Life recently

I am so sorry I have not posted in so many a month. I really want to start posting more regularly, but that's not happening quite yet.

So you see, I've been living and working at Chick-fil-A with my older sister this summer. It's been a blast! We've gone river tubing, gotten two mani/pedi's and 90-minute massages, and gone to a Japanese steakhouse. Working at Chick-fil-A is totally awesome and has been a great experience. Last Wednesday night, about five of us from work went to a huge CFA party. I danced my first Cupid Shuffle with our marketing director Micah (she's an awesome girl) and drank two large iced coffees that night. :-/

A few weeks ago, just before my CFA store launched the new iced coffee, we had a short training session one Sunday afternoon. Afterwards, a bunch of us went to this really awesome (and delicious) French bakery. I got my sweets and some protein and sat outside with the group. That was another really fun night.

Back in July, we celebrated Cow Appreciation Day all across the country, and I got to work front counter during lunch rush. It got so crowded at one time that I almost started hyperventilating. That day was challenging.

About a month ago, while working front counter, I served a guy that was wearing a t-shirt that advertised my home state's university sports teams. I asked if he was a fan and if he was from that region (as I am in a different state than my home) and we got to chatting. And it just so happened that he used to live right down the road from where I live with my parents and attended my local high school! That was one of my favorite experiences so far.

Well, I have to start getting ready to bed for an early morning. Hope to check in again in less than three months this time. ;-)

"This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24

Lena Elizabeth



Oh, how I love being in an orchestra! I love a good challenge; and that's exactly what orchestra is.

Several weeks ago, my conductor approached us about needing a pianist for one of the pieces. I thought, if no one else volunteers, I will. Apparently, I'm one of the few pianists in the orchestra. Later that day, my conductor gave me piano music and said he'd like to hear it in a week or so.

I practiced hard that week. Since I hadn't been chosen to play piano when I first auditioned, I really wanted to play this. Most of it turned out to be very fun. Overall, it was somewhat tricky, but not difficult. Lots of scales and broken chords, and about ten glissandi (slides up the keyboard).

While practicing the music at church one day (since they have a baby grand, and that's what I'd be playing), I almost scraped off two fingernails during the glissandi. I'd left little splatters of blood on the upper white keys-oops! So I bandaged up my fingers and started again.

Later that day after rehearsal, I played the music for my conductor, inwardly begging him not to make me play the glissandi. Thankfully, he didn't. After playing the piece, he told me I could do it.

The following week-last week as it turned out-I played the first movement with the orchestra. It was amazing! I love it even more, despite the strange scales, broken chords, and glissandi.


YBAC time again

I would have posted this earlier, but I didn't.

Anyway, YBAC came around again this year. I'd been practicing my piece for months, and I was ready for it. However, I did not expect the competition to be more competitive this year. The number of competitors doubled from last year, and I knew nearly half of them by name.
Unlike last year, the dominance laid with violinists and pianists, instead of cellists. There were only two competitors this year who had placed last year, one of them being me.
This past Saturday, the competition was held. I went in, expecting to do very well. I knew my piece almost completely by heart. I'd brought my music just in case I needed it for any reason. When my time came, I opened the lid of the piano, turned my music to a troublesome page, and began.
My first noticeable stumble came at an unexpected time. My memory had failed me. I kept playing, thinking it was probably no matter. I'd turned my music away from the troubling page, praying that I'd finish well.
I got to the easier part of the hardest page with no trouble, then got whammed with another mistake. Another blunder, during one of the easiest parts of the piece. I turned my music again, and continued to play.
I finished with as much oomph as I could manage. I closed my music, stood, thanked the judges, and quietly exited the room. Even with my mistakes, everyone was saying I did well. I anxiously waited for the results to drop into my inbox.

That night, shortly before I went to bed, I checked to see if they'd determined the winners. An email sat at the top of the inbox, from one of the competition managers. I opened it, dreading what it might say.

First place: [a violinist]
Second place: [a harpist]
Third place: [a violinist]
Honorable mentions: [a violinist], [a vocalist]

My name was not there, nor were any others from my same instrument. I hadn't really expected to be there, with my stumbles and the added competition this year. Perhaps my piece was not quite the style the judges were searching for, perhaps my mistakes made a bit of an impact in their decision, perhaps both.
I may not have placed this year, I may compete in the coming years, but I will be more aware of the competition and my selection.


