Monday, November 28, 2011

FM 100.

One of my very favorite things about this time of year is the music.  There are two local radio stations that start playing Christmas carols the day after Halloween, which for me, even as much as I love it, is a little too early.  Why is it that retailers find the need to completely overlook Thanksgiving and jump right into Christmas?  (Okay, that is probably a rhetorical question.) 

But one of those radio stations, FM 100, also puts on a series of free Christmas Concerts at the mall a couple of times a week and my girls and I went to the first one of this season about a week ago and I will admit, it was a great way to get me into the Holly, Jolly spirit!  There are a lot of local artists who are incredible and play to sold out concerts here, so we are lucky that they take the time to fit in a free concert during the day too.

I have been going to these for years.  Some of the bigger name artists that have come before are Jim Brickman, an amazing composer, who I LOVE ... Collin Raye, who I also LOVE (and happens to sing one of my favorite Jim Brickman songs, The Gift ... and Donny Osmond, who has also happened to sing with Jim Brickman (here).

I went to see Collin Raye with my friend Shelley. After the concert, we headed to the drive thru line at McDonalds.  Collin Raye just happened to hop out of the car in front of us and walked inside the restaurant.  I might have freaked out a little bit and said, "SHELLEY!  Oh my gosh! When he comes back out, get out and ask him if he wouldn't mind taking a picture with me!  Tell him we just saw him at the FM100 concert and he was fabulous and your friend loves him.  He won't mind, he'll be flattered.  Just get out of the car when he comes back and they can just pull over until I get through the line!!!!"

Shelley didn't want to.  She said, "I'm not like that.  Here, switch seats with me and you do it."  I was boxed in next to the wall.  We would have had to climb over each other. I was doing my best to talk her into it but, meanwhile, Collin Raye walked back out, got into the car and off they went.  Photo opportunity missed.  BOO.

But when Donny was going to be performing, I thought ahead that day and took a Christmas card for him to sign for my friend Diane.  I took pictures of him signing it and put one in the card and sent it to her.  I even had a guy address the envelope so she would be completely surprised when she opened it up and found her Christmas card from Donny. Now that was a happy little thing.  It was so fun to do it for her because I don't know anyone else who would have appreciated it more.  :)

Let the CAROLS begin!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breaking Dawn Premiere!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, my Nelson nieces are die hard Twilight fans (affectionately known as "Twihards").  At our last family gathering they were SO excited because they were heading down to L.A. for the Hollywood premiere of Breaking Dawn.  "Yay!  We are going down for the red carpet event!"

They didn't really have a plan, but they had the desire and doggone it, they wanted to get a glimpse of those Twilight stars!  Now, I am pretty sure they were going to be five of several hundreds of fans all trying to catch that same glimpse, so I was crossing my fingers for them that they would find a good spot along the fan route.

As it turned out, Yahoo was hosting a big event for the fans who were doing just what the Nelson girls were doing. My nieces had heard there were wrist bands so the first goal was to GET A WRIST BAND!  (Wrist bands are always a good thing when it comes to crowds.)

They arrived in L.A. at around 12:30 in the morning and checked into their hotel .... the hotel being their place to shower and hold their belongings.  They had heard about "Tent City" so they also had a tent.

Bright and early the next morning, those girls GOT those wrist bands and secured their spot at the premiere .... which was four days later, and said HELLO to their new resting place, TENT CITY!!!  Let the party begin!

The girls said that once they got there, they realized they were in a completely different league as far as Twihards go.  So they got busy getting with the program by making posters and shirts .....

(Paige, Taryn, Taylor, Brynne, Lindsay.)

.... which got them a little bit of media attention.  Every day there were cameras!

And some days ..... Twilight stars came by to say hey .... like "Emmett" who brought 50 boxes of donuts, hugs, and thanks for being great fans.  (He's the girls' new favorite.)

.... Carlisle Cullen - who the girls said was SOOOOO handsome in person.

... and Seth, one of the wolf boys!

..... Stephenie Meyer who brought some autographed copies of her books!  (One night, Yahoo also put on a concert for the fans with the various artists who sang on the soundtrack from the movie.  Bonus!)

