Thursday, May 21, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man...

Tonight, Layne and I are going to see Fiddler on the Roof at Music Hall in Fair Park. The Dallas Summer Musical Series is one of my favorite things that the City of Dallas offers, and I consider myself incredibly lucky that my amazing husband enjoys the theater as well . (At least he puts on a good face about it!) A few weeks ago we went and saw Rent, which was amazing... but I have been waiting for Fiddler to get here. The first off Broadway play I ever saw was Fiddler on the Roof when it came to the Sanger Theater in New Orleans. My dad's first cousin in was the off Broadway production, and the ENTIRE family went to see him perform. You know how big my family is, so you can imagine how many people went.
After the show, my Uncle Bobby (my Maw Maw's brother) rented out a restaurant on Canal for a cast party with the family. We were young. Grammar school young. And we thought we were in heaven. The original orphan Annie from the movie was in the cast of Fiddler on the Roof, and I will always remember her singing "Tomorrow" as someone else played the baby grand piano. It was such a special opportunity, and it was the beginning of what has become a passion. I may not be able to sing, but my family is definitely musically inclined (HELLO! My Dad was in the Golden Band from TigerLand!) and I have developed an appreciation for all kinds of musical abilities- with a weakness for brass instruments.
Doesn't matter what show, doesn't matter what cast... I always find something that I love about the experience. Fiddler on the Roof is one of the best to ever show. It has won nine Tony Awards including best musical, best score, and best choreography, it was the first show to perform over 3000 times, and is the 13th longest running show in Broadway history. (Wiki is so amazing!)
Part of the reason I love Fiddler is because of the background of the story- it takes place in the early 1900's in Tsarist Russia, and the Fiddler is a metaphor for survival through traditions and joyful celebrations in a life of uncertainty and imbalance. I'm really excited for Layne to see it, because I think he's going to enjoy it (if he can keep his eyes open- the show goes way past our bedtime on a work night).
Chaim Topol played the role of Teyve in the 1976, 1981, and 1990 Broadway revivals. The 2009 National Tour (that we're seeing tonight!!!) has been billed Topol "Fiddler on the Roof" the Farewell Tour. I'm so thankful that I am getting the opportunity to see him live- those who have seen him have raised my expectations... and I can't wait for the curtain to rise.
Hope everyone has a nice evening. It's date night in Dallas for the Courts, and I'm pumped!
(A Side Note: Last night we went to the Rough Rider's baseball game (the Ranger's AA team) with the West Rockies Region from work. 4 of us are DINK's (that's dual income no kids) and 2 have kids. After spending the night with 5 kids ranging from 4 to 2, I have a new appreciation for the lifestyle we live.I love children, and one day want to raise a family with Layne. But that one day is someday far off in the future for us.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday at the Maywald's

There is nothing like a Sunday Funday with our family in Prosper. Our neices are adorable.
Enough said.

Posted by Picasa

She Did It... And Everyone Knows!

This past weekend Layne and I traveled back to Louisiana (again) for Abby's graduation from LSU! And yes- the picture you see above is Abby, on the front page of the Baton Rouge Advocate. That's her and three of her friends singing the alma mater together. I could go on about Abby's many accomplishments, but I'll let all the ropes around her neck do that. What am I really impressed about? My sister has a knack for being on the front page of the paper. The National Championship game... her Graduation... I love it. She didn't see the photographer until he came up and asked for their names, so what you're seeing is true joy. It's awesome that all four of us went to LSU, and that our time together all overlapped. We all have a passion for purple and gold, and it's been great to share that with my siblings.
Congratulations Sissy! Enjoy your summer off, and best of luck in nursing school. From what I hear, you'll need it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Report: The Shack

I've yet to post a book report, which is surprising when you consider the rate at which I blow through them. But one of the most recent books that I read stirred my soul in a way that I feel compelled to share it with you. It was that amazing.
I'll warn you, this book is not for the people who want to just dance through life. This book will make you question things- it will make you yearn for more. And at the end of the day, I truly believe that you will find a peace and comfort from it that will inspire you. It's a book that focuses on your faith, your personal relationship with "Papa", but not within the confines of a religious institution. The book is about true and unconditional love... the love of our Creator... a perfect, forgiving, all consuming love. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Agnostic, Atheist... I think this is a book you will take something from and enjoy. It's also the story of grief and sadness- and how such a love can exist and allow the pain and suffering we see in the world today.
It's been a week since I've finished reading the book, and I've got Layne reading it now. There have been numerous moments since then that I've reflected upon what I read- moments that I have been challenged to reach inside for something more. Why am I blogging about something so personal, so controversial, that makes so many people uncomfortable? I'm a believer because I chose to be. I think you make a logical argument for the existence/non-existence of a higher being based on what you are predisposed to believe. I chose to believe, and I chose to label that belief as God. Maybe you don't. But I think if you read this book, you may realize no matter what label you fall into in regards to your religious beliefs, we all believe in love.
The power of love, the power of forgiveness, the power of acceptance, the power of peace... those are the attributes that can move mountains in today's day and age. So man up. Read something different. Go soul searching. And let me know what the results are. I'm finding a peace and comfort in myself that I haven't known for a long time.... all because of book Aunt Leslie passed along.
Check out The Shack by William Paul Young, or the website at . I can't wait to hear what you think.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

