Friday Favorites

I’m wrapping up the week with some favorites.  I don’t know about you, but we have a weekend full of Halloween festivities.  By the time the actual holiday gets here our costumes will most likely be smeared with candy and on their last legs.

Back to blog land

My first favorite of the week is being back here on my little space sharing all about the things and the people that I love.  Thank you for all of the kind comments and messages after I returned from a little hiatus.  If you missed What’s Up Wednesday or What’s on My Bookshelf (there are some GREAT books there), be sure to check them out.  I promise to start the China recaps next week!

Jack-o-lantern spectacular

On Wednesday night my parents offered to watch the kids so we could have our first kid-free couple of hours since Collins came home.  We decided to try out a new restaurant, grab coffees (it was the first cold evening of the year), and check out the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.  For years I have been hearing how great of an event this is, but we have been hesitant to go because it is a bit pricey for looking at pumpkins and we now have 6 people in the family, plus everyone talks about how crowded it is. Since it was only the two of us we decided to check it out.  We picked the perfect night because not only was it Wednesday, but it was also cold so the crowd was very manageable.  It was a 1/4 mile long trail through a park lined with 5,000 carved pumpkins, some of which were just absolutely unbelievable.  The theme this year was A-Z and they had a theme with each letter.  I think Alice In Wonderland was my favorite.  Not only were the pumpkins amazing, but the lighting and the music set the perfect stage.

A natural deodorant that works


We’re all friends here, right.  Can we talk about deodorant for a minute?  I know that natural deodorants are all the rage and we should be convinced that traditional deodorant is from the devil.  And that may be true, but every single natural deodorant I’ve tried in the past just did not work for me.  The only reason I have tried so many is because that regular deodorant frequently makes me itch.  Let me tell you, walking around with itchy pits and wanting to scratch them like a monkey is no fun.  So when I saw a new brand of natural deodorant on the shelf at Target I couldn’t help but try it out.  Well guess what?  It actually works!  I have been using the Schmidt’s bergamot + lime deodorant for a couple of weeks and it has held up to serious sweaty workouts, full days of running after kiddos, and I do believe it works better than my traditional ones.  Bonus, it doesn’t contain aluminum and it smells good too!

Growing families

I love seeing other families grow thru adoption.  Bonus if it’s my friends’ families.  This week a dear friend that helped mentor me through our first adoption process brought home her newest two cuties from China and another friend was matched with her newest daughter.  It just makes my heart happy to see these children joining their forever families.

A new devotional


A few years ago I read Annie F. Down’s Let’s All Be Brave and it rocked my world.  I just loved this book and the concept of being brave.  So when she released a new devotional,100 Days to Brave, I knew I wanted to get my hands on it.  I have only just started to dive in, but I love that it is 100 days of a quick two page devotional to help focus on how to be more courageous and brave in our daily life.  Plus I love that it is small and pretty and looks good on my night stand.

Sneakers

For years I have been searching for a pair of casual sneakers I could wear with jeans.  I cannot begin to tell you how many pairs I have ordered and promptly returned because they hurt my feet or looked terrible on me.  Good news.  I finally found a pair I love and they are super comfy.  At first I wasn’t sure about the tongue, but they grew on me and now I like how it kind of sticks up.  Now that I know these fit me I’m excited to branch out and try some other fun colors.  Being back to having a two year old means I need to put away the boots and wear the sneakers to chase her around.

That’s all for today.  Time to prepare for a weekend full of candy.  I hope a couple of Reese’s cups and pull ‘n peels make their way to me.

linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea for friday favorites

 

What’s On My Bookshelf-August, September, October: Super Size Edition

Grab a hot cup of coffee and kick back for a super sized edition of What’s on My Bookshelf.  Since I took a blogging hiatus for a couple of months while we adjusted after bringing Collins home from China, I have my books from August, September, and October to share.  That’s eleven books in all.  I’m so excited because there are some GREAT books here.  So get comfy and let’s dive right in…

August

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Over the past year I have become a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. One True Loves is a favorite of mine.  In her newest novel, Evelyn Hugo, an old Hollywood starlet, sets out to give her memoirs to an unknown writer.  She divulges the story of each of her seven husbands and who was her one true love of her lifetime.  This book was a bit of a different tone than the other TJR novels I’ve read and to be honest about halfway through I wasn’t sure it was for me.  But in the end I came around and while it definitely wasn’t my favorite book of the month, it was well written and an interesting story.

