Monday, November 30, 2015

11-30-15 On How I Became An Editor

I never wanted to be a editor.

When I was young, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. At first I thought I should be a nurse, after all, my mother was one, and I knew she loved it. But try as I may, I could never get over the sight of blood- even in movies where I knew it wasn't real, I had a hard time stomaching it. Part of me felt obliged to join the family business, but the older I grew, the more I knew that it just didn't suit me. For a while I thought being a teacher would be fun... But in hindsight I think the summer vacation was the thing that called me loudest! For a long time, I wanted to be an actress. I loved being on stage and in productions. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I stumbled into an internship at a production company, that my future started to focus. After a few months of working there, they allowed me to edit a few small projects. There was an editor there that let me sit behind her while she edited and I spent hours just watching her. Those were the early days of nonlinear editing. 

I was fascinated by what she did and how the videos came together and it didn't take long for me to decide that what I really wanted to do was become a filmmaker. I was taking classes at the community college and when it came time to transfer everyone I spoke to urged me to try NYU. I assumed it was way out of my league, but applied anyways. I also applied to one back up school. Months passed with no word from NYU. I was accepted into UMBC within days of submitting my portfolio. As the weeks passed, I began to accept that it New York wasn't for me. 

One night, I was working late when my mom called me to say I had received a letter from NYU. I asked her, "Is it a big letter or a little one?" Big would mean I had gotten in, little would mean I hadn't. She said it was big. I knew I'd been accepted. When I got home that night I tore open the envelope and got my acceptance letter. 

A couple of months later I was packing my bags and moving to NYC to start classes at one of the most prestigious film schools in the country. I was young and naive, but the experience surely helped to define who I was. 

While visiting my parents this past weekend I was scrounging through old photos and ran across these. It's funny how time has affected technology just in the past fifteen years! 

So young!

We shot 16mm film on nearly ancient cameras. 

When we finished a roll, we would send it away to get developed. When it returned we would edit it on Steenbecks, in what might possibly have been the most frustrating editing method ever designed! I cut my fingers on more than one occasion! 

In our more advanced classes we shot on bigger, heftier Super 16mm cameras. We transferred the footage to Beta and worked on it from there, usually on an Avid, but occasionally tape to tape. 

When I graduated, it was the summer after 9/11 and there wasn't much work to be had in NY. I stuck around for awhile, but I knew I could get editing work in Maryland, so after a time I moved back. I figured it would be temporary, I had bigger plans.  I started editing immediately, and I'm still editing! I've edited the gambit from Steenbeck, Beta Cuts, Media100, Avid, Final Cut, and Premiere. Most I have taught myself out of necessity. Technology constantly changes. However over a thousand videos later, I can say with confidence I love what I do.

I never became a director, I never moved to LA, and I never made films that changed the world, but that's ok because I did something much more valuable. I married my best friend (tomorrow will be eight years) and my greatest accomplishments are currently sleeping soundly upstairs. I wouldn't trade those  achievements for those unfullfilled dreams (which when I look back, were meaningless.) I'm glad I serve a God that saved me from my own plans and pursuits and brought me to a place of contentment. I am truly blessed.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

11-29-15 Home

We got home this evening from a wonderful weekend at my parents' house. The kids love seeing their grandparents! Naona spoils them silly with crafts and cookie decorating. Big E got a real treat when he got to ride in GP's new car! 

I'm looking forward to the Christmas break, when we will get to spend even more time with them! 

You may be wondering why most of my pics this weekend were of C. The answer is simple, she doesn't move around as much as the boys! Most of my pictures of the boys were just a blur! Ha!

My wrists have been hurting me the past few days, so typing is painful. That's why I haven't written much. I got a brace for one of my wrists tonight, and that seems to be helping a bit. Praying they start feeling better soon! I kinda need my wrists for editing!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

11-28-15 A Quiet Visit

Each major holiday we try to hit both sides of the family. Thursday was my husband's side, in all of its noisy, boisterous glory!

Now we are visiting my family. The difference is night and day. Seeing my family always feels like a reprieve from the crazy, busy, noisiness that is our life. I love coming here. I love the calm. I love the quiet.

I just wish we could stay longer!

Friday, November 27, 2015

11-27-15 Not Feeling Well

I'm not feeling well this evening, so here's a few pictures of the kids. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

11-25-15 Thanksgiving Eve

It's quiet in the house right now. Tim is putting the big kids to bed and Baby E is still asleep in his car seat. It is rare for us to all be together on a weeknight and I am enjoying the feeling of having my family all under the roof at once. I am also grateful for the break in bedtime duties! 

I thought I'd take a few minutes to list what I'm thankful for this year. (I considered leaving it for tomorrow, but feared the turkey hangover will get the best of me!)

- My husband. Tim and I are going on eight years of marriage in just a few days. We've been together for ten years.
- My kids. They bring adventure to each of my days.
- My parents. Tomorrow they will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary!
- My house. This time last year we were shivering through the cold nights at the farm house.
- My job. I work with some pretty talented and wonderful people! 
- Tim's job. It may be a long commute, but he enjoys the work.
- My sister. My partner in crime since we were kids.
- Tim's family. I love the big support network that comes with a large family. Having built in friendships is a lovely thing indeed! 
- The people who watch our kids. We have an amazing team of people that watch our children. We feel confident that they are loved and protected in our absence,
- Our church. We belong to an amazing body of believers. There are literally hundreds of people in our community that come together and meet regularly, encouraging one another.
- My God. Without whom nothing above would exist. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

11-24-15 Grandparents' Day

Today was Grandparents' Day at C's school. Since last week's parents' day was a such a dud, and none of C's grandparents could make it today, Tim, Rebecca and I decided to go. And let me tell you, it was so much better than parents'day! They pulled out all the stops! 

