birthday/homecoming weekend!

so listen.

last week was straight up crazy. long story short, i hardly slept. i was working on an annotated bibliography for a term paper in my history&theory class, as well as a prompt book for directing. i got about 4 hours of sleep each night, excluding thursday night. i woke up thursday at about 8am, went to classes, went to rehearsal, got out of rehearsal at midnight, (the beginning of friday, my birthday), worked through the night on my prompt book, took a shower and went to my intro class, came back at 11:30am, and finished my prompt book in enough time to turn it in at 1:30. i didn’t end up going to sleep until about 3:30. AM. on saturday morning.

so, all in all, i was awake for a little less than 48 hours. but, i was awake for my ENTIRE birthday, so i didn’t miss a minute of the celebrating! (if you can call working for 12 solid hours on a prompt book celebrating.)

once the prompt book was turned in, i was in birthday mode! i packed up my things for my super fun weekend at OC and went to a salon that was having a november birthday special: 25% off a massage if your birthday is in november! i decided earlier this week i was going to treat myself and man, i am glad i did. i got an hour long full body massage for less than $50! it was glorious. i’d never had a professional massage, so it was pretty luxurious. and what a perfect time to do it, too! i’d been staying up and really abusing my body all week long, so it was a great way to unwind after a super-stressful week.

once the massage was over, i went to edmond! me and kayleigh ushered for millie (mostly so i wouldn’t have to buy a ticket…), and then we watched the show. i am so proud of all my beautiful and talented friends! madison was a precious dancing beauty, hannah faye was hilarious and singing her sweet heart out, josh was a tapper extraordinaire, kristi was a STUD doing everything, kimber GOT that tap solo, and DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON LAURA BOWLES AND BRETT VANDERZEE. gosh. they were so perfect and funny that i can’t even hardly stand it. brett vanderzee is a freak of nature. the kid is so talented and versatile, he blows my mind. laura’s mrs. meers was the. best. she’s just the funniest person in the world. so so so funny. i’ll definitely be talking in brett’s plankton voice and singing “they don’t know” a la laura for weeks.

after the play, i hung out with kaley white for a while, and we went to go surprise kelcy at his apartment. thing is, he didn’t finally go to his apartment for like an hour and a half, so we just had some good girlie time. she’s such a sweetheart. when kelcy finally came home, i had time to hug him. then, i left because i was EXHAUSTED (understatement of my lifetime).

after sleeping for about 3 hours, i woke up SUPER EARLY to go to iota’s first ever alumni breakfast! it was such a wonderful time! it was great to see not only the other girls from iota’s first year, but iota’s current members as well. and we got to meet a lot of the new girls! the sweet officers honored the charter members with the announcement that our littles and their littles are now our “families” named after our last names! i am so honored! knowing that there’s going to be a conklin family in iota for years to come is really humbling, and i am floored by the generosity of those girls! i am so excited about their future and the things that God is doing through those girls and in them. i am proud to be associated with iota!

after alumni breakfast, i went to the parade. i got to see a lot of people there, which was really great! then, there was a free lunch, and then i went to chelsey’s for a little bit to catch up with her. then, i met kelcy at all about cha for a little bit while he was working on homework.

my parents came into town for my birthday and jon’s, so our whole family plus cara and tim went out for birthday dinner saturday night. we went to cattleman’s, which is DELICIOUS. we did gifts (i got a wii fit and a cardigan and a shirt and a headband and other things!), and then we went to the musical. i was going to go to the mousetrap downtown, but we decided to go to millie instead. i am so glad i went again! it was just so good.

after the musical, me and kelcy hit up cafe de taipei for a while. i really love that place, and i miss it. i was getting to be pretty loopy from the sleep deprivation, so i quickly called it a night and went back to kayleigh’s to go to bed.

sunday, i got up to go to bridgeway, which was wonderful, of course. after church, i went to karissa/brianna lunch, where i got to see a bunch of lovely people. after lunch, i picked up kayleigh and we went to meet kayla saffell (or so we thought) at peach wave, but brogan surprised us by being there, too! so, the 4 of us spent some great time together eating fro-yo. after that, we headed back to kayleigh’s, where i proceeded to take a nap for a few hours. i was supposed to have rehearsal in stillwater on sunday afternoon, but i cancelled it because i was so exhausted. i’m really glad i did. i really hate being in a hurry.

i woke up from my nap and had dinner with meredith. then, i headed back to stillwater.

all in all, it was an incredible birthday/homecoming weekend, full of family, friends, and fun times! thank you to everybody who made it possible! i love you all!

until next time.