Everything I Never Told You

I may be the last person to have read this book.  I have heard about it everywhere.  The story is based around a teenage girl whose body is found in a lake (not a spoiler, it’s on the first page 🙂  This is a book I think will appeal to a wide variety of readers.  It has the element of mystery (what happened to her?), fantastic relationships, and is a definite page turner.  I was excited to pick up her next novel.  More to come on that later…

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

I am going to go ahead and declare this one of my top 5 books.  I listened to this on audio and found myself looking for reasons to mow the grass, take a walk, or clean so I could listen to a bit more.  To be honest, it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended :).  There are parts that are a bit long and you learn a lot about tea, but the story was so unique and interesting.  The novel follows a Chinese girl growing up in a rural mountain tribe in China.  We are talking no running water or electricity.  The similarities to her tribal society and Native American cultures are strong.  When she must abandon her baby on the steps of an orphanage, her heart is broken.  The story then goes on to follow the main character as she ages and leaves her culture and family and her daughter who is adopted by an American family.  It is probably pretty obvious why this story struck such a deep chord with me.  I was jogging through my neighborhood with tears streaming down my face during the scene where she painfully leaves her innocent baby.  I have no delusions about my girls’ birth families and the situations regarding their decisions not to parent, but boy did this author weave an amazing story.  Add to that the transformation of the mountain tribe’s culture and views over the years and this is one unique and interesting novel that I would recommend for all of my fellow China mamas.

What Alice Forgot

For years I thought I had read this book.  So when someone was talking to me about it and I had absolutely no recollection of the story I realized that maybe I had not read it.  Imagine waking up and not remembering the past 10 years of your life.  You don’t remember your children, your friends, your past decisions.  This is an excellent story and if you are one the few that hasn’t read it, definitely pick it up.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

In all my life I’m not sure I have ever read an entire book in one sitting.  Well, I read this cover to cover on the plane to China without even a break to use the restroom.  This is the story of a cranky reclusive widower that owns a small book shop.  When a baby is unexpectedly left in his shop his life gets turned upside down.  The perfect little story if you have a heart for adoption and just a plain delightful little novel.

September

Summer on Blossom Street

Unfortunately this was my least favorite of my books these months.  I typically love the light and predictable nature of her novels but this one felt pieced together.  I did not feel as if any of the characters or stories were adequately developed and the thread connecting them all felt hastily thrown together.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it won’t stop me from picking up her other novels in the future.

The Husband’s Secret

What if you found a letter that made your entire world come crashing down?  This book explores how a husband’s secret, kept since he was a teenager, can impact everyone’s life.  If you like Liane Moriarty, you will love this book.

October

Two by Two

A friend in our China travel group passed this book along to me when she finished it on our trip.  I’m not typically a Nicholas Sparks fan.  I don’t like to feel like an author’s number one goal is to get his readers to cry.  But I did enjoy that this book focused on a man who finds himself in the middle of a major career change, newly single and raising his young daughter.  So many novels tell this story with a female main character, it was refreshing to see it from a male perspective.

Little Fires Everywhere

Just go ahead and read this book.  It was so good.  It opens with the Richardson house burning down then returns to the previous year and the events that lead up to the fire.  I don’t want to give too much of the story away.  Let’s just say that the characters are excellent.  The relationships are interesting.  And I don’t think Mrs. Richardson is supposed to be a likable character, but I found myself relating to her in many ways.  Put this on your reading list today.

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)

A friend texted to ask me if she should read this if she hasn’t watched the most recent Gilmore Girls reboot.  That’s when I realized it was on my Kindle but I never got around to reading it.  If you are a Gilmore Girls or Parenthood fan then this would be a fun memoir for you.  It is a quick and easy read with fun insights into some of my favorite shows.

