Monday, November 25, 2013

Being so very thankful.

 I'm getting to the home stretch of finishing college and Matt has been getting ready for grad school auditions. This combination has not been very fun. I am however, grateful for this education journey and very excited to see where we will go.
November is a prime time to think about gratitude. This year I decided to use facebook as a way to broadcast this gratitude. Every day this month I have said what I was thankful for. So since I haven't updated the blog lately here is a compilation of those posts.

Nov 1. I'm thankful for Heather Hall's Pumpkin chili, Rachel Graves's new years resolution advice, Matt Burri's breakfast making skills, and my fuzzy blanket.

Nov 2 I'm thankful for Emmie, bubbles, party party bang bang, and watching for airplanes at the park. Being an aunt is so fun.

Nov 3 I'm grateful for God's plan of happiness.

Nov 4. I'm thankful for my job. Teaching music is incredibly rewarding.
Nov 5. I'm grateful for a roof over my head and clean dishes!
Nov 6. I'm grateful for a husband who brings flowers home just because.
Nov 7 I'm grateful for my sisters who all happened to have dyed their hair red. Andrea Graves Rachel Graves Danielle Burri
Nov 8 I'm grateful for my camera.
Nov 9 I'm grateful for my students who work really hard to learn music! I'm so excited to see most of them perform today!!!
Nov 10 I'm grateful for my dad and salmon. He actually drove me to the salmon film festival in ft bragg.
Nov 11 I'm grateful for all my friends and family in the military! Thank you!
Nov 12 I'm thankful for the beautiful weather today and jim gaffigan's book "Dad is Fat".
Nov 13 I'm thankful for my education and for sjsu.
Nov 14 I'm grateful for fall. There is beauty in falling leaves and fresh starts.

Nov 15 I'm grateful for my brothers. They are some of my best friends!Taylor Graves Allen Graves
Nov 16 I'm thankful for lazy days and persimmons.
Nov 17 I'm thankful for our heater!
Nov 18 I'm thankful my parents paid for piano lessons all those years!
Nov 19 I'm thankful for the rain and these 1$ advent calendars at trader joes!
Nov 20 I'm thankful Matt Burri could meet for lunch today. I'm so glad I married that guy.
Nov 21 I'm thankful for girls night and cheese.
Nov 22 I'm thankful for food. Yum.
Nov 23 I'm grateful for andys pet shop which lets me pretend I own them.
Nov 24 I'm grateful for my mother- in-law and father-in-law. They are good people.
Nov 25 I'm grateful for the internet. 

What are you grateful for? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October: The greatest month of the year!

There are so many reasons to love October! (Including my birthday) Here are a five more!

1.This DELICIOUS pumpkin pie resses recipe my sweet friend introduced to me!

2.  I actually decorated in our studio!!! Low budget/minimalist class. 

3. We ended up at octoberfest by accident on my birthday! There were so many doxies. They had a doxie costume contest and a race! I was in Heaven.
I'm adoring these colors and the simplicity of the graphics. 

5. General Conference! Twice a year leadership from the church (including the prophet) give talks geared to all the of the members of the LDS church. This Talk and This Talk and This Talk have been on my mind lately. I love going back and listening to them again. They are so inspiring! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

update on my life.

Dear world,

If I haven't seen you in a while it's because I've been stuck at home doing homework.I was lucky enough to catch a break when Taylor invited me to come with him to oddball comedy fest and enjoy this.
 My older brother is the best.When you get older it's hard to spend time with your siblings. I know it will be even harder when we move. I'm just so grateful that I got to spend some quality time with that guy, especially on a week of homework woes (not to be confused with woo which is what the video talks about).

Any who, life has been taken over by my stupid GE classes and the homework is non-stop ridiculous. However, with the help of my sweet husband I've managed to stick to my diet.. transformation and still lost two pounds this week. I went on walks but really didn't have any hard core exercise. Which proves you really are what you eat. Seriously though, my husband is the best. He really helped out around the studio this week and kept things clean, made me dinner, folded and put away all the laundry, washed all the dishes (with no dishwasher this is a feat) invited me to go on walks and even gave me ideas for what to eat, listening to me complain, and over all helping me to stop being so stressed. I found a keeper.

All in all, I'm less stressed and more grateful. Now excuse me while I go do some more homework.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

the color run!

I did one of those color runs, finally, where they throw color on you as you run a 5k. My friends I signed up with originally, bailed so I ran the race the race myself until the last leg quarter mile of the run, where my friend linda showed up out of nowhere and ran the it with me! I dropped my old camera, and what you see above is my photo shoot at home post-race, pre-shower. 

