Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book Review: The Knitting Alchemist

Over the past two weeks, I have read two great books and one not-so-great book. This post is going to primarily focus on the good rather than bad!! The first book I read (OUR JULY BOOK CLUB CHOICE)is called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book is very short and is about a young shepherd in search of his Personal Legend. This is great because everyone should have a personal legend--and whether or not they acheive it is up to the individual. I know what my personal legend is...whether or not I get there is solely up to me. The book has definitely inspired me, to say the least...and I highly recommend it!
The next book I read is called The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. This is Kate's first book and she did a PHENOMENAL job with it. It was so good that the second I finished it (during a lunch break), I ran it straight downstairs to my friend to take with her on her honeymoon. It was THAT good. This is more of a girl-read, though, but it is by NO MEANS a chick-lit book. The story revolves around the life of Georgia Walker and the struggles and relationships in her life. I can't go more into detail or it will spoil the book - but this one comes HIGHLY recommended by Jaimie it's GOTTA be good!!!
The final book that I read is called Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Yes, those are the same authors that wrote The Nanny Diaries. They have a very poor quality in regard to their writing style. I didn't even want to finish it--but out of principle, I chugged on and finished the damn thing. Notagoodbook. These two writers need to stop writing...they refuse to develop characters (which is why she gives them stupid names like "Girl", "Guy" and "Mrs. X"). The authors want to put the reader in the situation of the character so he/she can relate to the situations the character is going through. The book lost my focus so many times...Just don't pick it up.
Once again, I have put pictures of The Alchemist and The Friday Night Knitting Club below so you can easily identify them in the book store!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ode to Ventura

Saturday night, Andy and I went to a BEAUTIFUL wedding at Walnut Creek Chapel to celebrate the marriage of my friend, Jennifer Miller a.k.a. Ventura! The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was great. The food was YUMMY...and I think i need a permanent chocolate fountain in my living room. Serious. Congratulations to Jennifer and Tom Ventura! To infinity...and BEYOND!!!
Below are two pictures of Andy and me. I couldn't decide which was my fav!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Forced Change

All good things must come to an end--so describes my current working situation. I have two of the best bosses that a girl could ask for and, on Friday, that tense will be changed to HAD. For the past four and a half years I have been blessed with a man who has always had my back in the worst of situations and a woman with the best open-door policy ever. Now both are leaving my firm to go work for one of our competitors and are most likely taking two of my closest work buddies and I am feeling completely and utterly deserted. Fortunately for me, I have another goal in my life that I am currently working towards (and that good news will be blogged about in about a week, fingers crossed!)--and my job gives me the liberty to accomplish it; however, that fact does not take away the hurt (and, yes, there's a little bit of anger there) of losing my friends--the people that keep me sane through the work week. It isn't as if one person is leaving, but MY ENTIRE GROUP (with the exception of two attorneys) and I am going to carry the burden of all of the attorneys left behind (there are a total of six, and that's a bit too much). A co-worker told me this morning "forced change can be a very good thing". I hope she's right--I'm placing all of my bets on that quote. I am entering a place that I've never been before--a place where there is no plan, situations in which I do not know what to expect and it's happening against my will. In the end, everything will be okay, I just have to keep looking straight and barreling ahead to the future.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: Driving with Dead People

How appealing is THAT title? It certainly attracted my attention during a visit to Borders a couple of weeks ago--so much that I purchased it on a whim! I could hardly wait to finish the book I was reading to begin my journey with Monica Holloway's Driving with Dead People: A Memoir. A Memoir! Holy cow, this is going to be AWESOME--or so I thought. It turns out that the only interesting part about this book was the title. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that I know who appreciates a good book. I was not captivated by the author's life story--which, in short, is about a young girl's family struggle with an abusive dad and a selfish mother. The book is supposed to represent someone who has overcome the tragedies in her life and triumphed in the end--but I didn't feel as if she had grown as a character through the book. She played too much to the 'whoa is me, I'm such a victim' and I wasn't a big fan of it all. If it wasn't the father abusing her, or her mother ignoring her…it was that her sisters 'hated' her or her brother was mean to her…or her boyfriend left her high and dry when she got pregnant (spoiler alert: she aborts the baby!)…and it goes on and on like this.
I have since finished that book, read another (which I will blog about after book club, as it is our choice for the month of July!) and am currently in the middle of a fantastic book (again, will blog about later) and I would like to leave the driving of dead people to Monica Holloway. Her 'memoir' will soon be my distant memory.
Please Note: Unlike my other book posts, I shall not be posting the cover of the book here, as I would hate to burden you with having to look at it! I've already given it more attention than it deserves!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fabulous Fourth!!

