Monday, February 28, 2011

100 Loves/25 Am's

I found this on Facebook. It's kind of an interesting way to get to know a few things about someone.
You first write 100 "I Loves" and then 25 "I Am's"
1. I love music!!!!!!
2. I love the gospel
3. I love to read. But I don't only love reading, I love books. I love holding a book in my hand and turning the pages and everything... :)
4. I love thunder/lightning storms and the smell of rain :)
5. I love crying until I laugh
6. I love driving. Whenever I need to think, I just go for a drive
7. I love tennis!!!
8. I love my family! they're crazy, strange, and the best friends I have :)
9. I love my friends and the random, laugh-til-your-face-hurts times we have
10. I love laughing until I cry
11. I love Jane Austen
12. I love fruit snacks
13. I love my cello :)
14. I love the ocean!
15. I love temples
16. I love Phineas & Ferb and VeggieTales
17. I love when my mom and I are on the same brainwave :) (which always)
18. I love
19. I love boating and the warm summer days on the river
20. I love small towns :)
21. I love tradition and culture
22. I love big cities!
23. I love film score
24. I love pillow pets :)
25. I love when my younger siblings give me a kiss/hug for no reason
26. I love when you find a piece of music that gives you goosebumps :)
27. I love the July 24th celebrations in Kanosh
28. I love my cello family :)
29. I love the lights on Temple Square
30. I love fairs and rodeos!
31. I love football!
32. I love being half Hispanic
33. I love Josh Groban :)
34. I love mismatched socks
35. I love getting letters, emails, and text messages
36. I love playing in a symphony
37. I love the memories listening to Journey gives me :)
38. I love British Columbia, Canada and Anacortes, WA
39. I love odd creatures like giraffes, platypus (es? ii? people? :) ), penguins, hedgehogs, ostriches, walruses, kangaroos, starfish, sea horses, etc, etc
40. I love the smell of my truck, Bob
41. I love newly-shaved legs :) haha
42. I love M*A*S*H
43. I love New York City, Seattle WA, and Los Angeles CA.
44. I love Gilmore Girls and Glee
45. I love our flag
46. I love Buble and Groban, Jonas and Gaga, Journey and Queen, Williams and Zimmer, Bach and Haydn, Reik and Camila, Apocalyptica and Yo Yo Ma, Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks, Usher and Juanes
47. I love hearing Rafael Nadal talk and watching him play :)
48. I love pretending the colored squares in the supermarket are the only safe places from the sharks/lava/etc

49. I love any moment when people band together; you know, chills moments :)
50. I love deep conversations and debates
51. I love Band of Brothers
52. I love horses
53. I love the Olympics!
54. I love my stuffed animal, Bunny (Blackberry) :)
55. I love the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, the US Open, the World Cup, and the Super Bowl
56. I love fairness and equality
57. I love looking at pictures
58. I love green bananas (yellow ones are way too mushy!!)
59. I love GOOD Mexican food
60. I love watching and listening to snow fall
61. I love Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, John Isner, and Andy Roddick :)
62. I love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, White Christmas, Singing in the Rain, It's a Wonderful Life, Abbott & Costello, An American in Paris, & John Wayne movies
63. I love SeaWorld
64. I love travelling!!!!! (but I don’t love packing/unpacking)
65. I love the mountains
66. I love Spanish, Australian, British, Scottish, and Irish accents :)  
67. I love languages!
68. I love to dream
69. I love shooting stars
70. I love old, classic cars
71. I love how huggable cellos and double basses are :)
72. I love miniature things! mustard bottles, cans of beans, mayonnaise, soda, markers, pencils, violins, cars, cellos, etc etc
73. I love it when I can see the complete double rainbow
74. I love bonfires
75. I love Shakespeare
76. I love phrases that remind me of songs
77. I love road trips with good people
78. I love Mannheim Steamroller
79. I love seeing the Pig on the Mountain that lets me know I'm almost in Kanosh
80. I love personalities :)
81. I love bolillo y tomate sandwiches!
82. I love sitting outside on summer nights, just talking
83. I love grand pianos
84. I love the musical Wicked!
85. I love my orange iPod, camera, music bag, cello case, cello, and car
86. I love the movie Beauty and the Beast!!!
87. I love Redlight/Greenlight, Mother May I?, 123 Around the Corner, Ghost in the Graveyard, Carlot, Run Sheepy Run, Red Rover, Fruitbasket, & Duck Duck Goose
88. I love good ol’ Cowboy manners :)
89. I love hugs
90. I love the beautiful cookie jars my Grandpa O makes
91. I actually really love the sport of curling
92. I love the glowy stars and shapes you can put on the ceiling
93. I love the 4th of July parade in Rupert and the Fair Week parade in Burley
94. I love The Shop :)
95. I love bright colored toenails (though I don't love feet)
96. I love sharpened colored pencils (or normal pencils or crayons...)
97. I love love :)
98. I love jackets and sweats
99. I love Tennis Tiffany’s bluntness :)
100. I love life :)

