Sunday, July 26, 2015

My final thoughts on Plano, TX

After spending 13 weeks in the city of Plano, Duane and I have both come up with opinions on what we thought of the city. First off, it's a great place. We met a ton of friendly people, the staff at the hospital welcomed me as one of their own right off the bat and it was a lot harder leaving that job than what I had expected. I could never thank the staff for how generous they were and how awesome it was to have friends at work.
There is a lot to do there and I felt quite safe while I was there. It was easy to feed my shopping addiction and Duane and I ate so much delicious food while we were in Texas. Duane and I were very impressed with the high quality Indian food that was available and also both got the chance to eat home cooked Indian food as well. Food = amazing.
We were also very lucky to get involved with Watermark Church while we were there. We listened to Francis Chan speak and were able to worship along with Shane and Shane. The messages were always powerful and relevant and definitely helped us to grow during this experience.
On the flipside, Plano was very commercialized. Unless you wanted to eat food that wasn't "American" then almost every place was a chain. There were very few mom and pop shops to learn to love and support. The lack of variety and individuality got old quickly and didn't make us want to hang around. Also, it's fairly flat in that portion of Texas so there wasn't much available in the realm of hiking/backpacking. We did a few fun things, like six flags and outlet shopping, but mostly we just worked.
So the verdict was, not for us. We enjoyed our time there but we were excited for a new adventure whenever that time came.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I got into a rhythm in Plano and it didn't include blogging. Unfortunately I was on call a lot during my last few weeks of my assignment which meant I had a lot of time and nothing to do. There just wasn't a lot going on as far as reportable or blog-able activities. I was also stressed about finding assignment #2 and trying to decide what to do during the interim time because I had a week off between my assignments. But now we are in week one of our second assignment (after several bumps along the road) and I feel like I can breath again. I'm ready to get settled into my new job and make some new friends along the way.
So just a heads up for upcoming topics...
-visit to my sister, bro-in-law and their adorable kiddos
-the Nashville detour
-many many hours in the car (yeesh)
-final thoughts on Plano, TX
-medical solutions and the ups and downs of travel nursing so far
-First impression of Madison, WI

The order might be moved around, some topics might be combined, but I hope to get everyone up-to-speed in the next week or so. Sorry about the hiatus.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

A few things about Texas

#1 - Donut Shops. Everywhere. Not just your typical Dunkin' Donuts, Shipleys, Krispy Kreme, etc. Almost every single shopping strip has it's very own donut shop....I probably count 6 or 7 just on the way to my work. Most of them are mom and pop shops. Texan's must love donuts a lot!

#2 - It's not suppose to rain this much. This is more about our own journey than anything else but it has rained almost everyday since we have been here. It's crazy the amount of rain that has fallen since we have lived here (enough to fill the lakes and reservoirs). Partly it is really nice because it has helped keep away the HOT HOT Texas sun. It has been windy and lovely whenever the rain is stopped and we have tried to enjoy that time by doing exercising, checking out local parks and going to 6Flags over Texas. But it has been really annoying because it puts a damper on all the fun things we would love to do and just haven't gotten the chance to do yet.

#3 - Dr. Pepper. Texan's are proud of their state and the products it produces. Everywhere you go you can get Dr. Pepper.

#4 - It's beautiful. Especially with all the rain making things incredibly green and lush. Whoever designed the area around the apartment we live in did a great job incorporating green space in with the industrial stuff.

#5 - They are random fields next to highways that have horses and longhorns grazing about. It's like you're in the city and the country all at the same time.

#6 - There is so much incredible food here!! I have really enjoyed trying all new restaurants, all the time.

What else? Texas has been awesome and here in the next week or so, we will start looking for assignment numero dos. I'm excited, but sad at the same time. I really enjoy my coworkers. I have a new nickname "Big Casey." Kinda ironic I know. I got to play in the hospital kickball tournament (which was incredible btw). I feel like I'm starting to be part of a family at MCP and I'm not sure if I want it to end.

This blog kinda got away from me. I'm not sure where I was going with this on the sleepy Sunday morning.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

For the Foodies

Hedary's Mediterranean Restaurant
We went to this wonderful restaurant a few weeks back on the recommendation of a coworker. It's an eclectic little family owned restaurant that is located in a converted house. I could tell it was a house because the ladies restroom had a bathtub in it. It felt cozy and the staff was so nice and welcoming, we were off to an excellent experience before the food ever arrived. We started with the Hummus and fresh Naan and we could have made a meal off of just that. It was incredible. So smooth and delicious with a twist we had never tried. I'm pretty sure they added some sort of pickled juice to the hummus. It made it beyond incredible.

