Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Kids are All Right

In fact, they are doing great. The end of the year has kept us busy at school. Davis has performed with his band at the school music festival. He is making straight A's and has finally made some good school friends. He has developed a killer topspin on his tennis stroke. He's found a great new piano teacher and is singing and playing "Hey Jude" at his recital this weekend. Samuel has done his cultural day presentation on Scotland and is performing in the elementary band with his new strat guitar. He wrote a poetry book and read aloud during the class "poetry cafe". He solved a rubic's cube yesterday by himself and has declared himself super popular. His grades are good, but he is sick and tired of school and really looking forward to summer.
They are happy and seem to be well adjusted. They deeply love their neighborhood friends and have a strong, fantastic group of friends on our street that play every single day. They can't wait to spend their summer outside.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was lovely. The kids had spent the night at the neighbor's house after my show, so I slept in and Michael brought me toast and coffee to bed. I had spent the day before planing $400 worth of flowers in various beds around the house and that was my big mother's day present. I was so happy as all I wanted was beautiful flowers in my yard. All I had to do on the actual day was admire them.
Michael and I eventually got our kids back and we dressed up and drove out to Cherry Creek Mall where we shopped furniture galleries and cooking stores before making our way to the Departure Lounge for lunch. I had picked this restaurant after reading great things about it and then a week before our reservation, I saw there was a four page spread on it in 5280 Magazine. I was very excited and it did not disappoint. The restaurant itself is adjacent to Halycon Hotel, a very hip boutique hotel and the restaurant was amazing too. We all loved everything we ate.
After lunch I came home and took a nap while the kids ran all over the neighborhood and then took their bikes to the park. Later that afternoon, we walked down to Suzy and Jason's for a BBQ. We played bocce ball in the green space behind our houses and it was pretty close to perfect.
I missed my mom and sister and grandma very much that day and wished so much I could join them at the pool at Casa Pacifica, but I made the choice to move here and so I made delicious lemonade out of those lemons. Because it is what it is and what it is is pretty good. Plus my mama and maybe my sister will be here next week!
So happy Mother's Day to me! And pictures of all my pretty flowers will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cabaret Concert

Last Saturday, I sang in a Cabaret Concert that was put on by the musical director of our new UU Church. There were four of us who were featured. I ended up singing five songs. I was terrified. This is the first time I've sung publicly like this since I was pregnant with Davis. I didn't know if I could do it. My voice was rusty, I'd lost my breath support. I didn't know if I could memorize new music and lyrics. Each day I was convinced I wouldn't pull it off. But- I did!
Saturday night went pretty smoothly. The nerves were terrible and I shook all the way through my first song, but I did it!
I loved working with John and thoroughly enjoyed my duets.
I was deeply grateful that many of our friends and neighbors came out to support me in this endeavor. My mama sent me gorgeous yellow roses. I think I had 13 friends come to the evening! After the show, Anna took our kids home and we all went out for drinks and food at an Irish pub at the DTC, which was not very impressive, but didn't matter too much as I was with friends. The kids seemed to like, though both my boys snuck out when I sang the marriage tango, as they DO NOT want to hear me sing about sex, ever.
I think I'm back in saddle again with this performing thing. It was fun!
If you would like to see any of the performances, the link is here.
Number five is the sex song. You know you wondered.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Drama Productions Semester 2

My drama productions were last weekend. I directed two one acts. There was one for 5th period, (Law and Order: Nursery Rhyme Unit) and one for 7th period (Bottom of the Lake).
I rehearsed with them all semester from auditions to production. The kids are wonderful. I started going in twice a week, then three times and as we got closer to production, I went in five days a week. I did this all as a volunteer because I love sharing my passion of theater with the kiddos. It was a great way to get involved with the school and meet the teachers and learn the culture. It was crazy hard, and frustrating and rewarding and fun. And now it's over!
Michael was out of town again during dress and tech rehearsals and my friend who was going to watch my kids after school while I ran those rehearsals was in a car accident, so my kids and hers just came along with me.
It was a crazy day. But it still went fine. We were in a wonderful facility and the high school theater techs that worked with us were a godsend.
Friday night's show was Law and Order and it went very well, getting lots of laughs. The scene changes were rough, but it was like a play within a play, watching those middle school kids figure out where to put everything and organize themselves.
Saturday, Michael was in town and Suzy and her kids joined us. That was fun as this was the only of the four productions I've done this year that Michael or a friend came to see. The actors were wonderful and though we had some bobbles with lighting, it also turned out well.
I will miss the kids so much, but I'm doing a summer camp this summer and I hope to work with them again.
I am thrilled to have my days back and my time.
Big project loom on the horizon and I am very busy. Plus summer is in two weeks!!!!
I only have a few pictures as the photographs taken during the performances haven't made it to me yet, but here is what I have. It was a joy!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jazzfest in NOLA 2017

Jazzfest was so amazing. It was truly a GOOD time. Mom invited us last fall and we quickly accepted. New Orleans is Michael's power spot and we both LOVE New Orleans music. Plus, being shown around by my mama is the best.
Martha and Clark flew in on Wednesday to take care of our boys while we were gone. I was so happy to see them as it had been a long time without a visit. The boys were thrilled to see them too. Late that night, Michael flew in from Boston and the next morning we left for the airport.
We flew in to New Orleans and met mom at the condo. We were so HAPPY. After we quickly unpacked, we headed for Bachannal to see the Roamin' Jasmin. This was a new place for us and we loved it. It's a wine bar, cheese shop, tapas restaurant with a gorgeous shady courtyard and fabulous New Orleans music. It was made for us. We polished off a bottle of Rose and lots of food and then hopped in a Lyft to Frenchman to go see Miss Sophie Lee at the Spotted Cat. It was great to catch up with our friends in the band and shop a little before the show. Sophie was perfect and we happily enjoyed her set. After a while, we crossed the street to the DBA to see John Cleary. We just made the end of his set, but he was fantastic! Then we came back to the condo and continued to drink wine and laugh and talk.

