All posts by Tony

Hello! I’m Tony. I’m a Husband, Father, Friend, Blogger, Country Radio DJ, and proud Dance Dad. Faith, Family, and Technology…this is what matters to me and it’s what I write about here.

Memory Monday – A Quiet Ride…Too Quiet

Our oldest daughter turned 16 last week.  That’s one of those significant, milestone birthdays because you can get your driver’s license.

Even though she’s been driving back and forth to school for over a year with a school permit… I still get nervous at the thought of her driving.  Not because she’s a bad driver (she’s not) but because I tend to be an overprotective Dad.

At supper tonight I told her the story of the very first time she made me nervous in a vehicle.  She was less than a month old and it was coming back from Christmas at our in-laws.  The longest car ride she had made at that point

It’s a two-hour trip and the drive there was during the day so I could see her in the review mirror the whole way.  As cautious first-time parents, my wife and I had a mirror suction-cupped in the back window so we could see her… even though she was in a rear-facing car seat.

The return trip was the one that was a little nerve-wracking.  We left after dark so we couldn’t see her in the mirror.  A half hour into the ride my wife and I started to be concerned that my daughter was quiet in the back seat.  A little too quiet.

Was she OK? Had she stopped breathing?  Logic told us she was just fine and sleeping… but being newbie parents, after some debate, we felt compelled to pull over at the next rest stop.

Turns out she was sleeping… that is, until the car stopped, the overhead light came on, and she woke up.

That did not make her happy at all.  She cried most of the remaining way home.  My wife and I kicked ourselves for our nervous, rookie mistake and vowed to never make that one again!

Fast forward 16 years and not much has changed.  My daughter still gets cranky when you wake her up from a nap. 🙂

What’s  a rookie parenting mistake you made?

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4th Blogiversary & A Few Of My Favorite Posts

When  I started this blog I really didn’t think about how long I’d stay at it.  I was just having fun writing and learning.   Fast forward four years and I’m still at it.

That’s right! This week I celebrated my 4th blogiversary and I’m still writing and learning.

I celebrated by re-upping my web hosting for another year and looking back at everything I’ve written over the past year.  It was fun re-reading my own thoughts… and I’ll admit… a few posts I didn’t remember writing.

After reviewing the past year, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite posts.  I think they’re a good representation of the types of things I like to write about.

Click on the title below if you’d like to re-read them… or read them for the first time. Hopefully, they’re some of your favorites too.

4th Blogiversary & A Few Of My Favorite Posts

 

27 LOW OR NO COST THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE NICE

EASY TATOR TOT CASSEROLE

AN INTERESTING QUESTION

WHISKEY STONES: DO THEY WORK?

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY – LITTLE STACK OF ROCKS

EASY GRILLED CAULIFLOWER

TONY TRIES IT: WATERMELON WITH TACO SEASONING

WEEKLY VERSE – SUMMER INTERNS

MEMORY MONDAY – GRANDPA’S REFRIGERATOR

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM THE 2017 IOWA STATE FAIR

A DAD’S ALBUM REVIEW: TAYLOR SWIFT’S REPUTATION

EASY CHICKEN & BISCUITS

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Review: Waitress At Des Moines Performing Arts

I became aware of Waitress the musical a few summers ago.  We were at dance nationals and my oldest daughter took a Master Class where they used one of its’ songs.  My daughter, wife, and I instantly became big fans of that song.  It’s what put Waitress on our radar.

So when I got the invite to attend the December 5, 2017, opening night performance at Des Moines Performing Arts I was excited to be able to go… but knew I had two ladies at home who would really want to be my “plus one”.

In the end, I took my wife and we had a great date night.  Waitress was perfect for that but would also be great for a girls night out too.  It’s all about, Jenna, a waitress and expert pie baker, dealing with an unloving and abusive marriage, and how she finds the courage to deal with the difficulties in her life.

To me, Waitress is all about relationships; good ones, bad ones, unexpected ones, forbidden ones, and even quirky ones.  They all fit together nicely in a roughly 2 hour and 15 minute performance that I’d describe as a sitcom, inside a drama, inside a musical.

The comedic timing was impeccable, the characters well developed, and the acting was some of the best that I’ve seen in any Des Moines Performing Arts show.  There was one point without any dialogue that drew many laughs.  So much was being said through body language, breathing, and facial expressions that words weren’t needed. Makes me smile thinking about it now.

The music is what I was really looking forward to in this performance and I wasn’t disappointed.  Everyone on stage is a gifted vocalist and uses their talent well.  The orchestra pit was empty for this show and the band actually slid on and off the stage in a way that I felt added to the performance.

If your only experience with musicals is Oklahoma or South Pacific know that the music in Waitress isn’t anything like those shows at all.  The music and lyrics were written by Sara Bareilles, giving it a very contemporary feel and sound.

There are many great songs in Waitress.  Some are hysterical, some are touching, and some are just plain emotional.  I got goosebumps when Desi Oakley, playing the role of Jenna, broke into She Used To Be Mine.  That was the song that originally got me interested in this show.

One other cool thing that I enjoyed about this performance is how they cast 2 young, local girls to trade off playing a small part in the show.  5-year-old Eliana Mann from Urbandale played the part of Lulu in the opening night performance and she was great.

The sold-out out crowd was invested in the performance from the unexpected and funny reminder to mute your phone to the final curtain call.  There were cheers, applause, and reactions (in a good way) in places that I wonder if they caught some of the actors off guard a little bit.  I also wonder if the cast was surprised at how quick they were rewarded with a standing ovation.

Hopefully, Des Moines is getting a reputation as a theatre-loving town!  After the show as we walked back to our car my wife said, “I think that is one of the best shows we’ve seen!”  I was quick to agree.

Waitress runs through December 10, 2017 at Des Moines Performing Arts.  You can learn more about the show and get tickets here.

***Disclaimer – I was provided with free press night tickets.  All opinions are my own.

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