Then, as if it couldn't get any better, IT DID!!!!  On the night of the premiere, with a great spot on the carpet, those lucky little girls got filled to the brim with celebrity sightings - including (but by no means limited to), Emily, Alice, Kate, Seth, Samantha, Lucy, Eric, Billy, Sam, Felix, Renesmee, Esmee, Jasper, Charly, Rosalie, and ...

Jacob .... Bella .... and Edward!!!!!!

And all three of them signed Lindsay's arm!!!!!

But I am pretty sure that what I got the biggest kick out of, was seeing the professional pictures, shot by the "real" photographers that showed up on and with a familiar face beaming in the crowd!!!!  (Hey, Paige!)

No doubt, the trip of a lifetime for these Twihards .... they dubbed Tent City, The Happiest Place on Earth!
(And then they were surprised with a ticket to attend the premiere with all of those stars!!!  Sigh.)

Dreams really do come true!!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breaking Dawn.

Is Twilight frenzy going on in your neck of the woods?!  While I did read the first two books and started the third (until Haley came and said she needed to read it first), I have just not really gotten into the movie madness so much.  I think some of that has to do with the fact that I didn't love who they chose as the characters.  You know how it is when you read a book and you have someone in mind for a particular character?  Well, at one point, before the movie was actually cast, I remember seeing the choices that Stephenie Meyer would have picked to portray her characters and I liked her choices better.  Clearly, I am in the minority, I know ... since the Twilight Saga has catapulted new(er) actors into SUPER STARS!  I couldn't even say weather I am team Edward or team Jacob - I am team neutral ... although I am all for true love so if Edward is Bella's true love, then that is who she should be with - absolutely.

And the fact that in this one they get married and have a baby ... awesome.  (I did see previews.)  So there is a wedding - and there is wedding attire.  And one day last week I went to the movies and some of that wedding attire was on display at the theater.  What? I couldn't believe it.  How cool is that?  Shoes and accessories too ... I got a little excited!

When I inquired as to why our theater was lucky enough to have this display, I was told that Utah is number one in the nation for ticket sales for the Twilight movies.  (Why does that not surprise me?)  I am sure that part of that reason is because Stephenie Meyer is somewhat of a local girl - in that she graduated from BYU with her bachelors in English. (She and I have that in common ... well, the difference is that although I attended BYU and wanted to graduate in English, she actually did. Sigh.)

I am pretty sure the other reason is because 5 of the world's BIGGEST Twilight fans live here. They are sisters, they are my nieces, and they just got back from the Hollywood premiere of "Breaking Dawn." And there were definitely celebrity sightings, and you know how much I LOVE celebrity sightings .....

(... stay tuned.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day.

A couple of days ago, I got a message on my cell phone from Sophie's school.  The message said that they were having a special assembly recognizing and honoring veterans and those currently serving in the military and to invite anyone we may know to join in the celebration and recognition.  I thought that was an awesome idea.

Yesterday, I was having lunch at Smash Burger (which is rapidly becoming my new favorite burger ... can you believe it?) and there was a card on the table offering free sides to all military personnel this weekend.  In fact, there are tons of restaurant chains all over the country giving away free sides and fries and all kinds of guys to our military all week.  It seems like such a small gesture, but it is the continual small gestures that will let our military know how grateful we are to them and their sacrifice on our behalf to fight for our freedom and safety.

As I walked out my front door this morning, I had a flag in my yard.  The scouts had come around and placed the flags before most of us even got up.  It made me really happy to see that!

Right next to Draper, is the city of Sandy.  And every 9-11, on the vast lawn in front of Sandy City Hall, over 3,000 flags are put up in memory of the lives lost in the attacks on 9-11.  I know there are lots of "healing fields" like that all over the country and I can't even begin to express how touching it is to see those rows and rows of flags.  I make it a point to go witness that each year.  This year, 9-11 fell on a Sunday.  It was after dark when I realized that I hadn't yet seen the healing field, so Elliott, his friend Conner, Sophie and I took a little drive.

There was quite a crowd ... the flags were awesome ... but this year there was something new.  A bronze statue.  A replica of those three fire fighters raising the American flag on the rubble after the terrorist's attack. It causes reverence ... I teared up ... I love this country.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Country music.

(Lady Antebellum ... love them.)

