The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: summer fun (Page 1 of 7)


I LOVE community theater!

Because of my commitment to Bells on Temple Square and family and church callings, I can only usually do one show per year, with some years that I don’t get to do any shows at all. This year, I REALLY wanted to do a show. Since retiring from Bells was such a loss, I needed something to help fill that void. But which show?

Last year I did my first show with Lehi Arts. Seussical was so much fun, and I loved the experience. I heard them mention that next year they would be doing The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Wow, I thought. That’s could be fun. Fast forward to spring of this year. I kept an eye on the audition announcements and there were several shows I wanted to try for. Alpine was going to be doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dream coat, and I LOVE that show, so that was #1 on my list, even though I knew that I would only be a chorus member of villager. My summer schedule was still pretty full, as I had a bells concert in June, then a trip to New Mexico also in June, and we are going on a cruise in August. So, whatever show I did had to fit within those parameters. That narrowed it down a lot, and I was planning on auditioning for Joseph. However, I saw on the Lehi Arts website that the dates for the Hunchback show were being changed to earlier in July, and auditions would be in April. It now fit into my timeline, and I sent in an audition video (because auditions were nights I already had rehearsal).

I was not called back, but when I looked at the call back list, I was BLOWN AWAY. So many names of so many amazingly talented people! I knew so many of them from other shows and was instantly impressed with the quality of the cast. I was kind of shocked when I read my name on the cast list, but there it was as a member of the choir. At our first cast meeting, I met the directors and the cast, and was impressed. I hated to turn in my paper of the dates I needed off in May and June, and hoped they wouldn’t just boot me out for lack of availability. But they did mention that they understood if we had a few conflicts, but in July, they would OWN our lives. Good. In July I was available. While at that first cast meeting that night, my sweet grandbaby was born. So maybe that’s a good sign.

We started out learning the music, which is VERY difficult, with tons of part divisions, AND it’s mostly in Latin. And there is SO much of it for the ensemble to sing. Sweet. I bought the soundtrack and started listening to it ALL the time, trying to learn these hard songs. And did I mention extremely high? I chose to sing alto because the soprano part was so dang high, and they needed altos.

June came, and my last concert with Bells was wonderful, and terrible. Wonderful because it’s probably the best concert we’ve done to date, and terrible because it was my last. We had a retirement “party” where they presented me my plaque for serving for 10 years, and I got lots of pictures, and cried. At the concert, my dear friends were there offering hugs and commiserations that they would miss me, and I just couldn’t even talk about it, because I knew I would be crying, and it’s hard to play effectively with tears running down the face. But the world did not stop turning, and I’m trudging forward. About that time, I got a message from the director asking me if I’d like to play a saint in the show, because several people had dropped out. Absolutely, I would! I didn’t really know what the saints would be doing, but I knew they were the statues that are around, and that they sing. I had just been learning my ensemble blocking for Topsy Turvey, but I would gladly trade that part to be a saint.

In this show, the saints do a lot of standing really still. And then sing–while standing still. There is NO dancing, hardly any blocking, a lot of standing. SWEET! I learned that standing perfectly still is a lot harder than it sounds. But learning the new songs and a few lines was awesome, and the show was coming along.

In July, we moved the rehearsals from inside the air conditioned arts center to the hot parking lot. Yes, we rehearse in a parking lot. Because that’s where there is space to build the amazing set.

We also participated in the Lehi parades to create interest in coming to the show.

The cast was coming together! The saints were all told to choose an actual saint that is really on the cathedral at Notre Dame. Since most of the saints had already chosen their people, I choose St. Clotilde.

24 Dec 2009 — Sainte Clotilde statue in Sainte Clotilde church, Paris — Image by © Philippe Lissac/Godong/Corbis

I liked her long braids, and it’s been fun to try to emulate her.

