Friday, July 20, 2012

{Group} Date Night In: Fiesta Friday

My husband had to travel for his birthday.  Boo!

We celebrated early with a little fiesta at our house.

Getting couples over for food and fun is one of my favorite things (and I'm now humming that song from the Sound of Music.  Anyone else there?  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ...).

Now I know it's summer and you could just put together a little BBQ but why not spice it up, literally, with a Mexican themed party?

Hang up some bold colored decorations, throw together some taco fixings, break out the chips and salsa, stir together some margaritas, and tune Pandora to a mariachi station.  It's that easy.

Okay, so we had some adult cupcakes.  These are margarita cupcakes that I found on Pinterest (of course).

And we had some margaritas ... because what would a fiesta without margaritas be?  Oh, and if you don't like alcohol, you can blend limeade, water, and 7up for a fun virgin margarita!

A simple food spread.  Because simple tastes the best.

When we were done eating the ladies chatted it up and the fellas played Beersbee (also known, unfortunately, as Polish Horseshoes).

Somehow I didn't get a photo of it but I did have an ADULT pinata.  What's that?  Well, it's a pinata filled with stuff adults would like--cigars, nail polish, fancy chocolates, mini bottles of liquor, etc.  Did adults actually crawl on the ground to get goodies.  You bet your sweet sopapillas they did!

The best part of this group date party was that I planned and executed it in 3--yes that is right--3 days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Things I Love: That Summer Song

I'm a music lover.

Shocking, I know.

There are many things I love about music but one thing I've always loved is the way a good song can just transport you to another time.  The way it can dredge up memories and feelings--how it can make hearts glow or tears flow.

For me there is one and only one ultimate summer song.

On Monday I was driving back from visiting a friend at the hospital when my summer song came on.  

I got this euphoric feeling where I was whisked back to a hot summer of tubing behind the Jus-T-Nuf on lake Michigan ... to early morning croquet matches with John and Martin ... to walking the long, long way to Lauren's house, past Jason Polano's house, just to see if he was outside ... to watching Father of the Bride over and over when the late afternoon sun made outside unbearable ... to changing the words of the song to tease my cousin.

My cousin.  


That euphoria vanished and I was overcome with this heartache that these memories were 19 years old ... and she's been gone for 15 of those years.

That summer song--it sends me soaring on the clouds of happy memories and keeps me grounded in reality that these days ... these summer days are like life ... too short to not enjoy.

That's why I love music ... especially this song.  My summer song.

And in honor of Jenny ... Jeeennnny, Jenny baby ... Jeeennny can you come out tonight?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Think About: Magic Mike (and Hypocrites)

Magic Mike--The male stripper movie sensation that wasn't.  At least, not really.  Seriously, a movie with a talking teddy bear did better than a movie about strippers.  I'm not sure if I'm relieved or appalled.

All I know is I'm not into it.

My sister and aunt tried to convince me to go watch the movie but I just didn't want to see it.  I told them they were welcome to go but it wasn't for me.

I've had a hard time explaining this because I'm not a prude and I like sex but I'm those things with my husband.  I don't want to go look at other men because it felt dishonoring to my man--the same way it would hurt my feelings if he went to a topless women's club.

Now I know some people are cool with this "look but don't touch" arrangement but I'm not.  And I know I see bare chested men at the pool but I don't go to the pool to watch them and I'm certainly not breaking down any doors to catch a glimpse.  When it comes to my eyes, I do my best to keep them on Matt only.

And then there's the feminist in me who was totally conflicted.  Women being powerful and asserting their sexuality is not a bad thing ... but doing it in the same way men have done it for years--by objectifying people--just didn't sit well with me.  We don't fight objectification with objectification.  Or at least we shouldn't.  Of course I know these actors chose to be in this film and were compensated for their time but it still didn't feel right .  Just like it doesn't feel right to me that compensating women prostitutes makes sex slavery right and justified.

I felt kind of alone if my anti-Magic Mikeness but then I read this blog by Melissa Jenna (<--click that link and read it).  I was wowed by the way she wrote the words of my heart.

