My Thoughts Reading “Me Before You”

A few months ago, the movie trailer for, “Me Before You,” dropped, and it was one of those movie trailers that made me go, “Ohhhhh boy. This is gonna completely wreck me.” Very few movies off the trailer and the trailer alone have made me feel this way. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and The Best of Me come to mind as two others, but few do what these three have done. Enjoy the trailer now:

After some research and watching of one of the Youtubers I subscribe to (Bookables – she’s great, check her out), I discovered that this movie was based off of a book (as most movies are!). I had my doubts about reading it, mostly because I had I feeling I would have all the feels during it, so I was putting it off….UNTIL my coworker brought it to my office one day and basically flat out told me I had to read it, no questions asked. So I did. And I thought I’d share with you all my thoughts: spoiler alert!

I can do this. So what if everyone I know burst out into tears reading it? So what if the movie trailer straight up looks like it will absolutely wreck me? I can do it.

Okay, so if I keep putting off reading it, my friend will just forget she gave it to me and I won’t have to read it right?

Nope. She’s asked twice about it. Okay, here we go.

I’m pretty sure I ruined this for myself because I accidentally read an article tagline that talks about the main character committing suicide, sooooo. But maybe he doesn’t? He probably does. The whole book is ruined.

The sequel is called, “After You.” Somebody dies.

Louisa is on point.

Louisa’s parents are the most not nice people ever. Thank you mom & dad for being my friends AND my parents.

I’m confused by Louisa’s family life, but I feel like it’s not the main focus of the story. Moving on.

I want to go to The Buttered Bun.

Please can I live in England now?

Her boyfriend makes me feel like I need to go work out. Just maybe not to that extent.

She’s meeting with mom Traynor and I straight up would also have been confused with how ominous that meeting went.

Yup. Everything about her night before her first day is accurate nervous thoughts.

So Will’s kind of a jerk? Can’t say I blame him.

So much cleaning.

Oh my gosh his ex and his best friend. That’s rough. I would have broken the picture frames too.

*Skipping ahead slightly because it’s just gradual plot development of growing a routine and rapport between the the two characters but also because I decided to write this about 100 pages after starting the book.*

Why is his sister so mad? Did she not know he got in an accident?

Oh. My. God. They KNOW he wants to commit suicide. This book just hooked me.

I totally agree with Treena. She is brilliant.

The horse racing day gives me anxiety. Something is wrong here.

Will talking about how she’s just like everyone else and that’s a problem.  I can’t.

This concert is breaking my heart. How has the narrative not talked about her feelings and emotions changing yet? Because I would have been in love with Will two chapters ago.

He. Is. Going. To. Her. Birthday. Party.

“It was such an unthinking part of my daily life now that the intimacy of the gesture only struck me when I saw the shock on Patrick’s face.” That’s it. This book is going to rip my heart out.

BUMBLEBEE TIGHTS. He didn’t even like her when she told him that story and he still remembered.

Gosh Patrick is an ASS! Get over yourself!

*It’s at this point that I realize Patrick is played by Matthew Lewis aka Neville Longbottom in the movie and I have really mixed emotions because I love Matthew but hate this Patrick character and I just am not sure what to think about this.*

This is going to turn into one of those “We changed each other” storylines and I’m gonna fall for it and be a mess.

Now I want a tattoo again.

Louisa continuing to make stupid decisions where Patrick is concerned is making me like her so much less as a character.

Well I thought the will-creating guy was a guy from the suicide place, so honestly that one was kind of a relief for my fragile heart.

Wait….is he putting her in his will?

He’s dancing with her at the wedding that I can’t believe they went to. I’m so in for it now. Literally sighing those happy “Awwww” romantic sighs and I think I can feel my heart filling up.

Two and a half hours of reading probably isn’t good, and it’s creeping up on midnight so I should put the book down and finish tomorrow. THEN HE GOT PNEUMONIA.

*Skipping ahead because I could not think as I read about the most incredible trip and then the most heart wrenching exchange of feelings ever. I shed a few tears at this exchange but not near as much as I thought I would. I then start thinking that maybe I’ll be okay and I won’t cry at the end!*

What do you mean, she’s not going? What the hell? She isn’t flipping going?

Oh my goodness he’s still alive. He’s going to change his mind!

Louisa’s going to Switzerland to be with him while it happens. My heart.

