Monday, December 12, 2011

Thank You 2011

Sometimes one of the most important things we can do is look back on times we have had, not dwell on the past but simply think back. Some of my most favorite things are in my past. Like time spent with my Grandpa Jones. Times in high school when friends were the most important thing we had and parents were the worst. Funny how looking back I am glad that has changed! Memories of laughter and tears. To remind me that things aren't always as bad as they could be and that all of life is not bad. I love looking back and in December just before Christmas I tend to do it the most.

I like how although my past does not define me, it is the greatest part of who I am today. I am proud of my accomplishments. My time in the Marine Corps. My time in college. My time at home getting back up from big falls.

This year has been the most important year of my life. Romantically, I spent it alone. Parenting, I spent it alone. Financially, I spent it alone. I discovered what took 32 years... ME!

 This year I worked more than ever! Did you guys know that in the film industry there can be 38 hours in ONE day!?! I didn't either. It's like a magic black hole. I worked to learn and to gather knowledge that can help me gain more consistent momentum in my career. I was on some pretty serious sets. I worked with some top talent in my line of work.

I lost a few friendships this year. Some of it was due to working so much. I took advice that some of them gave me...take time for myself. I can't be angry about friendships lost. While my heart aches from time to time I feel overall that if I have to choose between my kids, my self or them. Then they weren't my friend in the first place.

I also gained so many important friendships. While none of them will help me move furniture...they will be there for me in times of tears and fear. Most of them are in the form of First World Problems! While the guys and I as a team had some ups and was all mostly FANTASTIC! We won an award, nominated for others, performed on the main stage, had some amazing coaching by some talented people and more importantly we are still a TEAM! I can't wait to see what 2012 brings me and the boys!

I also shared the year with so many other friends. Mending friendships this year. Watching the rise, the fall, and the rise again of my best friend. We are crazy drama together...but we laugh and love better than anyone I know.
I learned I have amazing friends who are great mothers. They make my struggles feel normal. And remind me I am doing alright in the most important job in this life "MOMMYHOOD"! Thank you ladies.

I completed my time studying at The Second City. Memories made with people that will forever remain in my heart and mind...and in 'Photos From Last Night'! I felt a sense of accomplishment when we closed our show on the 18th of December. I had lived out part of a childhood dream. Reminding me that dreaming is not silly...with enough focus and determination dreams are realized everyday. Thanks Second City. Thanks Sketchy Bastards. The whole experience was an honor. Makes me know that my NPO is attainable and with this knowledge I can move forward, even if slowly.

I learned the art of simply letting go without hatred or anger. I learned we can still love even if we disagree. Kinda hard to believe, but not everyone is out to get you. Some people just loved you enough once to not hurt or harm you when it fades away.  Finding that love does outweigh hate was the single most amazing experience I have ever had in this lifetime.

I learned forgiveness does not fix everything...but it is the first step in a lifetime of happiness.

Even when I worked 18 hour days for weeks on end I always made time for my beauties. I also took a lot of time off this year. We enjoyed every second of our time together! I have also said that my mom worked a 9-5 job. I love my schedule more than hers. The kids like this better too. Work hard and play harder! The beauties and I enjoyed so many good times this year. From beaches. To Hollywood. To rollercoasters. To drives on the coast. Cuddles. Kisses. School days. It was an amazing time with them. In those moments we all forget how hard mommy works to give them what they have.

I had help this year and am lucky to count Tim as my friend. He has been my left hand this year. He says I could have done it without him...maybe I could have! But glad I didn't have too!

This year was spent with a lot of people around me speaking about things they have no knowledge of in regards to my life. Watching people put the ASS in assumptions makes me smile :)

This was the best year of my life if I look at all the learning I did. I am nothing shy of the awesome my mother always saw in me :) and I am nothing close to perfect! I am just fine being me. I am a me that my girls can be proud of. I am a me that I am proud of. That took a lot of work. A lot of honesty.
From time to time I still forget...but that is why I have such amazing people in my life to remind me of how good these times were. My sisters will never think of me less than famous! My mother knows every failure, but still see's the best in me. My Mama Kim will set me right in an instant. My bro will offer to beat you up just to make me think he's tough. And my Daddy...well he's gonna remind me every time without fail of where I come from and what I stand for...he is the only man that gets to call me out on my bullshit. Because well he does it with love and dirt!

A part of me is ready for a new year...but I loved this one so much there will be a tear shed for 2011's passing on to the year gone by category.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let's Catch Up...

Okay-Okay-Fine! I promised to be a more frequent blogger...and I have not been! I'll take the heat!

I have been writing...just not posting! I had a few months were I desired some privacy and went back to my original struggle with doing a blog. In the end. I decided there is nothing to hide. I live a great life. I am surrounded by great people and those I love who are not here on a daily basis...this is their way to know about Hollyhome and all its happenings. This blog I wrote a few weeks back. I will post some others soon. I promise :)

Hollyhome has been busy, busy, busy. In my down time I have worked so much...not for the pay but for ALL the experience it can bring me :)

My Conservatory class (aka Sketchy Bastards) at Second City...well the song is complete...which was written not by me...cuz well I am still working on mine-HA! Our show titled "Photos From Last Night" opened to a packed house and has remained packed for our first three shows. I feel that someones are missing from the audience. Like my badly I want to see my mommy holding post-show flowers for me and telling me how amazing I am. Don't get me wrong she has reminded me everyday for my whole life how great I am (minus some teenage days)! I wish my Daddy and Mama K could be here! Esp my Daddy...cuz I learned recently that he dreamed of doing this sort of work...I love learning about my parents. I would love for the 3 key people in raising me to see what it is that keeps me away from 'home'! I had hopes that my HS friend would join me for a closing night show...but we will see! December is a busy and expensive month to travel! The most important part is that I carry my family (ALL of them) and friends (ALL of them)  with me every time I brave the stage. Think I need to look into streaming that sucker live....hmmmm? Then you could all join me :)

Also, during this time my baby sister is planning a wedding and I the Maid of Honor (no won't use Matron...makes me sound old as hell!) have been busy with everything! I am could use a little help picking out my dress. She said I could choose and I have panicked at the thought...I was having a tough enough time choosing a theme for the bridal shower and a strip club for bachelorette party (bwhahahaha)! But I just got done looking at my options again and will proudly call her with my choice tomorrow so she can stop worrying her pretty red head about the matter and move on to enjoying the rest of the planning. I disliked being a bride as the day approached and choices had to be made, money had to be spent, feelings had to be considered, and not feeling fully supported in the planning. FAIL on me. I guess I just am not a great person to have in weddings. I have only ever been in one (and I was the alternate) I have been shunned out of! I try to lol...but really it still hurts pretty bad. Funny how its the brides day and we can all be there to support, but ultimately we end up hurt. Does NOT make sense! FAIL on me again.

I am so proud of her though! She has grown into the most amazing woman in the last 2 years...she is stronger, more independent and just over all a great WOMAN! She is worrying about making everyone happy for this advise to her-- YOU CAN'T! I love you and it will be great! Just breathe and trust all goes smoothly! Our family LOVES weddings and our loving aunts and cousins have made each one of our weddings a day to remember! See you soon my beautiful sister!

Hollygirls are amazing. G joined the volleyball team and got to play in a few games as a 3rd grader! They had an amazing season...nearly made it to the playoffs! Actually they were guaranteed a spot...then got a little screwed over by another team that said they inaccurately counted wins and losses...and our Lady Lions lost their spot :( As the 8th graders cried...G said to me "got 5 more years!" Now she has moved on to Basketball...almost to her first game :) She also has been at The Second City in the youth conservatory. Doing improv has brought her to life...and she has great jokes now! Further theory on children and improv to come later...w

AJ is just being AJ. Diva-licious and fabulous! I let both girls audition for a commercial I worked on...thought it would be fun! And boy they ate it up! AJ memorized the lines...G coached her and they both nailed it in the room! Don't know if they actually could have gotten cast...because the chance was more to curb their curiousity. They do ask to do it again--UH OH!

 I will start publishing all of these...I many just sitting around!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birthday Words To AJ

Dear AJ-

Mommy always stops to pause on your birthday to think about the moment you were born. You were so far away from making your way into the world at midnight of your birthday 12/6/2005...then by 12:08am I was holding you in my arms. I know that you work in your own time and we all need to just be ready! We will never be ready AJ...but we will always be here in awe of the world you want to create. It took mommy nearly 30 years to figure out who I am and what I want! It took you less than 6! You inspire me. You challenge me. You teach me. You amaze me.

If I had one wish for you in this lifetime it would be for you to know ... many people in this life will try to draw your spirit out of you because they are afraid of how it shines. BE UNAFRAID MY GIRL! Live a life where you are loving and respectful to others knowing they won't always be the same to you. Know that mommy and daddy are always here to help you shine again!

Keep your head up my beauty. Make sure your smiles always outnumber your tears. Most of all don't ever stop fighting for what you want.

