More Books

My book reading has been a bit slow lately. I’m trying not to feel too much guilt over not constantly reading and finishing books. Looking back, I’ve actually read more than I thought I had, so that’s always a plus.

Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddon– This is an author whose name I’ve heard over and over, so I grabbed this one from Goodwill. It was a like, but not love. Caroline owns part of an island that the Gullah have lived on for years and she learns that to save her husband’s business, he will need to develop the island. I probably won’t re-read this book, but I would definitely read more by Siddon.

Covering Home by Heidi McCahan,- Admittedly, I’m slightly biased because I know the author, but I loved this book set in Japan about a high profile baseball player and a reporter trying to get the scoop. Their story of togetherness was sweet and a page turner. I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Serve God, Save The Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth- I read this as part of our possessions/spending month of Seven. It was okay, but really, some of the things he talked about were just too extreme to be practical for my life.

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory– Typical Philippa Gregory formula. I did like that this one focused a little more on Queen Mary than strictly QEI or the Boleyns. Not my favorite, but didn’t hate it either. How’s that for a review?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky– In all truth, I picked this one next because it was short. The year of a boy in high school and the friends he makes. It definitely took on a different, darker turn than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio- Without a doubt, the best book I’ve read this year. Auggie is a boy with severe facial deformities who has been home schooled through 4th grade because of the number of surgeries he’s endured. He enters a small-ish private school for 5th grade and this is the story of his first year of school, dealing with making new friends, betrayals, and bullies. It’s told from the point of view of Auggie, two of his friends, his older sister, his sister’s boyfriend and sister’s oldest friend. It is definitely written for middle-school aged, so the prose isn’t anything ground-breaking, but it is a beautiful story that had me crying several different times- happy and sad tears. I would recommend this book to anyone.

The Paris Wife by Paula McClain– Everyone was raving about this book several years ago, but I’m honestly not sure why. It’s about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and gosh it was so slow. I thought about abandoning it, but eventually, I was invested in the characters. I never thought I would get through it, though.

Next up for me is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Laura at Hollywood Housewife is going a Read Great Books Challenge and book club this year. I missed the first two and so I’m hoping to join in to this next one. However, I better get to reading because it’s not a short book! I’m also hoping to go back and read Frankenstein. After that, I’m not sure. Big Mama’s new book, Nobody’s Cuter Than You, is coming out soon and of course I’ll be reading it. I also bought Daring Greatly by Brene Brown because every blogger I read has recommended it, so it’s on my TBR pile as well. However, I haven’t even begun my “long book challenge,” so I need to begin that sooner or later….

So many books, so little time.


Life: Sick Edition

Well, here we are again. Life has been busy and normal. I’ve been off and on sick for the past three days and that has just been annoying. I rarely get sick, so when I do, it’s like I don’t know what to do with myself. You mean I just need to watch TV and sleep? Weird. Oh, and still take care of Jolene because apparently dogs like to use the facilities even if I don’t feel like getting up.

It is currently in the middle of March Madness season at our house. Georgia lost in the first round, but Arizona is still in. On Friday, Ryan took the day off work and invited about 12 people over to come watch basketball all day. I think they had fun. Rebecca and Lady came over to keep me and Jolene company and we stayed upstairs and ate brie and bread while the guys ate hotdogs. I also made BBQ and baked beans, which are never as good as Mama’s.

On Saturday, our church had a Great Day of Service so our Sunday School class did a landscaping project a City of Refuge. It was a lot of fun all working together.

We finished pretty early so I decided that I would keep working in our yard. We have a small area for flowers and it’s pretty bland, so I’ve been trying to make it prettier. I dug up a bunch of monkey grass, bought a flowering quince, put in a few Lenten roses, and hung some ferns. It looks better, but it super green. I need some more color.

I planted this guy by the mailbox. He makes me super happy.

After all the yardwork, our SS class met up at Taco Mac and watched basketball. And Ryan actually joined us and watched Arizona win! He doesn’t like to watch around people, so this was kind of a big deal. After TMac, we went to a local bar/dance club and hung out and danced. It was so much fun! And truthfully, we never do anything like that, so it probably made it that much more fun.

Sunday, we had soccer practice. Yes, I have joined a soccer team. Our first practice, I had to ask what the positions were, so that’s a good place to start. Then Ryan and I spent the rest of the day relaxing on the sofa and hanging out. He took a nap and I watched a few episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. It was super cute and I want to watch the rest. Towards the end of the night, I started feeling bad and well, I ended up at the doctor with a mask on.

It’s hard to take a non-obvious selfie in a doctor’s office.

And that’s where we are.

My birthday’s on Friday, so we will be at Tanaka Friday night. Mama and Daddy are coming up Saturday and are going to help me lay some flagstone in the path in our front yard. Right now it’s just peat gravel which is so hard to walk on and they had some extra from when they redid their yard years ago. I’m so glad they like to come and help us do that kind of stuff. And on Sunday, we are going to brunch with a bunch of friends and family.

So, I need to feel better. And soon.

Secret Single Behavior

Ryan was gone all last week at a conference and then visiting friends. He left Monday and didn’t get back until late Sunday night. Because he is the one in our relationship that is the healthy eater and neater one, I had a little bit of “the cat’s away, the mice will play” going on. Just a few of the things I like to do when I’m alone- my “secret single behavior,” to borrow a phrase from Sex and the City.

