Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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I Was A Band Roadie

Modern Miracle Crammed in the third row of a vehicle hooked up to a trailer of music equipment, I rode the miles of open highway to our first destination. It was time to tour. Get out. Stretch. Divvy up hotel room beds. Then back in the third row, travelling to the gig.

It was usually a small church, or an outside venue. Sometimes we performed to a massive crowd, other times…not. Get out. Set up. Cables and guitars, drum kits and sound checks. And me. T-shirts and stickers, SD cards and tripods. I was a roadie. Girlfriend to a guitarist and absolutely crazy in love with this band.

When I became part of the Modern Miracle family, I was immediately enamored. The energy and excitement to hear their music, to see my boyfriend perform…I was inspired.

38102_412366495669_3548101_nRight out of high school with a new laptop and Photoshop Elements, just beginning my college courses on multimedia, I had the desire to create something beautiful for this band. I sat in my dorm room listening to their music on repeat attempting to create something that expressed the emotion of the lyrics. I don’t think I’d look back at my first attempts to use Photoshop without training and call it a masterpiece…but I learned to use it through my passion for this Christian band.

As my place in the family grew, I started photographing them in concerts and photo shoots. Then I started creating t-shirts and posters and banners. I became interested in re-designing their Myspace page. If anyone remembers, the classic Myspace had a lot of really great features, if you knew html. So I learned html. I spent hours perfecting their page, creating a beautiful aesthetic. I eventually began creating Myspace page layouts for several bands. I had, perhaps, a year of html experience under my belt before I first took a class on it. Through the beauty of music, I had come into my calling.

Modern Miracle

Modern Miracle was a constant source of inspiration for me. The lyrics were poetic stories ready to be unraveled, the music was a strong force to be reckoned with, the band members were a multi-talented family willing to do what it took to get their music out there. For me, the songs were worship. I felt connected to God by listening to them. And I knew my work was worship, too. I worked to create beautiful pieces of art and I worshiped God while doing it. By art, I mean Myspace layouts and t-shirt designs…but it was all for God.

Let our dancing feet set fire with the powers of your Holy Spirit.
We are anointing every word we say. Let it resonate.

I’ve never been so connected to music before or after this band. I appreciate music; the talent, the energy, the effort. There are a few bands I love. But there’s a difference.

With Modern Miracle, there was a raw passion that went straight through me. All the hours spent at band practices and concerts. The time forming bonds with each of them. The late night work sitting on my dorm bed creating. The connection my boyfriend (now husband–plot twist!) and I made when we talked about this group.

Seasons change, life happens. I wouldn’t trade anything to go back, but I do miss that time of my life. I miss the people, especially. Perhaps that’s what caused such an emotional response—having the band members there, laughing and joking; creating unique, original music. Music that held their talents and skill; their pain and joy. I didn’t just listen or watch, they didn’t just play and sing, we grew into who we are now…and we did it together.

Turn from the world. Double portion for shame.
Suffer your own cross for spiritual gain.


This was part of theWriting 101’s Blogging University. The prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? – (No. hehe)
All photos by me. ‘Diamond Palace’ video credit to D2S Records. Quoted lyrics are from the videos that follow them. Listen to one more song they never got to record!


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Happy Blog-iversary!

Today is my ‘8 year’ blog-iversary. I wish I could say I had 8 years of riveting posts, but I can’t say that I do.

I’ve used this blog (under two different names) as a means to journal and share creativity. I haven’t always needed that outward form of expressing myself, so there are many empty moments through the archives. However, I thought I’d share some interesting times in my life as I go through college, marriage and career changes in the span of 8 (more like 5-6) years.

2009: One year into college, 2009 is the year I really start blogging!

I discover my love of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion and get my first non-restaurant job. 

I am faced with the horrible choice of being forced to get my first touch screen and data-mandatory phone! (Back when phones were phones)

I realize I want graphic design to be my career.

I made many, many t-shirt d.i.y.’s. This one is a dress from a 4XL t-shirt. 

I get engaged in a surprise photoshoot.

2010: The year I decided to link my Tumblr and Twitter to my blog and almost all my posts have NO TITLE. What an archiving nightmare.

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I realize what a hoarder I am

I get super into Photoshop (some more)

I made my brother this adorable Max from Where the Wild Things Are costume

I get into photography.

I get obsessed with fashion photography and move to Chictopia for. a. while.

2011: I graduated college (mid-2010) and move somewhere with no Internet until I got married so I

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Post about my bridal portraits

Self-designed wedding invitations

Getting Ready

My awesome wedding party

A beautiful ceremony

And the reception (that I starved at)

2012: Working at an exhausting daycare job and feeling so creatively unfulfilled, I began blogging again!

luis

I opened an etsy store selling vintage purses. This later turned into designing flyers

I tried blogging something more meaningful for the first time on the blog. (I’m still struggling with this, but I have so much to say these days that the hard topics must be given a voice!)

I got a job as a secretary which quickly moved into managing websites! 

I started noticing some sad realities in my life. Mainly the gradual decline of friendships and relationships. 

I tried my hand at d.i.y. journals!

2013: The year I blog fairly consistently! 

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I start (and fail to finish) and 365 day Photo Challenge

I tried (and fail to succeed) to organize my blog

I hint at all the friendship struggles I was having (but still try to remain positive and not get too deep)

I try my hand at recipes! Yum! & Coffee

I “win” a fun blogging award and answer questions about myself!

My husband graduates with his Master’s degree and I realize what that means for us

I finally get promoted from managing websites to managing and designing websites! Finally using that college degree to the fullest extent! Except, my creativity for blogging leaves me. 

I learn the hard way about friendships. And, of course, give a vague nondescript version of the story.

2014: After a short lull (only like 6 months, no big deal!) I decide to start blogging again! 

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I’m trying to find my focus for 2014. I love d.i.y. and photography projects, but I really want to try my hand at writing more serious posts. I’m a quiet person and have let that affect my opinions on topics, so as not to offend or hurt feelings, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep quiet anymore. I hope I can find my path as I begin this blogging thing over again. Every year seems like I’m starting over, because I’m just trying to find my way. Here’s the beginning: 1, 2, 3


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Learning From Children | Underlying Issues of the Innocent

Pre-Teen Girls During 'Tablecloth' Fashion Show

Taylor and I have been working with a small church’s children’s group for the past year. Ages range from sometimes 3 all the way to 12. In one room. Yeah.

But, most of them, thankfully, are within the 9-12 range which helps us find age appropriate lessons and activities.

Because of this job (it is Taylor’s job, but I volunteer), I’ve had a lot of time to observe young girls. I’ve learned their behaviors, cliques,  gossip habits and insecurities.

I’ve learned that one girl goes out of her way to look less poor to her friends. One 12 year old is extremely self-conscious about her teeth; another about her stomach. An 11 year old plays dumb, a 7 year old is so scared to talk she’ll sometimes start sentences excitedly and then immediately stop, almost cowering.

Another pre-teen was molested  as a child and desperately seeks that same level of attention with older boys.

Most of them come from poor, drug-filled households where it’s likely that–if one of their parents isn’t either out of the picture or in jail–they just got out of jail. Which isn’t to say the adults take ALL the blame–this is, after all, the life they grew up in. How does one end this cycle?

Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know how to answer that. I don’t know how to answer many questions regarding the serious issues these young girls face. It’s constantly forcing me to realign my perspective when I ask myself after an exhausting and frustrating children’s session, “Why do they act the way they do?!?!”

Well, Alyssa, why?

Why do they feel the need to prove they aren’t poor? Why do they choose to gang up on another to bully them? Why do they seek men’s attention and approval?

Every week is like a concentrated slap in the face showing me the deep rooted fears and expectations that society has placed on all women.

What these girls are learning from their mothers, they will teach their own children. Of course, I don’t hope for that. I do see a small societal shift in women’s behaviors and I can hope that these girls, specifically, choose to better their lives as they grow up and break a generational cycle of poverty, drugs and heartache.

I have really struggled with all the layers of issues these girls* have made me fully aware of. I think the easiest, yet also most intricate, issues to deal with are the ones directly related to all women. From media to our own mothers and grandmothers, we are given so much “advice” about behavior, appearances and the like that our minds have contorted around some of the most messed up ideas that truly have become part of our ‘norm.’ Like many other newly enlightened women, I’m searching for the balance between losing the chains of societal expectations and still feeling like I understand the strong and beautiful reasons behind what it means to be female.

