Friday, November 20, 2015

Bittersweet - Endings and New Beginnings

Darn...I had a whole post written on Friday, and it didn't save.  :( So...I will write again when I can! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...into the future!

Time for my quarterly update - or so it seems.  Ha!  So much has happened in the last few months I don't even know if I can remember it all.  We'll start with July vacation!  Spent an absolutely wonderful week with great friends in Florida.  My friend's in-laws own two time-shares based in Las Vegas, and they were able to get them transferred to Orlando - so we spent $180 for a 2 bedroom suite for the whole week...not too shabby!  We thought about Disney, but ended up spending two days at LEGOLAND - the first day at the water park, and the second riding the rides and watching shows.  So much fun!  Aside from the park, we spent most of the time at the resort - there was tons to do - arts and crafts (we did tie dye shirts with the kids), paddle boats, 14 swimming pools, a water park on site (we didn't spend the extra it cost to do that since we already went to one), a movie theater, game room, gym, tennis courts and they even had Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, and Hershey's Ice Cream Shoppe right across the street - plus a restaurant and pizza shop!  So...we stayed busy and had a blast!  We found this amazing Italian Restaurant that was a few miles away, and thanks to Restaurant.com, we had a fabulous meal for all 11 of us at a very reasonable price.  Fun times - many laughs, busy days, and tons of pictures to capture the memories.  After we got home it was go, go, go time!  One week before school started back, so it was shopping for supplies, clothes and getting haircuts.  Since we were gone for registration, I had to go to the schools (plural because my daughter started middle school this year) to get them registered, and in the process they messed up her schedule...so we had to get that fixed.  She's playing in the band this year, so had to get my old clarinet to the shop to get re-padded (BTW - if you have a wooden clarinet, that starts out at almost $300!!!!!  OMG - who knew???)  I'm still waiting for it - we have a loaner in the meantime. 
August - So...school started out smoothly.  The weekend after school started my hubby's aunt turned 90 - they had a big ice cream social to celebrate her big day.  Since she lives about 5 hours from us, the thought of driving up there for a 2 hour gathering seemed a little crazy...but at the same time, we did not want to miss out on it, because...she's 90!  So - we went, and on the way home decided to take an overnight trip near Charlotte and brought the kids to Carowinds - we had such an amazing time, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  All the fun, crazy rides, and then there were a couple torrential downpours, so we got soaked, then waited out the rain while watching a show...it was truly a great day.  Then...all hell broke loose.  The third week of school, my daughter (who is usually fairly easy to get along with - although she is at that horrible hormonal stage that makes her seem like the many faces of Eve at times)...Anyway - she got mad at me one night over what I thought was a minor argument - my son and I went out for yogurt (and even asked if she wanted to go), and when we got back she was gone.  Like GONE!  My husband was in the bedroom and thought she was with me - after 30 minutes of driving around (at night, in the dark) and trying not to have a panic attack, I see her walking on the side of the road...2 MILES from our house!!!  I swear, I have never been so scared, and so relieved, in my life! I just don't know what she was thinking, and I'm not sure she does either - she is now really upset and embarrassed by the whole situation and has sworn all of us to never, ever speak of it again.  Before we stopped talking about it, we had a nice, long chat - honestly we didn't ground her or do anything rash - she was upset, and scared and I think she honestly didn't know what she was doing, and had gone so far from home, I think she truly frightened herself (and all of us in the process).  It was a rough few days for everyone, because as parents we were questioning everything! Where did we go wrong, what did we do, will this happen again, why??? - we aren't overly strict, but we do have expectations...anyway.  Hard time, rough patch, but we're doing better now. I had to go to work the next day, and I walked into my bosses office, closed the door and burst into tears.  It was such an emotional day - I could get NOTHING done at work stewing over everything that had happened.  This happened on Monday night right before Labor Day. We had contemplated not allowing her out with friends, but then she got invited to go back to Florida with one of her best friends - LEGOLAND and Sea World...we didn't have the heart to tell her no, and honestly ...we figured it would be good for her to be with a good friend, and have a bit of distance from the situation -for everyone!  She's been a completely different person since then. 
I wondered if all the stress of middle school was causing some of this, but I'm not sure. Her grades are the best she has ever had!  Her lowest grade is a 92 - I am so proud of her!  She has really stepped up to the plate. 
