So, Everyone's Pretty Much Team Peeta, Right?

posted on: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So, it's been a minute since I blogged last. Sorry about that. It's been a combination of major computer problems, a busy life and better things to do...better things like seeing the HUNGER GAMES!

A group of us went Friday night opening weekend, 9:50pm showing. Which I should mention is WAY past the usual cut off point in any given evening that I would typically agree to be starting any type of festivities. In fact, I'm usually in bed by then. But you know what? I thought, what the heck, Emily. Throw caution to the wind. Go crazy. Stay out past midnight, you party animal. It IS the Hunger Games after all.

(Did I mention how much I loved these books and have been nerding out over this movie for months? Did I mention how I bought the tickets two weeks in advance? Yeeeeaaaahhhh.) So being the fanboy/girls we are, we got there super early to make sure we got good seats and could all sit together. We thought we had given ourselves plenty of time to beat the crowds, until we walked in and saw this.

and we were like, "Oh, Noooooooooo!!!!!"

and then we realized that wasn't the line for our movie.

this was our line.

like five people and only one Katniss braid.

so yeah, we were really early.

so then we just took crappy self photos and exchanged messages with my old boss via my facebook app for 45 minutes.

(by the way, I took a braid count on the people leaving the theater from the showing before ours. Only five Katniss braids total. Such a disappointment.)

Anyway, the movie was great! I kind of loved it. But like any good superfan I must compare the book to the movie and vice versa whilst compiling a list of gripes and theatrical missteps in true "the books are soooo much better than the movie" fashion.

#1. That Liam Hemsworth (I had to imdb his name fyi) is far too handsome to be playing Gale. A little too GQ for District 12 if you ask me. In fact, Jennifer Lawrence is mighty curvy and good looking herself. In fact, I'm not too sure about the cast in general. Sure, they're great actors and all but none of these people look to have ever missed a meal or facial or pilates session in their lives. Come on hollywood, if we can't count on you to deliver an underweight, emaciated actress/actor then who can we count on?

#2. Buttercup was an orange cat dammit!

#3. President Snow. Um, sorry Donald Sutherland. You're great and all but you look far too much like Santa Claus and don't have nearly enough botox (if any!) to be Snow. Not creepy enough at all. Not even close. (Although, did anyone else think he was so channeling Jack Bauer in the end there? No? Just me?)

#4. The capitol's sterile, minimalistic architecture/design was not cohesive with the flamboyant, suess-like dress of it's residents.

#5. I wanted to see some mutts walking around on their hind legs being all people-like and some crazy genetically engineered super scary tracker jackers. But, they all just looked normal. womp womp.

There were other things, like Katniss and Peeta not being nearly banged up enough at the end. Like, Peeta, dude, you're supposed to need a fake leg after all of this - limp around a little or something for chrissakes! Then there was the changing of the origin of the mockingjay pin and the complete lack of acknowledgement for Katniss's prep team - the usual type of changes and omissions that go along with squeezing an entire book into a two hour movie. Those things are all okay. I get those. What I do think is that if they just would have upped the creepy factor it could have been really amazing. In the end though, I did like it overall. I even bought Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and that's something, now isn't it?!

So, what say you? Have you seen the movie? What did you think of it compared to the book? Are you feeling my gripe list or am I way off base here? Or are you sick of hearing about the Hunger Games and want me to just shut up about it already? Sound off in the comment section, I'm looking forward to hearing your point of view!

Superhero Dudes

posted on: Thursday, March 22, 2012


Superhero Dudes

i died.


posted on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On the first day of spring
Wes was sleeping over at his Grandpa Bob's house for the first time.
He told me he was afraid he would forget who I was while he was gone

so I gave him a memory to take with him.

It was Tuesday night so the usual folks came over and somehow during dinner conversation we discovered that Jessica had never ever eaten ice cream from Mary Coyle.


My own sister in law? What an abomination!
The result of an obvious failure on my part.
How could I have allowed this to happen? 
Clearly, the only solution was to
buy her a Razz-Ma-Tazz showboat immediately.
(then make her pose for a picture with it)
obviously luckily, she liked it.

crisis averted.

Since we were having a day of firsts and since Oren is so close
to being one year old I figured it was high time he tried
his first taste of chocolate and his first taste of peanut butter. 

And there is no better medium for that than this one.

(I hate to tell you kid, but this is as good as food gets. 
11 months old and you've already peaked. 
You just can't do better than the Coyle.)

He couldn't really tell me but I think this picture
pretty much sums up how he felt about the whole thing.

I think we can all rest a little easier now.
and by the way, Happy Spring!

