May 18, 2013

Movie time

(this photo has nothing to do with this post.  we had a bonfire the other night and I thought it was pretty.  the end.)

Summer movies.

They are

Don't get me wrong.  I love a good indie or a super serious dialog heavy flick too.  They make up most of my very favorite movies of all time.  And there are a few on this list.

But there is something about it being 100 humid-degrees outside, being bundled up in a dark, frigid movie theater with 150 other people watching things blow up or aliens take over or super heroes save the day.  It's comforting.  Like Jimmy Stewart at Christmas.


1.  Iron Man 3 (Already saw it and loved it.  I would watch Iron Man:10 and probably still find a reason to love it.  RDJ is perfection in that role.  And add in Gwyneth and I'm hooked.  Yes, this is absolutely #1 for me this summer)

2.  Star Trek: Into Darkness (I was a big fan of the first one and have always loved the Next Generation movies.  All I needed to hear were the words Benedict Cumberbatch and this one went directly to number two on my list.  And then there's that adorable, hysterical Simon Pegg too...)

3. The Great Gatsby (As a big-time Baz Luhrmann (Tina Sparkle!) and Leo fan, I can't wait to stare at this one.  Even if the story is blah, it will be a feast for the eyes.)

4.  Much Ado About Nothing (Two words.  Joss Whedon. Joss made it.  I will watch it.  That's just a rule.  It's funny to me, all the people who now fall all over him.  Those of us who have been singing his praises since the 90's with Buffy have always known what a genius he is.  Nerds win again, Hollywood.  And the story of how this movie came to be is, like, the coolest thing.)

5.  Man of Steel (Superman has always been my favorite superhero.  The last Superman movie was so terrible.  I hope this one redeems him.)

6. The Bling Ring (Sophia Coppola's new movie?  Yes, please.  I love how she tells stories so quietly.  With so much detail in the little moments of a scene.  I adore her style)

Honorable Mentions: Despicable Me 2, World War Z, Elysium, Oblivion, White House Down, The Heat

What's on your list?

May 16, 2013

Summer Reading List 4th edition

I've done a reading list for the last few summers.  It's a way to keep track of what looks interesting and give myself something fun to look forward to in the midst of a crazy summer at camp.  Summer movies and books have become my tiny, summer vacations/my escape amidst working 90 hours in the baking, hot sun.  Something fun and cool and relaxing.  An honest and true summer vacation has become a thing of the past (my 15th summer here at camp) for me. So it sounds silly, but these are little things that I really look forward while everyone else is packing their bags and heading to new places.

Here we reading list for Summer 2013:

1.  Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking  (This is definitely me.  Excited because I think this might be very eye-opening.)

2.  Just One Day (A new book from the author who wrote a favorite of mine. I've actually already started this one because it was surprisingly sitting on the shelf, available at the library.)

3.  The 5th Wave (Found this one highly recommended in the pages of EW a few weeks ago)

4.  Unbroken (Last week, as I was helping out kids on our Caterpillar Crawl, a teacher started telling me about this book.  She described it in such beautiful detail that I immediately put in on my list of things to read this summer.)

5. The Autobiography of Mark Twain (I'd like to chip away at this one a little more.  It's so big that I've decided it's okay to just read bits at a time, mixed in with other books.)

6.  Partials (Started this one in the bookstore or the library a while ago and really liked it.)

I'm sure there will be a few more YA books thrown in the mix.  I always have a huge list of those to read.

What are you hoping to read this summer?  I always have leave room to add a good recommendation.


Book nerd side note:

I jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon, and must say that I love it merely for its organizational help.  The way I used to organize my books has dramatically changed throughout the years.

I have kept a small Moleskin in my purse for years.  I'll write down quotes or phrases or things I want to remember.  I've also always had a running list in the back of each notebook with books that I want to read.  That way, when I finished with a book, I'd automatically have another title waiting.

Then I got my iPhone and that notebook didn't see as much use as it used to.  Instead, I would snap a photo of a book that looked interesting to me and then save it my photo album under a "books" file.  That way, I could see a the title and the author's name with just a few simple clicks. So easy.

Then I finally decided to give Goodreads a try when I was looking at book recommendations one day.  I've never really thought much about the website because I don't really care that much about the rating and review side of things.  I probably could get really into it, considering how much I love hearing what other people are reading and enjoying, but it just hadn't drawn me in yet.

I downloaded the Goodreads app on my phone, and I was hooked.  You guys, they have a barcode scanner.  It's magic.  You just scan the book you are looking at and then you can place in one of your lists (I have a "to-read" list).  Now I have a running list of the books I want to read and a super easy way to add to it, if I want to.  And my phone is always with me when I shop or go to the library.  It's the best.

Are you a Goodreads user?  Do you find it useful?  Have you found books you love through the recommendations?

Previous summer reading lists:  2010/2011/2012

May 02, 2013

Oh, May...

Sometimes I dream about a parallel universe where the month of May doesn't make me want to curl up in a ball and cry in a corner.
A world where it's full of picnics with sun tea and sandwiches.
A world of warm spring days spent gardening or taking long walks.
A world that where May is just another month in the year and the schedule doesn't change that much.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case in my life.
May is met with great trepidation.
It means extreme stress and too many things to complete.
I've already had freak-outs and mental breakdowns (hello, last Friday).

I have so much to learn about letting Jesus be my peace.
When He is my center,
my crazy life can do whatever it wants and I feel unshaken.

That's what I'm working on right now.
A constant struggle of self vs. Jesus.
More often than not, self wins and I have to again ask for forgiveness and start all over.
Thankfully, I'm loved by God who chooses,
in forgiving me and reaching out yet again when I fail.
And as soon as I acknowledge that selfishness,
oh how the peace flows.

I'm loved beyond measure.
I'm forgiven.
I'm treasured.
Yes, life is out of control,
but God is not!