Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Reflections

This feature was formerly called the Monthly Round-Up. It is still essentially the same thing, just a slightly different name and format.

From the 2011 Year of Memories Brag Book by Dani Mogstad

Read, Listened, Watched

As most of you know by now, I'm a bit of a "one at a time" hobbyist. If I'm really into one hobby at a particular time, there is very little happening with any of my other hobbies. Right now, stitching is at the top of that list, so there hasn't been much reading. I think I've knocked out a couple more Sherlock Holmes short stories ("The Blue Carbuncle" for sure), but that's about it.

Banner image from The Librarians Facebook page.

We really enjoyed The Librarians TV series. I wish they would stick to a more family-friendly format (certain instances of words (like s**t) and one super-creepy episode) since it's already so campy to begin with. We were hoping it would be a good show to watch as a family, but there were at least 1 or 2 episodes that he won't be able to see.

Banner image from the Agent Carter Facebook page.

We've also been enjoying Agent Carter. There have been some interesting developments and nods to the other shows/movies. I hope she gets to come back for another season, this time with the Howling Commandos (who will only make an appearance in the final episode). But as much fun as it has been, I'm actually looking forward to having Coulson and team back.

We watched a few new-to-us movies this month:
  • The Illusionist - No, we had never seen it. It was pretty good, but I don't get what all the hype at the time was about.
  • Young Mr. Lincoln - This was fun to watch, as much for the actors involved as anything. Definitely a case of "they don't make them that way anymore." Lovely to see Mr. Fonda so young!
  • Coyote Ugly - Yes, that is a bit of a jarring jump from the previous two. This was another case of "I remember the hype, let's see what the big deal is." I actually found it a bit disappointing, and given that I wasn't expecting a cinematic masterpiece to start with, that's saying something. I guess I was hoping for a bit more comradery between the girls.
  • Hawking (BBC TV Movie) - This is quite an early Benedict Cumberbatch appearance, one of those that put him on the map, so to speak. I happened to catch that it was coming on after Mythbusters one night, so I recorded it. Very interesting, both in terms of information and performance.
  • Coal Miner's Daughter - I just had to see what a 1980 Tommy Lee Jones looked like. Good grief, the man has always been old! LOL But I love him just the same (though the blond hair was a bit much). I thought the movie was fine. I'm not hugely familiar with Loretta Lynn, though you can't live in the South your whole life without knowing something about her. I was impressed that everyone did their own singing!

Old Favorites: Wreck It Ralph, Iron Man 3, The Mask of Zorro, Demolition Man, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (new for Luke), Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Star Trek (J.J. Abrams), Ratatouille, Maverick, Ender's Game, Interview With the Vampire, Arsenic and Old Lace (DH's first time), Oblivion, Hello Dolly, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Fun with Family and Friends

We rang in the New Year quietly, as usual. Luke watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on New Year's Eve before going to bed around 9:30 (which is quite late for him). Technically, he had seen it before at school, but we had a rule that he couldn't watch it at home until he had finished reading the book, which he did a few days into the Christmas break. After he went to bed, I stayed up and watched the original King Kong (which I had never seen) until about 11:50 PM. DH watched the movie with me napped on the sofa until Midnight, at which point we kissed and then went to bed. Pretty sure we were lights out by 12:05! Do we know how to party or what?

Milestones, Holidays, Special Events

We booked our 2015 Disney trip! We'll be staying on property this year (first time since 2009 or 2010, I think). That has involved all sorts of new "learning opportunities," such as trying to learn to navigate the new MagicBands and FastPass+ system. More on that in a later (dedicated) post. (I was hoping to have a picture of our MagicBands to post here, but they just shipped on January 30, so they aren't here yet.)

The Everyday and Routine

Well, I was hoping to actually reestablish something vaguely resembling a routine. We got completely of whack towards the end of last year. Basketball was starting, school was starting back, we had no "extra" commitments or obligations for the month. Yeah, we did well for about a week, and then it all fell apart again. We're still trying, though.

Basketball has fallen into place rather easily, though the 740PM games are tough (especially when they start 10-20 minutes late). Luke is usually in bed with lights out between 8 and 8:30, so not getting home until 9, *then* having to shower and such has been hard. I think we only have 3 of our 10 games that are not at 7:40.

The Good, The Bad, The Unusual

I don't know what my husband said to L on the 2nd day of school, but whatever it was, his homework attitude has been *much* better, generally speaking. It's usually quite a struggle/meltdown in January and/or February (crossing my fingers that it doesn't come next month), but homework has been even flirting with pleasant. Maybe not every day, but most days. There is still the occasional meltdown, of course. With basketball practice lasting until 8 PM (or later) on Wednesdays, that makes Thursday homework consistently much harder than any other day because he is short 1-2 hours of sleep, but we're muddling through.

We tried a new restaurant: Newk's. Reminds me a bit of a glorified Panera, but they serve pizza (which means Luke will actually eat there, unlike Panera). It was good enough that we ate there twice this month. The Four Cheese Mac and Cheese was awesome!

I purchased my first Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery designs. I saw their Fairy Tale sampler from last year pop up on Facebook several times in one day. I'd never seen the pattern before and I thought it was pretty cute, so I checked it out. Sure, that one was cute, but the monthly mystery Story Book sampler absolutely sucked me in. The Alice shown in the preview is beyond adorable, and as soon as she said "Sherlock," I knew I was sunk. (The little "symbols" at the top of each frame, like the watch shown, were the final nail in the coffin.) This is only the second or third mystery I've ever done like this. I'm actually quite excited (even if I haven't yet started stitching it; I'm just excited to see what's coming!). I'm also hoping to start a "seasonal wall" at home, and when I saw this Halloween design, I had to have it. So cute!

