all state 2015

I think it's safe to say that pretty much anything that takes a significant amount of effort, time, and energy is worth it.
I only auditioned for the all-state band because my director reminded me that applications were due the next day. And it was more of a 'hey you are totally doing this, right?' reminder, than a 'hey do this if you want to' kind of thing. I hadn't looked at the music because I didn't really plan on trying out. Obviously I didn't want to put in that kind of time into something I didn't want to do. But, alas I started practicing the music the day before the tryout, and totally made my lips beyond tired playing really late into the night and all morning. I finally made my audition tape, probably with my lips bleeding because of overplaying, and didn't think anything of it. (I sounded awful. don't listen to a trumpet player when their lips are tired; it's not a pretty sound)

But hey! I got a confirmation email later saying congratulations and I was so confused. What? I made it in?? What is going on? Now I really have to practice the five difficult pieces that we were going to be playing??

It wasn't a joke. I printed off the music and didn't look at it until the day of all-state. Can you tell that I'm really good at procrastinating practicing my trumpet??

The first night was a three hour rehearsal after school, and we got home around 10:00pm. We ran through each of the pieces and we didn't sound half bad! I was getting a little excited about it.

The next day we started at 9:00am and played until noon where we had a two hour break for lunch. We played for three more hours after that and had another two hour break for dinner. And after that we only had two more hours until we could go home.
Practice was long. You are taught that you're supposed to sit on the edge of the seat and keep your back perfectly straight when you are practicing. I started out that way, but by the end of the day I was leaning back on my chair and falling asleep. Whew! What a long day. The next day was the performance so we had to get all the kinks out of the music in the 8 hours that we had.

The next day my friend and I drove up to Salt Lake for our practice before the concert. We practiced and it went really well. After we were done practicing, the head honchos said we would have an hour to get something to each and chill out before the concert, but they started talking and we only had half an hour left before the performance.
My friend and I ran in our floor-length concert dresses and heels to City Creek mall that was a few blocks away. We stopped to catch our breath to look at a map and check out where the food court was and it was so far away! I slipped off my shoes and got ready to run, but we decided to just get something from a chocolate store to tied us over. We grabbed a caramel apple (an apple is healthy, right?) and we ran back so so fast.
We got back with ten minutes to spare, and right as we walked in, we realized that there was a vending machine in the room. But, I've never had such a delicious apple, so it was all worth it.

It was finally our time to perform and to warm up, the director, Dr. Fischer, did an exercise that we had been doing all week. We all closed our eyes and played notes together and listened intently around us to blend and sound pretty. As we did this, the stage melted away and it was just like we were back practicing, and not on stage at Abravenal Hall.
During the last piece, Pas Redouble (which was also my favorite), I kept thinking, wow this is really happening! It felt so surreal. Students from all around the state all came together and in two days were able to perform a song and actually sound good! Everything was so great.

We had twenty-something people represent our school in the all-state band and orchestra! We really like music at our school.

My awesome parents made sure to come to my concert and watch! They come to seriously everything and it ROCKS.

facing fears aka the concerto concert

One of my goals for all the time is to face fears.
I'm afraid of a lot of things. Trying new things, putting myself out there, failing in front of people, not doing things that I love, and the list goes on.
But a few months ago I took the plunge and decided to face my fear of playing trumpet in front of people. When I was deciding whether or not to participate in the concerto concert, I remembered volunteering for a solo in jazz band in 9th grade. I had no idea how to solo or what notes to play, but I raised my hand and went for it. It was terrifying. I was shaking before and after I played it! There was practically no one in the audience, but that didn't matter. I was still deathly afraid.
Three years later, I wouldn't think that I would be volunteering again to play a solo in front of a crowd. This time, it was purely a piece where I solo the whole time and the band plays in the background. I knew that I wouldn't be the best performer in the concert, but I still wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could do it. I chose the piece Trumpeters Lullaby because my dad loves that song and I love it cause he loves it.
We practiced all six concertos everyday in band class. I wasn't nervous in front of the band, but for the concert, man I was terrified.
I played my solo and didn't do as well as I wanted to (but really, who does their best when they're nervous?) and sat down and couldn't believe that I just did that!

