Friday, July 31, 2009

So You Think You Can DANCE


When I was a kid, like many girls, I took ballet. 'Nuf said.
Then I met this hot guy in college who decided to take ballroom dancing, so did I. Three classes and one engagement ring later... we were on Dances of Latin America.
My Lizzy started dancing... well, needless to say we're not sure which was first, dancing or walking. She started classes at 4 and still dances. I Love to watch her dance. It is her passion. Her spirit comes alive when she dances, her eyes sparkle when she talks about it. I hear PAIN, Lots of PAIN, but she sees beautiful technique classes with 900 plies.
I don't watch t.v. as a rule, it's just a waste of time (unless the Utes are playing). The ONLY show I watch with any regularity is So You Think You Can Dance, because the dancers and the choreographers are amazing. Ok, they could wear a little more at times, but the stories they tell through dance are, well, moving.
Every Christmas, Lizzy and I are the lucky precipitants of Ballet West season tickets, usually without Nutcracker since she dances it, and love our time at the ballet. We are huge supporters.
With all the access I have had to dance, the one dance has touched me the most for it's raw passion and technique and that is the Argentine Tango. It is a beautiful dance with a beautiful raw passion like the people of Argentina and it permeates throughout the culture. It is a sensual dance but can be filled with heartbreak or passion. The young learn it at an early age. Recently, a woman celebrated her 100th birthday by dancing the tango with her centenarian husband. What a tribute.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Salute to Our Pioneer Heritage

Whether you come from pioneer stock or not, whether you live in Utah or not, there's a lot to be admired in the Mormon Pioneers treking 3,000 miles into the unknown wilderness to the Salt Lake Valley, a desert, and settling here to have religious freedom after the death of their founder and Prophet Joseph Smith, leaving their beautiful city of Nauvoo. It's the true American spirit. All of us who live in the United States at some point (other than Native Americans) had someone pick themselves up from their homeland and make a trek to the United States for whatever reason brought them here. We are all immigrants. We are all of some sort of pioneering stock. So while Utah celebrates that Mormon Pioneers that settled the State, all of us should be proud of our great grandparents, grandparents, or even ourselves for coming and settling in this new land, not an easy task.
As for our family, we thank those who came at that time, and those who came as recently as my great grandmother.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thoughts on Weighty Matters


Ok, those of you who haven't noticed (thanks for ignoring the elephant in the room), I have gained some weight. 2 years ago we took the picture I use for the profile picture because I hate the pictures of me since then because, drum roll please, I'm fat. No, please don't try to sugar coat it, I know it and anyone else who knows me knows it, too. SO, I need to loose weight. Sounds easy enough. Right. I read a lot of blogs and more than one is on people who have or are loosing weight (we're all in the same boat, it just might sink if we don't work together). Now I didn't use to weigh a lot, I was just over 110 when I got married 20 years ago and I was able to fit in my wedding dress 7 years ago (now there's a miracle in and of itself). So I am not one of those people who have always been fat.
So why did I get fat, again? Well, partly I haven't been active enough and I haven't eaten like I should. That was easy. Now the hard part, I am bipolar and on medications that do three things - one, help gain weight (cool, eh?), sap your energy, and make you eternally thirsty. Ok, the last one is my big excuse although I know water is my big solution there. Have I not had support? Nope, I have the most supportive family.
Now, I have a big life event coming up which matters to me and I am struggling to get back in the saddle, quite literally, and bike my butt off. I'm all set up and I'm even on a trainer so that I traumatize only my family with things like spandex (a necessary evil) and sweat, instead of innocent neighbors. Butt, and there is a major butt, I can't find the energy to do it. My bp has my sleep all screwed up and I can't bike at night and I am playing taxi during the day. Butt I'm working on it. Focusing on it and trying. Having my husband bike up to 60 miles a day when he can ride to work really helps.
My goal is to lose at least some weight in the next month and to switch over to water (and when cycling Gatorade). Thanks for listening. I'll keep you updated.

As my mom always said, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

AHH, BALLET!!

