Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Matt entered the MTC on Wednesday. I was proud of myself for keeping my emotions somewhat in check.
I honestly think Matt had a harder time saying goodbye to our dogs than he did anyone in our family :)
To keep my mind off missing Matt and stay happy, I got to spend the afternoon with this smile. :) We went to the mall and she enjoyed playing on the rides at the food court.
(I was intrigued by the wording of this sign.)

We bought a S'more from Mrs. Cavanaugh's. She also sported her new sparkly flip flops we bought that morning at Old Navy and, although you can't see it, a pair of earrings that match her flip flops. I know I've said it before, but I sure love spending time with this girl.

Family Pictures

What an ordeal! My mom wanted pictures of the whole family before Matt left on his mission. In addition to trying to coordinate all of us getting together at the same time, she wanted our outfits coordinated as well. Everything with our family is crazy, and the photo sitting was no different. I think the photographer probably got tired of our sarcastic comments and uncontrollable laughter, but it was still a fun day, topped off with a delicious dinner at Fridays.

Friday, June 26, 2009

SYTYCD Results Thoughts

Good work, judges (and voters). Asuka and Jonathan deserved to go home. They were both good dancers, but their time had come. Now next week we can concentrate on getting rid of Phillip. I'm still undecided on which girl I want to go next, although I have decided to officially claim Melissa as my favorite.  And Brandon is probably still my favorite guy, but that means I have yet to find a favorite couple.

What were your thoughts and reactions to last night's results show?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SYTYCD Thoughts

To save time, I'm just blogging while I watch tonight's episode of SYTYCD that my roommate was kind enough to record. I'll be typing fast, so please excuse the grammar and spelling. And if you need clarification just ask :)

Karla and Jonathan
Dave Scott—Hip Hop
*He looks so awkward! But she's doing really well.
*They seem disconnected as a partnership. Like 2 separate people dancing.
*Don't love the choreography either, not very original. Either use the hats as a prop or don't
*Partner work, like the lean, looked really forced and difficult and SAFE.

Judges...Nigel-I agree completely. Mary-ditto. Toni-Oh boy. This lady is a weirdo. I remember her from past seasons. She has an odd way of phrasing things but I still agree.

Asuka and Vitolio
Mandy Moore—Jazz
*Mandy just said, “thrash rocker jazz”... I'm excited!
*Really beautiful straddle lift at beginning to start off with
*It's good...not great. But good.
*The straddle again!
*Synchronization in floor work a little lacking
*Awesome jump Vitolio!
*All the lifts were great

Nigel-A little too enthusiastic, but true. Mary-There we go! I agree with her. Thanks for pointing out their off timing and proving me right. :) Toni-I agree about their potential.

Melissa and Ade
Tony Meredith—Rumba
*Wow she's wearing like nothing
*I don't know how to critique rumbas. They bore me.
*I take that back! Holy leg back extension turn under thing! That was unreal.
*I struggle with ballroom, but I really like these two. And this routine was a pleasant surprise!

I'll just trust the judges on this one.

Janette and Brandon
Dave Scott—Hip Hop
*Let's hope this is good because I love these two
*Much more creative than Scott's last one.
*Love how Brandon looks like he could just be walking down the street in that outfit
*I LOVE the coordination of the moves while keeping the two styles obvious
*Definitely a fan

Nigel-Yeah, Brandon really was impressive. Mary- Stop using the phrase, “Yes I do.” But I agree with the point you're making. Toni-Right on about the juxtaposition. And I remember this lady likes the term “street.”

Kayla and Kupono
Jon Marc Genereaux—Vienese Waltz (I have no clue how to spell his name or this dance)
*Another one of my favorites coming up with Kayla but Kupono is bugging me.
*Really pretty, I always like Jon Marc's choreography
*She looks weightless in the lifts
*I really liked it! I wish it were longer.

Nigel-I agree, it was very beautiful. But I disagree, I would stand up and cheer. Mary-Yes! Believable is the word I was looking for. Justly deserved Hot Tamale Train appointment. Toni-Stop talking.

