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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Break!

My goal going in to spring break was to spend time with my family and relax as much as possible. I finished the work week with some terrible sinus junk, so I was relieved to turn off my alarm.  We did a mini stay-cation and went to Thanksgiving Point, visited my nieces, and checked out Antelope Island. 
Joseph playing with the dinosaur at the Museum of Ancient Life

Shae being silly :)
Spending time with my beautiful neices

Looking west from the north shore of Antelope Island

Shae found a tiny sand island

Looking east at the mountain from the north shore of Antelope Island
Checking out the bison statue

We had a fun week, but we ended with two of us on antibiotics :( Shae and I slept pretty much all day Friday. He's got strep and I have a sinus infection. He's getting his tonsils out in June!

Another awesome part of Spring Break was getting to watch General Conference. It just happened to be Easter Sunday, too. We spent each night reading about the last week of Jesus's life to remember why Easter is so important. Several of the talks in the conference sessions were great and I am excited to read them later!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Without Music, Life Would Be A Mistake" Friedrich Nietzsche

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." ~Victor Hugo
I recently saw a bumper sticker that has caused me some reflection.  It said "Musician: Driver has no cash."  At first, it made me chuckle. Then, I began to think, why are we so dedicated to our craft despite the small chance of financial stability? As I have had a week full of rehearsals and a wonderful concert, I don't know that words can adequately explain why I personally will dedicate so much time to participating in musical endeavors.  Nevertheless, I will give it a try.
This week, in rehearsal, we were playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony and there was a moment while rehearsing the 3rd movement that I got goosebumps on my arms. I felt the determination of the composer and the intensity of emotion all communicated perfectly.
Often, as a teenager, I would work through my emotions by playing the piano. I've never been one to be able to express my emotions, especially when lonely, sad, anxious, or depressed. Music has been an outlet for these emotions. I can remember spending an hour or two playing through all of the Mannheim Steamroller Interludes.
The most memorable experience occurred during my senior year at BYU.  I was learning the Poulenc Sonata for Clarinet and was having trouble getting the emotion just right for the 2nd movement. The composer used the French words "tristamente" to describe a deep sense of grieving and longing, I was given the suggestion to write words to the melody. So, I did. I wrote a letter to my maternal grandfather. He passed away a few months before I began playing the clarinet. The experience was actually a deeply emotional and spiritually moving one. I felt connected to a grandfather I never really got to know. Since that experience, I have felt a great pull to follow in his footsteps and find as many opportunities to perform as I can. 

So, to my fellow artists, dancers, and musicians, I know you understand. To those of you married to, or friends with, us crazy lot, thank you for putting up with our craziness.  Know this, we are more sane when we have our outlet.  I know that performing brings me sanity, energy, and a level of fulfillment that I do not feel in any other way. The great thing about music is that I know it can bring as much joy to those who are listening as it does to me when I am performing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

I've been reflecting lately on "Random Acts of Kindness." When we stop just long enough in our hectic lives to do a small act of kindness, great things may come. Maybe it's because I'm focusing on it, or maybe it's because the Lord knows I need it, but I've noticed more kindness lately.  Here's my ongoing list:

  • Someone sent me a Valentine's card in the mail with a gift certificate to 7-11.  She saw me there once with my family and she suggested it would be fun to take the kids out for slurpees.  We totally did and they LOVED it!
  • Jacob won a guessing contest and as soon as we get a sitter we can go to dinner and a movie using the gift cards he won! (I know, not a random act of kindness, but it's still awesome.)
  • A saw a co-worker today reassuring another co-worker today. Quietly and calmly, she took time to help another person through a difficult situation.  This particular co-worker is an excellent example to me of the importance of kindness.
  • EVERY time my son sees me - or any other adult he loves - in the hallway at school, I can expect a great hug! I wonder if he knows how awesome that is?
  • My lunchtime at work is always full of laughter.  I can always count on a couple of awesome ladies to supply some much-needed humor to help me re-charge. Today was especially helpful - I almost laughed soda out my nose! (Thanks, Peggy!)
Have you noticed acts of kindness lately?  Kid President has a great message about kindness that I think is totally awesome.