*I am sobbing at this point. The rest of the book is just a soul-obliterating sequence of moments. There are tears streaming down my face and remain that way for about the last 20 pages of the book, to the very last page. *

This book was one of the best books I have read, and no I’m not just saying that because the movie trailer is good and Sam Claflin is the in lead role. The relationships between characters are so well-written, and you find yourself just having ALL THE FEELS as you read it. The end of the book takes your heart and rips it out, yes, but it also tapes itself back together in a bittersweet way. I don’t know if a sequel was part of the plan with the author or if that came later after the success of the book, but I know I’ll be reading it. I just might take a break first because I don’t know if my heart could take another doozy right after reading this one.
The movie comes out on August 30, and I am planning on renting it, watching it, crying through the whole thing, and I’ll probably spend that weekend just watching a whole bunch of tear jerker chick flicks (it’s such a shocker that I’m still single, I know).

'Me_Before_You'

Funs & Fails of Owning a House

And I quote…

“I’ll definitely be posting progress as we go, the first post coming up soon describing paint selections!”

That’s one of the last things that I wrote in my House Tour. To be fair, I definitely planned on being Blogger of the Year with this home repainting / housework process.  I was going to have a post all about paint, a post all about each small project that we did (complete with pictures, of course)…and then we actually started the work. So honestly? Blogging was the last thing on my mind (sleep was the first). But now, it’s been a couple weeks, I’ve made wonderful strides on my cute little house, so it’s back to blogging! Here’s how the house process has gone:)

House Fun
Picking out paint colors! I decided to go with the same two colors for the entire house, rather than switching it up from room to room. I’m a big fan of gray, so that’s what I chose for the wall color. It went on the walls of the living room, dining room, hallway, & both bedrooms. And what a fun name too….Silvery Moonlight. 

For the trim color, as well as the walls in the kitchen, bathroom, reading room, & kitchen cabinets, I chose a white! Fun fact – I never thought there were so many colors of white until I went to look for them. After an hour of looking at paint samples in what has been my new favorite store Home Depot, and buying three different white samples, I chose White on White. The colors below aren’t precisely exact, but they’re close enough and give you a good idea.

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House Fail
Actually painting the house! Oh my goodness, I was so sick of flipping paint by the end of it. I have absolutely incredible friends & family, and we somehow managed to paint six & a half ceilings and seven & a half rooms plus trim (two coats!) in only six days, but it was a monster. I had the greatest of intentions of using drop cloths, but it just became too much effort to move them, which resulted in paint all over the floor. I managed to walk in paint in my tennis shoes, then all over the hardwood. So I took my shoes off, then repeated that exact same thing in socks. I was a hot mess. Climbing up and down a ladder was an obnoxious ordeal, I was in pain for seven days, and I even found paint in my eye one night, stuck to my contact. In. My. Eye. 

House Fun
Figuring out how to decorate your new house! Gosh, it’s such an exciting feeling to envision your rooms and what will go in them.
House Fail
In order to move to a new house, one must first pack the old apartment. I started with great intentions, and actually packed up a lot of rooms about a month before the house move. And then there were two weeks left…then one…then it was the day before and I spent three hours finishing packing up the apartment that I thought only had 20 minutes left to pack. 

House Fun
Projects! The bead board & new ceiling fan in the dining room absolutely transform the room, my bookshelves make me smile every time I look at them, my bathroom color scheme is on point, the kitchen cabinets are so much better in white. Pretty much all the projects I did (or rather my family friend Jim did) look incredible in my house, increased the value of the home, and enabled me to make my house my dream.
House Fail
The endless trips to Home Depot, Menards, and a local hardware store not only broke the bank, but almost broke my patience. You think you have everything you need, then you need more paintbrushes.  Then you need more paint. Then more switchplate covers. Then more paint. And it just goes on and on. Even after you move, you need to make trips! Who knew dryer venting needed a clamp to keep it actually attached to the dryer? I do now! Plus the increasingly obvious fact that I am not Handy Manny as I would like to think. I have to put hinges back on my kitchen cabinets this weekend, and I literally have no idea what I’m doing. 

There are certainly more funs than fails of owning a house, and it’s most definitely easy to recognize that. Within two hours of owning, I was thankful that I was no longer renting (although technically I’m still renting through the end of September), and every single day I’m so happy when I look around. I haven’t quite decided which room is my favorite, because it changes whenever I go to a different room.

