Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Letters


Linking up this Friday with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds

Dear people who make the park policies,
I have been to 4 parks this week. Only to find that I can not bring my dog with me.  I can understand restricting them from the play ground and water areas.  But to keep them out of the whole park is a little ridiculous. I just want to be able to walk her somewhere other than in our neighborhood.  I found a park 30 minutes away that allows dogs...but I don't want to drive half an hour to go walk her and then drive half an hour to get home..
Guess I'll keep looking.

Dear Thanksgiving,
Hurry up! I'm ready to make the trip to my grandparent's house in Missouri. It has been along time since I've spent time there and I miss them a lot.  My dad, future step-mom, sister, and maybe my brother will all be there as well. YIPPEE!

Dear Self,
Go Exercise! 
It's just so hard....  I hate working out and love to eat. Do you see my dilemma? I think if I had a trainer who would come to my house and scream at me to get out of bed and get moving I could do it. I don't think that will be happening any time soon though...

Dear Noah,
Thank you for being so good in the morning this year. My sanity really needed it. It's nice to not have to scream like a drill sergeant for you to eat and get dressed on time. 
Now let's work on bedtime....
If your bed time is at 8:00 then you should go to bed at 8:00, not secretly play with your toys in the dark.  When I come to check on you and question why you are out of bed, "I forgot to stay in bed." is not a very good excuse.

Dear Self,
If you refill the Pur water filter thingy PLEASE make sure that the knob to dispense the water has not been left down. 

I heard a drip drip drip. I though I hope that isn't the kitchen sink. It wasn't. There was water everywhere! I
ll never make that mistake again...

So glad it's Friday!!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Book Chat - Film Adaptations


Linking up again this Thursday with Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine

Most of the time I don't really enjoy when a book is turned in to a movie. They tend to leave things out. It ruins the image I had of the characters in my mind. They just seem to lack something. If a movie is coming out and it is based on a book I always try to read the book first.

I loved The Time Traveler's Wife. My mom and I rented the movie and I settled in ready to watch. My mom had not read the book. I spent A LOT of time explaining things because so much was left out. I still really liked the movie but I preferred the book.

Oh the Twilight series. I absolutely loved the books. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one. And then came the movies. Honestly if I hadn't read the books and only seen that first movie I would not watch the other ones. It wasn't what I hoped it would be. 

I had the same issue with The Hunger Games. I wanted the movie to be so amazing because I liked the book so much. I raved about the book to Joey. I told him he just had to watch the movie with me. It just didn't live up to my expectations. It really bothered me that they left something out at the end that I thought was pretty important. In the book, Katniss realizes that the Capitol has spliced parts of the former tributes into the mutant beasts that attack near the end of the movie. In the film version, the dogs are just over-sized dog beasts. I think it was a pretty big part to leave out. I think it shows just how sick and twisted the games are. The whole deceased players turned mutants thing plays a  part in the sequels so I don't really know how the films will deal with those situations....unless they leave them out entirely. I was put off by all the moments in the movie where they would just play a musical piece and nothing would be happening. I kept sitting there thinking, "Why are we just sitting here watching you stare off to space for 5 minutes?" They did do a good job capturing the feel of the book. The sets for the games and for Katniss's district were just as I pictured.  I didn't hate the movie but I also didn't love it.

It's so hard for me to think of a  movie that I liked just as much as the book!

Pride and Prejudice. I read this book a very long time ago. I've seen the movie 3 times now. I happen to enjoy the movie more than the book. There's just something about the way they speak and seeing their clothes that I just love. I want to step in to that story and stay a while. I want a man to talk to me like that! I just love love love it!

