So one might think that I would make my first post after Thanksgiving all about Thanksgiving. Not so. You see, I went to see the film Australia on Thanksgiving morning and it is a bit on my mind right now.

I went with a bit of trepidation as the local movie critic gave it 2 out of 4 stars complaining that it was too long and that it couldn't decide if it were a film about cattle ranching, the Stolen Generation, or World War II. I wasn't too far into the film, though, before I had decided he or she (probably he cause I can't imagine a woman giving the Hugh Jackman of this film 2 stars) is a complete idiot.

This is how I see it: This is a film about a family. And like just about any family I know, their experiences and trials span a variety of issues at one time. The experiences and trials of this particular family involve cattle ranching, the Stolen Generation and the beginning of World War II (did you know that Japan attacked mainland Australia? cause I didn't) and is set in the stunning Outback of Australia. Baz Luhrmann, the director (also directed Moulin Rouge) did an absolutely beautiful job--I mean stunningly beautiful; see this movie on the big screen or you will be missing out. Nicole Kidman was surprisingly funny. And Hugh Jackman was drop dead gorgeous--really must see what else he has done; maybe I'll even watch those X-men movies. It is 2 hours and 45 minutes long but didn't seem so to me. In fact while I sometimes feel like movies end too soon, I felt this one was just right. Had Luhrmann done the unthinkable and tried to shorten the movie or drop a subplot the movie would have seemed silly and unremarkable. What it turned out to be is a stunning epic of a movie that you really should see. Also, if you like movies that cause audience reaction (good ones not like the audience reaction when Pierce Brosnan started singing in Mamma Mia) this is the film for you. There were collectives gasps (mounting on screams), out-loud laughing, delightful giggles (for Hugh), and even a few claps when Hugh shows up and saves the day. In short, it was surprisingly funny, beautiful, touching, dramatic, and an all around good movie. Nicole Kidman should get an Oscar nomination as should Luhrmann--I would vote for Hugh Jackman as well for his looks if nothing else, but I think his character needed to have been developed just a touch more to get the nod.

Now if you are a like the Neanderthal kicking my seat from behind through the entire movie who made comments like "that was really long" and "it had 7 endings" (I absolutely have no idea where else you might have ended this movie) then you probably shouldn't see this movie.

In light of my above reaction to Hugh Jackman I would like to now officially add him as one of My 5, which actually brings my total to five (the others being Derek Jeter, Viggo Mortensen, Eddie Cahill, and Iaon Gruffud--although I'm seriously thinking of dropping Viggo and probably will once I find a good replacement). Isn't he yummy? There is a "shower" scene in the movie that will make you smile. It is a bit contrived in the pose, but I can't bring myself to mind.


Gratitude Photo #24

24 November 2008

Christmas lights.

I know I'm jumping the gun a bit, but Monday night I took one of my nieces to the lighting ceremony of a house in the neighborhood--they do it to music and it was considered just about the most amazing thing in the world to the 2 year old.

Gratitude Photo #22

22 November 2008

The Provo temple.

My regular temple is closed for maintenance so I went down to the Provo temple (Yes, I realize how blessed I am to have 2 temples within 15 minutes of me and try to take advantage of that fact weekly). This was my first time at the Provo temple and I would just like to say it is just about the loveliest temple I have yet visited (the interior of course). This one now makes the shortlist of places to get married. Plus, they have a stunning view of the valley--especially if you are leaving the temple at sunset. I was an idiot and forgot my camera so I took this shot of the temple info card--which is also stunning.

Gratitude Photo #21

21 November 2008

Hot Showers on cold mornings.

Gratitude Photo # 20

20 November 2008

My crochet group--love them too!!! In fact I can't believe there was once a time that I thought they were sooo much older than me and that I had nothing in common with them. So not true.

Photo # 19

19 November 2008

My book group--who I love!


