Wednesday, March 20, 2019

December 2017 Randoms

The playroom was very, very messy. 😱

We got two play swords the last time we were in Puerto Rico. I spy a spelling error! 😮 

They were nice little swords though. Well, other than the handles coming off. 

A pretty December sunset. 

 I cleaned the playroom. 🙋 

I love a good snack of fresh pears and cheese slices.

I saw this owl face mask at Target and had to get it. Boo Boo did a double take when he saw me, it was so funny! 😂
I crack myself up! I really am my own best friend!

Those little specks down on the ground are birds eating birdseed that had fallen from the feeders hanging above. I really miss those cute birds and I miss feeding them each week.

A delicious and healthy lunch of a perfectly made overhard fried egg 🙌 and nicely seasoned stir-fry veggies. 😋

Front porch, snow, and Christmas lights. I miss all of this too.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lindsey Stirling Concert

In early December 2017 we went to Lindsey Stirling's "Warmer in the Winter" concert in Cedar Rapids. I was really excited for this because:

-I'm a big fan of Lindsey Stirling and her fun, beautiful, creative way of playing the violin (my favorite instrument, BTW)
-I loved (and still love) her "Warmer in the Winter" album and had been listening to it a lot
-I'd been watching her on that season of Dancing With the Stars, where she came in second place less than two weeks before we saw her in concert
-Mark Ballas was her partner on DWTS -- I'd been watching him for years on the show -- and he and his wife were the opening act of the concert (he plays guitar and she sings)
-Lindsey is a fellow faithful member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which makes me like her even more!

The concert was so fun! It's neat to see the actual artist play the actual songs live that you've been listening to on repeat. I'd definitely go to one of her concerts again. 

This is Mark Ballas. He's a great dancer AND a good musician!


It was a real Christmas treat!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Our Last Christmas in Iowa

Putting this post together made me homesick for Iowa. I think I loved our house there the most at Christmastime; it was a great Christmas house, inside and out with the surrounding scenery. I don't think our new house in Massachusetts is quite as good of a Christmas house, but it will do. 

Without further ado, I give you The Carlson Christmas of 2017, a.k.a. our last Christmas in Iowa. 

Our tree always went in this corner of the living room. It was the perfect spot for it.

One of my favorite things was to sit on the couch and read or take naps or visit with friends right by the tree. It was such a fragrant, pretty, peaceful setting. There's something about having a real live tree in your house that makes everything in life feel better, somehow. 

Can you spot Brian, our elf?

(Just in case you were having trouble 😁)

The view of the tree through the living room window was a nice one, even with the tree not being right in front of the window.

Boo Boo in his festive jingle jester necklace. He's thrilled, can't you tell?

 My little lady Violet gets gussied up too. 

More fun with Brian

 It snowed on Christmas Eve 😍

I miss this view of the field and woods.

The boys get to open a present (or two, or sometimes three) on Christmas Eve.

Sam opened a Lego set and went right to work to put it together.

John got a Patriots shirt.

The boys decorated a gingerbread house together.

 This looks kind of creepy, doesn't it? Like "Merry House" is written in blood, right? Just wait 'til you see the Grim Reaper further down!

 We enjoyed our special annual Christmas Eve prime rib feast. (Iowa had THE BEST prime rib!)

Christmas Eve night, my favorite night of the year!

 Sam's letter to Santa was cute

And in a sudden and jarring juxtaposition to the above lovely pictures, I give you Sam on Christmas morning in his new Grim Reaper costume. (He really wanted this costume for some reason!)

 Christmas chaos...

...all cleaned up by me (while Peter cooked breakfast--teamwork!).

One of my favorite Christmas traditions it to read on the couch as much as I can once all the morning stuff is done. I rarely take a day to do nothing else but read for pleasure, and Christmas is a great day to do that!

My good friend the tree keeps me company while the boys play and I read (and nap) the day away. 

I'm usually still reading in the evening after the boys go to bed. Sometimes I even end up sleeping there by the light of the tree. 

It was a lovely Christmas. It was kind of sad for me to think of another family in that space this past Christmas. I wonder if it's as magical a Christmas house for them as it was for us. 💓

Friday, March 15, 2019

Five Things for Friday: Full House Stars and My Neck

1. My world has been rocked a bit this week by the news of the college cheating scandal--specifically that Lori Loughlin was involved in it. I'm shocked! Ever since Full House was on in the 90s, she's seemed like such a good, upstanding role model. More recently and currently, I've liked watching her on the Hallmark Channel--she's one of the stars of When Calls the Heart, which is a very wholesome Christian show (and also where, ironically, there was a major storyline of her character fighting against someone who cheated in business), and I like her Garage Sale Mysteries movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and also her Hallmark Christmas movies (although I thought last year's was pretty boring).  

