June. Proper noun. The month of beautifully long, sunlit days, Father’s Day, National Donut Day, and the start of sweet summertime.
Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver. I generally adore Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees is one of my favorite books), and I enjoyed 2/3 of this one. The book follows 3 different characters all living in the Virginia mountains, whose stories are faintly connected. I loved the chapters about a crusty old man dealing with his hippie neighbor and a new widow learning to survive on her husband’s family farm, but the story of a park ranger’s summer fling was a little much for me. Maybe I should have been clued in by the reviews using words like “sensual.” Despite that, reading the lyrical descriptions of nature and the relationship of predator and prey felt quite apt the beginning of summer.
What Alice Forgot – Laine Mortiarty. I zipped right through this story of a woman who loses 10 years of her memory after a fall. It was quite addictive – each chapter led to new, surprising discoveries as Alice slowly learned about her unraveling marriage, her children, and how she had changed so much. The ending felt unrealistic (actually, I guess the whole novel was unrealistic), but this would be the perfect vacation read, if you enjoy being sucked head-first into a story.
Searching for Sunday – Rachel Held Evans. I don’t read Rachel Held Evans’ blog – maybe I’m behind the times, but she’s a little controversial for me. However, this book felt gentler and more self-reflective, even though she maintains her matter-of-fact journalistic style. I appreciated that this book gives me permission to ask hard questions about church and to not shy away from doubts and questions.
I started A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, but she got rather…adult. None of the language or sex seemed necessary, so I decided to move on.
Not much. A few episodes of House of Cards with the boy. A few episodes of Friends, which makes me feel exponentially better about life. And Legally Blonde, the only movie I can remember watching in full this month. The early 2000s are hilarious, and I had a quickly fleeting urge to go to law school.
TOO MUCH of the radio while commuting. I’m in a music drought and needing something that’s not on Top 40 stations. Unless it sounds like this.
This song and video are adorable. Dick Van Dyke is my celebrity crush.
I typically don’t take Internet dating advice seriously. But Aziz Ansari dispenses advice here that seems far more sound and logical than anything his character Tom Haverford would ever say on Parks and Rec.
Dresses that are glorified t-shirts. I have to wear the same t-shirt to work every day, so throwing on something easy, comfy, and cute makes post-work adventures more fun.
This advice encouraging women to focus on being original and honest, not likeable. I need this.
This quiz, which tells you your reading personality. I’m apparently a Mirror, meaning “The books a Mirror reader looks for provide a combination of catharsis and cautionary tale, reassuring the reader that her experiences are shared and familiar and that they are a part of her life—an important part—but a chapter, not the whole story.” Surprisingly insightful.
This necklace, which I want to buy and flash at kids every time they scream unnecessarily at work.
Salad in a jar. An actual Pinterest win. It’s heavy on the prep time, but being able to grab a Mason jar as I run out the door, then pull out a healthy, yummy lunch later is great.
I signed my first lease and moved into my first off-campus apartment. My new roommate and I are settling in, though paying for things like rent and Internet feels way too grown-up for me. (Though I waited longer to acquire a vacuum than to buy new dresser pulls, so maybe I’m not that grown-up after all.)
I ran a half-marathon and didn’t die. Here’s a recap if you missed it earlier.
I started a brand-new summer job working with a summer rec program. My days are spent driving through traffic, wearing the same flashy Parks and Recreation Board t-shirt, refereeing “That’s not fair!” arguments, walking laps the playground, doing head counts on field trips, and playing with kiddos. It’s 85% fun. I get to go down waterslides once a week when the kids go swimming, bait hook after hook for fishing contests, play coach for the basketball “team” a few girls organized, and avoid working on evenings and weekends. I’ll take it.
Teaching one swimming lesson a week to two spunky kids. It’s fun to keep doing something I enjoyed for the past few years, especially when I get paid to do it. 🙂
This month, for the first time since December, my boyfriend lived less than 10 minutes from me. We had a wonderful month together after a semester of long-distance, and we sure lived it up. Seeing the Cities from the top of the Foshay Tower. Paddleboarding on Lake Como. Eating Sebastian Joe’s ice cream. Walking around the campus island. Screaming (maybe that was just me) at Valleyfair. Sailing. Reading in the hammock. Traipsing through the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Now another term of long-distance is beginning, and I’m trying not to freak out that one of my favorite people is back in D.C. I’m going to miss him so much.
Hanging out with my family at the lake for Father’s Day. I have an awesome dad and grandpa.
Come to think of it, I was at a lake every weekend in June. This summer is off to a swell start.
What have you been into this month? Head to Leigh Kramer’s link-up to join the fun and see what other bloggers have been doing in June.