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Friday, June 29, 2012

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

A few weeks ago my mother in law gave me this book to read, they had just read it for book club.  She described it as "delightful" which to me sounded like a kind of old fashioned word, but after reading it, delightful is the perfect word.

Momma always told CeeCee (short for Cecelia Rose) that “being in the North isn’t living—it’s absolute hell.” Of course, having to live with Momma—Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, that is, Vidalia Onion Queen, 1951—doesn’t make it any more heavenly, especially when Momma starts standing in the front yard blowing kisses to passersby. You know this is going to end badly, and so it does, when the erstwhile onion queen is run over by a speeding Happy Cow Ice Cream Truck. Before you can say “sweet magnolia blossoms,” 12-year-old CeeCee is sent off to Savannah to live with her elderly great aunt, Tallulah Caldwell, and her wise African American housekeeper and cook, Oletta. It being 1967, you know there will be one dark episode of racial hatred, but it’s quickly—and conveniently—resolved offstage, leaving all the characters free to continue being relentlessly eccentric, upbeat, sweet as molasses, and living, as CeeCee puts it with a straight face, “in a breezy, flower-scented fairy tale . . . a strange, perfumed world that . . . seemed to be run entirely by women.” Light as air but thoroughly pleasant reading. --Michael Cart

The book was light, and the resolutions a little simplistic, but it had really fabulous characters that made me laugh out loud.  There were some really great quotes, here are some of my favs:

"Don't go wastin all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hangin on to what happened yesteday.  Let go.
"She said holding on to hurt and anger made about as much sense as hitting your head with a hammer and expecting the other person to get a headache."
and the best of all...
"I find all men to be very much like wearing high heeled shoes--I love how pretty they make me feel, but by the end of the night I can't wait to get rid of them."

Do yourself a favor...find a pool, get a Diet Coke, and settle in for a fun read.  A-

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Boy Loves His Grandparents

Friday we went with Tim's family to Cherry Hill.  I bought Luke's swimming suit when he was about 2 weeks old and I was worried it would never fit him because it looked so big.  As you can see by his belly hanging out, he has almost grown out of it already.  We played around in the kids' pools and fountain but Luke was most content just being held and loved by his grandma and grandpa.

Ever since Luke was a newborn he has held his hand this way.
Gayle was so amazed when she noticed,
Apparently her dad, Luke's Great Grandpa Matkin
Holds his hands the exact same way.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sarah's Key

One of the best parts about our trip to Las Vegas was being chauffeured by Tim which gave me several hours to read.  Luckily I don't get carsick - I read one book on the way there and another on the way back.  I love when I can basically read a book in one setting.  The first I read was Sara's Key.  I know this book has been on a lot of best seller lists and read by a lot of book clubs for the past few years.  I finally picked it up for this trip and was so glad I did.

If you don't know anything about the book, here's a brief summary:
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old Jewish girl, is arrested by the French police in the middle of the night, along with her mother and father. Desperate to protect her younger brother, she locks him in a cupboard and promises to come back for him as soon as she can. Paris, May 2002: Julia Jarmond, an American journalist, is asked to write about the 60th anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv’—the infamous day in 1942 when French police rounded up thousands of Jewish men, women and children, in order to send them to concentration camps. Sarah's Key is the poignant story of two families, forever linked and haunted by one of the darkest days in France’s past. In this emotionally intense, page-turning novel, Tatiana de Rosnay reveals the guilt brought on by long-buried secrets and the damage that the truth can inflict when they finally come unravelled.
For as much as I read, sometimes it amazes me how many things I know little to nothing about - one of those was the Vel' d'Hiv'.  There are countless tragic events surrounding the holocaust but because of the way the story was told, this one seemed so personal and even more heartbreaking than most.  Apparently Parisians still see this as a real black eye on their city and are not anxious to talk about it. I thought the author did a fantastic job of weaving together the history and modern day fiction with the stories of two separate families.   The characters in the modern day story were a little one dimensional to me, but even so, I still cared about their stories and what happened to everyone involved.  I cried a few times and really just felt so much more aware of some tough events of the past.  It made me realize that even at it's perceived worst, my life is pretty easy.

The second book I read was The Weight of Silence.

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.
Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.
Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

 I didn't know anything about this book or the author, but the picture on the front and the first paragraph were pretty interesting.   The first paragraph is often my criteria for choosing books, basically one shot to hook me.  The summary sounded like a narrative that could be really great or pretty mediocre.  Unfortunately, the rest of the book didn't quite live up to my expectations.  It was a decent read since I had time to kill, but fell on the side of very mediocre.  I basically haven't thought about it since and can't hardly remember the name of the book.  The characters were pretty simple and it was tough to believe in all of the coinciding events.  Even though the story line should have been pretty upsetting, I wasn't invested enough in anyone to really care.  It wasn't a horrible read but it certainly wouldn't make the top of any of my must read lists.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back In The Saddle

Today was the first time I have been on my bike since September - almost nine months.  When I got pregnant the doctor had told me that I could run as long as it didn't hurt, but wanted me to stop riding because of the dangers of falling.  The last time I rode I got nervous because I felt so unsteady so I decided that I was done riding until I had the baby.  This spring I saw so many people biking and I was itching to get back on my bike but even though everything went so well with the delivery, it has taken awhile to think that riding a bike sounded fun.  I tried a few spin classes which went well so I thought I was ready.  I went out by myself today to make sure I could still ride like I remembered, I didn't want any pressure.  It was hot and I was super tired  by the time I got home but it felt amazing.  I absolutely love my bike and how freeing it feels to ride.  Just a few shots so you can share my ride:

Silly Kiddos

On Thursday night, Ada, Miles and Gavin came to hang out and play.  They are so cute with Luke and wanted to help change and feed him and see if they could get him to talk.  While we were hanging out in his room, they started finding his clothes, toys, etc. and had a great time pretending to be "Baby Rubio".  So fun.  Check out Miles' pants, the ultimate in skinny jeans.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Baby Lucy

Last night we went to my parent's house to celebrate Fathers Day.  With all the fun Luke didn't get changed soon enough and needed a new outfit.  My mom went looking for jammies and the only ones that fit were an old pair of mine.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but they were yellow with pink bands.  It was so cute, all he needed was a bow for his head.  Everyone started calling him Baby Lucy, poor boy.

