Friday, April 30, 2010

Piano Group 4.27.10

So years ago I started daydreaming about starting a piano group, kind of like a book club, where a few of us would meet monthly, play for each other, and have wonderful conversations about music and life. I even tried to start one, but it just kind of fizzled. There were too many distractions: kids, teaching, life. Plus, I only had my upright, and it, while utilitarian, is hardly a concert instrument.

And then came the move. And my Pramberger. And suddenly it felt like the right time to move forward with the piano group thing.

I contacted friends: college friends, teaching friends, even someone I didn't know at all but wanted to get to know. And we all felt the same way: totally excited. And a little nervous.

I mean, for most of us it's been YEARS since we've been critiqued by other pianists. We've spent years critiquing our students, listening critically to help shape and mold young musicians. But playing for other's kind of daunting. It's one of the most intimate experiences there is, to lay your weaknesses in front of someone with such a great knowledge and be willing to share what you are. We've discussed music and performance and technique for hours, but actually sitting down and making music? Totally different.

So Tuesday we met to play for each other. We heard Haydn from Cheryl, Mozart from Bridget, Bach from Allison, Chopin from Kathryn, Mompou from me (I learned the Cancion y danza #6 that I had considered learning for my recital last year), and Bach from Cody.

It was lovely. It was heart-filling. While Kathryn was playing Chopin's Ballade #1 (which I played for one of my college recitals, so it has a special significance to me), I just felt so darned happy. I just felt like I was in the right place at the right time, and that all of this music? It's still me. I still belong to it. It's time to jump back in and love it and appreciate it and work hard and perform and be happy.

So I'm working on overlooking how far my technique is below where I wish it were, to avoid focusing on the problems, the hiccups, the passages that don't flow, and finding the joy in the process and in the imperfections.

And the other pianists? They're amazing and smart and fun and beautiful and I can't wait to hear them next month.

Feasting 4.26.10

L-R Jimmy & Joni, Jeff & Liz, Hiding Man & Katy, Eric & Christina, and us

While we ARE finally adapting to our new circumstances, there is no doubt that we all feel a strong strong pull to our old lives. Ben about a month ago began saying, "I miss our old house. I want to go to our old house." At that point it had been six months since the move. I was more than surprised that a not-quite-three year old would have such a strong connection to the past, but then, paradise is a hard place to leave and an easy place to remember. Ben has continued to talk about the old house, and sometimes when we're driving up the hill to the new house, he lets me know in no uncertain terms that he'd rather be driving back to the old neighborhood.

One of the great traditions on the old street was our five-family weekly barbecue. We've gotten together quite a few times since the move, but never with just the grownups. So when plans were made to get the barbecue group together at Jimmy's restaurant, Donovan's, anticipation was great. We all looked forward to it, and I believe Liz even dreamed about it.

I could say a lot about the dinner, but really, all I need to say was that we feasted on amazing food and with amazing friends. As we drove home (moaning about how horribly disgusting we felt for eating so much), we both felt so grateful to have linked lives with people of such goodness, such caring, and who are just so dang funny. I don't know if my stomach hurt more from laughing or from forcing down those last few bites of creme brulee. OK, it was the creme brulee. Oh, that creme brulee...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ben 4.25.10

A lovely lazy Sunday afternoon. Quiet. Calm.

So calm that playing with your aminals might even lull you into a peaceful slumber right on the family room floor.

I know that just a couple of weeks ago I was mourning the loss of two-year-old Ben, but I must admit that his three-year-old replacement is beyond charming. Three-year-old Ben has stolen my heart. He is even more talkative, has started playing with toys for hours, and seems to handle his afternoons without naps with more resilience.

Except for those afternoons that just call for a little shut-eye. Those are nice, too.

The Yard. Oh Boy. 4.24.10

We moved into this house at the very end of September and thus escaped having to mow its monstrous self until now.

It's a crazy yard. We think it's a great kid yard, and I picture many many happy days with kids up and down its hills.

But it's hilly. Super duper hilly. And it was with much trepidation that we finally attacked it with mower and edger.

