The Power of Music

Music is a universal language connecting moments in time.  Music takes people back and brings people to the present. Every song played connects you to a person, a raw emotion, a memory or time.

Music is therapy.

Music is power.

If there is one piece of advice I could pass on generation after generation it would be to learn how to truly appreciate music.  Music goes beyond emotions and is powerful enough to develop the mind and body.  Once upon a time, I wrote a dissertation on the scientific benefits of music and the effects it has on your brain and health.  Music is something that can be enjoyed and experienced in all stages of life.  A study done in 2015 lists not knowing how to read music or playing an instrument as the most common regret amongst adults.  It also landed as one of the Top 20 biggest life regrets amongst a study done in the United Kingdom.

Music is universal.  It is also never too late to learn how to read music or to take on a deeper knowledge and respect of all genres.   Challenge yourself.

It isn’t a secret that music has always been a large part of my life.  Thanks to my mama, a true love and appreciation of music began at quite the young age, singing with her at church functions and attending Christian artist concerts like Amy Grant.  In middle school, she FORCED me (yes, it’s true) to take up an instrument and am I ever glad she did.  Playing an instrument came naturally to me.  As an 11th grader from southwest rural Iowa, I auditioned and was accepted into the Omaha Youth Orchestra and traveled to Omaha weekly (thanks, mom) for rehearsals.  It was my first experience playing with high caliber musicians and set me up for my experiences playing at a collegiate level.   Playing an instrument is what I was good at… but not something I ever took terribly seriously.  It was fun for me.  An outlet.  With that said, had I maybe practiced a little more I wouldn’t have botched a few of my solo’s during my college senior recital.  Yeesh.  Nightmares.  Y’all, I LOVE to play, but I don’t like being the ONLY person in the middle of a massive stage, with a ballgown on, under hot ass lights, playing for an hour to a very, VERY large crowd.  You’d think those solo recitals that we had to play each semester for four years would have prepped me for that big moment.  It wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t something I ever want to repeat.

Anyway, I digress.

It’s not about being the best performer.  It’s not about even playing an instrument.  It’s about learning to appreciate and understand music at its core.  Feel the emotions, put yourself into the composer or writers thoughts and mind, feel the raw emotion embedded in the harmony.

After leaving the world of music teaching in 2011 I found myself yearning to get back to playing music again in 2017 and found myself at the door of the Nebraska Wind Symphony.  My first concert with them last Fall felt right.  The music repertoire isn’t near the caliber I had in college, but that’s ok.  It’s not about the challenge anymore.  It’s about feeling the music, having fun and feeling connected to something I deeply love, again.  I have a lot of hobbies under my name, but this is one that I left behind.   It’s nice to see it again.

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Our last concert for the 2017-18 concert season is Sunday, April 15th at the Omaha Conservatory of Music.  Our music selection is surrounded by the sounds of spring and will leave you feeling light, happy and ready for sunshine and warmth.

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The NWS is comprised of a broad spectrum of individuals.  From recent-ish college grads to retired lawyers, we make up the meaning of “music is universal”.

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Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Weekend Recap | November 11-13, 2016

Saturday, November 12th
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I could end the post right here.

Done.  

End of Story.

But, what’s the use of a hangover without the story of how it came to be?

Let’s rewind to Friday.

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Friday, November 11th

First of all let me say Thank You to our veterans for your time served and to our current armed forces who continue to serve.

Thank You.

Second: Happy Birthday to my mama!  11/11 was also HER day! 🙂

Now, to the bane of my Saturday?  Friday night.

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We traveled north to Sioux City, IA to see the Turnpike Troubadors in concert with Jade, Kayla, Scott, Haley, Josey and Stephanie.  It was a ridiculously fun night.  Turnpike was INCREDIBLE to listen to… again, music geek in me can’t get enough of good music and TRUE musicianship that these guys exude.

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We let loose, we drank a few too many beers, we stayed our ground in the front of the venue holding steady to the gate, we flirted with the band, we sang along loudly and we made every ounce of that hangover totally worth it.

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Is it me, or is Jade channeling Alan from the movie, The Hangover?

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We even managed to hang out with both bands (opener and headliner) after the concert at a local tavern, to which I awkwardly attempted small talk about music (listen Jordan, don’t talk after 10 beers) and Kayla took endless photos with the groups.

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After hours snap chats = lame tag lines.   We love Friday’s?

Really, Jordan?

*insert giant eye roll*

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Thank GOODNESS social media didn’t exist when we were all in High School.   It’s bad enough as adults.

 

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Friday kinda rocked, and I am ready to do it again, minus the heavy amounts of beer.

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So then there is Saturday again.

