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

Book Review: Your Magnificent Chooser

Book Review: Your Magnificent Chooser

Your Magnificent Chooser by John OrtbergI’m always looking for ways to bring big concepts of faith into our home on Fiona’s level. She so young, figuring out how to explain something like a conscience is really hard. In Your Magnificent Chooser, pastor and author John Ortberg brings the concept of will to a concrete level.

With wonderful illustrations by Robert Dunn, Your Magnificent Chooser shows children how their personal will determines the choices that they make, and — most importantly — the they have control of their chooser! In a world where children are taught that the world revolves around their whims, that they can’t (or don’t have to) control their reactions, Your Magnificent Chooser puts the control of choice back into the child’s hands. Read more

Book Review: Over Maya Dead Body

Book Review: Over Maya Dead Body

Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra OrchardAfter being surprised by Another Day, Another Dali, I was keen to pick up Over Maya Dead Body, the third book in the Serena Jones Mysteries Series by Sandra Orchard.

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a bit of R & R and a lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But when a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring interrupts her picture-perfect trip, she’s soon entangled in the investigation.

Propelled into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them a boatload of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?

Similarly to the previous book in the series, it was the characters that stood out to me in Over Maya Dead Body. Read more

Morning Chores

Morning Chores

Fiona does chores, feeds chickens and collects eggs

It was 10 minutes before I had to be out the door for work. The baby had been up several times throughout the night (teething) and I was tired. Husband had made me a cup of tea and a breakfast sandwich to go. Since I was ready early (solely because I didn’t have enough time to shower), I thought I might indulge in eating at home instead of on the run.

“Why don’t you take Fiona out to feed this morning?” Husband prodded.

(I used to do all the feedings of our animals. But when I was pregnant, I had severe nausea and fatigue and struggled to make it into work each day, so Husband took over. His work day is more flexible than mine anyway. When I went back to work after my maternity leave, I was the one juggling Fiona’s drop-off each morning, so while I hurried out the door with more bags than I could count (laptop bag, purse, lunch, bottle bag with empty bottles for me, bottle bag with full bottles for her, diaper bag, etc.), Husband continued to feed.)

When he suggested I feed this morning, my first thought was “you’ve got to be kidding me”. Read more

Adventure: Northwest River Park

Adventure: Northwest River Park

Northwest-River-Park

For our first camping trip with a toddler, we stayed local. We’ve been to Northwest River Park numerous times to enjoy the walking trails (though there aren’t a plethora) and to camp once. It’s a relatively small park, with only a few trails, but it’s so nice to have something this close to home!

Northwest River also has canoe and paddle boat rentals for those wanting to traverse the waterways, fishing opportunities, miniature golf for the kiddos (the course is a little lacking though), a camp store (with ice cream!), some really lovely pavilions for picnicking, and a very nice playground inside the camping area. Read more