December 28, 2013

And I've Never Been to Boston in the Fall

It's true!  In all my trips out East, I've not yet flown into the Boston Logan Airport when it was fall.  My rights to sing the song of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything remain intact.

As we are all aware, it is Christmastime! And Christmastime means a trip to visit my Knight.  It snuck up on me, but in the last few days it's started to sink in that I'm going to see him again very soon and I am so excited!  We are hosting an annual family Christmas party at our house tomorrow then I'm off bright and early Monday morning, so my bags are packed and waiting in my room.  (And not just waiting to depart for the airport, but waiting evilly to trip anyone who dares walk through our room at night.  No matter where I stick it, someone falls.)

As far as packing goes - I am curious.  When you pack, do you pack an extra outfit (or two, or three)?  If so, what's your reasoning?  Dating back to... whenever the first time I packed my own clothing for a trip, I have always packed an extra outfit just in case I fell into a river, a lake, pond or some other body of water.  I never have (at least, not yet), but I know that if I don't than I will.  You can never be too careful!

December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The great thing about being Catholic (though I would assume there must be some Protestant denominations that do this?) is that I can write up a Merry Christmas post today and not be late.  Because as we all know - Christmas is just getting started!

If you are wondering whether or not Christmas began to feel like Christmas after my last post... yes, it did.  Not as much as what could be hoped for, but it did enough.  We had a wonderful time with family on both sides and while the absence of my grandfather was keenly felt, we had plenty of laughter to get us through the day.

Christmas really is my favorite holiday.  It's so festive and beautiful, and as a gift-giver in both my receiving and giving love languages, there is no better time of the year!  I did get some great gifts, including the last photo that was taken of my grandma and grandpa that you can see up above.

So please tell me! What is your favorite part of Christmas?  Did you get any particularly awesome gifts this year?  I'd love to hear about it!

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2013

'Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas

Or, Christmas Eve Eve, as my siblings and I like to refer to it.

The cookies are baked, the gifts are wrapped, our tree is brightly lit. Christmas is just around the corner.  I'm putting the finishing touches on a secret Christmas project for family members who shall not be named (but of which you will hear about later because I'm really quite proud of it).

And yet in spite of all of that, I'm feeling like the first few verses and refrains of the song "Where are you Christmas?"  Christmas just isn't Christmas this year.  At least not yet... I'm holding out hope that things will change and tomorrow night when we get together with my grandparents and I sing for Midnight Mass, everything will feel more joyful and alive. There's supposed to be such a thing as miracles, right?

Christmas must be here somewhere.  I guess I just haven't found it yet.

December 13, 2013

Photo a Day Challenge December: Family

Today's challenge is "Family" and tonight my family was all at home for the evening!  With everyone growing older, going our separate ways and our increasingly busy schedules, getting together doesn't happen as much anymore.

But tonight we are all home and enjoying a movie, Arthur Christmas, in fact.  It's an absolutely delightful tale, and if you are searching for a film to add to your list, consider checking it out!

December 12, 2013

Photo a Day Challenge December: Green and A Beautiful Sight

I ended up skipping on Tuesday, because it was wrapping paper and there was no wrapping paper.  And then I cheated a little and ended up taking (unintentionally) yesterday's photo today and today's photo yesterday.  Let's start with "Green"

Last night I got together with a college friend that I'd somehow managed not to see since last Christmas.  We met up at the local Starbucks and had a lovely time catching up and chatting over a white hot chocolate (hers) and a caramel brulee latte (mine).  There was a sad lack of anything green during my day yesterday, but luckily for me that's the color of the Starbuck's logo!  (I ended up taking this photo this morning because no, I hadn't gotten around to throwing out the cup yet.)

Today was "A Beautiful Sight".  I always love pulling into my driveway, no matter what the season.  I suppose I'm biased, but I think I have a really pretty home.  There is the line of trees, and when you pull around to the back there is a small pond in our neighbor's back yard.  We got a fresh layer of snow that morning and with it being so cold my siblings hadn't gone out to play in it much, and it was all smooth and perfect.

December 9, 2013

Photo a Day Challenge December: Ornaments and Something You're Reading

I was too lazy yesterday to upload my photo and post to this blog, so I'm combining and doing a two for one post today.

Yesterday's challenge... Ornament(s)!

I thought at first that this would be a challenge, as my family doesn't set up our Christmas tree until the Saturday before Christmas.  As luck would have it however, yesterday was the Santa's Breakfast at church, and following Mass my sister #4 and I talked the rest of the family into attending.  The ornaments you see were the lovely centerpieces on the table.

