Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays! Ir's Christmas Eve and I'm sitting on my wonderfully comfortable couch listening to my boyfriend tell me who the Packers could possibly play in the playoffs after their bye week. I still am working and actually only have a 3 day work week this next week, which comes after a 4 day weekend. Pure awesomeness.

I managed to read only 13 books this year. Horrible - especially for someone who claims to love reading as much as I do. I obviously overestimated how little time I would actually have to read once I got a job. So for 2012, I am definitely going to have to modify my reading goal. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to set that goal at yet, but I will definitely be thinking about it.

Peace and Love

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's no way....

So there is no way that I am going to be able to reach my goal (again) of reading 75 books this year. Since I started working, I feel like I barely have any time to read and since I subscribed to three more magazines, bringing the number of magazines I read a month to 5 (if you only count titles, as Time comes out with a magazine weekly), I feel like I am constantly trying to catch up. I know it probably comes down to time and I am not making excuses - just knowing that I would virtually have to read 24 hrs a day to reach my goal is something that isn't very plausible, especially since I have been working overtime for the last couple of days. The good news is that I don't have any plans this weekend, and I would love to spend most of it reading.

I've been feeling incredibly busy and almost rushed. I know that I am making some decisions that are putting me in that position, but at the same time, this sleep apnea is starting to really take hold. 7 hours used to be enough sleep - even restful sleep. But for a while now, it doesn't matter how long I sleep - I never feel rested. I've tried the CPAP machine, and now there aren't too many other options left besides major surgery that would change the way I look or trying to lose weight. I know that I have to start somewhere and that means that I have got to find some way to get motivated to exercise. If nothing else, I need to start doing some resistance training to tone my muscles so that I can speed up my metabolism. I keep saying that I'm going to start, but I never do. I make excuses and haven't started yet. So come Monday, after all of the craziness of optional overtime is done, I'm done making excuses.

Peace and Love

Monday, August 15, 2011

Curious case of...Enjoying housework?

I recently finished a book called " The Stepford Wives" by Ira Levin, a book that has spawned at least two movies and countless opinions (at least going through my mind) on how a society could possibly change a person in such a short period of time. For those of you that have not read this book or seen either of the movies, the books follows a Joanna and her family as they move to a suburb called Stepford. Joanna is a laid back, seemingly normal woman who is all of a sudden surrounded by women who seem to do nothing but housework and caring for their families, while their husbands work and enjoy evenings at the Men's Association, located in a vacant mansion high up on a hill. It seems as though something is amiss in this quaint little town, as two of Joanna's friendly, outgoing friends soon become like the rest of the wives after spending weekends alone with their husbands. It makes no sense what is going on in this town and the answer is never quite identifiable as to what is going on, thus leaving the ending a little more vague than I would like. The book itself is an incredibly good read, and while I had read it before, quite a while ago, I still found it highly enjoyable. Definitely worth checking out - maybe someone can figure out a little more about what was the cause of the mysterious ways of the woman than I could.

Peace and Love!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Overload

I am apparently horrible at keeping up with blog posts, especially after every time that I read a book. I recently finished three books, although I was not reading them all at the same time. I used to try and read multiple books at once, but I found that I couldn't get as engrossed in them as much as I wanted to.

So I finished "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis, which I have wanted to read since before the movie came out. I admit that I did see the movie before reading the book and while I thought the movie was incredible, reading the book had so much more depth to it. I also realize that a movie can only go so far as far as depth is concerned, plus movies can be slightly sensationalized. As far as I am concerned, this book brings so much more to the story of Michael Oher. While it describes his story, it also bring football history into the mix. The entire book isn't about Michael Oher. It bring into the forefront the history of the blind side tackle (most often the left tackle) and how the importance of that position came to be. It taught me some incredible lessons about football in general. I bet you didn't know that at one time during the early 1940's (if I remember correctly), roughing the passer was ENCOURAGED! It's pretty amazing to think not only how much the sport has evolved, but also the brutality that early players put their bodies through. Definitely a book worth reading, especially if you are a football fan.

