Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas 2007

This might be a long post, because I have lots of pictures and a video to put on here. Bear with me here! ;)

I hope you all had a good Christmas! We certainly did. Sorry we didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year - partly due to the fact wasn't really excited about getting my picture taken and also it gets expensive and we were trying to do "Christmas on a budget this year".

But it's always fun to get everyone's letters and cards to read what they've been up to all year long. We loved all the cards we received - ***thank you!*** We have them displayed in our living room. Seems like I always get the "yearly update" from cousins and long-lost friends who have added more children to the clan unbeknownst to me! So that is really fun. And it's just really neat to see everyone growing up. We were thinking of sending out an e-letter, but since we blog, we figured pretty much our year is nicely wrapped up in summary in this here blog. :)

Well, my biggest Christmas wish this year was that it would snow. But of course it didn't...although we did get a few snowflakes on Christmas day - but it was mixed with rain and it didn't stick, but I was looking out the window starring at it and saying "Will, it's snowing!! Everyone - it's snowing!!" LOL So at least I got to see some snowflakes on Christmas Day.

We switch going to each other's families homes every year, and this year it was our turn to go to my family's house up on Camano Island. This was actually a welcomed break for us because we had driven to Idaho/Utah twice in the last 2 months, and so we were excited to only have to drive an hour and a half north of our own home this time. My parents were super excited to have us come up, considering that we were the only kids that came home for Christmas this year. (My other brothers all live out of state and had their own Christmas plans this year).

I made a collage of videos from our time at my parents' house, so once I get that uploaded it will be here on the blog for you all. In the meantime, I'll put some pictures in too.

Saturday, the 22nd, we drove to Leavenworth -which is a really cute German town about 3 hours away from us. It's a great place to go at Christmas time - as you can see from the festive pictures (and video).

That was a lot of fun - especially the part where we got stuck in a line-up of cars going up the mountain for 2 hours because someone wrecked. Once we got past that, we all had to use the bathroom so bad and couldn't find anywhere to stop - so my dad just decided to pull off to the side of the road. My mom and I were not happy about this - because we were definitely not going to moon the traffic driving by. So after my dad and Will took their bathroom breaks, we tried to pull out onto the highway again and soon found that our car was stuck in the snow. LOL.

About 45 minutes later, after my dad and Will had tried to put chains on the tires and broke the chains, my dad finally decided to listen to Will's idea of rocking the car back and forth to break it free of the deep grooves in the snow it had created. And Voila! Moments later we were free. Oh, and during that time my mom and I hiked in the deep snow about 1/4 of a mile so we could finally go. To which we barely missed embarrassing ourselves in front of a hiker who just happened to be walking by!

So we finally made it to Leavenworth after 5 and 1/2 hours in the car, which should have only taken 2 and 1/2 hours. But it was so worth it, and getting stuck in the snow was a fun adventure anyway.

This pic to the right is my mom and dad walking by a church in downtown Leavenworth. The sky and snow was just gorgeous, so Will snapped this shot.

We had fun walking around the town, and had a nice Italian dinner at a restaurant there. Now, traditionally, in order to get the full Leavenworth exprience, you should eat at one of the German pankcake houses and order some weinerschnitzel, however, my parents really wanted to take us to this Italian one - so that's what we did. And then menu was really interesting too - they combined a lot of Italian foods with German. In fact, I ordered "Schnitzel a la Sweis" which was a pork steak with mushrooms and Italian ham, with a side of scalloped potatoes (definitely not Italian).

These are my parents at the restaurant, and then the very first picture above in this blog is Will and I at the restaurant. Thanks Mom and Dad for treating us to dinner - it was yummmmmers.

After dinner we walked around some more, listened to the carolers sing, and of course I had to get some fudge from the Chocolate Factory.

We also found a fun tree lit up with hundreds of Christmas lights and it seemed like there were all these couples waiting to get their picture taken next to it - so we just nicknamed it the "Kissing Tree".

More snugglers next to the "Kissing Tree"

Okay, so after a great day at Leavenworth, we all returned to Camano Island. On Christmas Eve, Mom and I still had some last-minute Christmas shopping that we needed to get done, so we left for the mall and left Dad and Will at home.