She's Always in My Heart...

My Granny is always in my heart. You probably know this though, since you all have heard me mention her. Granny is my Mom's Mom... and losing her was harder than I imagined it would be. I thought it would be easier, since it's natural for grandparents to pass away before their grandchildren... but I don't think I will ever completely adjust to her absence (Grandpa's too!). That's just the kind of role my grandparents played in my life.

Not having Granny and Grandpa with us on the day I married Layne was... well, sad. I'm blessed though. I was surprised with a piece of lace from my grandmothers wedding dress on my bouquet of flowers. My mother had a picture of my grandparents sitting in the same place she and my dad sat that she held during the service. I know they were with me. And now, I have another way my grandparents will always be with my wedding experience.

Granny loved Pete Fountain. (For those of you not familiar with his music, you should be. He's amazing.) Layne listened to some of his cassette tapes, and enjoys Pete Fountain now too. When Granny passed, that's what Layne got... Pete Fountain cassette tapes.

We've been trying to decide what music we should have on our wedding video, and this weekend, it clicked. Pete Fountain's Dixie Jubilee! It makes me smile, because it's a beautiful reminder that my Granny got to meet the man I love and will spend my life with. It's a beautiful reminder of the time that they did get to share together.

Life may not always go the way you wish it could, but there are always ways to appreciate the life you have been given. So here's to you my Granny. You may not physically have been with me that night, but I will never sit down and re-live those memories without the reminder that in your own special way, you truly were right by our side.

(Layne and Granny right before she passed away, enjoying a nap together. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I love my husband.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Household Upgrades

We work. We travel. We spend time with family and friends. We try to keep up on house chores, and when we have some extra free time, we're working on those finishing touches our house so desperately needs. So last night, with a little direction from our interior designer, I worked on a little "recession decorating." Like Scrow said, who knew egg noodles could be so pretty? My favorite is the jar with the four colored beans all stacked. Aren't you impressed?

And two more points: The picture framed at the top is of my Granny and my nan. They are the cooking inspirations on the Reynolds side of the family. Christine is framed on the left side of the stove. She is our inspiration on the Court side (along with Mrs. Carmen, but I didn't have a picture of the two of them). And two- see those coffee beans? Yes... that's Louisiana's finest, community coffee. Some people may say my obsession with my roots is unhealthy. I say it gives me the warm and fuzzies, so keep it coming!

I know the photo quality isn't great, but these were late night pictures on the iPhone. (11pm is WAY late on a work night for us.) Brina and Scott came over after work. We chowed down on some tacos, and they helped us hang up our drapes. Slowly but surely, it's coming together. I love what the drapes do for the dining room and reading nook.

And yes, that is a pile of dirty clothes on the chair that need to go to the dry cleaners. Most people would have moved them for the picture, but I figure if you're reading the blog, you're not surprised.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. We're in New Orleans again, celebrating Naomi's birthday (karaoke style at JB's), Mark Armstrong's graduation from Loyola, and Mother's Day. So to all the Momma's out there- Happy Mother's Day. You deserve it- especially those with children under ten. We'll be thinking about you.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 7, 2009

No Day But Today!

For my birthday, Layne bought me tickets to go see the musical Rent ( ) at Fair Park in Dallas. This is my 4th summer taking advantage of the Summer Musical Series, and the show was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The play is based on an old French novel "La Boheme," and while the plot remains similar, it has been updated to reflect modern times in the late 1990's. The show is definitely risque... a mother and daughter sitting next to us walked out in the middle of the 2nd Act when a little lesbian ass grabbing took place (that's what I meant by risque)... but it is an amazing social commentary. I highly recommend it, especially the current cast that is traveling Off-Broadway. The two main characters, Mark and Roger, are being played by the two original cast members, and they were phenomenal. I was blown away. The show was an audio and visual feast... what can I say? I've got a weakness for good musicals. Layne has it easy. What do I want for my birthday? Tickets to the theater. What do I want for mother's day (when I am a mother)? Theater tickets. Christmas? Theater tickets. Mom and Dad and Nanny and Uncle Scott- I hold you responsible for this. It all started with Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon, and I've been hooked ever since.