Twice for Two

Wow, I haven't posted here in over two months! Sorry about that. But . . .
I got tagged twice for two awards: Liebster and Sunshine. Thanks to Natalie and Sarah for tagging me.

1. Link the blog that nominated you
2. Choose eleven bloggers that have less than 200 followers to nominate (no tag-backs)
3. Answer the questions given
4. Let the people you've nominated know you did
5. Create eleven questions for your nominees to answer

Natalie's questions:
What genre of music do you like?
     I like a lot of soundtrack, but I also enjoy classical and artists like The PianoGuys and Jim Brickman.

Do you listen to Pandora?
     Yes, I do. I like to keep  it on either Jim Brickman radio or HTTYD radio.

What is your favorite band?
     Newsboys, The Afters, TobyMac.

Are you a fangirl?
     Not really. I get excited about movies I like, but I don't become an all-out fangirl.

What style of house do you prefer?
     I grew up in a split level, but I would probably prefer a duplex.

Do you watch TV every night?
     Pretty much, yes.

Do you drink coffee?

Are you organized?
     Sort of. My room's not the neatest, but my bookshelf is.

How many hours a day do you spend on your school work?
     Around 3-6 hours each day. One of the benefits of being home-schooled.

How old are you?
     I'll be sixteen in March.

What color is your refrigerator? (random question)

Sarah's questions:
Where were you born?
     I was born in Pennsylvania.

If you could be any ONE fictional character, whether from a book or movie, who would it be?
     I don't know. Maybe Kale from Donita K Paul's DragonKeeper Chronicles.

Do you prefer coffee or hot tea?
     Coffee all the way. But I did have a really good tea latte a few months ago.

If you had (or do have) an abundance of money, what is your ideal dream vacation?
     Probably a tour of Europe, Germany and Austria mostly.

If you could travel to any time period (medieval era, Western 1800's, 1950's, etc), where would you go?
     Post-Reformation. Many of the world's greatest musicians were at work during that time. I would like to hear Beethoven play his Moonlight Sonata.

Medieval or Futuristic?
     Medieval, most definitely.

Would you rather travel cross country in a plane or car?
     In a car, it takes much longer, but I wouldn't miss the pretty sites. In a car, it's much more comfortable and quicker, and I love taking off. Flying for sure.

If you could be either an Elf, Dwarf, or Hobbit, which would you be?
     Since I already have the ears and height, Elf. (yes, my ears are slightly pointed)

Do you prefer to play a musical instrument or just listen?
     I enjoy both. But I don't really have a preference.

Who is your best friend?
     This guy Michael at my church.

What is your favorite TV show?
     Stargate SG-1

1. Share eleven facts about you.
2. Answer eleven questions set by your nominating blog - Nominate eleven bloggers.
3. Set questions for the nominated bloggers.

My fingers are small, but my knuckles are big.
I've been playing piano for most of my life.
My big brother wears combat boots.
We still own an old tube TV screen and VCR.
I've gone through three piano teachers (soon to be four), but still with my first violin teacher.
I used to be tomboyish.
I love thunderstorms.
I've been home-schooled since Day 1.
I take after my dad's side of the family.
I once auditioned to play piano for a youth orchestra.
Music and writing are two of my passions.

Natalie's questions:
What is your nationality?

What color is your hair?
     Medium brown.

Favorite super hero movie?
     Ironman 3

Do you listen to music every day?
     Yes. It helps when I'm the one playing.

What time do you go to bed?
     Usually between 10 and 10:30.

Do you ever schedule your blog posts with the schedule setting on your posts?
     I've done it a few times, but not regularly.

What is your favorite TV show?
     Stargate SG-1

Winter or Summer?

Chick flicks or action movies?

Do you like the snow?
     I like everything about it except the cold.

Is your bedroom on the first or second floor?

Sarah's questions:
What color are your eyes?
     Grayish blue.

Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
     Books. More exercise for the imagination.

Who is your favorite Disney princess?

If given the choice, would you rather write a letter or talk on the phone? Text messages don't count.
     Phone, I think.

If you could do something drastically awesome, and wouldn't have to worry about being judged by others, what would it be?
     =/ . . . Um . . . I don't know. Maybe tour Europe after college and get married in a medieval castle there.

For the nominees, I choose whoever wants to do it. You could mix and match the different questions, if you wanted.

Also, I need some ideas for posts! If you have any suggestions . . .