Category Archives: Me Myself and Abby

Thoughts and studies on the human that is Abby (aka, Me :P)

Becoming an Unapologetic Taylor Swift Fan

Two years ago, I was sitting on the couch amidst the chaos of Meltonshire Christmas. My dear friend Suz, whom I used to follow around as a starry eyed ten year old when she 49814843_2295867917315745_5896481448726102016_nwas a colorful, outgoing thirteen year old, was talking about the upcoming Taylor Swift Reputation Tour. I had recently begun listening to the new album and was finding that I truly enjoyed it. I hadn’t listened to Taylor’s tunes consistently for a few years, but was finding myself getting pumped in the morning by this new album. Then Suz, the best gift-giver I have ever met in my whole life, offered to buy me, her sister-in-law and our Taylor-Swift-expert friend tickets to the stop in Tampa. With Suz living in Orlando year round, it was the perfect excuse to go down and visit my “sister”, while getting to experience my first actual concert. Let me tell you, committing to a trip down to Florida eight months in the future was one of the most spontaneous choices I’ve ever made in my life, but a choice I will forever be grateful for.

 


Here’s the deal with Taylor for me: I’ve always liked her. I remember in being in sixth
50255259_2281043228805055_4998270209354629120_ngrade and singing “Love Story” at a karaoke event, and some of the first songs I learned on guitar were ones that she had written. But as seventh grade rolled around, Taylor Swift became less cool. The “popular” girls now rolled their eyes at the country/pop singer. Me, being a confused and very nerdy middle schooler, began to listen to the voices of my peers’ opinions, and in turn, began to listen to the music I enjoyed less and less. Even when I started homeschooling and went to community college, I found myself floating away from the music I liked because of how other people talked about the artists. I was focused on others’ opinions instead of forming my own.

 

Fast forward to August 2018. The anticipation of the trip made my heart race every time 49343010_2270982129815967_3729155219322306560_n.jpg
my brain wandered to it. Samantha and I made crafting runs to create my “Feelin’ so Gatsby” look. I have the “Reputation” album on repeat as I drive between jobs. I’m scrolling through hashtags previous concert goers had used to see a glimpse of what I was in for. Still though, I’m not an open fan. Truth be told, when certain people asked me what I was most excited about for summer break, I would be slightly embarrassed to say, “I’m so hyped to see Taylor Swift live!” A part of my brain was sent back to middle school, where girls who set all the trends that flooded the halls declared that only weirdos listened to that stuff.

 

 


50223045_275772673116648_5145700386333523968_nAmong my close gal pals on the trip though, I felt truly safe to be open. My friend Marri is one of my biggest role models in being an unapologetic fan. I swear, this woman knows Taylor Swift better than most people know themselves. And here’s the thing about Marri: she doesn’t give a crap what you think of her, at least, she’s led me to believe this is the case. For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been loud and proud about her opinions, and people listen to her due to her confidence. She probably doesn’t know this, but her unyielding passion and exuberance for the things she enjoys has inspired me, especially as I enter further into my 20’s (Marri, if you’re reading this, hi, you’re great and I love you).

 


Florida was a dream. The Dampa Squad (yes, I meant to type Dampa, not Tampa; if you’ve been to Florida you understand why) graced the streets of DisneyWorld in mouse 39186571_2100793379973259_8932990053886459904_oears and glitter, enjoyed the wonders of a moon sand beach (right before getting caught in a rainstorm), and dressed to the nines at the Taylor Swift tour. Throughout the week, I grew relationships with girls I had known and looked up to for years and grew new friendship with a gal who quickly become a wonderful counsel (Hi, Caileigh). And let me tell you, I cannot do justice to the emotions I felt while at that concert. Lyrics that I didn’t even know I knew by heart were being shouted as I danced like no one was watching. There were multiple times words from songs brought tears to my eyes as I reflected on how far I’ve come in life. As dumb as it can sound, going to the concert made me realize I wasn’t alone in my appreciation of this talented artist.

