Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I don't know what to blog about.

Hola friends. It seems like our lives here in the Thomas household have been fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants lately. We seem to always keep so busy, and yet never feel like we get anything done. Do you ever feel that way?

Will even jokes that he shouldn't be this busy, he isn't even employed right now. I can't even get him to write a blog because he doesn't have the time.

I keep telling Will that we need to have a family planning meeting one of these nights where we do some sort of time management. Both of us have long lists of things we need to get done, but we never plan ahead and then are left wondering, again, why things don't get accomplished.

Wow. How little time you have once you have a baby. I'm not complaining! It's just that I never believed people when they talked about that, and here we are.

So let's talk about Will. You've probably wondering where he's been hiding lately huh.

There he is!

My husband has turned into a total outdoors ultra-running, adventure racing, midnight hiking, early 4 am training maniac. I mean that in the most nicest way possible, Will. {Smooches. Love you.}

I have to totally admire the guy. He gets up at at the crack of dawn most days of the week to go freeze his rear off running, so he can be back into for me to get to the gym and get my workout done before noon. Wednesdays he even gets up earlier (4:15am) to go climb a mountain with a bunch of his friends (they are training to climb Mt. Rainier in July). Word on the street (okay, church) has it that Will has the fastest clocked time up the mountain. He also plays basketball twice a week, and on weekends he and Mark (his long-distance-running friend) go and run incredibly long crazy distances. Last Saturday they ran 40 miles.


That was 40 miles all at once, not spread over a few days.

Will runs 40 miles with the ease that I walk from my car to our front door. After this most recent run, 2 days after he says to me "Wow, I'm not even that sore. I mean, probably about as sore as you would be from the gym is all."

I'm not saying he's totally obsessed but he does know the names and times and winners of any and all ultra race in the nation, which races happen when, and where, what blogs to read the best information from, you name it....

On Church Ball nights, all the guys often tease him and ask him if he ran to the church that night. They aren't serious, and yet sometimes they will get an answer like, "Yeah, and I'm going to go run another 20 miles after basketball."

He. Is. A. Machine.

Next month he and Mark are running a 12 hour race (run as many miles as you possibly humanly can within 12 hours). Last year he clocked in 46 miles in 95 degree heat. This year there hopefully won't be the heat, so he's hoping for at least a double marathon (52.4 miles).

Speaking of which, yes he is training for his first road marathon in 5 years. You would think that would be easy, but he is trying to shave 30 minutes off of his best marathon time.

This summer he has planned 1-2 50 mile trail races in the cascade mountain and wants to do a 36 hour adventure race. He also might be a pacer for an elite runner for the Pacific Crest 100 miler Race come August.

He's also been using his writing chops and doing nifty reviews for running sites like this one: (click here for his review). He gets free gear and he loves all the data collection he GETS to do.

So in a nutshell, I have ONE CRAZY HUSBAND. Okay so I'm mostly joking. He does inspire me though. He's in the best shape I've ever seen him (hubba hubba!) and it makes me want to always stay fit to be right there beside him. NOOOOO not running 40 miles, but cheering him on "Come on Will!! You only have...125 more miles to go!"<p>
I keep telling him he needs to find a way to make this sport a paying gig. But apparently, as he has informed me, ultra runners don't make a dime. They just get free swag.


Okay now let's talk about Preston. He's always a happy subject to discuss.

Well first you should know that he caught the nasty cold that Will and I have shared so generously with each other this past week, and it is NOT fun having a sick baby. Particularly when you are both sick too. And no he doesn't have swine flu. I know you know that crossed your mind huh.

He has been pretty miserable. Not sleeping well, uncomfortable, throwing tantrums (arching his back and throwing his head back), not interested in food (unless it comes off of my plate of course), and has a constant drooly mouth (because he can't breathe out of his nose) and a gross leaking snot faucet of a nose.

I thought we were done with burp clothes, but we've had to crank them out lately to use as snot rags. Lovely huh. I feel so bad for the little guy though - I wish I knew how to teach him to blow his nose. Every time I do it in front of him the noise scares him and just makes him cry.


Okay so the next thing you should know is he is officially crawling now. And as of yesterday he is now a ...

He kind of just figured it out over the weekend but still stayed mostly put where you set him down. But not's like he's got a turbo switch. I put him down, 2 seconds later I look down and he's clear on the other side of the room.

