January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some odds 'n ends

Travis has been getting J-PASSED the last few weeks. Basically what this consists of is one of the school administrators randomly sitting in one or two of his classes and evaluating his every breath. He is evaluated in his presenting of class materials/ideas, his interaction with the students, his response to questions, etc. The evaluation is a bubble sheet, as far as I understand, that the principle or vice principle fill out. That bubble sheet is then sent out to who-knows-where and the results are sent back to his school. Once the results are in, Travis gets to sit down with whoever evaluated him and go over the results. They do this to make sure teachers are actually doing their job. They also do this so teachers know what they need to improve on. As far as I'm aware Trav can't be fired for having a bad day of evaluations...unless of course he's abusive or extreme in some way. So, while it's stressful for Trav, it's not the worst thing that could happen. Last time Trav was J-PASSED his evaluations came back WAAAAAY above normal. The entire administration was blown away, so we're not worried. :) Travis is an amazing teacher.

Tomorrow Travis gets to meet with the principle (he's the one who J-PASSED him this go round) to discuss what he saw in his observation. The bubble sheet results haven't come back yet, as far as I'm aware, but when they do, he'll get to meet with the principle again. I don't think Travis minds too much because he really, REALLY likes his principle. :) What a huge blessing! We've heard some horror stories about some principles out there.

I have been busy trying to learn these two pieces for my audition Friday. One is down pretty good (the quartet piece) and the other is a little -- okay QUITE shaky. But the good news is I emailed my professor and told him where I'm at and he still encouraged me to audition. I told him it's a bit bumpy but I'll do my best and he seemed fine with it. I won't lie, I'm a little hopeful (I shouldn't be though). I'm hoping to get this solo. It's absolutely gorgeous and it would be a great opportunity for me to face my fear of being in front of people and performing. "The best way out is through". I just have to keep doing it. I'm also hopeful because in the last two weeks this same professor has told me twice that I should audition for this part. He said his encouraging didn't guarantee I'd get the part -- but hey! The guy who's making the executive decisions is encouraging ME to audition. That should count for something, right?! Maybe??

Even if I don't get the part I still stand firm in my belief that this is a great learning opportunity for me. I need to get used to auditioning because that's what's ahead of me, if I'm hoping to be a performer, anyway. Plus there are auditions at EVERY school I apply at for a master's program, so I need to take advantage of every audition I can, even if I walk away without the part every single time. Hopefully it'll only get easier each time I do it. Hopefully.

With singing on my mind, I'd like to encourage all my friends out there to really do all they can to take really care of themselves. There's a vicious bug going around and it's MeAn! If your throat is dry and sore try mixing honey, lemon or lime juice with HOT, HOT water (to taste) and drinking it slowly. It feels amaZing on your throat. It's a little concoction my vocal coach suggested. I'm madly in love with it. If you do it right, it tastes like an herbal tea or something, You know you need to add more lemon or lime juice if the honey flavor is too strong -- and vice-versa.

Also, be sure to drink as much water as possible (you'll know you're doing a great job if you're running to the restroom regularly) and sleep as much as possible. I'm not kidding -- this bug is a little bugger. :(

Well, I better stop procrastinating and get back to my beloved homework. We hope you're doing well!

Oh, we'll keep you posted on the audition as well as the results of Trav's J-PASS evaluation! Wish us both luck!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Handel's Dixit Dominus

I'm going to audition for a solo for an oratorio one of the choirs is doing this semester. It's called "Dixit Dominus" by Handel (the same guy who wrote the Messiah). The pieces are pretty intense but nothing too terribly new. I've been singing songs from the Baroque period for a bit now -- only recently have I taken on a harder repertoire. I'm excited to give it a go. My only fear is timing. I thought I had a few more weeks to learn the pieces before auditioning. Nope, not the case. I found out today that auditions are this FRIDAY! Ahhhh! So, I'll go in there and do my best.

If you'd like to hear the specific pieces I'll be auditioning with go to grooveshark, naxos, or napster (if you have an account) and put in "Dixit Dominus, Handel" then select "Tecum Principium" AND "De torrente in via bibet" to listen to (WARNING! THIS IS CLASSICAL MUSIC!!!). You may find a descent recording online at youtube as well...but nothing's guaranteed with youtube. :)

You'll have to let me know what you think. I'm not certain I'll get the solo, but I figure the opportunity to audition is one I need to take full advantage of. Regardless, wish me luck!

