Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm not dead. . .yet. . .

So, for those of you who may actually still check this blog, I am not dead. Far from it, actually. My life has been full of fun lately complete with three camping trips; a three week stint in Utah visiting friends and family, seeing four musical performances, and buying a new car; my highest bowling score ever-158!; directing Peter Pan at drama camp in the mountains; playing volleyball and watching softball in Clement Park; and working out. I began a new job as an office manager for an evaporative cooling company as well as continuing to be involved in educational theatre. I begin directing A Midsummer Night's Dream next week at Chatfield High School, will help with their showcase, am teaching some choir classes and doing choreography and makeup at Lakewood High School this year, will direct Wheat Ridge High School's musical again this year, and will probably choreograph the fifth grade musical again. Woo hoo!

I continue to love my calling as the Enrichment counselor in the Relief Society presidency in my singles' ward. I serve with the greatest girls and just planned and executed a great activity. It was entitled "Everyone Has A Story" and I learned a lot more about the sisters in my ward. We made a delicious cajun chicken salad and had croissants, grapes, and key lime cheesecake as well. Mmmm. . .I'll post a few photos soon!

Well, I mentioned working out earlier and if you know me at all, you will know that I hate sweating! I am into the sixth week of working out five days a week for 45 minutes. I either work out on the elliptical or the treadmill, but I know that I need to start adding in some weight training. If you have suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. I feel like my stamina and posture have improved and I am losing a bit of weight, but I have at least 20 pounds to go. Again, throw any suggestions my way. I am grateful to finally be in the habit of working out and do feel a sense of accomplishment after every completion.

Continue to post about your darling families and fun happenings and I hope to stay more up to date as well. Pictures coming SOON. . .

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Finally. . .

Sorry that I have been SO lame about keeping up with this blog! I appreciate nudges and concern from many of you. I have been really busy socially, with church, and working on the musical Brigadoon. The show goes up on Thursday and I am so excited. We are definitely ready for an audience! I have loved directing this show and working with an amazing team of adults and a nice group of kids. If you are in Denver this weekend, you should check it out. You will be entertained and left with a hankering for everything Scottish! Remember: Everything's better in a kilt!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fa la la la la, la la la la

As many of you know, singing is one of my absolute favorite activities, so Christmas caroling is my favorite activity at the holidays. I have had the opportunity to sing quite a bit this season so far. My friend Noell and I sang a lovely John Rutter tune, "Angel's Carol," as a duet in sacrament meeting this past Sunday. Monday, my young single adult church group picked a neighborhood and caroled to several families on that street. The best part was when one woman was moved to tears while we sang. It sure wasn't our singing that moved her, but our spirits speaking to one another. I love that the message of Christ is more easily received this time of year, but I also believe that one's testimony can be shared even more poignantly through song.
Saturday night I attended my church Christmas party. We snapped some photos amidst the celebrating including this one of Noell, Me, and Andi. I love how happy Andi looks (and I love my hair!).

Last night a group of us went caroling on 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. My new friend Cortino put together a fun group and books of music. We travelled up and down this shopping district spreading Christmas cheer. In the above photo we had several people join us as well. I'm not sure why I look annoyed, because I wasn't at all.

Singing "Silent Night" complete with Noell's descant.

We ended our time downtown with a trip to Starbucks for peppermint hot cocoa. We had a very successful evening after being videotaped for a church show, inviting others to sing with us, making new friends, and feeling the spirit as we bore our testimonies and spread Christmas cheer.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
What is your favorite Christmas Carol?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Two Year Anniversary!

Today is the anniversary of when I became endowed. I remember the freezing cold weather and the butterflies in my stomach, but that is overshadowed by the overwhelming calm and completeness that I felt upon entering those double doors. There is no other place on earth where I can go for absolute peace and clarity of mind. The Denver Temple is especially meaningful to me because my whole family toured it before it was dedicated and I was able to attend the dedication as well. I was just barely baptized, which made me eligible to go. I was so excited and felt so grown up as I donned my baptismal dress and skipped a day of third grade. My Mom was in the choir and was in a different room than my Dad and me. She was singing behind President Benson and he turned around and spoke to her at one point; cool, huh? While I sat in the endowment room this second time as I was making covenants with Heavenly Father, I remembered this time when I sat there beside my Dad and knew that he was with me this second time too, even when I couldn't see him. I know that the Gospel of Christ is true and that the covenants we make in His Temples are sacred. I am grateful for the blessings of the Gospel and the Temple.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The First Signs of Christmas

Hooray for the holidays! I finally began decorating my house today. I don't know what's been holding me back (read laziness), but the nativity has arrived. I coveted this particular nativity for several years and was shocked when my mom surprised me with the entire scene before last Christmas. I was sad to put it away last year and am happy to have it back. Well, I'm in for several more hours of decorating, but my favorite show is on tonight, so I am ready! What is your favorite decoration? When do you decorate for the holidays? How long does it take you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Christmas Miracle?????

