Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beneath the Green Tree.

A year ago, Dad started this really great tradition. As of last year, our family doesn't place presents under the Christmas tree until the night of Christmas Eve.

We purchase our gifts and wrap them all nice and pretty just like most families do, but we stow them away in closets and underneath beds until the night before Christmas.

We leave the space underneath the tree bare so we can remember the most important celebration of the Christmas season: Christ's birth. Instead of staring at the boxes and bags and wondering what we got for Christmas this year, we look at empty space beneath the tree and remember that Christ's birth is more important than any Christmas gift we could ever receive.

When Dad started this a year ago, I decided to write a poem about it. I started to think about all of the symbolism behind the idea of this new family tradition. I loved everything that it meant to my Dad and our family. I stayed up late on Christmas Eve and wrote the poem, posting it here on my blog.

Now, a year later, I've had a request to post the same poem. I'm not a practiced poet... but here's the story behind this Paxman Family Tradition. The poem is titled, "Beneath the Green Tree"

Beneath the Green Tree
A long time ago
In Galilee
A Bright star shown
For the world to see.

A small babe was born
In Bethlehem
And would suffer here
To atone for men.

See, before His time
The world was dim
And many people
Waited for Him.

 But under the star
He was sent to earth
And our lives would change
Because of His birth

So many would travel
From places afar
To see this babe, 
Born 'neath the star.

Twas Jesus Christ
In the manger lay,
Hence the greatest gift
Was given that day.

Now years gone by
We cherish his life
We remember his glory
And in solemn, his strife.

And every year
Many put up a tree
With a star placed on top
As was in Galilee

But under our tree
No presents will lay
For Christ wasn't born
Until Christmas day.

So gifts are still wrapped
Stowed away with care,
But until Christmas day
'Neath the tree remains bare.

We remember how empty
This world that we live in
Would be, if our Savior 
Had never been given.

Then on Christmas Night
Beneath star and tree,
Gifts are carefully laid
For the family to see.

To resemble that night
When born was God's Son
The best gift to us
That ever would come.

 I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday. Merry Christmas Eve, and much love.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Behold... the devastating evidence of a serious disaster. 

This, I know, is a major problem. Overcooked hot chocolate exploding in the microwave is simply not going to suffice when I have a handsome husband and hungry children of my own to satisfy. 

Being a poor college student, I can currently get away with eating ramen noodles, PB&J sandwiches, Ice cream, and microwaveable chicken breasts for the majority of my meals. Unfortunately, these eating habits are not desirable when raising a family.

This fact - that I am not a very good cook - is the result of living a childhood where most of my dinners were spent at the ballet studio. When most little girls were in the kitchen every evening learning how to cook with Mommy, I was hard at work learning my pirouettes and grand jetés. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved my ballet years, and ballet introduced me to musical theatre. 
Dance and theatre... two things that I absolutely couldn't live without.

But now I'm an adult with the cooking skills of a seven-year-old. Okay that's a bit of a hyperbole; With a little work, I can follow a recipe just fine. And usually (unlike last night) I have no problem heating up a cup of cocoa. 

I promise... I can make a decent meal. I'm not that bad.

But I am definitely no Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker.
I'm just learning. It's a work in progress.
...New Year's Resolution, perhaps?

P.S. That IS indeed my new Disney Princess Mug. It really is adorable, if you can imagine it without the burnt chocolate that is currently caked all over Sleeping Beauty.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bosom Friend.

Bosom friends are two people who were always destined to be best friends. Bosom friends are connected on a freakishly weird level. Bosom friends live and think on the same plane. Bosom friends are the ones who can go long amounts of time without seeing each other (although this is NOT preferable), and still talk to each other like they haven't been separated for a single day.

Brittany Hathaway is the first (of only two) bosom friends I have had so far in my entire life. You know... the person who just 'clicks' with you from day numero uno. That was us. We met in Sunday school four-and-a-half-ish years ago. She was the new girl from New Jersey, and I was the only theatre geek in a ward full of sporty girls. The rest, as they say, is history.

