Sunday, January 4, 2015

I blog once a year....

...whether you read it or not!

Yep, it's that time - the DivaMommy's annual year in review. A look back on the events of the year. 

It's been a year with a lot of ups, a few downs as usual and a LOT of learning! I am truly blessed with wonderful experiences.

Ok...where to begin? How about at home.

Mama's Babies are Growing Up!

Seriously! Ryder was baptized in April - (and he turns 9 in just 4 days) and Lola will be baptized this year. I love to watch them grow and accomplish and learn and to see their wonderful personalities come out. There are lots of challenges and triumphs, but it's truly my family that brings me the most joy. 

Unfortunately I missed their 1st day of school this year because of a this years Bermuda show, but Grandma was nice enough to get photos on their first day of school this year.  Chloe started high school, Piper is in 7th grade, Ryder in 3rd and Lola in 2nd. 

Chloe's first high school dance.

Piper broke BOTH of her arms!

But it didn't stop her from performing in my Halloween show! Chloe and Piper were stars and I was so proud of them!

And Lola continues to be my sweet little girl - who happened to bring down the house nightly singing "Do You Want To Build a Snowman" in our fall Disney Revue.

There's less of Mama this year!

Yup, I finally lost that baby weight. Yup, my baby is 7. 

My weight is always up and down but I finally broke my plateau. I went from a size 12 to a size 6. It's really nice and it wasn't hard. Not having gluten as helped but I cut out a lot of sugar. Any gluten at all and more than just a little sugar makes me sick so it's an "easy" choice to make. But what really pushed me over the plateau is EFT. I've been doing it for a few years but never for weight loss. I literally "tapped" along with one session that mostly addressed the overwhelm of weight loss itself and that did the trick. I have to work harder in other areas, however. I am a big fan of EFT so I wanted to share it! The best place to get started is here:  There is a book on basic tapping and one on weight loss. There are videos and programs and I'm happy to help guide anyone to the proper resources!!

I do still have a baby bump, though. A 4 baby bump to be precise. I'm kinda proud of it. :-)

Performing recently with Jack Walker and Lou DeMeis. Photo by Ed Foster Photography

Mamma had a challenging theatre producing experience.

As you may recall, 2 years ago we went to Bermuda to produce Once On This Island. We brought the family, lived there for 2 months and it was a really great experience.

We were asked back again this year to produce Beauty and the Beast. It was the most challenging experience of my life so far. Unfortunately the company we were hired by wasn't prepared for the technical and financial challenges of such a show and even more unfortunately, they often chose to be less than forthcoming about their shortcomings, creating more challenges for us and extreme stress and strain on every level of the production. While I don't believe any of it was out of malice, lack of communication and dishonesty will sabotage even the best intentions. Oh, and it rained almost the whole time we were there!

It was a blessing that the cast was truly responsive and appreciative and brought us much joy and that we learned that 65% of our desired production level was still really darned good. And I got to create some truly gorgeous costumes, grew closer to my husband and some really good friends. It was definitely and adventure and a learning experience!

It was a good year for gettin' Mamma's sang on!

I had a varied and diverse performance opportunities this year. 

Steve and I opened the year singing together as hosts at Sam's Town Live's weekly variety show, produced by Ed Matthews.  We invited our good friend Taylor Eliason to sing with us, Lola sang a little "Snow Man" and the Davis' brothers treated us!

I got back onstage in a musical as The Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot - which was another learning experience. Never costume a show when you're the lead, ok? I really should have learned this by now.

Here's one of my favorite numbers from the show. DramaDad was also in the show - he played Sir Lancelot which once again meant we had literally no on-stage interaction, though his character was the catalyst for my character's best joke. It was a fun, silly show where I got to sing my guts out and wear pretty costumes - who could ask for more?

We produced a really wonderful and amazing Disney Revue for our church. It was an incredible cast and we had way too much fun. I hope to have video highlights of it soon.

I created and performed in a Halloween show for Las Vegas' Springs Preserve again this year. It was again, a LOT of fun!! This year we had Diva Monsters!

And GHOSTLIGHT - my country singing group, had a great year!

We did some red Carpets and performed at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel for Mondays Dark - a really great charity event!

We added musicians so we can now perform as a band...and we had an awesome photo shoot.

Check out our band promo!

I truly love these guys - 2015 is going to be our year!

Mamma made pretty things!

Just a few of my costuming adventures this year!

Belle's Ball Gown
The Bouche (Wardrobe) from Beauty and the Beast

Self Explanatory

Katy Perry Inspired


Another Katy Perry Inspired costume - for a Burlesque STAR!

And, of course, Mamma made time for Disneyland!

My first trip was in early January to actually audition for a role in Disneyland. It was a great experience and my first time in Disneyland solo...which is why there are no photos.

We knew we would be traveling to LA a lot this year for fabric shopping, so we took the plunge and purchased annual passes to Disneyland. So I was there for my birthday!

And we even ran into our GHOSTLIGHT bandmates in the Fall!

 As well as this unsavory character...

And in November, we took a family trip with some of DramaDad's extended family. It was a LOT of fun! We had a blast and Lola FINALLY got to meet Anna and Elsa.

So looking back, it was in fact a pretty great year. Looking forward, I have lots of great things coming up, surrounded by a family I love more than anything in the world.

Much love!!!

