My Curtains Finally Arrived!!

Window treatments are ridiculously expensive as many of you probably know. I ended up ordering ours from a person I found on Etsy thinking I found a steal. They ended up being super nice, but they took 4 MONTHS TO GET. She used every excuse imaginable from her kids were sick (all three of them on different occaisions) to her blind mother in law put the wrong shipping label on my box ad sent them somewhere else. I'm not sure why you would stick the blind lady on mail duty, but hey, that's just me. So please admire my photos of our curtains below. They caused a lot of stress and anxiety. I'm still deciding if they were worth it.
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Rolly Graduated!!

So a few weeks ago Rolly graduated from puppy training at PetSmart. The class was actually pretty pointless. Our trained was super inexperienced and it basically turned into Puppy Play Hour. The only good that came from it is we met another really nice couple to hang out with. Last night we went to dinner with them and this place called Victorias Gastro Pub. We had duck fat fries and they were AWESOME! Anyhow Rolly is in a new training program now so hopefully he will graduate and it will actually mean something this time. He looks about as thrilled as I was in this picture.
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Congrats to My Cousin Rachael!!!

My cousin Rachael was on the Food Network this past Sunday competing the the Ultimate Challenge. She did so great and looked amazing on TV. See link below to view more pics of her her awesome cake!

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Family Tree Art

Here is the website where I ordered our family tree from. Katie Brown, the designer is very helpful and really worked to make it just what I wanted. I highly recommend her!

Family Tree Art
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Family Tree Art

I didn't make this. I bought it, but it is still awesome!
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The Loop Family is Expanding...AGAIN

We are getting another dog on Friday. Am I crazy?
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Thinking about this...

So I am thinking of doing the Couch to 5K program. I have always hated running, even when I am in shape. However, I have always been desperately jealous of runners. Hmmm. Tell me what you think!

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What's Happening with the Loops?

1. John is working on his MBA at UMUC.
2. John is working ALL THE TIME and traveling.
3. Megan is obsessed with Rolly.
4. Megan starts grad school at Towson this month and is working on an M.S. in Professional Writing.
5. Megan and John really need a vacation. :-)
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August Visiting Teaching Message

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Totally forgot to post this!

Thanks to my awesome friend Meagan for making this!
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Crap I am Trying to Make...

No, I did not make this, but one is in progress. Coming soon.....

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I Need This!
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We are blessed because...

More reasons than I can list, but let me write a few.

1. Rolly! I love our new dog. I have wanted a dog for so long and I finally have one. He is so much work, but he really is like therapy for me. Dogs really do enrich our lives and relieve stress. He has helped so much with my anxiety I can't even tell you. Sometimes he add to it, but dogs do such a great job of showing us how to live in the moment and just be happy.

2. John got a new job. He was so unhappy at his old job it was really starting to change his personality. He loves his new job. He is back on track for what he really wants to do professionally and is fulfilled. He is happy and I am happy for him.

3. We love our new house! We were so nervous to pick somewhere to live, but we made the right decision. We have have one crazy neighbor, but everyone else is awesome. And I love living down the road from the Garners. Thanks for letting us buy your house Dani and Rich!

4. We never go without anything that we need.
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Owen Stuart Hallett

John's twin sister Jennifer had her third baby and first boy last week. He was the smallest yet of the Hallett babies weighing in at just over 6 lbs. Congrats Jen and Brian! We can't wait to meet you Owen!
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Biggest Book Disappointments of Recent Memory

So, obviously, I fell off the wagon with my book review plan. I have no excuse. It's just a fact. In lieu of trying to catch up on all the many books I have read I am going to list the many disappointments and a few goodies in between.

Don't waste you time on...

Linger byMaggie Stiefvater : So maybe I am not being fair because I am actually only 40 pages in to this book, but it is SO SLOW. I loved the prequel and anxiously awaited the release of this book. I have owned it for over a month and there is no send in sight. Apparently, they are making a third book in this series, but I have no clue why. If this book redeems itself I promise to write a detailed review of it and its prequel.

Any of the Vampire Diaries Books: So the guys in the show are super cute so it is understandable why I would watch to read these books, but unless you want to be transported to a dorkier Sweet Valley High with bloodsuckers don't waste your money on this one. Elena is nothing but a caricature of a blond high school prom queen whose deepest thought is her nail polish color. Talking about her is making me nauseous so moving on...

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris: No one has ever accused Ms. Harris of being a literary genius, but her books are usually a good beach read. A little, on the trashy side, but the characters were believable. This book, however, was a waste of 10 hours for me. Sookie was so depressed the whole time and the end was left you saying, that's it? A disappointment to say the least. I smell the end of this series, and I am not sad about it.

Son of a Witch by Gregory McGuire : I know a lot of people didn't like Wicked because it was very long, and very so, and very weird, but I was one of the few who liked it. I appreciated the use of literary technique in a modern piece, but my patience was tried on Son of a Witch. Talk about trying to cash in on people's curiosity without actually paying out. Again, I did not finish this book. The best thing I can say about it is it looks nice next to my copy of Wicked.

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr: My question is who keeps publishing this woman? She is clearly a one hit wonder, but they keep cranking our sequels? Why? How long can you bank of of one good character. Stop now and retire off of your earnings so far.

Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder: I loved Snyder's Poison Study series and was happy she decided to continue her fictional world with a new character. However, the feminist in me just couldn't like this series. Yelena, the heroine of Poison Study was a strong and courageous female character whom I loved but, Opal the main character of Sea Glass, was just bag of insecurity who I can't relate too at all. There is one more book in this series and I have my fingers crossed Snyder will redeem herself.

Give these a try...

Need by Carrie Jones : I had zero expectations for this book and was pleasantly surprised. Besides the main character's bizarre obsession with mini cooper's this book was ok. Not great, but a decent beach read.

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater : Avoid the sequel like the plague, but give this book a try. It really pulled on my heartstrings. I love stories of unrequited love that you actually want to believe in.
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