A Semester of Blessings and Stress): One More Step To The Finish Line

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WOW, where do I even begin with talking about my LAST Fall semester at Greenville College? It is hard to believe that I have been a GC student for seven semesters now and that in a month I will headed back into it with my last semester EVER as a Greenville College student. I decided to write a blog about this semester instead of doing a LONG Facebook post and this way I can write a little more and add some pretty great photos that were taken over the course of this semester. I will say this has probably been the most difficult semester I have ever faced and yet it was also the semester that blessed me the most. So let’s start at the beginning, or as Julie Andrews would say, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

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House Mates for Senior Year

The picture above shows the three incredibly talented musicians and friends who I got to live with this semester. It was a lot different living in a house this semester, but it was and is probably the best thing because it is a house and just has that atmosphere that makes everything seem better, plus we don’t live in a dorm, so that is a perk, haha. I have enjoyed living with these three this semester and even though I haven’t been able to hang out with them as much as I would have liked to I know that I am able to go to them and they will be there. It is sad knowing Matt will not be returning for our last semester because he graduated this semester, but I am looking forward to seeing where our last semester takes us and I am really grateful to live with people who are not only understanding and awesome, but share the same passion for music.

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My COR 101 Class

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TAs for COR 101 2015

Above is one of the most rewarding blessings that I was able to experience this semester. I was a TA for COR 101 which is a program/course through Greenville College that everyone must take in order to graduate and there is a series of four classes. COR 101 is designed for freshmen and 10 others, plus myself were chosen to be TAs(Teaching Assistants) or SAs(Student Assistants) and I was assigned to be with Professor Jessica Evaul who was given the Pre-Med, Pre…, Bio/Chem majors/students who were interested in the subject and I was freaking out a little on the inside because I knew and continue to know not much about the subject. Over the summer I had the privilege of being a part of the first ever Science and Engineering Camp at GC and that gave me more confidence going into this because I didn’t know much then, but I was still able to make an impact. This class was such a blessing to me this semester, they worked so hard and that made me want to work just as hard to make sure that they knew that they were important and that we appreciated them and the work they were producing. I did not know how it was going to be when I first started during NSO, but once we all bonded over the NSO trip in St. Louis I felt like I got an understanding of who they were and how their personalities went and I just knew from that day that I was really going to like this class. This was my first time being a TA and it was one of the best things about this semester and I was able to learn a lot from them and how a classroom really looks from the teacher’s perspective and gave me a lot more respect to my professors and past teachers because it is not easy and I realize how fortunate I am to go to Greenville College where the professors show an extreme amount of grace and love. One of my favorite days of COR 101 was when I was given the opportunity to teach and that was personal for me because I got to talk about being vulnerable and being okay with not being okay. I took a little bit of that lesson from Girl Meets World, but that just means it made it even better. But the fact that I had students who got something out of it and also to have had students who wanted to learn and get to know one another was incredible. One more thing about this whole experience that made everything worth it and just touched me was one day I was physically and emotionally not okay and it showed badly and throughout the day I got an overwhelming amount of texts from my students who genuinely cared and one even went as far to take me to get ice cream to talk and just take my mind off things and that just showed me that I must be doing something right to make these students care and I just appreciated them so much and I will miss having them in class, but the nice thing is that I now am able to see them and whatnot as a friend and that is pretty darn cool.

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Girl Meets World Lesson

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COR 101 Moments

Vespers is the next thing I would like to talk about because after being a part of Vespers for the past three years (one year being on Welcoming Staff and two years being on Cabinet as the Welcoming Coordinator) to this year being one of the executive leaders of Vespers as a whole, it is crazy to see this come to a full circle and I could not have been anymore blessed to have been able to work alongside the people who I have been a apart of it all this semester. We each bring something different and new to the table and yet we are all such a sassy and fun family that just clicks and I think when we started out at our retreat in the beginning of NSO, I had this feeling that this was going to a be a great year for Vespers and that we as a cabinet were going to be close and I could not have been anymore right. I love these people and I love being a leader on campus because it allows me to give back in a way to the community so they can start to have an experience with Vespers the way I did. But seriously, I love these people to death they all have become a part of my family and I am grateful for them, we are all there for one another and genuinely care about each other and I appreciate all the long hours and work they each put in to making Vespers so great.

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Vespers Fall of 2015

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Music Opportunities for the Fall of 2015

Music has played a HUGE part in my life and this semester has been just music overload for me and I have loved every second of it. This summer as some may know Carrie Underwood shared one of my videos on her Facebook and Twitter pages and that gave me a platform and it was incredible. When I got back to Greenville College once the summer ended I was not really feeling like myself when it came to music, I just stood back and just tried to find my voice again. It was a really weird period of time for me and I found my groove at the first open mic night. So I was not planning on going and then a friend was like come on out and listen if anything and so I went and stood in a corner and people were like, “Are you going to perform?” “You need to do a song.” And so a friend actually made me sign up and with my luck had it they ran out of time before they could get to me and inside I was feeling relieved because I had nothing planned and I don’t think it would have went very well. So they mentioned how those who were on the list who didn’t get a chance to sing would be on an overflow list for the next week. Which meant two things: 1) I would have to perform 2) I would have time to practice something that would hopefully be good enough to do live. I got together with one of my friends who was in a band with me the previous semester, Sami and we came up with a version of “Who You Are” by Jessie J and at that point I felt like that song was one of the most important songs to me because I was just in a weird funk and I could not get out of it. So I ended up practicing with her a lot and just wanting it to be perfect and so the night we performed it I was nervous because even though I performed every week with my band, EGC the previous semester, I haven’t done open mic night since my freshmen year and this was a whole new crowd. I get up there and I remember my mind just taking me away and just putting me in a place of feeling like this was my last song that I would ever sing again and so I gave it my best and the feedback was amazing. Little did I know based off that one performance the Blackroom Cafe and the Music Business group would offer me a show based off that song. At first I thought they were mistaken because originally to get a show you had to audition for it and I never did, so when they made it clear to me they wanted me after that song, I was just overjoyed and also a little panicked because in the past it was always through a class that I was able to perform, but this time it was ME and the focus would be on me and people would come for me and I am not one to like a lot of attention when it comes to stuff, so I was nervous, yet very humbled and honored that they wanted me. That night and also throughout that whole process I was able to work with a bunch of different musicians who are friends and I got to do it with One Voice, an extremely talented group of girls (Ariana, Kandis, India, and Ariel) and the friends who I knew I wanted to be a part of this night who helped me with the music side of things, as well of the encouragement I don’t think I could have done it without the help of Sami, Justin, Josh, and Vandes and even the musicians who helped out One Voice Jared, Jesse, and Bryson. It was just an incredible night and I just cannot express the feelings and emotions I felt that night, like those performances were some of my best and I still cannot believe that I was given that chance. But music has played a very big role this semester and I even got to cross something off my college bucketlist that I placed on there during my freshmen year and that was to sing at Midnight Breakfast and that was a whole new world of feelings and energy. Like it went by as if time was slowing down and yet still sped up all at the same time. That moment was incredible and I owe a HUGE thanks to #Currisma for allowing me the chance to sing with them.This whole year when it comes to music, it just makes me want to keep fighting to be in the music industry and to continue to have that drive and that fire to pursue it until I get where I want to or just wherever it is that I am suppose to be at. Greenville College has helped me so much with my confidence with music and from where I first started three years ago to now I can see my growth/progress and I know that I am not done and I want to keep going.

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Blackroom Cafe Show

One of the top honors that I was given this year was being nominated and then crowned Greenville College’s 2015 Homecoming King. I was shocked, I did not expect that at all, I was and still am kind of speechless because I just did not think that coming into this place three years ago that people would like me and that I would make an impact on people and this was such a honor that I cannot say thanks enough because it was such an incredible time and I got to just take it all in and just experience what it was all about. I kept saying to people, you really know how to spoil me and that Greenville College has been WAY TOO nice to me and this was just a reinstatement of that because I did not feel as if I deserved it and it was just a really kind and rewarding feeling that there are no words that could explain it all.

