Monday, April 30, 2012

My one day without an exam.

So I suppose you could say that my "hell week" won't really begin until tomorrow.

If I didn't have an exam today, why exactly am I so tired?

Let's see, I got up at 9:30, messed around for a bit, went and delivered my French test to Dr. Steegar (which felt AWESOME, by the way), and ate lunch at the deli that I love since I was over in that area of campus.

Then, I came back and read Econ for about three hours.  That was not fun, but had to be done.  Luckily, that's a textbook that I can read pretty quickly...when I'm not falling asleep, anyway.  But hey, I got it done.

Then, I took a nap, because, well, I just about fell asleep while reading, and I didn't know what else to do with my time.  Typical college student, no?  Free time = sleep time.

After that, I went and tutored this nice guy I randomly met in my Econ class.  He's actually in Dr. Steckbeck's other section, but I met him on Thursday because he came to our class.  He was really nice, and wanted my help with the International Trade stuff we covered.  I love helping people.  He was very pleased, too; he said I did such a good job, I should be a teacher "when I grow up".  Haha.  I told him I like doing one-on-one tutoring, but could never handle being a teacher and dealing with a bunch of dumb (and I'm not talking about school smarts) people who don't want to be in class all day every day.  No way.  So I'll stick with this.  He's actually missing his Econ final because he's having surgery, so I told him once he gets recovered, if he wants help preparing before he makes it up, to just give me a call.  Yay nice people.

And then...well, I honestly don't remember what I did, except watch Castle.  So clearly it wasn't that important.

Tomorrow: 6:00 Algebra exam.  This is going to be a piece of cake.  I have an almost-perfect average in there, including 100 on all four tests.  So I'll probably spend most of the day getting caught up on Psychology reading.

Praise the Lord, even Nate is coming to help me on Saturday. One less thing I have to worry about.  Now I just have to make sure Mom gets the money to pay for the storage unit in my account tomorrow!  Poor thing sounds even more sleep-deprived than I am.

I'm going to be a good girl and go to bed now.  That sounds nice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This is strange, but I like it.

It's the Sunday before finals week (aka the week from hell), and I am surprisingly calm.

In fact, I'm sitting here jamming out to some Hot Chelle Rae, having just eaten some mac & cheese, admiring the 13 pages of my French Lit take-home test that I FINALLY got done this afternoon (we'll ignore the fact that I should've had it done last week).

I am just ridiculously happy.

I got to talk to Taylor and Brennan today, which is pretty special.  And Taylor sent me this.

That navy blue spot next to the figure in brown in the center of the pic is me.  Taylor took this right as I was about to climb into the baptistery pool.  I don't even care that this isn't actually the pool where it happened because the water was too hot, I love that he got a picture of me up on the stage, and I love that he was sweet enough to think to take this.  It brings me right back to that night.  I remember every little detail and feeling like it just happened.  This picture and the other pictures from that night are the kinds of things you treasure for your entire life.

Something about getting this picture, and then sending it to Brennan, made me think again about just how incredible the people in my life are.  I am so grateful and so humbled.  Sometimes it just hits me, how undeserving I really am of all the amazing Christian friends God has put in my life, especially the ones like Taylor and Brennan who have been such mentors to me and not judged me when I was at my worst.

Hm.  Maybe that's why I'm so calm right now. :)

Anyway, I need to get off of here and read at least one chapter of Econ tonight before I go to bed.  I promised this guy in my class I'd help him review tomorrow for the final so it's kinda important that I know what I'm talking about, haha.

We're goin' at it tonight, tonight, there's a party on the rooftop, top of the world, tonight, tonight, and we're dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign. I don't know if I'll make it, but watch how good I'll fake it. It's all right, all right, tonight, tonight.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

That awkward moment when...

You're an officer of the College Democrats that goes to a pig pickin' hosted by the College Republicans the day after an all-out Facebook brawl between the two groups.

My word, I know politics brings out the passion in people, but last night was so ridiculous.  It was just nasty, terribly immature, and really really un-Christian of everyone involved.  By the time it was past midnight and people were still going at it like crazy, I finally posted this status: "Everyone just needs to sit down, shut up, and quit talking to each other for tonight because I know politics brings out the passion in people, but this is getting way out of hand." because it felt like it was just never going to stop.

Then, there was this pig pickin' today.  Originally, all of the College Democrats were invited, but Chris and Louis decided that after what happened online, it was probably safer if at least they didn't go.  They suggested I not go, either, and I honestly struggled to make a decision on what to do.

On the one hand, I am very loyal to my group, and I was really unhappy with some of the things the Republicans did and said last night.  I actually flat out told Louis and Chris that if it was going to make them angry, I wouldn't go.  I really dislike making people mad at me, and as an officer of the club, I really need to stay in good standing with those two guys.

On the other hand, though, I am a woman of my word, and I promised Gabe I'd go.  Plus, I felt like if all of us Democrats cut the Republicans off, then that Facebook brawl would turn into a full-on campus-wide war.  And as much as it pains me to say this (haha), the Republicans, they'd probably win.  They have so much reach on this campus.

So once I cleared it with Louis and Chris, and talked to Gabe who reassured me that I wouldn't be walking into a figurative suicide mission, I decided to go.  I like barbecue, I wanted the break, and I wanted to try and show them that we don't hate them and that I wanted to forget last night.

Aside from having to listen to a Republican Congresswoman stand around and bash the president (but really, I expected that, I knew politicians would be showing up), it was actually really fun. I played cornhole for the first time (and no one laughed at me when I was horrible), the food was delicious, everyone was really nice, and I made a few new friends. A few of the guys that I've been friends with on Facebook for a while asked me how I was doing after the whole pancreatitis mess, which I thought was very sweet.

So yeah, it was good. It was fun. I am happy.

And praise the Lord, Gabe and my friend Alex are going to come help me move out next Saturday.  Holly doesn't know if she'll be able to get the morning off from work, and I was running out of people to ask.  I'm pretty useless when it comes to moving heavy things (like my bed and recliner), and Mom is still pretty weak, so finding some male muscle power was pretty crucial.  Hooray for good Southern boys who can't say no to a woman needing help with physical labor. ;)

Friday, April 27, 2012

This. It actually happened.

Today, something happened that I've basically been dreaming of and praying for for 3 years now.

I got to meet my 'sister-by-choice', dear, beloved, so wonderful and amazing friend JD.  I actually got to MEET HER.

She's so sweet.  She's driving down to the Outer Banks with her daughter, and since she was meeting up with another friend of hers in Raleigh, she decided to leave early and beat her here just so she could have time to at least come and meet me!  She surprised me by calling me about an hour and a half before she got here.  Isn't that just sweet?

