Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Last Saturday afternoon my sister Chandra and I went to the movies and we saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I heard about it earlier this year and I had high hopes, especially since I really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies so well. The Hobbit is made by Peter Jackson (the same guy behind the Lord of the Rings movies) so I'm glad about that because I just don't think anyone else could make them as good as he.

I had to read The Hobbit in my eighth grade English class with my teacher, Mr. Fisher, who loved The Hobbit. I remember not being crazy about the book when we read it in his class back then, but since I planned on seeing The Hobbit I decided to give it another try. I listened to the audio book last month and enjoyed it much more this time around than I did when I was 13. Tolkien isn't my favorite, but I listened to the three Lord of the Rings books back in 2005 after I saw the movies and I thought that they were okay. Tolkien isn't really my cup of tea, but I wanted to read the books just once to say that I'd read them (and now I can add The Hobbit to the list, too).

When I first found out that the The Hobbit was being into a movie I was really surprised to find out that they weren't just making the book into one movie, or even two… it's being made into THREE movies! The first movie is three hours, too, so it's not like they are short, either. Three movies (especially long ones) seems a little much, in my opinion, especially since The Hobbit really isn't all that long of a book.

Anyway, I really liked the movie and it definitely gets my recommendation, especially if you liked the Lord of the Rings movies.I can't wait to see the next two Hobbit movies to see how they all go together. Heather's rating: 9/10 stars

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tragedy at Sandy Hook

I’ve been really busy lately working on my family slideshow that highlights our year (hence the reason I haven’t posted as much recently), but I just have to take a break to express my feelings about the horrible massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday where 20 children and six adults were killed. My mom and I were gone on Friday morning so we didn’t hear the news until later in the afternoon. It was shocking to hear the devastating news and it just left me with a sick feeling in my stomach. These mass shootings are sadly becoming more and more frequent and it makes you wonder when they will stop. 

My mom and I were talking about the shooting, trying to make sense of it, and we said that we just hope that the victims died without experiencing too much physical pain. It’s reported that some of the victims were shot up to 11 times. Being shot ONCE is bad enough, but multiple gun shots just go to add to the brutality of it all. I cannot even imagine the terror that the victims must’ve experienced. Those poor children. 

Why would a young man do something so violent? It really makes me wonder what sort of emotional turmoil was going on inside his head. These days it seems like mass shootings like this (or the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado) are almost becoming somewhat of a fad with deranged people (especially teens and young adults who have mental illnesses and other emotional defects). They usually take the coward’s way out and commit suicide after their killing spree is over and it’s as if they take enjoyment in inflicting as much pain/damage on the world as they can as they go out in their own personal “blaze of glory.” 

I can’t help but think of this tragedy in the context of my nieces and nephew who are all in first grade. When I think of them and what they would’ve experienced it just breaks my heart all the more. No one should die in such a violent way, ESPECIALLY innocent, precious children. (Here are my two first grade nieces and my nephew: Ethan, Sarah and Samantha.)
A picture says a thousand words, so I thought I would end this post with some pictures that illustrate the magnitude of the devastation.
I'm glad that the community is rallying around the families of the victims and those that were affected by this tragedy. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this to bring people together, but if this helps people to moreove a little more and to be a little more kind, then I guess that's something positive that can come from this terrible situation. I just feel badly that it happened so close to Christmas because I fear it will taint Christmas for years to come and overshadow Christmas' true meaning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Left to Tell"

This past weekend my mom and I finished reading a wonderful book together that is most definitely blog worthy. (I like to blog about the books I read, especially when I find one that is as inspiring/uplifting as this one since I always appreciate recommendations of good books. Left to Tell Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust is the true story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, who lived through the holocaust in Rwanda in 1994. Here's a little bit more about her story:

Immaculée shares her miraculous story of how she survived during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 when she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! In this captivating and inspiring book, Immaculée shows us how to embrace the power of prayer, forge a profound and lasting relationship with God, and discover the importance of forgiveness and the meaning of truly unconditional love and understanding-through our darkest hours. 

The thing I liked best about this book was Immaculée's trust and faith in God through her ordeal. I find it so refreshing when people acknowledge God and give Him the credit He is due. Immaculée went through something so horrific that it would be unimaginable to most people. However, not only did she survive the genocide of her people, but she actually made it through without losing her amazing spirit, her faith and her love of God. 

Left to Tell reminds me of one of my other favorite books, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. Corrie survived a Nazi concentration camp and had a very similar outlook on life as Immaculée. Both books are extremely inspiring and would especially be great books for book clubs.

When horrible things happen, people often ask, "Why?" Adversity is difficult to understand, especially while you're in the thick of it. I love this quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf because he clearly answers why suffering is necessary: "In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps us to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger and experience joy."

I know from personal experience that this is true because I've seen it in my own life. I'm SO much better of a person that I was before my accident and there's no way that I could be the person that I am if it weren't for the adversity that I have and continue to experience. Going through hard things is never easy, but it will smooth out your rough places if you let it. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

FAQs: My Accident Site

One of my readers recently asked me a few questions that I thought I'd take the time to answer.

When I made my note to self post last month, one of my classmates that I went to nursing school with made a comment that she thinks of me any time she passes my accident site. One of my readers read that comment and asked me if I go by my accident site often, or if I purposely avoid it because of the memories. She also asked if it brings back memories if/when I pass it.

I don't pass the accident site all that regularly; probably only a handful of times each year. I don't go out of my way to avoid it, it's just not on my normal route to/from the places I usually go. It definitely doesn't bother me to pass it – I actually enjoy it because it brings back good memories of the time in my life when I was independent and going to nursing school – and when I do pass it I definitely think of my accident every single time. I always picture the accident happening, especially when I'm driving the direction that the girl who hit me was driving. I imagine the same scenario; running a red light at 50 mph and I try to think exactly what the collision would've been like. (I don't remember the accident at all, so that's why I'm very curious to know exactly what it was like, and everything I went through.)

[For those of you who live in my area, my accident happened at the intersection of 141 and 21 near Fenton, MO.] I was in the left turn lane preparing to turn left onto 141. I was stopped at a red light and was the first car in line and when the light turned green I started to go. That's when a driver going the direction perpendicular to me ran a red light and t-boned my car on the driver's side. Whenever my mom is driving and we get off at that exit she ALWAYS gets into the right turning lane (I was in the left lane), no matter what. It's not that she thinks lightning is going to strike twice, or anything, it's just something she started doing after my accident.

As always, I'm open to questions about anything that anyone might be curious about.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December!

Can it really be December 3?! I know it must be since that's what my Mary Engelbreit calendar says, but it doesn't seem like it. Time just goes so, so quickly! It doesn't FEEL like December, either! Today we reached a record high temperature of 78°F in St. Louis. It felt more like May than December! Call me crazy, but I could stand for more season-appropriate weather. Although I don't like the physical feeling of being cold that winter-like temperatures results in, it's hard to feel festive when it's so warm outside! 
(December's picture from my Mary Engelbreit calendar: I love the bright, colorful picture,
although the quote is pretty dumb.)
I'm grateful to be in the month of December, though, since it's my favorite month of the year. There's nothing better than December holidays, the infectious spirit of Christmas, doing kind things for others, Christmas movies and music, yummy festive foods and holiday treats, snow and most importantly, focusing on our Savior's birth and remembering all that He did for us. I love this special time of year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...