a collection of certainly special, uniquely unusual, and equally momentous thoughts: memoirs of me

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What's in a nickname?

The first thing you have to know is that in my family we have nicknames, weird ones. It all started a couple years ago when we were watching The Amazing Race and the racers were in Russia. There was some challenge where they had to do something in a garden with a couple of Russian Babushkas (our interpretation of Russian Mothers). From then we started calling my mom Babushka because it was just appropriate.

Sometime later when my mom left to run errands she left me a note telling me where she was going and she addressed it to Eldest (me, of course). Spence became Birthright after a long argument where I insisted I was the birthright child being the oldest. Alas, Birthright stuck with Spence being the oldest boy and we've moved on. Carson is Son of my Loins (I have no idea how this one came to be but you can see the ancient trend we have going on). My sister-in-law was affectionately called Helpmeet, Adida our dog is The Lamb, and baby Beckham is Child in Swaddling Clothes. My dad is Papanua, my grandma is Stricken in Years, and we've yet to figure out one for my stepmom but I'm sure it will come to us at some point. They always come to us. In moments of pure brilliance.

Just for your entertainment, here are some other nicknames we've had over the years:



Carson Daly

Friday, January 17, 2014

I went and saw a movie by myself this week. It was Tuesday night and I was celebrating not being on crutches anymore so I hobbled myself over to the movie theater and saw Enough Said with Julia Louie-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. There were four of us in the theater...all there alone and unaccompanied. It was so nice.

Enough Said probably isn't going to win any awards although Julia was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the movie. Even so, I think this movie had an important moral, one that I've thought about the rest of the week.

Loving people regardless of their quirks and idiosyncrasies.
Beginning a relationship on a clean slate, despite what you may have heard about a person. 
Not letting other people's frustrations with someone cloud your own judgement of them. 

Maybe this resonated with me so much because I am so guilty of it and I need to change.

How many times have I decided not to crush on someone because a roommate told me of an awkward encounter they had with that person?

How many times have I brushed someone off after one quirky encounter with them?

How many times have I not given people a chance, any chance to open their heart and show their true colors?

How many times have I wished that someone would give me a chance, despite my own quirks?

I've thought about all these things this week and I've resolved to do better. I'm not going to let other people's experiences ruin potentially good relationships with others.

I have good proof that this works. For someone reason I had formed a certain negative opinion of someone. Come to find out, this someone ended up being in my Duck Beach house a couple years ago. After spending four days with this person and countless hours together on the deck just talking about life, I came to find out how amazing this person really was. My original impression was completely and utterly wrong. I learned a good lesson and despaired thinking how much precious friendship time had been lost because I had a wrong first impression and hadn't made an effort to develop a relationship earlier.

So onward and upward. More giving people the benefit of the doubt in 2014. More loving them because of their quirks and idiosyncrasies, and not despite them.

I like it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let's talk about pain

Let me tell you about my day.

I woke up in a lot of pain from the grade 3 sprained ankle I sustained a week and a half ago. My ankle is still bruised and swollen and I think I did a number on it last night during my sleep. I can't put weight on it yet because of the severity of the sprain so I've been on crutches for 11 days now. My underarms are sore, my right leg is achy because of the toll it's taken being my only useful leg right now, and I'm getting cramps in my left leg from not using it for almost two weeks.

That was only the beginning.

As I hobbled into work today the lobby of my office building was slightly slippery and as I attempted to put weight on my crutches they slipped right out beneath me and I fell to the ground. My rear took the brunt of the fall although I really hurt my left thumb. It's bruising and been sore all day.

As if that weren't enough, around 3 pm today I got a migraine. Fireworks of pain shot through my brain  and it was all I could do not to burst out in tears.

So that was my day.

I don't write to complain at all. I'm not one to ever want anyone to feel sorry for me. I'm a strong woman and independent and I can get through this. I know I can. I've been in worse pain before. But as I laid on my back in my office with my ankle propped up on a medicine ball to relieve the swelling in my ankle that had been growing all day, I got to thinking about pain. And it's purpose.

There are all different kinds of pain, but physical pain is something I feel I've been "blessed" with a lot on this earth. I'm not a hypochondriac at all, actually just the opposite, but I think that's because I learned about real pain from a young age. Crohn's Disease has been my friend since I was 8 years old resulting in times of writhing and indescribable pain that can't really be explained. Hours that I spent crumbled on my bedroom floor begging for relief, days that I spent in hospital rooms asking for more morphine, times when I wonder why pain has found me. This time. Again.

But through all these experiences I've gained priceless perspective and understanding, things I don't think I'd trade even to get rid of the pain. I've learned just what the body is capable of enduring, how far it can be pushed, just what is possible when pain is the only thing I feel. It has made me stronger, more resilient, and more compassionate.

Most importantly, I have found gratitude in this mortal body of mine. That it can heal itself seamlessly, that it can make itself whole again. I look forward to the day when this mortal shall put on immortality and when bodily pain will forever cease. I look forward to the Resurrection with anticipation and excitement.

So for now I will continue on. There will be more days of pain in the future. I have yet to give birth to a child but I don't worry about the pain it will require. There will be more injuries that will have to be overcome. There will be sickness and disease that will surely be met at some point. And finally there will be the road to death however that may come.

But today I am grateful when the pain subsides. I'm grateful for little pills that help in that process. I'm grateful for heat packs and ice packs. I'm grateful for crutches that keep me mobile. I'm grateful for sickness - that we can recognize health. And I'm grateful for pain because I know in the end that He knows what I'm going through because He suffered all.

When I come begging on my knees for help, He is always there.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

An Ode to Buzzfeed - 29 Movies in 2013

I wish I had the time or stamina to find gifs for each of these but here's Hannah's list of the 29 movies I saw in the theater this year. That's approximately $348 in movies. But who's counting.

