Mini Takes The States 2018 #MTTS2018

We are in full prep mode for our road trip in July. Thursday we brought our car in for an oil change and check up, the spare tire rim is being shipped, Monday we are having decals placed, hotels are booked and the packing list has started.

While we were at the dealer we walked the lot and scoped out our next “dream” cars… This was mine. A Caribbean blue convertible. Soooooo impractical. Soooooo cute.

Today I’m trying to figure out our trip documentation… Daily blog posts? Instagram Highlights? Facebook stories?

Ah… The anticipation continues to build!

#7moreworkdays

Turning 50

I typed “turning 50” into a search bar and got all kinds of results. Cutesy t-shirts and over-the-hill items from Amazon, celebrities turning 50 in 2018, and many magazine articles, including: “You’re right, turning 50 sucks;” “Good things about turning 50;” “10 things you need to do after you turn 50;” The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about turning 50,” and on and on and on.

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Today is my half birthday – April Fools Day.  So in a mere 6 months that milestone birthday will be mine. I have been spending time thinking about how I want to spend the last few months of my 40s, as well as the theme for my 50s.  Before I turned 40 I created a list of “40 things to do before 40” and that gave it a structure and brought a lot of joy. I have done lists since that big 4-0 list, but have no big list for this big birthday. Yet.  Some possibilities are:

  • 50 things I’ve learned so far
  • 50 things to do in my 50s
  • Top Ten Memories so far (written down)
  • 50 things to leave behind
  • 10 new habits to create

I may do all of these in some form (I think writing down memories, especially big Top Ten Life Memories, is important for posterity!). I’ll keep you posted!

Do you have ideas on how to celebrate this big milestone?

Do you have advice for turning 50 with grace?

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My Movie Love Letter 2017

That’s a bit of an exaggeration.  I haven’t seen as many movies in the theatre as in years past, but every time I do there’s something I love… Here is a list of films I’ve seen in chronological order:

  1. Moana – love the Lin Manuel Miranda musical score!
  2. LaLaLand – love the music and dancing! also love the Oscar blooper where it was briefly named Best Picture!
  3. Rogue One: Star Wars – not too memorable… hmmm
  4. Hidden Figures – loved that I saw this on Martin Luther King Day with a teen girl who loves math!
  5. Singing in the Rain – love that this was brought back onto the big screen for a few showings in 2017!
  6. Dous Iozurri (Two Lottery Tickets) – love that the Wehrenberg has a foreign film festival every year – cute pic about losing winning lottery tickets!
  7. Gifted – love movie night with the girls!
  8. Wonder Woman – love the girl power in this pic!
  9. The Big Sick – love this story based on his true life – heart wrenching at times but so good!
  10. The Glass Castle – loved seeing this with social worker friends and discussing the differences between the book and the movie!
  11. Victoria & Abdul – love this pic about the curmudgeonly Queen Victoria! Makes me want to know more!
  12. Bad Mom’s Christmas – again, love movie nights with the girls! Big Laughs!
  13. Wonder – loved the sweetness of this movie!
  14. Lady Bird – loved everything about this movie – great characters!
  15. Murder on the Orient Express – loved the beauty and the actors in this film.
  16. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – loved seeing Carrie Fischer again… good stuff.
  17. Pitch Perfect 3 – love a movie with singing (although it really pales to the first)
  18. The Greatest Showman – absolutely loved this and hope to see it again!
  19. Ferdinand – love the story and loved taking the girls!
  20. Jumanji – love the laughs and the premise – but had to look through my hands a few times!  I’m a wimp!

On Netflix I have watched a bunch of Christmas cheer, a few action flicks, and the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. Some series I have loved…

  1. Master of None – love the feel to season 2!
  2. Last Chance U – love the reality of this!
  3. Grace & Frankie – love those two
  4. The Great British Baking Show – love watching those Brits make things I’ve never heard of!
  5. The Good Place – caught up so I could watch season 2 – which is sooo weird!

On Amazon Prime we LOVED The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – highly recommend!

