Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February Sum-up or "We love stuff!"

We love Macbeth! (2/5/09)

We love edamame!

We love Valentine's Day parties and eating Nerds off the floor!

We love husbands who are fancy chefs! (2/14/09)

We love dessert!

We love home-made smoothies!

We love "sisters" night out and candy!

We love the Thrillionaires! (But not knees, and that guy's head)

We love Lisa and Maclain!

We love four generations! (2/22/09)

We love birthdays!

We love Mimi!

We love Star Wars! (But maybe Aydan doesn't...)

We love cake!

Some of us love cake too much!

Hooray for cake!

And...for the grand finale, we love this video! (We also love Amelia, for telling us about it...)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Own it, Embrace it

I am a robot, and I don't mean it in a good way this time. I am a robot because sentimentality can make me super uncomfortable. I had to write something today just so I didn't have to look at my Syd Riggs show post any more, because I have trouble owning it, if you will. Do you know what it means to "own it?" It reminds me of when I was a kid and I was nervous about wearing my new hot pink Converse hi-tops to school and my mom said to me, "If YOU think you look good, then everyone else will, too." And that is a life truth. It's true in many areas, even improv. If you start singing a crazy improv song and you believe that it's the best crazy improv song ever made up, then the audience will be right there with you. THAT'S owning it. When I go to the store with all four of my kids and half of them are screaming, and the other half are fighting, you just have to smile and own it, man, because what is your other option? To run away and cry and hide?

However, when it comes to the mushy stuff, I tend to shy away. I've always been like that. As a toddler, if you asked me for a hug, I would pinch your arm and make a grunting noise. I guess I figured that the illusion of a hug would keep the person happy and I would get out of it with the least amount of physical contact possible. When my girl friends in high school would bawl at girls' camp or something, I would try to make myself cry to fit in. But I didn't like it. I've gotten a lot better at hugging and crying. Being around artistic types all the time, I've had to become a hugger--it's just one of the rules of that world. I've also learned you kind of have to be ok with being vulnerable if you don't want to be the lamest actress in town. But it's different if you're playing a character on stage. My blog is not a character I'm playing, but an extension of myself (it even talks just like me), and so I feel super vulnerable busting out the cheese.

Now, because I'm tired of talking about all that sappy stuff, I want to talk about "embracing" things about oneself. Embracing is like owning, but owning is usually for positive attributes, while embracing is used for the not so awesome ones. For example, two years ago, I chose to embrace my pasty whiteness. I no longer put my face in the sun, and I try to avoid shorts and I don't care if I blind people at the pool. It's who I am, and I'm not going to have skin cancer, suckas! Last year, I decided to embrace my flat-chestedness. I don't have much to say about that, except sometimes I think I really do look better in some clothes having no chest. The important thing is that I have embraced it. 2009 will be the year of the boo-tay. I'm already off to a good start because when I was at the gym the other day, some rabbi on Rachael Ray said this gem: "To the eyes, thin is in. But to the hands, meat is neat." Thank you, Rabbi--I feel somewhat validated (never mind that his clever quip contradicts 2008's personal accomplishment.) He also convinced me to be more mysterious to my husband and now Ben teases me, "Ooh, you're so mysterious today..." and I say, "Why thank you..." Some day, I will have to embrace the fact that I am a disorganized slob trapped in a neat freak's body--that year will not be pretty.

That is clearly enough rambling for today. But now you are all distracted from my prior cheesiness, and you're thinking about owning your new haircut and embracing your lisp. You're welcome.

P.S. Everyone in second grade got Converse hi-tops that year...

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Monday After

I am having a lazy morning, and being lazy has never felt so good. Last week was CRA-ZAY, especially the weekend. On Saturday, I was at Orem High from 8:30 am until 11 pm. I didn't get to say good-bye to many people because I darted out of there so quickly, but I was just so tired. And then the Sunday (the-MOST-non-day-of-rest-for-this-chick) schedule just about did me in. So, here I sit, in my pjs, while the kids watch Diego (we ate breakfast after 10!) just chillaxing.

Saturday night was really amazing. Yes, it was a long day, and I worried about the kids, but they were fine, and it was so worth it in the end. I got to work with some of the most talented people I have ever seen/heard in my life. Most of them went to Orem High, so I felt like the outsider, but it made it that much more of an honor to be included. I definitely felt like I had to earn my place!

