Our Transitional Twenties

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By legal standards, they tell us we become adults at 18. While we may have had the esteemed honor of registering to vote and buying lottery tickets, I think it’s safe to say the majority of us were a far cry from “adults” at that age.

Then we enter our early twenties and by all accounts that should, in and of itself, make us adults. At this point, however, a decent number of us are still focused on late night cram sessions and scoring big in the next beer pong tournament. There are a couple of blasé years in the middle where we’ve graduated college and are edging our feet into the water that is first jobs, new apartments, and sophisticated drinking aka cocktail hour after work.

Then suddenly, if you’re anything like me, you are on the cusp of thirty and realize you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. At this point, many of us are married with at least one child, and it suddenly hits us like a ton of bricks. Over the past couple of years, something changed and we really did become adults.

Who knows what made us realize it…maybe it was your child entering school, being called ma’am or mister at the grocery store, or that unfortunate moment when you officially used the phrase “back when I was a kid” and have begun to pity the poor children being raised in today’s day and age who just don’t understand what it means to be young.

Despite the fact that we are now the grown-ups we’ve always known we’d become, things still feel kind of uncertain for most of us. I don’t know about the rest of you but sometimes I feel like I’m living in a strange void where things don’t make a lot of sense. I sense the maturity that comes with age and feel confident in my capability to make respectable decisions, but when things go bad I often find myself still wishing I could crawl into my mommy’s lap and have her tell me things will be alright.

I sometimes look down on myself for not having it all together. But what does that really mean? Is it essential to have your dream job by the age of thirty? Is it so terrible to still be working towards that perfect degree? Should we be completely confident in the decisions we’ve made for our lives? Is it wrong to think back to the not so distant past and wonder if we could have, should have, done things differently?

I don’t think this is a time for regrets and disgruntlement. Despite our encroaching adulthood, we still have the chance to make changes in our lives…to figure out where and who we want to be.

Rather than spending our time Facebook stalking those individuals who really do seem to have it all figured out (damn them), maybe we should allow ourselves some more time. Give our still young minds the chance to grow and develop until we reach the point where we’ve forged our way to the answers we’ve been so desperately seeking. There’s no timeline to this. If we make it through our thirties and forties and are still waiting to “figure it out” that’s okay, too. Spend some time nursing a bottle of wine and a gallon of ice cream on the couch while you Netflix…it’s ok. As long as we’re happy with the roads we’re on, that’s the only thing that really matters.

So let’s just give ourselves a breather, revel in the fact that we’ve already lived almost thirty incredible years, and keep dreaming of whatever the future holds.

 

In the Name of Ransom

Two of my greatest passions in life are books and art. So when one man decided to combine the two and create a brilliant world for us to play in…my head just about exploded! A collector of old photographs, Ransom Riggs has developed quite the inventory of unique and unusual pictures from days past. For some of you that may not remember, there was a time not so long ago, when Photoshop did not exist. While there were still ways of manipulating an image, the technology was a far cry from that which we know today. Alas, this post is not a lecture on the overuse of photo editing techniques…this is merely an introduction to images like these:

Kind of weird, eh? These are not just photos, however, they’re the book covers for Mr. Riggs’ Peculiar Children trilogy. This extraordinary man has intertwined the worlds of prose and photography to create a delightfully, creepy set of stories. His characters and plot lines come directly from the pictures he’s collected over the years. Despite a wide array of miscellaneous themes, he’s woven an intricate web that ebbs and flows from one page to another in perfect melody and transition.

Set within a series of “time loops” that take the reader from one year, decade, and generation to another, his words take on the same gothic styling as the photos he’s chosen to use. The peculiar children that provide the series its namesake are unusual, disturbing and lovable all at once.

While I have to admit that the third and final novel in the series, Library of Souls, did not capture my interest in the same manner as its predecessors, the trilogy as a whole provides a whimsical escape from everyday normalcy. Where else will you find a little girl with a serious case of back mouth (just wait and read!) or a boy that houses bees inside of his mouth?

