Wednesday, March 28, 2012

one year.

One year ago today, we were shocked by the news of Tommy's death. A year later, our hearts are still aching. But we are not without hope - because we know where our dear friend is. And I praise God for the countless ways this has affected my life - drawing me closer and making me more dependent on Him. Black keys make music.

Monday, March 26, 2012

the music man [1962]

This movie used to freak me out.

But it doesn't anymore. And that's what I'm here to tell you about.

Mama did a fantastic job of somehow making sure that all my favorite movies growing up were musicals. The classics, like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, and The Music Man.

Ah, yes. The Music Man.

I used to LOVE it. I knew all the songs, I sang them all around the house, and knew that someday I was going to grow up and be Mayor Shinn's *youngest* daughter (the little one in the sailor suit below). Just because she got to do everything awesome without having to be grown up. 

I've seen it twice on stage (one highschool, one community theater) and grew on the Broadway soundtrack and the 1962 film. Years and years of little-girl fandom.

Well, then Marie wanted to watch it for her 8th birthday about three years ago. 
It had been a while since the last time we'd seen it, so we did. 


It grossed. me. out

Big time. 

I mean, I thought Marian was supposed to be *young* (as in, eighteen) and the idea of a freaky old (forty-something) "dirty rotten crook" falling in love with her, and then kissing her and he got away with it ....and the whole relationship was just BLECH. I honestly never wanted to see it again. EVER.

Then, as I got older (having still not watched it again), I stopped saying I didn't like it, and was just a passive voice on the subject. Didn't have an opinion.

Until this week.

For some unknown reason, I decided that I wanted to watch The Music Man again. Leia didn't have any objection (although she didn't really like it either), so on Thursday night, we started it.

Guys, I was so wrong. So wrong. 

The Music Man is one of the best muscials ever to go on Broadway, and is so lighthearted and small-town, COLORFUL (oh, their costumes! *dies*) and so darn *cute* that even while I sort of see why it grossed me out at age fourteen, all of those feelings are lost and smothered in my appreciation for this often-overlooked musical.

If not for anything else, the music is phenomenal. It captures the feel of the era (1912), and the songs are so catchy, no wonder I loved them so much as a child. (yes, I did find this week that I still know all the words to all the songs :D) Each song is so full, and has it's own bit of character. It just screams vintage too, what with big-band sound and barbershop harmonies. And the dance numbers and choreography - so detailed. Obviously hours went into each song...each one masterpiece of its own.
Back when we traveled to TN a lot, we would stop about six hours into the trip and crash with friends. These friends have eight boys and two girls (3rd oldest and youngest) - and they can sing. Really well. So the guys would sing "Goodnight ladies" and Lizzy and us girls would sing "Pick a little talk a little" - at the same time. We actually got it to work several times - and filmed it. Worth trying to find again :)

And the characters. How can you not love them? The School Board - that wonderful barbershop quartet with their impeccable outfits and absentmindedness. Mayor Shin - who can't keep his words straight and spends all summer trying desperately to recite the Gettsyburg Address before an audience. Mrs. Eulalie Mackecknie Shin - flaunting feathered hats and a stern countenance, she ends up leading the women's dance group. Zaneeta Shin and Tommy Dijlas - ye gods and great honk, one of the cutest little library/ice cream shop romances you could find. Winthrop Paroo - little redheaded boy with a lisp and a broken heart. Mrs. Paroo - his wonderful Irish mother with an accent and a great sense of humor. And Amaryllis, and Marcellus Washburne, Charlie Cowell, and the list goes on. It's hard to find that many developed characters in one show. Really, think about it! Don't you feel like you love and know them all by the end? Small-town family.

