Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book: Wedding Night

I picked up my first Sophie Kinsella book in high school and became instantly hooked to chick lit. I read “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and followed the entire series with excitement. When I finished the series, I devoured all of Kinsella’s stand-alone novels (including her works by her real name, Madeleine Wickham). After I finish one, I’m anxious to read what she writes next. Her latest release, Wedding Night, is hilarious!

Imagine everything that can go wrong on a honeymoon, and you’ve got this book. The characters are humorous, and there is a level of predictability of who ends up marrying who. While the premise is a bit much (which is often true of most chick lit, in my opinion), you’re not reading chick lit for the mental stimulation. Most chick lit is just plain fun with a lot of laughs.

If you’ve never read any of Kinsella’s book, I would recommend Twenties Girl (my favorite!). It doesn’t follow the traditional chick-lit formula. You should be able to find Kinsella’s works in the fiction section of your local public library.

Disclaimer: Yes, I've linked to where you can learn more about Sophie's books. No, I'm not making money off the links.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reflecting on Six Years of Marriage

When I was a teenager, I told my mom that I never wanted to get married. I had it set in my mind that once I graduated from high school I would go through college and focus on my career. I miss those rose-shaded glasses of youth sometimes - you know, the ones where everything works out how you plan things.

And then the real world comes along.

I never dated in high school. I couldn't be bothered. I was also a plus-sized teenager (who is still a plus-sized woman, but a smaller version!) who had a lot of body issues. No one dated the fat girl, and I was OK with that. I knew there were better opportunities outside of high school and my hometown, and I was excited to find out what the world offered. When I moved away for college, I started dating. I had two very unsuccessful "relationships" that I can't help but laugh about now. After the second relationship ended and I went on a couple of bad first dates, I just stopped playing the dating game and went back to worrying about me and my education.

One day, Richie came in to the picture.

I love to tell Our Story, but I'd rather wait another time to go into all the cute and sweet details. But he came into my life when I was 19. He was different. I was sick one week after we made things official, and he took care of me - no questions asked. I can't tell you how many times I almost wet myself because he would make me laugh so hard. He was readily accepted by my family and friends. He supported my desires to do what I wanted to do in my professional life. He was The One. We both knew almost one month into dating that we would get married. We just knew.

It always happens when you least expect it, right?

On Memorial Day this year, we will celebrate six years of marriage. Around this time, we always reflect back on our first few months ago. It is clear to me now that this was who God had chosen for me. Richie was to be the man that I would partner with to take on this world. I couldn't have picked a better husband if I tried, and I'm so thankful I didn't choose anyone else. Richie takes care of me and our families. He works hard to provide for our family of us and two cats. He still makes me laugh. He never misses an opportunity to tell me I'm beautiful.

Reflecting back makes me get all mushy, but it also leads me to pray for my girlfriends and other women. Every woman should feel as treasured and beautiful as my husband makes me. My prayer for single women is that God brings them to that person, but you have to be patient. Wait and pray. Don't go in to marriage on your own timing - wait for God's timing. It's so absolutely worth it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book: The Pioner Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

I have never followed Ree Drummond’s blog. I was never interested in her blog until my library ordered her cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier. I love this cookbook! Step-by-step pictures are gold for this kitchen-phobic girl. I also love Ree’s children’s books about Charlie the ranch dog. So when browsing through my library’s eBook collection, I found The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and figured I’d give it a shot.

If you’re looking for a sweet love story and a fast read, this is your book. Ree is incredibly open about her love story to her Marlboro Man, but not to the point of TMI. I laughed out loud several times (especially her telling of their honeymoon to Australia), which doesn’t often happen. You get a little romance, quite a bit of humor, and even some suspense (thanks to a wicked prairie fire). Her style of writing made me feel like I was sitting next to her as she’s revisiting good times and bad.

This book wasn’t on my to-read list. Because I work with children and teens, I read more juvenile/young adult books than I do "adult" books. Ree's book was a fun read. I read the eBook version, and I’m embarrassed to admit that this was the first book I finished on my Kindle Fire (that I've owned for a year). If you’re looking for this book at your local library (which you should!), you’ll find it in general nonfiction.

