May was just craziness. There was a whole lot of softball practice and working out, but no tournaments (there were supposed to be tournaments–but that’s another story). For a few weeks, I had a lot of energy (I went to the batting cages so much, one of my coaches asked if I’d been taking steroids because of how my hitting improved)! But then I was sick for two weeks; I felt so miserable at one point that I didn’t leave the house for seven consecutive days. I was finally diagnosed with an ear infection, so that was great–very enjoyable.
I took the kids I nanny out for ice cream and to the pool several days. After nannying five days a week for two years, that job ended this month; it was a good two years, but I was ready to move on. I went to a fun pre-graduation get-together, saw a friend’s musical, made a day trip to TN to hear my grandfather’s concert, made a day trip to Woodstock with a friend, began working with a local nonprofit called Next Generation Focus, had a Mother’s Day picnic that involved cannolis and playing with goldendoodles, went to dinner with friends, went to lunch with a teammate, and went to Mississippi for six days to visit my grandparents–a trip that involved lots of pie, a guided synchronous firefly walk, sailing on my uncle’s catamaran, a cute popsicle shop with friends, and a Memorial Day get-together at my aunt and uncle’s house (a dreamy summer day of homemade coconut ice cream, riding bikes to the little airport a few miles away, and then sitting under a beautiful sunset). Whew!
Oh yeah, and I also graduated! I finished high school on the second day of May and then I graduated on the thirteenth. I graduated with my homeschool group; there were thirteen of us graduating, and all of them except one were people that I’ve been close friends with since middle school. After graduation I had a small party at my house; it was so fun and special and people gave me so many kind and thoughtful gifts (money, books, journals, gift cards to Panera, a homemade picture frame from a little girl at church, a literal lifetime supply of Jellie Bellies…).
This month I’m…
Reading: Egg and Spoon, Gregory Maguire. Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon (did NOT appreciate the ableism). What Light, Jay Asher. Hiding in the Spotlight, Greg Dawson (reread). Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Jen Hatmaker (reread). The Hidden Oracle, Rick Riordan (reread). We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (DANG). All the Light we Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (finally! Yes, it was all it’s cracked up to be). Rilla of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery (after avoiding it for years… I knew it would make me cry multiple times, and it did). The Selection and The Elite, Kiera Cass. Steelheart and Firefight and Calamity, Brandon Sanderson. You Can Do This, Tricia Lott Williford. My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House, Lillian Rogers Parks. A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas. 17 total.
Listening to: Ubi Caritas, Audrey Assad. Can’t Help Falling in Love, covered by Kina Grannis. Satisfied Stars, Adamusic (a Hamilton and OneRepublic mash-up, aka all my best dreams come true). Come Ye Sinners, covered by Reawaken. Willis Clan covers. Oh What a Life, American Authors (full album). The whole (new) Beauty and the Beast soundtrack multiple times! Touching Heaven, JohnnySwim. Cracks in the Floor of Heaven, Oh Honey (NEW FAVORITE SONG). In Your Arms, JohnnySwim.
Watching: The Amazing Race (#teamfun). Cambria Joy vlogs. CrossFit videos. Bandstand vlogs. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The Brady Bunch. Working with Lemons’ Hamilton In Real Life videos.
Loving: Don’t Leave the Moments Behind by Katherine (Song Beyond Silence). Some Kind of Beautiful by Rachel (Silver Mess). replacing a popular piece of art with something that doesn’t cuss doesn’t make it “Christian” by Aimee (To the Barricade). i, like the moon by Adelaide (down by the willows). 27 Things I Accidentally Did This School Term by Hannah (Hannah A. Krynicki). Do we understand the power of the written word??? — that includes novels and YA // I got fishes by Julia (The Barefoot Gal). All in the Sacrifice by Becca (Becca Liegey). Preparing for a Workshop // Part 3 // explaining your story by Hannah (Ink Blots and Coffee Stains). Rant: Every Christian Novel Ever by Hanne (rockandminerals4him).
I blogged a whole six times this month!: Blue Sky Tag, Woodstock with Madeleine (Summer Bucketlist 2017!), Writing Plan/Schedule/Goals: Summer 2017!, Writing Lifehacks #1: Creating a Killer Antihero, 10 Great Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (but need to read) (because they’re great), Fruit of the Spirit Project: Overview!
Writing: I applied for eighteen freelance jobs and was hired for two (one of which was a 7,000-word ebook on the best diet to complement yoga, which I really really enjoyed writing). I entered five contests, submitted to three magazines, had a devotional published here, and didn’t really edit Angelica at all. Oops. But it’s okay! Remember this blog post from a few weeks ago where I listed some writing goals for the summer? Top of the list: getting an ongoing writing job and publishing something in print. Not only did I have a job interview with a CrossFit company for a writing position and receive the job–it pays the exact same amount per month as my nanny job did, which is perfect–but I literally JUST signed a royalties agreement two minutes ago because a publishing company is going to publish one of my stories as a paperback. WHAT?!! A lifelong dream is coming true before my eyes and I could NOT be more thrilled!! I literally have NO WORDS for how good this feels. Stay tuned for details on how you can order your own copy!
Grateful for: Doing laundry in my room and watching John Crist with Mom. Dancing to King of New York in the bathroom with Joshua while straightening my hair. That feeling of putting up a blog post, leaving the computer for literally five minutes, and coming back to half a dozen likes and comments. Joshua coming to my room early in the morning, getting in bed with me, and watching hilarious Andy Griffith clips. Cracking myself up (“dear cousin Bob”) while doing a freelance writing job (I’d been home alone sick for seven hours, so…). The little book “What Jesus Means to Me” I found that belonged to my grandmother (who now has Alzheimer’s) and the fact that the parts she underlined in 1954 are things God has been teaching me this year. The teen worker at an ice cream place who recognized the Time Turner on my keychain as being from Harry Potter (Potterheads unite!). My grandpa financing my tunes of summer 2017 (JohnnySwim, Judah and the Lion, and Hillsong coming soon to my car!).
Overall, May was amazing. I felt restoration and freedom happening in my heart, and I also proved to myself that I can make it in the writing world. If you want something, go get it–I realized that more than ever this month. I can’t wait to see what June will bring my way!
What were your May highlights? Any fellow grads? Who’s ready for SUMMER?!