Tag Archives: personal

Happy Birthday, CZ!


My best friend, Christie Zellmer, is 22 today! Hooray!

HelloGiggles, one of my absolute favorite blogs, has a post called “A Love Letter to My Bestie and How to Recognize a Bestie When You Have One” and a few of their ways to recognize a bestie are as follows:

  • Besties should be able to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians with you and not judge you, but instead, immediately be able to make fun of Kourtney’s voice.
  • Besties should get super excited about your new jobs and opportunities and support you 100%. They should read your articles and congratulate your promotions.
  • Besties should let you know when you’re acting like a jerk, but never hold it against you. After they tell you, they should stick with you while you cry your eyes out and then pick yourself up. Also, they should show up at your work the night after your breakdown with your favorite Starbucks drink to cheer you up and remind you that you’re not a bad person, you’re just still learning and that’s okay.
  • Besties should always tell you look hot in that dress, but you’ll look even hotter in the one that doesn’t make you look like a bison.
  • Besties should politely pretend you’re not weirdly obsessed with Harry Potter and love you anyway.

Oh how true those are. I can’t even begin to tell you how true they are in me and Christie’s case, but I will try.

(daphne and velma 4ever!)

If Christie and I’s lives were a movie, tonight we would dress in designer duds and wear ridiculously high heels and go out on the town and get free drinks from everyone and take millions of pictures and karaoke together and then get offered a record deal and win a car and fly off into the sunset. However, while this gameplan would not bother me in the slightest, today I wish I was just sitting on our couch with her, watching Kourtney and Kim Take New York for the millionth time, painting our toenails and talking about what Jesus is teaching us and how much we love puppies. That honestly sounds like perfection right about now.

With my friendship with Christie, everything has been so easy. We met freshman year of college but didn’t really get to know each other until the week before sophomore year began. One of those nights, out in the wilderness with no cell phone service on a retreat, we had both heard a message that hit us kinda hard. We ended up talking outside and walking down to the river at a certain campsite. Sitting on a big rock, dangling our feet over the water, we told our life stories and instantly bonded. We stayed out so long that people came looking for us – but that was the thing with our friendship- time never seemed to matter. From then on, we were lucky if we ever left anywhere once we started talking.

Marathon-long conversations in the morning were our calling card. We’d say “let’s do something today!” and then we’d start talking and would spend so long conversing that we would end up pushing all our plans back to late afternoon. Our personalities were alike enough that we could relate, but different enough that we could teach each other. Christie’s friendship in my life has been one that has found us laughing until we cry more often then not and talking til the sun comes up. Plus, we borrow each other’s clothes and trust each other with hair dye, and as girls, that’s a pretty big freakin’ deal.

Christie is one of the few people I know that is able to be both absolutely crazy and silly and playful and then super-serious and contemplative with me 5 minutes later. We can go from talking about The Bachelor to theology in no time, and neither one of us finds it to be an odd transition. It’s like even our brains are best friends.

Our friendship has been rooted in our love for Jesus from the start. In our apartment, we always seem to walk into each others’ rooms with our bibles open, wanting to ask about scripture, encouraging each other in prayer and telling so many stories that cement the fact that God has a sense of humor. Christie constantly makes me evaluate my faith, makes me act on what I believe and is there with tissues when life just doesn’t make sense. Her advice comes from talking to God about things and her heart is strong for Jesus and furthering his name.

The best of friends make you a better person, and for Christie, this is overwhelmingly true. Most of all, Christie has brought out my confidence way more than I thought possible with music. She’s been writing music since she was a kid, basically, and she was the first person that I felt like I could share my own songs with. Her voice is the kind that when she sings, people stop dead in their tracks and listen and her songs are heartfelt and I was a fan of her music even before we were close friends, but to have her sing and play and write music with me? Amazing. Without Christie I would have stuck to playing my ukulele alone in my dorm room, never shared hand-written lyrics with the world, never picked up a guitar, and never played a show. She is the Chuck to my Olive, the soprano to my alto, the shaker to my drum, the guitar to my ukulele and the melody to my harmony. She made music an even bigger part of my life, if that was even possible, and am a better songwriter and a better person because of her.

We’ve been roommates for nearly 2 years, but at times it feels more like 20. She knows me, I know her and we just have that almost-ridiculous dynamic where we finish each other’s sentences. I’m gonna miss when we don’t live together, but I can’t wait to see what our futures hold. I am so grateful for her in my life and am celebrating today from afar!

I love you, bestie! I hope your day is as wonderful as you are, although, that’s an especially tall order. Here’s to 22+ more years of mischief and dance parties and dreaming big.

If you want to leave a little birthday love for CZ, feel free to write a sweet comment here or go check out her fantastic NEW photography blog, Cold River Photography and leave some love! You won’t be disappointment!