I truly do plan on taking you all on an after tour of my home. It just may not be as soon as I wanted. Oh well. Life is fluid.

Oh, and if you’re thinking about repainting your entire house? Don’t. 

 

 

 

 

I Bought a House!! Before Tour

Off and on for the last four months or so, I’ve been house hunting. I’ve mentioned it a little on the blog, but didn’t want to jinx a good house. Well, as of two days ago, I’m so excited to announce that I’m officially a homeowner!!!! I never thought I’d be so happy to drain money out of my bank account, pack up and move (again), and live in a complete mess (in both places!) for two weeks.

Well, I am happy. About all of the above. It’s the perfect starter home, and I can’t wait to make it my own. Two bedroom, one bath, unfinished basement, one car garage.  I know that everyone really just wants to see pictures of new houses, so without further ado, welcome to my home!

DSC02471Look how CUTE it is!!!!!❤

Front/Theater Room

DSC02472LOVES: Built in bookcases underneath the windows, the fireplace, and the hardwood floors that go throughout the home.

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TO DO: In this room, I will be painting the ceiling, walls, trim, baseboard, bookshelves, fireplace, and the inside of the front door.
 

Dining Room

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LOVES: The doors and windows that lead into the reading room.

DSC02476LOVES: Telephone nook in the corner!

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A closeup of not only the awful wall color, but the not-much-better tile. Not. My. Thing.

TO-DO: Painting. The tiles will be removed, and a white beadboard will go on the bottom half of the wall, topped with a chair rail.

Kitchen

DSC02478LOVES: The WOOD!!! I hated it in pictures, and doesn’t look much better in these pictures, but I love it so much in person. The light fixture that was done in red I love as well.

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TO-DO: Paint the walls and kitchen cabinets. I might paint the wood, but will probably live in it before deciding on that. 

Reading Room

DSC02482LOVES: This entire room. This was the clencher and biggest reason why I bought this house. The wall of windows is gorgeous. Bit of a blurry picture, because my photography skills are kind of a fail.

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TO-DO: Remove the wallpaper from the south wall (wall with A/C unit). Paint. The horrible stained glass window will be removed. Install bookshelves in south wall. The wall of windows will remain as is (leaving wood).

Bathroom

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DSC02496Closeup of the floor tile. 

DSC02497Closeup of the wall tiles.

TO-DO: Remove wallpaper above wall tile. The walls, ceiling, trim, & cabinetry will be painted. In the future, I would like to redo the bathroom, but for now, I am just purchasing decorations that will match it!

Master Bedroom

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TO-DO: Paint! 

Guest Bedroom

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TO-DO: Remove wallpaper and paint.

Not Pictured: Unfinished Basement, Garage, and an Attic that I swear is 6000 degrees.In the future, I plan to finish the basement and re-landscape the backyard.  

Now for the fun part – the WORK that has to be done!!!! I have now eight, count them, eight days until move in, and the plan is to have all the work done by then. I’ll definitely be posting progress as we go, the first post coming up soon describing paint selections!! 

The last four months have definitely tested my patience and my nerves, and I have no doubt this will continue. I have been so blessed in my life, and consider this icing on the cake of those blessings. Among those blessings are my family and friends, many of whom are helping with painting & moving. Thank you so much!:) Can’t wait to take an after tour.

Best of the Best – Music

I listen to music pretty much nonstop. I get ready for work with music, drive to work with the radio on, listen to music through my work day, back to the radio for the drive home, in the shower, for a workout…..you get it. I’ve been listening my way through Eric Church lately (LOVE), and he sings one of my favorite songs of all time, “Talladega.” Every time it comes on, I think “Blog post!” So here I am….but instead of writing about my favorite songs, I figured I’d just give you an easy avenue in which you can listen to them!  I went through an existential crisis while trying to narrow it down to these 11 from my master favorites list of 56, but these won out. Click on the playlist for the best listening of your life!

 

 

Top Binge-Worthy Shows, According to My Life

I. Love. TV. Probably more than I should. But really, how much “should” one love or not love television anyway? I own quite a few shows on DVD, and I’ve binge-watched my way through quite a few others that I don’t own on DVD. That’s probably one of my favorite past times – binge watching. Today, I’m going to share with you the five most binge-worthy shows, in my opinion. It was based on a few things….how fast I watched them, how much sleep I missed out due to watching them, how much I wanted to watch the next episode – but mostly it’s just based on my own personal preference. I let you know where you can binge watch these, but all of the services I mention are subscription services, meaning you do have to pay monthly for them. A free option to paying for these services would be to go to your local library and check out the seasons there!

