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Again and Again!

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write for today’s post and The Fellowship of The Ring is on tv. I’m not sure if it’s because of Christopher Lee passing away or because the network is about to start playing The Hobbit. Anywho, I’m rewatching it because it’s fantastic and the LOTR trilogy is one of my favorite movie series ever.

I’ve written before about not having a problem with rereading or rewatching TV/movies. Today I’m going to tell you exactly what series I can rewatch over and over again. In fact I’m severely tempted to drop everything that I’m doing right now and start binge watching/reading these.

Books –

Harry Potter


The Chronicles of Narnia

Anne of Green Gables

Little House on the Prairie

Movies –

Lord of the Rings trilogy (sorry Hobbit, you weren’t as good)

Star Wars (I personally can watch all 6, but 4-6 are very good on their own as well)

Indiana Jones (Let’s be honest, we’ll just forget Crystal Skull happened)

James Bond

TV shows –

Doctor Who

Breaking Bad

Lost

Maybe I will again one day. How about you?

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That Time I Prayed For Someone I Didn’t Know

I prayed for someone the other day. Now I pray for a lot of people all the time. I pray when people ask me to. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. Except for this time, I didn’t really know the person. In fact, I have no idea if they would know who I am at all.

Wait……What? You prayed for a random person? What if they didn’t want to be prayed for? What if they don’t believe the same things you do? Did you tell them you prayed for them?

Yes, I did pray for a random person. I just felt at that moment that they needed prayer. I didn’t know why or what was going on in their life. They could be living a perfectly happy life with nothing wrong happening at all. They could also be living a life that’s full of turmoil and stress and just hiding it from the rest of the world. It was just one of those times when I felt very strongly about what I needed to do.

Yes, it’s very possible that this person didn’t share my faith at all and could also feel that my praying for them would be intruding on their life. This is why I am not going to walk up to a stranger and just tell them I’m praying for them. People get weirded out by this and I respect someone’s privacy and levels of comfort. Someone may think, keep your prayers and thoughts to yourself and please don’t include me in any of them. For the record, it’s not as if I go around every day being like….who can I inflict my prayer on? No, I fully respect people’s beliefs and privacy.

What would happen if someone else of a different faith from mine did the same thing to me? Honestly, as long as they didn’t wish something negative to happen to me or to others, I’m ok with that.

I will most likely never know what happened that day or what will happen with that person. I do hope all the best for them and that whatever happens in their life is goes the way they want it to. I just know that there have been times in my life when I desperately needed someone to pray for me because I couldn’t on my own but I couldn’t tell anyone. Honestly it was kind of a weird moment for me too. Why am I praying for this person? I don’t know who they are. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives. They could be creeped out if they know what I was doing. And yet, I knew it was the right thing to do. There have been times when things could have only happened because of someone praying for me. I’m sure that throughout my life there have been tons of people praying about me, some that I know and some that I don’t.

I know that I did what I needed to do. And God will take care of the rest.

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Vacation time!

Hmm it looks like I haven’t done a randomness post in a while. Whoopsies.

This has mainly happened due to being busy on weekends and not having enough time to write a post prior so I can have it scheduled in advance. Then Sunday night rolls around and I find myself passed out from exhaustion from the weekend.

This past weekend was no different as I went out of town with some friends to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. It was good times. I got to relax (which I desperately needed) and spend time with friends. I ate good food (probably too much), watched Face/Off (Nicolas Cage gone cray cray), and finished three books.

lake

We also visited Swallow Falls State Park in Oakland, MD to do some hiking. I’ve been there before 2.5 years ago during the winter and hiking during the summer is a completely different experience. The water is still freezing though.

The hike is pretty short and completely doable in an hour or so but the best part about it is all the waterfalls, rapids, rivers, and rocks to climb. The first set of falls we went to, my friends were all excited to be in the water, but I just enjoyed sitting there looking on the water. I needed some peace and the time spent sitting on the rocks in front of the rushing rapids was what I needed.

