Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cute view...

This was my view for a good hour this evening.
We pulled the bike out from under the back deck where it had been resting all winter and pumped up the tires. Much to Lilian's delight, she had grown some since the last time she'd ridden and all of the sudden, biking was much easier and therefore much more fun.
Up the street and back down the street. Up, down, back and forth. She biked, I followed. At least it was a cute view...

(And yeah...I know. She should've been wearing a helmet and shoes....)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

That one "Joseph...." show

Photos from the girls' show. Remember? That one I mentioned a few weeks ago with the tongue twister of a title? "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".... yeah, THAT one. As a reminder...Rebekah was the wife/girlfriend of Benjamin, one of Jacob's twelve sons. Julianne was the awesome dancer in the ensemble...with multiple costume changes.

"Go, Go, Go Joseph" done in go-go style.
Yeah, yeah...I know the picture is slightly fuzzy. But I liked it so I used it anyway.

I was going to say that Rebekah is the one in the brown and black dress with her hair slicked back and her arm up in the air. Until I realized that all the girls look like that. Ummm...she's the short one in the back. Does that help?

Julianne in zebra stripes. The Sunday before the performances I wore a zebra stripe dress to church. Julianne couldn't keep the smirk off her face when she told me that she had a costume that was practically identical to my dress. Except that hers was mostly just a sack with holes for arms and head with a belt holding the whole thing on. Hmm.... I think my dress was probably a bit more complex...but yeah, definitely similar.

"Poor, Poor Joseph" before Joseph gets tossed into prison.
Julianne...front row, right

"Jacob and Sons"....the very big and impressive opening number. Not that you can really tell seeing as none of the pictures show anyone actually singing. You'll have to take my word for it. And because of "technical difficulties" we got to see that number twice. I was rather pleased, actually. Cause it was really cool.Rebekah can't remember exactly which number this picture was from. "I twirled a lot, Mom!" she replied when I pressed her. I'm assuming it was also from "Jacob and Sons" because I'm pretty sure, seeing as I saw the number twice, that I remember A LOT of twirling. And while were on the subject, doesn't her dress twirl beautifully??

"The Brothers Come to Egypt/Grovel, Grovel"

"Pharaoh's Dreams Explained/Stone the Crows"
Julianne is the front row farthest to the right.

I'm assuming you can pick her out in this picture. (Hint: front, middle, short, beautiful...)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favorite Photo(s) Friday: "The Big Boys"

My Dad has categorized his 13 grandchildren into groups. First, "the big girls" comprised of Rebekah and Julianne. Then "the big boys" which includes Brandon, Josh, Ethan and Dalton. Next are "the little girls" made up of Holly, Allison, Abby and Lilian. And finally "the babies" (who aren't really babies anymore) Jackson, Kaden and Maddy.

Those "big boys" are quite a group. All four born within 20 months of each other, they are the best of friends. Active, rowdy, creative, loud and curious...they are your stereotypical happy-go-lucky group of boys. And oh, how they love each other! Josh and Ethan live in Idaho so visits over the past few years have been a little sparse...which, I suppose, just makes visits that much more exciting. The "big boys" will be reunited again this weekend. Here's some pictures of "the big boys" over the years....

Spring 2004 at Great Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Dressing up for Halloween 2004.

August 2006 in the back of Grandpa's truck.

June 2007 at Kiddie Kandids waiting (somewhat) patiently to get their pictures taken.

June 2007 at Aunt Rachel's and Uncle Spencer's wedding.

Christmas Eve breakfast 2009.

April 2010 playing with Brandon's toy guns.

Memorial Day 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

9:15 on a random Thursday evening...

Lilian was taking a bubble bath in my big jetted tub to wash away all the dirt, grime, and popsicle stickiness that has collected over the past couple of days.

Julianne, feeling relieved that all of her big end-of-year projects were done, settled into the big easy chair with a book.

Rebekah and her friends Casey and Brianna were downstairs watching a "Dr. Who" episode. But in true teen multi-tasking style, Rebekah was also looking up videos on You Tube and Casey was texting.

Brandon and Bryan had just returned home from gymnastics and were continuing the conversation they'd had in the car. It sounded scientific and complicated. When I asked what they were talking about I was informed they were discussing the formation of the universe and gravitational theory. Really. (Brandon is all sorts of curious about science lately...)

And then me...feeling less than stellar with a sore throat and achy joints...finishing up my day with a quick check of facebook before dropping into bed. Early for me, but I was exhausted. (I'm hoping my body is strong enough to fight off whatever bug is trying to worm its way into my immune system. Unfortunately I've been exposed to both bronchitis and strep so I'm a little worried. I guess time will tell.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Why We Sing"

A sound of hope, a sound of peace.
A sound that celebrates and speaks what we believe.

A sound of love, a sound so strong.
It's amazing what is given when we share a song.

This is why we sing, why we lift our voice,
Why we stand as one in harmony.
This is why we sing, why we lift our voice.
Take my hand and sing with me.