The consensus: It's not going to be as bad as we thought, but it's not likely that Josh in his 85 pound glory will be able to push the mower up the nasty hills when I had to manhandle it and really shove it to get it up. So I think I'll have a new job.

Also, there will be much weeding. I think I've figured out a new punishment for whining or fighting...Go weed for 30 minutes. Can't wait to use it. Bring on the whining.

Friday, April 23, 2010

White Gloves and Chocolate Pudding 4.23.10

Homemade chocolate pudding, thanks to Josh. Yummy.

And NOW I'm all caught up.

This Weather is Whackadoo 4.22.10

The day started with a five mile run in wind, rain, and snow.

It was freezing cold most of the day. And grey. And wintery.

But then the sun came out. And Ben put on shorts. And the kids insisted on eating dinner in the front yard.

Seriously, April. You're so darned schizophrenic.

I guess it's part of what makes you so charming.

I've Got Nothing 4.21.10

That's right.

No picture.

I kept planning to take a picture.

I was going to take a picture of David working on setting up his workbench.

Or my friends' house with the big landslide behind it.

Or the piles of laundry.

And then I forgot and the camera sat on my desk.

You Get What You Pay For 4.20.10

My darling cousin Stephanie is dear to my heart. I taught her piano for years and years, and was thrilled to watch her blossom as an oboist in high school and college. She and her husband, Dallan, lived in Arizona until just a few months ago, and I'm so excited that they're now here in Utah.

She was crazy enough to ask me to meet them at Thanksgiving Point to take her pictures of her family. I told her, "You get what you pay for." And although I got a couple of fun shots, I'm afraid I more than realized my limitations as a photographer. Wow. It's just not easy.

But we had a wonderful morning together, so all was not lost. Ben and I loved having somewhere gorgeous to go and people we like a lot to hang with.

And this is how the kids felt by the end:

I've got SO much to learn. Maybe I'd better stick with piano...

Guilty Dog 4.19.10

Doesn't she look guilty?

She should. She's run away every single day since Wednesday a week ago. She doesn't know that she's old and is supposed to act her age and she doesn't believe me when I tell her.

Sunday Night Wreckage 4.18.10

I have not figured out how to end a weekend without the house looking like a disaster zone.

Holden's First Birthday Party 4.17.10

My brother Kurt has been special to me since he was little. I used to put him to bed with our own special bedtime routine. I took him to recitals and out for ice cream. Then he grew up. And got married. And had a baby.

And now darling Holden is one.

I'm not sure how it's possible to love so many people. I mean, my family is hardly a small little group. But somehow there's always room to adore everybody that joins the clan.

And how could you not lose your heart to this little guy?

One Crazy Busy Night 4.16.10

It was a wild and crazy night.

Josh had a Scout campout, so I got his food ready, picked him up from a friend's house, and told him to be ready to be picked up by his Scoutmaster.

I drove to Midvale for Kate's piano lesson. After the lesson, I drove to Salt Lake and dropped off Sophie for her violin pizza party for practicing 30 days in a row (hooray, Sophie!) I took Ben and Kate to Wendy's for some food, and we played at a park for a couple of minutes before picking up Sophie.

We then drove to our old elementary school to drop Sophie off at Arts Night to hang out with her best friend Anna.

Pulling up to the school and seeing people I love and miss was unexpectedly agonizing. I guess I haven't fully mourned the loss of the old life. I'm working on the new one, and finding joy here, too, but my life before was oh, so lovely. There are things that will never be the same. I know life here will be wonderful, too, and I am trying not to compare now with then, but there are times that I miss the way things were with a surprising intensity.

After Sophie went into the school, I drove up to Park City to take Ben and Kate to David's sister's house for a late-over/sleepover. I cried up the mountain. Then I decided to get ahold of myself and stopped.

I then drove downtown to meet David for dinner at our friends' lovely lovely place at the Broadway. They spent almost two years renovating, and it is magazine-perfect, super modern, and it has unmatched views of the city. Our gorgeous four course dinner for four couples (with some piano music in-between courses) lasted four hours.

