Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Books

Jeanne M. Dans - Indigo Christmas

Holly Roberts - Your Vegetarian Pregnancy: A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition
(no, I'm not a vegetarian. Just looking for ideas on how to get more protein into my diet)

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis - And Less Than Kind
(wish I'd noticed that this was the 4th in a series and not read it first, although considering the subject matter it didn't entirely matter)

Mary Hunt - The Financially Confident Woman

Stuart MacBride - Cold Granite

Tom Vanderbilt - Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
(This was so interesting! Never would have picked it up if Catherine hadn't praised it but I'm so glad I did.)

Sarah A. Hoyt - Heart of Light

Dervla Murphy - Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

Debra Ginsberg - Blind Submission

Kate Clifford Larson - The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln

Tanya Huff - Sing the Four Quarters

Walter J Ciszek with Daniel L Flaherty - With God in Russia

Jean Ferris - Much Ado about Grubstake
(Liked some of her other books much more.)

Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns - Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip

Donita K Paul - Dragonspell

Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers: The Story of Success
(Another one that I found completely fascinating.)

Tracy Groot - Stones of My Accusers

Harvey Karp - The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer

Li Cunxin - Mao's Last Dancer: The Amazing Story of a Poor Chinese Boy Who Became an International Star

Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Nancy Moses - Lost in the Museum: Buried Treasures and the Stories They Tell
(I really wanted to like this but was quite disappointed in it.)

Patricia T. O'Conner - Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing
(I have no plans to write a book, so why do books on writing fascinate me so much?)

Gary Paulsen - Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

Trish Ryan - He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After
And if I were to ever write a book, I don't think I could ever be this honest. I mean, I can't even blog without doing so semi-anonymously.

Joyce Penner - What to Pray When You’re Expecting

Laurie Colwin - Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

David Howarth - We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

Steven Gilbar - Chicken a la King and the Buffalo Wing: Food Names and the People and Places that Inspired Them

Frances DeBra Brown - An Army in Skirts: This is Our War Too!

Susanna Kaysen - Girl, Interrupted

Sharon Hanby-Robie - A Simple Christmas: A Faith-Filled Guide to a Meaningful and Stress-Free Christmas

Jan Burke - Eighteen
(Generally, I don't like short stories. Jan Burke is one of the very few exceptions.)

Beth Lisick - Helping Me Help Myself

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review: Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity

Keri Wyatt Kent's latest book contains practical advice on how to honor and observe Sabbath (whatever day that might be for you).

The writing is warm and personable, filled with examples from her life and the lives of others, making it eminently relatable. Suggestions on ways to begin implementing Sabbath observance helped make the practice accessible, and all of her suggestions and examples were completely non-legalistic and non-guilt-inducing. .

Her emphasis on what is restful for me, and why Sabbath is relevant today was thought-provoking. I appreciated the author's remarks that Sabbath may be very different for you depending on your season of life,

Highlighting the blessings of rest was inspirational, and challenged me to focus on what I could do the other six days of the week in order to enjoy God's gift of Sabbath rest.

On a more personal note, I grew up in a church that was EXTREMELY legalistic, and keeping the Sabbath (on Saturday only, anything else was an abomination) included a lengthly list of do's and don'ts and quibbling over what was and was not permissible. Although I left that church years ago, I still initially cringe when I hear the term Sabbath because of the negative connotations it brings. Kent's book was wonderfully reassuring and motivated me to try and reclaim the word and the concept and institute some rituals/traditions/habits that bring me closer to God.

Thankful Tuesday

  • My time off from work last week was so enjoyed and needed. I felt significantly better most days. Amazing what that rest thing does, huh?

  • Speaking of time off from work, this is also going to be a short week for me - I'm taking off Thursday and Friday! L will be home those days as well so it should be nice. I hope to watch a lot of football and take down all the Christmas decorations. And all basically means the tree and mantle.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weeks Twelve & Thirteen

Yeah, I missed week twelve. Whoops. So, instead, a two-week recap.

I had my twelve-week doctor's appointment where I learned that I've lost 7 pounds since the week eight visit. Apparently frequent vomiting + the inability to eat very much at any one time = losing weight. Since I was overweight at the beginning of the pregnancy, it's not really as big of a deal as it might otherwise be.

