Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Reader

Ahhh... The Reader did not disappoint. Kate Winslet WAS AMAZING. I think she kicked Meryl's ass, and that's saying something, because I loved Doubt. The Reader is set in Germany during the post Nazi Era, where a boy embarks on a relationship journey with an older woman. The whole first fourth of the movie is done naked. Lots of nudity, people, lots of nudity. The two lovers eventually fall apart and then are reunited under less than happy circumstances. I wont divulge anymore, because you really should rent it.

As a side note, I also watched The Spirit. I was thinking it would be a lot like Sin City, as they were directed by the same folks, but The Spirit lacked spirit. It was just... hokey. And Wrong. I was disappointed on this one folks. Boo.

One Year Old

On Saturday, Mark and I had the privilege of celebrating Miss Olivia Kittrell's Birthday with her and her family. We rode up with Holly and Ryan and I think everyone had a great time. Tiffany did a fantastic job with the party. She made Olivia a little onesie with her hand print on the front and on the back it said, I see you, that's my cake! (I wish I had gotten a picture of the back!) Anyway, Miss Olivia had LOTS of presents, including a little white rocking chair, a red wagon and lots and lots of TOYS! This girl will be finding new things to play with for months to come!

She also had a lot of friends who came to celebrate her birthday with her, Here she is with Bryant and Ryan going for a little ride in the wagon. They were so funny by this point, because I think they were very tired. Olivia looked like she was going to fall asleep at one point.

Congrats to Josh and Tiffany. They have a sweet baby girl!
I had to include this last picture of Ryan. This is before we got back on the main road. The poor boy was TIRED!!

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Luck of the Truck

Mark hit a deer Monday morning on his way to work. The deer (a doe) definitely got the worse end of the stick. What's really crazy about this, is that he hit the doe in town. If you are familiar with Kingston, it may surprise you. He hit her right in front of Kykers. There were two that jumped the guard rail moving from the lake towards Kykers. He missed the first one, thankfully, (a buck) and hit the second one. The damage wasn't too bad, but it was enough to cause about 2500.00 worth of repairs.

We are going to have to replace the hood and the grill and lots of little expensive brackets and possibly the quarter panels. Mark was very lucky and had his seat belt on, so he was fine. The pop tart he was eating however, was not so lucky. It's in about 50 million pieces in the floorboard of the truck. I'm just glad he wasn't driving my car, because the damage would have been BAD. (I drive a little Saturn.)

There is something sort of funny about all this. When he called the insurance company (around 3:45 AM-he is still on that crazy work schedule) to post the claim, the lady was like "you were on your way to work? " Mark said he felt like maybe she was thinking he was on his way home from the bar, since no one in their right mind actually gets up that early to do anything.

He also found a four leaf clover when he got home from work that afternoon. If only he had found it the night before.....

I'm just glad he's OK. Whew!
Love you baby!

Guilty as Charged

I was reading Mighty Girl's Blog the other day, and she had a link to Momversation about guilty pleasures. after watching the video (and shaking my head in agreement about several things,) I decided to post my own guilty pleasures. Enjoy!

1. America's Next Top Model. I find myself posing in the bathroom mirror after each episode.

2. Going to see a movie, ALONE. This sounds rather depressing, I suppose, but there's nothing like it, really. I recommend going in the early afternoon, before school lets out, buying a huge tub of popcorn and some nachos. The last time I did this, I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix all by myself. It was completely blissful. No coughing or sharing the arm rest, no crying babies, no one on their cell phone. Wonderful....

3. Walking by myself. Particularly by the lake. It's peaceful, even though I may be listening to Cherry Pie on my IPod.

4. Bad 80's music Dance Party in the car. This can be alone or with company, I don't mind.

5. I really like Brussel Sprouts, but since no one else seems to, I never buy or order them for fear of constant mockery.

There certainly are more I could add to the list, but I think 5 is plenty. So.. sound off. What are your guilty pleasures? I think I will even tag a few people, just to get the ball rolling: Talia, Brandi, Jennifer and Jade. Show me the love, ladies.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting

Holly needed a babysitter this afternoon, and it has been far too long since I got some quality time in with my favorite baby boy, so I gladly accepted. The only problem was, I needed to keep him at my house because of Mark's crazy shifts this week. (This makes night #2 where I've had dinner hot and ready when he walked in the door.) So Ryan stayed here. It's not really a problem per say, but he just has oodles and oodles of more toys to play with at his house. Holly brought his seat and a little basket of toys. When he got tired of those, we improvised...

Here we are... that sweet, silly smile. Just look at those baby blues! They are almost gray!

Pondering what he can get into, while I make dinner....

Pots and Pans, of course! He loved this... cheap too! : )

We decided they made great helmets, as well. Ha!

....and here's a little video for you. My nephew is more entertaining than most adults I know!

Love you, baby boy!
Aunt Hedda

and here I was having Doubts

Well, no, not really. I was actually really excited to watch Doubt, that just seemed like a good title. No disappointment, either! Doubt was great. From the acting to its subtle setting and color scheme, I was truly impressed. Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were more than wonderful. The movie is set within the walls of a Catholic Church and School. Streep's character is principal at the school and Adams is a teacher (both are nuns). Hoffman plays the pastor who is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

What I really can't wait to see is whether or not Kate Winslet really did deserve best actress. Meryl is going to be hard to beat!