I’m going to try to voice my thoughts in future posts on the subject of being a woman, as well as all the other major issues mentioned in this post as I rethink my own views and also combat the views these young pre-teen girls already think to be true.

Advice, opinions, help would be oh so appreciated.


 

*Not to say the boys of the group have no issues. We only have 1-4 boys come, sometimes 0. Perhaps there are no boys in the area, or perhaps boys not feeling connected to church and/or groups of peers is an entirely different issue to be discussed. Taylor does a lot for the boys as well as the younger children (As well as the preteens. He’s awesome). My heart has been set on these pre-teen girls from the beginning. Clarification over.

 


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Discovering Grace

reflecting

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Excerpts From My Journaling…

I am seeking out God's grace. 
I know He can fully support my burdens and 
He can cover my soul in such pure and ever-lasting grace.
I know He forgives me. I find comfort in that. 
But I need to fully lose myself in order to completely repent. 
I have such issues with trying to fix problems without giving it to God. 
I need to remain searching for the reasons of God's grace. 

-P.S. Facebook followers: My blogs are being automatically sent to facebook via a second-party program. I promise, I’m not posting the blogs myself during this 2 week break!

 


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A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Meaning

The meaning  is the notion that when all is said and done, a thing is what it is.

Origin

The line is from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’:

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters,
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Pages ages page ages page ages.

Ok, this is the LAST post about my birthday!

I left you with the notion that my birthday was a cold and rainy mess of  a day, neither good or bad or special. And up to that point—it was! After my night class, however, I drove to Applebee’s and my dad drives up next to my car and my sister parks her car on the other side of me! This was definitely a surprise—I thought it was going to be me and my mom, but she invited the whole family! This made me happy, of course! I got to spend my birthday with mom, dad, step-mom and all of my brothers and sisters!

And I guess the ‘birthday’ doesn’t end until midnight, and Taylor proved that to be true by surprising me at my door with roses and a home made cake at 10:30 pm!! He could only stay until 11, but I ate cake at 12 so I celebrated all day!

So, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose…’ yes, my birthday was cold, rainy, and mundane at first, but it was also full of facebook and e-mail well wishes, happy birthday text messages, and family and fiancee surprises. It was what it was. =) I am thankful for a great day—and a great life given to me by God. Happy life to me.


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“Big” City Shopping

Ok.

It’s true. Tay and I don’t see outside of our surrounding area, ever.

When we plan a trip to Longview we plan a trip. Over the span of weeks upon weeks we’ll sort of pile up all of these places in Longview we need to go to and make a sort of mental list. And we’ve made it into a date night before, as well. “A date and errands all in one.” 😉

So, yes, I was a little excited about our trip to  the “big” city (ha ha) of Shreveport to go thrifting with Tay, Zach and Josh (yes all guys…they planned the trip and I tagged along, I think). The guys were looking for slacks, which unfortunately no one found. However it was a fun day. Zach drove us around Shreveport going to the bargain stores. It was a successful day, indeed.

I found a black cardigan, a black and white flannel, a great red leather bag, and some Harajuku Lovers hi-tops!

All great finds, and even though I feel 12 in those harajuku shoes I like to think of myself as “fun and attractive”. ;D (How a website described them) Plus, I’ve loved and played around with the idea of buying Harajuku Lovers shoes before so finding them for $14 with minimal wear and tear was just the right incentive to go for it. (And it was just an accident that they’re green and gold—my high school colors. And that they have cheerleaders on them. Please, people don’t think I’m a supporter. (haha just kidding))

Tay found some really great clothes and shoes, too, that don’t make him look 12. In fact, quite the opposite affect.

In other news: Monday I’m sending in a resume and design portfolio to Encore Printing. A design company. Kind of nervous. But excited to show someone my work. It’s a stepping stone. Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity. A small but important stepping stone.

Oh P.S. We went to Starbucks in Shreveport and I ordered my usual(you would’ve thought I learned the last time it happened) and it was gross AGAIN. I just prefer Joe Buck’s.

9.26.09-Shreveport 0489.26.09-Shreveport 0449.26.09-Shreveport 0279.26.09-Shreveport 016


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Weekend Post

Such a fun weekend!

