Movie Review: The Giver (And yes, I’ve read the book!)

I’d like to start off by saying that I absolutely adore this book, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.  It’s a very quick, easy read (at least in my opinion) yet so enjoyable at the same time.  I love how deep and meaningful the book is despite how innocently it’s written.

  The movie was….pretty good! Nothing amazing, nothing life-changing.  But I’d definitely call it enjoyable.  They modernized it, which I feel was obvious from the movie trailers and commercials for it.  I was honestly pretty skeptical going in.  Not just because it’s a book that I love, but because it’s been out for over a week and I feel as though I’ve hardly heard anyone talk, tweet, or make much of a peep about it.

  But my fiancé and I both enjoyed it! Out of five stars, I’d give it a three and a half.  I think it could be very enjoyable for teenagers, or anyone who likes the book.  Don’t expect a miracle, this movie is nothing epic.  However, I did feel touched,  and my eyes did tear up a few times.

  The ending was abrupt and a bit anti-climatic.  It ended exactly like the book did, but I don’t think it translated as well on film. I kind of left feeling like I wanted more of the story to be wrapped up.  My fiancé felt the same way as well.

  Expect to see a few friendly faces, such as Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric from True Blood).

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A Rainy Saturday And a Sunny Sunday.

  A rainy Saturday is a good day to make a two hour commute in the pouring rain just to take a restorative yoga class by a certain teacher.  Because that teacher taught you how to teach yoga yourself, and it’s her class you need on a rainy Saturday.  Not a power yoga class, or a hot yoga class, or a flow one.  Hers.

  A rainy Saturday is a good day to go out to lunch with your fiancé, best friend, best friend’s Mom, and Goddaughter.  Because who else would you casually go out to lunch around town with? If not the woman who birthed you, the woman you love, the friend who took ballet with you for a decade, & her Mom and daughter? 

  A rainy Saturday is a great day to curl up with your wife-to-be, order in Thai food, and watch The Vampire Diaries.  Because you both work so much during the week, and it’s really nice to just sit.  And cuddle.  And enjoy moments, and time together.  

A sunny Sunday is a good day to work a few hours and rub a few knots out of a few shoulders.  Because I’d rather massage a few people Sunday than work five full weekday work days.  Because I’m grateful to make a living doing something that I feel passionate about.

  A sunny Sunday is a good day to go see “The Giver” with your fiancé, because you both loved the book and you enjoy seeing movies together.  Because the work week is starting soon, and you’ll be torn apart by jobs, and demands, and responsibilities, and life.

A sunny Sunday is a good day to reflect on all that I have.  A goddaughter, a fiancé, a best friend, a mother, a lovely town, and the luxuries of going out to lunch, and to a movie.  Because they are luxuries.  Some people don’t have running water, or even a roof over their head.  Some have far less, and some even less than that.  

Saturdays and Sundays are such a good time to spend it with those that you love, feeling alive, feeling thankful, and feeling grateful.  Before it’s Monday, before it’s the work week again.  

Weekends should last forever.  

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Book Review: Outlander

  Warning: This review will probably contain spoilers for anyone who hasn't finished reading the book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  You've been warned!

  First, let met start off by saying that I only read “Outlander” because my Mother has been obsessed with the series for some time now and has been strongly encouraging me to read it.  I’d also like to say that I’ve recently finished reading the fourteen book series “The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan, and that my heart wasn’t completely over that series when I first picked up Outlander.

  But here it is, the thick and thin of it, here’s the truth about this book that has very recently turned into a television series on the network Starz:  It’s pretty good.

  I liked the book pretty early on.  I was intrigued by life in the 1700s.  I was drawn in by the budding romance between young Jamie and Claire.  I was turned on by their passion, pulled-in by all the danger that constantly threatened them…but I couldn’t help but feel that things were a little too easy and perfect.

  After the second time Claire very narrowly missed being raped, while my heart was relieved and my stomach no longer clenched, I couldn’t help but think “…really? Lucky again, so soon?”  It kind of read as a fairytale love story to me, where there was sex, and danger, and intrigue, and passion, but only so much danger and darkness.  For a while, while I enjoyed the book, it didn’t stand out to me as anything extraordinary.  It seemed like a typical romance novel with some cool time-traveling thrown in.  Until the chapter where Jamie Frasier gets imprisoned…

  …and then of course the book takes a huge dive into the realm of darkness.  

  From that point on, it was no longer just an okay book.  I read the rest of the book about five times as quickly as everything up until that point.  Their passion, the risks, and what time traveling through a circle of stones really meant all started to take on deeper meaning.  I finished the book just hours ago at work and I’m anxiously waiting to pick up Dragonfly in Amber and give it a go.

