Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Big Countdown

New Year's Eve!

Those words instantly bring an array of party hats, confetti and noise makers to my mind.  Isn't it interesting how that happens?
How a word, a scent, a picture can instantly pull up a memory or 
image in your mind?
I will admit, when I was younger, I always longed for one of those New Year's Eves like you saw in the movies.
One where the countdown would begin, and time would the champagne made it's way around the room.  The lights would twinkle, and everywhere you would see beautiful, happy people, smiling and laughing.  The camera would pan throughout the room as I made my way through the crowd, catching several pecks on the cheek, as I embraced and smiled at the people I passed by, and as the countdown reached it's!!!...there he would prince charming...magically standing in front of me at the stroke of midnight.  He would stare into my eyes, and then gently pull me toward him as he kissed me.
Yes.  It would be love at first sight.
Well, the reality was typically being yanked by my arm through some horrendously over crowded bar, as we tried to pry our way toward the front so we could either get a drink, or get to the bathroom.  More often than not, the countdown would happen during our attempt to navigate through the throngs of crazy, drunken college the only thing magical about these experiences were actually making our way through this insanity and not getting separated from our group.
I have a secret loathing for all filmmakers.
They give us silly girls who actually are dumb enough to believe in the whole "fairy tale scenario" the one thing that, in the end, will always break our hearts in the end.
Here is what I know.
If you want a dreamy New Year's Eve...complete with magical lighting, champagne, the background music...and, of course, the perfectly timed need to orchestrate the whole damn thing, right down to the last detail.  And then you just pretend it's spontaneous.  Because that is the only way it is ever going to actually happen.
How do I know this?
Well....let's think for a moment.
If you (and I am talking to the ladies here) don't write the script on this one, it will be left up to a man to read your mind, and make this whole thing happen. it all makes sense, yes?
Okay.  Moving on to more motivational topics.
I subscribe to a blog called: "Be More With Less."
Yesterday's topic was "10 ways to redefine your New Year's Resolutions"
Now, I think we are all aware that I am ALL about figuring out how to make our resolutions/evolutions stick....and I am reading everything I can get my hot little hands on these days, in order to get as many new ideas as I can.
I also feel that the pressure is on, considering that TOMORROW IS 2015!!
So, we need to get our acts together...NOW!
I also enjoy sharing any new insight I gain with you....who knows, maybe you like it too!

Here we go!

1. Make a love list: Instead of making the new year about everything you want to change, make it about everything you love. What would you really LOVE to do this year? In your life, business, love, relationships? How to make a love list.

2. Create a capsule wardrobe: Dress with less and eliminate closet chaos.

3. Addition:  What can you add to your life in the new year to make it better?
    Not stuff and things....but qualities?

4. Start a morning routine: Start your day with purpose..even if it is just 5 minutes for yourself.  Choose and activity (journalling, yoga, drinking tea, etc) and create time for you.  How to create a Meaningful Morning Routine

5. Minimalist game:  If you dislike decluttering, try this: Get rid of one item on the first of the month, two items on the second, three on the third, etc.

6. Try the capsule kitchen challenge:  Eliminate junk from your diet and put and end to decision fatigue in the grocery store. How to get started with the Capsule Kitchen   (there is a FB group you can join too)

7. Share your life in a way that helps others: Think about what you have to offer and share your life to help others in some way....perhaps a blog!

8. Create goals with soul:How do you want to feel? Create your goals or make choices based on those feelings. Use the Desire Map to create goals.

9. Reset to zero: (This is about minimalism, based on Colin Wright's reset to zero) here to read more

10. Subtract:  Instead of adding one more goal or resolution, consider that you are doing enough already, and maybe too much.  What can you subtract? Where can you let go to create more time and space to just be?

Well, that should keep you busy for awhile!
Hopefully, all of the links will give you some good ideas.

Now...I need to go work on my New Year's Eve
"Twas the Stroke of Midnight" script.
Maybe if I actually hand out a script, I will finally get a decent story to write about.
I suppose the hardest part is going to be trying to get Mark to actually stay up until midnight.
I suppose I could write a Sleeping Beauty parody, where it's the prince who actually won't wake up?
Ugh.  It's going to be a long night.
And I still have to work on my evolutions too.

I hope all of your evenings involve champagne, candlelight, and magic!
We shall meet 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

19 And Counting

Today is my 19th Anniversary.
(Happy Anniversary Mark!)
We will all just put on a nice little smile, and pretend he reads this.

