Monday, February 29, 2016

Project 366: Days 51 Through 57

February 20, 2016 -- A classmate of Tessa's made these amazing cupcakes for Willem's birthday. I can't wait to find an occasion to order some of them for us :)
February 21, 2016 -- We had ice cream sundaes at care group at Tim and Janice's. I loved the good conversations we had.
February 22, 2016 -- I read most of this book the night before and couldn't stop thinking about it. In case you missed it, I reviewed it on Friday.
February 23, 2016 -- We got to watch Rachel's dance class on this day. It was kind of hilarious!
February 24, 2016 -- We had a bit of an ice storm on this day so I captured some images from our backyard.
February 25, 2016 -- The ice turned to snow this day and Sam and Rachel, of their own accord, shoveled off a good portion of the driveway after school.
February 26, 2016 -- Dave and I had a date night and walked to our uptown. I thought I'd capture this picture of our Starbucks drinks and one of the main streets in our city which will be closed for construction for the next nine months. Ack.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One 
image from here
My friend Erika said part of what drew her in to this book was the cover. Well, I had to search the internet high and low (aka: "click on at least three links") to find the cover of the edition I read. As you can tell from above, mine was rather boring.

I didn't know about this book. Again, quoting Erika: "NOTHING about the summary/description of this book appealed (appeals) to me. Gamers (as in video gamers). Sci fi. 80s pop culture. Nope, nope, nope.... I broke into it and COULD. NOT. PUT. IT. DOWN. It is indeed chock full of video games (endless video games), sci fi, and 80s pop culture. And yet it's one of the most compelling stories I've read in a long time."

It is hard to explain, but this book really was un-put-down-able. I started it at 10:30 at night (you would think I'd learned my lesson but no, apparently I am unteachable) and all of a sudden it was 3am. I thought maybe a couple of hours had passed.

Yes, this book is set in the future. Yes, the future is bleak. Yes, it has a lot of video game references. Yes, it even has a lot of 80s references (most of which, being a child of the 80s, I LOVED!) But the story just sucked me in. It took about 50 pages and I was hooked. It is part science fiction, part apocalyptic (think Divergent/Hunger Games/etc) but it was so good. I was actually a little depressed when I finished the book because I wasn't still reading it.

I said to Dave, about eighty pages in, "You HAVE TO read this book." He is reading it now and I am seriously envious of the fact that he hasn't read it yet. He gets to experience its awesomeness and I just have to deal with the fact that I've already had that experience.

So all I can say is, even if the premise appeals to you NOT AT ALL, do yourself a favour and Read. This. Book. And then let me know when you are finished it so that we can be sad about it being done together. Also, so I can talk with you about how awesome and amazing it is.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review: The Royal We

image from here

I know I've shared this image before but today and tomorrow I am sharing a couple of book reviews with you. A few weekends ago I stayed up until 4am reading today's book and earlier this week I was up until 3am reading the book I'll be telling you about tomorrow. I seriously do have a problem, and sadly, it's not really insomnia.
image from here

I read this book over our Family Day weekend staycation. I started reading it one night and the next thing I knew it was 4am. This book just sucked me in. It's a fictionalized telling of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's romance, starring Nicholas and Rebecca (Bex). I'm a sucker for love stories and this was definitely one of those.

I have to be honest. I didn't love the middle of the book where Bex and Nick break up and Bex goes a little wild. It felt a bit over the top. However, after reading Karen Kingsbury's Baxter series (especially the Firstborn series), I really did see how the paparazzi could drive a person insane, so that part of the book felt familiar.

I did love how Bex and Nick's group of friends pulled together and helped them throughout the entire book. I love a story about a good group of friends and that was definitely another aspect of this book.

In a sense, I feel like a good question the book asks is "How much are we willing to sacrifice for love?" While we won't (didn't) all have to sacrifice as much as Bex did (I mean, I don't think anyone who reads my blog married royalty!), we do all have to make compromises to make our relationships work. And part of the story is the working through of those compromises. (Wow, this part got a lot more philosophical than I had intended. Sorry.)

I feel like this would be a good beach read. Just don't make the mistake I did and start it at 10 at night, unless you don't have anything planned the next day :)

Have you already read this book? What did you think? And if you do read this blog, and are married to royalty, please say "Hi!" I don't want to make any incorrect assumptions about my blog readers. Ha ha ha!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Look Out Below!

Last Monday we took advantage of the fact that we had snow and went tobogganing at the kids' school. Even though Sam refused to toboggan he enjoyed running up and down the hill (crazy child) and the rest of us really enjoyed tobogganing.
Rachel was fearless and loved going down on her own!
If we get enough snow again at any point this winter, we will definitely be heading for the hill again, because we had so much fun. Maybe this time Sam will even submit to going down on a sled. Ha!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Weekend What

This past weekend was a weird mix of being busy and completely crashing (for me). Way back about a year ago I had a cavity filled and it took almost two hours and my jaw started to spasm while they were working. Then the spasm thing happened again when I was just getting a cleaning in December. So I had another "smaller" cavity done on Thursday and I had been so nervous about it. Well, I got through it without my jaw going into spasms but I had such a neck ache and headache all weekend. I think it was the stress surrounding my appointment and then the tension releasing after being in an awkward position while my cavity was being filled.

