Friday, June 23, 2017

our acrobatic squirrel

our yard is filled with all sorts of "woodland creatures" as ryan calls them.  we have a bird feeder right outside our kitchen window which is perfect for watching the birds as we wash dishes at the kitchen sink.  on a typically day, you can see the birds eating at the feeder while the squirrels and chipmunks sit below on the grass anxiously awaiting whatever birdseed falls down to them.

about a year ago, we started noticing one particular acrobatic squirrel who would climb up the tree branch and do cirque du soleil style acts off the branch in order to get to the bird feeder.  on one hand we were annoyed that he was eating the birdseed, but on the other hand we applauded his skills.  this nutty squirrel has been doing this on a regular basis for over a year.  the most amazing thing about his acrobatic act is that he eats while hanging upside down by his tail and his itty-bitty feet!  we figure that if he is willing to go through all of that trouble we might as well let him do it.  the birds don't seem to mind at all either.  they sit there right along side him and go about their day, eating as they please.  i guess they all know that ryan will come by and refill it as soon as it gets low.  (all of ryan's "woodland creatures" really have him well trained if you ask me.)

every time we see this we say that i should grab the camera to get a picture, because otherwise no one would believe these death-defying stunts that this squirrel does.  whenever i run to get the camera, i always miss him.  well, today was my lucky day because i was finally able to get the camera fast enough.  i shot these pictures out my kitchen window this morning while this nutty squirrel was having (or stealing) his breakfast.  see for yourself how insane this stunt is . . .

love, laurie

Thursday, June 22, 2017

dress rehearsal snapshots

i promise these are the last of the recital photos!  i just couldn't resist sharing these two snapshots above which my friend kenny took while standing on stage in the wings during dress rehearsal on friday night.

below are a few screen shots from ryan's video recording of dress rehearsal.  the quality is rough because of the combination of the theatre lights and the moving dancers, but you get the idea . . .

love, laurie

. . .

{more recital photos here and here]

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

recital memories

a few random photos from this year's dance recital . . .

^a quick snapshot in the senior dressing room just moments before katie and i went out on stage to dance our lyrical duet.  we were literally running out the door when we took this.  i was nervous we were going to be late for our number, but we got onstage in time.^
^one of my junior ballet students who i had the pleasure of teaching this year.  her mom snapped this photo right after the recital and posted it on facebook with the caption "the queens" ha!^
^ryan said he looked high and low to find a recital card for me that was somewhat circus themed.  as soon as he saw this one he knew he had to get it because ryan and i spent an evening gluing elephant ear headpieces together for the younger dancers and because the dance i choreographed was tightrope themed.  i loved the card and the incredibly sweet message he wrote inside which made me cry.  i just had to take a picture of it.^
^one of my younger students gave me this little note along with some chocolate after the recital.  it was a sweet gift (literally) and her message made me laugh: "thanks for teaching me the moves" . . . so cute!^

love, laurie

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

dance recital 2017

on saturday, my dance studio had its annual recital and i was thrilled to be a part of it for the third year in a row.  this year's recital was called "circus fantasy" and all of the dances depicted classic circus acts.  i had the opportunity to have my hands in so many different parts of the recital again this year.  i performed in 6 numbers (actually it was 8 if you count the fact that 2 of the numbers were each made up of 2 songs).  in addition, i created the programs, managed ticket sales, helped with props, and did the advertising/publicity for the show.  it was exhausting, but i really enjoyed doing it.  of course it was fun to be able to work on another show with ryan, who always helps out in any why he can.

ryan and i continued our annual tradition of taking photos of my costumes at home after the show.  i like doing this to remember the costumes.  i loved all of the costumes and accessories and i'm glad to have these pictures . . .

