From the library | Recent Reads v.2

Reading has taken a hit recently because I have to study for the GRE, but here are some reads:IMG_2826

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri | This was a fairly predictable read, but was engaging with character development and how challenges were addressed. I puttered out in the last ¼ of the book, but overall enjoyed stepping into this family’s life as they navigated coming to America and struggles they encountered. One thing that continues to stand out to me is how the family wanted to hold onto deep-rooted traditions from the country they moved from while assimilating into America. What they did not want to leave behind was precious, however, some (not all) traditions that were common did not line up with life in America and they frequently had to choose. It was also striking to me when phone calls back to their family were shared–they saw that life went on as “normal” without them and it was devastating after the call, knowing their nearest and dearest were continuing life as normal while they continued to have to work hard for familiarity and friendships.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck | A reread. If you have not read it, please do. That is all I have to say about this. Timshel!

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamond | I picked out this book at the recommendation of my former book club and it was delightful. It followed a young woman living through many of the twentieth century’s major changes and it was such a good read. I do not think we realize how significant some of the things we are living through are, until it is 5, 10, or 15 years past and this book reflected that.

Weekending | June 18-19, 2016

I am going to call it that the weekend started early with a trip to Bantam and Biddy and a shopping trip with a friend. On nights that J has class we meet in the afternoons and I take his car and he takes MARTA home so he does not have to pay to park. I had about 5 miles to go to get to the mall and it took me nearly an hour. This photo captures well everything I hate about driving in Atlanta:

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(Note the light turned red and those jokers decided to go ahead and go and block the intersection). #unhappies

Bantam and Biddy was tasty, but nothing out of this world. However, the company was delightful and we had a blast in Banana Republic. I scored this dress for $26! And the striped one on the chair behind it. Stripes…can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Friday was a normal workday and after running the stairs headed home to relax with J, work on season 5 of The Walking Dead, and go to bed fairly early. On Saturday we hit the ground running. After a quick breakfast we departed for errands. While at BR on Thursday I noticed (and participated in) a $50 off of $100 sale and J got a couple shirts for work. Following grocery shopping we headed back home for lunch and then I had some friends come over for a pool day. It was totally cloudy and below 90 so no actual pool time was had, but it was delightful to catch up (and not bake in the sun). While hanging out someone mentioned “milkshakes” and a craving hit hard. After my friends departed I was scrolling through Insta and someone posted a faux milkshake—frozen banana, milk, and unsweetened cocoa powder. I used to make those all the time and had forgotten about how tasty they were! J heated up the remainder of some chicken pot pie soup I made last week and I had my shake for dinner—we were both pleased with our dinner decision. (Side note: I do not recommend the soup. The flavor was on-point, but the appearance was too unappetizing).

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Sunday I made my return to church after weeks of travel, and we had a low key afternoon. I meal prepped a few things, we went on a long walk (including a stop at Shake Shack for ice cream), and wrapped up TWD.

Weekending | A wedding weekend for Brooke and Zach!

My dear friend and former roomie entered marital bliss on June 11! She had her bachelorette night on June 9, the Thursday before her wedding. I drove to Athens and we first painted pottery (one of her favorites) before dinner at Marker’s 7 (another of her favorites). I painted a mug with a “P” for the near-newlywed and at dinner enjoyed every single one of my raw oysters (sometimes sharing is not caring).

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Friday brought the rehearsal! After a late departure from Atlanta (complete with tears and frustration), J worked miracles and managed to get us to Athens only 7 minutes late to the rehearsal. Brooke got married at the same church J and I got married in and it was sweet to be back there (the first time since getting hitched!). J snapped pics while we ran through the ceremony. We had the same wedding planner, and she’s brilliant! She always runs through the rehearsals starting with the recessional, and it flows so well—we get lined up and in place to begin with, and the show gets going. The rehearsal dinner was in the fellowship hall, and included a sweet slideshow of the newlyweds to be. I loved getting to catch up with dear friends who I do not get to see frequently!

Following the rehearsal J and I went to check into our hotel with a quick stop at an Athens bottle shop (note: beer is cheaper in Athens). We got ourselves checked in, and then met Brooke and her other bridesmaids at my favorite Athens bar—Highwire. J and I enjoyed a good laugh at my delicious cocktail price–$5. $5! Following hanging out at Highwire for a while we walked around trying to choose a place before landing on Fuzzy’s (me mostly remembering my amazing champagne strawberry margarita I enjoyed at some point during the week of my wedding; J dreaming of chips and salsa). I crashed hard while at Fuzzy’s so we called it a night (with no margarita, kthanks), ensured Brooke (who was in no way tipsy and was totally calm and collected) got home okay, and went to sleep ourselves to get ready for WEDDING DAY.

In the weeks prior to Brooke’s wedding I reached out to fellow bridesmaids and her family members and close friends asking them to prepare an encouraging and loving note for her. After collecting the notes on Friday, Saturday morning I pasted them all into a journal to give to her at her bridesmaid breakfast. I choose a journal because I received a great piece of wedding advice from my dear friend Katie—following her wedding she and her husband journaled their wedding day and honeymoon memories so they would not forget them. J and I did that as well and we love it! I was hoping Brooke and her groom would be able to do the same in her new journal.

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The bridesmaid breakfast was at Momma’s Boy…YES!!!! We had a fun breakfast and presented the book to Brookie. After breakfast we went back to the hotel to get our dresses and make-up and headed to the church to get ready! Okay…confession time. When my bridesmaid dress arrived 4 weeks earlier (it came in while I was eating my way through NYC) it did. not. fit. Seriously. J got me into it, snapped in the back panel, zipped it, and I gingerly walked into the bathroom to look in the mirror. I took a deep breath and SNAP. There went the back panel. Yikes. Commence operation no-bread-no pasta-no-sugar-no-alcohol till Brooke’s wedding weekend. And guess what!? It worked! Other than two small cheats (a glass of wine one night, and pizza and beer at the lake) I was diligent and the dress zipped and snapped on that day and I was able to (mostly) breathe. Anyways, getting ready at the church was fun—I did lots of gal’s makeup and snapped pics for Brooke of her getting her hair and make-up done. We got into our dresses, snapped some pics, prayed for Brooke, and then it was time for the ceremony! The ceremony was lovely and after a few more pics, we headed off to the reception.

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S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

The reception was at a local barn-venue and BBQ was served. There was some dancing and J was appointed to be in charge of decorating the getaway car. They departed, we cleaned, and then headed off to go celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary of some amazing friends. I was able to see a lot of my Athens Link crowd at this party and it was so good to catch up. After the party J and I decided to go big since we had a downtown hotel and went to the rooftop bar for a couple beers before calling it a night. After leaving I was seized with a desire for a waffle (remember no carbs?) at midnight (hashtag: shame). Shortly thereafter we learned that our bodies (really) hate grease. Waffle House was unkind to both of us and resulted in us dragging ourselves out of bed pretty late on Sunday morning. We walked over to Big City Bread before walking around campus for a few hours. It was fun to show Joe where I was a RA at and where my classes were and we loved looking in the gardens (and checking out the turtles). After a couple shopping stops we were homeward bound for Atlanta and overjoyed for our friend’s new marriage!

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