And then the romance. Which is not gross. Or weird. Now that my seventeen-year-old mind has grasped the fact that Marian is about twenty-six years old, considered an "old maid", and that Professor Hill has been living a lonely, single life and is probably about forty....the whole freaky-old-man-seducing-naive-little-girl mentality has left forever. Now it's just sweet. They both find love in an unexpected place after most likely thinking they'll never find it. And it changes them both in ways they didn't think possible. Marian opens up to her community, starts having fun again and wearing her hair looser. Harold realizes that being alone isn't so fun anymore...finds his own techniques backfiring. Oh, I found it to be quite lovely, actually. A little....different, yes, but lovely. I love that song they sing towards the end - when Harold starts out with "Seventy-six trombones, led the big parade" and she starts with "goodnight my someone"....and then they switch :)

 Of course the costumes and sets are like candy for my designer and vintage-loving heart. Big hats, elegant straight skirts, filmy dancing dresses, parasols, bowties, men's boater hats, plaid and pinstripe suits and wooden doesn't really get much better than that. 

And the whole River City setting - 1910s Iowa - is *perfect.* Train station, wooden buildings, lamposts, the all-purpose highschool, the library, gossipy ladies, a bumbling mayor, the infamous pool hall, and the Candy Kitchen. What a life, folks. :)

I could go on. More pictures, more little disjointed random tidbits of "i loved this" or "it was perfect." :) But I will spare you that, and just say: WATCH IT. Believe me, the humor you missed as a child will *jump* out at you now...everything just gets better and better.

Let's end with a song, shall we?
Mr. Gary Conservatory, Gold Medal Class of '05.
love the little jig from 1:35-39

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ten weeks.

That's all I have left. Left of "childhood". Left of the life I'm used to. Left of highschool.

It's crazy. I've been dreaming of this day since about third grade - when school really started becoming a challenge. :) I'd joke and plan with my friends about what we'd do "when we were done with school", not realizing that time was running through our fingers and now the end is staring me in the face.

I do realize that I still have 10 weeks - ten weeks that I cannot slack on, if I really truly want to be done. I have to keep my focus. But that time too is going to run out SO FAST. May 25th will be here before I know it...and I'm going to have such a great time that Friday night that you won't even know it's me. (*hehe*) But that's then. In ten weeks.

Oh, and yes, this summer is going to be great, lots of traveling and growing up experiences, lots of fun, and I'm sure it'll have its share of ups and downs. And then there's that wonderful "break year" I'm looking forward to. Lots of neat happenings on the horizon.

But right here, right now (yes, that's a quote) it's school and time that I'm looking at, trying not to think about the changes that are coming....and feeling VERY nostalgic. Do you know what happens when people graduate highschool? I mean, in general? Yes? Okay, then. You know what I'm getting at.
via pinterest
That said, it's time go. I'm putting pressure on myself to finish, trying to keep the fun stuff at a minimum - which is why this blog has been so neglected lately. But in about three weeks, my schedule is going to free up A LOT (several subjects finishing) so I'll be back in the loop. Thanks for sticking means a lot when I get comments, 'cause that tells me that you haven't given up yet :D



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

spring, spring, spring!

I am VERY happy today. And I have no idea why. I had practically no breakfast, worked preschool for three hours, had a tiny lunch, took a forty-five minute nap and listened to my ipod, washed a GARGANTUOUS load of dishes, and am now typing a blog post with prune fingers.

And I am incandesantly happy. For absolutely no reason - except maybe that Jesus loves me, it's spring break, seventy degrees, and the life is good. *grin*

And when I'm happy, I like to share the happiness with you. So it's time for a long-neglected-forever-since-I-did-this-last my favorite things post.

[all pictures via pinterest]

fruit tarts
Fresh Fruit Tart.