Those boys sure found themselves a hobby over the weekend: Photography.

Well, photography was already a hobby of my dad's, and he is really into it. He has more camera equipment than a professional - haha!

He spent a great deal of the weekend teaching Will how to use our camera manually and get the best shots. His quote for the weekend was "If you just leave it up to the camera to take the picture, without you it's just a piece of metal."

When Mom and I returned from Christmas shopping, we found a note that said "We went to go play, see you later."

They returned to the house after a few hours along with hundreds of shots that they took of a field full of snow geese. I have to say the pictures turned out pretty good! Will also got a tri-pod for Christmas from my dad, which he was pretty excited about. So now our photos can look extra-specially good from now on. :)

This shot was after Will was trying to scare just a few of the birds to get a good picture, when all of a sudden the whole mass of them got spooked and took flight.

Yep, this is all Will's doing! LOL Though, they did say it was pretty cool. There so many birds you couldn't even see anything through them.

(A shot of Will out in the field of snowgeese)

Christmas morning was fun, I think my parents were more excited than we were to get up though. They knocked on our door and said "Okay you two - we're tired of waiting. It's time to get up!! We've got the Christmas tree lights on, and the music playing and everything. Come on downstairs!"

Here is the video of Leavenworth and also opening gifts on Christmas morning.

The day after Christmas, my dad took us to one of his favorite photo-opt places on the island and took some "Christmas" photos of Will and I. So here are some of the best ones. (I think you should be able to click on them to see larger versions).

Okay it is:

My 4 month, 1 week old baby belly. I am too self-consious to take those monthly photos of how big I'm now starting to get (and how fat I actually feel), so this is all you're gettin' for now.

Photography: Ron Southworth

Obviously with two goofs like us, it's not always easiest to get non-goofy pictures.

Well, that about wraps it up. We're now back at home and are going to spend New Years here at home together. No idea what we're doing yet though. My favorite gifts this year was #1 - spending time with my husband and my parents, #2 - (this might be surprising but...) the MoTab CD I got from my parents, it's my favorite Christmas ablum ever now. It was just broadcasted on PBS on Christmas Eve. It's "The MoTab with Sissel" (a singer from Norway).

I think Will's favorite was #1 - Games, games, games (I got him Monopoly, and Connect 4), #2 - tripod, and #3 the huge coffe table book of satellite images of the earth called "The Complete Earth". I think he has spent hours looking at the book so far. But I know he missed his family too.

Happy New Year!

Darn Virus

Well Merry Christmas to our computer. It's been sick with a virus for the past week, thanks to Spyware. Ugh!! I'm so sick of it. Our anti-virus software expired, and we slipped and didn't renew it fast enough and some spyware embedded itself onto the computer somewhere and it's been VERY hard to get rid of. Constant pop-up ads, computer running very VERY slowly, etc. Even the new anti-viral protection we put on there says it "caught" the virus but it doesn't get rid of it.

Will's been working hard trying to get creative and beat this thing. The part that really stinks about it too - is the same darn people who creative the stupid virus are the same people who create the software that you have to pay $50 to get it off your computer. So we've been trying everything possible to get around that.

Ugh I hate having a slow computer.

Anyway, we'll post a Christmas blog soon.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Hunky Husband Survey

My friend Veronica did this and I thought it was cute. I'm so addicted to blogging this week. Forgive me. I am going to now go to Bloggers Anonymous.

The Hunky Husband Survey

Will's gunna kill me for putting up this pic. Haha. This is him in the Carribean back when he dyed his hair blonde and spent a week camping on the beach in a tent with Bryan...back when he was a bachelor.

What is his name? William Edgar Thomas

How long have you been married? 2 years, and 9 months. Will be 3 years on March 25, 2008.

How long did you date? Ummmmmm, like officially? Cuz we were just friends for a couple of months before we ever went out on a date. So if you want to count that, then a year and a half.

How old is he? He keeps forgetting, but he's 29. He'll be 30 in July.

Who eats more? Okay this is a sad sad question. I definitely eat more than Will both as a normal person and as a pregnant person, unless I'm dieting and then I eat a lot less than him (which is probably why I have to go on diets every now and then). He tends to "forget" to eat during the course of the day and that's why I'm here, to make sure he remembers to eat.

