Thursday, April 28, 2011


Okay, maybe its the stress of this week and the end of the school year finally catching up with me, maybe its the pregnancy hormones that are currently taking over my brain...

but I'm just sick and tired of the haters...

I usually have a really thick skin, I usually can hear people talk about me behind my back and I can shrug it off and move on.

I know that the people that talk about you behind your back are usually incredibly insecure and need your love more than your contempt.

So, what do I do? I work at it. I try to love the people that say such hurtful things behind my back. I try my hardest not to say anything mean to them or about them, ever.

But it seems like in the last few weeks that the haters are on hater overload. Every time I turn my back it feels like I hear a hateful or mean comment about me that is whispered.

So my question is...

I try my hardest to love you, I try my hardest to be nice and why do you hate me? What did I ever do to you?

I'm sorry you're so insecure, I'm sorry that you can't get over yourself long enough to get into a practice room and do the work necessary to get to where you think you deserve to be. I'm sorry that you think that I think I'm better than all honesty, I can tell you without restraint that I do not.

Do I have more education...yes, absolutely, but I will never profess to be better than anyone. I have so much work to do.

My "ah" vowel sucks, its a constant struggle for me to make the right shape. I'm still getting used to the way I have to use my breath to produce the sound necessary for my voice to really ring. My Italian diction is horrendous and I really have to work at it and remember where to flip r's instead of roll them and when its open o as opposed to closed. I still have to work really hard in the practice room to learn the intervals in my music...I plunk notes and rhythms just like everyone else, and I do so EVERY DAY...

So why do you hate me? Why do you insist on saying mean things behind my back or rolling your eyes when I'm trying to be helpful to someone who is confused about something?

I know...I know...haters are pretty much always going to hate. I know that not everyone is always going to like or love you. I know that in the real world, the real reality is that there are just mean people...

but sometimes I just want to tell the haters, "I'm sorry, you're not in high school anymore, and that you're not the shiznit in this bigger pond. Nobody cares how many leads you've had in the musicals at John Smith High." Get to the practice room! Prove that you are the shiznit. Prove that you are willing to do the work and get over yourselves long enough to take the advice of your voice teacher instead of doing things the way you want to do them. Stop impeding your own progress!

The ONLY way you will grow as an artist is if you can get over yourself long enough to be true to the music, to let yourself be moved by the emotion of a piece, to let yourself be carried back to memories that may be painful, happy, or sad and share them with the world...To be BRAVE enough to be completely exposed.

Believe me, I'm not perfect at this either, but I have had a taste of it now and then, and I can tell you that it is the most thrilling and freeing experience you will ever have.

You'll get a lot further in this business as a Renee Flemming than as a Kathleen Battle...

I love you. I do. I try so hard, probably too hard, to get you to like me, to try to help you to move forward. You don't have to accept my help or my friendship...but please...stop kicking me when I'm already down.

I'm already hard enough on myself, I don't need anyone else being hard on me too.

How about we all try to love each other and support each other for a change? How about we stop saying mean things behind people's backs because we're insecure and it makes us feel better to tear them down...?

We will all get so much further when we love and support each other than we will get tearing each other down. Not everyone can have a lead role, not everyone can be center stage, but we can all support and encourage the people in the spot light, we can applaud them for their hard work, and we can all help each other to move forward and have a chance to be there.

The minute you stop hating is the minute that love will take over your life and change it for the better.

I still love you haters in spite of it all...I guess in a way this blog is telling you that you've won. In my current pregnant state I just don't have the strength to let your hurtful,mean comments roll off my back anymore. You have drawn tears, but I promise that it won't happen again. I don't want to encourage your behavior. I want to encourage you to love and allow yourselves to move forward.

I don't think I'm the best, I never have...I make mistakes too, lots of them, and I can promise you that I beat myself up over them on a daily basis. You are the ones that decided that I think I'm the best. You're the ones that have made me a villain in your own minds. I promise to continue to love you no matter what. I promise that this is the last I will speak of this. I promise to continue to be nice and try to help you when you need help.

Let's all try to love each other. Let's all try to be friends. Friends are so much better than non-friends and enemies.

I'm sorry if this seems whiney and complainey, but I had to get it off my chest. I need to move forward into this summer thinking about positive things and preparing for my life, and my future to change in a major way.

I'm sure there is someone out there reading this thinking that it is just proof of how full of myself I am. "Oh my gosh, Brittany thinks everyone hates her because she is good. How egotistical!" I can assure you that there is no thought further from my mind. I'm finally just feeling the effects of the wounds of piercing comments said behind my back.