We got her a phone - I did not look at it as a reward (and told her as much) but we had promised her months ago that she would have one before school started...well, it was a little later than originally promised, but she has one now.  I feel better knowing I can reach her at anytime. 
My son - oh...that whole situation broke his heart!  He idolizes his sister, and being my sensitive child, it has made a mark on him.  When we came in the house and she was gone, he started keening - I don't know another way to put it, but it was a moaning, sobbing wail. :(  Breaks my heart.  He has adjusted to school okay - not as well as his sister, and I'm supposed to meet with the teacher next week.  He's not doing "bad" but he's lazy when it comes to homework, and we are struggling to get him to understand the importance of why it has to be done.  He tells us his teacher doesn't always check it...ack!  That's not the point!  Grrrrr - it's been an ongoing argument, and have I mentioned that my son is a Taurus?  Oh he can be so bull-headed when he wants to be!  True to his sign!  Haha! He's been busy with lots of sleepovers and birthday parties lately, which has been good. 
This past week - well...it's been rough for our state.  I'm sure anyone who has watched the news has seen the horrific pictures of the flooding in SC - well, our house is okay, as is my parents and most of my friends.  But...I know several people who have significant flood damage, and my kids are still out of school - today makes day 6 because so many roads are washed out and or still covered with water. I've been in SC since I was 2 (now 41) and I have NEVER seen anything like this.  It's incredible, and so sad to see the devastation.  My dad is over at a friend's house today tearing out drywall, carpet and scraping mud out of the house.  I know of so many more having to do the same thing.  There were so many dams in the Columbia area that are now spilling down the rivers towards our area.  Guess we'll have to see what the weekend holds, and hope the rivers don't rise and cause more flooding.  We don't need it!! 
So - it's been a crazy 3 months. Love it now that it's fall, and football is here!  Tennis starts soon for my son - my daughter decided she did not want to play this year. Maybe next year!  My son also tried out for, and made, the Lego Robotics Team at his school - I'm so proud of him.  Hopefully that will help him with discipline in other areas he's lacking - lol!  I can only hope!!
Upcoming - Well...Halloween is almost here.  My son has decided he wants to be the Creeper from MineCraft, and my daughter wants to be a security guard??  Not sure why, but we found an awesome security guard shirt  - they are both easy outfits, so I'm not complaining.  My daughter is also into Anime at the moment -I'm not sure where she picked that up, but hey...if she enjoys it, good for her!  She has decided for her birthday and some of Christmas that she wants her room redecorated - paint, bed and bedspread, and d├ęcor - so that's what we are going to do for her.  I'm kind of excited, and think she is too - something to look forward to doing together.  Seems with this strange, awkward age it's really hard to find things we both enjoy doing together.  That makes me sad, and trust me...I try - so I'm really, really looking forward to this.  Hoping for some quality mother daughter bonding. 
I'm a bit worn out lately - so many things running through my head, and I really need some time for myself - I seriously want a day to do nothing, and for everyone to go out for the day.  My house needs major cleaning, and I don't do well with that while others are home.  I do soooo much more when it's just me.  But...my husband (whom I love dearly) is a home body...and won't go away! LOL!  My kids do, but when they are gone hubby is 2 feet away at all times.  No joke!!  I am reading a book, that I've been trying to finish for about 4 weeks now...I just want to sit and have a glass of wine (or actually, a Moscow Mule) and just read and relax.  Not enough hours in the day, or days in the week. 
Last weekend (before all the flooding mess began) my best friend threw her daughter a birthday party.  We drove up to Columbia, and after dropping off my stuff at my parent's house I headed to the b-day party.  My poor friend is dealing with a mess - she is in a custody battle with her ex and it has gotten so, so, so ugly.  He has never been nice (left her when their youngest was 3 months old, and literally took everything out of the account - left her with nothing).  Anyway - it's gotten nasty, and she was sooooo down over some things that had  just happened.  I had to bake cupcakes, and help set up the food - she was so lost that I'm really glad I was there to help...but, at one point I had to tell her to snap out of it for her daughters sake - that kids were on the way and she needed to step up!  (Hey - that's what best friends are for, right?)  So...she pulled herself together, and it ended up being great.  My son and I went back to my parents' while my daughter stayed for the sleepover.  We went to church with my parents and then picked her up on the way back - had a nice lunch with my parents, before heading back home.  The weather was JUST starting - the prelude to what happened last week.  Yuck! 
