June 21

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Reads of 2016 So Far

June 21, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year. I decided to feature my favorites reads of the year so far….not necessarily those released in 2016.

Middle Grade Reads:

George by Alex Gino – Such a great introduction to transgenderism for middle grade students. I love how this one can teach us so much.

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley – An extremely heartwarming read with hints of fantasy. I love the message sent about love and family connections.

Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin – I cannot put into words how much I adored this book. I bought this one for my niece and ended up reading it before I gave it to her (how was I supposed to know that flipping through it quickly would read to a quick read of under 2 hours). It features a main character with Asperger’s Syndrome, family dysfunction, a dog as a prominent character, and a happy ending. What more can you ask for?

Young Adult Reads:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – A delightful read the promotes LGBTQ understanding. Simply a heart-warming coming-of-age novel.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman – Although I didn’t love this one quite as much as If She Stays (the first book in the series), I still loved the developing lives and love story of Mia and Adam. I found myself frustrated at points, but overall an enjoyable read.

Adult Fiction:

Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney – I just finished this one a few days ago, and I loved it so much more than I expected to. Amazing writing, strong character development, recent historical events used as a backdrop – I was drawn in the entire time. I’m planning to post a review soon!

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – This one I finished last night (I know…..it’s been an awesome week for reading). An excellent thriller that is face-paced and quick to read.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica – I love Kubica’s writing and the ultimate twists and turns of her plots. This one did not disappoint, and I can’t wait to read her next book.

Adult Nonfiction:

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari –  Although this one can get dry at points with research and facts, Ansari is HILARIOUS and you will learn lots of interesting tidbits throughout. I listened to the audio on this one, and I highly recommend it as it is read by Ansari himself.

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold – This was an emotionally gut-wrenching book by the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. It can be unsettling, eye-opening, and informative all at once.

What books have you read this year that have topped your favorites list? I’m always looking for good recommendations!

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February 16

Top Ten Tuesday: Books and Music

February 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: This week is all about music & books! I love books that have incorporate music as a major theme is some way. Many possibilities were offered for this one, but I’ve decided to just give you the music-related books I have my eye on reading with the hope that you guys will point me in the right direction as to what I need to read soon!

Books I Already Own But Haven’t Read:

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff – Sam’s friend Hayden is dead and he uses his friend’s playlist for clues as to the reasons behind his death. I’ve met Falkoff in person, and I also want to support her by trying out this very intriguing-sounding novel.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord – I’ve heard great things about this book, and I could check another book off of my list for the Clean My Reader Challenge as well. I also love the idea of two women on a country music road tour. How fun!

King Dork by Frank Portman – Another author I met and adored for his quirkiness. Catcher in the Rye references as the basis of several mysteries AND rock and roll. What more can you ask for in a book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and I totally want to check it out but just haven’t gotten to it yet. Maybe soon?

Books I Need to Get My Hands On

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer – You have probably already heard me talk about this one! The title and cover sucked me in right away. A girl who thinks Kurt Cobain is her father and is still alive…..I feel this book call my name every time I see or read about it!

2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino – A 9 year old who wants to make her debut at a famous jazz club after her mother dies. Intriguing, but I have definitely heard mixed review on this one. What did you think?

Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat – A teen turns to her beloved music to cope through the difficult times her family is enduring. This one isn’t calling my name as much as some of the others, but it is getting solid reviews.

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan – A boy and a girl meet during a performance of a church choir. Their families intertwine before tragedy strikes. I haven’t heard much about this one, but I do have some interest.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – A bookworm and clarinet-playing band geek struggles to cope with the loss of her sister. I’ve heard so many great things about Nelson’s writing, but I have yet to read any of it!

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – No list highlighting books and music would be complete without High Fidelity. I’m not sure why I haven’t read this one yet!

Tell me what you think! Which book is a must read? What can I skip? Anything missing you think I should add?

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February 9

Top Ten Tuesday: Literary Characters I’d Be Willing To Date

February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Valentine’s Day is next week…let’s do a Valentine’s Day themed freebie! Since I’m single and carefree, I decided to do a post on literary characters that I’d be willing to go out on a date with (let’s pretend that all of the characters below are the exact same age as myself to make this a not creepy post :)). Here’s who makes the list:

Jake from Happiness for Beginners

Who doesn’t want to date this adventurous, compassionate, patient, humble, forthright hottie! This guy is definitely at the top of my list!

