Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Virgin of Small Plains

One snowy night in January changes the lives of three close knit families.  Fast forward to present day and once again their small Kansas town is blasted by a cold winter storm and the three families lives are altered once again.

I love unreliable narrators.  You're just reading along and all of a sudden you're like, what? So and so didn't mention THAT? How did that situation happen again? I also love mysteries and I also tend to lean towards more realistic fiction/mystery than the absurd.  The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard was my kind of book, until the last little bit.  Then it took a turn into a ridiculous land and irritated me.

Description: Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his father’s pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him. The mysterious dead girl–the “Virgin of Small Plains”–inspires local reverence. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave; some even believe that her spirit can cure deadly illnesses. Slowly, word of the legend spreads.

But what really happened in that snow-covered field? Why did young Mitch Newquist disappear the day after the Virgin’s body was found, leaving behind his distraught girlfriend, Abby Reynolds? Why do the town’s three most powerful men–Dr. Quentin Reynolds, former sheriff Nathan Shellenberger, and Judge, Tom Newquist–all seem to be hiding the details of that night?

Seventeen years later, when Mitch suddenly returns to Small Plains, simmering tensions come to a head, ghosts that had long slumbered whisper anew, and the secrets that some wish would stay buried rise again from the grave of the Virgin. Abby–never having resolved her feelings for Mitch–is now determined to uncover exactly what happened so many years ago to tear their lives apart.

Three families and three friends, their worlds inexorably altered in the course of one night, must confront the ever-unfolding consequences in award-winning author Nancy Pickard’s remarkable novel of suspense. Wonderfully written and utterly absorbing, The Virgin of Small Plains is about the loss of faith, trust, and innocence . . . and the possibility of redemption.


The book switches narrators between Abby, Rex, Patrick, Verna, etc.. and gives you glimpses into the different views about that night in 1987 when everything changed.  This is nice because things pop up that the last narrator neglected to share or the lies that others told each other were slowly revealed.

“It had come as a relief when she had been forced to go into the hospital in Emporia, where she could be given drugs that made her sleep, sleep through an investigation that did not include her sons, sleep through the quiet departure of her older boy to another town, another college, and sleep through the funeral and burial of a beautiful girl who'd had a name, who'd had a family, who'd had a life.”  

Needless to stay, it was a bit of a letdown after having enjoyed The Scent of Rain and Lightning!

Have you read The Virgin of Small Plains? Have you read any other books by Nancy Pickard? Do you like books by unreliable narrators? Which was the last good one you read?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Whammy & Double Dip

I love having this blog.  If it weren't for this blog I would not have had the opportunity to learn of some pretty fantastic authors.  Gretchen Archer is no exception.  It's been documented that I'm not huge on chick lit and I tend to read heavier books or gory murder books.  I also have that series obsession problem.  I am SO glad I was contacted about the Davis Way Crime Caper Series! I mean my love, Janet Evanovich, is quoted on the cover, and the descriptions are HILARIOUS, so of course, SIGN ME UP!

You guys, I want to be Gretchen Archer's BFF.  She is hilarious.  I like the character of Davis and might I say, I may like this series almost a bit better than the Stephanie Plum series? I have to say I've been leery of the 'cozy mystery' genre, but I may have to check out the series that were in the back of  Double Dip, because if they are half as funny as this one, I may need to get on it!

Davis is smart, funny, has man issues but actually uses her brains to solve her crimes.  And it is so freaking funny!

Double Whammy is the first book and I took it camping with me last weekend and devoured it.

Description:  Davis Way thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free—in fact, it lands her in the pokey.

Buried under a mistaken identity, unable to seek help from her family, her hot streak runs cold until her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. With his help, Davis must win this high stakes game before her luck runs out.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all! DOUBLE WHAMMY is the first book in the Davis Way humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions.