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22, it’s been real.

you were a good year. here are some highlights:

  • i played a bunch of shows.
  • i somehow survived astronomy, with the help of kayleigh, taryn, madison, jonathan, jillian, and many others.
  • i somehow survived dell dying.
  • i somehow survived LOST ending.
  • i saw about a million friends get married.
  • i saw about a million more get engaged.
  • i applied to/auditioned for/got accepted to graduate school.
  • i started graduate school.
  • i wanted to drop out of graduate school. daily.
  • i ran a 5k. for extra credit. i’m not above it.
  • i directed my favorite play ever, which was a dream come true. it was actually the perfect experience with the perfect people.
  • i designed a set, all by myself! i mean, it was essentially just a platform, but come on.
  • i got the jonsi album the moment it came out.
  • i subsequently died upon listening to it.
  • i SOMEHOW survived taking 20 hours in one semester.
  • i made my first (and hopefully last) C. in american history.
  • i discovered the beauty and love that is girls group.
  • i went on many road trips: abilene, dallas (about a million times), austin, norman, lawrence, you name it.
  • i talked on inanimate objects as phones more than i talked on actual phones.
  • i decided to work at camp for the summer.
  • i convinced kayleigh to work at camp with me.
  • i somehow survived the infamous 6-tickets-for-graduation fiasco.
  • i read harry potter.
  • i participated (albeit briefly) in a peaceful protest for a great cause.
  • i wanted to kill someone every day because OC internet never worked.
  • i climbed lots of rocks.
  • i wrote a song.
  • i watched my friends being famous: taryn on network tv and evan running lights on jimmy fallon.
  • i played live with the non.
  • i played horn on people,people’s album.
  • i got to act onstage with my hero, amber harrington herself.
  • i got to hold a lot of babies and play with a lot of puppies.
  • i almost died in a lot of tornadoes.
  • i almost died in one freak hail storm.
  • i got tweeted at by sara watkins and ree drummond (the pioneer woman).
  • i fell in love with kent.
  • i fell in love with my camp family.
  • i got accused of stealing walkie #15.
  • i invented epi-pen, the most fun game on earth.
  • i got in my first car wreck. we almost died in a flood.
  • i almost died again, this time in a huge storm.
  • i lived by myself for the first time in my life.
  • i rappelled from a roof.
  • i lead worship at a precious friend’s baptism.
  • i got asked to be the maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding!
  • i got asked to play music at one of my best friends’ wedding!
  • i went to a beauty pageant that was TOTALLY toddlers and tiaras.
  • i read the pioneer woman’s whole entire love story. it gave me unrealistic hopes and dreams about falling in love.
  • i started paying my bills. (it’s overrated.)
  • i stayed out until last call for the first time in my life.
  • i started teaching a class of freshman intro to theatre.
  • i went on kappa float.
  • i loved on my friends.

23, you have a lot to live up to. i’m excited.

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fall break!

hey, everybody! last week, i wanted to kill myself because of school. and this weekend, i have done ZERO schoolwork. that can only mean one thing:


i’m going to be kicking myself for my lack of responsibility this weekend. but, i will survive. i hope.

after pretty much the worst 24 hours of my life*, i guilted megan ashwood into driving me to firestone to pick my car up. then, i headed to edmond! once in edmond, i creeped on millie rehearsal for a while. it was great to see some of my super-talented friends being awesome. then, i got to worship with the OC housechurch, which was so wonderful. after that, i went to cafe de taipei with my friend melissa, who goes to OCU. i had a really great night.

