Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book #109: One Day

One Day (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage Contemporaries)Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Enjoyment Rating: 5/10
Source: Kindle for iPad
Referral: Anne Hathaway's interview with Jon Stewart

One Day is the kind of book I probably wouldn't pick up on its own and the kind of movie I might catch on HBO on a night when Eddie was on call, but probably wouldn't see in the theater. But last week when the Salt Lake Tribune came out with its movie reviews, I was really surprised to see this movie get 3.5/4 stars. I'd assumed that it would be one of those sappy romances aimed at teenage girls and not something I'd want to see on my own.

So I decided to read the book. It's no fun to go to a movie based on a book if you haven't read the book first. Because then if the movie is good you can talk about the "fine adaptation" and if it's bad you can whine about how movies about books are never as good as the books themselves (which I think is true as a general rule, but there are some definite exceptions). Anyway, I bought the book and read the book, and it pretty much met all of the expectations I had for it before I read the Tribune article. It was an okay book-- a little sappy I guess, but what do you expect from a book where the story follows two college friends (Emma and Dexter) who almost hook up on the eve of their graduation, and then checks in on them every year on that anniversary for the next twenty or so years. They go through high points and low points in their relationship with each other. Both are quite unlikeable at various times in the story, and both struggle professionally, which I guess makes them realistic characters, but also made their love story a little more prosaic and less romantic than I thought it was going to be. And then the end was sort of a shocker. That's all I'll say about that because I've been known to give away more than I should.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book #108: The Red Thread

The Red Thread: A NovelTitle: The Red Thread
Author: Ann Hood
Enjoyment Rating: 9/10
Source: Purchased new from Amazon
Referral: My godmother Annie recommended it

In my mind, the only true and living church time is 9am. The morning person in me loves getting up and out the door, and I've never understood people who have a hard time getting their families ready to be sitting in the chapel at nine. In our last year at BYU, we lived at Wymount Terrace, which was a very strange experience in many ways, but I loved that we had church at eight o'clock. Eddie loved it because he could be home for the kickoff of every single NFL game, and I loved it because I could read my scriptures, go visiting teaching, write in my journal, and listen to Michael McLean for the rest of the day. Okay, there may have been some of that (except the Michael McLean), but mostly I liked to crawl back into bed and read books for the rest of the day. There were lots of Sundays when I'd start a new book after church and finish it before bed that night.

For me, The Red Thread was a book that reminded me of those simpler Sundays when I didn't have to make dinner for anyone or change sheets on beds or wrestle with the Primary for two hours. I read the entire thing in basically one sitting on Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. I hesitate to give the book a 9/10 rating, because I think that anyone who isn't in my position as a potential adoptive parent would rate it lower, but I freaking loved this book. I knew that I would like it when I heard about a contemporary novel (my favorite genre) about the adoption process. To be sure, there were things that annoyed me about the book. For example, by my closest approximation, the book took place around 2006, because it became significantly more difficult to adopt healthy Chinese girls after that time, and in this book the families are adopting healthy girls. However, Hood mentions several times that the families are taking pictures with iPhones, and iPhones weren't released until 2007, so one fact or another in the book didn't work for me in terms of chronology of events.

Another quibble is that although it seems that Hood tried to capture a range of situations in which people might choose to adopt, I was surprised at how complicated (maybe even damaged) the relationships in the book seemed, and at how no one in the book had a situation like mine (because it's all about me, you know). Hood's book follows five couples in America, five birth families in China, and Maya, the adoption coordinator who brings them together. All of the couples seem to be adopting because of infertility or genetic disorders in their biological children, and all of them seem conflicted, at best, about their adoption journey (which is actually something I liked) but honestly, it seemed like all five couples were more likely to end up in divorce court than they were to end up waiting for a baby in a Chinese hotel lobby, so the "happy ending" felt a little bit clouded by what could happen with these couples in the future.

