Sunday, December 13, 2009

Come and meet those dancin' feet.

I just auditioned for this year's community theater musical at Grays Harbor College - 42nd Street.  What a fun week of auditions and callbacks.  I'm not gonna lie; I was super nervous and definitely had my little bobbles along the way, but I received a callback and even read for the lead role of the show, Peggy Sawyer.  I realized that though I've been working in theater, I haven't done any cold reading for at least 5 years!  Participating in auditions and evaluating auditioners are COMPLETELY two different things!  Well, I'm delighted to announce that I was cast as Peggy Sawyer!!!  Rehearsals will start next month and the performances will be held at the Bishop Center for Performing Arts on the Grays Harbor College campus in Aberdeen, WA.  My sister, Bekah and my dad both auditioned and also received speaking roles.  Come see the Hadfam tap, sing, and act... if you want.  Performances will run the first two weekends of March.  Tickets are on sale here!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Summer feels so far away now that the relentless Aberdeen rains have set in.  I love the rain though.  Especially when I can listen to it from indoors.  Before summer becomes too much of a distant memory, I want to share about my summer trip to Japan.

I went to Japan to visit my roommate from college and dear friend, Amy.  It's been several years since our good old college days and it was time for me to see her home, family, friends, beautiful country, and experience life with her in Japan.  Life in Japan is quite different!  Some of my favorite experiences: 1) Riding the trains everywhere!  It got pretty crowded at times, but Amy said it wasn't nearly as bad as it can be.  I guess when you can count 12 other bodies touching yours, then you can say it's crowded.  2) Using Japanese currency.  Way tricky for me - I felt so helpless and Amy helped me a lot by helping me pay for things I wanted to purchase.  3) Meeting Lucy, Amy's cute little dog!  She's so adorable.  4) Going to Disneyland Japan - all the familiar Disney characters on the rides and in the parades spoke Japanese!  Did you know that Whiney the Pooh speaks fluent Japanese?!?!  That was a new one for me - ya learn something new everyday.  5) Swimming in the Pacific ocean... on the other side of course.  6) And just hanging out and visiting with Amy and her parents.

Other experiences that didn't make my favorite list yet were memorable: 1) Surviving the HUGE spiders at camp.  I'm SO SCARED of spiders and these guys were the size of my palm and bigger.  One really freaked me out by crawling out of the toilet bowl right before I sat down!!!  2) Losing my luggage on my way there and even when I got back.  I was able to recover my belongings both times, but inconvenient for sure!  Experiencing ofura - a traditional bath house in Japan.  All us girls showered together at camp... let's just say I stood out as the big, white one.  3) Being exposed to the swing flu while counseling at a high school camp.  We had to all go home early because of a swing flu outbreak among some of the campers and counselors.  The good news is that Amy and I stayed healthy!!

Amy was a wonderful host.  We spent a week as counselors for a camp, a weekend in quarantine at her house, and then Amy had the rest of our days together planned out full of all kinds of adventures.  We went city sight-seeing as well as venturing into the countryside with her parents.  We went shopping, ate sushi, and talked a lot.  It was a perfect visit!  I definitely want to go back.  I'm just sad I didn't visit her sooner.  My first overseas experience was good even though my luggage was lost and I was expose to the swine flu.  Oh well.  All of that made for some great memories.  Here are a few pictures from my time in Japan.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy October 15th everyone!  It's that time of year again!!!  This is the day that I start listening to Christmas music. :)  This tradition started two years ago when I lived with Kristi Foster.  In casual conversation, we both discovered that the other had the same love for the Christmas season, especially for Christmas music.  Kristi, being a voice teacher has to work with students on preparing for Christmas recital each year so her tradition has been to start the Christmas music search on October 15th.  I loved it so much; I immediately adopted this tradition.  It's nice to have a particular date to look forward to.  Otherwise, the jolly tunes might sneak into my life even earlier.  You never know!  Anyway, after that conversation we decided that on October 14th, we would stay up until midnight and ring in the holiday season with a song dedication of sorts.  Well, we couldn't decide what song to play so at the last minute we went scrambling to her studio, pulled out the caroling books, and had our very own Christmas carol sing-along at her piano.  SUCH good memories.  
   This year was no different.  Even though Kristi and I now live 3 hours away from one another, we both stayed up until midnight, played a few Christmas tunes on our computers and wished each other a happy holiday season. :)  What a dear friend.  The Lord did a really good job when He arranged for the two of us to be friends.  I am truly blessed to know her. :)
  Even if you're not the type to pull out the Christmas music in October, I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of Chris Rice's Christmas album.  It's all instrumental - just him on the piano.  It's called The Living Room Sessions: Christmas.  SO GOOD!!  It's the first CD I listen to each year.  Happy Christmas music listening to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm a blogging loser

So, I've failed to blog in FOREVER!!  For that, I apologize to my blog audience of... mmm, probably 3 or 4 people.  There is so much that has happened!

