Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beauty and the Beast...and some other things

Did you hear about the big storm that ripped through Northern VA?  No?  Well then you missed out because we had a doozy and the Murray’s got to experience it in full force.  First, Ella and I were on a plane and we flew through the storm…yes, you read right.  The storm was approaching Cincinnati as Ella and I were leaving there, so the pilot wanted to leave before we hit any of the really bad weather.  The result…the first 30 minutes of our flight were spent with Ella clutching my leg and hunched over in my lap while I kept faking a smile and telling her it was all going to be ok.  Meanwhile, my mind was going over everything in my life and making sure there was no stone un-turned.  No joke, I seriously thought we weren’t going to make it home.  It was the worst flight I have ever been on!

We did make it home and a few hours later as we were getting into bed, we heard the wind outside and soon the power went out.  We were without electricity for 2 days and without home phone and internet for 1 week.  Thank heavens for friends and our basement!  The first night I knew it was going to get hot really fast, so we all moved to the basement.  Ella was very excited to sleep in her new Cat in the Hat sleeping bag.  Saturday we spent the entire day at our friends house.  They hadn’t lost power, so we took some of our food over there to put in their refrigerator, and made them dinner as a thank you.  Sunday we headed to church, then avoided coming home any way we could…lunch out with friends and a movie was the perfect diversion.

At 3:45 am on Monday morning I woke up to a bright light staring in my face.  At first I was mad…”What in the world is that light doing on?”  Then it hit me…THE LIGHT IS ON!!!  And I hear the AC running!!!  I was giddy with excitement, so giddy that I woke Joe up to tell him the good news.

Of course the day we finally got power I woke up sick.  I’m rarely sick enough that I’m completely laid out, but that’s exactly what happened.  For 2 days I did nothing but lay in bed, sleep, and wallow in self-pity with how sick I was.  By Wednesday I was back to feeling half way normal and was able to clean up our messy house.

There you have it…my excuse for not blogging sooner.  The above, and the fact that Ella and I were in Cincinnati for 3 days prior to losing power.  She got her belly button changed out with something smaller and more permanent…she did awesome…no biggie.

So now I’ll back up and try to catch you all up.

Thursday June 21 was Ella’s official birthday.  She insisted on wearing her Cat in the Hat outfit for the occasion.  I still can’t believe we have a big 5 year old!  Where has the time gone?

As a special birthday surprise, a friend of ours got us tickets to go see the musical version of Beauty and the Beast at National Theatre in DC.  My parents had taken me to see this show when I was in high school and since Ella loves all things princesses, I knew she would love this show too.  As an added bonus this friend (who works for the production company that puts the show on) got us a very special meet and greet with Belle.  Yes, we got to meet Belle in real life!

We decided to keep this a secret from Ella.  We knew that if she knew anything about it she would wake up every morning asking if today was the day she’d meet Belle.  She did, however, know that there was a special birthday surprise and that she would find out about it on Sunday morning.  So on Sunday morning Joe and I were laying in bed sleep and at 6:30 am we heard, “I’m awake.  What’s my surprise?”  We tried to get her to go back to sleep, but there was no way that was happening.  Finally we went in and told her all about how she was going to meet Belle in real life and see her since and dance on a stage.  Ella was beyond excited!  She picked out a very fancy dress to wear for the occasion and made sure Joe and I were both up and ready with plenty of time to spare.

We arrived at the theatre and soon headed upstairs to wait for Belle.  Ella was her typical shy self, but she did ask Belle a very important question, “How many books have you read?”  Belle gave Ella some very special presents including an authentic Beauty and the Beast rose, a t-shirt, a purse, a book that Ella has looked at no less than 500 times, and of course a Belle tiara.  They talked and got their picture together, and even twirled their dresses together.  It was SO AWESOME!!!  Ella loved it so much…and so did her parents.

Ella watched the show with full attention.  I don’t think she took her eyes off the stage once the entire show.  At the end, as the characters were all taking their bow, I couldn’t help but cry.  It had been such a wonderful show and wonderful experience.

I have always been so thankful to grow up in a family that took me to plays and musicals from an early age.  Even though many of the things we saw were local productions, it was the appreciation of theatre that I developed.  I was 13 when I saw my first real life Broadway level musical…Phantom of the Opera (with Michael Crawford I might add…if you don’t know who he is you need to look it up).  I am so excited that even at 5 years old Ella is developing an appreciation for theatre.  She loved every minute of the show and I am so thankful to our friends for getting us tickets and especially for introducing us to Belle.

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