Frozen: A Temptress Extraordinaire

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I did something terrible yesterday; something that there’s just no coming back from. I watched Frozen…twice…in a four hour period. I bow my head in shame.

You see this damn movie has been out for almost three years now, and despite the constant flutter of songs, quotes, and merchandise, I’d managed to escape its grasp. No two ways about it, this movie pissed me off. Who did these little Elsa and Anna idiots think they were? Being compared to the Disney greats like Belle and Ariel; it’s blasphemy I say. So strictly out of principle, I stood my ground and vowed never to see it. In fact, one of the first parental decisions I made upon finding out we were having a girl is that she would never fall victim to this godforsaken movie’s wicked claws.

I’d seen what was happening around me. There was a never-ending flow of Frozen themed birthday parties and Halloween costumes. The toy aisles were overrun with strangely misshapen snowmen and reindeer. And don’t even get me started on the song…I was convinced my ears would bleed the next time someone uttered those three little words (I won’t even write them..there will be no sing-along happening here!)

But alas, it seemed as though the odds were stacking up against me. When my friend Katie (a fellow Anti-Frozen team member) called to say she’d watched it, I realized there was a chance I may be the last person on Earth who was missing out on some extraordinary secret. So I did it…I set up the DVR and recorded the stupid movie.

I told myself that I wasn’t doing it or me. After all, I’m a mature adult that is capable of not watching some silly, little Disney movie. I was simply being a kind and responsible mother. How would it look if my poor child showed up somewhere and was completely out of the loop? At ten months old, that would clearly be devastating to her social standing.

So during playtime today, I put it on…just as background noise, you know? Very quickly I realized that my young child had no interest in watching this thing. Thank goodness…she wasn’t getting sucked in. I had dodged a bullet. Except what did that character just say? Where were they going? How’d the damn snowman get there again? Suddenly it was nap time and I graciously hit stop on the DVR, turning instead to some high-quality adult television.

But wait…what was that nagging? I began to realize I was anxious to continue watching. I mean, I had to find out if she chose Kristoff or Hans, right!?! So I did it. I finished the stupid movie and then, within a couple of hours, I’d restarted it for a second viewing.

So there you have it, folks. My life is officially over and I am just another weak-minded statistic. I don’t know how I fell so far, so fast, but the answer is yes: I want to build a damned snowman!

Now leave me to my Frozen-filled misery…it’s about time for me to watch it again.

 

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5 Years Since We Said “I Do”

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Today marks five years since the first day of the rest of our lives. No matter how much time goes by, I still can’t believe how lucky we are to be living such a beautiful life. While we’ve certainly had the ups and downs that couples are so accustomed to, I still live each day knowing that I have the best possible partner by my side.

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I’m forever grateful that we found each other and I can’t imagine a more caring, compassionate and supportive person to call my husband.

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This excerpt is from my favorite book “Jane Eyre.” It was read during our wedding ceremony and every line still rings true today.

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Ryan is my rock and from now until forever I will continue to vow my love and loyalty. Happy 5th Anniversary to my sweet husband! You make Haddie and I’s world such an extraordinary place.

An Afternoon Snooze

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Yesterday afternoon, my daughter let me rock her to sleep. You’re probably sitting there thinking, good for you…what’s the big deal? The big deal is that she hasn’t done this in months! When she was first born, and for many months after, she loved to be rocked and cuddled like most babies at that age do. I remember long, blissful naps on the couch where I lie cuddling her and looking down at her sweet, little face. Despite the ache in my neck, and the cramp in my legs from holding an awkward position for quite some time, I didn’t dare move a muscle. There was no scenario that would cause me to disrupt her slumber and ruin such a precious moment.

Then she got big (or, at least, she thinks she is!) And in recent months, she’s decided that she no longer wants to be rocked. During the fussy period before she falls to sleep, all we can do is lay her down. Forget the cuddling, the cooing, the rubbing of her back…the best thing  to do is just lay her down and let her do her thing. How quickly they stop needing us for certain things.

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And then yesterday happened. She’s been in a funny mood the past few days where, despite being completely exhausted, she refuses to take a nap. It’s frustrating periods of fighting with her to go to sleep, only to realize that somehow your child suddenly has the upper hand. After several rounds of this delightful game, I decided to try out the rocking chair (masochist that I am.) Within a few short rocks I realized that, miraculously, it was working! She was getting sleepier and had started snuggling into me. In a few moments ,she was out, and there I sat once again cuddling my sleeping babe. It was perfection.

I have to wonder if we’ll have any more moments like that. It may seem so simple, but it’s something I miss more than words. I can’t believe my little girl is already almost a year old. She’s changed so much and is learning something new every day. People talk about how quickly time will go by, but I never realized just how serious they were. Lesson learned. It’s easy to get wrapped up in cleaning the house, cooking the meals, doing our jobs. But we’ll never get these little moments back with our kids. So hold them tight and take advantage of every opportunity you have to just sit quietly and curl up with your babies. Just like people always say…they’re only little once!

Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline

I’ve been a complete and total failure in the book department lately. I have only read 1 and a 1/2 books so far in 2016, certainly not a personal best. I can practically hear my Goodreads Reading Challenge taunting me from afar. Alas, life has been keeping me pretty busy. I solemnly swear to the gods of literature that I will attempt to redeem myself, but for now, I can, at least, say that the one book I read in its entirety was a good one.

