Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Tonight as I drove home from rehearsal, breathing in the smell of rain through the open car window and admiring the full moon reflecting it's light on the world below, I took an extra moment to appreciate those lovely things (like the rain and the moon) that we so often forget in the hum-drum of our daily doings. I came home from a long and satisfying rehearsal today, no where near ready to go to bed, and it is in the late hours of the night when the house finally gets quiet that I begin to think some more about the tiniest things in life that make us happy. I am a lover of all things beautiful, and this is such a beautiful life. Here are some of the things that make me smile. (Granted, it's only a small, small handful)

* Spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate chips with a glass of milk
* Inspiring Quotes
* Dancing
* Sitting on the lawn with friends on a late summer night until the sprinklers surprisingly turn on
* Love
* Stepping outside to smell the rain
* The color yellow
* Hugs
* Getting dolled up for a special occasion
* Missionaries :)
* Pictures and Photography
* Lunchables
* Acoustic music
* Holding a tiny baby
* Watching the sweet old couple on the dance floor, swaying to a song and falling in love with each other all over again
* The smell of Brown Sugar and Fig
* Getting a new haircut
* Recieving a letter in the mail
* Traveling
* Sharing a blanket
* Roasting marshmallows at a campfire
* Chicken Noodle Soup
* Laughing until your stomach hurts
* Summer reading on the front porch
* Driving past the temple
* Making a new friend
* Star-gazing
* Dew on the grass in the morning
* Piano music
* Walking barefoot outside
* Singing in the car
* Ice cream
* Holding hands
* Driving in the car with the windows rolled down.
* Warm cookies fresh out of the oven

Monday, July 26, 2010

You Know You're a Drama Geek if...

(one or more may apply)

... if the terms "Break-a-leg" and "headshot" don't sound painful
...if your life motto is "I'm sorry I can't, I have rehearsal"
...if you have fully experienced Hell Week
...if you spend more time with your theatre family than your real family
...if you've been caught in public with eccentric makeup on
...if you have had leftover mic residue on your neck
...if you have showtunes on your ipod
...if you refuse to say Macbeth in a theatre
...if you've ever appeared in a show where tech week is devoted to getting the running time under four and a half hours.
...if you know what the green room is
...if left is right and right is left
...if you know what holding for laughs is
...if you've highlighted your lines in your script
...if you're used to people not arriving on time
...if makeup on men is normal
...if your best friends are of all ages... and the maturity levels are magically compatible.
...if you know what an OBC recording is
...if you love the TV show "Glee"
...if you know what the term 'triple threat' means
...if you watch the Tony Awards
...if you've been to NYC and the Broadway Show you saw is better than any Yankees game.
...if you know what it means to understudy
...if you've had a showmance
...if you've been out to Denny's, Village Inn, or Applebees past midnight and you know the waiter must hate your group.

...if you have understood at least one of these "if" statements. :)

24th of July Weekend

I had a fantastic holiday weekend. I was planning on going to visit Grandma Pack and Mom's side of the family for the 24th of July, but Pirates of Penzance rehearsals kept me in town for the weekend. While I greatly missed spending time with my family, the weekend turned out to be lots of fun.
On Thursday I went tubing the Provo River with Isaac Johnson and his friends Ryan, Amy, Gage, Darren, and Monique. Floating the river is always fun (and cold!) and I plan on going again in August. Thursday night I had rehearsal (loving every minute of being in the show) 
On Friday I drove to Santaquin with my family for breakfast at a small family-owned greasy spoon called "The Family Tree". They have the biggest most delicious scones I have ever tasted. After seeing my family off, I drove back home-- where I had the whole house to myself for the weekend. I watched SYTYCD (all caught up!) and then went to rehearsal Friday night. After the rehearsal, I went to Gage Cuff's house with Isaac, Ryan, and my best friend Erin Davenport. We watched Gage throw his birthday cake on the ground (some inside joke between Gage, Isaac, and their friends) and then we watched the movie Get Smart. According to Gage, I've never truly lived... because there are a LOT of movies that I haven't seen that are supposedly pretty epic. Get Smart was one of many.
On Saturday I spent most of the day at home relaxing... nice, quiet house all to myself (but I did miss the fam!) later in the afternoon I drove down to Springville for a date with my friend from Pirates of Penzance, Andrew Scott James! (Known as Scott)

