Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: The First Husband

This is a paid for review for the BlogHer BookClub, but all opinions expressed are my own, of course.

In short, this would be a great book to read by the pool this summer.

The First HusbandThe First Husband by Laura Dave
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About 175 pages into this 242 page book, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to say that I liked it. (If the end doesn't satisfy me, I have a hard time putting my stamp of approval on the book)The romantic plot seemed to be heading in a direction that I wasn't going to like. The main character Annie Adams, a LA based travel writer, wasn't certain if marrying her "first husband" Griffin (who I adored) was the right choice. She was wondering if she rushed into things and whether or not she should get out and give her x-boyfriend Nick another try.

I will end the peek into the story there, as sharing the book the cover is almost too "spolier" for my taste. I won't even tell you if I liked the ending because those of you that know me well, will know what happened. I will tell you that I really enjoyed the book. It took me a good 100 pages or so to really get into it, but I loved the book. I loved the characters and I loved the tidbits of wisdom in regards to loving the one you choose. I also loved the secondary sharing of travel logging and the knowledge shared in regards to beautiful places in the world to enjoy.

I related to Annie and her broken stubborn superstitious confused self. I think most women will, happily married or not. Here's a quote of hers from the book that could have come straight out of mouth: (Well, that is, if I have ever traveled anywhere but the United States.)

"Eight inches. ....(he) was eight inches away. I'd traveled clear around the world twice. I'd been to Dubai three times; Hong Kong, four. I'd found the tiniest town in New Zealand, which takes three days to get to by boat, and then, only if you know exactly where you are going.

I could get as far away as possible.

And still. I couldn't figure out how to move eight lousy inches toward the person I needed most."

I think this is a great book. I highly recommend it. (there is a little language for those of you easily offended) I proudly review it just in time for summer. It will be a great companion on a plane, to the pool, or perhaps best in the middle of nowhere.

View all my reviews

To learn more about this book or the author Laura Dave 
or join the BlogHer bookclub discussions, go here.

The Hungry Games

Today I am busy working. I wrote this paid for in food post.

I just had to take a moment to share the video with you all.

My three worlds have collided today. My life as a mother with the daunting task of feeding my kids all summer, my previous life as a funny blogger, and my as of late life of food blogging for food.

I know you will all enjoy. While you are at it, please feel free to give me any and all summertime feeding frenzy tips. I would love to use them in a future blogpost. C'mon, help a girl out.

Coming up minutes from now: my paid for book review.
Man, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I should feel pretty dang proud of myself. I'm like a real blogger now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Singing in the rain

When it rains, it pours.

I am sitting in the hospital with my dad right now.
He's been here for 5 days.
He's on the upswing and I am so grateful.
I am extremely grateful for my wonderful husband
who tells me
"Go, I'll take care of everything."

A few weeks ago,
our family lost
my nephew Braxton.
He's dancing in heaven now,
where I imagine 
he can choose the weather.

Sitting down to my laptop this morning
I am happy to find these old photos.

What a great reminder that
the best time to dance and sing
is when it rains.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Baby

I do believe Caroline may be my last child. She is almost three and we haven't gotten pregnant again, so I think God may have decided that four is enough for us.

Well if God didn't decide it, Caroline did.
This kid is hard to handle. We love her dearly, but man she's a handful. She is like the energizer bunny on crack. Serious.

It could just be that we are getting older, but I don't remember our other kids having as much energy. It could be that she is the spoiled baby but I don't remember the other girls having as much personality. It could be that she is just Caroline so I can't remember my other girls being as cute. {I can say the same thing about all my girls}

Last night as we were having family prayer, Caroline was making us all laugh. It's a common occurrence. She doesn't have to do much but be herself and we are all in stitches. Last night she was just smiling. That's it. But she kept doing it right as we were about to pray. She would get all serious when dad told her to be reverent but as soon as we were about to pray she would smile all huge. Of course none of us can take our eyes off of her.

