Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What We See

A realistic view of "our" dirt

It is definitely interesting to be building in our own neighborhood.  Fun to be able to walk around the corner and take a family picture on "our" dirt.  Fun to already know the neighbors.  But a little weird to have everybody so interested in our dirt's progress.

While I want nothing less than to turn the blog into a step-by-step, it seems important to at least chronicle the big deal days.  Like the day they deposited our earnest money, our contract was accepted, and I finally felt comfortable referring to the new plot of land as "the new house."

As for the other questions (colors, when they'll start digging, etc.) I don't yet know.  But I do know we're moving.  All the way from 3266 to 3267.  Yep.  That's happening.  And I do know it will be exciting to watch the dirt transform from what you see to what we see:

Builder's drawings superimposed on our dirt
Yes, big changes are coming for this little family!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Two Face

"Wait, turn around..." I said to Adam as he left one day for football.  "We'd better make sure we wash off all your makeup."

Who knows if he'll stick with either one, but for about a seven week period, Adam was actively involved both theater and football.  I am grateful he didn't have too many conflicts between the two, because it was fun to support such a well-rounded kid.

I had to laugh one morning when he asked for an alternate breakfast, passing up the high sugar levels of the breakfast cake I'd planned.  "Coach says no sugar during football season."

And I laughed again when we took the kids to Golden Corral on opening night.  Careful to avoid a stomach ache, Adam had selected a well-balanced plate of popcorn shrimp, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  When I mentioned I was pretty impressed by his choices, he explained his plan to follow up with the foods he really wanted, and then to limit himself to only 10 desserts.

Later that evening at the opening night Village Inn party, he and three of his EYT buddies serenaded the mom table with their original song titled, "Maple Syrup."  Arriving at home at midnight, he catalogued nearly 8 hours of sleep before heading off to his first football scrimmage.

I feel pretty grateful to be raising a son who can have a black-streaked face from crying off his mascara one exhausted night and from sweating off his "war paint" the next day.  I feel grateful to live in a community with organized programs designed to teach my son life skills.  As Randy Pausch wrote in The Last Lecture,, the goals of these programs are pretty much always to teach "teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship, the value of hard work, and ability to deal with adversity."

Theater and athletics may seem to be diametrically opposed, but as Kirk and I have discussed our personal experiences, we've drawn correlations between "notes" and "reviewing film."  There are similarities between "choreography" and "plays."  But right now there's a much stronger bond between our two worlds.

His name is Adam.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Empy Awards

I almost didn't go to the Empress fundraising and awards gala this year.  Money is tight and time is tighter, and I thought maybe I'd opt out this year.  But at the last minute, a few things changed to make it possible for me to attend, and I was excited to be a part of the "Old Hollywood" theme.

Having attended the gala for the past two seasons, I thought I knew what to expect.  Basically, a night where I would get all excited about dressing up, and then leave to spend a few hours battling my socially awkward tendencies.  I knew this year would be worse, as I was attending without Kirk there to act as a buffer.  As I described it to Michelle, "I'm leaving now.  I'm off to awkwardly try to find someone to sit with and then actually have to talk to them."

"That sounds awful!" she responded.

But I knew also to expect to get to see lots of friends and acquaintances dressed to the nines, get to bid on beautiful baskets in the silent auction, get to watch former cast mates accept their Empy Awards, and (best of all) listen to a talented group of performers introduce the 2014 season with sample performances.

So, despite the looming social discomfort, I really was excited for the evening.

It turns out I didn't know exactly what to expect, because I definitely didn't expect this.


For one thing, the EYT show has in the past been ineligible for the production staff awards.  As its own sort of thing (that the kids pay for, etc), it gets a little bit different treatment (which this year included awards for three of my awesome EYT kids).

For another thing, there were incredible shows on the season last year, each with a fantastic director.  To be honored with the title of best in a group like that was certainly unexpected.

It's extra crazy to think back clear to last summer's show, Beauty and the Beast Jr, and to remember all that went into pulling off such an epic show.

I'm glad they didn't ask for an acceptance speech, because all I would have babbled was, "Thank you."  It would have been difficult for me to express to whom that thanks was directed.  But it definitely goes to the 67 kids who shared the stage, to their dedicated parents who volunteered and lent their kids, to the amazing staff at the Empress including Jake, Michele, and Marie, to Kaylin who saved us nightly with costumes, to Lisa and Katie for assistant directing, to Jamie for her vocal coaching, and to the billion people who helped pull together costumes.  "Best Director" to me is just a compilation of "Best of All Worlds," and I am grateful to have had that opportunity.

And I'm pretty glad I went to the gala... :)