Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

I've had one of the best birthdays ever. I want to say thanks to all of the people that have wished me a happy one and sent cards and emails and called and such. I couldn't ask for better friends. I have such awesome friends.

My birthday celebration started last night with a dinner at The Cajun Steamer restaurant. It was great to be able to celebrate with the people that were able to come -- Kelly (my roommate), Emily and Dana from church and bible study, and Ben and Grant from work. I had so much fun.

I woke up this morning to a call from my mother at 9:45 a.m., which is exactly when I was born and then my phone was flooded with text messages wishing a happy birthday. When I finally got out of bed and opened my door, I found a gift from roommate number one, Kelly, containing a fantabulous picture frame, of which I needed, and the movie "The Wedding Date" since I had proclaimed a few days earlier that I needed to expand my DVD collection. As I headed into the bathroom I found a note from roommate number two, Janell, containing a $10 gift certificate to none other than Krystal, which I have to say is one of the best gifts I've ever received.

A few hours later, I was surprised by a knock at the door and a lady holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent from the parents. Gerber daises of course. It was great. I haven't been sent flowers since...well...I don't remember when. I'm pretty sure it may have been my junior year of college.

Then I decided to begin painting our bathroom, something that's been in the works for about a week. We finally got most of the horrid wallpaper border off and primed the walls, so it was time to start putting the color on. I decided since I didn't have anything to do until 5:30 that I'd go ahead and start. I have to say, the color looks better than I anticipated.

At 5:15, I headed out to the pool to do a makeup lesson from yesterday since it was rained out. Good thing it was one of my favorites and it was his last lesson, so we pretty much just played for 30 minutes. As I headed home I received a text from Kelly saying that some folks were going to eat a Mellow Mushroom (YUM!) after their church softball game if I wanted to join. After I heard those two words, I was in!

It was a fun time getting to eat and fellowship with church folks. I only wish that my camera wasn't broken so I could've taken pictures.

Anyway, I shall put this birthday on the list of Top 10 Birthdays. Thanks to everyone who made it special!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A "Wicked" Awesome Show

The people who know me know my love for music, especially musical theatre. Seeing that my mom is a music teacher, she fueled my sister's and my love for music from the very beginning. Our family has a song for everything -- it's usually a show tune or a "golden oldie" and it drives my dad crazy. I think between my mom, my sister and I, we know every word to just about every song there has been written. Anyway, back to the point of this blog...I've been fortunate to see a few shows live, on Broadway, in NYC and London. My freshman year of high school I saw "Titanic: The Musical" in NYC and was able to go back my junior year and see the legendary "Phantom of the Opera". I was on the front row for "Titanic", and it was incredible. I was face to face with the actors the whole time. I could see in the wings on the stage the people getting ready to go on, and this was so cool to be, since my sister and I were aspiring musical thespians, she more so than I. She was the star -- the girl with the voice of the angel. At school, I was known as the girl who's sister could sing really well. I also saw "The Lion King" in London and I cried. I was on the second row for that, on the aisle, and if you know anything about this musical, it's great to be on the end because the opening number includes the animals coming down the aisle. It was incredible! I really think I cried through the whole thing. The music and the characters and especially the costumes are so moving!

Anyway, the Tony Awards have always been something to look forward to in my family, well at least to my mom, my sister and me -- along with the Miss Mississippi Pageant (which usually entails my mom and I bashing about 90% of the competition, wondering why the Top 10 made the Top 10 and then me proclaiming that we are going to hell for being so judgmental.) Ok, but anyway, I missed the Tonys this year because I was in Honduras, but I haven't missed one before and I fell in love with a new musical called, "Wicked" when I watched them a few years ago.

It's supposed to be the story of Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz before Dorothy ever came to the land of Oz. The two went to school together and were supposedly friends until Elphaba, the Wicked Witch, is melted.

This musical intrigued me because of my intense love for The Wizard of Oz in general. I am obsessed with the movie. I watched it at least three times a week when I was little. I wanted to play Dorothy all my life until I was able to do it my senior year of high school. I even did a speech my freshman year in college in speech class about the myths of The Wizard of Oz.

Although I've never seen the musical in it's entirety, I've seen several scenes from the play on many talk shows, on YouTube and on the Tonys.