The One Where We Met Billy the Exterminator

posted on: Sunday, March 18, 2012

Am I the only one with a three year old whose hero is a leather clad, raccoon wrangling, braided facial hear having, southern pest control specialist?

As it turns out, apparently not.

I found this out firsthand today when we met the one, the only, BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR!

Get pumped.


It all started Friday while I was at work and got a text from Josh telling me he just found out Billy the Exterminator was coming to the Cleveland Autorama on Sunday for one day only.

Wes loves Billy the Exterminator. He's watched every episode of the show and can even recite the title sequence word for word (ahhh snakes!) (also, hello, parents of the year over here.)

He tried to get me to dress up as Billy for halloween. He loves him.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned above Billy was appearing at the Cleveland A-u-t-o-r-a-m-a. Not exactly our cup of tea. Plus it costs like $15 a person to get in, plus $8 more for parking.

Uhhhhh...yeah. About that... (We decided to pass.)

But then Saturday morning as we're walking to breakfast, like some kind of miniature reality tv seuthsayer, the kid looks up at us and says this...

"You what show I love? Billy the sterminator (that's how he pronounces it). I really wish I could meet him in person".

I kid you frickin not.  OUT OF NOWHERE.

Josh and I both looked at each other with these confused slash suspicious looks like, did you say something to him? I know I didn't! No? What...the...hell...???

So then we had to go.

(My first thought upon deciding this was, What exactly does one wear to an autorama to meet BTE? I mentally reviewed my wardrobe as we were walking and found it alarmingly lacking in the studded cowboy hat/leather duster department.)

But we had to go. And when the universe is telling you, you need to meet Billy the Exterminator, it tells you loud and clear. Because would you believe just as we were walking in lamenting over the cost of parking and are we really paying money to go to this thing right now?... some random good samaritan just walks right up to us and offers to give us two free tickets for the show. It was serendipitous.

We hear you, Universe. We hear you!

We hadn't told Wes that Billy was going to be there. We'd just said that there was something cool inside that he had to see. This was his face when he saw him...


so then we waited in this line...


and finally, after much anticipation, met the man himself.

Of course when it came down to it, Wes got star struck and made us carry him up. So we all got a group photo. Wouldja look at us! Jealous?

but Wes was the only one who got a personally addressed autograph...

and an ice cream cone...

and got to sit in a Ferrari... (by the way, the horn works.)

So pretty much, best day ever to be Wes.

So thanks, universe.

This was not a day any of us will soon be forgetting.



posted on: Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm going to go ahead and whisper this just in case the weather gods are listening (because they've surely made some kind of mistake in the quality control department)... but I think that perhaps, possibly, maybe even really and truly spring may have found its way to Akron. You guys, it's only the second week of March and its 70 degrees! 

Knocking on wood --- knocking on so much wood right now. Please don't snow 87 inches tomorrow - please don't snow 87 inches! Forget I even brought it up... man I have so jinxed this, I know it. If it doesn't last you can throw snowballs at my house or stab me in the eye with an icicle or something, I totally deserve it.

Anyway, we've been taking full advantage over here while we can.

This is how we do spring, Booth style...

first you start with giant strawberry ice cream cones
followed by giant strawberry ice cream headaches
 and if you're oren you have to start wearing shoes for the first time in your
life because you can practice your sweet new walking skills outdoors now
or you just forget all about them and worry more about chewing
on chalk and sticks and stuff and getting real good and dirty
and if you're wes you dig up slugs and old toys you buried six months ago
oh, there you are Jessie!
But the best part about spring?

are totally optional.

(by the way, 20 bonus points if you caught the Phineas and Ferb joke I made in there. Best kids show evaaaaa!)

He Walks!

posted on: Friday, March 9, 2012

It's not the best quality video, we grabbed the camera when we caught him
trying to walk and it was late and dark in the house.
Josh just whipped this little video up for me in about 20 minutes.
It's just a short little thing, but I love it :)
Sometimes having a video editor for a husband really comes in handy.
Thanks, Josh!

(soundtrack: these boots are made for walking by operation ivy)

On Wanting Number Three

posted on: Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sometimes, I wonder what's wrong with me. I look at my two perfect babies - more perfect than perfect they are! - and I wonder why they can't just be enough. My head tells me two is good. Two is more than good. I am so lucky to have what I have. My heart is already overflowing with love, and I feel pushed to the limit on time and energy already. So why is it I still want more? Why is it that when I look at my little family I still feel like someone is missing?

