Thursday, April 30, 2009

My American Idol Experience

Have you ever been in a situation where you have said to yourself, "This is important and I need to write this down so that my children can know about this."? Well, today I had one of those days. You see, Otto and I visited Disney Hollywood Studios today, and while we were waiting at the turnstiles for the park to open, a bunch of people from the American Idol Experience came over and said that they were holding auditions for the American Idol Experience. Otto told me to audition and I didn't want to. He told me that I really should and I came up with a ton of excuses as to why I didn't want to, but then I finally just went and did it.
After my first audition, I got a call back to go to another audition. After that one, I got to sit in the red Coke Cola room and rehearse my song. I chose to sing "Colors of the Wind" because it was a Disney song and it reminded me of my girlies who were at home. Well, they they had me perform for the Executive Producer and then they played a video with Ryan Seacrest on it telling me that I had received a GOLDEN ticket to compete in one of the American Idol shows that was showing that day. My showtime was at 12:00 noon.
There were 2 other contestants that competed against me, and I thought that, for sure, one of them was going to win. I just thought that this was a cute little karaoke party and so I was just keeping things fun and having a blast. Then, right before we were about to sing, I heard the host say that it was a competition and the winner of the Finale Show (which was performed at 7 pm) would win a real golden ticket to audition for the REAL American Idol judges Randy, Paula and Simon. It kind of hit me then that this wasn't just a fun little thing, it was an actual competition.
It was really neat, because we had to arrive at the show an hour early where we got to practise our songs while listening to the ipods that also showed our lyrics. Then it was on to hair and makeup where I kind of felt as though they turned me into a Disney character with a TON of makeup and big big big hair! After that, I got to spend some time with a vocal coach who gave me some tips on how to better my performance, and then we got to go onto the stage for the first time where we got our pictures taken and we got to pracise singing our songs and learning where we had to stand and where we had to go.
After that, it was time for the show to start. After listening to the introduction music, running onstage to be introduced and doing a short interview with the host it was my turn to start the performances. I sang my song and then got judged by the three judges. It was fun, and I pretty much knew what they were going to say. It was great and I really had a blast.
After all three of us performed we got to dance while Jordan Sparks had a music video play and then it was time for the audience to vote. We all encouraged the audience to vote for us and then we got to hear the results. The host stalled and stalled and when he finally read the name of the winner, I couldn't believe that I had won!
I did NOT expect to win ANYTHING on American Idol, and I had actually WON!!!! I was so shocked and excited! I immediately found Otto and then we called my mom and Jenna and Kristin (my sisters). They are also in Orlando right now, but they were spending the day at a different park than Otto and I. I told them that I had won American Idol and that I was in the finale and I asked them if they wanted to come and sit in the VIP seats and watch me. OF COURSE THEY CAME!
When it was time for the finale we went through the same preshow things and then we performed again. This time there were 7 of us instead of only 3. I was a lot more nervous because before the show we were all talking and the producers told us that they get over 400 people a day auditioning to be on the American Idol shows and out of those 400, only 40 get to see the Executive Producers. Out of those 40, only 21 make it into the competition and then only 7 make it to the finale. So, that means that I was in the top 7 out of 400 people!!! PRESSURE!!!! After that sweet little tidbit of information, we all went around and said who we were, where we were from and what our musical background was. It turns out that only me and one other guy hadn't actually come to the park wanting to be in the show. Everyone else had rehearsed for months to get ready for the show and get their songs perfect so that they could compete. I had just stood in line and was clueless as to what was going on! I was actually competing with professional singers (and very talented ones, at that) and they were all there to get exposure. I was just there on vacation and so that I could tell my kids that I had tried. I never expected to make it to the finale, and I really didn't want to win because I would NEVER be able to sing in front of the REAL American Idol judges.
So, I didn't win the finale (whew), but I sure did have a lot of fun. It turns out that the other guy who also hadn't planned on auditioning for American Idol was the one who won and I was sooooo glad for him. This experience was soooo great for me because it taught me a few things. It taught me to put myself out there a little bit more because I just don't know what I can do. It taught me that to believe in my singing a little bit more because there were so many people who were so nice to me today and who complimented my singing. It taught me that people are genuinely nice. I had TONS of people stop me in the park today to congratulate me and tell me that they had voted for me. I even had a group of boys who wanted to pose with me and take pictures with me. I had some of the staff at Disney World sign a card for me to say "Good Luck" and I had others who would just come up and talk to me because they had seen me on the big tv's.
It was such a great experience, and I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful husband who pushed me to audition and then who patiently listened to me talk about my worries, fears and doubts all day long and obsess over it all day long. We did do a TON of other things at the Disney Hollywood Studios today, and we had a BLAST together! I am sooooo glad that Otto and I took this trip together and I can't wait until we get home so I can show the pictures and videos to my kids.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Outta this World

