Friday, November 30, 2018

Currently: Almost Forgot My Monthly Post!

Current Book

Last one of the trilogy!

Current Song

If you know me AT ALL, you know it's the Christmas Carol show at our house!
Namely the Pandora 'Christmas Radio' channel - 
it's a good mix of classic carols and new songs too. I love it!

Current TV Show

I started the final season of Once Upon a Time which is cute.
BUT the big news is I got Brent to agree to watch Game of Thrones!
He doesn't love it like me, but he's trudging along - we're a few episodes into season 2.

Current Drink

I'm about to make some green tea - I found a combo I really like - 
I add Stevia and some fresh lemon juice - yum!

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

I've got some fun YA books to share next week, ha.
Oh teenage love stories - WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU??

Current Outfit

I wore my new pocket poncho today that I LOVE. 
It's comfy and warm and cute!

Here's what it really looks like. LOVE!

Current Celebrity Crush

I'm a little bit interested in seeing Chris Pine in this???

Current Mood


Current Anticipation

This one is going to sound goofy, but for the first time in our marriage, 
Brent has a work holiday party, and it's next weekend!
I'm strangely so excited to go.
Although I guess it isn't that strange - he works with 2 of his best friends,
and their wives are some of my best friends, so we're going to have a blast!

Current Wishlist

To finish my Christmas shopping!
I've got a few people left to tackle, a few more things for the kids, 
and I need to get stocking stuffers. But I wrapped probably 20 presents last night.

Current Film

So Allison and I haven't been to a movie in 100 years.
In reality it's been SEVEN MONTHS.
We've seen exactly ZERO Oscar contenders, it's really sad right now.
BUT we've got a date planned for next week!
No clue what we'll see, but I'm SO EXCITED!!!

Current Picture

These 3 watch America's Funniest Videos at least once a week together.
It is just the cutest to hear them all laughing!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Favorite Authors

In case you haven't noticed, I like to read. {grin} And one of my favorite joys is discovering a new amazing author. I thought it could be fun to write about some of my favorite authors and see if anyone has others I should be reading. Who knows...maybe we'll all find someone new to love!

The Favorites:
J.K. Rowling - This is probably a dumb one to start with, but I think the Harry Potter series contain some of the best books ever written. I've read the whole series numerous times and love them still, I'm listening to a podcast about them and am fostering a love of them with Trent! I also love her Cormoran Strike series which is completely different from HP. The only book I didn't like was The Casual Vacancy. And I haven't read any of the Fantastic Beasts books and am not sure if I want to or not, but I sure do love J.K.!

Kate Morton - Kate's books always follow somewhat of a formula - girl in modern times who is unraveling a mystery from the past - usually Edwardian time period {Downton Abbey} - and we see the mystery unfold as she uncovers clues AND from a point of view during that time period. You know what you're getting every time, but they're always really enjoyable. 

She has a new book out, and I'm on the waiting list already for it!

Liane Moriarty - I knocked out Liane's first 7 books in rapid succession and ATE THEM UP. They weren't all amazing but several of them outstanding! Her most recent book that I read, Truly Madly Guilty, was a bust for me, but I've heard great things about her latest book, so I'm hoping for good things.

Her next book - can't wait to read!

Taylor Jenkins Reid - Man, Taylor knows how to write a chick lit book that is SO MUCH MORE than a chick lit book. I've read all 5 of her current releases, and she has a 6th book coming out in March that I can't wait to get my hands on! She takes a simple yet interesting idea or what seems to be an impossible scenario and weaves a magical tale out of it. I've ended all of her books extremely satisfied with how she tied everything up. She just has a knack for telling a great story.

Coming out in March...

Jennifer Robson - I just discovered Jennifer Robson earlier this year and have read all 4 of her books. Three of them were a loose trilogy set during/after WW1 and the 4th one {that I read first} is set during WW2. I'm a broken record with my love for a) books about the Aristocracy and b) books set in Europe during the Great Wars, and these check both of those boxes.

Dying to read this - about Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown!

Susanna Kearsley - My sister introduced me to Susanna Kearsley a few years ago when I was raving about Outlander. A lot of her books have a slightly similar theme and she thought I'd like them. She was right! Susanna's books are somewhat similar to each other in that they usually have some element of a) supernatural elements, b) Jacobite timeline, c) story jumping from the present to the past, or d) all of the above. Most of them have been really good, a few were excellent, and there's only been 1 or 2 I didn't like very much. Given I've read 9 of her 11 releases, I'd say I'm a fan!

