Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

It was pretty much as perfect as could be.

Details to come.

:D :D :D :D 8/
Back view!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Annual Christmas Eve Journal Write 2017

You guys, I was just thinking to myself what a bummer that Christmas was going to be gray and brown and probably clear skies and not very interesting or festive, but no joke, we looked outside after the kids were in bed and it had started to snow. Of course I think it's stopped by now, but it was enough to stick for a little while and that's really enough for me.  (It was also enough to make that last-minute drive to Mom and Dad's house for that package I had shipped there and totally forgot to pick up the many times I've visited since it arrived kind of treacherous and slippery -- I hope everyone who was out drove safely).

SO it's that time of year again and things are changing around here.  Today we had church which was really nice to have on the day before Christmas, there were musical numbers aplenty and everyone was really tired and maybe a little fussy but that made for a nice early bedtime.  This year we dispensed with the whole family fondue tradition in favor of taking our many various offspring and starting our own Christmas Eve dinner traditions, which I'd been thinking for a while now would probably happen this year, and which actually turned out really nice.  We invited Mom and Dad over and had plenty of cheese and dippings and various sweet and/or creamy and/or bubbly drinks and desserts aplenty, and then we all happily jumped into our new joggers from Mom and made ready for bed.

I actually think I've heard Santa hanging around upstairs and think I even glimpsed a goodly number of cool Cars guys and sparkly Princess figurines and maybe something cozy and handmade just for a baby.  I guess we'll find out first thing in the morning!

This is from the first time we decorated it a couple weeks ago... We sort of completely redid it tonight, not unlike last year, after it's been so very... admired over the last several days.  Also we added another string of blue lights and a bunch of blue ornaments.  It just needed a little something extra.
Now goodNIGHT.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

MDG at 1/2

Half a year!  Not for the first time this year I'm wondering where in the world the time went.  It just goes past.

Little Mister had his 6-month checkup this week and he's doing just great.  He's finally dropped out of the 100% for height, but he's getting so nice and chubbsy with his knee rolls and all.  He still has this little darkish triangular type mark thing on his hand, which the doc last time thought was due to contact with limes and sunlight, but it hasn't faded or changed, so it could just be a later-blooming birthmark.  He's still happy and smiley and laughy and spends his days rolling all over the place.  It's so funny to leave him on his blanket and then come back just a few seconds later and find him gnawing on some toy all the way across the room (or Christmas tree ornaments, eep).  He's definitely our holliest jolliest baby at this age and though he has his moments -- it's only fair, everyone gets hangry sometimes, and I myself can be pretty cranky when I'm tired -- but mostly he just looks around and checks everything out and laughs easily.  He's just starting on solids, sits up pretty well, sleeps mostly regularly and is overall a delight.
He's always glad to see me but he likes Mommy best (rightly so).
Parallel MDGs at Thanksgiving
First visit to the zoo!  It was cold but he had a good time.

Evidently!  (THOSE EYES.)

I mean, right??

Hanging at the adults ONLY ward Christmas party.  C'mon, son!  (Put intended.)

6 months!

Let's try some solid foods, boy!

Not sure what to think... he ended up eat some sweet potatoes and more or less enjoying the new sensations.

Half a cake for half a year!  He didn't get to eat any but we all sure did.  (Julie was determined his six-month cake wouldn't be neglected just because he's the third child.)
And now he's all set for his first-ever Christmas on the outside.  He's a good boy and we're all so happy he's ours.

Thanksgiving 2017

I used to try to think of really clever titles for my blogposts but these days I'm mostly about basic description.  It makes it easier for archival/searching purposes.

Anyway, quick before it's Christmas!!!  Thanksgiving did happen and it was really nice.