For entree's, Duane had Grilled Kibbi and I had Chicken Kabob's. The Kibbi was like a super flavorful meatball/burger served with rice. The Kabob's were pretty traditional with veggies and chicken but it was cooked to perfection and seasoned perfectly. We left stuffed and happy, but now we have to go back because we didn't have space to fit in any Baklava. It was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone :)

Twisted Root

If you like a really excellent hamburger (with some interesting meat choices) and a fun atmosphere, I would definitely recommend Twisted Root. Their specialty is having different game meats as options for the burgers. The day we went, they had the option of buffalo or duck meat as a special choice, along with the traditional beef and turkey choices. I had a good ol' fashioned beef hamburger topped with the chipotle sauce, goat cheese, and bacon. It was divine. The messiest, most delicious burger I have had in a very long time. Duane was adventurous and got buffalo meat topped with onion rings, jalapeƱos, bacon and cheese. The buffalo meat was really good, kinda smoky flavored and leaner than the beef. I thoroughly enjoyed the burger and the sweet potato chips that came along with it.

To top it off, they brew their own root beer including special flavors. The flavor of the day was cream cheese root beer and it was delicious. I love root beer, especially the local brew variety. They also make their own pickles in various flavors like ranch, kool-aid, and the tradition and bread and butter chips. It was a super fun restaurant with great quality food and a fun vibe, including the fact that when we got our food, we also go a celebrity name to go by, we were Sean Connery.

Duane and I have had a lot of fun trying out new restaurants and asking locals what they prefer. It's such a fun way to get the feel for a city.

What are your favorite local eats?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boulder Bands - A review

I have a tendency to constantly change my hair. Short then long, then chop it off again, dye it, grow it out, perm it, I've tried a lot of things. Whether my hair is short or long, I am usually on the look out for a good headband. One that doesn't hold moisture, can manage my thick, full hair, and that doesn't slide off my super slick head. I had heard about Boulder Bands and they have some pretty great reviews and testomonials on their website but I didn't want to put that much cash (about $14) into a headband for working out when I already had some that did a marginally ok job. Lo and behold, I got an email from Boulder Bands one day, a try it before you buy it deal. They sent me a free band, all I had to do was pay the shipping. I said why not right?

First off, the fit is excellent. It's nice and snug on my head, but not too tight where it would give me a headache. From the moment I first put it on, it felt very secure and didn't seem like it was going anywhere. The fabric is really smooth and also good for wicking moisture. So I tried it out a few different ways.

My first outing was a 2+ hour, about 4.5 miles, hike in Tennessee at Percy Warner Park. (Which by-the-way, was awesome). The Boulder Band performed admirably. I did have to adjust it one time when it had slid back, but in two plus hours that isn't bad performance at all in my book. Since then I have used it multiple times for jogging and have had great success! It stays in place without any issues. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for a good headband for workout use.

I had planned on taking pictures with my band on...but it kept me delaying the blog so I decided to go ahead and post it. Also, I usually look far from "cute" before, during and after workouts. Love you guys, thanks for hanging with me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Plano, TX

As always, I am a little bit behind on my blogging because we have been in Plano, TX for over 2 weeks now!?! It's crazy how fast time goes by. Some upcoming stuff to look forward to are restaurant reviews, my first time at an Indian Christian Church service, and a few non-Plano things like my review for Boulder Bands, "It Works" review, and another book review (the books being one of the reasons I'm so far behind with blogging, I've been sucked in).

It's a little nerve-racking having no control over where you are going to live and moving in site unseen. Duane and I were both pleasantly suprised at our accomadations. Our one bedroom is about the size of our first rental home as a married couple back when we lived in Statesboro, GA (for those of you who knew us back then). It feels pretty spacious even with the 3 of us stretched out. Meah is a happy pup to get to sit on our teeny-tiny veranda/porch.
Usually she isn't this awkward, I just couldn't help myself!
She's about the only thing that fits but it seems to suit her just fine. She's also happy to have made so many new doggy friends at the dog park which is right across the street! We couldn't have asked for much better placement than that. We also have a gym so Duane and I have enjoy that perk and feel a little less guilty about indugling when we try new restaurants.

