Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Open Letter to Paramount Pictures

Dear Sir or Madam of Paramount Pictures,

Each year when Christmas rolls around, I watch the 1970 version of Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. This has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. As I have gotten older, I have started looking for the soundtrack, but am disappointed year after year when it is continually not released in CD format. Sure, I could buy the vinyl version, but then how would I listen to it in my car or on my iPod? I could buy the Broadway version, but the vocals are lacking quality and nostalgia. To be frank, nothing but Albert Finney's vocals could ever do. This film might just be my favorite of all time, and it is certainly my favorite version of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Please read further to understand why.

During different stages of my life, different aspects of this film have captivated me, but my attachment has always revolved around the music. As a cantankerous teenager, I thought the song I Hate People was hilarious. As an adult I enjoy Scrooge's blind idea that he is soft-hearted and "a martyr to [his] own generosity." The portrayal of the Cratchit family is a favorite; Bob Cratchit exudes optimism and love, and teaches me to do the same no matter the circumstances. His song, Christmas Children, gets me into the Christmas spirit without fail.

Then there are the street urchins. How can you not love street urchins singing Father Christmas? They make my heart smile. While there are beautiful and funny moments in the film, there are also moments which can scare the pants off of you. I can remember clearly the pounding of my heart as I covered my eyes during the scenes where Marley first appears or Scrooge drops into the grave. This film has it all, even romance! Happiness is a beautiful number - so romantic, and yet, so heartwrenching because you know they will not end up together.

But the most beloved scene is when Christmas Present is teaching Scrooge to like life. This is my favorite song of the bunch, and I find myself singing it, alongside Thank You Very Much, once a week or so. It lifts my spirits, and reminds me how much I have to be grateful for.

I could go on and on about the minister's cat game and the hot soup man dancing on Scrooge's coffin, but I will spare you. I would just like to make one final point. After all is said and done, Scrooge has changed. He dresses up like Santa Clause and everyone parades through the streets throwing their hats in the air and cheering. Surely, a change such as this deserves such a big fuss, and it moves me to tears every time.

It is clear to see that I implore you on the grounds of sentimentality to release this soundtrack in CD format. Surely, it cannot cost much in fees to release it to Spotify or iTunes. I know there are others who wish to buy this wonderful soundtrack, so you would quickly recoup any losses to such a venture. Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have not seen this film, I urge you to watch it. Christmas Present's hat alone makes it worth the time.

All the best,

Julia Meservy

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Sunday in the Park

Manito Park on Easter.

Since after Easter it has done nothing but rain, rain, rain. Ezra and I are all cooped up, but we hope April showers will bring May flowers. On a brighter subject, we had a lovely Easter Sunday - it was a gorgeous day. Joe and I decorated a dozen eggs, and we were able to take some beautiful pictures of Ezra at Manito Park in his Sunday best. His little bowtie just kills me. If he gets any better looking I might faint. Without further ado, here are our eggs and little tyke. Happy Easter!

Ezra in his Easter jammies. Thank you Grandma! Who doesn't love a bunny with a mustache?

We had little chickadee deviled eggs after Easter dinner.

This is Ezra's favorite face. He thinks it is hilarious.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hide Yo' Kids, Hide Yo' Wife

Last night started out normal enough. We finished dinner, put the babe to sleep, and then Joe went for a jog. Nothing unusual, right? Right? Except then a helicopter started circling our neighborhood. I just assumed it was one of those EMS helicopters; although, part of me thought about Koreans taking over Spokane. I got on facebook for the umpteenth time that day and saw friends posting about a man who had stolen a police car with assault rifles inside. He was on the run in our neighborhood. I ran to the balcony trying to see if I could still see Joe, but he was already gone. I tried calling him, but he had left his phone. I could do nothing but wait for him to finish his run.

Thankfully, Joe ran into the police who were racing up and down our street. They were telling everyone to stay inside - the man on the run was dangerous and already had a record. Joe came straight home, and all was well. The criminal was found later that evening about a block or so away from our apartment. You can view the news story here

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beautiful Spring Days

While my mom was in town helping me during my wisdom teeth extraction, we went on a lovely walk around our neighborhood. It was so refreshing to get out of the house after so much rain and all the lazing around, eating ice cream and whatnot post-surgery. The air was crisp and breezy. Ezra put on some big boy shoes and rode in his stroller (without his car seat) for the first time. He didn't appreciate the wind, but was a good sport, only throwing a few things overboard and onto the street and then snuggling into his blanket for a quick nap. Meanwhile, Mom and I enjoyed looking at homes and landscaping, talking to a woman about her Shiba Inu, and a man about the cross he was building for Easter.

From the enormous trees to the green grass to the fluffy clouds, Spokane is splendid this time of year.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thoughts After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Apparently after this video I was asking about rules and saying how much I liked to follow them. Then I kept talking about Joe. I don't remember much of this...

Since this experience, I have wondered a lot about wisdom teeth. Why do we have them, and why do they bare the title "wisdom?" The answer to the latter question seems so obvious to me now, but I never thought of it. Many believe the name comes from the latin "dens sapientiae." This name comes from the fact that wisdom teeth most commonly appear between the ages of 17-25, much older than all the other teeth, so the recipient is deemed wiser than a child. Of what I know of teenagers, I am not sure this is always the case, but I'll take it.

