Monday, June 2, 2014

summer books

over christmas i posted about a lot of books. so many. and the ones i bought for myself.
well, here is the thing...i've taken my time reading them. because i did that thing where i started them all at the same time.
i'd go to my saturday coffee place with 3 books, and just rotate. that's the dumbest idea ever. like...ever.
the other issue...they were all non-fiction. which is great...but i need some fiction mixed in there. i need a novel.

so i was kinda burnt out. fast.
then...i got an amazon prime subscription. just the 30 days. i went bananas
i bought a lot, borrowed a lot...
did a few "book-a-day" days...
so here is the list, with my rankings. Please note that there isn't much rhyme or reason to my ratings. so take away what you will. you will notice that several of these books are intended for people younger than me. whatever. i do what i want.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler



this book follows the story of a teen couple, told by the girl, Min, through a letter she is writing her ex, Ed. With the letter is a box filled with items. She explains each one, the story behind it, what it meant to her, ending each story with "and that's why we broke up"
It's sweet, it's sad, and lovely. Min and Ed are total opposites. And that's why they fell in love. It was a quick read, perfect for the pool

I give it 3 Diet Cokes

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green



my mom and i had a rule when i was growing up. I wasn't allowed to see the movie unless i read the book first. it was so annoying. the only time i got away with it was when our youth group girls and moms went to see Emma. I realized the importance of the rule when during the movie i thought "this is just like Clueless!"

The Fault in our Stars is a teen book. It's a movie that comes out this week. I read the book SO fast, crying through most of it, and falling in love with John Green. I already loved him from his Mental Floss videos, but now i am in love with his writing. You will quickly realize this as the list progresses...
this book is incredible. it's a story of cancer. Hazel has cancer. she has accepted it. But she falls in love with the oh-so-charming Augustus, a cancer survivor. he's witty and wonderful. he adores her. She struggles with the fact that she doesn't want to hurt him...by dying. She calls herself a grenade. She doesn't want his life to be ruined by her possible death. It's beautiful.  READ THIS BOOK. Before you see the movie if you can.

I give it 8 Diet Cokes and a box of kleenex

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn



there are 2 things i wish.
1) that you could see my face right now, as i am typing about this book
2) my face when i finished this book

Again with the book before the movie. YOU GUYZ. this book is crazy. I realized I should probably read a book intended for grown-ups. My word. It's a thriller. A mystery. I had part of it spoiled for me, but it didn't make this book any less crazy. It's dark. It's...messed up. It's amazing. when i finished, i just sat for a minute, thinking. I woke up the next morning things about it more. Lots of thinking. Lots of shaking of my head. I didn't love the ending. but i accept that it's the only way it could end. And one thing about her writing...you don't really cheer for any of her characters. you don't like them. you respect them, you might understand them...but you don't like them.
The movie is going to end differently. Gillian already said so. She's writing it, so that says something.
This is one of those books where I recommend it, but i give a disclaimer. This is some effed up s.
but its so good.

The story is about Amy and Nick Dunne. Amy goes missing the morning of their anniversary. Nick is suspected, though when you read from his point of view, you get the impression he literally has no idea what's going on. It jumps from Amy's Diary throughout their relationship to Nicks current day inner dialogue. Guys...wow.

I give it...a 3 liter of Diet Coke.

Paper Towns by John Green



Told you. John Green man.
So i didn't love this one as much as Fault in our Stars. But it was good. It's different.

This story follows Quentin during his senior year of high-school. He's always been in love with and fascinated by his neighbor Margo. Margo has a well-planned adventure for them one night...and then mysteriously disappears.
Q decides to take it upon himself to follow the clues and find out what happened to Margo.

I know it's vague. but this is a great book. It's smart, funny (there is a bit about the worlds largest collection of black Santa Claus figurines that had me laughing quite loudly)
Like i said, not as great as FIOS, but good.

I give it 3 Diet Cokes

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn



So, since reading 2 of John Green's books worked out so well, i decided to try another of Gillian's. Yikes.
if you have an iphone, you might be familiar with emojis. There is one where the face is wide eyed. Like, almost all eyeballs. it's my favorite. It's supposed to show shock, surprise, awkwardness.
that is the face i had for this book.
It's good...don't get me wrong. But if Gone Girl was dark...this one was just messed up. This one will also be a movie. And I will absolutely see it. And i read the book in a day. I sat on my couch and read it from cover to cover. That says something.
This book is about Libby Day, the lone survivor of a mass murder murder. Her 2 sisters and mother were killed in their home when she was 7. Her older brother was convicted of the murder, in large part due to her testimony. Now, 25 years later, she is contacted by a "murder club"...a group of people who are fascinated by unsolved or high profile murder cases. They want to talk to her, get her thoughts, and prove to her that her brother is innocent. As well as to pump her for details. Desperate for money, Libby agrees. She starts to question things that she had been sure of in the past, and begins to look into things again.