25 Am's
1. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2. I am a musician and, more importantly, a cellist :)
3. I am a person who cares way too much
4. I am very afraid of the dark
5. I am tennis-obsessed
6. I am the oldest of 5 kids
7. I am stubborn
8. I am bad at long-distance relationships
9. I am a person who will stand up for what I believe in
10. I am someone who seeks & craves deep connections with other people
11. I am a mutt (as far as heritage goes) and I love it :)
12. I am passionate, and when I get into something—whether it’s music or tennis or curling or a book or movie or TV show--I get into it good
13. I am okay by myself and surrounded by people
14. I am an English-language Nazi (thanks mom)
15. I am the owner of a huge pair of feet.
16. I am someone who cries easily during movies
17. I am a listener
18. I am not someone who shares serious things often
19. I am a 19 yr old who still loves my “security Bunny”
20. I am someone who can see all sides of an issue
21. I am, unfortunately, an occasional skeptic
22. But, I am also a helpless optimistic
23. I am not afraid to be honest; I don’t like hurting people’s feelings accidentally
24. I am a total nerd
25. I am someone who absolutely loves to laugh

Princess Sarah :)

This is a picture of me and one of my best friends, Sarah Arnesen. :) We took this in front of a gorgeous lake in British Columbia, Canada.

I met Sarah fall of 2009, my first semester of college. I remember my first impression of her: she was a first semester senior, sat second chair in Symphony, was incredibly talented and nice, and had a lot of pink things :) Due to a lot of things, I didn't get to Sarah super well that semester; we started hanging out a little bit more towards the end of that first semester. The next time I saw her was on the night of her senior recital (which was completely amazing, by the way :) ) and then a few days later when I went back to Rexburg to get ready for the Sinfonietta tour.

Being on a bus together 24/7 for 2 weeks can make anyone close, but Sarah and I were host-family buddies several times over tour. One of the best memories? The Scary Cat House.

We were staying at a house in Canada, one of the awkward-family houses where the hosts would bring us home, help us with our bags, show us our room...and basically leave us alone for the night. This was great on the nights we were exhausted...but not so great on the nights we were actually still functioning and wanting to be social. Anyway, one of the first things this family asks us is how we feel about cats, noting that they had two that were allowed in the house, and if they bothered us, we could just put them outside our room. We were staying in the little boys' room, which had a bunk bed, and, after the hosts had left us, Sarah and I started talking (we did this a lot over those two weeks). After we had stayed up until after midnight, we finally decided to go to bed, and Sarah got up to put the cats, who had been hanging out with us since we arrived, out of the room. She let both of the cats out; we checked the room for more; then we shut the door and got ready for bed. At about three in the morning, I woke suddenly, feeling something on my stomach; it was one of the cats. Needless to say, it freaked me out a little. When Sarah heard me awake, she said, "Is the cat up there with you? It was just down here with me..." Well, in groggy fashion we grabbed the cat and put it out--again. We had climbed back into our bunks when the obvious question rose: " did that cat get in here??" There was only one way into the room: the door through which Sarah had put both cats and had shut carefully behind them. We still don't know: how did that cat get into our room????

This is just one of the many wonderful memories I've made with Sarah :) She's such a great inspiration to me in a lot of different ways. She is an amazing friend and an incredible cellist. Her close relationship with the Lord and deep knowledge and understanding of the gospel inspires me to do/be better. She has the enviable ability to see the good in everyone. And, most importantly, she understands the value of being a good princess :) Thanks for being such a good friend and example to me, Sarah! Love you tons! :)

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

Okay, I know the first glance of this doesn't look too inspiring...In fact, let's be honest. This is downright depressing. But that's not the reason I have this posted for my inspiring pic.

 Major parts of Australia (mostly in Queensland) are being seriously flooded. People have lost homes, cars, posessions, etc etc, and they're already estimating the damage to be worth upwards of $20 million and will take many, many years to repair. It's just awful.

But the inspiring thing? The way the people of Australia have handled it. There's been despair and pain and sadness, I'm sure, but the "Aussie Spirit," as many call it, is most definitely prevailing. It's kind of ridiculous. I mean, their streets are completely flooded, there's mud and debris everywhere, cars piled on top of each other, fish flapping around on the tennis courts in Brisbane, plus POISONOUS SNAKES, CROCODILES & SHARKS making their way through the water-filled streets. But people still handle it so well. They've all banded together and are making the best of it. In fact, in that video in the article I linked to, there's several times where the Aussie people are cheering on cars as they go zooming past, carried by the fast-moving waters. I don't know about you, but I find that insiring. Especially when you compare it to many of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, complaining and refusing to leave their homes, etc etc. Don't get me wrong, I am honestly not blaming the victims, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a respectable, noble way to handle adversity--and that's something I find inspiring. A good attitude and ability to bounce back? That'll get you far. Good on ya, mates :)

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

No, I don't want to go to space. I want to travel the world, and this was the only way I could think of to photograph it.

Before I die, I want to travel the world. All of it. I want to see as much as I possibly can. I have it all planned out; first, I'll start with visiting the city/country of every Grand Slam tournament location--New York (again), London, Paris, and Melbourne-- and then move outward from there. I love learning about other cultures and meeting new, as mentioned before, I love travelling!

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

This is my beautiful mommy :) I thought a lot about this day in the Picture-a-Day thing, and, even though there are so many people who are important to me (enough to fill up quite a few posts) and who I couldn't imagine my life without, I had to give this one up to my mama.

