Monday, February 22, 2010
I spent a good deal of time just sitting and taking it in. Giving thanks for all the good in our life and being grateful that I can come to a place like this and recharge and refuel. Nature has that affect. Brings you closer to God so you can feel the peace and escape from constant state of go - go - go that we all live in. If you haven't done this lately, you should give it a try.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
We did get to see a built in fire pit that we liked. We would love to do this on our patio.
After 45 minutes at the show and seeing everything we wanted, we decided to walk a few blocks to have lunch at Penny Lane Pub. It was the highlight of our day. It's a wonderful true English pub with great personality and flair. Great food and drink by a roaring fire. We absolutely loved it.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I don't consider myself much of a TV or movie watcher. Having younger kids (well really only Ellie now - Emma can see PG-13) makes it harder to get out and see movies that I am actually interested in. Sure, I get my fair share of Disney and Pixar and you can't really go wrong with any of those (I so loved Bolt last year - I just wanted to eat that little hamster up) but after awhile they get a little boring and I long to hear a cuss word or watch a steamy romance unfold.
As far as renting goes, we had a NetFlix account years ago and that was easy to do - order online then pop it in the mail when you're done and repeat- but while we were in Memphis, we cancelled our subscription and haven't started it back up since we have been home. We have a Blockbuster just about 10 minutes away from our house and that usually is the easiest source for rentals nowadays. We also have the premium channels on our FIOS TV. They were free for a certain time frame and we still haven't gotten rid of them although I find them to be pretty useless and now we are paying for them. I am thinking that is going to end soon. So even with the access to TVs, rentals and movies- I find that I don't really watch all that much. The last few weeks; however, have been an exception.
Perhaps it's all the snow we have had that makes wanting to pop popcorn and settle in for a movie more appealing or maybe it is because January/February is slower for me work wise and I have more leisure time or it just may be that I am enjoying being home more and going out less - whatever it is, I have watched a lot more television and movies over the last several weeks. I thought I would share all of this multimedia knowledge and give you my best Ebert/Roeper/Gene Shalit reviews without any of the normal thought provoking depth, insight or detail. That's just how I roll.
1. Julie and Julia - I watched this with Emma and Ellie as a rental. Ellie fell asleep halfway through. I am a huge Meryl Streep fan and think she is amazing at her craft. There isn't much that she does, that I don't like. The storyline was pretty smart switching back and forth between real time and Julia Childs time. The blog theme was also cool since I like blogs. We were both hungry at the end though...really hungry.
2. Coraline - Emma and I watched this on Starz. It was great. I love the Tim Burton-esque feel. Dark, witty and strangely endearing. Emma was scared in a few parts as we really got sucked into Coraline's world... the creepy aspects really came out in the end. The garden scenes with the giant bugs and beautiful flowers was my favorite part... really well done.
3. The Hangover - OMG... sooo funny. Steve and I watched this on New Years Day and we told Emma and Ellie they couldn't bother us. Dark and dirty and very funny. I love how we just kept getting glimpses of what happened and we had to piece them together and all along we wondered 'where is Doug?'... I haven't laughed at a movie like that since Wedding Crashers.
4. 9 - (not to be confused with Nine) Watched this On Demand with Emma... it was weird. We were cozied up in my bed watching it so perhaps that is why I feel asleep toward the end. It was a futuristic animation movie about the end of the world when all that remained were evil machines and these little hand-made dolls with different sewn on pieces and scraps that were highly intelligent. They were of course, fighting the evil machines... It was weird.
5. The Hurt Locker - I rented this for Steve during a recent snowstorm because it had such good reviews. I didn't like it. Steve didn't really care for it either. It's a movie set in current day Iraq about three soldiers that work on the bomb detonation squad. It's pressure packed and there are lots of explosives and some really sad images of war. It was not a feel good movie and really just a sad commentary on war. But hey, that's just what I got out of it.
6.The Blindside - Steve and I went while the girls were at school one day for an afternoon date. It was fabulous. Loved the film's message, loved the feel good - pay it forward positive emotion it invoked in me and I loved that it was about a family from Memphis. I had a personal reference point for some of the places they visited. Sandra Bullock was amazing and Tim McGraw was a nice surprise.
7. Tooth Fairy - The girls and I saw this at a recent birthday party for Ellie's friend Brennan. It was very cute and I loved the cat scene when he used his shrinking powers. It had family appeal and we all liked it regardless of our ages. The Rock wasn't too shabby to look at either even if he did wear tights and wings.
