The Bridges of Madison County at Dallas Summer Musicals

Bridges of Madison County
This new Two-Time Tony Award winning musical production is based on one of my favorite romantic books and movies of all time, “The Bridges of Madison County”.  It was created by one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams with music and lyrics by Three-Time Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown and based on the best selling novel by Robert James Waller.  It opened February 2nd and runs through February 14th.bridges of madison county finalHere’s the plot if somehow you missed seeing the incredibly romantic 1995 movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep:  It’s the story of  star crossed lovers  Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride living on an Iowan farm in 1965 with her nice but boring husband Bud and their two rambunctious teenage children Michael and Carolyn.  When the husband and kids leave her at home for four days to go to the State Fair to show Carolyn’s prize steer guess who shows up for dinner?  The extremely handsome, sexy, worldly, and rugged photographer, Robert Kincaid.  He stops at her farm to ask directions to one of the famous covered bridges of Madison County that he’s photographing for his magazine, National Geographic.  She invites him in for iced tea and the rest is their story of desire, love, lost dreams, hope, and sense of duty.Bridges of Madison BridgeBrown’s musical score is fresh and a total delight.  It’s a mixture of country, operatic, and folk which might sound odd but it works.   Elizabeth Stanley’s (Francesca) operatic voice is absolutely beautiful and Andrew Samonsky (Robert) vocals were for me, perfection.   Remember that name, because I predict we will see much more of this wonderful singer and performer.  I also loved the sets.  You really feel what it must be like to live in the flatlands of Iowa in the ’60’s by the bare but creative use of scenery.

This is not only a wonderful date night production to take your significant other to but is also a great “chick” musical.  And remember Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!!  This musical will make you laugh, swoon, and will break your heart – but in a good way.bridgesSingle tickets for THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016. Dallas Summer Musicals Management Group, Inc. will also present the Broadway hit musical MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, February 27 & 28, 2016 for a limited engagement.

 

Discovery Channel’s True Crime Series “Killing Fields” featuring Forensic’s Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you had followed your dream of being an actress or an astronaut, etc?   Forensic Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan not only achieved her lifelong dream of being a forensics expert after she became a mom but she’s now being featured on The Discovery Channel’s new true crime TV series “Killing Fields”.  “Real Posh Mom” participated in a recent question and answer session with Lori about her life as a forensics expert and how she juggles her career and family.

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But first here are the details about this exciting new series “Killing Fields”.  It’s on Tuesday nights at 10/9c PM, and is Discovery Channel’s first-ever true crime series.   I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” HBO’s “The Jinx” or “True Detective” so this is definitely a series that I will be checking out.  It is uniquely Discovery with an exploratory feel tracing the criminal investigation in real time.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

The story follows homicide detectives as they reopen the case of a young woman found in the Louisiana swamp lands, a body dump site, where the forces of nature often erase evidence of a crime. Tormented by an unfulfilled promise to solve the 1997 homicide investigation, Detective Rodie Sanchez comes out of retirement to rework the case that has haunted him for the past 18-years. Armed with cutting edge investigative technologies, Rodie puts together a top-notch team including Detective and forensics expert Lori Morgan.

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Originally a stay-at-home mother, after her children were in school, Lori sought a new challenge and went on to earn her degree in forensics.  Lori is often first to hop into her vehicle to attend to a crime scene in the show. She is the liaison with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and is tasked with the job of finding a piece of evidence that can be used in conjunction with modern day forensics to help solve a case.  We had a chance to catch up with her and ask her about what it’s like to be chasing killers, while balancing life at home with her family.  Here is what she had to say:

What drew you to the field of Forensics?

I was always interested in the field of Forensics – even before I even knew what it was. When growing up, my brother and I would read stories about crimes and serial killers.  While most kids shy away from that kind of stuff, or be a little afraid, that wasn’t in our case.  But interestingly enough, even though I was so interested in that as a kid, I didn’t go into this business when I first went to college.

Was it hard making a career switch later on in life?

The challenge was finding a degree program that would work into my life with my family. I never wanted to take away too much time with them to study or be in class. The hardest part about studying was that I usually had to study late at night, after my children went to bed. Some nights I was so tired that I would just have to throw in the towel and wake up super early to study. I also tried to get as much studying done while my kids were at school.

What is it like to have a full-time job as detective and a busy family life at home?

