Category: family

Rachel’s Holiday Update 1

 

It’s 3:20am and I should be sleeping but alas I am just not tired so I figured I might as well update my blog. I should have updated it sooner but I have been in over my head with podcasting. Today I literally watched my 50th Christmas movie, both Hallmark and other networks and amazingly enough I am still on board for more holiday films! The Hallmarkies Podcast has been doing great this year with us making the top 120 TV and Film Podcasts on Itunes and getting over 16k listens in the month of November! Wow! I am still blown away by all of that. It has been an insane amount of work but I am so proud of what we have built.

We have a new merch store for the first time which is so much fun! You can get all kinds of holiday and Hallmark inspired gear:

https://www.teepublic.com/user/hallmarkies

I’ve managed to have a little bit of fun doing other things for the holidays including setting up my traditional holiday decor. Each year I have a memory tree that is full of ornaments that symbolize different parts of my life:

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My memory ornament to symbolize this year is all about podcasting and I found this adorable headphones ornament! I was so excited!

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I also fulfilled my dream of getting a white tree (4 ft) for my office. I love it!

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I also have already kind of celebrated Christmas. My brother and 2 nieces came into town for a weekend and so they came to my house and we had a baked potato bar, exchanged gifts and had a great time!

It was a really great time to be together and celebrate Christmas. My parents are going to be gone for most of this month so I’m planning on just working on my podcasts as much as I can and do a few fun things (Thursday I am going to see Christmas Carol at Hale Theater).

The one crazy thing about the podcast is there is always more work to do. There are people to contact for interviews, movies to watch, notes to prepare, the list goes on and on. Never a dull moment! I want to be ready to reach out to sponsorships in the new year and maybe develop a patreon account but I want it to be done right and not just thrown together. I’m very excited to see what the New Year has in store for our podcast and to have survived Countdown to Christmas 2018.

Also we have 2 hour church coming in January which I am over the moon excited about! Yay!

How have you guys been? I hope the beginning of your holiday season has been going great!

 

Friday 5: My Dad’s Favorite Songs

This week for Friday 5 we had a special topic. It was all about Dads and Father’s Day.  I tried to find songs about fathers like I had done for Mother’s Day but most of the songs were really depressing (like Papa was a Rolling Stone).  This certainly didn’t capture my Dad at all. So I decided to do something different and I asked my Dad what his 5 favorite songs were and he gave me 6 great choices.

I think the songs show  a lot about his personality and how much of a people person he is.  They are also diverse and songs filled with empathy.  I was a little surprised he went with a Fleetwood Mac song as I had no idea he was a fan of them.  That’s what’s cool about the Friday 5 is I’m constantly learning new things about music.  It’s neat because I think I know just about everything about my Dad or other relatives and then it turns out there is always more to learn.

So these are my Dad’s 6 favorite songs and they are all fantastic.  I particularly love Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Credence Clear water Revival. With the horrible events that happened in Orlando I found myself listening to that song and finding some comfort in it.

Anyway, let me know what you think of these 6 songs and to all you Dads out there have a great weekend!

Scheduling Happiness

On Monday I got the chance to go to an early screening of the new holiday film Love the Coopers.  It’s not a good movie.  In fact, in many ways it is a very terrible film but I had an ok time watching it.  Here’s my review:

One of the things I liked in the film is this idea of scheduling happiness that happens during the holidays.  I’ve felt that a little bit the last few years.  When I was a kid I loved the holidays because they were happening to me and the magic of the season was easy to latch onto.  As an adult that magic usually takes a lot of effort and has to be planned out.  It’s like I am saying “this Thursday I will be happy.  Let’s schedule it in”.  I don’t think during other times of the year I have such a weighted expectation of achieving happiness in all my plans.

It’s not that I expect to be miserable during the rest of the year’s goings-on but usually it’s more a more neutral every day form of happiness that is anticipated.  I go to a movie, meet a friend for lunch, attend a birthday party.  All pleasant experiences but not a highlight of the year.  During the holidays pleasant somehow feels like a letdown.  Does this make sense to any of you?

Last year I was basically alone on Christmas which was a little bit sad.  I am sure there is someone out there that likes to be alone on the holidays but the vast majority of us think of it as a time to be with family/friends.  I did have Christmas Eve with family and Christmas brunch with friends but most of the day I was alone.  The thing is it actually ended up feeling like any other day and you know what- that was a relief.  It was just a day off from work and not that different from 4th of July.  Perhaps it was being so horribly sick the year before I just allowed myself to have an ordinary day on Christmas day.

I think there might be something to this.  Instead of scheduling and planning happiness just allowing Christmas to be more of an ordinary day.  That way when the joys of the season come they feel unexpected and give us even more happiness than if we planned them out.  I know I might miss out on some things that require planning but I feel I have enough of a routine that I’m not going to really miss out. For instance, I go to Christmas Carol at Hale Theater every year.  That’s my routine so it doesn’t require much planning.