I next read "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. I have to admit that I was hesitant to read this book, as I am skeptical of anyone who writes that they have been to Heaven in a near death experience. But this story seemed to be a little different. This story is about a boy, who at the age of 4 (he's 11 or 12 now) had to have an appendectomy after his appendix had ruptured and been filling his body with poison for 5 days, due to a misdiagnosis from a doctor stating it was the stomach flu. During the time that he was in surgery, he states that he went to Heaven and experienced a multitude of things, all happening in 3 minutes. The things that he recalls to his parents that are directly related to them are incredible because they are things that he could not have possibly know. For instance, while he was in surgery, he knew exactly where his parents were and what they were doing. His father had never told his about his great grandfather Pop, but this young boy has met him. His mother also never told him about a miscarriage that she had (how would a 4 year old be able to comprehend that), but he comes to her one day and says that he has 2 sisters. He does have 1 sister, which his mother corrects him on and he then proceeds to tell her that she lost a baby - his mother had never know it was a girl - and that he met her too. He talks about things that no 4 year old would know about in the Bible, and details upon details that can be found in the scriptures. The fact that this took place at such a young age and are about such mature subjects made me a little less cynical about this particular book. In fact, I ended up loving it because it gave me hope - a real sense of the possibilities that I have to look forward to.

Lastly, I read "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard. If you haven't heard her story, she was kidnapped in June of 1991 at the age of 11, kept in a stranger's backyard, rapped, and disengaged from the outside world. While in captivity, she gave birth to two daughters, and was forbidden from acknowledging who she really was. At the age of 29, her years stuck in run down shacks in the backyard of a convicted sex offender were over. She was reunited with her family, who welcomed her and her daughters with outstretched arms. I had heard about the story throughout the years, that people will still searching for her. Once she decided to tell her story, I watched a special interview that she did with Diane Sawyer, which opened my eyes. My friend got the book and encouraged me to read it, which included gory details that I can't even wrap my mind around. Throughout her life, she always carried one thing with her: Hope. The hope that she would get through this situation and eventually see her mother again. What may be one of the saddest parts about the story is that since Phillip Garrido (her captor) was on parole, parole officers came to check the property and make sure nothing was amiss. In fact, parole officers visited the Garrido home 60 TIMES during the time that Jaycee Dugard was held there and as noted in the book, even saw her there, and did absolutely nothing. This book will open your eyes to the struggle that this once teenager, and now 31 year old woman went through and how she kept hope alive.

Peace and Love

Monday, July 11, 2011


It's been awhile since I have written, mostly for the reason that I started a new job at the beginning of May, but also because I have been lazy. Lazy when it comes to not only reading, but keeping up on this blog. Today, President Obama held a special news conference that seems to be about ways that we need to tackle the deficit. While I did not catch the beginning of the press conference, I did catch a little bit about President Obama speaking about compromise that needs to take place between the parties. This is a subject that needs to take place not only in our Congress and in our government at all levels, but also in professional sports, especially the NFL and NBA with their current lockouts while they work on collective bargaining agreements. It lead me to think -- is it truly possible that our Congress can put aside their differences long enough to do something that will benefit almost everyone in our country? There are always going to be those who aren't happy and there are always going to be those who disagree with the opinions and ideas of others. But is it possible that money (in the case of the NFL and NBA) can be the secondary of issues while putting fans as the number one priority? Without fans, do they really think that they are going to make money, or at least as much as they could? Is it possible that money (in the case of Congress) can be taken seriously to help our country realize that we need the mentality that we shouldn't spend more than we can afford? The questions blur together, but always come back to one thing, one of the seven deadly sins: greed.

