Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book worm

I know, I haven't blogged in forever! Here is the reason. As I looked at last year, I was disappointed in the number of books I read. I love to read, and making that statement while only reading one or two books a year just isn't right so this month I went through everyone's Goodreads and picked up some books at the library and read - ALL OF THEM.

Let's start with the worst.

Luckily this one only took me a few hours to read. The main character, who is an avid Jane Austen fan and unlucky in love inherits a trip to Austenland, where people go to experience what this time period would be like. She goes so that she can finally put the notion that she will find her own Mr. Darcy out of her head. This almost happens (she starts to realize that she is attracted to losers who aren't confined to the US or her own time period) until the worst ending possible emerges: the actor portraying the Darcy type runs after her to the airport and professes his [real] love. Needless to say, happily ever after. Yikes. I think a smarter ending would have made the book much better.

This historical fiction centers on Sarah, a young, spunky, seemingly fearless girl growing up in the Arizona territories in the rough 1800s who keeps a journal of her family's wagontrain journey to Texas and back and their establishment in Arizona. Her story drew me in immediately - the characters are vivid and real, the situations they face heartbreaking and the way she is able to survive and grow amazing.

First of all, this epic is 1000 pages. So the fact that I finished it in one week tells you that it is riveting! This is also historical fiction about English 1800s - plague-era and the decline of feudalism. The story focuses on several characters whose lives are intertwined in a village housing one of the largest cathedrals in England. Ideas, customs and ways of life that have been around for hundreds of years are on the verge of radical change and it is so interesting how each character embraces it or doggedly fights it, leaving outcomes that drastically change lives.

Anyway, last week we had some great weather and enjoyed the park thoroughly. Charlotte insisted on taking her purse. Of course, it was filled with Hot Wheels to send down the slide.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

White Christmas!

This year Helaman and I celebrated our first white Christmas together. We stayed with the Ericksons in Sandy, Utah and took advantage of the close proximity to the ski slopes. I'd never been before! It was fun.
At least I didn't spend too much time sitting on the snow like that person on the left...
Action shot of H on the bunny slope (note the little kids)
We weren't the only ones out in the snow. I couldn't resist this snow suit on sale at Kohl's. Charlotte was nervous about the snow at first, but came to love it and still asks where the snow is now that we're back in Texas.This feels weird!

Deal Alert/Tip. Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic has a price adjustment policy within 14 days. I bought Helaman a great wool coat for our trip to Utah (and the fact that all he has are ghetto coats). I knew the price would go down after Christmas though, so I saved my receipt and brought it back to Gap on the 14th day and got a $17 credit even though the store didn't have any more of the coat. This even worked for a Halloween costume I bought for Charlotte this year (for next year). I brought back the receipt and asked for a price adjustment after Halloween and sure enough got one, though the clerk gave me a hard time. You can't argue with policy, though. :)

Anyone else get any good deals for Christmas? We were snowed in the day after Christmas, so we couldn't snatch up as many post-Christmas sales on decorations and such as I would have liked, but at least I have enough wrapping paper for next year...