Howdy, Hearties, from down here in Texas!

Well, it’s the end of an era: the last Wednesday before our summer vacation starts here. That being the case, and because it’s #WonderWednesday, I wanted to take the opportunity to touch base with all of you, my wonderful readers. I’m wondering about your wishes.

It’s been 6 months (and a few days) since I started this blog! I can hardly believe it’s been half a year already! Crazy how times flies when you’re having fun! And it HAS been fun; SO MUCH FUN! I hope it’s safe to admit to you that this blog was all my husband’s idea. Shocking, isn’t it; especially since he’s not even a fan of the show! But thankfully, he’s always been supportive of how happy watching the series makes me. I had recently (re)discovered my love for writing when I started trying my had at fan fiction; who knew? I started posting it on the fan page, then my dear friend Sarah and I started collaborating ideas, and creating stories together. Hearties seemed to like them, so we kept going. And now, thanks to all of you, we’re toying with the idea of authoring a book together. Look what you created!

Anyway, I’m digressing. My husband noticed how alive writing was making me, and he suggested making it a more permanent part of my life. I thought he was nuts! I had never even FOLLOWED a blog, much less written one. But both of us started doing lots of research, and here we are! I still have a lot to learn, but it’s been such a growing experience! 

In the spirit of “growing”, how do YOU think I can make the blog better? What are topics you’d like me to discuss? What are the movies you’d like me to review? What are your favorite moments and episodes you’d like me to flashback to, or expand? Would you, yourself, like to be a spotlight for #MeetYouMonday? Do you have an idea for a fan fiction story you’d like me to write, and see if I can capture your vision on #FanFictionFriday? Do you have any brilliant thoughts about how the blog should be expanded?

You, my readers, are the reason I still HAVE a blog; you’ve been so supportive! So I want to thank you by giving back, making it more about you. After all, you’re the ones reading it, right?

Well, lots of things to “wonder” about on this #WonderWednesday. But we’re moving into summer, and in so doing, my greatest wish is to move forward! And I want to do it with you! Good night, sweet Hearties! 

Good morning, Hearties! Happy Memorial Day to all of us in the U.S.A! I hope you are doing something fun with the day, and taking time to remember those that gave their lives for us, in all our countries.

As it is Memorial Day, I wanted to do something special. Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen warriors. Since I cannot spotlight any of them, I thought the next best thing would be to get to know a Heartie currently or formerly in the military; and I also missed Veterans’ Day in 2017 because I started the blog the week of Thanksgiving. In my search for the right candidate, I found a remarkable story of not 1, but 2! Two sisters, both in the military! And what a story they had to tell! But I will let them say it to you themselves, in their own words. Introducing Laura Driessen and Sami Lynn Miller!

  1. Where are you from? If you’re living elsewhere, where are you living now?
  • L: I live in Emporia Kansas, but I’m from Missouri/Louisiana. I was adopted when I was 7 in Missouri. When I was 9, we moved to Louisiana, as my adopted mom’s mom (Granny) had cancer. When I turned 18, I signed up for the Air Force. We moved to Missouri in 2007 after I graduated High School. The following year, 2008, I worked at a daycare after my 19th birthday. I joined the Air Force June 25, 2008, when I would turn 20 that year.
  • S: I’m from Alaska, but stationed in Tennessee.

 

  1. Tell us about your family.
  • L: In my adopted family, I am third generation military. I have an older sister, married to a Navy man, an older brother, Air Force Reserve, and then me. In my biological family, I am first generation military.  I have my older sister, myself, my younger sister who is active duty Army, (you’ll get to read about her,) and my younger brother, who tried to serve but was medically discharged.  I got married in 2011 to a wonderful man; we have a 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old. My 5-year-old just graduated Kindergarten, and will be in first grade next year. She is a #Heartie as well. She turns 6 the DAY (Aug 20) school starts. My youngest will be 4 in Nov.
  • S: I come from a family of 17 kids. I’m adopted, and have 5 siblings on my biological side.

 

  1. What are your hobbies? What are you studying/did you study in school?
  • L: My hobbies include: reading, horseback riding, writing, WCTH (duh! lol), Girl Scouts, and crocheting. I am going back to school this fall to begin my BSN-RN Journey. I have previously studied Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide.
  • S: My hobbies are: I design wedding dresses and write books. I went to school for acting and modeling, and I currently own my own acting and modeling studio.

