Friday, July 29, 2011

{This Moment}

Photo by Tabitha Pearson Marshall for The Mahopac News.
{This Moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments,
and do click here for more information about my moment this week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gratitudesday: Harry Potter

I finally saw the final Harry Potter film today (after two or three weeks of watching all of the other films, most of which I'd never seen before), and so I just wanted to take a moment to mention how grateful I am for Harry Potter.  The movies seem to get much better at year five and on, and while I've enjoyed them, and would definitely recommend seeing this most recent one, it isn't really the films I'm most grateful for, it's the books.  The books, pre-toys and pre-movies and definitely pre-amusement parks.  Today, I was thrilled to feel that slight trill at the opening sequence for the movie theater (who knew a fake roller-coaster with giant popping corn could bring back so many memories of hot summer days spent in freezing air conditioning with giant bags of candy?), but it's the books that will always have my heart.

I've said before that the books didn't change my life, didn't spark my desire to be a writer, didn't bring about my deep love of stories.  Still, they were wonderful.  They certainly helped form my views of the world, certainly transported me in the way that only a good story can.  I love them as fully as I love Mrs Dalloway and The Sound and the Fury, and in a much deeper part of my soul, where I keep Goodnight, Moon, Of Mice & Men, and certain memorized poems.  I love them in just the spot where I keep walking down the streets in Oxford, and the first time Roger held my hand, and the view of just barely peeking over the counter at a video rental place in the Bronx and seeing an eraser on a ballpoint pen.  I don't know if I want to have children, but I've been imagining reading them these books just before bed for years.

It was never Harry Potter that made me want to write, but if I could ever make just one person carry with them my work as deeply as I carry Rowling's, I think I'll consider myself a success.  Thanks for a great twelve years, JK!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Wanderings: Gatherings

Showing off Shelby's Ring
Another weekend raced by with me still not caught up!  But, like the last one (which I skipped over, but which involved seeing The Comedy of Errors at Boscobel, barbecuing in Bed-Stuy and seeing Allison & Dan for the first time since we visited them in April), it was wonderful.  The first (and, to me, most exciting!) thing we did was sign our very first lease together on Thursday.  You'll no doubt hear much, much more about this in the weeks to come, but we could not be happier to be moving to Manhattan.  And yes, I'm saying that for the Mad Men-esque tone of it.

The Happy Couple
On Friday, we celebrated another very exciting commitment, Shelby and Mike's engagement.  Shelby's parents took all four of us out to dinner at their favorite restaurant, Desert Sun, and we enjoyed several tropical drinks each.  I can't remember exactly what they're called, something with "razzle" in the name, but goodness.  They're delicious.  We ate, drank, and goofed around for the evening, and generally had an amazing time.

Allison & Rachel at George's
Dave, Post-Hair Cut
Shelby and I woke up early to go with her father to the gym (it was already too hot to go running outside by 7am), and I was reminded of just how much I would love to have her around everyday to be my gym buddy.  I finished writing an article I can't wait to share with you all this Thursday, and then Roger, Dave and I met Allison and Rachel for breakfast at George's, which was the perfect antidote to a good workout!  I'd planned to go to the goodbye parties of two friends in the city that evening, but we were really exhausted, and ended up floating around in the pool for, I kid you not, two and a half hours.  I'm still sorry I didn't get to see those friends, but the rest was really deeply needed, and I felt much better afterward.  We planned to make pickles, but that fell by the wayside after we picked up the ingredients and ice cream AND cut Dave's hair (I made them today, more information to come soon).  Roger and I spent the evening catching up on Harry Potter (we're watching all the movies before we see the final one tomorrow), and of course, I fell asleep during it.  Still, the 6th one may be my favorite yet!
Me, Jessie, and Aunt Julie

Yesterday, I trekked out to Pennsylvania for my soon-to-be-cousin Jessie's bridal shower.  The food was great, the fruit punch was even better, and best of all was seeing all my relatives, including baby Madilyn, who was born in February.  We played some games, watched Jessie open her lovely gifts, and caught up on family gossip.  It was a great shower, made even better by the fact that one of our favors were empty plastic containers - to fill with all the different cookies and baked goods that were set up at the back of the room - a really great idea, and one I would definitely copy at a party someday soon!  And, when I came home, Roger was ready to watch Deathly Hallows.  I, you guessed it... slept.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gratitudesday: My BFFL

 On Friday morning, I received an elated text message from my best friend, Shelby.  "Mike proposed to me last night!"  I couldn't have been happier for them, and in celebration of this happy moment, I think now is a good time to introduce you all to Shelby, and explain why I love her so much.