It was only about an hour before she had to leave, but it was such a wonderful hour.  I kept saying "I can't believe this is actually happening!" because, well, it's not every day that you get to see a friend who lives in Canada.

Yay. Just yay.

I LOVE THIS WOMAN.  I want to be her when I grow up.  Not even kidding.  If I'm half the woman she is, my kids will be lucky.

Then, she and Jillian got a little happy writing on my whiteboards.

I'm especially a fan of the twist on John 16:33. :)  I wish I never had to erase these ever again.

Dude.  I am so blessed.  THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!  AH!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

I don't know how to say what I want to say without being scared of judgment.  That in itself is weird because I'm not usually scared of judgment.  I just write what I want to write and leave it as is because this is like a weird version of a diary for me.

But for some reason, I just can't bring myself to write out what is going on inside my head right now.  No, I didn't do anything crazy like get pregnant or have sex at all or anything.  Some of you might actually think it's silly that I'm so nervous to talk about what it is.

But it wasn't supposed to be like this.  I was supposed to appreciate this because it was a gift from God, and I was supposed to use it to further my relationship with God because I want SO BADLY to be closer to Him, to have the relationship with Him I've been working to rebuild for so long.  I wasn't supposed to make this about us, about me, about feelings and emotions.  This was supposed to be spiritual healing for me.

And I do see it.  I do see the gift that this has already been in my life, and how much I have learned about God and how much my spiritual life has changed in a year.  I DO SEE THAT.  I trust God more now than I think I ever have.  This relationship is the gift I prayed and yearned for for years.  I am so blessed by all that I have learned.

Which is why it wasn't supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be simple.  It was supposed to be about me and God.  Not anyone else.

God, please, please, either change my heart or show me why I feel the way I do right now.  Please.  I want this to be about You, I really do.  But this sort of hit me out of nowhere, and I want it to be different unless this is coming from You.  So please.  Make this go away, or show me what to do with it.  Because I want my life to honor You every second of every day.  I don't want to mess this up this time.  Please.

"Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I feel so happy tonight.

And the coolest part about it is I'm not entirely sure why.  Isn't it just awesome when you're in a good mood for  no specific reason?

I completely forgot to do the reading for French Lit today.  Actually, I didn't completely forget, but I didn't remember until I was in bed last night, and by that point, it was far too late to start.  So I just told Dr. Steegar I forgot, and since I've only used that excuse one other time this entire semester, he let me off with a couple teases and a "Oh, Mallory, that is not what I expect from you."  Mind you, this is the man who's giving me till past the final to get my research paper in; I'm pretty sure he's never actually been mad at me in the three years that I've known him.

And then I went to Psychology and took a test that I should've studied harder for but did not.  The good news is, my lowest test grade (excluding the final) is dropped in this class, so if I bombed it like I think I did, it won't affect my grade.  I can read the chapters and get caught up on the information before the final next week.

Awesome news for a totally NOT morning person like me:  I have three finals scheduled for 8 am next week - Psychology on Wednesday, French Lit on Thursday, and Econ on Friday.  Well, both my Psychology teacher and my Econ teacher apparently hate 8:00 in the morning as much as I do, so they pushed the finals back to 9:00.  An extra hour to sleep in, especially when I already know I'm going to be majorly sleep deprived next week, is REALLY good news in my book.  One of the perks of going to a small school, I guess.

Also, I am really, really blessed.  I ran out of shampoo tonight.  I thought I had another bottle, which is why I didn't buy any more when I went to Walmart at the beginning of the month and spent the end of the money I had.  Well, thank the Lord, I am blessed with some really nice people in my life, and I contacted my friend Summer who lives down the hall explaining and apologizing and asking her if she could buy me a small bottle just to get me to the end of next week.  As it turned out, she had an extra bottle in her room that she wanted to get rid of, and she brought it to me. :)  People can rock.

Also, I talked to my friend Nate, who ran with Gabe in the SGA elections, tonight about the pig pickin' on Saturday.  I just felt the need to tell him that I was really happy to see that the College Republicans (of which he is the chair) are being so friendly to the Democrats, because the people who used to run the Republicans were not nice to us at all.  He said he was glad to know that their efforts to be gracious weren't going unnoticed. :)  So now I'm actually really looking forward to hanging out at that event on Saturday.

I have to call my grandfather tomorrow.  I literally have to, because I need him to mail me the check for the money he owes me because I need it for DC.  I'm trying not to focus on the sense of dread I have my gut about it (though thankfully he hasn't sent me anymore hateful emails in a while), and praying that God gives me the peace and wisdom to be respectful to him and not lose my cool during the conversation.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes! My oh my, this semester has gone so quickly!  I don't want to say goodbye to all my friends. :(  Boo.  At least I've got some good plans on the books to spend time with some of my favorite people over the next week.  Gotta make the most of it, right?  :)

P.S.  I'm missing Nashville, and specifically Sanctuary, tonight.  Random, but true.  I guess it's easy and understandable to miss places that changed your life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama came to NC today!

That really has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I couldn't come up with anything else to put as the title.

My oh my, my back hurts.  I ha to carry around an extra notebook and my laptop all day, so that had a good bit to do with it.

I had French Conversation/Composition, which was my usual load of fun.  I seriously LOVE going to French class.  Dr. Steegar, to put it simply, rocks.

Then I went to lunch with Ryann.  And that is always awesome (when it gets to happen) because that girl is an amazing person and I am so lucky to have a best friend like her.

Then I went to Economics, which was pretty hilarious.  I've never had Dr. Steckbeck before, and he is really funny.  He started off the class by showing us a clip from a British game show called Golden Balls.  And as he put it, "it's always nice to make a room full of college students snicker like that."  I mean, seriously?  Golden Balls?

Then, I got his help on this graphing exercise I had to make up.  I'm not well-versed in the tools of Excel, so I was really lost.  Luckily, since he knew I missed the in-class instruction on the assignment, he had no problem helping me.  I learned a LOT about Excel in like 15 minutes.

Then, I went and took a math test.  It's a make up test that my professor gives to replace one of any student's test grades.  I needed this because I didn't take #4 at all since I was in the hospital, but lots of kids are taking it to make up for a test they got a bad grade on.  Yay nice professors.  She's actually giving the test in class tomorrow, but I took it early because I thought I was going to get to go see The Vespers tomorrow in Raleigh, but my ride backed out.  :(  Good thing I know they still love me, haha!

Mom got discharged today!  Hooray!  Sorry, that was random, I know, but that's how I roll.