We haven't baby-proofed our house yet because we dread it, but very soon. VERY SOON.

I say this about 20 times and it doesn't work.

(We DID, by the way, install the outlet covers. See, we are not as bad of parents as you thought.)

He loves to get into EVERYTHING. He can pull himself up into standing position too, which is a whole other mecca of baby-proofing.

He has figured out how to push buttons on our stereo, pull my midi cables out of my new computer, eat said midi cables, pull fuzz out of the vacuum, eat the fuzz, pull piano books off of the bookshelf, eat the books, pull himself up to the piano bench, play the piano without assistance (okay I'm not complaining about that one)...

The other day he got himself stuck between the couch and the wall and didn't know what to do. So I took pictures.

It was pretty cute.

He does have his own bucket of toys though that he is MORE than welcome to tip over, crawl into, bang around, and do whatever tickles his fancy. Which he does...

But mostly, he just gets into mischief. He is a VERY curious little fellow and now that he can crawl the house is a whole new world to him.

Explore away Preston.

Okay and lastly me.

Since I am the prime poster on this blog, I don't feel like I need to bore you with any more piano videos and honeymoon pictures. Gag.

But I will bore you with details of my new computer, which has taken up the other 50% of Will's time when he's not being crazy-outdoors-man.

So I bought a new computer. For my music studio. And I got a super beefy one, because HELLO you sort of need one for the type of ginormous files I run for my music.

The computer is 64 bit . Our old computer (which is now deemed Will's domain) is 32 bit.

Confused yet?

Yeah so was I.

64 bit computers have the ability to utilize more memory, thus making your programs run super duper lightening speed fast. My new computer has 8 gigs of memory. Our old computer only had 1.5, because 32 bit computers cannot use as much memory.

So here's the kicker: 64 bit computer = AWESOME. 32 bit software running on a 64 bit computer = NOT awesome at all.

My dearest kind unselfish and dedicated husband has spent sooooo many hours trying to get my new computer up and running. We bought it THREE weeks ago and I still haven't been able to work on my album yet.

It's not the computer that is the problem, it's all my blasted music software that is not compatible with the 64 bit operating system.

I am soooo waxing boring here.

To get to the point, Will has had to research himself into the deepest darkest corners of nerdy computer brainy user forums to find answers for problems that are even way over his head, and after all of his hard of tonight....WE HAVE LIFT OFF!! My computer works with my software.

I can now finish my album.

I'm telling you (and I say this quite often around our house) that my Will can fix ANYTHING. He really really can!

What else...

I did a radio show last week. It was kind of fun. But then I went back and listened to it and remembered how much my voice sounds like a giggling 16 year old. Hmmmm. Not so fun.

I quit eating sugar. Random, but applicable to my life recently. Folks, seriously, I'm a sugar addict. So I had to do it. I've been sugar free since the beginning part of April and it's pretty liberating. That does sound like an oxymoron I know, but just believe me. Freedom from addicitions is sweet release.

Sorry I don't have any recent pictures of myself to include in my segment, but that's because I always have to tell Will "Okay take a picture of me because you never remember to do that and 95% of our photos are me taking pictures of everyone else! (Boo hoo)".

And that, my friends, is us lately. And with that, I bid you goodnight so that I can answer the call of my crying child.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Turn

I've been having fun with some new video editing software that I just got - and finally just got back my HDV footage of my Seattle Benarya Hall concert while I was prego (Preston was just a little 4 1/2 month old bean in my belly). I put together a fun clip of a song I did at the concert - "Boogie Woogie Bumble Bee"...based on The Flight of the Bumble Bee. It's arranged by Jack Fina.

Fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Love Story ~ Viva la Vida

I LOVE this video. I've been listening to this all week long. It makes me bob my head, want to dance, inspires me to practice more and makes me feel so uplifted.

It's Jon Schmidt's arrangement of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" mixed with Coldplay's "Viva la Vida". (And I love that Fazioli piano he is playing...I performed in that same concert hall in Salt Lake in Nov of 2007).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today at 12pm PST...

...You can find either utter boredom or complete enthrawlment in listening to the Jace Vek Live! Radio podcast on at 12:00pm PST. Yours truly will be featured. Woot!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

He Crawls!