1. Eat ice cream for dinner- Oh, yes. I have been enjoying lots of chocolate chip cookie dough. It takes me right back to childhood. This would never fly for Ryan. He wants healthy food. In fact, he just ate a head of broccoli for dinner last night and declared it one of the best meals he’s ever had. Blech.

2. Wear a lot of lotion- I usually put on some thick handcream before going to bed, but I recently found out that lotion freaks Ryan out. We all have our things, right? But I made sure to apply extra to make up for the times I’ve missed lately.

3. Snapchat too many selfies of me and Jolene to Pease and Michelle- This is pretty self explanatory.

4. Sleep with Aquaphor on my face- Yes, this is pretty weird. But wrinkles come from dryness and aquaphor is super hydrating. However, doing this is super weird so I try to do it when I’m alone.

5. Fall asleep to Friends instead of SportsCenter- ESPN is by far the most watched channel on our TV and because I usually read in bed while Ryan watches TV, we typically fall asleep to SC. However, Friends will always be my first choice when it comes to “background noise.” Well, after Hello, Dolly!

I want to buy stuff…

This month of our “7” has been spending and possessions. We decided to combine the two. Truthfully, I’m not at a place where I feel like we have so much stuff to get rid of, but there is some that still needs to be cleaned out and donated. But I have loved (not sure that’s the right word…) the no-spending challenge. There have been many moments where I’ve thought it would be so easy to just drive through CFA, but I perservered and came home and made a can of soup or a sandwich. And I feel so much better about it.

I spend so much money on convenience, when it’s not that much more difficult to cook something or make a sandwich. As Kate, one of the girls I’m doing this with, said, it’s made me so much mindful of what I’m buying.

But I still have a list of things I want to buy when this is all over with. And most of it comes from Boden. My friend Michelle is getting married in May and I think I need some stuff for that.

I’m in love with this gray-purple. My new neutral.

I also think these are so cute and fun.

I also have several things I want to do around the house. We are hosting our Sunday School class in April, so I have several things I want to do before then. Not because I think anyone will care but because I need a deadline. I have some art that needs to be framed, I want to have our dining chairs and chairs in our living room recovered and curtains made. I also have a chandelier that needs to be replaced.

And now I’ve decided I want to change the doorknobs in our house.

And I want new house numbers.

And some fake lemons for my trifle bowl. These are from Dollar Tree. Is $1 a lemon a reasonable price? I’m trying to decide. You have to buy 36, which I could probably use that many. But spending $40 on fake lemons seems kinda crazy.

Let’s just add to the list.

I’m having a difficult time reconciling what we want to buy and spend on ourselves versus what we should give. We are wealthy and it matters. I guess the questions is what are we going to do about it?

If a man shuts his ear to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 13:21


Life Lately

What a week. Well, what a past two weeks. Well, really, what a past two months. It’s hard to believe it’s already March.

Let’s see…

Ryan and I went to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl and got to watch with Michelle and Trey. Such a fun game and great watching Grantham getting his butt kicked. :)

We spent New Years’ Eve with Pease, Ross, and Sheldon. It may have been my favorite ever. Totally low-key. We played cards until 11:30 and then figured we needed to watch the ball drop and drink a glass of champagne. So we did and then we were in bed by 1.

On New Years Day, we had a big group of friends over for lunch. We had the traditional New Years lunch and I hope we can make it an annual tradition. Just lots of food and friends. It was perfect.

The next week, I went to Philly for work and started our food fast. Being out of town makes it hard to eat chicken for every meal.

When I got back, Ryan finally did his eating challenge. He didn’t finish, but he got really close.

Mama made Ryan and me this amazing quilt! I can’t wait to get our room finished so we can show it off properly.

I painted our hall bath…

and chose paint for our bedroom. (Neither of those colors, actually.)

We had a great time at the Hawks game with Jay and Rebecca. Ryan is so happy he has someone in his life that cares about the NBA.

Mama and Daddy came to town and painted our bedroom while I was at work and Ryan was in Nashville. They’re the best.

And Mama did all of our laundry. Seriously. The best.

I painted spots in our hall bath and Ryan didn’t hate it! He called it weird, which is exactly what I was going for. Normal houses are boring. :)

Ross, Ryan, and Daddy moved Mimi and Papa’s pool table to our basement. We’ve played quite a few games down there. Sometimes, I actually play okay.

I got Heidi’s 2nd book in the mail and devoured it! So good!

On Valentine’s Day, we went to Charlotte and celebrated Papa’s 85th birthday!

Jolene watched the Westminster Dog Show. She’s the cutest.

We went to Arizona for a long weekend to see Ryan’s grandfather, including going to an Arizona game.

It was so nice and warm there.

And we came home to snow. I’m not sure this winter will ever end.

We had the 8th Angels on Earth lunch for work. It’s amazing to see how much it’s grown.

They’re my favorite.

Kathleen hosted a couples shower for Michelle and Trey. Callan and Jimmy drove up all the way from Miami. I love these girls.

And now I’m sitting here watching Georgia battle Kentucky. The game is in Athens and Charles Barkley, Bill Belichek (sp?) and Ashley Judd are all there. Fingers crossed for a win! Kentucky is currently undefeated and this would be a HUGE win for the Dawgs!