Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Last night we tore down a set in one hour that took over a month to build and decorate. An hour after the last audience member was gone, our performance space was transformed from a dining facility and theater back into a generic hall. Which reminds me so much of what it is like when you have young kids in the house: you spend hours doing laundry and in a moment the laundry basket is full again. Or you take a weekend to give the living room an entire top to bottom refresher and in walks Thing 1 and Thing 2 and chaos and disorder are back in a flash. Oh well. It's fun while it lasts!
Thanks to every one of the talented and hardworking people I've had the privilege of working with over the past four years! And an extra special thanks to the handful of ladies who have helped the most by watching my two little monkeys during rehearsals so that I could do what I have done. What a fun ride it has been!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Mr. Rock and his "Jet Pack" action figure.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Homeless after our return, Michael, Nathan, and I were all staying in the loft above my in law's living room while we figured out what Mike's next career move would be. We were disoriented from jet lag, made worse due to 10 month old Nathan who could not be convinced to sleep when everyone else was desperately trying to sleep. That Tuesday morning Michael managed to shower but couldn't put one foot in front of the other to get out of the house and into the office where he was scheduled to work on closing documents on the Tokyo project. We were grumpily lounging on the bed playing the "I'm-more-tired-than-you" game when my father-in-law called up the stairs saying I had a phone call. Picking up the extension I found my Mom on the line in hysterics. I could not understand what she was saying because of the sobs. She kept asking if Michael was with me or if he was driving past LAX, repeatedly saying, "one is missing, they don't know where it is, what if it's in Los Angeles".
Not knowing what she was talking about, I was gripped with fear. I've only witnessed my mom cry once in my life. She is the toughest chick you will ever meet, owns (and operates) her own chainsaw, never panics, never frets, and lets nothing ruffle her feathers (at least not visibly). I knew that whatever it was that had her so worked up had to be nothing short of the end of the world. After asking her over and over again what she was talking about, she finally screamed "JUST TURN ON YOUR TV!" We ran downstairs and called Mike's parents to the living room where we were just in time to see, live, a plane flying directly into the World Trade Center.
The horror we felt defies description. The next few hours are a blur in my memory. I remember only that my tee shirt was soaked with tears that had streamed down my face unchecked, and that at some point Nathan finally fell asleep in the most uncomfortable position. He sat facing out on Mike's lap, with his little face resting on the palm of Daddy's hand. We snapped a photo which never fails to bring me to tears when I see it with the date Sep 11 2001 stamped in red on it. Our child, sleeping peacefully in the safety and protection of his father's arms while the world quite literally fell to pieces.
So much changed that day in the world. My own personal change was profound. On September 10, 2001 I believed that I had the power to protect my child from anything bad the world had to offer. On September 11, I knew otherwise.
How easy it would it be to cower in fear and close ourselves off from anything mildly threatening? But I think that instead of living in fear, Michael and I chose to go the other direction. We don't do anything that would obviously put our children in danger; we don't let them play ball in the street or run with scissors. But we do continue to move all over the world and travel to places most parents wouldn't take their young children. We send our kids to preschool and day camp where they are the only ones with blue eyes. We involve ourselves in the day to day operation of our local public elementary school where Nathan's first grade class had six different religions represented last year, while never far from our mind is the fact that 100% of our closest friends homeschool their children. We try to make bold and fearless choices with our own lives, knowing that what we show our kids is infinitely more important that what we tell them.
I may not be able to protect my kids from danger, but I can walk with them along side it and teach them how to be strong and courageous when it comes near. How to live by Faith and not by sight, so that it is still possible to fall asleep and rest peacefully in our Father's arms when the world is falling apart. I want to teach them it is okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to let fear dictate what we do with our lives. It's a tall order indeed, but I'm grateful that each year on this day I can take a moment to inventory how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
And just to take a stroll down memory lane... here's Nathan on his first day of Kindergarten two years ago.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
We went to Disneyland! Gotta use up those Three Day Park Hopper passes before they expire!
We had a blast and got soaked, but the best part was that all the Orange County and the Los Angeles Unified School districts are already back in school so we pretty much had both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure all to ourselves. We did everything we wanted to do in both parks in exactly eight hours.
We got home in time to go check the classroom rosters that were posted in front of the boys' elementary school...
We were happy to see that Benjamin will have the same teacher that Nathan had in Kindergarten, Mrs. Kajikawa. She was not a great fit for Nathan (although we as parents learned so much about how to be an advocate for our child that year), but the entire year I kept saying, "She would be the perfect teacher for Ben!" And now she will be!
Nathan will have a teacher that I can almost count as a friend... she is the mother of one of Nat's friends, and I spent a lot of time with her at a Mother's Day luncheon, a couple of "bring someone special to school" days, the volunteer teas, and chatting with her during recess or before school. We are so happy with this assignment!
Nathan had such a fabulous teacher last year for 1st grade and I picked her brain about the variety of 2nd grade teachers. She said there were a few great teachers and a few who were certainly not so great, including a couple known for being screamers while trying to get their classes under control. Yikes! Not what our already high-strung and sensitive child needs!
We'll let you know how tomorrow goes!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
As Chinese New Year approaches (February 10th this year), we bid a fond farewell to the Year of the Dragon. My oldest son was born in the Ye...
Michael and I got to jump on a plane from Shanghai to Los Angeles to attend a four day conference on leadership, creativity, and humanity tw...
This festive greeting was over four years in the making! Christmas cards are a big deal for me. Though we move a lot, our annual Ch...