Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hi, I'm back.

Hi, friends...all 6 of you that follow me.  I have decided to get back into writing this blog, but let’s be honest- it might not last long.  I’m away from home right now and will be until August 2nd.  I’m back in my hometown of Lexington, KY teaching music at MADcamp for the third year in a row.  I love Lexington, I like the job I’m doing, but I miss my life.  My life in Murfreesboro with my husband, my dog, and my house. We’ve only been married 3 months now, but it is so strange leaving that life we started to go teach in another state.  I guess I’m just in a different season of my life and a part of me is truly missing while I’m here.  Some people, when I told them that I was leaving for a month, were shocked that I decided to do it again this year.  They must have thought it was weird for me to leave my husband and all, but I knew then that it wasn’t going to be an issue.  Ben and I had been apart for the same amount of time this time last year, and we survived.  We were just dating at this point last year and weren’t completely involved in the everyday activities of each others’ lives like we are now. But because of that little thing called marriage, this is really hard for me to be gone!  I totally understand why people hardly ever spend time away from their spouses-why would you?  
Figuring that I would naturally have loads of free time on my hands when I wasn’t working at camp, I brought along my keyboard to Lexington.  I was going to practice. I am going to practice.  Whatever, who am I fooling? I am unmotivated and bored here.  I selfishly think, “Awesome, a few good days of just me and that keyboard with no distractions.” I haven’t touched it.  Ok, I lied- it does hold a mean pair of clothes for the next day.  Why is that?  Do we start feeling resentment toward our mate for keeping us from doing things we want to do in our daily lives only to find out that the biggest distraction of all is that feeling of utter shapelessness when we are apart from them? Unfortunately, yes.  Was Bridget Jones on the right track with that oh-so-cheesy line, “You complete Me”?  YES!  I think she was.   
Shapelessness.  That’s a much better description than a piece missing.  He holds me together, he completes me.  I guess that means I miss him terribly.  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dining Together with Ben & Laura: New Recipe Night #1

Ben and I have started our own little new recipes together and reviewing them.  Once a week, we are going to choose a recipe, document what we changed about it, what went wrong, what went well with it, and collect them in a folder.  If you know me, you know I LOVE to cook, and turns out Ben does too!  I know I can be somewhat of a control freak in the kitchen because I know how I want things to be done, but I am working on that with this new little project!  We both love to experiment with foods and aren't too this should be a blast.

Tonight was the first night of this new adventure and we made Chili-Corn Taco Pie.   Ben chose the recipe off the internet and of course we tweaked it!  The major change we made was wherever it said "reduced fat" this or "low sodium" that...we used the real stuff.  I get that using reduced fat stuff is good...but this recipe really needed the full flavors of normal food.    We served it with chips and LOTS of (reduced fat) sour cream.  Enjoy the picture until next time!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A 180 in 2009

Wow. 2009 was an amazing year for me. It really hit me last night as I waited to go on stage to play with the Whatever Worship Project at an inaugural district youth event to ring in the new year. A year ago today, I was sick with strep throat and laying around my best friend's apartment in Chicago. (This is ironic because I am currently sick with a sinus infection and bronchitis). Something about being miserably sick, feeling helpless, and being away from home made that day seem like a prominent turning point in my life's direction. I was worn out, broken down, and wasn't making many great decisions. Something clicked that day and I knew that I had to be different this year but that I wasn't going to be able to do it on my own. I think I prayed more than I talked to people that day. I gave it all up to God that day and accepted that He has absolute control over my life, not me. No trumpets sounded, no Facebook statuses were updated, but looking back, it is crystal clear to me that Jan 1st was a pivotal day in my heart transition.

So as I waited to play with the band last night at the NYE youth lock-in, I thought, "wo
I am doing now, tonight, is SO much different than what I was doing one year ago." My focus and direction have completely done a 180....God did a 180 on me! He took me
from a pit of self-pity on December 31st, 2008 into a position of worship leading (I don't sing though) on December 31st, 2009. During th
e prayer before we played, I could just feel God saying, "See...look what I did in this
last let's start thinking about
how we are going to make you even better THIS year!" I thank God for putting me into this praise band with some of the most genuine and lovely people I have ever met in my li

My 2009 in review:
  • I was lost
  • I was found
  • I started playing regularly in the praise band at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro
  • I met my new best friend
  • I became a member of FUMC
  • I attended the ASTA (American String Teachers Association) conference in Atlanta, GA
  • I made it on the front cover of the ASTA quarterly magazine that is sent out to every string teacher in America.
  • I completed my Masters degree in Cello Performance from MTSU in May.
  • I went from a classically trained background to reading chord charts and improvising. (scary, btw)
  • I had a crush on a man.
  • I played my Graduate Cello Recital
  • I became a cyclist (not like a Harley..we're talking road biking here, people)
  • I bought a sweet bike that I love to ride..a Felt
  • I worked at a camp at EKU as the cello teacher for a week (awesome experience, btw)
  • I worked at a Music Arts and Dance Camp in Lexington, KY as a General Music/Broadway Musical Teacher
  • I looked for a job....and looked some more
  • I got a full-time job as the strings teacher at Donelson Middle School in Nashville, TN! It was a God thing completely...the old teacher retired the Saturday AFTER school had already started!!...then they called me. Phew...what a save.
  • I got let go from the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra as the PSO conductor...I miss those kids. :(
  • That man from 9 bullet points ago finally asked me out and we started dating.
  • I fell in love with that man.
  • I rode on a 4-wheeler for the first time.
  • I conducted my first few concerts as a public school strings teacher.
  • I had the best Christmas ever with the man I love.
  • I was able to ring in 2010 by praising God through music.

That man I mentioned so much is my incredible boyfriend, Ben. We have been close friends all year and God brought us together when the timing was right for both of us. We have only been dating for 6 weeks, but we like to say "6 weeks and 5 months". He is my best friend and can cheer me up quicker than anyone I know. We spent the Christmas holiday traveling over 1400 miles together to 3 states in 6 days to visit all the families and didn't want to strangle each's Love.

I think that is enough for my first blog entry. The ones to follow may not be this long, but I am long winded, so watch out! Happy New Year!

Ringing in the New Year with a blog

Hello there...or should I say, "Cello There"? I've never done a blog, so I thought that I'd start one and see if I can actually keep it up regularly. To be continued.....