Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Snippet From My Birth

On Christmas Day, 2014, I had a deep and wonderful conversation with my father. I was so happy my dad selflessly braved the snowy Utah roads just to come visit my little family and me—his efforts meant a lot. :)

We sat on my awkward creme, blue and tan sofa (My living room could use a new sofa, but it will have to wait!), across the room from my happy little Christmas tree. My dad and I had been talking about various family memories (my childhood family) for a while when he suddenly brought up the day of my birth. He explained how long he held my mom's hand while she wearily pushed me into this world.

As he continued his description of my mother's and my event, the light in his eyes was a wonder to behold. You see, I've talked about my own children in that way—with the love that can't be matched(!)—but I don't know if I've ever witnessed/understood it when my father talked about me in that way.

The immense love and adoration in my dad's eyes was very near tear-inducing as he shared what I looked like when the nurse handed him my little-pink-bundled self. :) He basically said (not word for word) that I was such a beautiful baby, and that he was overjoyed in the moment. :)

My dad shared that immediately after I was handed to him, I looked up at him and smiled! Surprised, I asked, "Did I really smile at you?!" My dad responded something like, "YES! You really smiled at me—first thing! Ohh, Adrie, it was amazing!" He then told of how much the nurse gushed about how beautiful I was, and how she said my parents make the most beautiful babies! (The same nurse had assisted in my older brother's birth too!)

Growing up, I loved looking at my little pink bow!

I've been pondering that moment with my father for two days now. I don't know quite how to explain what this little story has done for me, but let me assure you, it has been magical to my soul! Simply seeing the love in my father's eyes, hearing the love, excitement, and joy in his voice for me, well, it filled my heart to overflowing. Knowing that I mean as much to my father as my children mean to me was enough to make me tear up a little—and I get a little teary even now when I think back to that moment...happy tears, of course!

Please don't get me wrong, I've known my entire life that my dad absolutely loves me. As a teenager, I doubted his love for a little while because I was in such a "Don't bug me!" state, but shortly after that, I completely got my dad's love for me. This experience, however, was different. It felt special—almost heavenly. My dad's heart was so completely open to me that I felt emotion from him I've not witnessed before.

I'm so thankful I was able to experience my birth from a new and beautiful perspective. I'm beyond grateful for my parents creating me and bringing me into this world—and especially for my dear, sweet, wonderful mother! I absolutely know of her great love for me, too. I literally would not be here were it not for my parents!

If anyone is wondering what you can do for your child, please follow my father's example and share with your child how you felt on the day of their birth! Explain to them what was in your heart during that amazing time. Help them understand how precious they are to you! I promise, your child will be forever changed in a most positive way!

What I love most about this experience—besides the fact that it made me feel like a million bucks(!)—is it totally confirmed to me that Greg and I have been parenting our children in precisely the right way. For we gush about our children every chance we get!

We've hung multiple photos of our children all over our home, and provide easy access to endless photo albums and loose photos so we can revisit and remember our wonderful experiences anytime we want! Greg and I talk about our children's births with great joy, warmth, excitement and love. And we share other happy thoughts and memories with our babies every chance we get!

Some might say Greg and I have gushed too much over our precious children, but after this experience with my sweet daddy, I say no way! Based on our actions, our children could never doubt Greg's and my love for them, and that fact brings great peace to my soul. :)

Yes, Christmas, 2014, will remain forever in my memory as the day I found out that I smiled right after I was born! I love knowing I had a happy heart literally from day one!

Friday, December 26, 2014

There is No Such Thing as Failure!

I've always thought people who refer to themselves as failures are way too hard on themselves. In fact, I feel annoyance at the word because I don't believe in failure, I believe in choices! :)

We have all been blessed with the opportunity to make choices throughout our lives. Just like everyone else, I love making my own choices!

While growing up, if someone tried to take away my choices, well, they would see a very independent and determined girl who would not be told what to do. Now I handle most situations like that much better as an adult, but my core self hasn't changed. I have been and always will be a strong-willed lady! If someone tries to take away my choices, I will "fight to the death"! (I don't advocate death, by the way. It's just a figure of speech. Ha ha.)