The last few holiday seasons have been interesting.  In 2012 I was alone, everything in boxes, and getting ready for the move.  Things were tough in my family that year and it was a stressful time.  In 2013 I got sick as a dog.  It was one of the sickest I have been in years.  It hurt to breathe and I was so miserable I couldn’t even open presents on Christmas day. And then last year I was alone but had a pleasant simple Christmas (again that felt like a little bit of a letdown because it was just another day).

I know people who say Christmas is better for them as adults than as children.  That’s cool for them but definitely not my experience.  Like I said, when you are a kid the magic is presented for you (or at least it was for me) and as an adult it all gets much more muddled.  I feel like sometimes I end up chasing that Christmas of my childhood and am a bit disappointed when I don’t achieve it.

This year I am going to see my family in California for Thanksgiving but not at Christmas.  I am going to try and plan a few things but I am going to try and temper that expectation of happiness and just enjoy the moments for what they are.  Sure I will plan some things but the idea of scheduling ‘I will be happy next thursday’ I don’t think works very well.  It ends up feeling like a cheesy smile in a school photo- kind of hollow version of happiness.  I just want to schedule a few things and if they make me happy that’s awesome!

Do you know what I am saying?  Does that make any sense?  Have any of you felt a little underwhelmed by the holiday season as adults?  What do you think of this idea of scheduling happiness?

Family Movie Night Update

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to put a little reminder about my new column over at ldsblogs.com.  I just had posted my 6th piece on Curious George.  It would really help me out if you went on the site and left some comments on the articles.  Please, please, please

Here is a link to each article.

The articles include both my video and a print review that goes into more depth.  I have tried to do a variety of films that will hopefully appeal to a mixture of families.  I would love some feedback from you on the type of films I should review in the future.  The only rule is it has to be a film available on Netflix Stream, as that is the main premise of the column.  If you watch any of them with your family I would love to know how it goes.

So far I have reviewed (I will include links to the column and the video review if you just want to watch those.)

Column 1- Disney’s Holes

Column 2- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Column 3- Anastasia

Column 4- An Extremely Goofy Movie

Column 5- The Boxtrolls

I have been working on learning to use Adobe Premiere software and it is tough.  Curious George was my first video with that software.

Column 6- Curious George

Next week’s pick will be the Rodger and Hammerstein musical State Fair.  Here’s the video (I am a week ahead on the channel to give me time to write for the column).

This is the best video I have done with Adobe Premiere.  I’m kind of proud of it

Sister Youtube Fun

Over on my youtube channel my sister Madeline and I filmed some videos together and we had so much fun!  We are 18 years different in ages so most of her life I’ve been the mini-Mom figure and not a real sibling.  It’s only been fairly recently we’ve been able to bond as more friends than child/guardian type relationships. I thought filming some videos would be great but it was a lot more enjoyable than I would have guessed.  We laughed and laughed.

Do any of you have big age gaps with your siblings?  How do you make it work?

I’d love if you gave any of these videos a watch, thumbs up or add your comments.  There’s a little bit of everything.

Here’s the Sisters Tag so you can learn about all things Rachel and Madeline

Here we review the Candy Club box.

What started it all off was we ranked all 8 of the Harry Potter movies.  It ended up being very long so I divided it into 2 videos.  It is probably more of a podcast style video but I really think you will enjoy it if you give it a watch.  I’d love to hear your rankings if you’ve seen the movies.

So it was a great time and I’m grateful to be able to share it with all of you.  Hopefully in the future I can do videos with my sister Anna and brother Sam (the other 2 siblings will never happen) . It’s a fun way to become friends through filming (you wouldn’t think so but I certainly found that to be the case with Madeline). So hurray for sister time!

Birthday 2015

Last Friday I turned the 34 and had a great birthday.  I decided to meet up with friends at the local aquarium because I thought it would be an easy place to bring kids and my friends wouldn’t need to find sitters.  It ended up being very crowded and we had a hard time staying together as a group but I felt like I spent time with everyone who came and really enjoyed it.

My friend Lisa came over and stayed in the guest room Friday night. She even came with me to a midsingles game night I had to go to (and ended up being very fun!).  We had a great time visiting and reminiscing about our missions (she served in my mission mostly before I got there).

When we all got back from the aquarium we had tarts from my favorite bakery, Bake 360.  They were delish!  My Dad surprised me by getting me a sound box and new TV!!! I was overwhelmed at such a gift.  I also got some new big mixing bowls from my roommate and Mom, Anne of Green Gables from my sister, scarf, swimming shampoo, and my Christmas gift to myself came on my birthday- my dream Le Crueset dutch oven pot.

But more than any gifts I was blessed to be reminded with just how many people love me.  I am so blessed with good people in my life.  I lost track at 49 but I couldn’t even tell you how many birthday wishes I got on facebook and other social media.  When I think of the lonely people I met on my mission and other places I am overwhelmed with gratitude at all God has given me.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday memorable.  I love you!

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