While I wanted to get that opinion out, since this blog is supposed to be about more than just books, I did recently finish a book. "Loser Queen" by Jodi Lynn Anderson. What makes this book pretty cool is that when she was first writing this book, she took most of it to the web, creating a webpage where at the end of every couple of chapters, she would let the readers chose what direction the story went in. The majority of votes would be the direction that the book went in. She would then post the next couple of chapters within a week or two, and the process continued. But she didn't divulge the entire book (why would people buy it then), leaving most of us anxiously waiting for the release of the book. When it finally came out, months later, I bought it and read it from the beginning, even though I had already read (and helped decide) most of the plot. But finally getting the entire story made me feel like the wait had been worth it. While I am no longer a teenager, and it does take place in the teenage years, it was an enjoyable read - one that I would recommend to teenagers and adults alike. Definitely a book worth an A+.

Peace and Love

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chirp Chirp

As I sit here writing this, I can hear the song of birds outside my window. I have faintly heard their songs for the last couple of days, but didn't really pay any attention to it until this morning. For some strange reason, the sound of birds chirping away invigorated me. It hit a part of me that I didn't expect it to. I'm not really sure if it is the reminder of warmer weather, of a beautiful spring, or if it is something more - maybe the sound reminds me of a new beginning.

I've been trying to figure out a lot of things in my life for quite some time, and it only recently became crystal clear what I want to do as far as a career: psychology. I have applied to go back to college, although getting some transcripts sent over could present a slight problem, but the fact that I finally have something concrete in my mind that I want to do is something huge for me. During the last four years or so, very few things have felt concrete. My relationship with my boyfriend is one of those things and now a career path. I think that I am learning that there is more that I can control in my life than what I cannot. I can't control my migraines, but I can control what I can and cannot do while I have them. I've been learning that while this is something that I am living with, and it does take over a huge part of my life based on what I am able to do or not do until we find a successful treatment, I can control how I treat myself and others while I have them. I shouldn't be beating myself up over them (since I have no control) and I shouldn't take my frustrations out on others either.

I think the sound of chirping birds has given me a little clarity this morning. For some reason, the sound gives me hope. The songs that they sing remind me of the detail and precision with which God created them (and everything else in our world). So many stresses and complex things happen throughout our lives, but sometimes, it's the simplest of sounds that remind us that things will work out if we just have a little faith and hope.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Over a flippin month!

Alright, I have to admit that I didn't think that I would possibly go this long without writing. My head is running with thoughts as usual, wondering and contemplating things that don't really matter. As much as I think about things that I can't control, isn't it a good thing that we can sometimes (or at least I can sometimes) think about things that just don't make any sense or have nothing to do with anything going on with anything. While I have spent some time watching the wonderful series of Sex and the City, I've noticed that a lot of the dating situations that can take place in someone's life are nothing like what has happened in mine. I can't say that I have ever been in an actual "dating" situation. I'm dating of course, but it's a serious, long term, monogamous relationship where I am actually part of a couple - not a situation where I am just getting to know someone and am actually going out on dates. I feel like I could be living vicariously through the character of Carrie Bradshaw. Watching that show and thinking about how my life has been with relationships, it has made me wonder: What is the dating norm these days? Is there a certain way that we are suppose to date someone or are we all so completely different from each other in our dating rituals?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ha ha

So much for trying to write every day - it's been a week. Near the end of last week (I think), I finished yet another book: "Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously" by Julie Powell. Now most of you might think that this is like watching the movie Julie & Julia, but you would be wrong. While parts of this book and information from Julia Child's writings were used to create that movie, this book goes far deeper than that. With more in depth stories, and a slightly humorous undertone, Julie Powell is a tremendous writer. She is completely open, swearing and yelling almost as if you think she is in the room with you - this book made me want to read her blog, even though it has been years since it was created. Reading both this book and her blog (or at least where I am on that thus far) has made me want to learn to cook and maybe even try out some recipes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Either way, if you enjoy food (in any capacity), humor, real-life stories, and a book that you won't want to put down, then this is the book for you - A+.