Maya, the central character, also has a backstory involving a daughter who died as a baby (incidentally, the author adopted a baby girl in China after her daughter died in the early 2000s), and I did feel moved by her story. I wish that I understood whether or not she came to a resolution with that baby's father (which felt a little sketchy to me, but she really got my heart as a character. I'll freely admit to crying a little bit in the McDonald's playland while I finished up the last few pages at lunch today. I wish this book hadn't been written yet so I could write it. I don't know that it compares exactly with Anne Tyler's Digging to America because the adoption journey drives the plot here a lot more than it does in Tyler's work, but both books left me with a similar sense of hope. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book #107: West Meets East

Title: West Meets East: Americans Adopt Chinese Children
Authors: Richard Tessler, Gail Gamache, and Liming Liu
Enjoyment Rating: 4/10
Source: Personal copy, bought used through Amazon
Referral: Our adoption agency profiled the book in one of its weekly emails.

One of the things I like best about adoption memoirs is that they're often so colloquial and engaging. I'm the kind of girl who likes to look into windows at night when the shades haven't been drawn. Does that make me a peeping Tom or merely a curious person? (I don't climb through the bushes or anything, if that's what you were thinking). Anyway, it's the personal stories that make adoption memoirs interesting-- the conversational style, etc... West Meets East is part adoption memoir, part report of a sociological survey, but it's written in a formal, scholarly life-sapping style. So in other words, an adoption memoir with all of the fun parts taken out. Tessler (the author who actually did the adopting) writes about the nuts and bolts of his experience (including such details as a powerwalk through the Chicago airport on his way to China) but not many of the anxieties and joys of what he was feeling. So it wasn't as much fun as much of what I've read in other books.

Furthermore, West Meets East was published in 1999, and a twelve-year-old book might not seem that old, but Chinese adoption experiences and requirements change all the time, so it was hard to use this book as a reliable source of information. Back in 1999, it was relatively easy for American couples to adopt healthy baby girls in a matter of months. That's not the case any more, by a long shot. So there's practically no discussion of adopting kids with special needs, which is one of the things that keeps me up at night when I think about our upcoming adoption.

The greatest strengths of the book is twofold: it talks about different ways that our Chinese-born children can be socialized once they arrive in the US, and it also presents lots of information about the attitudes of adoptive parents, based on a survey with about 400 adoptive families. I'm encouraged that these families feel that their daughters have done well adapting to their new families and homes and also that the families feel that their experience in China was a positive one.

The early bird

It's always hard when the alarm clock goes off and the bedroom is still dark. I can say this with absolute confidence because during the school year, I greet the day at 5:30 six days a week. I don't hop out of bed with a smile on my face-- I grumble and groan and try to make excuses to get back in bed.

Yesterday I met Suzanne for our first Wander Lane run of the school year. I run with Suzanne two or three mornings a week for most of the year, but we've been hit or miss (mostly miss) this summer, so it was great to catch up with her and wave to all the familiar faces we see on our regular runs. But I'm sure that we'd both admit that we were a little tired, and if pushed hard enough we'd probably even admit that we'd rather be in bed (if these darn bodies would just stay skinny without exercise!).

Then we turned around a corner and caught a break in the trees and saw this:

Suddenly I was glad to be up early, glad to be one of the fortunate few who could witness this beautiful sunrise, glad to have a healthy body that feels strong, glad to have good friends to share the moment with.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Third First Day

Maren was alternately very excited and not so very excited about going back to school this morning. She's excited about seeing her friends again, but not so excited about being separated from Mommy. She was very excited about picking out this new dress to wear on the first day (she insisted that it had to be pink-- ALL pink) but not so excited about the prospect of eating lunch at school.

I understand how she's feeling. While I was excited to send her off to school today because I know she learns a lot there and has fun and it helps her with her anxieties, I also drove out of the parking lot wondering, "Now what do I do?" It feels really indulgent to be sending her off for a whole day when I'm home, especially when I know she'd rather be home with me.

So I guess that means that I won't climb back into my jammies and read a book. I won't crank up the iPad to finish Season 3 of The Wire. I'd like to do both of those things, but when I think of Maren, trying to hold back tears, it makes me feel like I have to do something productive. I know that means I should get cracking on my MFA project again, but right now I'm procrastinating by blogging.

