Friday, October 17, 2014

Where'd you go?

Is that what some of you are wondering?

I think that everyone needs photos and design work by the end of October...

it's a bit crazy!

Not to mention my cousin, Tiffany, and I are getting this Parade of Pumpkins thing going.

What? You haven't heard of it!

It's the biggest fund raiser in the state for the Fragile X Association of Utah!

I mean... that's epic!

Anyway, between that, work, kids' school, photography, kids, meals, money managing, exercise, canning tomatoes and trying to figure out the next play I want to audition for... I guess blogging took a back burner for a bit.


I even have video ready for my YouTube channel vlog and haven't even gotten to that yet!


I even had the opportunity to take pictures of my niece, Kelsey, who is getting married!



It took me back to when she lived with me and we would take photos for fun while she was waiting for her date to show up... this was before I started really being a photographer...

Flashback Friday!!!

 —Blog Post from when she turned 18! here

 —Homecoming her Senior year! here

Now I have to show you her pictures from when she was almost 18 and the pictures I took this week...

She's still just as beautiful! Just so grown up!

P.S. She made her bouquet for the pictures!!! What?!! They are made from paper and book pages! So talented!

Oh, and she even brought her necklace to where with her dress that she wore that year to Homecoming... pretty cool! I love this necklace!

Anyway, it's been a very interesting week...

I really still need to tell you so many things!

Here's a list so I don't forget:

About Sister's new teacher
Update on my back and the surgery
How Baby's coming along in talking and other things
Brother's cool school stuff

Don't let me forget...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Excellent Adventures!

I just recently finished watching "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

I laughed so hard at this movie as a youth, and I laughed hard as an adult because it is so ridiculous!

Seeing this show reminded me of my younger days when movies were edited for TV, Disney showed movies every Sunday for family time, and ATARI was the coolest invention for gaming!

Then I started remember my hairdo, my outfits, my words... yep, my words!

My school binder said it all:

Radical Dude!


Cool Dude!



I was so profound...

Anyway, after I finished this silly movie from my youth I decided to start another movie from my youth.

Ha! Ha!

It wasn't a blockbuster by any means.

In fact I wanted to watch it because a friend in the play I've been in is going to be in the Miss UVU pageant! And our director has been helping her along.

So, the movie I watched was the 1995 Miss Spanish Fork Pageant.

I know, not that exciting.

But, oh, so funny!

I just had to show you the clips of me because humor and fun like this should be shared and not stored away in a shoe box.

One other funny thing is...

When I did this pageant, I was still healing from ACL surgery on my right knee.

I was laughing as I was wearing a back brace for most of the run of the play and here I was watching me do another first in my life while wearing a knee brace.

I'm such a basket case!

I guess I have to prove that I really want to do things, no matter what.

Now, you need to watch the video, and laugh. Oh, and yes, it's VHS, poorly recorded and NOT in widescreen, but I was able to get a pretty decent video with my iPhone of the pretty awful recording...

(Oh, and as a side note: I have some news about my back, but I want to write a post all about that later. Just don't let me forget to tell you...)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Climbing Peaks

Marc and I have figured out how to keep ourselves going mentally, emotionally and physically.

We have started doing things on our own that we truly enjoy!

I have my play (which only has 3 more shows left).

He has his backpacking/climbing adventures.

We still spend lots of time with our kids, with each other, as a family, just now, we have our own thing to revel in and be proud of.

It's really fun!

Marc enjoys watching my play and seeing me so happy and youthful.

I know this picture is blurry, but I LOVE this one because Brother got in on the picture! He thought Wednesday was cute!

Our cast shirt! How cool is that!

I enjoy watching Marc's face brighten each time he talk about a new mountain to climb or lake to hike to.

The crew that went on this last trip!

Standing at the top of the first climb waiting to attack the next one to the top.

At the top!!!

