Friday, December 30, 2005

not the only girl any more

For all of my 'growing-up' years, as a little girl, I dreamed of having a sister.

I did love the special attention and protection I got from my big brothers...there are advantages to being the only girl. But I always envied the relationship of sisters.


...I got one!

And now, I have four.

Having idolized my brothers for as long as I can remember, I never thought that they could ever find deserving wives. But as each one of them found amazing, beautiful, patient women, I hoped that they would soon become my sisters...and that my brothers wouldn't lose them or scare them away. Ten years highschool, I never would have guessed that two of my friends would one day mean so much more to me, that we would forever share our lives as sisters. That my friend Kelly really meant it when she hinted that her brother and I should be more than friends.

My sisters add so much to our family...balance, wisdom, perspective, grace, awareness of reality, humor. I am constantly amazed by their unique passions and abilities. Their patience, generosity, wisdom, beauty, discernment. I love having sisters to call when I have questions or just need someone to listen. Lynn, Marianne, Andrea, and Kelly are truly some of closest friends.

And today is my very first sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Lynn! I am so grateful for you. I love the way that you love my brother and my neice and nephew. And I am especially grateful for the way that you have accepted and loved me too.
I love you!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Maya Grace

She weighs 12 ounces, has a beautiful pumping heart, and as you can see....a well developed brain.
Maya really likes to keep her arms and hands up in front of her face, so the ultrasound technician had to 'look through' the arm to get the lovely profile shot above...she also looked through the skull :)

To see more pictures, visit Maya's blog.

Monday, December 19, 2005

feeling sick

I would like to finish wrapping our Christmas presents, send Christmas cards, finish the laundry, make several dozen cookies for Ryan's friends at work, the staff at school, and my celebrate their great performance and for their last class before Christmas. But instead, I'm laying in the couch...feeling miserable.

The pregnancy nausea is over, but my draining sinuses are reviving that sick stomach feeling. My lungs are already a bit cramped for space, and the lack of oxygen flow through my nose is making me more than a little dizzy...and the pressure in my head.... sore throat, aching ears...... the pain and pressure in my lower abdomen from my growing baby makes laying on the couch even more appealing....maybe even necessary.

I'll stop whining now. I only have to work one day this day tomorrow??

Only three more days until our ultra sound....then brother Andy arrives, then Christmas!!! then another week off!!
life is good.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm done!

Last night was my students' final performance of the season. As I mentioned before, I had several.

In fact, just on Monday, a small ensemble of my High School Choir students sang some Christmas medleys and hymns at a dinner for brain injury survivors. It was a small, casual event in a church fellowship hall. Just before we sang, I took the students out a door into another room to warm up. No lights were on, but we could tell by the echo that it was a gym. Since we would just be a minute, I didn't mind the dark, but a couple of students persisted in trying to find the light switch for us. Finally someone found the switch. Only strangely, when he turned it on, the room was not filled with light. Instead, an incessant, loud, and urgent fire alarm sounded. Embarrassed, I re-entered the fellowship hall to seek assistance. I was relieved to find that the incredibly loud noise was not heard in the room of brain injury survivors....just the rest of the building. No one in the building knew what to do, and one of my students figured out how to turn the alarm off. So, we began our concert. My pianist was about to begin the intro to our first song when she called me over to the piano, "Mrs. Corbin, that wouldn't happen to be the fire department out in the parking lot, would it??" It was.

Last night, our concert was not so eventful. It *was* long (5th grade Band, Jr. High Band, High School Band, Middle School Choir, High School Choir, Beginner Strings, Intermediate Strings, Advanced Strings, Kindergarten, and Elementary Choir) Yes,...all in one concert. I was responsible for all but the bands. It was an amazingly complicated production....because of the number of fast stage changes and diverse sound equippment needs, and the sheer number of students involved. Since I was out in front of the stage conducting...with no control over about a hundred of my students waiting back stage, I just prayed that they would all show up on stage at the right time. They did. It was thrilling and exhausting. And just after the lights went out on stage and I was greeting my family and students' parents with smiles, I exclaimed into my (still on) microphone, "I'm Done!!"

