Take a bow

Well I hope this Tuesday afternoon finds you well, and I hope this last blog makes some sense. I am running on about four hours of sleep, but I am safe and sound back in Chicago, and my goodness what a insane last few days in Prague.

Sunday was more than I could hope for…. 

Just before the gala

We all met at 7:45am at the bus that was going to take us to the Severočeské divadlo in the city of Ústí which is about an hour outside of Prague, that is where our final concert was being held. I woke up wide awake and ready to seize the day, I can’t say the same about my fellow colleagues. We finally arrived around 9:45am and got shown to our dressing and warm up rooms. The theater was amazing, and so old. Unfortunately it also smelled very old… but absolutely breathtaking inside. The theaters in Europe are much smaller than most houses in the US. Smaller meaning they have less seats so this particular theater seats about 1500 people, so perfect for opera singers. At 10:00am we started the Sitzprobe. Quick sidebar…a Sitzprobe is actually a German term used in opera to describe a seated rehearsal—the literal translation of Sitzprobe—where the singers sit and sing with the orchestra. Now it’s more commonly known as the first rehearsal with orchestra. We were on a very limited time schedule so everyone had eight minutes with the Maestro. I got a chance to really warm up and sang around 10:45 am. For some that was very early, but for me it was fine. I was really pleased with how I sounded. As soon as I got done Jelena, the artistic director stopped me in the hallway to talk to me. So told me that she was absolutely amazed at how I sounded and that if I sang as well as I did in the rehearsal everyone would be so impressed. So I was on cloud nine and it was only 11am.  After the rehearsal got finish they provided us lunch, and had a few hours to relax and get ready. I ended up watching Cinderella on my computer with some of the other singers just to pass the time. At four we had a group photo shoot and then the gala started at 5pm.

I was sixth on the program and we had a really good size crowd, it is alway better to have an audience to sing for. The energy of the evening was fantastic, everyone was really giving it their all and just performing so well. After a quick prayer I got to the stage and started to sing. I am not sure if it is the energy of singing with orchestra or the conductor or just the absolute high that I get from singing, but I will remember that performance for the rest of my life. I felt like I sang, and acted well and for the first time all week finally got to throw off all the worries and technicalities and do what I love. As soon as I got done the crowd erupted and I heard a few bravos. I was in a bit of a daze when I got done so I am curious to see what I actually did once I get the video. As soon as I left the stage I ran into the nearest dressing room and loudly and enthusiastically proclaimed….”I just punched that freaking aria in the face!!!” to which I just heard wonderful feedback. We capped off the gala with everyone singing the brindisi from La Traviata and received a standing ovation from the audience, it was a rare and magical moment.

The rest of the evening was just everyone coming down from there high on the bus ride home and then going our separate ways. Most of the singers flew back on Monday, but a few of us hung around. I ended up sleeping in a bit and did some sightseeing the following day. For those of you who have been to Prague I made it the the Prague Castle, the St. Charles Bridge and then the St. Vitus Cathedral, but it was closed so I just walked around it. I also was able to have a private coaching with Jelena which was really great. She was very kind and complimented me again about the gala. She said that I was amazing, that I blew everyone away including the Maestro. She also said her girls told her I was there favorite, which to me was a high compliment. We spent most of the time talking about different repertoire to learn and perhaps where I should be thinking next with my voice and career… and like the theme this summer I need to be singing in competitions………

I had some time to reflect yesterday and on my nine hour flight home about this past week. Honestly there were some upset and angry singers. Some who felt jipped because there were not lots of contracts to pass around, and a few who felt like they didn’t receive as much training or coachings as they would have liked. I didn’t feel either, I am just happy I survived and made great art. As a friend reminded me these experiences are not so much about the end, but about the journey. This whole experience has been incredible and not to be to dramatic, but a bit life changing. I have learned some valuable things……. I was reminded that I don’t give myself enough credit. I do…I mean I really do know how to sing, and sing well……. I was reminded I really do know how to perform and that I do this because I love it…… and lastly I know my voice more than anyone and I can trust the advices and technical instruction that I have been given. I know these all sound like things I should already know, but the truth is I get nervous and intimidated very easy. When I hear and watch others, well quite frankly I get so wrapped up in thinking how great they are I forget my own voice as an artist. Not just at the beginning of the week, but I think for a while, that has been my biggest obstacle when it comes to booking auditions. I don’t…well didn’t trust my talent, my technique and my voice as an artist….. again maybe a bit dramatic, but as Maestro said, I have all that I need to succeed now it’s just choosing to trust that I do. It took this past full week to get out of my own head and past my nerves, and the truth is if I want to be successful in this business, auditions, competitions, I don’t have a week to get past it all……I have one shot to really shine. So to me this was and is a huge mountain to overcome. With this season’s upcoming auditions I feel Prague really has given me a completely different look. The work is there and the work will continue, but I feel that this season more than ever I have ownership of my own voice and where I want it to take me. This season is not about do I sound go, or do I have the right repertoire, but rather I in my own right have something to say as an artist and it needs to be heard.

