Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals."

~from Emma by Jane Austen~

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of."

~from Emma by Jane Austen~

Monday, June 19, 2017

Let's Bust a Recap : Emma

Well, I've gone rogue yet again. I have officially read more books that are not on my 2017 book list than ones that are. Sue me. After having all four of my wisdom teeth out, I needed a more medicinal read, if you will, so Emma it was. 

Emma is one of my favorites. I know, I know; I say that about all of Jane Austen's novels, but Emma is so wonderfully delightful and funny that I can't help thinking it really might be my favorite. And on top of that, I can say definitively that Mr. Knightley is my favorite Austen man. And that's the truth. 

In Emma, we meet our happily single heroine who has absolutely no inducement to marry herself but enjoys playing matchmaker among the less fortunate mortals who must succumb to that blessed institution. Through scrape after scrape, Emma slowly realizes that she is not well suited to wield Cupid's bow, and SPOILER, she ultimately gives up the title of Matchmaker for that of Bride. 

The thing I love so much about Jane Austen's writing is that all her characters are so perfectly human. We all have a know-it-all Mrs. Elton or a never-stops-talking Miss Bates in our lives. We love our indulgent Mrs. Westons and are flattered by our charming Mr. Churchills but would be lost without our truth-telling Mr. Knightleys. We all know a worthy and respectable Miss Fairfax that we should probably be better friends with but secretly don't like, and prefer to spend our time with the adoring Miss Harriet Smiths of the world. And we all, at some point or other, end up sticking the proverbial foot into mouth and have to then choke down a slice of humble pie to correct our unfortunate blunder like our silly but well-meaning friend Emma. 

In my last Austen recap, I said that Pride and Prejudice is probably the best place to start for Austen newbies. Emma is an excellent followup, and I would highly recommend it. And for you sacrilegious movie-preferrers out there, I will vouch for the adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam. I actually love it. 

Has anyone seen the BBC miniseries starring Romola Garai? I know Austen-lovers generally prefer BBC adaptations, but you know how I feel about them. Have you ever read Emma? It seems to be either the favorite or the least favorite with most Austen fans I've talked to. Seemingly no middle ground with this one. I can't imagine not loving it, but those people do exist in the world. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Casual Fridays

My heart is full.
And while I have you here, I can't get over this photo of my favorite blonde bombshell baby. 
Auntie Hannah loves her girls!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, 
or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter."

~from Emma by Jane Austen~

Friday, June 9, 2017

Casual Fridays

Caution: This post will contain photos of actual dinosaur human teeth. If that's the sort of thing that totally grosses you out, I'm putting a buffer picture of happy flowers, but you better be on your way because after that: TEETH. 
The Promised Buffer Picture
As most of you already know, last Thursday I had all four of my wisdom teeth out. And for any who have been worried: no, I'm not writing to you today from the Great Beyond--I did, in fact, survive. (None of you were worried? You all think I'm overdramatic and need to get back to blogging about books?? Well, TOO FLIPPIN' BAD, this is my blog, people!)

First of all, a huge thank you to my mom for the sweet orange vase of assorted flowers and my fabulous niece for the big bouquet of happy yellow daisies. I attribute my recovery to you because flowers make everything better
And speaking of my fabulous niece, I wasn't the only one who lost teeth this week. This girl is singlehandedly keeping the Tooth Fairy in business! 3 baby teeth down in less than 3 months. At this rate, she's going to have a mouthful of adult teeth by the time she's six and a half. 

Anyway, on to the main attraction. Are you ready for this? 

First of all, are you loving my super-classy ruler? I've had it since 4th grade. 

But second of all, DO YOU SEE THOSE TEETH? ARE THEY EVEN HUMAN? Those were in my head, y'all. I don't know if you can really tell, but each one is like a full inch long. Those are some massive teeth, you guys. I mean, am I right?! 

I have to say: going under the anesthesia and the surgery itself were not that bad. I (obviously) woke up from it so I mean, already my expectations were exceeded. And I didn't have any adverse reactions to any of the stuff they used to knock me out, so I am one happy girl about that. We got to the surgeon's office a few minutes before 8:30, I remember seeing 8:47 on the clock before falling asleep, and we were home by 10:00. Pretty quick. 

Probably the first 4-5 hours post-op were, by far, the worst. It took a solid 24 hours for the numbness on the entire left side of my face to wear off, and the numbness was worse than the actual pain, in my opinion. My tongue felt like it was on fire all that first day. 

But other than that, my bleeding stopped really quickly (within the first 24 hours), I haven't really had any swelling or bruising (I iced a lot), I've been progressively eating more diverse foods (though I'd kill for a good piece of chicken or steak), and the prescription-strength ibuprofen has been doing an excellent job of minimizing my pain (turns out, pulling bones out of your jaw tends to bring on some massive headaches--shocking, I know). It's definitely weird having 4 actual holes in my mouth, but they tell me it will heal, and they've been pretty spot-on with everything else so far, so I'll trust them.

I cannot praise Dr. Cornejo and Winter Haven Oral Surgery enough. He was straightforward, kind, calm, and patient with me. He answered all my questions prior to the procedure, and even personally called me at 8:00 PM the same day I had my teeth out to see how I was doing. I would highly, highly recommend him and his staff for all your oral surgical needs. 