 

img_3639The semester following the concert was full of extreme highs and lows. Through successes and heartbreak, I was beginning to listen to Taylor’s music consistently as I once had. Her words inspired me and pushed me forward. In the midst of a breakup, I did such a stereotypical thing that makes even me chuckle now: I began playing music again. Being a busy theatre and animation student, playing piano or guitar was an activity that I never made time for. During a much needed snow day though, I picked up my precious green guitar and spent an hour playing some of my favorite Taylor Swift songs. Let me tell you, my fingers hurt like HECK after not playing for months, but the joy my soul felt after making music was infectious to my overall mood.

 

Here’s my overarching point to this ramble: don’t let other people’s opinions keep you 50248155_2195147897414057_8624359927403511808_nfrom enjoying the things that make you feel alive. There’s always gonna be someone who thinks what you enjoy is silly (let me refer you to my Twilight post for a direct quote). However, we are all created unique, including our different interests and passions. Can you imagine if all of us liked all the same exact things? UGH! So boring! As you dive deeper into 2019, I challenge you to be unapologetic in what you love; you never know how it could affect people. For example, while sitting in a coffee shop furiously typing this post to meet my deadline, I ended up wandering around to give my brain a break. This led to a conversation with a lovely barista, who I not only found out liked Taylor Swift, but Doctor Who as well, a show near and dear to my heart. I’ve decided that we should be best friends. Be proud of your passions, my friends. You never know when they could possibly change your life.

 

Until Next Time,

 

Abby

 

Some of my favorite tunes:

“New Years Day”

“All Too Well”

“Love Story”

“Mean”

“Long Live”

 

 

Thoughts on Twilight…About Ten Years Late

“There’s things you don’t do after a break up: 1) Start doing drugs 2) Start smoking                       3) Read f***ing Twilight.” -A dear friend of mine in the middle of a snow storm

 

Unless you were living under a rock in the mid-2000’s, you probably heard the term, “twilight” thrown around all the time. It wasn’t because society had suddenly found interest in this specific time of day; it was due to the wild popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s romance series Twilight that had recently begun being adapted to film. I was ten years old when the first film was released, but I remember clearly my middle school friends all gawking and fangirling over either the guy who played the vampire or the guy who played the werewolf as the movies gained popularity. Fast forward to my almost 21-year-old self, who has just recently completed the book series and has a few thoughts on this polarizing saga.

48406840_1926730457443444_6715674713009422336_nFirst though, a bit more background. I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents who knew I was an avid reader that inhaled stories. However, as Meyer’s books began to rise in the ranks of pop culture, so did the Christian Blogger Moms rise to write against the story. The wrote posts saying that people shouldn’t be reading these books because they had *gasp* vampires in them (sparkly ones at that). My mom, wanting to do her best for her dorky middle schooler, didn’t let me read the book series. Personally, I had no problems with this. I wasn’t into romance and was more interested in my growing love for Star Wars. Ironically, after letting me read all the Left Behind books (which by the way, REALLY INTENSE), my parents allowed me to read Harry Potter as I would avoid reading the vampire books. So I guess, Thanks Stephenie, cause I really like the child wizard books.

IMG_3785.JPGRecently though, my mom decided to start listening to Twilight books on the Libby app, which is this nifty little thing that my local library is linked through. After listening to her talk about them for a few weeks, I rolled my eyes and started reading the first book before bed. Now, let me remind you all I am a full time college student and was working three jobs at the time when I started reading this, so it wasn’t until about two weeks after starting the book that I was able to focus on it over Thanksgiving Break. I had a long car ride and was able to finally get the idea as to why so many people liked the series. In an odd way, the mediocre romance between the klutzy human girl and the attractive vampire dude was fun and a way to let my brain relax and enjoy reading for fun again, which I haven’t gotten to do in a hot minute.

As finals creeped closer and life kept throwing massive curve balls at me, I began listening to the audio books for the last three books. Let me tell you, when you’re spending hours on end at a computer animating or walking about a half mile to the fine arts building every day, it’s nice to have an engaging story to listen to through the day. Over the course of three weeks, I managed to complete the series and I can honestly say I don’t feel like I wasted brain cells on these books. Yes, the writing isn’t the greatest; we all know this. But it was fun and something I was able to use as an escape from what seemed to be constant chaos around me. And a lot of fun things came from me reading the books in my relationships.

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  • I was able to bond with my roommate over how frustrated I would get over fictional characters.
  • I was able to make one of my buddies laugh many times with my overview of the series.
  • My suite mates watched the first movie with me the day before a much needed snow day, and enjoyed a lovely pizza night while watching New Moon.
  • Making observations with my parents on the films, such as, “Wow, that CGI wolf truly is a better actor than the actual guy.”

 

Twilight is not a masterpiece. However, the themes of sacrificial love and the power a woman has truly were inspiring to both read and watch on screen. Granted, I am thankful I did not read these in my formative years. The obsessive love between Edward and Bella is *not* healthy in the dating stage of a relationship. Our culture is saturated with the idea of the “perfect partner.” Think of Jim in the hit TV show, The Office. He’s the dream guy, right? He’s funny, cute, charming, smart, chases after the girl he’s in love with… and has a script. People don’t talk like they do on screen or in books. There are times when we can get caught up in looking for the picture perfect match when we really need to be searching for the other flawed human being that can weather the storms of life with you faithfully. However, the love that Edward and Bella share is a love that should be strived for with your spouse. While it takes time to achieve, this love comes after intentionally learning the other person, through better or worse. On top of all this, Bella is not a damsel in distress. In all four books, she is the hero who always puts the needs of others above her own. She and Edward complement one another, working as a team when things get tough, but in Meyer’s narrative, the author shines a light on how powerful a woman can be. I feel that the books do a wonderful job of showing that a woman can be powerful while also working alongside a man, which is how God intended us to function in our married lives.

There’s so many more words I could write about this series, but I will choose to leave it here for now: a fun adventure I dove into during a hard time in my life. And hey, finding biblical truths from books about blood sucking dudes that sparkle in the sunlight? Not a bad way to spend Christmas break. Twilight made me excited about reading again, and I look forward to spending more time enjoying a pastime that has shaped me into the person I am today.  

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

P.S. Alice is the best character in the whole dang series and I will fight anyone who tells me otherwise.

Sick Thoughts from January

Well hey, blog I haven’t touched in forever. How you doin’? I was looking through a different failed project and found this little diddy that I feel I need to reread over an over again so I don’t work myself to the point of this sickness again. I hope to be back in the blogging game for starting this month. There’s a lot to be said 🙂 Enjoy!

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Proof that I am alive ft. my Doggo and Bunny Filter Abby 

 

 

Having a doctor tell me that I need to actually rest for a few days is one of the worst things. I have stuff to do. I was supposed to teach 10 lessons today. I still ended up going to Black Box rehearsal tonight, even though my parents were very much against it. There are just certain things you have to do, right?

Okay, it’s not one of the worst things ever. Being prescribed laziness for a few days is probably what I need. BUT OH MY WORD, I HATE BEING LAZY. Letting my body heal is important, but I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. Or if Bear would just tell me where that stupid time machine was, I could jump ahead to the “after” point of this sickness.

Literally, it feels like someone is tap dancing in my head. Maybe Maren got bored of my kitchen and decided to shrink down and tap dance on my brain. It’s to the point where my brain is so tired that I feel asleep, didn’t finish my train of thought, and decided to finish this page even though it’s the next day because I’m stubborn.

This honestly is the best week for me to be sick. I don’t HAVE to teach (even though I really want to because money), and classes don’t start until next Tuesday. There have been times where friends have told me to learn to “go with the flow” and just let things happen at times. It can be hard having easy going friends at times, because they function better when there aren’t plans. I, on the other hand, need plans to function properly. It just how I’m wired. So, when something like this happens and I am in a position where I can’t have plans, it’s very weird.

