The Force Awakens… Thirty-Eight-Year-Old Memories

 

When I was ten, my brother and I went to the movies to see the first Star Wars. We weren’t big theater-goers in our family, so this was a great treat. We were completely blown away, having never seen anything like that before on the big screen. Plus, I was only ten and hadn’t racked up too many “wow” moments… so relatively speaking, this was definitely a wow-able moment.

I’ll never forget a couple years later, sitting with junior high friends at lunch while a friend mentioned that there were two more Star Wars movies coming out! I can’t speak for the average kid, but this was huge news to the super-awkward completely clueless types like me. She probably didn’t realize how big a deal it was to tell us that (spoiler here, people) not only was Darth Vader Luke Skywalker’s father, but Leia is his sister. Put this into perspective- 1979 was a dark time for the casual fan- with no constant barrage of trivial information available to us via the intertubes. Either you read original Star Wars books or you had inside information. And when pressed, this pretty humble lunch mate admitted to us how she had such awesome inside info… Mark Hamill was a family friend. Luke Skywalker was her source. Talk about instant Cool Points!

IKO0357-Star-Wars-Quotes-Logo-T-Shirt-B_2
(from PopCultcha.com)

I still don’t go to the movies very often. Thirty-Eight years later… can you imagine how much fun it was to sit in the movie theater with not only The Husband, but The Boy, The Girl, and The Boyfriend and watch another big screen Star Wars movie?

It was All That And A Tub of Popcorn.

Star Wars- Listening Doesn’t Count

Ever take long family trips in a car? Remember when those in-car screen systems became available? I’ve heard the stories from friends about listening to princess movies ad nauseam while driving across the country; anyone in the car measuring an age in double digits had to tough it out or suffer sharing that space with crabby kids.

We came late to the vehicle video party. We arrived there, finally, when our friend with a car dealership found a used SUV that had every option we wanted … and one we didn’t. I really didn’t want that DVD player, but the deal on the car was too good to pass up. In the end, we told the kids that they could watch shows only on long drives, and that system worked pretty well.

The Husband and I would load up on DVDs that we could stomach hearing since the headphones were perpetually broken or missing. Best of Bugs Bunny, Guys and Dolls, and Princess Bride, were part of our on-board entertainment… great shows that were already burned into my mind’s eye. And the Star Wars movies. All of them, memorized, too. Or so I thought.

With the latest Star Wars movie release, The Boy was completely happy to oblige his mamma in a six movie marathon to lead up to our Force Awakens matinee tickets. Two minutes into watching the first prequel and I realized that I had never actually seen any one of these new movies- I’ve only heard them all. From the front seats of that SUV. I had next to no idea what these stories involved.

IMG_9839

So this weekend, for the first time, I watched all the first three stories- the second set of three movies released, for those of us who remember the original trio of movies as the real first three Star Wars movies. Not bad! I hope the seventh movie lives up to all the hype surrounding it.

 

IMG_9846We still have the SUV and the old DVD player still works. I think the last time it was used was several years ago. The Boy and his friends watched a bunch of original, black and white Three Stooges shows- slapstick and pre-adolescent boys are a great match. I wonder if we will ever find or fix the headphones? Probably not, I want to hear the shows, too.

Sometimes It Hits You Right in the Feels…

“When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.”
—Erma Bombeck

My kids have attended parochial school their entire school careers. I have never been able to make the services at their high school where the whole student body is in attendance until this Wednesday.

I have to say, it was really beautiful- to see the teens participating on almost every level and nearly 2000 teens all either worshiping or respecting the beliefs of their classmates was quite a moving experience. But, it absolutely KILLED me to hear the choir. The Girl sang with the school choir. She is making her way through her first year of college now, and I’m making my way through the first year after 18 years without the person I have often referred to as My Sense of Humor.

And then, a student began to sing a lovely worshipful tune, her voice quite similar to that of The Girl. My Girl. I just about lost it, right there, I miss my first born so much!

A Glimpse into Halloween Futures

I frightened myself on Halloween. Scared myself enough to talk a neighbor into planning a Haunted House for next year.

What could have been so startling?

imagesI forgot to carve a Jack O’lantern, The Boy was at a weekend retreat and The Girl still away at college.

“Boo hoo hoo,” cried the sad mom!

I can’t remember a year where I didn’t carve a pumpkin… even when I was in college I still lived at home and had fun passing out candy for my parents. They were quite done with the doorbell as the average age and height of the Trick-or-Treaters kept increasing and increasing.

imgresGood rule of thumb, people: if you can shave, you probably shouldn’t be on the receiving end of Halloween… it’s tons o’ fun to fill the kiddie’s bags and set up haunted houses for the neighborhood, too.

Next year I will be ready… I’m jotting down ideas for decorating and clever trick to share with our neighborhood’s little ones. A smaller child-friendly spooky yard display would be good for the kids around us. Share ideas? What should I have for a non-terrifying haunted house next year? It was scary enough not having my own two children around for the first time in 18 years. BOO!

813a9aa38e365304c424ac7be9dc86dc

(Found all these photos by doing web search for “sad Jack O’Lanterns.” Click any photo to go to their original site!)

Pumpkin Extravaganza Continues- Tasting Trader Joe’s Waffles

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Waffles
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Waffles are here for the season!

Pumpkin waffles crisp and warm from my toaster oven… waiting for my maple syrup and candied nuts (inspired by the box top).

IMG_8599No pie spices, so you can sprinkle on your own. But they do pack a big pumpkin-y flavor.

I like these waffles, and would definitely buy this product again.

IMG_8600

The Boy came downstairs, however, and politely turned down these waffles and asked if he could instead destroy my kitchen make waffles from scratch. The Delicious Level of his creations are directly proportional to the Remaining Mess in the kitchen.

Looking For a Break, a Healthy Break- Please?

…because my family is three for three now, and it is really getting to be annoying.

“The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.”
GK Chesterton

The Husband and I were excited to attend Family Week and spend time with The Girl. It had been six weeks since we dropped her off at the university where she has chosen to spend the majority of her time (and our money, ouch!) for the next four years. The Boy came along, too, excited to see college life in full swing and eager to tell all who ask how much he doesn’t miss his sister, best friend, and general partner in crime. Liar.

Can we once, just once, set foot on this college campus without major illness?

First visit, norovirus hit our family- insulting as we weren’t even cooped up on a cruise. If I’m going to have The Cruise Ship Bug, can’t I at least get it on a luxury trip? Next visit was move-in day, and an anxiety attack hit one of us in a bad way. Now, six weeks later, we are visiting and The Girl is not recovering from a nasty cold as she thought but instead is cultivating a nice case of bronchitis. Family Weekend became Urgent Care Trip Weekend and Pharmacy Fun Day.

Who better than your mamma to spend the weekend with when you are away from home and quite ill?

And, it was awfully nice of her to share her creeping crud with her father.

💩💩💩 Essential Emojis for Communicating with Your Teen:

IMG_8022Are you annoyed with your teen for spending waaaaay too long in the bathroom?

Looking to elicit a laugh from the loo?

Share this with them the next time they text you from the throne, and maybe your teen might reply to you, too:

IMG_8038Bonus: see here, an actual text conversation from teen who received this very emoji and subsequently replied to her mother!!!