I've wanted the soundtrack since the first time I heard about it and just this past week I broke down and bought it.

Ladies and gentleman...IT IS FANTASTIC!!! Probably THE best I've ever heard! Definitely rivaling Lion King and Aida (sorry, Laurette). The music is just so unique. It matches the tone of the musical perfectly. The harmonies are incredible, the lyrics are on point and the players/actors/actresses/singers are so incredibly good! Kristin Chenoweth (who was Marian in the TV version of "The Music Man" and Rooster's hooch of a girlfriend in the TV version of "Annie") is so fantastic as Glinda. She can't be more than five-foot-two, but she has a voice as big as the Empire State Building. She's amazing! Not only that, but Idina Menzel (who played Maureen in "Rent" and is also married to the talented-but-hunky Tay Diggs) plays Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the East. She is just as incredible. The passion that she puts into every bit of that character is unbelievable. Her facial expressions and the way that she portrays the character are incredible. And her voice is out of this world!

Anyway, I've listened to the soundtrack since I got it on Tuesday night. I almost know every word now and am waiting for the call to star in Birmingham's production of the show.

I've found a few clips from the show starring Chenoweth and Menzel -- some of my favorite songs from the play. Here they are...enjoy!

Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel performing "Defying Gravity"

Kristin Chenoweth singing "Popular"

My fav song "For Good"...this video is kind of the story behind the song but at least you get to hear Chenoweth and Menzel sing it

P.S. Today, or should I say yesterday, was my sister and her husband's 5th wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that they have been married that long and even harder to believe that she's five months prego and we will have a new little boy in our family in November. I just wanted to wish them a Happy Anniversary and I hope they are having a great week in New Orleans visiting Ross's family and then on the beach relaxing. They both need it...big time! I hope that one day God will bring a man in my life that is even half the stud that Ross is. He's such a man of God and has been the best husband to Anna and will be the best father.

Happy Anniversary Anna and Ross!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!!!

I hope everyone had a great 4th! Kel (my roommate) and I definitely realized we live in Mayberry tonight as we trekked over to the main street (20th Street) in Homewood, set out our 8-dollar-Walgreens chairs, and watched the fireworks at the Vulcan over the mountains. How beautiful!!! (Just imagine the image to the left is the Vulcan instead of Lady Liberty and you're looking at what I saw.) The fire department does this every year. They pretty much have a street carnival down 20th -- complete with carnival rides and the ice cream man. The fireworks started at nine, along with the traditional patriotic music in the background. They broadcast the music over one of the radio stations so that everyone who has parked wherever (and I do mean on the side of the mountain) can enjoy the same music and fireworks! It was great! We saw several people we knew, mostly from church, and I had the wonderful opportunity to get to see one of the kids that I teach in swim lessons. I was surprised by this kid in a stroller yelling, "Hey, swim teacher! Hey swim teacher!" He has always been one of my favorites, but if there was any question before, he's definitely my favorite now! We'll have to catch up tomorrow at 3. We'll compare stories.

Anyway, if at all I thought the day was a loss, things definitely changed around 7:30 tonight. Kelly and I headed out to Vestavia to satisfy a craving for Backyard Burgers, only to find out that they were closed! Who cares if it's the Fourth of July! You're the best burger business ever! You're supposed to be open! So anyway, Kel and I headed back towards Homewood and after some thought, we decided to get Rally's.

Now, I know you're thinking, where are you going with this, but I urge you, please continue.

Story Time!

So I've not had a great love for Rally's for quite some time now. It has nothing to do with Rally's, so again, please continue. When I was little, there was a Rally's down the street from my grandparents' house (Dad's family). Grandma and Papaw would always get us Rally's and we definitely didn't mind it. But oh, that would change. One day, Grandma went and got Rally's for us and brought it back for us to eat. We all sat down at the table to eat, and somehow my cousin (who was about 6 years older than I) and I started to fight about something. I obviously shot my mouth off because it made her so mad that she went and got a bottle of nail polish remover and pour it all over my Rallyburger. I never ate Rally's again.

I'm pretty sure that was about 15 years ago. I hadn't eaten a Rallyburger since and so today, I decided to face my fears and go for it. It was the best burger I've had in a long while. Go Rally's!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Emily Stone Blades!!!

