The Kreativ Award

Tagged by the loverly Jansina from over at Thilly Little Nothings. Go check her out. She’s a dearie. Unless, of course, this tag thing turns out to be painful. Then (start inside joke) I shall log on as the police and have Officer Smith arrest Robbie and get him sentenced to the death penalty. If you don’t understand this, don’t ask. It’s far too complicated to explain simply.

The rules are:
1. Answer ten questions about yourself.
2. Post ten random facts about yourself.
3. Tag a person/people.

1. What is your favorite song? 

Goodness. You know how  many favorite songs I have? “All the Same” by the Annie Moses Band, “Little Balloon” and “Faint Not” by Jenny and Tyler, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman… *chatters out a whole list*

2. What is your favorite dessert?

Formerly, I would have said anything chocolate, but right at this moment… Cheesecake. Or Creme Brulee.

3. What ticks you off?

Being in charge (or thinking I’m in charge), and someone walks up and starts trying to take over. And bad grammar.

4. When you’re feeling upset what do you do?

Sulk. Vent to people over Facebook, etc. If I’m normal amount upset, that is. If I’m super upset, you’ll probably never know it because I’ll hide it until I’m alone and then lay on my bed and listen to music until I’ve cried it all out.

5. What’s your favorite pet? 

All my pets are in pet heaven now, but it would be my doggie, Prince. That thing was the stubbornest dog I’ve ever met. Wouldn’t come to you for his life, but he would for food. Loved ducks. Highly protective. Did I mention stubborn?

6. Do you prefer to wear white or black?

Anything but black, simply because I wear it all the time. But really, I like black better than white. But I don’t want more of it.

7. What’s your attitude?

I try to be joyful in all things.

8. What place, object, scenario, etc. would you describe as perfection? 

Communion during church at the Fine Arts Summer Academy; singing a cappella in 4 part harmony in the fellowship of like minded Christians, partaking in communion? Sheer bliss.

9. What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)?

Writing stories when I’m supposed to be studying… and creamer in my hot chocolate.

10.What is your favorite pastime?

Writing. Writing whatever comes to mind. Writing on whatever paper I have available.


Ten Random Facts

1. I love to sing, but I have very very low confidence when it comes to my voice.
2. I adore Pinterest.
3. I’ve always had a desire for recognition/simple conversation/a smile from those that are older then I am. When I was little, I loved the attention of the teenagers at our church. Now, I look up to those in their 20s/30s… seriously, a real conversation with someone that age, and I’m like, “My life has been made”.
4. I don’t really have a fashion sense of my own. I like what I see people I love wearing. Tutus, lacey tops, mint skinny jeans… If I love you and you wear it, I’ll find something to wear similar to it. Just how I work.
5. I’m both an introvert and an extrovert, depending on the situation. I’ll talk your ear of in a quiet area, but I’ll be strangely silent in a noisy one. I like to be home, but if I’m home, I’m on Facebook, socializing.
6. I’m both left brained and right brained. I’m very analytical, but very creative. I have trouble doing things that are purely creative or purely analytical.
7. When I was in 4th grade, I wrote a research paper on Helen Keller. I’m very proud of my 9 year old self.
8. I love my typewriter. I’m waiting for the ribbon to come in so I can actually use it.
9. I like reading gory stuff. I also like writing it.

10. I like my Botany class because it’s really easy, but very interesting. I have no interest in plants.

And finally…the following bloggers have officially been tagged! Actually, I’m not going to make it mandatory for anyone to do this, but… Katy over at Happy Little Somethings! Yay!

The 10 Second Challenge

10 seconds

I was struck with an amazing realization.

Yes, God wants all of who we are.

Yes, God wants us to use every moment of our life for him.

But our life is composed of years, of months, of days, of hours, of minutes…

Of seconds.

That only took you about 15 seconds to read.

What about…

10 seconds.

What can you do in 10 seconds?

Not a lot.

But you can make a choice and say yes to God.

That doesn’t take even that full 10 seconds.

But it takes a crazy 10 seconds.

10 seconds of INSANE COURAGE.

But not your own courage.

No offense, but compared to God’s courage…

You’re a wimp.

I’m talking 10 seconds of GOD-FILLED INSANE COURAGE.

I’m talking 10 seconds of GOING AGAINST WHAT YOUR BRAIN SAYS.

I’m talking 10 seconds of LOOKING WITH EYES OF FAITH.

I’m talking 10 seconds of SAYING YES.

10 seconds isn’t THAT long…

But it’s long enough.

