Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you get to eat lots of yummy food and spend time with your loved ones today. We are having dinner with my family and then heading to St. Louis tomorrow for some quality time with Andrew's side.

Happy weekend, too! May there be lots of leftovers and napping in your future.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New reads:

This week, I'm reading The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells. I love love love the Ya-Ya Sisterhood books she wrote. I can read them over and over. So, when I picked this up at a library used book sale, I was excited. I wanted it to be another Ya-Ya book. Sadly, it's not but I am still liking it a lot thus far. One of the things I love most about the Ya-Ya books is how alive and unique each character is. She created such dynamic characters; I feel like they're real and about to come off the page to keep me company every time I read them. This book is the same way. I really enjoy the writing and it makes for a very easy and enjoyable read. If you have read any of her other books and liked them even a little, I'd highly recommend this one.

Here's the plot, if you're interested:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! Got anything fun planned? I am supposed to do my longest run ever (20 miles) on Saturday but I will probably skip out on it. Just being honest.

Here's a little of what's been going on in our universe lately:
  1. Andrew started his new job as a web developer on Monday. He loves it.
  2. I have had a major headache this week. There must be a high pressure system or something that is wreaking havoc on my sinuses.
  3. I got to have a video date with three of my best friends last week -- best time ever.
  4. We have tentatively started house hunting... nothing serious, just familiarizing ourselves with what's out there.
  5. I am not really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. Anyone else feeling the same?
Also. I broke my phone yesterday. I totally slammed it in the car door (don't ask). So, today I will either have to pay to get it repaired or will be getting a new phone. Here's hoping this isn't a precursor to how this weekend is going to go.

Have a great weekend, friends! Hope it's a great one.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book nerd:

I live in a world of books. I always have. My books are my oldest and dearest friends. So, I take very good care of them. As we prepare ourselves for an eventual move, I have started the process of packing up my books. As I finish one, it moves from the bookshelf to a box where it waits until it reaches its new home. I have been doing this for a while now as our book collection is growing too large for our bookshelf space. I have boxes of books stacked all over the living room and while they haven't been too difficult to live around, there's always room for improvement, right?

So in an effort to further organize my darling friends, I have started listing the contents of each book box on the side. Now, if I need to find a specific book, it is a much easier process. And, when it comes time to unpack, re-shelving will be so much quicker. Ah, efficiency.

Plus, look at all that beautiful organization. It's pleasing to the eye, yes? It makes me feel so calm and happy. I find myself coming in just to stare at the boxes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Big News:

He started Monday and loves it. We are very excited. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun? I am headed back from a conference today. We have a long run planned for Saturday morning and I am dreading it. This marathon training has started to become a burden for me and I have not been enjoying myself. I will be happy when it is over, I think. Hopefully, I will have dinner plans with an old friend to look forward to during my run. Food can usually get me through anything.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Hope you spend your Saturday morning warm in your bed while I am out inflicting pain on myself for no good reason.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New reads:

This week, I'm reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It's the third and last book of the Divergent trilogy. I'm only about 200 pages in, as of today, so I don't have much of an opinion on the story so far. But here's what it's about, if you're wondering:

"The faction based society that Tris Prior once believed in in shattered -- fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature -- and of herself -- while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers."

I have mixed feelings about this book. I read the other two (see here and here) and have liked them less and less with each installment. I felt like I had to read this book, if for nothing else, than for closure. I hate leaving a story unresolved. So, here I am. But I put this book off for some reason. I hesitated to pick it up for a while after it came out. The online reviews are not that great. Apparently, a lot of people share my feelings. 

I thought these books were similar to the Hunger Games novels. At first, it felt like the same story. But with this novel, I have a hard time finding similarities at all. Which isn't a bad thing because I felt just okay about the Hunger Games. And as lukewarm as I felt about the Hunger Games, I find myself preferring them to this series. This whole divergent thing is getting old to me. Maybe it will pick up and I'll feel differently by the time the story is over, but as of right now, I'm sort of bored.

Have any of you read Allegiant? Did you feel differently? Or do you share my ambivalence? 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, guys! What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun? The library used book sale is this weekend so we will be hitting that up this morning. And then we've got a long run (16 miles) to knock out tomorrow. But then! Nothing! If you're looking for me after Saturday morning, you can find me on the couch.

Here's what we've been up to lately:
  1. All of Andrew's new computer parts came in the mail and we've been enjoying our new desktop, even if only for gaming.
  2. I have been eating leftover Halloween candy all week. It's been magical.
  3. Some of our good friends bought a house recently and we've been spending a lot of time over there helping them rip out, replace, and repaint.
  4. I forgot how much I love the end of Daylight Savings time! An extra hour of sleep is the best present Autumn could ever give me.
  5. I finally got new running shoes! Hopefully I can break them in nicely before the marathon (in 1 month!)
Have a great weekend! Can you believe it's November already? Christmas will be here before we know it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We love:

This video totally made me bawl my eyes out:

A New Perspective For Moms from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New reads:

This week I'm reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. A few years ago, I read her book, The Secret Life of Bees, and liked it so when I saw this at the last library book sale, I thought I'd give it a go. And yes, I am aware it has taken me an insanely long time to actually get around to reading this book. I've had a ridiculously long queue (it's still ridiculously long -- and about to get much longer).

Have you read it? If not, here's what it's about:

"Sue Monk Kidd's stunning debut, The Secret Life of Bees, became a bestselling phenomenon and a modern classic. Now, in her luminous new novel, Kidd has woven a transcendent tale that will thrill her legions of fans and cement her reputation as one of the most remarkable writers at work today.

Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.

When Jessie is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother's seemingly inexplicable act of violence, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life 'molded to the smallest space possible.' Jessie loves Hugh, but once there, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is soon to take his final vows. Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right, and the immutable force of home and marriage.

Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie's life? What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother's tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to make a marriage unto herself.

Few novels have explored, as this one does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists. Where does the yearning for soul-mated love come from? When it comes to love, what are the pulls inside a woman between the ordinary and the sublime? How does a woman find the place of self-belonging in herself?

The Mermaid Chair is a vividly imagined novel about mermaids and saints, about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body. It illuminates the awakening of a woman to her own deepest self with a brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd's ability could conjure."

I'm about half way through it. So far, I like it okay. It's not the best book I ever read but I enjoy her writing style and it's easy to read.

Monday, November 4, 2013

We Love:

Welcome back! To celebrate the start of a new week in which we are all hopefully refreshed and renewed, please enjoy this trailer for Wes Anderson's new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Anderson is my favorite director of all time. His movies are the best. The perfect combination of weird and silly. And insanely beautiful. Needless to say, I am beyond excited for this new release coming in 2014.

Watch it and get excited.