Yesterday I made a trip to the DMV, otherwise known as Hell. I have been dreading this trip, but it was inevitable since I lost my license and really needed a new one. It is a pain to go to the bank, use my debit card, pick up tickets at will-call, etc. . .Well, I arrived there much later than anticipated:4:05, and was sure that I was too late since the line is usually SOOOOOO long. Miracle of miracles, I was eye tested, paid for, and photo taken in THIRTY minutes. You read that right: Start to finish at the DMV was 30 minutes and everyone was pleasant. What?!? I felt like I was in an alternate universe, but wanted to post this with a repentant attitude. I am sorry for calling the DMV: hell. On a side note, I think it's funny that someone wrote a musical about the DMV experience. I've never seen it, but might want to. What is your most memorable DMV experience?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Girls' Night Out: Pride and Prejudice

What a treat! This evening I went to see the play Pride & Prejudice with my cute friends Elisa and Noell. We are in the same ward and these great girls have become good friends to me. We all love Jane Austen's classic story and have read the novel numerous times, seen all of the film versions (BBC, A&E, Keira Knightly, Pink LDS, Bollywood, etc. . .) more than five times each, read spin-off stories, saw the Jane Austen movie, and more. Needless to say, we were all so excited to see this stage version presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company and what a
spectacular show! I wish that you all could see it because my description will hardly do it justice. The costumes were gorgeous made out of silks and taffetas with beautiful coats, capes, purses, and lovely headwear. The set was two stories with incredible scenic painting of the English countryside. There were multiple doors and entryways with sliding doors in some of the areas that made the comedy even more pointed. Though the set was basically the same for all scenes, there were furniture pieces, curtains, an arbor, bushes, and a large painting of the beautiful Mr. Darcy that moved on and off on a sliding system and using "servants" as well. Though a most aesthetically pleasing view, the adaptation of the novel was spot on and the acting excellent! The dialects were perfect and the use of the comedic "beat" and longer pauses were perfect. Oh how culture edifies my heart! There were some times when the audience gasped and I was shocked that not everyone knew this timely tale, but be it your first or one of many experiences with this story, it was perfect. I saw several students at this particular performance as well and am always excited that they are choosing the theatre instead of the many other forms of recreation that come their way. The girls and I had such a great time on the town. It is always nice to have a reason to dress up and visit the city, especially for theatre! After the show, we went to the Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner and talked until 11:30. Whoa! I am glad that I don't have to work early tomorrow, though I do have A LOT to do. What is your favorite adaptation of this novel? What is your favorite form of uplifting recreation?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Good Mail and Cards

Recently I've received good mail and some really cute cards. The first came from my mom for Halloween. It is the middle one with a little girl witch perusing several broomsticks. Inside it says, "A Girl's Got to Accessorize!" I loved it and it made me laugh. When my sister came to see Beauty & the Beast she brought me a funny Gilda Radner talking card (Jacque's been really into music and talking cards lately; she totally gets a kick out of them!). It is a hilarious card and she also gave me an Olive Garden gift card to celebrate a show well done. That is so sweet; she's always been my biggest fan-lucky me! Next, on the final day of the show, the cast and crew gave me the french Merci card. I love the rhinestone details and the fleur de lis, of course. They were really thoughtful and gave me a pedicure gift certificate as well. (Note the cute packaging with the nail file, etc. . .) I can't wait to pamper myself. A pedicure can just about right all wrongs! Finally, when I returned home from the final show I had completely unexpected good mail waiting for me. I hadn't been home in a few days because I stayed at Janice's house when I had to be at the show early. This good mail was from my great friend Sara Thomas. She sent me the new Dean Hughes book and a sweet note. She also bought a copy of the book for herself and we can hopefully compare notes soon. I felt so loved this week and realize that I need to write more notes and think of ways that I can be more thoughtful so that I can fill up others as I was! Thanks to all of you who are so mindful of and wonderful to me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Devouring Books!

I am constantly reading and have read even more books than usual because I have been sharing books with friends. I find that when I make time to edify myself and enjoy great writing, I am more fulfilled and happy. I also get a lot less sleep because I read before bed and have found myself awake at 3 and 4 in the morning-whoa! A few nights ago I finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. This novel was heartbreaking, but kept me reading because of the fine turn of phrase and depth of understanding. This novel explores the consequences of split second decisions and the ways that each decision small and large affects our lives and others' for good or ill. There is also a thematic element of society's reaction to down syndrome from the 1960's to the 1990's. Another theme is how music can truly heal and soothe one's soul. One of my favorite parts is "Music is like you touch the pulse of the world. Music is always happening and sometimes you get to touch it for a while, and when you do you know that everything's connected to everything else." I love the idea that through music and creativity we are able to connect more deeply with one another and that we can understand the bigger picture.