Okay - it's now Friday, and I can't tell you how happy I am that the weekend is here.  Maybe I can sit and enjoy a book - I'm currently reading All The Light We Cannot See -and I'm dying to finish it.  Seriously, I started it like a month ago, and I'm not even halfway through...and it's not because it isn't good...it's really good, and I want to devour it!!!!  Just that darn time thing - hence the title!
Well - have a great weekend, and for anyone who is in SC - stay strong, and stay safe. Hopefully everyone will continue to stay dry! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Random thoughts as I listen to the rain

So I don't have anything wonderful to write about - just random thoughts as I sit at work and wish the day away wishing it was Friday. It's been one of those weeks - not that it's been bad, just trying.  I had two "focus group" meetings at work - they were more of what I would call bitch sessions than anything else, but we did get a few ideas out of them...but one Tuesday and one today - they wore me out!  Mostly gripes about things I have absolutely no control over what-so-ever.  But, employees don't like to hear that from HR - they want answers, solutions, and immediately.  Sigh!  Sometimes it just doesn't work that way - trust me...I want answers and solutions to many things immediately as well.  Seriously - is it Friday yet? 
I'm sitting here listening to the rain outside - it's actually rather soothing.  It's been so dang hot this summer, that the rain may cool it off a little...either that or turn the outside into one big sauna...living in the south you just never know what you're going to get!  But I'll take it over the cold any day.
My son finally got his braces off - yay!  His teeth look pretty amazing.  Not even a week later my daughter got them. Ack! So - braces back to back.  Yay! My baby girl starts middle school in just a month - I'm still struggling with that.  My first born heading to middle school...how is it possible?  Wasn't she just in diapers, like, yesterday???  Hold them close while you can - before you know it they are grown!  I know I still have a few years left with her at home, but if it goes as fast as the first 11 years....well yikes!!!  She's already at the age of pulling away, and oh it hurts.  She is still mama's girl, and will still come sit in my lap (even though she's only 1 inch shorter than me - haha).  But...day in and day out she wants to hang out with her friends, have privacy in her room - makes me knock on the door (which I do...it's the polite thing to do). I'll go in her room to put away clothes and she's like "Why are you always in my room?" with that sassy tone...seriously?  You go do your laundry and put it away, then...you are well past old enough!  So...it can be crazy.  However, there are those wonderful moments, like on the 4th of July, where we just rented an old 80's movie (it was raining so we didn't do fireworks) and had a girls night in - it was fun. 
My son - oh my son.  Still my heart!  He is my sweet child and has such an old soul.  This is the one who, as the judge during apples to apples, chooses waterfall as being closest card to "sad" - because the waterfall is the earth's way of crying!!! What??  He's 10 -  how does he come up with that???  Naturally no one else questioned him.  He's getting ready to go into the top of elementary - only one year away before he goes to middle school...not sure which will be tougher.  My first going, or my last???!!!  Yikes!
I'm ready for vacation - summer so far has not been fun. I mean, don't get me wrong - weekends are nice.  My mother-in-law has been down, so it's been a good visit.  My kids have been so busy with friends that on days I can go to the pool, they aren't here or don't want to go.  My parents did have the kids for a week, and hubby and I had a nice break - we did enjoy some alone time - cuddled watching movies, had a few mixed drinks and danced to our music...silly things, but it was good. But...vacation is almost upon us, and I am sooooo excited.  Only one thing may put a kink in our plans, but I'm trying to stay positive -either way it will be fun.  My friends family has a time share, and we get to go to Orlando for a week - we were going to do Disney, but with so many people and kids it was just waaaaaaay too much mooolah!  Wow - those tickets aren't cheap!  Yow! So...we are going to LEGOLAND for two days - one the park, the other day the water park.  The kids are thrilled.  Heck - I'd be thrilled just to go to Orlando without the park passes, but it will be great. The possible kink...my husband is a realtor, and they just wrote a contract up on a home yesterday for his buyer - the date of the closing just might happen to fall during the week we are supposed to be on vacation...which means 1.  We drive two cars and he leave early.  2.  He miss the entire week due to having to assist the buyer with the home inspections.  or 3. praying that the closing miss vacation by a week and we can all enjoy ourselves.  Otherwise it will be my family (minus hubby) plus my friends family - and her husband being the only guy all week long.  :(  I REALLY don't want that to happen, especially considering they invited us.  However, this is a significant sale, and it is my husband's job...so what can he do? Adulting at times can be really hard, ya know!? 