I posted a video below of Preston crawling today. He actually crawled 2 or 3 days ago, but then forgot how the next day. And then yesterday he was doing it again, and today I finally got him on video. So at 10 months and 1 week, Preston crawled for the very first time!

He took a LONG time to finally crawl. He just had no interest in it. We would get him up on all fours and he would make a whiny noise and slide down to his belly and then roll over. I have to say it's been rather nice, because we knew when we set him down somewhere that he was going to stay put. But now...he's pulling our fake tree over, pulling himself up to the coffee tables, crawling underneath the couch and getting stuck (LOL), pulling on computer wires, discovering wall outlets.

Let the baby proofing begin! Ugh.

Enjoy the video. :) Oh, and speaking of videos, I posted a couple of other cute videos of Preston a day or two ago, but I was a blogging maniac and they got pushed down. So if there are any fans of Preston out there, he's brought the goods to you. You just have to go back a day or two and find them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beach Brain

Lately I have been day dreaming about going on an exotic vacation to somewhere where there is white sand, clear torquoise colored water, palm trees, and where the air is still warm at night time.

I'm not joking. I find myself dreaming about this a LOT lately. I think it's because the last time we took a vacation like that was for our honeymoon in 2005.

Well, such a vacation is not exactly in the budget right now. I've contemplated finding a calendar with pictures like that and taping them up to my wall just so I can stare at them. Haha.

Instead, I'm going to pull a few photos out of our archives to post on our blog. Ahhhhh...just looking at these makes me feel happy. I hope they make you feel happy too.

On a catamaran in Hawaii

In front of the Honolulu Temple

On Honolulu Beach

In Laie, Hawaii

On the Aisle de la Mujaris - near Cancun, Mexico

Relaxing in a hammock, Cancun, Mexico

Snorkling on a reef in Cancun

Chichen Itza, near Cancun

Near a water spring in Mexico

In a small beach village near Cancun

Cancun, Mexico

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jenni. Radio Show. Next Wed.

Some of you may remember my last "big" concert (before entering the world of motherhood)...

My friend and fellow concert pianist/composer, Jace Vek, and I performed together in downtown Seattle at Benaroya Hall.

Well here we are a little over a year later and we're at it again.

No, not doing a concert together (yet, anyway), but doing a radio show. The show debuts next Wednesday, April 22nd, and I have been invited to be his first guinee pig. I mean GUEST ARTIST.

So if you have time, I would love your support. It's being broadcast 3pm ESTon April 22nd (Wed). It's like a podcast, so you listen from your computer. You can also log into the chatroom or call in and ask questions. The show is an hour long, and we'll just be talking about music, my music, the music industry, other musicians, listening to my get the picture.

Here is a better description:

An interesting new show all about new age music, and the artists who create it. Hosted by Emmy Award winning composer, concert pianist, and recording artist Jace Vek. We will be listening to beautiful music, and discovering the inspirations behind it. This is a great opportunity for artists to connect with their audience, as well as other artists, and talk about the thing we love most- Making and sharing music with the world!

Here is where you need to go:


It's been a long time since I've posted any videos of Preston, mostly for the reason that I hate taking the time to convert them and upload them. get to know a person so much better through video than in I've posted 3 videos of Preston recently. He is such a spitfire and a ball of fun. Enjoy!

Giggling with Daddy

Untitled from Jenni Thomas on Vimeo.

Funny Noises with a Ball

Silly Sounds from Jenni Thomas on Vimeo.

Silly Rolling Baby

Silly Baby from Jenni Thomas on Vimeo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grandpa's Funeral

Last Thursday, we headed for Pendleton, Oregon for the weekend. Though it was Easter weekend, we were there for the purpose of my Grandpa's funeral.

What a fitting weekend for his funeral to be though.

We arrived to find my Mom and Grandma in good spirits. My Mom had been with her all week - helping to prepare for the funeral and help my Grandma get her affairs in order.

I was, at first, not ready to accept this "peace" that they seemed to have in their souls. I needed to know more about the details of my Grandpa's death so that I could put my mind at rest.

My Grandma told me exactly what happened as Grandpa suffered an asthma attack, took him to the hospital, him passing out in the car on the way, and then the medics trying to revive him for 20 minutes to no avail. And then the doctor coming out to tell her they couldn't revive him. She was shocked.

I asked her if she was doing okay, and she told me how surprised she has been at the peace she has felt. She was holding it together so well.

