Our Wedding (in Photos)

Here are some camera phone snapshots from the wedding. I'd post ones the photographer took, but I haven't received them on disc yet. When I do, I'll post some more & talk about the dress, my shoes, how AMAZING my friends made the whole experience for me, and more in another post or two... For now I'll just say It was a GORGEOUS (but VERY chilly) day-one I wish I could actually do again!


























MADE: I Want to be a Roller Derby Girl

It's been a rough 2-3 weeks. Things have been pretty heavy, and of course, that means things here on the blog have been heavy. I'm kinda weary of writing about the heavy things in my life, so today I thought it would be nice to take a break from that and spend my time writing about something else...something completely random...



Did you ever watch that show on MTV called "Made"?  The one where they take high school kids & young college kids and help them accomplish some secret desire of theirs?  No?  Here's a refresher:


MTV would come to your hometown and help you be "made" into something that your friends & family wouldn't expect, something you've always wanted to be but hadn't told anyone. For example, if you were a 10 grader who was into the goth scene,  but had a secret desire to be a beauty pageant queen, MTV would hook you up with a coach who was a beauty pageant veteran and they would "train" you for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, you would compete in a beauty pageant to see how well you could do and really find out what it was like to be in one.

I used to watch this show religiously. Over the years, I watched nerdy guys be "made" into rappers, goth girls "made" into cheerleaders, non athletic kids "made" into volleyball players or skateboarders, shy guys "made" confident enough to ask out their dream girl,etc. What I enjoyed about the most was watching the growing process these kids would go through as they trained during those 30 days. It was always pretty inspiring to me, especially because you could see they really benefited from the experience and boosted their confidence in themselves. I know it was kinda corny, and maybe some of it was scripted (who knows) but I actually really liked it.

I even sent in a submission video when they had a casting call once, but I can't remember what I wanted to be. (and NO I don't a copy of the video!)

If I were to send one in now, I  know EXACTLY what I would want to be made into-I even think I put in on my Life List. Are you ready for this?

A Roller Derby Girl.

" I wanna be confident! I wanna be fearless! I wanna be a badass skater chic! I wanna be MADE into a Roller Derby Girl."

That would be the voice over  intro to my episode. Like it?

Why Roller Derby?  Watch and learn:


Seriously. Who wouldn't WANT to do this?  To take all of your frustrations, inhibitions, stress and whatever else and leave it all on the track? And get to tackle and hip check a few people in the process?

The only other sport I could really see myself being able to do this with would be football...but since I'm not a man, and they only seem to let women in lingerie play in leagues, I'd rather whip it around a track on a pair of skates and get my adrenaline-I-want-to-body-slam-someone-fix this way.

So I secretly want to be a Roller Derby Girl. Have a slick alias that's full of badass, "I am WOMAN hear me roar"-ness. What kind of name would I give myself? Hell if I know, but I'm sure after learning the ropes of Roller Derby I could find something that suits my personality on the track.

So what's stopping me from throwing on a pair of skates, attending a derby bootcamp, and trying out for a team?

I don't know how to roller skate.

You know those people you see at the rink who never leave the wall? The ones who crash into the wall instead of using their brakes? The ones who weeble and wobble until they bust their tail and clock themselves or someone else in the head with their skates?

That's me. I'm one of those people.

For years I've envied the people who fly around the rink dancing, beebopping, crisscrossing, spinning and weaving their way through the skater traffic that's peppered with kids and klutz's like me.  I've always tried to stay out of their way, secretly wishing I could dance-skate my way to my favorite grooves like they did.


But alas, when it comes to coordination, God didn't see fit to grant me the ability to be groovalicious or even graceful on wheels.

Not being able to be sure of myself on a set of wheels seriously undermines my confidence as well, which only makes me even more of a dunce on skates.

I can be a badass on my own two feet, but on skates? I think I'll just leave that to the professionals and the women who can whip it like no one's business. much as I would LOVE to be a Roller Derby Girl, I think I'll just settle for trying to cheer on the league here in Philly (shout out to the Philly Roller Girls! KICK SOME ASS THIS SUMMER! )and of course catching some matches when I move to Austin-the birthplace of Roller Derby Revival.