I told Josh yesterday that I'm fairly certain my brain is 80% babies, 20% everything else. I don't say that to be cute, and obviously my life is more than just a desire to be a baby making machine. But I'd be a liar if I told you I didn't wrestle with this conflict every single day. I try to focus on what I have and be happy with the here and now. But that tick tick tick is dulled by little. That yearning for more maternity - it's something I just can't shake. When I pack away the swing and bassinet, the thought that they might never be used again causes me to go weak at the knees and makes my head spin just a little. When I think that I might never feel the weight of a newborn sleeping on my chest again - well the lump in my throat is enough to choke on.

My parents had three. So, three just seems right to me. Three seems like the way it should be. What if they had just stopped after Abby? There would be no Ben. How would life have been different? Who would make us all laugh until we cried? How lonely it would seem without him. To not have had a brother, it's something I cannot even imagine. I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. And yet...

They say money doesn't buy happiness, but it kind of does, right? Every month when I write out the checks for my student loan bills I'm reminded of this. My parents had us when they were practically babies themselves. They worked so hard for everything we had and we somehow managed to get by. But times were hard and there was a lot of struggle. I know they did the best they could and we turned out just fine. Better than fine in my opinion, actually...but...

There were no trips to Disney World or to the beach. There were no cars on our 16th birthdays, no airplane rides and no college savings set aside. Of course I'm glad they had us when they did or none of us would be who we are today. I wouldn't go back and change it even if I could. Still...those things would have been nice, and I want all of that and more for my own children. What parent wouldn't? I think about it every time I write a check for another one of my loans instead of buying Wes a new pair of shoes. I think about it when I watch Abby put off the haircut she's been needing for months because her student loan payment just went up again. I never want my children to have to bear the burden of this kind of debt. That responsibility will be on Josh and I, we have already promised each other that. We have their college funds set up and the savings is already in the thousands, but with each additional child it's that much harder to save and that much more we have to sacrifice every day. You only get one shot at childhood, and I want theirs to be magic.

So why can't my head and heart get on the same page? I know it will be infinitely easier to just stop now. But how do you know when it's time to really close the book on that chapter of your life? How do you really, really, really know?

And what about my Ben? I still want my Ben.

I don't feel done. 

This is a Public Service Announcement

posted on: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Do you like chocolate?

Do you like pecans?

How about oatmeal?

If the answer is yes, then do I have a cookie for you!

(If the answer is no, well, I'm just not sure we can be friends anymore, because who ARE you?)

I've been making these cookies for awhile now but I never cease to be amazed at just how good they are.

They're my favorite cookie. There, I've said it. Better than pecan tarts, better than shortbread. Better than just about anything else.

And I just thought you should know.

Now, go make some and find out for yourself.

(PS. I omit the nutmeg altogether, and undercook them just enough so they're a little gooey in the middle. Best eaten right out of the oven. Trust me on this one.)

(PPS. If you're looking for just a good old fashioned oatmeal cookie, leave out the chcocolate or even the chocolate and the pecans (although I'm not sure why that would ever be necessary. Maybe if you're allergic, but that's it!) and you will be left with the best oatmeal cookie of your life. No fooling.)

(PPPS. Joy has a new cookbook out. She writes a dang good blog and I love her in that if-we-knew-each-other-in-real-life-we-would-totally-be-friends kind of way. You should buy it. I did. For Abby. So she will make me all the delicious treats inside. Supporting Joy and my own self interest. It's win-win, really.)

Day at the Aquarium

posted on: Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last Saturday we took our first trip to the brand new aquarium in Cleveland. They've located it inside the old powerhouse building in the flats, which was redeveloped to house this awesome new attraction. Since the building is on the national register of historic places, developers had to leave a lot of the aspects of the building in their original condition. This forced them to get creative incorporating the exhibits into the existing architecture. The result is an unexpected mix of old and new --- industrial and aquatic. 


Pretty little fish dart in and out of exotic coral tucked inside rough brick alcoves running alongside original corridors through the building. There's a smokestack hovering overhead where lobsters totter across a tank suspended below it. There's a huge touch pool with stingrays, starfish and other neat stuff for fondling.  Not to mention the 150 foot long plexiglass tunnel and 7 foot long sharks. 

The whole place is kinda eerie - definitely cool.
We bought ourselves an annual pass.

The aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $21.95 for ages 13 and older, and $15.95 for children 2 to 12. Parking is $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. Weekends are still crazy busy, expect about an hour wait to get in, and strollers and wagons are a no go. Your best bet is to go on a weekday and to buy tickets online in advance to cut down on your wait time. And if you get an annual pass and you can skip straight to the front of the line. Worth it!

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