Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm not pregnant, I'm just fat.

It doesn't help a person's self esteem much when their MIL informs them that people have been asking when you are due. Especially when you have had the last two months I have. First off I gained 12 pounds in one month, went to the doctor, found out my thyroid had stopped working and I have diabetes. Had to go on meds and begin to count cabs like crazy. Then there was the hormonal depression and anxiety that comes from said problems. Then the next month I lost 9 pounds. So now I get to add to that that I am not just fat like I thought I was, I am fat enough that people think I am having a baby! Oh vey! That just bites. I guess I better increase those sit ups and push ups. And until and if I ever stop being the fatter of the two pigs just remember, I am not pregnant, I'm just fat! (Thank Heavens, I don't think I could throw another kid into my messed up equation right now).

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This month marks four years since the book club I am in first met and organized. October will be four years since our first book was read and discussed. It has been so fun. We have a great group of women in the club that I have enjoyed getting to know. We meet once a month to talk, eat, and have a break from kids. And yes, we even discuss the book! Here is a list of the books we have done. The my pick books are ones that I picked to read (we take turns hosting the club at our houses and choosing the book). I tried to pick a favorite book for each year, though it was not easy as you will be able to tell by this list we have read some great books.

October 2004 These is my words by Nancy Turner
November 2004 A town like Alice by Nevil Shute my pick
Jan 2005 Cain River by Lalita Tademy
February 2005 Reunion by Fred Uhlman first year favorite
March 2005 The Giver by Lois Lowry
April 2005……….. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
May 2005………… The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
June 2005………… Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier……………… pick
July 2005…………. Bold Spirit by Linda Lawrence Hunt
August 2005……… Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
September 2005.…. Dark Angel by Robert Kirby
October 2005…….. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
November 2005….. Pope Joan by Donna Cross
January 2006…..… The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss
February 2006…… Phantom by Susan Kay…………………………Second year Favorite
March 2006……… The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
April 2006……….. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
May 2006………… Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card……………….my pick
June 2006………… Before the Dawn…by Carol Warburton
July 2006………… Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
August 2006……… Alisha: My Story by Alicia Appleman Jurman
September 2006….. Eve and the Choice made in Eden by Beverly Campbell
October 2006…….. Before Women had Wings by Connie May Fowler
November 2006.. The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen Randall...Third Year Favorite
January 2007……… Ingathering by Zenna Henderson……………………..….my pick
February 2007…….. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
March 2007……… The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
April 2007………… I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
May 2007………… Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
June 2007………… The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
July 2007…………. Things not Seen…by Andrew Clements
August 2007……… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
September 2007…… Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
October 2007……… Freakenomics by Levitt and Dubner
November 2007…… The Book Thief by Markus Zusak……………Fourth Year Favorite
January 2008……… Moloka’i…by Alan Brennert
February 2008…….. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
March 2008…….…. Secret Life of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd
April 2008………… Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper
May 2008…………. Escape by Carolyn Jessop
June 2008………… The Eight by Katherine Neville………………………… pick
July 2008………… The Authurian Omen by GG Vandagriff
August 2008……… Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
September 2008….. Rachel and Leah by Orson Scott Card
October 2008…….. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The best thing about our book club is we have a unique group of women and so each months pick is something different. It has really opened me to a world of books I may not have read other wise. Browse through this list and see if maybe there is something you might like as well. So thank you girls for four great years! Here is to many more.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the movies with my mom and my sister while D watched the kids. Fortunately, we saw an amazingly good show. Unfortunately it was only playing at 3:45 pm or 10 pm. We opted for the later so the kids would be in bed and although I was tired the next day, it was well worth the money and the time. The movie was called THE FLYBOYS and it happened to be directed by the brother of a friend of mine from high school. My friend, Jason, also helped produce this fantastic film. There are so many reasons you should see this show. For an independent film, it has amazing action and filming. The flight sequences are amazing (and I am not just saying that because I am a pilots wife). The scenery is beautiful(they filmed it in Southern Utah. You have to love red rock country). The acting is good, the story fun, and I also really liked the musical score.
The show is about two boys who after an attempt to ditch a group of bullies, end up at the local airport. Being boys, they are sneaking around looking at planes and get caught in the luggage compartment of a plane that belongs to a mob boss. It is fun to watch how they overcome this sticky situation, but the real heart of story, in my opinion, is the relationships. First between the friends, and then the relationship between the mob boss and his brother (played by Stephen Baldwin).
This movie which has won several awards at film festivals across the nation made me laugh, cry, and come away knowing I had seen a fun show. The writing was well done, and it really made me wonder why the theaters are ripping it off by only showing it at inconvenient times. It should be playing all times and for many weeks to come. In fact the other people at the late showing were seeing it a second time because they liked it so much. It is a must see, so go out and watch it. If we support good independent films, then maybe we will get the chance to see more of them!
Viewers guide:
Limited bad language at the start of the movie by the bully.
One scene of half a behind (the boys mooning the bully)
Very mild violence
I probably will take my kids to see it, but I would suggest adults go first and decide for yourself. It was not offensive at all to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Santa Letters Blog Tour