It Always Ends Up Being About The Beatles And Jesus

One of my favorite parts of the movie Juno (and yes, it has grown on me and I own the cutesy soundtrack, call me a hipster and be done with it) is when Juno’s talking to her dad and he’s reprimanding her about her pregnancy (oh yeah, sorry, spoiler alert, Juno’s pregnant) and he says, ” I thought you were the kind of girl who knew when to say when. ” Juno pauses for a moment and says, “I don’t really know what kind of girl I am.”

(You can skip to the 1:39 mark if you want to hear the original integrity of said line-)

Anyway, I don’t relate to this line because I am also with child (I’m not! Promise this is not a baby announcement!), but there’s something in the simplicity of that honest sentence that I do relate to.

I know it sounds like a MySpace-era-rant, so forgive me, but I don’t really know what kind of girl I am at this point either.

My interests and time spent is so vast – one minute I’m insisting that I need to watch every single movie on the IMDB Top 250 List (and, for better or worse, I’ve seen quite a lot of them already) and the next I want to sell everything I own and go overseas, pull an Oprah, and open a school in South Africa for orphans and under-privileged youth. My day-to-day life is frustrating, feeling like I matter is frustrating, simply deciding what to do on Friday nights is frustrating.

I struggle to find my voice in writing. I want to translate all these thoughts in my head to something I can put down on paper or something I can type up, but I struggle to wrangle it all together in one category. Half of me loves to craft jokes and puns and dialogue and wishes and hopes to turn that into writing screenplays in the entertainment realm. Half of me loves to write songs and wants to put down feeling and emotion into lyrics and melodies to share with the world. The other half of me wants to write on serious topics and address hurts of the soul with the love and hope I’ve found in Jesus Christ.

(And yes, I realize I used three halves in that last paragraph, but hey, math was never my thing.)

I struggle to know what I want to do career-wise. Applying for jobs is confusing, putting my whole life on one sheet of paper to give to employers baffles me, and in interviews my voice sometimes gets shaky. I just want to do something I can be passionate about, something I can reach others with, even if it’s in the smallest way, and my head spins – either thinking I can do everything, or worse, thinking I can do nothing.

As much as I want to be a stereotype sometimes, I’m not. I’d love to define myself by one or two words, but I shuffle between all of them – struggling musician, sarcastic cold-hearted cynic, girly-girl, i’m-over-it twenty-something, childlike wonder, southerner, music-nut, vagabond, girl-who-takes-everything-too-seriously, girl-who-takes-NOTHING-seriously, party animal, homebody, gossipy teenager, fangirl, foodie, dreamer, hypocritical-christian, happy-go-lucky, sensitive sally, drama donna, negative nancy and about 25 more. In fact, as I was writing this, I sneezed, which caused me to knock over a cup of coffee that proceeded to spill all over my phone, which in turn, made me hit the phone and start my loud Beyoncé ringtone, so you know, I’ve even got the hopelessly-clumsy-romantic-comedy-heroine angle working for me right now. (Ps, don’t even think about stealing that move, Katherine Heigl.)

So, in this great transition of my life, I think about myself a lot, which is actually a pretty lame thing. I worry about not developing into someone successful or not being able to give a witty answer all the time. I worry about being liked, about being defined and it’s all so stupid.

Why do I get caught up in all this? Why do I worry so much?

I’ll admit that I don’t know what kind of girl I am, but I do know that I am loved.

I am loved, and since I am loved, nothing else matters. I am loved by a family that has raised me with care and humor and honesty. I am loved by friends that have made me better, that have celebrated the person I am. Most of all, I am loved by a God who doesn’t let go of me, doesn’t change his affection based on my mistakes, doesn’t desire for me to be anything else but in a relationship with him.

And didn’t the Beatles say it best? All you need is love.

I mean, really, you can call this cheesy, you can tell me that their sentiment is just an empty Hallmark-card-saying, but, all you need is love. Really, that’s all you need. You don’t need to define yourself with anything else. If you know that you are loved, if you can cement that in your mind and lean on that love, you can do anything. It doesn’t matter if sometimes you struggle to find yourself, struggle to find truth, struggle to find what you really want in this life – if you are truly loved, those struggles aren’t the end.

I don’t know if John Lennon and Paul McCartney had Jesus in mind when they wrote it and I certainly don’t think they had a big-haired big-mouthed blog-writing girl in mind when they wrote it- but – call me a hippie, call me idealistic, call me the one that too often makes song lyrics a mantra about Jesus, but, all you need is love. Love is all you need.

After all, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

And really, (WARNING: embarassingly-bad pun ahead) what’s not to love about that?