October 2016 Reads (on a Monday)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Yep, you read that correctly--no weekend recap here today!  My weekend wasn't anything spectacular...lots of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and Hallmark Christmas movies.  So basically nothing picture worthy ;)

Since it's the last day of the month and I realized I hadn't done my book review yet, today seemed like a perfect day for that!

I read five books this month and started on a sixth and seventh.  None of the books I finished were too impressive except one, so I'm hoping my November books are better to me!

As always, I will post the summary from and I'll post my own thoughts in italics below.

The Couple Next Door
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years. 

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

This book wasn't as sick and twisted as Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.  Unlike those two, this one was semi-predictable to me (and I never usually can predict endings).  I honestly have nothing good to say about this book--don't read it!

Ugly Love
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love; she doesn’t have time for love. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

This was another one of those okay books.  I read the book below first and enjoyed it enough to read another of her books.  After this one, I'm done reading her books.  I need something with substance.  Again, don't read this one.  

It Ends With Us
Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I read this book before reading Ugly Love.  It has some pretty heavy material in it that I wasn't expecting.  You usually don't see anything like that in chick lit.  I enjoyed it--especially after reading the author's note at the end and learning how her life inspired this book.  I recommend this of you need something fast and easy to read.  (I got this recommendation from the Mix and Match Mama September book review.)

Truly Madly Guilty
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.
Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.
Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone
In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Ugh.  That's what I thought about this book.  I like Liane Moriarty, and last month I read The Last Anniversary by her.  This was my October book club book and that's they only reason why I actually finished this book.  Otherwise I would have quit about 50 pages in.

After I Do
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

Even though I don't agree with the view on marriage this book presented, I still really enjoyed reading it!  I absolutely love reading books by Taylor Jenkins Reid (I loved Maybe in Another Life and One True Loves), so I had high hopes for this one--and it delivered!  I read this in one day while Dustin was in ICU.  I have one more of her books left to read, Forever, Interrupted, and I'm putting it off because it looks so sad!  Has anyone read it?

Right now I'm reading both The Good Girl and Knowing God.  After I finish these two in November, I'll need another good book to read.  Any recommendations?

P.S. Happy Reformation Day! 
 Want to know what that is?  Click here!

Linking up with Biana

What's Up Wednesday--October 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't participated in a What's Up Wednesday since June!?!?!  I guess I've been extremely busy at the end of each month?  I'm glad to be participating in this month's link up because October was (and is!) such a fun month!

What we're eating...
We ate a chicken ranch mushroom crockpot meal Monday; pizza for my birthday last night; tonight is our trunk or treat at church; Thursday I'll be gone; and Friday out to eat for both my sister's and my birthday...busy week!!

What I'm reminiscing about...
Yesterday was my birthday, so I looked through some of my scrapbooks at my past birthdays.
This was from my 4th birthday!  I noticed that I wore a dress and big bow for my first 4 birthdays.  Then once I turned 5, I guess my mom let me wear pants haha!

What I'm loving...
Fall weather!  (whenever we have it)
I love wearing fall clothes.

What we've been up to...
 We celebrated my sister's 25th birthday.

 Dustin spent a couple of days in the hospital.

 We celebrated my 29th birthday with a small family party.

Dustin and I celebrated on my actual birthday with a relaxing night at home!

What I'm dreading...

What I'm working on...
Finding the perfect curtains for the dining room.  I found some online but they are $$$, so I'm hoping to find the fabric to make some.  So far no luck.

What I'm excited about...
Decorating my house for Christmas!  Last year was our first Christmas in the house, and I've already decided to change a few things up.  I'm also looking forward to adding to our Christmas decorations.

What I'm watching/reading...
Watching This Is Us like the rest of America and reading lots of stuff that I'm looking forward to recapping next week!

What I'm listening to...
Lauren Daigle's album since I'm going to see her in concert TONIGHT!!

What I'm wearing...
Trying to pretend I'm not sweating in these outfits...

 Matilda Jane shirt
(email me if you need my trunk keeper's email!)

sweatshirt (sold out at Anthropologie) / jeans

What I'm doing this weekend...
Running a very long distance and maybe spending some birthday money??

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Colder weather, decorating for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday

What else is new...
Nothing I can think of!

Bonus:  What is my favorite Halloween memory?
Trick or Treating with my parents and little sister--we always had the best time!

The Night I Was Born...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Today is going to be a great day because it's MY BIRTHDAY!!!  

Instead of blogging today, I'm turning the blog over to my mom and dad.  My parents divorced right after I turned thirteen, and the years following the divorce were extremely hard for me.  I asked both of my parents to each write their own memory of my birth, and both versions brought me to tears.  

I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did (and will continue to!).

Please excuse my pictures of pictures!

