Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 goals

Well, I haven't blogged since the 4th of July.  Obviously a lot has happened since then: school started up, Katie had a birthday, Liam had a birthday, Evie had a birthday, I had a birthday (it's amazing I don't weigh 300lbs just from all the cake that's consumed over here in a 3 month period,) Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year! Phew. Blog backlog. I'll put it all on here eventually.

But todays posting is about goals.

I had a few for 2014.

Have more quality quiet time (this I could have done better at. But I got more QT with the Lord than I have years past)
Lose 30lbs (umm, yeah. I lost 3. It was all the birthday cake.)
Make stuff (I started a TON of projects and didn't finish any of them. Not how I usually roll.)
Blog more (I did well till July!)
Watch more movies and read more books (this I accomplished and it's probably why I didn't finish my craft projects and so yeah, lose more weight. Too much sitting.)

Most everyone knows that I love to watch movies, but folks may not know that I equally love a good book. Now that the kids are older, gone at school and Finn naps like a champ, I have more time to read.

I became good friends with the library here.  I took full advantage of the holds system and the only book I had to wait a looong time for was "A Fault In Our Stars" which originally popped up saying I'd have a 54 week wait.  Luckily people read faster than anticipated and it was only a few months till it was up for grabs. (And then I finished it in a day and wondered what all the fuss was about.  I was not impressed.)

All said and done my eyes got a workout in 2014, scanning 15,185 pages. 30 books total. 28 fiction or autobiographies I've never read, one devotional, and one re-read.

Oh and I watched 14 movies I've not seen before.

I've written a list of all the books and movies down below and I've added a short review to almost all of them.  Scan it and see if there's anything you should put on your "to see or read" list.


The Giver
Gathering Blue
So good!  I had the movie on my watch list, so I thought I'd read all of the books first. Make sure you read this series in order!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Hollow City
These 2 books are weird. They are young adult (YA) and we're recommended by the children's librarian. They have REAL freaky vintage pictures in them that the author used to write his totally fictional story around.

The Maze Runner
Scorch Trials
Death Cure
Kill Order
The Maze Runner was made into a movie this year, so again, I read the entire series first.  I wasted my time on the last book. It was a prequel and just one violent story after another, and didn't really add much to the first 3 books.

Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written in My Own Hearts Blood
If you like time traveling, fictional historical romance novels - this is THE series for you! I read all 8 books, 7,712 pages in about 2 months. If you DON'T like time traveling, fictional, historical, or romance novels, this is so NOT the series for you.

Individual Books

The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire
(this one is apart of a series, it's the last one, I read the others in 2013. It's YA and ok.)

Gone Girl
Dark Places
(both books written by Gillian Flynn and they made me want to throw up. Wish I had a do over and made them a do not. I did not see Gone Girl and have no plans to see Dark Places when it comes out.)

A Prayer for Owen Meany - there are no words for me to describe this book
The Outsiders- cried my eyes out
Tuck Everlasting- one of my favorite movies and a quick, easy read.
The Fault In Our Stars- ehhh
P.S. I Love You- good movie, book is totally different
Unbroken- biography of Louis Zamperini and the best book I have a read in a long time. Get your tissue box ready and be prepared to be inspired! A must read. (I've not seen the movie yet. Not sure I want to ruin the book experience.)
Rocket Boys- biography of Homer Hickam and friends.  The movie October Sky is on my favorites list and this is the book it's based off of.  Couldn't put it down!

Creative Counterpart- the lone devotional
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- my re-read


Some of these came out in 2013, but I didn't see them till 2014

HER- trippy and I would just love to meet Joaquin Phoenix someday
Winter's Tale- ummm, I liked it. I like odd things and I cannot lie.
Emperor- this came on when we had a free Starz weekend. It was good, very sad, kinda slow.
Stories We Tell- again thanks to free Starz I saw all but the last 30 minutes of this. I feel no urgent need to finish it.
American Hustle- Jennifer Lawrence did not deserve an Oscar nom for this.
Crazy, Stupid, Love- what would I do without free Starz weekends?
X-Men: Days of Future Past- I liked it! My husband is a walking comic book encyclopedia. So I've seen allll the movies about allll the mutant/superhero/iron/godlike men.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day- saw it for E's birthday, super cute!
Maleficent- not bad!
The Maze Runner- good book to movie adaptation
The Giver- another good book to movie adaptation, I wasn't sure if I would like the changes they made, but I did and needed tissues at the end - you really should read the book before you see the movie. It'll make more sense.
Interstellar- this I loved. Bring kleenex. And just let go of all your science-y opinions and enjoy the ride. It is make believe after all folks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

