A lifetime of change can happen in a day, or a week. I’ve been processing a lot of change the past few days and weeks, and any time I’ve had a moment to sit down and share something here on the blog, another change happens… so I go back to “processing” mode. Here’s a recap on what happened:
1. The Birthday
It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Grandma’s 88th Birthday, and now suddenly we are celebrating her 95th! Yep, Grandma is still here. She’s still smiling. She’s still got her great sense of humor. At the party I knelt down next to her and said “Wow, Grandma! How do you feel about turning 95 years old?!” Without missing a beat she chuckled and said “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer lady.” 🙂
While posing for this photo with us, Grandma was singing “Let me call you sweetheart.”
Addie is in the twilight of her life. Every day is a lot like the last. There’s meal time, bath-time, bedtime and lots of nap times in between. Perhaps this will be her last birthday party, or perhaps there are many more to come. Grandma has longevity in her hardy Norwegian genes. Two of her aunties in Norway lived well into their 100s, so you never know.
2. The Engagement
A couple weeks ago Daughter A went hiking with her boyfriend D-man. He suggested they take their little sisters along. It was a lovely morning for a hike. Our daughter was completely unsuspecting that this was not an ordinary walk in the wilderness. At one [pre-determined] point on the hike D-man dropped to one knee, pulled out a diamond ring and asked the big question, while the little sisters photographed and filmed the event [having secretly colluded].
At the time of this life-altering event, I was on Temple Square singing with the Choir, completely oblivious. Of course, we suspected that this could or would eventually happen, but we didn’t see it coming quite so soon. For any of you who have followed Daughter A in the past, you will know what a blessing and miracle her story continues to be.
Later that day when I arrived home Daughters A & B invited me to join their card game. I was delighted that they wanted to play a game with me! We used to play board games all the time and I’ve missed that. I was completely focused on the sport and competitiveness and fun of the cards.
Eventually, I saw the sparkling ring on A’s finger (apparently, she had been wearing it the entire time, trying creative hand gestures to get me to notice). When I did finally see the ring, I fell over and let out quite a scream.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m “processing”. This is a whole new adventure in my life and something I’ve never experienced from “this side”. It’s odd how there’s no instruction manual to navigate us through the big changes in our lives (or the little ones, for that matter). There’s that awesome-terrifying-exciting-emotional moment when a tiny baby is placed in your arms and you suddenly become “mother,” and you have no idea what you are doing. Your heart whispers “your life is not your own anymore, good luck!“. And then before you know it there’s the awesome-terrifying-exciting-emotional moment when your baby shows you a ring on their finger and announces they’re getting married – and your heart whispers “Your life isn’t about your child anymore, good luck!“. You suddenly know that your family, and your role as “mother” will never be the same again.
It’s an end of an era.
But, it’s also a new beginning.
For the past days I’ve been trying to figure out how to navigate my new role as “Mother of the bride,” and [future] “mother-in-law.” I found some very interesting observations on Huffington Post. The entire article is great, here’s just an excerpt:
“…not only is the wedding clearly a rite of passage for the bride, but it is also a rite of passage for the mother of bride. A daughter’s wedding is often a time when the mother faces her own mortality and realizes that she is moving into the next phase of life.”
– Sheryl Paul, For the Mother of the Bride
Wow. Apparently, I’m not only facing the process of letting my daughter go, I’m facing my mortality!
Just call me Mother Gothel.
There’s definitely a lot of emotions attached to this new adventure that I didn’t expect – everything from joy to sorrow to fear to excitement and pretty much everything in-between which can all pass through me within the space of a few hours or minutes.
We’ve experienced a lot of big hurdles, trials and leaps of faith as a family over the past few years. It appears we are strapping in for the “wedding roller coaster” now, and it’s not for the faint of heart! But, I think in the end, it’s going to be pretty cool.
3. The Job
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve been searching for a permanent employment after being told that funding for my current job was ending. I’ve been called up for multiple interviews – often going to the final round – but after some unexpected twists and turns I secured a full-time position within my same office. Interestingly, one of our seasoned team announced she was retiring. With her position opening up, my boss quickly asked if I would step into that role. So, this was the “surprise ending” to my employment quest.
As a side note, you may be entertained to know that in order to replace me in my current job, they discovered they must hire two people. So, this means that I am assuming my new position while also preparing to train two new hires for my former position – but, the new hires do not begin until September 1. So, this means I am trying to juggle 3 full-time jobs right now.
If I wasn’t completely crazy yet, I will be soon!
But, at least my day job is keeping me thoroughly distracted from all the other craziness in my life!
