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Family-Friendly Entertainment

Loving My Husband Friday

5/29/09


It's Friday, PTL! I am so happy that it's the weekend. I saw Mominin's meme over at the Peer Review and thought that it's a great way to end the week by focusing on what a wonderful hubby I have. Here is a description from her site:

Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him...everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse...especially when your tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

This week, my hubby has been such a trooper! I have been feeling really blah with awful headaches throughout the day and I'm sure I'm not easy to deal with. He came home after a long day at work yesterday and cooked dinner for us; yummy steak, green beans, and butter noodles. He also put all of the groceries away, which is not a fun task, since organizing isn't my forte. And then he made me a chocolate milk shake because he knows that drinking something freezing cold helps my headaches. He is so sweet to me! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful man to share my life with.

What has your husband done this week that was sweet or helpful? Share a comment.

Things I Love Thursday: Laura Jensen Walker

5/28/09
blog memes

I love reading great books and I found a wonderful series by Laura Jensen Walker called the Getaway Girls. This is a series about a group of friends who have a book club and reenact adventures from some of the novels they read together, including traveling to Paris, hot air balloon riding, and other fun activities.


Laura Jensen Walker, authors, book reviews, christian fiction

The latest book, Turning the Paige is Paige's story. This book made me laugh, cry, & cheer for Paige's character. Paige is a divorced 35 year old woman that has some boundary issues with her mother. Her mom is alone and has some health issues, which causes Paige to feel that it is her responsibility to take care of her mom, even if it means giving up some of her own dreams.

I totally related to Paige's struggle with feeling alone after having been through the heartache of a divorce. I also could relate to her guilt over wanting to take care of her mom but yet also wanting the opportunity to live her own life. I won't give away the plot, but this novel may require a good box of tissues and some chocolate!

Laura Jensen Walker is one of my favorite authors. She has such a great sense of humor and writes about real characters who struggle with issues that you can relate to: family, faith, relationships & what to do when things don't go the way you planned. She has also personally gone through some difficult struggles, as she is a cancer survivor.


Here is a clip from her bio at her website:

"By the time she was 23, Laura had climbed the Eiffel Tower, trod the steps of the Parthenon, skied (okay, snowplowed) in the Alps, rode in a gondola in Venice, and wept at the ovens of Dachau. She’d also learned how to fold her underwear into equal thirds, make a proper cup of English tea, and repel the amorous advances of a blind date by donning combat gear and a gas mask."

I highly recommend that you check out this great book as well as some of her other great titles!

Don't forget to visit 8 Muddy Boots for more Things I love Thursday.

National Zoo Panda {Wordless Wednesday}

5/27/09
National Zoo Washington, DC, nature photography, wordless wednesday


National Zoo Washington, DC
For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit Five Minutes for Mom

Random Tuesday Thoughts: From My Brain to Yours

5/26/09
blog memes

It's Tuesday, but really it feels like Monday. Random thoughts are going through my head a lot today, so I thought I'd link up to Kelly's meme over at Baby Boogers. Be sure to check out her blog; it's boogery goodness! You can also find more Random Tuesday Thoughts over at Keely's blog The Un Mom.

Had a busy weekend with my son's roller skating b-day party & then my hubby's Nana's 90th birthday celebration. Man, I ate too much! Wish I felt like exercising....but I think I'll skip it.

I picked up my doggy from the kennel today. She was incredibly hyper and happy to see me. She usually saves up all that love for her daddy, but today she was giving me doggy kisses and jumping on me for joy. Now the kennel is not a bad place at all; they spoil her rotten and think she's absolutely adorable. So she really didn't have it all that bad. I think she was just happy to see that her "people" were once again in her world.

It's raining intermittently today and all I can think of is curling up on the couch with a cozy blanky and a good book. We went from 85 degrees yesterday to about 60 today. Alas, I must sit at the computer and work.

School's almost out for the summer and I am ecstatic! This has been one long year. I am happy that my son gets a break from the never ending homework that comes with private school. On to times at the pool, trips to the library, and fun with mom!

What are your random thoughts today? Share with me. You know you want to!

Memorial Day Weekend

5/22/09
sales

It's Friday, and I don't know about you, but I am happy that this week has come to a close. It's been a long one! Thank goodness we have a long holiday weekend.

I'd like to wish everyone a safe & relaxing Memorial Day weekend! If you are traveling or staying at home, take some time to remember those who have served and are currently serving in our military. They keep us safe, and I am so thankful for those heroes who sacrifice so much for our country!

And don't forget to stop by the great online community yard sale over at Mommy's Online Garage Sale this weekend. You'll find some great sellers!

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Ruby Unscripted by Cindy Martinusen

5/21/09
book reviews, christian fiction, cindy martinusenIt is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



author bioCindy began writing around 1988, working on story ideas and writing plays. Her first book was contracted in 1998. Since that time she's written 8 novels, 1 nonfiction and over 100 articles, short stories, and curriculums.

Her critically acclaimed novels have been nominated for the Christy Award and Reader's Choice Award (Romantic Times), and chosen for the List of Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal.

Her first three novels have been translated into Dutch, German, and Norwegian.

Her newest novel is now a bestseller! ORCHID HOUSE

Cindy is the co-owner of METHOD 3AM WRITING & MEDIA SERVICES a newly created media service company (www.method3AM.com). She offers both aspiring and experience writers services in book doctoring, content editing, manuscript review and critique.

For the past ten years, Cindy has been speaking and teaching in different locations nationally and internationally. Her roles include conference leader, featured speaker and workshop leader at numerous women's gatherings, retreats and writers conferences most notably Litt-World 2004 in Tagaytay City, Philippines.

Monthly, she co-leads and teaches a workshop at Quills of Faith Writers Group in Northern California.

Look for Cindy on Facebook and on Twitter!


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595543562
ISBN-13: 978-1595543561

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


“Now he likes me?” I say aloud as I drop my phone to my lap and my heart does a strange little tuck and roll within my chest.

My ten-year-old brother, Mac, gives me a strange look from the seat beside me. With the top down in my aunt’s convertible, he can’t hear my words that are cast into the air to dance with the wind.

The orange towers of the Golden Gate Bridge loom toward us, with the darkening blue of sky and water filling the spaces between. Aunt Jenna is driving, with Mom talking beside her.

So it’s finally true.

Nick likes me.

I think I’m happy. Everyone will expect me to be happy. It’s not been a secret that I’ve liked him for . . . well, ever. Or at least for a few months.

And yet I have a very good reason for being completely annoyed about this.

The text stating Nick’s indirect admission of love, or at least “like,” arrives as we’re leaving an afternoon in San Francisco behind. But we aren’t driving the four hours home to Cottonwood. We’re driving toward our new life in Marin County.

