Day 162 – International Travel

haley.japanHaley left for Japan this afternoon (4/23) until August 30th.  She just got off the plane from South Africa last Friday (4/19)– so four continents in five days – Cape Town to London to LAX to Narita,  I am so proud of her.

The Young Americans, YA’s for short, is an International Outreach program that brings music in to the schools.  Her last tour was 3 months in Scotland, Ireland and England followed by two weeks in Cape Town.  I flew out to spend 36 hours with her before she boarded her flight to Japan.

I got in to Ontario, California at midnight on Sunday, picked up Haley from a friend’s apartment and back to my favorite hotel in SoCal, the Ayres Suites.  I listened to her talk until about 3:30 a.m. and then drifted off for a couple of hours sleep.  I mentioned to her that it was 6:30 a.m. where I had just come from, she reminded me that it was 4 in the afternoon from her last stop…fair enough.

Haley had rehearsal set for 9, so we got up for breakfast and dropped her off.  My job was then laundry and errands for her; a quick meet for lunch; a quick meet near dinner and then I gathered her back up for some additional errands.  We couldn’t quite finish them and so we got up early and hit the stores again.  Then to the airport.  Whew…it goes so fast.

I am so proud of my baby girl, she never ceases to amaze me in her thoughts and deeds.  She has always been a volunteer, never content to just sit on the sidelines and let others lead.  She is the one who likes to make things happen.  I love watching her with her group, this tour she is in charge of costumes, of course she needed a little help since she wasn’t here yet.  As she describes them, Boy Casey and Girl Kacie, took care of getting things rolling, now it’s up to her.  When I went to see her at the dinner break, she was bagging costumes in the warehouse, making an inventory, insuring that there were costumes for everyone.  She looked at me and apologized, “Mom, you didn’t really need to come out here, I thought we’d get more time together.”  Are you crazy??? I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Haley, just so you know, the chance to hug you and tell you I love you was enough for me, if we’d only met at the airport for an hour before you went on your way, that would have been enough.  Hmmm….perhaps I need to schedule some additional trips….Josh, Kayla – what do you think?  Love you all.



Day 262 – Tearful Goodbyes

haleyMy baby girl left on a jet plane today.  Three+ months in England, Ireland, Scotland with two added weeks in South Africa.  We were able to see her and take her to the airport at LAX today.  I was so happy to be able to do that.  She is so excited, as she should be.  Haley is performing with the Young Americans on their UK tour until mid April.  This is her first tour.  Now, a tour for them means doing 2 ½ day workshops in the schools with kids from 8 to 18.  They teach them song and dance and how to perform on a stage.  She had this same experience when she was 13 and it changed her life.

In fact, it changed all of our lives.  Haley became a performer, she started singing, she started acting and it created a lot of time and energy that we spent in the theaters.  For the last two years of high school she worried extensively about where she would go to school, she wanted to attend the Young Americans college, but to do that, she had to audition.  That turned out to be quite a chore, the first summer at camp when it was time to audition, she had to catch a bus, so she missed it.  The second year she auditioned, it was late July, she was due to start at AMDA in November for her first semester of college.  On August 5, she got the call, she was in!  Now to find a way to get everything done to have her at the school by August 25.  We did it and she was on her way.  The first year she lived “on campus” and participated in all the shows, for summer she went back to camp as a teacher this time instead of a student and then the fall of her second year, she was on Res Cast.  Haley choose Res Cast so she could be back on campus finishing her class work instead of touring.  So this UK tour is her first.

I was very strong when I was with her at the airport, sent her a text after we left reminding her how strong and capable she is, that she is beautiful and hard working and deserves to be on this tour.  I also told her I loved her.  She called for one last phone call after she had loaded on the plane and before they closed the doors, one last I love you before the actual phone calls cease.  I was great until I hung up the phone.  I lost it then, I broke down and cried, we have been running so fast and furious just taking care of details that I finally realized how much I am going to miss her.  Haley and I talk almost everyday, besides my husband, she is my best friend.  I am so proud of her and so happy for her, I already miss her lots.  Thank goodness, she writes a blog too, I will be able to enjoy her time in the UK as much as I enjoy my time and travels.  Check out her blog at Life as a YA, she speaks in such an authentic voice.  I love my baby girl – oh, and it’s her birthday, she turns 20 today.


Day 304 – Taking Stock II

goal1So when you set yourself up with goals, that’s a good thing, right?  And I know that measuring my progress is probably a good thing too, but it’s a little rough on me when I don’t make my goals.

We are up to one-sixth of my birthday year done =   16.67% = if 50 items on the list, then 8.33 need to be complete.  In 10 short months, I will be 50.   So where am I, as of today…

  1. Call 50 friends – 2 done; short by 6.16
  2. Make and send 50 cards – 10 done, goal met
  3. Fold 50*20 origami cranes – 0 done, short by 8.33*50
  4. Watch 50 classic movies – 5 done, short by 3.33
  5. Read 50 books – 8 done, goal met
  6. Take 50*7 pictures – 50*4 done, way up
  7. Write 50*7 blogs – 59 done, right on track
  8. Visit 50 new places – 5 done, short by 3.33
  9. Do 50 new things – 7 done, short by 1.33
  10. Write 50 chapters – 8+ done, right on track

It’s obvious I need to get rolling on a few of these.  The hardest one if you just look at the statistics is #3, but I’ll be able to catch that one up, no problem.  The two hardest, for me, are #8 and #9 – finding new places to go and new things to do.  I’ve been so lucky with my life, I’ve been able to go to so many places and to do so many things already, I really have to think outside of the box to come up with new things.

Now, there are plenty of places I could go, but most of them are outside my current budget. I have to think on the micro level here.  If you could go anywhere in the U.S., where would you go?  What would you want to see?  What would you do?  I need some help here.

My youngest daughter attends a performing arts school, The Young Americans.  Part of the program is to tour and present workshops in schools, teaching kids self-confidence through singing and dancing.  That is probably not their description, but it is how I see it.  I have seen Haley grow since her first workshop when she was in 8th grade, in fact, I believe that workshop changed her life.  The Young Americans present such a positive program, whether you have kids or not, the performances are always so positive and energetic.

I’m a little jealous, because Haley’s first tour experience will take her to some places I’ve never been.  In 5 weeks, Haley is leaving for the U.K. and then finishing the tour with two weeks in South Africa.  I am so excited for her.  I love seeing my kids spread their wings.