My book blog now has its own home. Please visit me at LYNNE'S BOOK REVIEWS. Of course you're more than welcome to see what's going on in my personal life, but if you want to talk books, that's where I'll be!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Friends, Dancing Friends

Went out with some friends last night for Happy Hour and had an absolute ball. Those who didn't have to work the next morning continued our happiness, moving on to another bar, and took over the dance floor. We danced for four straight hours. The drummer came up to me at closing time and said, "It's people like you (meaning the four of us) who make my job fun." Not sure exactly what he meant by that, but I guess it's a compliment. Ha!

Me, Debbie, Julie, Janet, Jacki and Leslie

Tomorrow is Marlys and Brian's big day, and I can't wait. Brian called me last night, though, and said his dad had a minor stroke and is in the hospital having some tests. I hope he's okay.

Congratulations, you two! I'll be in the front row tomorrow taking lots of pictures.
(Who is Brian? He is Eric's big brother through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. If you missed the post I wrote, you can read about him here.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday!


That's Maysie on the left, celebrating her 9th birthday with her friends. They were on their way to the salon to have mani-pedis. My sister - not exactly in her right mind - thought a sleepover with 15 kids would be fun. But first, to prove her mind is not only not right but in fact no longer intact, walked the kids to the salon in flip-flops she bought and they each decorated, made up and played organized games when they got back, made and served a spaghetti dinner, cake and ice cream, set up a stage for a dance and show put on by a few of them, made popcorn and served drinks while they watched a movie until almost midnight, and then got up and made breakfast for 15 kids, all with different choices: pancakes, eggs, bacon, donuts, etc. Did I mention the party favors included size-specific tank tops from Limited 2 (now called Justice)? I said, "Krista, aren't the kids supposed to buy Maysie presents."

I'm pretty sure we are not related. Just ask Eric. He'll tell you all about the one time he had a birthday party sleepover. He was 8 and he got to invite one friend.

Click below to watch Eric's friend Addison (or is it Keith?) playing the drums. Now that is talent.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Parties, Pictures and Pets

Last night we went to our friend Scott's 50th birthday party. This is the 6-month-old Australian shepherd his wife Jan gave him for his birthday. He had one in college and has wanted one ever since. He was very surprised. They already have a Cavalier King Charles.

Scott buys and sells exotic cars and the party was at his warehouse.

Getting ready to go to the party

KC curled up like a newborn...

Eric at the Illinois basketball camp (#810)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


After 2 1/2 years (Eric says "you may as well round it to 3"), his top braces are finally off. They didn't take the bottom braces off, so Eric was bummed about that, but in 4 weeks they'll do that and also file down his two front teeth to make them more even with the others.

Tomorrow morning Eric and I leave for Bloomington, Illinois, for basketball camp at Illinois Wesleyan University and will be back Friday night, so until then...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jennifer Weiner - Best Friends Forever

Last night I went to a book signing by Jennifer Weiner. That girl is a hoot! After hearing her talk for an hour about love, life, and her out-of-the-closet mom, and laughing so hard I cried, I felt guilty we weren't charged to see her. She really should be a stand-up comedienne. Maybe in her next book.

In the meantime, Best Friends Forever is my next TBR and I can't wait, since "Jen" (my new BFF after last night) filled us in on hidden meanings in her books. If you don't know, she also wrote In Her Shoes, which was made into a movie starring Cameron Diaz.

My precious Stella...

KC and Stella

Thursday, July 16, 2009

100 Things About Me (Well, 50 For Now)

***The picture of me in #34 wasn't linking correctly, so I fixed it. Lord knows you wouldn't want to miss out on a picture of big ol' me.

In the blogosphere it's customary to write a "100 Things About Me" list to acknowledge one's 100th post. I'm past due (it's now post 155). It's hard to think of 100 things, so I'm going to start with these 50 and will add to them later.

You may already know some of these things about me - the first 25 things are from Facebook's "25 Random Things About Me." Sheesh, after reading this you'll know me better than I know myself.

