Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oscars Luncheon 2017

January left us with a bang. Mr. Jones found out that he was nominated for an Oscar for his Visual Effects work on Kubo and the Two Strings along with three of his colleagues at Laika. It's been quite exciting. Last Monday, I joined him LA to attend the Oscars Nominees Luncheon. It was definitely a "moment" in life, and it made me so excited for all of them, and of course for the ceremony itself. 

The luncheon was held at the Beverly Hilton, and began with some milling around (and cocktails) among the nominees and their guests. We knew we would sit at a "mixed table" for the lunch, meaning we could be with Producers, Actors, etc. We anxiously awaited who we might sit with, as we struggled to introduce ourselves to new people in the room. We saw some celebrities and I just couldn't resist asking a few for photos (but I'll save that for my Instagram account). Finally, they asked us to find our table. It was like a really fancy wedding, with gorgeous bunches of roses on the tables and waiters ready to pour your wine as soon as you sat down.

We took our seats, and met the people at our table. There was a producing team, four sound designers, and an Academy Ambassador, a member of the Academy who is there to facilitate conversation at the table and make the event really welcoming. Our Ambassador had the most adorable wife who had one agenda - to take photos with the most famous people in the room, to the bemusement of her husband. It was hilarious, and got me hyped to talk to the actors and musicians I wouldn't have otherwise (again, I refer to the Instagram). 

They played a comedy video about how to give a good speech should you win, and there were words from the Academy President. Then they read the names of every nominee individually, and invited them to stand at the front for the "class photo" (Oliver is in the second row, second in from the oscar, to the left). This goes on for the better part of an hour and when everyone is there, the music crescendos and they announce, "Ladies and Gentleman, the Oscar Nominees of 2017". They know how to give you an emotional moment, in Hollywood, that's for sure.

When the photo ended, I was still snapping photos of them all when a man next to me said, "This is really special for them, isn't it?" I looked at him and said, "It's really special". He was an Academy Embassador, as well. Then I found Oliver, spoke to another actor I loved, and got in a cab to LAX.

When I had saw Oliver a few days later, he showed me a photo on his phone of his colleague Brian and said, "Look who Brian spoke to!" and I saw who it was. It was the same person who spoke to me when the class photo was being taken. It was Steven Spielberg, the most famous Director of all time, and I did not recognize him. I guess I thought all the most important people were standing at the front? Classic.

That aside, it was still a truly special afternoon, one we'll never forget. Now I'm in the process of sorting out my dress, and childcare, and all the other things that will come with attending an event fancier than anything I've ever been to. If this was a precursor to the excitement, I can't imagine what the events surrounding the ceremony will be like. What a wild ride.

Monday, January 23, 2017

January's Inside Out

January is almost over, and I don't quite know what to make of it. We had an epic snowstorm and we were inside for almost two weeks straight. For someone who doesn't like to stay home (with kids, that is, alone I can stay home for hours and hours) it was a struggle. Somehow with sleds and shovels and tons of art supplies and dress-up clothes, we got through it. I started a new job, we got a new President, and who knows what lies in store for all of us. One thing I know is that if life continues to be as sweet as it has been with these two ladies, we're going to be okay.

I've also been working on a New Year's Resolution to print and archive family photos. I'm not much of a scrapbooker, but it's important to me to have printed photos the girls can look through them without a device being turned on. So in January I've lived in 2017, and 2012 and 2013 simultaneously. I'm working my way to present day, and it's truly been a walk down memory lane. To look at the photos above, and think everyone is talking now, everyone is drinking from cups, and there are no diapers in this house anymore! It's truly mind blowing. We are growing UP around here, ya'll!

PS. Lulu's dress pattern is McCalls 8635 (from 1966) in vintage polyester bought at an estate sale. Penny's hat is Big Top Animal Hats by me! Details of Penny's sweater are HERE and Lulu's coat are HERE.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Alice in OMSI-land

I made Penny an Alice in Wonderland dress.  A friend gifted us the pattern (Simplicity 2330, already cut to a size 5) and Penny begged me for it as soon as she saw it, telling Lulu that the last homemade dress I made was for Lulu's birthday so it was her turn for one. Penny likes the book of Alice, and loves the dress. She's been asking me about my sewing progress for a month, and finally, this past weekend, it was finished. I made it from a cheap calico and white muslin from Jo-ann Fabric. She wore it to OMSI, the Portland science museum, and told everyone that gave her a second glance that her mom made her dress.  This girl is the best thing a crafty mom could ask for.

Meanwhile, there are a few things, including the spinning trick above, that Lulu has mastered at the museum. She goes right over to this whirring machine and starts balancing these wheels on a turntable, attracting 8 and 10 year-old kids, in amazement. Lulu, uninterested in their compliments, is continually fascinated by the machine.  We have a science Prodigy, don't you know? ;)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hitting the Slopes

When you ask Santa for a sled for Christmas, and he delivers, it's only a matter of time before you are looking for snow on which to use your brand new toy. So, on a sunny winter morning, we headed up to Mt. Hood, or as it's known in our family, "Snowy Mountain". The sledding was fast, the sky was blue, and the people were out in force. It became a day of snow play: and snowball fights snow angels, and trekking in snow as high as our legs. We headed out after lunchtime, back to the wet streets of Portland. We'll remember this day and talk about it, when see the mountain from these very streets.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lulu is 3

Lulu is three today. It's funny, with the second child, there isn't much recollection of being alone together. I guess the nature of a second child is that they aren't really alone much at all. There was a sister when she came, and daycare when I worked.  We've carved out time to be with each other throughout these years, but throughout the hours where it's been me and Lulu, she always wonders, aloud, what Penny is doing. Lulu has always worn Penny's clothes, and been friends with her friends. She's watched the shows that Penny likes, and has mostly formed the same opinions of things up until now. At three, however, Lulu is starting to form her own life. This party had some of our friends, but it also had Lulu's friends, too. The girls came from preschool who Lulu loves to play with, and she's still talking about how they came to her house, to play just with her. I think it's really exciting for all of us - this new life that we're helping her create for herself.

Teaching her how to hold up three fingers:

It's been three years since I gave birth to this little baby, so quickly and so close to Christmas. Many of our friends had left town to see family, and there were two nights I spent alone in the hospital with her, while her dad and sister slept at home. I remember singing her Christmas carols as lullabies. She was so very sweet and small.

Now she is not so quite. She laughs loudly and plays hard. She loves monkeys and trampolines and being turned upside down. She will nag you to tickle her, she'll shout "faster" at everything that moves. She will refuse everything you cook for her. She will try apple juice for the very first time because she saw her best friend drink it at the party. She'll tell you she loves you at unexpected times, and it will make your heart leap. You can say "you're a monkey!" or "you're a fish!" and she'll shake her head and say, "No I'm not, I'M LULU", in way you'll never want to forget. Age 2 was a great one for Lulu, but I have a feeling she's got big things in store for 3. Happy Birthday to you.

P.S. Lulu's dress and the party hats are here. THIS is the day Lulu was born and HERE are some pics of her very first days.