I drove down to Springville and met Scott for the date. We met up with Scott's friend Ben Nelson, and Ben's date Lara Nelson (who are not married, just both ironically have the exact same last name) and we had a DELICIOUS meal at Ben's house. Scott and Ben made the dinner (yeah, all by themselves! They're skilled). We had a mexican dish called "Tinga" and some other Mexican side dish (the name of which I cannot remember how to spell or pronounce).
After dinner we went horseback riding! I've never ridden a horse before (Unless you count those times when you're a kid and everyone goes and rides horsies at the fair when they're connected to a metal thing and can't run away.) It was so much fun. We had three horses, so we had to trade off (the extra person rode a four-wheeler) I rode a pretty horse named Ingersaul (and I probably just butchered the spelling). We rode outside in Ben's big outdoor arena. It was so pretty, and we had a good time riding the horses!

Tangent: Sprinville/Mapleton area is small and so beautiful. Ben lives on a farm area and has the cutest house. Lara and I couldn't stop admiring the sunset reflecting off the mountainside, the green pastures, and the small town... it was so picturesque... so, quaint. :)

After we rode the horses around for a while, we went back inside the house and baked cinnamon rolls from scratch!! They were soooo delicious... :) While we waited for the cinnamon rolls to bake we played the board game "Settlers of Cataan" (fun game) and then when the rolls were finished we took them out on the back patio (don't forget the tall glasses of milk) and we watched the 24th of July fireworks that Springville lights every year. (Again with my adoration of my surroundings: the small-town, warm summer night, full moon, fireworks lit in the distance, gooey cinnamon rolls, and some great new friends)
After the firework show it was back inside to finish our board game (where we all kept getting distracted and probably had more fun getting to know each other and socializing than playing the game). After the game was finished (Scott won) it was time for me to head home. (With a few cinnamon rolls to take with me, of course!) I had a really fun time on the date, and it made the weekend better despite the fact that I couldn't go out of town with my family. :) Thanks Scott!

Sunday I woke up... ate my delicious cinnamon rolls, and got ready for church. My brother came home with my aunt but left his church clothes at Gma's. I went alone since the rest of my family was still out of town... but I had a wonderful afternoon with the ward. After church we had a family friend, Kenny Graff, come over to visit. Kenny chatted with me and Ben a while and then My mom and sister finally returned home. Kenny stayed a while longer, and then I got an invite from Isaac to go to Gage's house and socialize with some friends (they grilled chicken on the BBQ)

Tangent #2: Men, if you want to impress a girl--- learn how to cook. Enough said. All weekend I was continually impressed by these delicious meals that were made by my guy friends. :)

When I got to Gage's house Isaac, Gage, and I watched The Pelican Brief (cheesiest suspense music EVER) and then after the movie friends Darren, Amy, Chad, and Beth joined us. We lit some bottle rockets (rephrase... the boys lit them, the girls watched from the trampoline) and then we all just hung out on the trampoline in the back and visited.

 Tangent #3: One thing I really miss lately are my summer evenings/nights. They are all spent inside a rehearsal room this summer... so when I DO get to enjoy them, I realize how much I'm missing out on the warm evening weather, sprinklers going off in the neighbor's lawn, full moon, crickets chirping, friends and family sitting on the front porch or out on the back lawn. Such good times.

We visited for quite some time, and it was great getting to know Isaac, Gage, and everyone else better. :) Then it was time to head home and start another week! My holiday weekend was thoroughly enjoyable after all, even though I didn't get to spend time with everynoe at Grandma's (hopefully I'll make a trip to Grandma's soon... Summer wouldn't be the same without a trip to lil' old Indianola! I always love going to Grandma's house. But I had an AWESOME weekend, and the holiday festivities (namely fireworks) are always wonderful. Hope everyone else had a good holiday too, since that pretty much wraps up summer holidays until next year!

Anyway, since it was my first time riding horses, here are some pictures. Enjoy :)

First-timer on the horse!

Scott and I getting ready to ride :)

Our fun dates, Ben and Lara

Please take note of the cowboy boots. ;)
That's right. I'm festive.
So pretty... and what a fun day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance Fanatic!

