Life Lately

Hi y'all!

It's been a little while since I've shared a newsy update with you and I thought there was no better time than the present!  Here's what I've been up to lately and what I have planned for the summer:

First of all, I finished my first year of doctoral work at Eastman - one year down, two (hopefully, two) years to go!

For the past few weeks (and until my summer class starts in July), I've been focusing on a few professional projects (paper submissions and academic CV, anyone?).  I'm also teaching a few piano students.  Have I mentioned that I love having a little bit of teaching back in my schedule?  I am learning so much being back in school and it's been wonderful to be able to immediately apply new ideas related to teaching and learning.

Over the holiday weekend, we visited SD's hometown of Sandy Hook, CT and enjoyed spending time with his parents, brother (who flew in from Utah), and family friends.  Of course, there was enough good food to feed a small village - everything from a southern-inspired menu of smoked ribs, cornbread casserole, and summer berry pudding to a New England seafood supper.  I even held a lobster!  It was wonderful to be "back home" for a few days.  Read more about our weekend here.

Later this month, we're flying south to NC for Music and Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska (read about last year's trip here).  In addition to a week full of inspiring worship, seminars, and events, we are greatly anticipating fried chicken and sweet tea dinners and at least one pulled pork sandwich from Bogart's in Waynesville (SD will tell you it's the best he's had).  Then, in July we're heading to Chicago for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy - I've been invited to present some of my research on creativity in music learning at two poster sessions and SD is graciously joining me for moral support!  (For those of you that may not know, a poster session is an opportunity for people to display their research and discuss it with others in the field.)  I'm honored to have this opportunity to share my work but I'm also thrilled to finally attend this conference!

Despite the lure of summer travel, Rochester is pretty wonderful this time of year.  The restaurants and coffee shops on Park Avenue become open-air in the summer months, spilling out onto the sidewalks with a very European feel (furry friends welcome).  People sit in the park with their paper bag lunches and books to pass the Noon-time hour.  Personally, we enjoy spending time in the late afternoon/early evening up on the roof of our building, admiring the view and relishing the peacefulness of the summer breeze (we're pretty sure it's a slice of heaven on earth).  There are festivals almost every weekend, celebrating everything from the lilacs in Highland Park to jazz to barbecued ribs and bluegrass to the historic Erie Canal.  We made a summer events calendar just to keep track of it all.  Our summer bucket list includes:

- dinner with friends on the roof - a night out at the Jazz Festival - an evening walk + gelato - homemade carrot cake - exploring a few of the neighboring towns during Canal days - Fried Green Tomato sliders - pleasure reading (just finished reading 7, currently reading EntreLeadership) - take-out taste test between the two leading barbecue places in town

Wishing you all a wonderful summer!