Alias Grace, Star Wars, and The Shape of Water

Family time on Christmas Eve; the matching pjs were a special delight! So many smiles!

Merry 3rd day of Christmas! There are actually 12 days of Christmas (and those 12 days don't begin until Christmas day), so we're just a quarter of the way through! Don't worry - the seasonal fun continues. Keep the holiday tunes playing! It's still Christmas. 

Justin and I have had a great last few weeks. We went on our honeymoon to Arizona from December 15 to 19. Phoenix for a day and Tucson for four. Loved it! I fell in love with cacti and will post more trip highlights and photos later this week. 

Jerry and Nancy, my wonderful in-laws, came up to Rochester a few days after we got back to return our doggie, Finn. It was so nice to have them in town! We all had lunch with my mom at Chester's and then visited her office. Then we checked out Karma Consignments and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. (As a brief and unrelated side note, if you ever order a "side" at Chesters in Rochester, be prepared for a GIGANTIC portion. I tend to order sides at restaurants instead of meals because I love sides - but never have I ever seen a pile of mashed potatoes that gigantic.) 

A couple days later my brother and sis-in-law came to Minnesota! We had Christmas fun, attended a beautiful Christmas Eve service at Rochester's First Unitarian Universalist Church, savored time together, and looked at Christmas lights. We also got to celebrate Sweta's 30th birthday a few days in advance. Finn joined us all for all the festivities, too!

J & I have also viewed some great tv/movies in recent weeks. I'll link to the Rotten Tomatoes review for each below. I use Rotten Tomatoes pretty regularly when discerning what's worth viewing. Alias Grace is a Netflix mini-series (6 parts) based on a true story from 1842ish. It was adapted into a historical fiction novel in 1996 by Margaret Atwood, and now it's a Netflix series. I really enjoyed it! Suspenseful - psychological thriller - great costuming and sets. And the lead actress is EXCELLENT! There have been several series I watched this year that were all great in different ways. Stranger Things, The Leftovers, and Alias Grace are all at the top of my television list!

For movies, we watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a family over the holiday in the theater. I really liked it. Too many action sequences, but overall, I found the story compelling and empowering! Resist! I will admit, I've only seen one other Star Wars movie (not even the originals 😐), and I watched the only one I have previous seen (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) just a day prior because Justin recommended it at pre-viewing material. I'm really glad I did watch because it made The Last Jedi much more engaging. 

One of the best and strangest movies I've seen this year is The Shape of Water. It's truly bizarre and wonderful (so now you've been warned about the bizarre part). I first learned about The Shape of Water because I saw that it's up for so many Critics Choice & Golden Globe awards. It's a combo platter of supernatural romance/purpose-finding/community-making, and it's set in the midst of the Cold War. I've never seen a movie like it, and days after viewing, I'm still thinking about it. It isn't a must-see in the actual theater; it would be just as enjoyable to view it at home, I think. 

Do you have any television/movie recommendations? 

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