We started out with our fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Murdock Trail 5K fun run/walk/stroll/bike/trot (don't dogs trot?).  The weather was positively balmy, and I think this was The Wife's first time not being pregnant and sick so she could join us, hurrah, and we expanded to include one of Matt's work friends!  And of course Heather who is practically family.  Maybe we'll make it a more open invitation next year, just in case people are interested.  There were plenty of pumpkin streusel muffins and bananas to go around.  Adelaide came in first (my time was __:__).
Can you tell who was Photoshopped in?  I actually followed through this time!
This was actually taken on MY phone by Julie as she crossed the finish line, since I dropped it when I turned around at the halfway mark...  Thanks for saving it, Heather!
A family that runs together... runs together.
Wife making one of her legendary cakes.  Sweet potato!  With marshmallow icing on top!  And pecan garnish!
Om nom nom
Boy is starting to get the idea about Thanksgiving dinner, and he and cousin Link found a great spot to enjoy their rolls. 
Parallel MDGs
Dinner was really lovely and Sleigh Ride was practiced and it was a great day and I can't believe it's already December and WHERE did 2017 go???

Thursday, November 30, 2017

MDG Mo. 5

That looks like one of those old classical piece titles, you know, like Bach: Cantata "Christen, ├Ątzet diesen Tag," BWV 63 (more on that after Christmas...).

SO our li'l boy is five months old!  He's smilier and laughier than ever, he's happy through sniffles and snuffles, he's big and tall and strong, he's sleeping fine, and really we have hardly a thing about which to complain.  He was the cutest Tigey at Halloween and spent a good part of Thanksgiving eyeing our plates (not yet, little man, but soon).  He's always quietly observing, though he can make his wants and wishes known.  The big excitement is that his labor and delivery and doctor and hospital bills are PAID OFF, after some distress involving unknowingly out-of-network hospitals, exorbitant, bewildering (not at all itemized...) bills, several calls to several places, and a major reduction of cost after making the right calls to the right places.  Sometimes that actually works.

Here he is!
Little Pumpkin.

Seriously, our other kids were happy but never as constantly smiley as he is.  He poses for the camera and everything.

Third go-round for this precious Sophie.  She cost a few pretty pennies but we've definitely had our cost-per-use.

Get some mileage out of those adorable Daniel Tiger ears!

He loves his mommy so so much.
 And now we're already just a couple weeks away from half a year.  Yikes!  Don't grow too fast, sweet boy.


Twenty-plus years ago in my first year of marching band our field show was selections of powerful classical pieces, which included two from Carmina Burana, which everyone has heard even if they aren't sure they have.  A few months ago the opportunity to join a local choir performing the work in its entirety came up, sort of bringing my musical relationship with Carl Orff full circle.  Cantorum was joined by about as many local contracted singers and a full orchestra, on stage above the dancers of Ballet West at Capitol Theater... and I realized I was fulfilling a life goal I never knew I had.  I've been to many a show at this venue but until now I'd never seen it from the other side.  It was a thrilling and exhausting and unforgettable experience.  It wasn't easy to learn the challenging score (luckily unmemorized, though by the end...), and it was a long two weeks of driving up to Salt Lake City almost every night (thaaaaanks, Wiiiiiife), but the orchestra and conductor were wonderful, the soloists were amazing and the dancers were exquisite, especially from such a unique vantage point.  I felt so deluxe using the side stage door and getting a firsthand look at the labyrinthine behind-the-scenes/backstage world of CT and walking up and down the many dozens of stairs in an acolyte robe, and of course you can't have an experience like this without getting close with your comrades, the dancers, musicians, costumers and crew, but especially the singers.  The carpool game was strong, and it was fun to spend more time with and get to know more of them better, eat food together, learning the meaning of merde, even go see a movie in between Saturday shows (Hercule Poirot, you clever man).
I'm in the show on the marquee!  Amazing!!!

They were pretty serious about not posting anything before the show actually started so we were pretty excited when they released this official shot of Chase and Beckanne with yours trulys in place.  I'm dead center in the middle row.
I was glad that Mom and Dad and Grandma and Van and Matt and Cortnie (not pictured, but for their 20th anniversary!) could all come and see it!  It's always fun when you know someone in the audience.  Thanks to BW for the comps/discounts!  Sorry for the blurry picture. :/

Panorama monks!  We took some pictures at call time one night, and first they said to look imposing and then they said to look pious and then they said to smile, so... that's what I did.

Getting pumped for the final sprint (marathon??) of Saturday matinee/closing night.

