I decided to try the instant choir with Kandice this year, and we weren't sure how long it would take us to get to Provo with the highway construction. We were parked and in the Marriott Center at 6:15. A.M. Rehearsal started about 20 minutes later, and we sang for a solid two hours, which Kandice said is longer than she has ever gone before. I never sing in choirs anymore, and it was wonderful to stretch myself and enjoy the beautiful pieces we were preparing.
After the opening session, Kandice and I "snuck" onto the main floor (we got on a little earlier than we should have by walking confidently) and got seats for Ilene and Kelly. I love knowing this trick from Gwen; as long as it is not an opening or closing session, anyone can walk down and sit in the nice, soft, padded seats, only feet from the speakers.
I was already missing my babies, and Greg was thoughtful enough to text me update pictures. The first one he sent was this. I love that all of the toys are out, and especially that Ellie is trying to climb in the jumper with Lynlee.
Kandice and I elected to stay for the evening concert, while Kelly and Ilene did some shopping. We are so glad we stayed, as I think it was the best concert they have ever had! One highlight was hearing Josh Wright, a new pianist who played the most amazing piece by Liszt. I had never heard of him before, but his skill was outstanding. I was mesmerized by the speed of his fingers and the voicings he achieved between his thumb and pinky.
Another highlight came from Hilary Weeks. She said, "Extraordinary moments can happen in the middle of ordinary days. I was on a mother-daughter dinner date with Calli, who was nine at the time. Through a mouthful of macaroni and cheese, Calli giggled as she recounted a game of freeze tag she played during recess that day. Then it hit me...I will spend eternity knowing Calli as an adult. But tonight, right here, right now, and for the next few precious years, I have the rare privilege of knowing her as a child. What a gift to experience the children in our lives as children! For a brief moment during the journey of mortality, we get to watch them laugh, learn, experience, and grow."
After the concert, we discovered that our fabulous 6 a.m. parking spot was in the worst possible spot for actually leaving the parking lot. Once I had the red car turned on, I noticed the battery light was on. A few minutes later, Kandice noticed that the dashboard lights were getting dimmer. I started formulating a plan for what to do if we didn't make it home... 45 minutes later we finally got out of the parking lot and came past the MTC, up University Ave, and across 8th North. I had just said that I didn't think we should get on the highway when the car "thunk-thunked" and lurched, and I coasted into the Zion's Bank parking lot.
If your car is ever to break down, hopefully it goes as well as our situation did. Kandice called her neighbor to see if one of the teenage girls could watch TV at her house so that Matt could come rescue us (hey, it was only 10:55 p.m., surely someone was still up!). Lissy said that Gary should be close to getting off of work, and we should call him (he is a manager at the Orem Costco). Kandice called Gary, he was already in the car and just leaving, and in less than 5 minutes he had picked us up. What a tender mercy!
It was another wonderful day, and I had big plans to write out all sorts of inspiring things I learned; but I am tired and want to go to bed. Suffice it to say that the Spirit was strong, and I love Elder Bednar, and I am so grateful to Greg for arranging things at home so that I could go. Until next year!
P.S. To read more about what we experienced, check out Kelly's blog. She got some great quotes. My favorites:
Ideals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat ourselves with.
Gratitude combats discouragement.
You won't have the things you want until you learn to be thankful for the things you have.
Wanting less is a better thing than having more.