I decided to make a "Our Life YouTube Episode" about Marc's latest adventure. It was such a huge adventure and a first of its kind for him, that I just had to share it with everyone.

I also wanted to show just a clip of the little stuff at home, so you'll see both.

In a weird way, though, when you watch the video and compare Marc's adventure with my everyday...

There are peaks and valleys in both.

Highs and lows.

Happiness and sorrow.

Thrill and boredom.

We all have peaks in our lives that we must climb.

Some have more crags and crevices to grab onto along the way and others are so shear that the only way to make it up is with the help of ropes and bolts.

But, we all make it somehow.

Just when we think we can't we keep going.

When you are half way up the shear side of a mountain and get too tired to keep going, you don't just jump off and give up... you take a rest, reassess the situation and keep going up, even if it is slow.

You may not be climbing the same peak that I am ascending, but you are climbing none-the-less.

Do all that you can to get to the top.

The view is worth the climb...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Successful Fails

So I have figured out away to never fail.


It's quite simple.

You just have to always succeed.


How is that possible?

It's all in the wrist... just kidding...

It's all in the attitude.

I'm not kidding.

I fail a lot.

And I do mean a LOT.

It gets me down sometimes.

Even discouraged.

Sometimes even down-right depressed.

But after today's Successfully failed photo shoot with my children I have decided that failure (as far as life challenges go) is all in the eye of the beholder.

Let me use these photos to explain:

This photo of Sister is a success after many failures at trying to get her to smile "normal" after realizing I forgot to change my aperture. So she started off successfully, but I had failed in my photography skills for a moment and missed the success.

Instead of giving up, I kept on keeping on... even when she was fine with failing herself:

OK, smile Wrong aperture.

Her real smile! Wrong aperture.

A little forced...

A little worried...

maybe she needed to go to the bathroom...

There! Got it! It's not perfect, but it's success!

Brother didn't take quite as long because he is older and has done this a million times so it is all old hat to him. He had a few squints and moments of looking away but we had a few good ones to choose from.

Looking away... and his handy apple is making an appearance.



too cutesy...

Ahh. Perfect!

Then there was Baby ...

The first 10 minutes were this:

So I gave her a break to hang with daddy for a bit before trying again...

 We still had lots of crying and then, our friend and neighbor, Amanda handed Baby her iPhone...

Goofy smiles, not looking at the camera and a purple iPhone in the pic...

Epic fails...



I'm keeping these for her school pictures because it captures her personality in all it's glory!


complete success.

This is how I have to approach life.

Have to.

I think I would be too depressed to face my successes if I wasn't able to accept my failures.

Maybe right along with yelling, "Nailed it!
when I succeed, I will start yelling,

"Failed it!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our City Date and the Girls

I like to post my YouTube clips on my blog because not everyone who follows my blog is subscribed to my YouTube Channel.

So here are the latest episodes in "Our Life."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back Stage Review

All day I had been running the song lyrics through my head.

In between getting the kids ready for school and then I put in my head phones while I was on the elliptical.

My back was in pain, but not in as much pain as it had been 4 days earlier.

That was excruciating. I am surprised I was stubborn enough not to rush to the emergency room.

Maybe it was because Monday was the first day we got to be in full costume. I had been so excited to see what my costume and makeup were going to look like. I didn't want to miss out so I waited in agony while Marc took off work early and brought home a stronger prescription pain medicine. I was already taking 3 different ones, so why not add a fourth...

Anyway, at this point I am just happy that the pain is... well... more... ummm... well, I could move without crying out in pain and agony.

We had been having tech rehearsal all week. Tech rehearsal means that we were getting the mics, lights, and "special effects" set to perfection along with all our integral parts.

I was standing in front of the 15 foot wide mirror along with several others putting on make-up. I had done it for 4 days now, so I pretty much had it memorized and didn't have to look at the reference photo as much any more. I kept smiling as I would look around the room seeing the hustle and bustle of everyone getting their costumes, wigs and make-up together.