Who said I love you first? He did. It was really sweet too, and I wasn't expecting it. I had a bad day at church - back when I was in the RS presidency in my singles ward, and was conducting RS and said all the wrong things and accidentally offended someone, couldn't do anything right. I was feeling bad, so I came home and cried a little bit. He held me in his arms on the couch and said "Jenni...I love you." And I said "Thank you." LOL hahahaha. Awkward. But a few weeks later I told him I loved him, during a night walk and a long hug.

Who is taller? Will is. He is 6' feet tall, and I am 5'7".

Who sings better? Hahahaha. Will sings MORE than I the shower, as he's doing dishes, when he's playing hymns on the piano. But who sings better? Definitely me. Although he says he had the lead in a musical when he was younger, so I really think he sings bad on purpose to annoy me.

Who is smarter? Definitely Will. He's the one with the Masters Degree.

Whose temper is worse? I don't even think Will has a temper, so that would be me. I can be a bit feisty sometimes, but Will has mellowed me out over the years.

Who does the laundry? Hahahaha. Okay, I put the laundry in the washing machine, and into the dryer....but he folds it and puts it away. I'm really bad at that part.

Who does the dishes? I used to be really good at doing the dishes when we had a dishwasher, but now that we don't....I would have to say Will is probably better at doing the dishes than me.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Facing the bed, me.

Who pays the bills? Will does.

Who mows the lawn? Our landlord. But back when we were apartment managers, he sometimes mowed the lawn.

Who cooks dinner? I do 90% of the time, but if there are nights when I don't feel like cooking he is always ready and willing to make dinner. But I get scared when he offers because it usually ends up being weird like funky versions of Mac 'n Cheese, or weird meatballs or something. LOL Who drives when you are together? Usually Will.

Who is more stubborn? I actually think Will wins on this one. He is quietly stubborn. I usually give in easier.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Will does. He's a lover, not a fighter.

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine. They live an hour and a half north of us. Will's parents live 14 hours away.

Who proposed? Will did. Two times. First on a beach in Hawaii but we didn't tell anyone for 4 months, and then he proposed officially with a ring and everything later. But I knew I wanted to marry him loooooooong before he ever asked me. :)

Who has more friends? Uh, I don't know. lol. Now that I'm not working anymore, seems like he does since he has "office friends". We have a handful of common friends, but mostly we have our own friends that we either grew up with or know because of our interests (work, music, etc.).

Who has more siblings? Duh. Will. He has 9, I have 3.

Who wears the pants in the family? I don't think either of us do. He always asks me for my input before making any huge decisions, and when he feels strongly one way or the other I always trust him. But I think I wear the pants in the kitchen, and he wears them in the storage closet. I get in trouble if I mess up his storage closet. lol.

If anyone else wants to do this survey, be my guest. You can also change it to "Hot Wife Survey" LOL.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A look inside my head lately...

So I know I said I wanted to take a break from my music for a while, and I have. I haven't touched my piano since last Sunday, I have turned down two invitations to perform, and I've been lazily hanging about the house doing absolutely nothing music-wise. Well, except for listening to Christmas music.

But these past couple of days I have been getting lightening bolts of inspiration and motivation. Imagery, beats, combinations of sounds, colors.

I've decided I'm going to shoot for a new album, but it's going to be all in my own time. Maybe early 2009.

This first album was under such an extreme deadline. I was literally scurrying to finish some of the songs just 3 weeks before it was sent back east for production. I'm very happy with it, but whenever people have asked me if I am going to do another album, besides my first reaction of "Um, I just finished this one!" I would always internally think, "No, not unless it would be better and I had grown more as an artist, otherwise there's no point in putting in the effort and the money."

I have actually been toying with an idea for the past year or so. A concept of an album. While I was driving around today, I spent many hours today just thinking of how I could possibly make it work. And then poof I had this wonderful epiphany that exploded this idea into a reality. But, I dream big. And I dream expensive. Argh. I have these vivid big visions and ideas. I'm a very visual person. So the next step is figuring out how to do this huge ideas for less moolah or find the funding for it. Either that or I am going to need to get some more piano students! (lol)

So I wish I could spill my idea but I'm afraid some other random musician would read this and steal it! LOL So mum's the word. But I will give a hint: It will be original and very unlike the first album.