My sweet angel Jo...I love you. I thank you sincerely for being the wonderful little girl you are and look forward to the awe inspiring woman you will become.

Happy Birthday Diva!

The World Is Yours

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not Quite Finished

So much to blog about. I have been without the internet for 2 weeks now and for the most part I am okay with it. I can surf on my phone and still have facebook access and public televison is actually a nice change of pace for us. The girls have been enjoying old reruns of He-Man, She-Ra and Bravestar! Tim is not complaining about it...he digs those old shoes and enjoys sharing them with the ladies. The girls enjoy asking us questions about our childhood, and I honestly love talking about its a win win! This summer break probably could have been more fun and defiantly much longer. Overall though it was not a total loss, some good times were had and a few more are in store.

OH DEAR--I am the worst blogger EVER. The above was written about a month ago...I have had some issues with Time Warner...then was gonna switch to AT&T...then thought about Clear! Then I got uber frustrated with the whole issue of internet all together. Final decision...back to Time Warner the scamming scammers! LOL Back to where we started!

SOOOO what has been happening in Hollyhome in all this crazy busy time? Well...SUMMER of course. Like I said it wasn't as FULL as I had hoped...BUT it's always summer for the Hollybabies so no time wasted! Things came to a stand still when this mama wrecked her ride in a 5 car accident...I was happy little car number 4. In accidents like that you end up with the insurance deciding that everyone is responsible for their own car...and since I had liability I was screwed. So I sold the car back to they guy I bought it from and called us even stevens. I didn't want to deal with it...couldn't afford to get it fixed...even if I could I didn't want to dump anymore money into it...and here in Hollyhood we pay to park and I wasn't paying $160 a month to park a car I couldn't drive! So that's that and back to the bus and train I happily go :) For now! Thank God for friends with cars and friends willing to go out of their way to help me out when I have work that comes up.

Speaking of friends. I have been a crappy one for sometime. This I am aware of and have been aware of since I decided it was time to be less about everyone else and more about me. Some of my truest friends remained...and stuck by me even if it was just every now and again I made time for them. Some of them may still be there and I wouldn't know it. The rest are just on with live happy and maybe oblivious to what, why and where I ran off too. I guess my response to that would have to be...I went to that place you all always told me to go. The place where I only worried about me and the beauties. A place where I could be happy. YES of course that place includes ALL of my friends and people I have loved for so long...sadly getting to that place was a more lonesome path. Like driving through the desert in the dark...while kids are sleeping...and then hitting city traffic at day break...while kids are screaming! Both of those times are not times where you want to be talking to other people LOL. Doing so left me lonely when I started to come out the other side, yet it left me a clearer picture of true friendship. The kind of friend that I am able to be at this stage and the kind of friend I need as well.
I have started to learn what making new friends entails--apparently you have to court them like dates. That I never knew. Every friend I had was an instant BAM we were glued at the hip...not so much when you are older and have lives, jobs, and kids. Never knew. I also learned that having girlfriends is SO important--missing my girls from my younger years and so jealous they all see each other and have play dates, margaritas (not at the same time...well I don't think :)- All in all I have figured out that I am ready to be a friend to someone again. A true friend with a new meaning. Something where I am not giving so much and never making time for myself. I used to wrap myself up in my friends 'things' with the intention of avoiding dealing with my own. I think I understand the balance now.

On to some great friends...First World Problems. We all have them. BUT I have 9 of them. I improv with them. Drink beers with them. Laugh with them. Banter with them. Rap with them. Complain with them. Sometimes even BBQ with them. Can I get a what what for beer can chicken !?!
I have figured out so much this summer. About myself. About my life. About my kids. About relationships. It feels great to just be more knowledgeable than the year before.

This has taken weeks to write. Its not quite done. But I want you all to know that I am well. The beauties are well. School started today. I am working. I busy. I am loving life :)

...more to come :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Soundtrack Of My Life

For those of you whom are not caught up on my Hollyhome is a recap. I had the month of June off to goof around. Wrap up some script issues on 'Moving On' and learn to edit. Neither of which have seen task completion. BLAH! I finished the 4th level of the Conservatory at Second City and have moved on to the final level...the part where we take what we have some more...and turn out the best sketch show ever put up on The Second City Hollywood stage. Okay Okay so the last part is just optional...but something that resembles a sketch show must go up in 4 months time!

Assignment #1--Write A Frickin' Song 
    A title and a minimum of a 4 line chorus...not a lot to ask for.

I have been listening to crap love songs all day to inspire me. Although, it was nice to relive my love of Chicago and Boston (the bands not cities) Foriegner and Steve Miller Band. So in the end not a waste of time...nice walk down memory lane :)
BLAH! Now lucky for me most of my class is top notch in the song department. And while I could turn out some kick ass lyrics to a sad country love song from all the experience I have to pull from over the last few years...I highly doubt I can pull off anything clever and witty. I have had a severe case of writers block...FINE call it laziness...whichever.  I have truly been dreading this part of the Conservatory-- WRITING! I LOVE improv. I am on my feet. I am expected to say something stupid or not funny at every moment, so when it works just once people tend to forget about the 100 things I said before that 1 great know the 100 not smart things. BUT when I am writing my perfectionist Virgo side comes out and I panic and leave a blank page in the dust as I wonder off to do something else instead. With improv you can say 'well that's over, never do that scene again'... and with writing it's like 'well you had plenty of time to think it through and THAT'S what you came up with'. Writing blogs to keep ya'll back home and you nosey nelly's near by informed is hard enough. So that's why I warned ya'll that I would NOT be caring about punctuation or if my sentences made any sort of logical sense. What you don't know is I read and re-read all the time. Making changes. Not fixing mistakes so much as tweaking crap that nobody will ever re-read. At this point I am afraid that if one makes too much sense ... then it will throw off the balance of all the other ones that don't  and I will just delete them all! LOL

Back to topic of this song. Well. Huh? Yup I got nothing.

I did eventually get comfortable doing musical improv once a term. I took a workshop with the artistic director and a great musical helped and I had a blast. But you won't be seeing my album drop anytime soon! Now I love, love, love music. Of course I turn to music as a way to comfort my soul and raise my spirit. I have a musical family. I just steer clear of making it. I remember writing songs when I was little...about dandelions and about not having any friends because I was new at school ... WAIT A MINUTE ... I might be on to something. NOPE it's gone.  I surround myself with musical people. My Grayce is musical and has a deep love for music. Which I think her dad and I gave to her as a baby with music all the time...classical to classic rock, 80's to heavy metal. She picked up piano easily and guitar was not too bad. Ava Jo sings like an angel. I mean they pretty much rule...according to the Wii I am awesome...but AJ can't read and Grayce can't figure out how to hold the mic to pick up her voice. So I really shouldn't be bragging, it just makes me sound like a sad sad parent  :)

I know I can pull this off...but there is that inner romantic that just wants a sweet talking cowboy to write me a love song, ride up on his horse and play his guitar on my front porch. Where is George Strait and his crappy acting when a girl needs him? That was what I envisioned...not writing the damn thing myself and singing it to a wincing crowd of people. I guess there are some ear plugs in my production kit...I'll hand those out :)

*NO SHIT as I typed this someone's car outside headed to Hollywood Blvd was blaring a George Strait song from their car. Hollyweird!

Well. I am off to finish off my day and search for my inspiration to write this song OR wait for my handsome cowboy/hipster (this is Hollywood I may have to tweak this vision) to show up and sing me one!

**Note to self--By adding another child to your household ie. someone else's for a hang out all day and then sleepover. Your own children are completely entertained to allow you a significant window of time to get TONS of shit done. Mommy point for me! I won this round ladies...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

...And Dru Makes Three!

Well-- In comedy things are best in 3' God must have a sense of humor that kills!

My third blessing came at a very ironic time in my life. A time filled with confusion and when the strength of my family and marriage were being tested to the extremes. I could have never imagined how it would all turn out, but I wouldn't have wanted to ruin the ending like I do with books! All these stories I share are mearly stories in a lifelong tale that continues to write itself while we are busy living it everyday. Audree Elizabeth taught me that. She is of course named for Audrey Hepburn. Her middle name after my beautiful Grandma Jones. Another strong woman I was honored to be loved by and learn from.  Audree is spelled differently to honor her french heritage and to fulfill my love of making my children spell out their name every time...cuz I do!

While Audree was a surprise, she is a blessing not the less. As every mother asks themselves the famous question after the first child I asked myself 'How will I have enough love for ANOTHER child?". I think we for moments just couldn't imagine how our hearts could possibly have enough love for another life and worry that it won't so we will have to divide up the love we currently are giving to our partners and other children. If you have two you already know that it happens! You love and then you love the next one just as much! So why did I still questioned it with the third? Silly hormones messing with a pregnant woman's emotions!

