Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Suitcase

needed a last-minute suitcase to take with us on our Utah Trip.  I hadn't put two-and-two together that both Paul and I would be traveling at the same time, so I got to go out and buy the most hideous suitcase I could find.  

Hey...just like the super-old guy at the baggage carousel at SLC said, "Well, at least you'll never miss it!"  Or the girls behind us at the Southwest counter who asked, "Are you guys going to Hawaii or something??"  Nope...just wanted a girly suitcase...

And it was on clearance.  For $59.  At Target.  If you want to go get one yourself, you'd best be hurrying.

Clearly, mine is the more exciting, shall we say...

I don't know if you can see it...but there she goes, onto the airplane!

Heading home...she was a great traveling companion!

If you'd like to borrow it, I'm sure that can be arranged.  Just sayin'....


There are no words to describe how awesome this past weekend was.  If you're just tuning in, the long and the short of it is that a hymn I arranged, "The Lord is My Light" received Special Recognition in the 2012 LDS Church Music Contest.  It was featured in a concert in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City this past Friday and will soon be published on the Church's music website. 

I wasn't about to miss that concert!  So my friend Dean Wendel and I hopped on an airplane Thursday night and had ourselves quite the parTAY!  Let's just take a peek at a few of my favorite photos:

When I picked up Dean for the airport, she opened the door and shot this photo at the same time...SURPRISE!

Our lovely friend, Linda Brown drove us to the airport...that was a blast...THANK YOU, LINDA!

At Temple Square to watch the MoTab...OK FINE, we hit the City Creek Mall first!

Watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearse...WOW!  So you know, someday I WILL sing with that choir...

Friday night at the Blue Lemon across from Temple Square, ready to go to the concert!  Dean and I met up with more friends who made the trek out for the big event.  From left: Shannon Nightingale, Carmen Mansfield, Cheryl Polson, Caitlyn Polson, and Nick Polson

More of my besties who made the trip out: (from left) Me, Sadie Bergstrom, Dean Wendel, and Meghan Goodfellow

On our way over to the Assembly Hall.  It's been over a year since I've seen's time you move back now!

Can you tell I feel like throwing up right about now?

Relief Society Choir from the Fruit Heights Utah Stake warming up before the concert

I got to sit in the RESERVED section with the other composers.  This is Rachel Mecham Goates (on right) and her fabulous friend.  Rachel's daughter, Emily Goates wrote an amazing arrangement of "As Zion's Youth in Latter Days," sung by a choir of Young Women.

Anna Molgard, who composed "Simple Joy"...AMAZING!


I'll give you a hint...she wrote "I Love to See the Temple" and "A Child's Prayer".

Janice Kapp Perry, I want to be just like you when if I grow up!

I hope to see you ladies again next year!

Remember Rebecca Brown Wright?  She made it down for the concert too!  (Her mom was the one who drove us to the airport, BTW...)

Dana Glenn, one of our very favorite babysitters from years gone by...SO great to see you again!

More lovelies!

After-Party at the Joseph Smith Memorial the top floor...check out the view!

The After-AFTER-Party...we found an empty chapel in the building and had an impromptu concert with Bill Hatch!


This concert was the most amazing, inspiring, exciting experience of my musical journey, to date.  I can't wait to see what unfolds in the future!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Born to Be a Queen - NEW SONG!

See the sheet music here!

Young Women in Excellence is coming up next month...which means we need another musical number for our girls to sing.  Last year, we did "The Lord is My Light", which was a huge success.

What to do...what to do???

Cheryl Polson and I puzzled and stewed, and puzzled some more, but nothing fit quite right.  The theme we came up with for the night is "Born to Be a Queen", based on two amazing talks.  The first, "Remember Who You Are", by Elaine S. Dalton:

The second, "Your Happily Ever After," by my favorite, President Uchtdorf.  (OK's a tie between Uchtdorf and Holland!)

So what to sing??  A NEW SONG, OF COURSE! 

The creation of this song has been no different that the others.  Cheryl quickly worked some amazing lyrics (cause she's the lyric machine), gives me some melody to work with, and 1 - 2 - 3 - GO!  I got the first verse and chorus quite 20 minutes - TOPS easy.  Then comes the part where I hit the wall.  Depression sets in.  I'm certain the song is terrible and needs to be reworked from the top.  Song sits on the shelf for 5 days cause I'm mad at it and mad at myself for writing trash. 