Albeit two weeks late, but--alas! I am here and am going to give you an inside glimpse to The Lopez Fourth of July! Family, Fun, Food, Friends and Fireworks are all of the wonderful F's that made up this Fantabulous day! In the morning, Andy, Jadyn and I relaxed at my parents house and took a leisurly swim in the pool. The day was BEA-utiful, to say the least! Around 4pm, we picked Ethan up and headed up to good 'ol Guthrie, Oklahoma (okay, so it's way-north Edmond, but it's on the cusp of the Guthrie border) to Andrea and Kevin's house (and baby Riley, too!) where we had a wonderful dinner and a great visit with Andy's family and Kevin's family. Much of the afternoon consisted of faulty dry-ice bombs and colorful stink bombs--darkness couldn't come fast enough, but when it did--THE MOST EXCITEMENT EVER is the best way to describe it. Armed with an ARSENOL of Fireworks provided by Kevin and Andrea, we were able to enjoy an hours-long display and the boys got to play with fire. Riley didn't even want to miss out. He decided sleeping wasn't good enough and that the adults were having too much fun so that little boy decided to stay up way past 10pm and he LOVED every second of it!!
It is amazing how many fireworks are ignited where it is legal. The boys got up on the roof and they described continuous fireworks displays blazing the sky in every direction -- all of them from private residences. At midnight, the entire neighborhood was still booming. Literally. The most fun was when the boys decided that throwing fireworks at each other was how they wanted to spend their time and it was HILARIOUS watching them jump here and there while trying to protect their toes from fire!
Around 12:30a.m., the fireworks had run out, but that only meant a trip to the fireworks stand. The girls (and Andy) went inside so the other boys could purchase more lethal weapons, when all of a sudden Kevin runs in the house and says "You guys have got to come outside and see what is going by. It's really weird" (not verbatim, but you get it)…and we go out on the front porch and all of these crazy lights are drifting soundlessly through the sky. I have never been more frightened in my entire life. They looked like UFO's trailing next to each other and going in a line. I just remember saying over and over 'This is NOT happening'…and it turns out, it wasn't--Kevin's friend (we shall call him "Q") called them Chinese Lanterns. (Those are lanterns that are released into the sky and they drift off until they burn out--mostly used in Chinese celebrations.) The feeling of fright that I had in the pit of my stomach upon seeing them is a feeling that I would NEVER like repeated again. It was even more sickening than sitting through a scary movie (Mothman Prophesies, Emily Rose…). Anyway…that concludes our Fabulous Fourth, with the exception of the long drive home at 1:30 in the morning!!!

Sadly, my night pictures didn't come out too well, but here are a few good day-pics!

The kids ready for a night of fun (yes, Ethan's sportin' a gold faux-hawk!)

Riley and Mommy about to try out the Mexican Slip and Slide!

Jadyn isn't afraid to light her some fireworks!

Ethan was lighting them all night long!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer Reading: Dunces and Dogs!

I recently completed two fantastic books: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. If you are looking for a bit of light reading, I highly recommend each of these books.

Dunces is about a well-educated man (Ignatius J. Reilly) who lives with his mother and refuses to utilize his education to support himself. This book is very well written (and not to mention HILARIOUS!). Interesting fact: The author posthumously won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as he commited suicide in 1969 and his book wasn't published until 1980!

Curious Incident is told in the point of view of an autistic boy (Christopher) who wants to solve the murder of a poor little poodle in his neighborhood and ends up uncovering a dark secret of the past. This book is interesting for the fact that it shows you how an autistic person thinks--how his mind works, which I found very intriguing.

So, once again, I show you the covers of the books below--so you have no trouble identifying them at the book store:
A Confederacy of Dunces:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time:

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Camp Funnybone 2008

Last week, Jadyn and Ethan attended clown camp at none other than my alma mater, Heritage Hall! They both had so much fun clownin' around and acquired the basic essentials of being a clown: balloons, magic and face paint! Saturday the kids put on a marvelous performance (they can spin plates on sticks like no other!!!), demonstrating all of the fun stuff they learned--and at the end of the show, each received a clown diploma. They are now *OFFICIAL* clowns, although...we already knew that! Below are a few fun pictures of our babies!
Face Paint:

In full costume:


Jadyn (her personality really shines through, eh?):

Clown Diplomas:

And Riley wanted to get in on the fun, too!!!

Please Note: I have no idea why the pictures are smaller than the frame...I tried to fix it with no success! Boo!