August (2015)

August. proper noun. The dog days, the last hurrah, the fond farewell to summer.

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I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer, as always, to share what I loved this month. Head to the link-up if you’re looking for other good recommendations or are generally nosy about how Internet people spend their time.



Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson. Watch the movie, then pretend you’re spending a few hours with Amy Adams while you read about the incredulous, down-and-out Miss Pettigrew and her day with Miss LaFosse, the stunning socialite juggling three men. One of my favorite lines: “Miss LaFosse was sitting quietly with the radiant, shining look on her face of the woman who has just been thoroughly and satisfactorily kissed.”

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion. This book was all over people’s lists of best summer beach reads, with good reason. The story of the geneticist who creates a questionnaire to screen potential wife candidates was cute and quirky. Though I’m curious if I should be worried that I can empathize with a man who claims that, in regards to being on time, “poor synchronization is a huge waste of time,” and refers to minute-wasting chatter as “the inevitable small talk”?

Bread and Wine – Shauna Niequist. Shauna’s writing feels down-to-earth and comforting in this book, exactly like the kind of food she serves. Food is an interesting lens through which to write a memoir, and not quite all of the chapters worked for me. If I liked vinegar more and knew more about cooking, maybe I would have been head-over-heels for this book. As it was, I simply enjoyed it.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress – Rhoda Janzen. This wins the award for Funniest Book I’ve Read this Summer. Also Best Book to Read Aloud To Anyone Who Will Listen. Some reasons why: She describes a road trip in which one of her brothers had to eat a raisin that had been up her other brother’s nose. Her mom sewed patterned fabric strips on to the bottoms of her pant legs to make them last through growth spurts. Her father would carefully supervise their TV time and, whenever actors hinted towards a kiss, would mutter “Smut,” while switching the channel. These episodes are hysterical in Rhoda’s voice, which is sassy without being cynical, and which pokes fun at her childhood without being mean.

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald. True confessions: I tried reading The Great Gatsby once in high school. I didn’t like it. This time, after watching the movie, talking about it with my boyfriend, and not expecting to relate to any of the characters, I could read for the rich writing and enjoy it much more. Fitzgerald made a classic out of this by the sheer force and luxuriousness of his descriptions. Maybe second time’s the charm on this one.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Car rides alone call for well-loved audiobooks.

The Madeleine Peyroux Pandora station. It’s moody and swingy and just right for quiet evenings.

Locked Away – R.City ft. Adam Levine. Catchy.


Father of the Bride. The perfect movie to watch with one of your dearest friends on the night before her wedding weekend.

I’m back on the Gilmore Girls train. Though I’m not sure I can take the Dean/Jess drama.


Because Kid President is da bomb.

This is classic for the start of school.

If you don’t follow Love, Teach, you should. This list shows exactly why. Though I would add these socks to the list, too.

I, and all other English teachers, need this shirt.

If you’re in a relationship or ever want to be in one, this is such good advice. Hold me to this, people.

The smartphone life. I have joined the 21st century AND I have a baby Instagram account. (Find me here at @agirldefined!) I must admit, my old clunker of a phone and I had a good run. We shared four years together, and I might even miss the dinosaur a little.

Polka dot pants. The Pixie pant from Old Navy is working for me. Find ‘em on sale for extra happiness.



Bachelorette party. We celebrated the bride the weekend before her wedding with a trip to Stillwater, the cutest riverside town. We kept it classy. Except that I bought my dress at a thrift store. Though this is the story with all of my fancy clothes lately.


The bride and me. I like this girl.

Wedding celebration! I got to be a bridesmaid when one of my dearest friends married her honey. They were radiant with happiness, and it was fun to get glammed up and celebrate their love. Best wishes, Rachel and Joel!


From freshman orientation group to wedding days…

Finishing my summer job with the kiddos. I had a sweet summer with them, which culminated in a trip to Wild Mountain, an amusement park with an alpine slide, waterslides, a lazy river, and Go-Karts in 90º heat. I went all in. I even scratched up my back going down the Black Hole, the scariest waterslide of them all. The kids might have been impressed.

Heading home, for a long-awaited break. I got my first-ever massage and a brand-new pair of happy shoulders. I also got my hair chopped off, crafted with my mom, worked out with my brothers, and avoided setting my alarm. And my dad was patient enough to take pictures with me. (Pssst. Check the About page for more.)


All of my family was in the same room for the first time this summer when we dropped my brother off at college. There are now 3 of us enrolled at the same school. Significant tuition discounts should be given, I think.


The gang’s all here

Hey ya, hey ya, my boyfriend’s back. And we’ve done all the things in the few days he’s been here. Dressed-up dinner, swing dancing, double date with friends, the Minnesota State Fair, hiking at Taylor’s Falls, and plenty of real life and conversation in between. He’s swell.


Student teaching. And so it begins. The teachers are in workshops now, so I’m helping with admin work and trying not to get in the way. When the kids come in a few days (and I can actually start making progress on the edTPA), the real fun begins…

What were you into this month?


2 thoughts on “August (2015)

  1. Your hair looks gorgeous! So glad you got to be a bridesmaid. And I know what you mean about Great Gatsby – it’s a little discomforting. (is that a word??)

    I’m coming to you via Leigh Kramer’s place – I blog on being real with God in hard times over at Thorns and Gold – lovely to connect with you!

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