You know what the weirdest thing about congestion is? When you’re so stuffed up in your ears that you can’t balance well. Like, God wired our bodies in a way that if one thing is off, it throws off the whole production. Ah, look at that, I’ve just confirmed the body of Christ. If one person is off their game, it can affect the other people around them that make up the Body. Neat how spiritual revelations can come like that.

Being forced to lay around is a good time. Being forced to lay around is a good time. Being forced to lay around is a good time. The more I say it to myself, the more I begin to believe it. I guess I have to look at it from the perspective that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. I don’t think a temple should have snot all over the walls of it. In order to make it a place that is good for God to dwell in me, I need to take care of it and let it repair itself. Ha, that’s kind of a funny mental picture. Picture this: little men like the ones who worked in the temples in Jesus’s time going around my sinuses wiping off the gunk. Then there are a few others laying out blankets on my brain in hopes that I’ll fall asleep. Plus, there are a few others sending the vitamins and medicine I’ve taken to different parts of my body to try and heal it.

I’m glad God gave us a sense of humor. Some of us are gifted with more of it than others, but I’m glad that He created an overall idea of humor for us to enjoy, even when we feel like crap.

Dear 2017 Abby

Dear 2017 Abby, 
At the moment I’m writing this, I’m in a Lincoln log motel and then ball just dropped in New York City. After scrolling through Facebook and seeing the letter that 2015 me wrote, I thought I might as well continue the tradition. So, here’s a very tired, possibly incoherent letter to you, 2017 Abby.  
This was a rough year. It was a year of loss. It was a year of stress. It was a year of confusion. But Abby, it was still a great year. 
You played two Disney characters, one of them being a role your child hood CYT hero played too. You got way more confident in dance. You finally went to Disney World and cried all over Mulan, Sulley, Peter Pan and Belle. You saw two Broadway tour shows (one twice, and both of those times in the front row). You learned to shoot film and took great classes that made you a better artist. You went to a different continent to love on the most precious kids in the world. You got another C in math, but you ended with a 3.76 GPA. You GRADUATED! 
You also continued to love people. You have an understanding that life is short and can be gone in an instant. There is no time to waste. While there was hurt, there is nothing to gain from shutting out the people who you love. This year, especially the second half of it, you thought a lot about Houston. Remember how he inspired you to do your best to spread love to everyone? Keep that in mind for your last few months of CYT and for the rest of your life. 
By this time next year, you have most likely finished your first semester at whatever school you landed at. I know you don’t know where you’re going at the moment, but that’s okay. It’s gonna work out; things always do. Keep working hard. You’re gonna make it!!!
This year, you lost Grandma Wolff. You had wonderful people around you to carry some of the weight while you were an ocean away from your family (keep Avery around forever). Be willing to be there for others like your Romania team was for you. Also, don’t ever lose sight of the legacy that Susan Wolff left to you. Strive to be a Woman of God like her; she was incredible. 
2017 Abby, I hope you have joy that flows through your whole being. You are loved by a wonderful God who always has your back. Life can be messy and crazy, but He’s got you. Keep at it, girl 🙂 

2016 Abby 

Cheers to 2017 🎉

Not Going Away

The last few months, I’ve been thinking about some of the choices I’ve made and where they have brought me. A big choice I’ve been milling over is the fact that I stayed at community college for one more year after graduating with my AA instead of going off to a four year school. I chose to stay. I chose to do two more semesters of classes that would help me when I transfer and one more year of CYT, the theatre company I’ve been a part of since 2010. There have been times where I wonder where I would be at if I had left this Fall to start my BFA. If it would have been better for me to have left.

In complete transparency, the past few months have been very hard. There is grief that looms in my family because their are faces that aren’t around the table at holiday get togethers. There is the pressure of making the right choices about school. There is worry of losing friends.There is the battle of feeling like I’m not a good Christian. A part of me has wondered whether or not life would have been better if I had not taken this “grade-less year.”

And then I remember the great things that have happened these past few months.

