Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bucket List

I've been pondering this post for a while because Tyler and I recently crossed something off our respective bucket lists and I am about to cross off another. I'm sure I'll add more things as time goes on, but the following are what are currently on my mind:

-Attend an NFL game -- check! Tyler and I went to a Cowboys game in October and it was a pretty amazing place to go for a first game.

-Go to Hawaii (this is the one I'm about to check off! We found $99/each way tickets from Vegas to Honolulu and Ada is off track in February, so the whole family is road tripping it to Vegas and flying out from there. I've heard that Oahu is the crappiest island to visit, but at least I'll be realizing a childhood dream. I look forward to visiting other parts with just Tyler in the future :) )

-Travel to lots of other locations, including but not limited to New Zealand, Fiji, Great Britain (London, Scotland, etc.), Maldives, South Africa, Paris, etc. etc.

-Go skydiving

-Go to games at every MLB ballpark. So far I've been to 10 and I think Tyler's been to 16. We had tickets to a Rangers game but it got rained out :(

-Take an art class

-Attend an opera

-Read the complete works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Jane Austen, as well as the unabridged Les Miserables

-Learn how to sing

-Start a blog that I can make money off of

-Grow my hair long enough to donate it

-Run a half marathon (starting small here)

-Do volunteer work in Africa

Hmm...kind of a small list. I'm sure I'll add to it as I think more. For now, this will have to do!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lyla's apple party

Lyla's birthday was in October and we celebrated with an 'Apple of My Eye' party, including apple cupcakes (apple spice with cream cheese frosting), apple juice, caramel apples for each family to take home (made by yours truly), and caramel apple suckers for the kids. Everything turned out great and I think Lyla had a good time with all her family members around. This was three months ago, but I still can't believe she's a year old!

The set-up

Party favors

Apple cupcakes that look like apples

I was going to make soup but got lazy so we ordered pizza

Lyla's apple slice cake

The apple of our eye in her apple shirt

Opening presents

A little unsure

Glad she finally learned to enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Les Miserables

I have been completely smitten with Les Mis lately. Between seeing the show in Fort Worth in September, watching the 25th Anniversary Concert on PBS, viewing the 1998 (non-musical) movie with Tyler, and crying over the movie trailer time and time again, I was anxiously awaiting the release of the movie on Christmas day.

My history with Les Mis: my first viewing of the musical was at Capitol Theater my sophomore year in high school. My parents bought tickets for the entire family to attend, including Grandma Bateman. Sadly, I really only remember the song 'Master of the House' because my grandma was laughing so hard during it. I neither understood nor appreciated it.

Fast forward to probably our second year of marriage. Tyler's former high school performed Les Mis and his brother Jordan played Marius. I think we saw it twice and I became more familiar with the story. It certainly wasn't Broadway quality, but they did a great job for a high school. Then maybe a year later, Tyler and I saw it performed at Pioneer Theatre Company. We were able to score 2nd row seats for really cheap since Tyler was a student. This was a first time I really appreciated it and I bawled like a baby. It was amazing. I have had a deep love for it ever since.

As previously mentioned, we were able to see it in Fort Worth with Angie and Hyrum a few months ago at an incredible performance hall. Once again, amazing. Later, we watched the 1998 movie version. It shed a new light since it was straight acting with no singing. We enjoyed it, though it really can't compare to the musical. A few weeks after that, we happened upon the 25th Anniversary Concert on PBS. I was enthralled and stayed up late watching the whole thing, including the encore. Tyler walked in during the part when Eponine dies and started laughing at me because I was sobbing uncontrollably. That part gets me more than any other. I love Eponine. I feel a kinship toward her. I wish I were as noble as she! Anyway, Tyler felt bad that he was laughing at me, so this is what he said in consolation: "I'm sorry! I've just never seen you look so devastated!" Thanks, hon. Ha ha!

Finally, at the end of December, the long-awaited film version was released in theaters. I really wanted to see it on the 26th since we had plans all day on Christmas, but, alas, it didn't work out. Tyler and I ended up being invited to a free showing on the 28th, though, so we couldn't complain about that. My review? I loved it. Again, the singing wasn't Broadway quality, but where it lacked in singing it made up for in acting. It was so much more emotional (if that's even possible!) and real to me. I was very impressed and I think Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway deserve Oscars for it. I also thought Eponine was fantastic. I read that Samantha Barks beat out Taylor Swift for the role, and let me just say that I am SO glad she did! Taylor might have ruined her for me. I've already seen it a second time and I think I cried even harder then. I can't wait for it to come out on video. It is by far my favorite play/musical. Nothing else even comes close. I am committed now to read the book. I was thinking about finding a good abridged version since so many people I know haven't been able to set through the unabridged, but I've changed my mind. I'm no stranger to 1,000 pagers, so I'm pretty sure I can handle it. I just can't believe I've waited so long to pick it up!