14 Books in 2014-Book 12

I finished my twelfth book within just a few days! I was totally into it and picked it up whenever I had free time.

I read The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

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This is the next book after The Paper Magician and picks up right where that one leaves off. When I read the first one, I didn’t realize that it was going to be a triology. And although I liked the first one, there wasn’t a lot of build up or relationship development with the characters before the major catastrophy takes place and it all seemed too sudden (But as you know, I still enjoyed it) However, now that I’ve read the second of the three books, it all totally makes sense and I became even more invested in the characters. The catastrophy was important foreshadowing.

Just like The Paper Magician, the book follows along with Ceony Twill who is an apprentice to Magician Emery Thane and their developing relationship. The magic in these books is so fascinating and makes you wish (to a certain extent) that it was all really possible. I love the relationship that Ceony and Emery have built. It’s a very quick read. I was so disappointed to be finished and look forward to the third book coming out next year.

(P.S. I just looked for the third book and it won’t be released until June 2! Uuuuugggghhhh. I don’t think I can wait that long to find out what happens. Except that I guess I have to.)

Our Fall Staycation

We didn’t take a family vacation this year. Jeremy was switching to a new job in the middle of summer and took a week off in between, but we just hung around the house and spent a lot of time outside.

Then this fall when Hudson had his break from school, we considered going somewhere, but decided to just save all our favorite fall activities for that week. It was a busy and super fun three days. The weather couldn’t have been better and the kids were so well behaved.

Our little staycation started on Wednesday with a visit to the local pumpkin patch. But this isn’t just any pumpkin patch. It’s called Vala’s and it’s HUGE. I think I read somewhere once that they bring in like a $1,000,000 each season. Whaaa? That’s super crazy given that the season is only like 6 weeks long! My point is that it’s an awesome place; however, never, ever go on a weekend. We’ve done it on more than one occasion and it was awful. TOO busy. So, since we finally learned our lesson, we went in the middle of the week. It’s the only way to go. Not only is it less busy, but it’s also cheaper. Score.

Everything we did at the patch was free with the exception of the pony rides, which were ridiculously expensive at $6 per ride, but we decided to splurge on one activity. It was either the pony rides or the train. They’ve been on train rides before, so we chose the ponies. They loved it. It was totally worth the money. Plus, they don’t get many opportunities to ride a real pony, so we loved that they got to have a new experience.IMG_4907 IMG_4990 IMG_4975 IMG_4973 IMG_4955 IMG_4940 IMG_4924 IMG_4922 IMG_4916 IMG_4905

 

Thursday we took the kids to the zoo. It was another beautiful day. We are zoo members, so we go a lot but hadn’t been for a while. They were putting up all the Halloween decorations. The kids loved it. I didn’t take my big camera on any of our adventures because I just didn’t want to have to haul it around. So all these photos were taken with my iPhone.IMG_5016IMG_5023 IMG_5038 IMG_5042

On Friday we took the kids to the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari that’s off the interstate just outside of Omaha. The kids love going because they can sit on our laps in the front seat while we drive through the safari and then there’s a spot where you can get out and walk to see bears and wolves and then hike to a little lake and back. It’s kind of a hidden gem.IMG_5048 IMG_5050 IMG_5057 IMG_5063 IMG_5069 IMG_5076 IMG_5081 IMG_5089 IMG_5093

On Saturday morning we picked up coffee and breakfast at Starbucks and then went for a drive through a local forest called Hummel Park to check out all the fall colors. IMG_5119 IMG_5120 IMG_5122 IMG_5125 IMG_5128

We ended up having to cut our fun a little short because Hudson came down with a fever and had to go to the doctor. So we spent the rest of the weekend around our house. It was so much fun, but very exhausting!

Happening Now

Reading The Glass Magician by Charlie M. Holmberg. I read The Paper Magician a while back and really enjoyed it. This book picks up right where the other left off.

Listening to the Serial podcast (obviously) and the Michael Buble Christmas station on Pandora.

Watching Homeland Season 3. Great show.

Planning our Thanksgiving trip to Sioux Falls.

Looking forward to going to see Mocking Jay with Jeremy next Friday.

Feeling excited to spend time with a good friend this weekend doing a little shopping and catching a movie.

Digging out all the Christmas stuff today. We usually put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but we’re doing it early instead this year.

