Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

My life is everything I dreamed it would be... 
...and many things I never dreamed it could be.

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[Candles burning in my home, Thanksgiving Day, 2015.]

I dreamed of a beautiful home where my family would be safe and happy. I dreamed of being married and raising children with my husband. I dreamed of playing my violin for audiences. I dreamed of filling my home with books and creating an atmosphere of learning and imagination. I dreamed of traveling to far off lands and exploring the world. All of these things, by chance, as well as by determination, have become my reality. 

I did not dream I would adopt a child from across the globe. I did not dream that I would have the unique parenting experience of raising a child like Elisabeth. I did not dream I would climb mountains. But these things, too, have become my reality - and, oh, how lucky I feel! 

I have been blessed with the most amazing experiences and each day I feel immense gratitude that this is my life

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Climb Up Mt. St. Helens

Part 1: Why I did it.

Last March I began hiking a local hill named Badger Mountain. I found myself going up three, four, five times a week, addicted to the victorious feeling I got each time I reached the top.

One day, as I was getting ready to go hiking, I gave Elisabeth a hug and said, "Elisabeth, I couldn't take you even if I wanted to," knowing that the task of carrying her crippled body up the hill would be near impossible. Then I thought to myself, what if I had to? That's when I vowed to become strong, to work unceasingly towards improving myself so that I can always be whatever Elisabeth needs me to be.

Indeed, I decided that day that I would climb mountains for her.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mary Poppins

Opening Night is in  
8 days!!!

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Donald snapped the photo above while they were doing a promotional photo shoot...I am in love with it. Each actor looks the part...and the costumes and setting are...practically perfect!

Alexandra has been busy with an intense rehearsal schedule. The role of Jane Banks is large: she is in just about every scene, has multiple costume changes, 150 some-odd lines, and a long list of songs to sing. But she has risen to the occasion - as I knew she would. Alexandra has been a star since the day she was born.

Last night was the first rehearsal with costumes and I snapped the following pictures before the rehearsal began:
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Alexandra's costume rack with all of Jane's outfits.  photo 20151104_182520_zpsasdia3s9.jpg 
Alexandra and Sydnee chatting on stage before rehearsal.  photo IMG-1446690497785-V_zpsrq5jksqt.jpg 
Jane and Michael Banks. And a tattered up kite. :)  photo 20151104_183202_zpss9p6qybg.jpg 
This one made me laugh...seeing Lex lounging on the prop furniture...still waiting for rehearsal to get going (with Bert walking in front and Winifred behind). 

And one picture from rehearsal:
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In this shot Alexandra is singing 'The Perfect Nanny'
"She must be kind she must be witty..."

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lorelai's Birthday Review!

The day she turned 11... photo 20151019_154655_zps9nt5b2vz.jpg  photo 20151019_154754_zpssj8zhi9j.jpg  photo 20151019_154627_zpshq4w0e2o.jpg

Gifts and decorations full of color and fun.  photo 20151019_154703_zpsymuu03l3.jpg photo 20151019_154640_zpscgics97e.jpg  photo 20151019_154623_zpsjwpberta.jpg  photo 20151019_154615_zpskbgw4ym5.jpg

The opening of gifts...

 photo b40d0f11-ea5f-4a12-b5fe-ca8e57feeb16_zpsthqmwn5l.jpg  photo 4c0f0d8c-a29c-4f76-a113-21363fffd729_zps6jmzkuwo.jpg  photo 9e13d1fc-f3fb-46bd-bc91-f3eeed67b90a_zpsysat8qeb.jpg  photo 43c8ddc8-24a0-4e66-bb9f-2b2c233204b4_zpsgnmbmx3v.jpg

Presents included:

~ Fitbit
~ Bubble gum
~ Shoes 
~ Clothes
~ DVD of Grace Stirs up Success
~ Racoon mug
~ Coloring book and colored pencils 

The cake...  photo 20151019_154922_zpsnkhun0lo.jpg  photo 20151019_203130_zpsyjiehxi2.jpg  photo 20151019_203153_zpssiqxubua.jpg

Make a Wish!!!!

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And that's how you turn 11!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015


Elisabeth Elva  
as a

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Elsa Lelise 

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Lorelai Leigh  
as a

 photo 20151031_160404_zps0obapjmg.jpg


Alexandra Louise 
Katniss Everdeen.

