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A Day in Nevill Land

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Playing Mother Ginger in the Nutcracker

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I recently started working at a dance studio in North Fort Worth. Studio One Dance Center has been really good to me since closing my studio in October! When I joined the team everyone was in the middle of rehearsals for the big Nutcracker performance planned for December 16th. My friend and studio owner, Jenn, jokingly told me in passing one day that I would make an awesome “Mother Ginger.” They needed someone tall and animated to play the role and she already had it in her head that it would either be me or the equally tall office manager Kim. Being that we are both six feet tall she felt we would be the perfect fit.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Nutcracker story let me help you out! “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” is a story written in 1816 by German author E. T. A. Hoffmann, in which young Clara’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls.

In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned Alexandre Dumas père’s adaptation of the story into the ballet The Nutcracker. Mother Ginger is in a scene with her baby clowns called polichinelles. The polihinelles coming running out from under Mother Ginger’s dress and perform a fun dance for Clara.

Kim and I started some playful banter pinning the role back and forth between one another. “It’s all yours!” she would joke. “No, no, it’s all YOURS!” I would shoot back. Eventually, I agreed to take the part and began rehearsals with my little clown babies who, on average, were around seven years old.

With my costume, I had room for two polichinelles. The rest stood behind me as we scuffled on stage. The whole process was a ton of fun! Coming into the initial rehearsal with the look of awe on all of their faces like “WOW! It’s our Mother Ginger!!!” They seemed to be so fascinated! I was equally fascinated with them. They had already learned all of their intricate choreography and I had some catching up to do! The choreographer, Valerie, made my job super easy and fun.

Picking out my costume was exciting too! I had never been to a costume store like the one we visited. We ended up picking out a costume from the Mary Poppins musical with hot pink ruffles down the back and a feathery pink bib that fit perfectly under the bright yellow jacket. Topped off with a big poofy white wig and heavy stage makeup. I was ready to go!

I was never really nervous but more so excited to play the part. I hadn’t been on stage for a true performance since high school theatre. Which I LOVED. The vibe backstage on the night of the show was full of smiles, excitement, and fun banter. Everyone was so excited. And for good reason! The studio had sold more tickets than anticipated and it already felt like a success. All of the proceeds from the evening benefited Sunshine Spaces and we had raised over $5,000 for the cause! It was simply time to relax, have fun, and put on a good show!

As I prepared to perform with my baby polichinelles I sat on a bench just backstage as other performers would pass and touch my soft feather fan, then they’d reach for my dress, they all seemed so fascinated with my over the top Mother Ginger costume. I was too! All of the little ones begged to crawl under my dress which seemed pretty awkward at first but then I just embraced it and felt thankful (mostly for their sake) that I wasn’t gassy. haha! They all wanted to be the one to run out from under Mother Ginger’s dress.

The performance went off without a hitch! My soft feathery fan did somehow break in my hand while in the middle of our number. Not sure if it was the death grip or what? I wasn’t sure if I should keep on keepin on or if I should just toss it aside and hope nobody noticed. I decide to grip it and carry on. As we ran off stage I felt a surge of happiness and adrenaline from the amazing experience. The girls were incredible and I was thankful to be along for the ride.

Studio One has decided to perform the Nutcracker annually! It has been mentioned that the Mother Ginger scene is also a competition piece in the Spring. I’m so tempted to get in on THAT! What fun that could be.

All in all, it was exhilarating and I cannot wait to perform again. I’m thankful for Jenn, Kim, Valerie, Kari, the entire cast, and crew who put together an amazing show. I had SO much fun!

DJ Nevill moto

A Day in the Life as a Moto Mom

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Race day is always an adventure! DJ started riding about two years ago and typically races once or twice each month. We are all blown away by what he does on the bike! He’s fast and fearless but he definitely did not start out that way.

DJ’s first exposure to dirt bikes started in early 2013.  He was six years old. His first race was February 23, 2014. It ended faster than it began. DJ made one practice lap, went down, and decided he did not want to race. Both Dad and DJ came home super frustrated that day.

