Monday, August 6, 2012

Packardfamily.com

Hello family, friends, strangers, and whoever else cares. This blog is officially dubbed "anemic," and I find it difficult to nourish it adequately. For this, I apologize. I have emerged to announce the existence of a more important blog in my life (To blog: sorry babe...it was a fun run, but I needed something more substantial and everlasting) that I wanted to tell you about!

Preface:
My parents, after many long and hard years of constant sacrifice (which they will always respond "It was SO worth it" to) have finally decided to dedicate an acceptable amount of their time and energies on themselves. They have begun a health journey, and a remarkably successful one, at that. Much of their journey has been inspired by Joel Furhman's book "Eat to Live," which I have blogged about before. After just 3.5 weeks, both of my parents have lost a substantial amount of weight, and (in one case) are beginning to discover their passion for fitness/exercise! They have inspired many, including myself, and we have decided to open up a family blog together, 1. to keep us accountable to the whole word and 2. to have a closer tie throughout this process. It is probably one of the most rewarding blogging experiences I have encountered thus far, and I am so excited about it's progress.

The URL for this website is simply packardfamily.com.



If you wish to see more frequent updates from me as well as my parents, please visit this site. I assure you it will be worth your while. :) Also, any encouraging words/tips/words of advice are certainly welcome as comments!

TTFN!

Amber

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Worst Part



End of March...that lovely time of year where the flowers begin to grow and the weather turns simply divine. It's perfect for a game of ultimate frisbee, a picnic, a bike ride, [insert amazingly fun outdoor activity.]

End of March...that lovely time of year where finals are looming and research projects/thesis papers are threatening to demolish all that a student has worked so hard for this year. It's perfect for banging one’s head against the computer/practice room door. What better time of year to live out of a vending machine and poison your body with processed foods galore?

The worst part? Gazing at the mountains. No joke. I mean, doesn’t this picture just SCREAM “hike me”? It’s not fair, really, that they make BYU campus so gorgeous this time of year, only to taunt a slave driven student from the library windows.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Washington DC--pinch me!

The second part of my weekend journey was to Washington DC to visit my aunts Esther and Sabrina and their amazing families. My dad and I got back from the Broadway show pretty late (after sampling one of the hot dogs at a hot dog stands…I thought it was nasty, but at least we know what they taste like) and so we got about 3 hours of sleep before we had to wake up, get out of the hotel, and get our booties to the bus stop in NY. Our hotel was in Newark, NJ, which is only about a 30 minute shuttle ride from NYC, or a 1 ½ hour journey through the metro/train/air rails. It was about a $30 difference for each of us so we decided to take it the hard way. We’re warriors!

When we finally got into NYC, we were once again surprised to encounter so many kind individuals who were more than happy to help us get to where we needed to go. I don’t care what they say about New York people…they are really nice!

After a 4 hour bus ride of trying to sleep but not really succeeding, we finally arrived in Bethesda. My aunt Esther and her family picked us up there and we went straight to the Smithsonian. I didn’t realize there were so many museums in “The Smithsonian.” There are like, 10 different buildings all surrounding this huge park. The park provided for some good views of monuments, although there were so many people that it was difficult to catch everything into a picture.


My dad has a theory that you can only experience the true taste of a city when you try the food from hole-in-the-wall joints or hot dog stands. The real citizens of the city who are trying to make a buck to live to the next day—that’s what is real; none of that chain restaurant veneer. Nasty? Slightly unsanitary? Maybe. Authentic? Definitely! Here is a video of my dad experiencing the “true taste of Washington DC.”

video

 
Since we only had about 3 hours, we spent our time in the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Holocaust Museum. As we entered each building, there were different modes of security. The Holocaust Museum, however, had the most intense security out of all of them. If you had a bottle of water in your purse, they made you drink out of it in front of them. 




Esther's little girls



One really cool thing about the Holocaust Museum is that they gave you individual passport IDs of someone who lived during the Holocaust and you got to follow their story throughout your venture. What a good way to keep people involved!




We weren’t supposed to take pictures of what we saw, and maybe that was a good thing. Seeing the videos and reading the stories…that was really hard. I was in a funk for a good while afterwards. It’s amazing what a corrupted leader can do to destroy the world. To be honest, I usually get bored with museums after the first hour. But I could have stayed in there all day if they hadn’t closed—exhaustion and all. I’m going to Germany on part of my European tour with the Wind Symphony in a few weeks. Re-connecting with the history of the country will be good for my experience there I think.

