Blogmas |Rock Band Upon Wings Releases New Christmas Cover “O Holy Night”!

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Honestly, I wasn’t going to have a blog post for today, because all of my other ideas really take a lot of my time and even though there are essentially three days that I can write everything up, I just didn’t want to rush into anything, but then I saw a tweet that saved the day!

If you have been reading my blog for the last two years, you know how much I love the band Upon Wings. The lead singer, Anne and I have been talking to each other for the last two years now, and she knows how much I love the band’s music. She’s even written a couple of pieces on here in the past! Unfortunately, they haven’t been releasing anything new, but since last Christmas, they’ve sort of started a trend for the festive season. For this Christmas, they’ve decided to do “O Holy Night” and I am going to listen to it for the first time and review it for you.

I’d like to point out that “O Holy Night” is one of my favorites. I am quite picky when it comes to Christmas carols and hymns, so I was a bit hesitant when it came to listen to this. I think I became a fan of the song after I watched Home Alone as a kid, which I’ll let you on a secret. The scene where Kevin goes into the church and listens to the choir sing that exact song is the main reason why I wanted to join choir in school. However, I don’t remember actually performing the song ever…

The beginning of this is so charming and light, as it was mostly Anne’s voice with an acoustic guitar. Once you get towards the chorus, the sound does expand but it doesn’t necessarily stay that way all the way throughout the track. It includes a really nice guitar solo and since I have lost my love of solos in the rock world (yeah, I know!) it was a nice surprise for me. I do believe the main reason why I enjoyed it is because it was just simple. It wasn’t full of thrills and obnoxious.

For me, it was really nice to hear Anne’s beautiful voice again. Even though, I listen to their “You’re My Weapon” every other month, I do miss their music. However, I know they have other responsibilities outside the band so I will be patient like always, but if you are in need of a sweet little tune, this cover might be up your alley! Enjoy.

Have you listened to “O Holy Night” by Upon Wings yet? What were your thoughts about it? 

snowflake

Blogmas | Favorite Christmas Short Films

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Howdy!

I have talked about how I am going very non-traditional this Christmas, with my tree and how I choose to decorate it, but when it comes to the holiday as a whole I have my ultimate favorites that I look forward to doing like baking sugar cookies and putting lots of frosting and sprinkles on the tops of them with my sister and brother-in-law. Hopefully this year, Mr. Nolan can join us as we create a fairly large mess in the kitchen–I can’t wait to see my mom’s face for that!

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YouTube isn’t just about influencers/creators and live sports – although they are both nice to watch every day of the week, I actually like finding things from my childhood on there. I have watched a lot of movies that I hadn’t seen since I was seven or nine years old. Unfortunately, there are some channels that have been taken off because of violating copyright policies, but I wouldn’t let that make you sad because I’ve also found there is always another one in the depths of the site waiting for you to find it!

I’ve already shared on my Instagram stories who I am watching on YouTube, but I have yet to share with you what makes me feel so festive and ready for Christmas. Well, technically I wrote a blog post about it back in 2011 or 2012, but I thought it was time to redo it and give you individual links to each one so maybe you can check them out too with your family!

I am actually fairly picky when it comes to the oldie Christmas shorts, the only ever modern film that I love is Olaf’s Frozen Adventure that came out in 2017! The ones that I will be discussing today all came out in the early 1930’s! The story behind them is a bit of a blur, because I still have no clue who had them on TV but my gut always brings me back to Turner Movies Classic, considering the date they were all released! However, they also could have been recorded on a VHS for when my mom and her siblings were little, and my grandparents let us watch it. Both of these stories are very likely, it’s just the matter of figuring it out which one is right!

Here are the four Christmas short films I love:

Somewhere In DreamLand (1936)

I know this isn’t directed towards the holiday season, but the first time I watched it was for Christmas.

This follows a pair of siblings, brother and sister, and they are shown collecting chunks of wood laying on the street. As they drag a very heavy wagon of wood back home, they come across a selection of shops that specialize in every child’s dream: sweets. Unfortunately, they are very poor and cannot afford to have anything, but once they arrive home and climb into bed for the night, they dream about all of the candy and ice cream their little hearts desire and when they wake up the next day, they are welcomed by a beautiful surprise.

The setting for this cartoon is during the Great Depression, which makes a lot of sense for both the plot and the year the film came out as well. In 1936, we haven’t established our decision on joining our allies in World War II yet, but we are slowly making our way out of that time in history. You do get a sense of what families were going through during this time though, because the mother of the children, looks very worn down and when the kids ask for more food, she breaks down and sobs into her apron. I can’t imagine the pain everybody went through during this time, and then on top of that I remember that it happened again in 2008 – the dates might’ve changed but the pain stays the same.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year (1936)

This is incredible little tale about these very poor orphans that are celebrating Christmas. They each get out of bed and run out to their living area where they have a sad tree with some dirty socks hanging above the fire place. The children grab and play with their toys only to see them break in front of their eyes. As they cry, an older man drives by in his car whistling a festive tune and discovers the heartbreaking wailing from inside the house and he basically fixes up their toys, house and it’s a merry time with all of these smiling faces again!