I simply view life as a series of endless choices. Every choice we make leads us one direction or another. Even indecision is a choice! Thus, we must own our choices.

Even if we're not satisfied with every choice we've made, we must accept the outcome. We mustn't look back and longingly wish that things would have turned out differently. We must not ever say, "Oh, I'm just a big fat failure." No, friends, that moment passed the second we made the choice that brought us to that point. There is no such thing as failure!

My statements aren't meant to depress or annoy anyone. I simply want to clarify that we should not live our lives in a wishy-washy state. We must live courageously! We cannot wonder what if, or wish, or pine, or wait for this or that to happen in our lives. Actually, we can do those things, we just have to be at peace with the consequences of our actions or inaction.

What I'm trying to convey is that we shouldn't view our lives as failures, no matter how hard, bleak, mundane, tragic, messy or unsuccessful they may seem. We must embrace our lives with our whole hearts and souls for we have absolutely made every choice that has brought us to this point!

Gratitude for every aspect of our lives is a happy, wonderful thing and is very needed! If we can't find gratitude for everything that we are, we simply need to make those choices that will help us be truly grateful.

I understand all too well when we might want to blame others for situations we find ourselves in because "it truly wasn't our fault," but even then—in that very momentwe have decisions just waiting to be selected! We can decide how we will respond. We can decide what we'll do next. There are innumerable options available to each of us through every choice we make! :)

There is truly no such thing as failure—only different choices. I hope every person will appreciate their grand opportunity for unending choices, make them wisely, own their lives, and live beautifully!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Beloved

Today at my mom's awesome family Christmas party, my brother-in-law, Mason, gave me a CD filled with photos (234!) from my little family's photo shoot we did near the end of September. He edited many of our photos and gave me the rest untouched—per my request—as I didn't want him spending an inordinate amount of time retouching them. Plus, I also enjoy basic photos that show real life! :)

I love all of our photos, even the fuzzy and blurry ones! Of course, I love the photos he edited for us the very most, as Mason works magic with his artistic eye and attention to perfection! As I already said multiple times tonight, Thank you, Mason!!!

When Greg and I had our anniversary a while ago, I created two typographic designs of scriptures (The Song of Solomon 2:16 and 4:7) that describe the unending love I feel for him. What's even better is that those lovely scriptures are completely applicable to both Greg and I! I'm so grateful we don't have a one-sided marriage. I love that we are equals in our love and adoration for each other. I didn't know if I would ever share my happy designs publicly, or just enjoy them privately. Now that I have these wonderful photos from our family photo shoot, I feel the need to pair my typographic designs with them!

I am so truly blessed to have had my wonderful and spotless husband continually at my side for 17+ amazing years of marriage. I will never get over my excitement and utter joy that Greg and I will have each other for eternity!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

He's There!

I just read a comment on a blog post of a friend of mine. The reader was sharing her ongoing doubts about her belief in God, our Heavenly Father. I wanted to give her a virtual hug and say the following:

He's absolutely there for you! He hears your prayers! He IS listening!

I acknowledge, it may not feel like anyone is out there in our grand and astonishing universe, but I assure you, our Heavenly Father is there. He is the father of everything. We are secured to our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ—our eternal Savior! The precious Holy Ghost is the warm, comforting cloth that binds us to both of Them! Can my human mind comprehend all that entails? No, of course not, and I don't expect myself to be able to. However, I do expect my spirit to comprehend any experience the Holy Ghost sees fit to inspire me with. In return, I have to allow the Holy Ghost access to my soul, for if I have locked-up my spirit tightly, He can never fully open the windows of Heaven for me!

I have great faith in my spiritual abilities, as should everyone! We were spiritual beings before we were human beings. Spirituality is our native language!

