Monday, December 20, 2010

Fitzgerald Christmas 2010

Thanks to Evelyn the Christmas season started weeks prior to Dec. 25th when Evelyn literally begged me every single day to put up the Christmas tree.  Of course being the procrastinator that I am I kept putting it off until one day Evelyn took the initiative and decided that she was going to do it herself!  The boxed up tree had been laying on the ground in the garage since we moved in and was just waiting to be put up.  So with all her little 4 year old might she grabbed hold of the handles and single-handedly pulled it all the way into the living room!  I was super impressed and that night the kids and I set up and decorated the tree together. 

 The kids each made a wish list for Santa... Preston, having recently watched all the Star Wars movies, was pretty adamant about getting "Star Wars games & Star Wars toys".  For weeks he obsessed over "the gun guy" which I think if I remember right we figured out to be Han Solo.  Evelyn was a little more particular about what she wanted and asked for 2 dolls, Phineas and Ferb phones and a pillow pet!  Afterward, Evelyn with her kind heart decided to make a second list for things she thought the new baby would want.  She put down things like baby food, clothes and toys.  It was so sweet and was once again a reminder of just how thoughtful she is.  P.S.- I did keep their lists but at the moment I can't seem to find them.  As soon as I do however I'll be sure to scan them and include them with this post.

The cousins: Aubrey, Preston, Joshua, Lilly, Eliza & Evelyn 
Christmas was again two fold this year.  I've decided I really like it that way!  On December 20th my sister was in town so the Fitzgerald's got together for another fun filled day. 

My beautiful big sister, Nichole, and her husband James.

 And once again with the help of awesome Uncle Scott the kids decorated a gingerbread house.  

On Christmas morning we opened gifts at home and ate a wonderful lunch with Andy's parents and brother but I'll have to save that for another post because my pictures are at the office.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meeting their New Cousin

Kids meet Scarlet...

Scarlet meet the kids...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aerial Cinematography

The business has been progressing wonderfully.  I can't say enough how blessed we are for it's continued success!  Although that success hasn't come without a lot of hard work on Andrew's part.  He continues to work hard every day running the day to day operations and constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to improve upon it.  Some of his ideas, I'll admit are questionable coming from a wife's perspective, however he never fails to amaze me by the success of his seemingly "out there" innovations.

His latest and greatest idea is aerial cinematography.  HDM made quite possibly it's largest investment in it's history by purchasing a hexicopter.  Now I won't pretend I know anything about it other than the fact that it's pretty neat and the team appropriately nicknamed it "Scylla" after the Greek mythical monster with 6 heads.  Despite a few setbacks it's been great!  We even welcomed a new member to our team; Kyle, a world class competition R/C pilot.  I'm thinking this might just be the thing that opens doors and REALLY sets us apart!

Click HERE to see Scylla in action.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Family Portraits

This year our good friends and photographers Jen and Tim from Artisan Photography took our family portraits for us!  It was so unbelievably nice of them to do this for us and we truly appreciate it.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

In Between Houses

In between living at the Stockdale house and our new house we found ourselves temporarily at Tim and Brenda's.

During that time we got to spend lots of time with Tim, Brenda and most importantly little Jesse.

The kids really got to know their cousin Jesse and were pretty much inseparable the entire time.

The swing got a lot of attention and eventually turned into an everyday occurrence.

 We even got to spend a day in Fresno with Brenda's family!

We did a lot more stuff while we were there but unfortunately I hardly took any pictures...  All in all we had a good time staying with them and it was a great transition between free rent and our new house.  I'm glad we got that opportunity to get to know Tim's family better and that the cousins were able to spend so much quality time together.  Jesse is such a sweet and adorable boy and it was fun getting to help take care of him during that time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HDM Hit 500 Fans!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our 2 Year Stay at Grandma's House

In September we came to the conclusion that our stay at Grandma's house must finally come to an end.  After 2 seemingly short years living there it was very sad to leave but we'll always remember the good times we had there.  Our family sure did a lot of growing up in that little yellow mobile home and we truly enjoyed out time there.