Yes! That's Harry Potter. Don't laugh. I love it. I first read the books when I was much younger. Book by book as they were released.  I recently re-read the whole series. I think I love it now more than I did way back then. I also really like the movies. If I never read the books and just went to see the movies I would still really enjoy them. I'll actually watch the movies when they come on ABC Family because I like them so much. If that makes me a little dorky...that's ok =)

Anna, Anna, Anna. I have tried to read this book twice. I read a few chapters, put it down, and there it sits unread in my kindle.  Maybe it's because I've heard it's such a "hard read" and that intimidates me. I've heard that once you get in to the book you can't put it down. I haven't made it that far yet...
I'm excited for the new film adaptation.  I want to read the book. I really do. But I fear that seeing the movie will be about as far as I'll get. Every time I see the movie trailer I do get inspired to go read the book...So we'll see.

It's hard to take a great book and make it a great movie. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UN-settling In

images via Google images

I MISS Louisiana!

We have been in our new house for about 2 months now. We have been living in Illinois for about 4 months. You would think that by now I would be adjusting. I'm not. It doesn't feel like home to me. When we moved in I went decorating crazy. I think my mentality was if I can just get the house to look like I want it to it will feel like home. So I shopped, I decorated, and still I feel no attachment to this house. I got as far as the kitchen and kind of gave up. I have no motivation to get the rest of it done. 

I think what makes this moves so hard is that there isn't a time limit set on it. Previously when we moved with the military we were given an amount of time that we would be living in our next home. Germany 4 years...Italy 2 years. I wasn't as home sick then as I am now. I knew at the end of it there was a possibility we were headed home to Louisiana. But here, there isn't a time limit. We could be here forever. Please don't let it be forever! 

We moved here because Joey can make more money here. More money means I don't have to work. I can stay at home and we can have a baby. It means a better life for us. Now I realize, what does it matter if we don't have anyone to share it with? I want to stop by my mom's house at night and just sit and talk. I want to go to church with my brother on Sundays. I want to have a glass of wine with my sister and laugh all night. I want to go to home depot with my dad and be in awe of his vast knowledge of everything tools. (Every time I go to a home improvement store I get sad...weird I know. I look at all the stuff and think, "I don't have a clue what this does...but my dad does.) Most of all I want Noah to see his grandparents more than just every few months. In LA Noah was with one of his grandparents every weekend. We never saw Noah on the weekends. By Wednesday everyone called to check his schedule for the approaching Saturday and Sunday.  It breaks my heart when he asks if he can spend the night with them and I have to tell him no, that it's too far away. He wants to know if his cousins are coming to his birthday party, again no it's too far away.

I really wish we could go back and make this decision again. I would definitely choose to stay in LA.I'm hoping this feeling will pass but I don't think it will....

Having a sad crummy Tuesday.
I bet IL doesn't have crawfish...a summer necessity.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Book Thief

This is how my last few days have been spent

It has been a very long time since I've read a book worth reviewing. Never before have I been so grabbed by a story. I wanted to quickly devour every page but at the same time go slowly and let it all seep in. Does that make any sense? Dare I say this is the best book I've ever read? I definitely cared more for the characters in this book than I have reading any other book. I started to fall in love after just a few chapters. 

The story is narrated by Death. I expected him to be dark, creepy, and scary. He's actually very tell it like it is, sarcastic, and even funny at times. Death foreshadows all of the events to come. It takes away that need to know what happens next. Death has already told you, and now he is going to take you on the journey to get there. He tells the story of Liesel. A young girl growing up with her foster family, Hans and Rosa, in Nazi Germany. She's already lost so much by the time she reaches her new home. She finds comfort in stealing books. When she steals her first book she can't even read. I think as she begins to learn to read and continues to steal the words give her something to hold onto. My favorite quote from the book is
  "Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain." 
Reading those words again makes me a little teary eyed. 
Liesel's family hides a Jew named Max in their basement. Max is the son of Liesel's foster father's friend.  The book follows the bonds she forms with her foster family, Max, her friend Rudy, and the mayor's wife. I cared so much for the characters. Even though Death foreshadows the sad events to come it doesn't make it any easier when they arrive. This is definitely a book to read with tissues.  This book will stay with me a for a very long time. It is a must read!