In chronological order and ranked on a scale from 1 to 10.

1) Beautiful Creatures

5- It was a girl's night out in the dead of winter. All I can say is that it was better than Twilight. 

2) Safe Haven

5- Not Nick Spark's best, not his worst.

3) Warm Bodies

8- For it being a ZomCom and me not usually into ZomCom's, this was refreshingly funny. Loved the narration and the writing. Made me lol once or twice.

4) Oz the Great and Powerful

2- Hated it. Will repeat. Hated it. James Franco is the new Nicholas Cage. Useless and uninteresting. 

5) The Host

5- I was entertained for two hours but not inspired. I guess it reminded me too much of the show Animorphs that I watched when I was a little kid.

6) 42

7- Good movie but didn't rivet me. I can't complain about a good sports movie though. Predictable but inspiring. 

7) Jurassic Park 3D

6- I mean, how could I not? I hadn't seen this one in about a decade and it scared me just about the same as then. I think I can go at least another decade before another viewing. 

8-10) Fast and the Furious 6 (x3)

9- Okay. My beloved friend Katie got me hooked. Granted, I didn't pay for this one all three times out of my own pocket, Katie subsidized, but I'm glad she did. It was all worth it. Not quite my favorite action movie (nothing tops Daniel Craig's James Bond) but pretty dang good nonetheless. And sitting next to Katie is a must. 

11) Now You See Me

5- Too many holes but I've become a pretty big fan of Woody Harrelson. I didn't mind being entertained by this movie for two hours.

12) Star Trek

8- I never mind watching Chris Pine. Never.

13) Great Gatsby

3- Didn't love it. There was so much hype around this movie and it just failed in my eyes. Not because it wasn't beautiful to watch or because Leo's performance wasn't top notch, I just realized I don't like the story line. So I guess it's not their fault I didn't like it. 

14) Man of Steel

5- Mediocre, that's all. I wasn't captivated and I got realllly tired of the action scenes. They went on for just a tad too long in my opinion. Plus, I couldn't get over how Lois Lane magically appeared exactly where Superman finished fighting. Do they know how big New York City is? That's impossible. 

15) White House Down

6- Before ya'll go and start judging me, let me remind you - Channing Tatum. CHANNING TATUM! In a white tank top. I also just need to note that I didn't initiate seeing this movie. My friend Chris was dying to see it (dying I say) so I tagged along to keep him company.

16-17) World War Z (x2)

10- The biggest surprise movie of the year. I loved this one. LOOVED! I was roped into going to a 10:30 pm showing on a Tuesday night (a school night mind you) and as I was sitting in the theater beforehand I exclaimed to Katie, "What am I doing? I'm 26 years old and I'm seeing a zombie movie on a weeknight and won't get home till 2 am!" It's all right because let me tell you, BRAD PITT HAS STILL GOT IT! That ponytail, that jaw, the zombies he just destroys. The emotion! 

18) The Butler

Katie rented a theater for us and 20 friends to watch this one together. I really enjoyed the movie although I think the highlight was when my friend Lance exclaimed 2 hours into the movie "Is that Oprah?!?" Bless him.

19) The Wolverine

4- I don't remember much from this movie. That's not a good sign. I don't think it was bad though. 

20-21) Gravity (x2)

10- Incredible. Who cares if it wasn't perfectly accurate? Come on guys! Can we not appreciate what they did accomplish? Sandra is incredible. George is refreshingly good and the take-aways are deep. I could talk about this one for hours. And don't get me started on how much I loved the ending.

22) Ender's Game

1- Worst movie I saw this year. I'm sorry if you liked it. I'm ever more sorry if you loved it. But this is the thing, I'v never read the book and I think that's the problem. I was so confused in this movie and not in a good way. The character development was poor, the acting not great. The kids went from shooting lasers at each other in a zero gravity room, to being responsible for the destiny of planets, all the in the space of a few minutes. I didn't get it. 

23) Thor

7- If I wasn't a fan of Chris Hemsworth before, I am now. 

24-25) Catching Fire (x2)

10- This movie delivered, just like the first. All my coworkers know this, but Katniss is my muse, and not just her, but Jennifer Lawrence in real life as well. And let's just talk about Peeta for a second, PEETA! I'm determined to be Mrs. Josh Hutcherson someday. 

26) Delivery Man

6- It was snowing outside and I was tired of being cooped up inside. I'm now laughing that I have to justify myself for seeing this movie. It was decently good and I appreciated that Vince Vaughn did something a tad more worthwhile than normal. 

27) The Book Thief

8- I don't need a happy ending to be satisfied with a movie. I can walk out of a movie with a sad ending and really appreciate it for what it's worth. But there was something about the sad ending to this movie that didn't quite leave me in the right spot. I think I needed just a little bit more goodness to feel like it redeemed itself from all the tragedy. That being said, the acting of all involved was spectacular. 

28) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

8- From the second I saw the preview for Walter Mitty I was counting down the days till the premier...and although I really enjoyed it, I not sure I was in love with it. I didn't walk out of the theater bursting to the seams and desiring to tell everyone on Facebook about it. I really wanted it to be that good. That's not to say that it wasn't delightful. I loved the cinematography and I love Ben Stiller's more serious role, I guess I just wanted it to be my favorite movie of all time.

29) Saving Mr. Banks

9- Definitely a perfect way to top off the year. Now here's a movie that didn't give it all away in the trailer, and I appreciate that. It was emotional and jarring, I was surprised and also moved. Emma Thompson is one of my faves and she didn't disappoint. All I want to do now is build a fort in my living room and watch Mary Poppins.