But this show, this story, has meant so much more to me than just a play. The message of acceptance has been taken to heart by ALL the cast. There are no divas (even though these people are CRAZY AMAZING TALENTED), no drama, no exclusions. It’s beautiful. Quasimodo is someone I’ve come to love and care for, and I am heartbroken over his sadness. It’s been a way to heal my broken parts, and remind me that life goes on. I’m so thankful for everyone involved in this show. They have poured their whole hearts and energy into making this a project to be proud of.

Our Director, Colleen, said it perfectly.
“It is in fact, the most beautiful show we’ve ever produced. The cast is perfection in every way. They have all changed me in some way or another. There were more than a few times I was uncertain of our vision, preparedness, and felt very out of shape directorial wise. We had a handful of core players who believed in us and actively worked to keep the cast confident in us. To our cast, thank you for trusting us.
I love this story. It is more dramatic than the cartoon, but completely relevant to our day. Sometimes our exactness in a belief system creates harshness, piety, and an inability to truly hear and see others who do not share our beliefs. Feeling as though you are an outcast can be the loneliest feeling there is. Seeing people for who they are and loving them perfectly is the most important lesson from this show, and the greatest lesson ever taught by Christ. I am grateful to have been trusted with sharing it in our community. It has changed me. I hope you can see it, it will change you too.”

Thank you, my hunchback friends.

Moab Memorial Day weekend

We wanted to take a little family vacation before Cole got married and while Larissa was here with us. Because of girl’s camp and other scheduling issues (like school and concerts) the only time we had was Memorial Day weekend. So we decided to go to Moab.

Yes, it’s crowded with many travelers, but it’s not too hot.

Arches National Park is amazing. I’m wondering why we haven’t brought our kids here before. Seriously! Because it’s always hot? Because we aren’t big hikers? Well, we have missed out.


I love that there are So many people here from all over. As you are hiking you can hear so many different languages. And even though we are so different, people are friendly. You can ask almost anyone to take your picture. There is lots of camera trading. Especially at delicate arch.

We got here on Friday, and wanted to go see some arches first thing. We went to the windows. Not very far from the road, and you can climb to 4 or more amazing sights! We aren’t all the best hikers, and we don’t like being hot, so I’ll admit there was a little complaining.

On Saturday we wanted to get an early start to hike delicate arch. With this many people, “early” ended up being 8:30DSCN0780

People were already coming back down when we were starting. But I’m so happy we weren’t any later.

Not going to lie. It’s a hard hike. Especially for people who don’t hike. Did I mention we don’t really hike? It’s a mile and a half of UP.

The kids were almost always ahead of me, but I did make it.

I love how people will just hand strangers their camera, and you take their pictures for them. One lady asked me to take pictures with her phone, and while waiting for them to get under the arch, I took a few other goofy pictures. They will get a surprise when they look at them.



Later that day we went to Dead Horse Point. Amazing! The kids were hiked out, though, and didn’t want to “hike” much, so it’s a good thing you could drive up to the lookout.

On Sunday, after church and lunch at Denny’s, we went to the Moab Movie Museum.
DSCN0955 Small, yes. But free. And fascinating! Larissa quickly got bored and ended up walking around the lodge, but I loved it. Watched the whole 15 minute movie and looked at all the posters and memorabilia.
DSCN0963 Plus, it was out at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge. As we drove back to town we saw SO many people rafting, kayaking, or paddle boarding in the river. And we wished we had our bikes so we could ride along the trails by the river.


Later in the evening, we went back to Arches to walk through the Park Avenue. It’s a 1 1/2 mile “hike”, but it’s not climbing, so it was a great hike to walk, talk, goof around, and for John to climb on rocks. This may have been my favorite area in the park.
DSCN1069I don’t remember ever walking through here before. And in the evening, the colors are spectacular, and there’s no need for sunscreen. While climbing up on a big rock, I scraped along my leg. DSCN1031 Not hard enough to break the skin or even bleed, but when I stood up, the veins on my leg were super swollen and blue. I don’t know what I did, but I’ve got quite the bruise on my leg, now. Dumb varicose veins.

Larissa collected flowers all along the trails. She’s probably not supposed to do that, but we looked the other way. She stuck them all in a book to dry.