4. The Choir
It’s been so nice not having any extra rehearsals for the past four weeks. We are still waiting for more details about Europe Tour 2016 – particularly the guest eligibility and cost for Mr. Mo to join me [which is making wedding planning extra tricky]. In two more weeks we will be ramping up again with extra rehearsals in preparation for a multitude of big events including General Conference, Christmas, The Tanner Gift of Music [Mahler] Concerts and recording, the Messiah Concerts, and all of this (and more), of course, before our 3 week Europe Tour 2016!
We know our beloved Maestro Mack Wilberg is hard at work choosing and arranging songs. Hopefully taking time for a laugh or two.
This weekend the lovely Irish songstress Alex Sharpe, formerly of the internationally acclaimed group Celtic Woman, was guest soloist on the broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. Ms. Sharpe is beautiful inside and out with a very lovely clear voice that speaks to the heart. She performed a new arrangement of the hymn “Abide With Me.” It was lovely, and when it posts to YouTube I’ll be sure to share it. Alex is a fellow Latter-day Saint, so that makes her another Mormon Soprano. 🙂
For a relaxing, inspiring treat, here is her title track from her new album “Be Still My Soul“.
5. What’s Next?
Who knows? The future is uncharted. The possibilities are endless!
I’m planning to hold on tight and enjoy the epic ride! And, of course, you can come along. – MoSop
It’s been so long, I was getting ready to send out a search party to look for you (lol). Now, I understand why. Your life is just filled with experiences of joy after joy. So happy for Daughter A. What a blessing and miracle is she. And, sweet Adeline. What a beautiful 95 year old. How lucky you are to still have your grandmother. I was in my early 20’s when mine passed away. And, even though she was my step-grandmother, she was so good to my sister and me, that she was our real Grandmother. Sweet Violet Belle.
I’m so glad your job situation is taken care of. That can be so stressful. I don’t doubt a bit that it took 2 women to replace you. People don’t realize how much you do, until they have to do it.
I’m so excited for you and the Choir. I wish I was going with you all, just to listen, not to sing. But, I’m sure there will be many tweets and instagrams, and videos to pacify those of us left behind.
God bless you Holly, Love, Lynne
Thank you Lynne for your lovely comment, and your unfailing friendship! You can cancel the search party! I’ll try to be more consistent. 🙂 Love, Holly ♡
Just noticed that Alex Sharp’s full name is Alexandria. That’s my granddaughter’s name and they call her Alex too. I teased my son by asking if they named her after Alex Trebec, he was not amused. Lynne
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Oh, Holly! How exciting! Your life is certainly looking up these days! What a sweet grandmother you have. And to be able to celebrate her 95th birthday with her is truly a blessing for both of you. Oh, and mother of the bride! Big Congrats there! Wishing you all the hopes and dreams your heart can hold for your new job, your new life, your future!
Your MoSop sister, Alto 1, Betty
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Blessings to you and your grandmother and Daughter A. I am praying that your grandmother will be in good health to fully enjoy the wedding. Congratulations on your job! And I know how excited you are about the choir’s upcoming European trip. Wow! Life is fantastic, isn’t it? And you are not crazy! Just overwhelmed.
Special thanks for your comments about Alex Sharpe. As you know, her album came to me at just the right time for me, when I needed to have my faith uplifted. On Sunday I was pleased that someone did the choral and orchestral arrangement of “Abide With Me” in such a way that Alex could sing it the same lovely way she sang it on the recording, including the little quote from the 23rd Psalm at the end.
You mention Mahler concerts. Will the Fourth Symphony be among the works performed? If so, put your name in to be the soprano soloist for “das himmlische Leben” in the fourth movement.
Thanks again, Holly.
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Thank you, Roger. We have all fallen in love with Alex Sharpe and hope that we can sing with her again.
I am not 100% sure which Mahler we are performing. I will let you know. Soloists are very rarely chosen from the Choir, and in this instance would definitely be a professional (but thanks for your endorsement!)
I guess the Fourth Symphony wouldn’t be chosen anyway, because there’s no choir part, just the soprano solo. The Eighth Symphony? Possible. But I really hope it’s the Second Symphony, the Resurrection Symphony. Alto solo in the fourth movement, soprano and alto solos and full choir in the fifth movement. MoTab would be great in it. Love your website.
It’s been confirmed. It will be Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, with the Utah Symphony under the baton of Thierry Fischer with soloists TBA. This will be part of the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Concerts Feb.l9 & 20, 2016. 🙂
Do you know whether the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with Alex Sharpe will be put up on YouTube? I know that some are, but it appears that some aren’t too. I really wanted to see it, but circumstances didn’t allow me to watch it on TV, much less attend in person. I am really bummed to have missed it and hope it will be posted for viewing. Thanks.
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Hi Bryan, I don’t know when the Alex Sharpe broadcast will be released, but I know you are not the only one anxiously awaiting it. Keep an eye on the official Tab YouTube site. https://www.youtube.com/user/MormonTabChoir