Progress on Goals

Not doing so well on the eat at home thing (shocking). Weight loss is progressing slowly, but I also know that I have not been 100% committed, which is my fault. I'm starting to work on the birthday party and friend get-together plans, but nothing solid yet. About the only goal that is going really well so far is stitching. I've put in quite a few hours in the last month on 3 different pieces, and I should be able to fit in a fourth piece before the official WIPocalypse due date. Above is just a small example. More pictures coming in the first week of February. They're coming along slowly but surely. Yay!

Click to read about our 2014 Disney trip!

I'm doing better with the blogging (so far; it seems easier to do in the winter, for some reason). I even finally got the Disney 2014 trip written up! About time, too, since we leave in a few weeks for our next trip.

Prompts by Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: chilly, but ready for February

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - January 28, 2015

Currently feeling: much warmer when wrapped in my pashmina

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Basketball Observations

Out of 9 boys (and 1 girl) on Luke's new basketball team, there are three Lukes!

Luke may just be of average height on his basketball team (4th and 5th graders, they're all +/- 3 inches of him), but he has the biggest feet! Even with the perspective off in this picture (since they're all behind him some distance), you can still tell.

Currently feeling: still glad he's finally playing

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - January 21, 2015

Currently feeling: surprised to see prices like this again in my lifetime

Friday, January 16, 2015

Banking: A Conversation With Luke

We went to the bank today to deposit a couple of checks. Luke and I watched three cars go through the other line in the time we waited behind a single van.

Luke: How much longer?
Me: I don't know, honey, they're just taking a long time.
Luke (exasperated): How much money are they putting in?!

Currently feeling: not sure it is a proportional relationship

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - January 14, 2015

Currently feeling: maybe my favorite picture from that day

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Basketball 2015

Today was our first basketball game with our new league. This is the same organization that he played baseball with in the spring.

When he played in 2013, he didn't care for the way they did things. As parents, we loved that practice and the games were on the same day (more time for homework during the week, which he needed), but that sort of defeats the point of trying to get him some exercise spread out over the course of the week.

They also didn't have dedicated teams last time. There were enough kids for 4 teams, but they just split them up randomly each week after practice to scrimmage against each other, playing two half-court games at the same time. It was fine for what we could do at the time, but this is a more "traditional" league.

Practice one night a week, games on Saturdays, practice and play with the same kids each week. There are 9 boys and 1 girl on Luke's team, including another Luke (thus why you will see Luke G on his jersey; other Luke just has Luke).

Luke's team is the Eagles (other team names are all animals, like Sharks, Bobcats, Bears, etc). They play 8 minute quarters on full court (94 ft x 50 ft; 28.65 m x 15.25 m). I think the goals are set at 9 feet (2.75 m) instead of regulation 10 feet (3 m). They also use a free throw line that is just a bit closer to the goal than standard.

He doesn't have much experience, and he doesn't know all the rules and/or nuances of the game (or the penalties, though I don't think any were called on him other than out of bounds), but he certainly seems to be having fun out there, which is all that really matters.
Currently feeling: ready to play!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - January 7, 2015

Currently feeling: fascinated with how he holds the laptop

Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 WIPocalypse - January 5

My first WIPocalypse post! This is year four, I believe, of the WIPocalypse. "Stitch like it's the end of the world!" It started from an "off the cuff" remark by a friend relating to the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world in December 2012. She decided she'd better work on finishing some of her WIPs (works in progress) if she wanted to get things done "before the end of time." It quickly became "a thing," sort of like an in-joke, and she started an official stitch-along for it and everything. Since the world didn't end, she's kept it going every year since then. Despite having been around for a while now, this is my first year participating! It's just for fun, there aren't any requirements or anything, just a way to remind you to make progress and share the joy. There is also a discussion topic for each post. Posts will occur on (or near) the full moon, so roughly monthly. And here we go!

Topic: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Hi, my name is Erin, and I'm a "streaky stitcher." I'll use all of my free time to stitch for several weeks or months, then I will put it away and not touch it for several weeks or months (or years). I'm hoping that officially participating in the WIPocalypse will help me be more consistent, despite having failed on a few other attempts at other SALs (stitch-alongs, for my non-stitchy friends). Remember, this is my year to "go do," and I really want to make some progress on my Mirabilia fairies, hopefully finishing one by the end of the year. I have a few other things in progress as well. Below is the official WIP list (including one new-start-to-be for 2015) and a current picture of each to use as a progress marker (note: this does not include UFOs, or unfinished objects, that just are not being worked on; there are, um, several of those, too). I reserve the right to alter the list at any time, including adding new things! But these really are the ones I'd like to focus on. All of these images are "fresh," taken January 2, 2015.

Titania, by Mirabilia

Adia, by Mirabilia

Baked Alaska, by Glendon Place

Tiramisu, by Glendon Place

Taj Mahal Mandala, by Chatelaine

So that's it, that's all I've got. I'm hoping to actually make some visible progress on these this year, though I may not stitch on every one in a given period. We'll just see how it goes. Thanks for reading!
Currently feeling: like stitching