Just like Gillian's other book, you jump around time and perspective. Lots of day of point-of-views from her mother, brother and current day from her. You are putting the pieces together with Libby.
Like i mentioned in Gone Girl...you don't really like any of these people. You like some more than others. but you don't have someone that you truly care about and are rooting for. Maybe the mother a bit in this one. but still...they are all quite flawed. Interesting read. If you are ok with dark stories, go for it!

I give this one a Diet Dr. Pepper...it's what I will drink if they don't serve coke products. And a nightlight.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell



if my face was the big eyed emoji for the last book, my face was heart-eyes emoji for this one.
I was so messed up from Dark Places (just because i finished reading at 11pm and my house was empty and dark) that I needed something lighter so I wouldn't have messed up dreams. So i thought i'd read a chapter or 2 of this before bed. Cut to an hour later when i'm 2/3 of the way through this book.
It's so good. It's sweet, swoony, amazing.
Imagine Twilight without vampires mixed with all of Pretty in Pink. This book is just lovely.

Taking place in the mid eights, Eleanor is the new girl at school. She's 16, poor, dresses the way she wants, and awkward. She's a misfit. Park is accepted by the cool kids. he is also 16, pretty geeky and also a misfit. The 2 bond over music and comic books on the bus ride to and from school. They deal with heavy life situations (abusive home, culture differences, bullying at school) but fall in love.
This book is a teen book, but really, anyone can read it. I read the last bit of it at the pool and sighed so many sighs throughout.

i give this book a diet coke and a Ryan Gosling.

Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell



Yea yea. I did it again.
If you like Harry Potter, you'll love this. Not that it's anything like Harry Potter.
I tried to find the best way to explain this book...but couldn't. So here is what Amazon says:
In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.
Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?.


This book is fantastic. Again, a 1 day read. It's sweet and funny. It's romantic and sad.
I give it 4 diet cokes


Now, onto the rest of the stack for the summer

Looking for Alaska by John Green



I just love him guys. I don't really know what this one is about. but I don't care.

Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls by Leandra Medine



I'm a big fan of Leandra. her blog, Man Repeller is hilarious. I love her style. So so much.
This book is a bit of a memoir. so far I love it


ok...stay with me on this next one...

Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love and Loss by Rosemarie Terenizio



I see your face. you are confused. you are judging me.
maybe you can't even tell what this book is about from the cover.
let's back up a few weeks ago. i randomly remembered the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine found out that John Kennedy Jr had noticed her at the gym. Remember that one?
I started thinking of that. Then a few days later I remembered that John and Caroline had faked a big break up fight for the paparazzi right before getting married...so they could do it under the radar. Then i just started thinking about them. I found this book. I got it for $2. The whole story is told by his personal assistant. She goes have goo-goo eyes about John. She remembers days she was mad at him, when he was a jerk. But all of it is done affectionately. He was like a big brother to her.
I'm going to start it soon. I'll let you know. Judge me if you want, but you know you are curious.


that's it for now!


oh...and guys...this happened.
just when i thought my best fried couldn't make me love her and her family more...she had to give me a niece.

This is Layla Grace. And she is the best thing since sliced bread. Since diet coke. She smells like baby and unicorns. She likes her mom, nenni snuggles and nothing else. i adore her.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

