Monday, July 25, 2011

A Semester in Pictures and Quotes

"I'm sorry, do you have the speaking conch?? I didn't think so. I have the speaking conch."

Theory Penguin.
Oh the things that happen at 745 in the morning.
"So, when you have this chord, one V goes up, and the other goes's like in Harry Potter, when you make a Horcrux? You split the "sol.""
"Do you guys know this melody?? It's the main theme from the newest Star Trek film!"

A tribute to :
All of the crazy nights spent driving around in my car.
To our moments of family roadtrips: "Who has the napkins??"
To Chris getting carsick
To sitting on laps and crouching in the trunk
To playing musical chairs
To driving out to the country and freaking ourselves out
To playing "Guess That Song" with my satellite radio
To losing, consistently, to Daniel at "Guess That Song"

The Borealis String Quartet came and we LOVE them, especially Sam, the cellist :)
"Oh, just be honest, we met in a bar!"
"Rehearsal tips? Yeah, try to show up sober..."
"There needs to be more...talking, more conversation, you know, like..when you're sitting shooting the shi*...oh, I'm sorry, I mean gossiping..."

These things literally got us all through the semester.

You can't see it very well, but that's a gummy bear. On the ceiling. Of the locker hall.
Are we proud? Absolutely.
"Haha! I wonder if we can get these things to stick..."
"I wonder how high I can throw my keys..?"
"Watch, it's gonna fall down right on Brother Call's heads."
"Nope, Brother Brower."

Mine and Kelsey's shower.
Are we five?
"Qua qua qua! Za za za! TONIGHT TONIGHT!"

The cello family, Spring 2011.
Plus Colin.
And Daniel.
And Spencer.

There are only a few things you need to know about this picture.
Dairy Queen.
"Well, I think I'm just going to go cut myself!"
"I've got AIDs...just found out yesterday..."
Fry Sauce Ice Cream

I love these two so much. Even though they make me wish I was married, too! :)
Otter Pops.
Star Trek.
A welcoming and awesome home.

And I am clearly not the only one who aspires to be like them.

Crazy sleepovers, in and outside of tents :)
"Eat Both Squares, Please."
"Whate'er, whate'er."
"No, no that is my LEAST favorite thing to do."
"And what an impression you've made!"
"I'm a high functioning socio-path...I don't understand how you keep forgetting that!"

Mormon Birthday Parties. They get crazy, y'all.

"They call me 'Ugly Matthew'."
"Did you know...that your lung is not located in your left shoulder?"
"Of all the creatures I've ever smelled, people....are the stinkiest."

Random things were consumed for lunch during Symphony break.
The quintessential Hot Pockets.
Fruit Snacks.
Sandwiches from the library.
PBJ&K (peanut butter, jelly and ketchup. I wish I was kidding. I really do.)
Cream of Wheat.
Garden Salsa Sun Chips

Really, shouldn't everything be done "Ferris Beuller-ly" ??

My awesome and adorable little cowboy standpartner, Mason. :)
Jim Gaffigan videos.
The Chicken Dance. No, not the one you usually think of. I'll post it later.
"Caliente Pocket..."
"You, my friend, have a gift!"
" I sit in it or eat it??"

Three of the most important men in my life right now. :) Haha, all jokes aside, I love these boys to death. I know they love me too, just probably not as much as they LOVE each other.


This kid is so great. New transfer from Florida, he fits in PERFECTLY with our crazy Snow Family.
"It's like someone just injected awkward, warm, watered-down honey into my brain and chest."

Plus he has one of the greatest laughs known to man. 

Some of the crazy people in my life. 

I love this chica! She's absolutely crazy, but absolutely awesome. One of my closest friends, and I honestly don't know what I'd do without her. 
"This is real, children! Oh, you poor ignoramus!!"

Like the Three Amigos...except WAY crazier and way more fun. 
"It's like a bunny on stilts!"
Our kids are totally going to be best friends someday. 
Love you guys!