  • I went to Japan to visit my college roommate (was exposed to the swine flu)
  • I left my job at Starbucks and now work for Quigg Brothers Construction as an office assistant (with normal hours and weekends off!)
  • My new job has moved me to Aberdeen where I live with my sister Bekah and her husband Ezra
  • My older sister, Suzanne got married on September 12th!
  • I'm filling my extra time with ballet, tap, and voice lessons (I'm LOVING it!)
  • Oh, and we got the cutest kitten ever!  She's a long-haired orange kitty and her name is Tigris.
These are all things I need to blog about... and I will... soon.  Isn't the suspense just killin' ya?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm going to Japan next month to visit this beautiful girl!  Amy Wood is my dear friend from Multnomah.  We were placed together as roommates our freshman year and immediately clicked.  I remember that first night in the dorms - with lights out, we talked late into the evening from our beds about our common love for musical theater and our own theater experience.  We hit it off!  We were roommates all through college and Amy moved back to Japan (where she's from) upon graduating over three years ago.  She's made several visits to the northwest to visit college friends, but this will be the first time I visit her home and meet her dad, brother, and Lucy (the dog).  I'm so excited that we will get two weeks together experiencing Japan - Amy's home.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I think I'm in love... with a coffee shop.

I don't know why this particular cafe tucked away in the unique Ladd's addition neighborhood of Portland is so special to me.  It just is.  I love the look of the space - the windows, the colors on the walls, the lighting, ceramic mugs; I love the location - it's on the outside edge of a big round about that spits off to about 5 different streets; I love the people - because it's in a residential area, there are tons of pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, roller-bladers, and they're all very Portland.  I love that!

I guess I have a lot of memories associated with this place.  I have fond memories of meeting friends for coffee to catch up on life.  Also, it was a place I'd come alone to escape and just chill out - journal, read, think, people watch, etc.  Now that I live in Olympia, I find that I really miss Palio's.  Oh, I think this is the first time I mentioned the name of this great little Portland treasure as I see it.  Palio's Dessert & Espresso House.  I honestly don't even know how to pronounce "Palio."  Ha!  I've just had so many different people pronounce it differently, I'm not sure which one is right.  Oh well.  That doesn't matter to me.  I just love this place.  And their coffee it great!  Frothy-foamed lattes, strong yet tasty shots in the americanos, and an amazing selection of tea from what I understand.

If you ever need a place to hang out in Portland, let me know and I'll help you figure out how to get to Palio's.  It's tricky to find.  The Ladd's addition is a VERY unique neighborhood.  It's SO easy to get lost.  Anyway, posted are a few pics of me at my favorite coffee shop over the years.  Kind of a funny love affair.  Me + Palio's Dessert & Espresso House = Love

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shall We Dance?

One of my favorite movies is "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.  I own it and from time to time, I pull it out to watch, just because.  First of all, I love it because it's a story line based around dancing.  But what I love even more about this charming tale is the parallels it makes between partner dancing and marriage.

My favorite lines in this movie are said by Susan Sarandon's character - the wife of John Clark (Richard Gere).  When asked why she thinks people get married, she answers,

"Because we need a witness to our lives.  ...In a marriage, you're promising to care about everything - the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things - all of it, all the time, everyday.  You're saying, 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.  Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness."

I love this speech!  I believe it speaks true of what a marriage should be about.  I believe this speaks true of the human experience in general.  Everyone desires to be noticed.  This makes me long for my life's witness in a husband someday, but it also makes me want to be a truly committed and intentional friend.  I want to have others witness my life just as much as the next gal or guy.  If I can be mindful of that need in others while building friendships, I think my relationships will be richer.

The BEST part of this movie is when Richard Gere's character rides up the escalator wearing a tuxedo and holding a single long-stemmed red rose.  He greets his wife and asks her to dance.  When she says, "But I don't know the steps," he replies, "Yes you do.  You've been dancing with my for 19 years."  What a beautiful comparison to marriage.  I don't know, maybe it doesn't make sense to everyone, but for me - as a dancer myself - I get it!

