First...Day 19 - A talent of yours
I have played the piano since I was 5, and the guitar since sometime in high school (ish). I was very fortunate to be taught by a phenomenal piano teacher growing up...her name is Kathy Kochheiser and I started taking lessons from her when I was in Kindergarten, and continued until my Senior year of high school. I learned how to read music and did mostly classical pieces while I was taking lessons....I have never been all that great at playing by ear. Not that I can't memorize stuff...I actually have a song or two still memorized from things I played back in junior high and high school...haha. But by playing by ear, I mean I can't just listen to a song on the radio and pick out the chords and play it. I WISH I could do that...I admire people that have that talent!
Once I got to college, however, I did start trying to learn to play the piano from chords...as in...just seeing the letters "A", "C#", "G", "Em", etc., I finally started to learn how to fill in from the chords and make it sound like an actual song. I think it helped that I had started to teach myself how to play the guitar as well, which I just learned how to play chords from the beginning. Unfortunately, I can't finger-pick at all, but again, WISH I could and admire those who do :)
I also love to sing. I never had any kind of vocal lessons of any sort...I have just always loved music, and even as a kid I can remember holding my hairbrush in my bedroom with the music up loud and I'd belt it out when nobody was home. As I got older, I started to actually sing in front of people...starting with singing with the band at my youth group on Wednesday nights. I also had the opportunity to sing/play for a children's camp one summer, a couple of different mission trips, and two of the churches I've been really involved in.
Anyways...I'd say probably my Junior year at NSU I started trying to write songs. Still to this day I have probably only written 5 or 6 total (lyrics and music)...and I wish I had more time to focus on it, because I really do enjoy it. I usually get inspired by a couple words I either hear or somehow formulate in my head. Then from there, I just try to expand on that thought and tell a story. Every song I've ever written has been either for, to or about someone I know. I've never been able to just come up with some random song...everything I've written has had some sort of inspiration.
Here are a two of the songs I am probably most proud of. They were self recorded in my apartment, so please excuse the pitchy vocals once in a while :)
This one is called Fearlessly. I wrote it both for my Little Stevie, and for myself. We had very different stories for sure with different people, but in a way, they were similar. We are both the type of person who gives their all to a relationship...there is either in or out, no in between. But sometimes, you just have to come to the realization that if a person does not love you the same way you love them, you should cut your losses and get out. We both finally realized that we had much more to offer than what we were being treated like, and we owed it to ourselves to recognize that we deserved so much more. This song is a few years old now, and I can honestly say that now, we are both much happier, healthier people...and we are both with people that love us the way we deserve to be loved...maybe even more than we deserve. But hey, I think I can speak for both of us here...we'll take it! ;)
This song is called Loudly Unspoken. I wrote it back in like...2008...and it was inspired by my roommate at the time, Cortney. Cortney is an absolutely beautiful person, inside and out. But for some reason she is one of those girls that is a magnet for jerks. I just know that one day some cute boy is going to find her and be absolutely amazed at how lucky he is to have her...if he doesn't, this song goes to him, and he doesn't deserve to breathe :)
Anyways...that is a talent of mine, probably one I am most proud of. Now for Day 20!
Day 20 - A hobby of yours
As usual, I can't pick just one. So I'll do two...ish...the second one is just going to have sub-parts :D
1) I am a compulsive coupon cutter-outer. I try to buy the Sunday paper every week (sometimes I forget though...boo :( ...) just to cut out the coupons. Seriously, the Sunday paper here is $1.25, and by cutting out coupons I have saved anywhere for $3/week to $22/week just by using coupons on things I would buy ANYWAY! (That's the kicker...coupons don't really save you money if you buy a bunch of crap you would never buy without the coupon...) I also subscribe to emails by Groupon, although I have yet to find a super amazing deal I just can't live without yet (It doesn't help that there is not a Fayetteville Groupon...the closest one to me is Tulsa...). I'm also trying to get more coupons online. I am new to this, so if you have any advice or really good website for it, let me know! I need to get some ink for my home printer so I can start printing online coupons! But anyways...this is definitely a hobby of mine. A dorky one, but a hobby nonetheless. I love being thrifty, and am always looking for new ways to be frugal and save a little cash!
2) The best way I can some up my second hobby...is being active!
I have played soccer since I was 7, and for the past few years have been playing on a city women's league and a couple of indoor leagues here and there. It is hard to stay in soccer shape, and I can definitely tell I'm getting older...but even if I'm not quite as good as I once was, I still have a blast playing! I miss being able to play on a more competitive level!
Another activity I have come to enjoy is running! I could never say it's "fun", because let's face it, running just for the sake of running is not "fun"...but I ran my first 5K exactly a year ago this coming weekend. I can honestly say I never thought I would pay money to run, but I do...and I just signed up for my first 2011 5K coming up next weekend, the St. Patrick's Day Run in Tulsa, to benefit the Special Olympics. THAT is how I justify spending money to run...I am helping out a good cause, and I usually get a free T-shirt ;) I don't always pay to run...sometimes I just do it for free. Fayetteville has these AWESOME bike trails everywhere...they go through almost the entire town, and they are perfect for running (or biking I suppose...haha)! I have had a hard time getting back into it because I hate running inside, but I also hate cold. But on days that the weather is nice, I am going to get my butt back in shape and get back into it! Time to put that fancy Garmin watch my awesome boyfriend bought me for Christmas to good use...I love that thing!
And last but not least...walking my precious Pit Bulls :) I will be honest, I have not been very good about walking them very often in the past, but I have just recently started trying to take them for more walks. They are both so strong that it is hard to take the on walks at first, because (my fault, because I didn't spend enough time with them on leashes as puppies) they are not very good on leashes for the first 5 minutes or so of the walk. I would really like to get to where I can run with them! They really love (and need) the exercise, but it is so hard with two of them, especially because my male likes to go fast, and my female runs a slower pace, about what I typically would for a 5K...so you put that together, and you end up with me practically running sideways! haha. But this is a new hobby that I am hoping to be more intentional about! Especially because I will be moving to California this summer for about 12 weeks and will likely be living in an apartment, so if I get to take them (that's a whole other blog waiting to happen!) with me, they are definitely going to need the activity!
This turned out to be really long...sorry about that! But hey, I had to get two days in...I am running behind!
Have a wonderful day and enjoy the weather for the next few days...it is supposed to be nice! :) :) :)