Just like with anything else in life we try to accomplish or achieve, we must practice our spirituality on a daily basis, and prayer is the best way to start. Talking (praying) to our Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, is the way we can be intimately and eternally connected to Him. We will truly understand what He wants for us if we will simply open that line of heavenly communication! :) Reading our scriptures, following the commandments, obeying the Word of Wisdom, attending church, serving others, attending the temple, and receiving priesthood blessings are also amazing avenues to work on our spirituality.

When we ignore those opportunities to grow spiritually and become connected with Heaven, we are effectively pulling ourselves away from eternity and all of the miraculous and marvelous possibilities it presents!

Will we have grand spiritual experiences every minute of every day? Well, probably not—although I'm not writing off that possibility entirely. I mean, how great of a payback would that be for us to experience spiritual greatness on a daily basis?! I think it's absolutely possible! And when we do what Heavenly Father desires of us, we should be able to expect blessings and angelic help! But we shouldn't feel badly if we think those spiritual blessings haven't come to us, for they might have simply come in a different way than we expected. Besides, one of the biggest reasons we're here on Earth is to prove ourselves even when we aren't receiving much—spiritually speaking.

Try to completely internalize that our Heavenly Father is truly there for all of us—because He really is! He watches over everyone—He is blessing us! Sometimes our "blessings" might not feel like blessings at all. And it might take a while for us to see and fully understand those blessings. We might feel as though we are being tossed aside by our Heavenly Father, never to be cared about again. But I can assure you, it's simply not true.

As we learn in Jeremiah 18:6 "...cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand...", we are the clay in the hands of the Lord. He will not give up on us until He is satisfied with His excellent work.

We've all heard about the refiner's fire as well. This is a beautiful video that talks about how we can handle the heat! We must be patient for the resulting beauty that comes from the constant "blows" to our souls. Please watch it if you have time! :)

In the end, we will leave this earth. Our bodies will break, and our spirits will go to Heaven—of that, I have zero doubt. Because I've lost loved ones, and have felt their angelic spirits from time to time, I could never deny that we'll go to Heaven—I absolutely know it! Thus, if our loved ones have gone to Heaven, we will too.

When we really think about our lives here on Earth, what else matters but the connections we have to others and following our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness?!

Our job is to endure this life as well as we possibly can. We must be strong! We need to remember where we've come from, and where we are destined to return! We cannot become discouraged or give up, for that is what will break our hearts when we finally see everything with eternal 20/20 vision!

And when those moments of depressing doubt wash over our souls, we must remember what we've learned in the past! We must follow the counsel found in D&C 6:23 "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" Seriously! :)

Oh, I've been reminded of this advice sooo many times in my life! Hopefully, I've finally learned my lesson that when I receive an answer from the Holy Ghost (which is an answer from Jesus Christ, given to Him by our Heavenly Father), I must not question or doubt it. I must remember the peaceful feeling that accompanied my original answer and stick with it, no matter how long or arduously my trial may last.

Speaking of peace, I read Psalms 4 the other day. The words of David warmed my soul! I've edited it to include the words that were most meaningful to me:
1  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer... 
3  ...the Lord will hear when I call unto him. 
4  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still... 
5  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 
6  There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 
7  Thou hast put gladness in my heart... 
8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
Yes, we must have faith that (because of our Savior's sacrifice) our Heavenly Father will hear our prayers. We need to live the kind of lives that open our souls to Heavenly experiences. And when our spirits receive answers, comfort, or direction, we must trust what we've been given. When we do those things, we will be truly happy and feel peace that cannot be found in any other way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Unsubscribed, Unliked

For several years, I've had many emails flood my inbox notifying me of companies' articles, books, television shows, videos, sales, new products/features, programs, etc.. A few weeks ago, I decided to enhance my Fakebook experience by liking a bunch of newspapers, news channels, documentary-style public television shows, magazines, groups, etc. I've had a lot of fun reading interesting, insightful, inspiring and intriguing articles galore, via my email inbox and Facebook newsfeed.