Basically, my mom's awesome. She's one of my best friends and such an amazing example for me. We have lots of deep chats and belly-aching giggle fests and inside jokes and rants and similar tastes and opinions....In fact, we joke all the time that we share a brain. :) She'll listen to my music-nerdy comments and tennis-obsessed rants. We text each other all the time. I'm just one of those lucky girls whose mom is also my best friend, and I really think that's made such a difference in my life :) Don't get me wrong, we fight, just like every other mother/daughter on the planet. But at the end of the day, she's still my awesome (and cool ;) ) mom and I, honestly, couldn't imagine life without her :) Love you, mama!

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist

Since I've already done my Josh Groban tribute (heh), I decided to focus on some groups I probably won't blog about as much.

This is Reik, a " Latin Grammy-winning Mexican band from Mexicali, Baja California" (so says Wikipedia). I found these guys one day on Pandora, and pretty much fell in love with their songs. Here's my favorite one.

Likewise with this group; "Camila." The name means "closer to God" and Wikipedia gives their origin to be Mexico City, Mexico. I love this group too, in fact, sometimes even more than Reik. Check them out here.

(Oh, ps, you can find pretty good translations of these songs if you do some googling. The lyrics are beautiful, actually. For the record, the first song by Reik translates to "unforgettable" and the Camila song translates, rougly, to "you're lying.")

"Goo Goo Dolls."
Silly name, fantastic music. They have a very distinctive sound, and I love it. (okay, for the record, I was a fan of this song before I even saw the movie)

"Daughtry." Basically, Chris Daughtry (lead singer, middle) was on American Idol, didn't win, then went off and made it bigtime with his band. Love.

"Rascal Flatts." All right, gotta give credit to the Mama for this one. She's the one who introduced me to this group, and who helped me love their music. Here's one of my favorites, a song they had on their album, but reworked some lyrics in support of Team USA for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Okay. I just realized I could probably keep going forever with this stuff, so I better stop here.

Day 12 - A picture of something you love

I feel like this day is a little arbitrary, since the whole reason I started this blog was to ramble and rant about stuff I love, but........

First the obvious.

This is two things I love: the ocean and gray, cloudy skies. Win. Win.

I love horses. I have since I was little. I think they are beautiful, amazing creatures :)

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate

I hate them. Absolutely hate them. Big ones, small ones, medium ones; I don't care. I see no point in them. HATE them.

I don't hate these as much but I still don't like them. What are you doing in my ocean?? Get out!! :)

I hate the taste, I hate the smell...I mostly hate the fact that this food still looks like what it was before it was dead. Do you know what I mean? The crab you eat looks like the crab you'd find in the ocean. Tell me where you would ever see a little mini-cow in between hamburger buns. Exactly.

Okay, this one might seem strange, but I hate ET. I don't remember how old I was when I first saw the movie, but for some reason, my dislike of this wrinkly little creepy thing has always been intense. He's creepy!!!!!!

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the craziest things with

This is not only a picture of someone I do the craziest things with; this is also a picture of one of the crazy things we've done!
That is Kelsey, my roommate and one of my best friends. This picture has a pretty good story attached with it. See, one night we decided to have a little movie night, and, well, one thing led to another and what ended up happening was that most of the people who were able to come weren't super fond of us...Anyway, to make a longish story short, we ended up leaving early, laughing our heads off at how the night had turned out. Instead of going home and hanging around by ourselves, we decided to go on an adventure :) We got in Kelsey's car and drove out to St. Anthony, a teeny tiny town near Rexburg where, get this, if you get off the freeway, you can't actually get back on in the same spot! We ended up driving around and finding a dark little park by some waterfalls, with a little patio style swing nearby, and an "IDAHO" sign. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, wandering around an unfamiliar town at 1130pm, but it was sure fun!! :)

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

So I'm bending the rules a little bit here.... my picture today is not actually a person. This is because there are quite a few people who have gotten me through a lot, so, rather than pick and choose--and probably end up forgetting someone--I decided to choose a non-people thing :)

This is the iPod Touch.

I'm not going to be one of those people who worships gadgets and say that my iPod Touch has gotten me through so many things, because, well, that's just not me. I mean that picture to be more of a representation of music in general, because, honestly, music is probably the biggest (non-human) thing that has gotten me through the most. When I'm happy, angry, sad, frustrated, worried, upset, excited, nervous, etc etc, music has always been the thing that has, well, been there. There has never been a single time when music has let me down. Sure, sometimes it's taken some searching through the iPod or some violent shuffling of the iTunes, or some threatening of the Little Pandora Man, but, sooner or later, I've always found a song that matches my mood perfectly. Some of my greatest memories, in fact, are forever tied with a certain song. (random fact: "My Girl" by the Temptations will always remind me of summers spent on the river with my family and, strangely enough, the Kontos family)

I guess I'm revealing my true nerd to you by posting about this and it will definitely come off even nerdier since I probably won't be able to accurately describe the way I feel, but here goes.