All this is to say, I basically went to bed at 6pm on Friday night; I even voluntarily missed my women's night out at church which is rare for me. I had planned on taking a small break, reading and eating supper on my own, and then I was going to house clean. Well, I basically didn't move after getting into bed. Ooops.

Saturday morning I had already planned to redeem my gift certificate for a pedicure. It was supposed to happen while Dave and the kids were at synagogue but then Rachel's class was cancelled and Sam was too sick to go. But I kept my appointment and got a lovely relaxing pedicure. And then when I went to pay I realized I'd forgotten my wallet at home. I was sooooo embarrassed but the people were totally understanding (they didn't even keep my camera and iPad as collateral as I had offered to leave them) and I went home to get my wallet and then came back and paid.

And then after lunch I lay down on the couch for "a few minutes" and, accidentally, ended up napping for two hours. Then I gave Rachel a special pedicure and manicure.
On Saturday evening, I took pictures of Willem's birthday party. It was a baseball themed party at an indoor ball field we have in our city.

Tim said it was the most relaxing party he'd ever hosted!
I think Willem had a good time and it was so much fun to be the photographer. I took almost 250 pictures so I'm hoping I captured some good memories!
Tim took video of me taking a picture of him. I remember when my dad and uncle used to take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other!
And then after the party, Rachel and Sam came in to get cupcakes and they enjoyed sprawling/playing on the field. You can see Sam near the pitcher's mound in the picture below.
On Sunday I woke up with a really bad headache so I went back to bed and we ended up skipping church, which was sad. After getting a few more hours of sleep we went to Tim and Janice's for our care group. Even though not everyone could make it, we had a really good time visiting. 
While our Sunday supper was baking Dave and I spent some time in the kitchen and made a chickpea salad, South Georgia caviar, did a bunch of dishes, and I cut up a pineapple. It felt like a productive hour.
After supper we went grocery shopping, because it was the only time it actually worked out to go all weekend, and Rachel was super excited to see a "Funny Bunny!" I love that our grocery store always makes seasonal pictures out of the pop cans. This one also had "Happy Easter!" written out but I didn't get a picture of that.

And then I accidentally stayed up until three am reading a book. I'll tell you about the book later this week, but let's just say I thought it was "around midnight" and was shocked to discover it was 3am.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Project 366: Days 44 Through 50

February 13, 2016 -- Rachel put all the letter magnets in order at the library. It was so cute to watch her figure this out.
February 14, 2016 -- Sam thought he needed a new pair of sunglasses! Ha!
February 15, 2016 --We finally got out tobogganing. Yay!
February 16, 2016 -- I forgot to water my flowers for a few days. Ooops.
February 17, 2016 -- Sam is just like his mommy -- he loves to read, even when he's exhausted.
February 18, 2016 -- Every Thursday night, no matter the weather, Sam and I walk home from LOGOS along this trail.
February 19, 2016 -- With a good book and some food I was ready for the weekend to start.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Staycation Part Two

On Sunday our staycation continued. One of the awesome things about the weekend was we never rushed out the door so we were able to spend most of each morning hanging out in our pajamas. Sam and Rachel played a lot of games with Dave (which was on the list) and we watched some of the Blue Jays playoff games from October on YouTube (which was not on the list!). I also enjoyed copious mugs of coffee-hot chocolate with real whipped cream. Yum!
6. "Make a Family Day cake, post a picture of it on Instagram, and then eat it!" (Rachel) And yes, that is an exact quote, although I didn't actually post a picture of it on Instagram, which bugs Dave :)
Also not on the list was going to the mall but a shoe store I like was having an amazing sale so I wanted to get a pair of shoes. I ended up with three pairs of new spring flats for only $42 total. Since we were going to the mall anyways, we paid for the kids to actually ride on the rides, as opposed to just playing on them. They LOVED that!
7. Go mini golfing. (Sam)
Also not on our list was going to Dollarama but, since we were in vacation mode, we let the kids each pick out one thing to buy. Putting sparkles on her fairies kept Rachel (and Dave!) entertained for a good long while.
8. Go swimming (either Dave or me, I can't remember). We did go and had a really fun time but I don't have any photographic evidence.

9. Mommy and Rachel's whipped cream surprise! (Rachel and me, in case you hadn't figured that out!) Our "whipped cream surprise" was eating chocolate chip cookies with whipped cream on top.
And then it was time for bed. Sam and Rachel had a closet sleepover (which accomplished a tenth thing on our list) and I stayed up way too late reading a book which I will tell you about next week.

Happy Friday everyone! And more importantly, HAPPY WEEKEND! Whoo hoo!!!