Tuesday, March 11

Low expectations

Liam:

Mom, you're faster than you look.
Mom, you're stronger than you look.
Mom, you're heavier than you look.


Thursday, November 14

Ready






















I can't wait to:

Make food for Thanksgiving Dinner
Feast out at that amazing meal
Visit with family and friends
Watch Doctor Who (50th Anniversary!)
Buy holiday gifts
Find our Christmas tree
Listen to Christmas music every day
Decorate for the holiday season








Thursday, September 5

Book Review: Bel Canto

Bel Canto
by Ann Patchett

The summary of this book lured me in: A group of  ambassadors, businessmen and an opera singer held hostage by guerrillas somewhere in an unnamed country in South America. Based loosely from this real-life event, I expected a lot of intrigue, subversion, and intense drama. Bel Canto wasn't really any of those things.

When people are stuck in a mansion without the freedom to speak or move, not a lot can really happen. Unlike the action-packed thriller I expected, Ann Patchett focused on the characters and the relationship between the hostages and the captor, which meant a lot of slow character backstories and people sitting around contemplating life.

Eliminating the completely unnecessary and frankly ridiculous epilogue, the book was alright and I can understand why there is a lot of praise.

Thursday, August 29

End of Summer Music

There seems to be a huge trend within alternative music in which every song contains the following element:

a chorus singing nonsensical words in unison with, but not always, the lead singer.

But it can't be just any kind of unison chorus, it has to have that airy, almost primal sound, that is reminiscent of beachy summer sunsets...or basically anything associated with the vibe of Coachella. (For the record, I'm very much aware that Coachella is no where near a beach, but it is in California and that's close enough).

It seriously is in every single song I can think of that is currently playing on the radio. No really. It's there. Somewhere, maybe only a little bit, but oh it's there.


Let's start with the obvious:
Philip Philips does it best with Home

Not a huge fan of that song, but that trend extends to songs that I actually do like, such as Passion Pit's Take A Walk.

Then there are those songs that you'd never think would have it, but if you're listening for it, you'll hear it. Sail by AWOLNATION is one that comes to mind. 

Sometimes they do sing words instead of the traditional lala's and ooo's, but it's about the same thing. Prime example of this is Gone, Gone, Gone by Philip Philips (again). 


Michael thought I was crazy when I first notice this, so it became my mission to prove it to him. (I love you, dear). I've put a lot of thought in this and all summer long I've been bravely turning on the radio just to spot another song that could go on the list.

Artists who use it once tend to use it again, as noted with Philip Philips above. For my list, I'm judging purely by songs that are played on the radio over and over again and a lot of the top 40 tend to include multiple tracks by a single artist. 

And the List...

Carry On by Fun.
Some Nights by Fun.
Home by Philip Philips
Gone, Gone, Gone by Philip Philips
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Demons by Imagine Dragons
It's Time by Imagine Dragons
(umm...basically anything by Imagine Dragons)
I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons (kind of)
Sail by AWOLNATION
Everybody Talks by Neon Trees
Take a Walk by Pission Pit
Mountain Sound by Of Monster and Men
Stubborn Love by Lumineers
Ho Hey by Lumineers

I'm sure that I'm missing some, so please let me know if you think of anymore!

Thursday, August 22

Book Review: Fragments

Fragments (Partials, Book 2)
by Dan Wells

Of course the first book ended with a cliff-hanger, so I had to read this one too. There were some aspects that I really liked: the exploration, the revelations and the return of some great characters. Yet there were parts that were completely unbelievable, tragic or unnecessary.

And Fragments ended with another cliffhanger so I'll be reading the next book too...Blarg.






Saturday, August 17

Full Plate

Life has been fairly uneventful. We've been in survival mode just trying to raise our two boys. Then this past month has been preposterous. Some stuff is by choice, but then there's those monkey wrenches that get tossed in there too.