Monday was our last day. Larissa went on a hike with the Englebrights that morning, and we decided to go to see landscape arch. Along the way we also saw pinetree arch. It made it a 3 mile hike, and it was just starting to get warm when we finished. We did a lot of bird calling to each other and were so goofy. I think the kids were just relieved that they could go home and not have to hike any more.

It really was a GREAT weekend. Yes, it was crowded, and hot (but not HOT), but it was so beautiful, and so much fun.

Girls night out

Father’s and Sons campout means girl’s night for me. I had planned to take whoever was home (most of the time, I’m not sure who will be working or out with friends) to see CRAZY FOR YOU at the SCERA. Mr. E.’s summer show, and I knew lots of friends from Scarlet Pimpernell, so I wanted to go and see it. Plus, I just love musicals. All the girls were able to go, even Megan.

We went to dinner first, at Apollo burger. On the way in, we somehow got started talking about our stripper names. Don’t ask me why! Mom, what’s your stripper name? “Roxy,” I answered, without even thinking about it. That, actually, is my lounge singer name (thanks to Sharmyn, Michelle, and Melinda and one night in college when we had to come up with our lounge names). Natalie said hers was Glitter, and Jenna’s was… can’t remember. Megan did not have a stripper name, so we were trying to help her come up with one. Imagine the hilarity there.


After dinner, we went over to the theater, got our tickets and chairs (I made the girls each pay $1 for their own chairs. Cause I’m cheap like that, and I didn’t want to pay for EVERYTHING for the evening. I also told them they would have to buy their own snacks.


The show was fun. SO much tapping!! Wow!! At intermission we ended up having a popcorn fight. Ugh. These girls.

And we found a couple other friends from Mary Poppins enjoying the show.

Right after intermission, it started pouring. No warning. We had brought jackets and ONE blanket, but no umbrellas.

We ended up all four of us huddled under our one small blanket while it rained for 10 minutes. After it stopped raining, the stage crew came out to clean up the stage.


That’s Sherry right there. Not sure if I was allowed to take a picture then. They did say no pictures during the show, and this was technically not during the show. After 5-10 minutes of mopping and clean-up, they started the show again. We got one good scene of Bella Zangler and the fake Bella Zangler, and the heavens opened up again. Pouring.

So, like everyone else there, we dashed to get our tickets stamped, and went out the car. At least we were still laughing.

It was a fun (and wet) evening with my girls.

On the way home I heard from Ryan that the boys’ night was much wetter than ours. Their tent got soaked, and they decided to come sleep at home, since the outing was just up American Fork Canyon. So we all came home cold and wet. Summer storms. Gotta love them.

Our Japanese student

When I posted that we were hosting a Japanese student, I got a lot of comments, some shocked that we would host again after our less than optimal experience in January. I realized then that I must have really been complaining a lot about those boys. To be fair, it wasn’t ALL their fault. But they did not help the situation any. But, yes, we got over that and hosted again. Back to Asians, who are polite, and we know the coordinators and the program.

Rika is a sweet 15 year old from Japan. We try to be mellow the first couple of days and not totally overwhelm them with our boisterousness. I didn’t even meet her until the next morning as Natalie and I had rehearsal the night Ryan picked her up. She brought us a few gifts and was nice, but quiet.

We have a tradition in our family to always take the exchange students bowling. They usually beat us. It’s a fun activity and we all can loosen up a bit and make some fun memories.
Plus, we all love bowling, even if we suck at it.

Robin and family came to visit us for the 24th of July weekend. I knew that we would have Rika here then, too, but I wouldn’t want to turn Robin away when she was feeling up to a visit, so we just made room.

Robin’s daughter, Sarah, is so friendly and makes everyone feel at ease.

On Sunday, Robin and family took the kids up the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls while Ryan and I cooked a big dinner for everyone.

Rika even wanted to cook for us a traditional Japanese dish. I bought pork and cabbage and she had brought ingredients from home.

John does not look too thrilled to try it, but he did eat a few bites and was not rude, even though it was strange.