^this costume was my "circus ringmaster" getup for the opening curtain announcement at the top of the show.  everyone thought it was cute to do the announcement in character and it fit the theme of the show perfectly.  "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages . . . "  (i pieced together this costume from things i had in my closet from my senior show from college which was a million years ago.)^
^i wore this costume for a lyrical duet with my friend katie to the song "once upon a december" to depict circus ghosts.  it was fun to co-choreograph and dance this number with her.  (this costume is actually from last year's recital.  it worked great for the theme of the number and we were happy to not have to buy anything new.)^
^act two opened with our senior ballet pointe number as burlesque dancers to a combination of two different songs: "enter the circus" and "vampire masquerade."  i loved the costume because the skirt made a great effect when we turned.  we danced the whole number with these humongous fans too.  (i'm thinking this costume will make a great can-can dancer outfit for halloween!)^
^i had two pointe numbers back-to-back in act two.  this costume was for the junior ballet class that i teach.  i wasn't supposed to originally perform in this number, but i stepped in when one of the girls dropped out.  i'm actually really glad i had the chance to perform this dance because i loved it so much.  teaching this class meant i picked the music, choreographed the dance, and picked the costume all myself.  i was so proud of the choreography and really pleased with how it all turned out.  we were circus tightrope walkers for this number, so we danced with dainty lace parasols.  it was my students' first time dancing in a platter tutu, which was fun too.^
^our senior jazz class danced to a combination of two different songs: "into the spin" and "ramma lamma bang bang."  these costumes were awesome because they glowed under black lights.  we danced the first half of the number in regular lighting and then changed over to black lights for the second half.  it was a cool effect and the audience loved it.  we had matching black and green hula hoops which perfectly matched our costumes too.^
^this year i was the class leader/demonstrator for our youngest dancers who are just 3-4 years old.  they did a tap dance to "let me be your teddy bear."  they all had adorable costumes with teddy bears wearing matching outfits.  i wore an old leotard and a skirt that i already had to match their purple and yellow theme.  (my teddy bear was a gift from my parents several years ago for valentine's day.  his purple accents matched me perfectly!)^
^the recital ended with a finale number to "the entertainer" and we were the circus clean up crew.  we danced with push brooms and garbage cans.  it was a cute way to end the show and to tie the theme together.  after bows the teachers received flowers from our studio director.^

below are a few photos from the recital which were taken during the show by the studio director's son who is a professional photographer.  i absolutely love these shots!  you can see the rest of his recital photos here . . . 

(i have more behind the scenes photos and dress rehearsal photos which i'll share this week too!)

love, laurie

previous dance recitals: 2015 and 2016

Monday, June 19, 2017

father's day and birthday celebrations

yesterday we got together with our families to celebrate father's day as well as ryan's dad's birthday and ryan's parents' anniversary.  we all went out to eat at a seafood restaurant for lunch and then went back to ryan's parents' house to lounge on the deck.  ryan's mom made strawberry shortcake for dessert and our dads opened presents.  we enjoyed celebrating with our families and we're so grateful for our dads!

love, laurie

Friday, June 16, 2017

"pa live" tv segment!

after months of preparations, it's finally here . . . recital weekend!  i'm so incredibly excited for my studio's dance recital tomorrow.  my costumes, props, and accessories are all ready to go!  today we will be busy getting all of the last minute details in order during dress rehearsal before tomorrow's show.  (in addition, this weekend is also ryan's parents' anniversary, ryan's dad's birthday, and father's day, so it's a power-packed weekend for sure!)

yesterday afternoon, my dance studio was featured on the "pa live" segment of our local news to promote our recital.  the segment aired live yesterday, but you can watch the segment here online.  i'm happy with the way the segment turned out.  it got a ton of views, and i'm proud of how well our girls did on live tv!  it was a great experience!

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

catch me on tv this afternoon!

last year i had the opportunity to appear on tv to promote my studio's dance recital.  it was a great experience and a lot of fun.  i'm excited to be able to do it again this year with our studio's senior tap class.  i'll be on the "pa live" segment on wbre/wyou today during the 4:00pm hour (eastern standard time).  i'll be sure to share the link to the segment as soon as the station posts it on their website!

love, laurie

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

well, that was(n't) easy!

man oh man.  i don't typically get on rants on the blog, but i have to take a moment today to rant.

one of the many things that i'm in charge of for my studio's dance recital this coming weekend is the programs which will be handed out to each audience member.  i have been working on the program for the last several months and i'm really thrilled with the way it turned out.  the other day, i took the programs to our local staples to have them printed.  i was so happy when they called earlier than i had expected to say that the programs were ready to be picked up.  i ran over to staples to pick them up only to find that every single page had thick black ink smudges down the right side from the copier.  it looked horrible.  clearly the copy machine needed to be cleaned.  when i brought it to the attention of the workers, they agreed that the machine needed to be cleaned, but they didn't seem too fazed by it.  (mind you, people paid good money to place ads in our program, and i'm sure they would not be happy to see ink smudges all over their ads.)  all of the programs had to be re-run, and i had to leave there empty handed since they wouldn't be ready for several more hours.