Still vomiting occasionally (i.e., every third day or so) and still feeling very very queasy on the non-vomiting days. Still not able to eat much, and still don't have a lot of energy. I do have enough energy to sit on the couch and read a lot though, so it's not all bad. ;)

And, links: has images from week twelve & thirteen. Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like at twelve weeks and at thirteen weeks. And with less pictures but more text, is BabyCenter at twelve weeks and at thirteen weeks and of course Amalah at week twelve and week thirteen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

It's BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome - I'm glad you stopped by to see how we've decorated our house for Christmas! Unfortunately, due to morning sickness and major first-trimester exhaustion, decorations this year got scaled back.

Our front door has a plastic wreath (I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that) that I think doesn't look too bad. It's crying out for something to give it a little pop but see again above re: the extreme exhaustion. Well that and that I'm fairly decorating challenged.

We have our tree in our family room, and this year we went with a red and gold theme. Please don't ask how long it took to get the tree decorated, but I will admit to cutting it close to my self-imposed deadline in order to participate in this tour. Even though it took awhile, it was lots of fun decorating it. I had my ipod set up to play lots of Christmas music, and it made for a nice atmosphere.

One present under the tree so far, and it's not even wrapped. Yes, we're pretty behind on our shopping. It's not even a surprise at all because it's something L won during his work party.

I've got some favorite ornaments on the tree, including a cute little glass snowman and an adorable penguin:

This tree has joy!

Some more closeups of the tree:

I'm not sure this snowman should have really made it onto the tree with his blue hat, but I love him too much to leave him packed away.

The mantle is usually covered with cards by Christmas, but it's still skimpy so far. I'm hoping for a flood to come in in the next few days! The stockings are completely empty so far so I'm hoping to get to the store this coming weekend and get some stocking stuffers to fill them up!

And closeups of the stocking holders. Mine is the tree; L's is the snowman. He has to remind me of that because apparently I have a mental block about remembering who has what color stocking & all the rest. I should probably get some personalized ones then I could manage!

Finally, my favorite seasonal throw that's on the futon across from the tree. It's quite warm too - I love to spend time in the room enjoying the pretty tree and the throw keeps me cozy as I read.

Thanks for visiting! For more tours, don't forget to visit BooMama!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week Eleven

So. Still itching. Have figured out some ways to minimize it, but can't get rid of it completely. And if I don't slather (and I mean SLATHER) on lotion within a few minutes of getting out of the shower it's too late. I'm doomed to itch like crazy until my next shower & chance to moisturize.

I spoke a little too soon on the nausea easing. Thursday was one of my worst days ever; I may have thrown up close to 20 times during the day in three marathon sessions. Unfortunately one of the sessions was at work. Fortunately I made it to the bathroom and no one else was in there so I had some privacy at least. And one of my friends there got me a Sprite when I asked her to in hopes it would ease my stomach a bit (it did). I threw up so much that day that my throat burned for hours; maybe too much stomach acid passing by? I'm definitely hoping that was just a big finale and that it'll mark the final day of vomiting for me.

Still having occasional mild cramping and still not as regular as I'd like to be.

I think this week mostly brought on lots of excitement that we are so close to being out of the first trimester! And that means I'll be spilling the beans at work, to more than just my closest friends there. Although, with the Christmas holiday and my vacation plans and all, I'll probably be waiting until the New Year to announce at work anyway. Which, eh, close enough. It'll be something exciting to talk about in January which so often needs it. I mean, I can only talk about the NFL playoffs on a couple of days, and beyond that we'll need another topic. (Monday and Friday will probably still be devoted to playoff discussions, at least with one coworker in particular).

And, some of my favorite sites: has images from week eleven. Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

And, I found a cool day-by-day pregnancy calendar which I've had fun perusing. If that's not enough, yet another daily calendar

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week Ten

The biggest thing for me in week ten is the ITCHING. Seriously, I just itch. Apparently it's not an unknown side effect, but still. I hadn't expected it and L thinks it's weird. Which, I can't really argue with him. It is weird. Fortunately mine seems to just be average annoying itching, not the more serious ICP itching. But I wish it would STOP before I loose my mind and/or scratch myself bloody (already done that a bit actually).

On a brighter note, the nausea maybe (knock on wood) is easing a bit. I haven't thrown up since Tuesday morning, and I've had stretches of time where I don't feel as if I could throw up if I blink wrong. L thinks I'm looking more like myself too, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Of course, as I type this I'm feeling quite queasy so it's not all gone yet.

Still haven't managed to get out the camera and take some belly shots. I'm probably going to regret that.

