Saturday, November 23, 2013

St John, Day 1

For Thanksgiving, we are spending the week in St. John with family.
We arrived last night, and today was our first day on the beach.  
My poor, deprived kids have never seen the ocean, so today was a pretty big event.
We arrived at Trunk Bay, and found a nice spot.
As we were getting everyone covered in sunscreen, we noticed a gentleman floating in the ocean face down.  He was wearing snorkel gear, so it looked like he could have just been snorkeling. 
It soon became apparent that he was not.
Some other swimmers pulled him out of the water, and others went to flag down the lifeguards.
CPR was started, and he was worked on continuously until the paramedics arrived.
I wish I could say that we saw him come back to life, but we did not.
The were still working on him while they loaded him into the ambulance, so perhaps they were able to revive him later.
Of course, our kids saw the whole thing and were very upset. 
Ciara burst into tears and refused to get near the water.
She wouldn't even play in the sand until they took him away in the ambulance.
Caden was less traumatized, but it took him a while to get in the water.  
Things eventually calmed down, and they did get to enjoy the beach.
But I don't think any of us will forget today.
I still don't know what the outcome was for the gentleman.
And I don't know that we will ever know, but I hope he felt the prayers of my family, and probably many others on the beach.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hectic Life

Where does the time go?
It feels like we just got back from Disney, but that was a while ago.
Life continues to move at it hectic pace, and I feel like I am always trying to catch up.
Will I ever feel on top of things again?
I blame a lot of it on the business.
I am definitely not cut out for this.
But I have to find a way to make it work, because this is Rocky's dream.
My dream would be to have him work for a large multi-national corporation that would transfer us all over the world.  
Anyone out there own one of those?
Are you interested in buying a small firm in the middle of PA?
Well, maybe one day.
Until then, I will continue to try to keep up with it all.
Quick kid update:
Soccer is done (Ciara)
Girl's on the Run is still going (Ciara)
Hockey has started (Caden)
Both kids are enjoying school, friends, etc.
So I guess the glass is at least half full.  :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Food at Disney

 Now, onto the FOOD!
I love eating at Disney. 
We have done the meal plan both times we have visited, and I would do it again.
Yes, it is pricey, and you get a TON of food.
But I love the convenience of eating wherever we want, and getting the kids snacks when they request it.
Yes, there are ways to eat more cheaply, but non quite as convenient.
Over the 2 trips, here is a list of places we have eaten, with a small review after each.
Table Service:
California Grill  (Contemporary Resort)- Not worth using 2 meal points for this restaurant.  We will not return.
O'hana (Polynesian Resort) - Good food, but WAY TOO MUCH!  It reminded me of a Brazilian Steakhouse.
50's Prime Time Cafe (Hollywood Studios) - Great experience!  The kids loved eating here.  Our waiter was wonderful, really got into character.  The food was very good (I think the pot roast or fried chicken is the best).  Plus, the brownie sundae is over the top.
Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge) - Good if you like African/Indian flavors (which we do).  My husband preferred this one over Boma.
Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge) - I enjoyed the variety of food (it is a buffet).  The soups were delicious!
Coral Reef (Epcot) - I would like to go back to this restaurant.  I was so full before we ate that I hardly got to enjoy anything we ate.
Liberty Tree Tavern (Magic Kingdom) - Rocky's favorite.  Thanksgiving every night, and they bring your more of whatever you want.
Whispering Canyon (Wilderness Lodge) - Again, great experience!  Make sure you ask for ketchup.
Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom) - Will not return.  Mediocre food, and poor service.  The only reason to visit is to see the Winnie the Pooh characters.
Chef Mickey's (Contemporary Resort) - Standard breakfast with the standard characters.  
Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) - Standard (safari) characters, with a good breakfast.
Our group at Chef Mickey's.