Forney Hall from Where The Heart Is

A guy who will look out for you and take care of you no matter what!

Everett Coburn from Nowhere But Home

A wealthy home town hero, and a nice guy to boot. Sign me up!

Lincoln Mallory from Girl Before a Mirror

A man who is there to support your dreams, can show you the finer things in life, and treat you like a queen. I’m willing to give that a shot.

Levi from Fangirl

Oh, sweet, sweet Levi! He also can make a mean mocha for me when I need one.

Olly from Everything, Everything

A well read man who can turn the most mundane of moments into an adventure. Who doesn’t want to talk all things books with this guy?

Mac Chatham from St. Anything

Another hard worker that looks out for his girl.

A.J. Fikry from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Another man who not only knows his books but owns a bookstore! Hell yes I’m in. What a fun and quiet life this could be!

Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones’ Diary

I kind of adore his awkward demeanor. I also love how he is so very patient and kind and smart and successful.

Peeta from The Hunger Games

Who do you think I should add to this list?

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February 2

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Historical Settings

February 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love. For those of you who know me, you know I love historical fiction. I love learning about different times, different places, and different lifestyles. Below you will find some of my favorite time periods to read about with some of my favorite books I’ve read from those time periods:

America During The Civil War

The House Girl by Tara Conklin

The Late 19th Century/Early 20th Century

What the Lady Wants by Renee Rosen – A look at the life on Marshall Field and his mistress set in Chicago!

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott – I cannot even tell you how much I learned about Chicago and prostitution and life at the beginning of the 20th Century. Fascinating!

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – The story behind the illicit love affair that led to the end of the marriage of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Roaring 20’s

Dollface by Renee Rosen – Seriously…this book is the epitome of the Roaring 20’s for me. I so think I must have lived during this time period in a former life because I am so drawn to the stories from this time.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – A great read about the early marriage of Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

The Great Depression

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford – A story about an orphaned boy discovering his biological mother during the Depression.

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko – I just loved the setting of Alcatraz Island, and I also loved a character that had autism before autism was a thing. A great middle grade read!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – If you ever want to learn a little more about circus life during the Great Depression.

Europe During World War II

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana DeRosnay

Japanese Internment During World War II

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – I learned so much about the Japanese Internment when I read this novel, and I am hoping at some point to pick up some more novels set during this time period.

America During The Civil Rights Movement

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Historical Fiction Novels That Span Time Periods

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline – I learned all about the phenomenon of orphan trains that existed during the year of 1854-1929. I had never even heard of the prior to reading this book!

The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin – A novel of the life of the Lindbergh family set during the 1920’s-1960’s and told from the perspective of Charles Lindbergh’s wife Anne. Turns out that maybe Charles wasn’t the golden boy that everyone thought he was.

What time periods do you like to read about? Are there any historical fiction novels that you recommend?

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January 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Happy Hour Hangouts

January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Freebie!!!! I sometimes struggle with coming up with a topic when the whole wide world of books is available to me. For those of you who know me, I love happy hour. It’s just a nice time to chill out with friends (and sometimes meet new friends along the way). So…..after much thought, I decided to give you my list of authors I’d love to go to Happy Hour with! Here’s who I’d enjoy getting to know a little better over cocktails:

Happy Hour YA

Alexandra Sirowy – I was able to spend some time with Alexandra at Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2015, and I enjoyed the time I spent with her. She has a very unique background that I would love to hear more about!

Trent Reedy – I met Trent at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2014, and he is truly one of the kindest, most down-to-earth guys I’ve met. I was so touched with his personal story, and I enjoy following him on Facebook. I’m hoping our paths will cross again someday at some point.

James Klise – Another author I met at the Anderson’s conference in 2014. James gave me so much encouragement with my writing, and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve had the chance to see him again at an event since he is a local Chicago author. I would love to chat more with him about working with kids, writing, and books in general!

Jennifer Niven – As you know, I soooooooo loved All the Bright Places. I follow Jennifer on Facebook, and I just love her appreciation of her fans, her love of her cats, her awesome bookish office, and so much more. I’d love to get to know her in person!

Happy Hour

David Arnold – Truth time – I haven’t yet read Mosquitoland despite the rave reviews and the autographed copy that calls my name every time I walk by it. But…….David was such a pleasure to meet at Anderson’s 2015, but even more…..he is a musician who lives in Nashville! I also love following him on Instagram. His love for his family is so clear!

