Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Books I Want to Read...Letters

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2815. Yeah. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

This month, it's letters. I love letters. I enjoy emails and they're a great way to keep in touch, but there is just something special about handwritten letters. I have letters that my dad wrote to me while I was in college. He often traveled for his job when I was younger and he would send my sisters and me postcards or leave us little notes before he left. I cherish those notes and letters now.

My husband and I had a long-distance courtship because he was in England and I was in America. This was pre-internet so I have cards and letters that are precious to me because of the things we shared with each other.

Handwritten letters are tangible proof that someone is or was thinking about you. We need to write more of them to people.

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The Wedding Letters by Jason Wright

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters comes the completion of one family's journey to survive their past and forge their own future. With no more secrets...

When Noah Cooper bumps into Rachel, it's love at first sight—at least for Noah. Rachel isn't so sure. But Noah's charm pays off, and he introduces his bride-to-be to a special Cooper family tradition—the wedding letters. Family and friends of the happy couple are invited to send letters of advice on love, life, and happiness.

However, when a dark secret from Rachel's past surfaces, will Noah and his parents, Malcolm and Rain, be able to help save the wedding from disaster? And what about the scrapbook of wedding letters that have already been gathered? Could a single letter really provide the answer that will bring Rachel back?

Set against the backdrop of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, The Wedding Letters will remind you that sometimes, no matter the secrets of years' past, two hearts can still be one. And by the final page, you might just want to create your own book of wedding letters for someone you love.

Béla's Letters by Jeff Ingber

Through personal narrative and letters preserved for decades, Béla’s Letters tells the remarkable story of a large Eastern European family torn apart by war and the Holocaust, the extraordinary circumstances that each family member endures, and the survivors’ struggle to come to terms with the feelings of guilt, hatred, fear, and abandonment that haunt them.

I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation..."

It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.

Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other’s unwavering support.

A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I’ll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.

If Heaven had a Mailbox by Jill Telford

Seventeen years after the death of her mother, a woman thinks about what would happen if she mails a letter to her mother in Heaven. She takes out a pen and starts writing. She doesn't put a stamp. She sends the letter off with only faith that it reaches it's destination. She prays for a response but the response received is the most unbelievable , most incredible, and perhaps the best thing to happen in her life. The response comes with one promise. Not to tell anybody. This is a short story kicking off the book series: If Heaven had a Mailbox.

The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis

Katerina inherits a scented, wooden spice box after her grandmother Mariam dies. It contains letters and a diary, written in Armenian. As she pieces together her family story, Katerina learns that Mariam's childhood was shattered by the Armenian tragedy of 1915.

Mariam was exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her beloved brother, Gabriel, her life marred by grief and the loss of her first love. Dissatisfied and restless, Katerina tries to find resolution in her own life as she completes Mariam's story – on a journey that takes her across Cyprus and then half a world away to New York.

Miracles, it seems, can happen – for those trapped by the past, and for Katerina herself.

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cover Crush...the hideaway


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I love porches. Some day my house will have a porch where we can have chairs to sit in on summer evenings. This cover though? What kind of house is it? As inviting as it is, the oors appear to be in disrepair. What is its story? Who has lived here? Who has loved here? Who has left and who might have returned? So many questions and only by reading will we find the answers.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekend Reflections 3/25

Looking outside...it's wet and soggy from rain, but the sun is shining. It's 37 and my house was chilly this morning. 

Listening...to the dishwasher. The Doctor is in the office. The Boy is at work. The Artist is still asleep.

Loving...that The Doctor and I have more time together with the new work schedule. I can go to the office with him as his office manager/front staff. He is able to schedule as he pleases because it's his practice. He is home more. 

Thinking...that we need to plan a Sunday School lesson for tomorrow. We teach the 14-15 year olds at church and they're awesome.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru at the moment. Going to my Mom's to watch LDS Women's Conference with her and my sister. The Doctor offered to get us Panera.  So he and the boys are on their own.

Wearing...denim skirt, purple turtleneck, socks and slippers.

Hoping...that the sun stays out. It's lovely.

Reading...Nothing new. Rereading some old favorites because I don't have to concentrate or write anything.

Today...Work around the house. I'd like to get some trimming done in the yard, but unless it all dries out quickly, that might not happen. There is laundry to do. There is always laundry to do.

Quoting..." 'Impossible' is a word that humans use far too often." -- Seven of Nine, Star Trek Voyager: Hope and Fear.

Feeling...So tired. I'm sure my answer for this is repetitive, but it's true.

Planning...next week is Spring Break. Not sure if we're doing anything special. The Boy has a pretty busy week of work.


Gratitude...for my husband. He is a good man. He'll tell you he isn't, but he is. He works hard. He cares about people. He reaches out. He serves. He loves. I am blessed.

From my world... 



