Thanks! It's good to be back! :)
I was thinking about all the things that have gone on the last couple of months and to be honest with you, I don't know why I haven't blogged until now. I've had more time than usual...sort of. I just haven't had the motivation. I really should have blogged though because a lot has happened within the last 6 - 8 weeks. To keep things simple I think I'll post in bullet point format:
o I quit my job at First Choice Home Health & Hospice. I gave them my one month notice near the end of July. I sobbed and sobbed that day. It isn't easy for me to walk away from a place I feel I grew up in. Many of those people are dear friends. Many of them I admire and am so close too. The people I worked directly with have been so wonderful. And my supervisor is one of the best bosses I have EVER had. Quitting my job was like leaving a part of my heart, never to get it back again. It was a hard day. However, I have now been jobless (sort of) since August 26th and I am at complete peace. I know it was the right thing to do. I haven't missed the work, just the people. I find myself having small panic attacks because I just know there's something I'm needing to do at work. And then I remember I don't have to worry about that anymore. I have the great opportunity and blessing to just focus on my music for the next year. Yippppeee!
o We had a last little "hoorah" stay-cation with my family mid-July. We did all activities local. We went up the canyon and played, we camped over night in the mountains (I swear I thought we were going to be eaten by a bear. I didn't sleep well that night), we went on a few hikes to lakes and water falls, we watched movies, went wave running on the lake (Trav and I didn't go because we couldn't afford to rent wave runners), etc. It was a lot of fun! I'll post some pics for ya'll to enjoy.
o Kolton entered the MTC on August 24th. That was one of the hardest days I've had in a while. I don't know what I expected but I didn't expect it to be THAT hard. It honestly felt like another loss in the family. I had intentionally scheduled my therapy for that night because I knew it was going to be hard on me. I'm so grateful I did. I needed to purge myself of somethings as well as gain perspective. I cried and cried during that session. I cried REALLY hard. It was bitter-sweet. Kolton will be serving a full-time LDS Mission. This means that for the next two years we will have very little contact with him. We can write letters/emails as much as we'd like but he is only able to read and respond once a week. We cannot call, text, or stop by and visit him. It's been RoUgH. I have a new admiration for the families who send off missionaries. Wow. I was so shocked with how hard it was, emotionally, I found myself a little angry. It was weird.
o I was hired by the Scera to teach a 55+ choir for adults in the community over the age of 55. I'm really excited about this, however I'm a little concerned too. I am supposed this is the first time they're offering a choir to adults in the community, so I'm supposed to build this program from the ground up. I have no clue what I'm doing as I've never done anything like this before. I'm stoked with the idea that I get to APPLY what I've been studying for the last 3 1/2 years and that hopefully I'll see a paycheck. But until then, I've got to figure out how to recruit effectively. The Scera also offered me two children's choirs. I'm soooo excited. One choir is ages Kindergarten - 2nd grade and the other is 3rd grade - 5th grade. So if any of you are 55+ and want to be in a community choir ($20/month) or have children/grandchildren between Kindergarten & 5th grade who would enjoy a children's choir ($20/month) send them to the Scera in Orem! I'll be the lucky one to teach them!
o Travis took the Praxis test for the third time and finally passed that beast of a test. This is a required test he has to take to get his teaching license. It is one of the worst tests ever written. No, seriously. Every test analysis done on it proves how poor it is. So why do they continue to use it if it sucks so bad? Because it's easy to "grade" (they use a bubble sheet) and it's cheap (they scan the test and BAM! They have the results). Because of this, all those who are wanting to get their teaching license HAVE to take this blasted test. It's ridiculous! But we're happy to announce that Trav passed! He's now done with that! He has one more class to take and he'll be a licensed teacher. Gooooo Mr. Braun!!!