Having mixed feelings about ordering cable. We only plan to have it through the winter. I felt like it was a must this year because I’m having a hard time adjusting to the early darkness for some reason.

Making some handmade Christmas gifts this year that I think are pretty awesome.

Loving that the red cups are back at Starbucks. They add just a tad more joy to my favorite coffee.

Sending out traditional Christmas cards this year instead of a photo card (Target has the cutest and prettiest cards this year!). I realized how much I’ve been missing the personalization that goes into traditional cards. But I still plan to attach a family photo in each one.

Adding some new holiday decor to our stash and going a little more modern/rustic this year.

Feeling so thankful for all the good that we’ve been blessed with this year. We had a rough three years, so this year has felt like a weight was finally lifted.

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14 Books in 2014-Book 11

It took me a while, but I finally finished my eleventh book, The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.

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It’s a story about an unlikely group of women who come together and form a knitting club on Friday nights, become the best of friends and then (of course) there’s a tragedy. I liked the book…buuut I think that it could’ve been shorter. It seemed like it took a long time to form the back story of the main character, Georgia, and that the book didn’t focus enough on the other characters as much as it should have given the fact that by the last few chapters they become more important and a bigger part of the story. I’m not sure I was totally convinced that all these women were best friends like the author wanted me to be. I still enjoyed the story and felt connected to the characters by the end. And cried. Again.

I would recommend it to my friends and already told my mom that I thought she would enjoy it too. I’m taking it to her over Thanksgiving.

December Daily-Title Page

I always like to get things organized for my December Daily before December actually arrives. I didn’t put together any of the pages last year, but had my title page done and everything else ready to go. I decided to do the same thing again this year.

I had the idea to do a coin pocket page as the front this time. I’ll be using a 6×8 red Simple Stories album again this year. I liked the size last year and the variety of pocket pages. I cut the original 18 pocket page down to 12 pockets so that it will fit into my 6×8 album. I also wanted to fill some of the pockets with small bits of the paper that I’ll be using throughout the book and to make the paper look “quilted” together. I used Elise’s Project Life title page as my inspiration, but did it a little differently.

Here is what I did.

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I cut my paper into 2×2 squares using my paper trimmer. Then I set out all the squares and matched up the ones I thought looked the best together; meaning not too busy. I used both new paper and some of my favorite paper from last year and I only used a little of in last year’s book.

Once I matched the pieces up, I cut one of the pieces into a triangle and taped it to the top of it’s matching square. Then I used my sewing machine to stitch them together so they would have the “quilted” look. I made sure to switch up the direction of the diagonal.DSC_1303 copy

I wanted the to be some see-through elements to the page, so I kept some of the pockets open, but added some embellishments to personalize it. I used a flat back button that says December Daily, number stickers to add the year, letters stickers to add our initials, a silver glittered “D” initial for our last name, a red and white striped paper clip and four silver sequin stars to represent the four members of our family. Simple.DSC_1305 copy

I’m so happy with how this turned out. It’s exactly what I envisioned. It got me really excited to get going on the rest of the album. It’s only a few more weeks until December and I have a feeling it’s going to fly by.

Have a great weekend!

Are You Listening To Serial?

Have you gotten sucked into the podcast that everyone is talking about? I did and it’s awesome. It’s called Serial. It’s about a real murder case. I’ve listened to all of them and can’t wait for more. It’s so addictive. Now that I’m caught up, I have to wait until next week to hear more. Ugh. Jeremy listened to the first one, but I need him to catch up so that we can talk about it. I really want to talk about it and analyze everything with someone! You should listen to it too. Seriously. We could talk about it.

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Week In The Life-Tuesday

This was a very “normal” day around here.

