Link Love – Week 34

Link Love - Week 34

Don’t Make These Five Blogging Mistakes Number four is a biggie!

Welcome to Half-Way Homestead “Half-way, but so very happy.” Great quote to describe your family :)

8 Dream Homes That Aren’t McMansions I can’t decide which one is the coolest!!!

Homeschool Mom’s Night Out Ideas Mom’s night out? Whaaaaaat 😉

Chicken Fingers with Everything Sauce Because fried food is healthy if you make it home right?!

Our Kids Don’t Belong in School Excellent article about the secular homeschool movement in Boston.

4 Ways to Repurpose Content From Your Archives Excellent advice.

Peanut butter banana trail cookies My children would kill for these cookies!

THIS IS EVERYTHING!!! Ahem. Sorry. I just love Chrissy.

Just in case you’re thinking of having kids close in age YES! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

40 Books by 40 – We Are Water by Wally Lamb

40Books

I have become a lazy reader in recent years. In order to get back into a reading routine and make myself more accountable, I challenged myself to read 40 books by the time I am 40. I am, ahem, 33 years old which only means about 5 books a year so it will probably be more, but 40 by 40 has a nice ring to it so I’m leaving it :)

Book number 18 (almost halfway!) in my reading goal is We are Water by Wally Lamb. You may know Wally Lamb from his previous works: She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, and The Hour I First Believed. My all-time favorite book is She’s Come Undone. If you have not read it, you must!!! It was one of Oprah’s Book Club selections years ago which put it on the map. It’s a given since She’s Come Undone is my favorite book, that I will read all of Lamb’s works. We Are Water was published in 2013, and I have been waiting patiently for the library’s copy to become available. I was so excited to read it, and this book does not disappoint.

We Are Water is the story of the Oh family from Three Rivers, Connecticut. Annie, her husband Orion, and their 3 children’s world is rocked when the couple gets divorced after 27 years of marriage. Annie has chosen to remarry Viveca, in Connecticut where gay marriage has recently become legal. As the wedding approaches Annie, as well as other members of the family, are forced to face their painful past which is littered with death, heartache, abuse, and secrets. Secrets consume this family. What is the exact nature of Annie’s past? What is the history of the paintings discovered on the Oh property? What is the real reason for Orion losing his job? We Are Water is an intense novel with layers of history, family, and again, secrets.

We Are Water is an intense novel with layers of history, family, and secrets.

We Are Water is told from alternating points of view, Annie, Orion, the kids, as well as people from the past. Lamb leaves you hanging several times, as the storyline shifts to another character, and we have to wait to find out what happens next. These are a couple of reasons why I enjoyed this book so much. The character voices are so vivid, honest, and vulnerable that you want everyone in the family to be happy. The novel is full of drama and some super intense and graphic moments when aspects of the past are remembered in the current day. Some moments of suspense keep you turning the pages and keep you up past your bedtime!!

What was your favorite summer read this year?

Book Total
Book 1 – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Book 2 – Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Book 3 – God, If You’re Up There, I’m F*cked by Darrell Hammond
Book 4 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Book 5 – Life After Death By Damian Echols
Book 6 – Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Book 7 – Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
Book 8 – Burglars Can’t be Choosers
Book 9 – The Last Jew of Treblenka by Chil Rajchman
Book 10 – Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Book 11- Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Book 12 – A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 2) by George R.R. Martin
Book 13 – A Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 3) by George R.R. Martin
Book 14 – Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich
Book 15 – Bonk by Mary Roach
Book 16 – Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.
Book 17 – The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns

August 19, 2004

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I started this blog on August 19, two years ago, in hopes of creating some good karma for the day. My father-in-law died on August 19th, 2004 and it has been a hard day ever since. I know it’s just a day, a number, and the 19th doesn’t make him any more dead than any other day of the year. But it’s still brutal. The teens of August are miserable for me. The 19th. It’s the last teen so it seems endless til the day arrives, we grieve once again, and then life seems normal again.

One thing people don’t say about grief, is that you remember ever aspect of the death day. I wish I didn’t. I wish I didn’t remember the joy and elation in my husband’s voicemail when I heard he would be home on Friday for the weekend. Then my heart breaking at the next message when he told me his dad was dead. Then listening to the next message as my husband’s aunt wanted to desperately know where my husband was so she could let him know the tragic news. I know exactly where I was. The weather. The feelings. My heart dropping. I remember the instant in which I knew my life had changed forever. My father-in-law, the only parent my husband had ever known, was gone.

Looking back at this day, 11 years later, it isn’t any damn easier. I have previously written about grief but seeing our kids interact with my parents, it becomes harder and harder to deal with the fact that they will never know their other Grandpa. We call him Grandpa Philo. I occasionally call them “shitheads” because my husband was jokingly called that as a little boy.

We try to keep the memory alive, but it is difficult. Little girls can’t really understand/comprehend the fact. But we still try. They didn’t understand he saved a baby high chair for us. They don’t understand how he would have laughed endlessly at their antics. They don’t understand there is a whole other family they don’t know because of family drama. We tell stories so Fofo is beginning to understand Papa’s Papa is dead. I look forward to the day when she asks to hear stories about him. But I dread the day too. I don’t have too many stories because he was taken from us too soon. He deserved to be a grandfather. He deserved to meet them. But that isn’t how life works. It’s hard. And we grieve. And yet we smile when we see the little bit of Grandpa Philo in each of our girls.

To August 19th, I give a giant FUCK YOU. And I also raise a Calvert and coke. We miss you man. Gone too soon, but love you forever.