I'm not much of a TV person.
I like watching television, but usually I'm busy doing other things.
There are, however, two TV shows that I try to watch faithfully.
Glee, and So You Think You Can Dance.
I always watch these two shows...
Even if I have to record them.
I've gotten WAY behind on watching SYTYCD,
But slowly I've been catching up.
Thank goodness for DVR.

SYTYCD is amazing!! I love dancing,
And these contestants are brilliant!
Talk about talent!
Watching the show makes me wish I was dancing regularly.
But I still love it!

Here is one of my most recent favorites.
A contemporary dance number by Travis Wall
Set to the song "Collide"
Acoustic version- my favorite!
It's about a couple who go to Prom together.
So cute! And so AMAZING!
I love the dance,
Love the costumes,
Love the music,
And I love the dancers- Kent is such a cutie! ;)

It's a beautiful piece.
Take a look:

Here's a link if the video doesn't work :)
Lauren and Kent-Contemporary SYTYCD

More Summer Adventures :)

I've really been enjoying my summer-- and of course, it's going by too fast! The past couple of weeks I have gotten to do quite a few fun things... and I have only posted about a few of them so I thought I'd share some more of my little adventures.

Hello Dolly- I met up with Isaac Johnson at the Herriman Amphitheatre to see my awesomely talented friends Landon Arnold and Spencer Walker perform in a community production of Hello Dolly on July 9th. We also met up with friends Marissa Spraktes and Anthony Roberts at the theatre. It was entertaining, and we love supporting our friends! After the musical, Anthony Roberts invited us to a movie night at his house!

Movie Night- My friend from high school, Anthony Roberts, has a movie night at his house every Friday night. He has an awesome entertainment room/system... and I was happy to be invited to this weekly event! The first time I went was over a week ago (July 9th after Hello Dolly) and we watched GI Joe. I hadn't seen the movie before, and It was pretty good! I was there with my friends Isaac Johnson, Marissa Spraktes, Courtney Kipp, Ryan Clawson, and of course, Anthony himself :) I know most of these people from high school but I haven't gotten to see them in a while, so it was fun hanging out with them!
I went to Anthony's movie night again last week (The 16th) with my friends Michelle Lee, Isaac Johnson and his friend Curtis Hickman. We played some foozeball (don't know how to spell it OR how to play it very well!) and that was fun, even though the boys kicked butt! This time we watched Transformers...which I have seen before. Also a good movie. Movie nights have been lotsa fun! :)

Movies at the Theater- During the summer there are always good movies that are new in the theatres. I have seen a few including Toy Story 3 (with my Alta/Riverton friends), Prince of Persia (with my fam), Eclipse (at 2 am with Brittany Hathaway), Grown Ups (also with Alta/Riverton friends at the Drive In!)

Two of the most recent movies I've seen this summer are Despicable Me and Inception. I went and saw Despicable Me with Isaac Johnson in 3D! It was very funny and entertaining. After we went to the movie we ate at a delicious ice cream place called Sub Zero, where I tasted Dr. Pepper/Watermelon ice cream. (It sounds weird, but it's scrumptious!) Then we went and watched the Riverton Demolition Derby later that evening. (After the city acccidentally told me I needed to sing the National Anthem. They booked two singers, so I didn't sing it after all. Sigh of relief.)

I saw Inception last Saturday with Isaac Johnson, Curtis Hickman, Anthony Roberts, Marissa Spraktes, and some of Curtis and Isaac's other friends. It was an AWESOME movie! It's a movie that definitely makes you think hard... and my brain is still recovering from this movie. It is mind-blowing!!

Family Reunion- My mom and dad were assigned to be in charge of the 2010 Paxman Family Reunion, which took place on Saturday. We held the reunion in the Provo Canyon at Vivian's Park. There were fun games, a barbeque, and lots of family attended! I didn't get the chance to float the river or do anything too adventerous since my family was in charge-- but I had a good time meeting some extended family members.