Everyone at school knew that Nick liked me for a long time. His friends and my friends knew it. I knew it. But Nick apparently didn’t know his own feelings. Why can’t guys just trust others on these things?

I pick up my phone and reply to Kate’s text.


ME: Is Nick still standing there?

KATE: No. I think it freaked him out to wait for your response. The guys went to play Alien Hunter III before the movie starts. So what do you think? Patience paid off.

ME: I’m trying not to think that guys are really as dumb as most of us say they are.

KATE: Huh?

ME: Really now. I mean NOW. He says this on the day I move away?

KATE: Well you’ll be home most every weekend so it’s not that bad.

ME: But think about it. What made him decide today?

KATE: Who cares? He finally figured out he can’t live without you.


The car cruises along the bridge, and I stare up at the massive orange beams over our heads. Then I catch sight of a sailboat as it dips and bows on the evening waters of San Francisco Bay.

My brother is shout-talking to my mom and aunt. And with one earbud pulled out, I catch bits of the discussion being tossed around the car as the wind twists my hair into knots. The topic is “If you had one wish, what would you wish for?”

What poetic irony. Five minutes ago I would’ve wished that Nick would like me . . . and like some psychic genie working even before I wished it, the text arrived from Kate: “Nick said . . .”

So Nick likes me after I move four hours and a world away.

He likes me the day after I say good-bye to him and all my friends in Cottonwood.

I scroll back through my saved texts to find what he sent me after we said good-bye.

NICK: I wish you weren’t moving.

NICK: Next time you’re up visiting your dad let’s hang out.

NICK: How often will you be back?

NICK: So you don’t have a date for prom?

Men. I mean seriously.

So it’s like this. I’m moving to one of the coolest areas of California—Marin County. I’m going to live in this cool, quirky cottage that my aunt Betty gave us after she headed off on an extended Mediterranean honeymoon with the man, now her husband, she found online.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to live near San Francisco. Aunt Betty’s house was one of my favorite places. Kate and I plan to attend college down here. So now I get to live my dream sooner than expected.

Mac taps my arm, but I watch the little sailboat lean toward the open Pacific and wonder at its journey ahead, far or near, some California marina or faraway exotic isle.

My brother taps on my arm persistently. “Ruby-Ruby Red.”

I really dislike it when he calls me that. Then he reaches for my earbud, and I push his hand away.

“What?” I ask loudly, wiping strands of hair from my face. The sun falls easily into the cradle of the sea. It’s eventide—that time between sunset and darkness, a peaceful time of wind and bridges and dreams except for one annoying brother and an incoming text that could disrupt the excitement of a dream coming true.

“What do you wish for?” Mac asks earnestly.

My phone vibrates again, and I nearly say, “Don’t bug me, and don’t call me Ruby-Ruby Red,” but Mac’s sweet pink cheeks and expectant eyes stop me. I rub his hair and tickle him until he cries for mercy.

He laughs and twists away from my fingers, then asks me again what I wish for.

“Wait a minute,” I say, and he nods like he understands.


KATE: He said he’s been miserable since he said good-bye last night.

ME: So why didn’t he like me before?

KATE: He says he always did, he just kept it to himself.

ME: Or he kept it FROM himself.


Everyone said Nick said I was hot, that I was intelligent, that he’d never met a girl like me—which can be taken as good or bad. Everyone told him to ask me out, but he just didn’t. No explanation,

no other girlfriend, just nothing. For months. Until today.


KATE: He’s never had a girlfriend, give the guy a break. I always thought he’d be the bridge guy! Maybe he will be!

I rest the phone in my hands at that. Nick has been the main character in my bridge daydream—only Kate knows that secret dream of mine.

We’ve crossed the bridge into Marin County with signs for Sausalito, Corte Madera, San Rafael. The names of my new home, and yet I’m still between the old and the new.

“What are you smiling for?” my brother asks.

“Nothing,” I say and give him the mind-your-own-business look.

Mac stretches forward in his seat belt toward the front seat, and I’m tempted to tell him to sit down. But for once I don’t boss him around. He’s so happy about this wishing talk, with his wide dimpled smile and cheeks rosy from the wind. His cheeks remind me of when I loved kissing them—back when we were much younger.

“Remember, no infinity wishes. That’s cheating,” Mac shout says to Mom and Aunt Jenna, but he glances at me to see if I’m listening.

“This is really hard,” Aunt Jenna yells back. She points out the window to a line of cyclists riding along a narrow road parallel to the highway. “I bet those guys wish for a big gust of wind to come up behind them.”

Mac laughs, watching the cyclists strain up an incline.

Now they’ll probably start “creating wishes” for everyone they see.

I bet that car wishes it were as cool as that Corvette.

I think the people in that car wish they had a fire extinguisher for that cigarette . . .

Mom and her sister often make up stories about strangers while sitting outside Peet’s Coffee or, well, just about anywhere people watching is an option.

My phone vibrates in my hand, and then immediately again.


KATE: Hello?? No comment on Nick being your mysterious bridge guy?

ME: Nope

JEFFERS: So beautiful, are you there yet?

ME TO KATE: I just got a text from Jeffers.

KATE: LOL He’s sitting beside me and saw me talking to you.

JEFFERS: When can we come party in Marin?

ME TO JEFFERS: Almost there. Ten minutes I think. Uh party?

JEFFERS: Yeah, party! How could you leave us, I mean what could be better than us? You’ll be too cool for gocarts and mini golf after a month w/ the rich and sophisticated.

ME: I hate mini golf.

JEFFERS: See? One day and already too good for mini golf.

KATE: You’re having us all down for a party?

ME: Uh, no

JEFFERS: Kate’s yelling at me. Thx a lot. But bye beautiful, previews are on with little cell phone on the screen saying to turn you off.

ME TO JEFFERS AND KATE: K have fun. TTYL.

KATE: Write you after. Bye!

It’s a significant moment, this.

One of the most significant in my fifteen years.

Not the “wish discussion” between Mac, Mom, and Aunt Jenna; not the text messaging back and forth; not the music playing in one of my ears; not even Nick liking me.

The significance comes in crossing bridges. Not the bridge in my dream, but the ones that take me into Marin. The many bridges that brought my family here with my dad still in Cottonwood, and my older brother, Carson, driving soon behind us. And though we can turn around and drive back to the small

town I’ve always lived in, I wonder if, once you cross so many bridges, you can ever really go back.

The music in my one ear and the voices of my family in the other make a dramatic backdrop for this moment—one that will shape the rest of my life.

I feel a sense of wonder, but also of fear. It’s beautiful, this time of long evening shadows. The sky in the west where the sun has fallen turns from a subtle to defined sunset of red and orange.

