Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays...

I have fallen in love with the South, yet again.  It happens every time I come home.  Is it the warm weather that I find irresistible?  Or the charming town folk who know your name even though you've been gone for almost 4 years?  Or is it the close proximity of an amazing family (two sides now) that make you feel loved unconditionally?  The insanely good home cooked food?  Friendlier drivers?  Big, green trees?  The list goes on and on.  Yes, I must admit that my dream would be to move back down to Houston.  Maybe Vidor.  Maybe in between.  I just miss it--ironically, because 4 years ago I swore I would never live here again.  Turns out I'm a country girl at heart, and no matter how flashy the city life may be, I can't ever make that feel like home.  We'll have to see where Matt gets a job.

How exciting!  We graduate in 4 months.  I can't believe my undergraduate degree is almost done!  There is this magical feeling--one that makes you feel like something big is about to happen, but you just don't know what yet.  Kind of like that song on West Side Story that Tony sings, at the very beginning...his first song.  I can't remember what it's called, but it's exactly how I feel.  I'm filled with excitement and enthusiasm.  Sometimes its frustrating, not having a written out 5-year plan.  This will probably be good for me--teach me some patience. 

I am bound and determined to:
  1. Finish Heros before the break is over.
  2. Read ALL the Harry Potter books before the last movie comes out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So, I'm done with finals.  I can't believe it!  I made it through!  And the Lord showed me many tender mercies through times of confusion in the testing center.  Seriously, I tend to have more anxiety about taking tests than I should, and when I get into the testing center, I forget things that I crammed learned.  The only time I remember everything is when I spend about 20 hours studying for a test.  Fancy that!  To actually study for a test like I would practice for a performance?  Well, not even as much as I would practice...less than that!  Unfortunately the flute perfectionist in me won't allow that to happen.  If I'm studying more than I'm practicing, I feel guilty.  Hah!  Look what a performance degree has done to me!

Now that I'm finished, and when I'm not scratching my head thinking of what due dates that I have that don't exist, I am getting more and more addicted to the show Heros (old, I know, but who has time to watch a T.V. show when you're in lawschool/music school?) while clinging to Matt's arm and trying desperately hard not to have nightmares from it, yet not admitting that the show is probably causing them, but I can't stop watching it because it's so riveting!  Yeah, I like to torture myself.  When it's not 6 hours a day in the dungeon of the HFAC, or slaving away at graduate school applications, or making a list of all the things that I should be better at that I don't have time for, it's in front of the television: this magic black box in the middle of my living room that is such a mystery to me because I never spend time with it.  I still am amazed at how electronic things work.  But I don't have time to learn about them.  Should I be sad?  Sometimes I am.  But then I remember that I'm a 21-year-old DRAMA QUEEN, ranting and raving about how I will never get to learn about science because I'm too old.  Yeah, school is messing me up.  For real.  ;)

Wow, I look at what I write and my thoughts seem crazy and jumbled.  It's probably because that's how I think.  I also notice how I never post any pictures.  I do take pictures, probably not as often as I should, but I do take them.  I think I don't post them as much because I'm afraid that if I always post the pictures that I take on the internet, Matt won't let me take as many pictures of him.  He's a lot more private about his life than I am--at least pictures of himself.  If the picture is flattering, and it's not going to some nasty site, I'm find with people seeing me look good.  It must be the diva in me.

We leave for Texas in just a few short days, and I can't wait to get out of this dad gum SNOW!  What is it with these Northern people?  They like to romanticize about the "moisture" and pray for more snow in opening prayers!  What the CRAZY?!  It's like praying for car accidents, or a broken tailbone from slipping in the ice.  I'll even see people talking about snow with their dreamy faces, like they are reminiscing on a wonderful chocolate truffle they once tried.  They'll sigh and wish for the snow to stay.  Gross.  I'll never understand it.  What's worse is when my friends from Texas wish there was snow.  I used to think snow was cool, for the first like, 20 minutes.  And then I was greeted with a friendly *kerSPLAT* and there went my affection for it.  As a friend of mine put it once, "Snow looks nice on a postcard.  It can stay there."

