Friday, July 18, 2014

Adventures in Reading: Silenced by Dani Pettrey

Normally I enjoy historical fiction for my "fun" reading. But when this book came up on the Bethany House blogger review list, I was intrigued by the description. 

"Jake Knew Something Was Wrong. 
But He Never Guessed How Wrong. 
A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him."

My thoughts: I very much enjoyed Dani Pettrey's style of writing/story telling. It was an easy to follow story line (good 'summer beach reading') with lots of action, details, and shocking plot twists and turns. This is the fourth book in Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series. While there were a few points in the book that I felt like I may have been missing some information/back story that was in a previous book, especially when it came to some of the not-so-main characters. (Although after reading book 4, I would like to pick up the previous 3 books in the series!) Maybe if I had read the other books, I would have not been as surprised at the twist near the end of the book. But this story really kept me turning the pages and saying up past my bedtime until the very end! 

*This book was provided free of charge from Bethany House Publishing, but the thoughts in this post are all my own true opinion. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Adventures in the Basement: 4th of July Basement Projects Over The Years

For the 3rd summer in a row, the 4th of July has been filled with basement projects.
(Pause, I realize we are a week past July 4th...but things just move a little slower now a days...)

2013 ~ Drywall 

And now 2014 we completed a bunch of 'small' projects (that are only small in comparison to the years past!) 
Daniel finished making and installing our new vanity counter, sink, and faucet.

Installed the shower light and rain shower head.

Painted the closets and started installing some shelves.

In the past few weeks we have been finishing up the drop ceiling.
Painted the baby's room and got carpet in both bedrooms.
Installed ceiling fans
And we also had the floor in the family room installed.

The list of projects is slowly growing shorter! Which is a good thing because in about 4 weeks we will be a family of 3! Still to be finished: install baseboards and trim around the doors, caulk and paint trim, get a closet door for baby room, paint bathroom vanity cabinet, get mirror for above the sink, finish stairs to 1st floor, organize and move out all tools and construction items so we can have a baby safe basement...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Adventures in Pregnancy: 35 Weeks

Soooo....I'm pretty bad at keeping you all updated on things at the moment! I've started this post 3 different times. 33 weeks, 34 weeks, and now that I'm almost 35 weeks I'm finally hitting publish! Here we go:

How Far Along: 35 weeks (tomorrow)

Size of baby: About the size of a honeydew melon (about 18 inches and 5 lbs)

Maternity Clothes: 95% of the things I'm wearing are maternity. There are still a few non-maternity items that work.

Gender: Girl!

Movement: Yep! She has been enjoying stretching her legs and smashing my ribs together...not so fun! 

Sleep: Accepting the new normal of getting up every few hours. Right now it's to use the bathroom, but when she gets here it will be feeding and changing - good practice I guess!!

What I miss: Lots of things - being able to pick things up off the ground easily, not bumping my belly into the edge of the sink when I wash the dishes, being a normal temperature (I'm hot all the time!), being able to go more than an hour or 2 without using the bathroom (she loves to kick my bladder...), being able to see my whole shirt and know if it is dirty...But I know all of these things are totally worth it!

Cravings: No craving necessarily, but I've been loving watermelon, fruit popsicles, cucumbers, honey wheat pretzels.

Most Excited For: Getting carpet in the nursery (tomorrow) and setting up her room! And meeting our baby girl in about 5 weeks.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Adventures in Products: Pretty Little Beauty Swap

Happy Friday!
I know it's been pretty quite around here lately, but I promise I'm working on a few posts to update you all on our latest adventures...including an update on the basement and an update on our little bun in the oven!
But today I wanted to show you what I got in the mail this week!!
In May I signed up for a swap
(remember how I love swaps!!)

And they way these ladies do their matching (if you want) is to match you with a blogger who lives near you! The only other "Chicago land area" bloggers I 'know' all live in the city, so it was fun to 'meet' a sweet gal from the suburbs! 
My swap partner was Meagan from
All The Joys
(look how adorable she is with her man!!) 

And look at the super fun beauty package she sent!
I've already been loving the dry shampoo and the new eye shadow colors. The oil tissues are in my purse ~ totally going to use those up so fast with this hot and humid weather! And I've got big plans to use the face mask and nail polish this weekend for a little pampering. So fun! Thank you, Meagan!!

