12.24.13 What’s Making Me Happy

Merry Christmas everyone!  It has been so long since I posted (more than a month!) and I’ve done many things, so I’ll try to catch up with a whirlwind post of what’s making me happy:

  • I love firsts – even the first day of winter!  It means the days are getting longer and we are heading towards spring, instead of away from summer.  There was a year when I had a party for every first day of the season (or last day of the season, depending on where it landed in the week).  Maybe someday I’ll reprise, but for now know that I quietly celebrated and remember.
  • I’ve seen movies –

On Netflix DVDs:  

  • Frances Ha (a girl wants to pursue dancing career – and avoid growing up!), 
  • The Kings of Summer (boys build a home in the woods to avoid their families), 
  • Smashed (a married couple goes separate ways when one decides to be sober)
  • and at home right now is The Salt of Life (an Italian movie starring the man in Mid-August Lunch, the inspiration for Ferragosto!)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Christmas DVD Traditions: 

  • Elf
  • Love, Actually
  • The Holiday
  • Family Stone
  • Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

On Netflix Streaming:

And in the Theatre:

  • About Time (I loved this so!  I thought it had such a great message of how to live life… soooo good!  Bummed that it didn’t stay in the theatre long – I will be buying this!), 
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (So fun to see this with the girl who loves it best – Gracie.  We went on opening night, so the theatre was filled with other lovers of the series, and there were cheers and boos and sighs throughout.  A good movie!), 
  • Dallas  Buyers Club (Not a feel good movie at all, but outstanding performances, and a thought-provoking glimpse into the government/ pharmacology difficulties in obtaining medications.), 
  • Philomena (a great British film about a woman who goes in search of the son that was taken from her in the 50s while she was “banished” to a convent as an unwed mother – great story, great performances, great movie),  
  • Delivery Man (Vince Vaughn finds out his sperm-donating days have wielded him a passel!  It was not as funny as I like Vince to be, but it was a pretty good movie), 
  • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (and so it does.  The story is original and the point they make about 24 hour media is pretty spot-on. Not great, but not a bad sequel.), and 
  • American Hustle (I love that “some of this really happened” was the tag line at the beginning of the movie.  Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence were amazing, and the story was fun to follow. )
I do indeed...

I do indeed…

As always during the holidays, there have been Musical Events:

  • Crossings At Carnegie – Becky Schlegel and the 48 High – a great, intimate setting, with fun music – a little country, a little bluegrass!  
  • Messiah “Sing In” – Always a treat to go with Beth!  This year Vicki went as well!  The music seemed harder to sing, but it was a great night.  
  • Take Note! and Winona Brass Band – our concert has been a tradition since 2006 – isn’t that amazing?  It always goes by so fast, but is a fun night at the beginning of the holiday season! 
  • Christmas program at church – Even though it was only 20 minutes long between church services, I was glad to get to the program!  Good smiles, good songs… 
  • Take Note! party – Mom and Dad opened their house for the Christmas party for the choir.  Everyone brought delicious food, we had good weather, good laughs, watched our concert, and had a relaxing afternoon.
  • Festival of Lessons and Carols at the Chapel at St. Mary’s – Gracie has been singing with her choir at this concert for a few years.  It’s a nice time to reflect on the season, listen to beautiful choral music, handbell choirs, and to sing favorite hymns.
  • Dan Chouinard and Peter Ostroushko – Such a great evening of singing and music!  The ability of these two men is awe inspiring, and they make it look effortless.  Such a great Christmas tradition I hope I will do every year!
Next year I may make a Christmas tree out of books

Next year I may make a Christmas tree out of books

I’ve read some books: 

  • Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding – It’s nice to hear Bridget’s voice again, although she really should grow up, right? It’s a fun read with Bridget antics and a few precious moments.  
  • Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross – Read this for the book club in the ED.  It’s amazing how I never want to read historical fiction and then enjoy it a lot.  This takes place in the 800s and it’s fun to read about their education, religion and beliefs.  Good discussion!  
  • Perfect by Autumn Jordan – Very short Christmas story!  Trying to “pad” my book numbers for 2013!  
  • Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine – on audio – a story about a young man being raised by his older sister.  A good story, which probably would have been better if I had a more consistent listening schedule.  🙂  
  •  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling – Currently listening to this on audio – I love Mindy and can’t wait to listen further. 
  • Wishin’ & Hopin’ by Wally Lamb – another short Christmas story – hoping to maybe make my goal of 32 books in 2013!  
  • Next on my list is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – hear it’s a great YA book!  

football_santa

And then I’ve made it to a few sporting events – 

  • Wrestling – I spent an afternoon watching cousin Trevor wrestle – well, I waited all afternoon to watch Trevor wrestle once, as he had a win by forfeit in his second match of the day and I missed his first one! 🙂  He wrestled hard and I hope to make a few more meets this winter.  
  • Basketball – Trajan is playing Junior Varsity for Mayo, and I’ve made a few of his games so far, hoping for more!  Gracie and Rees will also be playing, so hope I can get to some of those, as well!  

