I can’t believe April is over. It was QUITE the month, let me tell you. But a good one, so don’t fret. 🙂
What’s Been Happening
I’ve been saying every month how busy things are…but I haven’t really said why. The last week of April was crazy! Well, our big news is that WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Guys, I am so excited. I’ve been waiting for this day for a loooooong time. We closed last week and will move there shortly. We have a lot to do before then, such as packing, painting, etc. As you might have guessed, I’m super pumped for the kitchen. It’s gorgeous. We’ll have some work to do on other aspects of the house, but it’s not a fixer-upper by any stretch… there are just things we want to improve and tailor to our taste. We feel so blessed and are so excited. The neighborhood is great and we’re excited to be part of a community instead of living in transient apartment housing.
The day after we closed, I ran the Country Music Marathon here in Nashville. One of my friends from Bloomington came down to run
ahead of with me, so that was fun. 🙂
The race was HARD HARD HARD. SO many hills, and it got roasty toasty hot ‘n humid at the end! I’ve been having some knee/IT band pain this training cycle, so that was rough. And truth be told, I wasn’t all that impressed with the race itself. The first half of the race was great. Lots of water stops, a decent amount of music, and a good crowd. The second half? Not so much. There were long stretches without water, music, or even mile marker signs. Just a bit discouraging, but you’ll have that with races sometimes. I think I’m realizing I prefer smaller races like the Indianapolis Marathon that I ran in October 2013. But I’m still glad I ran it… now I can check marathon #5 off my list! 🙂
After I finished the race, Ben congratulated me and helped me sit down, then taunted me with “I know something you don’t know!” Turns out, our nephew was born during the race! How fun! My sister and brother-in-law are now parents. 🙂 He’s a cutie!
And last but not least, the weekend rounded out with my 30th birthday! It was a week ago Monday, and I was still recovering from the marathon so I took it easy. I worked in the morning, but took the afternoon off to go out for lunch and do a little shopping. Then I headed home for an afternoon of baking, reading, and relaxing. When Ben got home, we made an epic Mexican feast [tacos, Mexican rice, refried beans, chips + salsa + guac] and watched a DVR’d episode of Mad Men. He made me cinnamon rolls for my birthday dessert, and they were amazing. I’ve been savoring them all week for breakfast. Yum! It was a great birthday and ended a crazy four-day stretch that included: buying a house, running a marathon, becoming an aunt for the first time, and turning 30! 🙂 What a fun month to remember!
What I’m Reading
Despite all the craziness, I managed to read a decent amount this month… nine books. My reading goal on Goodreads [follow me?] is 120 books this year and by the end of April, I had finished 41 books, so I’m well on the way for meeting my goal [2 ahead, according to Goodreads].
The best book I read in April was The Midwife of Hope River, a lovely look at Depression-era Appalachia. I was in LOVE with the characters, the plot, the prose… obviously it’s about a midwife, but it’s also about so much more. Survival. Life! Love. Worth the read, for sure. The Butterfly and the Violin was also wonderful and was another one from my favorite genre: World War II historical fiction mixed with the present day. I also read/listened to two popular thrillers-–The Girl on the Train and A Small Indiscretion. You can read my complete reviews on Goodreads but basically I’m thinking I’m a bit… done with that genre. These “popular” thrillers like Gone Girl are entertaining and interesting, but are they good books, good stories? No. Usually I’m annoyed with some ridiculous aspect of the story and don’t like the characters because of their selfishness, stubbornness, or what have you. Let’s face it: I’ll probably keep reading books like these looking for the diamond in the rough, but maybe I’ll try to find them from more established authors rather than the debut novel let’s write a great thriller crowd. I’ve decided there’s no shame in not finishing a book you aren’t into… life’s too short to read bad books!
I’ve also made a point to save some of the great articles I read online to share here… so in no real order you should check out these articles:
- 30 things to cook before you’re 30 – hey! I’ve done a lot of these. Yay!
- Thoughts on possessions… how do you keep your things from possessing you?
- 10 tips on becoming a better reader – LOVED this, especially #6, #7, #9
- Spring cleaning checklist – not doing this EXACTLY, but using it as a guide to get our new house in shape from the start
- Another chance to be afraid and trust God – thoughts specifically about the tragedy in Garissa, Kenya but really, these are truths that can be applied to anything we face, big or small
- OHIO can change your life – not the state, a great tip… though the state is pretty fab too!
- Go-to weeknight recipes – a great list, be sure to check out the comments
- 20 things I’ve learned for my birthday – love this, not just because Kristen and I share a birthday… knowing yourself is so wonderful
What I’m Watching
Ummm, nothing?! Call the Midwife and Mad Men are back, so those have been on my tv lately. Over Easter break I also started a “new” show on Netflix, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s pretty clever and well made, and I l-o-v-e the accents. 🙂
What I’ve Been Cooking
This month has been so busy that I’ve been cooking the same stuff, over and over. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. Think: boxed mac & cheese, black beans and rice [or nachos], tacos, etc. On one particularly warm day, I stopped at Sam’s Club on my way home from work and bought a huggggge bag of frozen strawberries. Our dinner was smoothies and black bean nachos. Glorious!
Long time readers might remember my 30 before 30 challenge. Well, didn’t happen! But I have high hopes to finish this coming year. I really need to blog about some of the recipes I’ve made, so that list is kinda sorta incomplete.
What’s On The Blog
My most popular new recipe of the month was Cheesy Taco Muffins. Yum!
What were you into in April?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.