Quick Service: 
I can't remember all of them, but I will write the ones that were memorable.
Sleepy Hollow (Magic Kingdom) - Best waffle sandwiches!
ABC Commissary (Hollywood Studios) - I LOVED the quinoa salmon salad.
France (Epcot) - Great dessert and fancy grilled ham and cheese.
England (Epcot) - Delicious fish and chips.
Morocco (Epcot) - LOVED all of the food.
Last, but certainly not least, BE OUR GUEST!
We were unable to get in here for dinner (where reservations are required), but I waited for 45 minutes before they opened so we could at least have the lunch experience.
It was worth it.
We sat in the West Wing, which is dark and stormy.
Make sure you watch the portrait of the prince when a petal falls off the rose.
Besides the atmosphere (which is PHENOMENAL), the food was great (especially when compared with other quick service options).

Outside Be Our Guest before the doors opened.

In front of the rose (again, not sure about the gang signs).

The beautiful mosaic on the way out.

 As far as snacks go, there is one that is a must have - the Dole Whip.  
I stood in line for about 30 minutes to get one, and it was totally worth it. 
I got the float with a vanilla pineapple ice cream swirl.
I dream about those at night.

Disney 2013

We have been back from Disney for almost a week, and I still find myself in a post-Disney depression.
If I could go back right this instant, I WOULD.
While in Disney, everyone was happy.  We ate at great restaurants, and who doesn't like to start their day with a roller coaster ride?
Plus, it is a place I can have a "yes" week with my kids (say yes to most of their requests), as opposed to the "no" days of home.
I know that there are some Disney haters out there, and that is fine.  
You can think I am crazy.
But we all had a great time.
Here is our week in review:
We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside hotel (a Disney property).  
The rooms were fine, amenities were fine.
But the resort was so full of people, it kind of made us crazy.
We used the Disney bus system to get from park to park, and for some reason, the lines from a park to our hotel were horrible!  No other resort had as long of lines as ours did.  Still can't figure out why.  So we have decided if we ever do return to the happiest place on earth, we will NOT be staying at the Port Orleans again.  
Day 1: Hollywood Studios.
My kids love HS.  They are both tall enough to go on the Rock'n'Roller Coaster, and it became a favorite of Caden's.  

In front the the Rock'n'Roller Coaster.  Not sure what the gang signs are for.
We also did the Tower of Terror.  Caden loved it, but after 2 times, Ciara decided it wasn't for her.
So we went and found some characters. 
We saw Wreck it Ralph and Venellope, and Sofia the First.
Ciara and Sofia
We stayed to watch Fantasmic, which is the HS night show with water, characters, and a few fireworks.
I had been told that this show was better than Epcot's Illuminations or MK Wishes.
I disagree.  
It was a good show, but I didn't find it as impressive as the other ones.
During the show, they have 2 families answer trivia for prizes, and we got to be one of the families.
The kids were able to answer all the questions correctly, and we won a LOT of popcorn.
They were joking around with what the prize was going to be, and at one point they said we had won a night in Cinderella's castle.  You should have seen the look on Ciara's face!  It took a lot of convincing on my part to get her to understand the truth.

 Day 2: Epcot
Epcot is not our favorite place.  There are only a handful of ride the kids enjoy.  
I, however, LOVE the world showcase.  
I love the food!
(I will do a food review in a separate post.)
We did run into Mary Poppins in England.

Ciara and Mary Poppins.
 Day 3: HS Again
The kids wanted to return and do the Jedi Training again (we did this last time when we were here with my family for Thanksgiving).
We rode the roller coaster and Tower of Terror again, many times, over and over.
Caden also began purchasing swords in almost every store we went to.

Day 4 and 5: Magic Kingdom
This is my favorite place.  It just makes me so happy to see the castles.
We saw many characters and princesses.
While doing Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ciara was selected to act out the part of Mrs. Potts.  She was so excited!
We went on just about every ride, some more than once (Space Mountain), and discovered that my children are HORRIBLE drivers.

Caden learning how to fight like a pirate from Jack Sparrow.

Ciara with Prince Naveen and Tiana.

