As the Skywalker saga comes to an end this year, it made me think of how Star Wars has effected me in my life.
It started as something I watched with my dad, who's been an avid fan from the beginning, and bond with him to something that means so much more to me than I thought.
A big factor in that development was the year I spent at Disneyland working in Tomorrowland in Star Trader surrounded by Star Wars merchandise, fans, lore, characters and people that genuinely loved this story. (I have a funny story about cast members that portrayed both Darth Maul and Darth Vader but another time!!)
I learned and "trained to be a Jedi Knight" as I helped younglings and Padawans build lightsabers and tell them stories of the Jedi before them that had the same color saber or answered questions they had about various characters. It was truly then I think that I realized how much Star Wars meant to people and how magical it could be and it changed me too.
Yesterday I watched as "the circle [was] now complete[d]" and it left me in tears. Our beloved Rebel Princess and Resistance General Carrie Fisher left us too soon but the way they paid tribute to her is worthy of everything she built.
"A thousand generations of Jedi now live in you. The Force will be with you.....Always" Watching Rey, Poe, Finn, and the Resistance fight against the First Order against all odds is something to wonder and respect. The story completes in a perfect way and I truly hope all fans can come together after this and rejoice in the amazing 40 year journey we've all taken together.
J.J. Abrams promised to surprise us, and that he did. Be sure you're paying attention to details and see some of the subtle tributes he pays to the fans. Music cues also pay tribute to Jedi, Sith, and stories past which helped enhance the experience.
As for kids, I won't be taking my kids to see this in the theater ONLY BECAUSE there are some older themes that I know my 7 and 5 year old will need explained and a theater is not the place to do that hahahaha So when it comes out we will do a big movie night so we can pause and answer questions as needed
As you go out and watch this conclusion, remember #MayTheShushBeWithYou as Mark Hamill himself posted on his Instagram. Let all enjoy this final chapter.
May The Force Be With You
"...thinking you could defeat me, ME the Mistress of all Evil!"
One of the best lines in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty has now become the title for the sequel all about our favorite horned "wicked" fairy.
This movie follows the first in both style and character development. Maleficent and Aurora have a strong bond that will be tested by attempting to join families with Prince Phillip's parents over their much anticipated union. The King wants peace and unity, the Queen may be hiding some devious plans. What will happen when the worlds collide?
Angelina Jolie once described Maleficent as a "delicious" character to play, and she delivers a performance that makes you sympathize with (and dare I say, humanize?) this feared fairy. Michelle Pfeiffer shines as Jolie's foil and enemy. These two powerhouse women steal the show and leave you wanting more. Chiwetel Ejioforis a great addition to this cast and his character, Conall helps us learn more about Maleficent's origins which she herself doesn't fully understand or know. There is humor mixed in at all the good times for it and the music is stellar!
As for those little ones seeing this movie: I, personally, will let my kids see it once it's out for purchase so I can pause and explain things as we go. There is a lot of intensity in this movie and emotional hardships that might be too difficult for some to understand. There is a large battle at the end of the movie (this isn't a spoiler, y'all have seen Pfeiffer/Jolie in their battle armor in previews) and it's quite long and many heavy things happen as they do in wars. I would be cautious and see it first for any young kids but I think age 9+ would do just fine.
See Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in theatres this Friday October 18th!!
I will try to control myself to NOT burst out in "Arabian Nights" as I write this because believe me,
it's a very strong temptation! Last night I went with my mom to a screening of Aladdin.
I'll be honest. I walked into this with zero expectations because I LOVE the animated version of this movie so much I was skeptical.
Guys I was blown away by how good it was! It was its own movie. They weren't trying to make it completely the same way, they made it their own! I loved it.
The MUSIC! Let's talk about this for a minute. The music is INCREDIBLE! Naomi Scott was my biggest surprise of the entire thing, her voice is amazing, her portrayal of Jasmine just made me so happy.
