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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Twenty - eight years ago at noon...  on February 29th... Leap Day!!!....

That's went I into labor with my first born child...

I lived in the country in a little county seat town, New Castle, KY,  (I must mention that I loved everything  about that amazing little town...) We were approximately 45 minutes from the nearest hospital. I was a week overdue... snow covered the ground... it was a cold, cold day!

I was a bit stressed out that my new little baby was going to only have a birthday every FOUR years, but, my sweet mother (who always came for the birth of my babies) kept me calm and timed my contractions...

Well... the labor went 23 hours and 15 minutes.
Whew!  Little Lauren Mikeal was not born until the next day... March 1st... much to my relief!

She became the light of my life...

Big blue eyes and animated spirit... Lauren rocked my world!

She loved to sing... a natural performer... and, to my delight... Lauren chose a career in music and theatre!

Here is my favorite opera pic of Laurie:

This past Thanksgiving, Laurie married John (literally the boy-next-door!!) in our backyard... (it was another cold, cold day...) We've known and loved John forever! What a gift to our family!

Laurie and John

My beautiful girls...
Kelsey, Laurie, Christine (John's beautiful sister), and Erin!

Laurie singing at her wedding reception in our home... it was a tender moment!

The memories of Leap Day 1984 are as fresh as can be... and my life has been so rich because of this girl!

That darling little one made her way into my life and into my heart forever!!  

La - Ti - Do!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life and Work

Here is my office...

It's downtown... overlooking the suspension bridge and the river... 
Cozy and quiet... above SPICE (good for noon time shopping excursions) ... and near restaurants (uh..huh...that is trouble)... 

This is where I spend most of my days.  I like my clients. In fact, Sue, my business manager and good friend, teases me that after every client I say... "Oh, I just love _____." And, then we both laugh because I do like most people very much!  I like helping people create better lives, BUT...  I do NOT like sitting all day!! 

Otherwise, I have a great job...

Yesterday, I left the office for a long symphony meeting. It was fun! 

I volunteer for the symphony, because I love music! We have a fine symphony in Waco, Texas!!

Here is a Flash Mob that I helped to organize for our Waco Symphony at HEB!  Okay... yes... it's a Christmas endeavor, so you'll hear a little "Sleigh Bells!" A little Christmas in February!

The people who love symphony in this town are terrific! On Valentine's Day, Chris Botti came to play for our WSO... Wow!! It was the best Valentine's night ever!

And the BEST part... the next day, I went down to (uh...huh...) catch a bite at the Olive Branch downstairs from my office and .... 

Ta-Da!!  You guessed it!! I ran smack into Chris Botti (world renown super-star trumpeter) and had a nice little chat!! Kelsey likes to tease me that "next thing we know he (Chris Botti) will probably be coming for Easter Dinner!!" 

That could totally happen... yes, it really could!

That's all...

La - Ti - Do!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Kindess and Singing Deep in the Heart of Texas

The weekend was full... Heart - Full ... as I arrived back from Florida for several highlights.

First, our youngest daughter, Kelsey, and two of her dental school friends met us for dinner and dialogue. It's a rare treat when one of our children (who aren't really children anymore) come home... this old house just gets bigger and bigger now that they are all grown!

DLW (a.k.a.... my husband) gave a free day of dentistry to our community on Saturday... the friends and daughter came from San Antonio to help.  It was a tremendous heart-filled day for the entire dental team!  One story really grabbed me...

At 2:30 p.m. the day before, a little, elderly lady was sitting at the front door during regular business hours. When they told her she had come a day too early, she replied, "I know... I want to be sure to have a place in line first thing tomorrow." 

There she sat, with her blanket and a bag of food, ready to bed down for the night for free dental work!

As you can imagine, word spread through the office pretty fast and the team squeezed her into the schedule and got her work done on Friday afternoon. Well, needless to say, before she left the whole office was tearing up...

The reach out to the community had reached right back in and grabbed ahold of  their hearts!

Then... the Baylor A Cappella Choir sang at 7th (our church is Seventh and James Baptist - a rich heritage church with a great music tradition!)  Directed by Dr. Alan Raines... Mack Wilberg's "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" gave a leap in my heart and left me breathless... tears welled up inside... and that is when... in moments like this... I feel God's presence.  Here they also sang it in Jones Hall... (if you can only catch a little... listen 3:40 to the end... (highlight is around 4:36).....

It's a spiritual thing... a Soul-Singing kind of moment! 

I thank God that He created music... harmonies... singing... what a gift it brings!
I thank God for volunteers who give their time/dollars to help people have better smiles... free from pain!

In the pic above is the Central Texas Dental Care team of docs and staff...

So that's it for now... see you next post! 

La - Ti - Do!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Let's start at the very beginning... do - re - mi

Welcome to my blog!

Okay, today is the day! Blog start day... and I've decided to write about life as it comes my way.

Singing and creating are two of my greatest joys... I was fortunate to have parents who sent me off to college... gently nudged me out of the nest and out into the world. After all, I was only 17 years old, and skinny as a rail, more than a little bit naive, traditional values, outgoing... and had not a clue about life!  Music school called me... reached out and said let's do it!

I found myself at "the Creek" a.k.a. Campbell College in Buies Creek, NC, in 1974, spending hours in the practice rooms of the music school. I was continuously playing, singing, jamming with... other musicians. It was then that I realized I could not help singing ALL the time.  So, I scheduled an audition for voice and began a Bachelor of Music degree. Though exposed to lots of church and country music, and piano lessons in 1st grade, I'd really had NO other official training in singing or in music as to prepare me for college...  What a leap!

Had I known what was in store, I may never have had the courage. Nonetheless, naivety played in my favor and wa-laaa!!! I did it! What a gift it has been!

Here is a pic of my mom playing self-taught guitar across from the Anna Maria Island City Pier around 1945. I was bathed in blue-grass and gospel music from birth!

That same girl above is sitting on the bed in the pic below.  This is mom 65 years later, still playing with my two brothers at a family outing on Anna Maria Island. Dad plays harmonica!

There is music heritage from dad's side, too... my great grandfather used a baton to direct church music back in the 1800's A cousin still has his baton.

In my family... musicianship is a tradition... a life-link... a spiritual journey...

I went on to raise daughters. The message to them was simply this... "music is a literacy skill that gives back for your entire life! Like it or not, you WILL take music lessons until the end of high school.  Just as I  would never let you quit English, Math, or Writing, I will also not let you quit music!" - now that they are grown, they get it, and they thank me immensely!

Yes... they love music, too!

See ya next post!

la - ti- do...