From my mom:

I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant with you!!!!!  I was going to have my very own baby!!!!! I was going to have a friend for life!  Not knowing if you were a boy or girl didn't matter to me.  All I wanted was a healthy baby!!!! Baby "How to Books" became my current read.  Eating healthy was my goal.  Cravings of meat and vegetables were satisfied.  Looking for nursery items were fun. Enrolling in Childbirth Classes were expected and fun.  Being blessed by a sweet lady who sold me her maternity clothes kept me in fashion (for that time)  Remembering the first time I wore a maternity bathing suit was SHOCKING!!!!  I was too big for a regular bathing suit and a little too small for a maternity suit.  Putting that baggie thing on made me look like I had a VERY ILL- FITTING suit on.  Took me a while to get use to "those kind of clothes".  Being nervous NEVER crossed my mind.  I was confident.  Gaining only 20 pounds during my last month (back then, we talked about being pregnant in months....not weeks)  of  pregnancy alarmed doctors enough to have some type of test done to make sure you were okay.  Test results were good and everything was right on target....except my weight.

I remember working the day before you were born.  My lower back hurt.  That didn't really concern me.  Thinking I overdid it (as I usually do) cleaning the entire house, including closets, your nursery, washing all your clothes again for the hundredth time (called nesting), little did I know I was going into labor.  It was a Friday night.  We went to a relative's house to visit.  Bill Cosby was on t.v. telling jokes.  The last joke I remember was the one about him going to the dentist.  I think I laughed myself into labor.  At that time, I told your father I was hurting REALLY BAD.  Having an EXTREMELY HIGH  pain tolerance was not to my advantage.  It was then we decided to run by the house for a "packed baby suitcase."  You know, the one you take to the hospital when you are GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!!!!!  Seemed like only minutes after arriving to the hospital, I was rushed up to the "baby floor" to have my baby....YOU!  Probably within a half an hour, you were born.  Wow!!!  

From the minute they put you on my chest, you had me.

Happy Birthday to my firstborn!!
Your Mother

From My Dad:

I remember a lot but, some is blurry because it was an experience for me too!  And I thought to myself the day you were born, what a smart kid, she knew to be born on an Alabama by-week! lol

it was still Saturday night! I can't remember what we did but, at about 10:30 that night, I was sitting on the toilet and your mother walks in and said it's time to go! Well, I freaked! Wait, I said, I'm on the toilet! But, I finally got myself together somewhat, while your mother grabbed the hospital bag!  Off we go!

We made it to the hospital around 11ish, I think, and went straight to the delivery waiting to be delivered, room(?) Folks going back and forth; me sweating but fanning your mother because she gave a natural childbirth (tough woman). I saw every vein in your mothers head and neck and it worried me to see the pain but, it didn't last that long because, within a short time, here you come and there wasn't a dry eye in the room! And, who was the first to hold you, beside the doctor and nurse, your Dad! One of my tears dropped on your cheek and that, not only that, baptized you into my heart forever! 

Even through some bad times, your Father has never stopped loving you, and never will regardless

I love you SuperSissy!

Daddy Paul Wiley

I am so glad I asked my mom and dad to write these!  I will always cherish these memories. If you haven't ever asked your parents to write down your birth for you, I highly encourage you to do so!  I am printing these out and putting them in my scrapbook :)

Weekend Happenings: Birthday Party Edition

Monday, October 24, 2016

Even though it's not technically my birthday yet, my family and Dustin's family celebrated my birthday yesterday evening with a small get-together.

We ate good food (a taco bar), ate cake, opened presents, and spent lots of time laughing.  It was a perfect way to welcome the last year of my 20s.

 Dustin designed my cake....I guess that's the puppy I've always wanted haha!

Opening presents!
 My sister got me my very first Michael Kors purse!

 And she also got me a reflective belt for my long runs that will hold my phone and Gu packets.

 Rachel, me, and Mom

 My bff Janie and her husband made the drive to come celebrate for a few hours!  (Actually I think she just came for the cookie cake, right Judy?)

 My dad and I

So thankful for this man!

Linking up with Biana

Friday Favorites!

Friday, October 21, 2016

There are so many things I love about today: it's Friday, it's supposed to be much cooler, and it's the start of a really fun weekend!

Today I'm linking up with some of my favorites to share a few of my favorites :)

My number one fav this week is the fact that Dustin is home from the hospital and doing MUCH better.
 He was so ready to get home...and so was I!

 I saw this on IG and immediately knew that it's my next drink to try at Starbucks.  After Christmas, I usually order a Caramel Machiatto but I think now I'll try it with the pumpkin sauce...sounds so good!

