Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I have a hundred thoughts swimming about in my head, but no time to expound upon them at present.

I have just ordered a collection of essays on C.S. Lewis on CD from Mars Hill.

I am leaving tomorrow to go camping with my family and several other homeschooling families from my Mom's co-op, TLC. I hope to have copious amounts of time there to sit and read, maybe write in a journal (real live paper - how wonderfully old-fashioned!), and process some thoughts. However, it is quite likely that I will be surrounded by small children, a fact which may well do much to interfere with my sincere intentions to spend time with books. However, as we all know, children are utterly delightful, and well-behaved children are seldom an annoyance. During last year's camping trip I was surrounded by children (and not all of them well-behaved in the least!); I chose to consider it a blessing and an opportunity rather than an unpaid babysitting job.

With regards to the myriad thoughts and feelings flying about in my mind and soul right now, suffice it to say for the moment that I wish I had far more time for reading, I wish I spent more of the time I do have in worthwhile pursuits, I wish I were far better educated than I am, I wish I loved God more truly and thus followed His commandments more closely, I wish I led a life of more intellectual and academic rigour, and I wish I lived a life of more passionate faith. I wish I loved more truly, trusted more fully, followed more meekly, obeyed more cheerfully, and lived more passionately. I wish I carried that banner of unspeakable beauty - our banner of faith in Christ - in a manner more worthy of my Saviour. I wish the moments of wonder, amazement, and love - of the overwhelming sort that leaves one almost choked with tears - carried themselves over to a life lived differently.

Wishing isn't enough, but I suppose that desiring earnestly is a true and humble place to start. And there is abounding grace.

The Wild Truth

"It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom - that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect."

- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Monday, July 25, 2005

BCP for Musicians

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From The Book of Common Prayer

Multi-Vitamin Goodness

I have started taking multi-vitamins every day. I feel fairly certain that they are going to change my life. Any day now, it's going to happen - the change. I will wake up and feel different - the sort of different that can only be brought on by a daily dose of bodily goodness.

Some might think my expectations are too high for a mere yellow tablet, but I don't think so. Just wait. It'll happen.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Blogiversary 2.0

Today is a very special day.

Everybody say happy birthday to my blog (it's two years old today) and happy blogiversary to the two of us being together. Whoopdido!

Peace out.

Friday, July 22, 2005

1950's Mix

I have been creating fun mix CD’s lately. (Don’t worry – they're the legal kind; created with songs from iTunes.) My best mix so far is this one, which I created as a gift for my grandparents:

1. Let the Rest of the World Go By (Mitch Miller and His Orchestra)
2. Stardust (Artie Shaw and His Orchestra)
3. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrews Sisters)
4. In the Mood (Glenn Miller)
5. Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (The Andrews Sisters)
6. (I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo (Glenn Miller)
7. I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time (The Andrews Sisters)
8. A Bushel and a Peck (Perry Como and Betty Hutton)
9. American Patrol (Glenn Miller)
10. Over the Rainbow (Glenn Miller)
11. Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Guy and Ralna)
12. Missouri Waltz (Lawrence Welk)
13. Let the Rest of the World Go By (John Barry; from Out of Africa)

This music is great. I like all of these songs. Some of them are weird but they are all fun to listen to.

Sometimes my grandparents can’t remember a question they asked me a few minutes ago, but when I took this CD to them and pressed play, they could sure remember every word to each of these songs, and every singer and musician they had listened to, and even where they had been when they had heard these songs. Music brings back memories perhaps more strongly than almost anything else. My grandparents were very happy to have this CD. They even tried dancing together, which they haven’t done in years. It was great. It was more than worth the $13.00 and couple of hours it took me to make the CD.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If I Could Be...

Several months ago I stumbled across the blogs of some dear old friends from my highschool days in ETS and Schola. It's been really fun for me to "eavesdrop" on their lives now. So here they are: Melodee, Emily, Jean, Kate, and Becca.

A while ago they each posted their answers to a little "If I were..." game. My favorite answers were the ones to the questions they added: "If I could be a wife..." and "If I could be a mother..." Both Em's answers and Melodee's answers were really wonderful.

Here's the whole game, with my answers:

If I Were. . .

Here's the scoop on how to play: I pick 5 occupations out of the list below and post my answers. Then I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. If I tag you, and you don't want to be a part of this, then that is okay. Just let me know and I'll tag someone else. Make sure you note who tagged you!