Disclaimer: Yes, I've linked to where you can learn more about Ree's books. No, I'm not making money off the links.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Right Now

I thought taking the summer off from school would get me to write more, but this is what I've been spending my free time doing:

- Reading for fun! Who knew?
- Watching copious amounts of Netflix... because I can.
- Getting to bed at an incredibly reasonable hour (often times by 9 pm).

While I'm not taking summer classes, life is still incredibly full. Summer is my busy time at work, so I'm running full throttle at work to get everything prepared. I've had lots of social engagements recently, which is great because during semesters I'm a hermit. We have been getting more active in our church, too, and it's been an awesome way to spend our time.

Clearly, not a whole lot is blog-worthy in my life right now... and that's totally cool.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Burrito

When it's time for me to get up and ready in the mornings, Richie has already left to start his day. I only have to worry about feeding myself and the cats breakfast, and I know what they are eating for every meal. Often times, I grab a bowl of cereal or oatmeal to get something in me, but two hours later I'm really hungry.

I'm a gal that needs protein in the mornings.

Sometimes I'll make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (don't judge if you don't do this). For a while, I was on a turkey-and-cheese quesadilla kick. But lately, my breakfast of choice is a scrambled egg burrito. It's far from fancy but I can eat one at 7 a.m. and not feel hungry until 11 a.m. Heck yes!

Scrambled egg goodness!
I make mine with three eggs and a slice of cheddar cheese. I recently discovered aged sharp cheddar slices from Kroger... heaven! I throw the eggs and cheese on a tortilla and eat while reading blogs in the morning. If we have veggies from leftovers, I'll toss those in with the eggs. The beauty of this breakfast is that it takes, from start to plate, just five minutes.

I calculated the protein in the meal, and it comes out to around 27 grams.

What's your favorite quick and protein-rich breakfast? I'd love some suggestions!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Own Reading Challenge

Remember that reading challenge I "signed up" for?

Yeah. That didn't happen.

I had good intentions and had even selected several books to read. However, I was the genius who decided to participate in the challenge in the middle of a semester. I know better now.

I'm not participating in this specific challenge anymore - but don't get me wrong, there are some awesome titles on the list that are worth reading (the ones I read were great). Instead, now that I have three glorious months off from school, I am going to be working through my to-read list that is probably longer than... well, it's pretty long.

My library system's catalog has an option where you can log in to your account and create lists. Often times when I'm working the circulation desk and a book passes through that looks interesting or a patron recommends something, I add it to my account's "To Read" list. I also have a nice stack of books I own that I really should read. I'm not lacking for reading material. My "To Read" list on my library account had 84 books on it. After evaluating the list, I managed to remove 14 books that just didn't sound good to me right now. I'm not editing the books I already have at home because there aren't too many, and I'm telling myself that the books I have there are there for a reason.

So, for the next three months, my intention is to make progress on the list and the stack. I'm not setting a specific number because that doesn't work for me. I just want to make progress by August 1.

What are you reading right now?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Guest Blogging!

I am thrilled to have a guest post up about the great state of Georgia today over on Sara's blog: The Traveling PhoBlogWriPher.

If you found me from her blog, I'm thankful you have stopped by to check things out here. I'd love to "meet" you, so please leave me a comment. And if you haven't already, make sure you congratulate Sara and her husband. Their little bundle of joy was welcomed into this world just a couple of weeks ago! If you're like me and have "baby brain," read through Sara's pregnancy posts. I enjoyed reading them and living vicariously through Sara.

Thank you, Sara, for the opportunity to highlight my state!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

First Year of Grad School? Done!

I just finished my last class of this semester, thus solidifying the completion of my first year of graduate school. How do I feel right now?

Except I don't party because I'm old. Instead, my celebration will take place this Saturday. This will be the first Saturday in over a month where I have not had a commitment. My plan Friday night is to turn off my cell phone, nix any other distractions, feed the cats a late dinner so they aren't pestering us in the morning, and sleep until whenever I feel like getting out of bed on Saturday.

Sleep, I'm so excited to be reintroduced to you again. (At least for the next few months.)