Friday follies


Friday’s show was QUITE a doozy. Crazy, really.

First of all, just getting to the theater today was hard. John wasn’t feeling well, and I woke up feeling like I might have a UTI. Not sure if things were going to get worse. Couldn’t get an appointment until the afternoon, so I had Ryan take John to school a bit later so he could rest a bit, and I took off to Orem. As I walked in, I saw the BIG wings leaning up against a garbage can. You see, my butterfly wings have been falling apart little by little, and during yesterday’s butterfly/bee/bird number, my wing just fell off. WHAT? I swooped down and picked it up and danced off with it. At least it was toward the end of the song, right?
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So, I gave it to Danielle, our stage manager and asked her what we do about it. She took it over to costuming and said they would take care of it. Well, our costume director has the flu, so Danielle just brought back over the BIG wings for us to use today. We had started with the big wings, but they were afraid they would get beat up from being bumped so they had us use the smaller ones.
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The big wings have to be laced up like a corset, which takes more time than just putting the elastic over your arms, so my fellow butterfly Rachael had to REALLY hustle (she has less time to change) and she decided to leave her tights on under her “Alison” dress. Audry, who is our bird, was worried that we would whack her with those big wings.

BUT, before we even got to the wings, things started to go downhill. Sound problems. Right before the scene change to the Dr’s office, the music stopped. Pinkalicious continued with her lines and we changed our scenery with no music. Everyone kept going, but I was starting to panic. How can I do my song (and DANCING) with no music?! We did our lines, and kind of slowed things down, hoping that the music would start at any moment. It did not. Ugh. So, we got to the part where I am supposed to start singing, and I had to just do it. I did my little song, and then am supposed to start the dancing. REALLY? I have to dance with NO MUSIC? Crap. No choice but to do it. Luckily, this audience is mostly kids on a field trip, so maybe they wouldn’t be TOO overly critical. More lines, and then another song part. As I started to sing, I think I said, “Sing with me, now!” and we all kind of SANG the music with some doo doo doo’s along with the words.


Right after that, Peter has to sing his “Pink Blues” song. He did that one with no music, too. How long can this torture we call a show with no music go on? Before we launched into our Buzz off song, they got the music working again. Not the whole track, but more like the practice track without the sound effects. Whatever, it’s better than nothing.

We got our BIG wings on in time and there wasn’t THAT much bumping into people.

Afterwards, we were laughing about it and amazed that we pulled things off as well as we did. Although, I wonder how it looked to the audience to have us singing and dancing with no music.

I came home and was just eating lunch when John called from school. Sick. Go pick him up. Then I had to leave to go to my doc’s appointment. Yes, my suspicions were confirmed. I have a Urinary Tract Infection. Thank goodness I caught it in the early stages so I’m not TOTALLY in pain every second; I’ve heard they can be really bad. I’ve never actually had one before, so I’m lucky there, too, I guess.

After eating some soup for dinner, it was time to go back the theater for our evening show. Mondays and Fridays we do night shows, and honestly, it’s hard to get ourselves BACK there to get ready for a show, but once we are there, it’s all fun. I love to chat with the other cast members and joke around while we get ready. There’s only 8 of us, and I really do like everyone in the cast.

Fingers crossed that the track would all work, and we started the show. Hooray! It went well. The track was a bit loud, but who’s complaining?

After the show, I decided to go out to greet people in my butterfly wings instead of the doc outfit. Kids don’t really like the doc, and I thought they would get a kick out of the butterfly wings.

This is my friend from bells, Janeen, with her nieces and nephew. I love saying hi to all the kids after the show. So fun.

So, crazy day, but we made it through!

Our Weekend


Our Weekend was a lot of fix its and fun.
(The Brazilian boys left on Monday, did I mention that. Sad? Not so much. They did say goodbye, but there were no tender goodbyes. WE did the best we could, and we’re not sad that it’s over.)

Friday I did two shows of Pinkalicious. Fun, yet exhausting. We’ve completed one week. Two more weeks (and 14 more shows) to go.

dr wink

My friend Rachael Gibson took these great pictures on Friday. I’m SO glad I have a few good ones from the show!

John’s Valentine’s party for his class was also on the schedule.

