Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a Big Girl Now!

Yes, friends, I now have a website.

It's pretty darn low-budget...and your suggestions are so welcome.

If I can drum up a few flute students, I guess I will call it a success!

In other news, the end of the semester is calling. Only a week and a half remain, and I'm trying to remind myself that this degree is a marathon, not a sprint. I've never cared this little about decorating for Christmas and buying gifts. It's so nice to be consumed with something stimulating for a change! However difficult it may become, I will always be thankful for the opportunity to get my musical butt kicked on a daily basis. It's absolutely amazing.

Most pressing challenge?

Learning to write.


Apparently, this type of written expression is not favored among my colleagues.

Who knew?


Just kidding.

I'm really not as stupid as you think...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Pied Piper

This weekend I attended the Chicago Flute Club's Annual Flute Festival in Evanston, Illinois.

I drove myself to St. Louis on Friday afternoon, hopped on a plane, arrived at O'Hare, couldn't find my hotel shuttle, called the shuttle company and was informed that there would be no shuttle because I didn't call 48 hours in advance to reserve the shuttle...even though I already paid for which point I began to freak out, the lady put me on hold for about 5 minutes and then got back on the line to tell me that I had ten minutes to make it to the opposite side of O'Hare if I wanted to catch the only other shuttle that would be available, at which point I ran like heck (with my suitcase, flute bag, and my winter coat) to catch the shuttle, tried not to vomit as the driver bobbed and weaved through the city into the suburbs, ordered overpriced roomservice, tried to sleep as the drunk people next door yelled obscenities, called the front desk when I found it absurdly impossible, listened as they finally calmed down...but then began smoking (not me...the neighbors!), resigned to covering my nose with the sheet, woke the next morning, travelled to the convention hotel, tried a baZillion flutes...most of which cost more than my car, met Aunt and cousin for lunch, listened to an orchestral masterclass, met another cousin for three hours of non-stop laughter and yummy comfort food, walked around Evanston (I'm in love and seriously want to move there...).....

And then, the highlight of my trip:

Jim Walker.

Though you've probably never seen him, you will undoubtedly recognize his flute playing from movies like Titanic, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Beauty and the Beast, and about 600 more...literally. Here's the list.

I got to hear him play with his jazz group called Free Flight. It was amAZing. Sure, jazz flute with a drumset, string bass, and piano is pretty darn cheese-ball, but his improvisation skills were exhilerating. He is SUCH a wonderful musician. The entire 60-minute show was completely memorized, and I'm pretty sure he could've laid down another hour or two without much trouble. Wowzers. What an inspiration.

After finally getting back to the hotel in yet another crazy taxi experience, it was 11pm and I had to be out front for the airport shuttle at 6am the next morning. After the pre-sunrise shuttle ride, I slugged through security (with an additional flute in tow) and sat in a restaurant for an hour eating breakfast while I waited to board the plane. Upon arriving in St. Louis, the tiredness finally started to get the better of me. I had to stop at least two times to rest on the drive to Columbia.

And then...

It was time to play a Wind Ensemble concert.

I'm honestly suprised I made it through the program without falling asleep, but I think my dad being there gave me a little extra gumption to play well.

Though I was so physically exhausted by the time the weekend waned, it was worth every yawn.  Not only did I need to go to this festival to begin the flute shopping process, but I desperately needed to prove to myself that I can still do things on my own. That I am capable of getting myself from point A to point B successfully and happily. I needed to know I could still do it.  

So, now I am going to buckle down for the craziest week yet of Grad School. Two more proficiency tests, a 25-source annotated bibliography, and a listening quiz followed by a football AND volleyball game on Saturday. Woo!

Possibly the only downfall of being gone this past weekend was the fact that I missed this:

I love band. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Every Day I'm Shufflin'

Yes, I do realize it's been an entire month since I last posted.

Life is just THAT crazy right now.

The teenage body I once had is now encroaching 30, and it just can't function after about 9pm.

Isn't that sad?

Makes me feel OLD.

As if the 3 new gray hairs I found recently weren't enough...

I digress.

I'm realizing that following my dream is going to be a battle, one I'm not sure I'm equipped to fight. All I know is that I have to keep trying...keep setting goals...keep picking myself up off the ground after a devastating tumble to try again.