My pregnancy with Audree was insane. Having made it through a few bouts of cervical cancer...we all often wondered if my body could handle this one. It was at times stressful and bed rest and mommy having to sit still (which I don't do well), but we made it through. Then we made it past the due date. I was nesting pretty hard because we moved just 2 weeks before I was due. Actually driving across the country with both kids, both dogs, my mom, a moving truck, and a bun in the oven. Didn't even tell or ask the doctor cuz I knew the answer would be NO stay here until she is born. No way was daddy missing the birth of this baby and no way was I staying behind while he unpacked. So away we went. Only for the moving truck to nearly catch on fire due to bad breaks and get stuck at the Oregon border rest area. On my 30th birthday...which was on Labor Day!  Where nothing lives...not cell reception...not hospitals...not auto parts stores...not a tow company...just a bathroom and grass to wander in. I thought for sure baby was coming that day. I was having contractions (not consistent), my back was killing me, and most importantly that would be the luck! I made it through...enjoyed my birthday dinner in a fly infested restaurant lovingly named The Redneck Cafe. I was with my mom and my family...I couldn't have asked for more!

Dru was a nick name I gave her while I was still pregnant. Nobody gets it but me...and I am okay with that. Sometimes I think her and I will always have a secret understanding that only her and I 'get'...I am okay with that too!

Anyhow Dru came late. I was so antsy and the new doctor wouldn't induce despite ALL the medical concerns...there were A LOT! Once my water actually broke she took her sweet ole' time. My labor would NOT start. I never had consistent contractions...and 20 mins before I delivered they told me it would be a few more hours and someone was going to come talk to me about a C-Section. WHAT! I don't want drugs and you think I want you to chop a baby out of me with...HELL NO! Thankfully she received her eviction notice and I had to 'hold her in' while we waited for the doctor that was told less than 5 minutes ago we had hours. Let me tell you men who are reading CAN NOT hold a baby in.  Just in the nick of time walks in my doctor (who was a resident doc), his attending doc, and an INTERN-- that had only been and INTERN doc for 15 minutes prior to walking in to deliver his first baby! He had a look of fear on his face similar to a man standing at the end of the barrel on a loaded shot gun. In his nervousness he was telling me over and over like a drill sergeant to 'get the baby out'! DUDE this is my THRID time...I got this! Was what I was thinking but what came out was 'YOU WANT IT OUT. THEN YOU GET IT OUT! OR SHUT UP!' My doctor said told me to 'calm down' to which I responds 'CALM HIM DOWN!'
About 30 seconds later he had delivered his first baby and I had delivered my third. Cord around her neck and he stayed calm and just handled like a pro. I think he will make a fine doc, but he may not end up an OB after that!
She was handed off quickly to the respiratory team in the room (yes, if you do the count there were about 9 people in the room. Dru made ten.). I heard her cry. Daddy cut the cord and took pictures. He had them uploaded onto FB before I breastfed her for the first time...what a world we live in today. What I recall the most was the few seconds they laid her on my tummy she twisted her little body and neck to look at me. Her expression seemed to say 'huh? that's what you look like' and all I could muster up was 'my beauty'! It was those brief seconds when that love I had carried for my other two girls grew bigger and the love for Audree flooded into completion. Mothers can do them all so them all the same. Fathers do too, they just don't have hormones making them worry about whether they will or won'
When I finally held her it strangely didn't feel like the first time. Like she had always been here. Holding your third baby is amazing, mostly because you aren't a scared new mom wondering how it will work or how you will sleep or if it will all be okay. It's just peace. It's looking over at her father and catching eyes with a look that says 'yo! we got this'. The original look between new parents says 'holy fucking shit'. This time it was just different and just as nice. We were relaxed and confident and ready to go home.

Audree still gives the same look as she did the first time we 'met'. She is a tiny treasure in my army of girls. Smart and sensitive, yet confident and bold! She is a by the book child. Does nothing 'early' or 'late'...she is super observant like Grayce and super GO like Ava. Cuddly and wild. Brave and cautious. I can't describe the perfect blend of Grayce and Ava she is growing to be. Dru pays attention to what they are doing all the time and more now is putting into action what they do. I just know that she is going to have NO problem growing into her place as an individual in this group of Hollygirls!

I die for her expressions. So animated. So sincere.

I -- of course could go on and on about my babies. Today I won't. Now I have talked about them all as individuals. I am the luckiest mom. I strive to make them proud of me and let them know I am ALWAYS proud of them. I always will be win or lose.

I am here for them. I am living my dream! Oh yes it is hard from time to time. I am not so much seeking the illusive Hollywood dream of fame. I just wanted to work in tv and film. I do that. Granted I am a freelancer so it's hard sometimes, but in those times where I feel like giving up I can look at them and know that I am doing the right thing. They are taken care of and provided for by me. They are loved. My girls sacrifice nothing in order for me to be here... and Audree won't remember any of!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hey Hey Josephine...

Happy 4th of July!

Guess this is the most perfect day to talk about my little firecracker, Ava Jo! My second blue-eyed beauty is now 5 years old according to her birth certificate and 24 according to her attitude! My sweet Ava Josephine has been my biggest handful since the day she was born. AJ is stubborn and only she can hear the tick of her own clock. I remember my mid-wife came in on her day off to deliver my 2nd born on  December 5th 2005, I wanted so badly for her to NOT be born on the 6th because it was the same day as my first marriage anniversary.  December 5th 1997 was the day I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp so that seemed better in my head! I was induced with her on the 5th due to medical reasons and couldn't be happier. Now it was only fitting for Ava to arrive with a mid-wife who came in special for her arrival (I couldn't have done it with out Connie!) and to be just a few minutes after midnight ensuring she won the December 6th birthday battle! Her father and I were still trying to figure out middle names...only knowing we wanted to call her AJ (but we only do in typing). I wanted Ava Jones...because that is my grandfathers last name and seeing as though I would never have a boy I liked it! We only agreed on Ava Jolene ... my favorite song for a long time and it just sounded beautiful. Some how we ended up with Ava (yes, for the Hollywood beauty Ava Gardner!) Josephine. Her daddy wanted to help with the name choosing and at first I was like YUCK...not even a nice name...don't talk to me! (yeah not a good topic for a woman just an hour after natural childbirth) I woke up after a little rest...listened to why he liked it...listened to how he thought it was spelled "Joesafine"... sent him to the nurses station to get the baby name book... and as I looked at this tiny little beauty in my arms I whispered 'I love you more than words Ava Josephine' ... she made a small chirp and I cried--like a baby! I just knew that daddy had come up with something that was meant just for her!

Ava was our only 'planned' baby! We knew what we were up too...just didn't think we'd knock it out of the park on the first pitch! I found out I was pregnant on Easter 2005 and she was here before Christmas! That's Ava...never missing an opportunity for a gift giving holiday :) We enjoyed the fireworks show today. This is our first year going through all the holidays without their Daddy and the toll it is taking on us all. Which by the way didn't hit me until I got home this evening. Trying to figure out all day what was missing and why it seemed today couldn't get over fast enough. Not to say that it was not enjoyable as always watching the delight on their faces at each burst of firework, but even though we have been separated on and off for years we ALWAYS spent the holidays together in some sort of way. Knowing that it was best for the kids to be together. We made a promise to never let all that go no matter what. Well I guess that is a promise we have broken for now. I am hoping to give that back to Ava and them all, but most of all to Ava Jo. She is the middle baby and I think needs to know her place in this family more than the other two. Some how-- some way I know she will MAKE a place for herself in this world. It will be a very loud and explosive sort of forcing herself in way. Like a firework bursting amongst the stars in the night. Bigger, Louder, and Shining Brighter!  She has been a force to be reckoned with since I first looked into her eyes.

Ava Jo was the only baby on my tummy straight after birth and straight to the breast as they cut the cord. She screamed in the car seat the WHOLE drive home from the hospital and every car ride thereafter. She was my sidekick--she breastfed the longest--she slept with me the longest--she was attached to my hip the longest--basically everything that Grayce was not is all that Ava came to be. I love them each for the different ways they make me a mother. Josephine, as Ava is most commonly called by me has tested every ounce of patience I have. For a time I was not allowed to call her Jo...then she told me 'Well, I am in trouble a lot. So I guess you can call me Jo, because that is my trouble name'. Well said Ava!

She wore a dress EVERY day from the time she was 2 until she was nearly 4 years old! It was a battle. Some days she would wear pajamas and jeans and a dress and a sandal and a tennis shoe...AT ONCE! I would just yell and yell trying to fight her out of it into something reasonable and that would match. Please JO let mommy brush your hair--NOOOOO! Getting her to eat was a battle she once told me 'If you EVER talk to me again like that I won't neber eber eat again'. WOW!Okay...