One of my favorite characters in the book was the mayor's wife. I was about to say she doesn't play a large part in the book, but she does. She is the source of many of Liesel's books. She also gives Liesel the journal to write her own story in, which becomes The Book Thief.  This book saves Liesel's life. She is kind to Liesel when Liesel is rude to her. After she realizes Liesel is stealing from her library she continues to make it easy for Liesel to get into the room to steal. She even writes Liesel a letter letting her know she is aware of the thievery and invites her to use the front door next time. I found myself thinking about her when the book ended. I wondered if she survived. What were her views on the war? I really think she cared for Liesel and that made me care for her.

It is so hard to pick my favorite part of the book because there were several parts of the book that really touched me. 

*When the mayor's wife leaves the dictionary in the window to be stolen. Inside the dictionary is a letter to Liesel.

*When Hans gives the bread to the Jew marching to Dachau and is punished for it. "When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa's shins. He burried his face between them and thanked him."

* When Liesel reads to her neighbors for the first time in the air raid shelter (a basement of a neighboring home).

*When Max leaves the note for Hans under the bridge that says, "You've done enough."

*When Max sees Liesel as he marches through Molching. Liesel looks for Max every time the Jews were made to march through her town. As long as she doesn't see him she knows there is a chance is is safe somewhere. Then one day sadly, she sees Max. 
 "There were twigs of hair, just like Liesel thought, and the swampy eyes stepped across, shoulder to shoulder over the other Jews. When they reached her, they pleaded. His beard stroked down his face and his mouth shivered as he said the word, the name, the girl. Liesel."

*When Max and Liesel are reunited after the war.

I borrowed this book from the library. I am going to buy my own copy because I have to own this book. I know I will want to read it again someday. This book made me feel more than any other book has. I laughed. I cried. I worried about the characters. I feel like I know them, like they're real. I love this book.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Letters


Linking up again with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds

Dear Brother,
I am so proud of you. It's hard for me to think of you as an adult...but here you are all grown up. I wish I could have been there to help you move in to your first apartment. I wish I could have been there when you graduated from the fire academy. I wish I could be there to just goof around and sing Kari Jobe and to talk and laugh. These are the things I miss the most since I've moved away. You've grown in to such a responsible and honorable young man. You might be all grown up now but you will always be my baby brother. I miss you.

Dear washer and dryer,
I wish you weren't in the basement. You know I'm lazy. All that up and's not for me. I know I know...we have hookups on the second floor, but you are a tad to wide to fit up in that closet with the shelving. I could remove the shelving but then where would all the blankets and Noah's overabundance of sometimes played with toys go? Also I am a chicken and do not go in the basement at night, which limits my laundry time to the daylight hours only. I'm still uncertain as to why we bought you anyway. Yes, you do look really pretty cool with all your light up blinky buttons and magical music. But all I do is dump the laundry in and press the start button. We probably should have bought a simple washer with on, off, hot, and cold...saved a few bucks.

Dear Bella,
Sometimes you are insanely smart and others well not so much. The living room is dark at night (see letter below) making great reflections in the glass...almost mirror like. That lady you are barking at is me...a reflection of me. That dog is you. Please chill out and stop the barking.

Dear self,
Please buy some sort of lighting for the living room. The small lamp in the corner isn't cutting it. We don't have a ceiling light in the living room and I hate it. I don't like to sit in the dark....perhaps next payday?

Dear Noah,
It is going to be freezing at your soccer game Saturday! Don't worry I have a mission today to find you black pants and a long sleeve shirt to wear under your uniform. Me and your father will be bundled up like crazy drinking hot hot hot chocolate and cheering you on. I know you aren't really enjoying soccer as much as I hoped you would but you still can't just quit. You don't have to play next season but you do have to finish this one....Sorry.

Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Book Chat


Today I'm linking up with Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine for her weekly book chat.
This weeks topic is:  How do you review/rate a book?  

