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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

NEW

Broadway in Cincinnati

 

Oh, friends. Let me tell you about my Tuesday night just over the river in Cincinnati. 


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I was invited by Broadway in Cincinnati to opening night of The Band's Visit. This is a play I was not familiar with but when I saw photos and read a little synopsis, I thought I should invite my oldest son to come as my guest and enjoy a night at the theater with him. I'm SO glad I did.


My oldest boy is in Marching Band, is very interested in music and loves being exposed to different styles. This was an incredible opportunity for him to enjoy that and be wrapped up in a charming story at the same time.



So, a brief synopsis of this story is that this story is about a Police Band that ends up in Israel instead of Egypt. They encounter locals who open their homes to the band and in doing so, they share their stories with their visitors and the audience. 

Broadway in Cincinnati

I was spellbound at the overture and was completely enchanted by each turn of the page in this play's storytelling.  

Broadway in Cincinnati

A favorite story for me was from the scene in the photograph above. Avrum, the man standing at the table, is telling his story of finding love and does so with a song. His song and expression made my face light up and put happy tears in my eyes. I found myself remembering my own version of what he was sharing and wished I could get up on stage and dance around with him. 

Broadway in Cincinnati

Yes, each story will move you in a different way and you will be completely charmed off your seat as you're wrapped up in stories, and interlude, and foreign yet familiar prose.

Broadway in Cincinnati

I felt like I was fast friends with each character and I was rooting for all of them in unique ways. Isn't that the effect of beautiful storytelling? 

Broadway in Cincinnati

And when the curtain call comes, don't rush out the door! Stay and have a seat and listen to the amazing talent of the band as they perform a piece together for the audience. At one point, I leaned over to my son and said "This is insane! They're amazing!!". And my son smiled big and said "Yah. They are. Those people who left early are missing the best part."

And since we can all agree that teenagers are usually good for telling it like it they see it, (like it or not) you should probably just take his word for it and enjoy the "best part" of the play. ;) 

In all seriousness, I want to encourage you to go see this play while it's in town. On their Instagram feed, ( @broadwaycincy ) you will find information for rush tickets should you qualify for a discount.  It is worth your time. I already want to see it again. 

*As always, thanks to Broadway in Cincinnati for the complimentary tickets in exchange for a review and social media sharing*

~Amy


The Band's Visit In Cincinnati June 19 - 24 (Review)

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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Back during Spring Break, we drove our family down to the Red River Gorge area to stay there and hike together. There's just something about getting everyone out in the great outdoors that is so healing. 
On this day, we drove out to a trail head and hiked our way through the woods to Creation Falls. 

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The trail from the parking lot to the falls was about a mile long. There were benches to stop and rest along the way. And although the hike felt pretty easy on the way out, I noticed we were going downhill the whole time...meaning we would be going uphill all the way back. We always make sure to bring a good amount of water with us and healthy snacks to keep our bodies moving while we're out. And since we're in nature, we're not in a hurry. We make sure to take time to stop if one of us needs to or just enjoy the areas we find ourselves in. 

The kiddos found lots of opportunities to climb up on rocks and challenge themselves. We kept a close eye but didn't want to hinder them since they were being careful and respectful of their surroundings and each other. 

I was all smiles when we made it to Creation Falls. It's a smaller waterfall but that made it very family friendly for us. We could walk across the stream and make our way down to the bottom of the falls were there was a sandbar. The sound of the waterfall? The bright green hue of the trees and plants around us? The smell in the air? Y'all, I could have stayed there for quite a while and been content. 

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What I love the most about hiking with my family is that it challenges all of us and gives us countless opportunities to work as a team, encourage each other, and give each other high-fives as we meet the challenges we find. It's a wonderful way to bond as a family and remind each of us that there are beautiful places to explore and enjoy. 

In another post, I'll share with you just about the VRBO house we stayed in. I think you may want to look it up, too. I'll also share about our hike out to the Natural Bridge in the Red River Gorge. 

If y'all haven't been down there yet, you need to make plans to get there. I'm itching to go back again and explore different trails. Gosh, I love living in Kentucky! :) 

Keep your eyes on Instagram. I'll be sharing a reel there with some video from our hike. 

Do you enjoy hiking? Do you hike with a family? 
I would love to hear about places we should look into as a family. Share with me in the comments so I can add your recommendation to my list. 

Love y'all!

~Amy









 

Exploring the Red River Gorge & Creation Falls

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022


 A long while back, I wrote this post about being a new foster mom.  In that post I invited you into the journey and longed to share our process with you. 

Some things just aren't meant to be the way we initially thought they were. 