Sometimes life is just a little too boring, especially for Elizabeth. *major eye roll* So this past January, she tried out for and was accepted to the Ballet West/University of Utah Ballet Intensive. Well, Monday the time came for it to start. Sunday at the introduction to the program, they explained the importance of things like good nutrition and hydration. Ok, normal things for a dancer in Utah. Then they went through the basic schedule... MY DAUGHTER HAS GONE INSANE.
A normal day, technique and pointe after yoga before lunch (start at 8, so there at 7:30 to warm up and set up), lunch on campus, pointe, African or Irish, Jazz, variations, non-dancing lecture... done at 5:30 pm. We figure she is dancing 7 to 8 hours a day - not participating but dancing. Then Saturdays is choreography with one hour warm up class and 3 to 4 hours of work on individual projects.
She is lucky, however to have amazing teachers from Academy, Ballet West dancers and Ballet West leadership. Overall she has really learned a lot from her teachers so far. For repertoire, she's learning the corps dance to Snow from the Nutcracker right now.
One of her lectures was on injury prevention by the physical therapist for Ballet West dancers. Actually really informative and lots of fun for her.
By 8 pm every night she is exhausted and ready for bed, leaving her little time for her normal stretching that she does every night. Luckily she has not had any strained muscles or other injuries. She has, of course, had enough energy for "So You Think You Can Dance".
I, of course, have become the taxi service to and from the U every day, but it's cheaper and faster than trax and much cheaper than living on campus. At least I hear the stories every day on the way home as I enjoy rush hour traffic, I love being a mom.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ode to Rob


To my husband, who has loved me, been my best friend, taken care of me when I could not, and still takes care of me physically, mentally and spiritually. Who has been there on the brightest days and the darkest nights, and seen me through both with your hand in mine. Where you love me for me, not a facsimile of what or who I should or want to be. The husband and teacher of my children for the better, the priesthood holder in my home. May the heavens open and rain down blessings on to thee.

Happy 20th Anniversary - Stay with me the best is yet to be.

PS I love the figurine.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

May your day be filled with family and friends and BBQ's and all that is wonderful about the United States of America. Please remember the importance of the Constitution and the people who brought it to us and saved it for us.



P.S. Happy 100th post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What I learned in Illinois...

Ok, you have to understand I was born and raised in the West. I have learned about other places, and I believed it, but it's something else all together to experience it. Here are a few of the things I learned on our family vacation to Springfield, Carthage, Nauvoo and Chicago, Illinois.

1. Heat is not heat, heat is boiling to death. They have something called the heat index which is more important than the temperature. 90 in Nauvoo on the Mississippi is like 110 in Utah. It was too warm for the animals three of the days we were there, last year they only had 4 days, this year they have already had 6, great timing. We have a "dry heat" Ok I believe it.
2. They don't have sprinklers there. Really. It just is humid and rains enough to keep it green. It took Rob almost an hour to explain this to me. Weird.
3. Rain storms mean RAIN STORMS. Tornado watches, cross winds and downpours like I have never seen going on for hours. When it rains, it pours. But it doesn't get any cooler. Ok?
4. Everyone is nice. When they ask "How are ya?", they expect an answer. It's not just a phrase. Strangers ask that all the time, like they're your neighbor or something. Or get lost, and anyone will help.
5. IF you leave your washing in the machine for 5 minutes after it is done, someone will put it in the dryer and turn it on. Impatience or kindness? "How are ya?"
6. Ok, I've heard this one but I didn't believe it... IT'S FLAT. I mean that mountain isn't even a hill in Utah.
7. Illinois is the largest producing state of corn and soybeans. Just something to chew on.
8. The scummier the dive, the better the food.
9. Just because there are rain clouds it doesn't mean it will rain. No mountains to run into (my brother from Chicago, explained this to me one night - it rained two hours later).
10. They are very kind to a group of 13 from Utah at any restaurant even in Chicago (once we had to wait for Chicago style pizza on a Friday night).
11. They have large portions there, like put on 20 or 30 pound portions. Many went unfinished.
12. "How ya'll doing?"
13. Chicago has the best mass transit system I've come across between the "L" and the busses. Really cool (except when we ran into the end of the rainbow parade - another subject).
14. Kids love to do things that they can brag to their friends about (ok not just in Illinois) like swimming on the 44 floor of my brother's building in Chicago, higher than any building in Utah. Cool, eh?
15. Chicago has some funky architecture. This is a performance hall in Millennial park in Chicago.
16. We have nothing on rivers, we have streams, only streams. This picture of the Mississippi is taken at the end of the Trail of Hope in Nauvoo. It is the ramp the wagons used to leave Nauvoo. It is now one of the widest points in the Mississippi river because of a dam build just downstream that has widened the river. Wow, is it huge. But the lily pads are beautiful in the shallow water, too.
17. Probably the most important, people and the Church are the same wherever you go.