Near the end of the stay, the school hosted a family closing social, where the Japanese students told us about their school, taught us some games, and we ate dinner.

On Saturday, her last day with us, it was our city celebration, the Highland Fling. She came with us to the breakfast, watched the parade, and then came back to the park for entertainment and fireworks.

(none of the girls were really excited to meet this princess, but I dragged them over and made them take a picture. Because that’s what moms do).

This experience was SO different from the last one. To make it extra wonderful, I had a carpool, and since their school was in Provo, Cole even did my share of the carpool driving on his way too and from work. I didn’t have to drive ONCE! On Sunday morning, Ryan drove her to school the last time. She had to be there by 5 am. Since I had a meeting before church and was teaching the lesson in Relief Society that day, I really appreciated him doing that drive so I didn’t have to.

Rika was a delightful girl and I hope we keep in touch with her. So, yes. We WILL host again.

387 Bad Reviews should have given us a clue.

Saturday was HOT. Super HOT. I was already planning on hosting a party for the Bells on Temple Square members and their family, and I anticipated that we’d have about 60. I’d been prepping and planning all week. But John really wanted to have a garage sale, and I couldn’t foresee any available Saturdays for quite some time, so I gave in and said we could just do it. That meant about 3 days of sorting, purging, gathering, etc. We made signs, we dragged up tables, we folded clothes. On Friday morning (after being out late on Thursday night to go see a play with the Relief Society ladies), I got up at about 5:30 to start taking out our tables and make sure the signs stayed up (they hadn’t). I had to wake up the tired kids, most of whom did NOT want to be woken up before 7. But I wasn’t about to do this by myself.

We started our boring sale, which was a lot of sitting there outside, waiting for people to come. The kids were wondering why we were even doing a yard sale on Friday, but I was hoping by having it on Friday, we could NOT have to sell our junk on Saturday. At the end of the day, we had made $70. I was hoping that was enough to toss everything and send it to DI. But no, they wanted to sell again on Sat. So, we hauled everything back to the garage and closed up shop.

Next day, repeat. At 1:00, we started to pack everything away. We didn’t have time to waste. We had a retirement party to go to, and our Bots party to set up for. But why was it so hot? Cole and Megan took most of the leftovers to DI (thank goodness).

At about 2:30, we started to set up the canopies. We have one square shade canopy that we bought, and two that we were borrowing from a neighbor. While we do have a LARGE back yard, we do not have a shady back yard, so we had to put up some shade.

And we have this thing.

It looks great, right? The description sounds great, too.
Holds up to 30 people
4 sidewalls with windows
2 end walls
All-white waterproof polyethylene canopy features UV protection; blocks 90 percent of sun’s rays
Measures 10 by 30 feet

We borrowed this canopy when we had a different big party here, for my parent’s 50th anniversary (also hot, also in June). Ryan’s sister and husband host a lot of parties for the Chilean association, so they have all the stuff. We set this thing up in the morning, and then had to leave. It was no small feat getting this thing up, because the instructions (I think we did actually have the instructions then) are ambiguous and just when you have one side done, one of the poles comes unsnapped. It’s a VERY frustrating thing to put up even when it’s not 95 degrees. When we came back, the wind had taken it and twisted it. Part of the canopy was ripped and one or two of the poles had broken. NO!!!! We had to do our best to repair it and put it back up, but we wore worried it would get ripped and ruined even more. We used other stakes and weights to hold it down. It did hold up for the evening. However, we couldn’t return a broken canopy, so we ended up buying her a new one, and we kept the one we had broken.

Fast forward to Saturday. Blazing heat. We’re already exhausted, dirty, and tired from yard sale X 2 days.

Ryan and Cole are pulling over the bounce house and setting that up. We had the box of poles and tarps. No instructions. 5 of us sat there surrounded by poles with the mandate…”You guys figure that out.” Are you freaking kidding me? First I tried to make light of the situation. “Let’s pretend we’re on the amazing race and this is our task in Africa.” They were not amused. Megan even went in to get cups of water for us, since we were in danger of heat exhaustion. We tried fitting pole 1 to pole 2. Now what? 3 and 4? No, that doesn’t fit. Turn it around! Tempers were flaring with the heat and frustration.