We then drove back to Sugarhouse to pick up Sophie from Anna's, drove to Park City to drop OFF Sophie for a sleepover and pick up Ben to take back home. We dropped David off back in the city to pick up his car, and then drove home.

I was oh so tired when I got home, but not so tired that I didn't realize how empty the house felt with three abandoned beds. I like to have my kids around me at night, and I miss the weight of their sleeping bodies when they're not here.

Tax Day 4.15.10

Tax day loomed. I decided to file an extension.

So I got to enjoy tax day instead of agonizing over my taxes. The kids played in the street all evening long. Tally was used by a rollerblading Kate as momentum around the circle. We enjoyed the warmer weather

And then I realized I hadn't filed the extension yet, so I put the kids to bed and got it done.

Sigh. Procrastination. It's such a familiar friend.

Dog 4.14.10

Our Natalia is fourteen. She's lived a good long life, but her health has definitely deteriorated and last summer we thought we might lose her. We've known ever since that our time with her is limited, and we've prepared ourselves for her loss as much as possible.

But we were shocked and so saddened by the sudden death of my brother and sister-in-law's dog, Meg. Meg lost a leg shortly after they moved to Utah and has been a tripod ever since, whacking us with her ridiculously long tail, making us happy with her happy personality. She was only ten, and the thought of losing her had never crossed our minds.

So tonight I gave Tally some extra love and extra attention, even though she's been ultra-disgusting lately. She's been such a good and loyal friend, even though she's smelly, half-blind, and three-quarters-deaf. I'm trying to enjoy the time we have left with her and cherish her a little more.

That's easier when she's not disgusting or running away, but still. She loves us unconditionally. I'm going to work on loving her the same way.

My Shoes 4.13.10

I've found a running partner. This is a blessing, because without knowing someone is out waiting for me at 6:30 I might have a rough time forcing myself out of bed these winter mornings. I know the calendar says it's spring, but I've run in plenty of snow this month, so I'm going to stick with winter.

I hop out of bed, brush my teeth, throw on my contacts and my running clothes, stick my Garmin in the window to pick up the satellite, and tie my shoes. Then I meet my neighbor and we choose our route for the morning.

Thank goodness for running friends. I miss Liz (and Bliss and Jenn) dreadfully, but I'm grateful for Tiernae and the many mornings of running into the dawn ahead of us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kate is Seven 4.12.10

Kate changed from six to seven in the blink of an eye.

Seven is a wonderful age. I love seven-year-olds. Still...does it have to keep going so FAST? Six is a wonderful age, too, and I would have loved six to have continued on for another couple of years at least.

At six, Kate moved from the beginning stages of learning to the intermediate stages. She has continued to be a fantastic student at school and in piano, a voracious reader, a sweet friend, and a happy happy girl. She continues to be the sunshine girl that she has been since birth. She just came happy into the world. I wish I could bottle her personality.

She loves to play with friends, to read out loud to us at bedtime or whenever we'll listen, to be outside, and she can still be caught playing with my hair when we're snuggling, one of the last remnants of her babyhood.

I love the little gap between her teeth. I love watching her eyes light up when some concept becomes crystal clear that was opaque just a minute before. I love her single dimple. I love that she sings very loudly when she plays pieces with words. I love that she still loves puzzles and enjoys doing them with Ben. I love to listen to her practice, going over and over her assigned sections almost always without complaint. (This is remarkable, really.) I love her green eyes and her freckles and her curly hair. I love that she's excited to pick up the mail and that she'll hold my hand when we walk down the street. I love watching her determined face while she practices rollerblading.

I do love that she is seven. But I also hate it. Where is the Life Pause button? I need it RIGHT NOW.

I mean, look at this little person:

And now look at this big person! Can you stand it?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Goodbye Again 4.11.10

One of the problems with not living near my mom or my cutie sisters is that whenever I see them, I have to say goodbye all too soon. It's super sad. I cry some of the time. I feel bittersweet every time.