The kids with Aladdin and Jasmine.
In front of Rapunzel's Tower.
We left the next day after a yummy character breakfast with some great friends (actual friends, not the characters).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

From NYC To Disney!

Last weekend, we had to opportunity to meet up with my mom and aunt in New York City.
They fly in every year to attend the US Open.
Usually, they drive out to see us, but this year we decided to drive in to the city to spend some time with them.
Upon heading into the city, I had entered in the address into the navigation in my car.  
Unbeknownst to me, our hotel address (569 Lexington) has 2 NYC locations:
One in Manhatten (where the hotel is actually located)
and the other in Brooklyn (where my car took us).
We had a lovely tour of the city before we actually made it to the hotel.  
At one point, we passed a place called "Two Bros Pizza."  
There was only one guy working there at the time, so Caden asked, "What happened to the other bro?"
He continued to mention the "other bro" for days, speculating on what may have happened to him.
The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel (where Kohlschreiber was also eating!) and then headed out into the city.  American Girl was our first stop, followed by the Nintendo Store, Lego Store and FAO Schwartz.
After that, the girls headed to Broadway to see Newsies, and the guys headed back to the Nintendo Store.
We had such a great time!

 Rockafeller Center

 Playing the giant piano at FAO Schwartz.


And the coming week, we are taking the kids to DISNEYWORLD!
I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself.
The kids still don't know, and we aren't planning on telling them until we just load them into the car.  
I hope they are as excited as I am!

Summer Pics and the Beginning of School

Fun with Kippy (one of our favorite lifeguards) on the last day of the pool.
Caden and Kippy
Kippy and the girls.
Caden at Dunkin.  I have to question his fashion choices sometimes.
First Day of school (2nd and 4th grade)

 Ciara has had an easy transition to school.  She loves her teacher and seems to enjoy her classmates.
Caden has had a more difficult time.
For the first week, he cried every night and every morning and begged to be homeschooled.
This is not normal for him.
He LOVED school last year.
But I think his teacher last year set the bar so high that no one else will ever measure up.
If I could somehow bring back Mr Hostetler and make it so that he could just teach Caden for the rest of his school life . . .
In the meantime, Caden has gotten a little better about going to school.
But I do think one of his big problems is that he is truly bored.
He says all the books are too easy, and the math is really boring.
Since he was doing times tables last year and his math this year has consisted of adding 4+7, I can see why he is bored.  I am hoping things will pick up in the coming weeks.
If not, then I will have to do something about it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer In Review

I can't believe summer is almost over!
This is our last week of official summer vacation.
We have school orientation tonight and Wednesday night.
And then school starts next week.
(And we go to Disney in less than a month!)
But I really can't believe that another summer has gone by, and my kids are in yet another grade.
This is Caden's last year at the elementary school (the elementary school only has K-2), and in 2 years Ciara will be in middle school (which terrifies me to no end).
Things I will miss about summer:
lazy mornings
the POOL!
feeling carefree (most of the time)
not having a schedule
Things I look forward to with school starting:
back on a schedule (I can only handle not having a schedule for so long)
not taking the kids to work with me
getting involved in their classrooms
school supplies (I just love notebooks and pencils)
So, here's to another great year of school, soccer, hockey, baseball, etc!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Ode to Teachers

