Read Watch Listen Follow

I was listening to the podcast Around the Table and they did an episode where they talked about what they have been reading, watching, listening and following…..uh, that’d make a fun blog post to start back up and let you know what’d I’d been up to lately.  Obviously besides listening to podcasts.

also.  my friend is getting married in 54 days and and her shower is in 19 days.  And she’s moving to Canada! So there’s stuff for that.


Ridding my house of fruit flies. I’m currently using something in the kitchen that states to Not use in the kitchen and not to use it where people are going to be living for the next four months.  But it was recommended by a friend and I’m desperate.

Mom Life….gifts and parties.


My baby started kindergarten.  So I’m helping out at the school a lot.


I decided to run a 10K.  Training for that….that’s in two weeks.  Ack!


And I’m doing a craft fair in the middle of October.  Because why not?

Oh and I got the exciting news that I’m going on a trip in April.  To Holland and Belgium!  You know what they have a lot of in Holland, right?  TULIPS!!!  And Belgium has reaaaaallllly good chocolate.  #dreamtrip

So life is full.  And good. It can get stressful…but today is a good day 🙂

Ok here we go–Read Watch Listen Follow.

Read:  Simply Tuesday and, hopefully, this afternoon Go Set a Watchman…I’m nervously excited to read it.  I just need to decide for myself if all the hype is hype or not.  Simply Tuesday is wonderful.  Emily Freeman has a way with words that I am in awe of.


“My part is not feeding five thousand men. My part is giving my lunch to Jesus.”

Watch:  I just finished Friday Night Lights on Netflix.  #timriggins  I was watching this series with my husband, but then I watched one episode while the kids were at school and the next thing I knew I was confessing to him that I was on the last episode (3 seasons later).  So ashamed not ashamed. Stuff gets in my head and during group prayer at Mom Life this morning, my friend prayed that we would have open hearts.  When she said Amen, I felt like we all needed to shout ‘Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!’.  So maybe I have issues.

Listen: so many podcasts.  A favorite:  Sorta Awesome with Megan Tietz.

Follow:  Jess Connolly on Periscope and janeaustenhumor on instagram

What have you been doing?


Top Ten Best Picture

The Academy Awards were this past weekend. I love watching award shows…and trying to see if my favorites win. I’ll admit my favorite part is when the host makes fun of the people in the audience.  And I really like the song bits, too.  Of course, I usually haven’t heard of half of the movies or if I have heard of them, I haven’t had a chance to see them. Still it is fun to watch. Plus. There’s the pretty dresses.

So here is a top ten of Best Picture from past winners. I’m sticking to the same rules as I did with the romantic comedies: I’m picking five, William is picking five and they have to be from ones that we own. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because there are a couple of winners that I love but we no longer own them. womp womp.  Titanic and Chariots of Fire.  silent weeping/#needagiftideaformethereyouhaveitandbythewaywenowhavebluray

Nonetheless, here are our picks.


Rache's best picture#5: Ben-Hur–This movie won a total of 11 oscars which no movie even came close to until Titanic.  And it is a movie that includes Jesus and it is actually good.  oh how times have changed.

#4: The Sound of Music–the hills.  they are alive.  and am I the only one that wanted a dress made out of curtains when I was little?  And a really cool puppet stage?

#3: Gone with the Wind–just plain good.  plus, whenever I was pregnant with my kids I said at least once “I don’t know nuthin bout birthin babies!”  and yes.  once again.  that is a vhs.

#2: The King’s Speech–cleverly funny.  moving story.  colin firth.

#1: Casablanca–pretty much the best movie ever.  but you must love black and white classics.  watch it.  It will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


william's best picture

#5:  Rain Man–good.  and I’ll never look at a box of toothpicks the same again.

#4:  Rocky–classic.  my favorite part.  the song.

#3:  A Beautiful Mind–true story.  also good.

#2:  Gladiator–whatever.