I highly recommend that you watch this movie.  It's a romantic comedy with a wonderful ending!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have rediscovered the joy of Sudoku puzzles.  I don't know what made me think of it, but I remembered that I had an unfinished "Sudoku for Dummies" book on my shelf that I've had since my college days.  I made what now seems like the unfortunate decision to pull it out and work on a puzzle or two.  About a week later and oh... maybe 20 finished puzzles later, I'm finding that I can't go to bed without working on my Sudoku book.  It will be a blessing in disguise when I reach the end!  Don't worry, I'm not as lame as it may sound - I am reading other things.  I justify time in Sudoku as long as there is equal time spent in the Word each day. :)  I'm also reading an incredible book right now that my pastor recommended.  It's basically a little counseling session each time I pick it up to read.  I'll probably blog about that book later.  In the meantime... I think I'll finish this blog post and work on a Sudoku puzzle... or two. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009


So, I was at a Christian bookstore outlet with some family members this past weekend.  I'm not really one to frequent my local Christian bookstore, but my sister-in-law had a gift card to use, so I scanned the bookshelves and glanced through the music section.  Then, I found this book called "Twentysomething" by Margaret Feinberg.  The subtitle read, "surviving and thriving in the real world."  I was interested because my sister Suzanne is thinking about writing a book about this topic.  I flipped the book over and read the brief synopsis on the back cover... my eyes widened in disbelief.  From the sound of it, this book talks about me and my life right now!  I bought it and haven't been able to put it down.  So far, I've officially recognized that I am experiencing what's called a quarterlife crisis.  It sounds intense, but... well, it kind of is.  I guess more and more twenty-something-year-olds are experiencing this quarterlife crisis - realizing that life isn't that American dream, in fact, it's really hard work - nonstop hard work without many quick rewards; a mental adjustment to say the least.  Here I was thinking I was uncharacteristically depressed all the time for no clear reason - thanks to this book, Margaret has taken all my jumbled thoughts and frustrations and put them on paper.  There have been a few places where I just want to laugh out loud because it's almost as if I'm reading one of my own journal entries!  Really, it's uncanny!  Anyway, all that to say that this book resonates with me and what my life is like right now.  I'm comforted to know I'm not alone in this season of life.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Confession: I've been living vicariously through my little sister.  She landed the leading role in Grays Harbor's spring musical production - Thoroughly Modern Millie.  She's absolutely incredible!  I'm SO proud of her.  It's definitely the role of a lifetime and I'm just so happy for her.

It also makes me want to get back on stage myself.  I grew up doing musical theater, but then I got busy with college and then eventually got roped into working on the other side of the process.  Don't get me wrong - I've really enjoyed the privilege of directing and choreographing numerous musical productions.  The experience has been priceless; having the opportunity to work with so many skillful performers has been life changing.  But, it's like that prize that I never get... in fact, (as a director/choreographer) I just sit there watching all the performers get it.  I share in the excitement of opening night, or a full house, or a really responsive crowd... but from a different perspective.  I'm at a point where I really want to trade my director's chair in for spot on stage!

A girl can dream, right?  Until those dreams miraculously come true, I'll continue to be my sisters biggest fan in all of her successful theatrical endeavors.  Thoroughly Modern Millie closes this Sunday and tickets are going fast - buy your tickets now at

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome, baby Grace!

Okay, it's time to brag!  My little niece, Grace Marie, was born last Thursday afternoon.  She's a cutie!  I got to go down to Portland and visit little Grace and her proud parents in the hospital on Friday.  What a precious gift they've been given!  I can't wait to see her again.  Here are a few pictures from my visit.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

God's Love

I don't really understand it.  I mean, I've known since I was a little girl that Jesus loves me... for the Bible tells me so.  But I have learned in recent years that knowing and believing that God loves me are totally two separate things.  God doesn't just love me because I'm a good and sweet little Christian.  No, God loves me unconditionally!  That means I never need to buy into the lie that I'm not good enough or worthy enough for His love.
I tend to be very hard on myself (this is truly the case at work) and yet it brings me to tears to know that that mind set I've chosen grieves my loving, heavenly Father.  It's as if I can hear him saying, "Why are you choosing to see yourself like that?  I don't!!  You are forgiven, redeemed, set free, and BELOVED!  What a good reminder!  My perpetual struggle to understand God's love frustrates me.  Why can't I just believe what I know to be true?  Praise the Lord for his grace that covers all of my sin but also all of my doubts and disbelief of his radical love for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I would, Lord, but I'm too scared."  This is what I would tell God every spring during Missions Conference week at Multnomah Bible College.  All students were required to attend the plenary sessions and an array of workshops.  I acted like conference was great when really there was this secret battle happening within me.  I felt bad that I wasn't open to missions, but when I pictured myself in some faraway place... it freaked me out.  I didn't ever say "no," because I was afraid that then, God would turn my no into a yes.  Kind of like that old song by Scott Wesley Brown, "Please Don't Send Me to Africa."  It's a funny song where he's telling the Lord how wrong he is for the job.  By the end of the song, he's yelling, "okay, okay!  I'll go!!"

