Monday, August 24, 2009

In My Arms

Here's another video gift...this is the one I made for my sister. The song, "In My Arms" by Plumb, made me think of my precious niece and nephew the very first time I heard it. The lines "your baby blues" and "curly Q's" describe these sweetie pies SO perfectly!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

These Are The Special Times

Ready for the second iMOVIE?

This is the one I made for my Mom for Mother's Day. When I began to do this, I wanted to use "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift because that song perfectly describes the relationship my sister and I have with our wonderful Mom. We are great FRIENDS and always have been!! But the song (if you haven't heard it, you need to. It's precious!) talks about very specific experiences (pumpkin patch, finger painting in the kitchen, etc.) of which I had no pictures. AND it starts out, "I'm 5 years old," then proceeds to "I'm 13 now," and I just couldn't get past the fact that my pictures weren't matching what the song was talking about. It drove me crazy!

So I gave up and used this song instead. It's actually from Christina Aguilera's Christmas album. I've always loved it and because it isn't specifically about Christmas, just wonderful memories with family, I thought it worked!!

Daddy's Little Girls

I love iMovie! Using this easy software made gift-giving especially simple this year. I made photo montage videos for Mom & Lauren for Mother's Day and for Dad & Rich for Father's Day. I carefully chose music that went with the photos and evoked the proper emotions (my goal was to make each of them cry and I think it worked every time! *hehe*)

Facebook has recently buckled down on copyright infringement, so it won't let me upload these videos there because they contain copyrighted music. *phooey* Well after my success uploading my little dog video the other, I decided to try putting my other videos on here too. I'm going to post them one at time, since they take so long to upload.

First, here is the one I made for my Daddy for Father's Day. The song ("You're The Only Little Girl" by Steve & Annie Chapman) is particularly sentimental because we used to listen to it as a family when Lauren and I WERE little girls. I remember thinking that I would always be that age...that the future, with boyfriends and weddings and all that, seemed so far away. None of us could even imagine it. So perhaps you can see why my entire family gets emotional watching this video.
(Note: I'm the younger, blonder one. *hehe*)

Cuddly Toys

Today was an exciting day to be a dog in the Butler household. I came home from running errands after work bearing gifts: a stuffed toy for each puppy. Even though plush toys are their absolute favorites, I don't often buy new ones. Wrigley destroys them within mere seconds of their arrival, so I don't see the point.

But today at Target I found these super cheap little plush puppies that DIDN'T have squeakers (meaning they stand a significantly better chance of lasting for a few hours). What the heck. It's worth having to pick up all the little bits of stuffing that end up all over my floor, just to see the thrill it gives them. :)
(Cuddly Toy - The Monkees)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Like I need something else to occupy my time.

When I began reading the Twilight series, I did it a little begrudgingly. As I mentioned, I was talked into reading the books by my sister who, like me, never really reads anything. I thought, ok I'll try the first one and see where this goes. Well the whole thing avalanched into me devouring the whole "saga." No, I didn't read it as quickly as some others have (Anne read the whole series in a couple of weeks, Lauren read them all in ONE), but for me, reading four books in a row was quite an accomplishment.

I hadn't anticipated the feeling I'd have afterwards. My lunch breaks? Boring. My evenings in front of the TV? Unfulfilling. Stupidly, it took me a while to figure out what was missing. It wasn't until I discussed it with Anne and found out she was feeling this same void that we realized our problem - gosh darnit, we MISSED READING! How on earth did this happen?!?!?

So logically, I ran out and picked up Stephenie Meyer's newest book, "The Host" even though it had nothing to to with Twilight. It's a kinder, gentler, romantic take on the "Invasion of the Body Snatcher's" theme. Sounds weird, I know.
It took me a little longer to get into than Twilight did, but once it hooked me, I loved it! The characters are infatuating. The story is intense, full of heartbreak and longing and anger and fear and drama, OH the drama. :) I couldn't put it down. I spent my entire Sunday afternoon ignoring the real-life responsibilities and chores I should have been attending to.

But...but now...what do I do now?!? I don't have anything to READ!! And the sadness has returned. This is ridiculous, I DO NOT NEED another hobby!!! Seeing as how I already feel like my free time is always sucked into a tiny black hole never to be reclaimed. The last thing I really need is something else I want to do.

Ignoring that logic, I need advice. Recommendations. I know many of you are readers. What books or series or authors float your boat? Let me preface this request by saying that I have no desire to read another vampire series. Yes, I adore Twilight and all of the characters therein. But vampires in general are not something I'm drawn to. Beyond that, I don't really know WHAT I would like to read!? There are so many options out there, it's absolutely daunting. I'm thinking of reading this, since we're going to see the musical in October. I already kinda know the story just by listening to the soundtrack, but it would probably be fun to know more. Other than that, I'm clueless!!
(BTW - my one year anniversary of blogging came and went without me noticing!! August 10th. Happy Anniversary to me! *hehe*)

Julie & Julia & Sarah

I just had the pleasure of enjoying the adorableness that is Julie & Julia. Have you seen it? What a GEM! Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses, based solely on how stinkin' cute she is (well not SOLELY, she's a good actress ta-boot). She didn't disappoint in this role - just as charming as ever!! And to even comment on Meryl Streep's performance would degrade it, since there are no words to describe how astounding she is. I don't know how she did it, but she actually physically transformed into Julia Childs! Bravo! I've never liked Julia Childs much but I walked away with a new appreciation for her.

