Sunday, August 30, 2015

Girl Power!

A month has gone by since my last post and I feel like so much has happened. I'm already anticipating the change of the season, and with that comes time for reflection and gratitude. In August, we received good news from Jon's CT scan - meaning the new chemo treatment plan is working from the neck down. Anxiety is lurking on this rainy Sunday morning as tomorrow brings a routine MRI scan to check on the brain. Hopes and prayers for no change in the brain or shrinkage. We are not too far out from whole brain radiation and chemo is supposed to work somewhat in the brain, so we are (as always) hopelessly optimistic, but nervous. If there are more spots in the brain or signs of progression, targeted radiation is a possibility, as is the clinical trial we keep our eyes on in Nashville. Our doctor is working hard to get it here at Emory, which is also something to be grateful for. To combat the stress of tomorrow, we plan to spend this rainy day quietly at home by watching the Fargo tv show and a Woody Allen classic tonight - which is quickly becoming a Sunday routine.

For me, the past month turned into a very productive, happy time. Though our plans were fairly simple, Jon and I both set goals for ourselves in writing. He is very close to finishing a feature screenplay called Cottonmouth, I am working on a rewrite of my feature, Nobody's Darlings, and I finished a short screenplay titled The Wars - set in the 1960s about an interracial teenage couple on the run through the South. Nirvana is the final post-production phase as Jon and our amazing sound designer, Jeffrey Bullins, perfect the sound mix remotely as he is based in New York. I'm also very excited about getting back to my graduate studies at SCAD, especially now that I am entertaining thoughts about a PhD! I am taking an online course in Contemporary Art - which I will love and it will inspire me, also I love the format of courses online. And I have a course in Directing - where I hope to film one of the short screenplays written this summer! Sad news, I quit my job managing the community center and working part time at the shop around the corner here in Serenbe, but I felt it was time. I have my eyes set on a tutoring job at SCAD with an interview next week. If I get it, I'll be working with ESL students. I think it will be a great fit and also look great on my resume when I begin applying as a professor. And because I know people might ask, we have no plans to leave Serenbe. In fact, I have fallen deeper in love with this community over the summer months and will likely stay here for as long as possible. I even have a post in mind solely about my love for this special place, which I hope to write next.

Something really awesome revealed itself at the end of summer and that is the strong force of feminine power that surrounds me. I have never been the type of girl to have tons of girlfriends around me all the time. I've often felt more comfortable either by myself or hanging with the guys - and by guys, I mean Jon - haha! I've had several close female friends - usually one at a time, depending on where I was at that time in my life. Truthfully, being friends with a lot of girls has often frightened me - I don't want to get caught up in the cattiness and gossip that sometimes comes with the territory. However, recently, I have found a group of girlfriends that have been so welcoming, kind, and generous to me! From the amazing tour de force that is the New Mavericks group of ladies to my reaffirmed strong bond with my childhood friend, Mary Anne, to long conversations with my best college girlfriend, Natalie, in LA (I promise we're coming to see you soon!), I am learning to lean on them for strength. I am so thankful for their friendship and for the special times we've shared just in the past few weeks. I recognize this bond is very important at this time in my life. I need them surrounding me from many different corners of the earth - near and far - and I'm grateful to each and every one of these special ladies in my life! I am so fortunate to be married to my best friend and spend each day and night with him! For the longest time, I kind of shut other relationships out of my life just because I was so happy being with Jon. Now, I am putting more effort into my friendships and these amazing women have proven their devotion to me, as they stick by me through thick and thin. So, I am dedicating this post to them! Love you all so much!

My best friend, the person I am constantly texting, and the other love of my life/soulmate, Mary.

Trip home to Southwest GA to see my Mama, Mary and her sweet baby girl Lily.

Didn't have a photo of just us... but here we are with our handsome men... my ROCK, Leslie!

Girls making movies... two of my actress muses, Skylar and Tatum. 

Friends in life and film, New Maverick ladies and beautiful fellow brunettes - Jen & Lane (Brantly not pictured but you are in this photo in spirit as our fearless leader!)

Worlds colliding - Mary & Jen at the New Mavericks Film Series AKA my happy sandwich! 

My beautiful baby girl and protector - Harper Grace!

Lovely and Sacred Girls Day in Serenbe with Jen & Wendy! 

Girls day ended in the rock labyrinth - a very special place of refuge for me here in Serenbe!