Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lifetime Movies are the Best! Nope. WORST.

First of all, let me lay out my current situation for you:

  • This week is spring break. Usually for spring break I am going somewhere with my cell group on a mission trip. This year, I am 34 weeks pregnant, so I couldn't go on any of the great trips that Fellowship offers. Not only are my girls in Guatemala serving at an orphanage (which sounds incredible and I am very jealous), but Garland is in Memphis, and most of my friends are with students in either Mexico, Belize, Memphis or Guatemala. And if they're not there, they have gone some place fun for a beach vacation.
  • It is raining and will possibly flash flood all week.
  • We have very little activity at work because our main clientele are 15-24 and are on Spring Break.
  • My internet at home decided to stop working and Cox sucks and can't get anyone to my house til midweek.
  • I have watched all the good stuff on my DVR and I'm tired of reading.
  • Did I mention it's my birthday week?
  • Yes, I am whining and it's really not that bad.
However, all of these factors together have produced the PERFECT STORM. This means that I am getting sucked into Lifetime Movie Network just for something to do. How is it that Lifetime movies are so awesomely terrible? They are literally the worst movies ever made, but I can watch them for free and somehow the ridiculous plots (while 100% predictable) keep me from changing the channel and before I know it, I have just wasted two hours of my life.  In case you are still confused, here is the Urban Dictionary definition:

Lifetime Movie
Misandristic propaganda potboiler films aimed at teaching women that all men are abusive rapists.

The protagonist usually is a female who wishes to escape from her drunken husband or a young adult who is kidnapped and raped.

There are many different lifetime movies, but all have a the same plot.
Person 1: Would you like to watch a lifetime movie?
Person 2: No, I have much better things to do.
So in honor of this absolutely terrible tv, I would like to showcase what I believe to be some of the worst BEST made for tv movies Lifetime has to offer:
1) Imaginary Playmate: Beautiful single woman marries mysterious, hunky widower with adorable daughter. Daughter begins playing with an "imaginary friend" who turns out to be her dead mother who turns out to be capable of killing from beyond the grave. (Plausible.) Unsure what actually happens in the plot, but somehow the husband dies and the step-mother/daughter combo live out their days loving life (but still being haunted by dead bio mom? nobody knows).
2) Baby Monitor: Sound of Fear: Corporate business lady hates the idea of staying at home with her baby and hires a hot blonde to be her nanny even though her husband prefers a woman who raises the children (what will happen?!). SHOCKER: husband and nanny begin a secret relationship and THE NANNY GETS PREGNANT. Business lady wife finds out and hires hitmen to kill nanny but they enter the wrong apartment and the nanny is on the run! Sidenote: There is not really a baby monitor involved and the title is irrelevant.
3) A Face to Kill for: Horse trainer Allison has an (unexplained?) disfigured face, and as if this is not unfortunate enough, her husband frames her for murder. Horse trainer is sent to prison where she becomes empowered and learns to fight (YEA!), which leads to her face being even more disfigured, but who cares! Because when Allison gets out she gets her plastic surgery on and of course becomes BEAUTIFUL just in time to exact revenge on her ex-hubby and his new wife. Spoiler: horses are the best part of the movie.
4) A Face to Die for: Sequel to A Face to Kill for? No. Completely unrelated. Another unexplained disfigured woman is caught helping some friends rob her old guy employer and also goes to prison. When she gets out she meets her knight in shining armor, a plastic surgeon who invites her to live with him (??) while recovering from the free plastic surgery he gave her as part of his prison outreach program (again, ???). Unfortunately for the ex-con, he remakes her face to look just like his dead wife and it becomes a weird obsession. This is all seemingly not a big deal, she moves out and spends the last 15 minutes of the movie exacting revenge on bad guys.
5) My Stepson, My Lover: Absolutely nothing like the title. Exactly like the title. Nice nurse marries horribly mean, mustached man after an extremely short courtship (but who hasn't made this mistake, really). Mean husband is the worst person to ever live and his only redeeming quality is that he produced a ruggedly handsome son, who, surprisingly, falls in love with his step-mother and they begin a torrid love affair. Nurse finally works up the courage to leave the mustache man who is then killed by rugged stepson to set Nursey free. Rugged stepson is so distraught at her disgust of him that he throws himself off a cliff and the movie ends with Nursey inheriting Mustached Man's millions plus a paraplegic stepson. WHEW! I am exhausted just from recapping. 
6) Maternal Insticts: Tracey is dying and her final wish is to have a baby? It is perfectly selfless to wish to have a baby grow in your cancer infected body only to leave it alone in the world once you die. While trying to remove the cancer her husband and and the doctor realize that she will be cancer free if they just give her a hysterectomy (scientifically valid), which unfortunately leads to Tracey's mental unhinge as she plots to murder her husband and exact revenge on her pregnant doctor. Hey Tracey, ever heard of Africa? It's called adoption, get on board. 
7) Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer? The Bambi Bembenek Story: I did not make up that name. Laurie, aka, "Bambi," worked on the force until she was fired for being a hottie in a calendar. In the midst of suing said force for wrongful termination, Bambi meets and marries another police officer who's ex-wife then ends up dead. YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO GETS BLAMED!! Bambi is convicted of murder and heads to prison (post-divorce), where she (of course) falls in love with/becomes engaged to a man who comes to visit another prisoner. Movie ends with the tagline "Run, Bambi, Run!" as she escapes prison and flees to Canada...