Of Mess and Moxie

And my current read: Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything.  Not only do I love Anne Bogel’s blog and podcast I’m loving her book.  As an only child parenting four VERY different little people, the personality frameworks in this book is causing all sorts of light bulb moments for me so far.
I am such a fan of Jen Hatmaker and all that she writes.  While I think For the Love was such a great and fun book to follow, this one was a great blend of Jen Hatmaker’s humor and heart.  This would be a great gift for a girlfriend.

Whew!  That was a lot of books.  Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully you found something you can add to your list.  See you back tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

In case you missed it:

What’s On My Bookshelf-July

What’s On My Bookshelf-June

What’s On My Bookshelf-May

What’s On My Bookshelf-April

What’s On My Bookshelf-March

What’s On My Bookshelf-February

What’s On My Bookshelf-January

linking up with Carpool Book Club

 

 

Back to Life, Back to Reality

 

Well hello there!!!!  After taking a long break as we found our legs as new family of six, I’m back to my little space here on the blog.  During my adoption-leave hiatus we have, traveled to China, brought home our little peanuty Collins, fought jet lag, navigated sibling rivalry and trauma, bought a car, sold a car, been on a hastily planned last minute family vacation, had a broken leg with toes to hip cast, had four cases of the flu, had therapies, and sports, and parties.  It’s been a whirlwind of a few months and I feel like we are still trying to find our new normal, but I’m ready to be back to sharing and documenting it all.  Thank you for your patience as we took this family time.  I thought what better way to jump back in than with a What’s Up Wednesday to catch up on all the happenings in Casa de Elsbury…

What we’re eating this week…

A delicious Italian sammy inspired by a recipe in Jen Hatmaker’s new book Of Mess and Moxie.  She mentions making this easy crowd pleaser after a day of grocery shopping when you are completely over thinking about food.  And that is exactly what I planned it for.

Vegetable soup – We like it spicy.  Must use Spicy V8 and creole seasoning

Black bean sweet potato tacos – my favorite

Sweet and sour tempura chicken (thank you, Trader Joe’s) and fried rice

Chili – a staple for this time of year.  I am loyal to this chili spice blend.

Pork chops, potatoes and veggies

What I’m reminiscing about…

China.  Posts and way too many photos of our trip coming up in the next few weeks!

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And our first little trip as a six pack was the perfect way to spend fall break.

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What I’m loving…

Well guys, like everything in life, I’m the last to jump on to every bandwagon.  I convince myself I will not get sucked into the vortex of whatever the current social craze or obsession is.  After years of convincing myself I was not one of those pumpkin crazy gals I gave in.  I ordered my first pumpkin spice latte.  My first in my entire 37 years of existence.  And y’all.  It was life changing.  Now I get what all of the hype is about.  It is flipping delicious.  Plus I am embarrassed to say that pumpkin is now permeating its way throughout the rest of my life as well.  Pumpkin O’s cereal from TJ?  Yes, please!  Pumpkin bread mix?  Why not!  Pumpkin creamer with my k-cup.  Abso-freakin-lutely.  Guys, It’s a problem.  I am now one of “those pumpkin people”.

What we’ve been up to…

See the first paragraph above 🙂  Life over the past couple months has been full to the max.

What I’m dreading…

My adoption leave from work is quickly coming to an end.  While I’m ready to get back to normal routine and time spent with people that don’t constantly ask for snacks sounds appealing, I’m anxious about transitioning back to work (even if it is only part time) and what that will look like.

What I’m working on…

Organizing pictures from our China trip so I can get a recap up before I forget all the details.

What I’m excited about…

We are thick in the heart of all things Halloween.  While Christmas is my ultimate favorite holiday, kids in costume just make my day.  I am excited to tour the neighborhood with my little band of trick-or-treaters this year.

