Stadium of Fire!!

UPDATE: Chris and Brian MADE IT into the TOP 25!! Thank you all for voting. Next up: 2 live auditions! We'll be sure to keep you updated.

Chris entered the Stadium of Fire Talent Contest on a whim at the encouragement of some friends and made it into the top 40 out of 500 submissions. He's singing with his friend Brian Clark. If you've ever seen Chris perform you've probably seen Brian by his side. They were in Young Ambassadors together (Brian is the one Chris crashed into and broke his leg 1 week before our wedding), they were 2 of the 4 guys in "Forever Plaid", they did their Senior Project at BYU together, and Brian was the Javert to Chris' Valjean in one of Chris' favorite shows to ever do (Brian actually went on to play Javert in the Broadway touring company of Les Miserables). I could go on and on... the two are awesome together and we love Brian!! If they make it to the top 3 they get to perform at Stadium of Fire in front of 65,000+ people with David Archuletta and Brad Paisley... FUN!! The next phase of the contest is determined by popular vote and the competition is super stiff. We thought this would be amateurs with home videos but most of them are actually professional music videos and promos! That means they are real groups with fans and everything!! We feel like the underdogs and need to rally some extra support. Could you please take a second to go here and vote for video #37? It really only takes about 30 seconds... I promise. You can vote for three DIFFERENT videos per computer, or just vote for Chris =). If you have more than 1 browser you can vote from those as well. This isn't one of those vote every day contests, thank goodness, so we don't need to worry about people with crazy friends and family just sitting there voting all day every day. Voting ends FRIDAY!! You don't have to live in Utah to vote so vote away!! We are so grateful for the support of our friends and family over the years and appreciate you taking the time to help Chris get into the top 25!! THANKS FOR VOTING!!!!


Busy, Busy!!

So perhaps July was not the best time to try to get back to the old blog! It has been a truly crazy busy couple of weeks. Just a quick recap of where we've been this month:

June 26- July 1 Swenson Family Reunion in Zion, Utah
July 1- 14 Favorite cousins in town from California
July 17-23 More favorite cousins visit from Colorado
July 21-24 Higbee Family Reunion
July 28-31 Farnsworth Family Reunion in Island Park, Idaho
August 1-8 Trip to California to visit my Grammy

Add to that lots of photography, Saratoga Splash (I'm on the Committee), Chris' 20 year HS Reunion (he was in charge), day camps for the girls, a volunteer summer job at Thanksgiving Point (Max), Scout Camp (Chris), Scout Camp (Max), Space Camp (Max), Youth Conference (Chris), soccer, a couple business trips, concerts, holidays, birthdays, guitar and taekwondo, a stake calling that's keeping me on my toes and some smaller reunions and there hasn't been much time for blogging!

Needless to say I am painfully behind on editing pictures for clients, but once that is done and the kids are back in school (ahhh, routine!) I will post more about our exciting summer adventures!

Until then we need to get haircuts, new shoes, new clothes, school supplies and registered for school and Fall activities. 3 different schools this year, 3 different back to school nights, 3 different schedules to plan around. Lots of fun extra curricular activities planned. Looks like it's going to be a great year.


THE Audra McDonald

Will and Audra (center) with of few of
our friends from the cast and audience)

Last Friday night we had the amazing opportunity to see Audra McDonald perform live in '110 in the Shade' at Hale Center Theater in Orem. What a treat. We actually went to see our good friend Will Swenson (Audra's boyfriend and he played opposite her), but are so glad we didn't miss the opportunity to see Audra. Hale is a very intimate little theater... only 7 or so rows, 'in the round' and there are no bad seats. Audra McDonald is a 4 time Tony Award Winner (one for the role she was playing in this show), 2 time Grammy Award Winner and she even has an Emmy Award. She is truly an amazing performer. I have been to broadway shows and seen many great performances, but in this setting, where you are so close, it was truly unforgettable. She is such an honest and beautiful actress. I was truly touched and inspired. And the rest of the cast was fabulous. I'm sure the idea of performing along side Audra brought out this all star cast... the ensemble was jam packed with performers you would usually see in starring roles. It was fun to see so many friends on stage together and they all did wonderful. Marvin Payne, Tim Threlfall, Jared Young, Korianne Johnson, Rachel Woodward, Kevin Geortzen, Lita Giddons... all were fabulous. We were sad to miss Emily Castleton, Hailey Smith and Melissa Lindsey who were in the other cast (they ensemble switches nights). I'm sure I forgot someone... but you were all wonderful. Then... there was the audience. The draw of Audra and Will brought out many old theater friends. It was a reunion all around and we saw people we haven't seen in many, many years... and some we see a lot too! Truly a memorable evening!! I wish I could do it again. If you live in Utah Valley and have a chance be sure to go see this show!! Audra and Will perform through this Saturday... you don't want to miss it!! But if you do, try to catch it after that... different leads but same show and sure to please.


