Monday, January 27, 2014

Passion recap (and other important news)

Happy Monday to you all! This week's blog has a bunch of events and some news at the end... so hold on for the ride!

First things first: let's appreciate the little things.

Switchfoot's new album came out last week, and the night before it released, the guys did a live Google+ Hangout. Their esteemed lead singer, Jon Foreman, was not there, as he had busted his face open while surfing that morning. Helloooo 30 stitches to the face!

Nevertheless, the Hangout was fun, and their new album, Fading West, is amazing. Go check it out as soon as you can!

Here is the super exciting part: 
I got to go to the Passion conference in Atlanta last weekend! It's an amazing conference of college students (though they let high school seniors go too). I and about nine other kids in my class loaded up into a van Friday morning and spent all day driving up to Atlanta. 
Many intense rounds of HeadBands were played.

Yeah, I was myself one round.

I know all you Northerners are used to the cold, but this Florida girl has no warm weather clothes. I borrowed a heavy coat from my wonderful choir director, but I was still cold.
Blurry Twins!
Despite the weather, Phillips Arena was packed!

One of the campaigns this year was, again, End It Movement. It's a great organization that's trying to put an end to modern day slavery. For more information, check out their website.

Our LCD screen decided to stop working for the last session, so we ended up attempting to sing without having the words in front of us!... yeah it didn't work out that great.

Now, here's the news I know you've all been dying to hear:

1.  My dear friend Emily and I have started a blog together. It's called "2 States 2 Styles", and it you go here to check it out, you'll see why. 

2.  It is more than likely that I won't be blogging for about the next month. 
A White Blank Page will still be going, don't worry, but I have to prepare for college auditions and visits and such.

So see you all in a month or so!! Have a wonderful February!!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tops Tens of 2013!!!

Happy ending of 2013!!
Naturally, no New Year's post is complete without a few Top Ten lists!!! I've been pondering these for a few days, so here are my Top Tens of 2013!!! Feel free to disagree, as there are all my interpretations of the year!!

Top Ten Albums, EPs, and Singles of 2013
 SO much good music came out this year!! I feel like EPs and Singles always get ignored in lists, but there were so many great ones this year that I had to add them!!

10. Inland by Jars of Clay
Yet another great album from these guys. I only discovered it recently, even though it came out in the summer.
Favorite Track: Fall Asleep
9. Fear Inside Out Bones by The Almost
This is the band's third album, and while it's more rock influenced than the first two, it's still great music!
Favorite Track: I'm Down
8. The Oh Hellos' Family Christmas Album by The Oh Hellos
If you haven't heard of The Oh Hellos, you're missing out on a great band. These Texas siblings and their friends create music that's just fun to listen to.
7. Royals by Paper Route
I was introduced to Paper Route's music this summer with their album "Peace of Wild Things", but their cover of Royals is a fresh take on an overplayed yet good song.
Favorite Track: Royals 
6. Ocean and Sky by Jane Marczewski
Another great new artist! Jane is an alumnus of Liberty University, and makes light and fun music with her acoustic guitar!
Favorite Track: I Think I'll Go
5. X Factor Singles from Alex and Sierra
This year's winners of the X Factor broke a trend in reality show winners: they actually deserved to win. They were by far the best vocalists on the finale. The new Civil Wars? Who knows?
Favorite Track: Say Something
BONUS: Honestly, how adorable are they?
4. The Civil Wars by The Civil Wars
I shocked myself when I put this album as number four. It was a greatly anticipated album that didn't disappoint, but the unexplained feuding between this power duo made the album slightly less enjoyable.
Favorite Track: Oh Henry
3. The Inlaws EP by The Inlaws
Steven Curtis Chapman is a huge name in the Christian music world, and with this EP, his two sons and his daughter-in-law begin to make their own mark. The worst part? There are only three tracks!!
Favorite Track: Walls
(no recordings of this online... but you should go buy it on iTunes!!)
2. The Lone Bellow by The Lone Bellow
The amazing duets of the Civil Wars may be in the past, but the music deities blessed us with the trio of The Lone Bellow this year. If amazing harmonies are your thing, then this album should be at the top of your wish list. Be sure to watch for them in the future.
1. Fading West EP by Switchfoot
Fading West was supposed to come out last January. Then this summer. Then this September. Then this December. Well, now the official release date is January, along with the DVD release of the movie of the same name. But Switchfans' patience was well rewarded, as this EP is everything we dreamed. From an adorable yet quirky moment in "Who We Are" with all the SwitchKids singing to the infectious bass line of "Ba55", this EP makes me even more anxious for the album to come out.

