Friday, December 23, 2011

Best of Children's Books

Okay, I'm seriously into books right now (well I'm always pretty into books...). But I've been thinking about them a lot lately and rereading some books I loved from my childhood. (My post about the best books I read this year is forthcoming! Once I finish all the books I'm gonna read this year.)

I recently read The Wilder Life which talks about the authors absolute love for every thing Laura Ingalls Wilder. She rediscovers the books when she's older and rereads them, researches them, reads every book about Laura and visits all of the homesites. Okay.. seriously guys I was the biggest Prairie nerd ever when I was young!
I mean I was Laura for Halloween like three years in a row.
I played Little House on the Prairie all the time. By myself, with friends, in my head. Whatever. I freaking loved that series of books. I read all of the spin off series' I could get my hands on too. The ones about Rose's childhood, Caroline's childhood, etc.

I watched the TV show fairly often although I always knew that it wasn't very faithful to the books. Oh well... it was still PRAIRIE! Which was the point.

Seriously we all know Pa didn't look like that...

Look, I was so obsessed with these books that I used to bring a sunbonnet to school in third grade and play with it with my best friend. Uh yeah, and I wonder why I was seen as a bit of a freak. I also had the best lace up boots that I imagined looked a lot like Laura's. (When she actually wore shoes.)

They were a lot like these except they didn't have the zipper on the side and they were a lighter brown. But oh man I loved those shoes. I don't know where they came from but they were the perfect Little House shoes in my mind.

Anyway I've recently read Alison Arngrim's biography Confessions of a Prairie Bitch which I found fascinating and I'm currently reading Melissa Gilbert's memoir Prairie Tale. I'm just reveling in all of it. Little House was such a big part of my childhood.

Another series I especially loved reading that I was just thinking about today is the Betsy-Tacy books. I loved this series when I was younger. I still remember going to the library downtown when I was younger to borrow a bunch of the books from the series. So now my goal is to own the whole box set soon. I'm just going to have to find one I like. I already have the Little House box set.
I'm not sure what it is about these books (and many others I read in childhood like Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Kids, etc.). I just feel such a desire to possess them all. I'm not sure I'd reread all of them again. Although I have been working my way through the Little House books this winter break. I guess I just feel like an obsessive need to collect books. Which I already do a lot of... but I want so many children's books lately. I know that it will be great to have them for my kids to read eventually. And I want to be able to share the books I loved so much with them.

When the heck did I get so sentimental about books??

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

Here's a rundown of the favorite books I read this year. This is by no way an exhaustive list. I'm on goodreads if you really care what I've read. But these are the ones I liked best!

Starting at the beginning of the year:

I actually read this for my voices of oppression class but I really enjoyed it. Its sort of a trip through pop culture through the lens of sexism and feminism.
Recommended for: feminists, feminist minded pop culture junkies

I loved this book. Ina May Gaskin is an incredibly well known midwife who works on "The Farm" in Tennesee. Reading this book made me want to go there to have all of my babies. This book is part guide to childbirth (as the name implies) covering all kinds of FAQ's about childbirth in general and home birth in particular. There are also a good number of personal birth stories that Ina May attended including some at "The Farm".
Recommended for: women planning home births, anyone interested in childbirth/homebirth, midwives, future midwives, anyone interested in the natural birth movement
(I'm pretty sure I got some weird looks reading this book on the airplane home from spring break since i look about 12 and was obviously not pregnant)

I ordered this book from Amazon so I got it the day it came out and I finished it later that afternoon. I LOVE Maureen Johnson and all of her books. This one is no exception. I loved the first, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and this one was just as good! I highly suggest you check out these and all of MJ's books.
Recommended for: YA junkies (actual young adults and otherwise), teens, anyone who likes reading about international travel

I love Tina Fey and this book was HILARIOUS. She writes about everything from her childhood to motherhood and deciding to have a second child.
Recommended for: fans of Tina Fey, comedy lovers, people who love Hollywood and are interested in behind the scenes culture

My dad told me about this book and how it was written by a 22 year old who just graduated college and it has already been optioned for a movie trilogy. Okay, I was intrigued. I bought it soon after it came out and actually had my bff read some of it to me after I had my wisdom teeth out (what are best friends for? :p)
We both finished this book as quickly as our little eyes could read it. What can I say about this book? Its a YA dystopia where you have to choose a faction based on personality traits. It involves controlling governments, jumping off of buildings, fighting, a deadly chasm and so much more. All I can say is do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK.
Recommended for: YA junkies, fans of dystopia fics, teens, anyone who can read! (seriously.. read it!)

