Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rubbing Shoulders

I have to gloat just a little bit because this past weekend I got to rub shoulders with some celebrities, aka Donny and Marie Osmond. Look, here's the proof:

Okay, I know, it's not the best evidence but I really did get to meet them and all their brothers this weekend. We held the annual Pioneer Day Celebration concert at the Conference Center and the Osmond Family came as our guest performers. It was actually a great concert and the audience loved it! The house was packed with early-arriving, post-menopausal, Osmond groupies who all sang along to the favorite songs of their youth: Paper Roses, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple, and more. It was hysterical!

But the end of the concert was pretty emotional. This was the final performance of their 50th Anniversary Tour and the final public performance for the whole family. As they sang a tribute to their parents each of them shed a few tears while struggling through the song.

The highlight of the weekend for me was keeping a camera crew from Entertainment Tonight out of trouble. Unfortunately, none their hosts came with the crew, just a producer named Jeffrey. I took them backstage where they held an interview with the Osmonds and then captured footage of the family coming on and off stage. Pretty cool! The segment won't air until September but keep an eye and ear out for it and you may see me hanging out in the background.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sweet Cousin John

Saturday was our annual Bitner Family Reunion at the Tahitian Noni Gardens in Provo. This is usually a huge reunion with at least four generations in attendance. I haven't been for a couple of years and didn't want to go again this year but at the last minute I changed my mind and set off with the family. During the course of the evening we played the Get To Know you game. I picked up my game card and started making random conversation with random family members I had never before met and would never remember again after the evening ended.

I had almost finished the game when I sat down next to John Bryner. He is a sweet old man, well over 80 years old. In the ten minutes we spent chatting I found out that his sweetheart passed away a few years ago, he is a physicist by trade, tunes pianos as a hobby, and President Hinckley spoke at his mother's funeral in the 1980s. I told him that I am single, work as an event coordinator for the Church, and that I'm building a townhouse in North Salt Lake. "You're a catch!" he exclaimed. "Those boys should be snatching you up! You're a catch!" You know what, John is absolutely right! I am a catch!

Seriously, what are those boys waiting for?

Windows & Tubs

Front entrance and windows in master bedroom

Master tub waiting for installation

Front door waiting for installation and an insulated corner

Upstairs tub waiting for installation

Back porch

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baby Pictures

For Christmas this last December, Megan spent hours scanning in every negative in our house and then compiled these hundreds of photos onto CDs for each of us. I got sidetracked tonight and started going through some of the old photos. What great memories and how fun it is to see how each of us has changed 25+ years later. I couldn't resist putting up a bunch of the pictures on my web album. Enjoy!

Check it out here:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Best Seats in the House

Last week we took our annual girls' trip down to St. George and Cedar City. This year we were only able to spend one day in Cedar City at the Shakespearean Festival but the two shows we saw were wonderful! So, here's a little review/critique of those two shows for all of you contemplating getting your dose of culture in Cedar City this summer.

First, we took in a matinee of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Auditorium Theatre. I really like this play, written by Edmond Rostand. It is a beautiful statement of how we allow our small imperfections get in the way of life. A standing ovation to Brian Vaughn and Melinda Pfundstein, real-life husband and wife, who play Cyrano and Roxane. But regardless of the stunning production and performances, I always think this play has a tragic ending. I hate that Cyrano has to go and die only minutes after Roxane finally realizes he has loved her for the past 15 years. Now that I have spoiled the finale for you, go see it for yourself. Let me know what you think.

Our evening show was The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare at the Adams Theatre. If you have never seen Shakespeare before or are afraid of it, this is the play for you. It is his first comedy play and you can tell he hasn't hit his groove yet of complicated characters and flowery speeches. The language of the show is incredibly easy to understand and the plot is simple yet engaging; so as long as you keep your eyes open you won't get lost. Go! See it! Experience it! Love it! And remember that the best seats in this venue are in the side gallery section...I know, they look like the cheap seats but looks can be deceiving, trust me.

I opted out of Tuacahn in St. George this year but most of the family went to their performances of Sound of Music and Les Miserables. Unfortunately, I don't think they were any too impressed with what they saw but if you're down there it makes for a fun evening activity.

Finally, I thought you would enjoy a look at the progress of my house. It's coming right along!

A front view of the garage.

This is looking into the dining area and stairs.

