Wednesday, March 26, 2008

and in other news...

... it's snowing. It's actually snowing. Wow... I'm glad I didn't wear sandals today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Traveling plans

After all of our ups and downs, yes's and no's, it's official - we're going to Europe! We made the decision a while ago, so I may have mentioned it already. And although we've had a few financial setbacks that have required replanning, the plans are really starting to come together. Now I think it's time to really start getting excited about the trip, and I want to share our plans!

The greatest piece of news that we have received recently: while we are in Prague, we get to sing at St. Vita's Cathedral (or St Vitus) - the big church that you see up on the hill in all of the pictures of the city. I looked into some more information about it, and the pictures have astounded me. We get to not only see it, but we get to SING there? I'm completely flabergasted. Take a look at pictures:

The best of the rest: We leave July 3rd and after a full day of traveling, we are spending three days in Prague. In addition to singing at St. Vitus, we'll also be participating at a shared concert with a local Prague choir. And of course we get to explore and experience the rest of the city as well.
Then we move on to Vienna where we will also be spending three days. My FAVORITE thing about this portion of the trip is that Stephen and I will be spending our 3 year wedding anniversary in VIENNA! YEAH!!!!! We get to visit so many sites in the city, but I am very excited to see the Central Cemetery to see the graves of Beethhoven, Brahms, Strauss, and the Mozart Memorial. We get to perform a concert as part of the American Celebration of Music in Austria.
Our last stop is Salzburg and we'll be spending our remaining 4 days there. This is the place of our primary purpose for heading to this region of Europe: the Cantus Salisburgensis, an international festival of choral and orchestral music. As part of this, we sing on our own a couple of times at the Kollegienkirche, and then all choirs sing together in the Salzburg Dom singing Mozart's Credo Mass.
It's probably all we'll be able to talk about for the next 3 months. But now you see - we have quite a trip to look forward to!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Irish princess

Pictures taken on St. Patrick's Day -- I love her cute little shamrock dress!

Irish princess playing peekaboo.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What - you mean it's NOT a holiday????

Let's change that!!!

Erin go bragh

Top o' the mornin' to you, me darlin'!

Yes, it's the day of the year that Irish around the world celebrate, and a few million non-Irish, too! (After all, everyone is Irish on March 17th!). Yes, it's St Patrick's Day!

Out of all of the craic (pronounced "crack", meaning "fun") that I could be having today, I've settled with having a nice Irish dinner at home with family. So I'm making a corned beef, cabbage, and Guinness stew-like dish (I obviously haven't thought of a creative name for the dish yet) and we will have a pint of good ol' Guinness along side. I've had plenty of years going out and having quite a few pints, dressing up in all green and dancing a few Irish jigs.

No matter how different every year's celebration is, one thing remains the same. I reminisce about my time in Ireland. 4 months going to school in Limerick and traveling around the country. I was so excited about having St Patrick's Day in Ireland, but it wound up being a different day than I had planned. It was during the foot and mouth outbreak in the British Isles. And the Irish, who were rightfully terrified of their agriculture being affected, had shut down many of the tourist spots all around the country. Including the parade in Dublin, and tons of St Patrick's Day activities. So we celebrated in the native Irish style - pup hopping! And man, was that a night. That was the night that I lost my camera - dangit. I don't even remember how many places that we went to.
By the way... an interesting article on the meaning behind Erin_go_bragh .

Some pictures to share from my Irish experience - forgive the blurriness - I really want to go through my favorites and scan them all to get good copies. But this is what I have for now.

The best pint of Guinness in the world - at the Sky Bar at the top of the Guinness Factory. Straight from the source, baby - it's amazing!

I love the turtle Guinness ads - just for me!

Cheesy and traditional but so much fun (but not for those who have a fear of heights; the grass you see is 3 stories below) - Kissing the Blarney stone!