Gosh I'm all excited inside. I hope I can actually do this. I think I can. The first thing I'm going to do is start a folder and start collecting images, photography, writings, etc. that have to do with my idea. Then I need to actually write out the idea, and then start figuring out sequences of the songs...and then maybe in a couple of months from now when I have the prep work done I'll actually start working on the music. I'll have a few months to do that until the baby is born, and then hopefully a quiet moment from time to time after too. Hopefully? Pretty please? LOL Well, I have to give baby some credit too though - he/she partly inspired some of this idea.

I just realized I was probably writing this more for me than for our blog. Sorry.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend in Review

Weeked in Review
Jenni Thomas reporting for the Thomas Family Blog
December 17, 2007

Friday, Dec. 14th
  • Will Thomas got up at the crack of dawn and spent a grueling morning at work. At around 2:00pm, the entire company took a break for a corporate Christmas feast. This was the alledged "Company Christmas Party" this year - no spouses invited to cut back on costs, due to the falling housing market in Q4 of 2007.
  • Jenni Thomas accomplished many domestic accomplishments home during this time.
  • At approximately 16:00 hours, Will left work with his Estimating department to set out on their "Holiday Outing", which consisted of shopping at the mall, eating dinner at a fancy Italian Restaurant, and attending a Comedy Club in downtown Seattle. Again, no spouses invited. So sad!
  • Jenni and Erika left around 17:00 hours to thus battle traffic across the 520 bridge to get to Seattle to attend a live taping of a PBS special featuring Michael Hoppe that he personally invited Jenni to. The performance from the front row seating was marvelous, and all ended up happy.
  • At 20:30 hour Jenni was missing Will and called him. He was eating his fancy Italian dinner, at which Jenni was very jealous of.
  • 21:00 hours, Jenni and Erika meet up with Erika's husband Aaron, and friends Shauna and Sam at a not-so-fancy Italian Restaurant in downtown Seattle. Jenni enjoys a spinach salad, a big plate of torellini and a strawberry Italian Soda.
  • 1:00 hours, Dec 16th, Will finally arrives home after his "holiday work outing" to Jenni in bed, enjoying her leftover tortellini, and explains that at his fancy Italian restaurant his dinner of ravioli only consisted of 4 pieces of pasta with a lot of fancy-schmancy trimming. He watched in envy as Jenni ate the rest of her pasta.
  • 2:00 hours, Will and Jenni finally fell asleep.

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007

  • Jenni awoke at 7:30 to shower and get ready for dress rehearsal. After many attempts to wake Will, she finally was able to awake the sleeping snoring giant in time to leave.
  • The tired couple meets Erika at Red Robin at 8:30am to caravan up to the Dress Rehearsal.
  • Jenni and Erika participated in dress rehearsal from 9:30am - 11:30am.
  • Jenni and Will then proceed to drive further north to the Southworth's home (Jenni's parents) and enjoy a relaxing Saturday afternoon full of naps, naps, and more naps.
  • 18:30 hours - Jenni's mom makes homemade hot fudge for ice cream and everyone is in dessert heaven. Okay, maybe just Jenni was.
  • 22:30 hours - ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007

  • Will and Jenni finally enjoyed a morning of sleeping in.
  • They then went to church at Jenni's parents ward at 1pm.
  • 16:00 hours - Jenni, her mom, and Will eating and getting ready for concert. Will was just mosting eating.
  • 19:00 - 21:00 hours - Christmas Concert.
  • 21:30 - Will and Jenni drive back home to Fall City.
  • 23:00 hours - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Jenni and Erika after the concert. Erika sang Jenni's rendition of "O Holy Night", and Jenni also played an Irish fiddle song with the choir. Jenni misses being skinnier. LOL Oh well. She is excited to be a mom.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let's Talk about Will...

For those of you who don't already know, my husband Will is not really one to talk about himself very much. Yes, he'll write the occassional blog about how messy our house is and how boring our weekend was LOL. But when it comes to writing stuff about himself, he is very modest.

