Luna’s First Musical and a Review of Rudolph

Last night, I was able to take Luna to her very first musical. For the first time, Luna was invited to review a show with me at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. We dressed up (coordinating, obviously), packed many baby emergencies in the diaper bag and even watched a TV version of the musical we would be watching. What show did we attend you ask? Why, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, of course!

It's almost impossible to keep her still for a photo lately. This was the best I could get of our festive outfits.
It’s almost impossible to keep her still for a photo lately. This was the best I could get of our festive outfits.

Even though I was super pumped to introduce her to one of my most favorite forms of art, I went in assuming I would only see half the show. It is an almost two hour show after all. I packed some snacks, water and a quiet toy to keep her busy, and sat at the end of the aisle so I’d be prepared to run out with a crying baby. Much to my surprise and delight, Luna was the best freakin’ baby ever! We NEVER had to get up and she seemed to really enjoy the show! She danced, bounced to the music, clapped and really watched the characters as they moved all over the stage. Even if the show was awful, it gets a good review simply for keeping a 10 months entertained.

so excited for the show to start!
so excited for the show to start!

The good news is, it wasn’t awful. As the little girl announced behind me as we exited the theater, “that show was adorable!” And, it was. The characters all looked and even sounded exactly like the characters from the classic cartoon that we will all forever remember fondly from our childhood. Can you believe it’s 50 years old??? Rudolph’s nose shines brightly, the reindeer really do fly, the abominable snowman is BIG and scary and the narrator, Sam the Snowman, remains the best character. It was nostalgic for us grown-ups and apparently good as new for all the little people. The theater was full of kids and I only saw one that had to leave in the middle of the show. The set was very impressive and the puppets were so cool! They reminded me of the puppets used in the Finding Nemo musical at Disney World.

This chic does not dig Santa....
This chic does not dig Santa….

The bad news is, the story is just as strange as it always was. As a child, I remember the story of Rudolph fondly. Poor Rudolph is teased for being different, which is a storyline we can all relate to one way or another. He finds his own group of misfit friends, learns to like himself, use his difference as a strength and grows up to be a happy successful reindeer. Yay, Rudolph! As an adult, Rudolph is a much sadder story. He Dad is so ashamed of his son for looking different. Santa has no faith in him. The other reindeer kids are bullies and even the coach treats him like an outcast. It’s kind of shocking. At one point Rudolph returns to his home to reunite with his family after being gone for months and months and Santa is all like “tough luck kid, they’ve been gone looking for you and now I might not have your Dad to pull my sleigh, thanks a lot.” Hardly anyone cares at all about Rudolph until they find out he can do something for them. In a way, I guess it’s a reflection of real life. Few friends are hard to come by.

The one theme that still rings true is that the character trait that makes you feel like an outcast is what makes you unique. Being different isn’t bad. You just have to learn to use your gift to add some brightness to the world, like Rudolph.

We had a great night out and I am so happy that Luna loved the show! If you are interested in seeing Rudolph at TPAC, which plays from December 16th through December 21st, checkout the ticket options here. If you want to see the tour dates of this traveling musical take a look at their schedule here.

Enjoy the show!

Cheers!

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Yay for New Traditions and Discounts!

Now that December has arrived so has the start of our many holiday traditions. I have always been big on celebrating Christmas and creating new traditions while continuing old ones, but it takes on a whole new level of festiveness now that we have Luna. Two days into December and we have already pulled out the decorations, listened to holiday music all day everyday, done some serious Christmas shopping, read a Christmas book, taken family pictures, started an advent calendar, drank cocoa and of course, began watching Christmas movies… a favorite being Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

lovies

big guy

You all remember this classic, right? The stop-motion animated movie with the squeaky voice Rudolph who learns that his unique nose that causes him to feel like an outcast is actually what makes him special? Heart-warming, right? And, somehow, after all of these years, the stop-motion, the story and the music all remains as popular as ever. It’s timeless. And, speaking of time, it’s actually the 50th anniversary of Rudolph. And, I just learned the TV series has been turned into a stage musical! AND, it’s coming to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center!!!

rudolph elf

I am of course going to the show (and hopefully taking Luna as well, fingers crossed she’s in a good mood!), and I’ll be writing a review as well, but I needed to write this post in advance. You know how much I love TPAC, theatre and supporting the arts. I am constantly telling you all to get off your bums and see show, visit local museums, hit up the crafts fairs and whatnot? Well, the powers that be at TPAC have informed me that they are offering a special deal for tickets for this show, leaving you with no excuse to miss it!

