Thursday, July 24, 2008

Best Friends & Nights Out

Originally planned as a last night out before surgery (but thankfully Kelly's surgery is cancelled for now), our dinner last night at the Elephant Bar with our best friends was a great success. Kelly & I wore two of the new dresses we bought a few weeks ago at Dress Barn - mine is one of the infamous travelling dresses (let me know what you think?), and Kelly's looks just super-flattering on her. We each had our best friends in attendance - each other first of all and then Kelly's best friend Amanda and my best friend Angela. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, yummy desserts and wonderful conversations. We took a ton of pictures of each other in various groupings...some are here, others are on my MySpace account and many more are on my computer at home. :) Kelly & I left saying that we needed to do this kind of evening again with this same group. Thank goodness for best friends and fun times together.

We were laughing about something...not quite sure we even knew then exactly what was so hilarious. These are our new dresses - hopefully they look as nice as we think they do. :)

Best friends since high school - Keri and Angela. We took several great pictures last night, but this is one of my favorites and is Angela's favorite. I'm so greatful for the blessing of her friendship.

Best friends since college - Amanda and Kelly. We also took several good pictures of them, but many were on Amanda's camera instead of mine. This is one of the best though.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mamma Mia!

This movie is amazing...fabulous...just great! I had seen the stage production a few years ago with my parents and though I'd never really heard or cared for ABBA before, I loved the music, loved the story and just loved it. I bought the CD that night and listened to it so often that I actually wore out the CD and Josh lovingly bought me a replacement copy. When I heard that they were making it into a movie I was intrigued and knew that I had to see it. I could only imagine that the movie would be beautiful - with a location like Greece how could it not? but I wondered how they would incorporate the music...the whole plot and much of the dialogue stems from the ABBA would this be a musical? How would they do it? I couldn't wait for it to come out...and finally this past weekend it was here. We saw it on Saturday afternoon along with my parents, Kelly & David and a huge crowd of all ages, though mostly women. The movie began with the waters around Greece...bright gorgeous blue with light sparkling like Sophie walks to the mailbox singing "I Have a Dream" as she mails the invitations to Sam Carmicheal, Bill Anderson and Harry Bright. From that moment on I was hooked...happy...and dying to sing along!

Though I loved the stage version, the movie was so much better in a variety of ways for me. Many of the songs I had never really warmed up to, but watching it larger than life on the big screen I was amazed to discover how much more interesting and understandable the story became. When you realize that basically this story stems from visually expressing the lyrics of all these ABBA songs and tying them together into a story that not only makes sense but also is just blows me away to think about it. Songs that before were just okay are now favorites since I've seen the emotion and story connected to them - SOS, The Winner Takes It All, Slipping Through My Fingers...these three specifically really touched me.

Meryl Streep is phenomenal...she has such joy, such visible emotion in this role and not too bad of a singer. When she sings Mamma Mia I loved how much she got into the emotion and feelings of the song and literally rolled was great. And her song The Winner Takes It All was full of passion, emotion and just blew me away. All of the casting was great. I loved the men - Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. They were perfect and though at times it was a little silly to see them singing...I love that they took this chance with their reputations and had fun with it.

Fun is the best way to describe this movie. It is all about fun, joy, happiness, silliness, and just being all out what you feel. These actors are not professional singers and because of this they don't sound perfect. But they sound full of joy and just happiness at being able to be in this movie. The fact that they aren't perfect just makes it that much more realistic and that much more fun. I had to go out an buy the movie soundtrack as soon as we finished watching the movie - and thankfully it was already out and able to be purchased. I like what what written in the insert -

"Although none of the actors had much experience in the recording studio, they were undaunted and completely at ease singing the classic ABBA songs. The sessions were a joyous process which you can hear on this recording, that not only brings back that fantastic experience of watching the film, but also perfectly captures the heartwarming, feel-good spirit that is MAMMA MIA!"

It is soooooo true...this is a heartwarming, feel-good movie and you must see it! Enjoy the fun that it is not supposed to be too deep, it is not supposed to make you think too is all about joy and love and fun. Keep those thoughts in your mind and let yourself enjoy the joy that it this fabulous movie. Also, make sure you stay for the credits, they sing two more songs and their outfits alone are worth the price of admission, at least that's what my sister said. :)

And if you hate it, don't tell mind it made up and I LOVE it! :)


This turned out to be quite a movie weekend. Josh & I finally had a Friday night to ourselves (though we did end up going out to dinner with Kelly and David and the kids) and we decided to get our three free rentals at Blockbuster along with a few more. We ended up with 8 rentals and watched two of them that night. The Bucket List was a funny, sometimes sad, always interesting movie that we both decided must be added to our large DVD collection sometime soon. Fool's Gold was a repeat viewing for me as I had seen it in the theaters with my best friend Angela. But it was once again enjoyable, funny and a great re-pairing of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. We also decided that this should be added to our collection.

Saturday we had plans to see two movies in the theater, with Kelly & David joining us for both (David's parents babysat the kiddos) and my parent joining us for lunch and the second movie. We saw Batman: The Dark Knight first and it was amazing. Christian Bale is perfectly cast as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, which in my opinion has not been done before. All other incarnations have been good at one or the other, but never both. Heath Ledger as the Joker was chilling, evil, psychotic and definitely the best acting I have ever seen from Heath. All the talk that I've heard about him deserving an Oscar for this role is true in my opinion. Dark Knight was very dark, very suspenseful, and all in all a great movie...well worth the time and money.

We then went to lunch, with Mom & Dad joining us at Daphne's for delicious Greek food (Josh & David got Quiznos from next door). I love Daphne's, specifically the chicken Zestas and pita with fire feta and tzaziki. Yum, yum, yummmmmmy. :) Our second movie of the day was Mamma Mia! This I will discuss in more detail in my next post....stay tuned! :)

That night, all my family joined us for dinner at our apartment where yummy Soya chicken had been slow-cooking away all day. This is one of my Dad's favorite meals...something his mom always used to make. It is a super simple recipe that creates such a delicious dinner served with rice and steamed broccoli or carrots. We enjoyed dinner together, but soon Josh left for work at the restaurant and Kelly & David headed home with their tired and sick little ones. Mom & Dad stayed with me to watch another movie - Definitely, Maybe. This was such a sweet movie with an interesting premise/storyline which I really enjoyed. I loved the actors - Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fischer, Rachel Weitz, and Abigail Breslin. It was a feel-good movie and I'm glad they stayed to watch with me. After they left, I continued on with the movie weekend and watched another movie I had rented that Josh did not want to see - I Can Never Be Your Woman starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd. This was a little cheesy, but also funny and all in all not that bad...but definitely not a movie Josh would like.

We still have a few movies left to watch...something just for Josh (can't remember what it's called - Jumper, I think?), one more for me (Margot at the Wedding starring Nicole Kidman) and two more to watch together (Semi-Pro and something else I forget the name of). :)

I love movies and this was a great weekend for's just so nice to sit back, relax and watch something interesting unfold on the screen. Let's all go to the movies....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Dress & weddings

Me & Josh before the wedding - photo shoot at my sister's house. :)

One of my new Dress Barn dresses. :) I felt very pretty in this dress and it was quite comfortable as well.

Erica & Brian Walker -
the happy couple :)

Some of the library staff at our boss Erica's wedding on Sunday. It was a beautiful wedding and she was a beautiful bride. All of the staff was at the wedding, but not all of us stayed for the recption. From left to right - Barry, Helen, me, Brian & Erica, Steve and Vi.