I will be the first to admit how much work I still have left to do. If I thought I was amazing and wonderful I'd probably be out in the "real world" trying to make a career out of this singing thing, not back working on a second undergraduate degree trying to fix my voice and improve my skills. I think Renee Flemming said it best when she said something to the effect of: If you ever think that you are done perfecting your craft, that is the minute you need to stop performing, because we ALWAYS have ways we can be better and improve ourselves.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What do you do?

What do you do when you have a 10 page paper to write for your Independent Choral Conducting Study???

Well, I can tell you what I do....

Start scrapbooking a baby book....
I know....I'm such an example of responsibility... You can start and stop envying at any moment...

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Thought...

As I was sitting at rehearsal for Haydn's Creation last night, the thought struck me like a 2 ton load- How can people not believe there is a God?

I don't know why I thought it, I just did...

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I in no way want to push or force my beliefs on anyone...I respect everyone's beliefs. One thing that my religion teaches is the importance of allowing all men the privilege to worship God as they see fit (or not worship God in this case).

I guess its more of a question for atheist folk out there? What made them decide against a belief in God?

It seems to me that the more education I have, the more my testimony in the existence of God grows.

I cannot believe that all of the order in the universe is a result of some grand coincidence.

Science teaches us that even down to the smallest realm of existence (atoms and below) there are set and intricate rules about how things work.

I look at the beautiful autumn, winter, spring and summer days- I look at the lush green trees and the beautiful vibrant flowers and I think, "What a wonderful gift." The way that these plants grow and work is so intricate and organized, I cannot believe that, again, I can't see how people would just think it was a coincidence out of chaos.

I hear beautiful music, I think of the testament that it brings that we are not alone...the testament that no matter what time you live in, no matter what country, no matter what religion you ascribe to, someone has felt the same way as you...and I can't help but be grateful. Music to me is another testament of God's love- he wanted us to be able to help each other and buoy each other up.

I think about music, I think about the evolution of Western music specifically, with all its intricacies and order and I can't help but feel that it was divine inspiration that led men to be able to come up with a system that writes it down.

I also thought last night about the miracle of the human body. I think about all the things that we still don't know about the brain and how it runs everything, I think about the amazing systems installed in our bodies to maintain order and balance, I think of our abilities to create LIFE...breathing, eating, pooping, sleeping, thinking, feeling LIFE! It is such a miracle, there are so many strict rules that are involved in the creation of life: the timing, the body's temperature...etc., how can it be seen as anything but a miracle? Our ability to create life is the one godly attribute we have on this earth, its proof that we are created in His image...

How is that coincidental?

I know, there may be an atheist out there reading this completely offended, even with my disclaimer...

This is not meant to be offensive. These are honest questions.

I know that there is no "proof" that God exists...or at least what the scientific community would call proof...but to me, all of the aforementioned scenarios are proof... in my mind, there is too much order, too much goodness in this world to believe that God does not exist.

You can't see the wind, but you can FEEL it...I can't see God, but I can feel His presence in my life.

You can detect high and low pressure systems that lead to the creation of maybe all of the order in the universe, maybe all of the beautiful things that surround us are God's high and low pressure systems...telling us that He is present.

Yes, bad things happen...but another thing I have learned since I was little is that this life is meant to test us. This life is meant to give men an opportunity to make good or bad choices for themselves, this life is meant to determine where you will be happiest in the next life, this life is meant to prove if you can handle godly powers and attributes in the next life...

I know, my words will not change the mind of a hardened atheist. I get it... when it comes right down to it, I can't prove that God exists...but no one can prove that He doesn't.

With the approach of Easter Sunday, I want to say how grateful I am for a loving Father in Heaven, who sent his Son as the ultimate proof of his love for us. He loved us so much He wanted us to be able to return to Him. Christ, our older brother, loved us so much that he was willing to suffer more than any man could ever fathom to ensure that we would be able to return home again.

Christ performed miracles using Godly power, I have seen miracles in our time. I have seen my older sister come through horrible health crisis after horrible health crisis, I've been told that she was at death's door, and through the grace and power of God, through priesthood blessings, she was able to regain her health and live to raise her beautiful children. I have been blessed with the life that I now hold inside of me. I have seen love change a man's life. I have seen my step-father break the cycle of abuse that he was raised in. I have seen him, through prayer and personal struggle, be strengthened and made better, more whole, more godly...

and that is what this life is about...coming through trials to become more like God, using the example of our brother, Savior, and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

I know that the rambling above will not change a set opinion on the matter...but I will say that I allow you the privilege to not believe in God, just allow me my privilege to believe...

