Saturday, March 26, 2011


During winter I have fantasies. I fantasize about what it would be like if it was spring. I imagine warmth...lots of it! I imagine dry. I imagine clear roads.

In reality, a lot of that is not quite spring. Spring is warmer than winter, but certainly not hot. Spring is drier than winter in the fact that the roads are not icy anymore, but we get quite a bit of rain (and the occasional snow flurry), which makes it feel even colder. Spring is not summer. But I think to my mind during the winter, spring and summer are one and the same. Unfortunately, this leaves me just a tad disappointed when spring arrives and the heat wave does not come with it - quite yet. It just means I have to wait for warm weather just a little bit longer. I have to wait just a little bit longer for "shorts weather." I have to wait just a little bit longer for the day when I don't feel like my coat needs to be with me at all times. I have to wait just a little bit longer for our flowers to start blooming.

But when all is said and done....I love spring. Everything is new. And beautiful.

Ahhhh......I love you, spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Project 365: Day 77

Day 77: What a beautiful day! :) I had a meeting to go to, and on the way down I was able to pop open my sunroof to let a little fresh air in. I was early to my meeting so I was able to swing by Jamba Juice on my way, and I got a Caribbean Passion Jamba. It was SO good....I hadn't been to Jamba in a long time. Between the sunroof, Jamba, and country music playing on my iPod, it was a lovely drive and lovely day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Project 365: Day 76

Day 76: I am trying not to do too many self-portraits on my Project 365....but since it is St. Patrick's Day and I was wearing green, I thought I should document that fact. I was actually wearing a green shirt earlier in the day, but I managed to splatter butter on it when I was cooking, so I took it off and put some laundry stain remover stuff on it so it would (hopefully) not become ruined by the oily butter I added a scarf to my outfit. I think it worked.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Project 365: Day 75

Day 75: I bought some candy at Trader Joe's when I was in CA to share with some of my friends. We had it last night at our small group. There were little Belgian chocolate bars (which were unbelievably amazing) and my favorite naturally-sweetened gummies. Yum, yum, I can't wait until our TJ's opens in our area in the fall or winter!

Project 365: Day 74

Day 74: My mom is teaching a class for 3-6 year olds at church on Wednesday nights. This week they were learning about Noah's Ark and how the rainbow is a sign of God keeping his promise to never flood the entire earth again. I had the wonderful suggestion that their craft should involve finger painting. We decided to do a sample for the kids, which would allow us to really make sure that this was a good idea and would work for this project. It did. And it was fun playing with finger paints for a few minutes. Swirling paint on a piece of paper is strangely relaxing...... :)

Project 365: Day 73

Day 73: I noticed our daffodils are starting to come up - a true sign of spring, indeed!

Project 365: Day 72

Day 72: My family happened to all be out and about, and when I walked past my brother's room I found this sight. Cody was curled up in his favorite spot on Scott's bed - by the window, so he can keep watch as needed. Reba, however, preferred to have her head on the pillow, and you can somewhat see her hind feet tucked under the bath towel. She lives a life of luxury.....they both do. :)

Project 365: Day 71

Day 71: Here is another favorite picture from CA I thought I would share for Day 71. My grandparents have this really cute statue in their backyard. It has provided several wonderful photo opportunities throughout the years. :)

Project 365: Day 70

Day 70: Blame it on trying to get back into the swing of things....blame it on, well, no excuses....I didn't get a picture taken on Day 70. BUT....I have so many pictures I would love to share from CA, so here is one that I took when I went to the art museum. I loved the palm trees with the clear blue sky. So amazing. So California. So happy looking. *happy sigh*

Project 365: Day 69

Day 69: I put my snowman collection away. It is amazing how empty my dresser looks now! Notice my flowers on the dresser? Those are my bridesmaid flowers. I brought them home, with their stems stuck into the pocket of my carryon bag. It sort of looked like I was carrying a small animal because the flowers somewhat resembled the head, and the bag resembled the body. :)

Project 365: Days 56 - 68

Day 56: Packing for my trip to CA for my friend Aley's wedding!

Day 57: Mount Shasta, as seen from the air on our approach to Oakland.

Day 58: One of the unique flowers at my uncle's home. This flowers is actually quite tiny and was on a bush. I haven't the slightest idea what its name is, but I like it. :)

Day 59: I went to lunch with a friend that I met last summer when she was in my area. We had some delicious Mexican food, followed by froyo from Menchie's.

Day 60: I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) with some friends. I took a picture of the outside of the museum, but this picture of a tall building on Wilshire Blvd. was much more impressive. :)

Day 61: My friend Aley and I went to LAX to pick up one of the other bridesmaids. It is the first time (that I remember) that I have been to LAX since I was about, oh, 7 at the oldest. It is a huge airport. Especially compared to our local airport. :)

Day 62: We worked on assembling favors for the wedding!