I usually review a book based on how much I enjoyed reading it. A "good book" to me is a book that keeps me interested. It makes me care about the characters and wonder what happens to them long after I've read that last page. If the book glues me to the couch, makes me disregard that pile of laundry, and forget to make dinner...then it's a good book. I usually find it hard to "find the words" when describing how I feel about a book...but I try. 

I found this quote and just loved it:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R. MartinA Dance With Dragons

Here are a some of my favorite books:
Handle With Care

Harry Potter Series

It has been a while since I've read a book that I absolutely loved.  I recently read Hostile Witness and while I really enjoyed it, it is not one of my favorites.  Here is my review...

Synopsis per Amazon, "When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships create a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth is uncovered it can save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both."

I only read this book because I was able to download it for free to my kindle and I liked the overview of the story.  I've never read a Rebecca Forster book before. It's easy to follow, fast paced, and entertaining. During the court room scenes I felt like I was IN the court room watching the crazy trial. It has plenty of suspenseful moments and unexpected turns. I could not put it down!Yet still it's not a favorite. The details of the story didn't really stick with me. I can't really remember all of the character's names or how everything played out. I've forgotten all those twists and turns. When I review a book I say it's a good book if the story stays with me. So while it was an enjoyable read I didn't fall in love with it. It was kind of a bridge book to get me through to the next book on my list.

This book is actually the first in a series of books following Josie and the cases she takes on as an attorney. I've read the two books following this one, Silent Witness and Privileged Witness. They were both good but I didn't enjoy them as much as I did the first book.  Expert Witness is the final book in the series and I have not read it yet. It's on my "to read" list, but only because I cant just not finish the series. I don't expect it to be as good as the first book but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Things I've learned about myself as a mom

Expect the unexpected

Noah was born on December 3, 2005. He was a perfectly healthy baby. At his 2 month check up as his doctor listened to his heart I knew something wasn't right. She was listening for to long. She had a concerned look on her face. She called another doctor in to the room to listen as well. I knew these were not normal things. Noah had a ventricular septal defect (VSD) or a small hole in the wall of muscle that separates the heart’s two pumping chambers. She told me not to worry and that we should see a pediatric cardiologist for further testing. No mother wants their baby to have further testing. I didn't really know how to absorb this new information. That my sweet tiny baby that appeared completely normal had a broken heart. To make it even worse Joey was deployed to Iraq. I was doing all of this by myself. I made an appointment for the following week. 
The cardiologist was amazing. He was so kind and comforting. First they hooked Noah up to an EKG machine. Watching them stick all of the tiny baby sized sticky pads on his chest, watching them connect the wires, watching as they checked and rechecked the results was just more than I could take. Then we moved to the ultrasound room. The cardiologist showed me the hole. A tiny little defect in my precious baby boy. Noah did not cry once the whole visit...that was a blessing. If he was crying I would have been more of a mess than I already was.  The doctor said the hole was very small. The hole should close on it's own in a few months. This was wonderful news but still I worried. We went back for 3 more followup visits. In that time, about 6 months later, the hole was gone.  I am so thankful that it wasn't a bigger problem than it was. He didn't need surgery. His heart was no longer broken.
Because of this I am probably more protective than I should be. I rush Noah to the doctor at the slightest cough or sign of fever. I'm always telling him to be careful. I worry. I worry because I fear that something bad could happen. I know his heart is fine now but I always think about all the other things that could happen. Lately I have been forcing my self not to hover so much. I have to let him run around and well be a boy. I can't protect him forever. 
I can't apologize enough to my mother for my teenage years

