Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Staycation

Jason and I are entering the final days of our staycation. Every year my parents take our kids (yes, all four of them!) for a couple of weeks and Jason and I are able to enjoy the married without kids life that we had for only a very short time. We both still work and live in the house, but in the evenings, we get to just hang out together like married people, instead of needing to wait until 9pm to do that. We've been able to watch a few movies, go out to dinner with friends, enjoy "alone" time whenever -- it's been really, really great.

One of the things that we've done this time that we haven't done the past few years was to spend a lot more time catching up with friends. Last week we spent four hours at dinner with someone who we both know, but not that well. It was great to be able to sit down and talk and share over a long dinner about a whole range of topics. On Sunday night, we enjoyed dinner and a movie with my in-laws. We don't generally get to spend a lot of time visiting them without the kids running around, so it was nice to sit down and talk and enjoy time together there. Just last night, we went to our favorite Japanese steakhouse with some friends for a few hours. It was really fun to watch all of the regular antics of the chef with folks who had never seen it before, but also just to catch up on what has been going on in our lives over the past 10+ years. I love hanging out with just my husband, and we've had some great time over the past 10 days enjoying that as well, but it's been really wonderful to take time to get to know some of our friends a bit better as well.

Oh, and the wedding went pretty well! I was reminded pretty strongly why I need to memorize the music before our next gig, but overall, I had a good time. I was horribly nervous before it started, but once we got playing, it was okay. It was also a chance to get to know people better. I got to sit with one of the singers at dinner and had a chance to talk to her about different life things, which was great. I also carpooled with the guitarist and had an opportunity to grow in friendship there as well (and it was fantastic to get to listen to someone speak so highly of their spouse -- I get frustrated when people don't seem to like their husband or wife and dump that on me!). Overall, it was a pretty good experience and I look forward to playing again!

We pick up the kids on Friday and I'm definitely ready to see them. Deborah has hit the point that she and I can wear the same shoes. Christopher learned to ride a bike without training wheels. James tried crab. Faith is a little fashionista. It will be great to give them all a big hug and hear all about their weeks with Hoppy & Mana. But I am thankful for this time that Jason and I have had to connect with one another and with our friends.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Silly Website

The kids are gone. I have the whole house to myself to do whatever. So what am I doing?

Well, mostly practicing for the wedding on Saturday. But when I've just had enough of KC & the Sunshine Band and Neil Diamond, I'm playing around on Broken Picture Telephone.

This site is freakin' hilarious. Basically it's like the old telephone game, where you whisper something in the ear of the person sitting beside you and they whisper it to the next person and so on til it tends to come out all mangled at the other end. Only here, the first person writes a "scene" and the next person draws it. Then the next person describes the scene that was drawn and the person after them draws from that description. And it is just fantastic. Some get a little raunchy, which is unfortunate (they have a designation for threads that are "mature" and those that aren't, but sadly, anyone can change a regular thread to an adult thread, which stinks), but overall, it's just entertaining. I'm horrible at drawing with my mouse (it's kind of a paint program), but I'm having a blast anyway.

If you're looking for a game that stirs up the creative juices at least a little bit, definitely check this out. You won't be sorry!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wedding Prep

Life is weird.

A couple of years ago after leaving our previous church, I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be playing again. We were in a really big church that has a ton of top notch musicians and I had been hurt so incredibly badly (being told you're not welcome to play at a church where you were previously playing consistently for 2 years is devastating). I knew I'd miss playing, but just assumed that those days were over. Then about 10 months ago (give or take) I started subbing on the praise team. It was so great to have an opportunity to play the keyboards with so many amazing musicians. Then in February, a vacancy opened up on one of the teams. Incredibly, I was asked to play and have been playing regularly since about March.

