Conversations with our 3 year old

Because 3 year olds say the funniest things…

Captain Awesome: “I am stuffed.”
Me: “like a turkey?”
CA: “yep”
Ducky: “are you a turkey?”
CA: “yep”
Ducky: “how did you turn into a turkey?”

Ducky, singing as we do our grocery shopping at trader Joe’s ;
“I like to eat, eat, eat, people and amaynees”

I’m doing 2nd position plies in kitchen and Ducky says “mommy what are you doing?”
“Plies. See? Here’s first position, second, third, fourth, and fifth. Mommy is doing second because it’s better for her butt.”
D: “it’s not better for your butt. No, I don’t think so.”
*I start laughing*
D: “what did I say funny?”

D: “I want a special treat like last night. For being good.”
Captain Awesome: “ok, buddy, but you have to be good.”
D: “I’m good.”


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Politics and Religion: thoughts from a humble little Christian who doesn’t know it all

Phew. Politics and religion are a hot, hot topic. And the responses are always passionate and fierce. I rarely post ‘political’ things on social media, which I’ll explain a bit later, but man do I see them. Sometimes one moves me enough to repost, but then… the inevitable happens. Rather than reading, internalizing and moving on, someone takes it upon themselves to ‘correct’ me.

It’s an opinion piece.

That’s right. Opinion. there is no Right, there is no Wrong, there are only people with differing opinions. But, as a Christian, I take it to God and He gives me things to think about. He gives me other points of view, He offers explanations for my feelings and yours. He reminds me to look to His Book, His Teachings and the Teachings of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Yes, I just went there. Because, though I don’t necessarily publicize it, I’m a Christian.

But before you leave because I said that, read on, please. I beg you.
I am a bleeding heart, LIBERAL, CHRISTIAN woman. Yes, I used those in the same sentence.

Why liberal? Why do I not side with my Uber-Conservative brothers and sisters in Christ?

Because, I truly believe that Jesus would have been liberal by today’s standards. Actually, I think he would try to avoid that whole nasty kettle of fish that divides people, but His actions in his life? Don’t match what I see many Christians doing and saying today.
And that makes me really sad.

What was one of the things that made Jesus Christ GREAT in His life? Was it that he made lots of money, promoted singling people out, groups out for ridicule and chastisement?

(if you think yes, please go back to the Good Book and re-read the New Testament.)

Jesus talked to everyone. He was an equal opportunity friend, leader, and healer. He Healed Samaritans, talked to prostitutes, cast out demons from people who had been tossed to the side. He encouraged Men to pay attention to women and children as they are the future of the kingdom of God, even though they were considered not full people.

Jesus Reached out. He LOVED. He taught. He, the highest among us, God’s Son, SERVED the lowliest and the highest. And all he asked of us was to do the same.

But here we are, Christians, bashing, hating on people, dismissing people. Treating entire groups of people as though they are somehow less in God’s eyes because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or choices.

None of us are perfect. We are not the one whose opinion matters. God is. We are not to judge, cast stones.
Our job is to love and serve. that’s it. LOVE AND SERVE.

I’ve seen agnostics be better Christians. How’s that for irony?

Rather than being true Christians – Followers of Christ – we are creating a path that does not identify us to Him. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

So, I will post things about how Planned Parenthood helped someone. If you want to talk about how Planned Parenthood is evil, take it somewhere else. I’m looking at the blessing they were to someone.

I will post things supporting battered women and children. I will keep sharing the stories of the abused when I’m moved to do so, hoping that something will change.

I will continue to support LGTB people. Because God is the one who decides. Not me.

I will continue to pray for the President of the United States – whether I agree with him/her or not. Because He/She is just another human. A human with a big, impossible job dealing with hugely opinionated people.

I will continue to love non-christians. Maybe they’ll come to know Jesus through kindness and love. Maybe they won’t. That’s their journey, not mine and that’s between them and God. But they still deserve my love, affection, and time because they are still part of God’s creation.

I will continue to speak out against ‘Christian’ Publications that spread hate and fear. They are not doing anyone any favors.

So, before you respond on social media; read what was posted. Try to understand WHY it was posted. And, If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t respond. Lets try to kill hatred with Kindness.