Too much information alert: I'm starting to suffer from something most pregnancy books & sites claim is very very common throughout pregnancy. I was hoping I could avoid it, but unfortunately I'm, um, not quite as regular as usual. I'm going with the assumption that the occasional mild cramping I'm experiencing is related to this or else it's my uterus as it gets ready for the massive expansion ahead.

And, some of my favorite sites: has images from week ten, Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

And, I found a cool day-by-day pregnancy calendar which I've had fun perusing. If that's not enough, yet another daily calendar

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

  • We had a nice Thanksgiving and time spent with family.

  • It's December! And that means I have a Christmas tree in my family room! And it's beautiful, even though it's not completely decorated. I hope to finish it this week now that we additional ornament hangers. ;)

  • I'm going to be taking an entire week off for Christmas. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Memory Verse

2 Timothy 2:15, English Standard Version

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week Nine

Week Nine was very inconsistent.

I've thrown up two days (multiple times each day). Once I start vomiting, it seems like I can't stop until I'm dry heaving and almost in tears. But in between those moments, I've felt better than other weeks.

I'm still managing to eat almost anything, although a few items that normally I like or don't mind haven't tasted good to me. I don't know if that's pregnancy-related or just random weirdness, or maybe they weren't cooked as well as normal. I've also had a few weird cravings (ramen noodles for one. I haven't wanted them since college when I ate them way too much since they're so cheap, but I wanted them this week).

I may have also eaten an absurd number of cookies yesterday. What can I say, they were fantastically wonderful and I feel almost proud of myself that I didn't polish off the entire container. I'm glad I didn't because I'd be incredibly sad if they were all gone. I don't think I can convince my mom to send me another care package quite so soon.

We told the extended family this week (most of them at Thanksgiving, but some of them had guessed thanks to a sister-in-law's blabby facebook comment. I spent a bunch of Thanksgiving resting on L's cousin's bed, but in many ways I really appreciated the excuse to get away from the crowds and noise (extreme introvert here). And I used the pregnancy as an excuse as to why I needed to cut in line to get lunch. Although, in my defense, it was the absolute truth. I still need to eat ASAP when I'm hungry and not mess around and wait for another 20 people to get through the line before I can hit the turkey & mashed potatoes. So yes, I cut in line. Happily.

Still pretty exhausted, and my house reflects it. It is an absolute wreck, and I just don't care. We've got a houseguest coming on Monday, leaving Wednesday and I may or may not get the house looking even a smidge more respectable. I'd consider hiring a maid service if I didn't think that I'd have to pick up so much for them to clean that it's not even worth it.

I still fit into all my clothes quite easily, but the fact that any pressure on my belly is uncomfortable makes me spend most of my time with the top button on my pants undone, or if I'm wearing elastic-waist pants (such as my favorite yoga pants that I usually wear on the weekend or after work), I roll the waistband down once or twice so that it hits below the tender area. L laughs at me and says that's how he always likes to wear his pants.

And, some of my favorite sites: has images from week nine Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

And, I found a cool day-by-day pregnancy calendar which I've had fun perusing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week Eight

As always, has images from week eight although they've done away with their direct links. Grrr. Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

For me? Week Eight wasn't too bad.

Which seems strange to say considering it was the first time that I threw up. And then threw up again. But it's only been the one day; other than that I was able to deal with the nausea. And I've had stretches of an hour or two here and there with no nausea whatsoever.

Food aversions seem to be not so bad either; last week I definitely had some strong preferences. This week, I still had preferences, but felt like I could handle seeing/thinking about other foods. My biggest food issue is that when I need to eat, I NEED TO EAT. NOW. IMMEDIATELY. I can't let my stomach get too empty or else I'm miserable.

Still have episodes of overwhelming tiredness, which I usually deal with by immediately sitting on the couch. Or possibly even lying down on the couch. If I'm at work, those episodes are handled by collapsing in my chair and staring blankly into space. No work is accomplished.

The doctor's visit was the highlight of the week, specifically the ultrasound. But telling the family was pretty great too. Everyone is very excited. I've still not told anyone at work besides two of my closest friends; I'm not sure how long I'll manage to hold out from telling there but I'm trying to wait until the 1st trimester is over at least.

One thing I've noticed is that I can't handle having pressure around my abdomen. As soon as I'm home I unbutton my pants, or put on elastic-waist pants which I then roll down so the band is around my hips not waist. I think I've gained about 2 pounds, and my clothes still fit ok, I just don't like feeling any sort of constriction around my middle.