The ex-ex- husband storyline makes for some hilarious stories and her job at the casino is quite intense but very interesting.  I'd love to have it myself! Also, let's all laugh at me for a moment.  Davis is from a town called Pine Apple, Alabama.  I paid little to no attention until the end of the book until I was like OMG PINEAPPLE. HAHAHAHAH.  Yeah, not one of my finer moments.

My only complaint with this book was that the ending felt super rushed and the Bradley Cole love affair was ridiculous and made me question if she should be in a looney bin.  But, that's part of the hilariousness I suppose.

Double Dip I read this week in a day as well.  I liked this one better than the first! Sometimes the second book in a series is a letdown and the third one is better, but it will take a lot to beat this one! It's hilarious! I laughed out loud multiple times and wanted to share it with someone, but I we as all alone because I stayed up until 1 am to finish!

Description: It's Davis Way's first slot-tournament season. And it may be her last.

Things are dicey at work. A personal assistant goes missing, a little old lady goes on a suspicious winning streak, and a Bellissimo executive goes gaga for Davis. She follows a disappearing slot-tournament player trail to the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church in Beehive, Alabama, then jumps headlong into a high stakes holy scandal.

She's on a losing streak at home, too. Her days, nights, and dinners run together, as Davis juggles a revolving door of uninvited guests, namely her rotten ex-ex-husband, Eddie Crawford. And Bradley Cole thinks three's a crowd.

The worst? Davis doesn't feel so hot. Maybe it's the banana pudding, or maybe it's a little bundle of something else.

DOUBLE DIP. A reckless ride in the fast lane, and Davis Way can't find the brakes.


This book had a little foot shooting, duct taping big large men named Baylor, crashing cars, a poisoning and lots of laughs!  If you are looking for a laugh, I do highly recommend this series.  There is a bit of mystery and a lot of laughs.  I can't wait to read Double Strike, which comes out in October!

Definitely recommend if you are looking for a beach read!

What was the last laugh out loud book you read? Can you imagine marrying the same person twice? Do you like going to casinos? Are you friends with funny people?

I received this book to review but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A day in the life: Summer Edition

7:17 - Mama.. mama... I need Mama...  We ge up and go to the bathroom and a certain three year old asks if she can get Daddy's remote so she can watch Dora.  I say yes and stumble out to make coffee while she gets the remote.

7:30 - 9ish We watch Dora and Olivia.  Our new favorites in this house.  I think Olivia may be a bad idea but so far no negative effects of that one.  I made Isla her usual breakfast which is two waffles and a side of fruit.  This morning the fruit consists of green grapes she picked out as her 'treat' at the grocery store this week and some pineapple leftover from dinner.  I had a cup of coffee.  We get dressed, play a memory game and I mess around on the Internet.



9ish - We go on a walk and we were going to stop at the park next to our house but they were mowing the lawn and my child HATES lawn mowers so she decided we should go home and play.  We played on her swing for approximately 5 minutes until I talked about checking the garden and she wanted to do that too, right then.  So we picked 2 zucchini and 2 sugar snap peas to snack on until they started mowing by our yard and she freaked out and we had to go play inside.  We played one more memory game and then she watched a Dora while I got ready to go story time at Barnes  & Noble.

10:50 We get there a little early so of course we have to play at the train set.  And then she found all the Dora stuff so we had to look at all of those books.  I can't stand Barnes & Nobles blatant commercial marketing at the train table area.  They put all the crap books aka character books and toys right there, almost forcing toddlers into tantrums and meltdowns on the daily.  Boo to you Barnes & Noble and also boo to you about your seriously overpriced books.  Anywho, at 11:00 we had a minor meltdown when I told her it was time to go to story time and promised we would be back after story time and reminded her that we came BECAUSE of story time.  Now, I haven't been to story time there in about a year (last August) because of work.  We used to love it.  They had great interactive books and a craft or a coloring sheet and a snack for the kids.  Well they had a new girl doing it and she read a Batman book.  And she read a Batman book HORRIBLY.  I was so annoyed.  One, Batman is not great literature and if you ARE going to read a violent Batman book to a bunch of toddlers at least DO IT RIGHT and good.  I told my husband later that she was trying to beat him out on the worst read aloud reader ever.  The point of read alouds are hooking kids.  That did not hook anyone.  Not even kids who liked Batman.  Another thing that irritated me was that apparently now they want to take kids pictures and put them on their facebook page.  Yeah, no.  I did not sign a consent that went around and got us out of there before they had some Batman costumes for kids to try on. I saw a sign about video taping in that area and basically it said that you consented to being video taped if you were in that area.  I didn't read it too closely and don't know if it meant that story time is recorded or what, but that may very well be the last time I go to Barnes & Noble story time.  /endrant


