Wednesday, August 13, 2008

That's (Not Exactly) Amore

Molly made the varsity cheerleading squad yesterday. I am so proud! Between cheer and jazz choir this week, she'll have spent 25 hours at practices this week. Doesn't that seem a little excessive for summer vacation? She has an incredible amount of drive and passion that I certainly didn't have at that age. No one messed with my summer vacation! She was great on the camping trip, although most of it was spent with her cellphone in her hand as she texted from dawn to dusk every day. She was a great help with Mia and around camp. She's matured so much since last year when there were regular squabbles with the other kids and arguments about chores.

The first pic is Molly after she got done tubing on the lake. The next was supposed to show her green eyes, but unfortunately it didn't quite turn out. She had this fluorescent green pj set and a bright red sunburn that brought out the green in her hazel eyes. The last pic was taken on our last night in camp. She was bundled up against the cold and perched in the tube while we played a hilarious game introduced by Krissy.

I love our family tradition of camping, and I hope that it's something we keep doing forever. There's a group of campers on the site next to ours every year that has been coming for over 30 years. I would love for that to be us. Maybe as the kids get older, they will bring their significant others along for a test: if they survive the week with their good humor intact, they can be part of the family, if not, we kick'em to the curb! There is something in camping that really exposes the core of a person's nature. I always come back feeling closer to my family and seeing new aspects. It's like the time of year that I re-evaluate and destress. I'm ready to go back already!

That's (Not Exactly) Amore by Tracey Bateman is the final book in her Drama Queens series. Laini has been left behind by Tabby's marriage and Dancy's almost engagement, and she still hasn't figured out just what she should be doing with her life. Laini worries that her slightly full figure and springy red hair keep men at bay, but she is suddenly courted by handsome police officer Mark, and Joe, whose coffee shop Laini is remodeling for her interior design degree. Laini is surrounded by trouble. She was a great accountant but hated the job. She thought that she loved interior design, but she may just be a bit colorblind. She pours her grief and frustration into cooking and baking never realizing that food is her true passion and talent. The reader may be a bit frustrated with Laini's complete blindness when it comes to what she should be doing with her life, Bateman handles it believably, and you can't help rooting for Laini to get her dream job and her dream guy. This was my favorite book in the Drama Queens series, and I can see Bateman's growth as a writer. Laini is obsessed with romantic comedies, especially those starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and this book would easily lend itself to the film. Bateman's scene between Joe and Laini in the rain outside of his apartment is begging to be adapted to the screen. I will genuinely miss the antics of Laini and her pals, and I hope that Bateman hasn't abandoned them forever.

Tomorrow: pix of Doogie from camp.