I'm still having episodes of bre*st pain/tenderness, but I haven't noticed any change in size. This is good because I want to avoid dealing with buying new bras for as long as possible.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

Somehow this was still saved as a draft instead of being published last week when I thought it was. Whoops.
  • That work is being so flexible with me letting me work shorter days as I use comp time & stockpiled PTO to make up for my missing hours.

  • That I had leftover beef "burgundy" in the freezer and it made an extremely tasty and easy meal last night. And by "easy" I mean that L handled all of it - reheating the beef and cooking egg noodles & broccoli to go along with it.

  • That Monday night's meal success gave me ideas for additional weekend cooking I might attempt, for L to then easily manage weeknight meals. If that's all I'm trying to do on the weekend I can manage some cooking; it's trying to cook after working all day (or as all day as it gets lately, it's still a longish day after my commute) that I can't seem to manage.

  • That I found two receipts L needed for work. Why this became my problem I'm not completely sure, but still, they're found and he can get reimbursed now. Combined, they were close to $200 so I definitely am glad I found them!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


  • 11/18/08 First time morning sickness included vomiting rather than just overwhelming nausea. Followed moments later by the second time.

  • 11/18/08 First time pregnancy hormones made me cry over something absurdly trivial.

  • 11/17/08 First doctor's visit which confirms that yes, I really am pregnant and I didn't pee on a stick incorrectly.

  • 11/17/08 First ultrasound which confirms that yes, we really are having a baby. As L put it, a human baby, not a sea monkey (although right now it might look more sea-monkeyish).

  • 11/17/08 First time hearing the heartbeat. Just. Wow.

  • 11/17/08 First time seeing the baby move. It's a wriggly little thing! Emphasis on little. And wriggly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Week Seven has images from week seven and Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

So how's it going? A few impressions of the week:


I managed to almost throw up this morning while brushing my teeth. Because you know, brushing teeth is normally gag-inducing.


I also almost threw up when I:
  1. smelled the bathroom. Not that it's dirty or gross or anything, it just was still apparently a little much for me.
  2. smelled the kitchen trash. Which does need to be emptied, but honestly, it's not that bad. I mean, it's certainly been worse.
  3. stood up too quickly. Yeah, because that's so often a nausea-inducing move.

My brain cells are not responding to my requests for information or real thought. I think they're busy thinking "donotpukedonotpukedonotpuke." Hence the limited updates here; I've got lots of drafts started but most of them tend to be one or two sentences. And those sentences don't always make sense.


How on earth do women do it who have like, real jobs (as in, physically demanding) or lots of small children to take care of? Or all the other women of history who would either like to tell me to suck it up and quit being such a lazy whiner, because they had it much much harder. Or else perhaps they'd be kind and tell me to enjoy resting while I can.


I really have to admit (and I'm only doing so because as far as I know my boss does not read this blog) that I have been just about useless at work recently. I get maybe 2 hours of work in a day; the rest is spent:
  1. going back and forth to the bathroom because I have to pee seventy times just before lunch.
  2. thinking about what I could possibly eat that won't make me wretch.
  3. getting something to eat if I can think of something.
  4. zoning out in front of the computer.
  5. checking my email and answering any that don't require real thought or effort.
  6. talking with friends about how tired I am.
  7. staring at the clock wondering if it's too early for me to sneak out yet and go home.

And hey! My first doctor's visit in next week and we are VERY excited about that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

Barb recently posted her Thanksgiving menu, and it got me thinking about the Thanksgiving menu I grew up enjoying.

Since we usually eat around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we'd always need something to munch on to tide us over from breakfast:
  • veggie tray and dip, which includes:
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • cherry or grape tomatoes
    • carrots
    • celery
    • mushrooms
    • green olives
    • black olives
  • cheese ball & crackers
For the main course, it'd be:
  • a huge turkey roasted in the oven (must specify since some of my in-laws get a smoked turkey and some deep-fry their turkey).
  • mashed potatoes
  • gravy
  • Stove top stuffing (fixed outside the bird, so I guess technically it'd be dressing)
  • green bean casserole, made with frozen beans not canned because my mom is picky. And some of the casserole would be made without the onion topping because her daughter is picky (that would be me).
  • cranberry sauce. Straight from the can, but we're fancy and get the whole berry kind (and we don't actually serve it from the can, again, we're fancy and put it in a pretty dish.)
  • rolls & butter
  • sparkling cider
  • wine
And then, the REAL attraction. Dessert. My mom loves her desserts and goes all out for Thanksgiving. There is usually more than one pie for each person. No, they don't all get eaten that day; that's what the rest of the weekend is for. Pie types might include:
  • pumpkin (usually two)
  • apple (usually Dutch apple)
  • French silk (for my brothers)
  • mince (for my father)
  • blueberry or triple berry (for me)
  • lemon meringue (for my grandmother when she was still alive, and now just for my brother)
  • cherry (for my mom's favorite son-in-law, also known as the only son-in-law)
  • Key lime
The Key lime pie, berry & cherry pie filling, and all of the pie crusts would come from the store; everything else was homemade.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan

I have no idea how much we'll be able to follow this, but I'm going to try.