It is a little surreal that it has already been 19 years.
In just a few years, I will have been married longer than I was single.
You know what that means?
I got married way too young!
I mean, I don't regret getting married when I did. (I was almost 24.)
But, knowing what I do now....I realize that I had no business being married at that time in my life.  I had no idea who I was back then...or what I wanted.
Heck, I remember registering for wedding gifts, and having the hardest time knowing what color towels to choose.  Obviously, if I didn't know what color towels I liked, I certainly wasn't ready for real grown-up stuff!
It is interesting looking back...remembering what life was like then.  I was completely immersed in the idea of getting married, then buying the perfect little house with a white picket fence, and then having our 2.5 children, and a dog, of course.
It all sort of fell right into that mold somehow...but it certainly wasn't perfect or easy.
Sometimes I wonder how we made it through the first couple years.
We married four months after my dad died.
One week after the wedding, Mark started commuting to a school that was about a 70 minute drive away, so he would leave before I was up, and I would leave for my studio job (after I was done teaching) before he got home.  We didn't see very much of each all.
We bought a house, two months later I got a job in the town he was commuting to, so four months later we sold the house, bought another and moved.
During this time I got pregnant, and lost the baby.
Six months later, I got pregnant again....and we were told we lost that baby...again.
Luckily, my Dr. was more optimistic than the radiologist, and a week later, they found the heartbeat.  9 months later, Lexie was born.
This was our first two years of marriage.
It gets more ridiculous from there.

I do think, now that we have had 19 years to figure this marriage stuff out, that we are finally getting the hang of it.  Maybe what we really are getting the hang of is figuring out who WE are as individuals...which then makes our life as a couple a lot easier.  All I know is that marriage is definitely not a journey for the faint of heart.  
I play at so many weddings...and there are some where I see these young couples who are quite obviously there for the "wedding" rather than the "marriage."  I have to bite my tongue....but I really want to say "ok is the deal: you are about to spend a lot of money on a big party, and it's pretty obvious that you haven't given what happens after the party much thought.  I would suggest a serious reality check here, to determine you are doing this for all of the right reasons.  If not...perhaps you should just throw a party.  Not a wedding."
On the flip side, it makes me so happy to see the couples who are so obviously in love.  And, since they often become members of the church I work at, I get to watch as they start to have babies, and see their families grow.
I thought I would drag out the wedding album today, and share some photos with you.  (Yes, photos from the "proof" album that I still haven't gotten around to ordering yet.  And let's just be honest...I never will.)

Blushing bride. (I don't think I ever actually blushed.)
Apparently my mother hated this dress.  Here's the thing...I was rather "well-endowed" so the typical poofy wedding dress made me look like a giant marshmallow.  This style was much more attractive on me. She never actually mentioned her disdain to me (I heard it second hand) so I guess I will never know if the tale is true or not.....hmmm....
With my 12 year old groom.  (He looks like a middle school kid.) In my first year of teaching, I had a student who asked me "why do you always hang out with that 15 year old guy?" (He was referring to 23 year old fiancĂ© .)

The ladies. (My two sisters, my cousin Amy and flower girl, cousin Kelsey)
Kelsey got married this past summer. :-0

The blurry wedding party.

My singers. (12 women....all music majors)  
It was a concert.

The sisters

Pretty Christmasy church

This makes me sad.  My mom used to be so vibrant and pretty.

Mark taking advantage of me.  Again.

Love this shot.  I remember saying "well....should we go?!"

Ah yes...the "I have no original ideas, so I will take a pic of your hands" shot.
Our photographer sucked.
But my nails looked nice.  And they were real. 

She was such a cutie.

There you have it.  
Hopefully it will be an exciting and fun filled day in Lakmann-land.
Neither one of us has done any shopping or planning for the day, so more than likely, it will be a day of trying to figure out what the heck we should do...where we should go, and just complete indecisiveness.
This typically leads to I wouldn't be surprised if the evening involved a pizza from dominos and an on demand movie.
Let's hope that our 20th Anniversary provokes some extra planning....and shiny things.
I guess Valentine's Day is coming up.
Maybe I will just focus on that.
Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Other Side

