Moms’ Night Out

I couldn’t wait for this movie to come out on DVD because I had heard it was such a great movie. I rented it from Red Box. Thankfully it’s cheap because I think it took a couple days before I was actually able to give up that many minutes in a row to watch the show.

If this movie would have been a book, I wouldn’t have made it past chapter one before I returned it to the library. The beginning was pretty lame.

In fact, it took me a while to actually get into it. It did go from stupid funny to actually funny somewhere along the line, but I can’t tell you when that actually happened.

My favorite part in the entire movie, the part that actually made the movie worth watching, was when they were all in jail and Allyson and Bones had their heart to heart conversation. For me, this was the movie. The rest of it was just fluff.

It’s an okay movie. I think I wanted it to be greater than it turned out to be, so it left me disappointed in it as an overall movie.

Moms’ Night Out Trailer

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The Equalizer

Crime mystery, Denzel Washington, and over 2 hours to escape reality seemed like the making of a wonderful thing.

The Equalizer, in my opinion, is not really a crime mystery as much as it is a movie about mercy killing. There’s a part of you that wants to cheer for McCall (Denzel’s character) in the same moment you are cringing at his horrific acts of revenge. Uncomfortable is a great word to describe how I felt about his acts of “mercy”.

I hate movies with seemingly important pieces in them left unsupported in the end. In this film, it was McCall’s book list his belated wife had never finished reading. I felt like it was significant. In places, it seemed to play an important role in telling the story. At the end though, I was left wishing there would have been more to the book list than there was. Maybe that’s just the book nerd in me.

The movie made me wonder how true this might be. Do governments kill in the name of justice only to leave detectives scratching their heads until “unsolved” labels the boxes of evidence? Are others intentionally blamed for murders they never committed just so governments can wash their hands of them? How do you train your mind to kill without the guilt and burden of murder? How do you shut that mindset off when killing is no longer your job? Scary thoughts.

Overall, I didn’t leave the film thinking it was brilliant or wonderful. I will never watch it again. I won’t recommend others to go watch it in the theater. Perhaps, that means I didn’t like it. As complicated as this sounds, that’s not 100% true. There were parts I enjoyed. It was just too bloody, gory & outside my boundaries of goodness to call a great movie.

The Equalizer Movie Trailer

To Houston & Back Again

Jonathan went to Houston on Thursday to pick up our grandson. It was awesome to have him for the long weekend. We took him to a high school football game. The kids hauled him around to meet their friends. I think my son used him to try and pick up girls. 🙂 He wasn’t a fan of the loud noises, but he managed to block all that out and go to sleep. IMG_1450.JPG

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On Friday night, he went to watch Uncle J sing in the choir. After his part was over, Uncle J took him to sit with all the guys. They made faces at him until they had him laughing and they were in trouble with the assistant choir director. Oops!

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The rest of the weekend, we just chilled out at the house. Uncle Pablo & Aunt Chels came over for spoils and loves.

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Uncle J loved to go on walks with him.

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PaPa and I spoiled him rotten!

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We know all too well he won’t stay this little long.

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But The Mommy missed her baby and work will return tomorrow, so back to Houston he had to go.

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For the most part, he traveled fine. It was me in need of a hundred pit stops. My poor husband…

Once we said our goodbyes and headed back home, we stopped for beef jerkey and drinks at the famous Buc-ees. A few more stops here and there before we arrived in Waco. Tired of driving, we decided to do a little geocaching. The first one was located in a very old cemetery. Jonathan doesn’t like hanging out in cemeteries long, so we found our cache and were on to the next one. It was a quick and easy find too.

On our way to the third one, we ran into a bear!

IMG_1623.JPGThen we had to walk under a bridge only to find the cache stuck far away from where we could reach. We could see it, but weren’t able to grab it without crossing the fence, and that was a NO-NO. Instead, we enjoyed the Brazos River and McLane Stadium.

IMG_1625.JPGThis place was crazy on Saturday, but today it was empty, quiet, and peaceful.

Baylor University is a beautiful campus!

Afterwards, we stopped for a late lunch at Buzzard Billy’s Swamp Shack. We had some chicken bites and seafood gumbo. We didn’t complain. It was quite tasty stuff.

The rest of the way home was uneventful. Just a little chatter about the Cowboys, ISIS, & Ebola. At least one thing is a favorable topic in the area.

