The first weeks of December were a holiday season unlike any other for me. 
I have never been so wound-up and stressed during Christmas-time.  There were so many things on my mind and let’s just say it wasn’t the lovey-dovey let’s-sit-and-take-in-the-Christmas-spirit kind of a deal.  
But somehow Lucy’s handbell performances were kind of like a salve to all that worry.  They were glorious to me because they were hard-won.
I talked about the journey we took to help Lucy be involved in handbells back HERE.
And this face kind of says it all:

Mine matched.

I went each week and stood by her side to help her with timing, making sure the music was situated the right way, etc.

Here’s part of what made my heart swell up so much:

As she started to get it a little more each week she started to get a little annoyed at my help (ha!), so gradually I started to ease off and she did awesome.
But I was always checking in, always a little worried, so I was happy to volunteer any time they needed a parent.  So I got to go help set up for all their performances.
Her handbell teacher set up the first performance at an elderly home to help them practice in front of a crowd.
I helped load all the supplies onto this bus (there are a LOT of things you need to do a handbell performance!)

We got set up and those kids were off to create some beautiful music.

Those elderly folks were pretty endearing, and were a happy audience.

And these handbell players were pretty happy too:

Next up was a performance at the LDS temple visitor’s center.

…which is kind of a big deal because they only take a certain number of performers from all over the valley and it was fun that these kids got to be “the show” one of those nights.

We loaded up the van again, as well as my car this time and headed on over to set up.

We were sending Elle videos so she could “be there” with us, and I think this one was my favorite:

And the head-bob to the counting rhythm is my favorite part.

Here’s another one:

That girl is a serious counter I tell you!

I loved that concentration behind that music stand…and I loved how for some reason she “swirled” her bell to hold on to the sound.

(That’s not a handbell technique in case you were wondering 🙂

So proud of those kids…and their teacher/conductor too.

If you look close you can see the statue of Christ behind them in that building:

This girl was pretty happy about that performance.

And was even more excited when she realized how many cousins and aunts and uncles had come to enjoy the music.

Oh how I love them.

We had called it quits on all sports lessons and extracurricular stuff so we could be there and enjoy that night together.  We stayed to check out all the lights and my heart was so full.

Lucy thinks an excited smile includes her tongue sticking out so Dave joined her 🙂

We were all pretty proud of our little handbell girl.

We went through the visitor center on our way back to the car and of course had to stop at the “I’m a Mormon” station place because these girls always have to watch the one we’re in.

(see me above Claire up there?…kind of fun for them…kind of embarrassing for me!)

If you haven’t watched our “I’m a Mormon” spot, it’s here:

I cannot believe how much these kids have all grown up!!

Loved this night…it was definitely one of those lovey-dovey let’s-sit-and-take-in-the-Christmas-spirit kind of a night after all.
We celebrated at Yogurtland.

Those handbell players had one more performance, this time during the music concert at the school.

They performed in between the orchestra and band performances.

Another beautiful salve on the Christmas spirit.

So grateful Lucy had this opportunity.  I mean, when else is she going to get a chance to wear a shimmery green bowtie and cummerbund?  Ha!  
Sometimes the best things in life are the ones that are hard-won, and to me, this was one of them.


  1. I was teary at the picture of all your family coming to watch Lucy. I love how you support one another! Congrats to Lucy on her many handbell performances and hard work!

  2. I am surprised public school kids were playing at an LDS visitor’s center. Could the kid’s opt out?

    I am thrilled she got to perform and participate in handbells. All that worry and concern; she did it! Great job.

    1. It’s not that uncommon- at least in my experience.

      I’m agnostic and was in band and choir at a public school growing up. We often had our large concerts at a local “mega” church Bc their auditorium was actually larger than the one at my HS and could accommodate more people! I was also in smaller ensemble groups and we’d have performances at various churches year round. From what I could remember there were never any issues from people regarding where the venue was. Esp since we were only using them as places to perform- and had no interaction with people practicing their religion.

    2. I wouldn’t find it surprising if they used a ward building or church while services were not going on. The visitors center seemed full of religion producing materials at the time they were there. Especially when they can see Lucy’s mom promoting her faith over in that part of the room. They also usually have missionaries staffing the places. I suppose if it’s only outside the visitors center it’s less of a conflict. It’s just their faith seems to practice being outside various buildings as a ‘thing’ with the whole touching the temple thing and regularly visiting the grounds even when they can’t go inside. The visitor centers are usually in the same complex as the temple, right. The place seemed to be used at the same time as practicing members were there. Not the same as a church during the week when they don’t have services.

    3. Good question. Over a million visitors come to this Christmas light display every year…people from all different backgrounds and religions or no religion at all… just to enjoy the ambiance of the season. So I don't think any of the parents were worried about letting their kids play there…it's just a beautiful spot to hear Christmas music. There are no religious practices going on, but there are missionaries around to answer questions if people would like to find out more about the Mormon church.

  3. First of all, wow! Lucy’s hand bell music was so beautiful!!! Way to go Lucy! I’m so glad you all managed a way for Lucy to stick with it after the difficulties she had at the start. She must be so proud. I hope she sticks with it (if she loves it of course), seems like such a great activity for her.

    Also, all these years I’ve been reading your blog and I’ve been saying Eyre as if it sounded like “air” in my mind haha. There’s a huge lake near where I’m from in Australia with the same spelling as your name and it’s pronounced air so never gave it a second thought!

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