PS For those who don't know, according to wikipedia: "An oratorio is a large musical composition including an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. Like an opera, an oratorio includes the use of a choir, soloists, an ensemble, various distinguishable characters, and arias. In an oratorio there is generally little or no interaction between the characters, and no props or elaborate costumes...the plot of an oratorio often deals with sacred topics, making it appropriate for performance in the church. "

I don't know if we'll have an orchestra or what (I'm not in this choir -- I'm just auditioning for the solo), but it's an exciting opportunity nonetheless.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A conversation worth recording

So, I've been doing a lot of listening, observing, memorizing, practicing, analyzing, and studying lately. Trav has had the great opportunity to be surrounded by the lovely sound of classical/opera music because of this (I'm being trained to sing classically, in case you didn't know..yes this includes opera as well).

So, today I had him listen to an aria (a solo in an opera) that I'm learning this semester. It's pretty intense but will be very rewarding once I have it down. After listening for a few minutes this is how our conversation went:

Trav: How high does music go, note-wise?
Me: Um, what do you mean?
Trav: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H...
Me: Oh, it goes up to G. Well, I guess technically it would be a G-sharp which is the equivalent to --
Trav: (interrupting) an H?

So, I posted this on facebook but thought it was too cute -- I had to post it on the blog as well. What a stud.

PS For those who don't know, a G-sharp (G#) is equivalent to an A-flat (Ab). They are enharmonic tones, meaning they are the same pitch with two names (G# or Ab). I could go into why the same tone has two names, but that would be a little too complex. Just trust me.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Well, things have most definitely picked up. I spent the last two weeks planning and executing a Music Conference down in St. George. I didn't actually put the music conference together though. I just made sure all faculty and students who were planning on attending had a hotel room, registration figured out, directions, information on the conference, etc. It was a lot of work. Needless to say, I'm pooped. And now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to catch up on all my homework I wasn't able to get to.

Travis has been busy with his work. He started a new semester at school with all new students. He's really excited about the idea: out with the old, in with the new. After so long the students get a little rowdy and annoying. ;) He also has one less class for the rest of the school year, so he's done around 12:30 every day. He's not complaining!

I don't really know what to write. Basically things are going okay. We're moving forward and taking things one day at a time (I am anyway. I get overwhelmed looking at even a week at a time).

Let's see...what ramblings will you be interested in??

1) I am on full tuition scholarship and re-auditioned today for next year. I should hear back within a month or so. I'll keep you posted.

2) Travis and I are talking about him going back to school to get a master's degree. We hope I'll be able to get my master's at the same time. But as of right now, we're not certain which school we'll apply at. We're just in the discussing phase because I still have a year or so of my undergrad left. But it's still exciting to think about!

3) I've been seeing a therapist for the last few months. I only go once each month and it's helped me so much. Most people seem to think therapy is for someone suffering from mental illness or something. It's not. It's for everyone who has baggage (which, I believe is everyone). Therapy has offered me a lot of insight as to how I can overcome my grief in a healthy way. My therapist said on my first visit, "I am not here to fix you or your problems. I am here to offer you tools to help you through whatever it is you're dealing with." This has been such a blessing and I share it with you in hopes that you will go see a therapist if you need too. There's no shame in taking care of yourself. There's only shame (and unnecessary hurt) when pride or misunderstanding gets in the way and keeps one from doing what's best.

4) Oh! I won $150 gift card from school. I attended a job fair with some fellow students (I have a job which I love. I only attended because these girls asked me to go with them.) and put my name in a drawing and WON!!! I never win!!! Wahoooooo!!

5) I am no longer teaching primary at church (where the children go to be taught). It's been two years since I've been able to attend anything other than the first hour of church with Trav. Let me tell you, I'm enjoying every minute of it! I don't have to plan a lesson, games, or anything. I just show up and am spiritually fed with my hubs sitting next to me. :)

Let's see....what else....

6) Good grief. I don't know.

I guess I can only add to this amazing list of happenings by including a short little diddy on our friends. Both Trav and I have been dealing with some serious drama with our friends. It's been really hard, especially on Trav. But it has reminded us of some things: who we are, what we stand for/believe, what we'll tolerate, how we'll respond to tough situations, weaknesses [I] need to improve, and what really matters. I have never heard of change being easy -- even if the change is for the better. Change is change and requires adjusting. How grateful I am to have someone by my side who will support me, stand behind me, and encourage me through these changes. I hope Travis feels I will do the same for him. Anyway, enough of that.

And I titled this post that way because I have no clue what to title it. I know, thrilling. Hehe.