Michael and I have been spending every minute possible working in the basement and getting it ready for the guests we have coming over the next two weeks. A few days ago, I was downstairs and Annabelle and Jillian were upstairs playing. They're pretty good about playing by themselves (usually). After I had been downstairs for almost two hour, I realized that I hadn't heard anything upstairs for a while. Usually, the girls are running around, laughing, or crying. But I hadn't heard movement or sound from either of them. Slightly concerned, for the lack of these things meant that they were either doing something they shouldn't be or they were both so hurt they couldn't cry, I went upstairs to see what was going on. I found them both in Annabelle's room. Annabelle was coloring in her Dora coloring book and Jillian was looking at a book, both quiet and content as ever. Stunned, I walked around the rest of the house to make sure that all was as it should be and found this in Jillian's room: Perhaps the pictures don't look too bad to you. Try picturing Jillian's entire room with most of the contents of the closet scattered throughout it.
And the culprits? I decided to make them lunch with pudding for dessert. They were just too cute to be mad at. Plus, they had been quiet and allowed me to get some work done. I couldn't ask for more than that.
Yesterday, Michael and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary. I can't believe it's already been that long. I think about when we first were married. Michael had just finished his first year year of law school and I was going to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in a couple of months. We lived in a tiny apartment in one of the scariest parts of Salt Lake City. Now, Michael is firmly established in his career, we have two beautiful daughters, I have a thriving piano teaching business, and we live in a nice home. One would think that after 6 years of working hard to get where we are today, we would have a full-out celebration and paint the town red. That is not the case. Instead, we spent the entire day (and I do mean entire day- starting at 10 am and ending at midnight) like this: We are in the process of finishing the basement of our house and have been scrambling like crazy over the last week to get it ready for carpet to be installed tomorrow. And so, we made the kids play together upstairs all day long, while we spent the day downstairs with stuffy face masks on and paint all over us. Pretty romantic, huh?
However, it was not all bad. Michael and I got to "hang out" (if you could call it that) all day together. We immediately realized that painting was not going to be as easy as we thought and it took a lot of patience and compromise to find a method that was effective and efficient. After a while, I started thinking about when Michael and I decided to finish the basement. We had a lot of decisions to make about if we could afford to, how much we were willing to spend, how the space would be used, what colors to paint, and lots of other little stuff. Sometimes, we didn't agree and had to listen to the other person and perhaps meet somewhere in the middle.
I imagine that when it comes to making major decisions, some couples find out just how quickly they can disagree and hard it can be to give up some or all of what you want. In the six years that we've been married, Michael and I have learned how to communicate with one another and how to come to a mutual agreement without either one of us getting too upset. We're definitely not perfect and still need a lot of work. But when I look back over the years, I can see how we have slowly improved our relationship to become one of equal partnership.
Happy Anniversary, Michael. Thanks for six wonderful years. I look forward to sharing many more with you. I love you.
I have mentioned in the last several entries that we went to Utah for my brother's wedding. It was so much fun to be with my family. Between my 5 brothers and sisters and my parents, we live in 6 different states, ranging from Virginia to Idaho, so it was wonderful that my siblings, their spouses, and kids were almost all together (my sister's husband and daughter could not come).
Annabelle has a cousin who's about the same age and they had a blast playing together, and towards the end of our visit, Jillian was even starting to branch out a bit and let someone other than me hold her.
There were many festivities leading up to the day of the wedding, all of which were very fun and I could blog about them, but I think would probably bore all of my readers, so I'll just focus on the wedding day. I didn't get a good picture of just the bride and groom, but let me tell you, the bride was absolutely stunning and my brother couldn't have looked happier. The wedding was in the morning, followed by a really nice lunch, and an amazing reception. It was really a day jam packed with celebration, and by the end, we were absolutely exhausted. I think Jillian got a total of about 35 minutes of sleep during the whole day and the day went from about 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. But I am so happy that my brother married such a wonderful woman. Welcome to the family, Hillary.Here is a picture of me and my siblings the night before my brother got married. As you can see, we have a blast when we get together. All of my brothers are now married and here is a picture of me, my sisters, sister-in-laws, and mom.
We spent Easter in Utah. Since my brother was getting married a few days later, almost everyone in my family had come to Utah and it was so fun to celebrate Easter with them. We had a most spectacular meal and then came to anticipated Easter egg hunt. Annabelle had been talking of nothing else for days. She was so excited, and even Jillian had a blast walking around finding eggs. My girls looked so cute in their Easter dresses.
My younger sister is amazing. She has been dancing since the age of 5 and is so good. She just finished her freshmen year at BYU and made the BYU Folk Dance team. They learn dances from all around the world and perform all around the world. Currently, her team is traveling to different schools in Utah and doing short performances for the kids.
Last week when I went to Utah for my brother's wedding, I was able to attend a couple of her shows and they were AMAZING! Here are some pictures. I also got several videos. This first one is of American clogging. Here a Peruvian dance. This one is of the guys doing and Indian dance.
The night before I left for Utah, I had a recital for my piano students. It turned out really well and I was so pleased with all of my kids. They each played so well. I meant to take more pictures and videos but of course I was too preoccupied to do so. Anyway, here are a few pictures. I decided to participate in the recital as well by playing one of my favorite songs. I've been trying to learn it for a long time now and I finally decided that if I was ever going to really know it, I had to give myself a deadline. Once I decided that I would play it at the recital, there was no going back and for some reason, I had an easier time of learning it. The night of the recital, I brought the camera, but forgot to tell Michael to record me playing it. So I recorded it a few days later at my grandma's house in Utah while I was there visiting. I played it better at the recital, but oh well. So here it is, Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor.
In the last two weeks, there has been so much going on that I haven't had time to update my blog, so forgive me, but I'm going to play catch up over the next several days. I just returned from Utah for my brother's wedding and have tons of pictures from my trip, but I first have to put on a video of Jillian. She now knows how to fold her arms. She does almost every time we have a prayer, but of course, she only stays in that position for a few seconds. But it's so cute. See for yourself.