picture of a book I sent to my friend while at Barnes& Noble
 

11:20 - Isla read all the Dora books and then had to read allllll the Elmo books while I checked out some books that I want for my classroom (Llama, Llama misses Mama (can't remember if I have that), Don't Push the Button, Dragons Love Tacos...) we miraculously left without purchasing a book and no tantrums.  Stupid character books.

12:00 We arrived at our local gardens just in time for their lunch time music.  Sadly, we missed out on the free hot dogs that they were apparently giving away for national hot dog day. (They ran out as we walked in).  But Isla doesn't really like hot dogs and I didn't want one, so I guess it wasn't all that sad. ;) The guy singing was decent and played a lot of songs from the 60s/tv jingles and popular oldies so that was nice.  Isla enjoyed a PBJ, cheese stick, grapes/raspberries, fruit snack and teddy grahams and I munched on a cheese stick, grapes/raspberries and some broccoli salad.




1:00 He went on intermission and I convinced Isla he was done and it was time to go home for a nap.  One memory game and some library books later she was down for a nap around 1:45.

1:45 - Zucchini is coming out of our ears so I cut one  up and put some spaghetti sauce on top and then some pizza toppings and covered with mozzarella cheese and popped in the oven.  It was delicious!  Then I watched a Rizzoli & Isles episode, caught up on some Internet, started a Pretty Little Liars episode and just about the time I went to start reading a book she woke up because she rolled over and bonked her head in bed.


4:00 Cuddled with Isla and watched an episode of Olivia.  Then we turned on music and colored some Mickey Mouse pictures and Isla played with playdough while I read my book.  Then Isla had a snack of green pepper and grapes.



5:00 I started making baked chicken fingers, so I got to cut up chicken breasts and put the breading on them.  Then I decided to try out the zucchini tots recipe I found and got those ready to go.  With my multiple interruptions from my 'helper' I had it in the oven about 5:50.

6:10sh We ate the baked chicken fingers, zucchini tots, broccoli and cottage cheese for dinner.

7-7:30 We played memory again, Isla did playdough again and we read library books.

7:30 I went on a bike ride and did about 2ish miles but it was breezy and I got chilly so I headed home.  I saw two rabbits and about 5 HUGE turkeys.

8 -We played Doggy Doggy Where's Your Bone and Isla did more playdough and I read my book.



8:30 Isla got her pjs on and we each read books and then she went to the bathroom and went to bed.

9 - 9:30 I played around on my phone while I half watched an episode of Graceland with my husband.

9:30 - 1030 I read Double Dip by Gretchen Arched on the couch.

10:30 - 11:30 I read in my bed.

11:30 Lights out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Endangered

Endangered is a novel by Jean Love Cush that will make you think.  Malik is a 15 year old black boy in Philadelphia when he is arrested for murder.  As, his friends ran, he did what his mother had told him to do and put his hands up and did not resist.  Of course, the police officers claimed he did after they slammed him into the ground and made him bleed.  By a stroke of luck, Malik is taken to the juvenile detention center for processing instead of immediately going through the adult legal system.  Because in Philly, it doesn't matter how old you are, murder one means you are tried as an adult.