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What I’m watching/reading…

I will have my What’s On My Bookshelf post up for the month on Thursday, but my current read, Reading People, paired perfectly with an aforementioned PSL on our road trip.

As for watching, fall TV is back so we are back to our favorites like Scandal, Big Bang Theory, etc.  Plus I just discovered the show Younger.  Have you watched it?  I just love Sutton Foster.  I am currently making my way through the first three seasons (I believe it’s on Hulu) and I believe it is currently on season 4.

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What I’m listening to…

Currently the quiet.  I am expecting to hear two little gals wake up from their naps at any moment.

What I’m wearing…

The past couple of weeks you never know if it’s going to be 80 degrees or 40 degrees.  So my wardrobe has been a bit of a everything.

One of my favorite things in the fall is choosing outfits for our fall family photos.  I wrote a bit about my process here.

Here’s a sneak peak of what we will be wearing this year…

Shane-grey vest/plaid button down, Me-necklace/cranberry top/booties, Collins-chambray top/floral leggings/boots, Quinn-chambray dress/faux fur vest (similar)/boots, Anderson-shirt/pants/boots, Owen-button up/pants/shoes

What I’m doing this weekend…

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Following this little flamingo around to all the Halloween things. Trunk or treats, fall parties, soccer tournaments, and pumpkins, oh my! It’s going to be a busy weekend.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

My goal is always to have my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving every year.  Given that I haven’t bought one single gift yet, I better get to shopping!

Bonus question: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish…

Well just the thought of Thanksgiving is giving me hives (see shopping goal above).  I’m not generally big on traditional “holiday food”.  Turkey, ham, dressing, etc.  No thank you.  But my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving has always been noodles.  We are talking simple egg noodles cooked in chicken or turkey broth.  They are in no way fancy but I love them and the holidays are the only time I eat them.

So there is a little of what has been going on around here.  Come back tomorrow for the largest What’s On My Bookshelf post ever.  I have a lot of books to catch up on and, spoiler alert, several of my favorites of the year are included.

It’s good to be back with you, friends!

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Sheaffer Told Me To and The Larson Lingo for What’s up Wednesday and What I Wore.

What’s On My Bookshelf: July

It’s the last Thursday of the month which also means it’s time to share what I read in July.  Also, it’s my boys’ FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!  Where did the summer go?

Enough whining about the end of summer, let’s get to the books.  Here are the five books I enjoyed during July…

The Bookshop on the Corner

The title of this book grabbed my attention.  It reminded me of my beloved favorite movie and The Shop Around the Corner.  This book is about a gal who leaves her job as a librarian and moves to a small town in Scotland to open a bookshop in a van.  Think a food truck for books.  I loved the premise of the book, but agreed with a friend that thought the first half was delightful and the  second half focused too much on a cheesy love story line.  All in all I enjoyed it and want to check out some of the author’s other novels, but it wasn’t my favorite book of the month.

The Mother’s Promise

I have heard a lot of great things about Sally Hepworth’s work so I decided to pick up this one.  While a book about a single mother diagnosed with cancer and trying to raise a teenage girl struggling with anxiety isn’t the normal trope I gravitate toward, I have to say Hepworth handled the subject matter well.  It was real and relatable.  While the topic is inherently sad in nature I did not feel as if the story was written solely to manipulate my emotions and make me cry.  The characters felt real.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

The Identicals

Probably my favorite novel of the month.  I love Elin Hilderband and her newest novel did not disappoint.  It follows twin sisters, one raised by her mother on Nantucket and one by her father on Martha’s Vineyard.  Circumstances occur and they subsequently switch islands for a while.  While the plot summary sounds cheesy and and bit like The Parent Trap, it was a delightful story.  Perfect for an end of summer read.

Rich People Problems


This is the follow up book to Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend.  A different twist on typical chic-lit.  While the list of characters is huge and terms frequently thrown in in several different Asian languages can be cumbersome.  These books are quite entertaining.  Like to watch a train wreck of over the top, over privileged families (I’m looking at you friends who love the Real Housewives ;)?  Then this series is for you.  They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think they are a hoot.