My days are packed — working full time and then going home to try and have quality time with my three teenagers and a husband. That in and of itself is a big challenge.

Are your kids interested in following in your career footsteps?

So far, no. None of my children have expressed an interest in Forensics. They see how much I love my career but they also see the late nights and long hours that doesn’t have very much monetary compensation. I tell my children that their career choice should be something they have passion for because the money aspect of it will only keep them happy for a limited time.

Was it strange to have a TV crew following you around in your daily routines?

When we first began the project, I don’t think any of us realized the magnitude of it all. In the beginning, it was strange but now we’ve all gotten used to the crew. And we’re actually going to miss them when they leave.

Is working as a DNA detective just like CSI, True Detective or those other shows on TV?

Not exactly.  We don’t always get that perfect DNA profile to give a lead that will end up with an arrest or a suspect. There aren’t machines yet that draw up this beautiful fingerprint every time. A lot of times we have to deal with very small partial fingerprints that yield nothing, and the same goes with DNA. It’s only a 50-50 shot that you’re going to get that DNA profile, and then when you do get it, that person has to be in the national database system for you to even get a coded hit.

 Anything else you’d like to add?

The mystery deepens each week and the clues keep coming in.  Be sure to watch Tuesdays at 10/9c PM on the Discovery Channel.

Get to know Lori even better by watching YouTube Clip – Featuring Lori:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpLokB6MOr4

“KILLING FIELDS” reached a new high with 1.84 million viewers last week and has grown consistently each week across key demos. The series continues to build not just a large male audience but last week’s episode set new ratings highs for women as well as younger viewers. The series also has cemented Discovery as the #1 unscripted cable net in the 10/9c PM hour across key demos. Shot in real time, the season finale is on February 9 at 10/9c PM on Discovery

Sneak Peek Clip: Killing Fields – Episode 4 airing Tuesday, January 26 (FOR POSTING ONLINE)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZK_OOw8PWg

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Get Your Elf On with ELF The Musical!

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ELF The Musical opened last night at The Music Hall at Fair Park and will be playing from December 8-20!  Nothing will put you in the Christmas spirit like watching a grown man in an elf suit dancing, singing, and acting like he’s 10 years old!   This production is a wonderful opportunity for families of all ages to experience the spirit of Christmas with lots of laughter and fun!

If you are the only person on the planet that didn’t see the popular 2003 New Line Cinema movie starring the adorable Will Ferrell then here’s the plot:

Buddy is a young orphan child who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts on Christmas and is mistakenly flown back to the North Pole.  He’s raised as an elf, unaware that he is actually human (even though he’s at least 3 feet taller than his fellow elves and sucks at making toys).   When he questions Santa about rumors he’s heard from the other elves, Santa confesses the truth that he’s not an elf and tells him the story of how he ended up at The North Pole.  He sends him on a journey back to his native New York in search of his birth father and his true identity.   His father of course, is quite the workaholic Scrooge who doesn’t have time for his wife and young son much less getting to know his new 30 year old, “crazy” son who thinks he’s an elf and dresses in a hilarious green elf suit.  The rest of the story is about Buddy introducing his new family and all of New York to the spirit of Christmas!

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Buddy, is a pure delight to watch with his goofy, childlike merriment and pure innocence.  Okay he’s hyperactive and exudes pure sugar (literally) and is over the top in the spirit department but he ends up making friends everywhere he goes.  From his father’s publishing office workers and family, Macy’s Christmas Santa and elves, to the humorous and hardened New York policemen he encounters along his journey.  He even finds love with a disillusioned, beautiful young lady from LA who’s never seen snow much less believes in Santa Claus!

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The cast of actors are a delight to watch and hear.  The music is infectious and the dance numbers are fast, and upbeat!  I loved the opening scene where the elves are singing and dancing (on knee pads – so adorable!) and the musical number in Macy’s is a lot of fun too.  I think my favorite though is the really jazzy number that takes place in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve and features several depressed “fake” department-store Santas.  The songs are written by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, and based on a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

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ELF is fun Holiday entertainment!  Take the whole family – it’s time you find your “Inner Elf”!!

 

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Single tickets are from $20 – $104 and are on sale online at: DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at l.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542, Dallas, TX.

 

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, February 2-14, 2016; DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.

