Waiting on Wednesday {65}: Twist

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Twist

Twist (Loop, #2)

by Karen Akins

Publication date: March 31st, 2015

From Goodreads:

The unbelievably thrilling sequel to the time-travel YA novel Loop.

Bree Bennis finally has it all—a non-comatose mother, an uber-hot (albeit anachronistic) boyfriend named Finn, and a newfound mission to protect the timeline from those who would skew it for their own gain. But when she leans over one day to smooch said boyfriend, her lips meet those of her arch-nemesis Wyck instead. The timeline has been altered, and Bree is caught in the crosshairs. But when she goes back to repair the damage, she is stopped by none other than her Future Self, who delivers an urgent message: Someone is kidnapping Shifters from the distant past. It’s up to Bree to stop them. But first, she has to figure out who…and why.

To follow the trail of chronocrumbs, Bree reluctantly accepts her new undercover gig as Wyck’s girlfriend. Everything goes spiffy until Finn shows up in the 23rd century on the eager arm of a gorgeous fellow Shifter. Blark. Even as Bree struggles with jealousy, she battles the nagging dread that Finn might be better off with someone less chronologically complicated. Her worst fear is confirmed when Finn becomes the kidnapper’s next victim. As Bree zeroes in on the culprit, they unravel her life one timeline-change at a time. She realizes that she alone has the power to save herself and everyone she loves. But to do that, she may lose Finn forever.

Waiting on Wednesday: Magonia

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Magonia


by Maria Dahvana Headley
Publication date: April 28, 2015

From Goodreads:

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this groundbreaking fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds…two races…and two destinies.

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy rich with symbolism and steeped in allegory. Her John Green–meets–Neil Gaiman approach to character development and world building will draw readers of all genres, who will come for the high-concept journey through the sky and stay for the authentic, confused, questioning teen voices. Jason and Aza’s fight to find each other somewhere between sky and earth is the perfect anchor for Headley’s gorgeous, wildly vivid descriptions of life in Magonia.

#DIY #Bookish Gift (ideas) 2014

It's my third annual DIY bookish gifts post! (This was supposed to go up yesterday. My bad!) I've been meaning to make some of these for months, now... Maybe I'll have time during Christmas break! Enjoy, and make sure to pin the ones you love to your Pinterest board/s so you can easily find them later! :)  

1) Bookish letters:

3) My favorite! Book page votives:

4) Book/photo suitcase:

5) Book pockets

and last...

6) For hardcore book lovers: Name that Book game

What to do with library books that are falling apart and have lost pages? Cut them up for a name-that-book contest! Here's ASHFALL in a jar created by Melissa at the Pike High School library in Indianapolis:

So... what do ya think? Have you tried any of these before? Click HERE for 2013 and 2012's posts if you're looking for more ideas! :D Have a blessed weekend!

Waiting on Wednesday: JOYRIDE

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Joyride


by Anna Banks
Publication date: June 2nd, 2015

From Goodreads:

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Three ebooks for 99 cents = Christmas sale-abration! #flora #ebooks #Kindle #sale

 photo 3e33661f-df45-4b8b-a3ed-61db10c3e01e.jpg
OPEN THY HEART photo credit: Katie Smith (love the floral blanket!) 

Just a quick note in case you missed it... 

The Flora bundle is officially only 99 cents through Christmas!!! You can grab it, HERE.

Come back Friday for my 3rd annual DIY book-ish Christmas gifts post! :) Click HERE to check out 2012 and 2013's!

Have a blessed week!

Waiting on Wednesday: Bone Gap

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Bone Gap
Bone Gap

Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby
Publication date: March 3rd, 2015

From Goodreads:

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

December's #JLBgivesawayaDVD: RED RIDING HOOD

After a bit of Twitter deliberation, I decided to have RED RIDING HOOD as this month's #JLBgivesawayaDVD. It's winter-y, and there's mystery, and I honestly don't think that many people have seen it, so that was basically why I chose it. YAY!

A few fun tidbits:

1) Apparently, Taylor Lautner tried out for Peter. (Catherine Hardwicke, the director, also directed Twilight.)

2) Billy Burke, who plays Bella's dad in the TWILIGHT saga is in RED RIDING HOOD. 