friday, i went to all about cha to surprise kellie penrod, who was having coffee with kelcy white. i convinced them to go to chapel at OC with me. after chapel, me and kellie went to eat in the caf with josh and kayleigh. after that, me and kellie went to cha, where kelcy met us later, and we all talked forever. then, i went with kelcy to run some errands, then we went back to his apartment so i could finish glee from last week. then, i went back to OC, went to goodwill with laura (who would be engaged only a few hours later!), raelynn, kayleigh, madison, and josh. then, i headed to tulsa!

i arrived in tulsa on friday just in time to eat a steak dinner with my parents and sister, kate. after dinner, me and my mom and kate made pioneer woman cinnamon rolls (oh, baby), and we watched the princess and the frog. that was a really great family night. and, i found out that my wonderfully precious friends laura and brett got engaged!

saturday, i woke up and went to camp to work zipline and swing for a group of 7th grade boys from metro christian. they were all really sweet and precious. after i worked at camp, i went home and took a really long nap because i was exhausted for some reason. then, i woke up and ran some errands with my mama, and got caught up on tv shows from this last week.

today, all i’ve done is go to church, eat lunch, and now i’m at panera with lauren smith! she’s doing homework, and i’m writing a blog post. i need to go back to stillwater so i can work ahead for this week (SUFJAN IS WEDNESDAY. JONSI IS MONDAY. I NEED TO WORK AHEAD ON SCHOOL.), but i don’t know when i will do that. it’s fall break. i want to enjoy all of that i can before i go back to being miserably busy with schoolwork.

in other news, in case you missed it, I AM DRIVING TO DALLAS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO SEE SUFJAN STEVENS. THEN, I AM DRIVING TO GRAND PRAIRIE THE MONDAY AFTER THAT TO SEE JONSI. i’m driving back to edmond after both shows are over, and i need people to ride with me so i don’t have to drive both ways alone. if you are interested and not creepy, hit me up. PS MY MOM IS LETTING ME TAKE HER CAR TO BOTH! which means i will have her car for the next week and a half!

my blog posts are always boring and uninteresting. but not to me. that’s all that matters.

*pretty much the worst 24 hours of my life: researching for a huge presentation for HOURS, my car completely breaking down, towing it to firestone, bumming a ride back to my place, working some more after having wasted 4 hours on the car situation, staying up FOREVER working on the stupid presentation, finishing the presentation only to begin scouring my entire textbook looking for a term paper topic, researching said term paper topic, formulating a thesis statement for said term paper at like 6:30 in the morning, FINALLY going to sleep, sleeping for like 45 minutes, waking up so early for the class in question, waiting an hour and a half through a lecture before i could get my presentation over with, and – FINALLY – giving said presentation. UGH.

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joy comes in the morning.

my mind is in about a thousand different places right now, none of which include the reading and writing i should be doing for theatre history and theory. whoops.

if you follow me on twitter, i’m sorry.

but seriously.

anyway, if you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that a couple of days ago, i was in a staged reading of a play called “the synaptic gap” by chris qualls. my shakespeare professor approached me last week, asking if i could spare some of sunday afternoon and monday night to do a reading, and i thought it’d be a great opportunity to be involved in an OSU production without having to be married to it 6 days a week. plus, i’d never really done a staged reading. plus, i LOVED the script.

if you’re familiar with “the laramie project” by moises kaufman and the tectonic theatre project, you’ll understand how “the synaptic gap” is put together. most of the text is in monologue form, with the monologues directly transcribed from interviews and journal entries from people who have been affected in some way by mental illnesses, namely bipolar disorder, manic depression, and schizophrenia. scripts like these are really interesting to me because little to none of the text is contrived or speculated; they are all real words that were said by those who know first-hand what it’s like to hear voices, or to hallucinate, or to be suicidal because of these illnesses. you just can’t write this stuff.

the “characters” in the play are real people who had either suffered with these illnesses, or had family members who had. therefore, the acting is not nearly as important as the words themselves. “the synaptic gap” lends itself to the arena of reader’s theatre for this reason.

i was “cast” (if you can call it that) as two characters for the reading; one was a woman from oklahoma who had suffered from episodes of schizophrenia from the age of 7, the other was a woman who had bipolar, brought on by postpartum depression.

