Thursday, July 16, 2015

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

OK, I think I may have a new favorite book of the year.

If you remember how much I loved "Girl on the Train" back in January, you know that it's a tough decision for me to make. This book, however, was THAT good.

If you have even the slightest interest in medicine and healthcare, I think you'll enjoy it.


This book covers so many controversial topics and looks at both sides of the coin on practically every situation related to healthcare.

The most relevant chapter for me now dealt with labor and delivery. It discussed the ever-increasing C-section rate in America (now 1 in 3 births), but it does so in a very unbiased way and explains the reasoning from the medical standpoint.

I literally could go on and on about this book. Poor Brian, he had to hear my synopsis of every chapter, but this book does such an outstanding job of addressing the issues faced in the medical field and how there are really no good answers.

For those that aren't interested in healthcare, this book was inspirational in that it encourages everyone to do better in their line of work. This author has written three other books that I can't wait to read. All of his books are national best sellers, but his other books actually have even better reviews on Amazon than this one! I find that hard to believe, so I'm going to have to read them all for myself. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monthly Sister Night

Another successful monthly sister night in the books.

Apparently my sister's boyfriend was the one that reminded her that this was the second Tuesday of the month. She texted me yesterday and we had both completely forgotten!

Funny that yesterday's post was about better management of my busy schedule! It's hard to keep track of these things.

Tonight I made these Ham & Cheese rolls with a brown sugar glaze:

Photo courtesy Kevin & Amanda

We both liked them, but also agreed that they are better as party food. I served them as a main dish with a side of fruit, and we had chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We were both plenty full in the end, but these ham & cheese rolls were not intended to be a complete meal. You should definitely bring them to your next party if you are needing an appetizer or an easy side dish!

As for chocolate chip cookies, I used this recipe from Glorious Treats



Photo courtesy Glorious Treats

Honestly, my cookies did not turn out like the picture. They were good, but nothing to write home about.

It's hard to go wrong with store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough; I think they always turn out better than the homemade version. I may give this recipe another shot, mainly because I was distracted and chatting with my sister while making the dough, but also because a lot of people gave these cookies positive reviews. Maybe I was the problem, and not the recipe. ;-)

My sister made a really good pasta dish for our get-together last month. I'll ask her for the link to the recipe so that I can share it. Right now she's beating me with better recipes, so I need to step up my game next time around!




Monday, July 13, 2015

Making Time to Plan!

Remember in 2014 when I mentioned buying the Simplified Planner? In the end, even though I used the planner throughout the year, I never really felt like it was needed. My life wasn't busy and I don't think my schedule warranted such an expensive planner.

This year, I purchased a $5 planner at Target and it's done the job; however, my schedule is now crazy on a daily basis.


This is just a glimpse of June. I tried to jot down everything last month, but I'm sure there's stuff I left out.

I had a hair appointment a few months ago and showed up at the appointment ONE WEEK EARLY! It was so embarrassing because I walked in at the same time as her other client and the three of us were standing there looking at each other and - go figure - I was the one who had screwed up!

After that mishap, even Brian mentioned that I had gotten increasingly bad about keeping track of our schedules. Oops! 

It's sort of my unspoken responsibility to be in charge or our commitments and scheduling Terminix appointments, the house cleaners, vet appointments, and all of those mundane things that happen each month. Yeah, I'm supposed to stay on top of those things!

I decided for 2016 that I will go back to the Simplified Planner. It allows for much more detailed planning, and I'm really trying to get better about staying organized. 


These planners sell out super fast (...like less than an hour, fast....), so I need to remember that date.

September 9th - Purchase planner.

Jotting that down in my calendar now. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's a boy!

On June 30th, Brian and I went to our ultrasound appointment and found out we are having a boy!

Remember when I wrote about getting Otis and how I prefer girls? It's a boy! (Not sure why the pictures aren't working from my older posts - I'll try to fix that later).

I'm experiencing similar emotions. Excitement yet....fear. I'm clueless when it comes to boys.

This was my last ultrasound. I had one to confirm the pregnancy and this one was an anatomy scan to make sure everything is going well. I suppose I could have an elective ultrasound at one of those 3D places, but those pictures are too weird and alien-like for my taste.

It was crazy to see the difference between 6 weeks and 19 weeks (pics below). I can't believe how much this kid is growing, and I still am barely showing now at 21 weeks!!

I was reading through my baby book earlier today and saw that my mom gained a whopping 14 pounds when she was pregnant with me. Um, how is that even possible?! She is seriously the tiniest person ever. She also wrote that the doctors and nurses said they should have filmed her as an advertisement for Lamaze, since she had the easiest labor and delivery they had ever seen.

Let's hope I get that lucky.



There was definitely no denying that we're having a boy.  He was very cooperative in revealing his gender.


