Monday, September 23, 2013

Thoughts on Moving

We moved to Texas a month ago. It's been quite the month, I must say.

We drove from Colorado to Texas with all the kids and our stuff. We intended to drive straight through (16+ hours) because we're crazy like that, but we ended up with a flat tire on the trailer carrying the car somewhere near Memphis, TX and it took 3 hours for a repairman to come out and change the flat (since we were renting the trailer we weren't allowed to change it ourselves and had to wait for a service company). Always never get a flat tire near Memphis, TX it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

We stayed in a hotel that night and got up and drove the next morning. We had to drive straight to closing so we signed papers looking like we hadn't slept, because we mostly hadn't, and like we'd been driving for two days, which we had. That night we slept in our house sans furniture. Luckily, we had a couple of air mattresses.

And thus began our move to Texas.

We did get furniture and now all have beds to sleep on.

We proved we were actually citizens of the US so we could register kids in school (who knew you needed a driver's license, social security card, closing documents and a first born child to register kids for school here).

And while I'm on the subject of school, all the schools are within a mile or so from our house. In CO, a mile = about a minute of driving. In TX a mile = 10-30 minutes when trying to drop off and pick up kids from school. No kidding. For both elementary and middle school, parents line up in their cars and you wait in line for sometimes 30 minutes just to get your kid. It's insane. Surely there's a better way to let parents pick up kids from school. I drive my elementary kids to school and take them into the school. Then my 7th grader and I walk to his school. I really love that because it gives us time to talk and bond and also allows us to both get some exercise.

I've never seen so much water. Seriously. People were talking about how this area was just in a drought. I had to laugh. Everything is green. People have water. It rains. I know drought. I lived in a drought for most of the last 19 years. Drought = brown, dead plants, no grass, and 2 minute showers (if you're lucky). I've seen more rain in the last month than in the last 19 years combined in CO. So, please, you want to talk drought? Let me tell you what a real drought is.

I love that it's so green here. I love all the trees and the beautiful flowers. I love that it's still summer, I love that we are blessed to have a pool and can cool down when it gets too hot and humid. I love that everything is so close.

I've grocery shopped at Walmart for forever. I know Walmart. I know that in Walmart it's next to impossible to get someone to help you. I know that I have to pack my own cart and load it into my car. I know that in exchange, I get low prices. At least I knew that until . . . I shopped at HEB. And don't pronounce it "Heb" it's "H" "E" "B." it's like grocery shopping heaven. Same prices as Walmart. Helpful employees all over the place. They not only pack the bags and the cart, but load it into the car. I didn't even know what to do with myself. And they have yummy samples so if you're hungry when you're shopping, you can get snacks throughout the store. And the people are so nice. And this grocery store is around the corner from my house.

We've also met some very kind and helpful people. Our ward has been awesome and made us feel so welcome. The teachers at the school have been great. We enrolled our youngest son who has Down syndrome and the school personnel keep telling us how they've all fallen in love with him. I'll have to blog about his school experience separately.

I also love that we are only an hour from the coast. We went to Galveston and had a blast at the beach. Galveston is the cutest place. Totally touristy and fun.

Where we live now is about as opposite as we could've chosen (unless we went to a foreign country). We're in a city, it's hot and humid, it rains all the time, we only have half an acre, we have green grass, we're close to everything, there's a ton of traffic, TX doesn't measure distance in miles but rather in time, the schools are ginormous.

And it's awesome. Yes, we're still adjusting, but it's awesome.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Working it Out by Rachael Anderson

HTML working it out tour
Author Rachael Renee Anderson Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels (Working It Out, The Reluctant Bachelorette, Minor Adjustments, Luck of the Draw, and Divinely Designed) and two novellas (Twist of Fate, from the All I Want anthology and The Meltdown Match from The Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection). She's the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Working It Out A chance encounter . . . Grace Warren's life is safe and predictable—exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle—a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon.
A chance for love . . . Weeks later, when Seth limps into Grace's rehab clinic post surgery, she immediately recognizes him. Unfortunately, he's every bit as frustrating and annoying as she remembered. Yet there's something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries even though he's everything she's sure she doesn't want in a man. But maybe Seth is exactly what Grace has needed all along—assuming she's willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love.  
Blog Tour Special Price Drop!
Grab a copy of Working it Out for just $2.99!
price drop working
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/10/13
a Rafflecopter giveaway


I LOVED this book! It drew me in from the first page (I loved "the kiss") and kept me entertained to the last word. The characters were all so well developed and unique. Seth wasn't your average hero--he had depth and he felt like a real person. I loved how the romantic relationships developed, but I also loved how the relationships between the other characters developed and changed. Grace felt like she could be one of my friends.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, clean, entertaining, and satisfying romance.

Awesome book!

5 Stars

Seth met Grace’s gaze once again and held out his hand for her to take. “Ready to go?”
She felt her resolve slipping, but couldn’t let it go completely. She stared at his hand, wanting to touch it, hold it, to interlace her small fingers with his strong ones. But she was his therapist, not his girlfriend.

His fingers wiggled. “My keys, please? I saw you pick them up when you were cleaning earlier.”

Huh? Grace glanced down. Sure enough, his keys were clutched in her hand. There was even an imprint on her palm from squeezing them too hard. Her face flamed, and she quickly handed them over.

Without another word, she turned and headed for the front of the building, wanting to crawl into the trunk of Seth’s car and hide. When she reached the outside air, she drew in a deep, steadying breath then grabbed the passenger door handle, ready to yank it open and dive inside. But it wouldn’t budge. The car was locked.


Forced to stand there, clasping and unclasping her hands, Grace waited for Seth to catch up and unlock it. But instead of clicking the button on his keyless remote, he walked toward her, stopping directly in front of her.

Grace stood frozen as he reached around and manually unlocked the car. His chest bumped against her shoulder, sending tingles up and down her arms. In and out she breathed, telling her racing heart to slow down and her body to stop responding. It was only a touch. A simple touch. Nothing to get all worked up about.

But then Seth looked at her in that intense way again, his face only inches from hers. Grace trembled, feeling like all of her defenses and inhibitions were falling in a garbled up heap around her. Nothing made sense anymore. Not Seth. Not her feelings. Nothing. Grace didn’t know what she wanted or didn’t want anymore.

“If you’ll step aside, I’ll open your door for you,” Seth said.