Ava Jo-101 MOM-0

Jo spent most of her 3rd year in time out and in tears. Her dad accused me of babying her (which I did) and then I think I went too tough for a bit. Until one morning we were about 20 mins late for preschool and Grayce Kinder--she sat in a ridiculous outfit not wanting to change her clothes. She had 5 layers of clothes, unmatching socks, and flip flops on. My patience was worn so thin I walked out to the front porch and just cried. I begged God to help me reason with her. I begged him for the strength to simply be her mother. And suddenly IT hit me. I stood up and walked inside looked at my sweet angel faced Ava Josephine and told her 'Grab your backpack. You better be president or save the rainforest someday!' In that moment I just knew God had made her a fighter, she fought for what she believed in and was not going to back down! I figured out it was now my job as her mother to teach her to use her powers for good not evil! I can just see her chained to a tree screaming that trees have feelings...or protesting in the nude to save a historical building!!! So everyday since then I have let her win most battles and am making sure that she knows the war she is fighting--because when the time comes she will not stop at defeat!

Everyday Ava reminds me of the strength inside of myself. The strength I gave to her. The strength my mother gave to me and the knowledge that her heart is bigger and her mind is wiser than my own--I just know she is meant for BIG things in a LOUD way. I pretty much believe that whatever Grayce conjures up...Ava will be clearing the way! What an amazing duo! What a lucky Mommy!

Diva Ava- I love you so much. My life is more interesting and honest with you in it. There is not a thing I would ever change about you and by God don't let anyone else change you either. Fight the good fight and love with all you got baby girl! Mama will let the world know your coming...yet somehow I know you will still stun the hell out of them! You are smarter than you let everyone believe...
I know that you encountered your first bullying battle with hate and racism this year. Mommy is so proud at your grace and strength in dealing with it all. You won in the end and I am glad that it all never took your spirit. I hope you remember that we are family...we stick together. We love those that may not love us and most of all we NEVER stop loving each other :)

 Life's a dance...sometimes you lead...and sometimes you follow.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Grayceful Blessing

Well, I promised a while back that I would give a special dedication to my Hollybabies and where each of them got their names and do a proper introduction for each of them. You all know them all ready. The fair skinned blonde beauties who call me Mommy! So I think I will just share a bit of how they individually challenge and surprise me on a daily basis. So today I want to talk about the eldest Hollygirl... Grayce Kathleen ... she has all the beauty and charm of her Hollywood namesake Grace Kelly of course. How could we not give a tribute to a Hollywood Princess turned a real life one. On a few occasions I was told I bared some resemblance to the Hollywood star. Grace had long been a named that I loved even before it was 'cool' again. Due to my expert precision in walking and marching was referred to as Grace many times growing up and in the Marine Corps. In some strange way I felt I was merely pre-determining the fate of her beauty and coordination. A name that could only make sense for my first born child. Only adding a Y to aggravate her years later and to aggravate the in-laws now :) Maybe not actually either...but just to make sure that this Grayce stood out among the many other Grace's in the world. Little did I realize then that she does not need my help in standing out at all.

Grayce changed my life. My first born...her gift to me was making me a mother. I never thought I would be a mom or have children of my own. I was told that several times by many different doctors. I had come to terms with the idea of not bearing my own children at a very young age. I remember sitting with her father listening to another doctor tell me the same thing again just two months before I found out I was pregnant. I remember friends buying books on adoption. I remember talking to my mother about going to see a specialist and maybe talking my next eldest sister into carrying a child for me with some borrowed sperm! I have to LOL at the thought of all of that now--THREE girls later!

I prayed to God that night after being discharged from the hospital asking him to reconsider me never having my own child. Now I must say I swear I heard 'This is God. I can't answer your prayer right now. If you leave a message I will get back to you when the time is right...BEEEEP'. So as you can see I had the understanding I was merely leaving a message. Nope! God was apparently screening all of his calls very carefully because according to my calculations we conceived Grayce that very next week or so.

I have to admit...I was not scared at all when I found out I was having a baby! Yes, there were many things to be scared about, yet for some reason I was just calm and at peace. I knew that what ever was about to happen was what was supposed to happen. Their dad on the other hand was not so sure. He looked so scared and did not speak to me for days, but he never left. He was right there silent and scared! I asked him to drive me home to my parents house 4 hours away and he did. I knew that my family would be about the only thing to shake him free from this state of shock. That weekend home my family surrounded us with the love and support that they always had with everything else that happened in my life. That weekend they looked at my then boyfriend and later husband as family...knowing that come what may they would owe the beauty of this grandchild partially to him. My Mom Kim was overjoyed at the idea of becoming a grandma and my dad well I am certain he just laughed at the payback I would be receiving for all the hell I put him through as a kid. Not an ounce of disappointment. Not a lecture. He just bought me a pit pass and took me to the dirt track to show me a good time before I got all fat! That was the most connected I had felt to all of my parents ever. My mother just hugged me and smiled often (again I am pretty sure it was inner laughter about payback she knew was coming) letting me know it would all be okay.

So many moments between then and now I worried our new little family wouldn't survive. Fear and faith somehow always work together one big circle. Usually ending with love. Grayce coming into my life was the moment that any of that could have ever made sense. Many years went by before I told anyone of my USC acceptance letter that came about the same day I found out I was pregnant. A young man stood before once asking me not to leave him for a bigger college long before a baby ever enter the picture, so I had already applied to one college and sat on the applications for the others. Figuring I would ride this out for one more year. Oh what a year that turned out to be :) I put a dream college on hold for love and I let it go of it all together for family. I would not change those choices for anything. I am always thankful of where I am today--no matter what day it happens to be!

All of this only comes to mind when thinking of Grayce, because she was the one that changed my life. Only for the better. Everyday she reminds me that I am doing a great job as her mother. Proof only by her kind and forgiving nature. She is strong and wiser than any other girl I know. I would love to take credit for her wisdom, but it really is just her way of watching observing and her compassion for others that makes her that way. She always has been an easy child. Yes, there was a short time of colic when she was a mess with acid reflux. Once we figured that out she just wanted to be left alone, until she needed something. She would just play on a blanket or in a bouncy chair and watch everything around her. So independent...but she loved to cuddle! She learned to pull herself up at 5 months and was crawling a few weeks later. She took her first steps at 7 months old, but decided not to start walking until 9 months old. When the day after Christmas after being so sick with pneumonia for a week, she stood up at Grandpa's house and ran off! I loved every minute of being her mother from day one. I still do. 

Grayce will be a smarter and stronger woman than I ever could imagine myself being. She is a thinker. She is a dreamer. She is a doer. She is a seeker of knowledge. She observes everything... eventually drawing it out detail by detail. For those of you who don't know, Grayce could not talk in full sentences until she was almost 5 years old. She spent a year in speech therapy until she was able to perfect her words and thoughts. Until that point is was a unique language all of her own...mostly communicating through art. I asked her constantly to SHOW me what she was talking about...when is was something she couldn't find she would simply draw it out for me. Her skill at drawing the world around her amazes me. (I secretly hope she becomes an animator so I can get a glimpse into all the characters in her mind) Her attention to details and way of observing the world around her makes her a great artist. The one interest that has never faded is her love for drawing. I promise to post more art done by the little Graycie Kate.

Grayce Kathleen...named after my love of Hollywood and my lack of coordination. Getting her middle name from my late grandmother Mary Kathleen. Who herself was a strong woman and made a great impact on my life. Grandma Katie would have been proud of the young lady that carries her name now. I am proud of the young lady she has become. I feel more emotional writing about Grayce than I thought I would. Never knowing to the full extent of how my own child changed me for the better and took me on the more interesting route in the road of life. Being a mother was all I ever wanted to be...and Grayce made it all worth the wait and the worry. 

My favorite Grayce memory so far is...
When she was young her father and I were preparing for our wedding day by taking some classes at church. He was assigned to pray with Grayce every night for a week. I believed whole heartedly that this journey with God was something he needed to discover for himself I stayed in the background as he went through confirmation classes. So I snuck down the hallway to hear them both struggling a little through The Lord's Prayer...he would whisper a line and she would try to form the words back to him. He says 'and give us this day our daily bread' and Grayce repeats back...'gimme a peamunt budder sammich'

We always relied on the Lord through many hard times, including now. Still today the girls and I say the Lord's Prayer before bedtime and each night the memories of her and her father sharing those prayer times and asking the Lord for a peanut butter sandwich makes me giggle. 

