Once again, LONG over-due… but… better late than never right? πŸ™‚
Graduation was wonderful. The ceremony was exciting (at least for us graduating!). The anticipation was just mounting the whole… 3 hours! πŸ™‚ A graduation ceremony is a graduation ceremony is a graduation ceremony…. so I’ll spare you the details, plus, most of you reading this were there! πŸ™‚ I’ll just share a LOT of pictures!
Before I splash the page with pictures I have to say that it was WONDERFUL to have my ENTIRE family at Graduation. That was absolutely the best part of the weekend and experience… that and graduating with my best friends! But I feel SO blessed and I am SO thankful that everyone was able to make it… Mom, Dad, Haley, Grandma Joyce, Grandpa Cecil, Grandma Beverly, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Don, and Tyler’s Mom Debbie! It was wonderful!!! And I got to eat at my two favorite restaurants that weekend too!!! Ted’s (Mexican) and Joe’s Crab Shack!! YUMMMMY! πŸ™‚

Ok… Pictures… in no particular order- and I’ve swipedΒ a few from Facebook:

*Tyler and I after the ceremony- It was windy!*
*Best Friends before procession*
*Best Friends after Ceremony*
*BFF (Andi) before procession*
*Mixed Emotions after procession πŸ™‚ *
*Best Friends after the ceremony in front of Dance Department Flag*
We waited until we all walked across the stage, took our individual pictures, and then snapped this one before sitting down- Best Friend Style Totally! :)*
Overall, the weekend was WONDERFUL! Two trips to the OKC Memorial, lots of laughs, hugs and kisses, swimming, eating until you can barely breathe, NOT being late to graduation. It was just a magical weekend!
Until Next Time,

A Night at the Movies: A Tribute to the Movie Musical (Tribute to the Stars Banquet 2010)

Ok. For the last year, I’ve been mentioning “BANQUET” over, and over, and over! And never really going into detail…. well…. Now, you will get the update you probably never wanted! πŸ™‚ A recap of my time as the Students of Arts Management (SAM) Banquet Chair (2009-2010).

First, I had some BIG shoes to fill… Miss Elizabeth at Olive My Life was the 2009 Banquet Chair. Banquet was elegant, fabulous, stunning! It was WONDERFUL! So I knew that it would be a tough act to follow, but I also knew that 1) Having E around would be a BIG help and 2) E would be a PERFECT example of what TO DO, a great example to follow! πŸ™‚
Summer came and went (after being elected) and not much planning ocurred. In the fall, the Executive Committee for SAM and myself decided on my Committee Heads- those wonderful people who would assist me in all the areas of this banquet- and a theme! Early in the fall semester we did both- selected a WONDERFUL group for the Committee Heads and a fantastic theme!

We began the planning process… finding a location.. man is that hard! So many options to choose from!!! There was one we really liked with our theme and it seemed to be relatively in our price range… although, I was never SUPER sure what our price range was. The committees were hard at work planning the decorations, programs and invitations, production aspects and organizing the awards.
Then “tragedy” struck… Our faculty sponsor had to go out on medical leave for the remainder of the semester, leaving the EXEC Committee, myself, and the banquet committees with a new sponsor. After the initial “fill-in” with our new sponsor, we learned our idea was going to need some tweaking. This was at the very end of the semester, so it left us with little time to regroup before the break. Luckily, a few weeks off allowed us to regain focus on our own lives and the event and brought our faculty sponsor back from her leave. Before the break began, it seemed like a downward spiral was occurring. After the break, we decided to take fresh optimisim and essentially, “begin, again.” So the planning process… began again!

As a group, the committee chairs, EXEC and myself, decided it would be best to push through this challenge and overcome it to the best of our ability! Little did we know, we wouldn’t simply overcome it… we would triumph over our downward spiral!

Plans SLOWLY began to come together. Piece by piece we were able to put a banquet together. And I began to count down the days… which resulted in fear, anxiety and excitement as the day quickly approached! Then, we were down to a week! Left and right, things were swinging into place. Although nothing was COMPLETELY settled until the end of the banquet (and still, payments are being worked on), I could see the big picture coming together.

Then…. The day of the banquet arrived! I woke up Friday April 30th with butterflies to no end! “How am I going to get out of bed?” I asked myself… But, then I remembered I needed to get ready, pack my car and head to school… so I jolted out of bed, and got to work. First up, Tap Class…Testing no doubt! So I headed to my last tap test in my undergraduate career, on the last day of my undergraduate classes! (Weird feeling!) But, there were more important things to do…. like… pull off this banquet! πŸ™‚

So after Tap, I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off for a few minutes, figuring out my next plan… Then I headed to the venue, arriving around 10:30am…. to set up shop. At first, it was just me, the room and our “event representative.” I began ironing some of the linens we were providing to save money. Then, slowly, committee heads began arrive to set up! Each committee chair and a few volunteers showed up to help the set up process run smoothly. Setting up the center pieces, decorating the ever-annoying columns that obstructed the view of our guests (Gr! :)); setting up the awards tables; setting up the lighting instruments, the stage, the audio visual aspects of our banquet…. again, right and left, things were just slipping into place…. Then came the “dreaded” moment…. about 2:30… it was time for me to leave the remainder of set up in the very capable hands of the SAM president and my committee chairs as I headed off to class… besides the butterflies upon waking, this was the only time during the day I was nervous… I just did not want to leave.. Not because I didn’t trust my group to do amazing work (and we were practically done anyways) but because I was just having too much fun! With my computer, and printer and endless amounts of supplies (including iron, ironing board and various office supplies), my “work-station” was fully sufficient and everything was going so wonderfully, I was practically doing nothing! I just did not want to leave.. but I knew I needed to… So I headed back to campus for my Dance Studio Management Class, my Jazz Pedagogy Teaching Practicum Class and my Ballet Leveling Session. Then I headed to get Tyler so that we could head up to banquet (I had my dress and make-up at the venue so I could just head back and get ready when everything was all done!)