I'm proud of myself, and I don't care who knows it. Yay for facing fears.

ice skating

There is a new ice skating rink that just opened up right around the corner from my high school. For mutual (a weekly church activity) we went and had a blast! We were there for an hour and half and I managed to only fall twice! (I fell right on my knee though, and I have the biggest bruise now)
I haven't been ice skating in a year or more, so as we started I was really really nervous to fall down. I was trying to skate and hold onto the side but I couldn't really get the hang of it. So I eventually just trusted myself and fell down a couple times, but got more and more confident as the night went on!
If you haven't gone outdoor ice skating yet, I totally encourage it. It is SO fun.

see ya in 1.5

I said see ya to my friend Kelly today. I met her in a sports marketing class when she was a senior and I was a junior. She laughed and smiled a lot and I knew that I wanted to be friends with her. Dante, Kelly, and I were all in that class together and we were the most obnoxious kids you could ever have in a class ever.
After the class ended, Kelly and I were still friends. I took her senior pictures and mission photos and we learned that we both are obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I love love love her.

Saying goodbye to her is hard but she will be the grandest missionary. I love her.

If you wanna take a gander of the photos I took of Kelly for her mission, check this link out!!

save. ferris.

We crashed PGs Save Ferris 80s themed dance. Even though we were from AF they let us in with no problem. My friend Paige brought over all the supplies to get ready and we had five girls running around the house trying to get ready for the dance. Hair dye, neon clothes, earrings, necklaces, tights, shoes, leggings, and crazy makeup was every.where. We showed up two hours late to the dance, but managed to dance our hearts out!
The entrance to the dance was kinda sketchy and so we had to ask how to get inside. Right as we went through the doors we could hear the 80s music and we didn't stop dancing until the dance ended. What a night!

the grandparents and japanese food

My ojiichan and obaachan are the grandest people to walk this earth. They are the pioneers of the family. They lived through World War II while living in Japan. As converts to the church, they had a huge impact on the lives of their posterity. Both of their children went on missions and now have families who are active in church activities.
My obaachan sometimes tells me about the classes she had to take in order to marry ojiichan. Apparently ojiichan's father didn't think that she was good enough to marry his son, so he made her take many classes. She learned how to arrange flowers, make patterns and clothing, and make kimonos. The other day she showed me her book of patterns from her class and it looked incredibly confusing. Each pattern had to be made to fit each person that the clothes were being made for and the whole process was tedious and long. Watching her talk about it makes me so grateful for patterns that you can buy at the store.
My ojiichan loves studying my kanji with me for my Japanese class. I got a whole stack of flash cards that I was supposed to learn and he sat with me on the floor and taught me the proper stroke order and origins of each character. And not to mention, he has the best beard I have ever seen.

spinnin like a broken record

(just kidding on the title of this post, ps)

My friend got a record player for Christmas! So naturally, we had to throw a party to celebrate. We got all the records that we could gather up and brought the record player and records to my brother's house. I enlisted the help of my new sister in law to help plan the party and decorate. There were little lights that were strung up, glitter records hanging from those, a wall of music notes, and not to mention hamburgers and banana splits. Our bellies were full and happy afterward!
We had planned for way more people to come, but we realized how blessed we were that so few came. Through games and dinner we got to know each other better and it was so much fun. We played a game called Times Up which is pretty much the best game to humiliate yourself. It's high stress, lots of thinking, and a lot of pressure! But it is the best game to play with a group of friends.
The whole night we had different records playing in the background. Selections such as Boston, Foreigner, Frank Sinatra, Beach Boys, and so much more! I love the sound of a record playing. And especially if Frank Sinatra's voice is coming from the record player!
All I wanted was the Buffalo Gals track from It's a Wonderful Life. I feel like it is such an iconic song because of the movie!

So all in all, if any of you are on the fence about holding your own record party, just go for it. Record players and old records are a good excuse to throw a party.

52 Questions in 52 Weeks // Week #2

For more information on this all these questions I'm answering, check out this post.

This week's question is this:

When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighborhood and the town you grew up in.

I was born in October of 1997 in Wake Forest Medical Hospital in North Carolina. After being born, my family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas for my dad's job. We lived in a brick house. And the only memory I have of it is when we were moving out. I had chewed a piece of gum and left it inside one of the many drawers in our bathroom. Before we left, my dad asked for whoever left the used gum in the drawer to confess and I never did. Hehehe.

