Friday, July 3, 2009

Packing and Reading

Packing for the beach! Yipee!!

The beach trip is my favorite week of the year. Better than Christmas. I have started packing for the kids. When we went to Texas last year for cousin Brookie's wedding I bought the kids big duffel bags from llbean. They each got their own color (pink, ice blue and lime). I can't remember if I bought medium or large. Maybe large and left them a little empty so they could still be carry-ons on the airplane. Anyway, they have made life much easier since I have had them so I highly recommend.

With 3 others to pack for, I usually am so tired of it that I throw whatever is clean in my own suitcase and wear the same thing everyday once we get there. Plus, the kids have way-cuter clothes than I do anyway. Speaking of way-cute clothes, I put together a last minute matching beach outfit for the kids to wear.

Honestly, I don't always dress them in matching clothes. And in fact, every time I make them matching outfits, I realize with sadness that this is the last time I will ever be able to make them matching outfits. Wilson is getting too old. Somehow there's always a next last time.

These smocked t-shirts are a great alternative to making the outfits from scratch. The t-shirts are from WalMart or Target. I just smock the little square, cut a hole in the shirt, and stitch it in. Well, it might be a tad more complicated than that, but really, not much.


I also picked up a book at the library for the beach. I have always felt like I missed out on reading a lot of classic books growing up. I don't know why because I read all of the time. I guess I just figured that in school the teachers are only able to teach a handful of great books, so some of them are inevitably left out.

Several months ago I asked my mom to make a list of her favorite books. I know that there are no books that she has missed out on reading. The next day she presented four pages of notebook paper with titles handwritten on them. Titles and authors.

The first book I tackled was The Thornbirds. Loved it. Very much. Ran to the movie store to get the miniseries. They didn't have it.

The book I just finished was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Loved it. Pretty much. Ran to the movie store to get the movie. They didn't have it.

Even if A Tree Grows in Brooklyn isn't on your must read list, it should be on your have read list. I dog-eared two pages. One page because it had a typo. Another page because it had a pretty great passage. I will share it with you in hopes that it inspires you to read the book.

Background: Francie Nolan, the coming-of-age heroine in the book is sealing significant items in an envelope to open fifty years in the future as a time capsule. She is 15 in the passage.

"Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."
Betty Smith

It really is a timeless book. It makes me excited to read the next on the list. There is no rhyme or reason to how I pick a next book on the list. In fact, it is usually accidental. I forget to take the list to the library and end up walking up and down the isles until I recognize a title or author. Fortunately our library is small. So it doesn't take long to walk through the isles. Unfortunately our library is small. So they don't have a lot of the books on the list.

I love for people to share their favorite books with me. Please leave a fav or two (or a list!) in the comments so that I don't miss the great read. Classic or easy read or anything in between.

Here is the book I found today. Stereotypical beach read, huh?


I think not!!


  1. You should get a pretty good tan while reading that book on the beach! I am currently reading Rocket Men, a book about Apollo 11 and the first men on the moon. Just into the 4th chapter but it has been interesting. Moon landing, July 20, 1969. Nana and Papa wedding day, July 20, 1974. I've been loving the moon ever since! Papa

  2. I cannot believe you are going to read War and PEACE as a beach book. I'm not even going to tell you what I'm reading because I'm pretty sure you would think my summer reads are FLUFF!! I love your smocked t-shirts, and I am seriously considering trying those, because much like Wilson.. Connor is getting too old too.