Another lucky break for Malik occurs when the Center for the Protection of Human Rights takes over his case and wants to use Malik as the figurehead in their plight to overturn the criminal justice system, since his mother, Janae can barely afford to feed and house them, forget about paying for a decent lawyer!

"Okay, okay.  I believe we can make a solid argument that African-American boys ought to be deemed legally endangered.  Their very lives are threatened with extinction or at least any meaningful existence, and thereby ought to be afforded certain protections base on their classification as such."

This book definitely highlights the awfulness of human nature and brings up some very interesting questions about how our justice system works and how black males are treated within that system.  It was a very interesting story that brings up some interesting thoughts.

"If we were anywhere else but the United States of America, I might agree with you," Robert countered.  "But here, in this country, prison and race are inextricably tied together.  How else can blacks make up less than thirteen percent of the entire population but account for forty percent of prisoners? And when you look at juvenile defendants like my client, nearly fifty percent of all juveniles waived to adult court are black.  The question we have to ask ourselves is, "Why is this happening? Judge, do you think they are really more culpable because they are black? Do they deserve harsher sentences because they are black? Should their lives be destroyed because they are not he right color?"

I will say there were a few jumps that bugged me and the character of Janae sometimes sounded like an uneducated woman from the ghetto and other times she was using some very educated words and thinking in ways that didn't vibe with how she was initially portrayed. And not to say that people don't change, it just didn't really bode with what you'd come to expect from her character.  I'd say there were some kinks, but the story is thought provoking!

What book last made you question certain practices or beliefs? Do you think the juvenile legal system should focus on rehabilitation or should teenagers move up to the adult legal system?

I personally feel that the juvenile system should focus on rehabilitation and that teenagers are incapable of adult reasoning to be held accountable the same way an adult can.  Their reasoning isn't even matured until mid-20s! There is so much more that needs to be done on the matter but ruining their ENTIRE life at 12 or 15 isn't the answer!

I received this book from TLC Book Tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Jean Love Cush's Website

Monday, July 21, 2014

August's Group Read is...

...The Pearl that Broke it's Shell by Nadia Hashimi.

Description: Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.

In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.

Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?


This sounds so good and I cannot wait to read it!

I will post discussion questions on August 29th! Who will be joining? Have you read this book already? Have you read any books by Lisa See? Jumpa Lahiri? Khaled Hosseini? Did you enjoy them?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What I'm loving...

Peach - a- Berry Cobbler!!! Yum Yum Yum.  I've now made this twice and it is delicious!  You cannot GO wrong with Iowa Girl Eats!

Michigan Beaches - Huffington Post had the Top 10 Great Lake beaches in Michigan to help encourage tourism and with photos like those included, what are you waiting for??? I'm hitting up a Lake Huron beach this weekend in Caseville! One of my favorite spots, Manistique, is mentioned as the best place for kite flying.  I just remember the awesome waves as a kid and visiting the ghost town that the article mentioned! Also, Sleeping Bear Dunes IS beautiful.  Basically, I will vouch for almost any spot on the Lake Michigan coastline!!! I love it!

Making faces with this cutie...




Eating far too much ice cream!!!


 
Watching these two together..
 



Reading, reading reading!! I am rocking the reading in June (7 books!) and so far in July I am at 5! Woot woot.  If only work didn't get in the way during the school year.

What are you loving?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Postmortem

Ooops, I did it again...

(stuck in your head? I hope.. teehee)

I started another series.  I've heard about Patricia Cornwall's series for like ever and I mean, why not? I almost picked up Postmortem from the used book sale last month but wasn't sure if it was the first book or not, but the time I got back to that pile someone else snatched it up.  So I waited a month and checked it out from the library.

Description: Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a human monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it's being sabotaged from within and someone wants her dead.

The thing I found interesting, kind of like when I started Johnathan Kellerman's series, is that this series started way before our current technology.  This started in 1990.  So imagine no cell phones and the introduction of DNA and computer technology to crime solving.  It makes for a neat read in that perspective.  I did enjoy this book more than I liked the first book in the Kellerman series so that has me happy for the next one! ;) It wasn't too gory but it DID make me think about my open windows as I slept at night!!!
 
