Saturday, April 15, 2017

First Quarter Reading

I read a lot of ridiculously good books this quarter. I technically finished When Breath Becomes Air on April 2, but I'm including it with my first quarter books because it will be much easier to write about now while it's fresh on my mind. Including that one, I read 7 books this quarter.

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Out of desperation, Louisa takes a job caring for quadriplegic Will who lost his successful, happy life in a freak accident. The two become friends and Louisa makes it her mission to convince Will that his life is still worth living. When I first heard about this book, I had no interest in reading it. While we were in Colorado for Christmas, my sister had just finished reading the book and she convinced me to watch the movie with her. Well of course I loved the movie, so I started reading the book as soon as I could get my hands on it and I loved it too. It is definitely a book that gives you a lot to think about since it deals with weighty moral dilemmas, but it was also very enjoyable to read.

2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Paul, a neurosurgeon at Stanford, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at age 36 during his last of seven years of residency. This book about facing his own death was published 10 months after he died. I had been meaning to read it since it came out and ironically I was about halfway through it when my mom told us she has breast cancer again. (Fortunately breast cancer and lung cancer are very different animals and we have every reason to believe she will be just fine.) It is beautifully written and includes many incredibly profound observations about death and living.

3. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes. Nell is a 26-year-old control freak who never travels or does anything even a little bit adventurous. She uncharacteristically plans a weekend getaway with her boyfriend to Paris, but her boyfriend doesn't show up for the trip and Nell finds herself alone in Paris. I read this book right after Me Before You because I needed a book set somewhere I've never been, but would like to visit for my reading challenge and I saw it on the Lucky Day display at our library. It was a fun, old-fashioned, feel-good love story.

4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. A pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte who lives in the rafters above his pigpen. Wilbur is devastated when he learns his destiny is to be killed for his meat. Charlotte spins webs with words describing Wilbur as being no ordinary animal in an attempt to save his life. This is a classic for good reason. I've started reading to Peyton and this was our second book together.

5. After You by Jojo Moyes. A year or so after Me Before You ends, Louisa has traveled around the world and is now living in London in a flat she bought with the money Will left her. She's working a pretty pathetic job in an airport bar, her relationship with her family is somewhat strained, and she's not exactly moving on. Then she accidentally falls off the roof of her apartment building and takes in Will's daughter he never knew he had. The subject matter of this book (grieving a significant loss) makes it less fun to read and compared to Me Before You, it just wasn't as good. But I did enjoy reading it.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl. Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl who has to deal with obnoxious, idiot parents who think she's just a nuisance. If that wasn't already enough, when Matilda starts school she also has to deal with Miss Trunchbull, the Head Mistress of Matilda's school, who has terrorized students and teachers for generations. Matilda discovers she has a rather unique gift that she uses to make things better for herself and Miss Honey, her teacher, who is the one person who supports and believes in Matilda. I originally started reading this book with Corbyn, but Peyton soon became interested in it and I ended up reading it to both of them.

7. How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel by Cressida Cowell. We're nearing the end of the How to Train Your Dragon series (this was book 10 out of 11) and I have mixed feelings about finishing them. I'm ready to read other things with him, but at the same time sad to see them go since they've been me and Corbyn's special thing for so long!

Here's to another quarter of reading. All my holds came available at the same time, so my nightstand is piled high with more books than I have time to read right now! 

Not the worst problem to have.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Logan's Birthday: Party

I did an Oh TWOdles theme for Logan's birthday party. Thank you Pinterest! I never would have thought of that on my own. We invited a few of our neighbors (the Martyns and the Lockers) and the Yates. We had invited the Tutts (from our new ward), but with the change of date, they couldn't come. Since the party was supposed to be on Logan's birthday and we had Corbyn's WinterFest in the afternoon/evening, we decided to do a brunch with Mickey waffles. 

I made an Oh TWOdles banner. (Hard to get a good picture because of the windows!) I also hung up red, yellow, and black balloons and streamers around the kitchen and living room (didn't get a picture of those 😩).

I made this Mickey and Minnie Bulletin Board for my craft room. It normally has a collage of some of our favorite pictures from past Disney trips, but I switched out those pictures for ones of Logan meeting Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto for the party. 

