Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
First of all, I actually won a random blog giveaway. And not just any giveaway, but a really awesome one. I don't read Seriously, so blessed! very often, but I decided to stop in the other day for some laughs. There was a giveaway and I decided to enter, assuming I wouldn't win. Not only did I win, but I got the biggest prize, which is a certificate for a getaway at the Homestead in Midway. Mr. Fob and I usually try to do something special for our anniversary and have often been able to spend a night away. This year we decided to move it up a little because late November won't be a great time for me to be far from home and I don't think I'll be feeling very romantic by then. We just made plans to stay in Salt Lake the night before we go to Sunstone in August, but it was going to be a little overnight at the Best Western or something like that. I'd been considering a bed and breakfast but was hesitant about spending the money since we need funds to pay for the baby. So, long story short, we finally get to stay overnight in the kind of place I've always dreamed about. We aren't golfers but are planning on visiting the spa. Now we just have to figure out a good weekend, hopefully sometime in September.
Secondly I had my first checkup today at the doctor's office. While there were some things that made me cry in a not-so-happy way (um, pap smear), everything else went really well. And I was surprised when they decided to do a quick ultrasound to double check dates and everything. Suddenly there it was: I'm definitely having a baby. A cute little baby with squirmy arms and legs and everything. Totally unreal. How does everyone feel about Groundhog Day for a birthday? Yay or nay?
Thirdly, a good friend dropped off some extra produce from her CSA for me. Even better, she also emailed me to find out if I'd like to go pick some raspberries with her. I've been craving raspberry jam for a few weeks now and I'm delighted to have found a way to make it possible. Thank you.
Perhaps today was such a wonderful day because our air conditioning got fixed yesterday and my house is now a balmy 78 degrees instead of 88. That makes everything better, right?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
So we took a little mini-vacation to Mr. Fob's sister's house in Saratoga Springs for the weekend. We had already planned to sleep over Friday night because she was watching the kids while we partied with friends in Salt Lake. We ate yummy Greek food and then watched the new Harry Potter movie (surprisingly good, I thought). Saturday morning we were pleasantly surprised by sleeping in late. Then we had a nice barbecue with some of my former roommates. It was great to see some of them after many years. Saturday night we headed back out to my sister-in-law's, but not before stopping off for a fund raising dinner by the Spanish-speaking ward in her stake. That was one of my favorite fund raising dinners ever; not your usual spaghetti at all. The food was abundant and the music was loud. We enjoyed empanadas, pupusas, and our absolute favorite from Peru: papa a la huancaina. Today we hung out all day in her cool house, and she even made us chocolate cake for dessert after dinner. Thankfully this weekend ended up being fun and relaxing after all and hopefully by tomorrow night things will be comfortable in our home again.
Monday, July 13, 2009
In better news, the kids are spending lots of time in the swimming pool and loving every minute of it. My sister-in-law is getting married soon (and my dress even fits her), and in a few weeks I get to go camping at the beach for a week with my parents. Mr. Fob has a job, we have a home, and I'm still pregnant.
I also don't think it's too late to link to this:
MADSEN Cargo Bikes
And, last but not least, if you're looking for some great Christmas presents, stock up now at Zarahemla Books. I especially recommend On the Road to Heaven and Long After Dark.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
I first discovered Lee Smith a few years ago through her novel Oral History, which I fell in love with as soon as I read it. Then I found this book on my shelf, unread, and decided to give it a go. I liked it even more than the first book by Smith that I had read; the voice in it is so strong and vivid that closing it feels like walking away from a new friend. It's an epistolary novel that spans the life of the protagonist, and while that may be a formula that doesn't always work, it is perfect here.
Before the Dawn by Dean Hughes
I know I can always count on Dean Hughes to tell good stories and tell them well. This book did not disappoint; all of the characters are vividly drawn and their stories are compelling. My only complaint with it was that I struggled to like the main character, but I believe that detail was intentional and it only made her moments of growth more fulfilling for me as a reader.
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
As an example of the craft of writing, this book is a masterpiece. Like most of McEwan's other works that I've read, his attention to detail and his ability to form sentences is amazing. But the plot and the characters were really not interesting to me and ultimately the book fell flat to me in the end. The ending was brilliant and unexpected, but I just didn't care that much.
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
After reading Angle of Repose last year, and now this book, I think I'm officially a fan of Stegner and plan to read more of his books soon. At the same time, I have a hard time pinning down exactly what I like about his writing. It's subtle and stunning at the same time. He writes about small, simple things and manages to make them compelling and important.
Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Food by Gary Paul Nabhan
I picked up this book from the library because I like books about food and I'm interested in the idea of eating more local and fresh foods. The book certainly covered those areas, but I still didn't enjoy it as much as similar books that I've read. The author is obviously a scientist and not a writer, and so the quality of writing was really uneven. In the end I thought some parts were interesting, but the book as a whole just didn't do much to convince me of anything.
I think this could have been a good movie, but it tried to hard to incorporate everything from the book and ended up feeling like a slow march from one major event to another without much connecting the threads together. It mostly just made me want to go read the book again.
This movie is a fun concept that was poorly executed. There were a few scenes that were not meant to be funny and yet ended up being so unintentionally. Generally we liked it, but it could certainly use some polishing up and some better acting.