I wasn't the worst teenager. I could have done far worse. But I did lie, tell my mom I hated her, dated boys she disapproved of.  If I could go back now I'd tell that Ashley to're breaking your mom's heart. I don't think we realize how much our parents love us until we become parents ourselves. I never really hated my mom. I didn't want to lie but she just wouldn't let me do what I wanted. She loved me. She worried about me. And now as an adult and a parent I know that there is nothing that a 16 year old needs to be doing outside the house at 12:30 in the morning.  You can bet your booty that when Noah gets older he'll have a curfew just like I did. He'll probably say he hates me for it. He'll probably lie to me. But then one day he'll grow up. He'll have a child who will do the same thing to him. He'll call me on the phone saying, "What do I do?" and I will smile and think, "Ah...the circle of life."
Learn from your mistakes

Noah, was about 7 months old. He had an awful cold and I put a humidifier in his room...the hot steam kind. It wasn't an issue. He was in his crib every night before I turned it on...until that one night. It had been a long day. I was tired. He was tired. I started getting him ready for bed and the phone rang. I plugged the humidifier in thinking as soon as I'm off the phone I'll put him in bed. We were in the living room and his bedroom was down the hallway so I thought, "I'm watching him. If he goes into the hall I'll stop him." My phone call ended and I went to hang the phone up. I turned around and I don't know how he made it down the hall that fast but he was right in front of the humidifier hand posed to reach out and grab that hot steam. I couldn't get there fast enough. He burned his hand. Thankfully it wasn't a bad burn but it definitely scared both of us. The next day I went out and bought a cold mist one.
I try not to beat myself up when I make  a mistake. Like in this situation. Yes it was a BIG mistake. Yes he hurt his hand. Yes it was scary, but he wasn't hurt badly. So learn from it and don't do it again Ashley!
I can't do it all

I was a stay at home mom, then a full time working mom, and now I'm at home again.   Whether I was working or not working I finally had to accept that I can't do everything. It was much harder to get things done while I was working. I had to try to squeeze doctor appointments in on my lunch breaks. It was harder to keep the house clean. I had to miss some of Noah's school functions. But even now that I'm home again it's not easy. There are still days when the dishes are piled in the sink and I just don't have time to get to them. I think learning to say no has helped a lot. If I say yes to everything that just piles on more and more things I need to get done. I just have to be able to say, even though it's hard...yes the house is a mess and that's ok.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Laziness

I find that the colder it is outside the more likely I am to just sit on the couch with a cozy blanket and read a book. When I actually need to be cleaning. This morning is definitely a be lazy morning. I have yet to shower and get dressed. I've gone from getting up before Noah to shower and get dropping him off at school in my pjs lol. I mean they can't see me...I'm in the car. I've been forcing myself to come home and take a shower and get dressed because if I don't,  I know I won't get anything done. If I stay in my pajamas I just feel sleepy and super lazy.  So before I go make myself start my day...a late are some like/dislikes from this morning...

Image via Google Images

I just found out I can refill my RX's online and have them sent to my house with NO shipping.
*side note- I actually like CVS better but the closet one is 20 minutes from here.

I think we all already know this is a DISLIKE. When we got up this morning it was 47...47!!!

HOT tea! It's ccccold out!

My cozy slippers. I got these from Target last year for about $14. They''re cute and they keep my feet warm.
* They will NOT keep your feet warm if you decide to walk out into the yard in them to take a pretty picture (seen below) of the sun coming through the trees. You will have wet cold feet.

It's going to be a beautiful day.

I don't dislike Bella...just the mess she makes. It's really not her fault. When we first moved in I loved the floors in our house. Now not so much. The floor is such a light color that even the tiniest bit of shedding can be seen. I'm constantly swiffering the floors. She also leaves paw prints all over the floors every morning. There's dew on the grass. She walks in the grass...across some dirt...and wahlah we ahve puppy paws on the floor. In our old house we had a big screened in porch. So to get inside she had to walk on the nice dry porch first...which helped wipe her paws. I'm not sure what the solution will be but I                              hope I find one soon!

And now it's time to get up and get moving!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Favorite Things

I LOVE this stuff!

This is my favorite summer outfit. Sadly it is getting much to cold for tank tops and skirts. 
My sister gave me the skirt. It came from Old Navy. The top came from Target.
It is light, breezy, and if I decide not to shave my legs no one knows! Shhh!

