Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Worm--Volume 6

Yesterday was crazy busy. I was reading all day--unfortunately I was reading 670 pages of deeds and leases. So I had no time to write my usual Wednesday edition of Book Worm. This week I wanted to spotlight another author that I really enjoy...

His niche is turning fairy tales on their head. I love fairy tales and children's stories, and I think I am a sucker for authors who can make me see a classic in a new light. I will admit that his books are not for everyone. I have certainly heard mixed reviews when I say how much I enjoy them. Not all of his books are created equal for me. I was not a huge fan of Mirror, Mirror (Snow White). It took me three tries to finish. It was just not as engaging to me as some of the others.

So what are my favorites?

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Don't care if that is the safe answer. This book was great. I love how this character who I had spent my whole life hating now had a history. She was smart and dedicated, albeit antisocial. I sympathized with her. The characters made you laugh and cry--as all books should. Of course the world in which they live is also wonderfully described. I wasn't as impressed with the follow-up Son of a Witch and I haven't yet read A Lion Among Men. But Wicked--definitely worth the time!!

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. So many people have re-written Cinderella. But I really enjoyed the book. Again, Maguire provides back story behind the characters that we take at face value in our childhood. I love that you can take something so well known and deep rooted and mold it into something new but wonderfully familiar. In this re-telling, the point of view of the "plain-faced" stepsister is the one that we see. The pain of being unlovely to even your own mother and constantly being compared to the "Cinderella" character. It is unfortunately easier to relate to than the original.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another long Tuesday

It was SO nice to have a week where I did not write about my long Tuesday. But here I am back in class and watching the clock tick--is it 7:20 yet?


LUCKILY it is sunny. And it looks like spring outside (it doesn't feel like it because it is 40 degrees). Spring makes me so happy. Fall is probably my favorite season, but Spring is a close second. The colors (especially the GREEN) make me smile. The budding trees and colorful clothing that comes out. Spring always makes me want to change things up. So I am taking some of my earlier goals a little further and changing them up for this new season of life.

One of my original goals was to be healthy--not be on a diet or strict exercise routine, but to be healthy. To make healthy choices and be happy with my body no matter what the scale tells me.

So today...
I gave up artificial sugar.
One of the only reasons I used it was because the thought of drinking calories made me upset. I love food--to devote any calories to a beverage seemed absurd. But I have pretty much cut out soda anyway, all that was left was coffee. And I drink a lot of coffee with a lot of sweetener. I think that it has really messed with my body's ability to feel hungry and satisfied (especially with sweets). So for spring, I am going to see what happens if I replace the artificial with regular sugar. Spring time also brings more fresh fruits and veggies that I am excited to incorporate into our menus.
I started an exercise switch up

I am so bad about getting in a cardio rut. I feel like I have exercised when I run or do the elliptical. There is something so satisfying about being sweaty and exhausted. But Saturday I did a long run that ended with strained muscles--it was cold, I wasn't properly hydrated, and I pushed too hard. I don't want to do nothing, so the hamstring/knee injuries mean that I have to try some new things. Today I did a free weight workout. I am planning on incorporating pilates too. It is really refreshing to think about new ways to keep in shape!

Spring (even with this cold start) invigorates me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Breaks are never long enough. Now I am surrounded by the all too familiar law books that make my brain seize up and my eyes droopy. I have been sitting in this chair for exactly 1 hour and I have read 14 pages (if you count the dissent which I skimmed). So boo to the end of break and fun reading... boo to the upcoming finals-season which requires me to become a law hermit....BOO.

BUT...I am encouraged by all the words God seems to be speaking into my heart as of late. Especially Lamentations 3:19-23 (NIV)

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I'm going to try to keep it at the forefront of my mind that it is because of HIS love that I am not CONSUMED. Finals--and especially finals prep are CONSUMING. It is all we talk about, all we do. We outline and plan and study and read. We whine about everything and eat greasy food and chocolate (and drink EPIC amounts of coffee) to make the days seem better. But I am going to cling to the knowledge that I am not consumed. Because the Lord has compassion on me--every morning.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I am inspired by random things. I like simple, uncomplicated images. I am okay with pattern, but nothing fussy. I love the rustic and the modern.