My challenge for you today is to give God 10 seconds.

Wait for his leading…

And then let him fill you with the most insane courage you’ve ever felt.

And then do what he says.

10 seconds.

He might tell you to send someone a text.

Or an email.

Or a phone call.

Or to go up to a stranger and say hi.

Or to post something on Facebook.

Or write this blog post.

Or anything.

Will you take the challenge?



So, my dear readers… I got an iPad. Now I can literally write posts from anywhere. For example, I’m in the car as I write this.

What shall I write about… Well, this is my last year of high school, which also means it’s my last year of dance, choir, and (most sad of all), youth orchestra. It’s my last year to enter the fair in the youth categories. It’s my last year with my wonderful violin teacher. Golly, when did I get so old?!?!?!?

Honestly, I’m a bit apprehensive about all this change. I mean, I’m looking forward to starting college and all that. But ending all the activities I do here, moving to a new town… Yeah, it’s a bit daunting.

Thankfully, I have an amazing God that never changes, wonderful parents to guide me, mentors and teachers to encourage me, and friends to love me.

This year, I’m attending a chemistry course at the junior college here. So far, I really like it. Then again, it isn’t hard yet! We got a new conductor for my youth orchestra, which will take a little while to adjust to. I’m leading our Irish Dance team this year.

I’ve also discovered a lot of new music that I simply love. Dvorak’s American String Quartets. The Annie Moses Band’s “Read Between the Lies” and “All the Same”. The Civil War’s “Kingdom Come”. Owl City’s, “Lonely Lullaby”, “Vanilla Twilight”, and “Fireflies”.

I finished my Mozart Concerto… For now. I’m playing it with my orchestra in May, so I’ll pull it back out and work on it closer to then. Right now, I’m working on “Adoration” by Borowski. Simply gorgeous!!!

I’m planning to start running this fall. Just for fun. I got a nice pair of running shoes, so I’m going to use them. In fact, since the weather is finally starting to cool off, I’m gonna run this afternoon.

I’m home now. I should probably go get things done.

I shall write again soon, my friends! Until then,


So… The rest of FASA

I apologize my dear readers. I have been a very naughty person and not written a thing on here, even though I’ve been home for a good month. I shall begin with a overview of the rest of FASA

Day 2 was church, orientation, and our first orchestra rehearsal. Church at FASA is always so spectacular! The orientation… well, let’s just say that my friends and I are crazy and Baby David is the cutest baby ever. At orchestra, I believe we started working on Ride of the Valkyries. Yes, we did learn it!

Day 3 – 7 were all the same: Helping in the Lower Division, orchestra, theory, chapel, lunch, technique, orchestra, break, bluegrass, dinner, composition, core group, practice. Yup. That’s all in one day. It’s awesome!!!! I helped with the youngest Lower Division group, called the Nano-minis. Orchestra is the time where you learn more music than you ever thought possible. Theory is where I prove myself a complete nerd.  Chapel… well, unless you’ve been to FASA, you have no idea how swelegant FASA chapel is!!! My bluegrass band this year played an Irish tune called “Musical Priest”. There were only 5 of us, plus Steven. We had a BLAST. Composition is the class that consumes you, as you attempt to write a 3 -4 minute piece in one week. And, somehow, we do it. My piece this year was called “Whippoorwill”. Core group is a small bible study – we had some very good discussions!!!

The one exception to the routine was my Masterclass and 1st private lesson. My masterclass was with Won Bin Yim from the Cincinnati Conservatory and the Julliard School. I played the 3rd movement of Mozart’s 3rd violin concerto. I felt like I played it well, and learned a lot! My 1st private lesson was with Crystal Plohman, the professor of fiddle of Blair school of music at Vanderbilt. We always have so much fun together!

Saturday, day 8, was the beginning of the week 1 recitals and the Lower Division performance. I only went to the Lower Division performance, than I holed myself up in a room and practiced for about 4 hours. That night, there was a swing dance after the Big Band concert! So much fun! Oh, and there was a double rainbow!!!!!!!!!

Sunday was church, then our String recital that evening! I felt like it went well! All the bluegrass bands played, then we played a couple songs as an orchestra!

Monday started the craziness of week 2. And by that, I mean getting up a 6:00 am to practice, breakfast a 7:00, chapel at 8:00, and then orchestra from 9:00 to 9:00 (if we were lucky). Monday night, at 9:00, Annie gave me a solo.

Tuesday, at 10:00 am, I had to play said solo at blocking. Good thing I got up at 6:00 to learn and memorize it! Then said orchestra continued.

