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Hello everyone! I’m back. Fell off the social media planet for a bit.  We have had quite a month!  I know most of you come here for organizing/home decor, etc. so I’m giving you a pre warning that today’s ramblings are more of a personal/family post.  I need this recorded in my blog books!  I don’t have time to keep up two separate blogs, so until I do, you all know that once in a while the family stuff gets sprinkled in-between.  :)  Plus this is pretty much all we’ve been doing for the past three months and it has just been too much fun not to share!  Two more pre warnings: #1 – this will be a long post (a lot I want recorded!) and #2 – I’m going to be shamelessly bragging about my girls.  I know – so annoying that I’m about to be one of THOSE moms.  But I can’t help it.  I’m just so proud of them I could burst.  :)  Regular organizing and decorating posts are right around the corner!

In October my girls decided to try out for their first play.  They have done a theatre camp the past two summers with CYC (California Youth Conservatory) just for fun and LOVED it.  My girls have always loved singing and dancing and can be quite hams when they want to be so it didn’t surprise me they loved theatre camp.  CYC is known around here for their high quality children’s theatre so when one of the camp directors reached out to us and told us they were putting on the show Annie and thought the girls had a chance at principal orphan parts, we decided to give it a shot.  The girls each practiced a song and a short monologue for their scheduled tryouts.  They both did great and made the first cuts!  Then a week later, we met on a Saturday afternoon with everyone else who made the first cut for the second round of tryouts.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and about died when I walked into the auditorium where they were holding the tryouts.  SO many kids!  There were only six girls (orphans) that would actually get speaking and solo singing parts.  I got really nervous.  Thoughts were racing through my head.  This will be hard when they don’t make it.  Even harder, what if one of them makes it and the other one doesn’t!?

They took the kids into a room (parents all waited outside the doors) and had them one by one sing a part of Hard Knock Life.  I started talking to parents and quickly realized most of these kids had been acting in plays for years.  Then the first child went and I could tell through the door she sounded really good.  My hands got sweaty and I sent Kenny a text that said “K – now I’m nervous.. afraid we are a bit out of our league here.”  What seemed like forever later the kids finished singing and reading lines and came out of the room.  I was all set with my speech for the girls “SO proud of you two!  No matter what happens it’s just so great that you tried!”  But before I started with my “be prepared for a let down” speech Ellie said “Mom!  Guess what!?  Addison went first! “  I said, “wait a minute… THAT was ADDISON!?  The first person who sang was Addison!?”  “Yeah mom!  She was nervous and wanted to get it over with so when they asked who wanted to go first she shot up her hand!”  Then the girls both started talking about this and that but I didn’t hear anything else.  The first person was Addison!?  She sounded so good!  Ellie felt good about her tryout too.  Maybe there was a chance after all…

We waited for a couple of days until they posted the results on-line.  I swear we were checking every 20 minutes!  We all screamed and leapt for joy when we read that the part of Tessie (the orphan who always says “oh my goodness oh my goodness!”) would be played by Ellie and the part of Molly (the littlest orphan) would be played by Addison.  Talk about a happy day in our house!
Practices started right away and were intense – all over San Diego – three times a week for several hours and every Saturday for 5 hours (I had to adjust our schedule and switch all the girls’ regular dance/gymnastics classes to different nights). We canceled our Thanksgiving travel plans and shortened our Christmas travel plans and pretty much did nothing but play practice all through November and December.   It was a lot.  I hate to be over scheduled and we were definitely over scheduled!  But I knew it was short term and would be worth it.  Then right after Christmas break was tech week.  Downtown at the theatre every day from right after school until 10 or 11 for rehearsals.  Parents had to be there a lot of the time helping with the set, costumes, raffle baskets, advertising, etc.  That was a rough week and I started to wonder if it really would be worth it.  I kept the girls home from school one morning at the end of tech week just so they could take a shower!  I told them they were taking this orphan thing to a whole new level.  :)  We were all exhausted at this point, but the girls were having a blast and loving every minute of it.
the-set  girls-at-practice
Then the performances started!  Kenny and I had seen small bits and pieces of what the girls were doing from practice, but not much.  We sat down to the first show not really knowing what to expect.  The play started with Addison (Molly) crying for her mom.  Annie comforts her and they talk and Annie sings.  Miss Hannigan comes in and then the orphans started singing and dancing to “Hard Knock Life.”

