Monday, December 27, 2021

2021 reading list

I made it a goal to bring reading back into my life in a more consistent manner in 2021. I read so many good books this year! I read 31 between my kindle/physical books and listened to 29 audio books. Here is my list, and I highlighted my favorite book from each month:

Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul 
In the Blood by Lisa Unger
You are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Good Girl by Mary Kubica
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Other Women by Sandie Jones
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

Conviction by Denise Mina
The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher
The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn
The Guest List by Lucy Foley (this was a very close second favorite)
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
The Break Down by BA Paris
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth (very close second favorite)
The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth

June: (good lord, I read a lot this month)
The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth 
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson (second favorite)
The First Mistake by Sandie Jones
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid  (I cannot highlight this enough, I loved it SO MUCH)

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
The Dilemma by BA Paris
The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman
Local Women Missing by Mary Kubica
Bring Me Back by BA Paris
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

American Royals by Katharine McGee
The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Golden Cage by Camilla Lackberg
Majesty by Katharine McGee (sequel to American Royals)
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

The Therapist by BA Paris (close second favorite)
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White
Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

November: This whole month of books were soooo good. I can't pick just one. 
An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
The Push by Ashley Audrain
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Monday, September 20, 2021

Lovely things, Gavin's birthday and Homecoming edition

1. Gavin turned 15,

2. New, fresh purple hair. 

3. The week just went off perfectly. Sometimes my obsessive time management skills come in handy. 

4. Having Friday off was perfect and I managed to not break the parade with my job I was given. 

5. Beautiful weather all weekend!! 

6. Class of 99 girls supporting the Street Dance! 

7.  Seeing these three in Glenwood is like a breath of fresh air.

8. Having over 450 people at the street dance.

9. Getting so many high fives, good jobs, was a good night. 

10. And it was a good night because I have this group of support (along with Adrian and Julie)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Lovely things, Quinn's birthday edition

1. Another Husker football win, and a Tom Brady win.

2. Everything for the Street Dance coming together in the most amazing way. 

3. My sister Kate, who helped me make this out of the kindness of her big 'ol heart

4. A night of bonding on an outdoor patio with Jenny and Jaimie.

5. A night of bonding around a (not on fire) firepit with Missy, Emily and Katie.

6. Finishing my 45th book of the year! 

7. A weekend of awesome company.

8. Securing another food vendor for the Street Dance! (Yes, I was whining not long ago about not being able to find even one, and now we have three.)

9. Quinn was born six years ago, which means my life has been so much more amazing for six years. 

10. Aubrey is two now and SO much fun, and she had a blast on Saturday partying hard in Quinn's room. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Lovely things, Labor Day edition

 1. The start of Fall semester. There's just something great about it. 

2. Securing not one, but two food vendors for the Street Dance, when I legit didn't think we were going to have any

3. All the things I have learned since starting this Street Dance project

4. Seeing Peg's parents after 4 years! 

5. Finishing two books this week (one was an audiobook)


7. Feeling like I am taking control

8. Also, feeling like I was right and I FREAKING told you so.

9. Time to play Cookie Jam.

10. This picture of Aubrey. Look at her little hands!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Lovely things, weekend edition

 1. When an event I planned for months (in this case, New Student Orientation for 180 students) goes off very well. Obviously there are some things to change and tweak, but overall everything went well and it was one of my more complicated ventures. 

2. Finishing an audiobook. 

3. Going to a scary movie with Nick where I am petrified to the point of trying to bribe Nick not to go. But then I go and it's no big deal and even better, it didn't keep me up all night. 

4. Watching Coop and Chan play football, Chan for the very first time!! The rain and wind tried really hard to cancel the game, but it didn't work. 

5. Adult Boji time at West O with just Hannah and Nick.

6. Taco House, because duh. 

7. When I was packing up and getting ready to leave, Chandler told me about a house near them that's for sale so I can just move there. 

8. Getting a two arm, real hug from Cooper without a device in his hand. 

9. Ted Lasso

10. First Day of School Eve - my 12th year in Higher Education! And sixth academic year at Clarkson College. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Moving backwards

 It's not news to anyone who is close to me that I didn't handle quarantine and COVID very well. 

I got into a weird depression, even though I've never been like a crazy party animal who went out all the time. 

I take that back. Post 2008, I've not been a party animal who goes out all the time. 

