the fun one

There's no doubt in this house who the fun one is-

And now Jilly asks for a "potato dance party" every night after dinner.  


five on friday

1. Jilly stayed with my family for a few extra days after our trip this weekend.  While she was gone I couldn't believe how quiet it was at home, and I kept thinking how easy it was to just have one kid (something I would not have told you two years ago.)  In all honesty those days were quite nice, but we missed our chatty, happy girl and were so glad to have her home on Wednesday.  

2.  Mattie got a rotten stomach bug this week.  She didn't eat much over the weekend then on Monday she couldn't keep anything down at all.  It was kind of terrifying because we're already worried about her being underweight.  We were just a few hours away from having to take her to the ER but after a long nap she finally was able to drink and eat a little bit.  She's back to herself now, thank goodness!

3. I finished reading The Expats this week; it was so good that while I was reading at the gym I suddenly realized that I had been on the bike for over an hour after planning to only be there for 30 minutes.  My muscles paid for it the rest of the week.

4.  It's gotten a bit colder and I've discovered we are embarrassingly unprepared for the winter that is quickly coming our way.  I upgraded Jilly from a single pair of socks (that were Halloween socks) to a six pack and bought lots of leggings for her.  So, now maybe we'll make it through November. 

5.  Mattie is at a fun stage where she surprises me every day with new things she can understand and say.  The other day she found some deodorant and proceeded to lift up her shirt and rub some on her tummy.  While Jilly was gone we were heading out the door and Mattie suddenly ran over and turned off the tv- that is always Jilly's job before we go and I had no clue that Mattie had been watching her and knew how to turn it off.

Happy Weekend!!


Conference Weekend

Last weekend was General Conference- a chance to listen to our prophet and other leaders through broadcast.  We went down to Richmond to watch with my family.  On Saturday morning we went to Ashland Berry Farm, where my family goes almost every year but I hadn't been in 10 years!  It was just as great as I remembered- free hayride and all you can carry pumpkins for $20.  We found perfect pumpkins, loaded Bryan up, then Jilly and Ty went through the hay maze.  We got lunch and went to Tyler's soccer game (he won!) then spent the rest of the weekend watching Conference, playing outside, and eating lots of mom's delicious food.  The girls basked in all the extra attention from their grandparents and aunts and uncles, and we all loved the relaxing and uplifting weekend


five fact friday

(one) Our sweet neighbor gave us a bag of clothes for the girls.  Jilly got to the bag before I could run interference and has fallen in love with dresses that I swear I wore in 1992.  Happily, this leotard was also in the bag and Jilly has fallen in love with ballet.

(two) You know you watch too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when your 16-month-old says "mee mou" (Minnie Mouse) and "hoh dah" and does an impressive hot dog dance.  This week Mattie also started talking in full sentences (if you define sentence very loosely.)  At least 15,000 times a day she says "Want dink" (drink.)   

(three) On Wednesday Bryan was working out in the field and finished early so they said he could come home and not worry about going in to the office.  So we used our free afternoon to go swimming at the Y.  It was such an unexpected and fun afternoon.

(four)  We've had a little bit of mouse trouble this week.  Twice we've had a mouse climb up our fence then jump into our trash can (outside by the curb far from the house) then die in there.  It's super gross and besides seeing enough dead mice to last my entire life I am now completely freaked out that there are mice in my house.  Every time I go down to the basement I turn on all the lights then stand on the couch just to be on the safe side.  And I was not overly enthusiastic when my girls wanted to oogle at the mice at the pet store this week.  (But check out that ombre!)

(five)  Happy Conference Weekend!!  More info here on one of my favorite weekends of the year.

 (one of the offending dresses from our neighbor... cringe-worthy)


third quarter books

I read a few really great new and different books these past few months- a great improvement over last quarter when I mostly listened to some of my old favorites  I also joined a Book Club which I am really enjoying.  And, thanks to BCPL I have a constant pile of books at the ready- oh happy day.

19.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - This was really fun to read.  A.J. Fikry is a somewhat grumpy bookstore owner whose life takes some very unexpected turns.  I cried when this book ended; I really loved it.

20.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - I love how he expertly weaves stories together.  This was just as terrific as his other books (my favorite, I think) and it left me feeling humbled and grateful.  My only critique is that some of the story lines seemed to end abruptly- I wanted more.

21.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - This story is told in flashback by ninety-eight-year-old Grace who witnessed a terribly tragic event as a young woman in service at Riverton House.  It's very Downton Abbey-esque taking place during the same time period and in a very similar setting.  The story was haunting and so beautifully written.  Kate Morton is a new favorite author of mine.