But I am always inspired by Danielle Taylor. Her house, her clothes, her eye for detail. It is sooo appropriate that the title of her blog is "it's the little things in life." I feel like she has really got the details down. I am not great at details. I put together a shirt and pants and then I am done. Danielle has earrings and a bracelet, shoes, purse, belt, ring...she looks complete, put together. And she makes it look effortless.

Her house is much the same way. The shelves are not packed full of things, but there are details that are striking. Like a pretty rattan box on top of a stack of books. Her style isn't easy to define-shabby chic, comfortable modern--whatever it is, I think it is fabulous. AND it always inspires me to experiment and find the details that make me happy.

Some of my favorite photos from the weekend have no people in them at all--and I am going to share those with you now.
the numbers from their house

a shelf for glassware. Art that is functional :)
I also feel like the pops of red really are a part of Danie's DNA
I love the bowl full of corks and the red painted canvas that just sits behind other stuff--DETAILS!!
Just hanging out on the counter top
a pretty cook book on a stand and (again) a pop of red with the pepper mill

my very favorite photo--I want to frame it.
Teapot on the stove, can't explain my love of it, just do.

One of the things that I learned while visiting was my love of taking pictures of things like this. Some people are great with pictures of people-I love pics of my friends and kids etc. I love pictures of nature and old buildings. But I really LOVE the photos I took around her house. Experimenting with lighting, capturing the simplest of scenes. Makes me smile. So I will be doing more of it for sure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Worm--Volume 5

C.S. Lewis

One of my absolute favorite authors! He makes you think-and makes you rid yourself of preconceived notions. His books never cease to amaze me, and they are plentiful!

Here is a list of his complete works...(thank you The ones in bold are the ones I have read. So I still have a long way to go before I have even read half of his amazing literature.

Now that you have a sense of all that he has written, I would like to highlight two books in particular.
Til We Have Faces
The Great Divorce
(I am going to discuss Narnia in a later segment :)

Til We Have Faces was lent to me by my best friend Shawna when I was on bed rest with Libby. And it was incredible. It is not as famous as many of Lewis's other works-but it struck me. It tells the story of two princesses-one beautiful and one not. The back cover talks about the struggle between profane love and sacred love. One of my favorite passages was recently on my friend Addison's blog.

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

The Great Divorce--*amazing*. Plain and simple. It is Lewis's concept of heaven and hell. The images are incredible and so hard to imagine that sometimes my brain hurt when I would read it--but in a good way. The part that struck me the most was how Lewis describes Heaven as being REAL--reality itself. While Hell is just a state of mind. This quote helps I think,

"Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains."
I don't think you will be disappointed.
(PS-thanks for the quotes!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It was a lovely weekend in TN...

the weather was warm. The sun was out. But even if it had been gross outside, it would have been fun. That's what great about having friends like the Taylors.

We did, however, take full advantage of the sunshine. Boys golfed on Saturday while the girls lazily got ready and caught up on all necessary points of life.

Corey enjoying some wings while watching the game

Later on, we watched WVU play Kentucky-with an unfortunate end. Danielle and I got a mani/pedi with her mom Terry. It was so lovely and relaxing. I even had them put a color on my nails which I NEVER do. I call it purply-cement, I forgot to find out the actual name.

Then we went to get dinner and drinks at this awesome place called The Crown & Goose-it is a British Pub that has some great beer on tap and even better food. We met Erin there--so good to see her face! We also met some friends from Morgantown who were also visiting Knoxville-Cam and Sarah. It was a lively party that we took back to the Taylors!

funny animal videos make everyone laugh :)

I think this photo would make a great jean ad

There was good conversation and some hilarious photos like

Scott talks with his hands and in this particular photo it looks as if he is about to smack Danie
He didn't -- just double clarifying!

and this...
I thought it was funny that the boys were hovering around the computer to watch a youtube video.
When I went to snap a photo Cam saw and stuck his tush out further.

Sunday was church at OneLife--a very cool church that you can check out here. We also went to Newk's for lunch. It was delicious. They had the best salad bowls-had to snap a photo.

Yum and Yum!

We also met up with Erin and her dog Fancy at a local park. The girls soaked up some sun while the boys threw the Frisbee. Fancy enjoyed chasing balls and rolling in the grass.

She also loved me :)

Sunday came to an end far too quickly. We chilled at the Taylors and did a low key dinner/movie night. We watched Please Give -- great movie! We said good bye Monday morning and made the long trek back home.