Today he went to the doctor for his two month check up.  I can't believe how much he has grown: he weighs 13lb 2oz and is 23.5 inches.  He went from 15% at birth to 74% now for weight, from 62% to 58% for height, and proving he has Broadbent genetics, is up to 99% for head.  He had several vaccinations and was not at all happy about that.  Luckily he doesn't seem to be too affected and has eaten and slept normally today.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Three years ago I married by best friend and couldn't be happier about it.  Life hasn't been perfect, but we have had such an amazing time since then: trips, races, new house, baby and small moments every day that make me so grateful to be married to such a great guy.
Tonight to celebrate we went to dinner at La Jolla Grove.  I have wanted to try this restaurant for a long time and was not disappointed, it was delicious. It is in the Riverwoods and after dinner we went outside and found a bench and hung out enjoying the night.  They had a band and all sorts of people were out, walking, dancing, playing.  Tim and I both said how European it felt.  Luke was great and spent a lot of time practicing his smiles.  The night was pretty much perfect.

The dessert was amazing,
It looked fancy and tasted even better.

Our wedding was so much fun and thanks to Jami we have amazing pictures.  I can never pass up an opportunity to show them off again.  Here are some of my favorites.

Love you baby!

Two Months

Two months already, it is crazy how fast the time is passing.  I just want to hold him tight and keep him my little baby forever.  We have had so much fun getting to know him and his little personality, he definitely came with his own.  Two months meant time for me to go back to work.  I started on Monday and made it through the first week with only a few tears.  I love coming home to him at night and am grateful to have long weekends to enjoy him.

He is kind of a rascal to take pictures,
He doesn't like to sit still or show off his smiles.

Now that you have seen the pictures, the good stuff, here are the highlights of two months:

*Sleeps through the night, 8-9 hours
*Smiles and coos a lot, seems to love entertaining us
*First road trip to Vegas, slept almost the entire drive
*Loves to be bathed
*Holds his head up
*Follows sounds and voices
*Over 12 pounds, grew out of newborn and size 1 diapers this month
*Losing some hair but still loves having a mohawk

Remember what I said about him growing like crazy?
I think these jammies got too small overnight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cedar Breaks

On our drive home we stopped at Cedar Breaks, it was as breathtaking as I remembered.  I was bummed not to have a chance to ride again, but then again, I don't think I am back into hardcore riding shape yet.

It was super windy,
 Luke definitely didn't like it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


On New Years Eve, 1999, I was with friends in Las Vegas.  That year was a big deal because of Y2K and everyone being sure the world was going to end.  During the day we went to the Stratosphere where someone talked me into going on the Big Shot, the ride on top of the building.  That was 12 years ago and I still kind of want to cry whenever I think about it.  I honestly don't ever remember being so scared.  I'm not sure why it was so terrifying because I'm not even afraid of heights but I vowed, never again.  When we talked about activities to do, the kids, at least T and E were excited about going on the rides on the Stratosphere, there are now three to make you pee your pants.  B said that he didn't want to go, smart man. When we got there to buy tickets, both he and Tim gave in to peer pressure and ended up buying a ticket for unlimited rides.  I went up to the top of the tower but no further.  I was a little anxious when they went on their first ride, worried that someone would come off traumatized, but they all loved the rides.  They got a little sick on one that spins, but didn't even think they were that scary.  They had so much fun that after taking me and Luke home that night, they went back and rode again.  Crazy!

How can this ride not scare you?
It is like a teeter totter that goes out over the 1,000 feet of air.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hoover Dam

I have vague memories of going to the Hoover Dam and was excited to go back. It was as impressive as I remembered.  We paid to do the dam tour and got our fill of the best dam jokes.  They had a short movie before the tour that detailed the history of the building of the dam.  As soon as it started I learned a new fact:  I'm not sure where I had missed this detail but I hadn't realized before that it was named after Herbert Hoover - must have slept through that part of the history lesson.
When we told Tim's mom about visiting the dam, she told us a couple of interesting stories.  She has a friend who's father worked on the dam and she lived in a tent city with her family at the dam site during construction.  She also told us that Tim's grandma (his dad's mom) traveled over the dam while it was being built.  She was on her honeymoon.  They went with another couple and rode all the way to California in the rumble seat.  Pretty romantic.  I wish she were around to tell us the rest of the story.
This was a picture at the entrance of the dam,
It turned out better than the one they tried to sell us that was
Taken in front of a green screen
Score for Monica, saved us $20.
Down inside the dam where the
Turbines use the water to generate electricity.

The dam project took about five years,
Pretty amazing considering the technology of the 1930's
This is the new bypass bridge,
It took seven years to build with today's technology
Makes the bridge even more impressive.

The statues are called Winged Figures of the Republic and
Are 30 feet high.
They are bronze and all but the toes are oxidized green.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pool Time

The pool area at our condo was great
The boys had so much fun splashing and playing
Even Baby Luke got in and kicked around.