Many people will probably go see this movie and be inspired to enter the kitchen with new fervor and bravery (my Mom, for example, who went to the movie with me, is probably going to go buy Mrs. Child's famous cookbook now). For me, not so much. Didn't change my opinion on cooking in the slightest. Can't do it, don't enjoy it, terrified of it. AND...not many of the recipes shown looked too appetizing to me (other than all the deserts, of course. *yum*) I doubt I will ever, ever cook because it "relaxes" me or because "it's the one thing in my life I can control and count on." BAH! I can't even control a bowl of cereal. ;)

What the movie DID inspire me to do is...this!! Blog! (If you're not familiar with the premise, Amy Adam's character Julie decides to cook through Julia Child's entire cookbook in 365 days and blog her experiences.) Watching her blog made me miss blogging terribly! The satisfaction of putting your thoughts down into words through the happy clickity-clack of the keyboard and the thrill of getting comments from total strangers that for some reason CARE about what you wrote. *sigh* It really is so fun.

Realizing how much I enjoy it makes me see that I need to make more time for it. I know I'm busy busy busy, blah blah blah, but in the scheme of things how long does this REALLY take? I've written, edited and rewritten everything you see here in the amount of time it took two songs to buzz by on my iTUNES. (Which were: an awesome version of "Heart of the Matter" done by India.Arie & a guilty pleasure, "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. Don't judge.)

I think back to my stent of unemployment (aaah to be so relaxed again *haha*) and remember how much I loved taking the time to blog each day. And for Heaven's sake, I have SOO much more to talk about these days! *haha* But now I'm not blogging? Ridiculous! And if I'm not going to keep a journal or something, this really is the best way to document what's happening in my little life so I can look back on it later!

So thank you, Julie & Julia, for inspiring me to make time for the things I LOVE...and for making me crave whatever that scrumptious looking 3-layer cake with chocolate frosting was. Mmmmm. :)

I'll be back!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kitty Girl

I hate blogging so little, because every time I decide to make a post I feel like I need to grovel and apologize for my absence. So let's fix this problem right now, and just make the statement that there will almost ALWAYS be a ridiculous span of time between each post that I make. So therefore, I won't ever need to explain or make excuses. Kapeesh? :)

Yesterday I had a very sad morning at work. A family came in with their cat that had passed away suddenly, just a few hours earlier. One minute she was fine, then a while later they found her lying still on the couch. These clients hadn't been in to see us for a couple of years, so obviously I'd never met them. They didn't know what to do with the cat's body, so they brought her to us. I saw them coming from the parking lot so I met them at the door. The teenage daughter, whom I assumed this kitty had belonged to, was an absolute mess, bawling uncontrollably.  She didn't look ready to surrender the cat yet, so I escorted them into one of the exam rooms for her to say some final goodbyes. 

When they emerged a while later, the girl handed her cat to me, wrapped in an old baby quilt. I was a bit taken back...this is the first time I've held a dead creature in my arms. (Animals have died in the time I've worked there, I've just always been watching from a distance when the bodies were cared for.) But she was still bawling, and continued to do so not even 1 foot away from my face, as she fawned over the cat I was holding. It was incredibly sad and I had to really work on keeping myself together.  I tried to comfort her, best I could, reminding her that Kitty Girl (that was the poor little thing's name) had gone peacefully and hadn't suffered. I didn't want to downplay her sorrow, so I didn't say it out loud, but I kept thinking about what a blessing it was to have a geriatric pet die like this, instead of watching them live with pain for so long that you are forced to make the terrible decision of euthanasia. This natural passing seems to happen so rarely. 

Eventually she was able to part with her precious pet and the family left our lobby. Dr. Olson was in the middle of another appointment, so I just took the cat's body to the back room and laid her gently on a table. I knew this wouldn't be her final resting place, but I decided I'd let the doctor handle what needed to happen from there. :(

I am consistently amazed at what I'm faced with...and am able to handle. If someone had asked me in advance if I could handle these emotionally charged situations (or the medically gruesome ones) I would have probably said "HEEECK NO!" But there I stood, comforting this girl at probably one of the saddest points of her life thus far, saying goodbye to a friend that she'd known most of her life. And not just comforting her, but actually HOLDING that cat in my arms as she cried over it! All I can think of is that it's not ME working in that moment - it's God. I firmly believe that the strength I have found at these moments comes straight from Him. And all I can hope is that, in some way, His light and love will shine through to whatever individuals I come in contact with. And if it means being uncomfortable or pained for a few moments, so be it. I just want to be a vessel for whatever words of kindness or love He wants to give those people.

But at least I can say that the good, joyful days FAR outweigh the bad!!! :)