Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Highlights

Tomorrow (8/15/14) my summer ends and I go back to work. Half of me is excited and the other half is silently begging for another week. This summer, however, was quite epic ...

Lets recap, shall we?

  • I wrapped up my first year of teaching by having to pack up EVERYTHING in my classroom and send it off to storage so my building can be remodeled and updated. Not a great start to my summer. No, sir. 
  • Unpacking my entire life and combining said life with another human's life was .... interesting? We now own 3 pizza cutters, 15 spatulas, two beds, 4 dressers ... you get my drift! We are still finding stuff that we do not need and are planning to either donate it all, or have an epic garage sale. My husband is a pack rat and sees use in everything, so we might just keep it all (please, God, no). 
  • Planning a wedding proved to be never ending. My to do list NEVER ended, and instead it just kept getting bigger because in today's age of Pinterest, there is always more more more that we can do that we feel we must, but actually do not need to do at all ... 
  • Getting married to a man that I met two years ago and quickly fell head over heels for was by far the highlight of my summer. I am beginning a new school year next week with a new name and I cannot wait to begin correcting everyone on how to pronounce my new last name. :) 
  • Riding RAGBRAI for the first time almost immediately after our wedding day. For those of you that are not from Iowa, RAGBRAI stands for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (the Register is the Des Moines newspaper) and it is a huge bike ride from western Iowa to eastern Iowa. The idea is to start at the Missouri River and finish at the Mississippi River. Bill and rode for three days in the middle, missing out on dipping our tires in any rivers, but we had a fantastic time and I cannot wait to tackle the entire ride next year!

     What are some of the highlights from your summer??

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mailbox Monday

I have been on a bit of a book buying and borrowing spree these days ... with only 4 more days of summer left before I have to report back to work, there is no way I will finish them all. Somehow this does not stop me from taking them all home though ...

From the library, I have borrowed:

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (reading now - so far it is starting out great!)

Be Fruitful by Victoria Maizes - this is a book about fertility and getting pregnant. We do not have plans for anytime soon, but I figure you can never be too prepared!

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller - a book about igniting the love of reading in children. This has come with amazing recommendations, so I am hoping I can at least skim through it this week!


Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman - I have watched the show (it is sooooo good!) and we decided to read the book for book club. The wait was too long at the library, so I purchased it from Target. I can't wait to read it!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman- the movie previews have been very intriguing lately for this story, so I just had to try and pick up the book before I see the movie! It's a YA book, and the type is pretty large, so it should be a fast read. Luckily, it was only $7 at Target.

The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer - I loved the movie with Katie Holmes and when I spied this at Half Price Books and noticed the synopsis had some differences from the movie, I just had to pick it up.

The Dressmaker by Posie Graeme-Evans - total impulse buy. I have been craving some historical fiction and this one sounded pretty good.

This past week I also drove the 3 1/2 hours up to Minneapolis/St. Paul to catch a reading by Deborah Harkness, author of The Discovery of Witches! She just released the last book in the trilogy, and I am so excited to have all my books signed by her now!

Hearing her speak was a treat, and I am so glad I went! I am always blown away by how amazing authors are in person and how interesting they are. I never regret making the trip (I have yet to attend an event in Des Moines, because they rarely come here!)

I also spent some time shopping in the Cities and got some supplies for my classroom and new shoes for this school year!

My last full week of summer was very "bookish" but it was perfect! For my last four days for summer I have lots of plans ... I want to deep clean my car, paint the guest bathroom, organize our pantry (Bill is building me a new one out of a strange closet in our kitchen), organize Bill's closet, organize my closet (they are both a disaster) and get in some bike riding and book reading! Wish me luck ...

What books did you bring home this week? What are you reading right now?

Monday, August 4, 2014

July recap

Edit: this was supposed to go up on Friday, but for some reason it did not get published!

Hola, friends!

I cannot believe July is over. I don't want to believe it and wish I could refuse to accept it! July was a huge month for me, as most of you know because Bill and I got married! I promise (and I promise not to break my promise!) that I will get a wedding recap up. Promise, promise, promise!

Blogging is kind of like running. It is hard to get back to it after a long break, but once you do, you wonder why you ever took a break!


Anyway, I thought I'd do a little Music, Books, Miles and Looks recap of July, inspired by the lovely  Lisa and her monthly posts, which I always look forward to reading!


Well, I have been listening to Sara Bareilles nonstop because Bill and I danced to I Choose You for our first dance. I am so in love with the song. I owe a huge thank you to Becky for suggesting it. I had originally my heart set on This Kind of Love by Sister Hazel, but after Becky mentioned that I Choose You would be a wonderful wedding song, I listened to it a few times and fell almost immediately in love! After making Bill listen to it too, he agreed right away and liked it better than the Sister Hazel song. Love, love, love it!


I am also completely obsessed with The Piano Guys right now. We had the A Thousand Years playing during the wedding ceremony and every time I listen to it I get a lump in my throat. It is just so pretty! There is something about instrumentals that just gut me. I regret not having live music at the ceremony, but the way we did incorporate music was just fine.


My reading time in July was very minimal. In July I finished six books, which I know is not terrible at all, but one of them I had been reading for a couple months, so I shouldn't even count it, and another I was reading mostly in June, but finished the 2nd day into July. Anyway ... 

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (so good!)
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio (amazing, as usual!)
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (AMAZING. Everyone-should-read-this-book amazing)

Obviously it was a good month for reading despite it being one of the busiest months of my life! I take back what I said about reading being minimal! :)


Running in July was great! According to Runkeeper, I ran 32.1 miles - but that is not completely accurate as I know I had some days where I did not use Runkeeper. 

However, after this past week, I am not sure where I stand with running. After my long run on Saturday I had awful heel pain. I had been struggling with heel pain since I began training in March, but it wasn't awful. After a mile or two, it went away. This past Saturday it did not go away and the last half of my 12 mile run was painful. I decided to take a break and see a podiatrist. She diagnosed me with a combination of plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis. 


How did this happen, you ask? Well, a number of reasons. 
  • Worn out running shoes
  • Not doing dynamic stretches before a run
  • Not stretching properly after a run
  • Running shoes that are not best for my feet or how I run
It will be okay with a lot of stretching, rolling and new shoes. However, I do not not feel 100% confident about a full marathon. Considering my job requires me to be on my feet all day, I really do not want to mess with my feet. A half marathon, for sure, but a full might not ever be in my future. :( 


I've gotta go with my favorite look of the month ... 

Hopefully I get the professional pictures back soon and can post a wedding recap for you all full of pictures!

What was your Music, Books, Miles and Looks for July?