Monday Meme Round-Up

NPR published a great article yesterday about how love for dogs is expressed on the internet, primarily through memes and photo captions: – Dogs Are Doggos: An Internet Language Built Around Love For The Puppers

On a related note, here are my favorite (dog-themed) memes from the week…

Doggo doin a meet (hello friend why r u not floofy) @borkborkiamdoggo

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Just gonna loudly lick my crotch brb. Via @bark

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Friday Favorites

We got our preview pictures back from our “Mommy and Me” photo shoot, and I am obsessed!  Darris Hartman did a wonderful job, and I can’t wait to see the rest!  The black and white family shot is my favorite.

Here are four more things that brought me joy this week:

Lemon Butter Chicken and Carrots

This recipe from Cooking Light is one of my favorite weeknight meals that is light and healthy yet still filling with plenty of flavor.  I almost always have the ingredients I need on hand for this dish, and it is one of Chatham’s favorites.  This week, I served it with rice pilaf and roasted beets on the side.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Image result for the people versus oj

I had heard bits and pieces about the O.J. Simpson trials growing up (football player, something about a glove, etc.), but the fact that I was too young when it happened to have watched it or really know what was going on made this show all the more fun to watch now.

This 10-episode drama is streaming on Netflix, and it is one of those treasured finds that Chatham and I both enjoy watching together.  Even though the trials happened in the mid-90s, the show touches on many issues that are relevant today, including attitudes toward women in powerful positions, racial tensions regarding police, and effects of fame and the 24-hour news cycle.

My Trusty Sidekick, My S’well Bottle

My mother-in-law got me a white s’well bottle for Christmas, and y’all, it is a-maz-ing.  I used a Yeti tumbler to keep my water cold and handy before, but this bottle’s capabilities go far beyond that of my old Yeti.  The screw cap lid is nice because I can throw it in my bag without worrying about spill-age, and it keeps water cold for 24-hours, which is great for middle-of-the-night thirst attacks.  I have the 25-oz size, and I try to finish two bottles-worth of water each day.

“Season 2 Episode 3” by Glass Animals

I have listened to this fun song multiple times every day this week.  The beat and tune just make me want to move and groove.  Carla May loves it, too.

Carla May’s First Easter


What a wonderful Easter weekend!  I have said before that I thought holidays were fun as a kid, but now I know that they are WAY more fun as a parent!  Chatham fished for most of the weekend (still cobia season…), so Carla May and I spent our time enjoying the beautiful weather with family.

Any holiday is a good excuse for me to make a dessert.  For Easter this year, I baked a delicious strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.  I used this recipe from Paula Deen, and I have to admit that I ate probably a half cup of icing in the process of frosting this cake… oops.

The weather was beautiful this weekend, so we decorated eggs in my sister-in-law’s backyard.  Carla May was too little to help but she loved watching her cousins (and their French bulldog, of course).

Carla May and I went to the early service at church.  I was nervous about taking her by myself, but she did (pretty) well!  We sat in the very back row, and I gave her a bottle to keep her quite during the sermon.  She gulped it down and let out a HUGE burp.  People three rows up turned around to look and laugh.  She did get a little feisty as it got closer and closer to naptime, but a sweet new friend with a one-year-old in the back row shared some organic yogurt drops with us.  Food-lover that she is, this settled Carla May right down.  With me not knowing how to juggle communion with two hands occupied, we slipped out a little early.

Even though it was warm and sunny this weekend, we just had to get a few shots of Carla May (and her sidekick) in her sweet bunny coat!  This was a gift from her beloved “Aunt Di.”  The brand is Olive & Cocoa, which I had never heard of before, but the packaging, presentation, and details on this precious coat were amazing!

This loved little girl got TWO baskets from the Easter Bunny, but of course her favorite toy of the day was her Lottie’s water bottle.

Chatham bought Carla May’s Easter dress for her in New York City right after we found out we were having a little girl.  The fabric is a Liberty of London print that matches her blue eyes perfectly.  It is so special seeing her in a dress that we had envisioned her wearing what seems like so long ago.

Friday Favorites

The Morgan family had a great week.  This week’s post about cobia season was timely, since Chatham and the Hey Baby crew caught the biggest fish I have ever seen over the weekend, winning the Crab Cruncher Classic tournament!

One of our favorite photographers did a “Mommy and Me” session with us at sunset on the Bay one night this week (we let Chatham sneak in a few shots, too!).  I can’t wait to see how the photos turn out!