Later this week I am going to blog about all the things that inspire me when I visit my very creative friend Danie--so look for it Thursday or Friday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

lovely weekend...

Having some coffee before church.
Catching up on blogs with Danie.
Life is so sweet sometimes...
More later :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


painting by: Oliver Jeffers (this is one of my favorite maps of all time)

I love a road trip--especially this end of the trip. When you are all expectation and anticipation. I like the drive home less. But one constant is the need for good music! So here is my top 10 list for road trips--it is more upbeat than any of my typical playlists...(these are not in any particular order)

Conor Oberst: Moab

Killers: Spaceman

Vampire Weekend: Walcott

Noah and the Whale: Two Atoms in a Molecule

Mumford and Sons: The Cave

Ingrid Michaelson: You and I

Matt & Kim: Daylight

Killers: Joy Ride

Phoenix: Litzsomania

Ben Folds: Effington

Happy Listening!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Worm--Volume 4


I'm so glad that it is *almost* spring break and that a long road trip is in my very near future (as in tomorrow :). Both of these mean that I get to get absorbed into a good book. [SIDE-NOTE: I am really loving my free 1 year Amazon Prime membership. I ordered my book a couple days ago and got free 2-day shipping so that it would be here in time for the road trip mentioned above].

So the first book on the list is...

This is the last in the trilogy written by Steig Larsson. I have mentioned that I was reading the others, but I have not had a chance to elaborate. They fit into the mystery, detective, crime genre. The books follow Lisbeth Salander.
image from
Usually I am not a fan of main characters that I cannot relate to, but I really enjoy these books. Lisbeth is apparently partly based on Pippi Longstocking-a dysfunctional girl, who has a hard time fitting into "normal society" but is extremely smart and strangely attractive to those around her.--she is slightly obsessed with math, so I guess we aren't TOO different-- The character development is well done, and I am generally good at picking "whodunit" but I was pleasantly surprised to be surprised at the end of the first book. It's also kind of nifty that the books take place in Sweden-lots of IKEA references.

I have had a hard time putting the previous two books down, and I have heard that the third is the best. Luckily Corey put together some good music for the trip down because I will be otherwise occupied :)

PS--Fashion Note. I love days where my outfit is a NO brainer! LET'S GOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Hold

Book Worm will be back tomorrow--today I have a date with the Record Room in Brooke County!

But you can check out my post on Goals for the law ladies here!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

deep *sighs* of relief

Memo done *exhale*. .

But the deep *sigh* comes from a lovely coffee date with Chelsy. She and I are holding each other accountable to reading our bibles everyday and treat ourselves to coffee on Tuesdays to discuss what we are learning.

The BIG thing that I have learned is an intersection of what we have been reading and what Trey talked about at church. This idea of action and response and motive. A few phrases have been standing out to me

Therefore, in view of God's mercy... (Romans 12:1)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ...(Colossians 3:1)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved...(Colossians 3:12)

It is really hard not to talk about things to DO. I am doing something all the time. I want to be told what to do to be a better student, wife, mother. Give me action steps. But then I read these phrases and I see that as a believer, my actions are a RESPONSE. God has been merciful to me. I have been raised with Christ. I am His chosen child. Therefore I ACT.

These verses all end with action steps. But I do it backwards every time. I do the ACTION. I try to be patient and kind. I try to transform my mind and get rid of the old negative mindset. But then I fail. Because it starts with His mercy and love. Oh but deep *sigh*, living in the constant knowledge of his mercy and choosing is HARD! I'm so lucky to have a friend to slap me in the face with it occasionally :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Meditations...

Learning about pace...

I am not a person who is ANY good at pace. I eat fast, I drink fast. I read books as quickly as I can (especially if they are good ones). So when I started running, I wanted to run fast. And I have focused a lot of energy trying to run faster. But with the half marathon only a few months away, I knew that pace was going to be important. So on Saturday, after 6 long hours of writing memo, I decided to take a run in the sunshine.
I started really slow. To the point where I was just annoyed that I wasn't running faster. But then I realized that you can see more when you take your time. I was noticing all the runners and their posture-whether they ran with long strides or short, how they used their arms. Lots of people were out since the weather was so nice. A guy was letting his dog pull him on his skateboard-weaving in and out of the rest of us. The crowd thinned once I got to Star City and I could spend a little time in my own thoughts. And before I knew it, I was halfway--5.5 miles. I took a moment to snap a pic or two. I would like to say the whole run was easy breezy. But that isn't how running goes. I finished 11 miles in 105 minutes. My pace was around 9:36.

