Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Me Before You

I read this book over the summer. (Still catching up on these reviews.) It was truly a read I couldn't put down. It took two Bear lake days. It was easy to follow along even with a bit of chaos and conversation going on. Okay now I'm making myself sound like an introvert when in reality I'm not. Reading is just part of being by the lake to me.

Every good story has a reasonable yet exceptional moral dilemma and that's what this book did best.

You really had to put yourself in both of the character's shoes and ask yourself, "What would I do?" I can see this book creating an interesting book club discussion.

I found the ending to be predictable, but I liked it. And though I knew how it was going to end it was the question of the ending that had me racing to the finish. Will it end differently than I think?

I found the premise to be unique. I haven't read a book with this kind of setting before so that was a nice change. The subject matter is sensitive and a bit depressing yet still accessible.

Totally worth the read. five out of five stars. Still deciding which Jojo Moyes novel I'm going to pick up next.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cheers to the Ripe Age of Four

I've heard a lot of moms talk about the sadness they feel as there kids grow up. They'll often say, "I wish I could freeze time." I've had a difficult time understanding this phrase. I have loved and celebrated my children's milestones. I also feel a bit relieved as they take more and more steps toward independence.

 But....I sort of get it now. I am simply loving the age of four. It's like a little golden nugget of time. Milly sleeps, get's up to the table on her own and she's potty trained. She can get in and out of the car on her own. She can buckle her seatbelt. She walks in the grocery store much like a humans do, well okay, she skips, but you know what I mean. She goes to preschool for a couple of hours a day, but isn't gone all day.

The best part is she still needs me. And I dare say she actually likes me. She will let me hold her and when she's feeling particularly needy she asks for me to snuggle her on the couch. She really does!
She always requests I color with her. She likes us to read her stories in her room and be sure to tickle her back before she falls asleep.

Milly is sweet and smart and though she does't know it she's funny. My conversations with her are incredible because she's figured out some things but not all things. It's like talking to an unscathed naive adult.

When I'm not looking she's an incredibly thoughtful sister. She was meant to be a big sister. Each time she gets in the car before she buckles herself in she hands Mack his binki and his blanket.

Today the two of them were in the tub together. She noticed Mack had a little cut on his wrist. She washed it off with a washcloth then covered it up and told me, "Don't put soap over his owie okay Mom. We don't want to hurt him."

I mean this kid is sweet. So I get this whole desire to freeze time. I'd be okay to freeze four for just a little longer.

Milly you continually amaze me.

Stay sweet my darling daughter.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: The Haunting of Hill House

In late September Mason said, "We need to sit down and make a list of all the things we need to get done this fall." I didn't know what he was talking about. I mean I had already bought two Halloween books and a pair of ankle boots. What more could I have possibly done? He spouted off a list of chores around the house. Something about painting the doors, cleaning out the garage and sorting through the junk in the basement. After that I stopped listening.

Since my list is clearly more fun let's review one of those books I mentioned. The Haunting of Hill House had all the necessary spooky story components. It introduced us to interesting characters that we immediately wanted to know more about. A scary old house with a legacy of haunting rumors and stories. The set up was perfect. The drive to the house was long and scary, the town it was in was enough to make you run. The initial tour of the home and the servants who work there made for deep curiosity. Though it fizzled. It really did. It built up and built up and then let me down. I have to say it was the definition of anticlimactic. Sorry, but it's true.

I have to give it two out of five stars.

Monday, October 27, 2014

He is two!

Mack you have been two for a month now and I have wanted to jot a few things down about who you are and what you like.

You have the deepest little laugh. Your big laugh has never match your tiny body. Every time you laugh we can't help but laugh along with you.

You run is to die for. When you run you pump your arms side to side as if it is what propels your legs.  It's too funny.

You have a mischievous grin and you LOVE getting into trouble. You adore your older sister. You don't quite know what to do with yourself when Milly is not around. In fact you wander around the house spouting, "Miyy-ee, Miyy-ee."

You are a daddy's boy. When dad is around you want nothing to do with me. If I'm being honest I'm kind of jealous. When dad is home you are right by his side or on his lap. You follow him as he mows the lawn. Whatever dad is doing you try your best to do it just life him. In the morning you want to get dressed right away in the hopes that you will be able to go with dad. It kind of breaks my heart.