4th of july 2014

We had a very relaxed 4th.  Spent some time at the pool.  Took naps!  BBQ'd some hotdogs.  And then we decided to brave the crowds and check out the fireworks up the street.  Since we'd never been there before and weren't sure if the show would be any good, rather than get tied up in major traffic at the actual venue, we sat across the street in the grocery store parking lot.  I've never sat in a parking lot, on the small grass area next to the cart return, to watch fireworks before.  There is a first time for everything though.  The show was awesome and surprisingly very loud.   Finn had to sit in the car with Jason for about half of it.  Good thing we didn't park far away....

Next year we might try the fireworks downtown again.  And we can re-introduce the kids to another first, the smell of marijuana.  Oh Austin.

Thankful for the low key, non pot smelling, first time 4th we had this year!

The big kids jumping in together

Finn, jumping in, doing his own thang


Finn feeling braver

My version of wearing red, white and blue


Parking lot fireworks! 

mother's day 2014

"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy."

Times 4.  They're all my squishy's.  

Mother's Day flowers, my favorite, peonies   

easter 2014

Easter was the day after Finn's birthday this year.  So it was a busy weekend!  My parents were down from Dallas and it was a treat to get to worship with them at church that morning and then have brunch here.  Here are some snapshots from Easter Sunday.  (Please excuse the 2 or 3 of just me.  I hate how I look in most photographs, but the ones Jason took that day made me feel really pretty.  So I posted them for future "I feel ugly" days.)

Time to eat!

Ummm, they never get candy.  This was like if you can't tell by their expressions.

Homemade cherry and apple, cream cheese, strudel/coffee cake deliciousness! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

happy birthday finn

Because you know, finally posting in August about your sons April birthday is what the cool people do.  Or the forgetful ones...

Finn turned 3 on April 19th, not to be confused with tax day, April 15th which is the date I gave the dr.'s receptionist when I tried to make an appointment for him last week (where IS my brain these days?) and we threw him a Hungry Caterpillar party!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was actually one of Liam's favorite books for a long time, so it was read over and over and over and Finn grew to love it as well.  And as cutsie caterpillars are more appropriate for 3 year olds than 7 year olds, I decided to run with this theme now. 

Since Pinterest is FULL of ideas for this type of party, I didn't have to look far for inspiration and thanks to my friend Leslie, I didn't have to spend a ton on decor either.  She had already thrown her little girl a hungry caterpillar party and graciously loaned me some supplies ('pillars are popular.)

All great parties need cake, so I broke out the food coloring (the only time I use it is for birthdays) and I made a green ombre cake with my new mini Wilton pans.

Here is the finished, iced cake and the birthday boy.

Again, a huge thank you to Leslie for the awesome food labels and the paper lanterns.

I like to drive parents nuts and do a craft at my parties.  But I refrained from paint ('cause that drives ME nuts) and stuck to glue this year.  I decided to have the kids put together their very own hungry caterpillars.  I made an example for them all to follow, cut out the pieces, stashed them in individual baggies beforehand and then all they had to do was assemble.  I wish I had remembered to get a shot of the finished caterpillars, because no two were alike, they all had their own special twist.  

Next up was presents!

And here's Finn's blue steel impression...

And finally cake, which Finn had been asking for since he woke up at 6am.
(Thank you to my dad who saved the day with his candles shot.  I am clearly having trouble functioning lately and my shot was, well, dark.) 




If you asked Finn "what's today?" he would reply, "my happy birthday!" 
A huge thank you to those who came and made his happy birthday extra special!