1. I used to live with Sheryl Crow when she moved to Hermosa Beach from Missouri to start her music career. When she lived with us she was doing commercial jingles, and when she moved out of our apartment she got a job as Michael Jackson's backup singer. In 1997 she did an interview with the Post Dispatch and talked about how she moved in with some "wild girls" when she first moved to L.A. I'm sure she wasn't talking about me - as evidenced by the bright halo hovering over my head - but perhaps my roommates.

2. I love being a mom. When I was pregnant, I prayed for a boy. I think I'm a better "boy mom" than I would have been a "girl mom."

3. I love all animals, especially my two dogs, Stella and K.C. I think I love animals so much because they are totally at the mercy of humans.

4. I love the sunshine and could never live somewhere dreary.

5. I can still walk on my hands at 44 years old.

6. I don't ever want to go back to work, but I love volunteer work if it has to do with helping animals.

7. I write a blog so my family can keep up with what's going on in my son's life.

8. I love St. Louis and have no desire to move back to California. I lived in the South Bay for 25 years and moved to St. Louis when my stepdad got a coaching job with the St. Louis Blues hockey team. He and my mom lived in St. Louis for 10 years before moving to San Jose for his job with the Sharks. They now live in the South Bay. And I'm still in St. Louis.

9. It was fun growing up with a dad who played in the major leagues. I liked having such an unusual upbringing. (My dad was a pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers and stopped playing when I was 10.

10. I once swam with dolphins at Marineland with O.J. Simpson. He was afraid to put even his toes in the water. Not afraid to kill his wife though...(sorry, the devil made me do it.)

11. I love to read all kinds of books, fiction, non-fiction, true crime, biographies, anything.

12. I have to be in the mood to cook, otherwise I hate cooking. I could eat cereal for dinner every night. I definitely eat to live and not live to eat.

13. I never graduated from college but am proud of the fact that I got a B in college algebra despite getting a "D" in pre-algebra in high school and testing into basic math in college. Fortunately my son did not get my math brain (or non-math brain, I should say).

14. I have no sense of direction.

15. My most favorite vacation was when I was 16 and our family went to Lake Powell for a week on a houseboat. I would love to take my son some day. I don't know how anyone can see that kind of nature and beauty and not believe in God.

16. I wish my mom had not put me in kindergarten when I was 4. I feel I would have done better academically had I been a year older. (I can't believe they used to do that back then.)

17. I was 17 when I graduated from high school and moved into an apartment soon after. I never moved back home.

18. I hope my son gets to go to Europe in high school like I did. There is no better education than seeing the world. It makes me sad when I meet people who have never been out of the country or even out of state. There is so much to see. On our high school trip we went to 8 countries in 30 days.

19. The nicest thing anyone ever did for me was when I was a single mom of a 2-year-old, working 50 hours a week, and on Mother's Day my mom cleaned my entire house, scrubbed the kitchen floor on her hands and knees, made dinner and put it in the oven, turned soft music on, dimmed the lights, lit candles (she knew exactly when I'd be home), and picked my son up from daycare. When I walked in the door, I cried. It was the most heartfelt act of love during an overwhelming time in my life, and I'll never forget it. Hence my favorite saying, "No one is more cherished in this world than he who lightens the burden of another."

20. I am envious of people who find their passion or God-given talent at a young age and have a career doing what they love.

21. I still remember the whole Preamble to the Constitution (from 7th grade), Shakespeare's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (...creeps in this petty pace from day to day til the last syllable of recorded time... [from 9th grade English with Miss Edsell]), and much of the first chapter of Ephesians. I random, huh?

22. I am so lucky to have a sister who would be my best friend even if she were not my sister.

23. The only time I wanted to get away from my sister was when I turned 13 and was tired of sharing a room with her for all those years so I moved into our walk-in bed, stereo, everything. I came home one day to find her on my bed in my "room-closet." Now I know she just looked up to me and wanted to be with me, but back then I was pissed.

24. My husband and I met on a blind date set up by friends and it was love at first sight, although we dated off and on for 10 years before we finally got married almost two years ago. I'm glad we waited because I think we both needed to grow up. Now we couldn't be happier!

