Tag Archives: Music

Completion

 

In the last month or two, Edgar and I have made significant shifts in our lives. The biggest of which, perhaps, was the Edgar’s senior recital. I was waiting to post about it because I was waiting on better photos, which I have yet to get, so instead of waiting any longer, I will share the limited photos I took with my own camera (or others took for me on my camera).

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Edgar said that he messed up a few times, but that was to be expected. We were/are all so proud of him, and the very experience of being present for his senior recital was such a heartwarming experience in our lives!

After the recital family and friends ventured back to our house to fellowship and prepare for the (unpictured, sorry.) cookout we shared that evening.

My mom gave Ed a graduation gift that was really for the both of us.

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It was all of our wedding photos arranged into two giant albums! My mom arranged and printed them all herself! We are so thankful! Even though my major was in art and photography is a hobby of mine, I’m terrible about not getting my photos printed. I have all my wedding photos on disc but the only time I printed any of them was for Christmas gifts a month after we got married. We only have one wedding photo on display in our house. I’m glad to finally have something to share!

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After this point I was busy preparing tons of food (burgers donated from a rancher friend of Ed’s parents, whole wheat buns—which I never tasted because I had my own frozen GF buns, various sides, and Dr Pepper Chocolate Cupcakes!) and loving on family and friends, so I didn’t take many pictures at all, but here the select few I snapped while the sun was setting.

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I believe that every so often, one experiences or event fills your heart so much that in leaves a permanent imprint on it. These are events that you can look back on and immediately feel the same overwhelming love you experienced at that moment. This evening was one of those times. Was it “perfect” as far as events go? No. Absolutely not. But then again, I don’t believe perfection has any place in the act of entertaining! What matters is that our loved ones came together in our home, shared stories, shared love, and celebrated a milestone in someone’s life.

 

Edgar, I’m so proud of you! I’m thrilled to be traveling this life with you!

Works Makes You Free

 

Disclaimer: This is a post covering very serious subject matter and having nothing to do with food.

 

Ahhh, after a crazy week at school and my blog getting HACKED, I’m finally back online.

Here’s a recap of Terezin, Czech Republic. It itself is fairly small and we really experienced far more than I can really put into words, but there’s no way I’d be able to fit Prague in with it, so I’ll dedicate posts to each of them.

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Driving into the Czech Republic after being in Germany for a few days really was something of a minor culture shock. Both countries were rolling and green, but the Czech Republic had a more brooding presence looming in the air. Instead of cute little gingerbread house-like farmhouses speckling the hills (as in Germany), the Czech countryside held the dilapidated remains of a former Communist regime. The homes and apartments were all identical, equally plain in architecture and poor in maintenance. Seeing these depressed (and sometimes abandoned) communities added to the heaviness of our destination.

Terezin was an 18th century fortress that was transformed into a Nazi transit concentration camp during World War II. The camp imprisoned not only Jews but also POWs and other enemies of state. About a third of the 150,000+ prisoners sent to Terezin died there of illness from poor living conditions. Most of the rest were sent to Auschwitz.

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Through this door, prisoners would come in and “register.” They would come in with a name and leave with a number.

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“Work makes you free.” This is the motto found in many concentration camps. This particular camp was a work camp, where prisoners were encouraged to work until they dropped. Those unable to work would be immediately deported to an extermination camp. Some propaganda films of the time painted Terezin as a ghetto were Jews could come and live, govern, and work in peace. We obviously know now that this was not the case.

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Approximately 100 men were stuffed into this room. There was one sink and no running water. The walls made the conditions inside colder (below freezing) in the winter and hotter in the summer.

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Jews were often forced to spend days at a time cramped and trapped within this room as punishment.

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The showers. Every once and a while (once a week at the beginning of the war, maybe several times a year by the end of the war), prisoners were ordered to strip, have their clothes run through a steam washer (to kill the lice), take ice cold showers in this room while their clothes were steaming, and immediately put the dripping wet clothes back on and return back outside to work. I’ll remind you that it was typically below freezing in the winter.

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Unfortunately at this point my camera battery died.

 

The visit to Terezin was definitely insightful. It brought to heart the reality of what Europe has had to face in the past century. It makes me feel both blessed and disgusted to think about how easy we as American have had it in the past 100 years. We are so spoiled, and we must not forget that there is a much bigger world outside of our selfish, consumer-driven bubble.

Here’s a short YouTube video depicted a bit of what we saw and the poetry and music inspired by the tragedy at Terezin.

Eisenach

 

We have arrived in Leipzig, Germany! And for the first time in three days, we’ll finally be able to take a legitimate shower and sleep on a soft, horizontal surface! I couldn’t be more thrilled!

The flight from Chicago to Frankfurt was almost dreamlike. Not in the actual comfort sense. My long legs only had so many places to go, and I can’t for the life of me sleep sitting straight up. But we found out soon after we lifted off that we were going to be traveling over Canada! It was amazing to think of how far north we were flying! In fact, we almost hit the southern tip of Greenland, and after many hours soaring over the North Atlantic, we drifted over Ireland, England, France, and Belgium in the very early morning hours. It was dark, but we were able to see city lights starting at London.

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As for the flight itself, despite the inevitably cramped leg room and impossibility of rest, we were well taken care of. When it came to dinner, I didn’t have high expectation, but was surprised when I was asked, “chicken or vegetarian?” Feeling adventurous, I went with vegetarian. I really think I got the better deal! I got a sort of Indian Curry tofu with rice and some other mixture (YUM), greek yogurt, a salad of chickpea and what I believe to be cubed boiled potatoes, fresh fruit, and a roll. I’m glad to see that they took some care and offering a respectful vegetarian meal instead of simply replacing the animal protein in the original meal (roast chicken, sugar snap peas, caesar salad, and cake) with tofu, or worse… simply removing it.

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Just a few hours later, we were served breakfast (my how time flies!), and included in our package was Monterey Jack cheese, a 100% whole grain roll, fruit, jam, butter, and a granola bar. I saved the granola bar for later and went ahead and ate my banana and almond butter in addition to the rest of my breakfast.

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Then, after several hours of waiting/sleeping/messing around in the bus waiting for the last flight of our people to come in…

 

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…and picking up something to eat in the airport…

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Serrano ham, cream cheese, bell pepper, and frisee…  YUM.

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…we headed our weary selves off to Eisenach, where J.S. Bach and Martin Luther both lived when they were young! We visited the Bachhaus and the Lutherhaus. Smile

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Can you spot the “J S B” ?

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“…Do not underestimate what you as free people can achieve with your dreams.”

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Because you can take the students out of Plainview, but the Plainview fiberglass cows will follow you anywhere.

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Now, we are checked into our hotel in Leipzig. I’ll share photos of our wonderful dinner tonight and our amazing hotel later. I will say, though, that I am very clean now, and am headed to bed.

 

Meanwhile, try to pronounce this. I dare you.
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Ubi Caritas

Quick post. Mondays are crazy for me. My day began at 7am and between work, three choir rehearsals, and Zumba, I didn’t get to rest until I got home at 8pm.

I regret not the incessant choir, though. We get to sing this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5MoZlNVG-s]

 

And not to mention a billion other songs.

I’m thinking of limiting my dairy and/or switching to goats milks for the time being. Having a mucus-y throat while singing is no good.

Anyway, I’m tired. Off to bed. It’s good for my health!

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