staples called again later in the afternoon to let me know that the re-printed programs were ready.  since i was in the middle of dance rehearsal, i asked ryan to go pick them up for me on his way home from work.  when he got there, he sent me a text saying "you're not going to believe this, but when they re-printed your order they did it single sided instead of double sided!!!"  by this time i was fuming.  ryan told them they had to re-run the order because the programs had to be double sided.  they told him they would do it right away, and it would be done in 30 minutes.  well, 90 minutes later it was finally finished!  while they were printing our programs for the third time, i broke away from rehearsal for a few minutes to run up to staples to meet ryan and to try to see what on earth was going on with them.  luckily the third version of the programs looked good.  ryan waited for them to finish while i returned back to dance.  at the end of the night when we both got home, we realized that staples forgot to give us our usb jumpdrive back with the order!  that was really the icing on the cake.

unfortunately, this was not our first negative experience with staples copy/print center.  a very similar thing happened when running the programs for last year's recital too, and there was an issue with the programs for our christmas show this past winter.  i mean, come on, people!!!  how hard is it to print copies and to follow the very specific and detailed instructions on the order?!

i'll be giving my fingers a work out folding and stapling a couple hundred programs over the next few days!

love, laurie

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

save a life and make a friend . . . it's adopt a cat month!

june is national adopt a cat month!  if you are in the market for a pet, we highly recommend adopting/rescuing a cat from a shelter.  there are so many amazing cats in need of a good home.

we adopted leko 5 1/2 years ago, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.  we love him beyond measure (even when he insists on waking us up 2 hours before our alarm clocks go off)!  if you are thinking of adopting a cat, here are a few tips of things to think about . . .

1. assess your lifestyle, household, and budget before adopting
2. pick out a veterinarian before you adopt and schedule a vet visit right after you adopt
3. stock up on supplies and cat-proof your home before you bring your new cat home
4. know that all cats are different, so find a cat whose personality meshes with yours
5. introduce your cat to your environment/family/friends slowly

love, laurie 
(and leko)

Monday, June 12, 2017

dierks bentley

on saturday, ryan and i worked the dierks bentley tour that was in town (and needless to say, we're both exhausted).  ryan worked the load in, the run of the show, and the load out.  i met up with him in the evening to work the load out since i was tied up during the day with dance recital rehearsal.

even after all of our years in theatre, it never fails to amaze me how much work goes into making these touring shows happen.  the broadway touring shows that we work in the theatre throughout the fall/winter/spring are intense, but the concerts that we work at the pavilion in the summer months are a whole different beast.  it really makes me wonder if the audience appreciates the number of people behind the scenes working around the clock to get these shows to the stage.  the answer is no, especially for this crowd since most of them were drunk . . .

. . . anyway,  ryan snapped a few photos on his phone during the day.  i got there early before my call time for the load out and was able to hear a majority of the show, even though i didn't know who dierks bentley was before saturday.  i kept asking, is this show a group or a solo act?  goes to show you i don't listen to much country music.

while we were waiting to start working, i was standing backstage with ryan when a very tall cowboy walked right past me.  i didn't think much of it, but then after the person passed by ryan was like, "ummm, do you know that was jon pardi who just walked right by you?!"  of course i had no idea who he was and that he was the opening act for dierks bentley.  a little while later, at the end of the show i was standing right at the edge of the stage with ryan ready to run on because we start loading out the concerts as soon as they end.  another incredibly tall man walked by me with a body guard on each side of him.  he smiled at me and winked as he passed.  i looked over at ryan puzzled.  he was like, "okay, so that was just dierks bentley!"  yikes, i guess i better look these singers up before i work any more of these concerts this summer.  ryan and i were joking about how i had no idea what dierks bentley looked like, yet his face is printed ginormous on the sides of the trucks that were right next to me!  it was pretty funny.  anyone else would have been falling all over him, yet there i was half asleep at that hour of the night.  ha!

we were both on lighting crew for this show which was nice, because i love it when ryan and i are both are on the same crew, but as it turned out we really didn't get to work together much at all since we were each at different stations.  oh well, maybe for the next show!

^a line up of tour trucks early in the morning, ready to be unloaded.^

^i spy with my little eye, a ryan!  can you find him?^
^between sets, ryan took a minute to run out to snap a picture during the opening act.^
^ryan frequently ends up with guitar picks after concerts.  it's pretty cool how he has a collection of concert picks, shirts, and silks (the working badges) from all of the years he has worked there.  i keep saying we have to do something cool with all of them.^
love, laurie