If you’re in the area, you’re very welcome to one of North Rock Hill’s Christmas Eve services.
Archives for 2009
This weekend we made our annual Christmas trek North to visit family. In short, we had a fun, snowy weekend! If you want all the details, read on:
This weekend was not much of anything we expected. I saw the snowflakes on the weather report for Saturday but had absolutely no idea how much was expected. Those little snowflakes changed our entire weekend.
The plan was to stay at my cousin Kelly’s Thursday night in Lynchburg and then head up to PA to stay with my mom’s best friend Friday night. Her and her husband are empty nesters of 3 boys and none would be coming home for Christmas quite yet. Saturday was supposed to be jam-packed with Christmas gatherings…breakfast with my Mom’s dad, lunch with my Dad’s entire family and dinner at my mom’s sister where we would stay the night and then head home Sunday.
Thursday went just as planned. We made it to Lynchburg before Kelly and her husband got off work so we headed to the mall where I also coordinated a mini tweet-up (meeting of two or more friends on Twitter) with my friend Amanda (@aehamlin). I felt like we already knew each other and it was a very easy and fun conversation! Kelly and Brandon met us at the mall and we headed out to a restaurant downtown for dinner. It was an old train station that used old pews and hymnal racks for their tables and condiment holders. Great food with a great atmosphere. After stopping at Brandon’s office we spent the rest of the evening and night at their house. I have to say it was so, so nice. Kelly and Brandon were fantastic hosts and I only wish we lived closer.
By Friday morning we were realizing just how bad the snowstorm was going to be so we headed out early and on a mission to get to our favorite restaurant D’Atri’s for the best cheesesteak sub ever. We spent the afternoon in Cumberland, MD doing last minute Christmas shopping and stocking up on all the snow-appropriate clothing we all were lacking. Gloves, hats, socks, boots, sweaters…our cart made us look like the visiting Southerners we were.
Friday evening we decided to also stop and see Dad’s mom Nana and Mom’s dad Pap in case we got snowed in. Present exchanges took place as we were unsure whether we’d see them again. That evening we made it to DeAnna and Mike’s and went to bed knowing we’d wake up to a white world!
The forecasters were all right and we woke up to at least 5″ of snow. The kids were ecstatic and I have to admit I was too. The only issue was all of our family gatherings were all in jeopardy. By 7:30am our lunch one was canceled. Mike took us in shifts to my grandfather’s house only a mile or two down the ry.oad for our breakfast. Thanks to him, we were able to carry on that one as planned, albeit a little later.
My uncle and his family decided to drive out to Mike and DeAnna’s and we all spent the afternoon sledding, throwing snow (we couldn’t make snowballs) and drinking (real) hot chocolate. I don’t think I’ve had that much fun in the snow in years.
We went back and forth about what to do about Saturday night. But because the snow was still coming down and our vehicles (and it’s drivers) just weren’t able to make it up there, we ended up cancelling. We all were able to exchange presents though and we had to open ours with just the four of us. Mike was able to get out and get us some pizza at the local restaurant in town. It definitely wasn’t all the dinner goodies we had planned at my aunt’s but it was better than nothing and honestly, that was some good pizza!
Sunday when we got up Mom and Dad were going back and forth on whether to go home on our planned day. Scott had found out he had the whole week off and we just weren’t in a hurry to struggle with the roads to get home. We had heard of massive delays and wrecks on 81 and there was no sense in taking the risk. We all ended up staying for the rest of the day. We ended up just spending the day back in the snow, visiting DeAnna’s brother’s deer farm and ended the day with their church’s Christmas program.
While I really, really missed seeing my entire family, I have to say Mike and DeAnna’s was a great place to be snowed in. They are fantastic people with a fantastic house. All in all, a great weekend.
Lots of pictures have been posted on my Facebook acct if you’re interested.
For the first time since starting the Couch to 5K (and maybe my life outside of High School gym class), I ran outside. We don’t live in a large neighborhood and the streets outside our neighborhood have bad curves near them and no sidewalks. But we do live near a very large neighborhood/area of town that has sidewalks everywhere. So I parked at the emergency care center in the area and took off. I didn’t really have a plan of where I was running. If a street looked like a big hike, I’d wait for the next one. If one street looked like it was getting too steep, I simply turned around. I didn’t have much of a plan. So did I miss my treadmill?