I am extremely excited for my schedule next semester.  You know you've been in school too long when you're excited to not have any obligations until 12pm.  You know you've been a music major too long when you're excited for all of that extra PRACTICE TIME.  Yes, I'm feeling better about the flute today.  Not sayin' it'll stay that way, but at least I'm still pressing forward.  It must be because of my lovely quartet rehearsal.  Nothing like a good Mozart quartet with excellent BYU string players to brighten your mood, especially if they are going to make you sound great on your recital.  Win.

The Chamber Orchestra is doing their tour this year in China.  It's not that I'm not excited.  But after my near-kidnapping in Paris last year (even after watching that dreaded movie "Taken") I tend to get a little queasy with the idea of going to a foreign country touring around and accidently getting lost.  Yeah, I tend to do that too.  Too bad Nicole isn't here anymore to tease me about it.

Alright, I'm hungry again.  I'll make something healthy, like tilapia.  My husband likes it when I cook healthy YUMMY food.  :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hypoglycemia's Inconveniences

The more I learn about people, the more I find that everyone has little quirks about their bodies.  Sleep apnea, bad knees, thyroid disorders, intense PMS, etc.  I fall under the category of hypogycemia.  I know there are worse conditions out there, believe you me.  I am so grateful for the fact that I have hypoglycemia and not something else. 

The truth is, I don't know too much about this particular disorder.  I'm not sure it's much of a disorder, at least the degree that I suffer from it.  All I know is that I'm starving quite often and my body is very particular about not ever being hungry.  If I ever get to the point of being hungry, I'm starving.  It's either full or starving...nothing in between.

This provides for some problems.  I am not always available 100% of the time to drop what I'm doing and eat food.  Eating food requires time, money, and if you want to be doing anything with your hands after, you have to wash your hands.  Since I have to eat like a bajillion times a day, I have to wash my hands a bajillion times a day, thus leaving my hands extra dry and cracked for the winter season.  Yessssssssssssssssss

Also, if you have to be available for appointments such as visiting teaching, music lessons, and class, it doesn't always work to have your eating schedule be different from "normal people's."

"Just bring snacks with you," you might say.  Yes, that's what I do a lot of the time.  But to find time to pack healthy snacks that aren't going to make you blow up like a balloon from exessive carbs is actually a little more time consuming than it should be.  Also, if I don't eat enough meat or protein, it only keeps me full for about 30 minutes.

I know I've blogged about this before, but I decided to do it again, considering it has presented itself to be a problem as of late.  Especially when other people can't understand when I can't eat when and like "normal people do."  I'm sorry, world, if I've inconvenienced you in any way.  Please try to be understanding that I have to eat more often and at different times than most people, especially when I'm busy and I'm burning tons of calories at the gym and sprinting across campus multiple times a day to meet deadlines.  At least over the Christmas break I can be laid back and maybe my body will cooperate with me more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Report Break

My mind is on fire, and so I thought a little blogging might help distract me.  Goodness knows, I'm not one who needs more distractions.  The truth is, I'm very good at finding them, whether it's facebook, online recipe browsing, or daydreaming about what my life would be like if I wasn't pursuing the flute.  I'm thinking a lot about that lately, and it's beginning to scare me.  What scares me even more is the idea of not having a 5-year plan for the future.  Here's a thought for you.  Is it good to live your life that way?  What about is it right to live your life that way?  I'm convinced that these are two different, yet comparable questions of difficult questions.

I'm sure the right answer is: "It's neither wrong or right."  Or better yet, "Moderation in all things."  Well you know what?  I'm kind of sick of the prophecy-like fortune telling that doesn't give me anything but MORE OPTIONS.  Seriously!  I could be a doctor, a dietician, a nurse, a musician (already on my way), a computer scientist, an engineer, a teacher....*sigh*....the list goes on and on.  I also don't know why this makes me so sad.  Isn't it good to have the world in your hands?  Shouldn't it be exhilirating to feel like I could do/be anything?

