Nuts

The past week in a word? Nuts.

Class, work, opera rehearsals, gym, opera rehearsals, catching up with friends, opera rehearsals, boyfriend in town, opera rehearsals, etc, etc, etc…

I’m already onto the second week of school, and I’m slowly getting into the swing of things, but I know there’s going to be a lot going on this semester. So much so, that I’ve had to do some pruning in my life. I put in my two-week notice for the part-time job I’ve had for the last year. It was a tough decision to make, but ultimately, school work and my sanity have to take priority, and both would suffer if I held onto it. I hope to return next semester, if my schedule allows. In the meantime, I’ve started teaching a handful of voice students, which is a great way to make some extra money doing something I love!

And workouts? Well, I’m not about to let those disappear, so I’ve been running or getting to the gym around 6:30 am most mornings (except for this morning… I may or may not have forgotten to turn my alarm on… boo). Let me tell ya, when I miss that morning work out, I can tell! My energy level is low on the mornings I don’t exercise. And can I just say how excited I am that glorious fall weather is approaching? There’s nothing quite like running on a crisp, chilly fall morning. I can’t wait! 

Finally, I have to say that, while I hope to keep blogging regularly, I’m not sure how often or regularly I’ll be able to post (for now). It’s something that I’ve enjoyed immensely, and I’ll do my best to keep up with it as much as I can. Could I take five minutes every day to ramble off random thoughts in order to put a post out there? Sure. But I’d rather blog less often and have more substancial things to say.

For now, I appreciate you reading through my babbling, picture-less, “omgimsobusy” post. There are so many exciting things happening this fall, and I hope to share them with you as much as I can! Have a great Wednesday evening!

 

Back to school… back to school…

Well, it’s that time of year… back to school! Today is the first day of class, and right now I’m in between my morning classes and my first Don Giovanni coaching!! I can’t believe it!

I’ve been horribly neglectful of my blog (and to be honest, it’s a miracle I have a moment to sit down to write now!), but I’m hoping within the next week or so I’ll settle into my schedule and find a little more time to blog. I wish I could say I’m going to get back to blogging almost everyday like I was over the summer, but I really have no idea what this semester is going to be like and how much free time I’ll have. But I’ve enjoyed blogging a lot and will do my best to carve out the time. :)

As I mentioned in my last post, Jamie’s been in town since last week, and it’s been so great having him around Ann Arbor! He’s finally seen my little apartment, and we’ve been having fun seeing his family and friends outside of Detroit and mine here in A2. It’s been a lot of back and forth, but I don’t mind a bit!

I’ve been keeping my workout schedule as consistent as I can, but I’m not making it a top priority while the semester starts and Jamie’s in town. The two of us did go on a nice run yesterday morning in Gallup Park, and I went to the gym early this morning to do a leg workout and some cardio on the elliptical.

So pretty :)

And to update you on my jaw-clenching situation, I bought an over-the-counter mouthguard from Walgreens the other night.

 

 

I’ve actually woken up a few times over the past two nights to find that I’ve spit out the mouthguard, but my headaches haven’t been as bad; hopefully I’ll get used to it and keep it in through the whole night. I hope to check out getting a custom guard from the dentist at some point.

Well, I’m gonna grab a snack before heading back to school for my first opera rehearsal (yay!), a voice lesson with one of my students, and then trivia with Jamie and some of his friends from high school! Have a great rest of the day!

I figured it out…

Hello! It’s been one productive day, and it’s nice to be able to sit down for a second and write a post! It definitely feels like a race to the end of summer and the first day of class on Tuesday… is it bad that I’m stressing out before the semester has even started?

Jaw Clenching

I know I mentioned before I left for Texas that I’ve been having headaches on a regular basis, and I think I figured out the cause… I’ve been clenching/grinding my teeth at night. :( I’ve woken up several times with my jaw clenched or feeling tight, and it’s something I need to fix ASAP.

Not only do the headaches stink, but jaw tension + singing = no bueno. A significant part of a singer’s technical training deals with releasing tension in the the body, particularly the head and neck… that’s the lips, facial muscles, tongue, shoulders and yes, the jaw. Any tension in these areas creates tension in our sound, when what the audience wants to hear is free, clear and vibrant singing.

I’m going to look into getting a mouthguard fitted at the dentist (I don’t even want to think about how much that’ll cost!), and in the meantime, I might pick up a mouthguard that I can boil and mold at home. Additionally, I want to try a little nighttime yoga and turn off my computer earlier before bed to help have a more relaxed sleep. If anyone has any experience with grinding teeth and possible treatments, please let me know!

Despite clenching being the cause of my headaches, I did take several days off from working out when I left for Texas. Let me tell ya, I needed it! It felt so good to give my body a break. I took about four days off, and then headed to the gym in Texas three or four times during the week. I’m back to my regular schedule now, but I felt like I had pressed my reset button!

Welp, I’m headed to meet a friend at Whole Foods for some salad bar action, and then I’m picking this guy up at the airport!! We usually see each other only every two months or so, so I’m spoiled to see him twice in one month! Catch ya later! :)

Jamie’s Winging

I’m back in gold ol’ Michigan, and back to the grind, as well. I’ve got a week before classes start, so I’ve got lots to do to get ready!

