Friday, July 30, 2010

There's No Place Like Home...But There's No Place Like London!

Photo by Court
I had a BLAST! Suffering from serious jet-lag. I will blog soon once I figure out how to download my own photos:) In the meantime check out Coryn's itinerary of our trip with lovely artistic photos: here or Court's take in a witty fashion: here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Young Readers

This week I met the author/illustrator of one of my favorite picture books. David Shannon. He is very funny.

20 years ago I started attending the BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers in order to keep my teaching license current. I got hooked. It has become a July tradition for me every summer since then. Juvenile Literature is some of the best stuff on the library shelves.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lavender Fields Forever I ran (or rather walked) my first 5K. Coryn, Court and I left at 5:45 am to drive to the Young Living Lavender Farms. At 7:00 am we joined 1000 runners at the starting line. The setting was absolutely gorgeous with acres of lavender against the sunrise.

At the finish line Coryn was in the top 100 or so runners. Way to go Coryn.

Court and I finished in the last 900 or so "runners":) I refused to be last across the line:)
It should be made clear that Court came along to walk behind me in case I tripped, fell over, or had a heart attack. She was a sport.

Some things I realized from this experience:
  • Heavenly Father is indeed the Master Artist. (The views from the mountains to the lakes were stunning, especially at that time in the morning.)
  • As much as you think you have trained, you will still be sore the next morning.
  • There is always someone faster than you. (Thank you 80-year-old woman who galloped past me.)
  • It is a good feeling to hit that "walker's high."
  • I am no longer 25.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Marvelous Musical

Last Saturday I attended "110 In The Shade" starring Audra McDonald and Will Swenson. I have been a fan of Ms. McDonald for many years. A few years ago my husband and I got to hear her sing live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Knocked my socks off:)

When I was invited to attend this special engagement performance I was giddy with excitement. Those who know me well know how much I Love Musical Theatre (especially when it is done well). It is one of my first loves! And during my life I have seen some amazing performances. I would rank this one in the Top Tier! The entire cast was outstanding. The music, the dancing, the lighting, the costumes....The entire show was flawless. Audra is a raw actress and as Lizzie her chemistry with Marvin Payne (her dad), Jared Young and Tim Threlfall (her brothers), was lovely.

When Audra came on stage and opened her mouth and sang those first few notes I started weeping. She was 6 feet in front of me. I could have pulled her hair. But, of course, I wouldn't do that:) Her voice is exquisite. I don't know how else to describe it. She was classically trained at Julliard. Her tone quality is warm and rich. Her expression is energetic and passionate. And her technique is perfect.

For me,Theatre can be a magical experience, and dare I say, almost a spiritual experience. And that is how I felt at this production. This particular audience was a sort of "who's who" of local theatre. Several familiar faces were there, I'm sure, in support of former local actor, Will Swenson. Many were there for the experience of Audra.

As I sat there blubbering I looked around to see if I was the only one feeling those emotions. I looked across the aisle and saw this guy having the same experience. So I knew I was in good company. (Or as my friend Ashley would say: "You weren't a freak.")

After the show some of us got to meet Audra and sing "Happy Birthday" to her as it was her 40th. I had a sweet conversation with her mother who is visiting during the run. Audra was just as gorgeous on the inside as the outside. She was gracious and focused as she talked with me. We talked about how we had both played the role of Carrie in "Carousel"(me at the University and of course she, on Broadway). She said she was blown away by the amazing talent in this community and how warmly she had been embraced by all. She autographed my program and had someone take a photo of us. (She looked, not. so. much. So if my girls will help me photoshop, perhaps I'll post it sometime.)

You can read an interview with Audra here:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

God Bless America

The Prayer at Valley Forge by Arnold Friberg who passed away on July 1st

"It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."
~George Washington