Today's challenge looked to be another challenge... I took "Something You're Reading" to mean a book, and I am not currently reading anything.  My sister #2 pointed out that it could mean anything that I'm reading, such as a webpage or a street sign, but sister #4 again came to the rescue and asked if I would take her to the library today, which I did, where I found these:

Two books titled The Baker Street Translation and The Brother's of Baker Street, the second and third books in a series about two brothers who move into 221 Baker Street and find themselves receiving mail addressed to none other than Sherlock Holmes.  They look intriguing and as far as I can tell it doesn't seem to be imperative that I read the first book first, so I grabbed them up eagerly!

December 7, 2013

Love is an Open Door

Spoiler Free!
Let me start out by saying - see!  I can do blog posts other than just photos with a few lines of text!

After that, I will start off again by saying that you know I loved a movie when I walked out of the theater and said "I think Belle just got demoted from the position of my favorite Disney Princess."  And if you know me, you know that I think thought that Belle was by far the best Disney Princess ever.  My love for Belle has gotten a case of cold feet however (hahaha - see, that was supposed to be funny.) because Elsa and Anna are quite simply, the best princesses Disney has ever created.

Frozen is loosely based off of the fairytale The Snow Queen by Hans Christen Andersen, and ended up being far different than what I was expecting.  (Don't bother watching the trailer or reading the movie theater synopsis).  Critics of Disney films who say that Disney gives you unrealistic expectations of men - yes, this one does too, but not how it usually happens.

I went to go see Frozen with my siblings, and that was the perfect company to go see it with.  Rather than focusing on a romance or running away from the evil queen, this tale centered around two sisters who loved each other very much.  The plot was strong, the characters were all very well developed and each stood firmly on their own.  The music was amazing, with a beautiful (what I'm assuming was some sort of Icelandic) chant at the start of the film, violin and pipes in the score and vocal songs ranging in various musical styles from your typical Disney musical, to quirky upbeat, to absolutely breathtaking and - dare I say - chilling ballad.  We laughed quite a bit and were on the edge our seats more than once.

Else and Anna really were pretty much perfect in every way.  They felt very real, and very relatable.  Elsa and I definitely had that eldest siblings bond going on, and while she received a little less screen time then Anna did she was still a well rounded character and you got a strong grasp of her fear, anxiety and struggle to just be normal.  She was elegant and strong

And Anna.  Oh Anna.  Has any Disney Princess ever felt more down to earth and just awesome?  She's awkward (That line in "For the First Time in Forever" - "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy But I'm somewhere in that zone") and so innocent and hopeful.

And together, they are just the best.  (Oh, this scene!)

If you go into see Frozen wanting the standard Disney Princess plot of damsel (most of the time) in distress meets handsome and charming prince/guy and after they go through some adventures and danger realize that they are in true love, you won't find it.

*Side note - hilarious bit in there between two characters (guy and a girl) about the girl wanting to marry a different guy right after she met him, and this guy thinks it's just stupid*

What you will find is a story about family, about trust, about the power of the love between sisters.  So go and see it.  In the mean time I will be listening to the soundtrack on repeat that I bought immediately after leaving the theater and planning out a music video for when/if it ever finally snows around here.


Photo-a-Day December Challenge: Bright

Credit where credit is due, I have my sister to thank for today's photo idea.

Today's challenge was "Bright" and what could be brighter at this time of year than the beautiful light of an Advent candle?

December 6, 2013

Photo a Day December Challenge: Shopping

Well, I didn't end up doing any Christmas shopping today.  I do most of my stuff on Amazon, and it wouldn't work out too well to take a photo of my shopping cart.  Luckily for today's challenge however, my sister and I had to stop by Wal-Mart on our way home today...

I picked up some craft supplies for some DIY Christmas gifts and a pie for tonight's dessert.  We forgot to take a photo while were in the store, so this happened instead.

December 4, 2013

Photo-a-Day December Challenge: Joyous

The theme of today's photo is Joyous.  While I know that the sight soon to come before your eyes in anything but joyous for many people, I decided to go with it none the less:

Yes, this is my little cubicle at my internship.  Right now, working in an office is all new and exciting to me.  I'm only there two days a week, and it makes me so happy to walk in, smile hello to people (who are all so nice, and the office is really a cozy and warm place) and sit down at my own little space.  As an introvert, it's perfect.  I get my tasks for the day, and then I'm left on my own to work on them.  I don't run out of things to do, I have my coffee or tea, I listen to music on Pandora or simply sit in the silence.  For me, it is joyous.

