Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

Here I Go Again is Jen Lancaster's newest work of Fiction centering on the life of high school mean girl Lissy Ryder. When her fabulous adult life starts to fall about 20 years later, and she reaps what she sows at her 20 year high school reunion. At an all time low Lissy Ryder get's the rare chance to do it all again.

I'll be honest, I was skeptical about this book. I would classify it as pretty typical "chick-lit" and the first part of the book did not hook me. Lissy Ryder is an incredibly unlikeable character and she spoke like a teenage, valley girl, of some sort that never grew up.

It dialogue and writing didn't ring "true" in the beginning. However, as the book progresses the writing and flow evens out and we being to see different sides of Lissy Ryder, we get a little more depth into why she is who she is, and we see as she wrestles with the ripple or butterfly.

Will she give up a fabulous life to help ensure the happiness of others? Is she capable of redemption and change, and does she get or deserve or happy ending?

You'll have to read the book to find out. This book is a fun, really quick read. I read it in about 2 hours. A light, fun read with an interesting approach to answering the questions above.

I'd recommend it if you're looking for a book that doesn't require much attention, if you want to remember your high school "glory" days, whether for good or bad, and who wins in the end.

To read more and join the conversation go here

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Want to know why I'm blessed...

because even when I'm in the midst of horrible ordination requirements I have friends to "help" or if nothing else make me laugh.

Good times. Can this week be over please? 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Glimpse of What I do...

On the Third Thursday of every month, I plan and lead a young adult worship service at 9pm. It takes so much time and attention, since I'm in charge of every aspect of it, including decor, but I've grown to love it. A chance to really be creative and engaging with the worship experience.

My January worship. God of New Beginnings. 

Some of my decor. Emmy helped me make them. She thought they were beautiful.

More decor

Burning the old and giving it to God so that we might live into the New Beginnings promised to us through Christ. 

Me with some of my fellow clergy friends.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I survived & I Can Ski... kind of...

I had the greatest time learning to ski last week. I went with a group of 10 young adults from my church. We had a small retreat, skied all day Saturday, did devotions and worshiped together Sunday morning.

A couple of the more experienced skiers were very patience and helpful as I learned how to get down the mountain. My first run down took about an hour and I fell 4 times. The next time I got down in 15 and only fell once.

In the afternoon I took a lesson and by the end of the day I could ski!

So much fun. I have a huge bruise on my knee from one of the falls and I was a little sore but I cannot wait to go again.

 Friday night at the retreat

Headed to the slopes

                     He knew how to ski                                         I did not
Getting up once i feel down proved to be one of the biggest obstacles it's impossible. 
Gearing up!

Trying to look Stoic and failing.

Everyone decided to become 5 feet tall for this picture

The whole group

My one solo ride up the mountain
Dinner and fellowship in the evening

Cheers to a successful but cold weekend

Singing as a group in church sunday morning 

Some small car trouble. One of our CA cars was not used to such cold. 

Fun times. Now I'm off to the women's retreat this weekend. Busy work schedule. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm going skiing...

for the very first time this weekend. I'm leading a group of young adults from my church. Here's hoping I come back all in one piece without any broken bones.

How hard could it be right? Put skis on, go down the hill?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Willpower Instinct... Do you have it?

Every January I make goals for myself and usually within a month or two. Those goals are forgotten and old habits take root once more. Yet, each year I resolve once more that this is the year that things are going to be different. I've always wondered about this pattern of my life and why despite my best efforts I didn't actually change.

Cue Dr. Kelly McGonigal's book The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You can Do to Get More of It. Dr. McGonigal discusses in her book the aspects of the brain and human nature that inhibit and enhance our will-power.

The book is broken into 10 chapters and Dr. McGonigal encourages people read it one chapter at a time in order to implement the exercise and advice included to help start training our body and minds around the "I will, I won't, I wants" of life.

Each chapter is full of scientific information but presented in an accessible way, backed up with research and data, and illustrated with individuals stories of change and success.

I loved this book and I've already started implementing some of the suggestions in the book to help improve my will-power around issues of health and procrastination. The suggestions are easy and practical, start meditation, be more aware of the decisions and unhealthy habits of our lives, along with information about why addiction and habits are so hard to break and how to start living a healthier more productive life.

If you have ever struggled to overcome temptation, procrastination, exhaustion, motivation or addiction this book is a gift and an answer. Find it, read it, and start living it!!

To read more, join the conversation, and start changing your life go here

*Compensation Disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own I'm serious when I say this is an awesome book and you should read it ASAP*

Monday, January 7, 2013

We Went to the Beach in December...

Last weekend (Dec. 28-30th) my dad called me up and told me he was on his way for a visit. (Good thing I was planning on being in town).

My dad brought his wife and my youngest sister Abbey. Since she's never seen the ocean off we went in search of the water. It was so hilarious to me that Eli & Emmy knew what was involved with going to the ocean. As we were walking out the door to leave Emerson said, "Wait we forgot our buckets and shovels to make a castle."

Where do they learn these things? Seriously? How did they know this is what you do at the beach? Anyways, it was actually a beautiful day, Eli & Emmy had a great time, and my sister finally got to see the ocean.

Looking at the water. 

Trying to make sand castles. Although Emerson mostly used her bucket to "collect" various things. Seaweed, seashells, dirt, sticks, etc. It all came home with us. 

Me & my Eli

Eli with my dad


Running from the tide. Marcus just grabbed them and ran haha

Sea foam

My cute babies (notice Emmy still has a dress on but we did convince her to let us put some pants over her tights)

Chasing Auntie Abbey with seaweed

My family

Running from the tide again. It was very unpredictable 

Making sand castles 

My and my kids who weren't cooperating...
Then Eli knocked me over. I felt like a beached whale 

Walking on the trail

Me & my Emmy girl

She loved the ocean/beach. She was disappointed she couldn't get in the water. 

We found a lighthouse. They're much more impressive on the east coast. 

 It was a good day, and the best part is it only cost $10. The cost of parking our car. We need to go back when it's a little warmer though, since my kids seem to love the water and the beach. 

The rest of the visit with my dad mostly went okay. It's still a little hard for me to have his wife in my home. Given she was the "other" woman that my dad left my mom for. *sigh* it's hard. 

Plus my dad in the bay area of California is a little bit hilarious. He wore his NRA jacket the whole time. I kept trying to convince him to take it off and he complained that the roads didn't accommodate his huge diesel truck very well haha.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm so behind on blogging...

I'm not even sure how to catch up.

I need to blog about my mom's wedding, everything that happened in December, and our trip to the ocean last week. What to do what to do.

I also need more naps. I was reading about Crohns some more and found something that mentioned talking to your employer about allowing naps at work.

That sounds like the best idea ever haha, I do have a couch in my office...

I can only imagine the kind nonsense this would cause if people found out I was napping at work, but a girl can dream.

Here's to being more attentive to my poor neglected little blog in 2013.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013....

From me to you!

A few of my hopes for the new year

1.) We don't move. Please God don't let us move I can't do it again for the 4th year in a row.
2.) Marcus finds employment.
3.)  Get my health and crohns under control, so I stop feeling so horrible all the time.
4.) Continue to plug away at our debt.