So if you have free time this week and want to check out a fantastic movie, flip to your local Lifetime channel (or if you're really special, Lifetime Movie Network), and try to catch one of these bad boys. BONUS: You can watch Lifetime movies on their website! (we all cheer together)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nursery Alphabet Project

I've been getting a lot of questions about the alphabet letters I did for Titus' nursery. So here's the overview, it was sincerely a very easy project! Here was my original inspiration: 
I liked the general idea, but I definitely didn't want to use primary colors. I went to Etsy to locate some alphabet letters and found a set for cheaper than I could have bought them individually at Hobby Lobby. However, if the wood work at Hobby Lobby went on sale and you don't mind their limited style options, it could be cheaper then buying a set like this, which I got for $75:
These are not small letters, they range from 5 inches to 12 inches in height (much bigger than Hobby Lobby) and take up an area of 4 ft x 7 ft of space on the nursery wall.

 Here are the spray paints I either had or bought for this project (I ended up not using the cream or light brown):

 First I laid out all the letters on cardboard in my yard. If you lay them flat on the grass you will end up with grass streaks in the paint. Avoid!

 I primed the letters first, which probably helped the second layer of paint stand out brighter, but in retrospect it was probably not necessary.

 Then I laid out the primed letters in a general formation of how I thought I might put them up on the wall so I could decide which letters to paint each color.

 I am pretty OCD so I actually created a note on my phone to separate the letters into colors. Ha! This way I could make sure I had spread them out.

Spray all the letters and let dry for at least one hour but no more than 48 hours.

 Okay, here's the important part: Make sure that whatever brand of crackle paint you use (I used Valspar via Hobby Lobby) that you use the same brand of primary paint. For the orange and blue I used Valspar but I used Krylon for the brown, so when I applied the crackle paint it barely did anything to the brown letters (as seen below). I ended up having to repaint all the brown ones in Valspar paint and then re-crackle paint them.

 The more layers of crackle paint you apply the more it cracks. It seems weird at first, because the cream paint filled in the lines and I thought I screwed up, but sure enough, they cracked even deeper and wider than before.
Here is what a good crackle looks like (the colors shine through brighter in person, all these pics are via my iphone)

 I don't have a picture for this step, but once the letters were all dry and crackled I used sand paper to rough up the edges and create some streaks on the letters to give them a worn look.

Then I bought craft sticky tape (two sided, thick tape meant for hanging light items) and made sure to be generous in sticking plenty to the back of each letter (don't want any letters falling onto his head in the middle of the night!).

Finished product! 

Final Thoughts:
1) It took me about 3 hours to do all of the painting, but it probably would have been much closer to 2 if I hadn't primed and didn't have to redo the brown letters.
2) I really liked the touch that sandpapering the letters added.
3) I put the sticky tape on and then let them sit over night before putting them up just to make sure they were firmly adhered to the letters (I didn't want the tape to just stick to the wall and the letters fall off).
4) Have a friend help you put them up, I had to rearrange a couple of my letters because I kept getting off my chair and seeing if they looked right from a distance.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Respectful Wife

Lately I have been listening to Pastor Mark Driscoll's Real Marriage series and finding it very convicting. Driscoll is notorious for being extremely straight forward and not tiptoeing around topics that deal with hard biblical truths (I happen to really like this about him). There is one podcast in particular, The Respectful Wife, that was delivered by Driscoll but mostly written by his wife Grace, and it has left me really convicted lately.