After that, everything turned around. DJ came back, raced again, and finished. He continues to progress as a rider and we get so excited to watch him race!

This past weekend DJ raced in the Texas Off Road National series. I had some fun vlogging throughout the day! Check out a day in the life of a motocross family!

The adventures continue! Comment below if you are digging the dirt bike action. More fun to come.

Muddy jeep picture

Why I Got Rid of My Jeep Wrangler

By | A Day in Nevill Land, Personal Vlog | No Comments

Please let me explain why I am so obsessed with this jeep.

I’ve always had transportation issues.

Like, ALWAYS.

Growing up, we lived in the sticks. My family did not typically have, what you would call, a “dependable” vehicle.

I was ALWAYS bummin rides home from practice and random activities. By the time I was old enough to drive I was living with my single mother and two younger brothers. The idea of getting a ride of my own seemed pretty much impossible. Then the day came and I turned sixteen! I was so excited as we drove to the DMV to get my new drivers license. Took the test, passed, and then booked it to the nearest dealership.

Just kidding… I booked it to the nearest job.

Seriously, DMV, test, and then straight to the outlet mall to get a J-O-B!

I wanted to help offset the cost of high school for my mom and have my own spending money. So we shared her little Jimmy SUV and I started working part time.

My dad eventually came through with a “car” for me. That thing was such a POS.

I cannot remember the model but it was an old white Mercury coupe that had obviously been owned by a Hill County gangster in it’s previous life.

white boy

It had the darkest tinted windows I had ever seen (until I met Darren.) It had red fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror.

And the best part…  the valve caps on the tires matched.

Red dice. Not joking.

Smooth.

The car lasted a total of two weeks.

I was on the side of the road more than I was behind the wheel.

My mom and I continued to share the Jimmy and I continued to bum rides from my friends.

When I graduated High School it was off to college! My moms boyfriend, now husband, generously gave me his Jeep Cherokee to take to school. This is not it… but looks pretty similar.

Rudys Jeep

I was in my second semester at UTA driving home from class when the guy in front on the ramp slams on his breaks getting onto the interstate.  I then slam into the back of him. Awesome.

I had the typical college freshman credit score and crossed my fingers that I could get approved for a used car with no money down. I did!  I drove off the lot in a used Nissan Sentra and a ridiculously high interest rate.

At that point in time I was living in Fort Worth with my boyfriend Darren, going to UTA, and working at the reception desk of a large hotel chain. The little car was working out well. I was making payments, paying my insurance, and then I was pregnant.

I was nineteen and freaking out just a little bit.

Okay a lot a bit.

About three months into my pregnancy I dropped out of school. I had “morning sickness” pretty much any time my eyes were open.

If I ate food I puked. If I stood up I puked. If I sat down I puked.

Sitting through 60 minutes of class was impossible. I became a distraction getting up and down to hurl cookies in the hallway trash can.

Eight months into my pregnancy I was fired from my hotel job.

Cited “bad attitude” or some crap.

Ya think?

Darren and I were living in a two bedroom apartment that we had shared with is sister. When she had moved out Darren took over her portion of the rent. We were “making it” but barely. I was in tears when I called him and I can only imagine his level of stress at that time.

We agreed that if I got rid of the Nissan payment then I could just stay at home with the baby.

Done!

I called my brother who had just turned sixteen to see if he’d like to take over the payments. He agreed and I became a stay at home mom!

We downsized apartments and moved closer to Darren’s work. I was able to take him to work on days that we had doctor appointments or whatever. We were making it work as a single car family.  Then we moved further away.

And then further. Had another baby.

And then even further. Had another baby.

Eventually, we moved to the outskirts of the metroplex and a good half hour from Darren’s work. It was more of a hassle loading up three little kids to take Dad to work than it was worth. I was back to bumming rides with friends.

We were renting a house in a community FULL of stay at home moms. I made friends fast and figured out ways to keep us entertained close to home.