On Friday, the rest of our family arrived. My Dad, all of my brothers, my mom's cousins, my Grandpa's siblings, great aunts and uncles, and friends. It was also the first time that our immediate family had all been together in a very long time.

Back row: My older brother Mike, his wife Emmy, Will and Preston, Me, my youngest brother Stephen (his wife and daughter could not come), my younger brother Shaun, my Dad, Middle row: My Mom, Grandma Lindsay, and Aunt Leslie (My mom's sister) Front row: Michael's kids - Elena, Alexander, and James.

On Friday night, my Dad, Mom, Grandma, Aunt Leslie, brother Shaun, and I got to go down to the funeral home to see Grandpa and say personal goodbyes before the big viewing the next day at the funeral.

I had only seen a dead body once before, and so I was quite nervous. When I first saw him, I had to divert my eyes because it scared me a bit. But then as I looked at him again, I saw Grandpa laying there. We all had a very special time saying goodbyes to him that night. I'm so glad that I took the opportunity to do that - as the next day I would not have had the privacy that I wanted amongst all the people attending his viewing.

The public viewing the next day was the only time I saw my Grandma really break down - when they closed the casket and it was the last time she was able to look at him. It made me so sad to see her cry like that - to say good bye to her companion of 60+ years.

After the memorial service, a police escort took us through downtown Pendleton to the graveyard site. It felt weird - like we were a parade coming through. All the traffic had to stop for us and we got to drive through all the red lights.

Once we finally made it to the Memorial Park, I realized how perfect of a place it was to bury Grandpa.

The surrounding landscape reminded me of all the times in Grandpa's truck as they drove us to the mountains to go backpacking, or to the lake to go fishing, or just on a drive through the wheat fields. It reminded me of his grandparents making the trek to Eastern Oregon from New Zealand to settle there and the heritage his family brought to this land.

Surprisingly, as the weekend went on, I too felt at peace. The knowledge that my Grandpa is happy, with his family, smiling down on us, no longer suffering in a physical body...really made me happy. I could finally understand why my Grandmother felt such peace. I heard many family members talk about individuals who had passed away years ago who were probably so excited to see my Grandpa again.

Something I realized this weekend - is it's not about how you die, but how you lived your life.

The only thing I worry about is Grandma being "single" now. There were times over the weekend when I was hugging Will, or saw other couples being affectionate in front of Grandma...and I couldn't help but wonder if this would be a difficult thing for her from now on. Not having her companion there to hold hands with, to hug, to sit next to, etc.

Easter Sunday was spent with the family. We had a big breakfast together, and then those that could stay went to church together.

There were no easter eggs or hunts or candy. This Easter was all about the Ressurection of Christ.

Just a few of the other (many) photos that we took over the weekend...

Finally...making our way home.

I know that looks gross, but the substance in Preston's bottle is homemade apple juice. It's kind of thick and pulpy. Just had to clarify so you didn't think we were feeding our baby molasses. LOL.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Riding the Seattle Heat Wave!

THIS is why we live in the Northwest.

We live and crave for the summers here because they are so gorgeous.

Okay so it might not quite be summer, but for the past two days we have enjoyed 70+ degree weather. It has been absolutely beautiful. Having the sunshine around is a definite mood booster for everyone.

With this good weather, we headed up to Camano Island with our kayaks. Grandpa brought his canoe.

Since my Mom is in Oregon with my Grandma right now (helping getting the funeral preparations done), my Dad has been at home alone. He hates being alone. He is like a lost puppy.

I think he was glad to have us visit for the day.

He brought his canoe and Preston got his first taste of life on the ocean.

He was pretty stoked, until we had to put his life jacket on him.

He has been doing this total fake cough lately whenever he wants to get our attention. When we put his life jacket on, for the entire time he was in the canoe he would do a fake choking sound. My dad kept asking if the life jacket was choking him.

"No, no, he is just pretending he's on the brink of death to get my attention." I answered.

Then either Will would wiz by in his kayak or a seagull would fly overhead and he would start going "Ohhhh, ba ba ba boosh go da da!"

And having a salty sea shell to suck on somehow made the canoe ride a bit more tolerable...

Once back on shore...

We left Preston with Grandpa while Will and I took off on the two kayaks for a while. Preston loves Grandpa! (and his seashell)

Tomorrow's forecast: Back to Rain :(