Basically, we've been best friends ever since.

I am grateful for my "bosom friend". I am grateful for random one-something in the morning text messages that are clearly inspired. You couldn't have had more perfect timing. I am grateful for being able to finally have someone to talk to (and I mean really talk to) even if it was only for an hour at one in the morning.

You listen to me, you understand me, you love me for who I am, you laugh with me, and you keep me sane.

I needed that. Especially tonight. Thanks for letting me invade your home at one in the morning. Thanks for  just listening. Thanks for knocking some sense into me.

Love you Britt. Thanks for being my bosom friend.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A winter weekend in Ogden.

I can't believe how much I've been missing Ogden while I'm home with my family for the holidays.

Clarification: I can't believe how much I've been missing the people in Ogden while I'm home with my family for the holidays. Let's face it- Ogden itself will never be quite as homey or lovely as Riverton...although it is growing on me the longer I'm here.

I wish I could combine my Riverton World and my Ogden World. I hate feeling torn all the time. Sometimes when I'm in Ogden I find myself missing my best friend Brittany, The Group, and The Riverton YSA 1st Ward. I always miss my family when I'm away at school. Now when I'm in Riverton I find myself missing my theatre family and the folk dancers. It's a no-win situation here. 

In all reality, I don't think I would want to mix my Riverton life with my Ogden life. It's not that I'm two different people or I'm actually living two different lives or anything, but Riverton serves as a getaway from busy school life and stress. If Riverton and Ogden were the same place, I don't know where I would escape to for some relaxation time. ;)

But anyway, I've been missing my Ogden friends while I've been at home in Riverton for the past week. Last Friday though, I drove back up to my apartment to spend the weekend in Ogden. It's been a wonderful three days back up at school. Here's the recap:

I made the trip back to Ogden in the late afternoon. Friday evening I drove to Sam Howe's residence for the Folk Dance Christmas Social. I had such a wonderful time with the team. We had a delicious dinner, played games, socialized, ate lots of goodies, and watched The Polar Express. I enjoyed socializing upstairs with various team members and singing around the piano with my friends. We also played the improvisation game, "Late for Work" and I couldn't stop laughing... our team is so hilarious!

The team also had a Pajama Gift Exchange. I  gave pajamas to one of my closest friends on the team, Karina Spencer. It was hard to keep everything a secret from her, considering she asked me who I had for PJ's the day we drew names out of the hat. But, with the use of my acting skills, she was thoroughly surprised to find out her pajamas were from me! Ashton Smith gave me some super-comfy pajamas! He even named them, "Richard Lime Rickey". I don't know how I feel about my pajamas having a boy name... but the pants are the colors of a lime rickey (purple and lime green)... and I love them. Thanks Ashton!

We had a wonderful time, and I was out until 1:15am. But it was so worth it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love love LOVE the Folk Dance Team. Being a part of the team has been one of my favorite college experiences. Hands Down.

I took advantage that today was one of my first opportunities to sleep in since school got out for the holidays. I woke up at 8:30 and got ready for a trip to The Bountiful Temple to do baptisms for the dead. I met Sam, Ashton, and Allison Winsor at the Park and Ride in South Weber. We carpooled to the temple and spent a good two hours there and performed some great work. Sam and Ashton got to baptize and confirm both Allison and I. It was such a spiritual experience.

Allison and I were talking about how grateful we are to have friends like Sam and Ashton who hold the priesthood. We admire those boys so much. It's comforting to know that we have friends who honor their priesthood keys and could help us if we ever needed it. Not to mention, they are both handsome men! ;) We felt lucky to spend the day with them.
After the temple Sam had to leave for a little while, so Ashton, Allison and I went to Allison's house for some hot chocolate. We visited in Allison's front room until Sam came back, and then the four of us went to Costa Vida for lunch and visited some more! We probably spent a good two hours at Costa Vida. I love that I have friends who can just sit around and talk for hours and never get bored.