Today we spent the day at the Kennedy Space Center! (Finally!!) Otto really loved it and I was really glad that we went! It was really cool to see the progression of the rockets that they have used in order to accomplish all of the space missions. I felt very sad, and humbled when I thought about all of the men and women who had sacrificed their lives for space travel. It brought back memories of when I was in elementary school and I watched the launch of the Discovery Mission and it exploded. I still feel a sense of loss when I think about it.
I also felt a sense of pride when I got to walk by a model of the Canadian Space arm that is a smaller version of the one on the International space Station. It felt nice to know that my country had contributed to that space station in a huge way! Yay Canada!
While Otto and I were there, we kept on talking about our daughter Anne. She is very bright and is really into math and science, so we thought it would be cool if she could one day work for NASA and build robots or something like that. I just don't think I could sacrifice my daughter to being an astronaut with the risk of the rocket exploding. I would never get over that. However, having a daughter who builds robots would be sooooo cool! We figured that we would have to spend a lot of money on her education, so it's a good thing that she has an Education Saving's Plan that can help us with that. It would have been really fun to have Anne with us today, and I can't wait until we bring her here in a couple of years!
Tonight, we went and saw a fun, interactive, Pirate Dinner Theater. We had seats in the second row and we got to cheer for the Red Pirate. Our Pirate didn't win the competition for first mate and he didn't get the girl, but he was the strong one! And it was fun! Otto got to be in the show and we both had fun cheering for our pirate.
I would say that this was another successful day here in Orlando! Otto didn't get too hot because we spent most of the day inside, but tomorrow we start our 5 days at Disney World with the first day being at Hollywood Studios. SO MUCH FUN!!! I can't wait. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow night!
Until then. . .

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Universal Studios

The reason I am such a planner is because I have no brain! When Otto and I woke up this morning and got everything ready to go to the Kennedy Space Center I took a quick look at our schedule that I had made before we left and I realized that we were actually supposed to go to Universal Studios today and the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow. So, we did a quick switch and we went over to Universal Studios and the Island of Adventure.
We did both parks in one day. . . . and. . . .IT WAS A BLAST!!! I am a bit of a roller coaster junkie (thanks to my mom) and I am so glad that I married someone who is also a roller coaster junkie because we went on some AMAZING roller coasters today! The Mummy was INCREDIBLE at Universal, and the Incredible Hulk and the Dueling Dragons were both AMAZING at Islands of Adventure! SO MUCH FUN!
Otto and I even got to meet Spiderman (who is Dustin's favorite superhero) and get some fun pics.
Last night we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, and today we had lunch at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant. I do have to say, there is a reason that they are famous chefs! It is because their recipes are goooooooooood!!!! I do have to say that I still think that my banana cream pie is better than Emeril's but I will have to try and come up with a caramel sauce like his. I mention these two restaurants because they were on my "bucket list" and I am so excited that I got these crossed off of my list!
We had fun and we really enjoyed spending the day together. I am so glad that Otto and I took this trip together so that we could just hang out with the two of us. It has been hard because we both really miss the kids, but we have been planning what we want to take them to see when we do bring them in a couple of years!
Oh, and did I mention that it was 84 degrees here today???? Sure beats the snow that I left behind at home!

Monday, April 27, 2009

We made it!

Yay!! My kids aren't orphans! I always get nervous when Otto and I fly on an airplane together without the kids because if anything were to ever go wrong then Otto and I would both be gone and our kids would be orphaned. I am always so relieved when we land because it means that my kids still have parents.
We are currently in Orlando! It was 24 degrees when we landed, and everything started so smoothly and efficiently. I am so glad that I inherited the planning gene from my mother because it sure saved us a lot of time today. We didn't have to wait in any lines at the airport, in customs, in the car rental or at Downtown Disney.
Otto and I spent the evening shopping, eating at a restaurant that I have always wanted to try, and just hanging out together! We have never had a vacation with just the two of us, and so we have been having some fun just being together.
Another thing that I learned from my mother is that when we are on trips, we have always written in our jounals every day. So, even though my posts have been scarce in the past, I have a feeling that for the next week, or so, there will be almost daily posts because I want to have a record of this trip. I want to remember the fun things that Otto and I are experiencing together and I want to hopefully remember how much fun we are having.
You don't have to read these posts, but I have given my children my blog address so that they can read my posts before bed and know what Otto and I are doing every day. I miss those kids so much already, but I am kind of glad that we didn't bring them this time, because Otto and I have already been figuring out ways that we could make it even more fun for the kids when we bring them here.
Tomorrow we are visiting the Kennedy Space Center and we have tickets to the Pirates Dinner Adventure. It should be fun! I sure can't wait!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is the opposite?