I decided to start planning my funeral today.
I'm pretty sure the thought hit me during one of my "off"moments while playing at church.
Oh...that's another thing.
I think I've figured out what is wrong with me.
I believe I have mentioned the fact that I am worried I may be losing my mind, as I have been screwing up while playing quite frequently as of late...which isn't normal.  And by screwing up...I mean like forgetting how to play the piano...or just really second guessing myself.
I also had a weird experience on Christmas Eve.
I was SO pumped about my Mass with the "Fabulous Four"......but when it started, I was a mess.  I was anxious, nervous, all worked up and totally off my game.  This is not normal either.  And this has been happening more frequently.
(And yes...I'm worried about it.)
However, today when I was screwing up (again) I realized that my mind was SO far off in la-la land....that I'm surprised I was able to play at all.
I can't remember exactly what I was thinking about....but I know it involved rather complex thought.  
(I remember that, because the little voice in my head said "Ummm, Beth....maybe the fact that you are thinking about things that take multiple steps to create is why you keep forgetting what key you are in?")
Then, I forced the voice in my head to repeat over and over:
It didn't really work.
My diagnosis.
Adult ADD.
The nervous/anxious thing....I'm not sure what to think about that.
My cure:
I have no idea why they don't just give me a medical license.
I obviously know what I'm talking about.
Back to my death.

I had to play for that super sad funeral of the 27 year old woman (who was killed in a car accident) yesterday afternoon.
Her mom came up afterward, and said "Do you remember when we came over to your house to pick out wedding music?"
(I had played for the woman's wedding 3 years prior.)
"She loved that so much....we wanted her funeral to be like her wedding.  Happy and beautiful."
(It was that....and completely devastating.)

I am guessing this is perhaps why I had my funeral on my mind.
That, and as I was sitting in church, I started thinking about "Hmmm....I wonder who would show up for my funeral?"  
Jaine and I sang a song from my wedding for the meditation this weekend...and that got me thinking about music.
I was around to plan all my wedding music. 
(My wedding was pretty much a concert, by the way.)
What if I never got around to telling anyone what I wanted for my funeral?!
Good God....would Mark pick the music...or put someone else in charge?
Would they pick oldie moldies like "How Great Thou Art" (NOT allowed!)
Or overdone hymns like "On Eagles Wings?"  ( You-Hoo's)
Who would play the piano?
(By the way....there is nothing wrong with those hymns...I have just been working in churches for too we are currently separated....not divorced though.) 
Oh no....I am NOT leaving these decisions up to anyone but ME!
I am FAR too controlling to let this concert of death be programmed by anyone but yours truly!
Here is my concern.
Will I actually be there to hear this wonderful celebration of my life?
When I was playing for the funeral yesterday, a beam of sunlight suddenly came down upon me during a particularly emotional point of the service.
Of course, me being one who totally believes in "signs" thought "whoa! is this Laura trying to communicate?  Or maybe just one of my angels up there, wrapping me in light?"  (I know it sounds silly...but it makes me feel better thinking that way...and I HAVE had some crazy things happen that I feel 100% sure were my dad communicating with me.
Anyway...I just embraced the moment.
But it didn't end.
Rather than shining a halo-like light softly down upon me, that damn sun turned into a fat beam of incessant white heat, and continued to blind me for the rest of the service.
In fact, it just got worse.
Buy the end, I was leaning in, with my nose practically touching the music, so I could see past the laser beam of sunlight that was attempting to pierce a hole through my eyeball.
Not to mention the fact that by this time, I had been cooking in this giant sunbeam for a good 20 I was about ready to perish from heat stroke....and I hadn't planned my funeral yet!!!
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure if that was a "sign," it wasn't from anyone I really cared to communicate with.
Where was I?
Oh yea....attending my own funeral.
I am pretty adamant about being there.
I think that is one of the sad things in life.
A person's funeral is when all the people in your life sort of come out of the wood work. (especially if you die young, or unexpectedly.) I saw that at my dad's funeral.  Your family gets to hear all the wonderful things people have to say about you....while you just lay in a box, probably wearing some outfit you hate, with bad make-up on...God knows my hair will be awful, because NO ONE knows how to deal with curly hair.  (Can someone tell them to just straighten it...or have Lexie deal with it...she knows what's going on with the curly stuff.) 
Also, spritz me up with some yummy smelling bath and body works spray....formaldehyde isn't the scent I am going for.  And NO old lady perfume.