Bill Konigsberg – I also met Bill at an Anderson’s YA Lit Conference in 2015, and I LOVED his novel The Porcupine of Truth. He is such an amazing voice for LGBT teens everywhere, and he is such a down-to-earth guy. I’d love to get to know hiHappy Hour Adultm a little more!

Liza Palmer – Liza’s writing speaks to my soul, and I just want to get to know her more. When I’m reading her writing, I sometimes feel like she is in my head! I’ve loved both Girl Before a Mirror and Nowhere But Home, and I look forward to reading more of her in 2016.

Suanne Laqueur – I’ve gotten to know Suanne a little over the last year while I read and reviewed her books. I think her writing is simply stunning, and I love how she is so open about her own personal mental health struggles. I would love to sit down and have a drink with her sometime and just connect on a more personal level!

Cheryl Strayed – Wild was such a powerful read for me, and I love the honesty and frankness with which Cheryl conducts her whole life. She is a powerful voice for so many people, and I truly believe she is making a difference in this world with her writing.

Renee Rosen – One of my very favorite authors of all time, and she happens to be local. I became familiar with Renee on a fluke while going to see another author at an event. I immediately fell in love with Renee, her writing, and just her way of interacting with her fans. I think she is awesome, and I’d love to hang out with her more often!!

Who would you like to go to Happy Hour with?

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January 19

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Adds

January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR. I’ve hit quite the lucky streak lately (not lucky enough to win 1.5 billion in the Powerball mind you), and I’ve won several bookish giveaways. Soooooooo very exciting! Here’s what I’ve won. Please check out the amazing blogs that have contributed to my wins:

From Brightly and The Hiding Spot:

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I won this awesome tote and 3 children’s books (Voyagers, Toys Meet Snow, and Once Upon An Alphabet), and I also was introduced to the Brightly website, which makes book recommendations based on reading levels (and they even have an adult section as well). The Hiding Spot is one of my favorite blogs for keeping up with the newest in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. If you work in a school or with kids, I highly recommend you check it out!

From Random House Audio and Bookriot:

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I won 4 audiobooks from Random House Audio in Bookriot‘s Best of 2015 Audiobooks Giveaway. The package included: Dead Wake by Erik Larson, X by Sue Grafton, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham (which is not pictured because it is currently in my car in the minus 0 windchills so you will all just need to visualize it at this point because I hate the cold :)

From Berkeley and Goodreads:

20160118_164150

So, I feel like I almost never win a Goodreads giveaway, but I managed to score this gem that has been getting rave reviews! I’ve heard great things about Beatriz Williams, but I’ve never read anything by her, and I’m way excited about The Secret Life of Violet Grant!

From Book Scents:

bookscents win

And…….last but not least…..look at this amazing haul I won in Book Scents End of the Year Shelf Cleaning Giveaway! Wow!!!!! I’m so excited for so many of these (they haven’t yet arrived in the mail, but they should be coming soon)!!!! Seriously, I almost feel like I won the lottery!

What books have you acquired recently?

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January 12

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases I Still Need To Get To

January 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t. There are so many amazing books out there…..how is someone supposed to get to all the reading they are interested in? Here’s at the top of my list for what I missed in 2015:

Young Adult Books

Mosquitoland by David Arnold – This book has shown up on several “Best of 2015” lists, and I actually own an autographed copy. I think I will get to this as part of my Mount TBR Challenge.

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley – Another one that has been on many “Best of 2015” lists that I also own an autographed copy of. Beasley is such a sweet and down-to-earth author, and I so want to support her!

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – The colors in this cover have always caught my eye, and I always like when books highlight mental health issues. I did get a Kindle deal on this one, and I am hoping to pick it up soon as part of my Clean Your Ereader Challenge.

Dumplin by Julie Murphy – I have heard great things about this novel and how it may change your perception of weight, weight loss, and happiness. I am intrigued, and I hope to get to it sometime this year (but probably not right away).

Historical Fiction

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain – I LOVED The Paris Wife, and I have wanted to read this one since it came out. I love learning about strong female role models from the past, and I’ve heard amazing things about this story.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – I love stories that are set during World War II, and I find myself reading them often. This one gets outstanding reviews!