Although I greatly enjoyed my reading time, I slowly realized that anytime I got on Facebook, I had a constant desire to devour the next bit of fascinating information that scrolled into view. I felt the same way toward the uplifting emails I received. I continually had eight to ten windows open on my smarty phone, and my laptop was usually hovering around seven to eight. In my spare time, I felt the need to read all of those articles simply because they taught me oh-so-many things I didn't previously know—I greatly enjoyed learning from them!

One day last week, I realized my incessant reading had stopped being fun. I didn't like feeling guilty for not finishing the neglected half-read articles on my open windows. I repeatedly thought, "Oh, I can't close that window yet, I really want to finish that article!"—even though some windows had been open for many days! So, last week, I unliked a bunch of companies on Facebook. I also unsubscribed from the several commercial emails I receive each month.

At first, I wondered if by unsubscribing and unliking almost everything I might miss out on something important, or special, or life-changing. (I still like a few local businesses, friends' pages, and many of my church's pages.) But now I'm convinced I made a fabulous choice. I simply feel free!

Imagine this: a house cluttered with stuff in every nook and cranny. Now envision that my unsubscribing/unliking is the equivalent of a deep-cleaning and organizing session of that messy house—except it was much easier for me to do than all that. I just had to click the left button on my mouse and voila! A neat and tidy mind! Ha ha.

I really like the way my mind is now more open to be able to research or peruse whatever tickles my fancy each day—not someone's recommended must-read. I no longer feel pressured by my newsfeed or inbox to read/watch/research something possibly important. It doesn't mean I might not subscribe to or like something in the future (if it's really and truly important to me), it simply means I have more time. Yay!

Speaking of time, here's one of my all-time favorite quotes ever, given by Dallin H. Oaks in his General Conference talk, Focus and Priorities, April, 2001:
"Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, 'Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.' We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Great Motherhood Quotes and My Poem

This morning, while getting ready for ward choir and church, I listened to Elder Christofferson's General Conference Talk, The Moral Force of Women. Suddenly, I had a very strong desire to make a typographic design of my poem, Creation, Sustenance and Influence, so I did! And I'm very happy about it. :) (Well, I had to wait until tonight to create it.)

Here are two of Elder Christofferson's many paragraphs that spoke to my soul (emphasis added):
"Most sacred is a woman’s role in the creation of life. We know that our physical bodies have a divine origin and that we must experience both a physical birth and a spiritual rebirth to reach the highest realms in God’s celestial kingdom. Thus, women play an integral part (sometimes at the risk of their own lives) in God’s work and glory 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.'" 
"A pernicious philosophy that undermines women’s moral influence is the devaluation of marriage and of motherhood and homemaking as a career. Some view homemaking with outright contempt, arguing it demeans women and that the relentless demands of raising children are a form of exploitation. They ridicule what they call 'the mommy track' as a career. This is not fair or right. We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career—we all benefit from those achievements—but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage. There is no superior career, and no amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family. Whatever else a woman may accomplish, her moral influence is no more optimally employed than here." – D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women", Ensign, November, 2013.
I also absolutely love the following quote he referenced by Elder Maxwell—I included a little bit more than Elder Christofferson's original quote:
"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this." – Neal A. Maxwell, "The Women of God", Ensign, April, 1978
Oh, yes, I love and deeply appreciate the wonderful words of those inspired men! I'm pretty sure the children of our world are much happier when their mothers choose to follow what Elders Christofferson and Maxwell have said. :)

Here's my poem...goodnight!

P.S. Sorry it's a little hard to read because of the smallish words. When I printed it out, it's a full-sized 8.5 x 11, so it's easy to read, but it doesn't quite show up the same way here on Enthusiastic Fantastic. Oh well... :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Music Buddies

Yesterday afternoon, my youngest son and I discovered that we like the same kind of music! At my son's request, I switched radio stations while waiting in the car for his older brother and sister to get out of school. The Cranberries' song Dream started playing. I asked my son if it was okay that we listened to it? Happily for me, he said yes! :)

When Dream finished, I said, "So, what do you think? Do you like that song?" My son said, "Yeah, I really like that song!" I replied, "Yay! It's one of my favorites! I wasn't sure you'd like it because it's 20 years old." (It's actually 21 years old!) The funny thing is, my son complains quite often that songs on the radio are too old after they've been out for only a few months, so that's great news he likes Dream!

