Currently – Proud to be an American, Book Love-Less and Getting in the Groove

This past week has made me so proud to be an American. I’m an Olympic Junkie. I cheer our athletes from my family room as if they were my children breaking world records. I weep almost every time I hear our country’s national anthem. I’ve been enthralled by each athlete’s personal story. I’m all in. My children keep laughing at me, but I don’t care. I’m inspired and grateful to be reminded how wonderful the American spirit really is, especially during the ridiculous political season.Logo Summer Olympics 2016

Some favorite moments: Lilly King beating some Russian ass. The two runners in the 1500m race who helped each other up after colliding during a race (although poor Abby D’Agostino has a torn ACL and meniscus). Laurie Hernandez’s smile on the podium. Aly Raisman’s parents whenever they’re on camera. The shrieks from the Final Five when they realized Zac Ephron was in da house! The death glare on Phelps face when le Clos was taunting him in the waiting area.

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My kids have been back in school for almost two weeks, so we’re settling into our routine. We’re not at full throttle yet, as many extracurricular activities don’t start until September. As much as I dreaded the start of school, I welcome the return to routine. As with every August, I’m reenergized and ready to get organized, take better care of myself (and the family) and sleep more. This is the first back to school season since I went back to work, so that’s been a bit of an adjustment. But we’re off to a good start.

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Cammy, 3rd grade

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Aud 6th grade (middle school!) & Bear, 8th grade

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Bear’s even taller than me when I’m in heels!

I’ve been watching a lot of television. Aside from the Olympics, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Stars Hollow. Yes, I’m finally on the Gilmore Girls bandwagon. I felt left out after reading so many excited blogs about the upcoming NetFlix Gilmore Girls movie. This coincided with Audrey’s request for us to find a mother-daughter show to watch together. She and her dad spent the spring and early summer binge watching Once Upon a Time, and she decided we needed to have a similar bonding experience. Gilmore Girls seemed to fit the bill. I was excited – until Aud bailed after the first episode. I kid you not. So now I’m up late, by-myself, getting to know Rory and Lorelei. No spoilers please! I have a ways to go and most likely won’t be done with the series by the time the movies are released, but I don’t care. I’m enjoying it.

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Because of work and travel we missed all the summer movies. The only one I saw was The Angry Birds Movie (I took Camden and Bear and then fell asleep halfway through). I have a lot of catching up to do. I’m dying to see Me Before You. Have you seen it? Please tell me it’s good – and that doesn’t veer to far from the book.  Others on my to-see summer make-up list: Bourne Ultimatum, Bad Moms, and Ghostbusters.

26192646I’ve been reading and listening to books all summer, but really haven’t found any that have blown me away. It’s weird, but in the last couple months I haven’t LOVED a book passionately enough to give it five star on Goodreads. Y’all know that I’m fast and easy with my five star ratings. My last five star book was from early June (Emily Giffin’s latest novel). Some of my books from July & August: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosan, The Children by Ann Leary, The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close and The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger – all solid fours. Have you read anything lately that you love? I’m taking recommendations.27245903272763802800795426114644

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m been compiling my road trip superlatives and I’m not sure if I should share them. Do you all really care? Or is it superfluous and braggy of me to share my favorite (and not-so favorite) places from our road trip? I’m feeling a little self-conscious about it, because I don’t want to offend anyone. Thoughts?

Speaking of road trips – I attempted to begin the process of planning for next year and I’m not feeling the excitement I usually do when I open my atlas. I’m quite overwhelmed, really. I’m not sure I have the energy to do it again. We already decided that next summer is the last road trip. The kids are getting older and I think they long for a more traditional summer. My working has also added to my ambivalence. Getting the time off won’t be easy – and I’ll need some serious time to complete the last few states to reach all 48 contiguous states. And then there’s the money. Maybe we should just spend a week at the beach. I don’t know. And yes, I know, first world problems.

In the meantime, I have cross country to keep me busy. Hunter’s first big meet is this weekend. And before I know it it’ll be Labor Day and Audrey’s birthday and the leaves will start to change. Another summer in the books I’m afraid.

XOXO

HerStories-4I almost forgot! The HerStories Project’s Voices column will be back in September. We’re taking submissions now – you can find the details here. Our first theme is “Friendship.” And don’t forget, The HerStories Project pays $40 per column!

