Altitude Adjustment

Last week, we moved to a place with an elevation of 7000 feet. Seeing as I’ve lived more or less precisely at sea level (and within a stone’s throw of the ocean) for the past 10 years…this is weird for me.

Even harder than getting used to the altitude, though, is getting used to the idea that we no longer live in our tiny corner of California. It still doesn’t feel like we really left. I’m in denial. We lived in an amazing place, and I’m not sure we’ll ever be so lucky again. We had the best neighbors, the best friends, the best weather, the best local parks….It was too perfect.

IMG_3835 IMG_2594IMG_2802

IMG_2441 IMG_2340 IMG_2197 IMG_1946 IMG_1167 IMG_1157 IMG_1016 IMG_0943 IMG_0734 IMG_7216 IMG_7098


BRB, crying my eyes out…

Anyway. We’ve moved into the Rocky Mountains with my parents for a short time. Our family was one of many affected by the Dreamworks studio closure and layoffs earlier this year. Luckily the hubs had signed a time-based contract that the company is obligated to pay out, which has been great. Losing your job one month before a new baby is born is already stressful enough – it’s been nice to have that financial buffer to lessen our worries a little.

So far 2015 has been….nuts (if I’m using my nice words). Layoffs + new baby + postpartum hormonal loveliness + worst/best month long vacation ever (more on that later) + huge unexpected move = NOT MY FAVE. But I have hope it’ll just get better from here ❤

the latest from embroidery land…

I will give you exactly 30 seconds to get the reference here.

If you don’t get it by then, we are officially no longer friends.


OKAY JUST KIDDING I STILL LOVE YOU! Please watch this clip from Nacho Libre and be enlightened:

And now go find a way to watch the rest of the film right now. I promise your life will be better for it.

So anyways, back to the embroidery business…

hug hug, kiss kiss, hug hug, BIG KISS, little hug, kiss kiss, little kiss!

I made this for my hubs! I wanted to make something for him that said “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH”, but in a less cheesetastic way, so that he might actually want to display it to the general public. And also because I’m just not a cheesy, lovey-dovey person like that.

One of our favorite movies is Nacho Libre. It gets quoted in our home at least five times a day, minimum. And I have always loved this sentiment! Thus the idea to recreate it with a needle and thread was born.

I’m super happy with the way it turned out. I love how simple it is, and the unique dimensions just tickle my fancy! I was so happy to find this frame that fit it perfectly.

AND, my husband is even going to take it to work to decorate his office. SCORE.

Anyway! I’m still working on a piece that’s superbly awesome, it’s just taking me a while because I’ve been neglecting it a little bit…but I will have it ready to show you shortly! Maybe stating that in writing will give me more motivation to finish 😉 thanks for checking this out!

Love, Rach

ps – see my previous embroidery post here [yes, sadly, there is only one other one at the moment] 

pps – I know my version doesn’t exactly match what Nacho wrote in the movie, BUT it goes with the verbal description of how he read the x’s and o’s. 🙂

An introduction of sorts…

My husband has a pretty cool job. It also happens that he loves it, is great at what he does, AND it pays our bills! How lucky is that?! I truly do feel blessed to be stuck with such a winner : )

Before meeting the hubs, I had only met one other person in real life that had a similar career. So I thought it might be fun to share snippets of what it’s actually like to have his job! Or rather, my perspective on what it’s like to be the spouse of someone in his line of work….

So now to answer the big question:

What exactly does he DO??

although his cartwheels are mighty impressive, he is not a gymnast or male cheerleader…

To keep it simple: He worked for  Pixar when I first met him (his name is in the credits for Brave), and will be working for Dreamworks in the near future.

To be more specific, in simpler terms: He is in the field of 3D animation.

To be even more specific: He is an FX Animator/Effects TD

FX/Effects = Special effects (smoke, fire, explosions, giant robot fights, etc).
TD = “Technical director”. It’s a fancy name for 3D artist. 
Fun fact = In the industry, people who are referred to as “Animators” are typically only the people that create the “performance” (make the characters move, create facial expressions, etc). People who specialize in other areas often have a qualifier for the type of animation they do (Effects Animator, Crowds Animator, etc).

DISCLAIMER: All of these terms and definitions are subject to change depending on which animation studio you are working with. There are no standardized job titles. Just FYI.

I could go on…
But that little segment right there will tell you everything you need to know about what the animation industry is really like.

Let’s just say the industry is like a simple, small, quintessential American “white picket fence” home. It looks beautiful, simple, and quite pleasant from the outside! Then you walk in the front door, turn down the hallway, pull book on a shelf which then swings out from the wall and reveals a stone staircase leading 200 feet underground. Once you reach the bottom, you enter a room full of revolving doors like unto the one in the Department of Mysteries*. All of the doors have solid brick walls behind them, with the exception of one that leads you into another room exactly like the first. Repeat this scenario two more times. Eventually you reach a room filled with a tropical rainforest, and you spend 274 days fighting your way through said rainforest (wild animals, quicksand, tropical storms and all) until you find a small tunnel at the back of a cave. This tunnel is directly vertical, with no ladder rungs or a rope or anything to help you climb, yet somehow you reach the top and find yourself in the backyard of the initially described nondescript house. Turns out, the backyard is also a mine field, and all entrances to the house and exits from the yard are heavily guarded, and you can’t really escape and you have no idea how you got there in the first place , but isn’t it a pretty-looking house from the front?!

AKA….it’s a lot more complicated than it looks.

Most of the time when my hubs says he can’t tell me what he did at work today, it isn’t because it’s top-secret. It’s simply because what he does is so esoteric that I wouldn’t get it. (I’m kind of starting to understand more though!) (and he might know some secrets after all…but I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you….)

But it’s still totally, 100%, a career worth having.

I mean, how many people can say that every day they walked into work they were greeted by larger-than-life Lego models of Woody and Buzz Lightyear to one side and a case chock-full of Academy Awards on the other? Or that they had unrestricted access to the world’s greatest cereal bar in existence?? Or that they ran into JL in the bathroom a couple of times?!?!?

Not very many, I can tell you that.

I haven’t seen the Dreamworks campus yet, but I bet it’s full of awesomeness too. I’ll be sure to let you know : )

Love — Rach

have any questions about my hubs’ job or the animation industry in general?? let me know and I’ll answer as best I can! and of course I’ll solicit his help for things I don’t know much about! comment or email

*If you are not familiar with this Harry Potter reference, go read the books again right this minute

**image courtesy of my awesome sister, Sarah!