Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fourth Quarter Reading

I could have read so many books while I was traveling, but for whatever reason I just really wasn't in the mood to read on my trip (and a lot of this quarter). That being said I did finish a respectable number of books this quarter.



Excellent

1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. After Macy's dad dies of a heart attack (in the middle of a run), she attempts to control the rest of her life. She becomes a perfect student and starts dating a perfect boyfriend. Then her boyfriend leaves for the summer and tells her they should take a break and her perfect life suddenly falls apart. This may be my favorite Sarah Dessen book yet. It's not significantly different from any of her other books that I've read (they're all great!), but something about this one just resonated with me.

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Just as Harry is packing his bags to go back to Hogwarts at the end of the summer, a house elf named Dobby shows up and warns him not to return. Sure enough, terrible things start happening and no one knows who or what is responsible. All of the Harry Potter books are excellent on their own, but the illustrations by Jim Kay just make them that much more enjoyable. Plus I'm loving seeing them through fresh eyes as Corbyn listens to them for the first time.

3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. August has never attended public school because of his severe facial abnormalities. He is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep and wants nothing more than to be treated like everyone else, but most of his classmates (and some of their parents) can't get past his extraordinary face. This was a book club book that I decided to listen to in the car with the kids. We started it before my trip and the kids were extremely patient to wait until I got home to finish it with me. We loved it!

Great

4. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen. Louna works for her mom's wedding planner business, but has been cynical about happily-ever-afters ever since her first love ended very tragically. Will Ambrose be the guy to change her mind? This is Sarah Dessen's latest book and while I didn't love it as much as The Truth About Forever, it was definitely worth reading.

5. Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. Franny is a struggling young actress trying to make it in New York City. She only has six months left of her three-year deadline to make something of her career and she's starting to panic. After finishing Once and For All on my first flight (of eleven) of my trip, I carried this book around and didn't even crack the cover until after I got home. I'd been wanting to read it since I read about it in Lauren Graham's memoir, so I don't know why it took me so long to start. It was fun to read this book and think about how it was probably pretty accurate being written by an actress who struggled at first to get her career going. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was worth reading.

6. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. After graduating at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. Soon after beginning her apprenticeship, she must face (and defeat) a dark magician to save her teacher's life. Originally this book intrigued me because of the author's last name. Turns out it was written by the sister-in-law of the missionary I was writing when I met Rog, Elder Reed Holmberg. I later came across it again and actually read what the book was about and thought it sounded interesting (and Disney had just bought the rights for it, so there's that). I really enjoyed the story although the writing didn't flow well for me and I didn't feel like I could read it quickly. (It was her first novel, so maybe this improves in her subsequent books.) I kind of slogged through it, but I really loved how it ended and was glad I persevered.

Good

7. The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl. A little girl with a magic finger turns her neighbors into birds when their hunting exploits makes her angry. This book, like Esio Trot, is a short story published as a book. Not my favorite of Dahl's books, but not terrible either.

And again not counting these toward my total, but here are the books I read with Peyton this quarter.


Samantha Saves the Day and Changes for Samantha by Valerie Tripp. The last 2 Samantha books (of the original 6). So fun to read these with my little girl!

Samantha Saves the Wedding, Samantha and the Missing Pearls, and Samantha's Special Talent by Valerie Tripp and Sarah Masters Buckey. 3 new (to me anyway) short stories about Samantha.

My 7 books this quarter brings my total for the year to 28. That's 4 more than my goal of 24! I also completed Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 (Reading For Fun) Reading Challenge.


A book you chose for the cover: That Summer by Sarah Dessen (Third Quarter). I knew I wanted to read one of Sarah Dessen's books and I ultimately grabbed this one because I liked its cover best (of her books on the shelf at the library that day).

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (First Quarter). I only know one person who didn't like this book. It's definitely one that's hard to put down after you start reading it.

A book set somewhere you've never been but would like to visit: Paris for One by Jojo Moyes (First Quarter). I've always loved France because of my love for ballet. It kills me that I can now say I've been to Europe, but I haven't been to Paris!

A book you've already read: My Story by Elizabeth Smart (Third Quarter). This was my third time reading this book (and surely not my last).