Saturday - I'm meeting some friends for lunch, so probably won't want much for dinner, so it'll be a clean-out-the-fridge night.

Sunday - Something in the crock pot though I haven't yet figured it out.

Monday - Southwestern corn & cheese soup.

Tuesday - Skillet meatloaf. I'll be teaching L how to make it. Wish us luck!

Wednesday - L gets to take me out to eat somewhere.

Thursday - Pizza, homemade if I have the energy, or else Papa Murphy's if I don't.

Friday - Scrounge whatever we can find.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week Six

It can't be a surprise that I've been doing a LOT of reading since getting that positive test (or tests, since I couldn't believe the first one or two I took).

Even though most sites just repeat similar information, I still find it fascinating. has images from week six and Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like.

Baby Center also has lots of info, as does ivillage, American Pregnancy, and Kids Health. And finally, Amalah's take on week six is fun.

My take on it? So far I'm just tired, but it feels like I should say it as TIRED, SO, SO, VERY TIRED. Driving home from work I pray the entire way that I will be alert because I feel like I could easily doze off. Not a good idea on the interstate. I come home from work and sit on the couch. I walk upstairs and need to rest for a few minutes after all that hard work. I haven't worked a full day at work for a week and a half; I come in much closer to 9 than the 7 arrival time that's normal, but I still leave shortly after 3 as if I'd gotten to work on time. It's just all I can manage for the moment.

Dinner over the last week or so has been nonexistent; I'm just too tired to deal with it and can't really face eating much anyway. Menu planning has gone out the window for the moment. I'm just trying to come up with a couple of things I can do or L can fix during the week. I've also done virtually nothing towards cleaning or organizing for awhile; keeping the kitchen clean is all I can manage; anything else is having to wait.

I've had a lot of queasiness, especially if I get too hungry, although when I get that way I don't really want to eat anything, but know that if I don't I'll throw up. I'm struggling to eat enough protein (a frequent issue for me, even before conceiving). About the only things I think I'm doing really well diet-wise is no caffeine and I'm drinking enough water I should float away. I have also almost tamed my sweet-tooth so I suppose that's something as well. I've also not had a soda since seeing those lines appear! I was down to drinking Dr. Pepper only on the weekend, but hadn't quite been able to ditch it altogether. Motivation is a wonderful thing.

I'm also not sleeping well. Most of my life I've had trouble falling asleep, but generally once I fall asleep I stay asleep. Since before even getting the positive test I've been tossing and turning all night, waking up multiple times. At first I blamed it on travel and not being in my bed, but I've been home for two weeks now and it's getting worse not better. I'm not having to go to the bathroom, I'm just waking up. It's annoying and not helping with the tiredness, but mostly it's just strange to me; I'm not used to not sleeping through the night!

I know I should be exercising, but please see above re: TIRED. It's not happening. I got a pregnancy exercise DVD from the library and some day if I have energy I'll give it a try. That day might be tomorrow, but it's not today.

None of the above should be read as a complaint; I am not trying to complain or whine, just recording how I'm doing. I am so delighted to be in this situation and I want to remember it all. Yes, even the tiredness aspect. Because at least I'm feeling that way for a great reason.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Coming...

BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes!

(and isn't the button fantastic?)

And YES, I'll be participating again. Last year was my first time decorating for Christmas and I am so glad I did. I'm already getting excited about putting the tree up again this year. I'm thinking of a change in color schemes for this year though; red and gold instead of the blue and silver we had last year.

I'll have to do some ornament shopping!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

Brief, but I'm not sure what else really needs to be said right now.
  • That after 33 months of trying, we're finally expecting.

  • That other than extreme exhaustion, I'm doing well so far.

