Monday, November 30, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Being consumed with Thanksgiving and family activities for the past week and seemingly always having had something to do for the last 168 hours straight, I feel like I crawled underground for 7 days and finally poked my head out today to check things out. It's nice out here!

Anyway, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. (I hope everyone out there had a nice one too :) My brother Dave and his family came down from Tallahassee, and my brother Chris and his family came from Tampa, so we all packed in my folks' place for one of the 12 times a year when my parents actually hate having a small house. But space or no space, we had awesome food, tons of fun, laughter, and best of all: the bounce house. Grandma and Grandpa were amazing heroes this year for renting hours upon hours of inflatable goodness. A few lowly pics...

Uncle Dave with Luke and Addie (and her magical, amazing hair)



I took this picture just because my mom was making a face while Chris told a disgusting doctor story


♫ It's the Circle of Liiiiiiiiife.... ♫ Luke loved it when Uncle Chris lifted him up in the air like that




And also when he got to jump on Chris' back (along with Addie- who was the perfect partner in crime for the week) Chris also entertained Luke and Addie with his mad juggling skills. The kids were in awe!!!!



All the girls at the "pre-bounce house pow-wow"



Getting ready for some serious FUN.



Luke probably went down the slide part of the house about 1300 times. I went down about 70. I went face first, on my back, and a combo of both. And between me, Jacob, Chris, and all the cousins, I think we pretty much saw every different way to come down that thing. The front flip entrance was my favorite.

Thanksgiving 2009: SUCCESS!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My official review of New Moon

I am sure you are all wondering why it has taken me so long to put a review of the new Twilight movie on here. I mean, my blog is kinda like the unofficial guide to the movies, you know? But I did actually go and see the movie again today, just to be sure I knew how I truly felt about it. So my apologies for the delay, but I only have your best interests at heart. Here are my thoughts in a nutshell:





THE GOOD
•The entire look of the movie was much better than Twilight.
•Much more humor in this film than its predecessor.
•Carlisle Cullen was in the movie again :) And he is still the best dressed vampire on the planet.
•The CGI of the wolves was pretty decent!
•I Loved the Volturi and thought Aro was delightfully bizarre.
♫♫The score to this movie has some of the best pieces of music I have ever heard. It's my new favorite movie music by far.


THE BAD
•The screenplay could have been a little stronger.
•Edward desperately needs more of his charm.
(If you have read the books you can easily fill in the gaps, but for those non-bookies, I don't think they quite understand why exactly Bella is so drawn to Edward, especially when Jacob looks like he does.)


THE UGLY
•Two words: Jasper's hair.
•Two more words: Edward's vest.
•The scene where we see Alice's vision of Bella as a vampire was the "Hold on tight, Spider Monkey" moment of New Moon. I cringed.

I do want to say that after I saw the movie the first time I was not really feeling it. It just didn't seem like they got it right. But perhaps I was analyzing it a little too much. This second time around the movie was fantastic! So my overall rating is officially 4 out of 5 fangs.

*Just want to announce that my annual showcase of bizarre and expired foods from the county holiday food drive will be appearing shortly. You don't want to miss it- there are some classics this year :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

It's Thanksgiving night and I just wanted to quickly post on here a big thanks to my mom and dad for having everyone over for dinner today. It gets a little crazy with all the kids and grandkids packed in their house, but we always have a great time together enjoying everything from the awesome food and the fun games to Addie's hilarious vocabulary. We especially enjoyed the bounce house they rented this year- a true treat for all of us :) Plus, my mom let me take a picture of her head on the turkey's body. Is that not a true demonstration of love? Indeed. (By the way, that guy was delicious...)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Makeovers

Recently my friends and I decided that our daughters all needed haircuts. The 'homeless look' was just not doing it for us anymore. So we made an appointment at a friend's home salon and took our four girls to get new do's. I wasn't going for anything drastic with Cindy, much more of a glorified trim. In fact, I was pretty sure she would reject the idea of a haircut altogether, hence why I needed the idea to take everyone and make an event out of it. But Cindy actually really enjoyed the whole experience. Go figure!






