Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday...and it was perfect...
  • Jonathan surprised me in the morning with breakfast in bed. Not only was I surprised with the breakfast, but just the fact that he was awake before me...and actually acting awake, was in itself quite a surprise. :)
  • We listened to Christmas music on our way to Chattanooga. It was the new Michael Buble Christmas CD that Jonathan got me especially for my birthday as part of my present.
  • We went to Barnes and of my favorite places. We got some Starbucks coffee and spent about an hour looking at books, and talking about the books we were looking at.
  • Next, we went to Panera for lunch. I always get the Pick 2 deal...a sandwich (chicken caesar) and soup (broccoli cheddar--only the best soup ever!). Yummy.
  • Then...we went to the best movie theater in town and went to see National Treasure. We got a large Dr.Pepper to share, and got lots of refills. I really liked this movie. Although the movie is mostly based on fiction, it makes me want to learn more about our history.
  • Right after our movie let out...we hurried and got a refill, and went to see another movie! Haha, we had never seen two movies back to back in a movie theater before...not to mention two premieres in one we went to see Sweeney Todd. I've been very excited about this movie coming out, because I love the Broadway version of it. It was good. Johnny Depp is amazing. I still prefer the stage version, but I thought that Tim Burton did a good job sticking pretty close to the original. It's a gory movie, and many of you may wonder why on earth Tiffany Zajas would like a movie like this. Well, I'd be happy to talk to you about that, if you want. But I'm not going to go on and on about it in this blog, because this post is already lengthy.
  • After that, we went to my family's house, and celebrated with them. It was a birthday/Christmas Eve-ish celebration with them. They gave me birthday pie, and gifts. They're all wonderful, and I love spending time with them.
All in all, I had a wonderful day. My Jonathan is the best...the best best friend...and the best at planning fun birthday outings. :)

And thanks to all of you who called and left happy birthday messages on my phone, sent happy birthday texts, the many Facebook and MySpace messages, emails, cards, and gifts. You are all so thoughtful, and I am truly blessed to have you in my life--my family and friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let the celebrating begin!

I'm getting excited, because the next few days are going to be full of fun celebration! First of all, my birthday is tomorrow (the 21st). I don't have to work, so Jonathan and I get to spend the entire day together. I know he's planning something...not sure what...but we'll have fun. Every time I mention to him about my birthday being on Friday, he pretends that he's forgotten and acts surprised...he's a goober. :)

Then, tomorrow night is our "first Christmas Eve." My family is leaving for Maine on Sunday, so we're celebrating Christmas with them early. Tomorrow night we're going to do what the Turpin family normally does on Christmas party foods, read a story, sing carols, and open one gift.

Then, on Saturday...early, early, early in the morning....Jonathan and I are going to go to my family's house to celebrate Christmas. My entire life, we have always gotten up super early on Christmas morning. And when I say early, I mean around 4am. Yeah, it's kinda crazy...but that's what you get when you're the oldest of 5 kids. But this year, we got them to compromise with us and make it 5:30am instead. Jonathan is really excited about this, because he is such a morning person. ;) It's going to be fun though. I'm excited about giving everyone their Christmas gifts. Jonathan and I wrapped them last night, and it made me even more excited to finally give them to everyone!

So, that's what the next few days hold for us. It's going to be pretty great!

I hope that you all are enjoying this Christmas season. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of everything, take the time to relax, spend time with those you love, and remember what this time of year is all about.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Last night I finally got around to organizing the fairly large bookshelf in our apartment. It was fun going through all of Jonathan and my old books. Some of them I have read many times, some only once, others I have read halfway through, and still others are on my "to be read" list. Now our bookshelf is nice and pretty, with all of the genres in basically the same sections. I didn't alphabetize them, however. I figured that would be going a little too far. :)

I love reading. Growing up, it was always a favorite pastime. There were many times where I would finish a book in one day. At the beginning of each summer, I had a list of books I wanted to read, and would always beg my mom to take me to the library. She gladly did so. But she did have to put a limit on how many books me and my siblings could get. The limit was normally 10...sometimes 15.

I miss reading.

Oh, I still read. I still read a lot. But it's not reading for leisure. I read for school...textbooks and plays. That's what my reading mainly consists of. And I still enjoy that, I do. I especially enjoy reading plays and expanding my knowledge in Theatre. But I have to admit that I do miss having the time to sit down with a good novel, or biography, or even a non-fiction book, and read...just because I want to.