I got to have dinner with Amy tonight, which was fun.  I haven't seen her in over a month, so I still hadn't told her about Nashville and all of its awesomeness.  I love telling people about that trip.  :)  Gee, I wonder why. ;)

Gabe messaged me today and told me he NEEDED me to come to this pig pickin' the College Republicans are hosting this Saturday.  I RSVP'ed "maybe" because I have a ton of work to do.  But he took the time to personally ask me to PLEASE come, and there's free food, and other College Democrat officers are going, so I figured why not.  Some local politicians are coming, so it could be fun.

Yawn.  It's late, and 6:30 is early.  Good night, world.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I got like 3 hours of sleep last night.  Luckily Water Aerobics is done for the semester, so I got to take a nice long nap this afternoon.  But considering how tired I feel right now, I'm optimistic that it won't interfere with my sleeping tonight.  In fact, I'm about to climb in bed as soon as I finish this post.

I got a call from TFAS, my internship group, today.  Apparently, they're having trouble finding me a placement because I have no professional experience.  Talk about an ego blow.  But I'm optimistic that they'll find me a placement because, well, they have to, but not only that, I believe it'll be exactly where God needs and wants me to be.  It'll happen.

The newly-elected officers of the College Democrats met tonight to start planning for the fall.  I LOVE the guy who is our new President.  He's very organized, and I can tell he's going to help this club really take off and make a difference on campus during the election season.  I'm optimistic that it's going to be a very, very good year for our group, and I love being Secretary already. :)

We're officially in the last week of classes.  Yay!

Okay, that about sums up today.  I'm going to bed.  Yay sleep.  I like sleep.

Because sometimes, you just have to blow everything off and get some rest.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Good friends make everything easier.

I know I've said this about six thousand times on this blog, but I'm about to say it again:

I have amazing friends.

Like seriously.  Maybe the reason I feel the need to say it so much is because I didn't use to have friends like this, and maybe it's a tad annoying (sorry, if so), but who really cares, right?  We as humans don't do nearly enough appreciating of the blessings we have.

Mom's in the hospital.  She says it's just a bad colitis flare-up, but there's a lot of things messed up right now, and the doctors are doing an endoscopy and a heart catheterization in the next couple of days.  And because I'm ridiculously stupid sometimes, I freaked out when I got this phone call this afternoon, even though I was grateful she actually told me this time instead of keeping it from me like she usually does.

Yeah, I know.  When will I learn, right?

So I did the first thing that popped into my head - I called Brennan.  And then he didn't answer, so I left a message.

And then I prayed.

And then I called Ryann, and she gave me a hearty reality check that I needed and talked me down from that edge of craziness.

And then I tried to focus on French.

And then Brennan called me back.  And as crazy busy as he is, he spent 20 minutes on the phone with me anyway, giving me advice, and making me remember the things that I know are the Truth.  After that, I finally felt at peace.

I got a few more friends praying about it, just for good measure, though. :)  The people I turned to, Michal, Alex, Gabe, and Taylor, were exactly the people I knew I could go to, the people who I knew would actually pray when they said they will.  Mom may be going through a trial of her faith, but I just felt like this was all I could do for her right now, so I had to.

Seriously, y'all.  I am so lucky to have these people (and so many others) in my life.  They hold me up when I feel like I'm crashing, they somehow know exactly what I need to hear, they pray for me and let me pray for them, they keep me focused on the One I need to stay focused on.

I hope you understand why this is so big to me.  I prayed for years to have reliable friends, and now I finally have them.  That's just...mind-blowing to a girl in my shoes.  Specifically, though, I prayed to have a friend my age who could be a Christian mentor to me, someone I could let myself trust and who could teach me lessons I so desperately need(ed) to learn.  And I found that in a church in Nashville, of all places.  I've only known Brennan for 17 days, and I have learned so much about God and what it means to be a follower of Christ through him in those 17 days, it's just...well, mind-blowing.  (I know, I say that a lot, too.)

God is good, all the time.  And all the time, God is good.

Okay.  I am bloody exhausted, so I'm going to bed.  Pray for healing for my mom, physical and spiritual.  Many thanks and SO much love.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Saturday

So.  I kinda slept way longer than I should have.

I didn't actually get up until about 3:00 this afternoon.

Granted, I needed the sleep.  But needing sleep doesn't change the fact that I have a ridiculous to-do list.

The good news is that once I actually got up, I got work done.

The essay is done.

I got an Econ test done.

I got the reading for my book report done.

And now I'm doing laundry.  I'm going to try and write as much of the book report as I can get done tonight until I can't take anymore.

Two weeks from now, I'll be home, and this will all be over.  That's what I'm going to keep thinking about.  Two weeks.  In two weeks, I won't have to feel guilty about sleeping late.

Friday, April 20, 2012

So. much. FRENCH!

Today has been a day full of French.

I started off the day in French Lit, as always.

After Psychology and lunch, I came back and started working on a French essay.

I took a nap, and then went to go make up two French quizzes and a French listening exercise.

And then I came back and did a little more work on the essay.

And then I started working on my two French Lit author presentations due this coming week.

And this weekend? Is only going to have more. French.

I have to get the book report done, and this essay, and I really need to get the Lit take-home test done, too, because the research paper is going to be a monster.

One step at a time.  One step at a time.

Two weeks from right now, I'll be done with finals.  That's a little mind-blowing.  It's gonna be a bumpy ride!

But seriously.  All this French is a headache.

I'm going to get this second author presentation done and then crash.  Maybe now that it's the weekend I'll actually get some solid sleep.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just call me Madame Secretary.

That sounds all sorts of important, doesn't it?

The College Democrats have, needless to say, given me quite the headache this semester.  That's mostly due to a president who is sorely lacking in the skills to be a president and run a club but still thinks she's God's gift to mankind, but that's beside the point.

My point, my why-the-title-is-relevant point, is that I got elected Secretary for next year.  Which is exactly what I wanted.  So hooray.  Maybe our president for next, who is pretty cool, will actually keep the club running and give me things to do.

It's been a long day.  Today is the day my sinuses finally realized it's springtime outside, and therefore, they have decided to stage a revolt, so I woke up with a raging sinus headache.  Today is also the day that I realized I'm just not going to get any solid sleep from now until May 5th so I might as well just get used to it.

I am glad today is over.  Because the weekend means I will have some uninterrupted work time and I can get things done without having to think about the 6000 other things I have to get done.

But don't worry.  I don't even really feel stressed right now.  At least I think I don't.  Either that or I've simply gone numb.  Both are legit possibilities.

Remind me why I wanted to do this again?

Oh, you know I'm only kidding.

Sort of.

Good night, universe.  On to tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

True Inspiration

So, that whole getting baptized's a pretty cool story, right?

