tramping through Narnian snow

Last month I had the privilege to assistant direct a play by the name of Christmas in Terminal B with a local community theatre group. It was, overall, a beneficial and worthwhile experience, but it was also a real struggle since tech week landed squarely on my finals week.

Last year I spent threeish hours underneath a table in the makeup room of the theatre during finals week because that’s where I was mentally. That was without tech week for a show I was assistant directing—a show in which anything that could go haywire did go haywire.

Anyway…tech week saw me barely clawing my way to the rehearsal space, dark circles under my eyes, random economic principles and facts about European theatre spinning around in my head. The entire cast and crew were awesome at cutting me slack over missed cues and spacey moments, and were also great about letting me go early so that I could study or sleep or whatever that night required of me.

Marlo, our stage manager, even brought me a box of chocolates.

Not just any box of chocolates, mind you: one of the boxes that has a key on the lid so that you know what you’re eating.

“Life is a box of chocolates.”

I don’t know who said that, but it’s so true, especially when you don’t have the chocolate key. But I had it and it was great because I could avoid the coconut ones and the ones with caramel so chewy that it rips out your teeth.

But, you know, Finals Week cannot allow anything so blissful as that.

When I took the chocolates home that night, the box came open just enough in my backpack that all of the chocolates slipped from their cozy little nests and pooled at one end of the box. So much for having a key.

That’s kind of how 2016 and the first couple of weeks of 2017 have felt: there’ve been some really great moments (and some really gross coconut moments) but life’s shook the box up and I have no idea what the heck is going on.

2016 brought the blossoming of unexpected friendships and the completion of the first half of my oh-so-difficult college career. It gave me the most amazing experience of my life to date: Scotland; and it bestowed upon me the most pressing dream of my life to date: to get back to Scotland. It granted me my own room for the first time since Abbie joined the family back in 1997, and that’s been unspeakably awesome. I got to join a small group at my church in Abilene, and act in my all-time favorite venue, and help direct a show for the first time in three years. There were at least three amazing concerts that I got to attend, all of which I got to attend with one family member or another.

But 2016 also saw me wreck my sister’s/my truck, as well as the wreck of a couple of really precious friendships. It handed me a move and some really tough goodbyes, health concerns for my horse (though, really, that’s a yearly thing), and a feud with my sister that didn’t really start to get resolved until a month or so ago. And just college in general, with all its stresses and heartaches and people…all the people.

So now it’s 2017 and there’s a lot to unpack, but I haven’t found time for it amidst the tumult that is this year. I’ve changed my major from two down to one and I’m going to graduate a semester early because I Hardin-Simmons is crushing the breath from my chest and I couldn’t see how I’d have the air to make it to graduation unless something changed, so I made changes and it’s great and also terrifying. Dad’s got to find a job and my family might be moving again and it’s all so upside down and turned around that I can’t follow it anymore or even guess where things are going to land in the next week or so. I have multiple possibilities on the fire for the coming summer, and I’ve shuffled them all around and we’ll see how things fall over the course of this month so that I can make some real decisions. No idea where I’m going to be living this summer or—more critically—this fall when I’m back in Abilene for just one semester instead of two.

And all of that since January 1.

But January 1…

We started off the year gathered around a piano singing Auld Lang Syne. Me and my best friends in the world, just…together. Ha. Now I’m about to cry because gosh I miss them so much and plus I’m tired and also I haven’t cried recently so I’m about due for a poorly justified meltdown. But, yeah, it was fantastic, and then the day was together and laughing and more fantastic. Pretty auspicious start to a year, right?

2016 was a box of chocolates that somebody had shaken.

I think 2017 is feeling more like Narnia?

You know, because it started off magical, and then it’s gotten cold and snowy and wintery, but still magical, and eventually I’ll come out on top of this struggle and it’ll be good awhile and then the next books will come along and life will get crazy and hard again, but at the end there’s the Last Battle and we all come out all right and together again.

Can 2017 be Narnia? And can we meet Aslan?

Maybe. Maybe there’ll be a pirate adventure in here somewhere, and maybe we’ll get to the last pages and come together to sing Auld Lang Syne again, and maybe we’ll harmonize even more closely and hold each other even more tightly because of the battles we’ve come through and the Lion we’ve looked in the eye to see our souls reflected back at us.

I am terrified of 2017. But I think the Pevensies were a little bit scared too. So I think it’s going to be okay.

– Melissa
check out this music inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia


i burned the chocolate pudding today

Woo. Today.

Today was today and today was unique.

Of course, every day is.

