The above photos are a little something I like to call paradise. A.K.A.--Palo Alto and San Fran. I had the opportunity to perform one of my favorite works of musical theatre with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities. How could I say no to that?!
And that's where my husband's award comes in. This would not have been possible without him. (Or my in-laws, including my sister-in-law, Joy Payne--yes, her name is an oxymoron--who happened to take a last minute trip to Utah the same weekend I was gone. She was able to help with the kids AND provide entertainment for Peter and Zoë with her kids also staying at Grandma's.)
So with no further adieu...Husband of the Year goes to Vic Jackson. (Audience claps. Standing ovation.)
If you don't know the composer Jason Robert Brown and his work, "Songs for a New World"--you are really missing out.
I felt like an entirely different person on this trip. A person I really, really liked. It was so great to not be "Molly the Mom" or "Molly who lost her daughter" or "Molly the Mormon" (ha) on this trip. I was just....Molly.
I had a wonderful 9 mile run around Stanford (including some KILLER hills) and had an absolute joyful time seeing old friends and making new ones. My good friend Spencer (above in the plaid tie) is the head of the music department at a private school in Los Altos Hills called Pinewood. He put together this extraordinary concert as their big fundraising event for the year. The students got to perform with professionals, which made for an absolutely unique and wonderful experience for everyone involved. These kids were incredible. I LOVED getting to know them and sharing the stage with them. I may have loved getting to know their parents even more. I had one particularly powerful conversation with a student named Katrina that has left a lasting impression on me. But it deserves a post of its own.
So Spencer invited me to come participate and I was thrilled with the opportunity. He and his wife are so incredibly darling and talented. And their house is to die for. (Pictured above). I spent my time in rehearsals, running, dining out, hitting up the city and the De Young Art Museum where I saw the famous Dutch Painting "The Girl with the Pearl Earring", reading, catching up with Spencer and Afton (who I was in Young Ambassadors with 10 years ago at BYU!), and just enjoying being with MYSELF. I'm pretty awesome when I can think straight and go to the bathroom when I need to and feed myself when I need to. Amazing. It kind of felt like magic.
I know it isn't always easy or possible, but I strongly encourage you to spend some time alone--just away from it all if you can. Finding your center again is worth so much. I came home ready to tackle this motherhood thing with a new energy and perspective.
So once again, THANK YOU, VICTOR, for taking care of the kids, making arrangements for extra help, going to swimming lessons with Peter, dealing with poopy diapers and bedtimes, and for working on laundry and taxes while I traipsed around San Fran and lived my dreams for a weekend! (Yes, we are still filing our taxes from 2012.)
Call the doctor, quick! I think I left my heart in San Francisco!
Afton, Spencer, yours truly (and let's not talk about my hair in this photo...???)
Spencer and his lovely wife Shanelle (girl crush)