Secrets in Summer

Nancy Thayer writes fun summer novels on par with Hilderbrand.  This book takes place on Nantucket and is about a girl who discovers her ex-husband and new family have rented the house behind hers for the summer.  I loved the characters in the book, especially her elderly neighbor Mimi.  The perfect way to end July.

That’s it for this month.  I’m already part way into Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.  So far, so good! And I’m taking a departure from my typical genre and listening to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.  All I want to do is discuss this with someone!  August is already looking like a great month for books!

Linking up for Carpool Bookclub

Show and Tell Tuesday: What’s On My Phone

Today for Show On Tell Tuesday I am sharing what’s on my iPhone.  These days our phones are an extension of ourselves.  I feel naked without my phone!

Here is a shot of my main screen and all of my go-to apps to have easily accessible.

It should be noted here that before I took this screen shot I removed about eight million notifications (looks like Instagram snuck one in on me).  I knew that if I posted a pic of how my screen typically looks it would have made Shane’s eye twitch!  Some people need a clear phone, and some people don’t pay those little numbers any attention.  I happen to fall into the later group.  Just last week I had over 7,000 unread emails.  Yikes!

Like most people I constantly reach for my phone to take a quick pic (current count is 4,012 photos on my phone).  My current favorite photo editing app is A Color Story.  It’s free!

Instead of listening to music I most often listen to podcasts or audiobooks.

I love listening to audiobooks and the Audible app gets a lot of use.

I’m currently listening to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and I have to say that I am finding it absolutely fascinating.  I downloaded it after asking a friend what she recently picked up at the book store.  I’m so glad I took her recommendation.

Podcasts are also on heavy rotation.

From podcasts produced by NPR, to home decor podcasts, to Bachelorette recaps; I listen to a bit of it all.  What podcasts do you love?

Another favorite is the Kindle app.  While I love holding a good book in my hand, the convenience of always having my current read at my fingertips usually wins out.  I don’t have a lot of extra time in my life right now, but I’m able to steal a few minutes hear and there.  Those little bits of time typically add up to a few books over a month.


I just started The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I am already hooked.  Taylor Jenkins Reid is quickly becoming a favorite.

And finally, this is may just be my favorite app find.  For years and years I was a die-hard paper planner gal.  I tried numerous calendar apps on my phone only to toss them aside after a week.  I hated them all and loved the satisfaction of a well organized planner.  A friend who loved her planner as much as I did said she had finally found a calendar app that lived up to all of her calendar needs.  So I gave it a try and I was converted.  I finally found a calendar app I love!  It’s the PocketLife Calendar app.

I love that each person in the family can be assigned a color, you can see each event (not just a dot on a calendar), it’s easy to set up reoccurring events, it’s easy to switch between daily, weekly, and monthly views.  Overall, the best calendar I have found that works for us.

Other go-to apps include social media (obviously), drug information apps (#pharmacistlife), the Bible app (how fortunate are we to carry the Bible around in our pocket?), and of course the Target Cartwheel app. Am I the only one that scans every single item in my cart while my kids run up and down the toy aisles?

There are pages and pages of additional apps on my phone, but these are my must-have for daily life.  What are your go-to apps for your phone?

Until next time!

What’s On My Bookshelf: June

It’s the last Thursday of the month which means it’s time to talk books.  This month I completed only three books.  Apparently I was experiencing a bit of book ADD because I also started but somehow forgot to finish and moved on from two additional books.  They are both really good so far I just somehow forgot I was reading them and started something new.  Just shows how scattered my brain has been lately.


Fly Away Home

This book follows a mother and her two daughters as they navigate major life events including infidelity, pregnancy, losing a career, and many other hardships that bring them together despite their differences.  I’ve been a fan of many of Jennifer Weiner’s novels and I enjoyed this one as well.  To be honest, I’m a bit torn on the ending.  I can’t decide if I was satisfied or dissapointed.  Definitely worth adding to your summer reading list.


