Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another year over, a new one just begun...


     It's New Year's already!

     Is it just me, or was it just New Year's, like, yesterday?!?! I feel like I just did this tag. But then I think about all the stuff that's happened between then and now, and I realize it really is time to fill it out again. ;-)

    2015 has been quite a year. This was the year I turned complete redneck. This was the year my cousin taught me to drive in a church parking lot. This was the year I fell in love with old Ford trucks; I watched more R-rated movies than I ever did before (okay, that's a little irrelevant); I started raising bunnies; I got to know my best friend even better; I diligently plugged away on my dream of becoming a real writer. (As of now I'm still a fake writer -- I'll get there.) And now it's all coming to a close, and it's time to look back and reflect, and smile on the happy times, and appreciate the hard ones, and thank God for another year to live and love.



What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?

  •      I finished three short stories (which I actually think are pretty good, and that's saying something!)
  •      I got my learner's permit and learned how to DRIVE A CAR. It was incredibly awesome. (Oh, and driving trucks is even more fun. Especially if they're red and they're Fords.)
  •      I learned how to ride a horse! And I'm still learning. ;-)
  •      I played a boring chorus role in a college musical and met a bunch of awesome people.
  •      I talked to my bestie Naomi on the phone! I heard her voice for real, across three thousand miles, five hours, and an ocean, which was ridiculously weird and amazing. Though the connection wasn't the best, and most of the time we couldn't tell what the other was saying....IT WAS STILL WILDLY WONDERFUL.
  •      I learned to drive the gator too, which is about the coolest thing ever.
  •      I became the proud owner of four white lionhead bunnies, and then within two weeks was suddenly the owner of ten. (Quite a story, that.) I became a bunny farmer and loved it.
  •      I started listening to country music and found a new lifelong love.
  •      I read two really long books -- GWTW and Lonesome Dove -- both accomplishments of which I am very proud!
  •      I made myself a Facebook account (for Reasons), hated it, and cheerfully inactivated the darn thing after approximately 48 hours.


Overwhelmingly so.:


Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make one this year?

     I kept some of them. I learned how to drive and I read GWTW, but the main one was to finish the first draft of my Novel and I still haven't done that. (I'm not even close. Sheesh.) I've already made a bunch for 2016, and the Novel is at the top of the list.


Did anyone close to you give birth?

     My best friend Naomi's mother, who, though I don't know her in person, is a very dear person and also Naomi's mom and that automatically makes her a swell person. :-) No one else that I can think of...


Did anyone close to you die?

      My dear old bunny S'more died one day in August. He'd been with us for a long time and was one of my favorites, so that made me really sad.


What countries/states did you visit?

     I dabbled over the border of Pennsylvania a LOT, because I have family there and we like to visit them. :-) (Plus PA's just a really cool state. Lots of rednecks and Ford trucks.) I also took a short trip to Ohio with my mom and my sister and a friend of ours. That was a very interesting experience. The story's too long to tell here, but I'll say it was quite a day.



What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

     More patience! I'm not very endowed in the patience department, unfortunately. As far as material things, I'd love to buy my own truck when I get my license, but I don't know if that'll happen this year.


What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory?

     The day in April when my cousin taught me to drive, in his Cadillac in a church parking lot...



     Also the day we took down the set for South Pacific at the theater, and the stage guys let us try out their flying-apparatus. Then afterwards a bunch of us went to Pizza Hut. I felt like a normal kid. ;-)

     Definitely December 19th, when my sister and a friend and I went to see Sara Evans in concert!!! One of the most exciting experiences of my life. I'll tell you more about that later. ;-P



Did you move anywhere?

     NO, and I'm so glad because I love my home and my barn and my creek and my patch of violets.


 :

     (And my piano. Which got moved around several times this year. That's another long story.)

     Well..... I might as well tell the story. ;-) It does concern moving, after all. About the end of February, I decided it was time for me to have my own room. My two sisters and I have always shared a room, and I was getting super sick of it, so I convinced my parents to let me have our school room as my own and see how I liked it. This transition required taking our bunk beds apart so I could have the top as my bed, moving our heavy piano to the other end of the house, and trying to find places to put all the other furniture we purged out of the school room. We did all this, and wallah! I had my own room.