Being cast in a dream role that one of my childhood CYT idols played

Walking around the mall with a blue face

Receiving a very special award that was voted on by my fellow cast members from a show that is very  dear to my heart. 

Getting to spend time with my “sister” who has been gone from KC

Seeing my best friend play basketball during her senior year

Late night laughing fits with some of my favorite people

Coffee runs before rehearsals

Leading a group of energetic and awesome sixth grade girls

Seeing a Broadway show tour (twice) in the front row and getting to hug a CYT alum who has the coolest job ever 

Worshiping with precious voices

Taking photos in between shows with one of the most hilarious and beautiful people I know

Getting cast as a silly old lady who poisons old men

Steak and Shake with fellow cast members and awkward waiters after Black Box rehearsals

Encouraging a 14 year old to, “Get that tiara, because you’re a princess”

Doing spotlights with my brother

Being woken up at 6:47am to go get coffee at “Luke’s Diner”

Taking my dog on lots of car rides

Having “squad” nights with wonderful girls

Sitting on top of the kitchen table to get art homework done

Playing a large role in setting up four gallery showings at my school

Helping younger CYTer’s with music during Joe Show rehearsals

So many rounds of QuipLash

Having important conversations

Getting Starbucks in the morning before school/work with my dad

Watching the Gilmore Girl’s special all day with my mom

Binge watching Gravity Falls with my awesome family

And other countless adventures and memories with amazing people

Has life been perfect? No. Has there been hurt? Yes. But oh my goodness, how great is our God in the fact that He gives new beginnings every single day (and sometimes throughout the day as well). I have made mistakes. There are things I wish I could do over. But I am confident in the fact that God is in control. While there are times I move my eyes away from Him and I worry about what tomorrow holds, I am thankful that God has a tight hold of me and will never let me go. There are many paths with can take in life, and I’m glad I chose to take a detour.

Thank you to all who made 2016 brighter; cheers to 2017!

Until Next Time,

Abby

Things I Do While I’m Sick

I hate being sick. I don’t think there are too many people who like being sick, but I can’t stand it when it happens to me. Slowing down is not my thing, so when I am forced to because my body isn’t working, it’s a huge bummer. This last month has been full of extreme ups and downs, and despite my constant use of oils and hydration, I finally crashed. But, in light of the fact that I have the slight feeling of being hit by a bus, I have learned a few habits that I have when I’m sick.

1)Binge watch the cartoons of my childhood.

Whenever I take naps to try and sleep off the sick, I usually have some form of Netflix show playing in the background. I have found the Jimmy Neutron movie, Dragontales, and the ever classic Veggietales, and I have no shame. Thank you, Netflix, for fueling my exhausted nostalgia.

2) Start really sappy love-story books.

I’m more of an action adventure book reader, but every now and then, I’ll start a super sappy lovey dovey book. The thing is, most of the time when I’m in the mood to read these is when I’m sick. I dunno if there’s some deeper meaning behind this, but it is what it is.

3) Decide that I’m better and do something dumb.

This could be anything from singing musicals on the way home from work when I have a sore throat to playing a vigorous game of basketball.  I get these weird bursts of energy that make me think, “Wow, I’m not sick anymore! Let’s jump back into life!” I don’t wanna miss out on the fun, you know?

4) Realize that everything was a lie and feel gross again.

It’s a vicious cycle. I feel great for about 10-20 minutes and then I crash hard. You think I would have learned by now, but I assure you, the next burst of energy I get, you can bet I’ll be belting the soundtrack from Hamilton or practicing for a rematch in HORSE with my Dad.

5) Write a dumb blog post instead of a cool and/or interesting piece of writing.

Yep.

 

Sometimes, you just have to chill out and let your body fix itself. Maybe someday, I’ll learn.

 

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

Grandma Wolff

It seems fitting to break my six month leave of blogging by talking about my sweet Grandma who, at the time I’m writing this, has spent eight glorious days with Jesus. Though, knowing her, she would rather me talk about my missions trip over talking about her, because that’s just the way she was: always diverting the conversation away from herself and back onto you. I can’t express to you how strange it is that she is gone. Over the past few years, I’ve dealt with a lot of friends and distant family passing on, but nothing has hurt as much as this. But, though there is a tremendous amount of grief that is weighing on my heart, there is a sense of peace at the same time.