Okay I know I'm like a million years behind everyone else on this series. But like everyone else, it's totally awesome! I'm actually sort of glad I read this so late after they came out because I got to read them one right after another rather than having to wait until the next one came out.
I love all three but the first is probably my favorite. Many other people have written reviews of them so I'll just leave you with the description from goodreads.
Recommended for: YA junkies, fans of dystopia fics, teens, adults

This is the memoir of a California Midwife. She chronicles the many births she's witnessed and assisted in her time. She has quite a few unique stories and provides great information on what its like to be a midwife in the United States.
Recommended for: midwives, midwives to be, nursing students, anyone interested in chidbirth/homebirths

I read this book after seeing so many people say that it was good and I also heard it was going to be a movie so I wanted to read it first. I really enjoyed it even after initial reservations that parts of the book were written in dialect (which I don't really like) but I kept reading and I really enjoyed it. I lived in the south for 12 years and this book felt like a little taste of home even though I never had african american help and thankfully didn't live in Mississippi. I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding the fact that a white woman wrote as though she was two different african american maids.. but I still enjoyed it.
Recommended for: adults, history buffs, people who love reading about the south and race relations, people interested in the civil rights movement

Alison Arngrim writes a wonderful memoir of her child star days in Hollywood playing Nellie Oleson on the Little House series. She talks about her messed up childhood, friendships onset with Melissa Gilbert and everything leading up to the present day.
Recommended for: adults, biography lovers, anyone interested in showbiz memoirs, fans of the Little House TV shows

This is the memory from the midwife Cara Muhlhahn who is featured in the documentary film The Business of Being Born that I watched in my Women's Health Issues class (its a really great film by the way!). She talks about her years as a labor and delivery nurse and her years as a home birth midwife in New York City.
Recommended for: midwives, midwives to be, anyone interested in childbirth/homebirths, nursing students

Another of Maureen Johnson's wonderful YA books. This one is a supernatural mystery/thriller about being able to "see dead people" It's set in London and I really enjoyed it even though supernatural thrillers are not my thing at all.
Recommended for: YA junkies, fans of supernatural thrillers, teens

Picked up this purely because I love any and all books about theatre, dance, ballet, etc. This is the story of a ballerina dancing for a fictional ballet company in New York City. The story is a bit thin... but there's lots of ballet and dance related fluff.
Recommended for: ballerinas, art enthusiasts, fans of dance, YA

Probably my favorite book I read this year. I heard the buzz on this book and decided I need to check it out. I've always been fascinated by circuses and that was enough to make me pick it out at the bookstore. It's set in alternating time periods of the 1890's and early 1900's. This is the most fantastical circus ever, described in rich, wonderful detail. Some people have complained that it moved too slowly for them or that the dialogue wasn't great but I enjoyed every page and I didn't want to finish it.
Recommended for: adults, anyone obsessed with the circus, fans of historical fiction, anyone who likes magicians

I borrowed this book from the library to read over winter break. I LOVED it. I've seen this book many times and never picked it up for some reason. I really enjoyed this book about the rise of raunch culture and how women are buying into it and claiming that by dressing provocatively they can be sexy and also feminists. This was a really thought provoking book.
Recommended for: feminists, feminist minded pop culture junkies

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Break AT LAST

It is finallyyyyy winter break. There is nothing so sweet as this. No studying to do until january! No classes to go to and all of my time to read!

On my reading list right now:
- The Wilder Life
- Rereading all of the Little House books. (I finished Little House in the Big Woods last night)
- My Year with Eleanor
- The Glimmer Palace
- The Vespertine
and probably a million more. I'm off to the library and Barnes and Noble today to pick up these.

I'm not doing much until christmas other than volunteering at the hospital after my 2 week break for finals week. Then we're heading to Florida after christmas! I'm so ready for warmer weather and FLIP FLOPS. Oh how I miss them.

Anyway, until later.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


It's the saturday of thanksgiving break. I'm so sad I only have one more day of break. But on the upside I've only got 3 weeks of classes left!

So far my break has been:
- eating a ton of food
- finished reading crossed
- read a ton of the night circus (I LOVE IT!)
- watched movies and now we're watching the jk rowling/dan rad interview from DH part 2.
- sleeping. or at least trying to sleep in quite a bit
- went to old navy/the mall. but i didn't really buy much. i was too tired to go out for black friday shopping.

tomorrow i'm:
- going to church
- volunteering at the hospital
- probably going to the young adult group at church
- preparing myself to go back to school (WAAHH)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Family Time

Because I'm too tired for proper sentences.. a list!