Finally, Carla May participated in her very first Easter egg hunt at the Destin Library.  She wasn’t very good at finding eggs, but she loved watching the older kids and adored snuggling with the Easter bunny!

Anyway, here are five things that brought me joy this week:

Holidays as a Parent

I always thought holidays were fun as a kid, but I had no idea how much more fun they are as a parent.  I mean, does it get more fun than putting your naked baby in a basket with a stuffed bunny to take Easter pictures??? No.  The answer is no.

Libbo Morgan Easter Baskets

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, and every Easter, she creates baskets painted with the designs of your choice.  Since Carla May is obsessed with dogs, I asked her to paint our puppies on her basket.  She delivered it this week, and it is SO cute!  See for yourself:

The Fresh Market Little Big Meal deal

Fresh Market has an awesome meal deal that truly encourages my laziness (efficiency?).  Examples of previous meals we have enjoyed include homemade pizzas, lasagna and salad, burgers, and stir fry.  They usually include a main dish, a vegetable side dish, a carb, and a dessert for around around $20.  The amount of food is usually enough for dinner for me and Chatham one night and then leftovers for lunch for me.  I include a Little Big Meal deal in my meal plan almost every week.  This week we had chicken cordon bleu, roasted vegetables, rice pilaf, and oatmeal raisin cookies!

Victoria Beckham for Target

What a fun surprise!  I had not heard about Victoria Beckham’s mother-daughter clothing line beforehand but lucked out and saw it on a friend’s Instagram the day of the launch.  Carla May and I booked it to Target, and while it was already pretty picked over when we got there, we were able to score a few amazing finds, including this adorable look that fits her now, and matching pink floral shift dresses for Easter next year!

 “Bucket” by Greg Brown

This song came out over a decade ago, but I just discovered it in the last week or two.  Listening to Greg Brown’s deep, soulful vocals over soothing guitar picking just puts me in a mood to relax.  I have had this song on repeat this week.

The Season is Upon Us…

Spring Break season?  Tourist season?  Well, yes, but the season I’m referring to impacts my life far more than the traffic and crowded beaches do.. I’m talking about cobia season.

Image result for

Cobia season spans from mid-March to mid-May.  My husband fishes in the Cobia World Championships every year, along with a smattering of weekend tournaments.  He also runs a couple restaurants at the same time, which often demand his attention in the evenings.  This means I hardly see him awake, except for when I bring him coffee in the morning or when we meet the boat at the dock in the evening.

Fishing for cobia is unlike fishing for any other species and could probably be better-termed “hunting” for cobia.  Fishermen must stand on the highest part of the boat – the tower – in order to see the fish.  Once a cobia is spotted, it must be lured, hooked, reeled, gaffed, and hauled into the boat.

Basically, you may spend 8 hours staring at the water looking for a fish and never see one, or you may spend 8 hours staring at the water looking for a fish and then experience 5 – 30 minutes of pure chaos trying to get it in the boat.  (Hopefully, you experience several patches of pure chaos.  This means you have had an exceptional day.)

Cobia are not pretty fish, but they are big, tasty, and extremely fun to catch, so the Destin fishing community goes a bit crazy for cobia every spring.  Restaurants have cobia on the menu, people are constantly talking about who brought in what, and there is a festive atmosphere on the docks.

Every day, like many Destin wives, girlfriends, and family members, I wait for a text or call from my fisherman to determine how pleasant our evening is going to be.

Often I don’t receive a text or a call.  On these days I know a fish was not sighted and to plan for grumbling about being tired, sunburned, and everything else (quite understandably,  8 hours standing in a fishing boat tower is no walk in the park).

A text saying “got a good one” means Carla May and I will rush to the docks for weigh-ins right after work.  We usually meet my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, fellow fishing wives, and all of their children and enjoy some wine while we discuss who is rumored to have caught the biggest fish of the day.

The boats come in one by one hauling in their catch on big wheeled carts.  The weigh-master hooks the fish onto a scale, keeping the scale turned around as people in the crowd estimate the weight and where that would put the fish in the tournament standings.  A paper with the weight is slapped onto the fish to a chorus of applause and the fishermen take their pictures beside their catch.

I have gone out with Chatham to fish for cobia a few times and have caught a total of one fish.  I also learned on that particular trip that I get dreadfully seasick…  I’ll leave cobia fishing to the pros and stick to bottom fishing!

