Friday, September 28, 2012

The Master

The Master is a film currently in theatres starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.  Neither Eric nor I knew anything about it, except that it was receiving great reviews from our go-to movie review website,

Phoenix plays a war veteran, an alcoholic and someone who can't hold a steady job, who stumbles upon a group of people traveling to New York.  Come to find out, these people are part of a new religion and are taking their message across the country.  Hoffman is the group's leader and Adams is his wife.  Without anywhere to be or anyone waiting for him, Phoenix travels with this group, which turns out to be more of a cult.

The film itself doesn't seem to have much of a story or plot.  It's primarily, at least to Eric and me, a look into a certain period of time in the characters lives.  I like ambiguous films, but this one was a little much for me.  It started to feel like was dragging after a while, but the performances are completely incredible.  Although, Eric said he wasn't sure if Joaquin Phoenix was incredible or if he's just crazy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Fall Wishlist

This is the time of year when I talk about how much I love fall weather, fall clothes, fall beverages, fall activities.  You name something that comes with fall and I'll most likely like it.  But something that is at or near the top of my list of favorite fall things is the attire.  I absolutely love dressing for fall weather.  I could probably spend a small fortune each year on new fall clothes, but instead I usually pick a few pieces I'd like to add to my collection.  So here are the things that are on this year's fall wish list.

1. Cute long sleeve tops that aren't cardigans.

2. Green skinny jeans

3. Black skinny jeans (I know, why don't I own these already?!)

4. Oxfords

5. Moccasins

6. Fall Biker Jacket

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Much Needed Date Night

It technically hasn't been that long since Eric and I have had a kidless night.  It's just that the last few times have all had scheduled events on those nights (mostly weddings).  These things are fun and we love attending them, but it definitely isn't the same as having a night with just the two of us.

This weekend, Eric's parents took the boys for an overnight when we had something planned all weekend.  It was marvelous and I enjoyed every minute of being together, even if that included shoe shopping for Eric.

In addition to shoe shopping, we ate at one of our favorites places downtown.  There usually isn't much of a wait, but this time there was, because of Artprize.  While we waited, this is the photo I got of the two of us.  I wasn't at all surprised when I saw the face Eric made, it's what I get 90% of the time when I ask if he'd take a picture with me.  I'm used to it.

I had every intention of taking a picture of our food, including the charcuterie and cheese we enjoyed.  But it is just so tasty that once it arrives, any thought other than eating it is suddenly forgotten.

After dinner, we ended the night the way we usually do on date nights, at the movie theatre.  During the winter, we used to go all the time and loved it.  Now that we're parents, those opportunities are fewer and farther between.  We have to take advantage of every opportunity.  I'm a little surprised we didn't do a double feature.  But one was better than none, and that way we were able to catch up on lots of sleep, probably the best part about an overnight.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Wear

It was date night Friday!  We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurant, picked up some shoes Eric needed for fall, and saw a movie.  It was glorious.  It had seemed like a long time since we've gotten a night like this, so we were super stoked.  As of late, fall weather has shown up, along with quite a bit of rain.  I had intended on wearing a dress, but opted for a more rain friendly outfit.

Top: F21 // Tank: Target // Jeans: H&M // Boots: Aldo

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On Taking Time for Myself

I've always known that it was a good idea to take time for yourself once you have kids, but I never could have realized how vital it really is, especially as a stay at home mom.  Soon after the boys came home Eric and I decided on two nights a week where we could each have a night away, without any parental responsibilities.  And since then, we've done a pretty good job keeping this up.

If you don't have kids, it may sound like I don't want to be around them, but I do.  I really do.  But having time away actually makes me a better mom.  I can tell when I haven't had a night to myself, and not just time to myself after they go to bed.  I mean a night without the responsibility of having to put them to bed, or clean up after dinner.  These things, which seems like no big deal, can add up and after a while, make me a little more stressed, a little less patient or a little more exhausted.  The few hours I get away help me to feel reenergized and ready to take on the temper tantrums, messes, laundry, and everything else that comes along with being around toddlers all day long.  Those few hours let me do things for myself, without worrying about where my kids are, like getting coffee with a friend, shopping, running errands, or just doing homework at a coffee shop.

Another break we consider invaluable is a date night, particularly an overnight.  It's really hard to explain, but I can be having a very rough day with the boys, drop them off to my in-laws and by the next afternoon, can't wait to pick them up.  I think a lot of it has to do with being able to turn your brain off a bit.  When we go out, we decide on dinner and if we want to see a movie.  With kids, I am thinking about dinner and what time it needs to get done before meltdowns start, if we're going somewhere, I have to make sure I have lotion, cups, pjs, pack n plays, blankets, and how are we going to give them a bath? Having even 24 hours without having to always plan ahead and be prepared is a huge break for a mama's mind.

I know not every woman gets these opportunities, so I have to give complete credit to my marvelous husband, who is so willing to take care of our kids and allow me some time for myself, and my awesome parents and in-laws who make date nights possible.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Life As A House

Eric saw this movie while in film school and really liked it.  I had never seen it, so he decided he wanted to watch it again and let me see it for the first time.  It wasn't the same as when he first saw it.  Not many things are ten years later, but it's still a heart warming story.