We moved back to Greensboro, North Carolina, because how can you leave a place as gorgeous as North Carolina without yearning to go back? We lived in an apartment for a while until we fell in love with our house. While living in the apartments, it snowed, and it snowed hard. Now, if you live in Greensboro, you know that it never never ever snows, and if it does, there is hardly half an inch to show for it. But this particular time it dumped snow on our city. My brothers and I ran out of our apartment decked out in our snow gear and we threw snowballs at cars passing by. I was so afraid of getting in trouble but it was so fun and reckless that I kept doing it!

The house we moved into was just spectacular. The backyard was huge (at least it was in my eyes) and our trampoline was always being used. There was a creek and small forest in our backyard that my brothers and I would go exploring in whenever we had free time. There was a type of vine that now escapes my mind but that covered half of the trees in our mini forest. It was so fun to hike up the hill to the elementary school that was a ways behind the trees.

Our next door neighbors were the nicest folks you could ever meet. On one side, we had a married couple with two huge dogs names Boo-Boo and Maddy. They would let me dog sit and take them out for runs whenever I wanted. On the other side, we had a family with a daughter that would become an older sister figure for much of my young years. She is the one who told me about the new trend of parting your hair on the side, rather than in the middle. And she's the one who always played with me in our swimming suits with the hoses out. We laid on my trampoline and acted like we were in a beauty salon and 'washed' each others hair. And we slid down her slide with the water running down it from the hose.

Life growing up was just grand. I wouldn't want it any other way!

photos can't portray beauty of the snow // outfit post

These past two weeks have been winter break, also known as pure bliss. Quite frankly I did nothing really productive along the lines of school work until the last few days, but being able to have freedom to do as I pleased was amazing! I was able to learn quite a few new things, such as how to design clothing and draw it, arrange flowers, make creative snail mail, and calligraphy! Now, I'm not saying that I am a master in all of these things, and I really just dabbled in each of them. But it was grand being able to try so many different activities and hobbies.

Do you know those moments that are so great that even a picture can't capture the greatness? Or when something is so beautiful and so touching that a photograph wouldn't do it justice?
That is the snow that we got this past week.
Oh. My. Word.
The snowflakes were the size of a quarter and falling so peacefully.
Whenever snow falls I try to take in all the snowflakes at once and try to see where they all individually land. And then I try to focus on a clump of snowflakes and follow them the whole way to the ground. I really like that with snow, there is no real end or beginning that you can see, but that there is always new snow moving and gently landing on the pieces that went before.
Things like that just remind me that there is so much more than just me and my life.

jacket: apostrophe (given to me by my grandmother)
shirt: target (given to me by my sister in law, after being worn on her mission for 1.5 years)
skirt: thrifted
shoes: forever young shoes

52 Questions in 52 Weeks // Week #1

When I think about learning about my ancestors, I picture myself sitting in an intimate coffee shop, cradling hot cocoa, and engaging in conversation on cozy sofas that sit next to big windows that look out onto a busy street.
I found an article about recording memories and your personal 'legacy' per-say. I thought it was so interesting. I got thinking. And I realized that what would be better for my posterity, and even my future self, than me documenting my views on life and answering questions about myself!
So in a way, it's like I'm sitting in a coffee shop on a cocoa date with myself in which anyone can come and learn more about me. 
There are 52 questions that are broken up for each week of the year. And it's the beginning of the year so I can ride this out all year long!
Feel free to join me.

The first week's question is:

What is your full name? Why did your parents give you that name?

My full name is Kiana Taguchi Bates.
From what I understand, when my mom was pregnant, my parents just could not agree on a name for me. My dad was a news anchor at the time, and on ESPN there was a female anchor with the name Kiana and my parents just fell in love with it.
Taguchi is my mother's maiden name. It reminds me of my Japanese heritage, and I think that is why my parents decided to give my brothers and I the same middle name. Whenever we write our full name, we are asked about our middle name. And I think that is pretty rad. It really shows me that my life is a culmination of things that many people did way before my time here on this earth began. Without my grandparents moving to the United States from Japan, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this!
Bates is obviously my last name, so my parents didn't really choose it for me. But whenever I think of the name 'Bates' I think of my grandpa. He died before I was born, so unfortunately the time spent with him before I got to earth is shadowed by the veil. Anyway, when my dad was a little kid, my grandpa owned a bakery named Bates Bakery. It was on main street in Heber city. I've always thought that the idea of Bates Bakery was so neat. It was my dream for the longest time to reopen Bates Bakery because I loved it so so much.

