Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Red Glee Christmas
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Thankful

It is almost Thanksgiving, but I am preoccupied with thoughts of Savannah leaving for New York today. I have one million things to do, yet I am sitting here in my pajamas updating my neglected blog. I am so excited for Savannah. What an amazing opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall--not to mention just experiencing New York City. My battle for the day is to try to focus on the excitement and not my nervousness. She will be fine, right!? Right. Of course she will. Savannah is a good and cautious girl and I know she will keep herself safe. I think that Eric better take her to the airport, though, so she isn't embarrassed when I turn into a blubbering mess.

I just want to publicly thank all those who have helped Savannah in so many ways--you know who you are!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I don't know if it's great that we have to actually designate a holiday to being grateful or if' it's a little sad. Either way it's easier to focus on being grateful after eating pie!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Good One

Something MissingSomething Missing by Matthew Dicks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Martin is a professional thief. But he only takes things from his "clients" that they will never miss: some laundry detergent here, a can of tomato soup there, and the occasional diamond earring. The first third of the book is on its way to tedious as Martin's meticulously thorough thievery is explained in detail. He covers every track and keeps records of his every move (even if they are recorded on a computer hard drive that is hidden where no one would ever find it). It is almost exhausting to what lengths he goes to in order to avoid detection. Several times I wanted to shout, "Get a job! It would be easier than this!" But as the plot finally begins to take shape, Martin, against every rule in his detailed rule-book, becomes involved in more than one "client's" life and his own life changes forever.

Martin is very likable, if aggravating. I was rooting for him. I loved the ending.

**Audio Review: The narrator was excellent and I enjoyed listening to him.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Read this Series

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I bought this book the day it came out and just barely finished it last night--very unlike me. What with school starting and a million birthdays, I couldn't find the time. Before last night I had finished about half of the book. I had a good hour to dedicate to it last night and then couldn't stop.

I was so conflicted while reading. I love a book that can make me uncomfortable and unsure about what I really want from it. Did I want all those people to die? Of course not! But it was more realistic that they did. I felt true anguish for Katniss and her mother when Prim died. And I literally felt sick to my stomach when Coin proposed another Hunger Games. But I was happy with the way things turned out.

I have to address the Gale versus Peeta subject. Going into this book I was torn. They are both great choices. But I think, in the end, she made the right one. Gale is right--she always would have wondered if he inadvertently caused Prim's death. And Katniss is right--she needs someone who can calm her. Peeta hadn't even been rescued before I knew I would pick him for her. And I am so glad it turned out that way. I do sometimes wish that Katniss could see herself in a better light, and I think it is Peeta that helps her do that.

This is not a cheery series. But it is very realistic and complex. And it is hopeful. Though it is set in an imagined future, it is not all that far-fetched. I love the way Collins writes. All her characters come to life in such a complete way. I am sad the series is over, but I think the ending was perfect.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Little Randomness

Most of the following pictures were taken at random times for no special reason. I am including them because they are cute/funny/strange or just because.

Ryder couldn't wait to wear his new "handsome clothes"

He didn't mind that the hat and jeans don't necessarily complete the outfit

Some Hayley cuteness back in January

Sage and Ryder

Ryder won't eat his dinner but he will eat a nasty football

Which reminds me of a little conversation I had with Ryder recently:

Jenn: Ryder, when are you to start eating the dinners that I cook for you?
Ryder: Ummm. You mean the gross food?

Haven with her friend Bella at their school's Princess Day

Hayley asleep with Savannah

Hayley asleep with Sage

Hail!! In April! Unbelievable!

Sage's picture of Haven

Another Sage photo

I don't know--eating cereal

Savannah tuning at her most recent concert

Sage--we never got a picture of the front of her

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Catch-Up Begins

Are you missing Christmas? (Don't worry, it is right around the corner. Seriously. It is practically here. You should start shopping now. Or crying.) Since I am so far behind in my postings of family events, I am going back to do a quick overview of Christmas. At this point I really don't remember much about it. I think there were some presents involved and a trip to Utah. At least I do have pictures (mostly thanks to my mom's new camera).

Christmas morning. Haven finds the pickle.

Ryder and his loot.

Haven can't believe she got just what she wanted.

Savannah and Sage seem pretty happy.

Eric gave me this most amazing present. It is a collage he put together of all the pictures of doors I took while we were in Europe. I can't tell you how much I love it!

Family AND snow in Utah?! What more can you ask for?

New Year's Eve festivities.

More Utah fun.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mom's Day

I just want to say Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in my life. Especially my very own mother. She is THE BEST and I love her more than I can say. She has always been there for me and I can never thank her enough for that.

There are also lots of other moms in my life who I appreciate: Eric's mom Barbara, my grandma Kopp, my sister Natalie and all of my sisters-in-law, cousins and friends who are such amazing examples to me.

I am also thankful to be a mom. My kids definitely got the raw end of the deal, but they are the major source of happiness in my life. (They also make me the most crazy--but that is a post for another day.)

