Posted in Word Therapy

My Wish for You

We are told and shown through the media that the holidays are to be surrounded by loved ones, given presents, and eat all the food. I don’t know about you but for the longest time I’ve had this fantasy about having a Parenthood style family:

They are a large loving family with their share of problems but always come together for an outside dinner in a fairytale garden of a backyard with twinkling lights. Here’s the thing. Parenthood was a great show. But it is a show about ONE family (and yes, FICTIONAL). Every family has problems. Some truly love each other. But there are other families that are not so loving. No matter what kind of family you have and the problems that come with it, you are NOT ALONE. I used to get mad when people would say that. If my problems aren’t special, then that means I’m not special and I can’t continue to be a victim. But being a victim gets lonely and tiring. Having someone is a good thing. No matter how many times we tell ourselves we don’t need anyone, WE DO.

As someone who has done a lot of things that she thought she “should”, this is my wish for you this time of year:

To be in the company of those you love, chosen family or not

Go with tradition, create a new one, or fuck it watch television and fall asleep on the couch

Give gifts, get gifts, or toss the gifts out the window

Love Christmas or countdown the minutes to the day after

Decorate a tree with perfectly uniformed ornaments so wonderful it could be in a department store, go with all your kids’ handmade ones (the photos of them as babies making you tear up), or just put up a bare Charlie Brown style tree

Make a giganto feast or order pizza-whatever gives you a plump food baby

Above all, find what makes you happy. You deserve it.

Posted in California Livin', Hiking, Nature, Wellness

Friday Favorite: Fullerton Loop

Sunday is a day of rest.  Sunday is the last day of the weekend when you are supposed to dread going back to work because MONDAY.  Sunday is for reading the paper, drinking coffee, and watching football.  That’s not me.  Sunday to me is getting ready for the week.  Figuring out what I am going to wear, maybe write, and definitely exercise.  Running and yoga are usually the norm but I have been trying to get the whole family to be active on Sundays.  This past Sunday we checked out the Fullerton Loop, a hiking trail that you can also bike and run.  It was a beautiful day and even though we only managed to do 4 miles round trip, we got outside, the kids were loud and rowdy, and I had to pee the whole time (which is pretty much the story of my life).

While Dad figured out where we were going, the kids did an obligatory pose/dab:

Fullerton Loop Dabbing

We started off strong with Scarlet leading the way with her confident stride, not yet annoyed by her brother’s antics

Fullerton Loop Confident Stride

Then Wesley started running up and down the hills, trying to make this “boring” hiking trail (not every hike is Joshua Tree kid) fun

Fullerton Loop Wesley please dont run up the hill

Followed by me asking him to come down as my anxiety tried to take over, whispering he could get hurt or bit by a rodent or snake

Fullerton Loop Thank You Wesley

We stopped at a bench and it was very polite and cordial

Fullerton Loop Bridge Sign

About a quarter of the way in the kids were still smiling so I captured the moment under a bridge

Fullerton Loop Bridge

Wesley has his “I’m the King of the World” daily stance

Fullerton Loop Wesley King

One under a bridge, one on top of a bridge

Fullerton Loop Bridge Smiles

Wesley telling me to find him

Fullerton Loop Bridge find Wesley

Happy they found not a Christmas but a Stranger Things tree

Fullerton Loop Stranger Things

There was some complaining/whining/yelling about needing water and being tired but I know the kids will be up for another hike on one of these upcoming Sundays.  And I will be too.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend.  Thanks for reading!

Posted in California

California is My Happy Place

My blog is having an identity crisis. I like to write about movies, music, and what is going on in my life. That doesn’t make me much different from a lot of bloggers. So for awhile now I have been thinking about why I love the bloggers that I do. Kelle Hampton is a mom in Florida who has three children. One of them is beautiful Nella who has Down’s Syndrome. Kelle is hilarious, throws Pinterest worthy parties, and loves in a way that I envy. Kristen Howerton is an OC mom of four. Two of them are adopted, Jafta and Kembe. She doesn’t shy away from hard subjects like racial profiling and politics. And then there is Glennon Doyle Melton. Glennon resorts to kindness in her hardest moments. As somebody with social anxiety and an inherent mistrust of people, she has taught me that love always wins.

They say to write what you know and love. I love my family. I love being a California girl, even if my pale skin, freckles, and dark hair screams Midwest. My husband, kids, and I are a single income family so we are always watching our expenses. But we also like to go out and do things. We want to get on a plane in the future to places like Tokyo, New York, and somewhere tropical. Until then we paint California red every chance we get. We are about an hour outside of the OC and LA, and even closer to Palm Springs. We like to go to museums, concerts, amusement parks, plays, etc.  I will be taking you as my readers on our adventures while showing you what is worth visiting, what food is worth eating, and what events you shouldn’t miss. Look for my first post on Knott’s Berry Farm’s Soak City next week. Happy Hump Day!