     And....I hated it!

     It was like living in someone else's house. The room was so empty without my sister's desk right next to mine, and the walls looked so bare without all our school stuff, and the floor creaked when I got up in the night...and worst of all, there was no Sadie in the bunk above me, and we couldn't pass stuffed animals back and forth between the bunks, and laugh together late into the night. I was lonely, and it didn't feel right. So after about a week I said to my daddy, "Would you hate me if I said I wanted to move that piano again?"

     Being the wonderful daddy he is, he said no. So we moved everything back, and I was back in that cramped little room with my two annoying sisters, and I was so happy. (And then we watched North and South and life was good.)


Patrick Swayze and Lesley-Anne Down in North and south (1985 - 1986 - 1994):


What was the best month?

     Ha. Ha. I can tell you what wasn't -- May wasn't, March wasn't, September wasn't, February definitely wasn't. By process of elimination you can figure it out. ;-) No, I'd say maybe June. I spent June writing stories and picking peas and laughing with my cousins.

...and taking occasional selfies with my little blue camera.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

     I don't really know...just getting through it in one piece, I'd say. Loving my family even when they weren't all that great, smiling even when I really didn't want to. Reading Lonesome Dove! Raising six bunny babies!



What was your biggest failure?

     Not finishing my novel like I PROMISED MYSELF I would. 


Did you suffer illness or injury?

     Nothing serious. (I got sick a few times and was convinced I was dying, but it passed, like it always does.)


What was the best thing you bought?

     Tickets to the Sara Evans concert!!! And my Wyatt Earp soundtrack. It's my go-to soundtrack for writing music now. Whenever I don't know what to listen to, BOOM, Wyatt Earp. And I'm still not sick of it.


Whose behavior merited celebration?

     My grandparents, who are pretty much the most amazing people I know. Naomi, as always, because she is my bestest best friend and does so many wonderful things for me, and everyone. A certain of my cousins, who is the best sport ever and even told me I sound just like Sara Evans. A lot of people, actually, though I'm not going to name names because that'd be weird. ;-P


Grandpa making popcorn. :-)

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

     Basically the world made me appalled and depressed. *sigh* It's pretty messed up out there, friends.


Where did most of your money go?

     Amazon! It's got everything! (I was actually really insane about buying soundtracks this year. I bought about about seven. Shameful. BUT SO FUN.)


What did you get really, really, really excited about?

     Driving! And the Celtic Woman concert I went to in March! And the Sara Evans concert in Deccember! Which brings us to the next question...


What was the best concert you've been to this year?

     

     I WENT TO SEE SARA EVANS AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! Not only the best concert I went to this year, but possibly the best concert I've ever been to, period. It was a night I will always remember. From the young guy who opened up the concert (Clayton Anderson, whom Sadie and our friend and I might have fangirled over a little) to Sara Evans and her impossibly smooth drawling voice, I loved it all. The lights, the energy, the obviously country crowd, the high excitement -- it was the best thing ever.


What song/album will always remind you of 2015?

     I dived into country music headfirst this summer. We started listening to our local country station in the barn, and there have been SO many songs that will always take me back to this summer, playing with my bunnies and bunching flowers and washing green onions. :-) But the one that stands out the most is Drinking Class by Lee Brice.




     Every time I hear this song, I will think of six kids piling into a little white Dodge Dakota on the Fourth of July.


Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? I was really happy last year and I'm more realistically happy this year, so I'll say I'm sadder, even though I'm really not sad.
2. thinner or fatter? That's irrelevant.
3. richer or poorer? Richer, surprisingly. Somehow all those soundtracks didn't break me.



What do you wish you'd done more of?

     I wish I'd done more writing on my novel that I'm trying to finish, but in all I did do quite a bit of writing, so I'm not very disappointed about that. I wish I'd read my Bible more. I also wished I'd stepped out of my shell and talked to people more. That will always be my struggle, it seems. ;-P I don't have many regrets about this year, though.