Thank you my darling Grayce. May God continue to bless you in many ways :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Random Appreciation

So YES I have not been blogging as much as I should or that I promised myself that I would when I FINALLY got off my hiney and started blogging! This has sat here unposted for two I add only this sentence to tell you :) BUT trust me it is not because nothing has been going on...A LOT has been going on and I have been busy and not busy all at the same time. So hard to explain to people whom don't have children...YES I am busy all the time in your opinion! NO I really just have bouts of busy in my opinion. Everyday there are the same basic tasks. Feed everyone, cloth and bath everyone, homework, school pick ups and drop offs, sometimes work, laundry and blah blah blah.... MOST of the time I have help with those mundane tasks because Tim is here! So I nearly have the luxury of picking and choosing which chores to do each day...which I did before he got here as well. I would just take the day off from housekeeper from time to time. The girls and I are extremely lucky to have him here! His schedule is about to pick up especially as HollyBaby is getting bigger and now we are all in a routine and have mostly settled down since THE BIG upset last October, which left me fending for myself. The down side to having someone you trust fully with the that those people are rare...and when they are your friend too then it's harder to actually hang out with them. Tim and I are in that boat now. Our hang out time involves laundry and finding a babysitter is becoming more and more difficult.
On average I really don't 'go out' much...but when I do it seems to be in spurts and is accompanied with work attached. After working so many days...LONG production days...I usually just want to be a house mouse for sometime after it wraps. Catch up with the girlies and get my lovin' from them. Gentle reminders of why I am the luckiest mom on earth! Kisses and Love and Fighting Screaming Barbarians!!!! I love them! I truly love my life! I have had moments this last week where I doubted the turns my life was taking and moments where I didn't think my heart was going to survive. YET I am still loving...I am still living...and I am still a single Mommy to my beauties!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HollyMommy Day 2011

Mother's Day 2011...well it was good for me! AJ said "it was the most boring-est Mother's Day ever ever". So you know that it was great for Hollymommy! I woke to the smell of my steak and eggs Tim 'helped' the girls make for breakfast. I heard little whispers of them still finishing projects in the kitchen, so I just laid their and enjoyed the noise. When I cracked my eyes just a little bit I saw lil G running around in my Thanksgiving apron with the same look I get on my face when I am trying to cook for 5 people...and she just was cooking for one! AJ had probably given up on the idea of helping long before I stirred because she was sitting on my legs watching tv snacking on something, asking when HER breakfast would be ready. Hollybaby was just running around and climbing the tables, pretty sure Tim was nervous by this point at knowing I was taking the FULL day OFF and the girls were wired! The big girls couldn't wait to show me their surprises...and honestly I couldn't wait to open the questioners sent home from the school. In which I will post! --G said over and over just how much she loved to hang out with me and how I am fun! I will take it...hopefully that will last well into adulthood :) AJ's was premade by her teacher, but her handprint so tiny on the back brought a tear to my eye. I mean I see her hands everyday. I wipe those tiny little hands clean. I have smacked those tiny little hands away from danger. I have kissed boo boo after boo boo on those little fingers. YET for some reason seeing it permanently in ink on the back of this piece of paper really filled me with anxiety of her growing up and for a moment I flash forwarded to looking at this 10 even 20 years from now! I know I know! As mommies we really try to never EVER fast forward...but as mommies to girls we just can't help but wonder and hope that their hearts and lives will be stronger and better than our own when THEY become women.

Some days late at night I get WAY WAY over emotional and stop to ask myself and God "Am I doing this right?". Trust me it is not everyday that myself or God want to answer that question for fear of what the answer really may be on that day, but I get the answers in moments like Mother's Day morning and in the moments I watch my girlies make good and informed choices for themselves...even if the choice is drinking water over soda...I know it's because I taught them...and they paid attention and took it with them. I hope they know that I love them and I always will...No matter what they spill on the couch!

I guess all of this comes up now because for those of you who know my personal life you know that I am under attack as a mother from time to time. Not that I am 'getting' in trouble as a mother. But that their dad is not around often and the stress of his choices and his absence is sometimes taken out on me. There are other people whom question what I am doing and how it affects my ability to be a good mother and question choices I have made. Normally, I am an F* what people think or say...but these opinions I respect and look too when I am questioning myself. Needless to say I have done a lot of defending of my life! The biggest defense is my choice to live in the heart of Hollywood with three small girls in a small apartment! Well, that is simple! The choice was made as a temporary solution and while I have been living there a few months longer than planned I would say in NO WAY is it a permanent choice of a home. As far as my's Hollywood...we are by far NOT the only family living here...or on my street...or in my building! Hollygirls love it there. Yes, sometimes there are requests to go back to our BIG FAT house in Portland area, but really what they miss is Daddy. I can't give them that house back, nor can I alone give them Daddy back. 

YES! I have a blog dedicated to our time in Hollywood. YES! I tease that it smells like pee. YES! Parking is a SOB most nights of the week. YES! I have too many tickets to pay before my ass gets towed! YES! I will move...sooner than later. BUT...NO WAY will I allow anyone to tell me anymore that I am NOT a good mom because of my choice to be here with them. We have had a good time. We have grown as a house full of ladies. We have had fun together and I hope to still say that as I am moving out of that apartment and in those 10 or 20 years from now looking back on this time with them. Some of the most difficult times in my life have happened in this building/apartment. I have had my heart saved and broken to pieces here! I have taught a baby to walk and talk here! I have danced and sang with my girls here! I have argued and fought here! I have learned about me,about life, and about motherhood here! I am learning about the strength and character of the human spirit here! The girls are learning about their mother here! I pray that what they will take away from this is the love I have given them and the faith I have had in dreams. My dreams and their own.

So you have stuck with me this long--let me just give a big thanks to Tim for my Mother's Day and everyday that he is here to help me and the girls. He has his family back home that need him everyday, but he is here. Maybe because he believes in me? Maybe because he thinks I would fail alone? Maybe his love for the girls? Maybe his dedicated spirit? Maybe his own desires to follow his heart here in this town? OR quite possibly all of the above! Either way I am most appreciate of him and hope to repay him someday for all that he has given me...even when it's just been a nap!

Also, I know I have never named the HollyGirls for you. I think it is time to do that. There was no real intention behind that in the beginning. I do like my privacy and all, but you should know that in true HollyMommy style all of the lovely ladies are named after great Hollywood stars.And in strange ways have totally adapted to their namesakes and are very proud to be named after Hollywood royalty...but with a twist each time. Well, except AJ...can't really mess with the name that much...don't think I didn't try.
So the naming and stories of HollyBabies to come :) Sorry for the late post...I guess this one never went live!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grammar Check Anyone?

WOWZA! I just read my last many grammar and punctuation errors! I decided that if it bothers you...ALL WELL! Not that I don't know how to proofread my own work or really should have some one do it for me before I put them up live. I just don't have time. My brain rarely functions with all cylinders firing anyway...then add the stress of working, mothering, and living the punctuation/grammar situation gets worse! So I must immediately be forgiven as soon as you find such a mistake and you will have to trust that a month later when I finally get to read through it and see all the mistakes I will be again too tired and unwilling to fix the errors. Also, don't discount that I could also just not have picked up on said errors at all. High school was a very long time ago and I didn't pay too much attention in college :)-

What a different month for me April has been. SLOW! No work. Not uber-happy about that financially, but I am trying to enjoy the down time with the kiddos. I just deleted a bunch of bitching...YOU'RE WELCOME FRIENDS :)

Shouldn't bitch about much. Life ain't half bad. Well most of it anyway. I live in the stress looking for work as a freelancer and dream of a permanent position at a busy production office, but until then I am gonna hold my head up and save my bitching for God's ears (well most of it anyway)!

I have filled my time wisely though! Lots of time with the Hollybabies. Volunteering at the school and thanks to one principal getting launched into the cat-fight of a PTG (Parent-Teacher Group) meeting. Parents who have been there for a long time doing things one way VS New parents who want things the right way...broadcast in ESPANOL! So basically I drank cold coffee and ate too many donuts! I had no idea this was all going on, I thought all was cool and I could just enjoy coffee while I waited to go to Mass with my special girl whom had her First Reconciliation that morning. These things made extra difficult with wiggly toddler in my arms! Meanwhile, SuperManny got to spend the day with the Pre-K thru 1st Grade on a field trip to the fire station! Trust me he had WAY more fun than I did that day. 
Other than that I am planning and working on the agenda for a one week theatre/improv camp at the school that will end with a great performance by the kiddos. 

We are all still enjoying our time at the YMCA. The HollyGirls LOVE karate! The excitement for them is almost funny. Now a certain 5 year old is waiting for someone to try to rob her on Hollywood Blvd so she can 'karate' them! LOL I love that they love it so much. I love that they know that all this exercise is keeping them fit and healthy. I despise the fact that all this working out is reminding me of how damn OLD I am these days. I am certain that a certain Marine from long ago would be disappointed in this crickety old woman crying from Mr. Adorable showing her how to USE the machines! Not even from a workout! Speaking of Cutie...he came right up to the stairclimber I was on today daydreaming of dates...what do I do? NOT look him in the eye and increase the rate of my steps to a pace that nearly killed me!!! I was barely holding on with AC/DC pushing me through. Tim had come over to talk to me and watched all of this take place...I love his even tone to just keep a straight face...and a secret! By the time Mr. Adorable said 'Hi. I didn't even notice it was you.' I was out of breath and dizzy...thinking...then WTH did I just do for the last 10 minutes if he didn't notice! I am just thankful I didn't pass out!  Tim asked what my obsession is...I said it's just a crush and it's fun! BUT I am thinking this may make me stronger...or KILL ME! Is that not the saying? 