The hills of Marin County rise to the nighttime with their myriad dots of light. The salty breeze is cool coming off the Pacific.

“What’s your wish?”

I jump as Mac shouts at me, leaning to get his face close to mine. I nearly throw my phone out the open rooftop.

“Mac! Mom!”

“Mac, leave your sister alone. She needs time to think,”

Mom calls back with a worried glance in my direction. She was more worried than I was about this move to Marin . . .well, until I said all the good-byes this week and especially now. I realize it’s the last remnant of what is, taking us from the past and what has been to the new place, the new life, and the what will be.

“Do you know what I wish?” Mac says in a loud whisper that only I can hear.

The innocent expression on his face soothes my annoyance.

He motions for me to lean close.

“I wish I was six again.”

“Why?”

“Promise you won’t tell Mom or Austin or Dad and Tiffany, ’cause I don’t want to hurt their feelings . . .” He waits for me to agree. “I wish I was six ’cause Mom and Dad were married then. But then that would make Austin and Tiffany go away, and I don’t really want them to go away, but I sort of wish Mom and Dad were married still.”

I nod and glance up toward Mom, who is staring out toward the bay. “Yeah, I know, Mac. But it’ll be all right.”

“So what do you wish for?” he asks again.

We’re almost there now, and I still have no singular wish. How do you make such a choice when your whole life is upended—for the good and the bad? I wonder if San Francisco Bay is like one giant wishing well, and in the coming years I can toss as many pennies as I want into the blue waters and have all the wishes I need.

I hope so. And maybe wishing that the bay would become one giant well breaks Mac’s rule about infinity wishes. But regardless, this is what I wish my wish to be.

It was my choice to move to Marin with Mom. But now I wonder if these bridges are taking me where I should be going. Or if they’re taking me far, far away.

“I wish for infinity wishes!” I say and kiss Mac on the cheek before he protests. “No one can put rules on wishes.”

And this is what I truly want to believe.


Disclosure:  No compensation was received for this post.  As a FIRST Wildcard blogger, I share sneak peeks into books from time to time.

MomDot Blog Link A Thon Has Arrived!

5/20/09
blogging

I discovered this great site called MomDot. They are having a fun Blog Link A Thon for moms to link up with each other and find some great new blogs to read!

There are 333 blogs (including me, #321) participating! Wow! I have a lot of reading to do. And so do you! Stop by these great blogs because you know you have nothing else to do but read fun stuff on the internet all day! And while you're there, drop a comment. We bloggy moms are addicted to comments!






1. Lori@Not Always Charming

2. Fairy Blog Mother

3. Crazy Adventures in Parenting

4. Engineer a Debt Free Life

5. Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Girls

6. Good Golly Miss Blondie

7. SavvySuzie

8. For The Love of Baby!

9. Tammy@lovemy2dogs

10. Blessings Abound

11. Coupons, Deals and More

12. Hairstyles For Girls

13. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy

14. A latte in the morning

15. KiddiesCorner Deals

16. 3 Kids and Us | Mom Blog

17. The Ohana Mama

18. Coupon Queens of Laurel Run

19. Today’s Journey

20. Eve @ Confessions of a Housewife

21. My Charmed Life

22. Laurie@DoubleBugs

23. Lisa @ Final Score boys3 girls2

24. New Sue Review

25. Suzanne Calling

26. Just For Me…and You

27. Time Slides By

28. Babes and Kids

29. Declutter a Little Each Day

30. Grocery Savings for Real Families

31. Life Starring Ellie and Eve

32. So Cute Crafts

33. Brea’s Mommy

34. Are Muffins Just Ugly Cupcakes

35. It’s A Beauty Filled Life

36. The crazy suburban mom

37. Donna’s World

38. Momma’s Gone Over the Wall

39. Mommy’s Quiet Time

40. Joyce (Saving My Cents)

41. My Trendy Tykes

42. The Not-So-Blog

43. Confessions From HouseholdSix

44. SiPPyCuPSand FiNGerPriNTS

45. Jennifer@CouponMommie

46. Shasta @ Crackers&Chaos

47. Giftfully Simple

48. Just For Fun

49. Digital Mommy

50. Me And Craig

51. Parenting Princesses

52. Shan@Last Shreds Of Sanity

53. Inside My Head

54. Petit

55. My Love Lucy

56. FreckleBox personalized gift

57. Baby Lulu Dress

58. Blog 4 Mom

59. 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

60. Jolly Mom

61. My Life My Journey

62. Maman And Gourmand

63. Jess - Life @ 30

64. The POSHpreneur

65. A Blog of Goodies

66. Christy aka The Write Gal

67. LookWhatMomFound

68. Peanut Butter & Smelly’s Dad

69. Lucy

70. Angry Julie Monday

71. The Mogul Mom Blog

72. Angela

73. Deal-ectible Mommies

74. Christy’s Creations

75. Lisa

76. Courtney@Booksnboys

77. Wannabe Supermom

78. Thre Craft Momma

79. Internet Toddler

80. Jennifer@Life is a Sandcastle

81. Kristen of La Dolce Vita

82. Cranberry Fries

83. Toni @ The Mud Bug

84. The Mom Buzz

85. Tricia @Nightowl Mama

86. Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls

87. Mommy Cracked

88. EclecticBird

89. Mama Mentor

90. Moomettesgram’s Musings

91. Moomette’s Magnificents Reviews

92. Moomettesgram’s Favorite Recipes

93. Diaries of a Domestic Goddess

94. Go Graham Go!

95. NerdFamily Things

96. NerdFamily Blog

97. Making Money Keeping Money

98. NerdFamily Food

99. Flying Giggles & Lollipops

100. Gena @ Morris Bunch

101. Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy

102. A Kindred Spirit’s Thoughts

103. Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House

104. D-Lo’s Lounge

105. Free Sample Freak

106. What Mommies Need

107. Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1

108. icefairy’s Treasure Chest

109. Cheaper Than Therapy

110. Therapeutic Reviews & Giveaways

111. Lily Bean Designs

112. Dirty Diaper Laundry

113. Dance Momma

114. JamericanSpice

115. Mombalance

116. A Pocket Full Of Buttons

117. Ordinary and Awesome

118. Reviews and Giveaways

119. Subjective Beauty

120. Tales From A Shopaholic Mommy

121. Mommiemayhem

122. IE Mommy

123. Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes

124. Amber Woodward

125. Grammy Janet’s Place

126. Outnumbered 3 to 1

127. ShimmerMeBlue

128. Dev’s Favorite Giveaways

129. Joyful Money Saving

130. 1stopmom

131. A Modern Mama

132. PourSomeSugarOnMe

133. Fancast

134. Lollipop Baby

135. Lola & Ben

136. idoby2celebrants

137. Sue Jackson

138. Cackleberry Kids

139. Gifts By The Stars

140. Jemma

141. Handmade Kids

142. Ollie Rose

143. Babasfarmlife

144. Banquet Manager

145. Monkey’s Momma

146. This Mom Can Shop

147. EcoLabel Fundraising

148. Divine Chaos

149. baby kakes ink alphabet onesie

150. tee from recycle me

151. Elizabeth @ Suzy Q Homemaker

152. marla mandell bread (5/17)

