Books Read in 2017

Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Only When I Laugh by Elouise M. Bell
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Stories of Your Life and Others Ted Chiang
Beyonders Brandon Mull
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

(bolded books are superb reads that I would definitely recommend)


Grandmommy's house really is one of the coolest places to be. On our drive home and for days to follow, Mal kept asking if we were going to go to Gommy's house. Gommy and Grandpa sure spoiled these kids with love and attention and scrambled eggs (Grandpa's specialty) and sewing projects (Grandma's area of expertise) and walks to the chicken pen to get fresh eggs and cookie decorating and play time on the pickle ball court. I am grateful for all of the memories these kids will have of their amazing grandparents.

For Posterity

These kids got some serious booty from Christmas. I like taking pictures, although it may seem like a materialistic tradition, because it will be really fun to look back on in ten or twenty years. And I would know: I like looking at the pictures of my gifts from my childhood Christmases.


Little White Church

There's this little white church just off the freeway near John's parents' house. They frequently change the saying posted on the marquee, and I always love to see what it is going to say. They are often humorous or thought-provoking. They get kudos for creativity!
This December the marquee read, "God gave Him. Mary wrapped Him. Will you receive Him?"

California Cousins

The best part of Christmas is FAMILY!
I told everyone to lean in. Mal got the message, he just leaned the wrong way. :)


Birth Fam

We were able to meet up with Marzi's birth parents. After grabbing some lunch, we just watched the kids run around. It was so cute! I mean, how blessed are we?



These are some of my favorite pictures from our trip.
After all of the new things Mars unwrapped, she decided to play with Grandmommy's pretend fruit (definitely not a new toy). The babies were so stoked about each gift that we didn't even end up opening all of the their presents on Christmas.

I love this! I think this captures the essence of Maya.

Mal was all about his bouncy dragon toy. What joy!

Christmas Morning

We had a lovely Christmas morning with Grandma and Grandpa. We were all spoiled rotten.


The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care

Christmas Eve

We made it to California for Christmas Eve. We love Christmas with the Grands!