You are all the kindest, sweetest, most supportive bloggy friends anyone ever had. Seriously. Best Christmas present ever! Thank you. Singing is something I've always done. My first public performance was a duet with my sister at a baptism. It was a large audience, and we were probably 8 or 9. We've sung together and apart ever since. (If you know what CES broadcasts are, I was a soloist in May 2001, when Elder Eyring spoke at the University of Idaho.) But something happened when we got older. The funny thing about being a twin is that people are wild to find some difference between you too. It became "Ohhh....Lolo sings and you play, right?" Over the years, that's exactly what would happen, and I've become the go-to accompanist for most music events I've involved in. It's probably partially on my own head, since I never ask for a chance to sing. I want to change that, and use the talents the Lord has given me. I hope you'll come along for the journey this coming year!
***Random music rant: I took FOUR YEARS of piano lessons from my mother, ages 8-12. After that I just picked up whatever music I could find to play, and kept being asked to accompany choirs and soloists. I had to improve in a hurry. However, I shouldn't be the go-to accompanist! Where is everybody else? All those millions of kids who took piano lessons? We need you! End of rant. :) ****
OK, on to crafty stuff!
I sent off this little package for a "traditions swap" through Meg McElwee at Sew Liberated. I was excited that I got my name in on time- it's a popular swap, and limited slots. I was paired with Jenny from Little Jenny Wren. I felt OK about everything until I visited her blog- sakes alive, the woman is a doll-making genius. Genius, I say. Makes you want to cry with joy just to look at the little waldorf-style girls and boys that come out of her busy little work shop.
I sent Jenny a stuffed and embroidered door-hanger, a letter detailing some of our favorite family traditions and how to do them, and a few of my favorite recipes. The requirements said holiday recipes...but my sister agreed with me, we don't really have any holiday recipes. We always have hot cider in the crock pot, with a few cinnamon sticks and maybe a clove-studded orange bobbing in there. There's always red Jell-O for Uncle K. Other than that, it's all up for grabs. One year we had beef wellington. Lots of years we have ham with scalloped potatoes. Often those scalloped potatoes came from a box. It's not that my family doesn't cook, it's just that at holiday time there are so many other things to do...fancy recipes seem a little onerous. Heck, ANY recipe seems onerous! So we have the years where everyone spends days preparing a single dish to share, and we have years with boxed scalloped potatoes and an oven-warmed Costco ham. The tradition is that we share the meal. We share our time. I think that's a pretty good tradition, don't you?
(This year was ham, but I hosted so I made the scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, quinoa salad, and french bread. And of course, dessert was Grandma's Miracle Cobbler, with blackberries I gathered in the summer and stashed away for Christmas.)