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My last post was at the end of March, and here it is the middle of May!  Well, what can I say? Shit happens.  In fact, some pretty amazing things have been happening around here, namely, I GOT ENGAGED!  Can’t tell I’m excited, can you?  I promise not to turn this into a wedding blog, buuut, I may post some cute things and ideas and whatnot as the planning progresses. We’ll see.

I have kind of moved away from the idea of this being strictly a book blog.  I found I had gotten to the point that I wouldn’t read anything if I knew I wouldn’t have time to blog about it, so I went for most of April without picking up a book.  Shame on me.  Reading is one of my chief pleasures, and I was letting the imposition of having to blog take that away from me. I still want to share what I’m reading… but no more challenges and whatnot.  I just can’t make the time to commit to all that tracking and still be able to keep reading as a pleasure and not just another job.  I soooo don’t need another job!

That said, I’m currently working my way through Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn series, and I’m thoroughly engaged by it.  The stories are kind of a JK Rowling meets LOTR kind of deal, with a YA dystopia twist. I’m up to book four, and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but I’d for sure say that if you like YA dystopia and you like the whole Hogwarts-ian theme, this would be a great read.  Also, Isobelle Carmody is an Australia author, so she sees the world just a bit differently from the typical American or British point of view, which I really appreciate. Oh, and Elspeth Gordie, the protagonist, can speak to animals, so it has this whole extra Dr. Dolittle thing thrown in that any animal lover will, well, love.

I’ve also picked up a number of books from Amazon related to wedding planning, and as I dive deeper into the planning I’ll post my thoughts on each, since it seems like that would be helpful info.  Right now I have The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss, which appears to be the Bible of wedding planning. Everything from microscopic DIY events to massive black tie galas is covered, and it provides info on all kinds of minute details that every bride should probably consider.  I can imagine I’ll be going back to this book again and again.  For the record, Alex and I are planning on having a large wedding with a small wedding feel.  We have a pretty tight budget, and are looking to do as much as we can ourselves.  That leads into the second book I picked up, A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene.  I haven’t even cracked the cover of this one yet, but I’m hoping it will be as helpful as the reviewers on Amazon promised it would!

Finally, not being overly religious folk, and with me being a writer and all, I’m planning on writing our wedding ceremony myself. That’s where The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Reverend Judith Johnson, PhD comes in. According to the Internet, this is THE book for writing your own ceremony.  My first take on it is that at least half the book has a Christian bent, so that’s already 50% I’ll be ignoring. I’m hoping that the rest will truly be gold.  I’m not going to worry about writing the ceremony itself until after we’ve hired an officiant, but I have decided on one reading, from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, one of my absolute favorite stories from my childhood (and one of the only books I made my mother save rather than giving away when I’d grown too old to read it every night). Here’s the passage I want to use:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all 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.”

Seriously people, if you have children of appropriate age… go get them this book and read it. I’ll wait, run along…

Sort of tangentially related to the wedding fever that is happening in my household right now, I’ve also finally been bitten by the Pinterest bug.  I resisted and resisted and resisted, until I got engaged and could resist no longer.  If anyone is interested in following my boards, you can find me here. I was only ever intending to use it for wedding crap, since people had started sending me links to THEIR Pinterest wedding boards and it just seemed like a good way to consolidate all the ideas I was getting and show them all to my mother at once, rather than in a million separate emails over the next year. Then I discovered that people also have amazing household DIY ideas, so I started a board for that.  Then I decided a needed a board for wedding FASHION, separate from the other wedding ideas and decor stuff.  That turned into a whole extra normal fashion board (who else loves Polyvore??!), and then omg, people posted amazing pics of their tattoos and I’ve always wanted one. and well, you get the idea. Damn you Pinterest for being so useful and addictive.  *sigh* (Also, Etsy, if you could come up with a way for me to share my whole favorites list through one link to a friend, without having to individually post EVERYTHING on Pinterest, that would be fabulous, kthxbai.)

Hrm, what else?  I discovered these Sally Hansen stick on nail polish things at Target the other day, and wow am I sold.  At first I was definitely thinking they’d either be a pain to put on, or just not last more than a day before peeling off, but I did my nails on Saturday afternoon and here it is Wednesday with nary a chip or peel.  Wanna see?  I know you do… here they are!

Just ignore that weird blemish on the thumb part of my palm… no clue what it is.  I didn’t even know it was there until I looked at the pic. The polish color is Essie turquoise & caicos and the sticker is Sally Hansen Salon Effects 410 – Love Letter. They give you a dozen strips in different sizes, but I thought doing every nail with this stuff would look too busy, so I just did my ring fingers and now have plenty of stickers left to do this several more times.

Did anyone else notice that I actually typed the word “nary” up there?  Wow.  Anyway, here’s hoping that everyone out there is as blissfully happy in their lives as I am right now.  And also, here’s hoping that this happy bubble doesn’t pop too soon!

Cheers all!