Learning How To Communicate Better – Marriage and Relationship Goals {Link-up}

Learning How To Communicate Better – Marriage and Relationship Goals {Link-up}

This year I have been focusing on the word “commitment.” Last month I committed to sharing my feelings with my husband.  I have a tendency to bottle things up when I’m feeling sad or angry and not expressing what is bothering me.  In February, I tried to change that, and I did.  However, I learned that there is a right way and a wrong way to communicate those feelings.  For March, I will be focusing on not just sharing my feelings, but learning how to communicate them better.

Being one that struggles with conflict and admitting when I’m upset, I figured that texting or emailing my concerns would be easier for me.  I was quite wrong.  After sending my husband an email addressing something I was having an issue with, we both ended up misunderstanding each other’s feelings and being upset because we weren’t communicate effectively. I learn the hard way that while I think I write better than I speak, it’s hard to interpret tone in an email.

This month I want to continue the work I’ve been doing to share my feelings.  But I want to do so in a way that is healthier than sending emails or texts.  I want to have enough confidence to share those feelings in person and not get overly upset when we are having a conversation.

What are your relationship goals this month?

Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the “ruts” of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.

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Don’t Worry, Spring Will Be Here Soon – Thankful Thursday

Don't Worry, Spring Will Be Here Soon - Thankful Thursday

Winter really has me in a funk this year.  It’s been cold.  It’s been icy.  It’s been snowy.  It’s seemed like the season will never end. But I keep telling myself that Spring will be here soon, and for that I am thankful.

And then I wake up this morning and take the dogs out and there is snow everywhere.  It’s fluffy on the ground.  It’s sprinkled in the trees and bushes and I think, “this is beautiful.”  As my dogs romp around kicking snow on one another I can’t help but feel like I’ve been ungrateful.

Don't Worry, Spring Will Be Here Soon - Thankful Thursday

Yes, the cold has been hard to bear (cue laughter from you Northerners dealing with a real winter).  Being cooped up inside when there’s too much ice on the ground has made me restless.  However, this whole time God has been displaying his beauty for all to see, and all I’ve done is complain.  I’ve been so anxious for warmer weather that I’ve missed enjoying this time.

Don't Worry, Spring Will Be Here Soon - Thankful Thursday

Isn’t that the way it is with so much of life? We are anxious to grow up not realizing one day we will miss all the time with our parents.  We’re jealous when our friends are having babies so we aren’t really cherishing the time we have with just our spouse.  We think we will be happier once we own a house, or a nicer car, or get a better job.  But what about now? Isn’t this moment right now beautiful? Won’t we bad sad to see it go?  Why then spend so much time wishing it were over?

Spring will be here soon.  There’s no need wish winter away.

From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party

American Sniper: The Book vs. The Movie

American Sniper: The Book vs. The Movie

When I did my book vs. movie review for Wild, I got a lot of feedback that you all really liked that type of review.  Since I do read a lot of books before (or in this case after) seeing the movie, I thought I would keep doing these types of posts.  Most of the time I like to stick to my rule of reading the book before seeing the movie, but in the case of American Sniper, I had actually never heard of the book before I saw the film.  Normally a non-fiction book about war wouldn’t be my usual read, but after seeing the movie, I wanted more of Chris Kyle’s story.

My Thoughts On American Sniper – The Movie

I had to see American Sniper for The Oscars Challenge but I also I wanted to see it from the moment I saw Bradley Cooper was staring and Clint Eastwood was directing.  You can’t go wrong with either of them!  This movie certainly did not disappoint.  It was equal parts exciting, emotional, and touching.  I was in awe of what Chris Kyle had to do and moved by the effect it had on his marriage.  It felt more like a study on the man he was as opposed to the occurrences of war.  I enjoyed the movie so much (or thought Bradley Cooper was so attractive) that I saw the movie twice.

My Thoughts On American Sniper – The Book

After really enjoying the film, I knew I wanted to pick up Kyle’s autobiography that the movie was based on.  Kyle’s writing style is conversational almost like you’re just sitting down and talking to him.  He’s very real and very honest.  However, he does discuss guns and gear and use military acronyms that went over my head.  He explains a lot of these terms so someone outside of the military would understand, but I think I lot of that part just got lost on me.  I had trouble reconciling what was going in the book with what I had seen in the movie.  His stories seemed so different.  But they were also very interesting.  I especially enjoyed the segments that his wife Taya wrote in the book that gave me a little more insight to who he was as a husband and father. I was very excited to hear that she has a book coming out later this year.

American Sniper: The Book vs. The Movie – Who won?

This may be one if the first and last times I say that I enjoyed a movie better than the book.  For me, the book was harder to follow and I often got distracted by the terms that I didn’t understand.  The movie gave me a better look at his emotions and feelings and who he was as a person.  Which seems wrong to say because he actually wrote the book and the movie was another person’s interpretation, but for someone who knows very little about the military, it was easier for me to relate to what he was going through when I could see it. While watching the movie and reading the book all I could think about was what his wife had to go through being away from him, worrying about him, and raising the children on her own while he was off fighting.  Her sacrifice was something I cannot even imagine being able to handle.  I am very interested to read her book when it comes out and I am just heartbroken for what she is going through now.

Have you seen American Sniper or read the book?