pit of your stomach

sometimes i wonder if anyone reads these. Not in a mean bitter way. like "am i wasting my time" type thing.
but more of a "is this basically just my journal that others have access to, but don't look at, so i can actually get super personal on here and it will be cool" way
like, i can be sporadic with my capitalization. no one to judge me.
anyway, on that note...
anxiety.
I don't think i full out suffer from anxiety issues. it's not crippling. it's not constant. but when it comes, i feel it.
it's that ache in the pit of my stomach. and no matter how much i pray and reason, no matter how clear my head gets, no matter how much perspective i have...it's there. until it's not. until the thing is resolved.
it can come from anything.
work stuff
car stuff
people stuff
house stuff
money stuff
it's just there.
i've been experiencing it this week. well, since friday.
and i've been proactive. not just about the circumstance (because it's always circumstance) but with my heart.
i've thought about worse situations. people i met back around Christmas who had no job. who were happy to work a 3 week job with little pay. An amazing woman who was homeless, caring and providing for her daughter. and no one knew.
i think of people who i see walking by my office to the job security office next door. some take several buses to get there.
i think back to last summer when i was waiting to get a job
and had major car repairs
i think of people waiting to hear back on medical diagnosis. who are bracing themselves for that phone call.
i think of people who will never live a life like mine. and that helps
i think of my heavenly Father. Who knows. He knows each circumstance. He knows each fear. He already has the resolution.
He knows what tempts my heart to fear. He hears each prayer. He knows each thought, even the silent ones i'm afraid to admit to Him.
He loves me. Guys, He full out loves me. Crazy.
I sometimes re-watch the Francis Chan video about being in awe of God. It helps. It reminds me that God isn't tied up in my problem. It's not like a knot that he is putting all his time and energy into fixing. He's got it. It's done. He didn't have to physically do a thing. It's ok. He's not bogged down by me. He's got a huge amazing universe under his control.
Why am I still anxious then?
Because though I know it, though I repeat it over and over, I haven't seen this one thing resolve yet. My faith is little. I know He will. I've seen him do it so many times. But my faith is small. Until it's done, that feeling will stay. It can be soothed, it can be quieted. but it's there. And I have to battle. And that's ok. I'll jump into this battle.
Because I already know who wins

Thursday, April 10, 2014

april 10

Psalms 34:18
the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and save the crushed in spirit.

Today has whole new meaning and glory.
April 10 was always just a day. Nothing special.
Today it is the day that Bobby Remsnyder was born. And also the day his parents had to say goodbye to him.
My dear and brave friends found out this past Monday that their baby had no heartbeat.
This was their 3rd child
Their first son
A child that had been hoped for, prayed for, and rejoiced over.
The night we found out that he was a boy was one of the most joyful. I live 400 miles away, so I was FaceTimed in.
I saw the shock on his mom's face.
My friend who was holding the phone whipped it around to show his dad. It was the most surprised of faces. It was beautiful.
I started texting jokes to his mom, that I'd be sending plenty of StarWars themed gifts. (she hates it)
I told his dad that we had another little skater.
It was the happiest of weeks.
But at 20 weeks we found out their little boy was with Jesus.
This morning he was born. He's tiny. He's beautiful.

Our friends have had constant flows of texts, phone calls, verses being sent back and forth. We are playing the same album on repeat. It's something none of us ever thought we'd have to walk through. This is something that happens to friends-of-friends. It's something you pray about for someone else.
Our community, though currently spread out all over the continent, is stronger. Bound with love for this sweet family and trust in our heavenly father.

Today when the news came of Bobby's birth, I left work. I got in the car and drove. I listened to this song on repeat




I prayed. I got my favorite coffee and became furious when I heard other people in the shop tell stories of hook-ups, horrible friends. Didn't they know? Didn't they understand that 2 parents were savoring moments with their baby boy who isn't breathing? Holding a baby that they love but is already gone? How dare they.
I got back in the car and drove to my favorite park. I took the scenic route, windows down. It was the most gorgeous day. April 10 is beautiful. As i prayed and sang it all came down. This was real life. God is good in the midst of this. He loves us. So dearly.
I sat on a table at Freedom Park, on the little island. It's next to the water, below a weeping willow. I knew it was cliche but didn't care. I continued to play the song on repeat, praying for my friends, crying, talking to the Lord, asking for comfort for the 2 strongest people i know.

Have you ever noticed in those moments how aware you are of your surroundings? It's like a super power kicks in. I can't explain it. Your senses kick into overdrive. I could hear all the birds, the water lapping. I felt like i could hear all of the leaves on that tree as the breeze blew the branches. After an hour I left. As I walked away I saw things I never noticed. There were turtles EVERYWHERE. They were perched on rocks, soaking in the sun. There was a huge beautiful snake that crossed the path in front of me. I saw lizards everywhere. They all caught my eye. It was Bobby's day. Creation was glorifying it's maker. They were rejoicing over this dear boy's life. That was all I could think. They all knew.