What do you wish you'd done less of?

     Comparing myself to other people, and wishing I had different gifts than the ones I have.


What was your greatest musical discovery?

     What do YOU think?

   SEIZE THE DAY, PEOPLE.:   

     NEWSIES!!! I watched the movie with my mom early in October, loved it, started listening to the Broadway recording, and the rest is history.

      I actually discovered a whole bunch of awesome musicals this year -- Jekyll and Hyde, Ghost, Allegiance, Little Women, and Titanic, to name a few. And country music. That was perhaps the greatest discovery, in fact. Guys, I love country music so much.


How did you spend Christmas?

     With my family. :-) We went to my Grandma's house on Christmas Eve, then came home and watched The Homecoming, the pilot episode of The Waltons (which is super weird and has different actors but John-boy is SO sweet). On Christmas Day we spent the morning at home, with bunnies running around in the piles of wrapping paper, and then shuffled off to my other Grandparents for the rest of the day. For some reason, this year I felt lacking in excitement for Christmas; it wasn't the best Christmas I've ever seen, but it was still good, and I had a good time with my folks. (And bunnies.)


Brett under the Christmas tree

How are you spending New Year's?

     I'm going to some friends' house with my family and my favorite cousins. Should be fun. ;-P


Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

     As anyone who knows me will tell you, I hate the phone. For that reason I don't normally talk to people on the phone very much, if I can help it. I did have two long conversations with Naomi, though, which was not altogether unpleasant. ;-)


What was the best book you read?

     OH MY. Here we go. The dreaded question. I have to look at the dozens of incredible books I've read this year and pick ONE.

     *stares at list for hours*

     Okay, how about this. I'll give you a list of five.


  • Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck -- This has become one of my favorite books ever, in fact. You can read my review right here if you're so inclined.
  • The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman -- Downright hysterical, fresh, and old-timey. Read my review here.
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry -- Because this story is just about my favorite thing ever. It's the classic American Western if there ever was one.
  • Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson -- The Hattie series are part of my roots now. Hattie is one of my best friends in literature and I had so much fun tagging along on her next adventure. Read my review here.
  • I hesitated to add this one, but the other one must be The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas. It was brutal, and there were many parts I consider inappropriate, but it was SO amazing. (If a book can make me weep like that, it's got to be good.) Read my review here.

Did you fall in love in 2015?

     Nope. Not yet. But I did finally realize what kind of man I want to fall in love with someday, and that in itself was a little bit like falling in love.

 :



What was your favorite TV show?

     My favorite TV show has been for five years, is, and probably will remain Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. This is an established fact. ;-) But one show that I'd watched before and really came to love over the course of this year is Northern Exposure, which probably none of you have ever heard of, because it's from the 80's and only weird people like my family still watch it. I love it dearly.

Northern Exposure | 19 TV Shows That Need To Be Made Available To Stream In 2015:


What did you want and get?

     A learner's permit, a whole bunch of CD's, and more bunnies!

Any excuse to bombard you with more pictures of my beautiful bunnies. 

What did you want and not get?

     Honestly? Nothing worth mentioning. Sure, there were a few CD's and books I'd hoped to get for Christmas that I didn't, but no matter. I was mostly very content with my worldly possessions this year.


What were your favorite films of this year?

     *rubs hands*

     I watched so many good movies this year, I can't even narrow it down to five, so I'll make a list of ten.