CHERYL POLSON TO THE RESCUE!!  Basically, she tells me to quit wallowing, write the bridge, and it will all work out.  She was right, of course.  I wrote the bridge, worked a key change and the song finally has a MOMENT. 

But I want you all to know that the song didn't give me goosebumps until we wrote the end.  And by WE, I mean 6 of us at YW Board Meeting a couple weeks ago.  I had the whole song written up to the end of the chorus after the key change...but no end.  That ending was the product of a brainstorm between myself, Cheryl, Caitlyn Polson, Meghan Goodfellow, Ashley Howes, and Lindsay Eccles.  I love being in YW!!!!

We're excited for our program.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, October 22, 2012

We'll Cross That Bridge When We Get There

How many times have we used THAT phrase??  Well...the bridge needs crossing, people.  THIS happened today:

This week is looking totally different now.  Many of you know that my husband, Paul works for the San Francsico Giants.  Yay...totally cool...he's livin' the dream, right?  Well, when the team goes to the World Series, the Giants charter a plane and take the whole front office with them.  Which is so awesome and cool...EXCEPT WHEN IT'S TIME FOR OUR TOTALLY AWESOME GIRL TRIP TO UTAH!!

So, I told Paul weeks ago when I bought my plane ticket to SLC that if the Giants go to the World Series, we're getting a babysitter for the kids while he's gone at the AL Champ home games...which is, of course Detroit...why it couldn't have been NYC...that would have been WAY better!

Enter Ashley and Will Howes...probably the nicest people on the planet. 

They have agreed to come stay with the kids for the weekend.  They're amazing.  And she's a preschool's PERFECT! 

Now I just have to go pick out the perfect outfit for the World Series Gala we suddenly heard about that will take place tomorrow night in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel.  I mean...housewife from Tracy with 5 kids can't look all frumpy now, can she?

It's going to be a wild ride this week....

Stuff Piano Students Say - Part 2

Today, cute Little Miss K came to piano.  We are learning the letter-names of the white keys on the piano.  "D" looks like a dog house and is probably the easiest one to memorize.  I explain that the there is an animal waiting right outside the dog house to torture that poor dog and make it bark at him...and that animal begins with "C"...has four furry...makes dogs bark...(adding in more and more clues until cute Little Miss K gets it)...

Suddenly, she gets it...


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Annual Halloween Recital

Last night, we held our Annual Halloween Piano Recital.  It's probably the best recital of the whole year...cause who DOESN'T love wearing a costume?  Everyone did such an amazing job.  I was SO proud!

If you have photos from the recital you'd like posted here, please email them to me.  This is one gem we've come up with so far...this is cute, adorable little Miss K.  She is a brand new student and this was her very first piano recital.  She dressed up as a fairy.  Cutest fairy EVER!

Friday, October 19, 2012

One Week to Go!!!!

We're down to ONE MORE WEEK!!  I got a fun surprise in the mail from the Church Music Department.  It was a letter that stated:

"We are delighted to know that you will be attending our Church Relief Society Music Festival on October 26.  The enclosed card and the name tag will admit you and your guest to the special reserved section for the concert at the Assembly Hall.  A reception for composers, their families and friends, and choir members will be held after the concert in the Relief Society room on the mezzanine of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building."

It's an AFTER PARTY...Mormon-style.  That's what I'm talking about, people!!

It's a good thing I went shopping...

By Request, "Teach Me To Walk" for a Baptism

See the sheet music here!

After the second time someone requested "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" WITHOUT the totally awesome "Arise and Shine Forth" part in it, I've decided to make the "Teach Me to Walk Without Arising" available here on my site.  One of my friends will be having this sung at her daughter's baptism this I can see why you wouldn't want a Youth anthem in there...makes sense, right?

My only suggestion would be, that if you are using this modified "Teach Me To Walk Without Arising", your accompanist takes it easy on that second verse.  The accompaniment really lends itself to more of a Youth Anthem...POWER TO THE PEOPLE - type singing.  But with just the usual "Teach Me To Walk" lyrics, it should be a little more on the reverent side.  I don't know if that makes sense...just take it easy on the piano, ok people?!?!