He then asked, "Mom, were The Cranberries as popular as One Direction is now?" I said, "No. (The Cranberries sold 40 million albums. One Direction has already sold 45 million, and they're not even close to being done!) Plus, The Cranberries isn't a pop band, they're considered alternative music—which is what I mainly listened to in high school when this song came out." Side note: I like many other music genres, but alternative is what spoke to my heart back in the day, and does quite often today as well.

My son instantly remarked, "I listen to alternative and electronica on Grooveshark. I can play you some of the songs I like when we get home." I about died silently laughing because I never expected him to say that, ever! :)

I find this whole experience so interesting and fun! I mean, my little family has listened to so many different types of music together for years, but this is the first time my youngest son has so definitively expressed what styles of music he likes.

I'm just really grateful he doesn't like crazy dad music (that's what my kids used to call Greg's music when they were little), for my husband and I have completely different music tastes! Last night, Greg introduced me to a band from the 80s that I refuse to repeat the name of because I dislike it so much! Some people consider the band to be bad, but as someone who frequently plays the piano, sings in my ward's (church) choir, and (used to play) the cello, I simply find the band's music to be not very musical at all. I totally sound like an old lady with a shaky voice when I say, "They call that music?!" It makes my soul shiver in a yucky way...ick!

Yes, as much as Greg and I love each other, we are not music simpatico, and that's okay. :) Thus, I'm even more thrilled that I've found a music buddy in my darling son! It makes my heart happy both as a mama and as a music lover! :)

I've always wondered what music my baby boy would end up liking. When he was very young, he would stand on his tiptoes and plink the piano keys all by himself! Whenever I played the piano, he would climb on my lap and put his hands on top of mine. It was so sweet! I had my friend teach him piano lessons for a few months before we moved to Texas, but we fizzled out after that.

Today, I decided that it's time I start teaching my son piano lessons on my own, for I truly believe he is a musical boy and I need to help him bring out his talent! I was nervous about asking him what he thought of my idea, so I came prepared with a strategy: for every minute he practices the piano, or has a piano lesson, he gets to play a minute longer on the computer!

You see, my boys love playing computer games, and I get so tired of having to regulate how much time they spend on the computer. I'm a good regulator, but it wears me out. My husband is a huge help in the computer regulation area as well. Thank heaven for husbands! :) Anyway, our lessons will most likely be 30-45 minutes, which means on piano lesson days, my son will get to play an additional 30-45 minutes on the computer. Similarly, for every 20 minutes he spends practicing the piano, he'll get an additional 20 minutes to play computer games! *No judging my strategy, please. I had to find some way to get him excited about the piano, and this was it! :)

Early this morning, I presented my awesome piano plan to my little guy, and he was all for it! Yay! I believe deep down my son realizes he has musical abilities, thus, he agrees that we need to bring music to a more prominent place in his life. I'm truly beyond thrilled he agreed to playing the piano again! Let's just hope and pray we don't lose our enthusiasm and fizzle out again. I'm so happy he's willing to try! :)

I was going to share another song I like from my alternative music years, but there are way too many for me to narrow down to just one! Thus, I'll just share my new favorite Christmas song I discovered on Facebook the other day. It's so lovely! I checked out Cloverton's other songs and I really like them! Enjoy!

I love music!!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014


I've been meaning to write this post about the short film, Listen, since February, 2014. There were several reasons I didn't write about my experience of attending the 2014 LDS Film Festival—and watching myself as a movie extra on the big screen(!), from not being able to find the video online, to just not having the time to give this post the proper attention and care I thought it deserved.