The DivaMommy

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mamma's Year End, uh....Review

No, I didn't write a musical revue about my year...though that's a brilliant idea! Next year maybe!

What I did have was a BRILLIANT year! Oh yes, this mamma has so many wonderful things to reflect on...

This is my favorite post of the year - I love to look back on my old ones and remember what wonderful experiences I have been blessed to have in years past. Enjoy!

Mamma became a Producer

I'm not gonna lie, I have mixed feelings about this one. This year, I (along with the ever impressive Drama Dad) produced 2 full fledged musicals. While I'm super proud of the accomplishments, I didn't always find the process to be my favorite experience. It's hard to even define what a producer does - and in my case I also took on other roles including costumes and production management. And while I feel like I did about a million things as a producer and it took SO much of my time, it's hard to define what those things were  - phone calls, errands, emails, checks, counseling... and dealing with the crappy stuff like people not getting along, people unhappy with this or that - the kinda ugly underbelly of co-leading 50 plus people towards a mutual goal. But it was also amazing to see things coming together (as a result of a LOT of hard work from a LOT of people) and to see audiences loving the productions and those involved having wonderful experiences. I learned SOOOOOO MUCH! Here's a bit from our shows:

In March, Huntsman Entertainment officially co-produced our first production - Next To Normal!

And in June, we produced The Music Man (with Super Summer Theatre.)

The Music Man was also Piper's first opportunity to be IN a show and she was a hit! She's a BEAUTIFUL dancer, singer and actress and was well loved by all who worked with her. I was SOOO proud of her!

Mamma got a VACATION....S!!

First of all, I got to spend 2 amazing weeks in Hawaii aboard the Pride of America where my hubby was doing a 10 week contract. We had a total blast!!!

Then when we found out Steve would be heading back out for Christmas this year (3rd year in a row - booo!) we decided to celebrate Christmas early - at the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH! Our first trip to visit the Mouse in 5 years!

After two days of Disneyland Magic, we headed south to Sea World! Our friend Jon plays Chip the Elf and we had an awesome time!!

Doing Disneyland with older kids was an absolute blast! We really look forward to going back more often! 

Mamma fulfilled her Theme Park Dreams...mostly!

As long as I can remember I wanted to do a theme park show! I even auditioned back in the day and I think I would have eventually gotten hired if the park hadn't closed...oh well! But this year I was hired to put together a little Halloween theme park style show for the Las Vegas Valley Water District's Haunted Harvest Festival! It was SO fun! We were "The Band Scary" and we had a LOT of fun!!


While we started on this endeavor last Fall, I didn't talk about it in last years final post because we were keeping it on the down low - but it's something I'm VERY excited about!

It's kinda a 2 part thing - we created a country vocal group with our friends Kelly and Brandon Albright - fellow musical theatre friends who we've know for YEARS! Our group is called GHOSTLIGHT! (A ghostlight is the light left in a theatre overnight so when you come in the next day you don't fall in the pit or anything. It's a theatrical term with a rustic sound so it's PERFECT for our group!) This is one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Not only do we sound amazing together, but we have a blast together.

Here we are singing at the Boyscouts big Centennial Celebration! (Steve missed it because he was out of town.)

And you can visit our website!

And THEN our awesome group created an awesome Country Revue show! It's called Keepin' It Country and it's SO much fun. I love doing this show!

PLEASE check out our promo video!!!

And our website!

Mamma's family ROCKED!!

We entered Rolling Stone Magazine/Hyandai's My Family Rocks contest and we were selected as National Finalists! We got SO much support from family and friends and ALMOST won a new car and a trip to the Grammy's! We took second, but we totally WON because we were completely and totally overwhelmed by the love and support of our family and friends. :)

Mamma got Legally Blonde!!

We had been planning to go back to Bermuda this past summer to do another show, but they decided that we needed to wait a year, which ended up freeing up my time to audition for Legally Blonde, the Musical! I love the show, it's fun and I thought it would be a great experience. Well - I got cast as Paulette - the slightly white trashy love lorn hairdresser from Boston! Oh my gosh, I had the time of my life - made incredible new friends and got to do a show with my Hubby who played Warner, the hot ex-boyfriend. Playing Paulette has been my favorite role to date and I will forever hold a bit of her in my heart. Check out a bit of Paulette below!! AND here's what the review had to say about Steve & I... "The multitalented Steve Huntsman makes an egotistical skunk of an ex-boyfriend as Warner Huntington III (“Serious”). Sandra Huntsman (his offstage wife) is a standout as the beautician Paulette Buonufonte. She sports a believable “Southie” accent and she delivers the show’s strongest vocal performance in her comically touching song of lost love and dog (“Ireland”). Evan Litt delivers as the hunk-a-babe UPS man, Kyle, Paulette’s love interest. Their precisely danced spoof of the unbearable “Riverdance” is side-splittingly funny." 

In Conclusion...

I'm SO grateful to have had a wonderful year full of many wonderful memories and experiences, opportunities to learn and a fresh desire to really follow my dreams. 

Most importantly, my biggest joy in life is my wonderful husband and my amazing little ones - who aren't so little any more. We had millions of moments of laughter and joy, some heartbreak and anger and frustration. But through it all, we stick together and keep going and the light always outshines the dark. Simply, I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!

2014 is already shaping up to be an incredible year and I'm excited to see what's to come and enjoy the journey!