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Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

This past weekend, we took a road trip to Chicago. I still can’t believe that there is so much that I haven’t taken the girls to do in my hometown. Over spring break, I took the girls to see some of the more nationally known sites in Chicago. Usually, we just go to grandma’s house.

But last week, I took the girls home to some of my old stomping grounds i.e. the beach. My girls hear me talk about “the beach” all the time. They know I spent all my summers swimming and playing in the waves at “the beach” but as they’ve gotten older, they are all, “Hey, ma! There’s no beach in Chicago. It’s a lake!” And I‘m all, nope, Mommy doesn’t do “lakes” in the traditional sense because..ewwww, fresh water ( more like doesn’t move water) barely moves and unless there are rapids or waves, I’m not getting in. You’ve heard about those parasites that go up your nose and your urethra. No thank you!

Anyways, I totally digress, my point is I had to show them that my beach was a beach like the coastal beaches they’re used to, not like a rock covered pool of stagnant water buried in tick country. Yeah, don’t invite me to your lake house. I won’t come. I took the girls to the beach twice in 3 days. They get it now. They know what I mean. They loved it. They want to move to “the beach”. This makes me happy.

Aladdin, beach, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

We also consumed lots of food that is indigenous to “the region”. The region is where I hail from, it’s the Chicagoland area but not the city. We are 20 minutes from downtown, on “this side” of the border. Meaning everything we grew up doing was in Chicago but since you could walk to the state line in 5 minutes from my house, technically, I lived in Indiana but I knew nothing about Indiana. I never even saw corn until I went to college. Boiler up!

We hit our usual local eatery favorites; Barton’s Pizzeria and White Castles. You can take the girl out of the region but you can’t take the region out of the girl. Then we hit Portillos. I had a hot Italian beef with all the Giardiniera they could put on it. The spicier the better. It was delicious. My youngest ordered a Chicago dog with nothing on it but ketchup. WHAT? She nearly lost her ish when they brought her a poppy seed bun. Fortunately, she was too hungry to go into a full on refusal.

But this trip was even more special than usual because aside from hanging out with cousins and barbecues and beaches, we took the girls to the city for an extra special date night that included a stop at the Joffrey with my two ballerinas to surprise their besties visiting from North Carolina.

A side trip to Marshall Fields (oops Macy’s! Who am I kidding it’ll always be Marshall Fields to me the way the Sears tower will never be the Willis Tower) because mama made an unwise shoe choice and then we had dinner at the Randolph Tavern about a 1 minute walk from the Cadillac Palace Theater. It was delicious and even on a Friday night, it was perfect for the kids. Even had an awesome kids menu and did I mention the Sangria because I should have. It was delicioso!

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

But the piece de resistance was that we took the girls to see Disney’s Aladdin at the Cadillac Palace Theater thanks to the generosity of Broadway in Chicago. You know how we love our theater. If you have the chance to take your kiddos to go see it…go see it! It was amazing. In fact, you don’t need kids to go see it. If you watched it back in the day when you were a kid, it’s even better on stage. Bet you didn’t think it could be possible did you? Well, it is. I like live productions and 3-dimensional characters. I was in theater heaven.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

The Cadillac Palace is a gorgeous old building located in the heart of Chicago’s theater district.

Aladdin the musical, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including, “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

That was the press release version of Aladdin the musical.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

This is my version of Disney’s Aladdin on stage.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

The colors are vibrant. The atmosphere is vibrant. It’s electricity and you can feel yourself drawing from the energy of those on stage. It started with a bang. I honestly was not sure that they could pull it off, bringing an animated story to the stage. I thought it would fall flat of my expectations but I was pleasantly surprised by how animated and magical it all felt.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

The music was pitch perfect and so animated that you almost forget that you’re watching it on stage as you are transformed into an animated world of Agrabah.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater, Anthony Murphy

Genie, played by Anthony Murphy, was a show stopper. He was absolutely hilarious and played the part as larger than life. The only thing more grandiose than his stage presence was his powerful voice.

Aladdin, Jacob Dickey, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

Aladdin, played by Jacob Dickey direct from the Broadway production, looked a bit like a young Rob Lowe. He was the embodiment of the animated Aladdin. I didn’t think it could be done but he really brought the character to life, literally.

Aladdin, Isabelle McCalla, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

Jasmine, one of my girls’ personal favorite princesses, played by Isabella McCalla, was the tiny, spit fire that I always hoped Jasmine could be. She was feisty and sassy and perfection.

 

Aladdin, Jacob Dickey, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

 

Another favorite character of mine was Jafar’s sidekick, Iago, played by Reggie De Leon . Firstly, I loved that they changed the character from a bird to a human on stage. It just played better. He was a sidekick no more. He was hilarious, perfectly timed and his dry humor was appreciated more than I can convey.