After the race I took a little nap and was woken up by my sweetheart who actually liked my idea of froyo! (he is usually all about saying no to froyo). So we walked downtown in the beautiful sunshine and ate a ton of yogurt. We ran in to some anti-bullying concert in the park and watched that for a minute, and then walked home through the city.  Once home we decided on pizza and Men in Black for the rest of the night. I haven't eaten pizza in a while because of my chris powell life transformation (i hate saying diet) and i enjoyed every bite. But this morning I could see why pizza is cheat meal. I feel sluggish and i know its because of what I ate yesterday. All is well! I still ate  a good portion size and I have decided to finally start that 10k training. 

Matt and I have decided that on thanksgiving and christmas (overeating holidays), we want to make it a tradition to do something active together. (ie Last Thanksgiving- my first 5k) So this thanksgiving matt recommended a 17 mile bike loop he's wanted to try. I am all for it. For christmas I want to run that 10k. Instead of doing the race thing we're just gonna use technology and map it and time it ourselves. So now I've got 15 weeks to train. Merry Christmas to me! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What are tender mercies?

In my institute class this week we studied the tender mercies of the Lord. I've heard this phrase a lot on sundays, in scriptures and in talks but I never realized that there are tender mercies in my life everyday. What are tender mercies?

This talk explains it beautifully.

Today it was simple but it's like i could see Heavenly father looking down and winking,  and not in the teasing way but the way my mom would wink at me and say "I love ya." Those winks are the best. Tender mercies are those winks from Heavenly Father. Lately I've been more aware of these tender mercies.

I know my heavenly father is very aware that I want to get healthy, and exercise and eat well (I pray about it all the time). It sounds silly, but this has been a struggle for me in the past, and I really want to take care of my body. I feel like lately, he has been helping me make it possible. This morning I woke up and realized that I had very little time between school and work to finish the homework that needed to be done. I knew that my cycling class would have to be put off for today. That bummed me out significantly. But then miracles of miracle I get an email saying my 4 hour class is canceled later today.

Coincidence? No, that is a tender mercy of the Lord.

I know my Heavenly Father loves me.

Monday, September 9, 2013

7 ways my smart phone and the internet helped me loose 25 pounds.

"I will never been athletic."  I let myself believe this for too much of my life. I never ran very fast miles in school and I thought that meant I wasn't born with the right genes to run fast. What a terrible lie to believe!
The last year has been an incredible transformation of my lifestyle. A lot of this transformation was aided by the internet and my smart phone. Now that my smart phone is starving for batteries and won't stay on for more than 30 seconds I've downgraded to a normal working phone. My plan is up in October so I've got 3 weeks left of this smartphone void. My run this morning got me thinking about how much my smart phone and the internet have helped me loose weight and get healthy!
1.I had read a blog (making it lovely) that was talking about bucket lists, and when you get the chance to cross off something from your list, the blogger challenged you to go for it. One night I decided to make my bucket list and one of the the things I wrote was to run a 5k. NO WALKING. so the next morning when my voice teacher asked if I wanted to run the turkey trot with her, it had to be done.

2. This was when my teacher encouraged me to download the couch 2 5k ap on my phone and get running! It was great because I always felt like I was pushing myself, but the program takes it slow enough that I wasn't overwhelmed. 

3. Mile-a- day posts. If you click above these posts you can see a compilation of some of my #mileaday pictures I posted on instagram. I got this idea from ANOTHER BLOG (Elsie Blaha enJOY it) which reminds me- for all my mile a day cheerleaders I've taken a break and I don't currently have a smart phone, but I'll be back to doing mile a day soon.

4. One of my favorite websites/ aps is Map My Run I don't document runs like I could but i use it to map out my miles. When I have a smart phone again I'll be downloading this free very helpful ap once again.

5. Most recently the Tv Show Extreme Weight loss has made a major impact on me. I actually went and borrowed Chris Powells first book from the library. AMAZING. This was just the book I needed to encourage better eating habits.  I bought the newest one on Amazon and it is on its way!

6. I met Jenae from Hungry Runner Girl and talked to her like twice the whole time she lived in the bay area. Her blog is all about running. she is incredibly cheerful and motivating in real life as much as she is on her blog. So cool to meet a blogger like that!

7. Loose it! Another ap that is helpful. I didn't necessarily use it regularly but I did like the checking about how many calories I had burned with certain exercises.

