Todd Family Blog

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Longest Post EVER

What a month and a half since I last posted! I think this is the longest stretch between posts that I’ve ever done. I felt bad until I started making a list of all that has happened and looked at all the pictures I have to share. What a crazy fall!

Some highlights of which I didn’t manage to snap pictures are: an audition trip to New York where I got to pal around with Elizabeth, Keith and Jenny (Elizabeth and I saw Bobby Flay at his restaurant, Bar American, and I also Jen’s adorable new apartment in Astoria!), lots of fun girls’ nights with Jen (Toering) Rawe, Ellen and Miriam, and celebrating Ellen’s birthday at Jen and Eric’s. We are certainly making the most of being back in the Indiana. I love getting to see all these friends so frequently!

This past weekend was Butler's Homecoming. I wish I had taken a picture of this, but Miriam, Nina and I had such a fun and interesting time visiting the Alpha Phi house on Friday night for a "mocktail" party. We weren't sure what to expect and were so pleasantly surprised. The house looks lovely, the girls were SO nice and outgoing, and they were all so interested in hearing what the house was like when we were there. There were also three members from the charter pledge class who shared some very interesting stories about starting the house. I will definitely have to go back for more events. It was so fun to see our old rooms, the house, and connect with the new Phi's!

I also experienced my first big-time college football game with Brad and his Purdue friends, Darin and Amanda, who now live in Orlando. They came up to visit and we all went to the Purdue vs. Penn State game. Wow! What an atmosphere and party. Can’t wait to go back for more. I’ve never seen anything like some of those tailgates that were set up.

A football game in the crisp, autumn air goes hand in hand with my general euphoria over fall itself. I’m completely in love with the season all over again. How did I live without this for so long in California?! I know, I know, I’ll pay for it in February, but it is SO worth it.

The marching band before the game with the famous Purdue drum.

The tree out our front door a month ago.

Same tree now - gorgeous!

Just to the side of our house we have all these little maples (that we are selling). They look so pretty right now!

Below are quite a few mini-entries with lots of photos. This also might end up being the longest blog entry I’ve done - Probably the reason I kept procrastinating! But I had a few lesson cancellations today and a window of time. A couple drinks at Starbucks and some time in the office at home and I’m all caught up! Feel free to spread out the fun over a few days. Think of it as a Todd Daily Devotional. Ha! And just so you know, there is yet another classic dog story at the bottom. You're welcome.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

The Brummett Wedding

About a month ago we went to Michigan to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends, Chad and Kate. Oh my, we had so much fun. It had been a while since the whole Zionsville group had been reunited. I’m getting sad that there aren’t many more weddings to attend among our friends! We’re going to need to start organizing our own fun, I suppose. (Hint, hint everyone – start brainstorming!)

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to go on a double date with Jim and Sarah Surber, who live in Brooklyn. We rarely get to see them for an extended period of time and I loved having a chance to talk for an entire evening. I met Kyle Hollingsworth’s wife, Rita, for the first time. She’s a singer, too, and we had so much fun “talking shop”. They live in Singapore, so it is always special to get a chance to spend time with them. Also, seeing Louis and Heather’s lovely home, enjoying a beautiful fall day grabbing brunch, walking at a park and eating way too much at a cider mill were highlights.

Then the wedding itself was a blast. I think the pictures below speak for themselves. Kate is from Australia and many of her friends and family were able to make the trip. I loved getting to know all of them at a BBQ a couple days before the wedding. It’s no surprise that Australians and Midwesterners get along so well. Quite the smiley, happy, fun-loving bunch!

Reading all of that I can’t believe how much fun we squished into four days. Thanks, Kate, Chad and your families for a WONDERFUL time. We’re so excited for you both! Miss you all!