There are so many things I want to remember about this kid that I haven't written down. When they happen I think I have to write that down, but as soon as I sit down to type, they are just gone.

Caroline's hair is out of control. We have always just let it be because she pulls out any hair thing as soon as we put it in. Her hair is always in her face. Lately she has taken up the preference for it to be out of her face. She will say, "I think I need a haircut." That means I need a hair thing. The other day after Abigail had put her hair in pigtails she said, "I think I need two haircuts."

She just got potty trained and she will say, "I think I need to go potty." Not "I need to go", but "I think I need to go."

Every night after we lay her down to bed with her milk sippy she insists on bringing the sippy to dad when she is finished. I can't take it from her, she has to give it to dad. She is such a daddy's girl, but all of our girls have been daddy's girl. I can't say that I blame them.

She is a social butterfly. She loves other people. She especially loves her sisters and their friends. The other day while Abigail's friend got in my van Caroline sat at the window blowing kisses shouting,  "I love you mom. I love you Katie." What a dollface.

When we transferred her from bottle to sippy cup she was all confused. We were so bad and didn't even do it until after she was two. Then my mom came to visit and introduced her to chocolate milk when she liked her plain milk just fine. Since then she has always requested her "chocolate milk bottle sippy cup." All five words have to be used. End of discussion.

When she poops in the toilets she gags. I am assuming it's the sight and not the smell that bothers her because she only gags when she looks. It makes me laugh.

She hates bugs. I never thought I would have one of those but she is downright freaked out by them especially if they are the kind that can fly.

She talks all day and sings ALL day. She makes up songs all the time. Her favorite song lately. "I love my mom. I love my mommy." That's one I can't hear enough.

She always wants to color or paint. Nothing unusual about that, but I have to watch her good because she doesn't stop at the paper. She has to use her body as a canvas and will even try to paint anything else she can get her hands on. One night when LG and I went for a date she got her hands on nailpolish. Nailpolish has been banned to the garage as we've found that she is deadly with it. I was glad that Katie was over because it forced me to keep my cool. We had to scrub scrub scrub carpets, walls, furniture and even all of Caroline. I think we got it all cleaned up, but it was NOT fun.

She always wants her pink blanky, AND her yellow one, AND her green one, and any blanky that she sees. "Mom, I need my blanky. I need my blanky with the flowers. I need my red one.." The girl is articulate and deliberate.

Getting her off the paci was painful, but after about three attempts over 6 months, she finally gave it up. She is also stubborn.

Piper is her best friend, and so are any other children that she happens to meet at the grocery store or ChickfilA or the park.

She wants to wear her church shoes everywhere. They took the place of her rain-boots that she wore for the whole year of 2011. She wore those until she literally couldn't get her feet in anymore.

She is obsessed with eating bubblegum and using make-up. I can't keep enough pink bubblegum or lipgloss in my purse. She finds them no matter what I do, and she uses as much as possible. The one good thing about this is that I always have a way to pacify her. At least for a few seconds.

She refuses to be contained. She doesn't want to stay in the shopping cart or the stroller or even the bike trailer. We had to upgrade to her own seat on the back of dad's bike because she was pulling the titanic on family bike rides. She had no trouble wiggling out of her seat belt and climbing to the top with her arms wide open so she could feel the wind on her face. She is the only child of mine that I have actually found myself justifying those crazy parents with the leashes.

She loves to play on "Phia's i-pod" or "Bella's i-pod" or "Abigail's phone" or "Dad's phone" or "Mom's phone". She also likes to leave all of these in impossible to find locations throughout the house and even in the yard if we don't watch her close.

I am sure none of you are actually still reading this, but it makes me feel better to get a few things down so that in two weeks or two years but especially in 20, I will remember what this little girl was like.

Dear future Alice. I know you haven't forgot. This kid was a handful and 1/2. And yes, she really was that cute too. Thank goodness. God knew what he was doing when he put that huge spirit in such a beautiful body.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dear people

I know I am a blog slacker.
I've been blogging for food.
I started working as a social media guru
for a local business.
Not sure if they want me to tell the world
over the internet
that I am their go-to gal,
but they give me free freezer meals.