The moment before I got up, I forgot to repeat the song...this next one that I tend to overlook came on.
The end says:

Our eyes be lifted up.
Our great eternal hope arise
The great design drawn out for me

In our silence heaven whispered out
In our darkness glory pierced the night
we were broken but now we're lifted up
King of heaven God is here with us
HALLELUJAH
Angels crying aloud
Singing holy
All the praises resound
Emmanuel
God with us

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

deal with it

after the last post i found about 10 more "deal with it" gifs that had me laughing like a weird crazy person at my desk


i'll share them at the end.
but first
next month marks 2 awesome, crazy, hilarious, wonderful years with this weirdo

things you should know about Aiden
  • these pictures were taken 3 seconds apart. the first face is because i told him he couldn't shove more food in his mouth until he finished his bite. that was the response. kid is serious about food. but he bounces back quickly
  • he's an entertainer. he keeps everyone cracking up. he lives for the laugh
  • he calls me Nenni. it's the best nickname i've ever been given. so that is who i am. we don't try to correct it. i'm nenni. that's that.
  • he can make animal sounds now. the best are his sheep and gator ("chomp chomp")
  • Family Fued is his favorite show because all of the clapping
  • he loves his mom more than anything. he's such a momma's boy. it takes everything to distract him when she leaves. he sometimse panics when i show up, afraid she is leaving. but quickly calms down once he realizes it's all cool
  • he loves to take you by the hand to show you something. Once we were in the car, both in the backseat and he was so excited ot show me everyhting "nenni....park. NENNI! CAR! nenni...people!"
  • he loves people. anyone who's name he doesn't know is "people"
  • correction: his favorite person is himself. he loves facetime becasue he likes looking at himself. if you want him to do something on camera, you have to flip it so he can see himself as it happens. he gets lost in his own eyes
  • he can recognize most letter from the alphabet
  • he is going to be a big brother, and can say "baby sister"
  • he  thinks he is a lot older than he is. he loves playing with the big kids
  • he says "hankerchief" super funny. 
  • he can say "i love you" and loves to give hugs. seriously...heart breaker

and now to the GIFs!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

the best song ever

i hope when reading that you got excited and thought "wow, Kendra ACTUALLY found the best song ever, which she is about to share with me. And since I love her music-tastes, i totally trust that this is really the best song ever!"

bad news guys...that's not what's happening here.
sorry.
but i have some funny stuff to show you. and one of those things includes One Direction. and they have a song called "best song ever". which is in fact not the best song ever. not even in the top 10. but since I now kind of love them, i thought i'd give them the honor of having this post named after that song. YOU ARE WELCOME HARRY, NIALL, LIAM, LOUIS and ZANEEEEEEE (yes, i know all their names. it happens)



i'm just going to leave that one right here...feel free to come back to it...forever.

then there was this...one of the best things that ever happened to me this year.


i've watched this probably 15 times. the best best moment is at the end when the blonde whisper-sings the last bit and his spit keeps popping. (do you like how i pretended i didn't know his name? yea. that's Niall. whatever. NO SHAME)



and this...it's exactly what it looks like. a girl gets drunk and films herself trying to cook.


lastly, since i've already confessed my feelings towards One Direction, there is this
(also, please note that my love for them is more of a maternal thing. i want to make sure they are eating well, not dating icky girls and don't get colds. that's all)

Harry's valley accent is my favorite

Monday, January 20, 2014

binge watching is the new black

Yikes guys.
binge watching
am i right?

if you don't know, binge watching is when you find a show in netflix and instead of watching one episode a week with a long break for summer and mid season finales... you watched ALL OF IT in an absurd amount of time.
It's the best/worst.
It's what has taken over my weekends. And sometimes weeknights. BUT, i don't feel the need ot be home on a Tuesday night to watch such-and-such show.

Anyway, it's something we all do. Right? RIGHT?
here are some of the show's i binged watched (including a major confession that I am mortified to admit)...as well as my ratings

Sherlock
Sherlock and John..

Guys, this was one that took me a while to jump on board with. I don't know why. But when I did, i fell in love. Not with Benedict. I don't get why women are madly in love with him. He looks like a praying mantis to me. But he is the best Sherlock I've seen...sorry RDJ.