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Greenville College Homecoming Highlights 2015

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New Friendship Moments

This semester I have been extremely blessed to have such a wide variety of friendships and people in my life who have made it what it has been over the past few months. It is crazy to think that while I still have incredible friendships from past years, just how many new friendships I have formed this semester and how many of them already feel like they are family to me. When I was a freshmen many moons ago, there was a group of seniors who took me in under their wings and made me feel important and that I was cared for and going into my senior year this year I told myself and reminded myself how important it was that I needed to give back and I have to say I love, LOVE the freshmen class this year and I am so grateful to have gotten the chance to meet so many of them and become friends with them. I love that I am able to have them over and just get to hear their stories and their experiences with Greenville College and mix them into my group of friends I have had for a while now. There is a quote that says, “People change people.” and I fully 100% believe that and I love that while I am doing my best to make sure my friends are doing okay, I know that I can count on them to be there for me as well. We have such an amazing opportunity here at Greenville College that community is a focus and I know that word gets thrown around A LOT and it can be viewed as a negative when it is overused, but it is a blessing in itself that we are given this time to invest in one another and to make these friendships and relationships that will hopefully go on for years after we leave the campus we call home. Looking back, freshmen year I had such a tight group of friends and over the years it has changed and we have gone our ways, but we are still friends, just not as close and when I hear people talking about a #SQUAD I am just like I have not had that in a while and I think this semester I started to find my #SQUAD and it is great and also sad because I have one more semester left with them and who knows where we will end up. But I am taking this time and really focusing on them because these are the moments that I am going to want to remember and just take with me. I value my friendships and this semester has been just a HUGE blessing when it comes to friendships. I love being able to do so many different things with people and still have that time where we just sit and talk about life and just everything.

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Friendship Moments

As this semester brought blessing upon blessings to my life, it also brought some challenges for me. Looking back at all my semesters here at Greenville College this semester is probably the most challenging and stressful semesters I have faced, especially academically. I do not think I have ever felt so behind in classes before, and with that being said makes me even more thankful that I chose Greenville College because the faculty and professors are beyond caring and showed me so much grace. This semester just brought a lot to my plate that I am not 100% use too, I am use to being busy a lot, but not to this extent. For the first month and a half I felt as if I took on too much at the beginning, until I started to find a groove. But then I started to just focus on people and music and sadly my school work began to just become less and less of an importance, which was not the best. But, in an overall look I managed to make it out alive this semester with ALL A’s minus ONE B, which I am surprised I even did that well, you see in high school I basically did not care about grades as much, but in college I really have taken it upon myself to be proud of what I can do and I am not very confident when it comes to my intelligence because I have so many friends who are just above and beyond smart and there is that worry of making sure I don’t sound stupid. But as some of my friends, especially my close ones have come to know this semester after midnight my brain just switches to this mode of being slap happy and just not fully capable of producing words and sentences that make the most sense and I find it embarrassing and I find myself apologizing a lot because I struggle with self-confidence and it is something a lot of people don’t know because I hide that from people because I want to be the best that I can be and not show the flaws, but unfortunately I am human and they will show no matter what so you know, go figure.

I have had to deal a lot this semester with feeling like I was in this fog, like I just did not feel like myself 100% of the time and it freaked me out because I wanted to do so much and it just felt as if right when I got an idea or got ready to do something, like something just shut off and it just was weird. The more I am growing up, the more I feel like I do not know what I want to do with my life, I use to think I knew and now I am questioning it all and teaching is something that has been running through my mind for the past few months and it is sad that I am just now realizing this, but at the same time I am very happy still with social work. Who knows what will happen, but I know that God has a plan and that He knows what He is doing. But I will be honest and say it is scary facing the unknown and the unsureness that this world has to offer.

Something else I am coming to terms with is how this is my last fall semester ever as a Greenville College student. Last weekend a group of friends and I ventured down to St. Louis and we went to the Fabulous Fox Theatre and we saw Wicked, which is a musical that I have wanted to see since 2003, and here we are in 2015 and I finally, FINALLY got to see it. Anyways it was a beautiful experience, but when they started to sing the finale song, “For Good” I just lost it, like every last thought of college and all the people I’ve come to know just played throughout my head and I just was balling and it was not pretty, but like I have never been very good at change and leaving behind things and people, especially people and it just makes me worry, which has always been a problem for me and I just am praying right now that God helps me with life as He has done for my 22 years of living and He has blessed me so much that I just pray that I am not running out of blessings.

As I look back this semester as I said was one of the most challenging and stressful semesters I have ever been put through, but it is worth it because it has taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of handling and it has blessed me with people who I am forever grateful for because I see them as part of my family now and it is such an amazing thing to know you have a family away from your actual family who cares and loves you just as much as the people who love you back at home. “Home isn’t where you live, it is where you love.” So to those who have been apart of my second to last semester and made it what it has been, I thank you for everything and I cannot wait to see what the New Year brings and what the last semester has to offer. Here is to many more adventures and stories and just times of togetherness. I love you all.