Despite the unusual perfection that Ransom Riggs has created, however, it would appear that these books are about to receive a less than par Hollywood revision. While I hate to speak ill of the great Tim Burton, he has been tasked with bringing the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, to the big screen and seems to have given Riggs’ dark and twisted world a candy-coated treatment. The trailer’s been released and offers little credit to the original feel that makes the books so spectacular. The colors are too bright, the characters too cheesy, and everyone’s peculiarities seem to have been switched around. I have to hope that Mr. Burton has a plan, but at first glance, it looks like we’ve got another bad book to movie experience on our hands.

Check out the movie trailer for yourself and let me know what you think! Oh, and if you haven’t read the books, be a dear and head directly to your nearest bookstore…or you know, just power up your Kindle!

 

 

 

Frozen: A Temptress Extraordinaire

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I did something terrible yesterday; something that there’s just no coming back from. I watched Frozen…twice…in a four hour period. I bow my head in shame.

You see this damn movie has been out for almost three years now, and despite the constant flutter of songs, quotes, and merchandise, I’d managed to escape its grasp. No two ways about it, this movie pissed me off. Who did these little Elsa and Anna idiots think they were? Being compared to the Disney greats like Belle and Ariel; it’s blasphemy I say. So strictly out of principle, I stood my ground and vowed never to see it. In fact, one of the first parental decisions I made upon finding out we were having a girl is that she would never fall victim to this godforsaken movie’s wicked claws.

I’d seen what was happening around me. There was a never-ending flow of Frozen themed birthday parties and Halloween costumes. The toy aisles were overrun with strangely misshapen snowmen and reindeer. And don’t even get me started on the song…I was convinced my ears would bleed the next time someone uttered those three little words (I won’t even write them..there will be no sing-along happening here!)

But alas, it seemed as though the odds were stacking up against me. When my friend Katie (a fellow Anti-Frozen team member) called to say she’d watched it, I realized there was a chance I may be the last person on Earth who was missing out on some extraordinary secret. So I did it…I set up the DVR and recorded the stupid movie.

I told myself that I wasn’t doing it or me. After all, I’m a mature adult that is capable of not watching some silly, little Disney movie. I was simply being a kind and responsible mother. How would it look if my poor child showed up somewhere and was completely out of the loop? At ten months old, that would clearly be devastating to her social standing.

So during playtime today, I put it on…just as background noise, you know? Very quickly I realized that my young child had no interest in watching this thing. Thank goodness…she wasn’t getting sucked in. I had dodged a bullet. Except what did that character just say? Where were they going? How’d the damn snowman get there again? Suddenly it was nap time and I graciously hit stop on the DVR, turning instead to some high-quality adult television.

But wait…what was that nagging? I began to realize I was anxious to continue watching. I mean, I had to find out if she chose Kristoff or Hans, right!?! So I did it. I finished the stupid movie and then, within a couple of hours, I’d restarted it for a second viewing.

So there you have it, folks. My life is officially over and I am just another weak-minded statistic. I don’t know how I fell so far, so fast, but the answer is yes: I want to build a damned snowman!

Now leave me to my Frozen-filled misery…it’s about time for me to watch it again.

 

5 Years Since We Said “I Do”

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Today marks five years since the first day of the rest of our lives. No matter how much time goes by, I still can’t believe how lucky we are to be living such a beautiful life. While we’ve certainly had the ups and downs that couples are so accustomed to, I still live each day knowing that I have the best possible partner by my side.

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I’m forever grateful that we found each other and I can’t imagine a more caring, compassionate and supportive person to call my husband.

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This excerpt is from my favorite book “Jane Eyre.” It was read during our wedding ceremony and every line still rings true today.

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Ryan is my rock and from now until forever I will continue to vow my love and loyalty. Happy 5th Anniversary to my sweet husband! You make Haddie and I’s world such an extraordinary place.

Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline

I’ve been a complete and total failure in the book department lately. I have only read 1 and a 1/2 books so far in 2016, certainly not a personal best. I can practically hear my Goodreads Reading Challenge taunting me from afar. Alas, life has been keeping me pretty busy. I solemnly swear to the gods of literature that I will attempt to redeem myself, but for now, I can, at least, say that the one book I read in its entirety was a good one.

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Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, was written to pull at your heartstrings. Slightly predictable in parts, this was a story that needed to be told. Jumping between time periods, this book tells the tale of a modern day teenager who is attempting to survive our flawed American foster system and a girl from the past who barely survived the New York orphan train in the late 1920’s.

This story brings us face to face with the vicious childcare system that so many babies, toddlers, and young children find themselves thrown into. This is not to say that every situation is a bad one, but the terrible experiences had by the characters in this book seem to be more common than necessary.

I couldn’t put this book down. It is such a beautiful portrayal of hope and perseverance. I feel that I learned so much about this area of American history. I’m almost ashamed how little I knew before. So if you’re looking for a truly good read, I’d highly suggest you give this one a chance.

Happy reading!

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole…

Don’t ask me what started it, but one of the biggest obsessions in my life is party planning.  Ever since my own wedding, I’ve been infatuated with all things event.  There’s just something therapeutic about taking a million little details and turning them into something beautiful and unforgettable. You may have noticed my absence from this little verbal sanctuary the past couple of weeks.  Well that’s because I was helping to put together one of the most amazing parties I’ve ever had the chance to be a part of…an Alice in Wonderland themed bridal shower.

One of my best friends, Elena, is getting married next month, and I have the extreme pleasure to serve as her matron of honor.  For years and years, I’ve known that if given the chance to throw her a shower it would undoubtedly take place in Wonderland.  There’s just something about this whimsical tale that screams Elena (not to mention, it’s one of her personal favorites!)  When she and her amazing fiancé got engaged last New Years Eve, I was beyond ecstatic.  Not only was my friend marrying the love of her life, but I’d finally have the chance to plan this shower I’d been dreaming of.

After months of planning (okay, let’s be real…I’ve been scheming for years), her shower took place this past weekend.  It was just as beautiful as I’d hoped it would be, and the bride was over the moon.  Here’s some party pics for you to drool over!

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Our gorgeous table was set-up outside by the bride’s parents pool.
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We found a variety of old teapots that we spray painted gold and filled with gorgeous flowers.
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We took plastic costume hats and turned them into our own adorable versions of the Hatter’s 10/6 hat. 
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The cake (courtesy of CG’s Cakes) featured edible versions of the book’s classic black and white illustrations.
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Myself and the beautiful bride

This party was truly an affair to remember.  I’m still so happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of it!  Now bring on the wedding!

Stars Hollow, Here We Come!

Sometimes in life, there are moments where we need to stop for a second and ask ourselves WWASPD…what would Amy Sherman Palladino do?  Since the unfortunate, and untimely, demise of Bunheads, however, there’s been a huge hole in most of our hearts where Ms. Palladino’s fast-talking, intellectually stimulating characters used to live.  Her sage words of wisdom are a thing of the past, and we’ve been forced to mourn what once was and move on…or have we?

Rumor has it that Netflix is coming to our rescue once again!  The same corporate giant that so lovingly returned our friends over at Arrested Development, is reportedly in talks to resurrect Gilmore Girls!  Oh be still my beating heart!  The Lorelei’s of the world may be coming back to us and our starry-eyed fandom may have cause for celebration once again!

Found on gurl.com
Found on gurl.com

I’m trying really hard not to get my hopes up.  This is still one of those “in the works” type of situations and could honestly go a million different directions, and in all reality, we know how reliable the rumor mill tends to be. However, on October 19th (yes, I’m a stalker), the lovely Lauren Graham oh so coyly tweeted that while she can’t confirm any rumors, she also can’t deny them.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to take that as a, “Oh hell yes, the girls are back in town!”  Gather your friends and an enormous amount of junk food…I think there’s some binge watching in our futures!