Family Photos

I met up with the C family the other weekend for a photo shoot in their backyard. We had a lot of fun playing under the willow tree, rolling around in the grass, and since they live right on a little pond we got some great photos hanging out on the dock. I hadn't seen little A since she was just a few months old, so it was a real treat to see how she has developed into an adorable one year old - who is just starting to stand on her own! R is such an energetic and curious boy - showing me snails he caught in the pond, gathering up the biggest sticks he could find, and swinging from the branches of the willow. No one can make A laugh like her big brother. Just about all the smiles you see in the photos below are thanks to him! C family, I hope you enjoyed the photo shoot as much as I did!

Enjoy the slideshow! (If your computer can handle it you can up it to 1080p HD with the little button at the bottom that appears once the video starts. And I recommend getting rid of that ugly ad that appears across the bottom).

i SAW that!

Have you seen what we've been up to lately at the Pierson house? A couple weeks ago our bathroom looked like this:
old door removed, new door waiting in line ; )
And that's still what it looked like when my mom came to visit for a few days!
But we quickly remedied that with a little help from this (purchased off of Craigslist for just $70, and will double up to help Denny on the farm):
trusty little lamp helped out too
Look at those teeth!
After a little fun in the garage with sawdust,

and a lot of help from Denny,

Notice his awesome $1 glasses! I love them! : )
This was before E found his trusty safety goggles -- Mary's reading glasses worked pretty well!
We have one new perfectly trimmed door! Although we are having trouble with the bathroom frame apparently swelling every day as sometimes the door will close and other times it won't. But we don't really want to close the door yet anyway as we are still handle-less and could easily find ourselves stuck inside! Hopefully we will tackle that project this weekend.

Any door-hanging sleuths out there? If you have any tips of the trade we'd love to hear them as we have 5 more doors to replace in the coming months!

Question: does anyone know how to add an audio clip to a blog? Evan thought it would be fun to upload a song from the Doors to this post... clever, eh?

**Interested in reading up on our great bathroom project? Here's how our spontaneity almost got us in over our heads! The middle of this post shows Evan the bathroom tiler hard at work. And here is some more background on the early stages of our homeownership -- and you can see us (and my dad) donning our plumbing hats!

Sounds of Music

When I go to concerts, whether they be local men's choirs, college gospel singers, or professional performers, I am always struck by the fact that these individuals who just spent hours (and often months) rehearsing and perfecting their music, are actually in the act of saying goodbye as the song is born to my ears for the first time.

I first became conscious of this paradox when I was in seventh grade playing violin with the Strings Preperatory Orchestra in Princeton, NJ. We spent months working on difficult pieces like Tchaikovski's Marche Slave -- working on fingering, bowings, dynamics, difficult passages, and bringing it all together with the full orchestra. We were so wrapped up in preparing the piece that it wasn't until I was sitting in my chair at the concert about to perform a difficult passage that I'd remember "hey, this is my last chance at this run!" This revelation always came with a sense of surprise, because who thinks about saying goodbye when you are rehearsing to bring it to life for the first time? You may play the piece someday in the future, but the truth is that at that moment you are saying goodbye to that piece of music as you know it right then -- with those musicians beside you, the late night rehearsals behind you, those ears and eyes in the audience, even who you are at that time in your life -- you are saying goodbye the moment you deliver it to the world. As you speed through the familiar stanzas, all the discussions and jokes that occurred with those pages opened on your stand play through your head one last time -- you barely have a chance to absorb the fact this is your final moment with the piece when you nail that final chord. The music lingers in the air; you can feel it leave your strings, your bow, the crowded warmth that was its home, and stretch out to feed the audience.... applause.

I was inspired by these thoughts while listening to Evan's latest Minnesota Valley Men's Chorale concert a few weeks ago and jotted some notes down in one of my many notebooks I carry around with me (more on that someday later). One of Evan's favorite pieces from this most recent concert is "Sure on this Shining Night" by Morten Lauridsen (arr. by their conductor, Steven Boehlke). I'm pretty sure Evan will never fully say goodbye to this piece as it is one of his favorites. (Evan is in the middle -- can you find him?)

Last weekend Evan and I buzzed down to Northfield to enjoy my sister Sarah's concert with the St. Olaf Gospel Choir. What an enthusiastic and spirited group! (Sarah is the third from the right in the second row)


Last fall Evan's choir concert had a special treat: Mary Wilson, world-famous soprano opera singer and daughter to the conductor (also a graduate of St. Olaf!), graced us all with her presence, and beautiful voice! Here is a slideshow I made with some of my favorite nature photos taken throughout the past few years - and the wonderful voice of Mary Wilson in All is Well. (You may need to turn the volume up as it starts much softer than the previous gospel clip).

I promise it won't be so long before I post again! I have some photos to compile to show you what we've been up to!

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