Things to Do - Cherish This Day, The Stories We Tell, and Random Links

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This week for Cherish This Day & The Stories We Tell we're posting costume photos. Since I still don't have pictures of the kids in this year's Halloween assembles, I went through my archives for some old favorites. Doesn't T look so little?

Now click on over to Cherish This Day & The Stories We Tell to see this week's photos - lots of fabulousness today (and, yes, according to Urban dictionary fabulousness is a word; albeit a debatable one).


* If you live in the DC area and are looking for something fun to do tonight, this Chinese acrobat performance looks amazing. There will be candy, toys, a photo booth with props, and children are encouraged to attend in costume. Also, the venue is offering half-price tickets for all children up to grade 12 on Halloween night.

* Room 3201 - I love this series of photos.

* These gluten-free, vegan donuts look yummy (really).

* "Adelaide, born in Brazil in 1921, bore sixteen children, fourteen of whom lived into adulthood," Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein explained on Feature Shoot. "After the bankruptcy of her husband’s grocery business, she supported her children by selling cakes. In her old age, it has become difficult to walk, and she no longer practices yoga. Her days are spent sewing and reading. She enjoys crossword puzzles."

* Each one just gets better and better.


Things to Read - Seven Interesting Articles From Around the Web (on The Right to Be Forgotten, Concealing Pregnancy, Adolescence, Slow TV, Life Off the Grid, Harvard Schmarvard, & A Story With A Bird)

1. (The Right to Be Forgotten) - European courts have recently recognized an individual's right to "prohibit Google from linking to items that [are] “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed.Jeffrey Toobin, writing for the New Yorker, analyzes possible consequences.

"Michael Fertik, the founder of Reputation.com, also supports the existence of a right to be forgotten that is enforceable against Google. “This is not about free speech; it’s about privacy and dignity,” he told me. “For the first time, dignity will get the same treatment in law as copyright and trademark do in America. If Sony or Disney wants fifty thousand videos removed from YouTube, Google removes them with no questions asked. If your daughter is caught kissing someone on a cell-phone home video, you have no option of getting it down. That’s wrong. The priorities are backward.”
. . . .

“Many countries are now starting to say that they want rules for the Internet that respond to their own local laws,” Jennifer Granick, of Stanford, said. “It marks the beginning of the end of the global Internet, where everyone has access to the same information, and the beginning of an Internet where there are national networks, where decisions by governments dictate which information people get access to. The Internet as a whole is being Balkanized, and Europeans are going to have a very different access to information than we have.”

2. (Concealing Pregnancy) - Abigail Rasminsky asks the question, "when a woman conceals the first trimester of her pregnancy, who is she trying to protect?"

But after spending many years mourning the two babies she lost, my mother had other advice too: “Tell as many people as you like. Tell them now.” “If something does go wrong,” she told me, “you’re going to need your friends. You’re not going to want to lie about how you’re feeling to everyone in your life.”

. . . .

I wonder whose anxiety we’re trying to protect in concealing these first few difficult months. Is this supposed to be for my sake? Are we trying to protect me from the embarrassment of admitting that I can’t go 45 minutes without eating and am gaining weight at a rapid clip? That I spend most of the day crying and moaning on the couch, Alicia Florrick my fictional companion? That I’m afraid of losing the pregnancy but can’t fathom that this debilitating state of being has anything to do with an actual baby? Are we really trying to save me from having to share the news if I have a miscarriage? Or are we trying to protect our culture from admitting that not all pregnancies are beautiful and easy and make it to term, and that the loss can be absolutely devastating?

. . . .

The most alarming thing I’ve heard from friends who’ve had miscarriages is their surprise (only upon miscarrying) at hearing about how many of their friends, aunts, cousins, sisters, mothers and grandmothers have had them, too. If miscarriages are so common, why do we hide them behind a wall of shame and silence? If women could announce their pregnancies immediately, wouldn’t we learn that a pregnancy is truly awesome and terrifying and precarious and unknown — that anything can and does happen, and that women deserve all the love and support and understanding that comes with the act of trying to make another human being?