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Friendship Moments

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The Summer of the Surprises and Stories That I Will Remember Forever

Tonight I am writing as my final night of summer comes to an end. It is hard to believe that I will be starting my senior year of college and that I already move back in ten hours. That is CRAZY, where did the time go and not just summer, but these four years? Like it feels as if it was just yesterday that I started my freshmen year at Greenville College and now here I am in my senior year with two semesters til I cross that stage to receive my Bachelor of Science degree.

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This summer has been one of the most interesting and yet wonderful summers I have ever encountered. A lot has happened to me musically and yet this is the first summer in three years I have not done a live audition for a music reality show. I have submitted one via the World Wide Web, but this is the only contact I have had. The freshmen to sophomore summer I auditioned for The Voice in St. Louis, Missouri and for the sophomore to junior summer I auditioned for American Idol in Springfield, Illinois. This summer I submitted an audition for final season of American Idol and now I am just waiting for a response. Anyways, not only has my summer included surprising music stories, but a whole lot more. This summer has been a blessing to me in so many ways and I have learned a lot.

First summer story, I figured I would start with a BANG and all I need to really say are two words, CARRIE UNDERWOOD! Yes, this is still wonderfully confusing to me how this happened. I still do not believe that it happened, but truth is it did and I am so beyond thankful for what happened. For those who do not know very briefly I will say this, back in June Carrie Underwood posted my rendition of “Little Toy Guns” on her Facebook page and that video has reached over 80,000 views. For something like that to happen to me and having someone as BIG as Carrie Underwood to notice me out of thousands of submissions is crazy and I could not be any more thankful than I already am. Thanks to her recognizing me more and more people are watching my videos and following me on my social media sites. Something really huge that happened because of this was I got on the front page of my hometown’s newspaper which was really nice and the article that was written was really well done and I could not have been any more pleased with it. Another a huge thing that happened after she posted my video was I was asked to perform on Branson Country USA when I was vacationing down there with my parents for a few days. Their booking manager heard I was in town and contacted me with information about performing and sadly it did not work out, but the broadcast that reaches over 80 million people did a very nice shout out to me and told people who I was and where they could hear me, which was one of the best things ever. It is crazy that a 30 second cover video could do all this and it is all thanks to Carrie Underwood. This has given me such confidence in myself not just as a musician, but a person and that is something I cannot say thank you enough.

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While I am still on the topic of music this summer I also had the pleasure of meeting Bryana Salaz from NBC’s The Voice. It was such an honor to meet her and listen to her live at the RibFest in St. Charles, Missouri. She was someone who I voted for constantly and it was a really amazing opportunity to meet her and talk with her. And TONIGHT something else happened that I was very amazed and thankful for, I posted a 15 second #InstaCover on Instagram of “Burning House” by Cam, who is one of the chart-topping Country females right now and she liked and commented on my video and that was amazing. I could not believe it and I still cannot, it is crazy to believe that these famous people are listening to me, like WHAT IS THIS LIFE?

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Next story would have to go to my soon to be alma mater, I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor for the first time in my life at a Science and Engineering camp of all places (#Iwasnotsmartenoughtogetintosciencecamp #Sotheyhiredmeasacounselorinstead). Going into this process I was nervous, I have never done any camp counseling before and here I was about to take on two weeks’ worth of camp. Now I have done a lot of helping with kids before in a youth group setting, but this was completely different. I mean 18 juniors and seniors in high school for two weeks. To sum the GC Science and Engineering Camp up in a few single words they would have to be, blessing and incredible. If I was honestly supposed to write my ever thought about this camp it would be a hundred pages long, there were just so many things that happened and I loved every minute of being with those students. From the Family Feud marathons, to the late nights of card playing and conversations, to the chugging of Ski ( a BETTER version of Mountain Dew) and tea, to movie nights, to our last night ALL NIGHTER, to everything I learned so much from those students and made so many memories that I cherish. They were all so bright and intelligent, and very kind hearted and fun. They made a lasting impression on me and I hope I did as well; my goal was to inspire and to be someone they could trust and I just hope I did that, it is a little over a month since the camp and I still talk with a lot of them on a regular basis. They will never know just how much they impacted me and I am grateful for them all, I look back on pictures, I look back on videos, and I look back on the words they left me and my heart is just full of gratitude and love for them. I wish them the best because they deserve it and it will be amazing to see what they do in this life. One thing that they seemed to say as a whole that made my heart smile was that we came into this as campers and counselors and now we are leaving as a family, that was something I never saw coming and I am so glad that it did. They will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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I was very nervous about going into this summer because I knew it would be my last summer before I had to enter the “real world” and looking back it makes me smile because this summer has been a really incredible one that I thank God for because He has given me all that I need and without Him none of this could have been possible. This is the first time I am walking into college feeling confident and strong. I am ready to see what this year has in store for me and I am ready to make my senior year of college the best yet. I am ready to take every challenge that comes my way, words to live by; Head Up and Heart Open. Senior year came up fast and I hope it does not go by too fast. So much more has happened this summer and I also need to thank my parents and my family for being the most supportive bunch there could be, love them to death and I would not be where I am today without them. Family is important and I don’t think I tell them as much as they deserve it. Same goes to my friends as well in a way, they are my home away from home and they make it feel like a family as well when I am at college, so I count myself very lucky for that. Thank you summer for treating me well and making this one for the books.