It's now been a week since finals...and now that my brain has healed from all of the studying, I'm ready to pick up a good book. There are two books in my currently reading list. One for when I want to read non-fiction and just expand my knowledge in an area, and the other when I want to read a good novel. Here they are:
  1. Drama Ministry by Steve Pederson -- I just started reading this book, and it is amazing. This guy's viewpoint and vision for drama ministry is very similar to where my heart is. He is the drama director at Willow Creek in Chicago, and I have always been inspired by their ministry. I love his emphasis on non-cheesy, non-melodramatic, drama for the church and for ministry. I could go on and on about this...
  2. Monster by Frank Peretti -- This book is in my bag to read as soon as I get a chance to. I haven't started it yet, but I've been looking forward to reading it for quite some time now. Frank Peretti has always been one of my favorite authors. His book The Oath was the one that got me hooked on his writing. I have read that book several times. So I'm anticipating this one to be a winner as well.
There are quite a few other books on my longer "to be read" list, but I'm going to take it one step at a time and finish these two first. I'll let you know how they are when I've read them cover to cover.

So, what are some of your favorite books? Do you have any good recommendations?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dreaming of a white Christmas...

Many people down here say that I'm crazy for liking snow, and for missing it. But I am not ashamed to admit that not only do I like snow, I LOVE it at Christmastime. And I miss it.

I love living in Tennessee. It's home. It's great. But I do miss having snow during the holiday season. It's raining like crazy right now...and I was just imagining the rain turning to snow, and how pretty it would be. But it's 63 degrees out right now, so I don't see that happening anytime soon. I was born and raised in Maine, and now that I am transplanted in the south, I realize that I took for granted the fact that we almost always had a snow covered Christmas.

So, whenever I do experience another white Christmas...I will smile and be thankful for it. I'll go out and make a snowman, and possibly a snow angel, and start a snowball fight with Jonathan. I'll find the steepest hill to slide on, and laugh all the way down. And finish it off with plenty of hot chocolate. :) That is what I'll do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

As Hiro Nakamura puts it, "Yatta!"

Yatta! ("I did it!"). Finals are finally over, and Christmas break has officially begun. While you're in the midst of studying like crazy, it seems as though freedom will never come. But now...all the exams have been taken, all the papers have been written, and all the projects have been created and presented. It is now time to take a deep sigh of relief, and start enjoying the Christmas season.

And I plan on doing just that. Right now I'm listening to Nat King Cole singing of good tidings, last night we went to my sister's Christmas band concert, tonight Jonathan and I are going to do some Christmas shopping, and tomorrow we're going to my family's house to make chocolates and possibly watch a Christmas movie.

December has always been my favorite month. There are a lot of good things that happen during this month. Christmas...of course, is "the most wonderful time of the year". There is no school, which is always a plus. When I lived up north, I always enjoyed the snow during this month particularly. And my birthday is on the 21st, which is fun. It's just an all around good month.

So, with that said...I wish you all the very best December. Take some time to relax, drink hot chocolate, and spend time with loved ones.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Finals Week

This week has been extremely busy, because we are in the middle of finals. Finals week always seems almost surreal around here. I think that it may be because of the lack of sleep, and the amount of caffeine we expose ourselves to during our many study sessions. And there's the hope of freedom hanging in the air, which makes it seem as though this whole week is being lived in a dream (or nightmare, depending on how everything works out for you).

I have to admit that I have bittersweet feelings about finals week. On one hand, it frustrates me, because studying seems to consume every free minute of time. But on the other can be (*gasp*) Yeah, this really doesn't make any let me give you an example. This week, Jonathan and I have had a couple of "study parties" at our apartment. Nothing big, just a couple of friends coming over, and we all study in the same room. And that has made the studying more bearable...and even fun. We share our frustrations about whatever subject we're on at that time...make each other laugh with random comments and songs...and take the occasional study break to watch an episode of Heroes.

So, during the craziness that is known as finals week...I smile, and realize that I am blessed. Blessed to have such great friends to share laughter with. Blessed that I get to study something I love. Blessed to be able to go to college. Blessed that I'm almost finished with it. Blessed with a wonderful husband who will bring me coffee when I'm about to pull my hair out, because I'm tired of studying about tools and how they're used in theatre production.

I am blessed. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Yesterday afternoon Jonathan and I went with our friend Thorne to see Disney's new movie Enchanted. It's been a while since Disney has made a movie that I've truly loved...but this one, was great! It is now definitely on my list of favorites.

One thing that I love about Enchanted is that it isn't your "typical" Disney flick. Many parts of it satirize other Disney movies (such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella), which is hysterical. The acting was good...Idina Menzel from Broadway's "Wicked" even makes an appearance in a supporting role. It was just an overall great family film.