#1:  Forrest Gump–you can’t go wrong with a movie that has a quote about a box of chocolates.

I teased my husband that all of his picks were such guy movies and he said, “well.  I’m a guy.”  I guess they aren’t all, really, but our choices are pretty different.  And so because I have to…I looked up the number of Oscars that each of our movies won.  And totaled them to see which of us has better taste in film.  Yes, I did.  William’s five picks won a total of 22 Oscars.  And my five picks won a total of 33 Oscars.  and so, I win.  yay!  Ok, I know no one cares.

And now, of course, I’m curious.  Which category of five resonates with you more?  Are you more of a Rachel movie watcher or a William movie watcher or are you like my first-born and would answer, “I like them all.”

Romantic Comedy

Valentine’s Day.  People have really strong feelings about this holiday.  Some love it.  Some hate it.  Some could care less.  It makes some people happy, some people depressed, some people…..well you get the idea.

Confession Time:

One year in college, I got together with a group of single friends on Valentine’s Day to watch Moulin Rouge.  We declared it to be strictly a single ladies only event.  We had a friend that had a boyfriend that went to a college in another state and she wanted to join us.  I’m sure most of the girls would have said it was ok.  But not me.  Oh no.  If I make a rule, I expect it to be followed.  (If it is someone else’s rule and I think it is dumb, that’s another story.)  So I told her it wasn’t happening.  I know.  a little harsh.  Why are girls so mean to each other?  And also, I fell asleep watching the movie.

I am trying to learn from my mistakes.  I tell my kids to always draw your circle wider.  Include the people who don’t fit in, that annoy you, that maybe are even mean.  Bless those that curse you.  Love, love love.  That is, after all, the point of Valentine’s Day, right?  And also, watch movies in the late afternoon…you’re I’m more likely to stay awake that way.

Ok.  So whether you are single or have a special someone, we can all enjoy a good romantic comedy.  My husband and I looked at our movie collection and here are our top ten (five for me and five for him).  I made a rule (see there I go again) that I could veto a movie of his if I didn’t think it fit.  This is a good rule–trust me, I knew what I was doing.  His first question was, “Would you consider Gladiator a romantic comedy?”  dork.


William's romcomsMine:

Rachel's romcomsimportant notes:

1.  We really do own Dan in Real Life–it is just loaned out at the moment.

2.  Yes, that is a VHS of Notting Hill.

3.  The version of Sabrina is the original with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.  (William prefers the newer version with Harrison Ford.  This could be the debate of the century.)

4.  Obviously, we were meant to be since we both picked Return to Me as our #1.

5.  Finally–what are your top 5 favorite rom com movies?

Movie Marathon

When my husband I were dating, we basically went to movies.  During the first few years of our marriage (before kids) whenever we had free time (which was all of the time), we basically went to movies.  When our first child was born and until he was about 18 months old, we basically went to movies.  the kid slept like a log and he was an easy easy baby.

Sidenote:  the summer before Alex was born, my husband and dad took Ben (who was nearly 2) to see Ironman while mom and I went to see a chick flick.  They got to the movie right before it started and had to sit up front with Ben in his stroller.  They said they just kept giving him popcorn while he stared at the screen with huge eyes.  Super duper parenting/grandparenting for the win!

Back to reality.

Our second child was born.  and he never slept.  bless him.  and then 19 months later our third child was born.  and I never slept.  and all of our extra income went to diapers.  hello 3 kids three and under.

029And so on our 9th wedding anniversary, we had this crazy idea.  Our anniversary is 4 days before Christmas and so it is really hard to do Anything that time of year.  What we proposed was on a Saturday around the time of our anniversary, we’d get my parents to watch the kids for the whole day and we’d go do what we love.  Watch movies all the live long day.  We asked.  They said yes.  We got online and checked out movie times and planned our schedule.  4 years later and it has become a tradition.

