Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Baby is here!!

Kassidy Camille was born Sunday Feb 22 at 8:22 am. She is 8lbs 5 oz and 19.5 inches long.

It was quite an exciting birth experience! Kassidy decided to come very fast - 1.5 hours fast. We live 25 minutes from the hospital and my first couple of contractions were 20-15 minutes apart - then they were very close and very strong. I think I had 15-20 contractions total and 2 contractions to deliver! She was born in our living room hall and delivered by my husband. Luckily everything went perfectly (thanks to God) and she is very healthy. The paramedics arrived just as she was delivered. :)

There were a few other ways that God was involved in this delivery. My husband is in the medical field (a Surgical First Assistant) and worked about 10 years years ago in Labor and Delivery so he has seen and participated in many deliveries, he also was an EMT and knew what to tell them was needed, AND was a medic in the military - so I was in the best hands possible to deliver at home! He knew exactly where I was and how quickly I was going to deliver and how to deliver. It was quite exciting and I am hoping my 2 year old doesn't remember anything that happened. She sat on the couch the whole time quiet as a mouse - I am sure in shock.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Truth About Nigel - Jennifer Weiner (short story)

Short Story Title: The Truth About Nigel
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Book: American Girls About Town
Rating: 4 out of 5 horses

First Line:
"Sarah Compton started work at the First Bank of London on the third Monday of September, and Nigel Jones started two days later."
This story is about Sarah who is having a difficult time with men. She has sworn off all men with names starting with vowels. Sarah meets Nigel when starting a new job at a bank. He is handsome and she can't believe that he may be interested in her. They have drinks together every other day and become friends. Sarah even sneaks in a kiss on Nigel and the next day he disappears with a secret. This is a secret that gets Sarah press coverage and she goes into hiding.
I really enjoyed this story and will read more by Jennifer Weirner, since this is the first story I have read of hers.

Voodoo Dolls, C-Cups and Eminem - Melissa Senate

Short Story Title: Voodoo Dolls, C-Cups and Eminem
Author: Melissa Senate
Book: American Girls About Town
Rating: 3 out of 5 horses
First Line:
"Before brunch, I was engaged and happy. After brunch I was engaged and cursed - in more ways than one."

Micheal proposed to Rebecca after dating only 6 months. Well, Rebecca's family has taken offense to this and don't understand why they would rush to get married - even though their marriages to people who they dated longer didn't work. So her entire family is against the marriage and stage an intervention. Also, Rebecca is getting a bride voodoo doll and nasty notes to go with.

I thought this story was cute and it was funny during some parts. I think I will read more by this author.

The Bamboo Confessions - Lauren Weisberger

Short Story Title: The Bamboo Confessions

Author: Lauren Weisberger

Book: American Girls About Town

Rating: 4 out of 5 horses

First Line:

"I knew the moment I'd arrived in the lobby of the oddly named Viet-Tang Hotel for our group's 6 p.m. meeting that I'd made the biggest mistake of my life."

Katie decides impulsively to travel to Vietnam by herself. Her friends and family are shocked because she doesn't do anything by herself. We find out in the story that her relationship with her live in boyfriend Matthew is not going too well - not that she has shared this with anyone and she felt the need to get away.

The trip is not so great at first - sub par accommodations an annoying tour guide...that is until Katie starts making friends and ditching the group. She learns a lot about herself in the process.

I enjoyed this short story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Young Adult Romance Challenge - Complete

The Young Adult Romance Challenge is complete. My first completed challenge of 2009! I know compared to others I am really behind! LOL! But for me it's great!!

Here are the books that I read for this challenge:
1. Luxe - Anna Godberson
2. Peaches - Jodi Lynn Anderson
3. The Higher Power of Lucky - Susan Patron
4. Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen
5. Rumors - Anna Godberson
6. Light Years - Tammar Stien

My favorites are Luxe and Rumors though I really enjoyed Lock and Key and Light Years also. I will probably read more in the Peaches series as well.

I am really glad that I joined this challenge. Young Adult is a genre of books that I don't read much of and I am not sure why, but I really enjoyed them! I am surprised that some of them are racer than I thought they would be. I would say that I probably wouldn't have read these books or authors if not for this challenge. And I would have missed some great ones!! Thanks Becky for hosting and making sure that we include the Young Adult Genre in our reading!

Light Years - Tammar Stein

Rating: 4 out of 5 horses
Pages: 263
Challenge: Young Adult Romance, Young Adult, New Author, Library, 20 in 2009

Synopsis (and picture from
He went to school to learn how to kill me. The Israeli girl who ruined his life. Seven people were killed instead. A single mother of two. A computer programmer. Two college students. A grandmother and her four-year-old grandson sharing an ice cream. And Dov, my boyfriend, my heart, the man I wanted to marry, who was there waiting for me.

Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt, and memories of her past. As the narrative switches between Virginia and Israel, we learn about Maya’s life as a soldier, her ambiguous devotion to Israel, and her love for her boyfriend, Dov, who is tragically killed in a suicide bombing. Now, in Virginia, amid the day-to-day pressures of classes, roommates, and fraternity parties, Maya attempts to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future.
I would recommend this book. It did a good job of hoping from Israel and discussing the past and present day Virgina. Also it gave me a much better perspective on what Israelis go through on a day-to-day basis with their terror attacks. It was very insightful!
Here are some of my favorite quotes or insights:
"They didn't even realize that light could conceal far more than it ever revealed. It deceived you, tricked you, and lulled you straight into the heart of danger. (184)"
Maya blames herself for Dov's death. Justin says, "If you hadn't existed, then maybe this wouldn't have happened. But whatever that waiter did to get himself fired would have probably happened sooner or later with someone else. You can't live life hoping nothing you do affect anything or anyone else. That's just life. You can't predict how the most simple thing will turn out, but that doesn't mean that you step away from living life and try to hide away. (247)"
"...I was especially taken by the words of Epictetus, a Roman slave from two thousand years ago. His advice: let go of what you cannot control, focus only on what falls directly under your control--your opinions, your will, your moral fortitude. (250)"
On why Israel keeps fighting, "We do it because after each war, after each victory and every death, we keep thinking and hoping it will be over. (258)"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yoga Baby – Lauren Henderson (short story)

Short Story Title: Yoga Babe
Author: Lauren Henderson
Book: American Girls About Town
Rating: 1 out of 5 horses

First I would like to start off saying this story was not for me. You may enjoy it, but for me it had the following issues:

1) I don’t like to exercise, so I don’t really care to read about it
2) I didn’t like the main character at all – she is exactly the type of person I hope not to meet in life – ever!

So this story is about a woman who is taking a yoga class. During the class she competes and criticizes (in her mind) everyone in the class about everything. So this is the gist of the story. Clearly the character has many insecurities to feel the need to do this. For me, I don’t want to be exposed to these people in life – let alone in something that I am reading for pleasure. I don’t think she got any life lessons on why she shouldn’t be self centered or so critical or anything that would change her attitude – so for me I am thinking what is the point? By the way – her boyfriend is as critical of her as she is of everyone else.

Moving Day - Cindy Chupack (short story)

Short Story Title: Moving Day
Author: Cindy Chupack
Book: American Girls About Town
Rating: 3 out of 5 horses

First Line:
"It was three days before her ten-year high school reunion when Madeline's husband told her he thought he might be gay. He wasn't sure if he was gay, having never been with a man, but he thought it was somthing he out to figure out."

This story revolves around Madeline’s who’s husband Matt has told her that he thinks he might be gay. He broke this news to her just as they found a house that they both loved. She comments that his “forever” vow with marriage didn’t seem as intimidating to him as a commitment to a 30 year mortgage. The story revolves around with how Madeline copes with the news.

There are some very funny parts of this story. For example she goes to the book store to find a book on how to deal with the fact that your husband thinks he is gay. Here is what happens:

“The next day before work, she screeched into the parking lot of B. Dalton Books and went directly to the self-help section, where all problems could be solved. However, there was no book for the wives of men who suspect they might be gay. There was a book called Loving Someone Gay for teachers and family members, but nothing for spouses. That’s when she officially started to panic. She did not want to pioneer a problem. She wanted the validation of a book, the anecdotes of other women, the statistics of a study. It occurred to her that the whole point of the self-help section was simply the reassurance that your particular problem was at least widespread enough to merit a book.” (page 54) Then the poor clerk asks her if she needs help and she tells him, “This is the self-help section, Patrick. So clearly, I would like to help myself.” (56). I thought this was humorous. Madeline does eventually find her book but she goes to a specialty book store to get it.

I thought the story was ok, but really enjoyed the writing. I would probably read more by this author if the book plot pulled me in. She defiantly hit some humorous cords with me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Leaving a Light On - Claire LaZebnik (Short Story)

Short Story Title: Leaving a Light On

Author: Claire LaZebnik

Book: American Girls About Town

Rating: 3 out of 5 horses

First Line:

"It was one of those glorious evenings in early fall when the light turns golden at around seven o'clock, and the way it glitters on certain leaves and windows and throws everything else into deep shadow makes your throat catch, and you think, from now on, I'm not going to be ordinary or do ordinary things. There is greatness in my future."

This is a story about Kathy a woman going out on the town. She goes to a bar and meets a man who is married.