Day 63: This is "the house that built me." Or, where I grew up. My friend who got married lived in the same neighborhood. It was a weird feeling knowing that I was spending several days in the same neighborhood that I grew up in, without the ability to go back to my old house, and sleep in my old room. :) But I hear that they think there is a family with young children living in the house now, so I am hoping that those kids have some awesome times in that house, just as my brother and I did. That is my consolation. :)

Day 64: My absolutely stunning friend Aley, and her beautiful mother on Aley's wedding day. I was trying to stay out of the photographer's way while taking this picture. Thus the fact that it is not the greatest picture. :)

Day 65: These were some of the biggest strawberries I have ever seen.

Day 66: I went through my grandparents' yard, taking pictures of flowers. I do love calla lilies.

Day 67: I can't find any pictures that I took this day, although I know I did. They might be on my cell phone. But I did make the stollen on Day 67, we just didn't cut into it until the next day. :)

Day 68: Home again, home again, jiggety jog. This is the lights of the city as we took off from Oakland on my final flight of the trip home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: The Bridge of Peace (Cindy Woodsmall)

I love Amish fiction. So you can imagine my delight to be able to write a review about "The Bridge of Peace" by Cindy Woodsmall.

When the book arrived, I learned that it is the second book in a series. However, I was able to jump right into the story without needing to have read the first book in the series (regardless, I am planning to check out Book #1 from the library very soon, as I enjoyed this book and these characters so much!).

This book really drew me in. I felt like I was right there with all the characters as events unfolded. I rejoiced with Gray when it looked like his marriage was beginning to turn around, and I sympathized with him when tragedy struck. I felt the excitement that Deborah felt when her corn maze was successful, and I could feel how much of a blow Lena experienced when she lost her teaching position. I also rejoiced with several characters towards the end of the book (I don't want to give *too* much away!).

This is one of those books that I had a hard time putting down. Although the ending was a bit predictable (at least to me….maybe I’ve read too many Christian fiction books……), it was still interesting to see how the characters reached that point and I grew to love each of them dearly along the way. I can’t to see where Book #3 in the series (due out this year) takes them.

I highly enjoyed this book….it was Amish fiction at its finest, and I look forward to reading more by Cindy Woodsmall.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I would love it if you would take a minute to rank my review for BloggingForBooks.

Book Review: The Inheritance of Beauty (Nicole Seitz)

I recently read "The Inheritance of Beauty" by Nicole Seitz. After I selected this book to review, I read some reviews that others have written and saw several reviews saying that this is a book you will not be able to put down. However, I will honestly admit that I had a hard time getting into this book. 

This book took place from the perspectives of about 4 different people: Maggie Black, her husband George, their childhood friend Joe Stackhouse, and the kind nurse, Annie. Maggie, George and Joe had known each other as children, and through different circumstances found themselves at the same retirement home in their later years. We mostly hear from Maggie and George. Maggie is now unable to talk, so her parts of the story are from her perspective as a child, with a few instances of what is going through her brain in her later years. George's perspective is mostly the present day, later years of his life, perspective. I think what I found hard to get into with this book is the fact that it jumps from person to person, their life as a young person to their life as an older person, etc.

As far as the storyline, we learn that Maggie grew up in the South Carolina lowcountry, spending her days with her beloved brother, Ash, and her best friend, George (who she later married). Life was easy. Life was carefree. Life was fun. Until one day when a stranger and his son rolled into town. Things seemed great as little Joe Stackhouse played with Maggie, Ash and George. But one day everything changed. Secrets were uncovered, and Maggie's innocent little world would never be the same.  Eighty years later, in a nursing home, Maggie and George are living a contented life. Life is good. Until one day with a large mysterious package arrives, and old wounds are opened and answers to secrets revealed.

While I cannot give this book as high of a recommendation as I would like, due to the fact that I had a hard time getting into it, I'm sure not everyone will have as hard of a time getting into the story as I did, and once you do get into the story, it is an interesting story to read.

*Thank you very much to Thomas Nelson/BookSneeze for providing me with a complimentary review copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sneak Peak.....

I'm still in CA.....but wanted to give you a sneak peak of pictures from the wedding I was over the weekend. My dear childhood friend Aley (who I am pretty sure reads my blog.....) got married and I got to be one of her bridesmaids. Here is a picture of us before the ceremony. :)

It was so fun to be a part of her special day. :)

I will get all caught up on the Project 365 pictures, etc., when I get home and have access to Photoshop and iPhoto to touch them up a tad. :)