I suppose if I end up with some terminal disease, I can at least be in charge of putting my funeral choir together, and making sure they sound good. ;)
It's the sudden death scenario that worries me.
Way to many variables with that one.
This is why planning is important.
I still can't decide between regular burial or cremation.
To be honest with you...I'm a little scared of being cremated.
I know you are dead....and it takes up less space, and is better for the earth...blah blah blah.
But...what if you aren't really dead?
(Okay, so I watch too many movies.)
I just am not sure that I feel like getting tossed into the raging fires of hell intentionally.
If that is to be my fate....I guess I'd rather earn my way there?  ;-)

Anyway, I realize this is all somewhat morbid, but for some reason, this year I have become much more aware of my mortality.  I assume it's because I'm getting older, and each year brings me one step closer. (Now that is depressing.)
I think I make myself think about it, because I have always been a little afraid of it.  Obviously, I have no desire to die.  However, I don't get an option.
I wonder if there was an option to know at what age you were going to "kick the bucket"....would I want to know?
I am sure curiosity would get the best of me, and I would.  I am a planner....when it comes to big life choices or life events...I need to know things in advance, so I can wrap my head around them, and mentally prepare.
Planning is always a good thing.

Would you want to know?
I wonder how it would change the way we live our lives?
For now, I'll just worry about the music.
One step at a time.
Oh....and I am totally cool with comfy clothes.  
Slippers and pj pants.  
No one is going to see them anyway!
If you are going to your "eternal rest" why on earth would you wear an uncomfortable dress??

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I am still on this motivation kick.
It's a good thing that magazines all tend to focus on "Being Your Best in the New Year!" for their January issue.  It's also good that their January issues come out in the middle of December....and that I subscribe to gobs of them.
(A girl needs some bathtub reading!)
I also have lots of e-mail motivation that is sent to me each day via various blogs, websites, places I don't recall signing up for, but must have in a wine induced quest for perfect abs, etc.
I was recently reading an article where a woman posed the question:
"Every year I set New Year's resolutions, then I slip back into the same old habits.  How do I make new ones stick?"
(Gee...sounds familiar.)
This question was sent to Clinton Kelly....the guy from "The Chew" and "What Not To Wear' obviously, he is a GENIUS!!

I LOVE his reply.  (I'm not going to regurgitate it's long.)
In essence, he said he gave up resolutions, and started making New Year's Evolutions. 
He says to think of them as "barely noticeable changes to your daily routine that nonetheless add up to big difference over time--and transform your life for the better."
He also goes on to say that "you need to lose your quick-fix mentality."
An example he gave was twenty years ago...when he was really broke, he continued to spend roughly $10 a day on designer coffee. ($2600/year!)
He decided to buy a $20 milk frother, and some espresso beans...and didn't miss that mocha-chocalatte at all.
He used the money saved to pay off credit card debt.

Other changes made were only allowing himself to watch one hour of TV a day....unless he is doing some productive while watching. (Ironing, folding clothes, etc.)
Taking the subway instead of a taxi.
Never standing still on an escalator.
Just small things that add up.
I like his thinking.  And I LOVE "New Year's Evolution!"
I think making a "resolution" just sets a person up for failure.
Even just typing that word make my stomach feel weird.  Like a nervous, icky, "I really don't want to do this" kind of feeling.
When I typed "New Year's Evolution"...I actually felt a little bad ass.
I can do bad ass WAY better than nervous and icky!!
I don't want to be "expected" to do anything.
I want to do everything on my own terms.
I have always hated being told what to do....unless I ask.
(This totally comes from being raised by a controlling mother.)
It's a catch 22.
I hate being told what to do....but I often doubt myself when I'm told to just go do what I think is best.
AGH!  Self-doubt!!  Indecisiveness!! Fear of failure!!
If only we all had a "reset" button, so we could undo all of the stuff in our lives that has screwed us up.

I would also like to be able to figure out at what point in life did my ability to procrastinate on an Olympic level take hold.
Is it a learned behavior?  It is genetic?
I went to college BEFORE I even knew what the internet was.
However, there was a huge flaw in the dorm rooms at Viterbo.
I am sure that whoever ordered the desks that were provided in each room thought that they were doing us a favor.  Oh yes...they were fancier than your average desk...but they were a source of misery to anyone who may or may not have an undiagnosed case of ADD.
These desks had a built in bulletin board that stared at the user the entire time you sat in front of it.  Of course, you would hang lots of pictures and fun things to look at on that bulletin yourself far too many things to distract you from getting ANYTHING done.  EVER.
It was the Facebook of 1990.
I am willing to bet that those boys who are now sitting on their millions, because of their clever Facebook "idea" also had bulletin boards on their desks at some point in their lives.
Okay.  Slight tangent there.
My objective: To not let my procrastination take over my motivation.
Because then...we have a situation.
Stay tuned.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gearing Up


I have been thinking a lot about my 'goals'.
All of the things I either want to do or change in the new year.
Quite honestly, there really isn't anything new on my list.
Each year, the same issues tend to be there...and each year, I haven't really done anything to turn these things around.
I know my biggest hurdle is myself.
If I am really excited about something....I will make it happen.
But typically...the things that I want to change in my life never make it on to my list of "Things I Am REALLY Excited About!"
Usually, that list contains things that I want to pursue....and can achieve rather quickly.
For instance:  I may decide I really want to switch things up in a room in my house.  So, I will find a way to save up the money I need, and then hunt down exactly what I am looking for to transform that room into exactly what I want.

