Book Reviews...

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Honestly, this book was a little depressing. As I read it I kept thinking to myself, "Why am I reading this again?" But, throughout the book, I finally realized what kept me reading. Although it didn't have any fantastic romance or an daring adventures per se, it was realistic. It was the story of a girl growing up in the real world and all the ugliness and beauty that real life holds. I found myself liking this book despite the fact that it didn't really have much of anything except just real living--raw life. It helped me to recognize all the different facets of life and the beauty that each little facet holds. It made me stop and look at normal things in my life that I had taken for granted. It inspired me to try and be a little more resourceful. Despite the fact that the book itself was a little depressing, that's what life is like, but we all strive to find the happiness and we strive to find the little things that help make life more worth living.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

This book had me doubled over laughing for the first four chapters of this book. The way Mr. Grahame-Smith planted his witticisms throughout Ms. Austen's most famous work was genius. For that first little bit, it seemed like maybe the book should've been this way all along. And then it went horribly wrong. It seems that people never see the line or ignore it when they do see it and because of this ignorance/arrogance the line is crossed and you are left wondering what the heck happened. Yes, zombies are gross. Did it have to be as grotesque as this book ended up being with the characters that weren't members of the hordes of undead acting more disgusting than the undead themselves? No. I would recommend reading the first few chapters for free online for a good laugh, and then stopping. No amount of curiosity could justify reading the entire thing and I am sad this once that my curiosity got the better of me.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Written by the author of Anne of Green Gables, The Blue Castle is a cute story of a woman who discovers she only has a little while left to live and what she does with that time. I was really annoyed with it at first because I can't relate with the main character in the beginning at all. The romance in this story is pretty cute, but not earth-shattering by any means. I think my knowledge of the outcome ruined some parts of the story for me. The romance in this book is cute, although my picture of the main dude was a little off because my imagination had him pegged as an old, toothless hobo after reading about him for the first time. He is not an old, toothelss hobo, so don't make the same mistake I did. I recommend this book for a fun, easy read.


O Anne...

Last week, two of my amazing friends introduced me to the very delightful story of Anne (with an "e") Shirley. Why I haven't seen it before last week is beyond me...

I fell in love. I fell in love with Anne who I feel would definitely have been a "bosom friend" and a "kindred spirit" of mine had she not been fictional. I fell in love with most all of the characters actually (there are definitely some who just boil my blood), especially Anne, Matthew, and Gilbert. I fell in love with the setting (I've never wanted to go to Prince Edward Island so much in my life). I fell in love with the plot, with the relationships between the characters, and the love story. I just adore Gilbert Blythe. I knew from the moment he called her "Carrots" they were destined to be in love. I was angry whenever Anne would snub him when he was just trying to be nice, I cried when she refused his proprosal--twice, (which was highly reminiscent of "Little Women" when Jo refused Laurie...that one still hurts), I cried when he told her he was engaged to Christin(e/a) (not sure which one it is...I didn't really pay attention to her name, just that she wasn't Anne), I was spitting nails when Morgan Harris proposed (definitely don't like him), I cried when Gilbert was in bed with Scarlet Fever, and I've never giggled like a little girl as much in my life as when Anne finally told Gilbert that all she wanted was him.

The entire time we were watching the first two movies which totaled to about a week, I would beg my friends to tell me if Gilbert and Anne end up together. I just knew they had to! She wouldn't tell me. I would beg and threaten to look it up on the internet if she didn't tell me, but all she did was say no and threaten anger if I did look it up. One night, I had resolved after much debate to not look it up because I have never seen this friend angry, and I decided I didn't want to. After having just watched the part where Gilbert proposes and Anne says no, I told J of my struggle. He told me he could tell me everything that happens because he has been forced to watch it 6 times, at least. I told him, "No. Krystal would kill me." After which I exclaimed, "I am just so sad about Gilbert Blythe!" To which Jason promptly responded, "Who's Gilbert Blythe?" I decided he wasn't much of a threat to my finding out what happens prematurely.

I still have the third movie to watch and I decided today is the day. I woke up with a sore throat, swollen glands, and earaches. This would be the perfect day to watch the movie and relax and let my body fight off whatever is trying to attack. I've heard that the third movie is not as good as the first two, but we'll see. Just hoping for more of this...