Friends' Reunion- One of my good friends, Michelle Lee, goes to school at Snow College and has a summer job in Ephraim. She came down to Salt Lake for the weekend and came to Anthony's movie night with me. We also had a sleepover out back in my trailer (fun having a girls night!) and then on Saturday after my family reunion (and before Inception) Michelle and I went to the Pie Pizzeria for dinner. At the Pie, people write all over the walls- it's kind of something that the Pie Pizzeria is known for. Michelle and I wrote our names on the wall in black pen. Our friendship is now official ;) haha. We had a good time seeing each other again, and I wish she was down here in Salt Lake all the time! I miss her dearly :)

Stingray Reunion?!- That's right, even after I said I didn't absolutely love feeding the stingrays the first time, I went again. Today I took Isaac Johnson to feed the stingrays at the aquarium. It wasn't so bad this time... since I knew what was coming ;) We also took some time to walk around the aquarium and admire the other exhibits. After we left the aquarium, we went to Frogurt and had some frozen yogurt! I love ice cream... what would summer be without it?! Isaac also invited me to go boating with Curtis... but I had Hale rehearsal. (Darn, I love boating! You can bet I was pretty bummed. I haven't been boating all summer.) That's okay though... I still had fun today and Hale Rehearsal was great too.

Hale Rehearsals- Rehearsals for Pirates of Penzance continue to go really well. I have rehearsals almost every day but I'm beginning to make some great friends in the show. We always have a lot of fun chatting during rehearsal (maybe sometimes talking too much) and we have a some good jokes and laughs too. I also enjoyed yet another Karaoke Night last Thursday with the cast of Pirates of Penzance AND the cast of Wedding Singer.

But Summer's Not Over Yet!
As you can see, the summer has been pretty epic. But it's not over quite yet! I'm planning on a trip down the Provo River (maybe even twice?), a lot of social time hanging out with friends (of course!), a trip to Grandma's house (always fun!), some of the Pack family (Mom's side) are coming into town, and Pirates of Penzance opens!

So there are many more adventures planned. If only the summer would slow down! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Broken Things To Mend

Here's a quote I found on this lovely Sunday, one which I think can be of great comfort to all of us.

"If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended."
                                                               -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

This quote is taken from a talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland called "Broken Things To Mend."
I really enjoyed his talk. Here, you can read it:
"Broken Things To Mend"

I hope whoever may read this blog is enjoying their day. :)
Much Love,

Friday, July 16, 2010

The World that Views You

I was making my daily drive to Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley yesterday, and as I was stopped at yet another red light I noticed a man on the corner of Redwood Road. He was in front of a pizza place, adorned with headphones and sunglasses, holding an advertisement for the pizza place. He was jamming out to the music being played on his headphones. Not just tapping his toes... he was jammin' all out. His attitude was nonchalant... the man didn't seem to have a care in the world. He didn't seem to recognize the cars zooming by and the people gawking at him as they strolled down the sidewalk.

As the light flipped green and I continued on my way to rehearsal, I wondered whether this man was instructed by his boss to create such a scene. Then again, I had driven past that corner for several days now- and the man's coworkers didn't have nearly as much enthusiasm. I wondered if behind those sunglasses, he noticed the way people stared - and if so - did he care?

He seemed like a pretty cool guy to me! It was awesome that he didn't care what passerby thought (or if he did, he didn't show it) ... he was dancing on the street corner enjoying life and if people thought he was weird, who cares?!
I don't think I could ever stand on a busy street corner by myself and put on such a show. But I thought it was great that he didn't give a flying flip about anyone else around him.

It's like that saying, "Dance like nobody's watching!"

After the rehearsal yesterday, the cast went to Karaoke night at Applebees. I was sitting at the table, adorned in a bright yellow hat and corky glasses when some people in the show commented on my bright outfit. One of my fellow cast members commented on his distaste towards my hat. While the other's surrounding me looked at me with sympathy and attempted to support me against his comment-- I shrugged my shoulders and continued to enjoy my evening. Sure, it bummed me out, and maybe I felt a little stupid about my hat that night. But then I thought of the pizza man. Lo' and Behold, the random pizza man became my temporary icon for the evening.

Well, my little daily observations got me thinking about
And how everyone makes them,
Everyone has them,
And everyone recieves them.

We start to acknowledge these impressions and labels at a young age, maybe when we begin school. School is like a giant bowl overflowing with labels. Geek, prep, jock, nerd, hick, and emo... just to name a few. These labels, these impressions, continue to be formed as we grow older too. Impressions are made about gender, religion, race, class, health, style, career, and personality. Let's face it; this world is chalk-full of labels and impressions.