I think that sometimes I have been mistaking respecting Garland as a person with respecting him as my husband. I really, truly look up to my husband as a man; I think he strives to be more like Christ in everything he does, is always willing to pour into other believers and students, he is constantly studying and growing in the word and his personal walk, and he's one of the most steadfast, faithful Christians I've ever met. But I'm coming to the realization that I can 100% respect him as a man without always respecting him as my spouse, which is not an easy truth to swallow.

So what's the difference? Here are some questions from Grace to give us a better idea of how you can tell if you are being a respectful wife:

  • Do I "notice, regard, honor, prefer, defer to, encourage, love, and admire" my husband?
  • Do I have a heart of respect for my husband?
    • Do I think he's competent?
    • Do I think positive thoughts about him instead of focusing on his flaws?
  • What do I say about my husband?
    • Do I tear him down in front of other people?
    • Do I wait to disagree with him until a time when I can do so respectfully and privately?
Some of these things I do pretty well on. Rarely do I dwell on Garland's mistakes in my heart; within my mind he is really is the best guy that has ever existed. I definitely defer to him for judgement on family matters and respect his final opinion. I know that he loves and respects me enough that no decision will ever be made that I'm uncomfortable with or without speaking to me about it first. I love, admire, and encourage Garland, sometimes to the point of embarrassing him because he hates receiving compliments (ha!).

But there are some things that I know I am definitely not so great at. I know that because we flirt by teasing each other it sometimes seems like I think everything he does is silly. Don't get me wrong, he does do a lot of ridiculous things, but if I'm not balancing out our joking with public encouragement then it just comes across as mockery. I never want anyone to think I find my husband incompetent because I truly do think he is one of the wisest men I know.
I am also not great at holding my tongue in front of other people. If a topic comes up that is a "button pusher" and brings up anger or resentment or frustration in me, I really struggle to table my thoughts and comments until I can talk to him in private. Especially since I love a good debate, this is very difficult for me. What starts as an innocent discussion can quickly morph into a heated argument without me even stopping to think if this presents Garland and I as a team or not. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying that wives should never disagree or lovingly joke with their husbands. I'm just saying I know that the way I communicate that sometimes can be hateful instead of playful.

I confessed all of this to Garland after listening to the podcast and asked him to help me be accountable for being a respectful wife, even in front of others. Unfortunately, he's had to lovingly remind me a couple of times (always in public, of course, that is my respect weakness), and I had to bite my tongue. And even as I sat there feeling convicted/embarrassed of my poor behavior, I could still hear my flesh telling me, "Be upset! You have the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want! Don't let him stop you from "being yourself." ' Ugh, that is some sick-nasty selfishness, pure and simple.

So if you are like me and struggle with being a respectful wife, here are some great tips from Grace Driscoll on how to grow in this area:
  1. Talk to your husband about what it looks like to be respectful and ask him to honestly assess your ability to respect him. Ask him to lovingly hold you accountable.
  2. Pray for your husband constantly. If there is disrespect in your head there will be disrespect in your heart which will come out in your speech. If your thoughts are constantly prayerful toward him then they won't be able to reach the ugly place.
  3. Keep a journal of all the things you notice and love about your husband. As you write them down, pray and thank the Lord for giving you your husband. 
  4. Share some of these things you love about your husband with him as an easy way to encourage him. --Garland and I do this by writing notes on each other's bathroom mirrors with a dry erase marker (sticky notes work well too!)
  5. Build him up in front of others. No matter what, people should always recognize you as your husband's #1 fan and see you as a joint team, as one.
  6. Instead of continuously nagging him about fixing a bad habit or something he needs to work on, pray that God will change his heart. Your complaining can't even begin to compete with the wrath of the Holy Spirit on a believer's conscience. 

Ephesians 5:33- "Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."