153. ozone socks 5/15

154. Belly Bumps to Baby Hugs

155. Hip T

156. ThenComes Baby

157. Homemade Gourmet

158. Fresh Pure and Simple

159. MomDot Mom Blogs

160. MomDot Mom Reviews

161. Bloggers Give Charity

162. Organic Baby Resource

163. Potamus Prefers

164. The Army Wife

165. Through Hazel Eyes

166. Frugal Rhode Island Mama

167. Just Jingle

168. And Twins make 5!

169. Frugal Plus

170. Christie

171. What Happened To My House?

172. Miracles on Mama Street

173. Heck Of A Bunch

174. Blog Designs by Susan

175. mommy23monkeys

176. Hanna

177. Got Kids Need Valium

178. Womb At The INNSANE

179. Katie & Kimble Blog

180. Kim @ Adventures SAHM

181. The Frugalicious Mommy

182. Penny Pinching Diva

183. Another day. Another thought or two

184. Beauty4Moms

185. Nikki @evilflu.com

186. Little Miss Julia

187. Mrs Zeee

188. Cheryl

189. Frazzle Dazzle SuperMom

190. Florida Mealtime Savers

191. Inspiration Station

192. Mommy’s Kitchen

193. Saving with MamaNordy

194. Saving SAHM Sanity

195. A Little Piece Of Perfect

196. Nodin’s Nest

197. Lil Miss Eco

198. Laryn Strickland

199. HeatherMama

200. The Gerber Babies Blog

201. WhateverSuccess

202. Women Who Win

203. Kat @ The Burb Blog

204. Happy Healthy Families

205. Sweeps4Bloggers

206. dramaqueensmum

207. The Mom Trap

208. Multitasking Mama

209. Mama Michies Musings

210. Little People Wealth

211. Belly Beyond

212. Kim Kihega

213. Mom Fuse

214. Juanita

215. Adopt a Do

216. On the Refriderator Door

217. Christine

218. Little Diva

219. My Household Junk

220. I’m Here….Really

221. Brittany@The Greer 5

222. mary

223. Nicole @ Nicole’s Nickels

224. Lori Newman

225. Kris @ NSQSA

226. Debb

227. Shawn Ann’s World

228. Peke Moe -NZ made baby sleep sacks

229. A Simple Kinda LIfe

230. Sweet Serendipity

231. Bouncing Off The Walls

232. Jane Loedding

233. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

234. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

235. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

236. Musings from Me

237. Veronnica

238. The Adventures of Miss V

239. Mudd Kids

240. Mom Most Traveled family travel

241. Relishing the Dirt

242. Good, True and Beautiful

243. Deb @ Frugal Living and Having Fun

244. The Last Blog on Earth

245. A Wrestling Addicted Mommy

246. Rae

247. kimert@diaries of a coach’s wife

248. Dore’s Diaries

249. Blog by Donna

250. Lisette

251. Pillaging With Buffie

252. Mom of Faith

253. GODSOWN

254. flutterbyechronicles

255. shelley

256. Life In A House Of Blue

257. kristen

258. Alex the Fey Thriller Series

259. MamaCheaps!

260. Donalacasa

261. A Jewish Journey

262. Anissa @ Our Chaotic Life

263. BethinNC

264. Stuttering Shell

265. Don’t Blink

266. Life is Sweet

267. Lisa

268. Sue@Stay At Home Mom

269. m.e (cathie)

270. Run DMT

271. Princess Ratbag

272. Michelle G

273. CF Mama @ Nathan’s Fight

274. Moody Mama Says

275. Laurie Ann

276. Cooking During Stolen Moments

277. A Simple Walk

278. Vanessa

279. middleagedmom

280. Ramblings Of A Wannabe Writer

281. Oh My Baby

282. Fordcast Sunny

283. Lisa Miller

284. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy

285. Bibs & Cribs {very cute stuff}

286. My Lil’ Budget Book

287. Misadventures in Baby Raising

288. My Mommy Said

289. Milk & Honey Mommy

290. Milk and Honey Mommy

291. Amy O’Neal

292. Parenting Children

293. A Girl And Her Life

294. MarieLynn Boutique Blog

295. Born Fabulous Boutique Blog

296. The Pitter Patter Boutique

297. Stephanie Deese

298. Brea’s Baby Boutique Blog

299. digiscrapping.net - Heather Manning

300. Kids Activities Blog

301. Two Little Whales Cloth Diapers & More

302. 3 boys & a dog

303. Karen ~Georgia Angel

304. JenniferB @ my not so hurried life

305. Shannon Blogs Here

306. A Virtuous Woman

307. Secrets of a Southern Kitchen

308. Dreamer

309. Lollipop Book Club

310. Mommie Daze Virtual Baby Shower

311. Heck Of A Bunch

312. MomSaves4U

313. Barely Domestic Mama

314. Emilie @ Baby Loving Mama

315. Professional Family Manager

316. Kathleen

317. Coaching The Family

318. Frugal Creativity

319. Easy Being Green

320. Dandelion Bubbles

321. Shelly aka The Attic Girl

322. Foxtoybox-Discovery Toys

323. Ashley @ Beauty4Moms

324. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

325. Playground for Parents

326. World of Discovery

327. Kati @ Country Girl City Life

329. A Little Bit Nutty

330. Mahayla’s Mommy

332. If I Could Escape . . .

333. The Shopping Mama

Cape Henlopen {Wordless Wednesday}

Delaware beaches

Cape Henlopen, DE

Happy 10th Birthday Z! Mom loves you!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit Five Minutes for Mom

Tackle It Tuesday: Birthdays

5/19/09


I decided to link up to Five Minutes for Mom's Tackle it Tuesday meme today. There are so many things on my to-do list that I would bore you with all of them. But one in particular I thought I would share.

My big project to "tackle" this week is getting ready for my son's 10th birthday party this weekend. I can't believe my little boy is turning 10 tomorrow! It seems like just yesterday he was toddling around in diapers...sniff sniff...

For his 10th birthday, my son decided he wants a Roller skating party. The very same day we are supposed to leave for my hubby's Nana's 90th birthday birthday!