  • Legends of the Fall -- SAINTS ABOVE, I loved this movie. It basically wrecked my life for about three weeks. (And was consequently the start of my let's-watch-all-the-Brad-Pitt-movies phase, which lasted somewhere around three months.)You can read all about that in my long exclamatory review.
  • The Stars Fell on Henrietta -- This quirky little movie touched me in a way not many do. Read my review here.
  • The Journey of August King -- Oh my soul! GO READ MY REVIEW!!!
  • The Alamo -- This movie made me weep, and I'm not even exaggerating. Read my review here.
  • Wyatt Earp -- One of the greatest western/biodramas I've ever seen. (Actually probably the greatest.) I reviewed it here.
  • McFarland USA -- A Disney movie about a cross-country team that turned out to be one of the best movies about family and friendship I've ever seen.
  • North and South -- This is the TV series from the 1980's, not the Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation. This series and I had a rocky relationship at first), but eventually I gave in and decided to love it. It's an excellent historical series, really, and now it's one of my favorite Civil War dramas....even though it is sort of a soap opera. ;-)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- I watched this twice this year, actually, and liked it infinitely better the second time (probably because I was watching it with my cousins). Wacky, foul-mouthed, and hilarious, this is one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen, with some seriously good music -- 'old-timey material'. ;-P
  • Far and Away -- The movie that blew me far and away and captured my heart forever. :-) (Wow, that was really sappy.) Read more sappiness and slush about it in my review.
  • Copperhead -- I watched this in January one afternoon when I was sick and liked it, but just recently I watched it again (when in better health) and absolutely LOVED it. Such an incredible Civil War story. I'm planning on writing a review soon, so hold on to your hats.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

     I turned sixteen on February 2nd. My plan was to drive around to a bunch of libraries in our area, but that kind of flopped because there was a snowstorm...so we only got to three. :-( But I also went to the mall and got my ears pierced, which was exciting! The not-fun part was having to wait at the mall while my sister decided to try on shoes and then going to Panera Bread for lunch (because I can't eat bread, so why would I want to go there???) Then we came home and had cake and watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? and I laughed my head practically off. The day didn't turn out the way I wanted, but it was still special.
     


How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

     Rustic, farmgirl, horse person, everything-I'm-wearing-came-from-Tractor-Supply, pretty much. I bought a cowboy hat in the spring and wore it proud all year. :-)


What kept you sane?

     My mother. I'm not going to lie, I've had a very hard year. Last winter/spring was especially hard, but that was also the time when my mama really became my best friend, and I'm so grateful for her. (And no, not just because she watches Brad Pitt movies with me.)

     Also, did you know that white lionhead bunnies can be very therapeutic?


Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy most?

     Well, that's not hard at all.

He is beautiful. *sigh*:

     Jeremy Jordan, undoubtedly. I sort of fell in love with him. And if you haven't watched this video, what are you waiting for?


What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

     Lesssss stressssss. Good gracious. (Most of it I caused myself.)


 What political issue stirred you the most?

     The attacks in Paris were very close to where my best friend lives, which was pretty scary -- for me, and even more for her.


Who did you miss?

     My sister Sadie went away to music camp for two weeks in July, and I barely survived without her. There was no one to make my lunch and wash my dishes.


Who was the best person you met?

     I got to know so many great people while rehearsing and performing in South Pacific. (Even though I hated the show, the cast was so much fun.) A group of several people in particular. ;-) I also got to know Olivia, who is such an awesome person and has become a good friend of mine. (Seriously, the Western Week we hosted in July was epicness.) And Miss Meg March, who popped up in the comments several months ago and has been making me smile ever since.

:) :) :):

Tell a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

     People are only human. However highly you may think of them, they will let you down sometimes. But we're all human, and we can all help each other. We're all in this together, so to speak. God is the only all-powerful and all-reliable one. But that doesn't mean you can't trust people at all; when you find someone you can trust, that's one of the greatest feelings in the world.


Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.


