Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LOST



This picture depicts my sentiments on Daylight Savings Time exactly. I love the evening being longer and all but I just think they should pick 1 time and stick with it. It messes up your head and body and clocks and life too much to have it switching back and forth. And let's face it, the days are going to grow longer and shorter naturally, so why do we need to tamper with it? I don't really think it helps anything and it sure has made me COMPLETELY exhausted!! (or maybe that is just my inhumane schedule...who knows??)
Anyway, that is my 2 cents worth! (And just in case you're wondering, I know a lot of people who agree! Just read facebook the week after the time changes!)

So, on a more positive note, it looks like we have finally found a house that everything is actually going to work out with for us to buy, so we will be moving in just a couple weeks! Pretty exciting! (well, and stressful and a wee bit sad because I love the house and neighborhood we are in now but let's just focus on the positives...) I haven't actually seen the house except in pictures but it has a place for me to practice and a place for me to sleep, so what more do I need? :) I haven't actually seen the last 3 houses before we moved into them, so I guess it is in keeping with the tradition.

A week and a half til Spring Break!!!!!!!!!!! But who's counting?? ;)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A June Bride

The BIG news for this week is that my little Jophers is engaged!! FINALLY! :) I will be so happy to officially have Abby as a member of our family. She is already a sister and dear, dear friend, so this will just be making it all official. The date is set for June, and you know what they say "When you marry in June, you're a bride, all your life...." (Song from the Musical Seven brides for Seven brothers). Ever since I saw that musical and that song with all of the girls twirling around in their pantaloons and singing dreamily of their wedding day, I have always wanted to be a June bride. So, it just makes it even better that Joe's and Abby's wedding will be in that felicitious month so perfectly suited to all things matrimonial. Seriously, though I am so happy for them and look forward to their wedding with great excitement and anticipation!! :D

If you want to see the song that I am talking about, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faQHDd1KEwg


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mama Debbie's Daily Doins

This has been a pretty ordinary week. Well - except for the day OFF on Monday!! Woot woot! That was nice and rather Un-ordinary. But, as far as what has gone on - nothing earth shattering has really happened. I spent my day off practicing (I know you are all SO shocked right now) and the rest of the week has been full of, well, you know, practicing, working, teaching, etc. I did make some interesting discoveries this week though.

1. Juicing is a GREAT way to get energy!!! My sister gave my mom a juicer for Christmas, but we have really just now been using it. I stick carrots, apples, oranges, spinach, celery, strawberries, a little lemon or lime - basically just whatever fruits or veggies we have - in there and Presto! out comes my daily serving of health! (Little note though - NEVER juice bananas or avocados. My mom has made it clear it will RUIN the juicer. Just a little tip - at no extra charge! :) Seriously, it is an easy way to get your vegetable and fruit servings and it gives you a big boost of energy! I am trying to have a glass or two every day.

2. Spotify really is as amazing as every one says. I don't know why, but I never really got into it. The other day, I finally for real tried it and the verdict is it is the best thing to happen to recorded music since...well...maybe ever! I know that you all already realized that a long time ago, but just rejoice with me anyway! :)


3. I am NEVER going to have enough time for all things I need and want to do. Oh wait. I already knew that....

Have a fabulous weekend!

P.S. - In case you are wondering about the title........it is from a Good Luck Charlie show in which Amy starts a Mommy blog and competes with Debbie Dooley on having the best blog. It is the title of Debbie Dooley's blog which Amy makes fun of. I just threw it in there for the randomness and curiosity-inducing factor....

Friday, February 15, 2013

And the Greatest of These is...

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! I hope your day was fabulous and filled with chocolate, friends, family, flowers, and fun!! I love Valentine's Day for several reasons:

1. My Dad always gives us each one of those heart shaped boxes of chocolates.

2. My students always give me lots of sweet valentines and candy and make me feel so loved!

3. My mom always makes us a special dinner and decorates the house and table pretty.

4. It is a great excuse to eat extra chocolate and candy that I might normally feel guilty for eating. There is no guilt on Valentine's Day! ;)

5. It is a great chance for me to do something special for the people I love.

And on that note, this Valentine's Day, I got up at early  to make cupcakes and valentines for the special people in my life - well, not technically ALL of them - just a few of the local representatives!