I had a dream about my oldest brother, Tyler, last night. He was older, almost the age he would be today had he not died. He had hair. He was so handsome. He looked like he never had cancer at all. Except in my dream, he did have cancer. He knew he was dying and I knew he was dying, so every chance I got, I would take pictures of him. In the pictures he was crying, not bawling, but just a silent tear rolling down his cheek.

I miss him. I have a love/hate relationship with dreams like this. I love them because it's like another connection with him, it's like I get to see him even though I know it's not really him and who knows if that is, in fact, what he would have looked like. I hate them because I wake up crying. I hate them because I know it'll be awhile before I see him again.

I am grateful for eternal families.


Hello Again...

We've had a busy couple of weeks filled with a trip to Montana, work, and a few different projects that have been a bit time consuming.

First, the trip to Montana. I do have pictures, but I realized I fail miserably when it comes to uploading pictures. Reason being, I have to upload pictures on J's computer and J is always on the computer! When he's not, he wants to do something with me which prevents me from taking time to download pictures. One of these days, I'm going to upload them all and then I will just do a massive picture post and see if you can all guess which pictures go with what posts. That could be a fun game...

Anyways, back to the trip to Montana. It was a blast! We got to see J's entire family (siblings and their children included), with some extended family (aunts and uncles) included which was an especially nice treat! We all looked absolutely beautiful due to the fact that Samurai Mom, J's older sister, made us girls the most adorable fascinators (and also due to the fact that we are all just plain gorgeous). O I am in love with my fascinator. The wedding was cold and short, but the bride was gorgeous, like always. For the reception, I was asked to put together a playlist for some background music. I think I did a good job with a nice mix of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Ellz Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong to name a few. We danced and laughed and visited and just had a great time. Afterwards, all of the siblings went to Finnigan's and hung out and just laughed. That was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. Samurai Mom and I looked the most lovely as we were the only ones left in our wedding garb. We liked to think of ourselves as a little ironic going to eat at a dive like Finnigan's in our fancy attire.

Sunday was general conference (more on that in a later post) and then a family dinner at J's parent's house. The newlyweds, Brad and Sara (J's youngest sister) came over to open all their gifts! I was brought back to about 2 years ago when J and I were doing the same thing. Wedding present opening is like your own personal Christmas. The night ended with some great girl talk and the girls of the family planning the next wedding. :)

Monday morning, J and I got up at 4 to go hunting. I had never been hunting...besides grouse hunting, which doesn't really count because you don't really hike for that. They are just in the middle of the road most of the time. Anyways, my Dad took us to "Notellum" creek (he didn't want us to tell anyone where it was on account of sighting some big bulls out there) to elk hunt. We didn't see anything and we didn't get anything and honestly, I was grateful. I would've cried had I seen Dad shoot anything and see it struggle for its last breath, and I did not want to hike up and down the mountain 5 different times packing a ginormous elk out! Overall it was fun and it was GREAT to be outside and in the cold (it was freezing in the morning). It was fun to see my Dad so excited about hunting. His excitement was positively contagious and I couldn't help but get into the whole feel of it while hunting with Dad. After we got back from hunting, we went and hung out with Weeky and her kids (Samurai Mom and Jmo left that day) at Ma & Pop Moss' house. I took a much needed nap (I was SO tired) and then Weeky went and got us some dinner and a movie and we just hung out all night. Weeky and Mama Moss left the next morning so we went over and had breakfast with them and got to talk to them a little more before they left. We went to the cabin later that day with my parents, my grandma, Nate-O, and Dani. We shot guns, played games, took the 6-wheeler out for a ride, and just talked and laughed. It was a great day at the cabin. The fall colors were beautiful on the way up and we forgot our camera. But it was one of those times that everything felt right. Nothing could ever be wrong and the world was at peace and life was perfect. It was one of those days where I just soaked up all of my surroundings and the images of the beauty up there are forever etched in my memory, waiting to be recalled when needed.

Wednesday, we worked. And worked. And worked. All the day long was filled with work, but the way I see it is I can trade 1 day of work for 6 days of vacation. So it was good. It was also kind of nice to just sit around and not be rushing everywhere all the time. And a Mythbusters marathon was playing the entire time so I learned a lot of things while typing my appraisals.

