14 Books in 2014-Update

When I left off I had finished readying The Husband’s Secret and started reading The Goldfinch, which was only my second book for the year. I’ve read quite a bit since then, so I think I’ll just post everything I’ve read since in this one post to get caught up.

Book 2

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt-I really enjoyed this book. It’s a story about a young boy who loses his mother in a tragic manner and follows him through his life after the event. It was a long one and some of the sections dragged on a bit, but overall I found the characters and the story interesting and complex. There were nights I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened next. I would recommend this book to my friends that truly enjoy literature, but it’s not for someone who likes mostly Chick Lit.

Book 3

Notes From A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider-I was so excited to read this book. I listen to Tsh’s podcast and also read her blog The Art of Simple. As excited as I was to read this, I felt a bit disappointed with it. I felt like a lot of the book was just her going on and on about how awesome it is to be an expat and how much better other countries are at living simply. I can’t say that I learned much at all. I already know most Americans watch too much TV and that we should spend more time outside. I also think my family already implements most of the topics she discusses. I guess what I’m saying is I was hoping to learn something and instead felt like I was lectured about how I’m not awesome because I have no desire to be an expat. I would not recommend this book.

Book 4

Wild by Cheryl Strayed-I loved this book. It’s the story of a woman who’s life has come unraveled and she sets out on a solo hike along the Pacific Coast Trail. I can totally relate to desire to heal herself by doing something out of the ordinary and out of her comfort zone. I appreciated that she spent that time outside in the wilderness learning about herself. I can’t think of a better way to find yourself, unless of course you have a husband and kids, which she did not at the time. I am looking forward to the movie coming out this winter. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

Book 5

Still Alice by Lisa Genova-I heard a lot of good things about this book and it came highly recommended. I loved it. It’s about a woman who notices something is off with her memory and is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. I could relate to so much of the story because my grandmother died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. I watched her go from a beautiful, very intelligent woman to someone who couldn’t feed herself. It was devastating. This story explores the different stages of the disease in a very realistic way. I would for sure recommend this one.

Book 6

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell-This is a YA book about two teenagers. I really liked it. The dialog kept it from feeling too adolescent and it was a very quick read. I enjoyed the characters and following along as their relationship developed. I would recommend this book and plan to check out some of her other books. (sidenote: Rainbow Rowell is from Omaha! I didn’t know that before I started the book, but soon realized the story takes place in Omaha and then looked her up.)

Book 7

The Giver by Lois Lowry-This book is about a futuristic community where there are no feelings or choices in order to keep the community safe. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. It was interesting and thought provoking, but I didn’t feel any connections to the characters. I don’t know if I would recommend it or not.

Book 8

The Paper Magician by Charlie M. Holmberg-I chose this book because I’m signed up for Amazon First Read club where I can choose one of a few newly released books each month at a discounted rate. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded pretty good. It’s a book about a newly graduated magician who goes to apprentice for a well established magician. It was a very quick read for me. I enjoyed it very much. I loved all the magic. If you liked Night Circus, I would recommend reading this one, but I would recommend it to anyone.

See, I told you I’ve been reading a lot! I’m currently in the middle of two books and will share those with you as soon as I finish. I’m not sure that I’ll meet my goal of 14 books this year, but I’m trying hard and I’m loving all this reading! Books are awesome!

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Our Fall Bucket List

I created our Fall Bucket List again this year and thought I would share it with you. If you would like to print your own copy (for personal use only please) simply right click on the photo, save to your computer and print. Simple as that.

We’ve already crossed one thing off the list and are looking forward to enjoying fall to its fullest!

P.S. In case you are interested, you can check out the list for 2013. Generally we do a lot of the same things each year, but I try to add a few different things too.

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I’m Back!

Ok, so it took waaaay longer to transfer all my content to a new host. Jeremy actually had to call GoDaddy and they were of no help, so he figured it out on his own. I wasn’t planning on being gone so long and really missed my little space on the internet. I’m sure many of you have moved on, but for anyone still around, I’ll be back to posting regularly.

We had a great summer, but I can’t wait to start sharing again! I’ll be back tomorrow.

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Transition Progress

I’m so sorry I’m not all transitioned yet! My husband is doing everything for me (I have no idea how to do it) and it’s not all switched over yet. I have so little space left on this blog that it won’t even let me post a photo, so I can’t share the Summer Bucket List until everything is switched.

I can’t wait to get back to blogging! I have so much to share! Please keep checking back!

Blog Transition

I’m in the process of switching up my blog to a different host. Everything else will stay the same and I plan to be back to blogging next Tuesday.

I’ll be sharing our 2014 Summer Bucket List, so be sure to come back to check it out and download one for yourself!

Sorry about all the confusion!

Hudson Turned 5

It’s hard to believe that my once 5.8 pound baby boy is now a 37 pound five-year-old. When I was growing up my parents always talked about how quickly the time flies by once you have kids of your own. That is something that no one can truly understand until they have children of their own. It definitely flies by.

