Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why September is the Best!!

Happy first day of Fall!!!  And yes, that's one of the reasons I love September so much.  I can't say that September is my favorite month, because I love Christmas so much---but it is REALLY close.  September has so many wonderful things in it for me.  As a kid, September marked the beginning of school (we lived on the east coast) and so back-to-school clothes and activities were all very fun, crisp, and fall-like.  There is an excitement in the air around going back to school, seeing your friends, going to football games, wearing cute autumn sweaters and jackets...  Okay I know that that stuff doesn't really happen here in AZ, but old habits die hard and that's what I remember from my childhood.  I remember walking home from the bus stop through HUGE piles of leaves and picking out 3 or 4 of the prettiest ones every day to bring home to my mom.  My mom LOVES leaves--and she passed that love to me.  Every year when I was a kid, we would collect fall leaves for a few weeks and press them in phone books.  Then, when we had enough, we would use glue adhesive to create a beautiful fall collage of leaves in a picture frame.  Every year it was a new piece of art for the wall in our living room and I loved it.  Since the leaves don't change here in AZ and aren't really big enough to create one of these leaf pictures, my mom has kept the last one we made in New Jersey on her wall--even though the colors have faded over the years.

I also love September because my birthday is on the 14th!! Yep, just a week and a half ago I turned 25!!!!!  I can't believe it.  I am a quarter of a century old.  I'm not upset, but it feels weird to not be in my early twenties any more.  I am just in my twenties.  Weird.  However, this birthday ended up being one of the best I have ever had, thanks in large part to my adoring husband.
 The day went like this:

-I woke up in the morning, got wished a Happy Birthday and then was told to wait in bed for awhile.  I could hear Jordan messing around with the wrapping paper stuff down the hall and then doing something in the kitchen.  I quickly deduced (with my new 25 year old sleuthing skills) that Jordan was making me breakfast in bed! That's never happened before and I was very excited.  But no matter how excited I was, I should have been more so, because about 40 minutes later, Jordan came in singing "Happy Birthday" with THIS:
ummm...its okay to be jealous.
Yeah.  I was thinking "eggs and toast." But no...Jordan recreated one of my favorite dishes and made it even better!! Pumpkin chocolate chip french toast with caramelized bananas and nuts.  And can we talk about presentation?!!  It was gorgeous and freaking delicious.  I don't know how I got so lucky but I had perma-smile on my face immediately.  I was super impressed, needless to say.  Then he brought me some funny, thoughtful, and extremely generous gifts before his first voice lesson of the day.
yeah that's Disney princess stuff...what do have to say about it? :)

eating my amazing breakfast

I went to Michael's to spend my $25 dollars Jordan had given me on Fall Decor and pretty much had a ball.  I talked to wonderful friends and family who called or stopped by and then it was Mystery Birthday Date time!! Jordan had planned a date for that evening to go to Brio Tuscan Grille!  It was DELICIOUS and very romantic.  Then we walked around San Tan mall and I found the nude peep toe shoes I have been searching for!! I am very picky when I spend money on shoes and these were not only perfect, but on sale!! We finished the date off with Sea Salt Caramel gelato at Frost and it was pretty much the best day ever.  Thanks to everyone, especially Jordan for making it amazing.  I LOVE HIM!! (below he is at the restaurant--I wish you could have seen his whole outfit--he looked hot.)

So that was my birthday.  Next on the list of awesomeness in September would be the first day of Fall--Today!!!  I have been waiting to decorate my house for the season (Halloween will follow) and here is some of what I've done:

For some reason, I can't add captions today anymore, so go figure.  Pretty self explanatory though.  Very exciting for me.  Plus--my desktop is new, and, as you know, so is my blog background :)

The last thing that is wonderful in September is Jordan and I's anniversary.  That happens this Sunday, the 25th.  This year marks our second year of complete wedded bliss and I am so happy.  I'm sure I'll have more to say on this later, but I couldn't be more grateful to be married to my best friend and to the most perfect man for me!!!!

So there you have it.  September, I hope you appreciate all the love I've just thrown your way and continue to be awesome.  But I know you will :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Summer in Review

I know I am a little behind in my blogging and my stories, but better late than never, right?  I have decided to do a little picture overview of Jordan and I's summer.  To be sure, it was busy, fun, exhausting, and energizing all at the same time.  May I say, spending the summer in Logan without a bathroom scale and with Le Nonne so close by is nothing short of blissful.  I'll insert stories as I see fit....

