We Were Liars

16143347“There is not even a Scrabble word for how I’m feeling right now.”

“…if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I don’t want to proclaim how much I liked this book or how it made my head spin because sometimes too much hype is the devil of a great book.

Read it. We’ll meet after and discuss.

My Name is…

20140721-100139-36099915.jpgKIIIIIIIIIID. Kid Rock!

I was laughing through most of the first song because I couldn’t believe we were really seeing Kid Rock at a small town county fair. He made it very clear there was no such thing as the PG13 version of his concert. From his vulgar lyrics to his scratching on the turntable, I’m not sure Jones County knew what they sign up for with Kid Rock.

No need to worry, though. He rocked 20140721-100144-36104042.jpgthe crowd for 90-minutes with dance moves and fireworks. John told me I “totally underestimated his love for Kid Rock!” Needless to say, he loved it.

As for Tony and Ashley, “baby M” picked a pretty great first rock concert. And if these parents have a concert-loving child, you can count on Uncle John to embrace all music love with your child. “Bawitdaba!”

 

 

Songza

SongzaIf you’re still using Pandora, you’re wasting your time with commericals. Songza is a free, commercial-free app. While Pandora plays songs based on specified artists, Songza aims for genres of music based on your mood and activity.

Once you picked what you’re doing (Waking up Happy, Drinking Gourmet Coffee, Working Out…etc.) it takes you through a few more music preferences (country, rap, pop…etc.) and then creates commercial-free listening for hours on end. Who know how long this app will be commercial-free, but I was getting tired of Pandora’s increasing amount of interruptions.

Girls’ Getaway

20140716-092727-34047765.jpgThe trip to Milwaukee was set with the purpose to meet three-week-old Alaina and catch up with Lisa while she was still on maternity leave. Katie and I took advantage of a teacher’s summer schedule and booked a hotel downtown for a fun night away. Making the most of our time, we were on the road early enough to have lunch with Lisa in Milwaukee before an afternoon of shopping. Although we were all more interested in catching up with each other than the summer sales, Milwaukee offers a great outdoor mall that allowed us to have lunch on an upper deck and take full advantage of the cool summer temps.

20140716-092723-34043228.jpgHeading back to Lisa’s apartment overlooking Lake Michigan, we enjoyed lots of snuggling with Alaina while her big bother entertained us. If Alaina didn’t look just like her older brother, I might wonder if this super-mom really gave birth just three weeks ago. What a beautiful family you have, Lisa!

After hanging out with the kiddos, Katie and I checked in at our hotel downtown and enjoyed the rooftop patio bar. Maybe it was the weather, the company, the Milwaukee beer…who knows. But it was absolutely perfect! Lisa picked us up
and introduced us to delicious eating and drinking downtown for the night.

20140716-092729-34049408.jpgComplete with a morning run around Lake Michigan followed by breakfast and more snuggles from Alaina, the trip was ideal.

I’m beginning to understand how incredible a summer without graduate classes can be for the teacher’s heart and soul. It’s a beautiful gift!

Thanks for the summer getaway, friends!

My Sanctuary Experience

20140713-170652-61612715.jpgMy sister-in-law gave me the perfect gift for my graduation: A Sanctuary Spa gift card. They offer a variety of services, but I chose a 60-min massage. It was incredible!

Located in a brand new building, every part about this experience was relaxing. From the warm colors and decor to the complimentary beverage upon arrival, I recommend this spa experience to everyone!

After placing my drink request from their menu (pink lemonade with Malibu rum) I was directed to the relaxation room. Soft music, comfortable furniture, and dim lighting allowed me to fully forget about the outside world. After spending some time in this quiet atmosphere, my massage therapist offered a complimentary hand or foot massage before we entered the individualized massage room for the full experience. I opted for the foot massage. I was already impressed at this point.

The full massage experience was perfect. I had some areas I didn’t even know were sore (from running) until she began to work the muscles. What a perfect gift! The next time I go I’m bringing John for a couple’s massage. If you’re looking for a massage experience for yourself or a gift for someone else, I recommend Sanctuary Spa.

Where is your favorite spa retreat?

Wally Lamb

Thankfully a fellow teacher/friend introduced me to Wally Lamb’s writing this summer and suggested we attend his “Out Loud” author event sponsored by our local library. I read his first book She’s Come Undone, which was published in 1992. It became one of the first Oprah Book Club tour titles in 1996, and his next book, I Know This Much is True, was also an Oprah Book Club selection in 1997.

20140713-164600-60360828.jpgThe “Out Loud” event brought his writing to life. He read aloud a few selections, and I loved hearing him go into character. He spoke mostly about his recent book We Are Water, but the Q&A session included all titles and characters. The librarians had to cut him off after a two hour program, but he seemed like he had all the time in the world for his fans. Following the reading, he signed our books. When he found out we were English teachers he asked us questions about the Common Core, which now places a stronger focus on non-fiction writing for our students. Regardless, I’ll suggest Wally Lamb to future students and friends.

 

His books include:

  • We Are Water
  • Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story
  • The Hour I First Believed
  • I’ll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison
  • Couldn’t Keep It To Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters
  • I Know This Much is True
  • She’s Come Undone

Fenway Park

There may have been a quick rain delay and we saw a loss, but it doesn’t even matter. Fenway, the oldest ballpark in MLB, is awesome! From the Green Monster to Sweet Caroline, you have to love strong sports traditions.

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