In the Name of Ransom

Two of my greatest passions in life are books and art. So when one man decided to combine the two and create a brilliant world for us to play in…my head just about exploded! A collector of old photographs, Ransom Riggs has developed quite the inventory of unique and unusual pictures from days past. For some of you that may not remember, there was a time not so long ago, when Photoshop did not exist. While there were still ways of manipulating an image, the technology was a far cry from that which we know today. Alas, this post is not a lecture on the overuse of photo editing techniques…this is merely an introduction to images like these:

Kind of weird, eh? These are not just photos, however, they’re the book covers for Mr. Riggs’ Peculiar Children trilogy. This extraordinary man has intertwined the worlds of prose and photography to create a delightfully, creepy set of stories. His characters and plot lines come directly from the pictures he’s collected over the years. Despite a wide array of miscellaneous themes, he’s woven an intricate web that ebbs and flows from one page to another in perfect melody and transition.

Set within a series of “time loops” that take the reader from one year, decade, and generation to another, his words take on the same gothic styling as the photos he’s chosen to use. The peculiar children that provide the series its namesake are unusual, disturbing and lovable all at once.

While I have to admit that the third and final novel in the series, Library of Souls, did not capture my interest in the same manner as its predecessors, the trilogy as a whole provides a whimsical escape from everyday normalcy. Where else will you find a little girl with a serious case of back mouth (just wait and read!) or a boy that houses bees inside of his mouth?

Despite the unusual perfection that Ransom Riggs has created, however, it would appear that these books are about to receive a less than par Hollywood revision. While I hate to speak ill of the great Tim Burton, he has been tasked with bringing the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, to the big screen and seems to have given Riggs’ dark and twisted world a candy-coated treatment. The trailer’s been released and offers little credit to the original feel that makes the books so spectacular. The colors are too bright, the characters too cheesy, and everyone’s peculiarities seem to have been switched around. I have to hope that Mr. Burton has a plan, but at first glance, it looks like we’ve got another bad book to movie experience on our hands.

Check out the movie trailer for yourself and let me know what you think! Oh, and if you haven’t read the books, be a dear and head directly to your nearest bookstore…or you know, just power up your Kindle!

 

 

 

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12 Months, 52 Weeks, 365 Days

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Today is a day that I’ve been anxiously awaiting and dreading all at the same time. Today is the day that our little girl turns one! While watching her grow, learn and change has become the greatest thrill in my life, it breaks my heart to see her moving further and further away from that little baby we brought into the world a year ago. It really does happen in the blink of an eye. Thankfully, however, all sadness is erased when I realize how extraordinary that daughter of ours really is.

I know all parents think their child is perfect and wonderful and brilliant, but I swear Haddie is spectacular. She has the brightest smile and sweetest personality. She is incredibly smart and amazes me day to day with the things she’s capable of.

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While I was pregnant, I can remember thinking – what if I don’t like this kid? Yes, that’s a terrible thing to even consider and I should have known better, but it was a serious concern. Everyone tells you what you’re supposed to feel, and I had an overwhelming fear that something would be missing. From the moment she came into the world, high pitched screams and all, I knew there was nothing to worry about. Within seconds of seeing that gorgeous face, gravity had shifted. Everything before that moment was the gone with the past and this incredible creature was all that mattered for the future.

Hadley Sutton, you are my life, my love, and my unwavering happiness. I vow to do everything in my power to protect your dreams and give you the most beautiful life possible. Things will not always be easy. There will be scrapes and bruises, bullies, and break-ups, but I will use every ounce of my strength to build you up and help you through…kissing away your tears and reminding you of the possibilities. I want you to live the life that brings you joy, and I promise to always be your biggest fan and cheerleader.

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Each day, you remind your daddy and I just how blessed we really are. You truly are our miracle.

Happy First Birthday, Haddie Girl.

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.

 

Take a Bow, 2015!

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As one year ends, and another is about to begin, I find myself doing my annual reflections.  When I think back at 2015, it’s almost overwhelming how much things have changed.  There have been engagements, weddings, and a multitude of births.  There have been moments of sadness, and there have been moments of happiness so extreme they almost take your breath away.  While I’m so anxious to see what 2016 will bring, it’s almost a little heartbreaking to leave the warm embrace of 2015 behind.

I am so grateful for the experiences of this past year.  Despite its challenging moments, I feel as though I’m coming out of 2015 stronger than I’ve ever been.  The birth of my little girl has become the single most significant moment in my life, and has transformed me into a person I’m so very proud to be.  I’ve always allowed myself to get wrapped up in what other people expect or want from me.  I’ve pushed myself to the back burner on more occasions than I can count and have struggled to figure out who I am, and who I yearn to be.  Welcoming Hadley into this world has showed me how much every second counts.  It has forced me to look at my life and make some difficult, but necessary, decisions that have been beneficial to me and my family.  While we can’t always avoid things that we don’t really want to do, there’s nothing wrong with trying to focus on the things that make us truly happy.

I’m looking forward to bringing my fresh perspective into 2016, and continuing to grow in all aspects of my life.  I’m sure that these upcoming 365 days will bring us even more engagements, weddings, and births.  It’s certain there will be more trials and tribulations, but on a better note, there’s guaranteed to be so many new happy moments.  Despite moving on, I think it’s going to be tough leaving 2015 behind.  It’s definitely going to be a year that sticks with me.

I can’t wait to see where my journey with this blog takes me moving forward.  As our life continues to change, these posts offer me such a beautiful opportunity to connect with all of you.  Ready or not, 2016, here we come!

Wishing you all the happiest of New  Years!

Any favorite 2015 moments or events that will be hard to forget?

A Simple Salutation

Verve

[ Vurv]

Noun

  1. enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work;spirit:
  2. vivaciousness; liveliness; animation:

When I made the decision to start this blog, I found myself wondering what it should be about. After all, I am, by no means, an expert on anything.  Well unless being obsessive is something that a person can be an expert in!

And that’s what I am…obsessive.  I have the capability to obsess over just about anything (“just about” being the pertinent phrase!)  Whether it’s my child, a great book, finding the perfect glass of wine – sometimes I feel like I could get excited about a million different things before noon!  Hence the name of this blog…”The Natural Verve.”  I have a pure, simplistic enthusiasm for so many elements in my life.

So I ask…why pick one?  Why not let you all in and share the whole lot of my many infatuations?  And that’s what I intend to do.  If you came to this blog looking for great recipes, I’m pretty sure you’ll find them in time.  Looking for a good book?  Something tells me you’ll eventually find a review or two (who am I kidding, probably a whole library’s worth!)  Or maybe you found this blog and thought: “Hey, maybe that writer has a super cute kid?”  The answer is yes, I most definitely do, and I will certainly be bragging about her adorable-ness!

At “The Natural Verve,” I won’t just offer you one choice from the color wheel.  I plan on giving you the whole damn rainbow!  So join me on this quest for variety.  Read along as I make my way through my a world of likes, dislikes and new experiences!  Welcome, and happy reading!