3) Note that the guy who plays Henry (Max Irons) ended up being in Stephenie Meyer's (the author of the Twilight series) book-to-movie adaption of THE HOST. (Hmm!)

4) Yet *another* guy in the film, Sam Claflin, wasn't very well known at the time, but after this he was in SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, and, most importantly, plays FINNICK (!!!!!) in the HUNGER GAMES movies!

5) I promise you will change your mind about who the wolf is at least three times during the movie.

6) The code name for this movie when it was shipped to theaters was Fangs of Affection. (Lolz)

and last, according to IDMB.com (I didn't notice this when I watched it, though those blue eyes sure did pop):

7) With the exception of Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), all the characters from Daggerhorn are either played by actors with brown eyes or wearing brown contact lenses. Most notable of the latter is Julie Christie, who plays Valerie's Grandmother, who is famous for her blue eyes.


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Waiting on Wednesday: Breaking Sky

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Breaking Sky
Breaking Sky

Breaking Sky

by Cori McCarthy
Publication date: March 3rd, 2015

From Goodreads:

In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy.

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She's tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There's a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Waiting on Wednesday: The World Within: A novel of Emily Bronte

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The World Within: A novel of Emily Bronte
The World Within: A Novel of Emily Brontë

A World Within

by Jane Eagland
Publication date: March 31st, 2015

From Goodreads:

Emily Bronte loves her sisters, responsible Charlotte and quiet Anne, and her brother, tempestuous Branwell. She loves the moors that stretch all around the little village of Haworth, and wandering over them in the worst of weather. And she loves most of all the writing that brings all these things together, as she and her siblings create vast kingdoms and vivid adventures that take them deep into their imaginations.

But change is coming to Haworth, as their father falls ill and the girls must learn how to support themselves. How can Emily preserve both what she loves, and herself, and find her way into the future?

November's Reader Interview with Madisyn, part two

Welcome back to day two of November's reader interview with Madisyn! If you missed day one, go HERE.

Name an interesting/unique element in a book that you really enjoyed:

I loved the overall concept of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. The fact that love is considered a disease is crazy to me. Like it’s not even like it’s just romance love, there isn’t even a strong love between parents and child or siblings. I just couldn’t imagine love being a bad thing, but the book was fascinating!

What’s the first thing you read when you get a book (blurb, back, et cetera)?

It all depends on how soon I play on reading the book. If I plan on reading it soon, I just start reading it or put it on my shelf until I read it. If I don’t plan on reading it for a while, I’ll read the back. I hate reading the back of books before I read them though. It almost spoils the beginning of the book for you. It’s harder for me to get attached if I read the back.

Agreed! I've even stopped reading entire blurbs from Goodreads when I'm getting ready to read for the same reason!

Name a book you didn’t think you’d like, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I went into it just thinking I was reading it for WIRC (Westmoreland Interscholastic Reading Competition), and I wasn’t going to care about it, just reading it for the competition. But the book was fascinating, I loved it. It was so emotional and not what I was expecting. I plan on using Randy Pausch for any essays or anything when I need a person or nonfiction book for school. I’d suggest reading it! ;)

List one book-to-movie adaptation NOT yet in the works that you’d love to see happen:

I don’t believe Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is in the works. It was written by Gabrielle Zevin, and it was extremely emotional and thought-provoking. I’d love to see it as a movie!

Paper, or ebooks?

My first instinct is definitely paper because I have like 500 or so books, and I love the feel of books and everything! But my Kindle is so convenient and cheap! I can get books for free or like $2 and stuff like that. Plus I can get books at 4 am with no judging from crazies. I will always say paper over ebooks though…

Worst book hangover?

Ha! Ha! My first thought was Clockwork Princess or Allegiant. Then my mother got involved and screamed, “Sing me to Sleep!” So, yeah…I uhh…that was a bad day. So I read it all in one night until 4am. They also had a song from the book (pretty sad and emotional), so I played it on repeat for a while. I’m like bawling my eyes out for hours. I finally fall asleep, and wake up the next morning. My mom’s all worried because there’s a bunch of used tissues and an empty tissue box on the floor by my bed. I have makeup stains down my face because I didn’t take it off before my cry fest. I listen to that song all day at a loud volume, running around my house ranting and crying. At like 2pm, I sit down to try to start a new book, then I relate a character to Derek (from Sing me to Sleep) and start crying and give up. My cousin came up to scrapbook with my mom, so I’m like I NEED to read a new book. I pull out this short book that looks good. I read it that night until 2am. So, yeah, that book was about a girl grieving over her dead boyfriend with memories and flashbacks, and I cried more. I was an emotional wreck for the next week, and I COULD NOT start a new book until almost the end of July. 

