Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a sunday night for the books (a magical night from 2013)

My mom offered to put EZ to sleep at the hotel so we could sneak off to Disneyland for a few hours that Sunday night. Monday morning our whole family would be going over, but we thought it would be fun to sneak in to see Fantasmic and sneak around holding hands. Matt had officially been hired as a Disney artist for only 30 days and most days, you could still find us giddy about the whole thing.

We walked to the entrance hand in hand with wide eyes as we approached the gate, employee I.D. in hand. The man scanning Matt's card was very sweet, and when he handed us our tickets he enthusiastically said "Ah! CM! Chief Mouse!" (when really CM means "Cast Member.") The whole experience was unreal to walk in free of charge. We rounded the corner and stopped to take in Main Street and the giant Mickey pumpkin. Halloween season had just begun, and there were villains milling about the entrance as well as a line to meet Mickey and Minnie! We headed toward Critter Country through Frontierland, sauntering slowly with huge stupid grins of course, to see if we could find a nice view for Fantasmic. We even snuck in a ride on the Haunted Mansion since we had some time!

I saw an opening on the back row of a standing section and we parked ourselves there to wait for the show. Matt saw a VIP sign and decided to go check it out. He talked to the woman there and asked if there were any special seats for Cast Members, but she said unfortunately not. She then proceeded to ask him where he worked (assuming it was the park) but when he responded with "the Salt Lake Studio" she immediately went, "Oh! A studio! Let me see what I can do." Matt retrieved me from the standing section only to be led to the front of the VIP reserved sitting section!! It was incredible!!! We sat next to a small birthday party of Club 33 members and smack dab in the center of the waterfront. The staff members treated us like royalty and the show started minutes later. We both teared up a few times during the show because we just felt so lucky and grateful to be there (both physically at D-land and also metaphorically "there" at Matt's new job). But when that riverboat full of all the characters waving at us floated past at the end of the show, I lost it. Huge tears rolling down my face because I just felt SO MUCH. And it really was freaking magical. The characters and good overcoming evil and Mickey and fireworks and VIP and studios and churros afterward...! It will not be a night I ever forget because those feelings were so good. Matt and I clutching each other and crying happy tears because we just felt it all. And on our way out of the park, we bought EZ his first pair of ears!

Matt's dad text that night saying "This is a dividend day, enjoy it!" and I can't shake how perfect that describes it. Hallelujah for dividend days! I keep those two entrance tickets in my wallet so every time I open it I can think of that night. It sometimes surprises me how often it still makes me smile.

(We just got back from another trip, but I had to write about last year's perfect evening before I dive into this year's. The magic!)

Monday, November 10, 2014

on cleanliness and poop (always poop)

This is not a new problem but instead a perpetual problem it seems, but I can't keep our house clean. We have 1900 square feet and we only live in about 1000 or so of it most of the time because we just aren't in the basement that much... and we LIVE in every square inch. And when we're living in it, there is just no way for it to stay tidied. You know? I wonder if people just have more space than I do and can tuck their messes away? Or I also wonder if maybe I'm just really really bad at cleaning as I go - and therefore it's always messy because I don't possess the skills required to clean as I go? That's probably it. So I have moments of true cleanliness littered with days and days of cluttered mess. It was spotless last night as I went to bed, but right now from my view on the couch I have laundry hanging up to dry all along the banister, and the chairs and ottoman covered in a sheet from our fort today. And like 13 toys littered around the floor. And a diaper bag on the floor. And dishes left on the table from lunch. And a pile of blankets from the car that ended up on record player. It's just crazy. And not to mention we only have 1 main bathroom... so like we do everything in that bathroom every single day and then when guests come over they have to use it too... which is just about the worst thing ever I think. We bathe and poop and bathe the children and make-up and curl hair and everything in there. And please, come in and use our toilet while you step around dirty clothes that we forgot to pick up from this morning's shower and all the tooth paste spatter on the mirror next to the beard hair in the sink. Yes, we should clean it up. But every day all day long? I'd rather just have the mess than have to worry about cleaning it up every second. I can't function like that.

But then I know people who can't function with how I live... and I wonder if I can be taught? Pick up some new skills to actually help me with the day to day instead of piling it all up and living in filth for days before the clouds break and a ray of clean sunshine sheds down on the house (but only for a tiny bit of time. And I mean tiny.) I bet there's a book out there I should be reading.

And then there's poop. Too much of my life revolves around poop. Yours too? I bet. The world sort of revolves around poop in some form... and this week has just felt like too much poop. Sully, who has always been a very limited pooper & almost too solid when he does do it, has suddenly been hit with a stomach bug that has caused massive blow-outs for days now. And thankfully EZ uses the toilet because he's had the runs and it's just been on and on. It's fine, I know this will eventually pass... but like, I'm pooped from it. Ha! I love puns.

