May 23, 2011

Sunny with a Low of 75...

Forecast for the week: Perfect Beach Weather. I love when it's so hot you HAVE to get in the water. It's the only way I want it to be. Now on to relaxing, reading, bike riding, eating, and having an excellent vacation!

May 20, 2011


I haven't browsed the iTunes store in awhile, but I am glad I did tonight. Just two days ago Dispatch released a new EP!! I don't know how long it would've taken me to hear about it if I haven't stumbled upon it tonight. And, I don't even know why I searched for Dispatch, did I really think they would have any new music? Who knows, I am just glad I found it. If you're a Dispatch, reggae, funk, chill, or jam fan - check out their new stuff! I really like "Con Man."

May 19, 2011

What's Been Going On?

So what's been going on with team Piranha Jackson lately? (By the way, that was the name of our team that we led on spring break - we did not make it up, but we do endorse it.)

We had guests for a few nights - Adam & his girlfriend came up from Texas for Abbie's graduation. It was great to meet Liz and see Adam again.

My little pig got stuck to the roof. I accidentally spontaneously bought a bunch of meat from the grocery store when it was on sale a couple weeks ago, so my freezer has been reminding me that I actually need to cook so that we don't have to throw everything away when we move. I made Chinese Fried Rice and it was delicious! I was so impressed with how easy it was to make - including and in spite of the fact that I suck at making scrambled eggs.We are getting ready for weddings, the beach, and a couple of Phish shows. Our first shows are a week from Tuesday!! We are so ready for tour now - we bought a sweet tapestry. All our tickets are for the lawn (lame) so we will get to sit on this groovy blanket instead of something boring.
Our tickets came in the mail!! In two weeks we will be in New Jersey grooving to some funky tunes.

May 13, 2011

Movie Review: Despicable Me

I love a good movie review. But I generally don't appreciate the opinions of professional critics. I think it's because most of my life I was watching kids' movies, and critics just don't care about kids' movies. Anyways, to stimulate my critical thinking, I'm going to start reviewing movies. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone who also appreciates a good movie review, and wants an opinion coming from someone similar to them (NOT a 50-year old secular man).
First up: Despicable Me! (This movie is computer animated & rated PG.) First off, I will just say, I thought this movie rocked. It was solid the whole way through. You know the classic movies? The ones that you get really into, recite lines from, feel warm at the end, and remember forever? Yeah they don't make those anymore. Well, they rarely do. I think the 90's was the era of classic movies, and Hollywood has moved on from that time. Why do I think that? Maybe it's because movies are more meaningful when you're younger and now I am too analytical. Or maybe it's because all the main thing producers care about now is how good the graphics are. The script goes out the window because the budget is all about how good the scenery looks. There are two things that make a good movie. One is the plot. Wow, that seems kind of obvious. Despite how obviously instrumental the plot is to making a good movie, in so many movies recently the plot has just fallen apart. Critical. The second is character development. You can not have a good movie without character development. After watching a movie that has little character development, some people might argue it was still a good movie. I will disagree. If you don't feel connected to a central character, how can you care about the story? I have seen movies recently where I didn't even know who the main character was, or if we were supposed to think he was the protagonist or the antagonist. Bad. You can't have a good movie without a solid plot and well-developed characters. Secondary to these categories that separate a good movie from a great movie are the script and the acting. Bad lines and bad acting ruin a movie, but great writing and great acting really make a movie stand out.
So, let's move on to the movie of choice: Despicable Me.

The story is about a villain who wants to become the greatest villain of all time. His motives are to please his mother, who has cut him down since childhood and never been impressed by his success or dreams. His goal is to steal the moon, and his scheme is to use three orphan girls to get what he wants. His enemy is another villain vying for the same plan.
My attention was immediately captured in the first scene. The bad guy walks around town doing his bad thing with a bad guy song playing in the background. The story is told well. There is no confusion at any point about what is going on, there are no gaps - it moves well, and you are always curious about what will happen next. Excellent. The plot was interesting, and wrapped up well. I watched the movie twice, and I was just as interested the second time as I was the first. The idea for the movie was completely novel to me, yet it wasn't so creative that I was blown away. Plot: A

Character Development:
From the first scene, I liked the main character. He was bad, but he wasn't hideously evil. He was nice, but wasn't entirely good. Even though he was a bad guy, you like him. Well done. He wasn't as "villainous" as one might expect, but I personally prefer less scariness and meanness.
The first time I saw the little girls and the antagonist (Vector), I had no idea what role they were going to play in the movie. I like that the first view of them develops their character without you already having a tainted view of who they are supposed to be. The little girls acted exactly as you would expect little girls to act. They were annoying, funny, clever, and sweet. They irked me a little bit because they didn't obey the rules, but they were sweet enough that I wasn't just completely frustrated with them.
I feel like I got to know all of the characters. There was nothing missing; I didn't have any burning questions unanswered about why one acted a certain way. They had personalities and lived up to them. I got attached to them so in the end I wanted everything to turn out right. Character Development: A+

