Holiday · Misc.

2014-Top 5 Favorite Moments

This past year was an amazing year. It was a year of accomplishing long anticipated goals and a year of starting new journeys. It was year spent savoring quality time with loved ones, conquering fears, taking leaps, managing chaos, and prioritizing. To say it simply:  it was busy year.

In honor of such an incredible year, here is a look back at my top 5 favorite moments from 2014:

5.  Art Shows. The spring of this year was my last semester at OSU, which meant finishing up my capstone series for my capstone show. In true Paxton fashion, I was adding paintings until the weekend before the show started. Framing was an adventure and talking about my work was more terrifying than any other public speech I have ever given. I have given speeches in front of a lot of people and don’t remember being nervous…but giving my artist talk in front of my colleagues friends and family-probably the worst speech I have ever given.

Overall…it was great year for the artist me.

The art shows of the year:

  • Research Week 2014 (Honorable Mention)
  • Capstone Show
  • Student Union Wellness Week Art Show (Purchase Award)
  • Student Show-Art Department
  • OSU Wilham House (ongoing exhibition)
  • Significant Sixteen at the Union (solo)
  • Momentum Tulsa (installation)

art shows

4.  Graduation. I cannot tell you how good it felt to finally be finished with school…at least for now. After 18 years of schooling (I attended pre-k and kindergarten) and stressing over assignments and grades-I AM FINISHED!!! My final semester was everything but relaxed…but that is ok. Graduation weekend was insane, but in less than 24 hours, C.J. and I attended 3 ceremonies in 2 cities, and both walked across stage. You can read the entire graduation recap here.

Besides being finished with school, graduating meant that I no longer needed to live in Stillwater. Shortly after graduation C.J. and I were able to finally stop living separately in two cities–it was wonderful to be under the same roof again.



3. Teaching. During my spring semester I took the OSAT and the OGET (Oklahoma teaching certification exams). I passed both and applied for an alternative teaching certification. That process was one of the most stressful, tiresome, and aggravating things that I have ever had to deal with. Thankfully things worked out.

While in Taos for a two week drawing class, I received a call from an elementary school in OKC. They wanted to interview me for an art position. Thankfully the professor for the class was also my capstone professor and strongly believes that graduating BFA students should have paying jobs…preferably in the field of their degree. She let me leave for the interview. I drove the 10 hour drive to OKC that weekend, interviewed on Monday morning, and then drove back to Taos. It was along weekend in the car and I worried if it was worth it. Thankfully it was. I received a call from the principal a day later with a job offer.

Teaching has been…an experience. I love it and know that this is what I am supposed to be doing. Sometimes I catch myself wondering how I got so lucky to have a job that rarely feels like work. Believe me, there are frustrating points and I am constantly exhausted…but I love those kids and can’t imagine my life without them. You can read more about my new career here.



2. Gus. In the fall we adopted a 10 year old yorkie mix, Gus. He is adorable, and even though he has his quirks…he is pretty well behaved. He is my dog. I am still amazed that C.J. hasn’t found a way to make Gus love him more than me yet. The other two dogs basically worship C.J.

Here is the story on Gus.


1. One Year. C.J. and I celebrated one year as Mr. and Mrs. Cavin. I have heard that the first year is the hardest, so I am happy to have that one behind us. We made it through graduation stress, living apart for a semester, an election cycle, wisdom teeth surgery, and just the busyness of life. It was a good year and a growing year…as all years should be.

We attended fundraisers, art shows, dinners, church, and parties…but I think we would both agree that just being together was the highlight of our first year. No matter what obstacle tried to block our path we each had a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on.

One year down….many more to look forward to.


I am confident that 2015 will bring excitement, joy, sadness, stress, and adventure. We have a few major things in the works and will keep everyone updated.

Here’s to 2015-May your new year be as grand as you are willing to make it.

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