For drinks we had milk, Donald Duck orange juice, and chocolate milk.

We had Applesauce Oat Muffins, fruit and Fluffy Orange Fruit Dip (from Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen)...

Cinnamon and Multi Grain Mickey waffles...

Buttermilk Syrup, Strawberry Sauce, Cinnamon Syrup, Cinnamon Apples, bananas, sprinkles, strawberries, and whipped topping.

These Apple Cinnamon Waffles are my favorite! Even better with Mickey sprinkles! 

Logan and his little buddy Beckett Yates chowing down.

I found these Mickey Mouse Photo Props at Target.

I made a backdrop with red, yellow, and black streamers and we had fun taking pictures in our photo booth.

Logan didn't really understand what to do with the photo props 😂.

I kept the favors simple. "Thanks for Popping By" topping bags filled with Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn and Mickey Straws.

Despite being a week late, I'd say the party was a success!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Logan's Birthday

The week leading up to Logan's birthday Rog and I got sick with a terrible sore throat. We were miserable and only barely functioning by taking the maximum dose of ibuprofen every 6 hours. We were supposed to have Logan's birthday party the morning of his birthday, but decided we'd better postpone it since we didn't want to share our sickness and since I wasn't feeling well enough to get everything ready for the party anyway. The night before his birthday, I hung up the few decorations I had gotten ready and Rog made fun of me saying Logan wouldn't even notice or care. But look who was absolutely delighted to see his balloons when we came downstairs! (Mom for the win!) 

He loved opening his presents. From us he got the Little People Magical Day at Disney Playset (want), a Mickey Cup and a Mickey Spoon/Fork (need), a Mickey helmet (wear), and Disney Baby My First Colors book (read).

From Grandma Dixie and Grandpa Mike he got a Lego Duplo Number Train. And from Grandma Lori and Papa George he got a tricycle and Mickey & Goofy's Gas and Dine Playset.

A few of Rog's coworkers had been sick, so we just assumed we had what they had. But finally I got asking Rog questions about what they had and we decided it sounded like we had something else. I started looking up strep throat symptoms and was pretty sure that was what we had, so Rog went into Urgent Care to get tested. Sure enough his strep test came back positive, so we loaded everyone up and headed over there. Corbyn and I could be seen by a nurse (for free), but we had to wait around for a doctor to see Peyton and Logan since they were too young. My strep test also came back positive and so did Corbyn's (even though he wasn't even feeling sick), so the doctor didn't even test Peyton and Logan (Peyton would have been fine, but testing Logan wouldn't have been pleasant for anyone!) and just sent us home with 5 prescriptions for Penicillin.

When we put Logan down for his nap, I crashed on the couch while the kids were watching shows. It had been a busy week and being so sick finally caught up to me.

Corbyn's school had their big WinterFest carnival that afternoon/evening. We went even though we knew we shouldn't because we had already purchased tickets for the games and Corbyn had really been looking forward to it.

Before we drove over to the school we turned Logan's carseat around. Hooray for finally facing forward!

They had a great variety of fun carnival games.

As well as face painting.

Logan was not wanting to be put down, so Rog was a trooper and carried him on his shoulders most of the time we were there.

We used up our tickets as fast as we could and then spent the Wildcat Bucks they earned from playing the games and got out of there. Hopefully we didn't infect too many people!

A nice family in our ward brought us dinner and we just did ice cream with sprinkles and a couple candles for Logan since we hadn't sung to him yet.

The next day we stayed home from church. It was a beautiful day and we've learned that when the sun's out, you go out. So we went to the park and ended up playing a fun little baseball game as a family.

When Logan woke up from his nap we turned on a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for him. I sat down to watch it with him and ended up taking another nap!

I made him spaghetti for his birthday dinner and some easy Mickey cupcakes. He was delighted with the display, but was being a stinker and refused to try one. We didn't feel like we should share them, so everyone (except for Logan) ate a lot of cupcakes for a few days to finish them off.

It wasn't exactly the birthday we had planned for him, but at least it happened now while he's still too young to know it was his birthday. And it definitely was a birthday we won't soon forget!