Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Engagement Photo Shoot

Last month, Nick and I decided to take our own engagement photos. Photography is one of Nick's hobbies (as evidenced by the nearly 4,000 photos on my Mac and even more on his computer), and since we are bringing in our wedding photographer from Fort Wayne, we didn't want to hire a Chicago photographer to do the engagement. Plus, we thought it would be a lot of fun to do it ourselves, and it gave Nick a reason to buy the tripod he's been coveting for quite some time.

So, one Friday evening we headed over to the Adler Planetarium, where there is a terrific view of the skyline (and, incidentally, where we had our first kiss!). Here are some of my faves (and some silly ones!) from the shoot:

this is my fave, and the one we'll likely frame and use for our save the dates:

testing the angle:

It was a lot of fun and we got some great shots out of it! I'm really looking forward to making our save the dates and sending them out mid-February!

One singing-related thing I have to share: I found out yesterday that I am cast as a soloist in the Music of the Baroque Christmas concerts!!! Not only am I thrilled at the opportunity, it will nearly double my pay for this concert. Looks like people will be getting good Christmas gifts this year! And the credit card will receive a happy gift as well.

We're off to Indianapolis this afternoon for Thanksgiving with the Lyday clan. Should be a great trip, and a much-needed break for me and Nick. The calm before the storm, shall we say.....

Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Well kids, I know, it's been awhile. The ol' Mac has been having some trouble these days and for that I blame my lack of posting. That and the fact that I've been non-stop go go go these days. With no end in sight. Yes, it's that time of year again, the time when we musicians make our money and sell out as much as possible for cash. In years past I've sung to the jewels, and this year I will be making my debut at the Drake Hotel as a caroler in Dickens costume. Gotta make the cash, and it ain't a bad way to do it. In addition, I'll have the MOB Christmas concert, which is always a lot of fun, and possibly a Messiah solo gig. Then a blissful two weeks off for Christmas and New Years.

Highlights of the past few weeks: OFY tour was a blast. It was great to catch up with my colleagues, and we got to stay in some pretty cool places, including a villa in the forest (somebody's GORGEOUS vacation home 2 hours north of Duluth), and the Madison Hampton Inn, which after Super 8's for two weeks feels like the Ritz Carlton. It was tough to come back to my teaching jobs here, since I haven't been enjoying them much lately, but I made an appointment with my shrink this week to talk it over. I haven't seen her in ages due to budgetary reasons, but I really feel like I need to hash out how I'm feeling about career stuff lately.

Anyways, here's some fun pics from tour:

a somewhat blurry shot of me cooking spaghetti in the villa

my first tour week castmates

at Fitger's Brewery in Duluth

Kristin and I backstage before a show

Other highlights: The Met auditions were fantastic and so much fun. I've never been treated so well at a contest or audition before. We all had our own dressing rooms for the finals! The level of singing and competition was intense: there was a girl from the Chicago Lyric Young Artist Program, a girl who is an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, and lots of other terrific singers. I didn't place, but I was so pleased with how I sang that it didn't even matter. My friend Ryan, who is a countertenor (kind of like a male alto, sings in a female range) won -- he totally deserved it and I was so glad. And how can I compete with a countertenor? :) I won some money for advancing from districts and got some great feedback from judges and audience members, so altogether it was a huge confidence boost when I really needed it.

One not so hot highlight from the past few weeks: My dad has been having some heart problems and has been in the hospital and had a surgery to implant a cardiac defibulator (I have no clue how to spell that). He was born with a hole in his heart and had two surgeries as a child, and while they were checking up on some things they found some problems and had a scary moment where his heart stopped. That was when they decided to implant the defibulator. Anyways, long story short, he was having some blood clots resulting from surgery that landed him in the hospital again. He had to be put on blood thinners for six months. Thankfully, he is doing well now and is recuperating at home. I was able to go there this week to help out and spend some time. So SO glad that my schedule allowed for it. He is doing well but of course prayers are appreciated.

That's all from me! Take time to breathe and enjoy the season. :)