Things I have done the past few weeks:
- volunteered at the hospital
- went to my nephew's birthday party last weekend
- took family pictures two weeks ago (see evidence below)
- went to my classes
- did a stats project
- worked on anatomy study guides
- took tests
- started reading the second matched book, crossed
- been reading a ton of blogs about women who have left the quiverfull/ati/message movements
- etc

things i'll be doing in the next few weeks:
- taking an anatomy test tomorrow (EEEK!)
- i've got a stats test and a bio of women test monday (neither of which i'm prepared for)
- then i've got a glorious 6 days off from school for thanksgiving.
-getting some christmas shopping out of the way
- probably doing black friday shopping
- some sort of thanksgiving dinner
- hopefully going to see my week with marilyn at some point
- reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011

Yeah, school has still been sucking my life away. I've just had two anatomy tests and next week I've got a Bio of Women and Microbio test. BLEH.

So here's some pics of Emerie at the orchard.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Well its October! Actually its already halfway through October! I’d be sad but that means I’m just that much closer to the end of this dreadful semester. I’m looking forward to eating a bunch of candy for Halloween and then eating a bunch for thanksgiving.. maybe a trip to florida if I can manage it. Then the end of this semester and Christmas!

My days have been consumed by studying, homework, classes and volunteering.

I also managed to fall off a horse last week and bruise the crap out of my tailbone so I’ve also been drugging myself and taking lots of baths. All in all it’s a great time here…

Emerie’s already 2 and half months old! Good grief. She got her ears pierced yesterday but I’m sad to say I don’t have a great picture of that yet. Perhaps today when she comes over to spend the night so her parents can go to a wedding.

I’m so over all of my classes.. I hate pretty much everything about them, they’re incrediblyl time consuming and I’m still just barely keeping my head above water. If I really wanted to do amazing in these classes I’d have to study 20 hours a day and never sleep. Since I’m a big fan of sleep… that won’t be happening.

Needless to say I’m mostly stressed out and tired all the time. I try to take time to relax and chill, but I just end up feeling guilty that I’m not studying.. not that I ever actually stop relaxing to study.. but its just not very fun when all I can do is stress about school. Only 10 weeks left…

Next semester I’m taking Elementery Chem and the lab, Physiology and the lab and probably a nutrition class online. That sounds like not too much but supposedly the physio teachers suck… and the chem class requires a lecture, recitation and lab (plus I SUCK at chemistry..) so I’m sure it’ll be just as much fun as this semester.

But hopefully I’ll be applying for nursing school for summer of 12.. only a few short months away! If I can only make it there.

I hate to be so pessimistic.. but unfortunately that’s just my life right now. Que sera, sera..

Anyway.. Can you believe how big she is??

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday photo dump

Done some little mini photoshoots with Emerie. I can't believe that she's already a month old!

Other than that I've been going to class and studying my life away.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

first week done

Well I made it through the first week of the fall semester. Only 16 more to go! (Yeah there are 17 weeks in each semestr here.. GRAWR. So annoying)

My Bio of Women class is probably going to be my favorite. My prof for that is kinda crazy.. but she’s funny and makes it interesting. My stats classs actually doesn’t seem that bad so far.. I need to do some problems for that today for my quiz tomorrow. Intro Microbio seems to be okay.. I’ll probably have lots of studying to do for that. And I haven’t had a lab for microbio yet.. so I don’t know what that’s gonna be like. My anatomy lab was neverending! 3 and ½ hours on Thursday nights. My teacher talks forever.. goes over stupid stuff and blah.. but his lecture was actually better this morning. Hopefully lab won’t be like that every week.. or I’m going to go crazy!

The weather is actually pretty nice right now.. highs in the low 80’s.. but its supposed to get hot again later this week. BLEH. I’m ready for fallish weather. I love sweaters.. and it’d be nice to wear them and not sweat in them.. haha

I helped out out the senior health fair at the hospital yesterday morning. I got to drive people around in golf carts all morning which was pretty fun. Although I managed to get a rather awkward sunburn on my chest and my nose. Ah welll..

Bleh.. I’m sure I have a ton of studying I really should be doing… I don’t WANNA. I would like to sleep. Which I suppose I could.

Photos of my room that I've finally gotten done lately.. :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random Photo Dump

Well I've been enjoying my two weeks off before the fall semester starts. I've been hanging out with my sister and my niece, my other sister and my nephews. We went to the State Fair last week which was yummy. So much fried food.

Then I've been volunteering at the hospital and getting ready for school to start. I bought all my books and I need to get all my school supplies together.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Emerie's Birth Day!

I was so incredibly lucky to witness my niece’s birth yesterday! My sister called us yesterday, she had been at work (at the hospital) and she said that she was going upstairs because she thought her water had broken. They did some tests to check and sure enough it had broken. We drove up and got there about noon. My mom and I grabbed some lunch from downstairs and came back up. Her doctor came back in and checked Amber again. She was still 4 cm and the Doc ruptured the little sack of water that was still intact.

