Friday, February 19, 2021

We Gave Valentine's Day Away

My girls are older and so as much as I want to, our Valentine's Day will never look like this again. 



And you know what? I don't really want them to look like that anymore. 

Because that would mean I wasn't living in THIS Valentine's Day - with a husband I adore and two sweet teenage girls. 

So when I was thinking and planning and looking for something I thought would be celebratory we decided to give it away. 

I am always looking for ways to teach my girls to reach out. To give back. To open their hearts toward others. To look away from themselves. 

And this Valentine's Day they enthusiastically and happily agreed to give it away. 

So we spent the whole day together (that is the best part of Valentine's Day anyway) doing for others.

And it was perfect. 

The girls created flower arrangements for their grandma's from a simple mason jar and grocery store flowers. 

They worked on Valentine cards. 

We baked some heart treats and bought some pretty chocolates. 

We arranged everything on a tray and drove to drop off our gifts of love. 

And then we came home and cooked an entire dinner for someone we love who is going through chemo treatment. 

Then we drove and dropped that off. 

The best part was arriving home; tired and fully full of the love we poured into other on this Valentine's Day. We plopped on the couch, ordered something simple to eat, and spent our tired evening relaxing together. 

I love that it wasn't about us - not about a beautifully decorated table - not about presents - not about us at all...

... in in some way, giving it away to others was giving to us. 

It truly is more blessed to give than receive. 

The most special Valentine's Day. 

Oh and it started with heart pancakes 💕

Monday, February 15, 2021

Hope Is...

I'm determined to get every bit of Anna playing with Giovani Solisti this year since there are no in person concerts. Can I just say how I've 'gotten used to it', how there are so many people with real struggles... I'm not comparing. I'll just say that she worked since she was 5 to be in Solisti and now we can't even hear her. So I'm grateful for every little clip the conductor sends. Even this one that is all about an elementary school in town. Solisiti is the background music... to this beautiful message of hope. This video and the young children in it make me feel so grateful to be an elementary school classroom teacher. So so grateful that I get to spend my days doing what I love. 

And of course most grateful for those few clips of Solisti playing - especially the one with the pink case (that's how you can spot Anna playing) 

Love you Anna and the music you make. 


Friday, February 12, 2021

Big News

Scott and I got an exciting text from Anna during the day. 

She found out from the high school orchestra conductor that her little sister got in to a very select high school orchestra for next year!!!

Back here is the post showing Anna helping her. 

Back here is Abigail recording her audition. 

So when we all got home from our schools today we had Abigail open her email with all of us. 

There were tears and screams. 

And this... I'm going to miss these two together next year.

Here is the 2017 post when Anna auditioned for this orchestra. 

And here is back is 2017 when Anna got in. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Gaovani Solisti

This a rough recording that was emailed to me way back in October. This is Solisti playing Barber Adagio. Anna helped me get it from an email to youtube so I could keep it forever here on this blog. 

The story of Anna playing in this particular orchestra is a special one. Click on the tab at the bottom if you want to read more about the years it took to get into this. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


This was from a big snow on Sunday! Since then we've had another snow storm (and no school on Tuesday - remote day) 

I am so glad Abigail is always up for a walk with me. 

If you click on my Instagram you can click on my stories 'snow' and see a bit more of our walk through so much snow! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Best New Spot For Reading

Today we are on our fourth 'snow day'. The fist two were 'traditional' no school days. After those two, all of the snow days are remote days. I thought I would miss 'traditional' snow days but I actually don't at all. The day ends at 2:00 for these remote days and they are still a bit of a break from a regular school day. I can run laundry and get it all done during meets. I get to be more cozy. And I have the luxury of being able to use the bathroom whenever I need to, ha! But seriously, that is a luxury of an elementary teacher! 

This is a new spot in our house. Not the spot really, just the chair. We used to have a little girls table here that held playmobil castles and other toys. Sigh... And then there was our Christmas tree here in November and December but now this chair. 

We decided we needed a chair here for every single night waiting to tuck our girls in (yes, we still do, every single night) Every night there seems to be this waiting time when one is brushing teeth and we are waiting. I found Scott and I just sitting on the floor - until one day when I said, "why don't we get a chair for this area?" 

And it's been perfect. 

I chose not to decorate this area. I wanted to keep it simple. It's about a book, an armchair, and that window that looks out onto the backyard and the field beyond. 

Today it is snowing... book reading perfection... a chair with a view.