I brought ice cream and soda so we could make root beer floats. Some of the kids really pigged out on the soda. Sorry, Moms!

Megan came home because her laptop was hosed. Hoping talented Dad can fix it back up. She also needed a light installed in her Carolla. Turns out two of her tires were pretty bald, too, so she and Ryan went to the used tire place to get two tires.

He’s also working on a new computer for me. The one I’m using is old and slow and has quite a few hang ups. So for a Christmas/birthday/valentine’s present, he’s got me a new something. But I think I have to clean up my office before I can actually start using it (my stipulation, not his).

The Camry needs more work. It didn’t pass the emissions, and we’re hoping that’s from old gasoline. So, Ryan put some additive in there, and then it smoked up like it was on fire. Now we just have to drive it and gt all the old gas out. So, he drove me to Walmart and picked me up. It takes a LONG time to run out half a tank on an old Camry.

John went on an overnight “Klondike” camp. It was quite warm for a winter camp. He came home SO tired and grumpy I haven’t really heard much about it, but he did eventually take a nap, so let’s hope his attitude improves. Naps are required after camps!


Since it was Valentine’s day, Ryan made breakfast. Yum. I got heart shaped pizzas for lunch, and gave everyone some chocolate treats.
017 Ryan and I went to the temple and did a session. We left right after 5:00, and got out right before 8:00. Lost my points for eating after 8 because we went to Rumbi’s for a late dinner.

Today is Sunday and we all need another sleep in day. Church and then dinner with my parents. And we even get the day off on Monday! Hooray for a needed weekend!

Trapped in this body


I’ve been a person of the overweight persuasion for just about all of my life. I was a chubby kid, then a chunky teenager, and a overweight college student. Having children added more pounds, pushing me from “overweight” to “obese” category on the friendly BMI charts. As I’ve lost and gained weight over the years, I have gotten back to overweight, but never have I been in the “normal” range. I may never get there. And that’s ok.

But that being said, since I’ve spent my life being overweight, there are things I do differently than a normal sized person.
I check to see if I’m the fattest. Yep, I’m checking you out, people. Let’s say we go to a waterpark (oh the horror!). Hundreds of people baring their skin in swimsuits of all sizes. I for one, opt for covering the MOST skin possible, and then wearing a sarong or a skirt or a shirt or any number of things to cover my white fat body until the moment when I actually step INTO the water. But there are a lot of people who are ok with flashing their fat. I’m always amazed to go to a water park and see the choices some larger women make with their swim suits. And there are actually a lot of people there who are fatter than me. It gives me comfort to look around and see that I’m NOT the fattest person there. I think, “well, if they can do it, I can do it,” and then it’s not so bad taking off the cover up and getting into the pool. Disneyland is a GREAT place to see all kinds of very large people. Not that I’m constantly looking at how fat everyone is, I just kind of like to make sure I’m not the fattest. (Fat is not the greatest word. I should try overweight).

That’s why going to a gym is very hard for me. Gyms are very intimidating. You expect to see a bunch of very fit people at the gym, and I don’t really want to be the fattest person there. I did join a gym last year, and it was actually ok. I eventually quit because I couldn’t justify that much money when I only went a couple times a week. Yes, it was SUPER scary to go in there and check it out for the first time, but once I got going, I realized that I am NOT the fattest person there. Most out of shape, maybe. Also, that people don’t really talk to each other at the gym (at least not much). It’s not like on Seinfeld where it’s a pick up place. You go, you put in your headphones, you work out, you leave. I did have a neighbor come up and try to talk to me about how my missionary was doing, and I found it so annoying. I want to be anonymous at the gym, not talk to you about my real life. Can you not see that I’m sweaty and not wearing any makeup? That is a definite sign not to talk to me.

In my head, I’m not nearly as fat. Sometimes I see pictures of me, and I think, “What? Can I REALLY be that fat?” Maybe that’s just an unflattering view, or maybe I really am. I see myself in the mirror and I’m usually looking at my face. Not my butt. But pictures. Ugh. I love/hate pictures.

But I’m working on things. With this healthy challenge, I’ve lost 15 pounds. I had bought two dresses and I like them both. I couldn’t decide which one to send back. I decided to keep them both. They are my reward dresses. I got to wear one yesterday and named it my “I’ve lost 15 pounds dress”. I hope to wear the other one when I’ve lost 25 pounds. Non food rewards.