I do have to talk about my Romania trip a little bit after all. I had known the Sunday night of our trip (Sunday morning Kansas City time) that both Grandma Wolff and my Great Grandmother weren’t doing well. At our team meeting that night, I asked for prayer for both of these wonderful ladies to be out of pain and peace for my Dad, who was the only son and grandson in town to deal with it all. As I prayed to myself as I lulled off to sleep, I prayed not only for their pain to be relieved, but also that no one would die while I was out of the country.

I felt very selfish praying like this, but this had been my biggest fear before leaving on my trip. A week before we left, our team had it’s final meeting to practice and get all the last minute details. Up until 10:30am that day, I had felt great! I was so excited to travel and see God work. I had had no worries about anything up until that point. But an hour and a half into the meeting while we were sitting in small groups, a spirit of fear that I had never experienced before washed over me. One of the adult leaders was sharing her testimony, and part of it was that her father had died when she was 13 years old. I began to have horrible thoughts about something bad happening to my dad while I was gone, and my thoughts then shifted to thinking about Grandma dying while I was away. After the meeting, I went home and sobbed; I had never been that scared.

Over the next few days, I talked to God and ultimately gave my fear over to Him: if something happened while I was gone, there was nothing I could do about it. God has His own timing. A week after my panicked episode, I had my graduation party, where many friends and family, including Grandma and Grandpa, came to stop by and congratulate me. As I laid in my bunk in Romania, I thought about how I week before, I had hugged her and taken a photo with her. She was gonna be fine; we’d had scares before. I finally drifted off the sleep, still praying for pain to be relieved, but to please Lord,  let me see my Grandma again.

The next morning, the fear that had been crippling to me came true. I woke up to hear one of my team leaders talking quietly to my sweet friend Avery, and I knew something was wrong. When the leader left, I sat up, trying to decide whether to call my mom or just get the news there. I ended up going with the second. I asked my sweet friend Avery, “Who’s gone?” She climbed up to my bunk and told me the news. She held me and together, we cried. Looking back on this moment, Avery reflected a lot of what Grandma’s life’s work was all about. Grandma was the sort of person who hurt with her friends and was there for people in need. In dark times, she was a light to those who needed it.

Calling my parents was hard, because I realized that the first part of my fear had come true. My dad was the one at home helping my Grandpa deal with the passing of his mother. He was hurting deeply, more deeply than I could imagine. After hanging up the phone, the only thing I wanted to do was go home, but I was an ocean away and wasn’t heading home for three more days. Thankfully, Grandma’s loving spirit was reflected in my teammates yet again. As we fellow shipped together, friends were there to cheer me up and distract me from the many negative emotions I was feeling. Romania is a beautiful place, and I knew that Grandma would be mad if I let her ruin my last few days enjoying God’s beautiful creation.

Looking back on the fear that I felt before the trip, I know that the fear wasn’t from God, but I do believe that God used that episode to prepare my heart to let go. A lot of our human experience is about letting go. In fact, Jesus said to be able to follow Him, you are to sell everything, take up your cross and follow His lead. Death for those who know God is wonderful; it’s us left on Earth that deal with the bad part of death. We’re the ones who have to live on while our loved one is living a pain and sadness free eternity. It’s bittersweet: we are left with a hole that can’t be filled by anyone else, but we can find peace in knowing that they are enjoying the presence of Jesus.

While there have been moments of anger that have come to my mind, they have been followed my moments of thankfulness. The thoughts of “I wish I had talked to her longer; hugged her more; spent just a few more minutes with her” are followed by thoughts of joyful memories that help relieve the heartache. I am thankful for a God who shares in out pain. It’s okay to be angry and sad; Jesus had those emotions too. But I have comfort in the fact that Jesus is also the giver of joy and will lift us up out of our darkest moments. While I will never understand the will of God, I know that He had me where I was and where she was for a specific purpose. I don’t need to know all the details because He’s already got the rest of them figured out (though, there are times I want to know those details, in which cases, God is ever patient with me).