Kevin Kline plays a man diagnosed with a terminal disease and decides that he's going to get his life in order before he passes away.  He finally, after 20 years, decides to tear down the shack he's living in and build the house he's been dreaming of since owning the property and he tries to repair his relationship with his son, played by Hayden Christensen.  His idea is to spend time with his son as they build the house.  As you might imagine, things don't necessarily go as he had planned.  I won't go much further into detail, since I wouldn't want to give anything away.

It might not be my favorite, but it's a good film.  Kevin Kline and Hayden Christensen give good performances as the lead and supporting actor, and Christensen was even nominated for a Golden Globe.

This film may not be my all time favorite, but it was a good movie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Soaking Up Every Last Drop

Living in Michigan, summer is a very fleeting season and although autumn is my personal favorite, there's lots of fun to do with kids in the summer.  Fall is fast approaching and we are trying to take advantage of every opportunity to be outside without socks, shoes and bulky coats.  Both boys love being outside and we try to do as much as possible during the day.  The sun is already setting much earlier and a bedtime that took place in sunshine a couple of weeks ago is already becoming dark.  It's so sad to see the long days go.  I am not ready for freezing temperatures and sunsets at 5pm.  They can stay away as long as possible as far as I'm concerned.  We'll take more days like this week as long as we can.

Monday, September 17, 2012

When I Get Bigger

Baxter's vocabulary and ability to put sentences together has really exploded lately and sometimes it can be pretty funny. His new phrase, which he uses constantly, is "when I get bigger."  It doesn't matter what it is, Baxter still uses it.  So, according to Baxter, when he gets bigger he is going to make/drink coffee, ride a two wheel bike, drive a car, ride a motorcycle, pierce his ears, get a tattoo, sleep in a pack 'n play, wear his brother's shirt, wear Eric's shoes, use a knife, and make dinner.

He also thinks the Starbucks logo is an angel.  Seriously, I am loving everything that he's coming up with!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Libraries, kids either love them or hate them.

I see a lot of moms online talk about how great their library is and how they love taking their kids there.  So, throughout the last couple of months I've taken the boys to our library (well, the closet one to our house).  There are books and some puzzles, but not a ton for kids to do.  Honestly, I didn't like taking them and they usually ended up fighting or being too loud.  But then I took them to the library a little further away, and my goodness it was hundred times better!  Fish tanks, turtle tanks, stuffed animals, dress up clothes, puzzles, and puppets.  There may even be more we have yet to discover too. We checked out the "toddler time" which was followed by an art project and then hanging out in the children's portion of the library.

I never would have guessed that each library can be so utterly different.  I know there are differences, but to me these were night and day.  I am so excited to take them back next week and am planning on making this a regular outing, especially as out outdoor play time lessens.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gone Baby Gone

So, we've broken out of our 80s sci-fi funk and have moved onto intense, gripping films about the search of an abducted child.  Gone Baby Gone is the first film that Ben Affleck directed and man oh man, is it different than Jersey Girl.  The film stars his brother, Casey Affleck, who's a phenomenal actor, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman.  Affleck's character is a private detective, along with Monaghan, who is hired to search for a girl (in addition to the police) who went missing from a shadier Boston neighborhood.  As he searches, things don't add up and he doesn't accept the answers that he's been given.  Like I said before, it's very intense, but not at all scary.  I shed a view, or more, tears so be warned about that.

I know that my tween self would hate me for saying this, but I think I like Ben Affleck better as a directer than as an actor.  Although I think his acting abilities have bettered since becoming a director.

If the content (children being abducted) isn't too touchy for you, I'd definitely recommend seeing this. Amy Ryan, who plays the abducted girl's mother, was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her role.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Textbooks? Check!

Fall is here, and with it, classes.  I've been in school for what feels like forever, but no matter what, it always takes lots of adjusting when I go back after taking time off.  So far it's been good, although I'm still trying to find the balance between homework, cleaning the house, doing things with the boys, a social life, making dinner, blogging, etc.  No need to worry though, I'll figure it out soon and hopefully, nothing will suffer too much.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Family Weekend

This weekend we went up north with my family to our cabin.  It wasn't warm enough to hang out at the beach and swim, but we found other fun things to do.  And it was my brother's fiancee's first time, which it's always fun to see someone's reaction since I've grown up there and am so used to everything.

We arrived Saturday morning, and didn't spend much time at the cabin before heading out to the weir to see the salmon run.  There were thousands just hanging out in the river.  It was so cool to see, and the boys loved it.

From the river, we headed downtown Manistee to show my brother's fiancee all of the little shops.  Atticus fell asleep on our way there.  We didn't bring a stroller, so he was passed around while we walked and slept in everyone's arms.  We didn't know it, but there was a craft fair going on downtown, along with a car/boat show.  After getting ice cream, we watched a parade of cool old boats make their way down the channel.

Before heading back to the cabin for the night, we make a quick stop at the beach.  It was cold and very windy, so the boys (meaning Eric and my brothers) decided to take an impromptu dip.  I, choosing not to swim in 60 degree lake water, took the boys over to the play ground and let them have some fun.

We ended the night with grilling, building a fire, eating s'mores and playing cribbage.  Our weekends up north are never too crazy, but it's good.  We get an opportunity to have fun and get away from the norm of being home.

We didn't stay very late on Sunday because it was imperative to be back in time for the Lions opening game, per Eric.  So really, the only thing we did Sunday was go out to breakfast on our way home.  We made it back in time for him to watch the game, and they won.  So it was probably a perfect weekend for Eric.