I talk often on my blog about “mom moments.”  Those times during motherhood that are so overwhelming they take your breath away and you know it’s a moment you’ll never forget.  Those moments that make everything hard about being a mom worth it.  The first time I saw the girls perform “Hard Knock Life” was one of those moments.  The music started and there were my girls – front and center – doing amazing!  Addison was singing solos and imitating Miss Hannigan making the crowd laugh.. Ellie was doing gymnastic tricks across the stage.  It honestly was unreal for me to see and I am tearing up right now just thinking about it!  During the whole song I just kept thinking those are my girls.  Just look at my girls!  Kenny and I were holding hands so tight.  When the song ended everyone clapped and the girls walked off stage.  Kenny and I looked at each other and we both had tears streaming down our faces.  It was a moment I’ll never forget.  You all know I’m a cryer.  It takes nothing to make me cry.  A sappy commercial, a sweet moment between my kids, a kind email from one of you – I tear up at the drop of a hat daily.  But not my husband.  I think I’ve seen him cry just a handful of times.  When each of our kids were born, during my health scare, and maybe at the end of Armageddon when Bruce Willis saves the world.  (Wish I were kidding about that last one.)  :)  So to see a steady stream of tears down his face too made the moment that much sweeter.  No doubts now.  The long practices and hectic schedule and extra parent commitments were 100% worth it.  The play continued with many more proud parent moments for us.  A day we will never forget.

The girls have performed the last three weekends in a row – a show Thursday night, Friday night, two shows on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Weekends have been crazy around here to say the least!
My mom came down with two of her darling friends and stayed last weekend.  SO fun showing them the play!
Pointing to the girls’ head shots.  Real head shots – we feel so professional now.  ;)
Love these women!  Such a fun weekend having them here.  We all sat down to watch the play and my mom started crying before the curtain even opened!  Guess I know where I get it from.  She was a pretty proud grandma.  :)
Kenny’s sweet parents came one weekend too.  My kids were all so spoiled with grandparents in town!  Especially Kole who loved every minute of having them all to himself when they weren’t watching the girls perform.
So many of our close friends also came to watch the play and see the girls.  The girls’ friends from school, teachers, babysitters, so many of my darling friends.  I didn’t get pictures of everyone who came to support us, but I’m so glad I got a few!
k g-and-fam darc-and-friends
We were overwhelmed and so touched by everyone who came to support the girls and see the play.
So many friends brought the girls flowers!  Made me tear up one morning when I woke up to this beautiful table.  Moments like that make you feel pretty blessed.
This is one of Addison’s closest friends and we were so excited because her mom (who is one of my close friends) entered one of the play raffles and won!  The prize was getting to make a guest appearance in the last show!
These two had a blast together.
Talk about a highlight for us all!  It made the closing show this past Sunday even more special.
sideways crew
The whole crew on stage after the last performance.  A group of amazing kids.  Standing ovation!  My husband and I may or may not have started it… every night we were there.  :)
Kenny helping with the raffle.  He isn’t shy so they recruited him quickly.
Hanging out with Miss Hanigan and Daddy Warbucks.  Talk about talent.  These two teens were AMAZING.  Close friends of ours from the summer camp who now feel like family.
My girls made so many darling new friends.  Playdates are already being scheduled because the kids are used to hanging out together every day and are all having withdrawals missing each other!
friends friends-at-play cast-and-crew
Aside from meeting so many new, wonderful people I’m also grateful my girls were taught such an important lesson about hard work.  The past few months haven’t been easy for them.  Just keeping up with homework became a challenge. But they worked hard for something they really wanted and it payed off in the end.  Experiences like this are priceless.  Even more so because they got to do it together.  They loved performing so much that I’m sure they’ll want to try out at some point for another play, but for now I’m beyond ready and so happy to have some down time and get back into our regular routine. (Funny that our regular schedule now feels like down time!)  I spent the past few days catching up on everything I had on hold during the play.  Housework, laundry, groceries, e-mails and most importantly spending time with my sweet 4 year old little boy who has had more babysitters this month than ever before.  I am used to him being by my side 24/7 and have missed him so much the past few weeks!  But what an incredible month it has been.  An unforgettable experience for all of us!

My little orphans.