Script: I thought this movie was hilarious. The script flowed well, was interesting, had good vocabulary, and wasn't too wordy or too slow. The second time I watched the movie I hadn't remembered any of the jokes; I laughed just as much as the first time. I will be quoting this movie for awhile ("he's nice." "and scary." "like santa!"). A
Acting: Since this was an animated movie, I will just skim this section. The voiceovers are important, but I don't know that much about them. I enjoyed the actors. Steve Carrell in particular was excellent - his Russian accent and jokes were the perfect combo for Gru. Everyone else seemed to be picked for the right roles as well. B+
Cinematography: I wish I had something specific to say. The filmmaking was good - the right things were emphasized at the right time. A
Animation: There was nothing groundbreaking, but I did like the colors and the style of animation (the characters were appealing). B+

Overall, it was great. I got to know everyone, understood what was happening, and was interested throughout. I think this movie was extremely well-made. I would love to own it and watch it again and again on a day I want to laugh or love. Perhaps it will become a new classic.
Despicable Me: A

May 9, 2011

Beautiful Day

Last night we hung out with Adam & Ruth! They are back in town and had people over to grill. Before heading over, we went on a walk on the Huckleberry trail behind Oak Manor. It was a fantastically beautiful day, and all the animals were out! I got some great pictures, and am planning to go back today to practice my photo skills more. :) Baa!!

My favorite animal is a sheep!

What a handsome man I married! I think we should go back to this spot and take a pic for a prayer card...doesn't it look like the perfect spot?
Wow those clouds are outta control!

LOVE this picture of him!! My vote was for a new profile pic - we'll see if it actually happens.
LOVE LOVE this picture. The colors?? Amazing.
Sweet white horse.
This is currently my background!

Cute story: when I walked up to the fence to see these horses, a Middle Eastern woman and her daughter were there looking at the horses and taking pictures of them. When I got close the little girl (about 3 years old) RAN over to me with her arms open wide and just hugged my legs and didn't let go! She was smiling from ear to ear. It was seriously one of the most precious things that's ever happened to me! Can I keep her??

Happy Mother's Day

I mentioned last Friday was our last day working on the Virginia Tech team on campus. On Thursday we ended the year by going to the Homeplace. Also I forgot to mention that Friday was the one-year anniversary of me coming back from Venezuela! Crazy!
On Saturday my parents came up! They hadn't been here since they helped move me in at the beginning of the year. I'm glad they got to see our place all set up before we move this summer. We took some pictures on the drillfield. :)
Reliving college memories?
We accidentally wore Hokie colors! Perfect for a Hokie pic.

My dad wore his maroon & orange on purpose.
So glad he convinced me to go to Tech!!
My two favorite men! + Hokie grads :)
Love him!

May 6, 2011


May is the start of summer. There are so many great things going on this month to look forward to, so I thought I would post a May Calendar so I can see all the great things that will happen this month! I love summer and getting to travel around doing lots of fun things. Even if it means being very busy, I love being in the sunshine and with good friends. Hope you have fun plans for May too!

May 6 (today!): Our Sixth-Month Anniversary of being married!! AAH I can not believe it's been that long already! It's bizzare that we have now been married longer than we were engaged! We counted down every day and it seemed to take FORever! Now each day flies by as we have nothing to worry out because we finally have each other!Also today we are celebrating by going to see Cirque du Soleil ("Circus of the Sun")! One of my fantasies has been going to Vegas, and every time I look at hotels I see ads for Cirque du Soleil. I never thought I'd be able to go (even if I went to Vegas) because tickets are like $100 each!! Who would ever pay that much for a show?? Well, I'm not putting you down if you have, but I don't think I could bring myself to pay that much. When I was buying tickets for Whit's birthday to go see Brian Regan, I noticed that Cirque du Soleil was coming to ROANOKE, VIRGINIA! What the heck. We watched the preview and were hooked. We got the cheapest seats, which were only $40!! And it's for a prime showtime. YEEES. We love the circus and wish we were performing tonight instead of just watching (we're weird). We can't wait for all the colors and acrobatics! (Also today we finished our year at Tech! It flew by! It's crazy that it's over but I'm ready to move on. Bring on the next step!)Sunday (May 8) is Mother's Day! I love my mom and am so glad I will be able to spend Mother's Day with her this year! My parents are coming on Saturday to hang out with us in our place before we move, and my mom and I are planning to do a Beadsburg date (I've always wanted to take her!). This holiday is extra special this year because I have a new mother-in-law! (And so does Whit!) Don't forget to thank your mom for all she's done for you this Sunday!May 13 will mark the one-year anniversary from when we got engaged! Wow, can you believe it's been a whole year? Okay, you probably don't care that much, but I can't believe it! It's been a great year!!The next few weeks we will be enjoying Blacksburg summer! I don't have a picture but just imagine it - green grass, sunny skies, blue mountains, low humidity, sneaking in to the Village pool, hiking, eating downtown with no rush of students, buying local goods from the farmer's market - oh how I treasure Blacksburg in the summer.