25. I love watching any and every sport and will probably end up like my 95-year-old grandmother, who, when I called and asked what she was doing one day, said, "I'm filling out my brackets" (for college basketball). She was a hoot and I miss her.

26. I love any food, drink or candy with peanut butter in it.

27. I love reality TV shows.

28. I cry easily, especially when other people are sad. I feel their sadness along with them. Even if I don't know them or they are on TV.

29. Even music can make me cry, which my son inherited from me. I guess it's something about the melody, but there are two songs that have made him cry since he was a baby: You Are My Sunshine and Rock-a-bye Baby.

30. Songs that really move me are Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art , Bika Mono Ve (It is Well With My Soul) and Great is Thy Faithfulness Go ahead. Click one one or all three. Beautiful! :)

31. Sometimes I like animals more than people. I heard a lady at the vet's office say this to someone and it made me less ashamed to admit it. So at least I'm not the only one.

32. Another thing I used to be afraid to admit but a psychologist friend told me she felt the same way, is that I am not a kid-person. I absolutely LOVE my own as well as my niece and nephew, but in general I would not say I'm a kid person.

33. I was a single mom for 13 years. When Eric was about two, I started a local chapter of the National Organization for Single Mothers. I collected dues, wrote a newsletter, held meetings, and through this group met some of my closest friends. No one knows like one who's been there.

34. I weighed 11 pounds, 3 ounces when I was born and was 23 inches long. Check out this picture of me. I'm told had I not been so big at birth, I probably wouldn't have lived because I got the whooping cough when I was 6 weeks old and lost a lot of weight. Thank you God for making me so large. :)

35. I once stayed overnight with a passenger on a flight from L.A. to Dallas on my way to St. Louis. I was going to have to sleep in the airport and she invited me to stay with her in Dallas. She was my seatmate and we had talked the whole way there. Since my luggage was already on its way to St. Louis, she gave me a nightgown to borrow and even took me to the airport the next day. Above and beyond, I'll say! I wrote to Ann Landers about the incident and my letter
was published during an "acts of kindness" kick she was on.

36. I once read an article about a young woman - a single mom of an 8-year-old son - who was killed in a car accident. The article really touched me because I was also a single mom. Eric was almost 2 at the time and I could not imagine leaving him behind. I felt I had to do something. The paper mentioned that her little boy was a big hockey fan. My stepdad was a coach for the Blues at the time and I arranged for the little boy to get tickets to a game and to meet some of the players. Here is the letter the woman's best friend wrote to me. I wish I could do small things like this all the time.

37. I have generalized anxiety and have since I was in 3rd grade (now that I look back). My biggest regret in life is not getting help for this sooner! To all those people out there who don't think medicine is the answer to many illnesses? Maybe not some, but for anxiety it is. Anxiety is a neurotransmitter thing. There is nothing you can do to talk yourself out of it. I would have been SUCH a better mom to Eric had I taken medicine sooner. Let me tell you people, it is NOT normal to have your stomach in knots and to be worrying and ruminating (thinking and analyzing) constantly. I did not know what "normal" was until I took medicine to put my brain on an even keel. Awwww...peace. Gotta love it.

38. I love reading! Oh, did I already say that?

39. I am the only person in my immediate family with blue eyes, the only one with fair skin and the only one who writes left handed. (Uh, mom? Can we have a word?)

40. I write left handed but do everything else right handed/footed (eat, throw, kick a ball, put make up on, etc.)

41. I like to write poems. I wouldn't call it poetry because poetry sounds professional, artsy and beautiful. My poems are just fun.

42. I wish I had inherited the musical talent on my mom's side like my brother did. He is an amazing piano player but doesn't read music. It's all by ear. The only thing I inherited is my dad's love for napping.

43. I love taking naps. They rejuvinate me and give me a second wind for the end of the day.

44. I am definitely a morning person.

45. I love all bodies of water...pools, oceans, lakes, rivers. Something about water is so peaceful.

46. I am a Scorpio.

47. I don't believe in astrology per se, but I do think characteristics for the different signs are fairly accurate. I am definitely stubborn, independent, sensitive, loyal, and all-or-nothing.

