Happy Halloween


My girls are all smiles as they head out with the largest pillow cases they can find.



Pumpkin carving. Chili and cornbread. Temperatures in the 60s. These are good things.



Picking pumpkins.



A less than fabulous day salvaged by a walk to the greenbelt. Glorious.

How Firm a Foundation

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, Thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.



Tessa had her first middle school choir concert last night. It was wonderful watching her perform. She won't sing much at home or at church, but she takes choir very seriously and loves it much. Proud of my girl.



What a great weekend. I opted for two instead of three days at ACL this year (as per usual) so I'm home today resting and churching while the rest of my crew is back at it for day three. I had a great time this year. The weather was hot at times and pouring buckets at times, but nothing so terrible as to ruin the day. The crowds were beyond insane, but the sound seemed better this year and the cigarette smoke that made me decide to skip last year was not an issue at all. It was incredibly fun to have my sister Xandy at ACL this year. I hung out with her and my friend Taylor most of the weekend. We seemed to almost but not quite cross paths with Dave and his friends all weekend. Cell service at the festival is magnificently unreliable. Guess that's what you get when 75,000 people are trying to text in the same time and the same place.

It's hard to pick favorites, but there were some definite highlights to the weekend. I've included sketchy notes and impressions below. One day I'll invest enough to do a full scale review, but mostly I just want to remember who I saw a few years from now.

  • The Wombats - Good way to start. I've only heard a few songs but enjoyed their performance.
  • Los Campesinos! - Another fun band. No one I'm going to fall in love with, but fun to watch.
  • First Aid Kit - A favorite of yours truly. Their harmonies are magnificent. Xandy I and got up close for this one and I'm glad I followed her lead to do so. Makes a big difference. Just love, love, love them.
  • Delta Spirit - I like them better live than I do their albums and it was a good show. The lead singer is a bit of an ego and I tired of his antics by the end, but still enjoyable.
  • Ben Howard - Didn't know him but I think I could. I was a little distracted and not giving the show my full attention.
  • The Afghan Whigs - A little loud and not always my thing, we only stayed for a few songs.
  • Tegan and Sara - The music was good but their stage conversation was annoying to the point of distraction
  • Alabama Shakes - This was one of the biggest disappointments of the festival. I love their latest album but the crowd around the stage was crowded to the point of personal danger and it took all we had just to get in and out. Couldn't see or hear anything.
  • Weezer - A definite highlight of the weekend. I have never seen them live and what fun it was. Just song after song that I love. They are impossibly entertaining.
  • M. Ward - A little disappointing just because the stage and the time slot made the sound awful. I love M. Ward but it just wasn't happening.
  • The Black Keys - Would have been a great show but Taylor and I were tired from the day and chose to sit back in the chairs rather than fight for a good view. We needed to leave early to get to an after show too so we just weren't fully invested in the show. But still, it's the Black Keys and they are amazing at all times.
  • The Shins - An after show at Stubb's. Which is a mistake I will never make again. Why ACL has "official after shows" that start early enough that you can't actually attend the festival and the show is a mystery to me. We left Black Keys early to make it and still ended up missing the opener and almost half of the Shins. I was super upset about it but there was really nothing to be done. It was great seeing the Shins at Stubb's. Such a fantastic venue and the Shins were of course perfect. Swoon.


  • Quiet Company - I hadn't heard a lot of their stuff, but this was a great way to start the day. Great sound and an amazing show.
  • Wild Child - Loved them. Beautiful vocals and great instrumentals.
  • Bombay Bicycle Club - This was a great show. I was surprised by some of their material that I wasn't as familiar with and it was a lot more eclectic than I expected. Great time.
  • Rufus Wainwright - This was one of the most pleasant surprises of the day. I have heard good things about him but not really familiar with his stuff. He is amazingly talented and highly entertaining on many levels. Crazy good musicianship in his band.
  • Father John Misty - Only stayed for a few songs. I'm not a huge fan but it was okay.
  • Metric - Another highlight. Xandy and were concerned about getting back for Band of Skulls so we didn't really press the crowds and consequently did not have a great view. It could have been the best performance of the festival if we were better placed I think. This is one of my favorite albums of the year right now. She is a great presence on stage.
  • Band of Skulls - This was an epic moment of the day. Started out great and should have carried through but the heavens opened and it was raining so hard for a while that the band had to stop because the amp shorted out or something. They eventually came back on but ended short for who knows what reason. Lame. I was damp and sticky for the rest of the day which kinda sucked. Oh well.
  • Punch Brothers - This was a fun show. I was tired by this point and not super into it, but fun to watch.
  • Steve Earle - Love his songs and it was great to see him. More sound issues with competing bands, so it wasn't great, but still good.
  • Jack White - Again we sat back and didn't push for a great seat which affects sound quality a lot, but Jack White is still awesome. He hit a lot of his catalog and it was great to hear it all.



I've been feeling like an update is overdue here on le blog, but I'm just not feeling very inspired to provide it. I eat and breathe teaching yet I feel like that is old news. I never intending this to be a teacher blog, but it has been an all consuming transition for me. I had lunch today with dear friends after General Conference and it felt a little like stepping back in time to glimpse at my past self. It's hard to articulate, I just feel life is so drastically different than it was a few short months ago it is a little jarring to slip back into old roles. Dave has had a promotion and big transition at work these past months as well so between that and Tessa heading off to middle school and my sister living with us now, very little of our life is the same as it was. I don't feel like I'm articulating myself very well, but suffice it to say that I am dealing with a little existential angst. Not necessarily bad, just feeling a little off center.

So more to my point, things are pretty good, if still hectic beyond reasonableness. I am feeling a modicum more relaxed in my job as I'm sitting on top of our first six weeks. It is still more work than I can do and all of my flaws at a teacher are staring me in the face on a daily basis, but the bad days aren't trashing me emotionally and I have a few nights a week where I'm not working straight through until bedtime. Baby steps.

My beautiful girls seem to be thriving as always despite the crazy of their parents. Tessa is working hard at the transition to middle school and the uptick in required personal responsibility. There have been a few minor bumps but really nothing to speak of. Sylvie's biggest hurdle has been adjusting to the longer hours of her day (since she is at after school care now) and she is doing well. She has been super responsible and helpful in general. I love those girls fierce.

So there you go, brief update gone long as per usual. Some things never change.