Recently, the lead guitar from our team asked if I'd like to join his cover band. I'm thrilled for the opportunity but dag! I haven't been this nervous about playing in a really long time. I know that this is supposed to be fun (how can playing I Love Rock & Roll and Power of Love not be fun???), but for this wedding, I'm just terrified that I'm going to suck up the band and make us lose other potential gigs. I will feel so much better after next Saturday has passed! All that said, I can't believe I'm 35 and in a rock band. Seriously, life is weird!

In other news, summer is barreling by. The kids have mostly enjoyed the summer camp program and have made some good friends there. It doesn't have the greatest supervision, so the boys have had a few incidences of bullying that leave me a little less happy, but overall, it's been pretty good. We had a nice trip to Washington D.C. I hope to take the kids again before too long. They loved riding on the Metro & we had a great time seeing all of the monuments. Very cool. James said that being there made him love our country all the more. Fantastic!

On Sunday, we're taking the kids up to my parents' for two weeks. The children are very excited about it -- I'm not sure about my folks! I think it's that same feeling of excitement and terror that I'm feeling about the wedding! I know that Jason and I are looking forward to a little "staycation" at home. In the past, we've used these weeks to go to a few movies, grab a few dinners out and enjoy being home alone. It's nice to be able to put in a grown-up movie at 6pm so we can stay awake for the whole thing!

After those 2 weeks, we'll have one week with the kids at home, then we go on vacation with my parents. This year, we're going to be going to the mountains of North Carolina. I'm really looking forward to it. Mom keeps telling me that there's nothing to do there, but honestly, sitting around in the pool for a few days sounds pretty darn good to me! Then a week and a half, and school starts back. When I start looking at it like that, it feels like the summer is almost over. It reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine & Jerry visit Jerry's parents and he boils their visit down to an afternoon. *grin*

I'm sorry I haven't written much here lately. Summer keeps us all pretty busy. I guess that's a good thing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Musical Monday

I wasn't quite able to get the MM up today that I was hoping for (should be ready to go for next Monday), so instead I'm going to post the special from yesterday. This is the version that we did. The singers were absolutely amazing. On Saturday night I got so overwhelmed by their vocals that I completely lost my place and flubbed up a chorus big time! :::blush:::

Anyway, this is a very simple, but beautiful lyric.

The More I Seek You

The more I seek you, the more I find you.
The more I find you, the more I love you.
I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat
This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace,
it's overwhelming.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Come ON, people!!!

I've passed on blogging about some of the racist blunders that have happened on the right since the election of our first African-American president. I don't think Obama's presidency should be about his race and I realize that the number of conservatives who aren't racist far out-weighs the number who are. I admit that I find it troubling (and got disproportionately angry when I received my first racist email from a friend), but I recognize that it is still a minority opinion and is generally addressed relatively quickly from within.

But yesterday's Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade's statement about different "species and ethincs (sic)" marrying is the final straw. There wasn't a back-pedal from Kilmead. There wasn't an apology statement from the network. This wasn't taken out of context or spliced together or anything -- it's just naked, unabashed racism. And it. must. stop.

Yesterday on my facebook page, I posted an article from The Daily Beast about racism in the G.O.P. I thought the blogger wrote a really good piece. A friend of mine responded that cries of racism were just a red herring meant to distract from the real issues. I agree that sometimes this is the case. When Janeane Garofalo goes on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and claims that everyone who participated in a Tea Party was racist, that is using the word simply to distract from the real issue. But when you start talking about calling someone a coon, when you send a picture of a "spook" in place of the president, when you say that our first lady is descended from a gorilla, when you make a cd featuring the song "Barak the Magic Negro," when you say that taxes on rich, white Americans are just forced reparations to poor, black Americans; this needs to be addressed. Firmly. Retreating to the same "it's just a distraction" argument simply looks like you are condoning racism, or are at least afraid to call it what it is. And as much as I'm primarily liberal in my political views, I recognize that the country as a whole is healthier when there are multiple strong parties. I hope that the G.O.P. leadership will speak more boldly about this kind of unmasked racism. Or it's going to be a sad day for all "species" of man.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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