Is it really 2014? Crap…

Accepting my Bluejacket of the Quarter commendation letter

Accepting my Bluejacket of the Quarter commendation letter in July

Well, another year in the books.  This year went by very fast!  I think its true, that the older you get, the faster time goes.  I kind of wish that it was the other way around.  Not that I hated my childhood, I just think that adulthood is way more fun.

Receiving my Bluejacket of the Year commendation letter a few weeks ago.

Receiving my Bluejacket of the Year commendation letter a few weeks ago.

Lets see, what happened in 2013?  Well, I started really excelling at work, getting Bluejacket of the Quarter for the 2nd quarter of 2013, and coming away with Bluejacket of the Year for 2013!  Now if only I can get promoted…

I did some pretty cool gigs this year too…going on the road and playing a concert with the woodwind quintet in South Carolina, the Tattoo in April, being on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor on NPR, a couple of ship commissionings, and the christening of the newest aircraft carrier, to name a few.  Wow, my job is cool!

I just had to take a picture of the sign out side Mr. Keillor's dressing room, haha.

I just had to take a picture of the sign out side Mr. Keillor’s dressing room, haha.

Ben and I also celebrated 5 years of marriage this year, now talk about time going by fast!  Its crazy.  We celebrated by running a race…well race for me, and races for him.  It was this race in Williamsburg.  We both ran the 8k on Saturday and he ran the 1/2 marathon on Sunday.  It’s pretty cool to see how much each of us has changed in five years…neither of us would have dreamed that this is how we would celebrate our fifth anniversary!

Ben and I after the 8k, celebrating our anniversary.

Ben and I after the 8k, celebrating our anniversary.

Speaking of running, I completed my 2nd half marathon in September, bouncing back from an injury that kept me from running for the first half of the year.

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Enjoying my well deserved beer after running 13.1 miles in just about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

2013 also saw one of my best friends finally tie the knot.  It was wonderful to be able to go home to Colorado to be there!  Not only did I see the guy

that was in my bridal party (yes, I had a brides-man) finally marry the girl of his dreams, but I also reconnected with many old friends.  You know when you have good friends when a large amount of time passes between seeing each other, but it feels like no time has passed.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have so many people like that in my life.

I also was able to dive back into chamber music, being a member of the WWQ at work, and playing the Reinecke Horn/clarinet trio for a  chamber music recital with a friend.  It’s that sort of stuff that reminds me of why I do what I do, and why I work so hard at it.  I have a recording of our performance of the Reinecke up on the audio section of my media page.

Me and my long time girlfriends (and my awesome sister in the front!)

Me and my long time girlfriends (and my awesome sister in the front!)

This summer I got the opportunity to go home to Colorado for a whole two weeks!  It was great.  I really miss that place.  Ben and I got to get away from family for a couple of days and spent some time in Breckenridge.  Our hotel was beautiful!  And cheap…off season prices.

Seriously, how awesome a view is that?

Hotel view in Breckenridge.  Seriously, how awesome a view is that?

And my sister and I finally did what we had been wanting to do/talking about for a long time…a sister trip to Las Vegas!  We were only there for a couple days, but we had a blast.  We even took a trapeze class!

I returned from vacation to take on what was probably the biggest challenge that I had this year…teaching the woodwind section at a local high school’s marching band.  Whew, I sure didn’t know what I was getting into!  But it was worth every minute, every stress headache, and every frustration.  It showed me how much satisfaction I get from teaching!  This is a video of their final performance at nationals in November (I’m so proud of how far they came this year!):

Last big thing I did this year was take the President’s Own audition. It has occurred to me that I never posted my “post-audition thoughts”, perhaps because I was so frustrated with how I did. Long story short, I did not do as well as I had hoped, or as well as I knew I could. I mentally sabotaged myself…AGAIN. So, part of my goals for 2014 is to really dive into matching my mental state during high pressure situations to my mental state during relaxed situations. I seem to over-think and become super aware of what I am doing in these high pressure situations, and that’s exactly what happened during the audition and I flubbed a note in the Mozart.  A stupid note.  The Mozart that I have played perfectly a billion times over.  You see the frustration?  I could see my dreams flying away in that audition room.

So…2014.  What am I going to do with you?  Well, on the musical front, I would like to do a recital this year sometime.  I know I say that every year, but I’m gonna do it this year!  Other than that I want to  focus more on actions instead of goals…I was motivated by this article I saw in my Facebook feed:

http://zenhabits.net/no-goal/

It makes sense!  So my “goal” for 2014 is to practice fundamentals, no matter how much, at least 6 days a week.  I’m going to not care about the end result.  I figured that’s my problem, I’m too concerned with the end result!

On a personal front, me and Ben are going to see a lot of changes in 2014…about a month ago I received word on probable orders to leave Norfolk.  I’m not going to say to where just yet, just because I don’t have the orders in writing.  Things are never certain in the military!  But nevertheless, I’m very excited.  Sad to leave all the opportunities I’ve created for myself here, but still excited.

I’m trying to get back in the groove, I’ve been pretty sick the past week (the week that I was going to start practicing again, hmmmf.) so its been a little difficult.  But I’m back to work on Monday whether I like it or not!  (or whether I’m ready or not!)  Go go gadget 2014!

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