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Dear Friend,

My apologies, it seems I have let time get away from me and have abandoned you for an entire month! With all this time having passed you’re all probably wondering, well what have I been up too? So I’ve decided to write you all a list (in alphabetical order, of course) full of my recent activities.

  1. Amazement. Sometimes I like to bask in the awesome-ness of how things play out perfectly. Whether it’s having your favorite song come on in the car, or just having it rain when you’ve forgotten to water the flowers…
  2. Baptism. Now this really is important, for being baptized is (I believe) to be just as celebrated as a wedding. After all in many ways it’s like a wedding between you and God, there was a relationship beforehand, but it’s a public declaration to keep working at that relationship, no matter what.
  3. Claire. This petite 5 (almost 6) year old is a bit stubborn, but has an aptitude for mixing food. That may sound like a very odd skill, but you probably haven’t ever had a 5 year-old make apples taste like lemonade, have you?
  4. Drive. Every morning, before hanging out with the girls I drive my mom to work (this way I have transportation) and I get to enjoy talking about whatever is on our minds. While I don’t like being up that early (I really am a night owl) I do enjoy spending time with her.
  5. Evelyn. At 8 years-old she’s the older sister to Claire, and she LOVES games, but I’ll get to that later.
  6. Food. For the duration of the summer I have become the food buying/meal making boss at our house. This means that every week I receive a food budget for the week and then plan/cook our meals for that week. Some sample menu items include salmon, curry, taco salad, and Bumble Bee Burritos. This past week I also made 4 loaves of bread, something I hope to do weekly.
  7. Games. I have learned/played so many games this summer. Claire and Evelyn definitely keep me busy whether it’s with a game of Kings Corners, LIFE, Slamwich, or Wild West.
  8. Happiness.  I’ve found so much happiness this summer, whether texting those I love, hanging out with my local friends, watching my girls in the mornings… even thinking about those who I can’t see but I care about… so I guess it’s happiness for the existence of those who I love/love me.
  9. Ice Cream. I have been craving ice cream like no other nad will most likely end up visiting Klines later this week because it, well it just needs to happen.
  10. Jef. This will most likely seem like a random addition to the list, but is was the best way to add an important item to the list… “The Bachelorette” Now normally, I don’t watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette, but this year it’s been a great way to plan for time with my friends, and we’ve all gone a little crazy/obsessed. Sunday is the finale and lets just say we’re all a little panicked because we have no idea how it’s going to play out. All of that being said, Jef is my favorite choice out of the two.
  11. Kindle. As you already know, I recently added Kindle to my Laptop and have been enjoying it ever since… that’s not to say, however that I don’t also go to the the Library almost once a week to pick up a huge stack of books…
  12. Lemonade. seeing how it’s summer time I decided to make lemonade a while back, but wanted something that was relatively unique and exciting. So In addition to freshly squeezed lemons I also had limes, grapefruit and some pieces of watermelon. It was delicious! I had never had watermelon mixed in before and I loved how it made the after taste sweet rather than tart.
  13. Manual. This summer I finally learned to drive stick shift. I had some trouble figuring out how to start smoothly, but it wasn’t long before I was allowed to take Mom’s mini and go out on my own adventures.
  14. N
  15. O
  16. Po. This summer has brought with it the joys of training a little puppy. Po is our own little Kung Fu panda (er, Shih Tzu) and at 4 months old (almost to the day) is still working on his manners. But that doesn’t keep him from snuggling up at my feet when I’m sitting on the couch.
  17. Questions. I love asking random questions for two reasons: (A) I get to learn something new that I might not have had the chance to learn otherwise, but most importantly (B) I can continue a conversation in which I have nothing relevant to say, but can’t bring myself to end just quite yet.
  18. Ra Ra Riot. The song “Can You Tell” by Ra Ra Riot has been stuck in my head for weeks, yet somehow I still love it.
  19. Spiders. I have had the unfortunate experience of waking up not once, but twice with a giant spider crawling up my arm. The first time I was able to kill it (only to identify it as the horrible, and POISONOUS, Brown Recluse) the second time I just freaked out and have been sleeping on the couch upstairs ever since (this is because I have NEVER seen a spider upstairs, while downstairs they are beginning to be overly plentiful).
  20. Topsail Island. Soon, I will be basking on the beautiful beaches of Topsail Island, NC with my family. I love Topsail, having gone with my friend Haley and her family several years ago. This year, I finally convinced my family it was time WE went.
  21. U
  22. Virginia. So far, I haven’t left the  state of Virginia. Obviously I will in a little over a week, but so far I’ve stuck here… on the upside this means more time to stalk my friends (Totally kidding here, I don’t stalk anybody)
  23. Wiggins. My family and I have been watching “Le Tour de France” like we do every year, and seeing how my favorite cyclist (Andy Schleck) is out with a minor pelvis fracture, I’ve been rooting for Bradley Wiggins. Some of the young riders in the tour have also been showing much promise… so perhaps I’ll be rooting for them in future years
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z

Well, I think it’s safe to say I’ve covered a decent number of my activities… or at least (almost) 26 of them. I just couldn’t think of something for every letter.

Lots of Love, Mandi Jo