I am almost through my list of Academy Award Winners and Nominees. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road, The Reader, Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler are all I have left.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Best Picture

I just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire, and for those of you who haven't seen it yet; you should! It won Best Picture and lots of other awards this year at the Oscars. It's got something for everyone, action, comedy, romance, you name it! Salim, Jamal and Latika are the primary focus of this story, and it's one you don't want to miss. Enjoy! *Doubt comes out tomorrow and it next on my list of movies to see, so I will report back soon!

As a side note, Mark started "hell week" today and I was a wonderful wife who had dinner on the table and hot when he got home. It wasn't pizza either! I made pork tenderloin, rice and salad. He is asleep already. As in, for the night. This morning started off with a bang when he forgot his codes to get in. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. He was delirious when he got home, but smiling so I will take that as a hopeful hint that the rest of the week will pass quickly for him. I wanted to get a picture of him when he got home, but I can't seem to find the camera. hopefully I will catch one tomorrow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Whittle while you work...

Mark and I have been trying to whittle down our debt for a little over a year now. When I say this, I can practically feel people thinking "Aren't we all trying to do that?" What I mean is really working at it. We cut out everything that we really don't need and started paying off bills. The biggest reason is because life seems to be more stressful the more debt you incur, thus we want to feel a little more freedom when it comes to our checking account. The second reason is because we've seen what debt does to families and none of those things are good.

So, what have we cut out? Glad you asked. Well for starters, we don't have kids, so we were able to be slightly more extreme in our thought process, so just bear that in mind. This is the second winter we declined to have our propane tank filled up. We saved about $1000.00 dollars in that situation, right off the bat. We used kerosene for heat, but sparingly. Let me tell you, if you thought your house was cold this winter, don't feel too bad. Mine was an igloo. Maybe that's exaggerating things a bit. We weren't crazy about it- meaning no one got sick or hypothermia, but we did look like bums hovering over a trash can from time to time when the kerosene heater was getting cranked up. From one extreme to the other: We didn't run our air conditioner in the summer. This honestly wasn't too bad. We have ceiling fans and made lots of daiquiri's. It worked out pretty well. Our grocery shopping experience has changed too. We buy only things we are going to eat and we don't go to the store until Old Mother Hubbard tells us we have to. The great thing about this scenario is we have stopped wasting so much food, and therefore money. Cable was on the chopping block too. We cut off our cable and watched movies for a while. Internet was never an option because we pay so many bills online and Mark would have to send me to rehab for my myspace/facebook/blogger addiction withdrawals and that would have been a pricey set back for him. One the plus side, because we kept the Internet, we get channels 2-14 for free, which gives us access to all the network shows and keeps us pretty happy. I spoke in a previous blog about water consumption, buying Navy shower heads and actually using them. Other ways we have been saving have included, but weren't limited to only eating out as a treat, clothes shopping with Christmas and Birthday money and skipping the awesome vacation we would love to have taken.

So, Why, you ask are you telling us all this? Well, because I explained this to a group of friends recently and they thought I should share it with others. Internet, you are my others! The plus side of all of this is that if we keep this going through the end of this year, the house payment will be our only source of debt. It's really amazing! Mark gave me this information right after he told me about his CRAZY work schedule for this coming week. He's in at 3:50AM and home at 5:00pm. It's a long day, but worth it in the long run he says, because it will only get us to our goal that much faster. I really wanted to complain, but overtime is rare and there are so many people without jobs right now, that zipped me right up.

Hopefully there will be tons of people calling to get massages this month. I want to do my part too!!

Brain Waves

About a week ago, I started reading a book called "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life." It's written by Doctor Daniel G. Amen. The appeal for me is dealing with Panic Disorder. I recently found a new doctor. A doctor who appears to care more about my health than how fast he can see myself and the 32 other patients waiting in his lobby. Ahem... ranting completed. This new doctor switched me from one medication to another, (which seems to be working wonderfully) and then wrote me two other prescriptions: the first for a book and the second for some relaxation DVDs. Hot Damn! This man is combining Eastern and Western Medicine! I think I'll keep him.

So far, so good. I feel much less like the rubber ball that I was; bouncing around and letting nothing make me "feel" anything. This is a huge plus. Feels nice to care again! I found the DVDs much more easily than the book. Walmart had a decent selection of Relaxation DVDs, so I picked one out and started using it. Holy Cow, it worked! The first couple of times I fell asleep. Apparently, this is a good thing because I was able to relax enough to pass out. I am getting better and better at making time for it, so hopefully this will become a more routine part of my day sometime in the very near future.

The book is FANTASTIC. I am purposefully reading it slowly. Pacing myself with it. (I have incorporated it into my "relaxation time" and this seems to be a really good thing for me.) The books' purpose is to teach people how to conquer Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger and Impulsiveness. There are at least 2 chapters devoted to each topic. The first explaining what each thing is and how it affects different parts of our brains and the second teaches ways to break through negative thought patterns and how to deal with problems more effectively. There are exercises as well to boost your brain function.

The book has really helped me better understand anxiety for myself and problems other people have with anger and impulsiveness. I won't lie, there is some medical jarnagin in the book, but I think Doctor Amen deals with these phrases and terms in a way so that they are very well explained and easier for the layperson to understand. I would recommend this book to anyone dealing with any one or all of these issues or knows someone who might be.

Here's to the power of positivity!
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