Daughters of the Bride

I very rarely purchase actual physical books these days.  Instead leaning toward the ease of the Kindle version or library books.  Before we headed off on our trip to visit friends in New Orleans, I decided to pick up a paperback to read by the pool.  I don’t want to get the iPad wet.  Well it was a good thing I because I laid my book on the side of the pool, climbed onto my raft, misjudged my raft position and promptly fell head first into the pool.  This caused a wave of water to splash out of the pool sweeping my book into the water.  All before I even opened the first page.  So needless to say, I read a very puffed up wrinkled copy of the book after a couple days of drying out.  This book was a great fluffy summer read.  It is about three sisters who are planning their mother’s wedding.  Who doesn’t love a good wedding book?  And as a side note, there is a very very minor character named Collins 🙂


At Home in the World

I’m going to go out on a limb and go ahead and declare this one of my favorite books of 2017.  We actually listened to this on audio on our way to NOLA and Shane and Owen enjoyed it as well.  If you have a love for travel and a severe case of wanderlust, then this book is for you.  This is a memoir of a family that spent a year traveling the globe, including their three kids under age 10!  This book is my dream.  I would love to take my family on an adventure exploring the world.  Tsh does a great job painting a real picture of what their travels looked like.  They are a real family with travel successes and failures.  It was so fun to hear her describe several places we have been;  the Jesuit church in Beijing, the canals of Venice, the beauty of Sydney harbor.  All places I could picture in my minds eye and so many other’s I would love to see one day.  This memoir sucked us in immediately and enraptured an eight year old with a love of travel.  I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed this book.  Listening to the audio version was fun as the author, Tsh, is also the narrator and you can hear the smile in her voice as she describes their adventures.  So so good.

That’s it for the books I finished in June.  The two books I got sidetracked from but hope to return to were:

The Mother’s Promise


Tiny Little Thing

And the first two books I’m making my way thru for July are:

The Bookshop on the Corner

So far this one is adorable.  I can’t wait to finish it.


The Identicals

You know how I love Elin Hilderbrand so her newest release is an obvious choice for me.  This is my current audio selection and it is a great Hilderbrand novel.

That’s it for my current bookshelf.  What have you been reading this summer??  I would love to hear!

Linking up with Carpool Book Club

Show and Tell Tuesday: The Struggle Is Real

The struggle is real.  We’ve all said it.  From the little things to the big, we are all struggling with something.  Here are a few of the not so serious (and one serious) thing I’ve found myself struggling with lately.

Funny story, I originally wrote and scheduled this post for last Tuesday.  Apparently I was a complete week off on my dates.  Clearly if I don’t even know what day it is…the struggle is real 🙂

A swimsuit for Q’s teeny tiny toosh

Quinn has a problem I have never struggled with.  She is long and thin.  I’m talking she is almost 4 and can easily wear 24 month shorts.  Her waist is tiny.  Her booty is tiny.  Her legs are toothpicks.  But she also has a fairly long torso.  This has made finding a swimsuit for her this year near impossible.  All of her suits gape obscenely at the leg openings.  She prefers a tankini for ease of using the bathroom but will not tolerate any smidge of belly showing between a too short top and bottoms.  One pieces that are long enough are huge in the rear.  Last week as we were walking back from the pool she walked half way down the block before I looked back and realized her bottoms were around her ankles.  Where do you get a swimsuit for a skinny legged 4 year old?  The struggle is real.

House projects

I constantly have a long list of house projects on my to-do list.  Lately, I just can’t seem to get any of them done.  We need to combine the boys into one room.  Change Anderson’s current room into a room fit for Collins.  Finish a half-completed basement refresh.  The list goes on.  Shane scored this vintage Jenny Lind bed on Craigslist for me to paint for Collins.

Clearly I haven’t even started on it yet.  Before I know it we will be in China and the little gal will need a room to come home to. The struggle is real.

Finger nails

Am I the only mom that will glance down and be horrified to realize her kid’s toenails look like they haven’t been cut in weeks?  Just me?  Between fingers and toes there are a lot of nails to keep up with in this house.  The struggle is real.