Who ever could have guessed that these two would become such a huge part of my life? 
Certainly not me, the first time I met them.
Hermanos Lllamado?
"Si. Soy."
"Conejo blas, a donde vas con eso escopeta"

Spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how to take the picture yourself.
Then admit defeat and ask someone else to take it.
Drive to a cemetery and a dark park late at night. Discuss quick, dark water, sharks, stars, and tender connections :)
Recipe for an Awesome Night
A tribute to the nights we promised to remember--because we can never forget--, doing the things others will never understand, forming friendships that are too deep to be broken.

Here's to random road trips to beautiful places

To places like the Mangy Moose.

To things that remind us of the people we love.

To crazy ideas that definitely should be shared with the world.

Most importantly, here's to intense, meaningful, and special musical experiences.

A few pieces of advice:
Never, never, NEVER leave your Facebook unattended.
...But always look forward to Facebook wording things in a totally awesome way.

Always watch for Daniel.
No, really.
You never know where he is (behind the building, in the back of your car, around the corner, on the ground, in the middle of the street), what window he'll crawl through, what photo he'll creep in, or how long he'll stand behind you before you see him and freak.

Try to wear the same colors as the people around you.
It's cool.
No, really.

Understand that crazy things are going to happen. People are going to stare. And some are going to be mildly concerned.
Just go with it.
It's way more fun.

Let yourself eat cake.
Even if it's force-fed to you.

Accept the fact that, as a music major, you never leave the Snow Building.
So you might as well get comfortable there.

Celebrate the little things in the biggest ways :)

It has been an incredible semester.
I've learned, I've grown, I've been blessed. I've spent crazy nights laughing until my side was black and blue. I've met people who have changed me and who will be a part of my life forever. I've stressed, I've ranted, I've cried and laughed and screamed, commiserated and listened and about went completely crazy.
These things will never happen exactly the same way again. Things have already changed and will continue to change. But if nothing else, during this semester, I've learned that things will generally work out for the best. 
I've learned that it isn't always easy to accept the Lord's plan for you life; but listening and obeying will always bring the blessings you need the most.

Here's to the memories of this semester, both good and bad. These past few months have been crazy.

And I look forward to many more nights, months, and semesters full of this type of crazy.

Ay, caray, life is ridiculous. But oh so good. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BYU-I Alumni Orchestra Concert

This semester has been full of amazing repertoire.
First, Beethoven 5 and the Dvorak Carnival Overture.
Yes, please.

The second concert rep?
Tchaikovsky 1 and Brahms Academic Overture.
But this concert was going to be even more epic.
Because it was an Alumni event.

Brother Tueller told me about this concert way back in March, when I made my little trip back to Rexburg for the symphony concert, and though it sounded fun at the time, I had no idea how much AWESOME was going to be compiled into one day.

Basically, any alumni who had ever played with the BYU-I or Ricks College Symphony Orchestra was invited back to play with the current symphony in an epic concert on a Saturday afternoon.

The concert was awesome. Our cello section was HUGE, we had over five basses, and our brass section almost literally blew everyone away. (No, really, it was so loud you practically couldn't hear anything else.) It didn't always come through together, and it wasn't anywhere near perfect, but it was SO FUN and so worth it.

And I got to see some people I absolutely adore and miss with all my heart!!

Like my beautiful friend Sarah!!

I seriously have missed this girl so much! We really only got to spend one semester together, and then two incredible weeks on tour in Canada, but she is one of my closest friends and I love her lots! Sarah has taught me so much; about cello, about life, about music, about the gospel, and about being a good person. I don't know what I'd do without her!
We even got to be stand partners for this concert, which never happened before!

Heather and I!
She is literally one of the sweetest people I know! She's technically "graduated" from the music program, so it was great to have her come play with us again! I have never seen Heather grumpy or short-tempered with anyone. She has such a big heart and one of the best laughs ever!

I first got to know Charity over a weekend in Bellingham, WA, and I absolutely adore this girl. I can't even describe all of the things I've learned from her! From tips on memorization and how to beat performance jitters, to tips about life, to good jokes and great conversation, she has been such a huge blessing in my life! She should totally come back and take over the Bass studio when Bro Miller leaves... ;)

With Sarah as my stand partner, David right in front of us, and Charity just behind me in the bass section, it was totally like old times. It might sound weird to say, but it was such a comfort to have these incredible people in my life again. Everything felt so...back to normal.

