About karen

Karen is married to a big kid and mom to a head strong, only child. She is happy with her family of three, along with their spoiled fur baby. Karen works full time as a teacher and still finds time to blog, read, crochet, and cook. Follow along as she enjoys this life.

Book Review: Ones True Loves

sister

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

*****5 STARS*****

This book was captivating and emotional, as well as, well written. We are there with Emma while she tries to choose between her long long husband and her current fiance.

I can’t imagine being in that position. To go through all that grief and pain of losing the love of your life only to find out he was barely surviving on a uninhabited island. His only motivation for survival was coming back to his wife. Emma has to deal with this guilt of finally moving on and the guilt of breaking her current finance’s heart. She loves Sam and the life they created. She has matured and grown, reconnected with her sister, and living the life she never expected but loves immensely.

Excellent book to end 2016.

What is her decision? See Below

Highlight for Spoilers: ((((Of course she chooses Sam. The day Jesse goes out on the ill-fated flight Emma is already contemplating moving back to her hometown and creating roots. Jesse returns from hell and is expecting his life to be back to how it has always been. He expects Emma to still be the same person he left, but she has changed and loves her life now.

Too much has changed for both of them. Thankfully Jesse moves on and finds a love that understands his new life and Emma lives a life she never expected but loves.))))

 

I read 54 out of 55 books, I got lazy during Christmas vacation.  

Reading challenge banner

*****Now I’m Reading*****


baby

Seems interesting thus far, we shall see. 

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

???Not sure what to read next???

Click HERE for a list of all my book reviews. 

I will no longer host a book review blog hop, trying to make time to blog, work, and be a mom. Therefore I had to cut some things out. Please continue to enjoy all my book reviews. 

Linking up with

“Mrs.AOK, photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png

 

December Funny Friday

funny friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

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Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Candice of Measurements of Merriment (http://measurementsofmerriment.blogspot.com)

unnamed        

1. Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom.  


2. She’ll never find me here. I rock at hide and seek. 


3.  Nope, not adulting today. 


4.  Oh boy, mommy lost her keys again. Who knows when she’ll find them again. Mommy’s always loses things. 


5.  I AM looking for my gloves, Mommy. 

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

]

Fly on the Wall

FOTWWWW2

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 8 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 7 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier 

Trying to teach AJ that when the mean kids and bullies say mean things to him, he should just look at them, roll his eyes and say “Whatever.”

I would like him to say, “Seriously? Are you so miserable and get shit attention at home that you have to come to school and be huge dicks to everyone? Too bad your opinions mean shit to me. Oh and if you touch me, I will punch you back three times as hard, so make your decision now dumbass.” But maybe when he’s older.

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AJ is eating a croissant and a piece of it falls to the floor. Since he loves them so much he steps on it with his bare, unwashed feet, to prevent Bonus from getting it. Then quickly puts it in his mouth.

I stared at him in horror and after a second he looks at me and cringes. “I didn’t mean to do that.” As he runs to the garbage to spit it out. 

“Perhaps if you just let Bonus have it you wouldn’t have eaten your own foot stink.” 

He laughs at the foot stink and takes it to heart for about five minutes…then it’s back to silly boy behavior again.

Tony is with AJ in the mornings and at times has epic battles to get ready for school. Since someone was a zombie in front of the TV, he walked over and calmly told him, “Put your shoes and socks on.” 

My snarky kid responded with, “Well obviously Daddy, I have to put my clothes on first.” 

Tony said he had to take a deep breath and walk away. Of course he came back to a 7 year old standing in front of the TV fully dressed SANS socks and shoes. ***eye twitches*** 

As Tony was dropping off AJ in the car line AJ was complaining about getting out five cars back. Tony told him he has to wait till they are the 2nd car, no excuses. AJ did not like this and was complaining the entire time. When they finally were the second car, AJ jumped out and screamed, “Thank God, fresh air!” Of course the custodian and police officer who handle drop off heard AJ scream, I mean how could they not? They looked at Tony and smirked. 

I had a talk with AJ about. He of course thought it was super funny. I had to keep my poker face, but I have to to agree with him. It was hysterical. I would have loved to been a fly in that car.

Scrolling through Netflix, “What’s this show, Mommy?”

“Oh that’s Bob Ross. He painted on TV and we all watched. It was really calming, it was relaxing to watch him paint.”

“Well that’s weird. you just watched him paint. You adults watch weird shows” As he puts on some animated, mind sucking, stupid cartoon crap.

ross

mansion

“What would you do if you won the lottery mommy?”

“I would pay off all of our bills and buy a house I never have to worry about a payment on the house.”

“With lots of bedrooms like a mansion?

“No I would just be happy with a three bedroom house. I would put a lot of money into your future for education and and to buy a home.”

