And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Hi there! I feel a bit guilty about promising to have a Top Three List post every Saturday, then not writing to you until Monday evening. However, sleeping (uninterruptedly), reading (hours upon hours), eating (nothing but junk), and gazing longingly at the ocean (it rained a lot) took precedence over tappity tap-tapping out a list this week. Sorry, folks!

The Hubs and I were treated to a glorious, three-night beach vacay as my parents (hi, Mom and Dad!) graciously minded the kiddos. It was fab doubled because…two kids. The last time we did this kind of beach getaway was prior to babies, so we were naive and had no idea that we should be doing this type of event on every day that ended in Y.

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I said “hello” to the sunshine for about 9 minutes before lightning struck and Mama headed inside. And this is not Photoshopped. Those rock-solid abs are totally legit. #HumbleBrag

Our idea of a perfect beach weekend doesn’t necessarily involve toes in the water, toes in the sand, and a cold beer in my hand (we’re Baptists, but prefer alternative adult beverages anyhow). After flopping on the bed and revelling in how much we didn’t have to do (change diapers, force potty-trainers to go #2…basically touch anyone else’s pooper) for three whole days, we immediately got to work. We restructured the relaxation space by placing two TVs side by side and hooking up myriad gaming systems. There’s no better quality time than slouching next to your spouse on a pile of pillows in your pjs while massacring the undead (Skyrim for me) and running around collecting butterflies and flowers (Zelda: Breath of the Wild for him. OK, OK, the game is a bit more manly than that…). We also kept a bag of Jelly Bellys (Bellies?) and sour gummy worms between us because…no mooching toddler.

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For clarification’s sake, my legs are the non-hairy ones, and we are fully dressed. I feel like I should’ve put on socks or something…

Yes, we clearly know how to party.

But, hey, to each his own, I suppose.

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See that insane storm front on the left (there’s normally a river over yonder)? Mama decided to watch it with her nose stuck in a book.

We did eat out every night and even walked on the beach when we were too stuffed with Thai food to comfortably laze across the bed, controllers in hand.

In other news, we saw Dunkirk. Y’all. I’m still not certain how to handle what I saw. I felt like I was right there with those sweet British boys, which basically meant that I felt like I was drowning, covered in oil, and overall desperate for home. But I still recommend it? It’s so easy to think of wars as historical or far removed, as the big picture only. Those men did something I pray we never have to endure again. I only can vaguely imagine the toll of war.

While my fingernails are still recovering from the viewing (my husband leaned over partway through and warned me this would happen), I highly recommend Dunkirk to anyone over about 10 years old. It’s a realistic war movie without being too violent, if that makes sense. It’s not gory for blood and gore’s sake. Incredibly well done.

Books!

(You’re welcome for that brilliant transition.)

BunchI finished The Brainy Bunch by Kip and Mona Lisa Harding. The subtitle reads “The Harding family’s method to college ready by age 12.” I think this is a tad misleading, as the homeschooled kids began dual-enrolling at a local college at 12, they weren’t dropped off at a dorm with a “see you at Christmas!” Additionally, keep in mind that these kids aren’t Ivy-League geniuses, so that makes the whole concept more tangible.

We’ve already been toying with the idea of homeschooling, so the book opened up that can of worms even further. This family has 10 kids, so that adds a whole separate dynamic (please, Lord, I don’t know if we’re done, but 10…sounds like a lot lot lot lot of work. And Mama’s already tired.). The book received mixed reviews, mainly, from what I can see, because of the family’s conservative Christian outlook. Not a good reason to bash a book, in my humble, Jesus-lovin’ opinion.

Basically, they believe in their children and don’t waste time. A kid expresses interest in space? Boom. Sign them up for space camp. Check out library books. Find a friend-of-a-friend who cleans rockets for a living. Etc. Etc. Etc. The parents don’t just shrug off their kids’ interests with a placating smile. They take them seriously and hit the ground running. And when they run out of things to teach them in a particular area, they look to the next level (i.e. college). The Hubs (who was homeschooled through most of his childhood) and I find this particular concept exciting. The Harding children aren’t exceptional students, but their parents worked to keep them interested in their education. Love it. Not sure how it’ll affect our future, but I love the seed it planted.

I also nearly finished My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (HOW do three authors write a book together? Mind boggling, truly.) I’ll give you the op-ed masterpiece on that shortly (it’s hilarious and references a ton of other things I love). I’m actually THIS close to finishing, so I’ll wrap up here and head to my spot.

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What do you do to relax? Or what’s the dream vacation that would be PERFECT for you and the spouse (or significant other)?

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