learning new things // floral design

I really like trying new things. Honestly, whenever I hear about something neat, I dive head first into it.
Floral design has always intrigued me, but it wasn't until just recently that I took initiative in learning how to do it! I contacted Erin from Floral Design by Erin because she arranged all the flowers for my brother's wedding and is friends with my sister in law. She was kind enough to invite me in arranging the flowers for one of her upcoming weddings.
I showed up to her house ready to watch her put all the center pieces and the toss bouquet together, but she wouldn't have any of that. From the time I arrived and the time we finished setting all of the flowers up, I was involved with everything!
I learned a lot about how to cut the flowers, and arrange them to look pretty. It is really different for each piece that you do, and I think that is refreshing and neat.
She let me put together the toss bouquet that she used for the real wedding!! I was so shocked that she would trust me like that, but she approved of how it looked and that in itself was the highest compliment. 

 We went down to the venue where we were to set up all the flowers and put all of the center pieces on the tables. The cake hadn't arrived yet, so we decided to hit a Belgian waffle shop on center street in Provo. If you live around there, you HAVE TO go and find it. It's across the street from where the new tabernacle temple is being built.
Oh my heck. This was the greatest waffle my taste buds have ever experienced. It didn't need any sauce or toppings. The waffle in itself was so sugary and sweet and delicious!

What I really appreciated about this was how welcomed and at home I felt with Erin and her family! They treated me like I was one of their sisters/daughter and that was so great. I could see the southern hospitality that I miss so much from North Carolina in them!

I learned so much about flowers and arranging and making people feel welcome and at home. I'm so grateful for Erin!

ringing in the new year, gas station style

New Years Eve.
2014 has flown by so fast and I can't believe it is over.
New years eve festivities started around 10:15pm for us. We headed to a huge stake dance that was going on by PG high school. And yes, I am a senior in high school. Don't judge me for loving to dance.
We walked in and there were kids everywhere. There were ping pong tables, sumo wrestling, dodge ball, pizza/cookies/doughnuts/drinks, and dancing. Everything looked pretty fun and the place was poppin'. We started to go inside the dance, and all the people in there looked like they were in 7th grade. Yikes. And there was legit no dancing going on at all. No mosh pit (aka my favorite part). No crazy pump-up dance music.
We decided to stick it out and danced a bit in our little group of three, but then walked around for a while. We were there for about an hour. We vowed that we would stay for one more slow song, and so when the slow song came on, I asked someone to dance. I found out that they go to the same school as me, but is two years younger! We were practically yelling at each other because the music was so loud. When the dance was over, I met up with my friends again and we left.
We were outta there before 11:30 and headed over to Pizza Hut to use a gift card to buy a pizza. To our dismay, it was closed. Which was really misleading because there were totally lights on and a man with a ponytail was inside. He was probably mocking us.
We tried Fresh Market to see if we could scrounge up a pizza, but they were closed too! By this time, we were absolutely frozen and ran back to the car. We drove to the 7/11 that was right next to the grocery store and thankfully it was open!
We ran inside after seeing a sign for pizza. We found it and headed to check out. In between the frozen pizza isle and the cash register, the new year came. Don't worry, we got a picture right at 12:00!

The cashier was so kind to us! We had set our pizza and our impulse buy of poppers and were ready to check out when she brought three boxes of doughnuts to the counter and gave them to us. for. free. And she also gave us another set of poppers, free of charge. She was the cheeriest lady I've ever met, especially since she had to sit alone in the store on new years eve.
She told us about how she was only here for a couple more months before she was directing airplanes up at the airport in February. It was so cool to hear her story and about her exciting new job.
While she was talking to us, she heated up our pizza in two minutes! Wow. Magic

Armed with our freshly-cooked pizza, free boxes of doughnuts, and poppers, we headed to my friends house to feast on our dinner.

Happy New Year!!
I hope your new year was spent with those you love, like mine was!
Here's to 2015!