For the past year or more, Will has taken a backseat to my music career. We discussed how this would all play out (our careers vs. family, finances, etc.), and there were two major things that influenced Will's encouragement of me pursuing my music. First, in one General Conference Elder Packer spoke about his wife, and how husbands needed to treat their wives. He said that he always made sure that his wife had some time to work and develop her own hobbies and skills, because it was so important to him that she did that for herself. He would stay home with the kids so that she could attend her choir practice, or class, or whatever it was on a particular evening of the week.
Will holding some photography equipment during one of my CD photo shoots

Second, we both wanted to have a family one day and knew that if I was going to pursue this whole music thing, it would need to be before kids came into the picture and while I was still young. We both knew that one day I would be more preoccupied with raising little ones than with performing and producing music, and so we both felt that, at that particular time, it was "Jenni's time".

Earlier this year, we made an even bigger step towards me fulfilling certain music goals, which was that I quit my full time job so that I could be a full-time professional working musician. (This decision also came about after trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half, and realizing that the stress from the job may be a factor). This is a step that is every musician's dream. The day when an artist can finally quit the dayjob is, well, it's a huge leap of faith. Of course, again, I would not have had the liberty to do that without Will's help though.

A kiss for good luck - On the beach during photo shoot

I worked hard all year to promote my music, to perform, to get it out there, to network and establish relationships in the music industry. Now the year is almost over, my concerts are almost over, and I am now pregnant with my first baby - I am excited that a new chapter is going to begin in our lives. My "time" to shine has now come to a pause, and I'm excited that Will will get to now step forward and work on pursuing some of his dreams, that he has so graciously put on the backburner so that I could have my "time".

A kiss for "Good job honey!" - after my CD Release concert in April 2007

So this is where I am going to talk about Will, because he will not talk about himself and I am so proud of him and I love him so much. I know this might embarrass him, but babe, I am going to take a moment and brag for you. :)

For those of you who don't know, Will is a very educated person. He graduated from H.S. early and finished his associates degree even before serving a 2 year mission for the Church. He then came home and put himself through college on scholarships and multiple part-time jobs to earn a Bachelors degree in Finance, and a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from Portland State University. All the while, he invested his student loans in the stock market so that they would pay for themselves later.

For the first 5 months of our marriage, aside from me having a couple of piano students, neither one of us had jobs and he was able to support us just from his investments that he had had over the years. During his last year in school, he worked for a notable investment group where he managed to help people properly invest their money for retirement, and also advised many friends and family on finances and budgetting. He and his brother Daniel also invested in a couple of condos, which they flipped and turned around to sell and make a nice profit on.

Will after a long evening of working on the condo, after a day of school as well

During the last year while I was busy working on my music, Will went to school and got his WA State Real Estate License. His whole intent with that is because at some point in the future Will would like to start his own home-building business, manage it himself, and also handle all of the real estate transactions.

Right before I quit my job, we were looking at investing in a property over on the WA peninsula to build a home on it and sell it for a profit. Will spent countless hours researching the property, ran the numbers and I was so proud of him - he found a lot with a water view that was very much cheaper than other waterview lots, simply because he did his research on it and found info on the lot that others might not have known.

We were also looking at purchasing a small cabin up in the mountains that he and I were going to go up to on weekends to fix up (put cute log cabin furniture in, paint, etc.) and make it a vacation rental for snowshoers and hikers. Once again, he did so much research on this property and found himself the best deal.

The property over on the peninsula that we were looking into buying

But again, I just can't even express it. Maybe because I'm pregnant and totally emotional? It brings tears to my eyes when I think about the amount of sacrifice he has done for me. He again, gave all of these "dreams" of his up so that I could quit my job and work on my music, knowing that without my 2nd income we would not be able to do these real estate investments. He did it because he wanted to see me happy, and cared more about me than his interests.