Everybody has first impressions, everybody has false impressions, and everybody has lasting impressions. And while they say, "Don't judge a book by it's cover", everyone has made an assumption about someone or something in their lifetime. We're human. We judge and we form opinions. That is what sets us apart from any other living thing on this planet. Opinion. And it is through opinion and judgement in which labels and impressions are formed. In a way, this world wouldn't function the same without labels.

People always say,
"You shouldn't care about what anyone else thinks."

Okay, but to what extent? Because obviously you can't  go about life in a completely careless fashion. Everybody cares about other's opinions to some extent. Some people leap overboard, of course. I'm not suggesting that society plunges into the hollywood world of brand-name clothing and plastic surgery. But I couldn't name one person that plows through life without caring about someone else's impressions. This is obvious. We all care about somebody enough to hope that they think highly of us in return.

When we walk into a job interview, for instance. We definitely care about what that big-wig thinks of us. We want the job. We want the money. They are definitely making first impressions about us. Give the wrong one, and you won't be getting hired. Why else do we dress up, take extra breath-mints, and create an immaculate resume? No other reason than the fact that we want to make a clean first impression.

What about our education? We want to give the professor a good impression. We also want to recieve a good grade and so we try to appear to be the most responsible, the most studious, and the most colliegate student that walks into that professor's classroom. We care enough about impressions so that we can recieve a degree and create good references for that day when we are suddenly tossed into the real world. We care about impressions so we can be ready when we finally have to face that 'big-wig'.

Being a performer, I understand that when I audition for a show I only have 1-2 minutes to impress the judges and show the panel that I am better than the other 200 auditioners who are there. I have to care about what their first impresssion of me will be. I have to be careful not to care too much... because I still need to be true to myself. But I have to care enough to strive to be my best self.

Friendship is another category where we may feel inadequate in the world of impressions. You want to do everything you can to earn their friendship. You want to fit in. Some people say "If they're really my friend, then they won't care." But what would YOU think if your friend wore dirty clothes, if they didn't shower, or if they were completely impolite at the dinner table? (These are extremes, but go with me.)

How many of us who say that we shouldn't care, really don't care? I mean we've all cared about our first impressions sometime or another; whether it was when meeting a new friend, or when going on the first date, maybe during an audition, during the first day of school, or during a job interview.

Should we care? Or is that shallow?

Should we not care?

There are certain situations in life in which we must make a decision based on a first impression (The audition or the job interview). Sometimes we are not given enough time to do otherwise. Sometimes we only have time for first impressions before we must form an opinion. Other times people are impatient, and you simply don't get the chance to reveal who you truly are. But are those impatient people worth your time anyway? How many of us form impressions the moment we meet somebody? We're not supposed to, "judge a book by it's cover" but how many of us are really genuine enough not to?

How many of us notice the dork in the yellow hat, or the bizarre pizza man and label them accordingly before finding out who they truly are?

I know that we should always strive to be our best self. I also know that we should always look for the best in others. "Always look at one's potential value in addition to one's present worth." And anyway, sometimes (more often than not) first impressions are false impressions, and people's opinions and impressions can change.

So then maybe it's more about creating a good lasting impression rather than creating a good first impression. Then you just have to hope to meet people who are genuine enough to see your lasting impression first... people who will notice you for who you really are  on the inside, and not just notice the clothes you are wearing, the way your hair is styled, or the kind of car you are driving.

If you make sure you're the kind of person who can leave a positive impact on someone, then you're most likely going to be the kind of person who people will enjoy meeting for the first time, too. (Despite the yellow hat or the dancing) If you're the type of person who will have a good lasting impression...  then when people meet you they will automatically have a good first impression of you as well.  If you are friendly, kind, and genuine then it doesn't matter what clothes you wear, how you do your hair, what you drive, if you wear funny hats, or if you go dancing on a busy street corner. The light of who you are on the inside will shine through to the world that views you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Stroll Down the Red Carpet

Hale Centre Theatre held a 25-Year anniversary event Monday evening. It was a classy, black-tie, formal evening... And oh, was it marvelous! I was the lucky holder of two tickets, so I took my dear friend Josh Brockbank. I got dressed in my black cocktail dress, curled my hair... got all dolled up, and picked up Josh on the way there!
We had quite the lovely time. It was simply divoon. The walkway up to the theatre was lined with a red carpet where the cast of Wedding Singer was gathered, pretending to be die-hard fans of all the guests coming to the event. Josh and I were overthrown with autographs and pictures from our "fans". One of the pretend fans even asked, "What are you wearing?"

