Monday, May 16, 2022

Listening to Music

Years and years ago before Abigail was born, toddler Anna and I were in a darling little mommy and me class called Kindermusik. She loved it. I loved it. We were together - singing, making music. 

I remember after a couple of years of Kindermusik, when Anna was ready to start kindergarten one of the Mom mentioned that her daughter was starting at the Hartt school of music. She was just five but was going to learn how to play the cello. 

Well, that intrigued me. I did my research, attended a few lessons so I could see what they were all about. I learned all about Suzuki - the philosophy. And I adored that the parent was part of the lesson. So we started. And yes, she was only five years old. 

When Abigail was a toddler once again I had the opportunity to do Kindermusik with her. Oh how I loved living those days again. Magical. 

She too started learning viola through the Suzuki method when she was five. 

It was all just yesterday, wasn't it? 

And here we are. Abigail is a freshman in high school.  

She plays in orchestras so grand it baffles me. I wonder how the years flew by on her strings. And I am grateful for afternoons like these. (we opted for just us and not grandparents as the Covid numbers are really high where we are right now) 

Listening to a concert is magical. It is relaxing and inspiring. It is one of my very favorite things to do. How lucky am I that it's spring and our calendar is packed with them!!! 

Here are just a few snippets from my phone: 

I think the concert might have been recorded but I just can't seem to find it right now, so my phone will have to do... 

We are blessed blessed blessed that Abigail is our own little violist. I can't wait to see where her music will take her! 

And can I just add in that we are all thrilled that our Anna is home with us!!! 

Friday, May 13, 2022

It Felt Like a Celebration

Today (writing Tuesday evening) felt like a celebration. 

Today we picked up Anna at college for the year. 

The year! How is that even possible that she has completed her first year at college? 

We went from this

To this: 

and it was amazing. I wrote a little bit of a reflection (back here) on her year coming to a close, but today was really it. 

Scott and I both took a personal day off from our schools. At first we thought that just Scott would head up but I felt like if just he went I would be missing something. I'm so glad I went. 

We drove up and talked, talked, talked the whole way. It was sunny and delightful. 

Anna met us at the student center and then we packed up her room. Up and down those four flights of stairs, loading the car. It was packed to the max when we were done. 

We went back in her room one last time just to make sure we had every little thing. And then we prayed. 

Thank you God for this year. For this college. For your gift of brining Anna here. Thank you for her roommate and her room. Thankyou for carrying her through challenges and surprising her with delights. Thank you for the orchestra and her classes. Thank you Lord for this year; we give you all the glory. Amen.

It was powerful and I could feel the love in that little dorm room with just the three of us. 

It was sad and wonderful and thrilling, and joyful all at the same time. In many ways I don't want her freshman year to be over. That means we only have three years left to be a Holy Cross family. I have loved this year as a whole family. 

I know she'll be in a different room or possibly different dorm next year and I wanted to remember how pretty this tree was that she could see right outside of her her window. 

After we headed to one of the restaurants on campus and had such a yummy lunch. We meandered through the bookstore and I found what I was looking for... a print of  Saint Joseph Memorial Chapel. I plan on having it framed and hanging it in our home. 

We grabbed some special drinks for the ride home and headed back to the car. And that was that. Her freshman year is complete. 

There is something about Mount Saint James. And I'm so grateful it was Anna's. 

Yes, today was a celebration indeed. A little party with just the three of us; a memory I will tuck away and save forever. 

Things about this year that I want to remember: 

Visits Visits Visits


Monday, May 9, 2022

Mother's Day

What a delightful and wonderful day. 


My girls

A special meal

Lots and Lots of love


Friday, May 6, 2022

Beauty in Their Hearts - A Final Freshman Year College Concert and An Almost End Reflection

One of the reasons I started viola lessons for my girls when they were just 5 years old was for moments like this. Moments like this evening. 

Of course when I was a young mama and Anna was just 5, Abigail a baby, I didn't actually picture an orchestra concert in college.  Of course not. 

But I somehow knew way back then that if I could, I would fill their hearts, minds, eyes with as much beauty as possible. A well ordered home, pretty things to look at, to play with, beautiful books, all kinds of books. Music was just one more unique way to bring beauty into their lives. 