  Somewhere around Jamie’s imprisonment I started to let go of The Wheel of Time.  That series will always stay with me more deeply than any other, but I have to admit; Outlander has me.  I want to know what happens next.  I want to know what other crazy adventures they encounter.  

  I was at a wedding in New Jersey earlier this Summer and I met a woman who had read both The Wheel of Time series and most of the Outlander books (that have been released so far).  She confided in me that while she enjoyed the Outlander series the second book was her least favorite.

  I won’t lie, this has me a bit crestfallen, even if it’s only one person’s opinion.  Nevertheless, I’m excited and I’m ready to read it.

  Expect a fuller review on that book, because I’m sure it’s coming.

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A Birthday Beach Bash For My Sweetheart & Further Fertility Testing For Me

On Friday, which was Alana’s birthday, we jumped into two cars full of our friends and we headed to the beach.  Three of the girls were her friends, and two were mine.  We listened to Pandora the whole way up there, singing loudly and being silly.  We were stoked to not be working and to have a long, full day ahead of us at the beach.

  The weather was perfect! We snuck some sangria onto the beach with us.  Rita and Natalie, two friends that I work with and I took a long, long walk on the beach.  Natalie and I did some yoga.  The seven of us listened to music, lay out in the sun, and hopped into the ocean from time to time.

  Two years ago on Alana’s birthday her and I went to the beach alone.  It was her first birthday that we were together as a couple.  We had an amazing time together.  I still remember that day as if it were yesterday and not over two years ago.

  To have returned this past Friday with five of our friends was a really cool feeling.  I joked that we’ve picked up “groupies” over the years.  Things are really just coming together.  And speaking of coming together…

  We heard back from my doctor about the day three fertility tests.  Apparently all my levels are in normal range! That was a load of relief for me to hear.  But now…they want to take a look at my tubes by putting a dye into my body.  Our insurance company would like to have that procedure done before giving us the referral to the fertility clinic in our area.

  I won’t lie, this HSG dye test has me a bit nervous.  There’s a chance it could be painful, and I feel even more nervous for these results than I did for the day three fertility results.

  I’m going to just breathe, and push through it all.  Until we actually sit down with a fertility clinic we won’t have an accurate picture of what it’s going to take to start a family together.  A whiny voice in my head sometimes says to me “all your straight friends don’t have to go through all of this to have a baby”, but I immediately quiet that voice whenever I hear it.  I’m not straight, and I do have to go through this.  Feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to solve any of this anxiety I have.

  Alana and I have finalized our wedding and reception details with our venue and that paperwork is getting finalized this week.  I also have reason to think that my yoga teacher certificate will arrive in the mail this week, and that’s extremely exciting! Even if there’s so much to be nervous about, there’s still a lot to be excited about.

  I’m just going to try to take it all one day at a time…

 Namaste.  I hope the weekend was as good to all of you as it was to us.

Tales of Fertility Testing, Engagement Photos, & Wide-Legged Forward Folds

  It happened.  The day has finally come. This morning I went to the laboratory before work and I had day three fertility testing done.

The fact that Alana and I are at this point seems somewhat surreal and crazy to me. We’ve been talking about starting a family for what seems like a very long time now. We’ve discussed the steps we would have to take in order to make that happen for well over a year. So the fact that step #1 was taken today has me in a mild state of disbelief! There’s definite excitement bubbling in the bottom of my belly, but it also still doesn’t seem quite real.

I won’t lie. I definitely have anxiety about the test results. Ever since I was young girl I’ve been harbouring a fear that I’m completely barren and that I won’t be able to conceive children. Even though I’m nervous for the results I’m happy that we are finally going to have them. I want to stop fearing that I won’t be able to give my future wife the kids we talk about having some day. I want that awful feeling of fear gone from my belly as well as my mind.

I’m just hoping that when we do hear back the results will be positive.

Alana and I have been talking with an engagement photographer this week. I’m super excited for us to have engagement photos taken sometime this Fall!

The lady doing the shoot for us is extremely professional. We haven’t scheduled a date to shoot the photos yet because she wants to see when the leaves are changing color this year. She wants the leaves to be perfect. She’s asked us to think about whether we’d like to incorporate any themes or props into our shoot, especially anything that’s important to us as a couple.

We decided we wanted one shot of our engagement rings, one of us drinking coffee out of mugs, and one of us with all seven Harry Potter books in it! That last one is totally geeky, but its undeniably us. After being engaged for fifteen months already I’m excited that engagement photos are finally happening for us!! =)

I’ve been wanting to change the banner picture on this blog lately so I asked Alana to take a picture of me in upavistha konasana (wide-legged forward fold). When she handed my phone back to me with the picture on it my jaw nearly hit the floor.

