you gotta read these. seriously.

awhile back, a friend of mine was reading (and by reading, i mean obsessively devouring) this book, the hunger games, which is part of a trilogy. because i had no plans for reading the book, my friend told me all about it.  it seemed interesting, but it was not super appealing to me, so i didn't bother acquiring the book and reading it.

skip forward a few months...since my friend has told me all about this series, i've seen mention of this book and it's sequel, catching fire, all over the internet.  several people that i blog stalk have blogged about it and i've seen it on facebook and the likes.  also, another friend of mine had read the two books and she suggested that i needed to read them.  and because i am a follower and love reading the latest and greatest "viral book series" (see here), i decided to pick them up (thank you, 50% off memorial day sale at amazon).

and wouldn't you know...they are amazing.  i read the first book in one day because i had to know how it ended.  i made myself take my time on the second book.  i'm not sure what it is about these books, but the way they are written is superb.  the writing draws you in, as well as the subject matter.  and while they are probably targeted at a young adult audience, they are interesting and thought provoking.  they are easy to read, which is probably why they are easy to "devour," but they aren't cheesy and immature.  seriously, they are amazing.

the third book, mockingjay, comes out in august and i can't wait.  if i would have known just how amazing these books were, i would have read them way sooner.  but part of me wishes i would have waited until all three books were out.  then i wouldn't have these gnawing thoughts about what is going to happen in the final book.  and i wouldn't have to wait two months to find out.  you better believe i have that book pre-ordered (it's real cheap on amazon right now).  and i will definitely, for sure be reading the hunger games and catching fire again before the third book comes out.

i've promised to let several people read them, but if you wanna crack at them, let me know.  i will send them your way.  you won't be sorry.  i promise.


we shared a moment, among other things.

(this is going to be a long, picture heavy post...but it will be enjoyable all the same.)

one thursday, a couple of months ago, i went to salt lake to take my nephew to a concert (that full story will follow). i was excited to be going to salt lake so, of course, i took pictures of myself.

before nephew jesse and i headed to the concert, we were able to take in my other nephew's t-ball game. and it was super fun.

all the little tikes.
malcolm is in the middle on the right.
without fail, malcolm fell to ground to catch all the balls his coach rolled to him.
his coach was trying desperately to teach him to stay on his feet.
it was kinda funny.
and of course, he had to make sure his mitt fit his head.
lillie was in a mood and didn't really want to have anything to do with me, but after a few, she finally let me snuggle with her. and my sister took this great picture.

and now for the meat of this post. awhile ago, i learned that my nephew, jesse, is a big rock'n'roll fan. we were driving in my car and flipping through radio stations and he made me stop on the loudest and hardest station. he loves the drums and the electric guitar and the bass and the singing/shouting and all that is great about rock. it's pretty funny that he is a fan of rock'n'roll because his parents are so not rock fans.

and on top of all that, he has a great rocker face.
anyway, a few months back jesse and i were driving in my car (yes, again) and we were flipping through cds. i would put a cd in and he would like it or not and if he didn't like it, we would put in a new disc. we put in the daughtry cd and the boy was in love. he really, really liked it so we listened to daughtry the rest of the ride home. when we got out of the car, i handed him the cd (it was a burned disc from itunes...my music life source). he was so excited that i was letting him have the cd.

jesse proceeded to become obsessed with the music. he would listen to it so much that he knew exactly which songs were his favorite and what number the songs were on the disc. this kid even knew the words. well, i loved that he loved the music and i decided that i wanted to share my love of music with him. i wanted to take him to the tony lucca/tyrone wells concert, but we decided against it because it was a standing room only venue.

i was sad that i wasn't going to share that concert experience with jesse (i shared it with my sister, instead...but that's another post topic). i decided to just see when daughtry was going to be on tour and if they were going to be in utah. to my excitement, daughtry was going to be in salt lake just a few weeks after i checked the schedule. i proceeded to buy myself and jesse a ticket and the excitement built. my guess is, i was probably way more excited to go to the concert than jesse was, but he was pretty excited, too.