3. (Adolescence) - Emma Cline published a fantastic piece in the Paris Review on "adolescence, pen pals, and the Manson girls".

"In the days after my trip, I watched those videos, and read the blogs devoted to tracking the Manson girls who are still alive, who now have families and jobs and ended up in places like Vermont and Arizona. In interviews, a few of them look wistfully into the camera. They speak fondly of their time on the ranch. It was something I could understand. They had been welcomed at the ranch, given nicknames both childish and aspirational. They had been held tightly and told they were unlike anyone else. I was not so different. We all wanted to be chosen in some way. Maybe it’s just an accident which women are chosen by violence.

I wonder all the time how easily things could have turned out badly for me; my life gone curdled and sour, ending viciously. The girls kidnapped by strangers, by handymen, by men who keep them in sheds or basements. If it hadn’t been Rodney Bingenheimer, a lonely and pitiable man, who had decoded my message—if it had been someone with more agency, someone like Charles Manson, who brushed his girls’ hair with his fingers and smiled at them, who told them to call him father. Or Jim Jones, cooing “darling” in his followers’ ears, and writing feverish letters to runaways like a jilted lover until they returned to the fold, to his ever-open arms.

I see it now, sometimes in my own face, but also in the faces of younger girls on the subway, their pinkies linked, their eyes darting and wounded. See me, they say. Their legs sheened with moisturizer, specked with faint bits of glitter. Braces thickening their mouths. The tightness of a pimple they worry slyly with their fingers, ashamed

I try to smile at them, but it isn’t me they want."

4. (Slow TV) - Would you watch the real-time recording of a train journey, from Bergen to Oslo? "The show was nearly seven and a half hours long, and consisted mostly of footage from the train’s exterior as it moved. The landscape often changed. Even when it did, though, it did not change much."

"Slow TV is usually grouped within the so-called “slow movement”: a nebulous federation of campaigns to slow down things like food production, manufacturing, education, religious services, and (perhaps a bit gratuitously) sex. . . . . The aesthetic challenge of slow TV is less about attention, in other words, than about use. Yes, the screens have won, it grants. But no, we needn’t employ them as directed. Look: you can avoid the consciousness-devouring rush of “The Good Wife” . . . and use your flat screen to view the regular world. Though slow TV appears to reach back to simpler times, it is in many ways the realization of twenty-first-century media technology, relying, for its full effect, on footage that’s high-definition, organic, and continuous. (The hours of unbroken footage for “Bergensbanen” would have been all but impossible in an era when high-quality images needed to be shot on film.) At its best, it affords a visceral kind of armchair tourism, a global window with a formless and subjective meaning. There’s no zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz in that."

5. (Life Off the Grid) - I'm somewhat obsessed with people who live off the grid and I really enjoyed this Aeon article, which emphasizes that even for people who go back on the grid, they don't necessarily view their time off as a failure.

"Now I see the mesa as a kind of training ground, a place that prepared us to begin another experiment. We’re trying to take what we learned off the grid and sustain it in a new place, one that’s embedded in society instead of isolated from it.

Our Colorado ghost commune persists without us, populated by a rotating cast of strangers and old friends. A few have settled there for good, but most will move on as we did, taking their stories and, with luck, their new habits with them. Yet all of us — the seven original pioneers, my young daughter, the families that come and go after us — leave some piece of ourselves behind. As we scatter over states and continents, we remain connected, a human grid tempered in flickering campfires."

6. (Harvard Schmarvard) - Michelle Rose Gilman tells us why getting our kids into Harvard should be the least of our concerns.

"We have strangled the creativity out of our children by forcing them to do things they may not want to do, but as good parents we have to check the box that reads competitive sports -- check! We have robbed them of their childhood so that we can feel good about their chances at college entrance. Many of our kids don't even know what it is they like to do because we have been telling them what to like for their whole lives. Our children are riddled with anxiety and we are medicating them more now than ever. Why are we doing this? So that they can get into college and be successful! Let me tell you something -- college acceptance does not make a person succeed, nor does it say one thing about your parenting."

