Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good Movies

My sister-in-law just emailed me this link for good movies. You search for your favorite movies, and when you order one you get a free copy of an edited version. You can decide if you want a "PG" or "PG-13" version. Mark and I own A LOT of movies as a result of the impulse-buy racks at Target, but there are plenty of movies that we don't buy because of one little scene that we find particularly offense or ruined the movie for us. This is perfect for me and the perfect time of year, because the movie "Love Actually" is one of my favorites, but there are a couple scenes that are so gratuitous and stupid that I've never wanted to buy it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reading List

What I'm reading right now: A Severe Mercy

True, I've read this book no less than five times, and I realize that I am 'preaching to the choir' in my rave reviews, as it's listed as a favorite book of almost all my friends. It's been more than two years since I've last read A Severe Mercy, and I can't believe how much I gain every time I read it.

This memoir brings me to a place so rare. It makes me long for Oxford, to study as a profession, to sail the obscure keys, and to realize truths I'd never looked at. The love in this book is incomparable to any fiction I've read. The love story in the book is true. It's inspiring and challenging. The acknowledgement of the beautiful, and the search for answers is a personal challenge for me to do the same in my life. This book brings me to a time I wished I lived in. Class, etiquette, poetry, wine, and with the exception of a constant listening of classical records, totally devoid of media that lessens creativity and prevents so many experiences.

Another memoir I saw when I was in the Pittsburgh airport, flying alone back to Minnesota during a break for school. Stopping in print shop full of periodicals and bestsellers a certain book stood out to me. I had never heard of it, or the author, but my temptation to buy the overpriced airport book was strong. I resisted, and instead decided to research the author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A Pulitzer Prize winner. The library had two of his books Love in the Time of Cholera and A Hundred Years of Solitude. I decided on the first and fell in love. I had never read anything within the Hispanic Experience, and I was blown away. Everything about this book felt real to me. The author uses "magical realism" to the fullest extent, and nothing like the ghosts in Hamlet, these fantasies were as real as the characters and left no doubt of their truth. I enjoyed Solitude equally, the Pulitzer winner, although a challenge to read in that I had to concentrate on the characters and story line. It seems that all the male characters have the same name, as do the female characters, so I read the book with a genealogy chart in front of me the entire time. A person with more advanced comprehension wouldn't have to do that, but I needed to.

I see that Cholera is now a movie. I was first very excited. I even made a point to record the "making of" special on HBO. Movie Trailers are intended to make any movie look good, but at first glance this one doesn't. I may see it, but I'd hate for the beautiful story I have imagined in my head to be polluted with a poorly done film. We'll see.


"Women who won't have babies because they aren't Eco-friendly"

I don't have the time to read the quantity of material there is daily to keep up with politics. I keep up the best I can because I have an interest, but when I'm not sitting in front of the computer all day I can't refresh Drudge every ten minutes. My husband, however, rarely misses anything. He sent me this article a few days ago. I've read it, reread it, and continue to check up on new comments. It still haunts me. I don't have anything profound to say, it just makes me sad and angry.

I have to wonder at what point people weight the value of life against their carbon footprint? I respect the earth, I will teach my children to respect the earth, and we will live eco-friendly for our own health and that of future generations. That does not mean we will elevate the earth to some kind of diety to be worshipped at all costs; offering our firstborn as a sacrfice upon Mount Moriah.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The only Thanksgivings that Mark and I have had as a married couple have been quiet ones. Our first Thanksgiving as a couple was quite memorable. I was newly pregnant, exhausted, and a little despondent about my new job. I wasn't looking forward to making a turkey, as I generally couldn't cook anything decently anyway. Mark was working on getting at least some friends to come and visit us far away in Michigan. I didn't want to be alone, but I was also nervous about the pressure to make Thanksgiving dinner, not to mention that I was nine weeks pregnant the smell of certain foods made me...well, you know.