TBR pile

My “to be read” list is ever growing.  We are getting ready to head out of town to visit friends and I’m struggling with choosing what to read on the trip.

My current top contenders are:

At Home in the World

The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

The Mother’s Promise

Daughters of the Bride

The struggle is real.

Vehicle for a family of SIX

It’s no secret that I LOVE my minivan.  I think every family should have one (or two).  When Collins joins our family later this year we will become a family of six and officially will no longer fit in Shane’s beloved little blue car.

As much as it saddens him, I’m pretty sure he considers that car a member of our family, it will be time for it to find a new home.  I vote for getting another van, but Shane has exerted his veto power with a strong NO.  So we we are looking for an SUV with a third row that easily fits the 6 of us and frequently 8 with Mimi and DudDud.  It also must fit in the garage, be easy to access the third row, and satisfy my “car guy” hubby.  The struggle is real.  Suggestions???

Parenting

Here’s where I get real for a moment.  While over the past two years we have watched Quinn blossom and bloom, parenting a child with a background of loss and trauma is not without difficulties.  Lately we have recognized some struggles with Quinn, her attachment, and how she copes with stress and anxiety.  It has taken me a while to admit it, but I finally acknowledged that it was time to see a therapist well versed in attachment and parenting children from hard places.  We felt this was especially important to do before we add Collins to the mix and turn Q’s world upside down once again.  We have only been once and I will admit that I was very skeptical.  But she made me feel at ease, assured us that the techniques we were currently using to diffuse her tantrums were appropriate, and felt confident that we can get Quinn to a place that is healthy for both her and the rest of our family through theraplay.  I’m a pretty open book so I don’t mind sharing these struggles.  Parenting any child is tough and adding adoption is an extra layer to wade through.  The struggle is real…but worth it.

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.  In case you missed it, make sure you check out the adorable shirts we are selling for our current adoption fundraiser.

BE THE LIGHT and help bring Collins home.  Until next time!

 

What’s Up Wednesday

I thought it would be a good time to catch up on the happenings around here with a good ‘ole What’s Up Wednesday.  A time to share…

WUWquestions edit

What we’re eating this week…

The Peach Truck made it’s first stop of the season in our area this week, so we we will be eating all things peaches.  Things like gorgonzola grilled peach burgers, and grilled pound cake with peaches.  We will devour a 25 pound box of peaches in no time.

What I’m reminiscing about…

My babies are officially done with preschool, kindergarten and second grade.  Time, please slow down!

What I’m loving…

It’s officially summer!

What we’ve been up to…

Yard sale, yard sale, yard sale.  It was a smashing success and I am so thankful for all of the support for our adoption of little Peanut, but man was it a lot of work.  I have a couple of yard sale roundup posts coming up if you are interested in learning more.

What I’m dreading…

The giant stack of laundry currently waiting on me.

What I’m working on…

Hopefully later this week we will be launching our final adoption fundraiser.  T-shirts!!  We ordered a few in for our friends and family helping out with the yard sale and I think they turned out super cute.  Be looking for more info on how to order later this week.

What I’m excited about…

Boating season.  We took the boat and jet ski out and spent our first night at the lake on Monday night.  We love boating season!

What I’m watching/reading…

I’m currently reading Fly Away Home


listening to Tiny Little Thing

and watching the newest season of Bachelorette. We are in desperate need of a new Netflix show to watch but everything seems so dark and disturbing. Any recommendations?

What I’m listening to…

I haven’t been listening to much music lately but I have spending all of my time in the car listening to podcasts.

What I’m wearing…

Wow, have I been failing on my what I’ve been wearing posts.  It’s been pretty boring lately with a lot of scrubs and workout clothes.

What I’m doing this weekend…

Hopefully this…

Napping on the boat

What I’m looking forward to next month…

We are packing up and headed to New Orleans to visit our dear friends.  I. can. not. wait!!!