A few of the things I'll miss:
The apricot tree in the backyard.  Mmm... I can almost taste the apricots just thinking about them.  And not only was the fruit the most delicious you'll ever taste but the blossoms were so beautiful.  I could always admire them out my kitchen window.

The swimming pool.  Never in my whole life have I ever had a swimming pool IN my back yard until we moved here.  It's such a good feeling, especially living in the heat of Bakersfield, to know that at ANY time the kids and I could jump in the nice cold pool.

Free rent.  During our stay we lived super cheap and put almost everything back into the business.  It's because of this amazing blessing that HDM is the successful company that it is today.  We couldn't have done it otherwise.

My morning run.  There was never a lack of new places to go running.  The almond orchards across the field were always my favorite especially when they were in full bloom.  And not that I've gone running in a while but it's just not the same in the city.

Living so close to family.  I always loved living so close to Andrew's mom, dad and grandma.  I feel like during that time we formed a special bond with them and I'll always have a greater love and respect for them now.  It was also nice to always know that any time I needed a friend there was someone less than a football field away that would be there for me.  I loved getting to spend time with them and with Grandma Bailey and getting to know them better.  Grandma Bailey is such a remarkable lady and I love hearing her stories.  I'm especially grateful that the kids got to spend so much time with them and I even miss the times when the kids would suddenly go missing and I always knew right where to find them ;)

There are a few things I certainly won't miss about living there; the musty mobile home smell, the mice coming in from the field, the family of opossums living under the house, the 20 minute drive out of town, the constant weeds and of course running face to face with the occasional skunk however all together our stay there was amazing and such a huge blessing for our family.  I hope Andrew's parents and grandma know what a huge help it was for us and how much we truly appreciate and love them.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

HDM Magic Mountain Trip

Andrew decided it would be a good idea to have a "team building day" so we took the HDM crew to Magic Mountain!  Meet the team...

Kim (the Editor)

Josh (the Visual Effects Guy) and Me
and of course Andrew is behind the camera

We may have gotten a little wet...  Turns out 4 people on the Log Jammer is not the best idea :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Evelyn Starts School

August 23rd, 2010~

The day before Evelyn started preschool I took her to the store to buy some supplies.  We got her a few new outfits along with her very first backpack.  She picked the Elmo one out all by herself.  She couldn't get over all the neat little pockets and places to put her things!  That night her new teacher, Laurel, came over and brought her a few things for class.  She was super excited, the first thing she did was find a place in her backpack for everything.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My baby boy turned 3!

August 21st, 2010~

Preston is getting to be such a big boy and I love him so much.  For his birthday we went to Tehachapi and my parents had already planned out this fun little trip to the park with lunch and cake included.  My parents are seriously the best!  My sister and her family, my Grandparents and my brother Scott were in town for a couple days so it was the perfect time to get together.

Preston getting ready to blow out the candles on his birthday cake made special for him by his Grandma.  She even let him lick the chocolate frosting off the spatula after she frosted it!

 The kids hadn't seen each other in a couple months 
so it was a very happy reunion for them.  
Joshua (6), Evelyn (4), Eliza (4), Lilly (10 months),
Aubrey (3) and Preston (Just turned 3).

Evelyn with her cousin Eliza.

 Preston even got a special birthday hug from his cousin Aubrey.  It was so sweet to watch these two bond that day.  They played with each other the entire day... swinging on the swings and going down the slide together :)

Me with the birthday boy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Silly Faces!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Measure of a Man: Week 5

August 2-6, 2010~

The last and final week of our 5 week shoot.  This was probably our most challenging of weeks since everything was shot on location with a different location every day of the week.