I love you all, no matter what your the end of the day, good people are still good people, no matter their religion or creed. Everyone has rights to make their own decisions, whether they be good or bad.

With all the scary and sad things that happen in the world, let's try to focus on the good, let's try to foster the good until it becomes a beautiful garden of love that drives the evil, scary, and sad things away. Let's work together to make this world more godly.

Hugs, and deep love until next time darlings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Banishment of Debbie Downer

Hello darlings,

I know its been almost a week since I've written anything...I'm sure you were dying in anticipation waiting for me to write something...anything...

But alas,

I have nothing.

I guess I have kind of felt like I'm morphing with Debbie Downer lately. I really just don't want to bring anyone down with me. I'd rather be trapped by Debbie Downer all by myself than share the same old complaints..

You see, I'm still sick...

Which is probably why the Debbie Downer thing has seemed to take hold of me like the Bubonic Plague...

Everyone keeps telling me that it will end soon... and I look forward to the start of a second trimester, and then there are THOSE people...the ones that tell you that they were sick their entire pregnancy and that, from the sounds of things, you might be in the same boat they were in...

Its at these times that Debbie Downer wraps her monkey arms around my neck and holds on tight, hoping to make her morphing complete.

I have been making an effort to count my blessings when Debbie tries to pull me down into the pit of is an itemized list of a few (because I'm sure you're all dying to count my blessings with me...)

1) I'm having a baby! Hooray! In high school, after they discovered cysts on my ovaries and endometriosis growing on my uterus I was told that I would likely have a very difficult time conceiving. Apparently, according to my midwife, the Metformin that I take for my Insulin Resistance reverses this effect making it possible for me to ovulate and not get cysts...making it possible for me to get pregnant...Hooray for modern medicine. I am so blessed to be sick! (Well, blessed that they discovered my metabolic syndrome so that I could reverse the effects of the illness... not necessarily blessed to BE sick...)

2) We actually discovered one food that doesn't make me nauseous (or if it does, its very slight) Hooray for Lunchables! (Boo that we seem to run out of them in my house too fast...but hooray that we happened upon this discovery. It gives me an opportunity to, atleast once a day, eat something and not feel like I want to die afterwards.)

3) I have the most amazing husband on the planet. I had a major MAJOR cryfest last night. Jeff wrapped his arms around me and tried to assure me that I'm not a horrible wife because my house is a mess and I have been having a hard time taking care of him like I used to. He promised me he would do all the cleaning until the nausea lets up...I am going to try to make sure this is one promise he doesn't have to keep...but he is still sweet to try to offer and make me feel better. He also hands me random amounts of cash and tells me to do whatever I want with it...apparently, after talking to some friends in the music building today, I have discovered that this isn't a common occurrence. I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful, loving man in my life *P.S. its not like I don't get to spend money, it is,after all, OUR money...we make most purchasing decisions together, but if we have cash leftover he gives it to sweet.

4) I have amazing friends. I'm sure they are sick of listening to me complain, but they try their hardest to continue on in the war o' baby disease with me....they make me laugh, make me feel like I'm not a complete failure, and they make me feel like I always have a place that I will fit in. Thanks for being wonderful darlings.

5) I have wonderful parents. They are going to let us move in with them for the summer (or part of it) so that we can save some money for the baby. They said they may even let us stay for the fall semester if that is what Jeff decides he blessed to have them.

This list tends to get larger as the day progresses, these are just my top 5. I'm working on not allowing Debbie Downer to morph with me and trying to feel some semblance of "normal" (if that even exists). I'm not perfect at it yet. There are some moments/hours/days where this early baby disease is almost too much to bear. I just keep trying to remind myself how fortunate I am and no matter what, press on...always pressing on.

I fervently hope that in two weeks I will wake up and magically I will not be nauseous....however, I have faith, that no matter how long I am sick for, it will be worth it in the end.

God loves me, he loves you too...and things always have a way of working themselves out for the best. I truly believe that.

So maybe, just maybe, if you find yourself struggling today, yesterday, next week...try to simply look at your life and see where you are blessed...

You may not have all the answers to why you are experiencing the trials that you are, you may not even be out of the mire yet...but you will, for a moment, an hour, or a day be able to feel better.

When upon life's billows you are tempest toss'd
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does that cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end...