Right now in my life I feel very athletic and strong and hope only to get stronger!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A quick check in

   I have so many photos i want to edit and share on here but i also have so much homework to do so I compromised and I'm just checking in. This semester is my very last semester at the SJSU. I am much more than a little excited to be done. Being a music major means that right from the beginning of your education you take music classes. And the music classes are limited and only offered at certain times. SO i had to put off taking Environmental Science since the start, along with Geography, and Geology.
   I thought this semester would be easy for some reason. But i am exhausted and overwhelmed. I don't have class on friday and took the day to do homework. I wasn't finished. I took 3 hours on Saturday to do more homework. Still not finished. After Church today I'll come home and do even more homework. Some of the Homework is actually do at 11:59 tonight.

   Thanks Technology. You don't even give me the option of staying up late.

   Any who I am thoroughly bummed about my school workload this semester. I'm only taking 14 units. I feel more than a little trapped.

   on a more positive note - Institute Book of Mormon class is the highlight of my week along with bootcamp, cycling, zumba, swimming, and walks. Next week I'm running one of those color 5ks. I haven't run long distance for a while, but i think with the rest of the cardio I'm doing I'll be just fine. I am also loosing weight on the Chris powell diet. Which is weirdly enough making me eat way more regularly than i'm used to and I'm not hungry on it.

   lastly I'll share some of the family photos i took this memorial day of my immediate family. I love taking photos and editing. I think I just found my new favorite hobby.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary! For our 2nd wedding anniversary Matt and I decided to replace presents with a vacation! Thus our Utah/yellowstone/river-rafting trip was planned.  Below you can see some of the highlights of our yolostone trip.

 We both got sick of driving...

 My favorite part of the trip was hiking to the top of sheepeater cliff. Matt sure knows how to push me.

 Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grandma and grandpa jeri

For some reason I used to call my grandparents " grandma and grandpa jeri" It's Grandma Jeri and Grandpa Mac, little me! And for some reason that name has always stuck. Coming to their sweet home I became so reminiscent. Most of my summers and some of my winter breaks were spent in this house. Rachel and I have played so many renditions of heart and Soul and cannon in 'C' on that piano. On the left is the grandfather clock. What an amazing piece. One of my favorite parts of this trip was talking to my grandparents in the mornings in this room. One day I want a room like this. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting ready

Today matt and I are preparing for our long journey by doing the laundry, getting the car checked, and printing maps for a trip binder (incase the gps fails). Currently I'm at the laundry mat and with my matt. I have just discovered the blogger ap. Joy! Tomorrow I'm looking forward to my comfy black yoga pants, quality conversations, fastfood, and the pretty views. Nevada is a desert but the views are more like dessert. I want to take atleast one desolate indie picture there. Usually on trips like these I'm planning the car entertainment. But I've procrastinated and haven't done a thing to prepare for the trek. Tonight I may have to charge up my ipod and gather my favorite cds. By the way that last post I posted with the enormous picture of my face was an experiment to see how big original size would look on the blog. Concensus -Much too big. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I love about attending a concert/or musical all by myself.

1. My date is in the orchestra
So this happens all to often around here. I'm planning on hanging out with matt on the weekend, he gets a gig, so I just hang out on the way to work and back. (Granted I probably need to be better about texting friends to meet me at these events) How many people go with their spouse to work on a date?

2. There's only room for me to carpool.
Matts Bass is enormous. Most Basses are big but Matt's is huge. It fills two seats of his little car and then I squeeze in behind the driver. I just talk to him through the mirrors. People on the road always rubber neck trying to figure out if its a human body in the case.

3. The people I meet.
It seems every concert I am sat next to the sweetest, most out going people. It never really feels like I am alone. I always plan on reading my book during intermission, or before the concert, and then Voila the people next to are all interested in me. It's awesome. I don't count on it and it doesn't always happen that way, but in the theatre and orchestral world people are nice!

4. I'm a better listener
When I'm by myself I put on those listening ears I learned to use at SJSU. (no only I called them listening ears in college)I think about form, planing, harmony, themes, ostinatos, the key, the time signature, etc. All my years of music training really pay off right then.

5. I'm figuring out my taste
I sit through the whole concert/ show and create my own conclusions about the music and then when I get in the car, we have so much to talk about. He's had the benefit of playing it in rehearsals and I'm hearing it for the first time. This way my opinion is mine because that is what i heard sitting in the audience. this is making it easier for me to decide what I like and what I don't.