7:02 A.M. Up and watching cartoons.DSC_1040 copy

7:26 A.M. I have two hard boiled eggs almost every morning.DSC_1042 copy

8:09 A.M. Zipping his coat all by himself (which if you have little kids you know is always a big deal) about to leave for school.DSC_1043 copy

8:14 A.M. Daddy drove him to school today.DSC_1044 copy

8:47 A.M. Coffee. Always.DSC_1047 copy

9:26 A.M. We bought this treehouse at the Goodwill a long time ago for $2.99 and it still gets played with almost every day.DSC_1049 copy

11:10 A.M. Fixing her hair so we can run some errands after lunch.IMG_5268 copy

12:53 Jeremy came upstairs to eat lunch with us.DSC_1053

2:53 P.M. A trip to the library to return books and pick out new ones.IMG_5270 copy

3:30 Waiting to pick Hudson up from school.IMG_5275

4:10 P.M. Snack time for kids while they watch cartoons for a bit.DSC_1055 copy

5:12 P.M. Jeremy went out to change the oil in the mower so he can mow up all the leaves.DSC_1064

5:36 P.M. The kids and I had to eat without Jeremy while he was finishing up outside.DSC_1065 copy

7:01 P.M. After bath goodnight hugs and kisses. Jeremy usually reads to Hudson and I read to Harper before bed, so we say our goodnights before stories.DSC_1082 copy

 

Notes on Tuesday:

The only photos from today that I really like are the ones from the library and dinner. Oh and I like the shot of my coffee. I didn’t do the best job of taking photos this day and it shows.

I take a lot of photos of Harper now that she is home with me and Hudson is at school, so I need to focus and getting more of him.

I had to change a few more photos to black and white because they just weren’t working in color and I like them much better.

I started out blogging my days to keep track of everything before I put my book together and to help me narrow down the photos I want to use so that I can edit them, but I may just post my favorite photos from Wednesday through Sunday tomorrow instead of boring you with all the details of each day and then move on to something else.

 

Week In The Life-Monday

I forgot all about it being Week In The Life (oops!), so I didn’t get any early morning photos on Monday.

Thoughts on this project: It’s awesome and really time consuming. By the end of the week I’m always over it, but once the book is complete, I’m always so happy to have it.

9:01 A.M. Coffee by candlelight this morning. Monday’s are always rough, so why not light candles?DSC_1003

9:36 A.M. Harper spends a lot of time with this dollhouse. It’s in desperate need of some furniture.DSC_1004 copy

10:17 A.M. Harper playing with her bunny and peeking at me around the corner.DSC_1006 copy

12:04 P.M. Stretching after my 40 minute run on the treadmill.IMG_5250 copy

12:18 P.M. Lunch. DSC_1009 copy

12:54 P.M. I love walking by the window and seeing these bright red bushes.DSC_1010

2:21 A.M. A much needed trip to Target for groceries and a ton of other stuff. IMG_5252 copy

3:18 P.M. I found Harper sitting in her toy bucket playing with Alfie. I wondered why she was so quiet.DSC_1017 copy

3:46 P.M. Picking Hudson up from school. He always runs to me with a giant smile on his face.IMG_5253 copy

4:06 P.M. He can never wait to get home and play.DSC_1021 copy

5:25 P.M. They wanted leftover Mama’s pizza and wanted to eat in the living room to watch George Halloween. I don’t mind letting them eat out there sometimes.DSC_1034 copy

7:27 P.M. After getting Harper is sleep, I had to catch up with all journaling for the day.DSC_1038 copy

7:58 P.M. I forgot about the laundry sitting the both the washer and dryer. Folding time.IMG_5257 copy

That was it for Monday. I forgot to document things here and there, but overall I’m pretty happy with the photos I did get. I kept up with the journaling throughout the day and ended up with a good amount of detail.

On to Tuesday and Wednesday tomorrow.

Our Halloween

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As you can imagine, the kids were very excited for Halloween. Harper knew for certain that she wanted to be Princess Sophia from the Disney cartoon and Hudson wanted to be a shark. He wanted to be a shark last year, but we couldn’t find an affordable shark costume and I didn’t give myself enough time to make him one. Well, this year I knew I would make it for him. I sorta followed a tutorial I found on Pinterest. I guess I didn’t really follow it at all. I just got my supply list from it. I did everything else on my own. He loved it! Thank goodness.

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It was pretty cold here that night, so I didn’t really take very many photos with my big camera. We made Harper put her coat on and she was not a happy camper at first. She didn’t want to cover up her pretty dress.

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We didn’t last very long out in the cold. We probably hit about 12 houses, but I think they got more than enough candy anyway. Not to mention the candy that we had left. Plus they had lots of fun and that’s all that matters.

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I love Halloween, but I was ready for it to be over this year. We had already done a bunch of Halloween activities and they trick-or-treated at a couple of the events already. I’m ready to move on to the next.