Monday, March 24, 2014

backyards, brunches, and book clubs

I had a busy (but fun) (and those two don't usually go hand-in-hand for me) weekend. The sad part is that I didn't feel well for most of it. I've had some weird (and mild) stomach issues since Thursday. Bad enough that I feel kinda crappy and exhausted and have been subsisting on saltines and water. Not bad enough that I actually feel justified to cancel on my commitments and stay home in bed. Just moderately yucky. I did spend pretty much the entirety of Sunday in bed, so I'm hoping that means I feel better eventually today. Time will tell, I suppose.

Anyway, despite feeling yuck, there was plenty of good stuff this weekend.

On Saturday morning Matt and I took a mini-road trip to a suburb west of Atlanta to attend a bridal shower (well, I attended...Matt hung out and waited for me) for my friend Alyssa. It was probably the most beautiful shower ever, in a house with the most beautiful backyard ever. Not even exaggerating. The backyard actually brought tears to my eyes. The landscaping! The tulip trees (Japanese magnolias) in bloom! The gorgeous free-form saltwater pool!! The outdoor kitchen area! The nature trail! Ugh. I may or may not have asked the hostess if I could move in with her. Hi, I'm Erika, nice to meet you! And actually, can I move in? Oh, and my husband. And lab. THANKS!! Anyways, enough about their to-die-for backyard. The shower was also fabulous.

We had a Mexican brunch (and no shortage of sangria...which may or may not have been the best idea ever on my empty, finicky stomach...oooops) followed by ALL THE DESSERTS IN THE WORLD. I have never been so mad to have no appetite. I still managed to sample a respectable amount of food, but I was nowhere near my normal form, so it was kind of an insult to Normal Erika's appetite. Ugh. 

While I wined (sangriad?) and dined with the ladies, Matt puttered about and explored the town. A big shout-out to him for wasting the whole first half of his Saturday being my chauffeur and indulging my petty I'm too scared to drive through Atlanta!!!! fears. Anyway, during his time-killing he happened upon some rose bushes on clearance. He's a huge fan of roses and has been trying to coax some long-stemmed yellow roses out of our yard for a few years now, so I wasn't terribly surprised when he informed me upon pickup that he'd bought a few new bushes for us to plant. We trucked back home, took a nap, and then spent a few hours doing some planting. Two of the roses said they were appropriate for container planting, so that's what we did for those two. The other two we put in the ground. I also potted some ornamental cabbages and kales that I bought a week or two ago and hadn't gotten around to potting yet. I didn't put in my zinnia seeds, though. We're all but guaranteed a freeze tomorrow night, so I figured it'd be a big waste of time to put the seeds down.

Saturday night was Book Club!! This was our first time to actually discuss a book, and it was GREAT! We read The Giver this month, which was a re-read for everyone. We had some really good discussion, including lots of comparing and contrasting the dystopian societies of various YA books (most other societies'/governments' control seems to be fear-based, but the community in The Giver is more shame-based...interesting!). And of course, we watched the just-released-last-week trailer for the movie!!

Obviously it appears that the movie-makers are trying to make it look a lot more like a teenage romance thriller than it actually is. They probably screwed everything up, but I'll see it anyway. 

All in all, Book Club was a huge nerdy success and I was very glad I didn't give in to my stomach's lame desire to stay home in bed. Next month we're going to be reading and discussing This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper.

This one will be a new read for everyone, but it's going to be coming out later this year as a movie with Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, and Jason we figured it's probably worth reading! And yes, we're choosing our books based on what's coming out as a movie soon. Seemed like a good way to go! Also, I voted for this book because I just really love the colorful cover. And I 100% believe in judging books by their covers. (And that's not a metaphor for anything. It just really applies to books.)

And now I need to get my brain organized for another week of work. Have a good day!


  1. Glad I'm not the only one who asks my husband to chauffeur me when I'm going to unfamiliar places

  2. You didn't see Divergent this weekend? I'm shocked! I think choosing books based on movie releases is the way to go. I'm going to give The Giver a shot.