Happy Happy Birthday to my favorite cousin ever...Emily Stone Blades!!!! I still can't believe that she's a married woman, and I especially can't believe that she's married to Mr. MSU Josh Blades. But I couldn't pick a better person for her to marry....what a great guy! I can still remember him help Laurette and I move into McKey Hall our sophomore year.

I definitely miss our younger days when we spent at least two weekends a month spending the night at each other's houses. Camp Sunshine, Fourth of July birthday parades around the neighborhood, THE FORT in the backyard of the Aztec Drive home, Magee and Me, Peter Pan, and The Man from Snowy River. Boy, I miss those days!

Anyway, so from afar, Happy Birthday Em!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Papaw!

Today would have my Papaw's birthday. For those of you who don't know, Papaw went to heaven this past March. It was a tough time for our family, especially my daddy, but it was definitely a blessing in disguise. My dad was pretty much taking care of my Papaw because it was too much for my Grandma to handle. He was just too old, and was losing his mind and all sense of how to do things. My dad was having to go bathe him and make him eat and take medicine. And finally, one morning, the Lord decided that it was time for him to come home, and he took him in his sleep.

As my mom said, "What a way to go! You go to sleep and wake up in heaven! What a blessing!"

My Papaw was the best Papaw there ever was. I can still remember our trips to the zoo, the Swinging Bridge in Byram, Miss., and the trips to the convenience store to get junk food when he would pick us up from school sometimes.

Not only that, but he had the coolest knick-knacks and collections. When he died, my dad found a suitcase full of coins and paper money from all the countries that he had been to. There was money in there that wasn't even being printed anymore.

Anyway, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my Papaw and that I miss him very much!

Here's a sweet pic of Grandma and Papaw taken at our church about 6 or 7 years ago. It's the last picture they had taken together.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Birthday Fit For A Queen if you know me very well, you know that I'm pretty obsessed with the Royal Family/The Windsors/Princess Diana. I've had this obsession every since I was little. My sister and I share this obsession and I'm pretty sure that she fueled my obsession as well.

Knowing that, you can image the excitement that has built up inside of me for weeks now, since I heard that Princes William and Harry were organizing a concert to celebrate the life of their mother on what would have been her 46th birthday. Today, VH1 showed a live broadcast of the concert held at Wembley Stadium. All the proceeds from the concert will be divided among a charity that Diana was closely involved with and two other charities that Wills and Harry sponsor. I think this had to be one of the coolest things that has ever been broadcasted on television. The positive energy from the crowd at Wembley seemed to seep through the television and permeate in the air in my lovely Homewood abode. Ha! I think my favorite part was either the Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute, which included a review of some of his most famous songs, or when P. Diddy performed "Missing you". I'm not a big fan of the "P", but I absolutely L-O-V-E that song, remixed. I also loved the ending when Nelson Mandela spoke about her and they showed home video from when she was a child. That was neat!

Anyway, as I sat there watching the celebration, I couldn't believe how many people had been personally touched by Diana. She not only left her mark on the world, but more importantly, she left her mark on individuals, AND she taught her sons how to be real people as well as what was most important in life. Now, her legacy lives on through them.

One of the VH1 VJs made a good point at the end of the show, saying that Wills and Harry are definitely standing out above all other royals in the world because of their involvement with charities and other causes at their young age. She said that most royal don't even step out on the scene until they are 30 or older. These 20-somethings have spent the better part of their young years giving back to those less fortunate and it's not because they HAVE to -- it's because they WANT to. It's been instilled in them by their mother. There were very few times in which Diana was featured in the media that she wasn't doing something with a charity. Although, her life was surrounded by scandal, depression, and even her own love affair, the Princess of Wales is not remember for that. She's remembered for the way that she stepped out into the community like no other Windsor has, while sometimes looked down on by the Queen because of it.

The Princess definitely had her heart in the right place, and I'm sure she is being rewarded for it now. I can only hope that she is. I pray that she was a child of God.

I now leave you with some of my favorite shots of "Di" and the princes.

One of my favorite shots of Diana. Classic!

How beautiful!?!?!?!

Gotta love a man in uniform!!!

The Princes at the interview with Matt Lauer about the concert.