Oddly enough, the physical part of this struggle isn't overtaking's the mental game. It's the "letting go of what everyone thinks of me" and just doing what I know I can do...and doing it with every bit of confidence I'm convinced I don't have.

It's looking fear in the face and screaming so loudly its eyelids stick to its menacing forehead.

I know I can do this.

I have one life to live, and this is its dream.

And I just cannot give up this time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Latin Nights

Tonight, we saw Wynton live in concert.

We were tired, annoyed at the college kids behind us texting and talking, and trying not to think about the practicing and studying we could've been doing, but it was definitely worth it...even if the look on Tom's face when he got to meet him was the greatest reward.

I promise I'm not making a gang sign with my hand. Or flipping you the bird. I was holding a glass of pink fox wine...and tried to take it out of the picture at the last moment so you wouldn't know I was sipping wine with Wynton. Apparently, I was a little to late.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Checking it twice

This week has been a much needed reprieve after two months of hit-the-ground-sprinting-madness. Our director of bands gave the kids an entire week off from marching band practice, giving us an extra three hours each afternoon to catch up on our growing to-do lists.

Yesterday, I knocked three very important items off of mine:

Yes, friends. I got threaded.

After six years of watching my St. Louis friends get their hair ripped from their faces by very skilled Indian women, I finally mustered up the courage to try it myself. It took at least 3 gulps of wine and a valuable coupon....but at least I did it! Anyway...I'm definitely hooked. It didn't really take that long and the pain was minor. Definitely better than attacking my face with a pair of tweezers in a poorly lit bathroom, which had been my method to date.


I don't have a picture for this one...but we found the best gluten-free pizza here. I'm always a bit skeptical anytime a restaurant claims to have gluten free items...especially pizza...and especially when the waiter casually claims that it will most definitely knock Shakespeare's "out of the park". I did take the risk, however, and boy am I glad I did. It was deLIcious. Even Tom couldn't taste the difference. AND it was only $10 for a 12" pizza which is outSTANding. Pi, a pizzeria we enjoyed in St. Louis, offered gluten free pizza for around $17 for a 12". We scored a better deal here, and the quality wasn't compromised in the least. The location adds to the appeal as well. All we had to do was walk down the street! I'm starting to really love this place:)

And last, but certainly not least.....I biked the MKT Trail

This trail is literally steps away from the building where we work, and I've been desperately needing a cardiovascular escape in the middle of our long days. Since I already have my bike on campus to get to my classes, it made perfect sense. In addition to providing a great workout and a beautiful scenery, it really helps me deal with my anxiety when I'm in Wind Ensemble rehearsals. Somehow, I auditioned at the top of all the flutes here...which means I'm first chair....which means I get the lovely pleasure of playing all of the crazy solo front of all these people I don't know...and did I mention it's been SEVEN years since I sat in an ensemble like this?? At any's super anxiety producing. And after Wednesday's episode of shaking like a 6th grader when it was my turn to play (did I mention the director decided to record rehearsal that day? AND put it up on Blackboard?!? Oh...the horror...), I decided I needed to take serious action. And, apparently it worked, because I felt fine during rehearsal yesterday.

I do have to give Tom some of the credit, though....I made him glare at me while I played all of my solos for him the night before. What a nice guy:)

Today, I will be occupying my little nook in the library--happily researching my year-long project topic:


I really hope you're excited...

because I sure am!

Happy Saturday, everyone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who needs sleep?

It's the end of another busy week here at ol'Mizzou and we are gearing up for our second home football game this Saturday. Lucky for us, the weather should cooperate. The crisp air is a welcome change---especially on the marching band field!

I'm still trying to figure out how to be a student's a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Even just figuring out how to organize all of my homework and notes has been a pretty darn big issue! Oh, and don't get me started on trying to find time to shop. Seriously. NOTHING in my closet fits me. I bought a pair of black pants a month ago because my other ones were getting too baggy...and they already don't fit! I spend at least 20 minutes each morning trying to find an outfit that doesn't look ridiculously huge. I get home in the evening to find the tornadic wreckage of clothes I left as I was desperately trying to get out the door on time...This body has NEVER seen a size 6 and I really need to figure out how to dress it!

