Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Review

In 2018 I think I read 27 books. My top favs for the year were Homegoing, The Middle Place, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, Calypso, The Sound of Gravel, and Tell Me More if you want some recommendations! Here are my latest reads....


My Grandma Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. This was a quirky book from book club two months ago. I've read another book by this author and I liked it but this one was a little too much of everything. Too many characters, too much fantasy mixed with reality, and too much that was a little far fetched. Plus none of us thought the author had a grasp on what a child that age is like. I give it a 5.5 and recommend you read A Man Called Ove over this one.


Small Great Things was the Oklahoma book club pick for last month and I actually got to meet with them in OK to discuss! I even thought I got a picture but the waitress must not have pushed the button when we smiled because when I checked my phone later....no pic was there! Oh well. This was an intense read about a white supremacist who accuses a black nurse of causing the death of his newborn. It's a difficult read, but addresses many issues that are important in our society. However in true Jodi Piccoult fashion she had to take the ending a bit far to a soap opera-y finish. We all agreed it could've ended a few chapters sooner and been a better book. I still liked it though and give it an 8 and recommend it if you like Jodi Piccoult.

Before We Were Yours is a historical fiction book based on the kidnappings of poor children in TN and being sold to wealthier families. Although the family in the book is fiction the ladies who were guilty of these crimes are portrayed by their real names. It seems like an unimaginable tale but sadly still goes on in many parts of the world today and which is why international adoptions have been under such scrutiny in recent years. We all enjoyed the book but also kind of saw where it was going the whole time and thought there was going to be a bigger twist perhaps. I give it an 8.5 and recommend it if you like historical fiction.

Sing Unburied Sing is quite possibly the saddest book I've ever read. Having said that, it was also very moving. I actually had to limit myself on these chapters because it was depressing me. And I'm not sure why this book affected me more than others, I've read lots of terribly depressing books! Some books are so beautifully written even when they are sad, and that's why I give this book a 9. I'm not sure who I'd recommend it to though.

What are you reading?
Rules of rating seen here.

Monday, January 07, 2019

The Little Mermaid

Yesterday the girls in the family went to see The Little Mermaid on stage at The Elsinore in Salem. It's a beautiful historic venue. We enjoyed the production and thought it was good for local theater, but they definitely could've done a bit more set design. There's a few interesting things coming up there that I might just have to check out...Brian Regan or Acapella competitions anyone????
Yes Haven made it through the whole thing but she did need water and wiggle time at intermission!
Blurry pics in the dark. The seats were first come first serve and although we got there pretty close to the doors opening, we still sat up high. Next time I'll remember binoculars.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year!!

We rang in the New Year last night with Ryan's parents and grandma. They drove down to Salem and we played games, ate tacos, roasted smores in the fireplace, and toasted at about 10pm our time.

I looked through posts on the blog from the past year yesterday and reflected on some of the joys and trials of the year. It was definitely a year of lots of changes and we are still adjusting to this new place, but I'm thankful for my family and look forward to the memories we will make in 2019!

Major Events of 2018:
  • We rang in the new year of 2018 in Branson with Ryan's family, not knowing it would probably be our last trip there for a loooong time.
  • We finished our kitchen remodel in Oklahoma and I loved it more than the last kitchen we remodeled! We also remodeled the half bath.
  • We celebrated the 2018 Olympics with friends
  • We went to our first monster truck show.
  • Grammy and Papa visited us in OK for Haven's 3rd birthday
  • Oscar party 2018 was the biggest year yet
  • The girls got a new lego table and it continues to be well used and played on daily! They are playing on it now while I type this!
  • We headed to the State Capitol to support our teachers on strike for 2 weeks.
  • We pranked the kids on Easter Sunday/April Fool's Day.
  • We visited Oregon over Spring Break to scope out possible living locations
  • We also visited the Merediths in Houston over Spring Break and got to play with Emarie and Halo.
  • Ryan and I celebrated 13 years of marriage
  • The girls and I experienced our first Highland Games Competition
  • Jenna planned a fun girls trip at Katy's lakehouse
  • We put our beloved house on the market and got an offer within like 48 hours.
  • I wrote some great posts for the OKC Mom's Blog
  • Haven bowled for the first time and learned how to float on her back in the water.
  • I coordinated my first wedding
  • Train trip to Fort Worth with coworkers
  • Tennessee trip with the girls
  • We surprised Jenna for her 30th birthday.
  • We moved away from the place we've called home for 17 years.
  • I vowed to follow the curly girl method and not straighten my hair for a whole year.
  • Searched for and finally found an adorable house in Salem, OR.
  • Grammy and Papa visited Oregon for the first time for Liv's 9th birthday.
  • We bought a van and named her Vancala
  • A few overnight trips away with Ryan WITHOUT kids!
  • I kon-mari'd Kelsey's entire home much to the chagrin of her husband. 
  • We checked out several Oregon attractions since living here: Enchanted Forest, Latourell Falls, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Mears Lighthouse, Silver Falls, the coast, Multnomah falls, Rose garden, and our first Old Fashioned Festival
  • Liv started 3rd grade at a brand new school
  • I read about 27 books this year and started a new book club in Oregon
  • Jenna and Noah visited us and we saw My Favorite Murder live!
  • Decorated a Hilda trunk for Newberg's Trunk or Treat
  • Ryan built the girls an awesome treehouse
  • Went to TN for Thanksgiving as a family
  • Ryan and I went to OK right before Christmas 
  • Celebrated Xmas an the New Year in a Oregon for the first time

