The Nutcracker

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oh, I better explain The Nutcracker....

Years before we had our little boy Kenneth used to buy me season ballet tickets.  And so of course we have seen The Nutcracker performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle many times.

And let me tell you the sets are magical.  All inspired by the art of  Maurice Sendak.  The pages of his book really comes to life!  The Christmas tree grows, it's amazing.

BUT the end.... OMG the end!

OK let me back up. When I was growing up my two sisters took dance classes at a cutesy little dance school.  "Miss Margene's" I think it was.  Anyway, every other year Miss Margene shared her scary Nutcracker nightmare with us.  Talk about the longest recital in history.  In order to make sure every class and child was showcased enough she added in all sorts of extra numbers and songs.  One year there was a sister dance and they both performed together as sugar plum fairies.  Cute.  Another year one of my sisters spent most of one number rolling back and forth across the stage as a wave. Yeah, you get the idea.  Nonetheless, the parents really did love it.  Mothers and Grandmothers anyway.

So back to PNB's Nutcracker.  The story finally wraps up at just the perfect time that you decide you need to get up and stretch your legs.  As you reach for the shoes you kicked off (I'm short, I can never reach the floor comfortable and often loose a shoe in church pews and theater seats)  just as you start to glance towards the exit here comes another number...

And one by one all these storybook characters that were never IN the story to begin with come out and get their special solo.  One after the other after the other.  Now that I think about this, I am pretty sure I am thinking about PNB's production of Sleeping Beauty, which is long, really long.  Well done, but long.  One year these two delightful grade school girls were sitting in front of us.  And they were pretty much finished with the ballet by intermission.  So when this finale of all finales started they just lost it.  Melting out of their seats, asking for food and drink as though they had been starved for a year.  Oh, it was so funny.  What's not funny is that you didn't have to be a gradeschool kid with zero attention span...  Any normal person would be wondering how long the nightmare would go on (except the performers own Mothers and Grandmothers of course).

It wasn't hard to get Kenneth to take me to the ballet. We already held season tickets to the Paramount so we could catch all the off Broadway shows that came to town.  And Kenneth LOVES music.  But those last few numbers always just pushed him just over that edge.

And so I laughed when I first heard Straight No Chaser's "Nutcracker" which he had included, unbeknownst to me, in our annual Christmas playlist.  And no, we don't see it as a lousy tradition.  Although, for some reason we have never taken Awsumb to the Nutcracker. We've talked about it, we just never make it happen. Next year for sure! 

So Kenneth, I'm leaning in closely and whispering softly, "I can't wait for you to take me next year!"

Royal Blue

Monday, December 16, 2013


The end of another year.
An eventful year.
A stressful year.
A painful year.
A mournful year.
Yet still a year
 filled with love,
hope and happiness.
No specific commentary on this year's selection.  But we are obviously missing a loved one.  And thinking about those close to us who will spend this holiday alone. Yet still thankful for all that we have and looking forward to celebrating with loved ones still with us, both near and far away.

Wishing you a

Royal Blue Christmas!

Kenneth, Wendy
 and Awsumb
You can listen to our 2013 Christmas Mix on Spotify

Click the music tab on the right side of this blog to see previous Christmas mixes.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The name of the front of the jersey
 represents who you play for,
the name on the back of the jersey
 represents who raised you.
Do them both justice.
The Hardy Boys
Rag Tag Whiffle Bag Team

 Play Ball!

Good Tidings Of Great Joy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

 The Gospel According to St Luke, Chapter 2
 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus,
that all the world should be taxed.
 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife,
being great with child.
 And so it was, that, while they were there,
 the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

  10 And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold,

I bring you agood tidings

of great bjoy,

which shall be to all people.

 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 Awsumb and his Nativity age 1
Awsumb telling the Christmas Story
 in his own words age 3
When Awsumb was small he was so cute when he would play with his Little People Nativity and retell the Christmas Story.  He always got a big kick out of the part when the angel appears to the shepherds and how they were "so afraid!"  Excitedly he would continue the story and repeat the words of the angel, "Fear Not! behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."  And then he would finish by announcing the birth of the Savior.
And we can find joy in these good tidings of great joy because we have been given the biggest gift of all, the Savior.  Not only the greatest example, but his life, his life so that we might be saved.  Really, what comfort this sweet and simple message gives.  And I have watched this message be part of the comfort my husband and his family feels as they buried their father, husband, grandfather.  Because they understand that there is a plan.
I was trying to decide if I should get out Awsumb's Playmobil Nativity that has replaced his Little People Nativity from the toddler years.  I didn't know if he would still want to open the little boxes each day and play with all the little pieces.  But while making our Christmas card for the year I was thinking about him and how from such a little age he too could find excitement in the good tidings of great joy and see that the delights of the season were all about knowing that he has a Father who is in Heaven and who loves him enough to send his son.
May you all feel the comfort and peace that the news of these good tidings of great joy bring!

Merry Christmas!

I Am Becoming...

Awsumb Kenneth Hardy
age 12

 I am becoming...

This statement was above the school doors my son entered every day of elementary school.  This year he is in the 6th grade, at a new school with a lot of pressure and expectations upon him.  And he is becoming... quite the little man.  Some days I wish with all my heart he could stay little forever.  And others I marvel at who he is becoming.