We all came back to my house for painting nails and makeup afterward. L to R is Cindy, Becca Fallaw, Maddie Adams and Alyssa Fallaw.

A better look at the before and after:



MUCH BETTER :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My latest 5K Adventures

The past two Saturdays have found me up at 6:30am and getting ready for a 5K. On the 14th it was the Polk County Family Week 5K at Fort Fraser Trail here in South Lakeland. I'll admit I was not really excited about this run because I bike the trail all the time and I knew that I was in for an uphill course. Not my favorite. Anyway, I made it throught the race with a time of 26:17- a personal best! Yahoo! My friend Michelle was supposed to run this race, but she backed out in the name of her son's soccer game. Oh, brother! Just kidding, Michelle, I understand. I guess :) My other friend, Davina, was also slated to run with me and it was looking pretty iffy for her because she launches rockets out at Cape Canaveral for the Air Force (just a fun little hobby she has) and her midnight launch meant only about 3 hours of sleep the night before, BUT she is incredibly tough and came out anyway to not let me run alone. She also placed first in her age group with a time in the 24 minute range- amazing! And for her hard work she got a picture frame. Awwwhhh-yeeeah! We got our picture taken after the race too, so here ya go:

Dang, we ROCK!




Then this past Saturday was the 1st Annual Bartow Turkey Chase 5K. I was more excited about this race because I was pretty sure the course was flat and after the last 5K I made it my goal to run a time in the 25 minute bracket. And I got my wish! I placed second in my age group, behind Michelle, of course (She is my new age group arch nemesis being that she just turned 30) My time was 25:47. Made it by 13 seconds even! Davina won first place overall for all the women. Again, she is amazing. And so is Michelle, who need I remind you has a 10 week old baby. We had a very fun time together- If nothing else, I am glad I took up running just for the fact that I could hang out with these ladies and have a ton of fun doing it. Some pictures of the day:

Pre-race photo. I believe my magical fashion glasses were what made me so fast. I lost my other ones :(

I bowed down to have my medal hung around my neck and I couldn't stop laughing.

Our version of the Olympic podium.

Next up, Santa Sprint 5K on December 19th. And guess who is going to be running with me? Elder Bingham. Believe it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I just have to say...

Dear Twilight blog,

I will miss you! You have been so much to write.
So until June when I see you again, farewell!

Love,
Jessica

(okay, I will change you first thing Monday :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Experience #17- Attend a Midnight Movie Premiere

Just to be clear, I have been to midnight showings of movies before, just never on opening night. So here was my perfect opportunity! Our theatre here in Lakeland had 18 theatres and they were all completely sold out for the next movie in the Twilight Saga: New Moon. Knowing this, I was pretty much expecting utter pandemonium when I finally got there. You know, throngs of girls absolutely everywhere, lots of vampire costumes, people having fist fights over who was saving seats, constant shrieking about anything related to Edward, you name it. But I have to say the entire experience was totally tame! Yes, there were tons of people, but we were very orderly seated in our theatre by 10pm and then we just leisurely killed two hours with calm conversation, tons of texting, random picture-taking, and bathroom breaks before the line got over 200 yards long. All in all, it was very relaxing! (And just so you know, we took this picture in front of a very large group of people still in line and it was a little intimidating. But Sarah and Ellen are not deterred- it was perfect :)

Here are a few pictures: More may be forth coming as they appear on the Facebook pages of the girls...


Ellen did not disappoint me. She brought her copy of New Moon with her to the movie. Boo-yah.

Melissa and Brianna scoring some popcorn while we waited.


I so love this picture. Ellen so spunky and excited, Sarah so tolerant and pensive. You girls are so cool :)

Ellen had to dig for the collector's cup with all three characters on it. Well done.