Monday, December 31, 2018

Phone Dump {Dec 2018}

Well I intended for some of these to be individual posts but alas, here they will all be for now!
I can't believe the year is already over but that's how time works when you're 36! Ew, still not used to that. Anyway here's the last phone dump of 2018!
New holiday traditions in a new place. Caroling around the carousel with our church friends. 
A photo montage of sisters over the past 4 Christmases. So sweet!
Liv wearing the same skirt 7 years apart. Don't fret, mom, she just wears it for a costume around the house now. (You can catch a glimpse of the show at the end of the video)
Haven and her new pony, watching shrinky dinks, playing invisible chess, cards from our loved ones.
More shrinky dink time. Haven gettin comfy with her new xmas blanket. When people steal your camera.
Snowman pizza and peppermint cookies...not my best batch but also not my worst! We drove by our first home in OKC...top left. Me and Neji Boo.
We learned Castles with Beezo, it's my new fav and there is an app for that. Dominique's awesome tree, an eyelash in the room service menu...not mine, Jenna's fashion trend, our view from the hotel...lovely roof
Here's what the girls did while we were in Oklahoma...well as far as the pics gma sent me go!
Sparkle McGlitter found us again even though we moved across the country! And he even made it to Grandma's when we went to OK (Liv got to partake in the elf magic while we were gone and I think she was pumped about that)
Our new ornaments for this year. Kiss mas treats. more elf.
We did 4 big Xmas puzzles this month! More like 4 in two weeks but who's counting!
Making gingerbread houses with grandma.
The girls were angels in the church CHristmas program, but I forgot to feed Haven breakfast and she ran off the stage hungry for snacks about 3 minutes into the program. Oops! The casualties of Christmas decor with a 3 year old. Think this driver in front of me ever gets road rage?
Fun at the library. A sweet book mark Liv made me when she overheard me complaining about having no friends here. Such a sweet girl. Part of the birthday card she made me.
Ryan's fancy hot choc at Panera. Starting a puzzle. Troll Nativity. The books to unwrap each day. Haven got impatient and unwrapped a few early when we weren't looking. Santa saw that though!

Liv wrote this for a school assignment and it made me laugh out loud for a few reasons, but mostly because it was "All About Me" and she wrote about her sister.
And here is the video dump for December...
Luckily Ryan got one of the Xmas gift opening because my video quit working that morning right in the clip where they are on the stairs! Anyway, see ya in 2019!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring...
Except these little girls who were too excited to sleep! 
 We had picked them up from a week at their grandparents earlier that day (just to give you some frame of reference, still jet lagged, still don't know what day it is) but we managed to perform a Christmas miracle to get everything ready for Christmas day!
 The peppermint cookies were dried just in time to leave some for Santa. (Or as Liv refers to him this year "Santa" in air quotes.)
 Hey, how'd those appear?
 Two anxious girls waiting patiently on the stairs!
 Stockings!!
 
The next pics are just a blurry fun frenzy with Charlie being confused in the middle...
 
 They actually decided on their own to take turns opening gifts. That made us laugh. But it does make for a more enjoyable experience to see who gets what!
 Our Santa didn't put things together the night before so there was excitement to do that too Christmas morning.
 Loot photos...
 Santa brought a few things for them to share so it was a tad confusing when making the loot piles.
 Even Charlie got treats!
Haven picked out some tin snips for her daddy in the tool aisle...I think she was mostly attracted to their rainbow colored grips. Liv got him some candy.
 
The girls got me a massage roller and bag clips. I need new ones just about every year...along with earbuds.
Family timer photo!
 The girls played all morning with their new toys.
 Then we headed to Newberg for a big family meal.
 
 Getting to play with Kelsey's new Nintendo with all the old timey games was a favorite activity. I smoked them all in Dr. Mario of course.
 The adults played games too and then Paisley came home with us for a few days of extra fun with new Christmas toys.
We had a great first Christmas with the family in Oregon!
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