Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in pictures

The foosball table was a family gift but it was Brandon that did the happy dance when he first caught sight of it.
With the help of his dad and brothers, Bryan snuck this monster of a table into the back of the truck the night before without the kids having any idea. My father-in-law told me that the table was seriously awkward and ridiculously heavy...and expressed doubt that Bryan and I could haul it down the stairs and into our house on our own. He thought we'd have to get another man to help. I am pleased to say that he underestimated my strength. I am a buff woman! :) It wasn't even as bad as I was anticipating! (Do I have to admit to the bruises on my leg and the couple of swear words that escaped my lips?)

We're big "Dr. Who" fans at our house. But being a 9 year old boy means that Brandon is the one who was going to be the most thrilled with owning "Dr. Who" action figures.

A pretty watch for a pretty teenager. I'm slightly envious. Think she'll let me borrow it occasionally?

Seriously...I think one of the best parts of Christmas is the whole family hanging out in pajamas all morning. (Poor Julianne had the 24 hour stomach flu and did not feel at all well...)

Look at the absolute glee on this girl's face when she discovered the can of Sprite in her stocking!

The "Doctor" made a house call to visit Lilian's doll family...

Poor, sick girl. She claims she still had a great Christmas. Although she had a fever and her guts were still unhappy...she was over the worst of it by morning, luckily.

Lilian generously sharing a chip with her Daddy. "Santa" always forgets how much Bryan loves Pringles too...we'll have to make sure he brings an extra can next year...

Warming himself on the heater? Catching up on some sleep? Playing an impromptu game of Hide and Seek? I'm not sure what Brandon was doing back behind the Christmas tree here...

A few days after Christmas we had a party with my side of the family. Mary, Ryan and family came down from Idaho and we even got Rachel involved through skype. (Or some sort of similar program...)
The bug that had Julianne puking her way through Christmas Eve had made it's way to Rebekah who ended up spending this Christmas party on the floor in the back bedroom...poor thing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

My parents came over for lunch, to see our decorations and to revel in the kids excited anticipation of Christmas. Later that afternoon we headed to a Christmas celebration with Bryan's family where, among other things, all the grandkids put on the Nativity re-enactment. Favorites of the many pictures that were taken follow:

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

Greetings All,
Today we are talking about music playlists. I have a lot of them these days. Playlists on my computer, in my car and on my ipod. Playlists for running, playlists for voice lessons, playlists for Christmas music, playlists for classical music and broadway soundtracks. Each of the kids even has a playlist. Today I've made one more. A playlist entitled “2010” with songs that go along with the notable events of our year. I hope you are in the mood to humor me because I'm going to share them with you.
Song #1: “Jump” by Van Halen
Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead and jump!”
I mentioned last year that Brandon had joined the gymnastics world on a level 4 competition team. He had numerous meets earlier this year earning ribbons, medals, trophies and plaques. He even won 1st place all-around at one of his meets. And with each progressive meet and workout, his love for his newfound sport increased. We are continually amazed at the skills he has learned AND the six-pack of muscles he has started to acquire. In the spring Brandon moved up to the level 5 competition team. A few weeks ago as I was dropping Brandon off for a workout, he turned to me and said, “Mom...I love it here! This gym is like my second home. I have best friends here!” Nice to know all that money and driving isn't going to waste.

Song #2: “I Want To Ride My Bicycle” by Queen
Bicycle races are coming your way, on your mark, get set, go....
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...”
I did a lot of biking this year, riding at least 3 times a week throughout the spring and summer. Numerous bike races, harder and longer routes around town, accessorized my bike with new teal green handlebar tape and a bike computer, accessorized myself with some new bike jerseys. All of this basically building up to LOTOJA. A 206 mile relay bike race from LOgan TO JAckson. This is a big time race. People come from all over the country to ride the course. I was hugely excited but also seriously intimidated. I had the first route...thirty-five miles from Logan to Preston, Idaho. Which wasn't too hard, really. I'd done a lot more than 35 miles in one sitting. But it started at 5:45 AM in 34 degree weather. Pitch dark, fog, freezing fingers and it was definitely the most unique ride I've ever done. But did I mention it was AWESOME??