I definitely recommend this movie. And, just in case you're not sure that it's something you'd be interested in (I realize that not all of you can take my word for it)...below is the preview! This will give you a pretty good feel and idea of what the movie is like.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, November 30, 2007


I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the strikes that have been going on lately. One with the Broadway Stagehands in NYC, and the other with the Writer's Guild.

Thankfully, the Broadway Stagehand strike has come to a close, with the producers and stagehands arriving at a sound compromise. It's too soon to really tell how much this strike has damaged Broadway, but most shows are completely sold out for the weekend, which is a great sign that show biz in NY is jumping to its feet!

However, the Writer's Guild Strike doesn't seem as though it will be resolved as quickly. With 12,000 members being involved in this four-week old strike, writer's continue to reject the networks' proposals for a resolution. The networks really aren't offering the writers a fair compensation for the material they provide.

So, the strike continues. And as much as I support The Arts and their rights, this still saddens me. Heroes, Lost, and The Office are all shows that I really enjoy, and they are all shows that will have their normal seasons cut-off early this year, due to lack of material. I was shocked to see that The Office is already playing re-runs. And next Monday I plan on wearing black to mourn the end of the second season of Heroes.

I foresee there being a nauseating excess of reality shows playing on all of the networks.

Or maybe people will go back to reading books.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving break

So, I have been meaning to post a blog about Thanksgiving break ever since last week...but I kept putting it off, because I wanted to put some pictures up with my blog...but I still haven't gotten around to getting the pictures off of my I'm just going to update without the pictures.

Since I haven't updated in a while...this post might be long. But you can either read it, or not read's your choice. :)

Thanksgiving break was wonderful and very needed. Jonathan's brother Jeremy came and visited us for a few days, and that was nice. We took him to Chattanooga on his birthday...took him to our favorite pizza place (Lupi's!)...went to a terrible movie (Dragon Wars...haha, at least it was One Dollar Wednesday)...went and played with a dachshund puppy at the pet store (I want one!)...and Jonathan and him got to play video games. It was fun.

On Thanksgiving Day we went to my family's house for dinner. We got there early so that I could help my mom with some cooking (I made a pretty tasty sweet potato caserole...mmm, I love sweet potatoes), and so that we could watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (that was Jonathan's favorite part of the whole day ;) My grandparents from West Virginia were here visiting, so it was great getting to see them as well! It was a wonderful day of spending time with family and eating great food.

Last Friday Jonathan and I got up at 4:30am to experience the exciting world known as Black Friday. Neither of us had ever gotten up to do the whole crazy shopper we thought it would be a fun new experience after our first Thanksgiving being married. So...we went...we saw...we conquered. Seriously though, Black Friday is definitely a spectator sport. We bought a couple things, but really most of the fun came from watching the other shoppers. :) Very amusing!

Friday and Saturday consisted of putting up Christmas trees, watching Christmas movies, and spending time with loved ones. I will hopefully be writing another blog soon (with pictures!) about me and Jonathan decorating our apartment for Christmas. It's been very fun.

So yes, Thanksgiving break was wonderful...and needed...and I am already anticipating the next break! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's about time... case you haven't noticed, it's been a while since I last updated my blog. I know, I know...I was doing so well there for a while. But things have gotten crazy busy around here lately, and I just haven't made blogging a priority.

Since I haven't updated in forever, I'm not really sure what to talk about (you'd think it should be the other way around, huh?).

I can say that I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving break. It's going to be nice to have a few days of no school and no work. Jonathan's brother Jeremy is coming to visit us for a few days. That will be nice. Also, my grandparents are coming from West Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It will just be good to spend some quality time with people I love.

Thanksgiving is good for so many reasons:
  • a time to recognize all that God has done in our lives
  • spending time with family
  • watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • good food!
  • the ushering in of the holiday season! (Jonathan and I are planning on putting up our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving)
Needless to say...I'm very excited! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn is finally here!

Fall break was wonderful. Visiting family was wonderful. The only non-wonderful thing about Fall break was that it was over too soon.

This past weekend I got a new jacket, and I'm oh-so-happy, because I've gotten to wear it for the past three days. It's actually been cool enough to wear a jacket! Autumn is finally here! (You know...I think that Autumn is a much prettier word to describe this time of year than Fall. Why don't we use the prettier word more often?) I love experiencing all of the different seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...they're all great, and they all provide us with a change in scenery so that we don't get too bored (that is, unless you live in Florida, or some other state that is season deprived).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hit the road, Jack

This break has proven itself to be very wonderful. Mostly because I've had the chance to spend good, quality time with those I love.