You aren't scared of much. When we are at the park you will climb up anything and slide down the steepest slide you can find. You get frustrated when you are unable to do everything Milly does. I believe you think you are four not two.

You have more energy then we know what to do with. You love playing with older kids. Everything you touch you throw. You love playing at the park and riding around in your red car.

Mack you continue to be the most handsome little kid around. When I look at you I can't believe you are mine. How did I get such a cute, fun and rambunctious little guy? I'm so blessed to have you in my life! I will try my hardest to keep up with you.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Review: Practical Magic

 I love October and I couldn't let it pass me by without reading a book to get me in the spirit. I adore the movie Practical Magic. I've watched it every October since the time it came out. I think I enjoyed the relationship between the sisters most and the mysterious witch twist made it all the more appealing. So I thought I'd look and see if it was a book first. When I found it and read the caption I just had to dive into the words that propelled such a touching film.

This book was similar to the movie. Same storyline, yet it delved deeper into the characters. You get to really know Sally and Gillian. There is also a lengthy tale about Sally's two teenage daughters a story that was not explored in the movie. It wasn't scary nor is the movie. It's a different take on witch craft. Struck me as original. There are also a few important morals we can learn. One is, "Be careful what you wish for." Another was for us not deny who we are and what we are capable of.

My only criticism is the book had no chapters. Isn't that crazy? It had four main sections, but really, mo chapter breaks. When I picked the book back up it was hard to figure out where I was and what I had just read. A new thing to be grateful for, chapters!

I'm giving this book a four out of five.

Read on!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

I liked this book. I have to admit I picked it up because it's by Lauren Graham whom I fell madly in love with during her years as a Gilmore Girl.

Usually I hate when celebrities write any book other than an autobiography. Mostly because I feel they've taken up enough famous space and they should leave the writing to the tortured.  Plus I imagine it's a much easier process to get published when you're a celebrity than us peasants. But.... I made and exception to my own rule. Mostly because I'm terribly sleazy.

I liked this book. I didn't love it. It is fiction yet I imagine she inserted many of her own experiences in it. It is about a struggling actor in New York in her twenties. This book had a youthful flare and a hopeful message about achieving goals and dreaming big.

I'll give it three out of five stars and mark it as light chick read.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's Been Awhile

Do you ever get so off track you let yourself sink deeper and deeper into your procrastination because it's easier that way? Well that's what I've been doing.

Sometimes I have this warped idea that if I can't do something perfect than I don't want to do it at all. I've been this way since I was a little kid. It has ridden me with anxiety and limited me significantly. However I heard a saying months back and it's been festering within me, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." -Julie Hanks.

When I heard these words from this self proclaimed 'recovering perfectionist' I let out a breath of air. It was like I had finally received permission to let myself proceed without the worry and burden of perfection.

So I guess that's the backstory as to why I haven't visited this blog lately. I always want things to come out perfect. I'm trying to let that go.

When I was in Elementary school I was an excellent speller. In fact I aced every spelling test for years. When I say I aced I mean I scored 100% on every single spelling test from about 2nd grade to 6th grade. Never misplacing a single letter. I remember having pretests. The teacher promised if we aced the pretest there was no need to participate in the final test. I never took the final test. Never.

In fourth grade their was an accelerated spelling program, basically we just got a different set of vocabulary words than the rest of the class. The teacher thought I would be a perfect fit for the program. I was in. Yet, the words were appropriately more challenging and I knew I would't be able to maintain my 100% status I had become known for.

I remember being constantly nervous. I would worry about the spelling list before I went to bed and most of the time my worry would keep me awake. My mom continually had to calm me down as a kid. She would lay me down, stroke my forehead, seeing the worry on my face she would say, "You've done everything you can do today. Now it's time to sleep." I would almost tear up each time she said this to me. To be quite honest in my adult life I have missed her nightly assurances.

There came a point in where my mom could see the pressure I was putting on myself was too much. We decided it would be best for me to longer be a part of the accelerated spelling program. My mom actually came to the school and talked to my fourth grade teacher about it. Mrs. Williams acted as if it was no big deal and allowed me to go back to the standard set of spelling words. Funny to see what had tormented me was actually quite minor.

However the lesson I'm trying to derive from this experience is not minor. It is the truest representation of how my need to be perfect, to get 100% held me back from learning more and being challenged. What if I had allowed myself to be brave, continue with the harder words and accept a 90% or an 80%? Can you imagine?