Friday, December 02, 2016

New Things! (To the Blog. Not Social Media.)

Christmas has officially begun in our home, and I absolutely love it. Autumn is my favorite season and Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I really enjoy this time of year! I especially love the music. Love, love, love it.

Life has been busy (thus the lack of writing), but I can't complain because the busy that I'm doing is good, healthy busy. I've been organizing the house again to the way I truly would like it to be --I'm making sure I'm getting the housework done (within reason), and I'm trying to be more accessible to my family.

New things! 

Well, the first new thing is that I'm teaching piano lessons, again. I'm also looking for accompanist jobs (hopefully with KState or the local schools). I'm kind of legit, this time, and I'm taking it very seriously. In the past, I taught lessons for a very low fee and I wasn't involved in much. My students had two recitals a year (at the church) and I didn't have a network of other piano teachers. A few weeks ago, I joined MAMTA, KTMA, and MTNA. I'm charging a reasonable price for my ability and experience. I have also created a piano/music studio in our home, and look! I totally made business cards:

And this is what the piano studio looks like (I've added Christmas decorations since):

It's just in our library. I spent a whole week cleaning out the office/guest room (that's beyond the French doors) and the library so I could have a space that exudes peace, organization, and creativity. The guest room is now exclusively a guest room --I took the craft bins, kids' storage bins, and file cabinets down to the basement (we have so much storage room, it just makes sense to spread it out a bit!). Then I put in more bookshelves, the roll top desk, and hung photos all over the walls. It's peaceful, functional, and clean. (And doesn't attract mischief from the little kiddos!) Take a gander:

Makes you want to come visit, eh?

Then we moved the piano into the library, and I cleaned everything up and took out anything that would cause negative distractions (or attract the kids to more than books and music!). It's perfect, because I can shut all the doors and it's fairly private. The living room is pretty bare, now (except for at Christmas!), so I'm actually thinking we should get another piano. No, I'm not kidding! I could find something beautiful and used, I'm sure. I just have to keep looking. One day --if my business is successful and I can get a full studio --I would love to buy a baby grand piano. Our next door neighbor owns and runs Mid-America Piano, and he already told me I'd get the neighbor discount! (So nice!)

We moved the couch across the room to... 

...where the piano used to be.

So, there you go! I've been slowly working on the kids' rooms (very slowly) and our Master bedroom. Hopefully I'll have most of it finished by Christmas! If not, then at least during the slow, let-down days of January. 

More new things: 

*I forgot to post about Halloween. It wasn't anything huge --I had thought about throwing a big party for the teenagers, but we couldn't find a good time and it was easier to just skip it. The Ward party was fun and the kids loved carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating!

I went as "1991."

*#1 worked behind the scenes for the high school's Fall Musical. They did a fantastic job! She's now starring in a few one-act plays next week and she's applied to be the assistant stage manager for the Spring Musical. Meanwhile, #2 will be auditioning soon for the middle school's play in February. 

*Brandon turned 40! He wasn't too happy about hitting this milestone, but we celebrated, anyway. I should write 40 reasons why I love him (we actually did that as a family --40 strips of paper, each with a reason why we love him, and then each attached to a balloon). I spent a few weeks putting together his gifts: frames with collages of his childhood (he has almost zero photos as a kid --they're in a storage unit, somewhere --so I found what I could) and his mission (he served his mission to Perth, Australia 20 years ago!). We sure love him! (And yes, from now and forever, his birthday photos will always show him sporting a mustache. No shave November for men's health awareness is what he does!)

*We had Thanksgiving all by ourselves for the first time, ever. It was bittersweet (my family had planned to come, but they couldn't), but it was so peaceful. Relaxing is easier when you don't have to host/entertain, I think. We had a good holiday!

*#4 and #5 did their very first recital, and it was in our home with only us and the piano/cello teacher (and her brother) in attendance. The boys did a great job! 

#4 on cello and #5 on piano --the future Piano Guys! 
*Our family is performing in Sacrament Meeting on Christmas Day. We'll be singing "Stars Were Gleaming" complete with piano and cello accompaniment and three-part harmony. Wish us luck!

*Recent selfies of me, just because it's my blog (and so my kids will know I existed in photos): 

Feeling good!

Before date night.

Just before going to the Kansas City temple with my walking buddy. 

Our favorite place! Chic-fil-a! 

You know who I voted for! 

Have a FANTASTIC weekend, dear reader! I hope it's great. If you want to make it greater, you might think about doing this awesome service challenge from my church. Go here to learn more. Our family is doing something every day leading up to Christmas to bring light and goodness to the world around us. It's all about service, and I'd love for you to do it, too! You don't have to be religious --or even Christian --to serve others, eh? So, join us! Let's Light the World, together! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love reading your updates! The piano studio looks great, and after Christmas you just need a nice wingback armchair and small table/lamp to create a cozy reading spot in the bay window. (I'd sell you my piano but it needs the action replaced for the high-end stuff you can play versus the chopsticks I can play. And, it's a million miles away...)