Amber decided that she wanted to get her epidural then and her nurse called the staff anesthesiologist. It took a bit for him to get up there and then it took a while for him to get set up. At this point they already had Amber sitting up on the bed in position for the epidural. He was able to give her the numbing shot before putting in the big needle. But she said that she felt like she needed to push. She kept saying she needed to push and the anesthesiologist looked like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with delivering a baby. He kept backing away from Amber and putting his hands in the air. He kept saying isn’t she only at 4 cm??

They quickly paged her doctor, took her bed apart and got her in position to push. Her doctor came in out of breath from running across the hospital to get there and deliver her. She checked her and Amber started pushing. She ended up only pushing for about 30 minutes and then Emerie was there.

Since she was only 36 weeks, 6 days, Emerie was considered premature so they had to have the whole Peds team there. Luckily they checked Emerie out and everything was fine. They measured her, wrapped her up and handed her to Amber.

It was so awesome to watch, and not gross at all like I thought it might be. It was so amazing how she got through it even without the epidural. She was a rockstar.

Emerie Leighann born at 2:41 pm. 5 lb 6 oz. 19 3/4 in.

She's a tiny little things and doesn't fit into any of her newborn clothes yet!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


How the heck is it august?? Where did the summer go? I only have 3 weeks left till the fall semester starts.. which makes me incredibly sad. I'm enjoying not having much to do as my summer classes are wrapping up.

I've been volunteering at the hospital this week which I am loving! I'm working in the Emergency Dept. and it's sooo interesting. Stuff that would make others uncomfortable or grossed out is so cool to me. hahaha. I've seen some really neat stuff the last few days and I've been able to help out quite a bit by getting BP's and temps, transporting patients, rooming patients, doing some basic chart stuff. It's awesome what I can do as a volunteer just to make the docs and nurses lives easier.

I've also gotten to rock a baby the last few days, a 4 week old up in the special care nursery. Soooo cute.

I finished my access to healthcare essay for this scholarship contest. Now I just need to edit it and make it a bit shorter. Then I'll send it out this weekend. WOOT. I better get some scholarship money.

Anyways, enjoy some recent art journal pages I've done.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July blues

I can't believe that it's more than halfway through July!! Where did my summer go? I still have a month left before fall classes start. But I've only got 2 more weeks left of my summer classes! Then a two week break before fall classes start. My schedule for the fall is sort of ridiculous.. although I did it all to myself... I'm sure I'll be angry at myself by midterms..

(You can click to make it larger if you're really curious.)

And yes, I have class on sunday mornings.. this school is weird. hahah.

I'm getting about half of my nursing pre-reqs out of the way this fall. I'm taking Logic and Lifespan Development right now, then these classes in the fall. That leaves Physiology, Microbio and Immunology and Chem for the spring. Eek..

Did I mention I have to attain the highest grades possible in all of these classes?? Specifically... straight A's. Yes, I'm going to be in serious pain. Especially considering I haven't taken a real science class in.. oh... 3 years? Brillant... Brillant. Also, the realization that I don't drink coffee and I'm not supposed to drink soda... makes me feel like this is going to be a LOOONGG couple of years.

The blue on there is my volunteer times at the hospital here. I got my TB test read yesterday and I've got orientation and shadowing next week. I'm excited cause I'm going to work in the Emergency Dept! Hopefully it will be interesting and maybe even lead to a job in the hospital! We'll see.

Anyway.. current plan is nursing pre-reqs the next two semesters. I'm applying for nursing school at a couple of different school. One with a start date of Summer '12 and two with fall '12 start dates. Whichever one I get into that is cheapest is the one I'll be going to. (Assuming I get in anywhere.. YIKES)

If I don't get into any of them... I'm probably going to Africa. You think I'm kidding? I've looked at a couple of volunteer/mission programs. So if I don't get into nursing school I'll hopefully be spending some time somewhere outside the US to nurse my broken spirit. (hahah.. sort of.)

Anyway.. there's my update on school for the rest of this year. I'm sure I'll be complaining about it soon.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Art Journaling

More of my art journaling from yesterday and today.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Art journaling

I randomly decided to start art journaling the other day. So far I love it! Its very therapeutic.

We went to see Harry Potter at midnight this week. It was good. I only cried a lot.. haha. But we went to see it again this morning. It's kinda sad that the era of new HP stuff is over, but it's okay. I can always reread the books. Plus there's Pottermore to look forward to!

I've been studying so much lately. Which is good, but not my favorite thing. But I really need to make good grades in my classes. I've got a logic test tomorrow night.. Ugh.

Oh well. I'm off to sleep.