My one and only you know, I wrote a lot of blogs during this show....
So I started with Oliver because, frankly it was my least favorite.  The production was great, but I just didn't do very much  anything in it.  But, you do what you gotta do.
The large cast on Closing night

On the upside, I wrote virtually all of my closing night thank you cards during this show, completed a lot of blogs, and learned a dance that I eventually performed at a recital later during the summer.


  Yeah, he's pretty freaking handsome, even WITH the dreaded facial hair.   

In the only show Jordan and I were in together, Jordan played Don Ottavio and I played a Peasant/Hell Fury.  Yeah.  Hence why I have the most pics from this show.  Jordan looked pretty manly in his costumes--even though his character was kind of a pansy.  Again, you play what you are given.  And I will mention that he sang the CRAP out of his arias, particularly "Dalla Sua Pace," which was added to the show after Michael Ballam saw a dress rehearsal and immediately requested that Jordan be given another aria so that people could enjoy his voice even more (seriously, that was the reason.)

Sid the Serpent.                                 
This was my 80s-Pat-Benatar wig for Act II.  I loved it.  I have never been a red head and this was just as fun as it has always looked :)
The Hell Furies--(From L.) Elena Midlina, Me, Elena Armijo, and Brigid Kegel

And...this is is how I looked when I met President Uchtdorf and his wife (click the link if you don't know who that is).  Yep.  They came through the line and he said, "Which one of you is married to the tenor?"  I spoke up and we went to chat with Jordan for a while.  As we were discussing where we had gotten sealed, Sis. Uchtdorf said, "Well, I don't vant to go vhere you are from, but you look fabulous!"  It made me laugh.  I met them again that night after Oliver! and we had a good laugh about how much nicer I looked in that show... :)
My truly awesome makeup

Act I Finale--I am probably behind Jordan :)

Don Ottavio and Peasant
Can you say Christmas card? Just kidding.

Trish my amazing makeup artist

My dear friend Elena Armijo and I in our dressing room

Evil Prince Shuisky and I

I wasn't in this show, but Jordan tore it up as the villain in this Russian Political drama.


Pilgrims and Indians
 This was my favorite show to do--probably because I had the most to do in it :)  I had lots of costumes and here are some of them....
Aaron Lopez and I--Dance Partners

Mom Jeans!!! The lovely Ladies of South Pacific
Sue Yaeger
Hallie and I for Wash that Man

 Hallie and I were the only two wearing actual bathing suits and that means we had to work out...among other things....
French girl on Bali Hai

The ladies with Bloody Mary.

After the final show, we had a little dance party on stage.  Seriously, that show has some of the best exit music I have ever heard!!!

Honey Bun!!

Elena Midlina and I
 We got to wear beautiful gowns for the first half of the show, and then became the Ladies of Maxim's--Can Can dancers.  I was "Clo-Clo"--duh.

Jumping picture!

Lori and I

Jordan and I after a show.

Almost all the grisettes--Lo-Lo, Do-Do, Jou-Jou, Clo-Clo, adn Margot :)  We are only missing Frou Frou.


Sarah Nicole, Katie and I backstage of the Carnevale Operafesta.  PS my gown is new!!

Jordan, the soloists (Jeannette, Rochelle, and Chris) with conductor Craig Jessop

Double rainbow!!!

Beautiful Cache Valley and the Logan Temple

Yeah, that's Janet and a GIANT pizza.  Love it.
So...that was the summer in review!! Hope you enjoyed the fun as much as we did!!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Couchnapping v. Bednapping

Ladies and gentelmen, I'm not talking about the abduction of couches or beds.  I am talking about the beauty of sleeping for a period of time in the daylight hours.  I have not always been a proponent of naps.  It used to be something my dad did, and I rolled my eyes at because it meant we kids had to "be quiet."

Then, I went to college.  I got my degree in musical theatre performance.  Let me tell you a little something about music degrees:  our classes are generally worth about a third of the credit that other classes are.  Which means that to have a full schedule of, say, 18 credit hours, my schedule would include nine classes.  Others took 3 or 4 and had a "full schedule."  These are the students that had time to have jobs.  I did not.  We even had a class (convocation...errrr)  that was required for every semester:  attendance at 6 faculty recitals and four student recitals.  This class was obligatory and was worth..wait for it.... ZERO credit hours.  But I digress.