The Zville boys and me (not sure how I got pulled in there) - um, at the end of the reception:
Nate, Tyler, Jim, Me, Brad, Louis, Jason, Kyle, Chad

Jim and Sarah Surber

Me and Brad

Out in Ann Arbor after the rehearsal dinner: Chad, Brad, Jim and Louis

The happy couple, Chad and Kate

Nate and Amanda Crisel - have I mentioned that I'm in love with Amanda? We are basically the same person and now have big plans to start our very own dog rescue someday along with Kate :)

Awwww - Louis, Jim and Tyler

Lauren, Me and Heather

Chatting with Rita and Kyle while Jim shows us his moves.

A bunch of Zionsville boys with one very pretty Australian girl!
Kyle, Tyler, Chad, Kate, Louis, Brad, Nate and Jim

San Fran Revisited

One of the great things about being a singer is traveling for auditions. I admit, sometimes it gets tiresome and expensive, but I often get to combine audition trips with a lot of fun visiting friends. (See many archived New York posts!) This time I returned to San Francisco for an audition with San Francisco Lyric, where I sang many roles during my time in San Fran. (There are lots of pictures from those shows on my website.) This was my first time back since moving away at the end of 2006. I managed to fill my short trip with a lot of favorites, including a visit with my good friend, Meghan Boots! She was kind enough to let me crash at her adorable apartment, which isn’t very far at all from where Brad and I lived for 2 ½ years.

To be back in the old neighborhood was crazy. I realized that San Francisco will always be a place that I feel like I have never left, even after years. I thought it was hilarious once I got there that I had packed my old, beat-up map. Certainly didn’t need it! Though I am INCREDIBLY glad to be back in Indiana, I will always love my favorite spots in San Fran. (Thankfully, now I don’t have to pay to live there!) First, I was sure to go to Crissy Field where I used to walk Gracie every morning. It’s my abosolute favorite spot in the city. I also got my favorite French toast at Ella’s (I used to make Brad freeze it and bring it to me in Charlottesville, VA where I sang for two summers during our San Fran years! Gosh, I love that French toast.), Boots and I got the best spaghetti and meatballs EVER at Emmy’s Spaghetti shack, which Brad and I miss dearly (it was where we chose to have our last meal out of all our favorite restaurants in San Fran), and I did a lot of driving around to see my old haunts. Not bad for a 48 hour trip!

Thank you, Boots, for being a fabulous hostess. It was great to see you and one of my favorite cities!

P.S. If anyone has travel plans to San Francisco or San Diego be sure to let us know. We still keep very long (VERY long) lists of our favorite restaurants!

Me and Boots in front of Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, maybe my all-time favorite San Francisco restaurant. Definitely top 5.

The French toast at Ella's. EVERY time I order it (which used to be a couple times a month from the same two waiters, mind you) the waiter says, "Are you sure you want three pieces?" YES!

Proving the waiter wrong - as I did every time. Yes, I ate all of it. SO good - honey oat bread in a brandy batter. Oh my gosh.

Crissy Field, where I walked Gracie every morning. It's funny, when I lived there it was just something on my to do list every day. There were even days when I just wanted to get it over with so that I could get on with all I had to get done. Now it is one of my fondest memories. I even have video of Gracie running and catching balls on one of our last days there.

Our old front door: 1801 Gough Street at California. I love that building. So much character.

The view towards downtown from the intersection where we lived (Gough and California).

Our old building. We were the apartment on the second story, right-hand side of the building, just above the smaller tree. The second story window behind the fire escape was our bedroom, and just next to it on that right corner is the living room. Fond memories! We LOVED that apartment.

Dinner at the Todds’

Earlier this month Brad and I had our first, official dinner party! It was quite the fun group consisting of: Tim, Steve, Miriam and two new friends, Elizabeth and Jed. Elizabeth is the choir director at Western Boone High School, where both Tim and I teach private voice lessons. She’s also a fellow Butler grad! It was a lot of fun to meet her husband, Jed. I mean, they live in an old farmhouse in the country and love their dog. Are those our kind of people, or what!?