One truly, truly awesome thing that has happened this summer - about 8 weeks ago I gave up sodas - completely, and cold turkey.  I have never been a diet soda fan, but decided I was tired of the extra empty calories.  So....that was step one.  Second, I got a zumba set for Christmas last year - I set my mind to doing it at LEAST every other day (no less) and signed up on My Fitness Pal - tracking my food and exercise has been the best thing ever - In 8 weeks I've lost 13 pounds.  I have 2 new bathing suits I'm not afraid to go out in, and I feel better than I ever have!  Monday I twisted my ankle, and had to take 2 days off....today was my first day back, and even one extra day had me feeling icky!  I'm addicted to Zumba!  I love it - so much fun!  And seeing results...so exciting!  So - not getting to the pool more often has kind of bummed me out. Darn it,  I finally lose weight, get 2 bathing suits I like, and no one wants me to show them off...hahaha (not that I'm all that...truly, I have a ways to go). 
Books - been trying to keep up my reading over the summer.  I just finished The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks - good book, but it took me a while to get through it. His books read so similar, but they are pretty easy reads.  I just finished another one last night that really turned the wheels in my head!  It was so different from anything I'd read before, and just based on the cover I figured it was some type of crazy erotic romance - however, it's not - I don't normally read those type books, and if it hadn't been recommended by a friend I would have passed right over it without a second glance.  The book is Mud Vein by Terryn Fisher - amazing book!!!  If you like psychological strangeness (I really don't know if I would say "thriller", per se), read this book - it's bizarre, but truly amazing!  I've never read any of her books before, but will be checking more of them out. 
I'm also reading Wonder - I've been wanting to for a long time, as I've heard wonderful reviews on it. Turns out that my son has to read over the summer for his upcoming class, and Wonder happens to be one of the choices on his list.  We are reading it together - I'm trying to get him to love reading like me - he just doesn't.  But...reading it together has been fun, and he's enjoying the storyline. We take turns reading chapters. :)
Anyway - it's almost time to go home - seriously...all of these words were typed in about 15 minutes...just random stuff on my mind and a quick set of typing fingers.  LOL! I should get on here more often, but sometimes the thoughts flow more freely when I don't.  Til next time - hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring is Here!!!

Oh Spring Break - How I miss you already!!!  I worked two days last, and took the rest of the week off to have some fun time with the family, and out of town company.  It is always so hard returning to work after a nice long break...extra work to catch up on, trying to adjust to having to get up early again (oh how I miss sleeping in...even if for only an hour or two longer), and having to get the day started with the hustle and bustle of getting the kids ready and to the bus stop on time...luckily it's right across the street, but it has passed right by a couple of times with the kids halfway down the driveway. 
Spring Break was nice, though.  Wednesday my son and I got haircuts - my daughter needs one desperately, but she was out at the time and I figured we could get her later.  Thursday, my best friend and her 4 kids came for a visit.  Hubby made a delicious pasta and smoked sausage meal, and then we caught up and vegged and had a movie marathon until 3:00 a.m. - I'm still trying to recoup from the lack of sleep!  Friday we went to Charlestown Landing - always a fun place to go.  The kids love the natural zoo area - we actually saw the Bobcat -I think for the first time ever. It's usually hiding in the tress.  This time the park had placed a huge cardboard box sideways in the natural enclosure, and it was sitting in the box (typical cat) and meowing at us from the shade.  My kids now want a bobcat!  Hahahaha!  Right...although it was really cute.  :)  We saw Puma's, a black bear, deer, a skunk, all sorts of wild birds, red wolves, bison and sheep.  They have a really cool otter habitat, and they are usually a riot to watch - very fun and interactive with the people...but they were curled up in a log fast asleep.  :(  Kids really enjoyed this part.  If you have every been to Charleston, Charlestown Landing is a great family place. We went on the replica of the original boat, and they have the stockades for where they punished naughty people...the kids love to stick their head and feet in the stockades, and it's a great photo op.  The kids enjoyed going in a replica of the settler's house - when asked if they would like to live in something like that they looked horrified - my daughter said "There are gaps in the walls - think of all the bugs that would get in!!!"  After about 3 hours of wandering around the park and being a bit hot and sweaty (it was 85 degrees) we headed home for hotdogs, burgers and fries!  Who wanted to eat good on a day like that???  Not me - give me some chili for my dog!!!  My friend's hubby, who had to work all week, was able to join us Friday night - then he picked up his daughter (from prior marriage) and brought her back on Saturday...so we had 4 adults and 7 kids, ranging in age from 11 to almost 2...it was crazy, but fun.  Although my friends oldest son got sick Friday night, and stayed sick the rest of the weekend.  :(  Poor guy - he was such a trooper the entire time!!  Saturday we left the kids with the guys and got out for Easter Basket shopping and a stop at Sally's Beauty to get some items to highlight my hair - my friend took care of my rather blah hair and gave it a little flair.  :)  It was way overdue, and it looks so much better!!  We stopped on the way home and got pizzas (no one wanted to cook again).  We joked around and said we probably both gained 5 lbs. over 3 days - she could afford to, as she is a little size 6...me - not so little.  Haha!  I don't need to be gaining anything anywhere, but Spring Break is a time to splurge.  First thing yesterday morning I got up and did my Zumba!!!  I didn't have the energy this morning, but we'll see about tomorrow. 