JoJo Moyes - After reading Me Before You, I was definitely hooked on JoJo Moyes. Since then I've read 6 more of her books and only have 2 to go before I've read all of her books. I wouldn't put her with Taylor Jenkins Reid for knocking my socks off everything, but she writes really great books and has really well-developed characters that you root for. 

The Sometimes Authors:
Kristin Hannah - The first Kristin Hannah book I read was The Nightingale, and I think that was a big mistake. It was a phenomenal book and started me down a path of love for all those 'Great War' books I've mentioned above {which is probably 20 or so books}. Since then, the other books I've read of hers have largely been more of your run-of-the-mill chick lit for me. I liked The Great Alone and Winter Garden a little more than some of the others and find her to be a good author to choose when I'm in a bit of a reading slump. But I don't typically seek her out.

Nora Roberts - I have easily read 50 or 60 of Nora Roberts' books. I think that makes me a fan, ha. However, they are very formulaic and if you've read one, you've read them all. Doesn't mean they are bad and who doesn't love a book that they know will be good every time. A few of them are better than others, and I really think Nora is a solid writer, she just doesn't set my book world on fire.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Photo-a-Day: Week 47

Day 323: New Boots!!!

Day 324: Big and Little

Day 325: Christmas Lights!

Day 326: 'My Bike!'

Day 327: Lighting Our Town Square

Day 328: The Swope Six Sleepover

Day 329: Cousin Fun

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Life Lately

We've had a busy and fun {mostly, see below} last couple of weekends. I know things are really going to pick up in the next couple of weeks, and I'm SO looking forward to the holidays, but I also want to remember the little things too!

I went to a baby shower last weekend at Kristen's house. It was such a nice shower, and there's nothing better than time with my BFF and my beautiful Godchildren.

BUT...later that day...Paige started throwing up. We had a really rough 5 hours, and I felt really terrible for exposing everyone at the shower to her germs, but luckily, it was only Paige! She finally fell asleep on me at 11 PMand was just so pitiful.

I don't talk much about Brent's nephew, but he has a 23 year-old nephew who has lived in Maryland for a long time, moved back to Texas last year, and decided to move to Tennessee. We were supposed to go to a farewell dinner at Brent's parents' house on Sunday, but we stayed at home to keep Paige's germs away. We met him for dinner on Thursday instead, and he drove there Saturday night! 

Nana and Papa with 4 grands

Friday was Grandparents' Day at Paige's school. She was, of course, the star of the show with her grandparents, but she was also super excited that 2 of her cousins were there! My parents had Miles and Blair, so they also went to Grandparents' Day.

Friday night was our Book Club Annual Gift Exchange! We missed 2017, but we've now done this since 2013 and have so much fun.

Gifts galore!

Back at home Brent and Riley {another book club spouse} held down the fort.
Friends watching America's Funniest Videos!

7 years of reading books, drinking lots of wine, and having fun!

When your dessert drink arrives before you've finished your wine...

I drank too much and stayed out too late, but I rallied for A Christmas Affair the next morning with Kristen and her mother-in-law {who made our amazing barnwood wall}.

Shopping partners in crime

THEN Saturday night, we went to the UT football game with Brent's cousin. It was my first UT game, and while it was no A&M game, we still managed to have a little bit of fun.

View from our seats!

Band nerd for life...

They sell Chick-fil-A in the stadium!

Yes, more alcohol, ha!

If we hadn't been busy enough, I took the kiddos and we spent the night at my sister's on Sunday night. David was in Washington visiting family and had Mayer with him. We had a great time...minus Paige continuing her streak of being a terrible sleeper at other places and had a party from 12:30-4:00 that I did NOT want to be at with her, ha. We went shopping at Old Navy, made pizza, and introduced the kids {minus Paige} to The Princess Bride, and I had a blast getting some 1-on-1 time with my sis.

Helping make the dough {'I helping'}

Why are little girls shoes and clothes so cute?!?!

Who wants to borrow my sister?

Sleeping sweeties
{The boys were inside a fort so I couldn't get a pic}

Boys doing boy things

Pancake breakfast

We've started off our week of no school and work by decorating for Christmas - we are going to wrap the trees outside this year - I'm so excited! I'm ready for lots of yummy food on Thursday and my sister's kids are all spending the night with us Saturday so my sister can go out to eat with David because she turns 40 on Sunday, so crazy!

This time of year is THE BEST!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Photo-A-Day: Week 46

Day 316: Pretzel Princess

Day 317: Bathtime Hi-jinks

Day 318: Cover Hog

Day 319: Farewell Dinner For Cousin Branden

Day 320: Double Fisting

Day 321: A Christmas Affair