"Um... A dress?"

Little did I know she was asking about the designer. When we walked through the doors waiters were poised and ready to serve us a variety of drinks from silver platters. Ice water with lime in fancy glasses, martinis, cocktails, and even a new drink... the Sally Temple (created after Sally, one of the founders of Hale Centre Theatre). We helped ourselves to hors d'oeuvres... fruits and vegetables, delicate sandwiches, shrimp, shish kabobs, tarts, chocolate-covered strawberries... It was all so exquisite! We felt out of place. Where do we go? Is it appropriate to set my clutch on the table? How to act? Where to stand? Can we join strangers around the little standing tables? Do we use our fork for this? What even is that? Where is the garbage can? Good thing we can act!  Act like we know what we're doing, that is. Oh by the way, Josh and I later learned that the drinks were not spiked with alcohol. They were Mocktails. Of course- Duh, they would have to ask for ID if it was alcoholic. We both enjoyed one of these delicious drinks. We felt very elegant, except one time... some of my mocktail kinda spilled over the edge of my glass as I was walking down the stairs...

(Shh, don't tell!) Go figure. Clutz.
We enjoyed a beautiful flag-raising ceremony outside. we introduced ourselves to various people. I saw friends from Pirates of Penzance! We attempted to be as poised as those surrounding us. All of those big-wigs. ;) Then, it was time for the performance! We watched a commemorative program dedicated to the 25 years of Hale Centre Theatre's success. It was a very nice program. At 7:30 we were privileged to see Wedding Singer, the current show at Hale Centre Theatre (Our friend Matt Baxter was in the show! Go Matt!). The show was hilarious! I loved the music, the actors, and the set. :) Even despite the show coming to a complete halt because of a set-malfunction...It was still a fantastic performance. (Go figure during this formal event the show has technical difficulties. That's dripping in Irony. Filled with Karma. During the emergency intermission, Sally got up and told jokes and answered questions and shared stories for 15 minutes. It was your typical "Share jokes to prolong the awkward silence" act. But it was great fun anyway.) After the minor setback Act I of Wedding Singer continued smoothly. During intermission we were served refreshments in our seats! Mini water bottles and chocolate truffles. (One of the chocolates was salted--delicious!) Act II was just as entertaining as Act I and after the show, Josh and I congratulated our friend Matt on a wonderful performance. During the drive home we talked about college and life... it was great. And that wrapped-up our evening! It was an evening filled with propriety, laughing under our breath, formal introductions, exquisite food, excellent service, and a LOT of fun! Thanks for the great evening Josh. :)

Los Ping├╝inos :)

My family took a lovely trip to 'The Living Planet Aquarium' yesterday. The aquarium is somewhat small, but it is very interesting. There are various sea creatures in the exhibits at the aquarium. There is a new exhibit that has just recently been added to the aquarium. Penguins! The Living Planet Aquarium has adopted 11 Gentoo Penguins. They are so cute, and penguins are my favorite animal. Benjamin, Brooklyn and I signed up to be a part of The Penguin Encounter.

A few days each week, the staff of the aquarium allows eight people to meet the penguins up close and behind the scenes. My siblings and I signed up for this event! We went behind the scenes and we learned about the Gentoo Penguin. Then we went into a side-room near the penguin exhibit with an aquarium specialist. She let the penguins in the room with us where we got to see them up close! They were SO adorable to watch. We had to stay seated because standing scares the penguins, and we couldn't touch them because penguins like to explore with their beaks and they enjoy chewing fingers. But we were allowed to take pictures, and the penguins came so close!