Last week (before Spring Break) we had something in our household that I've lived 41 years without having to deal with...my kids got lice!  OMG - what????  Ewwww!  A note went out from our school that someone in my son's class had it, and sure enough he must have picked it up.  Last weekend I spent hours treating both kids.  Both of them have super duper curly hair - my son's was manageable...my daughter - well, I wanted to cry because her's is in a constant state of thick, curly knottiness.  Ugh!  Brushing out her long locks with that tiny little metal comb was not at all fun.  But...we managed.  But oh the cleaning - and cleaning - and cleaning more was such a chore!!!  I have never done so much laundry in my life in one weekend!!!!  From sheets, blankets and pillows to stuffed animals, towels and clothes - soooooo much laundry!!!!  But - I did a second treatment Sunday night (just to be sure those suckers are gone) and I am satisfied that our house is now louse free (shudder) - thank goodness!!  I felt so dirty...but then when I found out most of my friends have already had to deal with it (my really, really clean freak friends) I didn't feel quite as bad.  Just hopefully that was a one time thing...do NOT want to deal with that ever, ever again!!!
So now that Spring Break is over, and it's back to real life...I'm playing catchup at work and I'm already looking forward to the next holiday...which isn't until Memorial Day.  Sigh!  My son's birthday is in May - so something fun to look forward to.  He wants to have a movie theater party the weekend the Avengers comes out.  My daughter wants me to put it off until the following weekend so that the girls can go see Pitch Perfect 2. LOL!  We'll see...it is HIS birthday. 
Anyway- lots going on, as always - hardly ever have time to write.  I've left so much out, but oh well - I write when I can.  :)
Spring is here and I'm so glad...but these allergies can go away now!!! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hello...it's me...I'm aliiiiivvvveeeee

So...I don't even remember the last time I wrote on my blog.  So much to do, so little time -and everyone writes so much better than me - so I read.  :)  So - I'm going to ramble because I don't even know where I left off.  Let's just say Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Years late - because I know I haven't written since then.  What has happened since then?  Hmmmm - so much!  Synopsis - my daughter turned 11, the day after her birthday party I had to fly to Chicago (technically Bolingbrook) for work - it was cold!  My birthday (I won't say how old...only 29 and holding...hahahahaha!  I wish!) My parents and MIL came down for Christmas - it was a great time, and my kids got an X-Box...so they were happy!  New Years - my best friend and her family came down so we got to ring in the new year with them in town, and champagne toasts for the adults! Fun stuff!  In January we got to go to Lake Lure, with the same wonderful people, for a long weekend.  It was cool to go during the winter when you can't access the lake for swimming or boating, which is normally the routine of the days when we go.  It was a little more relaxed, with visits to Chimney Rock and the little touristy shops, kayaking on the water (the only boat available - everything else was being winterized, and the water was 10 feet down), renting movies, and just relaxing - it was nice!  Very nice!  Now Valentine's Day is tomorrow - I got the kids their class valentines, but I have yet to get the first thing...well, I ordered a movie for hubby, because that's what he wanted - but nothing else!  My daughter has a birthday party tonight - skating and slumber party, so we allowed my son to have a friend over - hope it's not too crazy! 