The hardest thing about trying to describe the way music affects a person is that, unless you've felt it for yourself, you can't really understand-- not completely, anyway. And, oh, how I ache for those who have never had that experience. How can you accurately put into words the feeling you get when a song resonates within you? The goosebumps are easy enough to describe, I suppose, and the tear-filled eyes, but how can you explain what you feel?
I had it once explained to me by a very good friend of mine--who is now on her mission in Arizona, actually--like this: when you have a "musical moment" (for lack of better words) you feel a sort of stirring in your heart, just like when you feel the Spirit. (and that's because, if music is good enough to resonate with you this much, it is obviously praiseworthy and full of the Spirit :) ) It's kind of like a vibration--like the way a cello string vibrates when you pull the bow across it. And the reason it resonates so deeply with you is because music is something from out of this world...Something that has been given to us so we can rise above the filth and struggle of daily life. (excuse me if I wax poetic or ridiculous). I think one of the coolest things about music is that a million people can listen to the same piece, but they can all feel completely different things. Also, you don't even have to understand the language to understand the music. Some of the most beautiful, touching songs are not in English, but I love them anyway. Let's take it a step further- music doesn't even have to have words. There's a reason I am an instrumentalist. Instrumental music is...amazing. Music is amazing, you guys! :) I can't express how truly grateful I am for music, and am so glad that I will be able to have it with me for the rest of forever!

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh

Kellen Maxwell, Fall 2009

This is a picture from my first semester....Kellen, Angela, and I were hanging at the Snow, and decided to get Chinese food. Well, things were going really well until Kellen unwittingly picked up a packet of Wasabi sauce, and applied a liberal amount to his food. That went over fine, but he went to take a bite or lick the excess off his hands or something, and the result was this face :) Apparently he didn't realize what the sauce was....We busted up. It is still one of my favorite pictures ever!! It will be forever known as the "Wasabi Face." :) 

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

So, when I think "treasured" item, I think "item you've had longest"...that being said, let me introduce you to Blackberry :)

(I know the picture quality isn't that great...I'll upload another when I have a good working camera)

I mean, yes, I love my iPod (it's a new iPod Touch and it carries around all of my music, which, where would I be without that???) and I absolutely LOVE my cello....but to me, "treasured" screams longevity, so I had to go with, doesn't she just look like she's treasured?

I got Bunny (her official name is "Blackberry" like in Watership Down, but she is more commonly referred to as "Bunny") when I was 18 mo. old. As the story goes, my parents and I were in Price Club, and I needed some calming down, so my parents grabbed Bunny off the shelf (I'll have to find a picture from when she was young, because she was fluffy and a clean, clear gray color...oh...and she still had all of her fur :) ) and handed her to me. It was best-friendship at first sight :)  When it came time to leave the store, my parents tried to put Bunny back, but I would not allow it :)  We'll skip over the details that reveal just how big a spoiled brat I can be, and move on: Bunny became a part of our lives. No trip to see family was taken, no dentist visit survived, no night spent, and no moment of comfort given without Bunny has occured in all these long 18 years... My family would often tease me, "What are you going to do, take Bunny to college with you?"
I plan on having this ratty old rabbit forever, because not only is she my most treasured item, but she also is an automatic kid-magnet. Every younger cousin of mine has adored (and coveted, I'm sure) Bunny; she's even a favorite of non-related kids. She's just pure magic. And, yeah, she may earn me a few, extra, weird looks, but she's my version of a blanky.....and I think she's better :)

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

Vanessa Freebairn Smith

So the only modification I have to make on this Picture-A-Day day is this: for only one day??? Why not more? Why not forever???

That, up there, is a picture of Vanessa Freebairn Smith, a professional female cellist, and she basically lives the life I would love to have. Don't worry if you've never heard of her; I probably wouldn't have either, if it wasn't for this:

I guess now you can guess why I'd kill to live her life for even one day. Basically, I think she has the greatest job ever. She is an incredibly talented cellist (I'd kill for her vibrato and tone). You can hear her on countless albums of pop stars, movie scores, and classical quartets. She gets to travel the world playing music. Plus she often gets to travel the world with Josh Groban and collaborate on music with him. I'm not really seeing a bunch of downsides here.

Trade me, Vanessa!

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

Elise Olney, Sarah Arnesen, me, Brother Tueller, Kellen Maxwell, & David Clay

So, my first question is: how on earth do you choose ONE pictures of a favorite memory???

This photo was taken somewhere in the state of Washington at the end of BYU-I Sinfonietta's Northwest tour in April of 2010. This was the cello section, with Brother Tueller (or conductor and cello professor), that went on tour. It is hard to accurately describe how much I love all the people in this photo. They're part of my cello family and people I look up to in so many ways. Tour (which I'll do a post about later when I get everything together..) was one of the best experiences of my life so far. I love travelling, and on this tour, I was able to travel with people I love, through beautiful areas, playing gorgeous music every night...well, it was just kind of a dream :) This picture was taken after our final concert, the night before we headed back to Rexburg. Like I said earlier, I don't know if this is my absolute favorite memory..but, then, how do you choose a favorite memory?? Anyway...this one comes pretty darn close :)

And as far as the picture-a-day thing goes, I consder this one a win, because it was so fun to look back through years of pictures/memories :)

Day 04 - A picture of your night

Tonight (after two hours of lovely time in Philharmonic--sarcasm, isn't it great??) my mom and Connor and I went to see the late show of Tangled at the cheap theater. I love this movie!!!! It is so great! I was dying with laughter and it made me cry and the music is incredible!! If you haven't seen it, you must do so NOW. Such a great way to spend an evening!!! :)

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

My all time favorite show: M*A*S*H

My mom and I love this show. We can quote it all day long :)
Gilmore Girls

My whole family got obsessed with this show. It is so good.
Band of Brothers

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

These are my incredible parents :)

Since the beginning of my senior year in high school, the number and identity of the people I have "been closest with the longest" has changed drastically. That happens, you know, with people whom you aren't related to. That's why the two people I have been closest with the longest are most definitely those two goofballs in that picture up there.

