Thursday, July 18, 2019

I'm Going to Hollywood!

Image result for universal studios los angeles

Jenni, Hava, and I have been talking about going on a girl's road trip for a while. We want to visit Prince Edward Island, but we thought that was a bit ambitious for our first trip together, so we are going to work up to that. We decided our first road trip should be closer to home, but still something we've all wanted to do and haven't. We are going to Universal Studios and Hollywood! Woo!

None of us have been to Universal Studios, and we want to see Hogwarts and drink butter beer. We are going to spend two days in the park and one day touring Hollywood. I'm really excited. I've never been to Hollywood. I want to see the walk of fame, and the place by the Chinese theater where I can put my hands in Audrey Hepburn's hand prints. We are going to hike to the Hollywood sign too! 

We've been talking about this trip for a few weeks, but we actually booked our hotel! It just got real! We are going! Yay! 

I have to say, I am really grateful to my friends. They have helped me so much during my time of mourning. It is still really hard, but my friends have made it a bit more bearable. I really value our time together. I love Jenni and Hava, and I would do just about anything for them. Thanks ladies! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


ChristyGoodreads Synopsis:    Christy Huddleston left home at 19 to teach school in the Smoky Mountains. There she came to know and love the wild mountain people with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, their yearning for beauty and truth. Christy found her faith severely challenged in these primitive surroundings; and, confronted with two young men of unique strengths and needs, she found her own growing yearnings challenged by love.

My Thoughts:

-    Even though I read this book last month, I wanted to review it. My thoughts often wander back to this book and its characters. It is one that has stayed with me and won't let me forget. 

-    The story is charming, heart-breaking, frustrating, and lovely. I enjoyed every moment. 

-    The characters are wonderful. Each of them finds a place into your heart and burrows a little home. I love Christy and her kindness and tenacity. I want to be her when I grow up. I loved all the other characters as well, especially the children and Fairlight. 

-    The characters in the book aren't afraid to ask the hard questions, and I really appreciated that. A lot of the questions asked were similar to my own. Sadly, I don't know if there are answers. The characters were very honest and real about life and faith. 

-    My only complaint with the book is the ending. It ends a little abruptly, and I want to know what happens next! Who does Christy marry!?!?!?

-    I understand why this is a beloved classic. It is a book that beckons to be read again and again. The story and messages are timeless.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Small Zombie Problem

42359659In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home.

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

-    The story is a little slow, especially at the beginning. It gets better towards the end. 

-    The zombie doesn't show up until about halfway through the book. I wish the story had focused a little more on her. 

-    I enjoyed the whimsical characters and the family history. The characters are what really drive the story. I hope Madame Marvell shows up more in the series.

-    I really liked reading this with my daughter. It was fun to see her reactions to things. She liked the story, and she thought it was funny, especially the zombie.

Monday, July 1, 2019

June Stats

Books Read:  14

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) Ban This Book
769849 Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley
Suicide The Da Vinci Code Star Wars (2015-) #56
Star Wars (2015-) #57 Star Wars (2015-) #58 Star Wars (2015-) #59
Star Wars (2015-) #60 Star Wars (2015-) #61 Image result for Christy Catherine Marshall

Pages Read:  2,763

1 Star:  0
2 Stars:  1
3 Stars:  10
4 Stars:  2
5 Stars:  1

I had a good mix of books last month. I'm proud of my reading stats. Despite my struggles and grief, I'm still reading. I don't feel like blogging very much, but I am reading, and that is the important part. My family and I are going on a road trip, and we have some audiobooks lined up for the family to listen to on the road. It will be fun. 

Goal Progress:

I am 27 books behind schedule on my Goodreads goal. That is an improvement from last month. (52/160)

8 books in June were from my nightstand. Woo! I also purged a few of them that I wasn't sure if I wanted to read. The stack is getting smaller finally.

I didn't read any Newbery Award Winners. I go back and forth on this goal. (3/20)

I had one re-read from my shelf! My first one of the year! Hooray! (1/20)

I finished 5 books towards the Pioneer Book Reading Challenge. I'm still motivated to finish this goal, at least I'm more motivated to finish this one. (18/44)

Friday, June 21, 2019


Accepting the reality that I am a suicide survivor has been very difficult for me. And that might be the understatement of the year. There are no words to describe the grief and pain I have felt since my brother died. Each day, and a lot of times, each moment is hard to get through. As a reader, I find comfort in the written word. There is something beautiful and unique about seeing thoughts and feelings in black and white on paper. I have been trying to find distractions throughout the day, and I have stumbled across several quotes on Pinterest that I really love. They help me to know that I am not the only one who has had these feelings, and I am not alone. Grief is a lonely thing, and it is so hard to describe, but I wanted to share some of the quotes I've found. I hope they are a comfort to someone else out there as well.