Book #106: The Redeemer

The Redeemer. Jo NesbTitle: The Redeemer
Author: Jo Nesbo
Enjoyment Rating: 6/10
Source: Ordered used from Amazon
Referral: the next book in the series I've been reading

The other day we were all sitting around the table eating dinner. "This corn is like manna," Eddie said. In truth, it was just a bag of frozen Schwan's corn steamed in the microwave, but my man is easy to please. Then Bryce (not a corn lover) said, "Didn't manna taste bad? I mean, the Israelites were begging God to send them different food. They even ate quail because they were so sick of manna" (our neighborhood is filled with quail, so the idea of eating those cute little birdies is not a popular one around here). Eddie explained that even though manna probably tasted pretty good, you'd get sick of eating any food, even good food, for three meals every day for forty years.

The point of this long introduction is that even though I really like Jo Nesbo, I've gotten to a point in my life where I can't read four 600-page Nesbo books in a month without getting sick of them. Annie read all of the Harry Potter books this summer and started back into reading The Sorcerer's Stone before her tears for Tonks and Lupin were even dry. I remember summers where I read all of the Anne of Green Gables books multiple times, but either I've changed or Nesbo is just too gritty to read serially.

That's not to say that The Redeemer isn't a good book. I still think that Nesbo does a good job getting in the mind of Harry Hole, of the killer, and of the other characters in this book. In The Redeemer, a contract killer has been hired to make his last hit before retirement, and it goes horribly wrong (think The American taking place in Oslo and a protagonist much less handsome than George Clooney). I did figure out some of the layers of the mystery before they were revealed, which doesn't diminish my pleasure because it makes me feel smart. I'm also not sure I buy the whole idea that the killer was a redeemer, but I can see how Harry Hole would feel that way.

If The Snowman is truly the best book in the Harry Hole series, I can see that Nesbo has set it up well, because this book ends with Harry experience both loss and a hope at a better future. I'm eager to read The Snowman, in about six months. I need a little break from Hole and his depressive, alcoholic, smoking, cycling, trying-to-do-gooding ways.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book #105: Choosing to SEE

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and HopeTitle: Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
Author: Mary Beth Chapman
Enjoyment Rating: 8/10
Source: Purchased new from Amazon
Referral: My friend Donna suggested it

Reading Choosing to SEE was an interesting experience because one of the people I talked to first when Eddie and I were in the "thinking about it" stage of the adoption process was my godmother's daughter, Beth. Beth grew up in Nashville and got a master's degree in International Adoption, so she was a great resource. And she got interested in adoption because when she was in high school she had a friend, Carrie, whose family had adopted five kids in addition to their four biological kids. My godmother, Anne, has told me several times that if I have any questions during the process, I should reach out to Carrie's mom. Well, who should appear in the pages of Choosing to SEE but Carrie's mom and her family. What a small world.

Long before we decided to adopt, we knew that singer Steven Curtis Chapman's family had adopted several little girls from China. We also read, a few years ago, about the tragic accident that took the life of their youngest daughter. Mary Beth Chapman addresses both the adoption and the loss in her book Choosing to SEE. I'll admit a prejudice against many adoption memoirs (although that hasn't kept me from reading them) and also against reading books where I feel like I'm being proselyted, and although Chapman talks about her faith freely, it feels organic in this book, not like a vehicle for conversion.

Although Mary Beth has kept a blog for years, she and Steven acknowledge in the introduction that she'd never call herself a writer, and she wisely chose to bring in Ellen Vaughn to work on the project with her. The result is one of the best-written, most moving books about adoption (and probably about depression, loss and faith) out there. I loved Mary Beth's perspective on adopting as a busy mom. I'm glad to see that there are others out there who have a little bit of worry, at least initially, that they may be messing up their family as they know it by adding another. I'm not sure I'll ever have the guts to ever call up Carrie's mom and ask her how things have gone, but by reading Choosing to SEE I feel like I'm better educated on how the process might be for me and my family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Second First Day

Despite a four-and-a-half year age difference, these boys are the best of friends and I love that this picture (the only one I could snap before they took off down the stairs) shows this. Despite being BFFs, Bryce and Isaac don't walk to school side by side. Bryce walks head down, determinedly, and wants to be first in line to go into school. Isaac tightropes over the curbs, stops to chat with friends, and is mauled on the playground by his buddies.