As for the movie itself, I am going to post an official review over the next few days as I digest it (and possibly go see it again just to be sure of my opinion). It definitely had some highs and lows :) But sitting next to Ellen and being with those girls was really, really fun. We even made very good friends with Sarah and Nate, a married couple that sat next to us. We were high-fiving and having deep Twilight conversations all night. In fact, I think Ellen will be friending Sarah on Facebook any day now. There was no real yelling, shrieking, etc. during the movie- okay, just a couple of lusty growls when we first saw Edward or Jacob, but by far the best shout out was a guy in the row in front of us who yelled out "You're a jerk!" when Bella dissed Jacob to go after Edward. It was awesome.

I am still running on about 4 1/2 hours of sleep right now, so hopefully this all makes sense. Good thing I don't do this midnight thing very often, going to bed at 3:15 is painful! I wish I could be a Cullen and never sleep. Life would be so much easier :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks, Dad!

My dad read my limericks and then sent me one of his own....


"There once was a middle-age man
Who was a casual Twilight fan.
He won't read the book,
But he gave the movie a look.
...that Cullen guy sure needs a tan....."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There once was a story called Twilight...

This post is mainly for those of you out there that have not read the books in the Twilight Saga. As the movie comes out and Twilight insanity grips the planet over the next few weeks, you will need to arm yourself with at least a basic knowledge of the plot to get by in life. So to both of you, I now present four limericks to do just that:


Twilight

There once was girl named Bella,
Who fell in love with this vampire fella.
Edward fell for her too,
But what else could he do?
He just couldn’t resist her good smell-a.


New Moon

Edward then decided to leave her.
Jacob’s werewolfy arms did receiver her.
But then Edward returned,
And of big news we did learn-
If Bella says their engaged, well, believe her!


Eclipse

Bella still wanted to stay,
Close to Jacob in a “just friends” kind of way.
But she had to decide:
The wolf or become Edward’s bride?
To the wedding, without further delay!


Breaking Dawn


They got married and had a cute daughter.
And Bella saved everyone from the Volturi’s slaughter.
She and Edward are together,
from now till forever.
And that is why Twilight beats Harry Potter :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What gives?

I think I have mentioned this to some of you before, but I find it really strange that I think Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies is totally gorgeous, but Robert Pattinson in real life, as himself: not so attractive. I am not sure exactly why that is, it just seems that in real life he looks a little scraggly and unkempt most of the time. Not impressed. I guess this just means I am a big fan of his makeup artist. I really think his hair is the big obsession. But Kristen Stewart has good hair too. Hmmm, I wonder....



















Wow, we make a good Robsten!

(Thanks Jen for the site suggestion, I am having WAY too much fun with it, as you can see :)

And to Jacob... Remember, "Greater love hath no husband than he who allows his picture to be doctored for the love of his wife's blog." (straight out of the Bible so it must be true :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

My favorite Twi-hard

I wanted to put a shout out on my blog to the person I thought of the most when prepping my "Salute to Twilight" week: My dear, sweet little Ellen Foley. She is one of the young women in my ward at church and is one of the funniest and most interesting people I know. (Her father happens to be "the real James Bond" if you were paying attention back on Navy Day...) I think the first time I knew just what kind of a superfan I was dealing with was way back when I was reading New Moon. I was on about chapter 6 and I asked her, "So is Edward coming back or what?!!" and her response to me was a huge smile and "Wait until page 451 :)" From her very cool Twilight charm bracelet to her 'don't-even-get-me-started' rants about the differences between Twilight the book and Twilight the movie (with about 10 minutes devoted to the hairstyle discrepancies alone) she really, really is a true Twilight fan. I don't think there is anything she doesn't know about it. Plus, back when I was learning my Twilight piano piece, she was the first person I kinda sorta played it for. She actually teared up and told me how good it was. She is too kind :) The good news is that she also has a life. She is an amazing actress and singer, an accomplished swimmer, and an all-round good person with mad babysitting skills. Plus, she attends Bartow High School, my alma mater, which makes her 'cool' factor increase by 31%, easily. Anyway, whenever I have Twilight questions or musings or need clarification on Volturi member idenification or just need someone to tell me Carlisle Cullen's shoe size- I know Ellen's got my back. Can't wait to share some of Thursday night with her. It's going to be legendary!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little vampire humor

These amused me...






