Tag Archives: love

Love for Childhood

18 Jan

I meant to post this blog while I was still in Nebraska. However, I was in Nebraska. Which meant that I was hanging out with my parents and being cold and playing with the turkey that lives in our neighborhood. (For all you people out there who have your stereotypes about Nebraska, this is not the norm. I don’t live on a farm, I have never shucked (husked?) corn, or milked a cow, and we do not have pet turkeys. Except for Edna. She is the exception.)

Edna, the neighborhood turkey.

But I digress. The point is, I was at home and didn’t want to do anything else. Then, I got back to Austin, and promptly began my new obsession – a Canon Rebel T1i with a 50mm f1/8 lens. There will many a blog post to come with pictures from that bad boy.

But enough excuses.

A few months ago, my parents purchased a kickass scanner. This was great news, because now I get to inundate you guys with pictures from my childhood. Warning: you may think these are less cute than I do. However, I don’t really care.

Here we go.

Alright Sparky, here's the deal.

(I laugh out loud every time I see that picture.)

Reason #1 my parents rule – when my mom went out to find a little pink dress for me to wear for my first pictures, she instead bought this outfit.

Keepin' it classy.

(Yes, that’s a piccolo.) My mom said, “You know, I thought – she can wear little pink dresses for the rest of her life. I’m buying her a tux.” And with it came a slew of incredible pictures, all proving the absolute genius of Mom and Dad.

My first baton.

My first composition.

My piano debut.

My first...champagne?

It explains so much, doesn’t it?

I also used to make a lot of faces. (Used to? Yeah, I still make a lot of faces. They’re just less cute now.)

The many, many faces of Elizabeth Love.

As a child, I also seemed to misplace things a lot.

Helloooooo?

And I have always been so very close to my parents.

Cuddles.

Love you, Momma.

So much love.

Just sittin', waitin' for the mail.

Reason #2 my parents rule – their wicked photography skills.

Almost...

Favorite.

Almost done, promise. I just wanted to share the loveliness that was my childhood. Being an only child definitely shaped who I am (as my close friends will attest to quite readily), and it, along with a wonderful upbringing, has made me terribly close to my parents. They are such an important part of my life, and I really have no earthly idea what I would do without them.

Cue….another list!

Things I learned from looking through pictures from my childhood:
1. I am significantly less adorable than I used to be.
2. My parents are the best people ever, and also KILLER photographers.
3. Everyone should dress their child in things that said child will never wear in his or her future.
4. I make all the same faces I did when I was a kid. All of them.
5. Once a ham, always a ham. (Not the meat.)

Thanks for playing. Hope it made you smile.

Love for Cooking

29 Nov

Just so everyone in the world knows, never in my life did I ever think that I would title a blog post “Love for Cooking”, or honestly even say that phrase without the words “I really just don’t have any” in front of it. But ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at a woman who has found a love for something that she used to despise – and that something is cooking.

Hi, I’m Liz. I live by myself. I have really awesome friends with whom I like to go out and eat food. Translation? I never cook. EVER. I mean, my “cooking” (and I do use the word lightly) usually consists of Lean Cuisine + microwave. Or maybe spaghetti + boiling water. And every once in awhile tortilla + cheese + microwave. But when it comes down to it, I think cooking for just myself is downright depressing. Where am I going to find ONE serving of fajita meat? Or ONE roll? Or ONE serving of anything that doesn’t make me feel super lame?

I’ll tell you where – the grocery store I’m going to start with my friend Anne Marie. Want to know what it’s called?

All By MyShelf.

(At this time, you may pause to laugh uproariously.)

However, until we get that store up and running, it looks like I have an alternative. Because for the first time in my life, I cooked something ALL BY MYSELF and I loved every minute of it. Here’s the story.

Let me tell you about my dear friend, Emily – she is wonderfully fantastic and talented and beautiful. She goes to Baylor and came down this week to perform with me in saxophone studio class and celebrate Thanksgiving with food and movies. (That’s really all we did. All week. Food. Movies. Food and movies together. Movies with food. The end.) Really the only mistake we made with the whole food thing was going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. (Note to everyone in the Hancock Center HEB on Wednesday, November 24, 2010: I apologize if I was rude to you. Or laughed at you. But you were probably pretty funny.) It was slightly catastrophic, but hilarious. We called in the big guns for this particular trip – our dear friend Marshall. (I’m not actually sure if that was an efficient shopping decision, but it certainly was a wonderfully enjoyable one.) I have never said “Excuse me” so many times in one shopping trip. I have never had to actually stop breathing because someone walked by me who was so smelly that I almost choked. I also have never seen so much milk on one floor:

This was really the end of it, but you can see how sizable the mess was.

And finally, I have never been so perplexed by children. There were these two kids, walking around HEB with a MILLION other people there, clearly not knowing what they were doing, each with their own cart. THEIR OWN CART, for pete’s sake. It was hilarious. They were lost and in the way and are now probably scarred for life. (But that’s most likely because I took a picture of them, like a total creepo.)

I was trying to be sneaky.