Wednesday was the same crazy schedule.

Thursday, we had rehearsal all morning and afternoon, then our Dress Rehearsal for the Gala.

Friday was an off day – I spent the day running around like a mad person trying to get all my musicians together for the composition showcase that night! The showcase is always so much fun! The songwriting and composition students performed their pieces, then we had a faculty concert. Then, my friends Perri, Nathaniel, Emma, Taylor and I decided to play Dutch Blitz. Starting at 10:00 pm. So, we played 2 games of that, then build a small house of cards, then made a face out of cards, then decided to learn how to throw cards. (Actually, I learned that I have no aim whatsoever, so I hid under the table and picked up all the cards they threw). Then it was Midnight and I decided I should go to bed.

Saturday was Gala day, aka “Perform-six-hours-in-one-day-while-having-roller-coaster-emotions-over-last-day-of-camp Day”. It was an outstanding program! This year’s theme was “Quo Vadis: Where Are You Going”. We played a “Camera Only” performance, followed by the Final Gala that night. And then we all sat around and hugged our wonderful friends and cried. Yeah.

So, that was FASA. It was amazing and this doesn’t even begin to describe it, really.

Here’s some videos!!!

My Masterclass (Performance only – there’s another video with the entire lesson if you’re interested…)

My bluegrass/fiddle group: Musical Priest

My composition: Whippoorwill!

FASA 2012: Pre-day and Day 1

It’s finally here! The best 2 weeks EVER are here!

It’s FASA time!



On Friday, we were following our normal schedule of packing and running around in circles. And then, around 4:30, that changed drastically. See, my dad was running out to grab a pizza… Long story short, he tripped and fell and hit his forehead and neck. Knowing that my mom and I would have to do I good part of the driving, we decided to leave early. In one hour, we had packed the car, booked a hotel, and were on the road! We got to Little Rock around 10:00.

(Here I skip through my itinerary of everything I did while trying to fall asleep)

And then we come to…

Day 1!

It started out with Biscuits and Gravy.

Then with a car ride, accompanied by lots of games.

Then an excited last 30 minutes with lots of squealing.

Then a bunch of hugs to FASA friends!

Then a partly doublebooked schedule.

Then a new camp t-shirt.

Then waiting for music.

Then hugging more friends.

Then unloading the car.

Then chatting for a while.

Then running around campus with my friends.

Then getting my music… finally.

Then finding Annie and the cutest baby ever!

Then fixing my schedule.

Then running around campus some more.

Then sitting on a couch and talking.

Then eating dinner.

Then eating 7 layer chocolate cake!

Then coming home and practicing.

Now writing this.

It’s been a very happy, wonderful, swellegant, awesomesause day!

A Swellegant Birthday!

My birthday was actually at the end of June, but I’m just now getting around to posting (more on why later).

For my birthday this year, I had a 1940’s party! We all dressed in our favorite 1940’s outfits, did our hair, and several of us threw on a bit of bright lipstick! My mom had bought me saddle oxfords for me as a birthday present (No, I didn’t hint. I just told her!), and I wore my favorite dress!

And then…

We danced!

It was really fun… even though none of us were very good.

While my dad ran to get dinner, we opened presents!

Then dinner arrived – Hamburgers, French Fries, and Onion Rings!

The place settings… having a 1940’s birthday party right before 4th of July works out wonderfully for decorations!

After dinner, we watched “Annie Get Your Gun” from 1950… okay, not exactly 1940’s, but SO funny! I just adore that movie! The music is catchy, and the costumes are simply fabulous! I would love some of Annie’s dresses!

After the movie, we ate cake! Chocolate bundt cake, to be exact! I made it myself, and decorated it with a string of pearls! (“String of Pearls”… get it? Am I the only one out there that loves that song?)

We finished out the evening by chatting in my room… it was a lovely time with a lovely group of friends!

Now, I know what you’re saying. “Emily, your birthday was at the end of June, and here we are, almost a week into July, and you’re just now posting this?!?”

Relax, my dear readers. I have a very valid excuse.


For the Fine Arts Summer Academy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also known as the best 2 weeks of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We’re leaving EARLY Saturday morning for Nashville! Yay! And the early part is a very good thing for me, because I know I won’t be able to sleep!

I’ll have my computer with me, so I’ll be posting when I have a chance!

Oh, I just can’t WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A busy week and a lovely friend

Last week, I went to Lubbock for a 4-H competition. I competed in both Fashion Show (which is about your sewing knowledge) and Share the Fun (which is performing arts). It was quite lovely.