This isn't really an ode.  
It isn't lyrical.  It isn't poetic.
But it is my attempt to put into words the feelings I had at the end of the school year.
So last year wasn't the best year for one of my kids.
It was the first time I ever considered home schooling my children.
But this year was different.
We had a GREAT year!
Not only did both of my kids have the BEST teachers, they also had some really great kids in their class.
Everything was so great, it was so hard to see it end.
The phrase, "It takes a village" kept running through my mind.
Because I do what I can from home.
But my kids are in the care of others for about 7 hours on a weekday (school starts at 8:20 and they get out at 3).
So for 7 hours, their safety, health, well-being, etc. are in the hands of someone else.
Someone, who at the beginning of the year, is most likely a complete stranger.
For the most of us, our kid's lives are pretty safe while at school.
But there were 2 events this year that proved that safety in school is not always a given.
Newtown is the first incident.
This illustrated just how much my children's lives are in their teachers' hands.
And again with the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
From all accounts, in both cases, it sounds like the teachers did everything they could to protect their students, even if it meant the teacher sacrificed their own life.
It was a huge reminder of how the simple act of letting my kids out of my sight was literally putting their lives in the hands of others.
And the hands that took care of my kids this year were, well, I really can't find words to describe them.
I feel like I have a pretty great "village."
It's no wonder I get so attached to the teachers, you guys are basically helping me raise my kids for most of the year.
So thank you.
(and I am so glad so many of you are on facebook, because then I can still keep you in my "family")

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Mormon Unicorn

By now, most of you know that I have moved a lot in my life.  The longest I have stayed in one place is 5 years.  So I am used to the packing, unpacking, leaving friends, and meeting new one.
One thing I am NOT used to is people leaving me.
This does not happen to me.
At least, it didn't.
Until now.
My friends just keep leaving me.
On Monday, my PA BFF leaves for CA.
Which just basically sucks.
Replacing her is impossible.  
Mormon's are a pretty conservative group (to say the least), and when you aren't conservative yourself, you can feel a little out of step with everyone else.
She was really the first liberal Mormon I have met and connected with.
I have connected with many of the conservatives as well, and cherish my friendships with them. 
As do I cherish my friendships with my non-Mormon friends, liberal and conservative.
But finding someone like her has been like finding, well . . . . 
a Mormon Unicorn.
I know that finding another one is next to impossible.
It is hard to find someone who understands what we believe, but who also leans to the liberal side.
And I think people know that I am having a hard time because they keep coming up to me, and with the sympathetic head tilt, say, "How are you doing?  Are you OK?'"
So, instead of wallowing in my grief, I am going to take a proactive step to thwart my depression.
I will be accepting applications for a new PA BFF.
One of the main requirements is that you are not allowed to move for the foreseeable future.
You also have to have a sense of humor.
I will be creating an application for this, so just contact me if you are interested!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pet Peeve

I used to be a big fan of Glee.
But I stopped watching because of one small thing.
It was when Emma wouldn't move with Will for his new job.
And then something similar on The Office happened.
Pam didn't want to move for Jim's new career.
This bothers me. 
I am guessing that since I moved so much growing up, I don't see moving as such a big deal.
It is an adventure.
It is usually fun.
And so for these married/engaged couples to just throw away what they have because of a location, I find it wrong.
(Yes, I realize that they are not real couples, and they are fictional characters on the television.)
I hate that they don't find a way to compromise.
That since one wants to move and the other doesn't, they just go their separate ways.
I didn't stop watching The Office because Jim and Pam didn't call it quits.
Jim came back because he realized his family is more important.
Thank you for that Jim.
I was disappointed at the beginning of the finale to see that a year down the road, Jim was still working at Dunder Mifflin.
It made me disappointed in Pam for not supporting him in doing something more.
Luckily, by the end of the show, Pam did do something that was totally redeeming.
Thank you, The Office, for ending Jim and Pam in that manner.
When people grow, they don't always have to grow apart.
They can grow and move on together.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Yes, it's soccer season again.
With both kids playing on different teams (and different age groups), this time of the year can get pretty crazy with all the games and practices.
Luckily, Caden will be giving up soccer next year.
Ciara, on the other hand, LOVES soccer.
No, she is not good at it in any way.
Ciara is by FAR one of the least coordinated players on her team.
She is also the smallest.
But I think one of the reasons she loves it so much is because of her coaches and teammates.
Let me tell you about Saturday's game:
We started out slowly, but by the 3rd quarter had built up a decent lead.
For the 4th quarter, Coach Fred put Ciara out front and told everyone to pass it to her so she could score a goal.
Any time another player had the ball, all the girls on the bench would yell, "Pass it to Ciara!"
Even the girls on the field would yell with them.
And they would pass it to Ciara.
And she would try her hardest to score.
She never did.
But that didn't stop the girls from passing it to her.
Someone from the other team tripped her at one point, and they gave us a goal kick.
Even though there were many he could have picked to take the shot (and many who had a better chance at actually MAKING the shot), Coach Fred told Ciara to take it.
Again, no goal.
But no one minded (at least, not outwardly.  I am sure some of them were groaning on the inside).
They still continued to feed Ciara the ball for the rest of the game.
She never did score, but she was so proud that she ALMOST scored.
And I, being the emotional wuss that I am, tried not to cry as I heard all the girls cheering for my daughter.
During the fall season, we had a similar experience.
One of our better players (Maddie) told Ciara where to stand.
She then said that she would pass the ball to Ciara so she could score.
And even though it took about 20 tries, Ciara finally scored.
So, I just want to express my gratitude for Coach Fred and Coach Adam who have made my daughter love soccer.  And for all the Paw Prints who have helped build her confidence.
I am so sad that we won't be able to play next year with you all (Coach Fred and Coach Adam will only be doing club).
If club weren't so competitive, I would consider having Ciara play there just to stay with her team.
For now, we will just enjoy our last weeks with the best team ever!