But the biggest thank you of all goes to my amazing husband. He put up with all my theatrics, brought me pudding and pain pills, kept the kitchen clean, slept out on the couch with me, and nursed me back to feeling normal with the utmost patience, gentleness, and love. He is seriously the best
P.S. I have watched an inordinate amount of movies this past week. And one of my most endearing qualities is that I will watch the same exact movie back-to-back (i.e. Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina followed immediately by Julia Ormond's Sabrina or Hayley Mills' Parent Trap right after Lindsay Lohan's Parent Trap). Bless my husband's heart. 

What are some of your favorite sick-day movies? Was it too gross that I took my wisdom teeth home and showed them to the internet? 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"I know that I must have been mad, senseless, to believe that snow would become animated or marble warm; but what then! they who love believe easily in love."

~the Duke of Buckingham addressing the Queen in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas~

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Literary Medicine Cabinet

Last week, I let you in on my crazy Big Fish analogy. Today, I'm going to give you a peek into my Literary Medicine Cabinet. Recently, one of my imaginary friends the bloggers I follow wrote a post about what's in her Literary Medicine Cabinet, and I thought that was just the best way to describe those books you reach for time and time again when life beats you up. As soon as I read that phrase, my comfort reads immediately popped into my mind, and I thought I'd share them with you today. I've divided them into three categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children's Books. Just thinking about these titles brings a smile to my face, and I'm seriously tempted to go grab Anne-with-an-E right now and have a little visit. 

The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery : I'm not sure anyone can truly understand how much I love these 8 books. If I was stranded on a deserted island and I already had my Bible with me, this set would be next in line.

The 12 original Christy Miller books by Robin Jones Gunn : You all know that I love every book that Robin Jones Gunn has ever written--truly I do--but the ones I always go back to when life gets overwhelming are those first 12. 

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen : I never tire of Miss Austen's witty, sarcastic style, and it's always sweet to lose time in her romantic world.

The English Garden series by Lori Wick : These 4 books featuring different characters in Collingbourne, England during the 1800s are literally starting to fall apart from all the time I've spent in their company.

Little Women, Little Men, & Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott : I've recapped all 3 of these precious books on this very blog. It's forever a treat to go adventuring with the March sisters and romping all over Plumfield with Jo's boys. 

The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers : Ms. Rivers is another of my all-time favorite authors, but The Atonement Child is the book I've officially lost count of how many times I've read. In fact, I just re-read it a couple weeks ago.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë : Who doesn't get wrapped up in the dark love story of Jane Eyre and Edward Fairfax Rochester?

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis : I mean, if I can't step through an actual wardrobe leading to Narnia, stepping into Narnia through these books is the next best thing. 

The Psalms : The Bible in general heals all my wounds, but when life hits hard, the Psalms are where I inevitably turn. 

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot : These little snippets by one of my favorite women relieve and soothe me when I'm worn out in this world. 

Children's Books
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams : "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Real love is the best medicine there is so naturally this book belongs in my Literary Medicine Cabinet. 

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne : There's something about A.A. Milne's writing that makes me want to curl up in a cozy nook with a cup of tea and forget the world. 

The Classic Tales of Beatrix Potter : Escaping for a few minutes with Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Peter Rabbit, or Tom Kitten always brightens my outlook on life.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf : I can't help but love a bull who would rather sit and smell the flowers than fight. 

Corduroy by Don Freeman : This sweet book about finding a friend has been a favorite of mine since I was too small to read it by myself. 

The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop : I actually discovered this book as a high schooler at summer camp, and I immediately went to the book store when I got home to add this to my library. I can't wait to read this to all my nieces.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein : My tonic for cynicism. 

You Are Special by Max Lucado : Really all of Max Lucado's children's books, but this one in particular is wonderful. 

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; Oh, the Places You'll Go!; and Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss : Dr. Seuss is the best bandaid for life's minor scrapes. To this day, I can't look at Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! without hearing my dad reading it to me as a little girl. 

What's in your Literary Medicine Cabinet?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Casual Fridays

Well, yesterday my wisdom teeth came out. As I'm writing this post on Wednesday in anticipation of not feeling like being a part of the land of the living, I have no idea how it went, but I imagine I'm probably lying on the couch right about now, watching a musical, and ringing a tiny silver bell signaling my ever-patient husband to bring me some more chocolate pudding. Or I'm in Heaven with Jesus because I didn't wake up from the anesthesia. We'll find out.

Anyway, Happy Friday to you and here are three PhotoGrid collages to send you on your weekend. 
First of all, I finally got my beach day! Last Friday, right after I published this post complaining about how it still hadn't happened, my boss texted me saying she wasn't bringing Little Man, and I immediately threw some sunscreen and one of my favorite books in a beach bag and started driving east. I couldn't have asked for more perfect weather or for a more perfect day. #iloveflorida #westcoastisNOTthebestcoast #eastcoastgirlforevaaaaa
Back at the end of April (yes, it's been a solid month since this actually happened--have I mentioned how crazy it's been??), I got to go to LPL with my BFF Christina. This year, Ms. Beth talked about the blessed EMBRACE: what it means to embrace something, things we should embrace, and things we shouldn't embrace. No secret Siesta photo this year, but we almost made the recap video! If you pause it at 2:14, we were literally standing right next to that girl. To her left, if you must know. So that's....well, that's nothing really, but as always it was a wonderful, uplifting weekend. 
And finally, my sweet niece had her first birthday recently! I try to tell them that growing up is not actually allowed and also it's highly overrated, but to no avail. Auntie Hannah loves you, baby girl! 

What are you up to this weekend? You are welcome to come mock my bruised and swollen face as long as you come bearing Boston Market mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole.