Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To all who come to this happy place...

We actually did it! We made our way to the Magic Kingdom. For years, I have caught myself getting a little misty at the idea of walking through that tunnel at the front of Disneyland and watching the look on my kids' faces. Or seeing how excited they would get when they first saw Mickey Mouse in person. -And especially thinking about the reaction they would have at seeing Fantasmic for the first time (seriously, where does the dragon come from?). I was not disappointed in the least. They loved it!

One of the most magical things about Disneyland is usually left unsaid: each visit is better than the last. This visit was that much better for me because I got to see it through my kids' eyes, as they experienced it for the first time. I was accused of re-living my childhood as well, and I readily plead guilty to that. I'll do the same when we go again, and when we go with our grandchildren.

Our first day in the park was May 20, and we took it by storm, getting there just as the park opened. Let the record show that the kids' first ride was the train that encircles the park. We made sure to go to Small World, King Arthur's Carousel, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Pirates, the Haunted Mansion, the Tiki Room... and lots more that I can't seem to recall just now. -One special treat we got to have was a preview of the new Star Tours. This was especially great for me, since I had been lamenting the fact that the park's website said it would be closed the entire time. Since both Dash and I are Star Wars geeks, it made my day to be part of the 'test crowd'. The 3-D revamp of the ride was incredible. As we were leaving, Dash kept asking "Was that real?" The best response I could come up with was "What do you think?" He gave it some thought before he said "I think it was!" We stayed all day, watched the fireworks (always awesome) and carried two dead-tired kids out at 10:00.

The next day, we took it a little easier, which was good, since it was a Saturday, and every line was insanely long. We actually ventured into the California Adventure park, which was a parking lot the last time I had been there. Of course, I loved it. Jellybean loved Soarin' Over California and Dash loved the Toy Story Mania ride. We laughed all through our run on the ferris wheel -my effort to make it seem less scary for the kids (later, it was Grandma who freaked out on it). I was able to prove a theory though... that Jellybean would be braver than Dash. -And she was. If only she would have been taller, she might have been able to really give him a run for his money. He screamed all through the Indiana Jones ride, at one point yelling "We're gonna die!!" and he meant it. Also, they both refused to go on Pirates again. I'm not sure if it was the hills or the ambiance, but they were dead-set not to return. Oddly, they both wanted to do the Haunted Mansion a second time. It was the Grizzly River Rapids that solidified my theory about Jellybean. She loved it while Dash complained the whole way through. Sadly, he was the only one to get completely soaked as well. At least he got a new shirt out of it, so it wasn't all bad.

It wasn't all Disneyland for us. We did take some downtime, swimming, relaxing at the condo, visiting the beach. But of course the highlight for me was the park. Our beach time was limited. We had a nice little place in Oceanside, but the beach had a lot of rocks. Whenever we would wade, our feet would get pummeled by rocks as the tide pushed them around. Still, it was pretty. Dash and I would make sandcastles and then try to protect them from being washed away. Of note: rock fences don't seem to help. I'll go ahead and scratch that off the list.

By the time we were ready for our last day at the park, the kids had no interest in going (I know, my children are defective or something!) It's a good thing that Grandma and Grandpa were willing to take them for the day... which left Ang and I to go and enjoy a day-long date in Disneyland! We rode it out in style, of course, hitting the big rides that we couldn't have done otherwise. Big Thunder Mountain, the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, The Hollywood Tower... all the good stuff. Well, it's ALL good stuff, but you weren't going to catch us on the Small World ride again on that day. We did find ourselves saying "Oh, I wish the kids were here... they would have loved this, or that". Oh well, all the more for us to do next time.

I know I am leaving out a lot of details, but really, no description could do it justice. The rides were great, the shows amazing (World of Color blew my mind). I already miss it, and we have only been back one week. *SIGH*

I hate that feeling when you wake up on the last day of vacation and know that you need to pack up your stuff and leave. That was our Wednesday. We had time for one last hurrah though. I wanted to visit some friends in San Diego. We found them okay, and after we terrorized them in their workplace for awhile, they recommended we visit La Jolla Shores beach, which we did. It was completely free of rocks, and perfect for sandcastles, so we jumped right in! One last chance for fun before a long drive to St. George for the night... followed by another long drive home. Good times. Our first big run to visit "Uncle Walt" was a success! TTFN!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day ramblings

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I’m sure it will pass (like a kidney stone) but in the meantime, it’s no fun dealing with a self-indulgent down-in-the-mouth mood. I’ll shake it off. Celebrating Mother’s Day sort of made things a little worse as I’ve been looking inwardly and I’m a little disappointed at what I find. I remember as a kid, I would get myself all worked-up about striving for the best. In my imagination, it seemed that as long as I did my best, I’d receive recognition, get a decent job, and live comfortably. Imagine my surprise in finding that hard work is only part of the equation. It also requires an insane amount of luck and some inner knowledge that no matter what happens, nothing can get the best of you. I work hard and I am a very lucky man, so I guess the part that is faulty here is that I’m discovering I’m not invincible.