Monday, April 15, 2013


With summer approaching, I am starting to think of the summer trips that we could possibly take.
Since we have moved to PA, the kids and I have made the trek back to SLC every summer.
This has been getting more and more expensive every year.
I used to be able to find ticket for under $400 (as long as we drove to Baltimore or Philly), but now I can't find anything under $500.  
So, for the 4 of us to just fly to SLC, it will be over $2000.
I have been doing some research on other vacation options, and we could do a lot of different things with that money.
After talking about it for a while, Rocky and I realized that we haven't had a vacation with just the 4 of us in a long time.
Or ever, for that matter.
Every time we go somewhere, it is with other family members.
(Not that I am complaining, we always have a great time with everyone!)
And then (to my utter shock and amazement) Rocky suggested we go back to Disney.
(If you know my husband at all, you will understand what a shock this is.  I thought he would HATE Disney World the first time we went, but apparently he had a good enough time to want to return within a year.)
We could plan a decent Disney trip with the $2000 saved from not going to SLC.
I even found flights from HARRISBURG to Orlando for $130 round trip.
Or we could even drive.
Ahhhh, the possibilities.
I know our families will be upset if we don't visit.
And I will be sad not to see everyone.
But when we moved out here, we specifically talked about how we didn't want every vacation we took to be visiting our families in the west.
We wanted to take the opportunities we had on the east to explore.
And we have done some exploring (NYC, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia).
But at what point do we stop using all of our vacation money to visit family?
(Just so we are clear, our family does visit us pretty regularly.  My parents have been up once this year, and are returning in a few weeks, and Rocky's parents were just here for Easter.  It is extended family, and siblings that we don't get to see that often.  My kids only have 2 cousins, and if we don't visit, they will only get to see them once this year.)
We are also planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA to see some friends, and to hopefully visit the beach.
And then our Thanksgiving trip with family to St. John.
So maybe that should be enough vacations for now.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fleeting Moments

I honestly can't believe all the change that seems to be coming this summer.
None of it is happening directly to me, just to people surrounding me.
People moving, changing jobs, adopting babies, having babies, etc.
I am filled with such conflicting emotions about everyone's change.
Then I go back and reminisce about the big changes in my life (babies, moving, new business).
And life does continually change.  
I mean, the kids just keep getting older.
And I hate that.
Can I stop them?
I hate that Ciara is starting to get an attitude.
It doesn't happen all the time, but on occasion (usually when she is tired), this other girl rears her ugly head.
She is shockingly rude, and snotty.
I feel like this is just a glimpse of what is going to happen in the near future.
(that was said sarcastically)
And every milestone that Caden reaches, I am just reminded that this is the last time I will get to experience it.  And it breaks my heart a little.
Even the puppy is growing at an alarming rate.  
I left for work one morning, and I swear she had grown about 2 inches by the time I got home about 3 hours later.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick Photo Update