I've been really curious since Tuesday to see what Hallmark Channel (and Netflix, with Fuller House) will do. Will she even legally be allowed to work for them anymore? Does this mean she won't be on future seasons of When Calls the Heart? Because her character is pretty integral to the show, and they already lost Jack just a year ago. And no more Garage Sale Mysteries would be a bummer. You think of all the other actors and people who are affected by this (not to mention her own daughters, etc.) and it's really sad. But if Roseanne was kicked off her own show for making a racist comment on Twitter, then how can Lori be allowed to keep acting on her show when she actually broke the law?

Well, my curiosity was satisfied yesterday afternoon. Hallmark is cutting ties with Lori, and is suspending production of all shows she was involved in, including When Calls the Heart. Noooo! TV needs good-quality, clean-cut shows like this one! They're not going to air this Sunday's episode while they decide what to do and where to go creatively from here. They reassured viewers on Facebook (which has been getting heavy usage from me this week over this issue, ha ha) that they're NOT cancelling the show (phew!). I think they should air the rest of this season since it's already been filmed and is currently airing, and then either replace Lori's character with another actress (like my favorite Hallmark Channel star, Candace Cameron Bure, also of Full House fame! How ironic would that be!?), or write her character off the show. I'm so glad they're not ending the whole show because of one person's bad deeds!

One last thing: I detest cheating in any form and I'm glad that those involved have been caught and will be brought to justice. The whole thing is so disappointing. 😞

My cozy little TV world has been completely rocked!

2. I wasn't going to mention this because it's kind of embarrassing, but it's too coincidental to pass up. On Monday night, the night before the news of the scandal broke, I was watching Hallmark's most recent movie, Love Under the Rainbow, starring Jodie Sweetin, also of Full House fame, who has always felt like a sister or a friend to me because of that show and because we're almost the same age. Well, as I was watching the movie--to be perfectly blunt--I was distracted by Jodie's chest. I've noticed this in the past on her other Hallmark movies and from when she was on Dancing With the Stars. Her chest is way big, and it didn't used to be that big, and it's not in proportion to her body.

So I did some research on google, and yeah, she definitely got breast implants. That's not just from reading gossipy articles about it, it's from looking at pictures from the past and the present. She used to be very proportionate, and then suddenly wasn't. There's no (natural) way someone's boobs get that big and perky, even after they've had kids or weight fluctuations. She also apparently had work done on her face, but it's down lower that's unnatural looking. I don't like it! And the only reason that matters is because I'm a viewer of her work on Hallmark Channel and it's less enjoyable because of that distraction. Plus, I don't know, I've always felt like that kind of plastic surgery is kind of a form of cheating, too. But to each her own (unless I want to watch her on TV, that is!).   

What I do like about Jodie is that she came back from a crystal meth addiction and from a difficult time in life and now has a successful acting career again and she seems to have a good head on her shoulders (and overly big boobs right below...sorry, I couldn't resist!). 😲

3. I have one last Full House-related thing to refer to, but this one is a lot happier than the first two. The trailer for the new Aladdin movie came out this week and it looks really good! I'm excited to see it when it comes out in May. I loved Aladdin, and I had a crush on Steve from Full House, who happened to be the voice of Aladdin! I guess that means I kind of had a crush on Aladdin too. Ha ha! I loved it all--the story, the characters (especially the genie as voiced by Robin Williams--so funny), and the music. They're not going to make the mistake that Mary Poppins Returns made--it looks like they'll use the original music and songs, which were all excellent! 👍

4. My neck gets really tight at a certain time every month (cough cough), and my monthly massage helps but isn't enough. So I bought this neck massager from Bed Bath & Beyond and it really makes a difference. It helps take the tightness and tension right out, which leads to less headaches and discomfort and also helps me sleep better. Totally worth it! 🙌

5. Yesterday I had an ultrasound done. On my neck. I've never had an ultrasound done there before and it was actually kind of relaxing, other than feeling like I was being choked a little bit every now and then. 😄 At my last physical my doctor thought my thyroid felt a little enlarged, so it's just to check on that. I had my hormones tested and everything came back fine so at this point it's just a precaution.
It's been quite a week for my neck! And the fun's not over yet because I'm getting a massage tomorrow!