November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks


I am thankful for family- for simply being the definition of family, which to me means love and continuous support no matter the distance.

I am thankful for Drew for the same reason, but also for daily encouragement and believing in my potential.

 I am thankful for my teachers and mentors who have invested their time and energy into molding my life as a musician.

I am thankful for friends that I can see or speak with twice a year and still feel as connected to them as ever, as well as the friends that I share life with on a more frequent basis.

I am thankful for my roommates here in England because they are as supportive and accommodating as can be for three people who didn't even 
know each other two months ago!


I am thankful for the beauty of a God's creation that is so evident here in the English country side. It fuels my soul and inspires me daily.



I am thankful for this life experience and the personal trails, changes, and successes I am going through because of it. 

November 23, 2013

Joyful Two Years

Two years ago in November I was finally introduced to the "cool new trumpet grad student" that my friends (**ahem Christina and Kate**) kept telling me about.

I had graduated from Baylor (for the first time) in May of that year and was spending some time at home teaching private lessons for flute and working at the eye doctors office. It was an occassional joy of mine to re-visit Baylor to spend time with my friends as well as taking lessons with Dr. Arnone while I was there.

One fateful visit at the beginning of November I just happened to be in town for the Baylor Symphony's Mahler concert so I of course was dragged along with my friends (the present day Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson, if my memory serves me correctly). Much to my humiliation, the "cool new trumpet grad student" walked by, in what I now know well as his "pre-concert-getting-pumped mood", and my dear dear friend Christina screams "DREW COME MEET PAIGE!!!!!"

OH My Goodness. Seriously?!

A quick hello and probable hand shake was exchanged and we parted ways and I most likely gave C the stank eye accompanied by an extremely red face...

There was that, never talking to that guy again!!!! But then we ended up at the same post-concert hang (not speaking, of course) and at a mutual friend's recital the next day. The guy had pretty cool glasses, I had to admit....

Thus our friendship was born. Because I worked at an eye doctor's office and had an appreciation for tastefully trendy frames. (Thanks Warby Parker!)

Embarrassingly flirtatious facebook messages were exchanged and I learned in the next week or so that Drew was visiting friends "in some town called like in Houston, right?" for Thanksgiving! Weird.

So Drew ended up a few streets over from me in Kingwood, TX on Thanksgiving 2011. Turns out nothing is open on Thanksgiving (heh) so I made coffee for us (I learned an extremely important detail about him that first "date"- black coffee only) and we hung out for several hours in one of my favorite spots in Kingwood talking about our mutual friends, how he ended up at Baylor, our hopes and dreams, yada yada. I was pretty nervous, but on November 24, 2011 I knew there was something pretty special about this guy.

Fast forward to the present day and we are celebrating two years of Paige and Drew awesome-ness.

In two years I've watched Drew work harder than almost anyone I know and go on to win two jobs. He inspires and encourages me daily! In two years I've watched Drew grow into the man that he wants to be. He pushes me to be a better version of myself. In two years I've witnessed his loyalty to the people that he loves- family, friends, and fellow musicians. I'm happy to be with such lover of God's creation- whether it be people, animals, art....

Happy Anniversary Drew! You make me proud daily and I'm so pleased to be your girl :)

** Photography by Sarah Lake ( from


November 20, 2013

Emotional Dump- 4 Things I Have Learned


I started this blog because I met a pretty stinkin awesome person (*ahem Sarah*) who had a blog. On a whim I thought "SO FUN, I WANNA DO THAT!" and this blog was born.


Forgotten was my past of writing in a journal literally everyday through elementary and middle school (oh man, are those a good laugh....I recorded EVERYTHING). Diaries, prayer journals, even a blog that I started about my journey through reading Purpose Driven Life...I can't remember a time when I didn't record my various thoughts, findings, inspirations, feelings.


What was new to me was the community I discovered through blogging. Amazing! After a little over a year, it still blows my mind that there are people our there who actually read this thing, let alone all the amazing women that I have "met" through this little blogging journey. I think I got caught up in the whirl-wind of the environment- giveaways, link-ups, sponsors, etc. and forgot why I write in the first place. Yes! It is lovely to know that people are reading. Yes! It feels amazing when people leave comments. But I've let myself back into the grade school mentality of wanting to be popular, writing what I think other people will want to read, instead of saying what I want to say.


SO, even thought I've been writing a lot, I haven't been posting. Its easier for me to formulate ideas when I'm simply trying to clear my head or organize all these new thoughts that I'm gathering instead of trying to entertain the masses with how phenomenal life in England is.


