This is my famous little sister Hannah. I was walking through Layton Hills Mall today with the kids to see Santa(that is another story, another post!) when Emma and Claire at the same time screamed, "Aunt Hannah! Aunt Hannah!" I had totally forgotten that Hannah was chosen to be the rep. for the LDS interior design program because she is the BEST student! The girls were so excited and couldn't believe that Aunt Hannah was so big!:) If you are at Layton Hills Mall check her out. I think she will totally kill me over this post but I am so proud of all her achievements and successes I couldn't help it! Well done Hann!
Tonight I had a moment of realization of how lucky I feel to be a musician. More to the fact how much I love to play the Nutcracker! For those of you who aren't musicians you must know that a lot of professionals hate the Nutcracker. Year after year they trudge to the pit to play yet another 2 hour ballet that they have been playing since they were 15! Me...well I have a different view point. I LOVE it! My story of the Nutcracker begins when I was probably 8 years old and my cousin Jordan took me to see it at Capitol Theater. I was hooked. More importantly I wanted to be on the stage. I was not a great dancer...in fact I did get on stage but I was a soldier. The epitome of non-graceful dancer. I was a red soldier in 6th grade and the riffle-man in 7th. I didn't care. Those were some of my most memorable Christmas's as a kid.
Fast forward to 2003-Christmas. I had just moved back to the states after a 5 year stint in Prague and London. Music school had pounded into my head that you always said "yes" to every job that came and figured out how to do it after. So that is what I did when the principal harpist at Ballet West called me to play "one or two" performances. I said "yes. I know it!" The truth was that I had learned the harp solo but had not ever seen the rest of the part. She then continued to tell me that there was only one rehearsal for the orchestra and she was already doing that so I would just jump in on the 2 dates. OK...I was panicked! To say the least. Talk about baptism of fire!!! I had never played a ballet let alone the Nutcracker! I just figured though that I would practice hard and make it work!
I made it through thanks to my former teacher ShruDe who loaned me her old music and listened to me play the part. She also gave me the sound advice of getting to the pit 45 min ahead of time so I could be alone in the pit. After the longest 2 hours of my life (I don't think I breathed at all!) I made it. More importantly I made it through the performance without anyone noticing that I had never done that before. The other thing they taught us at the Academy was to act like you knew what was going on all the time rather than ask someone a question. I think the motto was JUST FIGURE IT OUT! By the end of that run I got to do 4 performances.
I have played every year with the exception of 2006 (Claire was born) and it has only been this past year that I have found to really enjoy the part. In fact, I love it! It is so much fun to have something that challenges me and that I honestly don't get sick of listening to every time I play it.
I wonder if Tchaikovsky knew when he wrote this ballet that it would become iconic. I dare say the most famous ballet!
He probably didn't but I for one and so grateful he wrote it. It doesn't feel like it is Christmas to me without a little Sugar Plum Fairy and a little Waltz of the Flowers.
This is what happened today when I turned my back on the girls. They decided to play "beauty shop" in the bathroom. They got out all the Q-tips and started to apply the lotion...at least what they thought was lotion. I heard a panicked Emma yelling, "Mom! Can you help me? I can't seem to get this lotion off my hands!" I ran to the bathroom to find that both Emma and Claire decided to put "lotion" on otherwise known at diaper rash medicine. Of course it doesn't come off with water! It is meant to repel water! Lucky for them I started laughing rather than yelling. At least I had the sense to grab my camera!:)
This past week Kent was out of town and you would have thought I would be a reasonable parent and stay home with my 4 kids 4 and under. Not me! I had too many things on my list to do and being the only person who can put shoes on, coats on, clothes on and everything else it takes to get out of the house did not stop me. Man am I glad it didn't! On Thursday we went to the Festival of Trees with my mom and sisters. I love this little tradition that we have going and the girls love getting their nails painted. It is the only time of the year they get that to happen with my blessings. Claire also had a great time calling Santa's elves. I hope he brings her a baby doll with a bottle! Then that night I had to play the Nutcracker. Liz and Glen had 2 free tickets and since they couldn't use them I took them off their hands. Emma had her first Nutcracker experience with our great friend and former babysitter Chrislyn. She met us before the show for some dinner and then they went to the show while I played in the pit. Oh my gosh! I had no idea how delighted Emma would be. It was general admission and so she got to sit right on the front row and the entire show she would stand and watch between the pit and the stage. At the very end she yelled into the pit "Good job mom!" and gave me a thumbs up. That made me laugh and a bit of a celeb with the other musicians. They were really quite jealous that they didn't have a fan club!:) Then on Friday my studio combined with 4 other harp teachers had a recital at the Farmington Community Center. It was so much fun and a lot of work but well worth it. Emma performed along with 55 other young harpists from the northern Utah area. They all did a beautiful job and I am so proud of them. Well done everyone!!! Then today we had Claire's 3rd birthday party. She doesn't officially turn 3 until Wednesday, but she wanted to have a "gymnastics" party and they only do them on Saturdays. It was a blast and Claire was in heaven with all her cousins. Thanks everyone for coming and supporting her! I can't believe she is going to be 3!!! After all that Kent got in last night and made it to the birthday party and I am grateful for that! It was a lot of fun this week and I would totally do it all over again but I do realize once again how much easier it is when you have at least one more set of hands to help get 8 feet,and 4 bodies dressed and out the door!