If someone were to ask me what I thought of that really cool canopy and should they get one, I would Grab them by the front of the shirt and yell in their face, “For the love of Pete, man, do you not love your family? Don’t do it! Don’t buy it! I know it looks big and the price is great, but DON’T DO it! You WILL say things you regret, and isn’t your family worth more than that?”

There are 387 customer reviews on Amazon for this tent. That’s 387 families that are probably in family counseling now (or at least they should be). One short and sweet review said, “If you want a canopy made from cheapest materials available this canopy if for you. It would make a wonderful windsock. One good gust and hope you can find all the pieces.”

You get the picture? There was whining, crying, gnashing of teeth, yelling, screaming, and stomping. There was also working together, trying to be supportive, and encouragement. We weren’t ALL bad. We TRIED. In the end, we got the thing up, and miracle, it stayed.

We all needed showers to cool off (both literally and figuratively).

The party was still hot, but much less than if we’d had shade.

I was so busy, I didn’t even get any decent pictures, but my friend Liz took a few. You can kind of see the canopies in these pictures.

We survived. The party was fun, even though it was too hot. I haven’t written my review on Amazon just yet. But I’m ready in case I decide to.


Our opening number in Fiddler on the Roof is TRADITION. We sing of families and how each person in the family is important and has a role to play.

We have many family traditions as well. For the past decade or so, we’ve held a Coleman Family Campout. Most of the time it’s at Payson Lakes, which is about an hour south of our house. Some bring their nice big trailers and campers, and some of us are setting up tents. Sadly, we are still of the tent variety. The way it worked out with our schedules, I took the kids (plus Larissa) up on Thursday, we stayed over night that night, then Ryan came up on Friday, and I took Natalie back home with me Friday afternoon to get ready for our play that night, and Ryan stayed until late that night, and brought everyone home.

We were pretty full with our tent, 6 chairs, 6 sleeping bags, and our stuff AND our food.


One suburban doesn’t hold all of that stuff too well, but I didn’t want to have to haul up a trailor, so we stuffed it in.

I decided to stop at the Grotto trail so we could take a little hike as a family.

It’s a short hike so we didn’t have to haul water or snacks with us, and it’s fun to cross the bridges back and forth over the tiny river.

When we got to the top, there was the small waterfall and a little pool. I guess if you go in spring that pool is bigger and you can wade deeper, but right now it’s just a few inches deep, which is PERFECT. SO cold, though.

It was fun to get our feet wet, and Natalie even put her head in the waterfall.

And of course we had to take some selfies.


What’s that on Larissa’s knees? Oh, she went roller blading the day before our camping trip and wiped out. Major road rash. I feel so bad. So, we bandaged her up the best we could, but the bandages weren’t sticking, and what with going camping and all, we didn’t want her wounds to get dirty, so we secured the bandages with duct tape.


When we got up to the campsite, we were pretty chill, reading our books and relaxing. Later, after the tent was set up and we had eaten dinner, we went to the lake for a bit. It was beautiful.

I’m so thankful my mom was so organized. We planned our meals together so I didn’t have to figure out by myself what we were going to fix for a couple days, and we even cooked it inside their trailer.

That night we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Can you believe Larissa had never had a s’more before? Shocking, I know. We played some games, then went to “bed”. There was plenty of room for all our sleeping bags, but it just wasn’t comfortable at ALL. Add to that the fact that we hadn’t put the rain fly on, so the top window was open, made it too cold in that tent. I’m used to sprawling out on a King bed, not confined to a sleeping bag, and I tossed and turned all night. Oh, and the COWS. The COWS were MOOOOOOING all night. It sounded like a cow was in distress, mooing and mooing for his friends to come and find him, or help him out of a barbed wire fence. I don’t know what the problem was, but that cow kept us awake for a very long time.

Anyway, we made it through the night. The next day, after breakfast, we went to the lake to play.