In a few weeks we will go to Virginia Beach! We will see a lot of our good friends - I love hanging out with them!Then the next two weekends will be full of weddings,weddings,and more weddings! Seriously - we are going to four weekends in two weekends! Maybe we are crazy, but they're all on different days so we're planning to go to all of them! Can't wait to celebrate with our good friends in this special season of life!In between those weekends of weddings, we're going to use up our vacation days (we won't get any next year :() and go to Saint Marys!!! My parents have a house there (it's the last exit in Georgia on 95 before you get to Florida) and I've always dreamed of the day Whit and I could vacation there as a married couple!! What a blessing for them to let us use it! It's so bright and beautiful and clean - there's bikes and beach chairs in the garage and a pool at the clubhouse. And I am very ready to take a vacation with Whit where we can get away together (we're doing a lot of traveling this summer but it won't feeeel as much like vacation because we're staying at other people's houses). I miss this Georgian/Floridian atmosphere!Ready for the beach!May lucked out just in time - on the last day of the month we're going to our first Phish show of summer tour! We'll head up to Holmdel, New Jersey to chill out to some crazy jams with other people who love music. All the shows we're going to this summer are outdoors, and we have lawn tickets for all of them (unfortunately), so it will be a great way to celebrate summer - grass under our toes, good music in our ears, colorful lights to watch, and my best friend to take it all in with. :)

Happy May!

May 5, 2011

Splash of Color

Good morning! Okay I know some of you will be reading this tonight after I post it, but these colors are so bright and vibrant it just feels way more like daytime! After I graduated college I made a pact with myself that I would always have fresh flowers in my home. I decided this before I went to Venezuela, where I thought there would be fresh flowers everywhere. I was so wrong - there wasn't even fresh fruit anywhere. Oh well, the joys of living in a city in a third-world country. I tried to get flowers from the farmer's market on Saturday and the flower guy wasn't there! I went back Wednesday hoping to be able to buy some stems (not planters) and nada. Whatever happened to being able to buy a few stems for a few bucks? Come on. I have noted that recently Katelyn James has been making these AWESOME bouquets and buying the flowers for them from Ukrop's (still can't call it Martin's). I've noticed flowers in Kroger before but wasn't sure if they had a whole flower section....well they do! I bought three types and they were all 3 for $12. Best twelve bucks I've spent in awhile! This purchase brightened my day so much! I mean, made. my. day. I LOVE bright colors and having fresh flowers is just so refreshing. So enjoy these cheery buds on a chilly spring night!

PS I can't handle this whole being-at-work-at-9-two-days-in-a-row thing. When am I supposed to shower??? (We didn't get home tonight until 8! And I definitely didn't think about showering until 5 minutes ago. And it's about time. Ugh)

May 3, 2011

Fabulous Night

Tonight we welcomed summer in the perfect way.

We had decided to go for a run together, and just as we got ready to walk out the door, it started raining. We decided to make it an adventure, and just ran in the rain. I have been wanting to get caught in a downpour for awhile (it hasn't happened :() so I really enjoyed getting soaked. It felt so refreshing, but was a bit chilly. We hadn't ever run together before, and I'd always wanted to, so I crossed two things off my list tonight. Also bonus that my ipod didn't break even though it had the potential to get soaking wet. I cooked my new all-time favorite meal. I love these bright colors together! Strawberries photograph well. :) When Mexican is in the mix, you can't disappoint me.

MMM salsa!Yum yum yummy homemade cinnamon tortilla chips. New fave.

This meal was incredible! Seriously the perfect summer atmosphere. Fish tacos, delicious chips and salsa, coronas with lime, sitting out on the porch in the candlelight watching the rain admist the beautiful green colors of spring, listening to chill music. I don't think it gets more summer than that (unless our view was the ocean and we had sand stuck in our toes).
Please let me make these for you sometime! I'll take any excuse!
...or you could come hang out on our back porch and eat this yummy snack.
Such a beautiful night!
With my love! He even danced with me! (After making fun of me for getting my groove on to some of my favorite funky tunes.)
So thankful for my wedding because I get to keep these beautiful lanterns!