 

  1. How did you find/discover WCTH?
  • L: My discovery of When Calls the Heart is actually kind of funny. I was flipping through channels the year before last on my TV. I caught an episode, but wasn’t “that into it”. I got on Netflix, and found a show called “When Calls the Heart”; and my thought was “Elizabeth and Wynn”. So I binge watched Seasons 1-3 before realizing it WAS NOT Elizabeth and Wynn…But another Elizabeth: her niece. Then last year I watched Season 4 and became a #HookedHeartie.
  • S: I happened upon WCTH on accident. I love Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn, Love Comes Softly, Emma, and Ever After…etc…so this fit right in.

 

  1. What is your favorite episode? Season?
  • L: This one is very hard for me to answer. Season 5 is very hard on military or prior military families. My favorite episode, I’d have to say, is a toss up between the Wedding of the Century, AND the last episode. Erin’s acting was so…poignant, so real and relatable.  But the wedding was breathtaking! I was able to watch ALMOST every episode with my #Heartielittlegirl and #HeartiesisterSamiLynnMiller.
  • S: My favorite episode and season is 1 and 1. I know how it feels to move to a new town, to not know anyone, and be judged.

 

  1. Who is your favorite character? Star of the show?
  • L: Elizabeth and Erin Krakow hands down. But Ava Grace Cooper (Opal) would be my FAVORITE child.
  • S: My favorite charater on the show is Rosemary. I’m a lot like her in life, so I can relate the most to her.

 

  1. Why are you a Heartie? Why do you love the show?
  • L: I am a Heartie because I can relate to a lot of the characters. I have been there for the ups and downs of Jack and Elizabeth’s romance. I have been there through Rosemary trying to take him, and through Charles trying to take her.  When Calls the Heart GAVE me something to believe in.  Then S5 hit…and it reminded me WHY I love When Calls the Heart. It’s the community of Hope Valley. It’s the call to follow the Calling of your heart; which I am proud to say I have done this year. It’s the cultivation of the desire to follow your dreams. And my dream, my bio mom’s dream, was to be a nurse. I have answered the call to go back to school and I am following that dream.
  • S: I am a Heartie because it’s great to have people around who like the same stuff as me, and who support each other. And I like relating to the characters like me. In my agency, we are a sisterhood, so here as #Hearties, we are a family. I love the show because I feel like it gives a good sense of family and friendship atmosphere.

 

  1. Anything else you enjoy, or anything you’d like to add?
  • L: The Season 5 Finale was very hard on me because I lost my mom in October. I had seen Hope Valley as that…a place of hope in the midst of despair. And when I first saw that episode…It transported me back to the phone call with my aunt. The day my mom died, I felt my heart rip open again. And like Elizabeth with her beloved, I felt “cheated”. I was taken away when I was VERY young (3). I was in foster care until I was 6. My biological mom and I started talking when I was 18.   We didn’t start to get super close until 2 years ago. Then she had gastric bypass surgery, and was in ICU on life support for 3 months. She came out, and I thought, “Ok great. We can continue to bond”. Then my aunt called me, and my heart just plummeted.  I wish I had more time, I wish I had spoken my heart.  My mom’s wish was to become an RN. She NEVER got to see that dream come true. I am living it for her. For my husband and my kids.
  • S: I’m a pretty laid back person. I recently got discovered thru my agency for an acting job, but I unfortunately had to turn it down since it didn’t work with my military career. I’m hoping someday soon to be able to get another chance. I would love to meet Papa Heartie and the rest of the cast in a sit down, and just have some good laughs and talk about acting…
Laura Driessen
Sami Lynn Miller

Thank you, SO MUCH, ladies!  It was wonderful to hear your stories, and we are all deeply grateful for your service.  Well, everyone, time for me to push off.  Have a fabulous rest of your holiday weekend, and please remember to give a thought to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to enjoy our freedoms.  See you Wednesday! (I’m getting the hang of this four-children thing now! 😉 ) So long!

 

Hellooooooooo, Hearties! And Happy HAPPY Friday! It’s especially happy since it’s a 3-day weekend! What are your plans?  We’re planning on a laid back and relaxing weekend, but that will definitely include my first day back at church, and a visit to my father’s grave…and putting away sky-high piles of laundry that got severely backed up while I had to stay down.

So, today is our final day of our royalty theme. I kind of struggled with this one. I knew I wanted to finish out the week with another royal post, but it had to be from the show because it’s #FlashbackFriday. I had already talked about Jack calling Elizabeth “William Thatcher’s princess”, and the whole Thatcher family being “practically Hamilton royalty”. No need to beat a dead horse. And then it hit me! What did Adam Miller, the lone survivor of the mine disaster, call his daughters? “Princess”. Bingo!

