom in front of the camera. For more info on how to book yours, click here.
It was a month full of hard work and sadness as the end of the month we would lose my Grandma to go home and be with my Grandpa.
In the end of February, I had sent an application to possibly be considered for a taping of CreativeLive in Seattle. Well to my surprise, I was accepted so with last minute notice, I booked my plane ticket and headed to Seattle in March. You can read about that here.
April was basically nothing but Neverland Theatre Company's Shrek the Musical production. Day in and day out, we were constantly working on sets, marketing, rehearsals, figuring out how we would mount this show in Pearson Auditorium while still having our personal lives and actual jobs to take care of. I never drank coffee before that show, but it was a necessity to keep going. So much blood, sweat, & tears went into the first main stage show for NTC and little did we know, that it would be the last one Dallas and I would work on with NTC for 2017 and into 2018. The outcome included full audiences every night, almost 700 people in attendance for the final performance on Sunday, over 3.1K views for our Fiona's video, 2.9K views for my favorite song in the show, Who I'd Be, way more tickets sold then we ever thought our fundraiser would raise, a giant dragon that was operated by 5 people trying not to fall on each other coming through the audience, and not to mention the first ever community theatre production to be mounted in Pearson Auditorium. It was a special experience that I will always hold dear to my heart.
May finally hit us and once again, a huge decision had to be made but this time between Dallas and what his future would hold. Our trip to Chicago in January paid off for him, and he would soon be a Floridian at Florida State University getting his second Masters in Theatre Directing. After everything that happened with theatre the past few years, it was time for something new and to continue a goal to finish his graduate studies. You can read about that here.
My family also headed to California for my cousins graduation from Point Loma in San Diego. I never posted a blog, because honestly, I was just lazy. But we went to Disneyland and Universal Studios as well as drove up to see my other cousins and great-aunt, who sadly would leave us to join her sister only a few months later so it was great getting to see everyone and watch my mom and her cousin reunited.
June 1. My life changed when we welcomed our little fur baby into our lives.I had told Dallas all the time that I wanted a little black or calico kitten, but I never actually ever thought I would get one. My friend, Angela, had posted some photos of some barns kittens that she was trying to get rid of to forever homes and there was a little black one. I sent the photo to Dallas just to show him how cute it was. He told me to find out if it was a boy or girl (we both wanted a girl) and I didn't really take him seriously, but I asked anyway and found out that it was a boy. Angela posted another photo in the comments section on a separate photo of a little split face calico kitten. So again, I texted Dallas and turned into a girly girl saying how cute it was. He told me again to ask the gender and this time Angela said that it was a girl, but couldn't seem to catch her. Dallas told me to tell Angela, that we wanted her and that once she caught her, to let us know. She finally coaxed the kitten out with some food and called me up. I told her I wanted to meet her first, (because once you see a baby animal, there's no going back...) and I would decide then. Well of course, I went to meet the little kitten, and I knew she was supposed to be mine. We named her Jasmine after my favorite Disney princess, and little did we know she would hold up to her name. She's such a handful and goofy, but can be a real turd somedays. But between her obsession with rubberbands and milk tops, Dallas and I love her to death.
The second wonderful thing to happen to me in June was DALLAS BOUGHT ME A CAR!!! He always told me that once he paid his car off that he wanted to look at getting me something that would better fit my studio equipment as well as go off-roading better, because we all know I like the dirt roads for photos. We had started looking on a Tuesday and test drove what was on the lot, but nothing really seemed like a fit. While we were there though, this car drove onto the lot as a trade in and the sales guy told us that as soon as it was show ready, he would call us. On Friday, Dallas had received a car while he was at a doctors appointment saying that the car was ready to be tested. I had no clue about what was about to go down. I'm at work thinking about buying a burrito for breakfast. Dallas heads over to the lot and test drives it, and fell in love with it. It was probably around 10 o'clock when he started working out the details and everything to purchase this car. Still not letting me know. I call him around noon asking if he wanted to meet for lunch and he told me to come to the car lot first to test drive a car. I wasn't really in the mood but he persisted. So i showed up and got in the car, drove it around and told him I really liked it and that we would discuss it at lunch. He took me back to the salesmans office and asked once again, what I thought about it. I told him we would discuss it at lunch because the guy was standing right there waiting on my answer... I said I really liked it, but I didn't know about the price, how I was going to pay for it, etc... Getting kind of annoyed that Dallas was so pushy. And he was like "Well that seals the deal. She likes it, here are the keys, baby. Happy early Birthday." I basically went into shock. I started crying and asking what he was talking about. He told me everything that they had been working on and that it was mine. I couldn't believe it and I still can't believe it's mine.
The first of August rolls around, and we're getting Dallas ready to go to Florida, after he had just gotten back from Scotland with his best friend. August 9 around 5:00 am, Dallas got a call from his brother Jason, saying that their mom wasn't doing so well. She had been in the hospital and while things weren't looking very well, Dallas was trying to decide whether he needed to head to TX to help out with her before he left for FL. And around 7:30 am, he got the call that she had passed away. Jason had worked it out that if we got on the road within the hour that Dallas could see her one last time before she was laid to rest. We were packed and ready to go in about 10 minutes and headed to Abilene to say yet another goodbye this year.
On August 15, we had another early morning of heading to Florida to get Dallas moved to the next part of his life. Tallahassee is so humid and hot and we were sooooo not prepared for that stepping off the plane. You can read all about that here. While the long distance relationship sucks with people alwasy telling me it's sad that we broke up...., it makes my heart happy to see Dallas pursuing his goals. Not to mention the amazing-ness that is the theatre there. Here's a preview of the show, Guys & Dolls, he worked on this semester. Only 2 and half more years left!!
Senior sessions really picked up for me this year as I told myself I would book as many as I could to stay busy without Dallas being here. And busy is what I did. At the end of September, my mom, dad, and I headed to Arlington to go to Pinners Expo. What is that you might ask? It is an actual Pinterest conference full of wood palettes, calligraphy, and crafts that never actually look like the photo when you attempt to do it at home. I did mostly lettering classes and ate the yummy macaroons, while my mom did more of the crafty classes. It was really fun, and I would go back again but this time schedule time to just walk around the actual expo and display rather then take class after class.
October was the month I was looking forward to most! It was Dallas' birthday and I was going to see him! We scheduled time to drive down to Orlando for Disney World and Universal Studios. You can read about that here.
November came and went as fast as time does. I did the Potters Guild for another year and sold several pieces. Then my family headed up to OKC to have Thanksgiving with Ryan and do some Black Friday shopping while we were there. We also went to Bricktown and enjoyed the festivities and river ride.
Went to Taos for Christmas and enjoyed the time I had with my family.
I'll be sharing that experience on here in a few weeks.
A few random things that happened throughout the year!
Fulfilled my love for theatre with my theatre lover.
It was the 2nd year for the free photos for the first responder families. This year, I did three days as the slots filled quickly. The black and white photo had a sweet story behind it. Click here to read it.
Met some celebrities!
Hung out with some pretty cool people.
Fulfilled my dream to visit both Hogwarts on the east & west coast.
A few of my favorite images from the year.
What it takes to get that perfect shot.
Tried new techniques and printed tons of photos from my travels throughout the year.
A few senior photos were featured on Modern Senior & I was hired for a magazine to shoot a promo piece for one of our local heroes.
I added a few more optics to my arsenal of creation. (In order of the photo & photos after)