 I was supposed to do 6 miles last Saturday and my sister agreed to ride her bike while I ran to keep me company.  (Isn't she great?!)  My left foot started killing me 2 miles in and it felt just like it did when I had tendinitis.  I stopped running right away (I've got a race in December I'm prepping for), and Rachel called our dad to come pick us up.  I'm thankful she had her phone!  P.S. My foot feels great!  I just need new shoes :)

 One of the elective classes is decorating doors for Halloween and a couple of boys did this for my door!  I was so impressed!

I watched Pumpkin Pie Wars on Hallmark Channel recently, and it was so great!  It was a movie about baking (I loved) and it was a love story (my fav).  If you see it on, record it and watch won't regret it!

Speaking of the Hallmark Channel, next Saturday starts the Christmas movies and I AM SO EXCITED!!!  Christmas is my favorite season of the year and I love a great Christmas movie!

Linking up with Erika, Heather, and Amanda

The Scariest Moment in My Marriage

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016, was the scariest day.  Dustin was rushed to the emergency room that morning with Diabetic Ketoacidosis and had been in ICU since Monday.  He was finally discharged yesterday evening.  

This is a story I want to tell more so for myself and my memories.  Feel free to skip today's post because this is long!  For those of you who don't know, Dustin has been a Type I diabetic since he was 4 years old.

Monday in ICU--very sick

Sunday was an extra long day at work for Dustin and he worked almost 16 hours.  He got home that night, tired but fine, ate, showered, and we were in bed by 9:30.  He checked his blood sugar before bed (like normal) and it was in the lower 200s.  He opted not to give any correction due to the fact that he exerted lots of energy that day and he didn't want it to drop during the night (low blood sugar is the worst and stresses me out).

I remember him waking up at 3:40 early Monday morning to use the restroom.  Apparently he had been up right before that so he knew his blood sugar was high.  He checked it, it was 534 (extremely high!!), changed his port since he's on an insulin pump, and gave more insulin.  I remember him telling me all of this after he walked back into our room.

Side note:  If Dustin's blood goes high, it's usually a sign of a bad port, so he changes it, administers more insulin and his blood sugar begins to come down.  That's what we expected to happen early Monday morning.

While I was getting ready for school later that morning, Dustin got up to use the bathroom again.  Now, this is very unusual for him.  I'm the one who could go to the bathroom constantly during the night, not Dustin, so I knew his blood still had to be high.  But I assumed it was coming down, just slowly, because he was acting tired but fine.  

I kissed him bye when I left the house about 7:20 and he was fine but still asleep.  I checked my phone at 8 AM and had a text from him that he had been throwing up and his body ached.  I asked if he had a fever because I automatically thought the flu.  He said he was laying back down, so I told him I would run home during my planning and if he had a fever then I was taking him to the doctor.  I didn't hear anything back from him.

At about 8:40 that morning, I looked at my phone and had a missed call from him.  I knew something had to have been wrong because he knew I was teaching.  I called him back while my students were working and his mom answered saying she was taking him to the emergency room because he was continuously throwing up--and this is bad for a diabetic.  I'm so thankful he called his mom to ask her opinion because she knew what was going on!  Things could have been so much worse if he would have waited any longer.

I immediately called my assistant principal; she ran to my room and I literally threw my grade book at her and ran out of my classroom.  While driving to the hospital in the next town, I literally felt so sick and nervous.  After I got there and saw him, I was shaking.  I have never seen him so sick and the worst part was that I couldn't do anything to help him.  I kept it together and didn't cry, but if I would have been by myself with him, then I would have lost it.

After he got back in the ER and they ran a bunch of tests, they told us he was going into DKA and they were sending him to the ICU for the night.  

Y'all, I was so blown away by the texts, calls, prayers, and visitors that we had and I didn't send out any texts to people.  Word just spread.  I think the worst part about the whole experience was the not knowing.  Most everyone who goes into DKA does so because they are a non-compliant diabetic--meaning, they don't check their sugars, they don't monitor them...they are reckless.  That is not Dustin (even though I get really mad at him sometimes when I feel like he eats something he shouldn't).  At first we thought it was bad insulin from Sunday.  Then thought it could have been a pump malfunction.

I think the end speculation is bad insulin combined with a bad port.

He has an appointment with his endocrinologist early November. 

We are so thankful to be home!!  Even though I'm going back to work today, Dustin will be actively monitoring his blood constantly for the next few days to make sure this doesn't happen again.  And you know I'll probably be calling him after each class period to check on him :)

Wednesday afternoon after he got the news he was getting discharged!

Our friend Adam, who also happens to be Dustin's D-group leader, came to visit Monday night and shared this Scripture from Isaiah 26:3-4 with us:

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
 Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

I hope that if you're struggling with something in your life, that this passage will help you as much as it has helped me.  I am keeping my mind on Christ who promises to give me peace because he is constant.  He is good.  Always.