Charity and nathan Lenox had a beautiful wedding ceremony and a very fun reception!

Charity was beautiful in her dress! I can’t wait to see the photos from Barnett Photography because they’re going to be awesome! (Visit their website to see the couple’s engagement photos!)

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It was so fun being in the wedding party. We hung out all day and spent four hours getting ready! Hah. I loved my dress and will just have to find some other occasion to wear it to! But I’ll have to dry-clean it because my beautiful flowers got red and yellow pollen all over it! (Before the wedding!) But it wasn’t a big deal!

The bride walked down to her and nathan singing “Come what May” from the movie Moulin Rouge and now every time I’m in my car that song comes into my mind and I just tear up all over again!

I guess the big news besides the wonderfully amazing wedding and gorgeous bride was that I caught the bride’s bouquet. And there is a story. 😉

No one really wanted to catch it. And everyone decided not to catch it. I decided to not catch it. and then no one was catching it and it was going to fall to the floor so my cat-like reflexes (which I actually don’t usually have…) came out and I just grabbed it! Later Tay told me he had yelled out jokingly, “you better catch it!” Yikes! So if no one knew about me and tay  I guess the bouquet thing makes it official: Yes, there is going to be a wedding in our future. But we’re not even engaged yet so don’t get any big thoughts! 🙂

this is the best shot of my dress! :( oh well lol

this is the best shot of my dress! 😦 oh well lol

hahahaha look close to the right hand side and you see my hand

hahahaha look close to the right hand side and you see my hand reaching out!

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Anyways, the wedding was wonderful! I can’t wait to see the new husband and wife in a few weeks!

For more photos Click These:


My Photos 1
My Photos 2

The bridal party:
Maid of Honor: Nicole White (pictured in first photo tying Charity’s dress)-Charity’s friend since birth. She’s actually going to school in Sydney, Australia and she flew in for the wedding! She was a great maid of honor. She was by Charity’s side the whole day.
Maid of Honor: Ashley ThorntonThey’ve been friends for a long time. She’s so cute! She’s in A&M Commerce but anytime they can these two are together and can talk about anything!
Bridesmaids: Amanda McGill, Nina Derrick, & Me!

Actually all of the girls but me have been friends with Charity since childhood since I didn’t come into the picture until high school. But I would consider myself very lucky because I get to see her pretty much every week and we’ve become really great friends in a short time! I’m glad I was in the wedding!!

I’ll update everyone when the official photos come in! They’ll be amazing!

Post about my Sunday up soon!


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Rainy Weekend

This weekend was full of rain, pain, and…gain! Yes, I ended up having a fun weekend while surviving the constant drizzle.

On the way to a Modern Miracle gig, me and Tay stopped at the Longview Starbucks where I got a very terrible vanilla iced latte! I should know it was terrible since all I drank this summer were vanilla iced lattes so I’m practically a professional now! I must say Starbucks is just a lot of hype. I won’t totally down the place, because I know the worker–not the actual store–is to blame for my gross drink, but shouldn’t Star Bucks school at least teach their workers to stir the coffee/milk/syrup together before handing it off to the customer? I did pay almost $5.00 for the thing. ANYWAY…I didn’t mean to get so rude; it’s not like the coffee killed me–or even ruined my day in the least bit. =)

9-12-09 003(Click for MORE pics!)

As we got into Kilgore it, of course, was still raining (like it did all weekend) and the thought that kept running through my head was, “So…this is an OUTDOOR concert? At a park?” An outdoor concert at a park, it was–but the bands were set up underneath a really cool pavilion that shielded everything, nicely. The concert was hosted by DJ Thunder who really had on his heart to do ministries such as concerts and events. The night’s entertainment consisted of gospel, rap, and rock (and Modern Miracle–but we’ll just put them in the rock category, I guess) It was a fun evening despite the constant rain, and the rain was never really overbearing so we were fine. I met a lot of cool people who definitely had hearts for God. And there were definitely some characters, as well! One rapper–T.K. Star–was especially memorable. He had a very loud and crazy personality. He would come up to a person and start talking about his music, their music, ministry, God….he would go on and on and then before you could have a real conversation he would say, “I’m going to let you think about that.” and he would just walk away. It was so strange and funny. He was all over the place.