Not too much is really going on at this moment. It's Spring Break for the girls! There is a lot I want to do with them during this was LAZY day! Well aside from this evenings work out and classes. I think I am going to take some classes for cardio and to just get my ass off this couch. I have some editing I need to learn how to do...gotta figure out where my sound is for some of these interviews and need to get everything up on ASAP! July is coming WAY faster than I could imagine! We are still on our winning streak at the student-cage matches...going for Sweet Sixteen this Friday.

I have so much more to write. But this post has been sitting around for UP it goes. I will get better and more consistent at writing these. Miss you all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Y oh Y

March 2011 is over and I am left asking myself where it went? I am not really willing to accept how crazy, busy, wonderful and mostly life changing March really was for me and the girls. I worked so much...which is good and bad. This HollyMommy missed the heck outta my babies and vice-versa. It also provided many conversations with friends whom are not too happy with me right now. Many lessons learned about them and myself this month. Overall there are no complaints. Car purchased--check. Bills paid--check. Dream accomplished--nearly checked. Quality time spent with my babies-- check check. Mama tired--HELL DOUBLE YES CHECK.

Let's see to my busy work month we can add 1 web commercial shoot. 1 infomercial shoot. 1 Canadian TV shoot. 1 reality TV pilot shoot. And 1 short film teaser shoot. That made for a busy month. But mostly what I was working through is the ability to manage my time in a way that made me a productive production mother. Trying to balance the two is not without arguments and hurt feelings. Lesson learned...when your friends say "Of course I understand you are busy and don't have time to hang out. Put them kids first it's important." What they really mean is..."Of course I see how you don't have time for anyone else but me...WHAT? Oh you mean not me either? WTF?"

I must say it has been an overall crap experience. For as close as some of these friends are you would think that they would get that I am still trying to figure out where even 'I' fit into my life as a single mom! So no I am not sure where you fit in just yet. Maybe you don't! I am okay with that! Because I if nothing else know where my babies fit in...FIRST! Despite popular believe it's not to do with production has to do with any mothers work! The job that never ends. Never gets vacation. Never gets old. Never predictable. Never NOT worth it! So why is it that I have gotten so much grief for trying to give them all of my spare time and newly free time? I am not so sure. I know that it is hard, BUT come on folks this is the most work I have had in a year. One month of not being able to take your call or hang out should make you proud of me...not deeming me an unworthy friend. Sucks to vent  I know...but I needed to just get it out!

Onwards and upwards I guess. This last month I finally shot the teaser for 'Moving On', which is a short film I wrote years ago about 4 to be exact! I never really intended it to see the light of day...yet HERE WE GO! Making this short film has been a challenge. Mostly because I didn't want to produce it myself. I WROTE IT and I am ACTING IN IT...I wanted someone else to just take the reigns and produce the dang thing! Somehow that is similar to having the kids clean and organize their room and expect it to look like the Pottery Barn catalog you designed it after! Not gonna happen unless you DO IT YOURSELF! By myself I totally mean going back to my roots and doing it with the crew and talent I know I can rely KC boys Ralph and Nick...forever known now as 'Team KC'! It took one phone call to Ralph to say 'Dude I wanna make this film...HELP!' With a response that was 'Aright Super Starr...can I bring Nick!?'. DUH of course. 3 weeks, 2 plane tickets and 3 cameras later they arrived to greet 'Team LA'...we had about 46 hours to shoot it the teaser and the interviews. I had some amazingly talented friends and fellow actors/improvisors come on bored. An amazing friend loan us his house as a shooting location and just did it KC style! We went rogue on Hollywood Blvd then to the ever so popular place to steal shots...Runyon Canyon! I spent 46 hours getting in and out of a wedding dress (mom said I'd only wear it once! HA) dragging a radio flyer wagon (that my awesome friend hunted down and rented) filled with wedding cake (that every dog at Runyon took a bite of), beer bottles (that we drank during prep), and champagne! It was a fun time. I totally remembered why the f*ck I go through this crazy time in this crazy town with my crazy life! In the moments making a film it explains it all to my crazy heart all over again! Never will I be able to express how motivating it was for me to do that!!! And we still have the whole film to shoot! Uber-excited for July! Lots and lots of prep to do...let's hope we can raise enough funds via to make it every bit of film I know it can be!

On a more fun note...we finally joined the YMCA which I may have mentioned before! But now the girls classes have started and I have met with a personal fitness coach to come up with a bit of a work out plan. If you ever are in need of help at the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA I'll refer you to great Fitness Coach! He super adorable and flirts just enough to keep me coming back for more pain! Yes I was in the US Marine Corps and proudly served. But my ass has not seen a gym in 10 years. I just want to be in shape. I want to know that my body is healthy and maybe get back on track to running that marathon that seemed like a good idea about 2 1/2 years ago...but mostly if cutie would ask me to dinner I could stop with the unnecessary torture! Probably not true...but I am enjoying being boy-crazy teenager(ish) single right now...makes life interesting :)or more like keeping me occupied.
Hollybaby and I have attended quite a few of the Mommy & Me Yoga and Mommy & Me Music....which most days is more like Nanny & Me... but consider I have the most bad-ass Manny on the block whom has also attended when I couldn't I won't give them a hard time...but is a silly reminder that we do live in Hollywood! Baby girl has been enjoying her 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the Clubhouse with other kids her age. Most everyone is regulars and starting to get to know the other parents and EVERYONE that works there. The great people at the Y knew every Hollygirls name after day one and know Tim by name one knows Except Cutie... hehehe.
The big girls are taking a theatre class,cheerleading, ballet and as of tonight karate. So they are kept busy! Finally out of the house and I am not seeking new entertainment each trip. This is all scheduled and regimented out for them and I am enjoying that...but more so they are thriving on the consistency! Their little brains need to be occupied. Daddy has not been for a visit in awhile because he has had work obligations that keep him away. So being occupied is good for their hearts at this point. Explaining to them why and where daddy is and when he is coming again is getting more and more difficult. I know its just the way the universe is right now...I just wish I could change it for them. At least I hope I am making it easier. 

I must say overall keeping us busy at the YMCA has been a blessing for us in many ways. It did hit me when Babygirl and I were in Mommy & Me for the first time just how disconnected her and I had become since we stopped breastfeeding. Her and I were connected at the hip...well technically not the hip...but you know what I mean! She was constantly snuggled in tight and I was her only safe spot in the world. Now her little world has gotten so much bigger...and while I am enjoying every inch she wanders to explore...I am missing that connection we once had. So while we still snuggle and connect in different ways on a daily basis, now we have time set aside just for us! At the end of every class we point at ourselves and say "I"...then stretch our arms out wide and say "LOVE"...then hug the babies and say "YOU". Sounds simple enough...but today a tear started to swell when we were at Trader Joe's grabbing groceries she sat in the cart and looked and me pointing to herself and said "I"...then reached to hug me! Tim and I both stood in Trader Joe's frozen section doing it with her over and over again! It was wonderful. What was even more amazing was when she did it to her big Sister after school. I love watching her learn to express what it is she thinks and feels. 

Well it is now really really late. I think I am really tired and really sore from the workout! The first official of the week! Oh dear...more pain. But my BUTT will be back where the Marine Corps put it at 19 and my BOOBS back to where I put those before the girls...and my 30's came to TRY to destroy them :) Oh and I may be able to chase down a purse snatcher without getting winded! Work for me was cancelled in April. Which is a downer and lots of added stress that I don't need, but a blessing in learning to relax and enjoy down time. So newly refocused after the last really busy month...a little heartache...some hard work...and hard times...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time Flies...

So another 2 Hollyweeks have gone by...seems just like yesterday I blogged. I have been working quite a bit...GO ME! Most of the time my job is just a bit nerve wracking and not really hard. It's not like I bust rocks or load trucks. I make calls and do what I am told...sometimes I just do what I want...but it all works out the same. JOB WELL DONE! I have been lucky enough to work with a great friend of mine for the last month. We are a wonder team! I know that we ROCK as individuals....but.....we RULE as a team. I am so thankful for him and for the opportunity to work with him again!!