22.  Landline by Rainbow Rowell - Georgie find out she must stay and work over Christmas instead of going to Omaha with her family as planned.  Her frustrated husband packs up their kids and heads to Omaha without her so she spends the next few days at her mom's house.  She uses the old landline to call her husband at his parent's house but instead of her current husband she gets her husband back in their college days before they were engaged.  This was a really fun book, especially since I read it while at my parents' house and away from Bryan (I was tempted many times to pick up their landline and see if I'd reach college Bryan.)  I tried reading Fangirl earlier this year and just wasn't into it, but I really loved this one, so perhaps I'll give Rainbow Rowell another try.

23.  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford - Henry and Keiko are united by their love of jazz music and the fact that neither of them are white, but they are proud Americans.  The best friends are ultimately separated as tensions against the Japanese escalate during WWII.  This was fascinating and profound.  I love how the story comes together through past and present (my new plot obsession.)

24.  Saints by Orson Scott Card - It took me 8 months to get through the first half, then I finished the last half in 1 month.  The beginning tells about Dinah's life in Manchester and learning about Mormonism.  It was interesting, but slow going (thus the 9 months.)  the last half takes place in Nauvoo with the early saints.  I thought it was interesting how Card was able to weave a fictional character into the lives of real people- mostly Joseph Smith.  This book is definitely not for everyone but I thought Card's research and take on polygamy was fascinating.  Also, he wrote about early leaders of the church as real people, didn't shy away from flaws or mistakes they may have made.  This didn't bother me at all, but I know it does bother some people.  So, take it with a grain of salt, but really was a well-written book that I enjoyed.

25.  To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean's older sister has just left for college in Scotland and she is feeling the extra weight of being the oldest Song sister at home now.  Amidst this stress Lara Jean learns that love letters she has written to all the boys she's ever had crushes on have accidentally been sent out to these boys- her life is a wreck and she has to figure out some way to put it all together again.  This was so fun to read.  It was unpredictable and cute and I thought the characters were so real and likeable.  I hated the ending as it didn't really wrap everything up until I realized there is a sequel coming next spring.  Can't wait.

26.  The One & Only by Emily Giffin - Shea Rigsby has lived and worked in the same city all her life but after the traumatic death of her best friend's mother she decides to make more of her life.  I really enjoyed reading this, but when I finished I thought "that was kind of dumb."  I thought Shea was SO ANNOYING, but I did enjoy the football aspects of the book.

27.  Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - I got this on a whim one day when I needed an audiobook for a long drive and my girls' behavior made it impossible to attempt browsing in the adult section of the library.  It was a cute and sweet story of best friends and made me desperate to move across the street from a little girl exactly Jilly's age.

28.  The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean - This was our September selection for Book Club and not a book I ever would have chosen myself.  For the most part I thought it was pretty dry, but parts were very interesting.  I was about a third of the way through when I found out I'd have to miss Book Club for another commitment so I just decided it wasn't worth finishing.  But, if you're at all interested in chemistry, you'd probably like it a lot.

What have you been reading and loving?


apple of my eye

On Saturday morning we headed to Brown's Orchard in Loganville, PA
It was beautiful up there and we had the most perfect fall weather.
Between munching on apples and the free cider samples we definitely got our money's worth
And came home with a bag full of the most beautiful apples I've ever seen


five on friday

1- Oh Autumn.  Sweaters, soup, a cool breeze, leaves, football, pumpkins, new tv shows, apple-picking, perfect weather.  This week has been absolutely delightful, and I'll take many, many more just like it.

2- After Mattie's antics on Monday I'm afraid things didn't get much better.  Apparently she's decided to start her terrible two's 8 months early.  Her bad behavior culminated yesterday when she threw my phone at my face, leaving me with a painful fat lip.  But when she's not being a demon, she's a cuddly, happy, sweet angel and her vocabulary is exploding, which is so much fun.        

3- We had a little scare this week when Jilly fell in love with a Rainbow Barbie dress at Target.  She's been fully committed to an Elsa costume for the past year.  So committed that we have an Elsa dress hidden in my closet (thanks to her Nana who saved the day by finding one at Costco and mailing it to us.)  We took a picture of the Barbie dress at Target and Jilly talked about it/stared at the picture nonstop for a couple days but I think we've finally talked her down from the ledge and are safely on Team Elsa again.

4- I re-watched the last few episodes of Gilmore Girls this week.  Never ever in the history of television has there been a more perfect series finale.  Bryan watched with me (or sat next to me watching something else on the computer) and was a little underwhelmed by the show and overwhelmed by my emotions while watching.

5- We got out our Halloween decorations and the girls have been feasting on four-year-old candy corn we found in the box (literally, it was one of those stuffed animals that's full of candy and I know we got it that long ago.)  So far neither of the girls has gotten sick, and Mattie has finally mastered signing please in return for the candy so I'm just gonna go with it.

Happy Weekend!!