I have 2 free tickets to the Nutcracker is Salt Lake for tonight if anyone wants to use them. I can't and would love to not see them go to waste. The show starts at 7pm and it is opening night. Kids can go as Emma went last night and it is so much fun. So if you want them let me know by noon today or something like that. I have to leave for a harp recital by 1:30 so you would probably need to come and pick them up.
We had a fantastic Thanksgiving and a lot of firsts in our family.
We started off the day with the 1st ever Turkey Leg 5K in Farmington. Kent's brother Darrell put it on and it was SO MUCH FUN! Kent and I ran the 5K with all the kids. (I had never ran with a jogging stroller so that was fun) and the girls ran the kids 1K. Well...Emma ran and did great and Claire ran half of it with Kent. It was the most amazing thing and I swear I was holding back tears as she ran across the finish line. She kept saying to Kent "Dad. I'm running Dad, I'm running!" I can't tell you how happy it made me feel to think a year ago she wasn't even walking and now she is running! (I am kind of tearing up now as I think about it!) Then we went onto my mom's house for dinner. My brother Pete introduced the first ever Pie bake off. (I was not very smart and didn't take my camera but if you want to see all the entries check out Peter and Dree's blog on the side.) The rule was that each adult in the family could enter a pie. I took this to heart and made 2! Apple and banana cream.
Not many people in our family had ever baked pies including me and it was really fun to try and compete. I was lucky to have Kent's family secrets and sisters. His family used to own a pie shop back in Pocatello and they had all the secrets. I am proud to say the Heather's recipe for Banana Cream Pie won! Thanks to her I made the crust, filling and whip cream all from scratch! No one was more surprised than me. To be honest though I am not sure the votes were really accurate as there were 2 banana cream pies and everyone who voted were not really sure which one was which. :) I will take the win though and hope that I can compete again next year.
I just want to say one more time how thankful I am for a loving husband and fantastic children. I feel totally blessed and know that I am extremely lucky to have what I have!!! Now onto Christmas!
Kent and I got married in 2002 after meeting in our soph. english class at DHS. We have been living in Utah for the past 9 years and 8 are back in Davis County! You can leave and explore but will always end up back in Farmington!:)
Kent works in the running event industry. He worked for Ragnar Events for 3 years and just this past September started working for The Color Run. He loves the challenge of putting on races for thousands of people trying to just have fun and run. :) He is awesome at it and I am grateful for his hard work to support our family!
We have 4 kids. Emma who is 7 and is such a diva. She is so funny and articulate and a joy to have in the family. Claire is 6 and is a very special spirit in our home. She has her own trials which in turn has taught us so many life lessons. We have our twin boys Mack and Morgan who are 3 and so much fun! We are expecting #5, a boy in June and hope we survive. :)
I am a full time mom and full time harpist. I teach 28 students a week out of our home and somehow try and juggle to joys of being a mom a freelance musician and the joys of being a teacher. I don't do it well but love it all!
We are always up for an adventure and love to travel!