Top Ten Moments
10. My first time seeing snow!! 
9. My trip to Palm Beach Atlantic with my co DM and Choir Teacher 
7. My Last Band Camp :( 
6. My acceptance to Liberty University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, AND Southeastern University
5. Being a Senior 
4. Finishing Senior exams
Halfway done with Senior year!!
3. Seeing Switchfoot at RTU
Yeah. This happened. Like three days ago.

Story time!!

So there's this nice little outdoor venue downtown called Jannus Live and a local radio station announced that the last show of their free concert series would feature none other than my favorite band ever, Switchfoot. 

I got so excited that I was screaming when I found out - at least until I read the fine print that the show would be 21 and over. Luckily, Jannus is outside, and there happens to be a Starbucks across the way...  Once Switchfoot started, Mom and I went across the street so we could try to see them.

This was our view... Exactly. 
But rules are rules, so some other under 21 fans and I hung out right by the gate.
During the last song, the lead singer, Jon Foreman, noticed us and pointed us out. He was leading the crowd and instructed them to sing for his friends he just noticed outside of the gate!

The show ended at 11, but we were certain that the guys would come and hang out. So finally, at midnight, the band members come down. Their lead guitar player, Drew, came first, followed by Chad, their drummer, and Jerome, their keyboard player. They all shook our hands, and Chad asked what my name was. Then Jon and Tim Foreman came down and also shook our hands and thanked us for coming, even though we couldn't get in. I asked Jon for a picture, and he happily agreed.

Who was the happiest girl alive? That would be me. These guys not only make amazing music, they're genuinely sweet guys.

Anyways, enough fangirling :)

I'm realizing that there are only two Top Ten lists, but I'm also realizing that this post is getting a bit long. So to recap...

2013 was a really great year!!! I experienced lots of loss in life, but everything that happened has helped shape me into a better person. So here's to you 2013!

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Twas the month before Christmas...

Merry Christmas to all!!!

I've been rather busy this past month, so I hope that your holidays were merry!!

The month started off with a bang! We had not one but TWO performances of our Christmas concert!!!

No concert is complete without Starbucks!!
It was so much fun! And it was my last Christmas concert with my band :(
I have such a beautiful twin!!!
Also, I got my bangs trimmed and my hair cut and layered!!
This was my attempt at straightening it...
The holiday season obviously entails gifts, so my girls all got nail polish and Christmas socks!!
"For your mistle toes!!"
The last week of school we had Christmas sweater day. Mine had penguins trimming a tree!!

Our choir was selected to sing at Disney's Candlelight processional! Afterwards, we got to play around Epcot! Kirsten's birthday was the next day, so obviously we hung out!!
Me and the Birthday girl!!
But of course we were not alone! Our friend McKayla and my voice teacher Joy made a wonderfully fun group of 4!!!
McKayla, Kir, Joy and myself!
No trip to Disney would be complete without being on a broken down ride! We got stuck for about five minutes.
Look! There's a ghost over my shoulder!!
The fireworks were awesome, as usual.

My parents and I stayed in a hotel instead of going back to school, because we were going to Hollywood Studios the next day!!!

Mom loves looking at the Osborne Family Lights there, so we watched them dance!!
If you haven't been, you should definitely go. They're amazing!

We actually had a church to attend on Christmas Eve this year, so we went and enjoyed a lovely candlelight service.
Christmas Eve outfit!
And naturally, milk and cookies were left for you-know-who...

So Christmas was quite fantastic! I hope that yours was just as wonderful!!!

Until next time


Thursday, November 28, 2013

So much to be Thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving!

While you're munching down on turkey (or whatever your dish of choice may be), here's me being thankful for the past two weeks! And here's why!!!

As I posted last week, it was finals week for band!!! I figured that my band needed some treats, so I made cupcakes.

