Swept Away
Yanni At The Acropolis


A Frenzied, Festival-Filled February
March 2, 2012

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the Niednagel blog! Time is short, and you usually don't care to read my intro anyway, so I'll get on with the pictures! Thanks for stopping by!

First, here's my trailer that was shown at the film festival!

February, 2012 Video Blog


And here we go ...

Our adorable, cute little Philly is big enough to ride the Winnie The Pooh car! Oh I could just cry! Next thing you know he'll be off to college, and then his wedding, and then married, and then grandchildren (runs away sobbing).

Check that out. I'm counting 22 turkies. That there flock could feed us for a blooming year.

Guess whose birthday it is!

Yes, yet another photograph at the Niednagel dinner table. These just never get old, do they? My dear Meliss turned 26 years young. Happy birthday, love!

And what better way to celebrate than by taking her to a symphony? I spare no expense with the spouse.

This was insane. Seriously, we sat right on the balcony with a 20 foot drop below us, and the separating wall was no more than 3 feet high. There were all these elderly people trying to squeeze their way past us to their seats, flirting with certain death at their every step. All it would take is one feeble lock of the knee or a simple malfunction of a hearing-aid and they'd be headed south with a first-class ticket.

Finally! Snow! Got about 5 inches, and we made the most of it. I love William's face here.

The whole gang. We had Christmas music playing on the outdoor speakers. Kinda weird.

Normally we dress William in style. His winter clothes are pretty pathetic.

Keoni just couldn't get enough.

Meet the fam. That's Jeremy on the right, Kalea next to him, Keoni with the freaky face-mask, Danielle with the creepy hair, and ... the actual Kalea.

It's a few days later and we're having a little dinner-party with Erik and Amber Hansen!

Erik takes a self-shot, testing out my Nikon D3100. He's contemplating the purchase of one.

How's my hair?

"Eat it, Phiwup!." The big trip to Texas has begun! We haven't even made it out of our driveway and the kids are already acting up.

In Springfield now with our sweet rental car and we're ready to roll. Praise God ... they upgraded me to a "premium" vehicle, and I was able to get this Chevy suburban that got nearly 19 miles to the gallon (and a ton more space for Matthew and Micaiah's junk).

That evening we arrived at the Hutchins for the night. They run a farm, and William was in absolute heaven. Slightly cute picture.

I mean how adorable can you get.

Conversations abound. Went to bed at around 10:30 while the youngens stayed up till the crack of dawn. I remember those days well. Don't miss them at all.

Oh hello, Tayla! You and Philly look so cute standing in the greenhouse! Did you know people who live in greenhouses have to dress in the basement?

A group shot before departure. Notice how I stand with all the girls in order to look taller. Thanks so much for your generous hospitality, Hutchins family!

We're at the festival! Hi Pa!

Doug gives another epic speech of cinemagraphic domination.

Afterwards it was down to the river-walk to hear Charlie Zahm perform. This guy is good. It was a beautiful, warm night.

The crowd. If you look carefully you can find us (but if you actually do this you're pretty weird).

William and Philip hardly recognize their uncles ... every time they see them they look completely different.

Hi Jamesy and Melanie. William is wiped. Time for bed.

Walk to and fro through the hallways of the film festival, ride up and down each and every escalator ... and you, my friends, will not find anyone dressed quite like Mr. Micaiah Thomas. Before there was an original, he was the original.

I figured if Jamesy took the time to get a picture with this nameless person wearing a red uniform, it must deserve to go on the blog.

Out for a "move the legs" break with the family. Beautiful day.

Those pictures worth a thousand words.

My fashionesque better half.

Don't fall in.

The fountains and pools surrounding the complex are so awesome. Gonnna do this around our house ... after I win the lottery or something.

One more.

Eating lunch together. You don't know how difficult it is to get our group together in a civilized manner.

They just look so stinking natural.

Yeah, bringing a 2-year old and an 11-month old to a film festival is a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, my wife has been Thomas-trained to handle chaos.

I help out when I can.

At the festival, this is how every 20-something year old looks.

Malena, Jamesy, Alina, and Tayla.

Ok, this was TOTALLY unexpected. We were to have dinner at some Italian restaurant, when I followed Pa into a small room upstairs ... "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JORDAN!!!!!" Oh my word, I hadn't the slightest clue! Packed inside the small room were the Mairas and Thomases and Zeses and Voellers and Ryan Eckerson. This will definitely be a birthday party I will never forget.

All I could do was turn around and fall into the arms of my wife. You can watch the video to see my reaction in motion.

Greeting everybody.

Mr. Zes gives the thumbs up. This definitely must be a kickin' party.

My twin sisters.

You Zeses are the best.

Love you guys! (Ryan, I ... love you ... too.)

My brother Jeremy sent Meliss with a birthday party game to play (questionnaire of "How well do you know Jordan?"), complete with cash prizes. Congratulations to David Voeller for apparently knowing me the best!

Yep, the big 3.0. I can't believe it. My birthday is actually March 8th, so I'm not there just yet.

This party coordinator definitely deserves a shoulder massage. Thanks so much, love.

Just love the tradition of spreading your germs across a big cake.

Saying goodbye. This is one of those awkward hugs. "Wait, are you going left or right?"

Walking back to the cars. What an electrifying night.

I'm telling you, there's just no one quite like Micaiah.

For the weekend we stayed at Rene and Lindsay's house (Lindsay is Danielle's sister), and this is their daughter Mariah. She and William had a pretty darn good time together.

It's the last day and we're all just filled with love! Hello, Hannah! We love you, Hannah! We really do!

At the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, escalators are a key, crucial ingredient. As you slowly descend, you get a complete ariel view of everyone socializing downstairs, so that by the time you reach the bottom, you are prepared and ready to make eye contact with some, while avoiding eye contact with others. I found myself going back upstairs several times just so I could come back down again to get a better look.

I just can't get enough of this guy.

My trailer being shown. You're famous, Willy and Philly!

Another shot.

The two E_FPs. Lots of positive vibes there.

The river-walk in the evening. Very magical.

All the lovely ladies.

This looks like an advertisement ... for like some Portuguese hair-styling company.

Just a random picture of the guys.

At a Mexican restaurant on the final night! Loud and crazy. Butterflies were in my stomach for sure, though this is the third time I've had a film of some sort shown at the festival, so I wasn't too bad.

Looking pretty sharp, my little man.

The guys. Now that I'm married they wouldn't let me sit at their table.

My wife tries to eat amidst the bandido orchestra.

I look down at my way-cool watch. The time has come.

Closing ceremonies.

Wow, so cool just having your face plastered on the big screen! Did I win? ..... Yes, I mean no ... I mean ... no, I didn't. :-) Although there was of course some dissapointment, I wasn't NEARLY as dissapointed as I was back in 2007 when both Nathan and my trailers didn't win, despite the huge audience applause. It took me awhile to get over that, admittedly. :-) This year I thought I had a chance, but I was honestly just thrilled to have my trailer shown at all, as I didn't take too much time making it. Ironically, both times I've lost to a trailer that was a graphic animation. Hmmm ... those ENTPs seems to have a thing for graphics, so I'm really postulating something different for next year. Actually, I'm not. Still gonna stick to what I enjoy doing most. One of these years it'll pay off. :-)

Who took home the "Best Of" festival prize? Couragous! Definitely deserved it!

Everyone together before departing the next morning. So great seeing you all again!

I want to make something clear. That IS NOT our car parked in front of Taco Bell.

I wanted to end this fantastic blog entry with another shot of Micaiah. I just can't get enough of that guy!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you had good time joining us for the film festival!