Ok...well I feel like I'm just whining about stupid things and I'm too tired to come up with anything valuable to offer I'm going to look at flutes I can't afford until it's time to go to bed.


Happy early Friday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Wisdom

I have learned one thing so far in grad school.

I take myself WAY too seriously.

Suprisingly enough, this does not suprise me.

Oh...and that I don't really know much about music.


Happy Friday!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Don't ain't Boone's

Wine and Gregorian Chant.

I knew I missed school....


Who needs sleep?

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like the tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green, it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 16:7-18

No time for updates or pictures, but hopefully I will soon. School starting has been a major life change and a difficult transition. Thankfully, the struggle is intermittently interrupted by blessings of the divine sort...a gorgeous stroll from class to encouraging word from a professor...a cheeky grin from a new friend...a much needed call from an old one.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as we begin this new adventure! I will post more when I can!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adam Sandler--Worthy


We moved! And yes, I survived. I know this is terribly shocking.

I've been frustrated, confused, elated, stressed, teary, blessed, distraught, thankful, and most of all...prayed for. Thank GOODNESS!

Moving to Columbia one day and then starting work the next day was quite the wake-up call. Seeing how disorganized everything is in the band department was another. Realizing that our parking passes had us in Virginia Parking Garage (affectionately referred to as VAG...) at the complete opposite corner of the campus than our work building was yet another. That 20 minute walk with our instruments, books, and laptops was the biggest wake up call of them all.

Back to Schoooooool!!!!

Thanks to an amazing music dept. secretary, we aren't parking in VAG anymore.

Women everywhere are cheering, I'm sure.

I know I am.

Right now, I'm completely spent and I still have two more history chapters to outline. Oh...and I have yet to practice for the day. And I really want to make this awesome gluten free pudding cake mix I found at the farmer's market on Saturday.

And I wonder why I got fat the first time around....

Back to Schooooool!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Go to bed already!

My eyelids are globbing body is silently pleading for cozy pj' ears are absorbing the faintest peep and magnifying it into dolby surround sound...

Trials of the day slurring through my memory so fast I can barely hold on...

I think it's time to rest.

To give up...

go to bed...

and start anew with the early morning light.


Maybe the semi-early light.

"I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
For his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:19-24

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh, the Madness!

The bag is finished!!

Now, if only I could say the same for my kitchen...10 boxes in and I'm only half done!

It was really fun when the power went out for an hour...

Anyway...It'll get done. But I need a break. :)

Are we there yet??

Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm 28 years old and I finally got to go to Grant's Farm.

Baby goats are cute:)

And our bedroom is packed.

What's left?
Our living room, kitchen, and closet. And then for the deep clean.

But first...I'm hanging out with a friend to hopefully finish sewing my rock awesome messenger bag made out of this fabric.

It's getting closer, folks....only 3 more days.

I've been clinging to this verse:

"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (or fear), but of power and love and self-discipline."
 2 Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Like sand through the hourglass...

Utility Room....check.
Hour-long bike ride through Forest Park...check.

Still waiting to hear back about the moving truck....still trying to make sure we have all of the man-muscle required to haul all of our junk down the stairs...and still trying to figure out how to fit all of our last minute St. Louis excursions.

But seriously.

We got free Cards/Cubs tickets.

So I'm not complaining.


Monday, July 25, 2011

counting down...

We have 7 days.

Today I will pack the remains of the office, the utility room, and our hall closets. I had originally envisioned around 40 boxes being MORE than enough for the contents of our home, but I've since been proven terribly wrong.

I'm blessed to have worked at a company that has a seemingly endless supply of diaper boxes.

I'm also suddenly having all of these insatiable desires to cook food and bake yummy desserts. What's up with that? Distracting myself? Maybe. Or maybe it's just that I finally have time to breathe and do the things I love.

Too bad it's keeping me from packing boxes. It's so tempting!

One thing I do NOT love is sweating through my dress at the Muny while surrounded by people who think it's a good idea to TALK through the big musical numbers--when, in actuality, I don't care because the singing/acting/dancing is mind numbingly mediocre. Probably because it's hot enough outside for one to sweat through one's dress. I couldn't perform in that merciless heat either.

It's a good thing we had amazing peeps with us, though...or I might have walked out:)

Yay for the Matlocks!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's almost here...