After an enjoyable afternoon with my friends, I went back home and got ready for my date! I spent Saturday evening with Jordan Smith (also from the team.) He invited me to his work Christmas party for dinner! We ate at The Maddox in Brigham City. The food there was delicious. I am addicted to the hot rolls and raspberry butter. I also tried Bison Steak... and surprisingly enough, I liked it! I had the opportunity of meeting Jordan's parents and brother at dinner (they all work together) and I really enjoyed the company of Jordan and his family. After dinner we had a white elephant gift exchange, and I am now the proud owner of two Disney Princess Mugs. (I may or may not have chosen my own white elephant gift...)

After dinner, Jordan and I went and saw the new Sherlock Holmes at the movie theater! It was a great movie. I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Thanks for an awesome date, Jordan!

Today I practically dragged myself out of bed for church. My original plan was to drive back home this morning and attend church with the singles ward in Riverton, but I decided to invite a group of friends over to my place this evening to watch 17 Miracles and have some ice cream. So today I've had a lazy day in Ogden. After church I had a three hour nap (ridiculous!) and now I'm just relaxing at home until the folkers come over for ice cream. 

After the movie I'm heading back to Riverton! It's been a great couple of days, Ogden. Thanks to everyone who made it a fun weekend. Two more weeks until Spring Semester! Crazy!

Happy Holidays everyone. Much love!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


First and foremost, everyone should come to the Folk Dance Christmas Showcase tonight. The event will be held at the Ogden LDS Institute building at seven thirty this evening, and admission is free. The team has decided to hold this informal performance for friends and family, to showcase all of the dances we have been working on this semester. It will be a wonderful evening of dance, music, song, culture, and holiday spirit. I'd love to see you there!

With that said...

I can't believe The Holidays are already here! It was a crazy semester... and it all happened so quickly! It feels like yesterday that I was sitting in a circle with the AAT board planning the opening social and getting ready to fly to Colorado to see Elise. Now the semester is over, and it's crazy to think back to the past eleven weeks and remember all of the fun memories this semester brought me! 

After the show tonight, I pack up for home and then drive back to Riverton tomorrow. I'm looking forward to spending a couple of weeks with my family. Fall Semester is over... so what now? Well, I've got a lot planned, and I'm excited!

Winter Break Plans
Above all, I'm looking forward to spending time with my family. Sure, they only live an hour away... but I miss them a whole lot. I'm hoping we take a trip to temple square to see the lights, and I already know we're going on a nativity tour sometime soon.

It's been decided: I'm working over the Christmas break! I'm lucky enough to have Port of Subs to return to during the holidays, and I'm actually excited to work there for a couple of weeks. I enjoy spending time with my POS family. Having a job during the break will keep me busy (I'm not going to sit around on my lazy bum for the next three weeks!) and it will give me a chance to earn a little extra mulah. I can always go for some more cash.

Other than that, Christmas break is a time to reunite and party with friends! I already have a ladies lunch date in the making with Meagan Desmond and Ashley Berg. I love those girls so much. We've been through a lot of growing up together (friends since we were three years old!). I'm also hosting a Christmas get-together with The Group. It'll be lovely to see all of them again. On the 16th of December I'm going to the Folk Dance Christmas Social, and I'm also hoping to visit a few other friends before spring semester starts.

Spring Semester Plans:
I'm happy about next semester. I'm enrolled in Script Analysis, Scene Study for Musical Theatre, Private Voice Study, Human Development, Dance for Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, and Stage Makeup. I've heard that Script Analysis is kick-butt, so I tried to avoid taking several extremely difficult classes in the spring. I want to be able to focus on Script Analysis and ace the class! I'm taking Hip Hop on Saturday mornings... the class is only a half-semester long, but I can already tell it's going to take great motivation to get up early Saturday mornings! I'm detremined to do it though, and I'm taking the class with the Welches (two of my favorite people!) so we'll have a good time.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed to be on a crew next semester. I didn't get the opportunity to be on a crew with the theatre department in the fall because of my involvement with Sleepy Hollow, so I would love to be on a crew in the spring! Weber State is also hosting KCACTF in the spring, and I'm ecstatic about that. It's going to be hecka crazy, but I can't wait for the festival!