Food Network Junkie

I admit it, I'm a food network junkie. I love Giada, lover Tyler, have a secret crush on Bobby, and could watch Duff just about anytime of day or night. Well now they've gone and figured one more way to take advantage of my addiction. They have come out with a Food Network magazine. My sis has already subscribed and we are both drooling over the first issue. Apart from the 128 fabulous looking recipes, I love their tables of contents--that's right tables. The first table is your typical table with article names and page numbers. The second table of contents is broken up alphabetically by food network star. So lets say you know that you love Giada's creations. All you have to do to find all of her contributions to this issue is find her name (or her thumbnail pic if you don't know the name of your favorite star). Brilliant. And this is not all. The third table of contents lists all the recipes by categories. So lets say now you need a pasta dish. All you have to do is go to the pasta section and they have listed all the page numbers for pasta recipes in this issue--they've even put in a thumbnail pic of each recipe. I'm smitten.

Go here to subscribe. (10 issues for $15)


Gratitude Photo # 17

17 November 2008

I was going through a small box on my nightstand when I rediscovered my orange cupcake scented oil. Now my room smells delicious.


Gratitude Photo # 16

16 November 2008 (when did half of this month get by me?)

The Doctrine and Covenants. I just finished reading it again. I must have spiritually matured recently because every time I sit down with my scriptures I read something that feels vital to my life.

Gratitude Photo # 15

15 November 2008

The books I own, the books, I want, and the books I borrow (thanks to all of you who keep my to-read list long).

Gratitude Photo #14

14 November 2008

Good food and good friends (post coming later on the good food)


Happy Friday

Hope you have a great weekend


Gratitude Photo #13

13 November 2008

Stephen's Italian Amaretto hot cocoa with gobs of whipped cream.


A Rainy Day Production

I can't believe we have two rainy days in one week! Here is what I'll be listening to while I'm wrapped up in a warm blanket, reading a good book, and sipping hot chocolate.

And this song which I couldn't locate at playlist.com:

And possibly this song (not because of the rain but because it makes me smile--yes I'm a sap for this kind of stuff):

Gratitude Photo #12

12 November 2008

Normally I frown upon graffiti of any type, but this one made me smile. So this photo is dedicated to the unexpected smile.


Gratitude Photo #11

11 November 2008

Thank you to all our veterans.



Yellow is such a happy, pretty color and a great color to discuss on a rainy day like today. Lately I have been in love with the idea of wearing this color (don't know if I should or not) and now have 2 yellow sweaters in my sweater collection. Here is a little something that I would love to add to my coat collection:

It is available here.

Speaking of yellow, have you seen the new
TLC adds for Jon and Kate plus 8? I love Kate's coat. I'm also loving the music which is "Beautiful Life" by Fisher:

Gratitude Photo # 10

10 November 2008

Rainy Days! I love rainy days there is something so wonderfully cozy about them--although I can remember back to my days in Ireland when rainy days drove me nuts. a case of too much of a good thing I think.

Gratitude Photo #9

9 November 2008

A church that keeps me safe and happy and challenges me to be so much more than I could ever be without it.

Gratitude Photo #8

8 November 2008

The last nursery lesson I will have to prepare (I don't dare say ever but at least for awhile--although I still haven't been released!).



So now that I am well on my with the gratitude photo project, I'm wondering if you have any other really good Thanksgiving traditions that you could pass on. One that I am wondering about is this: are there any Thanksgiving movies (apart from the kiddie ones like Peanuts, which I love, but I'm looking for adult movies). At Christmas my family has a few movies that we watch together every year. I thought this might be fun to do around Thanksgiving with some pumpkin pie, but I'm stumped.

Gratitude Photo #7

7 November 2007

Memories captured on film (this one being representative of the fabulous summer vacation to Cape Cod).

Gratitude Photo #6

6 November 2008


It is nearly over here so most of our trees are starting to look something like this:

But I did get a semi-descent shot of some fall leaves here (really miss the East Coast right now).

Gratitude Phot #5

5 November 2008

Thermal socks that keep my feet and me warm all night long.

Gratitude Photo #4

4 November 2008

A Democracy that works.

We have the New York Times edition too but it is being kept safe.

Gratitude Photo #3

3 November 2008

Going for walks as modeled here by two of my lovely nieces.

Gratitude Photo #2

2 November 2008

My mountain (Mt. Timpanogos).

Gratitude Photo 1

1 November 2008

4 gorgeous nieces that I love so much.


Thanksgiving Tradition

I love this tradition as posted at Design Mom.