Yesterday morning, I read a line in a magazine that made me laugh and decide to stop procrastinating this post, "Just spit it out!" The author was referring to a completely different situation that has nothing to do with my post, but the thought came to me that now is the time to finally share the short little movie I was in. (Previously, I wrote about the filming process in Remember that one time I was in a movie?!, but not the finished product.) Oh, this is such a happy moment for me! :)

A few weeks before the LDS Film Festival began, I received an email from the movie's director, Alisa Anglesey, about when our little movie would be premiering. (Of course it's not mine, but I was in it and I love it, so I will happily call it mine forever!)

Even though I thought the tickets were a little pricey (I'm frugal!), and I wasn't thrilled with the long drive to Provo and back, Greg and I decided it was totally worth the cost and drive time. Not only did we want our children to have a fun and memorable time together as a family, we absolutely wanted them to see their mother on the silver screen! I mean, how often do children have that opportunity?! Well, in the Peterson household, it's not often! In fact, it's a once-in-a-lifetime treat! :) So I happily bought the tickets online and never looked back!

Fast forward a few days to when I took my daughter shopping to use her Christmas gift card at Charming Charlie's. I did not plan on buying myself anything that day. Yet as we were searching for something for my daughter to purchase, I saw this red lacy dress on a rack. I thought, "Oh, that is sooo cute! I've been wanting something made out of lace! Even though it's too short and low cut in the back, I could totally layer a shirt underneath it and wear it over jeans with high heels. I could make it work!" I just had to try it on!

My daughter gushed that it looked really good on me and that I should totally buy it. I looked at the price tag and thought differently. Even though the dress was a great price, I was having a hard time justifying the purchase. But in the back of my mind, I realized I didn't have anything exciting to wear to the premiere of Listen. So I threw everything to the wind and said, "Okay, I'm buying it! I want something cute to wear to the premiere!" I found a set of three slim belts that were on the super-cheap clearance rack (Yeah YEAH!) and decided the black one would make the dress look even better, so I bought those too. :)

Hi! I totally got sucked into all the excitement of the drama! (And I was merely an extra in the movie.) I'm such a cliché! Ha ha. But seriously? I don't care. I mean, it was such a cool event to be a part of, I wanted to fully immerse myself into the whole experience—and I did, so I'm happy about that! :)

I was such an enthusiastic lady on the morning of February 8th, 2014! If I remember right, it was such a long Saturday. It felt like waiting for my birthday! Finally, around noon, I started getting ready. Here's my finished outfit:

To some, it might seem excessive that I posed so many times. But again, I really wanted to enjoy this moment because it was a special day that probably wouldn't come along again! :)

We left our house literally right after Greg snapped my photos because we wanted to have enough time to pick up my mom on our way to Provo. Our drive down was filled with excitement for the adults, and boredom for the children. Poor things. ;) Still, we had a great time chatting with each other. You can never go wrong with family time! :)

Greg found Scera Center for the Arts without incident, which was such a nice change! Usually, we have trouble with at least one of our cell phone's GPS service, and it takes longer to get where we're going. Finding it so easily was a blessing!

We arrived fairly early so we could be sure to get good seats. I'm really glad we arrived early since the guy at the ticket window was apparently intent on telling me his life story after he found out my first name. Okay, it wasn't his entire life story, but he just kept talking to me! I know he saw my wedding ring, so I can't imagine why he was so interested.

The theater where Listen was being shown wasn't open for seating yet, so we wandered around the display booths. One guy, Michael Mercer, had a booth showing a comic book series, From the Dust, that he created to tell the stories of The Book of Mormon! (The real book, not the silly Broadway musical.) It was interesting talking with him. I was impressed with his artistic abilities and excitement for his product.

I really wanted to help Mr. Mercer with his dreams and buy his comic book. (Which is why I'm sharing his information here!) Unfortunately, I had already spent enough money buying movie tickets to the short film competition, and paying for gas to Provo and back, so it was a no-go. I could tell he was disappointed, but each of us have our blasted budgets to maintain! ;) That said, I checked out his website and found that he's allowing a PDF download of his first book for free—providing you share it on Facebook.