I hope, darlings, that no matter how tough things get you will always be able to remember that there is someone out there that loves you. Whether you believe in God or not, whether you believe in angels or not, LOVE is real...and there are always people around that will love you and support you. I love may be one of my best friends, you may be an acquaintance, you may even be a stranger who happened upon this blog...but I love you! Without hidden agendas, I love you. I love you because everyone deserves love, everyone deserves a friend, or someone to relate to...even if it is someone strange like me...Just give people a chance, surround yourself with positivity, the light will always envelop the darkness and push it away. It WILL GET BETTER...just have enough faith to let it play out. The situation may be horrible, it may be life changing, you may wonder how you can ever survive or get through it...but I promise that after this hurricane of life there will be a double rainbow so beautiful that you will be amazingly grateful for the storm.

Hugs and Loves (minus Debbie Downer) until next time darlings!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Chamber Choir music sits in my folder on my table...

The taxes need to be mailed so we can get our very much needed refund...

I have a 45 minute powerpoint presentation and 2 long research papers to start/finish writing (one is started, the other isn't.)

It seems to me McMonkey McBean doesn't care if I get it done.

McMonkey McBean wants me to sit on the couch, nauseated and drained after a very long day...

I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life...

Except for yesterday, and the day before that...

The Next 4 weeks can't pass fast enough. I'm kind of getting sick of everyone asking if I'm okay when I'm clearly not feeling well and then (in some cases) seeming annoyed when I honestly answer.

I just want my baby bump to come so I can stop feeling like I'm just putting on weight, I want to feel that first flutter of life to make things more real, and I want to actually be able to eat and ENJOY a meal as opposed to what currently happens now...(forcing myself to eat waiting for the inevitable wave of nausea that will overcome my body for the following 2-4 hours).

After a 7:45 AM call for opera this morning, stick a fork in me...I'm DONE.

My sweet husband is in doing the dishes. Part of me knows I should get up and help...but the baby growing part of me is very content to sit very still on this couch and do absolutely nothing.

I keep reminding myself that this will pass. I keep reminding myself that this is just the first test of motherhood. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband who works so hard to take care of me. Things will get better. In a few short weeks I will be feeling my McMonkey McBean practicing soccer, boxing, and other various sports. In a few short weeks, I will be out of school for the summer and I will have time to sleep and take it easy for a bit. In a few short weeks, I will be back at the doctors office getting to actually hear his/her heartbeat for the first time (they can see the heartbeat on the first ultrasound, but its so small that you can't actually hear it).

These things keep me going. I just keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. In spite of everything, in spite of feeling more drained than I ever have before in my life, I know that there are only good things to come. I know that God loves me and that things are working out on his timeline. Yes, I have some tough decisions ahead about school, and life but I just have this overwhelming sense of peace. I don't feel the need to worry too much.

So...I'll just keep sitting on my couch, very still...waiting for the nausea to pass, I may even close my eyes for a few minutes...

And then I will get back to the land of the living..

For now, I choose to let myself feel drained. I deserve it after a long day.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Did No one Ever Tell Me?

Today is one of those days where I think just about anything will make me cry.

I saw the flower arrangements sitting behind the pulpit as conference started and I wanted to cry because they were so beautiful. I thought of President Uchtdorf and how awesome it would be to have him as a friend, and I wanted to cry because it filled my heart with so much joy...I look over at my husband, busily typing on his computer to finish a grant application before Tuesday and I want to cry because I love him so much. I made a fantastic rib rub for the ribs we are going to be grilling tonight. I tasted a bit of it off my pinkie and I wanted to cry because of the wonders of my culinary masterpiece. I look at the ultrasound picture of my sweet little McMonkey McBean on my fridge and I want to cry for many reasons: fear, hope, joy, love, excitement...

I just want to cry...and I don't know why.

I guess this is to be expected. I have been warned by my Midwife that as things progress my hormones will begin to fluctuate even more. So far I've been pretty good at noticing if the thoughts and emotions I've had are really logical...what do I do at these times you may ask?...

I sit very still, and keep my mouth shut (especially when I'm angry for no good reason) I find that it passes and I am able to recognize why the thoughts I'm having are irrational and hormonally/emotionally driven.

You know, I knew about the emotional rollercoaster, I knew about the possibility of being extremely sick (and I have been SICK)...I just wish someone would have told me about some of the other side effects of pregnancy that I was not prepared for...

Most of the women that I know that are newly pregnant usually seem to chipper and excited...I didn't realize what a facade it really was.

I am tired all the time! A few days ago I actually fell asleep standing up (I am not kidding!) I'm supposed to be chipper and excited and full of one ever told me... I guess people just don't like to complain, but, seriously....