December 3, 2013

Photo-A-Day December Challenge: Red

Today's challenge is something that is red.  I'm at school all day today, and there isn't a whole lot that is red... my first shot was of a red tube of lipstick I had in my purse, but then I saw that I still had this:

The tag I took from the Giving Tree at my church, with a sweet little drawing of the Nativity from one of the children at the Kindergarten.  I've always loved the Giving Tree, who wouldn't want to help bring a little joy to those in need right in your own community?  My family has always picked a tag each year, and now that I can afford to do so, I'm joining in by picking out my own tag.

December 2, 2013

What I'm Into (November 2013)

I'm trying out a new link up y'all.  If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you'll probably have figured out that I am NOT a dedicated link-er-upper.  I've pretty much given up on weekly link ups, other than the occasional here and there when I feel inspired, and the monthly link ups haven't gone the greatest either because I forget they are coming up and then I see them in my newsfeed and think "Oh! I should do that" and never get around to it.  So there is no guarantee you will see this one more than a few times, but I thought it looked cool and wanted to give it a shot.  Without further ado...

What I'm Reading
Oh, what have I been reading?  About a month ago I was reading anything I could get my hands on, but this month life has seemed to be conspiring against me with the result that my reading has been sadly minimal.  I've been working my way through Nicholas Sparks new novel, "The Longest Ride"... which had to go back to the library today, so now I don't have anything to read.  Guess I'll have to make a trip to my bookshelves and pick out a re-read!

What I'm Watching
On Netflix - Pysch, How I Met Your Mother and one of these days I'm going to get around to finishing catching up with Castle.
In Cinema - (Not yet, but hopefully soon!) Frozen, Thor 2 and Catching Fire

What I've Been Up To Lately
  • A weekend trip down to St. Louis for the Bears vs Rams game with the cousins.  Alas, the Bears lost.
  • Seeing four of my siblings perform in a version of "A Christmas Carol" titled "The Conversion of Scrooge".  It was an incredible performance and I wish I could have seen it more than once!
  • I started an internship as a part of the Meetings Team with a medical association, which is AWESOME.  I am loving working there and having my own little cubicle to decorate and call my own.  As I have been explaining to people (or attempting to), there are Meeting and Event Planning Companies who are hired by corporations or associations to do all the planning for them; many smaller groups will go this route.  Other associations or corporations, like the one I am working for, have a team as a permanent part of their staff.  
  • Attending the bridal shower of my very dear friend Elenatintil.  As it turns out, her fiance originally lived very close to me before moving out by her and this past weekend her mother-in-law through a beautiful Downton Abbey themed shower for her.

  • For the month of December, I'm participating in a Photo-a-Day challenge and plan on sharing each day's photo on my Pinterest board as well as here in a blog post, along with a little blurb about why I photographed what I did.  Starting off with yesterday's photo:

This photo was taken last night after we'd gotten home from a long day of two performances.  I was sitting there and realizing that I'd forgotten to take a picture earlier in the day, so I picked up my camera and took a photo of MY VIEW - which happened to be the four siblings who were in the play.
  • Today's photo is Your Favorite Holiday Film

What movie other than "It's a Wonderful Life"?  I've loved this movie since the first time I saw it years ago, and for a good many years it has been my families New Year's Eve tradition (admittedly one that has been somewhat forcefully implemented by myself.)

What I'm Following (Blogs and Interesting Links Around the Web)
  • My Knight's new blog A Study in Moxie.  I suppose I may be biased, but he really is a good writer and I've always enjoyed reading his thoughtful posts over the years on past blogs.
  • Leigh Kramer: I found her through... A Modern Mrs Darcy, I believe.  When I first found her, I spend a good hour browsing through past posts and I liked what I found.  She has some very thought provoking things to say, and she did a "This is How We Met" series a ways back - which I LOVED.  You should go find it and read all the stories.
  • Because of THIS POST, and yes the caps were intentional, I think I am adding It Just Gets Stranger to my reading list as well. Because seriously, THAT POST was awesome and oh so true.
What I'm Looking Forward To
  • CHRISTMAS!!!!  Need I say more?
  • Visiting my Knight after Christmas.  I can't wait!
  • Christmas shopping... my new internship is located just down the road from not one but TWO malls (one indoor and one outdoor) and on my drive I pass up Michaels and Target and Home Goods and Hobby Lobby and - well, for a country girl who is used to driving past corn and bean fields, having so many places to shop scattered oh so conveniently along my route is incredible.  The highlight is a big, beautiful Barnes and Noble very close to my office building....
  • Christmas music.  I held off until the day after Thanksgiving, and now all stations and CDs are fair game!  Hurray!
  • Sherlock is coming baaaaaaaack!!!!!!!! It's only been TWO STINKEN' YEARS.
  • The Hobbit part 2 is coming out oh so very soon!
And that is all that I have been into!  Want to share what you've been into?  Stop by Leigh's blog and share!