I have been incredibly blessed to have the parents that I have. They are truly my best friends. I consider myself one of those lucky kids who has a really good relationship with my parents. They are still the people who give me the best advice. I can talk with them about anything; from politics to movies to random things to spiritual matters to really serious issues. Basically, I've known these people for 19 years and they still put up with me! Love you, mom and dad! :)

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with five facts

I found this idea on another blog and thought it looked like fun! Every day for a month, you post a picture that fits the description of the day. I figured that, since it's a new year, I'd play catch-up with days 1-3 and then go on from there. :) Just looking through the list, I can tell there are going to be a few for which I'm going to post multiple pictures, and, just as a disclaimer, the posts will vary between being very serious or unbelievably silly. :) Fair warning.
Day 01 - A picture of yourself with five facts

Fact #1: I love music.
Fact #2: Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite movie and always will be.
Fact #3: I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Fact #4: I am addicted to tennis.
Fact #5: I can be very intense with things :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I just don't even freaking care...

So I was looking through some pictures last night, and found this one:

David Clay, Heather Harrast Spiel, and me

I love these two! This picture is from Fall 2009, my first semester of college. It was right near the end of the semester, and I think the three of us were spending a late night at the Snow, studying up for finals. Heather and I were so exhausted and David put our slap-happiness to good use! We were cracking up the whole night! At one point, Heather and I were discussing something, and David goes, out of the blue, "You know what? I just don't even freaking care!" We looked up, surprised--and realized he had been talking to himself about his homework. It was the funniest thing and became a long-running joke. :) 

I love this picture because it reminds me of that night and of my good friends Heather and David. I can't believe how much is changed: Heather's been married since this summer, and David recently got engaged!

Well, you know what? I just don't even freaking care!! ;)

Here's to 2011!


What a crazy, amazing, horrible, beautiful year this has been. 
Some of my memories from 2010:

  • Staying up super late to watch all of the Australian Open matches live (stupid Australian time difference...)
  • Being absolutely crushed at three in the morning when Muzz lost to Fed in the final.
  •  Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada :) Especially:
    • Evan Lysacek winning Men's Figure Skating Gold
    • Shaun White's amazing skills!
    • Lindsey Vonn's gold medals
    • The Canadian skater, Joannie Rochette, performing after the sudden death of her mom
    • The death of the luger that initially kicked off the whole event :(
    • The Opening/Closing ceremonies
    • Curling. Need I say more? :)
    • The US men's Snowboarding pants!
    • Ryan Miller and the US Hockey teams!!
  • The Saints winning the Superbowl
  • Starting tennis lessons with my momma and our awesome teacher, Tennis Tiffany! :)
  • The epic-ness that was Indian Wells and Miami
  • BYU-I Sinfonietta's tour to B.C. Canada and the state of Washington :)
    • Too many awesome things about this tour to put on this little space. I need to do a separate post all about Canada later :)
  • My first summer semester at BYU-Idaho
  • Watching the French Open/Wimbledon on my laptop during most of my classes :)
  • Rafa reclaimed his title at the French Open!! If that wasn't good enough, he also beat the creeper who took him out last year :)
  • Oh, Wimbledon.
    • Watching part of that epic match during Symphony lunch break, and getting a whole crowd of people interested in one of the greatest moments in sports history.
    • My back-and-forth text message conversation with my mom consisting mostly of: "Holy cow, do you think they're going to have to play tomorrow?"-"Did you see that? It's got to be over soon..."-"This is never ending. Omg."-"Oh. My. Gosh."-"Isn't this incredible???"-"Think I'm going to cry..."-"Why does someone have to lose??"-"It's over!" I actually have the exact message mom sent me after it was all over: "The supreme athleticism we witnessed will never be surpassed. Incredible. Never. Ever." Yup. that about sums it up.
    • My friend Travis and I were watching on that final day, on separate computers, using separate streams (I think I was actually ditching a class..). Somehow, his stream got behind mine, so when Izzy finally won, I freaked out, and he wasn't quite sure why..until 3 seconds later. We were laughing and tearing up and freaking out in the empty locker hall :)
    • RAFA WON WIMBLEDON which made it his second back-to-back FO/Wimby titled summer!!
      • (Oh, and Fed got his semi-final streak broken...then blamed it on his back. Baby.)
  • Drawing on the sidewalks late at night with my roommates
  • Having a concert on my birthday, and having some of my friends surprise me after with cake :)
  • Taking a trip with some of my amazing friends to see "Beauty and the Beast" at the Playmill Theater (organized by Mike :) )
  • The free-showing of "An American in Paris."
  • The Red, Light, Light, Dark quartet!
  • The Spring Semester 2010 Cello Party :)
    • During which Charity and Keven divulged how much I absolutely HATE brass instruments for their spit!
  • My sweet Theory 1 mentor group and mentor :)
  • Taking a trip with Naomi to see Chris Dungey about our cellos
  • The 24th of July celebration in Kanosh :)
  • Going boating as many times as possible during my 7 week break
  • Playing tennis with my whole family over the break :)
  • The International Music and Dance Festival in Burley
    • Mom and I filling out our draws religiously :)
    • ...and being depressed as, one by one, the US men dropped like flies :(
    • The night matches at the US Open. Someday, I am going.
    • The fight in the crowd during the Djoker/Petzsch match!
    • Watching "little" Ryan Harrison fight.
    • The red sweater :)
    • Nole/Fed's INCREDIBLE semi-final match!
    • Kim Clijsters winning her 2nd US Open title in a row :)
    • Rain delaying the Men's Final until Monday; forcing me to go back to school and watch the final without my family :(
    • Ended up watching on the computer in the Music Library office, all by myself, texting my parents and Tweeting the whole time!
    • Crying/Laughing as RAFAEL NADAL won the US OPEN becoming only the 7TH MAN to get their CAREER GRAND SLAM and the first since Laver to WIN FRENCH, WIMBY, and US IN A ROW, securing the #1 RANKING and his place in the GOAT discussions.It was a great moment :)  
  • Fall Semester 2010; having most of my "family" back at school with me :)
  • My many Cello-Therapy lessons with Brother Tueller
  • Having an incredible group of girls for roommates! (See: Way Too Much Sarcasm in One Apartment)
  • Halloween Concert 2010 (See: Halloween Concerts: Then and Now)
  • Brother Tueller and Brother Hansen's faculty solo recitals :)
  • The trip to SLC to see the Utah Symphony with Naomi, Spencer, Kellen, and Sarah :) (See: Is that in Reference to that car we just passed???)
  • The many late nights in the Snow having serious talks or laughing until I thought I was going to die with my Snow Family :)
  • Kelsey, Kelly and I take a little trip to Idaho Falls to pick up Kelly's Boyfriend
  • The nighttime exploring adventures Kelsey and I had in St. Anthony, Idaho :)
  • My horrible English class.
  • The dedication of the BYU-I Center. Absolutely amazing experience.
  • Being in the pit for The Marriage of Figaro: three hours, five nights.
    • Being SPIT ON by the vocalists from above
    • The Opera Fairy, 2010 :) :) :)
  • Spending the last night of the semester with Kellen, Braden, Mike, David & Abby at Craigos :)
  • Moving home, then turning right around and travelling to Kanosh and SLC with my family to visit more family :)
  • Spending Christmas Eve watching movies on our new TV with my family
  • Christmas started at 5 A.M. No lie.
  • New Years Eve: Guadalajara's, movies, Chocolate Fountain, Sparkling Cider, Dick Clark's countdown, and "Happy New Year!" with my family :)
Well, I'm positive there's stuff I've forgotten...but there's sort of a brief overview of 2010. It really was an awesome year. I've learned so much, met so many amazing people, and grown in so many ways over this year.
Goodbye, 2010...and Here's to 2011 :) May it be even better and bring new adventures, people, and places :)