Randi and Evan
Mia Michaels—Contemporary
*Thank goodness she got rid of at least one shoe. She looked like she was having trouble walking.
*Oh and there goes the other!
*Evan is a man of many talents.
*They look like they're both off their center or something, although I like the routine
*I feel bad saying anything negative about a Mia Michaels routine, but it wasn't my favorite.

Nigel-Really? I didn't think that it was that beautifully danced. Although good point about how the simple “butt” idea leads to the possibility of many different stories in the viewers' minds. Mary-They weren't that terrific. They ARE terrific dancers, but they could have done better with this routine. Toni-Heck yes you'd be hoping to pull Mia's name. Can you imagine working with Mia Michaels? Although she's wearing weird glasses tonight.

Caitlin and Jason
Jean Marc & France Genereux--Pasa Doble (at least I can spell the choreographer this time around since they put it up on the screen!)
*I absolutely love her
*Look at that step up onto his knee!
*This is such a powerful form of dance
*Some of the footwork is a little sloppy
*All their lifts are phenomenal though.
*I think I only liked this because I like these dancers so much. I kind of think they could have done better.

Nigel-I see what you mean about Jason's performance and the connection between them. Mary-I hate agreeing with Mary because she's so annoying, but I do. Toni- “Lived with the music” what an interesting phrase.

Jeanine and Phillip
Tyce Diorio—Broadway
*I'm really not looking forward to this. I don't like Phillip
*I keep forgetting I can fast forward through these commercials lol
*You can always count on Tyce for entertainment
*Phillip is holding his own.
*I've never noticed Jeanine before but she's a pretty dancer.
*That was a fun routine

Nigel-That's so funny that he made Phillip show his ripped pants! That's some very honest advice for Phillip, though he did do better than I was expecting. Mary-Her little sayings are so ridiculous. She wasn't allergic to the routine? Yet again though, I find myself agreeing with her. Toni-Also some good comments.

Wrap-up: I wasn't overly impressed or touched by any one routine tonight, but my favorites were probably Janette & Brandon, Melissa & Ade, and Kayla & Kupono. Least favorite routines were Karla & Jonathan and Randi & Evan, although I'd be happy if Phillip and Asuka went home tomorrow.

I'll give you my reaction after Thursday night's results.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week in (long) Review

I know you'll all be heartbroken, but I'm still waiting on a recording of SYTYCD, so you'll have to wait for my thoughts until later :) But I did want to update you on my fun and event-filled week.

Last Sunday Matt gave his farewell talk in church. There was a great turnout and I was especially grateful for my friends who came to support me by supporting him. (I'm sure there's a better way to phrase that, but meh!) He did a great job, which is no surprise, but it also helped me see him for as mature and prepared he is. I know the fact that he's leaving will hit soon enough, but for now I am just so excited for him and this wonderful opportunity he's about to embark upon. Not to mention the excitement I feel for the people of Mozambique who will soon get to enjoy his company!

An additional fun spot of the farewell was having my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dennis in town. My aunt tells me I don't blog enough. I tried explaining that I don't yet have the internet at my apartment, but she wasn't accepting that as an excuse :) So, I will try and blog more frequently. Just for her.

The next day was a rare Monday when I got off early from work, which worked out well because when Adiel moved she left me her bed, and her family was planning on being at her old place Monday afternoon to pack stuff up. It was crazy trying to coordinate everything with so many people through texts, but eventually my brother and brother-in-law took care of everything for me and now I've made the spoiled move from sleeping on a twin bed to living on a king. :) I'll post picks when I get all of my bedding bought.

I'm being verbose and we're not even at the week's halfway point! I'm realizing that the best thing about how busy the musical is keeping me is the fact that it brings me within a mile of Jen's house 4 times a week. And she's so hospitable! Whether it's letting me run in to use her bathroom, feeding me dinner, or just letting me sit down and get off my feet for a few minutes, I have thoroughly enjoyed the increase in time I've been able to spend with her the past two weeks. Additionally, rehearsals for the musical are going well. Sometimes I can't read the director well enough to know if my choreography is what she was invisioning, so I spend a lot of time second-guessing myself. As comfortable as I feel choreographing, this Musical Theater is a whole new world, but one that I'm quickly learning to enjoy.