The next morning we woke up and went over to have breakfast at Coulis. Then we walked back and took a Lyft over to Jazzfest! We parked our chairs at the Fais do do stage and then walked all over the fairgrounds. We saw so much good music and ate so much good food. The festival is amazing and there is good music at every stage. We fell in love with a great new band called Soul Brass band and had raw oysters and jammed out to so much good New Orleans music. It was great. We left a bit early and went back to the condo to shower before heading over to Miss Sophie's uptown restaurant. It was very delicious and there was live music there, too! I love being with my mom and Michael. They are my favorite people and having them to myself was the best.

The next morning we headed back to Jazzfest and set our chairs up at the Gentilly Stage. We stayed there most of the day as it was much more crowded than it had been on Friday. We met our festival neighbors and ate and drank and listened to AMAZING music. Eventually it got too crowded for me and we left. I don't do well with huge crowds, but we made our way out and slipped into a taxi with no wait, so it was perfect timing.

That evening we walked over to Superior for dinner. It was delicious. We had more oysters and they may have been the best oysters I have ever had. We went to bed early and slept and slept. I think my fitbit said I got ten hours that night.

The next day it was stormy and dark. We decided to go on down to the french quarter for a bit since it looked like the festival might be rained out. We bought some chocolates at Sucre and then had brunch at the Green Goddess. It may have been the best meal I ate the whole time. I love their sweet potato biscuits. While we ate, the skies opened up and rain POURED down. It poured and poured big gushing sheets of water with thunder and lightening. We got a text message that the festival was CLOSED until further notice. We sat and watched the rain for a bit and then caught a cab back to Frenchman. We rushed into Maison through the rain and got a table and lucked out by catching two amazing shows. We drank prosecco in darkness and it was hard to tell whether it was day or night. We stopped by the Spotted Cat, but it was too crowded. Just as we stepped out to decide what next to do, we got alerts that the gates had re-opened at Jazzfest. We leapt in a cab and headed straight there.

It was cool and there was hardly anyone there! It was perfect. Not even too muddy. We watched John Boutte and the Mavericks and a bit of Tom Petty. We stopped at the Jazz Vipers and ate more festival food. We finally left and headed home, but we were so happy we got one more day of the festival.
We stayed in that evening and went to bed early. All that fun was exhausting!
The next morning we had to fly home. It was an eventful flight as they spent almost two hours dithering about whether our plane was flight worthy and loading us on and off, but we made it home just fine. It was so hard to leave my mama. I miss her so much and being with her is so fun!
Jazzfest is the best and most wonderful and I want to go every year! It was such a joy to go and be there and be with my mama. It was absolutely an amazing vacation.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge

We planned a night at the Great Wolf Lodge with our friends Suzy and Jason before Christmas. We gave the children the trip as a Christmas gift. We looked forward to this trip a lot. We had visions of tons of water slides and great fun for parents and children alike. Last Friday was the big day. The weather was on our side. It was cold and sleety and that made it extra fabulous to be planning an indoor water park excursion. Michael was not able to fly home in time, but after a momentary skerfluffle, we managed a plan to get him there that evening.
And we drove down. We dropped our stuff off in our huge, oddly under furnished and under decorated room and went to explore. We bought the kids wolf passes which allowed them to do all the fun things at the resort including a magic quest with wand, a build a bear type activity, ropes course, arcade, rock wall, bowling, put put golf and much, much more. The passes were pricey, but worth it. We found a nice bar with happy hour and toasted our fabulous vacation. Michael showed up and I was very happy to see him. We drank some more and occasionally saw our children, running around having the time of their lives.

But here is the real deal. This place had a hard core Chucky Cheese vibe. There were animatronics. There were employees who led singalongs in the lobby dressed as bears. Every five minutes. There was a lot of the Hokey Pokey. The ideal age for this place was maybe 2-8. There was nothing for adults to do. There were only four water slides, a wave pool and a water adventure area. It was packed. The waterpark room smelled intensely like chlorine, but I suspect it smelled so intensely of chlorine to cover the smell of the huge amount of child pee that was in that water. I was not getting in.
But the KIDS. The kids had the most amazing time of their life. The Wolf Passes were the bees knees and they kids used them completely. They also loved the water park. They enjoyed all the activities to the fullest. Every single activity was FUN. They LOVED being with their friends. They were completely, over the top HAPPY. They did not come to bed until Michael unhooked them from the ropes course at 10PM.

We got up the next morning, vacated our rooms and made some decisions. The children and Jason decided to hit the water park. Michael and Suzy and I drove to Target and bought Catan. We came back to the hotel. We found a coffee table in front of a gorgeous fire place and took over the area. We snacked and drank and played Catan for seven hours. We bought the kids and ourselves lunch and still sat at our coffee table. I had a good time. I love our friends and it was really fun to just chill and play Catan and be with them. We love Catan and really enjoyed getting to play three games in a row.

But we MADE our fun. The Great Wolf Lodge did not give me my fun. It gave my children fun, but not me. So there's that.
We left around 6:30 in the evening and made our way home. Our kids fell over in satisfied, joyful exhaustion. I rejoiced in my quiet house.
And now you know the truth of it. But just look at the joy on those kids' faces.