My size is an adult small, just in case you were wondering.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You say 'obsessed' like it's a bad thing

So after yesterday's post, I realized that there might be some of you out there who think I am a little obsessed with Twilight- and to a point I have wondered the same thing myself. However, after I Googled anything Twilight, and mildly scanned some of the 102,000,000 results that came up, which included INSANE Twilight fan sites, millions of youtube videos, merchandise up the wazoo and fan fiction that doesn't even come from this planet, I realize that I am the normal one! Furthermore, I used this top ten list as my litmus test and I passed with flying colors. So nanner, nanner!

TOP TEN SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE OBSESSED WITH TWILIGHT

10. You threw out all your spoons and knives so your house would only have Forks
9. You own two silver Volvos, but zero driver's licenses
8. Your Edward Cullen cardboard cutout has a social security number and his own post office box
7. Your friends at school refer to you as "that freak that's obsessed with Twilight"
6. Number of times you have read Twilight this month: 1,200. Number of times you left your room this month: 4
5. For Halloween you dressed up as Twilight special effects director, Lawerence Decker
4. You're reading this from your place in line outside the Cobb Theater for next week's New Moon premiere
3. Your friend called you while you were reading Twilight last night and today you punched them in the face
2. Your YouTube video of an all-ferret Twilight re-enactment is almost finished
1. You will be reading my blog every day this week

Friday, November 13, 2009

Salute To Twilight!

As you all know, over the past year I have gone from a Twilight hater to a true Fanpire. Not something I saw coming, believe you me! But after a while I decided I just had to see what the big deal was and, yeah, I got sucked in :) Anyway, the next movie (New Moon) comes out exactly a week from today, and I figured that if good ol' Star Trek gets a full week of coverage on my blog, well then The Twilight Saga should have its moment in the sun as well. Although it would be all sparkly and you couldn't actually read it, but I digress...


I gotta say I love the new posters for the movie. Bella is looking good!


(Yes, Jacob pre-approved this. Yes, he now thinks I am ten times the nerd I was yesterday :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Now that's a painting!

I have read in magazines and online that a great thing to do with all that "art" your children make is to frame it. That way you not only preserve it and avoid the guilt that comes when throwing their things away, but you also don't have to go out and buy things to decorate your walls. Say no more to this Mom!


Cindy painted this really cool abstract painting a while back and I framed it and put it in the kitchen. (She absolutely loves watercolor painting. I need to buy those little paint sets in bulk, she goes through them so fast.) A budding artist? Maybe. Just don't ask her to "draw" anything. The latest homework assignment to draw a fireman almost turned into a hostage situation. It was a bit tense, shall we say. Anyway, now I just have to find a frame for my dining room table that Luke just decorated with a sharpie.

**OH, a programming note: Friday starts my official "Salute to Twilight Week" in Sweeneyville. Yes, it will be awesome :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another college flashback...

I decided that I needed to occasionally blog about my college days at BYU (before I get really old and can't remember anything from 10 years ago).