We overheard that they were expecting 600+ guests over the course of the day! We made our way to C's class where there were multiple stations set up. We were allowed to work at each station with our kid. They did coloring, made a hat, decorated cookies, etc. It was fun to see C in her classroom and interacting with her friends.

Their art show was this really cool winter scene they had set up in one of the teaching trailers. 

This was C's contribution to the village.

Monday, November 23, 2015

11-23-15 I had coffee at 7 p.m.

Last night was a rough evening with the kids. They basically did the opposite of everything that I asked them to do. By the time it was ready for bedtime, I was done... I grabbed Baby E and told the big kids to follow me upstairs. To my surprise, Big E was right behind me on the stairs. However, C was sitting at the kitchen table coloring... and making absolutely no effort to move. I sternly told her she needed to follow me and she said she was finishing her picture. As I headed upstairs, she had a total meltdown and begged me to carry her. When I refused, she started screaming and whining and claiming it was just too difficult for her to climb the stairs. I let her scream and wail, and finally she mustered up the strength to get to the top. 

Once upstairs, there were more insurmountable obstacles like brushing teeth and using the bathroom. I didn't even attempt pjs. Less steps to bedtime the better. I hate to admit, I wasn't very patient with them, but I finally got all three down. Shortly thereafter, I was in bed too... 

When I got up this morning and came downstairs to make C's lunch I found this on the table...

That's what she had been working on when I unceremoniously yelled at her to go upstairs. I had a good dose of mommy guilt on this one. While I was yelling at her, she was writing "For Mommy." She had been making me a gift and I had been berating her for taking too long. 

I started thinking about why I was so impatient last night. I know the kids were tired, and I had spent the majority of the day away from them. But I was tired too, very tired, and I think that was the key. Kids are kids,and while disobedience is not ok, I sometimes forget to look for the root of the disobedience. A lot of times, it is poor decision making on the part of my kids, but there are definitely times when their behavior is a direct reaction to my own. I was crabby last night, and they were pushing back. 

Staring at my picture, I decided that tonight would be different. Problem is when I left work I got caught in horrible traffic, and the closer I got to home, the more tired I was getting. I knew I was going to be a little late and my kids would be hungry and tired. How could I prevent another four way meltdown? 

If only I was not so very tired.

Coffee! Yes, coffee would help. So I drove through Dunkin Donuts and got an iced coffee to get me through the evening.

And guess what? It worked like a charm! We had an absolutely awesome evening! We made dinner together, we played on the floor, and talked about our day. When it was time to go upstairs, I didn't get any arguments. The kids did well getting ready for bed and I even put on a silly little visual story time show (the neighbors probably thought I was nuts, if they happened to glance up at our house and see me in the window) but we had a blast! I loved hearing the laughing and giggling. 

When it was finally time for sleep, I put Baby E in his crib and then crawled into bed with C. We cuddled for awhile and then I moved over to Big E's bed for even more cuddles. It was a wonderful way to end our evening!

However, when I closed their door, I came face to face with the stark reality of my choice... I'm not tired. Well, I am tired...but my body is currently coursing with caffeine and sugar, so laying down is next to impossible. So I cooked breakfast for the next few days, did multiple loads of laundry, scrubbed down my kitchen, and did all my dishes. Seriously, this was one productive evening! 

And while I am totally going to regret the way I am going to feel in the morning, I will not regret hearing the sounds of my children squeal in delight as I chased them around, or the smile on Big E's face when we raced cars along the kitchen floor, or the laughter as I pranced and darted through their room telling them a ridiculous story I made up as I went!

I'll admit, I am overwhelmed with the amount of papers and 'artwork' I've been presented with since C has been in school. Seriously, so much, and we can't keep it all. I've decided to start photographing ones that I really enjoy so at least we can have a digital copy.

I love that this is C's first sentence. I keep finding it everywhere. What a sweetie!

C drew Batman. Looks exactly like him. 

This evening I let them make their own pizzas again. C wanted to eat hers right away, but I reminded her again that it needs to cook. As it was in the oven she asked if she could eat some pepperonis. I said sure. The next thing I know, she is placing pepperonis on top of graham crackers!! She thought it was delicious and gobbled it down, but not before offering me some. I politely declined! Kids are great!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

11-22-15 Peas and Shadow Puppets

There are many nights when I have great aspirations about what I am going to get accomplished, but more often than I would like to admit, those evenings tend to devolve into scrounging up the easiest, quickest thing to eat and starting the bedtime routine early, but ultimately having it end much later than I wish. 

Tonight was one of those nights.

C had waffles, Big E had a pbj, and Baby E had peas. 

I had to cut him off after he had eaten more than half a bag of steamed peas. I'm pretty sure he would have finished it off, but I was a little concerned he'd be having some tummy troubles! 

After dinner, C amused us with shadow puppets.

I'm looking forward to our short week. C only has two days of school this week and then we get to start celebrating Thanksgiving!