Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review

Riding on the metro to get to work has several perks. My favorite: Reading BOOKS! I saw this ad the other day that said: I always have to buy a book from the bookstore even though I have 10 at home I haven't read....it's a curse. AMEN to that. And now that I have time to read on the metro, I am speedily reading through some of those books I have had on my shelf for years. It also means that I feel like every time I go to the bookstore, instead of one book, I have to buy two....you know, to compensate for all those other books I am reading....and yet, there are still 10 on my shelf I haven't read. OK, more than 10. I am on Goodreads, but haven't updated it yet. 

In the meantime, I thought I would put a list together of those books I have read, just to keep a 'reading journal' and provide some immediate feedback about some of them. I will also justify some of my reads....just because it will make me feel better and make me look better to my readers than if I didn't.


Currently Reading Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen: 4*

I am getting bored with the story, which is most unlikely since I love Jane Austen. I think I am having a hard time with a character who is so truly naive. This is not my favorite of Austen's works. Her writing style is different in comparison with others.


Mansfield Park, Jane Austen: 5*

I haven't read too many Jane Austen books....which will shortly be remedied, but the writing of this particular piece is beautiful. I really wish that I could read the dialogue in the ending between Fanny and Edmund. It reached its conclusion too quickly for me. I wanted more closure of feelings. However, this is not a reflection of the writing, so much as it is my own personal taste. I loved that this book took me a while to read. The dialogue and thoughts of propriety and ambition of the times were very new to me. I was exposed to some of it watching Jane Austen and time period movies/shows. However, the descriptions of it in this book lend a more revealing glance into societal pressures and norms of the time.

Edenbrook, Julianne Donaldson: 4*

This book follows the same classic style of Jane Austen books. The temper of the character is realistic, but the book was a little too predictable. It took me only three days to read because I couldn't put it down.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley: 3 1/2* for content 4 1/2* for writing

I only knew of this book by seeing the tale end of a show. The writing was different - the first chapter left me a tad confused, but I knew the writing was more artistic in nature. The concept was thrilling...and so ahead of its time. I have always thought of books that discuss a future utopian society to be thrilling. Much of the ideas were outlandish to me, and tread on the line of what I would really want to soak in. I wasn't a super huge fan of the over sexualized parts of the plot, because of my own sensibilities. I probably wouldn't recommend this book.

August 2012

Holes, Louis Sachar: 5*

I love young adult fiction. I do not need to worry so much about my sensibilities. I loved the creative genius of this book. I have always enjoyed Louis Sachar as I believe he really is a kid at heart and captures the lives of the young men quite realistically. He does a fantastic job with how a boy of those ages would really react. The storyline is impressive!

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald: 5*

Classic. A re-read for me. I loved it.

City of Glass, Paul Auster: 1/2*

Not a fan. Didn't like is rigidity or crude architecture. Didn't like the story. Read the first 3 chapters just to see if I could get past my first impressions. I couldn't, and therefore did not finish.

I have forgotten the time frame of when I read these others. I am going to say from March-August:

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie: 5*

His writing is remarkable. I still can't believe how he is able to dive into the child's mind. Toward the end though, I was ready for a good wrap up. Call it the adult in me, but there was too much Neverland for me...I was ready to leave.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens: 5*

The story is unique and wonderful. I couldn't put it down. I actually took one day of solitude to completely finish it. I was not disappointed. Generally, after reading classics, I leave wanting more....but for some reason, the ending to this book was exactly what it needed to be. I am quite impressed by the character and plot development, and love Dickens' look into the 10 year old mind.

The Great and the Terrible Series, Chris Stewart: 3 2/3*

Not quite a 4 for me. The idea is enchanting, and allows me to think about the things I know versus the things that I speculate regarding pre-mortal, mortal, and post-mortal life. I honestly have not finished the series due to the fact that I was tired of reading about destruction. I needed something more uplifting and a little less predictable. However, the predictableness in the story made me really ponder predictability of my life. While as the character in my own story, I am unable to make predictions about my life, I am sure if my life were a book series, and I could see the end and understand the knowledge of the spiritual order, my life would be predictable. Thank goodness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that lets me have piece in such an unpredictable way.

North and South, Elizabeth Glaskell: 5*

The BBC series just can't capture all the detail and moving personality of the characters. I was blown away by the deep conversations of politics and prejudices between the love interests. It made the story a little more real than what was portrayed in the BBC series. Although I love them both, I would have to say I enjoy the book better. I love Margaret Hale's character. She is deep and passionate. Glaskell really captures the intensity of industry, hard work, and entitlement. In writing, the differences between the North and South are justly argued and paint a fair picture of reality that are not quite as captured in the film.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Open House in Utah

We are super excited about our newest planning detail for our wedding festivities!

Adam and Lindsey's Open House

We will be having an open house at the Armstrong Mansion, located at 667 East 100 South Salt Lake City, UT 84102. 

I am so excited about this for several reasons:

1. My Great Great Grandmother was Isabella Armstrong. She used to reside in this home that has been converted into a bed and breakfast. I feel a strong connection to this home and am excited to introduce my hubby to it and feel the strong surroundings and impressions of my ancestral heritage.

