May 2013 Round-Up

Once again, we've reached the end of another month. May was definitely a month of change: The weather has finally become Texas hot (I'm never quite ready for that), and work has presented some interesting challenges as well. Before I welcome June tomorrow, here are my top moments from the past month:

  • I finally made the big decision to buy an iPhone 5. It arrived early this month, and I've had fun playing with it ever since. I definitely see an improvement in the picture quality, and it's nice to have a slightly larger screen. I was also happy to "donate" my old iPhone to a good cause (um, Paul).
  • I had my last two handbells performances of the spring this month. Both went well, and I was especially excited to have Mom and Dad there for the last one. My twice weekly practices have taken up a lot of my time lately, so I'm glad to be finished with them until the fall.
  • It was fun to rediscover my cross-stitch project earlier this month, even if I only sewed two days. The holes are very tiny, which makes my head hurt if I look at it too long.
  • I received a good report at the dentist. No more cavities for at least six months!
  • My parents spent the weekend of May 17-19 in Austin. While they were here, I enjoyed shopping with Mom, eating two great meals at The Oasis and Texas Roadhouse, and performing bells. I was also thrilled to have Dad change the light bulb in my laundry room — I couldn't reach it with my step ladder so I had been doing laundry in the dark for several weeks.
  • Spending the Memorial Day weekend at home in Henderson was wonderfully relaxing. Highlights of the weekend: eating dinner at Auntie Pasta's on Friday; finding a new purse and phone cover at Belk; shopping with Mom on Saturday; seeing Paul and Esther's Hawaii pictures; spending Memorial Day out at the farm, working on the jigsaw puzzle and eating hamburgers and homemade ice cream; and watching the Spurs win the Western Conference Finals.

Books I read: The Reading Group (Elizabeth Noble), The Last Runaway (Tracy Chevalier), A Town Like Alice (Nevil Shute)

Movies I watched: FIRST: The Story of the 2012 London Olympics (Fathom event), The Great Gatsby, Hyde Park on Hudson (DVD), Evita (DVD)

TV: Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Mr. Selfridge, Call the Midwife, Felicity (DVD)

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

S'mores Bars

Smores 1

One of my favorite treats during the summer are these yummy, super-gooey S'mores bars. What's not to love about melted chocolate and marshmallows on top of a crumbly oatmeal crust? I made these for my family over the weekend, and they were a hit as always.

Project 365 | Week 21

Happy Tuesday, everyone! My weekly Project 365 post is a little late this week because I spent the Memorial Day weekend with my family and didn't bring my computer with me. It was nice to be home for a few days, and neither Sammy nor I really wanted to get back in the car to drive back to Austin (especially Sammy). At least I have a very short week ahead of me!

140/365: Another day, another sunset

Project 365 | Week 20

It's finally beginning to feel like summer around here. It was hot and muggy this weekend, which made it a little unpleasant to be outside. Luckily, my parents were in town, so we had a lot of fun shopping, eating some great food, and attending the spring concert at church.

Cooking pizza quesadillas
133/365: Cooking pizza quesadillas

Around here...

Watching the season finale of Dancing with the Stars.

Wondering what I will do with my time now that almost all of my TV shows have finished for the year.

Interested to read this article about Judy Blume, one of my favorite authors when I was growing up. Hoping I can catch Tiger Eyes in the theater (or on DVD).

Rereading A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. (I just finished reading The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.)

Excited to be finished with handbells practices until the fall. The spring concert was yesterday afternoon, and all four songs seemed to go well (even the "foot-stomping" one).

Enjoying the blackberry-peach cobbler Mom made yesterday.

Trying to stay cool in this 90+ degree weather.

Looking forward to spending Memorial Day weekend at home.

Thinking and praying for the people affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Project 365 | Week 19

Happy Mother's Day! Once again, this week was rather ordinary for me. (I feel like I write this every week — probably because I do?) The most exciting part of the week was receiving my new iPhone 5 in the mail on Tuesday. I've been having fun finding out what it can do and ended up taking all but one photo with it this week. The only time I pulled out my big camera was to take a picture of my new phone.

Looking up
126/365: Looking up

Sad Cat Diary

If I'm not mistaken, Sammy helped produce this video.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Seattle Mini-Book


Way back in October, I traveled up to Seattle, Washington, for Skate America. It was my first "big girl" trip, which was exciting and a little scary at the same time. However, most of my time was spent watching skating, so I didn't have a chance to get too lonely, and then I had part of the first day and the entire last day of my trip to explore Seattle. I've wanted to visit Seattle for a long time, so it was wonderful to finally make it up there.

Project 365 | Week 18

Happy Cinco de Mayo! This past week was quite interesting for me at work ("interesting" may be a nice word for it), but I had a nice, relaxing weekend to take my mind off of it. We also had some crazy weather — a high in the 50s one day — so it didn't feel like May in Texas at all. I'm happy for warmer weather this coming week.

119/365: April sunset

Rediscovering The Blue Castle

Blue Castle

Last week I stumbled upon Sarah Bessey's blog and her post about the 10 books she could read over and over again. I was amused to discover I had read eight of the ten books on her list and loved each and every one of them. (I think Sarah and I must be reading soul mates.) One of the books on her list was The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, so I decided to reread it. It's probably been more than 10 years since I last read it, and unlike many of Montgomery's other books, The Blue Castle isn't one I read over and over (and over) again while I was growing up. Since it's considered one of her adult novels, I thought it would be nice to read it again as an adult.

The book was an easy read, and I flew through it in a few days. Once again, I fell in love with Montgomery's beautiful language; she has a way of describing things that make you want to be a part of her characters' world. I also thought it was interesting to read it now since I'm only a couple years older than Valancy. (The first time I read it I probably thought 29 was SO OLD.) Several things struck me this time through that I know I didn't think about years ago— for instance, how difficult it would be to live at home with no employment and to be considered an "old maid" at age 29.

The story also reminded me of another one of my favorite novels: Jane Austen's Persuasion. Both Valancy and Persuasion's Anne Elliot have families who never show an appreciation for either of them. They are peacemakers trying so hard to keep everyone happy that they often ignore their own needs. Both novels show their transformation as they take control of their lives and become stronger, more capable women (for their time, anyway).

After reading The Blue Castle again, I'm looking forward to reading the Anne books later this year. I think revisiting the world of Avonlea sounds like a fun summer activity.