48. Until starting medicine three years ago for my anxiety, I had never driven farther than 1/2 hour from my house. A.M. (After meds) I drove to Lake of the Ozarks three hours away and just recently drove six hours to Memphis by myself. Can you say "whole new world"?

49. I'm not afraid to die.

50. I'm a Christian. Guess that's why I'm not afraid to die. I look forward to it when it's "my time."

One Problem - He's a She?

Thought you'd all enjoy a chuckle today on my behalf. Yep, that's me the day I was born - all 11 pounds, 3 ounces of me. I look 6 months old, don't I?

Here is the accompanying article to add insult to injury. I'm surprised they didn't use the word "whopping." Hey, I can't help that they didn't induce back then. I was due October 1st and wasn't born until November 1st, so really I was about a month old when I was born. Does that make sense?

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

This picture of my dad taken while with the Dodgers reminds me a bit of Eric. We should get him a buzz cut just for fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

America's Got Talent

If you missed the three siblings (ages 9, 13 and 16) singing on America's Got Talent a couple of weeks ago, you've GOT to watch this. I don't know why a song as simple as God Bless America made me cry. Maybe it was the inspirational story about their mother. Whatever the reason, it is incredibly moving. Watch it to the end when their mother comes out in her wheelchair.

The video clip doesn't compare to watching it on a big TV screen, but their God-given voices are beautiful nonetheless. I can't wait to see what they'll sing next time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family Fun and Photos

We had THE best time at Lake of the Ozarks and did so much in two days it was ridiculous. The kids never had a chance to be bored, and they were well-behaved, polite and a joy to be with.

Here is a photo journal of our trip.

We visited the horses near the condo one night. This one was curious about my camera. Look at Krista's face :)

We brought the horses an apple and they all shared it.


My wonderful, patient, generous hubs, who has taken so many kids tubing over the years he knows every nook and cranny of the lake, has taken so many kids go-carting he could drive the track blind-folded and recite the track rules by heart, and has taken so many kids to Randy's Frozen Custard he could tell you all the flavors without looking.


At where else? Randy's Frozen Custard!
Me, Maysie, Mark and Krista...

Go-carting after dinner (and before ice cream)
Mark, Krista, Me, Maysie, Ryan and Eric

Eric, do I detect a little evil in those eyes? No ramming into the little kids!

Mark, Krista, and Maysie (who had never been go-carting before - she did great)

Krista and Maysie

Ryan and Eric holding on for dear life

Mark and Maysie

Getting ready for a tube ride


Eric and Ryan drove Larry's Corvette because we had to take two cars. I know Ryan was so

It was sad to see them all go home yesterday. Ryan ended up not staying for the All-Star game and festivities. He came here on Krista's standby pass, and all the flights were completely booked through Thursday. He had fun though and was glad he joined in our festivities. It's always fun to spend time with family. Listening to Eric and Ryan banter back and forth is hilarious. They act like brothers, not uncle and nephew. Ryan is 10 years younger than me, so they are 20 years apart.
Our next adventure will be next week when Eric and I go to Bloomington, Illinois for his basketball camp through Hoops Mountain. After that Eric and I are going to California for a visit and to check on my mom, who still hasn't left her condo because the elevator isn't fixed. She is bored out of her mind! Hopefully Gary has been keeping up with his workouts since he has to carry her down 5 flights of stairs for her doctor appointment this week.
I never posted Rockbridge pictures, so if you want to see those you can click here...

I just finished this book and recommend it to all dog lovers!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leave it to Ryan....

This is going to be quick because we are on the go again. We're leaving for Lake of the Ozarks in an hour. I still haven't posted pictures of Rockbridge from 4th of July, but I'll do that when I get back. Can you say "whirlwind?"

My brother Ryan decided yesterday to join us in St. Louis, so he went standby and ended up going first class even though he was #26 on the standby list. Not only that, but in the airport at LAX he ran into an Anheuser Busch rep that he knew from his days as a bar manager and he told Ryan that he had an extra ticket to the Homerun Derby for the All-Star game being held in St. Louis. Ryan had completely forgotten the All-Star game and festivities were in St. Louis. The guy told Ryan he was going with him and that was that. Turns out Ryan is going to go with him to Mike Shannon's (the Cardinals broadcaster) party and to Ryan Howard's (Phillies player) birthday party. So Ryan will be staying with us for a few more days than he thought.