And... that ends this month's reader interview! Thanks so much for doing the reader interview, Madisyn! :D

It was fabulous! Thanks for inviting me to do it! You have really awesome, hard questions too!

Hi there! I'm Madisyn! I have multiple accounts on social media because I'm obviously an obsessed book nerd that dedicates her life to books and accounts dedicated to books. Here's a beautiful list of important things to help you get to know me better:

 Blog | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Figment | Pinterest 

November's Reader Interview with Madi (@NeverTrustDucky), part one

November's reader is Madisyn, whom I actually met on Instagram (shout-out to social media!) Thanks so much for being here, Madi! 

Hey there! I’m so happy to be here! J Thanks for inviting me!

How long have you been avidly reading YA? Was there a particular book that got you into reading YA in the first place?

Well, I’ve been into reading for a long time. I loved any book by Wendy Mass, and she had two YA books, Leap Day and Heaven Looks a lot like the Mall. Those were my first two YA books I read, and ever since then I’ve been avidly reading!

You recently went to Yallfest. How many books did you end up getting signed, and what was your most memorable experience?

I believe I came home with 36 signed books. Not completely sure though! It was such of an amazing experience! I went there and was able to meet many of my Instagram followers and friends. I met a ton of awesome people while waiting in lines, and I met a ton of authors. Everyone was so down to earth and awesome, and I’m really hoping to go back next year! Will you be attending Yallwest in Santa Monica? J

Wow, 36??? That's so great! And finally, a west coast event! I would love to go! We'll see! 

Do you have a favorite book quote?

I’m not sure if you’re talking about a quote about books or a quote from a book, but one of my favorite quotes is from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, “Songs are as sad as the listener.” But then my favorite book quote is from A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, “I listened as the words became sentences and the sentences became pages and the pages became feelings and voices and places and people.” 

I LOVE A Northern Light! Such a great book!

Have you ever heard a song on the radio/TV and immediately thought of a scene from a book? If so, what was it, and what book did it make you think of?

Oh, yes! All the time! I just thought of one yesterday, but I can’t remember what it was. But anytime I hear Warrior by Beth Crowley, it makes me think of books. It reminds me of any weak (at the time) female protagonist training to like save the world. Often times I think of Tris, but it all depends on my mood and what book I’m currently reading.

Favorite book boyfriend (hard to narrow it down to just one, I know):

This is a very mean, hard question. I hope you know that! I used to keep a list in middle school of all my book boyfriends, but I lost it and acquired many more. *thinks for 20 minutes* This is like such a hard question though because even though I can love a guy, he might be different after the books or if he was in the real world! UGH! Ummm…I probably will pick Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

Good choice! (Love his big family, too!)

How about your OTP:

OTPS! Well, I honestly have two: Maxerica (Maxon and America from The Selection) for times when people actually want to fangirl with me and understand. But my ultimate OTP is Beth and Derek from Sing Me to Sleep, but no one ever knows who they are and understands and things get complicated.

Okay now I have to add SMtS to my TBR! 

Favorite YA title (as in, the wording of the title itself):

I love the Mara Dyer books. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. They’re so obviously in the same series, and they show the actions of the book so well without actually expressing what is happening.

What character would you never want to be stranded with on a deserted island?

I would have to say Professor Umbridge. No one can stand her. She’s crazy and controlling, and I just-no.

If you could be friends with one secondary character in real life, who would you choose, and why?

Ohmigod, Kenji! Most definitely Kenji!  He could totally save my life and help me out. He’s smart. He’s strong. He can be invisible, but he’s extremely outgoing and can make any situation light-hearted and yeah.

(For those of you who don't know, Kenji is from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.)

What merits a book making its way to your favorites list?