Halloween Concerts :)

I started thinking about something today, and got very sad: I will only get to do 4 Halloween Concerts at BYU-I. (that is assuming I don't turn into a Super Super Super Super Super senior...) I love the Halloween Concerts! They are probably one of my favorite things about Fall semesters. I've only been in 2 so far, but I have loved both of them, a LOT. They are such a good experience, and super fun--they're also really good at testing your limits.

3 nights. 6 concerts. Costumes. Dialogue. Great music. Fantastic people. Relaxed concert atmosphere. What could be better, right?

So my very first semester of college was the year that our Halloween Concert theme was "Superheroes."
Halloween Concert, Oct. 2009
Let me introduce you to some of my favorite people on this planet. This group of people will forever be known to me as my "family." This is our cello section, Fall semester of 2009.
From top left: Andrew Gordon (Flash Gordon), David Clay (Mr. Fantastic),
Middle left: Sarah Arnesen (Sparkle), Rachel Gordon (Twinkle), Me (Yo Yo Ma), Kellen Maxwell (Ron Stoppable)
Bottom left: Bryant Hansen (Guitar Hero), Lindsary Barnes (Dazzle), Naomi Campbell (Mrs. Incredible), and Elise Olney (Kim Possible). I love them! It was so nice to come to school as a little freshman and have a built-in family. Four older brothers and five amazing sisters and best friends. I can't describe how grateful I am to have met them; how grateful I am that they accepted me so whole-heartedly into their group; how grateful I am to have their influence and support in my life!
Even though most of them deserted me in one form or another after this first semester :) (Andrew's on a mission, David just got engaged [yay!], Sarah's graduated, Rachel's graduated, Bryant's graduating soon, Lindsay and Elise are on missions) they continue to be an important part of my life and definitely of my memories :)

All right. Enough sentimentality.

Yup. We were definitely the coolest section. :)
This Halloween Concert was so fun. The "plot" was centered around our incredible conductor, Brother Tueller (you will definitely hear more about him throughout this blog) who was also known as "Super Conductor", his sidekick (or hero support) Brother Kempton, AKA "Semi-Conductor." We opened the concert with Danny Elfman's "Batman Suite", which is such a great piece. As the concert progressed, we discovered that the evil critic, "Simon Double Bar Sinister", was on his way to our orchestra, having already destroyed the New York and Chicago Philharmonics. Cue Wagner. Simon appears, and sits in the leather chair (pictured above) listening to us play, and zapping each section with his ray gun, rendering us completely useless (this song was written by Britten with the intent that dialogue could be written to fit the mood of the concert. Ours, therefore, was full of mocking music jokes made by our villain; i.e. "What makes up a string quartet? A good violinist, a bad violinist, someone who used to be a violinist, and someone who hates violinists." bahaha) After a terrible struggle between good and evil (we won, of course!), we closed the concert with the ever epic Superman.