Monday, July 15, 2013

stoop living

This is us. On our stoop. Livin it up one day at a time.

These are going to be Cosmos. SO EXCITING. <3

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The fair!

the fair is a fair of schmorgasporg schmorgasporg. After the crowds are goneeee. Do you know that song from Charlottes Web? That movie was a definitely a fav in my house growing up. Last week Matt and I and some friends got to experience the fair this summer at the alameda county fair! woo hoo! 
 yes we had front row seats for the pig races.
 These sheep are crazy.
classic fair shot.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

being an orchestra widow

Most couples cant wait for friday or saturday night to hang out, go on a date, or just be together. I wait for friday mornings, wednesday nights, or maybe monday lunch. every week is different. And SOMETIMES on the rare occasion we are a normal couple who gets to go to dinner and movie on the weekend.
 Welcome to the world of being married to a musician. There is so much I could write about this. namely going to concerts by myself, learning how to have a conversation in the car with a double seat taking up most of the car space, working while matt's not working, waking up early when matt got home very late ETC. And while some of these might sound like complaining, most of them I enjoy or have learned to enjoy. the next few days I'll post a variety of orchestra widow (does that sound too morbid?) posts. First off lets talk about what I did today when Matt was a work. I started off with some weight lifting (that got boring quick), then turned to yoga (only lasted 15 minutes) and finally settled with facebook (only lasted 2-3 minutes) when I happened upon a status mentioning the obon festival. Less than a mile from my apartment there was a party on the street!

moral of the story? don't stay inside Jen, there's a whole world waiting. 

I'll be honest going to things like this would be far more magical with my sweetheart, but I'm learning how to fill my own life with good things. I ran into some of Matt's cousins there even!  what a small world. but really not so small. I love living downtown.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

a poem

frankly, there's love and then theres not
but i'm lucky that right now, it's love that i've got

tender moments in store for future, i'm sure
waiting for the moment you walk in the door.

the physical pain of your missing presence stabs
the ache and hollow inside of me grabs

the aura of light will mist round your face
our eyes will lock during the gaze

you will be home, and I'll rest quietly
peace will be stirring, you'll be with me.

I've been listening to sad music while Matt's been gone to New York! I'm just so glad he'll be home soon. (:

Friday, June 28, 2013

in honor of my public speaking class

Good morning class,
Today I will talk about #mileaday, Dr oz 3 day detox cleanse, and my ipod.  

First lets talk about  #mileaday. Great things are happening this summer for me! I've been continuing my mile a day (I think I've missed 4 days in june) and will continue in july. This hashtag on instagram has been my source of inspiration for running. I get to look at the sweet comments left by my friends. Technology is wonderful! THEN i can also look at the hashtag and see everybody else who is trying to mileaday it. It's also fun to think about what I'll take a picture of when I'm running. You wouldn't believe all the amazing things on the ground. haha!

Next I will talk about dr ox cleanse. The first day I was very gung-Ho about the whole experience. Then came the second day at dinner time and I DID NOT want to drink that smoothie that had cayenne pepper again. I'm glad I tried it but I actually like food. SO I started reading this book instead.
Pretty sure this is a better fit for me. I'm a thinker. If I can THINK about food differently instead of eating gross things, I think I'll have better success. 

And now I'll talk about my ipod. 
So I have this terrible habit of breaking or loosing i pods. (1st world problem). So I haven't had an ipod in a long time. Miracle of Miracles, rachels old buzzing ipod starting working for me! This ipod has been in her closet for a few years. I'm so glad she saved it! Now I have this music player in my car with new music! It's like 2003 all over again! haha. 

In conclusion I've talked about #mileaday, dr oz detox, and my ipod. 

Have a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

loving this

National Geographic Found Tumblr is the most beautiful addictive thing. I am falling in love with film photography more and more and really want VSCO software.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Feeling inspired

I struggle with depression. There it is. I'm not afraid to admit that. It's something I have to work on everyday. I tried the medication route and it made things worse. The exercise route has been working lately so I'm sticking with it! When I go through times of extreme depression I find it hard to be inspired and passionate. Last week was one of those weeks. (hence no posts). But Sunday rolled around and some beautiful things happened. For now I'll share one of them.
Yeah. How can you not feel inspired when you capture a moment like this? 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

salad, weeds, and color.

 This salad = spring mix, blueberries, pears, walnuts and honey.
 Other weeds, beware. This is what will happen to you if you even THINK about gettin' in my planter box.
learning more everyday.