If you've noticed that it's been quiet for a few days on my blog, it's because I've been going NON-STOP for three days. On Wednesday morning at 5:15am, I left for the airport to take a quick trip out to Mesa, AZ to have a brainstorming session with Jill Davis (founder of Scrapbook.com).
From the moment I stepped off the plane and into her car, I was taken on a whirlwhind tour of all the scrapbook stores in the area, the Scrapbook.com offices and warehouse, and we made a pit-stop for a REALLY yummy authentic beef taco. Mmmm. And that was just Wednesday afternoon. Jill and I (and a few other wonderful SB.com employees) talked non-stop for 2 1/2 days, brainstorming, sharing, dreaming, analyzing, and confiding. It was awesome.
Jill amazed me with her unbelievable creative talents and shared all of her albums with me. She inspired me so much, I spent the entire travel time home today (the whole 9 hours) jotting down notes and sketching ideas. The last time I was this motivated to scrapbook, write and create was when we started working on Scrap Tutor One back in 2002.
Once again I was reminded of what a wonderful family and business the Davis' have. Scrapjazz.com couldn't have been put into better hands. I'll leave you with a photo of the view from Mesa...
I used to read all the time when I was younger. Then high school hit and we were TOLD to read, so I stopped reading for fun until after college. Lately I've been on a reading spree again. Since we moved to Birmingham, I've read close to 20 books. I'm a regular at the library. I read almost all fiction, and lately it's been mostly Christian fiction.
I thought I'd recommend one of my favorite authors, Lynn Austin. She writes historical Christian fiction and I haven't read a book of hers that I didn't love. I like that I feel like I'm learning all about another time in history in addition to enjoying a great story when I read her books.
- Refiner's Fire Series (3 books) - These three books surround the Civil War and are told from three primary perspectives: the North, the South, and a slave. All three books are so fantastic.
- Chronicles of the Kings Series (5 books) - This series fictionalizes the reign of King Hezekiah and his son Manessah. It has made studying these people in church classes and bible studies more relevant to me, because even though it is fiction, she uses scripture as a firm basis for the stories.
- A Woman's Place - This book is set during WWII and follows the lives of four women who work in a shipyard building war ships.
- All She Ever Wanted is a multi-generational story about the women in a family who all make the same choices to run away. The stories span time from current day to early 1900s (I think) in Ireland.
- Currently, I'm reading Hidden Places, which takes place during the Great Depression and follows a family that owns an orchard.
They're all just so good I had to share! :) I'm always open to recommendations if you have any favorite books or authors to share!
I just finished reading a book called The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for my MOPS book club. I've never read anything like it. The narrator of the book was murdered and the whole story is told from "her heaven" while she watches her family and friend (and murderer) live their lives on Earth. It's an odd take on the afterlife, but I found it interesting.
This morning we visited The Birmingham Zoo (to which we have an annual pass) with Janel and the boys. I carried Ayla with the Baby Bjorn (yes, she's 16 months old and still fits in the Baby Bjorn) so she could see all the animals. Otherwise the stroller is too low to see many of them. I brought my zoom lens for the camera and had a great time getting some awesome animal photos.
One of my favorites is this one of the white tiger:
I've always been a big fan of tigers and other big cats. Ayla has seemed to follow suit. She greets tigers with the sign for "kitty" and a growl.
Fun fact: When I was little, my imaginary friends were tigers.