Susan Wolff’s life shaped the lives of my Dad, my Mom, my brother, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins, teachers, thousands of students, church goers, Nebraska Furniture Mart humans, friends from missions trips, and me. It’s not too often that you meet a woman like her. A word that was said a lot at her funeral was “legacy”, which, man, she has a great one. It is the job now of us left here to complete our own races to carry on the Christ like love that Grandma had for others. Knowing Susan Wolff as a Grandma was one of the greatest gifts God could have given to me, and I pray everyday to live a life like hers.

 

Philippians 1:20-21

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

Until Next Time,

 

Abby

 

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Below, I have added the blurb I shared at her funeral.

 

How does one begin to describe the life of Susan Wolff? Some called her a friend, a sister, or Mom, but I had the great honor of calling her “Grandma”. In fact, I was the first to call her Grandma. From birth to my college graduation, Grandma was there as a beacon of light that couldn’t be replaced by anyone else. Over the past 18 years, I was influenced by her many talents, her strength, and most importantly, her Godly personality.

Grandma was one of the most giving people you could ever meet. As I was growing up, if I expressed interest in something, she found a way to help me succeed in it. When I decided that I wanted to be a writer, she gave me my first laptop, which I wrote dozens of stories on. She also gave her time, going to see almost all of my musical theatre productions and even taking me to see the Broadway tour of War Horse for my birthday. Between the seven “Wolff Pups”, she made sure to have special moments that we would remember for years to come. If there was a way for her to give, she would do it with a joyful heart.

Photography was one of Grandma’s favorite things. At any family gathering or event, you could bet that she had a camera in her hands. Over the years, I have received many mini digital cameras from her, and it was always a thrill to get to use Grandma’s Big Fancy Camera. The love for photos that Grandma inspired was passed down to her daughter-in-law, my mom Rachel, who in turn passed it along to me. As I study photography in college, I can’t help but remember the times when Grandma handed her camera off to my 13-year-old self to let me start exploring the fun she experienced behind the lens. It’s a joy to capture memories, and Grandma was always good at making sure those moments got caught.

The most important thing that Grandma passed along to me was her Christian heritage. As far back as I can remember, I can hear Grandma singing praises as she drove down the highway or bustled around the kitchen. Man, she loved to sing. I know that she has to have been doing it much longer than I’ve been on this Earth, because my dad, Chad, does the same thing. Every Christmas, she would have all the kids sit down and read the story of Jesus’s birth, and every year without fail, she would say, “And that was only the beginning.” Her passion for mission work inspired me to pursue a life that is a light to others, whether stateside or in Romania. Her love for Jesus was what fueled her strength to battle her sickness and encourage others to live life to the fullest. I’ve yet to find someone who loved Jesus more than Grandma.

There are thousands of other memories that I could share about my Grandma, some including precious stuffed dog Pepper when I was a baby, matching Oreos in the hospital while waiting for my brother to be born, playing Veggie tales games on her school computers, waving at her in the stands as I got ready to graduate, and the many, many Silver Dollar City trips. But nothing is more important than the Godly legacy she has left her on Earth that I and everyone who was touched by her life have the privilege of carrying on. I feel very blessed to be one of the select few that has the gift of calling Susan Wolff their Grandma. I hope to live a life like hers as I grow in my friendship with Christ in the time that God has set out for me.  I know for a fact that if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Leap Day 2016 Time Capsule

It’s not every year that you get an extra 24 hours! As I was driving to school this morning, I was listening to a radio show where a mom was talking about how she had made a Leap Day Time Capsule for her kids back in 2012. So, in spirit of this Leap Day, I thought I would make my own time capsule of sorts on my blog so that when I’m 21 (goodness sakes) in four years, I’ll be able to look back and see what’s changed and/or stayed the same. Feel free to steal my list if you’d like!