I am not sure about the results as far as any general managers who were listening on Sunday night, but like always in this career your life can change overnight. I want to say thank you again to all of you for making this opportunity possible for me. This has been the perfect opportunity right at the perfect season. Thank you for giving me the chance to add another international stage to my resume….. the privilege to work alongside some amazing coaches and colleagues, and for helping me realize I still have a lot to say and sing about.

I will be continuing to update my website, but I am excited for some upcoming things this fall. I will be singing the National Anthem at the Arlington Heights International Race Track in September as well as singing as a finalist in the Symphony Bel Canto competition with orchestra. You have all been so wonderful to come alongside me with this and I can’t wait to tell you all about the next adventure when it comes…. till next time

“Musical expression only begins to be significant where words and actions reach their uttermost limit of expression. Music should be concerned with the emotions, not with the external events….It is only then, that which cannot be expressed otherwise, is worth expressing in music. -Frederick Delius

Some good news and bad news…..

First and foremost I want to say thank you to all of you who said a prayer, sent well wishes and general good luck today, you all are such amazing and wonderful people and I really could not do this without you. I feel like I audition all the time but some are just downright terrifying….thank you so much for believing in me.

This morning I started late in the day which was so nice, I got such a good night’s sleep and for the first time here actually felt rested. I met with Maestro this morning to have one final coaching. He is just so lovely, I wish I could bring him back to the US with me. I started with Oh Quante Volte, it is a new piece for me, so I really wanted his advice and general thoughts. I started with the recitative and sang it fine, in rhythm with good sound. He stopped me to say…”OK you sing it like this for an audition I would say ok, thank you bye, because you sing it like a student and very boring”……. It was true I really did sing it boring…… so I asked him if I could try it again. He said yes and I threw everything I could into it, phrasing, style, emotions. He stopped me after the first page and say, “Wow, why do you not sing like this always? This is real this is much more interesting”…….the answer is because I get nervous……..…. Maestro waved his hand slicing it through the air and said, “Stop…. no more nervous.”………. It was fitting advice for the rest of the day.

Next was my consultation with Martin. He is lovely as well and very honest. Unfortunately the bad news is he started right away to tell me his opera house in Pilson is not hiring sopranos, and they will not be for the next two years. Which basically meant the big scary audition I was having later today really didn’t matter because, well, I am a soprano and they currently don’t need one. I did go on to ask him a lot of questions about the business and what I should do or change. He was really impressed with my resume and said I had a good one with the right kind of roles so that was a nice compliment. Some really interesting information I learned is the pay is not near as good as I thought it was and I was grateful for his honesty about that. I also asked him his thoughts about management, he advised me that if I could an agent in the states to do that, in Germany I would need a manager, but not in the Czech republic. So if I wanted roles here I would need to find out what the role is learn it and have Jelena get me an audition. So all in all I walked away with a lot of new information about the business, but really sad that no matter how amazing I sang in the evening the fact is there are always too many sopranos. Which in some ways I was really grateful the pressure was kinda off.

My audition was at seven pm this evening but like everything here we are always running behind so they didn’t even start the whole audition process until seven thirty. I had five people in front of me and then I sang. I was actually feeling really relaxed and confident before I sang which was totally a God sent. I went in and there were only two people listening, which was a bit of a disappointment but again I was not angry it made it more relaxed. Jelena the artistic director played, she stopped me before I begin and reminded me that we were going to have a coaching on Monday and that she would help work the cadenzas… nothing like a casual talk to set the tone. Then I sang Una Voce Poco Fa. I really felt really good about it. There are always things to fix or improve little side notes here and there but in general I was pleased. I performed it better than I had the first day and I learned two new cadenzas within the piece. So I felt good. While I was still standing there Jelena said “Super Kathleen, I am so proud you put in everything that I told you on the first day, I am so proud of you”

So the good news is I feel like I did well. I don’t think I will get offered anything from Martin due to just the simple fact there are not enough slots for sopranos, but he gave me a raised eyebrow when I got done and said, hmm ok Kathleen…… so I feel that is something. There was a definite improvement from the first time I worked with him so I feel very happy about that.