Or, maybe I want a different car.  So...I will figure out a way to make that happen.

Or....perhaps I want to put on some big concert for whatever reason.  So....I will make that happen.
These sorts of things are easily attained...and I enjoy the process.
However, the same does not apply to the goals I have year after year.
I do NOT enjoy trying to lose 20-30 pounds...and keep it off.
I do not enjoy attempting to keep my house spotless and organized.
(I would enjoy it if it WERE spotless an organized!)
I do not enjoy sticking to a strict budget.

These things I NEED to do...but my follow through is horrible...because I am not motivated to do them.  Even though being successful would make me really happy, and I know I would feel so much better....the process is difficult, and I am such a pushover when it comes to that little voice in my head.
I am SO good at justifying every dumb move I make.
Just last night, after I shoved three cookies in my mouth, I said to myself "'s okay.  You don't have to be good until January 1."
Well...I have been saying that for over 30 years now.  A lot of good that has done.
So, my objective is to find get excited about the things that typically do not really excite me at all.
And, to make a plan....not just a list.

I also want to move beyond my life revolving around my weight, or how clean my house is, or if I am sticking to my budget.
I think a big part of being successful in these everyday tasks (struggles!) has a lot to do with how good you feel...on the inside.
Winter can be a rough season for a lot of us.  It's cold, it's dark, and it's long.  
For me, it is really easy to fall into old habits.  It's easy to close myself off from the world, and hide in my bed....which is the opposite of what I need to be doing.
So, my goals for this year will encompass not just working on the outside of me...but also working on the inside too.

I found an article on the Components of Mindful living that I will share with you.

Becoming an observer.  Practicing non-judgmental awareness of the present moment.
"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."
Proverbs 23:7

Living from the heart and soul, not from unhealthy coping skills and ego.
Embracing all moments in life for learning, seek personal truth and acceptance.
A responsive and proactive head-space, not reacting or on auto-pilot.
Accepting the imperfect, unnecessary kindness, love in action, forgiveness.
Why Mindful Living?
Mindfulness is THE healthy coping skill, which takes the place of self-destructive behaviors.

"Be very careful about what you think, your thoughts run your life."
Proverbs 4:23

How do you start?

Forgive the past
Let go of expectations
Focus on your breath
Engage the senses
Observe the present moment
Release any judgement
Practice gratitude
Reflect before responding
I often find it is so easy to get wrapped up in all of the things we have to do, in all of the things that are causing us to worry, or feel stress, or make us ask "why me?!"
No matter where we are, or who we encounter in life...there will always be people who are so much better off than we are...and there will always be people who, from their perspective, could never even imagine having all that we have.
It really is all a matter of perspective.
I know when I was forking out check after check for those car repairs over the past couple of weeks, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
I was thinking about how this would be pocket change for some of our family members, but it was eating up our entire mortgage payment for the month for us.
But then I stepped back.  And I read over all of the components listed above, I realize how silly it is to think in such a close minded manner.

And great "Transformation of 2015" is going to start with my way of thinking....or maybe I should say....will build on my way of thinking, as this is something I have been working on already.
And next....the great junk food purge.
I guess I know what will be on the menu until Jan 1!
Time to clear out all of the cupboards!
I have a feeling my kids won't mind eating snacks most of next week.
Have a super Saturday!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Time to Exhale

That is how I would describe my current "mode."
It feels so good to have all of the craziness behind me for now, and have a few days to just be.
(Well...kind of.  I still have things going on, but it is A LOT less crazy that the past month has been!)
Once we all got home from our Christmas morning commitments...(Lexie and I were at our church, and poor Mark, sang at our church for the Christmas Eve service, then played the midnight Mass at the Cathedral.  Slept for four hours, sang at the 8:00 Mass at our church, and then was off to play for the 10:00 Mass at the Cathedral again.) we finally took a collective sigh, and could relax.
I have to was a little hard to believe it was Christmas, considering the weather was much more Easter-esque. 
So, I just turned off all the interior lights, lit the fireplace, and the lights on the tree...and was very happy once it got dark out. 

