Sunday, December 17, 2017

Barlow STARS 2017

A long time ago in the year 2017…
The force is strong in our family but with any force there is a balance between dark and light.

  • Flooded basement
  • New pipelining on main sewer line $$$
  • Liv’s allergic to amoxicillin broke out in hives and blew up like a balloon EEK!
  • Liv got a toddler fracture, full leg in cast for 6 weeks

  • Reorganized the basement and de-cluttered
  • New sewer line to poop in YAY!!!!
  • Liv learned to walk again
  • Roan started Kindergarten and thrives in his learning environment
  • Roan learned to ride a bike
  • Lars got an electric bike
  • New furnace. YAY Efficiency!!!
  • Family camping trip to Lava Hot Springs
  • Stephanie did her 2nd triathlon
  • Stephanie was in a Benefit Musical Theatre Concert
  • A new Star Wars Movie came out

Life’s ups can outweigh the downs.
Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!!


Lars, Stephanie, Roan, & Liv Barlow

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Begin Again-Share Benefit Concert

I haven't done much with Theatre stuff for about 7 years. With the exception of Halloween make up. I love theatre. I got my associates degree in it. It is just very demanding of time and in my current season of life its just hard to figure out how to do it. (small kids and figuring out how to balance the Mom hat with working and keeping a healthy marriage etc) Some people have it figured out and I think that is great but I am a different person as we all are. 

A few months back my friend from college Ashley put a feeler out for a benefit concert she wanted to put together for a non profit called SHARE. This organization really helped her during the loss of her daughter and she wanted to use her talents of acting, directing, and producing to give back. I raised my hand and said pick me please! I am extremely passionate about awareness when it comes to miscarriages having had 3 of my own. I didn't know SHARE existed and I think it could have helped me so I want to make sure we spread the good word so it can help others. 

I auditioned and I got in. I was ecstatic but also a littler nervous. I hadn't done Theatre in so long I wondered if I would be up to the task and be able to keep up with the more seasoned and current performers. I decide early on that if I was going to do this I needed to go into with a fun attitude an completely let lose and put all my cards on the table. No diva attitude or nerves so bad that I was going to talk myself out of it. I will be honest when I did theatre heavily I totally wigged myself out of things because I got nervous OR on the flip side I auditioned with pieces that I wasn't passionate about but I did it because I thought that's what the director wanted. But here I really had nothing to lose and my time is so valuable so gosh darn it if I am going to do it then I needed to be ME and be all in as ME. 

So at first I really struggled. Even though the director told us we were selected specifically I still struggled with the confidence that I was enough and that I could deliver not just for their expectation but for my own. (I am super hard on myself at times if you can't tell)  I had discouraging moments but I stuck with it and did my research and practiced to get better on the parts I felt I was lacking. This is still my craft and I needed to work on it.  I tried to focus on why I was doing this 1) For fun, 2) to share my talents 3) to share my story. I prayed a lot. I prayed in gratitude for being able to do this and to share my own story of loss and hope. I prayed for strength to be able to memorize and dig deep into my parts to perform them well. My prayers were totally answered. Things may have been really tough at first (mostly from self infliction) but in the end this experience has been one of the most awesome things of my life. 

It brought back a lot of emotions from my own loss. Grief has many stages and I think they all come at different times. Even though my losses happened about 2-3 years ago I feel like this event really helped me finish digesting those emotions and helped me feel okay still keeping those lost babies in my life. No one is alone in grief of any kind. Things suck at times. Hope does come and it is beautiful. I never wish what I experienced on anyone. I am still learning and growing from it and for that I am grateful. 

Okay enough with the mushy wushy stuff. On with the show. The show featured various broadway songs, scenes, and monologues. The director put the show order together to take you on her own journey of grief. Many of the songs were funny, some emotional, and some very happy or hopeful. I loved being apart of it. The talent was amazing. Ashley, the director, had such a magical way of getting us to grow and own the characters we were playing.  This was just an amazing thing to do. I can't say that enough. I learned that I can do hard things. I still have an actor inside me who loves coming out to play. I learned that my mind tries to limit my ability and in those cases I need to be brave and listen to my heart more even if I am failing boldly. It was nice to just do something for myself. I love being a Mom and working and all that entails but doing this reminded me that it is important to take care of me and that its okay to take a break from those things to still do stuff that I am passionate about. Even Lars recognized that I seemed more mentally balanced and it ripple effected in a positive way to the rest of my roles in life.  

I must also mention that there is no way this would have happened without Lars and his support. Usually shows have 3-4 months of 2-3 nights a week rehearsals. We put this show on in 6 weeks with only 2 nights a week of rehearsals. The final week leading up to opening was an every night thing. He is a great husband and a wonderful father. He took on some of the Mom duties during this and I really can't even begin to express how grateful I am for his support on this. I wanted to be apart of this but really I think my soul needed it. 

In the end I meet some amazing people I hope to see again. The organization raise more awareness and more funds for their support. My life has been touched. I am happy to say that they are working to make this an annual thing. YAY!! I plan on auditioning next year. YAY!!! 

Here is the program. 

Enjoy some pictures from the show and at the bottom there are a ton of videos. 

My costume for one of the songs
I bought new make up. The make up I was using was probably 14 years old. EWW and yes it did make me sick when I wore it. HOORAY for letting go of expensive old make up and bring in new make up. 

Just Another Day

9-5 Scene
Coffee Break
Money Money Money

LUV Monologue
Life is Pandemonium
Skid Row

I Will Never Leave You
For Now

Final B

In the final song we all carry a candle and a pic of our loved ones gone to soon.

The cast minus Jared

Make up all washed off and feeling so grateful
We went to Leatherbys for the cast party. I really work up an appetite from performing. ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thanksgiving Staycation

We tried to keep our Thanksgiving plans simple this year. Heck we are trying to keep most of our holiday plans simple. Its a good rule to practice adopting. My goal is to be less busy so I can focus on the little important things. It has been tough but it is so worth it and I love the way I feel about this change. Anyway. Thanksgiving was wonderful, simple and amazingly wonderful. 

Lars went pheasant hunting with two of his brothers. 

The kids and I got ready for winter. LOL

Lars and his brothers went to the annual Turkey Shoot

We had a preThanksgiving Dinner with The Madsen side of the family. 
We played a turkey shoot game and spoons. Lars won one round, Bonnie won the next. LOL

On Thanksgiving went to the movies and had gourmet sandwiches. We went and saw, The Man Who Invented Christmas, about how Charles Dickens was inspired to write The Christmas Story. It was such a wonderful movie that was very moving. I will never take Christmas for granted. 

Then we just hung out as a small family. 

Lars made homemade pumpkin pie from scratch. 
Oh this was Liv's first movie in the theatre. She did okay. We purposely went during her nap time but she didn't fall asleep until the last 10 minutes of the movie. 
In an effort to keep life simple we didn't go anywhere on Black Friday. We stayed home and just chilled around the house and played a lot outside since it was the warmest Thanksgiving in Utah since 1910. True story we broke records. Saturday we went to visit my parents and Lars Mom and do a little Christmas shopping. 

Seriously one of the best weekends ever. I didn't want it to end. It was just so nice to chill and have no where specific to be. The days were long but in a good way long. We had fun and just relaxed and enjoyed and were.