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen – I adore Sara Gruen’s writing, and I went to a release event for this particular books of her (meaning it is yet another one that I own an autographed copy of). I am intrigued with the Loch Ness monster aspect of this one, and I am looking forward to reading it at some point soon!

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg – The Roaring Twenties is another time period I love to read about (can’t you totally see me as a flapper). I have a copy of this on my Kindle, and I plan to get to it in the next couple of months as part of the Clean Your Ereader Challenge.

Adult Contemporary

Fates and Furies by Lauren Goff – This book has also been on several “Best of 2015” lists, but I’ve heard more mixed reviews on this one. My hold just came in at the library, and I picked it up today, so I’ll be letting you know soon what I think.

Slade House by David Mitchell – I have never read anything by Mitchell, and people often rave about his work. I’ve heard good things about this most recent novel of his, and it happened to be in at the library today so I picked it up!

What 2015 releases are you still hoping to get to? Any books on my list that you think aren’t worth it?

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January 5

Top Ten Tuesday: My 2016 Resolutions

January 5. 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2016. I really struggled with my goals for this year. In 2015, my blog and my reading were huge focuses (at the cost of some other areas of my life in retrospect). As I think about what I want for 2016, I need to make my health a bigger priority. With that in mind, here’s what I’m thinking:

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELL BEING GOALS

  1. Consistent Exercise – This is probably the biggest area of my life that payed the price in 2015, and it MUST change! I always feel better when I work out. I’m hoping that this will help me to not only lose some of the weight I’ve gained, but also help me to feel as if I have more energy.
  2. Reconnect with Nature – Spending time outside also tends to put me in a better move. The fact that I’m often getting some sort of exercise while doing it is an added bonus. Although the cold weather may deter me a bit right now, I hope this summer to not only be exercising outside, but reading and writing as well.
  3. Talk Kindly to Myself – I started this at some point in 2015, and it has made a huge difference. I refuse to criticize myself or beat myself up for the way I look or mistakes I’ve made. I am the person I am, and I happen to think that that person is pretty great!
  4. Make Friends and Family a Priority – This is something that I am pretty good at, but I never want to forget how important it is to let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. I want to continue to spend time with both friends and family, and show them how much I care about them!

READING/BLOGGING GOALS

  1. Reading Challenges – See my post from Sunday 1/3/2016 on the Reading Challenges that I will take on this year. I won’t make you all rehash it again :) . In the midst of all of this, I need to remember that reading is a primary form of relaxation for me, and I cannot lose that outlet. 
  2. Remember the Purpose of the Blog – This blog is meant to be fun….to be a hobby….a way to connect with people about books. As soon as I start stressing about stats, writing reviews I don’t really feel like writing, posting a certain amount every week, then it becomes work. I already have a full time job, and I don’t need to feel like this is becoming a job as well!
  3. Write When Inspired – Whether it is for this blog or the novels I’m working on, I want writing to be fulfilling on some level. If it starts to deplete me rather than lift me up, then I need to take a step back.

What are your goals for 2016? Please share below!

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December 29

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Books I Can’t Wait For

December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016. This one is pretty straight forward (although I’m cheating a bit with 11 choices) so let’s get to it:

January Releases

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian – I am quite a fan of Bohjalian, and this newest looks intriguing – a bachelor party gone seriously wrong. As a side note, if you don’t follow Bohjalian on Instagram, you should (he is seriously such a nice, thoughtful, family-loving, bike-riding guy).

Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur – I discovered the beauty of all things Suanne in 2015, and I am now a forever fan. Her writing is quite simply stunning, and I will sing her praises whenever I get a chance. This book is the third in her Fish Tales series, and I highly recommend all of them!

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin – I absolutely loved The Aviator’s Wife by Benjamin, and I am totally intrigued with the concept of this one – a 1950’s historical fiction novel about Truman Capote and his friendship with a society “swan”.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – This looks like another haunting novel involving a school shooting told from four different perspectives and covering a time span of less than an hour.

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright – A YA novel about a girl discovering the secret identity of her mother and her developing relationship with an English prince.

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan – A contemporary novel about a woman’s struggle to regain her own identity. I’m intrigued with the foodie aspect of this one.

February Releases

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon – I have never read a historical fiction account of the Hindenburg, and just by reading the novel’s synopsis, I know that I have a great deal to learn.