A really good mix of the "old" and the new.

And speaking of new.

Okay, so he's actually not new. I've "known" him since my first semester, but this semester I've really gotten to know this kid, and, oh my goodness, I'm glad I did.

While the concert was like a reminder of the "good ol days," it was also Spencer's last BYU-I Symphony Orchestra concert.
What a bittersweet mix.

The concert was so fun. It was a long, loud, emotional day, but SO worth it.
Even though it was such a headache for poor Bro Tueller, I hope they keep doing these Alumni events! It was so wonderful to see "old" friends again, and really awesome to meet a bunch of past generations of musicians that we never would have known otherwise.

Plus, anytime you can get a bass section of over 5 and over 8 French Horns, you've got to take it, right??

Maybe minus the whole "8 French Horns" thing...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There Are No Other Options.

Sometimes life comes at you really fast.

You feel like you're on a roller coaster; you're going faster and faster and up and down and sideways and the next thing you know, you're upside down, and the scariest part?

You have absolutely no control.

Sometimes it feels like everything is hitting you at the same time, like wave after wave, overwhelming, until all you want to do is stop.

Just stop.

But you can't. No matter how much you want to.

I drove back to school, by myself, last Thanksgiving, during one of the worst snow storms I've ever been through. I tell you, it was terrifying. We--that is, all of us on the freeway--were moving, at our fastest, at about 15 mph. Every few feet, you'd slide and pray that the person behind you wasn't too close. There were times when I could barely make out the car in front of me and I know that one of the only reasons I made it out was because the Lord was watching.

Things hadn't been easy. The road conditions were terrible, my stomach was in knots, and, honestly, my hands hurt a little from holding on so tightly to the steering wheel. I was at the end of my rope; I was holding on by a thread when I looked around and realized where I was. And I about lost the last bit of resolve I had.

There is this hill in between my hometown and Rexburg that is daunting even in the best weather conditions. Several people had already slid off the road and there were people and cars everywhere.

And all I wanted to do was stop. I couldn't do it. I couldn't make it. It was too hard. Too frightening. Too much.

I was so serious about stopping that I started considering my other options.

And that's when it occured to me.

There are no other options.

I couldn't stop. There were people in front of me and behind me. And even if I could stop, right then and there, what would I do? Sit on the top of an icy hill until the storm stopped? Until the ice melted and snow dissolved? I certainly couldn't go back. I couldn't magically freeze time or change my circumstances. There was only one thing to do, one way to move: and that was forward. The only choice was going on, no matter how hard or scary or dangerous, because the other alternatives were ridiculous and virtually nonexistent.

We're in the last week of the semester and again I feel like I'm sitting at the top of that hill, looking over the path I must take because I've chosen it, analyzing the many different slick patches and obstacles I will encounter, and, once again, I'm scared out of my mind. Everything's coming too fast, attacking my physical, my mental, and--especially--my emotional security from all sides. 

But we can't stop. There is no pause button and no way to get out of this without pushing forward. And so we go forward because we have to, because the alternatives don't exist; they aren't possible.

And in a strange kind of way, that brings a tiny bit of comfort, of strength, of resolve. If there is no other option but to push forward and face the dangers and fears and trials head-on, then we might as well do it the best we can. We might as well face them with our heads up, no matter how beaten and bruised we are.

Because there are no other options.
And with that knowledge, and the strength we receive from the our Heavenly Father and the people who love us, we can do this.

We'll not only get through this, we might actually learn from it.

And when we get through the storm, we might even be able to look back and it and laugh a little.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Bunny on Stilts!

Tuesday morning, the day after July 4th, I got up, packed my car up, and drove back to Rexburg.

I dropped my things off at my apartment, and drove to school.

I went to work, practiced a little...

...then I packed up my car and drove to Logan with two of my closest friends.

I love these two.
Words really can't describe how much they mean to me.

I mean, this trip down to Logan (about 5-ish hours, all told) was FULL of examples of this.
I know I can always count on these two to make me laugh, to take care of me, to have serious discussions, to be honest, and to have my back.