8. Weeds - this is a series on Showtime. It is a show about a middle aged mom that sells pot to make ends meet. It has been on for about 4 years now and has really evolved into a great drama. She isn't selling drugs anymore but oh so much more is happening... It has an adult edge with all sorts of inappropriate things going on. It is smart and well acted. This show is probably the only reason to keep the premium subscription channels.
9. For TV viewing I am currently watching American Idol with the girls. I can take it or leave it but it's something we can all do together and now that the contestants have been picked it will get more interesting. I am also going to admit my guilty pleasure. I watch the Housewives series on Bravo. New Jersey sucked me in and now I have watched Atlanta and Orange County. It's bad TV but I just cannot stop. Project Runway has returned as well and this show is good creative TV. I love to see how these designers tackle challenges...love it! What else... Oh... Glee will be back on Fox in April and that is a show we all watch....Steve included. It can be a little mature for Emma at times but I look at it as an opportunity to talk about certain topics... so looking forward to this coming back.
So that's quite a list, no? It's more couch potato time than I am used to but it's been enjoyable, especially with the winter weather we have had. I have about 5 books that are just collecting dust waiting for me to turn my attentions to them. I promise, I will get to you soon. I am just having too much fun watching TV right now.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
We've had a busy week last week. Ellie and I flew to Memphis for her quarterly check-up at St. Jude. The big news of the week... NO CANCER! So very relieved to hear that amazing announcement. Ellie loves going back to St. Jude and she was so very proud of herself this time because she didn't shed any tears while getting her vein accessed for an IV and blood work. It was the very first time this has happened. She had to get stuck two times since the first attempt failed when her vein decided to go MIA during the procedure. We both were very proud. I hate that she has to grow up getting needles and MRIs but I hate cancer even more so we will do what we have to do to keep on top of things.
In addition to our fabulous no cancer news, we were able to connect with all our favorite Memphis people. We stopped in on the transplant floor (the place where Ellie had all her chemo and stem cell transplant) and had a great visit with Wanda and Leigh. Wanda is an amazing nurse that was such a rock for me during Ellie's hospital stays. It somehow seemed OK knowing Wanda was the one giving Ellie this poison. She was extremely focused and detailed and I knew no mistakes would be made on her watch and above that, she treated Ellie like she would treat her own child. We shared a lot during our time up on floor 2 and she will always have a place in my heart.
Leigh is a nurse practitioner that would check in to make sure everything was going according to plan. We would see her in between rounds of chemotherapy too. She is so kind and loving and we made a definite connection. We also got to visit with our friend Steve who is a 25 year old medical student. We met him when he volunteered the summer that Ellie had radiation. He is a great kid and will be a great doctor in the near future. I was fortunate to spend about an hour with one of the St Jude chaplins. Mark sat with me for a bit while Ellie was having her MRI. When we were inpatient, he would always came up before Ellie's chemo rounds began to pray with us for healing, no side effects and for peace. We have kept in touch since we have been home and I love being able to share all of the 'divine' aspects of our journey with him. And of course, last but certainly not least, is Dr. Bikhazi. He is just the best and I love him more every time we see him. He certainly has a soft spot for Ellie and we feel the same way. So, great visit to St Jude but even better to be back home.
Today the girls had a half day of school and I had to take Emma out (in the rain...wah...) to exchange a pair of jeans. I didn't want to go but I 'pinky promised' her yesterday and she wasn't taking no for an answer. For dinner I had a bowl of French Onion soup that was so delicious and now all I want to do is take a hot bath and relax but Ellie has homework. The rain is beating down and the bath sounds so much more appealing then number facts and story elements but Steve made dinner and did the laundry so I guess I have to contribute in some way.
Here are some photos from our St Jude visit. Look how happy Ellie is... she just melts my heart.
Yeehaw! Look at the rodeo form!
Friday, February 5, 2010
This is the view from my desk chair... you cannot see the snow too well but trust me there are hugely ginormous fat flakes falling from the sky. Ellie is playing on the PC on the other side of my office. Steve is upstairs working and Emma is hanging out in the family room on her PC. The fire is on and we are all safe and sound and enjoying the beauty of the day. Love days like today.♥
Thursday, February 4, 2010
This week we were guests at K95 Radio in Richmond (FM-95.5). This is our local country station and they are part of 'Country Cares' which is a radiothon for St. Jude. I phoned in last year and told our story but this year they wanted to pre-tape an interview that they can replay throughout the radiothon which runs all day on 2-11 & 2-12. Ellie is working the mic below in the main DJ booth. She didn't touch any buttons while she sat there. I would have been too tempted.
These radiothons are all over the country so stay tuned for when your local station has theirs. Please consider donating to St. Jude if you can. They need the funds to keep the doors open and to keep saving the lives of kids like Ellie.