 

 

 

The Sound of Music Opens at Fair Park Music Hall

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NOVEMBER 3-22, 2015

AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

 

I didn’t really know what to expect before going to see the new production of The Sound of Music on the DSM Stage.   The movie version remains one of my very favorite musicals/movies of all time.  I love everything about it, the music, the romance, the scenery, and the true story of the von Trapp Family.   So I was a little nervous about seeing this new stage production.  How could the producers and director dare to remake such an iconic classic and expect devoted TSOM fans to approve of it?  Sometimes you just don’t mess with perfection right?  Well, not only were they successful in producing a wonderful stage version of the musical but I loved it from start to end.

 

The new production of The Sound of Music features the music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is directed by three time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien. It’s fun, fresh and gives more depth to the characters that we know and love.  What a great opportunity to introduce this wonderful musical to a whole new generation of theater goers!

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The production is full of extraordinary talent.  The lead of Maria Rainer is  Kerstin Anderson.  Ms. Anderson is a sophomore at Pace University and won the role over hundreds who auditioned.  She’s a very talented jewel who nailed the role on many levels.  And although it may be hard to imagine anyone except Julie Andrews in the role she does a great job and makes the role her own.  Ben Davis as Captain von Trapp gives a solid performance as a nicer, gentler version of the Captain.  Oh he’s still stern and strict in the beginning but softens quickly under Maria’s spell.  One of the real show stoppers in this product is the extremely talented Ashley Brown as Mother Abbess.  She has a voice that you can’t believe exists it’s so strong and beautiful.  Which brings me to the heart and soul of this musical and that are the Von Trapp children.  They are some of most incredibly talented young actors you will ever have the privilege to watch perform.  All seven of them are very well cast from the tiny Gretl to the very talented 16 year old (going on 17) Liesl played by Paige Silvester.  They are a total delight to watch.

sound of music photos

Loved the sets.  Designer Douglas W. Schmidt’s sets are really quite beautiful and contribute tremendously to the overall effect of the musical.  From the beautifully painted Alpine mountain backdrops to the lacy walls of the family mansion and the dark atmosphere of the convent, they are creative and burst with color.

There are a few things in the musical that are different from the original.  The production has added a couple of songs and left out a few scenes that the original had but don’t fret.  I actually didn’t miss them and had a hard time remembering what they were until later.  Our favorite songs are still a mainstay of the musical such as the title song of course “The Sound of Music”, My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “So Long, Farewell”, and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”.    (Personal note:  Thank you to my grade school music teacher Mrs. Kraft for teaching us to sing these show tunes and many others in music class.  It instilled in me a love for musical theater that lasts to this day.) sound of music photos.jpg2

In the song “Maria” there is a verse in which one of the nuns asks the question about Maria  “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”.  I believe that’s what they’ve achieved with this new production, they’ve caught a moonbeam in their hands.   Go see it and it will make you fall in love with the musical all over again, I promise.

Fun Facts:

  • 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version. One of the most successful movie musicals in history.
  • It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
  • The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin, opened on November 16, 1959.  It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of nine nominations. The original London production opened at the Palace Theatre on May 18, 1961.
  • When it came to the movie, Julie Andrews wasn’t the first choice for Maria.  The Producers wanted Grace Kelly or Doris Day to replace her because Andrews wasn’t a big star yet (Mary Poppins hadn’t come out yet).  Doris Day ruled herself out as “too American”.
  • The Sound of Music (1965) was an exceptionally successful film in the mid-1960s – at the time of its release, it surpassed Gone With the Wind (1939) as the number one box office hit of all time.
  • The Sound of Music was the last musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.
  • The von Trapps did escape Austria as the Nazis came to power, but they didn’t flee over the Alps, they got on a train to Italy and then traveled to America, where they had a concert tour scheduled. The day after they left, Hitler ordered the Austrian borders shut.
  • When the von Trapps came to America they settled in Stowe, Vermont. They opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which is operational to this day.

Sound of music jackie 2

Single tickets for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, from $25 – $106 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with ELF The Broadway Musical, December 8-20, 2015; THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, February 2-14, 2016; DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.

Dallas’ Northpark Center Celebrates 50 Years with Special Events!

Northpark 50 years

The iconic Northpark Center in Dallas, TX  recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary on August 22, 2015 and is celebrating this huge milestone with a series of unique and very fun events that you will not want to miss.  If you’re familiar with Northpark you know that it’s not just a shopping center, it’s a cultural experience!