In the immortal words of Titus Andromedon, "I am keeping this robe." (But not really.)  We loved our diligent costume ladies.

I might have sneaked one picture just after the final curtain.

And then they took one and sent it out to everyone.  The dancers looked kind of naked for a good part of the production.

And one more guerrilla style, a similar shot from the 'bove.  Those wires were designed to keep us from falling to our doom.

(I feel like I started to annoy people by overposting but it was a big part of my life for a solid few weeks so there you go.)

I think the feeling most of us had at the end was a strange mixture of elation and relief and melancholy, and more than one of us probably listened to the recording within 24 hours of final curtain, but it had a really great run.

It's amazing how music can get stuck in your head after a big show like this, even for weeks and (so far) months after.  It was just a cool production and a cool experience, and as much as we would have liked to see Serenade (the first, choir-less half of the ballet), a good time was had by all.  Thanks to Ballet West and Cantorum for helping me check something off before I even knew I wanted to or ever could!

ADDENDUM: I would also like to make known that I was not only present, but ON TIME for every rehearsal and performance in SLC*, which, for those who know me, is QUITE an accomplishment.  (The carpool helped.)

ADDENDUM 2 (4 December): Did I mention this was also a paid gig?  I guess that makes me a professional musician. XD

ADDENDUM 3 (21 December): Did I also mention thanks, wife?  Because yes, she is so supportive of my love of music and desperate craving need for the spotlight!  Ha ha, but seriously, I had a good time thinking of new treats and new places to hide them to surprise her with every night before heading to the stage.  New concert tradition??

* including HALLOWEEN, where I learned I can get from my garage to my seat on stage in ~37 minutes...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Halloween 2017 -- Grrrreat? Grr-ific

Halloween!  It has come and gone, but not without being observed very much in our household especially by certain persons age 4 and under.  Without further ado, here's the Instaslideshow:
Either it's Halloween around here or I haven't played the piano in a LONG time.
Funtivity the 1st: Hee Haw Farms!  A huge hit as always.  I can't get over the corn box.
This isn't exactly Halloween-related, but having one sit and one push makes walking to church go a lot faster and easier.

Funtivity the 2nd: The Pumpkin Patch!  They've really upped their game this year (though the wait for the hayride was incredibly long, extended ride notwithstanding).

A perfect moment captured by The Wife.

Funtivity the 3rd: A nearby neighborhood party at Dowdle Farms with an art unveiling.  The Wife always manages to find the best local things to do.
Work party.  I must say the cereal bar was a stroke of genius. I made the poster but not the art.
I'm really amazed and annoyed we didn't even win third place (which would mean a prize of team breakfast -- what could have been more fitting?), even enlisting Auditing and Marketing.

Introducing the kids to a classic before heading out.

Halloween greetings from Daniel Tiger and his entourage.

Apparently I didn't do the bat or dragon or hissing cat quite to The Boy's desired specifications, but in my defense he didn't tell me until after.  I finally threw the remainder of these out today.
And there you have it!  We also went to sister Cami's really fun annual Halloween-themed Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra concert/costume parade, Elfman, Grieg, Mozart, Prokofiev, Williams, and a favorite from last year, Ghostbusters.  On the day of I had to rush off before too late to get to a rehearsal in SLC (more on that coming.....) but we had plenty of time to be together and do lots of fun things and trick-or-treat to the kids' hearts' content(s?), though they've largely forgotten about the candy by now, which is still in labeled bags.  I don't understand parents who take their kids trick-or-treating multiple times for hours on end and then complain that there's so much candy in their house.  What other results could you possibly expect???  Anyway.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

7 Days Challenge

Oh, I guess I could post these.  I was tagged by a friend to do this challenge and it was fun so here they are.

7 days - 7 black and white photos of your everyday life.
No people or explanations.
Invite a new person to join every day.*

Day 1
20 October 2017

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7
26 October 2017

Tas li no.

I'm trying to backdate this to keep things in order, so we'll see how it works!

*I mostly invited people I knew would be interested or wouldn't bother but probably wouldn't be annoyed by the invitation, ha.