 

I loved that the Abu character was replaced by 3 friends of Aladdin (Babkak, Omar and Kassim) not only did it play better in a live production, it gave the story a new dimension that made more sense in the real world. They were sort of an attractive, endearing version of the three stooges but they had pipes.

I know that everyone loves the “Whole New World” scene in Aladdin the animated movie but I have to say the magic carpet ride in the live production was nothing short of magical. I swear I saw no strings and I still don’t know how they did it. It must be that Disney+Broadway+Chicago=Magic.

Now, I will warn you, if you are a die hard Disney Aladdin animated purist, like my husband, there have been some changes.  I will list them here so that you know they are coming. There are more songs ( because it is a musical), Abu has been replaced by 3 male friends of Aladdin ( so there is no monkey on stage), Rajah has been replaced by 3 female attendants (so again, no tiger on stage. I think that’s safer for all involved), Iago is not a bird but instead a human and Genie is not a cartoon but he is larger than life and very animated.

My personal opinion, I’ll take the live action production on stage.The animated movie is still near and dear to my heart because of the hundreds of times that I’ve watched it with my girls but you can’t beat the magical feeling of being part of a live production. I think my daughters and my nephew totally agree with me.

Aladdin, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago, Broadway, Disney, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Cadilllac Palace Theater

 

Aladdin is now playing in Chicago as part of the North American tour launch at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph Street) for a limited premiere engagement through September 10, 2017.

Tickets for Aladdin at the Cadillac Palace Theatre start at $44.  In Chicago, tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  A select number of Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available for many performances. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. For a complete performance schedule for Aladdin, please visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to see Disney’s Aladdin at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago by Broadway in Chicago but all opinions and love of Broadway stage productions are my own.

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Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

Earlier this week, we took the girls to see Les Misérables, the musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo. This has been one of my favorite musicals since I first watched it on PBS as a child. When I watched the movies with my daughters and the Big Guy, we all sung along and laughed and cried. But nothing beats seeing Les Misérables from any seat in the house at the theater. The voices on stage transport your soul back to a time of civil unrest during the French Revolution.

With glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking production of Les Misérableswhich broke box office records during its pre-Broadway tour, has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!”

Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time, with thrilling and beloved songs including “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Along with the Oscar-winning movie version, it has now been seen by more than 130 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe. Les Misérables is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 33rd year.

READ ALSO: Phantom of the Opera a Family Review

Nominated for three Tony Awards, this latest Broadway production is a more than worthy chapter in Les Miserables’ long history. It debuted at the Imperial Theatre in 2014 and ran for two years, drawing huge acclaim for its stripped-down storytelling, which jettisons some of the bloat attached to previous productions, and the atmospheric video projections that lend the show a hugely cinematic backdrop.

Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The original Les Misérables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.  The production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions. Music Supervision is by Stephen Brooker and James Moore, with casting by Kaitlin Shaw for Tara Rubin Casting.

Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

Speaking of the cast, Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean, was probably the best I’ve ever heard. He moved everyone in the theater the way he told the story of Jean Valjean with his amazing voice. He presented Jean Valjean in an underdog way that made you really want to take him in and help him out. You rooted for him. You wanted to see him get the redemption he so desperately seeked. Another big voice was Paige Smallwood’s, Éponine. I would say she was equal to Cartell’s Jean Valjean. Her voice gave you all the feels and, even though we all know how it turns out for Éponine, I found myself wishing for a plot twist.

READ ALSO: Wicked, Good for the Entire Family

Josh Davis was a powerful and unrelenting Javert and while you want to hate him, you felt this underlying sympathy for him. Josh Davis’ performance was stellar. J Anthony Crane and Allison Guinn, Thénardier and Madame Thénardier, were hilarious and perfectly cast. They masterfully delivered every joke to perfection with bold, vibrant voices and impeccable timing. Other stand out performances were delivered by Matt Shingledecker, as Enjolras, Mary Kate Moore, as Fantine, Joshua Grosso, as Marius, and Jillian Butler, as Cosette. Really the entire cast was stellar. I could watch and listen to this casts’ production of Les Misérables over and over again.

One last cast member that I need to mention, Parker Weathersbee, as Petit Gervais, Gavroche, captivated me. He is making his national tour debut with Les Misérables and he brought the house down with his performance. He is such a big personality in such a young performer.

The new production is currently playing to sold-out houses across North America, Mexico City and on tour in the U.K. To date, Les Misérables remains the 5th longest-running Broadway production of all time. If you’ve never seen Les Misérables, I highly recommend that you go see it on tour.

Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

It has something for everyone; drama, a revolution, history, a love triangle, unrequited love, humor, tenderness, parental love and, my personal favorite, a man doing his best to survive the human condition while chasing redemption with a passion. A theme I think everyone who’s ever lived can relate to some degree. It’s hard to find the words to encompass such an amazing production with such a powerhouse cast. I was moved to tears throughout the show and it wasn’t just me, the Big Guy and my girls were tearing up several times. We were absolutely blown away.

READ ALSO: The Aladdin Experience

For me, giving my girls the gift of the theater is one of my favorite things aside from travel. But in a way, aren’t we transported to different spaces and times when we see a Broadway show? The memories of laughing, singing and crying in the theater together, looking over and sharing a smile, giving a standing ovation to a well-deserved group of performers, there is nothing quite like it. We will share those memories forever and one day, when I am gone, my girls will hear Fantine’s Death and think of me and the time we saw Les Misérables together when they were children, well, somewhere between children and women.

Nick Cartell, Josh Davis, Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Les Miserables, Les Misérables tour, Jean Valjean, why everyone should see Les Misérables, Cosette, Mary Kate Moore, Fantine, Eponine, Paige Smallwood, Joshua Grosso, Marius, Jillian Butler, Broadway, Les Misérables U.S. Broadway Tour

I encourage you to share these experiences with your children if they are able to stay up, stay still and mature enough to appreciate the themes. My girls are 11 and 14-years-old but we’ve been taking them to Broadway shows and the ballet since they were preschoolers. This is how their love of the theater began.

Les Misérables will be at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend from March 19- March 24, 2019. If you miss it there, check out the Les Misérables website for future dates.

I do know that the Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon Les Misérables will return for its much anticipated Chicago engagement at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W Randolph) July 9-27, 2019, direct from a celebrated two-and-a-half year Broadway engagement.

Individual tickets for Les Misérables will go on sale at a later date.  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

IfLes Misérables teaches us anything, remember always, that where there is love, there is hope.

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Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Have you watched Dirty Dancing the movie? Who hasn’t, right? But did you know that there is a Dirty Dancing Broadway tour? I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows me that our family is theater lovers. There is nothing quite as spectacular as a live production.

The original is one of the quintessential movies of my generation. There was something about the Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Garner dynamic that was so unbelievable but at the same time exactly what every teen girl/woman secretly hoped for; that they’d get the hot guy not just because he wanted to throw her in the back of his car and have his way with her but because he fell in love with her personality and that made her the most beautiful girl in the world. Doesn’t every woman want to be sexy but respected?

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Just in case you are not familiar with the story, here is the premise for Dirty Dancing:

The story takes place in the summer of 1963, 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is about to learn some major life lessons and a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, ‘Baby’ shows little interest in the resort activities and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles upon the staff quarters when an all-night dance party is in full swing.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Mesmerized by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, ‘Baby’ can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. ‘Baby’s’ life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off with breathtaking consequences.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

These two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. It will be the “time of their lives”.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

Even if you never saw Dirty Dancing, you can tell that the story is everything.

Dirty Dancing is an iconic love story on steroids with the best.soundtrack.ever! Honestly, Dirty Dancing was my best friend’s favorite movie and every time you spent the night (which was basically every weekend of our adolescents) we watched this movie.

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

I watch all of the movies from the 80’s with my daughters and its just as much fun now as when I watched them with my best friend back when I was a tween. So, imagine my delight when I found out that not only is there a live Broadway tour of Dirty Dancing but it is touring and coming to a theater near me (and probably you too!)

Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing the Broadway Tour, theater, Broadway, kids and the arts 

You heard me right! Dirty Dancing is back!

Exploding with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion, and sensationally sexy dancing. It’s been seen by millions worldwide and features 35 hit songs, including “Hungry Eyes, “Hey Baby”, “Do You Love Me?” and the the infamous, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

We’re taking our girls to see it and we can’t wait! I have read amazing reviews and I can’t wait to see how they bring the story to life on stage in live theater. I’ll make sure to share my review with you after we see it so you can get the skinny on whether or not you should go see it in a city near you.

If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing on stage or even if you haven’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts on a stage adaptation.

 

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to experience Dirty Dancing on stage but all opinions and genuine love of theater are my own. 

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heidi david, madame paradox
Today,I have the absolute pleasure of having one of my all time favorite writers, Heidi David of Madame Paradox , guest post at The TRUTH about Motherhood. She is an amazing writer and person, with a big heart and the intellect to match.
“Heidi David is a writer and freelance producer.  She is the author of an as yet unpublished work of dark commercial fiction, THE FLYING JEWEL; a tale of a traveling circus where the price of admission is one’s free will. Brought up in a pleasant yet dysfunctional suburb of New York, Heidi’s excessive exposure to musical theater at a young age as well as a lifetime of insomnia have contributed to her peculiar world view. Ms. David has been known to take an occasional tango class as well as repel down cliffs, thus defying the centuries old tradition of nice Jewish girls finding excuses to get out of gym class.  When she’s not writing or producing, Heidi lives a gluten-free existence in her Manhattan apartment while pining for the bagels of her youth.”

Heidi is a writer’s blogger, meaning if you have a reverence for the written word you absolutely MUST give her blog a look. You won’t be sorry. Her words will take you to the four corners of the world, traveling space and time, she will make you laugh and cry. Heidi will take you to the brink of insanity and then rescue you from yourself. Her posts remind me of why I write. She expands my imagination and stimulates my brain, she can do the same for you. Heidi can also be found on Twitter.
Thank you so much Debi for inviting me to guest post. I must admit when I first sat down to write something I struggled with what topic to choose because I’m not a mother. But then I realized I know a lot about mothers. Funny enough, I happen to have one.
The kitchen of my youth was painted oh-so-cheery yellow with two walls of ridiculous wallpaper. To be more specific, imagine if the 1970’s went on a drunken bender and threw up all over the breakfast nook, this might come close to describing it. No doubt my mother would explain how fashionable that wallpaper was at the time. To which I would probably say something sarcastic like, “And if everyone told you to jump off a bridge wearing that wallpaper, would you?” For me, as a teenager, that yellow kitchen represented the color of conformity.
Mom was a remarkably creative child who studied concert piano in high school, as well as theater and opera in college. Do you remember those Judy Garland movies where she’d walk into a room with sheet music tucked under her arm, and suddenly, as if by magic, a piano player and a chorus of singing friends would appear? I imagine my mother’s youth was a little like that. I saw a picture of her once, right after she and my father married. She had on these big dangling earrings and was smoking a cigarette. I’ve seen many photos of her from the past, but none like that one. She looked kind of…ballsy. But in the fifties when you were the second-generation child of people who’d spent their lives trying to better themselves, you didn’t become an actress. You got married and had kids.
I am my mother’s youngest. By the time I entered the scene I saw her as a woman who wore makeup and panty hose to the grocery store, who smiled and said hello to strangers on the street, and who knew how to make a dandy Swedish meatball with grape jelly and Heinz chili sauce. Every now and then she’d try to sit down at the piano, growing teary eyed that she could no longer play or sing the way she once had.
My mother liked to have us spend weekends touring famous historical landmarks. We went to art exhibits, museums and lots of theater. She also read to me at night, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, and The House at Pooh Corner to name a few. Her renditions left an indelible mark on my brain.
Now I could tell you for every beige blouse she owned, I wore a black one; that while she said hello to everyone, I stared at my feet and avoided eye contact; that she was the social butterfly meanwhile I kept my nose buried in a book. And those descriptions would be true, but not entirely. I was involved in theater and dance from elementary school through adulthood. At thirteen I even picked up a hammer and chisel and started carving in stone. And if you get me in the right social situation, I’m the friendliest shy person you’ve ever met. Also, I too am one hell of a hostess, Swedish meatballs not withstanding.
Recently I spent a month in Florida with my mother. I’m not going to sugar coat it by saying this was an easy experience. Everyone in my family has rather “vivid” personalities, and to make matters worse they were living with me, cranky writer accustomed to her solitude. So you can imagine the hijinks that ensued. Be that as it may, there were these moments with mom and me in the kitchen. I’d be chopping up my kale while she was whipping up one of her classic meals, and because we had to cook around each other in this small space it was almost a choreographed ballet of sorts (something else she exposed us to in my youth). Of course, she is still a neat freak with an unnatural attachment to Mr. Clean, and I am still a pack rat, who hates it when she takes my glass before I’m finished drinking. But I wouldn’t trade those moments in the kitchen with her for anything.
My blog has been a fascinating way for us to get to know each other again, possibly for the first time. For one thing, I think my mother believed I’d forgotten my childhood, for another, she didn’t know I could write, not really anyway. Often, I use stories from my childhood as analogies for the writing process. This has occasionally led to humor in my posts at my mother’s expense. I worry sometimes that she doesn’t know what I know, that all those cultural activities she brought into my life expanded my world in ways that inform every word I write, and every idea I have.
Several years ago I took up painting. Didn’t have a clue what I was doing, really. I just bought as many tubes of acrylics as I could afford and began putting paint on the canvas. And wouldn’t you know it, my favorite color of the bunch, the perfect foil for all the bolder more unusual shades? Naples yellow. Or as I might describe it, mom’s-kitchen-yellow.