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My four 

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 photo 20151031_175353_zps0u7jftva.jpg   photo 20151031_175416_zpskr3jzq7r.jpg  photo 20151031_175403_zpsjjailmhn.jpg  photo 20151031_175410_zpshdhxtopw.jpg   photo 20151031_175746_zpszwcokc1u.jpg

Trick - or - Treat!!!  photo 20151031_175840_zpsheflnls9.jpg

Off they go...
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That's a wrap!

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!!

I cannot begin to express how much I love that USA Today put out the Hill Valley Edition of their newspaper featuring the same front page from Back to the Future II.


Donald went from grocery store to grocery store at 5:30 am on October 22nd trying to get a copy or two before they were gone. He ended up with enough for us and all my siblings.

The stories had me in stitches and I can only imagine how much fun the journalists at the paper had in recreating that famous front page.

 photo b0ee5781-21d3-428d-b9e6-42683a83fd6e_zps00spkw8b.jpg  photo ff3b6cd4-e151-4af0-b073-a87720c74aaa_zps6ygg6yni.jpg 

I posted a picture of Donald reading the paper on my Instagram page...and lo and behold, USA Today put it on their website!! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Future is Here

Today is the day Marty McFly arrives in the future. It feels monumental. I can remember watching Back to the Future II when it came out...getting a peek at what the future might hold... with hoverboards and flying cars. As it turned out, I think life looks a lot more similar to 1985 than they predicted it would. But, I think the technology we have now far surpasses anything we could have dreamed of thirty years ago.


Now to see what the next 30 years brings!

Happy Back to the Future Day!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's Lorelai's Birthday!

 photo UY8A0695 copy_zpslxnzwqmv.jpg 

Words to describe Lorelai at 11 years of age:


Happy 11th Birthday,
Lorelai Leigh!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Littlest Patron

 photo IMG_20151017_121853_zpsmk8n5rwy.jpg 

Later today I will be performing Schubert's Trout Quintet. I am honored to be a part of such a talented group of musicians and I feel fortunate to be able to use my musical abilities to bring treasured pieces of music, like the Trout, to life. 

Yesterday was our dress rehearsal. As I was preparing to leave I considered my options with Elisabeth. A) leave her home where she would most likely lay on the couch and listen to the everyday hubbub of home life. Or B) take her with me and enrich her little world with some of the best music ever written.

The choice was easy. 

I parked her down in front of the stage and she sat contentedly and listened while we rehearsed for two hours. 

It made me immensely happy to see her directly in front of me, her small body sitting in an auditorium of empty chairs, a private concert for our littlest - and most special - patron.

If you live locally, please consider coming to the performance this afternoon.
Details below:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The 5 pm Tidy Up

I believe a clean organized home is important because it creates an atmosphere of peace. In a tidy home, things run smoother and there is less cause for stress. So, it has always been my goal to keep my house as such, neat and orderly. I also know there is nothing nicer than coming home to freshly cleaned house. So everyday before the girls get home I make an effort to get it vacuumed. And then...a few hours later, if we can, we do the same quick tidy up for Donald.

Vacuuming is the fastest, easiest way to freshen up a home.

I present to you, the 5 pm tidy up:

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Day She Turned Thirteen

  photo 20151004_073724_zps2ralqffd.jpg  photo 20151004_073823_zps85abcnzt.jpg  photo 20151004_073801_zpsaigvdigi.jpg photo 20151004_073750_zpsurzzwkhv.jpg

Alexandra has taken to painting this past year, and so I went with a painting theme for her birthday. At each place setting there was a miniature canvas and easel:

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The girls quickly turned them into masterpieces which I am excited to display around the house:  photo 20151004_092422_zpsmkmokpio.jpg

Several of her gifts also went with the paint theme...including a cell phone case that looks like a paint set (below), a table top easel, a book about painting techniques, and a multi pack of new canvases. 
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After morning festivities, we hopped in the car and drove to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth Washington. The autumn air and glorious fall colors were spectacular!
  photo 20151004_143744_zpsdjw7kmto.jpg photo 20151004_144634_zpsrycaotut.jpg  photo 20151004_144459_zpsp1hm1fh7.jpg   photo 20151004_144013_zps376vjg0i.jpg

The teenager:
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Isn't her profile beautiful??

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One of the happiest surprises of all was running into the girls friend, Jayden, and her family. It made the day that much more special for Alexandra.

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Another highlight of the day was when Alexandra reached down and held my hand. Best teenager ever!
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After exploring the town for a few hours, we drove home to finish our celebrating with birthday cake.
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Make a wish, birthday girl! 

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Let the teenage years, begin!
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