Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Random Cell Phone Dump Post

I thought I’d just do a random cell phone dump of all the things I’ve been doing since I last posted.

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Physical therapy on my ankle for 8 weeks in hopes that I could start running again. This is one of the exercises that I am still doing. (To catch you up, I sprained my ankle for the millionth time on Thanksgiving Day and then found out that I tore all of the ligaments in my left ankle. I wore an ankle stabilizer for six weeks before going into PT for 8 weeks. When I left I was able to run 1 mile without hurting. That was in February. It’s practically June and I still can’t run more than a mile. I can’t even walk more than a mile. More on that in some other post by itself maybe).

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The new shoes that I have yet to wear for more than a few miles. I love them so much though.

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I’ll continue the whiney non-runner theme. I get to do this every other night. Awesome.

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A picture from February when I thought I’d be running half marathons again. (I missed one that I was registered for on Monday. That sucked.) That was probably the last time I actually ran-ran. (as opposed to running a few steps and them wimping out).

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I hung out a lot with these girls. Here we are celebrating L’s birthday.

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Here we are that night that we went to see Wicked the Broadway musical.

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We did Karaoke. On a karaoke bus no less.

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I was only able to participate after a couple of huge shots. : )

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I got new glasses. I think they make me look smart. I should wear them more often.

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D and I made orange-o-latterns which was pretty cool. They make great candles.

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Got a new piece of furniture for the bedroom and finally put some stuff on the walls.

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Went to dinner with one of D’s bosses and the owner gave me a rose when we left.

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Went to a work event with this crazy girl. Why does the bandana look so much better on her.

And lastly, spent lots of time with my bestest friend and some times managed to covertly get him into pictures.

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Here we are at Lake Grapevine. I think he was photographing the water?

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And here we are at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Reading

I know, I know. Off the grid I fell again. BUT I miss blogging, so I am going to try to get back into it if for no one else than me. But I was asked to write a guest post for my company blog and I put in a lot of time and effort into it so I thought I'd throw it up here as well.  For those of you that don't know, I am a huge reader so I was asked to create a book list for summer. Here's what I went with.
 
It's summer time and you know what that means....reading. Ok, maybe not for everyone but summer is generally the time of vacations and relaxing weekends in the backyard and there is nothing more fun in this girls opinion than reading a great novel.  Add a beach or a backyard into the equation and it’s pretty much my perfect day.  But how you know what to read and who to read can be a real pain in the tuckus. I'm here to help. This is my list of the ten must read books. These are in no particular order and my rating of the book out of five stars is listed. If you need even further help picking out your summer reading list, join GoodReads where you can read reviews from big time book nerds like me and find tons of books you didn't even know existed.
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (4.5/5)
8442457Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River.
My reason for recommending: Huge plot twist that just makes your head spin and it happens in the middle of the book as opposed to the end, which was an interesting choice to me. This was THE book to read a few months ago as everyone and their brother was reading it. 
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth (5/5)
51Mry4w810LSynopsis: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
My reason for recommending: My current favorite book in the entire world. (Like I said these are in no particular order). The writing is phenomenal and the story is intriguing.  It’s a trilogy with only number two being available currently (Insurgent) and the third book coming out in October.  You guys should read this before the movie comes out in March.  I loved the first one before I read the second one and am happy to state that the second book did not suffer from middle book syndrome, so that makes them think the third will be equally as great.
3. For the Roses by Julie Garwood (5/5)
133240Synopsis: 1879. In Blue Belle, Montana, everyone knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins -- until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York city alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed west to raise her to be a lady. They became a family -- held together by loyalty and love if not by blood -- when suddenly they faced a crisis that threatened to tear them apart....
My reason for recommending: This is the only book that I’ve read more than once. I generally hate rereading books, but this one just gets better the more you read it. It’s also in the romance genre which I don’t generally dig, but for some reason this one works.
4. The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer (5/5)
51-Dqe35JeLSynopsis: At the age of twenty-three Carrie Bell has spent her entire life in Wisconsin, with the same best friend and the same dependable, easygoing, high school sweetheart. Now to her dismay she has begun to find this life suffocating and is considering leaving it–and Mike–behind. But when Mike is paralyzed in a diving accident, leaving seems unforgivable and yet more necessary than ever.
My reason for recommending: It’s just a great story where good people do stupid things and it makes them better? An emotional read at times but you end up not even knowing what you want to happen. Just as a PS on this one, there is a movie, but don’t watch it. It is awful.
5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova (5/5)
tumblr_lr4zpiEQ6u1qc2ckzSynopsis: Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children - sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's.
My reason for recommending: I really felt like when you finished this book you kind of felt like what it must feel to have Alzheimer’s. It’s a really sad, but excellent book.
6. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (4/5)
endersgameSynopsis: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
My reason for recommending: It’s going to be a movie and the movie looks amazing.  (Click here for the trailer). The book was so long that you know that they will leave things out in the movie and trust me you’ll want to know what those things are. Also this book came out 20 years ago and it’s still awesome, so that tells you a little something about it. PS: Harrison Ford. That is all. 
7. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain (5/5)
2485785Synopsis: An unsolved murder.  A missing child.  A lifetime of deception.  In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.
My reason for recommending: Diane Chamberlain is one of my top five favorite authors of all time and this is the book that got me started on her works. All of her books are great, but this one is the best and I couldn’t create a top ten list and not throw one of her books on there.
8. Beautiful Disaster / Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire (4.5/5 and 5/5)
JamieMcGuireSynopsis:  Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
My reason for recommending: If you knew these people in real life, you’d probably kill them for trying to be together, but as a book it works. You HAVE to read both books in my opinion. The first is from her perspective and the second is the same story from his perspective (there are new scenes in additions to the ones from the first book). Now you have an insight in to the male half of a romance novels brain. There are also rumors that this will be made into a movie and I think it’ll be a great one. However I hope to never know people like these two.
9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (4/5)
bif_summary1Synopsis:
Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
My reason for recommending: It’s a lot like Groundhog Day only with those girls you hated in high school. I mean I went to high school with girls like Samantha and haaaaated those girls. But by the end of the book you realize high school was hard for everyone, even the people you wouldn't suspect had it hard and you kind of root for her not to die, which in the first half of the book I wouldn’t have thought possible.
10. Forgotten by Cat Patrick (4/5)
9415951Synopsis:  Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come
My reason for recommending: It’s a romance and a mystery novel without actually being either. Sounds weird, but it was good.
So that’s it for the top ten books I’d recommend to read over the summer.  Although, if you have tons of time on your hands you can see everything I’ve been reading, click here.   It’ll make you wonder how I have time to do anything. Seriously. 

We’d love you to join the discussion! Have a book that you loved that should be included? Leave a comment below. Read one of the books above and think I am crazy for recommending it? Leave a comment below.