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fancy schmancy crockpot dinner

So, tried making a new ‘recipe’ recently for chicken in my crockpot.  I used wine (OOOOHHH!!!) hence the fancy schmancy label, since we almost never break out the wine anymore. Now that I’m teaching most nights again (and we have 2 kiddos instead of one) I’m looking for super tasty, easy meals that I can prep (and start) ahead of time and then Captain Awesome doesn’t have to cook while I’m out.  So, Here’s this week’s (made up) recipe:

Chicken Eggplant ‘stew’

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 TBSP olive oil

1 large asian eggplant

1/2 an onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic

1 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute

1/2 tsp salt

1 small container white mushrooms

6 medium roma tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 cups white wine (I used a 2009 BV Coastal Estates Chardonnay)


I put about half the olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot then put the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle the salt and 21 seasoning salute on top of the chicken. I put the crockpot on high heat while I chopped the veggies because I put off cooking until later since my Koala had a doctor’s appointment in the morning.

Chop onion and add it.  Cut up Eggplant in slices and loosely layer it on top.  Slice Mushrooms and pile ‘em in.  Cut up the tomatoes and dump them in too.  Drizzle the second half of the olive oil over it.  Then throw in the broth and wine.

Cooked on high for 4 hours (could probably do low for 6-8 hours).

When dinner time comes around, cook some pasta (we used brown rice-quinoa pasta) and serve over the pasta.  Might as well finish the wine as well.  And if you don’t have to deal with the kiddos, make it romantic, eh?  Candles, pretty plates, the whole deal!  :-P

What do you do on busy nights?  How do you negotiate dinner if you don’t get home until (relatively) late?  What about managing dinner with kids?  Anyone else work late afternoon/evenings?



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Friday Fun

you guys, this week the internet has just had too much good stuff not to share!  It might have something to do with lots of internet browsing since I was at home with sick kiddos this week!  Croup be gone!

I so wish I was there right now…

So, in the spirit of the Friday Favorites section at (one of my favorite weekly posts), here are some Fun things I found around the web (and in real life) this week:

1) 27 Parents who owned the texting thing

2) This awesome sister Duo

3) This tiny conductor who puts my conducting to shame

4) This conversation between captain awesome and Ducky Monday night:  D: (pointing at the bathtub where he had just been – and pooped in- while sitting on the toilet next to it)  ”daddy, what are those?”  CA: “those are bubbles.” D: “those are poops.”

5) This reminder that Everyone is the Perfect Parent – Sometimes

6) The conversations with students this week about accessing resonance!  I love when something works!

7) Sadness over the end of Fitnessista’s Winter Shape Up - I’m definitely doing that again!

Hope you all have a marvelous weekend!




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First 10k

So, the plan was to do the 5k, but little miss overachiever over here decided to go for broke and a month after I started running, I ran my first 10k! The race was the Frozen Booty Virtual through Mom’s Run This Town, the mom’s running group I’m a part of (I participate in two chapters since I live in the city of the one, but the other has runs that more often work for me).

***all photos by Octavio Valencia Photography***

Our chapter held the Frozen Booty on January 31st and since most of my training runs had been 4+ miles with a double stroller, I decided to try the 10k, just to see if I could do it. A group of ladies ran super early to mark the trail:

The day dawned beautifully, though to my California bones, it felt cold! Despite feeling like I had a frozen booty (see what I did there!?), I bravely ditched my jacket at the party spot and walked to the finish line down by the bridge that crosses the river.  The photographer got some great photos of the back of my running shirt – a throwback from Captain Awesome’s 2013 Tough Mudder Team (I am not a tough mudder , just wore it to support them!):

I started out pacing with people who said they were slow runners and found after a while that I could push the pace a bit – probably thanks to running with the stroller!  So on I ran and once I passed mile 2 it started to feel easy until about 5.5 miles where the Photographer caught me again:

 shoulder tension, anyone?

 ah, that’s better

At about 6 miles I had a hill to run up before the bridge that would bring me back to the finish line – it was an out and back. I walked that hill thinking I could then sprint the finish line… Not to be.  I managed to get started running again, but my legs felt like jello, so I called it good to just run across the finish line!

 And finish it I did!  I completed my first 10k race in 1:05:29, averaging out to a 10.7 minute mile (and that included a potty break!!!).  Not bad for a first race!  I was super happy with my time and that I did it at all!  I am so proud that I gave it enough of a try to find out that I love running!

What have you done that you never thought you would?  Any other new runners out there?  Advice from experienced runners?

~ ES

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This Whole body, this WHOLE self

As a voice teacher, I frequently come across the same misuses of the vocal mechanism (ick, that sounds so impersonal, but I’m at a lack for words right now) and find myself explaining a more complete use of the body – which is the instrument.  A couple times the thought has come through my mind – proven by this lack of awareness of the body as a whole in the majority of our society.

