Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wow. A Post!

I did something today I haven't done in awhile. I looked at a few friends blogs. I love how interconnected the world is. We have friends from our ward in Delaware who now live in Texas. They are friends with a family that lives in our new ward in Utah. Following a few links, I found some blogs of new friends that I didn't know about and even saw my poor neglected blog on someone's blogroll. Thus the inspiration to come back here and write a few words.

My last post was about my first experience playing the piano in church. Thank goodness it was the toughest one and it's been easier ever since. I'm becoming more and more comfortable in this calling. Not perfect, but ever improving.

We had another busy month with lots of visitors--my sister from Seattle, my brother and family from Virginia, cousins from Idaho, etc. I am so happy we are here.

The one sad element to this move has been leaving Jeff's parents behind. We hope that we can get together with them for a wonderful visit this year. I have not done much in the way of photography for aeons and my poor mother-in-law is starved to see some pictures of her now thriving grandson. I hope I can fix that.

I miss the weekly Sunday pictures I used to do. He is looking pretty good these days (well nourished) and is feeling well. I hope to do a basketball photo shoot of him this spring with all of his BYU outfits on. He is a huge Jimmer fan. We bought him a hoop and he's been practicing his shot. He's pretty good already. Yay for the inspiration of BYU basketball.

My nephew is attending BYU right now and it has been wonderful to reconnect with him. He went on a spanish speaking mission and cooked us some wonderful mexican the other night. He is such a great person. I am so glad we're here when he is.

We are slowly but steadily getting our house in order. It was hard for months since I was working and not home a lot. I have rearranged my life so that I am here most of the time, especially when Reilly gets home from school and in the evenings. That is helping. It sure feels good to be on top of things.

Life is good.

Gratitudes for the day:

1. We are still so happy we made this move. I can't keep the smile off of my face

2. My tulips and daffodils are coming up

3. I get to help my mom in her incredible garden tomorrow get some early cool weather crops in. So excited for growing greens.

4. Reilly is motivated to earn some money for something he wants to buy. We'll be doing extra chores and things this week to help him achieve his goal.

5. BYU made it to the Sweet Sixteen!!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Experience with the Piano

Well, today was the day. The first day that I accompanied the Relief Society at church on the piano. I could have conducted today instead, but wanted to dive in and get my feet wet with playing for people to sing. Kind of break the ice.

Let's back up a week. I was set apart last Sunday for this calling. I went home and went to work. I know that I can play the piano, especially if I practice--which I did. I practiced and practiced until my fingers knew the music so well that my brain had nothing to do with it. I really put in as much effort as I could have on my part. I prayed and put my performance in the Lord's hands, knowing I had done as much as I could.

Playing for people to sing has never been my strong suit. I am honestly really excited for this calling because I don't know of a better way to improve dramatically than to just jump in there and do it. There is something said for gaining experience. There are so many others in the ward more qualified than I, but I am still excited that I have this opportunity to grow as a pianist.

Ok, back to today. I went in to church early to practice on the piano I would be playing. I did fairly well. Jeff sang as I played. Then when it was time for Relief Society, I had to play some prelude music. I had put all of my efforts into the songs I would be playing for the singing that I didn't practice anything else for prelude. I pulled out a few hymns that I hoped I could play off the cuff. I did and did it well. Phew.... I was grateful for that.

Before I knew it, it was time for the opening song. And did I ever struggle. Usually, if I would stumble, I had practiced carrying on and keeping on going. I did so badly on the first verse that there was a part with no music while they sang as I collected myself and got back on track.

The closing song was even easier for me to play, but there was no time at the end of the lesson, so I didn't have a chance to redeem myself.

Usually, I would be humiliated or embarrassed by such a public display. I do worry too much about what others think about me, usually. That was not the case today. Mostly, I was incredibly disappointed. I had worked so hard and I really knew the music well. I came home and played through it perfectly, just to see if I hadn't imagined that. I had hoped to do well or at least much better than I did. As a friend at church told me--baptism by fire. I'm sure it wont be too long before I can do this and do this well. Growing can be painful at times, but always worth it.

I shouldn't be too hard on myself since I have never had this calling and opportunity before.

Anyway....that was how that went. Wish me luck for next time. I'll be practicing--lots!


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Best of 2010

I am going to keep this short because one of my resolutions is to simplify. I obviously didn't follow up with my previous plans for weight loss coverage on my blog over the holidays. All I can say is I am grateful for the New Year and a New Start.

In that light, here are some high points for 2010

-MOVING TO UTAH!!!! This has been the best thing we have ever done.

-I am healthy. (another biggie)

-Jeff and I have done more active things together in the 6 months we've lived here than we have in our previous 12 years of marriage.

-Reilly was baptized.

-My nephew got off of his mission and is now here at BYU

-Becoming close friends with my cousins who live 5 minutes away

-Taking piano lessons (thank you Leslie!)

-Having a private concert by my ever so talented opera singing friends. It was a thrilling experience for me.

-Having before mentioned talented singing friends become some of our closest and bestest friends.

-Sunday dinners at Jeff's parents house (we sure miss you guys!)

-our new ward

-Lunches with my parents and brother

-Hanging out with my brother and his family

-Reilly is doing so well in school and he loves it here

-working for Raw Melissa

-Date night

-Having George Durrant as a neighbor (yes, my fellow ward members, I am still a bit star struck by that--I've been a Durrant fan ever since Devin played for BYU and later, after reading many of Brother Durrant's books)

-Reilly walking or riding his bike to his new school

-Catching up with old friends who lived with us back East but have also relocated to Utah (there are still a few we are trying to catch)

-Having lots and lots of company stay in our house

-Feeling happy the majority of the time

-Getting to know Stephanie "NieNie" Neilson a little bit

-Finding lost friends on facebook

-Seeing "The Scarlet Pimpernel" in the theatre

-Rooftop concerts in Provo


-our new house

-our new car

-Gardening with my mom

-Getting my family to dance to Just Dance on the wii (especially my parents, brother-in-law, etc.)

-starting to wear fun stripey socks

-Jeff designing and tailoring his Halloween costume to perfection

I could go on and on, but I have already passed the brief post that I intended. I really don't know how to be brief. I'm trying.

Here's to 2011 and the best year YET!!!