Did any of your fathers call you that? My  dad didn’t actually call me “Princess”, but he always told me I LOOKED like a princess when I would get all dressed up. There was this one time when I was about 10, my mom and I were part of a tour group exploring the ruins of Mexico. The family were were traveling with brought a friend of theirs, a sweet older man from their church. He told me the first day that he wouldn’t be able to remember my name, “…so how about I call you ‘Princess’?” It was the sweetest thing, and obviously, I’ve never forgotten it. I hope you all, regardless of whether or not you got called the actual title, remember that YOU are a princess. I quote the movie “A Little Princess”, “All women are princesses; it is our right.” So you think on that when you’re feeling down.

  I want to start with all the times Jolene, the oldest daughter, acted like a princess. She and her sister, Morgan Rose, had to deal with a lot in this episode; and Jolene had to be the brave older sister. She did this in fine fashion when Adam and Laurel were arguing about the prosthetic leg. She just sat next to her sister, and stroked her hair so she wouldn’t be more afraid than she already was. Since I was an actress, I have to mention when Jolene showed off her inner princess by performing in the  Founder’s Day play, even though her daddy was still missing. She broke when he came in the room, but hey! She’s 9! And I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same in a similar situation.

My favorite time, though, was at the very beginning  when Adam came home. When he stepped out of the stagecoach with that peg leg, there’s a long list of ways a young girl could react. And what did she do? She ran to her pa with total love and acceptance. That’s a real princess!

Just for fun, let’s talk about the princes in this episode. Jack sure was a prince when he painted that incredible backdrop, right? But I think he was kingly when he spoke to Adam about returning home. He held himself with such dignity, talking about his painful past with his father, and making Adam realize how much his family needed him.

Okay, let’s be honest! Those parts are sweet and tender, but everyone’s favorite part is Jack’s “Prince Harry-like” prank when he “hid the stick of dynamite” by painting that likeness of them kissing on the backdrop. I don’t know what reaction is my favorite: when he knows Abigail has busted him, when he hurries to cover his paint supplies, his false shock, or his relief at not being discovered. To send you into the weekend, here is a hilarious fan-made video illustrating the humor and irony of that very scene.

 

All clips: Crown Media

Creator: Megan Maxwell

I bet that’s what the male stars of “Dater’s Handbook” have been saying to themselves since the Royal Wedding! Okay, probably not, but I imagine their minds have been reeling to some degree. They thought they were going to star in a simple TV movie with the actress from “Suits”. And to coin the phrase: “LOOK at her now!”

This was a cute film. I thought it would be a nice touch to add it to the princess-themed week we have going. Luckily, the woman who plays Meghan Markle’s mother is the same actress who played Elizabeth’s mother. So the movie actually DOES have a WCTH actor in it, and I don’t have to break my own rules! I have a legitimate reason to review this movie.

The basic plot line is this: Cass (Meghan) is a successful business-owner in a very unsuccessful, dead-end relationship, (another one!) At least this one only lasted 2 years instead of 5; but the jerk refuses to commit, won’t spend any time with her, won’t even go to her best friend’s wedding with her! Luckily, she dumps him in the beginning of the movie, and flies solo to the wedding. What starts out looking hopeless because she’s seated at the kids’ table, (who would DO that to their best friend?!) turns a 180 when Robert shows up. Instead of being upset about being at the kids’ table, he tells the kids they’re at the coolest table in the room, and orders “a round of Shirley Temples…on him”. They get along great, enough for Cass to steal Robert’s cake, but she slips away before he can get her digits.
A chance meeting at a dog park, (they both have dogs,) gives him the opportunity he needs. Gotta give the guy creativity credit; he asks her dog, Duke, for help! “Would you ask your mother if she’ll go on a date with me?” Ten points to him because it works! They decide to go miniature golfing, where they’re messing up each others’ shots, giving each other a hard time, just having fun. Probably my favorite thing about them is they call each other out on cheesy lines either of them says, and have a ball doing it.

Everything’s going great until George comes into the picture. He’s the head of an insurance company, and Cass’s company sells him paraphernalia with his logo on it. When she does a rush order for him, and he comes to thank her, he asks her out to dinner…to a French restaurant! Unsure of whom she likes better, and scared she’ll mess up like she has in past relationships, she takes her sister’s advice to follow the guidelines in a book called “The Dater’s Handbook”. She goes out with both of them, trying to figure out who she belongs with. George is a classy guy who takes her to a string quartet concert and art museums, but there’s very little chemistry. And he calls her Cassandra; not even her mother does that. She and Robert have a great time and a great connection; he’s fun and VERY thoughtful. He even scores tickets to an REO Speedwagon concert, and takes Cass AND her mother because that’s Mom’s favorite band. But because he didn’t know about her allergy to honey, she ends up at the hospital on his watch after eating some glazed wings. Horribly unfair if you ask me, but they count it as a strike against him.

