Trying to Recreate the Parent Trap IRL

So, here’s a thing that happened.

It was 1998. A beautiful time of matching windbreakers over mom jeans and boy bands with frosted tips. 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Boyce had just blown everyone away in the school talent show by singing “My Heart Will Go On”. And while all the adults were laughing at There’s Something About Mary, the kids were all about Lindsay Lohan in the remake of Disney’s The Parent Trap.

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If you’ve never seen it, first off – shame on you because it’s a real treasure. Secondly, the idea is that two twins separated as babies by a divorce meet at a summer camp. After camp, they pretend to be each other in an effort to rekindle their parent’s love. To this day, my sister Natalie and I are still huge fans of both the old movie and the new movie. In fact, when it first came out we were so enchanted by it that we decided, Hey, let’s switch places…

Here’s the problem. Um… we look nothing like each other. I was a super blondie and Nat had really dark hair. We didn’t even really look like sisters, let alone twins. Also, we were three years apart. My sister was in the fifth grade and I was in second grade…

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Nevertheless, we were sure that this was a good plan.

We planned it out for weeks. We each had a notebook with tons of important tips jotted in them, where my desk was in the room, where I kept my markers, nick names I called my best friends so they would be none-the-wiser.

The day came and we went right to each others classrooms. Natalie went to second grade and I went to fifth. My sister, haha, recognized RIGHT AWAY that it wasn’t going to work. She stepped into class and the teacher was all like, “Can I help you?”. She just kinda shuffled back out the door, “Uh, no. I’m good.”

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I, on the other hand, was still so sure about this. The teacher had kind of the same reaction.

Teacher: Do you need something?

Me: Nope. I’m Natalie.

Teacher: …. wut?

Me: I’m Natalie.

All the other kids started laughing so hard! And they were big kids. And it was scary. So I started to cry. My sister’s teacher had to walk me back to my second grade classroom. Ah, man.

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Anyways, coincidentally! Utah Children’s Theatre in Salt Lake is putting on The Parent Trap. How fabulous is that? Doesn’t that sound like the most fun ever? Come and see it! Tickets and showtimes can be found at uctheatre.org I can’t even tell you how excited I am to check it out! I’m definitely bringing Natalie with me.

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Novel Update: Back from the Editor!

So in case I haven’t spammed you well enough and you somehow don’t know… I’ve been working on a YA novel for the past six months. It’s about an LDS girl who tries to fit in with a group of burnouts, and it’s lightly based on some experiences that I had in high school.

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Completely finished three drafts (woot!) and hired a freelance editor to take a look at the project. I do plan to try for traditional publishing which would probably require another editor anyway… but my thinking is that it was more of an investment into my skills as a whole. Trying to improve my craft overall.

The timing was impeccable honestly. My morning sickness had me out all of March and my book came back right when I was feeling better. (Um, amazing!) Now I could actually process the daunting six page editor’s letter.

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(ALSO) If you are a writer and are considering hiring an editor. I wholeheartedly recommend doing it. It was expensive (my only Christmas gift). But in my experience, it was worth every penny. She addressed all the concerns that I had for the piece, but could actually tell me what to do about it. It is worth it my friends!

Mostly her recommendations were things to add in, opposed to changing. Which YAY! Because writing more book is WAY more fun than re-structuring everything. She also mentioned that my writing was some of the cleanest that she had come across… which had me like “Wha? Really??” For a first time novel that I wrote in twenty days. Um yeah, that’s a compliment.

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So anyways, didn’t mean to blab on so much about it, but in short – It’s going well. Haha

Now, with the brainstorming help of my editor I am starting draft numero 4. And I am hoping that this is the one I can present to potential gatekeepers and book Gods. So cross your fingers for me! I would love to finish it before I move to AZ, but realistically… who even knows.

The Time I Tried to Teach Myself How to Yodel

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I can’t get enough of the video of the yodeling Walmart kid. Buuuut at the same time, it’s been kind of bringing up a lot of repressed memories…

Mostly this one.