Song #3: “Growing Up” by Roy Orbison
Heeeey eeeey now little one, you're growing up.”
Julianne turned 12 this year. Which means joining the Young Women program at church, going to Jr. High, hanging out with boys, and, unlike most other 12 year olds, starting growth hormone. Our endocrinologist had been tracking Julianne's growth for quite a few years and had finally formally recommended growth hormone shots after explaining that in his expert opinion, Julianne wasn't likely to reach over 4' 8” as her final adult height. The thought of daily shots was daunting at first but now Julianne administers her own shots like a pro. And all those pokes have not been in vain...she's growing! (Rebekah is a little worried that Julianne will outgrow her in another few months...)
Song #4: “Sing” by The Carpenters
Sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.”
Lots of singing going on at our house. Julianne and Rebekah both joined ---------------- Theatre earlier this year. Rebekah also auditioned for and made it into Choraliers, the --------- Jr. High show choir. Both of these groups require lots of rehearsals, choreography and costumes...which then lead to lots of performances, especially these last few weeks. Which leads to lots of fatigue but happy smiles and memories. .And not to be left out, I continue to sing on a weekly basis with The Sally Bytheway Chorale and my private voice lessons. I've come to the conclusion this year that music is more than just a fun hobby for is an essential part of who I am. I'm so thankful for the opportunities I have to sing.
Song #5: “Give My Regards To Broadway” by Judy Garland
Give my regards to old broadway and say that I'll be there ever long.”
Speaking of singing and performing, Julianne and I had the opportunity to do a musical together this year. “Power In His Touch” was an Easter play exploring the lives of the woman taken in adultery and Judas Iscariot from the Bible...about what potentially led them both to do the things that they did. With performances at the Peery Egyptian Theatre in Ogden and the Rose Wagner Theatre in SLC, Julianne and I played a wealthy Jewish mother and daughter who hear and then are converted to Christ's teachings. In one scene I got to play a blind woman being healed by Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful experience...not only to fully immerse ourselves in the Easter story, but to also do the show together.

Song #6: “A Hard Day's Night” by The Beatles
It's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a dog...”
After years of plans and discussions, (Bryan's company) finally bought and moved into a new building this year. With 6 classrooms instead of 2, a much bigger break/kitchen area and a whole wing of office space for the employees...the space was happily adopted and much needed. But like a move always is, it was a lot of hard work. Bryan would come home filthy, scratched and sore from dragging wires through the ceiling, from hanging gigantic whiteboards, from building new desks and computers or just from so many back and forth hauling trips. It was a crazy few months but very worth it.
Song #7 “All Summer Long” by the Beach Boys
We've been having fun all summer long.”
Summer is supposed to be easy and relaxing right? How does that song from “Porgy and Bess” go? “Summertime...and the living is easy...” Umm, not such much this year. Maybe I should re-write those words to ..the living is BUSY! With summer vacations, EFY, summer gym, Girls Camp, Youth Conference, Cherry Hill, etc... I think there was only 2 weeks during the whole summer that the whole family was actually home. But the experiences and memories! What a summer for those!
*Julianne started us off (and actually her trip was in April) with her Book of Mormon reading challenge trip to Forida. (In keeping with our playlist theme this could be a mash-up of “Surfin Safari” by the Beach Boys, “Mickey Mouse Club” and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra.) With her grandparents and two cousins, Julianne had two weeks in Florida hanging out at Disneyworld, visiting the Kennedy Space Center and beaching it up.
*Later in the summer Julianne had the experience of what her grandparents titled “Five In Five”. Five temples in five days. Baptisms galore in temples all over the valley, she came home singing the primary song, “I Love To See the Temple.”
*Brandon went (“Road Trippin” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) with his grandparents and cousins down to St. George for a week.
*And then Rebekah gained a whole new appreciation for “The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key on her special grandparent trip to Washington D.C. where she got to see the actual flag our national anthem is based on.
*Rebekah also headed down to BYU for a week to experience EFY (Especially For Youth). She came home with lots of pictures of “hot” boys, a whole slew of new facebook friends, and funny stories of skits and activities. But most importantly, she came home on a amazing spiritual high which still buoys her up months later. (Insert “The Cougar Fight Song” or “Courage to Stand Strong”...the theme song for EFY here. Either one is fitting.)