July is almost over and I haven't even written ONE blog. I gotta's lost its luster. I love to write, but there have been SO many other things swarming around this tiny apartment of ours for me to even beGIN to think about sorting through my thoughts on pretend internet paper.

But, it's theraputic.

And I need to.

Because I said so.

We are moving to Columbia in approximately one week, one day, and a few hours. It's finally starting to hit me that we're not going to be in St. Louis anymore. This morning at the Botanical Gardens, I realized that we only have one more Saturday to do our free visit...and one more Wednesday night to do the free concert. At this prospect, I was very sad. Tonight will be our last Muny concert, and we only have two more Sundays at church. I already had my last day at work, my last lesson student, and the packing has already begun.

It just doesn't seem real. I can't believe the summer is finally almost over and it's actually time for us to go back to school. I have to buy pens and notebooks again. I have to re-learn how to take notes and pay attention in class.... It's all just so wierd.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm SUPER excited to take advantage of this amazing opportunity the Lord has literally laid in our laps. I get to play my flute again. I get to write. I get to teach more students. I get to work with my husband and actually be a team for once. How amazing is that? I am so blessed. At the same time, this is still a huge transition for us...and we are two people who, for various reasons, are a little transitionally gun-shy. Understandably so...however....there is something way bigger going on here...and I know we have to continue believing that:

God is in control.

He guided us...and now He gets to provide.

He loves us.

He will never leave us.

He will never leave me. the next couple of weeks as we prepare to leave...I will enjoy spending time with our St. Louisan friends and family and doing all the fun stuff one last time. I might cry a little and be tempted to give into my fear of the unknown road ahead....but I know we will be okay and that the journey we are on is making us stronger by the minute.

Summer 2006--months after I moved to St. Louis and about the time we started to date. This was taken moments before a torrential downpour.

On a float trip in 2007. Yes...Tom is steering the canoe. No..I didn't yell at him. Admittedly one of my prouder moments...

One month into our marriage--Summer of 2008--and our first night in our apartment painting our awesome blue walls:)

Summer 2009--Fourth of July on the riverfront in St. Charles in the POUriNG RAIN.

Second Anniversary trip in 2010 to Memphis: I'm standing on a scaled model of the Mississippi River that Tom and I both loved exploring.

Summer 2011 in Chicago--our 3rd Anniversary

Same trip...watching a lame 3-D presentation at Shedd Aquarium. Not really worth the money...but SO worth the awesome glasses.


Maybe I'll fit in a couple more sappy reflections before we leave. Who knows.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The one where I might explode

Is it August yet?

I'm afraid if I have to wait too much longer I might get cold feet.

39 days to go.

Deep breaths.

It's going to be fine.


Saturday, June 11, 2011


A friend will be enduring a true trial of her faith and physical endurance tomorrow as she enters to complete a half Ironman. Wow. Swimming, followed by biking, followed by running. I thought my faith was tried when I completed the half marathon...but this is SO much more! I am immensly proud of her...not only for the training she's completed to tackle this event....but for the way she has walked through some of the most difficult life trials anyone could ever face. can do it!! I remember you singing these words at the top of your lungs years ago in a Crusade meeting...and I don't want you to forget the power they still have in your life today. You are such an encouragement to me and I know you have been to many other people.  Christ's strength and God's glory are being displayed through you...and He won't fail you tomorrow!

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

Monday, May 16, 2011

I can't see clearly now...even though the rain is gone.

There's nothing like an annual eye exam to remind me of how blind I actually am. They take my contacts out and expect me to read the letters on the white sheet in front of me. Without my contacts, I can't even see the white sheet...let alone the big "E" on it.  Suprisingly, though, the doc informed me that the reason I'm having trouble seeing out of my left eye is because apparently as we age, our eyes sometimes regain sight, leaving one eye "over-corrected.".

My perscription plummeted from a -13.00 to a -12.00.


The problem is, none of the circular panes she flicked past my eyes (...which is clearer...number one....or number two....three...or four...) were actually clear. They were all varying levels of blurry with a large hint of glare. So, forgive me if I'm not entirely convinced that my eyes are indeed improving.

But, I figure she's the one with the opthamology degree so who am I to ask questions.