Then it was off to school and then to Macon for a piano lesson. Tonight we are having some friends over and having our special family Valentine's Dinner. Italian = YUM!!

While all of the goodies and cute cards are nice, I also like to remember that Valentine's is a great time to celebrate not only my love for my family and friends and their love for me - but how much God loves me. I was thinking the other day that sometimes I feel like I constantly have to earn others' love and that I am constantly in danger of losing it if I don't measure up. Now, this may not always be true, but we all have friends who we thought would love us forever but who for whatever reason have now rejected us or are angry with us or have somehow stopped loving us. BUT, then I was thinking how we don't have to do anything to get God's love. He loves us unconditionally even if we never love Him back. Even when we mess up over and over again, all we have to do is claim Jesus' blood and He sees us as perfect and spotless - covered in Jesus' righteousness. He never stops loving us and there is nothing we can do or not do to make Him love us more. Now, if you ask me, THAT is something worth celebrating!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

{We} had ourselves a merry little Christmas


I am officially in withdrawal now. Christmas is over for another year. Sniff. Our tree is down, all of the cookies are eaten, and it is back to "real" life - whatever that is. We had a good Christmas though...it was a little different than normal but still wonderful. This year, I was working right up until Christmas Eve - actually even then, I was working because I was responsible for the music for the service that night. I also did not finish my shopping until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, I got up in the wee hours of the morning to sneak downstairs and surprise everyone by filling their stockings with goodies. It was fun playing Santy Claus. Then, I crept back upstairs and crashed into my bed from which I did not emerge for several hours. I hardly ever sleep in, so I decided to indulge in this luxury on Christmas morning. They had to wake me up for the traditional family breakfast at 9:30! Also, I was officially a slacker this Christmas. I did not wrap any presents until Christmas morning!! Thankfully, Hannah came to my rescue or I would still probably be wrapping them. We did not start opening presents until 12:30 or 1:00 and it took a few hours to be done. Our parents were not able to give us gifts this year, but we were all imbued with an extra shot of Christmas Spirit, and there seemed to be no shortage of presents under the tree. In fact, my little brother said, "There are more presents this year than when Mom and dad give them to us!" My dad was quick to suggest that this become a new family tradition. My brothers love to give my Dad gag gifts - this year he was treated to his very own set of Rudolph antlers and glowing nose and his very own dollar tree plunger!! My brother Josh is also graced with gag gifts each year, and this year, he was super excited to get his own special pair of Sponge Bob Underpants!!! :) I know his wife, Kristi, was especially delighted! ;)


The day after Christmas, I headed to Greenville to spend a couple days with my grandparents. It was great to see them, and my grandmother was doing amazingly well! I enjoyed working puzzles with my grandpa, talking with my grandma, and watching movies with the both of them. I also got to relax and lay around, which was amazing - I NEVER get to do that! :)

One of the most special things that happened is God did a miracle for us this Christmas - He sold our house in Albany. It is kind of a long story, but just suffice it to say, God did the impossible, solved a crisis in our lives, and gave us all a most wonderful Christmas present.


Hope you all had a very merry Christmas, too............and Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Friday, December 21, 2012

How I wish Jack Frost were nipping at my nose...

I have decided I do NOT like South Georgia weather. Actually, I already knew that. I've just re-confirmed it. When it is Christmas and/or winter, it should be cold. Period. The past couple days have been a little nippier, but still no wheres near where I think December is supposed to feel like. I want to wear sweaters, tights, boots, scarves, hats, coats!! Oh well, hopefully I will go up North for grad school. Until then, I will just pretend it is cold.

My schedule has been crazzzzzy and I have been holding on for dear life. Who needs to go for roller coaster rides when your life is a real one?? I have enjoyed playing at the mall though and have even been rewarded with some  tips from kind shoppers!! ;) Maybe they will help fund my Starbucks addiction...Speaking of which, I have discovered two wonderful new things about Starbucks.
         1. They have amazing double expresso drinks that will give you amazing levels of energy.