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Blog pages

I added a new page to the blog – the list of books I read in 2017 – here it is!

Books I Read in 2017

As I look at this list of books from 2017, it is notable that most of them are for book club!  We made an intention in 2016 to meet monthly NO MATTER WHAT and so we have been more organized and planful. I have also read a few books for a work book club, listened to a few audiobooks, and picked up a few kindle books for quick reads.

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By Jenny Colgan

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by Luke Sullivan (Book Club)

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By John Tiffany and Jace Thorne

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By Liane Moriarty (book club)

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By Sara Bereilles (audio)

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By Don Miguel Ruiz

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By M. L Stedman (book club)

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By Lily King (book club)

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By Edward Kelsey Moore (book club)

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By Paul Kalanithi (work book club)

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By Jennifer Weiner

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By Clara Beaudoux (blog)

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By Gretchen Rubin (audio)

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By Jane Healey

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By Fredrik Backman

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By Liane Moriarty

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By Stephanie Powell Watts

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By Jenny Colgan

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By Jennifer Ryan (book club)

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By Adriana Trigiani

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By Brene Brown

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By Gabrielle Zevin (book club)

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By Amor Towles (book club)

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By Sandhya Menon

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By Lorna Landvik – did not finish

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By Jane Hamilton – did not finish

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By Gretchen Rubin – reading monthly

 

#2017inReview

We (@netty1001 and @realbigtweezy) still have the same cars and the same jobs but otherwise it has been an eventful year with big changes!  Here are a few highlights of the year …

#NewEnglandBlizzard – Chris’s granny, Eva Walsh, passed away in February of this year and we travelled to Newton Centre, MA for her funeral. There was a blizzard in progress, so our flight from Philadelphia to Manchester, NH was cancelled and we rented a car and drove the rest of the way. What should have been an almost 6 hour drive took us about 10. We arrived safely and in time for the celebration of Granny’s long life. I only got to meet her once, during our birthdayversary road trip last October, but it was fun to be with family and hear stories of her life.  The cemetery where she is buried was incredible – so much history out there in New England. I also experienced Candlepin bowling for the first time with Chris’s family – that was a fun night – and we got to meet Chris’s first grand-niece, Aurora!!

#BrandLoyal – Chris and I both celebrated 5 years of employment at our respective employers in 2017!  Chris started at Land O’Lakes in October 2012 and I started at Mayo in January 2012. I completed a 40 hour group supervision training for social workers so I can now lead small groups of social workers towards clinical licensure and may try my hand at that in 2018. Chris continues to be one of four people who dry the cheese powder for Cheetos!

#MermaidInLove and #CincoDeWedding – Marissa and Adam were married in Cancun on Cinco de Mayo! There were three showers, some great parties, and about 30 mother-of- the-bride dresses tried on prior to getting to Mexico.  The bachelorette party was an all-day multigenerational affair with a mermaid theme!  What a blast.  Before we walked down the “aisle” to the beach, Marissa and Icried and she said this was the wedding of her dreams. She was a beautiful bride and it was fun to be with everyone in Mexico for one week. Lots of time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Mom and Dad even went parasailing!

#TeamGrandpaDanTough – Right before we went to Mexico my dad was diagnosed with laryngeal small cell carcinoma. He began treatments the day after we returned from Mexico (all the more reason why it was meaningful to be together down there), and it was a grueling course of 7 rounds of chemotherapy and 35 daily doses of radiation to his throat. In September his PET scan was all clear and he is getting stronger and is back out in the woods hunting this autumn. So glad to have them in Rochester!

#OnlyInMinnesota – We have enjoyed the many things life in Minnesota has to offer. We enjoyed outdoor festivals and outdoor music, my 30th class reunion was in July, we hosted and attended outdoor campfires, we spent time at our cabin at the Lake (which we now are part-owners of!), we went to the Great Minnesota Get-Together (State Fair) twice and I went to a Minnesota Twins game. Chris is ready for the Minnesota winter with his supreme snow blower and we have been enjoying watching the Minnesota Vikings play football and all the hype that is leading up the the Super Bowl being held in Minneapolis in early 2018.