Suffice it to say, that between my nine classes and the rehearsals for the required shows I was in, I was at school from about 7:30 am to 11:00 pm.  I needed to employ naps to make it through.  It was hard for me though.  I didn't have a bed or a couch, just a ledge by a window on the second floor of the music building.  It was better than nothing, but not ideal for someone like me, who has a hard time sleeping anyway.  One particular semester, I had school from 7 to 4:30 and then I drove to Phoenix for rehearsals/performances of "Thouroughly Modern Millie" at Phoenix Theatre.  I didn't get home until around 11:30.  Once I got to the theatre, there was a couch in the green room.  I learned to employ the "power nap."  I would sleep for about 20-30 minutes, get up, eat dinner and drink an Emergen-C and do a show.  It got me through.

That's when I fell in love with couch napping.  Its hard for me to turn my brain off completely if I know I don't have at LEAST an hour and a half to devote entirely to sleeping AND a cusion of another 30 min in case I oversleep.  Couch napping allows me to feel like I can go ahead and go to sleep, because couches are usually in a pretty public place--meaning that if something happens and I sleep too long--someone will probably get me up.  In the same breath, the general noise in a more traffic heavy area (like a living room) keeps me from falling into too deep a sleep and missing something important.  I still get to rest, but don't have time to go to funky dreamland--which I visit frequently.  Also, if I am only sleeping for a short amount of time, I actually prefer to sleep in a sunlit room, or at least a diluted sunlit room (napping on a cloudy day is my favorite).  Of course, the quality of the couch is important too.  We have two couches in our home.  A tan sectional and a blue Lazy Boy.  I would NEVER nap on the tan couch.  It's not deep enough.  But the Lazy Boy....hmmmmmm.  Happiness.  I can't  count the number of naps I have taken on that couch.  I love it.  Its perfect for my height, deep enough, cushy.  Love.  (Note: this whole paragraph could apply to a particularly comfy reclining chair I'm told...)

I know that for those of you who don't comfortably fit on a couch ( 6'4" husband), my argument of the benefits of couch napping may not apply.  Even I have been known to nap in my own bed.  Sunday afternoon napping (we are talking 2+ hours here), sick napping, mid-morning-because-I-had-a-late-show-and-I-am-inexplicably-exhausted-at-10:00am napping.  In each of these instances, though, I WANT to sleep for a long time.  I want as much darkness as possible, and I don't want to be aware of the outside world.  Most of the time, though, I just need a pick-me-up and a couch will leave me well rested, but not groggy.

Even as a Princess, I knew the benefits of a couch.
The prosecution rests. Let the bednappers state their case. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lamb of God

Hello everyone-

I know that the chances of this post getting to anyone who HASN'T heard about the coming weekend's events is poor, but I'd really love to see as many people at Gammage as possible this weekend.

On Friday and Saturday, Jordan and I will be joining about 200 other people (soloists, choir, and orchestra included) to perform one of Rob Gardner's best musical pieces, "Lamb of God."  I have had the good fortune to perform this in Las Vegas as Mary Magdalene with Jordan as Peter and can't wait to do the piece again this weekend.  I'll be lending my voice to the choir this time (Jord will still be Peter) and I am so excited to get to sing other songs than last time around.  I can honestly say that this piece as a whole is one of if not the most uplifting pieces of music I have ever had the privilege of singing.  Often, I feel that "sacred music" can be a little bit disingenuine or manipulative, but I don't find "Lamb of God" to be that way at all.  Every musical moment feels like it SHOULD be there and, while it is extremely emotional, I can say that I have been moved to tears nearly every time I have heard or sung parts of the piece.  Some favorite moments: "I am the Resurrection," "Gloria," and "Gethsemane."  But choosing a favorite piece is nearly impossible.  While I do think the piece bears testimony of Jesus Christ and His love for us, I think that anyone, regardless of their faith, can enjoy the pure beauty of the music.  The choir, the soloists, and the orchestra are some of the best that Arizona has to offer.  If you can make it, please do yourself a favor and come see it.  

Here's the info:  Lamb of God, Friday Sept 9 and Saturday Sept 10, 2011 at ASU Gammage Auditiorium  Click here or  call the Box Office at (480-965-3434) to get tickets ahead of time or just get them at the door.  Also,  click here or previews of the work--you can hear song clips and watch videos!!

Seriously, please come and check it out.  You WILL NOT regret it!!