First, here’s a little background on Northpark:  It was named as one of the “7 Retail Wonders of the Modern World” by Shopping Centers Today.  NorthPark Center is a luxury shopping experience with over 235 unique retailers, restaurants and legendary department stores, and a clientele from around the world.  NorthPark Center is also very unique because it also features an incredible display of art, architecture and landscaping throughout the mall.   The center has won countless awards, including the American Institute of Architects’ Best Design of the Decade, and features internationally-acclaimed 20th century artwork on display throughout the light-filled space and amid the 1.4-acre landscaped garden, CenterPark Garden.

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Here are some of the events that are happening at Northpark as part of their 50th Anniversary Celebration:

Northpark 50 years of fashion

FASHION EXHIBITION

Art Meets Fashion1965 – 2015
August 22, 2015 – January 3, 2016

A definite “must see”!   This exhibition features specific examples of dress that reflect the synergy between art and fashion from 1965 to the present. The exhibition includes The Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas (which is considered to have one of the most important historic fashion collections in the country).  The exhibition is located on Level One between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.  Garments on display include designs by Oscar de la Renta and Giorgio di’ Sant Angelo.

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Northpark fashion photos

Guided Tours
Saturday, October 10, 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm

Free guided tours of Art Meets Fashion: 1965 – 2015 with Texas Fashion Collection Director and Curator, Myra Walker.

RUNWAY SHOWS – Friday, October 9th and Saturday, October 10th

For the  schedule of runway shows go to:   http://www.northparkcenter.com/pages/northpark-northpark50-fifty-years-of-fashion

Reserve tickets for October 9 Runway Trend Presentation.

Seating for all shows is limited and must be reserved.

Northpark garden

 Saturday, October 17, 2015
7:00 PM, CenterPark Garden

NorthPark Center invites you to a free family concert in CenterPark Garden. Enjoy the magnificent 60-piece orchestra performing popular selections by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Gershwin, as well as scores from JawsPirates of the CarribeanFrozen and more. Open seating in CenterPark Garden. Reserved seating will be available on the Bread Winners patio by calling 214.303.0049.

ArtROCKS! 
Featuring a concert by Gravity Feed and a performance by Dallas Ballet Company

Sunday, October 18, 2015 
1 – 4PM, CenterPark Garden

Children can participate in hands-on art activities led by important artists from North Texas, including Joanne Cervantes, Nathan Green, Kelly Kroener, Annette Lawrence, Suzanne O’Brien, Shamsy Roomani, William and Thoele Sarradet, James Thurman, and more! The event open to the public, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Leo Villareal Exhibition
Coming Soon

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, two major works by Leo Villareal will be on view within the shopping center, including a newly commissioned piece inspired by his iconic Buckyball sculpture. His work can otherwise be found at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, The National Gallery in Washington D.C., and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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IN-STORE EVENTS

For a complete listing of the many “In Store” Events at North Park go to:

http://www.northparkcenter.com/pages/northpark-northpark50-fifty-years-of-fashion

“The Intern” Movie Review

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I loved “The Intern”!  I attended a preview of it last week by a special invitation from fellow Fashion Blogger Leah Frazier, and I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well-written, funny and relevant it was to adults of all ages.  The movie might be somewhat more impactful to the over 50 crowds who are retired or thinking about retirement but I think the 20 and 30 somethings will thoroughly enjoy it also.  They will be able to relate to the issues that they face in today’s world of  technology, the struggles of balancing career and families, and how women/men relationships have changed in the last few years.

Here’s the plot:  Ben is a successful businessman who is retired and a recent widower.  He’s a real go getter who tries to keep himself busy with new hobbies and activities but he’s really lost in the new world he’s found himself in.  He’s searching for something to fill the void in his life and he’s more than a little excited when he sees a flyer advertising for “Senior Interns” at a new fashion website.  Ben jumps into the opportunity feet first and what you find yourself watching next is a pure fun.

The Intern

Who would have thought years ago that the great, dramatic actor Robert De Niro who was known for roles in “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” would have become such a great comedic actor? And Anne Hathaway as the young, ambition driven CEO is a delight  to watch as always.    There are many great moments in the movie with the two of them playing off of their “reverse” roles as boss and intern and at the same time such sweetness to watching their relationship develop and grow.  There are also some hilarious scenes with Ben and the twentysomethings who work at the company who grow to love and respect Ben as a mentor and get into little trouble along the way..