Song #8: “Home On the Range”
Home, home on the range where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day.”
Also happening during the summer but deserving of it's own paragraph is our ------ Family Camping Trip. Ten adults and eighteen grandchildren for five days in the high Uintah's. It was an experience to be sure. Fishing, 4-wheeling, shooting. Tents, sleeping bags, campfires. Dirt. Lots of dirt. We'd never been camping as a family before. I've discovered that as much as I enjoy the great outdoors...I like to be able to come back each evening to a cabin with electricity, showers, airconditioning and comfortable beds. But how neat to be there, all twenty-eight of us, together! One of my very favorite things? Waking up in the morning in our little tent and seeing the heads of my four children and husband all peeking out of their own sleeping bags. It was like a big family sleepover.

Song #9 “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis (the hands down sentimental favorite) ORBreak My Stride” by Matthew Wilder
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride. Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no. I got to keep on movin.”
I ran in the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay this year. A two day, 188 mile running relay from Logan to Park City. It takes a twelve person relay team, each taking 3 legs, to complete this race. From the melting heat of my first afternoon run, to the exhilarating, uphill midnight second run, to finally my sleep deprived, adrenaline filled last run I covered 13 miles. And it was a BLAST, I tell you! I'm already signed up to do it again next year...this time with my sister, Katie joining our team. (Maybe next year I will be more experienced so that my training won't include a stress fracture in my foot....)
Song #10 “School Day” by Chuck Berry
Up in the mornin' and out to school, the teacher is teaching the golden rule.”
School, school and more school. A big part of our year wrapped around classes, homework, teachers and extracurricular school activities. Rebekah as a 9th graders is officially earning high school grades that count towards getting college scholarships in a few years. Julianne joined Rebekah over at the Jr. High leaving Brandon as the one and only one at the elementary school. Lilian even joined the back-to-school excitement by starting preschool three days a week.

Song #11 “Let's Go To Vegas” by Faith Hill
Hey baby, let's go to vegas. Bet on love and let it ride.”
Except, our trip to Vegas wasn't really about gambling or seeing the lights and sights. Oh, we had our quick jaunt up and down the Strip. Goggled at the Bellagio fountains, clucked our tongues and shook our heads judgmentally at the smut peddlers, wandered through the shops and saw a Cirque du Soleil show. But our real reason for being in the area was a defensive hand gun course at Front Sight in Pahrump...just outside of Vegas. It was the second time there for Bryan and his brother Steven. My sister-in-law Sara and I were newbies. And was a lot of overwhelming information and practice to cram into a quick weekend class. But it was fun to be sharing in a hobby that our husbands love. And, turns out I am a pretty good shot!
It's been a good year for us. We hope the same is true for you. One parting song for our playlist:
We Wish You a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
Bryan, Sarah, Rebekah (14), Julianne (12), Brandon (9) and Lilian (3)
P.S. Picture credits go to the talented Jon Woodbury of Jon Woodbury Photography and Weddings By Woodbury. Seriously, isn't he amazing?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas slumber party

Whenever anyone asks my kids about their favorite holiday tradition, invariably they will talk about the yearly slumber party under the Christmas tree. Seeing as Christmas is in two days....and surely mom is not about to let them sleep under the tree on Christmas Eve (they'd be totally in the way of Santa, of course) we figured we'd better have the slumber party tonight. We pulled out the new pajamas...."footie" ones this year...and read stories for awhile before insisting it was sleepy time. A lot of restless tossing and turning followed. Mostly because those much anticipated "footie" pajamas are really hot. I've been sitting in the next room waiting for the noises to change from the tossing and turning and giggling to the stillness of sleepy, heavy breathing before I go in and turn out the Christmas tree lights. I think we're about there. Thankfully, because it's midnight and I'm really tired myself.