My first Cobia!

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Monday Meme Round-Up

My five favorite memes of the week… (mostly animal themed, per usual)

This is how you show support at a marathon.

A post shared by Elliot Tebele (@fuckjerry) on

Doggo hangs out with the anti gravity fellas (hello thanks for stopping by)

A post shared by John Trulli (@doggosdoingthings) on

This is great news.

A post shared by Elliot Tebele (@fuckjerry) on

Doggo disobeys the rules (it's okay anything for u ) @doggosbeingdoggos

A post shared by John Trulli (@doggosdoingthings) on

(SOUND UP). You're welcome. #HappyFriday #HappyTrashPandas

A post shared by Dr. Nora (@doctor_nora_) on

Friday Favorites

…because I love alliteration and Fridays!  This week, Carla May tried banana for the first time and loved it.

She also snatched a cookie out of my hand and gummed it before I had the chance to snatch it back.  While she laughed at her mischievousness, I managed to snap a picture.

Other than delighting in my child’s reactions at food (a girl after my own heart), here are five things that have brought me joy this week:

S-Town

S-Town is an incredible podcast that I binge listened to all 7 hour-long episodes this week.  The podcast starts off as a murder mystery set in Woodstock, Alabama, and evolves into a treasure hunt, and finally settles in as a character study of an eccentric, troubled, and truly fascinating man.

While I laughed out loud at points during nearly every episode, this was not a light-hearted story – there were many graphic and disturbing scenes.  By far, this was the best podcast I have experienced (I don’t want to say listened to, because this particular series felt like an experience), and I can tell already that the story will stick around in my mind for quite awhile.

S-Town was produced by the same folks who produced the super-popular Serial podcast (which I have downloaded but not yet listened to).  From what I have read, S-town is to a novel as Serial is to a TV show, for those have already experienced the Serial series.

My father-in-law shared with me a fabulous write-up that was done on S-Town in The New Yorker this week.  Check it out here.

The Firm


Chatham picked this 1993 movie out the other night, and when I saw that it was over two hours long, I thought there was no way I could possibly stay up to watch all of it.  Oh boy, was I wrong!  This was a mind-bending legal thriller based on the best-selling John Grisham novel, starring some vintage Tom Cruise.

The Firm is streaming free for Amazon Prime members right now!

@subwaybookreview

I heard about this Instagram project because the creator Uli Beutter Cohen was the guest on one of my favorite podcasts this week (What Should I Read Next).  The Subway Book Review is a collection of black and white photos of subway riders with their books.  Uli interviews each participant and includes glimpses of their lives and reviews of their books (of course) in the Instagram captions.

Big Little Lies

Image result for big little lies hbo

Big Little Lies is a new HBO series based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name.  I read the book back when it first came out, so I was thrilled to see that a series based on the book was being produced starring some of my favorite actresses – Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley (who starred in the Divergent trilogy).

This show is a mystery/thriller with lots of domestic drama.  The finale aired on Sunday, but the entire series is streaming through HBO Go.  This was a rare show that Chatham and I were both really into, which is always a nice treat!

Slow Parenting

This week I read a great article from the Boston Globe that actually came out two years ago on slow parenting.  This article hit close to home with me, since one of my goals for this year is to make relaxing more of a priority and really try to savor my time than fill all of it.

This quote sums it up: “Slow parenting cherishes quality over quantity, being in the moment, and making meaningful connections with your family.”

Monday Meme Round-Up

There are multiple important people in my life with whom I primarily communicate via memes.  As such, I get a lot of LOL’s in throughout the day.  Here are my top five favorite memes from this past week.  Enjoy!

(@miinute )

A post shared by Chris (@_theblessedone) on

😂 (@catstradamus)

A post shared by Splurt Zillionz (@splurt) on

Doggo drinks the bean water (heck I'm ready for anything) @doglimited

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What I Read in March

I got A LOT of reading in this month!  This was partly because we canceled cable, partly because I try to read while I’m nursing Carla May (when she’ll let me), and partly because there were so many page-turners that I simply could not put down!  My thoughts on each of this month’s reads are below, listed in order of when I finished each book (no spoilers, I promise).  Have you read any of these?  Are any of these books on your TBR list?

