“Mother Earth and Father Time”

Last month, a darling student of mine asked me if she could sing “Mother Earth and Father Time” for our upcoming Spring season. The song is from the movie “Charlotte’s Web”, and it’s sung by Debbie Reynolds. I loved the idea, but I couldn’t find sheet music for the song anywhere. A couple of weeks later, Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher both passed away. So I decided to write my own arrangement of this song, as a tribute to them. In working on it, and in light of the circumstances, the music and lyrics of this song took on great meaning to me. I love how my arrangement turned out, and it will be very special when my student gets to perform it.

“How very special are we
For just a moment to be
Part of Earth’s eternal rhyme
How very special are we
To have on our family tree
Mother Earth and Father Time”

I’m sharing my arrangement here if anyone else would like use it, remember Debbie Reynolds, and celebrate the beautiful miracle that is life! ❤

Mother Earth and Father Time sheet music

This piece can be used free of charge as long as it is not for profit or commercial use. Enjoy!

Summer Recital: Music from the Movies!

Last week we had our Summer Recital and it was so much fun! All of my students worked so hard over the summer to prepare their music. The theme? Music from the Movies!

Movie music is possibly my favorite kind of music, because it is designed specifically to evoke feelings. And that’s what music is to me, it’s an experience to be felt. So I worked with my students this summer to move beyond just notes, rhythms, and techniques, and have them create feeling and emotion with their music. It was a wonderful experience!

I finished off the night with “Test Drive” from the movie How To Train Your Dragon. I wanted to be right in the arena with these kids this summer, so I worked hard to learn and memorize a piece too! The original music is by John Powell and this arrangement was done by Alex Sheen. I love it!

America the Beautiful

I was asked to arrange a patriotic piece for someone’s ward choir, and I was so honored to write it! At a time when there are many divisions between us, I felt a lot of emotion putting together this piece that celebrates, in kind of a reverent way, our nation. Our home. So here it is, available for anyone who wants it, a S.A.T. choral medley of “America the Beautiful” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. Enjoy! 😊

America the Beautiful My Country ‘Tis of Thee_SAT medley

Beautiful Chaos

With Mothers Day coming up, I want to share this song I wrote entitled, “Beautiful Chaos”. It touches on the hard, funny, sweet, exhausting, fulfilling, and very important work that is parenting. To moms everywhere, please remember that your work MATTERS, and you are making a beautiful difference in the world. And even if it’s not always glamorous or appreciated, it’s a work that makes an impact every minute of every day, and those little daily moments are what truly matter. A better world begins at home, and this beautiful chaos you experience is exactly what makes your house a home. 💕💕

Here are my lyrics:

“Beautiful Chaos”
You’re painting a picture.
You’re planting a seed.
Your work may seem unnoticed,
But it fills the biggest need.
You’re raising a hero,
Encouraging brave tasks.
These little daily moments,
Can you see their great impact?
You stand there exhausted
Yet filled to the brim with love.
A better world starts here at home
As a rose starts from a bud.
I see the
Dirt underneath your nails,
A falling out ponytail,
Sticky prints from tiny hands,
And old food stuck on your pants.
Toys scattered on the floor,
‘Cause isn’t that just what they’re for?
It’s never quiet ’cause you’re never alone,
And this beautiful chaos is what makes your house a home.
They’ll go out to school
And off with their friends.
They’ll work and they’ll explore the world,
And the changes never end.
But there’s a place for safety;
A place they can retreat.
You’re building a foundation
Of love and security.
You stand there exhausted,
Yet filled to the brim with love.
Your effort shines through their faces,
Spreading light to the world in a flood.
Because of the
Dirt underneath your nails,
A falling out ponytail,
Sticky prints from tiny hands,
And old food stuck on your pants.
Toys scattered on the floor,
‘Cause isn’t that just what they’re for?
It’s never quiet ’cause you’re never alone,
And this beautiful chaos is what makes your house a home.
Dirt underneath your nails,
A falling out ponytail,
Sticky prints from tiny hands,
And old food stuck on your pants.
Toys scattered on the floor,
‘Cause isn’t that just what they’re for?
It’s never quiet ’cause you’re never alone.
A better world begins here and is grown.
Oh the beautiful chaos is what makes your house a home.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

When I was diagnosed with pelvic girdle pain and osteitis pubis, I was told it was temporary. I was promised over and over again that I’d get better. And over and over again, as time passed, I didn’t get better. These ups and downs and recurring disappointments were very emotionally difficult, on top of the physical pain I felt.

In order to bear the emotional trials, I had to change my angle. I had to, as I wrote a year ago, stop looking at my situation as a problem to solve. I had to accept it for what it was, and choose to be grateful for all the other blessings I do have in my life. Over the past year and a half, I’ve realized more and more the power of this viewpoint in life.