Later we stopped at another waterfall which was pretty intense. muddycreek

Oh. You want to see/hear it in action?

Because I like staying dry and warm, I did not venture out into the waterfall. It was again super relaxing to just sit there watching it. We climbed up to the top and I couldn’t help but have this in mind as I sat on the banks of the river watching it flow down.

Finally, we got to one last falls and my favorite out of all the three because it makes me feel like I’m at a small beach. It also makes me feel like I’m in a scene from Lost.

tolliverfalls

These falls are smaller and there were no other hikers when we came across it but I like it better that way.

To cap off the end of the trip, a couple of us broke away from the rest of the group to find lunch and ended up discovering a local out of the way place off the interstate where we had delicious fried chicken (I scored all dark meat!) and a salad bar.  AND we got to hit up Sonic. Because drinks y’all.

This weekend was super relaxing and a good time for me to get away for a while. Time to get back into the real world again.

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I can enjoy a good chick flick….from time to time

In the past few years I’ve become known for being a big fan watching all those geek, adventure, superhero, sci fi blockbuster movies where about 80% of the time I’m watching it with my guy friends vs my girl friends. And I completely enjoy them 100%. Enough to the point where I’ll see them multiple times in theaters….

But every now and then I do like to kick back and watch a chick flick. Granted, my type of chick flicks tend to veer in the historical costume drama type and skew towards the British end of things. Hey I can’t help it if Brits do it best and that bringing a book to life can be the best way to tell a story. Anywho though, I like having an emotional side too where I can swoon over a good love story or cry my eyes out and just enjoy being a girl.

So here today are some of my favorites:

The Young Victoria (2006) is one of my all time favorite movies ever. It’s British, it’s historical, it deals with British royalty and it stars Emily Blunt who I adore. It’s so wonderful and this scene where Victoria and Albert both sort of propose to each other makes me swoon.

And speaking of swooning, every time I watch this scene from Pride & Prejudice (2005) – be still my heart. I’m sorry to all the 1995 purists but this version of this scene is WAY more romantic. Seriously – dawn, mist, fog, sunrise, long flowy coat.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m #TeamJoLaurie all the way but since we can’t have that, this ending from Little Women (1994) is just lovely. The music swells, Jo is so excited to see the Professor and the look in his face when he realizes she’s still single. My heart is still swooning.

On the complete end of things, Bright Star is such a bittersweet love story of the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It is so sad and beautiful. This scene here, I am still sobbing as I write this. It’s so emotionally raw and maybe it won’t for you, but I really can’t see how you watch it without feeling any sort of moisture coming from your eyes.

Now lest you think, I ONLY watch historicals, here’s a clip from my favorite chick flick of all time, Love Actually. Really it’s best scene out of the whole movie because it’s so freakin romantic. Anyone who thinks this scene is stupid, I don’t get you. I really don’t. Please tell me why or how you think it’s stupid. And then tell me how you got your current signficant other.

And to cap it off for today, He’s Just Not That Into You as a whole isn’t the best movie, but all the Gigi scenes are highly relatable to pretty much everyone so that is what makes it a good chick flick. Also this scene….sigh.

So who’s up for girls’ night?

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For I Dearly Love to Laugh

If you’ve ever had the wonderful (or maybe not so wonderful) opportunity to play Cards Against Humanity with me, then you know how to get me to pick your card. It’s not going to be the most logical card. It’s not going to be the dirtiest card. It’s not going to be by using a box card. It’s going to be the card that makes me laugh the most.

My friends will tell you about how many times I’ve had to pause during a game because I can’t read the cards that were handed to me because I’m nearly crying from laughing so hard. Sometimes I can’t just choose one and trying to decide between the best gets me into a giggling fit that last at least a minute and everyone gets annoyed because I can’t stop laughing.