The boys both had a great summer-- Bryce loved his camp and gained a lot of confidence there, as well as some of the organizational skills he needs to do well in the school year. Isaac mostly ran around in the back yard with his shirt off, which is why he's ten shades darker than his older brother. They are both my chicken whisperers, and I'm not sure if our three little birdies are going to be sad or relieved to be left to their own devices for most of the day. 
Maren and I are enjoying a morning of relative calm. In a few minutes, we'll take off to let her pick out her "first day of school" outfit. Now that three of the four have gone back to school, I may even feel brave enough to hit the mall for a little while.

Call me Simon Cowell

One of the reasons I resisted assigning the books I've read a particular rating is because I'm a bit of a grade grubber. If I were a published author, I know it would hurt my heart a little bit if I had a three-star book on Amazon, because I'm the kind of girl who fought to make her 95 a 97 when I was in school (and although this has abated a bit now that I'm in my thirties and back in school, if I got an A- in a class I worked really hard in it would probably still rankle). But as a reader, I'm not very easy to please. I finally succumbed to adding a _/10 rating to the books on my blog after many readers have said they had a hard time figuring out if I liked the book or not based on the review (sometimes, this is intentional). So I'm adding a rating system with some caveats:

* My ratings are based on my personal enjoyment of the book, not on how important I think it is or what I think the New Yorker would say about the book. Even if I know it's a cheesy book, I'll give it a high rating if I enjoyed reading it. 
* I basically like any book that rates 5/10 or higher.
* I'm trying to rate on a bell curve where most decent books fall in about the 5-6 category. You won't see a lot of 1s or a lot of 10s. In fact, I'd be surprised if you see more than 2 or 3 tens in a year. If I'm reading more than 2 or 3 ones in a year, it's only because I've been compelled by external sources (my classes, the Whitneys, a well-meaning friend) to read the book.

I feel a little bit bad about this rating system, because even though I think it makes sense for the critic in me, the girl who always wants an A has a hard time feeling like she's failing a book that scores 6/10. 6/10 does not mean I only enjoyed 60% of it, it just means that it wasn't the kind of book that kept me up at night reading with a flashlight under the covers, that I wanted to talk about endlessly with my morning running partners, and and that made me reevaluate my entire worldview. There are very few books that do that, but that's what a 10/10 book does for me.

Book #104: Live From New York

Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and GuestsTitle: Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Life
Author: Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller
Enjoyment Rating: 6/10
Source: Ordered used from Amazon
Referral: Back cover of the Shales/Miller ESPN book

When we went to Alaska, Ed took Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller's new book Those Guys Have All the Fun to read. He set a goal to read a chapter a day (which sounds pretty wimpy until you realize that the chapters are a hundred pages each), and I felt that by the end of each day, I'd read half the chapter too because he kept showing little tidbits to me. The Shales/Miller method is one where it's easy to show little tidbits, because basically they interview people, and then they string together paragraphs from their interviews in order to construct the text. There's very little actually written by the authors, except for the chapter intros. The work comes in deciding where to put the quotes so they create a cohesive narrative, show conflict, or give insight into character.

Live From New York, is (unsurprisingly for anyone who is familiar with the title) a history of Saturday Night Live. I've been watching the show as long as I can remember (it premiered the year I was born) and we still end up in bed most Saturday nights trying to stay up until Weekend Update. It's definitely an interesting book, and at 600+ pages, I learned more than I ever cared to know about SNL. In fact, Lorne Michaels haunted my dreams for several nights after I finished reading. It's a good book for an SNL fan, but I think you'd have to be a pretty serious fan to get through all of it. Or else you'd have to be someone who loved SNL in its heyday. The book was published in 2002, and reading it made me realize that it belongs to that category of nonfiction books that becomes dated very quickly. There was only one Amy Poehler reference. Tina Fey was quoted just a few times. This was pre-30 Rock, pre-Andy Samberg, pre-Seth Meyers. I missed reading about last decade, but I don't know if I'd want to get through 200 more pages to have the pleasure of hearing about the current story.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The First First Day

Over the next week, we'll have four first days of school. Annie got us started bright and early this morning, heading off to her first day of fifth grade. She's always been the kind of girl who lays out her clothes the night before the first day, but this year she also laid out her jewelry, had me blow-dry her hair, and she had the straightening iron plugged in almost before she got her alarm clock turned off. Although she protested about how nervous she was over starting a new year, I know this will be a great year for Annie. She's back with the same kids (28 of the 30 kids in her class are returning), she has a great teacher, and after two years in this school, she knows the ropes.