Probably TMI (if you're a guy, you may just want to skip the next two paragraphs...) but my boobs hurt, and when they don't hurt they tingle like they're one told me about this joy. I was talking to my older sister on the phone and she asked if I was experiencing this fun symptom...I said yes, a little shocked that she knew, and then she said something to the effect of, "Well, from this point on your boobs are not your own, have fun."

I also grew an entire cup size in a week. I only have 1 bra that fits! I knew they would get bigger eventually, but I didn't think it would happen during the first trimester...ugh...

My food aversions have gone from not being able to handle meat or eggs to not being able to handle anything. I've pretty much just accepted that no matter what I eat I will be nauseous. I knew about morning sickness, but I thought that feeling nauseous all the time was a rare occurrence. I was so mislead its sad...

My friends that have just had babies keep assuring me that its worth it. I believe them, really I do, but am I a horrible person for counting down the next 4 weeks until I hit the second trimester? I know that just because I hit the second trimester doesn't magically mean that I won't be nauseous anymore, I have a friend that is well into her second trimester and the nausea just barely stopped...but a girl can hope can't she?

I also didn't know about this "round ligament pain"...and it HURTS! I will seriously have periods of time (usually no more than 5 to 10 minutes) where I feel like I'm being torn apart in the middle, it moves around from side to side and then will be in the middle of my abdomen for a bit, good times, good times... Amber (my amazing do it all sister who also happens to be a labor and delivery nurse) has assured me that these are normal and to brace myself because they get worse as the baby gets bigger....oh joy!

So...I sit in my apartment, on my emotional rollercoaster, and look for all the good things that are happening so that I can take my focus off of being so darn sick. After my first appointment, I feel so much better about things.

Both of my sisters suffered miscarriages with their first babies. I had been so scared that they would do an ultrasound and there would be nothing there, or there would be no heartbeat. I was preparing myself for the emotional blow. I was so relieved when I saw that little heart beating on the screen. I was so relieved when the ultrasound technician very clearly announced that the baby was "viable". I wanted to cry, but I didn't. I decided I wanted to be selfish and hold all the joy in my heart for as long as possible. The midwife finished the check and told me that everything was good, she even told me I could deliver a 9 pounder if I needed to (here's hoping that this is one area where I have a similar fate to my sisters, we have not had a baby born in my family over 7 pounds.)

I started a patchwork quilt the other day. Jeff and I have decided that we aren't going to find out the gender until the baby is born. Finding gender neutral material was an interesting task, but I think Jeff and I succeeded. We bought these two silly fabrics with funny looking woodland creatures on them. They all have bug eyes and look so confused...the owl has to be my favorite. I will have to take a picture of my progress and the fabric so you all can see it. I think its adorable and because there is an inside joke about the owl between Jeff and me, it makes it all the better. I've also been crocheting baby hats. I need to go get some more yarn so I can make all the decorations for them. I am making a piglet hat, a frog, an owl, and I'm still trying to decide between a cow and a lamb. I am bound and determined to have the cutest newborn pictures ever (I just happen to be fortunate enough to have an awesome photographer *cough Amber *cough who will take them for me for free in their home studio.)

Jeff, of course, has been awesome through it all. Sure, he has his moments of sheer terror (enter the ultra sound where we saw the baby for the first time) but he never fails to make sure I have everything I need. He will let me wrap myself around him and melt into him when I'm feeling sick. Some days I swear I'm like a monkey on his shoulder, but he doesn't seem to mind (and if he does he hasn't said anything.) He simply tickles my back , plays with my hair, and apologizes when he makes food and I start to get sick from the smell...he also pleads for me not to beat him (which would never happen, I'm not a violent person...but he pleads all the same...I just giggle, put my arms around him and give him a big kiss *hoping that it doesn't make me more nauseous- have I mentioned my increased sense of smell...I'm like a pregnant superwoman sometimes, only my increased sense of smell makes me nauseous....*) Jeff has also started kissing my feet when I lay my legs across his lap...I will be sitting there, he will be busy on his computer or something, and then all of a sudden he leans over and gently kisses my toe or the top of my foot...I have to confess I kind of love it...its really the most pure expression of love I've ever experienced. I love that we can just sit together, relax, and out of nowhere he just has to kiss me...

And enter my need to cry again...geez...

Hugs and loves until next time darlings

P.S. I will try to see if I can find a way to post the ultra sound picture. You can't see much, to the untrained eye, it pretty much just looks like a blob, but I promise its my baby...( As Jeff just said, Its MY blob)