 

It’s Friday – and this is a link up with Finish the Sentence Friday, hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee. Read her sweet post right here.

23 thoughts on “Currently – Proud to be an American, Book Love-Less and Getting in the Groove”

  1. I still can’t believe you all are back in school for over 2 weeks now, as we don’t start up for another 2 weeks here still. But loved the back to school pics of your kids. Oh and am adding The Singles Game and saw it come across my Goodreads feed yesterday and almost forgot, so thanks for the reminder here in your post today. And will have to check out the other 3, as well now, because you know I just love your reading suggestions :)

    1. I know, it’s crazy – and soooo hot and humid. Yuck. I liked the Singles Game, especially all the scoop on what it’s like to be on the professional tennis tour. When I was younger (and had more time) I really followed tennis, so this was fun for me.

  2. I love the Olympics too though my Olympic fatigue set in earlier this time around than it usually does. After swimming and gymnastics finished, I have found it hard to stay excited even though there are other events I enjoy watching. I think I just can’t stay awake so late every night any more! I haven’t read at all this summer, but I’m going to look into a couple of your suggestions for our Sonoma trip. We are only there a few days but I have grand plans of reading all the books :) I’d love to hear of places you enjoyed (and didn’t) on your road trip!

    1. Caryn, I hope you guys have fun – and please blog about it. I love reading about Sonoma. You should get Eight Hundred Grapes, written by Laura Dave. It’s set in Sonoma and an excellent read (and a fast one). Also, a good portion of The Hopefuls takes place in Texas, so you may find it interesting. I don’t know if you’re into politics, but it’s written by the wife of an Obama campaign staffer. The story is about Obama campaign aides (“fictional”). I found it fascinating. But I only gave it a four star, cause I had trouble warming up to a few main characters. And thank you for your interest in the RT details – all I needed was a little encouragement – ha!

  3. LOL I am watching Gilmore Girls too because I felt left out. I don’t know how many episodes I’ve watched but I bet you are further along. Ok I just went to check. I’m on episode 4 of Season ONE. I’m so scared that Netflix is going to drop it before I ever get through it. LOL!

    Love your pictures. I am ready to get back to a routine also, just not mentally ready for Christopher to start middle school.

    Also my mom and I saw Me, Before You this summer on THE last day of it showing. I was cutting it close. I had traveled to SC and had to finish reading the book so we went the very next day. We love it. I don’t think someone that hadn’t read it would be very entertained but we aren’t them right?

    1. Kenya – oh, I didn’t consider the fact that they might pull the show. Yikes! I’m only on episode 12, season one. (It picks up, I promise). Middle school was relatively uneventful for my son – but with Aud, I can already tell it’s a whole other world. Seat belt is fastened. And I am relieved that you like Me Before You. Now I wait – hoping Direct TV has it on pay-per-view soon!

  4. First, I think I need to revisit Gilmore Girls. I watched some of it back in the day but don’t remember a lot although the mom’s humor was awesome. And I think you should definitely share about your travels. I love reading your take on where you’ve been. If you think you’re burnt on road-tripping, you could always drive to the beach and just spend a week there? You’re still passing through states but???
    I have not read a book I adored this summer which is kind of a bummer although sometime (late spring maybe?) I did adore Summer Sisters. I’m reading Two-Family House now after your review. I’m slow getting sucked in but I think that’s more my schedule than the book…. maybe when I go to the beach. Also, 6th grade is middle school there? For me it was 7th and 8th. Aud is going to be awesome there. I know it. xo

    1. I’m addicted to GG. I had every intention of going to bed early last night, but alas, thwarted by that damn show. Each episode ends with a mini-cliffhanger. I watch four last night! I’m so tired. ANd yes, love the mom’s humor.

  5. I am the SAME WAY about the Olympics!!!! I seriously start to cry every time I watch anyone win, or stand with the anthem playing (USA or any country) and oh those amazing back stories get me ALL the time. My kids make fun of ME TOO!

    I only wish WE COULD WATCH THEM TOGETHER!! (Sorry, I’m shouting all over the place! A bit excited at the thought of us crying and cheering together! LOL)

    I think mapping out a trip now, is just SO overwhelming becase, you just DID summer. Can you wait until after the holidays, when winter SUCKS and you can plan something to look forward to? It could be your winter project!