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The Best Moments of the Academy Awards: The Oscars Challenge Linkup

The Best Moments of the Academy Awards: The Oscars Challenge Linkup

(Photo by Davidlohr Bueso)

The Oscars Challenge came to a close last night with the 87th Academy Awards. I ended up scoring 51 out of a total 106 points for the challenge.  I wish I had done better, but hey, there is always next year! It was so fun to have an excuse to watch as many new movies as possible.  I saw a lot of movies I don’t think I would have watched had it not been for the challenge. You can see my reviews here and here and my picks for the awards here.  As far as the awards went, I didn’t think they were the best.  I was bored a lot of the time and they seemed to drag on.  But I want to share what I thought were the best moments of the Academy Awards.

1. Lady Gaga walking the red carpet looking like she has a sink full of dishes to scrub.  What in the world were those gloves?

The Best Moments of the Academy Awards - Lady Gaga's Rubber Gloves

2. Neil Patrick Harris’ opening monologue with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black – I loved the musical number honoring classic movies.

3. JLO’s dress – When she presented the award for Best Costume Design I kept screaming, “And the awards go to JLO’s boobs.”  Seriously though she looked stunning.

The Best Moments of the Academy Awards - JLO's Dress

4. J.K Simmons winning for Best Supporting Actor and giving a moving speech that convinced us all to show more appreciation for our parents.

Best Moments of the Academy Awards - J.K. Simmons Acceptance Speech

5. NPH introducing Channing Tatum saying, “And now, an actor who is as appealing playing a male stripper as he is playing a wrestler in a onesie. He’s the real deal, pants down. Hands down! Did I say pants? I meant pants.”

6. Dana Perry’s acceptance speech for Documentary Short Subject winner “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1: “I want to dedicate this to my son Evan Perry. We lost him to suicide. We should talk about suicide out loud. This is for him.” – In a year where we lost one of our most prolific comedians to suicide, I wish more had been said about this.

7. Tim McGraw performing “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”

8. Emma Stone and her Lego Oscar – And she brought her momma as her date.  Isn’t she the cutest?!

The Best Moments of the Academy Awards - Emma Stone's Lego Oscar

9. Julie Andrews hugging Lady Gaga – I think I’d die if Julie Andrews hugged me

The Best Moments of the Academy Awards - Julie Andrews

10. Graham Moore accepting the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game” saying, “”I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,” he said. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”

11. Eddie Redmayne – just in general.  How cute was his acceptance speech!?!

12. Juliane Moore accepting her award for Best Actress for “Still Alice,” saying “I read an article that said that winning an Oscar can lead to living five years longer,” she said. “If that’s true, I’d really like to thank The Academy because my husband is younger than me.”

13. Birdman taking home the biggest awards.

What did you think of the awards? How many movies did you watch for the challenge?  Grab the button below and link-up your blog post telling us about the movies you watched and what you thought about who won.  The link-up will be open for one week.  At that time I will figure out who had the highest score to award the prize to!

Rebecca Chapman
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My Choices For The Best Movies At The Academy Awards

My Choices For The Best Movies At The Academy Awards

Now that I’ve watched (most of) the movies that I am going to for The Oscars Movie Challenge, I’d like to share with you what I thought were the best movies at the Academy Awards this year.  This is in no way a list of who I think will win.  I’ve been terrible at predictions ever since I predicted in 2nd grade I’d marry Dean Cain when I grew up (don’t judge me he was hot as Superman).  Anyway, these are just the movies I liked best for each category.  I admit I haven’t seen EVERY movie so my judgements are just based on the ones I have seen.

Best Visual Effects – Interstellar
If you saw this movie in iMax you might agree with me.  Visually it was so cool I thought I was really in space.  And then I remembered that Gravity made me never ever want to be in space and I had a panic attack.

Best Film Editing – Boyhood
Editing 12 years worth of film and making the whole picture cohesive is pretty incredible.  Especially considering the changes in technology over that time period.

Best Costume Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel
It was the only one I saw in the category.  At least I’m honest.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – The Grand Budapest Hotel
See comment above

Best Cinematography -
The way the film was shot as if it was just one take was absolutely incredible.

Best Production Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel
The set design was beautifully and elaborately created.  I’d visit the hotel if I could.

Best Sound Mixing – American Sniper
There was a great balance of loud intensity in this movie without overpowering the quieter dialogue.  Very well done.

Best Sound Editing – American Sniper
See comment above

Best Original Song – I’m Not Gonna Miss You
I am quite partial to this song and the documentary it came from because of a work connection, but this song really is incredibly powerful.  If you haven’t seen I’ll Be Me and ever get a chance, I cannot recommend it enough. I personally saw it twice.

Best Original Score – The Theory Of Everything
The music was so prominent in the background I kept saying, “This must be nominated for score.” The way the music adds to the sadness of the whole film is really powerful.

Best Adapted Screenplay – American Sniper
I am just now reading American Sniper the book so I’m not sure how well it was adapted, but I really loved the movie and thought the screenplay was well done.

Best Original Screenplay – Birdman
This movie was so original and unlike anything I’d ever seen before.  The dialoged was gritty and real and yet funny and witty.

Best Supporting Actress – Emma Stone for Birdman
When I think of Emma Stone, I always think of the movie Easy A and her performance was so serious and powerful compared to her performance in that movie.  I was very impressed.

Best Supporting Actor – Edward Norton for Birdman
What can I say…I just really liked everything about this movie.

Best Actress – Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl
I realize Rosamund isn’t the favorite to win, but man her performance was creepy! I had high expectations for her character after reading the book and I feel like she lived up to those expectations.

Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything
Stephen Hawking himself said that when he watched the movie he thought Eddie Redmayne was him in parts.  I can see why.  His performance was so believable and heartfelt that it was almost hard to watch.

Best Director – Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman
See comment for cinematography.

Best Picture – Birdman
It certainly was my favorite film of the year.

What are your picks for the best movies at The Academy Awards?