What I’m Reading: Leaving Time

From the book jacket:

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. 

My review:

When I’m wanting to read a real, solid book, Jodi Picoult is pretty much a no-brainer. Leaving Time is a few years old now, but I’ve yet to read it so I thought I’d give it a go thanks to a special deal on Kobo.

While I’ll admit that it was a little long in some areas, I really enjoyed reading Jenna, Alice, Virgil, and Serenity’s stories. Reading about the elephants, however, was probably the most heart-wrenching but captivating parts of the book for me.

The ending, like many reviewers before me, took me for a loop but I loved it. Honestly, I didn’t even clue into the twist until the moment it happened. Slow clap for Picoult!

Perhaps it was the slog of the last book I read, but I really, really loved Leaving Time.

My rating: ★★★★★/5 stars

October Recap

Hello, November! Can you believe there’s only a couple handful of weeks left in 2019? October seemed to fly by, so here’s what we got up to!

The Girls

Norah’s preschool class got to go to the pumpkin patch right at the beginning of the month! It was pretty great being able to go with her and share the experience with her; as the girls get older I think they start to value one-on-one time with Kyle or I more. Anyway, Norah had an awesome time going on a hayride, feeding the sheep, making friends with the guardian dog (of course), and picking out her pumpkin!

20191001_102638

We had a couple of pretty cold days, but for the most part the weather was fairly cooperative. Isla was enjoying raking up all the leaves that had fallen, so I made it a fun after-school activity for us to do with the boy I’ve been taking care of. (Dollar Store pumpkin bags, for the win!)

20191019_064211

Of course, one can’t talk about October and not discuss Halloween! We carved pumpkins the weekend before Halloween and Isla insisted that she carve her pumpkin on her own and she did a pretty good job!

From L to R: Norah’s, mine, Isla’s

This year Isla and Norah decided to be Luigi and Mario, which I had thought was a pretty original idea but as it turns out, there were a lot of Mario & Luigi’s out there this year! Regardless, they had a ton of fun with all the Halloween-related festivities. It started off with dressing up for Isla’s ballet class on the 29th, then for the school Halloween dance on the 30th, and finally for trick-or-treating on Halloween!

IMG_3978

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to put together a costume for myself or not, but I ended up stumbling across an easy Mario-related idea on Pinterest and went for it! I think I spent just under $5 on materials, and I got a lot of thumbs up for it! (Especially from Isla and Norah, because when they “hit” the box, I was able to pull power stars and mushrooms from a hidden pouch!)

The girls had an absolute blast trick-or-treating, especially Norah! I think she proclaimed that she got candy after every house, and she didn’t want to stop going door to door even when she was exhausted. We were our for about an hour and a half and they each got a pretty good haul!

20191031_194550

Life

October was a fairly busy month in general, with Kyle and I doing a few home reno projects updating fixtures and such, and a few family gatherings in between.

I had a quick day-surgery right before the Thanksgiving long weekend. Nothing serious, (I’m fine, it’s fine, everything is fine!) but I’m pretty well all healed up and back to normal! (Click here if you so desire to read it, you just have to ask for the password.)

I took advantage of the pretty fall colours and warm-enough weather to take the girls’ photos for our annual Christmas cards one weekend. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep making them pose for photos every year, but as long as they’re down to sit for a few minutes, I guess I’ll still take the photos! I’m super happy with how they turned out and I’ve already ordered and received our cards. I wouldn’t say I’m on the ball, but it sure feels like it!

The Dogs

We’ve now had Lars at home with us for just over a month now and things have been going really great with him! He’s such a typical Labrador, loving everyone he meets and being a silly, goofy dog. His house training is going well and so we’re slowly moving onto other basic training skills. Kyle and I are hoping to get him into obedience school eventually to really harness Lars’ capabilities and give him an extra boost when it comes to listening.

20191004_123413

He and Campbell have really bonded and are enjoying each other’s company, although sometimes they play a little too hard and Cam starts throwing his weight around; Lars must’ve got too rowdy because he has a bit of a limp, perhaps from a sprain, but he has a vet appointment for his next set of puppy boosters so it will be mentioned to the vet. He doesn’t appear to be in pain, but it sucks seeing him hobble around.

I think that pretty much covers everything that went on in October for us! Keeping with the general rule, November is shaping up to be relatively busy as well, so here goes nothing!

What are some highlights from your October?!

TGIF v.56

It’s been a while since I’ve done a TGIF post! Here’s to the weekend!

A high of the week was making my Halloween costume! I usually do something simple (last year I painted spots on a red shirt and was a ladybug), so I went DIY again this year! I’ll leave it a surprise for now, but the girls’ are characters from Super Mario, so I’ll let you guess from there.

A low of the week was non-existent! Overall it was a pretty good week!

An internet find I loved was not necessarily something I found this week, but I’ve been watching a lot of Brian Shaw’s YouTube channel. (He’s a Strongman competitor and his videos are pretty hilarious sometimes!)

The best money I spent was the $5 (if that) on materials to make my Halloween costume!

My favourite Isla and/or Norah moment was getting Norah’s preschool photo proofs back! Funny story – the photos weren’t supposed to be taken until next week but the photographer showed up out of the blue on Tuesday. (Of course, Norah didn’t bother to tell me this happened.) Thankfully she wasn’t dressed like a second child (i.e., she was wearing a shirt that WASN’T a hand-me-down) and her teacher helped tame her hair. (Bless her!) Her photos turned out pretty good, so now comes the fun task of choosing which ones to order!

A song that has been stuck in my head is “Bury a Friend” by Billie Eilish. I blame Isla’s dance class because it’s been their warmup song for dance this month and it’s stuck in her head too. (Insert evil laughter!)

My notable meals of the week was the roast beef Thanksgiving dinner Kyle and I cooked on Monday. It was a great turkey alternative and it was nice to have a little family dinner before the week started again.

My plans for the weekend are a visit with my dad, yardwork, and *maybe* Christmas card photos if the weather cooperates!