#Birthdayversary2017 – For our 3rd anniversary, we took a train to Chicago for a few days with the main event seeing “Hamilton.” It is as amazing as everyone says it is, truly. We also ate good food, walked a lot, and went on a double decker bus tour. The weather was beautiful  After Chicago we spent a few days at the Dells celebrating August’s birthday with family, and spent one night in a lovely hotel in LaCrosse.  Chris thinks train travel is the way to go!

#49isDivine – 2018 means a big birthday is coming up for me, so I will be finding cause for lots of celebration leading up to it!  Marissa has a big birthday coming up as well, turning 30 in February. In 2017 Tyler turned 25, Sierra turned 21, and Kevin turned 19.  We have been enjoying time with the grandchildren; Kaydee just turned 6 in December, Emma will be 3 in January, and August turned 2 in September. Lots of chitter-chatter and laughter with them! Also lots of quality time with the nieces and nephews, much of it courtside.

#2SellOrNot2Sell – Last winter into spring we started thinking about whether we should remodel the townhouse or look for our “forever house.”  We really wanted a gas stove, which is what started all of the looking.  We spent many weekends going to open houses, wandering around tile and kitchen stores, and talking with realtors and contractors.  We wrote lists and dreamed big dreams.  Ultimately, we found and bought a new home, moving in right before Chris’s birthday in June, so it’s time to update your address books! Message me for the new address!    We gained no square footage but we now have a one level home with a big garage, a little shed, and a huge driveway (the reason Chris needed a supreme snow blower!).

I knew I missed having a sunny spot to sit outside and read, but I didn’t know how much I would LOVE having a fireplace!  We didn’t sell the townhouse, so Chris is now a landlord – so far so good.  We love our new house and it’s fun to get back to hosting again! We hosted Thanksgiving here (22 people!) as well as book club, Cosmo Girls, a housewarming / birthday party, a catch-up night with the girls, marshmallow roasting sessions over the new firepit, and hopefully we will be hosting you sometime soon!  Just call and let us know when you’re coming!

#MerryandBright – We hope that your Christmas season is filled with all things good and wonderful – family, friends, peace and love. Merry Christmas to you and a very happy 2018!

After the funeral at Granny’s home – Chris’s sister, Jen, and dad, Rob and his friend Carol.

Candlepin bowling in NH

Smiles and squishes

US Wedding

Mermaid party!

Park fun!

Last night in Mexico

Just a few ER visits

Graduation #2 for this Grimsrud clan

Graduation #4 for the Turner clan!

Moving fun!

His birthday matches the highway!

He never stopped smiling…

The last Radiation Treatment! A milestone worth celebrating!

Summer 2017 at French

Birthday hugs

Cousin time!

#OnlyinMN – The Great Minnesota Get-together!

21st birthday!

Photobomb!

The Minnesota Twins!

Beautiful day for a fire….

Train station!

Chicago!

Pre-Hamilton!

August is 2!

Halloween 2017

Our cozy home…

First lost tooth!

Santa visit 2017

Our outdoor Christmas tree!

 

The Gift of Stories

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Last year for Christmas I bought my parents each a subscription to StoryWorth – a year of story starter questions, sent by email, for their response. The responses are sent to each of us kids as they answer and at the end of the year (soon!) they will be compiled into a book.  Photos can be attached to the emails and they will be included.  The questions can be chosen from a list of several hundred in different categories – early life, parenting, work life, school, marriage, and more – and you can put them in any order you want or even write your own questions.  The questions can even be recorded on a voicemail and transcribed (for a fee or by a family member) for those who are less than tech savvy, although it really is as simple as replying to an email.

We haven’t received the books yet, but the responses we have read so far are gift enough!  Stories of their parents, of their school years, of their vacations and their first cars and first jobs, of their wedding day, and their advice for their grandchildren – all of it is priceless.  There have been funny stories and touching stories and really sweet and meaningful stories.  I have cried while reading them and shared them aloud with friends.  I am impressed with the wisdom they have shared and I can’t wait to see it bound in a book!