The man is Kathy's husband (Larry) and they are having a "date/affair" at a bar/restaurant that has a hotel attached. The have a fantasy fling with each other. And then have to go back to the reality of going home to their kids. At the end of the story she thinks about how the young her and the old her mix their thoughts together. How in some ways you don't grow up.

"You could have two kids and love them more than anything else in the world and still kind of believe that only an idiot would sacrifice her freedom to have kids. You could be grown up and settled down and satisfied with the way things had turned out and still sniff the air on a golden fall night and feel like you're only just beginning the adventures that will come to define your life."

I feel like that sometimes, especially about kids. Oh the sacrifice...and then my little one gives me a hug and a kiss on her own and it all seems worth it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together - Ron Hall, Denver Moore

Rating: 4 horses out of 5

Pages: 244

Challenges: New Author, 20 in 2009

Synopsis (from as is picture)

Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless-until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?
Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional tale of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader or listener will ever forget it.


Wow! This was a great inspirational book. The insight Denver had into God just amazes me...all of this from someone who had a difficult life and was homeless most of his adult life. I would recommend reading this book. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Denver:

Page 113 - Denver talking about material things: “Are you sure you own them, or does they own you?” Ron thinks: “That wisdom stuck to my brain like duct tape. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced we’d enjoy life a whole lot more if we owed a whole lot less. In some ways, Denver became the professor and I the student as he shared his particular brand of spiritual insight and plain old country wisdom.”

126- Denver: “When you is precious to God you become important to Satan. Watch your back, Mr. Ron. Somethin’ bad gettin’ ready to happen to Miss Debbie. The thief comes in the night.”

169 – “There is something I learned when I was homeless: Our limitation is God’s opportunity. When you gt all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothing you can do, that’s when God takes over. I remember one time I was hunkered down n the hobo jungle with some folks. We was talking ‘bout life, and this fella was talking, said, ‘People think they are in control, but thye ain’t. The truth is, that which must befall thee must befall thee. And that which must pass thee by must past thee by.”

170 - “God calls good ones like Miss Debbie home so He can accomplish His purpose down here on earth.”
“He sometimes needs to call the good ones home to bring glory to His name.”

179 – “God gives each person on earth a sent of keys, keys to live this life down here on the earth. Now in this set, there is one key you can use to unlock prison doors and set captives free.”…Miss Debbie opened Denver’s prison

193 – “Ever man should have the courage to stand up and face the enemy.” I [Denver] said, “cause every person that looks like an enemy on the oustside ain’t necessarily one on the inside. We all has more in common than we think. You stood up with courage and faced me when I was dangerous, and it changed my life. You loved me for who I was on the inside, the person God meant for me to be, the one that had just gotten lost for awhile on some ugly roads in life.” (said to Debbie in her grave)

235- “Then after I met Miss Debbie and Mr. Ron, I worried that I was so different from them that we wadn’t ever gon’ have no kid a’ future. But I found out everybody’s different- the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us.”

“The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home.”

242 – Denver – “You never know whose eyes God is watchin’ you through. It probably aint’ gonna be your preacher and it just might be someone who was liven like I used to.”

I learned a lot about God from Denver. I especially like the last quote. Whose eyes is God watching you from? Changes your perspective on how you are treating others.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pregnancy Update

Joy asked how my pregnancy was going so I thought I would give an update. 12 days to go and doing good! I am not advancing closer to delivery - I have been dilated 1cm for 3 weeks so that is discouraging, but I am under the delusion that it will all happen fast!! :)

This pregnancy has been very different than my first daughter. With both I was sick for 4 months (although this one was much better - I had my gall bladder out between and that helped), but with this baby I have gestational diabetes so that has been rough. I think this is the only time in my life I have gone a week without pizza, french fries, "real" ice cream, cookies, and's been nearly 3 months without! The good news is 2 fold - I have only gained 1 lb in the 3 kidding and after this diet Weight Watchers is going to be a breeze!! LOL!

So I am on the home stretch and looking forward to the little girl who has been kicking me. :) I will post pictures when the time comes!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sunday at Tiffany's Arrived!

I won Sunday's at Tiffany's from Joy at Thoughts of Joy and Hachette Books! I can't wait to get this started!!
Thanks so much!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Five - Julianna Baggot (Short Story)

Short Story Title: Five
Autor: Julianna Baggott
Book: American Girls About Town
Rating: 2 out of 5 horses
This is the story of a Tilly a woman who is leaving her fourth husband. She leaves him and goes to her only family her sister Elysius and her first and only husband Alex. Elysius is complete oppisite of Tilly, but has some sadness in her own life - the inability to have a baby. This is a story about them and their childhood and Tilly's hunt for husband #5.

Quote that I liked:
"Fourth husbands have to be both blindly optimistic and soberly realistic."