The "questions": If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

My Answers:

If I could be a mom, I would try to build a home that was a haven. I'd want my home to be a comfortable, beautiful, bright, happy, encouraging, wonderful, and fun place to be.

If I could be a mom, I'd pray heartily for my kids. I'd pray for myself, too; for the daily patience and self-sacrifice that it takes to be a good mom. I think it's impossible to be a Godly wife and mother without being in constant prayer for your husband, for your kids, and finally for your own strength.

If I were a mom, I'd make my home and family my number one priority. I wouldn't be a "career woman," even though society and culture might look down on me for my choices. I'd stay home to raise my children, teaching them to love and serve the Lord. I'd prepare home-cooked meals for my family each day. I'd want my kids to have the aroma of homemade lasagna and French bread drifting up the stairs to their bedrooms, not the scent of frozen dinners being warmed each night.

If I were a mom, I'd have to learn to sleep a lot less. Even after the night-feedings end, moms have to go to bed after their children and get up before their children. I might have lesson plans to make, curriculums to study, books to read, plans to make, clothes to sew, meals to prepare, and of course, a husband to love, honor, and cherish.

I'd sing to my kids a lot. I don't have an amazing voice, but I'd try not to let that make me feel self-conscious. I remember as a kid standing between my parents in church singing hymns, gazing up at them and thinking "my parents have the most beautiful voices of anyone in the whole congregation!" Today I realize that they probably didn't, but that's a very vivid memory. So I'd sing to my kids. I'd wake my kids up by singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," or maybe that song my Dad always sang about Mockingbird Hill.

On Saturday mornings I'd make them blueberry pancakes in Mickey Mouse shapes. I'd break up squabbles and try to help my kids grow into "peacemakers." I'd tell them I loved them all the time. I'd learn to sew better and make dresses for my darling little girls, or fun costumes for my handsome sons. I'd learn to knit and make baby blankets, too. I'd make paper airplanes and great Lego creations with my sons. I'd pick my kids up and plop them on the kitchen counter and let them help with dinner. I'd put my daughters' hair in french braids sometimes. I'd brush my kids' teeth at night when they were little: "Open wide..." "Now, teeth together..."

I'd want my kids to have a big yard to play in. I'd send them outside to climb trees, play with pets, and play with each other. In the rain, I'd help them into their rubber boots, and maybe their Daddy would make them little wooden boats to sail in puddles. Then we'd sing sailing songs together while the boats bobbed about, and when they came back inside, I'd have hot cocoa waiting for them.

I'd want my children to be bursting with creativity. I'd want them to have a sense of adventure, and carry that into the grand adventure of life with them. I'd want them to have a sense of wonder and to never lose it as they grew older. I'd want them to have a sense of beauty - the beauty of music, the beauty of creation, the beauty of words, and most of all the beauty of our Lord.

We'd play games as a family and we'd always laugh a lot. I'd teach my kids that it doesn't matter who wins Monopoly as long as we all have a good time. I'd teach my kids stubborn love for one another, and that our family was designed and instituted by God; if anyone teased one of my kids, I'd want the others to jump right in and defend the persecuted one. Because it's one thing for siblings to tease each other, but when someone else is doing the teasing, I'd hope my children would always stick together and stick up for one another. I'd teach my kids to treat one another well; friends will come and go but family ought to be there forever.

We'd watch movies sometimes on Friday nights; good movies and great movies. We'd read books in the evenings as a family: the Swallows and Amazons books, the Chronicles of Narnia, and many more. I'd want my kids to consider the Bible fascinating, never dull (because it isn't dull, but it's too often approached in that manner). I'd want my kids to love reading at least as much as I always have.

If I could be a mom, I'd fill my childrens' lives with great music. I'd make sure they all took music lessons and learned to love and appreciate music.

As my kids got older, I'd have rules about how late they could be out, and I'd always know where they were and who they were with. When they did go out, even if it was just babysitting, I'd sit up waiting until they got home, and ask to hear all about it. I'd let my kids talk and talk, and I'd try to always be there to listen. I'd want to really know my kids and not miss out on their lives.

I'd teach my daughters the value of modesty. When we shopped for new clothes, I'd make them lift their arms up to make sure their shirts were long enough, and I'd make them bend over to make sure their backs were covered... even if they hated it and complained (like I used to!).

