Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I'm Into :: Summer 2013

My life and this blog have been circling around one little individual for quite some time now. Not a big deal, but... I need a slight break from all the baby talk, back to my normal self for just a bit! :) So I'm going back to a post tradition that I haven't done in a while (and maybe only did once or twice). Usually this is per month but since most of June & July were a blur for me, and August went by quickly, I'll combine it into a Summer post.

What I'm Watching in the Movies:

Star Trek Into Darkness [theatre right before baby]
I watched Star Trek on TV here and there with my dad when I was younger. But I'm not a "Trekky" by any means. Some of those people hate the revised movies, but I have to admit I love them! I think this new line of films have been done very, very well. They give an updated perspective, storyline, and special effects.

White House Down [theatre, first & only date night thus far after baby]
It was GREAT!! I'm easily pleased with movies, but honestly I think this was one of the least talked about but best movies I've seen this year. It was filled with laugh-so-hard-you-nearly-fall-over humor (which I think I loved so much because it surprised me) and lots of intense action that has you at the edge of your seat. Some of the special effects could have been a bit better (Tim noticed that some of the CG stuff was too obvious and could have been fixed so easily), but for me it didn't matter. I thought it was terrific.

Safe Haven
Tim rented this movie for me recently. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I was impressed with the storyline and I enjoyed the romantic aspects of it. But it was a bit slow-going and too scary for my romantic-comedy-easygoing movie. I wanted to relax and instead felt my adrenaline skyrocket and my blood pumping fast. However, the twists and turns in the storyline also surprised me so much (I'm pretty easily surprised while Tim would have probably seen it all a mile away). And it was just enough to keep me enjoying it all the way to the tears of joy at the end.

The Lucky One
I wish Nicholas Sparks could do a romance story without so much sensuality and sex. Romance is great without all of the skin showing in the movie! It was a relatively enjoyable movie though. Suspenseful and intriguing with sweet romance.

So good. Based on the true story of Jackie Robinson. Truly a great story and a great movie!

Identity Thief
Wow! I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. Shouldn't have watched it. It's rated R. There's language, Christ's name in vain, and sexual content that should not be in there. Nothing is shown except for one older guy's naked butt (ew), but there's enough to understand what's happening and it's a good time to fast forward. BUT it is hands down one of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. Granted, I think anything with Melissa McCarthy basically is. She's hysterical. She & Jason Bateman play really well off each other, the acting is tremendous, and I was laughing so hard I was crying. Multiple times. Really stinking funny. Just could have been better with those other issues. Why they put all that crap in there is beyond me. I truly think it'd sell better without that stuff. Oy!

Now You See Me
We just rented this on Friday night. This movie Do you like magic? We think it's kinda fun to try to figure out. Tim is really good at it. He's also really good at predicting endings, solving crimes on crime shows before they reveal it, etc. I like to just get into it and be surprised in the end. Well, this movie is a big shocker to me while Tim had figured it out. Hence, we both loved it!! But I will have to watch it again. I mean... I really never saw the ending coming AT ALL. It nearly blew me off my chair (translation, I covered my head and my jaw dropped for at least a full minute). So crazy. So good. Skip the sex part toward the beginning and it'd be even better.

What I'm Watching on TV:

I'm a bit of a summer-time geek when it comes to watching TV. We can miss episodes and it's not a huge deal, but it's still refreshing to have some outlets of comedy and action! Especially after such a chaotic/intense summer. Some of these might be seen by some as ridiculous, but hey, I'm being honest....

America's Got Talent
Every year they change judges I say I'm going to stop watching. Every year they end up with a singer as a winner and I get mad that a talent show yet again has a singer for a winner when there are plenty of singing contests/shows. [Except last year when a ridiculous act we didn't like won.] So I say I'm going to stop watching. And yet every year I get sucked back in. Gah! But this year the talent has been so incredible. I can't wait to see who wins, but I have a gut feeling it won't be a singer!!! [Here's to hoping.]

Franklin & Bash
I absolutely love these guys and how they play so well off each other. Makes my week. I hate that it's such a short show every summer! And I just hate that it's already over for the year. [I think they do like 10 episodes a year - it's a bit ridiculous.]

Baby Daddy
Shamefully I admit I'm a total sucker for this show. The character Tucker just kills me. Kills. me. Soo funny. If it wasn't for his acting and humor, I may tend to think this show is too soapy/cheesy.

Melissa & Joey
Sometimes this one really gets on my nerves. And yet I can't stop watching. The chemistry between these two makes me keep watching. And because I like the two main actors. Otherwise, it's getting a bit old.

American Ninja Warrior
This is just crazy good reality stuff. Work hard, fight hard, and try your best to make it to a final challenge that really tests your endurance and athleticism. Amazeballs.

Get Out Alive
Um, wow. This show is new this year. I absolutely love it. What a great reality show. I'm addicted. Too bad it was so short and it's already over! I loved it. Totally hooked. Please bring it back.

Switched at Birth
We've watched this constantly every year. Until this year. It was an easy one to kind of let go. I love watching a show about deaf kids and their lives. They even had one episode where they went silent to show us viewers a bit of what it's like inside the life of someone who is deaf. I love that. It's a new concept... BUT I'm really tired of the drama of this show and I'm tempted to stop watching it altogether [we've kept some episodes to be able to catch up on soon, but we'll see]. I feel like I'm stuck in a stupid soap opera that's no longer really making a lot of sense and that has been using a chance lately to make fun of Christians and generally show us in bad light. Again. No thanks. This might make a quick exit out of our house as we start limiting TV more while Elijah grows. And when we got behind around his birth, we never fully caught up. And I don't care.

