...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's Mary Poppins, Ya'll!

Two of our children (Gavin & Aubrey) have been spending weeknights at rehearsals for the last few months preparing for a community production of Mary Poppins (and it has kind of been a pain because of all the end of school activities going on that conflict with rehearsals).

Aubrey is in the ensemble (much like she was in Carousel last summer), but Gavin is one of two boys playing Michael (one of the children Mary Poppins takes under her wing). 

The play debuted last week (while I was at girls camp), but Gavin did not start his role until Monday so that's the first time we went to the show.  And now, he is a STAR (at least if you ask me).  And I could not stop watching Aubs as she transitioned from a statue to a banker to a silly jabber girl to a chimney sweep and more.  I was totally enthralled.

Oh my goodness, suddenly all those long nights and inconvenient trips to and from West Valley City Cultural Celebration Center were all worth it.  It was sooooo much fun to see my babies up on stage doing something they love.

And the play is pretty good (even if you look past all the "I am the mother" bias).  It's really fun.

(Now for the cheesy bit.) 

I'm grateful for the people who make events like this possible.  It takes so much time and energy that these performances just wouldn't be worth it unless you sincerely love performing arts and the community and the kids involved -- and these people do.  I love that my kiddos can be part of this kind of thing.  It's an experience I simply cannot give them at home.

And here're some videos because I like to show my kids off...I mean because I want family who doesn't live nearby to be able to see bits of the show (either way, I guess). 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Not all victories come easily

This week my oldest son graduates from high school (sheesh I feel old just typing those words).

To be honest, high school was pretty easy for me (my kids say that's because the world was easier in general way back then -- and then I tell them about using Encyclopedias to write reports and phone book maps to find addresses -- but they don't get it) .

Back to the point, yes, I had to study and put in some effort and that sort of thing, but I kind of breezed through the whole school endeavor without hitting too many speed bumps.

I know that is not the experience everyone has.  It is not the experience my son had.  For him, high school was a much more difficult ordeal.

Now, I'm not going to go into all the gory details here on the worldwide web, but while my son is incredibly intelligent, very capable, and really quite talented the battlefield of education has been a difficult undertaking for him.  There have been many hidden stumbling blocks, many late night discussions, many attempted solutions, many disappointments, many frustrating moments, many tears shed on both sides -- and many opportunities for learning and growth.

The choices we've made have shaped us all and helped us grow as individuals and in the relationships we've built together.

And sometimes the moments were beautiful.  There were triumphs and successes scattered along the way.  There were times where our hearts fluttered with pride and happiness and that really helped us keep perspective.

Other times the experiences were less than smooth.  Occasionally they were jagged and ugly.

It hasn't been a pretty process (think making sausages).  But as I look back now there is a raw beauty not really in the singular moments themselves -- some of them have been very painful -- but in the broad image those moments have produced when they are displayed together.  The slashing, tearing, heart-rending strokes have been tempered by patience, love, serenity, acceptance, and faith which held the work together until it was complete.

It isn't perfect, but it really is powerful.

And we are stronger now than we were when we started.  We have learned much as we have chosen to grow together rather than apart -- which has been far from easy.

We all learned to love each other through (and sometimes in spite of) the choices being made.  We've learned to appreciate the beautiful heartache of agency as well as the quiet elation of resolve and focused effort.  Over and over we've learned about forgiveness -- all of us have.

Maybe more than anything else, we've learned about hope.  I can tell you for certain that hope is much more than a fleeting wish that something will happen.  It is a formidable asset which can tether you together no matter what is happening if you give it a place to live and don't scratch it out.

This battle has been hard fought -- and not all hard fought battles end in wins.  So I'm going to take my time and glory in this one for a while.  For our family, this triumph has not come easily.  And that makes the victory a little bit more precious to those of us who have been on the front lines.

Congratulations Bryce, I am very very proud of you and the person you are choosing to become.

Friday, May 25, 2018

DeMouxs go to Wonderland

This week our littles went to Wonderland.

Four of our sweethearts are part of a dance group with Miss Margene's Creative Generation and their spring concert this year followed Alice's adventures into Wonderland.

Elinor dances with Alice and other magical creatures.

Gavin and Logan with Tweedle-Dee & Tweedle-Dum.

Aubrey in the court of the Red Queen

Aubs also danced as one of the red and white roses.

Alice running from the Jabberwocky.

One incredible performance.  

A big thanks to Margene Conde and her staff for all their work to make such a fabulous event for our kiddos.  It is great to watch our children develop their abilities and boost their confidence.  And they get that under the mentorship of a kind and loving teacher who loves them and pushes them and is a powerful influence for good in their lives.

Yeah, we're pretty grateful to be part of this group.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Family Picture goes to the Dog

For Mother's Day I really wanted to take a family picture.  Bryce is preparing to leave on an LDS mission in a couple of months and I LOVE capturing images of our family to look back on.  

We opted just to get everyone together in the backyard after church and try for a quick snapshot because schedules are crazy and a free night to work with an actual photographer is tough. 

So, since we were going to be in the yard, the kids begged to have our dog, Finn, in the picture (not something we generally do when having pictures done elsewhere -- it's hard enough to get eight people to look normal and focus on the camera at the same time, let alone managing a canine).

Ok, I thought, no problem.  

Yeah, no problem.

Finn was super interested in what was going on -- but only wanted to look at us.  He could not have cared less about turning toward the camera.

Alright, we can adjust, we'll just have one of the kids kind of hold him in place.

But how will we keep him from yawning?

Or flapping his ears?

At least his antics made everyone else in the picture smile.  I guess that's something.

I mean this one is pretty close.  His interest is captured by something to the side so at least he doesn't have his back to the camera.

Until he runs off suddenly to investigate whatever it is.

Ok, so we sent him off and gave him something to keep his attention.  We'll just do this without him.

Until he realizes he's being left out, so he came back on his own and stationed himself strategically in the frame.

And if everyone hadn't been cracking up because the dog did better putting himself in the picture than we did putting him in it, this might have been just the shot we needed.

That's it!  I quit!

Hope Mother's Day was a wonderful day for you or the mothers in your life.  Ours was laughable -- but that's kind of how we like things around here.

This is my favorite crew anywhere in the world.  There is nothing better than being their mom.

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