So what have I been missing my whole life doing things so fast? Pace yourself...those people knew what they were talking about!

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday...

3 of my friends/blogging buddies/general soul mate people have birthdays this week, and I wanted to post to say Happy Birthday to them all.
TODAY happens to be Abby Quinn Lilly's (Galatians 5:6) birthday. I almost always use her full name cause I think it is pretty. This girl cracks me up. We are ridiculously similar to the point that conversations generally go something like this: Cole: "I like _____ " Abby: "Me too" or Abby: "I am have this weird phobia of _____" and I respond "Me too" and we both laugh hysterically. She is also wonderfully passionate about things-especially Haiti. You can check out her blog to see her heart for this country. Because we had a fun night for bible study last night, we all got to celebrate Abby Quinn and her twenty something years! I am so thankful that she's in my life! And I look forward to finding things we don't have in common too!

NEXT WEDNESDAY Lauren (LUXLUCY) has a birthday. Thank goodness we will be all done with the crim pro madness and can enjoy celebrating her birthday properly-with yummy drinks and food of course! Lauren and I are more different than similar, but we just fit. It is easy to be friends. And she is the most honest person I know. I can't wait to see her in action as a defense attorney. I never want to be on the other side of the table FOR SURE. I will stick with non-litigation property law just to avoid going up against this girl. She is quirky and funny, too. I especially love her eerie similarity to Libby.

NEXT SATURDAY Chelsy (I'll be Brief) gets a year older. I have never run out of things to say to Chelsy. Conversations just flow. She and I are both ridiculous over-thinkers. We analyze and parse apart every aspect of everything. A coffee date for less than an hour never happens. I think the first time we had a chat it lasted so long that we had to continue over lunch and might have missed class. Whoops. Things I love about her? I love that she is teachable. I love that she keeps me accountable. I love that she thinks big picture and *tries* not to get bogged down with the everyday crap. I love her humor-we are both helplessly dorky. I love that we became friends because of our mutual love of CS Lewis.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Worm...Volume 3

Ok so I lied about my blogging hiatus. But I love Wednesdays because they are Book Worm days. And since I love books, I hate to miss sharing them with all of you. So today's topic?
Mom's books
Considering that I blog about books weekly, one would assume that I own a lot of books. Don't get me wrong, I have bookshelves of them. But weird thing about me...I am terrified of actually purchasing books. I walk into a book store and feel paralyzed. To me books are an investment of time and money and imagination. It is not to be entered into lightly. I usually only buy books that have come highly recommended by other avid readers--and then it is only if they won't let me borrow them. I am so upset if I buy a book and then don't like it. Take for example, the House of Mirth. I spent a week reading this book, in expectation that I would really enjoy it. SPOILER ALERT--but when I got to the end, and the main boy is going to tell the main girl that he wants to marry her and he arrives at her apartment and she has committed suicide--I am a little disappointed. I am a little frustrated that I spent all that time and effort getting involved only to be let down.

My mother however has no such handicap. She buys EVERYTHING. If Oprah recommends it, she buys it. If it is on the Today show or in the newspaper, she buys it. And for me it is GREAT. It is like having a library with no fees. I can go and browse and enjoy books that I am too scared to buy for myself. So over the last couple of years, here are some of my favorites from Candy's Bookstore.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time: Short novel from the point of view of an autistic boy. It was fascinating to read the thought process and see the story from the boy's point of view.

The Thirteenth Tale: I couldn't put this book down and have subsequently made most of my friends read it. I love it. It is the story of an aspiring writer/book nerd who is hired to write the memoir of a famous author. It ends up being a crazy mystery with lots of twists and turns. Fabulous!

The Historian: This is a not so short novel. It is not for everyone, but I really liked it. It is the story of a girl and her father in pursuit (through time) of the Vampire Dracula. I thought it was captivating!