- The Hills: The neighborhood was much more hilly than I thought. At the gym, I’m still running on a flat treadmill and it was very hard for me uphill. The very worst is when I spent my recovery on a hill and when I was supposed to run my big 3 minutes (HA), I was not at all prepared to do so. Running that last leg was really hard.
- The Paraphernalia: Once I got out of the car I realized that I really didn’t have a good place for my water bottle or keys. I ended up leaving my water bottle and of course had to stick my keys in my jacket pocket. Thankfully it was cold outside and I had a jacket that had pockets. Also my phone was a bit of an issue. I don’t have a running band for it so I ended up holding it the whole time. I do like checking in on my time on my C25K app though so I think an armband might have been even harder to maneuver so I could see it.
- Time: I did find I was looking a lot less at my phone to count down the seconds until I could stop and I found the minutes went by so much faster. The hard part about the time was timing my return to my car. Because I didn’t follow the same back as I did going, I actually had to walk a little extra to get back.
- Weather: It was probably 35-40F when I ran this morning. Without much experience in running, I wasn’t entirely sure what to wear. I ended up with my yoga pants, long-sleeved undershirt and my hoodie as well as fingerless gloves and hat. I was surprised to find that by the end, I was hot and actually enjoyed the cooler weather. However, I wouldn’t say it was entirely enjoyable either.
So what will I do on my next run?
I’m going back to the treadmill.
I know all you runners are already wanting to scroll down to the comments and tell me I’m crazy. But here’s the thing. The treadmill provides consistency, something as a beginner I enjoy and almost need. I know exactly what to wear, have a place for my things, don’t have to think about where to run and don’t get stuck on hills that zap me of my already low energy. Not to mention the gym provides other equipment to work on ab and arm work after the run. While I did enjoy the scenery and a sense of pride knowing I was one of those runners on the road I so often pass, it just wasn’t enough for me at this point. I think if I could get a water belt and have a very flat route mapped out, I would be much more inclined to run outside again. Until then, it’s back to the gym for me.
I hate being the one that’s posting artwork from their children but this little booklet she did at school amused me.
“I have four people in my family. My sister is five her name is Lexi mom Dad and me.”
“My mom is a computer worker. My Pet is a dog.”
“My Dad is a policeman (plesman). We like to swim.”
Love how she spelled policeman.
At the pool…apparently I wear a bikini and Scott has pink trunks. And Lexi is TINY.
“We like to go to Taco Bell.”
What can I say? The 7 year old nailed it.
I’m unapologetically on a soap box for this one.
Do you know how much I wanted to love this movie? Really love it and not just for my kids sake but for mine? I LOVE Beauty and the Beast. I LOVE Aladdin. I LOVE Little Mermaid. I still have the Pocahontas cup I collected from Burger King round about 1993. I’ve been glad to watch Beauty and the Beast 25 times straight with my girls and happy to take them to the play at Disney. I wanted so much to like it. I wanted so much for my girls to love it. I loved that they are old enough to remember opening night and I wanted so much for them to buy the movie on DVD and watch it over and over. But on the way home I declared to my girls I was sorry but we would not be buying it. I’m feeling disappointed and let-down by Disney. And here’s why…
Here’s the thing you have to understand. I’m conservative but I get the fact that there is good guy/bad guy thing in Disney movies. Ursula always kind of scared me but it’s easy to explain she’s just mean and octopuses aren’t really like that and it’s all fake. Jafar always was just kind of stuffy to me. Gaston was just full of himself and rude. Even the witch in Cinderella can easily be explained away because there just aren’t witches like that for real. But the bad guy in this movie? Was just a guy and he was downright evil. And I do mean EEEEVIILLL. My problem with this movie boils down to the fact that the evil was just too evil. I’ll have to give you some background of the movie to understand but bear with me I don’t think I give away any huge spoilers.
