~my thoughts about life~

Friday, May 20, 2016

Reading, Reading, Reading...

I've read a lot of books since I last updated.  I'm still on the no TV kick, although I do occasionally watch an episode of The Middle or The Goldbergs online.  I'm not even sure I'll be able to list all the books I've read without forgetting something, but I'll try to give an accurate review.

1.  Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
I did not care for this book at all.  I was swept in by the synopsis on the book jacket.  It was a story about a ring and the engagements that followed over 100 years.  I thought that sounded romantic.  A great deal of the book was a true story about the woman who coined the phrase A Diamond is Forever.  Unfortunately, it was boring.  The best part of the book was that it was several individual stories that ended up being tied together at the end.  One of the stories was about two gay men that got married.  I don't support that so it definitely put a damper on the book for me.

2.  Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
This was one of those bargain books picked up on the clearance table at the book store.  It's historical fiction and involves a woman dealing with amnesia during the war.  It's been a little while since I read it, but I remember it being quite clean and language free.  I enjoyed it and would recommend anyone who enjoys historical fiction to read it.

3.  A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
I've ready this book a few times before.  It's totally unrealistic and very light reading, but it's so enjoyable to read.  If you liked the movie Kate & Leopold, you'll love this book.  They have a very similar story line.  It has some graphic detail in it, but I suffered through it.  (Ha!)  There's also a bit of language.  If you want to relax and get lost in romance without having to think too much, this is the book for you.

4.  Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble
This was a Kindle deal I got for a good price.  I had read all the actual books I had lying around here, so I decided to pick up my Kindle after a long hiatus.  It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was worth the $1.99 I paid for it.  It's a reunion of the past with a lot of secrets that are gradually revealed. Some parts were predictable, but most of the secrets turned out differently than I'd guessed.  It's a little over-dramatic, but I guess that's needed to hold your attention.  It was worth reading but nothing I'd strongly recommend.

5.  The Lake by Annalisa Grant
What a mistake!  I didn't realize this was young adult until after I started it.  It was another Kindle deal.  (Free, I think.)  I justified reading it by thinking that it could still be enjoyable and would be clean and free from too much sex or language.  Maybe it's because I'm not a teen, but the plot was horrible, the characters weren't believable, and it was quite boring.  Worst of all, it ends in a cliffhanger.  It like totally stops.  Then it tells you to buy the next book.  With the first book being so horrible, I certainly didn't want to waste time reading the second (which I hear also ends in a cliffhanger)!  So, I ended up googling to find out what happens to one of the main characters.  I found out and called it quits.  I won't give any spoilers here, but if you want to know, email me and I'll tell you what happens!

6.  The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Another Kindle purchase, I enjoyed this one.  It has some religious themes to it, which means that it's very clean and wholesome.  I wouldn't recommend reading the synopsis, as it gives away way too much of the plot.  I'll tell you that it's about an engaged wedding planner with no family to call her own.  It has flashbacks to a couple different time periods, which is interesting.  I definitely connected with the characters and felt like I knew them.  Another lighthearted book, I would recommend this one.

7.  The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery
This was the best of all the books I've read recently.  My mom bought the book for me because she liked the cover.  (She obviously doesn't know you're not supposed to judge a book that way.)  It's about three 30-something women and the stress and struggles of everyday life.  They rely on one another through their trials.  There's a lot going on and there's no time to get bored.  There's no way anyone in real life has this much drama going on at one time, but that's why books are more interesting than real life.  Some of the outcomes are different than I guessed, so it wasn't too predictable.  It ends just a little too quickly, but things are definitely resolved in the epilogue.  I enjoyed the writing style of the author and plan on looking for more things by her.  This is a good read.  Give it a try.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've read any of these.  What have you been reading lately?  I just started another Kindle deal that is, unfortunately, part of a series.  (I think all those Kindle deals are parts of a series to get you to buy more down the road.)  But since all 3 books are $1.99 each, I figured I'd give the first one a try.  I'm always game for good Kindle deals, if anyone has any recommendations.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Update on the Crazy

Whew!  The worst part of my year is finally over!  Each year, I have a ridiculously crazy life from the end of March until the beginning of May.  I'm in charge of our annual Mother Daughter Banquet and I seem to make it a bigger deal each year.  (Plus, my help gets less and less each year.)

