Moved to Tears

Prompted to write about a time when we were recently moved to tears by movies, songs or other artistic endeavors, I laughed to myself (as will anyone that knows me) as I thought about how it would be easier to write about the things that don’t make me cry.

I’m a cryer. About a lot of stuff.

Always have been, probably always will be. I own it. A tough workout, moving moments with the minions, memories, music that hits you just right…it can all bring on the water works. Don’t even get me started on the show Parenthood. Every. Single. Episode. Seriously. I don’t want the show to end, but I am glad this is the last season only because I won’t have to buy so much Kleenex!  Nothing like a good session of salty tears to cleanse the soul!

One of my favorite, and very true, quotes.

If I hear about a movie being a real tear-jerker, I wait until it is available on Demand to sob privately. No one needs to experience the puffy, blotchy, red-rimmed eye sore that is my face post boohoo session. A graceful cryer I am not.

Over the weekend our family participated in what we dubbed “free Saturday”. This is a Saturday where we can do whatever we want. If my son wants to be in pajamas all day and not leave the house, fine. If I want to do the same, great! If Eric needs to putter, by all means. The only stipulation is that we will eat as a family and everyone needs to go to bed at a reasonable hour. In between playing family with my daughter (which means she pats my head and pretends I’m a baby and feeds me all kinds of pretend goodies from her play kitchen for hours) I did manage to squeak in a couple of movies. And I did not expect either of them to be the cry-fests that they were.

First I watched Blended with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. (Yay! It has live people in it – nothing animated! Score!) Love their movies both together and apart and this one did not disappoint. I am often shocked at the depth to which Sandler is capable. After seeing Spanglish, I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess when I chose this movie, I was looking for light-hearted rom-com. And that it was, but it was so much more than that. I actually cried. There were parts about parenting, hence the title and the plot of blended families, that were especially poignant. I won’t give it all away, but it is worth watching. It’ll certainly make you squeeze your kids a little tighter.

Up next on the lazy day agenda was God’s Not Dead, a film based partially on recent university student lawsuits over freedom of speech/religion issues. In this particular drama, a new student is faced with the difficult task of proving the existence of God in an atheist professor’s class. If he fails, he fails the entire class as well as compromising his future. What I loved about it was the idea that you don’t have to check your intellect at the door to be a Christian. (That’s one of the main problems I’ve had with certain aspects of various religions.) There were parts that definitely made me cry in this film. And cheer. And cry again. Another one that is worth checking out.

Then there was today. Sitting on the couch, my lovely tender-hearted daughter (who most recently cried when we couldn’t keep the neighbor’s dogs when they wandered over to our house) found The Fox and the Hound. It’s been a while since I’d seen it, and was immediately drawn into the scene where the widow drops off Todd in the forest to save him from her hunter neighbor. I looked over at my daughter just then to see her bottom lip trembling and her eyes brimming with tears. (Mine were already cascading down my cheeks as I was doing the hiccup/sigh/cry thing.) I held her close and told her that is was okay that movies and things make her sad. We had a good cry and then she asked me if I would ever leave her all alone like that.


I assured her that I would not (could not) ever leave her like that. It made my heart hurt just to think of it. I reminded her that I love her and her daddy loves her very much. Even Jacob loves her deep down, even when it seems like he doesn’t. She smiled at that. Man, do I love these kiddos. Sure they drive us crazy. They make us so dang tired. But, I’d gladly do anything for them. Then I went on to tell her that it’s more than okay to cry. It’s good for us. That if she felt like crying – go for it. I certainly do.

While I see these traits in her, I am surprised by how it brings it home full force just how much alike we are. She is a tender-heart. She loves animals. And she will cry at movies that move her.

I wouldn’t want her any other way.


The REAL Mother’s Day

Upon returning from my workout this morning, I opened the door to find my husband and the minions diligently laboring over the mixer. I smiled as the kids exclaimed they are making chocolate chip cookies and later they are all going on “an adventure”! Looking to my husband for the plan of the day (he’s the master adventure planner of our brood), he looked at me and grinned.

“You go to your movie today, do some writing, whatever – we are going to a football game and hiking up north,” he informed me.

The vacuous cloud of dust left by my hasty exit to shower was scarcely noticed by the minions as they were still engrossed in cookie dough, but my hubbs noticed and chuckled. My mind was suddenly tripping over its own thoughts of all the possibilities of what a day to myself could bring. Shopping, lunch, writing in a cafe, seeing The Butler, oh my there were just so many choices!

Watching a movie in a theater without anyone else is bliss to me. I don’t have to share my popcorn, I don’t have to worry about whether one or both of the minions will pass out half way through, or make a scene and have to leave. I get to pick the film – no pleasing anyone else. I love the movie experience, and I have not gone to a movie by myself in over 6 years.

Needless to say, I’m going to fully enjoy this day. The sun is out, I get to do something I rarely have the luxury to do, the brood gets an adventure and time with daddy before preschool, and the routines of fall tick away the days on the calendar.

Of course we love our kids, but a true Mother’s Day to me is a day spent doing exactly what you want to do, rather than what you should or have to do.

I am grateful for this Mother’s Day, and a husband that knows just what I need before I do!

Movie Review: Rock of Ages

I’m going to pretend you care what movies I watch, and what I think about them.

While being deployed, the hubbs had the opportunity to watch a few movies, so last night we hit up our Red Box for Rock of Ages, which he insisted I would love. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you read no further until you have seen it for yourself, as I will surely give something away.

In a word: Wow.

