Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sweetheart Day 2012

We started this tradition when the kids were little ( Feb.1988, I think - the twins were just 6 years old.)  It began as an "etiquette" night the evening of Valentine's Day; we'd dress up, the boys would greet the girls at the front door with flowers, and take us to a "nicer" restaurant, seat us, order for us, etc.

Now that our children each have his/her very own "Sweetheart," this day has become something a bit more meaningful. We begin by attending the temple, serving as proxy sweethearts, sealing husbands and wives together who did not have the opportunity in mortality. I am overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude as we are there, each dressed in white (a symbol of cleanliness and purity). I thank my good children and husband too for living their lives in such a way as to enable us to experience this together. 

And then Potts treats us all to dinner. This year we chose Olive Garden. We talk and laugh and fill up a little too much. It's SO much fun! Definitely one of my FAVORITE days of the year! We missed you, Jenni, Mark, Emily, and Joe and hope you had a wonderful Sweetheart Day on your own!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Three New Babies!

I'll be Gammie to three new bundles of joy this year!

David and Katie are expecting baby girl #4 at the end of May.

Audrey and Matthew's first is due the end of August or the first of September.

Michael and Desiree have announced their third should arrive sometime in September.

So much to look forward to!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Tabernacle Choir "Tour" to Phoenix

February 10-11, 2012
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square were invited to take part in Arizona's Centennial Celebration. 310 choir members, 65 orchestra members, and 40 staff members participated in this quickee tour of just two and a half days!

We flew out on three commercial flights arriving at the U.S. Airways Center at various times before noon. We were asked to "stay put" until our 3:30 sound check, so Audrey (my adorable roommate for the trip) and I walked around and around the indoor perimeter of the arena chatting merrily and looking longingly out the windows at the warm Arizona sunshine. 

We watched as the arena was made ready...
... and busied ourselves as best we could as we waited patiently for our afternoon sound check.

A time-crunch necessitated a police escort to our hotel for a quick dinner and speedy check-in. 
It was pretty entertaining to watch the seven policemen perform a kind of "leap frog" from intersection to intersection. They stopped traffic so our multiple buses had a clear shot from place to place through the rush-hour traffic.

They performed their duties, then parked and joined us for dinner!
After dinner, we had just enough time to locate our room, throw our bags in...
the view from our room on the ninth floor
... and re-board the buses for our evening concert. People on the streets waved to us as we passed by. 
As I mentioned before, we performed at the U.S. Airways Center.

We performed for over 20.000 people in our two evening concerts. There was a little something for everyone with a mix of hymns, classics, show tunes, and folk tunes. Both events were great, but Saturday's audience was especially excited and appreciative.

Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer's remarked, "The choir is a magical mix of voices and music bound together by abiding faith... We are especially blessed by this concert... One voice doesn't make a choir and one pioneer doesn't make a state, but together their power and beauty grow beyond our imagination," she said. "We are deeply grateful for that wonderful blessing on behalf of the state of Arizona."

Free time until dinnertime! Audrey has many relatives, on the Taylor side of course, who live nearby. Two of Matthew's aunts, his cousin, and grandparents picked us up and treated us to an amazing day.
First a trip to the Zoo. 
(Just in case you are wondering why Audrey and I wore skirts to the zoo -- while we are on tour, we are to dress as missionaries with name tags and all. Besides looking "nice" I think it also helps us remember who we are,  and who we are representing.)

Audrey's Aunt's Lynae and Lynn

Grandma and Grandpa Taylor

I got a kick out of this sign... Hmmm. Go figure.

I think it was nap time for the animals. How do you like this ape under his "Do It Your Self"shade?

This guy was about the only animal awake, and who know, maybe he was asleep too!

After the zoo, lunch at a nearby restaurant culminating with strawberry-topped chocolate cake served as we experienced the Salt River aboard a Pontoon Boat.
Audrey married into a wonderfully kind family!

We finished our festivities just as the Skirt Chaser 5K runners began theirs. What an amazing day!
It was back to the hotel for a rejuvenating nap and dinner -- then off to concert #2.

We flew home early Sunday morning. It was a whirlwind weekend, that's for sure, yet...
so rewarding. 

Thanks, Audrey, for being my roommie! Love you, Sweetheart!