To truly access your voice, you must truly access your whole self.  The vocal chords are to your body what the reeds of an oboe are to the whole instrument.  While they function on their own, they cannot work alone if you want to access your best sound.  Noticing the imbalance in my students often leads to discussions and activities to bring awareness of the whole self.  And once or twice it has led to a deeper philosophical discussion that I feel encouraged to talk about today.

 photo by Octavio Valencia Photography

It is amazing to connect to the whole self, to truly become one with your own body.  This is something I first accessed in my practice of yoga.  To be aware of the goings on within yourself as a whole being allows you to move beyond society’s views of beauty, or how we think we should look.

God designed each of us to be perfectly ourselves.  Knowing that, how could you not treat your body – your whole SELF, body and mind – as a vessel created by God and entrusted to your care?  Not enough time is taken to become aware of the inner workings of the body itself.  We think of ourselves as talking heads with our bodies as objects that we own and must whittle to the ‘appropriate’ shapes and sizes.  We spend time improving our minds, learning and thinking, listening to music and watching tv shows and thinking of ourselves as busts. A talking head.

We disconnect from the world around us in the most basic sense.  I am guilty just as much as the next person of that, but I try to take time to notice when I’m losing myself and when I need to reconnect.  Even to just take time to breathe.

So, I encourage, implore you to explore what it is to be God’s whole creature.  How does it feel when you breathe, how do your ribs expand and move when you take a deep breath?  What happens if you stand and inhale from your feet to your head and back down?  How do you experience the breath?  What do you feel when you pay attention to your legs, your arms, your ribs?  Do you notice the changes of your body from day to day?

I have done yoga my whole life and it is one of the best ways to discover your whole self and become aware of the ‘comings and goings’ of your whole person.  Thanks to my whole self awareness, I knew I was pregnant before taking a test with each of my boys.  I know when something is different and I’m more aware of how to access breath and support I need for singing or functioning.  I know when I’ve been tuned out and how to tune back in.

And it’s worth it.  It changes your perspective on your life.  And on whatever higher power you believe (or don’t believe) in.

Have you ever taken time to be self-attentive?  Self-aware in more than the mental and emotional sense? What’s  your favorite way to reconnect to yourself and the world around you?

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Guess who’s a runner? (and a few random thoughts)

I never, EVER thought I’d be one to hit the pavement for any distance, but guess who has found a passion for running!?

That’s right! MEEEEEEE!

I ‘took it up’ December 27th and since January 1st I have run 104 miles. Including running in my first 10k!

I never thought I’d run farther than 3 miles and that would be to do my bucket list 5k, but it turns out I love it, and these shirts explain why:

I Run To Burn Off The Crazy T Shirt(source)



also because:

Forget Skinny I'm Training To Be Badass - tri blend women's workout tank top. S-2XL. Funny workout shirt. Motivational gym tank. gym tank (source)

I’m LOVING running.  It’s something I can do with or without the boys and I’m so much more sane when I make it out to run.   Probably exercise endorphins plus outside time…

Have I mentioned that It’s been gorgeous here in California?  I’ve been enjoying it (see:running), but we still desperately need precipitation – something that’s in my prayers every day.


Huge shout out to my MRTT gals, they inspire me and motivate me and make the whole running thing so much more fun!

And now I’ve got a new gear obsession… hoo boy!  ;)  good thing my budget doesn’t support it and that I’m pretty budget conscious…


Happy Trails!

What keeps you sane?  Why do you exercise?  (or why not?)  

can’t wait to hear!

~Errant Soprano

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Apple Hill trip – much belated

oooh, you guys.  Two children is so much more work than I ever understood! Every time I feel like I’m getting a rhythm, something crops up.  The latest was a week of really bad issues (and multiple attacks) with my asthma.  BLECH.  Really not helpful as a singer.

But we’re not here to talk about that.  we’re here to talk about the glory that is apple hill.  I’ve always gone in September or early October with my family when we were growing up, but Apple Hill in November is STUNNING.  The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, Christmas trees are growing all over the hill. The pumpkins are gone, the apples have all been picked and it’s just crisp, slighly foggy, fall beauty.

We met some friends up there and had a blast.  And decided that this was a great time to take some photos!

I did my first ever outside Urdhva Danurasana.  WITHOUT touching my back to the wet, muddy ground.  Which means I dropped back, something I’ve never successfully done before this! (excuse the belly shot, that sweater was never meant for yoga…)

We got some AMAZING photos of the boy(s) running around.

Captain Awesome got some great shots of me babywearing in my newest learned carry- a back carry!  Perfect for doing the dishes when someone just wants to be held.

or when two someones need attention…

and, of course, some family shots to share for christmas cards and to put on our walls…


So, from our family, to yours, happy new year!

~errant soprano

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The Best Kind of Compliment

Hi all,

I got a compliment today that got me thinking about compliments in general.  There are so many kinds and they all affect me differently.  I’m not immune to giving them, of course.  Sometimes its the ones that feel strange:

“Your baby (babies) is (are) so cute!”

Ummm, Thanks?  I really had very little say in that.  Just happen to be an attractive woman who married (mated with) an attractive man.

See?  Beautiful babies, handsome hubby.  <insert shrug> what can ya do?

“You have such a beautiful singing voice.”

Thanks?  Didn’t have much say in that, either.  Just worked hard to improve it and had a lot of help learning how.


“You had a baby 3 months ago?  You’re so SKINNY!”
Umm… ok. thanks?  I didn’t gain much with this pregnancy, what with chasing his older brother around ( Plus I’m naturally slender,  and I’ve only lost half of what I gained – 9lbs out of 18.  7 of that was baby).

Today’s compliment was the kind I can totally get on board with:

“You have such a strong practice!”

THANK YOU!!! I work for that!

Things that come easily to me and naturally to me are great.  I really don’t mind being complimented on them, however, those things that are hard for me, that I really work at/for?  When you compliment that which I have literally worked my butt off at, it feels like so much more than any of the other compliments you could give me about things I have very little or no control over.

So thank you, fellow yoga practitioner… THAT compliment meant the world to me on this Sunday morning!  (and further motivates me in my practice :))

What motivates you? Do some compliments strike you as odd?  Do you prefer one kind over another?


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Yoga: What’s the Point?

I was recently asked what the point is of yoga.  I hemmed and hawed and tried to explain it, but found it hard to verbalize.  Today, after a conversation with captain awesome, a late conversation with my mother (the reason that I have been doing yoga since I was a toddler) and while reading one of my many ‘favorite’ yoga books, I have an answer of sorts.

Yoga: The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuj,
which means “to join” or “to yoke”. 

This is a crucial idea for the understanding of yoga.  The practice of yoga is a mind, body, spirit thing.  Yoking all of those together.  Creating a whole self that is joined to all its parts.

I like to think that the point of yoga is that there is no point.  That’s not really correct.  I should reassess that the point of yoga is to focus on the journey.  It’s not a sport.  It isn’t about achieving the awesome asanas (though, that’s fun to do).  It’s about what happens when you are in those asanas. Not physically, though you can’t be removed from it, but Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually.

Yoga is all about the Journey.  

When I get into a pose that is difficult for me, I find myself trying to escape.  Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually.  Its funny, because I see this happen with my voice students when they find a place in their voice(s) that they find uncomfortable.  It’s human nature to try and run away from perceived ‘danger.’

They yoga journey truly begins (in my mind) when I can calm that fear, that ‘escape’ reaction, and move or relax into the pose.  When I stop to explore my reaction.  Not in a negative or positive way, but in a mindful way.  What about this position makes me fearful?  How can I calm myself?  What can I do to make this, my practice, most effective.  Would making myself more comfortable do it, or is it more to my benefit to ride out the sensations – scary though they may be?

The important thing for me, far more than the physical, is the way yoga reminds me that it’s ok to be wherever I am with whatever I’m doing or dealing with.  Yoga is really about the present.  Where you are now, no judgement.  Breathe in, breathe out.  It helps me to deal with my anxiety, stress, and emotions.  Reminds me that it’s ok to be where I am.  Because I won’t always be there.  Time changes everything.  Breathe in, Breathe out. Babies grow up, toddlers will eventually leave the terrible twos behind and move on to other (possibly more frustrating) things.

It ties in, SO MUCH, to voice.  I use my yoga knowledge on a daily basis in my own voice practice and when I’m teaching voice.  From the physicality to the mentality.  But that’s another post entirely.

There is so much about yoga, that it can not possibly be talked about in one post, so I’ll have to do another.  But here are some thoughts for the day:

  • Yoga is about the journey, not the destination.
  • It’s ok to be you and be where you are.
  • Perfection is not the goal, nor is it achievable or even something worth striving for
  • The goal in yoga is to find yourself- physically, mentally, spiritually – and be ok with what that is and where you are.
  • and, my always message;

Above all things, LOVE.  Love who you are, love who you’re with, love what you’re doing.  Judgement is about you far more than about the people you judge and there’s no place or point for it in this short life.  LOVE is what it’s all about.

and I’ll leave with a little Beatles melody:

Have you ever tried yoga?  What did you think?  How do you approach it?  


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