Soothe a soul, mend a heart,
Bring together lives that have been torn apart.
Share the joy, find a friend.
It's a never ending gift that circles back again.
This is why we sing, why we lift our voice,
Why we stand as one in harmony.
This is why we sing, why we lift our voice.
Take my hand and sing with me.
Music builds a bridge, it can tear down a wall.
Music is a language that can speak to one and all.
This is why we sing, why we lift our voice,
Why we stand in, stand in harmony.
This is why we sing, why we lift our voice,
Take my hand and sing with me.
This is why... this is why we sing!
I have been singing my whole life. My parents taught their five daughters to sing harmony together when we were barely tall enough to see over the piano bench. (Okay, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration..) Music has been more than just an important part of my life...it is in my very make-up as a person, an essential part of who I am. Concerts, plays, voice lessons, choirs, solos and duets...many of my very best memories and my very best friends come as the result of the music in my life. Right now I sing with The Sally Bytheway Chorale. Some of my nearest and dearest friends have come from this group...including my mother and two of my sisters. We performed our series of spring concerts these past couple of weeks. Our encore number is a song called "Why We Sing"....the lyrics of which I have typed above. It expresses the way I feel about music perfectly. Every time we sing it, the memories and the love I have for not only the people in this choir but also all the singing friends I have made over the years come flooding back to my mind and I cannot make it through without crying. I am so lucky, so blessed, so fortunate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Be-lated Fifteenth Rebekah!

My Rebekah girl, my oldest, turned fifteen on the 9th of May. Wow. Fifteen. Seems like an average teen age, you know? Thirteen and fourteen....still a newbie teen. But fifteen...well, that's full on teenagerhood. We're talking high school this year. And a driving learner's permit. We're talking discussions about jobs and more and more of these teenaged boys hanging out in our basement...sometimes they DRIVE THEMSELVES OVER, which means they are at least sixteen. I about had a panic attack when I thought about the fact that I met Bryan, my future husband, at a church regional dance when I was sixteen. Rebekah goes to regional dances every month.....
(breathe, breathe, breathe)
Realistically, Rebekah will probably not meet her future husband the same way I met mine, but just the thought that she is about the same age I was....
(breathe, breathe, breathe)
Luckily for me (and I hope Rebekah would concur), we have a great relationship. Yes, I gave her some serious crap the other day for not telling me about some big assignment until the night before. And yes, we sometimes argue about curfew and messy rooms, etc. But we get along well. I like to hang out with her not only as mother/daughter but as friends. She is one seriously talented, smart, kind, friendly, helpful, obedient, easy-going, beautiful, spiritual, amazing girl. Watching her grow up has been a joy....a joy that I'm sure will only deepen as the years continue to roll. Oh, how I love my Rebekah girl!
Poor Rebekah got a little bit gypped in the birthday celebration department this year. Her actual birthday was the day Bryan and I left for NYC. So we had a little family party Sunday night (Mothers Day) with a nice dinner, presents and birthday pie. She is still planning to have a girls night with her besties sometime soon...but it's May, and May is crazy insane for all involved. So it's looking like this GNO will most likely still be another week or so down the calendar.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 16, 2011

New York City: Day 4

My final day in New York was a relaxing one. After running around all over the city for days, I decided to spend the last of my time taking full advantage of my no kids status and pamper myself. I slept in till 10:00. I shopped my way through 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Plaza and Times Square. I grabbed a late lunch on my way back to the hotel and then ate while sprawled out on my bed watching back episodes of Glee on my laptop. And then later that night Bryan and I meandered our way to a romantic little Italian restaurant. Which, unfortunately, ended up being much higher in atmosphere than quality food. All the same, we enjoyed our last evening together in New York City. And realistically, as much fun as I had exploring NYC...truly the best part of the trip was being with Bryan. One of our very favorite things to do together...try new restaurants. So what fun to be able have such a huge variety within walking distance. Date night! Every night! For five nights straight! Monday was Indian food at the Bombay Palace on 5th Ave. Tuesday was seafood and steak at McCormick and Schmicks. Wednesday was BBQ at Virgil's in Times Square. Thursday was Irish food at Emmett O'Lunney's Irish Pub. And Friday was Italian at Azalea's.

Did I see everything I had hoped and planned to? No. But I saw so much more than I ever would've expected. I had heard that NYC was filled with grumpy people in a hurry. That the city, as cool as it was, was also kind of dangerous. Don't make eye contact with anyone. Keep to yourself. I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite true. I did A LOT of serious people watching this week. And yes, I was on "yellow alert" (as Bryan calls it) while wandering around.... But what I found was smiling, chatty, happy New York natives. And I loved wandering around that amazing city with them, trying to blend in. I didn't ever bother with figuring out the subway or taking a taxi anywhere. I walked everywhere I went...to the point that my feet are STILL trying to recover. But what more of an adventure that made for me!

A few final pics of my last day:

Spur of the moment I decided to walk into Tiffany's and have a look around. Mostly because every time I'd passed it throughout the week the song "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something would pop into my head.