We don’t have to look at life as a fight. We don’t have to look at life as a series of problems to solve and trials to overcome. That perspective turns life into something we must pass through, rather than something to appreciate and enjoy. I’ve learned that there’s a much happier perspective we can take; and that is to recognize that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. We can stop fighting through our problems, we can stop waiting for life to get better. We just need to open our eyes to see that we are, already in this moment, so very blessed.

In celebration of the beautiful Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve written this song. I have a new appreciation for the virtue of gratitude; it has more power than I’d ever imagined. When I stop fighting, and just simply say Thanks, everything becomes okay. Even if nothing changes in my life, everything changes in me. And I can be happy.

So here it is, “Prayer of Thanksgiving.”

Uplifting Additional Lyrics to “You Are My Sunshine”

he other day, Brock and I took our little boys to a nearby assisted living center with some roses. We met some beautiful, amazing ladies there. It warmed my heart to see the smiles on their faces as my two year old handed them a rose. I was so grateful for the opportunity to visit with them and feel of their sweet spirits. Carson has been talking for days about how fun it was to “bring flowers to our friends.” We tried to help him recognize the way it made him feel to make someone else happy. There’s just something about little children; they have a way of making people smile. Like little rays of sunshine everywhere they go.

This is why I love the beautiful children’s song, “You Are My Sunshine.” I know I’m one of many parents who frequently sing this little tune to their children. I just think it’s wonderful! However, I’ve never been particularly fond of the second verse to the song. I just think it’s sad and it ruins the light, loving feel of the first verse when I’m singing it to my babies.

So, I decided to write my own second verse to the song! And I’m posting it here in case anyone else agrees with me and wants something uplifting to sing to their little ones. 🙂

We all know the tune!

“You are my sunshine,
My lovely sunshine,
You make me happy
When skies are gray.
You’ll never know dear
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

“Go spread that sunshine,
Your lovely sunshine.
Make someone happy
And you will find
When you spread sunshine
It just gets brighter.
Always keep your sunshine alive.”

If there’s no other lesson I can teach my kids, I want to teach them this one. Make someone happy, everywhere you go. Make someone feel loved and important. Spread happiness, goodness, love, and sunshine in this often cloudy, gray world. That’s what life is all about. So I’m going to sing these lyrics to my boys every morning, in hopes that they’ll internalize, even just a little bit, this important message. God gave each of his children a beautiful light inside of them, and I want to teach my children to keep it. A candle doesn’t dim by lighting another candle. And the more candles that shine, the brighter the world gets. So, spread your lovely sunshine!

P.S. I recommend Caroline Church’s children’s book, “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s just the lyrics to the first verse of the song, with adorable little illustrations to go along with them. My family loves it!

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He Took My Legs, But Gave Me You.

It’s been a whole year since I lost my ability to walk. I was 32 weeks pregnant when I was walking down the hall and fell to the floor in pain. I could never have imagined the events that have occurred in my life since that moment. I hobbled around painfully for months, before and after giving birth, waiting for a promised recovery. I kept hearing, “give it more time…. rest more…. you’ll get better…”

Finally the doctors and I started realizing this wasn’t going away on its own. So, at 2 months post partum, I started physical therapy. And I started owning up to my cane and my wheelchair. I worked so hard, so determined and excited to get better. After 5 months of physical therapy we were able to get the pain under control, and I re-learned how to walk without a limp. However, I could only go very short distances at a time before the pain and the hobble came back. My physical therapist set me on my own to continue the exercises she taught me, with no definite answer on when (or whether) I could expect a full recovery.

My condition (for those who haven’t been following my whole story, it’s called osteitis pubis and SI joint dysfunction caused by severe SPD during pregnancy. See my story for details) has been up and down since then, but we’re all cautiously optimistic of a slow recovery! I seem to have a certain number of good steps I can take throughout the day (it usually hovers around 3,000, with rest breaks throughout the day) and still feel well. The problem is, if I take too many, I’ll go back to zero, so I have to be careful. But honestly, it’s working for me! 3,000 steps around the house can accomplish a lot! And it’s been so long that by now this lifestyle just feels like my normal. Obviously I’ll keep hoping and working toward a recovery, but I’ve been focusing more of my efforts now on just living life. We’ve been figuring out how make things work, and how to enjoy life with the situation we’ve got! I love caring for my two little boys every day, cooking dinner, wheeling around the neighborhood, going for drives, and spending time with the people I love. Maybe I’ll get all the way better (I think it’s likely!), but if I don’t, I’ll be okay. I am so grateful for the beautiful life I have.