Have you ever heard the saying, "The calm before the storm"? I have been wondering, lately, what the opposite of that is? It seems that ever since I have been planning this trip to Disney World, I have been CRAZY busy! This week has been insane! And, through all of this, I still have to find time to spotlessly clean my house. . . . I kind of wonder how that is going to get done? I feel a bit sorry for my Mother-in-Law because my house may just end up being Otto/kids clean, and not Megan clean (you ladies know what I am talking about :))
I am excited to be hosting Suzanne and Brooklynn's baby shower tonight, and tomorrow I am excited to hang out with our friends and their kids. . . although we are having a BBQ and I think that Otto might turn into an Otto popsicle while he is working the grill! On Saturday, the busiest day of all, I am performing in a Stake Relief Society conference in the morning, followed by Abby's birthday party and finishing the day off with a fun-filled evening at a wedding reception.
Sunday. . . well. . . some would say it is the day of rest. . . but being in the Primary Presidency, it rarely is! I am hoping to get packed on Sunday as we do leave at 5 am on Monday morning. . . . so I may have to pull an all nighter!
So, if anyone can think of a saying that would apply to this whirlwind of a week before I leave to go to Orlando, please share your wisdom!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My little Hannah Montana

I haven't written in awhile because it has been a madhouse over here. I mean, when ISN'T it a madhouse right?
Yesterday was Abby's birthday. She is now 9 years old. I know! I can't believe it either! We had a joint birthday celebration and baby blessing with my brother's little baby Brooklynn yesterday. Seeing little Brooklynn reminded me of how quickly time has flown by. It seems like yesterday when we were holding our first beautiful daughter in our arms. It seems like yesterday when I was so nervous and scared when I couldn't feed her. I remember how terrible and like a failure I felt when I knew that my baby was starving and I couldn't feed her. I went through so much to try and breastfeed her, but at the age of 1 month, she weighed less than she did when she was born. Thank goodness for mothers, because mine finally stepped in and convinced me to give Abby a bottle. That bottle was a miracle sent straight from heaven! All of a sudden Abby became happy and content. She slept better, and she all of a sudden started gaining weight. My mom was my rock and I clung to her for guidance and help.
I remember how poor we were. Otto was in school and we both worked some part time jobs to make ends meet. We were so happy though. We loved our sweet baby and we couldn't get enough of her! As soon as I had Abby I knew that we were supposed to have another baby right away. I looked at Otto right after she was born and I told him that I could do that again. He was quite shocked, but 3 months later we were excited to be pregnant with our little Anne.
Abby has been such a blessing in my life. When I watch her, I feel as though I am looking into my past. I see a little girl who is pretty much exactly like I was as a kid. She thinks that life is a musical. She LOVES to play her cello and she loves basketball. She is a tom boy and has lots of friends who are boys as well as girls. Abby is very giving and always wants to help out. She loves babies and she loves to be in charge. I know that sometimes I take advantage of this, and so that is why I make sure that I do special things for her that I don't do for the other children.
For instance, Abby is the BIGGEST Hannah Montana fan. I have always felt guilty that I was never able to give my children a "nursary" and paint their walls and decorate their rooms because I didn't own the places that we lived in, and Otto and I just didn't have the cash to do it. Well, now we DO own our house and so I decided to give Abby the room of her dreams! The pictures above are of Abby's room. She LOVED it!!! She thought that she was in Hannah Montana heaven. I was worried what the other kids would think, but they were all so excited to help me put the decals on the walls and help me paint and make Abby's bed. I had sent Abby over to spend the weekend with my grandparents so that this would be a surprise and it really was! I am so glad that Abby enjoyed this gift that I did to her. I sure love my Abby and I think that every family needs an Abby of their own.
Now. . . two more weeks and it is my birthday. . . we leave on Monday for Disney World. It will be a blast! No kids, just my hubby and I and tons of fun in the sun!!! And the best part is that my mom and two of my sisters will be in Orlando at the same time so we are going to spend my birthday together at Epcot Center! My most favorite place on earth!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

She's Here!