I have come to realize my mother and I are nothing alike, yet completely similar. Perhaps that’s the way it is with all mothers and daughters? So on behalf of willful children every where let me say, we may not look like you, or sound like you, but trust me, we know the echo of your passions colors our world everyday, and we love you for it.
heidi david, madame paradox
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Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

I’m a Chicago girl and there is nothing I love more than sharing my hometown with my daughters. I love taking my children to visit my family and introducing them to the city I love. It’s nice because while I’m figuring out all the best things to do in Chicago with teens and kids, I get to play tourist.

Chicago is one of my favorite cities but when you live somewhere you never play tourist because you.live.there. When you’re young, you’re like no way, I’m not wasting my time because you think you’ll always be there. Everything tourists come to Chicago to see, we saw on field trips a zillion times with school. You couldn’t pay us enough to go willingly.

READ ALSO: Chicago Ten Things to do Before You Die

But then you grow up and you realize OMG, all of these amazing museums, art galleries, Planetariums, Zoos, Aquariums and theater were right her and I took it all for granted. You realize that there are amazing things to do, food to eat and different cultures all around and you took it all for granted. But no more.

Here is a list of things to do in Chicago during the Winter months

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

The Museum of Science and Industry

During the winter months, November through January, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is displayed. Explore rich holiday traditions from around the globe while creating your own traditions with loved ones in Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof.

READ ALSO: Spring Break Make It Yourself at MSI

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. This year, I took my parents and my daughters and it was truly magical. My only piece of advice, it is very busy over the holiday break between Christmas and New Year.

Also, if you are going during a busy season or when a popular exhibit is at the museum, be sure to get tickets for the exhibits that you want to see. There are some free exhibits that are very popular and so tickets are given on first come first serve basis, plot your plan and get your tickets as soon as you get there so you don’t miss anything.

Free admission days: The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents with valid ID on the following dates in 2019: January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31, February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Shedd Aquarium

If you are looking for a leisurely day to spend with children of all ages, the Shedd Aquarium is perfect. You are inside from the elements, whether it be the sweltering heat of the summer or the brutal cold of Chicago winters, and children (and adults alike) love the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Discover Aquatic Animals from around the World. You can purchase tickets online and save time. Encounter Penguins. Meet Beluga Whales. Award Winning Exhibits. Hands-On Activities. Watch Shark Feedings. Shows: Shark Feeding Tour, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Beluga Encounter, Penguin Encounter. Our favorite was the Dolphin show and the Beluga Whales. It’s a great day of exciting aquatic fun.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Don’t forget about the free admission days January 17-21, February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28 more will be added to the shed aquarium page free admissions page at a later day. Check back frequently because it’s a great deal.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Field Museum

Who can forget the iconic shots of Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby at the Field Museum? If your child or teen is into history at all, Field Museum is the place to visit. Even if they aren’t, I think the FIeld Museum could convince them to be. The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. It’s where real science, dinosaurs, and world-class exhibits inspire fun for all. My girls and nephew loved the mummies exhibit, Sue the T-Rex and Maximo the Titanosaur.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

There are Free Admission Days, which is free basic admission for Illinois residents with proof of residency. Discounted passes are available in person and cannot be purchased online in advance.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Millennium Park, is a hub for summertime festivals like Lollapalooza, the Blues Festival, and Taste of Chicago but it’s really a great place to visit during the winter months as well. There are many pieces to be adored and to give your family something to think about Wood’s American Gothic, Matisse’s Bathers By a River, Monet’s Water Lilies, Rivera’s Weaver and even Renoir’s Two Sisters. There are O’Keefe, Toulouse-Lautrec and Warhols. All these I remember seeing as a child. But even among the Dali’s and Van Goghs, the piece I love the most is Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. Those artwork are probably only allowed to be shipped and prepped by topnotch art handlers to safeguard their authenticity. Having a place to go and share these pieces with my daughters, feels a little bit like going to church at the Sistine Chapel. We are overcome with awe and wonder. The art Institute is a must visit when you’re in Chicago.

Just like all the other amazing museums in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago has free admission days.

Adler Planetarium

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and a premier resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers and bonus, it is right next door to the Shedd Aquarium so you can make a day of it with the kids. If your child is interested in astronomy or space in general, how it works, what’s out there, or just connecting the constellations in the night sky, they will love the Adler Planetarium.