I just randomly ‘get into things’. Like when I tried to memorize Hamlet. Or when I tried to teach myself how to dance to house music. Or when I spent like two months watching Cleopatra documentaries every day. I just get really excited about niche stuff.

So one day I was like, yo, I’m going to learn how to yodel.

I hadn’t really imagined the Hank Williams covers at Walmart. Mostly, I wanted to do like an Appalachia mountain kinda thing that I could use to call my kids to dinner with.

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Anyways, so in case you didn’t know… yodeling is switching back and forth in between your lower register and falsetto voice. Your voice makes a “break” and that’s where the yodeling sound comes from.

So basically, the way to practice yodeling is to do these weird freaking scales and strain your voice like Scooby Doo after he’s had some bad Taco Bell.

eeeeh EEEH! eeeh EEEH! eeeh EEEH! And you can’t do it quietly either or your voice won’t break as well. Okay… yeah…

Well, around this time I was asked to help clean my local church building. It was like eight in the morning on a Saturday and the other people they asked were young single adults with lives. So obviously, it was just me that showed up.

Just kidding. It was me and the guy who asked me.

So I got to work cleaning my half of the church building. The classrooms. All by myself. But hey! That wasn’t such bad news. I mean, golly gee, what a PERFECT time to practice my yodeling scales.

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I straight up practiced yodeling for an hour. THAT – IS – NOT – A – JOKE. I started to lose my voice before I finally finished up.

I wound the cord up around the vacuum and hauled it out into the hall… when I saw this other GUY. This effing latecomer that had UNBEKNOWNST TO ME been helping me clean my side of the church building. The whole time. The. Whole. Hour.

Oh my gosh, can you imagine this poor dude waking up early to clean a church and having to listen to this girl go “Eeeeeeeeeeuugughghh! Eeeeeeeeeuuughghghg!” for an entire hour. OH MY GOSHHHHHHH.

I think I honestly could have just buried down into the ground like a mole. I DIED.

Stopped yodeling after that traumatic experience I assure you.

All the BIG LIFE CHANGING NEWS

Hey, so it’s been a million years. Did you miss me? I basically ended up scrapping March, because my morning sickness was soooo harsh that I couldn’t even look at a non blue-light computer screen for more than 45 minutes without puking. I went from the best productivity of my entire writing life to the lyrics of “Lump” real quick.

Oh yeah, but did you catch that? I’M PREGNANT Y’ALL! BABY NUMBER TWO IS DUE IN OCTOBER!

That’s only the first announcement.

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I knew 2018 would be crazy. I sensed its scent like a lion crouching in the savannah grass. I just didn’t know it would be this crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, the baby was in no way an accident, but it still was a surprise. I had been having some health issues with my ovaries and infertility runs in my family. In fact, I was scheduled to check my egg supply and some other things when bam! Turns out I’m more than fine.

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I can’t think of a clever transition into the next big piece of news, so I’ll just blurt it out instead. WE’RE MOVING TO ARIZONA Y’ALL!

Dan is graduating pharmacy school in May aaaaaaand he got offered a residency position at a Banner hospital in Mesa.

I thought that I would be really scared to move far away, but it turns out that I’m actually really excited. And I can tell that I’m really excited because I do what I always do whenever I have a new adventure, or a book project, or a crush or something… which is bite my lip on baited breath waiting for someone to bring up “the thing”.

Plus not to mention the awesome job opportunities that will be available to my post-resident-doctor-husband.

YAAAAAAS

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Things are good. And exciting. And also terrifying… but like a rollercoaster terrifying where you still want to ride it. I don’t know, it’s great! But it will be even better when I’m not a lump sitting alone in a boggy marsh. Now excuse me while I go toss up my lunch. 😷

 

PS Check out this weird Easter Egg from the photo I used for our Christmas cards…

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FATE KNOWS!