And unlike Columbus, on this Columbus Day, we didn’t get lost!

Why?

Why has to be the most asked question never answered.

Why do we create bucket lists? Are we more fearful of dying or never enjoying life?

Why do we let others break our hearts over and over again? Are we more fearful of a broken heart or a lonely heart?

Why do we judge others? Is it because we want them to change or because we don’t want to?

Why do we believe appearance is important? Is it because we are truly that vain or are we desperately trying to hide our insides with our outsides?

Why do we fight? Is it because we truly believe our way is right or just because we have to stand for something or we’d feel like we had no purpose in life?

Why do we question God’s existence? Is it because we can’t see and touch Him or because we fear being that inferior?

Why do we ask questions? Is it to find more answers or to create more questions?

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Summer Is Over :( So Results Are In

Here are the results of my Summer Bucket List:

1. Wear a sundress & big floppy hat to the local horse races (to do it at the Kentucky Derby is on my real bucket list) – FAILED TO COMPLETE

2. Read the Bluebonnet Award Nominee books for 2014-2015 – FAILED TO COMPLETE – 9 more to go!

3. Go to the beach & swim in the oceanCompleted on 6/26/14

4. Go on my 1st cruise (this is on my real bucket list too)Completed 6/30/14

5. Go on The Amazing Race of Cozumel, Mexico (To do an Amazing Race in a foreign land is on my bucket list, so I’m going to get to count this one)Completed 6/28/14

6. Keep a “One Good Thing” Jar – I DID THIS!

7. Go camping in a tent and everything – FAILED TO COMPLETE

8. Find a geocache – a really unique one would make this even sweeterCompleted 6/28/14

9. Snuggle with my grandson as many days as I canSpoiling started 6/30/14and I was able to snuggle him this entire weekend! 🙂 🙂

10. Go to a lake Completed 8/2/14

11. Go fishing & actually catch a fish…any size fish will do – FAILED TO COMPLETE

12. Get back into a serious workout routine – RAN A 5K TODAY!

13. Give up my beloved nasty habit…you always have to put a really, really hardcore one on your list (To do this forever is on my bucket list) – STAYING TRUE; SODA FREE SINCE JULY 5th!

14. Watch a really good movie that either makes me think, makes me laugh, puts me on the edge of my seat, or makes me cry. If I could accomplish all of those that would truly be impressive.
20140623-001704.jpgCompleted June 22, 2014

15. Eat something I’ve never eaten beforeCompleted 6/27/14

16. Go to a museumCompleted 6/28/14

17. Go to a state I’ve never been to before…this one isn’t in the plans, but I’m always looking for an opportunity to do this. (To visit every US state is on my real bucket list…I think I’m missing 9) – FAILED TO COMPLETE

18. To try to do something I’ve never done beforeSee my towel animal here

19. Complete 10 Totally Random Acts of Kindness – COMPLETED & WILL CONTINUE TO DO THESE

20. Go zip lining (hmmm…I wonder if my shoulder can handle that yet?) – FAILED TO COMPLETE

*Bonus Star* Go to a country I’ve never been to before – Not in my plans at all, but it would be awesome if something magically happened to allow it to get marked off my list, right? – FAILED TO COMPLETE

Running With Balloons

This summer I made a commitment to myself to give up Dr Pepper and get back in shape. I didn’t sign up at a gym or for any classes or products. I just decided to do it the old fashion way – hard work, dedication, and determination.

My husband was a runner. I would never say that was my strong suit. He taught me how to run using an app called C25K a few years ago. But I overdid it and hurt both my feet, later wound up in the hospital in adrenal crisis, and then tore up my shoulder requiring surgery this past winter. It was a downhill spiral of personal distraction.

When I started working out again, I returned to what worked the first time. C25K coached me every other morning for 8 weeks. As I got closer to “Run a 5K” on my app, I had Jonathan start looking for a race. As a teacher I tell my students, “What’s the point of working hard if you’re never willing to test your ability to see how you stack up to others.” It was time to practice what I preach.

We found a 5K in Plano during their balloon festival. My parents took me to the huge hot air balloon festival in Alburquerque, NM years ago. I loved it, so I was super excited to go to this one even though there would be less than 50 balloons instead of hundreds. Jon signed me up and it was set – Race Day!

