Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Part 1: Leavenworth

A few days before Christmas, we headed up to the alpine German town of Leavenworth. It's just a little past Steven's Pass on Highway 2 in the Cascade Mountains.

We stayed at the Bavarian Lodge for 2 nights and had fun walking around this cute little Christmas town, eating Danish pastry, chocolates, and watching the horse-drawn carriages go by.

The lodge had a grand piano in the lobby, and my dad asked them if I could play on it. I was so embarrassed as he said "We have a concert pianist travelling with us and she would like to play your piano." And then both my parents proceeded to take photographs of me at the piano with their huge monsterous cameras as if I was some celebrity or something.

Any photos of me looking at the camera were of squirmy faces with my tongue sticking out. Which is why you don't see any of them here.

Just a few more fun pictures...

Preston had a lot of fun running around and around and around the gazebo.

Preston with Grandma and Grandpa in front of the Gingerbread Factory.

Preston and his Daddy getting ready to head down to the hot tub...

Annnnnd...Preston taking a while to warm up to the idea.

You know you've had a good time when you are so tired afterwards. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Under Construction

Thanks for your patience while we give our blog a face lift. :) What you see now is just temporary.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve. This blog post would be MUCH more interesting had it pictures to go along with it.

It would also be more entertaining if I had access to the "Merry Christmas" video we made to put on our blog for Christmas.

We would also feel like better people if we had at least sent out an e-card or e-newsletter this year. We didn't even do that!

But since you are such patient people and have probably had your share of cards and newsletters already, you will just have to wait until after Christmas is all done with to see our cute little Christmas video and our fun Christmas photos that we took in Leavenworth, for now can you just settle for a "Merry Christmas"?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Preston in his Christmas Outfit

We got Preston the CUTEST little outfit to wear to church today, being that it is the "Christmas" Sunday.

However, trying to capture a picture of him in front of our tree before church was near impossible. The little wiggle worm!

We'll see if Grandpa Southworth can take a few better ones this week while we're up there for Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Scroll down for a Preston Post.

A Preston Post

Hi there. It's me, Preston.

It's been an eventful week.

First, I fell asleep in my highchair again.

Then, I went to the snow!!

Except, I didn't go snow-shoeing or cross country skiing like Dad and uncle James and aunt Elizabeth.

I just sat in the snow with my friend Camden and cried. Maybe next year I will like the snow??

Here's my buddy Camden!

After all the snow stuff, we all went to the Family Pancake House in the mountains.

I ate the most pancakes. More than anyone there!!

Except, I did share a few bites with my cousin Gwenevere.

Then I got to play the piano with my friend Emma! She was pretty good.

Duets were so much funner than playing by myself!

Emma got up on the piano bench all by herself. I asked her how she did that, but she just said "Uhhh".

And last of all, my Dad ran in a big running race!!

And guess what, he got 2nd place! It was a marathon!

Well, that's all.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Concerts, Parties, and Pianos

Christmas time is a busy, busy, busy time of year to be a musician.

It's like all year long you get to ho-hum along and then WHAM Christmas time comes and then all of a sudden everyone wants you to play for the Messiah, do Christmas concerts, do solos in church, recitals, come out with a Christmas album.


So with that said, this past week was exactly that for me. Only today did I just re-emerge from the submersion of the vast deep musical depths we call Christmas time. It's all good mind you, but just really busy.

To start last week, there was my Student Masterclass/Party/Dress Rehearsal/GameNight. Here were a few of my victims. Er, uh, I mean students.

Those cookies you see them so delightfully and creatively decorating were the result of me trying 3 different sugar cookie recipes. Which took all of Monday night and Tuesday morning to finish. If you want to know which recipe I liked the best, you can go here.

Wednesday night I had an orchestra rehearsal at the church, as I so ambitiously put together a ward string orchestra to perform in church next Sunday. We have been rehearsing once a week since mid-November and it's coming together quite nicely if I do say so.

Thursday I spent about 3 hours on the phone on a conference call with an amazing musician that I will be collaborating with this next year. We chit-chatted. We talked about our kids who are almost the same age. And we talked shop. I stayed in my pajamas all that day. It was good times.

Friday the craziness continued...

It started with me baking a piano shaped cake for that night's recital.

I also typed up programs, bio notes, went to the store, made phone calls, and did some last minute rehearsing with a couple of my students. Only to be delightfully occassionally interrupted by this cute little guy...

I didn't get any pictures, but Friday night was my Student Recital. Out of my 17 students, I had 12 of them perform in the recital. They all did WONDERFUL and it was such a lovely night. I'm so thankful to the Yoses for opening up their beautiful home for the recital. And to top it off, I was so surprised to get a few gifts from my students including treble clef shaped Christmas tree ornaments, a dozen red roses, a necklace, and mint M&M's.

So sweet.

Saturday morning came early, as I was up at 7am and drove an hour north to a dress rehearsal for Sunday night's Christmas concert. I have to say, I had played better. Luckily though, my performances on both Saturday and Sunday night were flawless.

I also soloed in church on Sunday.

Do you want to know everyone's favorite part?

It was when I went to lift the piano lid to put it up, and didn't realize there was a stack of choir folders sitting on top of the piano. CRASH!!! If there was anyone asleep in the congregation they were rudely awaken. I turned and flashed a very embarrassed cheesy smile to the audience, where after I performed. A bit jolted from my fumble, but I think I played okay nonetheless.

Sunday night I performed Carol of the Bells with a fantastic church choir(as pictured above).

I would like to call it a Choir-G. Winston-J. Thomas-George-Choir Sandwich. The song (as you can hear and see in the video below) started with me playing my own original intro (not in the video cuz I edited it for timesake), then the choir came in with the original version of Carol of the Bells, then I came in with the intro to the G. Winston version of the song, then chopped out his and added in my own original work on the piece, then reverted back to GW, and then at the end with the choir.

It was awesome.

Here is me in front of our piano after Sunday night's concert. I figured it would be one of the last times I would get to wear this fancy dress for a bit, so why not take a few pictures in it?

I was lucky enough to find this modest Calvin Klein dress at Nordstrom Rack a few months ago and finally had an excuse to wear it.

I love it. I felt very elegant in it.

And here was me after my week was all overwith....

I want to thank Will who played single parent much of the week. I don't know what I would have done without him. He came to all of my performances even if he did spend half of each in the hallways with Preston.

If you want to hear a little of my Carol of the it is for your viewing pleasure. Sorry about the audio quality. It was just our little digital camera.