If you need ideas for a Christmas gift for anyone wise and wonderful in your life, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend StoryWorth. They are a sponsor for the Satellite Sisters podcast, which is how I learned of it last year, and they have a promo code (sisters) for $20 off a subscription.

I’m receiving no compensation for this post and review.  I should work for them, but this is my unsolicited gift idea and one that I have been raving about all year long!  StoryWorth is sooooooooo great!

https://www.storyworth.com/

Friends’ Thanksgiving episodes

So, for fun this week, I watched all 10 Friends’ Thanksgiving episodes. I haven’t watched Friends in a while, so it was fun to just dip in once per season to remember what was going on in their lives. It was easy to do on Netflix; most episodes were number 8 or 9 in the season. Almost all of them said “Thanksgiving” in the episode synopsis. But below is a list of episodes ranked – I assume great to good.

All Ten ‘Friends’ Thanksgiving Episodes – Ranked

What other tv shows have memorable Thanksgiving episodes?

11.13.2017 – Prime Time

I never watch TV during prime time. Or at least Live TV during prime time.  I stream a lot of TV or watch recordings or on-demand TV. I’m sure that it is more the rule than the exception in 2017.  (Speaking of 2017, today’s date – all prime numbers – is the inspiration for this post!)

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One prime time show I am keeping up with – either on Hulu or my DVR – is This is Us.  I’m sure it needs no introduction, as it is much-watched.  I like the stories told in the present and in the past and think that it is pretty clever and well done.

Other Prime-Timey shows I have been watching are:

  • Speechless – about a family with a teenager with cerebral palsy who is nonverbal and uses a communication board. Minnie Driver plays the mother who advocates heartily for her son and drives her minivan like a maniac. It is pretty funny and cute.
  • Great News – about a mother who gets an internship at the the cable news program in New Jersey where her daughter works. I think it’s pretty hilarious and love the actors in it.
  • Younger  – about a divorced woman who is returning to the workforce and finding it unfriendly for her 40-year-old self, so she poses as a 25 year old and gets hired in the publishing business. Starring Sutton Foster (of Broadway fame) and on TVLand (or tvland.com, where I’ve been watching). I’m savoring the last few episodes of this season…
  • The Mindy Project – the final episode of her series, which moved to Hulu, airs tonight at midnight. This show is the reason I subscribed to Hulu, so I could keep watching it after it left TV. I won’t stay up to watch tonight but will catch it tomorrow!

As you can see, I lean towards the light and comedic. If Chris and I are watching TV together we watch a LOT of International House Hunters and Tiny House Hunters from our DVR – we watch a lot because they make a lot!  It’s fun to dream about living abroad and living even tinier than we are. We also love to laugh at the people who want an America Kitchen in their Vietnamese apartment or the walk-in closet and full-size appliances in their tiny house.

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I am looking for holiday themed movies and television shows on all of the streaming options. Tonight, it’s Home for the Holidays, the 1995 Holly Hunter movie about coming home for Thanksgiving.  I remember the year we discovered all the Thanksgiving episodes from Cheers – what a hoot.  Maybe this year I’ll look for all the Friends episodes! I do love a theme…

Do you have favorite Thanksgiving movies or television episodes?

And now, a list from Wikipedia of films set around Thanksgiving!  I think there are some to add to my queue!

Animated[edit]

Comedy[edit]

Drama[edit]

Family[edit]

Horror[edit]

  • Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998), a family is terrorized by extraterrestrial creatures while celebrating Thanksgiving
  • Blood Rage (1983), a psychopath goes on a homicidal rampage after the twin brother he framed for murder years earlier escapes on Thanksgiving
  • Boogeyman (2005), around Thanksgiving, a man is stalked by the entity that haunted his childhood
  • Home Movie (2008), home video footage documents a family’s descent into violence and madness; includes scenes of various holidays including Thanksgiving
  • Home Sweet Home (1981), an escaped mental patient embarks on a killing spree over Thanksgiving weekend
  • Intensity (1997), a young woman encounters a serial killer while visiting a friend’s family for Thanksgiving, then follows him to try and rescue a teenager he’s abducted
  • Kristy (2014), a college girl who is alone on campus over the Thanksgiving break is targeted by a group of outcasts
  • Thanksgiving (2006; short film), two couples are taken captive and tortured by a sadist during Thanksgiving dinner
  • Thanksgiving (2007; short film), an insane, turkey-obsessed pilgrim commits a series of random murders on Thanksgiving; directed by Eli Roth
  • ThanksKilling (2009), a group of students are hunted by a demonic turkey during Thanksgiving break
  • ThanksKilling 3, a 2012 film sequel to ThanksKilling
  • Thanxgiving, a 2006 film, directed by Bobby Ray Akers, Jr. about Spectre, a college film student, who takes his film crew to a deserted campground to finish his thesis film over Thanksgiving break

Thriller[edit]

Other[edit]

Review: The Madeleine Project

Clara Beaudoux

on Tour

July 12-18

with

Madeleine Project-Cover

The Madeleine Project

(biography/history)

Release date: September 12, 2017
at New Vessel Press

ISBN: 978-1939931498
288 pages

Website
Goodreads

MY REVIEW

As someone who just decluttered and moved (and needs to continue decluttering), this was an interesting book to read! Imagine finding a storage room filled with someone else’s belongings from a different era… and then imagine tweeting about it! It is an interesting way to glimpse into the life of Madeleine. At times, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t “click” to enlarge a photo or “click” on a link that was provided (etsy, youtube!), so I did end up going online and finding the songs she linked to (listen while you continue to read!):

I didn’t look for the audio of her interviews with those who knew her, as I don’t speak French, but I am glad that the author went in search of those who knew and remembered Madeleine, as I loved their thoughts about her.  The common thread seemed to be “I wish I had asked her more questions, got to know her better,” which led to, “I wish I knew my own parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents better, had asked them more questions.”  And that made me grateful that in my family we bought both of my parents a Story Worth subscription** so they are receiving weekly emails with questions about their lives which will be compiled into a book at the end of a year.

Ultimately, this book was not fully satisfying to me. I love Twitter, so I am now following #Madeleineproject and the author (@clarabdx) and will check in occasionally.  This book takes you through Seasons 1 and 2 and currently the author is working on Season 4, so I have some catching up to do. I would have loved more of the interaction with other Twitter followers to more fully develop the story of Madeleine and Paris. Unfortunately I don’t read or understand French, and the Storify links don’t translate, so I probably will not delve too much further into the life of Madeleine.

But maybe with all my decluttering, I will create a time capsule of life in the early 2000s that can be discovered by grandchildren in their adulthood. And I will be more purposeful in asking questions and learning about all the people in my life.

**I really should work for Story Worth, because I love it so and recommend it to everyone I know! CLICK Story Worth for more information!

I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.  Click below to enter a giveaway!

SYNOPSIS

A young woman moves into a Paris apartment and discovers a storage room filled with the belongings of the previous owner, a certain Madeleine who died in her late nineties, and whose treasured possessions nobody seems to want. In an audacious act of journalism driven by personal curiosity and humane tenderness, Clara Beaudoux embarks on The Madeleine Project, documenting what she finds on Twitter with text and photographs, introducing the world to an unsung 20th century figure. Along the way, she uncovers a Parisian life indelibly marked by European history. This is a graphic novel for the Twitter age, a true story that encapsulates one woman’s attempt to live a life of love and meaning together with a contemporary quest to prevent that existence from slipping into oblivion.
Through it all, The Madeleine Project movingly chronicles, and allows us to reconstruct, intimate memories of a bygone era.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeleine Project-Beaudoux

Clara Beaudoux
is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network.
The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx

In French: on Facebook, The Madeleine Project page,
and the author’s main website

Follow New Vessel Press on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book: on Indiebound | on Amazon

***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners

 

***

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