A Painted House: I read John Grisham when I have nothing else to do. The novels are okay. I like lawyerly things, so it's fun. But this book is not a lawyerly book at all. It is set in the 50s on a farm from the point of view of a little boy named Luke. The scenes he witnesses and the life he is a part of are incredibly hard and sad.
There are a ton more Water for Elephants, Dogs of Babel, Life of Pi... Thanks Mom for not being afraid to buy books and always lending them to me :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Busy Tuesday...

well really a busy week ahead in general. Hey Abby Quinn, I have channeled you today and made a list. But I didn't have a pretty magenta marker, so not nearly as fun :)

I may have to go on a blogging sabbatical in order to get this memo done. That said, you can check out my post on the Law Ladies Blog--our topic this week? Fill in the _______. Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Coffee? Yes Please

This day started WAY to early with a little girl making noise at 4:30 in the morning. Twice I went in to try to convince her that the clock did not say 7 and therefore it was not morning. By 6:15 I had no more fight. I told her I would lay down with her if she would just be quiet until the clock did indeed say 7. The next 45 minutes were spent with a squirmy 4 year old "pretend" sleeping; looking at the clock every 5 seconds; asking me if I needed some of her friends to keep me company while I slept; petting my hair and telling me that it was morning now.


More coffee? (Second pot being brewed) Yes Please!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Plan B

In my mind, this weekend was supposed to go something like this...

Friday-- I would spend the day coloring pictures with the kids,
I would work on my memo while they took 3 hour naps,
I would take my time getting ready for the Dean's Partner's Gala while Corey played with the kids and prepped their dinner.
Then I would kiss everyone goodnight and go enjoy an evening of good food and dancing before coming home to snuggle with my hubby and watch a movie.
Saturday--meal planning, grocery shopping as a family, more memo and then family movie night.
Sunday, church, lunch, relaxation, and of course more memo.

Instead, Joe got sick, and was feverish and coughing all day on Friday. Which meant we all stayed in jammies and watched more TV than I would like. I got almost nothing done on my memo. I was in a robe with no make-up until Corey got home-giving me 20 minutes to make myself go from this...

to this...

The Gala was fun, but since Corey was on call, the evening was cut short when an emergent case was called in. So I rushed home and watched a movie by myself instead of with him. He was gone until almost 4 am :(

Saturday the first thing that happened was that I was puked on twice by Joe. I made the grocery list alone (Corey helped the meal planning by leaving a list of possible dishes for me to run with--he's a great husband). Once Corey was up and out of bed (Joe was passed out on the couch), Libby and I had a mommy/daughter date to the store.
It was actually a lot of fun. Until she said that she felt sick too--and I realized that both she and I had fevers. Boo.

So instead of memoing during naptime, I took a mental break to watch TV with Corey. Post naps, we broke our veggie experiment with pepperoni pizza.
IT was delicious. Family movie night looked like it was going to go as planned. We blew up the queen sized air mattress and got all our snacks together (raisinets, rainbow twizzlers, popcorn and juice).

Joe liked the raisinets-ALOT-can't you tell by his face?

The Netflix DVD for Toy Story was broken :( But we improvised and ordered Toy Story 3 ondemand. 10 minutes in, Corey got called into work. So I spent the evening cuddled on the air mattress with the kiddos (crying for the last 15 minutes of the movie--good grief Disney/Pixar, first UP and now this.) and then watched a movie alone. Again.

Sunday morning-Corey had another case to go in for. Kids were too sick for church. So a surprise trip to grandma's house was definitely in order. Mom played while I ran on the treadmill for a bit. Corey came by after the case was over. Now the kiddos are napping. we are all feeling on the mend. I am hopeful that Corey and I will finally have our home date tonight. The memo can wait until tomorrow to get started. ( I mean it already waited this long, right?)

As a parent (and just a regular person) plans change. This was not the weekend I planned; It wasn't even Plan B--more like Plan Mm(ii); But it was full of funny moments and fun times. I missed my husband terribly, but I appreciate how he provides for us! He makes it possible for me to go to school and keeps us all fed and warm. So while I "Boo" him being gone all weekend, I am thankful that he has the job that he has! And I am just incredibly thankful for him.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Color Crush :: Navy Blue

So I am totally stealing the idea of Color Crushing from Danielle. But when I saw her purple post, I knew I needed to post about Navy Blue. I love navy. Being a life-long Mountaineer, it has been part of my DNA to love blue and gold, but lately I have been loving navy in a very different way. I find it to be both soothing and sophisticated neutral. I love a deep blue with pops of color.So with all my free time, I have been surfing around looking at navy blue images... here are some of my favorite finds.

Happy Friday Everyone!