Even though my body is not the greatest shape and it’s not in the greatest shape, I’m thankful for it. I can do amazing things, and it’s just going to get better. I can dance! I can walk, I can jog, I can ride a bike! I can take care of my family, I can serve others, I can teach, I can make music, I can sing, I can talk, I can hug! So even when I’m not happy with how much body I have, I’m so thankful for the body I have. I’m trying to treat it better, take care of it better, and enjoy it more.

My week


Wow. What a week we’ve had with rehearsals. Tech and dress rehearsals are hard. Figuring out costume changes, and who’s going to help our little Pinkalicious with her many costumes.

Today we did two run throughs, one right after the other.

I also tried different undergarments today. My spanks-ish black thing and a supportive tank top. Ugh. UGH. That’s about all I want to go into that. While it did make it easier to change backstage in the wings, it was SO not comfortable.

cupcakes backstage

Here’s a bunch of us before the start of the show yesterday.

Yesterday I managed to pull off a successful lunch for the teachers. When I went to Chick-fil-a to pick up the food at the agreed upon time, they did not really know about my order. I was there for 20 minutes trying hard not to panic. But they did eventually bring all the stuff, and I got it all into the school (aside from that one unfortunate gallon of lemonaid that JUMPED off the little cart in the parking lot), even though I really should have checked out Natalie or Jenna to help me.

Today, I also got run over by a piece of the set. I was turning it, and a piece opened up and SCRAPED right along the back of my heel/ankle. CRap, that hurts.

In other news, we’re almost done with our 4 weeks with the boys. This week they stayed up at a friend’s house on Wed, and they actually ASKED before hand, instead of waiting until 11:30, so we had no problem with it. Today was their final test, and I don’t know if they will do anything with us this weekend or not. I hope they’ve had a good time here. We haven’t really helped them have a good time, but then again, they haven’t really wanted to have anything to do with us, so we’re not really responsible for that. I understand it’s been a pain for them to travel way out here to Lehi, when a lot of their friends’ host families are closer to the school in Murray. Oh well. Now we know not to sign up for something like this again.

And finally, I just drove Natalie and 4 other debaters out to Herriman High school for a debate thing. I sure hope one of the other moms picks them up.



My family is amazing. Seriously, my sisters both take on SO much, from raising 14 kids to painting for Music and the Spoken Word, I have awesome sisters. My brother is no slouch, either, building and fixing things, taking scouts on outing after outing. Really. We must have been raised that way. We have awesome parents. I remember when my mom was the relief society president of our ward AND my dad was called as the bishop of the ward AT THE SAME TIME. They released my mom quickly. But anyway, I think we have some pretty great examples in our lives.

I was shocked and humbled this morning when I read my sister’s blog. I was looking for her annual Groundhog’s day letter, but instead found a wonderful tribute…to me! She had nominated me for a High 5 award from KSL.

Since her blog might be password protected, I’ll just copy what she said here.

KSL has a contest right now, where you can nominate a person you know to receive $500 and be on TV. I nominated my sister Paige. Here’s what I said:

Paige is my sister, and she is amazing. All her thoughts are towards others, and how she can help them. She houses foreign exchange students every opportunity she has–in fact, two boys from Brazil are currently staying with her family. She has organized a chime choir in her local elementary school, and substitute teaches as well. She volunteers to play English handbells in the Bells on Temple Square. She is also running a volunteer healthy living and weight loss group online. She is always found baking for neighbors, uplifting those having a hard day, making us laugh or cheering us up. She has helped our family several times when times have been hard, by providing Christmas or groceries or cash. Besides serving her community, she is the best mom for her five kids, always sending care packages to her missionary and her college student, and taking her younger kids to fun and educational activities, or teaching them endless crafts and games. She wears herself out in service to others. She is a lover of chocolate and chickens, and I love her so much, and would love to give her a big High 5!

Hope she wins!

I read it and tears sprang to my eyes. Oh, the sweet things she said. I’m honored. And humbled. And grateful. Oh, great, now my mascara’s running again.

Thank you, Amy.