20 December 2007. A Thursday. I woke up that morning feeling disgruntled. Partly because six-month old Lilian had woke me three times during the night, partly because of leftover stress from the financial budgeting talk Bryan and I had had the night before. Regardless of the possible reasons, I was feeling down. And I was frustrated about that seeing as we were only five days away from Christmas...a normally very happy time of year. I was wishing that I could stop worrying about the commercial side of things. Worrying about whether or not I had all my shopping done and presents wrapped. Worrying about if the kids had everything they needed for their school parties and Secret Santas. Worrying about the logistics of where we needed to be Christmas Eve and Day. Worry, concern, anxiety and worry some more with list upon list of things to get done swirling around in my mind. I realized that these were all things that need to be planned and thought about but I was concerned that I was spending too much brain power on them and not enough on the real Christmas Spirit. Was I sharing with the kids the magic of Christmas? Were they making the kind of memories that I look back on fondly from my own childhood? Had I been spending enough time with the kids reading Christmas stories, looking at the nativity, reading the Christmas account in Luke? Was I teaching them well enough about the real meaning of Christmas or were they just following my lead in only thinking about gifts and parties?

The day went on. Laundry got washed, toilets got scrubbed and diapers got changed. One by one as the older kids started wandering in from school, I noticed the skies darkening. A storm was brewing. It wasn't long before the hail was slashing and the wind was blowing. The storm was lighting up the sky and shaking the earth in turn. Six-year old Brandon wanted to go to a friends house but I told him no because the storm was so intense. He was very grumpy about my decision and as the storm escalated, so did his mood. It looked like he was gearing up for a full blown temper tantrum when nine-year old Julianne stepped in. Taking on the roll of peacemaker, she suggested that the two of them do a craft project together. His curiosity piqued, Brandon's whining immediately ceased as he followed Julianne down the hall. They insisted on keeping the project a surprise from me and wouldn't let me look until they were done, although they did enlist my help in finding certain supplies they needed. They sat at the kitchen table, heads bent over their work. Surrounded by paper, pencils and crayons, glue sticks and scissors, they worked for over an hour as the storm raged outside. When they were finally finished, they proudly showed off their masterpiece. A nativity. Hand drawn, colored, cut and then arranged on the fridge, held up by magnets. Elaborate and detailed, even the stable and animals had been done. Big, expectant smiles accompanied their presentation as they waited for my reaction. But through my smiles and my exclamations of praise, tears welled up in my eyes and slowly trickled down my cheeks. Maybe I was doing something right after all. They could've drawn a Christmas tree, or a Santa Clause or a snowman. All three would've certainly been easier to draw. But they didn't. They made a nativity. They knew the real meaning of Christmas.

I kept that nativity up throughout the rest of the season, looking at it often. A reminder to me to keep a better balance and not let myself get carried away in the commercial side of the season.
When it came time to put away the Christmas decorations for the year, I carefully packed away that sweet nativity in a big manilla envelope. Every year since, it has hung in a place of honor as a continued symbol of what Christmas is really about.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Bryan

I have had this picture either hanging up on my mirror or in my wallet continuously since I was 16 years old. Isn't he cute?
I think Bryan is 17 or 18 in this picture. Now, as of a few weeks ago, he is 39.
His birthday came on an insanely busy day. Rebekah had one of her "Christmas Tour" performing days. The girls both had auditions for a play. Julianne had a babysitting job. I had to be at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall for my concert by 5:30. Bryan himself, was so busy at work that he didn't even come home until close to 10:00. By the time I got home from my concert he was completely and totally zonked out. So other than taking him to a quick lunch (quick because he was teaching a class that day) we really didn't do anything to acknowledge his birthday. Two days later he left to go to Chicago on a business trip. Sigh. And although I knew he wouldn't mind because birthdays aren't really a big deal to him...I felt bad that the events of the 9th steamrollered right over his big day.
I decided that despite the fact that it would be a week and a half late, we were still going to have a little birthday celebration. When he arrived home from Chicago there was a big birthday banner, a bouquet of balloons, a big carrot cake with candles just waiting to be lit, and a 6 pack of his favorite cream sodas. It made him smile. And although he still fell asleep before we could have cake, (he authorized Lilian to blow out the candles for him so the kids could have a piece even though he was functioning on 3 hours of sleep and couldn't stay awake any longer) I think it made him happy all the same. These homemade birthday banners are a tradition that go back to my growing up years. Every birthday my mom pulled out the butcher paper and wrote out Happy Birthday in big block letters and then handed us crayons, colored pencils and markers and let us go to town decorating the thing. Then it hung on the wall during the big birthday dinner...and usually stayed there for a few days. It's a tradition I loved so when Bryan and I had children I started the birthday banner in our family as well. I think some of my sisters do it in their families too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"It was the best day ever!"