It looked like this:

  • 3am – Arrive back to hotel safely thanks to kind cabi who received quite a tip after my sober mind calculated.  I’m sure she deserved every penny.
  • 3:10am – Snap Clint attempting 16 times to open the hotel door.  It was classic.  Score 1 for Jordan catching that gem on video.
  • 6am – First wake-up call, thanks due to a rager of a headache
  • 7am – Wake-up again.  Headache and all…
  • 8am – Restroom.  Oh, hey there rumbling belly.  I hear you and I am answering by laying back down.
  • 8:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text.  Commiserating.
  • 9am – Dear LORD this headache.  Curse the fact I need water but curse the fact I am not sure my stomach can handle even that.
  • 9:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text re: lobby and breakfast.
  • 10:30am – Clint wakes ready to take on the world ( his ability to NEVER have a headache nor hangover really sucks sometimes)
  • 11am – Bid farewell to the crew and head back to Omaha.   Radio off, shades on, air full blast, with minor attempts to tune my overly-chatty husband out.  Dude… headache.
  • 1pm – Homaha – drop husband off at home so he can load truck up with hunting gear and head out to Clarinda.
  • 1:30pm- Pick up race gear for Beer and Bagel run on Sunday
  • 2pm – Home.  Hallmark Christmas Movie. Nap.
  • 4pm- Grocery store for hangover worthy snacks that are always top notch on the healthy pyramid.
  • 5pm – Dinner.  Hallmark Christmas Movie.  Nap
  • 8pm –  Succumb to just letting Saturday be a total wash and go to bed.

 

Sunday, November 13th

Let’s all take a moment and rejoice in the fact that I got out of bed at 6:30am and was ready to run the Beer and Bagel 4 mile trail run at 9am.

Can I get a Hallelujah?   Can I get an Amen?

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Blair is a trail running PRO!  She recently ran a 50K.   Yes, you read that right.  50K = 31.08 miles.  So, I laughed at her for wanting to still run this with me.   It’s 4 miles.  That’s like her warm-up nowadays.  But, thankfully, she did it and we had fun and I appreciate her grace in not rubbing in the fact that this is peanuts to her distance legs.

I might consider running the 13.1 trail run next year.  Trail running is SO much better than road running.  It is so much more forgiving on the joints since you are on soft ground and uneven terrain that forces you to take it easy and watch where you are going, rather then operate as a robot and pound the pavement.  Running the 13.1 Beer and Bagel run in 2017 is a definite thought.  A consideration.

We will see. 🙂

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After the race I napped again.  DUDE!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!    I think it was a culmination of three days in a row last week of getting up by 3:10am on top of the minimal water and shenanigans on Friday night.  My body was O.V.E.R. it.

I forced myself into partial civilization on Sunday afternoon when I bundled up and went out on the HD, just her and I.   It’s that time of the year when the hubs is gone hunting on the weekends and I get my coveted solo ride time in when the weather is cooperating.

I managed to burn through a full tank of gas and it was all sortsa magical.

Solo rides = no destination.  No planned stops.   Just a direction, the roll of the throttle and a big ass smile on my face.  🙂

Although, this snap looks like I don’t even have a head, let alone a face for a smile.

But my front wheel looks B.A.

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Cheers to a GREAT weekend!

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Music Monday 4 | Rise Above This | Seether

In honor of Seether coming to Sokol Auditorium in Omaha tomorrow night, today’s Music Monday brings you:

Rise Above This by Seether

 

Rise Above This was inspired by the suicide of Seether frontman Shaun Morgan’s brother.   In 2012, Shaun was interviewed on the band’s upcoming Rise Above This Fest, which was an all day music festival centered around awareness and prevention of teen suicide.

“It sparks the kind of conversation I’m not very comfortable with,” Morgan acknowledges. “People know what (‘Rise Above This’) is about, I know what it’s about but that doesn’t mean I want to talk about it. But it’s definitely been a song people tell me has been uplifting and that they listen to in times of need. It’s helped them get through certain moments in their lives and it’s been a comfort and solace to them. That’s what it does for me, too, so the intention of the song worked. It’s definitely had a positive effect, but it can be quite heavy to deal with when you hear the stories.”

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Suicide is never the answer.  Please become educated and aware.  Be the help that someone needs.

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“Rise Above This”

Take the light, and darken everything around me
Call the clowns and listen closely, I’m lost without youCall your name every day when I feel so helpless
I’m fallen down but I’ll rise above this, rise above thisHate the mind, regrets are better left unspoken
For all we know, this void will grow
Everything’s in vain, distressing you though it leaves me open
Feels so right, but I’ll end this all before it gets meCall your name every day, when I feel so helpless
I’ve fallen down (fallen down), but I’ll rise above this, rise above this
Call your name everyday, when I seem so helpless
I’ve fallen down (fallen down), and I’ll rise above this, rise above this doubt

I’ll mend myself before it gets me
(I’ll mend myself before it gets me)
I’ll mend myself before it gets me
(I’ll mend myself before it gets me)

Call your name every day, when I feel so helpless
I’ve fallen down but I’ll rise above this, rise above this
Forty-eight ways to say that I’m feelin’ helpless
I’ve falling down, falling down, but I’ll rise above this, rise above this, rise above this, rise above this doubt

 

In Case You Missed It:

 

The Blogettes, E-Money, Mud Wars and Beer

I don’t know about any of you, but I keep looking at my clock wishing it was bedtime already.   Man I need some serious zzz’s.   Why not take a nap, you ask?