So on my to do list of items to tackle before Saturday are:

1. Type up guest list for the skating rink
2. Purchase a cake
3. Purchase balloons
4. Do laundry so we have something to pack for the weekend's activities
5. Clean the doggy's messy crate & give her another bath because let's face it, she smells!
6. Work on my son's Community Service project for school which is due very soon
7. Schedule special birthday surprise lunch/dinner for Z tomorrow with mom and with friends
8. Tidy up the house: clean the bathrooms, clean the kitchen, etc. etc.
9. Help hubby with his Nana's b-day stuff
10. Try to get some exercise

Ok, that list is starting to look longer and longer...so for today, I think I will just focus on 1 or 2 at a time. I think I'll go take a walk with the smelly dog....

What's on your Tackle it list?

Memorial Day Weekend Sale at Mommy's Online Garage Sale



If you are looking for great shopping deals this coming weekend, check out Mommy's Online Garage Sale. This blog is hosting an online community yard sale with links to some great sellers, including yours truly, Donny Dixon's Attic.

There are 35 different shops ranging from children's clothing to specialty boutiques that sell handmade items like handbags and bows.

So if you're not traveling this weekend and are looking for some great deals, stop by Mommy's Online Garage Sale. And while you're visiting, be sure to click on the link to my eBay store Donny Dixon's Attic!

Not Me Monday

5/18/09
blog hops

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

What a weekend! I did not take Nyquil liquicaps on Friday night out of desperation to clear up my snotty sinuses. I did not end up knocked out cold drooling on my pillow for about 13 hours after stumbling upstairs to bed. On Saturday, I most certainly did not lie down on the couch all day in a zombie-like state in my pajamas, unkept hair, & unshowered body blowing my nose as loud as a goose honking across a pond.

No, Not Me!

Now tell me, what did you not do this weekend?

Mom Bloggers Club

5/15/09
This is a post listing links to my fellow mamas in the MBC. They have some great blogs; check them out:

http://momstart.com/
http://www.akblessingsabound .com/ http://www.momspective .com/http://moomettesmagnificents.com/blog
 http://dominiquegoh .com/
 http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/ http://a-nut-in-a-nutshell.blogspot.com/
http://saveyourmoneymama.blogspot .com/ http://www.themomjen.com/ http://www.themomreviews.com/ http://www.bizziemommy.com/ http://melodythacker.com/ http://scarymommy.com/ http://scarymommycreations.blogspot.com/
http://blasianbabynotes.blogspot.com/ http://littlemisshannah.com/ http://stacysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/ http://drachma-girl.blogspot.com/ http://www.betterinbulk.net
http://saveyourmoneymama.blogspot .com/
  http://practicingthrift.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithmoms.com/
  http://healthywealthymoms.blogspot.com/
http://www.3psinapod.com/
  http://lusciousdeals.blogspot.com/ http://dominiquegoh.com/ http://www.andrewsandfamily.blogspot.com/ http://lusciousdeals.blogspot.com/ http://confessionsofahousewife.com/
http://brainfoggles.com/ http://prettypinkmomma.blogspot.com/ http://ahappyhippymom.blogspot.com/ http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/ http://sweeps4california.blogspot.com/ http://thedivinemissmommy.com/ http://www.gliks.blogspot.com/ http://www.momsrevolution.blogspot.com/ http://www.mydivinechaos.com/ http://www.morethancents.info/ http://itsabeautyfilledlife.blogspot.com



http://kidzarama.com/

May 1st

http://momsrevolution.blogspot.com

http://www.atticgirl.blogspot.com

http://thesimmonswardfamily.blogspot.com/

http://www.professionalfamilymanager.com

http://wwww.akblessingsabound.com/

http://www.itsabeautyfilledlife.com

May 8th

http://conniesview.com
May 1




http://conniesview.com
http://www.alpinekleinbunch.blogspot.com/

May 15
http://www.ahappyhippymom.com

Fabulous Friday Find






I was watching the Rachel Ray Show today and her guest was Neil Patrick Harris. You may remember him as Doogie Howser, M.D. if you are like me and were a teen in the 90's. Or you may watch How I met Your Mother .

Apparently, Neil Patrick Harris has teamed up with the Mars company which is providing coupons for FREE chocolate on Fridays! What girl could turn down chocolate, especially when it's FREE?!

Go to this website to find out more: Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act There is a limit of 250,000 coupons each Friday, so you need to pop over there early.

Happy Friday!

Disclosure:  This was not a compensated post.

IMAX The Night At the Museum Battle at the Smithsonian

5/14/09


Mom Blogs

Five Minutes for Mom is giving away tickets to see The Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian at an IMAX theater!





movies, IMAX

From their website:

"One lucky reader will win a Monumental IMAX Family Pack, which includes:

•Family 4 pack of IMAX tickets
•$100.00 Restaurant gift card for lunch
•Various Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian items (including poster)
•Retail Value: $189.00
Additionally, we will award 10 first prizes consisting of a pair of IMAX tickets. Retail Value: $16.00 per ticket.

That makes for 11 chances to win. "

I saw the first Night at the Museum movie, and absolutely LOVED it! Head over to Five Minutes for Mom and check out this giveaway!

Disclosure:  This was not a compensated post.  I enjoy sharing great giveaways with my readers!

Things I Love Thursday 5/14



It's time again for Things I Love Thursday; how the week seems to fly by at times! Visit Sarah at 8 Muddy Boots for more Things I love Thursday and link up.

One of the things I love lately is surfing other peoples' blogs. I seem to lose track of time looking at all the blogs I follow! I have "met" so many great people through their blogs!
blog awards
One of those people is Kelli at Three Boys & A Dog. She gave me this great new award:




Thanks Kelli for this award! It is so cool to find that people are actually reading my "baby"! You can visit Kelli's blog by clicking on the link.

And now....

Here are the rules:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Ok, wow, 15 people! That's a lotta bloggers! I don't think I've newly discovered 15 blogs, so I am going to cheat a little and list 8 that I follow:

1. Michelle @ Made by Michelle
2. Momma D@ Momma D & Da Boyz
3. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet
4. Cappuccino Confessions
5. Megan @ Daily Essentials & Deals
6. Roseberry Family @ And Baby Makes Glee
7. Rae Ann @ Critical Mass
8. One Cluttered Brain

Whew! Now on to tell those folks about their award!

Wordless Wednesday: Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

5/13/09
museums in DC, Washington DC

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History 2009

For more Wordless Wednesdays visit Five Minutes for Mom

FIRST Wild Card Tour: The Moment Between by Nicole Baart

5/12/09
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Tyndale House Publishers (April 8, 2009)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Nicole Baart was born and raised in a small town in Iowa, where she and her family now live.

She is the mother of two young sons and the wife of a pastor. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and is a founding member of a nonprofit organization that works with a church and orphanage in Liberia.

