Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Craziest Christmas Trip EVER

So, we're at the end of the year! YAY!  My last post about 2010 HAS to be about our crazy Christmas trip to Arizona.  For actual Christmas, we were at my Grandma Anderson's house with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, which was AWESOME because it was just like my Christmas trips to Utah when I was growing up.  Pictures of this will have to come later, because they are on my old camera.

Anyway, a day or so later (I can't remember which), I embarked on the Faulk family tradition of going to Phoenix, Arizona right after Christmas to visit Daniel's Aunt Susie and Uncle Brian.  Let me just say, this trip did not go as planned.

First of all, we had THIS new, non-trained puppy in the car...the golden, smaller one :)

When we pulled into Las Vegas on the way down, she had pooped all over in her cage, and had smeared it all over herself.  The smell was horrific.  Throughout the trip, she continued to poop all over Aunt Susie and Uncle Brian's house.  Good thing they have 5 dogs and are used to it.

Now, Vegas was just not a lucky place for us.  Right before we got to Vegas, the Expedition started dragging some piece of car-nonsense on the highway, so we had to stop to tear it off.  Then, we got to Vegas, cleaned out all the doggy poop, and headed back on I-15.  This tranquility was short-lived, however.  The Expedition started put-putting and clicking and doing all sorts of things that even a non-car-trained dummy like me knew was bad.

So, we put-putted off the next exit and eventually got the car to an auto mechanic.  He informed us that the put-putting and clicking was indeed bad.  It would cost a lot more to fix the problem than the car was worth.  So, we were stranded in Vegas with no car.  Well, let me rephrase.  We had a totaled car that we didn't know what to do with and no functioning car to get to Arizona with.

We started calling every car rental agency in Las Vegas.  Unfortunately, it was the week of New Years and every place was fresh out of rentals.  We even had my dad calling every Ford dealership in the area.  Finally, we found an escape at a rental agency that they were willing to rent to us for a ridiculously high price--go figure.  So, we put-putted over to the rental agency, picked up the Escape, put-putted the Expedition to the airport long-term parking, and continued on our way to Phoenix--5 hours later.

When we got to Phoenix, we discovered that it was not the sunny, warm getaway we had been expecting.  It was 50 degrees and windy.  While we were there they had their first snow in over 20 years.  We just felt so tickled to have experienced such a miracle!  Not.

Anyway, the next day Daniel's brother Joseph and his dad drove back to Vegas to drop off the Escape and drove back in Joseph's car.  This obviously took an entire day off of their vacation.  The next two days of Daniel's parents' "vacation" were spent at a local Ford dealership buying a new car--an Escape.  Needless to say, this was not what they were expecting to do on their favorite trip of the year.  And this whole time Porsche, the new puppy, is pooping everywhere--just to give you the full picture.

Now, so far this had clearly been a pretty crazy trip.  Luckily, Aunt Susie and Uncle Brian are pretty awesome people, and they helped us have a BLAST despite all the drama.  We shopped like crazy!  Aunt Susie is an outlet goddess.  I got tons of stuff for my student teaching and several other excellent items from around the house the Susie wasn't using (like an pair of unused JCrew rainboots!).  This is a cute outfit (the picture doesn't do it justice...) for student teaching I got at the Banana Republic outlet:

We also went golfing.  Now, this was not a fantastic experience as it was freezing and windy, but we tried to make the best of it:

As you can see in the video below, I'm a pretty awesome beginning golfer!


We also pigged out and ate tons of fantastic food.  Joseph also ate a disgusting amount of fortune cookies:

There was tons of game-playing (the game of Poo is the BEST GAME EVER!) and chatting and movie-watching.  Everyone got to play with their new Christmas gadgets, and it was just nice to spend time with family--despite all the drama.  My favorite "people" to hang out with were these three:

So, in summary, Daniel and I were super sad that we didn't get to use this:

But we did get to see this:

And a LOT of this:

I can't wait to visit the fam in Phoenix again mostly because they're awesome, but also because there is no way the trip could ever be this crazy again!  Or could it...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Next to Normal

Still playing catchup! It stinks that there are so many awesome things I've missed, but I'll try and include the most important events. Next up: My Mask Club!

A Mask Club production is a 45-minute cutting of a show that seniors direct in the advanced directing class, TMA 436. I had been planning mine for a long time. I would do a cutting of the musical Spring Awakening. I had made the cutting and had been plotting and planning for literally a year. I had all the pre-production work done. I was ready to cast the first week of school when I received terrible news. Despite the fact that my show had been approved in January, I was no longer going to be allowed to direct Spring Awakening because of the difficult themes and content. I had, of course, made extreme edits to make sure that the cutting was appropriate, but the climate of the department was such that the powers that be could not take such a risk at that time.

So, I was back to square one. As you might imagine, I was devastated. All my hard work and planning was down the drain. My Mask Club was scheduled to perform in just over a month and I had no show. Luckily, my professor Rodger Sorensen (bless that man!) let me move my show to the very last slot on December 9th, but I was still showless.

