Monday, August 25, 2008

I am in love with Oregon





Seriously. Specifically of the Medford variety. That is where Cristian and I went last month for the Riding Family Reunion. Hosted by my sister Cyndi, it was perfect. Fabulous weather, fun events/activities, and good company. I love my family. I already mentioned the talent show, but here are a few of the other activities we did:


Hung out at Cyndi's beautiful house. This is Cristian reading books to some cute boys. He was totally the favorite uncle.


This is what I like to call the "Ghana Grab." It is where my mom brings out her suitcase full of Ghanian gifts and we all figure out what we want for ourselves. It gets pretty rough. I think I gave my niece Jen a black eye over a hand bag. Just kidding. We went to Crater Lake, a GORGEOUS natural lake up in the mountains of Oregon. It used to be a volcano, and long story short, is now a crater with water in it.
The fam at Crater Lake. There are kind of a lot of us now.

This is Katherine. I should mention she is the last in a long line of beautiful children created by my brother Gary and his wife Melissa. I also mention this because Melissa credited her still being alive to Cristian's multiple times of steering her away from the pool. And yes, that is also her at the top of my entry with her brother Matt and the essential Children-stuffing-their-face-full-of-watermelon picture.
Of course any gathering is not complete without Sister Riding's scones!














We also visited a little park with a big model train to ride. we all indulged our inner child and rode the train, including Grandpa and Cristian.














On Monday we set out for the Treesort, a bed-and-breakfast where all the rooms were treehouses. It was so fun! Ours was the Cavaltree, You can't see it very well behind the trees on the right. But it was a tent with a bed that we used and then another treehouse above it that some of the older boys slept in.
For more information on this place you can go to www.treehouses.com
We also hit the California Coast and the Redwood Forest. It was awesome and made me not want to go home to Las Vegas even more. The weather at the beach was perfect.














This is Cyndi and Melissa, and my nephew Ethan, and of course cute Kate.

My Dad took this picture, since Cristian and I have hardly any pics together. What can I say, one of us always has the camera.

It was an amazing trip, I really did not want to come home. Only because Vegas is barren desert compared to Oregon. Compared to anywhere, really. Yea for family vacations. Cristian and I are on our own next summer since my parents won't be coming back from Ghana until November 2009. Maybe we will have our first official Bell Family Vacation and go backpacking in Bryce Canyon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Matthew "I am 4 and3/4 "Riding

My nephew Matt is so stinkin funny. Last month Cristian and I went up to Oregon for a Riding family reunion hosted by my sister Cyndi in Medford. I will post more on this later, but for now i will talk about Matt. He liked to say he was "4 1/2" until I mistakenly told him that since his birthday was in October, he is actually 4 and 3/4. Boy, did he love that. But my favorite part, of possibly the whole week, was our annual talent show. Matt decided to sing a song, and he loves the Jonas Brothers. Particularly a song from "Camp Rock" (some movie they just did). So he goes off and sings it, and I might have cried a little. No, I did. It was the funniest, cutest thing you can imagine because he fully committed, actions, vocal styling and all. It was pretty amazing. Honestly, he has a great little voice. Anyway, I added some video, so enjoy. The only problem is, I recorded it vertically on my camera and can't figure out how to rotate it. So does anyone know and want to share? Jamie B, are you out there? Also, my time limit was only 30 seconds, so I am putting 2 shots in, but it is so worth watching.
video video

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kill Me Now

I am so tired today. My show started last night, and it was pretty fun. I had some serious first-night jitters. The weird thing is, I don't get nervous until right before I am on stage. Then I want to hyperventilate. Combine that with a dress that is so tight I can barely move, and a lift lifting me up on a platform high upstage, and I am also trying to focus on moving gracefully and not tripping and killing myself. It was a little nerve-wracking. I think overall the show went alright though. The audience was really good and supportive, so that helped a lot. I truly believe that a show always gets to a point where it cannot progress anymore until there is an audience, and that was the case last night. The energy from them helped us all so much. Anyway....

That is not the only reason I am tired. Some people from the cast convinced me to go out for food after the show. I have said no many times, but this time I said yes. Stupid, stupid. I got to bed at 1 am and woke up at 5:30 this morning for work. Am I getting old? A lot of these people are younger than me, and they just go, go, go. I can't do that anymore. I have to have my sleep, and will even take the Party Pooper title in order to get it. (My husband would agree with this one). I am all about playing after a show every once in a while, but on a week night? Am I my mom?

Long, rambling, sleep-deprived story concluding, I will be taking a nap today before my show tonight. Thank you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shameless Plug

Ok, this is a total shameless plug, but I would not be a good performer if I never marketed myself. I am doing "Aida," a musical with music written by Elton John and Tim Rice at Super Summer Theatre this month. It will be out at Spring Mountain Ranch from Aug. 13- Aug. 30, Wed- Sat. shows. Anyone who is in town, your support would be great, and I have to say, you would see a fabulous show. You can get tickets and information online at www.signatureproductions.net.

If you come, I will be out on Wed., Aug. 20, and Sandra Huntsman, my understudy, will be doing the show. So if you care about seeing me play the role, then just don't come on a Wed. and you will be fine. By the way, for those of you who know the show, I am playing Amneris, an Egyptian princess, on of the principle roles.

My talented husband Cristian designed the set, so it is fun to be involved in a project together.

I have not done Community Theater since joining Actors' Equity Association, my union, and it has been so great doing a show again for the simple love of it, and to be with people who are doing it for the same reason. This is not their job; it is their hobby, and they want to be there. It is very refreshing.

Anyway, come put a blanket on the grass, have a picnic dinner and watch a show, you will have fun, I promise.