My friend Laura B is trying something new this year. Every day in November, Laura is taking a photo of something she is grateful for. Then. She'll take her 30 photos and make some kind of gratitude project with them. Maybe publish them in a blurb book. Or frame them in a series. She's not sure yet what she'll make, but I sure look forward to seeing it. Laura invited lots of her friends to do it with her — and now they'll have a great excuse to get together and work on their gratitude projects.

Great plan, right? If you like this idea, don't feel like you have to dismiss it because it's no longer November 1st. Just take 6 photos today and catch up.

I thought I would just post my gratitude pictures here so I'll try to get around to posting my six catch-up photos later today.

The Niece Approves

One of my little two-year-old nieces climbed up on my mother's dining room table where she spotted the front page of yesterday's newspaper with Barack Obama's picture on the front. This particular picture of Obama shows him waving to a crowd and is quite large. After looking at it for a moment she began to high five him while saying the words "high five" out loud. And doesn't just high five everyone so she must approve.


The Day After

He really is a very good speaker.

I was feeling a little bit revolutionary yesterday--you know in a nonviolent revolutionary way--and thought yesterday was just about the most exciting, amazing day. I loved how engaged everyone from all sides of every issue were and I hope that we will all carry on with that involvement through the next four years regardless of who we voted for. Like President-elect Obama said in his speech last night it will take all of us working from the bottom up--and that doesn't mean that we have to agree with each other just that we have to be talking and working. We have for far too long sat back and left it to the politicians to make major decisions for our country and I don't think there are many people who would try to argue that that has left us in a good place. So let's continue the discussion.

And how amazing is it that we have finally voted an African-American into office. It just feels like there are so many more possibilities and good things in store for a country that, after all that we have been through and done, can finally make that leap forward. I so wish that I had been in one of those locations around the country who gathered in the streets to celebrate. True, I could have held my own celebration outside my house but there are a few limits to my political activism and lasts night's limit was very cold sleet.

And finally, how lucky are we to live in a democracy that works. Where we can vote without fear of violence or imprisonment; where riots don't occur in reaction to election results; and where a losing candidate bows out gracefully. I am so proud of us and am a bit giddy that in this we can stand as a beacon of democracy and hope for the world.

Also, wouldn't it be wonderful if all elections captured the nations attention so thoroughly?--only next time lets get our attention captured by a shorter campaign. (I just don't understand the 40% of people who didn't even vote.)


To Do List

1. Vote

2. Go to the Young Women's activity so I can escape the obsession of said vote.

3. Try to get into Love in the Time of Cholera (it must be good because it got a Pulitzer, right?) so as to continue to escape the obsession of said vote.

4. Watch lots and lots of CNN cause I love John King's electoral map and I kinda think Anderson Cooper is cute in a weird sort of way (and yes I know all about him).


One Day Moore

Really, if the entire campaign was a bit more like this I wouldn't be so extremely glad that it will all be over in one more day (It had better be over in one more day).

Please let me know if you have a funny McCain one cause I couldn't find one.

A New Calling

So, I've got a new calling: Mia Maid Advisor. Yes, I'm scared to death by this (teaching teenagers with an attitude may just be worse than trying to teach 2 year olds about the Sacrament). For now my fear is based primarily in ignorance since I have not yet been briefed on my calling. Until then I thought I'd take a moment to think a little about the things I will miss and won't miss about my calling as the nursery leader (which they haven't actually released me from despite having called, sustained, and set me apart to the new one, but I'm figuring will be happening soon since I can't do both).

First, things that I won't miss:

1. Trying to teach 2 year olds (although the new nursery manual made this so much easier than it was when we were using the Sunbeam manual).

2. Being sneezed on.

3. Coming home with crusties on my clothes.

4. Being sick the entire winter (not an exaggeration).

5. Checking a diaper and discovering a blowout that left poop on my thumb.

6. Runny noses.

7. Runs in my nylons and tights--cause those cute Velcro shoes that you and your kids love are nylon killers.

Now things that I will miss (the list is shorter but carries greater weight):

1. The sweet little kids that do listen sometimes and do learn sometimes--love it when you ask a question or teach something and get feedback like the time I was teaching that Heavenly Father knows and loves us and one of the boys after finishing his coloring came up to me and told me that Heavenly Father knows him.

2. The Gospel being taught at its simplest.

3. Good snacks during snack time.