- my ultimate soulfood. feed me waffles and i'll love you for-evah.

looking for summer style inspirations....and floppy hats
classy 70s look.

tea parties
tea cakes

like...oh, golly. Like a lot of places.

cute bedrooms

so precious.

fancy dresses
Vintage prom dress

broadway usual *grin*
I. Love. Phantom.

hair and headbands and bows

alsace, france
Alsace France

awesome quotes to make me laugh
and life is good. <3

i love those people. :)

seven brides for seven brothers
-snagged the post title from this classic musical, even though it's not spring yet *hehe*
Seven  Brides for Seven Brothers

little people learning to play piano
start 'em young!

strength that only comes from One.

the Love that keeps me going

daydreaming about all the places I want to go
I want to stand right here someday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

ever after [1998]

File:Everafterposter.jpgEver After (1998)
starring: Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, Anjelica Huston

This is the *real* story of Cinderella. The Brothers Grimm have unfortunately recorded the wrong story, so a noblewoman asks them to come visit her and she tells them the *real* thing.

Turns out, there's no fairy godmother, no pumpkins, no mousey helpers, no stroke-of-midnight-and-everything-vanishes...actually, there's no magic at all. Just Leonardo DaVinci, the family carriage, faithful servants, an arranged marriage, a glass slipper and all that good stuff. :)

The story is set in France. Danielle de Barbarac, her father's only dearly beloved child, is orphaned at age eight and left with her new stepmother, Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, and two stepsisters, Marguerite and Jacqueline. Ten years later, the manor house and farm are being neglected, Danielle has been reduced to the state of servant, and Rodmilla and Marguerite are scheming to get the latter married to the Prince of France. And the stage is set for happily ever after! *grin*

Danielle de Barabarc - the heroine. Pretty in her own way, she loves her home, her friends, and really tries to see the bright side of her rather oppressive life. She's passionate, but not obnoxious. Reads Utopia for sentimental reasons. (I honestly don't see any other reason to read that book)

Prince Henry - the "man who was still a boy in many, many ways." (gotta love that line!) Crazy, headstrong, obstinate, and very very boy. Known for running away from home, Henry has a lot on his mind. "The Prince suffers from an....arranged marriage, Signore, among other things." He doesn't want his political position to dictate his life.

Baroness Rodmilla deGhent - the Evil Stepmother. While not *exactly* evil, she is manipulative and selfish and rude. And a liar. And mean. So maybe she is evil. :)

Marguerite Francoise de Ghent - the older of the stepsisters. Harsh, selfish, spoiled rotten, not worth talking about. Desperate to be queen.

Jacqueline - the younger, very sweet stepsister. She loves Danielle and does her best to be a friend. She ends up rewarded and finding love because of her sweet spirit of service.

Gustav - other than Danielle and Henry, Gustav is my favorite character. Danielle's oldest non-servant friend, Gustav is 100% behind her 100% of the time, and helps her out of all her scrapes. Also has some of the best lines in the whole movie. "You look like a girl!"

Leonardo DaVinci - Hm. It's a little weird that he's in the movie, but he's such a dear. "I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!" I guess he's sort of the equivalent to the fairy godmother *snorty laugh* (oops.) Has some interesting life philosophies, but is altogether sweet. Lovely addition to the story.

It's a classic story of good triumphing over evil. It's a love story. It's funny. It's sweet. The dialogue is terrific, the acting leaves nothing wanting, and the whole time you feel like you're watching a story taking place at the same time as The Princess the same country too. Maybe Westley and Gustav were friends or something. Who knows?

Cons: Ummmm....not much. Just one word, one time. But it's really not pretty, so definitely mute it. It's in the scene after the masque when Henry feels like Danielle is a big liar and is having a pity party and DaVinci comes over to give him a talking to. It's right at the very beginning of the conversation. And that's it. Oh, and a few kisses...but since they *do* end up getting married, they don't really count as cons :)

I say: watch it. If you like sweet, feel-good movies, you will love this. If you love The Princess Bride, you will love it. If you love Anne of Green Gables you will love it, because they stole their soundtrack.

Confession: I watched it three times in one week. Ouch. Yes. If that means anything.