I mean, I think it's pretty cool.  So cool, actually, that I've been telling just about everyone I know.

I was going to have lunch with Ryann last Tuesday, so I could tell her all about it, but then that pesky little pancreatitis thing made that a no-go, so as of yesterday, I still hadn't told her.  And she didn't want to go to lunch because she wanted to get a nap before practice, so I decided to just email her the full rundown I sent to my oh-so-lovely friend JD.  That way, she could finally know, because this is the kind of thing you want to tell your best friend.

This morning after we got out of French Lit, she told me she read the email last night.  And she started telling me her thoughts.  She told me I look like I'm glowing, even now.  She told me that she was so proud of me for doing it in front of so many people (to which I told her, it was easy to do it because I felt like I was with family, not 500 strangers), but the one that hit me the most is that she told me the story was inspirational.

It's still kind of hard to wrap my head around the fact that someone considers me inspirational.  Me.  I mean, on one hand, it's sort of exactly what I want.  Once I got past the anger over the medical traumas I've had to deal with, I realized that there had to be a reason for it, that God loves me so much that He wouldn't give me a story like this for nothing.  I realized just how much I want to make a difference to someone and show them what God has done in my life.  Anyone, really.  I want to leave this world knowing that my life has made an impact on those around me.  And slowly, He started showing me that on many different occasions, and this was just another one.

But on the other hand, my Type A personality comes out, and I start worrying if I can live up to the person that people tell me I am.  I certainly don't think I'm an inspiration.  I went through many, many years where I basically didn't want anything to do with God because I couldn't accept that bad things happening to good people doesn't change the fact that God still loves me more than I will ever understand.  I still freak out when I get faced with a new medical problem; I did last week with the pancreatitis, and Brennan had to talk me down from that.

I honestly have no clue whatsoever as to what I'm doing, or how I've made it through all of my life in one relatively solid piece.  To me, it's just what I had to do because there wasn't any other choice.  I'm not any stronger than anyone else; if you were in my shoes, if you were me, you'd fight like hell to make it through, too.  Sometimes when I'm explaining to people about how I'm behind in school because of the brain surgeries, and then I begin to tell them that that's not all I've dealt with, I feel like they start looking at me like I'm some sort of super human.

But those people don't see when I'm sobbing in my room because of how tired I am of the pain (which is, in retrospect, not too bright of an idea seeing as crying usually gives me a headache), and they don't see me when I'm so angry I start screaming at God just begging Him to give me a break.  They see me when I'm back at school, making it through my day usually with a smile on my face.

Then again, I sort of understand where they're coming from because, even though I don't see myself as an inspiration, there are people that do inspire me.  Like JD.  And Taylor and Bruno.  And Brennan.  And Sara.  And my mom.  You know, as I'm sitting here typing this something just hit me.  I think what people, myself included, need to realize is that none of us are the true inspirations here.  God is.  God is where we all get the strength to get through the tough times.  God is who teaches us the lessons that keep us moving forward even when we feel like giving up.

This is God's doing.  Not mine.  Not yours.  Not anyone else's.

I know I certainly couldn't do this without a Father who is with me 100% of the time, no matter what, even when I'm an idiot, who gives me the determination to not give up.

So no, I'm not the inspiration here.  I'm just a willing vessel for the One through whom ALL things are possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'd freak out, but I don't have the energy.

So uh, panic officially set in about midnight last night.  Because of course it always waits until you want to sleep.

I got about 8 hours of sleep last night, and I feel like I got five.

Because the work, IT NEVER ENDS.

Well, it's going to end.  On May 4th, to be precise.  But the idea of it all managing to get done in the next two and a half weeks is a little........nervewracking.

The good news is it looks like I picked a good time to be in the hospital in regards to my Econ class, as we didn't do all that much.  All I have to do is makeup a test which is actually from my Nashville week.

The problem is French.  Both French classes.

Two take-home tests, one of which is going to rival a research paper in length.  A book report.  A research paper.  And a presentation.

Somehow all of that has to get done in the next seventeen days on top of everything else that I'll be assigned in all my other classes, plus, ya know, studying for those pesky little finals.

And I still don't have my stamina back yet.  My stomach feels fine, but I am dragging my feet just to walk across campus.

Lord, give me strength.  I know it'll all get done, it has to get done, just please give me the strength to get through it.  Give me the wisdom to face the choices I must make as intelligently as possible and the maturity to face Dr. Steegar should it be necessary.

But mostly, I just need strength.  In all forms.  Thanks.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's all about perspective.

I don't remember the last time I was this excited to go to school on a Monday.

But when you miss an extra unexpected week because you had to sit in the hospital, it kinda makes you appreciate things that I used to dread.

I definitely don't have my stamina back yet, though.  My legs were very weak and dragging all day, but luckily I made it out okay.

My professors were all very sweet.  I called Dr. Thornton last Tuesday to tell him I wouldn't be in for my registration appointment (for obvious reasons), and he called Student Life, and they sent out an email to everyone explaining that I was in the hospital and was not just playing hooky. (Well, at least that week I wasn't.)  They were all very concerned about me, which helped me put any of the stresses I had about classes to ease.

Dr. Steegar let me switch the novel that I was going to do for my second book report out for a collection of short stories because I told him I just wasn't going to have the time to get a novel + book report, a paper, and two take home tests done after missing two full weeks of work time.  So hooray, that's way more manageable.

I also got to have dinner with my friend Alex (the guy from the debate) which was really nice.  I originally thought we were just getting together to talk politics, and we ended up talking about God and faith, and I told him about getting baptized, and all sorts of cool stuff.  It was really surprising, and really neat.  I always enjoy getting to know people on a more personal level.

And now I'm going to sleep because I got less than 6 hours of sleep last night (yes, even after taking Percocet and Phenergan) and I'm exhausted.  Good night, world.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The inevitable day after feeling.

This happens every time I have to stay in the hospital.

I wake up the day after I get out feeling like I've been run over by a truck.

All I want to do is lay in bed all day, which is pretty much exactly what I did because Pam texted me and told me Ryann is doing the presentation tomorrow because she forgot to do hers on Friday, which meant the one thing that I thought I HAD to get done today no longer had to be done.  Other than sleep, I've shaved and showered, talked to Brennan on and off throughout the day, and gotten a few blog posts written to wrap up the week in Nashville.  Hooray for procrastination.

So sleep I did.

And sleep I shall some more.

I'm trying not to focus on how much work I have to do, because then I will get sick with stress, and that'll get me nowhere.  It'll get done.  It always does.  It has to.  Even still, I'd take a hundred days of schoolwork over a week in the hospital by myself any day, so needless to say, I am thrilled to be getting back to the grind tomorrow.