Tomorrow is gala day. I have to be up around six to get ready and get on the bus. I am so excited to sing tomorrow with orchestra and just do what I love to do. There are two more general directors that will be watching tomorrow and our concert will count as an audition for them.

Whew it has been a roller coaster of a day today and will be even more so tomorrow… I can’t believe my time here is coming to an end. I didn’t know really what to expect from this week but I am so grateful for the journey…..till tomorrow

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison

Audition Day

Its a little dark, but working with the Maestro day one

Audition Day… ok folks here we go. 

A quick recap of yesterday’s activities..work work work! Its interesting going into this I knew that I would be doing an unusual amount of singing so I tried to prepare as much as I could, practicing an hour to two hours a day and singing full out. I am so thankful that I did because I have been really able to use the resources that are here. Many of the singers have had to cancel working with the Italian teacher or homework pianist because they are just vocally fatigued. It’s a game that we all play as singers and it is so important to recognize when your voice and body are tired. If you push and don’t recognize it you can really damage your instrument. That being said I had about an hour and fifteen minutes session with the homework pianist because there was a cancellation after me. This was extremely helpful because I was able to work on some very specific things in my music and work the small details they had asked for.

After working with her I grabbed a quick lunch and headed to go work with the Maestro. He wanted to work my gala piece again and explained to me again the importance of him knowing the exact tempos which I will be taking. I am not going to lie I have been spending a lot of time with the piece and after listening to the recordings of our last session I tried to make all the changes that he wanted. We stopped and started a few times, but once we got to the end he was very happy. He told me, he was very impressed with the changes I had made and he could see all the hard work. The musicality was super all I had left to do was…..show my soul when I sing. He was very happy and he asked since there was time left to work on a second piece so I sang Rosina. He had several things to point out and fix, but in general he agreed with Martin, is a great piece for me. I was so happy when I left I could not stop smiling all afternoon.

Today is a big day a bit of stress and pressure, but I am feel good, and rested. I do not start with my sessions until two this afternoon so I was able to sleep in and properly prepare. I will have one more quick session with the Maestro, then a career consult and then my first audition. I am honestly not sure who all will be sitting in the audition room, but I know there will be about six or seven people representing two…maybe three houses. They haven’t officially told us because the program was still waiting to hear who all is coming. The great news is that they asked us to prepare only two pieces to sing which means I will likely only sing one, since my pieces are so long. They like hearing a four to five minute piece or slot for the auditions, and my two pieces are five, and seven minutes long. To some only offering two was upsetting instead of the audition standard of five arias,

but honestly its great. For me it takes the added pressure off of presenting something new. So I will be offering Regnava Nel Silenzio, my gala piece, and Una Voce Poco Fa. I will sing through one whole piece and if they need to hear something additional they may ask for my second piece, but they should be able to see all that I can present in just one. 

Thank you all for walking alongside of me with this, I know these things can be so overwhelming at times but it is such good for me to know I have a cheering section back home. As a good friend reminded me of yesterday, the only person I am competing with is myself, and I only need to try to do better than I did yesterday. I can’t wait to tell you all how today went and what they have to say….


“If you want to conquer fear don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy”

So you will sing Rosina

My goodness where has the time gone. I can’t believe my time here in Prague is almost halfway over, I feel like I am running to try and catch up with the past few days.

Unfortunately there is nothing very interesting to report about the past two days, but work. I have had many hours of coachings, lessons, and master classes, which is just jam packing my head full of information, things to change, tweak and work through. A fantastic reminder that an artist’s work is never truly done.

The days are divided with sessions made up of classes with Maestro Richard, Martin, our dramatic coach, and two additional coaches, an Italian coach and a homework pianist. Each person receives multiple 45min slots throughout the day and when we are not singing we watch others at the masterclasses.