2. I miss my family and all my peeps in Salt Lake City. It will be nice to see everyone and introduce you to the love of my life! My sweetheart, Adam, has buddies in Idaho and Vegas who we hope will be able to make an appearance.

3. It is small and quaint....which means more intimate moments with people I care about!

4. We will be having Oreos...a treat my dad wanted at his wedding, but couldn't have. Don't worry, we will forgo his dream of pizza.

We will be keeping the event super low key, but I will be in my dress, and Adam will be sporting a super swanky suit. We will continue to post details, but I do know that there is an LDS church down street with adequate parking since parking is limited to the street.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Officially Official

My mom would tenderly and thoughtfully bug me about whether or not she could start telling everyone that I was engaged. I had to tell her over and over "No, mom....he hasn't really officially asked me yet." I knew that it wasn't official in his mind until he got down on one knee and put a ring on my finger. I am sure her thought was: Sure, but you have the date set, the temple is booked, you told all his family...why can't I tell the world? I had a hard time keeping it secret too, but I knew it was important for Adam to stick with tradition....and the last thing I wanted to do was take away his man-card!

We were offered this beautiful heirloom ring that we think belonged to my Great Grandma. My mom sent it and we had it sized. When the jeweler was finished, they called me and I told Adam. I thought he would swing by, pick it up and then try to surprise me that night....he didn't. 

The following evening, Sunday September 16, 2012, I made dinner for a good friend and Adam. We had a wonderful evening full of laughing, tears, conversation, and great food. At the end of the night, I took my friend home and Adam stayed and did my dishes and greeted me as I came home. I came in, thanked him for doing my dishes, gave him a smooch, and sat on the couch. He started playing some saxophone music he found on Youtube....and no, it wasn't the Sexy Saxophone man. He grabbed me off the couch and danced with me in my living room. He told me all of these amazing, gushy things. I knew what he was up to, but I just let him talk. Sometimes even though he was in the middle of his speech, I would interrupt him and say something gushy back. Then, he got down on one knee. Even though I already knew we were getting married, and already knew how he felt about me, I cried. He said "I love you so much and need you in my life, forever, and want to be sealed to you for time and all eternity. Lindsey Blau will you marry me?" Crying, I nodded and remember uttering 'yes.' He put the ring on my finger - perfect fit. I took his hand, helped him up and we embraced and smooched, and embraced again.

I never had an idea or expectation in my mind of how I wanted to be proposed to. He told me that he wanted to plan something elaborate. To be honest, having him there with me that night in a normal situation, knowing that we might have similar nights just like that, was perfect. Adam is such a romantic...and has the ability to make anything romantic, and I didn't need anything elaborate. Being in the comfort of my home made me excited for our future home....wherever that may be.

Since September 16, things have gotten unpredictably better and better. I enjoy getting to know him more and more, and am often overwhelmed by his thoughtfulness. Yes, we fight and bicker over little random things, but overall those little things don't matter in the long run....and I am excited to hit those big things hard when we get there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unofficially Official

Over the course of my dating life, I turned into one of those girls who liked the idea of being married, but wouldn't talk about it with those I was dating until I knew they were serious. I had relationships in the past where the guys would discuss getting married with me. As a consequence of talking about something so remarkable, I would get super excited and attached to the idea of marrying them. When it didn't happen, I would be heart broken.

First thing you should know:
Adam would often mention being married to me and all the different things that would happen. I refused to talk about it for a while, but after persuasion and sweet words, I caved, but didn't actually say the word 'marriage' or 'married.' Instead, I used the word 'smurfed' after a game that I have played where a player has to guess the action verb the other players have chosen by substituting the word 'smurf.' For example if the action verb is 'playing football,' and I don't know what the action verb is and I have to guess, I can only do so by saying, "have you ever smurfed in public?" or "does smurfing involve multiple people?" etc, until I guess what 'smurfing' really is. Regardless, we talked about being smurfed.

Second thing you should know:
Adam and I discussed our dating styles long before we talked about being smurfed. I indicated that while my other relationships happened fast and furious, that for the past couple of years, I wanted to get to know someone at a much slower pace. He agreed that he was also of that same sentiment. Thus, we decided not to place any expectations on the relationship and let it evolve as fast or slow as it and we wanted. 

During our relationship, Adam would say cute things to me like "I need you" "I want you." It became an inside joke, and it always made me smile. One day he looked at me rather intensely and said "I need you!" I laughed. He said, "No, I REALLY need you in my life." I looked at him and could tell that there was more meaning in what he was saying than ever before. I said, "So, do we need to talk about this seriously?" He said, "Well, I know your dad is only in town for a couple more days...I was kind of hoping to talk to him." I remember opening my eyes super wide and saying, "Oh, you are SERIOUS!" I remember smiling a lot as we discussed some details and particulars.

He talked to my dad, and shared with me the sweet moment. I waited a while before I told some of my family and he told his family. I laugh because my mom called me every day to see if she could start spreading the news to all of our friends. I told her to hold off until he officially proposed to me with a ring. I said, "Let him do the man thing mom...we can't take that from him!"

I laugh at the waiting game though. By the time he proposed we had already selected and called the temple to solidify the date, put a deposit down on the reception center, and I got my dress.....