With their mom who clearly couldn’t be any prouder.


xoxo, Erin
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58 thoughts on “Annie

  1. Ah, congratulations to your girls. They look adorable and I’m sure they were great in the play. You’re right – it’s not fun while these things are happening (when I was in the city ballet while at school, it was HARRRRD work) but it’s great to look back on and learn those important lessons about perseverance, not giving up and self-discipline :)

  2. What an awesome experience. I don’t know you or your girls irl but I love reading your blog and I totally was tearing up reading this post…must be a Mom thing! Definitely something for the memory books and definitely something to be proud of.

  3. Awww…this made me cry! I get it! My 7th grader was on our school’s Junior Varsity dance team this year and I cried at every performance (so did my mom!) and got even more nervous than her for them all! What a fun time for your family! I wish I were in your area so I could’ve seen the play!

  4. I loved this whole post! What a great experience for your girls. I would feel just as you do!
    I had to stop and read about your health scare, too. I hadn’t seen that before. You wrote that so well – I felt I was reliving it with you.
    Blessings on your day!

  5. Wow! What an amazing opportunity for your daughters! I don’t even know your girls personally, and I teared up with pride right along with you as I was reading your blog. Definitely a wonderful time full of lots of lessons and fun. Good for you all for embracing it and doing whatever necessary to make it happen. Whooo hoo! And, for the record, I don’t mind a bit if you delve into personal subjects on your blog. I enjoy reading about your happenings. You have a wonderful writing style that is engaging and entertaining as well as informative. Keep up the great work! Congrats again to your adorable and talented daughters!

  6. Super amazing… I teared up just reading about it. It’s amazing just HOW proud of those kids we can be and how we can REALLY feel their joy (and their pain). Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Aww, you should be proud! I know I tear up watching my girls dance or have a good hit in A whole play would do me in! Congrats to them for their hard work.

  8. So cute! What a proud mama! :) Your girls are having fun AND learning about confidence, discipline, teamwork and more. As always, the arts, theatre and music are SO worth it!

    1. So true Katie. They learned so many valuable lessons during the whole experience! And yes – I’m definitely a proud mama. :) Thank you cutie! xo

  9. Wow! Congrats to your girls and your all! Looks like it was so much fun and a lot of work too! Way to go to all of you! Love your blogs about your sweet family and Mommas are supposed to brag — so go for it! My daughter and I would have loved to come and see that play. We always support our community theater productions too. So fun!!

  10. What an exciting time! I would be so proud too! These are the times in life that make life so grand. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience with us! I am glad the whole family got to enjoy it. And how nice it was that all the grandparents and all of your friends could celebrate such a wonderful time in your life too. it just makes everything all that much nicer. What a lovely family you have. You are blessed!

    P.S. I’d be crying too and telling the whole world about my kids:)

  11. Ok I don’t know you and just started following your blog, but I hear ya on the tearing up because I did just reading your post! As a mom I can totally relate! What a fabulous experience for your daughters, and the whole family. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Oh Erin,
    I never comment but I couldn’t refrain on this one. What an amazing opportunity. Not only getting selected to participate, but sharing that experience with their best friend, their sister!? How memorable. Can only imagine how much confidence, time management skills and the results of dedication they have learned. What a special time. Thanks for sharing, by far my favorite post! And I’m already obsessed with your organization and house posts…

    1. Hannah so sweet of you to reach out today! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I always get a little nervous with family stuff that I bore everyone to death! :) xo

  13. Your girls are adorable-and I’m sure they did you proud. The most important thing is they look like they are having so much fun! That’s what really counts-having a passion that kids thoroughly enjoy helps them navigate that weird teen thing later on, LOL.

    (PS-I am that mom, too,STILL! My twins will be 30 this year. I “own” a dancer/choreographer and a fine artist. I still cry at her performances and his installations/sales. It’s awesome to see them become their own people.)

    1. SO true Susan! They loved every minute of it and that really was the best part. Not looking forward to the teen years.. we are in such a happy in-between spot right now! But when I’m there I’ll be reaching out to you! Ha! :) And totally understand how you feel. I will be the same way! Proud of our kids forever. :) xo

  14. Congrats to both Addison and Ellie. You have every reason to brag. That was a big production. I would be so proud too! I am also one of those mom’s that cry’s at any and all performances and I can tell you I was tearing up big time reading all about these beautiful little orphans. What an amazing experience. Elle was on a soap opera when she was little. It was called Santa Barbara, on NBC. I was the only person on the set that was crying. I think it is because we are so proud of them.

    The girls are growing up and they seriously are so pretty…Just like their momma. This post was so sweet and I am sure the memories you will have from it will be even sweeter.