A juicy memoir: Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham (Second Quarter). I'm so glad this challenge led me to this book. I heart Lauren Graham!

A book about books or reading: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Third Quarter). This was my original pick for "a book you chose for the cover" because the cover is absolutely beautiful, but it's the only book I read about books (without stretching it to put Matilda in this category). I tried to read the Book Thief, but couldn't get through it.

A book in a genre you usually avoid: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (Third Quarter). I'm not actually sure what genre this book is from, but it definitely wasn't a book I would have picked for myself. I might be stretching it, but in my mind that means it must have been in a genre I usually avoid.

A book you don't want to admit you're dying to read: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (Fourth Quarter). I initially resisted reading this book because of my background with the author's brother-in-law, but really genuinely thought it sounded like an interesting story.

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author: Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (Fourth Quarter). I wanted to read this book after reading Lauren Graham's memoir. (I also could have picked any of Sarah Dessen's books I read this year for this category.)

A book recommended by someone with great taste: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (First Quarter). I have such great success reading books Janssen suggests and she was spot on about this book.

A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven't read yet: Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Third Quarter). Oh how I loved this book (especially the audio version), but my oh my it took me a long time to get through it!

A book about a topic or subject you already love: Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (Third Quarter). I didn't know what book I could read for this category and then it hit me. Duh, a book about the gospel!

I'd say it was a pretty good year of reading for me - especially the first and third quarters!

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 was the year that...

Rog went SNOWCAVING and hiked 50 MILES with the scouts...


And survived PNEUMONIA!


I ran a MARATHON...


And HOOD TO COAST...


Donated my HAIR...


And cruised GREECE AND ITALY with my Mom, Dad, and Sister!


Corbyn lost his 1ST TOOTH, played T-BALL...


Went to TRACK CAMP, and played a TOY SOLDIER in Oregon Trail Elementary's NUTCRACKER!


Peyton learned to READstarted KINDERGARTEN...


Went to PRINCESS DANCE CAMP, and perfected her HEADSTAND!


Logan learned to climb IN AND OUT of his CRIB...


Continued his love for MICKEY...


And developed a love for BUZZ!


Rog and I celebrated 10 YEARS with a weekend together in SEATTLE...


Corbyn and Peyton ran a KIDS MARATHON together...


And Peyton and I danced in a RECITAL together!


We explored the GORGE...


And dressed up as SUPER MARIO as a family for HALLOWEEN!


Grandma Lori beat BREAST CANCER for the 2ND TIME and we welcomed another NEPHEW (Leo Taylor Phillips)!

We ended the year with the disappointment of a PREGNANCY LOSS, but with HOPE for a NEW BABY in 2018.


2017 was a year of UPS AND DOWNS, but mostly WONDERFUL MEMORIES made together!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Another Weekend in Utah

Before we knew we would be in the middle of a 7-game losing streak, we scheduled a trip to Utah for the Homecoming game against Boise State on October 6th. 

We always take an empty carry-on suitcase to bring back filled with Wood Connection crafts. It's the perfect suitcase for Logan to help with - until it's full of wood that is!


We got lunch at Mod Pizza at the airport and then we remember we had planned to eat at Pizza Pie Cafe that night. (Same thing happened when we flew to Utah in April.)


Rog was going on 2 weeks with the flu, so we ended up adding me as a driver on our rental car and I drove the entire trip. 

I decided to just go straight to the Wood Connection, so I didn't have to worry about fitting it in later. 

After that we met my parents at Pizza Pie Cafe for dinner. We could have gone somewhere else, but since they didn't have my favorite dessert pizzas when we ate there in April, I decided we could do pizza twice in a day again to get my beloved peach and apple dessert pizzas.


Then we left the kids with my parents at Jared and Cailey's house and headed to the game. Jared had earned box seats as a reward from Qualtrics, but then couldn't use them because they were going to Las Vegas that weekend. So we got to use the box seats and gave the other tickets we were going to use to Taylor and Mariah (the newlyweds).




We had heard there might be some food up in the box, but didn't know there was going to be a literal feast. We're talking drinks, nachos, candy bars, cougar tails, chips, popcorn, ice cream, cookies, brownies... 