I'd tell my daughters they were beautiful and my sons they were handsome. More importantly, I'd try to instill confidence in them concerning their intelligence, talents, and character.

If I homeschooled my children, I'd make sure they put on nice clothes each day - no wearing pajamas all day just because we're at home! I'd do everything in my power to ensure that my children learned to love learning and be fascinated by the wealth of knowledge awaiting them. I'd make my kids memorize poetry, multiplication tables, and grammar rules. Sometimes when my kids were all quietly reading or working a set of math problems, I'd bake them fresh cookies as a treat. I'd let them lick the beater while we waited for them to bake. We'd have a spontaneous snack of cookies and milk, and then go back to reading and math with renewed energy.

I I could be a mom, I'd put my childrens' artwork and schoolwork up on our family refrigerator, and I'd fill our house with family photographs. I'd also fill our house with shelves and shelves of good books. I'd try to keep our house tidy as much as possible, and free of clutter. I'd teach my kids to be helpful around the house and I'd expect that of them.

If I could be a mom, I'd pray for the strength to never complain to my kids when things were rough. (I can't remember a time when my Mom has complained about things she's missed out on doing, things she's tired of correcting, or anything. Ever.) I'd try to be the best example I could all the time. I'd pray for grace because I can't be perfect. And I'd hopefully have a wonderful husband who would always be there for a little extra strength and energy when I was running low.

Finally, if I could be a Mom, I'd try to help my kids grow up well. Grow into themselves, grow as Christians, grow into further responsibility, grow into making wise choices, and grow into independence. I'd try to make the transition as gracefully as possible from mother-of-young-children to mother-of-grown-children.

If I could be a wife, I'd pray for my husband, I'd put his needs and desires before my own, and I'd fix him three meals a day. I might put on a little bit of makeup every night before my husband came home from work. I'd brush my hair and greet him with a smile and a hug and a kiss. I'd want him to be glad to come home to me each night. I'd try never to greet him with a cross word or a sour expression or a grumpy face. When he came home from work, I'd tell him to sit down and put his feet up and tell me all about his day while I finished dinner.

I'd never say "I told you so," or "Why haven't you..." or "Why can't you..." or other things of that sort.

If I could be a wife, I'd try to stay fit and healthy. Even though fitness should never be a number one priority, and especially not when family-things make up the top 100 priority items, I'd try to maintain a healthy level of fitness. I consider it an aspect of the things I would prioritize for my husband's sake. I'd try to take care of myself and not transform into a busy, harried, unkempt sort of mother. Of course, the most important beauty comes from within, and I'd pray for God to fill me up with Christ's love so I could just radiate that true beauty to my family.

I'd get dressed up from time to time - even if it was just to go on a date to McDonald's.

If I could be a wife, I'd be my husband's biggest fan and constant cheerleader and source of support. I'd encourage him in everything he undertook and try to help him be the best that he could be.

If I could be a musician, well, wait...I already am one! Anyway, if I could be a musician, I'd play with a good symphony orchestra; I'd get to spend every day surrounded by great musicians playing great music. I'd practice lots on my own too, and learn the Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky concertos until I could play them with ease. I'd fill my home and my life with great music. I'd play chamber music, too; Mendelssohn quartets and piano trios, Beethoven quartets and sonatas, Bach arias, and much more. I'd join a choir, too, and sing my little heart out as often as I could. I might travel to Europe where I could "see" the history of music. I'd go to St. Mark's in Venice, and I'd go to see where Bach lived, where Mendelssohn lived, and all the great cathedrals where great music has always been played in praise to God. I'd also learn other genres of music; I'd learn to play jazz on the piano, and I'd learn to play folk music on the violin like Alison Krauss. And I'd always make music in church as often as I could, whether by playing my violin or by singing in the church choir.

If I could be a professor, I'd like to teach music history at a Christian college or university. I'd want to be involved in my students' lives, and show them daily how interested I was in each one of them. I'd teach the history of music as an integrated subject, not separate from "regular" history, or separate from the development of people, ideas, and cultures. I'd want to teach with a passion that instilled similar passion in my students, and I'd want to lecture in a way that wouldn't let my students forget things. I wouldn't make them wade through Stolba or other similar textbooks; I'd assign them key portions and then I'd give them library assignments to go and read primary source material. I'd bring stacks of CD's to classes each day and we'd listen to great music to inspire the students. I'd give tests that were fun to take. I'd drill basic questions like dates and facts, but I'd make sure to provide tons of open-ended essay questions like "Tell me everything you know about Brahms: his life and surrounding culture, his music, and his role in the history of music." Then I'd let my students go to it and write all they knew, and I'd reward good work with good grades and comments like "Bravo/Brava!"