Now, let's fast forward - two and a half years out of college... two and a half years since I've felt pressured to have that conversation with God.  This fall, I moved from the Portland area to Olympia to... I don't even know exactly why I moved.  I had previously been holding down 5 part-time jobs and needed a break to re-cooperate.  

It's been four months and I'm still praying and asking the Lord to show me what's in store for my future.  At this point, life looks a lot different than I thought it would.  I'm 25 and not very established.  I've tried lots of things, but haven't found my dream job.  I've met awesome people, but haven't found the love of my life.  The list goes on...  This fall, I've been asking the Lord to reveal to me what it is I'm made for.  I'm a passionate person - I figured I would eventually find that one thing that I say, "yep, this is what I have to do for the rest of my life!"  I have friends who feel this way about teaching.  My sister Suzanne feels this passionate about writing.  I want my passion!  I want to know what it is so that I can start doing it.  In the middle of October, I was extremely discouraged.  I was beginning to think that God didn't have something like that for me.  Instead, I was just supposed to find ways to share Jesus to others in the things I'm already doing - no radical occupation shift.  *sigh*  I was bummed.

On October 22nd, I went to an event that changed my life!  I was invited by my friend Beth to go see a children's choir from Africa perform at a local church.  From the minute those precious children danced down the aisles and onto the stage with sincere smiles and joyful hearts, I was on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't stop smiling.  Tears of joy were flooding down my cheeks.  I kept my hand on my heart in fear that it might just leap right out of my chest!  I can hardly describe the emotions I felt.  My heart felt SO full.  I knew immediately that THIS is what the Lord has made me for... for Africa!  Though I felt a peace that I had craved to experience for so long, I was also shocked.  Me?  Africa?  Really?

At the intermission I reached over and grabbed Beth's knee. Through water-logged eyes I stared at her and said, "I don't know what's going on, but I think I need to pray about going to Africa."  Beth, who has gone to Africa herself, was so thrilled.  I was just shocked that those words had just come out of my mouth.  The director of the Mwamba Children's Choir began to speak about how the choir was touring the USA to raise money.  Their ministry is looking to purchase land near Kampala, Uganda to eventually build a school.  Then, he looked right at me, pointed and said, "and you're going to be there some day, aren't you?"  I leaned back in my seat... looked behind me to see who he was actually talked to, and then he said it again, "No, you.  You're going to be there, aren't you?"  I was floored!  If nothing else, it was God's way of confirming the thoughts and emotions I was already dealing with that night.

I loved these kids so much, I went to another concert a few days later and had the opportunity to meet some of them.  I don't know details yet, but I do know that I was made to love, pray, and hopefully be with children in Africa someday.  Most of the time I wish I could just take off and go there tomorrow, but I know the timing for that isn't right now.  So, I'll settle with praying for the children I had the pleasure of meeting and for their ministry in Uganda.  For the land that they have now purchased and for the funds to be available for building a school soon.

I now know why I was supposed to move to Olympia.  Just when I was feeling so unsettled and without a purpose in life, I found these precious kids and an exciting adventure in my future!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I resolve to be a better blogger!

Okay, I'm not really into making New Year's resolutions.  I've tried and failed miserably too many times.  However, I do like to spend some time evaluating my past year and also dreaming for the next.  One thing I realized I'd like to improve this year is my blogging habits.  Since I've had a blog spot, I've been very inconsistent.  So, I resolve to post at least a couple times a month.

Because I've been lazy in posting about cool things that have gone on during the last few months, I'm going to back up a bit and touch on some highlights from this fall and holiday season.  I think I'll start with the snowy blast the Northwest experienced in mid December.

It was so fun to go sledding with family and friends, sip hot chocolate while watching the snow fall, and even enjoying the hot tub in 20-some degree weather!  Here are some pictures of the pretty winter wonderland.