Just this week:

Made an offer on a home (it was accepted!)
Dealt with all that buying stress
Stayed up way too late finding crafting projects
(FYI: I'm not a crafty-diy-kind-of person)
(But this home buying thing has brought it out)
Pulled out my art supplies (after many months)
Outlined for project #1 
Painted a board for project #2
Researched ideas for project #3
Began planning for Liam's 4th birthday party
(Won't a Neverland Party be awesome!)
Watched some classic Doctor Who
Hunted for stuff at all the local thrift stores
Somehow was convinced to dress up for Dragon*con
(Mike has gotten into steampunk, everybody)
(Brace yourselves)
Made attempts to learn how to use a sewing machine
In order to fix, alter, and make costumes for Dragon*con
Created a running tab of all these random sewing projects 
(That list is way too long, by the way)
(And I'm not sure what I'm thinking)
(I can't sew...)
(And I am a curse to sewing machines)
(Gotta learn sometime, right?)
Immaculately organized my closet
Volunteered at a clothing fest
Fed the missionaries
Finally replaced my (lost) glasses 
Attended the Temple
Helped out family who recently moved to Atlanta
Made brownies with Liam
Went to the pool with friends
Attended playgroup
Babysat my neighbor's kids
Got our phone numbers hijacked (unknowingly)
Had our phone services shut off (without notice)
Frustratingly worked with the fraud department to get our services back
Received a lovely batch of freshly picked basil
Learned how to dry and store basil 
Wrote more blog posts
(Including this one....)

What I haven't done:
Laundry
Dishes
Read a single book
(and that last one is killing me!)


Friday, August 16

Good to Know #12

Rainy weather means stay at home.

Ok, that's not entirely true. There are times you must leave your house when it's raining:

When you run out of milk, diapers, or toilet paper.

Church, because, you know, that's important.

If you're in labor and aren't planning a home delivery.

Questionable times to leave your home include, but are not limited to, finding alternative places to stay dry so you can get out of your 1000 sqft apartment and preventing cabin fever from escalating any more than needed.

It was one of those days.

Although smack-dab in the middle of the day (read: lunchtime with pending nap for Owen), I always try to attend my weekly yoga class at the YMCA. On this particular day it was raining, but it was time for my weekly class, but it was raining. I made a decision: I left the apartment.


Mistake #1

Ignoring the rain. It was just drizzly, but with a strong possibility of getting worse.

Mistake #2

Traveling more than 3 miles from my home and driving more into the city and on major freeways.

Mistake #3 

Noticing that there was traffic building up on the 285 and not turning back.


So yoga was great as always: slight workout, a chance to mentally recharge, and on-site daycare. But as I was returning home there were several problems:

Problem #1

It was raining. Not just a little bit, but a torrential downpour with little to no possibility of getting better.

Problem #2

I had traveled more than 3 miles away from home. Actually 13.5 miles to be exact which in Atlanta feels more like 135 miles when you're driving approximately negative mph because of....

Problem #3

Traffic. Major traffic. Everywhere.

And not being able to see in the monsoon didn't make it any easier to drive.


If all that stress from driving (err..sitting?) wasn't enough, I had cranky, hungry boys who were not happy that our already late lunch was pushed back even more. Owen threatened to fall asleep, which would've been the worst thing ever, because somehow in baby logic sleeping 5+ minutes in a car would mean no nap later and a very cranky afternoon.

In the end, this is what I've learned:

Lesson #1
There are a few exceptions to driving in the rain. Otherwise, stay at home.

Lesson #2
When I do leave the house, I must bring plenty of food, water, and entertainment to last an 1 hour+ car ride.

Lesson #3
Yoga is one of those exceptions.


Thursday, August 15

Book Review: Partials

Partials (Book 1)
By Dan Wells


Partials is about a post-apocalyptic world where few humans survived a deadly virus. A gentle warning though, there is much discussion on the high infant mortality rate and the book immediately describes a particularly morbid scene. I'd advise anyone who is sensitive to this subject be aware that this is a central theme to the book.