As most lovely things do, it started with a long car ride… 7 hours and 30 minutes.

My state is quite large, is it not? 7 1/2 hours and I’m still in the same state.

I shall not bore you with my itinerary… rather, I shall touch on the highlights.

Highlight #1

American Sign Language

I sat down at Fashion Show Orientation, prepared to be bored out of my mind, when an ASL interpreter gets on stage.

All thoughts of boredom vanish!

Turns out, one of the girls in my category was deaf! We had so much fun chatting with each other!

I didn’t place, but it was a good learning experience.

Then, when trying to decide where to eat dinner, my mom ran into a Chinese restaurant. There, a deaf mother was trying to get the staff to get her a piece of paper… my mom ran and got me, and for the first time ever, I got to interpret! It was quite tricky, but I felt I did well.

I love ASL!!!

Highlight #2

Share the Fun

I competed in the Musical Instrument category. Last year I got 2nd place.

No pressure, right?

This time there’s twice as many kids.

And 3 people have already recognized me from various things.

After 2 days on a hotel bed, I was stiff.

Not good.

I had to go first because I had to go play a gig in McKinney, TX that night. 5 1/2 hours away.

It wasn’t my best performance, but between being stiff and being nervous, understandable

I still got 3rd place.

But I didn’t find that out for quite awhile.

5 days, to be exact.

Highlight #3

My best friend!

As soon as I finished, we jumped in the car and drove off towards McKinney.

We got there around 5:45.

My best friend, Kristyn, and the other musicians were already there setting up.

We played for a couple hours, ate some BBQ, and had fun.

Then we went to Kristyn’s house!

And I got to meet her new mustang! His name is Corduroy, but call him Roy for short.

We spent half the night sitting on her bed, talking about everything going on in our lives.

Having a best friend is a blessing. Being a best friend is a bigger blessing.

And hugs are amazing!

Then, around 1:00 am, we went to sleep.

Then we woke up. And ate breakfast.

Then my parents dragged us apart and drove me home.

And then I sat on my bed and remembered how amazing my bed and pillows are.

The right words at the wrong time.

Today has been an interesting day.

It started off bad. I was forced to missed breakfast.

At this point, terror should be flooding your  thoughts.

Bad things happen when I miss breakfast.

Then I went to the doctor and got bloodwork done. (Hence why I missed breakfast)

Then I got 3 shots.

Then I got breakfast.

So, I came home and started working on a piece I *might* be playing backup on.

After a while, I thought I might actually understand the chord progress, and improvised to the chord progression.

“A bit much, but good for a first runthrough.”

I played it again.

“Better. Still much, but better style. I’ll go play it with the amp now.”

*Goes to the other room and plugs iPod into amp*

And there I played it, with my mom and dad listening.

There were no positive comments.

Don’t get me wrong – I love and appreciate that my parents love me enough to help me and critique me.

“Yeah, I know it’s a still a bit too much, but I’m just trying to learn the song.”

The fact that my arm is sore from the shots isn’t helping my mood.

And thus, like any teenage, emotional girl with a sore arm and a frustrating situation would do…

I cried.

It’s not that what they were saying made me cry.

It’s just that I know what I need to do. And I know what could happen if I pull this off well:

Big little things, possibly maybe.

And I want to get this right.

And negative comments aren’t helping me.

And I’m very grumpy from missing my normal breakfast and not being able to play a F#m chord off the top of my head.

Not to mention my poor arm.

And so, instead of the confidence rush I needed to figure out the rest of the song in detail, I felt drained and discouraged.

Thus, what should have taken 5 minutes took me hours.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I am NOT mad at the comments that were made. I’m not upset. I respect their input greatly. It just came at the wrong time.

I just want to point something out.

You NEVER know what a person’s day has been like.

Maybe they missed breakfast, their arm is sore from needles sticking them, and a lot of self-driven expectation already loading them down.

It’s kinda like getting dressed.

You don’t put on a winter coat to go to a summer picnic.

You don’t put on a bathing suit to go skiing.

In the same way, just because our words are appropriate and useful, are they given at the right time?

Because a good word given at the wrong time can be just as bad as a wrong word, period.

~~~ Random thoughts from the Whippoorwill~~~


It occurred to me that I am a Whippoorwill in a world of Mockingbirds. For a Mockingbird simply copies the songs it hears, while a Whippoorwill sings it’s own distinctive song. I have not been made  to copy a song. … Continue reading