Since I was home a lot it only made since to add more kids to the chaos. I started babysitting for a few working friends. It was kid city. Needless to say those years were INSANE in the membrane.

I think I’ve blocked most of the trauma.

Four or five toddler babies running around screaming in a house full of tile flooring. FUN.

Did I mention LOUD NOISES are a pet peeve?

Did I mention we were a single car family for more than SIX YEARS?

Darren worked his ass off and by the end of 2007 we got a second vehicle! I’ve never been to prison, but I can imagine what that day of freedom feels like when you finally get out. I was officially a member of the minivan mom mafia.

Deep inside, I had issues with this. A minivan!?! I was twenty five! Wasn’t I suppose to be driving a Honda Accord or used Ford Mustang? You know, something cute that twenty somethings drive.

I was OBSESSED with Mustangs in High School and was certain I would have one someday.

I didn’t complain. Trust me, I was THANKFUL for four wheels and running engine. The air conditioner works!?! BONUS! I drove my minivan with pride. My kids were safe and we were free to roam!

Once I had one kid out of a car seat I was searching for a way get out of the minivan mafia alive. We started looking around for something we could fit three kids in that would not cramp my style. We had discussed a jeep but it did not seem REASONABLE with the kids so we dismissed it.

We eventually traded in for a Honda Pilot SUV! It wasn’t a bus and I thought it was totally cute. I was happy! Darren was still making two car payments when we built our first house and became home owners. I was getting the fitness bug and started earning more income from home when I decided to take a job teaching fitness classes at the gym. It felt good to help out with the bills at home but I really wanted to do more.

Enter Molly.

Darren had taken the Pilot to be serviced at the dealership when he texted me a picture of this jeep.

Texas jeeps

I was irritated. I’m pretty sure my response was something like…

“What are you thinking?! Why are you teasing me?! We can NOT get that!”

He said he was just looking.

Next thing you know I’m test driving it.

The payments would be the same as the Pilot and I was earning just enough to take over the monthly payment. This was my opportunity to help!  I felt like a BIG GIRL making BIG GIRL moves.

Meet "Molly"

It was an awesome Birthday present to myself that year!

It was May 2012 and I was in the process of opening my own fitness studio with my best friend, Kristi. A few months after getting Molly, Kristi bought a Jeep too! We were building our own little Jeep Mafia (just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Minivan Mafia! lol)

Jeep girls

We had a LOT of fun together in the Jeeps.

I’ve since fallen head over heels in LOVE with my Jeep. It is one of my happiest places to be. I love taking the doors off and driving down back roads with music BLARING.  The thought of driving ANYTHING else makes me want to cry.

When my tires started to wear thin (and I mean THIN) we discussed trading her in. Did I REALLY want to pay $300 per tire? No.

Did I?

YES. She is MINE.

Then the noises started. So I had it worked on. Then the noises got serious. So I had it worked on some more. Then I couldn’t drive it faster than 35mpg without going into a MAJOR death wobble. To the point I would have to completely stop.

Not cool.

This brings us to current day times. It’s July 2016 and Molly has been in the shop for three days. She has a lot of issues (several stemming from the previous two owners) and if you follow me on Snapchat you get to hear of these issues often.

Discussions have started up again over getting into something different. Darren and I have visited dealerships on two separate occasions where we leave pretty much in a fight. Me not wanting to part ways and him wanting me in something more reliable. He knows I love her.

We went to the dealership this morning to pick up parts and decided to take a look at the Jeeps on the lot. We found one that looked a LOT like Molly only newer and more shiney. I went to pick up my Jeep from the doctor to drive it to the dealership for an appraisal. When I picked up the Jeep the mechanic looked me square in the face and said “IT’S DANGEROUS TO DRIVE. We suggest you have it towed.”

Being cheap I decided to risk it. I told him I was “just going down the street” and prayed the entire way back to the dealership. Luckily, Kristi was following me in her Jeep and I made it safely.

By the time we got back the new Jeep was detailed, waiting, and sitting pretty.

A few differences:

Went from a 2011 to a 2015 JK Sport Unlimited

No more crap electric windows! All windows FUNCTION! WOO!