I am actually picking up a book from the Library today and received another one in the mail, so stay tuned for some more great books...

Peace and Love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's always about books...

It seems that I have used my personal blog only to discuss the books that I have been reading, but I haven't really done any other writing as I thought I would. In the book I am currently reading, there was mention of a man who wrote in his diary every day for nine straight years. Since blogging has become a thing of the present, I would consider myself more of a blogger rather than a diarist, but either way, a writer is still a writer, right? (LOL). I was just thinking about how selective I tend to be when I think about coming online and opening myself up - it's like having a virtual diary that could be read by potentially anyone - or no one at all. I also have a tendency to talk about pointless subjects and ramble on about things that don't matter or make a difference or make sense even. But I always seem to feel a little bit better when I am finished ranting and writing. Plus, it's kind of hilarious to be able to go back and read those entries months or years after they have been written.

With all of the above being said, I guess that's a long way of contemplating and saying that I am going to try and write on my blog (in my blog) as much as I can - hopefully every day. Now, I should offer a disclaimer: I am probably not that interesting, so don't expect fireworks or anything spectacular every day. I want to be able to interact and learn more about me, about those who read my stuff, about everything. So feel free to comment, question, suggest, etc. Hopefully, I'll be able to experience something refreshing from this experience.

Peace and Love!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Books 5 and 6 of 2011

So as you can tell, reading has been something that I've been trying to do more of at this point in the year than I did last year. While my migraines are still taking place every day, I try to read at least a couple of chapters of whatever book I am reading at the time. I recently finished two books by the amazing author Mary Higgins Clark. If you haven't heard of her, she writes suspense novels - novels which I have a hard time putting down once I start to read them. "Nighttime Is My Time" is a book that takes place during the weekend of a 20th class reunion, in which five classmates who sat together at lunch during high school had all died within those 20 years. I felt like I was kind of playing the game of clue with this one - trying to figure out who did what throughout the book. It was beautifully written and her intensity to be able to capture the reader and bring them into the story is genius.

"Just Take My Heart" takes place mostly in a courtroom as a man is tried for the murder of his wife. But he is not the only person being accused of murder. While the prosecutor of the case is the protagonist of the story, she becomes such a likable person that you feel like she could be one of your friends. While she struggles with a couple of intense feelings throughout the novel, you can tell that her instincts are what she follows most. When she finds out the secret identity of a neighbor, her life completely changes.

Both of these books are excellent reads - both get an A+ from me. I am going to try and read all of Mary Higgins Clark's books (which is at least 20-30 I believe) before delving into her daughter's books. That's right - her daughter Carol Higgins Clark is a suspense novelist as well. I can't wait to see what continues to unfold in the books that follow. Books like this make me remember why reading is one of the greatest hobbies of all time.

Peace and Love

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book 4 of 2011

I've been horrible at writing on my blog thus far this year - I tend to forget that it is something that I am striving to do more of. I just finished reading "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior" by Max Lucado. This book focuses more on the great things that Christ did near the time of his crucifixion on the cross. It was great to see that someone was willing to forgive a man who had probably spent his entire life defying rules and engaging in thievery. People seemed to only understand who Christ was when he was nearing his death. It was a great book - another A+ from me.

As for what else is going on, my migraines are continuing to be a problem - they are continuing to be consistent, but I am trying to be optimistic about my next appointment with my neurologist coming up. As for other news, it's been extremely cold here in my neck of the woods for about the last week - right now, it's 3 degrees F out with a wind chill of -12 degrees F. Pretty darn cold. I've been doing alright with my goal for living healthier. Not doing as much exercise as I should be, as I have been slacking off for the last three days, but Monday starts another week of exercise so I've got another chance to get back in it. Food tracking has been going well - in fact, if anyone is looking for a healthy living website, or a community filled with people trying to lose weight, check out This website is phenomenal. It doesn't cost a thing to sign up and there are tons of message boards and profiles of people who are trying to live healthier and lose weight - they offer inspiration and motivation and the whole community of people just tries to encourage and help other stay on track - this is especially helpful for someone like me who doesn't have anyone here working on this with me. Make sure you check it out.