You say that we've got nothing in common,
No common ground to start from and we're falling apart.
You'll say the world has come between us,
Our lives have come between us, still I know you just don't care

And I said, "What about breakfast at Tiffany's?"
She said, "I think I remember the film?
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it."
And I said, "Well, that's one thing we've got."

Which, of course, is referring to the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn back when Tiffany's sold more than just bling bling. And oh, wow. That bling! I didn't stay for long. I felt a little awkward knowing that no how, no way was I going to be able to afford anything in there. But it was fun to see it all, even if I did have to wipe away the drool as I walked out the door....

The famously grand and glorious Plaza Hotel just outside Central Park. Honestly, I know the hotel best because of the "Eloise at the Plaza" books and subsequent movies. Which is why I thought it hilariously funny that they actually have an Eloise flag flying at the front door! I had to take a picture to show to the kids.

Radio City Music Hall was one of my landmarks. I'd see the big sign in the distance and know I was almost home. I could see it from my hotel window, it was on our same street (51st Street) just to the right. I spent an inordinate amount of time watching big trucks and trailers filled with set pieces pull up and men working around the clock carrying old stuff out and new stuff in. Like I mentioned before, they also had Rockette auditions (tryouts?) while we were there...hundreds of girls lined up hoping for their chance to shine on that stage.

This was my other landmark, when I came from the opposite direction...also on 51st Street and visible from my window to the left. Such a contrast from all the other modern skyscrapers surrounding it. I smiled every time I heard those cathedral bells ring. Being just steps away, I regret not ever taking the time to actually walk in and see the interior.

While wandering/shopping I came across a park next to the big New York Library. My tired feet were aching for a break so I walked in. Bryant Park, the sign said. The name sounded familiar...but everything in NY sounds familiar, right? I didn't think too much about. I enjoyed my little break... people watching and pigeon watching. A business man walked by, stopped in front of me and said something to the effect of "See? It's days like this that make me want to be out here with all of you rather than working in my office." I smiled. He continued on his way. Whatever. Such a pretty place...I hesitated leaving, myself. But eventually I, too, continued on my way. Later I realized where I had heard the name Bryant Park before. Ever watch "Project Runway?" It's that designer reality show hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. This park is the place where they set up their tents and have their finale fashion show during Fashion Week. Oh! Wish I had thought of that while I had actually been there!

Friday, May 13, 2011

New York City: Day 3

Ever see the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Pierce Brosnan? Or read the book "From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?" The Metropolitan Museum of Art plays heavily in both of them. And both of them were going through my head as I spent hours wandering that same museum today. As I have been doing with every other place I have visited this week, I decided to walk. And first of all let me say, it was a beautiful walk...up glamorous 5th Ave and then along the edge of Central Park. But oh...it was a lot further than I had anticipated. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" my two feet kept asking. From 51st Street all the way to 82nd....we made it. But it was worth it (besides being good exercise) because that museum is phenomenally amazing. From the art it houses down to the actual architecture of the building itself, I had chills the whole time I was there. I got lost. Often. It was literally a maze of rooms. I didn't come even close to seeing everything there, but what I did see....wow:Look! It's Picasso's signature!

Claude Monet

Auguste Renoir and Vincent van Gogh

Georges Seurat

Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas

Piet Mondrian

Because I read "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan recently, about the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, I also thought it would be fun to visit the Guggenheim Museum that he designed. I ignored my complaining feet and walked a few more blocks up the road. But frustratingly enough, it is closed on Thursdays. Hmph.

I had lunch at Serendipity on the way home. Oh, who am I kidding. It was their famed desserts, not lunch that I was interested in. (Ever seen the movie "Serendipity" with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsdale? Also another reason, besides the numerous friend recommendations, to visit this place.) My Forbidden Broadway Sundae was absolutely scrumptious. And the restaurant itself was darling. (I can say that because Bryan wasn't with me so I don't have to worry about attacking his manliness by admitting he went to such a "charming" restaurant.) But it really was. Such a fun place.

We had dinner at this Irish Pub. The place was filled with very loud, very boisterous business men in suits drinking their cares away. Between the chatter and the live music, Bryan and I could barely carry on a conversation sitting across the table from each other! But it was great food and I loved the fun, jovial atmosphere....even if the server did think we were a little odd for not wanting to order a Guinness. (It is a business trip for Bryan after all.... He fielded calls each evening.)

The highlight of the day, though? "Wicked" on Broadway! Amazingly enough, I had never seen it. I'd tried and tried to get tickets when it came to SLC but to no avail. So seeing it was my priority of this trip. Bryan even agreed to come with me. I was starting to worry that my expectations were TOO high...that I would come away disappointed. I also thought that I knew the show extremely well, despite never having seen the show. I was wrong on both accounts. It was truly impressive, funny, amazing. And there were plenty of lines and plot points that caught me by surprise. Interestingly enough, Bryan LIKED it! Oh, I thought he would be entertained. Especially since he was familiar with the music and with "The Wizard of Oz." But he actually LIKED it! Does that mean other musicals are in his future? Probably not. I think I've spoiled him. He'll probably refuse to go to another show unless it's the caliber and quality of Broadway....