We already knew that Jasmine was "NOT a prize to be won", and Naomi portrays her with such grace and power that I was happily stunned by.
The dancing! They combined Bollywood with hip hop and I DIED! IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOD! It's amazing to see different cultures meld into one beautiful interpretation of events.
On that note, let's mention how AMAZING it is to see actors that are actually FROM the culture being represented!? This casting was done incredibly, including Will Smith. A few naysayers have mentioned that he doesn't fit this or that mold, or belong in the cast because he himself is not of the same culture. Um guys, he plays THE GENIE. The BLUE Genie for crying out loud! He belongs just fine.
I fell in love with this movie and 100% recommend it for kids and adults alike ;) It's super fun and very entertaining, and you'll be singing "Friend Like Me" for days!
"How many did you see?"
"How many did we win?"
After the MCU devastaed us with Avengers: Inifinity War - Thanos won. For the first time, our beloved heroes lost. Utterly and without closure, the time has come to settle the score for as Tony Stark said from the beginning "Earth's Mightiest Heroes..... If we can't protect the Earth, you can be damned sure we'll avenge it."
This movie is long. 3 hours and 2 minutes to be exact. Altough I'd say it's more like 3 hours and 10 minutes to include the first part of the credits. And trust me when I say, it doesn't ever give you a break. It starts without warning or even a recap. Just BAM! So use the bathroom before, maybe skip the drink and popcorn, and just enjoy the show.
I enjoyed everything about this movie. Everything. I walked out and immediately wanted to go back and watch it again. It's not just the story I will go back for either. The way it was filmed, the MUSIC!!!, everything spectacular we've come to expect from a Marvel movie were all there and then some.
Movies you NEED to have seen before seeing Endgame: Avengers Infinity War. That's it. Captain Marvel is a good idea to see just so you can know who she is and what she can do but it isn't essential while Inifinity War is most definitely. They don't have the luxury of recapping the last movie before delving into this one so you've been warned!
If you're thinking of taking your kids to see this I have a slight word of caution: unless they've seen Inifinity War, and survived watching that, I'd wait a bit before they see this. There's nothing bad in the way of bad words or sexual innuendos but it IS intense and doesn't let up really at all. And there is, considerably, a lot of fighting.
My own kids won't be seeing either of these until they're a little bit older only becasue they're not emotionally mature enough to handle them yet. Will they avenge the world like they've promised: "Whatever it takes."? Go see it in theaters starting April 26th and find out!
(and then talk to me cuz I'm DYING to talk to people about it!!!)
Vanellope and Ralph are BACK!! I'm so excited that this movie is coming out!! I won't lie, I was a little nervous about this one! We all loved the first one so much, would this live up to the original? Would it meet expectations?
IT TOTALLY DOES!
The amount of intricate details in the movie are incredible! So many little things that you find just as you sit there, some you catch instantly, others you may miss the first time. The animation is just as amazing this time around. Watching Ralph go through the router to the internet was hilarious!
New characters are here and they make the movie even richer with their quirky personalities! Shank (played by Gal Gadot) is my personal favorite of the new characters. Yesssss (played by Taraji P. Henson) is the hype girl we all need in our lives hahaha
When I initially saw the trailer that included all of the princesses (and Queen Elsa - let's give her her right title y'all!) I was so excited to see what they would do! The way they are incorporated was seamless and hilarious.
I'm so happy we got a second movie so quickly and it lived up to the first in terms of originality and storytelling! Definitely take your kids this Thanksgiving to see it, you won't regret it!
So y'all know I love Star Wars. It's in my blood man!
The classic characters have always kept me interested and I've grown up knowing them. So when Disney announced they were doing Solo: An Origin Story...
Guys I love Disney, I love Star Wars. But this for some reason just felt wrong to do.
And as time went on and I saw trailers or promos for the movie, I still didn't get excited.
Then I saw it.