Although I'm the world's worst photographer and it was too windy to take pictures on the front steps like we always do, Annie really liked the funky effect of the sun in this picture.

Maren was sad to see her big sister go off to school, so we placated her by letting her in on the photo action. Notice that her hair is brushed, but her dress is on backwards. Oh well, it's still summer for a few more days for her.

Bryce and Isaac will start tomorrow (6th and 1st grades, respectively) at the charter school down the street. Maren's first day back at the Montessori school is Thursday (and yes, she's already crying about me leaving her). Because I opted not to teach this fall, I don't go back until next Monday. And then, we'll all be in the swing of things for a whole day before Isaac has surgery on his leg and everything gets all turned upside down again.

As far as summers go, this has been a good one. For one thing, it hasn't been a scorcher. I used to dread summers in Texas, where we'd be all cooped up in the house all summer long. I was grumpy with the kids and eager to get out of town to where it was cooler and get the dang summer over with. But this summer, the kids were big enough to occupy themselves for long stretches and the weather was gorgeous so they played outside. And, oh yeah, I spent two weeks in Chicago and Minnesota and another two in Alaska.

The Master Bedroom and Bath

When we first walked through the house, I didn't think the master bedroom was all that special. Sure, it had a lot of nice windows, and a fantastic bathroom, but the room itself seemed just adequate. It wasn't until we moved in a few months later, and loaded in two dressers, two nightstands, a California King size bed and an old tan recliner that we realized that the room was enormous. At the time we thought we'd make one of the basement bedrooms into an office, but we soon realized that we had room to sleep, do our work, watch tv, and play basketball in this bedroom, so we decided not to have a separate office, and we've divided the room into different sections.

In the center of the room, you have the normal bedroom stuff. Dressers (Three four-drawer Malm dressers from IKEA, all pushed together to look like one unit), a bed, and a ginormous television (one of the few concessions to the fact that Eddie does live in the house). The bed is from Overstock. I made the headboard a long time ago and covered it with a new fabric for this house. The bedding is also from Overstock. We bought the nightstands (Bogart Collection by Thomasville) from several garages around Salt Lake County. The big blue lamps are from eBay. I love them.

When I talk about the books on my bedside table, this is what I'm talking about.

The north side of the room is the reading/lounging/one-of-the-kids-had-a-nightmare-and-wants-to-sleep-in-our-room zone. I didn't want to paint this room a funky color, so I got a big square of fabric and hemmed it and stuck it up on the wall to add some visual interest. Yes, I do have a plan for how to readjust the pictures when we have five kids instead of four. The only thing I haven't figured out is how to get professional 8x10s of Rose at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months if she's living in an orphanage in China at some of those ages. The couch and bookcase are from IKEA, but I drove up to Layton (which is much further north than I thought it was) through a snowstorm to get the couch for less than half price out of some guy's house. The end tables are from the 1950s and purchased from another SLC-area garage. Les found the aqua Star of David bowl at the Salvation Army in Massachusetts and I decided it was way too cool to hang up on the dining room wall.

Finally, here's the business area of the bedroom (not that kind of business). I wanted to take advantage of this big bank of windows by being able to look out at the mountains while I wrote, or paid bills, or wasted time on Facebook. The chairs are Tolix and match the ones in the dining room (we can seat ten at the dining room table in a pinch). Desks are cobbled together from IKEA, the recliner is from Macy's. Shelves from IKEA. Justin Hackworth did the photos of me and the girls. Isaac did the Abe Lincoln art. Annie painted the floral still life. Don't you love the print of Emma Smith? And the little doll we bought for Rose? Have you been counting lamps? Eight. I know, it's overkill, but remember, this room is big enough to play basketball in.

When I saw the pictures of the house online for the first time, I laughed out loud when I saw this bathroom. Who needs a chandelier over the bathtub? Apparently me, I guess. All of the prints are from Etsy. You may notice lots of Asian-themed art. By the time we decided to adopt Rose, the bathroom was just about the only place that still needed pictures on the walls. We may move some around in the future so she doesn't associate being Asian with using the bathroom.