It tugs at your heart because in the back of your mind that are children and their families that cannot afford food, water, shelter, even new toys for the holidays! It really puts things into perspective about your surroundings. I definitely feel very humble after watching this film and always want a big hug from my parents afterwards.

Side note: This has captions included at the bottom of the screen!

Santa’s Surprise (1947)

This is next one, I think is what drove me to enjoy learning and respecting other people from around the world.

The story goes like this, Santa Claus is making his way through all parts of the world, the US, Norway, Germany, China, etc and what he doesn’t know is that as he puts the presents underneath the tree, a child is sneaking onboard his sleigh and when Santa is done for the night, he heads off to the North Pole with these kids. As he snuggles into bed, the little ones make sure the coast is clear and head inside his house to basically return the favor of bringing them gifts every year.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948)

Everybody has their favorite movie on the story of Rudolph, but this is mine. Apparently, the saying “the older, the better” works perfectly here!

I feel like I should say, I really haven’t seen any other movie about the story of Rudolph, so I’m not sure on how much they really go on about his life before becoming part of Santa’s crew. Once this one starts though, you see this deer that just wants to fit in with the rest of the herd but because of his big red nose, he gets made fun of by his peers but as his mother calls for him for the night, she reminds to hung up his stocking.

After he drifts over to sleep, we venture into how Santa Claus prepares for his night ahead and finds out that it’s extremely foggy. As the clock crimes, he calls out to all of his flying reindeer to their places and they race out to deliever gifts to everyone, even the animals.  When he stops at Rudolph’s house, he discovers a very noticeable light coming from a room and finds it is Rudolph and his special nose. Santa invites him to guide his sleigh and they leave to finish the night off. By the next day, the news has spread across the village and because he helped protect Santa and his other reindeer, he was rewarded a hero and was finally accepted among his kind.

I think the main reason why I love this one the most is that the way the backgrounds remind me of Scooby-Doo, where it doesn’t matter how much running or in this case flying everybody does, the background rarely changes! It is a very adorable cartoon.

Have you ever seen any of these before? If you have, which one is your favorite? What are your favorite movies or shows that you enjoy watching at this time of the year?

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | X : X Marks The Spot

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This week’s installment will be kind of funny as I know a lot of disabled people deal with this on a daily basis. Luckily for me, I don’t, but it does happen every once in a while. I will be discussing mysterious bruises. Oddly enough, on the day I came up with the letter theme, I actually did have a bruise on my leg that just sort of appeared out of nowhere, so it works out great!

I always find myself with a black and blue spot in the most weirdest places, like my knees or shoulders. The only explanation I can give to you about the one on my knee is that it could have happened in the middle of the night and I accidently whacked my knees together while I was turning to either side. However, I can’t say anything about the shoulder though. Am I alone with wishing I could get them on places that make better sense; going back to what I said about my knees. I know I hit the bony side of my left foot a lot whenever I am in the process of putting on my blanket! I think at night, I forget how close I am to the walls, but still when I wake up, it’s not the place on my body that is hurting the most!

The plus side of this is that I am no longer banging my head on the wall. Yes, I have been known to do that too! I literally have to keep a fleece blanket next to my line of fire so that if I do get very close to it, I have that soft barrier in between and maybe I won’t end up with a damn goose egg on my forehead. Again, this has happened in the past too.

Where do you get most of your bruises on your body? Do they start to appear at night or as the day continues? 

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | W : Wheelchairs

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It is extremely difficult for me to talk about wheelchairs. Last year, the big contervesory was about the death of Stephan Hawking was announced, an artist made this beautiful drawing of him coming out of his wheelchair and basically walking up to heaven. As a disabled woman, I was very conflicted with this, but it wasn’t for the picture per se. It was because I felt like I had to choose between what I’ve always been taught and agreeing with the rest of the disability community.

The big deal wasn’t necessarily about the drawing itself, it was more about how a disabled person relies on their wheelchair to do things, like simple tasks around the house and/or getting out and having drinks with friends. However, everything just exploded into this chaotic thing that I really did not want to be part of at that time. Honestly, I still didn’t want to talk about it again on here, but I am on the letter “W” and there wasn’t anything else I could talk about other than this.

So, I’ll just say that my wheelchair doesn’t give me freedom. There it’s out and I can separate myself from the crap I’ve been feeling all this time.

I do think it allows me to do tasks better but I still feel stuck whenever I am in it. I really feel I am limited in both varieties of wheelchairs, as I’m either too short or too bulky! I have yet to find the perfect fit. Maybe this is what regular woman deal with picking out new heels! The second point I would like to get across is, it’s also all about your state of mind. I think after so long, you adapt to every different setting, and wheelchairs are a part of this too. You might get to do new or lose some beloved challenges while figuring out your surroundings.

