Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tis the season...

Twas a busy Christmas season. Lots of holiday magic going on....

The day after Thanksgiving, Lilian was able to participate in a live nativity here in our town's annual Nativity Celebration. They have tons of collections of nativities from all over the world on display and live music going on throughout the weekend...along with this live nativity. It was a quickie thing but still kind of fun to be a part of.

 Melissa, Mom and I went to the Utah Symphony's Messiah Sing-In at Abravanel Hall. It was our second time doing so and I think I enjoyed it even more this year. There is no doubt in my mind that Handel was inspired to write this music, and singing the choruses with a huge concert hall full of singers and the Utah symphony is sheer joy!

We watched Julianne's friends Lauren and Jessica dance in The Nutcracker at Weber State University....something we do most every year. This is their last year dancing because they are seniors and will be graduating in the spring and heading off to college. It was kind of an interesting weekend for Julianne's "core four" group of friends...all of them having lasts that weekend. Besides Lauren and Jessie's final Nutcracker performances, Julianne had her closing night of Les Miserables that night...her last time doing the school musical. And their friend Taylor was out of town running her final race with the high school cross country team. Senior's wonderful and exciting, but full of "lasts."

It'd been years since I'd last gone to the Festival of Trees...and Mom had never gone. It was kind of spur of the moment, but after getting Lilian on the bus I decided that if I didn't take advantage of that day to head down to Sandy to see the trees, it just wasn't going to happen. I only felt the slightest bit guilty for going without the kids. And Mom and I had quite a fun and festive afternoon.

There was the Christmas Dance. In which besides making sure Julianne had dress, shoes, accessories and boutonniere....because the dance was girl's choice, we also hosted dinner.

 And Lilian had a bunch of Singers Company performances....

Speaking of performances, I had some too. Except that every time anyone was taking pictures, I seemed to be in the bathroom or chatting with someone else so I missed most of them. We had four performances total. One was a benefit for The Road Home homeless shelter where we raised $7,500. We also sang at the Waterford Concert Hall, the Assembly Hall, and the state prison. They were all loads of fun, but the prison especially was also a very spiritual experience. There is just a different feeling there. Maybe something to do with these prisoners having hit rock bottom and feeling very humbled, perhaps? I'm not sure. It's not a big and grand performance, but it sure is incredibly special.

After our concert early Saturday evening at the Assembly Hall Melissa, Katie, Jeremy, my parents and I headed over to the Conference Center to watch the incredibly wonderful Tabernacle Choir Concert. Julianne and some friends had come down to temple square to see our concert and then took advantage of all the hordes of people heading to the MoTab concert to have the lights to themselves, along with their pick of nearby restaurants.

We had our big stake Christmas Fireside that Amy and I put together every year. Every ward bringing their ward choirs to perform a Christmas number, a bunch of congregational numbers, a huge finale with all the choirs together and a Christmas message from the stake presidency. It's always really nice, even if a lot of work. Still, I sure do love working with Amy and Kate (our incredibly talented pianist) and have been so thankful that through our serving together we have become good friends.

We had our traditional Ugly Sweater lunch with Linda, Sally, Georgia, Melissa and Katie (although Georgia had to miss this year.) We always laugh really hard at this little gathering. I love my soprano friends!

Christmas Sunday in our red and black finery. Julianne, Lilian and I all sang on the program in Sacrament Meeting...but Julianne made the whole congregation cry during her solo about Mary.

And as tradition dictates (a tradition that dates back to when I was a kid) we had our annual sleepover under the Christmas tree where the kids got their Christmas jammies.
(And the head tilt....inside family joke.)

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