It well may be that we will never meet again
In this lifetime, but let me say before we part
So much of me is made from what I've learned from you
And I know I'm who I am today because I knew you

~ 'For Good' from Wicked

I love a small town world, I love a country girl
I love a Friday night
Man, I love this life
The sound of an old dirt road running through my mind,
Man, I love this life

~ 'I Love This Life' by Locash

I'm a member of a blue-collared crowd
You can never, no, you can't keep us down
If you've gotta label me, label me proud

We laugh, we cry, we love
Go hard when the going's tough
Push back on push and shove
Knock us down, we'll get back up again and again

~ 'Drinking Class' by Lee Brice

   

Five personally significant events of 2015:


  • I finished three short stories, of which I am very proud 
  • I learned how to drive
  • I read Lonesome Dove in its entirety (hey, this is very significant for me, guys!)
  • I met lots of really awesome people who I'll never forget
  • I filled up three journals, which I will keep forever as proof of my wild, misspent youth -- the best years of my life ;-)



Five things I want to do in 2016:

  • Get my driver's license
  • FINISH THE DARN NOVEL
  • Work in a library
  • Watch Tombstone -- I'm allowed to as soon as I turn seventeen ;-P
  • Be less awkward, especially around good-looking people of the male-variety (this is a legitimate concern, people)

Five people I'd like to know better in 2016:

     I'm not going to name names, since this is not a private blog and that'd be weird. There are so many people I've met this year, through different events, and through this lil' ol' blog, who I'm looking forward to getting to know better. And probably a bunch of people I haven't even met yet. ;-)



     So here's to 2016 -- may it be grand and glorious. Here's to you, my friend, and here's to me. May we greet the new year with courage and imagination.

29 comments:

  1. Just saying YAS Northern Exposure! (Coming back to this!)

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    1. YES! I remembered that you said you liked it. ;-) *high-five*

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  2. NEWSIES!!!!!!!!

    Yep. I know just how you feel--they pretty much made my year, too. (By the way, I'm SOOOOOOOOOO grateful to you and Naomi for telling me about them--because, honestly, I'd never have heard of them otherwise and I'D NEVER HAVE GOTTEN TO SEE THEM IN PERSON. I mean, think about it. I'd have missed out on one of the most amazing experiences of my LIFE if it hadn't been for you guys. So . . . THANK YOU.)

    "Single--taken--WAITING FOR A NEWSIE." Uh-huh.

    Ahhhhh . . . Jeremy Jordan . . . where would we be without him?

    (Although Joey is still my fave. That's just the way it IS. ;-) )

    About the feeling-awkward-around-guys thing . . . I know exactly how I feel. Believe me, I do. But I also wanted to say, don't lose hope. It DOES get better. Honest. :-) Like, I'm soooooooooo much more comfortable around guys now than I was when I first started college three and a half years ago. Just takes practice, I guess ;-)

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    1. Jessica, you're welcome! The fun of fandoms is sharing them. ;-)

      Oh, that's good to hear. I expect I will get better at being less awkward!

      Happy New Year!

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  3. Emma,
    "And was convinced that I was dying, but it passed, like it always does.". - Love it! (Not, of course, because you felt that awful, but because the description is GREAT!)

    I can so feel your struggle to step out of your shell and talk to people! That could describe me in almost any social group unless I'm on vacation and then I'm practically a social butterfly, because vacations are MAGIC!! It's even been proved, I think. :) And comparison seems like such a sorrowfully continuous struggle sometimes, doesn't it?

    And your 5th goal in 2016!!! It is such a real concern!!! I always try to tell myself how seriously silly it is, I mean, they are just people after all, but still it continues all the same! Yes, it was the finishing point to an already great post. ;)

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    1. Eowyn, thanks for your encouraging comment! I know, sometimes it's much easier to be social when you're in a whole new place and you don't know ANY of the people you're with...I've experienced that a few times. (I'm still not what you'd call a social butterfly, though!)

      Happy New Year, friend! :-)

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  4. Woah. THIS POST.

    :-)

    I loved reading your answers, dear!!! And once again, I feel so enormously blessed to be your closest friend, and to know all the stories behind the things you talked about. :-)

    I hope spring doesn't come too late this year. Because your spring fever is bad. (Don't think about spring quite yet, though! Emma, really. It needs to snow a LOT first.)

    I know; same. I feel like I know you way better than I did last year. The chatting-on-Wednesday-sessions really bought us even closer together, didn't they?
    And speaking of phoning; I'd actually like to try it again soon.

