Sunday, December 09, 2007

Let There be Peace on Earth...

The months of November and December bring so much anticipation and happiness. I love singing Christmas songs with my students; decorating my house with warm lights, gold ribbon, and deep red cranberries. This time of year also gives me an excuse to spend extra time (and money--which is also fun) thinking about the people I love and trying to find thoughtful gifts to show them how much they are known and loved. I'm feeling childishly silly anticipating my brother's family coming to stay in our new house with us, my parents' house filled with many of the people I love most, all of the Corbins sitting around the Christmas tree in our red flannel pajamas...awaiting our presents and our Christmas morning feast, Bing Crosby singing 'White Christmas', burning candles, Lynn's cookies, Marianne's Finnish Coffee bread, wrapping paper and ribbon....

And this year, Christmas has also brought new joys...telling Maya the story of baby Jesus over and over again as we open the doors of our 'house' (Advent Calendar) each day, hearing her walk around the house talking about the 'babies'(always plural) the 'sheep' and the 'shep-sheps' the 'WISE' and 'Mare-mare' and 'Jose.' She particularly loves the Angel that is known as 'Do-Do' (also the name of her beloved Grandma Go-Go). I think the angel in our nativity set got her name for the song she
is always singing...."Glo----------ria, in excelsis deo...' Maya has also picked up on the Santa/ St. Nicholas Christmas themes....marching around yelling 'HO, HO, HO, Merr--.' She loves filling in the blanks as we read...
"Twas the night before __________,
and all through the ________,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a _______!
The _______ were hung
by the ______ (she thinks it's 'chin' and she points to own) with care..."

But November and December also bring a lot of chaos, stress, and extra work. I'm right in the middle of the long string of Christmas performances (and this year, I also added an overnight Choir trip last week).
This week will bring the last of the performances... Thursday night, my Elementary choir will sing, the strings will play prelude in the hall, and my High School and Middle School Choirs will perform. Saturday, the West Shore Symphony's Home for the Holidays matinee concert at the Frauenthal will end the chaos for me.

And then, peace?

There's other chaos too. Deeper, darker worries. People. I guess relationships and communities hold far greater destructive and wounding potential than responsibilities and full calendars could ever hold. Those work 'stresses' seem light and silly this year... in the shadow of so much loss and pain and disappointment around me.

But I do have hope. I think that's the point of Advent. Waiting, feeling the depth of our need. Recognizing the hopelessness... and still hoping because of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

our holidays are full of music...

Sometimes, the Rudds may ever so slightly resemble that family from the movie, 'Dan in Real Life.'

Okay, maybe the resemblance isn't all that some of the in-laws are saying....

I'm not suggesting that we actually have 'shows' at every holiday, or that we all sometimes might just break out into 4, 5, & 6 part 'harmony' by the piano....

It might happen though.

Either way, here are some of the most beautiful musical moments from the holidays so far (Rudd and Corbins alike)...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our November Escape...

...just a few weeks ago to Boyne Mountain Resort. Clearly, this weekend adventure could never replace that deep emptiness and longing to be at the cabin--which we missed this year. But the drive north still seemed right in the fall.

We bought (practically stole) a weekend in this beautiful condo that no one else had placed a bid the Symphony's Gala auction last spring. It turned out to be big enough for three families, but perfectly cozy enough for our little family. There were three large bedrooms with four more double beds (besides our King-size in the master suite) and three full bathrooms. Sorry we didn't bring you.

Maya loved the slides at the indoor waterpark at the resort--the little "Lyellow!" one in the kiddie area and the big swirly one that she and daddy climbed to the top of the tower to ride. She still talks about the "pool" and all the "wah-wah". She sort of whispers about the "slah" (slide) now, with big serious eyes...a sort of reverent, hushed excitement.
We were prepared for her to be not quite old enough to appreciate this place, but she loved it...we had to tear her away when her fingers started turning blue.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why I haven't posted in a while...

We've been busy practicing.

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

Thanks Anne for the fun link!

Seriously though, I'll post more soon. I only had enough energy/interest for this.
But the more I watch Ryan's slick moves, the more certain I am that it was time well spent.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I think I'm falling in love with October.

Maybe it's the excitement and hope of Advent and's in the near future. It's close enough to start rehearsing Christmas music with my students, to day dream about my Christmas tree, red wreaths of berries, draping garlands and stockings around our new banister, wrapping gifts with lots of ribbon...of making new and meaningful traditions with Maya, teaching her the story and all the beauty of what it means.

I can already imagine that feeling of timelessness of sitting in my parents' house with my brothers and sisters feeling full and warm. And yet it's still distant enough that there's no sense of urgency or worry about all the holiday performances, shopping, schedules, and the worst part of all....when it's over. But that won't happen for months! It's still just October.

And I'm falling in love with October for it's own merits too. Fall has been rising on my 'favorite season' scale for the last few years. Mostly for all the sappy and predictable reasons...falling leaves, yellow sun and cold wind, sweaters, pumpkins, candles, cinnamon....
But also, by October, the school year is settling into a more comfortable, rewarding routine. I'm remembering again how deeply I love getting to know my students and to see the ways they surprise and delight me daily. I also love fall meals... the warmth and comfort of potatoes and carrots that have been cooking all day. Apple cider. And apple pie.

I even baked my first pie...ever. From scratch with fresh honey crisp apples from the farmers market. I think I'll try a pumpkin pie next.

The most recent October highlight was hours and hours with my Mandy. Maya was so excited that Mandy was coming to our house, that ever since she came...Mandy is referred to as "House."
We're still working on that.

But after Maya settled down from her marathon peek-a-boo game, her 101 stories, songs, and her impressive display of every trick she knows, she went to bed....and Mandy and I sipped coffee at Barnes & Noble, shared a hot apple dumpling with whipped cream, came back home and talked till the early morning. There really isn't another person on Earth that knows me the way she does.
She seems to 'get' me in ways that I don't even 'get' myself. And as we talk, she affirms so many things that I've been thinking and feeling...and yet she also makes me think about things in new ways too. After more than 20 years of friendship, and sharing mostly the same life-experiences and influences, she still surprises me and challenges my ways of seeing the world. Though I long to see her all the time, I'm still somehow surprised each time by how much I needed her conversation and presence. She is one of the wisest, most beautiful, fascinating people I know....she even ran a half-marathon today!
And I miss her already. Ohio seems to steal a lot of people I love.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I love to collect little swatches of fabric...certain that someday I'll make something wonderful with them.

I found these ones today online. It's not quite the same as the real thing. But...

...sometimes it just takes color and texture and print to make my heart race a little...