Yesterday morning, my sister-in-law had her beautiful baby girl. I am so excited and relieved that everything went well and that little Brooklynn is here. I hate that I can't see her until she goes home from the hospital, but I am excited to meet the sweet little one. I have to be honest though, I am also a bit scared of how I will react when I see her. I love Jay and Suzanne and I couldn't be more happy for them. I am excited that they have this beautiful baby and that their family is starting to grow. I am excited to have my first niece (I have 10 nephews) and play with her.
However, I have a hard time seeing baby girls ever since I had Robin. I am worried that it will be hard for me to see the two of them with this baby and not think about her, especially since her birthday is in May and that is coming up. One of the reasons that Otto and I are going out of town is to give me something to look forward to because I really do dread May and I especially have a hard time on Mother's Day and on the 15th when Robin was actually born. I just miss her so much sometimes, but I seem to be pretty good at just keeping myself busy so I don't have time to sit and think about her.
I know that Suzanne reads this blog, and I want her to know that I AM sooooo excited to come and meet Brooklynn. I can't wait to hold her and kiss her and tell her how excited I am to have my sweet little niece! I am so excited that my daughters finally have a girl cousin. I am so excited that Jason and Suzanne get to experience the joy/pain/excitement/exhaustion of parenthood and everything that comes with it. However, if for just a moment I go quiet, it will be because I just wish that my little girl was here to be a playmate for Brooklynn and I look forward to holding my sweet little angel in my arms again.
So, Congratulations Jay and Suzanne!!! I can't wait to come over and meet her!

Monday, April 13, 2009


This Easter weekend, my cousin came into town and we had a chance to spend most of Saturday together. I had a blast. We went to a great restaurant for brunch and then we went shopping. I mean, can it get any better than that? We capped off our day at my Grandma Lee's house where we visited with our Grandma Lee for a little while. Then we went our seperate ways as she went out for dinner with her parents and I took my girlies to go see Monsters vs. Aliens (you HAVE to see this movie! I haven't laughed out loud at an animated movie in a long time. . . FABULOUS!!!).
Hanging out with Michelle and talking all day about relationships, really reminded me how much I love my Big Guy. I felt so nostalgic when we would talk about things that she is going through and it reminded me of what I went through when Otto and I were dating. I could remember the butterflies in my stomach when we would hold hands. I remember the heartache I felt when Otto told me that he wanted to date someone else. I remember the spiritual closeness I felt to my Heavenly Father when I spent an entire evening on my knees in prayer for comfort. It still amazes me what I had to go through, spiritually, at that time. I still can't believe that I was lucky enough to find my Big Guy when I was 19 and marry him.
We defied the statistics, and we have been through so much. But we are still best friends and we are still together and happy. It took us awhile to be completely comfortable with our roles in our marriage because we are a team. We do things together that a lot of spouses conquer seperately. Otto is so hands on with the kids that it lets me have a bit of freedom. People often ask me how I do it with 5 kids. And my reply is always that I have a wonderful hubby. I never complain about what kind of Daddy he is because I personally believe that he should win Father of the Year, every year. I think that my children are very fortunate to have Otto as their daddy and they just don't know how lucky they are.
So, thanks Michelle, for hanging out with me on Saturday. I had a blast! And, thanks for the reminder. I think that its good to get a little reminder about why you love the person you love every once in awhile.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cheeky Monkey

So, I guess that Caroline DOES listen to me sometimes. I have had this exact conversation with her. . . read on:
Dustin: Mom, I'm hungry.
Caroline: Nice to meet you Hungry. . . I'm Caroline!
Yep, that is something my mom used to do to me, and now I am proud to see that Caroline has passed along the tradition!
Cheeky Monkey!

Monday, April 6, 2009

It is Finished

Sorry I haven't been able to post much last week. It was extremely busy. You see I am in charge of organizing an annual scrapbooking convention for 300 women every year. It took place this past weekend, so last week I was a bit rushed to accomplish everything!
But it is finished now. I always feel a bit sad the Sunday following the convention because planning this convention occupies my time for about 6 months of the year. I love organizing it, planning it and thinking up new ways to make it fun and exciting. Every year I love to hang out with the women while they are scrapbooking and look at their pictures of their beautiful loved ones. It is a really rewarding experience for me.
Every year we end up with new, funny stories of things that have happened during Camp Croppin' and every year we have another crisis. That doesn't matter, because I hope that for the most part the women have fun and look forward to returning the next year.
There are some things that I am looking at changing for next year. I hope people will like them. I know that I can't please everyone, but maybe I can please lots of people and they will want to return.
So, it is finished for another year. Now it's time to look at dates for next year.