Friday Fave: Music for Me

What Can I Do But Love You - Joy Williams

I was on the elliptical machine at the gym listening to Pandora a couple of weeks ago when this song popped up (on the Rihanna channel of all places!). The title was “What Can I Do? (But Love You)” and I was shocked to realize that the singer was Joy Williams from The Civil Wars, one of my very favorite groups.

I immediately downloaded the song from iTunes and listened to the entire EP nonstop for a couple of weeks, and then decided that I wanted to learn to play that first song that had caught my ear at the gym. Unfortunately, the sheet music was nowhere to be found…I couldn’t even find the chords. So I learned it by ear instead.

It’s been a long while since I sat down and played music for myself. By that, I mean music that isn’t new repertoire for my students or for a gig, but purely for my enjoyment. So it felt really good to learn and practice this song, under no pressure or time constraints whatsoever. After a couple days of playing, I decided to record it.

My recording is definitely far from perfect, but the best part is that it doesn’t have to be, since it’s just for me :) Spending the time learning and playing this song was an excellent reminder that I need to do more of this. It’s good for my inner musician and good for the soul!

Week 28

Hellooooo, 3rd trimester! I can’t believe this pregnancy is 2/3 over, and I’ll have a newborn baby in my arms in 12 weeks or less. June seems so far away with all this snow on the ground, but in reality, it’s just around the corner.

I had my 28-week doctor’s appointment last Friday, and got lots of good news: I passed my glucose tolerance test (no gestational diabetes for me) and the baby is growing just about on track! He’s a little on the small size right now, but that’s understandable considering he has smaller parents.

In other baby news, we had to push back the nursery setup yet another week thanks to the snowstorm — we figured it would be silly to have all the carpets cleaned when Sadie was just going to muddy them up again once the snow began to melt. So the carpet is being cleaned on Monday, and then we’ll set up the furniture on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last weekend we took a whirlwind trip to Chicago for Zach’s AAA awards banquet, where he was named “Agent of the Year” for the 4th year in a row. Here we are displaying the latest trophies he added to the huge collection.

This weekend will be relatively calm, and it will be nice to spend time with our families for Easter. It’s fun to think about having a little guy around next Easter to dress up in cute clothes!

Rock, Rock, Rockin’ Around

Animal Rock

What do fish, turtles, ducks, and pigs have in common? The answer: they all have starring roles in my latest song, Animal Rock. I’ve already written about my new favorite instruments and how they inspired me to write this tune, but there are lots of other objectives that can be targeted at the same time.

Animals fly
Animals walk
Animals run
And animals rock
They move to the music
Rock, rock, rockin’ around

All the fish are splashin’
Splash! Splash! Splash!

All the turtles are crawlin’
Crawl! Crawl! Crawl!

All the ducks are quackin’
Quack! Quack! Quack!

All the pigs are oinkin’
Oink! Oink! Oink!


Just a few of those objectives include sound and movement imitation, taking turns, vocalization, creative expression…the list goes on. One of the coolest parts of being a music therapist is developing interventions that address several different goals at a time. It’s no coincidence that so many of us are master multitaskers!

Week 27

At 27 weeks, I am enjoying the LAST few days of my 2nd trimester and getting ready for the final stretch! Finally! These last couple of weeks have been relaxing (or at least as relaxing as my life gets), and I am savoring every last second because that’s going to end soon.

Beginning in April, we have a big vacation to go on, three baby showers, and LOTS of baby prepping to do. It’s all fun and exciting, but it also sort of makes my head spin thinking about it. The rest of March is pretty low key, although we are heading to Chicago on Saturday for Zach’s company awards banquet. Next weekend will be almost entirely devoted to nursery decorating (oh, and celebrating Easter too).

We go back to the doctor for my monthly check-up this Friday, and I’ll also be taking my glucose tolerance test. Fingers crossed that the results are negative for gestational diabetes. After that, I start going every 2 weeks instead of every 4. Fun stuff!

Playroom Planning

This was dubbed the “circus room” when we moved in, for obvious reasons. Originally there was a multi-colored wallpaper border which we removed and toned down just a little with a blue stripe…but it didn’t take away from the “circusness” of the room.

At one point, I had big plans to turn this into a workout room, and we even set up a TV so I could do my Jillian Michaels workout in it. But since I go to the gym in the mornings and ride my bike regularly (when I’m not pregnant), I didn’t really need to add any extra workouts to my schedule.

Now that we’re starting to accumulate toys and baby gear, we have all the motivation we need to turn the “circus room” into a playroom. And it will definitely NOT be circus-themed!

From the start, I had a clear vision of what I want this room to look like. Normally I shy away from really bold colors, but since this is going to be a playroom and it’s in the basement, I’m feeling a little braver than usual. Which is why I chose this color (Bayside by Valspar) for the walls:

It will probably look a little darker on the walls, especially since there aren’t any windows in the room, but I think it’s going to be perfect! The accent color in the room will be bright red, so we’ll keep the existing fan/light fixture…but the red floor must go! We haven’t picked out the new flooring yet, but we’re thinking of something fairly neutral that will complement the bright colors.

The nursery is our #1 priority right now, but the playroom is next on our list. The painter will be here in a few weeks, so I’ll update with pictures once he’s finished!