Nicole is the author of three novels. After the Leaves Fall was published in 2007 and was followed by a sequel, Summer Snow. The Moment Between is Nicole’s first stand-alone novel.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414323220
ISBN-13: 978-1414323220

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


~ I ~

Abigail Bennett was the definition of unexpected. She was one year on the wrong side of the knife blade that was thirty, but if she turned up at your restaurant and ordered a glass of wine, even high-heeled and clad in a black sheath, you’d card her every time. Petite and narrow-waisted, with a pixie flip of hair the exact color of coffee beans, Abigail could easily pass for sixteen in a pair of ripped jeans and an Abercrombie T-shirt.

Not that she liked looking younger than her age. In fact, most of the time Abigail hated the constant reminders that no matter what she did or where she went, she would not be taken seriously. This explained the harsh line of bobby pins that held her wayward hair out of her face as if the severity of it could add years. It also explained the almost-dowdy clothes, the earth-toned makeup, and the hard, thin line of a mouth that could have been very beautiful.

Once people got past the fact that she wasn’t a teenager, Abigail looked very much like the ideal kindergarten teacher. Her stature and dress were the opposite of intimidating, yet there was a spark in her dark eyes as if from time to time a match was struck behind the velvety chocolate of her corneas. These eyes could freeze hell over with a well-timed look, a piercing arrow of unmistakable meaning. But there was also the hint of tenderness in Abigail that translated into quiet strength when paired with the sharp edges that were inevitably unveiled before anyone had a chance to form a false opinion of her. But then again, maybe it was all a facade. She didn’t let people get close enough to find out.

In reality, Abigail was not a kindergarten teacher, nor could she remember a phase in her life when she ever wanted to be one. She was an accountant. Numbers were stable, unchanging, and best of all, incapable of being mysterious or of forcing people to act and think and feel in ways that they would not normally act and think and feel. Numbers were predictable; people were not. And because Abigail trusted the reliability of her chosen field, she was good at her job, meticulous and capable of holding the smallest detail in her mind for as long as it was useful.

During tax season Abigail worked more hours than anyone else at her firm, and that was saying a lot. It was why she was made a partner after only five years with the company and why she occupied one of two corner offices, the one with a view of the swampy man-made pond that graced the complex of professional stucco buildings on Key Point Drive. Johnson, McNally & Bennett was a Rosa Beach institution, and though Blake Johnson and Colton McNally could claim most of the honor behind their prestigious position in the community, Abigail knew she filled an important and indispensable role. Southern Florida had its share of widows and divorcées, and for some not-so-surprising reasons they preferred to have a woman handle their money. Abigail was happy to oblige. It kept her busy and the firm in business.

Keeping busy was what Abigail did best. When she wasn’t working, which averaged sixty hours a week, she was either running or reheating days-old Chinese takeout in a dented wok. Both activities were little more than a personal experiment; they were representative of the only two things in Abigail’s life that she really, deep down hoped to accomplish someday: run a marathon and learn to cook.

The marathon was a goal that she had already partly achieved. On the day of her twenty-ninth birthday, she ran a half marathon in Miami. Abigail could have easily completed it, and in fact, the finish line was in sight only two blocks ahead when she realized it was enough to know that she could do it. Crossing the finish line would have meant that she ran for someone else, that she ran for the glory, the recognition.

So Abigail had slowed down a little and then a bit more until someone thrust a cup of water in her hand and yelled, “You’re almost there!” She smiled her thanks, sipped the water, and folded herself into the crowd while all eyes were watching the other runners throw their arms into the air for the last few triumphant yards.

The cooking, on the other hand, was little more than a pipe dream. Abigail’s greatest accomplishment was adding a diced chicken breast and some soy sauce to leftover chicken chow mein. It was too salty. But propped on her counter in an antique, wrought-iron bookstand was a Williams-Sonoma cookbook with full-color photographs and extensive instructions on how to cook homemade delicacies like potato gnocchi with wild mushroom sauce and baked clams with pine nuts and basil. Every morning, while she waited for the last few drops of coffee to drip into her Gevalia carafe, Abigail would thumb through the glossy pages of the cookbook and imagine what it would be like to make a wine reduction sauce as the sound of laughter filled her apartment. Someday, she told herself.

And though there were many somedays in Abigail’s life, she tried not to let the particulars of her existence get her down too much. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have a boyfriend. It didn’t matter that every day plodded on with the same pitfalls and small successes. It didn’t matter that her apartment was quiet but for the hum of her empty stainless steel refrigerator. It was the life that Abigail had chosen, and she was a grim optimist, resigned to the path she was on—she was getting exactly what she had always wanted. So what if it was tilted heavily toward work, personal discipline, solitude? So what if it left little room for the things other people craved? So what if her cupboards were as bare of exotic ingredients as her apartment was bare of cheerful company?

But sometimes, alone in her apartment with the shades drawn tight, Abigail would stand in front of the full-length mirror on the back of her bathroom door and relax enough to admire what she saw. Tousling her wet hair and practicing a self-conscious smile that showed her teeth—her impossibly white, perfectly straight teeth that were a genetic legacy instead of the result of extensive dental work—Abigail could almost pretend that she was ten years younger and that the world was unfurling itself before her.

For those moments in the steam and warmth, dark ringlets of hair curling around her temples as if she were some Grecian empress, Abigail wished much more for herself than what she had. She wished that she could rewind the clock and find Abby, the girl she used to be, perched on the cusp of her life instead of entrenched in the middle of it with no apparent way out.

Every once in a while, she could gather the courage to admit that it would be a very different life if she had it to do all over again.

***

When Abigail first came to Johnson & McNally, she had a chance at a different life.

It was no secret around the office that Colton McNally had a thing for the new accountant. He was twelve years older than Abigail and divorced, and that seemed somehow estimable according to Abigail’s less-than-high expectations. It wasn’t that she would settle for just anyone, but she also didn’t enter into much of anything with a long list of prerequisites.

In truth, Abigail found Colton very attractive. She thought his salt-and-pepper hair was distinguished—even though she suspected it came from the hands of a very talented colorist as he wasn’t quite forty—and she liked the way his tailored suits fell across the straight line of his shoulders. Best of all, he was nothing like the immature, self-absorbed boys Abigail had dated in college. They had nearly turned her off of men altogether. So when Colton turned his attention toward her, Abigail let him flirt. For a while, she even stopped wearing the stern bobby pins so that her dark curls framed her rather nicely arched forehead.

And yet Abigail wasn’t naive. She knew that her employer loved her because of the photo. It would have been too much to ask for Colton to love her, or at least think he did, because of herself. But while she probably should have been reticent of attention resulting from such a faint and improbable notion, Abigail accepted—almost expected—the source of Colton’s desire.