    I love the pictures of you - You're so GORGEOUS. BLAHHH WHY CAN'T I GIVE YOU A REAL LIFE HUG.

    Jeremy Jooooooooordan. Zee end.

    Happy new year, DARLING!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 May it be a very good one, and may you buy seven more soundtracks and may you get all the books you wish for, and may you rate Rilla of Ingleside five stars.

    LOVED this post. Just saying. I read it twice and got a bit sentimental reading it, not gonna lie.

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Thank you, Naomi -- I feel so enormously blessed too. It's very overwhelming at the moment. ;-)

      Hey, my spring fever isn't that bad yet! Do you say that just because I changed my blog look? Cuz I'm not really itching for spring yet. Midwinter can be fun too. Give me another month, and then tell me about spring fever. ;-P

      You would? Alright, then I would too. :-)

      Happy New Year, dear Naomi! Haha, thanks. I hope so too.

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  5. Happy New Year! I loved your tag answers :) YES. Waiting for a Newsie!! I learned to drive this year, myself. And then I drove myself this semester to a dual enrollment drawing class at a local college - it was a lot of fun. And I didn't crash once :P

    YES I wish to be less awkward "especially around good-looking people of the male-variety" too - I know exactly how you feel! It IS a problem. And of course it doesn't help that I am awkward around basically ANYBODY I don't know, haha :D

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    1. Haha, congratulations on not crashing. ;-P Driving is such fun, isn't it? I can't wait to get my license and be able to drive by MYSELF WHEREVER I WANT.

      We poor girls! I'm glad you understand. ;-) Happy New Year, Rosie!

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  6. This was a lovely post, Emma! I enjoyed it so much! Congratulations on getting your driver's permit and finishing three short stories! You may not have finished your novel, but I'd still say you had a very productive year. :)

    Oh! And that picture of your bunny under the tree!!! Such cuteness!!! :D

    "And now it's all coming to a close, and it's time to look back and reflect, and smile on the happy times, and appreciate the hard ones, and thank God for another year to live and love." That was a beautiful sentence. You really do have a way with words. I'm sorry this year was hard for you, but I'm so happy to hear your mom was there for you! Aren't moms simply the best?!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Miss March! I'm pleased with this year too. I hope the next one is even better. YES, moms are the best! One of the best things about this year was getting closer to my mom.

      Happy New Year, dear friend!

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  7. Beautiful post, Emma! :) Wow. If your blog-writing is ANYWHERE near this novel I've heard about, it must be a masterpiece. Not kidding.
    Talking across the ocean sounds AWESOME!!!
    Wait, whaaaaaa??? YOU'D NEVER LISTENED TO COUNTRY MUSIC UNTIL THIS YEAR??? Granted, it's not always a favorite of mine, a lot (not all) of it is MY LIFE. xD
    Hehe, all the piano moving sounds about like something that would happen here. LOL.
    Hmm...Amazon get most of my money too...or CBD. ;)
    YOU'VE READ "THE BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE"????????? HOORAY!!!!! I was beginning to think is didn't really exist. XD It wasn't a favorite, but it was pretty good. I BAWLED when Butte died. Bawled. Like there was literally tears running down my face... :'( Out of curiosity, have you seen the movie?
    I just love Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. And, yes, Locash's song gets turned up scarily loud 'round here. ;)
    Okay, don't throw rocks at me, but....I've never heard of Newsies. Should I have? Should I look them up?

    *gasp* This look. That header. This beautifully, gorgeous blog. This is what I get for reading your posts in my inbox. =P So pretty and quaint and vintage-y!!! I love it, Emma! Did it take you hours or what?
    Happy New Years!

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    1. Aww, thanks Faith! Your comment made me really happy. :-)

      Well, I had listened to country music before -- on and off, sometimes -- but I never REALLY listened to it. And I mostly just listened to the older singers because that's who my parents liked. It wasn't until this year that I started listening to it a LOT and fell in love with it. Yes, country music is pretty much my life too. ;-)

      YES! I LOVED that book. I think I cried when Butte died too. :-( (I know I laughed my head off over the Ballad of Rattlesnake Jake.) I haven't seen the movie and I reeeeaally want to! Is it as good as the book?