To add to the stressors of prepping for another show with our GANGSTA team...I am prepping to shoot my teaser/indiegogo video for my own short film titled 'Moving On'! For those of you that don't know I wrote a short screenplay almost 4 years ago. I had never made an attempt to write any of my ideas down before and it was very scary. As time went by and people heard about my endeavor and they wanted to read it! OMG I didn't think about that...if you write it...SOMEONE will WANT to read it! After nervousness of sharing my first attempt at writing I sent it out. Some of the notes back I heard were so very hard to take initially...but all were supportive and loved my ability to write witty dialogue. Probably because there are a thousand characters in my head from over the years! Close to multiple personalities...but my characters all have their own dressing room. There have been many times I have wanted to make this film...but like raising want to do it right because you really only have one shot! Nobody makes a crappy film and then turns around and say "OH SHIT lets do it over!!" Just does not work that way! Once a crap film is crap...well that's just what it is forever! You will make other movies if you are passionate enough and you learned enough...BUT that film will never be done again. So with that said This is my baby and I want to raise it right! Which leads me right into why we are making a teaser and putting it up on before we shoot the entire film. is a site in which you can post your independent projects and accept donations to fund them. Every film costs money even the ones that 'don't' TOTALLY DO! So we are off and running to raise a little bit of money to help with my cause. The script has gone through some changes, mostly because I have gone through some changes. (Everything happens in its own time!) But that means I have some cleaning up and fixing to do to that awesome dialogue that was mentioned before. So many versions of the script tend to cause that problem! Only a 15 minute film and I can't stop tweeking...I may never write a feature at this rate of progress :)

Mostly I am looking forward to acting in this film and make use of all those college years and my improv classes :) But mostly I want it for me...I want it for these girlies. That ability to not only create something...but the desire and drive to see it through! Certainly it will be submitted to festivals (which cost money) and certainly there will be a screening (which costs money). It will make an awesome calling card for me and the others involved (with money to do it right the first time)! Secretly though...I wouldn't be so sad if it was just complete and on my shelf! Accomplishment. Follow Through. Not Failing. Not Quitting. Commitment to MYSELF (for once)! The girls seem mostly unaware as to how far we have come on the project. But they are feeding off of mommy's get it done attitude and carrying it forward with them (small, but still)! 

All the Hollybabies are well. We have joined the YMCA and I am totally excited for Mommy and Me Music tomorrow morning (after a production meeting...a casting meeting BUT before running to the prop house for fake mace that fires)! 1015-1045! Big girls start dance and drama next week. I think I am going to sign them up for a few more classes just to get my money's worth...and to see the cutie personal trainer more often. (WHAT?!?! Might as well enjoy the perks!) Somebody...won't name a name...has a crush on a boy at school who OMG goes to the Y with his mommy! Sunday was an amazing time taking the kiddos for the first time. They were out of their minds excited and I was excited for them! I am told celebrities frequent the Y...UH OH who will the Hollygirls bump into this time and cause a ruckus! Only time will tell...and ya'll be the first to know :)

Mostly that is what is up for now. Probably something I am forgetting...OH YEAH! This Hollymama got us all a car! It's a 1996 Land Rover that some guy bought and started to fix up, but his fiance wanted it gone! So now it's mine :) I really am enjoying driving in ALL this dang rain...but parking was a pain this month. They wanted me to pay the whole months parking...for 1/2 the month! WTF--UH NO! I got it registered and inspected all by myself! Totally proud...but was missing a husband to do it for me on that day...I was over that quickly as it turned out to actually be okay. Guess I was in good company! OH and made like 10 calls home to Daddy! I have talked to my Daddy a lot this week. Even HollyStarr needs Daddy sometimes. He is a calm in my storm from time to time...if I bring myself to call him. He amazes me with his wisdom now. I don't know if it is because I am older OR because he is. Either way I appreciate Daddy's words now more than ever in my lifetime (sentiments over). I also did an 2 improv at IO West and one with my class at Second City! I was awful crabby for that last performance. Hopefully my class will forgive me and love me again : ! I also did a friends sketch at IO West to help them out! It was superfun and provided a great excuse to wear a slutty outfit for 3 minutes and relive my college years (well the pre-motherhood ones...also 3 minutes)! I even found time to proposition the HOT neighbor again...FAIL! We survived the LA Marathon road closures...we are so far surviving Idol and DWTS shutting us down from time to time...and looking forward to DisneyLand at Spring Break (girls don't know yet...hoping work won't get in the way of that plan)!

Thanks to everyone who has been reading. I hope you are getting a little insight and not falling asleep. Love you all. Miss you home.

MORAL OF THE BLOG-- I will be coming after you ALL for money and/or support very stay tuned...or stay away!!! BWHAHAHA

Go to Facebook and LIKE Moving On at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbor....

BOY OH BOY. This last few days have been fun filled and interesting! The girls have been fully entertaining and quite little comedians. Work for me has picked up and slowed down to even out at a pretty sweet that I can manage right now. I have been car hunting/begging. Why I have to beg people to NOT sell at DOUBLE Kelly Blue Book is totally beyond me. More later on the car. I learned that I am immune to most of the Hollywood that surrounds me...more immune than I even thought! Kinda missing 'movie magic'. Probably because in a lot of ways Hollywood is not that much different than small town America. 

I know you guys aren't buying Hollyhood as small town, but really it's all very similar. Everybody knows everybody in this town. Even if you don't there are enough posers here saying they do that it still counts. There are few times I walk into my local Trader Joe's and don't see someone I know...same thing at Pla-Boy Liqour next door. The economy took a big bite out of this town too! Putting quite a few of mom and pop film industry places out of business! Trust me if you do something dumb or illegal in this town....EVERYBODY is gonna know (big thanks to the paparazzi for that one)! Hollywood is not glamorous AT ALL! It is run down and slightly ghetto. Even 5 years ago pictures from my block looked like Bosnia! Big ups to neighborhood rehabilitation :) It's just an over-priced...over-exposed version of any other small town. Trust me major stars would never live here! It smells like pee! BUT it's HOME. For us. For now. It's what we know. We know the neighborhood. We know our neighbors. We like them. We have BBQ's (ok ok so here we have COFFEE), it's all the same concept.

My immunity to it all is no fun. I was talking with my neighbor who has an unmentioned young hollywood celebrity friend. In this discussion we talked about the pitfalls of having a friend that becomes famous rather quickly. Myself. Well most of my celeb friends are not new to Hollywood and are not young and hot right now, so it is different from my experience. Anyhow. We decided it is way easier to get laid with this type of friend...BUT the amount of girls at throw themselves at the friend and then settle for you kinda sucks. Also decided that f*ing with the paparazzi may be totally fun when you are drunk...but totally annoying when you are not! Making me also decide that I am good not being famous to that extent...and making me feel better that none of my friends hit it big...kinda hoping you guys don'! In that conversation of trying to wonder what the obsession is with people on TV I learned that NOT being I am actually not fun! Maybe I should get excited to meet someone whom has been successful and is living the dream of doing what you always imagined. I probably never will at this point...met too many that I adore and love...only to learn...EH not so hot once they speak lines not written for them. I would love to meet my neighbors friend. Not so much for the fame aspect...but cuz they are friends and I hear funny stories about them and it would be good to 'put a face' to the person. Even though my DVR fully allows that...and yours probably does too! Not only that my neighbor is totally HOT in his own right ... so I am good. PS I hope he doesn't read my blog...cuz that would totally embarrass the hell out of me. Although I think there may have one drunken proposition that ended with..."Goodnight. Um. Yeah. See you in the morning. Sorry to hear your single." So thank you friendly neighbor for not taking advantage of the MILF next door! (if your reading)

So on to actual excerpts from actual boring conversations and work emails this week....

Me--"I am 5'7"

Some Other Person--"We need to find a throne for Tracey Ullman. She's 5'5""

"Tracey Ullman is 5'5" she appeared so much taller in 'Robin Hood-Men In Tights'...hmmm. Okay. I can slouch."

"Just standing on a ladder waiting for Matt Damon to hurry up so I can do my job. Thought I would call and say hi while I waited."

"Oh. Hi! That's fun. I am looking through pages of really HOT male models to pay $300 a day for their services."

"I bet Santa watched the Oscars when it was on...and I bet he knew who would win cuz he's MAGIC."

"Sorry but court is running behind because Charlie Sheen is here in Family Court trying to get custody of his kids back...and he has the same judge as you we think."

"That William and Kate lifetime movie is making my job way harder than it has to be right now."

**please note I para-phrased as to not recount ENTIRE conversations, because they were your boring same ole' same ole' everyday no excitement here kinda stuff!

It really hit me last Friday how normal it all is to me and how not normal it is to other people. Guess I am in the right business then. 

I have been hunting for a car on CL. Actors even sell their cars on CL and they don't budge on prices even with all their money. DANG IT! lol What a nerve wracking experience! Suddenly this town does not seem so small...there are a million cars and thousands of scams. I have been looking at SUV's because often times as part of my job I need one ... where else would I fit camera equipment so that you can have TV commercials and the late night bad indie flick :) Plus, Hollyhome has three darling Hollybabies and two car seats...Honda Civic...YUP won't work for us! Although with rising gas prices I certainly wish I could talk myself into one! Although if someone handed me a Kia Rio right now I would make it work! BUT in the mean time I am trying to talk a guy down on the price of a Range Rover...mostly because he put a ton of work into it and now doesn't need it...and he likes me I hope. Not in a met me and I am cool way. But in a Single Mom with three kids and needs a good car at a great price kinda way! I just hope that what I offered he is able to do. Won't be the first time in the last few weeks that CL car shopping didn't work out for me. I am like the only person that NEVER wins the CL lotto with a good deal. My email or call always starts with "just sold it 10 mins sorry!" Yeah yeah you are not sorry...
So far the Land Rovers are in plenty out here and seem to last long and hold their value. My difference between that and a Civic in car insurance is only $5...and even though a gas guzzler I am lucky that some jobs pay me to drive to them...I am now a semi-pro at public transpo so I know now I don't have to RELY on a car to get where I am going...GO ME! So this could work...if I can find one. If not I have looked at other types. It is so hard to find a working SUV or Mini Van in LA for $3000 or less...that can pass smog...or is not WAY outta date on registration (leaving new owner to pay old registration fines)! I was telling my dad tonight that some ads I saw are people that would RATHER sell their perfectly working cars than stand in line at the DMV to register it...WTF! Okay...well if I get your cheap car and a day of nothing but Angry Birds and crabby state workers...GO ME again!