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days—where Illinois residents receive FREE General Admission to the museum. General Admission provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows.*) 2019 Illinois Resident Discount Days

January 21-22, 29-31
February 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 26-28
April 2-4, 9-11
June 3-5, 10-13
September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
October 7-9, 14-16
November 8, 11
December 2-3, 7, 12-13

Navy Pier

If you’ve never been to Navy Pier, make sure to visit on your next trip to Chicago. Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic city landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million visitors have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

There is so much to do at Navy Pier. There are restaurants, art, shopping, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and even rides. Navy Pier is home to one of Chicago’s most iconic attractions: the magnificent Centennial Wheel, offering soaring views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. And let’s not forget about the Pepsi Wave Swinger, carousel and more. Honestly, there is so much to do…just add teens and instant good time.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travelNavy Pier’s mission is to be a world-class public place that celebrates and showcases the vitality of Chicago and provides for the enjoyment of Chicago-area residents and visitors year-round. My girls love it and I’m sure that your kids will too. Did I mention that there is Garrett’s popcorn in the Pier and a Harry Careys?

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Medieval Times Schaumburg

If you’ve never been to a Medieval Times, you are missing out. I always wanted to go but never made the drive ase I said, when you live in Chicago, you don’t do the touristy things). A couple of years ago, I found myself at a work event with my family and guess where we ended up? Medieval Times. We loved it so much, this past holiday season when I was home visiting my parents, we took them to Medieval times in Schaumburg (just north of the city) and they loved it and so did my kids.

For the first time in Medieval Times 35-year history, a woman is in charge. All hail Queen Dona Maria Isabella. Enjoy an electrifying show featuring heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you. A sweeping musical score and brilliant lights provide a fabulous backdrop for this spellbinding experience that blurs the boundary between fairy tale and spectacle!

Yes, there is a blue knight and a red knight and you eat with your hands but so is everybody else and it was magical and splendid and I can’t wait to go again. There is a 2-hour medieval jousting tournament, 6 competing knights with real weapons, beautiful horses and a live flight of the royal falcon. Medieval Times is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Save BIG 40% off adults and teens & 20% off kids. Use code HOL4020. Valid for shows through 1/31/2019. Restrictions apply.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel, broadway in chicagoBroadway in Chicago

If you love the theater, Broadway in Chicago is the place to be. Hamilton, anyone? The theater district is vibrant and located within walking distance of so many great restaurants and entertainment opportunities, including the Joffrey ballet. There is no shortage of things to see and places to be while experiencing Broadway on Chicago. There is a constant assortment of plays and musicals to see on the stage, something for everyone, even the most discerning critics.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel, broadway in chicago

There are so many more things, these are just a few and the list gets longer during the warmer months. What is your favorite thing to do, see and eat in Chicago? The best part is that all of these places are great for just adults too.

READ ALSO: The Aladdin Experience

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago with teens or kids?

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I love Chicago and anything fun to do with the kids in Chicago is awesome, in my book. If you are looking for something a little different then taking the kids to the beach or the playground , look no further! We all know how hard it is to keep the kids entertained during the summertime. Normally, by about the end of June, I am completely out of ideas. What’s even harder is to find affordable entertainment, especially if it also provides a little education and culture for the girls. I know you all know exactly what I am talking about. With this in mind, The Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)  has graciously invited my family to a performance of the new musical based on,Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. We are thrilled about attending a performance next month. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater is located at Navy Pier, so we plan on making a family day of it.I think it would also make a great play date excursion.The greater news is that CST is also generously providing a Free Family four pack set of tickets to be given away to one of my lucky readers to the performance of their choice.*
I have read that  The Emperor’s New Clothes is high energy,chalked full of clever costumes and valuable lessons.If you’d like more information on the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes please click here. Sounds to me, like a great production for the whole family to enjoy. I can’t wait to see it for myself.
Tickets are $18–$23 or as low as $12 per child for parties of 10 or more. Tickets to The Emperor’s New Clothes would make a great family day event and CST Patrons save 40% on parking at Navy Pier as well! 

Ways to enter to win the Free Family Four pack
  • Mandatory* Follow me via Google Friend Connect.
  • Mandatory* Email Subscribe to my blog.+2
  • Add me to your blog roll. (Link me to your blog so I can find it!)
  • Blog about this giveaway & link me to it. +5
  • Like me on Facebook.
  • Post about this giveaway on your Facebook wall. +2
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Follow Chicago Shakespeare Theater on twitter
  • Tweet this giveaway. (You can do this once daily!)Please include @TruthfulMommy and @Chicagoshakes in your tweet! 

