May days are my favorite but these May days were especially crazy days. That’s about all the introduction necessary, so I’m going to dive right into the recap.
I love my birthday and entering this new decade (hello, 40s!) hasn’t bothered me. We had a great weekend at the lake with four of my dearest friends. (Want to see pictures?) A group of school mom friends celebrated another morning with breakfast. I was really filled up with love, which ended up being exactly what I’d need to carry me through the coming weeks.
Four days after my actual birthday, my dad went into cardiac arrest and never recovered. He passed away two days later. I had a complicated relationship with him, but this past weekend my mom, my siblings, his brother and sister, and I remembered the good parts – how he was innovative and creative as an educator and created an environment at the schools he led so teachers and students thrived.
Between my birthday and dad’s death, Cate turned 12 and we celebrated the second weekend of the month with a Harry Potter birthday party. (Stay tuned because I plan to blog about that!) Plus there was Mother’s Day, which is when Greg snapped the picture I shared above.
The third week of May meant the end of school! There was a day trip to the Nashville Zoo with Ben’s class one day. Then we picked up the big kids from school on that Friday and headed up Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Jockey Being Family is a foundation of Jockey International (yep, the underwear company!) that supports adoptive families. We connected with JBF when we were in Washington, D.C., for the Angels in Adoption event and were glad to get to know more about how they connect and support families like ours. We were one of five families honored at JBF’s annual fundraising gala and golf tournament. I’m going to blog more about this soon too, but it was a wonderful weekend of being cared for just when I needed a vacation. (And here are some pictures!)
Water Wow coloring books – Rachel is really into these Water Wow books and they keep her busy! Using just water, the pages can be “painted” and then when they dry they can be painted again. And again. And again. She’s been coloring in fairytale and animal books, but I just ordered some others, including one about letters and numbers.
Slugs & Bugs books – Slugs & Bugs music has been my kids’ childhood soundtrack. When creator Randall Goodgame expanded the gospel-centered fun messages from songs to books, I knew I needed them. I shared more about them in a review post.
Pan fried fish at home – When we were at Kentucky Lake with my friends for my birthday, the guys – both the grownups and the kids – caught enough fish to feed us lunch before we all went our separate ways. It was delicious and so fun! Then Greg and Ben went fishing with a friend on Memorial Day, and they caught enough catfish and crappie to feed our family for more than one meal. I pan fried it for dinner on our porch – talk about holiday perfection!
From the bookshelf
“After Anna” by Lisa Scottoline – I picked up one afternoon when my kids and I had a few extra minutes and decided to spend them in the library. Over the next two days, I read it in parking lots when I arrived early, during my son’s soccer practice, while I was waiting for the kids to get ready for bed, and before I fell asleep those nights. Obviously, I was gripped by the story and characters. Told in a before-and-after back-and-forth sequence, the way the story unfolded was well done and kept me completely invested. There was a twist I totally didn’t see coming, which propelled me through the ending.
“What I’ve Done” and “Secrets Never Die” by Melinda Leigh – I’ve mentioned this Morgan Dane series before and was happy to dive back into the fourth and fifth installments. I love the characters’ continuing storylines and like the quick-read mysteries that are told from the perspective of a private investigator and defense attorney.
“The Middle Matters” by Lisa-Jo Baker – I was really excited to be on this launch team and read an advanced copy of this book. I absolutely loved Lisa-Jo’s last book, “Never Unfriended.” I enjoyed this one too. Having just turned 40, I related to so many chapters. This book officially releases July 23, but you can preorder it now and there will be goodies to come. Stay tuned because a full review is coming.
“The Orphan Daughter” by Cari Noga – I really enjoyed this one about a 45-year-old woman who is named the guardian of her 11-year-old niece she doesn’t know well. While several of the storylines involve loss, the book is a good reminder of how people’s stories intertwine to heal. And even better, this is a free read for Amazon Prime members.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens – Cate gave this to me for my 40th birthday and I’m glad I had to get into it. The writing is lovely, the setting is inviting, and the main character is captivating. I’m not quite finished with it, but I’m really enjoying it.
On the screen
“The Village” – I binged this after it had already been on for several weeks, and I really loved it. The show centers on a group of neighbors from an apartment complex whose stories intersect and overlap. I cried in more than one episode, but I really am looking forward to a full season of this show.
Tell me about your May days.