New Year’s Update

Beware: this post is decidedly late. But I thought I would love to update everyone on my gorgeous New Year’s events! So enjoy :)

Oren bought Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets for my big Christmas gift this year. The concert was fantastic! Although, I am pretty sure Oren bought himself his own best Christmas present– he loved the concert a million times more than even I did!

Isn’t this a fabulous family photo? :)

One night of the New Year, my parents took the family down to Fair Park in Dallas to see the Chinese Lantern Festival! I loved seeing everything all lit up. It was gorgeous. Quite cold, but very appropriate for seeing such beautiful outdoor lights. Sometimes, around the holidays, I think it just might be alright for the weather to be frigid. :)

Oren and I thought these pandas were so adorable!

Later, my best friend Sawyer and I went out hiking on a nature preserve in Sherman.

Such a delightful idea turned into a real beast of an adventure when we got seriously lost on the unmarked trails and oil service gravel roads of this backcountry. The sheriff may or may not have been called for help… and may or may not have driven out in the reserve to rescue us after dark. Moral of the story– parks should mark their trails, gosh dangit!

Anyway, we fun spending time together, and I witnessed a moment of submission as we recognized the power of prayer in the middle of our panic.

Finally, Oren and I took a trip to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra perform Dvorak’s Symphony for the New World (and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb).

I absolutely LOVE going to see the symphony, and I try to go pretty often due to our close proximity and the fact that we get $15 student tickets! This is a little known Dallas fact that I try to reveal to anyone who will listen. Check it out here.

My favorite moment of this performance of the New World  Symphony came in the Largo movement, which is usually everybody’s favorite. It’s not usually mine, because to my mind once you’ve heard the ‘Going Home’ theme once, you’ve heard it a million times. I usually prefer the first or last movements over the Largo.

However, this time, the DSO under Jaap van Zweden surprised me. They performed the last statement of the lyrical theme with deliciously placed rests that extended the cadence– an interpretation I have never heard before. It was the kind of silence that was surprising, shocking, and yet simply delightful. The entire audience held their breath, waiting for the fall of the conductor’s baton marking the highly anticipated final notes. The emotion was tangible in the concert hall.

I can’t remember the last time I was surprised by an orchestra, and certainly not in such a profound way. At the end of the night, that was the phrase that I wrote on a slip of magenta paper and tucked into my gratitude jar. (More on that another time).

I hope that all of you– anyone stopping by– is celebrating the start of this new year with moments as joyful and meaningful as mine have been. Happy New Year!

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson