May 2021: Recap + On My Shelves

In May, we celebrated several birthdays, the end of school, swim lessons, new book releases, and had various other silly adventures. It was a packed month and passed in a blink! How are we already halfway through 2021?

1. Our Big Boy Turns 5 – At the beginning of May, our sweet big boy turned five years old! We celebrated him with a candy-themed party, and it was so cute. Honestly, I can't believe it.  It feels like just yesterday that I was praying for a baby, and now I spend every day with this smart, loving, and adorable boy. Being his mom is such a joy! It's been so fun to watch him become a big brother and grow this much past year. I can't wait to see what 5 holds!

2. New Release Tuesday – My sister and I have been going on Barnes & Noble dates for months now, but in May we made it a priority to go on Tuesdays to scope out all the new releases. She's been the best/worst influence on my TBR! Some days we leave with eight books and other days just one, but I always know we'll have the best time hanging out. I'm so thrilled she's discovered a love of reading, and we can share it.

3. Mommy & Big Boy Day – We did a virtual preschool for our big boy this past year, and his last day was mid-May. To celebrate, my mom kept the baby and we had a "mommy and big boy" day. We got some new dinosaur shirts for summer, picked out something at the LEGO store, checked out all the animals at Bass Pro, and treated ourselves to Menchie's. It was the sweetest thing to spend the day together and make so many special memories.

4. Botanical Gardens – One afternoon, we were in need of a little adventure. So, I packed up the boys and we headed to the Botanical Gardens. It was just what we needed! So many flowers were in bloom, and we had a fantastic time wandering around. A new children's garden had been added since our last visit several years ago, so we got to enjoy a playground and water features, too. It was the perfect spring activity, and we'll definitely go back. 

Read 31 Books | Favorites:
Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Honorable Mentions:
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho

“Power does not transform you, he’d said. It only reveals you.” 
Lore by Alexandra Bracken

“Be very, very careful who you let into your life. And learn to make peace with whatever happens. 
You can’t erase the past. It’s trapped in there with you. But you can make peace with it. 
If you don’t,’ he said, ‘you’ll be at perpetual war.” 
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

“As a good rule of thumb, if you have to lie, you might be doing something wrong.” 
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

 “He loses his wife so he stirs up an army to bring her back to him, 
costing countless lives and creating countless widows, orphans and slaves. 
Oenone loses her husband and she raises their son. Which of those is the more heroic act?” 
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

“I notice, once again, that company that’s not the right fit for you
 is so much lonelier than being happily alone.” 
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

“But I think you should keep in mind that forgiveness is a choice. It doesn’t arrive on fairy wings; 
it doesn’t descend from the sky for you to take or leave. Forgiveness is an action.”
Good Company by Cynthia d'Aprix Sweeney

“God did not change the circumstances of your life, God changed you.”
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall 

“Maybe things can always get better between people who want to do a good job loving each other. 
Maybe that’s all it takes.” 
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

“It’s not your job to make me happy, okay? You can’t make anyone happy. 
I’m happy just because you exist, and that’s as much of my happiness as you have control over.” 
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

“I have brought light into this world, and I have been given light from this world. And what light it is! 
I can say that I have lived. Can you say that you have lived? You must be able to say you have lived. 
I have loved, and I have been loved. That is all we should want. This is all you have to do right now. 
It is right in front of you. So just take it. I know I plan to.” 
How Lucky by Will Leitch

"But we overlay the present onto the past. We look back through the lens of what we know now, 
so we're not seeing it as the people we were, we're seeing it as the people we are, 
and that means the past has been radically altered.” 
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

“Outside is the camp, the barbed wire, the guard towers, the city, the country that hates us. 
But in here, we are together. We are not free. But we are not alone.” 
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

“... a mistake isn't always a mistake. ... Sometimes a mistake is actually an opportunity, 
but we just can't see it right then and there.” 
Front Desk by Kelly Yang

“I realize your default energy level is Cardboard Cutout, but I can’t get to know you if you don’t speak.” 
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

“She had to choose what, of the things she inherited from the people who came before her, 
she wanted to bring forward. And what, of the past, she wanted to leave behind.”
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My blogging life got a little better in May compared to March and April. Kinda? I shared my April 2021 Recap and followed it up with my May 2021 Goals. My biggest accomplishment was starting to make a dent in my backlog of reviews. I chatted about 16 books in Quick Lit: February 2021. And because I read 32 books in March, I reviewed 21 books in my Quick Lit: March 2021 and the 9 that I loved most in Quick Lit: March 2021 Favorites. Finally, I rounded up seven recent obsessions in So Obsessed With: Mini Edition #12. I'd love to have a little more variety in my June posts – possibly a discussion post or two? I always have the best of intentions...

Favorite Album #1: SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo
I'm in my 30s, married with two kids, and this makes me feel like an angsty teen.
I'm totally obsessed and can't turn it off. How dare Olivia do this to me?!

Favorite Album #2: January Flower by Mat Kearney
I love Mat Kearney and have been looking forward to this album for months!
"Anywhere with You" is my favorite right now, but the whole thing is great.

Favorite Album #3: The Otherside by Cam
I hadn't listened to Cam before, but Cassie recommended this album to me.
And she was spot on! I think "The Otherside" is currently my most-listened to song.

Book of the Month: How Lucky by Will Leitch

Barnes & Noble: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee, Toyko Ever After by Emiko Jean, When These Mountains Burn by David Joy, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, The Cave Dwellers by Christina McDowell, The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren, Anna K Away by Stacey Lee, Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent, Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra, The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters, Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Amazon: The Odyssey and The Iliad by Homer, Heroes and Mythos by Stephen Fry, and Competitive Grieving by Nora Zelevansky

Costco, Target, and Walmart: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn, The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, Good Company by Cynthia d'Aprix Sweeney, The Siren by Katherine St. John, Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews, and Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

Used Bookstore: The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey and Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Off My Sister's Shelves: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Audible: The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey, Heroes by Stephen Fry, People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, When These Mountains Burn by David Joy, The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons, Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John and Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

Kindle: All Roads Lead to You by Jennifer Probst (not pictured)

NetGalley: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton and The Devil and the Heiress by Harper St. George

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