Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, No, I'm not Catholic...

I don't know how I get myself into these situations, but I was hired to play the ORGAN at a Catholic mass/6th Grade Graduation Ceremony. Yeah...crazy, I know.

So I show up to rehearsal the Friday before the performance I show up at the church. It is the main Catholic church right on Front street. There is no a/c and it was about a bajillion degrees inside. There are fans facing the congregation and the priest....but not the organ! So hot...

This is the inside. There are some scary saints all around the inside and outside of the church. The outside is bright green, too! Love it :)
This is the organ I was to play on. Yes...a full organ. I told them I wasn't very good at the foot pedals, but they said it wasn't going to be an issue since someone had broken them anyway! Ha! Apparantly someone had placed the bench on TOP of the pedals and broke a bunch of them so they stayed pushed down. When I turned on the organ it made a loud "Waaaaaaaaahhhhhh" sound because all the pedals were pushed! HA! They had paper shoved in between the pedals to try and hold them up. It was awesome...I almost had a little slip of the tongue when the guy showed me...good thing I didn't :) heheheheheeh.....
These are the Valedictorians for two of the schools. There were three but I couldn't get a picture of the girl. It seemed like a HUGE deal just to graduate 6th grade. Who doesn't graduate 6th grade!?
That is the balcony in the church. The music lady, whose head is in the left corner of this picture, told me they had to keep the balcony locked during the week because people were climbing up there "no-no" things! Ha! Awesome :)
Notice anything interesting about this congregation? Yeah...I was one of three white people in the whole building! Ha! Love it :) Talk about being out of my element.

The whole production was pretty chaotic. We didn't have a very good rehearsal since none of the kids knew the songs and the organ kept making the loud bass pedal sounds. So at the performance it was pretty crazy. The music lady is really hyper and high strung, so if I asked a question she would kind of freak out. All of my music was spread everywhere 'cause they kept changing the order of songs and there was even one that I didn't have the music to and she just said, "Just follow along, I think it goes like this ' Da da duh....'" I was like, "Uh..........????" Soooo yeah, we pretty much crashed and burned through it! Hahaha! Good times :)

All in all it was quite the experience. At least they paid me for it! Hahaha! :) I don't know how I get myself into these kinds of things!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

This is an "Ode" to my Dad.
Who I think is pretty rad.
He likes to go on trips.
And always leaves big tips (If the service is good! Ha!)

He likes to learn new things,
Like scuba diving and gardening.
He always has a project to do
From building a wall to making a canoe (future project maybe??)

He's taken us to lots of places.
And paid for us to all have braces!
He's helped us get through jobs and school.
And taught us to swim in our backyard pool.

He's been there for days both good and bad.
Always a comforting word when we're sad.
Even though I was grounded through most of high school,
I learned lots of lessons and even more about rules!

A sense of humor that is one of a kind,
with lots of lame jokes that we never seem to mind :)
I know he loves me the very best,
All my other siblings are just "the rest" :) Hahahha!!!!! :D

He gives us repeated advice,
Even if once will suffice! :) hehe
He's taught us of hard work and respect
And our church to never neglect.

I love you so much, Dad, you rock!
(I think I may be getting writers block!)
I'm finally understanding your sacrifice
To help us all have a comfortable life.

I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day,
Even though I'm living a billion miles away.
I wish I could celebrate it with you,
But hopefully that cool gift I sent will do! :)


Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Fathers Day to my amazing HUBBY!!! (Dad, don't worry, a post is coming for you, too!)

Yes, Tom is an amazing dad! He is SO sweet with Ella and just loves her so much! He babysits her so I can go do other things sometimes and is just so cute with her! I know it is hard to go through medical school and be married and have a BABY, but he is doing it GREAT! He always seems to find time for the family! :D

So, to help celebrate this faaaaabulous Father's Day, we decided to be bad and not go to church....instead we went to the Westin in Dawn Bay. First off, it was a CRAZY drive to get there - very windy and narrow. The whole time we were like, "uh...I hope this is right??" It was :) We made it!

The Westin does these AMAZING Sunday brunches. WOW! They have EVERYTHING!!!!! I tried to take pictures of all the food, but I think I missed some stations! Ha!

We went with a big group of our friends and it was SUPER fun!! Originally we hadn't made reservations, because I didn't know you needed to, and when I called they said, "Nope. We are booked up." I was like, "Oh no!!!" So then I called back to try and beg them to let us come... adn it was a different lady who said, "Oh sure! There is room!" So the lesson learned here is: keep calling and asking until someone doesn't know better and lets you do it! Haha!

