I can’t believe it is already mid-March. The days are just getting away from me! This Daybook is late but better late than never. 😉
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- Green hills and flowers growing after the recent rains.
- Blue skies and spring weather after the recent cold days.
- My feeling better after being sick.
- Family time.
- Good health reports.
- All the little things I take for granted like a warm bed, running water and food on the table.
- Many special intentions from family and friends, especially those carrying heavy crosses.
- Those fighting cancer, illness and mental health issues.
- For victims of violence and abuse.
- All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
- The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.
From yesterday’s Instagram:
It’s been a long time since I’ve let the “comparison poison” creep into my head and make me feel like a loser compared to others but this morning it was trying to take hold.
Then I read today’s first reading, especially these lines: “Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create…”
There is happiness in what God creates. That includes me. It brought to mind yesterday’s Scripture reading that said, “We are his handiwork.”
We are God’s creation and He takes pleasure in us. Let’s not forget that. And when the evil one starts to whisper negativity that makes us fell “less than” cast it aside and rejoice that God created each of us unique with our own talents and gifts so there’s no need to worry that someone else’s gift is not our own. Be your beautiful, unique self and God will work wonders.
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Around the House…
The purging and spring cleaning continues. I’ve got huge piles of stuff to take to St. Vincent de Paul. Now just to get it in my car and over there. 😉
Family Chit Chat…
February Memories – Highlights of the month include – Worked with the boys on their school fundraiser for Children of Compassion.org, celebrated St. Valentine’s Day, enjoyed some Room Mom time at school, revived my love for snail mail, celebrated Ash Wednesday, went on a road trip with my “baby” girl, happy danced at one of my favorite places and made it an awesome girls’ weekend with my daughter, sister and mom! (And counting the days until I can go back.)
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In the Kitchen…
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
I’ve been looking for a lemon salad dressing and found this one that I have been really enjoying. So good!
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(For Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge category – A Classic I Haven’t read Yet.)
The Greatest Showman – I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this movie since it got mediocre reviews but all over Twitter and IG people were saying how much they loved the soundtrack and they wanted to see the movie again. So finally in February I went to watch it before it left the theaters. Oh man, was I wrong to wait because I loved it. No, let me clarify, I looooooved it. In a nutshell, Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum, who began as a penniless orphan, and Michelle Williams is his wife Charity, his rich childhood friend. Together they overcome obstacles, marry, raise a family and start what would become P.T. Bartum’s Circus. Along the way Barnum recruits the local “misfits” who don’t fit into polite society and creates a show of music and wonder. This provides a new family of love for the circus performers who come to love themselves for who they are and shine despite the hate of cruel people. Unfortunately, in Barnum’s quest for ever greater accolades and acceptance into the right kind of society, he loses sight of his family and friends and loses everything in the process. However, redemption wins the day and the movie ends on a happy note. (The final scene of Barnum singing the lines “it’s everything you ever want…” had me bawling.)
The themes of the dignity of all people, learning to love and accept yourself (can I hear an Amen for “This Is Me”?) and the power of family life and love (whether by blood or chosen as friends) are strong. Granted, this movie won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it and will be downloading it March 20 when it is available online. (The DVD/Blu-ray will be released April 10.) I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars. The movie is rated PG. (Parental note: Surprisingly, the movie is relatively clean cut. There is a bit of language such as “damn” and a racial slur. There is some violence from the protestors/ bullies. There are a couple of “skimpier” outfits from the circus performers, depending on how strict you are about those things. If you listen to the soundtrack, the song “The Other Side” does have the phrase “oh, damn” in the chorus. That’s a problem when you have little kids who like to walk around singing the songs they hear. 😉 )
Black Panther – It’s a joy when I see two movies in a row that touch me so much! I’ve seen all the Marvel movies and Black Panther is definitely one of my favorites, especially because of its amazing cast. Although I am not African-American and cannot comment of the significance this movie would have in that aspect, as a mom to three boys I loved seeing a strong male character who valued family, honor, perseverance, and doing the right thing. T’Challa goes above and beyond just seeing a larger problem but figures out how he can be a part of a lasting solution. And as a mom of a teen girl, I love that there were numerous strong female characters and unlike other movies (as much as I love you, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I am looking at you) they had both strong male and female characters who were a credit to their gender without putting down the other gender.
Secondly, I like a movie that has a “villain” with multiple facets. You get to learn why they act the way they do and what made them the “bad guy.” In this case, Killmonger had a tragic back story and you can’t help but root against him while still rooting for his redemption. Overall, the themes of overcoming obstacles, finding healing, and working together as a larger brotherhood of humans (despite race or gender) truly moved me. The fact that movie itself was visually stunned, well written and suburbly acted just made it all the better. I rate it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. This movie is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture. (Parental note: The language is tame for a PG-13 with a a couple of sh*ts, a*s and a middle finger gesture. However the soundtrack does have explicit lyrics. There is a lot of violence for the younger set. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)
The Shape of Water – I saw this movie the day after it won the Academy Award for Best Picture and afterwards, I thought two things: I should have read the parental review of why it was rated R and are you sure that was voted the best movie of the year? In a nutshell, the movie takes place in the early 60’s. Elisa is a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a part man/part fish creature. The man-fish is tortured by the sadistic Strickland character. Eventfully the creature is scheduled to be killed and dissected so Elisa, with the help of her sassy co-worker and gay best friend, plot to rescue him and bring him to safety. As weird as that may all sound, I didn’t hate the move. It was actually sort of a sweet “woman and creature from the Black Lagoon” love story. It was a thriller as they tried to escape the villain and it had its comedic moments. However, I barely would have watched it a second time, let alone voted it as the best movie of 2017. Plus, I did not realize how “adult” some of the content would be. There was full frontal nudity as the main character got into the bath and the camera panned away as she pleasured herself. And there was more nudity in a second scene (with a married couple) and a rather absurd scene where Elisa flooded her bathroom so she can enjoy some amore with her man-fish. I felt the adult content was over the top for this kind of movie. I just appreciate a movie that can tell a story with strategically placed cameras and not have to resort to full body shots, especially when it was unnecessary to further the story. For some, it may not be an issue but I found it disappointing because the movie was visually beautiful and had a touch of old school movie nostalgia. I rate the movie 2 out of 5 stars. It would have been a 3 had it been PG-13 level content. (Parental note: It’s not for kids.)