    And oh please do share about your road trip! I absolutely LOVE learning about all the places you go! :)

    And I actually love your honesty about the books- not giving the five star rating to those books, validates your authenticity as a book reader and reviewer. I hope you can find a FIVE STAR book soon, hun.

    And one more thing- I can’t believe your kids have been in school for two weeks? WOW. I wish this country had the exact same breaks for all schools. It’s just so weird how different every state/town is. ENJOY your structure and routine! I am LOVING it. (Kids went back to school yesterday!)

    1. So the Olympics are finally over – but did you see the final medal count? Phenomenal!!! USA! USA! USA! you’re right, mapping it out now is overwhelming. Problem is, with some National Parks, you have to book a year out, if you want to stay in the park. They book up fast. I don’t know, I really am seriously thinking of skipping next summer and saving up to do the Pacific Northwest the following summer. My boss will flip if I ask for FIVE weeks off. That’s what I would need – to drive out there and back and explore the places I consider must-see.

  6. Such beautiful kids in their back to school pics! I’m jealous you are already back, mostly because when we go back after Labor Day all the extracurricular start immediately. It’s an all or nothing type of month. I’d love to ease into school first and then try the extra stuff.

    1. I guess that’s ONE good thing to consider when they start on AUGUST 4th! And my cousins live in MI, too – they gout out two weeks after us, and go back four weeks after us. The math doesn’t work in our favor. Boo!

    1. I know, right? I don’t know how I missed it when it was originally on. I guess because it was on the CW. It’s so good, but I am intimidated by how many episodes I have to watch. And it’s addicting – I watch FOUR last night. This will become a problem, I know it. And I was so relieved to love Giffin’s book. She’s always been a favorite of mine, but I really (really!) didn’t like her last book.

  7. Hearing about travel doesn’t offend me. I hope to do more of it and love hearing about it from other people. It’s the Me Before You stuff that I am unsure of. I admit to not having read the book or watched the film, but as someone with a disability, I did hear so many others with disabilities speaking about how that story made them feel. I still think I need to read/watch so I can form my own opinions, as so many think the story is harmless and that anyone who is upset by it is just too sensitive. It’s a tricky subject.
    I don’t seem to get the same pride, for my Canadian athletes, or any at all, as it seems so many like you do when it comes to the Olympics. I’m not sure why that is. Nothing wrong with competition and national pride. Just haven’t liked some of the things I’m hearing coming from the games, but with the bad comes the good and I am glad these events bring people entertainment and pleasure.
    I did see Bad Moms though. Highly recommend it. I just wrote a review of that one on my blog earlier today as a matter-of-fact.

    1. Thanks Kerry. Believe it or not, some people do get upset at seeing other peoples travels. It’s a delicate balance. I can see how having a disability would greatly change your view of the book. For me, it gave me incredible insight as to how life can be for someone in that situation. I wonder how she researched it for the book, you know? And another vote for Bad Moms! I must go see it.

  8. It sounds like it has been a lovely summer! What states do you need to hit next year for the road trip? I’m on a road trip with my daughter and husband now…I’m having so much fun!

  9. I love Once Upon a Time, but I never got on the Gilmore Girls bandwagon. Sorry Audrey ditched you! Yes, you should write superlatives, and no, I did not see Me Before You. I did like Bad Moms, and I won tickets to a preview of The Light Between Oceans. Very good adaptation of the book!

    I’m listening to The Nest right now and really enjoying it; I think you’d like it. I laughed when I read “fast and easy” with your five stars, because I’m very stingy with mine! Most are three stars, and I consider that a good book I’d recommend.

    1. Oh, I just saw the trailer for The Light Between the Oceans – what a cast! It looks good. I listened to The Nest a few months ago – very good. I loved the narration. And three stars for me is “Okay.” Too funny:)!

  10. Aw.. Cammy! He’s the cutest third grader on earth.
    I have Emily Giffin’s new one. I bought it for my trip but never had time to read there. Go figure!
    I would love to binge watch Gilmore.. I did it once. And Sex and the City. That’s why it’s fun to get into a show after the fact, or even after many seasons. You get to experience all the wonder for the first time, episode after episode.

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