Yesterday I started my day off nice and early with Italian, our coaches name is Marie and she is absolutely lovely. She doesn’t speak much english so we communicated mostly in broken italian. Funny enough, I was the first session of the day so Marie kindly offered to make me a czech coffee……… I will be honest I know it was coffee, because she said so, but wow. Pretty sure I drank straight up caffeinated sludge, would not recommend it.

Later was my first acting session with Martin, he is quite a character. Since he also does not speak much english he has a translator to help explain exactly what he wants. I sang my gala piece for him, which was then picked apart to pieces. This may sound awful, but it is what we do. We prepare something and then get scrutinized so we can improve, and grow. He definitely has his own opinions about opera characters, which is refreshing. Working with europeans I forget how helpful it is to have a language barrier because everything has to be said so bluntly. There’s really no time to offend which is great, I don’t have to second guess when he says, you’re boring, or overacting or stop talking to the floor. It’s the small things…..When I left my session Martin asked me what I would sing the in our next session……… and the following conversation ensued
Martin… “So you will sing Rosina tomorrow” (Una Voce Poco Fa, The Barber of Seville)
me…”How about I sing O Quante Volte? Its great”
Martin….“So you will sing Rosina tomorrow”
me…”Or I could sing O War Ich Schon? From Fidelio that is a good piece”
Me…”Well Rosina is old I would love to work on Fidelio….”
Martin…”Ok, ok, Fidelio….but if there is time Rosina”

Guess who was singing Rosina at ten am this morning.

It all worked out in the end, turns out his production of The Barber of Seville has been running the past 13 years in Prague and across Europe so if there is anyone I should be working on this particular piece with its him. He was so insightful and gave me a completely different perspective on the character and how I should be interpreting her. So in the end… “I sing Rosina”.

Sidebar about later today. As I have said before many of the singers here speak multiple languages, including several americans. Try and follow this…….towards the end of today one of the singers Stephen, was speaking in German, to Martin who can understand German, but not speak it, Martin would then speak czech to the translator who would speak english to Stephen, who then would speak in German and round and round it went for 45 minutes. Only to then be followed by another singer Sydnee, who spoke french. So Sydnee would speak in French to the translator who would speak in Czech to Martian and then back again, but she would switch her responses from French to English. I am not sure I got anything out of the last two hours, but the realization I really only speak american.

Yesterday evening after a long wonderful day I went to Smetana Hall to watch the Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra play. We ended up walking to the concert from our rehearsal space which was great. Due to being close to the rehearsal hall I have been kept to one part of the city, so the walk was fabulous. The hall was breathtaking as you will see in a few of the pictures, and the chamber orchestra was lovely as well! It was one of those moments I don’t think I will forget.

Tomorrow is our last day of coachings and masterclasses and Saturday is our first round of auditions… so a few stressful days ahead. I hate days like today because I truly don’t know where I stand amongst the singers. I feel that I am working hard and trying to put into practice everything they have been asking of me, but unfortunately in the end, there are not enough slots for everyone. I don’t say this to be dramatic or depressing just that I am anxious to have it done. Basically this whole week is an audition and in some way or another, so the pressure amongst us singers is starting to show……. we are all feeling it. So on that note I will leave you with this…

“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable”

It’s my intention to astonish you all 

All of us Voice Fellows outside the palace balcony

I am not sure if I quiet accomplished this feat yet, however I feel like I am well on my way. I am going to catch you all up on the past 48 hours, as it has been a bit of a mad house. It is currently 9pm on a Tuesday night and my head is spinning with an overload of information.

Before I begin a brief update about the suitcases. I realized I really did not do an effective job explaining why in the world I had three massive suitcases with me. I had my carry on and one full size suitcase with my belongings and then two additional checked bags. These were full of items for the program! I volunteered to bring Becca some items from her home in Chicago, and bring over items she needed for the festival. So all our water bottles, papers, banners etc where in the extra suitcases! Fortunately, the suitcase that was really lost just had her clothing in it, so all the things we needed for day of the program arrived! The bag still lost well more on that later…..