7. (Story, With Bird) - And, finally, I know this doesn't quite count as an "article", but Kevin Canty's short story is one of the best pieces of fiction I've read in quite a while.

"We didn’t get married, though both of us had thought we would. And we never got a dog. We’d wanted one, but we’d never agreed on a breed: she wanted a corgi, and I wanted a golden retriever. It’s strange the way those plans we made are still floating out there, without us. The possibilities. What if I had agreed to the corgi? What would have happened after that?"


Things to Do - How to Shop For Clothes (the lazy way)

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(See the big box in the background? It makes me happy.)

People who see me on a regular basis are probably laughing like crazy right now, as I'm not exactly the world's best dressed mom. Nor do I claim to have great fashion sense. I never go to malls. I don't buy Vogue. Basically, there are many reasons to ignore this post.

But the other day at the playground many of my mom friends complained about how they hated shopping - the time commitment, the nasty dressing room lighting, the quest for something that looks good on our no-longer-20-year-old bodies - it all sort of sucks. Then I told everyone my clothes shopping strategy and a few people said, "that's hysterical/funny/odd/awesome, you should blog it." So here goes:


(1) Figure out when the beginning of your credit card cycle occurs then go online. AGAIN, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SHOP AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CREDIT CARD CYCLE.

(2) When shopping online, look only at stores that offer free shipping (and either free or incredibly cheap returns).

(3) Start adding things to your shopping bag. At this point, I don't think of myself as actually "buying" anything, rather I'm trying things on. So order two or three sizes if you're not sure. Don't be picky. Shop away. Then click "buy".

(4) Once the clothes arrive, don't try them on right away. Wait until you have the house to yourself and you feel good about yourself. Your hair is pretty. Maybe you're wearing makeup. Think about the rooms in your house with the best lighting. TODAY IS YOUR DAY!! This is a gift from you to you. (But don't wait too long, as you still need to return things).

(5) With some clothes you'll know right away - yes or no. Some will even look so odd in person that you don't need to take them out of the packaging. Others will seem meant for you. As soon as something is a no, put it back in the box or return bag. You do not want to lose or misplace anything, especially clothing you don't actually like.

(6) You'll probably have a maybe pile. Take your time with these. Wear them around for awhile. Once your children or significant other returns home, ask their opinion. Also, go through your closet and decide which of the actual yeses you really need and see if you have anything to wear with them. This is your opportunity to put whole outfits together and see how they work (as I'm lazy, I usually skip this step).

(7) This is the important part - give yourself a deadline to decide. Usually 1-2 days. Also calculate how much the "yes" pile costs. Can you afford everything? You may have to make some tough choices, but that's okay. Mentally remind yourself that you do not own these clothes yet (yes, you've paid for them via credit card but you haven't paid the outstanding balance yet, so these purchases still exist in a state of ownership limbo), you are merely trying them on.

(8) Know where your nearest UPS/Fed Ex storefront is (I, personally, love Pak Mail of Arlington - friendly staff, easy parking, no lines, located down the street from Trader Joes). Also know where your nearest post office is. Drive there and return the nos. Don't hesitate or take too long. If you've played this right, almost all of the no purchases will be sent back and refunded to your credit card before the cycle ends.

Of course, some people prefer malls/bargain stores/actually leaving the house. And if you're one of those people, that's awesome. But, personally, I find comfort in this process. I have no idea how I look in a bathing suit under the bright hot sun, but I know I look tolerable in my J Crew mom-style one piece when soft light filters through our house it the afternoon. And this illusion makes it easier for me to go to a beach (basically I'm not above lying to myself a little; this body has housed three babies, it needs soft light).