What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cover Crush...Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Cafe


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I don't drink coffee. I drink hot chocolate and I love this cover, with a delicious cup of something and a partially eaten cookie. A woman has likely taken the first smooth sip and left her bright lipstick on the cup. The best part of this book? The title. So much snark in only 8 words. I want to read this book simply because a snarky title like that speaks to snarky old me!

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend Reflections 3/18

Looking outside...it's overcast with a chance of rain. Currently 54 though, which is nice.

Listening...to the dishwasher running, and the washer is on a spin cycle. The Boy is watching something on his phone. The Artist is asleep on the couch.

Loving...that we are all home together this weekend.

Thinking...that all the extras on the Arrival DVD are just as good as the movie. We loved Arrival. So much, that we rented it from Redbox last week and as soon as it was over, we went out and got our own copy. Watched the makings of last night and it was fascinating. If you haven't seen it. Watch it. Now.

In my kitchen...Not sure what's on the menu for tonight. Crio Bru at the moment. It has replaced my hot chocolate addiction. Took some time to get used to it, but I love it and it's so much lower calorie and low carb. I'm not doing full Keto like the Doctor is, but I'm counting calories and eating fewer carbs. So the Crio is awesome for that. I sweeten mine with some Stevia and Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup and then add a splash of half and half. Yum!

Wearing...denim skirt, green and tan top, no shoes.

Hoping...that my lilac tree will bloom. We had to cut it back hard last year because I don't think it had ever been pruned and I'm afraid we cut it back too late to get blossoms this year. There are lots of buds, but I'm hoping that they might be flowers and not just leaves. Time will tell.

Reading...Don't ask.

Today...I'm not sure. I need to run to the grocery store. Tonight and tomorrow we have Stake Conference meetings, but today is open. Although, I believe The Doctor has plans to put the boys to work cleaning the garage.

Quoting..."Despite knowing the journey...and where it leads...I embrace it...and I welcome every moment of it." -- Dr. Louise Banks, Arrival

Feeling...Tired. I'm always tired. But I am also filled with more hope than I have been in a very long time because of this new adventure in building our own practice.

Planning...some deep spring cleaning and some yard work. We have a forsythia that needs trimming and a couple of trees that need some work and a bed of raspberry bushes that needs to go. I hate yard work. Have I ever mentioned that?


Gratitude...for opportunities. Opportunities that The Doctor would never have had if we hadn't made the move to start our own practice.

From my world... 




Everything The Artist is looking forward to this year. Guardians 2 got left off, but otherwise, it's pretty accurate. And Kong: Skull Island? Awesome. Seriously. It was amazing. We will go see it again, I'm sure. 

If you do go, stay for the very end credit scene. Especially if you're a Godzilla fan. There's a fantastic tie-in for the next film which will be Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020, with the Godzilla from the 2014 film. Which we also loved.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Childhood Favorites...The Hundred Dresses

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Wanda is a Polish immigrant who wears the same faded dress each day, but talks about the hundred dresses she has at home. Peggy, a girl in her class, begins taunting and teasing her and Peggy's best friend Maggie stands to the side and doesn't interfere, event though she knows it's wrong. Maggie herself wears second-hand clothes and doesn't want to be teased if Peggy decides to bully someone else.


Wanda wins an art contest with one hundred drawings of dresses and her father moves his family to the city where they won't be the only immigrants and where his children won't be singled out. Peggy and Maggie realize too late that they can't apologize to Wanda because she has left, but Maggie vows she will never stand by and watch someone picked on again.

Looking back on this story, I realized that it is one of the best books about bullying. When I read it though, bullying wasn't a term we used. Nor were terms like peer pressure or self-esteem. It wasn't something discussed in the detail that it is now. Kids picked on kids and, for the most part, you just dealt with it. We have much more of an awareness now, but as I was growing up and certainly when this book was written, it wasn't a subject we talked about.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cover Crush...Unrivaled


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I love historical fiction covers. And this one struck me as soon as I saw it. The soft muted colors are lovely. The woman is interested in the man, but her body language shows resistance and she's holding a piece of paper away from him. The title would suggest a competition or people engaged in the same activity, but not with each other. So many hints in just one image.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Friday, March 10, 2017

How Do People Find My Blog, Part 7

It's been a year since my last installment of How Do People Find My Blog. Sometimes, it's quite interesting, and even a bit confusing! So, sit back and laugh at some of the searches that have brought people to 2 Kids and Tired Books.

my favorite winter activity...staying inside, preferably with a fireplace, a blanket and a book.

tired of books...I may get tired of reviewing, but I never get tired of books. 

alcatraz sayings...ask our children and they will tell you our favorite is Rule #5. "You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege."

organ harvest...I hate the word "harvest" because it is used in connection with illegal organ acquisition. I prefer that people honestly donate their organs. Save lives. Declare yourself a donor. Talk to your family about doing the same. 

