Sunday, December 13, 2009

All in a Normal Holiday Season

Long ago I wanted to try and get into the 2012 London Summer Olympics with speed walking. However, my dreams were dashed once I realized that those people can walk faster than I can jog. So, I went back to the idea board, and realized that maybe I'd just have to settle going to watch the Olympics. And since London is so far away and so expensive, I thought maybe Vancouver, BC would be better. And then, ya know, I thought, hey, why not watch athletes perform here?

My brother-in-law facilitated this pre-Olympic event by sharing tickets to the World Cup Speed Skating at the Utah Olympic Oval. (Come to find out, everyone's tickets were free, but hey, this is a high profile event we're talking about, so it's not an important detail). It was pretty awesome to see just how fast those men and women fly around the track, and we even witnessed one wipe out. And my ticket says I get a 2-for-1 admission to come ice skating to the rink in the future.

Outcome = awesome time to watch some pretty fast athletes and talk and joke with the family. We even got to see Jenny Wolf from Germany make a new world record in the 500m race, and put up her new placard in the front lobby area. Note: while it was very professional and showy, I feel bad because the 'y' in her name on the placard was put on backward. Tsk. Poor girl. Speed skating just doesn't get the respect (or notice to detail) it deserves.

Since I'm always wanting to try new stuff, maybe once I actually become decent just ice skating, I'll look into speed skating for my new winter sport of choice. And maybe start to dream about competing in the Olympics again.

While that filled up our afternoon, the evening was filled with beautiful lights, music, and stories in word and dance. No holiday could be complete without seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, this year featuring singer Natalie Cole (daughter of Nat King Cole), along with author and historian, David McCullough. My favorite part of the whole concert was Mr. McCullough telling part of the history behind "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas". One more reason why I love America, and one more reason why I love history.

My next favorite piece would have had to been Organist's Richard Elliott's arrangement and rendition of "Good King Wenceslas". Mr. Elliott is pretty much a genius at the organ. His feet are flying everywhere, even criss-crossing, while his fingers are amazing enough switching up and down the keyboards and changing the organ voices. Wow, I just want to learn how to get through a hymn successfully, even with years of organ lessons.

And my dad suggested that maybe we install and trap door and pulley system to set up our tree next year. If the Conference Center can get a two-story tree up in about 20 seconds, I figure we can get our eight foot tree up in two minutes. Could be a fun project for dad in his time off this winter with the weather too cold for fishing.

To give you an update of the holiday season to date, I've been busy trying to become more of a "homemaker" (i.e., one who hand makes food and decorations for home). While I don't have my own home, I am putting together a tree skirt about two nights a week, and over the Thanksgiving break I made cinnamon rolls and homemade wheat bread. Which should not be out done by my early morning adventure outside on the grill to brown the roast for Sunday dinner today. And don't forget that I finally bottled my own peaches and made raspberry jam this summer. My, I'm growing up.

I love how I get to enjoy the traditional with a bit of a mix-in of the non-traditional events this year. Yep, I love my life. Christmas doesn't need presents. I've already how a pretty awesome one so far.