 Our trip to see the Stanley Cup
 Caden and the Cup.
 Caden's teacher and his kids cheering Caden on at his last hockey game.
 Caden, playing goalie during one of the warm up scrimmages.
 Willow, the dog.
If you are sitting on the floor, she will be in your lap.  She just loves to snuggle.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Puppies vs. Babies

In case you hadn't heard, we got a puppy.
Her name is Willow, and she is just as cute and sweet as can be.
In preparation for this puppy, I read lots of books.
I also watched a few Dog Whisperer episodes.
(I am totally prepared to be a pack leader now!)
I feel like I was as prepared as I could be for the puppy-years.
I tried to see it as having a baby, and since I have had 2 of those, I figured it couldn't be nearly as bad as having a newborn in the house.
One of the reasons I was ready to get a puppy is because we won't be having any more babies.  I would totally have another one, but my husband is done with babies.  
The puppy is my substitute baby.
So here is my comparison between puppies and babies:
Babies and puppies both need a LOT of sleep.  Getting them to sleep is very different. My first born was VERY difficult to get to sleep.  My second was a piece of cake.  Willow was sometimes easy, sometimes not.  Our kennel didn't arrive until 3 days after we picked her up.  For the first night, we put her in a large storage container with tall sides that she couldn't jump over.  We placed it in our room so we could hear when she needed to go out and to comfort her when needed.  She did pretty well, but neither Rocky nor I could sleep well (much like when we tried to have the newborns sleep in our room).  The next night, we moved the storage container to the kitchen (which is completely tiled and we can easily close it off).  However, she had figured out how to jump out of the container (yes, in just one day).  We had to just leave her with free reign in the kitchen.  Rocky and I slept great, but there was a nice puddle of pee for me to clean up in the morning.  I was so relieved when the crate finally came and thought she would love it too.  Since she hadn't had any problems with whining, so I thought we were good.  I was WRONG.  
She cried and howled and whined from 1 am until 7 am.  
All I could think was that babies give up a lot easier than puppies.  And a baby's cry is much softer than a puppy's howl.
However, the second night was perfect.  She went in at 10:30 without a sound.  I took her out at 3:30 to go to the bathroom, and she went right back in.  We got her up again around 7 to go out again, and for breakfast, after which she headed straight back into her crate (I tried to get her to go for a walk with me to take Caden to school, but she refused).
So, I guess that puppies learn faster than babies.
With the potty training, it is kind of stressful.  
With babies, diapers make it easy.  No accidents (although they do have occasional blow out).
With Willow, I have to be vigilant at all times.  And this just puts me on edge.  I hate feeling on edge, and I know my family does too, because I take it out on them.  So I guess I prefer changing baby diapers than following my puppy around constantly.  Although, since puppies learn pretty quickly, I am hoping this watchful phase will be over in a few months (or maybe less).
I also think that since this is my first puppy, I am a little overboard, much like I was with my first child.  I was so much more relaxed with my second.  So perhaps I would be more relaxed in the future with another puppy (not that I am planning on getting another one).  
No matter how much trouble Willow may be at times, she is still adorable and just as sweet as she can be.  She does love attacking my shoes (especially my Uggs), and as much as I don't want her chewing them, there is just something endearing about her as she parades around carrying a boot that is larger than herself.
The kids love her too.  
I will post pictures when I have more time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Photo Book Post

A quick note about my last post on dogs:
My first choice is to actually just go to a shelter and adopt one.
My husband refuses to do that.  
He is a dog snob.
And I think we have decided on a Gordon Setter (we are going to look at some puppies tonight!).  

