Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015...

What a damn year it's been. I learned a lot and felt a LOT. Jeezus do I have a lot of feelings. Somehow I'm always surprised by how many feelings I have?

Here's the year in review!

- I spent New Years in Boston with Rachel and Josh.
- I hosted Galentine's Day!!

- Stress control for the busiest semester of my life.

- HARRY POTTER WORLD over my Spring Break. And it was the best Spring Break ever, because Harry Potter and ALLISON all in one week.
- I had my first masters degree recital.

- The semester rolled on, and Dana and I went to Tucson to see Newsies!

- Then school was over and by some stroke of luck I met Dan, I could gush about him forever but I won't I promise. (and Nayoung took these hilarious pix of me n Joon)
- Rebecca came to visit for a week!

- I turned 23.

- Dan, Tyler, and I went to San Diego for a weekend and pre-Europe summer was so, so good.

- Went back to EUROPE! It was dope. Belgian Clarinet Academy, then Brussels, Amsterdam, and London with Mom where we toured the HARRY POTTER MOVIE SET, OK.
- We spent some time in New York with friends and family.
- School started. I got bangs and am still feeling all the regret, I know.

- We went to the zoo, celebrated Messy's birthday, life rolled on.
- My Dad came to visit and we went to Tucson. (I never posted a part II)
- I went to DC for my first professional audition and got to hang with one of my favorite ladies, Logan.
(pic from over the summer)

- My Papa passed away almost exactly a year from my Grandma Lillian. It was a really hard week, especially because it was over Rebecca's 21st birthday.

- Rebecca came back to spend Thanksgiving with me, Dan, and our friends, and then suddenly the semester was over. Here's the photo dump to prove it.
- I came home to spend a week taking care of my Momma, who had surgery. It has not been an easy week (I go back to AZ tomorrow, NYE). Actually, it's been really hard. I cried a lot because it's hard being an adult and being alone and taking care of the person who usually takes care of you. She's on the mend, thank you to everyone who reached out and has been taking care of us.

Losing Papa was really rough, that can not be overstated and I don't even like to talk about it, but it was a really good year except for that. An amazing year, even. So many good things, so many good people. I took initiative in my TA and I fell in love, which in particular was my favorite surprise of this year (love is grand! and I'm a huge cheeseball, shocker I know). I've never been so happy in a relationship, in friendships, in school, and definitely not all at once. And now I only have one semester of my Masters left. Time flies. I think Papa would be proud.

My goals for this year are the same as last year. They were good, solid goals that are still poignant to me (I'm literally copy and pasting here):

- Say "thank you" more (i.e. let people know when/that I am grateful for them)
- Stop apologizing for things that I don't need to apologize for
- Take more risks in my social, academic, and professional life
- Take more photos
- Travel
- Keep better in touch with far away friends
- Call my family at least once a week, every week
- Play a kick ass recital
- Embrace self-confidence


Thank you to the closest people in my life, who make the hard times easier and the easy times absolutely wonderful. (you know who you are, or at least, I hope you do)

2014 recap here (with links to other years that are, now, mostly water under the bridge). All photos from my Instagram.

Happy 2016!
xx

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winter Hike

Favorite hike, favorite guy, who will probably hate me a little for posting all these pictures of him ;)

xx

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Slices of Life Photo Dump

Long time no see. Warning: a lot of pictures, and a lot of pictures of my face follow, cataloging the past couple of weeks. Ahem.
Dope rooftop bar in Manhattan with our cousins Elana and Scott for Bec's 21st.
I did my student Caitlin's hair for her sorority formal and am officially changing majors to be a beautician.
We played Mahler's 9th Symphony. I took a two hour nap before this concert. It was really fun.
My new couch fiiiiiinally arrived. It is an amazing couch. And yes I am wearing my neck strap in this photo.
Rebecca came for Thanksgiving!
Loves. (a friend's chocolate lab puppy that Dan is harassing)
Black Friday and hiking "A" Mountain in classy argyle socks. This hike was so fun, I think we laughed literally the entire time. Which isn't easy when you're walking uphill...
Before taking her to the airport, Bec and I went out for bagels in matching Sgt. Pepper's shirts.
Blazer buddies with my pal Jack. This essentially sums up our friendship, and I'm just now realizing that I apparently love matching with my friends like, a lot.
PUPPIES!!!! Guys I am in a huge puppy phase. I need puppies. One of Rachel's student's parents breeds Westie puppies and she brought a 4 WEEK OLD PUPPY to her lesson. I may have shed a tear.
That night we had the most absurd concert experience of my life: playing on the second half of a choir holiday concert that started 20 MINUTES LATE, and then we didn't even go on stage to play our part UNTIL 9:30 PM. Frustrating...but the next day Spring brought us donuts, I played on Abby's recital, AND I got to hold another puppy, so. Blurry dachshund puppy pic by Dan, who said I could have this puppy (at which point I yelled at him that he was supposed to tell me "no") but you don't even want to know how much it cost, poor thing.
Playing Theresa Martin's double concerto "Double Take" with Abby, whose playing at her recital was, as usual, inspiring.
Desert cotton candy.
Wen and Jack made us some Hot Pot--weirdest thing I've ever eaten, but it was pretty awesome (and extremely nice of them).