the woman from oklahoma whose words i read was actually at the reading. for obvious reasons, this made me incredibly nervous. i did my best to be “kind and sweet…a passionate idealist…well grounded and tirelessly positive…a consummate storyteller”, as the playwright described her, although the stories she told were heartbreaking and dark. one particular episode she described took place in her grandmother’s rose garden. having felt a hand on her shoulder and a voice in her ear telling her to look deeply into a rose, she describes that her whole body “traveled inside that [rose] petal”, where she saw all of the cells that made up that rose petal. she described the cells as “breathing and moving and living, really loving themselves”. she then said that this experience with the rose was the “most beautiful experience I’d ever had”, and that although she is thankful that she is now diagnosed and on medication and under control, that she misses these hallucinations. optimistically, she later states that “i still experience life in a very beautiful way, it’s just different.”

right? what optimism. this woman, who had been misdiagnosed numerous times, put on medication that turned her into a “zombie for fifteen years”…she is teaching me that there is hope in seemingly hopeless situations, and that there are beautiful things even in bad situations, i just have to see it through that lens. she got better. she started a blog ( and she does public speaking to help people. i look up to her in so many ways.


after the reading, she was so sweet. she came up to me and hugged me, had someone take our picture, and thanked me profusely for saying her words. then, i thanked her for saying them. i thanked her for coming and for sharing her story so that it may be told to so many people and could help them. i not only felt fulfilled as an actor, but as a person.

today, i received this email from her:

Hi Carly! I just want to say thank you for your wonderful interpretation of my words. I found it fasinating how you were able to say my words with the right tone and emphasis put where it belonged!!!! Carly, you were just fabulous!!!!! My best friend, Jill, was with me at the play, and she cried. I became overwhelmed a couple of times and teared up too. Especially when you were talking about my experience with the rose. That is a Very special experience to me…..I am so happy you told it the way that you did. I will always remember you Carly. You touched my life and made a significant impact in the way I view actresses! I have never known a real actress before, so now I will always think of you all in a Very positive light. Carly, thank you for a beautifully, wonderful done reading!!!!! The funny thing is, is that when I was probably about your age, I was very petit, like you, and it’s funny, but in the pic I took of us, I look a little bit like you when I was younger! If you would like a copy of the pic, let me know, I will email it to you! Carly, again, thank you!!!!! You are so amazing!!!!!!

needless to say, i am humbled. i don’t feel like i deserve any of this praise. i mean, all i did was read. she LIVED it. she battled this illness for so long, she beat it, and she had the courage to talk about it so that others wouldn’t feel so alone. her words will make a difference in somebody’s life. they will make a difference in the way that someone else views mental illness, and all of the stigmas that are associated with it in our culture. wow. the courage.

sometimes, i feel like a career in theatre will never make a difference in the world. but stories like hers give me hope for the power that it really has. power to touch someone’s life and make them think differently about something. i know it did for me.

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hey, everybody. it’s just me.

i’m going to go ahead and echo everything that everybody’s been saying about the cooler weather. IT IS WONDERFUL. I AM HAPPY THAT IT HAS ARRIVED.

talk to be in a couple months, and i’m sure i’ll be so sick of it and ready for warm weather.

but for right now, i am beside myself with joy.

today was the first crisp day of fall, with a high in the low 70s. i know, i know, fall started last week sometime, but i was still sweating all day, so that didn’t count.

today’s one of those days when you try to pick out a sweater, only to find that they all have those bumps on the shoulders from where they’ve been hanging in the closet since last fall. i hate those little bumps. what do you do with them? iron them? try to get them wet and mold them to your actual shoulder shape? does anyone else have this same problem, or am i alone here?

so, you finally give up trying to get those shoulder bumps flat, and you leave the house in the hitherto neglected sweater. you step outside, and your armpits don’t start sweating immediately (again, anyone?). that is a nice change.

that’s what happened to me today, pesky shoulder bumps and all. i was elated when i walked into my read-through to a room full of people with similar shoulder bumps in their sweaters.

it’s good to know i’m not alone.