For now, though, I'm climbing back into my cozy and warm bed and enjoying the feeling of letting my body rest.  That's what it needs.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sorry I kinda disappeared on you.

For the past six days, I was in the hospital dealing with pancreatitis.

That is NO JOKE, in case you were wondering.

I know I've got a lot of blog to catch up on, I still haven't finished telling you about all the amazing things that happened in Nashville last week.

But since last weekend before I ended up in the hospital was pretty hellacious, too, I haven't exactly had the time.

This will all have to wait until tomorrow.  For now, I'm going to bed because I currently feel like I've been hit by a truck.  It's amazing how being in a hospital bed for a week can drain all of the energy right out of you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Is it over yet?

There's nothing to say about today.

More sitting.

More waiting.

Pretty much how life works when you're a patient in a hospital in non-critical condition.

There's talk I might get discharged tomorrow, so we'll see how that pans out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

And boredom reigns.

Today, after persistent nagging from my mother, the doctors finally gave me an ultrasound of my gall bladder.  Considering Mommom, Mom, and Chelsea all had gall stones when they had pancreatitis, she pretty much harassed the doctors I've seen until they agreed to give me one just to put both of our minds at ease.

It was clean, of course.  However, I did learn that your gall bladder sits pretty much right under your right ribs, and getting an ultrasound of it is actually pretty painful.  Ha.

Today, I sat.

And sat.

And sat.

And sat some more.

Being in the hospital sucks.  This hospital is full of ornery nurses, and I don't like it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sweet friends make everything better.

I called Taylor this afternoon because it's his birthday.  They were driving to their first tour stop, so I knew I could get him as long as he heard his phone.  He was driving, but we were able to talk for a few minutes, and those few minutes told me a good few very meaningful things.

I learned I cannot tweet when I'm angry, even when it's this hospital frustrating me to death, because he actually reads my tweets.  It's kind of embarrassing to explain why you were tweet-screaming at a hospital.

I learned that I really did make some real, solid friends during my time in Nashville.  He told me that I have a "small army" praying for me, which was kind of surprising because I didn't realize I made that much of an impact, and also heartwarming.

The biggest thing for me, though, was hearing Taylor say that he didn't think he'll ever forget Thursday night at Sanctuary and watching me get baptized.  It just solidified the fact that this friendship means a lot to him, just like it means a lot to me.  He told me again how proud he was of me for doing that.  I know I didn't do it for him or anyone else, I did it for me, but hearing that one of the biggest nights of my life meant that much to someone I care so much about just...well, it just tells me I must be doing something right to have friends like this.

That short, sweet conversation totally made up for the fact that I am NOT getting transferred to New Bern because even though the doctor here told me they'd take me as soon as they had a bed, it turns out they actually said they wouldn't take me at all.  Three-ring circus, I tell ya.  Such a headache, but at least I'm slowly starting to feel better.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This hospital is like a three-ring circus.

Mom drove up this afternoon because she was going to move me to the hospital in New Bern because neither of us likes this hospital very much.

That turned out to be a waste because the hospital in New Bern said they didn't have a bed available and therefore I wouldn't be transferred until tomorrow at the earliest.

So she left again.  Holly and Michael came back by because she forgot to give me the keys to my dorm back, and I kinda need those.  Then Michael accidentally locked their keys in their car, so I got to hang out with her for a bit while we waited for the mechanic help people (I cannot currently think of the word for the people that break into cars) to arrive.

The weirdest thing happened earlier.  I was sitting here telling my nurse about how I have an internship in DC this summer and that I want to move to Europe to work in an embassy.  This is literally what just happened.
Nurse: "You're not moving to Europe."
Me: "Uhhh...excuse me? Why?"
Nurse: "Because you're a damn American!"
Me: "So? In order to work in international politics, you usually have to move...INTERNATIONALLY."
Nurse: "You can go visit, but you're not moving there."

And then she proceeded to tell me all the reasons why I'll hate it there because she hated it there, even after I told her I've already been!  WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK.  Woman, you do not know me.  You are not my mother.  You do not ORDER complete strangers on what to do with the rest of their life.  Where the heck do you get off telling me something like that?  This is the kind of prejudiced crap that makes the rest of the world hate us.

Enough of that.  I'm glad another day is down.

On the upside, I spent a bit of time texting with Brennan tonight, and he sent me some Bible verses on healing.  One really stuck out and has stuck with me:  "Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8.  So deep, and so full of the strength and God-given peace that I need.  I know I've said this about a hundred times, but that boy is such a gift.

Monday, April 9, 2012

...Not a bug.

Today I got admitted to the hospital for pancreatitis.

Yes, that's right, ladies and gents.  Pancreatitis.

Because if it's medical and it can happen, it will happen to me.

Oh come on, I wouldn't be me if I didn't throw some sarcasm in there.

The good news is we caught it early, and my bloodwork numbers are only about 10 times higher than they're supposed to be, as opposed to when my mom had pancreatitis and they were about 300 times higher than they were supposed to be.

I went to the infirmary after my first two classes today because I had presentations so I knew I couldn't miss those.  The infirmary doc sent me to the ER because he thought I was dehydrated, which is a plausible assumption.  They did bloodwork and a CT and found the real cause.

Holly and Michael came down for a bit tonight and brought me my cell phone charger, and computer, and some necessities.  So sweet, because I would go insane being stuck in this hospital without any connection to the outside world.

All I have left to say is hooray for Dilaudid. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I've spent basically all day in the bathroom.

I really, really hope this is just a bug, because I cannot afford to be sick.

But at least this happened NOT in Nashville, right?!  Because that would've been ugly, and a total waste of a trip.  Count your blessings, Mal...


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Well, that blew today entirely.

So uh...I had a seizure about 6 am this morning.

For the first time in almost two years.

I woke up all hot and clammy.  I felt nauseous, so I thought I needed to go to the bathroom.  While I was in there, I blacked out and fell straight off the toilet and landed face-first on the tile floor.


For a while there, I thought I had broken my nose, but turns out it's just bruised and has a nasty gash on it.  I don't remember the last time I hit something so hard I literally busted it open.

Needless to say, I got nothing today.  I've stayed in bed and basically done nothing but slept and drank lots of water.  Mom thinks I'm just dehydrated, and while I thought I kept plenty hydrated while in Nashville, stranger things have happened.

Yep, that just about sums up today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday: Insert every cliché about goodbyes here.

Ugh.  Saying goodbye this morning was so hard.  I'm not kidding - if I didn't have this free college education waiting for me in North Carolina that I basically have to finish, I would move to Nashville right now.

