A perfect ending

I started off the day with an 8am session of Bikram Yoga. It felt awesome, and I hit 180 minutes of exercise this week! When I saw my doctor last week, he said to shoot for 150 minutes, so it felt really great to meet that goal.

I also finished the Book of Mormon yesterday, so I started again on the title page today. I have been thinking a lot about truth, courage, and missionary work lately. Missionary work confuses me, but thinking about it in terms of absolute truths helps me understand it a little better. Finishing and restarting a reading of the Book of Mormon always gets the juices flowing around truth, so my scripture study felt meaningful.

I even got some practice in, although my piano is by a huge window and can NEVER stay in tune. Right now it’s so out of tune I almost shudder to hear some registers (especially the upper), but I pressed on (!) through the awful sounds.

We also played in the snow today. Abe is sure that by the end of winter we will have a full blown snow fort, so he and the girls worked hard on it today:

Working hard on the snow fort.

Working hard on the snow fort.

Mary was at the ready.

Mary was at the ready.

And happy about it.

And happy about it.

:Lydia busied herself decorating the ground with snow angels.

:Lydia busied herself decorating the ground with snow angels.

The snow fort.

The snow fort.

We also went to This is the Place Heritage Park for their Candlelight Christmas with Balu, Tom, Suzanne, Steve, Charlie and Henry. We walked all over, sampling gingerbread, square dancing, learning about the first Christmas cards, signing Santa’s lists, meeting Santa, eating the best doughnuts I have ever had, and feeling moved by the live Nativity. Lydia spent the whole day anticipating the Baby Jesus and kept talking about how she would be quiet and not wake him, how she’d give him a binky, and how she’d take off her gloves when she saw him (I have no idea about that last part, but she was adamant…). Anyway, I love that place. To make it even better, at the end, Abe bought me a new wedding ring!!! I can only wear a plain band in my lab classes, and we found a plain silver band for $14.50!!!!!! It fit perfectly, and since I’ll probably wear it for the next decade, I could not be more pleased.

Mary Berry in her poof outfit. She toddled all around the park in this and kind of stole the show.

Mary Berry in her poof outfit. She toddled all around the park in this and kind of stole the show.

When I came home, I baked more cookies.

I baked a forest of bittersweet chocolate Christmas trees. Now if I can just get around to packaging them and giving them away before I eat them all...

I baked a forest of bittersweet chocolate Christmas trees. Now if I can just get around to packaging them and giving them away before I eat them all…

Oh! I made another pint of lemon curd today. I think I’m going to make this for Christmas brunch. It just so happens I have a lot of mascarpone and now a ton of lemon curd in the fridge already. Now I just have to make a million crepes and it’ll be all downhill from there.

And now, my mom is here!!! So I’m going to stop blogging and go talk to her.

Of snowmen and Christmas concerts

Lydia woke up this morning screaming for chicken nuggets, which is especially funny since she’s only had them once (when we were desperate on a road trip over a year ago), and she threw them up an hour later. Abe and I spent the rest of the morning in a tired fog, and I lay in bed procrastinating my final project until noon.

We did, however, work in a Skype visit with my mom and grandma, during which they watched Lydia run through the extra-elaborate obstacle course Abe set up this morning. While he was setting it up, I was lying in bed. He kept coming over and asking for pillow after pillow until he sheepishly asked for the last one. I lay flat on my pillowless perch until we Skyped. It was pretty funny.

After I finally typed up my final, we slowly collected ourselves for our afternoon errands. Just as we were about to get in the car, Abe tested the snow and asked if he could have ten more minutes to build a snowman with the girls. Um, of course!

Building.

Building.

Bonding.

Bonding.

 

The finished product

The finished product.

Then we swung by the library and went clothes shopping for Abe. His new job is much more casual than his current job, and most of Abe’s casual clothes date back to college, high school, or even (in some choice cases), middle school. We bought him two pairs of jeans and a shirt. It’s a start.

Then we came home, and I vacuumed the most offensively dirty carpets in the house while Abe got dinner ready and fed the girls. We then rushed to bathe the girls because guess what? A couple days ago, Misty called and offered us some tickets to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert at the Conference Center. Misty is the kind of friend you want to have.