August 2nd~  The first day we brought the kids back for one more day in order to shoot the driving scene.  We made arrangements to block off a section of the road in Hart Park, attached several cameras around and inside the car and drove around with all 11 passengers and no seat belts. 

Perfectly safe I assure you and very authentic :)

Driving around Hart Park alongside the Kern River.

5 of the 9 kids

Elizabeth and Madeline

Andrew with Alana and Madeline.
By the end of the shoot everyone felt like family. I wouldn't have it any other way but it made it really hard to say goodbye.  This was our very last day shooting with the kids :(

Unfortunately while everyone was shooting and saying there goodbye's I was location scouting at the old Weedpatch Labor Camp now know as the Sunset Migratory Labor Camp in Arvin, CA.

We ended up not using this location but it was an experience I'll never forget.  I couldn't believe how much history was here.  I definitely have a much greater knowledge and respect for those that lived during the Oklahoma dust bowl and traveled to Kern County to find a better life.

I even got the grand tour from the man himself, Earl Shelton.  He was only 7 when he traveled with his family and thousands of other Dust Bowlers to California where they lived in camps like Weedpatch, which was immortalized in John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath".  The building behind Earl was actually featured in the "Grapes of Wrath" film.

August 3rd~  One day we got to recreate a labor camp in what was literally our backyard.  The crew really rallied together on this one and with a few purchases at Lowe's and finding stuff laying around they managed to make a very impressive looking camp.  They also got their turn in the spotlight when most of them played residents at the camp.

Sound mixer, Zack, and Cinematographer, Ian, even got into a mock fight to set the mood for the camp.

Gaffer Leonard, Key Grip Jared, and Cinematographer/ Camera Ian dressed the part.  These guys sure knew how to keep things interesting. 

August 4th~  The next day we spent the day at the Kern County Museum where we managed to condense about 9 locations into one.  The museum, although a very expensive location, offered us a huge variety of houses and buildings in which to shoot.  I even got to act out my big part as Donald's dying mother.

 Emogene and Donald's courthouse marriage.

August 5th~
  One day we made arrangements to shoot inside the Taft Fox Theater.  It was pretty cool!  

 They were very accommodating, letting us have the run of the place and even changing the marquee.  

 Making her acting debut on the big screen was child actress Ilona Hanson, playing the role of child Emogene, alongside the beautiful and talented Lynne-Marie Beard, who plays Emogene's mother Bessie.  Emogene was originally supposed to be played by Evelyn but she just couldn't get her one line down "Momma, make him stop!".  She is too much like me and can't keep a straight face if her life depended on it.  The line ended up getting cut anyway but Ilona did such a marvelous job!

Andrew's Uncle Sam even had his big scene as the preacher acting with Tina Mirka, playing teenage Emogene and Sarah Swainston playing her friend Alice.

August 6th~  The last day we hired a back hoe to dig a giant hole to act as a home for child Emogene, her mother, and bootlegging father.

 Child Emogene (played by Ilona Hansen) with her mother Bessie, (played by Lynne-Marie Beard) and father Emmett (played by Travis Cluff aka "Super Shorts"<-- Seriously! check out his IMDB)

Emogene entering her makeshift dugout.  Pretty convincing don't you think?!

All in all the shoot went great!  We definitely had our trials but everything always seemed to work itself out.  I'm so blessed to be able to work on such a wonderful project and honestly I already miss it.  I have a good feeling this film will be a legacy in the Bailey family for generations to come.  I'm very much looking forward to our next film and hope that I can help out again.  I learned so much and met so many wonderful people.  I can't express how much I appreciate everyone that helped work on the film and I can't wait for our reunion at the premier.

What happened next:
No more than 24 hours after wrapping our shoot Kim had a rough cut ready for us to watch!  This is a picture of her screen with the entire movie clipped together at the bottom.

 The next week The El Camino Club invited us to their monthly meeting to discuss the film and it's upcoming premiere!  I am super grateful for Richard and the entire El Camino Club!