June: All-Nighter

For this month’s #YearOfHappy, the challenge was to do something you always wanted to do as a kid.

Well, like every other month, I’m tweaking the rules. I decided to do something I used to do as a kid that I stopped doing when I became an adult.

I used to stay up all night with my friends during sleepovers just like any other kid. Of course, when I got older I couldn’t do that because I would have school the next day or work or church. There was always something.

Now that it’s summer vacation for me and I have no more school and work is done for a few months, I decided to stay up all night.

I love staying up throughout the night. I don’t know why, but there’s something lovely about being the only one awake in the house. It’s peaceful and I’m guaranteed privacy.

I thought of staying up to write and/or read all night, but then had a different idea.

Because Kris and I are geeks, we’ve always wanted to have a marathon of the three Lord of the Rings and three Hobbit movies. To watch all six in a row would take a little over 21 hours (this counts for the extended edition to all the movies except the latest one). We rounded up to 24 hours because we need to pause for bathroom, snacks, etc.

If we wanted to watch all six movies straight through right in a row, we would have to stay up all night. So that’s just what we did–or what we tried.

We started with the Hobbit movies to watch the story in chronological order. Plus, we’ve never seen The Battle of the Five Armies and we knew we’d cry. So we wanted to get that out of the way.

By the time we finished watching the first two Hobbit movies, it was about 1:30 in the morning. We decided to go to bed. Neither one of us were really tired, but wanted sole focus on the last movie since we’ve never seen it.

We woke up early the next morning and watched the last Hobbit movie and all three Lord of the Rings movies–which ended around one in the morning.

So, we didn’t stay up all night but we did stay pretty late for two nights in a row.

PuzzleWe worked on a Lion King puzzle while watching the movies so I think that was what kept us up. Plus, we bought snacks before we started the marathon. So we were eating plenty of chocolate and such.

I originally thought I would write or read all night long–be productive. Instead, I ended up spending two days not being productive.

It was nice, though. I’ve been on summer vacation for a week, but that was really the first time in a while that I didn’t have anything planned. It was nice to have plans to do nothing.

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May: Playlist

Music
Via Pinterest

 

The #YearOfHappy challenge for the month of May is to have a dance party by yourself or with others and then share your playlist.

My playlist is far too long. I listen to a lot of music and it’s a wide variety of genres, too. So I’m just going to share with what I’ve been into recently.

I’ve never been one for music; I’ve always enjoyed it, but I never fully understood it. I’ve been listening to a lot more instrumental music lately and because of that I’ve been getting a whole new appreciation for it; especially the instruments.

I’ve always wanted to play an instrument and now I want to more than ever because of people I’ve discovered on YouTube.

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but I found a guy named Smooth McGroove on YouTube. He does a cappella covers of video game music.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I do enjoy his cover of Cornered from the Ace Attorney games.

Through him I found a lot of other YouTubers who focus on video games (not necessarily singing) and it’s become a hobby of mine and Kris to watch check for new videos every day. We’re a little late, but we’re finally addicted to YouTube.

Then Kris discovered Taylor Davis. She’s a violinist who does covers of movies, tv shows, video games, you name it. She also has original songs which are fantastic.

Again, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but one song I absolutely love by her is Gerudo Valley from the Legend of Zelda video games.

Most recently, through Taylor Davis, Kris and I discovered a man named Peter Hollens. He also does a cappella. He does covers from pretty much anything; especially from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. He also does a lot of collabs with his wife, who is also a fabulous a cappella singer.

One of my favorites from Peter is his cover of I See Fire (originally by Ed Sheeran) from The Hobbit movie.

So, there you have it. My top three favorite singers at the moment. Sorry to throw so many links at you guys, but I thought that would be better than throwing a bunch of videos at you. This way you can go on YouTube and explore their channels yourself.

I highly encourage you to do so because they’re all so wonderful. You might discover something new, too. I certainly did.

April: My Creation

For this April’s #YearOfHappy project the goal was to create something. It could be anything whether it’s something that will stay forever, like a scrapbook or something that will only stay for a day, like a cake.

I was thinking about using one of my novels as my creation, but I talk about my books on here all the time. Plus, I write all the time, too. They’re special, but I wanted to do something different. Something I don’t normally do.

Well, I’ve always wanted to be good at drawing. Kris was born with that natural talent like some people are. She is very good at drawing and I’ve always envied that. I try to draw and I know the more you practice, the easier it will become. However, it’s not a big enough priority for me, so I never practice. I just stick to my writing.

We do like to go to Paint Nite, though. That’s where you go someplace and there’s an instructor that shows you step-by-step how to create a certain painting. You always think it’s going to look like crap, but it never does. With the proper tools and right help, anyone can be a painter. Yours always looks different from everyone else’s (including the original), but they’re all the same picture and all look beautiful.

I went to one with Kris and our friend a few months ago and we had a blast. We decided to go again and brought my other sister along since she’s never gone before.

Here is what the original painting looked like:

2015-04-13 18.54.57

That picture was taken at the Paint Nite with the painting on a high stand, so that’s why it’s kind of far away (I’m short) and baseball is on a TV in the background (we were at a sports bar for this event). This is called Sunset Swim.

The difficulty rating for this painting was easy which was a factor as to why we decided to do this particular one.

The background was easy; the sunset and the pinkish-purple water. The foreground is when I mess everything up. However, my mountains came out pretty good and did my ducks… they look like baby dinosaurs, but they’re still cute.

The ripples and waves… well, that’s where I had trouble. My painting still looks good (if I do say so myself), but I did re-name my painting from Sunset Swim to Sunset Party because the ripples came out looking like confetti.

Here’s mine:

2015-04-13 21.46.56

And there you have it. That’s my beautiful creation for April. I hope you all made something lovely at some point this month as well.

March: Inspiration Board

The March #YearOfHappy was to create an inspiration board. The idea was to create an actual board and hang it somewhere where you can look and admire it every day.

I’ll admit I cheated with this one.

I decided to use my virtual board, so to speak. I add things on there all the time, so why not share it with everyone here? It has everything on there that inspires me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have a board for it.

That’s right… I’m talking about my Pinterest.

I currently have 93 boards. All are things that inspire me. Here are just a few:

Writing (I have writing, research, vocabulary, names, editing, characters, and blogging)
Teaching (I have a general teaching board, plus many different units in their own individual boards, plus special education)
Sunday School
Reading (I even have a board for the books I’ve read)

Considering that I have 93 boards, that’s not even a dent. I have different video game boards like Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda as well as different movies (The Lord of the Rings) and TV shows (Once Upon A Time).

All 93 boards inspire me in more ways than one. If you don’t know me personally, you would just need to look at my Pinterest profile and you’ll get to know to me in an instant.

So, if you want to see the kinds of things I love then I suggest you check out my Pinterest profile.

I add to my boards all the time and I’m sure there will be more than 93 boards in time.