If it weren’t, we’d be living in a never ending time loop where everything was the same and nothing was ever different and it was all horrendously boring.

I don’t like horrendously boring.

Actually, I don’t like horrendous and I don’t like boring, so when you combine them you end up with something I absolutely detest.

I also detest spiders and when my sister’s boyfriend encourages my sister to play with knives. But that’s beside the point.

Today: August 9, 2015.

It all began at 5:30am…

Okay, now this has turned into a detective narrative in my head and it’s super cheesy and I apologize even though I’m not going to make you live through that.

Have I mentioned that the only thing I have eaten in the past four hours is chocolate? I drank some water and ate a whole bunch of chocolate. Chocolate pudding, chocolate brownies, and chocolate MnMs.

Yay, chocolate!

Anyhow…this morning my sister headed out to begin her college adventure. The little punk turned down the opportunity to live with me in Abilene and is instead opting to live with my aunt about three hours away from my school. Weirdo.

I mean, my aunt is cool and all, but I’m…beyond cool.

So she and my mom headed out, and I cried even though I’ll see her in two weeks and (hopefully) fairly regularly after that. Did someone say road trip?!

And because it was about 6:30am when they headed out, afterwards I went back to bed and slept until I got up for church and then I went to church. I like church. I love the people and the worship (and the cookies) and the great, awesome, incredible, indescribable God who loves me despite the mess I am and empowers me to love people despite the messes they are.

People are so messy. And it drives me so crazy.

Like, I seriously cannot read through my facebook feed recently without freaking out about people’s atrocious grammar. I mean, come on! Your and You’re are two different words, and two, too, and to are three different words!

I’ve become obnoxious, even if it’s just within the confines of my own head. So I decided that it wasn’t worth the stress and took a hiatus from facebook, and it’s honestly been really nice. Weird, but nice.

Anyway, Abbie left and I miss her and that is all I have to say about those emotions.

So then I worked for my dad. For, like, four and a half hours. And since the house we’re renovating to sell is six weeks behind schedule, none of us have been the most patient with each other on the job site. So it was a kind of rough day. But hopefully showings will start tomorrow because that house is as near to done as it will ever be and HOO-RAH!

Working is not my favorite thing generally. Working on a belly-full of conflicted and confused emotions is most definitely NOT my favorite thing at all. (I know that was redundant, but it needed to be. Trust me.)


Friends are my favorite.

The people who I love most dearliest (new word) and who I feel safest around.

So Grace and I picked a couple of them (who have both been horrendously busy this summer and who we’ve hardly gotten to see at all -_-) and we all watched Thor on my back porch because I have a projector.

(Everybody should have a projector. Life is so much more exciting that way. And movie nights can happen literally anywhere.)

In short, I am a hyper mess tonight, and I am here instead of bed because I don’t even know how to describe the amount of chocolate that I have ingested tonight.

I also burned an entire saucepan of chocolate pudding today because I got distracted and I forgot all about it. I may have ruined the saucepan.

But I know what a saucepan is now!

Yeah…I had to look that up, and I’m stating that now because eventually Grace will decide the world needs to know that and I’d rather you heard it from me. I have never claimed to be a cook. Just be grateful that I haven’t accidentally poisoned anyone yet.

That’s a much sunnier perspective to have, now isn’t it?

I have a lot to say tonight.

But I can’t make sense of it enough to tell you.

I’m a little bit scared for life to turn topsy-turvy on-its-head again when I move in a couple of weeks.

But God is bigger, and each day is just a new chance to take a step and say, “Okay. You’ve got this. Not me.”

My summer has been big. Big and different and exhausting and maybe I’ll write all about it here someday and maybe I won’t. I’m not sure.

Either way, God remains bigger.

It’s past midnight, so I should probably call it a night.

I think the chocolate might be wearing off anyway.

Wow. I’ve wrapped this post up well.

‘Way to pull off the stellar conclusion, Melissa. If this were a paper, you’d get an A.’


If I wrote papers the way I wrote blog posts, I would never have gotten into HSU. I would never have graduate high school, for that matter.


Good night. (Even though it’s most likely morning as you’re reading this.)

Sleep tight. (Even though I don’t know what that even means, unless you’re a baby and you’ve been swaddled, in which case you don’t know how to read and so this post is completely lost on you and therefore irrelevant.)

And don’t bite the bed bugs, because that’s rude.

Bugs are people, too, you know.

(Actually, they’re not; I just say that because I’m tired and sassy.)

– Melissa
This is a picture of mayonnaise.