The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen

the bridge tender by marybeth whalen

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review.

The Bridge Tender

Emily Shaw is young, married, and looking forward to the day when her and her handsome husband, Ryan, buy a house in Sunset Beach- the place where they honeymooned and dreamed about their future lives. To Emily and Ryan, the world stretched in front of them and they were so happy to be together.

 

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I’m Going To Be An Aunt?!?!

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In less than a month, a beautiful baby girl will be born. She will be born to my brother and SIL- a couple who celebrated their 1 year anniversary in September. Last September when they got married, after dating for a few years while in school, I knew life was going to change for them. Marriage would be an exciting adventure- some days great, some days not so great. But an adventure they could weather together. However, I did not anticipate how EXCITING their adventure would be- until the weekend after Mother’s Day when they invited the parents and me to their house for lunch. I remember before we went over there saying “I wonder if there is something more to this lunch- perhaps a B-A-B-Y?” After lunch was served, everyone got the answer to what lunch was about. It was all about BABY. Close to 12 weeks along- they wanted to tell the family. Hugs, tears, and excitement happened. And then life went on- as it does.

I had to keep it a secret for a few more days because they wanted to wait another week before telling everyone. I don’t know how I kept it a secret- but I did. And then I posted this:

So… I’ve been keeping something secret since Saturday- and Lord knows I’m terrible at keeping secrets (especially the good secrets!) Someone better point me in the direction of where to get “If You Think I’m Cute, You Should See My Aunt” bibs- b/c I’m going to be an AUNT! Baby Welch is due Dec 2013!

 

Weeks go by and the excitement grows- will it be a boy or a girl? The gender reveal party revealed this:

Let it be known to all: I’ll be an aunt to a baby girl 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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The gender reveal party was great. My parents were happy to find out about a baby girl (but would have been happy to find out about a boy, as well). Visions of crowns, playing Barbies, and taking my niece shopping danced in my head. Other things, though, were also present: Taking her to ballgames, to the bookstore, and other fun things were also things I thought of.

Getting closer to the due date has left me to ponder this question:

What Does Being An Aunt Mean?

Is it going to be all sugar and spice and fun things? Will it mean more just Skpeing with my niece and driving in for special occasions? Will being an aunt change my life?

Which led me to thinking of my four aunts- 2 are my mom’s sisters, and 2 are women who marred into the family. Each aunt, in her own way, impacted my life. Some were there for me over the years, some were there not as often- but could be counted on in dire times. One always took us on Spring Break day trips- a little history learning, a lot of laughs.

As I’ve gotten older, my relationship with my aunts have changed, evolved. I’m still close to my mom’s sisters- although, the one that lives in another state is now the 1 I probably have more in common with (we both love Broadway shows, going to the Braves ballgames, and concerts).  My mom’s sisters love to laugh about my childhood life- from me dancing on top of a picnic table to my love of Barbies, to playing ball, and being a beauty pageant girl. There is also the story of me running after (and catching a cat that had gotten away from me), of being a roller skating lover, and a love of oldies music.

What each relationship has shown me is this: When Little Baby Owl arrives in just a few weeks- I want us to have a relationship that will be good, that will impact her life for years. Yes, her parents will raise her, feed her, love her- and be in charge of shaping her future. I want to be a part of Baby Owl’s life- taking her for fun things, bringing over gifts, and watching her grow from a beautiful baby to a girl- then a woman who is ready to take on the world. I want her to have everything her heart desires- and more. I want her to one day think back on life- and say to herself “I’m so glad she’s my aunt.”

 

 

 

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

IMG_1491_2_4Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places……………

Brett, a 34 year old woman, has the life. Living with her long term boyfriend, working for her mother’s cosmetic company- Brett feels that life is pretty good. Then her mother, Elizabeth, dies and Brett’s world begins to crumble. Fully expecting Elizabeth to leave the cosmetic company to her, when Brett and her brothers meet with the attorney- and Brett gets a shock. Her mother ties her receiving the inheritance to Brett completing her life list goals that she made at age 14.

Brett is hurt, confused, grieving- and wondering how she will even begin to complete some of these goals- for example, she wanted to have a better relationship with her father; but her father died a few years earlier. Slowly, Brett begin to complete some of the life list goals- and with each goal she completes, the lawyer her mother hired gives her a letter. The letter is part of the lesson- another way to show Brett how far her life has been from the fearless spirit she had as a child.

Elizabeth loved her daughter, Brett, with a fierce determination that survives even death. While it is Brett’s life list, Elizabeth is determined that Brett will not take the easy way out- she will live the life, with the all the decadent goodness and even some sorrow, that Brett deserves. With each life list goal Brett checks off, she gets closer to the life she’d dreamed of and learns a bit more about herself- her real self; not the person she’d tried to be for others. In the end, at the very core, by completing her life list- will Brett have won the prize of getting access to her inheritance- or was the real prize in stepping out of her comfort zone to the life she really wants?

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

I loved this book. I cried for Brett, for the sorrow she felt about her mother, for the abundant love her mother felt for her. I felt a connection with Brett, as well, being of similar age and having similar concerns about life. This is not to say that the book is a total cry-fest, because it is not. It’s got laughter and humor to balance the sadness. It’s got lessons for people about life and love. It’s not a “thinker” book, nor is it heavy handed with it’s lessons. It’s got some light and fluff to balance with the sorrow- and it leaves the reader with a warm feeling. It’s like a mother loving you- wanting you to be the absolute best version of yourself that is possible. Have Kleenex ready and a glass of wine to enjoy while reading.

* This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.