I’m sure Mom and Dad were trying to teach them responsibility (or something equally LAME) by giving them a few things on a list to get on their own, but really? The day before Thanksgiving?? Or maybe M&D were trying to teach them to NEVER GO TO HEB THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I mean, it worked for me. We did survive the trip and made it home in one piece. (Er, 3 pieces – that would be weird if we were some Emily/Marshall/Liz hybrid.)

On Thanksgiving, I woke up strange kitchen-like sounds. I came out and asked Emily what she was doing, and she said, “Oh I just put the pie in the oven.” Yes, everyone, she had MADE A PUMPKIN PIE (crust and everything) before I even opened my eyes. It was amazing. Then came the most amazing part – my adventure into solo cooking. This is largely due to my friend and former roommate, Maggie. Maggie supplied me with the fantastic recipe for the food item that I cooked ALL BY MYSELF. I would like to introduce you to my dear friend, Stuffing.

Isn't he just SO CUTE???

(Before you ask, NO it was not stuffed in anything. However, I will NOT call it “dressing” because it is not on a salad. Deal with it.)

I put the stuffing in the oven, headed towards my room, whirled around and said:
“EMILY!”
“What, Liz?” said Emily, nonplussed.
“I actually like cooking!!!!!!!!” screamed Liz.

I know you’re thinking, “Yeah Liz, real cool – we all cook. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re nothing special.” Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. This is a HUGE deal – and I can’t wait to cook more. I am so pumped. And you think I’m excited? You should have heard my parents when I called them IMMEDIATELY after I yelled at Emily. They have been waiting so long for this. So, Mom and Dad, this is for you:

I'm still drooling.

RECIPES
Stuffing: Maggie Miller
Pumpkin pie: Emily’s dad
Mashed potatoes: Paula Dean
Green bean casserole: the can of French’s Onions
Rotisserie chicken: courtesy of the Hancock Center HEB

The best part? We TOTALLY didn’t need the chicken. We both left most of what we took on our plates because the rest of our meal was so AWESOME. Now this may not seem like a gourmet meal to you, but it was to me. We were total pros about it, too. The meal was ready at 1:30 PM. Partially due to this sassy maneuver.

Yeah, that's 3 things in 1 oven. We're kind of a big deal.

I was so proud. And so thankful for Emily – I could not have achieved such a feat without her. Plus, I still have one serving of everything left in my fridge. Dinner tomorrow night? I do believe so.

What a glorious week. I’ll leave you with this, in true Thanksgiving fashion.

THINGS I’M CRAZY THANKFUL FOR
My wonderful family
My seriously awesome friends
The fact that I like cooking now
6-day weekends
Clouds
Harry Potter (in every form)
Mimosas
The fact that if you buy 6 bottles of wine at HEB you get 10% off
Nebraska football
The ability to love with my whole heart
The arrival of cool weather in Austin, TX
AND YOU!

Blurry, but cute.

Love for Last Week

4 Nov

By popular demand, I have decided to tell the story of my life (and the lives affected by my silly actions) last week. I thought of a lot of different names for this blog post: Love for Stupidity, Love for Good Music and Even Better People, and (my personal favorite) Love for Car Keys. However, nothing quite sums up the string of events that made up my oh-so-interesting existence.

Last week, the wonderful and talented and wonderfully talented Steven Bryant came to Austin to premiere his Concerto for Wind Ensemble with Jerry Junkin and the UT Wind Ensemble. Steve has been working on a video series since he began composing the piece, so he brought with him the equally talented and wonderful Michael Markowski to film the whole shebang.

 

Love these guys.

We had a great week – but I’m not sure Mike and Steve quite knew what they were in for, spending so much time with me. Here’s what happened.

1) MONDAY: I took Mike, Steve, and my best friend Jessie (who happened to also be in town for a few days – amazing) to Dolce Vita for food/drinks/fun. I have never had so much fun playing Apples to Apples – it was wonderful. However, at some point in our sloshy evening, I reached to grab a card and promptly knocked my wine glass, full of red wine, into Mike’s lap. It was really a spectacular spill. Having only met Mike the day before, I naturally felt moderately bad about it. Only moderately, though – this really could happen to anyone. But this was just the beginning.

2) TUESDAY: I locked my keys in my car. Yep – it had really been awhile and I guess I was due for a it’s-so-early-I’m-so-tired-and-apparently-a-moron moment for Liz. I taught in Leander at 7:30 AM, and when I came out for lunch, my cute little keys were sitting on the passenger’s seat. It ending up being fine – a BIG shout out to my parents for having AAA. (BIG. SHOUT. OUT.) My stupid-o-meter was only at about a 6 (out of 10, mind you) at this point. But wait.

3) WEDNESDAY: I stepped on a piece of glass. Now hold on – not a big piece of glass, but it did puncture the skin and I did bleed. I was on my way to listen to the Wind Ensemble dress rehearsal and I stepped on a piece of friggin’ glass. I walked it off – no big deal.

But that night, after the unbelievable UT Wind Ensemble concert (more on that later), Mike and I were on our way to my car and – well, look at that! – I can’t find my keys. They aren’t in my purse, they aren’t in my car – they have vanished. We searched for a bit, then I remembered shoving my purse under my chair in Bates before the concert. We barely caught the stage manager before he turned off the lights, and lo and behold – the infamous car keys. This is slightly less bad than locking your keys in your car – but let me tell you, it doesn’t feel any better. Trust me.

