Where I've Been + Recent Reads

Happy Monday!

Sorry for the posting hiatus!  I'm back, and hopefully for good this time.  There are a few reasons why I fell off of the wagon.  Reason one: I am currently computerless.  And, I'm computerless because I decided to take a few years off from the mortgage business (I was using my work computer to blog).  

Though it was stressful, I absolutely loved my job.  It was just getting really hard to manage both home life and work life.  My husband has started traveling a lot for work and we decided this would be the best thing for us to do right now (for my sanity).  I'll be back at it in the next couple of years (I forgot who it was, but someone told me I would know when it is time), but for now I'm excited and grateful for the break from pulling two shifts (mortgage lender + mom).

Reason two: Without work to worry about, the girls and I took an extended vacation to visit family in the Pacific Northwest.  (I had planned to buy a computer before we left to blog the whole time, but that did not happen.)  Let me tell you, with the weather still in the upper 90s in Virginia, it is amazing to be out here where the high has been upper 70s and I get to wear jeans, booties, and sweaters out at night because it gets so chilly.  I'm hoping when I get back later this week that fall has reached Virginia, but I doubt that will be the case.

The girls and I hit up Seattle for the first week of the trip to visit my brother-in-law.  My girlfriend also planned to be out there with her two kids for the same time so that we could do some exploring together.  I will do an entire post on Seattle later, so stay tuned!

From there we headed down to Bend, Oregon, where my father-in-law lives.  The hubs met us there and we also had a Watson family reunion.  It was so much fun as Bend is really neat town.

And here's our annual family photo.  This year Mark's aunt made us matching tee shirts.  They say Butteful Bend | Watson Reunion 2016.  I'm wearing these white jeans (which I absolutely love - and they are a steal), these booties, and this top from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (Under my reunion tee, so I need to take another picture for you soon.)  The top is so perfect for fall.  My color is currently sold out, but they still have black and green.).  I'll do a full Bend post as well with the things we did there.

Now for some recent reads.  I've really gotten on a roll with the books.  It's so nice to have the time to read again!

I finished All the Light We Cannot See a few weeks back, and I really loved it.  A great piece of historical fiction if you're into that genre.  It's a little sad, though, so be prepared.  

After finishing All the Light, I needed an easy, happy book.  While If I Could Turn Back Time was not a book I'd sing to the rooftops about, it was an easy read and it was a happy read. Think the movie 13 Going on 30, but in reverse.  Great for the beach!

Loved The Taliban Cricket Club!  If you were a fan of The Kite Runner, you must read this as well.  Full disclosure: I did have a nightmare that the Taliban was after my family one night, but we were all able to escape...except my husband.

The Summer's End is another good mindless beach read although cheesy at times.  I didn't realize it when I checked the book out (because I was at the library and both girls were breaking down so I just picked it up without reading the inside), but it's the third book in a trilogy.  (You should start with The Summer Girls and then read The Summer Wind if you're up for some Low-country reading.  Evidently The Summer Girls was a New York Times bestseller, so it may be a little less cheesy.)

I have had Where'd You Go, Bernadette for a couple of years.  I started it once, but couldn't get into it - mainly because I didn't have the time and most of the narrative is told through letters and emails which sometimes puts me off.  I picked it up for my trip and realized the setting is Seattle.  I read it just following our week in Seattle and the book came alive.  If you ever go to Seattle, you must read this book immediately after your trip!  If you just want a clever, funny read, pick it up as well.  You won't be disappointed.

I ran out of books to read in Bend, so my father-in-law loaned Outliers to me and I really like it. It was time for some non-fiction.  The book explains how people's cultures and environment contributes to their success or failure.