Because, I don’t do naps.

Lame, I know, but they just make me feel worse, so I fight the sleep in true toddler fashion until my actual bed time.

So, how about a recap?

 

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Friday:  Our friends Cyndi and John came to town.   First stop- dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube.

 

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And a giant Lube Tube of ice cold Bud Light.  Clint always wants to get one of these babies when it is just the two of us out to dinner.   Eh… I’d be a hot mess trying to get all that down.   FINALLY someone to help fulfill that dream of his.

Weekends with these two are never dull.

Case in point:

 

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Oh man, I don’t know who the owner is of this little gem, but it keeps finding its way back into our lives.  Exactly one year ago, this same picture happened with this same exact car.   Seriously.    It’s like destiny for these boys.  What are the odds that we’d see this car on the weekend they were in town?

Thank you to the owner of this masterpiece.   You made their day.

Again.

After the car hugging, we made our way into the MAC  to see Eddie Money and Rick Springfield.

 

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Thanks to the connections made with the Omaha Bloggers group (specifically Katie!) I received tickets for me AND to giveaway.   You can find the Concert Recap here.

There were several of us Blogettes (<—- yep, John.  I’m using it) at the concert, so we all got together for a photo opp between sets!

 

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Left to Right you’ve got:

Erin from Girl Gone VeggieAngel from Positively AngelLisa from Midwest Mammas and Sweeties FreebiesLeslie from Mom on the RocksYours TrulyLisa from The Walking TouristsMegan from Smile Like You Mean It

It was so great to meet a few more Omaha Bloggers.   This makes 10 that I’ve met so far.  The other gals I met this night and one other, Jess, I ran into at a YMCA event.

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SaturdayWarrior Dash, Nebraska!

This is the second year Clint and I have run the Warrior.   The 2013 Dash was actually the last time J and C were in town.

The Pre-Dash Walk.   Isn’t Clint’s outfit just precious?

Oh, that man of mine….

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I was able to meet up with my YMCA family prior to the race start as well!   Such a GREAT group of peeps.  LOVE them all.

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And look who else I found?!?!

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JEN!  I was so excited to see that chick.  She is a freaking machine.   Jen and I met at a former place we occasionally called work and we’ve managed to keep in touch.   We really need to meet up more though.  We have sucked at that.

When are we going to schedule an actual happy hour, Jen?  As in, a real one.  Not a “let’s just talk abut it” one.

By the way, Jen owns a little piece of the blog-o-sphere too, so y’all should give her a shout at Red Lipstick and Sneakers.

Ok, back to the Dash.

The obstacles were awesome this year!  I conquered my fear of heights multiple times thanks to obstacles titled Deadman’s Drop:

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and the Cargo Climb:

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In addition to the climbing, we did a lot of crawling, sliding and swimming.   The last obstacle course required all of those components:

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No control on that slide.  Hella fast.   The water (shit water, mind you) at the bottom was FREEZING and thanks to no control on the slide, there was no way to bypass going all the way under.   Shock to the ol system, my friends.

What a freaking blast.

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Team Y also living it up:

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Thanks, Carrie.  I swiped a few pics. 🙂

I’m so ready for the next one!  Any of you in?

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Saturday night we headed downtown to the Old Market.  Dinner at Old Chicago and a little bar hopping.   Surprisingly, we were all well behaved last night.

Shocking.  I know.

Sunday: besides a trip to the gym for a quick lifting session, our day can pretty much be summed up from this pic:

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Cheers to another great weekend!   Now, if Monday-Friday will just hurry on by, I’ve got another good weekend ahead!

🙂

Beating the Soon-to-Be Winter Blues

Winter is getting ready to show her ugly face here in Nebraska soon.

As in tomorrow, soon. BLAH!!!

Knowing my window of opportunity to ride was quickly closing, I text my girl Tyree yesterday at 3pm and we were on our bikes and in the wind by exactly 4:45pm.

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Impromptu ride…. And soooo worth it. Totally needed that open crisp air in my face. We rode for a while and then made a pit stop at The Rusty Nail for some dinner and a cocktail.

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I chose a mushroom Swiss burger and Tyree had the burrito plate. Warm, delicious and filling. Vodka and sugar free redbull also made its way onto our tabs. Wonder how that happened…

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Perfect little evening if you ask me.

This AM I woke up and whipped up an oatmeal pancake. First time making something like this and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think I will continue to tweak ingredients as I go, but for the first one, I was impressed.

Oatmeal Pancake

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup egg whites
2 Tbsp. PB2
1 Tbsp. Plain Greek yogurt
1 packet of Stevia

Mix, spread on heated griddle, lightly brown each side, soak in syrup, enjoy!

This recipe was 264 calories, 35 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein.

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I have a full day at work today. Hello meetings!!

After work I teach TurboKick at the Y from 4:30-5:15 and then it’s off to In This Moment concert at Sokol with my girl, Tyree!!

Eek!!!

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Have a Great Day, all!!