         2. They are handing out little cards where if you buy 5 holiday drinks, you get 1 free! I got my last
            sticker today - free drink here I come!! :)




I have started a new Christmas tradition of reading a Christmas story to Matt and Bethany in the evening. I think it is even more fun for me than them! I love children's Christmas stories!! We need to squeeze in Christmas baking and games and movies and fun times. There are only a few days left to cram all of the Christmas cheer and activities and fun and craziness in to.

ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! National crisis here!! I have not yet watched ELF, the most incredible Christmas movie of all time! I did start it yesterday when we were baking gingerbread, but still.....This terrible crime must be remedied soon.
On Sunday was the lessons and carols service at my church. It was the first lessons and carols for which I have been music director, so it was pretty exciting (and nerve-wracking!) We have been working our tails off for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, we got a late start working on Christmas music because I did not begin as music director there until October. However, we worked hard with the time we had and had 2+ rehearsals per week, with many of the choir members meeting outside of rehearsal for their own practice sessions. The result on Sunday was very nice. I was pleased, the choir was pleased, the church was pleased. I call it a successful first lessons and carols service. Afterwards, there was a very fun Christmas party at one of the choir member's houses. It was the first (and probably only) Christmas party that I have actually been able to attend this year, so I really enjoyed it an extra bunch. They had this amazing coffee there made with a Senseo maker. That was the first time I had sampled coffee from a Senseo, and I have to say, I now really want Santy Claus to bring me my very own Senseo coffee maker.

On a random side-note, you never know what you may find at our house. The other day, I took a break from practicing and walked into the kitchen to get a drink and this is what I saw:

 Apparently, cleaning the kitchen is not enough for some people and they feel the need to also turn it into an arctic scene for a coke commerical...


With all of the craziness going on, it has been difficult to fit in enough practice time, but I have been trying. Pretty much every second that I am not running around like a manaic, I am sitting at the piano, trying to make sense of all of this:


P.S. - I have been working this post for a while and today the weather has turned cold and Jack Frost actually is nipping at my nose - at least in a South Georgian kind of way!!








Monday, December 10, 2012

That Explains a Lot

I stumbled across this article from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/wp/2012/12/07/piano-lessons/


It explains in some small way how difficult being a serious pianist is.

Before I started taking piano, I had always imagined the Conservatory students to have it so good – I mean, for their homework, they get to play guitar, or jam on their saxophone, or sing songs! What fun! Compared to sitting in lab for four hours studying the optical properties of minerals, or discussing Lucretian theories of democracy and politics, I would play piano any day.



But after almost three years of piano at Oberlin, I understand just how naïve this is. Playing music for credit is not “easy” or “fun” or “magical” or “lucky.” Mostly, it’s really freakin’ hard. It requires you to pick apart your piece, play every little segment over and over, dissect it, tinker with it, cry over it, feel completely lame about it, then get over yourself and start practicing ...again. You have to be precise and diligent, creative and robotic. And then – after all of this – you have to re-discover the emotional beauty in the piece, and use it in your performance.



Yeah, good luck with that. There’s no way, right?



Except that so many people here can do that, and do it every semester. I swear, from just my 2-credit piano lessons, I’ve gained an entirely new respect for the musicians here at Oberlin. I honestly don’t know how they do it – how they play their music with such bravery and intensity, don’t buckle under the pressure. You have to be such a strong and confident individual to be successful in the Conservatory. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be strong and confident to be successful in just about anything you do – but with music, there’s a deeper emotional component to your failures and successes. If you fail a chemistry test, it’s because you either didn’t study enough, or just aren’t that good at chemistry (the latter of which is totally understandable). But if you fail at music, it can say something about your character. It could be because you didn’t practice enough – but, more terrifyingly, it could be because you aren’t resilient enough. Mastering chemistry requires diligence and smarts, but mastering a piano piece requires diligence and smarts, plus creativity, plus the immense capacity to both overcome emotional hurdles, and, simultaneously, to use that emotional component to bring the music alive.