Tuesday, June 26, 2012

18/40: The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

The Midwife's ConfessionThe Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads:
Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry…

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn't know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

Before I start my review... I'm in a face-to-face bookclub! I'm in a book club online, so this is the first one where people meet in person. I'm super excited and really like all the women. Sister#2 asked me to join with her so I jumped at the chance. This is the first book the group picked.

This was really slow to start and left a lot of unanswered questions that may or may not have been relavent to the story, I'll never know. There are certain things that the author never went back to clarify. There was also parts that I felt had significance that were never elaborated on.

I normally enjoy books told from multiple perspectives, however this one had too many. It felt very disjointed for the first two parts of the book, and then moved into a flowing novel in the third part. Tara and Emerson both discover things about Noelle in each of their chapters. The thing that bugged me was they would discover something and then the next chapter would move on to something entirely different. Sometimes it went back to the big reveal, other times it didn't at all and just left it as something insignificant.
Having so many perspectives throughout the book I never really felt close or sympathized with any of the characters. There wasn't time to get to know any of them deeply. It was on a very high level.

I wasn't entirely sure who the main character was supposed to be throughout the whole book. And perhaps that was the point, there wasn't one. It became less and less about Noelle as it went along.

It was not what I expected after reading the synopsis.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Fitness Check In - July 25/2012

I've been terrible at checking in here. Life got super crazy in June. See here for all the details!

Everything has changed, again. I think I get bored too easily. When I checked in 3 weeks ago I was all about Jillian Michaels. Since then things have changed, for the better.

Remember that wrist thing? Update on it here for the good and the bad.

I've started lifting weights. I'm still modifying as much as I can to keep from injuring myself. That said, I've been doing the New Rules of Lifting for Women. Starting from the beginning, I've put myself on a faster schedule. Still doing 3 times a week, but I'm condensing Stage 1 into 4 weeks instead of 6. My body has adapted to doing 15 reps quickly, so I've upped my weights to do 12 reps.
I'm tacking on some extra ab workouts with my favorite toy, the Bosu, at the end. I WILL have my six pack again someday.

I've also started running. Say what?! The girl who hates to run is running? YES! I started C25K again. I've been taking Beta with me in the mornings. Getting up a little earlier and heading to the park for a run. Even my husband is shocked that I've lasted more than a week. It really does start the day off right. That 30 minutes of exercise in the morning makes the endorphins surge. Let's go through the crazy dialogue in my head with C25K shall we?

Week 1, Day 1
30 second run - This is easy. Beta wonders why I'm stopping so soon after starting.
45 second run - Uh, what the H lungs. work please!
60 second run - I feel like a smoker. wtf
Repeat twice more.  I got back to the house before Frenchie left for work and he laughed at me at the wheezing sound coming out of my lungs.
Week 1, Day 2 - WAY better.
Week 1, Day 3 - I actually like this running thing
Week 2, Day 1 - 90 second run? Seriously?
Week 2, Day 2 - Ok, I think I like this running thing. 90 seconds is hard, but I can do it!
Week 2, Day 3 - Frenchie came with me so the extra motivation was great. Made it through the whole thing no problems.

MeasurementNow3 weeks Ago6 Weeks Ago
Weight112.4 lbs114.6 lbs113 lbs
Chest31 in31 in 32 in
Waist26 in26 in26.5 in
Hips32 inDidn't measureDidn't measure
Butt34 in35 in35 in
Arms9 in/9 in9 in/9 in9 in/9 in
Thighs20 in/19.5 in20 in/19 in19.5 in/19.5 in
Calves13 in/ 13 in12.5 in / 13 in12.75 in / 12.75 in

Weekly Schedule (subject to change at the drop of a pin)
DayWorkout Planned
TuesdayC25K, NROLFW
ThursdayDVD with Sister
Friday/SaturdayC25K, NROLFW


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June? Where did you go?

I feel like I have completely missed the month of June. I can't believe just over a week it will be July long weekend.

June started out with excitement. We have a new niece!! Frenchie's sister-in-law had a baby girl at the beginning of the month.
The second weekend she had baby girl and was still in the hospital my In-laws and BIL#4 and his fiancee came down.  The next weekend, my in-laws came to stay for the weekend and spend time over at BIL#2's house helping out. Making meals, cleaning, yardwork, etc. I think BIL#2/SIL really appreciated it. They got to nap!