I am very excited to introduce as my first blog tour review, author Stacy Gooch-Anderson and her warm and inviting new Christmas story, THE SANTA LETTERS.
Stacy lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and four sons. She attended the University of Utah and has won several awards through the Society of Professional Journalists. THE SANTA LETTERS which arrived this year just in time for the upcoming holiday season, is a story of trials, forgiveness, and the joy that comes from allowing Christ into your life.

A year after her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver, Emma Jensen finds herself dreading having to face Christmas without her sweetheart and with all the financial strains that have been placed on her family since William's death. Only six-year-old McKenna, still believes that Santa will bring a Christmas miracle for their family.
But Christmas has always been a time of magic, and the Jensen's miracle comes in the form of an mysterious package on their front door days before Christmas, with a letter signed by none other than Santa himself. As the letters and packages continue to arrive the family remembers the miracle of the Savior's birth and learns that their beloved husband and father may be closer than they think.

At 190 pages, this delightful Christmas story is just the right size to open your heart to the miracles that are all around us. Having lost my own father to cancer several years ago just after Christmas, I can understand the suffering that goes along with facing life without a dear one. Stacy Gooch-Anderson, has taken this pain and turned it into a story about life and love. This book teaches forgiveness, overcoming loss, and how to let Christ into our lives in a tone that is anything but overbearing. There were several times that I found myself tearing up as I thought about ways I could let the Savior into my life. But this book is not just for those of us who have suffered loss. It is for anyone who wants to reunite with the true meaning of Christmas. It is for anyone who earns to remember that there is more to this season than presents and decorations. This story is for anyone who wishes to feel the Savior's love in their lives. In short, this story is for you.

And because I am lucky enough to be hosting a blog tour and not just sharing my review, I was able to have a little Q & A time with the author.

BERLINWRITERGIRL: We've all heard of the 12 days of Christmas, but this was the most Christ centered version I have ever seen. How did you come up with this idea?

STACY GOOCH-ANDESRON: Several years ago, I found out that two of my sons had been in a sexually abusive situation and my first instinct as a parent was to kill and then sadness for having failed them. After many prayers, the only answer I got was that in order to heal them, I had to first heal myself. I went to my scriptures and studied the Savior's birth. And since Christmas was upon us and there was no money after so many legal and counseling bills, I merged the best of life and what the Savior has to offer and put together the Santa Letters as way to help us all forgive and heal and remember all the true gifts that have been offered.

BWG: There were several Christmas traditions mentioned in your book, which ones if any came form your own life?

SGA: All of them came from our own Christmas Letters experience but many of them like humor, the ornaments every year, the music concert and a night of service are annual Christmas traditions for us. The only one that was fictionalized in the book was Health and Good Cheer since I know of no event like that held in any city. But we did take a walk at a place called Gardner Village and enjoy the sights there as a family.

BWG: How can people use this book to bring themselves closer to the Savior this Christmas season?

SGA: Since the main focus of the book is bringing Christ back into Christmas, I would hope that people would think more about Him and what He can do for us and has done for us rather than the commercialization of the season. I also think service is key to that. Whether in the service of your family, friends or mankind in general, service will bring you closer to Him and heal your heart as you find the real Christmas spirit.

BWG: I noticed you named two of the main characters after your parents. Was there any significance in doing so?

SGA: My father, William (Bill) Rex Gooch, died at age 61 from cancer on March 28, 2004 while he was serving as the Bishop of an LDS ward. His whole life was about service and unconditional love. My mother (Laurel Stapley Gooch) really struggled with his passing and lost much of her joy in life. My kids called her Miss Emma after a "classical" Laurel moment when she mistook my son calling her Emma on the phone and replied, "Sorry there is no Emma here, wrong number.: and then hung up the phone. This happened about three times before she finally asked me if Justin had a friend named Emma - it sounded just like him. After looking at the niumber and determining that it had been Justin, I called him back and asked what was up. He was stumped and in his normally fast dialect told me that he'd said Gramma, not Emma. He was the one left confused at her reaction. She ran upstairs after that to give her ears a thorough cleaning. She died earlier this year at age 63, also from cancer, on April 29, 2008. Her life was all about serving as a mother and unconditional faith but the lessons they taught me all growing will live on in our memories and through this book.

BWG: To those of us who are inspiring writers, what advice can you give us?

SGA: Find your passion and write from your true inner voice and never, never give up! And hone your skills in whatever way you can. talents were made to be used - not buried.

BWG: Would you share a little bit about your journey in writing and publishing this book?

SGA: You read a bit about my story above but what I didn't share then was that for 15 years I'd prayed earnestly that I could write stories that would touch the hearts of men. Even when we went through this, I didn't think about writing it since I figured that no one would be interested on one family's journey of healing. But then a good friend of mine, when she found out what we were doing, challenged me to write the story.I feel like I was just along for the ride from there as I watched the Lord's hand take over in everything to the timing of it, the publisher whose desk it landed on and the success since.I truly feel it is not my story but one that I was blessed enough to be a part of.

Perfect to read for Family Night, great to give as a gift, and inspirational enough to pick you up when life becomes overwhelming, THE SANTA LETTERS can be purchased through Amazon, or Deseret Book.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Now that C has started Kindergarten I was surprised at the amount of time needed to do homework each day. In 3rd grade M has to read to me 20 minutes a night, do her spelling words and one sheet of math, plus the occasional extra assignment such as preparing for her upcoming book report. C in Kindergarten has a lot as well. We need to read at least 15 minutes, work on writing for at least 10 minutes and work on math for at least 5 minutes each night, and additional projects for her as well. Now I know that does not seem like a ton, considering my 15 year old niece has about 3 hours a night for 10th grade. But it is a big step for us, with soccer, preparing to move, my being sick, potty training for L, a husband in a Masters course, and life in general. At first I was frustrated with it, but then I realized that homework time was the perfect opportunity to stop the stress of the day and bond with each child. I am having such fun reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with M and finding words she doesn't know in the dictionary, and working on Math with C plus snuggling for story time, that I actually have invented homework time for L as well. We read, count, and at the dollar store I bought a bunch of Whinnie the Pooh pre-K books for him to do. I work finding out about school and friends into the time and end up getting to spend some great time with each kid while they are learning.
I am learning a lot about my kids by doing homework, so come on and bring it on teachers, I don't mind, its just more time to spend with my little ones!

Friday, September 5, 2008

So when should the medicine start working?

That is the question of the day as I sit here completely drained after another restless night. And the next question is...What do I do if my house falls apart before I get some energy back? The good news is the diet seems to be helping the diabetes, at least my blood sugar is normal again. The bad news is, you can't see my living room floor. I have heard Thyroid meds take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. I would sure love it to be closer to 3!