One New Year’s Resolution Down, 9 to go

I finally finished the arrangement of “In Humility Our Savior” for my cousin. She wanted to overcome her fear of singing in public and asked if we could do a duet together in Church. I asked her what songs she liked and she named two, of which this was one. I couldn’t find good arrangements for either, so I told her (last September) that I’d arrange In Humility for us. I used to do some slapped-together arranging back when I was the UCLA Ward choir director and was particularly fond of what today would be called “mashups” meaning I’d shove two hymns together musically and lyrically (Lead Kindly Light and I Need Thee work really well, for instance). The choir had fun with it and was patient, even when we’d discover one measure was missing a beat entirely.

So this was an exciting thing for me to do my first full arrangement and put it in composing software (rather than just use copies of the hymnbook, scissors, paste and white-out, as with the UCLA days 😉 ). I don’t know how to put it in a PDF format, and I haven’t heard real people sing it (just the “choir” bots in the software), but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

Work is fine, I’m in one of my “missing my kids” phases right now and hoping for a deus de machina to make that possible, although the reduced schedule helps. I do have trouble doing much work from home, though, because the kids demand attention sometimes until almost 9 and then I often crash. But I honestly feel my productivity is higher than it was before I changed my schedule. Something about working in 4-hour blocks makes me rush to get things accomplished, rather than the “hare” mentality I often have at the beginning of an 8-hour work day.

Ben is doing well in school and seems pretty happy overall. Sophie is having some struggles feeling left out at Church and school, but I’m arranging for her to go play with her cousins more often. Noah is happy at Lucy’s daycare, but he still seems sad about my absence and really acts out a lot. Lucy is cute, talking more and more, opinionated, and possibly gaining weight. I’m doing some things with diet and herbs and gradually weaning them off the sugar binge they’ve been on since Halloween, motivated by a book I’ve owned but avoided reading for some time, “Little Sugar Addicts.” Since I was praying about these issues the day before my eye fell on that book, buried in the shelf, I felt it must be a prompting.

I am not exactly sure where David is, although on his occasional calls he tells me he is “in the East” or “in the West” (because he is crossing the Mississippi in his travels). I know he’ll be back in a few days, though.

My January probably looks like many people’s January–dieting, going to the gym, writing that book, organizing that room, completing this and that project. Hopefully I’ll get over all this ambition soon and get some real sleep.

My stock guy says “cataclysmic collapse” is coming after inauguration, and some people seem to think that the Gaza/Israel thing is going to develop into Armageddon, but I’m holding out that 2009 will turn out to be a good year anyway.

Love to all–(by which I mean YOU those sweet friends and family who read my blog, not a love for all man–baby steps, you know)


2 replies
  1. brieanne.
    brieanne. says:

    did you know you can download a free “pdf” printer from You just select the pdf printer as your printer when you want to save something in that format. I’d love to hear your arrangement. Music is something I’m resolving to do more of this year too. I love your use of deus de machina. Glad to hear the year is starting out well. AND writing????!!! that is on my to do list for 2011 I think …. not quite ready to start it. Good luck with all of your endeavors!

  2. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    Hi Valerie! I love reading your blog! Now, one thing I wasn’t sure of – have you had your surgery yet? How are you? I want to just run over with a casserole or something, except you are an hour away. Things are good for us – actually, very good, we just feel kind of busy. We look forward to trying to arrange a get together with you guys, but after reading your blog, I’m wondering if January is not nearly as good as February? Besides, the month is 2/3 over already. By the way, Happy Martin Luther King Day! Even though I didn’t vote for him, I’m honestly excited about Obama’s inauguration tomorrow and felt like today was all the more meaningful because of what tomorrow will bring. See you soon,
    Shelly Mock


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