We wandered back over to wait outside the theater and took some photos. I won't be posting photos of my family here simply because I feel the need to keep their faces private from the big bad world wide web! ;) Well, I'll show you one photo I took: our tickets!

After waiting for the prior movie's audience to leave the theater, it was finally our turn to enter. My family and I chose our seats and were pretty excited with the great view. Yes, it pays to be early birds! We took more family photos and waited for the shows to begin.

I've tried to remember the order the short movies were shown, but it's been too long. Here's a list of all the short films in the competition—of those, here are the films we saw:

& Juan

I Miss Being a Tree

Inner Child


Mirror Portrait

Out of Body



Yarrow's Boy

I admit, it was hard waiting to see "my" movie. I enjoyed the other films, but seeing what I'd been a part of was what I was most excited about. Obviously my favorite movie was Listen, but I also really liked & Juan, Tesha, and Reins—in that order. :)

Sadly, I can't show the video of Listen here because of the restrictions the video's owner set. So sad face!! :( Thankfully, you can still view it on vimeo!
Here's the link to Listen!

You can see me at the following points in the movie—but I recommend watching it all the way through first. :)
0:37 at the counter talking to another office girl, on the right
0:49 walking down the front hallway and a young man looks up at me
1:17 walking far back in the hallway alone, from right to left
2:31 talking in the group of office girls, on the right
4:09 walking from the back hallway in a trio of office girls, on the right
*I find it interesting to note that I'm always on the right side! I guess I'm always right! Just kidding!

I enjoyed listening to the directors after the short films competition ended. They made such great little flicks! (I almost spelled it flix! Netflix on the brain!) Here are a couple of really bad photos to prove I was there. ;)

After the directors finished talking, we all got to vote for our two favorite movies. You know what my number one pick was! Later, I was thrilled to find out that Listen won an Audience Choice Award! That's one smart audience! It's too bad Listen's director didn't get paid anything for winning.

I really wanted to take my family over to meet the director of Listen, but we somehow got separated in the crowds going out of the theater. I managed to snag my daughter and youngest son and introduced them to Ms. Anglesey before she left. I hope she didn't think I was trying to show-off my children to her like, "Hey, do you want to use my kids in your next movie?!" because that was not what I was doing at all. I sincerely wanted to thank her for allowing me to be a part of something so truly wonderful. It was the experience of a lifetime! I also wanted to show her my greatest joys. I only wish I could have introduced her to my husband, oldest son and mom too! At first, she didn't remember me because she didn't recognize me, but then I clarified who I was. She was very gracious and indulged me for a few moments. (I'm sure she gets bombarded by people all the time!)

After the excitement moved outside the theater, Greg and I decided it was okay for me to take a photo on the red carpet, in front of the LDS Film Festival backdrop. When we first entered the building and saw their setup, I felt out of place taking a photo there. Yet after I watched myself on the big screen, and saw my name in the credits(!), I felt like it was completely okay for me to take a photo in front of their backdrop.

On our way to the red carpet, I bumped into one of Listen's cast members, Paul Pickett. I had spoken with Paul for a little while when we made the movie, so I wasn't sure if he'd remember me, but he did. He was so genuinely kind and willing to share his knowledge of the film industry. He gave me his email address to ask him questions later if I wanted. I truly appreciated his openness so much!

A couple of months later, I decided to really delve in and ask Paul questions about getting my foot in the door of the film industry. He shared such great and detailed information that I was truly and completely clueless about—just call me Cher! (Bad joke, I know.) I sooo did not understand to what extent it takes to really get your name into the film industry. (I keep using film industry, but I'm unsure if I'm using it correctly! Ha ha.) While I would love to follow Paul's brilliant advice and get myself out there more, I'm just not willing to spend the time away from my family that's needed to "make it".

And it's not like I haven't tried this past year. I've applied for many projects that were emailed to me by various casting agents within LDS Casting. I've received two emails sent specifically to me, with my name in them—which is rare, at least it's rare for me.