Hollywood Game Night 
We just randomly watch this or parts of it if we run across it. Sometimes this is really fun and sometimes notsomuch. The host could really take a chill pill and honestly... I think she kills the show. Sorry Jane Lynch fans, but she's not my cup of tea and her hosting sucks.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
I love Aisha Tyler as an actress (esp Friends) and on The Talk but Drew Carey was definitely a better host for this show. Yet another show that could die because the host doesn't draw you in well enough. Also it was way better when they used audience members for their show instead of famous guests who often just are ridiculous instead of funny. Still, totally worth watching because the 3 main guys still make us laugh our heads off. For real,

What I'm Reading:

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist
This book is written by my friend Amanda. Not like BFF friend, but like know her kinda friend. She goes to my church and is the wife of our media director, the son of big-time author Jerry Jenkins (The Left Behind series). I officially met her two years ago at a church picnic. When I introduced myself, I figured it'd be a quick chat and off we'd go. Instead we got to talking about kids, my newfound longing to adopt, and the chat went on for a while. She openly shared with me about her struggle with adoption and how she thought it was going to be easy. As you'll see in her phenomenal book, it ended up being super duper hard. Amanda is genuine, honest, open, vulnerable, and admits her struggles with a humility and wit that is refreshing and wonderful. I've been soaking this book up. Re-reading as I go. It's taking me quite some time to get through it - which is what always happens when I truly love a book like this. Knowing the author and hearing her voice in it as she writes is certainly a plus for me. But let me just vouch for her by saying how this book is very her. She's a good woman with honest struggles and she's for.real.

Heading Home with Your Newborn
This book has been SO helpful. I read a good chunk of it while I was pregnant, but it's also a tremendous resource after bringing baby home. Before questioning things or running to the pediatrician, we started referring to this book. I'd recommend it highly for every new parent (guys too!).

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
Jim Cymbala really has an amazing story of how The Brooklyn Tabernacle went from nearly defunct when he came along, to now being such a tremendous outreach where God is glorified weekly and the lost come to Christ. It's an easy, good read, and it stirs up my passion for the gospel. And since I love New York City and the surrounding areas so much, this is right up my alley. I love it!

Next up for me:
Stones of Remembrance
Crazy Busy
Give Them Grace

What I'm Listening to:

Nothing new here - listening to the same stuff I've loved for a long time (David Crowder Band, Kutless, Matt Kearney, Josh Garrels, FFH, Tenth Avenue North, Rich Mullins, etc etc). Anxious for the Vertical Church Band's release of their new album this October. That's our church's band and we LOVE them! What a great ministry they have. We can't wait for this!!!

And for the sake of no one thinking I'm crazy holy with my Christian music... I admit that I also enjoy playing radio-switch-a-roo and listen to some of that other stuff too. Not as much now with baby in the car to respect hubby's distaste of secular music. But I do otherwise honestly like the hippy hoppy poppy sounds of Taio Cruz, Usher, One Direction, Coldplay, Pitbull, The Wanted, Jennifer Lopez, and yes... even, ahem... Justin Bieber. I really enjoy our oldies station too. I really don't like listening to one genre for very long and I play with my CDs a lot. With such a long commute, I go batty after a while of the same stuff over and over. I use my discretion and it's really not a big deal. But shh, don't tell my mom! ;)

What I'm Eating/Cooking:

Baked Fried Chicken - Tried this recipe the other night. Did not love it. Paired it with cornbread. Of course the cornbread decided to mess up too, so it wasn't the best meal night.

Baked Ravioli - Loved this. Experimented with it and added sausage to the marinara sauce on top. Super yum!! Served with biscuits instead of garlic bread.

A favorite of ours:
Crockpot BBQ ribs [taken from Busy Woman's Cookbook] -  1 1/2 to 2 lbs pork ribs, 1 bottle BBQ sauce, 1 small onion or some onion powder. If you want to, brown ribs in broiler for a few minutes each side for extra crispness. I skip this step and just cook in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. They are perfect and delish! I served them with fresh corn on the cob from the farmer's market. My favorite way to cook corn on the cob is on the stovetop - remove husks, rinse, cover in water, bring to boil, cover, turn off heat, let sit 10 minutes, roll in butter, and eat! Soooo good, especially when fresh corn!

Fresh fruits & veggies from the Farmer's Market! I've loved getting into this a bit more now with baby at home and less stress. :) Still learning the right amount of stuff instead of splurging and getting too much because I love it so! Must. learn. restraint.

What Blog Reads I'm Loving:

Strength of My Heart

Infertility and the Sovereignty of God

When Dreams Change

How Constant "Screen Time" Affects Our Lives [ironically]

When You Think You Should Just Get Over It Already

Impossible Goals and The Things I Never Say [author/friend Amanda's blog]

What Online Video I'm Loving:

What I'm Doing other than caring for Baby:

Helping plan a dear friend's *Sparkle* baby shower for her baby girl.
Trying to catch up on uploading and printing pictures.
Making digital scrapbooks.
Trying to catch up on house projects and purging/organizing.
Experimenting with baby announcements and wondering if we should just do it as part of our Christmas cards to save money (oy these things cost $$)!
STILL writing thank you cards that should have been done a while ago. Seriously, this is so not me. It's quite pathetic. I feel terrible. But alas, there it is.
Wrapping up daycare/baby paperwork now that he had his 2 month physical and immunizations.
Trying to clean/prepare our house because baby will be crawling and getting into everything before we know it! And our house is about the worst when it comes to baby-proofing. Oh man. We are in for a wild ride.

What have you been into this Summer? 

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