There are only 3 episodes per season, which is a mean, cruel horrible trick. I'm thankful i binged on this one...so I didn't have to wait 2 years like all the other fans. Yikes. I give this one

Rating: 3.5 Diet Cokes. The only reason it doesn't get 4 is because it's only 9 episodes total. Rude


The Walking Dead:

New THE WALKING DEAD Poster

This show had NO appeal to me. I don't care about zombies. It sounded gross. But then, one day in December while home sick I thought "meh...why not. I'll try it out". Oh. My. Gosh. I became a freak. It was all I wanted to talk about. All I text my friends about. I was furious that they knew things that I didn't. I had to avoid all things TWD on the internet, and still accidentally found out a major spoiler about my favorite character. It's SO good. It's gross. Like, super gross. So many gross zombies. One particular made me almost gag (if you watch...the one in the well at Herschel's farm). But guys. Thankfully, I don't have to wait months and months like everyone else for Feb 9. Just a few weeks. And I'm ready. I am TOTALLY CAUGHT UP. Just so you know, they are halfway through season 4. And since the week before Christmas, I totally caught up. WHAT DOES THAT SAY???? It says that I can 100% survive a zombie apocalypse. I can get the walkers/biters, not prob. Looking around my house I can find 5 things that I could use as weapons. I reassured my roommates of this. I can protect us, fret not.

also, these are things I found that are only funny if you watch the show. I never got them until now. Now, they are my favorites
Norman Reedus - Daryl DixonStuff... Things... Rick lolRick Grimes....stuff and things

Where is Carl? #thewalkingdead

And he comes up with excellent baby names.

Rating: 3 Diet Cokes. The story line got a little absurd in season 4. and I'm still mad about them killing off a certain someone in the mid-season finale. But I do love it. Never mind. 4 Diet Cokes. Sorry guys, I was just bitter there for a second.

Luther:
Luther --- One of the best  damn television shows I've ever watched.  Period.

I just...i can't. I can't even begin to tell you. Guys...it's beyond. Sorry. Ok. So, Luther is another BBC show about a detective that doesn't play by the rules. If you imagine all of that being said in a rom-com voice-over voice, you'd hate it. But IT IS SO GOOD. Since again, the BBC is cruel, there are only 6 episodes in season 1 and 4 in season 2. RIGHT? Rude. I have like 1 episode left in Season 2. And I started last weekend. IT IS SO GOOD.
Here is a crazy thing about this show. If after episode 1 you made a love/hate list of characters, by the finale more than half of them would trade sides. It's bananas. I can't even describe it. There are characters you hate to love and ones you really don't want to hate.
I know you haven't even heard of this show most likely and don't care. BUT PLEASE TRUST ME ON IT. My friend Lindsay got me and Ashley hooked, I got my friend Kati hooked who is getting her husband hooked. IT IS SO GOOOOOOOD

and mainly...Idris Elba, which you REALLY don't understand until you watch. I was all "meh"...but then. Yikes


Rating: 4 Diet Cokes. It would get 5 (impossible score) but again, not enough episodes. It's mean and cruel and I hate/love the BBC.






and lastly...way down here...ugh. I hate myself for this. My guilty pleasure

Pretty Little Liars:Pretty Little Liars ...

i know I KNOW. I know I hate myself for this. I watched it on a whim. Actually, there is more to it than that. A certain friend who shall remain nameless and I were watching another absurd show. It finished. We decided we needed another. I suggested this one, just because i had heard it was crazy. She started first and text me "OH MY GOSH PLEASE CATCH UP". So I did. And I got 2 other people hooked.
Guys, it's Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girl. IT IS SO GOOD. It's trash. It's stupid, but it's good.
Rating: 2.5 Diet Cokes. But really 3.5 Diet Cokes, i'm just too ashamed to admit it.


So there you go guys.
Happy Binge Watching.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BB

I just love these guys...
the Bones Brigade had my favorite skaters.
Today I discovered that my very very favorite one, Rodney Mullen, did a couple of Ted Talks.
one is gross (talking about breaking down the scar tissue that had built up from all his injuries. Just trust me on it)
The other is wonderful


as I'm sure you know...youtube can lead to quite the rabbit trail. As does pintrest, tumblr and most of all, buzzfeed.
But was a happy path for me to go down...interviews from my favorite skaters
even if you don't care one bit about skating, I suggest you watch a few.
(i'm including a favorite...with Lance Mountain cries because he still feels he was never good enough to be part of the Bones Brigade. I cry Every. Single. Time. i watch that part of the film...




Here is Lance crying. So sweet



Cab will forever be one of my favorites. I just adore him.


and the man that made it all possible...Stacy Peralta. I love him.