Last night was date night for Jonathan and I. We went to this wonderful pizzeria in downtown Chattanooga called Lupi's. Oh wow...I'm pretty sure that was the best pizza that I have ever tasted! It really was amazing. Really really amazing. I just love finding new restaurants to go to. The kind of places that aren't chains, but unique to a certain city. After our delicious pizza we then spent an hour or so walking around downtown Chattanooga. We had fun. :) I love that city.

In a few hours, Jonathan and I are
going to be hitting the road (whenever I say that, I get this awesome mental picture of us with sticks giving the road a good beating...ha, I wish I could share with you what that picture looks like, because it's quite humorous) and going to Murfreesboro to visit Jonathan's family (now my family too!). It's been a while since we've gotten to see everyone, so this is going to be a very nice visit.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A much needed break

Fall Break is finally here, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy for Jonathan and I (for Jonathan especially) as far as school goes. Lots of midterms, projects, and tests. But now, we have a nice long weekend free from homework!

Last night was a good start to our break. We had my family (The Turpin tribe) over for dinner and to watch Heroes. We had so much fun! It was definitely a different experience having my family over to our apartment for dinner. Jonathan and I made dinner for them, and everyone loved it. Then, we all sat down to watch the newest episode of Heroes! (Moriah watched Spiderman: The Animated Series in the other room). I really enjoy spending time with those folks. :) They're favorites.

After the fam left, Jonathan and I tackled the copious amount of dishes left over from dinner (I really admire my mom for being a mother of 5 kids). Then...Jonathan and I went to Bruster's for icecream! Every time I go get icecream, I have to laugh at myself, because I take forever to decide on what flavor I want. We then took our icecream to Lee, and walked around the beautiful, deserted campus. We hadn't done that in quite a while (besides walking to classes). When we were dating, that was a frequent pastime of ours. Walking around and sitting on park benches having good conversation brought back many good memories.

I love breaks.

I love family.

I love having a partner to do dishes with.

I love icecream.

I love park benches.

I love my husband.

Now, on to see what the rest of this break holds for us! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Being thankful

So many times I get caught up in the busy, craziness of life, that I forget to thank God for all He's done. Many times I find myself complaining about things that I really should be thankful for (such as my job, and school). God has truly blessed me, and I never want to forget or not acknowledge that. I always want to be positive. Being negative is no fun at all.

I know that Thanksgiving is still a month away...but I think that every day should be a day of giving thanks.

Here are some things I'm thankful for:
  • My relationship with God--wow, He sure does put up with a lot. I can be difficult at times, and yet God is always there for me. He's always merciful, and He always loves me. I don't deserve it, but I am so thankful that His love is unconditional.
  • Jonathan--I truly have been blessed with an amazing husband. He makes me smile and laugh, he makes me feel so loved, he encourages me, he helps me, he's my best friend and I love him so much.
  • Family--I don't think that I have ever been so thankful for my family as I am now. I love going to visit, and getting attacked with hugs from my sisters. I love us sitting down with my parents and having coffee and good conversation. I love getting random voice messages from my brother. I just love them.--I also love the in-law family. We're going to visit them this weekend, and I'm very excited!
  • Friends--I love them. :) I love the kind of friends where weeks, months, and even years can pass and you get to see them again...and it seems like nothing has changed at all.
  • Graduation in May--I am excited about graduating. School has been great, but I'm ready for life after daily classes.
  • Sleep!
  • Warm fuzzy blankets.
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Nights with no homework.
  • Movie nights--curling up with a warm fuzzy blanket, my husband, hot chocolate, and a good movie.
  • Going on dates with my husband--we have such a great time together! I'm glad I married that guy! :)
  • Home cooked meals--cooking is fun, and getting to eat the homemade cooking is even more fun.
  • Theatre
  • Hamilton Life Church--I love our church family. The staff and members of our church really add so much to my life. I love having the opportunity to serve in ministry there alongside my husband.
  • Art--makes me happy :)
And the list goes on...

What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Creating art again

High school was different from college in many ways (obviously), but one of those ways was that in high school I was very involved in three areas: theatre, choir, and art. Well, since I've been at Lee I've only been able to focus on one of those interests: theatre (since it's my major). Now, I'm not saying that I miss high school...but I do miss those other interests. Especially art.

This semester I'm taking Scene and Set Design, which has thrown me back into the world of art--and I love it! Apart from doing lots of sketches and draftings for my class, I've started sketching just for fun. It's been such a stress reliever! Drawing really does make me smile. Whoever came up with the idea of art therapy is a genius!