Background story: I'm in England (in Elmsted, the middle of nowhere, affectionately referred to as "the shire") for 6 calendar months, in the middle of week 8, studying flute with Trevor Wye. Just look him up if you're curious.


Sometimes (quite often) I get sad. Sometimes I want to go home. Often I want to cry because I miss my family and my dog. Every day I have to convince myself that this is the best thing for me and that Drew is doing just fine in Virginia and that he'll still be there waiting for me when I get back.


So, instead of rambling on Facebook like people often do, I'm going to write about how I feel on this blog. Because thats why I made it.


People keep telling me to keep my chin up, to embrace the fact that I'm experiencing this once in a life time opportunity. You're all correct! This is absolutely a once in a life time opportunity. And I don't want you to get the wrong idea- I am SO thankful and glad to be here. I have learned in 7.5 weeks more and differently than anything I had in mind and I am expectantly awaiting the next 4.5 months.


I have learned:


1) I didn't know ANYTHING.


Ok- thats a bit of an overstatement, Buuuuuut holy cow am I getting my behind kicked daily! If I can give you any advice it would be to get out of your comfort zone, no matter what it is that you do, and realize that you should never settle. Yes, you are talented and amazing and such passion and fire....but sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes you are fooling yourself into thinking that being comfortable is good thing and that you have "arrived" but Oh Honey is there more out there for you! (maybe that was all referring to myself,,,,but I'm sure I'm not the only one)


2) I can do it.


For probably the first 3 weeks (AT LEAST) that I was here, I thought that there was absolutely no way in the entire universe that I was going to be able to survive these 6 months of ridiculously difficult flute life. I was asked to make changes in my flute playing that I didn't think were physically possible for me. I had musical/flute problems pointed out to me daily that I had never been presented with before. But now in week 7, I've overcome (for the most part) those problems from week 1-3 and I've moved on to tackle a whole set of new ones. But you know what? Thats growth.


3) Theres no place like home.


Thank goodness for the internet because I can't even imagine living in a separate country from my loved ones and only being able to communicate through letters and calling cards (although I do adore letters). Hooray phones and imessage and viber and facetime and facebook and all that good stuff, but theres something about being in a new country that makes you crave the closeness of family and friends that a phone call can't really fix.


4) God is faithful.


Weeks 1-3 presented themselves with no internet (we seriously though we would die) and many other challenges that were entirely new to me. I'm used to loving and nurturing professors, living with my best friends, a music school full of friendly faces, Drew being a three minute drive away, mom and dad driving three hours to see me in a heartbeat.... England doesn't have any of those comforts. Thank goodness my new roommates hear are fan-freakin-tastic, but thats another story altogether. In weeks 1-3 I probably cried more than I care to admit and told God daily that He was the only thing that would get me through these 6 months. Not only is He doing that, but I've had so much time to reflect on how He has delivered me this far. Seriously, from an 11th grader developing tendinitis to an undergrad who had to stop playing for months at a time for physical therapy, I've somehow made it this far and am still playing daily (almost) entirely pain free. Thank The Lord for that. I am so blessed to still be pursuing this path.


If you have read this far, you're such a trooper and I appreciate you more than you know! I've heard that you should always include at least one photo in each blog post, so please be blessed by this seriously miraculous sunset that I got to witness last week!!



November 6, 2013

Sunset Blessings

The sun has started setting around 4:30 everyday, and it will continue to set earlier until the shortest day of the year when we will only have about 7 hours of sunlight.
At first I thought, "wow, this will be a cold, dark and depressing winter..." But I have since decided to look at it differently.
At some point in time I read that in order to live a fulfilling life you should venture outside daily. I completely agree. What do you guys think?
Especially when you spend at least 6 hours a day with your flute and Reichert and Taffanel and is 100% crucial to wander outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, and think about things greater than yourself and the flute.
I'm so blessed to be in such a beautiful area, and with the sun setting so early each day I get to take my practice break, walk outside and over a pretty awesome hill to see the sun set every day.
You know what is so awesome about sunsets?? They are different every day.

I'm enjoying these sunsets so much. I know that I'm not a fantastic photographer, but I'm considering posting weekly with my sunset shots of the week! it is a project of sorts that is becoming very important to me while I'm here.
I love the last shot because you can see Venus on the left side! Venus travels so close to the sun that you can only see it at the right time of year right after the sun sets. So cool!!!
Look up the time that the sun sets in your area and takes break to watch this week. You won't regret it!