Thursday, August 18, 2016

Brynn is 1!

Brynn turned 1 on Sunday! We did her cake and presents on Monday because we had Greg's brother in town.

Brynn is fearless enough to climb all over everything and crawl straight toward the ocean, but she was pretty scared of this birthday hat.

She got happier when we gave her some cake! There was zero hesitation. She dove right in and did not let up. 

We sang to Greg too. He turns the big 28 tomorrow. 

Messier and messier...

Taking a little milk break. 

We finally got around to unwrapping some presents. 

As you can see...her plate is now empty. 

Happy birthday Brynn! 

I can't believe it's been a year. It makes me a little sad. Why does it go this fast? A year ago she was my tiny helpless baby, and now she's this beautiful toddler with 6 teeth and a whole lot of happy sass. Thank you, Brynn, for healing my heart and bringing me a world of happiness. You have changed everything for the better. I love you fiercely. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Brynn's Year in Review

Brynn's birthday is coming up! I didn't do that cute thing where you take monthly pictures of your baby with circles on their chest saying how many months they are. Oh well. But in honor of the fact that Brynn is almost one, here are some "monthly" pictures of her anyway! 
T - 1 week. The last belly shot I ever took:  

 I finally did all her laundry...on the day I went into labor (which was NOT the day she was born. Don't worry, it only took 30 HOURS). Hey, at least it got done. 

1 week old. Our little trouble maker/tongue tied jaundice baby. 

3 weeks: 

5 weeks. No, we've never let her sleep in our bed, but she always gets pulled in there in the mornings. It's still one of my favorite times of day. 

2 months! 

3 months! 

Almost 4 months. Rolling right over. She started being able to roll from her back to stomach right after Christmastime. 

She was getting pretty good at propping herself up around Christmas, too. 

Christmas jammies! 

I might be slightly biased, but I think she's the most beautiful thing in the world. 

Almost five months! 


5 1/2 months: 

Almost 6 months. Fell asleep at Reading Terminal Market. 

6 1/2 months! 

Almost 7 months. She started scootching around. 

8 months: 

Pulling up on things! 

9 months! Right before we moved. 

Almost 10 months. Started doing some rad big girl hairdos. 

11 months. She climbed all up and down this bean bag to play with her friend. 

11 1/2 months. Helping out during Primary Presidency meetings! 

Her hair is starting to show some curl. 

She likes to climb up on her perch and read tear apart our books. 

Almost one year. Sniff! It's gone by so fast! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Read This Book...

...I mean play.

So, I am the only one who didn't know that the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was going to be released in book form? I must have been living in a hole in the ground for the past few months, because honestly, I thought the play had already started in London a while ago.

So, I came into Cursed Child with very few expectations. I hadn't been thinking about it, so I didn't know what I thought it would be like. But I was excited to read it, if a little skeptical, which is why I spur-of-the-moment bought it on Amazon a few days after it came out.

I'll try not to give too many spoilers. But I'm feeling like I really need to vent/rant/purge myself of this here, so I make no promises.

I didn't like it. It's been a long time since I've read Harry Potter, and I don't think I'm enough of a super-fan that I was going to be automatically in love or automatically disappointed, if that makes sense. I've heard that the special effects for the play are amazing, and the actors are good, so I'm sure that adds a lot. And I'm used to reading plays in book form like this, so that didn't throw me off or anything. But still...I just didn't really like it.

I'm feeling lazy, so I guess the best way to organize my rant is in list form:

1. First off, characters. This play was not faithful to the dignity of the original characters. AT ALL. Ron. Every time Ron was "on stage" I just felt wildly cheated. Sure, Ron is supposed to be the comic relief. But he's also smart in his own way and full of more grit than he gets credit for--even if he struggles with self-confidence sometimes. The play-version of Ron was a hollow shell of a character, sort of like the ghost of Fred. And while Ron is the most vivid example of poor characterization, he was not the only one. I'm not sure if one character seemed really authentic to me. Maybe Ginny? It's not just the old characters who are cheated, it's also the new characters. The new characters aren't given convincing motivations for the actions they take, and that was very frustrating to me.