Link Love – Week 33

Link Love - Week 33

10 ways to start easy this homeschool year Number 8 is an amazing idea.

WornOnTV.Net If I had money, this would be so dangerous to my budget.

Grilled Lambchetta Confession time. I licked the screen.

Overgramming e-course Get those photos off your phone and into albums. Genius!

I’m Not Taking A Break. I’m Breaking. Can totally relate.

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest winners Breath taking.

Cheddar Stuffed Apple Slaw Burger I love meat.

The Ultimate Letter Of The Week Resource For Preschool An astounding list!

19 Parents Who Are So Bad They’re Good My heroes.

10 Ways to De-Clutter Your Tech Experience Nevermind. This list is my hero. Is that possible?!

Link Love – Week 32

Link Love - Week 32

What if I’m not an expert? Excellent advice.

Amy Schumer had the best advice for someone with confidence issues Amy is my spirit animal.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Ice Cream Sundae I take that back. Ice cream is my spirit animal.

If The Friends were Homeschooled Ya know Friends? The show. Hilarious post for Friends fans.

I Am NOT a Soccer Mom (or How to Avoid Child Burnout) Remember. Kids can get burnt out too.

The 10 Most Annoying Food Packaging Quirks I hate all forms of seals on food. Grrrr.

How To Make Your Blog Posts More Pinnable (The Secret Bloggers Don’t Want You To Know) BLOGGERS READ THIS!!!

Giant Alphabet Sticker Connect the Dots Game Games are such a great way to learn.

This is me. Sigh.

When I’m Gone Sobbing.

Link Love – Week 31

Link Love - Week 31

The unexpected gift of homeschooling Time is an amazing gift that homeschool gives us.

15 Kitchen Gadgets to Help You Eat Healtheir I’m dying to get an infusion water pitcher.

The Walking Dead cast reveals which one of them would die first in a real zombie apocalypse I think Steven’s answers are my fave.

Just like that Grab the tissues.

10 Ways to Market Your New Blog or Website Helpful tips beyond social media.

Biscoff Toffee Ice Cream Cake Dreamy.

Why are homeschooled kids so annoying? Much nicer than the title implies 😉

5 Uncommon Ways to Keep Burnout at Bay The first tip is phenomenal.

Man Buys 10.000 Undeveloped Negatives At a Local Auction And Discovers One of the Most Important Street Photographers of the Mid 20th Century “Finding Vivian Maier” is a riveting documentary.

My Husband Has No Idea What It’s Like To Be Me The last paragraph is the story of my life :)

Link Love – Week 30

Link Love - Week 30

How to be a Rockstar Homeschool Spouse My husband is a total rockstar.

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars Summer wouldn’t be complete without cherry pie!

10 Things No One Tells you About Working for Yourself Spot on.

10 Reasons Kat Stratford Should Still Be Your #1 Heroine Sigh. It’s been 15 years since 10 Things I Hate About You.

14 Creative Chore Charts for Kids Number 9 is my favorite.

10 Minute S’Mores Ice Cream Sandwich Cake This screams summer :)

To the Mom with a Toddler and a Baby How did I ever do this?!

What I Learned Being the Daughter of Police Officers Bravo.

11 Things to do Before Turning 30 A wonderful list without the usual suspects.

8 Messy Play Ideas for Kids & Why You Should Let It Happen Sensory play is so important!

Link Love – Week 29

Link Love - Week 29

Why We Still Homeschool Excellent insight into choosing homeschooling even when your circumstances change.

I Don’t Love My “Mom Bod,” But I’m Still Wearing a Bikini This Summer THIS!!

Updated Controls for Facebook News Feed Great news for bloggers.

Chocolate Covered S’mores MMMMM chocolate

Abandoned Disney World So creepy/cool.

Surviving the Grandparent Hangover Glad I’m not alone in this!!

FREE Printable Blog Planner Perfect for organizing end of the year goals.

Lemon Bars Need.NOW!

5 Things I Wish for My Future 2028 Graduate Exceptional advice

7 Ways to Avoid Blurry Kid Photos You mean I will ALWAYS have blurry kid photos?!

Link Love – Week 28

Link Love - Week 28

Amazing ‘Game Of Thrones’ Audition Tape Reel Actors truly amaze me.

Being the Mom I want to be. . .Even when it rains Beautiful

Is it time for me to quit blogging? Remember your reason for starting :)

Slower cooker pulled pork PERFECT for not heating up your house and having leftovers galore!

Making a homeschool compass An awesome collaborative tool.

A HOT TUB HAMMOCK?!?!

How to pinpoint your most valuable business tasks With an awesome worksheet!!

Sweet Scones Can Lauren be my mom?!

5 Things Experienced Moms Do When Visiting New Moms Hear that? We aren’t old. We are experienced.

8 Tips to Be a Great Teacher Number 5 is my school policy :)

Link Love – Week 27

Link Love - Week 27

Learning About Money – Unlock The Right Coin Perfect for my kids whose math curriculum centers around money.

How Wildly Successful Bloggers Ignite Their Productivity LOVE #4, the list of shortcuts.

Game of Thrones: Lena Headey’s nude Walk of Shame body double speaks out The answer may surprise you.

S’more Bar Party !!!!!!

The Parenting Advice No One Wants to Hear Ya gotta persevere baby!

How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers My favorite thing I read this week.

How to Build a Trusting Relationship with your Child 10 awesome and simple tips.

3 Fun Twists on the Moscow Mule The.Cherry.

Overcoming (your own) anger in your homeschool THIS!!

12 Kinds Of Mugshots You Can Find On Pinterest Who knew there was more than 1 kind?!