The location is really great. Everything we could ever imagine in the way of stores/food is either 5minutes walking or 5minutes of driving from where we are. There's so many choices, it's hard to know what to try when. I am still enamored by the Super Target and all of the goodness it contains, it's just so big! It is really great to just be able to walk out the door and take a very pleasant stroll to Chipotle, Coldstone Creamery, or any number of other restaurants or shops that we've never heard of. Duane and I are overwhelmed with our choices of places that we can eat out and trying to find delicious choices that cater to our taste buds.

Not everything is peachy. We have the typical apartment issues, with it being smaller than what we are used to and having a dog that is playing hard with other dogs multiple times a week, the canine smells are a little overwhelming (gross). I'm constantly spraying febreeze, lighting candles and sprinkling baking soda to deal with it. Meah even got a shower the other day! Also, there is the noise of having neighbors that share walls and floor/ceilings and the fact that we live right over the parking garage and all of its noises. Just a little hiccup though, nothing that we can't handle.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Road Trippin' it

So this time last week we were still reeling, trying to recover from our trek across Tennessee and Arkansas to come along to Texas. All in all, we spent about 11 hours getting to Plano with the stops and fuel-ups and stretch/potty breaks. Duane and I were up at 4am to load up the last bits of the car and head out. The night before, there were still items to weed out because there was no more room in the cars (said buh-bye to the vacuum). We happened to live close to a 24hr Dunkin Donuts so we got our coffee and donuts around 4:45, Meah got her benadryl and we hit the road.

Meah's ready to go!
The thing I was most worried about was how Meah would do in the car for such a long time, and I was so pleasantly surprised. Of course I'm sure the benadryl helped, although it didn't make her sleep like I was hoping, it helped her to stay calm. After about an hour of being restless and occasionally whining, she settled down and enjoyed the scenery (it helped that the sun was coming up by then). Somehow we made it with two gas stops and a lunch break and that was it! I was impressed by the patience of Duane, Myself and Meah to make it through the long hours in the car.

As much as I wanted to take it slow and have more stops along the way, the office at our apartment complex had decided to close early because of Good Friday. I cannot blame them, but we didn't find out until we were crossing into Arkansas.

It was good that we left extra early, because we rolled into our complex at 4pm and they were about to lock the doors (we had called ahead to let them know we were coming). It was awesome that when we did arrive after our long day, the furniture, linens, dishes etc were already set up for us. We just brought up our basics and Duane's percussion equipment.

And who knew that there was a pyramid in Memphis?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Birthday Dinner

I had the most wonderful birthday dinner this year and it was made special by the amazing people I was able to spend it with. In fact, even if it had not been my birthday, or anyone's birthday for that matter, it still would have been fabulous. It just happened that my cousins were coming within a 45 minute drive of where we live and we took the opportunity to drive to meet them for dinner the night before they were going on a college tour. The reason this is so big is that it has become very hard to get to see them throughout the year. It had definitely been a year or two since we had seen them and gotten to chat and catch up. It was such an incredible blessing to see them.

Augusta Visit

So we have successfully arrived in Texas and things are progressing along without many problems, but I plan to make good on my promised blogs so here goes nothing. Stop #1 -Greenwood, SC and Augusta, GA.

Way back in mid-March, Duane and I made the trek across Tennessee and had a little mini-vacay visiting friends, family and our birthdays. We started our journey in Greenwood, SC where we visited some precious friends and Duane was part of the worship team for the D-Now at South Main Baptist Church in Greenwood. One of our really good, long-time friends, (all the way back from middle school) Brandon Henson, is the youth pastor at South Main. He's always inviting Duane to play whenever the opportunity comes around and we always try to take him up on it even if we have to drive 6hrs.  This means I get to visit with his lovely wife Tabor, play with their adorable little boy Asher, and visit with the other band members, Tory and Carrel. This was the most relaxed year yet as far as scheduling went so there was a lot more down time to actually catch up with our friends. It's always great to see them and to be able to participate in worship with the high school kids in the area.

From Greenwood, we left and went to Augusta to visit our families. We stayed at the Borba house (Duane's family) and I totally schooled them in a game of Phase 10. Mom #2 (aka Jackie) was kind enough to make us some crab legs, knowing it is one of my favorite things that she cooks. Duane also did a little cooking for his parents as well. Basically, our life revolved around meal time with family throughout the week. We did venture out of the house when we went to test out Duane's rifle at the outdoor shooting range with Walter and Anie. 