If I could be a writer, I might like to be one kind of like Meghan Cox Gurdon. If I had a family, I'd integrate my family life into my life as a writer. I'd write amusing, engaging, and cute anecdotes from my daily life. I'd try to communicate experiences that other people would connect with. I might write opinion articles from time to time; however, my beliefs would always show through in whatever I wrote. I might try my hand at writing novels. I'd write books with a Christian worldview - books that weren't sappy, shallow, irrelevant, or superficial. I might write some Christian books for children and teens. I'd make them realistic and down-to-earth, instilling a Christian worldview without the shove-it-down-their-throats approach taken by so many Christian novels. If I could be a writer, I'd visit libraries and bookstores and get involved with things like children's story hour. I'd put on costumes and read dramatically. If I could be a writer, I'd try to write things that were funny, things that were true, things that were good, things that were engaging, and things that resonated with real people.

I'm so idealistic. But I like my ideals!

I tag Amir, Emily, and Libby! (Actually, I'd sorta like to tag everyone... I'd love to read all my friends' answers.)

Monday, July 18, 2005

I love studying music at Gordon College. In fact, I'm so blessed; I've had wonderful experiences at all three of the schools I've attended. Many of my class experiences over the past four years have been wonderful in expanding and training my mind; wonderful for my life as a Christian as well as my life as a musician.

However, periodically I think how much there is that I want to learn that I haven't learned yet (mostly through my own fault of laziness). Latin (I don't remember very much of what I learned in highschool), Greek, philosophy, theology, history, science, literature, music, and so much more. No matter how much I know about a given subject, there is always so much more! Today I used my lunch break to look at the website for New Saint Andrews College. A few of my friends from highschool ended up going there, and their curriculum has always impressed me. (Unfortunately, their theology doesn't, so it's never been the place for me.)

Still, I sometimes wish I had an education of the sort NSA has to offer. While a degree of that sort might not make a person a shoe-in for a high-paying job the way a degree in computer science or engineering would, it strikes me as great preparation for a life of faith and a life of the mind, which is what really matters. If I end up being a wife and a mother someday, the things I'd learn at a place like NSA are the things that would be really important, anyway. Lately I find myself thinking more and more about how I can be prepared for those sorts of tasks - raising children to love and serve the Lord, bringing them up in the ways of righteousness, helping them acquire knowledge and wisdom, helping them develop a life-long love of learning, and much more. Helping them grow up to be more than I am, really. I see so many of my own shortcomings (spiritual, intellectual, and otherwise) and I would want to avoid those in my children wherever possible. (For example, I didn't make the most of my educational opportunities, and I often regret that now.) How on earth does one go about the task of being a parent? It's monumental, really... it both frightens and excites me.

There is so much that I don't know... but the world around me is filled with information and knowledge, and books make great teachers!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Mind of a Liberal

Earlier this summer I played in a summer festival orchestra. Being last chair in the second violins didn't exactly provide me with thrills, chills, and challenges, but it did provide me with something rather useful and necessary - money.

It also provided me with a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of The Mind of a Liberal. Here are a few snapshots, for your education and edification:

A friend I hadn't seen in years sat right in front of me. He's a nice guy, and closer to my age than the 50-year-old twice-divorced women that made up most of the 2nd violin section, so we (along with three others that made up the "under 30's group") had a good time talking and goofing around. His bio in the season concert program proudly proclaimed that he is somehow involved with the Queer Arts and Artists Coalition, or something to that effect, at UCLA. (A family friend asked me at a concert intermission, "Maybe I'm still in the dark ages, but I thought it was an insult to call them queer?" "I think it's like the N-word for African Americans," I suggested. "If you're one of them, you can refer to each other that way and it's sort of a compliment. If you're an outsider and you use that word, watch out, because the Politically Correct Coalition Working For Openmindedness will come and get you." He nodded in enlightened agreement.) Might I add that this young man doesn't have to pay to attend UCLA; the "prestigious" Point Foundation gives him a scholarship because of his orientation. ("Hey Grandpa," I announced, shortly after discovering this fact, "I've found out a way to avoid taking out loans for school. All I have to do is boldly proclaim myself a long-repressed lesbian, and progressive organizations will pay for me to attend school! Then, when I've graduated, I'll send a nice thank-you note, with a P.S.: 'Just kidding about being a lesbian. Thanks for the money!' What do you think?" "I'd rather you didn't, doll," he replied with a laugh. "Don't put yourself in with those queers." Grandpa missed the memo about being Politically Correct.)