I’ve always loved to laugh but I think it’s only been lately that I’ve actually allowed myself to laugh. Why did I go see Marvel’s The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy so many times in theaters? Because they made me laugh. Why do I watch YouTube videos of The Try Guys or How It Should Have Ended? Because they make me laugh. (Seriously though if you haven’t watched either of those, why haven’t you?)

I seem to always find myself laughing at the most inappropriate moments. It’ll happen at school during a test when you’re supposed to be quiet. Or during a funeral when you’re obviously supposed to be somber. My favorite is when it happens during prayer. The dirty looks I would get from all the adults as a kid and teen when you couldn’t stop laughing. There was this one time a friend asked for prayer because her dad had been deployed and just for protection for everyone while he was gone. Our youth group leader heard it as unemployed and proceeded to pray for her dad to find a new job. The two of us could not stop laughing during the entire prayer because it was completely wrong and it was just hilarious. Ah I’m finding myself chuckling about it even now.

The thing is that while I can be somewhat sarcastic and I attempt to be witty, I’m not someone who can spit out hilarity at the drop of a hat. And yet I am always drawn to people who have a really good sense of humor. In fact that is one of the things that is near the top of my list of things I find attractive in other people. I always click on that as the trait I want the most on those Buzzfeed quizzes anyway.

Having a good sense of humor with a good balance of seriousness is the perfect balance. Life isn’t serious ALL the time but neither is life always a joke. Finding a good mix of two is the best way to handle life because when the hard stuff comes, you need to still be able to find a way to laugh. I’ve gone through a bunch of hard stuff in my life over the past years and besides having my faith and good friends, being able to laugh is the other thing that has gotten me through it all.

For the record when I was younger, I couldn’t figure out why Mary Poppins was such a Debbie Downer. If you could only fly from laughing….

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Geeking About The Beatles: Help!

If you’ve known me for any extended amount of time, then you know that my all time favorite band is The Beatles. One of my blogging goals for 2015 is to have a regular feature and because I’m completely random, I will be featuring a Beatles album monthly. This is exciting because it gives me a chance to relisten to these albums again. I’m not exactly reviewing it (as I am not a music reviewer) but instead enjoying it as a fan.

It’s movie time again with The Beatles! Interestingly I believe I saw this movie first before really getting into the band. It was on PBS and I remember the ski resort scenes and also the fact that it was in color. Anywho if you haven’t seen Help!, it’s a lot of fun. It’s drastically different from A Hard Day’s Night as it’s more of The Beatles in crazy locations doing crazy things (I mean Paul shrinks for goodness sakes and Ringo is about to get sacrficed) and it’s in color! But it’s still a lot of fun and it gives a good insight to what it was like during the 60s.

This is actually one of my favorite Beatles albums. Almost all the songs are ones that I can listen to over and over again. There’s such a range on here from silly love longs to things that are deeper with more feeling. You have George starting to write more and Ringo gets to do his country/western sound that he loves so much. I think this is the last album for a while that uses a cover. There are a lot of classic Beatles songs on here and they all sound really good.

What I think is most interesting is how “Yesterday” is tacked on near the end. I know that they handled packaging differently when it was originally released in the US but here with its placement it seems almost like an afterthought. Which of course is funny because it is one of the most (if not THE most) covered pop song of all time. And it’s such a lovely song too.

  • Help! (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • The Night Before (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • I Need You (Harrison) – Lead Singer – George
  • Another Girl (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer- Paul
  • You’re Going to Lose That Girl (Lennon/McCartney)-Lead Singer – John
  • Ticket to Ride (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer- John/Paul
  • Act Naturally (Russell/Morrison) – Lead Singer – Ringo
  • It’s Only Love (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – John
  • You Like Me Too Much (Harrison) – Lead Singer – George
  • Tell Me What You See (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul/John
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead Singer – Paul
  • Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams) – Lead Singer – John

Standout Songs: Help!, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday

Personal Favorites: It’s Only Love, Tell Me What You See, I Need You, You’re Going to Lose that Girl, I’ve Just Seen a Face

Least Memorable: You Like Me Too Much, Dizzy Miss Lizzy

As you can see I LOVE this album. And there are MANY songs that I love so much. In fact because there are so many that I love, I’m going to highlight two of them today.

