Tuesday, July 31, 2012


There truly is "no place like home."
And I mean home, home.

Don't get me wrong, I adore West Yellowstone. And this is my home, at least for the summer. I love it here. I love the tiny shops, the hole-in-the-wall diners, the tall trees, the smell of pine, the crisp air... and The Playmill? Forget about it. I'm seriously in love with everything up here.

But Utah is home. And I've kinda missed that place, with it's tall mountains and bustling suburbs and gorgeous temples. So when Jennie said she was going to Salt Lake on Saturday night, I jumped on the train. Literally.

Okay so it was actually a shuttle, not a train... but still. I overheard Jennie saying she was taking a night shuttle to Salt Lake... and I wanted to go with her so.badly. So I took my instinct and ran with it. I found myself signing up for a shuttle pass on a whim, and a half-hour later I was gone! Jennie and I made reservations for the 2am bus on Saturday night, and we made the 6 hour trip to Salt Lake, arriving at the conference center at 7am the next morning.

...And this was the view out my window as the shuttle pulled up to the curb at 7am. I can't even describe how elated I was to be there. We met Aaron (Jennie's husband) in Salt Lake City, and then I met my Mom in Murray. 

It was a glorious weekend, even if I was only in Salt Lake for a total of thirteen hours on Sunday. It was Brooklyn's thirteenth birthday, so we celebrated with a special birthday dinner and a chocolate cake that tasted absolutely divine. (And there was ice cream, too. There always has to be ice cream.) We also went to church, watched a little SYTYCD on the new big-screen, and had a Sunday nap in the front room. (Oh yeah, and I also taught Mom how to play Draw Something on the iPods.) I basically spent the entire day with my sweet family, and I feel so refreshed after having gone home for a day. It was much needed.

Some of the things I missed most about home:

-Home cooked food. I'm always too lazy to cook or bake anything in West. Mom's chicken roll-ups were delicious.

-Green grass. I realized there is hardly any grass in West Yellowstone. I miss being able to sprawl out on the front lawn for a good read or an afternoon nap.

-My sweet, sweet family. Even when I was in Ogden, my family was only an hour away, so it was pretty easy to visit when I needed them.

-Going on late-night walks around the neighborhood. It's too chilly (and too scary) to do that here in West.

-The temple. Last summer I went to the temple every week.

-Owning a washer and dryer.

-Walmart. They have anything and everything, and it's cheap. In West Yellowstone, I pay almost four dollars for a gallon of milk.

 -Port of Subs. Unfortunately they are closed on Sundays, because I really could have gone for a #5 slathered in their mustard/mayo mix. Just driving past the joint made me crave a fresh-made sandwich. 

-The Riverton YSA 1st Ward. I went to my family ward during my stay, but I bet there are tons of cute single guys in that ward. And I miss all the fun times I had with that ward last summer.

-Having my own bedroom. Seriously, it's like a sanctuary to me.

...Anyway, visiting and relaxing with my family for a day was exactly what I needed to get through the rest of the summer. Sunday night I drove up to Logan with Jennie and Aaron, where we spent the night at a friend's house. And today we came back up to West, just in time for our two shows. I really enjoyed spending some quality time with the Mosses this weekend too. They're pretty awesome.

So yep, that covers it. I love it up here in MT... but last week was a tough one. Fortunately, we still have a month left to live it up. And now after being home, I feel rejuvenated. I felt excited for the rest of the summer when I drove back into West Yellowstone this afternoon. (Before last weekend, I hadn't left town in over a month-and-a-half. It needed to happen, people.)

So now I'm sitting in my apartment, drinking some hot cocoa, listening to a little Kevin Hammond, and tomorrow my family's coming to visit for a couple of days. Life is good.

The rest of the summer is going to be incredible. I have a really good feeling about it. And then it's back to Utah, and school, and real-life. So I've gotta live it up while I can.

But for now, much love. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When Brothers are Teachers.

My brother Benjamin posted this quote on facebook. I loved it, so I decided to share it here. Ben is the best brother a girl could ask for. He's mild-tempered, hard-working, and one of the coolest people I know. He sure does teach me a lot, even though I'm the big sister. Funny how that works out, isn't it?

"I think one of the most universal human experiences is feeling alone, you'd never know it, but there is most likely tons of people feeling the exact same way, maybe because you are feeling completely abandoned, maybe because you realize you aren't as self-sufficient as you thought, maybe because you know you should have handled something differently, or maybe because you aren't as good as you thought you were, either way when you hit that low point you have a choice either wallow in self pity, or you can suck it up.... its your call." 
John Dorian - Scrubs.