I'm going to continue dancing with the folkers next semester. I am in love with the team. Folk Dance has been such a wonderful experience for me this year. Along with that, I'll be continuing my duties for the Folk Dance Presidency and the AAT board next semester. I love the team and the board... and even though it keeps me busy, I look forward to meetings every week! I love feeling organized and responsible.

Oh, and I'm taking "Dating and Courtship" at the institute next semester! hehe :)

Other Plans?
Bre and Addison Welch suggested a few weeks ago that I audition for Summer Stock at The Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, Montana. The more they told me about the experience, the more I wanted to audition. After a lot of thought and prayer (as well as a talk with my parents)... I decided that I'm going to audition!

I REALLY want to work at Playmill next Summer. I'm going to start preparing for my auditions now! I'm driving up to Rexburg in February to audition. The more I think and pray about it, the more excited I get. I would LOVE to have a job over the Summer where I get to do what I love to do most.

Anyway, the whole Summer Stock idea just recently became a realistic plan... so there will be more details to come about this new and exciting adventure. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all will work out as planned!

So that's where life sits, my friends. A lot of fun plans in the future. I love my life! Right now though, I'm mostly focusing on some "me" time and enjoying The Holidays while they last. The year 2011 is wrapping up quickly, and I'm just soaking it all up while I can!

Hope everyone is enjoying the happy season. Love you all. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Love I look to you, and I sing...

I was introduced to this song today. I think it's quite beautiful. 
The lyrics and message are perfect for the holiday season. 
Oh and the music? Gorgeous. Then again, who doesn't love a little Sara Bareilles?

School is officially out for winter break. This makes me jovial. :)
And that's all for tonight. Happy Holidays everyone, much love.

Love is Christmas
 I don’t care if the house is packed,
Or the strings of light are broken.
I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped,
Or there’s nothing here to open.

Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.

Love is simply joy that I’m home.

I don’t care if the carpet's stained; we've food upon our table.

I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable.

Love is who we are, and no season can contain it.

Love would never fall for that.


Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Why so scared that you’ll mess it up? Imperfection keeps you haunted.

All you need is your best my love, that’s all anyone ever wanted.

Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it.

Love I look to you, and I sing.


Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is what makes me happy.

*Walks from The Institute to The Union on cold Saturday evenings.
*Waltzing in pretty white dresses
*Rolls with butter and homemade jam
*Twinkling Christmas lights
*Once Upon a Time
*Michael Buble's Christmas CD
*Text messages that take me by surprise
*Farrs Fresh ice cream. Twice.
*Toll House cookie dough
*Hot chocolate and candy canes. Mixed together.
*Phone calls from best friends
*Letters from best friends
*Singing Christmas songs
*The Notebook
*The First Presidency Christmas Fireside
*Just talking
*Small acts of kindness
*Sleeping in
*Christmas parties in the making
*Small inspirations
*Chocolate peanut butter heath shakes
*A clean bedroom

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Weekend in Review.

It was a wonderful, wonderful weekend. The majority of my time was spent performing with the Folk Dance team. And boy, did I have a blast dancing with them this weekend. Here's the scoop on the last couple of days.

...was insane. I had several final projects/comprehensive tests that were all scheduled that day. It was one of the most stressful days of the semester, hands down. You know those ''throw on some clothes, no hair, no makeup'' days? That was Friday for me. And of course I ended up running into awesome people on the ONE day when I look like crap. But I survived. It was the last day of fall semester classes! I made it through another semester at Weber State University. Huzzah!