The photograph in question hung neatly squared and centered on a fabric-covered board adorning the west wall in the reception room. It was a concession to the more traditional bulletin board, replete with employee photographs that were intended to look candid but often looked overposed.

Abigail knew of the board, she even shot glances at it whenever she could to detect updates and changes, but she was not aware upon settling into her position that tradition dictated a spot for her photo front and center ASAP.

It was her third day of work, and Abigail was immersed in balancing infinitesimal details and worlds away from the air-conditioned office she inhabited when Colton startled her with a quiet “Ahem.”

Her head was bowed, and her forearms rested on endless pages that sprouted like an unruly crop of paper weeds across her generous desk. Abigail blinked and raised her eyes, just her eyes, in time to be blinded by the flash of Colton’s expensive Canon. He laughed and snapped a few more pictures for which she cleared off her desk, sat up straight, and smiled, thin-lipped and toothy and even coy, trying them all in the hopes that one would be right.

But the next day, Abigail was surprised to see that the photo gracing the quasi bulletin board was the first of the batch. She knew she was looking at herself because seeing the small, hunched form over the crowded desk was a sort of déjà vu—she had been there before. If not for that, Abigail would have never believed that the woman staring back at her was her own reflection. The woman in the photograph had luminous—there was simply no other word for them—luminous black eyes of the starry-sky variety: endless and opalescent and dark like a time before the genesis. Like the event horizon of identical black holes—no way out, but no matter, for who would ever want to leave? Beneath the twin universes of those eyes, her lips were slightly parted, pink and full and evocative of bruised raspberries. Her skin glowed faintly (fluorescent light reflecting off all that white paper?), and her shadowy curls were framing and soft. The woman was lovely.

But what unnerved Abigail the most was that Colton had caught her at a moment between. A rare, uncovered moment between expressions: a moment of evaporation before the advent of her surprise became the dutiful smile that spread across her face in the split second after the shutter snapped. This woman was a living mystery.

Abigail wished she knew her.

***

One day, a few months after she started at the firm, Abigail went into Colton’s office to ask him a question about the tax return of a dual citizen living out of country. It was a legitimate question, but Blake’s office was closer than Colton’s, and her admirer acknowledged that fact the second Abigail rapped her knuckles on the doorframe. She realized almost too late that her presence would be read as an invitation, and sure enough, a smile unfolded across Colton’s face like a flag pulled taut in a billowing wind.

“Come in, Abigail! Why don’t you close the door behind you? There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”

Abigail did as she was told and crossed the plush, carpeted floor of Colton’s office with her heart stuck fast in her throat.

“But first—” Colton set aside what he had been working on—“what can I do for you?”

Passing him the papers, Abigail lowered herself to balance on the arm of one of the leather chairs facing the wide, black walnut desk. But Colton raised an eyebrow at her, motioned that she should cross behind the desk to stand beside him.

They had flirted before, secret half smiles conveyed across crowded rooms and careful conversations littered with possibilities. And it seemed that the unmistakable chemistry between Colton and Abigail was a favorite topic around the watercooler, boasting far more people in favor of a match than against it. It was impossible for Abigail not to get caught up in it a little. But she also couldn’t help being cautious, and suddenly, with the door closed and Colton looking far more handsome than she remembered from only the day before, she knew that he was a man who wouldn’t play games for long.

Colton waved her over again and Abigail moved slowly, explaining about the nonresident and his recent payout from a life insurance death benefit. She had just gotten to the part where he intended to give enough of it away to slip below the line of taxable income when Colton grabbed her wrist and, in one smooth movement, pulled her forward until her face was inches from his. He studied her, still smiling, then kissed her full on the mouth as if he had been intending to do so for a long time.

It wasn’t that Abigail didn’t want to kiss him back. Actually quite the opposite. It wasn’t even that she was stunned by the inappropriateness of such a gesture. Instead, it was a Tic Tac that ruined everything, a burning little grain of peppermint that she inhaled when Colton’s lips touched hers.

She drew back, pulling out of Colton’s embrace and coughing violently until tears collected at the corners of her eyes. Abigail struggled for a moment, choking mutely as she watched Colton bolt out of his chair and grab her upper arms. When the breath mint was dislodged from her throat and she could feel it hot and peppery on her tongue, she knew it was a very small thing that would be significant in ways that might cause her years of lament.

“I’m sorry,” Abigail murmured, utterly mortified for one of the first times she could remember. “I . . .” She couldn’t continue.

Colton stared at her, concern and disbelief gathering foglike across his forehead. At first, Abigail thought he might fold her into his arms, that the almost-pitiable comedy of what had just happened would become the sort of story they laughed about months down the road when they told people the tale of how they came together. But then Colton laughed, rubbing his hands up and down her arms. The moment shattered and fell away, disappearing in a shimmer of doubt that made Abigail wonder if she had merely dreamed it.

“As long as you’re okay,” he boomed. And then he sat back down and pretended nothing had happened. He never mentioned it again and neither did she.

Eighteen months later, Colton married Marguerite, the receptionist who was hired at the same time as Abigail. Marguerite was a few years younger than Abigail, but she looked much older due to a succession of bad dye jobs and what appeared to be a lifetime of sun damage spotting her skin. Colton seemed happy; from what little Abigail could discern of her boss’s marriage, he genuinely longed for companionship and Marguerite’s horselike laugh didn’t turn him off so much that he considered her a poor match.

Although it was against her nature, shortly after the happy couple’s beach wedding, Abigail went through a brief stage where she fixated on what might have been. The entire office had once been invited to Colton’s sprawling house only a block off the ocean, and Abigail could almost picture herself the mistress of his columned colonial. What sort of a woman would she be if she were Mrs. McNally? What would she look like offering guests a second martini and lounging in some bright sari that she had bought on their honeymoon in Belize?

It was a nice scenario, but Abigail wasn’t one to waste too much energy on regret, and she abandoned such nonsense the same way she set aside every other impossible dream: she placed it firmly out of her mind. A few years later when Blake and Colton approached her about being a partner, she was even able to congratulate herself that her business card would read Johnson, McNally & Bennett instead of Johnson, McNally & McNally. She convinced herself that it was much more satisfying this way.

For his part, after their less than romantic encounter in his office, Colton was nothing but a gentleman to Abigail. He treated her with the same respect, the same quiet yet somehow condescending pride of a father figure. Abigail was reduced from a possible lover to the discarded role of a dependable daughter. It was a character she was rather good at playing.

***

Lou Bennett was a father when he could have been a grandfather.