Peace and Love

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book 3 of 2011

A couple of days ago I finished another Max Lucado book (I only have one more to read for now) called "Six Hours One Friday". It is another book focusing on the crucifixion of Jesus and offered interesting images of people asking for his forgiveness as they prepared for death (one of the thieves next to him on another cross) and offered some great images of what the atmosphere and sky were like as death drew upon them. It was almost frightening at time, but made it all the more real. It was yet another great book - definitely an A+.

On another note, I have recently signed up on a site called This seems to be a healthy living site where there are tons of people in a community sharing their goals of getting healthy. You can use their nutritional tool to track your foods and they take care of figuring out how much you should eat based on your age, weight, ideal weight, height, etc. You can also set your fitness goals, using their strengthening exercises plan or using your own and tracking your cardio workouts. It has been a great first week for me and I hope that things keep going in a positive direction. Although the migraines have not decreased any, and have actually gotten a tiny bit worse this last week (maybe based on the exercise that I haven't done in a long time), I am hoping that losing the weight will help me get rid of them.

Peace and Love

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book 2 of 2011

Wow -- can you believe it? I have already finished my second book of the year! You may be thinking that compared to last year, this doesn't seem possible. But this is about the normal speed with which I read, provided I don't have a horrible migraine. At this rate, I am confident that I can achieve my goal of reading 75 books this year.

I recently finished yet another Max Lucado book entitled "And the Angels Were Silent". At first, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book, considering the entire subject of the book is looking at the last week of Jesus' life. What I found was a better understand of everything that took place, from coming into Jerusalem on what we celebrate as Palm Sunday, to kicking people out of them temple on Monday and Tuesday, to the Last Supper celebrated on Thursday, where Jesus (of all people) washed the feet of his disciples, including the one that he knew would betray him, to Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, to Judas' betrayal in the Garden, Jesus' meeting with Pilate, and his walk to Calvary. This book was just incredible. I think my favorite chapter in this book was Chapter 26, when Max describes a trip he took to Jerusalem. He followed in Christ's footsteps in what were his final steps -- through the narrow, crowded streets of the Via Dolorosa. Where he gave his life on the cross now stands a church, a cathedral. In the church, there is a gold plated hole that is believed to have been where his cross was raised. At the suspected place of the tomb, a priest is guarding the entrance and the inside looks ornate. Luckily, Joe (the guide that Max was with) happened to know of a place within the cathedral that was more intimate and more real. It was a small (no more than 4 feet long and wide), plain, dusty, musty, rock tomb. As Max entered the tomb, Joe said something close to this: "Wouldn't it be ironic if this was the tomb where our Lord was buried?" Max sat in silence, and the idea that he could have actually be in the real tomb gave me goosebumps. It gave me a more real sense of what God did for us - what he sacrificed for us.

This book was phenomenal and I highly recommend it to EVERYONE! It gets an A+ in my book :)

Keep on reading, learning, and enjoying life. Don't forget that even when you feel like you are alone, you NEVER are alone. God is always with you.

Peace and Love

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book 1 of 2011

Yay! So I have already started on my New Year's resolutions by finishing my first book of 2011. I recently finished reading a wonderful book called "Just Like Jesus" by Max Lucado. If you follow my blog, you know that I have read a few of his books before (he has A LOT)and he just keeps on inspiring me through every book that he writes. This book doesn't need much of an explanation, as the title does a great job of describing it. But one thing that I loved about this book was that it compared the ways that Jesus was like us on Earth and how we can honor him and strive to be like him while we are here. I loved that there was a chapter on how we should spend time with him daily in prayer and reading his Word. It was incredibly comforting. I would definitely give this book an A+ for being a great book to turn to in order to learn to be like Jesus.