55 cupcakes.
Baked and decorated.
In one night.
That's how we do.

Claire and I were totally twinning at school one day. I'm so thankful for and so proud of this girl. :)

We had our end of season family picnic the Friday before Finals, where we reherse from 3:30-6, then have dinner with our parents before doing a final run of our show on the home field.
Batgirl and Robin strike again!
Saturday was the big day, so we got to school a little early. My co DM and I hung out in our band director's office for a few minutes before the storm that would be semifinals.
It was a bittersweet day as us seniors performed with our group for the last time, but that didn't stop us from smiling!

A compilation of bus selfies :)

Now check this out - since our show was 20's themed, one of our band dads decided that the goolf cart we use to pull the rock band trailer needed to become a Model T. With a horn.

This is why we have the best band parents ever.

We were blessed enough to rock semifinals and make it to Finals, which are held at Tropicana Field.
If you have no concept of what I'm talking about, it's where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball.

Playing in the Trop is one of the best feelings ever. Everything echoes, and you feel like you own the world in those few minutes.

My directors had a bunch of faith in me, so they set me up to start our show with the opening clarinet solo from George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Like, holy cow. It was so much fun to play, but that slide is killer. I was so worried that I wouldn't make it, but here's a picture from our Finals performance.

It's right as I'm about to hit the top note. I was smiling so hard, and I almost started crying. It is the most iconic clarinet solo ever, and my band directors trusted me enough to play it.

After our show (which was our best run ever), we went to the mall. Kirsten and I knew what we wanted - Chinese food.


Also, peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes are back at Chick-Fil-A!!!

After dinner, we all headed back to the Trop for awards. We had a lot of time before they started, so our directors hung out with us on the field.

But once it started, we all held our breaths...

 And then let our breaths out when they announced first place in 1A!!!!

With this years Championship, us four year seniors are leaving with three championships.
It's been a good run.

Picture time!

Seniors and Directors!

Me and the Parents in the Trop after winning!

"Back-To-Back State Championshiiiiiips!!"
Yeah, we're pretty excited.
Just a bit.

Leaving the Trop for the third and final time as a State Champion. :)

So, from my band family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have as much to be thankful for as we do!!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Finals Week!!

Happy Finals Week!!!
We have band finals this coming Saturday, which means that this is the last week of marching band season :(
So here's a recap of the last few weeks!!
Two Fridays ago we had our last home football game, and band Senior night. Senior night is always sad, because it's the last time the seniors perform the show in full uniform on the field. We have a ceremony in the band room before the game and all the seniors get flowers and a framed picture. Our band director chooses a Bible verse that best fits our class, then he picks one that best fits us personally. My band director has known me and a few other seniors since we were really small, so there may have been a few tears.
Me and Mom!

Senior flowers!

Sadly, we lost our last home game.
BUT we had a band competition the next day!

I walked into the bathroom to go do my makeup and I find one of our guard girls like this...

Mista Cate!
At the competition*, we performed right behind the largest band in the county.

*It's not really a competition. It's our annual Musical Performance Assesment, where all the bands in the county are given a score from Poor to Superior.

Mi familia!!

We got straight Superiors, which is the best possible rating!! It means that all the judges thought we were really good :)

Enjoy a bunch of random snapshots from my week:
Pre-Chapel antics. Jordan doesn't like selfies.

I thought I looked really cute one day!!

Did I make black bean soup? Heck yes!!!
I made All-State Women's Choir! This was the picture I sent my friends to tell them the news!
We had a Jazz Band gig Friday night. It was a dinner and dance in honor of veterans, so they wanted a band to play swing music!
Myself, Claire, Jacob, and Taylor hanging around before the gig!
Claire and I went into the bathroom and found a shower. Not even in its own area: The shower was inside one of the stalls. Clearly, taking a picture was the only logical plan of action.
I loved my view from the stage! We got to watch all the old couples dancing!!
Finally, this is what I wore to church today! It had been a while since I'd rocked the dress and tights combo, so I thought today was a good day to wear it!! Plus, this Florida girl will take any excuse to dress like it's fall!!


So happy Finals week! Hopefully the next post will bring good news!!!