I wrote a song to my baby Gordon about this journey I’ve been on as I brought him into the world. I feel so blessed. I know that God has an eternal plan for me that is greater than I can now understand, so I’ll continue to trust in him as my journey unfolds. I have learned that, as the common phrase goes, when one door closes another opens. God takes one piece out of our lives but replaces it with something better. And piece by piece, one step at a time, he leads us along the path to happiness and oneness with Him. This song is about that process for me. I’ve recognized the things he’s taken and changed in me, and the new -the BETTER- things that he’s given in return.

I feel like I’ve been broken down to zero so that I can be reconstructed into what he wants me to be. Each step of the process has a purpose. He made my heart bigger, my eyes wider, my arms stronger; and by taking my ability to walk well, he changed my path, my goals, and my dreams, and he gave me my sweet little boy. So here it is, “He Took My Legs, But Gave Me You.”

(Disclaimer, it’s a low quality video. I had a short window of time to record during nap time! But, it’s raw and real and from my heart.)

“He Took My Legs, But Gave Me You.”

You were in my heart before I even knew your name.
I felt your spirit shining down
Just like sunshine on my face.
I knew you’d change my whole life
But I had no idea how far;
But I’m better for this journey
Because of who you are.

He took my heart and made it new,
Bigger than I could imagine.
He took my eyes and made them wider;
I see the world as so much brighter.
He took my arms and made them stronger
So I could hold you so much longer.
He changed my dreams to something new;
He took my legs, but gave me you.

The road is rough ahead
But if there’s anything I’ve learned,
It’s that whatever he takes
He’ll replace with so much more.
I told him, “Take my life,
Do with me what you will.
Build a castle from this broken me
But stay with me still.”

So, He took my heart and made it new,
Bigger than I could imagine.
He took my eyes and made them wider;
I see the world as so much brighter.
He took my arms and made them stronger
So I could hold you so much longer.
He changed my dreams to something new;
He took my legs, but gave me you.

And I’ll thank him from the bottom of my overflowing heart
For teaching me what really matters, and giving me the better part.
The view is always better from the harder the climb,
And there is no view better than your little bright blue eyes.

He took my heart and made it new,
Bigger than I could imagine.
He took my eyes and made them wider;
I see the world as so much brighter.
He took my arms and made them stronger
So I could hold you so much longer.
He changed my dreams to something new;
He took my legs, but gave me you.

Music Touches Us All, No Matter How Small.

My little boy is 15 months old.  He is just an adorable little ball of energy.  It is the most wonderful thing in the world to watch him learn and grow… to watch him connect the dots in his little brain and learn to communicate.

One thing that is especially sweet is the way he lights up when music starts playing.  When we’re watching those PBS Kids shows, he sits up with a giant grin every time the theme songs play and starts bouncing to the music!  And we have dance parties every morning together- it’s amazing to watch his different reactions to the different styles of music.

He and I share a favorite song:  The Lumineers “Ho Hey.”  It’s on quite a bit because I love it so much.  A few months ago when my little guy was first learning to walk, this song came on and he started bouncing his little foot right to the beat.  It was so cute.  But now that he is really stable on his feet, and starting to make verbal sounds too, his reaction to this song is ADORABLE!  He’s got rhythm and giant smiles!

It’s just such a wonderful reminder to me that music affects all of us, no matter how old or young we are.  Good music touches our hearts and lifts our spirits.  And makes you wanna dance! 😉  Enjoy this adorable video of my little boy.  I love him SO much!

Be the Beautiful You.

Dr. Seuss wrote, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

We all have some work to do on loving and appreciating ourselves for who we are. God gave each of us beautiful and unique qualities to develop; to use them to better the world in a way that no one else can do. I recently wrote a song entitled “Be the Beautiful You.” Hopefully I’ll get it up on YouTube some day soon but until then, here are the lyrics.

“This world has odd standards all over
The ideal person to be
It’s completely unreachable
Yet somehow we all seem to try

No one can please every person
So discouraging thoughts cloud our minds
Why don’t we try instead to rely
On the one who sees us right?

Be the beautiful you
Let yourself glow
Plant your own seed and watch it grow
Look inside your soul
Find the power you know
You were made for a reason
Just the way you are
So be the beautiful you.

You’re trying so hard to love others
So why not have love for yourself?
No one can say
What’s the right or wrong way
Till they’ve walked your path in your shoes

The Lord has a plan for his children.
Each of us a unique role to play.
He’s the only one who truly knows your heart,
So trust in him every day
He created you
With your personal virtue
He made you you
So be true

And be the beautiful you
Let yourself glow
Plant your own seed and watch it grow
Look inside your soul
Find the power you know
You were made for a reason
Just the way you are
So be the beautiful you.”

 I’m happy to be me! 🙂

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