When I look back at photos from Hudson’s first week or first year, it seems like only a week ago. But on the same hand, when I think about the hard times with him, tantrums galore, that part seems so long ago. He’s growing up and growing into a smart, sweet boy. Now that he’s five, I can no longer refer to him as a toddler. He is officially a “big kid”. I both love and hate it. Four was a good age on him, so I’m sure five will be even better, but I can’t help wish that time could stand still for just a little while. I love all the new things that come with each new age, but sometimes it’s just a little hard to let go of some of the old stuff.

Right now, he still loves to cuddle at bedtime and will still give us hugs and kisses when we drop him off at school. I try to really soak it all up, because I know that that won’t always be the case. Before I know it, he’ll be embarrassed by mom and dad and running off with his friends.

Watching someone grow from a tiny newborn to a person is intense and amazing. There are so many emotions that are experienced along the way that it’s hard to put it into words. But if there is one word that sums up what I feel when I look at my five-year-old other than love is proud. I couldn’t be more proud of my little guy. He’s an awesome kid and I look forward to all the years ahead!

Happy 5th Birthday Hudson! I love you tons and tons.

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Five Things

Five of Our Favorite Things To Do in Omaha in the Spring & Summer

We love living in Omaha. It’s a great city that is very family friendly. There are so many fun things to do here when the weather warms up. Here is a list of a few of our favorite activities and festivals that we attend every year. If you are ever traveling to Omaha, you have to check these out!

Henry Doorly Zoo

Our zoo was voted best zoo in the country by Family Fun Magazine for the second year in a row. It was also named best zoo by TripAdvisor. We are very proud of our zoo.  I may be biased, but it is the best! We have a membership, so we spend a lot of time at the zoo all year round. Our kids love it. Especially the aquarium. Learn more about our awesome zoo here.

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Omaha Farmer’s Market

Our farmer’s market starts May 2 and we’re super excited. There are actually a few different markets in town every weekend. The ones we go to most often are the Old Market market on Saturdays and the Aksarben market on Sundays. Sometimes we go to both! I bought my basil plants at the farmer’s market last year and they were awesome, so I plan on buying all of the herbs and veggie plants for our garden there this year. Less than two weeks to go! Learn more about the Farmer’s Market here.

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Lee G Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari

This place is so fun! It’s great all year round, but really fantastic in the fall. It’s located on    I-80 just outside of Omaha. It’s a drive-thru safari, but there are some opportunities to get out of the car and explore. There is hiking trails, a pond (Frog Pond), wolf, bear and Bald Eagle viewing areas, a small petting zoo and a cute little gift shop/cafe that includes some small indoor exhibits, as well as, some bird exhibits outside the shop. We actually had one of our best autumn days on record here last November. We hiked all the trails and explored the pond. I took a ton of photos. I have not been through it in the Spring, so I look forward to going again soon. Find out more about the safari here.

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Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle is our go-to for hiking and outdoor exploration. It’s one of my husband’s favorite places. They have miles of boardwalk that weave through the forest or you can hike the dirt trails. They also have a fun outdoor exploration area for kids and an indoor exhibit area and gift shop. I’m hoping to take photos of the kids here this spring. There is a trail that leads down to the river and photos down there would be amazing!

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The Old Market

The Old Market is one of the entertainment districts in downtown Omaha. It’s filled with restaurants, shops, cute coffee shops and bakeries and art galleries. We like to go down to just stroll around, grab some coffee, lunch or dinner and basically just check out what’s going on. There are festivals held here in the summertime that we usually attend too.

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So there you have it. Our five favorite things to do in Omaha. Of course there are tons of great things to do here and this is just a snippet, but I couldn’t possibly include them all!

 

Weekend Favorites

We had a very busy, full week. Hudson had a medical issue that we had to deal with and then we had his 5th birthday party to plan and host, as well as, Easter. Here are two of my favorites from the weekend.

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These two are just the cutest, sweetest kiddos ever. I’m totally biased, but they are. This was right after their Easter egg hunt. I didn’t even tell Hudson to put his arm around her!DSC_0803

 

It was an awesome family filled weekend, after all the craziness of last week, I’m ready for a normal, calm week.

How was your Easter?

All About Them: Spring Fairy Hunt

A Spring Fairy Hunt was one of the activities on our Spring Bucket List. It is an idea I came up with one day while trying to come up with fun things the kids could do outside once it was nice out. I see a lot of great ideas for scavenger hunts online, but my kids can’t read quite yet, so I wanted to come up with a hunt that would work for them without my help. One day I was looking at some of Harper’s art supplies and found some cute fairy stickers that I bought at The Dollar Tree and the idea was born. I went back to the dollar store to see if I could find some new fairy stickers. I found the perfect ones, took them home and attached them to popsicle sticks.

I was planning on waiting until the yard bloomed and we planted flowers before we did the hunt since that’s more “fairy-like”, but since this week is Hudson’s spring break, I thought it would be a fun activity for them. I was right. They loved it. They had so much fun that we had to do it five more times and then Hudson wanted to hide them for me to hunt! They even wanted to do it again in the house, which we did about 20 more times. Hooray for a successful idea!

Here’s a look at the fairies and the hunt.

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Like I said, the kids loved this and we’ll for sure be doing it again. I’d like to figure out a fun summer themed hunt to add to our Summer Bucket List.

Another activity crossed off our list. On to the next!