Just a few comments on the show:

Jenny Jordan Frogley is a robot, and when I say that, I don't mean it in a bad way. I call Celine Dion a robot. Jenny has this voice that blows my mind. She says she doesn't have much training and she wishes she could do more musical theater style stuff and I'm saying, "Dude! I have never heard so many sweet licks in my whole life!"

My friend Korianne was the star of the show, in my mind. She is one of those people who can belt out a song and make you pee your pants with laughter and then turn around and sing "How Could I Ever Know?" with this gorgeous classical voice, and it breaks your heart. I love watching her perform, and I was so happy she got to shine that night.

Chris Higbee's voice kills me. When he sings "Bring Him Home" as Jean Valjean, I want to die, it's so beautiful. I thought that twelve years ago when he sang it in concert, and I think it now. I would have married his voice if it would have asked me back then. Is that a really weird/disturbing thing to say? I'm just trying to convey the effect that his voice has on me.

I can't believe how much talent has come out of Orem High. Just like people move to Dillon, Texas (a fictional place) from Dallas to play football for the Panthers (a fictional team), do people from, I don't know, Topeka, Kansas, move to Orem so their singer/dancer kids can attend Orem High? It sort of seems that way. These people are undeniably awesome.

I.LOVE.SINGING. I try to pretend that I don't really care about it that much, "Oh yeah, it's cool, I like to sing, whatever..." but I am lying because singing is about as important to me as breathing. There, I said it. Backstage, as Jenny and I watched the dancers do their thang, I asked Jenny if she would trade her singing talent for those dancers' talent, and we both agreed that we wouldn't. If you know how much I love SYTYCD, you might think that that would be a tough decision. But it so wasn't.

Saturday night, I enjoyed singing the songs from Little Women that I've sung so many times and adore, but my favorite part of the show by far was the Les Miserables section.

I still remember the day like it was yesterday that I was listening to Phantom of the Opera and my dad brought me the Les Miserables CD and said, "Hailey, you have to hear this song--it is my absolute favorite" and he played me "Bring Him Home" for the first time. I was thirteen. I went on to spend years listening to that CD and memorizing every song. I attended the show three times, once in Chicago, and twice in LA.

Then, I went to college and got to sing in the large ensemble for the concert version they did at Orem High in 1997. In 1999, I went to an open call audition for the touring production in Salt Lake. After I sang, they asked me if I knew "On my Own." I sang it and then they said, "Actually, we're going to need you to come back later today and sing 'I Dreamed a Dream.'" I came back later, sang it, and chatted with the extremely complimentary casting directors afterward. I felt like I was dreaming. About six months later, I got a call from my friend Matt. He said that he had just spoken with the casting agency that represented Les Mis and they had asked him if he knew me. He said that they had tried to track me down over the summer to offer me a job with the tour, but they had the wrong phone number, so they filled the opening with someone else. We had moved and it was before everyone had cell phones. I couldn't believe it. I had Mila the next year, so I knew that someone else had a hand in my not getting the job because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had her if I went on tour.

So singing "On My Own" on Saturday was fun and all, and probably something I will never get to do again, but it was when I got to stand at the front of the stage and sing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" that I really felt emotional. I finally had closure, and I knew my wonderful grandmother (my No. 1 fan until she passed away six years ago this month) was somewhere watching, smiling so proudly. Like I said, it was an amazing night.

Excuse me while I go get some Kleenex. Yikes! What started out as a lazy post turned into something quite sentimental. Oh well, that happens. And I really miss my grandma.

Monday, February 02, 2009


There was a lot of love in that room tonight. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I know I did. And how about that Mindy? So awesome. (Why does Matt have a possessive grip on Mindy's arm? What's the story there? Just kidding, Mr. Gledhill, Matt likes to do funny things like that--no need to get nervous...) No, but seriously, thanks to everyone who came and gave and shared. It was truly memorable.

To see pictures of the event taken by the fabulous Haley (currently pregnant with twins, I might add), go here.

The Babyness is Fading Fast...

I came across this picture and almost died. Seriously, where does the time go?

Flash forward one and a half years...

Lane, Lucy




Lucy (she loves her "buh-fy")

Lane--I got these dress-up dresses at Costco. We pretty much only take them off to eat, sleep, and bathe-they are the GIRLIEST girls-they also always have to have on a pair of matching shoes!


And my other favorite twins: (at the Christmas Eve Nativity)

Seth (Yes, Ethan, as Joseph, is picking his nose in the background)

Logan (Why is Davey doing ballet behind him?)

I need twin baby boys (in about two years)