I admit, it's been disappointing after getting so excited to be a part of some interesting projects within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' film department—especially when they asked for me by my name(!), only to be emailed something like, "Sorry, you weren't chosen."

I've spent a lot of time prettifying myself and taking endless photos for headshots and profile shots! My computer is filled with edited photos I've submitted to various projects. I'm like Barry B. Benson in Bee Movie when he continues to crash into the closed window, thinking he will somehow get out, saying, "This time! This Time! This Time!" Yeah, I've taken a break from applying to The Church's casting calls for a while...

But I digress! Here are our photos (Paul gave me his permission to share these and write about him. Thanks, Paul!):

Greg was sneaky and snapped this one (above) when we were looking at Paul's camera. I totally love the fact that Greg made us look like stars! Or, at least wannabes! Okay, I'm the wannabe, Paul is a legit actor.

I included this photo because it's in better focus—darn cell phone camera! ;)

I took photos with my little family (all together) and my mom (separately) on the red carpet, but I'm upset I forgot to take a photo with just Greg and I! What was I thinking?! Actually, I know what I was thinking. I was worried about all the other people waiting to pose on the red carpet, so I hurried and neglected my leading man, my greatest gift: Greg! Thus, I had to crop this photo we took with the Picketts. I would love to see Greg on the silver screen one day!

After we concluded our fun family photos, we headed out to the car. On our way through the building, I was surprised to see Craig Clyde talking with someone in the front hallway. I wanted to see if we could chat with him, as my dad is casual friends with him (my dad owns a small advertising agency, but he's semi-retired), and my younger sister had a small role in one of his movies Little Heroes. I asked my mom, "Do you know Craig too? We should say hi to him!" My mom said, "No, let's not. He probably wouldn't remember me." So we moved along.

May I quickly say, I think no one could ever forget my mom. Anyone would be so pleased to talk with her, as she has a semi-famous performing history all of her own! She even met Bob Hope when her band was performing on a USO tour in Vietnam! But I'll blog about her fabulous self another day. :)

I loved that it was lightly raining when we walked outside to our car. There is just something about rain that makes things memorable! We decided to eat at Olive Garden for our celebratory dinner! Even though I had major worries about Olive Garden's gluten-free menu, I was so jubilant, I decided this one time of possible cross-contact wouldn't hurt!

The waitress was excited and overly impressed when she found out our reason (seeing "my" movie at the film festival) for eating at the Olive Garden. When she made a mistake on our order, she brought us a cake for free! Um, yeah, that's never happened to us before. It's sad to say, but I really do think people are treated better when they are perceived as being important because of a career in TV or movies. At least, that's what I gleaned from our post-film-festival-Olive-Garden dinner! Hey, I'm not complaining, I just think everyone should be treated as well as those who are seemingly important!

We had such a delightful time eating together, I'm so pleased we made it part of our fun day! When we headed outside it was still raining, so my sweet Greg told us to wait at the entrance while he brought our minivan to us.

Our children were markedly happier on the drive home which made Greg and I happy too! I was so relieved our day wasn't a bust—our kids had fun and liked the movies! I'm guessing the fact we ate at a restaurant helped increase their happy factor! Here's a photo I snapped of our rainy night on the way home, as (ironically) I wanted to remember its warmth.

My little family continued talking and having fun until after we arrived home late that night. I'm so grateful everything went well for us, and especially that we traveled safely. After my darling children were on their way to dreamland, I had a grand time reflecting on our day. I think it's safe to say I fell asleep that night feeling ultra content, much like Ralphie did on Christmas night—except I was holding Greg in my arms instead of Old Blue! ;)

Yes, February 8th, 2014, will live forever in our awesome life book, Peterson Family's Greatest Memories!

P.S. We don't have an actual book, it's just a great thought. ;)

Update: 02/06/2017: I found Listen on YouTube! Thus, I had to share it right here on Enthusiastic Fantastic...because that's exactly how I feel about "my" short movie! It's pretty great!