Phew!  I wonder how many will make it to the end of this long list!  I’m hoping to blog again before the end of 2013 so let’s see if that happens!  I know that the days ahead are filled – with work, with fun events, and with family time.  

Christmas

 

I hope that your Christmas holidays are as blessed and a blessing to you!  

What’s Making Me Happy 4/16/13

Ah, a day off with little sleep.  Hopefully tonight I will sleep soundly, waking refreshed for a long work day!

But here’s what’s making me happy:

  • Getting through overnights at work is always good… another month until it happens again!  
  • I finished “Gone with the Wind” last night!  Woot!  It was a great book, unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of endurance with it, so I read it in shorter spurts than I would have liked.  But I can’t wait to discuss it with others who have read it and to revisit the movie.  So much to talk about!  Scarlett’s coping skill of “thinking of it tomorrow” is something I have employed… sometimes things are just so hard to face that you have to divert attention elsewhere and move forward with plans tomorrow.  It is spoken so often in the book… and it is the final sentence of the book:  “After all, tomorrow is another day.”  I’m so glad I read it.

    Gone with the Wind cover

    Gone with the Wind cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Book club with the Preston gals was a lot of fun.  We read a great book (“We are all Welcome Here” by Elizabeth Berg) and had great food – rum and Cokes, pizza burgers, cheesy potatoes, and Mississippi Mud Cake.  Yummy!  Always good to see those women!
  • Met girls from work for dinner on a Friday night!  It was good to get together outside of work and to get to know them better.  Hopefully it’s something we can do again and again!  We celebrated having a Friday off before a weekend off!  Doesn’t always happen!  Maybe this Friday we will have a happy hour after we have supervision from 6-8pm!  🙂
  • I had a terrible cold during my weekend off, but enjoyed movies and reading… not a bad way to spend a weekend off!
  • Singing is always good… love the songs we’re singing in choir!  Some river songs, medley style (“Old Black Water,” “Swanee River,” “The Old Folks at Home,” “Mood River” and more!) and some Irish songs (yay!) and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”  Love it.
  • Had some good days off last week before my weekend overnight work.  Good meals out, good cooking at home, good movie in the theatre (“Admissions”) and hanging out with Marissa.  Good stuff.
  • A great post-tax-day out with Beth today – delicious breakfast at Burdey’s in Peterson (cinnamon roll pancakes – so good!) followed by shopping and fro-yo!  Good stuff.

And coming up:

  • 3 days of work ahead and a weekend off.  No big plans (yet!), but just glad to have a Saturday, Sunday, Monday off!  
  • Hanging out with the kids a little as Dana and  Koni jet off to Vegas!  
  • Starting in on my pile of TBR books – #1 is The Silver Linings Playbook!  Yay!  DVD comes out 4/30, so that’s something I”m looking forward to! Also have 2 book club books going – “The Accidental Tourist” by Anne Tyler and “Sick Girl” by Amy Silverstein (for work).  Good stuff!  I’m listening to the audio of “The Accidental Tourist” and I think it’s read by the slowest narrator in the history of narrators.  Goodness.  But it’s a good book!
    The Accidental Tourist

    The Accidental Tourist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     

  • Planning a small graduation party for Marissa is fun… it sure is something to celebrate!
  • Have so many good shows to catch up on – so glad I still have my DVR!  I’ll catch up with them sometime – so no Mad Men or Smash spoilers!

What is making you happy this week?

Tra La!

Ah, one more May blog. 🙂 

It was a good holiday weekend full of hard work!  Not a lot more reading done, unfortunately, but I did finish “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and it was enjoyable.  As I said on Goodreads, I was hesitant to read it, thinking it would be sad and heavy, but it really wasn’t!  It was sweet and told mostly from the perspective of a 12 year old boy and the 50 year old man he becomes.  It was nice.

I started listening to “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” today, and it starts out hard to listen to!  It starts out with the Prime Minister being visited by the Ministry of Magic and then Snape meeting with Bellatrix and then a lot of newspaper headlines.  I don’t think we see Harry until chapter four (maybe three), so it just feels different than the other books.  Thankfully it’s shorter than the last few, so I should be able to rip through it!

I also downloaded my second library e-book!  A Diane Mott Davidson book, just for fun.  I’ll have to see if I can get the last few books on my Spring Reading Thing list from the library.  Not many left!  Yay!

Well, not many days of work left, that’s for sure.  It’s amazing how much better I feel after time away.  I am dreading the next three days – well, maybe dreading is too strong, but I’m really hoping for strength to get through them.  I have a LOT to do!

But now, I’m off to read!  Blogs before bed!