Surprising a YouTube Friend

 

 

Steph Cake

Cake made and delivered by Jasmin’s Cakes and More

 

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Today has been a great day!  Almost two months ago, a YouTube friend commented on one of my videos that she was turning 50 on April 4th and had never had a party.  She also said she usually makes her own cake.  We chatted about it a bit and then I decided I was going to remember that date and throw her a surprise birthday party via video.  I really wanted to send her a cake too, but how?

I finally realized if I had a giveaway and made sure Steph won, she would need to give me her address to claim her prize, which would give me the ability to send her a cake!  I did so and after she emailed me, I was able to look her up on Facebook.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw she liked a bakery and it was close to her.  I emailed them to inquire about delivery and they said, “Hey!  I know Steph!”  And they were available to deliver.

When the cake was delivered this morning, Steph recognized the woman as someone she worked with over 5 years ago and was confused. “Who is this from?”  She said ,”Go watch YouTube.”  Steph knew there was something coming from me, but wasn’t expecting that.  As soon as I knew it was delivered, I published the video.

I worked many hours this past week or so planning, shopping, decorating, trying to get people to be a part of the video, making the video, editing the video, and changing characters multiple times so there would be more “people” telling fake memories of Steph. I had two friends in particular who came over for the party segment, which involved dancing.  They were such good sports and so much fun!

It turns out Steph told her husband last night that she didn’t want to make her cake, so he bought her one, but so did her daughter.  She ended up with three cakes!  She’s so deserving.  The one I chose is the one in the middle. It’s a “mirror cake”.  ”

I was so relieved that Steph loved the video.  I was pretty sure she would, but was a little nervous she wouldn’t like the attention.  It made her day, which made my day!  I love pulling off a surprise!

I hope you watch and enjoy!  It has really lifted my spirits having something positive to focus on.

 

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Jennifer Thomas: A Brilliant Performer Who Is Also LDS

Who is Jennifer Thomas?  She is a classically trained pianist, violinist, and composer who is as beautiful and kind as she is talented.  In the time it takes the average pianist to play a half note, Jennifer has played approximately 50 notes with her four hands.

I met Jennifer in the Fall of 2013 after I was accepted as a Soprano into the newly formed Ensign Symphony & Chorus.  I had some brief exchanges with her, but mostly I stared in awe as she seemed to play everything with such ease.  Did I tell her then how dreamy her hair is or did I just think it in my head?  I’ve told her since then.  That’s some seriously dreamy hair.

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Did I exaggerate about the hair?  No I did not.  Photocred: Ron Southworth

I didn’t even detect a hint of nervousness on stage – as if this were a relaxing spa treatment for her.  I wondered how on earth we scored such an awesome pianist from the beginning.   She had to take maternity leave and I was later pleasantly surprised to learn that Jennifer is quite accomplished and has a following.  I like to call her fans “Groupies with taste”.

Family Photo March 2015

Photocred: Ron Southworth

 

Amazingly, Jennifer’s husband, Will Thomas, was even able to quit his job so they could focus on her career together.  It is a total team effort that would not be possible without him.  Maybe you’re wondering, “Then why haven’t I heard of her?”  Do you know John Williams?  Yes, he wrote all of those awesome soundtracks to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, Harry Potter, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and more.  But do you know what he looks like?  Probably not.  You do know that those movies would not be the same at all without his epic music.

Chances are, you have heard Jennifer’s music and you don’t know it.  It has been featured in ice skating championships, sports placements, and more.  When I listen to her music, I think how much of it belongs in a full length film.  I do believe she will become a household name.  Also, she looks gorgeous in an evening gown, unlike John Williams.

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Jennifer holding her youngest son whom she hasn’t seen in days due to concerts and traveling. Photocred: Will Thomas

With her new Christmas album “Winter Symphony”, Jennifer ventured into choral composition, which was a beautiful addition and something I was blessed to be a part of.  You know how some musicians take your favorite Christmas songs and ruin them?  Jennifer doesn’t do that.  Jennifer would never slaughter your favorite Christmas song, nor would she compose a horrible, original Christmas song (nods to “Christmas Shoes”).  Born with a romantic soul, Jennifer gives new life to your favorite Christmas songs and a new appreciation for them.  Many composers can churn out arrangements of Christmas classics, but often provide the sense that it’s a quick money-maker.  This is not the case with Jennifer.

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Excited fans line up to meet Jennifer at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Photocred: Will Thomas

To the LDS world:  Start taking notice of this extraordinary woman!  Mormon.org has been posting “12 Days of Social” and “Alleluia” would have been an excellent choice as it truly is Christ centered.  Watch it and tell me the new star in the sky didn’t make you cry a little.  I know Baby Jesus made you cry!

Mothers Day 2014

Mothers Day 2014 – Photocred: Will Thomas

You. Love. Her.  You just don’t know it yet.  This mother of three adorable little boys has received multiple awards and nominations due to her passion, lifetime of hard work, and determination.  This is not your typical “LDS artist”.  She’s not a Mormon who writes Mormon music for other Mormons.  She is a faithful LDS woman with unique gifts that can bless people throughout the world.

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She plays the piano in the forest, people!  I’m not sure what else you want. Photocred: Tel Stewart

We Mormons have been quick to claim many LDS entertainers as our own – Jon Heder, Brandon Flowers, Stephenie Meyer, and more.  I have known Jennifer’s work to always be praiseworthy and of good report.  It’s not even possible to be filled with bitter jealousy towards her because she’s incredibly nice, going to great lengths to make sure others are given credit where credit is due, recognizing the value of everyone who takes part in her masterpieces, and she personally thanks each fan whenever possible.

 

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Photocred: Will Thomas

 

You can explore her music on Pandora here and she also has a holiday station that features songs from Winter Symphony, which can be purchased on Amazon, Googleplay, iTunes, and Bandcamp.com

Merry Christmas!