That's it until October. I hope to show exterior pictures, the kitchen and the basement when I can get my hands on Les's camera again.

Book #103: Swim Back to Me

Swim Back to MeTitle: Swim Back to Me
Author: Ann Packer
Enjoyment Rating: 7/10
Referral: Browsing the Audible website

I really liked Ann Packer's The Dive from Clausen's Pier, and liked her other novel (the name of which is escaping me at the moment) pretty well too. So I ordered the audiobook of Swim Back to Me on the basis of her two previous novels, without reading anything about this one. So the first "chapter" of the book threw me a little bit. Packer delves into the story of Richard and Sasha, two middle schoolers living in Palo Alto who cope with their loneliness and unhappy families by hanging out with each other and smoking dope. It felt like Packer was doing a lot of exploring these two characters, but not a lot of developing a story. One morning during my run, I pulled off my headphones and did a search on the book and discovered that I wasn't listening to a novel at all-- rather this was a group of short stories. Aha! It all made perfect sense now.

In general, I think that the short story format allows a little more experimentation, a little more delving into character without a story arc, and Packer is playing with those conventions. Once I realized I was listening to stories, I really liked them. I particularly liked the story about the husband who does a runner and how his kids and his new wife react to the situation. I also liked that Northern California was a constant in the stories (and two of them dealt with Sasha, only she's in her fifties in the second one, and not nearly as messed up as we might have predicted from the first). I'm glad I read the collection, and glad that I didn't know I'd be reading short stories when I started the book, because I generally don't read a lot of them. All in all, a satisfying read, and it felt like an interesting departure from Packer's other books. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Kids' Rooms and Bathroom

When I was pregnant with Bryce, my mom offered to paint his bedroom. We were renting at the time, and the rest of the house had flat white paint, but one weekend we painted the baby's room a sunny yellow, and she stenciled navy blue stars as a border around the room. Since that time, it's become a tradition for my mom to do something over-the-top in the kids' rooms. We've had whales and sailboats, flowers and frogs, lots of hot pink flowers, fairies, and in this house she really outdid herself.

The boys' room was one of the first rooms in the house to reach a state of near-completion, and it's stayed this way for two years. Isaac had surgery shortly after we moved to Utah, and we decided that while he was in a full-body cast recuperating, we'd entertain him by transforming his bedroom (I'm guessing he didn't think it was as much fun as we did). He and Bryce have always been huge fans of the zoo, and what do you do to decorate a bedroom for huge zoo fans? You fill the walls with huge elephants, of course. We actually drew the elephants on the wall with washable magic marker, then painted in the lines. Bedding is from The Company Store, beds are from Overstock, dressers are from West Elm. We plan to put cork tiles on the slanted part of the ceiling, but haven't actually gotten that far yet.

When we visited the house for the first time, Annie ran upstairs and claimed this bedroom for her and Maren. I still don't think Isaac has quite forgiven her, but I have to say that I can't blame her. I would have chosen this bedroom for myself if I'd been a kid too. Although we bought the bedding while we still lived in Texas and assembled the beds (from IKEA) in this room before the moving truck arrived, my Mom didn't finish painting the room until about a month ago, and we're currently in the process of adding another bed to the room (we're having a neighbor build a built-in bed in what has been called "the reading nook"). I'd also like to add some curtains, so Annie can have her own little preteen lair in the room she'll soon share with two little sisters. We also have some lovely Olli and Lime wallpaper sitting in the closet that I'll get around to putting up on the slants over the existing beds one of these days. The chairs are from PB Teen and Overstock, bedding from PB Teen, dresser from KSL Classifieds. The embarrassingly large collection of American Girl dolls is courtesy of the Grandmas.

It took me a long time to decide what to do in the bathroom upstairs. I decided that rather than going for something over-the-top (since the bedrooms are already so wild) we'd go understated in the bathroom. I filled it with bird prints painted by Ashley Mae, a friend from my MFA program. The prints are much more lovely in real life than they look in the pictures, and I like the way that this room feels serene.

Up Tomorrow: Master bedroom and bath