1. too hot to handle
Our second-to-last wedding weekend found us in balmy southern california. All I can say is thank god for wedding programs fashioned as fans and the pacific ocean. Chase’s cousin was married in a beautiful orange orchard close to Dana Point, and we ate great BBQ food, drank some margs and tecate, enjoyed a mariachi band (everybody was talkin’ bout their tight pants…and wigs) and shut down the dance floor. So much fun! Congrats to the (hot) bride, Kenzie, and her incredibly nice husband, Brent!
2. gettin’ country
The boy was finally able to join me for one of my favorite weekends of the year — Braun Brothers Reunion in Challis, Idaho. Really, who needs Stagecoach when you have this delightfully redneck affair ft. incredible music, 6 packs of Keystone Light tall boys, velveeta grilled cheeses, campsites manned by families riding around in ATVs donning mardi gras beads, Oregon flags left and right, and more great music? It’s the stuff of legend, and, well, country songs, and it’s been my favorite Idaho event since I was about 15. Needless to say, we’re going back next year for at least two nights!
Two weekends later, we spent the night camping in Stanley, and I discovered one of my new favorite bars in the Kasino Club and one of my new favorite bands, the Necked Rednecks. YES, you read that right, and YES, they are awesome — even as four of their six band members wear eye glasses.
3. back to school shopping
Working at a school, it’s difficult to not get in the back-to-school spirit. Right on cue, fall is in the air with chilly nights and upcoming forecasts of inclement weather. I may be in my second half of my twenties, but I don’t have a big kid budget…so, in comes Forever21. Here were a few of my favorite purchases:
4. sweet symphony
the beginning of August brings one of my very favorite things about Sun Valley summers — the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. We’ve blogged about these before, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fanatic. They’re almost meditative for me, and they relax me in a way that’s difficult for me to find outside of a beach with a good book. I enjoyed great food and drinks with friends and family each time I went and enjoyed the stunning views of Baldy. I already can’t wait for next year!
5. good luck and true love
The California wedding weekend brought a couple other treasures — an incredible bracelet, a gift from Jenna and Brad, and a chance to meet baby Makena. The rose gold bracelet is simple, delicate, and features the Greek evil eye or matiasma, and is said to ward off evil spirits and bad fortune. I legitimately think it’s been working, and I wear it to a superstitious point.
I was so grateful to be able to meet miss baby Makena, the newborn daughter of my cousin, Erica, and her fiancée, Carter. She is so sweet and I can’t wait to see her little personality!
6. reads and views
Here are my favorite reads of the month:
Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table from The New York Times, which includes this beautiful quote about stars and mortality:
“A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile (where some of the world’s most powerful telescopes are). It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.”
Op-Ed: How secular family values stack up from The LA Times, which includes this conclusion:
“Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults. Recent research also has shown that children raised without religion tend to remain irreligious as they grow older — and are perhaps more accepting. Secular adults are more likely to understand and accept the science concerning global warming, and to support women’s equality and gay rights. One telling fact from the criminology field: Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those behind bars, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons statistics.”
The Woman’s Guide to the 22 (Yes, 22!) Candidates for President from Glamour Magazine — this one speaks for itself.
How Jeannette Walls Spins Good Stories Out of Bad Memories from The New York Times. This is not a recent article, but one I recently discovered. Walls is the author of maybe my all-time favorite book, The Glass Castle. Rumor has it Jennifer Lawrence will star in an upcoming film version. I can’t wait. Here’s one of Walls’ quotes from this article:
“We all have our baggage, and I think the trick is not resisting it but accepting it, understanding that the worst experience has a valuable gift wrapped inside if you’re willing to receive it.”