Carrie Underwood and I? #IsThisRealLife

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Hey Y’all.

It’s been just four days since this whole experience with Carrie Underwood happened and honestly, I still do not know how to wrap my mind around it. I still feel like I am in a dream. Or as Carrie Underwood may say, “This is “just a dream” (Song reference if anyone did not get it). I thought writing a blog would be the best way for me to put all the thoughts and emotions that are in my brain into words and really express wholeheartedly my gratitude and appreciation of this whole experience. I feel that I should start from the beginning, where it all began. Especially for those who have not heard, and even if you have heard this is the whole story.

So the last week of June I saw on Carrie Underwood’s Facebook page a post about covering a 30 second version of her newest #1 hit, “Little Toy Guns” and people could submit their cover on any social media site by using a hashtag (#LTGCarrieokie). Now usually anytime that I see a contest or something like this I spend hours, even days to make sure I have “the best” video out there, but time and time again I would get my hopes up and I would never go very far. So this time I literally spent about 5 minutes tops on making this video submission and honestly I just thought it would just be fun “this time”, especially because I have looked up to Carrie Underwood so much ever since her time on American Idol and especially as a singer myself, she is such a great role model and I am grateful for everything she stands for. So once I was done recording my cover, I submitted it and wished, “don’t forget to remember me” Carrie Underwood when you go through these submissions. On Saturday I noticed that my video was up to 500 views and for me that is beyond amazing. I am usually lucky if my videos on Youtube get up to 100 views. So when I saw that number I was “blown away”. On Monday when it rolled around it was about 8:00pm when I decided I was going to be square and get ready for bed, just because I was so tired from all I was doing that day. But something told me to check Facebook one last time and I did and next thing you know I was “flat on the floor” because in my notification inbox it said “Carrie Underwood shared your video” and if I am going to be completely honest I thought it was fake, I thought it was either a scam or a glitch. So I go to her Facebook page and there I was, my video was on her page! I seriously did not even know what to think because I was like “look at me” I am on Carrie Underwood’s Facebook page. I thought this was one of those “crazy dreams” I always have because nothing like this has ever happened to me, but as I kept looking at the screen I thought “this time” it was me, it was my name and I was the one Carrie Underwood chose even though I thought “I know you won’t” probably ever see this, but she did see it and she liked it enough to post on her Facebook wall.

It just started taking over my Facebook notifications, it was just blowing up and next thing I knew my 500 views turned into 30,000 views and it just kept growing and growing and growing within minutes. Comments, likes, and shares just kept coming in and I seriously did not know what to think, heck I still do not know what to think! People just were loving it and sending me comments that just boosted my confidence and gave me this “strength” of maybe music is not a wrong choice for me. After auditioning in the past for American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and The X Factor and never making it past the producers rounds it really took a toll on me because all I wanted to do was impress these people so I could finally live out my dream and then they shut ya down. After a while I just started thinking, why do I keep doing this if all it does is bring me down audition after audition? When instead I should have looked at this as a test to make me stronger for when something finally does happen. At least that is what I feel looking back on it now, back then it would have been easy to just give up trying, but “what can I say” Lord knows, that He and my mom never raised a “quitter”. This whole experience has given me the confidence boost I needed, I have known for years that music will be an important part of my life and that I want a career in music and this is just a step forward in making that happen. I know I have a lot of hard work that needs to be put in and I need to start focusing on writing my own music and being grounded in making this happen. This experience has given me something I never had before and that is a platform, people know who I am now. That is CRAZY?!?!? But so cool at the same time.