Brandon uses this phrase a lot. After his birthday at Jump On It. After his Cold Turkey gymnastics meet a couple of weeks ago. After his 4th grade skiing fieldtrip last week. Today I'm going to borrow that phrase and say that this past Sunday was the best day ever. Bryan and I attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert...featuring David Archuleta and Michael York on Sunday morning. We'd never been to the Tabernacle Choir concert before, though I'd been trying for years to get tickets. We had to get up mighty early to get down there in time. And then brave the pouring rain as we made our way from our parking spot blocks away to the Conference Center. But even that was kind of be huddled under our umbrella, hugging onto each other so tightly as we walked to try to keep as much of ourselves covered as possible. It was like we were in our own little world under that umbrella. And though the sweet little usher lady said, "Oh,'re so wet!" when she saw my literally dripping hair, I was just thrilled to be there. The concert was absolutely wonderful and we had such a great time! I've always felt that the Tabernacle Choir Christmas CD's brought the Christmas spirit like nothing else...but to actually be at the concert. Well...WOW, for lack of a better word. That concert just IS Christmas, you know?

And then that night, in complete contrast from that morning, I sang for the women inmates at the State Prison. The room was bland and small. The women were all dressed in matching prison garb. We were a small group...only about 20 of us instead of our normal 95. And only our (amazing) pianist instead of our normal 20 piece orchestra. I felt awkward at first. These women, after all, had all done bad enough things to land them in prison. I wasn't scared for my safety...more just not sure where to look. I didn't know what to think of them or what they were thinking of me. I didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable. These women obviously were not excersizing proper concert etiquette as they whispered back and forth and called out comments after each song. But it was clear they were loving what they were hearing. And it wasn't long before I was absolutely loving singing to them. By the end of the concert they were in tears and begging for more. We obliged until we didn't have anything more we felt we could sing. One of them asked if we knew "Angels We Have Heard on High." We looked at each other warily...because, yes, we did know that song. A wonderful and grand arrangement by Mack Wilberg. But we were not planning on singing it because it really is better with a big choir and orchestra. How in the world could we sing it with just 20 of us? But they begged and we said yes. Tears pouring down their cheeks, they jumped up in a standing ovation and then rushed the make-shift stage to hug us and thank us after we were done. Said our coming was the best Christmas gift they could've received.

And I thought. Earlier that morning I had sat in the Conference Center and listened while the Tabernacle Choir had done that same number. It was grand and glorious...with not only the choir but a huge orchestra, a bell choir, David Archuleta, dancers, fancy lights and sets. It was truly amazing. Then just a few hours later that song was performed again in a dinky little room where we tried to perform it the best we could with just 20 of us and a piano. And yet, I have no doubt which performance meant more. Thousands of people listened to the Tabernacle Choir perform that song this past being one of them. But I don't think it meant as much to any one of them as it did to those women prisoners Sunday night. And as one of the women got up to say a closing prayer, and thanked Heavenly Father for the numerous blessings that had been poured on their heads and asked Him to help them to be good, to keep Him in their lives so that they could could eventually make it home to be with their families and children again, I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks.