“It’s Only Love” is just simple and beautiful to me.

The lyrics to “Tell Me What You See” are what I once told a guy I like. I mean seriously, open up your eyes because I’M RIGHT THERE. But whatevs.

Fun fact: the Beatles are NOT spelling Help on the cover with their arms. In fact they aren’t spelling a word at all. In fact it’s just saying NUJV.

Next Month: Rubber Soul

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Climb Every (ok just one) Mountain

oldrag2

I climbed a mountain the other day. No, I’m not talking figuratively about some other hurdle in my life. I legit climbed Old Rag Mountain in Virginia. I know it’s not a huge mountain compared to other places across the country that you may have been on but for me, this was huge.

It all started when one of my friends suggested it and then promised us ice cream if we went. I’m not a hiking person. I’ve gone on a few hikes and while they are ok, it’s really not on my list of things I am always up here. I like being active but honestly hiking is just one of those activities I’ll get really excited for. Therefore I was quite hesitant in deciding on whether I wanted to go. Finally I caved in and joined my friends on this adventure.

I immediately started to second guess my decision because this meant I had to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Let’s ignore the fact that I got 3 hours of sleep the night before. But no, it’ll be ok. I mean rock scrambles can’t be that bad right? The road trip wasn’t too bad and we get there in less than 2 hours. There’s quite a few people already at the park which means there are already a ton of people ahead of us on the mountain.

I’d like to point out that I can be fairly clumsy at times. My fear is that I will break my ankle again just from walking. So jumping across rocks? Yeah terrifying.

We decided to go the shorter but more strenuous route up the mountain. This involves a lot of switchbacks and elevation plus all those wonderful rock scrambles. Hiking up isn’t too hard though I have to stop a few times to catch my breath. I’m sorry I’m not one of those really super fit people who could run up this mountain and never break into a sweat. The worst part though actually is the fact that we thought we were getting closer to the summit but it kept being much further away.

oldragnotthetop

The rock scrambles were intimidating at first and there were times when I thought how the hell am I supposed to do this? But other hikers were glad to help out and I got through every one of them. There’s a lot of climbing and pulling and squeezing into cracks. Also you have to psych yourself out and just don’t let fear get to you.

The thing though that really helped me throughout the entire hike was the fact at how much it helped me keep my mind off things. Right now I’m struggling inwardly with a lot of things and the hike was a great way to help me focus on something else. It was like God answered my prayer of clearing my head away of all the worries and troubles I’m having. Because you can’t focus on that when you’re trying to figure out how not to fall on your face and off the mountain.

oldrag3

The hike was also mirrored a lot of what I’ve gone through in my life. I honestly am proud of myself for climbing the entire thing up and down because I didn’t think I could do it. I got angry during it. I nearly wanted to give up several times. I even flicked off the blue paint trails because I was frustrated we weren’t there yet. I began to wonder if it was even worth it.

oldrag

But I kept going (mainly because I didn’t want to get stuck on the mountain) and yes, when we reached the summit, the views were worth it. And I could say that I did it.

oldragpanorama

And it doesn’t matter right now what anyone else thinks of what I did. I know that I’m proud of myself for achieving this. I did things I never thought I would. Sure, some people could and will do it better than I ever could. And sure others will scoff and think it’s nothing. And then the people who I WANT to acknowledge my achievement will never say anything about it. That’s not the end goal though. For me, I’m proud of myself. Hiking the mountain was like physically living out how my life has been over the past few years. And I did it.

oldrag4

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Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

500days1

You know already how much I love (500) Days of Summer because it is pretty much the story of my life. One of the scenes that really hit home to me is when Tommy goes to the party that Summer invites him and in his mind he has expected one thing but the reality hits him hard. In that scenario, based on their past and his hopes, Tommy put his expectations too high and therefore got extremely hurt. It’s actually a pretty painful scene to watch because I’ve been there so many times.