Here is where I shop online, feel free to add to this list (I'm always up for suggestions):


* The Gap/Old Navy/Piperlime/Banana Republic/Athletica website always offers free shipping with a $50 minimum purchase and free returns. Plus I like that I can shop at 4 stores with one shopping cart.
* Fabletics has reasonably priced work out clothes and often offers free shipping with a minimum purchase.
* Zara offers free shipping on orders over $50.
* In spring and summer, J Crew usually offers free shipping both ways on their bathing suits.
* As crazy as it sounds, Amazon can be a good source for basics like leggings and t-shirts.
* Zappos for shoes (they also sell clothes).


* I love Stitch Fix because their stylists often pick things that I never would have chosen on my own. Plus, most of the clothing they send is reasonably priced.


* ThredUp has tons of used clothes for cheap prices and orders ship free.

* I love shopping for old 1970s cardigans in Etsy's vintage stores. It can also be a great source for bohemian peasant tops. 1919 Vintage is one of my favorites.


Things to Do - This Untamed Life, Afternoon

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Dan's aunt, Ann, has undertaken the somewhat daunting task of cleaning out the house of Dan's grandparents. When Ann visited a few weeks ago she brought along some of their deceased great grandfather's cufflinks and tie clips. T had a blast going through all the old heirlooms and seemed especially excited about a tie clip with a sword. There's something heartwarming about such little things remaining in the family, generation after generation.

HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE!! Now click on over to This Untamed Life to see how everyone else photographed their afternoons.

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Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links


Just a few more photos from our trip to Cape Charles, VA. Now click on over to Cherish This Day to see how everyone else photographed their week.



* A better way to introduce your friends at parties. YES!!!

* Get to know the finalists for the 2014 National Book Award.

* LOTS of fall soup recipes (yum!)

* 13 DC Secrets You Had No Idea Existed (I only knew 3 out of 13).

* 50 Fictional Destinations That You Can Actually Visit.

* Has anyone tried Thred Up? I haven't ordered anything yet, but it looks like the best site ever.

* A girl and her room.

* Mid-week distraction #1 (which I'm reposting on a Friday, thus spoiling the whole purpose).

* Don Draper on happiness.



Places to Go (Vacation) - Enjoying the Cozy Beach Town Vibe of Cape Charles, VA


As I mentioned last week, we spent our fall break with some friends in Cape Charles, VA - my new favorite place. We loved the low-key feel and walkability of the town (including the wine store, which featured a full and varied cider selection). And swimming and beachcombing in October made the kids happy. Rental prices are reasonable, so if you're looking for a quick vacation, Virginia's eastern shore is your answer (and who doesn't love a 23 mile bridge/tunnel?).

Click here for info on Cape Charles. And here for a Washington Post travel article on more to do at the shore.



Things to Make - Easy Skull Necklaces

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I'm posting today at Honest Of Nod about making easy skull necklaces for Halloween. If you have a chance, click on over here.


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Things to Do - Grateful List (September 2014)

(This month I'm actually IN the photos. yay!!)

* Reading What Ends
* Watching the Up series (I finally finished 56 and Up)
* Watching America Ninja Warrior and Project Runway after school with the kids
* Watching Punky Brewser (Youtube) and The Cosby Show, Season 1 (Hulu) with the kids
* Reading Big Breasts and Wide Hips: A Novel
* Watching Searching for Vivian Maier
* Watching Hateship Loveship
* Watching Blended (I really really liked this movie, with all of it's rom/com silliness)

* Udi's gluten free bread
* Ledo's gluten free pizza (no, we're not gluten free, just gluten light)
* Drinking apple-ahh-ritas (they're so bad they're good)
* Lunch at Mitsam with Julia
* Carry out from Taylor Gourmet (so so good, though NOT gluten free)

* The kids and their cousins checking out the boxes at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's Q?rius exhibit (they could have spent hours in there)
* Silver Spring's Maker Faire with friends
* Muderella with friends

* My new Canon EOS 5D Mark III (full frame sensor!!)