The MOST amusing part of the whole experience was attempting to navigate 270 with my pupils dilated to the size of small coffee saucers. I seriously haven't seen pupils that big since a college boyfriend looked me straight in the eye and swore to me that he hadn't been smoking anything. Wanna know something funny? I actually believed him. It really is a wonder I made it through college alive...

Anyway, they really should issue a warning before you come to an appointment like this to bring a driver with you. I couldn't even see to sign my own name on my bill...let alone navigate traffic. Heck...I still can't see clearly and it's almost bedtime!

But, I did make it home ok...and then sat on the couch all evening with my eyes closed. My poor husband had to sacrifice his fun plans for us to go play tennis---AND he had to do the bills all by himself. What a trooper.

Here's to clearer vision in the morning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I need tequila. Oh wait...I already had some. Chocolate will have to do.

Today, I cracked open our Anthology of Western Music and began the laborious attempt to stay awake for at least thirty minutes of Greece and Rome.

I have proficiency exams in approximately 3 months.

It will take the duration to dig 2500 years of western music history out of my brain and the pages of my book.

Oh, yippee.

Maybe some of it will stick with me this time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


And this...

Because James Galway is my hero..

When I was a little budding flutist, I would play my Telemann sonatas along with my CD of him playing it. It was awful because I really just couldn't keep up:)


I'm finally learning this piece....

In honor of Kim Underwood. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

mmm...sweet sleep

It's Tuesday--my day off--and it was oh so glorious to sleep in until 7:45am.

The sun is streaming through the blinds and after I sit here and veg in front of the tv computer I'm thinking I'm going to go for a REALLY long run.

But as for now, I shall be content yelling at the ridiculous jerks on  "16 and Pregnant".

It really is the right thing to do.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On the road again...

I'm emotionally exhausted...but nevertheless...the show must go on!

We are leaving in a few short minutes to spend the weekend auditioning and looking for apartments.


But, I'm sure everything will be fine.

Just fine.

And maybe if I repeat that to myself enough, I might start to believe it. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Ok...I know my posting is getting a little out of hand...but I'm just making up for lost time.

I've been thinking about this song a lot this year, and I've been wanting to post it on here for a while.

I heard it in the middle of a really terrible week when I thought everything I'd ever known was all just a big fat lie. I was sick of my family...where we job...and to add to all the gloom and doom...the weather had been gray and dreary for weeks. Each day I would plead for God to just fix it all. To make me and my life better so that I could just function.

All day, I'd been running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done for everyone who needed it--and finally I was speeding down the highway to get to Wildwood so I could babysit my niece and nephews. Of course, construction on 270 delayed me when I would've otherwise been on time..and I HATE ALWAYS BEING LATE!!

I was absolutely spent.

And then this song came on the radio...just as the sun was setting through the breaking clouds. Truly, a marvelous sight to behold. The most eloquent words I could produce for you right now could not describe the overwhelming sense of the peace of God's presence with me at that very moment. All of a sudden, I just knew everything was going to be ok.

Nothing was solved, of course, but I was definitely not alone.

Slowly, a lone tear trickled from my right eye (it always starts with that one...)...and before I knew it I was bawling so hard I missed my exit. I had to drive all the way to Six Flags so I could turn around and catch the correct highway.
I hope the words of this song are encouraging to wherever you are right now...

And if you've already heard it a thousand times...thanks for humoring me anyway:)


by Laura Story
We pray for blessings,
We pray for peace,
Comfort for family,
Protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing,
We pray for your mighty hand,
To ease our suffering.

And all the while,
You hear each spoken need--
Your love is way too much to give us lesser things.

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom,
Your voice to hear,
We cry in anger when we cannot feel you near.
We doubt your goodness,
We doubt your love,
As if every promise from your word is not enough.

And all the while
You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us,
When darkness seems to win, we know
The pain reminds this heart that this is not our home.

What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Are the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life--
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights--
Are your mercies in disguise?

And so it continues...

Organizational Obsession of the Day: The File Cabinet

Two weeks ago when I was preparing to apply for a teaching job that was open in Columbia, I got really excited about finally organizing all of my professional documents. I've had a half-done portfolio stuffed into a drawer since I graduated in 2005...and sinking my teeth in and actually finishing it felt amazing. The wierd thing is, I really have no desire to teach band anymore--but I LOVED getting all of my showcase materials prettily arranged in a slick binder. I happily sorted, hole-punched, purged, and printed for Lord only knows how long--all before breakfast. And when I was done, I surveyed all I had done, and I saw that it was good. Mmm. Sweet satisfaction.