My son gets his braces off soon - only to have my daughter go in them.  Yuck!  My daughter is now wearing a bra...really!?!  Really!?!  Why can't they just stay young.  :(  My son got his first text from a girl...and an invite to a movie!  They are in 4th grade...the girls really are brave these days, aren't they!  I would never have called a boy and invited him to a movie...he would have had to call me!  Times have changed.  Sigh!  Since my son doesn't have a phone of his own, he's always having to use mine - I'm seriously contemplating breaking my rule of no phone until Middle School over this because it's becoming inconvenient! LOL!  My daughter starts middle school next year, and I have already told her she can get her phone over the summer...I know that most of her friends already have phones, but I refuse to cave on this one!!!  She's been saving up for her own phone and has saved almost $100 so far - proud of her!  I won't actually make her pay for it herself, but I'm not telling her any differently at this point. 
Why is it I can think of so many things to write about when I'm not at the computer, but I always have a brain freeze when I start typing - I mean, I think the stuff above is interesting...but who else does? What is it I like about other blogs - honestly I don't know - I like reading about other people - kind of like pictures. Some people could care less about other people's picture...I love them!  I find looking into the lives of  others fascinating...I know that sounds stalkerish, but I don't mean it in that way at all.  Haha! 
So - let's see - I love to read and am always looking for book ideas.  I have two blogs that I follow and get ideas on, plus I follow (stalk) all my Facebook Friends on Goodreads.  I have set a goal for myself to read 25 books this year - my husband thinks I'm nuts (he hates to read) but I read 24 last year...so it's very doable.  I've finished 2 so far, and reading a third. Here are some of my favorites from last year/this year:
1.  The All Souls Trilogy (Deborah Harkness) - just finished The Tree of Life, Book #3 - don't expect to breeze through them - they are long books, and full of interesting characters (from witches, vampires, daemons and humans- but none like has ever been depicted before) and full of fascinating information,  and characters, including many historical figures well known in history- but the books aren't light and breezy by any means!!  Fun and interesting - love the character development!!  Highly recommend for anyone who loves a great story - but again, not a beach book!
2. Anything by Liane Moriarty makes me laugh - loved Three Wishes,  liked The Husband's Secret, and currently reading Big Little Lies
3.  Loved The Fault in our Stars - have not seen the movie, but loved the book despite very mixed reviews.
4.  Michele G. Miller's From The Wreckage Series...oh man - I read all 3 of the series in 4 days (over two weekends) - loved the story and the characters! Also check out Last Call - you will fall in love with Gage -and a second book is supposed to be coming out soon!!
5.  Mindy Hayes - Mindy is the niece (by marriage) of one of my work friends.  She has two series out.  The first is the Faylinn Series starting with Kaleidoscope, which is fantasy, and fun to read.
The other is completely different - The first is Me After You and is a contemporary fiction (clean) romance.  Waiting for the second book to come out!!
6.  The Sisterhood
7.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - different type of writing style - didn't like it at first, but kept reading and turned out to be one of my favorites from last year.  Endearing book!
8.  Rare Bird - I didn't want to read this one - only because I follow the author's blog and it is a book about dealing with grief and coming to terms/learning to live life again after her young son's untimely accidental death.  I've read her blog "An Inch of Gray" and she truly has a way with words - raw, funny, honest...she will have you running through a whole gamut of emotions...but if you know of anyone going through grief, let them know about Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson.
9.  The Book Thief - I also loved this book, and the narrator was different from any book I've ever read.  It's beautifully written, and one of my all time favorites Not a "light" read - it's moving, and touches WW2 in a different light.  But well worth the read - soooo good!  I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard you MUST read the book first. 
10.  Schism - This was a very interesting debut book, and even better - I went to high school with the author, Brett Dent.  He describes it as Sci-Fi...and I guess it is, but I'm not really a Sci-Fi fan all in all -  however, I think it's more about normal people with unnatural powers (telekinesis, teleportation, mind reading, mind manipulation, etc.) - check it out!  You can get it on kindle or nook, and it just came out in paperback too! 
I could write more, but I'll leave it there for now.  Just found out we are going to the beach (with afore-mentioned friends) for a week this summer, and I'm soooooo excited!  Most of the time we have family vacations, but there is nothing like enjoying time with friends.  Yay!