“Well if I win the lottery I’m going to buy a big house with more than three bedrooms. Though some of my seven kids may need to share a room, but they won’t share a bed. The will have bunk beds.”

“Well that’s a great plan you have there. I hope I get to babysit your kids.”

“Of course, you are my Mommy.”  

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I don;t have to share my marshmallows with anyone else, right?

Nope, you are an only child, so get extra and don’t have to share them with any other kids.

 

He only wanted this for the candy. Next year I’m just buying him the flipping candy and saving myself the stress of putting it together.

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Book Review: Deeper Than The Dead

sister

Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print.
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn’t yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer’s escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He’s using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath..

*****5 STARS*****

 

Screaming in the car as the book came to an end. The plot was spectacular and loved that it was set in a time before DNA evidence. The killer knew there was no way in hell of convicting him. And what he was willing to do to keep his secret…disgusting.

I kept changing my mind about the killer and then when it was obvious and you feared the worst, I was screaming like a banshee as I drove to work. 

Full of suspense, horror, mystery, and disgust. A must read!!!! Can’t wait to read the next book in the series. 

I am so sad for his child, the mom knew all along and did nothing, I pray the kid doesn’t become a serial killer in future books because of all this shit. 

And the other kids…the psychopath with a fucked up family! The one who was almost killed. What was done to the women. 

You NEVER know what your neighbors are really capable of. 

 

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 53 books toward
her goal of
55 books.
hide

*****Now I’m Reading*****


baby

Already captivating and intense. I can’t imagine who she will choose and what it means for the other man. I can’t imagine ever being in this situation.

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

???Not sure what to read next???

Click HERE for a list of all my book reviews. 

I will no longer host a book review blog hop, trying to make time to blog, work, and be a mom. Therefore I had to cut some things out. Please continue to enjoy all my book reviews. 

Linking up with

“Mrs.AOK, photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png

 

Not This Christmas Eve

xmas-eve

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

retail ~ sweep ~ lonely ~ please ~ manners ~ intestinal fortitude

They were submitted by: http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com 

Okay, the last two Christmas Even AJ has gotten sick. I don’t mean a cold, I mean throwing up all over the place. In 2014 he threw up two hours before we were meant to go out to a Chinese restaurant. Of course I swore I felt sick too and only ate the rice when we had to eat take out instead.

christmas-eve-sick

my mom comforting a sick AJ

Next year, 2015, Anthony threw up again. This time he got sick from too much candy and goodies. He threw up, but this time we ordered food ahead of time just in case.

This Christmas Eve I will make sure he has the intestinal fortitude to not throw up. I will give him extra probiotics, make sure the teacher limits his candy at the classroom party, and keep all candy and chocolate away at home.

A fellow OAD (One and Done) mom friend invited me to join a group on Facebook. I am loving it, knowing other parents are just like me. We all have one child, either by choice or not, and can share ideas, laughter, and memories. Some worry that their child might be lonely, others worry they won’t have the proper manners. Though most only children I know have the best darn manners around. He says please and thank you when it really counts without being told.

In fact, the few kids who bother and bully AJ are kids in a house with a sibling or a few. It seems to me that they aren’t getting enough attention at home and bullying other kids makes them feel better.

Thankfully AJ wants to be friends with everyone. Even if you are mean to him one day, he will be your friend the next day. He just jumps right in when he sees kids playing and everyone loves playing with him. He is a sweet, kind, and caring guy and I am so proud to be his mom.

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When I think about his future, I hope he will be happy and do what he loves. I hope he will find someone who loves him and treats him with respect. I hope they sweep each other off their feet.

Retail? How can I add retail to this post???? Hmm, I have 95% of my Christmas shopping done. I have 80% of it wrapped and organized. I need to get my butt in gear, don’t I? Thankfully most of my shopping was done online. I try not to ever shop in stores, walking into retail this time of year zaps all the Christmas spirit right out of your body. I rather stay at home, watch ELF, drink coffee and shop online.

Thank goodness for Amazon!!!!

am

 Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Book Review: Leave Me

sister

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

*****5 STARS*****

At first I wasn’t sure if I agreed with Maribeth’s decision to leave her kids. I mean sure stand up to your oblivious husband and long-lost friend. 

Then as I got to know her character, her feelings, and heard from Maribeth’s husband and friend. So many things came into light and realizations were made.

I finally understood what she did and why she did and totally stand by her decision.  Maribeth also realized that she allowed herself to be pushed over.  

In her time away she met wonderful people and made revelations that she never would have discovered without leaving. 

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 51 books toward
her goal of
55 books.
hide

 

 

*****Now I’m Reading*****


baby

 Okay she finds a dead body out on a run, sounded creepy and scary after the killer stalks her. But it’s pretty boring and taking too long. I hope it picks up soon. 