Today, I've been awake for approximately 2 hours. I am still in my coke-bottle glasses and boxers (don't worry...there's a shirt involved too), I haven't eaten breakfast, I still need to practice and run , I have a long list of other things I could be doing before I go into work at noon...but I've had other things on my mind.

There is a drawer on the lower right hand side of my desk that is stuffed full of papers in disarray. They are mostly beginning band handouts, scales, warmups, grading rubrics, and songs I have been collecting since I began teaching in 2006. I haven't had the need for any of it this year, but with our move coming up, I wanted to go through it to see if I could get rid of some extra baggage. And so, all morning I have been making piles and labeling files...making everything "just-so"...and now it is done...and it looks amazing. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment it gives me.

It's like popping a zit or picking a dry scab. Sick...but oh so refreshing.

I used to think that my overwhelming desire to organize things meant that maybe I should be a Professional Organizer. One summer I even contacted a local P.O. to apprentice her and learn the business. I soon discovered that I found little satisfaction teaching someone how to organize their things when I could just take it over and do it myself instead. I've noticed that I only get the itch to purge and sort when life begins to fluxuate into a transition...and I am convinced that the outward expression of being organized and completely put together is just my way of excercising control when I feel like things are spinning out of control around me. If there are circumstances in my life that I can't fix or figure out...I desperately search for something I can.

Admitting it is the first step, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For every thing...turn, turn, turn...

Things are a-changing around here.... A couple of weeks ago I got so anxious about moving that I pulled out my Organizing Plain and Simple book. I only pull out this book when I want to get really obsessive about something. For about 3 solid hours I pored over the section on "relocating" and made excell spreadsheet after spreadsheet mapping out every possible scenario of our upcoming transition. When I showed it to my husband, I could literally smell the ooze as his eyes glazed over before he finally said, "Ok honey, I think we've had enough of this for a while." It was as if I were the drug addict and he my sponsor. Very sad. But I do love my spreadsheets.

Last weekend, we were visiting the school where my husband will be attending and working next year. We were actually there to supervise a group of middle school band students from our district, but his future supervisor was there and took us aside for an hour or so to show us around and chat a bit. During the tour, we learned that there is another opening for a teaching assistantship that I could apply for. I hadn't planned on starting my Masters just yet, but the plan was to only wait a year. With the possibility of a free degree, I would definitely consider starting sooner than we thought. Exciting, right? As soon as I got home, I got my application materials ready in 5.4 seconds and couldn't understand why the admissions director wasn't on the same time-warped schedule I was. I obsessively checked my email over and over again waiting for his reply....I worried when there wasn't anything there....pored over my application 6 more times....worried some more...I think I might've even made another spreadsheet...

It's super pathetic.

I've got to remember that the best thing I can do for myself is to just relax and get my butt into a practice room. No matter how many times I check my email, what is supposed to happen will happen...and it's not in my hands anymore. I've got to trust God enough to know that He's got it all under control and that my only job right now is to live the life He's given me.

I'll let you know how that goes...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Jesus Day :)

I don't really know what the plan is...

All I know is that whatever it is, it's got me practicing my flute again....

Which I absolutely love. Period. The end.

So...whatever the outcome...I'm ok. :)

Oh yeah...and...


Monday, April 11, 2011

Damn Bird

Each morning at approximately 9am, I get to experience this ridiculous side show.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Did It!

Before the race...after we waited in really LONG lines at the Johnny on the Spot.

And then we ran, and ran, and ran...and when we felt like we couldn't run anymore....we whined, and then we ran some more:)

With our finisher's medals and goody bags...SO excited that we made it! We finished 13.1 miles in 2:29...about a 11:45 minute mile. The competitive soul in me was pissed we didn't run it faster...but that's what happens when there are 25,000 other people on the street with you!

Thanks to all of you who cheered us on and encouraged us along the way...and especially to our coach..Erin!! She helped us so much and made the whole day SO much more fun.

We've come a long way, girl:)

Ok...well here's to a happy and healthy race...and to our next race event!