All in all this Hollyweek is going good, but it's only Monday! I wanted to make sure I blogged tonight because I will be on set Wednesday and Friday. Not as exciting as it sounds...cuz to me it sounds tiring! I will love it once I am there by 0630 with a cup of fresh brewed craft service coffee in my sleepy hands...having already been awake for 2 hours and another 13 hours to go! Whoo-hoo! I <3 my job! 

Wouldn't trade Hollyhome for the world right now :)

ps...please bear with me until i find the right color for this darn layout! lol

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honey I Lost The Kids!

Well things change in an instant in this town. I must say the last week has been a whirlwind of an adventure. For those of you that don't know or understand what it is I do for work I will try my best to help you understand. I work in production, which means a lot of things and is a broad explanation of what my job entails. Mostly because it changes hour to hour, day to day, and job to job. I have produced some projects which meant I was overseeing the entire project and ensuring that it if nothing else got through filming.  I have been a Line Producer, which basically means I am doing the budget and telling people NO on spending money for more paperclips. I have been an Unit Production Manager, which is keeping an actual budget as we shoot and managing the crew and production. A Production Coordinator, well that is just doing what the UPM tells you to do. I have been a Production Accountant and a Production Assistant (PA) and that means carrying shit and getting coffee!!! Trust me I have had MOST other roles there are too. But those are the main ones I do that pay me! 

When I first came to LA in December of 2007 I had a job already. NO ONE moves to this town with a job. It is near impossible. I had done such a good job on my first film I got paid to do, that was an ultra low budget indie horror flick shot in Warrensburg,MO and in Springfield,MO area. One of the Co-Producers on that said that if I moved to LA he would give me a job. So I moved and in my first 12 hours 'off the boat' I was on the Paramount lot getting my ID and signing my confidentiality agreement to work on JJ Abraham's new Star Trek...right at the beginning of the writers strike and in the midst of a downward economy. I was so excited that I wanted to pee my pants. I was floored when I met and had a 20 minute conversation with Tom Cruise and baby Suri just a few weeks later! My in-laws were very skeptical of my new job and even asked if I had moved here to be a porno star. I laugh now at the thought, but it totally crushed me knowing that was a possibility to them. Whatever! I was better than that and smarter than they will EVER give me credit for. Sometimes I wonder who it is they 'know' because the way they believe me to be is NOT even a close reflection of who I really a person...a mother...a wife...or a Christian. Anyhow that's off topic....

Point is when I got here work came easy. I worked a lot. I learned a lot. I couldn't get enough of productions. BUT when my personal life fell apart so did work and we eventually went back home to Missouri for the summer of 2009. Then up north to Portland,OR for my (almost) ex- husbands new job, by September of the same year. When I finally got back was NOT coming so easily. I felt for sometime that I made the wrong choice in coming here to live the dream. Then it hit me...HOLY's not just a 'dream'....this is my life. Production and filmmaking is my career! OH SHIT...all I have on my resume is production (insert title here) and more production there. AW GEEZ I can't do anything else! (Trust me I tried! I totally could!) But no one saw the value of my qualifications and job experience except film productions. I tried and am still desperately wanting to work for a production company full time. Sadly, those are jobs that are few and far between. Hopefully someday....hopefully soon!

As of now I work freelance. Job to job. Relying on friends to hire me and people I worked with long ago (in Hollywood time) to remember to hire me. When you are working out here it is easy to find work, but lag for even a moment and it's start from scratch! Trust me it is a hard road when babies need you to feed them and put a roof over their tiny heads. Resumes go out everyday for all kinds of work....production and non-production. I am hoping something sticks. Lucky for me my close friend and one of my fave producers to work for is keeping me in a little bit of work now. I intern at The Second City in order to pay for my Improv classes (which keep me sane and are like my family here). I volunteer at the girls school when I can and when they need me. I did the drama club last was a blast! 

This month I have been lucky. The first month of REAL work coming through. I am praying and hope you pray too for more work to come my way and this to keep up at a good pace. I will have had four jobs within the first half of this month. That is great for me. Esp with the 'work breeds more work' theory.

Working this much has people floored on jobs. Just last Saturday I was sitting at lunch freezing my ass off in an old warehouse with some grip and electric boys that asked "Where are your kids?" "Do they live with you? I mean you work in production"! I would get offended or laugh, but they have honest concerns and I get asked this ALL the time. Sometimes I tell them that I have them waiting out in the car for me. Once I told an actress that I dropped them off at the fire station...I think she believed me and I never set her straight! Yes, the question gets old. Do you ask your bank teller where her kids are when you see the pictures hanging up in her teller station? NOPE. I mean you don't ask people that. Production days are long when you are on set especially. I am not on set EVERYDAY for my part of the job. I don't work 5 days a week. I can work for a month then take a month off. I can work from home. In the last two weeks I went on a field trip with both the girls, I spent Dr. Suess's Birthday at the school, I read in the classroom for no reason other than just to read, I went shopping with the baby and hung out with my friend in the middle of the day. OH and I may be going on another field trip tomorrow... bet they didn't see their kids as much as I saw mine. OH yes, some days are hard because I get only an hour or two before bed, but those days are so rarely weeks and just rare all together!

ALL RIGHT...ALL RIGHT...where are the kids? Well, from October to January it was just me and the three girls. We didn't have anyone. I was getting by on the FEW people I had trusted and my sister helped me get the baby home to my mom for two weeks so I could work! That was the hardest thing I had ever done. I missed her SO much! The big girls went with a mom from the school whom I have known for a year now. That time was hectic and nerve wracking. I didn't get many breaks because all my babysitters were used up for necessary help. They were all happy to chip in when they could. I know that everyone tried. But they couldn't always be there when I needed them. One trusted friend stole food from me every time she was over and would take bottles of cooking sake and wine home with her and never asked. GONE. Another friend of mine was just so random and eventually decided that drugs and sex was more important than friendship and the privilege of being a part of this family. GONE. Help from my ex-boyfriends family. GONE. That was difficult for me. My own strength and character amazes me only now after the fact. OH my car. GONE. TOTALED right before Thanksgiving.

My only option was to call in reinforcements. Call the one person that the girls knew. The one person whom I could trust to be here when I am not, knowing that things are done (mostly) as I would do them. One person that could cramp in this tiny ass apartment with us and not kill each other before finding a new place! Someone who started out as a classmate in college, turned into an acquaintance, turned into a live-in Nanny when my 5 year old was 9 months, turned into a friend, and now my VERY BEST FRIEND. He! YUP totally Hollywood...we have a Manny! He has been a part of their lives and lived with us for a long time. Up until we left LA and even for a bit when I came back. He is the person we can not talk to for some time...but pick up where we left off. He has been around the baby since she was about 6 months old. He is great with them. A part of the family. A very very LOW paid part of the family. He quit his job and moved back to Hollywood to help me out. I have loved all the help! More importantly I love all the work it has allowed me to accept. There are benefits for him as well. He likes LA and wants to be here. He loves the girls and being a part of this family. Right now he has the time to do some writing and do some creative things for himself. So its not all crazy to have him here. We never said how long he would stay. Just that he would be here until we didn't need him anymore. I owe him so much. Without him here I don't know that I could do this. It's been exactly 8 weeks and 1 day since he arrived...and so much has happened for the better!

How do I do it? I have the World's Best Manny! I have the support of my family at home! I have beautiful faces that smile and need mommy to make a career out of the only qualifications she has on her resume! I have God in my corner again (thanks to our field trip to San Juan Mission)! I love my job. I love being in production. I have luxuries that mothers would kill for...I am living my dream--Mother and I am making a career--Production. Love and support all around are making that possible. 

I feel like I have to catch some of you up on what it is that goes on here in general. Soon this blog will only be stories about the woman who pee'd in the street right outside my window...and stories of how people stop and run after us just to say 'you have the most beautiful children I have ever seen'. And how I learned today that I am 2 inches shorter than Tracy Ullman. Oh and how commercials pay sooo much better than films...but films are better because they last longer and are more steady income! Oh and I have an Improv Show this Friday at Improv Olympics with a team I have never played with before and I am so totally excited for the experience. Also, Happy Birthday to my Mom Kim!

Well I am off to work on something. Oh like my short film that I wrote and am FINALLY producing...Lots going on in Hollyhome! We are all doing it together...except for cleaning...the Hollybabies want nothing to do with that!