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things – Bryn Greenwood

This book was selected as Book of the Month Club‘s book of the year for 2016, which was an award voted on by readers.  All The Ugly and Wonderful Things tells the dark story of a relationship that develops between a little girl named Wavy and a big, woolly drug-dealing young man named Kellen.  Bryn Greenwood’s writing is masterful, and she weaves the story in such a way that I was rooting for these unlikely characters to end up together.  This was an uncomfortable but extremely gratifying read that I have found myself dwelling on often, even three weeks and seven books later.

Grit – Angela Duckworth

Grit was an interesting book about how intelligence and talent are not as strong indicators for success as passion, hard work, and perseverance.  My key takeaway for this book was to not compliment our children on being smart or talented, but to compliment kids on effort and persistence: “You must have worked really on that!” rather than “You’re so smart!”

 

The Vegetarian – Han Kang

The Vegetarian is a quick read translated from Korean that won the Man Booker International Prize last year.  This book tells the story of a woman who gives up eating meat in a society that views such an act as rebellion against the social quo.  The book is told in three parts, surprisingly none of which are from the point of the view of the main character herself.  The Vegetarian was a dark and disturbing read that is also somehow beautiful.

 

Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinsborough

This was a March Book of the Month Club selection, and I picked it up because I thought it would be a nice page-turner after experiencing two dark  and somewhat difficult stories in the last few weeks.  Behind Her Eyes tells the story of a seemingly perfect upper middle class couple and the husband’s secretary who get involved in a not-so-classic love triangle.  While this story was certainly a page turner, it morphed somewhere in the middle of the book from a psychological thriller to a supernatural-type thriller.  The promotional marketing for this book included the hashtag #WTFThatEnding.  WTF, indeed.  To me, the ending was so unbelievable, it spoiled what could have been a solid book.  If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Exit West – Mohsin Hamid

This was another March Book of the Month Club selection, and has been a darling of The New York Times’ Book Review (it has been featured in four articles so far).  Hamid’s writing is pure poetry with gorgeous sentences that go on for paragraphs, beautiful descriptions of human emotions, and maybe one line of dialogue over the course of the book’s 240 pages.  This is the story of a couple whose relationship begins right before their country goes to war. Mystical doors pop up, transporting those who enter to other countries, creating populations of refugees throughout the world.  When I read the premise of this book, I thought it was going to be a commentary on the refugee crisis and conflict in the Middle East, and while the story definitely pulls from those inspirations, this book was more focused on the main characters’ feelings of connection and isolation in their ever-changing worlds and the evolution of their relationship as a result.

Marlena – Julie Buntin

Marlena was my third March Book of the Month Club selection, and it is the author’s first novel.  In the opening pages, the reader learns that the narrator, Cat, had a special childhood friend named Marlena who died far too early.  Cat, a sheltered young girl, moves to a small town in rural Michigan after her parents’ divorce and immediately becomes entranced by her beautiful, manic, and street-wise next door neighbor Marlena.  The story documents the development of their friendship and the hi-jinks they get into.  I was not aware that this was a story about addiction when I picked it up, but this issue hits home with me.  I am not much of a crier, but this story left me sobbing at the end.  Marlena was beautiful and sad, and I feel better for having experienced it.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale was a re-read that I listened to on audiobook.  If you enjoy audiobooks, I highly recommend this one.  Actress Claire Danes narrates the Audible version, and her voice perfectly illustrates the creepiness of the story.  This is a novel about a dystopian future in which infertility is a major issue.  The main character, Offred, is a handmaid who is appointed to a family with one assignment – to get pregnant.  Offred remembers a time before the current social structure, in which she had a family of her own.  This was a great story the first time I listened to it, and I thoroughly enjoyed the re-listen as well.  Hulu is producing a series based on this book that premieres later this month.

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter  was a Book of the Month Club pick from last summer that I am just now getting around to reading.  It is a mind-bending, science-y thriller about “multiverses,” or parallel realities.  The story is about a professor named Jason who is abducted, knocked unconscious, and wakes up in a world that isn’t his own.  This story describes his efforts to get back to his life and the family he loves.  This book was a quick and enjoyable read that leaves you thinking about life and the choices you’ve made that have shaped where you are today.

 

What have you been reading lately?  Check out Modern Mrs. Darcy for more book reviews.

FYI: If you decide to purchase any books from this post, I recommend you buy them from a locally owned bookstore if that is an available option for you.  If you decide to purchase from Amazon by clicking on any of the book covers in this post, I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  Also, if you sign up for the Book of the Month Club(which I highly recommend) by clicking on any of the links in this post, I get a free book. Thank you!