It's awesome.
Steak, shrimp, gourmet stuff
in exchange for my internet savvy.
Totally awesome.

Anyhow, I am sorry my bloggy friends.
I love you
I miss you.

I just dug into my drafts 
to try and find something
to give you.
Throw you a bone,
so you won't completely give up on me.

Here's a goodie from Sophia.
My kids are serious about their soda.
When they buy it with their own money
they don't want people backwashing in it.

I love my kids more than ever.
I love my husband more than ever.
They make me laugh,
and I am sad that I am not sharing that on here as much.
Because I will forget it
if I don't write it.
I won't forget that I love them
but I will forget the ways that they make me laugh.

I just want to let you all know that
if you improve in one area of your life
 you are bound to revert in others.

I have been doing really good at running.
I've lost about 30 pounds since November.
I have been doing really good with working.
(I have two part-time jobs)
I have been doing pretty good in the marriage department.
I have even been a half-way decent mom.
I potty trained Caroline.
I have bought myself some things,
grown out my hair, 
and told myself how much I love myself
every day.
And I am even starting to believe me.
I have accomplished some of my new year's resolutions:
camping extravaganza, 
attend temple monthly, 
waking up with LG,
staying under budget,

but I have slacked in others:
read 54 books 
(I am way behind,
and really hopeful that 
I can crank them out this summer by the pool)

I have really been slacking with my spirituality.
My prayers and scripture study have not been where I want them to be.
My service to others outside my family hasn't been enough.
My joy in church service hasn't been where I need it.
It's not that I am not doing these things at all,
it's just that as I have added in more of other things,
I haven't given it the same dedication
and I miss it.

One thing I learned in the South is to
So I do.
But one of these days
I will be the whole package.
One of these days,
dear people.

But, really,
with giving myself grace,
I am doing magnificently.
Never been better.
Or happier.
Or healthier.
or pleased with myself.
Glory to God
for strengthening me
in all areas of my life,
just sometimes I have to choose which one.

If you want to read more
about how God strengthens us
go here.
So powerful.
and true.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Book Review: You Have No Idea

This is a paid review for BlogHer.
I was compensated for this review, but money could never rob me from my truthful opinion.

I will give one lucky and random chosen commenter my dog-eared copy of this book.
Leave me your e-mail address please along with the best advice your mother ever gave you.
I will choose the winner on Mother's Day.

You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss by Vanessa Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I was upset. I was frustrated. But I didn't want to kill myself, as was reported. I look back at stories and headlines written about me at the time. They'd say things like 'Vanessa's dark days or Vanessa's hit rock bottom.' I knew it would be tough, but I also never doubted I would succeed. When you know this, you don't have dark days, you don't hit rock bottom. You just have days when you want to scream at people: 'You have no idea what I can do!'" I just love this quote by Vanessa no page 66.

Vanessa Williams is an extremely talented American icon. After reading this book, I have no doubt that the reasons she has accomplished all that she has are her determination and confidence, her God-given talent, and her wonderful parents. I really enjoyed this book. I don't follow pop culture very much, but I remember so vividly when our first black Miss America was robbed of her title. I really enjoyed reading Vanessa's side of the story. I also enjoyed reading about all that Vanessa has accomplished including Broadway, TV, and a successful recording career: all while also being a caring and involved mother of 4.

Perhaps the best of this book, the part that really made it unique, was that all the stories were told from the perspective of Vanessa and her mother. This was my favorite part. I loved their dynamics, I truly related to their mother/daughter relationship from page 1. When Vanessa was a girl her mother told her to never ride doubles on a bike, she did, and she was severely hurt. Funny, same thing happened to me. Everyone needs a mother like Helen and everyone should listen to her, and if they don't believe me then they should read this book and learn from Vanessa's mistakes.

View all my reviews

Go on over to BlogHer's bookclub page to join the discussion.