There are days when I feel so terrible. He is such a hard worker, and does so much for me. I have just been trying to think of what I could possibly do for him. And that's why I'm writing this blog. I don't even think he has even told very many people that he has a real estate license. I don't even think his job even knows. He would LOVE to help anyone who has questions, or looking and totally for free (unless you want him to sell your house or something, etc). Like me with my music, real estate is HIS PASSION and any opportunity to talk about it, research it, he would be so excited to do that. He has great research skills and is a numbers guy and has access to all the public records too.

So anyway, I just wanted to give Will a chance to "shine". Sorry for going on and on, but I love this guy and I want to see him succeed in his passion and just wanted everyone to know what a smart, great, loving and wonderful husband he is.

And just for kicks, here is his business card that he designed himself! Haha I laughed at his slogan, but he said "But that covers everything! Right?"
Will I love you, honeybucket.

(this is the backside)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Time to Celebrate...Almost

Yep, that is what I was drinking at about 1:00pm today - after I got back from dropping off our guest, Jace Vek, at the airport and getting home and realizing that my concert season was finally over. Well, sort of. I still have one more concert this coming Sunday night, but it's not a "Jennifer Thomas" concert, thank goodness. Anyway, sorry Will, I wanted to wait for you to get home from work to share in the apple cidar, but I had to celebrate. I'll save some for when you get home tonight. :)

The view from the hilltop near my parents' home on Camano Island

After a good night's rest, Jace, Will, and I headed up to Arlington so I could rehearse for the Christmas concert (on the 16th), and then we headed up to my parents' home afterwards to have lunch. My mom made a delicous meal of chicken salad and croissant sandwiches. And then she made Jace play for his food afterwards (see below).

We then headed back to our home in Fall City to prepare for that evening's concert. Fortunately, our landlords let us have full access to their home while they were in Palm Springs, so we had two grand pianos to practice on (mine and their's) - which was nice. Neither Jace or I had to fight over practice time.

Then about 5:30pm, we headed for downtown Seattle so we could get to the recital hall early enough to set up/warm up. My friend, Ali, filmed the concert in HD and so he was also there early getting his loads of camera equipment set up (he is editing the footage right now, and I'll post it later once I get it back from him).

I asked my dad (a.k.a. Mr. Photography nut) to take some pictures at the concert. He loves his camera, and so he happily showed up with his huge bag of camera equipment too, along with a lense that was about the size of a dinner plate (he said it filmed darker spaces well).

The funny part about all of this was that Benaroya Hall made me sign an agreement saying that any filming/photography was for personal use only. By the time my two "camera guys" showed up, I had to go up to the lady working that evening and explain that even though they looked like professionals, they weren't. LOL. She was just kind of like, "Uh uh.....riiiiight."

Here are some of my dad's photos from the concert...

The concert went really well. I have to admit, I was very nervous for this one. To perform with Jace Vek was a great honor and acheivement for me. It was just 2 and 1/2 years ago that I ran acrossed his music and became a "fan". I never dreamed that I would one day get to perform with this Emmy award winning musician. For him to adore my music as much as I his, is so awesome.

So then...I fessed up to Jace and told him I was nervous to perform with him. And he admitted that he too was nervous to perform with me. He heard me practicing Friday night and he said the first thing he thought was, "Dang, she definitely doesn't suck." LOL "Not that I thought you would suck AT ALL!, but you made me nervous, and that doesn't usually happen!" Haha. So after he told me he considered me on equal ground as him, and vice versa, we got rid of the whole "nervous to play in a concert together" thing and just had fun.

After the concert, we talked a lot with the audience, signed autographs and then finally left Benaroya around 10:30pm. We were all starving! Considering that due to nerves, I can't eat before a performance (and found out Jace is the same way), we were definitely ready for some food. So we headed over to Alki Beach and got some burgers at Duke's.

Except, okay pregnancy confession: I will no longer wear control-top pantyhose for 4 hours at a time. After finally getting tired of my baby-belly getting cinched in for hours, I went into the restaurant restroom and took off the nylons. And then the weirdest thing happened - my stomach cramped up (my stomach stomach, not the baby belly part), so bad that I couldn't even eat my salmon burger (which I was majorly sad about), and I was feeling so sick we had to leave. So, sorry Jace and Will. I completely attribute it to the pantyhose. And the few sips of sugarless lemonaide Will ordered and the sourdough bread on an empty stomach. Weird.