One of the most spectacular places that I got to visit - both in beauty and history - the Rock of Cashel

Me overlooking the northern portion of the Cliffs of Moher

I'm having so much fun reminiscing about Ireland that I might share more stories and pictures, we'll see! =)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Catching up

My final was this morning - wahoo! Now spring break... a long spring break... lasting until fall actually. I need to start a 2 quarter class (A&P), which will be better to start in fall. And with the Europe trip in summer, it will work out the best for us if I can work some more. But now that I'm done, I have some catching up to do.
So now I have some pictures to post... from our triple birthday party and from our concerts last weekend.
She LOVES the books she got for her birthday!
The cute little birthday girl in her cute little birthday dress.
Remember the story of Catherine bribing her Auntie Val for some food? My mom caught a pic of it - yeah! The book in Val's hand is one of the things that she was bribed with.
The Seattle Bach Choir, singing at Trinity Lutheran Church last Saturday night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Study break

2 down, 1 to go. 3 finals in 1 week - for 1 class. Ick! My lab final was last Thursday and I did OK. My lab partner and I completed our project presentation this morning and we did incredibly well - if I do say so myself! ;) Now I just have THE final exam on Thursday.

The finals aren't the only thing that have kept us busy around here. We had 2 performances this last weekend with the Seattle Bach Choir, including a dress rehearsal Friday night. Stephen and I have a parenting class that coincides with Catherine's 1 year checkup tomorrow night and Stephen has a board meeting tonight. I was even supposed to work a couple of shifts in the midst of all of this, but that's not going to happen. Not to mention the drama-drama that's come up in the last week (no need to get into that at all).

Well... now you see why I haven't posted anything in the last couple of weeks. So if you've been hanging on to my words, desperate for any sign of an update (ha!) - there you go. But you're going to have to wait until after Thursday for more info. That's when I should return to "normal".

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Am I a good mom?

It's a question that constantly comes up when you're a mom. So I've been thinking about this: how do you reassure yourself that you're a good mom? Especially now that I'm experiencing being a mother of a (gasp) toddler! When she throws a fit, or she runs away from me, appearing to throw caution to the wind, or I leave her in someone else's care and walk away even though I can hear her crying... these are times when I do not feel like a good mom. But as any mom knows, it's a learning process - you learn by trial and error what works and what doesn't.

I had an experience this morning with Catherine. Most Sunday mornings we go to the store together to get the Sunday paper and coffee (the coffee is for me, not for her!). Since she's started walking more, I let her walk on her own when I feel it's safe enough. I'm teaching her that if she wants to walk on her own, she needs to hold my hand when I tell her, and if she doesn't want to hold my hand then I pick her up and carry her. This morning she let me hold her hand all the way to the sidewalk, and because I deemed it safe enough, I let her walk on her own after we got out of the parkling lot. She climbed up the curb all by herself and then crawled for a little bit, which was kind of cute. She got up and ran over to the table and chair that were outside to check them out and then ran towards the store entrance. Not a problem - typical for her. I was right there and she was having fun. But I got some weird looks... the kind of looks that said "how awful - she's letting her toddler run around like mad - she should control her child better". Normally I don't let this get to me, but I started to doubt what I was doing.

Skip to this afternoon - I'm working and looking through some general information about toddlers on babycenter. And I find an article offering advice on toddler's impulses to run away. In the article they discuss why toddlers are prone to doing it - it's boosting their sense of independence and they love that thrill of freedom. And in reading all of the tips for dealing with it, my responses are "yeah, I do that" "well of course" and "sure, that works sometimes" to many of what was listed. Wahoo! And I figured it out all on my own, just knowing her and responding to what she needs!

But my favorite part: it gave me confidence that I am on the right track, letting her be on her own when she is safe and close by. I have no problems helping to boost her independence and confidence - I am at the same time teaching her that it is not always OK and she needs to look to me or her daddy for direction about when it is OK. At least that's my goal. My hope. Oh... we'll see. Every day is new.

By the way... it's not like I base my parenting on what I find on the internet - but I agree with much of what is on the site and I trust the content... and let's face it - we moms need confidence anywhere we can find it some days!

Ah... life with a toddler.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My hero,,20178494,00.html

Commentary on a speech that Senator Obama made in Holloywood a month ago. Excellent... just excellent.