Grieving the Tragic Loss of What Should Have Been - Our Side of Suicide

How does my life ...

no one can tell you when its time for your pain to be over | Grief Quotes

DON’T ask me how I'm doing Don't ask if I’m okay Don't say they're in a better place, as you won't like what I say NO .. Time is not a healer and this was NOT Gods will, If He knew how much I’ve really lost, they would be right here still. I WON’T try to be positive And this wasn't for the best My hearts in broken pieces And it hurts deep in my chest. Don't say, at least they're out of pain Well I'm not, and MAY NEVER be. Their pain is gone, but mines still here It's been passed on to me. ...

People say more than they should. Don't think you can just walk into my life the moment something tragic happens.

How To Find Peace As A Suicide Loss Survivor – Faith + Focus + Frappe

Still hurting


Suicide Awareness on Pinterest | Grief, Lyrics and Rascal Flatts

Sorry there are so many, but I couldn't decide which ones to leave out.

Monday, June 10, 2019

May Stats

Books Read:  6

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2) Vermonia #1: Quest for the Silver Tiger Vermonia #2: Call of the Winged Panther
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel 
Image result for i will not leave you comfortless lds 

Pages Read:  1,333

1 Star:  0
2 Stars:  1
3 Stars:  1
4 Stars:  2
5 Stars:  2

I felt like blogging today, which is a big step for me. Since my brother died, I have been having a hard time finding joy in things that I used to love. Reading has been an exception. I started reading again, and it has been a good distraction for me. I have a hard time remembering things before the worst day of my life. So I don't even remember some of these books I read at the beginning of May. At least Goodreads kept track for me. 

Goal Progress:

I am 29 books behind schedule on Goodreads. I'm surprised it isn't more. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm going to reach any of my goals this year or if I even care. (41/160)

One of the books from May was from my nightstand. 

I didn't finish any Newbery Award Winners. I started one, but I didn't finish. I don't know when I'll pick it up again. (3/20)

Still no re-reads (0/20)

I didn't read anything for the Pioneer Book Reading Challenge. I'm not sure if I'll finish this challenge or not, but my friends are keeping me motivated. (13/44)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


From Goodreads:    Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

My Thoughts:

-    I loved this trilogy! This was a great ending to the story. 

-    The story was so gripping, and I couldn't wait to get to the end, but then I was so sad when it was over. 

-    I'm not quite sure what to think of AIDAN. His character was so thought-provoking. I loved how poetic he was, and how he was so human, but not. His choices were scary, but were they the right decisions? It is hard!

-    I loved the rest of the characters as well. I love that they stood up and fought against something so huge! I don't know if I could take on a big cooperation like that. They never gave up though. Although they were young, they wanted their voices and their story told, I loved that! 

-    I know I keep saying this, but I can't get over it. These books are works of art! I love the format! 
Image result for standing ovation gif

-    I give this a resounding READ IT!! 

Previous Books:

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hubby's Birthday!

I am so grateful for my husband.

He supports me in everything I want to do, which often includes me ditching him in the evenings to babysit our daughters while I go out.

He is always willing to serve. I often ask him to get me snacks or a drink, and he never complains.

He is a very patient and loving father to our girls, I'm glad our girls will grow up with a good man in their lives, and they can see how women should be treated.

I love that we have shared hobbies and interests.

At times, our relationship has been tumultuous, and I thought we weren't going to make it, but I'm grateful and glad that we persevered. We are in a wonderful place in our marriage, and I'm looking forward to the future.

Happy Birthday Dave!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Daughter of the Pirate King

Goodreads Synopsis:   There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

My Thoughts:

-    I was so excited to read this book. I wanted a fun swashbuckling adventure. Instead, I got a frustrating flirting story.

-    The first chapter was brilliant. It introduced Alosa in the perfect way, and I really like Alosa's snarky and confident personality. I like Riden as well. I just wish their flirting hadn't been front and center to the story.

-    The ending had a little more action, and it was more enjoyable for me. 

-    I'm hoping the second book is more of a pirate adventure than a romance. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Stats

Books Read:  12

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) Call It Courage Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)
The Matchlock Gun Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1) Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)
Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) The Scourge Star Wars (2015-) #52
Star Wars (2015-) #53 Star Wars (2015-) #54 Star Wars (2015-) #55

Pages Read:  3,179

1 Star:  0
2 Stars:  1
3 Stars:  4
4 Stars:  4
5 Stars:  3

I'm getting my reading mojo back! I had a great reading month. I found myself reaching for a book rather than my knitting a lot of days. I also went on a puzzle craze this week, and I listened to a couple of audiobooks while puzzling it up. With summer reading just around the corner, I hope my numbers will increase even more.

Goal Progress:

I am 20 books behind on my Goodreads goal. It used to be 26, so I caught up a little.(32/160)

7 of the books I read last month were from my nightstand! Booyah!!

I finished 2 Newbery Award Winners! Woo! (3/20)

No re-reads yet (0/20)

I checked off 2 more books from my Pioneer Book Reading Challenge! (13/44)