Bonus question: What is my favorite vacation spot…

Hmmmm.  That’s a tough one.  I have loved them all!  Here are some of my top favorites:

Favorite before married with kids: Australia with my college girlfriends

Favorite before kids: Italy or Switzerland

Favorite trip with kids and grandparents: Disney World

Favorite family vacation: Grand Haven, Michigan

Favorite no-kid getaway: Mexico

Honorable mention:  while it wasn’t a vacation, we loved China (and the little gal that came home with us).  I’m looking forward to exploring more of China this fall.

So that’s what’s up for this Wednesday.  Now I’m off to tackle that laundry!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Sheaffer Told Me To and The Larson Lingo for What’s up Wednesday and What I Wore.

What’s On My Bookshelf: May (too busy to read edition)

Well, it’s the last Thursday of the month, which means it’s time to share what I’ve been reading this month.  I hate to disappoint, but there are only two books to share.  As most moms know, May is a crazy month.  With the end of school programs, parties, projects, sports, adoption paper work and running our epic adoption fundraiser yard sale (more on that soon), I have had very little time to read this month.  Hopefully June will find more time for good summer reading.

This month I read one book and listened to one on audible.


The only book I read this month was Truly Madly Guilty. The story is about a neighborhood barbecue that takes an unfortunate turn. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked it. It spent a lot of time teasing about the mysterious events at the barbecue, but in the end I enjoyed it. This was the second Liane Moriarty book I have read. Big Little Lies was excellent and I have been eager to watch the show. I have made it a full ten minutes into the first episode so far. I told you I’ve been busy!


I’m slowly making my way thru Elin Hilderbrand’s novels. This month I listened to The Love Season. This one reminded me a lot of another Hilderbrand novel, The Blue Bistro, which is one of my favorites of hers. There are great discriptions of food and the restaurant business. The book follows the story of a friendship between two women and the impact on one when the other is killed in an accident. While this didn’t end up being one of my favorite Hilderbrand novels, I still enjoyed it and all of her books set on Nantucket make for great summer reads.

Well, that’s it. Short and sweet. I’m currently making my way thru Fly Away Home and so far so good. Hopefully I will have more books to report in June!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

 Linking up for Carpool Book Club

What’s On My Bookshelf: April

It’s the last Thursday of the month.  So that means it’s time to check in on what I’ve been reading this month.

Smart Girl

This was the third and final book in The Girls series.  I loved this one just as much as I loved Party Girl and Sweet Girl.  Such fun and fast reads.  Perfect to throw in your pool bag on vacation.  I was so sad to see this series end.  Rachel Hollis, if you’re reading this: please write more!!


Nine Women, One Dress

If you like movies with ensemble casts, like Love Actually, then this book is for you.  The story revolves around a slew of unrelated characters and how one little black dress ties them all together.

Forever, Interrupted

This is the third novel I have read this year by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  The first one I picked up, One True Loves, I absolutely loved.  Then I read After I Do and was a bit disappointed.  I am so happy that I decided to give the author another go, because Forever, Interrupted  is one of my favorite books I have read this year.  I typically lean toward books that are light and fluffy. I like my entertainment to be just that, entertaining, not depressing.  However this book was a bit more serious than usual for me, all while not being overly depressing.  It follows a gal that loses her husband after being married for less than two weeks.  The chapters alternate between how she deals with his death and flashbacks to their relationship from meeting until marriage.  There was something about this book that just drew me in and I didn’t want to put it down.  I highly recommend it.

The Singles Game

I am a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada, so I decided to pick up this one by the same author.  The story is about a professional tennis player and her desire to climb to the top of her career.  It was a fun angle for your typical chic-lit novel.

The Best of Us

I have had several people recommend Sarah Pekkanen books to me so on a whim I chose this one.  I have to say this was my least favorite book this month.  I had a difficult time connecting with the characters and the story seemed to drag on a bit.  It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t my favorite.  Maybe I should have started with another Pekkanen book.  Any suggestions?

That’s it for my April books!  I’m currently reading Truly Madly Guilty which I would have sworn I had read, but apparently I haven’t.  What have you been reading?

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

 Linking up for Carpool Book Club