My children and I aren’t morning people, so no one was real fond of the 5AM wake up call via Dad during the weekend. But we all arose and made it to Plano around 6:15 where we were provided specialty parking. (A nice touch by event planners)

The balloon launch was scheduled for 7AM, but at that time there was one balloon spread out flat on the field. The half marathon start time was 7:30. By then, we were able to take the following pictures of the balloon field. IMG_1230.JPGOne of my favorites.

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It was nice to be so close to the balloon field. If you arrived early enough, you had prime time seating. Well done by the festival.

And then it was time to race:

IMG_1253.JPGSetting up my race music still snuggled in my sweatshirt.

IMG_1257.JPGAnd I’m off with hundreds of others.

While I was running, the balloons flew overhead creating an awesome variety of views. My family took photos of the launch as I ran. Here are some of their shots.

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My kids thought they were freezing, so they stopped to warm up their hands. 😉

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My husband loved the flying pig.

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My kids had a little fun picking balloons out of the sky.

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Finally, I crossed the finished line.

IMG_1278.JPG I actually felt pretty good about my run. My goal was to run it under 35 minutes which I did. I know that sounds slow to the long distance runners who knock out a 5K in 15-20 minutes, but I’m just not that kind of runner. I could train forever and never reach those times. They just aren’t realistic for me. I was just happy I was able to run it all, and I didn’t feel like dying at the end.

As I cooled down, we took a walk around the festival, and I snapped some pics of some character balloons.

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All runners received a free breakfast. This was a little more difficult to locate, but we finally found the line. It was pretty good actually. They served bananas (of course), yogurt, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and orange juice, coffee, or water. Nicely done by the event!

The festival was full of food carts and a variety of booths. There were kite flying demonstrations and a concert going on too. It was a very well done festival and event.

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If your in the DFW area next year, check out the Plano Balloon Festival. And if you’ve never experienced the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, add it to your bucket list and go!

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19 Years & Counting

September 15, 1995, Jonathan and I started our married lives together. On our 19th anniversary, he pulled off another awesome experience. Throughout the day I was sent clues in a variety of ways. By the time we were driving, I knew the following things:

Black & white seating
I was to wear shorts, but he was wearing a jacket.
I hope you like plastic
Two part evening; dinner & activity
A ramp might be involved
The special is an Eskimo Roll instead of a California roll
Yeti DNA
Reservations at 5PM
Once it was raining, he told me to dress for a mud run.
Bring extra clothes
You might need a sweatshirt

Not your typical event, obviously.

IMG_1054.JPGOur means of transportation for the evening was our TX Cadillac. 🙂

IMG_1056.JPGMy outfit of choice.

IMG_1057.JPGYeti cooler

IMG_1059.JPGExtra clothes rumbled for effect. 🙂

IMG_1087.PNGA little rain tried to threaten our evening.

IMG_1060.JPGFirst view. By now, I’ve figured out what we are doing by the way. 😉

IMG_1065.JPGAbout to start our adventure.

IMG_1068.JPGA kayak is made from plastic, so I better like plastic. It’s also similar to the material Yeti’s are made out of, so Yeti DNA comes into play.

IMG_1067.JPGJonathan’s jacket required for the evening.

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IMG_1069.JPGBeing fitted for our boats.

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IMG_1084.PNGKayaking has been on my bucket list for a while. Sometimes we try things and hate them, but I knew the water bug in me was going to love this experience. I did! I want my own now!!! It helped to have a great instructor. His name was Steve from Discover Kayaking out of Grapevine, TX. His boats are phenomenal with first class paddles, but it’s his instructional methods that won me over. I guess it’s the teacher in me. Everything about the experience was perfect. Well, the Eskimo Roll like experience was a little scary. I’m not tech savvy enough to attach the video of me turning myself upside down in my kayak, but it was done on purpose.

As we ended our boat trip, the sprinkles returned for a brief moment. A duck made landfall on Steve’s boat which created a laugh. It was a truly perfect experience.

I changed clothes and we were off to dinner with my wet hair and everything.

IMG_1076.JPG Black and white seating by candlelight.

A little fried chicken, home grown tomatoes, potato salad (but no plastic ware…oops), champagne in red solo cups for effect only because I don’t drink (that water in the background was my real drink), and some trail mix for dessert. I thought it was perfect in every way until Jonathan pulled out an Andes chocolate mint – perfection!

Our evening ended with a couple episodes of “The Blacklist”. It was a wonderful way to celebrate 19 years of adventure together.

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