Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Locally Owned and Operated

Born and raised in Springfield, it's always sad to see a local business close after providing years of service to the community.  Unfortunately this is all too common here in Illinois, especially the Capitol City.  We are not saying we don’t frequent chain stores or restaurants because we're all guilty of this.  But for us, supporting local businesses is not only about trying to help the local economy, it is also quite nostalgic.   

Our childhoods were spent running around town with Misty’s dad, who drove a city bus, or walking to the local convenient store for a soda and candy while Kendra’s mom taught piano lessons.  It wasn’t unusual for Chuck (Misty’s Dad) to make several stops at local grocers during the week.  His stops were usually Mr. B’s or Humphrey’s Market.  Humphrey’s Market is still in town in the same place and owned by the same family. For years, Misty’s annual family Thanksgiving ham has come from Humphrey’s. 

Before Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Doughnuts, a Saturday morning was spent going to Mel-O-Cream  getting their signature yellow and white box filled full of a dozen donuts, or eating a donut there, served on a brown tray with a carton of chocolate milk while the parents drank coffee from the shop’s plastic brown coffee cups. As we got older most of our time was spent in Recycled Records buying used CD’s or Penny Lane getting the latest T-shirt of our favorite band or a brightly colored poncho.  
They had the best deals on music! 

It’s the familiarity of places and as cliché as it sounds the friendly faces that make you continue going back to local businesses.  They are the ones that live in the community and truly care about their customers, who may just happen to be their neighbor or their friend.  For us these local businesses are doing a favor by keeping some favorite childhood memories relevant and alive.  

Gone but certainly not forgotten!
We would love to know your favorite local spots in Springfield. We'd love to expose their services and encourage new customers! Our list of locals is pretty large but we know there are many we haven't experienced yet! Please Comment below!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Heart and Soul of La La Land

Sorry for the tears...It was just THAT good! 
La La Land…where to start. 
The Heart:
I’m a fan of musicals but if you are one that says, “I hate musicals” then surprise, you will be thoroughly entertained with La La Land.  Yes, there’s music, a lot of it, BUT not every single spoken word is done musically.  There’s a lot of dialog so you will not be squirming in your seat for an hour and a half waiting for it to stop!

The Colors…ALL THE COLORS!!!!  I am a sucker for bright and happy and it was like OLD HOLLYWOOD and the early 60’s puked up all over 2016 and I LOVED IT! 

The actors…I enjoy the chemistry of Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia) and have always liked them as actors, but what pleased me most is that they aren’t these over the top, dynamic singers.  They can carry a tune, but it’s not some forced, Broadway performance and I think that was brilliant.  You just got lost in what was in the words of the music.  It was sweet and sad and everywhere in between and exactly the way it was meant to be.  Note, not to sell Gosling short (which wouldn’t even be possible, wink wink, and cue the wolf whistle here) he has amazing piano playing talent! No CG or hand doubles were required for filming, it was all him…all his amazing, fabulous, handsome, beautiful…oops, got lost in thought there, sorry! 

The Feels... Oh the feels! Do you follow your dreams?  Follow your heart?  Can you have both?  Without telling any part of the movie (I don’t mind spoilers, but I don’t want to do that to you readers) you feel every emotion of the characters and want it all for them. When we left the theater we didn’t know to laugh or cry, we just wanted to go back in line, buy another ticket and see it again.   

La La Land
The Soul: 

Have you ever had the feeling where your heart is lodged in your throat, tears welling up in your eyes, and the ability to breathe without gasping seems impossible? That’s exactly how I felt when I saw the words “The End” show up at the screening of La La Land. I haven’t had an experience do that to me in a long time, much less a movie.

But there it was, La La Land, in all of its projected glory. And I am going to try to explain the reason I felt as I did, without giving away any spoilers. So prepare yourselves. The movie began slow and steady for me. I was so excited to see it that the first twenty minutes sort of blurred and my mind was twenty different places at once.

I’d seen Ryan (Gosling) and Emma (Stone) work together before, so I was expecting another A+ performance, but this blew my expectations out of the water. I wasn’t just watching a story unfold, I was in the story. They were telling MY story, and every other dreamer’s story. And I don’t mean just the writers and the singers and the actors. They were telling the dreamer’s forgotten story.

The music, the magic, it was ALL there; the first look, the first ballad, the fingers intertwining in the dark theater. This modern fairytale creates a sense of acceptance and what-if at the same time. At one moment, I was ready to get up and dance and the next moment I was crying, glancing at Misty and wondering if she was doing the same thing. (and she was!)

Do yourself a favor and take time out of the busyness of the day and go see this movie. Become a dreamer again, even if it’s just for a day. Remember what it feels like to want to go after something you are completely afraid of. Because someday, you might be inside of a jazz club, listening to the piano softly play your dream anyway

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Expect and Aspire

It is certainly good to be back after a much needed break.  There’s nothing like a little vacation to get you feeling rejuvenated.  So many things have occurred in just the short time we have not been blogging.  Kendra has a new niece, the country has a new president, and sadly America lost another batch of great pop culture icons. I’m certain the beginning of 2017 was welcomed with open arms by many!

When a new year approaches, so does a list of resolutions that we will set up for ourselves, and for the majority, fail before the 31 days of January are even over with.  We stopped with the resolutions a long time ago because we realized we were just setting ourselves up. This year we decided to do a list of things expected for ourselves.  We would like to share a couple of our expectations and aspirations for 2017:

Kendra: I EXPECT to read the Bible completely through by the end of the year.  It’s not just my goal to say I was able to read through it, but to utilize it as a tool and have a better understanding of it, especially because of the world we live in today. 

Misty: I EXPECT to find a new church home.  It’s been a long time that Dave and I have called a church “home” but we truly miss it!  We haven’t lost our relationship with God but we miss the fellowship you find at church. 

Speaking of homes, we ASPIRE to gussie up our homes a little bit. 
Misty: To update the interior with new flooring, paint and light fixtures. 
Kendra: to give the exterior some sprucing up, such as new windows and siding.  If you are reading this and know of any good siding companies, flooring guys (or gals) painters, etc., feel free to leave their name in the comments! J

We EXPECT to make our health and the health of our families a priority:   Of course everyone sets out to lose weight and that is a benefit we want to receive from this but we want to get ourselves and our families off prescription medicines for Diabetes, Fibromyalgia and high blood pressure.   

And last but not least, We ASPIRE to be faithful to this blog for the 2017 year.  We want to be accountable in our writing efforts.  Most of all we want to entertain our awesome readers!  Hope you all aspire and achieve great things for yourselves this year! Have a blessed week!