I won't get "made" into a Roller Derby Girl...but I do plan on being one hell of a fan :)

Would you ever try Roller Derby? What would your name be? What should mine be?

Self-Love Saturday: Learning to Live and Not Just Survive

Three weeks ago as I waited for my Human and Cultural Diversity class to start, I sat in a desk, staring blankly at my iPad screen, finger paused above the "submit" button, frozen. 

Can I really do this? 

I can't afford this....

Yes, yes I can. 

All of my bills are paid. 

We have a refrigerator full of groceries. 

I quickly did some calculations on paper regarding Brennan's upcoming birthday expenses and then looked back at the screen, staring intently at the "submit" button. 

I have enough. This won't break me. I can afford this. 

I sat staring first at the total amount and then the submit button, my eyes darting back and forth between the two, my mind racing, thoughts loud. 

I closed my eyes and started to breathe very slowly to keep the looming anxiety at bay. 



And then above the noise, I heard it....In between pounding heart beats I felt it.



"You deserve this A'Driane. Stop surviving your life and remember to live it. It's ok to live."

It's okay to live. 

I opened my eyes and hit the submit button. 

Relief and the tiniest pangs of excitement started sweeping over me as my confirmation number appeared on the screen and I stared at the itinerary outlined below it. 

Austin, Texas. 

I had just booked a flight for myself and Brennan to go to Austin, Texas.

A vacation. A six day vacation. To see some special people I love and care about, to see a city I hope to move to in the near future. 

Three weeks later, as I sit on my floor surrounded by clothes with an open suitcase in front of me, I still can't believe we're boarding a plane tomorrow and flying back to my home state. 

I still can't believe I actually took a step outside of my wishes and daydreams and tangibly grasped ahold of them. 

I know you're thinking, "big deal, you're going to Austin. So what?"

The so what is this: Since I separated from the military in 2006 and had Brennan in early 2007, I've been slowly getting back on my feet. I've mentioned before that I was practically homeless at one point and I eventually had to move back home with my parents. Stepping back into the civilian world with no employment, a child to raise, and no place to call my own hasn't been easy. I've spent the past six years much like I spent much of my childhood and teen years: surviving life and not really living it. 

I've been so preoccupied with trying to survive that I've forgotten how to live. Some of it is because I've had to in order to make it, but I've also forgotten how to live because I've let fear hold me back from really pursuing what I want out of life. 

I've let fear keep me in daydream mode, my mind filling up with wishes and hopes I've carefully stored away up on a shelf titled, "One Day....Maybe." I've been so focused on priorities and being responsible that I've suppressed the part of me that actually enjoys life. 

Enjoying life....that's something I've had to learn how to do while on this self-love journey. I grew up a military brat so traveling and seeing new places is something I LOVE to do. Stepping out and taking risks is a part of myself I've yet to really express, partially to circumstances but also to a huge amount of fear. 

I've always wanted to visit Austin...(living there is on my Life List for crying out loud) but when I realized I could make that happen by buying a ticket, fear and "what ifs"stepped in and made me question if I could really do it. I started to talk myself out of doing it, thinking that the more responsible thing to do would be to spend the money on something else...or save it. 

But the truth is, we're good. For the first time in a very long time, we have everything we need with more than enough left over to save and play with. 

I realized from this experience how important it is to not let circumstances or situations keep you from living your life. I know there are parts of our lives that demand our attention and focus, but that doesn't mean we are subject to just meandering our way through life, merely surviving from one day to the next. This experience has taught me to go after those things I've only wished and dreamed for, both big and super small, and I want to encourage you to do the same. 

What's your passion? What do you love to do? Where have you wanted to go? What's on your Life List? Are you talking yourself out of things because you don't think you can afford to take a step in a different direction? 

I heard a quote by Lysa Terkheurst yesterday that said this: "If we think we have forever, we forget to live for right now." 

Learn how to live your life and not just survive it. We were made to do more, to be more. We only get one shot. Let's do our best to give it our all and make it count.