Mr. Darcy comes to Spartanburg

One of my favorite movies of all times is Pride and Prejudice-the scenery, the dialogue, the music! Love it! So when I read that Dario Marianelli, the composer of the movie’s original score, was coming to Spartanburg for a concert, I flipped! Swoonworthy music performed by an orchestra? The dormant violinist in me was jealous and wishing I could play, too. (Can we say “orchestra geek”? The phrase “this one time, at orchestra camp…” comes to mind!) And not just any music, but a world premiere (just sayin’)! Marianelli arranged the various pieces from the movie into one suite, and the results were breathtaking. For someone who still gets chills at the scene where Mr. Darcy crosses the field to get to Elizabeth, just hearing that music makes the hairs on my arms stand up. It doesn’t hurt that I bought the soundtrack on iTunes and know each song’s name and when it was played in the movie. OK, I just solidified my geek status, but I’m OK with that.

Not only were we treated to the music from Pride and Prejudice, but they also performed music from the movie Atonement, which Marianelli also scored. So it was kind of a double bonus (for you NCAA basketball fans). And the Atonement music did not disappoint, either (unlike the movie-ugh)–highlights included a typewriter used as percussion (so creative) and the singing of a hymn by a male chorus simultaneous with the orchestra to evoke the feeling of the Battle of Dunkirk. I left the concert impressed and pleasantly surprised that our small town could host such amazing talent.

Which brings up an interesting question: I felt compelled to attend the concert but had to rationalize going and spending time away from my family on a Saturday night. Why is that? And had my mom and a friend not wanted to go with me, would I have gone alone? I have learned that I still need to make time for me and my interests…but it’s easier to do that now that the kids are a bit older. Geez, I remember the days when I could hardly go to the bathroom without interruption!

So, friends, what things are you making time for in your busy schedule or better yet, SHOULD be making time for and maybe aren’t?

Strange times

Some life-altering things have been happening all around me, and some not so nearby but calling me to contemplate what is important. My father-in-law’s tumor and his surgery last week. A recent diagnosis of prostate cancer for a church friend. A newborn baby with Down’s. A dear friend’s impending divorce and the nastiness of it all. And the Cleveland Park train derailment in my hometown where tragically one 6 year old boy died and 28 mostly kids) were injured. That news hits any parent right in the gut, but somehow blew me away when I think of my sweet 6 year old boy. And then there is Japan. 18,000 people estimated dead or missing. I can’t make heads of everything swirling around me. It is almost too much to bear.

And yet…all around me are the signs of spring. New buds blooming, birds incessantly chirping, warmer temps, pollen (OK, can live without that one). Rebirth. How coincidental that all this soul searching and wondering what’s going on with the world just so happens to take place during Lent. After driving home from the gym two days ago, I just sat in my driveway and did nothing. For like 10 minutes (but it felt like much longer). Not long ago, I would have chastised myself for that time being “wasted.” Now, it counts as one of the most productive moments of my day. Or the time I carve out for reading during Taylor’s piano lesson while Jared plays on the playground. An impromptu walk with the dog. A catch-up phone call with a friend.

You know, we’re all so busy spinning our hamster wheels that we can’t even take a second to slow down and think. Pray. Give thanks. Put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. Try it. It’s amazing the peace and clarity that can come from those few minutes of stillness. Agreed, it works best if you aren’t in a crowd of strangers (a surefire way to get some strange looks) or trying to do this with the kids (heck, trying to do anything moderately productive with kids in tow is questionable, right?) But I am finding that my faith, my peace-heck, my very sanity- hinge on it.

I just started a new book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. What drew me to the book (besides the recommendation of a friend) was the subtitle: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I’ll admit, when given the choice between truth or dare, I usually chose truth. But boy, dares really get my attention. Because implicit in them is the notion that “you can’t do this.” Granted, I don’t believe that Voskamp is meaning that-but nevertheless, isn’t it human nature to want to rise up to the challenge of a dare? She writes, “How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes dark? What is God providing here and now?”  Finding a way to be grateful is hard, especially when we are reeling from the punches of life. So like Voskamp, I’m starting my own gratitude journal-a beginning on my journey to 1,000 gifts-which I hope to share with you from time to time. For now, I am grateful that I live in a country where I am free to write whatever comes to mind and put it out there in a blog and pretend that some people out there are interested in what I have to say. It’s empowering and thrilling.

So, dear friends, what are you grateful for?


Hello again…miss me?

After an unintentional hiatus, I am back to blogging and (coincidentally) just in time for Lent. Most people choose to give something up for Lent but I’ve never been into that. Kinda like my outlook on resolutions. Rather, I like the idea of taking on something new for Lent. Not that blogging is new to me, but instead I can take on the task of blogging more regularly. Even if I am afraid the mundane, everyday trials of a full time mom and part-time lawyer might be less than scintillating reading. But if you wanted that, you’d be following Charlie Sheen’s tweets (seriously, didn’t expect I would mention that freakshow but it fits).

So last week my baby boy turned 6 (sniff). Yes, I did shed a tear or two because 1) that’s how I roll and 2) there seems to be a big maturity difference between 5 and 6. Imagine how I’ll be this summer when Taylor turns 10! Anyway, we decided to do a birthday party at home. What was I thinking, you might ask? Well, apparently I wasn’t. Because cleaning your house for a birthday party only to see your work undone in minutes is SOOO much fun! But we couldn’t decide on a venue for the festivities, and since he has become an Indiana Jones addict, I thought we could do an Indiana Jones-inspired scavenger hunt. Which requires being outdoors. And, you guessed it, despite being sunny all week, Saturday arrived with clouds and rain. (Should have known better when on one of his previous birthdays, it snowed!) Amazingly, it didn’t deter the under-10 set from the snake pit, archaeological dig, and mummy wrap. And it didn’t hurt that my daughter became the party planner and took charge! Overall, you can say it is a success when your kid says “best day ever” at the end of the day.

Happy Birthday, Jarbear!

%d bloggers like this: