September's Top 10

Oh no! My stack of books to read is getting taller! Here is my Top 10 List of Books To Read, in order of my desire to read them, #1 being the most desirable. Before I start, I'll let you know that I have a general* policy of balancing each book of fiction with one of non-fiction.

*I say general because I threw that policy out the window when I read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. What's that? You have/have not read it? It's uber-awesome, as you know/will find out.

Additionally, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's more of a warm-up.

Here goes:

#10 Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty Mohammed Yunus

#9 Water for Elephants
Sarah Gruen

#8 The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education
Craig M. Mullaney

#7 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis

#6 Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Eric Larson, Tony Goldwyn

#5 The Time Traveller's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

#4 Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country
Mike Kim

#3 The Road
Cormac McCarthy

#2 Under the Banner of Heaven
John Krakauer

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins

Have you read any of these?

What book are you reading now?

What books are on your to-read list?

What books do you recommend as absolute must-reads?


It's Official Now!

Baby Z is my niece!

That my nieces exist proves the endless capacity for goodness and love that is possible in a human being.

Thank you.

It's Unofficial! I've Got a New Niece!

Here is Baby Z!
She left the hospital yesterday with my sister, brother-in-law, and her birth parents. My sister, brother-in-law, and the baby are staying at a hotel in Arizona and will be visiting the birth parents' families later this week. The final papers just need to be signed.

Her middle name is a combination of my sister's and her birth mother's (like renesmee...?). The teddy bear she's sleeping with is the animal her birth mother slept with every night. They gave her up because they believe in the best life for this child.

Every child should come into the world with this much love.

You know, I'm pro-choice, but I'm becoming less so every day.


Good Things To Come

I might be getting another niece!

My wonderful sister and her wonderful husband were picked by a beautiful young couple to be the adoptive parents of their daughter. Mommy's water broke today, and off Jen and Kev flew to Arizona. The baby was born this evening, healthy and gorgeous and ready for life.

Please say a prayer for everyone. For V and A, the birth parents, that they make the best decision for their baby. For my sister and my brother-in-law, that they have the strength to endure any outcome of this hopeful situation. And for Baby Z, that she is blessed with the best parents to guide her through her life.

Hopefully, photos will follow...


I've Got A Message!

Dear Summer,

I have so many things to thank you for.

Home grown tomatoes.

Sunflowers at sunrise.

Morning on the patio.

The canopy of Sycamore leaves.

Evenings at the fair.
Have fun in the southern hemisphere. I can't wait for you to come back.


My Hiatus

About 2 weeks ago, I took a hiatus from, well, good posts. I posted a photo of lightbulbs and another of a really creepy alien. I wasn't really "all there." Here's why.

Marcus nearly died when he was a month old, and I wrote about it on my first post. We'd been doing great until August 31, when Dave asked me at 7:30 in the morning, "Does Marcus look right to you?"

My eyes flew open to see my boy, my baby, unable to track (follow movement with his eyes) and slack faced. He looked gray. Suddenly, the world seemed to move in fast forward.

Siezure. Ambulance. Emergency room. Hypoglycemic shock.

Healthy people have a blood sugar level somewhere between 80 and 140. Marcus's had dropped to 8. The nurses said he should have died.

Loaded up on a shot of dextrose and a dextrose drip, Marcus perked up in about a minute.

Thirty minutes later, he fell asleep. The little guy was exhausted.

So were we.

Marcus stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, and I stayed with him. We brought toys for him and movies for us.

We knew he was ready to go when he set off the hospital's baby Lo-Jack system twice and pulled off his oxygen meter three times.

Shell shocked and slightly paranoid, Dave and I arrived home with a happy, healthy baby. We now check his blood sugar four times a day. We're convincing ourselves that this was a fluke.

With each hospitalization, I've gained even more respect for parents of sick children. All the fight that the parents conjure up for their children doesn't mean a thing because as parents, sometimes we're powerless to protect. So once again, I'm reminded that each day with my kids is a gift.

I will not waste it.


I've Got a Message!

Dear People Who Lived In My House Before Me,

Why did you decide to plant an aggressive, invasive vine between the two sides of the fence?

I can't get it out without tearing down the fence.

I hate you.



Summer Story

The air was like soup. Hot, steamy soup. It was 8000 degrees outside. OK, I might be exaggerating a little, but not by much.
Anyway, that was the day that we decided to leave the comfortable air-conditioned confines of my parent's house and go to...

The Baseball Game!

Dave is that lucky guy who gets to go to awesome events for work. So, we had to get there early so he could work for about 6 minutes, and then we tailgated. We had an kickin' little set up and I got to sit and read for about an hour.

Hey kids, off to your left you'll see a dork.

Wait. I believe I just admitted my dorkiness by confessing that I read while tailgating at a baseball game.

Moving on.

Our tailgating neighbors were veterans. They made bacon wrapped jalapeno and cheddar stuffed hot dogs. Dave drooled.

They shared.

He was not impressed.

Shoulda' used jack...

Kind of gross.

But he ate the rest.

Hi baseball game tailgating neighbors! You're on my blog!

The entrance to Angel Stadium is very cool. There are these two giant red hats that frame a baseball diamond pattern in the bricks. This season, the pitcher's mound is covered with a memorial to Nick Adenhart, our young pitcher who was killed by a drunk driver the night of his brilliant Major League debut. He is loved.

And missed.

And remembered.

The smell of the grass as I walk through the tunnel always fills me with joy and the anticipation of a great game, a great play, a home run, a win.

Dave and I have always kept score.

We alternate innings.

We were particularly happy this game because we were sans kids, which meant that we could stay and keep score for the entire game. We were kind of sad because nobody around us kept score. We think it's a dying art. Here's a great story about a kid who kept score.

That's my story about going to the baseball game on the night it was almost 8000 degrees and there was no air conditioning but I love Dave and we had fun.