Callie drove me to the airport, as she was headed to Erika's house afterwards, and Phoebe stayed in bed.  The drive was really easy, there was no traffic and she knew the exact directions even though she said she wasn't 100% sure.  The airport was simple to navigate, and getting through security took basically no time.  The check-in kiosk said that my flight from Cincinnati to Raleigh was delayed fifteen minutes, but I figured that wasn't that big of a deal.  Sounds pretty sweet, right?

This is where it got complicated.

After I got through security, I went by Wendy's to get a biscuit, and this is when I started getting emails from Delta about my flights.  As I ate, and then made my way to my gate, I kept getting emails saying it was more, and more, and more delayed.  I kept texting and calling Sarah to keep her updated, and to make sure she could still pick me up because I knew she was heading home after she dropped me off.  She said it was fine, though.

By the time the email said my Cincinnati to Raleigh flight was two hours behind schedule, I went up to the desk at the gate and the lady found me a reroute through Atlanta.  And this is where God's sense of humor kicked in.  Literally the SECOND she finished getting me my new flight, I got an email saying the flights were back on schedule, haha!  Luckily, she managed to get me back on the same flights.

Once we made it through that little, uh, bump, everything was fine.  The flights were great.  I slept from Nashville to Cincinnati.  The flight attendants were nice.  Everything went basically on time, and I made it outside and called Sarah just a few minutes after the time I told her my flight would be landing.

This is just a cool picture I took somewhere between Cincinnati and Raleigh.  Nothing makes me feel smaller than being thousands of feet in the air, looking down and being able to see miles and miles of land.

Sarah dropped me off a little before 5:00, and I called people to let them know I got back safe.  Then, I called my friend Elizabeth, and she agreed to take me to Walmart because the stock of food in my room was extremely low.  Other than that, all I really did was crop and edit pictures and upload them to Facebook.  I took over 100, so it was a lot to get through! :)

Coolest. Week. EVER.  This may very well beat out Liverpool for best experience of my life, mostly due to Thursday.  I am SO SO THANKFUL that I got to do all of that, that my mom was sweet enough to buy me the plane ticket, that God had His hand over the whole trip and everything worked out so perfectly.  I'm surprised I didn't cry, that's how badly I didn't want to leave.

Nashville, it was grand.  This is not the end, though.  I'll be back.  I don't know how, and I don't know when, but I WILL be back. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday: The beginning of the rest of my life.

(Warning: possibly the longest post ever, but it's monumental, so it had to be!)

If you're just here to read about the night at Sanctuary, scroll down this post until you see a picture of a screen that just says "sanctuary".

Most of the day was really low-key.  The gig that night was in a record store, so it was acoustic.  That meant that there would be way less gear to unload, and there was no stage to prepare or anything.

We all slept in, which felt great.  I know the band needed an easy day a hundred times more than I did after everything they'd done on Tuesday and Wednesday and with the two jam-packed weeks of touring coming right up.  I finally got to meet Callie and Phoebe's parents, which was really nice.  It felt a little awkward staying  in someone's house all week and never being able to introduce myself to them.  But their mom had been out of town until Wednesday, and their dad was gone for work by the time we got up and in bed by the time we got home the previous days, so it just never happened.  They were very nice.

Another reason that it was good that we didn't have much to do was because there was a freakin' MONSOON outside.  It was pouring rain literally from the time I woke up to the time we headed to Sanctuary about 8:45.  It would've been really nice had I actually remembered to bring a jacket to Nashville, but I made it work.  A little water never hurt anybody, right?

We left for the store about 4:45, and we didn't get there until like 5:30 because apparently people in Nashville don't know how to drive in rough weather, either.  The funny part about it was that we still got there before the boys did.  Bruno accidentally left Taylor because Taylor sent Bruno a text he meant to send to Phoebe, so that had something to do with it.

The record store, Grimey's New and Preloved Music, was TINY.  And not only was the building tiny, it was packed wall to wall with records of all genres.  It was pretty cool to see.  The only remotely frustrating part about it was that no matter where I stood, I always ended up being in somebody's way.  But I guess that was to be expected.

Once we got there, I wanted to help with the unloading, but it was easier to just stay out of their way.  The boys had some friends to help, so none of us girls had to go out in the rain. :)  It was really good, too, because you had to walk down several flights of stairs out the back door just to get down to the parking lot. The store owners were nice and let me borrow a stool to sit on because there was no way that I could have stood up in the same spot for that long without my feet throbbing.

These are just some of the pictures I took there.  This should tell you just how up-close-and-personal everything was, haha.

This last picture is of me and Danny, one of the guys I met at Waffle House Tuesday night. We spent a good bit of time talking while we were at Grimey's.  Afterwards, when a whole bunch of us decided to go to Baja Burrito, I asked him if I could ride with him, and he said sure.  It was still pouring when we all left, so he told me to wait on the covered porch at Grimey's while he went to get his car; he had to park really far away because he got there late.  I thought that was very gentlemanly of him. :)  He ended up making a wrong turn, and we still got there before everyone else.

When we got inside, I told him I had to wait for Bruno because he was buying my food, and then he got even more gentlemanly and said "Oh no, I got you.  Go ahead."  And I just looked at him like "Really?" because, well, I've never had a pretty much complete stranger buy me food before.  He insisted, so I did.  :) The food was really good.  I had a delicious taco salad that was so big I couldn't eat it all.  I sat with Danny, Phoebe, and these two girls named Ashley and Tori.

About 8:40, Taylor, Bruno, this guy named Ben, and this girl named Emily all decided to leave for Sanctuary.  I've heard about Sanctuary from Taylor for months, so I knew I wanted to check it out, but I wasn't sure I was going to get to go because Callie and Phoebe didn't want to.  Finally, they decided they were going to hang out in Nashville with the rest of the group for a while, so I could go.  I didn't realize until later just how much of a God thing that was.  This was the start of a night I'm going to remember forever.

Taylor told me on the way that 500-600 college kids show up every week and that it was going to be a bit nuts.  It was at a big church not too far away from Baja Burrito.  The church was very modern-looking, and looked very, very nice.  The actual service was held in this really, really big room that was just nothing but chairs, open space for people to stand, and a stage.  I sat down three rows from the front; I told the boys I had to be able to sit but understood if they didn't want to sit with me.  Taylor was standing with the crowd at the front, but Bruno hung out with me because he said he was pretty worn out, too.

Just after 9:00, the band got up on the stage, and the singer started talking.  He explained how we were just going to sing some praise music for a while, and then there would be a ministry team down at the front for anyone who needed someone to talk to or to pray with.  He said how he knew that God was going to move in that room that night, and that was just...beyond prophetic. (You'll see.)