Have you gotten anything fun in the mail lately? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adventures in Reading: Out of Ruins by: Karen Barnett

I've got a new favorite author to share with you today!
Now, I've only read one of her books (I believe she has only written 2 so far...) but I really enjoyed it and her style of writing. 

Barnett expertly combined the historical events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, medical practices of the time, a romance, and spiritual trials and growth to create a book that drew me in from the first page and kept me interested until the last page.

Story Summary: (Contains some spoilers!) The main character Abby's sister is losing her battle with leukemia. When the suggestion is made that a new treatment might work they make the trip to San Francisco. When the treatment is unsuccessful, and Abby's sister passes away, Abby is left asking questions that so many of us wonder..."Why do bad things happen? Why did God not answer my prayers?" During the treatment process Abby had grown to care for Dr. Robert King, but when her sister dies she blames him as well as God. As she is dealing with the grief of her sister's death the 1906 earthquake hits and everything is thrown into chaos.

My thoughts: I LOVE learning while I read. I thought Barnett did a wonderful job of creating a detailed and highly descriptive picture of what the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (and aftermath) was like. I also enjoyed learning about the medical treatments of the turn of the century. I found that I could relate to Abby in her struggle to understand why her prayers were not answered in the way she would have chosen. I did feel that there were times in the 2nd half of the book that the story line dragged a bit, but I was still motivated to keep reading to see how everything turned out in the end. This is the first in a series of books called the Golden Gate Chronicles, and I am definitely looking forward to book #2! 

OUT OF THE RUINS | Kindle HDX Giveaway & Facebook Party!
Karen Barnett Out of the Ruins

**I was provided this book free of charge by Litfuse, however the opinions in this post are all my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Adventures in Life: A Wedding in a Valley

Daniel and I went on what will probably be our last weekend away for quite some time this past weekend. A good friend of ours got married in a beautiful valley in North East Iowa. The whole even was just amazing! Here are a few pictures I took...

 (The bridal party off to take some pictures in a field)
 (I just loved all of the little details that the brought/built in the valley - these doors were perfect!)
 (I wish I had a better picture of the bride's dress - she was stunning!!) 
I didn't get a picture of it, but the reception was also in the valley, under a HUGE tent.

 Daniel had been friends with the groom (middle) and the groom's brother (right) for years. These are some of the best, most hard working guys I know...but the one on the left is by far my favorite! 
 Oh, boy! Brotherly love...!! 

And here is a family picture ~ 30 weeks!! Only 10 (ish) more weeks to go until we get to meet our little girl!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Adventures in Reading: The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher

I don't know about you, but I tend to read more in the summer. There is just something about sitting out in the warm air and getting lost in a good book. Well, if you are looking for an easy, exciting, enthralling book for this summer, I just discovered a new (to me!) author that I really enjoy!

About the book:
Pictured on the cover, Silver Matlock is a young woman with a world turned upside down. Left at the alter, robbed of her family's wealth, she is determined to track down the person who smashed her life and heart. When she stumbles upon Jared Newman, a bounty hunter, the two are thrown together in their travels as each seeks justice in the West. Both with wounded hearts, Jared and Silver learn about each other on their journey and begin to trust again. They will need each other in order to face the villains of their past.

My thoughts:
This is a great summer read. Action, romance, bad guys, life lessons learned. It was a quick read for me and would be perfect for a pool side read. There are some slightly graphic details of crimes committed by the villains, gun fights, and a stabbing, but I personally felt like the details were beneficial to story and not overly gory in detail. I really enjoyed the journey of spiritual growth that happened when the main characters learned the difference between seeking justice and seeking revenge and that there is a fine line between the two.

Giveaway opportunity:
Robin Lee Hatcher's latest novel, The Heart's Pursuit, is receiving critical praise: "The Old West lives again in this inspirational romantic adventure. . . . Themes of forgiveness, justice and mercy dominate the story and add to the characters' depth. Hatcher treats readers to a rich sensory experience—you can taste the desert dust and smell the smoke and stench of a crowded gambling hall." (Publishers Weekly)

Robin is celebrating the release of her novel by giving away a $200 "Romantic Weekend Getaway."

  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (Get away for the weekend with that special someone!)
  • The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 8th. Winner will be announced June 9th on Robin's website.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on June 8th to see if you won.

**I received this book free from Litfues, but the opinions in this review are all mine.