Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 25th

One year ago yesterday Nathan and I signed the closing papers and bought our first house together! (May 25th is also my sister's wedding anniversary; all in all a good day I think.)

It has been quite a year, full of demolition and construction and squirrels in the walls and vines and dead branches all over the property needing to be cleared and gardens needing to be planted and a lawn consisting of more weeds than grass.

We still don't have a bed frame, but get along fine with our mattress on the floor!

I haven't yet convinced Nathan to let me paint the kitchen orange, but I'm still hoping.

And to be perfectly honest, Nathan's office today doesn't look much different than it did last May.

But we are having fun having our own place.

Coming soon: pictures of the vegetable garden my parents helped me put in when they visited earlier this month!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Year Concludes

I have the great joy and privilege of conducting a wonderful children's string orchestra under the umbrella of a local youth symphony organization consisting of five large ensembles, a chamber music program, and more. Every spring after our final concert of the year, the orchestra has an "awards night" party consisting of cake and beverages for all and then individual smaller parties for each ensemble, when the conductors give awards to each student. It's so much fun to see the kids interact with each other and with me outside of the rehearsal setting - to chat with them informally, jam "Heart and Soul" on a piano together, and celebrate their achievements.

This year's string ensemble consisted of 23 wonderful kids. Victoria, who played her parts confidently and reliably. Lily, who played beautifully - and then smiled up at me guiltily any time she played a wrong note. Arya, whose big brown eyes watched me attentively for cues and cut-offs. James, who joined the group mid-year and worked hard to catch up with the more experienced students. Alexandre, who was my right-hand-man when it came to setting up the room for rehearsals. Alexis, whose bubbly personality and braces-clad grin made rehearsals fun for everyone. Mary Rose, whose infectious laugh, sweet personality, and love of music made me love her. Julia, who held down the cello section with her solid rhythm. I could go on and on!

I left the evening's festivities with a blooming azalea shrub to be planted in my yard from the executive director of the program, a gift certificate to this restaurant from all the families in my ensemble, a silver necklace and a scarf from Jocelyn and Julia, two lovely young ladies in the group, and a silly band (little stretchy bracelets kids all seem to be wearing and trading right now) from Maddie, a girl in the quartet I coached this year.

As I was leaving, Jeana, a girl from my group who will be auditioning to move to the next level ensemble, gazed up at me with big brown eyes and said, "I'm going to miss you, Miss Sarah."

So I left with full hands and a full heart. It's been a good year.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Celebrating Mothers

Today is Mother's Day!

It is also the 50th anniversary of the day the first birth control pill received final approval from the FDA.

Ironically enough.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

I'm playing in a pit for a high school production of Beauty and the Beast this week. I can't remember the last time I saw the Disney film, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'd ever seen the full production before, although I have vague memories of possibly seeing it as a young kid. (If I did in fact see it, this is where my parents roll their eyes and realize all those culturally enriching experiences were wasted on me...sorry, Mom and Dad!) Anyway, I had forgotten how much I love the music. Despite some slightly horrific singing at times, the kids are doing a good job and the music itself shines through. As we read through the first rehearsal last night, I'm pretty sure I was tearing up during "Tale as Old as Time" at the end, after the Beast is transformed and everyone is "Human Again."

But nobody, nobody, can sing that song like Angela Lansbury:

All in all a wonderful show to play with really lovely string parts.

A [Real] Love Story

I just came across this Anita Renfroe spoof on the Taylor Swift Song "Love Story." It's mostly funny, with a little bit of sweet at the end. Here it is... "it's a real story."