Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Tracy

Well today is Sunday, July 12. This is a special day for many reasons, one Sundays are always good days, two it is July - SUMMERTIME, and three most importantly it is Tracy's birthday.

About 9 years ago I happened to be at Marcus & Rob's apartment when a young woman (whom I had only met briefly once before at a Bama ballgame) wondered if she could use their washing machine. She had subleased the apartment across from them - a bug infested, scary people surrounded apartment. Of course since their apartment was where I did laundry, another Tracy (Tracy Carpenter), and Regina did laundry - who were they to say no to yet another gorgeous girl who wanted to spend time at their place!?

The guys would come home from class or work and find girls on the couch, in the kitchen, nail polish on the tables, fashion magazines scattered everywhere, supper or snacks almost ready and loads of laughter. They were college guys - they didn't mind. :o) But what we all had no idea of is that there were bonds being formed that would withstand the college years, that would flow over into marriages and vacations. In particular one friendship that I now consider to be more of a family relationship than just friends. I have said before that I have more than just Nina as a sister. Stacie has been there from the get go and we are lucky to realize that our sisterly connection continues to grow even stronger.

Then there is Tracy. (Mclees-Pulley) I was surprised when this Seattle girl slipped into my heart but not at all upset. Her quick wit, vivacious smile, strong faith and love of life are hard to resist. During those college years new apartments & houses were found, love was discovered & lost, time & distance created challenges - yet this was the girl I looked to when I needed someone to listen or cook sausage balls with, this was the girl I immediately knew I wanted standing beside Marcus & I when we said our vows; this girl is special. She is the friend I never knew I needed & the sister I thank God for sending me.

Tracy - I am so glad to be able to send these Birthday wishes into the universe. There is no one who deserves every wish when blowing out the candles more than you. Your beautiful daughter already shows signs of harnessing some of your wonderful traits & that crazy hubby of yours I know recognizes his great catch! Thank you for being there whenever I have needed you - for loving Marcus & I no matter what and for being the Seattle girl whose heart is all South.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


Well the last two weekends have been crazy. The very last weekend in June I slipped over to Atlanta to see Nina for her birthday weekend. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Friday night we enjoyed dinner & a movie at the house. Saturday morning Christian had an early morning baseball game. I really love watching coach pitch. The kids are so adorable. You can really see how much fun they are having!

Don't be afraid - the knife is just to ward everyone off from her yummy cake.

After the game Nina & I went for lunch by the marina & then went shopping. I LOVE the store Honey Butter in Woodstock. Then there is FoxTales - a precious locally run bookstore. Ooohhh also Christine's! The little community around Nina is quite charming. We always have fun. A little bit of trampoline time on the couch too....

The kids & I whipped up a yummy cake! Then Keith grilled some great steaks for dinner. The day was all about Nina... which I think she liked :)
Sunday was a different day - Nina and I worked on a home project of hers and it took a few hours to get everything pulled together but by the time I was headed home, we felt content with the project. ;o)

Last weekend we headed to the big city of Camden for a few days of food, fireworks & fun!

Aren't all "my" children adorable??
Mom & Dad graciously hosted this crazy clan of family! Pray for their sanity :o) We all really appreciate all the time & effort they put in so that we can all be together. The pool was sparkling & the food was sensational. We love you!
The pool is rarely this calm - we were all sitting at the picnic tables eating lunch. I thought it interesting that the water was just calmly waiting for our return. The volleyball net was probably breathing easier since no child or adult was dodging its threads! :)

Don't be fooled, this grin is full of mischief!

My husband's eyes are cutting to the side due to the food that is passing him by... yeah.
Jon's birthday happens to be July 4th so along with the typical homemade ice cream & barbecue we blew out some birthday candles! LONG hours in the pool made the weekend perfect. We also had this yummy punch that was, well... YUMMY!

My big brother Jeremy was able to stop by for some yummy dessert & to wish Jon a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Quest of Dai: The Eroe

Okay before I put my weekend in Atlanta then Fourth of July pictures & post I have to take a moment to post about the book I read yesterday.

A few weeks back I participated in a charity auction for Bridget Zinn. She is a new author who in one year published her book, got married & also was diagnosed with cancer. Her cause is one that brought together many members of the writing community. They offered items such as signed books, ARCs, paraphernalia, etc.

I bid & won 2 items: a signed Stephenie Meyer "Eclipse" & a signed "The Quest of Dai: The Eroe" by Vivian Marie Aubin du Paris.

I had never heard of Vivian nor her book, but just the synopsis caught my attention. I was blessed to receive a direct email from Vivian & was pleased that she responded to a reply that I sent. I expressed to her my own writing goals and just enjoyed 'speaking' with another young woman who has/had dreams that are similar to my own - give or take the bunny. :o) (you will have to visit her site to understand that last bit).

I was excited to receive my personalized book and then came yesterday. The first day I had free of other reading/writing projects to open the cover; a beautiful cover with a majestic picture of a wooded area. I came home from work around 5:15 and as I sat on my couch I traveled to a world full of amazing people & places. Dai is the main character (Diamond Gold is her whole name - cool, huh?). She is a normal 18 year old from Indiana who only wants to enjoy the magic that Prom and your last years of High School bring. Who knew she was destined to save another world? The characters she meets are mysterious & in their mystery I lost myself. I fell in love with the one person who gives her more grief than anyone else - much like I feel she is falling in love with him. After 4 hours I closed the book. I had laughed outloud, balled my eyes out, gotten angry at the frustrating attitudes that we as humans tend to develop, and I ached for love lost. But thankfully this is book 1 of a trilogy....I just now need the other two books :o)
I could not breathe for about an hour. Literally I would sit on the couch with Marcus & Peanut, then I would just start crying. I ached for so many things in that book. I am now invested in the story. Vivian wrote a book that I many times in the past have found myself falling in love with. There is chivalry and the hilarious misunderstanding of people from different lands. Love, compassion, hatred, betrayal, confusion, & destiny flow through the chapters. Those things we think we would choose so easily become the difficult choices. How we see the world - the good we see in people is questioned by evil actions. Then there is the romance of two people who think that the other hates the first & vice versa. They internally fight the connection for fear that if they fall they will lose everything in the end & the pain of that is so unbearable that it is better to just deny it all.

I completely adored this book. It is fast paced so it is a quick read even for those who don't read as fast as I do. I cannot wait for the next two & so hope to see many more things from Vivian. She began this book when she was 18. It is now, I am sure, her pride & joy.

I also hope to one day share one of my own with her, for I may have found a kindred spirit from a far away land myself. It was a wise choice for a good cause and I will forever be grateful that I stumbled upon it. I only hope that Dai will look back on whatever choice she has to make & will feel the same.....