Many of you know my mom, so you can imagine how much I'd love to have her closer. And those of you who don't know my mom? I'm sorry you don't. You'd love her. She's pretty much fantastic.

And Bri, and Chelsea, and Ananda? Also sad to not have them close enough to meet for lunch, or for me to steal Celia from Bri, or to share a sobfest if necessary.

To make up for this? I have Christina and Ashleigh nearby. Hooray for Christina and Ashleigh!

I love you all. Girls' weekend was a blast. I'm just sad it had to end so soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Snow Canyon 4.10.10

A few months ago, I talked my family into running the Ragnar So Cal Relay.

That didn't happen.

So then Christina and I thought about getting everyone together for a 5K/10K in St. George.

That didn't happen either.

But what DID happen as a result of all the planning was a girls' weekend in St. George. On Friday the Utah contingent of the Youngberg girls drove down and the California contingent drove up for a weekend of talking, eating, running, laughing, hiking, talking some more, and not sleeping enough.

It was wonderful.

I just hope it was wonderful enough to make up for the California group's drive home. A six hour drive became an eight hour drive, and then the LA girls still had to drive one more hour.

Was it worth it, Bri and Ananda? I hope so, because I hope we can make this an annual tradition.

It's so great to spend a weekend with my mom, my sisters, and my sisters-in-law (and two babies!) and realize how I lucked into this totally amazing group of women. Giving, caring, kind, funny, intelligent, thoughtful, talented... It's kind of remarkable that I love my family as much as if I'd handpicked them as friends.


Running with my mom, Bri, and Christina. My mom is a rockstar. She's totally inspiring. After we ran a couple of miles together, Christina and I headed off for a few more. Christina found this fantastic trail which took a great run to a memory-making run. I love running trails.

Breakfast. And dinner. And snacks.

Nertz. Why do I always lose? And why does it not seem to matter?

Snow Canyon. I love this place! We had a blast taking pictures and hiking and enjoying a perfect PERFECT spring day.

Reading family history stories with Ashleigh and Christina on Sunday morning. My mom brought up some fantastic stories about some of my ancestors. One died in the Civil War, leaving a young wife and six children. One converted to the LDS church while living in Switzerland and left his family to emigrate to Utah when he was fifteen years old.

And here are some pictures, of course...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gaining Three 4.9.10

It happened! Ben turned three!

He chose muffins for breakfast. He ate half of one.

We opened presents.

And then I left for St. George.

He was sad for a little while, I think, but playing with new toys with a cool big brother and two cool big sisters was a decent substitute.

Ben loves:

Staying up
Playing with Ezra (and Sydney and Blake)
Stories at bedtime
Pizza, spaghetti, noodles with parmesan, french toast, toast with no crust or butter, strawberries, and sometimes apples "with no crust"
Watching TV, especially the Little People DVD, Dora and Max & Ruby
The park
The snow
Being outside
His sissies and bro-bro
His mommy and daddy
Cars and work trucks


He misses his "old house."
He hates going to bed.
He gives sweet sweet kisses.
He's got a funny sense of humor.
He really loves me.
He ends up in our bed most nights. When he gets into bed, he gives us kisses, hugs around our necks and tells us that he loves us.
He has more expressions than I can count. I love watching him talk to me in the car through the rearview mirror just to watch his face change.
He's trouble in a tiny little body.

We love our Ben.

I mean we love love LOVE our Ben in a heart-squeezing, breath-stealing kind of way.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Losing Two 4.8.10

I just tucked my two year old into bed. This is not unusual. I have done this most of the last 364 days.

But tonight was different. Tonight I had to say good-bye to my two-year-old. Tomorrow, when he wakes up, he will no longer be my two-year-old Ben. He will have morphed into a new boy, an older boy, a three-year-old Ben.

How do I handle losing Ben at two? He has certainly kept us running. There have been plenty of messes and plenty of nights that have ended with me thinking he had the best of me that day AND the worst of me. But... his kisses. His sweet snuggles. His sweet soft cheeks and beautiful eyes and blondie hair. His “Ho-ju me” when he wants to be held. His crackers and spray cheese for lunch. His sugar obsession. His asking for another story about “My Edra, my Cindy, my Blake, and my Dora the Splora” (who are his cousin Ezra, his friend Sidney, Josh’s friend Blake and of course Dora the Explorer). These have stitched him deeply into my heart.