What's left on the docket for this year? Fiddler on the Roof is coming, and it's Topol's farewell tour. (More to come about this when the show gets closer.) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, and Avenue Q. I'm stoked. The best part is that for several of the shows they have drawings, contests and giveaways. I got $25 tickets on my birthday 2 years ago for Jessica and I to see Wicked on the third row. I know- awesome. So I'm digging up the details trying to see what they're doing to save some money and still get to see the shows.

For dinner, we used a gift certificate we received as a wedding gift to one of the nicest steakhouses in Dallas, Del Frisco's (thank you David and Heather). When Mr. Charlie Childress was in town for work a few weeks ago, this is where he ate too. The food was amazing- jumbo (and I mean JUMBO) shrimp with cocktail, romoulade (sp?), and an Italian based sauce and crab cakes as an appetizer, 3 4oz filets all cooked differently (and all amazing) that Layne and I shared, and don't forget strawberry cheesecake for dessert (with a candle too!).

My favorite thing about Rent though is that it is a musical people can identify with. The words are powerful, and the quotes are inspirational. I love quotes, so I thought I would send a few your way:

There's only us, only tonight, we must let go, to know what's right. No other course, no other way, no day but today. I can't control my destiny. I trust my soul. My only goal is just- to be. There's only now. There's only here. Give in to love, or live in fear. No other path. No other way. No day but today. -Mimi, Another Day

Take me for what I am! Who I was meant to be! And, if you give a damn, take me baby, or leave me. -Maureen, Take Me or Leave Me

Look- I find some of what you teach suspect, because I'm used to relying on intellect, but I try to open up to what I don't know. Because reason says I should have died three years ago. There's only us. There's only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today. - Life Support

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes, Five hundred Twenty-Five Thousand journeys to plan. Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes, How Do You Measure the life of a woman or a man? It's time now- to sing out, though the story never ends. Let's celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends. Oh you got to remember the love, you know that love is a gift from up above. Share love, give love, spread love. Measure, measure your life in love. Seasons of love. -Seasons of Love

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Scholastic Book Fair

Hehe. Happy Birthday to me- at least that is how I'm justifying my most recent splurge. The Scholastic Book Fair is at my office this week. They come quarterly, and I love it. My sister and I both have a shopping fetish, which we've inherited from our mother. Only Abby's weakness is clothes, shoes, purses, and mine is books. It's an issue that has deeply impacted my pocketbooks, so I stay away. I've borrowed books from co-workers, Amy Armstrong and Nanny, I've been putting my library card to good use (did you know Laura Bush and I frequent the same library?), and let's be honest, I have 20+ unread books at my house right now. So I know... I should stay away. Except I saw a purse... a tote bag to be specific. It's isn't a Vera Bradley Java Blue (like the wallet you see in front of you), but they are similar enough, and it is perfect for frequent plane rides on the weekends. (I've got a java blue collection I've been working on over the years.) Isn't it purty?

I questioned whether I should get the bag or not, and then thought, "What would Abby do?" Needless to say, I'll be going home with two bags this evening. Hope the husband takes it well. :)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy 26th to me!

Yesterday was my 26th birthday, and I have to say I did it with simple style this year. When we were in New Orleans last weekend, we had an awesome BBQ birthday celebration and that Stephen and his girlfriend Kimberly hosted. I had a blast with my family and friends, and managed to keep Layne out until 3am. Last night, we went to Bucca di Beppo with the Court family (and Newell extension) to celebrate. It was wonderful to share good times with our loved ones. And of course, the little bits made my day.

Husband raked in the brownie points this year. For my birthday, we're going see the musical Rent on Wednesday night. Yes! This Wednesday night. Instant gratification. I'm stoked. And our seats are on the 18th row, which is bound to be amazing. A special thanks to everyone for the birthday love and best wishes. I am so lucky to have the family and friends that I do. Here's to another wonderful year... I'm looking forward to 27! (Only because Layne will already be 30! Mwah ha ha!)

They Got Him!

I just had to share this picture with everyone- I love it! Reece and Addison decided that they were going to "get" Uncle Layne. I don't know if it was the tickling that did the trick, but they sure did bring a smile and genuine laughter to their Uncle Layne. Moments like this with the mini's are the best. And just FYI- Reece is turning 5 this month!
Posted by Picasa