Even though I’m sure many of us strive to be grounded in reality, it’s really hard to not get our expectations up. After all, aren’t we told to have hope? You always try to hope for the best, to not be so pessimistic, to believe that there’s something good coming out of every situation. While I have no doubt that some people can do it, it seems very hard to go through life with a “whatever happens, happens; I’m not getting my hopes up” attitude ALL the time because it feels like you’ve resigned on your entire life and given up.

Expectation: Keeping in touch with your high school friends for the rest of your life.

Reality: Never hearing from them ever.

Expectation: Marriage is the thing that is going to solve all your problems!

Reality: Marriage tends to cause even more problems…and you still have to work hard in it.

Expectation: You think a friend you’ve been talking to online for years would be thrilled to see you in person.

Reality: They act like they barely know you when they see you.

Expectation: Going to see a new movie or read a new book from your favorite director/author and thinking it will be amazing.

Reality: It sucks. What were they thinking?

Expectation: Your local professional sports team can’t be that horrible.

Reality: Yes. Yes they are.

Pinterest is a very good example of how this line of thinking works. How often do we go on the site and see all these crafts, recipes, hairstyles, decorating tips and we wish could insert that into our own life? Who are all these people who have time to make AND photograph such a perfect lifestyle while having children, working, and running a household? We try to emulate them and well….this ends up happening instead (via Cake Wrecks)

Expectation:

Reality:

That is of course a worst case scenario but it is also what it feels like a lot of the time. I”m not sure really what the best solution is. You don’t want to get hurt when you hope for something and it doesn’t turn out the way you planned yet you don’t want to go around for the rest of your life always expecting the worst to happen. Do you just go around with absolutely no expectations at all? Is that even possible?

Plus there are the expectations we place on each other and ourselves. That we should have reached certain milestones at certain ages. (Why isn’t my baby walking and talking yet? Why isn’t my kid reading yet? Why hasn’t my kid got accepted into colleges yet? Why don’t I have kids yet?) That we should have a certain lifestyle, career, or relationship. That even though we’ve gotten what we wanted and are genuinely happy that it’s not enough and you should strive for more.

I’m not really sure what the solution is here. Lower your expectations? Stop hoping so much? Be less optimistic and more realistic? I realize that we’re always going to get hurt at some point in our life. Hah. Maybe that’s just my expectation.

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To the Class of _______

It’s that time of year where graduations are happening all over the country. Everyone has their cap and gown and is highly relived that school is FINALLY over. (Though paying back loans has just begun!)

I didn’t attend my undergrad graduation because well….after attending three schools to finish it, it just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I just didn’t really care to be honest. I know a bunch of people get really attached to their undergrad years and it IS a big deal to them. But for me, I just wanted to get the degree and move on with my life. Plus we didn’t have a really cool commencement speaker (I think ours may have been our US senator….yawn) so there really was no incentive for me to go.

For my graduate degree commencement ceremony, while I didn’t attend the huge school one, I did attend for my school itself. And I’m glad I did because this time I did have friends I could walk the stage with and it was a very big moment for me. Granted, technically I didn’t graduate on that night (I still had my internship to complete over the summer) so technically I didn’t get my diploma until August. And of course since it’s me as I walked the stage, my cap fell off….TWICE. But it was a proud moment for me and for my family. Because I actually finished graduate school!

That night ended up being difficult for several reasons but knowing that I was 98% done with the school chapter in my life (at the time) was a huge blessing. I’m trying to make decision now about whether I should go back to school again, this time to get my library science degree. I’m still not 100% sure yet if this is something I want to do. Do I want to go back to school again? Do I want to pay money again? Do I need a second master’s degree? Lots of thought (and prayer) before making this decision.

But for now, congrats to all the graduates – college and high school.