I also know that I can count on quick-subject changes.

From funny, to serious, to platonic, to doctrinal, to silly, to potentially-awkward, there is literally no subject that's really off-limit.

And I love it.

They are both such blessings in my life.
And I will miss them like crazy when they go.

But in the meantime, here's to more spur-of-the-moment trips, full of laughs, Rolos, bunnies on stilts and Jack in the Box :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I ate with the same fork, from the same bowl, as four other people.

I talked with my music professor about weekend plans and messed-up hands.

I protected--and was protected--from the evils and annoyances of the world.

I laughed until I couldn't breathe.

I ranted and listened.

I watched a member of the faculty join a bunch of students for ice cream after a concert.

I played Tchaikovsky & Brahms, Bach & Beethoven. 

I was a part of the strangest little dysfunctional family ever.

I'm so blessed, and so grateful for all the ways that I am.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oh, The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turning...

(or, in other words, my Father in Heaven knows me really really well)
(also, 10 pts to anyone who can name the band)

I'm getting ready to finish my fourth semester at BYU-Idaho.
My FOURTH semester. I mean...I "graduate" next December. I have to start my Student Teaching Application soon. Next semester I will officially be an upperclassman and one of the oldest in the cello studio.

So many things have changed.

I'm not going to lie and say that change and I have this awesome relationship...but we don't hate each other. Basically, change is always going to be an epic mix of heartbreak, joy, excitement, and terror. It's always terrible and wonderful. It's absolutely painful and bittersweet. But it's also always going to happen. Lots of bad things have happened in my life due to change--but there have been just as many (if not more) good things.

There's lots of kinds of change. I mean, over these last 4 semesters I've definitely gotten older. I've definitely seen and done and experienced more. You can't go through college and not experience change.

But one of the meanest ways college has switched things up on me has definitely been in the personnel department.

As I've said before, 85-95% of this blog is about the people in my life. Even with all I know about people in general, I still love them. If someone is in my life, they're there for a reason. And once you're a part of my life, oh boy, you're stuck :) I care about those who are in my life intensely. I probably care too much, actually--in fact, many of my friends this semester have started referring to me (affectionately, I hope...) as "Mom." (A title I've been fighting against... until the other day in church when I actually reached into my bag for some fruit snacks to settle down my starving and restless roommate.)

But, I digress.

So here's the thing: college is pretty rough, people-wise. In high school, you pretty much knew that you were all stuck there together until graduation, and then the likelihood you'd end up at the same college as a few of your friends was pretty high. It's not like that anymore. The frequency with which people move in and out of your life is terrifying. There's no way you'll end up graduating with all of the people you know in college, unless you started the same semester together--and even then, it's a little sketchy. And when people move on from college, they move on into their lives. They don't just stay in the same place. They go to grad school at least 3 hours away. They end up with the jobs of their dreams. They get married, have babies, and move across the country.

And you can't even be upset about it, cuz you're just so darn happy that their lives are working out for the best. They're moving on into life; bigger and better things await.

But it sure sucks getting left behind.

Since my first semester here, I've been losing people left and right. Thanks to little things like missions, graduations, and track assignments, every semester is different. I look back to my first semester here, how the cello studio was, who occupied my little circle of friends...and I can't believe how much it's changed.

 I look forward and I'm scared to see how much more it's going to change. Just within these next six months, I will lose two of my closest friends; both set to graduate and take off on the next adventures in their lives. Who knows how many more will follow?

But here's the part where I quit complaining, because, now that I'm looking back--and, to a certain extent, looking forward--I realize that I'm so blessed.

For one thing, all the people who have moved on from this little college-sphere still play huge roles in my life. The way I see it, you can't spend 17 or so hours out of 6 days a week together and not stay in touch, right? There are too many shared memories, too many common bonds, too much mutual respect and love. I have no doubt that, with a little bit of work on both sides, the people I am closest with now will be in my life forever.

And then there's this strange phenomenon where more people keep entering my life.
And not just any random people ---wait, let me take that back. The people in my life are most definitely random. I mean that it is not random that they were placed in my path.