When I was a freshman, I was completely retarded and didn't apply for housing in a timely manner. Consequently, I ended up living in the commons room for four months. The commons room was a giant room that was located on every floor of the dorms at Deseret Towers. It was intended as a common room (oddly enough) for the entire floor to share for things like hanging out, watching riveting BYU Television documentaries for assorted science and history classes, etc. However, in an emergency it could be converted into sleeping quarters for 4 people, complete with chalkboard and very limited closet space. Now, it wasn't a totally horrible setup- it definitely had that slumber party, "what's-yours-is-mine" feel to it and I did end up living with 2 girls who are my lifelong friends- Amy and Jen (Jen being the Jen who encouraged me to start this blog...) but the one huge drawback of the commons room was that it had no windows. It was located smack in the middle of the building. If you turned out the lights in that place and shut the door you could have been on the moon for all you knew. It was brutal coming out of that place into any sort of light in the morning. Shield your retina, they will be fried. Good thing I never had a class before 9am...The other quirk was that it had two doors- one on each side of the room and each led out into opposite hallways of the main floor. Me and Jen and Amy got along so well and had so much fun in that room, but over time we became the joke of U Hall, 5th floor (?). Everyone kinda thought we were weirdos as they would poke their heads into our cave and ask us "How can you live in here?" So to further bond our little sisterhood of windowless souls, we got a little cocky. First we got a motto: "We don't have windows and you don't understand." Then we put a sign on each door that said, "Please use other door." Many a fellow floor-mate would read the sign on one and then walk all the way around the elevators to the complete other side, only to read the same sign. I remember the RA was not amused. But who cares? We were! And that is all that matters :) I "posted" my very first top ten lists on the outside of those doors. A very primitive old school door "blog" you might say. And in fact, I dug thru an old Tupperware bin marked "sentimental" and found a copy of one of those lists. So here it is- Jen and Amy- this one is for you :) (And let me just say also that that Tupperware bin has more blog fodder in it than I can even tell you. Good times :)

From 1997....

TOP TEN SURPRISES FOUND IN MERRIL J. BATEMAN'S NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY
(He was the president of BYU at the time)

10. Favorite Movie: Short Circuit
9. Likes to hide in the Tree of Life sculpture, jumping out and tackling those whose shorts are too short
8. Sometimes 'sleepwalks' and mysteriously finds himself playing with the library construction crane in the wee hours of the morning
7. His mother? Half-puma.
6. Can do a mean shadow puppet of President Hinckley
5. Defending Quorum of the 70's "Slam Dunk Champion" three years running
4. Gets a kick out of spelling his last name without the 'E'
3. The J in his name? Really stands for Julio
2. Still giggles each time he passes the naked Indian statue
1. His most commonly pondered question: "Who's this Brigham Young guy, anyway?"

My 5-year-old holding the list. Crazy. She knows good humor when she reads it...

And the best part: Handwritten on the top ten list is this note: *Number 8 written by Jen Harris. Awesome.

AND, this list was typed using the word processing typewriter we all shared that semester. Double awesome.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Cindy Quickie

So I was on the Disney.com website the other day researching what would be the best day in December for Cindy and I to go to Walt Disney World this year. I noticed that among the characters you can now meet, are the fairies from Pixie Hollow (the ones featured in the new Tinkerbell movies). So later when she got home from school I said to her- "Guess who you can meet at Disney world now?" And she said "Who!?" I said, "The Fairies from Pixie Hollow!" She immediately said to me, "How big are they?" I said, "Well, like real people?" And she says, "Those aren't real then because Fairies are really tiny." The magic is fading, my friends...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Not because it is almost Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays. Nope, those things are all secondary to the Polk County Employee Holiday Food Drive! And you know what that means- my favorite thing in the whole world: Bizarre and outdated food! My dad already dropped of the first batch to me on Monday, and actually there were some pretty good items in there. Ones that might show up on Thanksgiving Day, FYI to my family. Anyway, just getting you excited about that. The full post won't appear for about a month, but I am getting all warm and tingly just thinking about it!

Since my Dad is the head honcho in charge of the county-wide food drive, he emails every single county employee every morning to remind them to donate. And since you know my dad can't do anything the normal and boring way, the emails are full of trivia, humor and general tomfoolery. In fact, they were so wildly popular last year that people were emailing my dad in October this year to make sure he would do it again. Of course he is not disappointing them, and one of his latest emails discussed Hollywood movie scenes that had to do with food. So on Monday he and I chatted about that and decided this was a blog post that needed to be done! So here for you now are my personal Top 5 Hollywood Movie Scenes that Focus on Food.

5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- The whole movie is about candy, but specifically the scene where Augustus Gloop is drinking from the chocolate river and the Mom says, "Augustus, NO!"

4. A Christmas Story- When the family has to eat Christmas dinner at the Chinese restaurant and they bring out the 'smiling' duck. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra-ra-ra!








