Dave gave me an INCREDIBLE new camera that I haven’t quite learned to use, yet. It’s so smart! There are so many settings! Shutter speed. Aperture. ISO. Dynamic Range. I don’t have a clue about any of it as evidenced by this picture I took of Julia and Lucy at The Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Ribbon Festival last Saturday.

A Blurry Lucy and Julia at The Ribbon Festival

(And yeah, that was the best one.)

If it weren’t blurry, you could see that Lucy is holding a First Year ribbon and Julia, a Fifth Year ribbon.

(Want to time travel? Here’s what I shared about Julia’s First, Second, Third, and Fourth Year performances.)

I did, however, capture some video that turned out alright.

Lucy was the first in her group to perform. She played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Variations D and C by Shinichi Suzuki. She started out so strong, it seemed she was on her way to a flawless performance. And she wanted to turn in a flawless performance, which is why she started over after that first little finger slip. I sat there, willing her to look at me so I could do our just-keep-swimming fish motion with my hand, but she already knew that’s what she needed to do and she did. She kept going.

(You can’t see it on the video, but the blonde boy you can catch a glimpse of in the audience on the right of the screen was giving her all kinds of encouragement – big smiles, head nods, thumbs up. I loved him for that.)

She was so pleased and proud when she finished, and so was I. She’s worked so very hard at piano.

Here’s what the judge wrote to her:

Lucy –
Congratulations on your first Ribbon Festival! Good job on both the Twinkle variations! What piece do you think you will be playing for your second ribbon next year? Practice a lot and who knows! Keep up the good work and the very best to you!

Julia was up next. She played A Short Story by Heinrich Lichner. Of all the songs she’s learned, it is my favorite.

She had a couple stumbles, but pulled off a decent performance overall. She’d had a tendency to plow through this song, gaining speed with every measure, so she spent a lot of time practicing with a metronome to learn to keep it steady. She was very pleased that the judge commented on that:

Julia –
This was a very nice performance! You seemed very confident and your memory was solid. The tempo you took was appropriate and you kept it nice and steady throughout. There was just one slight slip. It would be nice if you could play the left hand bass pattern a little softer than the right hand melody. Thanks for playing today.

We celebrated with dinner at Denny’s – and dessert, too. And later, a squishy bath.

Squishy Bath

(Okay, it’s supposed to be “Squishy Baff,” but saying or even typing “Baff” makes me throw up in my mouth a little.)


The pictures are getting better, though.

Bee and her Lucy

Am I right?

Holy Guacamole!




Picking Julia up from school


35 weeks pregnant with Jackson

Maybe not.