Election Day

Monday, November 3, 2008

Compassion International

It's already started, and just in case there is anyone out there who hasn't heard about it, I want to be sure and mention the Compassion International trip to the Dominican Republic that's going on right now. Several bloggers are visiting Compassion projects to heighten awareness of their programs there and elsewhere in the world (a previous trip went to Uganda).

For a little over a year I've been a Compassion donor. Instead of sponsoring an individual child like it seems most people do, I support one of their Child Survival Programs in Quito, Ecuador. At the time I signed up for it, I was struggling so much with infertility that I was especially motivated to support a program that focused on mothers and young children.

Today was their first day visiting project sites and meeting participants. If you'd like to sponsor a child from the Dominican Republic, visit Compassion's website. Or, you can partner with one of their Child Survival Programs, or just make a one-time donation.

Bloggers participating in the trip are:

Melanie from Big Mama
Jennifer from 5 Minutes for Mom
Mary from Owlhaven
Tim and his son Nick from Challies and Challies Jr
Marlboro Man and his daughters from The Pioneer Woman

and then there are the trip leaders:
Brian Seay
Shaun Groves
Keely Scott

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So Blessed

Psalm 40: 1 ESV
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.

I Samuel 1:27 ESV
For this child I prayed,
and the LORD has granted me my petition
that I made to him.
We are shocked and amazed and so, so grateful.

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us in the past, and we'd love your continued prayers - it's still very early and after all these years of trying, we're not taking anything for granted.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Books

Joanne Dobson - The Maltese Manuscript

Karen Cushman - The Loud Silence of Francis Green

Alan Gordon - An Antic Disposition

Amanda Hesser - Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship

Stephenie Meyer - The Host

Tasha Alexander - A Poisoned Season

Ross King - Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Wendy Kann - Casting with a Fragile Thread: A Story of Sisters and Africa

Julia Quinn - The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

Kate Ellis - The Bone Garden

Julia Spencer-Fleming - I Shall Not Want

Margaret Frazer - A Play of Dux Moraud

Karin Fossum - Black Seconds
(Liked the feel of the setting, but was disappointed that I so easily figured out the "mystery." I never try to solve the mystery, so when I can I feel like it's much too simple.)

Maureen Ash - Death of a Squire

Sara Bongiorni - A Year without "Made in China"
(Wanted to like this one, but only finished it because I was out and this was the only thing I had to read. I was wishing that I'd brought another book along so I could have put this one aside without finishing it).

Kathy Lynn Emerson - Face Down Below the Banqueting House

Sue Grafton - S is for Silence

Sandra Parshall - The Heat of the Moon

Madeleine L'Engle - Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage

Anna Apostolou - A Murder in Thebes

Haven Kimmel - Iodine
(Probably my biggest disappointment of the month - I love love love her nonfiction, but wasn't as fond of this one; maybe my hopes were too high?)

James H. Madison - Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in World War II
(Really enjoyed this - I knew virtually nothing about Red Cross girls in WW2 before this and liked reading the story of one of the women who served oversees.)

Jennifer 8. Lee - The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
(maybe my favorite book of the month - it was GREAT!)

Janice Hudson - Trauma Junkie: Memoirs of an Emergency Flight Nurse

Anna Myers - Graveyard Girl

Jan Burke - Sweet Dreams, Irene


November, which is the start of another NaBlPoMo. I'm not sure I'm up to trying it again, but I did find it useful last year so maybe I will give it another shot.

So, today I volunteered in the library as I usually do on the first Saturday of the month. Then L and I ran some errands and I spent the rest of the day and evening on the couch. We watched a lot of football interspersed with recorded TV.

At some point I'll need to try and come up with a menu for the week, but at best it'll be tomorrow morning before I tackle that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Here, Just Not Blogging

So yes, I'm back from Vegas. And I can't get the energy up to write a post about it, or really anything else. I'm so so tired, from travel and jet lag and all the rest.

I managed to get my suitcase unpacked and restored in the closet. I even did a few loads of laundry, which are now sitting in the baskets waiting to be folded and stored. Yeah, that'll happen someday.

Last night I didn't fall asleep until close to 2, and I should get up for work at 5:30. Not surprisingly, that did not happen. I got up at 7:15 and was hating life until close to 10 when I finally started feeling halfway human.

Tonight, there is football and baseball to watch, but I think even more than I want to see either of those events, I want to go take a shower and put on my pjs and crawl into bed.

And maybe tomorrow I'll feel more like writing a real post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan

Back into the swing of planning and cooking after a weeks break.

Saturday - Ribeye steaks, scalloped potatoes, and broccoli. The steaks were on sale at the store and I couldn't resist. And I've got some milk that's about to go bad so the potatoes will make use of that.

Sunday - Chili and cornbread. The weather is quite cool so it's perfect chili weather. I may try a new recipe, or I may pull out an old favorite from last season.

Monday - Pizza if I get home from work in time to get the dough made, and I usually do on Mondays.

Tuesday - Baked potatoes and leftover chili.

Wednesday - Spaghetti! It's been ages since we had it and it's one of my favorite meals.

Thursday - Vegetable soup and rolls.

Friday - L will probably not be home, so I'll eat leftovers or a pb&j or whatever else I can scrounge up from the fridge.

Friday, October 24, 2008

To Do versus Done

Things I Needed To Do Today:

  1. Make a menu plan for the week.

  2. Make a grocery list based on the menu plan.

  3. Go to the grocery store.

  4. Do some healthier eating to make up for the last couple of dreadful days.

  5. Unpack suitcases.

  6. Put away items from emptied suitcases.

  7. Put away now empty suitcases.

  8. Do several loads of laundry.

  9. Enter receipts from trip into Quicken.

  10. Enter books finished on the trip into my "Books Read" list and blog widget.

Things I Actually Did Today:

  1. Grocery run, where I more-or-less randomly flung stuff into the cart (L wanted to go and go RIGHT NOW).

  2. Entered books finished on the trip into my "Books Read" list and blog widget.

  3. Finished the book I'd started on the plane as we landed and taxied to the gate.

  4. Started another book and finished it as well.

  5. Sorted the laundry that desperately needs to be washed.

  6. Walked past the sorted laundry at least a dozen times, but did not wash any of it.

  7. Emptied my suitcase and spread the items over the floor in my bedroom.

  8. Walked past the spread-out items and empty suitcase at least a dozen times, but did not put any of the items away.

  9. Ate McDonalds for a late lunch and microwave popcorn and hot chocolate for dinner. Did not eat breakfast as I'm still on Vegas time and am completely confused.

  10. Enjoyed my day immensely, thankyouverymuch.

Friday's Fave Five

I had fun participating last week, want to participate again as I get back into the swing of things here. So this is the just-returned-home edition:
  1. I'm back home from my trip. It ended up being a really really boring conference and I was very happy to come home.

  2. I am so so happy that I have today off from work as well, because I would have been exhausted if I'd had to go into work this morning. As it was, I didn't get up until 9:30. I think I was still on Vegas time so based on that, 6:30 isn't so bad.

  3. The weather is cool and rainy and very fall-like. I love it!

  4. I had one meal in Vegas that I'm still dreaming about - steak frites with bernaise sauce. It was fantastic! The frites were just ok, but the steak made up for it.

  5. It was nice seeing family over the weekend; I had a nice talk with my sister-in-law on Saturday and got to see all the brothers-in-law.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday's Fave Five

I'm new to this, but it sounds like fun on a Friday. My favorites from the week:
  1. Not having to go to work today. I'm heading out of town early Saturday morning and it has made it so much easier to get ready for my trip by having the day off.

    I had time to read the Bible more than usual on a weekday, I did some laundry for the trip, paid bills, and have begun to gather my things for the trip (using my packing list, of course). I even baked a loaf of banana bread since our flights out have no food service and little time to get anything at the airport. I'll slice the bread tonight and package it so that we can take some of it with us and the rest will go in the freezer.

  2. Did I mention I'm going out of town? Because I am, and I'm excited. It'll be a short trip and most of it is work-related but still. It should be fun.

    My husband is going with me, in part. The weekend is the not work-related part; we'll be visiting his family. Then Monday we'll drive to the conference city, where I'll attend the conference, and he'll visit additional family. We'll fly back separately since he returns a day before me.

  3. The weather has turned cool again. We had a few days of fall-like weather at the beginning of the month, but then it turned back into more summer-like temps. I'm glad that it looks like fall is here to stay. Of course this happens just as we're getting ready to leave town, heading towards a city that is forecast to be in the mid 80s.

  4. I made some banana-pineapple bread for my husband and he raved about it all week which made me very happy.

  5. I received a new book in the mail today, in time for me to take it on my trip. I can't wait to read it! I'm kind of nervous about reviewing it; I don't know that I'm very good at writing reviews but I'll do my best.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Packing Lists

I'm heading out of town this weekend for almost a week. I don't travel often, but I still like to make it as easy as possible on myself when getting ready for my trips.