With the birth of Jen's 5th child and only 2nd girl, I was afraid that I would start to let my relationship with Princess slip because of the novelty of Rosebud. But I think I've been so focused on keeping that from happening that I over-compensated and left my nephews behind. As a result, I've set a goal to start spending more one-on-one time with them, and it seemed logical to start at the top. Thursday I got off work early again and had set up a date with my oldest nephew. A few years ago I took him to the City Library for his birthday and had so much fun because we both just lose ourselves around books. I needed to get another LSAT prep book from Barnes and Noble and I invited him to come with me. As soon as we walked in the door, he said "The library and Barnes and Noble, or any bookstore, are my favorite places to be." Ah... kindred spirits :) After buying a few books, we finished off the evening with dinner at IHOP.

As happy as I've been to spend more time with Jen's family because of the musical, I've really been missing Ashley and Jess and their newest additions. Thursday's rehearsal ended "early" (closer to 9:15 than 10) and I was thrilled when I called and Ashley and Nic were still awake. I drove up and saw their baby for the first time since Sunday! She's so adorable and miniature! Even though it was a short visit, it felt so good to see them.

Friday was an extremely busy day at work, and then I left straight after getting off to drive down to Jessica's house. We shopped and then watched Fired Up. That is definitely a "teen" comedy, but I thought it was hilarious! If you know the cheerleading world at all, this movie is ironically accurate. I don't think Ty got what was so funny, but Jess and I spent the full 2 hours laughing hysterically.

Now I need to go get ready for family pictures! That should be an interesting ordeal :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All around me...Change

For everything you have missed,
you have gained something else,
and for everything you gain,
you lose something else.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Feels like I'm learning the truth of Emerson's words lately. It's like my life is teetering on this careful balance of loss and gain and it's the only thing keeping me from going off the deep end. You all know about the end of my time coaching, which is sad but I've pretty much moved on--mainly because I've been forced to. Before I could really notice the free time created by no longer coaching, I was thrown full-force into rehearsals for the musical. It's only been a week, but I can see that the next two months are going to be insane. My schedule is basically straight from work to rehearsal Monday-Thursday. Despite my lack of sleep and increased driving time, I'm really enjoying myself so far.

Another major loss/gain situation in my life happened this last week as well. Adiel had a great opportunity enter her life and took off for California on Monday. For the last 15 months Adiel and I have gone through a lot together. I wasn't quite sure how I'd deal with the adjustment of not seeing her everyday. My answer came this Thursday when I became an aunt for the 7th wonderful time. Since Jess moved, I've noticed that it takes a lot more time to be the aunt I want to be when not all of my nieces and nephews are living under the same roof. However, the reward is well worth the time spent.

I know I'm not fully saying everything I mean, but I guess my point is just that life has a way of working itself out. That's a lesson I seem to learn over and over again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And so it begins

If you've followed my blog for ten months or so, you will know that my favorite blog topic in the summer is So You Think You Can Dance (henceforth referred to as SYTYCD). With the first elimination out of the way, I figured it was time you all heard from the opinionated World of Wendell. Since I'm writing this a long time after the fact, this post won't be as specific as what you'll come to expect from me...

I love the Top 20 show each season. That is when I just sit back, emotionally detached from the unknown dancers, and wait for someone to stand out. The first episode is usually when I pick a few favorites that I'll stand by throughout the season until I decide my liking of them was premature. I had heard a lot of talk (mainly from the judges during Vegas week) about how this season had the best Top 20 dancers of any previous season. Needless to say, I was expecting a lot.

I won't go so far as to say that I was disappointed, because I wasn't. But for the first several numbers my thoughts were "This is good choreography. Those are good dancers." But nothing more involved than that. Good dancing isn't enough for me. I mean sure--it's enjoyable, but I need a dancer to really touch me before I'll claim them as a favorite.

The first dance was a Tabitha and Napoleon hip hop performed by Jeanine and Phillip. I love, love, LOVE everything that Tabitha and Napoleon come up with, and the same holds true for this routine. But the dancers were nothing special. I'll go so far as to say that I don't think Phillip should be in the Top 20.

