July 8, 2016

friday favorites #27: week of july 8, 2016

Happy Friday! Why is it that holiday weeks feel longer than usual? It can't be just me, can it? I only worked Wednesday through Friday, but boy did those days feel long! So I'm thrilled that the weekend has arrived! Here are some of my recent favorite things:

1. 4th of July in Indiana
Spending the 4th in Indiana is becoming a bit of a tradition. Last year, my mom and I went out to see my sister and brother-in-law, and this year, my dad went along, too! We were gone Friday through Tuesday, and, despite some horrible delays due to road construction and bad traffic, we had a wonderful time!
It's never a sure thing that Dad's going anywhere until he's in the car, so I snapped this pic as we left to prove to Val that he was with us.

When we got there, Miss Chloe decided she really liked my bed. She's such a fluff ball, and she's so full of personality. Not very cuddly, that one, but certainly entertaining. She also scared me to death the first night—I saw her leave my room while I was getting ready for bed, so I closed the door. At 3 a.m., she jumped on top of me! Apparently, she snuck back in before I closed the door.

We went blueberry picking! Most of the blueberries weren't ripe yet, so we had to do some searching, but we ended up with 10 pounds for Val.

Dad was very tired after picking blueberries ...

We played lots of Rummy and Golf. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of my perfect Rummy hand. I went out on my first turn, and I was the first player!

We went to a "patriotic" concert in the park at Winona Lake ... only the concert didn't include much patriotic music. The highlight was the Four Seasons medley the band played. (In retrospect, I'm not sure that the concert was even advertised as patriotic—I just made that assumption because the concert took place over the holiday weekend.)

We girls saw Ragtime at the Wagon Wheel. It was phenomenal. Last year, we saw Bye Bye Birdie there, and it was really good, but Ragtime was something special.

It was almost chilly the whole time we were there, and we took advantage of the coolness by taking several walks—at Grace, around Winona Lake, and in Val & Greg's new neighborhood. As we walked, I was totally obsessed with the hostas. Now that I have my own baby hostas, I'm eager to see everyone else's! They seem to be a very popular plant in Val & Greg's neighborhood.

We had to head home on Tuesday, and we made sure to stop at a Chick-fil-A. Oh, how we need one in central Nebraska!

2. Galaxy Quest
I have loved Galaxy Quest ever since I saw it in the theater way back in '99. I've seen it multiple times over the years, but I'd forgotten just how clever the writing is! And, in addition to the at-the-time stars, it has so many now-famous people in it: Corbin Bleu, Enrico Colantoni, Rainn Wilson, Sam Rockwell.

We (and by "we," I mean "everyone but Dad who was sleeping") watched it at Val's, and it was a pure delight from start to finish. If you're in need of a good laugh, check it out on Netflix!

3. 30 for 30 documentaries
I recently discovered that many of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries are on Netflix, and now I can't get enough of them! My favorites so far are This Magic Moment, about the rise and fall of the Orlando Magic in the 1990s, Jordan Rides the Bus, about Michael Jordan's foray into minor league baseball, and (obviously, if you know me at all) The Price of Gold, about the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal. Up next: Believeland. We'll see if it can make me stop loathing the Cavs.

(Tangentially related note: I love that Kevin Durant has joined the Warriors. And, while I can understand Thunder fans' disappointment, I don't get why people who aren't Thunder fans are upset, and I don't see how "chasing rings" is a bad thing. If the goal of NBA basketball is to win a championship, why wouldn't you do whatever you can to get there?)

4. The Great British Baking Show
It's back! My mom and I enjoy watching baking competitions together, and The Great British Baking Show is by far our favorite. Season 3 just started (which apparently was season 6 in the UK). It airs on PBS (and on the PBS app), and it's so fun! You can watch episodes here. Just do it!

5. INSPY award winners!
Instead of just one book recommendation today, I'm going to give you a bunch. At the end of last month, the INSPY award winners for 2016 were announced. I was privileged to be one of the Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense judges this year, and it was such a great experience. I've read several of the winners (see them all here), and they're great—but the winner I'm most excited about is Sarah Sundin's Through Waters Deep. While I generally prefer contemporary to historical fiction, I can't get enough of Sundin's books, and I'm so excited to see her win this award!

But seriously, check out all the winners. You're sure to find something great to add to your TBR pile.

(Fun fact: When I first posted about Through Waters Deep last year, my friend Jennifer commented that the guy on the cover looks like Ryan Reynolds. So now all I can think of is Ryan Reynolds when I look at it!)

If you've made it to the end of this post, bless you! As usual, I'm linking up with Erika, Christina, and Karli. What are some things you've been enjoying this week?


  1. I've loved watching 30 for 30 documentaries; I don't know if I have ever seen a dud. And I would also assume with you that if there was a concert over the July 4th holiday that it would be patriotic. Would it kill them to play a little John Phillip Sousa?

    1. Right? Sousa and the 4th (or the 2nd, in this case) seem to be a no brainer! To be fair, they may have ended the concert w/ a couple patriotic numbers--after an hour and a half, we left :-)


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