 

friends

 

Stats: 10 seasons, 236 episodes, Approx 86.5 hours, Series is complete.

Why I Couldn’t Stop Binging: The characters pulled me in, and I found myself immediately identifying with one or two (Phoebe & Monica), rooting for my Friends OTP (Ross & Rachel), and singing “Smelly Cat” throughout my work day.

What Makes it Binge-able: It’s Friends! It’s a staple show that shaped modern television, especially comedies. Half hour episodes (about 22 minutes taking out commercials) make it a quick view if you’re short on time, and you will laugh in every episode.

Where You Can Binge: Netflix

 

satc2

Stats: 6 seasons, 94 episodes, Approx 39.2 hours, Series is complete.

Why I Couldn’t Stop Binging: The relatability.  Similar to Friends, I almost immediately related to one of the characters (I am about 75% Charlotte, 20% Sam, & 5% Miranda), and the characters go through many relational situations that a 25 year old single woman can identify with. The men are not bad eye candy either! Team Big.

What Makes it Binge-able: It’s also a classic. This show was such a hit with women of the 1990s, and it’s because Carrie, Charlotte, Sam, & Miranda lived how women of the 1990s either lived, or often times felt like they wanted to live. For the latter, it’s a great escape. The fashion choices (flaw-free and questionable alike) & relationships keep you coming back, and you’ll find yourself treasuring the series finale long after you finish the show.

Where You Can Binge: Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, & HBO Now

 

TheNewsroomTitle

Stats: 3 seasons, 25 episodes, Approx 25 hours, Series is complete.

Why I Couldn’t Stop Binging: The biggest reasons I couldn’t stop watching are Jeff Daniels & Emily Mortimer. They’re incredible. Their chemistry and acting chops keep me pressing, “Next Episode,” long after I should be sleeping. I am flying through this show. I’m on episode 16 of 25, and I started watching less than a week ago.

What Makes it Binge-able: The Newsroom is just plain good television.  It’s got a stellar cast of well-known actors, written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, and it’s a show that keeps you on the edge of your seat, somewhere between excited & fearful about what happens next.You don’t have to be aware of news or politics to like the show either, which is great because I am not intelligent in either subject!

Where You Can Binge: Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, & HBO Now

 

outlander

Stats: 2 seasons, 31 episodes, Approx 31 hours, Series is incomplete.

Why I Couldn’t Stop Binging: Every single thing about this show is why I couldn’t stop binge-watching this show. I’ve written about it before, and I will probably write about it again. Claire & Jamie’s relationship is what dreams are made of, Blackjack Randall is what nightmares are made of, and the show does more for Scottish tourism than probably any advertisement they’ve actually paid for.My first time through season 1, I watched it in one weekend with nine episodes in one day. This past weekend, I watched another nine episodes with a couple friends (catching up on season 1 & watching the first two eps of season 2), and we’ll probably finish the second season within two more binge sessions.

What Makes it Binge-able: The plot of Outlander is the best case for bingeability of this show. Like The Newsroom, you can’t stop watching because you have to know what happens next, and it is SUCH A GOOD SHOW (like my previous post, I know caps are horrible, but necessary).

Where You Can Binge: Starz Play, Amazon Instant Video (with Starz add-on)

 

grey's

Stats: 12 seasons, 272 episodes, Approx 190.4 hours, Series is incomplete

Why I Couldn’t Stop Binging: McDreamy, McSteamy, April Kepner, Cristina Yang, Jackson Avery, Owen Hunt, Miranda Bailey, Dr. Hot Chocolate, Lexie Grey (RIP)…in short, the characters of the show. Plus the pure “WTF” of the plotlines. Plane crashes, hospital shootings, on purpose drownings, bombs, car crashes, and so much more. Grey’s is the soap opera of Primetime, and it’s every bit of a guilty pleasure as it should be. Grey’s holds my personal binge record, with 16 episodes in one day, and I look forward to Thursday nights every fall-spring, because it brings me back to walking the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Bring on season 13!

What Makes it Binge-able: Grey’s is a guilty pleasure. Everyone loves a guilty pleasure.  Ergo, everyone loves Grey’s.

