February: Ironically the Longest Month of the Year

^^Big brother playing Conrad's favorite game after school: Peel the Apple.  It's a type of tickling game that gets everyone laughing.^^

There are only 28 days in February.  It's the shortest month of the year.  Why then does it always feel so neverending?

This year, we are living in an ice box: a place where the snow just keeps coming down, it never melts, and the roads are icy.  Winter arrived in all its fury this February and is refusing to go away!

Okay.  Okay.  So it's really pretty.  And being "snowed in" makes justifying staying home in my sweat pants and watching too much TV kind of sweetly satisfying.  But I, a self-proclaimed sun worshiper, will never truly embrace winter no matter how hard I try.  Nope.  I'm ready to hop on my bike or hit up the park with my little sidekick!  Spring.  Where are you?!?

All this cold has spurred on some nasty illness statewide.  The actual flu virus swept through our home last week.  Jed and Levi had a wrestling tournament in Jerome on February 9th.  I'm 98% positive that's where the bug came from.

By the way, the boys wrestled well.  Even though they didn't win any trophies, they made us proud.  Jed is a scrappy thing with some grit!  And Levi just needs some more time on the mats to really figure out the sport.  The morning was a good experience for everyone and we celebrated by taking the kids out to lunch.

That evening, while Bron and I were out on a date, we got a phone call from Levi around 8:45pm saying that Jed had thrown up everywhere and that we needed to come home fast.  (Poor traumatized babysitter!)  We arrived home to find that Jed had indeed thrown up everywhere and was lying on the bathroom floor with a fever.  Poor kid.  By 10pm, everything was cleaned up and under control again.  By 8am the next day, Jed was acting like nothing had happened!  He's our chronic puker, after all.  (Meaning, when he gets upset or overtired, he throws up!)  I wasn't quite sure what to think.  And so with church canceled Sunday morning (due to winter roads), I went ahead and let him join the neighborhood kids playing in the fresh snow outside.

Then I started coming down with what I felt like was a cold.  By Monday evening, I had a full blown fever and chills accompanied by a nasty cough, swollen lymphs, a stuffy nose, sore throat, achy muscles, night sweats... the whole nine yards.  I was shaking uncontrollably as I tried to change one of Conrad's pull ups.  It was awful.  This went on for four days.  I have never been so sick in my life.  I was pretty worthless as a mother.  I filled up Conrad's sippy with milk and tossed him things to eat like crackers and an apple.

Levi caught the bug too and stayed home from school for two days.  He's such a tough kid; never complained or asked for much.  Then Bron came down with the flu.  The day we were both on our death beds was the worst.  I texted out to some friends for help because neither of us had the energy to feed ourselves, let alone the kids.  Fortunately, Natalie was in town and picked us up a take and bake pizza.  She was our angel that day.

Conrad thankfully never came down with the bug because he had a flu shot back in November at his two year old appointment.  That, or he didn't catch it because he lets the dogs lick his mouth?!  Jury is still out on that one.  Either way, I am so glad he didn't get sick.  But I sure struggled to keep up with him.

Now we're midway through the next week.  We all still need more sleep than usual, but are feeling much better.

^^Winter boredom buster: rides on Mom's feet!^^

Backing up to earlier in the month, I auditioned via video for a spot in the violins in the Treasure Valley Millennial Choirs and Orchestra in Boise.  My motivation for trying out was/is to be able to make memories and music alongside my mom in the orchestra.  After all, we're not getting any younger!

Well, I'm bratty enough to expect I'd get in.  What I did not expect was an invitation to be the concert master!  I had a video chat with two of the directors where they asked me to learn a couple of solo excerpts from a piece.  They made it sound like if I played it to their satisfaction, I'd get the part.  Connecting the dots, that meant I'd get to play a solo in Carnegie Hall on tour to New York City this summer!  I'll say that again: PLAY A SOLO IN CARNEGIE HALL IN NEW YORK CITY.  It was too good to be true.  An opportunity like that just doesn't land in my lap.  I'm dreaming right?

Yes, I was dreaming.  I turned in my video.  Then I didn't hear back for a few days.  I knew then that something or some kind of politics was going on.  Then I finally got an email.  The role of concertmaster was ultimately given to another woman.

^^All 3 in the frame.  Putting together Valentine's Day cards for their classes.^^

Crushed doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.  It's a decision I take very personally.  How can I not?  Maybe if I'd have known I was competing against someone for the spot I would have amped up my audition game?  I could have shown them it was memorized but didn't feel it was necessary.  Maybe if I hadn't learned a passage crammed with notes and a bunch of double flats and accidentals while running a fever of 102 I wouldn't have missed a note?  Because apparently I did.  Ouch!

Second is the worst place in the world to be.  It's almost.  It's not quite good enough.  It's regret.  It's need to work harder.  It's "Jessie, you've been out of the music world way too long. What were you thinking?"  Ugh.  Failure.  I just let an incredible opportunity slip through my fingers.  Literally.  I suck.

But then again, I was lamenting to my sister that although it felt flattering to be considered for concertmaster, I was a bit disappointed that there was no one with more talent to rub shoulders with, to challenge me, to learn from.  Well, I guess I got my wish!

So there's the silver lining.

It'll still be fun to play.  And I still get to perform in Carnegie Hall this summer.  Pressure free though, right?  So now I'm right back to my original expectations: get in to the orchestra, make music, create memories, and have some fun.

Someone else just gets to live the dream that I thought was mine.  What a mean get-your-hopes-up.

Eight whole days till February is over.  It's been a long month.

^^Little man who lives in his underwear and likes to sing, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."  It's kind of the cutest.^^

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