I suffered from an earache all night, on top of all the other pains of sickness, but I woke up Sunday morning just fine, so there was no complaining to my rainy concert! Goodness, though, the few photography skills I have apparently were lost with the sunny weather because I ended up deleting most of the photos from the show. Also I need an external flash and some lessons in taking night shots without runing the cool lighting effects. =) And photography lessons, period.

Charity--Click for more Photos

Charity--Click for more Photos

Our mini merch table

Our mini merch table

Our duct-tape mannequin

Our duct-tape mannequin


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Presidential Coin; no monetary value

Right about now I’m sitting on the porch of the local coffee shop.Joe Bucks, sipping the last of my vanilla iced latte and browsing facebook (and taking webcam shots of myself, obviously).

So this weekend was a very fun one–Modern Miracle did some more recording with Michael Martin and Charity and I spent most of the day sewing. Our brainstorming process for our recycled/DIY business is coming along fairly well. Saturday we focused on trying out the ‘blue jeans into purse’ idea. In general, this idea seems very juvenile to me simple because it’s just not my style, but we’re coming up with some great ideas to sort of sophisticate the idea so it’s not so childish. It was fun finally getting to work together instead of just talking about it. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the designs we’re working on!!

So, this summer I did a lot of freelance design work for TSTC–I created a TSTC pole-banner and did a lot of painting and currently I’m designing some t-shirts. Apparently I’ve done enough to gain some recognition because the TSTC president wants to give me a presidential coin–which is a high honor (I think…my mom has two of them) And apparently they want the newspaper to be there and such. Well, of course part of me is screaming,  “Hey, a scholarship would be nice!!”, but I’m actually happy to recieve some type of recognition! And who knows…maybe getting my name out there will give me some more work!!

I thank God for showing me design…I really do love it and want it to be my career! Although I’m never really overly thrilled to go to class, my fall schedule is packed with multimedia classes, so that should be fun (up until finals when I’ll have so many projects to do!) I’m so happy that I’m almost finished with my degree! This summer trigonometry class marked the end of any basic, required class, so now I am focusing only on classes that pertain to my major! Ten more classes to go and then I’m done! I graduate! haha…I know, I’m getting a little ahead of myself…ten more classes means two or three more semesters, but hey, that’s really not that long.


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Another Summer Ended

Well the summer holiday is coming, once again, to a close and so much happened to me during these few months!

It has definitely been a learning experience for me. I took three classes this summer—which I won’t get into since I have one more final tomorrow and then that will be the end (!)—so I was living on campus; poor, lazy, and busy!

Let’s start with “poor.”

I designed a few flyers for concerts this summer for design experience and a little money. Of course I love designing so this was tons of fun for me. However, one person gave me a check with a large amount of money that ended up bouncing, leaving my bank account in the negative numbers! They paid me back within a matter of days, but by that time the bank had added a $25 fee for every money transaction I made due to insufficent funds.

For weeks I got by on next to nothing and dipping into my loan refund and worked at the school whenever I could! So, thank God that is taken care of now, although I still have hardly anything! I’m grateful for what I DO have because it’s just fine for all I need!

Now onto the “lazy.”

AHHH! I have been so lazy this summer!!! But I’m FINALLY almost back on track–my roommates and I cleaned the apartment and my room is fluctuating between clean and what I like to call ‘lived in.’

I’ve been so busy this summer! Classes, work, mangaing a band, bridesmaid duties, designing, Florida trip, mini-tours, church camp! It’s been such a fun summer spent with friends and family and meeting new people! It seems I’m always doing something–never stopping! But I’ve enjoyed it that way and wouldn’t change this summer at all!

The summer was a blast and it has got me really ready for fall and the fall semester! Of course, living in Texas with our crazy weather, probably shouldn’t hold my breath for the fall season to roll around…It’ll cool off a bit, but East Texas weather is only predictable in that you KNOW it’ll be unpredictable!

Speaking of fall, though—I am very ready to start wearing my fall clothes. Those are my favorite kinds of clothes! And my summer wardrobe is tired. Or rather, I’m growing weary of summer attire—give me a great cardigan or cute dress—and boots! lol