End of Vacation

Okay, so technically my vacation ended yesterday morning, when I went back to work. But I had off this afternoon and evening and I ran errands (target-Christmas décor, toiletries, etc), did some baking (morning glory muffins and pumpkin bread), some meal prep for the week ahead (pasta, quinoa), laundry, and oh…now I’m exhausted just reading about it all. I should have been like, reading and relaxing. Maybe I can do that next!

Tomorrow starts a two week stretch of what is looking to be somehow the busiest two weeks of the year. Let’s take my normal teaching schedule, stop it at 6:30 but move some people earlier, and then add a Broadway show every night and four on the weekend, plus two church services. And voila, you have a ridiculous schedule, BUT one that I’m really looking forward to. I had a blast playing a Broadway show last year, and I’m excited to be in the pit for the King and I. After that it’s only one more really busy week, one week finishing up, and then…TWO weeks of vacation. Two glorious weeks.

But my house looks awesome. I’m thrilled I got the place decorated for Christmas this year.

Thanksgiving went well. My two pies were a giant success, and I wish I could eat pie every day. Yes, my crusts are ugly. If I made pie more often I’m sure I’d be better at them, but I have enough problems with my weight!

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Everybody seemed to love both pies though. Should I share the recipes? Is anybody reading?

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Thanksgiving plate and a terrible picture of the table…

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We went for a walk in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day—over to Forest Park and by the ice rink, where there was a giant snow pile.

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Christmas decorations. I finally decorated with a tree for the first time since my divorce. I’d always had a tree since I graduated from school, but then the first year on my own I didn’t bother, and then Louie had never done one, so he didn’t care at all…and a few years went by. This year I got in the holiday spirit early with a Messiah gig and I said, you know what, I’m doing it. I got a new artificial tree (I actually love them, plus since I’m traveling over the actual holiday it’s just way easier to deal with) and found all my ornament and decoration boxes, and boom! The tree arrived Wed, and then I woke up Friday morning and decorated it, and now we (and all my students!) will enjoy it all month long.

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It’s weird…for the first while after my divorce I felt like nothing in life was quite real or permanent, but now I feel grounded, like I know where my life is going, and I’m happy with it, and I’m busy working and loving it, and I have so much Christmas stuff happening, and I’m just really in the right mood. I feel happiest when I’m on the busier side, even though I cherish downtime…and being so busy just feels more festive somehow. It’s also been challenging working through everything with Louie and making our holiday traditions work together, and all of that baggage that comes with dating somebody who already had decades of life without you. It’s not easy, but it’s well worth it, and I’m so thankful for him. And though he doesn’t care as much about the tree, he thinks it’s fun and he sees that it brings me joy.

We’re giving this guy back tonight sometime. It’s been fun having an extra dog around.

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Both are named Louie.

So there you have it, some serious thoughts, some fun thoughts. Oh, and I did this yesterday…so much fun!

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It’s weird, being a freelance musician. You want to talk about work, but sometimes it feels weird or awkward. ESPECIALLY on social media, because you don’t want to be bragging or making people jealous, but I like to share what my life is like. So many people look down on freelance musicians, teachers, musicians in general, and I sometimes let that bother me, but the truth is, I kind of love what I do. My students are generally awesome people (and often hilarious), I work with other great musicians (especially with the quartet, but across the board), and I get to do all kinds of different things in my day to day life. It’s a struggle sometimes, the schedule, the sheer amount of things to do, keeping track of expenses and deductions and accounts, keeping up on practicing, BUT it’s worth it overall.  At least I try to convince myself of that Winking smile

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