* Family games of Catan Jr.
* Our grade school mascot
* 3 nights of drinks with friends (dinner with my blogging friends, neighborhood wine night, and our neighbors' annual back to school shindig)
* A new season as a soccer mom
* Free video streaming from ClickAway
* My new blond(ish) hair
* Freya making lunches for our whole family every morning (This. Is. Awesome.) she even asks her brother and sister what kind of fruits and snacks they want (plus she cuts the apples into little slices and adds lemon juice so nothing turns brown).
* Dan (sort of) letting me pick out clothes for him (FINALLY, it only took 9 years of marriage for him to make this step).
* A nice mechanic (I didn't know such people existed)
* Sewing class at G Street Fabric (I made a totebag!!)

VACATIONS (Girls' Weekend San Diego, CA)
* Hiking Torrey Pines State Park
* Extraordinary Desserts (even the salad was excellent)
* Therapie Day Spa
* Octoberfest at Coronado Hotel
* Feet in the ocean


F - school starting, an amazing teacher, soccer games, my family, a nice house to live in and food to eat

P - playdates with Laney, my teacher, taking the dog for walks, soccer practice, that we won our first game, my family

T - liking the 1st week of school, playdates, my new teacher, soccer, my family,


Things to Do - 12 in 12 (October 2014)

This month the 12th fell on the Sunday of a six day school holiday weekend. Originally we planned on camping in West Virginia with some friends, but the dismal weather forecast caused us to change our plans at the last minute. So we searched for reasonably priced short-stay rental properties and ended up on the Virginia side of the Eastern Shore, in Cape Charles, VA.

I'll post more on our mini-vacation next week, but in summary, we fell in love with this quaint little beach town.

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9 am - Wake up to homemade pancakes and a room full of energetic grade schoolers.

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10:30 am - Walk to the playground. Is there anything as cute as a toddler dressed as a Ninja Turtle?

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11:00 am - A playground with a zipline = kid-heaven.

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11:30 am - They're still playing.

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noon - Drive to Kiptopeke State Park.

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12:15 pm - The day becomes a little darker and colder. The kids all bundle up.

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12:30 pm - Hiking Kiptopeke's trails and checking out the yurt (yes, you can rent a yurt there!)

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1:00 pm - T is very proud of his feather collection.

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1:15 pm - Yes they swam. In October. The water was warm, but the air was cold(ish).

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4:00 pm - After lunch and downtime the kids start to become stir-crazy.

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4:30 pm - So we returned to the playground for tire races.

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6:45 pm - Sunset on the beach. The kids loved all the tidal pools.

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8:30 pm - Some TV time before bed.

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10:00 pm - Quirkle and cocktails for the adults. Yes, that's me drinking moscow mules out of a paper cup.

So I ended up with 14 photos instead of 12 (it's always so hard to choose), but rules don't apply to vacations, right? Don't forget to check out Not-So-SAHM to see how their days went.


Things to Do - This Untamed Life & The End of Summer (I know, I know, we're already knee deep in autumn)


This week for This Untamed Life we're posting lunchtime photos, which challenged me as now that all three kids attend grade school I don't have many recent mid-day photos. So I searched through my summer files and found these photos from the Building Musuem's maze, which (sadly) no longer exists. Did you visit the maze? The cost was somewhat steep, but we all enjoyed the experience of circling back in, over and over again.

Is it me or did the end of summer sort of become lost? Maybe because the cooler temps arrived early this year, but it seems like September escaped any real notice. And now when I see all the trees changing color I feel discombobulated, almost like jet lag after you step off the plane.

Regarding this summer, on the upside, for the first time ever, we managed to complete EVERY CATEGORY OF THE 2014 BUCKET LIST, granted, I made the categories pretty wide reaching, but still I feel accomplished. We learned that geocaching is HARD (despite navigating to three caches, we never managed to find a single one) and that nobody in our family likes Mama Mia (though we all enjoyed watching a movie under the stars). We also discovered that Potomac Overlook park makes for some wonderful kid-friendly hiking and that we all love a day trip to the beach.

Oh well, onto fall and soccer games and searching for the perfect costumes. And before you know it the kids will be begging for hot cocoa while I'll still be asking - but how have we gotten here so soon?

Now click on over to This Untamed Life to see how everyone else photographed lunchtime.


Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links


F has an amazing teacher this year. Actually, we've been really blessed in that none of the kids has yet had a bad teacher or even a mediocre one. I keep holding my breath, as I know sooner or later the wrong fit will come along, but so far, so good. Anyways, one of the things F's teacher, Ms. C, keeps teaching the kids is to add "yet" to the the end of negative sentences. For example, rather than proclaim "I'm not good at sports", one should say "I'm not good at sports YET." (Sort of like the fortune cookie game where you add "in bed" to the end of every fortune, but this version is kid-appropriate).

After learning about the power of "yet", we keep trying to use the word at home. It's funny how the kids adopted this new vernacular quite easily (as kids are prone to do), but as an adult it really does change your perspective. I am no longer the non-athletic parent, rather I'm not athletic YET. It's not that I don't understand common core math, I just don't understand it YET. And most importantly . . .

I'm not a morning person . . . YET.

With this in mind I've woken up a little earlier in an attempt to photograph our mornings. Because one can always change. Really.

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!! Don't forget to check out the week's wonderfulness on Cherish This Day.


* 24 Surprising Things About Parenting in the US

* Some of National Geographic's Best Photos from the Archives

* Mankind's impact on earth, through GIFs. Wow.

* Halloweeny. We need to start arting again.

* Disturbing playgrounds. Yet, also very funny.


Coco would like the world to know that she remains a morning couch potato or at least she hasn't given up couchland YET.


Things to Do - Family Movie Night (a list)

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(Okay, so this photo has nothing to do with movies, but I felt this post needed a visual. Plus, it shows that my children would rather SCRUB POTATOES then compromise on film choices.)

Lately finding the "right" film for family movie night has moved from "difficult" to "near impossible". Do all families have this problem? We can never agree.

I prefer documentaries and 80s' movies, Dan likes nature movies and westerns, and the kids can watch High School Musical over and over again (note that this movie DID NOT make my list). Often, we come to a standstill and end up playing board games instead.

So I made a list. Maybe it will help you. Maybe it won't. All movies with one asterisk have been enjoyed by a minimum of three members of our family (at least one adult and two children). Movies with three asterisks are movies that we still haven't seen (but have heard good things about). I intentionally excluded some popular "classics" (for example, I know most people love her, but the Little Mermaid's self-involved rebellion and frivolous voice exchange bother me). Further, every household has their own rules for when children are old enough to watch certain movies, so even though my kids have seen Indiana Jones, I'm not sure it is right for all grade school-aged children.

Okay, so help us out here - WHAT DID I MISS?

(Also, I have to give a HUGE shout out to Common Sense Media for helping me craft this list (I love that site) and to the internet in general for finding more and more awesome movies to watch).


* Rio
* How to Train Your Dragon
* The Incredibles
* The Toy Story Trilogy
* The Fantastic Mr. Fox (I absolutely love this movie)
* Despicable Me (I and II)
* Wreck it Ralph
* Brave
* It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
* The Lorax (the original and the remake)
* Shrek
* Horton Hears a Who
* The Adventures of Tin Tin
* Mulan
* Tangled
* Hoodwinked
* Bolt
* The Book of Life
* Big Hero 6
* Paddington Bear
* Inside Out
* Minions
* Home
* Kubo and the Two Strings
* Zootopia
* The Peanuts Movie
*** Spirited Away
*** Cars
*** Wall E
*** Meet the Robinsons
*** Everyone's Hero

CLASSICS (I'm not sure where classics ends and "new classics" begin, so just go with it)
* The Sound of Music
* The Wizard of Oz
* Singing in the Rain
* Bringing Up Baby
* The Parent Trap (though my kids had a really hard time with the fact that each parent completely abandoned a child)
* Swiss Family Robinson (if you can ignore tolerate the blatant sexism; F kept venting by throwing pillows at the TV)
* The Star Wars trilogy (and all movies after)
* The Harry Potter movies
* Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original)
* Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp
* The King and I
* The Music Man
* Shane (the cheesy old Western)
* Dances with Wolves
* Funny Face
*** An American In Paris
*** Sabrina
*** West Side Story
*** To Kill a Mockingbird
*** Charlie Chaplin's The Kid