Darkest Hour – This movie is more along the lines of what I would consider Academy Award material. Although set during WWII, there is very little action or war scenes in the movie. Instead it a slower paced political movie about Winston Churchill and the early days of the Nazi invasion of Europe, particularly at Dunkirk. I felt as if it was a little “old news” having recently watched two other TV movies/series about Winston Church. However, Gary Oldman’s portray of him was amazing. You could hardly recognize the actor as he became Churchill. I would recommend watching this movie first them watching the other Academy nominated movie Dunkirk. While this movie was all talk and not much action the other movie was all action with very little dialogue. Together they tell an incredible story of Dunkirk and the behind the scenes drama surrounding it. I rate this movie 4 out of 5 starts. Rated PG-13 for some thematic material. (Parental note: The movie was relatively mild in all areas of concern. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)
Get Out – This was another one of those movies that was on my list to watch because I heard so many good reviews but I was afraid it was a slasher movie and those don’t entertain me at all. However, while in the horror genre, it was strong in the thriller category, which I love. I prefer psychological terror over mindless blood and guts torture. And psychologically, this had me freaking out! In a nutshell, Chris is a young African American man who is going to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. The meeting goes from awkward, to disturbing to horribly wrong. The movie has dark comedy, social commentary, and tension up the wazoo. My heart was pounding as I was inwardly screaming, “GET OUT!” I loved it.
Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references (Parental note: There is violence and blood – although not as graphic as some movies – and a lot of language, especially a lot of mother*. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)
Lady Bird – Since I have been trying to watch all the Best Picture Academy Award nominees, this was next on my list. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about this one. I heard a lot of good things about it from Catholics I respect (like this review from Bishop Barren) but I feel like I need to watch the movie again because I wasn’t as touched as others were. In a nutshell, this is a coming-of-age story of Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, a high school senior who longs to leave her small town and go to school on the East Coast. Her dad has issues but is loving and supportive of Lady Bird. Her mom is tough and sometimes demeaning to Lady Bird but she loves her daughter in her own broken way. While Lady Bird is not Catholic, she attends a Catholic school and surprisingly, the main priest and nun at the school are shown in a positive light. There are a couple of sweet moments, some touching moments, lots of teen angst and a positive ending as Lady Bird comes full circle. I enjoyed the film somewhat but would categorize it as a once-only movie. Some believe the Catholic faith was portrayed positively but it just made me sad to think of all the kids like those in the movie (myself included) who just went through the religious motions but lived a life contrary to the faith. I rate this movie 3 out of 5. Rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying. (Parental note: There is a lot of language, disrespectful attitudes/ dialogue, smoking, drinking and the main character has sex although there’s nothing graphic. The “brief graphic scene” was a brief shot from a magazine. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)
Listening to …
I gave up my favorite playlists and radio stations for Lent (except for Sundays) so I have been listening to my Lent playlist instead.
On Sunday, I added these songs to my playlist.
Wake Up by Loud Forest
Handyman by Awolnation
Saturday Sun by Vance Joy
Apocolypse by Cigarettes after Sex (When I first heard this song I thought it was a husky sounding girl. LOL. But it reminded me of years past when I loved a great shoe gazer song. And if you are offended by the band’s name, just picture it as a happily married faithful couple experiencing the joys of Phase 3. 😉 )
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Added to the boys’ playlist (and I’m loving it too) …
Changed by Jordan Feliz
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It’s funny that I blogged very little last year and was thinking about quitting all together but then something happened in the new year and the posts started flowing. These were posted in January.
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From the Archives
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- Friday Favorites
- A Review of Various Catholic Graphic Novels about the Saints
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I’d like to try this – Greek Pasta Salad by Pastafits.org
Around the blogosphere…
Here are some posts I’ve been reading…
- This Is How We Do It – Big Family Style by The Knotted Life
- Believing I’m Beloved by Blessed Is She Blog
- Favorite Catholic Podcasts by Blessed Is She Blog
- No 94: My Springtime Postcard Project by The Big White Farmhouse
- How to Implement House Rules by The Surly Housewife
- Top 10 Food Budget Tips Families by A Welcome Grace
- Good Music Monday: Uplifting Spring Tunes by Carrots for Michaelmas
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From my Blessed Is She Lent journal.
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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book, movie or TV show recommendations? Do share.
I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.
Have a great week!
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