Happy Holidays to all our family and friends! We hope you are finding pockets of peace and happiness during this absolutely insane year! As ready as I am to see 2020 gone for good, our family has also been incredibly blessed and I’d be remiss to not highlight all the wonderful events of the year in this newsletter!
Pre-Lockdown (Jan – March)
Before the lockdown, Brock was enjoying working at Disneyland and as a stuntman for Universal Studios’ Special Effects Show. In January, Brock auditioned for Universal Studios Orlando’s brand-new stunt show, Bourne Stuntacular, but Brock and I felt strongly that we shouldn’t move to Florida at that time (good thing too, since the economy shut down only a few weeks later!). So instead, Brock auditioned for Universal Studios Hollywood’s award-winning stunt show, Waterworld, and landed the role he’s been wanting for years! He was near the end of rehearsals when Universal Studios and Disneyland announced they would be closing temporarily due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, I spent the first few months of 2020 caring for and playing with Damian at home, designing and drafting renovation plans for my parents’ new home, and sneaking in as much time as I could to make my second semi-animated video for YouTube: a creative pitch for a theme park ride concept (which you can watch HERE!) #ShamelessPlug
Damian and I also enjoyed a trip to Utah in January, where we welcomed home my brother Cameron from Brazil (he was there for two years as a missionary for our church). And of course, as a family we got in as many Disneyland trips as we could in the first couple months of 2020! We even got to bring some extended family along with us a couple times!
Lockdown - Phase One (April – June)
When the Big Shutdown happened, Brock and I thought there was NO WAY Disneyland and Universal would be closed for more than a couple weeks at the most, so we decided to spend the lockdown with our families, who live just two hours apart in Washington and Oregon. Three months later, Brock and I were still up in the Pacific Northwest! Brock actually got a job working the meat counter at a local Safeway grocery store, and Damian and I both worked full-time too helping my parents renovate their home (I did design work and helped with the manual labor, and Damian took Grandma’s mind off all the construction)! We will always be grateful for the precious time we were able to spend with our families this year! I know Damian was happy for all the attention and special bonding time with his extended family too!
A huge highlight for us this summer was watching Brock compete in a new TV game show on Fox called Ultimate Tag, hosted by NFL’s Watt brothers. Brock had filmed the show back in 2019, so it was funny to see my pregnant belly make an appearance on TV!
Lockdown - Phase Two (July – December)
We all finally flew home to California in July, when I was offered a great opportunity to work from home for Thinkwell Group, the theme park/museum/entertainment design company I worked for before Damian was born. While juggling work and Damian (often literally!) is not incredibly easy, it has been really fulfilling to do work that I love while being with my baby all day. Damian especially likes waving to my coworkers during video calls! Since being home, Brock got a job as a package deliverer for Amazon and has been working as many acting gigs as possible during the lockdown. Needless to say, we will be very excited when the theme parks here reopen!
The Best Part of 2020
The best part of 2020 has been watching Damian grow and mature into the cutest toddler ever! At the beginning of the year, he refused to eat non-baby food, wouldn’t use his own hands to eat, didn’t crawl, and couldn’t pull himself up to a sitting position. He now does all of those things and so much more! (Well, he still doesn’t crawl – he scoots on his bum instead)
Damian is still dealing with some hefty reflux issues, but he and I are both so used to getting a bucket of vomit thrown on us at any given moment that neither of us even react anymore when it happens. The many doctors we’ve seen insist he’s perfectly healthy and he’ll grow out of it – in the meantime, I’m just glad he loves bath time!
Damian’s favorite word is “Daddy” and he will repeat pretty much any 1-2-syllable word we say except “Mommy” – he truly seems to refuse to say “Mommy” out of principle. He loves Mickey Mouse (whom he calls “cat!”), which of course makes me happy! We’re trying to teach him to walk, but he’d much rather read books or have me sing to him. Watching kids at the park across the street run around and play has proven to be a great motivator though, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he's up and running too!
During such insane times, I’m especially grateful for the light of Christ that brings so much peace and comfort! We wish you all a joyous holiday season and for far less-crazy times in 2021!
The Markham Family
Brittany, Brock, and Damian (Age 1)