No...I didn't win the Bronze Medal in Synchronized Swimming

Audience selfie with hubby at Briar Street Theater before Blue Man Group! 

Audience selfie with hubby at Briar Street Theater before Blue Man Group! 

A couple of weeks ago I took my high school band on an overnight trip to Chicago. It was an awesome trip which I will write more about in the coming weeks. 

One of the trip's highlights was seeing a performance by The Blue Man Group. It was my first time seeing the production and I had no idea how much comedy was woven into the show. Before the show started  an LED scrolling prompter at the front of the room set the tone for the entire evening. It got the audience's attention and soon we were all reading the words aloud. The script informed the audience that a special guest was in attendance tonight. Then I was called out by name to stand up. Having no idea what was going on I stood up.

The audience "welcomed" me as a special guest who had won 3rd place in synchronized swimming in the Olympics. After being subtly roasted for my 3rd place win I was asked to demonstrate a move. I responded with plugging my nose, putting a hand above my head and "sinking" down to the floor while wiggling side to side. After much laughter, the script moved onto the next victim. What made the roast even more funny to me, was that I actually competed in synchronized swimming when I was in 3rd grade. (Go Menomonee Falls Dolphinettes!) So while I never made it to the Olympics at least they got the 3rd part right!

On the bus the next day, one of my students asked if I had really won the bronze medal in the Olympics...


Meringue Mushroom Birthday Cake and a Forest Themed Party

My son fell in love with at mushrooms while we were hiking in the Smokey Mountains this summer. Not eating them - just looking at them. "Mama come take a picture of this one! Look at that one!" We could hardly make it a minute without a new mushroom being spotted.  Everyone seemed to agree - it was a phenomenal year for mushrooms. Before we left the mountains we ended up buying a laminated mushroom guide at the Sugarland Visitor Center for our four year old.

Throughout the rest of the summer and the fall we heard many more requests to look up different mushrooms. We added a more in-depth resource to our backpacks - the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms. The pre-occupation with mushrooms seemed to be here to stay.

When it was time to plan his birthday party I decided to plan for a forest theme and began looking for mushroom cakes on Pinterest. I thought I found the one when I saw cupcakes with red frosting and large white chocolate chips pressed into them for spots. They were simple and cute. When I showed my son my Pinterest find he spotted something far superior.  

He wanted "That one!" "That one" was a realistic log cake with meringue mushrooms on it. I couldn't blame him - it was an amazing cake. It looked so real! I wondered, could I really replicate that? Everything I read promised I could.

I ordered a 1A Wilton's frosting tip, waited for Amazon to deliver it, and then (the day before his party) I set out to make my little guy his dream mushroom cake. The mushrooms were a little time consuming but overall not difficult. I have to say the final product was SO cute. The dusting of cocoa powder really made them look real. I kept them in the freezer until right before the party which allowed them to stay crisp. All in all it was a fun project and I finally found a type of mushroom I like to eat. But I've learned my lesson, I'm not showing my kids anything on Pinterest ;)

Meringue Mushroom birthday cake with coconut flake grass

Meringue Mushroom birthday cake with coconut flake grass

Our party theme ended up incorporating: Mushroom Origami Decorations, Mushroom Farm Centerpiece,  mushroom bead craft and of course Meringue Mushroom Birthday Cake!

Our party theme ended up incorporating: Mushroom Origami Decorations, Mushroom Farm Centerpiece,  mushroom bead craft and of course Meringue Mushroom Birthday Cake!

Goodreads Giveaway Time! / More than a Moment / Summer Reading

You've probably started making your summer reading list by now. If not, you still have plenty of time. If a paperback copy of More than a Moment would look at home on your bookshelf, simply click on the Goodreads giveaway link below to learn how to enter to win a paperback copy. These beauties are lined up on my shelf - ready to land on your summer reading pile. I'll be sending out three copies. One to each winner that Goodreads selects for me. The giveaway is open to readers in the US only.

Good luck!!

***Giveaway runs from 5/12/16 to 6/12/16***

Goodreads Book Giveaway

More than a Moment by Kristin Albright

More than a Moment

by Kristin Albright

Giveaway ends June 12, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I'm back at work and my students love to read!

This past fall I went back to teaching after being out of the field for eight years. It was a jolt to my daily routine, but I am enjoying it so much. If you don't like reading about people who love their job just close this now. There is something magical about teaching music to high school students. On a daily basis I get to work with students who...

1) Want to be in my class. (I love that no one "has" to take my class. They are all there by their own choice and that is a wonderful thing).

2) Are bright, motivated, unique and creative. (I seriously get to work with some of the nicest kids in the school!)

3) Work as part of a team. Every day we work together to shape and refine and create music. Every now and then it works so well that I get goosebumps.

4) Grow. Their musicianship and their personhood is so dynamic at this age.

5) Read. 


Yes, they read. I LOVE that they read. I have students who can hardly put down their books (yes paper books!) Being an avid YA reader as allowed me to have all kinds of great conversations with the kids. This semester alone I saw one student with Jennifer Brown's Hate List (one of my all time favorites), and another student with My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (another book I read and enjoyed). I am constantly asking them about what they are reading but have yet to hand them one of my books. Who knows, maybe I'll get brave soon.

I guess today's post is just about happiness. In celebration of finding a job that I love. About working with students who are not only interesting and musical but readers as well. 

The photo in this post is from homecoming week back in October. The theme was "Guess who?" This was the day I became famous ;)