Then, I arrived. I walked into the ballroom to find the Emcees on stage practicing their scripts, our slideshow of pictures and our tribute to musicals playlist playing. The lights were dimmed, the “mock-tails” and tables were set… Everything was ready to go. I was literally STUNNED as I walked into this room. It was everything any of us could have asked for and more. I was so proud of our team, words can’t even describe. Of course, I immediately had to resume my duties of banquet chair (in my cut-off sweats and ballet hairdo) to assist various people in last minute set-up needs. Finally, I found time to go and get myself ready in the dressing room at about 6:20pm (the doors open at 6:30pm!).Β  Then I was able to enter the banquet as a guest. It was wonderful to be able to sit and enjoy the evening as if I hadn’t planned it all. There were still some surprises for me along the way, and the crowd as a whole. We shared laughs, and tears and enjoyed each others company. Overall, it was a fabulous evening and very well-received by everyone in attendance. It was a very intimate affair that ran as smoothly as possible and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out. It was a wonderful experience and a rollercoaster journey. But we survived and as I mentioned earlier it was better than could have been expected, by all. Now, I pass the reigns on to the next Banquet Chair. I am sure she will do a fabulous job as well! I can’t wait to see what next year’s banquet will bring… I can only assume it will be as wonderful as this past year, and I hope Emily will gain the learning experiences that my group and I were blessed with.

Here are some pictures from the evening courtesy of Leah, Tyler, myself and friends! The pictures are not in chronologicalΒ order but… Β Enjoy!

*My Work Station*
*Setting Up*
*Banquet Begins*
*Ellen (SAM President) and I*
*Senior Ped Girls and Ballet Faculty*
*Senior Ped Girls and Fast Pat (Tap Teacher)*
*Senior Ped Girls and Tiffany (Tap, Jazz, and Dance Studio Management Teacher)*
*Tyler and I*
*Class of 2010 Graduating with Honor Cords*
*Emcee’s Sam Payne and Ashley Durst*
*Accepting my Student Choice Award-
“Graduating Senior Most Likely to Become an OCU Faculty Member”*
*Dance Department Chairwoman, Jo Rowan, entertaining the crowd with her “Fly Dance”*
*”Mocktails” and Room Set-Up*
*Mood Lighting and Tables*
Well, I hope you have enjoyed this LONG over-due, look at the Students of Arts Management Tribute to the Stars 2010 Banquet!
Until Next Time,

Recap before the "RECAPS" :)

Well, so much for that “updating before the week is over” stuff I mentioned in my last post… almost a MONTH ago! Ha.. I’ve been stopping by frequently the last week or so, trying to decide how to tackle the last few weeks of whirl-wind that I’ve neglected to update on… (As I’m writing this, I still haven’t decided exactly how I want to do this, so… just go with me?)

I think the best, and most sane way to do this, is to give a BRIEF update in this post and then do specific updates on each event! πŸ™‚ That way you can see and experience all the glamor that has been my life for the last couple of weeks! πŸ™‚ But first, the “update” :

1) Banquet was AMAZING!!!! I have TONS of pictures from our amazing photographer that I will share with you all in that post, plus a few of my own… I didn’t have much of a chance to take a lot of my own, but a captured a few with my “trusty personal photographer”… aka…. Tyler πŸ™‚

2) Finals were more stressful than I had anticipated… I was doing things up until the very last minute possible… It was very easy to tell that I was just ready for the semester to be over…. and I survived! πŸ™‚ (Although, before today’s update, you may not have been able to tell! πŸ™‚ )

3) My family made it in safely. It was wonderful having ALL of my family here to celebrate graduation and the future! One weekend simply was NOT enough time to spend with them, but it was certainly nice. I hadn’t seen any of my family since CHRISTMAS! Not acceptable!

4) I Graduated from COLLEGE! (Only my Undergrad, but still!!!) And I did so side-by-side with my best friends, without who, I wouldn’t have survived the last four years! I miss them terribly, but I’m sure they are all enjoying their first few days in “the real world!”

5) I had the WORLD’s SHORTEST summer vacation…. πŸ™‚ I spent my time watching my TV shows, caught a few movies, and read 2 really good books from my Grandma! Can’t wait until the 3rd book in the set comes out in August! A perfect Birthday Present/End of “real” summer present/ back-to-school present! πŸ™‚

6) Tyler “graduated” as well this past week… He passed his Unlimited Electrical Journeyman’s Test!!!! He passed it on Friday… the day before I graduated, so I have been counting this feat a “graduation too” so we celebrated that with our families here! πŸ™‚ He is also getting ready to celebrate another “big” event… his 22nd Birthday is on May 24th! Yay!!!

Well, those few things above have been my life since I last updated…. I’ve certainly been busy… but, I am starting to feel ready to head “back” to school on Monday… yes, Monday… Monday I start my MFA classes OFFICIALLY! I’ll be taking 3 classes this summer. It’ll be fast and furious, but one step closer to graduating AGAIN in December of 2011. I’ll be sure and keep you updated on this adventure… after I re-update you on a few of the things above… so stay tuned for EXCITING recaps of these events! Pictures WILL be included! πŸ™‚

Until Next Time,