Fall semester 2010. The theme this year was "Cowboys."
Here's our cello section from this semester. Couple of interesting facts:
1) it is exactly split half and half: 5 returning cellists and 5 new cellists
2) This is the first time for a while that there's been more guys than gals in the cello section
(from the left) Grant Pray, Naomi Campbell, Mason King, me, Kellen Maxwell, Elizabeth Clarke, Brother Tueller, David Clay, Rachel Richards, Austen Weeks, and Bryant Hansen. (ignore the clown in the back. He's a french horn player who thought it'd be funny to jump in the picture) These people are great! It was such a fun semester in symphony with these crazy cellists!

As much as I loved the Superheroes concert, I have to say that the Cowboys one was a little bit more fun :) This is probably for a number of reasons; it's my second Halloween concert, the theme was COWBOYS, there was more of a chance for us to interact with the actors, the music we played was crazy fun, and Piers Tueller was home. Let me explain.

We opened the concert with John William's theme from The Cowboys, being led by our wonderful conductor, Sherriff Tueller. We then meet a travelling band of barbershop quartet singers (Brother Hansen, Brother Kempton, Brother Olson & Eli Hopkins) who are, well, not the brightest bulbs on the tree. They warn us that one of the roughest, toughest cowboys in the west--Billy Bob Baritone--is on his way to Sherriff Tueller's town! Cue Dances with Wolves. Well, as the concert goes on, we meet a travelling Cowboy Poet(Brother Ashton) whose "cow pie poetry" changed every night (in the very last concert, he was cracking jokes and mocking violinists left and right!). He brings with him a fiddler and guitarist (Brother and Sister McNiven)  Our Sherriff takes a nap, leaving the orchestra to encounter a travelling Bluegrass group under the direction of one of the quartet singers.
*note* I can't find a good recording of the other piece the Bluegrass group played--Red River--but it was epic and SO much fun; even if the Bluegrass group couldn't find their way through the song without a map! When I get the concert DVD maybe I'll figure out how to post the actual video of a lot of these things, so you can see how it really went. :)**
One of the quartet singers tries to wear the Sherriff's hat, which wakes the Sherriff up and prompts him, not for the first time in the program, to shoot his gun into the air (Brother Tueller actually had a real gun, with blanks in it--and boy was he so proud of it!!) We finally meet Billy Bob Baritone, who turns out to be less of a fierce cowboy bandit, and more of an overly dramatic singing diva. After the Sherriff sends him on his way with the Barbershop Quartet Singers as his backup group, we get back down to business with Copland's Four Dances from "Rodeo". (listen to the part at 3:56-4:15 in Saturday Night Waltz, it's absolutely gorgeous! This isn't the best recording, so go seek a better one out, or, better yet, hopefully I can figure out how to post some of the actual concert on here.) The concert ends with various people in the orchestra yelling out "It's what's for dinner!!!" (don't get the joke? Listen to the last movement of the Copland. If you still don't get it, go find someone who does.)
The concert was just good fun. There were so many ways that the orchestra could interact with the "actors" who pushed the plot along--and, oh, did we "interact" :) Again, that's probably mostly due to this kid:

This is Piers Tueller. He's my conductor/teacher's son (obviously), and quite a character. He is also one of the reasons this concert was so much more fun than last year. See, sometimes there is a limit to how goofy you can/should be in the Halloween concerts. Piers pushed it right to the limit, all the time. But the thing is, because he's here, he knows just how far he can push it before his dad gets mad. Just how goofy he can go before it's too far. So, the general rule was, be goofy, be loud, be fun...but always stay right behind Piers. And, oh, did we have fun :) For example, in one of our last dress rehearsals, we were making our way through Copland's Buckaroo Holiday, and we're nearing the end where it gets super rowdy--and the bass section explodes. Literally. Okay, not literally, but oh my goodness. See, Piers and Daniel decided to make a little noise...but a little noise to those boys = a bunch of screaming, whooping, yelling, cheering... It gave me a heart attack every single night.
I mean, of course this concert's going to be awesome: we all got to carry around cap guns! The sound of all the cap guns going off made you feel like a little kid again....the smell of the cap guns going off made you want to gag. The hallways and stage were littered with empty caps and the cap ribbons from the guns.

I guess I can't accurately describe how much I love these concerts. By the end of the three-day-2-concerts-a-night experience, we're all tired (but wired) loving each other (but hating each other) and worn out that the Sunday after the Halloween Concert, there's a bunch of zombies walking around. But they are so fun. The things that happen in the concerts make you laugh so hard your guts bust--the things that happen in between and after are the things you remember forever :)

I can't wait for the next Halloween concerts I get to be a part of! :)

Way Too Much Sarcasm in One Apartment :)

I love my roommates. Seriously. This is the first semester that I have really been able to say I love all of my roommates. We're a crazy, loud, obnoxious bunch...but we love each other :)

Today after church, we decided we were going to finally take our roommate pictures...way long over due. It was basically awesome. We were freezing, tired, out of control, and BABY WE LIKED IT. But we got some really good shots :) Here's some of my favorites:
Kelsey, me, Natalie, Tori, Chanel, and Kelly
Me and my awesome roommate, Kelsey!

We look like the cover art for a totally awesome girls band... :)
Tie dye!!!!