The contrast between the two concerts was immense but they were both equally amazing in their own way. I drove home with a very full heart. It was the best day ever.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Concerts

Christmas just isn't Christmas if it doesn't involve singing in a few concerts. This year Rebekah and Julianne had their own schedule of concerts to add to mine on the calendar which made the month of December decidedly more busy than in years past. Regardless, the concerts were a huge success and lots of fun. (I can say that now that we're blissfully done with them all...)

Here's a recap in pictures:

This year with the Sally Bytheway Chorale I sang in 4 concerts. Our main concert was at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall at the U of U. Then we did a benefit concert in Sandy to raise money for The Road Home, a homeless shelter. Over the 4 years that we've done this concert, we've raised more than $12,000.00 for The Road Home. Our third concert was at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. We sang to a wall to wall, standing room only crowd. It's always fun to sing on Temple Square at Christmas. Our fourth concert was actually just a small group of us who sang to the women inmates at the state prison. This picture is of my sweet sisters and friends at the Assembly Hall concert.

Rebekah, as a member of the Jr. High's show choir, Choraliers, kept super busy with extra Christmas concerts. Along with the various evening performances, early morning extra rehearsals and singing at all the Jr. High sporting events...she had two days where she missed school entirely to travel around town singing at elementary schools and retirement homes with 7-8 performances each day.

Here is Rebekah in-between performances with her Choraliers group on their "Christmas Tour."

This is Rebekah after one of her long "Christmas Tour" days trying to make it through all the schoolwork she missed that day....and giving in to exhaustion.

And here is the official Jr. High Christmas concert that happened just last week. Julianne was also involved in the this one as a member of the Women's Choir. She even had a little solo.

And then there was the acting group that both Rebekah and Julianne are involved in. Three performances in all, this group does more choreography and flashier costumes. Now that the Christmas performances are done they are already starting rehearsals for the musical "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taste Test

My friend Gary and I conducted a chocolate orange taste test today at my voice lesson. I love chocolate oranges. In my opinion they are one of the very best parts of the Christmas season. I wish they were around all year. Wait. Scratch that. Maybe I should be glad they are only available one month of the year. And honestly, maybe the fact that they are scarce is part of the reason they are so yummy.
Today Gary and I tried both brands: Terry's and Ferrara's. We decided that though Ferrara's is much easier to find, it's worth the hunt to get a Terry's. Ferrara's chocolate tastes waxy. And I am enough of a chocolate snob to notice and care. Milk chocolate is good, of course but I prefer the dark chocolate. We also tried the mint chocolate today which neither one of us had ever tasted. Wow! Pretty darn good! Tastes a lot like those Andes Candies. (Which we Dalton girls re-named "choir candy" when we were young because our choir director mother used Andes Candies as incentive for the ward choir to come on time.) Julianne has never been a big fan of chocolate oranges in the past but adores Andes Candies. Hmmm....maybe Santa will have to bring her a mint chocolate orange and see what she thinks.
So, there you have it. You know, just in case you were interested....


Anyone else think the contrast between these two posts on the same about healthy eating and excersize and the other about the yumminess of chocolate kind of funny? Or is it just me?


I've been running about 4x a week. 3-5 miles each time. I joined a gym and am loving my yoga classes. I've been writing down what I eat because after seeing in print the horrifying evidence that I eat a lot of crap, mentally it's easier to have more willpower.

It's not a diet. I'm not trying to lose bunches of weight. Any woman, no matter how fit, slender and healthy she is, has some sort of issue with her body. As sad as that fact is, it's all a part of being a woman. So yes, I do have areas around my mid-section that I wish weren't quite as squishy. And losing a few pounds wouldn't break my heart. But this is more about a lifestyle change. I'm not getting any younger. That skinny little thing that had a metabolism that would allow a diet of whatever struck my fancy is gone. It takes a lot more effort now and will, I'm sure, only continue to get more difficult. Thus the healthy lifestyle change. I'm not one for fad diets. Not that I've tried one but it seems like once the strict diet is over and you're back to your regular lifestyle, it's hard to maintain. I'm also not one to eat like a bunny. I like to eat. Our society revolves around food. Parties, BBQ's, family dinners, lunch with friends, ward is a big part of all of that. I'd rather have a little manageable pudge and eat a piece of cake than be a size zero. But excersizing a little restraint when it comes to chocolate and baked goods would probably be a good thing. Also portion sizes. I'm pretty sure I can out-eat my husband.