Pretty good, huh.
...And okay, maybe he pulled his inspiration from a TV series. But still. This kid has one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. And he's wiser than his years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


1. Kiwi melon snow cones are the best. Especially when shared with a close friend over a good, long talk and a drive in the rain.

2. I learned that the number one way to impress a man is to learn how to play the banjo. It's no wonder I've been having such bad luck. ;)

3. It kinda stinks when childhood friends get married, and you can't even be there for the reception because you live in Montana.

4. I currently have a love/hate relationship with love.

5. It's true, what they say. Great minds think alike. Today I mentioned to Brian and Scott that we should visit the ice cream shop outside the theater during one of our shows. Apparently - not five seconds earlier - Jack had told Brian and Scott the exact same thing. It was an epic moment. Brian and Scott thought we had planned it, but Jack and I are just that cool. 

6. I think I may have lost some weight while at The Playmill... which is extremely surprising, considering  all of the homemade fudge I've devoured since living here.

7. One of my new pet peeves is when someone starts to tell me something and then says "Nevermind" mid-sentence.

8. Moths have invaded our apartments. I like to call it the Moth Apocalypse. There have been over thirty moths in the stairwell outside of our front door for the past three days. Lauren caught 27 in one night. Picture that one scene in Harry Potter where Harry encounters the winged keys. Except unlike the keys, moths aren't enchanted or magical or anything even remotely cool. They're just moths. Big, ugly, furry, disgusting moths. It's freaky.

9. Sleeping in sponge curlers is one of the worst feelings ever.

10. I changed clothes a total of nineteen times today. Okay, so only 4 of those times were in 'real life' and the rest were costume changes... but still. I didn't realize how much work it takes to get dressed. I think half of my energy during the shows is spent changing outfits.

Monday, July 16, 2012

That One Time an Apostle Came to The Playmill.

The Playmill recently had a lovely surprise guest arrive at the theater.
Richard G. Scott, a member of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the LDS church
Came to see The Drowsy Chaperone last Thursday.
What a treat!

I was the lucky Playmill Player who got to do the Sing-A-Long
With him and his adorable family.
I introduced myself to him, and what a sweet man he is!

After the show, he was kind enough to get a picture with the entire cast.
He shook everyone's hand and talked with us.

What a great opportunity, 
To be able to personally meet one of the leaders of our church.

And In Other News...

Summer Camp
We just finished the first of two kids' summer camps for the season.
I was asked to choreograph and teach a dance number,
And so Brooklyn and I taught the music and dance to the song "Footloose"
The campers also attended a series of workshops at the theater
And came to all three Playmill shows.

Teaching people is extremely fulfilling for me.
I love watching children "get it" for the first time, 
And I love seeing them feel like they fit in somewhere, and that they're good at something.
Here's a picture of me and the campers after a long dance rehearsal.
We have another camp this week... I can't wait!

Another Day at the Lake
We got a huge group together and went to Hebgen Lake last week!
Long story short,
I wasn't planning on swimming that day,
So I didn't dress in my swimsuit.
But then...
Maggie didn't want to jump off the dock into the lake,
So I made a bet with her. If she jumped in, I would jump in fully clothed.
I didn't think she would do it. She proved me wrong!
Here's proof that I kept my word.

I stole these fun pictures of off Bre's adorable blog.
She wrote a super cute post about our trip to the lake
And I think everyone should read it.
Take a look here.

Birthday Party
We also went on a fun outing last night to Targee Creek for Hannah's Birthday.
She turned 22.  We had a barbecue, made s'mores, and had an absolute blast!
Happy Birthday Hannah!
(Pictures will be posted soon!)

All in all... 
Life is swell here at the Playmill.
The past couple of weeks have had it's challenges.
Sometimes we get tired, and sometimes life has it's rough patches,
But then we remember how lucky we are to be up here... and how much we love each other.
And that makes everything else worth it. :)

So to wrap it up, here our some quotes from our beloved Elder Scott.

“No matter how difficult something you or a loved one faces, it should not take over your life and be the center of all your interest. Challenges are growth experiences,temporary scenes to be played out on the background of a pleasant life. Don’t become so absorbed in a single event that you can’t think of anything else or care for yourself or for those who depend upon you. Remember, much like the mending of the body, the healing of some spiritual and emotional challenges takes time.” 

“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.”

"The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not.” 

-Richard G. Scott

Friday, July 13, 2012

A is for the Alphabet

I've started a new blog challenge. Alphabet Blog Posts. I got the idea from this lovely blog, and now I'm going to begin my own string of "alphabet posts". I'll think up a topic that begins with the next letter in the alphabet, and then I'll blog about it. And I'll go right in order, from A all the way to Z. The alphabet posts aren't going to be consecutive, and they won't even be daily or weekly. I'll just post the next one whenever I feel like it.