      I'm not throwing rocks -- there was a time when I hadn't heard of Newsies. ;-P Yes, look it up! It's such a fun musical.

      (Yes, the design did take me hours. Don't tell anyone. I'm glad you like it. :-))

      Happy New Year to you too!

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    2. Yeah, my parents prefer the older stuff too. :P I don't like ALL (okay, maybe not even most) of the newer stuff, but I'm literally head over heels for "Nothin' Like You" by Dan + Shay. Hehe. ;-)

      I haven't seen the movie either, but after reading the book I REALLY WANT TO. AHHH!!! xD Why couldn't the library just have it and make my life simpler?

      I'll definitely be looking up Newsies. ;)

      But, it's SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! :-D

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    3. Wait....I thought that song was by Hunter Hayes! I've been hearing it on the radio ALL summer and I thought it was Hunter Hayes! Huh. I really love it too. ;-P

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    4. Yeah, it's Dan & Shay. I only know that because I looked up the music video. :) It involves puppy dogs and mud and coffe and it's oh, so adorable! xD
      The first time I heard it I was like "oh my goodness! That's so me!" where it says something about "I was laughing at her stack of books" ;-) I was driving and mom was a tad worried when I wasn't exactly holding the steering wheel...*cough*

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    5. I'll have to look up that video. :-) Haha, I can totally relate to that...anytime Brad Paisley's on the radio we have to worry about Emma's concentration.

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  8. Happy New Year, my dear friend!! :D

    *blushes and hugs* It's been SO spectacular getting to know you too. (And Western Week…YES.)

    I'm sorry to hear you've had a tough year. I know how you feel, though. I'll be praying for you! Hang in there <3

    I hate talking on the phone, too! I DON'T know why--it just doesn't sit well with me.

    And, by the way, brava again for finishing GWTW and LD. I tip my hat to you, ma'am ;) (My hypothetical hat, that is.)

    Here's to 2016! :)

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    1. Happy New Year, Olivia! Well, it hasn't been terrible....but there have been really tough parts. Thanks for your prayers. :-)

      Haha, thank you -- I was very proud of myself, let me tell you! This year I'm pledging to read the John Jakes North and South trilogy...we'll see how that works out. (I might be setting myself up for disaster, considering each book is about six inches thick.)

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  9. The internet is being terrible right now, and I've got a feeling it just deleted my really long comment when I pressed publish. Oh no! Not again! >:-( (I'm hoping it didn't....but I think it did.)
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Aw, whoops. I guess it did. Sorry! :-/

