Scraps of Life

Life As a Scrapbooking Newlywed

Christmas as a Married Couple: Take 1

Matt and I have our first Christmas living together and being married down and I must say it was very pleasant and not as rushed as I had originally thought it would be. We were able to wake up at a decent hour and open our gifts to each other before worrying about rushing to get ready and out the door with our gifts for others. I technically already had my Christmas present from him as he bought it for me in Gatlinburg but I bought him a PS Vita with the game he had been wanting for a long time. He was very excited!

This is my wonderful Christmas present. Beauty and the Beast canvas print by Thomas Kinkade!

Not surprisingly, the best part of the day with his family was watching our niece open her presents, play with them and interact with everyone. The first thing she opened was this adorable little Mickey’s Clubhouse couch from Grandma and Grandpa that she kept opening and closing from a couch to a bed and vice versa. She even stayed on it to open a few of her gifts. We put the gift we got her, the Fischer Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo together for her (and her parents of course) and she loved playing with it. It was very simple to put together and only took Matt and I maybe 15 minutes once we had all the right tools. You really only need a phillips head screwdriver and three AA batteries. It comes with everything else you need but I digress. I see animal expansions for that in her future. She got a few books and some other toys, all of which was so much fun to watch her open.

All of the adults were treated well by Santa as well. I got a super warm and adorable scarf/hat set, a sweater, an adorably decorated candle, and the Broadway soundtrack to Les Mis just to name a few. It was great to spend time with Matt’s family.

We left his parents and headed back to my parents, stopping to feed Baxter and pick up round two of gifts to give out before making our final Christmas stop. Dinner at my parents was delicious and my plate was made up mostly of green bean casserole because it’s amazing and I could eat my weight in it. 🙂

Gifts there are always fun because it’s so many people in one small room all opening them and grandma makes fun noises of excitement every time another gift is handed to her. Dad loved the beer glass I got him from ThinkGeek and made the same face I imagine he’d make when I stumbled across it and knew he had to have it.

Matt and I got this really awesome Reds mirror/poster from my aunt and uncle. It even came with a catcher’s mask – a perfect addition to our baseball themed living room. We also got some movies (including the best version of A Christmas Carol ever – The Muppet Christmas Carol), clothes, books and lots of gift cards. We’re already planning a day at the movies to use all of the AMC gift cards we received. New Years Day – Les Mis and This is 40! Now THAT is a way to ring in the new year if you ask me.

The best part of the evening there however, was playing Would You Rather?. Oh the answers and trains of thought that came from some of those crazy, gross, absurd questions. If you’ve never played that game, I highly recommend it. We played with cards but I just found this online if you’re interested.

I’m so glad to have the family and friends that we have in our lives and we are extremely blessed. More blessings are coming on Saturday when my mom’s extended family is celebrating Christmas together as one big happy bunch. My aunt with cancer is expected to come and it would be the best gift ever if you ask me. I won’t need anything else that day if she’s well enough to come out and spend time with our enormous and loving family.

I hope anyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas and will have a blessed New Year. Stay safe in all of your celebrating. 🙂

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Faith – Restored

Faith – Restored (26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity from Buzzfeed)

I think after today, we all needed these reminders. Keep your kleenex handy, everyone.

Hold your loved ones tight, pray for the families affected by the tragedy and pray for your own ability to look past hatred and strive for peace. Reach out to people and love on them, no matter what your first impression of them is. Maybe you’ll be the one friend they so desperately need in this life.

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Insurgent – Now We Wait

Listen, Veronica Roth, I would really appreciate it if you got the third installment of the Divergent series written well and published prior to Fall 2013. 😉 Insurgent was just wonderfully written, shocked me and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The seat that I am now hanging off of and I’m not sure if I can hang on that long!

Unlike last time, there’s going to be a few spoilers ahead so yup, don’t read ahead if you plan on reading the book.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

So my biggest anger moment with this book came from Caleb. I could not believe it when Tris found out that he was helping the enemy perform tests on her with the well-known fact that she planned on killing her. Then he wouldn’t even fill his own sister in the information he knew to attempt to make her understand. I didn’t get enough information in the end regarding Caleb to know if he should be forgiven or not yet. Since Tobias had to force him to help them out, I’m leaning way more towards not forgiving but I really want to. He’s the only blood family Tris has left and I feel like that needs to be reconciled somehow.

All of that anger however, only comes from caring about the characters and is not a reflection on how I feel about the book. I think it’s pretty obvious from the beginning of my post that I love these books and cannot wait for the next one.

Anywho, I am really glad that the Tobias and Tris relationship has been reconciled again. I don’t know if I could have handled waiting a year for that on top of everything else.

Little did I know that the last few pages would throw me for the biggest loop of them all. Edith Prior? Is that Tris’s grandma? If so, who’s mom? Did she really think the factions wouldn’t backfire and cause war? How long did she and the others who started the factions think it would take to produce a decent amount of Divergents?

So many more questions!!

I will be stalking Veronica’s blog now. I really like the countdowns for the first two books and will be annoying everyone with one for the third once it’s created.  You’ve been warned.

Have you read Insurgent? What are your thoughts?

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Divergent – A World of Factions’ve never thought I would be glad to have gone out shopping on Black Friday but after reading this, I can say with 100% certainty that I’m glad I ventured out into the madness. It allowed me to pick up Divergent by Veronica Roth for only $5, start reading it on November 24 and finish on December 1. Had that pesky thing called work not gotten in the way, it would have been finished even before today. I had a hard time putting it down for anything. Today, I even had it in a bar while two basketball games were going on, one of which I was really excited for. Still couldn’t stop reading. Then I got to read the first 21 pages of the sequel, Insurgent as a sneak peak was available in the back of the book. I must wait until Monday to continue when we pick it up then Fall 2013 when the third book comes out! It’s been a while since I’ve had to wait for a book to come out and I’m not sure how to feel! 😉

I highly recommend this book to anyone, but if you enjoyed the Hunger Games Trilogy, then I know you would enjoy this book. I loved that trilogy and I found myself even more in love with this trilogy from just the first book than the Hunger Games Trilogy.

I really felt drawn into this book from page one and Roth really kept my attention throughout. I would be on the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen and the next thing I knew, that conflict was over and another one came in it’s midst. Constantly something to look forward to, to wonder about, to go deeper into.

The world that she has made shows so many parts of the human nature, broken down into all the good parts, which as you soon find out, always has it’s flip side. You have Abnegation: The Selfless, Amity: The Peaceful, Candor: The Honest, Erudite: The Intelligent and Dauntless: The Brave. Outside of these factions, there are those that show traits for multiple factions, the Divergent. The “rebels”. They must choose a faction and try to fit in as the government sees the divergent as a threat.

Tris, whom tests divergent, chooses to transfer from being selfless, where she thought she never fit in, to being brave and learns that the Dauntless have mangled the true meaning of bravery. They’ve transformed it into something unrecognizable from the intentions of it’s founders years ago. Tris learns that to be selfless is to be brave. She falls in love in a fluid, natural way. It’s refreshing and sweet; something that you just can’t help but root for. She faces conflict after conflict. They are varied and interesting, each on different from the last.

Even though she leaves her parents and her brother leaves for Erudite, they all find themselves back together again, making huge sacrifices for each other. It’s a beautiful dynamic.

For fun, I took the faction quiz in the back of the book and I seem to belong to the Abnegation faction followed by Erudite and a little bit of Candor. Now the question comes, is that enough to make me divergent?

So, what are you waiting for? Go buy Divergent. While you’re at it, save yourself the predicament I’m in and buy them both at the same time.