Where You Can Binge: Hulu Plus, Netflix

There you have it! My top binge-worthy shows. What shows are your favorites to spend a lazy Sunday with?

 

 

My Daddy! <3

The lucky man has a daughter as his first child. —Spanish Proverb

Years ago, my parents gave me a book about daughters for Christmas. Or maybe my birthday. Or Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember. That’s hardly the point.  The book is full of quotes, stories, and little tidbits about parents and daughters. I keep it next to a picture of them, and read it every now and then. The above proverb is one of the quotes in this book, and I tease my dad mercilessly about it because I’m the oldest child. And I’m way better than Chance (the brother). More on the quote later. Moving on.

I’m now almost a month late on my Father’s Day blog post (life is fluid…oops), but I wanted to write about my daddy. Yes I am 25 and still call him that….I will always call him that. My dad is a teacher. So what better way to honor the best teacher I know than to share with the world what he’s taught me? And I’m not talking just about what he taught me in school (because he was literally my teacher in 7th & 8th grade).

My dad taught me…

  • …to be humble. Never once has my dad ever implied that he is too good, too rich, too poor, too old, too young, too anything to deserve a thing just because of that reason. And he made sure that my brother and I never thought so either.
  • …that you work for what you want. This ties into the above statement. You’re no better or no worse than anyone else around you. So you work your ass off for what you want. Whether it’s your job, a vacation, your home – it is your job to go get it. And to never stop working to keep it.
  • …that lessons learned from sports transcend the years you play them. Dad’s also a coach. Teamwork, persistence, dedication, knowing to drink enough water, and never ever EVER walking on what is supposed to be a running workout are just a few of those lessons.
  • …how to mow. I hated this one. I still from time to time hate this one. But I’m glad I know how.
  • …that money management is important to not only surviving in life, but enjoying it. I am not very good at this one. There are many times that my want for a new book or an iced mocha wins out over my need to make it to the next payday, but the reason I know how to budget and why it’s important is because of my dad.
  • …that you earn respect by respecting others. I’ve never met anyone who is more respected than my dad. I have also never met someone who respects others more than my dad does. That is not a coincidence.

I could continue talking about lessons that I learned and continue to learn from Papa Bear. He is certainly deserving of recognition for all of them. I want to make it known that I in no way believe I have fully understood and embody these. I am a work in progress.

The best teachers push you to improve yourself, and continue teaching you for your whole life. So thank you dad….thank you for even now continuing to push me to be my best self. Thank you for being my favorite teacher.

Back to the quote. Yes, I will always always say that I am the better kid, and that the quote contains the truest words ever written. But honestly? I am the lucky one. Because you are my daddy. I love you!

Remembering

When tragedies like Orlando strike the world, processing how to feel becomes part of the struggle of your day. At least for me it has.  In the last 72 hours, I’ve experienced a full range of emotions.  Pride in a community that is showing an outpouring of support amidst the chaos.  Anger – at the senseless violence, at politicians, at the ease in which people have access to assault rifles, and even anger when I look in the mirror for allowing myself to focus on the hate.  Sadness, for obvious reasons.  Fear, confusion, annoyance.  But also hopefulness, love, reassurance, encouragement.

Subtle reminders of this unwarranted, hateful act surround me – living in the same city as the Equality House, pictures of my LGBTQ+ friends, the medal I received from a Rainbow Run 5K I ran during Indy Pride last year.  I wish I could say I’ve been able to develop some idea of what to think, or what to say, or how to make sense of it.  But I haven’t.

There’s no magic answer, no magic cure, that will suddenly enable us to feel 100% safe again. Nothing that will make the word, “Orlando” be synonymous with Disney World only.  But remembering…that can make a difference. Not only remembering the victims, not only remembering the first responders, the friends, the families.  But rather remembering that we are all in a country that celebrates each other.  We celebrate the right to love who we want, to worship where we want, to pee where we want.  To pick Team Chipotle or Team Qdoba. Team Harry Potter or Team Lord of the Rings.  We have the choice to be ourselves, but when we forget that choice is where we falter.  Forgetting love, forgetting celebrating each other – is to forget ourselves.

