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Of any movie coming out this year I may be most excited about Where the Wild Things Are.  Based on the children’s book by Maurice Sendak and due to be released Oct 16, this film is written by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers.  Jonze also directed the movie.

Why so excited?

1)  The children’s book: an old favorite.

2)  Dave Eggers:  Author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and one of my all time favorite books What is the What?.

3)  Spike Jonze:  Director of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and some of the best commercials and music videos of all time, for example, the video for Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim and featuring Christopher Walken.

4)  The preview (featuring Arcade Fire): It’s a must-watch.  So look below and check it out for yourself. 

Then go see it on October 16th!  We can’t wait!!

((If no video appears below then your network is filtering out the DailyMotion website.  If that is the case, or you just have a slower browser, you can also see a lower quality (but still good) version on YouTube by clicking this link:


So, I have to admit, this whole blogging idea is very new and curious to me. I like the idea of blogging.  And, I have recently fallen in love with reading other peoples’ blogs!  But when it comes down to me doing the actual blogging — it is a whole different ball game.  But, it is an adventure I am ready to begin!

Just a little update on our life since the last time we posted:

Last week was very busy leading up to a weekend with our team at an event called Quest.  Quest is something that MRN (Mission Resource Network: does with teams to help them understand themselves and each other better as they prepare for the mission field. It was intense and long and lasted one 7 hour day and two 14 hour days!  Three extremely generous couples from Downtown (the Bakers, Garners, and Shipmans) and four of MRN’s employees gave of their time and energy to ask us deep questions and listen to us talk about ourselves.  By the end of the weekend, the whole team agreed that we were sick of hearing ourselves talk!  But, the outcome of the weekend was well worth the long hours. We were affirmed in our strengths and given guidance on our weaknesses.  The weekend was a blessing. Thanks to everyone who played a part in preparing for this event!

Our team:

Makonde Team

For more on the team visit:

This past weekend Lauren and I finally found time to celebrate our first anniversary.  (And only 4 months late.)


It began Friday night when I cooked a surprise dinner for Lauren:

I started with a Caprese salad of sorts.

Caprese Salad

<– Olive oil straight from Santorini courtesy of Andrew and Sarah Fraser.

<– Fish salt and pepper shakers courtesy of the Bacon family.




Next came the main course, Lemon Fusilli with Arugulla.

Lemon Fusilli with Arugulla






<- Note the bread-bits that were a side item to be dipped in olive oil.



<– This is the cloth I bought in Mali and on which we had the candle-lit dinner during which I proposed to Lauren.


Finally, desert came in the form of some delicious “Affogato,” which is vanilla ice cream with esspresso poured over, then topped with whipped cream and bits of chocolate.










It was all delicious, and I would like to thank the Frasers for all the supplies they let me borrow and (especially) for their crash course on cooking — it made the meal a huge success.


Saturday was much less refined.  After a delicious breakfast with friends and some errands around the house we drove to Little Rock for an afternoon full of one of our favorite things: movies.  We saw 2 in a row: Paper Heart and Julie & Julia.  (See our reviews of these in our posts below.) 

Paper Heart: An Empty Theater





<– Lauren.  And yes, we were the only ones in the theater.



During these films we went through the entire gambit of human emotion, which can be summed up in the pictures below.


cheesy adorationbewilderment with a hint of curiosity and a dash of anger


Then we had dinner, drove home, and camped in our living room.

Our tent in our living room







<– Thanks to my grandparents for giving us this tent as a wedding gift.  It’s a great one!  Sierra Designs.  We can’t wait to use it a bunch in Africa soon!





Lauren and I spent our Sunday reflecting back on our first year of marriage and fashioning a vision for the coming year of our life together.  We set priorities and made goals.  We want to be intentional with our lives, not letting the moments pass by.  It’s too easy for the important things to get lost in the busyness of life.  So we talked about anything and everything, being clear about where we are in our marriage and lives in general, and being clear about where we would like to be in one year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.  It was a beautiful time, and we already feel better for it.

Following this time together we attacked some lingering errands around the house as the weekend came to a close.

Then I wrote this blog post and felt extremely narcissistic, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

Julie & Julia posterOne word synopsis:  Festive

Cooking is an art, and good food nearly inherently carries with it connotations of life, love, happyness, health, and humor.  All kinds of people, all across the world, gather over good meals after long days.  Here they share stories, experiences, problems, heartaches, jokes, laughter, and good food.  This is what Julie & Julia is about: good food and cooking in all its deepest connotations.

More factually, it is based on the seperate but linked true stories of Julie Powell (writer turned government-employee turned writer-again) and Julia Child (government-employee turned pro-chef).  The film is dynamic and entertaining, with spectacular performances by Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina.

Our conclusions?  For us, the film was good all around.  Entertaining, funny, and artful, but also deep and meaningful.  A special feature we appreciated was its portrayal of two very healthy marriages, an image rare in movies today.  For you, we’d recommend it, but you’ve probably already seen it.

Paper Heart poster

One word synopsis:  Awkward.

Paper Heart is a (fictionalized?) documentary on “love.”  The film combines interviews about love (with real people) with (a fictional?) portrayal of a (fictional?) relationship between (fictionalized versions of?) Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera.  While many movies feature awkward characters and many awkward moments, Paper Heart has succeeded in taking the awkwardness (or “awkwardity” as I prefer to call it) to a whole new level.  In this movie it’s not just the characters in the movie who feel awkward, but it’s also the entire audience.  (All two of you.)

While Yi and Cera are (as always) exceedingly entertaining in their own awkward way, the movie’s message on “love” is mostly noncommittal and unfulfilling. 

So our conclusion?  For us, a few key moments made the whole film worthwhile.  But if you’re not already a fan of Yi, Cera, excessive awkwardity, and cardboard puppetry then you probably won’t enjoy this movie.

Let’s catch you up on who and where we are.

In a nutshell: we are Travis and Lauren Trull.  

Travis and Lauren at Qumran

Travis is 24 and graduated from Harding University in Searcy, AR after studying Religion/Theology and English.  Travis lived the first 9 years of his life in Meru, Kenya, and the next 9 in Fort Deposit, AL.  In May 2008 he married Lauren Greek.

Lauren lived her first 9 years in Eldoret, Kenya, and the next 9 in Jellico, TN.  Lauren graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from Harding and now works for Downtown Church while pursuing photography and the “fine arts” (especially painting) on the side.

Travis and Lauren still live in Searcy where they is now a member of a 4-couple mission team scheduled to move long-term to Southeastern Tanzania late next year (Sept 2010).  Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy is the local community behind this mission initiative.

Lauren and Travis enjoy art, film (movies), literature, writing, photography, hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, mountain biking, swimming, rock climbing, traveling, music, adventures, culture, and more.

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