I think we sang for about half an hour, but I have no idea really because I didn't look at my cell phone one time once it started.  It was kind of weird; I had never heard any of the songs they played, but somehow, I knew what melodies to sing.  Maybe it was God, maybe it's just I have a good ear for music, but I think that's pretty cool.  

Then, the singer asked the ministry team to go to the front of the stage, and he said that both guys and girls were up there so guys would have a place to go, and girls would have a place to go.  I didn't know if that meant that girls could only talk to the girls or what, but I headed for the left side of the stage.  I saw four guys were up there, but I only really looked at two of them, and I asked them if I could talk to them, and they said of course.  I asked them to pray for healing for my family, healing for all the damage Chelsea's mental illnesses have caused, healing from all the pain I've been holding in my heart, just healing for all of us.  I started crying as I was talking, which is unusual because I really don't like crying in public.  The two guys I had looked at in the beginning grabbed my shoulder and my hand, and as the first one started praying, I felt the other two join the circle and basically surround me.  As they were praying for me, I started full on SOBBING; I can't even tell you the last time I cried that hard.  Only three of the guys prayed out loud, and when they were done, before I even cleared my eyes, I hugged them and just said thank you.  Then, I turned and found that guy #4 was Joe that I met Tuesday night.  (Later, Joe told Taylor he had no idea why at the time "but God was just telling him to get up to go pray with the other guys and then who was the first person to come up? this girl.")  When I saw it was Joe, all I could get out was "hey!" like "whoa, I did not expect to see you!" and he got up and just held me for the longest time.  He asked me how I was, and I told him I'd never felt more broken in my life.  And that's true.  He told me that that was good because it meant I was falling into Christ.  He told me Matthew 21:44, and kept saying just how much God loves me, and held me as long as I needed him to.  I can't describe intensely enough just how God-breathed it was.

I sat back down afterwards to get out of the way of the other people, and the crowd sang as more and more people went up for help.  After a little while, the singer said, "There are two baptistery pools, one up here, one in the lobby area, and even though you guys haven't seen it, there have been three baptisms already tonight."  The place busted out in applause, and two guys tore down the curtain in front of the pool behind the stage.  All of a sudden, I felt like God was screaming at me, "GO! GO GET BAPTIZED! You haven't done it yet, and if you really mean what you say when you say that you want this to be the year you get close to Me, DO IT."  (in reference to my One Word)  That was the first time I've ever been 100% sure I was hearing God.  I was baptized as a baby, but that's not the same thing as making the choice, you know?  I asked Taylor where to go for the baptistery.  He pointed me in the right direction, so I just walked over to the edge of the stage and ended up running straight into one of the guys who had prayed for me earlier.  His name is Brennan.  He said hey, and I asked him if I could get baptized.  Another guy asked what I said and Brennan told him, and he took me in the back where I could change into this waterproof suit thing.  As we got to one of the changing rooms, he asked me if I wanted one of them to do it, and I didn't know why at the time, but I asked him to.  He said yes and went to go put on a pair of full-body waders.  He was back by the time I'd changed.

Then, he took me back out to the pool, and warned me it was really hot as I climbed in.  This is where it got kind of funny - the water was SCALDING.  (I later found out it was about 100 degrees, I can't believe that didn't bother other people!)  I tried to get in, but literally could not stand it, and another guy told Brennan the one in the lobby was nice and cold, so we went out there.  He let me hold his hand to keep from slipping on the tile floor since my feet were now all wet.  The lobby was empty at this point, and I really appreciated that in the moment because for some reason, I was nervous, so I liked that it was just me, Brennan, and God.  He explained to me all about baptism and what it meant, and he asked me if I believed that Jesus Christ was the Lord and Savior, and I said yes.  He told me that when I came back up, all of my sins would be washed away and that I would be free.  He dipped me back, which was a little awkward because of the steel in my back.  I had to hold his hand again as we walked back across the lobby, and then this girl just walked up to me and said, "Hi, I know you don't know me, but I want to give you a hug! I am so happy for you, congratulations!" and it was just the sweetest thing.  I've never felt as much love from complete strangers as I did there.  Brennan was asking me how I felt and stuff, and I couldn't even think straight.  Like, I could seriously barely form the words to talk to him.  It was so weird, I've never felt anything like that.  I was squeezing his hand kind of tightly because I was shaking a little, and he just kept saying, "I've got you. I've got you."  He had to take me across the stage to get to the side where I could get to my changing room, and when we got up there, he held my arm up (like the ref does with the winner of a wrestling match, haha that's the best analogy I can think of) and the whole crowd applauded and cheered.  They did that for every single person who got baptized.  (There were over 30!! They were there past midnight still baptizing people.)

Brennan told me after we got changed to go get my phone, because he wanted to give me his phone number.  He said I could call or text him anytime I needed someone to talk to or pray with, that he didn't care if it was 4 am, he would be there.  I've never had someone say that to me EVER.  As I worked my way back through the crowd, everyone I looked at was smiling at me, or patting me on the shoulder, and saying they were so happy for me and congrats and stuff like that.  One guy came up and told me how brave I was.  When I finally got to my seat, Bruno reached out and gave me a hug, which is something he basically never does because he's just not a touchy feely person.  I grabbed my phone and camera and headed back for Brennan, but then I ran into Taylor, who walked up just looking at me like "daaaaaaang" with wide eyes haha.  He said I was so bold to do that and gave me a hug, too, and then I went to find Brennan.  I got his number and then asked if I could get a picture with him, and he said yes, so we went out to the lobby where the lights were on and got someone to take the pic.  We started talking some more and I started telling him more about the whole family situation and I started crying again.  He kept hugging me and reminding me of the Truth and that he'll be here 24/7 whenever I need him.

Brennan.  I will never forget this angel.

Brennan left to go back in, and I went to find Joe because I wanted to give him a hug, too.  He was sitting literally three rows from the door, right there where I could find him.  I got a picture with him, too, and told him how much what he said meant to me and that he had a hand in what pushed me to do that.  As we were talking, I told him how good it felt to have a real Christian support system around me, because as amazing as my friends are, I've never been close to this vulnerable with them, except for Matt and even with him it was never about God.  He reminded me to rely on God, not them, and I told him I know that, but it just felt amazing because not being in a family of Christians or having a church family can make the hard times feel even more alone for me because I crave human contact so much. Then, this girl walked up and gave Joe a hug, and he said, "Michal, Mallory feels alone. Will you be her friend?"  Literally, just like that.  And she looked at me, smiled, said "welcome to the family" and told me to look her up on Facebook. :)

Joe. aka Waffles! :)

I got a couple more pictures, too, because I kept thinking to myself that I wanted to remember every little detail.  

the pool where it happened.  the verse on the plaque is John 4:14

me with two of my favorite boys. :)  I'm so glad that they were there to witness that.