We gleefully accepted her kind offer, and tonight we had such a wonderful time at the concert. The Church pulls out all the stops for its Christmas concert, and there are just no words to communicate the feast this event is for the eyes, ears, and heart. John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in Lord of the Rings) and Deborah Voigt were spectacular. John Rhys-Davies narrated the tale of how Charles Dickens came up with A Christmas Carol, and at one point he and another actor flew across the 20,000 audience members. He also read Luke 2…I wish I had a recording, because I would just play that on Christmas and call the rest of the holiday good. Deborah Voigt’s voice had me crying in song #1, and Richard Elliot’s arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman on the organ was as acrobatic as it was, in John Rhys-Davies’ words, “pure genius.”

The program

The program

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After our joyful experience at the concert, Abe and I went about the more pragmatic task of grocery shopping. But hey, at 10pm, it felt kind of like an extension of our date. I’ll take it!

An attempt at an Abe-centric post–and a video!!!

While I was trying Abe’s patience yet again this afternoon, obsessing over the question, “Am I or am I not a narcissist?” (the fact that this question consumes me on an almost daily basis seems to point to the rather unfortunate, albeit clear, answer…), he did mention that he doesn’t show up much in my blog.

AGHHH!! SO I REALLY AM ONE!!! My sweet husband, who has never said a negative thing about anyone, did not answer my question directly, but instead mildly noted his absence in my posts.

So today, instead of recording the details of my life that feel important to me (such as the fact that I am going to bed in the same outfit I wore yesterday, last night, and all day today, with the only difference being that from last night on I have not enjoyed the support of a bra), today I am determined to focus on the love of my life, my husband.

He is a wonderful dad, a perfect husband, and is in every way a superior human being to myself; it is therefore extremely unfortunate that he doesn’t show up more in this chronicle of our life. This blog would be a cheerier, holier, funnier place with more Abe and less Lily.

I give you this video of his evening with the girls. They set up an obstacle course, and by the time this video was filmed, the girls had run the course at least three times. Mary was all giggles, squeals, and smiles for rounds 1-3, but in the video she was a wee bit tired and more easily frustrated. My favorite part is at minute 4:14, where you can hear Abe direct Lydia to put a pillow under Mary’s perch so Mary doesn’t plummet and hurt herself. He and I think so differently, sometimes…Anyway, here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcDbnDf1RUg&feature=youtu.be

And here are the pictures from my day. I wish I had pictures from Abe’s, but in lieu of photographic evidence, here’s what he did, as far as I know: He went to work. He came home. He listened to me talk his ear off about myself. He watched the kids. He cleaned the house. He worked on his computer. He listened to me play the piano and provided great feedback. And right now he’s exhausted, so here I go posting my pictures for real, now:

Lydia insisted on wearing her owl costume today.

Lydia insisted on wearing her owl costume today.

She also wore an apron I decorated when I was little. (We rolled, cut out, and baked the rest of Monday's cookie dough today.)

She also wore an apron I decorated when I was little. (We rolled, cut out, and baked the rest of Monday’s cookie dough today.)

 

Mary was a little clingy today.

Mary was a little clingy today.

Mary sat with Lydia at the kid table for the first time today. This delighted both girls to no end.

Mary sat with Lydia at the kid table for the first time today. This delighted both girls to no end.

Before I took the girls outside...Mary was having trouble balancing.

Before I took the girls outside, Mary was having trouble balancing.

Can you see the beginnings of the snow fort Abe helped them start building? They LOVE it!

Can you see the beginnings of the snow fort Abe helped them start building? They LOVE it!

Before her nap, Lydia took a look at my feet and furrowed her brow. Then she said, "Actually, Mama, can I have one of your striped socks?" I acquiesced and handed over both for good measure. Minutes later she emerged from her bedroom with both of my socks on. In the video, you can see them dragging.

Before her nap, Lydia took a look at my feet and furrowed her brow. Then she said, “Actually, Mama, can I have one of your striped socks?” I acquiesced and handed over both for good measure. Minutes later she emerged from her bedroom with both of my socks on. She wore them for the rest of the day. In the video, you can see them dragging (until she pulls them off at the end of the clip).

Abe pretended to be an elephant before setting up the obstacle course. Here are the girls running away from the big, scary elephant.

Abe pretended to be an elephant before setting up the obstacle course. Here are the girls running away from the big, scary elephant.