Now, for me, this wasn't as good as Rogue One. I liked it though. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I did like it!
It's got some humor that's a bit off color so might not want to take younger star pilots to see it. BUT if they can handle Guardians of the Galaxy, they can handle this movie as well.
The cast did an amazing job portraying the characters as we already know and love them while still being able to put their own spin on them. Donald Glover is pretty spot on with Lando and Alden Ehrenreich as Han is truly fun to watch.
I left the theater happy to have seen how my favorite "scruffy-lookin nerfherder" started out before he meets Luke and Obi Wan. I look forward to a few more of these stories!
10 years. 18 movies. (Phase 1 Phase 2) Heroes have been made, measured, tested, mourned, failed, redeemed, and have saved us from disaster.
All of it leads up to this encounter with the feared and mysterious Thanos. A Titan with a majorly twisted outlook on life. We know he's been searching for the Infinity Stones and now we'll see what happens if he gets them.
Earth's Mightiest Heroes (and "friends") have been sighted, but can they save us this time?
This movie is incredible. The way it's written, shot, scored is going to become stuff of legend. The actors have really outdone themselves in these roles. We've grown with them and now to see them in what seems to be the ultimate climax of this movie universe is something to behold. Just Thor by himself has had the biggest change in just one movie (if you haven't already, see Thor: Ragnarok BEFORE you see Avengers)
The music is literally perfect. The first thing I said to Andrew (after "Holy CRAP!") was how amazing the music was! We all know that music makes the movie, and this was no exception.
The cast is fantastic! We see much beloved characters as well as a few newer faces and they are all an integral part of everything. As worlds collide and our heroes start meeting face to face it's quite the adventure and hilarity of course ensues. I want to write so much, but honestly anything more would ruin it for the rest of you. If you need/want a buddy to go see it with you, call me first because I will see this one over and over again without any issue.
As for my kids, I won't be taking them to see it in theaters for sure, and honestly I may wait until they are older for them to watch it. It is intense. And if your kids didn't care for Guardians of the Galaxy,
then this is most assuredly not for them. I definitely suggest keeping the PG-13 rating in mind but also use your own judgment of course with your own kids.
One thing is for sure: this movie will change everything and hold onto your seats, this will be a bumpy and thrilling ride of a lifetime!
I swear 2017 just flew by! SO here's our year in review! (I love doing these so I can see how far we've come in a year!)
The girls got their new-to-them bunkbeds and they have LOVED sleeping in them ever since! I talked more in depth about my PPD/PPA and how it's changed/developed in the last 2 years.
I tried to get a handle on our house and the clutter which helped my mental health so much! And we made our master bedroom a little more homey. I still need to fill those empty spots haha
I was given a Canon T3i from my brother and so I just started taking pictures of everything hahaha My Canon Rebel had died and I was in mourning and he took pity on me especially since he never used the camera anyways hahaha I also became a Dating Divas affiliate
This was a big month for us since Aunt Haley got married!! It was a fun and crazy day with quite a good story to go with it. We love Jason and the girls have taken to him. We also got some family pictures taken before the wedding so that I had some of the girls in their adorable dresses we bought for the wedding. Rory had a farm field trip for preschool and Jade got to join too! Yes that's Jade milking a cow hahaha she loved it!
Alyx came to visit and she "forced me" into doing a boudoir session with her while she was here
and it was incredible and a HUGE self esteem booster for me! I attended my first LDS Blogger event which was amazing and funI enjoyed a nice simple Mother's Day and Rory finished her first (and only) year of preschool. I shed many tears realizing she would be off to kindergarten soon
but I had to wait an entire 2 months until then hahaha
Andrew and Rory each celebrated a birthday, Andrew (28) and Rory (5) and we went to Costco for Andrew's and then took Rory school supply shopping for hers. I took a leap and dyed my hair teal. This was something I have always wanted to do but it took some serious self-esteem boosting to actually DO IT. It also helps when your best friend is a complete enabler and has a wonderful husband that flies you out for a girls weekend! Thankfully Alyx was willing to destroy an extra shirt for the teal hair cause! Plus who doesn't love freezing in Pacifica CA when it's over 100* back in AZ?!