2. Holes in the plot. SPOILER ALERT...

....Time travel? Really? We all know you can't change time, right? There are no "other" realities. There is only what happened, and if someone went back in time, well, then, the effects of their actions would have originally existed. That's how it was in the third book. And of all the cool things that could have happened in Harry's life, why are we obsessed with time travel? There was a golden opportunity here to dissect Harry's future and the ramifications of all the amazing things that happened in Book 7, but instead the play just rehashes older books, and not in a flattering way. That's dumb. It's like there were no good ideas for the authors to run with, so they resorted to this. Annoying.

3. The deconstruction of the magical world. There are a few little things that just kept bugging me. It's like they tried to fit too much plot into the play, and to make things easier, they had to make things almost less magical. It was very easy for the younger characters to get away with doing stupid things because some of the rules of the magical world just didn't see to apply anymore, and that kind of convenient forgettery (just made that word up) in writing is lazy.

So there are lots of crazy things that happen in the play that I didn't discuss. I was actually more okay with unexpected twists and turns than I thought I would be. It was the bad writing that really got me. I mean, we all know that Harry Potter isn't the most wonderfully written book, right? Right. But it was complex and the characters were so real and the world was so believable and there were always beautiful messages about life at the core of the story. A lot of that was missing in the play.

So I'm basically going to treat Cursed Child like it is fan fiction. It's not part of the Harry Potter cannon, as far as I'm concerned. I don't read fan fiction, because I have better things to do with my time, and because usually it's bad. So what would be my recommendation for Cursed Child? Read it if it will drive you crazy not to. I think a lot of people like it more than I do, and that's fine. Whatever. But if you expect to see the real characters we all fell in love with, you might be disappointed

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Books

I've been reading a lot lately. So much I've been neglecting other stuffs I gotta do. But who ever really vacuums or cleans out their refrigerator anyway?

Here are the books I've read lately:

I could not stop laughing while I read this book. This guy is a Catholic comedian, so it's pretty clean. And absolutely hysterical. It's about him living with his 5 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment in New York. Greg and I would read together at night. Greg was finishing up Boys in the Boat and kept looking over at me because I couldn't stop giggling. 

This is a great book. It's about how our culture doesn't value cooking at home anymore, but there are a lot of benefits in doing that sort of stuff for yourself and now always being a "consumer." I like cooking, but this books still changed the way I thought about things. I do think American society today sort of has come to the conclusion that we should be paying other people to live our lives for us. We pay other people to decorate for us, cook for us, fix stuff in our houses, whatever. So while I didn't necessarily agree with all of Pollan's discussion points, I do like his overall theme that we shouldn't be afraid to live for ourselves. Really, that's a huge part of how I understand the gospel, too. 

This is the first time I've read any kind of Tolkien. I know, I know, I'm a book nerd and I should like Tolkien, blah blah blah. I have a lot of respect for Tolkien. I mean, the guy created a world, invented a language, and pioneered a genre. That's cool, you know? But...while I will finish the entire series at some point this year, I was not as impressed with The Lord of the Rings as I expected to be. Maybe I should have tried harder to keep track of all the bizarre names and stuff. (I didn't try that hard). I like Sam as a character and Strider, but that's kind of it. Frodo seems whiny to me. And what the heck is a balrog? Does anyone know? I guess it just wasn't as insightful as I wanted it to be. Epic-ly epic? Yes. Super insightful? Meh. 

I read this book as part of my family's book club. A sad book, but it ends with hope. I don't think Genova is an amazing writer necessarily, but she definitely is capable of taking something that seems distant and abstract--like early-onset Alzheimer's--and making you come to terms with the fact that this is a real, concrete problem for real people. That's a very valuable talent. 

I never know how to end these booky posts. So now I'm done. The end. Sayonara. Time to go make dinner.