We did a lot of eating out with other family members as well including, my Mom and Dad and Diane. We also set aside time to talk and visit with my Nana and Papa and see Jenn, Tim, Mary E and Christopher and aunt Keeley and Jesse. It was one of the most relaxed visits I've had in a long time because we had a little more time to try and get all the visits in. I was so glad to be able to see so many family members and friends. It was an awesome trip before taking off on our new adventure. I love my family.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Crazy Times and Upcoming Posts

So sorry I've been MIA, life is getting a little hectic because we are leaving for Texas tomorrow!! AHH. Between packing, address changes, selling furniture, multiple goodwill trips and trying to visit with friends before we head out, we have been packed to the max. So that's my excuse from being absent from the blog-o-sphere. But I have lots of fun posts coming up.

-Augusta Visit
-Birthday Dinner
-Bolder Bands - A review
-"It Works" - A review

and then of course there will be plenty more to come once we are in Texas and settled. All the amazing foods and places to go and see, a new job and new opportunities for Duane. All is coming soon. Thanks for hanging in there during our transition.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stitch Fix

So I don't know if any of you lovely ladies and gents have heard of Stitch Fix, but it is a really experience. You fill out a style profile online, pay a $20 fee and a stylist picks out 5 items for you to try out. They send them to your house and you get to try them out with the clothing you already have and see what works and what doesn't. The $20 goes towards anything you want to keep. This is my third time I've participated in Stitch Fix and I'm always pleasantly surprised. My stuff is always a good variety of pieces and there's always things that I like and never things that I would gravitate towards on a regular shopping trip. I wanted to share my finds with you guys. 
Alina Mixed Geo Print Maxi Skirt
This skirt is unbelievably soft. The print looks really cute from a distance and pairs well with neutral tee-shirts. I Never-Ever would have picked this skirt out myself but it is pretty adorable on. Still on the fence with this one, but I'm leaning towards keeping it!!
Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan and Val Henley Blouse
LOVE, LOVE, Love this sweater. I usually don't go for orange but this shade is pretty perfect. It's also amazingly soft. It went with almost everything in my box which was another plus. The blouse is very cute and the print is really nice. It pairs perfectly with my sweater with or without a belt too! I think both of these will probably be kept, maybe just a smaller size for the blouse.
Sam Hi-Low Short Sleeve Tee
So grey t-shirt. It's super comfy and the fit is nice (although if I were keeping it I would want a smaller size) but it's just a basic hi-low tee. I do like it better than any other hi-low shirt I've every had or seen because I like how it lays on my body. I could get several from Target or Old Navy for the same price as the one shirt. It wasn't a fail or anything, I just wouldn't pay that much for a tee.
Esten Button-up Sleeveless blouse
This top was not something that I would go for, but it's also not a style that looks very flattering on me. The top is too big for me, and the bottom hits me at the widest part of my hips. Not so great. Overall, it's not fantastic and I won't be keeping this one.

So that's Stitch Fix. It is fun and the more you do it, the more your stylist learns about your style and can better make your fix work for you. Best of all (hint, hint), if you refer friends and they sign up, you get a credit to use! If it sounds like something that you might be interested in, please use my link below so I can get some credit and get another FIX!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Don't judge me

Sorry about the hiatus, I really really am trying to be a more diligent and timely blogger, but we were out of town and blogging from my phone is difficult. But it gives me more fun times to blog about! Anywho, back to the blogging. 

So I'm taking a break from talking about moving, packing, getting rid of stuff and all things travel nursing related. Today I'm sharing something that got my noggin' working. It's a phrase that's said around our household at least once a day and it's become just a silly joke between husband and wife. Usually it comes out a little like this...

Duane: mmmm dinner was awesome. I'm getting seconds. Don't judge me

Don't judge me. (Usually said with a goofy laugh or smile)

Inevitably it involves eating, especially those "taboo" foods like ice cream, candy or other sweets, or just simply over indulging in a meal. Sometimes its said because of something one of us was suppose to remember and didn't. It's a default statement in our marriage that is often used to remove tension and draw attention to behaviors that we aren't convinced about the benefits of, like seconds or sweets. It's almost like an excuse we use to give into the desires of our flesh. 

As Christians, we should be in a habit of denying ourselves daily and following Christ. Giving up the desires of our flesh and putting Christ first in our lives. It clearly says in the Bible that we aren't suppose to pass judgement each other, so why should Duane and I feel the need to remind each other on a regular basis? I'm sure that I'm going a little overboard with my analysis of an insignificant detail in our daily lives, but it's really been stuck in my brain. Maybe the phrase is really just what it seems, that we desire to not be judged by others or maybe we are already passing judgement on ourselves and are feeling guilty. But are we suppose to judge our own actions and compare them with how Christ calls us to live our lives?