I also thought it was interesting that the lead character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, feels she is being discriminated by all the males around her because she is female (good observation ha) but then judges some other people herself.  For example, asking a black woman if her sister talked as good as she did, meaning did she talk 'white' and then admitting if she knew one of her assistants was gay when she hired him she probably wouldn't have.  It did make her a real person and for an intriguing character.

Dr. Kay definitely puts herself into an investigation and was acting like a detective more so than a medical examiner, but that's what makes it a book.  She clearly has horrible taste in men and is a very strong woman, that is evident in this first book.

Basically, I liked her characters and I will be checking out the next in the series.

Have you read any books by Patricia Cornwall? Have you read the Scarpetta series?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Secret Twenty One

When I was browsing through goodreads last week trying to see which series had books out for me to catch up on, I was super excited that there were two books in the Stephanie Plum series! I seriously read them each in a day.  That's what I love about them.  They are hilarious, quick and then you are on to the next.  It's a great in between books grab. 

Description:  Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.


All of my complaints of the last few were taken care of with this book! There was more action, it was a tad more serious, a tad more action and it made me laugh a tad bit more! So there is hope! Yay.  As always, I wish she would lose her morals and have a nice fling with Ranger.  Morelli and her are a due a blow up fight. ;)  I mean it's not like they are super serious.  I suppose Morrelli could propose to her. ;)

Ranger smiled. “There are times when I seriously consider marrying you, but then I get yet another black mark on my path to enlightenment and forgiveness and I scratch marriage off my bucket list.” “Really? You think about marrying me?” “Marrying you might be extreme, but once in a while I think about sharing my closet.” “You have a really great closet.”  

“Ranger stood and stretched, his black T-shirt rode up, and I caught a glimpse of two inches of brown skin and hard abs and almost had an orgasm. “Babe,” he said. “Are you okay?” “Yep. Why?” “You sort of moaned.” “Gas.” “Understandable.”

My favorite thing in this book was Grandma Mazur! She was killing me with her bucket list items.  She wanted to take down a bad girl, 'get' Morelli's Grandma Bella and see Ranger naked.  Seriously! Most hilarious grandma around!

What's the last funny book you read?

Monday, July 14, 2014

August Group Read Suggestions

It's that time of the month again! What are your suggestions for August?

We've already read...

On the Island
Eleanor & Park
Jane Eyre
The Rent Collector
Labor Day
Orphan Train
The Death of Bees
Liberating Paris
Life Sentences
Looking for Me
Ladder of Years
Where'd You Go Bernadette?
Beach Music
The Dinner
The End of Your Life Book Club
Still Alice 
The Song Remains the Same
Those Who Save Us
We Are All Welcome Here
Gone Girl
Prisoner of Tehran
The Wednesday Sisters
Looking for Alaska
Cutting for Stone
One Summer
The Year of Fog
Winter Garden
The Violets of March
Rebecca
State of Wonder
The Invisible Bridge
The Postmistress
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Still Missing
The Sandalwood Tree
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Something Borrowed
The Blue Orchard
Sammy's Hill
In the Woods
Shanghai Girls
The Weight of Water
Water for Elephants
The Color Purple
The One That I Want
The Secret Garden
House Rules
American Wife
Firefly Lane
Middlesex
The Reader
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Awakening
Pride & Prejudice
I See You Everywhere


I hope you can join us in August for another discussion! I will take suggestions until the 18th and then use random.org to pick a winner!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Catch Up!

We have been packing so much into our days since Isla got over her yucky first two weeks of break cold!  We pretty much went into break on full out retirement party planning mode and then right into camping preparations and then we came home and my best-friend was home from out of state so we went into hang out mode and then 4th of July festivities and then just summer fun activities! Holy run on sentence!