We took a trip to South Carolina to visit Andrew's uncle (whom we affectionately call "Unkie") and aunt and the girls had a blast! We went over 4th of July so we did a HUGE display of fireworks in their front yard and thanks to their quick thinking of ear protection the girls weren't freaked out by it. And the biggest thing that happened was Rory starting school!! This has been a game changer for us because Rory and I enjoy our time together but we flourish with time apart. Plus she loves school and her teacher and she's just blossoming.
We threw my mom an epic Harry Potter Birthday Party for her 50th! I found the most amazing salon in Queen Creek where I was able to get my hair to be the shade I was dreaming of! Jade turned 3 and we took her to Build a Bear and had her binki put inside the unicorn she picked! It was a rough transition for about 2 nights and then she was over it thank goodness.
We took our big family Disneyland trip! It was such a fun time and we loved it all! We especially loved seeing the Bowlers cuz it had been years since Andrew and I had seen my aunt and uncle and 2 of their kids. (They had 2 more kids since the last time we saw them hahaha) I also discovered this amazing store in Gilbert called Rod Works and I fell in love with that clock and the measuring conversions chart and HAD to buy them for my kitchen gallery wall! I mean they fit perfectly don't they?!
October was FULL! Alyx came to visit again and this time, she brought the whole family! We realized that she and I have travelled to visit each other BUT our families had never actually met in person! So the guys had a blast with the kiddos while Alyx and I handled some photography sessions (I was assisting, NOT taking!!). We had a fantastic time playing with all the kids and we can't wait til we can do another fun trip altogether! I talked about the positive part of social media and the amazing friends I have found. I celebrated my 29th birthday (Golden Birthday even!) and we hosted Halloween again and the women folk stayed to hand out candy while the amazing, wonderful, dedicated, lovely fathers took the children around the neighborhood!
I'm one of those that puts up Christmas as soon as Halloween is over. It's just who I am. The girls love it though and the magic of the whole season starts. My mom and I were able to go to Time Out for Women in Phoenix. I was part of the volunteer staff at the event and it's an experience I'm not likely to forget. I put a video up here for you that describes my experience as I told it on Instagram Stories (which, if you don't already follow me you really should hahaha more things happen on IG than here on the blog!) It was a very spiritual and fun thing to do and I hope I can do it again this coming year! Rory had her Primary program right before Thanksgiving, and we had Pie Night (which is a Wilson family tradition the Saturday before Thanksgiving, to have as much pie as you want so you don't feel jipped on actual Thanksgiving when you're too full from the other awesome food). Andrew and I were able to go do sealings at the Mesa Temple after Thanksgiving AND I had my first paid photography sessions, WHAT! I made Andrew pose for me a bit so I could get my settings right, he's so handsome!
When is this month ever NOT busy!? We celebrated 7 years of marriage, saw Star Wars before it came out **which was a HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE honor to me** Stacy and I then took our girls to see it too cuz we're good moms like that haha Rory had her first school Christmas concert, which was just as cute as it sounds!! And I stole Stacy for a nice night out to hear Jason Lyle Black at his final Christmas concert for the year! It was amazing and Stacy really got him fooled on her "Jingle Bell Rock - Super Mario Style" song request! It was epic! Whew! That was a lot right at the end of the year there hahaha
How did your 2017 measure up??
And who's ready for a new year!?