As of today (July 2, 2015) my video of “Little Toy Guns” is up to 57,581 views and that is just so amazing and I cannot believe it. Something that people keep telling me is “you deserve this” and that is something that I have been thinking a lot about. Because do we ever really deserve anything we get? I have been working hard to get to this point in my life and yet I think about every other musician out there who have put so much more time and effort into making music their livelihoods to live off of and I still have to think why is this happening to me? I believe that it is important to stay humble and to be appreciative of everything that comes my way because it can be easily taken away and I want to make sure that through everything I do it brings glory to God and I am very blessed that this has happened to me, so I am definitely not someone who expected or deserves this praise that has been given to me because I would not have been given this gift of music or this gift of life without God and it just makes me very appreciative of everything. As Carrie Underwood once sang, “even hearts like mine get lucky sometimes” and this time it is finally happening. I want to take this time to thank everyone who has watched this video, everyone who has shared this video, everyone who has commented (positive AND negative comments because critiques help you grow and I am wanting to learn and grow and just soak up everything I can, plus what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger), everyone who has liked this video, and most definitely I would like to thank Carrie Underwood and Arista Nashville who manage and operate her Facebook page. I hope to have the honor of meeting you and maybe even perform with you one day, Carrie Underwood. I want to thank you for being such a musical influence in my life and I cannot thank you enough for this honor you have blessed me with.

Seriously y’all this has been so incredible and amazing and I still cannot believe it, I feel like it is a mistake or that someone is going to wake me up and then it will all just be a dream. But, it is real and I am really thankful and blessed by this whole experience, I am honestly overwhelmed by it all and I have cried once or twice. But really, I just want to thank y’all again because I would not be where I am without y’alls love and support, especially those who have been by my side through all the years I have been chasing this dream. We are finally on our way and I cannot wait to see where I will end up. Like Carrie Underwood says, “sometimes even crazy dreams come true.” 

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Happy New Years 2015!!!

Happy New Years!

2014 has been a really good year, while also being one of my most challenging years. I have learned a lot and by that I mean I have learned a lot about myself and about music and just life in general. Musically I have learned a lot this year. I started incorporating piano into my Youtube covers, no longer were they just me singing, but now they show more diversity and variety in what I can offer as a musician. I have been exploring different genres and styles of music as well, by not just doing a straight forward cover, but making the songs I choose my own and putting my own stamp on a song. I auditioned for American Idol back in August which was an amazing opportunity for me and it is something that really made me feel like this is what I am meant to do and even though I did not make it to the judges, I did make it to Round 2 in the audition rounds and that is farther than I have made before. I have auditioned for The Voice twice now, American Idol three times, and The X Factor three times as well and hopefully if things go as planned I hope to re-audition for The Voice in February. I want to take every opportunity that I can and really go for my dream and when opportunities come around, you have to go for them and that is what I plan on doing. I am blessed to go to college at Greenville College because there are always opportunities for music and this semester I am returning to Rock Ensemble and for the people who do not know what that is it is a class and you get together with other musicians and you form this band for the full semester and you perform once a week and it is an amazing opportunity for me to do what I love and basically have it count towards college credit. I loved this class my freshmen year and I have wanted to take it again for the the longest time and I thought why not now, so after 4 semesters away I am returning to where I found confidence in my performing aspect as a musician and I cannot wait. What I hope to achieve this year with my music is to start writing my own music. I have been writing lyrics for years now and I have never had the knowledge before this year to actually put music to them. I have the melodies in my head, but now with my new knowledge of piano playing I can finally start making my own music come to life and I cannot wait to start sharing that side of my talent. When it comes to genres I love music, music is something that is really important to me and choosing a specific genre of music to stick with has been difficult for me and that is why my Youtube covers range from R&B music to Country music and then rounds it way to Pop. I know that it is important to know who you are as an artist and I honestly just want my music to reflect who I am and also connect with other people and hope that it inspires them and moves them. This year I am going to start finding who I am as an artist and that means finding where I belong in the music industry and that means finding my genre that I fit in. Along with that I have a few covers already in mind for the new year and I cannot wait to put my own stamp on these songs, with that being said I also hope to get together with some of my incredibly talented friends and do some collaborations that I hope can work out. This has been an amazing year for me music wise and I cannot wait to show y’all what more I have to offer and I cannot wait to dive right back into music this year.