Friday evening was the opening night of the Institute Christmas Spectacular. We had a fantastic opening night performance. I probably cannot put into words how much I enjoyed spending time with my fellow folkers this weekend. Friday's performance went fairly well, and I was excited to have my mom and sister in the audience for support. When the show was finished I talked to my family and introduced them to some of my friends from the team. I also ran into my friends Kevin and Chris Neff, who were kind enough to drive from Riverton to come see me in the show! Thanks for the support, boys! I really appreciated it, and it was fun to see you!

After the show, the cast went to the institute building for a cast party! The institute provided pizza, drinks, salads, and desserts. We all gathered together and celebrated the opening of the show. I had a great time talking with Annie Odendahl, Karina Spencer, Jack Shapiro, Sam Howe, and some of the other folk dancers while we were there!

Then, Jack and I decided to ditch the cast party early and get some ice cream. We invited the rest of the team to join us, but most of the folkers went to Ben Eschler's apartment to watch a movie. I ended up driving three boys to Jake's Over The Top for shakes! Imagine that... I was lucky enough to take THREE handsome boys out to ice cream. (I don't know what all of the other girls were thinking... they missed out!) I enjoyed a Chocolate Reeses Heath Shake and ate my ice cream with Jack, Sam Howe, and Jordan Smith. I adore all three of these guys, and we had fun visiting over delicious ice cream.

After our sweet splurge, the three boys and I drove to Ben's apartment to watch the new X-Men movie with the rest of the team. The entire team squished on the couches in the common room. Jack and I had already seen the movie, so we spent the majority of the time poking fun at different scenes. Oh and Sam is apparently a X-Men Guru... I learned many new facts sitting next to him. It was entertaining (Things are so much funnier when you're tired!) I had such an amazing time. It made for a late night... I didn't get home until two in the morning, but it was so worth it!

I woke up at about 9am and drove to the Browning Center to perform in Maddie Tarbox's Directing Scene. We had a successful performance, and Maddie was sweet enough to give her cast these little holiday bowls full of candy and cinnamon rolls. It was a good start to a great day.

I came home and curled my hair, and then it was time for the matinee performance of the Christmas show! I went back to the Browning Center and got ready for another performance! I loved listening to music in the dressing room and talking Sadie Martineau, Shae Jackman, and the rest of the amazing girls on the team while we got ready. We had another successful show (probably my best of the three performances) and then we went to the institute for lunch. The institute served us Zupas! It was delicious.

We had one more show that evening. While I was touching up my curls before the last show, I burnt my hand on the curling iron! I managed to wrap my entire hand around the iron before realizing that I was touching the metal! I've gotten burns before... you know the usual: curling irons, flat irons, pots, pans, hot-glue guns. But this hurt like none-other! Luckily I had 22 genuine friends to help me out; but my hand continued to throb, sting, and burn throughout the night. One of the girls provided me with an extra sports bra which we soaked in cold water... and it became my new friend for the night. I held onto that thing the entire time I was offstage. (Sports Bra... creative, right?) Maybe I'm just a big baby, but it hurt.

Other than the curling-iron incident, I had such a fun time! The run of the show was too short, and it was over before I knew it! The last show was fun because the boys kept tricking us! At the end of Bavarian Polka they swept us off our feet into a cradle position, at the end of Hopak they kissed us on the cheek, and at the end of the clog they dragged us off the stage! When we walked into the dressing room each of the girls was surprised with a rose, a cupcake and a card signed by all of the boys. (We gave all of the guys a card that read, "Out of all the fish in the sea, you're the one for me." with a goldfish. Yep. A real, live fish.) We love our folk dance men!

After the last show I walked up to the lobby and ran into Landon Welch! He also came to support me. I was so happy to see him. Thanks Landon! After visiting with the audience, we all helped clean the dressing rooms. Then it was time for another party! The entire team went to Shae's house to watch a movie and play games. I carpooled with Karina and Jack and we made a pit stop at McDonalds for drinks on the way to Shae's place! When we arrived, everyone was watching The Adjustment Bureau, which didn't last long because pizza came! We ate pizza and ended up playing games. I even introduced the team to Werewolf... a classic group game that I learned from the Riverton Groupies. I didn't get to bed until 3am, but it was another awesome night!