 *Contest open to US readers only, 18 years old and older.Must be in or around the Chicago land area at time of performance. Contest ends 7/3/10 at 9 p.m. EST. Winner will be chosen randomly. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment unless it’s visible on your Blogger profile. (If I can’t contact you, a new winner will be drawn.) Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If winner does not claim their prize in the 48 hour period, a new winner will be chosen at random.

*Subject to availability. Valid by phone or in person only. Not valid in combination with other promotions or on previously purchased tickets.

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James Holmes, Aurora, Colorado, Movie Massacre, Shootings

James Holmes, Aurora, Colorado, Movie Massacre, Shootings

James Holmes; A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

James Holmes, what’s left to be said about you that has not already been said? James Holmes it’s been speculated that you are a psychotic or a sociopath. But I think you know exactly what you are doing, just like you knew what you were doing when you walked into that crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado and started shooting people like fish in a barrel calling yourself the Joker. You are not the Dark Knight.You are not crazy. You are just an asshole who needs a psychiatric evaluation to prove it once and for all. Pretending evidence bags wrapped on your hands are sock puppets is not funny. You are not criminally insane and you should be held accountable for the pain you have caused; the lives you have taken and the collective innocence you have violated.

James Holmes, you do have a problem, you are a narcissist with a God complex. You think you are untouchable and above reproach. The sad thing is that for you, James Holmes, there is no punishment that will ever punish you as you deserve to be punished. That punishment will come in good time. As for now, there is no satisfaction for the victims and the family and friends of the victims. As you sit in jail, with your Joker hair and spitting at guards, making a spectacle of yourself, the rest of the world mourns for your victims. There is no sympathy to be had for you; no matter what issues your defense team may concoct to save you from the death penalty. To the world, you are already dead.

You are a monster; a plague on society, the likes of the monster  Osama Bin Laden. You came into a place we all felt safe by cover of night and you attacked like a coward. You saw our vulnerability and you came in the night like a thief with your bright cartoon orange hair and your semi-automatic weapons and you robbed us of our security forever. The killings can never be undone. Your horror story will haunt us long after you are gone.

That night in Aurora, Colorado your behavior took children from their mothers, parents from children, husbands from wives, lovers, friends and family from one another. James Holmes you have caused destruction that will be felt for years to come. You will be the cautionary tale that parents tell their children before sending them to the movies on their own for the very first time. You will be the cause for contingency plans and metal detectors in all public places. The media has sensationalized a lone gunman, but you are really nothing more than a wounded and weak man.

James Holmes You are Not Above the Law

I can tell by your nonchalant regard for the law and the destruction that you have caused that you have no value for human life. You didn’t run when you were caught because you didn’t care what they thought of your actions.  You surrendering was a giant “Fuck you, you can’t touch me. The damage is done.” You had somewhat accomplished what you came to do and you felt that no one can hurt you because you are above reproach. In your mind, everyone else is nobody. You had the audacity to boobie trap your entire apartment to the extent that the intention was to cut the first person in half who walked through the door, adding one more victim to your tally.

I’m not sure why you warned the authorities about the explosives in your apartment; were you bragging in your narcissistic delusion? Or, perhaps, your last shred of humanity was peaking through. You are dangerous, James Holmes, because you have nothing left to lose. Did your parents not show you enough attention? Were the girls mean to you? Did you have no friends growing up? Well, guess what? We all have fucking problems. No one’s life is perfect but we don’t all go buy semi-automatic weapons and kill people because we feel mistreated. If that were the case, the entire species would have been eliminated centuries ago.

I don’t know what went wrong in your life to cause you to have no respect for the human race, life in general or your own future but it must be awful living with yourself now. Knowing all the pain and destruction that you have caused, and spending the rest of your life in jail while receiving death threats won’t be any fun. No one tolerates a murderer of kids, not even other murderers. You will always be in danger and always be hated by the public.

You, James Holmes, the Joker, Dark Knight, you get my throat punch this week. May God have mercy on your soul because no one else will. May you live a long life behind bars and may the guilt and fear that will eventually be your constant companion keep you in its bosom and hold you tightly. May you know the fear that you caused those 70 people in that Aurora, Colorado Theater at the midnight screening of the Dark Knight.

What are your thoughts on James Holmes and the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre?


Photo: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/AP Photo

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BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

Broadway musicals are my jam. I love all the arts but there is something truly special about being transformed through time and space by a story told through music sung live on stage. Music is my love language.

This being said, there is nothing I love more than an inspiring story of a strong-willed woman who bootstraps her way through life and finds her way to the top. That’s why I am so excited to see BEAUTIFUL with my daughters.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts CenterDisclosure: I was provided tickets to the show for review purposes but all excitement for the theater and BEAUTIFUL are my own.

BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann—ultimately becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

READ ALSO: Les Miserables Proves that Where there is Love there is Hope

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, a Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. It wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

This show continues to dazzle in New York and to packed houses worldwide with its wit, charm and soul. Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, BEAUTIFUL took home two 2014 Tony Awards® and the 2015 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts Center

READ ALSO: Phantom of the Opera Broadway Tour

Beautiful is playing at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, IN from Friday, October 25- Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Show times:

Friday, October 25, 2019: 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019: 2 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019: 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 27, 2019: 2 p.m.

BEAUTIFUL, Carole King, Broadway Musicals, Morris Performing Arts CenterRun time:

  • ACT I: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • INTERMISSION: 15 minutes
  • ACT II: 1 hour
  • RUNNING TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes

The performance will begin promptly at the advertised curtain time. Latecomers will be held outside of the theater until the tour approved entrance time.

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mommy moment monday, my girls, daughters. motherhood

Mommy Moment Monday

Mommy Moment Monday~There are these moments in motherhood where I stand in awe of these little people that I helped to bring into the world. They have done things that I have never done. Things that I will never do and that makes me stop and catch my breath. The moments when I cannot believe that I get to be a part of the tapestry of their lives. I know all mother’s feel this way but I am always gently reminded of this when I see my daughters do something for the first time, especially at this time of the year, being the raging christian that I am. This time of the year holds a special place in my heart.

This past weekend my Bella debuted in her third Nutcracker performance. This is amazing to me that she can be only 7 and have performed live on stage in this huge (named one of the top 5 in the country by Forbes magazine) production and in front of sold out crowds. I get stage fright so the fact that they can do this, blows me away and leaves me in the audience so emotional that I am usually moved to tears by my pride in their courage. I suppose it is the knowledge that with every new venture, they are growing up and I am letting go, even in this minimal way.

Bella has always been my child that sucks it up, no matter how afraid she may be of a new situation. She just does it. She is a lot like me in this way. We are the sort who were born wearing our big girl panties. I guess it may have something to do with being the firstborn.

mommy moment monday, my girls, daughters. motherhood

Mommy Moment caught on camera

She had her first reconciliation at 10:30 that morning, that was following performances the 2 nights previous and a grueling rehearsal schedule all that week. She never complained. She had a cold and pink eye in the past two weeks but she sucked it up. On Saturday, I could see she was a little trepidatious. I tried to ease her into reconciliation. I assured her that she would do fine and it would be painless. Unfortunately, she had to go first because she was due at the theater that morning for call time for her matinee performance. She sucked it up and gave the longest first confession that I have ever seen, no doubt throwing her father and I under the bus. It all ended with absolution and a fist pump from what I can only describe as the coolest priest ever. I sat there and watched, because she did a face-to-face confession out in the open, as her father snapped undercover photos on his iPhone because I begged him to. I was moved. She is getting so big and I am so proud of her. I held back the tears and when I saw that her trepidation was exchanged for absolution and a huge smile, my heart exploded.

But there was no time for congratulatory lingering. She had to be at the theater and we had to get ready to attend the matinee. The opening weekend performances are particularly moving because they are accompanied by the Philharmonic and a live chorus. For me, it is always amazing to see my baby on stage because I know of the process that she went through to get there; 5 years of dance classes, auditioning and a grueling rehearsal schedule. She made that choice and I could not be prouder.I was particularly excited to be going to see it with my father, who has never seen my daughter perform.

I excitedly explained the premise to my parents and told them to watch for my girl to enter stage right and then dance her way to stage left. Before we dropped Bella off at the green room that morning, I asked her to make it extra special for me. I know this sounds crazy but if you have a daughter who dances ( especially one who has a particular shade of blondish brown hair) you know that under lights and in their costumes, it is easy to get small children mixed up.

mommy moment monday, motherhood, nutcracker, ballet

Mommy Moment by Nutcracker Mice

When it came her time on stage during the Battle scene, I saw her immediately and then I saw her look for me( even though I know she can’t see anything past the house lights). My heart was swelling so big that I began to tear up, for the second time that day.  I was choked up and tears about to come gushing out when I noticed what she was doing. She was over animating and smiling harder than I had ever seen and dancing like it was her last show ever, and I knew it was for me and I audibly laughed out loud as my tears escaped. This feeling of pride that I feel for my girls is directly proportional with the love I feel for them. In some small part, I did that.

My girls are way more amazing than I could have ever imagined and they fill my life with more joy and meaning than I ever knew possible. I am proud to be their mother and blessed to be able to share their lives with them.

mommy moment, daughters, nutcracker, motherhood

Mommy Moment with my Girl

 

What was your mommy moment this week?



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