You guys.
The Lord knows me and my needs so well. Every single time I've been looking forward to a semester or period of time and thinking how alone I was going to be, someone would appear. Whether it was my first Snow family or my first set of good roommates, I had people to lean on.
Sometimes it was something as simple as coming to better know someone who had always been "around." Other times, it was like I turned around and someone had literally appeared out of nowhere. Quite a few times what got me through was the random text, phone call, letter, or FB wall post from someone I don't see everyday anymore.

A friend of mine--ironically, one who has only recently become such a big part of my life these last few months, a classic example of what I'm talking about--and I were discussing this the other night. A lot of the time, you don't even realize that it's happening, but it is. You stop and think about it one day, and all of a sudden, you realize that you have a circle of friends about you that you never would have foreseen a few months ago.

And each rotation through people brings brand new experiences. Brand new personalities. Brand new ways to see the world.

So, as much as I am going to miss my friends--honestly, sometimes the thought of not having them near anymore physically aches--I know that:
A) I'll still talk to them, see them every so often. We'll still care about each other. They will still be in my life.
B) If you can't think of anything else, you can say that old friends leaving only makes more room for new friends to occupy.

.....Don't know where I'll be tomorrow..

But wherever it is, I know 'it' will be filled with people to get to know and love.

And What An Impression You've Made...

New favorite thing to quote in my apartment.

Thanks, Kellen :)


2.5 hours of sleep.

No, it's really not as fun as it sounds. 

The reason isn't nearly as fascinating as the outcome.

I find being sleep deprived so funny. You force yourself out of bed and the whole time you're getting dressed, you feel like you want to throw up. For the next hour, it's an epic battle to keep your eyes open. Blinking too long is sketchy. Praying gets downright dangerous.

Then, when you power yourself through that first hour, you're unbelievably awake. You chat (too much), you laugh (too loud), you become the life of the party.
For about an hour.
Then you crash again.

And the day kinda goes on like that. You have moments of brilliance, followed closely by the more-frequent moments of mind-blowing idiocy. The line between laughing and crying is so very thin, and an off-hand comment from anyone could produce either. It's literally a 50-50 chance sort of thing.

Plus, you know, the obvious lion-yawns and monster headaches and the lack of ability to process anything.

But for some reason, I take it one step further.
I lose my filter.

Now, I flatter myself that I generally have a very good filter (trust me, you would not believe how good of an actor I can be)-- it's not perfect by any means, but it works pretty well.
I mean, some people don't even really have a filter. They just let whatever pops into their head pop right back out.
It can be a good thing.
Most of the time.

I think the reason that I lose my filter is due to the whole "lack-of-processing" thing. I literally don't have time to think through what I'm about to say before I see it floating in the air right in front of me. Add in the time it takes for me to focus on these floating words, read them back, and process just what exactly I said, and you've got several seconds of silence before I realize I have either just offended or greatly amused the person I'm talking to. 

The worrying thing is, I can't even count on text messaging or other non-face-to-face interaction to save me. You'd think I'd have time to process what I'm saying when I'm typing out the message; you'd be wrong. 

I don't know.
On a certain level, going filterless for a day is extremely liberating. Aren't there a bunch of sayings about putting yourself and your thoughts out there everyday for people to see? About how it's supposed to be good for the soul, and might even land you the man of your dreams or the opportunity of a lifetime?


Well. I don't know about that. I mean, yeah, I got off a couple of really good zingers that I never would have said had my filter been in working condition. 

But mostly it was just hard. 
Hard when someone would talk to me and I couldn't give a decent percentage of my attention or excitement to them and they assumed in me a sense of apathy.
Hard when someone I care about makes a joke, needles me with a tease, or responds to a serious comment with humor and I snap back without comprehending. 
Hard when you can't even explain why you're acting the way you're acting.  

I like my filter. I like the way it works and I'm very grateful for it.

I guess all this was really just a long way of getting to the point where I can say sorry.
I honestly apologize for anything that came out of my mouth that probably shouldn't have.

Gettin the filter looked at this weekend. Should be good to go by Monday.

I hope.


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...