    1. So cool Elle was on TV! That definitely would have been a tissue moment for me too. One of the many reasons the two of us get along so well. :) Thank you so much Cathy! xo

  15. WOW! what an amazing experience!! I was very teary and heart heavy reading your post. What a journey us readers went on, felt like I was there :) Being a mommy is amazing isn’t it?! Life’s greatest blessing! I have felt similar seeing my son work so hard with soccer, trying out and making the top team a few years in a row. Every year we go on an emotional roller coaster of pride seeing him really want something and go for it and get his dream! Thanks for sharing..and way to go girls!! I love Annie

    1. Thank you Paula! I think as moms we all speak the same language and experience so many of the same feelings. Like you said, it’s amazing to see your kids work hard to accomplish their goals! Nothing like it! Being a mom really is the best. :) Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! xo

  16. Great pics and congrats to your girls! My 10 yr old son does community theater just like this, and I will never forget this first time I saw him on stage. It was magical! :)

  17. These are my favorite kind of posts your write, truth be told. Was not long ago my girls were that age, and it makes this momma so proud to read about their accomplishments!
    Congrats to both the girls on all their hard work and performances. While it was hard, tiring, fun, exciting, they will be taking much more of the experience into their lives as they grow, dedication, hard work, organization, time management, sportsmanship, and the list goes on.

    1. I love you Lauren! I know you relate so much with your two girls! (Who have turned out amazing btw!) Thanks for your sweet comment. For all of your sweet comments! xo

  18. Hi Erin –
    Congratulations to your beautiful girls! What an accomplishment! And I’m totally with you – I cry with pride all the time when it comes to my kids. I even teared up for your kids reading this post! Lol. You should all be so proud.

  19. Love love love this! Yes, I do read your blog for organizing/home decor, etc. but your family posts are my favorite! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  20. Oh my goodness. Your girls look so happy! You know, I always believe it is such a great thing for your own child/ren to find something that they can develop confidence and feel good about themselves for. Outside of the logistics, I’m so happy that it was such a great experience for you all!

  21. That’s so awesome that they got to do that together! What a great experience for them! They look so cute all dressed up! I love those proud mom moments, especially when I get to share them with my husband. So glad you got to share one with Kenny!

  22. Oh Erin! This is so wonderful!! It takes me back to my days on the stage! I loved doing community theater!! My two girls are athletes all the way…they have NO interest in theater!! I am so glad that you took the time to enjoy every minute of their journey!! I hope that this is the beginning of many, many more shows for the girls!! God bless you and your beautiful family!! xo

    1. Thank you so much Susan! So fun you did community theatre! My girls have NO interest in sports! We tried soccer with Ellie when she was younger and she kept picking flowers on the field and handing them to everyone trying to make friends during the game. Ha! :) Kids gravitate to what they love and excel in, don’t they. Enjoy your weekend! xo

      1. That is so funny about Ellie! That’s exactly how I was as a child! NO interest in sports at all!! My sisters and I used to put on shows in our basement and garage!! We used to charge our family to come see us perform!! Those were the days!! Have a great weekend!! xo

  23. So wonderful post! I was tearing! So for you and proud of your girls! So happy that they got such a chance! Please, don’t separate blog

  24. Okay, this made me tear up just thinking about that “Mom Moment.” :) What a neat experience for your family. Love it and I love family posts!! ;)

  25. Erin,
    I grew up doing theatre and this brought back so many memories which are some of the happiest of my childhood! Congratulations to them and to you for your hard work. Those rehearsal schedules are not for sissies! I hope they continue to make many more happy memories doing theatre! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  26. Erin! I haven’t been commenting much lately (Erin’s organizing again, shocking ;) But I had to come back and comment on the girls’ show! I can’t believe you didn’t tell us about this!!!! I was so bummed reading it because I kept thinking, we totally would have come down to watch them! For sure we would have been there! We miss you guys and I miss hearing from you and actually being in touch. Tell the girls I am SO proud of them and we wish we could have seen their show!

    1. Josie!! I so wish I would have told you! Would you really have driven down for that!? Oh my word – SO sweet of you! We miss you guys too! So much. We both need to be better about staying in touch, don’t we!? The girls loved this so much so I think there will be other plays in their future. And I will let you know next time for sure! :) Fun to hear from you cutie! Don’t be a stranger. Even if I am organizing again. ;) LOVE YOU! xo

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