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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

What I was Into in May

Another month has come and gone - I can't even believe that it's already June! I feel like I say it every month, but I feel like I blink and time passes...although, I will say that in the past year I feel like I do more with my time than I used to...if that makes any sense at all. Ha-ha!


Books I Read
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - This was the book club read for the month of May and I started it at the 11th hour, but that was completely fine because it was such a good book and so I breezed right through it! The book is set in South Carolina during 1964, and tells the story of 14 year old Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around her distant memories of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce "stand-in" mother, Rosaleen, insults three racists in town, they escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to Lily's mother's past and the key to Lily's future. Taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters, Lily finds a new life in their world of bees, honey and the Black Madonna. 

Nobody's Cuter than You by Melanie Shankle - I read Melanie Shankle's blog on an almost daily basis; she always cracks me up. She has three books and this one is the third and centers on friendships and the importance of friendships; especially female friendship. This book absolutely cracked me up and made me so thankful for each and every one of the girlfriends I have; each one is so special to me.*

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle - This is Melanie's first book and I thought it was about life in general...it's actually about being a Mom, which I know nothing about because the only thing I "parent" is a 15 pound furball likes to pretend he's human. Nonetheless, I powered on and read this book because it was just as hilarious as I'd expected.

An Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle - The second of Melanie's books (I read them all out of order) is about being married...again one of those topics I'm clueless on, but I didn't really care because all of her books are hilarious and this one was no exception. Seriously, if you like a funny take on everyday life situations, these books are for you. They're great. My Mom has had them for about two years now and still hasn't started reading them - get on it MOM!

1776 by David McCullough - Book club book! This book centers on George Washington and as the title suggests, the year 1776 - the most important year of the Revolutionary War. I must admit, this one didn't enthrall me. I really wanted it to but I guess I'm looking for something a little less...historical? And with that confession, I realize I'm a bad American. Oh well. *sigh*

Books in the Queue
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Galaldon - Okay, so I'm so close to finishing this. I literally have about 300 pages and I'll be done. Seriously. I feel like I've been reading this for days and weeks and months...

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon - The final (is it the last one?) book in the Outlander series; it comes out in paperback on June 2nd, so I'm planning to pick that up and finish the series. I'm OCD about all my books in a series being the same and since the other 7 are paperback...I have to get this one in paperback. Ha!

Can't Miss Television
Outlander - Oh my, as much as I enjoyed Part One of Season One (really though, why did they do that?) I have to say that I enjoyed Part Two even more! The Outlander book series that this show is based on is incredible and it's a testament to casting because everyone on this show is perfectly cast; I don't know that I could imagine a more incredibly cast Claire, Jamie and Black Jack Randall/Frank Randall! The second half of Season One follows Claire as she navigates the practices and superstitions of life in 1700s Scotland, finds her place as Jamie's wife and when given the opportunity to return to her life in the 1940s, makes the decision to stay with Jamie - because (of course, who wouldn't...) she has fallen in love with this man she married to save herself. Part One ended with Jamie rescuing Claire from the clutches of Black Jack Randall and Part Two flipped things around, having Claire rescue Jamie from Jack - although the depths she must go to in order to redeem her husband and rescue his soul are far greater than she'd have ever imagined.

This show is excellent - it's also not for that faint of heart. The season finale was brutal but also spectacularly acted; I was blown away in the best way possible....even if parts of the episode made my stomach turn. Having said all that, I'd definitely recommend it!

And to think...he was NOT kidding...
Game of Thrones - Season Five has tried my patience so much this season! Things started off promising enough but I've really been so confused and confounded by the arcs that certain characters have taken this season...so I'll instead focus on what has been positive. Cersei's descent into paranoia has been handled flawlessly by Lena Headey this season; watching Cersei happily dig her own grave and then find herself absolutely shocked when she's in it up to her ears - priceless! Tyrion has had a storyline that's been shaky at best but Peter Dinklage is a fantastic actor and continues to prove week after week why Tyrion is one of my favorite characters. Maisie Williams as Arya, Kit Harrington as Jon Snow and Natalie Dormer are still huge fan favorites for me - they take less than perfect storylines and make them work. I must confess I'm still not sure where this season is planning to end up, but I have some measure of hope that the final two episodes in June will somehow allow the season to finish with a flourish that the first eight episodes have lacked.