With aching feet and a sore back, I crashed into bed as soon as I arrived home. And this morning, I received the most wonderful surprise phone call at 6:00 AM.
A snow day.
And so far, this is what I've done...

...finally, ten wonderful hours spent here...

...and almost two hours spent here...

...with this...

...and this.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Things I thought of blogging about but never did...(a month's worth of blogs)

...a really fun Thanksgiving with my family. I was going to post more pictures, but I like my brother's better anyways. of my very favorite stories by my beloved Jane Austen was made once again into a beautiful film. Every year for Thanksgiving, the Rudds have begun a tradition of seeing a movie together at the theater (something we NEVER did growing up... In fact, the first movie we ever saw together as a family may have been one of the "Lord of the Rings" movies). This year, we saw Pride and Prejudice. The story was fresh in my mind since I just re-read it this summer. I loved it. I thought the characters, especially the Bennet family, were perfectly true to the book. However, my husband, who never really liked the idea of seeing a Jane Austen movie as our big family Movie, was not so impressed. Brother Andrew captures his sentiments quite well..."Ryan was the firm dissenter -- with a somewhat valid analysis that fully half of the movie had been shots of Mirrors and Long-Shots-of-Walking-Through-Fields. It was cinematic! I argued. Watch this! he countered, and slowly pretended to walk through a pretend field. Look at me! I'm cinematic! I'm artsy! I'm full of longing and despair and breadth of spirit!"

...Christmas tree lights and 'couch night.' Once the tree is up, we spend the first night of the new 'season' together on the couches (pushed together). We fall asleep admiring the glowing yellow light and we imagine all the strangers driving by commenting on how happy and warm our house looks. They must be filled with envy.

...December 1st. Four years ago, Ryan talked me (and Mandy) into leaving our school work and my RA responsibilities at Cedarville and driving home with him for the weekend. We had a perfect date that ended in a life changing question. On the boardwalk in Grand Haven, we shivered, and Ryan got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. I knew then, that I would love being married to him. But I couldn't have known then, how deeply I would love him. This December 1st, we sat in a blue doctor's office and listened to our baby's heart beating. afternoon Strings concert at the Art Museum. This week, I brought all forty of my strings students to the Muskegon Museum of Art to perform a special Christmas Concert for the annual "Festival of Trees."
After a terrible rehearsal on Wednesday, I was not looking forward to our public performance on Thursday. I was missing half of my advanced class for our final rehearsal, and because of Thanksgiving, we hadn't had class since the middle of November!
But despite my doubt and fear, on the stage, they were amazing. They performed with more maturity and musicianship than ever before. I've never heard them produce such a full, and truly beautiful sound. I was more than a little proud. Watching them grow and become more independent and skilled is so rewarding. This season filled with performances (7 during December, 16 if you count each performing group seperately) fills me with anxiety and stress, causes me to lose nights of sleep, but mostly, it reminds me of why I love teaching music. At the end of each concert, I am so proud and thankful for my kids... last night. Five of my oldest string players provided dinner entertainment at our School Staff Christmas Party. Knowing they would need to be independent of me at the dinner, I told them they were on their own for practices too. More than a few dinner guests mistook them for professional, hired musicians. As I ate my whitefish, I listened intently, and smiled again with pride.

...our new 'family vehicle.' Ryan is violently opposed to becoming a minivan owner, but we needed a more dependable car and with a baby coming, we decided on a station wagon. I've been feeling really spoiled in the warm heated, leather seats of our Passat wagon., I am enjoying a peaceful Saturday, watching the snow fall. Ryan is enjoying drugged slumber, lightly snoring on the couch. Benedryl sends him immediately to sleep...the only place where he can find respite from his itching skin. Marianne diagnosed him with hives last allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin he has been taking for a sinus infection. He looks truly pathetic. His eyes are swollen and his face is covered with a bumpy red rash. In fact there are painful looking red bumps all over his body. I'm miserable just watching his pain. My poor baby.