But wait! Wednesday’s not over! When I got home that night, I got a nosebleed. I’m sorry – what? What did you say? A NOSEBLEED? When was the last FREAKING time I got a nosebleed?!?! I’ll tell you. It was Wednesday.

4) THURSDAY: Oh, Thursday. You sly devil. I had another early morning (hmmm – I see a trend here) and Mike and I decided to go get tacos at Juan in a Million. I was SO PUMPED – I had never been there, and it was an absurdly beautiful day. As we got out of my car at the restaurant, I confirmed that my keys were in my purse by feeling around in the key pocket. (YES I HAVE A KEY POCKET WHY IT APPARENTLY DOESN’T WORK I DON’T KNOW.) I even made some snarky comment about it. Breakfast was wonderful, and as we left we joked about lost keys and how silly they are. Then we got to my car. And – you guessed it – I couldn’t find my keys. At some point, Mike says:

“Liz, they are in the ignition.”

No. Absolutely not. Not. Happening. But there they are, tucked safely away IN THE BLOODY IGNITION. Now, friends, I don’t get embarrassed often. I have this great ability to laugh at myself and not let it get to me. But at this point, I am nearing embarrassment. This is, like, stupid thing number 1,342 this week. Apparently I felt my apartment keys (on a different key ring) in the key pocket in my purse when I so assuredly said I had them. So we call Steve and he graciously agrees to come get us so I can get my spare car key from my apartment. We’re having a good time, waiting around, taking silly pictures, and then at some point Mike stops and says:

“Um, Liz? I might be crazy. But I think your car is on.”

No.

Oh for the love of all that is vehicular, it is.

MY CAR IS ON. MY CAR HAS BEEN SITTING OUTSIDE AT JUAN IN A MILLION IN SKETCHY EAST AUSTIN WITH THE KEY IN THE IGNITION – ON. IT HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR OVER AN HOUR. FOR. THE. LOVE.

At this point, really all you can do is laugh. Mike is getting such a kick out of it – he’s taking frigging pictures of me in my hour of desperate, stupid, forgetfulness. He’s laughing, I’m laughing and crying at the same time, and all the people walking by must think we’re completely insane. I AM completely insane.

 

Excuse me, have you seen my brain?

So Steve gets there, gets an equally hilarious kick out of the story, and we drive to my apartment. I think it’s about time I do something stupid (don’t you?), so I realize once we get all the way up North that I can’t find my spare key at my apartment. So we drive aaalllllll the way back to Juan in a Million, and I call – once again – AAA. (Really, Mom and Dad, you guys are the absolute best.) The AAA guy is SUPER efficient and when I tell him this is the second time in a week he says, “Hey, I’ve had people do it twice in one day. It could be worse.”

I told him to stick around.

I have to say, though, I am crazy impressed by Steve and Mike’s ability to make me laugh/lower my level of mortified-ness/stick it out. I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. I do know that, at some point, Mike felt like this:

Why I oughta....

Don’t worry – he missed. And the wine came out of his jeans.

The point? Yeah, I don’t really know. Sometimes life throws all kinds of crazy things at you, and you just have dodge them, hit them back, and every once in awhile take one straight in the face. Sometimes you make a complete fool out of yourself in front of people you’ve just met. Sometimes you lock your keys in your car twice in one week (although, let’s be honest – who really does this?). And sometimes you do a bunch of stupid stuff – in the midst of an absolutely wonderful week. I spent beautiful time with wonderful people, ate amazing food, and heard absolutely incredible music.

And you know what? Sh*t happens.

Love for 3-year-old Conductors

18 Oct

I posted this on facebook, but I thought I could reach EVEN MORE PEOPLE if I put it on my blog. Because seriously – I want everyone in the world to see this video. And clearly because it has only been watched 85,654 times on youtube, and about a thousand of those were me, the world has yet to see it. So here you go – the most adorable 3-year-old conducting Beethoven. Go.

Things that I love about this video:

1. His face when he cues the flutes.

2. “This is my favorite part!”

3. Running in place. I think this should be taught in conducting classes.

4. A 3-year-old child, overcome by joy, dissolving into a fit of giggles on the floor.

None of us have any idea whether or not this child has been guided in the direction of conducting by his parents, but that just doesn’t matter to me. The point is, this kiddo is having the TIME OF HIS LIFE, waving his arms around in front of his imaginary orchestra. I have always been an advocate for movin’ to the music, if you will, and I think that we all should experience music with such joy and reckless abandon. I frequently wish that I could stand up in concerts and move to the music as I see fit. However, I also would not like to get kicked out of a concert for inappropriate behavior, so I usually stay in my seat. But sometimes, if I’m by myself, I like to sit at the back, so that I don’t disturb the people around me with my bopping/swaying/head nods at cadences. I know, I know – there is a time and a place. Well that time and place is ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE for me. : )

I hope you liked the video, and my undying love for it. Share it with your friends, and brighten someone’s day.

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