Sunday, Will and I got up and went to church in the snow. Yes, that's right: THE SNOW! I was so excited. During sacrament meeting, I kept looking out the double doors to see how much more snow had accumulated. But sadly, it all melted within a couple of hours.

We took Jace to Snoqualmie Falls, which was cool for him. The highest mountains in Pennsylvania are only 3,000 ft, so he was completely blown away by the mountains around here. He couldn't believe that Mt. Rainier was so big and still 50 miles away. He said "You can't see anything in PA from 50 miles away!"

And then we took a ride on the Seattle Ferry, to finish off our little "tour of the NW" for Jace. He had never been to the state of WA before, so we wanted to make sure he saw a little of everything.
A blurry view of Seattle from the ferry

I feel so relieved to have my concert season overwith, aside from this last one next Sunday. I dropped off Jace at the airport today and came home, turned on the Christmas music, caught up on some emails, blogs, etc. and just relaxed. It was nice.

Jace invited Will and I (and baby) to come out to PA next fall to do another concert with him. He assured me that the people there would love my music. He is perhaps going to get a rather large concert hall there called the "State Theater". I don't know if we could fill that many seats, but it would be a lot of fun. Anyway, so that was our weekend. I'm looking forward to a semi-relaxing week. Later!

P.S. I also just want to publicy thank Will for all he has done for me. I don't even know where to begin. From the little things like carrying my music for me, taking tickets, driving me around, calling people, helping me with my website updates, the big HUGE things like the fact that he has put his own real estate ventures aside so that I could have a season of success with my music. That has meant so much to me that I cannot even begin to express it. We are a one income family now (aside from the smidgen I make from my music) and he has sacrificed so much so that I can stay home to both work on my music and be a mom. I love you Will, so so so much. Thank you for EVERYTHING.

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Song - O Holy Night

Well I've finally emerged from my cave this week (just in time to go pick up Jace Vek from the airport - he's who I'm performing with tomorrow night). I've been working on "O Holy Night" for several months now. I finally got the piano part finished just before Thanksgiving, and the orchestration done today. Gosh, do I really want to do film composing? Because this was my first commissioned work that had a deadline and it was hard to be creative on demand!

Anyway, my good friend Lori-ann Cunningham did the vocals on it. She worked on it from her studio in Utah, while I did the orchestration/piano up here in my studio in Seattle - and then with the help of modern technology we were able to mix it without ever even being in the same room together.

To listen, you'll have to go to my MySpace page. I hope you enjoy! By the way, I'm offering it as a free download so Merry Christmas!


P.S If you want to hear it in person, I'm performing it with Erika Nisbet in the Marysville Stake Christmas concert on December 16th, 7pm, at the Marysville Stake Center in Smokey Point. It's free and you're all welcome to come. This concert is done annually and every year it gets bigger and better. It's quite the production - very talented choir, soloists, everything. I love it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2nd Doctor Visit - and welcome to the 2nd trimester!

So yesterday I went in for my 13 week doctor appointment, and Will and I got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. It was super duper fast - 167 bpm! And the nurse said that it was moving around a lot - a very active little baby.

My friend tells me that there is an old wives tale that if your baby's heartbeat is above 160 then it's a boy. But I don't think that's true, since most everyone I've talked to who is pregnant has a baby who heartrate is above 160 - boy or girl (it slows down later on though in pregnancy).

But I've decided that I'm really hoping for a girl. Just because we have a girl's name picked out and not a boy. (We've had the name "Riley" picked out since we were dating practically, but have yet to agree on any boy names). LOL And for some weird reason I always thought we would have a girl first. But who knows, Will thinks we're going to have a boy because of how I've been craving meat all of the time. He says "You've got a boy in there! Who likes bbq and hamburgers and beef just like his daddy." Haha. Either that or we're having a real "beefy" girl. (ha. ha.).

At any rate, we'll find out the sex towards the end of January. My doctor is going on vacation so my visits are a little behind schedule. They weren't going to do that ultrasound until week 22, and I said "Hey but we can find out at week 20 right? Can we pleeeeeeeeeeease have a special appointment on week 20 to find out?" So they scheduled me for an ultrasound-only appointment on week 20. If you know me very well, you know that I can't wait a whole 2 weeks for info like that.