Next up, Asuka and Vitolio performed a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine. I usually really enjoy Tyce's work, but I was bored by this number. It was done fine for what it was, but I didn't find it overly creative or original.

Karla and Jonathan followed with a Cha Cha by Tony Meredith. Bored again.

I was looking forward to Randi and Evan, because Adiel had dubbed them a favorite. They didn't dissapoint with their jazz, choreographed by Tyce. I really loved the routine but still felt no overwhelming connection to the dancers. (Am I sounding repetitive yet?)

Paris and Tony followed with another Tabatha and Napolean number that I also didn't enjoy. Let me pause here and clarify something. I know I'm sounding overly harsh. I really was impressed by both the dancing and the choreography on Wednesday night. I just wanted so badly for something to grab me as memorable and defining, and I wasn't finding that with the first five couples.

However, everything changed with Caitlin and Jason dancing their Bollywood routine by Nakul Dev Mahajan. I have high expectations of Bollywood because of Katie and Joshua's fabulous debut of the style last season, and I wasn't disappointed. Right toward the beginning of the routine, Caitlin went into a handstand with bent legs and flexed feet, then straightened her knees and pointed her toes. Those 3 movements sent chills down my body. (By the way, that's how I identify a routine I connect with...those chills tell me everything I need to know.) I was thoroughly engaged in that routine. I have liked Caitlin since auditions, and I'll now claim her as a favorite.

Janette and Brandon's Fox Trot by Louis van Amstel was good. I love Brandon and think I'll enjoy anything he does this season.

I was so happy to see Wade Robson back with a routine for Ashley and Kupono! Sometimes Wade gets a little weird, but I thoroughly enjoyed this jazz number. I think, too, that the concept really struck me. The idea of living your life as though you've never been hurt is one I should adopt :) I thought this partnership really worked and I'll be interested to see how much I like them when they don't have choreography put on them that I already so fully enjoy.

Mandy Moore's contemporary routine was exactly what I had waited all night for. Melissa and Ade were absolutely stunning. During auditions, I got bothered that Melissa was always in a tutu, because it seemed a bit overkill. But my goodness how her ballet training has paid off. I teared up watching this number and I think it might have found itself a spot on my list of all-time SYTYCD favorites.

Kayla and Max were in a tough spot, following Melissa and Ade, but they held their own just fine. I'm not usually a fan of any of the ballroom numbers, but I was so impressed with this Samba by Louis van Amstel. All in all, the last four couples stole the show for me.

So I had no problem watching Paris and Tony go home on Thursday night. More to come next week...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week in Review

Believe it or not, I don't feel like writing a whole lot today. These first two pictures are from Monday's end-of-year assembly at Kearns. For those of you who don't know, this is mine and Adiel's last year coaching, so Monday was an emotional day. However, I was proud of how the girls performed.My youngest nephew, Jedi a la Jen's blog had his birthday while Matt and I were driving home from Iowa. So I finally made it up to him by offering to take him to the new Night at the Museum movie. We took along his two older brothers and had a blast. If you know me at all, you know that I can't say no to my Princess. So in order to keep her from feeling sad that she was missing out on the movie with the boys, I promised her a girls night after I got back. We had fun at Dairy Queen, but I need to remember that four year olds should start their evening activities before 9pm :) She got a little tuckered out.

End of year routine from Adiel C on Vimeo.

Here's part of my girls' routine if you're interested in watching.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day Off!

Woohoo! By some stroke of fate I got scheduled off of work today. I slept in, which I greatly needed, and then headed over to my parents' house where I picked up Matt and we headed down to visit Jess for lunch. She made some delicious sloppy joes, and then we continued on down to BYU to drop off an invitation for Matt's farewell to one of our old seminary teachers. We were pretty bummed that she wasn't in her office, but it was good to be around campus again. Our plan had been to then go to the Timpanogos Temple, but we were disappointed to find out that it was closed for maintenance. I took Matt up to my mom's work and then headed back down to Jessica's place. We ate yummy chicken enchiladas and now we're watching Felicity.

Actually, in this episode, they're graduating and parting paths and it's making me sad. Lol in light of recent events it's making me too emotional, so I'm going to stop blogging and focus on crying instead :) Okay, I probably won't cry, but who knows?