* All 8 Muppet Movies
* The Princess Bride
* The Harry Potter series
* Annie
* Hugo
* ET
* Adventures in Babysitting (be careful, the language in this one is pretty iffy, but I still love it)
* Ghostbusters (F called this "the most random movie ever", don't forget there is some violence and the bizarre ghost oral sex scene)
* Freaky Friday
* Enchanted
* Maleficent
* The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (some parents hate these, but I find them funny)
* Elf
* The Lego Movie
* Night at the Museum
* Home Alone
* A Little Princess
* The Never Ending Story
* Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (have you seen this yet? It's actually pretty funny, for little kids through adults)
* The Sandlot
* Goosebumps
* Welcome Home Roxie Carmichael
* Edward Scissorhands
* Mrs. Doubtfire
* Overboard
* Pixels
* Sing Street
*** Ever After
*** Holes
*** Dances With Wolves
*** Beethoven
*** Parental Guidance
*** Cheaper By the Dozen, I and II
*** Nims Island
*** Sky High
*** Beetlejuice
*** The Man in the Moon
*** Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

* Bend It Like Beckham
* The Bad News Bears
* Karate Kid
* The Mighty Ducks
* Rudy
* Miracle
* A League of Their Own
* Kicking and Screaming
* Seabiscuit

* Spiderman
* The Amazing Spiderman
* X Men
* Indiana Jones
* National Treasure
* Spy Kids
* Charlie's Angels
* Antman (I LOVE ANTMAN!!!)
* Apollo 13
* The Martian (not sure where to classify this, so I'm going with action)
* Pirates of the Caribbean
* Captain America - Civil War

* The Free Willy series
* A Dolphin Tale
* March of the Penguins
* Bears
* Monkey Kingdom
*** Wings of Life

* Blackfish (yes they cried, but now they care)
* 180 Degrees South (not exactly "normal" family fare, but my kids liked the surfing/mountain climbing and the environmental message)
* A Place at the Table
* Planet Earth
* Food Inc.
* Miss Representation
*** Spellbound (if you can find a copy)
*** Girl Rising (Netflix streaming)
*** Babies
*** Paperclips
*** Garbage (The Revolution Starts at Home) (Netflix streaming)
*** Forks Over Knives
*** More Than Honey
*** Harvest
*** Dive, Living Off America's Waste
*** The Beatles Anthology

KIDS OVER 7 (or 8 or 9 or however old you feel is "old enough")
* Ender's Game
* Stand By Me
* The Goonies
* Pretty In Pink
* Big
* Girls Just Want to Have Fun (the girls LOVE this movie and I love all the nostalgia associated with it. Never forget "Dance TV".)
* 10 Things I Hate About You
* Jaws
* Splash
* Overboard
* Roxanne
* The Money Pit
* Can't Buy Me Love
* Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
* Jurassic Park
* Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
* The Wedding Singer
* Big Daddy
* Back to the Future
* La La Land
* Arrival
* Tootsie
* Ghandi
*** Clue
*** Clueless
*** Super 8
*** Ferris Bueller's Day Off
*** The Outsiders (warning, this is REALLY REALLY sad, as in I forgot quite how sad)
*** Footloose
*** Au Revoir Les Enfants
*** Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
*** The Kings of Summer
*** Whale Rider
*** Mud
*** American Teen
*** Sixteen Candles
*** The Breakfast Club
*** Legally Blond
*** Dead Poets Society
*** Lucas
*** Mean Girls
*** One Crazy Summer
*** Divergent
*** The Hunger Games
*** The Bourne movies
*** Heathers
*** Mermaids
*** Dirty Dancing