It was so good to catch up with my amazing aunts. They have both been my dear friends all my life, but especially through my early college years when I really needed it. Love you Esther and Sabrina! I’m upset that I didn’t get any pictures with them though. I think it might have been because I was intimidated by Esther’s mad photography skills. Check out her website  to see what I mean. She’s amazing!

This has definitely been a trip that I'll remember forever. Thank you Dad for coming with me!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three Bucks, Two Bags, One Me

I’ve been dying to blog about this trip forever! Sadly, graduate school has me by the throat and I’ve got my paper in a headlock so there’s a little bit of hustle and bustle. 

I went to NYC to take a flute lesson with Carol Wincenc, flute professor at Juilliard! I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture with her, but I still think that would have been a little weird to ask. Her personality was such, however, that I think she would have totally been cool with it. Oh well.

My daddy came with me on the trip, since Matt and I couldn’t afford two plane tickets for both of us to go. It was good to spend some daddy daughter time though! He sure made it a fun trip. You see, my dad has a way with people that melts their hearts. I don’t think there are many people in the world that don’t adore this man.

 
He was a small town chap in a city about 5 sizes too big for him. (I could definitely say the same thing about myself.) Any time we turned a corner, it felt like we were lost, though we were equipped with about 3 different maps, and NY is a grid system just like Utah. Regardless, my dad seemed to find comfort in inquiring upon every passerby we came in contact with if we were going the right way. Most of the people, if not all, thought he was so cute. They were ever so helpful, which is NOT what I expected. He would start out, “Hi. We’re new here, and we’re trying to get to Juilliard. Could you please help us?” How could you say no to that? Southern manners really do conquer all, y’all. Just sayin’.

On our walk around New York, we saw some pretty interesting things...



And people.

We had to get a few tourist shots…luckily we weren’t the only ones with honking big cameras, so we felt a little more adventurous with taking pictures.


It was only embarrassing about 40% of the time. 
The lesson with Carol Wincenc was the most amazing lesson I think I’ve ever had. She sure gave me a workout! (It was a good thing, because I paid a pretty penny for it…SO worth it though.) I played the Foss Renaissance Concerto for her, a piece that she premiered back in the 80s. She seemed pretty impressed with what she’s seen from Utah musicians so far, so I was glad to help with the reputation the best I could. I must say, it’s not every day that I see that kind of energy coming from someone who’s been in the industry that long! It was truly inspiring.


I will also say that I think I like the BYU practice rooms a little bit better, but that’s New York for you: charming as all get out, but really, really old.
After the flute lesson, my dad and I went to see a show on Broadway. The caliber of performers in New York is like none other. The MDT men were all super buff (which surprised me), and everybody could sing, dance, and act wonderfully. I’m so glad we went!

 
I officially love New York. I can see why there are so many songs written about the city, and no, I don’t think it’s overrated in any way. 

What is your favorite city?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dopps Props

So, I’m confused. Is Doppelganger week something that happens every year? Or was it just something that happened a few years ago that everybody and their chihuahua participated in a few years back?

Anyway, I’m beginning to see a resurge of Doppelganger, and to enlighten all ye folk who are convinced that I do not have one, think again.



Cullens, watch your back. And tell all your vampire associates to stop seducing girls who are way too young for them. It wouldn’t be bad advice for you either.

I’m dying to know, who is your Doppelganger? I actually do research these things…

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Springtime Motivations

OMG I had so much fun the other day! A really close friend of the family, Tiffany, told me about a jean sale she was hosting at her house. When I got the text I thought, "I never go to any of these things anymore. It's time for a change." So I went. And I'm so glad I did!


These are LA Idol shorts (I think...I don't care what brand they are...I just thought they were cute!) and I got some capris just like them! The buttons have massive rhinestones on them, which I LOVE.While I was trying them on at Tiffany's house, I took off my wedding ring so it wouldn't get chafed on the rhinestones as I was putting the jeans on. I left it there, but didn't realize it until right before orchestra rehearsal when I was in the restroom. I thought I had flushed it down the toilet! Thank goodness Tiffany found it for me (cue: swallow heart), and we had an excuse to go back later that night to pick it up and hang out for a while. They are such fun people! My "Gaston" was able to do his Beauty and the Beast impression and I think it was a hit! (Like always.) I love having a theatrical husband. :)

Another bonus--I was finally motivated to buy some new shoes (due to the jean sale and this gorgeous weather.)


Yes, I'm pasty. Maybe this will be a chain reaction for me to spend some time outside gettin' me some gooooood vitamin D.

The shoes and the shorts are a little teeny-bopper, I know, but I guess that's sort of my style. Maybe I'll grow up one day.