As we went to visit mom’s grave yesterday, Ang shared with me her fear that I will not live as long as one might hope. More directly, she said she had a strong feeling that she’d outlive me by a long shot. While this doesn’t have me canceling tomorrow’s lunch plans, it does give me a little pause for concern. This isn’t exactly what one wants to hear before visiting his parents’ grave. I tried joking it away, reminding her that I really am invincible and that she’s stuck with me. -Which gave way to jokes that if she should remarry, he couldn’t possibly be as awesome as me. The downer in all this is knowing that I have limitations and as I get older, they become more apparent.

I guess this is one of the many reasons why it’s good to have such a close family. They all can see that strength in me when I can’t see it in myself. I stopped believing that I am superman, but I have a son who could never be convinced otherwise. To my little girl, I have the power to make her laugh and make right all the wrongs. From Ang’s point of view, I have found success in rebuilding myself time and again, rising from the ashes of my stupid mistakes and becoming a little better each time. All the while I’m surrounded by the unfailing network of support that my parents started which includes both family and friends. I hope I can light that fire in the hearts of my own children. I’m not immune to the effects of time, but my influence can be.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Root root root for the home team....

I must admit that I have become a Mariners fan. It wasn't planned or anything, but when your son gets drafted for a team, you're sort of obliged to become a fan. I even rooted against the Cubs this week. Yes, even though the weather doesn't seem to cooperate, we are fully into baseball season here in these parts. Well, tee ball... but they do give the kids a chance to hit a pitch before they bring out the tee. I'm proud to say that the Dash has only needed the tee once, and I'm sure it was the pitcher's fault. Kid's got a good eye. What can I say?

This is the type of baseball I should have played as a kid. There are no outs, the inning is over after every kid on the team has had a chance to bat, and there are a lot of creative ways to get to whatever base you're running to. This includes sliding into first, passing your own teammates, and even running waaaaay out of the baseline and ending up somewhere in the outfield before being directed to your base. Then when the game ends, everyone gets a nice treat. I just may have excelled at this sport.I'm afraid that the cheer squad left a little something to be desired however:

She tries.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Grand Prize!

So, last Friday, our little girl decided to find herself a little slice of heaven while mommy was playing soccer. Who in the world would have guessed that she would fit in the prize door? And really, what kid could resist the temptation? Ang called me at work and I couldn't stop laughing! It later occurred to me that she probably got the idea from the movie Toy Story, when Buzz jumps into the rocket machine full of the alien toys.
I am so grateful that one of Ang's teammates snapped some pictures, since she was busy trying to figure how to get her out. At no point was little Jellybean ever panicked or afraid. She just loved having that time with all her new stuffed animal friends! She was eventually coaxed out, and squished herself back through the door. She didn't even try to claim herself a prize. Man, I love that kid!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hooray! I did it!!!

Saturday was an epic day. Although I actually finished my schooling in October, the actual graduation ceremony didn't take place until this weekend. I nearly skipped it altogether, but I'm so glad we went . We had to get up a little earlier than normal for a Saturday, and schlepp ourselves down to Kingsbury Hall on the U campus. It was hectic, but completely worth it (Ang may not agree, since she was busy trying to rein the kids in). The ceremony was short, but dignified. Even though the degree was already hanging on my office wall, I feel a sense of completion at having gone through the ceremony. The Master's degree I earned months ago is now conferred on me and I have my closure. Really, it's worth it just to be able to say I did it!! Thanks to my awesome family for all of your support! Now maybe I'll wear the robe around for a few days, just to get my money's worth.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Joseph William Sorenson

Born into the Lord's arms January 30, 2010

We had our hearts broken on Friday when we learned that our baby son, Joseph died in utero. Needless to say, we have had an extremely emotional time coming to terms with it. I didn't realize how full of hope I was for the future until the plans that felt so certain about were suddenly dashed to pieces. We went to the hospital Friday evening so that Angelyn could be induced to deliver. All night, she was attended to by nurses and pumped full of drugs with the end result of little Joe's arrival at exactly noon on Saturday. We got to spend a few precious hours with our little guy. Both Ang and I got to hold him, cry, and say goodbye to this perfect little boy who we will not get to know in this life.

We have both found strength that we didn't know we had in ourselves and in one another. -And in the moments when our strength was expended, we have been lifted up by our awesome family. Thank you, everyone for your support and compassion! Each of you has rallied around us and brought us peace in a moment when we have most needed it.

Joseph, we are so sad that we won't get to have you in our lives right now. We will miss the stunts you would have pulled, the messes you'd have made, and the sweet things you would have done or said. -But we are so grateful for the brief moment we had together, for a reminder of the power and strength of family and friends, and most of all for the peace we feel in knowing you are in God's arms now. We love you!

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry.
And I will sing a lullaby.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yeah yeah yeah

Well it has been about 4 months since I last posted anything, so I figured I'm due. In order to deter you from the fact that the posts have been lacking in quantity, I'll dazzle you with quality. Here are some lovely clips of Dash in action at his preschool presentation. Next stop Hollywood! Woohoo! You will now forget that I fell off of planet blog (old Jedi mind trick).

Look forward to another exciting post in April, ha ha!