Too bad he didn't know all this before he got to the airport! All he brought were shorts and swimming trunks!

Leave it to Ryan to have something like that happen to him. He always ends up in fun and exciting circumstances; he once had beers with and talked to Tiger Woods for three hours at a bar, he knows Tony Gonzales, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, he is friends with some of the girls from Deal or No Deal, and I know he has more stories to tell...or not tell :) I guess that's not so unusual in California.

Okay, I'd better go pack for the Lake!

A couple pics for ya...

Me, Krista, Mark and Maysen

Mark, Maysen and KC

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July - Off we go!!!

My sister took this of Maysie and Mark at UCLA. Maysie's hair is still in braids from their Cabo trip.

My dad stopped by to watch E's practice at UCLA and took some pics. The coach is in the white and Eric (maroon shirt) is demonstrating a drill.

Just wanted to do one last post before we leave for Rockbridge, which is on the border of Missouri and Arkansas. We go there every year for 4th of July with a group of friends, where we stay in cabins and sit by the river and shoot off fireworks.

We get back on Sunday, and on Monday Krista, Maysie, Mark and Eric are all coming from California.

Be sure to check my post below if you didn't see it.

Have a safe and happy holiday :)

P.S. On my way to the library to pick up The Art of Racing in the Rain. I don't even know what it's about, but it has a picture of a dog on the front. Ha!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Reviews

Kind of author whose book I read saw my review of his book on my book review blog. He wrote a comment to me and put a link of my review on his website. The book was called "Gone in a Heartbeat," and was a true story about his two daughters who were shot and killed in their church parking lot.

Here is his website where you can see my "Lynne's Letters" link:

I just finished "A Courage Tree" by Diane Chamberlain.

Here are the books I have on hold at the library:

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Crazy for the Storm
The Poisonwood Bible
Loving Frank
Everyone She Loved
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

Because it:

1) Takes so much time to write and post reviews on the books I've read, and because...

2) I'm just reading them so quickly, and because...

3) Hardly anyone reads the reviews anyway, and...

4) If they do read them, they mostly just want to know whether or not I liked the book and/or
recommend it, so...

I am now writing quick reviews on Click on the Goodreads banner on the left side of my blog (underneath the pictures of books) and it will go right to the books I've read and my thoughts on them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Camp News

Here is a pic from Eric's camp yesterday. Several different sports camps are going on, so there are a ton of kids. Can you find Eric?

I talked to him this morning and it sounds like he's having a good time. He was very talkative even though it was 7:15 AM. Mostly he was thrilled about playing in the Pauley Pavilion. He said he just stood in the middle of the court and took it all in. He said, "Mom, no one else feels like I do," about wanting to play there in college. He said, "I played on the same court as Love, Holiday and Collison; it was sweet."

They play basketball in the morning, have lunch, and then play again in the afternoon. Eric is in the 9th and 10th grade group and wants to move up because "it's too easy." The coaches decide if the kids should move up, so we'll see.

Last night they had about 1,000 kids together for a church service in a banquet hall and Eric said they had a comedian "who was hilarious." He said the kids were laughing so hard. He told me one of the comedian's jokes: "I don't know why they say white men can't jump...I got jumped by 6 of 'em last night!"

He really likes his huddle leader, who is about 20 years old. It's his first time and Eric said he's really laid back and cool.

There is a TV in their dorm room, so at night they watch TV before going to sleep.

He said there are "hot girls" there. (So glad to know that.)

Wake up time is 7:00 AM. Breakfast at 7:15. Pretty early considering E is not exactly a morning person.

For breakfast this morning he had: Waffles, eggs, bacon, hash browns, and a donut. He meant to weigh himself before he left but forgot. Hopefully he'll gain some weight there.

That's about it! So far it sounds like he's having fun.

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