Honestly it’s not hard to get 5 stars from me. If a book makes me feel a lot of emotion and I get emotionally attached, I will give it 5 stars. But just because I give a book 5 stars, doesn’t mean it’s my favorite. It has to really strongly affect me, and if I feel like I would spend time rereading it, it would be a favorite because I don’t have time to reread books.

If someone borrowed a book from you, what would be the first thing they’d notice?

This is a pretty awesome question. Unless it is an almost brand new book, someone would probably notice that I dog-ear my book pages. The only time I don’t is when I get a brand new book, but then 90% of the time I leave my bookmarks in there.

Name the most recent book that made you laugh:

Either Ignite Me or The Retribution of Mara Dyer. I absolutely love Kenji who amuses me very much, but there were so many amusing Ebola jokes in Retribution. Does that make me sound bad? They weren’t like bad jokes, but just simple little things that amused me. 

Come back tomorrow for November's reader interview with Madisyn, part two! :) In the meantime, feel free to connect with Madi, here: Blog | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Figment | Pinterest 

Waiting on Wednesday: We All Looked Up

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is We All Looked Up
We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up

by Tommy Wallach
Publication date: March 31, 2015

From Goodreads:

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Ten questions (and ten answers!) Or: I've been tagged!

My nerdherd pal Tabitha tagged me in the Liebster Blog Award tag a while back and I'm finally getting around to doing it! I'm kinda glad that she changed her questions, though, because 

a) I don't even want to THINK about snacks (doing Whole30 right now--wahhhh) 


b) figuring out my own life quote probably would have taken ten years. Anyway. Here's her Qs and my answers :D (Thanks for tagging me, Tabs! *all the hearts*)

1. Best writing space?

Well, I have to write in my office on the comp, so my office. Though if something strikes me I usually write it on whatever I can real fast or say it to my phone... which usually results in it making absolutely no sense because, apparently, I don't annunciate well enough for iPhone's voice text. 

2. If you could have dinner with any author, alive or deceased, who and why?

Geesh. Dodie Smith, maybe? Or Melina Marchetta. Probably Melina. I'd have so many questions! 

3. Favorite way to procrastinate when you should be writing?

Social media. (I have a problem.)

4. In less than 20 words, describe your current wip.

California. Cars. Construction. Cali. Chance. Callum. Confusion. Catchphrases. Conversations. Contemplation. Crying.

5. If your favorite writing genre didn't exist (GASP), what would you write instead?

Well, I write dystopian and magical realism and contemporary, but I guess my favorite is dystopian. So... I'd write those other two, instead. 

6. Favorite band to listen to while writing?

That changes constantly, but it's currently Sleeping at Last. *swoon*

7. Morning writing or night owl scribbler?

Actual good writing, morning. Jotting down randomness that will be turned into writing, nighttime. 

8. Favorite friendship in a published book?

Maddie and Julie in CODE NAME VERITY. *bawls*

9. If you could write a book to capture the heart of a song you love, the song is?

INTERMISSION or FROM THE GROUND UP by Sleeping At Last. (Both are on writing playlists for my two women's fic books coming out next year.)

10. When the movie of your book gets made, who's the dream cast?

Well, with THIS TOO SHALL PASS (AND OTHER PHRASES THAT I HATE), which comes out next spring, I've only "cast" a few people so far. (Here's that Pinterest board.) But I *do* have the casts already for the Flora and Cozenage series--you can check them out, HERE

That was so much fun!!! :D I now tag Cheyanne with these same questions (and that's it, because I'm really not sure who else would want to do this and everyone else has already been tagged. Though if you want to do it, tell me in the comments, and I'll tag ya!) 

"For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.” ~John Steinbeck

Photo taken by me :)

I'm back! You probably didn't even know I was gone (I'm not one to announce that my house is vacant for a week, if you know what I mean), but the fam and I took a last-minute trip last Wednesday to MONTANA! The drive from here in Cali to there not counting stops is over 20 hours, and aside from a two-hour nap on the side of the road in Oregon on the way there (with semis blowing by so fast our suburban shook) and a three-hour stop at a hotel in Reno on the way back (getting Lovemuffin up after that one was a bit difficult), the longest pit stop we had was probably about ten minutes. We spent a LOT of time in the car. (Considering the fact that all three of my high school girls were with us and Lovemuffin did pretty much all of the driving, I'd say the trip went pretty well. :D)

These trees were everywhere and so beautiful. (Kinda like
Shaver Lake here, but prettier.) Some lose their top
 "layer" of needles in the winter, hence the different colors. 