2016 Abby’s Leap Day List

Favorite Color(s): Green and Purple

Favorite TV Show: Right now, The Office

Favorite Movie: Star Wars

Favorite Musical: HAMILTON

Favorite bible verse: 1 Timothy 4:12

Favorite show I’ve been in: Tie between Mulan and Godspell

Favorite Class: Dark Room Photography this semester, but Design last Fall was amazing.

Favorite Teacher: Carlos Bass

Favorite art medium: Graphite and really good colored pencils

Favorite show you saw this year? Newsies

Currently reading: “Trust me, I’m Lying” and “Taming of the Shrew”

Best place you’ve traveled: San Diego (TAKE ME BACK)

Education so far: About to finish my associate’s degree at Maple Woods this spring.

Biggest achievement?: Almost finishing my associates degree before I turn 18

Top 5 favorite pieces of art you’ve done?

Lowest time?: October 2014-July 2015

Highest time?: New friendships during Mulan

Present Goals? Finish raising money for my missions trip; Get my portfolio ready for art school; figure out exactly how I’m going to get my BFA; not fail College Algebra

 

Favorite thing about Abby?: I haven’t given up and I won’t quit now 🙂

A lot has happened in my 17 years of life, and I can’t wait to see how much will happen until the next Leap Day comes around. Treasuring the time we have is so important, and I hope to use everyday I have to the best of my ability.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

Until Next Time,

Abby

How to Feel a Little Bit Better in 1 Minute or Less

This past week and a half has been really weird. I’ve been lacking motivation and have been having some really weird moody spells. Sometimes, when I get down, I like to sit down and think about all the good things that I have going on. By having that list, I’m able to see how many awesome things are going on, and that often chases away some of my down-in-the-dumps thoughts.

Today, I decided to set a timer for a minute to see how many good things I could think of, as opposed to thinking about my soul-crushing homework. Here’s what I wrote:

Seven Brides Rehearsals

Hanging out with Suz

New Dresses

Finding a good new book

Finally getting my print right in photography

Rewatching the Clone Wars with Grant

Toby being home from the vet

Ice Cream

Starbucks Mornings

Jesus Time in the Morning

Carlos’s Backwards To-Do lists

In just 60 seconds, I was able to come up with 11 things that were positive in my life. While things on my list or your list might not make sense to other people, knowing for yourself that there is still light during icky times is really important. Give this a try yourself! You don’t even have to do it for a minute; try 30 seconds to get yourself started. Or, set more time aside to write down things that make you thankful to be alive 🙂

Now, I’m back to the constant battle of Abby vs. Homework. Hoping that the homework won’t beat me 😛

Until Next Time,

Abby

Thoughts I Have While Practicing Piano

After playing piano for twelve years, there comes a point where you are able to just sit down and work on a new song with ease. Then, there are those other times were you want to throw your piano out the window because the song you’re working on has five key changes on every page. During my practice sessions, there are usually a few reoccurring thoughts that run through my head, and sometimes come out of my mouth as I mutter angrily as my dog looks at me like I’m crazy.

 

And what better way to illustrate these thoughts than with Hamilton? 🙂

 

“Aw, this looks easy!”

It’s probably in the Key of C at the beginning. False hope. It’s always false hope.

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“Shoot, octaves.”

My hands are small; octaves are hard.

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“Oh right, there’s three flats.”

Everything now and then, you forget, especially after you’ve already changed keys twice.

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“YEAH I GOT THIS!”

When I get the first page down of an eleven page song.

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“I’M THE WORST MUSICIAN EVER!”

When I can’t get the fourth page down of an eleven page song.

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“Why am I even doing this?”

When the music is no longer pretty.

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“Well, I guess it isn’t that bad.”

When someone says what I’m playing sounds nice.

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“YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!”

When I finally finish a song.

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Sometimes practicing can be a real pain, but it pays off in the end 🙂

 

 

Until Next Time,

Abby