The day before Thanksgiving Mark woke me up at 2am. We had a visitor. I was, exhausted, and in my pajamas. No one sees me in pajamas, especially Mark's friends. Mark insisted that I see who was there. I walk into the living room and there's Jenni. I was shocked, confused, and in slight disbelief belief that I might in fact be dreaming. What a surprise! No pressure, no worry, no being alone on Thanksgiving! I called into work the day before Thanksgiving and Jenni and I prepared all the food and hung around in our pajamas all day. The next day we made a great turkey and had a great time just the three of us--pigging out and watching football. Jenni and I learned that even if you don't check both ends of the turkey that it doesn't affect the taste!

Last Thanksgiving Mark and I weren't all alone, we had Luke at four months old. I made the turkey and we spent the day relaxing and playing with our little guy. Even though it was just us, I used our china dishes and lit candles, it was very nice.

We're back in Minnesota now, God-willing for good. We've spent many holidays and special times away from our families and now we're both so thankful that we can share happy memories near both our families. Luke being able to live near his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins is one of the best gifts we can give him. We are very thankful, and very blessed.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Next to watching Luke sleep, watching him 'read' is one of my favorite things to do. After studying the importance of language and reading while obtaining my reading endorsement in college, I'm such an advocate of constant language immersion. Of course, Luke at 16 months is years away from actual word reading, but looking at him flip through picture books on a cold day on a comfy chair warms my heart. If he was allowed to drink hot chocolate I think he'd have some in the picture, just to set the mood right.
Having spent many hours as an elementary reading tutor, it breaks my heart to see so many children struggle with language. A poor reader doesn't guarantee a poor student, nor does a good reader guarantee a good student. However, a good reader has the tools he or she needs to obtain the information they want and have a great advantage.
I love to read, and even though I carry a 25 lb baby and equally heavy diaper bag with me wherever I go, there's usually books to go along, both for Luke and me. Living vicariously through Luke, I want him to be a reader, in the same way that Mark wants him to be a Vikings fan. I think Luke has great potential to be both.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Next Sunday I'm going to plant myself on the couch from 11am-3pm. I'm only going to get up for more salsa and bathroom breaks. I will rebuff any requests, I will ignore any interruptions. Dirty diapers, lunch, story time, huge messes involving a burst, no, no. Nothing will stand in my way. My excuse: THE GAME'S ON!

Yeah right.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Blessing

Do not be afraid!
Open the doors to Christ
God works in the concrete and personal affairs
of each one of us
Don't let the time that the Lord gives you
run on as if everything were due to chance.
With this expression of my hope I send you all,
from the depths of my heart, my blessing.

Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What are men...

compared to rocks and mountains?

I'm crazy about Pride & Predjudice. I ties with Ocean's 11 for my favorite movie. It's a weekly necessity. This morning I woke up and thought instantly "this is Pride & Predjudice day."

Doctor Day

Luke had the five stitches in his forehead removed yesterday. Pretty painless and untraumatic. Here's what went along with that lovely visit.:
-FOUR immunizations
-Blood draw for lead-level check

Here is how Luke has behaved in the meantime:
-Cry, cry, cry
-Whine, whine, whine
-Hold me, rock me, pick me up, put me down, hold me, rock me, pick me up, put me down

My mother-in-law's advice on doctor day: Ice Cream...and motrin


I LOVE Target. Serisouly. It's my favorite. I love the clothes, the shoes, the accessories. In St. Paul we are near a Super Target. I think that I've discovered the highest quality, generic food of all time. My favorite so far is their Macaroni and Cheese. It's ridiculously cheap, but SO good. I'm terrible at making healthy lunches. Breakfast is healthy, dinner is supreme, but lunch is mainstream. I have to admit that my freezer is full of frozen pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets. The cupboard is guilty of SpaghettiO's and Mac-n-cheese. This Target brand is amazing though, and I'm in no position to stop making it now.

The real revelation of my week has been in regard to Luke eating with a fork. He enjoys using utensils, but he's lowsy at it. With my new favorite food, Target Mac-n-chesse (sports shapes), Luke has officially mastered the use of a fork! The little pasta shapes are super easy to pierce with a fork, and Luke gets so excited every time he fishes into the bowl and comes up with little shapes on his fork. Yes, I love Target. I go there pretty much everyday.

My Target top five:

5. Knock-off shoes
4. Cleanliness of the store
3. Short check-out lines
2. Isaac Mizrahi
1. It's NOT Wal-Mart!!!