When we saw how much food was up there, we realized we shouldn't have eaten all-you-can-eat pizza for dinner. There was also some healthier dinner food available, so we really hadn't needed to eat dinner at all. I ate some of a cougar tail and we took a few things down to Taylor and Mariah at halftime and a few things home with us after the game. 


It was a cold night and it was a really good thing we were sitting in the box seats because Rog was so sick. Otherwise we wouldn't have been able to stay very long. We stayed until the bitter end, but there were not many people who did. 

I follow a lot of quilters on Instagram who always take pictures of their quilts in fun places, so I had brought Logan's football quilt to take a picture of it in the stadium. By the time we got down closer to the field, the stadium was almost completely empty.

#husbandsholdingquilts


For Saturday we had planned a lunch at my Uncle Kevin and Aunt Becky's house with my Ririe cousins. Rog decided he was too sick to come, so he stayed at Jared and Cailey's house while the rest of us went up to Salt Lake. After eating lunch, the kids played in the backyard while the adults just talked and hung out inside.


After that we had plans to meet up with the Woods and the Goodrichs for dinner at Wheeler Farm. Logan fell asleep in the car and I didn't want to wake him up to go inside to get dinner somewhere, so I ended up ordering Chick-fil-A on my phone and picking it up.

We ate and let the kids play on the playground while the adults talked and got caught up. Peyton loved seeing Elsie again.


We also walked around the farm for a bit to see the animals and take some fun pictures. 

Molly Goodrich, Stockton Goodrich, Mikki Wood, Alleah Wood, Corbyn, Brynn Goodrich, Ivy Goodrich, Logan, Elsie Wood, and Peyton.


I used up the last of my phone battery ordering dinner, so Kelli took pictures and sent them to me.


Before we knew it, it was dark and time to get the kids home and to bed, but it was so nice to spend a few hours with these forever friends. I love that we can not see each other for months or even years, but we always pick up right where we left off!


On Sunday we went to Jared and Cailey's ward (without them) and then packed up. We had dinner at Anthony and McKae's house with Martha (Taylor was out of town). 

Then we caught our flight home.



We didn't cram in as much as we normally do on our trips to Utah, but we had fun living the high life at the BYU game (even though we lost) and seeing family and friends.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Conference Weekend

Many people have special treats or breakfasts that they make every single conference weekend. Sunday morning we always have some kind of waffles at our house because of the Ririe Waffle Breakfast, but Saturday morning I make whatever I'm in the mood for. This year it was biscuit cinnamon rolls


In between sessions we took a walk and shared some with the Yates.

Sunday morning we had Whole Grain Waffles. I love these waffles because they are healthy as opposed to your traditional waffles that are often more a dessert than breakfast. (Although I definitely love that kind of waffle too! Hello, Waffle Love!) Rog doesn't exactly share my enthusiasm for them, but he'll eat them and so will the kids.


Aside from eating... Conference weekend is for fort building...


Playing with Slime...


And doing puzzles.


This conference weekend was for finishing up projects. 

I was trying to finish decorating our built-in shelves, so I made this USA 3D Box Sign I bought forever ago.


This little detail is hard to see unless you look closely, but I love it.


I got this U.S. National Parks print from Stately Type (not available anymore) for Christmas a few years ago.


We have a goal to visit every national park, so I decided to color them as we visit. I have been to a few that Rog hasn't and he has been to a few I haven't, but these are the ones we have been to together. Glacier National Park we have only really been through on our way to Waterton National Park, so I colored it to be the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road that we have traveled on.


I finished binding my second flag pillow. (I finished binding the first on our way home from Seattle.)


I kept the one on the left to match my flag quilt and sent the scrappy one to my friend, Emily Pugh, who loves the 4th of July and was having a rough year with Zack being diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time and all that that entails.


I finished this football door hang (too late to display this year, but it will be ready for next year).


And finally I finished this Cougar Run frame with my 4 medals from the years I placed in my age group.


Hooray for finishing projects, eating yummy breakfasts, and most importantly, feasting on the words of our living prophets!