Music: Godspeed


I listened to the Dixie Chicks this morning while I took a long walk, and I knew I wanted to sing one of their songs.  Enjoy.

washed clean

 I attended the baptism of this little boy yesterday.  He is incredibly handsome and active and all that comes with being a boy.  It was tough to take this picture because he was not really interested in standing still long enough to get it done, but after some coaxing from his mother I snapped this one with my iPhone.  I used a very cool new app called wordfoto. 

Wouldn't it be interesting if we wore our current feelings or accomplishments right out in the open for all to see? 


You don't need to experience darkness to appreciate light, he said as he stood at the pulpit.

Then I sat there and visualized what he meant.

my ball lamp from IKEA

Allowing light leads to more light.

That's the key. That's it.

Let it come in in bright beams, warm glows, heat.

gimme gimme gimme

A whole week of 8-3 with just me and my thoughts. My little kiddos left last week, but I was under contract until today. Lots of paper work, licensing business, and reading through IEP files. It seems weird to be missing my students and already planning for the new ones. But I remember feeling the same way at this time last year, and things turned out just fine.

Now I am looking forward to the first Summer in three years without classes or work.

Give me a road trip with the family.
Give me three days in Chicago.
Give me lunch with an old high school friend.
Give me snuggle time with my new little nephew.
Give me seafood and warm beaches and late games with my siblings.


Sometimes some scrubbing up and retooling does a face good.  I realized the other day that I had been using the same template for a couple of years and felt like it was time for a change.

Last night we had to move all of the boxes back into our house that we had moved out a couple of months ago in anticipation of eventually moving.  The place where we were storing things is being sold and needed to be emptied out.  It felt so wrong to move boxes of stuff back in, right when I was getting comfortable with them being out.

Maybe my makeover here is in direct reaction to that.  I am not sure.  I am also really into the gallery look right now, so I am thinking some painting of walls is in my future.  I am leaning toward a soft white, since my furniture is all chocolate brown.  Let things pop out and say something.  Art, pottery, photos on the wall.  Make a statement.

Scream it out loud.

making it work

I just visited with a dear friend that lost her 40-year old son last month.  A Korean man that had been her son since he was 3.

I was baking some bread and felt like I needed to take some over and have a little visit.  She invited me in and thanked me for the bread, and then we sat and talked for an hour.  There were tears as she related how up and down her emotions still are, but how glad she is for her high school biology students which have shown her unending love and compassion during the month.  Cards, photos, gifts. 

And then she showed me the Willow figurine she was given by a couple of fellow-teachers, showing a mother hugging her young son.

"Oh, look how much the boy looks like B!  Same skin coloring and hair color," I said.
"I painted it," she responded.  "It just wasn't right that he had blond hair."

And that is why I love her. 

girl thoughts

I am such a girl, saddened by little things that I believe guys shrug off.

I had someone unfollow me on twitter. Not one of those random people you follow because of an interesting post, but someone who used to be a close friend. She also used to read my blog and we would offer reciprocal comments back and forth. Nope, also very little communication on FB.

Don't think twice about it, says Geo. Don't play along with that game.

I was busy enough the past few days to put it behind me. But today I had a fleeting thought about it and sent a little note. Sorry, G, but sometimes we girls need to sort out these things called relationships. At least this girl does.

No response from her. I don't really expect one.

And then the sad me asks, Does this dress make me look fat?

cello mondays

So, here's how it goes every Monday.

I work all day and then I usually have a faculty meeting until 3:25. At this point I pull up to my house, a mile away, and honk. #4 runs out with his cello and we drive up to north Provo for his lesson. All the way there I am drifting, so I keep a running conversation going with my boy, in order to check in like a good mom AND to stay awake like a live one.

We pull up to Megan's place and #4 stows away his iPod and says, "See you in a half hour", 'cause he knows I am powering back my seat to refuel for the ride home.

Here are some shots from inside my quiet time.

how bout a song?

Click on the song title below to listen. 
Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

Your Song  (originally by Elton John, with this version inspired by Ellie Goulding)

Some of you have asked about my process when I record.  Here is how I do it. 

I keep a running list of possible songs on my iPhone as I listen to the radio, watch, TV, go online, whatever.  Most of the time something strikes me and I know I just really want to sing it.

I go to to find karaoke mp3s that I can use as my accompaniment.  Sometimes I get surprised by how many options I have for the one song I am looking for, and sometimes I am disappointed by how few options I have.  There have been many times where I have looked and looked for a track I really want and I just can't find it.

I use Audacity, which is a free sound mixing program, to upload my karaoke track.

After I do that, I sequester myself in the den and use my snowball mic to record a track on top of the music track.  When I do this I have to use headphones so that the audio track is not getting recorded twice by coming out through the speakers on the computer and back in again through my mic.

Often I combine a couple of singing tracks.  For example, if I like the track I lay down, except I mess up on the last line, I record just that last line until I get it right, and then I cut and splice it in.  I would say half of my recordings have a cut and paste somewhere within.

Once the tracks are satisfactory, I mess with fine tuning, using Audacity.  I normalize the sound so it is more even, I add in a fade in or fade out, I clean up background noise, etc.

Finally, I save all of my recordings to, which is an online storage facility.  I currently have 75 recordings saved.  Some I am not ecstatic about, but others turned out pretty good.

At I click on a share option and then I post the link here on my blog, or sometimes on facebook.

my very own variety show

I have found, in my 22+ years of parenting, that a little goofing off with the kids goes a long way. 

I have memories of all of us pulling our t-shirts over our bent knees and hobbling around.  My oldest 2 would wobble right off of the couch and I would laugh so hard that I couldn't breathe.  I still see it in my mind.  Or the way they would pull their sweat pants up over their shoulders and walk around with their arms hidden in their pant legs.  Creepy, but heart-warming.  Because they were doing it for each other, but mostly for me.  Making mom laugh until she almost keeled over was a favorite past time around here. 

Silly voices.  Silly faces.  Movie quotes.  Photo booth on the mac.  Whatever it takes to leave the grind where it belongs and enjoy some lighthearted time with the guys. 

temporary karma

 She turned 22 yesterday, so Geo and I headed to their apartment to take the lovebirds out to dinner. We were a little early, and I had been carting around my birthday cash for a couple of weeks, so I went into the Karma Boutique. A little burning going on in my pocket(book).

After the overly-friendly saleslady told me I could have 20% off of a single purchase, I found this handmade purse made with soft fabrics and beads and awesome colors. The girly girl came out in me and, after running out to the car to grab my money, G followed me into the boutique to buy it. I even asked him to help me choose between a few.

It was nice to spend the day together.

Sometimes Saturdays are about what you do, and sometimes they are about what you don't do.

Today I didn't fold laundry.
I didn't weed the flower bed. I didn't help the boys clean their rooms.
I didn't obsess about the potential home we lost this week.
I didn't do a lot of things.

But I did go to Zumba and then spend the rest of the day with my husband.

When I dig my keys out of the bottom of my new purse I will be remembering that.

more than just for me

I go on and on about the power blogging has had in my own life, to the point where my non-blogging friends may think I have finally gone over the edge.  But really, they don't understand the beauty of connecting with people in a way that fills me up without tiring me out.  Blog connections are great because everyone who blogs understands that we also have real lives, so we may pop in and out of their comment stream when things are crazy.  But, we may also meet up for dinner (like I did last night) at a cool restaurant, and talk like we are neighbors.  It has opened up new worlds for me, and I love that.
Deb and Annie
My butternut squash ravioli
Acai seed bracelets I brought for my blog friends

Missing:  A photo of my soul sistah DeNae

But beyond my personal fulfillment there are bigger things blogging can accomplish.  On my drive up to SLC for my dinner last night I was listening to NPR and heard this amazing story about a blogger from Cuba.   Brave and beautiful and inspiring.

This is powerful stuff, people.  Join me.

in which some things are actually accomplished

Starting at about 3 o'clock my mind starts wandering about what I can make for dinner.  What my evening commitments are.  Etc.  I end up feeling really muddy when I am between things that need me to make a decision or to JUST TAKE ACTION ALREADY!  Today I cinched up tickets for my son and daughter-in-law to join us back east for our beach vacay in North Carolina.  Huge checkmark on my list.  Also bought the one-way ticket for my 14-year old to fly home after he stays an extra 2 weeks in Virginia with my parents (tradition in my family).  Another thing done.  I can't tell you how settled I feel when those things at the back of my mind get done and I can move on to something else.

Something else unsettled.  Is this a slice of Americana, or what?  Still no offers, but the nice thing is that we love our house and will be just fine here if we do not sell it.  Luckily I have been busy enough finishing school and getting through the year with my little students, that I have not obsessed about the house.  I feel very zen about the whole thing.  Like trying less is what I am supposed to do.

So the message here?  Realize what little things I can control in my life and try to knock them out.  Some of the other things?  Let them go and they usually solve themselves.  And THAT I am settled on.