Hard top to a soft top. Let’s pray this was a smart decision!

And it smells good!

 

Meet "Betty White!"

Betty White Jeep

I have a lot of fun memories from my first Jeep including a dramatic car chase after cutting through some guys yard. (He was PISSED and THAT was stupid) Mudding along side the interstate, CRUSHING the muddy Jeep photo shoot, and rain. Lots and lots of RAIN.

Let’s see if I can keep myself out of trouble and Betty White out of the rain!

After all of the heart ache and vehicle struggle over the years it feels GOOD drive a FUN beast machine. This thing is my guilty pleasure for sure. It’s not the most budget or gas friendly ride but bigger tires means lower speed which means fewer speeding tickets! Ayyyyyy.

What is YOUR dream ride? Comment! I’d love to see how many Jeepers are reading!

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Happy 10th Birthday DJ Nevill

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DJ is ten years old! Time flies. We keep birthdays pretty low key. We typically have dinner as a family and do a few gifts. DJ’s birthday fell on a Tuesday this year so we met up with daddy after work for some roller skating action! Afterward, we went to dinner for some yummy Tex-mex! Daddy thinks mommy influenced DJ’s decision for his birthday dinner but mommy totally did NOT. He just has good sense.

Fajitas anyone?

DJ is our youngest child and our only son. He’s a funny kid who loves adventure! He keeps my blood pressure in check with his love of motocross. I’m in awe of courage on the bike. Follow all of DJ’s motocross action here.  For more GoPro race footage click here.

I cannot believe it’s been ten years already.

Happy Birthday, Bub, we love you!

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What Would You Tell Your 34 Year Old Self?

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Because time traveling is fun I’m posing this question for people like my Mom. Someone who always seems to say the right things.

I see older couples, mostly strangers, who I admire from afar and wonder what’s their one line secret? I know it’s not always easy being married, getting older, having kids etc. But if you were looking back at yourself at a younger age… what would you say? Something like, “Never go to bed mad.” “No dutch ovens.” Or “Always wash your make up off.” You know, something like that?

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ALL of me… glossed by a nice filter. Thank you 2016.

I’m officially 34 as of yesterday.
I won’t fib, grin, and smirk that I’m still a twenty something. I’m not. It’s becoming a pet peeve that women, typically those in their thirties and forties, lie about their age. What’s the big deal?

Ladies, own it.

I wouldn’t give up any of the past several years and  I  look forward to every year coming my way! I appreciate it too much to deny my truth.

I imagine what life will be like at 50, 60, and hopefully beyond. I imagine the ruckus I’ll cause with the younger generations. It’s going to be FUN!

Recently, a friend told me that it has been scientifically proven that 34 is the best year of our lives. So I googled and as it turns out it is in fact true. So I’m destined to live the most epic 12 months ever of my life starting today.

I intend to blog regularly and share more day to day life stuff but be warned. I’m a sub par writer. If you’re the grammar police I hope your handcuffs are the furry kind.

I don’t know what’s in store for 34. But I’m excited!

Here’ where I’m at right now.
My kiddos are 9, 11, and 13. They are incredible. They keep me charged! My marriage is awesome and we’re working hard to make our dreams reality. We’re almost there.  I have incredible friends who keep me present and laughing. I own a fabulous business, that I call Fired Up Fitness, where I get to do what I love. We are making an impact on our community and I could not be more proud. As a company we are celebrating two years this summer. A brick and mortar toddler! It’s tough but rewarding.

I recently expanded my reach and started taking on clients to help build small businesses with branding and social media.
I’m in the thick of it right? Everything is happening and I love it.

My kids are moving into new stages entering middle school and high school soon. I’m thankful that I have complete control over my time and schedule so that I can be there for them. We’re itching as a family to transition into a new space which bring a lot of big decisions in the near future. It’s exciting!
I’m happy, healthy, and hopeful.  I’ll take any one line secrets you’ve got!

Cheers to 34! Let’s do this!