Added to the crazy of MD Banquet, I'm still babysitting, harping on the kids to study and keep their grades up, trying to keep a clean house, managing the rental properties, teaching Sunday School, singing at church, and trying to keep a strong marriage.  It's exhausting, I tell ya!

Fortunately, God has had my back through all of it.  I crammed 15 hours of work into 10, got adequate sleep, and kept healthy.  I managed to cook supper most nights, make stupid phone calls about medical bills, and get Son #1 through the ACT.

Even though my banquet was a success and we pulled it all off, there was major chaos involved.  We found out a couple days before that Hubby was going to be sworn in to the police department the very same night!  Eek!  I realized that it wouldn't be possible for me to see it.  I think I might have cried.  When I told my mom, she insisted that I go.  She said the Banquet comes once a year, being sworn in is once in a lifetime.  She managed this banquet for 20 years before me, so I knew she could hack it.  THEN- her uncle one state over died.  Guess when the funeral was?  Yep, same night.  I told her she absolutely had to go to that.  His daughter was the same age as my mom and they were very best friends growing up.  SO....we moved on to my cousin, our youth pastor's wife.  She volunteered to step in and do whatever needed done.  Bless her heart!

So, the Banquet started at 6:30.  (My day started much, much earlier, and I was going on 4 hours of sleep.)  I opened up the Banquet, ran a quick song, and announced dinner.  I chatted very quickly with a friend I invited, who came only to see me.  Then I hightailed it down to the police department, which was only about 10 minutes away.  My sweet brother was waiting on me and jumped in to park my car.  There on the sidewalk stood my incredibly handsome Hubby, looking as dapper as ever.  It was hard not to cry.  (OK, I'm totally tearing up right now just remembering it.)

We filed into the packed courtroom and found the last empty seats.  They knew I was in a time crunch and actually started early!  The mayor swore him in and I was grinning like a proud mama.  The police chief interrupted and said he had to say a few words.  He said that V was a native of the city and loved the community.  He said he was such a great guy, that at the board interview, one of the members said that they thought he might actually be too nice of a guy to be a cop.  He said some other flattering things and then invited us outside for photos.  I snapped a few and headed back to the banquet.  I wasn't quite as worried about my speed on the way back because, hey, I'm a cop's wife now!!!  Haha!

I actually made it back in time before dinner was over and got to finish out the Banquet on my own!
We only had a couple mess ups, which no one seemed to care about.  It was all in fun and most people knew my situation.  I enjoyed carrying around my camera, showing off the photos.

Also, my best friend told me the same day that she's expecting her first baby!  It was such a perfect day!  My girls presented me with a spa gift card as a thank you!  What could be a better gift???

I would like to mention that my last post was not about me.  Thank you to those of you who expressed concern.  It's about a couple that Hubby and I are very close to.  It's been going on since the end of last summer, but it keeps getting worse and worse.  It's killing me to see how this friend of mine and mentor to Hubby is behaving.  Our kids are very close and we interact with them through many different things (DI, band, school plays, sports, and work).  It's just breaking my heart.  I pray that they can at least learn to be civil around one another.

So to wrap up, things have been so great around here.  Hubby is ready to start his training, which he is so excited about!  He carries his badge with him wherever he goes, just in case!  We celebrated 20 years of marriage over the weekend with a 3-day cruise all by ourselves!  It was just what I needed after a very stressful couple of months year!!!

School is out in a couple of weeks and life can be normal again.  Hopefully I can pop on to my blog more often and update.  I hope everything is going well for all of you that continue to follow me!