Anyway. Thought I'd share a few memorable things about the trip. Montana is absolutely gorgeous, and has so much WATER (something we are severely lacking here in the Central San Juaquin Valley), so it was great to get away for a few days. 

After the 24-ish hour drive from California, we checked into our hotel in Columbia Falls. We probably looked like complete rugrats (by then our eyes were red as sun-ripened tomatoes) when we checked in, but no one was in the lobby to see us in that state, thank goodness. Having pity on us, the receptionist suggested we go into The Back Roomthe back of a bar/restaurant where huge pieces of chicken and other yumminess is served. Once there, we sat down and skimmed our menus (a few of us actually set our heads on the table, because ZZZzzzz), noticing one of the sides mentioned was called "fry bread". In our state of mental DUH-ness, we looked at each other, curious. "Maybe it's put under the broiler or something?" I said.

Fry bread. Y-U-M.
Shortly after, the bread of amazing, fried deliciousness came, with sides of honey-butter (think Marie Calendars, but better). It was dense, and awesome, and tasted better than any bread I've ever had. Even though we all had huge sides of chicken on our plates as well, I think I can speak for all four of us gals when I say we would have been perfectly fine with only eating fry bread for dinner. And breakfast the following day. And every other meal for the rest of our lives. (Problem was, we were so tired, we could hardly chew. Also, there were tons of people in that restaurant, but it was so QUIET! Is that a Montana thing? A Back Room thing? It's loud EVERYWHERE here. Sometimes we have to almost yell at each other to be heard.)

So, we left on Wednesday afternoon, arrived Thursday night, crashed, and the following morning, Friday, we were still recovering from our tiredness. Lovemuffin found some great coffee, and then we met with an amazing realtor named Linda who devoted most of her afternoon to taking us all over tarnation (mostly in the outskirt areas of Whitefish) to look at stuff. She was great, and fun, and such a blessing to our trip. After more driving, we went back to the room and ordered pizza. (Bread kinda became the theme of our lives in Montana.)

Saturday, we drove to Whitefish to check out the shops, including a coffee shop I'd found via Pinterest, actually (I now also stalk them on Instagram, too), called Red Caboose. (I was so excited about being able to pin our town on the "visitor" map until I saw SOMEONE ALREADY HAD!) Pretty much everything inside the shop, decorative-wise, is restored, so it had a great rustic feeling to it. And a fireplace. I love when coffee shops have fireplaces!

One of our favorite shops that we hit up after Red Caboose had the most darling (think hipster-ish) stuff... including these Mistaken Lyrics cups, which had the older two girls and I in stitches. 

The clouds on the way to Glacier National Park! For some reason, my comp compressed this and isn't
playing the actual video.  I'm also kind of sad that you can't hear the rockin' music. :(

Sunday, we went to Glacier National Park. Lovemuffin asked Google how to get into the park, and Google maps proceeded to take us some random way that took quite a while, but gave us great views. (Come to find out, we came in some sort of unknown, back way. Oh well!) The clouds were practically right in front of us as we drove, and I had to capture it on video! According to the news, the Polar Vortex was moving in fast, which meant that by Monday night (no later than Tuesday morning), we were going to have to hit the road and head home to beat the crazy weather. It was already raining the entire drive up, and by the time we made it inside the park, it began to snow. 

"It's SO CHRISTMAS!!!" -us, over and over
We were so excited! (We've all gone to the snow at least few times here in the mountains, but it's not the same as when you get to watch it snow. And Montana is just so beautiful.) By that time, we were so far into the park, we were starving, so when we came across this little place, we had to stop and grab a bite. It was quaint, with a tired old black cat curled up on the counter, guarding the cash register, a bucket to catch the dripping water leaking from the ceiling, and the game was on a big TV next to our table, which made Lovemuffin happy. (Did you know that Montana has no sales tax?)