My favorite thing in my house at the moment is this cute grouping of items on my counter.
I got the fantabulous idea from Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine. I loved her idea 
of having everything you use daily out on the counter but displayed in a non-cluttered way.
The plate actually came in a Christmas candle kit. It had fake snow and cute Christmas candles.
The snow was horribly messy and the candles melted while in storage... So now it has
a new purpose. I got all of the glass jars/dispensers from Walmart for under $2 a piece. 
The flower vase was $1, the pebbles were $3, and the flowers were $4.
I have LOTS of pebbles and flowers left over to use for other projects.
I just love seeing it all put together on my counter =)

This is a rolled up sock...

 Yes, it is one of my favorite things and here's why.
This is the EASIEST hairstyle I have ever done. It is super cute and I love it
It's great for days when I don't feel like washing my hair. It took me a few tries 
before I was able to do it as quickly as I can now. Practice makes perfect!
Here is the YouTube video on how to do it:

This Remington hair wand is Awesome! My hair never curls...well it will curl, but it never stays curled for long. Then I met Mr. Remington. We fell in love. This little beauty gets HOT HOT HOT!
It gives me gorgeous curls.
I wish I had a better photo of the curls =(

Ahhh, my favorite coffee cup.  I think my mom gave it to me but I really can't remember.
I really like ladybugs so of course I love this cute cup! It holds LOTS of coffee...or tea.
Lately I've been drinking more tea than coffee.  I've just started to enjoy it more. 
I put tons of creamer and around 6 spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee! I know that's crazy!
When I drink tea I only add a splash of milk and 2 spoonfuls of sugar so it's probably much healthier!

I wore these earrings on my wedding day.  I actually lost them for a long time.
I found them about 2 years ago and now I wear them all the time. 
I'd love to have the stones replaced with real diamonds! A girl can dream right?
But then of course I'd be terrified of losing them again!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Letters


Linking up with Ashley again from Adventures of Newlyweds

Dear Lady in the Car Line (EVERY DAY!)
This is the car line. Perhaps you do not understand it's purpose? Let me explain. It's really quite easy...
Simply pull your car in to the car line. Move your car forwards as other cars vacate the line. Pause as your child gets in...and here's the key...listen closely! Drive away! It is not necessary for you to get out and fix your daughters hair everyday. Where could you possibly be going everyday that it is so important that she have the perfect ponytail? Maybe the paparazzi are following you and you can't risk a lopsided pony pic on the way home? Can't it wait until later? Please remedy this situation. I have a kid to pick up too.

Dear Self,
Get your butt in gear and decorate that master bedroom! We have the paint, we just haven't painted it yet. We bought the new bedroom set a month ago and still haven't purchased sheets to fit the new king size bed. I know what I want it all to look like. I just need to get started!

Dear Brother-in-law,
You and your wife have a beautiful new baby boy. He is adorable, tiny, and cute! I wish so much that I could hold him!

Dear Laundry,
I hate you, hate you, hate you. I do not like to wash you. I do not like to fold you. I do not like to put you away. That is all.

Dear Car,
I promise to clean you out and give you a proper bath soon. Yes, I know driving in the rain does not count. I just can't ever seem to get motivated to clean out the car. There are library books in there, some of Noah's clothes from changing before the baseball game, water bottles, junk mail, a little of everything.  On the bright least it doesn't smell.

SOOOO glad it's the weekend!!! Wooohooo!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baseball Fun

My father in law is visiting and yesterday we all went to the Sox game.  It was a lot of fun. I think Noah had the most fun! He got so excited every time the team got a home run and the fireworks went off. Here are some pics from our fun night...

Joey, Grandpa Bailey, and Noah

Having fun!

This water must have magic in it...because it was $4.25!!!

Joey was getting a little tired of my picture taking during the game...sorry =)

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