Thanks for stopping by my corner of the world to read my tales of life, love and adventure. I’m a writer, and the thoughts rolling around in my head — big ideas and little ones — need a place to land. So here I am, blogging away, reminding myself that it is the little things […]
For some time I have wanted to track the books that I’m reading, so I can look back at the end of the year, or decade, and see all the different places I have traveled, experiences I have undertaken, friends I have gotten to know, lessons I have learned through books. 2016 June: The One-in-a-Million […]
Finn has packed away his combat instincts — but he may need them again when danger begins to stalk his quiet hideaway . . .
After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn’t on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana’s foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action — ready or not.
Not having read the first two of this series, I was pleased to see that I had no trouble diving right into the Men of Valor world. Read more →
It’s been a while since I’ve written about loss…but it is rarely far from my mind. I guess that’s really what I want to say. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, simmering just below the surface. Remember that when you speak with someone experiencing loss.
We lost Michael more than three years ago, almost four. But that loss is still so very present.
There’s the green ribbon from last fall’s Out of Darkness walk, green representing a sibling.
I was glad when Husband and I ventured out to attend the walk. I thought it would be good for him, for us. I had no idea how comforting it would be to walk among so many people and identify their loss through the color of their ribbon. All those wearing green knew the pain of losing a sibling. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. There truly are others who understand. I hope Husband felt that too. Read more →
I had never read anything by Mike Nappa when I picked up The Raven, the second in the Coffey & Hill series. The concept of classic literature and crime drama piqued my interest, for I both love literature and enjoy a good whodunnit. I was diving in on the second in a series, which always poses problems, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t impede my enjoyment of the novel.
As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun–until he decides to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds compromising photos of the councilman and his “personal assistants,” The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named “Nevermore.”
Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues to rescue The Raven from a wild card bent on revenge.
I was glad that while some readers may be familiar with the main characters, namely Trudi Coffey and her ex-husband Samuel Hill, Nappa did a good enough job of introducing the characters and their intricate back story that it wasn’t necessary to have read the first novel in order to understand the second.
Coffey and Hill proved to be interesting characters, Read more →
One Thing: Where I share one thing that is making my life better or bringing me joy.
I love our library. Just a few miles from our house (2.1 to be exact), I have dreams of me and Fiona biking down to the library to five into books or story time or star gazing nights.
Just one of the branches of the Suffolk Public Library, Chuckatuck is easily the smallest permanent library I’ve ever seen, just 2,000 sq ft. And the cutest. The building was formerly the cafeteria of Chuckatuck High School (the building that is now Sauders Supply) and in 1989 it was given new life as a library.
It has everything a library needs: books, a librarian, a few computers, WiFi access, and a children’s section where littles like Fiona are invited to stay a while. Mondays (not every Monday, but maybe once or twice a month) are now my library day. The library is generally only open during working hours on weekdays, but it is also open on Monday evenings. Read more →
I watched my girl this weekend as she began grasping new ideas and learning new skills. She is so close to pulling herself up to her knees, given the chance. And she has realized that when she throws something, she just has to look over the arm of the chair to find it again. I love being witness to each new trick, each developmental leap. Ah, object permanence is such a wondrous thing!
But as I watched, I witnessed something that both amused and struck me.
Playing gleefully with her basket of toys, Fiona found a cloth book that unfolds into one long succession of “pages”. It’s a bit unwieldy for a baby when it’s all open, but she loves it anyway. Having pulled it out earlier, she found herself sitting next to the end of the book. She picked it up, but the book wouldn’t budge. She pulled and pulled on it, thinking surely she could lift it to her mouth to chew on (that’s what 7-month-old babies do, after all), but it wouldn’t work. She look plaintively at me to fix the problem, as though it was I who was keeping her from her desires. Or at the very least, I wasn’t helping fulfill them.
Unbeknownst to her, though, she was sitting on the book. Her own weight kept it grounded. I tried not to laugh as I watched her try with all her might, yet fail because she didn’t notice that she herself was the obstacle in her way.
It struck me just then, that perhaps that’s how God feels. Read more →
I have so enjoyed putting together a nursery for this little one, and those who will follow. Knowing I wanted this room to be gender neutral, both because we didn’t know the sex of the baby and because I want to be able to put multiple kids in one room, potentially of differing genders, I selected gray and orange as my colors. My “theme” if you will is woodland animals like foxes and owls — but truth be told, I don’t like any room to look too theme-y. So you’ll find I included a lot of geometric shapes and a variety of textures (I am such a texture person!).
My inspiration board helped me figure out what I liked and what I wanted to strive for as I pieced things together. It actually helped me identify what it is that I like — as opposed to just grabbing every “cute” baby item I could find (which, yeah, as a pregnant woman is sooo easy to do).
It occurred to me recently, while I was reveling in the thought that in 6 months I won’t have to pump breast milk while I work anymore (the bane of my existence some days), that that also means my exclusive breastfeeding journey will be over in 6 months. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been at this long enough for that to be true!
Before Fiona was born, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, for all the reasons everyone wants to: healthy for baby, healthy for mama, inexpensive! I had read that it’s good to have a “goal” in mind. But when I thought about it, a year (so I wouldn’t have to purchase formula) seemed daunting but 12 weeks seemed so minuscule. So I went in with an overarching desire to exclusively breastfeed, which would mean doing this for a year, without any real date in mind.
Breastfeeding overall has gone very well for me. Fiona latched immediately after birth. I was sore for a bit, but that eventually eased. I started out with some oversupply issues (engorgement, “choking” baby, spraying/leaking, etc.), but that eventually settled down, starting around 6 weeks and finally evening off around 12. Read more →
When I saw a new contemporary novel by author Susan May Warren would be released this fall, I got very excited. I am a huge fan of In Sheep’s Clothing (and the subsequent Mission: Russia books: Sands of Time and Wiser Than Serpents), plus I lived in Montana, the setting of this new book, for 4 years while attending college, so I was ready for something great withWild Montana Skies.
Injured in more ways than one by a war overseas, helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing returns home to Montana to start a new life — coming to terms with her emotional scars and learning to be the mom that her daughter needs. One thing at least she knows, she will be helping people by piloting search and rescue missions over the gorgeous and deadly Glacier National Park wilderness. But then she learns who her new partner will be, it becomes apparent that leaving the past behind won’t be so easy. The man who broke her heart will now be her constant companion. Read more →
It’s hard to believe Fiona is 7 months old already! She is officially sitting up on her own, and she’s working so hard on learning to crawl. She is very interested in food and loves to join our family meals (french toast appears to be her favorite so far!). She is happiest outdoors and first thing in the morning. She blows raspberries constantly and absolutely loves her toys!