When it comes to life and what this year has shown me it has been a ride. Ups and downs, but overall the good has overcome the bad. I can cross off my first internship on my list. I was able to intern at an amazing counseling place called Mosaic Unlimited under the wing of Renee Keller and she taught me a lot about the counseling and social work business. Social Work is my major in college right now with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and people are surprised when I tell them that because they just expect me to be majoring in music, but that is for a different time. But I got to see the ins and outs of the world I want to be in professionally especially if music does not work out for me. I love helping people, that is what I am passionate about and I thought this was a way that I could do something important in the lives of others. I got to learn so much about the world of counseling and how I can be the best and on my A game every time with clients and dealing with the business side as well. After interning at this place I realized that I chose the right career path and I cannot wait to see what else is coming my way this semester. Over the Christmas break I am currently on I will be shadowing a high school social worker from my old high school so I am really excited about returning to my Alma Mater and seeing another side of the world of social work.

Along with the work side, I also had fun. I got to see my old high school dance team win at State back in February and that was an amazing experience to see and just be a part of. I got to witness some close friends graduate from high school and college, some of them have been childhood friends and that was just an amazing experience to witness it. I got to see Raelynn, Cole Swindell, The Swon Brothers, and Chase Rice in concert with two great people who I am glad to call friends and I hope to grow in those friendships. I achieved my first 4.0 for a semester and had the amazing honor of being on Dean’s List, which has NEVER happened and I am so thankful and blessed that my hard work is paying off. I got to see a friend/mentor from my freshmen year of college get married to the girl of his dreams. I had the honor of returning to my role on Vespers Cabinet (a weekly student led worship night) and have been blessed by an amazing staff that I get to led and just be a part of. I have done two Urban Plunges where we have done a lot of good work and hopefully made differences in others lives around the St. Louis area. I was blessed to have been on the Without Ceasing planning board and have been blessed with an amazing job on campus. I have had the absolute pleasure of making new friends this semester at college who have really made a difference and an impact in my life. With that being said I also have lost a few friendships that have grown throughout the years and sadly ended this year. It has been hard at times, but that is when I am really blessed and thankful for the people who continue to be in my life and show me that life is going to be okay and that they are caring and always there for me because they are true friends who I cannot thank enough. I have a nice mix of age differences when it comes to my friends and some are constantly showing me just how wise someone can be when they sit down with you and just talk about life or how much fun it can be to stay up til 3 in the morning going to Walmart and digging through $5 movie bins for an hour or just constantly showing me what it is to show others grace.

I don’t know what 2015 has in store for me, but I know I want to make it count. I want to make this year worth every minute and I want to do good. I know I have a lot more to learn in this life and I know that it is important to not take everything so seriously all the time, but to enjoy and be in the moment because you cannot get these years back, especially when you are in college. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and has challenged me this year and just in my life because I am where I am because of God and y’all. I wish I could tell you each individually how much y’all have impacted my life, but I hope you know y’all mean the world to me and I seriously cannot thank y’all enough. Here is to making 2015 the best year yet.

The Voice Season 7, Fantasy League (Day 12): Semi-Finals Night, Definitely Worth Talking About!

So it has been a little while since I last posted a blog on The Voice, however I have been super busy with so much school work and whatnot. But tonight’s episode of The Voice is definitely worth taking time away from my studies and writing this blog to you, the people!

So tonight was the semi-finals and in my opinion out of the evening, three people gave stand out performances that were really semi-final worthy performances. To me personally, the coaches say the exact same thing every week and sure it can be true, but I think if I was a contestant I would want something constructive every once in a while, that could be beneficial to me as an artist.

As tonight’s episode unfolded itself to me I waited to write this so I could let everything sink in. The three people who I thought did amazing tonight was Chris Jamison (both performances), Craig Wayne Boyd (second performance), and Matt McAndrew (second performance). I thought Damien did alright, I just did not care for either performance, I thought they were missing something, he just does not excite me anymore when he sings because I’ve become use to everything he is going to do. I think he is great, but just boring in my opinion. As for Taylor John Williams, I have grown to like him as the competition has progressed, but tonight I was just lost for words. I thought his rendition of “Falling Slowly” was good and I love that song, it is one of my all time favorite songs from one of my all time favorite movies/musicals. But “Blank Space” just totally confused me and it was a mess in my opinion. I think he tried something different, but it just was not his best and I wish he would have picked something else, I mean it was contestant’s choice, so I am curious why he picked that song.