I had a blast cooking way too much food, as always, and we all laughed a lot and got to know Elizabeth and Jed. It was a really, really fun evening, and I so appreciated everyone making the drive up to us in Westfield.

Now, I promise this is not the norm for our dinner parties (at least I don’t think so – this was our first!), but we ended the evening by carrying a large piece of furniture up the stairs to the loft! I swear I didn’t invite everyone over with that intention, but they offered and we were SO, SO grateful for the help. There was absolutely no way Brad and I were going to be able to carry the bar my Dad made for us up those stairs! So, thank you guys!

Can’t wait to have even more of you over. It feels so great to finally have a home in which to host these events.

Jed and Me carrying our side.

Going up the stairs with Tim and Steve as spotters! I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make it.

Miriam laughing at herself and us as she documents the activity.

We made it!

The whole crew:
Me, Brad, Jed, Elizabeth, Miriam, Tim, Steve

Luke’s Oscar Winning Performance

Should they give Oscars out to dogs (and why shouldn’t they?), I will definitely be nominating Luke. (Or, as Brad likes to call him, Luker T. Dog, short for Luker The Dog. Hmmmm. This is the boy who didn’t want a dog, period, by the way.)

Anyway, one day I come downstairs from practicing in my studio/office and find Luke to be laying, forlornly I might add, in the dining room. I didn’t think too much of it until an hour later when I tried to give him a treat. When I said, “Come”, which usually results in him barreling towards me, I got no reaction. Shocking! When I went up to him and held out the treat, he wouldn’t take it. Even MORE shocking! When I knelt down and asked him to come to me, he tried to get up and then crumbled into a sad, pathetic, nothing but big-brown-eyes pile.

Well, then I started to panic. I thought, “That’s it. He’s dislocated a hip, broken a leg, sprained something, or worst of all, it’s the first sign of hip dysplasia.” (A terrible progressive disease that is associated with German Shepherds.) I tried propping him up to sit, which he did, and then crumpled again. Suddenly I’m struck with the difficulty of this situation. Now, Luke is still pretty skinny (though he has gained 16 lbs! Five more to go!), but at 76 lbs. there is absolutely no way I can lift him into a car. But I can’t just leave him there for the next seven hours until Brad gets home from work. (What if he’s in pain!? He LOOKS like he’s in pain! Should I give him some Tylenol?! Is he in shock? Better cover him with a towel.) And by then the vet would be closed anyway.

So, I call Brad, who moves around some meetings (God bless him) and managed to get home by 3:00. At that point, Luke has been lying silent and motionless for over four hours. This is just not normal for my wiggly, talky, high-energy shepherd. Just before Brad gets home Luke gingerly gets up and creakily makes his way outside to go to the bathroom. Well, that’s a relief. At least he can stand, if necessary.

So, we get to the vet. Luke is thrilled, of course, with the private car ride. (Conversely, it took all of Brad’s strength to keep Cal in the house when we left. They REALLY don’t like to be separated!) Luke is even more thrilled to get to the vet’s and receive all the attention, treats, and watch the other dogs and cats.

And Luke shows absolutely no sign of being injured whatsoever. At all.

Now I know I should be happy and relieved by this, and I am. I swear. But seriously. Couldn’t he put on a little bit of a show for the vet? Just so I don’t look like crazy, over-protective, I’ve-rescued-three-massive-German-shepherds-lady? ‘Cause that is who I was at that moment.

$51 dollars later (not too bad, I guess) we were back home. We all go outside and I pick up Luke’s Frisbee and toss it. Guess what he does? Tries to chase it and crumbles into a ball. At least Brad got to see it for himself. Ugh!

The only proof I have of those dramatic 4 ½ hours is the picture below. Pathetic, right? Let’s hope Luke hasn’t realized that minor/faked injury = private car ride, attention from “Mom and Dad” and lots of love/treats at the vet.

And guess who has been limping the past 24 hours? Cal. I just told him to shake it off and rub some dirt on it.

Luke, putting on his show.