The third weekend was our first anniversary and Father's day and Niece#1 & #3's dance recital. Talk about a packed weekend.

This weekend we are free, or as free as you can be when you're a planner. Dinner with my sisters Saturday and then out to the movie with Sister#2. Finally going to see Snow White and the Huntsman. I'm going for the Huntsman. Can we all just love on C. Hemsworth for a minute?

The other crazy is my wrist. Yes, that. It's still around.
I went back to my doctor since at the beginning of June I was pretty well incapacitated by the middle of the work week. I would be sittinng on my hand just to stop myself my using it. Typing and mousing left handed (when you're a righty) is a useful skill to know! I'm an ambi-mouser!
Back to the story... We have determined that it is nerve related. Unfortunately there are no more tests that she can run, I have to go to a specialist now. She has given me a referral to a Neurolgist. The wait is several months at least, so that will take a while. In the meantime she has put me on nerve blockers that will help manage the pain.
Drawbacks to that.
1. I'm on pain medication. I sort of feel like a failure at life. How did I not take care of body enough that we got to this point?
2. The meds make me REALLY drowsy. I fell asleep on the bus home. I'm thankful Frenchie will let me sleep on his shoulder and wake me up when it's time to get off.
3. My brain feels like it's 5 seconds behind. I tried to make a recipe and read the directions 3 times before it finally snapped. "Mix chicken and marinade in a bowl" is not complicated. 0_o
4. They haven't done much for the pain yet. Dulled it a little, but it's still bad by the end of the week. Dr. has to start me off on the lowest dosage in order for my body to adjust to the drowsiness. I'll go back in 2-3 weeks to see how I've adjusted and maybe increase the dose.

I'm really looking forward to the long weekend and the rest of summer. So far, no craziness planned but that can always change!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May 2012 Book Recap

What I read and started in May 2012
Books read to date: 17/40
According to my book challenge on Goodreads I'm on track to hit my yearly goal!

Fracture by Megan Miranda (review here)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (review here)
Divergent by Veronica Roth (review here)
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston (review here)
Free Four: Tobias Tells The Story (Divergent #1.1) by Veronica Roth (review here)
Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (review here)

 The Midwife's Confession by Darlene Chamberlain
Monthly savings: $31.72
Year-to-date savings: $135.56


Friday, June 1, 2012

Craft Project: Book Wreath

I've seen book wreaths all over the internet and thought it would be a fun craft project.
I had a bunch of old textbooks laying around and since I don't have the heart to tear apart a book off my shelf, I figured a textbook would be fitting.
I used my very first programming book on Java. Since I have my Bachelors in Computer Science this seemed like a great fit and rather meaningful.

Styrofoam Wreath form
Glue Gun (and it's pink!)
Java Textbook - I thought about using my math book as well, but ended up not using it.

I started by folding the pages and glueing the first layer onto the wreath form. I only did one layer in a sitting to allow it to fully dry.
I folded the next layer of pages so there was a lip in the middle so I could keep attaching and create stability.

Ended up with 4 layers in total. I went back and glued all the edges down so they are sturdy.

The bow has velcro on the back of it so I can change it with the seasons. Pink seemed appropriate for summer. I'm planning on getting some cardboard to decorate so I can make signs to velcro on.
Something for Book Club, Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. It will be nice to keep it changing to add a little to the room.


17/40: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***I will try and not spoil Divergent in this review, but this is a sequel, so you may find out things about the first book. ***

While I gave Divergent 5 stars, this one only got 4. Still an amazing book and impressively written.

Tris, being as brave as she was in Divergent, seemed very weak in this book. One particular event basically crippled her from doing what she had to. She cried a lot and it was irritating. I had to continually remind myself that she is only a 16 year old girl, who did not grow up in Dauntless. She grew up Abnegation and has selflessness rooted in her core.
She took a lot of risks that I think were stupid and unnecessary. They were however very calculated and made sense. I just wish she wouldn't lie about her plans so much.

The angst between Tobias and Tris irritated me as well. The secrets and lies! That is young love I suppose. Blind, stupid and can conquer nearly anything. I still love Tobias.

Even though I've negative things, the good outweighs them. The story and build up to the end was intense. I read the last 3rd in one sitting because I couldn't stop. There is a point in the book where you had better stop and save it for when you can just read the rest. You'll want to.
I wish I had waited to read these until the next one is out. I'm going to be buying the next one IMMEDIATELY when it is released.
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