Happy Monday, my friends!
This weekend, Kyle finished an Olympic length Triathlon! It was incredibly impressive, and I’m really proud of him.
So this is looking to be a busy week! I’ve got a number of wedding venues to visit, some friends to catch up with, and book club with my ladies! I’m looking forward to it, but also am anticipating being very busy. Also, did you know that wedding venues are all apparently booked up for every good summer weekend ever? Yeah, I guess I missed the memo that told everyone to get on booking their dates starting in Junior High. Anyway, wish us luck!
Here are some fun links for your week! This is an extra long list because I’ve been having difficulty with my blog reader (Feedly!) and have done some much-needed catching up in the past few weeks.
- Have you upgraded your iPhone to IOS7 yet? I love the new look and feel- it makes my inner typographic designer nerd happy. I thought this was an interesting article about the flat design and usability.
- I’m working on making my own black maxi dress, and appreciated these thoughts from Adventures in Dressmaking on how to turn a DIY maxi into a year-round wardrobe staple.
- Alicia Marie tipped me off on how awesome this All Jolene All the Time playlist from Bitch magazine is. Sometimes, you just need to listen to the same song over and over again, right?
- I’ve been feeling the need to thrift shop again, and this article from Yes and Yes on the 4 things you’ll always find at a thrift shop gives me some ideas!
- Along those lines, I also really enjoyed this post from Oh Joy on how to make vintage style clothes work for you– oftentimes just hemming it here and adjusting the sleeves there will do the trick! I’m itching to pull out my sewing machine.
- One of my favorite bloggers of the sister duo A Beautiful Mess is celebrating one year in her home, and I’m finding myself envious of her space! So many fun, creative ways to express your personality in your living space.
- I’m trying to keep tabs on some of the fun (and money-saving!) DIY projects that can be associated with weddings- I’m liking the idea of making my own veil, doing my own flowers, and more– within reason and while hoping to keep my sanity, of course!
- Everyone has multiple passions, and this post from the passionate and talented Hip Hop Sideproject highlights how using these unique passions can help you find a niche that is truly your life’s work.
- Feel like doing a little wood working? This project idea for a woven back bench from Remodelaholic would be a fun addition to a mudroom or porch.
My 15 books in 15 weeks reading challenge ended last week, and I’m happy to report that I’ve not only met my goal, but actually forgot about it entirely and still ended up exceeded it! To recap, here are the 15(+) books I read in the past 15 weeks:
- Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
- When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
- Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
- Maus II A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
- Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
- Life and Death are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan
- The God of Animals: A Novel by Aryn Kyle
- Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
- The Books of Magic Part 1 by Neil Gaiman
- The Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card
This is a pretty diverse list! It includes modern novels, non fiction, graphic novels, sci-fi, war tales…my tastes have been pretty varied these last few weeks! And I can pretty much say I’d recommend all of these books as a good read, depending on your individual tastes and whatever mood you may find yourself in.
One of the best things about this challenge has been realizing the power of my commute time. In the 45 min-1 hour I ride to and from work each day, I am able to do something productive, enriching, and engrossing. It’s been a great reminder to make the most of my minutes, and to make time for the hobbies I really enjoy. Like reading.
And, while I’ve really enjoyed this challenge (and the reminder to keep changing up my reading habits), I’m looking forward to its close. No, I’m not going to stop reading. I’m just looking forward to enjoying a more leisurely pace, and allowing each book to take the time it needs.
That being said, I’m now looking for recommendations! Tell me, have you read any good books lately?
This past weekend, we held a service for my Grandpa Roy, who passed away a few weeks ago.
No matter how you slice it, memorial services are a strange thing. On one hand, you’re sad, and reflective, you miss the person you knew and are taking in what it means that they are no longer around. On the other hand, you’re remembering them and sharing these memories with loved ones in this great, communal, act- and you’ll catch yourself laughing a lot.
Saturday was a very powerful experience for me, because it demonstrated in so many ways what a great individual my Grandpa was, and how lucky I was to have known him. I loved hearing all these people telling stories about him- how he balanced his wild, trouble-maker side with an incredible work ethic and moral code.
My Grandpa taught me many things. He always kept a list of things to do every day, and made sure, if you happened to catch him in a moment of rest, to let you know all the things he had already done that day to deserve a break. He was an avid reader, and not only averaged 4 books a week, but also managed to read every book in the Lincoln City library. He loved a good laugh, and was a wonderful storyteller. And he was a man you could respect, and whose respect in return felt like a special accomplishment.
Thanks to him, I know the value of hard, honest work. I see where you can get yourself when you pull yourself up by your bootstraps. He always made a point of “doing things his way.”
Not a lot of people can say they grew up next door to their grandparents, and while I feel sad to have lost him, I feel so lucky to have known him as well as I was able to.
So, I’m engaged! And that means I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, the guy I’ve dated for a decade and who is so amazing I seriously doubt I am deserving of him. I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Seriously, constant butterflies.
One of the most amazing parts about all this happening (other than the guy I get to marry!) is realizing how many of our friends and family were over-the-top excited for us. Several of you squealed, a number of you cursed, and we are just blown away by how much you all seem to like us.
Because so many of you asked, here are some of the details:
- He proposed yesterday, September 9th, on his birthday.
- We were at our house, which was so perfect- what better place for something so momentous than the home we share??
- He was nervous. I was crying. We were basically a mess.
- We immediately went out for a birthday dinner to celebrate, and I remarkably didn’t crash the car in my excitement.
Here we are a little after dinner. Feeling pretty giddy.
And because so many of you asked, here’s my ring! I have to get it resized, but it’s his paternal grandma’s ring, and so unusual and lovely.
The guy at his birthday dinner! 26 is going to be a big year, KP.
Our first toast! Thanks to Shelley and Adam for bringing home the bubbly. 🙂
I can’t tell you all how excited I am about this, and how much all your calls and comments have meant to me. I’m feeling like a big goofy loveball this week, and I want to let everyone know just how much I love them.
Have a wonderful week, my friends!