2016 Reflections & 2017 Resolutions

2017-resulutions

This has been a year of all things: great, challenging, and new.

This year, I had the honor of being a part of the remount production of You, or Whatever I Can Get with Flying V and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.  It was a small but significant (added-for-the-remount) role that was the perfect transition back into the theatre world after having Dez.

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Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography

I became a Beachbody Coach at the end of August.  I’ve learned that although I know that the products and programs are amazing and they work, people have a hard time investing in their health and wellness.  Their kids, ALWAYS (hey, I get it!).  But themselves, it takes an epiphany or a really “down” period for that a-ha! moment to hit.

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I got the chance to play a GREAT role in an innovative production of The Who’s Tommy.  Open Circle Theatre’s mission is to create opportunities for and spread awareness about actors with disabilities.  This production incorporated American Sign Language, and opened my eyes to an entire deaf culture that I (embarrassingly) had no clue existed.  The experience sparked a desire to learn ASL and get the learning process going for a possible new life path.  We’ll see!

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Photo by Wilder Photography

This doesn’t usually happen, but just one month after closing Tommy, I started rehearsals for a brand spankin’ new world premiere play, Mack, Beth! at The Keegan Theatre.  It’s a modern day version of the Scottish play, AND my first play-play since moving to the DC area in September of 2008 (aside from readings).  The cast is amazing, and I am THRILLED to be back at Keegan after too long of a hiatus.

Matt played a role that was very different than anything he’s ever done and NAILED IT.  (I had no doubts.)  He also got a promotion at work recently because he’s super smart and awesome.  (Also, no doubts.)

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Photo by Cameron Whitman Photography

Kevin is in his last year of preschool.  His handwriting, although crazy messy, is getting better.  He’s starting to read and sound out small words.  I don’t work with him nearly enough (#momfail), but regardless, he’s excelling in his school, and I’m grateful for his teachers.

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Desmond had been working with the Infants & Toddlers program for a possible speech delay.  We worked with them for about 7ish months.  I was never worried.  I knew he would speak when he was ready.  But just to be safe, we got services every couple weeks.  I learned a lot about “teaching” him to play (never thought I’d need that, but alas, I did) and how to help him develop his speech.  We recently stopped services as I didn’t think he really needed them anymore, and his vocabulary is really taking off.  Soon, he’ll be talking nonstop like his big bro.

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On the last day of the 2016, we lost Matt’s grandpa who had been battling cancer for about a year.  He was one tough guy, and he had a special bond with Kevin.  Matt was able to drive to Ohio on New Year’s Eve to be with our family and pay his respects to the man that raised him.  I’m so very grateful he was able to go.

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But now, on to 2017.

I have high hopes for this year.  And I have very specific resolutions… because ain’t nobody got time for broad, generic sh*t.

  • Pay off one particular loan that drives me BANANAS.  Both because debt is terrible AND the customer service at this place is literally the worst.  Rude as hell people.  The thought of paying interest to them makes me wanna puke.  So, they’re the first to go this year.
  • Workout: Weights 3x/week & yoga 3x/week — see?  Specific.
  • One blog post/week.  Eeeeks!  Hopefully I’ll have enough to share to fulfill this one.
  • Learn ASL.  At the very least, the basics.  Enough to have a rough convo.
  • Start the prerequisite course-taking process.  “For what?” — you might be thinking.  I have been feeling a strong pull to go back to school and pursue a Master’s.  I think I’ve *finally* figured out in WHAT, but there are many prerequisite classes to take before even beginning the Master’s program.  More on that later 😉
  • Live simpler.  Just… less stuff.  Less commitments.  Saying “no” when I really don’t wanna.  Less clutter.  Less stress.  Stop overthinking.
  • Badass tattoo.  Because I want one.  That’s all.

Again, 2017 — HIGH HOPES.  It’ll be busy.  I have a lot to do, a lot to work towards.  But by living simpler and paring down on the unnecessary things in life, I can do it.

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Photo by Monika Karnani

 

 

2014 in Review

Wow.  2014 was a big year for the Hicks Fam.  Instead of writing one of those letters of all the amazing things that have happened to us throughout the year and stuffing them into Holiday cards, I thought I’d spew it out right here. Continue reading

new year, new house

I never thought buying a house in Montgomery County, Maryland would ever be possible.  Like ever.  Home prices around the metro DC area are RIDICULOUS.

I posted a status on Facebook during the summer, genuinely seeking advice from people in the DC area on HOW they are able to buy houses.  Even if I had a full-time job in addition to Matt’s income, I still had a hard time seeing how it could be possible.  Were people winning the lotto?  Cashing in a sizable inheritance from a long-lost uncle?  Connections to the mafia?

A theatre friend that I had worked with a few years back saw my Facebook post and sent me a message.  She lives on the Virginia side of DC and told me that the only way that she was able to afford a house was through the Virginia Affordable Housing Program and that I should see if Maryland had a similar program.

We had heard about the first-time homebuyer’s program in Montgomery County but didn’t know if we qualified or what it entailed.  So that night when I got home from rehearsal, we looked into it.  It was an amazing program for first-time homebuyers who had just low enough of an income to qualify (by MoCo standards) but still made enough money to handle a decent sized mortgage.  And we barely qualified.  HALLELU!

The program required taking a 3-hour First Time Homebuyers class, another 2-hour class about the program, obtaining a loan pre-approval letter from a lender and attending a final meeting, which then qualifies you to get a “lottery number.”

Basically, if a builder is building a new community in MoCo and plans to build 30+ units, a certain percentage has to be sold through this program.  The units that are set aside for the program do not have all the bells and whistles that the regularly priced units do.  They have white carpet, builder-grade cabinets, regular ol’ countertops.  None of the fancy hardwood floors, granite counters, nice cabinetry that you would see in the standard homes.  But after you buy it, it’s yours, and upgrades come in due time.  And you know I love a project.

Some people are in the system for years and never win the “lottery”, but for some reason, the stars aligned, and we were chosen on our first attempt.  It was overwhelmingly exciting and scary at the same time.  We had to come up with cash for a deposit and then closing costs, make sure the dates worked out with ending our lease, secure movers, all while still driving to Maine for Christmas the week before the move.

So here we are, Sunday, December 29th.  We drove 14 hours home from Maine yesterday.  I’m dropping Kevin off with my mom today.  Matt and I are spending the rest of the day today cleaning and finishing packing.  Then the movers come tomorrow morning.  Hopefully by the time Kevin comes home Wednesday evening, the house will be relatively unpacked and set up, blinds installed and baby gates in (two flights of stairs are no joke with a toddler).

We’re really excited and blessed to start 2014 in a new home.  OUR new home.  Let the wall-painting commence!

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