Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

2013 was a beautiful and heartbreaking year for my family. Here are 5 of my favorite moments, plus a few of our sad ones.

5. Making snow! In the two weeks following baby A's birth, it got bitterly cold. I mean, -35 cold. It was insane. But if you throw a pot of boiling water in the air in -35 weather, it turns to snow. So we made snow!

4. Seeing a baby polar bear play in the snow at the Alaska Zoo. While J's mom was helping us with baby A, a baby polar bear was orphaned and living at the Alaska Zoo until a permanent home could be found for him. It was amazing to get to share that experience.

3. Seeing my family meet my son. My Grams, who has been battling cancer, passed away just a few days after meeting him. Both my mom and J's mom were able to come up to Alaska to meet him, which is when we made some of my favorite memories.

2. Seeing my son grow and learn. In the last eleven months, he's gone from a helpless infant to a walking, babbling, dancing fountain of joy. It's amazing. We were so lucky to be able to both witness his first steps, his first words (dada and mama) and to simply be his parents. He's amazing.

1. Of course, this is a given. My favorite moment of 2013 is when I got to first hold my son. His arrival may have been traumatic, but he was worth it. He's forever altered my life and taught me so much already. 

The worst moments are obviously a downer. For these, there is no countdown. After finally getting through all the first holidays and birthdays without my dad, I had to go through them again, but this time without my Grams and my beloved friend and canine companion, Charlie. I'm so glad A got to spend three months with Charlie and meet my Grams, but going forward without them is so difficult. Baby A's first birthday is just around the corner, and I wish he would be able to remember them.

Baby A has given me such joy and so many things to look forward to. I can't wait to see what discoveries and adventures  2014 will bring us. Wht were your favorite moments of 2013? What are you most looking forward to in 2014? 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Frozen Movie Review

Almost a week after it came out, we worked up the courage to go see Disney's newest animated feauture, Frozen, with a 10 month old baby. Since he has separation anxiety, we couldn't leave him with a sitter; since both J and I wanted to see the movie we opted to take the baby with us. We planned it around his naptime, and it worked like a charm. I went armed with his favorite snacks, just in case, but I needn't have worried. He was rapt during the previews, then started fussing as the movie was about to start. So I nursed him asleep and he napped in my arms the whole movie. We also went in the middle of a school day, so there would be the fewest other movie viewers disturbed if our plan went awry.

The movie itself was amazing. I loved it! I knew while I was watching it that this is one of those movies I'll buy and watch over and over again. J wasn't a fan of the songs, but I still liked them. There wasn't one perfect song, but I found each song enjoyable. I think the reason J wasn't as big a fan of the songs is because they were more Broadway-style and less Disney style. Typically in a Disney movie, the songs further the plot. Not all the songs in Frozen served that purpose. Sometimes a character would break into song as an emotional release or for their own entertainment.

One thing they nailed was the winter atmosphere. From the snow to the aurora, the animation perfectly portrayed winter. The snow was realistic in how it fell, how it looked, and how it would make the characters feel. The most impressive animation to me was the ice and the aurora. Whenever the aurora is portrayed in films or books, they often show it in summer. But the aurora is typically only visible in latitudes where the sun doesn't set during the summer; if the sun doesn't set, you can't see the aurora. But Frozen only showed the aurora in the winter scenes, and they showed it accurately. The didn't go crazy with the colors or make it dance too fast; part of what makes the aurora borealis beautiful is the slow ribbons of light, moving gently.

I love the plot as well; from the focus on sisters to learning to trust yourself. Kirsten Bell and Idina Menzel each did a wonderful job. I had no idea Veronica Mars could sing!

I absolutely loved it and can't wait for it to come out on bluray. I can't imagine how amazing the effects will look in HD after seeing how they looked on the big screen.