I recently asked Ryder and Haven the following question: "If I were not your mom, who would you want to be your mom instead?" Ryder seriously considered the question and after many contemplative seconds answered, "No one." He got lots of hugs and kisses for that answer. Later when I asked Haven she answered--with zero hesitation--almost as if she had thought of this many times, "Bella's mom." (That is you, Angie.) Hmmmm. I am not dumb enough to ask the big girls. My ego can only take so many hits.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


We still love and miss you...

Erik James Wilson
November 15, 1979 - March 2, 2007

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Favorite Kind of Walk

I realize that I've been very bookcentric in my posts lately, but I've been wanting to post about a certain book for quite a while. When I was a little girl I had a favorite picture book. How can you not love a book that has your own name in the title? The book is called "Jennifer's Walk." It is about a little girl named Jennifer who--you guessed it--goes for a walk. There is a map of her walk in the front and back of the book which I always loved. In one of our moves as a kid, I lost it. That fact has always made me very sad. Occasionally I look for it online (it is out of print) and lament the fact that the existing copies are just too expensive.

Imagine my surprise when I got a package in the mail a few months ago. It was "Jennifer's Walk!" And it was from my mom. How sweet is that? I started bawling when I saw it. I am so happy to have it and so grateful to my mom for such a thoughtful gift. I keep it in a special spot--not on the kids' bookshelf. But Haven loves to read it and we enjoy it together often. Thank you so much mom! Now, if I can only find one of those Mandy dolls...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Wonder it's a Classic

Gone With The Wind Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I never envisioned myself reading this book. I knew it was on several top 100 books of all time lists, and that many people I personally know love it. It just didn't seem to be for me. I was so wrong. There is so much to be said about this book that affected me, but I will stick to just a few points.

I now consider myself to have been fully schooled--from the Confederate side--in Civil War history. Never has a history lesson been so enjoyable and heartbreaking. I believe I have always viewed the Civil War and the South's part in it in a very one-sided way. I guess that I mainly learned that when there is war, individual people are affected, not just collective sides.

I am completely amazed at Mitchell's conception of Scarlett. What complexity in an almost simple minded character! I don't think I have ever loved a character that I've hated so much. It was astonishing to root for such a mean-hearted, selfish and foolish woman. And each time I vowed that I was "done" with Scarlett, she won me back. I was entirely impressed with her personal resolve and determination, but for the people she had to step on to attain her goals. How is it possible to root for someone who is a terrible mother, who mistreats friends and family and employees, and who has no qualms whatsoever about these actions? Yet I did root for her--even to the point where I was heartbroken for her in the end (even though I realize I garner her contempt with my pity).

Melanie was another incredibly complex character for me. I almost wish there could be a counterpart to GWTW written from Melanie's perspective.

The relationship between slaves and the slave owners was so interesting. For instance, Scarlett would talk about her family's slaves as if they were children, yet there were few people who Scarlett would listen to or did not want to disappoint as she did Mammy.

There really is so much more to say about this book. And I will always be glad that I read it.

**Audio Review**Expertly read by Linda Stephens. Her voices were subtle yet distinct. I didn't tire of her through all 50 hours!

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is it Too Late?

I am going to assume, mainly because I don't know or care to know the hard and fast rules of New Year's Resolutions, that it is acceptable to publicly announce a few of my own resolutions on January 30th. It is a fact that there are a few that I haven't begun yet and that there may be one or two that I've already blown. But I do take them seriously as a chance to better myself and allow myself to blog at this late date about one or two in the spirit of tradition (this is, I think, year three).

1. My original idea for this resolution was to read at least 50 quality books this year--not including fluff. But what is fluff, really? And it is a fact that I need some less demanding books between the more cerebral. So I have modified my resolution to include basically any 50 books. I feel that this resolution is ambitious enough while still being something I can reasonably accomplish. To date I have completed seven books (not including the one I quit half way through). I am trying to get as far ahead as I can to allow for those books that may take longer or for when Glee starts up again.

2. I am going to run a five mile race. (Run, walk, crawl...whatever.) Eric is running in the Canyonlands half-marathon in Moab this March and agreed to run the five miler. Despite my secret wishes that our names would not be chosen in the race lottery, we were selected. I guess we'll see how it goes.

3. I am going to start blogging a little more. ("A little more than never," you say?) I have recently realized how often I refer to it for information--recipes, dates, events. So I am going to try harder. I obviously haven't been committed to this one yet.

Good luck to those of you out there who are setting goals. Does it really matter what day of the year it is?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

That's Right, I Know the Author

Flowering in the Desert Flowering in the Desert by Angie Welsh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It isn't because I know the author that I give this book a glowing review. From the beginning I felt transported back to my own childhood and marveled at the authenticity of main character Mandy's experiences and teenage feelings. I especially appreciated the truthful depictions of growing up as a Mormon in a Utah town. And before you assume that this novel is for Mormon readers only, it definitely is not. While Mandy's faith does play a significant roll in her life and her decisions as a teenager, she is a typical young woman trying to make her way through life via high school. And don't let the cover fool you, the time frame is actually the past couple of decades.

Well done, Angie! I look forward to more from you.

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