Sunday night, it snowed a lot. The patio of our room butted up to a golf course, so the girls bundled up and took off into the darkness to make snow angels and run around in the snow. 

Monday morning, the storm was a' comin'. We went with Linda to check out a few more properties, and by the seventh one, it was snowing pretty well. Some of the directions were very vague (or flat-out confusing), and in our rush to see the last one before getting back, Lovemuffin drove up a tiny driveway. As we reached the top, we noticed a Do Not Enter sign. This was obviously not the place. Lovemuffin backed up, and we heard a weird noise. I thought we'd driven over a branch (can't see anything when everything's blanketed by snow), but lo and behold, we had actually driven over a pile of rolled up barbed wire. Which had tangled alllll around the axel and something else (no idea what it's called)

We tried to move the long, wound-up piece of wire not stuck on the car out from beneath it. It caught on my pants, the junior's gloves, and Lovemuffin's gloves, pants, leg, and jacket. (UGH.) Once it was finally out of the way, Lovemuffin couldn't get underneath the suburban, but thank GOD we had a flashlight in the car, so he could at least see what was going on. It was SO tangled that the only way to solve the problem was finding a way to cut the wire. 

Course we didn't have anything that would do something like that in our car, so down the little hill Lovemuffin went. It was snowing, we had no cell phone reception, and he was gone for a while. I was just getting ready to head down the hill to find him, when he came back. No one had answered the door at the nearest house, but their shed was unlocked. No wire-cutters, but he did find pliers. 

Yes, you read that right. Pliers. All I have to say is that the Lord gave Lovemuffin superhuman strength, because I have never seen a man cut barbed wire once, let alone THREE TIMES, with pliers. It was insane. Even Linda was laughing. It was like Lovemuffin turned into the Incredible Hulk! 

After that, we still had to unravel everything. But we were on a hill and there was pretty much no space between the undercarriage and the ground/snow. The sophomore tried to help, but it proved quite difficult, so the freshman ended up doing it, her ear centimeters from the hot muffler as she worked. Most of us stood around feeling as though we weren't of much help... The junior decided to take a few pics with her Samsung (which took better pics than even my expensive Nikon).

We then left, drove back to the house to return the pliers (along with a little thank-you note), and the owner of the house pulled in behind us, like, What are you Californians doing in my driveway? 

Lovemuffin explained the situation, handed back the pliers and thank you note, he told us we hadn't driven far enough up to find the property (UGH again). We headed back to town.

Fast forward to us taking off the next morning at 8:30. By then, everything in the ice chest in the back of the car was frozen solid. It was FAH-REEZING outside--colder than I've ever experienced. I seriously had to put a blanket between myself and my car door because the cold was insane. Ice hung off the Suburban everywhere. Our windshield wiper fluid was frozen solid (Californians obviously do not sell the kind with anti-freeze in it), so we couldn't really even use the wipers. All of the roads were icy. The further south we drove, the colder it got. Not long before reaching Idaho, I HAD to snap the above pic of the temperature. (Like my phone cover? Ha.)

It got even colder as we drove, getting to zero. About two hours in, we stopped for a bathroom break at a bar out in the middle of nowhere. The weather by this point said "feels like -16 degrees", but you really couldn't even fathom the cold while you were standing in it because it was a dry cold. It was crazy. The owner had this gorgeous dog (I've tried to figure out the breed--thought it was an Akita but those don't look right--these dogs are HUGE and solid and have really long fur), and the girls just had to meet it!

The freshman. Don't let the little bit of visible snow
and my crazy, jacket-less kid fool you--it was
downright FREEZING.
And... that's pretty much the gist of our trip. We drove, we ate, we slept, we looked at things. By the time we hit Nevada, it was still only 20 degrees. I think the final temperature as pulled into our hometown was high 50s, and it was so funny, because in what we'd normally be complaining about being cold (you know, grabbing sweatshirts and whatnot), we were all like, "Ahhhhhh this feels SO GOOD." LOL!

In summary, road trips like this are, in my opinion, not meant to be taken very often. I will say that we are super-blessed, because though the girls (and Lovemuffin and I) did get into it a couple of times, it could have been soooo much worse. We had great scenery, a great realtor, and an overall great trip. Next time we feel like checking Montana out, however, I'm pretty sure we'll fly.