Rating: Five (*****) out of Five (*****) stars
(since, to quote Lizzy, it doesn't make sense to give it 15 out of 5 stars ;D)

Click HERE to see the picture/quote post I did a little while back.

honestly: listen from :50 and tell if it does or doesn't sound JUST LIKE Anne????? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


...Granada, un poco sur de la capital, es un mejor lugar para los turísticos. En realidad, Nicaragua es el país más seguro en Central América, y Granada es la ciudad más seguro en Nicaragua....
La Laguna de Apoyo // Catarina, Masaya, Nicaragua // via google.
I just finished up Spanish class - I gave a presentation and took the first page of a test (second is take home over spring break), got out twenty minutes early and am looking ahead to a long evening. Marie is getting contacts this afternoon (big news!), and then we're having supper at our grandparents and Titi and I have our first rehearsal this evening for The Sound of Music. And my parents are taking my waaaaay too old brother out for his "half birthday" supper. (he's NINE AND A HALF. He'll be TEN this year. Growing up on me....) A loaded day.

This week has really been insane. I've been getting school done, but I feel like time is just running out between my fingers. "Suddenly it seems like the rest of the school year is coming at us so fast." "I wish it would just stop. At least slow down." It's MARCH already...just six weeks left until mid-May...and life is happening and I'm spinning around and around in circles and I have NO idea what the world would look like when I finally stop and readjust.

Sure, despite the stress and general hecticness, there have been fun moments in the past week or so - my final piano event of the month/season (until recital and end-of-the-year stuff) Sunday afternoon, my friend-turned-big-sister Hannah's baby was born on Sunday, working preschool on Tuesday, lunch with Daddy at Waffle House, Purim meal and celebration (led by my family) with our church body last night, rehearsal tonight, and conversations about exciting Nicaragua :)
via pinterest a whole of jokes going around about me being a nun. Not only from some of my lovely girlfriends (*cough* you know who you are), and also from other friends here in town. Haha, everyone, I'm laughing. Any jokes about my story turning out like Maria VonTrapp's...or Katherine Luther's....are acknowledged and I'm laughing. LOL. ROTFL. :)

SPRING BREAK starts Monday - awesome. I was planning on taking the whole week off from everything...but with the amount of half-school days I've been having at home, it's looking I'll be working all week. :/ But I could just do five half-days and catch up, and still have some kind of break! Better not think like that, or I'll never get anything done. *moan*

So I'm pulling through. Everything always manages to turn out the way it's supposed to (imagine that!) and I'll get by just like I have through all the crazy weeks I've been through in my life: Jesus and music and love :D Our iPods and Pandora stations got used to their full capacity yesterday during meal prep for Purim, and I've been running my soundtracks almost non-stop. My life really is musical, I think. I may not be coming up with new songs on the spur of the moment, but there truly is a song for everything...and if I know it, I sing it! :)

via pinterest

Love you all...have a great almost-start of the weekend!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


this made me smile today.
via pinterest

Monday, March 5, 2012

the rapunzel year

Some of you may have seen this in my chat status back over Christmas break, others maybe heard me mention it in passing during a conversation, or saw it in my "things I'm lovin'" list in my sidebar, or others may have no idea at all what I'm talking about. But that's okay,  you'll understand by the end of this.

I love looking forward to things - feeling the anticipation, excitement, nervousness, fear...the works. But I also love living in the moment - the emotion, joy, pain, surprise, excitement, fear...the works. And life is full of opportunities for both of those mindsets to manifest themselves. And those opportunities change every year as we get older and more mature.

Last year, I was "Sixteen Going on Seventeen"....and I may not need to say anymore than that. *grin* It was an incredible year - very exciting and fun, of course, but *full* of rollarcoaster emotional stuff and some very difficult-to-handle experiences. 100% Sixteen. But I loved that year, looking back I don't think I'd have done it differently.

"that's a lot of hair."
via pinterest
Well, guess what? I had a birthday last year too. That is a funny thing about birthdays - they're kind of an annual thing. :D Anyway. I'm seventeen now. Sadly, there aren't really any songs written about being seventeen, so I didn't know what I was going to do about "naming" my year. I mean, there's the whole deal about it being Senior Year - with all it's wildness, arrogance, big plans, excitement, and sparks flying - but that wasn't quite what I was looking for. (although it is kinda fun at times) Then, over Christmas break, I figured out what I was going to call October 25, 2011-October 24, 2012: my Rapunzel Year.