I was trying to take a picture of the chocolate fountain station and this scary looking guy totally walked in front of my picture!
Here is the breakfast buffet (I coudln't fit it all in one picture) and the sea food station....
Here is the cutest couple EVER! :D Haha!
This is the pasta station and the Greek station....
That was the Asian food station and the carving station...
More dessert.....
Chocolate Fountain and Ice Cream station....Mmmm

After we ate for three hours (Ha!) we decided to "Fat Dog" it by the pool. Mmmm. :) Soooo relaxing. We had our friend Lea babysit Ella, too, so we didn't even have to worry about her! YAY!!! :D
Here is the whole crew. We decided that we should start a Westin Brunch Group as part of the Spouses Organization. We'll have each member donate $100 to join the group and then we'll go to the different holiday brunches the Westin does! :) Haha! Sharill is President, I'll be Vice President, and we'll keep Danielle as the treasurer...since she is in charge of the Spouses Org money, too! She can make donations to our group, too :) Hahah!

Here is the Westin's pool. It overlooks the ocean adn you can walk straight onto the beach from the pool! It was SO relaxing and fun! Today was definitely a day that makes me grateful for living on an island! Good company....nice location....yummy food....perfect weather... :)

Tom also got a spa treatment for Fathers Day. A deep tissue massage to be scheduled later :) Yay for spoiling our husbands!!!! :D Love you honey!!!!

Concert in Anguilla...I'm pretty much a rockstar ;)

What a whirlwind of a weekend! So Tom's birthday party was on Friday night. Saturday morning we left bright and early to Anguilla. Anguilla is a neighboring island and it only takes 15-20 minutes by ferry to get there. The boat ride there was kind of yucky. It was inside this little ferry with small windows, and it was hot, and REALLY bumpy. Blah...I didn't feel too good by the end of it. Ella fell asleep I guess it wasn't bugging her! After we got to Anguilla, the Women Have Heart foundation had set up EVERYTHING for us! They had Eustella, a woman with the foundation, pick us up from the airport and take us to the church so we could take a look around. Then she took us to the car rental place and then to our hotel. The church itself is really old and it seems like the piano was brought over when the island was first discovered! It was REALLY out of tune, three of the notes stuck, one was broken, and the string was broken on one of them - so Tom unwound it and pulled it out of the piano! Ha! Needless to say, it was an "island" piano! Haha!

Here is Ella after taking a bath! It's just a really cute picture of her :)

She was POOPED after the concert! The concert was supposed to start at 7:30, but didn't end up starting until about 8:00 so we didn't get home until 10:00! Poor Ella was SO sleepy! She hadn't had a nap, either. I mean, she fell asleep for about an hour in the car while we were driving around exploring the island, but that isn't nearly enough! Poor thing...Tom watched her during the concert and I guess she wasn't too bad! which is always a plus :) It was SO cute! When I first walked out in front of the audience, Ella jumped up and screamed/laughed when she saw me! I was like, "Ah! That's my baby!! She loves me!!" It was SO cute! Tom and Ella were sitting in the back, too, so everyone heard it. It was really cute :) Everyone just thought Ella was so stinkin' cute! :)
Oh...random picture....hehehehhee....we saw this one the back of one of the rental cars....get it???
This is a picture of where we ate lunch after we got there. It was at CuisinArt Hotel/Spa. Yes, CuisinArt, like the kitchen appliances. Apparently the owner of CuisinArt wanted to build a HUGE luxury villa for himself on Anguilla, but you can't do that...only tourist places can be built on the water front. So he said, "Fine" and built a HUGE villa for himself....with a hotel on the side! Ha! We ate lunch at the Meditterano grill. It was YUMMY. Mmmm....Eustella told me that they do cooking demonstrations and classes there, too, in their COMPLETE CuisinArt kitchen! Yes, need to come down and we'll sign up for some! :D
Here is a picture of the restaurant where we ate :) Very bright and colorful. mmm...They had a REALLY good kids menu, too, which was nice!
This is the pool area outside the hotel where we ate lunch. Ella, of course, wanted to jump in and it was quite the feat to keep her DRY!
Here is the pool in OUR hotel. We stayed at the Maliouhanna Hotel/Spa. Talk about FANCY! It has won the award for "Leading Hotel in the World" and is listed in the big, fancy book of big, fancy hotels! :D The rooms themselves were okay, I wished they had better insulation because it didn't ever really get cold inside...which is too bad! The bathroom was FANCY! There were robes and slippers, and really nice shampoo/conditioners, woo wee! It was fancy :) It was a good thing Tom brought his laptop, though, because there wasn't a t.v. So Ella watched Ratatoille and Wheels on the Bus on the computer :) I guess the hotel has a BIG childrens water park area with a pirate ship and a big slide. We didn't have a chance to go see it, but I heard it was really cool! Maybe next time...I don't think we can afford to stay there, though! Haha! The Women Have Heart paid for everything! YAY! :D
This is the view from the balcony. Very beautiful...
Here is Tom and Ella eating breakfast. We were POOPED! We didn't go to bed until after 11 and then Ella decided it would be a good idea to wake up at 6:50! *sigh* early...
Another view from our window...
Ella thought the balcony was really neat :)
Here is a picture of the cemetary outside the church. It was really cool looking. Very old...with the ocean in the background.
Here is the inside of the church. It wasn't that big, but I guess they sold about 130-150 tickets! Not too shabby!
Outside of the church...
Ta Da! We are rock stars! Look at that HUGE banner with our faces! Haha! :) I guess we were in the newspaper for quite some time before the concert, too. I need to go buy some copies of those...
Another church picture...
Inside of the church during the concert...
Another inside picture...
Here we are! The superstars! We pretty much played the same program as before. La Vaune and Jesse added some a capella pieces to the first half, which was nice, so it made it a smidge longer. Very fun :)
This is all the women who are a part of the Women Have Heart foundation. Most of them are breast cancer survivors. The whole concert was a charity event and I guess they made lots of money! YAY! :)