To blog or not to blog?

THAT is the question.

When I first started my blog a few years ago I thought long and hard about wether or not to do it. I really liked the idea of having an instant way to share my pictures and stories of my family that is much easier and more accessible than scrapbooking. I'm not a great journal keeper but I could do this. I also like that it was a great way to keep extended family, especially grandparents, and far away friends in the loop. Another plus was that it is creative outlet for me because it is so hard to spend hours scrapbooking with little kids around. So, why not, it all sounds great, right?

Well, the drawback for me was that I didn't really want one more thing to be "behind on". One more thing to feel guilty about. One more obligation.

That's how I have felt the past year while I have gotten more and more behind.

Why can't I have a blog and just post when I feel like and what I feel like?

Because I am slightly OCD. For reals. It runs in the family. It's not so bad that I can't leave the house, but it is bad enough to make a simple thing like a blog challenging. You see, I have this need to post chronologically and to not miss any events. There is one event from 2 summers ago that I skipped and meant to go back to that still floats around in the back of my head. There is a cute video of my kids skiing I've been meaning to add to the skiing post for a year in a half that I have written on my to do list every week... for the last 18 months. I have a list of about 5 tags that I feel guilty about not responding to. I also need to send my gifts and post about my pay it forward thing that is waaaay overdue. It's like I can't post anything new unless I go back and do all the post that I missed.

I have friends with brilliant blogs that are completely random, often with pictures that don't match the post, that are heartwarming, funny, entertaining and perfect. I often wonder why I can't blog like that. Mostly because there is so much freedom in them, but also because they are so honest in their writing. They preserve thoughts, feelings, true stories, emotions. My blog has been more of a travelog... "this is where we went" "this is what we did"... blah, blah, blah.

So, in answer to the question, I have decided TO BLOG. I am not going to set any unreachable goal about getting "caught up" (although it literally makes me sick to my stomach to think of all the fun things that may never make it to the blog), I am just going to start. I am going to try to write more freely about who we are, how we feel and our relationships with each other and less about where we go and what we do (although that will still be here, I'm sure). And, of course, lots of pictures. I'll try to get to a few of the big things I missed if and when I feel like it... no pressure. Right?

So there you have it. I've missed my blog and have enjoyed staying caught up on all of yours. I'm excited to have this outlet again and hope you will all follow along and leave me some comment love =)

(PS. When Max saw that I was posting he said I should apologize to you all for not blogging for an entire year... funny!)


Syd Riggs Scholarship Showcase

Every year Chris and I participate in this wonderful event to raise money for the Syd Riggs Scholarship. Syd was a dear friend and mentor to both of us. I've included the entire media release below, so I won't bore you with details here, but Chris will be playing the part of Jean Valjean in the 'Les Miserable' section as well as Archibald in 'The Secret Garden'. I am doing tap dancing in a piece from 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'. We are also both in the opener and closer, which are both going to rock... literally. It's sure to be a great show and is shaping up to be even better than last year. If you want to come hurry and get tickets as it will sell out. Hope to see you there!

Media Release:

Wicked, Les Miserables, Rent, West Side Story, The Secret Garden, Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof…A showcase of popular musical theater featuring some of Utah’s finest talent! Hosted by award winning recording artist, Jenny Jordan Frogley.

Saturday, February 6th
Two performances-6:00 and 8:30
Orem High School, Elison Auditorium (175 S. 400 E. Orem) Arrive early for parking!
$10.00 general admission, $15.00 reserved-All proceeds will go to the Syd Riggs Scholarship. Tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone through the Orem High School financial office 801-227-8765 ext 252

The cast includes more than 100 of Utah’s finest performers, most former students and friends of Riggs, who are all donating their time and talents. Professional credits include: film, television, Broadway, national and international tours, commercial and print, recording, dance companies, cruise ship and theme park entertainment. The performance will also feature a performance by current Orem High School theater students.

This year’s show will also be a tribute and farewell to the Elison Auditorium as the reconstruction of the high school will be complete this coming spring.

Syds Riggs passed away unexpectedly on June 18, 2005. Thousands in Utah and beyond have seen and enjoyed her shows. Riggs worked on shows for Hale Center Theater, Sundance Summer Theater, Provo Theater Company, Thanksgiving Point, The Playmill Theater, Promised Valley Playhouse, Backstage Theater, SCERA Center for the Arts, Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, and Orem High School to name a few. She directed hundreds of plays and musicals in her career and was a beloved teacher at Orem High School for more than 15 years.