I'm thinking the Chicago marathon sounds nice...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Get. It.

Tomorrow, my husband and I will be running the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.

A Half Marathon.


When I was 15, I couldn't even run a mile. This is absolutely CRAZY.

But, it couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

Exactly a year ago, I was facing a personal situation that made me just want to quit at life. I was thoroughly convinced that I had neither the ability to survive nor the will. And just like the feeling I get after we've painstakingly run a really long slow hill and then turned to look back down it...I'm starting to see how far I've come. Not only in my ability to mentally survive 13.1 miles...but in my emotional strength to exist in a very long frustrating personal battle. And I'm always reminded that it hasn't been the ability and strength I could muster up on my own...but God's amazing grace upon my life. :)

I'm so excited to run tomorrow because I know how the battle ends.

In absolute victory.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Am I Stupid??

And it shall go down in history...

Today, I logged into MoREAP for the first time in TWO years.

Yes, friends, I am considering a teaching job.

I can't even believe it.

Someone take my temperture...

I promise I'll write something real at some point in the coming days...

But until then...just picture me hobbling around cursing my achy feet and knees.

I really just feel like an old lady with a hobble.

And that, friends, is not cool.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bee's Knees

Today was a 9 mile at Cliff Cave. If we would've been motivated enough to actually get up and do it before church, we might have avoided the sun setting on us as we were entering into mile 5. Tom thought about throwing in the towel and counting our losses, but he sometimes forgets how adventurous his better other half is when it comes to running through the woods in the dark. Does he KNOW I was raised in the woods?

Anyway. We had a few close encounters with Bambi and friends, but we made it through ok.

The only thing that almost got us was the pain we felt in our legs and knees. I'm starting to understand why people look at me funny when I tell them how far I run each week.

It's because it HURTS!

As we were strutting around like bow-legged cowboys for the rest of the evening (I REALLY have to invest in some bodyglide...), I said to Tom, "Why do we do this to ourselves?" To which he replied, "Because it's FUN!", and promtly waddled over to the couch, plopping an ice bag on his hip.

Nice. Very Nice.

Hope these sore knees of mine are ready for a good ol' fashioned "shred" with Jillian tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Last night Tom and I ate at Pi Pizzeria. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so yummy. Even the gluten free crust was amazing. I think I might even like it more than Fortel's. I was so proud of myself, however, that I only ate two (small) pieces. I stopped when I was full, which is a RARE occasion in my life.

And then I ate the rest of the pizza today for lunch.

Short lived victory.. I will run. I will run like the wind for 30 minutes so I can have more than 5 points to eat for the rest of the whole freaking day. Thank you weight watchers.

But first, I have to roll myself off of this couch.

No promises there.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Food Babies

Tonight, I got to teach Hannah. She's a skinny-jean wearing, headbanging, 70's mustang driving kinda girl. She's independant and super laid back. One of those timid quiet girls who, on occasion, will spout off the most hilarious stories I think I've ever heard.

As she was getting all of her music out for her lesson tonight, we were chatting as usual when all of a sudden she blurted out in a loud shaky voice...

"Miss Katie, are you pregnant?"


I will have you know that I've been training for a half marathon since November. I endure a Jillian Michaels workout twice a week. I joined Weight Watchers again. The last thing I would expect to hear from anyone is a comment about how I look pregnant! I know that I'm no skinny mini..but COME ON! Seriously??

Reeling from the shock of her blunt question, I glanced down at my belly, then back at her, mouth still gaping...

This question had just come out of the mouth of a high school senior who not only studies with me each week...but is also in two of my husband's bands at his high school. Just the thought of her thinking about such things was absolutely mortifying.

Finally, digging words out of my racing mind, I mustered a weak reply: 

" can't say that I am..."

"Oh," she said, "It was just something my Mom was talking about. She said it was some rumor going around."

Grrreat... Not only does she think I'm pregnant, but apparently so does her mom and a few of the other band parents...

"Well," I said, trying to ease the awkwardness I was fighting, "If by chance I have to babysit."

She let out a nervous chuckle.

So, we proceeded with our lesson...and I really did try to forget about the implications of her question...but I just can't help wondering. Am I really getting that pudgy around the middle? Or do gossipy band parents really have SO little to talk about that they have to make up rumors about the band director's wife being pregnant?