And the drama goes on


(Rant ahead. You’ve been warned)

Friday night was super busy. And not just because it was Jenna’s birthday.

Grandparents came over in the afternoon, we opened some presents, things were happy! Then Megan and her roommate Sarah came home for the weekend, Hooray! I do love a full house (too full, actually, and Megan and Sarah got to sleep on couches because there were boys staying in their rooms).

6:00 came and it was time to load up the chimes into the car. I picked up John’s friend and we were off to the High School for our playing of the National Anthem at our second basketball game this month.


All the kids got there (one in the nick of time, after I called his mom to see if he was coming), and did a great job. It’s such a pain to do these things, but the kids feel like rock stars when everyone stands and applauds. it’s great. After we got all the chimes put away, and back in the car, we dropped the friend off at home, crammed all our people in the car, and headed off to a dinner appointment with Julia and Andres, our Brazillian friends. The exchange students were not with us. Even though both Ryan and I had asked them if they could come home for dinner, they were at a party with friends. Friends that they had been with ALL day, EVERY DAY, I might add.

While we were at dinner, one of the boys messaged that he was getting on the train, and would we be able to pick him up? One? Where was the other one? He arrived at the station at 9:45, and even though we (well, mostly Ryan) would have liked to stay longer with his Brazilian friends, it was actually nice to have an excuse to have to go. We were all pretty tired. So, the boy had to wait about 10 minutes for us, but we brought him home to the warm house.

We had no idea when the other boy would arrive, but he had assured us that he ‘had a ride’ home, and we didn’t need to go get him. At 11;15, however, he messaged us to ask if he could stay over with a friend, since a taxi ride home would be $70. “Is that ok?” he asked.


Ryan wrote back that that was NOT ok with him. We had no idea where he was, who this friend was and where it was. No WAY would we allow our kids to do something like that, we would be IN the car to get them that minute. However, when we asked where he was, he gave us some address like parkside 255. What? I could just imagine driving around forever trying to figure out where he was.
I tried to get in touch with one of the teachers to ask if that was allowed. I didn’t get a reply. Ryan was NOT cool with them staying “somewhere”. I wouldn’t let my own kids do this. Maybe we are too strict. So, I asked him to have the mom of the house call me, and she assured me that he was going to stay with another friend who lived close to her. She was in West Jordan and said they were welcome to stay at her house if we wanted. She had hosted this party for the kids that were going home the next day, and said she’s had such a great time with these kids. It made me SO sad.

We should be having a good time with these kids. Instead, we feel taken advantage of, not appreciated, and we aren’t having any fun with them. We are trying, but they act like they don’t want to have anything to do with us. We are merely a place to sleep and a ride to the train station. Yes, we do get paid for hosting, but that’s not why we do these hosting things. We do it so our family can meet people from different places, and learn a little bit about other cultures. I think all I’ve learned about Brazil is that we don’t ever want to go there, and we don’t really need to meet any more people from there.

Anyway, it was 11:30, and we caved and said sure, he could stay with his friend overnight. Probably against the rules, but how would I know that, since I never was given much information about what the rules are. 9:00 curfew? Ha.

This morning, Arthur came upstairs and asked if I could take him to the trax this morning. He wanted to be in Salt Lake by 11. I looked it up, and saw that he could catch the 9:15 train or the 10:15 train. 9:15 was his choice, so we left at 9:00. When I got to the train station, I looked at my phone and saw that Lyndsie (also hosting a student) had left a message that she had picked up Henrique from the station, and she had him with her. I hurried and called her and said I ws at the station and could take him. I guess his phone was dead or he would have messaged me. So, I brought him back home. Drop one off, pick one up. As we were driving home, he just said that he would need to be back to the train in an hour so he could get to the ping pong tournament at the school by around 11.


I can’t wait for this experience to be over.

I came in the door with Henrique, and Megan said to me, “Did you miss the train?” No, we just swapped one boy for the other. I had Ryan drive him the next time.

After Ryan came back, he said, “This is the about hardest $1000 we’ve ever earned. I don’t know if I totally agree with that, (try substitute teaching and earning $60 a day) but nothing about this experience has been easy. I figure if I’m driving them to the train and back, that’s 1/2 an hour. Do that twice a day (or 3 or 4 times a day), that’s an hour of driving.