Ciaran Hinds...Sigh...

christian motto...You'll find lots of happy, sweet and spiritual christian mottos out there. I even have a few I like. But, I stand by our family motto which is from Alcatraz Rule #5.

medieval family mottos...Traditionally an ancient family motto was the war cry. Go figure. The Kennedy family comes from Scotland and the Kennedy Clan motto is: Avis La Fin, which means Consider the End.

Michelangelo guest house Florence...This is a B&B in Florence, Italy. Haven't stayed there, so I can't give a recommendation. Photos online are lovely though.

brandon mull book signing...Brandon's book signings are awesome. I took The Boy several years ago to a book signing at Barnes and Noble. Brandon spoke to the group in general and then signed every single thing a fan put in front of him. He talked with people, took photos and was absolutely a gentleman. He made sure that everyone knew that he would stay until he had seen the last person. It was a fantastic experience. Love him.

Papa Married a Mormon...My grandmother had this book on her shelf and it was one of my favorites. I loved reading it. It's semi-autobiographical and written by John D. Fitzgerald of the Great Brain fame. It's a somewhat fictionalized family history of his family life growing up in rural Utah. 

His mother was Mormon and his father Catholic. Neither one ever converted to the others' faith. He tells the story of their courtship and how he and his siblings were raised. The book is full of humorous tales of childhood adventure, tumultuous relationships and love and forgiveness. There are stories of conflicts between the Mormons and others, but there is also an underlying thread of how to resolve differences and get along. It's awesome.

Captain America Civil War review...loved it, but it really should have been Avengers: Civil War, not Captain America. It was more of an Avengers movie than anything. I will admit to loving Tom Holland's Spiderman and I am not a Spiderman fan.

neonatal nurse...I love neonatal nurses. They are my heroes. You can read about our NICU experience here

Before We Go sequel...Man, oh man, do I wish there was a sequel. The ending was appropriate, but I want to know what Nick wrote on the card and I want Brooke to return to New York.

What is plagiarism?...Are you serious? Plagiarism is taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own. Don't do it. Ever.

Is S.E. Hinton still alive?.. Yes. Yes, she is. She even tweets

tired woman...Welcome to the club, sweetie.

manhattan clam chowder...No, New England Clam Chowder. Totally my favorite. I'm currently wishing that Panera delivered.

Rosamund Du Jardin books...Oh, they're the best. Still my favorites after all these years. You can read about my experience finding copies to purchase in this post.

What about you? Do you know how people find your blog?

You can see other installments of How do People Find My Blog here: Part 6Part 5Part 4Part 3Part 2Part 1.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cover Crush...Losing the Light


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I adore France. I have always desired to return and this time, while Paris is amazing, I want to visit the coast. I have no idea what this book is about, but this cover just evokes France. What is it about? Who lives there or has traveled there? Is it a romance or a memoir?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Reflections 3/4

Looking outside...it's raining, but not snowing. Temp is hovering around 43, so it's quite nice.

Listening...to the country music station playing in The Doctor's office. He normally changes it when he's here all day, but we just came in to see a couple of patients, so he just left it. They're playing classic older country and I'm trying desperately not to sing along. I don't love all the newer country. So many of these new young singers just sound all the same to me. There are so few standouts now. And you just don't hear enough Alabama or George Strait on the radio these days. 

Loving...that I can spend the day with The Doctor and be a part of this practice. It's so great to do this together.

Thinking...that my brain has too many tabs open as usual.

In my kitchen...Hot chocolate in my travel mug at the moment. Not sure about dinner.

Wearing...denim skirt, tan turtleneck, dark green sweater.

Hoping...that we might see some sun. I don't mind the rain, but sunshine is very welcome.

Reading...still working on The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow.

Today...finish up with patients and then I'm not sure what The Doctor and I have planned. The Artist is spending the day with a friend, having a Godzilla marathon today. The Boy is home, happy to have Saturday off.

Quoting...“I need to ask myself, 'What would an Apollo astronaut do?' He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.” ―  Mark Watney  The Martian by Andy Weir

Feeling...tired. Went to bed with a pretty solid headache, but it was gone this morning, which was nice.

Planning...thinking about what to do over Spring Break.


Gratitude...for extended family. My cousin and her children were here this week because it's high school basketball championship time. Loved spending time with her, even if we stayed up 'til 3:00 am talking! So good to visit.


From my world... 




True story.



What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cover Crush...My Berlin Kitchen


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


The subtitle to this book is "A Love Story (with Recipes)". Is it only about cooking? Is it a romance that incorporates cooking? Is it a memoir about living in Berlin? The cover suggests a woman carrying a basket and on her way home from the market. A market setting like this hints at somewhere outside of America, so it well could be set in Berlin. I want to read it just to discover new recipes!

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesindieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.