Happy Christmas! As I breathe a sigh of contentment, I relish the notion that I have ample time to update and am not rushed or under stress, as I have been for over the past two+ months.
In an attempt to update the flurry of doings in my life, with the help of a few photographs on the photo blog…
– as Addie mentioned on her blog, we were able to see each other at the State Softball finals. Our visit was LONG overdue!
– I experienced my first MU homecoming parade and was THRILLED to no end to see my high school band march! And though we didn’t have sufficient rainfall this year to make the leaves truly brilliant, there were still some breathtaking places around campus to enjoy the beauty of the season.
– our first choral concert also allowed my parents to visit for the first time since moving in in August.
– the first two weekends brought out of town competitions. I participated in the regional NATS (National Association Teachers of Singing) in Rock Island, IL – part of the Quad Cities a.k.a. the home of John Deere and Brian Roe. The second weekend I traveled to Springfield to compete in MMTA (Missouri Music Teachers Association), where I was able to see Addie again (woot!), spend the night with family, do some shopping, have fun competing and WINNING the Graduate Vocal Division! I celebrated over a piece of French silk pie at Village Inn. Yum.
– before Thanksgiving break came a crunch of tests, finalization of work on my Stravinsky and Nijinsky topic for graduate studies, and the performance of everyone’s favorite Christmas oratorio, Handel’s “Messiah”
– Thanksgiving was a welcome break as I traveled south to spend time with family. When returning to Columbia, the whole town was painted black & gold (proverbially) to root the #1 ranked Tigers. I would not consider myself a football fan, but this season just might have made me one as I jumped on the bandwagon.
– throughout the fall I was able to see “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Dan in Real Life,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” and “Lars and the Real Girl” – a wide selection of movies, all of which I enjoyed. Especially “Lars and the Real Girl.” I have also found myself now hooked on the t.v. show “Alias.” Thank goodness for the free DVDs I can check out at the public library.
– the first weekend brought me treating my cool pastor’s daughters to see “The Nutcracker.” The ballet was well done, but I could’ve done without the canned music. Our church Christmas dinner was also held that weekend, with carols and communion, it began the month on a festive and reflective note. I’m so thankful for my new church family!
– the end of the semester brought Christmas party invitations, some of which I made, some of which I didn’t. A sore throat inside and snow & ice outside kept me at home more nights than I would have preferred. Regardless, I made it through my voice jury (sounding like a prepubescent teenager) and felt confident as I took my finals and presented my graduate studies topic “Le Sacre du Printemps: Stravinsky’s Transforming Attitude Toward Nijinsky.” Since then I’ve been spending time with family, getting caught up on sleep, and regaining my vocal strength. I got my grades yesterday: four A’s and two B’s. Santa came early!
– last week we also went to Branson, a family tradition, to see the Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City. We also went to Dixie Stampede for the first time. We’re not big horse people, but it was fun and we had a good time.
– and now Christmas. Christmas is always a time of wonder and discovery for me. Specifically this year has brought new amazement in the wise men’s journey to visit the baby Jesus. Well educated men, following a star, bringing expensive gifts, and humbly bowing before a baby in a manger. Their journey and obedience fascinate me. And the star – physical light illuminating the sky, pointing the way to the Light that came to show the world hope in the darkness. Earlier this year I was struck with the profundity that light was the first thing God created. May His light shine in me every day through the year, pointing the way to the True Light.
As you spend time with those you love, may the wonder and peace of Jesus’ birth, and the light and hope He brings be yours in abundance.