Breathe in, Breathe out. One more week. Patience. All of these are things I keep telling myself. Oh, and the big one… “We will laugh about this later”. Right?

Oh, and I just opened my email to see that another host family coordinator is looking for families to host kids from France for a month in the summer. Oh, that makes me laugh. Do not talk to me right about hosting other students.


5, 6, 7, 8 and go


Step ball change, jazz square and then the jazz hands? Or was it jazz hands with the Jazz square and THEN the cakewalk thing?

We only have one more week of rehearsals until we open our play, Pinkalicious.

I play Dr. Wink, who diagnoses Pinkalicious with Pinkititis. I have a whole song and dance number for the doctor. It’s really fun, but with all the dancing, I can’t get the singing right. If I worry too much about the singing, or if I’m already winded from the scene change that we do right before the song, I mess up on the dancing. Ugh. I’m not a great dancer and it takes me a while to get things cemented into my brain, and even when I THINK I have them right, I mess up, still.

Today we went over all the dances, and then did a run through. Even though we had JUST barely practiced it, I skipped an element of the dancing cupcakes dance. Rachel, my fellow cupcake followed me, and so we both did it wrong. I thought Felicia had done it wrong. Turns out I did it wrong, Rachel followed my wrong, and Felicia, who had done it right, only looked like she had done it wrong.

At night, I have music, lines, lyrics and dance steps going through my head. Over and OVER. Dr Wink isn’t a huge part of the show, so I’m also a cupcake dancing and a Butterfly who dances and sings. It’s such a cute show. I LOVE the show, I don’t mind rehearsal (once I’m there) and I like the other people in the show (There’s only 8 of us). But why am I stressing out so much about it that it wakes me up at night? I need to get over myself, know that I’ve got it, be confident in myself, and stop stressing. Right.

Yesterday we had a costume fitting and I was excited to see what I get to wear. A long white dr’s coat and scrubs. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Super tight blue capri leggings and a pink top go under my butterfly wings AND the cupcake outfit. Well, here’s a picture of the costume.

Do you see how short that is? That’s on a small lady, who is maybe a size 2. Imagine what happens when I put that same costume on my body. Let’s just say that without the leggings it would be slightly pornographic. The costume lady did say she was going to add something on to that, or maybe we’ll be wearing a tutu. Something to cover up the thighs, please. I really need to lose about 20 pounds from my hips and thighs, NOW, please. But that’s not going to happen, even with all the dancing and sweating I’ve been doing.

Anyway, I’m sure things will work out. I’m going to work on my memorization all weekend, do the dance in my living room, sing the songs in the shower, the car, at the piano, etc.

And YOU should plan to come see the show. Feb 9-27 on Mondays and Friday nights (also every week day at 10 am, but those are for school kids and not open to the public)

Excuse me while I rant for just a moment


Let me start with….My hubby is the BEST, and without him, I would be throwing things (or people) through a window.

Sunday I went in for an interview with a member of the Stake Presidency who used to be our bishop. I told him we had these exchange students and that it wasn’t the smoothest of experiences we’ve had, in our years of hosting exchange students. He and his wife have also hosted Japanese boys and Chinese girls in the same program as we have, so I knew he would understand.

“15 year old boys?” he said, “And TWO of them? Why would anyone want to have Fifteen year old boys? I would rather have 12-13 year olds or 17-18 year olds. 15-16 year olds are about the WORST.”

Yeah, and we don’t really speak the same language either.

I’m trying not to complain too much, but when they got home from soccer playing at nearly 1:00 (on a school night? Yes) and then, just as hubby was coming back to bed and was falling asleep (I slept through their arrival, of course). There was a knock on our bedroom door because one of them had lost his phone and thought it was in the car. ARRGH!

I just sent an email to one of the coordinators asking if they could speak with the boys about courtesy, saying thank you, and generally trying to act a little nicer to the hosts. I don’t know if that will help, but I HOPE so. We’re into this thing 1 1/2 weeks, and we still have 2 1/2 weeks to go.

Ryan is the one who is driving them back and forth, so really I shouldn’t complain at ALL. Yet here I am. Complaining.

OK. I’m done. (with the complaining, that is.)