Monday morning was rough, after the multiple phone calls throughout the night and early morning interruptions I did not get much sleep. I managed to make it to the palace, (our rehearsal home for the week), on time warmed up and looking fairly good! Thank goodness for concealer. We had breakfast catered and there was a brief reception before all 15 of us had the chance to sing for the Artistic Director, Maestro and the General Director of the program. I sang sixth, which meant around one pm. With all the commotion of the days before I decided to sing  one of my old audition arias Una Voce Poco Fa. Unfortunately, I was quite nervous. Which means I sang decent, but in my opinion quite underwhelming. I received a nice applause but nothing amazing. Deep breath… As I have learned some days you have to accept that you are not always going to sing your best, but the good news is it’s day one, and I can only go up from here.

I managed to make some fast friends and went out to lunch with a few of them. Several of the singers here are now singing full time in Europe, some on fest contacts, some on guest artist contracts. Many of the singers here are really talented, I feel quite honored to be among them. After lunch we had a master class, which for those of you who don’t know. A masterclass is when several people are chosen to sing an aria (song) and then receive critiqued with all kinds of things from language to artistic interpretations. We will all have a chance to sing in different master classes throughout the week. I was just not chosen for day one, which was a blessing. I was still feeling disheartened about the first impression I had made. However, the masterclass was a little crazy because one of the coaches doesn’t really speak english so there was Russian Czech, German and English all being spoken, and yes sometimes all at the same time, so not only was I processing information, but my brain got quite a workout!

Later that evening a group of us went on a hour boat tour on the river downtown Prague. It was absolutely beautiful and I got some amazing pictures.

Meanwhile while I was out enjoying the sighs of Prague I got a phone call that the last suitcase had arrived at my apartment…….yes all take a collective eye roll…… Needless to say after a few panicked moments, and five phone calls later the last bag was finally dropped off with Becca at our rehearsal venue. Finally the drama with the suitcase ended! May I have an amen.

On the boat tour down the Vltava river

Prague at dusk… its so beautiful!

After the boat tour I grabbed some pizza with some of the singers and basically crashed as soon as I got home.

Today was good. Actually I would even go so far as to say great, minus the tremendous heat as the afternoon wore on. We started the morning at ten with everyone working and singing there gala pieces for the Maestro and each singer was able to watch the others. We each got around forty five minutes to an hour to work our pieces, it’s so informative to watch each singer work. This coaching is super important because it is the only time we will have with the conductor before our orchestra rehearsal on Sunday morning and the concert in the evening.

I sang around 2:45 this afternoon. I am singing Regnava Nel Silenzio for the gala, it’s Lucia’s first aria from Lucia di Lammermoor. You can check it out online, it’s about seven minutes long and a beast to sing. I was so nervous. Which is unusual for me, in fact I was so nervous I was shaking and had to do a lap around the floor to try and calm down. I blame lack of sleep and too much coffee. However when it was time to sing, I took a deep breath and tried to get to work. Once I got my nerves to calm down, I was really able to concentrate and make some progress with the conductor. It was really reassuring that I was not stopped for a lot of technical critique or language critique. We were able to focus more on expressing the character and style.There are now some definite tempo changes I am going to practice and rehearsal and a new cadenza that was thrown in as well.

Deep breath, I could finally take a moment and relax. I felt like I had given it my all, and really sang well. My voice was in much better shape and I was able to show some of the work I have been doing on the piece. After I sang we all took a break for a snack of macaroons, which were incredible I will add. While I was completely distracted by the food the artistic director came up to me and said,

“You impressed me today, yesterday no….. but today……you impressed me, bravissima Kathleen”.

I will leave you with that and you can end your day on a high note like me. Tomorrow more work and opportunities ahead, but I will talk more about that soon. Until then,  for me it’s empowering to know you all are here. I truly cannot express how deeply grateful I am for this. Till tomorrow…

“Work hard in silence, let success be your noise”

Air Berlin….you have failed me! 

My seat on the flight, fantastic location

Well Opernfest is at a very exciting start to say the least! Forgive me if I am rambling a bit.. I think I am still slightly jet lagged. I first want to say that I have arrived safe and sound in Prague and I am off to a wonderful start, though it has been quiet exciting getting here!

On Saturday things were not looking good.  I started my first flight with a delay, apparently there were technical issues with the plane leaving Berlin so instead of getting out of Chicago on time we left about three hours later, which meant I was going to be missing my connecting flight in Berlin! I am so grateful I had decided to fly out a full day early just in case! The flight from Chicago to Berlin was about 8 and a half hours. I don’t know how I lucked out but the seat next to me was empty so I was able to spread out a bit on the flight. On a side note, I did learn my lesson about deciding when was the most appropriate time to try and multitask.  Don’t try and do two things at once when singing at a Latin wedding, somehow I booked my seat right across from the bathroom. So I was able to help pass the time with the symphony of flushing.