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I found that I needed time...and more time...and more time to continue processing this journey as it continued to unfold. Gosh, this situation was so complicated.  How could I share in real time something that was breaking me down as a person and challenging every bit of goodness I had in me?

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There are so many stories I would love to share with you. There are reflections I have as a foster mom, and now adoptive mom, that I believe I had to live through in order to be an encouragement to others. 

For now, let's begin at the end. We recently had the beautiful opportunity to adopt our son. That makes us a family of 6 now, and we are looking forward to the possibility of fostering another child soon. (What? Am I crazy?? ...Yes. LOL...) Our hearts and arms are open to caring for a child who needs a safe place to be while the grown-ups in his/her/their life sort out the issues and make the plan to heal the family unit. 

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Foster care in this house is child focused. We look at real needs in real time and work hard to help any child see the treasure they are and the good that exists inside and around them. We are a home that wants to offer space for healing and an example of love. WE ARE NOT PERFECT! We mess up. We miss opportunities. We get tired. But we strive to be honest and own our mistakes, apologizing when necessary. We work to help kiddos reach important milestones and learn how to simply be a kid. I didn't realize children would need to be taught how to be carefree when coming into foster care, but now I know that full well.

I'll be making an attempt to go back in time and walk you all through a bit of the process we experienced. I hope you're in for a rollercoaster. ;)   

Along the way, I will be happy to answer questions. You can ask in the comments or DM me on instagram or email me. I can't promise I can share answers to every question, but I can promise to try or share something helpful if I can't give you the full answer. 

Love y'all!

I'll see ya "around".

Amy

I Ditched You, Back There...

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Friday, June 3, 2022

 

To Kill A Mockingbird Review

Tuesday night I was in Cincinnati at the Aronoff Center for opening night of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Oh, and how I enjoyed the beauty and pain of the story told.

I remember this story from my youth. My class read the book together and then after our book study, we watched the movie. I remember being in agony and crying at the hatred some of the characters spewed throughout the story. I was curious how that memory would hold up to this encounter with a stage performance. 

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

I'm happy to tell you that the adaptation for stage allows for a little more levity than I remember feeling years ago with the book study. Now, this is not a levity that takes away from the story at all. I think it's there to keep the audience with the cast as they move through the heavy and hard truths of racism. 

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

There were times I sat a bit squeamish in my seat. I wanted to stand up and yell at the awful words I heard.  I wanted to defend Tom Robinson and comfort Calpurnia and quite honestly, I wanted to have a parental pow-wow with Atticus. 

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

All of that is to say that this story is still so relevant today. And while we have made strides as a nation over the years, hate still brews in the heart of man and people still need defending. I would encourage everyone I know (and their older kiddos) to go see this play and use it as a springboard for a conversation. 

Ok. Now that I've shared my heart with you. Let me share 2 fun little bits of info with you. 

1. I grew up in the 80's and we watched a couple television shows together as a family. One of those shows was The Waltons. Look very closely at Atticus in the photo above. Do you recognize him? (Hint: "Goodnight John-boy"). Yep! Richard Thomas! He's amazing on stage. You will really enjoy his take on Atticus Finch. 

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

2. I mentioned earlier that we watched the movie of To Kill A Mockingbird as a class after we read the book. That movie was made in the 70's and had a girl named Mary Badham in the role of young Scout. In this play, you'll see her in the role of Mrs. Henry Dubose.  I wonder how much fun she has yelling at Scout after having filmed in that role as a girl. What a neat, full-circle moment. 

Click on any of the stock images to be taken to Broadway in Cincinnati's page where you can buy tickets. The play is running through June 12, 2022. And if you head to my Facebook page, you'll see an image posted there where you can learn how to get discounted tickets. 

Perhaps, one day, I'll see you at the theater. :)

Amy

Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Takes The Stage In Cincinnati (Review)

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Friday, April 22, 2022

 **I was given complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review and social media shares. Thanks, Broadway in Cincinnati!**

Disney's Frozen - Broadway in Cincinnati



    
    FROZEN. As in...the play based on that one movie that was played on repeat in my house as my 2 little girls acted out every scene. The soundtrack that probably was played to death in my van's CD player because I haven't seen it in a long time and have no living idea where it went. The characters, the costumes, the one-liner's, the laughter, and the memories all live in that one title; FROZEN. 

    Those memories are years ago. That's probably true for many of you, too. Us mamas had to learn to "Let it go" and bring in all the dolls and costumes and plush Olafs and Svens. It makes me laugh with the best memories of some of the most joyous times. 