Boys from Brazil


It’s been over a week now and we are getting more used to having these Brazilian exchange students with us. Yes, they found their luggage and they don’t seem to be getting lost anymore. But since they have the freedom to GO places, it seems that’s what they want to do. We had kind of expected them to eat with us, or be here on the weekend so we could do something together with the family. That is not their plan, however, and they are wanting to spend their time with their friends. On Friday, I had asked them if they had any plans for Saturday, and they said no school. I assumed that meant no plans, but alas, they wanted to go shopping with friends. We were kind if irritated by that because we had planned the day. So, we DID get to do some things with them on the weekend, but I’m not sure how happy about it they were.

Saturday we went to John’s jr Jazz basketball game, then took everyone bowling. For our kids, that’s one thing we HAVE to do with exchange students. I think they did have a good time with that, and it allowed us all to loosen up a bit. Then we went to dinner at Pizza Pie Cafe.

Sunday morning we took them up to Temple Square for the broadcast, and then did a tour of the conference center.

Probably really boring for them, but…Oh, well.

Then we dropped them off at the Gateway Mall so they could do some shopping and have lunch with some friends. WE had told them we needed them to be home before 5 because we were having some other people over for dinner.

Sunday night was kind of fun. A sister that Ryan baptised while on his mission in Brazil was here in Utah with her family for a bit, and we invited them over.


The Portuguese speakers outnumbered the rest of us by 8 to 4, but I didn’t mind. The boys actually talked during dinner and didn’t disappear down to their rooms as soon as dinner was over. It helps that Julia has two beautiful Brazillian daughters that they could talk to. It was a fun evening, and a good reminder of the blessings that come (even many years later) from serving a mission.


This morning it was my turn to drive the boys to the trax station, and I tried to get them up. I knocked on a door and asked if they were awake, and saw the light on in the bathroom. However, when it was time to go, they were still not upstairs. I called to them, and they said they were coming, but did not. It looked like one of them was ready, the other was not. Ryan had to take them, anyway, because by the time they came up, there was no way they would make the train, and would have to catch the later one.

So, we have 3 more weeks with these kids. We are learning to chill out and not expect them to want to participate with us. We are a “hotel” and “taxi”, not a “host family”. And I think I’m ok with that now.

Wonderful way to spend a Sunday Morning


Sunday we got to perform on Music and the Spoken Word for a special for Martin Luthor King day. We played “Every time I feel the Spirit” on the bells, and then we stood through the next song, which was “Down to the River to Pray”. I’ve loved that song for quite a long time, since I first heard it in “Oh, Brother, Where art thou” (one of my favorite irreverent movies). Because who doesn’t love hunky George Clooney with his hair slicked back with Dapper Dan.

I have that album and In 2010, Timberline Middle School performed a piece that Mack Wilberg had arranged for them, Down to the River to Pray. He arranged it FOR them! It was quite a big deal, and Dr. Wilberg was there at the concert. Cole was playing the flute in the band back then and I was so impressed with their Grand Concert.

So, on Sunday, when I heard them rehearse that number, I was excited that I could be right there, between the choir and the orchestra, to listen to the program. My family came up to Salt Lake to watch the broadcast, too, which was kind of special. Since we had these boys from Brazil here, we are trying to show them the sights of Salt Lake, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is kind of a big deal, so I thought they might like to see it live. Not sure if they liked it or not, but Ryan did say they were not texting on their phones during the program, so that’s a plus.

As we were standing there, it hit me again how incredibly AWESOME it is that I get to participate in this AMAZING organization. I get to sit there and watch the phenomenally talented Mack Wilberg conduct the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I hear the choir behind me and I get to sit among the orchestra members and watch and listen in amazement. Sometimes I get so carried away by the sheer awesomeness, that I forget that I’m there to play a song and I have to concentrate.

We have been together almost 10 years as the Bells on Temple Square. I have been able to perform on Music and the Spoken word at least 40 times ( I don’t know the actual number, but I’m guessing here). Some people may think it’s a sacrifice to get up early to be to the tabernacle by 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and to come to an extra rehearsal with the choir on Thursday night, but it’s a privilege. I am so honored and thankful that I get to be a part of this group. I often feel like I’m being blessed beyond what I deserve.