Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Heart Eyes for February Books

I'm not going to lie, February's book post is going to take all of three minutes to read. 
This was not a big reading month. Life just keeps picking up speed and reading goes to the wayside.
You may not find a lot of books here, but you will find good books.
I was happy with the few I finished this month.
So, read on, and get some great recommendations :)


#1 The Mothers by Brit Bennett. This is a debut novel getting a lot of attention right now. It's a coming of age story about a young couple whose relationship wains when hard decisions are made. As years pass, they question whether things could/should have gone a different way. However, there are more people to consider now that time has passed. It's a good book. I was most drawn to the setting in Oceanside, California where we lived for so long. It felt so familiar and really transported this homesick girl back to home :) I appreciated that. However, I just don't see the wow factor people are talking about. A great book but I think there are better books out there. Go find them :) 
I'm not recommending this one.


#2 We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Agozi Adichie. This is a short non-fiction piece of a TedTalk Adichie gave once upon a time. The topic is feminism. Not in your face, angry feminism but a gentle prodding to consider long held beliefs/assumptions that no longer fit into our changing world. It is intelligent and relevant to everyone, not just women. I want everyone read this book, especially my daughter :) It just makes sense...and it's only 40 pages...so it's do-able. 
Recommending this one!

#3 The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino. What a fun read. My favorite book this month and so far, this year! I do not watch Fixer Upper but I'm a fan of this couple.  The book is written in alternating voice between Chip and Joanna telling their story, mostly pre- Fixer Upper tv show. It's interesting, funny, endearing, and inspiring. 
I highly recommend The Magnolia Story. You will fly right through this book.

That's all the books for February. Time to figure out what to read in March.
I'm thinking its time for a Hunger Games re-read.
Not really sure what else is out there. I'm looking for a really good fictional story that isn't too heavy. Any suggestions?

Linking up here and here and here for tons of book recommendations. 
Go read them all!



Monday, February 27, 2017

A Year of Family Selfies

Hello on this Monday! I was clearing out my draft folder and thought this post should go live.
Just some random goal I came up with and managed to complete in 2016.

A Year of Family Selfies. That was the random goal :) 

Ultimately, I was just happy to have a monthly family picture.
I wasn't going for anything glamorous, just simple pictures documenting us in real life each month.
Being a military family was a major complication.
A year of selfies doesn't equal 12. A year of selfies gets to be whatever the military 
decides he will here for.

In 2016, the magic number was 6. 
A mediocre number, Marine Corps, but still thankful for 6 :)



Hiking Idyllwilde January 2016


Miniature golf Murrieta February 2016 
(no Zachy)


San Francisco in March 2016



Bearizona in April 2016


University of North Carolina Wilmington- May 2016



Movie bound- June 2016


A goodbye in July 2016

Just to complete a full year, I'm adding our homecoming picture.


A hello in January 2017.

I think we need to try again in 2017. Kind of hoping for 12 pictures this year ;)







Friday, February 24, 2017

Catching Up Since Heart Day. And Other Randomness.

Why does Snapchat default to Hello Kitty for every holiday? I do love a Hello Kitty filter but I'm not convinced of its holiday relevancy. Just a random thought to start us off :)


I am way, way behind with blogging about this Valentine's Day post. I hummed and ha'd over posting this oldie. After a lot of consideration, I'm going with yes. I write too many posts that I never post. Currently, I have 25 blog posts I have written and never published.
Weird, huh? Big ol' waste of time.

Today I'm filling you in on life over the past 10 days: I will try to get current with this blog after today :) 
Just like every year, our Valentine's Day was spent at home with kids. We've always been stay at home Heart Day people. I wish we had some passionate belief that made us choose that.
I just think it was easy and we kind of stuck with that.
 I try to make dinner festive for everyone. I decorate the table, make a favorite meal, 
and have small gifts for all. 
This year, I made Italian Tortellini Soup and homemade chocolate cake for dessert. 
Then my husband and I topped all that richness off with more chocolate and wine.