An Update on This Crazy Week

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hey y'all!  I've been silent this week on the blog and may take off of blogging the rest of the week because of the craziness that happened Monday and is still happening today.

I'll blog about this at a later time, but Monday morning my husband (who is a Type I diabetic) was rushed to the emergency room for extremely high blood sugar that he couldn't get under control. 

He's been in the ICU since Monday (and so have I) and we are hoping to get everything regulated to be able to leave today!

Prayer Requests:
Please pray that we figure out the cause of why Dustin's blood sugar levels won't come down to normal.

Please pray that his blood sugar regulates.

We are tired and ready to come home!

Friday Favorites!

Friday, October 14, 2016

(My blog is having a few issues today!  Please bear with me as it gets worked out!)

WOOHOO it's Friday!  I'm ready for the weekend--we've got a fun one planned!  

As always, I'm linking up with my favorites to share a few of my favorites :)

 My mom won an award from a local news station yesterday for being an excellent teacher.  My sister nominated her because she sees how hard my mom works after school hours on things for her classes.  The reporter and cameraman walked in and surprised her, and we walked in right after--she was shocked!

 They also interviewed her, and her segment will be shown later this month.  My mom is the best teacher in my school system (I'm not biased...I've been told this by many people!) and I hope to be half the teacher she is.

 I ordered this JCrew dress from Annie's closet sale and it came in yesterday!!  I get really excited when I am able to find really nice clothes for cheap because that never happens to me.  I sized up in this dress for my chest and I'm debating on whether I want to get it taken in in the waist a little or leave it as a loose shift.  What are your thoughts?

The color isn't as vibrant in this picture, but it's a beautiful green and it's wool!

 Dustin always seems to say the right thing at the right moment.  He's a forever favorite.

 I got this new color, Squeaker of the House, from OPI a few weeks ago and I'm obsessed with it right now.  It's the perfect fall color for nails.  It's part of Kerri Washington's collab with OPI right now--some of her colors are really great!

They revamped my favorite scarf from last year and it's ten times better than it was.  Hurry and order yourself one...or five!  These make perfect Christmas gifts, too!

What are some of your favorite things?

Linking up with Erika, Heather, and Amanda

Life Lately

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Happy Thursday, y'all!  I'm declaring 3 day work weeks the best ever because I went back to school yesterday feeling the most refreshed I've ever felt!  And now today my week is halfway over :)  Can we have fall break every Monday and Tuesday?!

I want to share a little life lately with y'all--I haven't done one of these posts in a very long time!

Dustin and I aren't really into the same kinds of shows on TV....meaning he doesn't really like my reality tv and I'm not into Sportscaster or some hunting show.  We are in the never-ending process of watching Friday Night Lights right now #helloseason3  and really, that might be the first show we've ever fully watched together.  

Except now.

Listen, the PR people for This Is Us need raises because not only was I seeing it advertised on TV, and every time I saw a preview, I said to D, "I want to start watching that!!"  But I also saw it on Facebook.  So I never forgot when it started.  Genius move, PR people.

The night the show began, Dustin was in the living room too and I asked him if he wanted to watch it with me.  Apparently he had nothing else better to do, so he did.  And the rest was history :)  Literally our favorite show ever!
And here Dustin is "watching" with me Tuesday night.  He only lasted about 30 minutes, but don't worry, I've recorded it so he can catch up :)

I'm also going to share about my sign above the door soon because I had lots of questions about it!

 Carrie Underwood posted this workout on her IG this week, so I obviously screenshot it.  Hoping to have time to do it Friday!

Monday was my sister's 25th birthday and we went shopping and out to lunch since both mom and I were off of school.  Such a nice day!

And since my 29th (insert crying face) birthday is later this month, I've decided to take some intentional steps in being a little healthier and taking care of my body.  The first thing I'm working on is giving up sweets.  For me, sweets have become a daily occurrence instead of an occasional treat because it's like my body craves it.  (I've done some research on sugar and the brain and I may do a whole post on it later!)  I'm taking it small, and while I'm not giving up sugar completely since I'm eating foods (like breads, fruits) with sugars in it, I'm giving up desserts and any type of sweet.  I started Monday....headache that afternoon so I caved.  Then Tuesday....headache later in the day and I caved.  **I want to note that my headaches went away after I ate a dessert food--isn't that crazy?!  And yesterday was my first successful full day without a sweet!  I still had a headache when I got home from school, but I ate a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and it went away.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up sweets totally (hello, my birthday is coming up and you better believe I'll be eating cookie cake ha), but I'm working to where I have control over eating sweets instead of the other way around.  

Tell me, have you ever given up sweets?  Or done something else that was good for your body?  I'd love to hear!
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