When you're sick...

It's a great opportunity to brush up on html!

What do you think of the new design, folks? The header is by Ara, as was my former one, but all the other edits are by me. :) I'm working on learning more about blog design, with the help of the fabulous Hannah from Beauty Blog Designs.

Also, I changed things up (just slightly) on my photography blog, and would love if you checked that out as well!

And so this post isn't completely boring, here are a few pictures for you:

Our cat, looking completely bored and a bit nonplussed because of this inquisitive little puppy:

So anyway, hope you enjoy the new look! :)


Be Thou My Vision

You know how you can listen to a song your whole life and never really think deeply about the words? 

The other day I was listening to the song Be Thou My Vision (Twila Paris' version, which you can listen to here), and all of a sudden I was struck by what the words were actually saying.

I always thought Be Thou My Vision was about asking God to help us focus on Him and see life through His eyes. But as I listened closely to the words, I realized it was about much more than that. It's about how God should be our ultimate goal in life. No other thing we desire should even come close to this desire to know and serve Him with all that we are.

So here are the words of the song again, with my own thoughts about the meaning in italics:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Oh Lord, please be the guide and goal of my life;
Remind me that knowing You is more important than anything else.
You are the thought that always brightens my sorrows
And I know that wherever I am, You light up my path.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Lord, You are true wisdom and the true Word
Grant that I may know them as I know you better.
You are my Father, always with me as I am with you,
You dwell within my heart.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
I know that You are greater than riches, or man's approval,
Only in You does my eternal destiny lie.
You ought to be first in my heart,
And the treasure of my life. 
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
God, You are the Highest King over all.
May I reach heaven when my life on earth ends in victory.
No matter what happens,
You are always my goal, my heart, my all. 


Oh the things professors say...

Today I did another spring cleaning of sorts by going through all my notes from my classes last year. While it was nice to review the material, the things that most caught my eye were the little notes I had scribbled in the margins.

I'm a quote collector of sorts, and as soon as someone says something either hilarious or profound (or both!) I'm ready with a pen and piece of paper (or a napkin or my arm if none is available). Many times during class the teacher would say something witty, and while still scrambling to write his last statement, I found a few extra seconds to put it down. The quotes always made me laugh later - and so I thought I would share a few.

"Don't just use the pianissimo on the shelf at Walmart - invent your own!"

"Practice like you don't have any talent at all."

"This piece is like the march of the crazy, undead clowns." (extra points for you if you can guess what piano piece this is!)

"I will now give you a lecture in duple meter."

"Let's go on to something excruciatingly exciting!"

"Closeness only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."

"Tritones are the windup spring of the happy meal of music." (I'm still trying to figure this one out.)

"It's like a hand grenade of intellectual kaboom!" (Speaking of something particularly profound or piercing he had just said)

"Don't blow people up. That's the lesson for tonight."

"I eat chords the way guys in Lawlor eat pizza."

"I'm making you get a crush on chord progressions." 

"I forgot the first chord of The Rite of Spring! May I live in everlasting shame!"
"Oh, there it is. Good - I was about to shoot myself and get fired." (in that order.)

"It's advisable to have your words actually mean something."


More Composing Adventures

So, I've told you all about my composing adventures (including my escapade trying to make a CD)... but somehow I overlooked sharing this last semester's adventure. I took an actual composing class, and it stretched me a bit. I've been used to only composing for piano (supplemented with voice, violin or guitar), but during this class I tried composing for a number of other instruments such as cello, flute, glockenspiel, clarinet... I had never dared do that before since I'm only familiar with piano, but I was surprised at how well I could do with just a little research about the instrument.

The last piece I wrote was for a small ensemble. We could go with a typical group (think piano trio, brass quartet, or string quartet), or come up with our own. I, being the ever-adventurous one, came up with my own ensemble comprised of: violin, clarinet, flute, glockenspiel, and marimba (the glockenspiel is the one on the back right that sounds like bells, and the marimba is on the left). I went for a more "minimalist" sound with my piece (which means that it sounds very repetitive and flow-y), and I like how it ended up.

For the "final" of the class, we had to have the piece performed, with ourselves conducting (if we knew how). I called the piece "A Spark of Inspiration," but it accidentally ended up as "A Spark of Imagination" in the program. I ended up sticking with that because I like it better. :)

We also had to write up liner notes, and this is what I wrote:
So many things sparked the inspiration for this piece: a child's wonder at the vast world about them, that tricky inspiration which always eludes your grasp when you most want it, and the magical feeling of fairy tales and fairy dust. These ideas are sprinkled throughout as the music ebbs and falls.
So, I give you "A Spark of Imagination:"


Summer Splash!

Y'all know I don't often participate in blog parties (I'm usually simply too busy!). But this one looked too good to pass up. Plus, she has some great questions (and prizes!).

What are two songs that describe you? Only two? Add to the Beauty, and Every Moment, both by Sara Groves. Both are my heart's cry - to create more beauty, and make every minute count with those who I love.

What do you most fear? Rejection from those I love. And needles - I can't stand even the thought of those things. *shudders.*

What color(s) dominate(s) your wardrobe? Anyone who knows me would have to say brown and pink. Though I have been getting into more yellow & green lately... ;)

How do you normally do you hair? I usually leave it down as is, though I love doing pretty much any style I can make it do. In the summer, I often put it up in a bun, especially if my hair decides to be nice and curl next to my ears like it did in the pic below. :)

Do you prefer milkshakes or smoothies? Smoothies, simply because I've only rarely had milkshakes!
Do you like the color pink? Yes, I've always been a pink girl - when I was little it was super hot pink, and now I prefer more muted and pastel tones. My room even used to be pink and purple!

What is your favorite flower? Pale pink rose, though I love the uniqueness of all the flowers God has made.

How many states have you been to? Hmmm... probably about 5 or 6, I'm not really sure.

What is your favorite thing about June? School is over, I get to be home and see my family and friends, have sleepovers, sleep in, and revel in all the beauty of a flower-filled world.
Describe your "dream wedding location:" I haven't thought of this much... somewhere outdoors, with lots of flowers and tall old trees and maybe a river or a lake.

Hope you enjoyed my answers! Now it's your turn to hop over and join up. :)


On Days like Today...

On days like today, I want to fly.

On days like today, I love romping with an adorable puppy and an equally adorable younger brother (just don't tell him I said that).

On days like today, I want to write outside in the wildness of the wind.

On days like today, I love alliteration.

On days like today, I wear bright colors and sunglasses.

On days like today, I love spending "girl time" with my Mom shopping. 

On days like today, I laugh because of the sheer joy of life.

On days like today, I wish I could capture the sunshine in a bottle.

On days like today, I experience a longing I can't explain.

On days like today, I am caught up in the ecstasy and beauty of life.


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