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This movie is primarily about relationships, all different kinds of relationships.   “The Intern” is directed by Nancy Meyers who has given us some classic relationship movies such as “Baby Boom” and one of my all-time favorites “Somethings Gotta Give”.  “The Intern” explores the sometimes painful path that people take after their career and romantic relationships end.  It also examines the struggles that young people have balancing successful careers and families.  It gives us all hope that you can find relationships in the most unexpected places and times and you should never judge people by their age or sex.  Everyone has something to offer.  Relationships – isn’t that what life is all about?

‪#‎theinternmoviedallaswww.theinternmovie.com

Rating: PG-13 (for some suggestive content and brief strong language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Nancy Meyers
Written By: Nancy Meyers
In Theaters: Sep 25, 2015 Wide
Runtime: 2 hr. 1 min.

 

 

I’m Just Not Ready for Summer to End (and for Senior Year to Begin)


Summer don't end

I’m really not ready for this summer to end.  It’s not just because I love summer.  I do love our summer vacations (read my article about the importance of Family Summer Vacations on this blog) and I have always loved having my kids at home all summer.  I love the freedom of sleeping in, going to movies on weeknights, staying up late, etc.  But this summer I don’t want it to end even more than ever because I know once the summer break ends my sons’ last year of high school starts.

 

I have twin sons, Jack and Jared and their senior year starts next week.  I am pretty sure that it’s going to be the best year they have ever had.  Both boys are involved in lots of wonderful and amazing activities at school and they are really looking forward to their senior year.  They are more than ready for it but quite honestly I’m just not.  It makes it even harder having two children who will end their high school career at the same time.  I don’t get the luxury of easing into the empty nest world like mother of multiple children do.  (Although several  moms have told me that it really doesn’t get that much easier with each child, sorry.)

Cruise Jack and Jared 2015

The upcoming year is going to be hard for me as a mother because it’s going to be a series of lasts.   It’s going to be their last high school homecoming dance, football season, cross country meets, theater plays, and the multitude of church youth activities that we have been such a big part of.  It’s going to be my last year to make them breakfast and send them go to off to school every morning with a hug and a kiss and it’s going to be the last year that I get to see them every night and hear about their day.  (Ok, let’s get real here; I have boys so I don’t really hear that much about their day – boy moms I know you understand).

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I will be checking off all these lasts mentally throughout the year and I will be taking even more photos if that’s possible and I’m sorry guys but you will just have to deal with it.  I’m not going to complain about making lunches this year or how much you procrastinate on doing your homework, I promise.  I’m going to attend every high school event and happening so that I don’t miss ANYTHING, because I know this is it.  I don’t get to do this again.

I understand that after high school that they will be back for summer and holiday breaks but I also get that it will never be the same.  They will come back as young adults, more independent, and more removed from our world.  I know that I will survive and it will still be great but it will be different.  They will still be my boys and we will still love each other to the moon and back.

If I look forward to a year from now when they leave for college I admit that it is also kind of exciting to know that we will begin a series of firsts.  My husband and I will be moving them into their dorms, attending parent weekends, college football games, etc.  But in the meantime, several friends have told me to cherish every moment of their senior year because it goes by so fast.  I assure you that I will.  #motherofseniors #cryingthewholeyear #proudmom #can’twaittoseewhattheydo

Jackie and Jack Beach Final

I will be writing about Jack and Jared’s senior year throughout the upcoming year!  I hope that it might help in some small way other moms or dads who are taking the same journey now or in the near future.  Stay tuned!

Family Summer Vacations are Important Not Just Fun!

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It’s August and as summer vacation time begins to wind down I am more than a little emotional thinking about the last summer of my boy’s high school years.   We just got back from our annual summer family vacation and this time it was our family’s first cruise together.   Some years we have had big vacations (Florida, Colorado, California, Europe, New York, and DC) and others years we’ve taken shorter and closer to home summer vacations like San Antonio and Galveston.   But I have always made sure we do something to get away for a few days because I am a huge believer in the importance of family summer vacations.