"Something inside of me has always been there,
and now it's awake"
I am of course talking about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You all know how much of a Star Wars fan I am, and how strong the Force is in my family. Or if you need reminding:
I have 6 lightsabers in my house: one for each family member and I, personally, have 2 heehee (it's only right considering I'm a Certified Jedi Knight after all) I've passed down the knowledge of the Force to my younglings and they seem to take it in stride and outdo me hahaha
Andrew and I got to go see Last Jedi this week before it released, which first off IS SO STINKING COOL! As we watched it, I couldn't help but wish we'd been able to bring the kids with us. We knew how much they'd love to see it! We'll just take them on a family date night sometime to see it.
The Last Jedi was so well written! Andrew and I kept quoting things or remarking on how well Rian Johnson spun his tale and kept so many of the best elements of Star Wars whilst adding more depth and complexities to these new characters. The relationships in this movie are just incredible. The effects are seamless. I mean really, if I didn't know they were special effects I wouldn't have known. They looked natural and made the First Order all that more formidable. The new planets we visited and got to know better were just stunning. At one point I leaned over to Andrew and said "Isn't this just so pretty!?" The cinematography was spectacular and I enjoyed seeing all of the new and wondrous things we hadn't seen in the galaxy yet.
The music! Oh my heart the music! John Wiliams strikes again with his genius and mastery of sound! Andrew really enjoyed the use of NO SOUND in a few places and felt it added to the overall feel of the film.
Daisy Ridley shines in the film and as I watched it, it made me want to just jump up and follow whatever my heart said I needed to do! I cried more than a few tears to see my favorite princess-turned-General Leia Organa on screen for probably the last time. Her character has developed such depth and she's stronger than ever, broke my heart to know that we won't see her again.
The new characters of Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) were amazing! It felt like they had always been part of this story. Dern's characters shines as she finds her place among the Resistance, and Rose makes the perfect teammate for Finn as they go on their mission.
I will say one thing I LOVED about this movie: They put strong, powerful women at the front! AND Rian wrote that BEFORE all of the Hollywood drama surfaced! This just proved to me that there are good men out there that understand the power that women have AND how much young girls NEED to see powerful women as lead roles in movies. As our heroes strive to find the balance needed to fight the First Order, and Rey struggles to know "[her] place in all this" we go on an amazing
adventure worthy of the Jedi and Sith of the past.
Guys I just realized I never blogged about our latest Disneyland trip! WHAT?!?!?!?! Who even am I now? Don't worry, it is now fixed!!
We had so much fun but I will admit that the weather was a real downer when we went. It was randomly super nasty humid, we were all sweaty before we even got on the tram people!
BUT it was a lot of fun hanging out with our little family, my family and even part of my extended Bowler family!
One super highlight of the trip was Rory deciding she wanted to do Jedi Training! I was one super proud mama!! When they initially said who was gonna fight whom, she was in the line to fight The Seventh Sister (from Star Wars Rebels) but halfway through the lines, Darth Vader came down so she got to fight the ultimate Sith Lord! When she saw him walking down her eyes got so big! But she went up to him and fought him so well! I definitely teared up a bunch cuz yeah, I'm THAT Star Wars mom hahaha
Immediately after that, Jade begged me for a lightsaber like her sisters, so she and I went and built her a lightsaber that lights up and makes noise! Yeah, I only a little regret anything hahaha
We were exhausted by about 7 each night so we would go home a little early but get to bed and get to decompress a little.
CAFE ORLEANS will probably always be my favorite hahaha can't beat that Monte Cristo sammich friends. The Grey Stuff from Red Rose Taverne is ALLLL of the heart eye emojis! Redd's Apple Freeze in DCA is amazing! (honestly, I love the regular frozen apple juice too, but holy cow!)
This trip was one for the books and we loved it so much!! I'm already planning the next trip whenever we can go again haha Jade wants to do Jedi Training now too and Rory's begging to do it again so that's a definite must for any kid that likes Star Wars! Rory'd been begging to go back on Big Thunder Railroad which is now her favorite ride just like her Daddy.
So who's up for sponsoring another trip for me?? ;)
Here you will find love, magic, bookworm favorites, Disney tips, and a family on their journey to Happy Ever After!