The movie takes place in New Orleans. The prince from another country has been cut off from his family and has come to America to live the good life. Tiana is simply the daughter of hardworking parents with a dream to own a restaurant. The prince is taken in by the bad guy in the movie Dr. Facilier down an alley into wait for it…a VooDoo shop . The entire scene is standard Disney where the bad guy gets his scene/song. Dr. Facilier reads the prince’s tarot cards and paints this grand picture of what his life could be like if he’d just make a deal with him. The prince, still greedy and wanting to live the high life again, agrees. The doctor then uses voo doo on him which is what eventually turns him into a frog. It may not sound too bad on paper but you don’t just get the idea of voo doo..the words are literally written on the walls and it’s mentioned a few times by the doctor and the tarot card readings are the center of attention of the scene. Emma closed her eyes on her own because the scene was so scary. It just dripped with evil. That’s really the only way I can explain it. My sister Heather was there and I looked at her at the end, feeling very uncomfortable and said I didn’t like that..she mouthed Me either!
The movie went on and I have to say the good parts were good. But intertwined were these scenes with the doctor that made me very uncomfortable and to me were unnecessary. At one part, they go see Mama Odie, another voo doo doctor in the bayou who has a good message to them and refuses to turn them back to humans so they can “dig a little deeper” and find what they NEED (he needs love, not money and she needs someone to share all her hard work with) and not what they want. But in the midst, she is using basically witchcraft to look into the future to see what that might be that they need. So even the person pointing them towards good is using witchcraft to do so.
At one point, Dr. Facilier needs reinforcements and goes to see some sort of almighty evil voo doo mask and agrees to hand over all the souls of New Orleans for them to torture if he’ll just release some more demons to help him find the prince. They agree and these evil spirits are running rampant to find the frog.
And at the end, Dr. Facilier actually has a voo doo doll of the man he’s trying to harm and has a needle, getting ready to stick the voo doo doll.
All of it was just TOO MUCH. I did not feel good about the fact that I had to walk out of a DISNEY movie, a CHILD”S Disney movie and even THINK about voo doo and tarot cards. It was very unnecessary and disappointing that Disney felt the need to tie those themes in so heavily to the movie.
I GET that my kids are just kids. I GET that that gave me the opportunity to talk about these things that I feel are evil. I GET that my girls aren’t going to run out and start witchcraft. I GET that the voo doo and tarot cards were something that they BAD GUYS were doing. But when kids watch something over and over, those things become comfortable and familiar and honestly, I just don’t think it was appropriate for them to be learning about them at their age from a Disney movie.
All that said, I don’t want to totally bash the movie. There are many redeeming qualities about it. They were very clear through Tiana that hard work and love and family are important. It was clear that how you look doesn’t mean as much as who you are on the inside. The movie was very funny in parts, sweet in parts and just plain beautiful in parts. Tiana, in fact, is the one that ended up smashing the voo doo necklace and saying “it’s not right”. I applaud them for that. I really do. But again, why should a Disney princess be fighting against a voo doo doctor to begin with? I think I would have even been ok with a “generic witch” casting a “generic spell” on them to turn them to frogs.
As a conservative parent, I feel it’s necessary to tell parents to proceed with caution. You may not feel that it’s necessary to talk about to your kids about it but I did. Even as an adult, one that loves books about vampires and werewolves and even one that loves other Disney movies I was UNCOMFORTABLE watching it and I honestly don’t plan to see it again. Which is a shame. Because Tiana is a lovely princess and the moral lessons are worthy. Walking away though, I just can’t seem to wipe the uneasiness from my gut. I just can’t.
Catching up on the random
- Kaitlin and I decided to go after some cast interviews for our F. N. L. podcast (sorry for the vagueness, I don’t want Google picking it up) . Amazingly, several already have agreed and we might be interviewing “Becky” as soon as tonight! “JD” is scheduled for January. All I can think is thank goodness for Kaitlin because interviews scare me to death. I mean, I’m really excited to talk to these people and could probably carry on a conversation for hours but for the interview you get 15 minutes to ask just the right questions and it’s all recorded. Ah, the pressure!