We made the kids wait until after lunch to open presents.  It's funny that it doesn't matter how old they are....they still are so impatient when it comes to opening gifts.
Their plan was to do it at 6am Christmas morning.
I nixed that idea immediately.
I have a hard enough time getting to church by 7:30 as it is.  
I have to tell husband was a rock star shopper this year.
He literally did ALL of the shopping, AND the wrapping.
I bought some extras for him...but he even took care of ordering his own "big" gift.  
I had circled a couple of pictures of things I liked on a Maurices give him some ideas.  The bag I circled was still in stock, so he bought that.
However, the boots and scarf I liked were not.  
Rather than just giving up on them, he actually searched out other stores to find  similar items.  So, rather than a pair of cheap Maurices boots, I opened up a super cute pair of Steve Madden's that are the exact style I wanted.
Seriously?  This man is a dream! ;)
(He said it was a "Christmas miracle," because they were a great price, and the display pair were the last in my size.) 
He also picked out not just one, but two super cute some other surprises that I had mentioned in passing were cute. (And he remembered!)
The man gets an A+ in shopping!!
I literally parked my butt on my couch for the entire day, lit my new, delicious spruce scented candle, and watched about a gazillion episodes of Castle that I had on the DVR.  

Riley and I crashed for awhile, because doing absolutely nothing is incredibly exhausting.

And is time to start gearing up for the new year.
I always start to get excited at this time....ready to make changes, and get back on track with the goals I have been attempting to achieve year after year...but always seem to fall short of.
I think I am usually too broad with my goals...and never specific or really realistic enough.  I also don't usually have a plan to back up what it is I want to accomplish.
This year marks two significant dates.
My 25th high school reunion...and my 20th wedding anniversary.
I think both of those events call for a total body transformation.
In other more day long Castle marathons on the couch.
This will definitely require a serious plan....and some major follow through.
I suppose the fact that Mother Nature is confused, and thinks it's April, may be in my favor, because I could easily get outside and walk/run.
Anyway....tackling the clutter in my house and planning out my big "Take On 2015" agenda is what will be happening here over the next week.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...and that you have some time to just relax and enjoy time with your family (or time alone!!) over the next week.

Maybe you will join me in my goal setting adventure?!
We might as well dive into the new year head first!!

Have a great Friday!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!


This is my favorite Christmas picture....
back when my kiddos were two and 6 months.
I miss having little ones at Christmas time.
I miss having little ones, period.

I hope you all had a magical Christmas Eve.
Mine was part exhausting, part magical.
I would like to focus on the magical....and I know you would like to focus
on your Christmas this will be short and sweet!

I posted this yesterday on many of you have already
heard it.
But...for me, each time we sing it, the magic is there.
The text, the arrangement, everything about it just fills my heart every single time.
We all look at each other after the last note has sounded, and let out a collective of those "oh wow...that just fed my soul" kind of sighs.

This is from our rehearsal prior to the Christmas Eve Mass we sang at yesterday.
The song is called "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks"
arranged by Craig Courtney
The singers are:
Jaine Mc Cormick- soprano 1
Me-soprano 2
Lexie Lakmann-alto 1
Kristin Skifton- alto 2
The fact that I get to sing this with my daughter and two close friends adds to the magic, of course. 

Click on link to watch.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground.
The angel of the Lord came down, and glory shown around, and glory shown around!
"Fear not!" said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind:
"Glad tidings of great joy I you and all mankind.  To you and all mankind."
"To you in David's town this day is born, of David's line, the Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign, and this shall be the sign:"
"The heavenly Babe you there shall find to human view displayed, all meanly wrapped in swathing bands and in a manger laid, and in a manger laid."
"All glory be to God on high, and to the earth be peace: Goodwill henceforth from heaven to earth..begin and never cease.  Begin and never cease."

May God's blessings shine down upon you today, and everyday.
I hope your day is filled with joy and love, and that you are surrounded by those you hold dear.
If today finds you lonely, or sad....remember you are never truly alone.

Know that I am sending a special prayer your way today....that any sadness will soon be replaced with peace and contentment.
I think today is the perfect time for all of us to take a moment and realize how blessed we really are.

Sending out lots of happiness and cheer to you all!
May this be a Christmas to remember!

Have a wonderful day!!!