Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here's to You and the New

Another Christmas, which drew near and tarried for a fleeting moment, 
has gone and departed for distant shores until next year.

It came with all of its swiftness. 
All of its crazy, wait until last minute kind of shopping sprees, and racking the brain for gift ideas. 
And all of it's charm and delight.

And of course, another first without my mom.
But she was not forgotten amidst my family's time together.

My brother flew in from L.A. 
(You should see We Bought A Zoo–he's one of the extras in the opening of the zoo scene at the end of the movie :))
My dad converted all of our old home movies into DVD's.
I was able to hear my beautiful mother's voice again. And see her lovely face on screen.
It was great.

We laughed a lot at wonderful memories.
Funny, awkward growing up milestones and moments, captured from our youth.
Seems ages ago, and yet, kinda like it was just yesterday, too.
Christmas has a way of bringing out the youth in us all and it seemed like such an appropriate time to revisit those days. And acknowledge how much we've all grown. Changed. 

Things are not what they were 20 years ago, not even one year ago.
Life is a constant progression of adjusting. Metamorphosing into something new.
Grappling with tests and trials.
Hoping to come out on the victor's side.

Knowing we have each other to depend on if it feels like the screws are all going to come flying loose. And yes, sometimes they do. 
And that's ok.

I guess what I wanted to say as this year draws to a close is that I am thankful that we made it. 
You and I, both.

I know I am not the only one who has had to face trials and obstacles flung at them from every conceivable corner, this year. I'm sure you have had many as well to bear.

For myself, I can say, I was brought to my breaking point.
Never knew what that could feel like and I hope I never have to again.

But there is no doubt in my mind that Christ is really who he said He was because
He picked me up and set me back on my feet when I thought I was drowning.
And because I never would have been able to regain peace and joy if it wasn't for Him.

I am so thankful that He is in my life.

I could never hope to make it on my own.

Nothing happens by chance with God.
He sees everything we go through. He knows.

I'm relieved in many ways to leave behind this year.
Taking with me the best of what was and keeping my eyes open for what is to come.

As Elisabeth Gaskell so aptly put it:
Try as we might, happy as we were (or weren't always), we can never go back.

And that's ok, too.

So here's to moving forward.

I'm so thankful for my friends and family who have stood by me and helped me through every step of the way this year. And to you, my blogging friends, who are always so encouraging and brilliant. I love you all.

Thank you for continuing on in the journey with me.

And here's to you and me my friends as we start something totally brand new and fresh.

See you on the other side of 2012!

"Give me your best Robert De Nero imitation" heehee


Monday, December 19, 2011

He Knew He Was um was he?

He loves her. She loves him.
 Louis and Emily get married and live very happily together in London, with her sister living with them as well.

Emily is a bit headstrong and stubborn and let's be honest, Louis's jealousy is easily aroused.

He becomes convinced she is pursuing the affections of another man by being too friendly with him. He asks her to stop.
 She does not on principle of course. 

So unfolds this week's period drama spotlight:

He Knew He Was Right, 
written by Anthony Trollope in 1869.

What I like about Trollope's work is that the main tale is usually surrounded by a number of other, very enjoyable, some quite funny, and for me, even preferable subplots, as is the case with this story.

Here are a few pics of the other characters in this drama:

Emily's sister and her sister's tutor Hugh Stanbury, a friend of Louis.

Hugh's sister and a captivating stranger she meets.

Then there is this man willing to wait for true love...

A new Vicar...and a pair of rivals in the form of sisters.
Do you recognize the vicar???
It's the Doctor!...heehee
Yeahh, so this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post, I just wanted an excuse to post it on here. Slick, I know.
So anyways.
If you haven't seen this movie, well I think you must. If you want to call yourself a true period drama aficionado, it's a requirement.

Just kidding.

But it has tons of drama, heartbreak, anger, love, frustration, more love-despite obstacles, crazy-looney tunes-kind of love, and redemption for some and loss for others.

So do check it out below, and please let me know what you think and if you've seen it :)) (You can rent it on and Netflix)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Downton Abbey Christmas and more images

It's no lie.

I love Downton Abbey.

And as such, I have posted about them, um, a few times. But I just unearthed newly released images from the two hour Christmas special airing in the UK on December, 25, 2011.

They are so lovely and I just had to share! Can't wait to see what happens...I will post link as soon as available.

For those of you unfamilar with this period drama series it was written by Julian Fellowes (The Young Victoria, From Time to Time, The Importance of Being Earnest).

The story centers around the aristocratic lives of the Earl and Lady Grantham, their three daughters and their servants during the early 1900's.

This series has become the most successful British costume drama since 1981's Brideshead Revisited and in 2011 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the 'most critically acclaimed television show' for the year, becoming the first British show to ever win this accolade. (wikipedia)

If you haven't seen this series yet, I would suggest you sit back, grab a favorite hot beverage and proceed down the country lane that leads up to Downton Abbey. I think you just might enjoy yourself.