I went out to lunch with the second violin section one day, as part of a longstanding section tradition. Snippets of conversation drifted to my ears: "...oh, so I heard... well I hope he's faithful to HER..." "I heard she's getting married for the third time; she says she thinks this one will last..." (were the other ones just frolicsome flings, neither expected nor intended to last?) "...my %@#$ ex-husband..." "How's your girlfriend? How long have you been together now?" "Things are going well. It's been nine years now..." (NINE YEARS and no sign of commitment? Run away, sweetheart... he's a loser.) Finally Ann, a nice local violinist, announced quietly, "My husband and I have been happily married for 35 years..." This helped restore in me some basic optimism about mankind and marital bliss. Thank goodness for Ann.

The orchestra's artistic director asked me how my brother Jonathan has been doing. "Oh, he's doing very well," I replied. "He doesn't play the cello much anymore, but he's studying engineering out at a university in Texas, and he's really happy." "Texas?!" the director exclaimed, "They'll ruin him there! Too many conservatives and Republicans! Save him and bring him back here at once!" He was serious. So I learned that in a group of musicians, it's just assumed that you're left-leaning in your political and religious beliefs. It didn't even cross this man's mind that I might not share his beliefs. I could have been offended, but instead I just laughed it off later with my family. Jonathan laughed and said, "Yeah, all those horrible conservatives - I fit right in there!"

By the end of the two week festival, it was getting a little harder to laugh. I overheard numerous conversations ridiculing or even lashing out against every person, moral standard, and philosophical or religious belief I hold to be dear and good and true. I stopped going to the evening parties, stopped rubbing shoulders with my open-minded, wine-guzzling fellow musicians. I went home and thought nasty things about Democrats and People Who Are Open-Minded (open-minded, that is to say, about everything except Christianity and the possibility of absolute truth). I didn't disagree with anyone out loud or start any arguments; I've long since realized that it's futile to attempt to reason with people whose worldviews are so, well, vague. There's a hint of New Age mysticism surrounding most musicians, so it's not just that they're staunch Democrats, pro-choice, Bush-haters, gun-control supporters, and all-faiths-are-welcome-except-Christianity types; they like to say things like "I try to make every experience as real as possible... yesterday I spent some time contemplating how the ground beneath my feet was dirt..." "I feel so grounded today; I feel I've come to a new place..." and other such things that sound free-thinking but don't really mean anything. (Call me a cynic; if you can decipher these statements I'll hire you as a translator for my future entanglements in the world of music.) It's hopeless to try to tell someone "Actually, I'm a Christian," when they will most likely just reply, "Jesus was a good being." I might then say, borrowing from Lewis and many others, "He was either the Son of God or He was mad..." and they might answer, "He? That's a narrow perspective... I feel..." and so on and so forth.

Absolutes are so last millenium; did you miss that memo?

It's so inspirational to read Douglas Yeo's articles on being a Christian musician and reaching that sector of the world for Christ, but then I venture out into the "real world," and it all seems so... unreachable. The chasm is so wide. Our paradigms are on different pages; completely different books even. And my idealism sinks.

I'm buoyant. I'll try again.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Random work moment of the day:

My brother just walked past my desk and muttered to Dallas, standing nearby, "Could you just bring me my chapstick?"

Dallas said, "But my lips hurt real bad!"

I replied, "Just borrow some from the school nurse; I know she has like five sticks in her drawer."

"I'm not gonna use hers, you sicko!"

And work returned to normal.
In the spirit of posting poetry, I've decided to add a really terrible one to the one I posted previously. This is a limerick, written by yours truly, back when I was in Jr. High I think.

There once was a man who did swear
He swore anytime, anywhere!
He started one day
A swear word to say
And he died right then and right there.

Hey, I tried. And it even has a moral.


by T. E. Brown

If thou couldst empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the Ocean shelf,
And say— "This is not dead," —
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou,
And hast such shrewd activity,
That, when He comes, He says: — "This is enow
Unto itself — ’Twere better let it be:
It is so small and full, there is no room for Me."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nine Lives?