But first a recap of my trip to Texas…

That trip was great (as usual!), and quite busy! Usually when I’ve been down to Texas over the past year and a half or so, it’s been lots of lounging around and downtime. But with the winging ceremony and all of the events surrounding it, we had a lot on the agenda!

I arrived on Sunday night, and Jamie and I had Monday and Tuesday to hang out and have some time to ourselves before his family arrived. We made pizzas on Monday night (sorry, I didn’t take pics!), and headed to Corpus Christi for date night after lounging at the pool during the day.

First stop in Corpus…

Cavender’s!

I had never been before, and had to check it out! Jamie and I were both thinking of buying a pair of boots, but more than anything we wanted to check out all the Texas-ness.

Jamie ended up buying a pair (not the ones in the picture), and while I loved the boots above, they didn’t have my size. But I took down the information if I want to order them. :)

After Cavender’s, we headed downtown to have dinner at Water Street Oyster Bar.

We started off with oysters, of course!

Jamie approved!

Next came dinner…

Shrimp and vegetable skewers for me, surf and turf for him!

Jamie’s family came into town on Wednesday (they drove from Michigan… wow!). After hanging out with them on Wednesday, we picked his brother up from the airport on Thursday and had lunch in Corpus Christi.

That night, we all attended a cocktail party at on of the Commanding Officer’s house in honor of all of the “wingees” (the officers receiving their pilot’s wings). I regret not taking any pictures, but we had a great time mingling and meeting everyone’s families!

Friday was the big day, and it started with a session in the base’s flight simulator! This is an important tool used for training pilots, and the best way I can describe it is that it’s like a scaled down Imax movie theatre, with a T-45 cockpit that the pilot uses to practices given flight scenarios before hopping in a real plane. But for those of us that aren’t training, it was like playing an amazingly awesome video game.

I tried to “land” on this aircraft carrier and crashed. I’ll stick with singing.

Fast forward to Friday evening, and it was time for the winging ceremony!

Blurry… sorry!

The ceremony was followed by a big group dinner and the winging party at night at the Officer’s Club!

It was an awesome way to end the day. All of the wingees had a lot to celebrate and a lot to be proud of!!

If you’ve read this far, thanks! I’ll wrap it up this very loooong post, because I’ve got some studying to do for some testing I have to do before classes start. Have a great night!

Goodbye, Kingsville

I’ve had quite a week here in Texas, and I apologize for my absence! Jamie and I are savoring our first (and probably last) bit of downtime before I leave; between Jamie’s family being in town and all of the festivities surrounding his winging ceremony on Friday, we’ve been pretty busy! I’ll write a full recap next week, but I wanted to check in while I had a minute!

Jamie’s now a bonafide naval pilot! Now that he’s done with training, he’ll be flying the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA.

(source)

Jamie’s so excited to be able to fly the Super Hornet; it’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m so happy for him!

We’re getting ready to take Jamie’s bro to the airport, but I’ll be sure to share more details about the week within the next few days! For now, I’m going to enjoy my last day in Kingsville… next time, I’ll be traveling to Cali!

Noggin’ woes

My crazy week is so close to being done, but I have a shift at work and church tomorrow morning to push through before I head to Texas! I’ve been hard at work all week to ensure my vacation is as stress-free as possible. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in two tutoring sessions, lots of practice AND I finished my recording! I still have to edit it, but the tracks are recorded, on my computer and ready to be finished up and sent to Young Artist Programs!

Unfortunately, for the past few days I’ve been dealing with some pretty bad headaches. I’ve never really dealt with what I think are mild migraines, so I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Exercise-wise, although I’ve shifted to more weight training, I don’t feel that it’s intense enough to cause headaches. I’m pretty good at drinking a lot of water, so I think dehydration’s out, and my sleep hasn’t really changed.

The only things I can think of are that I’m either clenching my teeth at night, which can cause tension headaches, or I might not be taking in enough calories. The latter I can definitely work on; clenching at night might be harder to identify.

Sorry to babble about my noggin’, but I’m really hoping it’s something I can fix without medication. For now, I’ve cut out caffeine and alcohol, and I’m taking a break from working out for the next few days. Hopefully some relaxation time in TX will do the trick!

Well, it’s time for me to start packing! I can’t wait for my trip!! Have a wonderful weekend!

Hey good girl

It’s already Wednesday?? Where has this week gone? I’ve been running around like a mad-woman since my sisters left… going to work, rehearsing for my recordings, study (kinda) for theory, gym, new voice student, yada yada. But I have the next two days off from work! It’s still filled with errands and random stuff I have to get done, but at least I have a moment to sit down and blog!

Here’s a recap of my workouts the past few days:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: 30-minutes on elliptical, chest and tricep workout

Tuesday: 3.5 mile run, back and bicep workout

Wednesday: Leg and calves workout, spinning class (that’s the plan)

Like I mentioned before, I’m only roughly following the exercise portion of the LiveFit program. I’ve taken these exercises and rearranged them into supersets, and I’m not following the diet plan. I also plan on doing another long run on Friday!

Sorry to keep this short, I’m off to meet a friend for coffee and then give him a lift to the airport! Then it’s back here to get to the gym, go to theory tutoring and hopefully get a little practicing in. Exciting day, huh?

Although, what is exciting is that in about three weeks, I’ll get to dive head-first into Don Giovanni! I cannot wait to sing this bad boy (first minute of video):

Translation?

Happy Wednesday!