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“We can’t afford it”, “I can’t take the time off from work” or “The kids are too busy with summer activities” are the standard excuses that most people give.   They may all be great reasons why you shouldn’t but there are many more reasons why you should.  But first,  I want to be specific here, it’s okay to go on trips with other families or friends sometimes but I believe that you will not get the same benefits from those trips.  I’m talking about your family, whether it’s both parents or a single parent and your kids (and not your kids’ friends tagging along to keep them entertained).   These trips should be about you and your core family and the time you spend bonding, sharing experiences. and getting to know your children even better.  They are forced to interact with you, no distractions like video games, TV, etc.  Some distractions are okay occasionally, but make sure you have rules about it.  We’re here to bond kids, okay?

Here are some of the many benefits that you and your family will gain:

  1. Your kids grow up really fast and won’t be kids forever….

My twin boys, Jack and Jared will be seniors in high school this year.  It seems like they were in grade school the day before yesterday.  If your kids are still really young it probably seems like time is crawling.  But believe me when I tell you  (and everyone else who has kids) that your time with them will fly by.  Don’t say to yourself that you will take a vacation when they’re older, or when we have more money, or use a million other excuses.  Just do it. There will be a time after they graduate from high school and have busy lives of their own when it just won’t happen.  Don’t allow them NOT to go on the family vacation.  You’re the parent here.

Family Photo San Antonio 2010.JPG2

I’ll be honest. some vacations will be more successful than others but here’s where planning skills come in.  That’s what we have the internet for!  Take in consideration your kids’ ages and select appropriate activities for them.  There are many websites available to help you plan that dream family vacation.

  1. Vacations mean spending quality time with your family

This is a huge benefit.  Families are consistently on the go. There’s work, school, sports and numerous other activities that distract you from each other.   Vacations force you to spend quality time together.   You will actually eat meals together and those are invaluable moments to get to know your children’s better.  Take advantage of it!

Cruise Jack and Jared 2015

  1. Vacations are about creating memories.

The big summer family vacations my family took when I was growing up are huge memories that I have from my childhood.  I may not remember everything that happened during the school year or the million things that my parents did for me throughout the year but I have precious memories from the vacations we took together as a family.  Surprisingly, I can remember so many things from the age of 5 when we made that classic family driving trip to the Grand Canyon and California.   I wouldn’t trade those trips for anything.  My father died when I was 9 years old and most of the memories I have of him are from the vacations we took as a family.

These are the memories that your children will remember years from now.  They will talk about the good things that happened on the trip and yes the bad things too.  Vacations are not always perfect but even some of the bad experiences can be learning moments and hopefully you can laugh about them later.   Take lots of photos and videos too because that will help embed those memories in your child’s mind.   I still love to look at my families’ old home movies.

  1. Vacations give you permission to relax and are healthy for you.

Parents and children constantly have their heads in work and school work.  Our kids have much more homework these days than we ever did as children.  They are under so much stress to keep up their grades to ensure they get into the colleges they want and to be involved in extracurricular activities.  Most families don’t even eat dinner together anymore.  Everyone is too busy going in different directions.   Go have fun together for a change.  Be sure and don’t schedule too many activities though on the vacation, remember this is all about fun and not stressing out about having to be somewhere every minute.

     5.  Vacations are about seeing new places and experiencing new things.

You don’t have to break the bank on vacations.  Whether you go far and take a luxurious vacation or do something nearby that is more economical, it will be beneficial.  You and your children will have several new experiences that they otherwise would not have.  My husband took my son, Jack scuba diving for the first time on our cruise which was an unbelievable experience for a father and son to share.  My other son Jared and I went on our first submarine ride together to see the wonders of sea life but stayed dry while doing it.  We loved it (both the sea life and staying dry).

Cruise Jay and Jack Scuba 2015

These are just a few of the many benefits.  Go with a great attitude, be ready to let loose and have fun.   I guarantee you will never be sorry that you took the time to take a family vacation.   Our recent cruise was priceless to me.  The four of us shared a cabin and yes it was uncomfortable and annoying at times but the night time banter that we had when we were all trying to go to sleep was priceless.

Here are just a few of the memories that I have from this trip that I will treasure forever:   Jack singing one of my favorite songs during Karaoke night just because he knew I loved it and wanted him to sing it.  I almost cry every time I think about it.   Also, watching Jared laugh his head off at the Comedy Shows  was priceless.  Jared loves comedy and kept us entertained the whole trip with his puns and sarcastic wit.  But the best memory of all was just being together for five days as a family of four.  How do you put a price on that?

Cruise Jackie and Jared

So it’s not too late to work in that last minute trip this summer before school starts!  Go make some memories and Bon Voyage!