I've had such a blast living with these girls! We have so many inside jokes together, and have spent so many nights on the kitchen floor or dying with laughter in the living room. I'm going to remember this group of girls and all the fun we had for a very long time!

Love you girls!

"Is that in reference to the car we just passed???"

So we're down to the last few weeks of school....this means stress and worry and juries and finals and lack of sleep and people being short with each other and feeling like you can't breathe and teetering near the edge of the cliff and hitting the point where you decide that you have to laugh or else you'll cry......
I know..sounds fun, right?

So the week before Thanksgiving Break, I'm sitting in the Snow when Naomi comes up, freaking out, "Dude. Dude, check this out." The Utah Symphony. Playing Saint-Saens Cello Concerto. Friday, December 3, 2010.
               "How cool would it be to get a bunch of cellists and go down there???"
                                                   "YEAH! Let's do it!"

And so the plan was formed. I won't go over all the many difficulties and frustrations we had with trying to get people to commit to going (you know who you are). I'll just tell you that we went. And, oh, was it epic.
This was our little group! Spencer, Sarah, Naomi, me and Kellen in front of the huge, beautiful Seaweedy Thing in the lobby of Abravanel Hall. Kellen, Spencer, Naomi, and I left Rexburg at 3ish and headed down to Salt Lake (all thanks to Kellen for getting us there safely). One of the best car trips I've ever had. I can't even describe the discussions we had. We met Sarah in Salt Lake (cuz she's at U of U doing her grad work right now :) ) and then spent the next two hours being total music nerds. It was heaven. The concert was ... almost indescribable. The Utah Symphony played Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 and Ives Symphony No. 2. The cello soloist for the Saint-Saens was incredible. He had such incredible and beautiful tone and sound, and was so confident and collected during the piece...and he made the funniest faces. We were dying. Beethoven's Leonore was so beautiful, and the opening is so incredibly soft; the Symphony pulled it off perfectly. Then we got to the Ives. "It will not take even the most casual listener long to recognize that musical quotations pervade this symphony---everything from classics like Beethoven's Fifth and Brahms' Third, to "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" and "Turkey in the Straw."-- Direct quote from the Program Notes. We were all a little unsure, not knowing what to expect, but the piece fit together beautifully...until the very last chord. Listen to it. It is every note of the chromatic scale except one. After the piece was over, people were on their feet, clapping...Well, so were we, but we were dying with laughter. When the whole thing was over, we all turned to each other and just had huge grins on our faces. It was one of the most musically satisfying experiences we've had for a while.

So, after the concert we were hanging around, taking pictures by the big, beautiful Seaweed Statue, just waiting for everyone in our group to get back together when this happened:
This girl pushes this random, nerd kid up next to us and says, "Hey, this is Joe Schmoe (okay, I don't know what his real names was...) Don't you want a picture with him?"
Naomi: "For what possible reason???"
Before we could say anything else, though, he had jumped into our midst, and was putting his arm around Sarah. I love Naomi's expression, because right before Spencer took the picture, she goes, "This is awkward!!"
And it was.

I just love this picture. It's a view of Temple Square taken from inside the lobby of Abravanel Hall. Beautiful.

After the concert, we hurried over to Temple Square to see the lights. I'm not kidding, as we were walking across the street towards the grounds, most of the lights went off. Depressing. But we still found a few as we wandered through the grounds. We took this picture right in front of all those little channels and waterfalls they have along the grounds. We started out with the guys standing on the ledge, and the girls on the floor in front, but then switched it up after Kellen goes, "Wait..why are we up here? We're taller than you girls!" So, then we proceeded to climb up on the slippery, wet, ledge. This was challenging. I was holding on to Sarah and Naomi and Spencer and Kellen were making sure I didn't fall. Then I get up on the ledge, and almost lose my balance. After they all "rescue" me, Kellen says, "Ok...not gonna lie but it would be hilarious if you actually fell back into the water..."
Sarah says, "Yeah, until you have to drive her all the way home in your car!"
Oh the love and support I get from my friends. :)

After we left Temple Square, we were walking back towards where we parked our car, and we get stopped by this guy, "Hey, are you guys Mormon?" The Readers Digest version of this story is that this guy had just moved in from Chicago to go to school, and had just been informed by SLPD that his roommate had been busted for selling drugs, and his apartment was under lockdown. He asked us if we could help him get to $17 to stay at a local hostel/shelter. I am so bad with things like that. I don't know what to say and it makes me nervous.......I was so grateful for Kellen and Spencer at that moment. First, they made sure to stand in between us and this guy, just in case. Then, Kellen basically took the lead in handling the situation. He spoke to the guy and decided our course of action. It was a very interesting experience for a lot of reasons. 1) because, since the guy started his conversation with asking us if we were Mormon, our reputation was somewhat at stake. 2) It was great to have Spencer and Kellen with us to handle the situation. They really are such good guys.
Then we started back on our 4 hour drive. For the first hour and half or so, we were all chatting and geeking out over the concert and laughing and just enjoying our night and being together. Then Naomi and I fell asleep, leaving the boys to stay awake for the whole drive. They were great, and got us back safely and in good time. We got in at about 2:30am, and were exhausted all the next day, but it was so worth it. It was an incredible, healing, wonderful, hilarious, rejuvenating, much needed weekend with people I absolutely adore. Bring on these next two weeks...I'm ready! :)


I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Idaho's capital. Counting occasions and not separate...