Not to say I'd be bummed if we were...but still..

It was just very strange.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Poem

One trip more to go,

Bracing ourselves for some ice and snow.

Don't really have much else to say,

Just letting the pieces fall where they may.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

^ ) ^

Do I have  to go to work? Couldn't I just stay home and sleep??

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here we go....

to Louisville!

Our goal is to walk out of the apartment in 1.5 hours. In Smyth time, that translates to 2.5 hours. And we don't even have kids! What we do have, however, is a carpet cleaning guy coming to steam our nasty floors while we are gone. And when I should've been getting everything ready last night after my lessons, I instead decided to lay on the couch and watch "Nanalan' on PBS Kids. Oh...and I think Angelina Ballerina.

I know. I'm pathetic. But it made me smile and there was nothing else on.

Ok...wish us luck!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Friendly Face

I don't know what it is about me...and I'm certainly not complaining...but I tend to attract people (and customers) who are just ready to unload their life stories. It happened on the El in Chicago. It happens with parents of students. It especially happens everyday in the store. And...I absolutely love it. I LOVE the fact that certain women feel so at home around me that they will tell me the most intimate details of their lives (within reason, of course..) after only knowing them for about 5 minutes! It happened tonight, and this customer ended up chatting with me for well over an hour. It was mostly her just venting about her life---kid with aspergers--terrible relationship with her mom--no time to run for her marathon training--living in a city with no family support--the list went on and on. She actually came in to purchase a gift for a baby shower she was attending tonight...but I think the real gift was hers. She just really needed to get a load off of her chest....and I am so glad she found it in our store. I am so happy that moms can come in---cloth diapering or not--and feel totally accepted. I love that when they walk through our doors they can find individuals who care about them more than they want to get their money. And I'm super stoked that I get to be a part of it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great Book

A dear friend recommended this book to me....and then GAVE it to I decided that maybe she was trying to tell me something and that I should actually read it.

I was reluctant at first....

Because, by reading it, I'm admitting to myself that yes---I am pretty darn insecure.

The first chapter was rough, but each subsequent chapter has been getting better and better. The one I read before falling asleep last night really cut to the quick. It's exactly what I need right now.

In other news, Tom and I watched a 2 great documentaries on netflix yesterday---a snow day. One was a National Geographic film on the Appalachian Trail--something I've ALWAYS wanted to experience. Watching it just confirmed my desire....hopefully I can convince my husband to trek three months into the wilderness without the luxury of his razor....

The other one was called "The Spirit of the Marathon" and followed 5 people from different walks of life as they prepared for the Chicago marathon. I know it sounds ridiculous, but tears were welling up as each one crossed the finish line. It is SUCH a statement of accomplishment....especially to those who never would've ever thought they could complete such an amazing distance. It was very encouraging to me...even as Tom and I are training for a 1/2 marathon. It might as well be 26.2 all sounds pretty daunting to me still! The farthest we have run is 7....and we have an 8 mile coming up next week. Considering I was about to die last week during our 5 mile, who knows how it will go!

It's a good thing Erin gave me that insecurity book....I think I need it now more than ever!

Happy Friday....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've assigned myself a list of positive thoughts.

And for your reading pleasure....

1. My husband made dinner two nights in a row...and it was DAMN good.
2. My apartment is clean.
3. I get to take a fun trip to Louisville next week to check out a school.
4. I have a healthy body that can be pushed to physical limits I'd never dreamed of.
5. I am no longer an insecure teenager.
6. I have a day job that I love.
7. I have 6 amazing young ladies as flute students whom I get to teach every week. It warms my heart!
8. We are digging out of debt and watching in amazement as God provides.
9. I get to enjoy the wonderful gift of music God's given me.
10. I have food in my belly, a roof over my head, and a warm bed to sleep in. I am truly blessed.

I'm also looking forward to having some time to sew in the near future...and this blog added to my inspiration. It isn't so much of a sewing project, but rather a frugal decor project. Lord knows I've been jones'n for some CHAIRS in my living room. It's not a lofty goal in life...but it would make having company over a little less awkward. And to be quite honest, I love any kind of project that accomplishes what could be a rather expensive venture for a fraction of the price. I like it!