With that said, I didn't approach this book for a long time. Out of boredom and curiosity, I read it. And I gobbled it down. It's intense and it was hard to put down. I liked it ok, but my desire to know what happened next kept me going in spite of the endless discussion of Manhattan being overgrown with foliage and the dilapidated buildings of Long Island.







Friday, August 9

My Summer in one word:

Wet.


In two or more words:
Dewy mornings
Splash pads
Frigid swimming pools
Juicy watermelon
Workout yoga sweats
Refreshing drinking water
Salty tears from emotionally riddled children
Summer afternoon rainstorms
Sticky humid air
Not so minor flooding
Quick-melting popsicles
Bath times and hot showers
Neverending dishwashing
Slobbery kiddie kisses
Unfortunate night sweats



Saturday, April 6

Thursday, April 4

Good to Know #11

Children change your sleep habits.

We all know this. We think of babies waking up at all hours of the night, crying, and breaking up our sleep. But if there is one thing I've learned, our sweet blessed children like to pester us way before they are born. For me, they started as a tiny embryo pressing on my bladder making me have to pee at all hours of the night. Those nine months of interrupted sleep affected my habits long before Liam was actually born.

Before children, I slept like a rock. Deeply and soundly. I would go to bed early and wake up late, fully rested and rejuvenated for the day. Now, I am perpetually exhausted due to poor quality sleep. I partially blame my boys, but honestly, it's me who needs to change.

Every afternoon around 2 pm, I desperately desire a nap. But first that means:
1) Owen goes down for a nap
2) Liam is willing to have quiet time, or watch PBS
3) Convince myself that I have nothing else to do while Owen is napping
4) Not use up all this precise time on reading
5) Fall asleep without any interruption from Liam, the phone, or the postman

So basically, I never get that nap.

I struggle the rest of the afternoon mustering up the strength to make it until dinner and bedtime. As I lay singing to Liam around 7:30pm I'm usually on the verge of falling asleep in his bed. As I stealthily leave his room, I must remind myself that is too early to go to bed despite how droopy my eyes are. Then about 8:30pm, one or both of the boys wake up and need to be comforted back to sleep.

By 9:15, all is finally quiet and I get my second wind. The boys are asleep!  I want to hang out with my hubby! I want to watch that funny show! I want to watch another episode! Who was that guest star? I should IMDb-it! Oh I should check facebook or pinterest or that one blog by my friend....and thus the downward spiral begins. It's almost 11pm and I need to go to bed. But I don't want to. I have energy and no distractions.

Forcing myself away from all electronics, I snuggle up with my book. But then the chapter takes a twist and just a few more pages turn into a lot more and the clock is nearing midnight. I close my book and finally drift off to sleep...Owen cries out in distress. The rest of the night is probably filled with insanely emotional dreams and a premature morning wake up time which continues the vicious cycle.




Thursday, March 28

Book Review: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
by Rhoda Janzen

Wow! This book is a hot mess. Rhoda Janzen writes about her life experiences growing up as a Mennonite. It starts off really funny as Janzen makes light of her personal tragedies. But then it just tapered off. It's a whole lot of rambling and I think Janzen loses direction (What was her main point?) and ends up just piecing random stories together. I did like when she talked about her childhood, but everything else made me think, "Why do I care?" I finished it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.



Saturday, March 23

Thursday, March 21

Book Review: Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse
by Daniel H. Wilson

Bleh. I don't normally read this kind of book: violent, disturbing, and apocalyptic. Mike was reading it though  (he didn't like it either) and I was intrigued by the unique writing format.

I'm not sure why I kept reading it...there were a lot of killer robots, blood, and hopeless situations, but I did like that some people were gutsy to fight back. Way to go them. Anyway, I say don't bother reading this unless this is your type of thing.