Sweet Vibes

 

Posted in Pop Culture

Must See Movies of the Summer: Adult Edition

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th, we are already into summer movie season. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 rocked (literally-the soundtrack is awesome). This past weekend King Arthur bombed (Damnit Charlie! Stop accepting roles in terrible movies). Cars 3, Spiderman: Homecoming, and the inevitable Transformer sequel are still ahead of us. As a family we will see a lot of movies. But I am looking forward to the following films that I can see without my kids:

  • Baywatch (May 25th): Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario bring the cheesy television show to the big screen. I don’t want to be excited for this movie but damn if I don’t laugh every time I watch Zac fall in the pool.
  • It Comes at Night (June 9th ): Scary movie with Joel Edgerton, his director Trey Edward Shults from The Gift, and visuals that look terrifying. Summer was a giver of good horror last year with chilling films like Don’t Breathe, Lights Out, and The Conjuring 2. I hope 2017 brings more of the same.
  • The Beguiled (June 30th ): Sofia Coppola is one of my favorites. I don’t love all of her work but when she gets it right, it leave a lasting impression (The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation). Her muses Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning join Nicole Kidman in the story about a girls’ school during the Civil War. When Colin Farrell’s soldier arrives in need it shifts the dynamic between the women and takes turns you wouldn’t expect. Creepy and unsettling.
  • Baby Driver (June 28th ): The one I am excited about the most. Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) gives us Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as the most talented of getaway car drivers. Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James make up the cool cast about a group of bank robbers and their boss. I’ve only read and heard great things about this one and the release date was already moved up from August to June due to all the buzz.
  • Atomic Blonde (July 28th): Charlize Theron as a spy in 1980s Berlin with James McAvoy as her handler and music that includes New Order, Bowie, Queen, and Depeche Mode. This spells fun and lots of action.
  • A Ghost Story (July 7th ): This trailer looks pretentious and a little weird. But it gives enough emotional content with the love story between Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara that I am intrigued.
Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): WonderCon

WonderCon is Comic Con’s little brother. It doesn’t have Hall H panels of epic proportions. It doesn’t have celebrities walking the floor in Iron Man masks. WonderCon doesn’t have 130,000 attendees. You can get a hotel before it comes to Anaheim at a discounted rate, no problem. There are an abundance of cosplayers to admire and take pictures of. Artists come out to showcase their work and sell you stuff. There are smaller panels that have casts from upcoming shows and tributes to a certain princess. These are some of the reasons that my family and I attend WonderCon.

Cosplaying at WonderCon means Scarlet is poking me three days straight because of all the people dressed up as Harry Potter characters. It annoys and delights me at the same time. One, being poked. Two, it’s because she LOVES HARRY POTTER. The amount of effort they put into their costumes shows how much love they have for the character and how creative they are. We as a family spend the whole weekend pointing out all the different superheroes, Disney characters, and the Marios, Luigis, Princess Peaches, and Creepers. Scarlet even participated by wearing her Rey costume:

When we first went to WonderCon four years ago, we were treated to movie panels like The Maze Runner. Director Wes Ball, author James Dashner, and the cast all gifted us a sneak of the movie, ancedotes from being on set, and answered questions from audience members. This year we got a clip from Annabelle 2 presented by director David Sandberg (Lights Out) and footage and a chat from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins (Monster). After sitting in WonderCon’s version of Hall H, the arena, for six plus hours hoping to get a glimpse of Gal Gadot; it was disappointing at best. We walked out feeling like an afterthought of the movie studios.  They had films coming out before Comic Con in July but didn’t care enough to promote it. Sadness aside, we did go to a panel for the CW show Riverdale. My favorite part was seeing Dylan McKay himself, Luke Perry, discussing his part:

Luke Perry

On Sunday we went to a Princess Leia tribute that was put on by the 501st Region (a super awesome organization). It consisted of fans talking about encounters they’ve had with Carrie Fisher and how she affected their lives. Everyone was heartfelt and I may have shed a few tears. Wesley said it was his favorite part of the weekend.

Leia Tribute

Walking the floor at WonderCon was Scarlet’s favorite part. Walking the floor to her means spending money (we seriously spent $22 on buttons at one booth). I love seeing all of the artists’ interpretations of pop culture. There are the usual Disney, Marvel and DC pictures. This year we found Hamilton pictures and postcards. Scarlet tried to convince me to buy a six foot tall picture of Lafayette riding into battle (nice try kid). Brian Kesinger is a Disney story artist who created the Star Wars/Calvin and Hobbes mashup last year. We have a couple of his prints and were able to tell him at WonderCon how much we loved his work. He was incredibly nice, humble, and took pictures with us.

Brian Kesinger

In addition to what all WonderCon has to offer, we love staying at a hotel for a couple of days. My kids would live in the pool if we let them so as soon as we check in they are asking to get in their bathing suits. Eating out, not having to make beds, and looking out the window where we had a Superman’s view of the cosplayers and food trucks make it a mini vacation that prepares us for summer.

WonderCon 2017 was fun. We got what we have come to expect (cosplay, good food, smaller but still entertaining panels). The best part for me is hanging out with my favorite people. We yell, Wesley’s allergies gave him the worst case of sniffles we all had to endure at night, and we sometimes let negativity drag us down (Never figured out what the hell the red stain was on our hotel room wall). But I love them with everything I have and it is always a blast, no matter what.

WonderCon Family

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!