I haven't quite figured out what kind of life I want to have.

Right now, I am 22 years old and entering my final year of college towards an undergraduate degree in music.

Five years from now, I might like to be...

...living in a house in the country with a vegetable garden, a flower garden, a nice big lawn, a dog, some chickens, and a cowboy hat and boots to complete the picture. ("I guess that's just the cowgirl in me...")

...living in a big city, in a cute and modern little apartment with framed black and white classy photographs on my walls, wearing stylish skirts or dresses, going out in the evenings and drinking martinis in a sophisticated yet responsible fashion.

...living in California, enjoying the sunshine and staying near family and friends.

...a happy mother bouncing a chubby baby on my hip while multi-tasking to accomplish dozens of daily household chores: doing dishes, paying bills, vaccuuming, scrubbing, diaper-changing, baby-feeding, and preparing meals for a husband.

...a musician, playing my violin in a symphony orchestra and being wildly successful.

...a violin teacher, helping young children love music.

...a college professor, having already obtained my masters and doctoral degrees, teaching music history and violin lessons.

...a writer of some sort, holding a graduate degree in literature or writing, and providing the world with charming anecdotes of my everyday life and thoughts.

...or who knows what else...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Today I read something funny about motherhood and something funny about fatherhood.

The fatherhood article reminded me of my adorable nephew, Jonathan, who has definitely mastered the art of the projectile poop with excellent aim. (I witnessed this once during my visit and was astounded.)

Tony Woodlief, the author of the fatherhood article, also has his own blog. I found many of his posts funny, interesting, and delightful, but this one in particular, concerning slurpees (a topic of paramount importance when you have children), really caught my attention.

The motherhood article made me realize yet again that pregnancy is an odd thing. Odder still is the fact that women long for it and continue to gleefully (or not-so-gleefully, but with glee occuring shortly after the fact) bring children into the world with wonderful frequency.

I continue to think that Meghan Cox Gurdon is a delightful writer, and I would sort of like to be a mom like her someday. She's recently started homeschooling her four children, and as you can see if you read the article I mentioned, she has a fifth on the way. (Lately I've found lots of mothers I want to emulate in some ways. Or maybe I just notice mothers more than I used to.)

In other news, today I mailed nine letters, because I am just that great of a communicator.
Also, Jon and Libby done got themselves engaged this past weekend. Congratulations, you two!
Dad announced that my blog url is too long and too difficult to remember. I have never been really set on it as the best choice, anyway. Does anyone have suggestions for a better one? I've already changed once, and if I change again, I want one I can stick with. I was thinking of going with plain old "sarahmarie.blogspot.com," but it's already taken (the nerve!). So, gentle readers, tell me what you think. (If you care.)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Music in the Mountains summer festival ended on July 3 with our final concert, a Fourth of July pops concert filled with great patriotic music. During the course of the festival we played many things, including Dvorak's New World Symphony, Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was a growing experience (emotionally, not musically), but now I have a fat check to deposit, so the overall experience was a positive one.

FavoriteBoy spent the past week with me here in Nevada City. He arrived late Sunday night, July 3, and stayed through Saturday. We had a very good time. We saw fireworks on the Fourth, played America the Beautiful for my grandparents, lay on the trampoline and gazed up at the stars, walked around Grass Valley and Nevada City, went on an adventure up to the old historic town of North Bloomfield (population 8-12), saw a cemetery, went on a hike, saw some beautiful lakes, had a picnic, saw a town whose entire town center consisted of a pay phone booth, went to Scots Flat Lake for a day of sailing and canoeing, and had dinner at the nicest restaurant we'd ever been to together. We did many other things as well. Now he is back in Massachusetts and we miss each other.

Sometimes I am lonely and socially awkward and filled with anxiety. I worry about loans, graduation, grad school, jobs, money, what I want to do, and where I will be a few years from now. Other times, like the times I spent with Nathan this past week, I realize that life is so good. I live in a beautiful hometown area. I have my best friend FavoriteBoy for constant wonderful company. I have clothes to wear, my family who love me, my friends to enjoy, music interwoven throughout the fabric of my life, a job (two in fact), educational opportunities, and a bright horizon holding all this and much more for my future. "All this, and heaven too..."