Everyone got a turn in Grandpa’s blow up canoe, some kids swam, we talked, they played with cousins, and it was a very nice day.
094 073 092

I’m so glad that we have this tradition.

First week of summer!

We’re coming to you live from summer break. Looks like we made it through the first week of summer with very little injury, and not TOO much complaining.

We tried to do some fun this week, and I think we accomplished it.

We went to Thanksgiving point farm
We oohed and awed over the animals, went on a carriage ride, John got to ride the pony,
and ended up purchasing 5 more chicks (you can never have too many, I always say).

Jenna taught two of her art classes.

Natalie and I went to 3 rehearsals for our play, “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Megan went to work 4 days.

John went fishing with a friend.

Natalie went to a party at the park.

Jenna spent LOTS of time playing with her friend, Marin.

Paige had two bell rehearsals.

We played with our birds.


We went to the museum of Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.

Ryan rode about 80 miles on his bike this week. Jenna, John and I joined him on a bike ride on Saturday night and we went 7 miles. Today my butt hurts.

We also read a lot, did a bunch of weeding, pulled out two dead bushes, the kids each had a turn to make dinner (with my help, of course), had 3 piano lessons, and we implemented FOLD Friday, where everyone is supposed to fold their laundry. It didn’t go over too well, but we’ll try again next week.

I would say we did pretty well for our first week.


While I may have left a not so glowing review on priceline about the Quality Inn in Mesa, the bright spot of my review was the pool. The pool made a splash.


If they put as much effort into cleaning and maintaining the rooms as they did the pool….

Someone swam there every day. There’s John and his cousin Danny having a great time playing in the pool. If our activity got too hot or we had some free time at the hotel, we always knew we could swim.

And it got too hot for us every day.

There were nice deck chairs, some shade, even in the heat of the day, and it was especially nice in the afternoon. I did swim, but I spent most of my time poolside, reading a book or taking pictures of the kids.

And, bonus, Arizonians do not swim until it’s over 100 degrees. Really. So, there was hardly ever anyone else out at the pool. And if they were out there, it was just relaxing in the deck chairs, not swimming.

So it was kind of like we had out own private pool. Hopefully as our memories fade, we can laugh about the crappy things and remember the good times of the vacation, like the pool.

End of a Season, Start of a Season

Hi Ho, Guest Host Ryan here.

Tonight I put on my headlamp, and went out to search for some peaches. I managed to find *2* peaches still on the tree. It’s officially the end of Peach Season here at the Erickson household. As Paige has already posted, it’s been our best Peach harvest *ever*, and we’ve managed to share them with quite a few people, as well as all the bottles Paige put up.

It’s amazing how fast you go from this:

to this:

We also have the start of a new season, with what we believe is the first of the eggs from the chickens we picked up earlier in the year. It’s quite a bit smaller than the regular layers’ eggs.

Can you spot the new layers’ egg?

Lastly, we have another start of a new ‘season’ in our family. The first of our kids’ generation got married last week. Congratulations, Camille!

Time moves on.

Thoughts after it’s over. Thank you, Scarlet Pimpernel.

Not everyone understands why I do what I do, and why I love it so much. Why would I want to “waste” my whole summer just rehearsing and performing a play? It interferes with family things, makes me tired, takes up most if not all of my free time, and for what? A free t-shirt and a water bottle?

I auditioned for the Scarlet Pimpernel because I really liked that show. I had seen it before and loved the music, the costumes, and the story. I knew I would only be in the ensemble at best, if I did get in. And, I thought if I did this play at the Scera, it would have less conflicts with my weekly bell choir rehearsals, since they don’t perform on Wed nights at the Scera. It was difficult to not be in the Alpine Community Theater play, since I have a lot of friends in that group, and Natalie was in that play, too.

There was a real sense of community in this show. Almost like a family. Maybe it was from the Director.
027 Jerry is 83 years old and has been directing and acting for over 60 years. He is really quite amazing, but he’s soft spoken and when he gives direction, most of the time it’s in a positive way. On our first attempt at a run through, after it was done, he said, “Well, that was pretty good for a Monday.” Which we knew meant that it wasn’t that great, but he was still accentuating the positive.