There was a general buzz of excitement and nerves in the air.

One of our fellow actors had brought an assortment of music that was just getting us all even more pumped up. I was actually surprised when I first ascended the stairs that it was Ed Sheeran blaring in the speakers and not "The Addams Family" music we had been practicing for months. It actually, though, lightened the intensity of THE opening night. We were singing and humming along and bobbing from one place to another as we enjoyed the beats.

As I was putting on the finishing touches to my make-up so that I could get ready for my mic, I just had to say, out loud, "I love you guys! You're all so awesome!"

I wasn't watching anyone's faces as I was concentrating on my own, but there was a general hum of agreement and right-back-atchyas.


My first ever!

Junior high doesn't count.

It just doesn't even compare.

This was opening night of a play that would be running until the fourth of October! This was serious stuff here, people!

One of the exciting parts, for me, were the hollers every so often like, "Mic check, 20 minutes!" "Doors open 10 minutes!" "Family meeting in two!"

Family meeting.

That has a lot of meaning for us in the play.

When you've practiced this hard and this long together you do start to get really close as friends and it does feel like a family unit. Ironically, though, one of the lines in the play is, "OK! Family meeting!" So it has just kind of become our call out for coming together.

At 7:15 we started our family meeting.

It wasn't what I expected.

I just thought it would be a "Do your best! Show 'em how great you are! Don't forget your lyrics!" and a "Rah rah, lets go!" kind of cheer.

Instead it was an inspirational, emotion baring, tear inducing speech by our director, Shawn.

I have realized all along what an amazing cast I had the privilege to be a part of, how fun and how friendly, how talented and entertaining, but, this speech was one of the things that brought it home for me. I am so proud to be a part of this cast. I am privileged to have been cast with these amazing people.

Then, it was, "Five minutes to curtain! Places everyone!"

It was so exciting to hear this.

I've heard it in the movies before, but never in my own life... and having it really refer to my part in a play instead of me jokingly trying to make gathering for dinner a fun thing to do.

Curtains closed.

All of us nervously and anxiously breathing.

Then our music cues and we start to sing.

The curtains draw up and now I see some light creeping in on where I am hiding from the audience until it is my time to appear.

"What's my first step? My first line? Should I step over or through?" are rapidly running through my mind as I wince at the pain I am feeling in my back yet reeling with excitement for my first real audience.

My brother, Aaron and his wife, Chelsea and daughter, Ya-ya were there for the opening night.

I couldn't see them.

But, I knew about where they were sitting.

That's one thing about being in a play as opposed to performing with my family. When we perform we see people's faces and their reactions and really sing to them. But on this big stage with lights shining at you in all directions you can't see faces, but maybe a few shapes and blurred colors.

The entire way through I was running on excitement, adrenaline and some strong pain meds.

It was one of the funnest and most memorable nights for me in my life.

I feel so much joy being on stage.

That was the first opening night of my life.

I'll never have another first opening night again.

Pretty awesome when you think of it that way.

After our bows and greeting the audience we gathered in scattered clumps in the dressing room area and were just chattering about how great it was, mistakes that were made, complimenting everyone on everything, laughing and talking as we worked to get all the make-up off our faces. Then going back to the girls dressing room and talking more about our performance and helping each other in and and out of costume and street clothes.

I drove home with a smile on my face.

I walked into the house with a smile on my face.

I greeted Lindsey, who had been watching the kids, with a smile on my face and burst into telling her how wonderful it all was.

I am sure there will be all kinds of reviews of the big debut of "The Addams Family" musical in Utah Valley. Some may be great and some may be not so great.

All I know is that my review from backstage is that this play, with this cast, is a must see! You will see and feel the energy and synergy in our group and it will translate into a wonderful viewing experience. I am sure of it.

Oh, and of course I had to do some chalk art for it! (Notice I added me? --smile--)