We had thirty minutes penguin-time. It was frigid inside the room, so the staff gave us heavy coats. The behavior specialist played with the penguin. The penguins loved watching bubbles and tried to snap at the bubbles with their beaks. They also enjoyed playing with tennis balls. Some of the penguins were little bullies to the other penguins! They even slapped each other with their fins. It was so funny to watch them bicker! But they were all very cute and we had fun taking pictures and admiring the penguins.

After The Penguin Encounter we were off to feed the Stingrays! hahaha, what an exciting day ;) Feeding these creatures was not my most favorite task, but it was still a fun experience. We fed them dead pieces of fish and squid.
To feed the stingrays, you had to form your hand into a fist (so they won't suck your fingers off!) and put a piece of dead squid between your first and second finger, between your knuckles. You would then plunge your hand deep into the water. A stingray would hover over hand and suck the piece of food right out from your fingers! Sometimes your hand would get caught... it felt like a STRONG vacuum, and it kinda hurt! But after a few tries it became more easy to feed the stingrays.
They also offered metal hooks to feed the stingrays with (incase you didn't want to touch the food OR the stingray). My sister opted out of feeding them by hand and used the metal hook. (I think she was smart! haha)

Anyways... it was a fun day at the aquarium with the fam! My dad loves the aquarium, so he got us season passes too. Ha ha! Not to mention I got to see my favorite animal :) It made for a good day, and a good start to the week! I enjoy doing fun things with my family during the summer :) We always have a good time.

Here are some pictures of the day's outing:

The Penguin liked the strings on Ben's shorts.

Look how close they are!

Awe... cute Penguin :)

Icky... dead squid.

Come here lil' Stingray...

You can kinda see the stingray...

Brooklyn, Me, and Benjamin at the Aquarium
(In our coats for the Penguin Encounter)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Confessions of a New Obsession Part 2.

Gilmore Girls.
That's right- I'm finished!
Now my thought is- why don't I own this series?
? Good question.
I've been borrowing the seasons
Now from my next door neighbor.
I'm a worshipper of the series,
And I wish I owned all of the seasons :)
Its the perfect medicine to a bad day;

And the perfect addition to a better day.
Its girly, funny, romantic, cute
And... girly :)
I know, I know...
I'm most definitely positively obsessed.
Gilmore Girls is one of my new
Guilty Pleasures.
The story was so cute!
And the ending was almost perfect :)
Close enough to perfection that I still love the series.

But now what?

I've finished all of the episodes... :(
There are no more new adventures
With Lorelai and Rory.
It's like when you come close to the end of a book.
You want to know the ending, but you don't want it to end.
(That sounds like an oxymoron!)
You want to keep living their story.
It was great while it lasted.
And I can always go back and re-watch episodes.
I could watch the show allll dayyy looonggg.
...Gotta love Gilmore Girls

Friday, July 9, 2010

College Hooplah

Yesterday I placed my summer boredom on hold and went shopping with my mom.

But not just ANY shopping...

College shopping!

My mom was at Walmart for groceries, when she called to inform me that Walmart had a big section dedicated to college apartment necessities. So I drove to Walmart and met my mom, and thus begins our college-preparation endeavors! Here's what I got...

*two sets of matching sheets and pillowcases
*Blanket for the bed
*Laundry Hamper
*Ironing Board
*2 sets of bathroom towels
*2 cooking pans
*Spatula and two cooking spoons
*Measuring cups
*Can opener
*Dishes (some plates and bowls)