Hanukkah party at Rachel's house! Brisket and latkes and a ton of cookies and the Rugrats Hanukkah episode. (I stole this picture from Nayoung)
Snuggles with Joon and ugly "sweaters" for a party this week. There's a whole explanation for the hockey jerseys that I'm simply too lazy to type out.

In between all this good stuff I wrote a ton of papers, taught a ton of lessons, cried a little, stressed a lot, got a Harry Potter coloring book from Allison (which is in fact as awesome as it sounds), and have basically been ridiculously happy despite the not-so-great stuff. There's a lot of love in my life.

I'm going home in a little over a week, which is exciting because it's been 8 or 9 months since I've been home...I'll get to see my parents, Rachel, Josh, other family friends, and of course, Publix. PRAISE.

Until next time,
xx

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Becca Boo

This is Rebecca, today, on her 21st birthday.
She is ridiculous, and I love her so much.  
Miss Michele put it better than I ever could: 

"She is certainly a beautiful light in a difficult time."
I know life is hard right now, Boo. But you're pulling it off with the most admirable poise. I am so proud to be your sister.

To the moon and back, and all the stars in the sky,
xx

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hello, Goodbye



A few days ago, my beloved Papa passed away. My Mom called me on Monday and said I needed to get to New York asap to say goodbye to him, so I was on a plane by midnight, in NY by 6am, at Papa's hospital bedside by 11am. He passed away that evening, after Mom and Rebecca got to say their goodbyes. The funeral was yesterday morning. I don't remember the last time I cried so much. I spoked at the funeral. This is what I said:

"My Papa spent his last day surrounded by people who love him. I don't know what life will be like without him, but I am thankful that he was around for my life thus far.

When my sister and I were little and Papa was visiting us in Florida, which he did for each of our birthdays in our youth, Rebecca and I would fight over who got to snuggle with him in the guest room each night. We would watch Emeril Legassi on the Food Network at night, and Scooby Doo cartoons in the morning. He would sit outside on our patio reading books in the sun, enjoying the warmth in his bucket hat. One year, my sister took him to preschool as her show and tell. He read all of the Harry Potter books, and though he said he liked them I have a suspicion he only read them because I loved them so much. When I was in college, he spent several weeks in Florida with my mom, where he bonded with our cat and told my sister how much he loved and missed our grandma. He said, 'She was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen' and grandma said, 'He lived a very sheltered life.' He once told Rebecca 'I told grandma I miss her and I want to go home too. She's my wife! And my best friend. And I love her.'

He said the blessings at all of our (the cousins) bar and bat mitzvahs. He was the worst backseat driver EVER and he loved the Yankees, even though my uncles (his three sons) tend to prefer the Mets. He took his pills with tomato juice exclusively and said water was 'for external use only'. He had the best memory of anyone I've ever known, and once you got him going telling stories, there was no stopping (even if you'd heard the story three times before).

When we made plans to go to a Yankee game last summer, he was so excited that he talked about it every day for a month prior. He was most excited when he was planning trips for he and grandma to see their children and grandchildren. He bugged me almost everyday since January about the date of my upcoming graduation from my masters and my cousin Elana's college graduation, so he could try to be at both, and he spent an entire year planning my grandma's surprise 80th birthday party.

On his last day, we spent all day with him. I told him that my and my sister were on their way and coming later. I told him to just wait for them to say goodbye, and he did. I think it's safe to say that there was nothing more important to him than family. He was happiest at family events when everyone was together. He always made an effort to attend weddings, bat mitzvahs, birthdays. And I think it's safe to say that he was in fact the man, the myth, the legend, our Papa. We will miss him so, so much.'

It's been a rough week, especially considering it's been exactly one year from our Grandma Lillian's death, but I am grateful that I could be here surrounded by family (Dad included). Thank you for all your well-wishes. The outpouring of kindness from those near and far is overwhelming and much appreciated.

Papa loved my blog posts, for some reason. He asked me about them regularly and referenced them in conversations we had. For him, I'm going to try to post more.
xx

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Washington DC

I went to DC Sunday-Tuesday to take my first professional audition, ever. I've been preparing since August and it was easily the best I've played in a stressful audition setting, though I didn't advance past the first round. It was a great experience overall; I'm proud of myself and my playing really benefitted from all of the work I put into this, which is awesome, although admittedly it was still a bummer to not advance. Maybe next time ;)

Regardless, I had the MOST beautiful 2.5 days in DC! Logan was a spectacular host, and zomg FALL! I had never seen fall, no joke. I grew up in Florida and I live in Arizona, so. It was a sight to see. If nothing else, I hope my childish "wowwwww"'s kept Logan entertained.

After my audition, I met Logan at her workplace (the Kennedy Center, nbd) and then made my way to the American History Museum, which I LOVED. On Tuesday, it was the most beautiful Fall day there ever was, so we walked around and saw memorials and the White House.

UGH FALL! What have you done to me!! The desert doesn't even cut it right now! (we get the nice weather, but no leaves. sigh.)

Logan, you are simply the best. Thank you for indulging me in all the touristy things, and for taking me to that doughnut place to get diabetes. I'll be back for the next audition!
xx
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