competition upload complete!

Thanks to the combined baby-sitting efforts of Tom, Suzanne, and my mom, Abe and I were able to sneak off to the temple this morning. Some of the women who worked in initiatories radiated so much light and intelligence that they reminded me of my mom, and then I got to thinking: How do I get from point A (who I am now) to point B (where my mom and these women are)? Maybe it’s a matter of time, experience, and perhaps more suffering. But maybe it’s also a matter of constant mental discipling; I need to consistently notice and replace any thoughts that don’t serve a compassionate or loving cause. That’s hard! But I really, really, really, really want to be a wiser, kinder person by the time I’m a grandma, so I figure no time like the present to get started.

On that note, I will refrain from stating all of the negative, self-critiquing commentary that bubbled up when I watched the videos I recorded tonight. My competition deadline is December 31st, so Abe helped me record some pieces tonight. I won’t even post the Brahams, because after watching it I realized I need to overhaul the whole piece…but here are the Chopin Scherzo no. 2 and the first movement of Bach’s Italian Concerto.

Also, today’s pictures:

I tried making zimsterne again for my grandma. My mom went back to Springfield this afternoon, so this was another early morning project...

I tried making zimsterne again for my grandma. My mom went back to Springfield this afternoon, so this was another early morning project…

My mom loves her new scarf from Karin and wanted me to take a picture in case Karin reads this entry.

My mom loves her new scarf from Karin and wanted me to take a picture.

Lydia loves being with her cat again.

Lydia loves being with her cat again.

She gets wistful when she thinks about his adventures and says, "I hope my cat stays with me!"

She gets wistful when she thinks about his adventures and says, “I hope my cat stays with me!”

She also dressed herself today.

She also dressed herself today.

More fun with Puss.

More fun with Puss.

Mary hugged me when I got back from the temple. Instead of hugging her back, I took advantage of the camera in my hands and got this instead.

Mary hugged me when I got back from the temple. Instead of hugging her back, I took advantage of the camera in my hands and got this instead.

While I was practicing before my recordings, Abe let Lydia wear this headlamp and be Dora the Exploreer. They explored the whole house and then did crafts in the dark.

While I was practicing before my recordings, Abe let Lydia wear this headlamp and be Dora the Exploreer. They explored the whole house and then did crafts in the dark.

slowing down

Abe and I both felt like we had been run over by trucks for most of the day, so today was more about muddling through on low energy and aching muscles, and less about getting stuff done. We did manage to make it to the temple, and Swathi, Clark, Mom and I took Lydia to the library (although she fell asleep and slept through that entire outing).

We came home, ate pizza, and got the girls ready for bed. Swathi, Clark and Balu invited us to go to the movies with them, but Abe and I were so tired that we opted to be boring and stay at home instead. After the girls went down, I lay in bed reading The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which I checked out from the library’s “Lucky Day” collection. That made my day feel appropriately lucky; I want to cook almost everything in the book, and I love all of Deb’s essays and pictures.

During the girls’ naps and quiet time, I made another dent in The Table Comes First. Adam Gopnik’s essays on the intersection of food and culture are gorgeously crafted, but I can’t read them for more than twenty minutes at a time before I fall asleep. I really don’t think that’s a reflection on his writing at all; more likely, my attention span is shortening and my ability to focus is waning. I haven’t finished a book in ages, although I have started plenty.

Here are the pictures from today:

Mary playing while the rest of us lay on the couch in a stupor.

Mary playing while the rest of us lay on the couch in a stupor.

Ten minutes earlier, Abe was in this exact same position with his pj's on when I informed him that we had a houseful of babysitters and had no excuse to not attend the temple today. He agreed, showered, changed, and resumed his former position until it was time to go.

Ten minutes earlier, Abe was in this exact same position with his pj’s on when I informed him that we had a houseful of babysitters and had no excuse not to attend the temple today. He agreed, showered, changed, and resumed his former position until it was time to go.

Mary played the piano this morning.

Mary played the piano this morning.

Aunt Swathi affirmed her talent.

Aunt Swathi affirmed her talent.

We were delighted to come home from the library to find Mary eating in her Bumbo. She was an uncharacteristically great eater today.

We were delighted to come home from the library to find Mary eating in her Bumbo. She was an uncharacteristically great eater today.