A Really Great Week

A Really Great Week

Halloween was a "mom day" but I got to help the boys get their spider costumes on, drive them
to Downtown Grand Haven, and photograph their trick-or-treat adventure.

(you can see a video in the post below, and more pictures here)

They seemed a little overwhelmed at first, but gained some confidence as the night went on. It's been really fun to see their personalities emerging more fully in the last few months.


After collecting scores of pictures of the boys, I made it to Katie, Ginger, and Willow's apartment in time to get some pictures of the "Dreams Come True" Fairy, and the "Miracles can Happen" Fairy.

Then I traveled with Katie and her mom to a theater in Kalamazoo for the world premiere of an independent horror film.

This was probably the first horror film I've ever watched in its entirety, and there is a good chance that I won't feel the need to see many more.

And while Katie expressed, in numerous disclaimers, the many ways in which this film was not the type of storytelling that she hopes to engage through acting... It was a *real film*. And Katie was this very believable "other person", on the big screen, with a name in the credits.

Improving the experience further, were some great/entertaining/enlightening conversations with Katie's mom (as we traveled), and the chance to briefly meet some of Katie's family from that part of the state.

In the last few months I've had the opportunity to get to know Katie pretty well. But conversations of substance have mostly been relegated to the phone, with the majority of our time spent together taking place among slides, swings, monkeybars, and the continual exploits of four very active children.

So the evening felt like a "preview" of the not-so-distant future, when it will be very natural to go to a movie, for a walk, or dinner, or simply have a face to face conversation with no interruptions until the annoyed teenager kicks us out of the coffee shop at closing time.


I'll write more about that later--the really-great-week continues...


Lately, when the boys are not with me, I have spent my time working through the details of major life transitions, downsizing, reorganizing, redeveloping my business, or editing. I'm pretty sure that I've not watched a single episode of a TV show or a movie during that time. I've spent very little time listening to music.

But this past week I got to spend Wednesday night at the theater (in the entourage of a movie-star), and then my first (and long awaited) night at the symphony on Friday.

It was absolutely amazing. I had the honor of taking my mom, who perfected the experience with her musical knowledge, binoculars, and generally exciting persona. Got to see Ryan in action, spend a little time with Gigi, and hold a short conversation with Rob and Kim.

The first part of the concert featured a world renowned cellist (maybe my favorite instrument), the second part featured the full orchestra and an incredibly moving composition (Tchaikovsky).

Special thanks to brother Ryan for the tickets, Bompa Bill for putting the boys to bed.

The Frauenthal is a beautiful setting, fall is my favorite time of year, and the spiralling melodies--driven by a perfect blend of voices-- seemed to be releasing the very best kind of chemicals into my brain.

I let my eyes relax their focus, and watched the synchronized movements throughout the string section...

....and it all seemed very, very right.

[transition post from a really-great-week to a really-great-fall]

And my life in general feels that way right now.

Not perfect, not void of stress and challenges. But very good.

July of 2006 through July of 2007 may have been one of the most difficult years of my life. 2005 had some generally rough spots as well.

But I just can't get past how fortunate I feel to have opportunities like the ones I've described in this post. So this "really great week" seems to be full of little pictures of those things that make the future seem very inviting.

and beyond those things which I've already mentioned:

My boys are developing hilarious personalities and interacting like never before. They really love each other, they learn so fast, and they can mimic almost anything they see adults doing.

Three years ago, I had no idea how much I wanted to be a father. Now I just can't imagine my life any other way. And they get more fun all the time (also their capacity for destruction increases daily).

They seem to be anchored in a very rich web of relationships. I'm so thankful for all the people that love them so well.

And though I've not been able to adequately invest in many of the relationships that are important to me, *I* feel very anchored too.

Friends, family, & xin-laws (pronounced "kzin-law") have all been very supportive in helping with the boys.

In the not too distant future, we'll all be celebrating the arrival of some important, and long awaited babies.

I'm realizing that I live in a very beautiful place (I can't believe how neglectful I've been toward that beauty in the past).

I feel healthier than I have in years, the daily headaches I once experienced seem to be dissipating, and my debilitating vomit-blood-E.R.-narcotics-headaches may be gone forever.

I can see well. My new eye doctor fitted me with contacts that allow me to see at least 20/20.

My vocational opportunities grant me parental flexibility, adequate income, and some rewarding creative opportunities. I have every reason to believe that my little company will [more than] survive its current transitional difficulties.

I should be back to work on my musical projects soon, and I'm working on two very interesting short films.

My parents have been incredible hosts for the last few months, making an extra effort to ease the sting of a living with your mother at age 31. My boys have loved the proximity to their grandparents, and plans for a future home are in the works.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner... and I feel very ready to engage the spirit of both holidays.



Missy and Phil said...

Wow! what a great post! We would love to spend some time with you and Katie soon!

Kim said...

Thanks for letting us glimpse into your life. It is hard not to see you guys as much...Ryan especially misses the boys. But we are glad that everything is coming together and that life is so good for you right now. Come and see us soon.

Daniel Rudd said...

thanks for the comments from the northside.
i miss you guys.

missy and phil: that sounds good. And Phil, sorry i haven't called you back yet, I've been really busy writing 40 page blog posts -- hope I can make it to bball

kim: i plan to hang out with you guys again once Noah is prepared to treat me with the respect that I believe is due me.

If you feel that I'm being unclear, ask Noah about it. If he doesn't answer, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.