- I also was able to speak to D. G. ‘s management the other day. Basically I was looking for info on his appearances to be able to report on them. She emailed me and asked me to call her. She was super nice and seemed willing to work with me. She already has answered some questions through email for me that the fans have had.
- Our Christmas shopping was basically started and completed last weekend. I think I only need to get one or two more gift cards and a few more presents for the girls and we’re good. Definitely easy shopping this year.
- I’ve been thinking a lot about my job recently. We interviewed 4 people to come on our team in the past week to work on a project. I’m basically going to be the team lead for it. A few of these people choked a little in the interview and I felt bad. I felt worse knowing that a year from now I could be in their shoes. I haven’t interviewed for a “real” job but twice in my life and that was almost 9 years ago. In fact, I don’t even know what to do about next year. Honestly it’s unlikely I will get the one full-time spot they might have to offer. I think at this point I would take it if offered as long as I could continue to work from home. But if it’s not am I ready and willing to take another full-time job away from home? I really don’t think so. So what does that mean for me and also our budget? I don’t know, it’s a lot to think about. A year is a long time though and who knows what will happen.
- I’ve completed 5 sessions of C25K. Pretty sure I still hate running. In fact, I’m seriously thinking about dropping it and I HATE not finishing things. I mean, I know I could do a 5K but if exercise and health is most important, why would I do it when I have cycling that I can do with the same health effect and enjoy so much more? But, it’s only been 5 sessions so I’ll probably give it some more time and see what comes of it.
- I just finished Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Some of it wasn’t challenging but some of it was very challenging. It was worth the red for me and I would recommend it.
- Speaking of books, I’ve been trying to spend some time editing mine. I’ve been waffling on what to do with it. I mentioned not liking quitting anything and while I would hate to leave it what I would call unfinished, I could be ok with walking away from it and calling it a lesson learned. I know this sounds weird but I think God keeps calling me back to it. I recently sent it out to a professor that I met at a tweet up. She’s supposed to read it over winter break and give some feedback. I’m hoping she does and maybe will jump-start some good changes that I know are needed.
- Lately I just haven’t felt much like myself emotionally and even physically. I’m beginning to think my thyroid may be out of whack. Part of me thinks it’s just the weather. I miss the summer. I miss the pool. I miss the sun. Gloomy is just not fun. But I have some other symptoms I’m worried about…I’m much more emotional lately both crying and feeling irritable much more often, losing weight is not nearly as easy as it has been in the past, I can’t seem to get enough sleep even though I’m getting 8-9 hours a night and even yesterday I took a nap and still had no trouble sleeping, even cold intolerance is something on the list I identified with. I don’t mean to be a hypochondriac by any means but really, something is going on. Who knows, maybe this is what getting older feels like.
So that’s where I am. The girls are great, Scott is good, we are good. Nothing at all to complain about. In fact, lots to be thankful for and I am.
Something weird happened in cycling class today. I don’t know if it’s something similar to a runner’s high. In fact, I don’t even know what runner’s high is exactly. Pretty sure I haven’t encountered that one yet. But 2 minutes into the class, I was smiling. Almost laughing. I was so happy to be in class. About 35 minutes into class, we started a 9 minute song. All a consistent cadence out of the seat. 9 minutes. Pretty sure I’d never done one of those. About 3 minutes into it I found a great rhythm. My arms were relaxed, my breathing was steady, my head swung back and forth easily. I was in some sort of pocket. And when that song was over? I cried into my towel. Not for long because we are off on another 3 minute song. I don’t know what you call crying into a towel in spinning that but I’m ok with it. I felt GOOD walking out of there tonight.
The four of us are sitting in my office. I’m working, the girls are coloring and Scott is listening to music on his laptop. He starts “I’ll Fly Away” by Ralph Stanley…a blue grass rendition if you’re not familiar. With The Recording Connection, anybody who is really in love with music can learn all the fundamentals to music production with the help of a mentor.
Lexi: Why are you listening to that again? That’s your second time!
Me: Yeah, Lexi, let’s show Daddy some real music to listen to.
Lexi: Yeah! Not FARM music.