Anguilla was a fun little island. It is about 35 square miles but REALLY long and skinny. The island itself is really ugly - very desertish and dry - but the beaches are BEAUTIFUL and the hotels are AMAZING. I guess Harrison Ford and Callista Flockhart were staying at our hotel! Jesse saw them at the pool....and didn't tell Jenni until it was too late! That was not a nice conversation that followed.... :) hehehehe

They drive on the left side of the road, but a lot of the cars have the steering wheels on the left side too? Weird.... :)

The concert was a success! And the trip was VERY fun! If we hadn't have had Tom's birthday party the night before, I would have liked to stay an extra day before or something! It was a very low key island - no traffic AND nice roads! I recommend taking a little trip to Anguilla if you get the chance! :D

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday! Oh wait...?

So we had a big birthday party on Friday for Tom. No, his birthday wasn't on Friday...isn't not even in June, actually. His birthday is December 19th, but Tom has a history of crappy birthday parties: snow storms, friends out of town, Christmas right around the corner, etc. So I decided that I would throw him a surprise birthday party on his HALF birthday so all his school friends could come! :) It was quite the hit!

I stole these pictures from my friends Facebook pages since I ALWAYS forget to take pictures! Ha! Here we are getting ready. We had the party at Ric's Place in Simpson Bay and Tamara, the owner, let me decorate everything. She brought out game tables and everything, too! Of course I had to decorate everything blue and white ;)

Here we are setting up all the table decorations...

YAY! Tom was thoroughly surprised :)

Ha! So surprised! Of course, who would really suspect a birthday party....when it is not even CLOSE to your birthday! Ha! :)

Yeah...I'm pretty awesome...I just love my hubby a lot :)
Here we all are...mingling...very fun :) We had such a good turn out, too! So many people came, even if it was just for a couples minutes! So fun!!
Here are Eleanor and Kareem hiding in the corner! Or are they canoodling??? Just kidding ;) They were hiding! It was so cute! Everyone was hiding when we pulled up. And then jumped out and shouted "SURPRISE!" Tom was like, "What the....??" Haha! Awesome :)

Tom thought I was stuck in traffic on my way home from piano lessons. I totally wasn't! Ha! I got out of piano lessons EARLY 'cause one of my students didn't show up, AND there wasn't even ten minutes worth of traffic! So I had lots of time to set up the decorations :) Hehe Thank you Hetal for coming and helping me set up! Then I called Tom on my way to pick him up and said, "Hey! Sharill and Joe invited us to dinner, wanna go?" Hehehe :) Soooo sneaky....

Here is everyone getting ready for the surprise...they were hiding around the corner :)
Of course...we had to throw in a little personality! Thank you, Melissa, for making the cake!!!! That was the one part of the plan I couldn't quite figure out how I was going to do it?? What excuse could I possibly have for having a BYU cake in my fridge and then taking it to dinner with Joe and Sharill??? Haha! So yes, thank you melissa for making it and thank you Sharill for bringing it! :D
Here is Ella partying out! Poor little thing was up really late...and had to wake up really early for Anguilla! Posts to come about that...

Tom got a baseball Wii game and a blue wii controller cover :) It is pretty fun! So yes, here is a shout out to Tom and his half birthday! :D Thanks everyone for making it a success!!