Mom likes Robert, Sister likes George. And because Cass’s sister knows about the Handbook, and Cass is currently trusting said Handbook, she breaks up with Robert, and takes George onboard. I really like how they filmed that part, because it just shows Cass on the phone. The audience, along with her family, doesn’t know who she picks until she shows up with George to her nephew’s birthday party…which does NOT go well as far as introducing the new boyfriend to the family. He was way too stiff!

Further trouble ensues when Robert and Cass both end up at an auto shop, and Robert convinces her that going bowling would be far more entertaining than sitting around in the lobby. What he doesn’t tell her is his car is already finished. Sly dog! They totally kiss right after she bowls a strike, and she runs away. But when she tries taking George mini golfing, and spontaneously kisses him, there’s dead silence. And then it happens…the revelation! She’s finally honest with herself, finding she can’t BE herself with George, even though he’s the right choice according to the book.

Her best friend laughs in her face when she finds out Cass “went by the book”, if you’ll pardon the pun. Confused, Cass says she found the book in HER desk, and she wanted to be just as happy as her friend. Then the truth comes out: the book was a gag gift. Cass runs to find Robert at a Chinese lantern festival, and reaches him just in time to make him lose his lantern, call him out on another cheesy line, then finally kiss him for real!

And now she’s a princess! Still hard to wrap my own head around it. The most hilarious thing happened while I was watching this movie. Robert says, “I need to ask you a personal question…”. Without even missing a beat, my incredibly witty husband blurts out, “What does Harry have that I don’t?” Yeah, I laughed, I admit it. And speaking of my home life, I am happy to report that as of yesterday, I have a clean bill of health, and no more physical restrictions! Took my first hot bath in weeks just today, and it was HEAVENLY! My surgeon was bewildered but pleased when I told him I had posted on my blog that he was as sweet as Dr. Shepherd. It took some explanation since he’s never seen our show, but he took it as a high compliment. 

Hope you’ll return on Friday for one last royal blog. Night, night!

 

Happy Monday, Hearties! Hopefully that’s not just optimistic thinking, and you truly ARE having a good day! How was the weekend? I saw several pictures and posts telling about Hearties’ experiences watching the blessed event, so I’m assuming many of you tuned in. I watched most of it, and I also turned on a lot of the Royal Movie Marathon, so that was fun.

I thought, since the wedding just happened Saturday, it might be fun keeping with the “Princess Theme.” So for today’s #MeetYouMonday, I chose to interview MY own personal princess: my oldest daughter, Kyrah, (pronounced but NOT named after Keira Knightley). She’s a 7-year-old 1st grader, and a riot, and she LOVES “When Calls the Heart”. I’ll let her say the rest for herself.    

  1. Where are you from? Pflugerville Texas

 

Kyrah and Lydia
  1. Tell us about your family. I love them so much; best family ever. We just had a new baby brother, and I love rocking him.  My daddy doesn’t like chocolate. I have another  brother and a sister too. My sister and I love to look for fireflies together.
  1. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do? Watching TV. Favorite subject is art. I like reading with my mom, and playing. I’m taking piano lessons from my mom, and I help her take care of the baby
Kyrah and Liam
  1. How did you discover WCTH? Mommy showed it to me.

 

  1. What’s your favorite episode? When Jack and Elizabeth get married!
Kyrah and Jack
  1. Who are your favorite characters? Jack and Elizabeth

 

  1. Why do you like WCTH? Mommy says I liked it at first because of the horses. Now I love it because of Jack and Elizabeth. I also like watching Abigail help people, and she’s so responsible.
Kyrah and Mommy
  1. Anything else you want to share?  I love acting out scenes. The first one Mommy and I did was from Tangled. Now I especially love doing scenes with Rosemary. My favorites are “Fairest Katie” and when Elizabeth is trying to do the wedding name cards. I do that one when I make my spelling flashcards. My favorite time with Daddy is when we have root beer together when I finish practicing my piano for the week.   

 

I hope some childlike innocence could brighten your day! I’ve got more royal plans for Wednesday, so I order you to return! As for now, to quote another princess, (Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”), “You have my permission to withdraw…” After you watch this video of Kyrah’s Emmy worthy performance.