One concern is that I don't want to give up what I have going for me.  I love playing the flute.  But sometimes I feel a bit trapped.  This is all I do right now.  I feel like other parts of my brain and soul are reaching out to me, crying, "spend more time with me!"  And I desperately want to!  I just don't want to waste any time.  Somehow I can't get the whole live-each-day-as-if-it-were-your-last philosophy out of my head.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I can't even decide for myself...and that's what frustrates me.  I have no opinion...or I have all opinions.

One friend recently gave me a wonderful bit of advice.  I left the advice thinking that I should just try everything (as in, applying for things) and see what options I actually HAVE instead of make-believe options that are in my life right now.  It'll apparently clear things up so I can actually identify what I feel.  I'm having a hard time doing that right now.  So, I think I'll try it.  If I apply to graduate schools and Matt gets a job somewhere I can't get a graduate degree, then it's time to do something else.

Another concern is that sometimes I feel like I am defined by the flute.  Apart from the gospel, I don't really have anything that defines who I am.  I'm Amber the flute player.  And I do what?  Let's see...practice, go to class, practice, eat, practice, spend time with Matt, practice, sleep, and more practice.  When I'm not doing that, I'm thinking of a good recital program, researching graduate school application requirements, and trying to find things to buff up my resume' and musical experience.  Am I just not allowed to do other stuff?  Apparently so!  There isn't enough time.

You know that feeling that you had in high school, or maybe even freshman year of college (or even later than that) where you thought "Hm.  What should I be?  It's probably a good time to decide what I think I'd be good at."  I never really had that opportunity.  I was compelled to believe that flute was the only thing that I could ever be great at.  I never got to step back and think of other options.  Flute was something that I did competitively since I was 12 years old...and I was good at it.  I'd like to think that I'm still good at it, and that I still will be good at it. 

But what about the other stuff?  Could I be a good writer like my friend Camille?  A good dancer like my husband?  A good cook?  Could I be good at math, something that always terrified me? 

These questions haunt me daily, and leave me thinking that I have to choose between one and the other.  Can I be good at many things?  Well, any time that I give to other things is time that I am not giving to the flute.  And if a flutist is what I am to become, then why get distracted?

I feel like a high school kid in a college girl's body, except that I almost have a degree that I don't know what to do with.  I absolutely love playing the flute, and I think that was in large part due to the opportunities I had to experience the wonders of music.  Does that mean that I would find anything else less enjoyable?  Some say yes, others say no.  But what do I think?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  I want to explore, like I didn't get to do before.  I don't want to quit playing the flute.  I want to continue learning and bettering myself at it.  Goodness knows I've learned more from my flute experiences than just flute playing.  I've learned to not be nervous in front of an audience, or better yet, judges.  I've learned to present myself well, and I've learned how to handle myself under high stress situations.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I just want to know what else is out there.

The other problem is that tomorrow I'll probably be going, "What the heck was I talking about?  I am happy where I am and that's that."  It changes so frequently.  Luckily I have the support of a loving husband who listens to me complain about how "hard" my wonderful life is, and how I am so confused about what to do.  He helps me learn to be patient, which is something I need to get better at.

Alright alright.  I'm procrastinating.  This stupid 307 book report needs to go.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Need a Diversion

You know those days (particularly the week or two before finals/juries) where you wake up and think, "Crap!  There is too much to do and if I plan on getting it all done, I can't have a moment of downtime!"  Trust me, its especially difficult if your body is fighting for it's help and you are required to give it 8-9 hours of sleep EVERY night or else it will, in the words of Stephen Covey, "compel you to do so."  Anyway, I'm in the middle of one of those excruciatingly stressful periods, consisting of intense longing for down time.'s back to work.