Since I haven't been the most consistent blogger since coming up to West Yellowstone, hopefully this will give me some new and creative ideas to blog about.

Next Alphabet post... B. And who knows what I'll be writing about?

Peace and love,
Until next time!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Week in Review.

The Fourth of July week was wonderful. The week included...

-Three trips to Hebgen Lake for swimming and picnicking and sunbathing
-Fourth of July barbecue at the theater with the cast
-Watching holiday fireworks on the corner of Madison and Canyon Street
-Walking in the the West Yellowstone Parade
-Devouring a "Graham Slam" from Buckaroo Bill's ice cream parlor
-Thirteen fantastic performances at the theater
-Deli Sandwiches at Ernie's with Eliza and Stacey
-Delicious huckleberry soda
-Wearing my patriotic Fourth of July outfit
-Homemade ice cream
-Homemade soda
-Finishing the second season of Gilmore Girls
-Watching Downton Abbey with the cast
-Playing Disney Trivia with my girls at the apartment
-Chocolate/Coconut flavored snow cones
-A broken refrigerator
-Homemade chocolate cake
-Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven

Jack and I warming up on the dock at Hebgen Lake
Me and the Boys playing in the water 
Huckleberry Soda... just might be my new favorite summer treat 
Walking in the West Yellowstone Parade
We got a lot of "Congratulations!" because we were dressed up in Wedding Attire
Jack, Clint, and Brian. I call them "My three favorite Playmill Boys"
I really love ALL the Playmill Boys though :)
The "Graham Slam" ice cream at Buckaroo Bills
I ate that entire thing all.by.myself.
It was enormous.

... Also, our lovely Hannah broke her back last week in a motorcycle accident. It was so scary! We had to hold some extra rehearsals to fill in her place for the shows. We miss her happy face at the theater! We're wishing for a speedy recovery, Hannah! Love you girl!

-It was a wonderful Holiday, and a wonderful week! And the summer continues on!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wait, It's Summertime?

This Summer has been a little bit different than most.

But it's a good different. An extremely good different.

It hasn't even really felt like Summer until this past week. First of all, it snowed all the way into June... and so the idea of summertime hardly seemed like a reality in the midst of the bitter cold. Also, my schedule consisted of rehearsing and/or performing from 9am until 10:30pm, with only an hour break for lunch and a two hour break for dinner. Being inside the theater working all day didn't allow much time for relaxation or play.

But I would (hands-down) take this amazing experience over a normal, sunshiney, lackadaisical summer any day.

Now we're finished with all of our rehearsals; which means my days are now spent sleeping in, spending time with friends under the sun, and working in the box office. I have an annual pass to Yellowstone Park now, so I'm planning on spending a lot of time in the park too. I couldn't possibly waste the opportunity to visit one of the world's most beautiful forests. People travel from all over the world to experience Yellowstone, and I'm lucky enough to live right outside the park's borders!

In the evenings I'll still be performing. We perform two shows every weekday, and three shows every Saturday at The Playmill! That means I'll be performing a total of 13 shows a week! 

Can I just take a moment to say how much I LOVE my job??

Working at The Playmill Theatre has been the experience of a lifetime. We're already halfway finished with the season, a fact which I'm still desperately trying to wrap my mind around. I can't believe the Summer is halfway over! 

The people are incredible; I don't think I've ever been surrounded by so much talent. Aside from that, everyone here is filled with a light and a spirit that I highly value. Every day when I walk through the doors of the theater, I'm welcomed with genuine "Hellos" and "How are You's". There isn't a single person in the cast who I don't admire. Everyone is so fantastic!! I'm learning SO MUCH from everyone around me, and I'm lucky to be part of such an amazing group of people.

Not only do I love the people, but I love the theater itself. There's just a special feeling when you walk through the front doors, and everyone who comes to see a show here can feel it. I feel it every day. The tiny, quaint, adorable space is the perfect setting for a theater in West Yellowstone. I can't get enough of it.

And as if it weren't already sweet enough, having the chance to perform three shows in one summer (and getting paid to do it) is a dream job for me. It's a lot of hard work, but when I get up and come to the theater every day I never consider it "work" because I love what I do and I'm surrounded by a handful of phenomenal people who are working just as hard right alongside me. And I'm pretty sure they love performing just as much as I do, which makes the experience even sweeter.

Yeah well, I have a dream too. But it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And, well, I've found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream, and it kind of makes us like a family."
-Kermit the Frog

I love it here. I love everything about it.

And I'm so excited for the adventures we have planned now that rehearsals are over.
Summer is my absolute favorite.

But for now, time for some Downton Abbey with the cast.
Happy Sunday, Much love!