o I am hoping to graduate within the next year. This idea brings a smile to my face. I have been pursuing my undergrad long enough. I've dealt with too many stupid people. I have had to go to battle for myself enough. I am ready to move forward. However, I have recently decided my dream is not to lead a choir. No, my dream is to be a soloist. I want to be in an opera too. 4 years ago I never thought I'd say that. But there is something dignified and incredibly challenging about being a classical soloist. I want to tackle that. Because of this, I'm planning on applying and attending a master's program in Vocal performance. I recently met with a professor and shared my thoughts about my dream of being a soloist and he totally encouraged it. He had a lot of compliments and I graciously listened (I've had a little bit of a rough summer vocally). So, within the next year, hopefully, I'll have my undergrad done and will be looking into graduate schools. I'm thinkin' I'll be going to the University of Utah, if they'll accept me.
o I have been incredibly sensitive to smells and tastes. Please do not stand near me if you haven't showered in the last day or so OR if you've eaten anything garlic-y. It's disgusting and I can barely keep what little tact I have in me when I hold back my dry-heaving. S.I.C.K. I'm also gaining a little bit of...shall we call it a flat tire? It's crazy because guess what? I'm NOT pregnant. But someone I'm close to is and I'm totally suffering her pregnancy "stuff". I sleep like a bear in hibernation. I eat NON-STOP. I'm totally emotional (although I was before) and I can smell pickles a mile away. Hehe. It'll totally be worth it though when I see the little nugget! I can't wait. Although, I should say I am in no way saying I am feeling all things pregnant like "she" is (she has yet to blog about it - e'hem - so I can't mention names.). She is so willing to endure whatever is thrown at her and do so with dignity. She rarely complains. In fact, I had no idea she was feeling discouraged and exhausted until the other night. I have been insensitive and blind to her feelings and I regret that. I've been so focused on me and what I'm going through (boohoo, right?)...I've decided I'm not going to keep focusing on me. She deserves better. Angel and her deserve the world for what they quietly suffer. I love you both for you faith, your determination, your gratitude, your examples.
o School started back up for both Travis and me. It's been hard for both of us. We enjoyed our summer months way too much. But we can say, with gratitude, that it was a wonderful summer. Travis got a lot of his art done and still has plenty to keep him motivated and busy. I was able to take some beastly classes and get them out of the way. We were able to have a wonderful visit out to Minnesota (I love that place!) as well. It's so nice going back there. We have so much to be grateful for. Really, we do.
o I have started teaching voice lessons and I love it! It's been challenging to learn the pedagogy of it all but it's been very rewarding. I have awesome family members who are willing to let me experiment on them until I feel confident in my approach to teaching technique. They're all wonderful and each of them honestly have beautiful voices. It's been fun working with them. Because of this, I'm hoping to have my own vocal studio where I teach classical technique (not belt!). I think it could be a great way to help contribute to our income, when the time comes. Until then, I hope to pick up a few students to help with my lack of income now that I've quit my job.
o Travis experienced what I would like to call "the attack of the grill" the other night. We decided to grill hot dogs and veggie burgers for dinner. When Trav went out to light the grill he couldn't get the match to light. When he finally got one, he threw it in the grill but by then the propane had been running for a bit. Needless to say, the end result was singed eyelashes and arm hair. Bahahaha! I laugh thinking about the poor guy! But apparently it happens quite often. Not to him but to everyone. The grill must feel it has something to say because I've heard a lot of stories similar to this one. Oh, how I love my husband. He's so awesome.
o I auditioned for band and orchestra at UVU and I got in! Ha! They were desperate for oboe players, obviously. Oboe players are hard to come by. That's not the easiest instrument to learn. I know they have me down for band but I haven't heard back about orchestra. I honestly don't care what they decide though. It was a good experience to audition. Humiliating but good.
o I have my junior recital coming up in a couple of months. I'm excited to nail this thing! It's gonna be fun! So, if you live near by, save the evening of Monday, November 14th. My recital will be free and will be less than an hour. :) I'd love to have you attend, if you're able!
Okay, I need to get to bed. I'll have to post pictures another day. I'm waaay too tired right now. G'night.
1 day ago