Below are more images from the Christmas special and then more from the 2nd season (that will be airing in the States in January on PBS or, if you just can't wait (like me) you can click here to see them online.


Season 2 Images below...

Bit of fun on the set :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Authentically From Me To You

Authentically From Me To You.
I got this lovely idea from Rear Window

{Let's play 20 Questions}

1} What's the nerdiest and/or weirdest thing about you?
I love using big, nerdy words in convo, and enjoy making up my own totally new verbage. hehe Total nerd here. I also brush my teeth like 6 times a day. Kinda weird, what can I say, I'm obsessed with clean teeth.

2} If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie, 
 or television show, what would it be?
I feel like for me to say Narnia or Middle Earth would be too obvious (because I'm sure I've mentioned it a time or two and I totally would too) but since this is for you to get to know me even better I'm going to go with something new--traveling through time and space and across the universes with the amazing Dr Who in his blue Phone Booth spaceship thingy.
Yes please.

3} Little or big, practical or frivolous, what are a few of your favorite items in your house?
In no particular order:
Liquid Eyeliner - never fails
Macbook Pro - comparable to none
Bible - anchor and life line
Straight Iron - the savior of my hair
Lint Roller - I have a cat.

4} Do you like animated movies? If so, what is your favorite?
Up ((and Tangled))

5} What is your least favorite household chore?
Uh. How about all of them?? 
Ok, fine. I think food shopping should count since it is necessary to do it every week. 
And I detest it. 
One, because I always have a hard time staying on budget––depressing, and it's so expensive to eat healthy! Two, I have so many other things I could be doing with my hard-pressed time than going to the store every single week, and three, because who likes being repeatedly jostled in the aisles by half-crazed ruffians who enjoy grabbing food items from under your grasp and relish thumping your ankles with their over zealous wagon steering. I've had this happen, not even exaggerating. 
They are not called "consumers" for no reason people. 
They eat little children for lunch.
6} What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks 
(or favorite coffee shop)? 
Hands down––I'm a sucker for a Hot Caramel Apple Cider, closely followed 
by a Caramel Frappuccino.


7} What is your favorite pizza topping? 
Extra Cheese and Veggie medley.


8} Waffles or pancakes?
I haven't had a waffle in forever, even though they are delish, so I'll have to say Pancakes. Love anything that requires syrupy deliciousness.


9} As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
An FBI agent.

10} Do you prefer cooking or baking? 
Cooking, please. Favorite new dish to make: Ravioli an Eggplant Stew. 
I add lots of extra veggies and vegetable stock. It's super fast to make and delicious. Recipe here.


11} What would be your dream job? 
If I could do absolutely anything in the world, it would be to work with people around the world who are impoverished physically, mentally, and spiritually and help bring sustainable poverty alleviation.


12} Do you make your bed every morning? 
Yes indeedy. I hate rumpled sheets. 
Makes me want to kick a hole in the wall when I get tangled in them.


13} Picasso or Norman Rockwell? 
Pass the Norman, please. I want to live inside his paintings.


14} Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors? 
I prefer the look of hardwood, the feel of carpet and despise cold tile under my bare feet.


15} What is your least favorite thing about yourself?? 
I'm too darn emotional. And I'm pretty sure I have flawed lacrimal ducts because it doesn't take much for the waterworks.


16} Last movie you watched?? 
Love this one.


17} Computer or Television?? 
Compute. I get news and watch my shows all from here. TV need no longer apply.

18} Favorite Sound?
The timer on the oven going off signifying something is ready to be eaten :)))


19} If you could have a $5000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be? 


20} If you could be any Jane Austen fictional character who would you choose (or if you would prefer any fictional character)? 

Emma Woodhouse :)
Love how she wasn't afraid to be herself, learned from 
her mistakes and then married her best friend in the end. 
((Best version with Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller))

Now dearies. Your turn!! 
Copy and answer these questions with or without photos (although photos are fun)
in a post on your own blog.

Then come back here, add your link to a comment and share with the rest of us!
I would love to find out more about you, friends.

And if you don't have a blog and you follow this one then 
answer some or all of them in the comments section. Why not!

I want to hear from you!! :))

20 Questions to copy and past ((or make up some of your own!!)):

1.  What's the nerdiest and/or weirdest thing about you? 
2. If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie,  or television show, what would it be?
3. Little or big, practical or frivolous, what are a few of your favorite items in your house?
4. Do you like animated movies? If so, what is your favorite?  
5. What is your least favorite household chore?
6. What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks 
(or favorite coffee shop)?
7. What is your favorite pizza topping?
8. Waffles or pancakes?
9. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
10. Do you prefer cooking or baking?
11. What would be your dream job?
12. Do you make your bed every morning?
13. Picasso or Norman Rockwell?
14. Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors? 
15. What is your least favorite thing about yourself??
16. Last movie you watched??
17. Computer or Television??
18. Favorite Sound?
19. If you could have a $5000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be? 
20. If you could be any Jane Austen fictional character who would you choose (or if you would prefer any fictional character)?                 

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