As a Gleek and lover of all things musical, I figured there would be an element of corny. I mean, c’mon, it’s a musical, it’s practically a given! But, while watching it last night, I kept covering my face thinking, “Oh my, they didn’t just do that, did they?!” But then a minute later I would find myself laughing and singing word-for word every single song.

Think train wreck. You know you shouldn’t look, but you just can’t help it. That’s Rock of Ages.

There is some really mediocre, cringe-inducing acting, and there is some fully committed astonishing acting. Not necessarily Academy Award winning, but I have a new level of respect (for lack of a better word) for the guts it must have taken Tom Cruise to play that role. I might add that he has a much better voice than anticipated. It takes some serious cojones to rock out Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”  with abandon.

And he did indeed rock it.

As a child of the 80’s, it is always a good time to relive the music and the fashion of the decade. Mad props to the costume designer, Rita Ryack, as she NAILED the feel of the “in your face/loud/tacky but owning it” essence of the period – spot on. The hair – perfection. Almost made me want to wear a side pony with arched bangs today, but I was sadly all out of Aqua Net. The music was fantastic and captured the decade well. Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin did not disappoint, either.

Overall, it’s a good flick, but not one I would want to shell out theater ticket prices for. If you are a lover of the drama of the 80’s, you’ll dig this movie. My hubbs detests musicals with almost every fiber of his being, but he enjoyed this one. So much so, that he watched it again with me!

I’m off to rock my acid washed jeans, banana clip, and play some AC/DC.



More Deployment Positives

As I am getting along and finding my groove with the kiddos, I keep thinking of the positives of deployment and more and more are cropping up. I love how no matter what a person looks for – they will find it. If I am looking for the positives or the negatives of a situation – I will find it. It really is about direction of focus.

So here are my additions to the positives of a deployment:

Military movies! 

I love a good military movie whether Eric is home or not. I love to ask him all kinds of questions about the authenticity of the uniforms, the filming locations, etc. He laughs and usually rolls his eyes reminding me that it’s Hollywood, and not real but I still think it’s fun. Military movies help me to feel closer to him when he’s far away. My favorites include:

Top Gun (Hello beach volleyball scene?!)
Men of Honor (Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert DeNiro – need I say more?)
Pearl Harbor – Total chick flick, and I dig it! Plus having lived there, it’s fun to see our stomping grounds!
Officer and a Gentleman – An oldie but a goodie. I also like that it was filmed in the pacific northwest!
Antoine Fisher – Kind of a sad/dark movie, but anything with Denzel Washington in khakis is alright by me!

Random Back Burner Projects Get Attention

Little projects and things I like to do that I rarely have time for now can get done. Such hobbies/tasks include scrap booking, keeping up with the kids’ baby books, reorganizing the files (I love my label maker and rarely get any quality time with it!), reading, deep cleaning (I seriously need a 12 step program), blogging, writing, and trying out adventurous recipes!

Reading Books!!

I LOVE to read (as well as write!) and my Kindle makes it so convenient especially when I usually read in bed before I fall asleep. I’m currently reading The Black Stallion. I’ve never read it. It’s quite good so far. Some of my other recent reads include:

Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. Seriously anything by this author is sure to elicit a sob fest!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I had to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about. Very interesting, an original storyline if a bit on the dark side.
Born To Run by Christopher Mcdougall. A must read for all runners!
Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat by Jeff Benedict. So amazing! Also interesting because this outbreak was HUGE in the pacific northwest at the time it occurred. I also love anything on this subject by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan. Also check out Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. I read this in high school and it forever changed the way I look at food and I credit it with starting this journey with food and how to eat healthier.
Bossypants by Tina Fey. Just good brain candy!
The Shack by William P Young LOVE LOVE LOVED reading this book! I cannot tell you anything about it because it would give away some of the plot – just a must read!

Sappy Music

I love a good cornball song as much as the next person. (Okay, maybe a bit MORE!) And when Eric is away, I do really love the songs with a patriotic twist. Here are some of my standbys to belt out in the car:
Adele – Anything she does is amazing!
Martina McBride – Anyway, Independence Day
Travis Tritt – Anymore
Brad Paisley – Remind Me
Toby Keith – American Soldier
Reba/Faith Hill – Sleeping with the Telephone (SOB FEST!)
John Michael Montgomery – Letters From War
Mariah Carey – Hero

New Friends

I’m always proud when people stop Eric and thank him for his service, and I’ve even been thanked too (totally made me cry!) but I love the little gestures and kind words my neighbors have offered. More than a few have offered to lend a hand if we need it. I love that!

We were even invited over for dinner the other night by a neighbor! The old me would have probably just stuck close to home and politely declined or made an excuse not to go out of fear, having to be social – what if they don’t like me? Ugh. All of those insecurities.

Since I am no longer the old me – I went.

And had a blast! This neighbor also invited another friend and her 3 daughters. It was so much fun getting to know these two ladies and then the opportunity to share this past year’s fitness journey presented itself. It was amazing as I watched their eyes fill with tears as I spoke – I realized that this whole process for me was about more than just miles and marathons and pounds lost. It has been about getting comfortable (and liking) who I am as a person, in my own skin. And then come to find out, one of these ladies has also done triathlons!! (Which is my goal for next year!) Oh – and she knows my sister! What a small world – and so cool how the evening unfolded.

And I would have missed out on all of this had I been too afraid to step out of my comfort zone. While I am so thankful for my physical strength, my smaller size and the “fun” side of losing weight – I am SO much more grateful for the things the fitness “vehicle” has brought me to: cherished friendships, amazing experiences, testing my mental and physical limits (and SUCCEEDING!) and a loss of FEAR.

And that brings me back to this whole deployment stuff….I will not be afraid. There are just far too many positives to waste any time being afraid.

Bring it!