As for the other three, let me start off by talking about CHRIS JAMISON, to me he was the stand out of the evening because he had two solid performances and I was just blown away by the second one in particular, “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars was the performance of the season in my opinion. Those notes were out of this world amazing and I think if he does not make it into the Finals, something is wrong because that was just perfection.

When it comes to Craig Wayne Boyd, I have come to like him the more the show has progressed, his voice is growing on me and his rendition of “The Old Rugged Cross” was beyond everything I could have asked for. It was beautiful and powerful and for someone to do a song like that on national television and just deliver it and take command of it like he did was just fantastic. I just am very thankful for that performance tonight because it was just beautiful.

Lastly, Matt McAndrew, he is someone who I have also come to like more and more as the competition has progressed and I think I became a fan when he did his rendition of “Fix You” by Coldplay, which I just found to be incredible. Tonight his rendition of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was just so good and I was like excited for it because he just delivers and I hope that he advances tomorrow night.

All I can say is tonight’s episode is what I have been waiting for. That is all and with the Wild Card show tonight happening, I have my favorite down, but I don’t know if they will advance. My hope is that Da’Nica Shirey advances, but I just do not know.

the voice 12-9

LAST ONE!!!! Day 30: Your Favorite Song At This Time Last Year (November 30, 2014)

Day 30: Your Favorite Song At This Time Last Year

Well y’all I did it! i reached the end of the 30 Day Song Challenge and I am impressed that I stuck with it. Sure I missed a few days, but I caught up and made up for it. This category I actually had to go back on my Facebook wall to this time last year and man did that help a lot. It was between two songs so I decided I would write about them both.

The first one was “Brave” by Sara Bareilles the reason why I decided to write about this one is because one day a few friends were outside of the local college coffee shop and we had it blasting at one point of our time together and I was about to leave for class and then we ended up being “brave” and just dancing like no one was watching and we were outside in the open and classes were getting out and people were walking by but they did not care, it was fun and I am glad to have been a part of that time because it was something I remember and it makes me smile.

Brave

I WANNA SEE YOU BE BRAVE

The second song I wanted to write about tonight is the song, “Anyway” by Martina McBride the reason why I favoring this song at the time was because I was learning this song to do for a tribute video on my Youtube channel. At this point in time it was during the horrible tornado disaster that happened in Washington, Illinois and I wanted to do something that would not only maybe raise their spirits, but also help raise awareness of the disaster to people, along with the video I wrote about what happened and ways people would volunteer and donate to help. I love this song with every ounce of my being and it is a powerful song that I just love to death. Every time I hear it, it gets to me, emotionally. There is the one line of the song that made what happened more clear and that was, “You can spend your whole life building, something from nothing. And one storm can blow it all away. Build it anyway.” and I thought it was important for me to do something that might make a slight difference. I did something that was my passion and I believe that my gifts should be used for something more and that is my way of helping spread awareness. I love the lines, “This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe. That tomorrow will be better than today. Believe it anyway.” and “You can pour your soul out singing, a song you believe in. That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang. Sing it anyway.” This song is a song of hope and I just am very appreciative that a song like this exists.

Day 29: A Song From Your Childhood (November 29, 2014)

Day 29: A Song From Your Childhood

This was a slight challenge because I did not want to go with the obvious choices of Disney and little children songs because I knew I could do a whole lot better. So I thought and right off the bat it hit me! When I was a kid and eventually grew up I had this huge crush on Hilary Duff, seriously what 90’s and 00′ kid did not!?!?! So, obviously my song choice is from this artist and the song comes from the film that is definitely in my most watched “childhood” film, The Lizzie McGuire Movie which I seriously watched over and over and if you are a fan or were a fan of this film, you will know where I am going with this. The song was towards the end of the film, YES ladies and gentlemen, “What Dreams Are Made Of” is a song that I had on repeat when it came out on the soundtrack cd and it was my song for a long time, heck I still feel like it is when I need like a boost lol

It is just one of those things that should be your guilty pleasure film/song, however I could care less who sees me jamming to it because lets be honest with ourselves if we grew up in that time frame, we all at one point shouted that song out at the top of our lungs and went CRAZY! So all I can say to end this blog is HEY NOW, HEY NOW, THIS IS WHAT DREAMSSSSSSSS ARE MADE OF!!!!!!!!