I started reading scripts as quickly as I could. I went through possibility after possibility, and I finally happened upon the script for the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal. For whatever reason, I immediately knew that this was the show I needed to do. I got it approved, and everything seemed to fall into place.

After going through several casting options (including using professional actress and BYU acting faculty member Kym Mellen as the lead role), I finally held open auditions and found a FANTASTIC cast. I worked tirelessly on the show all semester while doing my Practicum teaching (a month-long unit on Greek tragedy at Spanish Fork Junior High with my partner Jason Langlois) as well as several other difficult classes.

While I went through many trials in the production of this show, the most difficult one was the lost of my friend Lelagi Klein. She committed suicide while in an extremely depressed state. She had struggled with bipolar depression for most of her life (something most of her friends were unaware of). This was an incredibly difficult time, particularly because Next to Normal chronicles the life of a woman who struggles with bipolar depression and how it affects her family. At this point I questioned the "rightness" of my doing this show. Still, something told me to keep with it, and in the end I directed a production that I am positive changed lives.

My mom was able to come see the show, which was the greatest gift! Unfortunately, she got extremely ill that evening, but I was so grateful for her support. My grandparents, in-laws, teahcers, and friends all came as well, and it was one of the most fulfilling days of my life. Here are some photos from the production:

Top of the show:

"I will hold it all together
We’re the perfect loving fam’ly
If they say we’re not then screw ‘em."

"My psychopharmacologist and I…
It’s like an odd romance.
Intense and very intimate,
We do our dance."

"Zoloft and Paxil and Buspar and Xanax…
Depakote, Klonopin, Ambien, Prozac…
Ativan calms me when I see the bills—
These are a few of my favorite pills."

"It’s gonna be good!
It’s gonna be good.
Gonna sit right down together
Like a happy fam’ly should."

"He’s been dead
Sixteen years…
No, my love, he’s not here."

"I am the one who knows you,
I am the one who cares,
I am the one who’s always been there."

"Superboy and the invisible girl…
Son of steel and daughter of air.
He’s a hero, a lover, a prince—
She’s not there."

"Catch me I'm falling.
Please here me calling.
Catch me before it's too late."

"There’s a world…
There’s a world I know.
A place we can go
Where the pain will go away—"

"I am more than memory—
I am what might be, I am mystery.
Come closer…"

"I don’t need a life that’s normal—
That’s way too far away.
But something…next to normal
Would be okay."

"Perfect for you…
I will be perfect for you.
So you could go crazy,
Or I could go crazy, it’s true…"

"I am the one who loved you.
I am the one who stayed.
I am the one, and you walked away."

"When we open up our light.
Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.
Can fight that fight.
There will be light."

The whole cast and crew:

Diana: Leslie Hiatt
Dan: Kent Lloyd
Gabe: Beau Brewster
Natalie: Aurora Florence
Henry: Elijah Thomas
Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden: Ben Isaacs

Keyboard: Derrick Clements
Bass Guitar: Colin Hatch
Lead Guitar: Joshua Hardy
Cello: Tessa Wilkerson
Drums: Richard Williams

Director: Camee Anderson Faulk
Lighting Designer: McKell Crandall
Properties Designer: Richie Uminski
Sound Designer: Spencer Carter
Costume Designer: Bergen Goesch
Hair & Makeup Designer: Kat Webb
Assistant Stage Manager: Lizz Miller
Assistant Stage Manager: Lauren Poet
Assistant Stage Manager: Lauren Wilkins
Assistant Stage Manager: Alexis Wood

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Emily's Wedding!

Sorry this is getting a bit out of order, but I forgot to write about by best friend's wedding! Emily Meek married Jason Davies on June 30, 2010. It was my first time as a bridesmaid! Here are some pics from her stunning wedding!

First up, the wedding dinner the night before. She had it at the Market Street Grill:

Wedding day! One of my favorite things about Emily getting married is that our best friend WHITNEY got to come! We've all been best friends since the Mexico days, and Whitney was one of my bridesmaids as well. See here.

It was really windy...

Isn't she gorgeous? I couldn't ask for a better friend!



At the beginning of August 2010, just a few weeks after I got home from Cornerstone, Daniel and I were lucky enough to be whisked away to Disneyworld, courtesy of my parents and their 30th anniversary! We also got to go to the new HARRY POTTER THEME PARK! It was amazing. It was seriously an awesome vacation--a badly needed one. My parents are the most generous people ever, and it was the first time our whole family had been on a vacation together in many years.

Here are some of my favorite pics!

Taking the ride on the Disney Express from the Orlando airport:

Happy Anniversary!

We stayed at the New Orleans-themed hotel:

Sister silly-band power!

It was a crazy ride...


Entrance to Dumbledore's office...


Honeydukes with Every-Flavor Beans!

Enjoying my chocolate frog:

As you can see, this was a pretty bomb trip. I have fond memories of Disneyworld as a kid, and it was awesome to take probably our last full-family vacation there. I hope that one day Daniel and I can go there with our kids and make the kind of memories that my parents made for us!