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blah blah blah, responsibility.

my name is carly, and i am a procrastinator.

guilty as charged. i’ve never denied it. i’m not that smart. i’m not that motivated. but somehow, i managed to procrastinate my way through my first college degree. i even ended graduating summa cum laude somehow. trust me, i’m just as shocked as you are.

(ps, that’s a 3.85 or higher GPA. someday when you’re as lonely as me, you’ll find something to cling on to, too.)

enough self-deprecation. i promise this post has a point.

or does it?

gah! i’m even procrastinating to tell you this story!

OK. SO. thursday night, i’d made plans to go with my housechurch to edmond to see waterdeep play a show at bridgeway. duh, going to my hometurf, i’m obviously going to hang out with some friends after the show.

i am so smart.

all the time i’m spending NOT in stillwater, i’m thinking “shoot, i have a HUGE analysis assignment due in my directing class tomorrow. i should probably go back and START on it.” of course, not once did i think what i should have thought, which is “man, i really should have started on this earlier this week.”

i left edmond for stillwater at 11:30.

i know, i know. i am brilliant.

this is what the timeline looks like:

12:17am, september 10th. my analysis on the play “bus riley is back in town” is due in about 13 hours.

i arrive back at my apartment. upon arrival, i realize that in addition to this analysis, i have to give a quiz to my intro class. i have not yet looked at the quiz to make sure i know what the answers are so i can cover it all prior to the quiz. aaaaaaaaand cue minor freak-out.


i debate whether or not i should go to bed for a couple of hours, then wake up and work on things. since i know myself, i know that i will not wake back up, but sleep forever once i am asleep. i decide to just beast it.

12:45am (i promise this will get much less tedious.)

i put on sweatpants, take out my contacts, put on my glasses, put my mufasa hair up in a ponytail, and get my game-face on. i also put on a pot of coffee and made myself eggs-in-a-well. hey, i needed some protein. (cooking has been an outlet for my procrastination. when i’m putting something off, i will cook. then, i will eat. while i cook and eat, i get nothing done. it’s a vicious cycle, really.)


i start on my second cup of coffee. i’m done with the quiz, deciding that i know what’s on it well enough to teach it to my students in about 9 hours. i estimate to myself that upon completion, my analysis will be 8 pages. boy, was i in for a treat.


i see a bug flying around my lamp, so i get up and kill it. i flush it down the toilet. (but first, i screamed and freaked out.)


i take a break because the coffee is starting to get to me and make me shaky and unable to focus. i make myself a peanut butter sandwich. at this point, i have about 1/3 of my analysis done. my analysis is already 8 pages long. i am starting to get tired and distracted at every little sound, so i put in a pair of earplugs to block out the sound. then, i get back to work.


i am 2/3 of the way done with my analysis. i am on page 18. i told myself i’d go to bed for a couple of hours once i was halfway done, but i decided to keep going. not much else to report, other than at this point, i am ready to die.


I AM DONE! at least, as done as i’m going to be for tonight. i’m about 4/5 of the way through my analysis, everything else that’s left has to be marked in the script. i decide to save that for tomorrow. my analysis clocks in at 19 pages, but don’t be too impressed. most of it was in outline form.


i get into bed, set my alarm for 8, and enjoy what sleep i have left.

little did i know, i would be spending the better part of the next two days trying to regulate my sleep schedule. yikes.

something i’ve learned within the last year: i am pretty much useless without at least 8 hours of sleep. i am getting old.

the moral of this story? grow up and be responsible.

oh, and don’t put things off until the last minute.

oh, and if you’re going to be out of town on a school night, be sure you work ahead so you don’t have to do this again.

oh, and all of these things are important, but seeing your friends is ALWAYS going to be worth staying up all night. you will get everything done. quit worrying and live your life.

the supreme irony of all of this: while i was writing this blog post, i was putting off some schoolwork. will i ever learn?

that was rhetorical.

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guys…God is really faithful.

what i want to do is write every single thing i’ve done this weekend. what i need to do is NOT that. so, i will do my best to be concise.