What do you think?

Do I think that we are going to stop saying don't judge me? Nah, it's fun.

Monday, March 9, 2015

confessions of a lazy bum

Winter is always hard time for me to be motivated, to get motivated and stay motivated to work out. I don't know who else has this issue, but when it's cold, I just want to bundle up on the couch with a cup of tea or coffee, or any yummy hot beverage. Work out videos are way too easily replaced with Netflix or Harry Potter marathons. I definitely don't want to bundle up and work out in the outdoors, especially when the sun goes down at 4:30pm and it's below freezing outside.

So, what have I done since November? I had a brief stint of jogging after work to "wait out the traffic." Then there was the early morning body weight routine from pinterest. And finally, the extremely short time period where I thought I would start back Insanity. Heck no. That didn't happen.

Basically, I need to join a gym. The monetary guilt would force me to drag my lazy butt off the couch. But that's not going to happen until after the move because there is just too much to do right now. Instead I'm going to sleep in, cuddle my blankets, and enjoy being lazy.

That's my Monday night confession.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

cleaning out our closets

In our current culture, how often do we think about what our stuff means to us? Anyone who says that this isn't a consumer culture is kidding themselves. I mean, anytime I go to the store I rarely have a second thought about whether or not I should buy something. Out comes the wallet and I purchase whatever I deem necessary for our home or my closet. 

Well now we are thinking about it, everyday. For those who haven't heard, we are moving to Texas in less than a month and our new place will be completely furnished, linens and kitchen essentials included. We won't need any of our own stuff except for our clothes, and it's not financially smart for us to store items at greater cost than their current value, so out they go. Everything is up on craigslist and Facebook to try to sell or give away and multiple trips to goodwill have ensued.

The funny thing is, the more things we get rid of, the more I am inclined to put additional items in the goodwill box and consider, "we won't really NEED that." I will be incredibly happy if through this experience, I learn to find value in God, relationships and family, and not silly things. I don't want our possessions to determine my happiness.

Anyone want some of our stuff??

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Plano, TX

Guess What guys and gals?!?

I just signed my first travel nurse contract. In less than a month, we will be on our way to Plano, Texas for 13 weeks. 13 weeks of a new job, all the tex mex we can eat, and adjusting to living without all of our stuff and living in a much smaller space with Duane, Myself and our 80lbs of fluffy love, Meah.

I'm just a bundle of emotion right now, some where between jumping up and down and sitting in a corner, rocking back in forth and shedding a few tears. I am so excited to get to travel to new places and meet new people, and I'm just as sad to leave my friends that I have here in Nashville. I am so nervous about a new job in a new hospital, especially one with a super short orientation time. My hope is that this will be a fulfilling and enriching experience for Duane and I, where we can grow and learn more about ourselves.

Mostly I am grateful that my career offers these opportunities to us. It is really awesome that I can still do exactly what I love and get to travel all over the U.S.A.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter blues

Man this weather has got me in a funk. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful and I don't have any problem with snow whatsoever. Snow can be fun and I enjoy it. But this ice has got to go.

First of all, my job doesn't close. Like the millions of other health care workers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response people and those we trust to keep our power on, I have to try to make it to work, risking my car and my safety. And then I will most likely be stuck at work for days on end. It's not the ideal situation, but we do it all the time. I want to sleep in my own bed next to my husband.

Next thing is Meah. If you've known us for very long, you are aware that she has hip dysplasia. We have known since she was about 9 months old. The ice and cold weather are the absolute worst thing for her. She can't walk on the ice, at all. Her limp gets so bad and it's so painfully hard to watch. This, above everything else, is why I loath this weather. I hate it because it causes our fur baby pain.

So winter, it's time for you to go.
Sorry for the rant my friends, I had to let it out.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A New Adventure

Looking back on the specific things I have prayed for and thought about, God has been preparing me for this moment. Especially in the last six months I know I have personally struggled with realizing that our story isn't going to look like everyone else's. Just because some friends are buying houses, or having babies, or getting their master's or whatever their next life step might be, doesn't mean that God has those things planned for us right now. That doesn't mean that they won't happen for us at some point, but God has definitely been teaching me to be happy and comfortable with the plan He has for us, not my plan for us. 