Sorry to talk so much about poop. I don't actually like talking about gross things, it's just life right now and so that's what I have going for us. That and puke, because we had a lot of that last week too. But funny thing is that an 8 month old's puke is still mild because he just doesn't eat that much, and a 3 year old is capable of holding a bowl and puking into it, so messes to clean up really weren't much and so I'm stuck on the poop portion and not on the puke portion which is a blessing I'm not stuck on both portions? Who knows. This is going on too long and I apologize for all the liquidy descriptions. Bodies are so gross sometimes.

And how about this photo of us from back in September? I like Sully's face the most, and you can really see EZ's sweet wonky eye in this one... but it's just us on some random day wasting the time away taking photos. It's what we do. I bet someone pooped after this too. #life

Friday, November 7, 2014

my man, the redbeard!

Since Matt released his video tutorial back in September (Intro to ZBrush & Character Design), he's been hustling and working hard and making things happen as the Redbeard! We've known for a while, but it's finally been released on their site that Matt has been invited to do two live presentations at the CTN Conference in Berkley, CA later this month! It's like, a really big deal. It's a HUGE conference for the animation/graphics world and he'll be doing a live ZBrush demonstration on two different days (along with mingling with some of the best in his industry!) And I'm tagging along so we can spend some time at the D-land and have some alone time without our kids too! Yeaaaaaah.

^THAT'S MY HUSBAND, YO.^ I'm so freaking proud of him and happy for him and for us and just excited about all the possibilities of the future! And along with all the good feelings, I'm also slightly terrified. But like, mostly in a good way? I have noticed (and it's been pointed out after I've been a total turdbucket) that I'm not always the best at being his biggest cheerleader because I'm in the trenches next to him. It's astounding sometimes how much work it takes to make good things happen, you know? I put my foot in my mouth and let the stresses of reality overcome me & then end up saying the wrong things or not showing enough enthusiasm as I actually feel. Not because I don't mean it, but because sometimes I'm so busy doing every day life that I forget to tell him. But I want to take a moment to get out of the trenches and CHEER HIM ON right now. Because hot damn! He's AMAZING. And he's damn hot!

Matt is so talented. He's always been into art (like we have drawings of us as 16 year olds), but in the last 8 years he has cultivated it into a true passion & has worked so hard to make it into something where he can make money & support our family while also feeling fulfilled as a creator. That's a big deal! Artists are too often poor & struggling (and like, we are too still... but hopefully not for forever, you know?) and he's hustling every day to make his & our dreams come true. It's amazing to watch him create and it's downright inspiring to see him become better each day as he practices (and practices and practices and.... you get the idea.) He believes in himself and pushes himself and is very internally motivated to always try new things and become a better artist. 

It's sometimes crazy to discuss what happens next in his career because it could mean very large changes/moves/situations in our future, but I know as long as I can snug up to that scratchy bearded man every night, then everything... is gonna be alright, man.

I LURVE YOU MATTICUS. Proud is understating how I feel about you, because it's bigger and badder than that. It's more like buttermilk that has like, been in your fridge for a while... and you aren't sure what to do with it so you keep it...  but like the opposite? HAHA. That's an inside joke and I'm so glad I remembered it. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

october could last forever

October has been slaying it this year. The weather! The activities! The all around vibes it's throwing down! All of it has been really spectacular. These photos are from a walk around our 'hood last Sunday when the light was perfect and the hats a plenty. EZ has almost stopped ignoring Sully at least 50% of the time and it's really cute to see them get all up in each other's face. I'm still thankful for the other 50% of time when he ignores him (hey! at least he's not being mean to him!) I love the pictures of Matt and the boys together so much. And that picture of Sullivan on the swing with the sun flare? Oh baby, let me nuzzle that face! EZ moves too much most of the time to get many photos of him, but look at the sass he's tossing around! This very first picture on the left might be my favorite of the bunch simply because it's just so classic. EZ looking all dramatic because we didn't do what he wanted exactly how he wanted us to, and then Sully just happily smiling in the background. Mmmmm. I like these punks.  

And in a matter of seconds, Sully lets us know it's time to go home and get ready for bed. Kid knows what he wants!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a day in the life of EZ Red

It only takes a few minutes for this kid to change his 'stume and his 'tude all day every day. I never knew a kid could love dressing up & getting into character so much, but it is thrilling trying to keep up. My favorite is how often he does it without pants! So risqué.