September Wrap-Up 2019 (Birthday Edition + Books)

Hey there friends! As per usual, September is like Christmas for my family and I. A lot of birthday celebrations (including mines), parties, etc. Therefore, in September, I rarely if ever get any reading done. It’s been like this for years since I’ve been an avid reader. I just always find myself doing something other than reading on my free time.

For today’s post I’ll be talking about what I read, books I acquired, and what I did on my birthday!!! (in that order)


What I Read

 

  1. The Whisper Man by Alex North – DNF
    This is a thriller novel about a serial killer who’s now on the hunt again 20 years later. Although this book sounds amazing, I had a hard time getting into it. The writing style didn’t work for me. Ended up DNFing.
  2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah★★★★★
    A Historical Fiction novel set in WWII about 2 sisters and their survival. This book. Wow. Wow. Wow. There not enough words to describe everything I felt. I listened to the audiobook while also reading along and OMG did I cry! I now understand all the love and hype of this novel. I would highly recommend!
  3. Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker★★★★★
    A second chance contemporary romance about two people who met when they both were camp counselors as teenagers. Something unbeknownst to us readers happens and 13 years later, they meet again. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This book was such a page turner and it was so very cute. It was exactly what I needed.

Books Acquired

FE0A1EF3-6946-40BD-8DF6-BE8933FF9516This was my Book of the Month selections for September. I have only read one of the three. In my previous post, I had mentioned wanting to read This Tender Land and The Last Time I Lied. However, laugh out loud, that was clearly a joke. I do plan on getting to those in October though. While writing this post, I am 50 pages into The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager which I am thoroughly enjoying. And so far, October, has been a pretty good reading month for me.

Like I always say every month, if you’re ever interested in BOTM, please let me know. I can send you my referral link and we both get a free book!

 

 

 

 


My 30th Birthday

This section is going to get a little personal. I turned 30 on September 20th. For those of you who don’t know, I have always hated birthdays. September is actually a very hard month for me mentally and emotionally. I wrote a poem about that, here it is if you want to get a sense of what I mean:

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“i was born in september. this month, where it’s supposed to be a celebration is usually the one where my darkest thoughts come alive. finally, not this year. it’s always been a little ironic since september is national suicide prevention month. if you or anyone you know is struggling please call 1-800-273-8255. they’re also available for online chat. you deserve to be here.”

I didn’t want a birthday celebration. I dislike parties. And this was a welcoming of a new decade while saying goodbye to my 20’s. I wrote a poem about that too!

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I took this birthday into my own hands and booked myself and my mami a flight to Las Vegas. In reality, we really went for the Grand Canyon (#1 on my bucket list) because that’s where I wanted to spend my birthday and I ended up doing just that. Among other things of course!

I had such an amazing time out there. I drove two hours to get there and I was emotional. This is something I’ve been wanting to do since I’ve seen photos of the Canyon (for years). I knew it was going to be an experience. Once we reached over a mountain while driving and saw the Grand Canyon, I started CRYING. Mami was clearly nervous because I was driving. However, the energy, the peace, the cleansing of soul is something that I cannot describe word for word, it simply needs to be felt and experienced. For the first time, I told myself “this is how every birthday should feel like, a welcoming.” And it most definitely was! I loved how I started off my 30th birthday!

While driving to the Grand Canyon we made a scenery stop and saw this beauty:

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After spending the day at the Grand Canyon and getting back to Vegas, we went to a birthday dinner at this amazing Cuban Restaurant (Cuba Cafe). The day after, we decided to go to Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Red Rock Canyon.

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That same night, we decided to take a walk in the Las Vegas Strip! I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t really fond of everything there. I guess because I live in a huge city myself (NYC), therefore I felt like I was home all over again. I preferred the nature views instead of all the people lol. BUT I did take pictures! Some hotels were really beautiful inside. We also caught the Water Fountain show at the Bellagio.

On Sunday, after spending time at the hotel’s pool, we went to a Cirque du Soliel show called “O” which was amazing! My mom has never been to a show and I needed to take her to her first one. She loves water as well so I thought “O” was perfect since they do a lot of water works. No pictures of Cirque du Soliel except the ending because that wasn’t permitted. After the show, we went to Fremont Street which was fun and hilarious. We saw a lot of wild things.

Monday was our last day. We had to check out early from the hotel but our flight didn’t leave till later that night. Mami and I both decided that we wanted to see the mountains once more and so we drove to Boulder City, Arizona and went to Hemenway Park which is known for their bighorn sheep. We saw them walking and up-close. It was perfect. It was a great last day of our trip.

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We got home that Tuesday morning (9/24) and let’s just say that I fell in love with Arizona. I think I can safely say that a piece of my heart stood there. I’m extremely happy that I went to my number one spot from my bucket list (Grand Canyon). It was an ethereal experience. I can’t wait to go again and check out the North and South Rim. I also want to go to Sedona.

I’m grateful to have what I do in order to experience such greatness. And I am extremely blessed to be where I am at in life, with peace of mind and genuine happiness. I still have my lows but it’s great to know that I’m not the same person anymore, that I can overcome anything thrown my way, that I know how to cope with the hardship when it does come (thank you therapy). I know that one day New York won’t be home anymore and maybe one day I’ll bring you along with me when that journey comes.

If you’ve stood this far, thank you. I send all my love xo.

10 thoughts on “September Wrap-Up 2019 (Birthday Edition + Books)

    • omg thank you so much!!! in regards to the whisper man, i feel like i’m part of the very small percentage that didn’t like it. all i’ve seen is glowing reviews. i’m sure you’ll like it!! xo

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  1. Happy belated birthday Gretchen. Glad to hear that this year was different for you and in a good way. Loved the pics, seems like you and ma definitely had a great time. So many amazing views ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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