Again, I have conflicting feelings about my freedom. I know I can never get away from my limitations. I say this not a sad note though, I like being able to test them anyways. I think this is really healthy! My family might not always agree with that statement, but you know. Honestly I would lastly like to say, I will believe what I want to. I have been doing pretty good on several other subjects throughout the years, I can add this onto the never ending list too! Even if that means keeping it in for a year and a half until I can find a clean way to discuss it on here, that’s what I’ll do.

If you’re in a wheelchair, whether that is full or part time, what are your thoughts on your freedom to be able do all the things you want to do? 

snowflake

Blogmas | The Christmas Day Tag!

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Howdy!

I think every Blogmas I’ve done, I always have some kind of Christmas tag in the lineup. I’ve never planned on any of them, by the time the season rolls around, they just appear at the right time, so I just end up doing them anyways!

I found this one while on Twitter. A fellow blogger Nina posted her link through the many retweet accounts and it came up on my newsfeed. When I first read it, I quickly realized that I hadn’t done it before and that it was all about what goes on Christmas day. I thought it would be fun to kind of guess what’ll happen that day a few weeks in advance, and maybe I’ll find out everything I said in my answers was right. Sometimes I like placing bets on myself, keeps things entertaining on those boring gloomy days!

It is a tag, but I am opening it up to anyone who wants to do it. If you end up answering the questions below, I would like to read your posts! So, please link it back to me at the end, okay? Have fun!

What time do you wake up?

It varies with every year honestly, but it is always very early! I’m not saying we get up at like three or four in the morning–when I was little, my sister and I tried to make this happen on more than one occasion; it actually happened once, we were proud of ourselves!–but we tend to get up around sevenish. When my grandparents lived in town, this was our usual schedule: wake up at 7am, play for 10 minutes and then rush to get ready to go to nana and papaw’s by 8am. This might be the way, Blondie and Brandon do it this year, but I could be wrong.

Where will you be spending the day?

So, since we no longer go to my grandparent’s house, it’ll just be my immediate family gathering at our new house! I am actually really excited to celebrate it here, we were jipped last year but we want to make up for it.

What will you be wearing?

I have a really cute pajama set, they are white with little Cardinals sitting on tiny branches and red leaves. It is made of velvet, so they are comfy and warm – perfect for Christmas I think!

What games will you be playing?

We don’t really play any games, at least not with my parents. Nolan will probably play with his cars for the “short” time before we unwrap presents. I don’t think my parents, mainly my dad, to have my little nephew wait even five minutes to dig into the gifts under the tree! He’s always been awful about that, but he has turned into a big softie when it comes to him.

What will you be eating and drinking?

So, during Thanksgiving, my mom is the one that tends to do the bulk of the cooking but dad is in charge of the turkey and gravy. However, when it comes to Christmas, this is where he tends to shine the most. He loves making big Christmas breakfasts.

We usually have any way you take your eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, sausage and cinnamon rolls. Sometimes he makes me breakfast burritos or quesadilla, but if he doesn’t, my go-to is the potatoes with ketchup, plus two or three cinnamon rolls for good measure!

As far as beverages go, we never have anything fancy. Nolan will probably drink apple juice and the rest of us will have milk, which seems like the perfect breakfast to me.

What will you be watching?

Okay, since dad gets up pretty early to cook everything, he usually takes over the remote and turns it to TBS for the 24 hour broadcast of “A Christmas Story”. Here’s the funny thing about that, I haven’t watched it all the way through since I was in middle school!

Now, after all of the festivities die down a bit, I have a full afternoon of NBA basketball games. I like to think it’s a Christmas gift to myself because it’s usually all of the teams I normally watch during the season playing on that day. Last year, I only missed one game, because I was so exhausted and because the Lakers were having an awful bout of games, I figured I wasn’t going to miss much and I think I was right too. I might end up recording them all and watch at my own time, but who knows!

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What do you hope to find under the tree on Christmas Day?

You’re allowed to laugh at this answer, but I haven’t really asked for much this year. My mom said she has gotten me something that will be signed “From Santa Claus” on Christmas day, but the only thing I really hope to see is a giant pillow.

I sleep with three pillows at the moment! I have my childhood pillow down at the bottom because I can’t get rid of it for the life of me, plus two extra ones I’ve had to include because of my neck. So, I am hoping for one, hard, giant pillow to solve all of my problems.

Who will you be spending day with?

I am spending the day with my parents, Blondie, Brandon, Nolan and our dog ChiChi (and yes, she has a stocking and is getting her own gifts!). I feel like it could be chaotic because of the excitement in general, but since Nolan is walking now, we can’t just place him in his high chair and have him unwrap his presents there. I have a feeling, he’ll be attempting to help everyone with their gifts!

When will you be opening your presents?

It’ll depend on whether or not we eat breakfast first, but like I said, I don’t think it’ll take my nephew long to convince papaw that we need to do this first, but you never know – although when it comes to these two, I’m hardly ever wrong!

snowflake