We work best with slow entrances into the day and then a morning activity, rest-time, snack, dinner, play outside with daddy as our man components of our summer.  I have to say this is the first summer were I haven't immediately wanted to go back to work so I feel like I've got this down a little bit!  We can do so much more and I feel like I have a better grasp on the individual she is now that she's a bit older so that makes things easier too.  I do however know that if I were to stay at home allll the time, we'd need to severely restrict some of our morning lazy/tv time and add more crafts and probably go to more kid friendly activities which is always my goal, but I suck at that whole social interaction thing so I tend to only attend things where I may not have to talk to others even though I really would like a new friend or five to hang out with!

We have been making sure to hit up the library once a week so she can get new books, play and get a summer reading prize.  I've been able to grab one book each time but occasionally sneak back later at night alone to get my personal selection.  I've been a reading machine and I love it! I've sucked myself back into the series I enjoy in the summer and I'm almost caught up with the new releases and I am contemplating joining a local mommy book club to discuss parenting stuff.  I even purchased the book but we will see if I chicken out or not!

I had been doing so well with working out in June and then we went camping and it all went to heck.  I've been recorded once a day since then.  The good news is that my eating habits are way better than they were last month even so that has even out stuff.  I came home from vacation the same weight so that is always a plus! And my body finally went back to my, "hey it's summer I don't want to eat as much," mode so that's great.  I do need to get better at drinking water, but for some reason it's soo hard for me to drink things! I know I do better with straws so I have a camelback straw cup that goes everywhere but I just seem to forget to drink until I'm dying!  I've battled some headaches lately and I don't know if it was a combo of dehydration/hormones/weather or what.  But not cool! Ever since giving birth my headaches immediately make me nauseated and I pretty much have to drink a coke to settle my stomach and take care of the headache with medicine.  I follow the coke up with a glass of water but if I do water first I still feel icky!

This morning is our first true super lazy morning all week.  Monday we went to two parks in the morning and then I went to the library by myself that night and did a 2 mile walk in town in a beautiful old neighborhood that was awesome.  Tuesday we went to Target to get some snacks and a gift for my friend's new baby, Isla had an appointment, then we went to Subway for lunch and stopped quickly at the library before we headed home for lunch because she was craaaanky but really wanted a new Elephant & Piggie book from the library.  I have a hard time saying no to books! Hence why she got her Imagination Library book in the mail, a new book at Target and a whole bag full from the library this week.  Between the two of us we have 5 bookcases full plus more in bags and boxes of books.  Yikes.  Wednesday we had a play date with a college friend and her three kids.  I thought hey, two hours outside playing will really knock her out.  Yeah, shortest nap ever.  Thank you neighbors yelling and swearing and using your chainsaw.  Wednesday night the husband and I had a date night at our local wine bar.  He had gotten me a gift card for Mother's Day so we used it on ourselves.  We got there for happy hour and it was buy 1 get one for 1 cent.  So of course we participated.  And then we had to use all 50 dollars at once so we got a ridiculous amount of food (they specialize in food to share) so we shared an olive oil bread tray, perch tacos, russet fries and some sweet and spicy shrimp.  Delicious.  We still needed one more purchase so to accompany my two Malbec's I had a yummy dark beer, I think it was  a stout, but it was vanilla something and it was yummy! Then we decided to go to our local taproom and have a Michigan beer and I tried a new Short's Red that I hadn't had before and it was delicious.  Thursday I woke up at 8:53 and I was supposed to meet my parents at 9 for breakfast because they had my kid! Whoops, got myself around in 10 minutes and managed to not be too late.  Then we headed out on the lake for awhile, hung out for nap time there and then came home for cheeseburgers with the husband.  Today we are going to a store, park and then tonight we are getting pizza and having dinner at a park.  Phew!

Thankfully, this is the only weekend in July we have no concrete plans but I think we may end up going back out on the lake but if not, the pool will be calling our name!

What have you been up to this summer?