Friday Favorite-Books I've Read

I love to read but don't get a chance to do much fun reading in a normal day. So, when I get a chance to read, I tend to read lots of books at once. I read three books while we were on vacation and thought I'd share a few good books I've read over the past year:

1, 2. Half Broke Horses, and The Glass Castle- both by Jeanette Walls, I  read her second book Half Broke Horses (about her grandmother) last summer and it was remarkable. Engrossing, fascinating, and interesting. I couldn't wait to see what type of woman the author's mother would be and couldn't wait to read The Glass Castle, her (the author's) memoir. Her mother was not cool. At all. I kind of hated her mother throughout the book. I know that is not what the author intended, but I can not abide and do not understand selfish parents. Her parents were worse than selfish and it made me so angry. It is great to see the triumph of the children over circumstance. And, again, it is an extremely well written book. But, I really did not like it.

3. Gone Girl- This was "the" book of the summer for good reason. It is a page turner, and sadly addictive. Very engaging and interesting despite a really morose subject matter. But, I really did not like the ending. I guess I want some pay-off after investing my time in a book. I can see this becoming a good movie too-depending on how they handle the ending (CHANGE it!).

4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- An amazing non-fiction account of medical advancement and racism. I am kind of a medical-legal nerd, so this book was right up my alley. I learned a lot.

5. The Paris Wife- Really fun read. I learned a lot about Hemmingway; it made me want to go back to Europe STAT.

6. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter- A fun read and interesting premise. The book is quite good for the first 75-80% of the book. Then, notsomuch. The book ends abruptly and (if you ask me) really stupidly.

7. I Couldn't Love You More- This is NOT a good beach read. Lesson learned. I hated that I brought this to the beach. I found myself yelling at the main character because she was doing really stupid things; kind of like a horror movie. Again, well written, but this was a huge mistake for me to bring to the beach.

8. The Late Lamented Molly Marx- I really enjoyed reading this book even though I did not like the ending. An interesting read. I could see this easily turning into a really good movie.

Good (and not so good ending) books- my Friday Favorites

The End of Summer

Our Summer list is sadly complete. The girls had fun making the list before Summer started (we cheated a little by adding a few new things to our list after our beach vacation!) and crossing things off all summer. *Our entire list is not pictured-we had a lot of things on that list.

Today was the first day of school. I now have a first and a third grader. I have no idea how that happened. I might sit in a corner and cry. I can't since I have to fill out a thousand forms with the same information-Why? WHHHHYYYY must there be so many duplicate forms every single year?!

The Beach!

School starts next Monday. Next week at the office will bring me more work than ever-really dreading that. I'm a beach girl at heart and needed to feel the sand between my toes. We escaped for one last hurrah. Even though it didn't start off as planned- courtesy of flash flooding and fleas, it's been pretty great so far. Lots of beach time, playing in the waves, and just sitting down and playing games. A week of slowing down and enjoying; ice cream before dinner; staying up late; and even petting a (baby) shark.
 My views today-I took my iphone to the beach and didn't even check email.
The only work I want to do-helping the kids (mine and our friends' little boy) build a ditch from the water to the blanket! A lot of sand in between the toes- just what we all needed...I'm so relaxed that I don't even mind too much when my husband wants to watch hunting on tv!-I lied. I still mind because those shows are B-O-R-I-N-G no matter where you are!

Monday Musings

It's amazing to me how different my two girls are even though they look almost identical. This weekend we went to a new (to us) pool with some friends. The pool had a climbing wall and a mini ropes course. True to form, Em immediately jumped in and attacked everything. She's fearless and almost always does everything perfectly the first time. M hung back, clinging to me until she was really sure she was ready. Even then, she wasn't really sure. The first time she tried things, she failed. There was wailing, screaming, and gnashing of teeth. Once she made up her mind to try again, she wanted to try that ropes area until she made it. She must have tried at least 20 times to make it across. T's daughter was the perfect little coach, encouraging M the whole way. If M had not rubbed her little hands raw, I think she would have triumphed. We have to go back so she can make it across!

We recently got HBO and the full cable package. I feel compelled to watch HBO all the time now that we are paying for it! Holy heck, does HBO stand for blood and nekkidness? Geez. That said, I really enjoyed "Veep" and watched the entire season in one night. I love her clothes and her hairstyle. Now I really want to cut my hair short. Again.

I'm sorry the Olympics are over, but I was kind of exhausted from all the events. I love the stories, the games, the races, the medals (Go USA!). I can't pick my favorite part, but the US women's gold medal soccer game was awesome. After we watched it, I decided that there are worse things to be than a soccer mom!

Speaking of the Olympics, how does Princess/Duchess Kate keep her hair looking so beautiful ALL the time? It doesn't matter where she is, it always looks amazing. Serious hair envy.

My children can not be trusted around perfume. When perfume makes you stinky, you have gone too far. Note to self-take all perfume samples away from the girls' play make-up!

Staircase Plans

Another one to add to the list of "Things I Want To Do In The House...One Day" file- paint/stain my banister ebony and add interest to the stairs. Our home was a custom home for the original owners. It's fine. Nice. But, not really our style. My husband is of the "If it's not broke" mindset. Well, we've been in our home about 5 years now (the house is about 14 years old) and, while I don't think we need any major overhauling, I am itching to make the house reflect us a bit more. Up first (maybe?) a new plan for the stairs. I'll blame Emily for this, I saw her new home and heard all her amazing ideas to make it "theirs" and got inspired.

My plan- stain the banister an ebony/black and add interest to the risers:
Like Kate did here. Our floors are a similar color, we also have the same white wainscotting. I love it. I'm not sure I'm in for the project though-we have three stories of stairs and two sides to paint/stain since we have a rail on the other side.
Another beautiful stairway from Melissa at The Inspired Room; very inspiring. She's got the same light wood too. I think I'm going to do it...
Not to forget about the risers, how about wallpaper that looks like pressed tin? It looks like an (fairly) easy way to inject character.

The only hiccup is whether my husband will be on board. Hmmm...