My back porch. I love that it has three big windows (though this only shows two windows and the door).

And a view from the garage door into the house.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A-ll 'B-out C-helsea -- Tagged

A = ADVOCATE FOR: Public Transportation

B = BEST FEATURE: My Smile (thanks to Dr. Canland Olsen)


D = DREAMS AND DESIRES: Husband and lots of Kids, Owning a Reception Center

E = ESSENTIAL ITEM: Earrings (but I find lotion, chapstick, and nail clippers to be equally essential)

F = FAVORITE PAST TIME: Cooking New Recipes

G = GOOD AT: Throwing Parties

H = HAVE NEVER TRIED: Europe, the Pacific Islands, or Matrimony

I = IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: I’d Change Careers then try Europe and the Pacific Islands

J = JUNKIE FOR: Good romantic comedy movies from 1930s-1950s


L = LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I have a movie poster of Disney’s Tarzan hanging in my room

M = MEMORABLE MOMENT: Eating lunch with President Howard W. Hunter the week before he became Prophet of the Church

N = NEVER AGAIN WILL I: Fall for that guy, no matter what he says or does

O = OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE: Turning off my work cell phone


Q = QUOTE: “Eternity is much, much longer than mortality.” Julie B. Beck

R = REASON TO SMILE: 3 Nieces and 3 Nephews and knowing I’m their favorite aunt :)

S = SORRY ABOUT: Some recent episodes of a short temper with family members

T = TAG SOME FRIENDS: Jill, Megan D., Heidi, Amber

U = UNINTERESTED IN: Becoming a Centenarian

V = VERY SCARED OF: Not being able to pay the bills

W = WORST HABIT: Biting Hangnails

X = X MARKS MY IDEAL VACATION SPOT: Historical – Boston or Washington DC; Theater – Cedar City or New York City; Scenery – British Isles

Y = YESTERYEAR DECADE OF CHOICE: 1950s – post-WWII, when people dressed up to go to the movies


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Look Who's Here!

So, we've been on our annual vacation in St. George and Cedar City this week. We purposely planned it a whole month early to ensure that Mom would be home for the birth of Daniel's twins. However, they decided that they had had enough womb time and joined our family yesterday.

Say 'Hello' to...

Coleman Daniel Hinckley
born: July 8, 2008 at 9:18 p.m.
weight & height: 5 lbs & 19 inches

William Cannon Hinckley
born: July 8, 2008 at 9:27 p.m.
weight & height: 4 lbs 13 oz & 19 inches

Poor little guys look worse off than they actually are. They have a private room in the Special Care Nursery, which is for babies doing better than those in NICU. They really are doing well but because they are a month early the doctors want to monitor their breathing, etc. Once they go two whole days breathing and eating on their own and sitting in a car seat for 90 minutes they can come home. Megan is doing great and will be released from the hospital tomorrow. We are so excited to have these two new little additions in our family!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Louisiana

I entered a contest earlier this week from the Louisiana tourism people. I had to write a short essay about my experience in Louisiana. If I win I get two tickets to the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and two nights' stay in Harrah's hotel. Here's what I submitted, including a picture of the scrapbook page to prove it all happened.

My Louisiana has kissable alligators! Not long ago I spent several months in Ville Platte, a small speck on the map between Eunice and Opelousas. One afternoon my friends and I planned a jaunt up the highway to a local alligator farm. It was our lucky day! We just happened to visit on the day the alligators were hatching from their eggs. Each of us handled the little reptiles; so small and innocent yet with razor-sharp teeth. One of my friends attached the alligators to his earlobes like earrings, using their teeth to anchor them on. Let’s just say he was fortunate to still have earlobes when he finally pulled them off. I wasn’t so brave as that but I did plant a kiss on the baby alligator I held, carefully avoiding the claws and teeth. As our visit came to an end we walked down the lane past the swamp where the grown alligators live. They must have smelled our blood as we sauntered by because a dozen ferocious creatures suddenly rose from their hiding places in the mud and scrambled up to the run-down chain link fence as fast as their short legs could carry them. Luckily, they had been fed only the day before or that old wire fence might not have held them back. What an amazing afternoon at the alligator farm that day. One of my favorite stories to tell now is all about the day I kissed an alligator—it usually gets many inquisitive looks!

Cross your fingers and toes and wish very hard that I win and maybe I'll let you come along with me!