3. Big- When Tom Hanks shows up to his work party in that ridiculous tuxedo and eats the little corn, row by row.

2. Nacho Libre- Where Nacho finally gets to make large salads and blows a handful of crushed tortilla chips at Incarnacion. (Or where Stephen is eating the corn and he knocks it out down saying, "Get that cornoutta my face!")




1. Pee Wee's Big Adventure- The breakfast-making machine. Specifically, the part in his morning where he talks to his breakfast, Mr. T Cereal, eats with a giant fork, takes one bite and leaves. Classic!



So what did I leave out? Go ahead, post a comment and tell me your favorites :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I want my life back!

As some of you know, Jacob and I own a rental property. We bought a little house about a 2 years ago and decided to try our hands at being landlords. After all, you only have sit back and collect rent, right? Wrong. Oh. So. Wrong. In fact, my advice to anyone out there is to never have a rental property. Wait, where is the caps lock button? Oh, there you are. What I meant to say was NEVER HAVE A RENTAL PROPERTY!! Our latest tenant just moved out and we are now in the process of deciding whether a bug bomb or an actual atomic bomb would be the best option for what remains of the house. I won't go into too many details, because for one thing I would get horribly nauseous, and for another you would never read this blog again, but our little home has been reduced to a giant museum dedicated to observing German cockroaches in the wild, particularly as they live when in colonies of over 10,000 members. Honestly, I can't say much more than that because there are no words for it. Jacob and I and, bless her heart, Saint DeAnne, have been over at the home for two solid days removing debris, cleaning, and counting our losses. Among them being a fridge, an oven, a toilet, ceiling fans, screen doors and every shred of landlord dignity we had when we bought the place. We essentially have had our house turned into a flip house we would have bought for a nickel because of the shape it was in. Oh well. Onward and upward! We are repainting the whole thing, getting brand new appliances and tiling the bathrooms. We even cut down the big tree in the front yard today. These are all upgrades we needed to do anyway, so here is our chance to get them done. Silver lining? Perhaps. Just wishing that silver linings could actually be made of gold. Now THAT would be helpful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Experience #16- Shoot a Gun

Yes, it is true. I am thirty years old and have never shot a real gun before. But you have to understand that I haven't really grown up around guns. Things like the military, hunting or anything similar is pretty foreign to my realm of experience, so the opportunity has never really presented itself to me in my short thirty years. Which is also why I probably haven't ever really thought about shooting guns either. But since Jacob now owns a gun, I decided it was time to experience another true first in my life. (And also get a tutorial on how to actually use our gun. Right now I would have to hit people with the gun if my life depended on it, and I don't really know how effective that plan of action would be.)

So I summoned the help of a family friend, Doug McPherson. I have known Doug since I was about 15 years old and he was so nice to hlep me out with crossing this experience off my list. We met Doug out at Saddle Creek Gun Range. As we pulled up to the range I started to get reeeallly nervous, based on the fact that I was seeing and hearing some of the loudest, most ridiculous firearms I didn't realize a regular civilian could own. Some of the guns I saw out there were crazy! I really did start to sweat a little and almost convinced myself I couldn't do it. But, I got over it and had a really good time!

Me and Doug: My firearms sensei

Doug got out his telescope to see all my sweet shots


Not bad for a rookie! I was a pretty accurate shot with the scope. Okay, I was only about 30 yards out, but still! I was proud.

Here I am breaking in our gun. It has quite a kick to it! At least to me, it does. This is the closest I will ever get to being Sydney Bristow. Sigh....

Jacob getting some instruction from Doug.

So here is the raw video of me shooting the assualt rifle. This was like my 5th shot EVER of my entire life. I have terrible form, yes, I know. I can't remember all the different names and specs of the guns we shot (4 total)- sorry, I don't speak gun yet. But I do know that this rifle was a 22 caliber and our gun is a 40 caliber. Wow, I am shocked I even remember that much!

video

This whole experience was totally fun. Much more enjoyable than I would have thought. Thanks, Doug! We had a blast. (No pun intended :)