My intuition from the beginning was that we were having a boy, so it didn't surprise me much. I'm glad I found out what we're having because I think it's easier to bond now that I know.

My gut feeling also tells me that our son is going to look and act exactly like Brian, so we'll see if my suspicions are confirmed over time. Brian is my favorite person in the world, but he's not always the easiest person to live with. ;-)

I'm not sure what adventure lies ahead of us, but I trust God know's what He's doing in giving us this baby.

I have about four and a half more months of peace and quiet. :-)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Overly Excited About My Library Card

I finally broke down and got my first library card EVER!!!

My family wasn't the library-going type when I was growing up, so other than the library we had at school, I had never gone to a public library before.

I recently read a book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," and after reading it, I donated FIVE BOXES of books to Goodwill. I'm going to do a separate post specifically about the tidying book, but it inspired me to get rid of almost every book we owned (over 200 books donated!).


After getting rid of so many books, I knew I didn't necessarily want to keep buying more books, so I figured I would just download them on my Kindle going forward. The Kindle books, however, are still fairly pricey. 

I have no clue why I never considered a library before, but once I went yesterday and looked around, I was really pleased with my decision. The Wake County libraries are really nice and there are two libraries that are only 3 miles from our house. 

Before I went, I made a list of a few books I had seen on Amazon that I was interested in buying, and luckily the library had about half of those available (for free!!!). Also, when I was going to get one of the books I wanted, I found two more books nearby that caught my eye, so I picked those books up too. So that's 3 books that I now have for the next two weeks!


I started "Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance" last night and the introduction was so good. I feel like this book will be a winner.

So anyways, I just looked what the cost would have been had I purchased these books on the Kindle, and the total came to $32.78. Assuming I return my books on time, I just saved almost $33!

Even the late fee is only $0.25/day with a maximum of $10 in late fees annually, so the library is really a cheap option.

You're probably not as excited about this post as I am  - especially if you already use a library - but this is very new to me and I am THRILLED!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Five Cars & Counting

Last night, Brian and I went to look at a truck he was interested in buying.


Yes, that one.

Being married to Brian should be documented in a movie or a reality TV series. It could be called "Five Cars and Counting."

Brian always keeps life interesting, that's for sure.

Though the car situation is often an area of contention in our relationship, I'm surprisingly open to the idea of getting a truck, since a truck would come in handy at times. I actually prefer a truck to Brian's other sporty cars; it appeals to my country side.

You know the song "Let Me Show You How Country Feels"?

Picture Thanksgiving dinner in front of the TV, served on TV trays while watching the Dallas Cowboys, with beer, sweet tea, fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, pineapple and cheese casserole, hash brown casserole, squash casserole, macaroni and cheese casserole, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes. And then your cousin's dad swings by for Thanksgiving supper after being released from prison.

Yeah, there's a small piece of me that is country, so I see the appeal of an old truck on big tires.

I suppose Brian likes to be well-rounded with vehicles on both ends of the spectrum. One day he's shopping for a Porsche and the next day he's shopping for a beater.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Challenging Myself

OK, you are hearing this first:

I'm challenging myself to blog every day for the rest of the month.

I rarely ever blogged last year, but I was able to get a little more frequent in 2015. The past few months, however, have been crazy and my mind has been on other (slightly more important) things!

There are definitely days when I consider ending the blog altogether, but then there are days when I get REALLY excited about it and would love to write more frequently.

I've been trying to pinpoint the things that keep me from blogging. My first thought was a lack of time, but surprisingly, I sometimes find myself blogging more when I am busy. Infrequent blogging drives me crazy. As a blog follower myself, I hate constantly revisiting blogs and never seeing any updates, so that's why I am brainstorming ways I can improve this for my blog.

A few blogging deterrents that are personal to me:

My mood. I tend to stay away from blogging when my heart is not in the right place. I'm typically a joyful and expressive person, but if something is bringing me down, I struggle to have a happy mindset for blogging.

Not knowing how much or how little to share. I love to be transparent, but this is also the internet, so it's kind of scary. If I find myself wanting to talk about politics, religion, Multiple Sclerosis, this pregnancy, work, or anything personal, I tend to hold back and draw some boundaries around my personal life and viewpoints. I also have to respect other people's privacy, which leads me to my next issue.

I have to consider the other people in my life. I spend all day with my co-workers, friends, and family, so it's obvious that those are the people that would make appearances in my blog posts, but I don't feel like it's fair to include them in my blog without their knowledge. Except for Brian. He has no choice in the matter!!! *

* A friend recently told me that she had shared my blog with her friend Stephanie. After reading one of my posts, Stephanie said my blog may be "her new favorite." She also mentioned that the best blog posts were about Brian! LOL. Poor Brian. He is such an easy target.

If you are a blogger, what keeps you from blogging as often as you would like? Lack of time? Lack of ideas? Just curious.