Anyways... about a month ago I purchased a Moleskine sketchbook. I've used it some for class assignments, but I'm just now beginning to use it for daily (or every other daily) journal sketches (basically, drawing what I saw or was thinking of that day). It's fun! It's definitely nothing fancy...but I enjoy the creativity of it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I want this shirt

I just saw a picture of a friend of mine who lives up in the Maryland/DC area...and she was wearing a shirt similar to this one, and I want it.

"Why?" you ask?

No, I'm not a Maryland fan.

The reason I like this shirt so much is because my nickname with some of my friends around here is "Turtle". This came into being when Jonathan and I first met, and his guy friends were trying to think of a "code" name for me (haha). So their logic in my nickname? My last name was Turpin...which is kinda like Maryland's mascot the Terrapins...which is a species of turtle. So I have been "Turtle" or "The Turtle" ever since. A couple of friends (i.e. Thorne and Russell) only call me this. I'm pretty sure they refuse to call me by my real name. It's awesome.

So, that is why this shirt is so awesome.

The end. :)

P.S. I just ate my salad with a spoon, because I forgot to pack a fork. I often laugh at Jonathan, because he sometimes eats his icecream with a fork. And now, I give him permission to laugh at me...because I just ate my salad with a spoon. And it was not easy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some random thoughts:

My mind is kind of all over the place today, so I'm just going to throw some random thoughts out there in a bulleted-style-post.

  • I've discovered that Jonathan makes the best hot wings in the world. Really, they're amazing. And he made them for me the other night when I had a huge drafting project to work on for my Scene and Set Design class. He is sweet.
  • Two of my classes were canceled on Friday. Jesus loves me.
  • In the past week I have written two songs. One is about meat and the other about veggies. I came up with both of them while cooking (hence the subject matter). Jonathan laughed when I told him I should take a music composition class. I don't know why.
  • I think that Heroes is one of the best shows ever made. I'm really excited about this season.
  • I watched an episode of Spiderman: The Animated Series. It made me feel like a little kid. I liked it.
  • We might go camping with some friends in a couple of weeks. The possibility of that makes me very happy.
  • I want to play videogames. More specifically, I want to play the new Team Fortress 2. Jonathan has definitely had a great impact on my life. :)
  • I can't wait for my drama ministry books to arrive in the mail. Getting packages is fun!
  • I'm already excited about Christmas. It's my favorite time of year. I am tempted to start listening to Christmas music right now...but I will refrain, because that would just be crazy. It's October.
  • I love Jonathan Zajas.
That's all for now. Have a happy day!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

1 year at Hamilton Life Church

This past Sunday we celebrated 1 year of ministry at Hamilton Life Church. In many ways that one year has flown by, but in other ways it seems as though we've all been together for much longer. God really has done a lot in one year, but I'm even more excited to see what He's going to do in the years to come!

For those of you who don't know, Jonathan and I are both ministry volunteers at our church here in Chattanooga. Jonathan is the worship leader and I'm the drama director. It's such a blessing to be able to minister to other people with drama! I love theatre...and I love God...and if I can use my love of theatre to honor God, then that makes me so very happy!

A few days ago I ordered a couple of drama ministry books (one was written by the drama director at Willow Creek in Chicago...their ministry is AMAZING)--the books look like they'll help me a lot. I know quite a bit about theatre and production, because I've been studying it for four years at Lee, but drama ministry is still fairly new to me. I'm wanting to better learn how to develop a drama team (right now it's just me and Jonathan) and to use dramas to enhance services...and I also want to eventually write more short scripts. This is scary to me, because I haven't done much of it, but finding good (a.k.a. non-cheesy) Christian dramas is, I feel God pushing me in the direction of writing some of my own.

I can sense that God's going to stretch me more in this area...and although it's scary at times, I'm excited about it! :)


Monday, October 8, 2007

It's been a while...

Well, it sure has been a while since the last time I've blogged...but recently I've had the desire to pick it back up again. I used to be an avid user of Xanga, but that eventually fizzled out. Now, I've come across BlogSpot which appears to be pretty good, so I thought I'd give it a shot. goes!

A lot has happened during the past few months of my life. The biggest, most exciting thing is that I married my best friend, Jonathan Zajas. We've been married for a little over two months now, and it has been amazing. Marriage really is wonderful. I love getting to share every aspect of my life with him. He really is a blessing to me.

There are lots of other things going on in my life as well...such as school and church, etc. But I'll leave those subjects to be talked about in a later post.