Reaching each of his milestones has been bittersweet. The last times always sting. Nursing. The birthdays. The loss of the crib and the move into the big boy bed. Each time we reach another milestone, it’s a loss of one Ben, even at the gain of another.

But I suppose it’s time to look forward to three-year-old Ben. He’ll learn more of his letters and thrill to point them out to me. He’ll have more playdates and learn to love the wider world. He’ll start preschool.

Oh. I can’t go there. Not tonight. Not my last night with my last two-year-old. I hope he shows up at the side of our bed in the middle of the night (as he does almost every night) so that I can snuggle him up one last time.

And in the morning I’ll feel little arms around my neck, a little mouth kiss my cheek, and a little voice will say, “I love you, Mommy” and I’ll start getting to know three-year-old Ben. I’m sure he’ll make life just as wild and crazy, just as sweet, just as brilliant.

Oh, and just for kicks, this is how I found Kate when I went to kiss her goodnight.

Food 4.7.10

Check it out. I'm a totally awesome homemaker.

David loves him some freezer jam. Josh does too. For some reason I've been a freezer jam slacker for the last few years, so they've had to make due with the junk they sell on the shelves at the supermarket. Poor deprived boys. Since I'm heading out to St. George tomorrow, I felt like David needed some proof of my love. Enter strawberry jam, made with all kinds of affection. My boys are both very very happy.

Also, Sophie decorated a cake at Activity Days. Didn't she do a great job? (She also took the picture.)

Don't You Just Love April Snow? 4.6.10

I know I'm supposed to complain about all this snow in April, and I will admit that I crave sunshine, but I also have a thing for storms. I love a big storm. We had about a half foot of snow on Monday and Tuesday, and I secretly loved every minute. I encouraged the kids to take advantage and sled. The big kids looked at me like I was on something and said, "I am so sick of snow. No way am I going out in that" and laid around in the bean bags being bored. Which would YOU choose? Sledding or being bored?

Kids these days.

But Ben was in heaven, especially when he found Ezra's old 12-18 month sized snowsuit and insisted he wear it to shovel.

I love the fashion sense of my almost-three-year-old.

Spring Break Bowling 4.5.10

Honestly, we don't bowl all that often, but options are a little limited on snowy spring days. We went with some of our dear dear friends from the old hood and had way too much fun. I miss these kids and their parents like I miss the sun in the middle of a nasty inversion. So poetic, aren't I?

Kate and her buddy Eliza

Ben bowling. Watching Ben bowl makes bowling twice within a month worthwhile. I might do it again soon just for that one thrill.

My Day So Far

Ran. That was fine.
Dog peed on her blankets. Again.
Ben hit Sophie in the face. Time out.
Ben found a hole in his stuffed snake and ripped out the stuffing. Time out.
Ben colored in crayon on the table, chair, and deck. Time out.
Looked for the $8 worth of turkey I bought at Costco yesterday to make a sandwich. Found it in the trunk of the van.
It's only 1:00.

Did I mention I'm going on a girls' weekend to St. George tomorrow?

Is it obvious how much I need it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter 4.4.10

Easter was lovely. Well, it was lovely except for the snow. Well, snow is lovely, too, just not when we're celebrating rebirth.

We started the morning gathering everyone into our bedroom to read through scriptures about Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

And then the festivities began. Easter baskets and egg hunt. Brunch at Eric and Christina's (thanks for hosting, guys. It was wonderful) with Kurt and Ash to watch General Conference. The talks about Christ's atonement were especially sweet to hear.

After brunch, we drove up to Heber to watch (or sleep through, depending on who you are) the last session of conference with David's mom and Bill and Rachelle. Sondra joined us for a delicious Easter dinner. I knew how delicious it would be when I opened the cupboard to throw something away in the trash can and found four empty containers of heavy whipping cream. Yup. It's true.