March Releases

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – This book is a mere 96 pages and is being published for World Book Day in the UK. I enjoyed Fangirl by Rowell, and I’m hoping to read much more of her in 2016.

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer – So I was totally drawn to this one based on the name and cover. Then I read the unique premise – a girl thinks her father is Kurt Cobain and that he is alive. Who isn’t mildly intrigued by this one?

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – Another YA novel – this time with two misfits navigating their senior year of high school while trying to maintain their friendship.

April Releases

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey – A historical fiction novel set in the 19th century which features a nontraditional man and woman and their nontraditional relationship.

What books are you hoping to check out in 2016?

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November 25

Top Ten Tuesday: Feeling Thankful

November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Thanksgiving themed Freebie. Instead of going with the typical bookish theme, I’ve decided to spend a moment reflecting on my life and how truly blessed I am. Even though things may happen that might not go the way you want or like in life, I have realized that what I have is pretty darn amazing, and so today I’m giving you my top ten list of the things I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving season.

family header

There are not enough words in the largest dictionary to describe how truly grateful I am for the family that I have. My parents who are relentlessly supportive, loving, generous, and just nice, fun people to be around. My brother Rusty and sister-in-law Laura who are so caring, thoughtful, protective, kind, and generous. My niece Caytee and nephew Rhett who I adore more than anything else in this world! I am also blessed with several aunts, uncles, and cousins who are always looking out for me, and just offer love and support when needed.

friends header

Not only do I have the most amazing family, but I am so lucky to have a great circle of friends! 2015 has been a tenuous year in many ways, but I have never doubted the love and support of each and every one of you – you know exactly who you are! Whether you went out for dinner and drinks, sent a card, typed a quick Facebook message, or celebrated something special with me, I treasure you for exactly what you did!

my cats header

I’m not sure I’ve ever actually mentioned my cats here on the blog, but I do have two of them – Murray and Maggie. They are quite old (17 1/2 years), and they can be quite the handful at this point in life, but I also can’t imagine life without them. I love to come home and have them greet me at the door. I love how it doesn’t matter where I am at home, one of them is always there to keep me company. I’ve been through a lot in life, and these two have been there for so much of it!

Murray. Who doesn't love to hang out in the bathtub?
Murray. Who doesn’t love to hang out in the bathtub?
Maggie. This pic makes her look so big, but she is actually a peanut at a mere 5 pounds.
Maggie. This pic makes her look so big, but she is actually a peanut at a mere 5 pounds.

my job headerI am currently at the third school in my career, and I know it is the place I am meant to be. I love the program I work in, and I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of coworkers (many of whom fit into that friends category above). We often refer to our work as a family, and I do believe that is true in many ways. I don’t doubt how many people are there for me when I need them. It’s the people that make me happy to go to work every day!

My Health header

Even though I’ve had some health glitches this year, I know that I am so fortunate to be a relatively healthy person. I know that I am not currently maximizing my potential in terms of my health, but I am going to be turning that around shortly. I have so much love and admiration for those I know that are struggling with far more serious issues.

My Home header

It may sound cliche, but I am so blessed to have a roof over my head (and I’ll soon have stunning new windows to keep me warm this winter). I struggle thinking about others who are on the streets and wishing our world can do more to help everyone.

food header

So, I love food. Not only am I fortunate enough to not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, but I am lucky enough to go out to dinner and enjoy different foods, environments, celebrations, and more over food with friends and family. Trying out new restaurants is one of my favorite things to do (though I also love hanging at my favorites as well).

love of reading header

Of course, I need to mention reading and writing at some point. Both activities add so much to my life in so many ways. I’ve made new friends, tapped into a creative outlet, and found a way to destress through my love of books and now writing and blogging.

My education header

We are so fortunate to live in a place where women can be educated and encouraged to succeed in every possible way. The places that I’ve learned have significantly shaped my life today – from elementary school, high school, college (Go Illini), and graduate school (Yay Marquette). Although I enjoyed some experiences more than others, I am grateful for them all. I am also so blessed to have had so much support from my parents along the way – without them and their emotional and financial support, I wouldn’t be the awesome SLP that I am today!

possibilities header

Last, but certainly not least, I am so grateful for the life I have and the possibilities it holds. I look forward to each and every day knowing that my life holds so much excitement now and will in the future. I can’t wait to see where I go!

What are you thankful for this year?

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