* Project Runway (Hulu, but only on computers not TVs)
* Master Chef Junior (streams through Hulu)
* America Ninja Warrior (Hulu)
* Cosmos (Hulu)
* MythBusters
* Too Cute
* How the States Got Their Shapes (EVERYONE IN OUR FAMILY LOVES THIS SHOW)
* HGTV shows (such as Property Brothers & Love It or List It (if you don't have cable, you can also watch these shows through Netflix streaming)
* Brain Games
*** The Food Network (esp. Great Food Truck Race & The Next Food Network Star)
*** America's Got Talent
*** Survivor
*** Chopped
*** WildKratts

* The Cosby Show (streams through Hulu)
* Punky Brewster (old episodes are on You Tube)
* Silver Spoons (Old episodes are on You Tube)
* Fresh Prince of Bel Air
* The Brady Bunch
* Leave it to Beaver
* The Munsters
* Malcom in the Middle!!

*** Freaks and Geeks
*** Parks and Recreation
*** Modern Family
*** Stranger Things


Things to Do - Feet in the Sand


Ugh, Mondays are hard. So I'm posting a few extra pics from San Diego. One must remember feet in the sand as the weather continually becomes colder . . .


Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links


Lately, our afternoons seem to be a fog of soccer practices, gymnastics and other various activities. I hate when parents complain about this type of stuff because it is sort of fun (otherwise, we wouldn't do it, right?). I'm trying to avoid saying "busy" (I forget this resolution about about a zillion times a day, but one needs aspirations). The word "busy" seems to have achieved this put upon status in the last few years, as if our lives have spiraled out of our own control. Busy to me is the word of deadlines and doctors' appointments. Busy is grocery shopping and taking kids to the dentist.

Soccer games and practices, playdates and birthday parties, happy hours and basement yoga classes - these things don't make us busy, they just make us full. and blessed. and lucky.

I took these photos during T's Monday practice. The light was so pretty, but I still don't know most of the kids on his team, so I felt hesitant to photograph them. Thus P posed for me while T practiced. And by "posed", I mean that she agreed to let me take her photo if I played soccer with her, so at least one of these shots was taken mid-kick.

Happy weekend everyone! And happy fall!! Don't forget to click over to Cherish This Day to see the rest of the group's photos. Also, Cherish was profiled on the Dark Room this week, click here to check us out!


* Real flower dresses.

* This made me a little cranky (though I really want to read both books).

* I'm contemplating buying these. What do you think?

* A survey for party-goers. Fun idea.

* Blog burnout. Say it isn't so.

* Nature. Pretty.

* I love this DIY dry erase wall-art. I think it would be fun to blow one up for the girls' room and watch them draw all over each other.

* An Animated Short Film Portraying a Woman’s Journey to Body Acceptance Through the Passage of Time (wow, that was a long description).

* A new way to get engaged. I liked this story.


When I look at photos like this, I envision more broken arms in the future.


Places to Go (Vacation) - Beach Hiking at Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA)


Last week, one of my best friends from law school was in San Diego, CA for business, so I decided to fly in and visit her for a girls' weekend. The flight east proved somewhat cumbersome (due to a missed connection they rerouted me through San Francisco) but eventually I arrived. I always feel so virtuous when visiting the west coast, as I'm up three hours early and asleep by 11.

Anyways, we had a fabulous time - Octoberfesting and beach-going, along with a blissful spa day (thank you, Therapie, for making our weekend that much better). On Friday, we spent our morning/afternoon hiking through Torrey Pines State Reserve and admiring the amazing scenery.

During law school I applied for west coast jobs and Dan applied for east coast jobs. Once we started seriously dating, he (obviously) won the "where should we live?" debate. But still, whenever I fly past the Mississippi river, I feel a twinge of sadness for our "almost" life on the Pacific coast.


I meant to take more photos of C and me, but I'm not very good at remembering to turn the camera inward (I still have not mastered the selfie). So here we are looking sweaty and (somewhat) tired, not exactly the best photo. But still, it was so good to see one of my best friends again!


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