*Side note - the final episode that aired in May, titled Hardhome - it was excellent! The show has floundered for the past 6 episodes (the season premiere was good) but suddenly it's found it's footing again. Of course it happens with just 2 episodes to go...*

My feelings on season 5 - My spirits are dampened too Jon Snow...
Nationals Baseball - If you thought this list was going out without a mention of Nationals baseball, well you might be nuts! Obviously I can't attend every Nationals game this season but I did discover we have MASN (Maximum Access Sports Network) and they play all Nationals and Orioles (who cares...) games - which made me extremely happy! So, now that all my regularly scheduled TV shows are done for the season, on any given weeknight you can find me happily parked in front of my TV cheering for the Nats! 

I was actually at this game...
Movies I Watched
Avengers: Age of Ultron - Such a highly anticipated movie; at least for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Avengers outing and this one was also excellent...although I must confess I think I actually liked the first one a wee bit better. Having said that, it was quite the adventure to watch Tony Stark and the gang work to take down the megalomaniac artificial intelligence of Ultron - a creation Tony had a hand in creating. Marvel really has mastered the idea of knitting films together to create a world that is unbelievable and I can't wait to see whats coming next. Oh wait...Ant-Man is coming next; I'm not sure how I feel about whats coming next...


Avengers....Assemble...
Pitch Perfect 2 - I'll admit I wasn't one of the people who rushed to the theater to see Pitch Perfect when it came out but after watching the movie with Lindsey, I was more than ready to watch the second installment. It did not disappoint: the music was great, the story line was good and the laughs were all over the place. I certainly love Anna Kendrick but for me, Rebel Wilson is the star of these movies and she steals the show every time; I especially loved her inspired solo as she paddled her way across the lake to acknowledge that she was indeed in love with Bumper. Seriously, this movie is too funny to miss!


Hilarious. Just like the first one.
Aloha - Oh...well. I don't know what I expected this movie to be; but I don't think it was at all what I expected. The movie follows Bradley Cooper's character, a military contractor who is sent to Hawaii to negotiate a ceremony for the building of a bridge; which is really covert for helping launch a militarized weapon into the sky. He crosses paths with his ex-girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) and her husband (John Krasinski) and also falls in love with his spunky F-22 pilot/guide (Emma Stone). The movie wasn't awful by any means, it just wasn't even what close to what I thought it would be. I'd suggest renting this one.

Want to go to Hawaii - I do...
Music I Listened To
Centuries by Fall Out Boy - I just kept hearing this song everywhere! On the radio, on TV shows and it kept getting stuck in my head! And the kicker was when we went to the Nationals game and this is the song they play when the Nats win. Yep, after that I had to have it!

Shoulders by For King & Country - This is my Mom's favorite song; when it comes on she makes everyone in the car be quiet so she can hear it. Ha-ha! I am a pretty big fan of it myself and love listening to it; it's certainly a comfort to know that even in the worst of times, the Lord is holding us up.

Problems by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azeala - So, you might see a trend here but I discovered this song when I was at the Nationals game - this is what they play when someone strikes out! So, I of course had to add this to my rotation and I frequently jam out to it in the car. Ha-ha!

Yummy in my Tummy
I cannot for the life of me think of much that just really blew my mind this month - isn't that funny? We did have some particularly delicious strawberry lemonade at the Nationals game...but it might have been because it was blazing outside and so it was just that much more delightful.

I'm also still really in love with the S'mores frappucino at Starbucks. I don't need to be because - whoa - calories! But look, I just really can't help it. It's so splendid.

What I'm Looking Forward To
June is kind of an open book right now - which is always nice. It's the start of Summer and that's always fun; Summer is filled with all sort of adventures. There are a couple of things coming up on the weekend that I'm looking forward to...which are...

  • Shopping for old school bridesmaids dresses with Danielle and Meridith...for...
  • A Bridesmaids champagne quote along movie at the Alamo. How fun will that be?
  • Touring the National Gallery in DC with my friend Rachel
  • Just spending time with friends in general...
  • Marking one year of living in Virginia!
So - those are just a few things I'm looking forward to over this next month. I'm sure June will be wonderful...just like the past few months have been wonderful. What can I say? I'm loving life!



*The funniest exchange happened while I was reading Nobody's Cuter than You - I came across a Bible verse that she'd included in one of the chapters; it was 1 Samuel 20:42, which reads as this...

42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

I thought this was the sweetest verse and so I text the reference to my friend Nickolee, thinking I was being so sweet and encouraging. She text me a little bit later and said "why are you sending me a verse about murder?!?" and I was immediately confused. I checked about ten different versions of the verse and each one was some form of what is written up above. She finally realized that she'd accidentally looked up verse 32 and we had a good laugh! Ha-ha!

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