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  10. Okay, let me try this again. I might not be quite as excited about what I say this time around, because I feel like I’ve said it all three times over. :-P (And if you DID happen to get my first comment, then just delete this one, then, I guess.)
    Your part about the Facebook account made me chuckle. Hehe.
    Oh, your funny story about your trip to Ohio. ;-) (Your letter came the day I saw Les Mis.)
    I’m sorry you didn’t have the best year, but nor did I. I have this feeling that 2016 is going to be a very good one, though. :-D
    Aww, I REALLY want a bunny! Could you mail one to me? ;-P
    That picture of your grandpa is really cute. :-)
    NEWSIES! (It looks SO much better in capitals. As most things do. ;-D) Oh, so you have watched the movie! :-D (It’s hard to keep track of who has seen what and so on…)
    Country music is a style I know like the back of my hand. ;-) I ‘grew up with’ classical music (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart etc) through all my years right about age 10 (not that we ever stopped, but it considerably lessened) and at that point it was country that took over. My sisters took up the fiddle and banjo, played at events, and almost every CD we listened to was country. (At the moment, we are more into particular artists than genres in general.) I like country, though; it’s got a very comfy, homey feel to it, and makes people happy, as long as it’s not heard 24/7. ;-)
    I actually saw a bit of an episode of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman while we were on holidays. I was very surprised, because I’ve never seen it anywhere before! I like Jane Seymour. :-D
    You look very happy in that picture of you in the book store (or library). As you should be. ;-)
    So I just watched that video of Jeremy Jordan….and *cough* I see what you mean. :-P
    Haha, that part about Sadie making your lunch and washing the dishes…it sounds like Maxwell Smart. (Wait a minute! Hold everything! Have you seen Get Smart?)
    Oh, thanks dear, for saying such nice things about me. :-) (It was when I was reading that that my eldest sister came in and said, “Look at you, smiling to yourself in here!” I do that a lot, when I read your blog. :-D)
    My life lesson was almost identical to yours, coincidentally. :-) (I answered the tag questions on Naomi’s blog, and probably stuffed up her computer because of the enormousness of it, poor girl. :-P)
    Oh, I loved the lyrics you wrote up! I don’t know the musical Wicked, but I recognize the lines from Amy’s blog. :-)
    3 journals?! 3?! I only did one and I thought that was a lot for me. :-P I love journaling, especially starting a whole new book, and you don’t know what you’ll write on those smooth, white pages. :-) (I get rather sentimental when I finish and begin a journal.)
    Haha, even me, an extrovert, can get awkward around guys. ;-) I have a lot of cases where I HAVE to talk to guys, though, so I have to live with it. ;-) (My Sunday school class, teachers and all, consists of only boys. Same with all the kids there, my age.) On New Year’s Eve, I plucked up the courage to talk to a young guy at church (he is the same age as my eldest brother, and he went to Europe with him). We talked about Les Miserables. :-D I was so glad I got out of my comfort zone to do it, though. ;-) (And once I got going it wasn’t awkward! I mean, before I talked to him, he looked worn out and tired, but when I got the conversation rolling, he was laughing, after recalling some of his favourite parts of the musical that he saw at West End.)
    Well, as weird as this is going to sound and feel like, I look forward to getting to know you better in the next year, Emma. In fact, I am very much excited about it all. :-)
    “May we greet the new year with courage and imagination.” I like the sounds of that. :-)
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you took the time to re-type your whole comment, Miss Meg! I would have been disappointed if you hadn't. ;-)

      It wasn't a bad year, by any means -- it wasn't maybe the BEST, but it was pretty cool.

      Yes, three journals! Before last year, I hardly ever journaled at all, and when I did I got rid of it soon afterward. I think it was last November (two Novembers ago) when I started writing stuff down in a notebook whenever there was something I really needed to express. Now I love it, and do it almost every day. And yes, I get very sentimental about starting and finishing journals too -- each one is like a new chapter in my life, cliche as that may sound. ;-)

      You watched the video! ISN'T HE SOMETHING? It's crazy how much my sister and I have fangirled over that video.

      I'm excited to know you better too! I'm looking forward to seeing what the new year brings for us both. :-) Happy New Year!

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    2. Oh, and I actually haven't seen Get Smart, but I've heard of it. Do you mean the old one, or the one with Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell? (Is it good?)

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    3. No, I mean the old Get Smart with Don Adams. It's hilarious, if you like that kind of humour. (Completely a comedy. I hardly even remember a time when we hadn't seen all the episodes tons of times over.)
      ~Meg

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  11. Happy 2016, Emma!!

    Wow, it looks like you've had a really fun and full year. :) I enjoyed reading all about it!

    Aww, your story about the piano and wanting your own room is so sweet!

    NEWSIES. JEREMY JORDAN.


    There's so much I could comment on, but I don't have time (sniff) so I'll just highlight two more things-
    1) I too have gotten some clothes at Tractor Supply but what I really love there is the boots. THE BOOTS. Goodness, I practically swoon over them every time I go in that store.
    2) "Be less awkward, especially around good-looking people of the male-variety (this is a legitimate concern, people)"
    Oh, I can so relate. You're not alone, Emma dear. We need a support group. hahaha ;)

    Anyways, this was a great post!!!

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    1. Happy 2016 to you, Natalie! Yes, I did. I hope you did too. :-)

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