Anyway, I didn't handle the world shutting down very well. And I still haven't really gotten my act together. I would really, really like more time to get my act together, but it seems as though the world is going to shut down soon again. 

As long as I can still have my Street Dance on Sept 18...I'll be okay. 

I need to get back on track, just with consistency, health, setting goals, not taking naps every day, etc. And I can't use COVID and the world shutting down as an excuse anymore. I need to completely transform everything and become a new person. 

You know, no big deal. 

I will be working on this starting Monday, after I get through Hell Week at work and my last weekend before fall semester starts. 

Someone hold me to this, please. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

You're awesome

 The other day I was walking on my favorite trail - the Wabash Trace Trail in Council Bluffs. The trail is really clearly marked, a sign for each quarter mile, which I love. This particular day, I was walking down to the 1.75 mile marker so I could turn around for 3.5 miles total. 

I was just walking along (I rarely run anymore, that's an update), listening to my audiobook and a runner started coming toward me from the other direction. I did my usual - friendly wave, say hello. She returned the wave but then shouted "You're awesome!" I giggled because I wasn't expecting that, and yelled "oh my, so are you!"

I couldn't stop thinking about that for the longest time. It made my day. I am awesome. She's awesome. And we all need to tell each other that more often. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

50 before 50 - Idaho

I've hit the 40 and a half mark of my life and I have managed to knock three states off my to do list - next up was IDAHO! 

I flew out to see Juana and John - I hadn't been able to fly out there in nearly a year and a half! Damn COVID. The Omaha airport was absolutely packed and then my layover in Vegas was even worse. Even though I'm vaccinated, it still felt so weird being that close to people again. 

We did all our usual activities - pedicures, shopping, going out to eat, my hair - but we spent more time at home this time, which I love. Home cooked meals and bonding time. 

We also had two adventures - we hiked the rock at Beacon Rock State Park in Washington. It was absolutely beautiful, although VERY windy and cold the higher up we went. 

And, of course, as my spoiler alert blog title suggests, we knocked another state off my list by venturing over to Idaho! We drove over, went shopping (there was a TJM right next door to our hotel), went to a fun steakhouse for dinner and spent the night. Did anyone else know Idaho is so so beautiful? I had no idea. 

It was a super fantastic trip, and I was able to just relax, catch up on sleep, read a relaxing and wonderful! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Well, the flip to a new calendar year didn't do a lot to change the state of the world. We have a new president, but we still have to hear about that idiot Donald Trump every day. COVID is still requiring things to be closed and shut down. And to really add an eff you to the whole thing, Mother Nature has decided she hates us. It was NEGATIVE 21 yesterday. That was the actual temp, not wind chill. The feel like temp was like -35. It was so cold and frozen that things just stopped working, including myself. I laid down to "rest my eyes" (my Grandma Wilson always used to say that) and woke up four hours later not sure what day or year it was. Insane. 

Anyway. Let's throw some positivity in there. 

I was so so lucky and fortunate to be able to get the first dose of the covid vaccine a few weeks ago. I get my second dose next week. If you know me at all, you know how I do with needles and shots and really anything medical. I took my "pass out kit', which includes candy, a soda, a wet washcloth and something to fan myself with - and I didn't need it!! I used the fan, but it was super hot in the room and everyone was fanning themselves, so I am not counting that against me. I talked with one of my nurse friends and she said to make sure I was over hydrated, so I did that. I was mostly nervous because I typically have to lay down to have anything done to me with a needle and I knew that wasn't an option - but I nailed it!! Now everyone pray it's all okay next week as well. 

My grandparents were also able to get their first doses, which makes me very very happy. They basically haven't left their house in a year. 

Vacation planning
I booked a trip to go out to Juana's next month, and hopefully we are able to road trip into Idaho so I can mark a state of my to do list. I need to get some more fun stuff scheduled for 2021. 

Quinn the diabetic
My niece got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a few weeks ago. No, this is not a positive thing, but when you love someone as much as I love Quinn, you have to find positives in a situation that can't be changed. So...this is making Quinn grow up a little faster, but it is kind of adorable to listen to a five year old talk about blood sugars and insulin and carbs. I have learned a lot about the disease in the last couple weeks, and I have cut a LOT of unneeded added sugars from my diet because I think of how Quinn can't eat that stuff.