we didn't have the greatest seats, but they were alright. we were able to see the stage and the musicians. i made sure to take ear plugs for the child. and he was very good about keeping them in his ears. he would get very concerned when they would shift or if he felt like they were going to fall out.

this was our view of the arena.
not a great view of the stage, but we could still see pretty good.
if i would have calculated better, we wouldn't have arrived at the venue as early as we did. we made it to see all the opening acts. that was too much concert for the almost-seven-year-old little boy. but i was pretty stoked about this opening act, lifehouse. their song, "hanging by a moment," holds a special place in my heart. my roommate from boston, cindy, once dedicated it to me after one of our infamous nights out. so, it is definitely a song that reminds me of my time in boston. and you better believe that i sang right along.

this is lifehouse singing my song.
jesse was most interested in having pizza, soda and snow cones. and because i am the favorite aunt, i obliged. this is how excited he was to be there...eating pizza.

he was really excited to be there, but like i said, we arrived way too early.
all of the bands had their own banners and once this one was revealed, jesse was just that much more excited to be there.
before daughtry came out, they had a sheet up around the stage and before they came out and the sheet fell, they were playing the theme music from batman. jesse was super excited that they were playing that and he was maybe a little confused about what was happening. but i loved that he knew it was the batman theme.

i'm not sure what jesse thought was going to happen at the concert, but once daughtry started playing, he got really excited. he sang along to all the songs he knew...word for word. he also stood and cheered and yelled and did all those things that we all do at concerts.

before the show was over, i could tell that jesse was getting really tired. i knew that i wanted to get jesse a shirt, so i figured we needed to leave a little bit early to beat the crowd. once i realized he was tired i knew that it was time to go. we headed up the stairs and out of the arena. when we were walking around the concourse, jesse stopped me and he asked the greatest question...ever. he asked, "aunt chelle, is this a once-in-a-lifetime experience?" i made him ask me again because i was caught off-guard a little. and then i realized what he was asking. and it made my heart sink and swell at the same time. i realized that he didn't want to miss any of it if he wasn't going to be able to see them again. i promised him that it wasn't and that we would definitely go to another concert. man, i love that kid.

this is him in his daughtry shirt.
and i think i found my new concert buddy.


that was awkward.

i have this fantastic friend. she is fantastic on so many levels, i can't fully describe it. she is thoughtful and kind. she is talented beyond measure. she is beautiful. but my most favorite things about her is that she is funny. and funny on such a different level, it's really hard to fully describe with words. i love hanging out with her because i am guaranteed to walk away feeling rejuvenated and inspired.

well, awhile ago, we were able to get together for a little lunch at the o.g. in logan. they sat us at a table that was kind of secluded and out of the way. we ordered our food and ate salad and bread sticks. at some point during the beginning portion of our meal, we realized that we weren't in such a secluded location in the restaurant. nope. we were right next to the table where the new hires were going to be trained. sweet.

at first we didn't know they were new hires. it really actually seemed like someone was going to get fired. there were a couple of people on cell phones, making phone calls. there was discussion amongst themselves and then the manager arrived. and the training began...sort of.

do wanna know what is worse than having to listen to new hires get trained? i'll tell ya. worse than having to actually listen to the training was listening to the manager go on and on about how these particular new hires were dressed inappropriately...in the sense that they did not have on the proper uniform. but they weren't dressed inappropriately because they were slackers or anything like that. nope...the manager went on and on about the appropriate attire, the whole time apologizing for not telling these new hires what they needed to wear to begin with. really, you ask? yes, really.

my friend was making me laugh hysterically. the situation was oh-so-awkward. and at several points during the whole scenario, i wanted to have words with the manager. not in an angry customer way, but just to have words. well, and to tell him that he probably shouldn't have trainings right by customers while they are trying to enjoy a meal. especially if it is going to start the way that particular training started.

by the end of our meal, we felt sorry for those new hires. hopefully they stuck it out and still work there. maybe they didn't. it would be okay if they didn't.

cause that really was awkward.