    Last night those memories warmed my heart again as my now 12 year old daughter and I headed into Cincinnati to see the story as told on the stage. This was her first experience seeing a Broadway play and it was the best introduction for her and I to share together. (And yes, she's hooked and wants to see more plays now.)

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Disney does not disappoint. That probably doesn't need to be said but I need you to know how much I appreciated this production's every detail. 

Disney's Frozen  - Broadway in Cincinnati

Lights, sounds, vibrant hues, snow, ice out of thin air, summer, dancing, a little bit of you, hygge (it's a thing)  and...Samantha?

Disney's FROZEN - Broadway in Cincinnati


    Anyway, it's all there. FROZEN is a feast for your eyes and a callback to all the things you remember and love about Disney. My daughter was spotting hidden Mickeys and saying all the "Mom! Did you see...?" things. 

    We laughed hard and at one point or another I was digging through my handbag to find the Kleenex. We boo'd loudly at Hans (maybe more than once) and so badly wanted to hug Olaf.

    What's best of all is while visiting old memories, we were making new ones. That, all by itself, is the true "Magic of Disney".

    Oh, and of course, Elsa is a true queen and her costume change will absolutely slay you. (Actually, the entire "Let it go" performance and effects will make you nearly "burst from the inside out".) Every song, every dance sequence, every costume and set change...it's all perfect and amazing and so worth seeing in person. 

Disney's Frozen - Broadway in Cincinnati

Disney's Frozen - Broadway in Cincinnati

    Please, oh please, tell me you're going to grab tickets and see this while it's in town. Take your kiddos. (There were so many tiny Elsa's at the show last night.) Or take your best buddy. This musical is for all ages and will bring you to your feet with cheers. You can click on any of the FROZEN images in this post to be taken to the website where you can learn more and get your tickets. 

    GO!

    ~Amy

A Night With Disney's FROZEN in Cincinnati (Review)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ain't Too Proud



Last night was an extremely fun night for me. I was invited to attend the opening night of "Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations" at the Aronoff Center. 

When I tell you all this production is GOOD, I mean "I wish I had tickets to go see the play again tonight." In short, I had a blast and it's a night I wouldn't mind reliving. 

Ain't Too Proud


I grew up just north of Detroit and Motown music is a very big deal. I was so, so proud to hear the story of the Temptations and learn about what Detroit meant to them. Seeing the words "Fox Theater" made me smile the biggest smile. 

When I sat down to watch this play, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I didn't do any research to learn about the broadway production. I didn't even look up the soundtrack (which isn't the norm for me but I had been busy this past week). Y'all. This play...

Ain't Too Proud

I was dancing in my seat, trying not to sing along too loudly. I was cheering and fan-girling. I was grinning ear to ear as I watched The Temptations come to be. 
There were parts of the play when I clutched my chest and cried and times when I celebrated and laughed. This journey is well worth the taking!

The cast perfectly showcases the pure talent, dedication and captivating qualities of The Temptations. They ARE the group and they're artistry will absolutely blow you away.

Ain't Too Proud



Now, I'm going to need them to host a dance camp and teach me some of those moves. ;) LOL



~Amy
 

Review: Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations in Cincinnati

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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

**I received complimentary tickets from Broadway in Cincinnati in exchange for my honest review. 

I was a guest last night at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, OH to see opening night of the Broadway revival, My Fair Lady. 


This touring production is currently in Cincinnati until February 20th and it is a "DO NOT MISS" if you're a broadway fan. 

This particular storyline is one I watched and learned as a little girl. I so badly wanted to be Eliza Doolittle, and so, my little bedroom became my stage. I would sing "I could have danced all night" over and over again. Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to that song and other beloved tunes sung by the most talented bunch of actors. Quite honestly, I was checking my playbill to see if Shereen Ahmed (Eliza) had also played Christine in Phantom of the Opera before. She has not but I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen some day. Her voice is so pure and dynamic.



There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in this play and others that are heartwarming. Still, the underlying theme of individual, human value cannot be missed. Eliza's story offers a bit of a "chin up" encouragement to those who feel overlooked and undervalued. We are more than our appearance. We are more than our career. Eliza shows us how important it is that we see others as people with feelings first. 

One of my favorite laughs of the play is ACT I, Scene 6: "Outside a club tent, Ascot". Over and over again, I was giggling and laughing out loud. The stoic faces of those attending the race mixed with Eliza's "small talk" and cheering for Dover was perfection. I loved every second of this scene. 

Really, I could go on and on but I'm going to have to leave the rest to you. 


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Get your tickets and fill the seats of the Aronoff for this beautiful production. You'll be glad you did. You may even leave thinking you could have "danced all night", too. 


~Amy

My Fair Lady Revival - Simply Loverly {Review}

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