SOOOOOOO. i decided to skip out on stillwater friday, instead of waiting until game day to try to get out of town. so, i said goodbye to michaela (OSU will miss you, friend), and set out for the place that was my home for 4 years of my life.

upon arriving in edmond, i immediately went to kayleigh’s apartment, where i loved on some people. later, we went to big truck tacos for laura’s birthday dinner, and the entire restaurant sang happy birthday to her. that was wonderful and fun. i bought a SWEET pair of big truck tacos sunglasses for $3, only to break them the next day.

on the way out, holly guthrie (who i regrettably did not get to know better while i was still at OC) asked me what i was doing with my life, and i answered her. when i was done, she told me that i was very brave to be doing what i am doing, and that she wishes me all the best. i really appreciated that, it was one of the sweetest things in the world.

when we got back to OC, i called taryn and talked to her for quite a while outside kayleigh’s apartment. after i got off the phone with her, i went and said hi to meredith, and on my way back to kayleigh’s, i ran into kristi and callie and the joshes. they asked me some questions about OSU and grad school, and i talked to them for a few minutes. then, i went to madison’s apartment, where people were already watching shutter island. i never really got into it because i came in late, and laura didn’t want to finish it, and laura gets whatever she wants because it is her BIRTHDAY!!! so, we started emporer’s new groove instead.

am i still only on friday? i need to step it up.

long story short, me and kayleigh left and went to bed soon after. i was tired.

saturday morning, i woke up and got lunch with kelcy at all about cha. (note: I MISS THAT PLACE SO MUCH.) we stayed there for a while, then we went to his apartment to watch boy meets world. we ended up watching like 6 or 7 episodes before i left. i went back to OC to put in laundry (that’s right, i’m a mooch), and then i got dinner at chick-fil-a with lisa curry. after dinner, we went to see “the switch” with jillian, charissa, and brittany peterson. roommate, cassie, kayla, and charles were there, too! then, we went to peach wave, and then we went to the hord’s to see their puppy and hang out with them. we talked engagements (seriously, 3 more this weekend?! OUT OF CONTROL, PEOPLE.), belaying, and jobs, and then me and charissa went back.

today, i woke up and went to bridgeway for church, knowing that i was going to leave after worship to go to frontline’s noon service with dylan and christiane. i’m so glad i went, because i got to see and hug christal, brianna, hannah faye, and so many more people i adore. before frontline started, i got to get an espresso from coffee slingers and see kellie for the first time in WAY too long, then we headed to church, which was phenomenal, as always.

after church, i went back to kayleigh’s to fold my laundry, and i called taryn again. we had one of the greatest talks i’ve had in years. i am so thankful for her friendship, and for the place we are both in at the same time. we have so much to learn from each other, and God has so much to teach us through this time of transition for both of us. i am so excited to see what God will do (and is already doing) through her sweet heart.

so, about halfway through this phone conversation with taryn, josh comes in and just lies down on the floor (we were the only ones in the apartment) and grabs some pillows and a blanket and goes to sleep. so, taryn and i talk for about another 45 minutes while he just snoozes. at one point, raelynn’s boyfriend, will, comes in, and i am on the phone on the couch, josh is asleep on the floor, and i’m sure will was very confused and weirded out (i asked him later, and he confirmed my suspicion).

after all-uh-dat, me and josh went to the wedge to meet kayla, scott, and brogan for dinner, which was delicious, and too short. then, me and josh headed over to dylan and christiane’s for a labor day cookout, where we saw some more wonderful friends, and generally had a fabulous time. then, i took josh back to OC, said hi to my old apartment and apartment-mate, and said “peace out, e-town. it’s been real.”

yes, i really said that. yes, i said it out loud.

on my way back home, i reflected on the weekend, and praised God for the incredible people he has put into my life. i honestly couldn’t love you all more than i do, and i thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gift of friendship. i cherish and treasure the amazing people you are. thanks for putting up with me, i don’t deserve you!

now, back to work. i’ve got a ton o’ stuff due this week, so my “holiday” tomorrow will be devoted to an entire day of learning a shakespeare monologue, starting an in-depth play analysis, reading plays for my directing class, and starting a HUGE reading assignment. reality, as they say, (and pardon my french), is a chienne.

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