2015 In Review


Hey blog world! It’s New Years Eve! I can’t believe how fast this year flew by and we’ll soon be entering 2016! This has been such a great year for me. Here are some of the highlights of my year.

I attended my senior prom. It was a magical night! My sweet boyfriend Glen was my date and we both had one of the best nights of our lives! We had our first limo ride that day. It was lots of fun! My favorite part of that night is so hard to choose! The limo as I said was lots of fun, as was handing out the awards (best nickname, friendliest senior, best hair, most artistic, etc) and the dance was a blast! Here’s a picture of me and my sweetheart before we went to prom. 007

I graduated grade 12 in November!! Best early Birthday gift ever! In June, when I was supposed to graduate, I found out that I passed everything but my least favorite subject, World History. My chances at CONA’s Early Childhood Education program were therefore shot, so I went back to high school in the fall and took the course over again. In November, I took a supplementary exam and passed it therefore passing the course and graduating grade 12! I cried happy tears when I got my transcript in the mail and read that I passed with 59%! I was so proud of myself! HUGE thank you to Peter Halley and Stephanie Bowring, my two wonderful tutors!! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet with me in person and via FaceTime, for being kind and patient, encouraging me, pushing me and believing in me!

I became an artist. Splatter painting had been something I’d been wanting to try for a long time. It looks really cool and seems like a lot of fun! One day in August, I decided to take my chance and do a splater painting. I came up with an idea, bought a canvas, brought it home and set to work. I splattered red, black, blue and silver paint onto my canvas to the beat of “Do You Hear The People Sing” from my favorite musical “Les Misérables”. This was the end result Colors of the People I call it “The Colors of the People”. Rebecca Caine, a Broadway actress with a breathtaking voice who played Cosette in Les Mis and Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” was coming to Newfoundland the next night to perform at the Masonic Temple, I was going to the show so I decided to give this painting to her as a welcome to Newfoundland gift. She didn’t like it. She loved it! She said she would hang it in her studio! I was on cloud 109! I was thrilled that she loved it that much! She compared my painting to Jackson Pollock. I thought it was awesome that I got compared to a famous artist on my first try! I had so much fun painting Rebecca’s painting and I felt so good inside when I saw how much she loved it so I decided to continue painting. I joined a program called “Buy My Art!” that helps local artists to sell their work. Now my artwork is available at this website, and on my Facebook page and all the proceeds from the sales of my art will go to the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund.

2015 marked another fabulous year for local theatre. I attended dozens of fabulous shows! I loved everything I saw but my most favorites were “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (Spirit of Newfoundland), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (TaDa Events), “Spamalot” (Atlantic Light Theatre) and “Piano Men” (Evan Smith).

On December 6th my boyfriend Glen and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. This year has been the best year of my life because we were together. I love Glen very much! He’s a gentleman with a heart of gold! He’s absolutely adorable too! My favorite memories with him this year are playing life sized Clue at Youth Group and solving the case, overflowing with pride when he read me “The Cat In the Hat” all by himself, picnicking on my back poorch, swimming in Peter’s pool and slow dancing at Spirit of Newfoundland as Shelley Neville sang “At Last”. I swear, in that moment time stopped!

I reunited with a former “student” of mine! In grade 4, the special education teacher at my elementary school would take me out of class every now and then to help her teach a group of three first grade boys with Autism reading, writing and typing. In October when I returned to High School to redo world history I paid a visit to the special needs class. I missed my friends there a lot and couldn’t wait to see them again! When I entered the classroom, there playing the Wii was Evan, one of the boys I helped teach! I couldn’t believe how tall he’d gotten and how grown up he was! I was so proud of him.

I turned 18 this year! I had a wonderful Birthday. I spent the night with my family and my boyfriend. We went out for Chinese food, then came back to my house for cheesecake (my favorite desert in the world!) and presents. My Birthday party the following week was a wonderful night! I had a masquerade ball! This is what I wore Masquerade dress. The DJ played music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (I much prefer that to what’s on the radio these days) and my friends and I all had a blast dancing!

I got to spend the summer and Christmas working in heaven! This is my 2nd year as a seasonal jack of all trades at Spirit of Newfoundland. I polish silverware, fold napkins, package screech cake, take inventory, fill out recipt forms, if there’s anything that needs to be done I do it! Spirit is the best place in the world to work! My co-workers are all such wonderful people that feel like my 2nd family. I only have a few more days left of this work term. Next Wednesday is my last day. I look so forward to returning in the summer and working with them all again!

I got to give speeches on topics that are dear to my heart. I was one of the keynote speakers at Read All About It, a Best Buddies fundraising event at Chapters. I spoke about what Best Buddies means to me. It was awesome standing at the podium, sharing my story and promoting this incredible organization (to learn more about Best Buddies click here)! Also, I entered the Lions Club Speak Off for the 2nd year in a row. I spoke about why employers should hire individuals with special needs. I didn’t place but frankly I didn’t care! I brought attention to a matter that I care deeply about. I was proud and happy.

I tried to get published. I’ve written several children’s books and sent the manuscripts in to Flanker Press for consideration. I received a package in the mail from them recently. They returned my manuscripts and wrote me a letter saying that the books are wonderful and have potential but they only publish a few children’s books per year and have already committed to several over the next few years. Oh well! I’m not giving up at all! I’m going to continue writing and submitting my work to other publishers in the province. One day I will be published!

2016 is going to be another big year! I’m auditioning for Best Kind Productions’ May production of “Next To Normal”, going to College in the fall to study Early Childhood Education and will also be working on recording a CD! As for resolutions, this year I’m going to learn to drive. I have a fear of driving which is why I’ve put off getting my license. I’m afraid that if I get behind the wheel I’ll accidentaly hit something or someone and kill/seriously injure myself and/or someone else. This year I want to conquer that fear. It will be hard but I think I can do it! My goal is to drive myself to work this summer. Wish me luck! What’s been your favorite memory of 2015? Do you have a resolution for 2016? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

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