Viola at 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10... all the way up to 18 wasn't always easy. There were challenges. There were times she didn't want to practice. There were orchestras she didn't seem to enjoy as much. But sticking with it, this was worth it. 

I had no idea that the beauty of music would so fill their lives that it would be something they choose to do as an adult. But oh how glad I am that Anna has. 

Anna college freshman year is coming to a close very soon. There are so many feelings (and another post) and reflection on that. I want to always remember what being in the Holy Cross Orchestra meant to her. Finding her seat, opening up her case, rosining her bow, tuning her stings, felt natural to her; almost like home. In a way, playing the viola in college was like bringing a part of home with her. 

It was more than that though. Although it felt "right" to her to play, she had a completely different experience in college orchestra than anything she had growing up. They were adults, it was her choice, it was warm and welcoming, and she knew this was what she wanted for herself. She chose it. 

I'll never forget late one night in the winter she was talking to me on the phone on her way back to her dorm and she said so clearly with such confidence in her voice, "I just love being in the orchestra." It was a different Anna, a coming into her own Anna, a new and excited Anna in only a way her mama could understand. 

I am gushing, so grateful for the College of the Holy Cross. As excited and in awe I was before she attended, it has far exceeded anything I could have hoped or imagined for my daughter. Orchestra is just one small part of that. 

On to the post... the concert!

I find it wonderful that this final concert for the year was in Saint Joseph's Chapel, for this is the place where Anna found growth, comfort, and security. And it is beautiful. 

We are so happy that all of her grandparents were able to attend. It was a spectacular night and my little girl was all grown up and happy. And made her daddy and I beam with joy. 

Here is a recording of the concert. It was spectacular. 

Beauty in her heart through the gift of music? Yes that is there. Beauty comes in all forms but I have found that these notes sing right into her heart (and ours) and find a place that creates lasting joy. 

Thank you Anna (when you are reading this one day) for putting your bow on your stings year after year. Thank you for making music on your viola and joining your notes with other in the orchestra. Your heart is filled with beauty and you have filled ours as well. 

Orchestra is first
Choir is next
47:10 is the start of the Holy Cross Alumni song (Anna is in the front)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

When Anna Comes Home

Let me first start off by saying that Anna L O V E S college. This post is not really when I want to recap her freshman year. I will certainly do that but for now I am just so proud of her for living there, for staying every weekend and only coming home for breaks. 

There was a fall break

There was Christmas break. (that was a lonnnng one)

There was spring break

There was Easter break

When she was home for break on Easter (an extra long weekend) we fit in as much as we could. There was Easter day of course but then we just soak her up every other second. 

We talk talk talk, eat, eat, eat, and talk, talk, talk some more. 

I took a bunch of pictures on Easter day. But I just ran across more from that long weekend. 

We had so much fun together. 

I love this one... not sure what they were doing but talking, talking, talking for sure. (in their matching bunny shirts) 

Although we were cooking for Easter I wanted there to be a bunch of homemade treats for us to have with tea whenever we wanted all weekend. 

 We finally got to try out Scott's new firepit!

And then of course there are really sad goodbyes. 

But soon we will see her all summer long! 

Monday, May 2, 2022

A Birthday Present

I had a birthday in January and when Scott asked me if I wanted something special I always think of something for our home. Something that we wouldn't normally buy; I immediately thought of a new chandelier for our dining room! Yeah!

Scott was on board for sure because the one we've had since we moved into this 1950 Connecticut colonial was not original to our home. All of the other light fixtures (minus the kitchen) are. And they are stunning. I love them all so much. But this one must have been replaced and we've both hated it. We moved into this home in 2001 and that is just too long to wait to replace. 

I wanted to choose something that would reflect the character of our home, our taste, and style. We also wanted something a bit larger with more light. 

I always say, "trends come and go, but staying true to the character of your home is classic." 

We found and adore this one. It fits our dining room furniture (post back here)  (and here) (and here), Hitchcock. I honestly still keep going in there and turning the light on to look at it... and dust it, I LOVE dusting it! I refuse to let any dust settle on it. 

Here is my electrician (husband!) installing it. 

Here is what it looked like on its first holiday... Easter...