There are many levels, spiritual and otherwise, as to why I didn't want to watch Magic Mike and it was comforting to know I wasn't alone.

One area in which I might differ with Melissa is that I'm a firm believer in "heart" issues and "salvation" issues.  Salvation issues are those things laid out in the Bible that are required for salvation.  Heart issues are those pressing topics for which God encourages His followers to question and these are different for everyone.  Some women, like me, struggle with sexual self-image and objectification, and as such--watching a show like Magic Mike could be incredibly harmful.  On the other hand, other women have struggles of the heart that are different.  And this is where grace comes in.  I'll give you the grace to watch what you want (and reap the consequences of those decisions) if you give me the grace to watch (or not watch) what I want (and reap the consequences of those decisions).

I will not and do not want to see Magic Mike for many reasons and I should not be made to feel like a prudish nun for my unwillingness to lust after half-naked men (who aren't my husband).  If your heart is not convicted like mine in on this topic, then I'm okay with that.  You watch what you want to watch; I'll do the same.

What I really hate is this movie is one more way to talk about Christians as being hypocrites because {some} Christians won't see a show like this but will ... divorce at rates similar to those not in the church ... blindly support religious politicians even when they don't walk the walk ... shut down abortion clinics without offering financial, emotional, and physical support to those with unwanted pregnancies ...

Let me let a BIG cat out of the bag.

ALL Christians--yes that's right--ALL CHRISTIANS are hypocritical.  Yes we say one thing and do another (there's even a Bible verse about that).  But you know what else?  EVERY other person in the world is a hypocrite.  Can you name one person {not a religious deity} who has always, in every circumstance, been totally straight-forward and who has never been a hypocrite?  How about the mom who tells her kid not to lie but then lies (in fun) about Santa at Christmas?  How about the Republican who wants to balance that budget but spends bazillions on a war?  Or that Democrat who wants equal pay for women and yet the women working in his White House make 70% of the men who work there?  Or the man who tells his child to be a good sport and then screams at the referee?

We are all hypocrites people.  Get over it.  Find a new argument.

What I think about Magic Mike is I am over it (and judging by the box-office slump, so is everyone else).  While I am open to conversations challenging one another in our beliefs about watching, or not watching, such shows and discussing what is (and isn't) pornography, I really hate the conversation focusing narrowly on how hypocritical Christians are without fully examining how hypocritical ALL people are.


The end.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Days of Play: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar --- because sometimes children should be forced to clean.

Or not.

I'm sure you remember those great "make a volcano" days in middle school when you'd add baking soda to vinegar and it would bubble everywhere.

Wouldn't that be fun to do with little kids?  I mean, you'd have a gross bubbly mess everywhere.  And it would be great.

OR you can mix science and fun this way!

What you need:

  • 1 cookie sheet per child with baking soda spread all over the bottom
  • 1 old medicine dropper per child
  • 1 mini-muffin tin--fill each slot with vinegar and a few drops of food coloring
  • Newspaper for the table top
  • Slop shirt (unless you aren't opposed to getting food coloring on your kids' clothing)
What to do:
  • Put newspaper on the table
  • Put cookie sheets with baking soda on the bottom on the table
  • Put your kids in a chair
  • Ask your kids what they think will happen if you put the vinegar on the baking soda
  • Show them how to soak up vinegar into their droppers
  • Drop (one at a time) colored vinegar onto the baking soda
  • Watch and listen for the reaction
  • Review their predictions to see how well they guessed

Keep doing this until the baking soda is soaked and no longer reacting or until kids are bored.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday: Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack has been around since 1997 but I'm only now getting slightly addicted to their rock sound.  On certain radio stations (you know, the awesome kind that don't play Call Me, Maybe) songs from their new album, Go, are getting serious airtime.

Give a listen and find out why.

The Future Freaks Me Out

True Romance

Broken Heart

These songs aren't all on the same album but if you like this sound, check out Motion City Soundtrack's new album, GO.