He met Melody Van Bemmel at Chevy’s Café a week after he turned forty-five. It was nearly a blizzard outside, and she blew into the warm restaurant off-balance and trembling as if she were a leaf driven by the vicious wind. When the door slammed behind her, Melody gasped, stomped her booted feet, and flung the hood of her parka back. She smiled shyly, looking around as if her entrance had been staged, as if she were taking her place beneath the spotlight and now that she was front and center she had forgotten her lines.

Everyone in the café glanced up at her for the blink of an eye and then turned back to their coffees and specials of the day without a second thought. Everyone except Lou. He had fallen in love the moment Melody raised her hands to turn back her hood. They were little hands swimming in a pair of men’s work gloves that were so big on her fingers they nearly slid off. Lou imagined they were his gloves. He wished they were.

And just as quickly as he longed for her, Lou hated himself for it. She was a child. Her eyes were too clear, her skin too bright for her to even look twice at a man whose own skin was as deeply lined as those etchings he had seen on display in the American National Bank. But when she caught his eye, when her lips pulled up slightly just for him, Lou knew there was nothing that could be done about it. He was hers, even if she never acknowledged his existence. Even if he loved her in secret until the day he died.

As it turned out, he didn’t have to. Melody came to Lou in the most natural, ordinary way: she brushed against the edge of his life and found herself inexorably pulled in. He didn’t even know he was drowning until he felt himself reach for her and cling for dear life.

They were married less than a year later, and though Melody was not as young as Lou had imagined, when she walked down the aisle in a confection of white, a little shiver crept up Lou’s spine because she did not look twenty-five. Twenty years, he thought in the second before the preacher asked him if he would have her and hold her until “death do you part.”

Lou said, “I do” without hesitation, but somewhere in the back of his mind he faltered. There was a nagging suspicion, an accusatory guilt that made him wonder if he had made her the happiest woman alive like she claimed or if he had involuntarily ruined her life.

It took Melody almost six years to get pregnant, though they tried to make a baby on their wedding night. She saw doctors and gynecologists and fertility specialists, but no one could tell her why her womb would not swell with a child. For a while, Lou entertained the possibility of joining her at one of her appointments, but those sorts of things made him unbearably uncomfortable. He avoided the conversation he knew Melody wanted to have the same way that he avoided the drawer where she kept her neat pile of lace-trimmed underwear.

When Lou was fifty-one, Melody’s cheeks took on a greenish hue in the early morning, and the waist that he so loved to encompass in his enormous hands began to expand. She wouldn’t admit it at first—maybe she was scared to hope—but Lou knew almost immediately. Something about Melody had changed, the scent of her skin or the complexity of the air around her when she entered a room. Maybe both. Either way, Lou was relieved. It wasn’t him, it had never been him, and now she would be happy. They would be a family.

Lou didn’t think much about the baby until the doctor handed him a tiny, tightly wrapped bundle with a pink cap sliding down over her lashless eyes. They were two little commas, those eyes, a break amidst all the words that comprised his many years of life, though certainly not a beginning or even an end. Lou stared at her and realized that he had planned on having a son.

“Abigail Rose,” Melody called weakly from the bed. She smiled at him with all the energy she could muster, and her eyes were dancing with tears. “Rose for my mother and Abigail because it’s the most beautiful name I’ve ever heard. I think we’ll call her Abby.”

What was there to say? It was a fine name, and Lou hadn’t wasted a single thought on another. “Pretty,” he said finally and brushed his lips tentatively across the soft forehead because it seemed like the right thing to do.


Taken from The Moment Between by Nicole Baart. Copyright ©2009 by Nicole Baart. Used with permission from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


Disclosure:  No compensation was received for sharing this sneak peek with my readers.

Not Me Monday

5/11/09

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This is my first Not Me post, so bare with me as I get the hang of this.

Let's see...I did not not forget to make my son's lunch last night and have to haphazardly throw things into his lunch bag before running out the door late. I also did not go out of the house with frizzy electric socket hair, unbrushed teeth, no make-up, a stained T shirt and jeans to drop my son off at school. I most certainly did not grumble as I fought through traffic on a thirty minute drive in drizzle. Nor did I say that some people's licenses should be revoked for their stupidity when they cut me off or crept too slowly in front of me. And I didn't complain that I had to do it all over again and drive back home another thirty-five minutes in said drizzle.

Oh, and I most certainly did not ditch working to stuff my face with too many banana nut bread muffins and guzzle down another can of Mountain Dew after telling myself that I would be on a more healthy "diet" and "exercise" regime.

No, not me!

Check Out My New Blog Button!

5/8/09
Parenting and lifestyle blog
I have been suffering from some blog button envy recently. I'll admit it. I saw all of these really neat buttons and started to turn green. I finally decided that green isn't a good color for me and went in search of someone to design a button for me, since I am technically challenged when it comes to html and don't have a program of my own.

I found Rae Ann's blog Critical Mass and happened to notice that she designs headers and buttons! So I went over to The Button Box and many of those buttons I was drooling over were designed by her! I knew she was the one to design a button for my blog.

Thank you SO much Rae Ann for my new button! I hope that all of my new bloggy friends & followers will exchange buttons with me. If you like my button and would like one of your own design, head over to Rae Ann's Button Box by clicking here.

What do you think of Rae Ann's design? Post a comment. Or better yet, head over to the Button Box and tell her what a great job she did!

Things I Love Thursday 5/7

5/7/09
blogging memes

It's time for Things I Love Thursday! I love the band Skillet! This morning, after dropping my son off at school, I rolled down the windows and cranked up Skillet on my Ipod. Nothing like cruisin' with the breeze in your hair and Skillet thumping in your car!

This is one of my favorite songs and music videos:



What are your favorite music groups? Leave a comment and/or link up here at Sarah's blog.

Baltimore Zoo Giraffes (Wordless Wednesday}

5/6/09
Baltimore Zoo, nature photography
The Baltimore Zoo in Maryland
For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit Five Minutes for Mom

Win a Toshiba Portege for Mother's Day!

5/5/09
Mothers Day 2009

Mother's Day is this coming weekend, and what better way to celebrate than to win some wonderful prizes?

Five Minutes for Mom is hosting this great Mother's Day giveaway of a Toshiba Portege A600!

Here are the features of the Toshiba Portege A600:

Key Features:
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor SU9300
12.1″ diagonal widescreen display with an LED backlight
Built-in Webcam and Microphone
Integrated Bluetooth® version 2.1 plus Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
Energy Star 4.0 Compliant
DVD-SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflash™ drive
1-yr Parts and Labor, 1-yr Battery Warranties
Finger Print Reader for security
All of these features are great but, let’s be honest, the biggest feature, the one that matters the most, is the price. And you’re going to love this price… The Portege A600 runs just $1,299 - $1,399.99!

What an wonderful gift for a mom! Check out Five Minutes for Mom to find out how to win!

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