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Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, was written to pull at your heartstrings. Slightly predictable in parts, this was a story that needed to be told. Jumping between time periods, this book tells the tale of a modern day teenager who is attempting to survive our flawed American foster system and a girl from the past who barely survived the New York orphan train in the late 1920’s.

This story brings us face to face with the vicious childcare system that so many babies, toddlers, and young children find themselves thrown into. This is not to say that every situation is a bad one, but the terrible experiences had by the characters in this book seem to be more common than necessary.

I couldn’t put this book down. It is such a beautiful portrayal of hope and perseverance. I feel that I learned so much about this area of American history. I’m almost ashamed how little I knew before. So if you’re looking for a truly good read, I’d highly suggest you give this one a chance.

Happy reading!

What’s in a Name?

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You know what I think is funny? The way people react when I tell them my daughter’s name. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that her name might be slightly unconventional, but in a world full of North West’s and Spurgeon’s, I really didn’t think Hadley Sutton was that strange.

And yet somehow, whenever people hear her unique moniker for the first time they tend to look at us like we have three heads. We get questions like:

  • How did you come up with a name like that?
  • That’s kind of different isn’t it?

And my favorite…

  • So that must be a family name, right?

Because apparently, my husband and I would only choose a name so ridiculous because we have some sort of familial attachment to it. And of course, there’s always the people who simply respond, “Huh?” I guess they think it’s so weird we must have been mistaken when we spoke it. Now I’m not saying that the people who ask these questions are trying to be outright rude or hurtful, but we need to consider how statements and questions like these might come across.

Choosing a name is not an easy task. I reached a point in my pregnancy where I legitimately thought we’d just wait until she turned 18 and let her choose for herself. She could have just been kid or girl until then! What a daunting undertaking it is to determine what a person will be called for the rest of their life. The name on their report cards, driver’s license, and job applications. A person’s name is often the very first thing that we learn about them…the very first impression we have. As parents, we want to make it a good one.

Hadley’s name is inspired from a few different sources. When Ryan and I first started watching the show Parenthood, we fell in love with the name Haddie…somehow though it sounded too much like a nickname to make it official, though. When I read a book about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, I fell in love. After mentioning the name to Ryan, we thought on it for awhile before finally deciding it was perfect. After seeing Sutton a few different places, we both felt like it was such a uniquely, beautiful name.

When I hear the name Hadley Sutton, I think of elegance. It feels like such a strong, feminine name that will stand the test of time. To our ears, our daughter’s name is something beautiful.

While we might not always agree with the names that people choose, goodness knows I’ve heard some doozies, we should try to remember that a mom and dad worked hard to choose that name. A lot of painstaking thought and emotion went into the decision and who are we to pass judgment? And if we feel like we there’s no way around being slightly judgmental…maybe let’s not do it to their faces?

We’ll Be Missing You, Red.

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Today was a hard day for my family.  We all gathered together and said our final goodbye to my husband’s grandmother, Dorothy.  I wish I had the right words to describe this incredible woman to you all.  She was fierce.  She was funny.  She was sassy.  She was loyal.  And more than anything else…she was loving.

I’ve met very few people in my life that loved and cared for their family and friends with the same type of intensity that Grandma did.  This was a woman who never met a stranger, and would go out of her way to make you feel at ease when you may have felt lost without her.

She had the best jokes, and threw the most amazing get-togethers.  A woman after my own heart, she had such a flair for entertaining.  You never went into her home without being greeted by an adorable arrangement of eats and treats.

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I wish I had the time, or the R-Ratings, to tell you some of the stories!  She was not beneath sharing her snort with Santa, or pinching your husband’s butt when he walked through the door.  If we all had a little bit of her fire, I truly believe this world would be a better place.

Though, I’m grateful that she will no longer be suffering the pains that kept her down in the end, I’m feeling incredibly selfish.  The world has lost quite a lady, but we should all just be thankful we had her at all!

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We love you, Granny and will miss you always.

Cleaning Out the Old

In honor of the new year, my husband and I have been in a mad dash to rid ourselves of the clutter that seems to have overtaken our house.  Isn’t it curious the way that “stuff” just seems to appear?  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a problem with compulsion buys just like most of us, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

That is until I started sorting through our miscellaneous drawers and bins and found a surprising collection of who’s-it’s and what’s-it’s.  For instance, I had seven full sheet sets for our guest bed.  This same bed gets used approximately one week out of each year.  I literally had a set of sheets for every day of that week.  Eek…sounds like a problem.  I’ve got more half-burned candles than I can count, a massive collection of cd’s that were nicely stacked and covered in a pound of dust, and a variety of other unnecessary crap.

I’m calling this our cut-throat cleaning.  No more nostalgia-ridden excuses to keep that old Jewel cd I got back in elementary school.  I’m eliminating like a mad woman, and I’ve got to admit…it feels pretty great!

This is not to say that I haven’t had a moment or two of weakness,  but it’s exhilarating to see my rooms being cleared out.  It feels like I can just breathe.  I never realized how much these random piles of stuff were stressing me out.  There’s still work to be done, and let’s face it, I’m not perfect (those Twilight books I will probably never read again, aren’t going anywhere!)

I feel like this fresh start is exactly what I need in this new year.  Fingers crossed we can keep it going!

How about you?  Any New Year’s Resolution type activities taking place in your home?