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I took ballet for thirteen years and I’ve never been this close to being in a split before. I’ve never been anywhere near this close! The three yoga studios that I tend to practice yoga in either have no mirrors or just a few mirrors. In short…I don’t practice yoga in front of any mirrors! I don’t know what my poses look like, I only know what they feel like. I know I’ve gotten more flexible in the eleven months that I’ve been practicing yoga, but I didn’t know my wide-legged forward folds look like this!

Just yet another thing that goes to show how amazing yoga is and how much it changes your body, not just your mind, your soul, and your entire being.

I haven’t taken a yoga class in a week, which is unusual for me. I hardly ever go this long between practices anymore.

I’m going to go to hot yoga these next two mornings before work, and I know it’ll be great. 99% of the yoga classes I go to are great.

I’m going to throw myself into my practice these next few days and try to let go of fretting about the fertility test results.

There’s nothing I can do, and it’s all out of my hands. But I can push my hands into my yoga mat and breathe through it all.

Namaste.  I hope you’re all having a lovely week.

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I JUST Booked Our Wedding Venue

It’s finally happened.  I’ve just booked our wedding venue.  My brain feels like it’s singing and my body feels like it’s humming.

We’ve been engaged for fifteen months! Alana got let go from a previous job the month after we got engaged, and we spent the following eleven months stressed and holding onto each other dearly.  Our engagement and our wedding got put on the back burner as she went on the journey of job searching, and I went on the journey of taking on a sole-provider role for the very first time in my life.

But things turned around for us this past Spring and now our wedding is no longer on the back burner! No, now I would say it’s very much right in front of us.

I’m so excited.  I’m so excited.  I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl.  I couldn’t think of a better person to meet at the altar.  There would be no better person.  If I don’t marry her, I won’t marry anyone.  She is the sun and the moon and I still find thankfulness almost every day that I found her.

This past weekend was fantastic.  Alana’s iPhone 4s has been badly cracked and beaten up for almost a year, and I bought her a 5s as an early birthday present .  She loves it, and I love making her happy.  =)

Iphones  We went out to Ruby Tuesday’s for a date before joining a bunch of friends for a sangria night.  On Sunday I went to an Indian food buffet with my friend Valerie, and then we saw the movie “Lucy” after that.

My heart feels like its bursting after booking our venue following such a good weekend! I have amazing friends and family…but now I’m about to start a family of my very own.

I couldn’t be more grateful.  I couldn’t be more thankful.

I hope this week is finding everyone as well and it’s finding me.  Namaste.

I Wish There Was A Written Guide To Same-Sex Parent Family Planning

I went to hot yoga on Tuesday morning before work, which is nothing new.  I always go to hot yoga on Tuesday mornings before work.  There are times I miss my Friday practices, and times I miss my Saturday practices….but never my Tuesday ones.  It’s like something in the universe calls my body to breathe, bow, and rise to greet the sun every Tuesday morning.

Anyway, class this Tuesday was more amazing than it usually was.  After the yin/yang class I took on Sunday the Baptiste power flow felt so dramatic and dynamic.  But in the best way possible.  My hamstrings feel more stretched out than they have in months, and I, just in general, feel more loose than I have in months.

I’m going to take N’s yoga class on Saturday morning.  She considers her yoga classes to be “restorative” yoga, so it’s quite different from both Baptiste power flow and yin yoga.  I have a feeling that I’m to feel blissed out after taking a third type of yoga for the week.

I’m starting to wonder if my “yoga lesson” for the Summer is to consistently take different types of yoga classes.  I’m still less than one full year into my yoga journey, so I’m still finding out what types suit me and what mixture of yoga classes allows me to feel my best.  It’s definitely one of the deepest journeys I’ve ever taken inside myself.  =)

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with an OBGYN to discuss, well, getting a fertility test/getting a referral to the fertility center near us that offers LGBT family planning.  I’ve got so many little nerves and apprehensions making my body tingle right now just thinking about the appointment!

What if the doctor is against gay marriage? What if she is absolutely disgusted that I’m looking to find “the doctor for us” as we start the journey of starting our own family?

I can’t possibly be the first lesbian lady to have these fears.  I’m not even quite sure what to say to her when I first see her.

But I guess all I can do is show up tomorrow and just take it from there, yeah?

I wish there was a written guide to same-sex parent family planning.

Though I suppose the journey is going to be a lot more interesting without one, yeah?

Namaste.

Full-time holistic healer, part-time yogini, aspiring lesbian housewife.

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