Cruise Summer 2015

Menopause the Musical: The Survivor Tour at The Music Hall at Fair Park!

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Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra AND memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, and much more!  Okay, that in itself may not sound very funny but I promise you that this musical will have you and your girlfriends laughing until you think you can’t laugh anymore.  This hilarious musical parody is set to classic tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s that will make you want to get up and dance. This tour – Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® Benefiting Susan G. Komen® is the first of its kind, donating a portion of every ticket sale directly to the ongoing effort to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

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The cast of four women consists of breast cancer survivors and co-survivors that in itself is amazing.  Each one of the ladies are accomplished singers and actors with a list of performances as long as my arm.  They are definitely role models and a testimony to the “survivor” spirit.   They each have their own inspirational cancer story but you won’t hear it in the performance because this is all about fun and making fun of the trails and tribulations of Menopause.  The actresses are all hilarious in their respective roles and will thoroughly entertain you from beginning to end!

Menopause

What a fun event to go to with a group of girlfriends or sisters/mothers.  Most of you will be able to relate to some or all of the issues and will laugh for days afterwards (my friends and I are still texting each other about it)!    I saw this musical years ago and saw it again last night and it was truly just as funny the second time around!

Fun Facts:

  • The Survivor Tour cast includes breast cancer co-survivor Linda Boston (Professional Woman) and survivors Teri Adams (Iowa Housewife), Judy Blue (Soap Star), and Megan Cavanagh (Earth Mother) known for her role as Marla Hooch in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. For more information on the cast and tour, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygJ5NCiqK20&feature=youtu.be
  • Menopause The Musical is recognized as the longest-running scripted musical production in Las Vegas and continues to entertain nightly at Harrah’s.
  • *In 2014-2016, GFour Productions, LLC will donate $50,000.00 to Susan G. Komen®. In addition, GFour will also donate to Komen $2.00 for every ticket sold to Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® performances from March 25, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® is presented by DSM Management Group, Inc. July 21-26 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

LiveAtTheMusicHall.com or in person at the Box Office (5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center Suite 542) or by calling 800-514-ETIX

GROUP DISCOUNTS APPLICABLE TO ALL PRICE LEVELS
Available through Group Sales Reps only:
Email: Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org
Call: 214-426-GROUP (4768)
Groups of 10 – 35 Get a 10% Discount
Groups of 36+ Get a 20% Discount

***Please note: On the day of the performance, tickets will be available for purchase at the Music Hall Box Office beginning 1 1/2 hours before the performance.***

California-Based Retailer Planet Blue Lands in Dallas!

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Can it get any better? Planet Blue opened its doors July 2nd in their first Texas location – in DALLAS!  And the location is great!   The clothing store is located in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood that was already a pretty cool area but just got even cooler with this new retail addition.  The store has an open, airy, and earthy like atmosphere with plenty of room to shop.   If you’re not familiar with Planet Blue, it’s a Bohemian Fashion retail store that carries a wide range of women’s Bohemian inspired brands such as Blue Life, For Love and Lemons, Stone Cold Fox, Nightcap and many others.  The store carries everything from tops, shorts, jumpsuits, sweaters, skirts, dresses, and leggings to bathing suits and lingerie.

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Planet Blue 3 “Texans get it,” Vice President of Retail David Lindell said in a news release. “You can take fashion seriously, without taking yourself too seriously. It’s all about looking good, while having a good time doing it. We see the Dallas customer in our store daily and also feel their strong support in our online business, so we can’t wait to return the love by bringing the good vibes to Knox-Henderson.”  After meeting Mr. Lindell at the opening I believe he does get us in Dallas.  One question I had for him though was “What took you so long to get here”?!  I personally love the California Bohemian style and always enjoy shopping at their store when I’m in California.   I believe Texans will love it too!

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Fun Facts: 

  • Planet Blue was founded twenty years ago in 1995 in Malibu, California and is celebrated as the original purveyor of the beachy Boho style.
  • It now has eight stores in the U.S. and two in Japan.
  • The store has plans to open six more stores in Atlanta; Houston; Miami; Manhattan Beach, California; and Honolulu.

Planet Blue is located at:

3010 Henderson Avenue

Dallas, TX 75206

972-925-0304

Monday – Sunday:  10:00 am – 7:00 pm

They also have an on-line store: as shopplanetblue.com and ship to more than 100 countries worldwide.

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