"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Feeling 22? Or 9?

In the weeks before Christmas, my co-worker Leahh and I listened to the radio every day for the chance to win tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert on June 2. Poor Leahh…She’d never be caught dead at a Taylor Swift concert (she’s too cool for that!), but she played along and supported me in my endeavor at trying to be “Caller 10” each day when they played the featured song. I did end up as “Caller 1” at one point, but that isn’t Caller 10, is it? :-)And at the end of the week, when I realized that winning them wasn’t going to happen, Ryan and I got online and, at the very moment they went on sale, combined our efforts to nab two prized tickets.  We later learned that the concert sold out within three minutes. Crazy. We paid way more than we intended, and of course there was a $40 processing fee and a $10 online fee, etc., etc. Merry Christmas, Ryley!

And let me tell you…It was all worth it. I know. It was some concert.

Here we are, on our way…. One excited girl! 


Since the concert was going to last past Ryley’s bedtime, we had to make a caffeine stop….


This is where Ryley is so nine. I had let her wear a bit of my lipstick as a “treat.” But the combination of lipstick and frappuccino proved to be too messy for her. I honestly don’t know how she did it. I spent a good five minutes at the lightrail station trying to get the sticky mess off her face. :-) I love that she’s still nine.

As the train pulled up to the Pepsi Center, Ryley was confused and a little disappointed. She had thought Taylor Swift was going to perform in a concert hall, not an arena. That’s when I realized she really had no clue what to expect.

We walked up, and there were girls in Cowboy boots and tutus and red fairy wings. Girls in light-up clothes were holding light-up signs. It was over the top. Lots of pushy mamas. This was definitely the event of the year for some tween girls!



Ryley used the money she’s been saving all spring to buy herself a red t-shirt and a light-up bracelet….


which she promptly changed into as soon as we were inside the venue!


This was a pretty amazing picture of the “tour”…All those semis and buses! The semi-trucks had Taylor’s picture on them. I think this is when I started doubting how much I was going to like the concert….I was getting a “I’m kind of a big deal” vibe. :-)



We totally over-planned and got to our seats way too early.


That gave us plenty of time for Ryley to play with the arena’s red lighting and her iPod’s camera setting:

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For me, it was a constant balancing act to save my phone/camera’s battery and memory for the concert itself. And seeing the way Ryley was going wild with hers (taking video of everyone doing “the wave”), I had to be all the more careful with mine. ;-)

There were two opening acts. The first one was a country singer named Joel Crouse. It was ok, but not awesome.

The second one was Ed Sheeran, and oh my goodness, he is amazing. I have to say that he is one of the best “musicians” I’ve ever seen “live.” He is Jason Mraz meets Prince Harry meets Michael Gungor. Super, super talented. I knew I liked his music ahead of time, but I had no idea how impressive he would be. He’s like a one-man band.

We saw him do this live, and it was crazy good: click here.


Then, Taylor Swift!!!! The crowd erupted! Woohoo!!!

Ryley’s very proud of this picture…that she and Taylor are in the pic together! Sweet girl!


This concert was one of the most visually stimulating shows I’ve ever seen…It was sensory overload. Taylor Swift is a great performer, and the show was extremely well-produced. She changed costumes every couple of songs without missing a beat; she changed guitars for every song, it seemed. The stages lifted up into the air, and drummers and background singers were hanging in space. There were dancers in clown costumes, crossing the stage on stilts. Taylor herself flew over the crowd in a special elevated, floating balcony. All of the planning and production fascinates me…the song order and how she got from one stage to the other and back again…the people and man-power and gadgets and costumes….Oh my.




Ryley was overwhelmed, I think, and she just sat there “absorbing” during some of the songs. She was upset that while she had practiced all the songs from the Red album, there were a few that Taylor sang from other albums, and she was not quite as familiar with those. :-) And she was super impressed that Mommy could correctly predict which song was next by the things Taylor would say to introduce them, as well as the opening notes!

Here were some of our favorites…. You can totally hear Ryley singing all the way through “Mean.” ;-) Love it!

Other signs Ryley’s only nine: She was really concerned about her glowing bracelet for a lot of the evening, constantly checking it to make sure it lit up with the beat of the music. She grinned up at me when she recognized a song, waved when Taylor looked up toward our section, and got super sleepy toward the end, leaning into my side. So sweet. And she sang her little heart out!

It was an awesome night, and we had such a blast together! It was a perfect Mommy/daughter bonding experience, and Ryley said it was the most fun she’s had in a long time! Taylor Swift’s music is fun and, for the most part, innocent, and she writes about her feelings… and well, so do I. :-) Girls have lots and lots of feelings, don’t we?