I highly recommend that when you read an inspiring book (or really any book for that matter), keep a notebook near you. You may come across some interesting quotes (as I so often do) that will strike you as something you want to remember. It's a great way to not only learn something from what you are reading, but something that can take you back to what you were reading when you read that quote.

More books to come!!

Peace and Love

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe night. May God bless you all throughout 2011.

Just to give you an update, I ended up finishing the year having read 20 books. The was 55 less than my goal, so this year I am keeping that goal of reading 75 books. I try not too make too many resolutions (or goals as I like to view them) because I'm afraid that I make them too large, meaning that I force myself to do more than I know I am capable of at the present time. So this year, I have tried to make my goals/resolutions not easier, but more realistic. My New Year's Resolutions for 2011:

1. Trying to get in better shape - instead of saying that I am going to work out for so long every day, I am going to do something active every day, even if it is only for 10 minutes, just to make sure I am doing something, since I don't really exercise at all. I also begin physical therapy for my knees and back and am hoping that I can learn some exercise techniques that I can do correctly and every day. I am also hoping to possibly get the Kinect for Xbox 360 sometime this year, which I have heard provides a great workout with both the dancing games and sports games.

2. Eat healthier - instead of going out for fast food all the time, I am going to cook more meals at home and use more vegetables and fruit in my cooking. I don't consider myself to be a great cook, so most of our food comes out of a box. But even if I make rice or pasta, instead of indulging just in that, I am going to try and add vegetables to it and eat at least one to two pieces of fruit a day. I also would like to attempt to try to cook some seafood at home, since I not only love seafood, but it is healthy as well.

3. Work on my book - instead of constantly just thinking about the fact that I want to write a book someday, I am going to start brainstorming about the plot and my goal is to have the subject and basic storyline picked out by the end of the year.

4. Pay off debt - instead of ignoring calls from my school loan counselors, I am going to try and be more proactive in making payments. I say try only because at this point and time, I do not have a job, thus having no income. But I do get some money every now and then, so I would like to start paying off my loans if I can manage it.

5. Learn something new every day - I know that this goal sounds really hard, but I am confident that I can learn something new all the time. I feel that people can learn something from anyone, even if they don't agree with overall ideas or methods. It has been suggested that I bookmark the Wikipedia Random Page, which will bring up a random subject when I click on it - I'm hoping to learn some pretty interesting stuff.

6. Stop swearing so much - my household tends to swear quite a bit, and while I can't really get my boyfriend to stop doing so, I would like to try and do it less. Sometimes, I think that it sounds unnecessary and unintelligent, and while I do still swear when I feel no other word will work, I am going to try and curb how much I do it.

7. Grow in my faith - throughout the past year, I feel that my dedication to being a Christian hasn't been as strong as I would like. I feel that I haven't been as focused or as grateful for the relationship I have with God. I hope to grow in my faith, learn new things about other religions (more for understanding than anything since I am a devout Christian and don't intent to convert to any other religion), and focus more on what I am thankful for instead of the negative side of everything.

8. Complain less and show more gratitude - I know that one of my downfalls is that I complain a lot about the health issues that I have and the situation that I have been dealt. I want to try and see everything in a positive light and learn to be thankful for what I do have rather than what I do not.

9. Read 75 books in 2011 - while I set this as my goal last year, I obviously did not achieve it. I am hoping that this year, I can read all of the books I own (or at least most of them since I am pretty sure I have over 75) and learn some things that I may be able to incorporate into my own book someday.

There ya go - a long list of resolutions that I hope to accomplish. While it may be hard, I am going to try and take things one day at a time because focusing on the present is all I have control over. As I recently read in a Max Lucado book, "leave tomorrow's worries for tomorrow."

Peace and Love