At the beginning of the rehearsal process, they schedule people to only have to come when their scenes are rehearsed. Since I was only in 6 scenes, I didn’t have to come every single night, and when I did come, it was usually not the whole night. Kind of easing us into the reality that we would be spending every night with these people. When it’s run through time, there’s a lot of free time for the ensemble. The leads have things to work through, and the rest of us get time to chat. We learn things about each other, like that fact that about half of the cast is related. Seriously. I was talking to one girl, and she pointed out her four sisters and about 8 cousins. “Oh, and Jerry’s my grandpa:, she said. So, most of the cast knew Jerry was related to Jerry, or had been in a show with him at some point.
013 Even though MOST of these kids are young (like I could be their mom, that’s how young they are), I grew to love them. At the end of the show, one of the cute 20 year old boys came up to me and gave me a huge hug. “You’re my mom crush,” he said. He tried to explain that by saying I was like a mom, or like the mom he would want, or something like that. I understand, though, because I grew to love that boy very much, as well.

One night at rehearsal, I brought some balloons and ended up making animals and swords for a bunch of people. I tried to teach a few people how to make things, and I made LOTS of swords, since this is a sword fighting show. But then I worried that I was making TOO much noise. Have you ever tried to twist balloons quietly?

When we moved to the outdoor stage, we started adding in the scenery, props, costumes, lighting and sound. IT went from just a bunch of people saying lines to telling the story. One Saturday we spent several hours just learning our scene changes. Every set piece had a name, and we were all assigned to move these pieces at different times in the show. It made things more complicated, because instead of just sitting backstage between our scenes, now we had to figure out when we were doing our costume changes, and when we had to be there for our scene changes.

I am happy to report that I never missed a scene change.


We really had to work together to make everything work. There are some pretty complicated costumes, and a lot of us needed help to tie corsets, get out of dresses, do hair, fix hair, fix skirts, etc. And few things bring people closer than helping each other change clothes. I mean, you’ve seen me in my underwear, so we must be pretty close, right? We would laugh in the dressing tents as we were all changing, laugh as we fixed our hair, but not right backstage, of course.


We started rehearsals June 17. We started performing August 2. We did ten performances at the Shell. A couple of them, we weren’t sure if we would actually have a show because it was rainy and windy right up until the show started. But we never had to cancel a show for rain. Then, once our run at the Scera was over, we moved everything over to BYU, and did four shows right in a row for BYU education week. Because the stage is different and things had to be changed to accommodate it, even though we had just done 10 shows, we had to have additional rehearsals to get things right. We ended on August 25. So, that’s 14 actual performances we did together. More than two months we spent a LOT of time together.


We formed some pretty good bonds. We performed through sickness and injury, jokes and laughter. It’s also a much more emotional show than I’ve ever done before. There’s love, hate, betrayal, deception, imprisonment, death, beheading (that usually leads to death), and joy. When you go through such a range of emotions, even if it’s just pretend, it really brings you closer together.

The cast had a few get togethers through the show. Many nights people would go out after rehearsal, and they even had a couple of parties. Because I do have a family and live 30 minutes away, I didn’t go to many of those, but I did go closing night out with some of the cast to Sonic. Sorry to the servers, it was late and we were loud.
after party

Now that the show is over, it’s like a part of my life has ended. Well, a part of my life HAS ended. I have to go back to ‘normal’, and remember with fondness my time that I got to share the huge Scera Shell stage with so many friends.
shell stage I laugh at the pictures that friends post of backstage and rehearsals (thank you, facebook), sing “Falcon in the Dive” while I load the dishwasher, or hum “Madame Guillotine” while I’m doing laundry. I will never forget this experience. I may be crazy, I’ll admit, but I’m glad I am. I am so glad that I took that leap out of my comfort zone, that I was brave and tried something new and scary. It’s only when we try new things that we can have new experiences, meet new people, and have more joy.

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