I have to say, the whole thing made me feel a little older than “22,” but Ryley still has a long way to go. Thankfully. :-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Up, Up, and Away!

One day in April, I asked Ryan, “If Comic Con ever came to Denver, would you want to go?”

“Yes, of course.” :-)

Two or three days later, Ryan and Ryley heard a spot on the radio advertising Comic Con. We did some research to make sure it would be appropriate for Ryley and also found that the tickets were really affordable (Ryley’s was free!). I chose not to go. I would rather clean our house than go to Comic Con, but I’m glad they got to go nerd out together for a little while!

So Saturday, they got up early and were just two of the 48,000 people who attended the event over the weekend. Ryley dug out an old Halloween costume and went as SuperGirl, which she was very excited about. Ryan dressed normally and said he was probably one of 20 people he saw who were dressed with no reference to a character whatsoever. But in his heart? He was SuperGirl’s dad.


See, people think we have this sweet, bookish daughter. They don’t see what we see…the silliness…. ;-)


Where’s Waldo? Seriously….Where’s Waldo? He’s in this picture…



When they got home, I asked all kinds of questions like, “Did you see any Lord of the Rings characters?”

Ryan said, “No, wrong genre. Not a comic book….”

“Right. But still nerd. Most of the people there like Lord of the Rings.”

He just sighed. He’s so sweet to put up with my lack of knowledge. :-)

And yet, looky here….Herbie! Just this spring, Ryley and I had a marathon of every Herbie movie ever made! I think it would have been nice to see Herbie, you know, in the flesh.


The Tardis, from Doctor Who. Ryan just finished a Doctor Who marathon on Netflix!


Clark Kent’s telephone booth


SuperGirl joins the Avengers!





They had so much fun, and Ryley thanked her daddy over and over again for taking her. With all the weird costumes and uber nerds they saw, they returned home with many stories to tell! ;-)

Summer Kick-off

Several weeks ago we received an invitation to a Denver Broncos fan forum to be held last Tuesday night in the Broncos locker room. We RSVP’d yes, but we knew that it was always a possibility that we’d have to back out on the day of, due to work busyness, so we tried not to get our hopes up. But on Tuesday, Ryan and I both got off work a good time, and we fought horrible traffic to get downtown, but we made it with a minute to spare! I’m so glad we were able to go because we later found out that only 70 people were selected, at random, out of 70,000 season ticket holders. There were hors d'oeuvres and drinks, kind of like a cocktail hour, and they gave us each a nice team hat!



Joe Ellis, the president of the Broncos…


The main theme of the forum was “overall fan experience.” It was very interesting to hear from the PR person, the fan entertainment person (half-time shows), the IT person (responsible for cell phone coverage in the stadium), the head of security, etc. I am always interested in “production,” and it had never occurred to me that there was so much thought put into each element of the experience. They have a very impressive staff who knows what they’re doing. Joe Ellis is also extremely well-spoken and intelligent. If you’re a die-hard Broncos fan, click here to read an interesting press release about the event.

Here we are in front of Peyton Manning’s locker….


We have no proof that it’s his locker except that Joe Ellis pointed to it and said it was. I guess he would know. :-) A lot of people took their pictures in front of it.

Then we walked out onto the field to see some of the stadium improvements. We were kind of hoping that maybe Peyton Manning would be waiting for us on the field.


But as Ryan said, “No, because then you’d have a situation where Peyton is standing there waiting. And Peyton Manning doesn’t wait. Peyton Manning waits for no one.” :-)

It was a lovely Colorado summer evening, and they played the Lumineers over the loud speakers as everyone mingled and took pictures.



That is a very large Peyton Manning face.


The new screen is pretty amazing. And for you Broncos game attendees, you will be happy to know that we lobbied for more replays on the screens!


Most will be bored by these pictures, and I understand that. But I am posting them for people like me, who need a visual. :-) I really enjoyed seeing the locker room and where it’s located in relation to the field! I like to be able to picture what I can’t usually see.

I was standing right off of the field when I took this photo. When you walk beneath the seats, the locker room entrance is a door to your right, close to where the people are standing further in the distance. If you keep walking through to the daylight, though, you end up in the players’ parking lot. It’s all very compact.


When you walk under the seats on your way through, this is to your left….storage under the south stands (the locker room is now behind me):


And looking back from the players’ parking lot….


You’re welcome! Now you don’t have to pay $15 for a stadium tour! We were so grateful and excited to be chosen to participate.

We’re handling this coming season a little differently. My co-worker, friend, and fellow Broncos fan Luke bought half of the tickets upfront, since affording the entire season was becoming a little excessive and difficult for us. We think it was a good decision!

And hopefully this will be the Broncos’ year! Yay!