When thinking of why we have wisdom teeth, all I could think of was that it was some cruel trick of nature, or else, a way to help out all our ancestors who didn't know about brushing their teeth, and therefore, had them rot out of their heads and needed some more. Then I found a source which states, "Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars, were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food – like leaves, roots, nuts and meats – which required more chewing power and resulted in excessive wear of the teeth. The modern diet with its softer foods, along with marvels of modern technologies such as forks, spoons and knives, has made the need for wisdom teeth nonexistent. As a result, evolutionary biologists now classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become functionless due to evolution."

There you have it. Now I just need to figure out why we have tonsils, adenoids, two kidneys, and an appendix. If you have any answers for me or any thing you wonder about, feel free to share!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Birding: Red-Winged Blackbirds & Mallards (Spokane, WA)

Adventures in Solid Foods

Just one day before Ezra turned 6 months, we started him on solids! I think he was ready before this, but Joe felt strongly that we should wait till 6 months since this is what the AAP recommends. If you had asked me during Ezra's first 3 months of life if I would exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, I would have thought you were crazy. I found breastfeeding distressing both mentally and physically, and I don't think a day went by that I didn't think about quitting. For whatever reason I stuck with it though, and I found that after 3 months, it became much easier and much more rewarding. For some, breastfeeding isn't that big of a deal, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment to have made it this far. After such an accomplishment, what better reward is there than to see the joy on my babe's face after trying his first bowl of rice cereal? 

Ezra is a foodie, and these days he enjoys mushed up bananas and green beans in his rice cereal. Bananas were a tough sell his first go around, but he has warmed up to them since Grandma discovered he likes them better after going through a baby grinder. Below is a video of him trying bananas for the first time - the look of disgust on his face is priceless.

One last note: We think Ezra is allergic to avocados and apples. I've never seen his eczema flare up so badly as when he tried avocados for the first time. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so keep your stinky avocados away from me and my boy! Just kidding! His pediatrician says for us to try them again in a few months and see what happens. Hopefully he will grow out of it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Phenomenal Husband

With Joe's second year of law school drawing to a close, I think it is time to brag about how great he is for a bit. Not only is he a wonderfully caring husband and father, but he is also making some excellent accomplishments in school. He has been appointed the president of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society: Gonzaga Chapter, just finished organizing a religious freedom event almost single-handedly, and is looking forward to interning for the Hutchison & Steffen Law Firm in Las Vegas this Summer. I love Joe's ambition and the way he is steadfast in his beliefs. I feel so blessed to have him as my eternal companion.

Here we are celebrating Joe's 29th birthday at Could he be any more attractive?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 5, 2014: 6 Months (and then some)

Six months ago we received our greatest treasure. He is strong-willed, jovial, itchy, active, hungry, loud, lovely, and so much more than words can describe. I remember fondly the day we brought him home from the hospital. He was only two days old. Red and gold autumn leaves sprinkled the roads we drove down. Joe wanted to remember that these roads were named Grand and Regal; it seemed very fitting to us. I cannot believe it has only been six months since we met our son - it feels like he has been a part of our lives forever. And yet, I cannot believe how quickly he is growing up! The days are short since he arrived. We love him so.

This last month was a busy one for us, and Ezra just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. At 6 months he weighs 17 pounds 6 ounces. We had the opportunity to spend a week in Vegas and a week in Tomball with each side of our family. Ezra met some different animals during his travels, and although he was a bit hesitant, this Momma is set on making him an animal lover. He does love animal noises though and loves when we read Dr. Seuss's Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?

He is not hesitant; however, about his love for splashing, kicking, and rolling around in the bathtub. He loves the water. He also loves talking! He regularly babbles, squeals, and grunts at us, so naturally we show admiration when we reply back to him. Towards the end of the month Ezra took some big steps when he figured out how to sit up unsupported and roll all the way onto his tummy. I was so excited I gave him a standing ovation... and then I got my camera and waited to see if he would do it again. Could I be any more of a proud mom?

We had such a good time in Vegas on Spring Break. Lots of birthdays were celebrated, I finally got to watch Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Joe helped Mom build a chicken coop for the three hens they got while we were there! Cleo was very friendly with Ezra, although, she did give him a friendly scratch that he didn't appreciate. Ezra also got to play in a jumper and swing at the park for the first time. Neither ended up being his favorite activity so we will have to try them again later.

After Spring Break, Ezra and I were off to Tomball for Jillian's baby shower, while Joe headed back to Spokane for school. Ezra loved seeing Lincoln and playing with him. Lincoln could already sit up, so I think watching him really helped Ezra see that he can do big boy things too! Mom and Dad had just gotten some chicks, and Ezra loved watching them. We had to be careful because he liked them so much he grabbed one and squeezed it... poor thing. 

Ezra loved all the attention he got in both Vegas and Tomball, and he loved watching Tally run around when he would do tummy time. Sometimes we had to shoo her away because she wanted nothing more than to lick his face. 

Above is the very first time Ezra sat up all by himself. While in Tomball, I got to go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to see Luke Bryan perform. He was okay, but I absolutely love the rodeo. My favorite event is the mutton busting. If you've never seen it you can watch a clip here. It would unquestionably make my life if one of my kids ever got to participate in mutton busing in the Houston Rodeo.

I also got to help with Jillian's cowboy themed baby shower. Everyone did such a wonderful job on the shower. I was so impressed by everything from the decorations to the food. Joe and I can't wait for our second nephew to get here!