I went back to the dressing room I'd been in because I let my hairties in there, but I didn't see them, so I came back out.  Other people who had been baptized were up on stage talking and even though I felt like I didn't want to when I went by them the first time, I decided to do it on the way back.  I had to make it short, though, because I noticed Callie and Phoebe were there about that point.  By the time I got out to them, Taylor had told them, so they told me congrats, too. :)  I noticed the singer out there in the lobby, so I went and just told him thank you for playing a part in all of that because his being a vessel for God to reach me was part of what pushed me to do that.  He was very sweet.  Then, I just said bye to Bruno, Taylor, and Joe, and we left because at this point it was almost midnight.

AND SCENE! Haha.  Sorry for that being so terribly long, but can you really blame me for wanting to get every little detail of such an epic night down on record? :)

Seriously, though.  Thinking about this just blows my mind, and I experienced it all!! I honestly FEEL like a whole new person.  It sounds weird, I know, but it felt like my whole life started over.  I can't explain how grateful I am to have experienced the depth of love from that entire crowd.  I've never felt love like that from other people, I don't think.  And I wasn't scared or shy once, I felt like I was with family I'd known for years.

And Brennan.  Seriously.  I remember every feeling I had as I talked with him and listened to him.  His instant dedication to me and teaching me what he can about God is something I can only think to call Christ-like.  Every single time I hugged him, it felt like I was hugging Christ, like I could feel God using Brennan to physically reach me.  Now I know why I asked him to baptize me, even though I didn't realize at the time - it was because God knew that I needed a friend/mentor like him in my life.  And the fact that THIS happened on a trip to visit friends, by myself, in a city and state I've never been to before, a trip I almost canceled because of the infection on my arm, just shows me how much God had His hand all over this trip.  He wanted me there, and He was not going to let anything get in the way of that.  He loves me so much, He was willing to pursue me.  He loves you that much, too.  It was meant to happen just like this.  It was perfect, I didn't feel like I had to act a certain way to try and fit in with people; instead, no one knew me, I was myself, and everyone took me right in, anyway.

And maybe I'm reading too much into it, but how perfect is it that it was pouring rain all day the one day that I let God wash all of my sins away? :)

I already knew I was going to remember this trip as a whole for a long time, but this night, and all of the people I met in the course of this night who had a hand in it, especially Brennan, they are memories I will carry with me forever.  

April 5, 2012: the beginning of my eternal life.

Thank you, God.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday: Three cheers for good music!

Post #1000. Ah!

Round 2.

I got up at 9:00 again because I wasn't sure what time we were leaving and I wanted to get a shower early enough that I left the girls time to shower, as well.  That was definitely the case, as we didn't leave the house until 12:30.  The band decided not to decorate the stage like they had for the CD release show, one because it was a lot of effort, and two, there were other bands playing at the show and they didn't want to get in their way.  So yeah, we left about 12:30 to get to the venue about 1:00.

Music City Roots is the venue.  It was pretty cool, and it's a popular place in Nashville.  It's an old, renovated barn.  It says "Live from the Loveless Cafe" because they stream every show online and on the radio.  As soon as we got there, there was food for us to eat.  I've never eaten jalapenos in pasta before; it was really hot, but good enough for me to eat.

Sound check.  Because there was no real work other than unloading gear, I basically got to just sit around and listen to them and all of the other performers.  We had a bit of time to kill.  They were done with sound check by about 2:30 and the show didn't start until 7:00.  Immediately afterwards, I hung out in the green room for a bit.

This is Taylor restringing a mandolin while in the green room.  (Yes, the green room is actually green, haha!) This is actually Bryan Simpson's mandolin; he had let them borrow it for the show on Tuesday because they needed two, and someone put the two mandolins in the wrong cases.  According to Taylor, they got the better end of the deal because Bryan's mandolin is way nicer.  (Go figure.)

I just think this door is cool.  It's to the bathroom in the green room, and acts that have performed at MCR signed it.  I fell asleep in the green room from 3:00-4:00.  It felt good, too.  There was a comfortable chair in the chair, and with the door shut the green room misses almost all of the noise going on on the stage.

When I woke up, Callie and Taylor were in there coming up with the set list for the night.  I like seeing how they (all four of them) work together.  Then, I basically just hung out and listened to my iPod some more, wandered around and introduced myself to people, and ate once the food arrived.  It was grand - I got all of the band privileges (i.e. free dinner) with basically none of the work (aside from merch, there was NO work for me), and I got to listen to a bunch of really good musicians all day for free when it costs $10 to get in the door.  That's pretty darn close to heaven on earth for a music freak like me.

The merch table.  It was tiny because it was set up next to all of the other artists' merch.  I love selling merch, though.  It's a lot of fun to me, aside from the fact that the credit card swipe thing seems to hate me! Haha. :)

The best part about being back by the merch table all night was that I got to meet all of the other acts as they finished their sets.  (The Vespers were the last ones to go on.)  This is Gareth Dunlop.  He's from Belfast, Ireland, and I pretty much adore his accent.  He was super nice, too.  He gave me his two EPs for free!  I couldn't see him when he was on stage because there was a crowd blocking my vision, but I fell in love with his singing voice!  Check him out.

This is Audrey Auld.  She's from Australia, so she has an awesome accent, too.  She lives in Nashville now, though.  She was really nice and gave me codes to download her music for free, too.  Apparently that's just what people do in Nashville, according to the band.

Pearl and Chris, The Driftwood Singers.  They were very friendly. :)  There was one other guy there that I didn't get a picture with.

A picture of the band during their set.  It's sort of a miracle that I got a picture of all four of them without anyone blocking each other.

I'm fairly sure I was starting to annoy them with my need for pictures, but I just wanted one group shot.  I like this one.  They're all really smiling, which is also a rare occurrence.

This is just funny to me.  This is a guy named Conrad who works with Music City Roots.  He was up on the rafters doing all sorts of funny "modeling" poses, so I told him I had to get a picture of it.

After everything was packed up, a whole group of us went to this place called The Brewhouse.  They were having an open jam session, and this is the band that was up there when we arrived.  I got some really good potato skins, but I was relieved when Callie and Phoebe decided they didn't want to stay a long time because the music was so loud my eardrums were hurting.

The day wasn't nearly as much fun as Tuesday, but it was still pretty awesome.  My feet, ears, and head hurt pretty bad when we got back to the house, so I was relieved to get some sleep.