Adventure: Cape Charles

Adventure: Cape Charles

Cape Charles Virginia beach

We had an open Sunday afternoon on a sunny, beautiful day. Bathing suits and beach towels were already packed in the car “just in case”, so we decided to head up to the Eastern Shore and visit Cape Charles. We’ve driven through before, and even walked on the beach, always saying that we’d come back when we had kids as this looked to be the perfect kid beach. And we were right! Read more

The Night Stand | 06/17

The Night Stand | 06/17

What’s on my night stand? (Or my audible player?):


Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me

by Ian Morgan Cron

I’m listening to this “memoir…of sorts” via my library’s Hoopla app. I read Cron’s novel Chasing Francis in graduate school, so I was already a little bit familiar with Cron and had heard good things about his non-fiction memoir. While some aspects of this book are certainly hard (an alcoholic father), I’m thoroughly enjoying hearing about Cron’s Irish Catholic upbringing in the 60s and 70s. Not entirely told chronologically, I’m also appreciating the essay-like structure of it and the author’s way of allowing the reader to make connections and draw conclusions themselves without always having to explicitly state what his experiences have meant to him. Not a light read, but humorous and worthwhile.


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Adventure: OBX

Adventure: OBX

Adventure in the Outer Banks with a toddler.

We may need to redefine “adventure” to include the intricacies of traveling with a toddler. Seriously, it’s not for the faint of heart!

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, we took our little family to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for some surf and sand. It was our first time camping at Frisco Campground (in Frisco, NC, just North of Hatteras Village). We fell hard for this campground! We’ve always camped at Oregon Inlet, which is nice, and shied away from most other campgrounds in OBX because they are basically large fields of grass/sand without any privacy, shade, or topography of interest. This is not the case at Frisco! This campground was full of dunes (which made biking a fun challenge), some sites are perfect for tenting in a little nook, others have a high vantage point with a beautiful view. We selected one that backed up to some scrub brush that provided a bit of shade and wind protection. Read more

Favorite Products

Favorite Products

My favorite beauty products.For a long time, I’ve been striving to simplify my life, including my “beauty routine” (whatever that is). Simultaneously, I’m trying to use fewer synthetic and potentially harmful chemicals and instead fine natural replacements that work as well or better.

I so appreciated reading about what other real people are using and loving, especially knowing that I wasn’t looking at advertising, or even bloggers receiving perks. So, in that vein, I thought I’d throw this out there; here are a few of my favorite beauty products!

  1. Simple Foaming Cleanser
  2. This doesn’t dry out my face too much (no squeaky clean feeling!), but it definitely gets me feeling fresh and free of the day’s troubles. Read more

The Night Stand

The Night Stand

What’s on my night stand? (Or my audible player?):


Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowellby Rainbow Rowell

I snagged the Kindle version of this book after having read and enjoyed Eleanor and Park. While Rowell’s use of profanity irks me a bit (and feels unnecessary), her quirky, unique writing style is thoroughly enjoyable. Like Eleanor and Park, her characters are anything but trite. They are often deeply flawed, but lovable — and believable — people just like you or me. No incredible heroes or impossible heroines, but people you think, “Yeah, I could be friends with you.” Attachments was also a fun look back at the turn of Y2K!
 
 
 


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I’m not the only mom

I’m not the only mom

Fiona holding honeysuckle

Being a working mom is … hard. Some days are harder than others. Like this week.

We’re going through some transitions as a family right now, and every single one of them affects Fiona. At 15 months, she’s hanging in there so well. But it’s hard. On top of it all, she’s been sick, there was a family wedding that had us traveling and kept us up late too many nights in a row, she had another round of vaccinations at her most recent well checkup, she’s teething, etc. etc. etc. You get it. I’m not the only mom going through these things right now.

I feel awful that I can’t be with her every step of the way through these transitions. She cries for me, her mama, and I’m not there.

I’m missing out on so many of the good things too. So many firsts. Her first trip to the zoo. Her first time strawberry picking. It devastates me that I can’t be there. But I would never deprive her of those wonderful memories that she can make with other friends and family who love her dearly.

And so I find myself trying to work, while my heart breaks a little and my mind wanders to my precious daughter. Read more

Book Review: Tranquility

Book Review: Tranquility

Tranquility JournalTranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal immediately sparked my interest. It combines several things I’m interested in at the moment: Prayer, peace, and coloring.

As I’m watching my 14-month-old daughter and wondering when she’ll be old enough to appreciate coloring (as though I need an excuse to break out the art supplies), I’m enjoying a foray into the wonderful world of grown-up coloring.

The hard cover and thick paper stock of Tranquility are top notch quality. The designs are varied and interesting, prompting new ideas with each turn of the page. Each spread is vastly different, some requiring more coloring than others, some suggesting more writing than others. They are all beautiful and creative. The colors that are printed in the journal are rich, gentle tones. Read more

Book Review: Deep Extraction

Book Review: Deep Extraction

Deep Extraction by Diann MillsThe second novel in the FBI Task Force Series by DiAnn Mills, Deep Extraction, is a great follow-up to Deadly Encounter.

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

While I struggled with the believability of certain aspects of Deadly Encounter, Deep Extraction didn’t leave me with nearly as many questions. In this installment, instead of a civilian working with the FBI to solve a murder, a FBI special agent and a U.S. Marshall deputy work together on a special task force to solve the murder of a mutual friend. While some suspension of disbelief is still required, this is a much more likely scenario. Read more

Book Review: Rescue Me

Book Review: Rescue Me

Rescue Me by Susan May WarrenI’m a fan of contemporary Christian author Susan May Warren and her suspense fiction. Her latest series, Montana Rescue, is set in my beautiful state of Montana (I say “my” state because I love it so…and I did live there for four years in college) and my most favorite of all national parks, Glacier.

Book one, Wild Montana Skies, was definitely worth picking up for a bit of fun and suspense, so I eagerly awaited book two in the series, Rescue Me, which released this past January.

When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him–not just on the job but in his private life. He’s the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father’s accidental death. And he’s the one–perhaps the only one–who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she’s nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding-heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on–namely, nabbing the job of her dreams. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

As always, Warren is an accomplished writer with a knack for creating suspense and likable characters. And while her Montana Rescue Series isn’t my favorite series of hers, I am enjoying the novels. Read more