I've been praying hard for God help me to be content with where we are and to equip us for the future. It is after much prayer and talking with people close to us that Duane and I have decided to take our family on the road. In April, I plan on taking an assignment as a travel nurse and Duane and Meah will be joining me. Nashville has taught the both of us a lot, but we can both clearly see that it is not the place for us long term. We are hoping that God will reveal a awesome place for us to settle in while we are traveling. Past the decision to travel, we don't know where we are going to go or how long we will travel. We are trusting in our Creator to guide us on this journey. 

This is SO FAR from my comfort zone, I know I wouldn't have picked this on my own. Especially since I love my job right now and we are going to a church we love. I pray that God is going to use this new adventure to cause us to grow in our marriage and to lean on Him completely. I pray that I will learn to be more outgoing and intentional on making and investing in relationships with the new people that we come into contact with. 

I am so excited about traveling to new cities, trying out new restaurants and outdoor activities, meeting new people, and learning new things in a new hospital. I am actually so pumped about cleaning out all the extra junk in our lives that just gather dust and get in the way. It's really exciting to think about a "minimalist" lifestyle as we plan on taking whatever we can fit in our cars. The rest of our things will be stored (i.e. keepsakes, photos, etc), sold, given away, or thrown away. So that's it. Our big announcement. I love you blog followers... and this should give me PLENTY to blog about. :)


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Selection - a review

On the back: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

So hang with me, I've never written a book review before.

First off, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games, or Divergent. It contains many of the same elements of that makes dystopian teen fiction so addicting. The book revolves around America Singer, a strong female character with whom I had a love-hate relationship. On the one hand she's strong-willed, has a definite sense of right and wrong, and its fiercely devoted to her family. On the other hand, she suffers from the same short-comings that you could see with any teenager with such limited life experience. She makes rash decisions based on emotions and doesn't always consider the consequences for those around her. Cass did a great job making her believable and lovable. I often found myself so worked up over America's actions that I would sigh with contentment, and yell with frustration. My husband gave me some strange looks and was slightly amazed that I literally didn't hear him at all when here tried to ask me a question while I was reading this book.

The other main characters that you spend a lot of time with are Prince Maxon and Aspen. I really enjoyed Maxon as a character. Cass continued to develop him as a character throughout the book and I was definitely rooting for him to find someone who would love and respect him. I won't reveal how she made his character evolve, it might give away to much, but he was not the Prince that I was expecting.

Aspen is America's "first love" but I wasn't so in love with his character. He seemed pretty one-sided to me. You don't learn enough about his character in my opinion to make him endearing, he just seems kind of selfish.

Overall I would say this book is like a mash-up of The Bachelor and a teen dystopian fiction novel. I thoroughly enjoyed The Selection, and immediately read the next two books, The Elite and The One. I was sad when it was over and I am still searching for my next read. It was nice not to worry about any adult scenes or read a lot of vulgar language. Overall I would give the book an A-. Mostly I wish it was longer because a few parts felt rushed to me.

I hope you enjoyed my book review. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

update and an upcoming announcement

Hello friends and family.
Life has been pretty great since the start of 2015. We started off with a day for 21 days. No meats, no carbs, no sugars. Only water to drink, and fruits, veggies, and whole grains to eat. It was refreshing, and eye opening. I realized just how much I love coffee and that it's ok to be hungry and you truly don't need meat or carbs to survive. It also really helped me start off the new year with my heart and mind focused on God. I was very happy and proud when Duane and I completed it.

As soon as the fast was over I hopped on a plane and went to Texas to visit my sister, brother in law, and my nephews. I'm in love with their newest family member Ian. And my love for Isaac only grew as we spent time together. It was a much needed break from my everyday stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed the baby snuggles, toddler playtime, lazy couch days, and helping my wonderful sister settle into a life with two kiddos.

I've also acquired some new hardware in my mouth. My wire permanent retainer was traded for a set of clear retainers to straighten my teeth. Basically it's like invisalign, just a different company. I'm really excited to undo the shifting of my teeth brought on from my wisdom teeth and being unable to wear previous retainers.

Anywho, if you happened to make it through my updates, you will get to hear about the upcoming blogs I've planned in my head. A week from now, we have a big announcement. It's been prayed over and talked over with close family and friends and decision day is in 6 days. So then we can announce it to the rest of our friends and extended family as well. I'm also planning a little book review. I just finished reading Kiera Cass', The Selection, The Elite, and The One. It was a quick and fun read and I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, and hopefully i can move on with my life and stop dwelling on this story. I think I have post book syndrome.