And my cake? Almond poppy seed bundt cake with fresh strawberries. It was not a disaster! Aren't you proud of me?

I love Easter. I love the message of hope and renewal and remembering even more fully the truth of Christ's atonement and His resurrection.

Easter Eggs 4.3.10

Monday, April 5, 2010

How Could a Night Go So Badly and Still Be So Good? 4.2.10

So here's how it went:

Friday night we thought it would be great for me to take Josh on a mommy date to see The Lightning Thief. Josh LOVES the Percy Jackson books (he thinks they're even better than Harry Potter. I'm not so sure) and he's been dying to see the movie for a couple of months, but every time we've tried to see it, something has gone wrong.

So he was very excited, and I was too. A night out with my boy sounded like a good break from the routine. Unfortunately, the movie is a little old, so the closest theatre was out in West Valley. We knew we'd be a little late, but didn't think it would matter much, so off we went. We bought our tickets, were directed to the theatre, and were so excited because the previews hadn't even started! Score! So we talked a little, then started watching the previews. Which were raunchy. And terrible. And then even more raunchy. And shocking. And I thought, "I am SO writing a letter to the manager of this theater. This is a KID movie, after all." And then it was THIRTY minutes after the movie was supposed to have started and it still hadn't started!

And then it started.

And it was the wrong movie.

We left immediately and complained to the manager, who was less than helpful. Another couple came out and were furiously explaining that the same thing happened to them (sold wrong tickets...directed to wrong theater). He offered us a refund (duh) and so we took it and left.

Josh was very very sad. I was too.

But on the way home, I had a brilliant idea. I had seen that Percy Jackson was ALSO playing at a drive-in. I called David, who did NOT want to go, and decided to go BACK to Davis County to get the girls and warm clothes (it was snowing) and then go BACK to West Valley to the drive-in.

We did. We were late. When I pulled up, I handed the guy my credit card. He said, "Cash only." So we rummaged through everything we had. We came up with $20.50.

He said "Sorry. There's an ATM on the corner."

I drove away, then realized my debit card just expired.

So then I found a Smith's and decided to buy something and write the check for a little over.

So then we got to see Percy Jackson. AND How to Train Your Dragon, which was very good. And everyone was happy, and not nearly as cold as we thought we'd be.

Until the battery died.

Well, we were still happy. But we had to bug the guy next to us for a jump.

We finally got home after midnight, tired and glad that we'd had an adventure that went so wrong, but ended up being so right.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Resolution Check-In

I know you appreciate it when I help you feel good about yourself, and I think this will really give you a boost.

Here are my 2010 resolutions and how I've done in the first quarter of the year:


Attend the temple at least 10 times (Ummmm...haven't gone yet.)
At least one page of the Book of Mormon every day. (Kind of)
Read Old Testament. (I have read some of the Old Testament three times. OK, maybe two times.)
Keep journal of spiritual impressions. (Yes. Sometimes. It's good. I like it.)

Home Life:

Family scripture study daily. (Hmmmm. A few times.)
Teach children responsibility. (Yeah. I'm not so sure about this one.)
Picture of the day (Haven't missed once! Hooray!)
Help Josh achieve his Deacon Duty to God (Oh. I guess I'd better check out our list. I totally forgot.)
Work on Josh’s scouting. Get ready for his Eagle in 2011. (Josh's scoutmaster is making this happen.)
Kitchen and great room clean nightly. (No. Not really.)
Breakfast on the table at 7:25 (Oh, this is FUNNY!)
Menu planning (Kind of)
Food storage improved (I bought lots of crackers when they were on sale this week. Does this count?)
Deep cleaning daily (David will think THIS is funny.)
Teach Josh and Sophie piano every week (Really? Oh. Hmmm.)
Clean desk every day (As if.)
Clean car every week (I actually have cleaned out the car more than a few times! That's nice!)
Pay bills and be aware of the money situation every week. (I've been very aware of the money situation. It's hard not to be when the money situation is what it is. Not enough.)
No fines at the library. (Be honest. Who of you REALLY thought this was possible? I'll say of the charms of Davis County is that the fines are much less than in SL County.)
Functioning mudroom. (If functioning means that it's a good place to stick the dog when she's disgusting, I'll say yes.)
Organized storage room. (I honestly just laughed loudly. That's really REALLY funny.)
Fun family outing monthly. (Fun? Does going to Costco count?)
At least one family vacation. (We'll see.)
At least one camping trip. (Luckily I don't need to feel guilt about this yet, considering we had 7 inches of snow in the last day.)