Minus that small detail the flight was great, I mainly watched movies and attempted to sleep. I arrived in Berlin two hours after my departing flight so I was told to head through the airport and find the help desk.  Well fast forward an hour later and I was back at the checkin line through security and on a 1pm flight to Prague. Unfortunately my second flight was also delayed, only by a few hours so I ended up arriving in Prague at 3:00pm instead of my original 10:00am arrival time! I figured something may have happened with my luggage and indeed none of it had come along with me. I was quite happy my family convince me to bring a small suitcase with everything I may need in it and I am so grateful that I did. After sorting things out at the Prague airport I jumped in a cab and headed for my AirBNB.

By the time I arrived at my little apartment I was so exhausted I am honestly not sure howI was making and conscious decisions, but I managed to find a few small stores get some food and took a quick nap! Somewhere I woke up around 8pm and spent the better part of the evening trying to get the bag situation under control. So at 1:30am I got a knock on my door and two out of my three bags had sitting at my front door! Yes you guessed it one bag was missing….

I feel that

was a rough introduction to Prague, but with all the hassle I could not be more excited to be here. This city is so wonderful and charming, the few minutes I got to wander the streets finding food is making me anxious and excited to explore more of the city! So much of it reminds me of Italy with the stone windy streets, and palaces in the horizon, I can’t believe I am actually here. We will begin in the morning, but for now enjoy some pictures I took of this beautiful city, tomorrow the singing begins!

“Obstacles are opportunities in disguise”

One day or day one

The rest of the quote says “you decide”…… I thought it best to leave it out since well, this has been decided. Thanks to all of you I get to go…I depart for Prague in less than 24 hours, I am equally excited and terrified.

For those of you who are kindly logging in to see this blog I wanted to create a space for me to share with all of you my experience while I am across the pond. You have all contributed in some way, shape or form to help me reach my goal, and make it into this amazing program. I want you as my group of cheerleaders, sponsors, friends and family to walk alongside me every step of the way.

Just a bit of background about how this came to be. I was searching through auditions on one of the many websites for hustling singers and saw an ad. “Opernfest Prague”. I clicked on the link and read through what the experience might look like. I thought to myself, “Wow what an amazing opportunity to be a part of, I am not sure I am quite ready for that”. Then scrolled on down the page.

Fast forward a few days and I received a Facebook message from my friend and dear colleague Becca Conviser. (You can look her up here, she is a mighty force for someone 5’2.  http://www.beccaconviser.com/ ) She is currently working full time in Prague and explained to me they wanted some more singers for Opernfest.  I feel that was a God thing, because I was the first person she thought of. She asked me to apply for the program, I kindly fought back explaining this and that and this and that, but in the end she won. I sent off my application that day with a laugh and went on about my business. Well to my surprise I got an acceptance letter and a scholarship.

Now all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted I will head out on a plane very soon. I love international flights; I must admit. There is something so wonderful when I tell those around me;  “Oh I am an opera singer, I have a performance in ______” . Flying internationally some how validates it.

I have an overnight flight through Berlin and will be arriving in Prague early on Sunday morning. My goal is to try and stay awake through the day, so wish me luck on staying up for 30+ hours. The only catch with this program is they don’t provide housing for you, so I am staying in a wonderful little air bnb apartment. According to google it should be only five minutes away from the Kaiserstein Palace where we will be having rehearsals. So once I arrive I will be seeing if that is true, I may be a little thinner when I return.

Sunday is just arrival day for all the participants, so I plan to get a map and explore a bit. Becca is meeting up with me to pick up her bags I am bringing from her parents here in Chicago, and she mentioned I may get to meet the artistic director early. So fingers crossed. Then Monday the real work begins.

So now here we are less than than a few hours out, I am sitting at my computer bossing my husband around trying to get him to explain to me how the heck to set up this blog, so this will be my first go at trying to manage my own technology. I have a million things left still before I depart, but I am so extremely excited to know I have all of you behind me! My goal is to write daily and share as many pictures and videos and experiences as possible! Till I sign on again I will leave you with this,

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right”