I woke up in the morning with seven tiny blisters on my hand to show for my stupidity. I also slept through my alarm and missed church... finally waking up at 11:30am. (How pathetic!) I relaxed at home for most of the day, and then Jack invited me to watch the First Presidency Christmas Fireside with him and his friends Mallory Higgs and Diana Olson. I had a wonderful time with the three of them!

After spending time at Mallory's, Jack and I went on a redbox adventure to search for The Adjustment Bureau so we could finish watching it. We finally found the DVD at the third redbox station we drove to (in the bitter cold, no less!). We watched the movie at my house. It was an enjoyable and relaxing end to the weekend!

I had a grand time. It was the perfect kick-off for the holidays And now for some pictures:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stories for Christmas

The Ogden LDS Institute's 
Annual Christmas spectacular opened tonight.
What a positive experience!
I'm performing in the show with the Folk Dance Team
... and loving every moment.

It's the perfect way to kick-off your holiday season.
Come and see Stories for Christmas
Today at 2pm and 7:30pm at Weber State University
And don't miss out on the winter spirit!

Then, next week Folk Dance is having their first
Christmas Showcase.
We'll be showcasing all of the dances we've learned this semester.
It's on Friday December 10th
At the Ogden LDS Institute Building.
Tickets are free, hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Isn't Kansas, Toto.

The wind has been INSANE today. Maybe we aren't in Kansas and we didn't have a tornado... but the Weber/Davis counties experienced winds over 100mph today!

♪ The wind began to switch - the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch... The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch. It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch ♪ 

Yup. That's what my professor started to sing today. (In a theatre class. Where else would a professor break out into "Munchkin Land"?) It feels as if Ogden City is going to be blown away right past Kansas and all the way to the Land of Oz, or something.

Really though. I barely made it to the Browning Center for class in the windstorm. During my music theory comprehensive final my entire class watched the roofing come unhinged from the Union Building. We gawked out the window while garbage cans, campus signs, and debris flew across the campus sidewalks.

Weber State sent out a mass text to the students, encouraging us to stay inside. Doors were locked, and a couple of hours later classes were cancelled. After my final I wandered downstairs to BC 230 where my theatre family sat, waiting out the storm. I'm just lucky I got stuck in the Browning Center. (There's no where on campus I'd rather be locked in.)

Throughout the day I witnessed and heard about many crazy things. Trampolines flying across the street, trees being uprooted, glass windows shattering, light poles falling on parked cars, pieces of the WSU clock tower coming loose and breaking the roof of the Union Building.

I even walked past a man holding tissue up to a small bloody gash in his forehead because the wind was so strong it knocked him over. The poor lad was literally swept off of his feet! And... onto his face... Yeah it's okay... I, too, was trying my darndest not to laugh at the poor guy. I felt bad for him, but it was just so unrealistic that I just couldn't wrap my brain around it. You don't hear about people being blown over by the wind every day.

It definitely made for an adventurous morning. Shook things up a bit. Created some excitement. The crazy stories gave us students something to talk about while we were holed up in the Browning Center.

Anyway, here are some pictures I took. That's right. You can bet I went outside after the wind calmed down and captured the footage. I felt like a sneaky disaster scene investigator. Or maybe more like one of those idiots that Dad always makes fun of for gawking at silly things. But I couldn't resist.

All joking aside though... I hope that everyone is okay and that nobody was seriously hurt! Stay safe everyone :) Here are the pictures. Some were taken by me, others were pulled off of facebook.

 The gates surrounding University Village

The door to the stairwell of the Browning Center.
You can't see very well, but the glass is shattered.

 Looks normal at first... but an entire stoplight has been blown off!

 In the parking lot of the Browning Center

 Parts of the new student housing collapsed.