I get the whole--overpriced, marketing scheme idea--but I say celebrate those you love.
When you are a busy couple or family, it's hard to take time to do that.
Valentine's Day is an excuse to do that--a great excuse.


Valentine's Day was made so much sweeter with block leave, which is the military's reward for deployment. Thank you military!
I took a day off to bum around with him.
We went down to the intercoastal waterway to see the progress being made on the new bridge.
A big news for our small town.
It was a good day to be near the water. It was so clear and the tide low. 
There were plenty of fish swimming around to keep us entertained.


 The rest of the week was spent doing normal life stuff: 
Starting a new book: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
I don't follow the Fixer Upper tv show but I do love their story(telling).
It makes me laugh and inspires me.



Prepping and shopping for our road trip.


And since this post was written over a week ago, we are currently on that trip.


And we are enjoying ourselves :) I'll give you one guess where that is!
Anyways, I'm putting this post up so I can get back on track.








Nicole

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekending.

It's not often that we do weekending well. This weekend felt like a celebration and we were pulling out all the stops. I say that with mild sarcasm because we didn't do anything too extravagant. We did make a point to enjoy near 80 degree temps in February. I told you it was a Wacky Winter




Sunday was so warm. The beach was screaming our name. We drove all the way to base to go to Onslow Beach. A beach that is notorious for shark teeth (or some kind of teeth, you know I'm a skeptic). After walking about 50 yards, we couldn't hang. It was incredibly windy and cold. In the picture about you can see streaks of white. That is the sand blowing across the beach. Ouch!
We weren't prepared so we spent a total of 5 minutes and left. 



The colors of the beaches out here are so pretty. 
I've heard it called the Crystal Coast which totally makes sense. 
I had no idea the beaches were like this here. 
I'm definitely getting an itching for summer days.
Slowly, I'm starting to adjust (I think).


Saturday was gorgeous weather too.
Zac was "bored" because he ran out of screen time.
He got a little picky about what chores to do last week.
Of course, there is nothing to do around here...
Typical teenage complaints!


Mom can always come up with ideas that don't include video games.
Dad is good about implementing those ideas :)


I feel like a lot of people have certain ideas about who I am and what I like.
I might enjoy my "city girl" life, but I grew up country. 
My aim is pretty good :)


What is a weekend without reading?
I finished We Should All Be Feminists and The Mothers this weekend. 
I highly recommend We Should All Be Feminists. It's only 40 pages and very concisely written.
It is not in-your-face, angry feminist views. 
It's a gentle prodding of norms we probably shouldn't hold.
The Mothers was an okay book. It's stand out quality was the setting was in Oceanside, California.
It was so familiar to me and I loved that!
The Magnolia Story is up next.


 And this happened. I registered for my GRE seat.
I've been wanting to go back to school for a long time but I keep putting it off.
No more excuses or procrastinating.
I have 30 days to seriously study for this test.
Hoping grad school will be a reality this fall.


I almost forgot to tell you what we are celebrating! 
No more basketball games to take up our entire Saturday :)
Derrick's team is going out on top. 
Zac's team at the bottom.
Both ways, the boys had fun.
And the basketball program was excellent here. 
It is very much for every child (sport lovers and non-sport lovers). 
I can say that because I have one of each :)
The coaches were amazing!

Nicole

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wacky Winter. North Carolina.

Last week, Phil the groundhog saw his shadow. Such sad news that we would have six more weeks of winter! However, I think most of the country would agree this winter hasn't been so bad. It doesn't seem anyone is getting much winter weather in the US minus the occasional snow dump in the northern parts :)


For us, winter has meant a lot of blue skies :)



No snow here. Or rain.


Just plenty of 70-plus degree days to enjoy.

If this is what 6 more weeks of winter will look like, then I will suffer through :)