Photo Attempts

I played around with my new camera today. Knowing nothing about photography, I have no idea what I was doing, other than pressing buttons. But here are a few that I took. Working at Williams-Sonoma has its perks, like free leftover garlands from Williams Sonoma Home. I'm sure they were gastly expensive because they're beautiful!

Cool Garland...




Christmas is for Children

Truly. Children were indeed the highlight of this year's holiday. (And next Christmas, we'll have Baby No. 2!)

What excitement!
Meredith and church friend Solomon.

Grandma Spiehler and Baby Avery

Cole takes his Christmas seriously!

The Not So Little Anymore Cousin

Mr. Hot Stuff Brandon

Merry Christmas!

Note: I received a digital camera for Christmas. So I'm patting myself on the back for figuring out how to download pictures without help!

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Even Santa Needs A Break.

There's a new little shop called Cafe de Meemo in the Keystone mall. It's now my new favorite break spot because it's harder to find (ie. quiet!), serves coffee at a discount for mall employees, and has a great comfy sofa.

I'm not the only employee who likes this place. Santa Claus came in while I was enjoying my lunch the other day. Santa drinks decaf.


Christmas Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti: my contribution to Amy's cookie party. Biscotti isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of "Christmas cookie," but I thought they'd be an interesting addition to the other sugar cut-outs and gingerbread. I dipped the ends in chocolate for a special touch. :) I've never made biscotti before, but I think they turned out all right - a keeper recipe. I also set aside some extras and packaged them up with boxes of coffee and tea for professors. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out - even if it took forever!



So does anyone think that keeping a blog for several years counts on a resume as having published articles?


Didn't think so...


Updating you on my life.

In case you cared...

1. Got through my last piano jury! No disasters, heart still beating, living to tell about it...

2. Continually surprised by students. One in particular gave me a VERY nice Christmas gift that I was not expecting. Apparently the mother likes my work...

3. The Holiday: Great movie, although not recommended for young viewers - too much ahems. Love how it emphasizes the stories people have to tell about themselves. I've got a story, you've got a story, we all need someone to listen to them. This movie is about stories and the people who listen - in the most unlikely places. Well written. I'm impressed: Jude Law can actually portray a decent human being.

4. Bad Alma Mater! Is there still hope for the tourney?

5. If you don't know what to get me for Christmas, here are some ideas. Don't tell me... I know I'm pathetic.


Christmas Listening

Finally! Someone who sings the best version of In A Bleak Midwinter! Christina Rossetti's classic poem has found its match! It's a tune that is absolutely gorgeous and frequently overlooked. I haven't heard this particular tune since junior high when our children's choir director turned it into a four-part chorale.

I'm not usually a Sarah McLachlan fan (her theology is questionable), but this album might change my mind. It's not just another Christmas solo album, trust me! She has an amazing range of at least two octaves and while there's still a celtic twist to her music, the album is more than pleasant. Great for a quiet evening with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

Why Wintersong? Three great reasons:
1) Tradition
- What Child is This?, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, Silent Night, In A Bleak Midwinter
2) Jazz
- I'll Be Home for Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Christmas Time is Here (with a great piano accompaniment by Diana Krall. I want to play like that!)
3) Folk
-John Lennon: Happy Xmas, Joni Mitchell: River, Sarah McLachlan: Wintersong, Gordon Lightfoot: Song For A Winter's Night