  3. That backyard sounds amazing!! I would love to spend a good Saturday afternoon in it!

    I hope you're feeling better soon!

  4. Sorry about your tummy. That's just plain stinky!
    All your planting really has me jealous while it's 19 degrees here, but feels like 9. Ugh!!!

  5. Sorry about your not feeling 100% this weekend :(. Get better soon, girl!

  6. What a fun weekend (minus the tummy issues--boo!)!! I read _The Giver_ for the first time last month and thought it was ahhhmazing. The movie preview looks intriguing, but things were much less scientific-looking in my imagination, so I am wondering what tweaks they'll make to the story. Shouldn't they have at least shot it in grey-scale or something? :)

  7. I am super impressed that you and your fellow book club friends can read one book a month!! Way to go. I would love to attend a book club but I would need to join a group that reads like one book per say 6 months. :)

  8. I'm glad to hear you were still able to have a fun weekend despite the tummy. I LOVE Sangria. Can't wait to drink some this summer!

  9. Love the Giver! I teach 6th grade and the kiddos read it every spring. Hope the movie does the book justice.
    When are you going to see Divergent?

  10. What a busy weekend! The bridal shower looked beautiful; I feel like I've seen that yard featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Book club sounds fun, but one book a month is a lot and I'm glad I'm not the only one that chooses books based on their covers! Hope you're feeling better.

  11. I LOVED This Is Where I Leave You when my book club read it. We read it over a year ago, so I guess I'll need to reread it when the movie comes out! It was hilarious and sweet and sad all at the same time. Definitely a book club favorite from everyone. Can't wait to hear what you think!

  12. First, allow me to commend your use of alliteration in the title of this post. That's my absolute favorite literary technique.

    Second - about the book! So I took four books with me to Vermont this weekend, each one picked out based solely on 1) what my library had on the shelf and 2) what other people who like the books I like on Amazon are buying. One of the books was none other than This Is Where I Leave You! So I started reading it on Saturday, and about ten pages in it started to sound reaaaaalllly familiar, and then I flipped around a bit to determine that yes, I had in fact read this book before, probably a few years ago. I wonder if I'm the only gigantic nerd who reads so many books that she loses track of what she has and hasn't read.

    But this did not stop me from re-reading, and I have to say I love his writing style so much! I'm anxious to hear what you think. One thing I will warn you is that it's very sexually graphic (not like 50 Shades graphic, more just frank and honest and definitely written from a male perspective). But as far as observational humor, Tropper is spot. on. I found myself re-reading sentences over and over, in awe of his ability to capture the "realness" of everyday life and small moments, and to totally make you feel like you're physically present in every scene. Plus it's very dark humor, so of course I'm on board.

    But then on GoodReads (the nerd iPhone app that keeps track of what you read), a lot of people were giving it crap reviews, and I was like, no way! So yeah, I hope you like it as much as I did... twice. Sorry for the rambling one-sided book club review. I told you I want to join yours, didn't I?

    Also, super excited it's going to be a movie! I had no idea. Jason Bateman is perfect for the role in every way. I'm picturing a cross between The Royal Tenenbaums and Arrested Development. Can't wait!!

  13. The comment before this one was so lengthy and thorough that I feel too intimidated to actually come up with something. So, um, yeah, I love Mexican food.

  14. I really want to read that one - hmmm..maybe I'll pick that as my next book when my turn comes to host at my book club, which will be in a thousand years. That baby shower looks amazing. That's what I WANT my parties to look like, and instead it's just...not. I have a deep jealously that you live in the South where things actually bloom. That is not Colorado.

  15. Except for the yucky stomach thing that sounds like a pretty amazing weekend! I am so envious of your warm weather. Today is +8 (46F) out and I'm like "It's so waaaarrrmmm! And raining." But then I see your post and I realize it's not really all that warm out :)

    I hope you have an amazing weekend this coming one too! (Does that sentence even make sense?)


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