This week my Relief Society book club also met and discussed the novels Light on Snow by Anita Shreve and These is My Words by Nancy Turner. We only discussed two because our last book club was cancelled after I had some major time conflicts last time. It was interesting to get together with other women and discuss our reactions to writing about and by women. We liked the idea that it is important to continue learning and to find ways to be productive. We also discussed how one never knows how one will react to tragedy until it occurs, but that a foundation in the gospel helps us to have a rock to cling to.

Last night I began the newest Dean Hughes novel. It is set during the depression and has LDS themes as well. I am only 30 pages in, but am enjoying it already!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Openin', Another Show. . .

Beauty & the Beast was amazing! We played to over 5,000 people and had to put people in the aisles. Even with a total of seven shows and a very large auditorium, we had three-page waiting lists for the final three performances. I am exhausted today, but totally satisfied. When Belle entered in her spectacular ball gown, there was an audible gasp from all of the little girls in the audience, several of whom were dressed as princesses themselves. So cute! After each show, Belle was swarmed with little girls. Julia, who played Belle, was so gracious and talked to each of them.
Lefou, Gaston, and the Silly Girls during the "Gaston" song. I love all of the wigs, of course! The actors were great too! The actresses playing the Silly Girls were so funny yesterday when they were so sad to return their wigs.

"Be Our Guest" was a spectacular event. It got several standing ovations at its finish and the audience clapped through the entire song as more and more enchanted objects entered the stage. We had plates, tea cups, knives, forks, spoons, a whisk, cheese grater, pie server, measuring spoons, candles, vases, napkins, etc. . . Each group of objects also had a specific makeup design in gold and silver glitter.

The mob was especially heinous. The townspeople in this scene transformed by putting shadow under their eyes and hollowing out their cheekbones. Ewww. . .

After Lumiere and Babette transformed into humans, they are able to really flirt! I love this photo and Josh and Sonia. They were the cast captains and some of the nicest kids I have ever worked with. They orchestrated director gifts and I got a pedicure gift certificate from a posh place in Boulder. That is SO nice. I felt so appreciated. If you are ever worried about teenagers, you should meet these kids and your faith will be renewed.

The napkins and flatware in "Be Our Guest." Yesterday, backstage, it was so cute when some of the enchanted objects laid down on the floor and made a place setting. The other kids were taking photos from above. It was darling and they were having so much fun!

I love the brown feather dusters and the way that they swooped open the curtains at the beginning of "Be Our Guest." All of the choreography was incredible!

My favorite photo! I can't believe that this was captured so perfectly! At the finale of "Be Our Guest" we set off confetti. The first time I was in the auditorium and this happened, I jumped! It was so cool.
Well, I have tons more photos, and had a hard enough time choosing these. I hope that you enjoyed them. Thanks for being interested in my endeavors. For those of you who got to see the show, thanks! I love theatre and the fact that it really can be a magical experience for the cast, crew, and audience.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Beauty & the Beast Backstage Preview

I am having a great time working on this fun show. The cast and crew are working so hard and the result is enchanting. I have learned how to use prosthetics, glitter, and a new cake makeup for special effects. We are using over 50 hair pieces that I ordered and styled and some actors use three per show. I am so grateful for this experience and to work with a great production staff as well! Here's to opening a great show tomorrow. . .

Ewww. . . Some of the creepiest characters in the show: The Monsieur d'Arque and the Beast! Today was the matinee performance for the middle and elementary schools. Everything went really well, from an audible audience gasp from the girls when Belle entered in her ball gown, and another from everyone at the transformation of the beast. If you live in Colorado, please join us for a fantastically entertaining evening starting tomorrow and running through November 11, with two shows on Saturday.

Here is the Beast ala Elvis!

Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Lumiere

Belle, of course!

The Enchantress
More photos to come!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Worlds. . .

I adore reading and love finding new worlds to immerse myself in. After reading The Kite Runner a few months ago, I was anxious to begin A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author. In our war torn world I think it especially necessary to learn about other cultures before making judgements and I am grateful for the insight into the middle east that this author shares. Of course, these are fictional novels, but are based in truth and the author grew up in Afghanistan before moving to the US in the 80's. It was great to be able to understand terms and names of leaders that we only hear on the news: jihad, Taliban, etc. . .A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the stories of two Afghan women whose paths cross when they are married to the same man. One of the women is my age, and though none of the events of our lives is the same, I can identify with her. It defines jealousy and all of its ugliness between the women, the husband, and the children. I especially appreciated the way and depth that Hosseini explores familial relations. This is a difficult read because of its honesty. There are unconventional heroes but no one really wins. The writing is exquisite and uses middle eastern poetry to bind thoughts. If you are wanting a great read and more insight into why we might be fighting middle eastern terrorism, I recommend this novel. Keep in mind that some subjects will leave you with the taste of bile in your mouth and a sting on your cheek, but every page is worth it! What are you reading and what do you recommend?