Julia: “I want to be an astronomer when I grow up.”

Lucy and Julia at the bridge

Lucy: “When I grow up, I want to be a super star – like Julia.”

Always trying to catch up

Julia: “Wow, Lucy. Thanks. I’m not really a super star, though.”

Lucy and Julia at the Tree of Many Trees

Julia, to her, you are.

My Mom and Picasso

by Leslie

My mom and Picasso

I absolutely love this picture because that look on my mother’s face? THAT is my mother. If I had to tell you who my mom is in a glimpse – that’s it, right there. The cat in her lap is no mistake, either.

Julia began piano lessons at age three on June 14, 2007. I know because I wrote about it. I’m so glad I did. It was one of those times I believed I’d never forget. And I haven’t. But memories pile up. They push up against each other, rub together. It gets harder to know one from the other. They blur and distort simply from the way they are stored. And nothing looks the same four years away. This is why I will never stop blogging. With just the wiggle of a finger, a click can take me back to that moment, like a time machine. I can stand right in it, see what she looked like, and experience how I felt then all over again, because it’s captured in my own words and through my own lens. I’m so thankful for that.

If you’ve been reading here for long or have the interest to click for the backstories I link to, you know piano has been as much a growing experience for me as it’s been for Julia. It’s something we’ve always done together. I’ve taken notes at every class, stood behind her during every practice and held my breath at each performance. I’m not taking credit for her hard work, but it would be remiss to ignore my contribution. Julia has given her heart to piano and I’ve given my heart to her. We’ve both been invested in this endeavor. She recently completed book one in her Suzuki curriculum and on Friday, we celebrated this accomplishment with a recital.

Recital Invitation

I wanted to do it BIG, because this felt so, so big. But the truth is, it was only big to a few people. And so, my wise husband talked me down from the chocolate fountain, the fondant cake and the performance hall. Instead, we held the recital at a local church.

Recital Program - Top

There are 18 songs in book one and Julia performed them all, as well as the duet with her grandma that she’d learned for a piano ensemble event last year.

Recital Program - Bottom

Since the songs were relatively short, we mixed things up a little. We folded an origami butterfly for each song and attached them to some floral wire, labeled them, and stuck them among a display of flowers.

Origami Butterfly

Recital flowers and origami butterflies

Throughout the recital, Julia invited members from the audience to select a butterfly to determine which song she would play. She recognized her teacher Mr. Palmer and invited him to choose the first one. I wish I had a video to share – not just of her performance, but of her opening remarks, because the kid was impressive. But things moved so fast, I didn’t even turn my camera on. Thankfully, the kind members of the church recorded everything for us! The recital will live forever on VHS, and one day, when I can get it converted, here, too. For now, you must take my word that she did alright. There were mistakes, but she handled it with grace. I was very proud of her.

Julia at her Suzuki book one piano recital

After the performance, we enjoyed punch and homemade cupcakes and the company of the good people who showed up to support her.


Small and simple, but no less important.

*The invitations came from the PaperTiger Studio shop at Etsy.

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