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

???Not sure what to read next???

Click HERE for a list of all my book reviews. 

I will no longer host a book review blog hop, trying to make time to blog, work, and be a mom. Therefore I had to cut some things out. Please continue to enjoy all my book reviews. 

Linking up with

“Mrs.AOK, photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png

 

Go Away Cold

winter-pic

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

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Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

 

 

My subject is:

Baby it’s cold outside? Are you a snow bunny having fun outdoors at this time of year, or do you prefer to be cozy inside?

It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com     

I used to like the cold, used to crave the cold because I hated the summer. I hated the heat, the humidity, the constant sweating. Two years ago I posted on a Secret Subject Swap that I LOVED the winter over the summer. Oh boy how things have changed.

Now I can’t get warm enough. Now I hate driving in the snow, the slush, the ice. There are too many idiots who refuse to clean off their cars and cause accidents when their snow sheets hit other cars. There are too many morons driving like they are in Nascar in the middle of a snow storm.

winter-driving

I hate the fact that our driveway sucks and the garbage pails take up most of the driveway making it pretty impossible to pull in when I get home from work. I hate that our upstairs neighbor never does anything to help with keeping the driveway clear. I hate that our next door neighbor pushes her snow onto our driveway entrance, but complains when we get too close to her grass in the summer.

I hate that my schools hardly close and I am forced to figure out what to do with my son when I have to work. I hate when hubby has to go in for snow removal and I have to stay home and miss work.

In the cold and snow, I rather be at home. I rather be home on the couch reading a book, drinking hot coffee while the electric fireplace keeps us warm.

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Book Review: A Tapping At My Door

sister

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She’s disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.

DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.

As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realizes he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realizes the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

Following the success and acclaim of the Callum Doyle novels, A Tapping at My Door is the first installment of David Jackson’s new Nathan Cody series.

*****5 STARS*****

Wow what a read!!! I’m hooked and will be reading the next one in the series. When you find out the trauma he suffered, it will make you gag, at least it made me gag and that is pretty difficult to do. His tormentors are still bothering him and they step it up at the end leaving you wanted to know what happens in the next book.

The entire time I knew it couldn’t be the obvious suspect and had my theories about two other people and I was wrong of course. Though I realized it right about the time the detectives did!

Love how we find out why the cop killer is doing this, how it all adds up and why. So amazingly written and plotted out.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 50 books toward
her goal of
55 books.
hide

*****Now I’m Reading*****


baby

 She’s having a heart attack and still being walked all over my by her husband, former best friend/boss, and kids’ school, and everyone else. She is still treated like a doormat, a servant to her husband and her own mother doesn’t seem to get the severity of the fact that her daughter almost died

I wanted to jump into the book, slam down the door, kick the mom out, punish those kids for two days, and put the husband to work doing all her crap.

Instead of standing up for herself she just leaves. I am not sure I am liking this premise. I would just stop doing it all, Let the kids be mad at me, let the house go to mess, let it all go to shit and just relax. But to leave it all behind, to leave your kids with no notes or calls is really weird and odd. I am going to continue for a bit, but may skip to the end.  

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

???Not sure what to read next???

Click HERE for a list of all my book reviews. 

I will no longer host a book review blog hop, trying to make time to blog, work, and be a mom. Therefore I had to cut some things out. Please continue to enjoy all my book reviews. 

Linking up with

“Mrs.AOK, photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png

 

Book Review: Evelyn After

sister

Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.

Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.

But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?

*****3 STARS*****

Disappointed! After a while, I was just waiting for it to end. Seriously, she was no better than him hiding what happened and doing what she did. Sure she stood up for herself, but I was not impressed by actions or ramblings. I didn’t find Evelyn relateable.

Secondly, that was the ending? After all that hemming and hawing and planning and that is how it ends. I feel like I wasted my time.  

It was pretty darn obvious the hubby was going to be a douche-bag. 

Have you read it? Do you feel the same or did you love the book? 

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 49 books toward
her goal of
55 books.
hide

 

*****Now I’m Reading*****


baby

 Just after the first chapter, I will NEVER be opening my door again, not until I get my gun licence. 

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

???Not sure what to read next???

Click HERE for a list of all my book reviews. 

I will no longer host a book review blog hop, trying to make time to blog, work, and be a mom. Therefore I had to cut some things out. Please continue to enjoy all my book reviews. 

Linking up with

“Mrs.AOK, photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png

 

November Funny Friday

funny friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Not That Sarah Michelle (http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com)

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1. Love Is Love.  


2. The fight for the remotes ended with them falling asleep. They were teased mercilessly the next morning. 


3.  When the humans leave… 


4.  Humans have Netflix and chill, we have Animal Planet and cuddle  


5.  Finally the humans are asleep we can finally watch what we want.  

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

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