Now the kids are old enough that we can all go to a movie together and enjoy it.  But we don’t do it very much because it is oh my goodness expensive.  Which is ironic.  Because this year we got away for two whole days And we went a little crazy.  We (and by we I mean I) wrote down a few movies, planned the times and we (and by we I mean we and by we I mean my husband and I) watched six movies.  In two days time.  Crazy.  and fun.

movie timesSo this year we saw these:

The Hobbit part 3::very good

Exodus: Gods&Kings::not bad

Mocking Jay part 1::good–do I really have to wait another year?

Annie::cute and the songs–love.

Unbroken::very good

Interstellar::very good

If you’re looking for a decent movie, I’d recommend any of the above.  It was a good year.

And just for fun, William and I sat down and tried to think of what we’d seen in previous years.  Here’s the list with our favorites in bold for those that are curious.


Catching Fire, Anchorman 2, Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit 2


The Hobbit, Skyfall, The Guilt Trip, Jack Reacher


Tower Heist, Sherlock Holmes, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, J. Edgar

Do you have any favorite movies from the lists above?  Or any favorite movie traditions?



My 11th wedding anniversary is coming up and my husband and I have this little tradition. We send the kids to my parents’ house and then we head to the movie theater and spend the day watching movies. Usually, we can fit in about four movies and either break for lunch or supper depending on the movie times.

It is the best thing ever. I always wonder how many people go up to the ticket counter and show the person a list of movies and times and tell her, “We’ll take two for each of those. Please and thank you.”

I pick two movies that I want to see and William picks two that he’d like to see. I got a jump start this year and searched what movies will be out around the time of our anniversary and I think I know which three of the four we’ll watch.

These either come out on the 13th or the 20th.  There are others that I would like to see but I’m not sure they’ll still be in the theater (I’m talking about you Catching Fire, Thor, Delivery Man and 12 Years a Slave).

Now that I know it is a trilogy, I’m really looking forward to the second Hobbit.  It looks better than the first!  The spiders freak me out a bit, but I’m just going to try to focus on Legolas.

I think this will be William’s pick.  I’ve liked Christian Bale since the days of memorizing every. single. line of Newsies.

My number one pick.  Tom Hanks is Walt Disney.  Enough said.  But wait there’s more–the tale of Mary Poppins.  oh yes.  This movie I must see.

What movie should be our fourth?  And what movies are  you looking forward to seeing?

And because it is Friday and I’m being lazy and watching way too much youtube.  I leave you with these little gems.

Movie Review: Stranger Than Fiction

My husband and I love to watch movies, but we don’t always agree on our favorites.  We don’t live close to a theater and so our movie collection has grown a bit over the years and we tend to watch a lot of movies at home.  We have this thing we do when deciding what to watch.  He picks three movies and I choose one of the three to watch.  Next time, I pick three movies and he chooses one.  It is better than both of us staring into the cabinet and naming random movies only to have the other person say no to every single one.


Yes, I came up with the solution.  Yes, that is really how my mind works.

So the other night we ended up watching Stranger than Fiction.  Have you seen it?  Will Ferrell plays, Harold Crick, an IRS agent whose life is turned upside down when he starts hearing the voice of a lady who is narrating his life.  I know.  How strange.  But it is such a great movie.  It is funny–but not crazy Will Ferrell funny.  Just wry sense of humor funny.  And it is heart warming and intriguing.

This movie is filled with great actors–Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah.  And I love the dialogue and the subtle one liners.

For instance:

Harold Crick:  “What’s wrong with you?  Hey.  I don’t wanna eat nothing but pancakes.  I wanna live.  Who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?”

Jules Hilbert:  “Harold, if you’d pause to think.  I believe you’d realize that that answer’s inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.”

You should watch this movie if you haven’t seen it…or if it has been awhile since you’ve seen it.  It will make you smile, laugh, and–depending on how emotional you are–maybe even cry.