Shelby and I have been friends since we met in our 7th grade girl scout troop.  I don't know how exactly it happened, though I bet it was at Lauren's house, and before long, we were besties, staying up all night eating cookie dough and watching movies in my air-conditioned living room, swimming and canoeing across our local lake, and getting enormous smoothies at a nearby ice cream shop.  There was horseback riding at Rocking Horse Ranch, sleepovers all around our neighborhood, and lots of time at the beach.  I know this sounds idyllic, but it's all true.  I had a really exquisite childhood, and Shelby played a huge roll in that.

In high school, we went to school together for the first time.  After going to private school for elementary school and middle school, Shelby joined us at public school and we had a blast.  The summer before we started, Shelby would look through our friend Jessie's yearbook to get a sense of who she was going to meet in the fall.  When the year started, she joined the musical to meet new people, and eventually got Jessie and me hooked on theater.  We went to Harry Potter book release parties, visited England and Ireland for the first time, saw all of the Lord of the Rings movies (and decided we were most like Merry and Pip), and had an Anne of Green Gables picnic by a pond near my house. Shelby even got me my first job, lifeguarding at our lake.

In college, we went in different directions; I moved south to study literature at Sarah Lawrence, while Shelby headed north to Saint Rose, where she majored in biology.  We made new friends, and didn't see each other very often, but we talked constantly and visited when we could.  Shelby came to see me when I was at Oxford, and I went to Tulip Fest in Albany.  We stayed put after graduating, but never stopped chatting or trying new things.  Shelby introduced me to running, invited me to my first Pampered Chef party, and helped continue my love of going to tea.  We've talked through our first jobs, our first apartments, our relationships, and all the hardships and triumphs of "real life."  We send each other at least 50 text messages a week, so I was only too happy to hear about her good news that way.

Her mother, being even more excited than me, had broken the news on facebook at 3am, right after it happened, and Shelby wanted to make sure I didn't find out secondhand.  Of course, I called her right after I got out of work, and we talked about the proposal, wedding plans, and general excitement.  In over a decade of friendship, I don't think I've ever seen her so happy (although, seeing the Tardis in London may be a close second), and I could not be happier for her.  Congratulations, Shelby! And, congratulations to Mike, who is one of the luckiest guys I know!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gratituesday on Monday: Lucky in Love

Yesterday, facebook alerted Roger and me to a very important fact:

Um, how hip are our facebook photos? So hip.

I know.  As if we didn't remember that today, this little relationship of ours turns seven years old and gets to go to second grade. Depending on who you are, this could either be lucky, or not so lucky, but I'm going to put my bets on the lucky side, because I bet the majority of people who meet when they are 15 and 17 probably don't date for that long.  Yes.  We are the dark horse of love.

In any event, Roger recently told me I have to stop talking to my online friends about him, so instead of gushing about how perfectly wonderful he can be or telling the adorable story of what we were doing exactly seven years ago today, I'll just say this: after trips to 26 states/7 countries/3 continents, after living in one Brooklyn bedroom in August and four-thousand miles apart with limited communication, after years of talking and screaming and crying and laughing and getting matching tattoos, after endless conversations about African art and cultural theory and Virginia Woolf and Will & Kate, after watching endless episodes of Hoarders and the Harry Potter films, after sharing one car for almost six months in the suburbs, after possibly figuring out our first apartment, after inadvertently wearing coordinating clothes this morning, we're still in this thing together and we're still in love.

Matching outfit twins!

And after seven years, I'd say that's pretty lucky.

Friday, July 1, 2011

{This Moment}

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.