Use the code “BUMBLE” to get 25% off select seating for the Tuesday-Thursday performances. NOW, you seriously have no excuse to not see this show. Take your kids, dress in your cheesy Christmas sweaters, drinks some cocoa and start a new tradition! I’ll be there Tuesday night and hope to see you there! Buy your tickets here, and if you are not locals, then check out the tour schedule here.

Happy Holidays from me and TPAC, cheers!

Black Friday and Family

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Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkey!

Right this second, I am sitting in the backseat of my Mom’s SUV on the way to Houston for our annual Black Friday shopping trip. We’ve already hit up Target and Starbucks and I am SO pumped for a day full of shopping. It’s also Luna’s first experience, and while I’m excited to share this tradition with her, I have to also remind myself of what makes this “holiday”, as well as all the others, meaningful.

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While Black Friday is completely materialistic and probably part of the problem with Christmas becoming more and more about stuff, I can’t help but enjoy it. I love the tradition, the time with my Mom, sister, aunt, cousin and husband, the coffee, walking, Christmas music, crowds, list making and Mexican food lunch. Its more about the experience than the stuff, but we get a lot of stuff too. The problem is that Husband and I are hoping to teach Luna to appreciate the holidays for more than the gifts. So, how can I continue my love for Black Friday and also teach Luna to not be too materialistic?

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My best idea is to focus on giving. The holidays should be about giving. So each year we will make lists for people we love, and search for gifts to give. We will think about people who need some holiday cheer and shop for them too. If we find a gift we have to have then we will find something we already own to giveaway. We have too much stuff as it is, so I’m more than happy to give much of it away.

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When we aren’t giving, we will focus on family. We will take selfies with our Starbucks, eat together, help each other pick out gifts, make lots of memories and sing some Christmas carols off key.

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Mmmm first bite of meat!

I know, we will never give up Black Friday or shopping or caring about stuff, but I hope I can at least teach Luna that there’s so much more to the holiday season than the media and retail industry wants us to believe. I’m so thankful I have this little girl here to constantly remind me to be a better person.

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What do you think of Black Friday? Yay or nay? How do you shop for the holidags?

Happy Black Friday and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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Cheers!

The Past Week

Today is the first day, The VERY First Day, that we have our house all to ourselves in about two months. It’s glorious. I have spent much of the day doing fantastic things like washing sheets, paying bills, cleaning counters and writing thank you cards, but it still feels like a small vacation. We LOVE having guests, we really do, but ooooooh is it nice when the house is quiet. And, let’s face it…it won’t be quiet for long.

We will probably have more friends visit soon and even more once Luna arrives, but until then here are some snippets from our friends and family the last week…

We had a late family Christmas with our family who came to visit from Pittsburgh and we ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate…

family dinner

After driving all day then stuffing my belly/baby I need to lie down… I love this photo someone caught of my big belly with Husband in the background.

34 weeks bump

We celebrated Zoey’s birthday at Sky High – Trampoline Park!

zoey and heidi

I couldn’t jump so I made my own fun by snapping photos of everyone else.

peterandparker

All the girl cousins in a group hug before we say goodbye.

grouphug

And, we just had to stop for ice cream when it was only 8 degrees outside.

ice cream

Until next time…

Cheers!

Shangri La’s Holiday Stroll

While in Texas we wanted to use our family time to create some new memories and Christmas traditions, so we decorated cookies, watched a light show at a local church, made a bonfire with smores and checked out the local botanical gardens for the very first time. The Shangri La Botanical Gardens has been around for a while, but none of us have ever checked it out. With a little bit of research we learned that not only are they open during the holidays, but they have a special “evening holiday stroll” event right after Christmas.

shangrila holiday strolls

Even at night, the gardens were stunning! We were so impressed with the layout, the landscape, the dozens of Christmas trees, the thousands of lights and the staff was incredible. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, it may for a very cheerful evening.

nativity me

 

We didn’t get a ton of pictures of all the lights and scenes. I guess we were too busy just looking at them with my friends and my family. We spent a full two hours walking around, drinking hot cocoa and taking group photos. I even ran into a very good childhood friend of mine who happens to work at the gardens! It was an awesome night.

hot cocoa and cookies
hot cocoa and cookies
My sister's family
My sister’s family
Friends!
Friends!
So precious!
So precious!
My family
My family

Two more years and we will return with an even bigger crowd!

Cheers!

Little Holiday Snippets

Christmas may be over, technically, but I have too many cute photos and stories to not share them. Our Texas vacation is coming to an end soon, but it has been so nice to have over a week of non-rushed holiday family and friend time. It is so rare that we come to visit and aren’t running from activity to activity and then hopping on a plane back home. For once, we got to do simple stuff together and just enjoy everyone’s company.

We took my nephew  to the mall with all of us and watched him take his first photo with Santa. OMG, watching kids take Santa photos is HILARIOUS. The kids who cry and are terrified of Santa make the best photos.

first santa

What a lil' trooper
What a lil’ trooper

Of course, Micah was then forced to accompany us to Starbucks and Target for some last minute gift getting…gotta teach em’ when they’re young!

mom and micah happy baby

Sorry, I tend to go a little overboard when taking photos of Micah…

target

our drinks

All tuckered out after a long morning of Santa, Starbucks and shopping. Maybe I should have shared some of my latte.
All tuckered out after a long morning of Santa, Starbucks and shopping. Maybe I should have shared some of my latte.

At my parent’s house we even decorated sugar cookies together… I’m pretty sure this is the first time we have done since I was in Elementary school. If you read my post about our “cookie decorating party”, than you know my skills are extremely limited. And, now you can learn that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Husband and my Dad have better decorating skills then us girls do.

sugar cookies sprinkles making cookies

Micah even had his first taste of icing!

icing

Can’t wait to share our photo’s from Shangri La, family/friend picture day and my baby shower (which is tomorrow)! There’s just too much to look forward to this week!

Cheers!

Holiday Hangover

Anyone else still recovering from Christmas? I can’t even drink, but the amount of food I’ve consumed and excitement we’ve had has put me in a Christmas coma. It’s the 27th and I just now have a little bit of time and energy to edit some photos and write about how awesome my Christmas in Texas has been over the last week. We spend every other Christmas in Texas with my family, and this year is my nephew’s very first Christmas! Needless to say, it was full of adorableness.

annual parade
me and my nephew watching the parade together

It is also the first holiday season without my MawMaw, which means we have lost some of our family traditions, but at the same time we are creating some new ones that will soon become the traditions for our own kids. To really put a spin on things this year, my Bro-in-law had to work in Dallas on Christmas Eve and fly in Christmas morning to be with us. So our Christmas morning was slow to start, which turned out to be really nice and relaxing.

pawpaw

We ate breakfast, stay in our PJ’s, sipped our coffee and I taught Micah, the nephew, all about the very important tradition of watching Disney’s Annual Christmas Parade.

relaxing

Look at that adorable little Santa butt!
Look at that adorable little Santa butt!

My Mom makes seafood gumbo, potato salad, green salad, fruit salad and rolls every single year for Christmas dinner, and this year we all helped cooked and had everything ready before we even opened the gifts from Santa.

Gift opening was perfect. Even though Micah is too young to actually open his gifts or care about anything except the wads of ripped paper on the floor, it was really fun for us to give him gifts and take a billion photos.

first christmas

Besides, Micah’s gifts the rest of us seemed to have read each other’s minds when it comes to gift giving. My Mom and Dad each gave each other a new tablet, my Mom, sister and I all got new purses. My Mom searched literally all over the country to get me a BCBG coat that I have been dying to have, but couldn’t find anywhere.  AND, my sister, myself and my Mom all ended up making each other a very special gift from my Grandma.

ipad
dad opening his ipad

BCBG mom

My sister and I were super excited about making a framed picture of one of my Mom’s favorite quotes from my Grandma’s journal. Husband had the great idea to print it over a page copied from her journal, and with a little Photoshop it turned out beautiful.

to mom

After receiving the gift, my Mom disappeared for a minute and came back with two extra gifts for me and my sister. She said she had planned on saving them for my baby shower, but couldn’t wait any longer. Turns out that she found 2 poems in one of my Grandma’s spiral that no one has even seen yet. One was written for a daughter (probably for my Mother), and the other was written for a child (obviously a boy, and mostly likely written for my MawMaw’s 8 sons). My Mom had the poems printed and framed to go into our kids’ nurseries. It was the perfect gift, and it felt like a gift directly from my MawMaw.

All three framed quotes and poems.
All three framed quotes and poems.
The poem that will hang in Luna's room.
The poem that will hang in Luna’s room.

Perfect Christmas. Even the dogs has special treats.

belle leia

The rest of the day was spent stuffing our faces, having family stop by to visit and we even made time for some family exercising. (Luckily, it was relief day on Shaun T’s the Asylum).

relief

I hope each of you had an awesome Christmas, holiday, festivus, or whatever you celebrate. I hope to keep posting through the New Year, but with 2 baby showers, a drive back to TN, a New Year’s trip to the Mountains and a second family Christmas over the next week…who knows what will happen! Have a safe, wonderful and fun New Year, just in case I don’t see ya!

The last Christmas with just the two of us!
The last Christmas with just the two of us!

Cheers!