So remember. Remember that best friend from elementary school that you never talk to anymore.  Remember that annoying coworker. Remember that quirky neighbor.  Remember Paris…and Sandy Hook…and Orlando.  Remember the victims and the survivors.  Because to remember them is to remember ourselves. When we remember we celebrate…we choose…and we love.  We love each other through it.

orlando

 

Dierks Bentley “Black” Album

Quick life update before I get to my current obsession:

  • I finally turned my air conditioning on. I’m truly just as proud of myself as I am ashamed of myself for finally giving into the horrible summer heat that I hate.
  • I’m house hunting. I’ve negotiated terms, found a house, perfected my imperfect signature, lost a house, and re-established my account on realtor.com.
  • Work. Is. Really. Busy. We’ve got a three day music festival that starts in 14 days, and a five day Mexican fiesta festival that starts in 33 days.
  • I’ve been reading my Bible every day for a month now. What I can say for sure is that I’m still learning and developing a relationship with God is a process.

Now onto the good stuff.  At the end of May, Dierks Bentley dropped his new album, “Black.” I didn’t get around to listening to it until this week. Big mistake. I should’ve had that thing on repeat at midnight of release day.

Now I’ve never been an overwhelming Dierks Bentley fan. Prior to this album, I only had nine of his songs. I haven’t really felt the urge to listen to more than just his singles. I can’t say what exactly changed with this album (Having Spotify Premium? Working at a country radio station?), but I’m glad it did.

His album is full of song after song that tackles various emotions, has different tones & melodies, but all of them are well written and tell stories with their lyrics (which is my fav). “I’ll Be the Moon,” “What the Hell Did I Say,” “Pick Up,” and “Black,” were also each given a video, together making a mini video series that kept me up watching way longer than needed when I should have been sleeping. He collaborates with Maren Morris on “I’ll Be the Moon,” and Elle King on, “Different for Girls,” and I enjoy both collaborations. Those two, along with “What the Hell Did I Say” would have to be my favorites.

I have to say, now after listening to this album, I am even more excited that Dierks Bentley is part of the aforementioned music festival that I will be at for work.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in concert, so this will be perfect timing (work is busy, but it has its perks!).

I made a playlist of the album on Youtube (because the full album isn’t on Spotify yet and I’m cheap – oops) – click play below and enjoy! What’s your fav song off of “Black?”

Tale as Old as Time…

So, as you could gather from My Disney Favs, I LOVE Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is also tied for my second favorite Disney movie (with The Little Mermaid). Since Disney announced they were making a live-action remake, I have been crazy excited. THEN, they cast Emma Watson aka Hermione Granger as Belle. I didn’t think I could be more excited after that. But THENNNN they released the teaser trailer.

Oh. My. Goodness. There’s just too much good to say about this trailer. I think I’ve watched it, oh, about 30 times since it dropped? It got immediately added to my Youtube favorites list, and I watch it once a day (yeah, I have no life). So let’s talk about it.

The music is the same hauntingly beautiful melody that weaves a web of mystery and intrigue around the story. With those notes, you are exposed to the first look of the architecture and castle of the live-action version. It’s got a darker tone than I expected, so that just adds to the intrigue. The following minute or so gives you a tiny glimpse of the beast (or at least him scratching out a portrait), lets you hear Lumiere and Cogsworth, and best of all, gives you that tiny peek of Belle. If it wasn’t perfect casting before, hearing Ian McKellen & Ewan McGregor as Cogworth & Lumiere AND seeing Emma Watson kill it as Belle totally solidifies it.

I really could only find one negative thing about this entire trailer.  And that’s the release date of the movie. A full ten and a half months more, but I trust the wait will be well worth it. If you haven’t watched the trailer, then do yourself a favor and click play. Then put it on repeat. Til next March (or at least until the next trailer).

Boom Cats Meow

A week ago, Chance (the brother) graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Marketing and minors in Political Science & Leadership Studies. Through five years of school, struggles in his personal life, and being about as involved as possible as one person can be on campus, he got to walk across that stage, receive that diploma (which will arrive in two-three months), and he’s off to the real world.

He moved to Kansas City yesterday, and tomorrow he starts his new job with Lockton Companies, the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm.  He will be working at their headquarters office located on the Kansas City plaza.  Vera Bradley is also located on the plaza…..so I suppose I will come see him time and time again.

I am exceptionally proud of my brother, and exceptionally excited to see what he’s going to do. Enjoy the photographic journey of his college graduation, complete with matching shirts, unenthusiastic 14 year-old cousins, and lots of love. Congratulations Chance! I love you!