Thursday was mom and me day. J worked in the morning, and then went and hung out with his dad and brother. Mom teaches seminary so I went to her class with her, then we went to breakfast with Grandpa Jerry, then we went to Border's to look around, had lunch with Grandma Char and got to visit with her and Uncle Bret a little bit, window shopped at Target (saw the most adorable little baby clothes!!!), got some treats (sugar free of course), went back to the house and just hung out a little bit. We then had dinner and Uncle Bret came over and we got to hang out with him a little more. That night, we went to the newlywed's house and played a game with them and Nate-O and while we were there, it started snowing...a lot! After we were done, I went over to my friend's house to visit with her awhile and it was blizzarding by the time I got over there. I was at her house for a little over 2 hours and when I left there was a good 4 inches of snow on my mom's car! I LOVED it. I think it snowed just for me.

Friday we packed and went and visited my great grandpa (I have the most adorable great grandfather in the world and I dare anyone to defy me on that), then we visited with Pop Moss, and then we left. It was hard to leave, but visiting kind of refreshed me and gave me more memories to live on while I am away. I loved seeing all of our family. I loved hanging out with my sisters and moms and my brothers and dads. I loved seeing my grandpas and grandmas and aunts and uncles and it just felt right. It felt complete and made me so grateful that I have such wonderful families. I especially enjoyed hanging out with Nate-O. Last time we were there he was really busy with work and everything and this time we got to hang out a little bit more. I love my brother.

I know this is forever long, and I'm sorry, but I've been treating this more like a journal lately and I've got a lot to write about!

*Sugar update: I haven't had sugar since 9.8.09 and I survived the Montana trip. In celebration, my sugar-free buddy made me a purse (adorable!) and some way cute earrings. Her and her sister also made me a delicious no sugar (probably more fat than I should eat) treat in celebration of my victory (they are the best)! I feel awesome. This week my sugar-free buddy, her sister, and I have been running at 6 every morning followed my a yoga session in the park. I feel amazing.

Since this post is reaching novel-length, I will post more in a different post. I still have so much more to post about!

Upcoming posts: Why haven't I seen Anne of Green Gables until this week, delicious sugar-free pumpkin pie, flower hair clips, Relief Society enrichment project, getting in touch with my creative side, upcoming Thanksgiving excitement, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, general conference, etc.


Number 13...

Here is another addition to my gratitude list:

13. I am grateful that although the test hurt like heck, it came back clear (despite my pessimistic attitude)! The pain was worth it.

On to the next step...

My Gratitude List...

You know when you have one of those days where it just seems like nothing is going right and all the hope is sucked out? Today is that day for me. Things just are not going right, and I am letting my pessimistic attitude take over. We have a buyer on the motel, and he seems to be flaky now which means the sale may fall through, I have a test today that will determine my infertility status and how hard it will be to have kids and I am extremely pessimistic about the outcome, money is tighter than a dress that's 5 sizes too small, and as I say this, we are getting ready to go to Montana for a week which means less work for us and less money which we desperately need right now. It's days like this that I really try to reach for the things I am grateful for, so to pull me out of my slump, I am going to list the things I am grateful for to counterbalance what I am upset about right now.

1. I am grateful for a husband that loves and cares for me with all his heart. He is my everything.
2. I am grateful that my patriarchal blessing says I will have kids.
3. I am grateful for my in-laws and how generous, loving, and supportive they are. I could not have been blessed with better in-laws than them.
4. I am grateful for parents that taught me to have hope and to turn to my Heavenly Father and my Savior for comfort and peace.
5. I am grateful we even have a buyer to be flaky at this point.
6. I am grateful for the food storage we have, so if we do completely run out of money, we will be able to eat.
7. I am grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful to know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me.
8. I am grateful for friends who uplift and support me, for the encouraging words they speak, and for the complete and total understanding they have for me.
9. I am grateful for the Atonement and grateful that I know that Christ suffered for me. That He felt everything I am feeling right now and that I know I can turn to Him.
10. I am grateful for a body that can move, run, walk, play, and work.
11. I am grateful to know that the Lord will never give me more than I can handle and he trusts me enough to give me trials to prove myself with.
12. I am grateful to know that my trials will make me stronger and that the Lord wants to bless me and wants what's best for me.