A while ago, I mentioned that I had been into the digital photo books, and I promised a review on the different companies I had used.
Finally, here it is!
The different companies that I used were:
Overall, they were all very similar.  
Shutterfly: seems to be the most popular.  Everyone suggested I use that one.  They were pretty good.  I just found that I liked the layouts and design options of the other companies better.  Prices were reasonable.
MyPublisher:  I liked the simplicity of their layouts.  This is a good option if you don't like a lot of embellishments (you just want the pictures to speak for themselves).  I enjoy that you actually download the software onto your computer, instead of going online every time.  This one was the most expensive, but they are usually running some kind of promotion.  However, I was frustrated with ordering.  They were running a promotion of 60% off any order over $200.  I was planning on ordering 5 books (3 of one album, and 2 of another).  You could not combine all the books into one order; each album had to be a separate order.  Since they were so expensive, the 3 books did total over $200, so I got the 60% off of that, but the other 2 did not qualify.  I thought that was kind of crummy.
MixBook:  Overall, this is my favorite.  I will continue to use them for future books.  I loved that they had so many options.  And I liked that their embellishments were more more contemporary, less cutesy.  The final product was also great.  The paper quality seemed to be just a bit better than the other 2.  Their prices seemed to fall somewhere in between the other 2 companies.
A lot of this is just my personal preference.  MixBook was more my "Style."  All companies created very nice products, and I was not disappointed in any of them.  With all 3 books side-by-side, MixBook just seemed to be slightly better.  
I know there are many other photo book site out there, but my search is done.  
And I am working on catching up on my photos!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Puppy Fever

Everyone I know seems to be getting a puppy.
There are new ones almost everyday when I pick up the kids from school, and many of my friends have been posting on Facebook about the new canines they have added to their homes.
Rocky and I have talked a lot over the years about getting a dog, but there was always something preventing us (either we didn't have a yard, or we had babies, or toddlers, etc.).  
Now we have a decent yard, and our children are a bit older (with no more on the horizon).
Perhaps now is the time.
We have gone back and forth on the kind of dog we want to own: Rocky wants a huge dog, I prefer a smaller, more manageable size.   
But no matter what I say, he really wants to pick the breed.
Since he has given in to us owning cats (which he hates), I guess I will give in on the dog choice.
For about 2 years, he has really wanted a Cane Corso.
I can hear you all saying, "What?  Is that even a real dog?"
Yes, it is.  It is an Italian Mastiff.
(I told you he wanted huge.)
I have done extensive research on these dogs.
Yes, they need EXTENSIVE training and socializing.
Yes, they need a firm hand.
I have gone back and forth over this for a while, but do think we could handle it.
However, last night after the dog show, he seemed to waver.
He actually seemed to doubt whether that was the dog he really wanted.
(And after I have found a somewhat local breeder with 2 litters expected this year).
So now I am back to researching breeds to see which would be best.
Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Les Mis, Really???

After waiting and waiting to see this movie, I finally saw it last weekend.
I REALLY wanted to love it.
But I didn't.
The stage version is far superior in many ways.  Watching this movie just made me want to watch it on stage again, so I immediately began looking for a stage version on DVD.  (I think I want the 10th anniversary one, since the 25th has a Jonas brother as Marius).
I still cried throughout the whole movie, because, let's face it, when Fantine dies, or on the barricade when they all die, it is just plain sad.
Anne Hathaway, in my opinion, made the movie what it is.
Also, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were great.
Russell Crowe should NOT have been in this movie, unless it was a silent, non-singing part.
Amanda Seyfried sounded like she was a squeak toy as she attempted to sing the part of Cosette.
Eponine and Marius were acceptable.
I still haven't made up my mind about Hugh Jackman.  I didn't find him spectacular like Anne, nor did I find him horrible, like Russell.  
I just felt like they could have done so much more with this movie, but they decided to go with star power rather than talent.
Next time, stick with talent.

(Recently, I have been introduced to making photo books online, and will be reviewing my usage of the different companies.  I am just waiting to see the final product of one more and then I will write my conclusions.)