...As you can see from the picture above, the recurring theme is pink and orange. My bedroom has both colors, my bathroom is all orange, and my kitchen all pink! It's all color coordinated....even down to the can-opener! :) And even though we still have a long way to go in preparing for college, the shopping trip made me excited to move into my little apartment. It will be a challenging, exciting and fun new chapter of my life! And I'm going to begin it in style, too! ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Summer Boredom. Each summer vacation, it is sure that every teenager is to experience this sensation. Boredom. Now don't get me wrong... I'm still thoroughly enjoying my summer vacay. Sleeping in is nice, and the freedom from homework is more than welcome. But today I am oh-so utterly bored. This is from the combination that (a) I don't have Hale rehearsal to look forward to today or tomorrow, and (b) Because I usually have rehearsals every weeknight, my friends don't know that I have the night off... therefore resulting in absolutely no thursday or friday social plans thus far.
I have made several attempts at entertaining myself. I've watched TV, read my book, cleaned my room, organized photos on the computer (a task given by dad), and various other boring things. None of these activities will suffice. Let's face it, when I don't have rehearsals my summer life is pretty mundane. Especially as far as social life is concerned. So for my newest attempt at passing the time I decided to try a new hairstyle.
Usually, my hair has the tiniest bit of curl in it. Not enough curl to wear naturally as a hairstyle... but enough curl that I usually need to straighten it... I can't just leave it be. I decided since I had time to kill I would take advantage of this curl. I looked up some ways to curl/scrunch hair online. (I know, I know, I have no life. I've proven my case!) After wetting my hair and using some hair gel... I scrunched my hair up atop my head and bobby pinned it all over. I let it air-dry in the bobby pin updo. Then I blowdried it while it was still up. When I let my hair down... it was all wavy! I've tried diffusing my hair a couple of times... and it usually doesn't give it enough curl. But this worked... whaddaya know? Boredom= random creativity. :) So... even though I don't have anywhere to go, at least I learned a new hairstyle! Now only if I had a social life; a party or a get-together where I could show off my new hairdo-- I'm ready for a night on the town! (Audible sigh) Guess I'll just revert to more Gilmore Girls, junk food, and summer reading. ;) Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Breakfast Club

These people love me enough to get up at 8:15 and join me for breakfast! Mom and I woke up today at seven and cooked a homemade breakfast for a group of my friends from high school. We made waffles (with homemade jam, my favorite), cowboy grub, bacon, toast, and laid out some fruit. I love breakfast foods, and of course it was awesome seeing my high school friends again.

This is actually the result of a poor attempt at a tradition. About a year ago I went to Denny's on 'free breakfast' day with a group of my friends. When we arrived at Denny's, there was an endless line to the front door. We were hungry and impatient, so my friends and I ditched Denny's and went to my house. My dad immediately whipped us up a delicious breakfast. We decided that we should get a group together every-so-often to have breakfast. My dad liked the idea too, he loves cooking for my friends and I. :) Unfortunately, we never really got around to the whole 'Breakfast Club' idea. I made one more attempt the spring of my senior year, and only two people showed up. So now that summer is finally here, I figured people's schedules would be more flexible. Sure enough, we got a pretty good turnout!

My friends Michael Adler, Matt Baxter, Brittany Hathaway, Rudy Arias, Preston Weber, Tyler Bowers, Annie Smith, Jessy Montclair, Dylan MacDonald, Erin Davenport, Josh Brockbank, and Spencer Walker all came to have some breakfast and socialize. It was good seeing them all again. We just had a nice time visiting and eating... catching up on each other's lives. My hopes are to organize one more breakfast day this summer before I go to WSU. Anyway, thanks for coming everyone. (and thanks for helping Mom!) It was good seeing you all! Loves :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Today I went to dance class.
I took a short tap class
Then, a ballet class.
I haven't danced in so long...

I miss dancing so much.

They say,
The reason we perform musicals is because
When you (the character) can no longer
Find the words to speak,
You burst out into song.
And when singing isn't enough
You erupt into dance.

I love expressing emotions through dance,
Or telling stories through dance.
Or merely dancing JUST to dance.

It feels great.

I know I'm going to feel sore tomorrow though.
But I love that feeling, that sense of hard work!
It's so worth it.

I can't wait to dance again next week :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Little Visitor

A few days ago,
My sister Brooklyn and friend McKenzie
Were jumping on the trampoline outside.
Another beautiful Summer day,
When through a slat in the fence...
In comes the sweetest little puppy!
The girls were worried... they couldn't push him back through!
The mom, Daisy, waited anxiously on the other side of the fence.

But the sweet little puppy wanted to play.
He clambered across the bark and came over to the grass to say Hello.

Now, after we made sure we had the neighbors permission,
The puppy comes back and forth between our yards
To play.

Isn't he cute? His name is Henry.
Now Mommy Daisy knows that it's okay when Henry comes to play.

Sometimes when our family is in the backyard,
Henry comes to join us.
He's such a lazy, happy, loving puppy.

But, he's growing! Soon he probably won't be able to fit
Through the fence to come visit.
But for the time being, he's our little visitor. :)