Daily service. (Often.)
Weekly date night with David (Not as often.)
Weekend getaway with David (Oh, I hope so.)
Birthday cards to family. (Can I just erase this one? I'm SO BAD at it. Sorry, family. I love you bunches, even if I don't send you cards.)
At least 2 dinner parties a month (YES!!! I HAVE DONE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!)
Visiting teaching complete every month (Seriously, this is getting bad.)


To bed before 11:15 consistently (Does consistent mean once every couple of weeks? If so, then I've been consistent!)
1010 miles in 2010 (This one isn't going to happen. It's really not.)
20000 crunches in 2010 (No. I've changed to doing Jillian Michaels on many of the days I don't run.)
5 pull ups in a row (I can do 1/2 of a pull up now. Is that progress?)
Lose those last few baby pounds (If by losing, I meant gaining more, then I'm making some progress.)
Run a mile in 7 minutes (There's not much of a chance unless I somehow get way faster.)
Add more strength training (YES!!!!!!)
Run some race some time (I'm sure this will happen.)


Read one good book a month (YES! ANOTHER YES!)
Writing...not sure what yet. (Well, I've sure been blogging a lot.)
Photography classes. Improve skills to better record family life. (I took a class, but it hasn't done much for my photography. As if you haven't noticed...)


Recital? (No, but I started my piano group, so that's great!)
Have 20 pieces memorized. (This is a good reminder. I'll review something today.)
Arrange 2 pieces for beginning piano trio (I started "Teach Me to Walk in the Light". Well, I wrote out the melody line in each instrument. That doesn't really count, but at least I haven't forgotten about it.)


Pay tithing on the Sunday after the paycheck EVERY TIME. (Pretty close.)
Create working budget/envelope system/allowances (Nope.)
Be proactive (What does that MEAN?)
Don’t use credit cards (Better)
Get out of debt (Ha. We'll see.)

Wow. That was interesting. And by interesting, I mean sucky.

I am proud, though, of the dinner parties (they've been super fun) and my piano group, and paying tithing, and the daily service, and especially the picture of the day. So like I said back at the dawn of the new year, I aimed high and hoped for some success. I guess that's what I've had: SOME success. Right?

Mother Nature Thinks She's Funny 4.1.10

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone. Can't wait to post a picture of what David did.

Josh's Orchestra Festival and Someone Save Me from Myself 3.31.10

Josh played at a junior high orchestra festival. David and I were once again grateful for a really really great music program at his new school. I mean, really great. It's very exciting. And Josh was seated third chair after their last playing test, which made him feel like hot stuff. He is, though, of course, so he can feel that way if he wants to.

Honestly. Someone needs to take me out and shoot me. I can NOT get a grip on my life and responsibilities. I had FOUR things happen in one day that showed me just how irresponsible I am, but this one was the worst. March 31 is the last day to turn in claims for 2009's Flex Spend plan. I put it off until too late anyway, but right before I turned in my claim, I thought I'd better check how much we had withdrawn over the year. I'm glad that I did. I was off by ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. So I spent the day trying to find receipts and have doctors fax us receipts and calling pharmacies to compile receipts, scanning in receipts, compiling claim forms, and thanking David for not giving up on me when I blow it YET AGAIN.

Is there any hope? Or should I just get rich and hire a personal secretary? Or go back to bed?

Would Somebody Put This Kid to Bed, Please? 3.30.10

Why does he have NO homework some days, and homework that keeps him up until 11:15 other days? It's wrong, I tell you. Wrong.