I also got a flu shot yesterday. I don't do well with needles very well. So when the nurse asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot (which I'd never had before), I asked very niavely, "Does it give me the flu?" LOL. She said "No but you might get a fever and chills." And then after she told how important it is for pregnant women to get the flu shot after their 1st trimester, I finally gave in and got one. She pulled up my sweater and as I turned to look the other way expecting a huge sensation of pain, she pinched my skin and said "All done." I stopped wincing and said, "Oh. That was it?" LOL Will laughed.

My little baby belly has finally made it's grand appearance into the world. I was worried that I was just fat, but then relieved when at Enrichment last night I saw my friend Tracy (who is due a week and a half earlier than I) that she totally had a big baby belly too! And as of 2 weeks ago when I saw her last she didn't look pregnant at all. So I thought "Oh good, then it is normal to have a baby belly at 13 weeks. Whew!"

So that's the update!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our Weekend

This is our weekend in random pictures.

We ended up getting quite a bit of snow. Jenni & I got all bundled up and explored the woods around the house. We made snowman, juggled snowballs, threw a couple snowballs at each other and at the snowman. We followed animal tracks to try and find their homes, but with no success.

Old Clothes and New Clothes

We went to two concerts this weekend and Jenni didn't have to perform at any of them. I think she enjoyed the break. We did the Seattle Symphony and a small house concert of good friend Joe Bongiorno and his friend David Nevue. At the house concert, a candle fell off of a wall sconce and dripped wax all over Jenni's white coat and outfit and her hair. At least her hair didn't catch on fire, that would have been bad.

Jenni got the much anticipated, required maturinty shirt. She was excited about this.

This is me during nap #3. I have to put in a disclaimer. I'm normally not a napper, but this was a unique weekend. I was napping on our new sheepskin from Grandma & Grandpa Lindsay from their mission in New Zealand.

This is Jenni making Tacos. She had a headache so she took an ice pack and wrapped it in a towel and tied a Christmas ribbon around her head to secure the ice pack. I thought it was pretty funny.

Jenni made her delicious ginger snap cookies during my 1st of 3 naps this weekend.
Jenni decorated our Christmas tree. Doesn't it look beautiful. Notice the stockings hung with care above the fireplace, I mean wall heater.

Things Neglected
This is our sad attempt at doing laundry. At least the clothes made it into the laundry room. I'm just not sure which ones are clean and which ones are dirty anymore. Time to start sniffing.

I totally forgot to feed my fish all weekend long. Talk about Fast Sunday.
The battle of the dishes raged this weekend. I belive I was on strike this weekend. Most likely talks will resume between the two parties and the dishes will be done soon, before that strange smell starts to appear.
We were quite certain we would not survive the weekend without grocery shopping as you can see from the evidence. Somehow we both have stuffed bellies and we ate like royalty this weekend despite not getting the grocery shopping done.
I was supposed to pull everything out of the storage area and put the carpet down and reorganize the storage area. As you can see that didn't take place.

I don't think Jenni touched her piano this weekend. It was probably a much needed break for her. I'm sure she'll be practicing away throughout this week for her concert this weekend.

I was supposed to get a haircut this weekend. As you can see that didn't take place. The naps won out.

Fun times

I played church ball Saturday morning. There was no blood drawn unlike last week. So it was good.

Jenni worked on her new Christmas song while I napped (nap#3 about 1 hour after nap#2). It's turning out quite nicely. The song that is. I'm sure she'll have it up on myspace in the next few days so you'll have to stop over and give it a listen.
I played Mega Man on my old school Nintendo while Jenni worked on her new song. I was much better at this game as a 12 year old. I couldn't beat one level this time.
We watched the Christmas Devotional at home on the internet (nap #2). I did 500 bicups curls with the 3lb weights while watching the devotional. I'm super strong now.

This was our weekend in pictures. Nothing too exciting, but a true look inside a lazy weekend at our home. Don't worry, if you are coming to visit soon, we will clean up and you'll be treated like proper guests. There will be no evidence of such a weekend lived.

How was your weekend?