I decided on that name while rocking out to the Tangled soundtrack while cleaning my room on the first real day of break. As we all know, the first "singing" song on that soundtrack is "When Will My Life Begin?" and as I listened to it for probably the 1000th+ time since last March when we bought it, I was all of a sudden struck at how similiar I felt about my life.

It's not a complaining song - it's a happy song about what you do all day...except, you kinda wish there's was a *little* something more going on. Just something. And you're not even sure what. So you just keep doing the same old, cheerfully and with your heart, but looking ahead to "when your life begins." And I cannot tell you enough how that captures my current state of mind.

What then made me decide to call this year my Rapunzel Year is that fact that I am the same age as Rapunzel. 17, almost 18. Well, her birthday is "tomorrow" and mine is October, but you kinda get the feeling that everything she sings about in that song has been happening for *at least* a year prior. And plus, pretty soon it will be October and I will be almost 18 - even though the amount of things that are going to happen to me between now and then are a little overwhelming.

Oh, it's been a great four months so far, and the next eight can really only get better! Hopefully at the end I can look back and say "it was a very good year" *grin*

Click here to watch "When Will My Life Begin"  scene from the film.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Last night was terrifically awesome. It was our church-wide live dessert auction/talent show/spring fling. It lasted from 6 to 10pm...and I loved every minute. I wish I had pictures - once the church puts the albums up on facebook I'll share some with y'all, but all I can say is that we had SO much dessert that everyone was stuffed - and in awe of the amazing "bakemenship" of our members! The talent was hilarious - we had everything from singing families, skits written and performed by children, a quartet, a movie, "1000 awesome things" readings, juggling, and everything inbetween. Sweet stuff.

While we were at the church, I got the long awaited email about what parts my sister and I got in Sound of Music, and I got a chance to make some choices. I could choose to be frustrated at possible favoritism casting, I could choose to be disappointed that my one (and probably only) chance to act a good "child" role has waved at me as it passed by, I could choose to be irritated about the whole thing in general. BUT, because I'm not that type of easily-depressed person, I have chosen to be EXCITED about receiving a role I can truly make my own, I have chosen to be THRILLED that I'm jumping with two feet back into this world of drama that I've missed for five years, I have chosen to DO MY the Mistress of Postulants (*grin*) and be the best leader Black Box has ever seen :) And it'll be even more fun since Titiana is the Nonnberg chorus - so we get to work together on everything. And this is the only "first time" we'll have with this group (ten years ago doesn't exactly count anymore :D), and next play we'll do even better :) Plus, the neat thing about playing a role as one of the Sisters is that I can actually use my whole voice range, and it will be more of a challenge. Definitely a role requiring a more mature voice. Cool stuff.
And just for the record, I have great friends, I really do. And even though they were all excited at the possibilities for TSOM, they are all so 100% behind me right now, that I almost cried. My church is probably going to fill up one whole show (and there are only two), so if you want to come you need to move fast :) Hehe.

Well, today is also my Daddy's 46th birthday. I cannot tell you ENOUGH how much I love that guy. It is true, we have a rough spots (seemed to have more than usual the past few months), but our relationship is SO special - I know I'm blessed. And especially now that I'm 17, and you have to start thinking about...things, I know I'm in good, strong hands. Notice I *didn't* say overprotective. :) Hehe. Anyway, Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you.

And I'm closing with the words of a song that made me cry this honest-to-goodness tears running down my cheeks type of crying. Which will sound even weirder when you find out where it's from. :)

"Once in a lifetime means there's no second chance/And I believe that you and me should grab it while we can/Make it last forever and never give it back/It's our turn and I'm lovin' where we're at/Because this moment's really all we have..."

Happy Saturday, peoples!