So. I want to talk a little bit about the CMA's (Country Music Awards) that were on last night. McCall and I usually remind each other when they are on (well, McCall is usually the one who has to remind me since I forget everything) because we love the live performances. I didn't grow up liking country music as a rule because so many of the artists were way too twangy sounding for my taste. Like Reba McIntire ...  I really do like her as a person, but I just don't think I could listen to a whole album of hers.  (She should ask Nicole Kidman if she could spare some of her collagen for her lips.  Reba - not enough plump in that top lip. And it isn't like she is against plumping ... hello?!  But Nicole - what is she thinking?)

These days, on the other hand,  there are tons of country artists that I enjoy and I thought the awards show last night was pretty darn spectacular.  Those country folks sure know how to have a PaRtaY!!!

Here are my thoughts about the show:

I loved the stage.  I thought it looked sophisticated and modern and classy.  And I loved how they had a smaller stage in the center of the audience. When Martina McBride sang (she is such a classic country queen) it was one of my favorite parts of the night ... the audience was all dark but at least every other person held up their cell phones (think lighters back in the day) and she looked like she was surrounded by bright stars in the night sky.  I don't even think the producers could have staged that number any better.

Faith Hill sang.  Where has she been?  Loved it, love her.  To me, she is one of the most beautiful women that has ever lived.  But she was a little too skinny.  (Yes, you can be too skinny.  Not me mind you, because that would never happen, but there is such a thing as too skinny.)

I would venture a guess that most people haven't even heard of the group Little Big Town, but they are one of my very favorite country bands.  They sang last night too. Hot, HOT harmonies.  They are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Rascal Flatts ... oh how I LOVE.  I have loved them for years, but have never seen them in concert because, frankly, they usually kind of choke during their live performances on these awards shows.  Last night, they were right on.  I especially loved their duet with Natasha Bedingfield, who I am also a fan of, and I was crazy about the song they did with Lionel Ritchie.

I know - Lionel Ritchie on the CMA's?  Random, but so awesome.  His songs and voice sounded great with anyone who was singing them.  It was a nice tribute to one of the music industry's "greats".

I thought the same thing about the tribute they did for Glen Campbell. Glen Campbell was one of those country artists that I actually did like back in the 70's.  And one of his hit songs, (that Keith Urban, my main country man, sang last night) Witchita Lineman, has one of the most romantic lines of all time in it -

 And I need you more than want you ... and I want you for all time.
(I think it is about the sweetest line ever.)

There have been quite a few random country duets in the last few years which have been pretty good.  Like Kelly Clarkson with Jason Aldean, Sheryl Crow with Kid Rock, Sugarland with Jon Bon Jovi ... I thought Sugarland was great last night too.  I went to a Sugarland concert this summer, mostly because Sara Bareillis was the opening act.  They were fantastic live, but I have to admit, we left early ... she has a great voice, but just a little too twangy - can't take it for too long.

One of my very favorite country voices is Vince Gill.  It was good to hear him last night.  I think he is doing more behind the scenes stuff so he isn't recording much anymore.  Oh, except as a backup vocalist for Carrie Underwood on her cd's .  And Carrie Underwood?  Come on.  How flawless is she?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little bits of snow.

On Friday night, it started to snow.  Oh how I love the snow.  But already?  Really?

When I woke up Saturday morning, there was actually quite a bit of it.  Well, all things being relative, for this time of year, there was quite a bit of it.  (I haven't even finished raking the leaves yet.)  I don't ever remember having snow fall in my Halloween graveyard, so I thought I needed to get a picture of that.

While I was out in my front yard, I heard some laughing and one of my neighbors telling his little boy, "Here comes the hill!"

This really did make my heart smile.  

It is just so sweet.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A pumpkin grin.

It is so interesting for me how eager I am to put away decorations once a specific holiday has passed.  It is making me a little crazy to drive up to my house and see ALL of my Halloween decor out in front of my house, even though it was just four days ago!

But before I put all of my Halloween posts to rest for this season, I wanted to post a picture of one of thee cutest pumpkins I have ever seen.  My friend carved this for his daughter who just got braces.

How adorable is this?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A little bumble bee.

As much as I love Halloween ...
my favorite part about it this year was a special little bee at my door.