So...a healthy lifestyle change. Excersizing regularly...despite the fact that it is winter which is usually hibernation time for me. And being more careful about what I voluntarily put into my mouth and matter how much I crave it.

This bikini hanging up in my closet is incentive. Oh, I can fit into it right now. But I wish it looked a little better. And I don't ever want to get to a place where I can't fit into it anymore. Which is funny, really, because I actually don't wear it much anyway. A string bikini doesn't make it into the swimsuit rotation during summers at Cherry Hill. The only time it comes out is when Bryan and I are off on a little vacation just the two of us. But I'd like to think I COULD wear it...and look darn hot in it...if I wanted to, you know? So, incentive.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remembering the reason for the season

Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon virgin, mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace....sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night. Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia. Christ the Savior is born...Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night. Son of God, love's pure light. Radiant beams from thy holy face. With the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus, Lord at thy birth...Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

For a long time, Silent Night was nowhere near my favorite Christmas song. Though pretty, I thought it was overdone and too slow and plodding. Somehow over the past few years my opinion has changed. Not sure how or when it happened but Silent Night now holds a tie with
O Holy Night
as my favorite song of the season and will nearly always bring me to tears by the second verse. Focus on the words the next time you sing the song and you let me know if you don't get a little misty-eyed.

We have a lot of nativities in our home. Mine and Bryan's parents both gave us nativities for our first Christmas as a married couple and we still display them along with the others that we have collected over the years. Most come out just at Christmas but a few stay out all year long. The kids each have one in their bedroom as a solid reminder of what the season is really about. Unpacking those nativities and setting them up is my favorite part of decorating...and they are the last things I box back up again in January. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A day of forced rest

Life has been pretty busy is common in the month of December. Poor eating habits, averaging 6 hours of sleep a night and running from here to there and back again has been my norm. And though getting my errands run and my shopping done has felt good... And while singing in all my concerts was fun... Slowly but surely my house was going to seed and my physical and mental state was deteriorating. It's probably no wonder then, that I woke up in the night with some kind of stomach flu that left me dashing to the toilet repeatedly to heave the contents of my stomach. Gratefully this did not last too long and after just a few hours I felt weak and tired but much more stable.
But all those plans I had made for today? Running 4 miles early this morning, Christmas shopping while Lilian was in preschool, watching Brandon's school dance performance this afternoon, laundry, vacuuming, wrapping presents, taking the kids to Temple Square to see the lights. Yeah...that all got put on the back burner. After I got the kids out the door to school I went back to bed. While Lilian was in preschool I caught up on back episodes of "Glee." I've been puttering around the house picking up things here and there and talking to my mom on the phone while I sorted the laundry.
Another thing that I did today that I have not had...or made...the time for? Reading stories to Lilian. And I can't help but think that this flu bug was heaven sent as a way to force me to slow down a bit, for at least a day. I'm sure I'll be back up and running tomorrow but I'm guessing I'll be a lot more rested and rejuvenated after today. Who knew you could be grateful for a day of sickness?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tis the season for singing...

I'm singing in these concerts starting tonight and going through Saturday. I'm looking forward to it immensely! You should come!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Facebook 2010

Facebook. Can't decide if it is my friend or nemesis. That I spend more time on it than I should is a given. But I have so enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and the daily back and forthing of conversations, support and fun. (Is forthing even a word? Oh well.)
Above is a collage of sorts of some of my status updates on Facebook throughout this past year. Although I am rather prolific on this blog and average a post about once every other day, Facebook tends to get more "off the cuff" one-liners on a daily basis. It was interesting to go back and read all the things I had shared on Facebook this past year as I put this collage together so I thought I'd also post it on my blog...even though many of you who read this blog are also friends with me on Facebook.