Several years ago I developed a packing list after a few trips where I'd forgotten an item or two. Since creating it, I've tweaked it now and then, especially as I've added things to my life (such as an iPod with it's charger, contacts and their needed solution and case, and a husband with all the stuff he ends up wishing he'd brought).

The list is divided into sections, such as clothing, personal care, technology, and fun. L and I each have our own lists too. I've tried to be comprehensive on the lists, so there has never yet been a trip where we've needed EVERYTHING on the list; some seasons just don't need the specific clothing other seasons do, you know? But it's nice to have it all listed, so I can just work my way down the list.

Items on my list include:

Sleep shirts or nightgowns

Personal Care
Daily pills & medicine (allergy, vitamins, nasal spray)
Medicine (Tylenol & PM, Sudafed, antacid)
Pads, tampons and/or pantyliners
Bath stuff (bomb, salts, etc.)
Shampoo & conditioner
Body wash
Face lotion
Face wash
Eye cream
Makeup (concealer, foundation, powder, eye shadow, mascara)
Nail clippers
Contact lens solution
Contact lens case
Shower cap
Hair scrunchie

Digital camera(s)
Camera cord
Batteries & charger
Phone & charger
iPod & charger & cord

Tour books
National Parks Passport
Neck pillow

Please remember, I really don't bring ALL of these things on every trip; I just want them listed so I can think about whether or not I'll need/want them with me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

  • That I'm maybe managing to make sense of PHP.

  • That I'm getting ready to leave town for almost a week and it should be a good trip.

  • That my drum-playing neighbor seems to have stopped playing them so late in the evening.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Making My Home a Haven

I'm starting my countdown until leave town. All that means is that I'm basically making a list of what I want to accomplish before leaving and when I think I'll be able to get that done.

Today I'll be trying to get as much knocked off the list as possible, if only to make the rest of my week easier. If I can avoid my usual day-before-departure scramble, that would be fantastic.

First up, I want to concentrate on the upstairs, and my office especially. I need to pay some bills and deal with other paperwork which includes cleaning off my desk. I also want to take care of canceling the mail; I love how the post office lets me do that in advance online. Then I need to straighten my bookcase which has exploded (in part because I was digging through it as I started making a stack of books I want to take with me).

I'd also like to get the guest room and bath ready for guests who arrive Friday evening. They're basically using our guest room as a hotel before they head out early Saturday to catch a flight home, but whether it's one night or a week, I still need to make the bed and all that other stuff. That shouldn't take long however; I washed the sheets over the weekend, just need to make the bed and give the bathroom a quick clean (it's still pretty clean from the last good cleaning I gave it; an advantage of it being used so infrequently).

Only if I get my office looking respectable and the guest room ready will I then let myself finalize the books I'm taking on the trip. I know, this is (mostly) a work trip, but I still have plan rides and car travel time and possibly some evening time I'll be able to read. And I'd hate to run out of reading material before my flight home! I usually have trouble keeping myself to a somewhat-reasonable amount of books considering the number of days I'll be gone, but one trip where my flight was delayed and delayed and delayed and delayed I was SO happy I had brought too many books; I got through them all! I almost had to go buy something additional in the airport which would have annoyed me, both because of the the expense and limited selection, and because I always have so many more books to get through at home.

Now I can't wait to get home from work and get started on this!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Memory Verse

Romans 4:5, English Standard Version

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan

Last week's menu was slightly more successful than the week before that, but not but much.

Saturday - I'll finally make the tortilla soup I planned to make last week.

Sunday - Mock beef burgundy in the crock pot. It uses cranberry juice in place of the wine, and it's really tasty. I'm not sure yet if I'll serve it with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. I'll ask L which he prefers.

Monday - Salsa chicken. Take chicken breasts, cover them with salsa, and bake. Yummm! I like it with baked potatoes or rice.

Tuesday - I'm thinking now that spaghetti and meatballs sounds fantastic.

Wednesday - Homemade pizza. I am loving the homemade pizza, it's super easy as long as I plan ahead since the crust takes a little time to rise..

Thursday - Clean out the fridge because we're heading out of town, so, leftovers or sandwiches or cereal ...

Friday - Repeat Thursday to leave the fridge as empty as can be before our departure in the morning.

Update - The tortilla soup was good, but not the end-all its-so-good-I-can-stop-looking fantastic soup I was hoping for.

The beef "burgundy" was delicious as always (though L asked if we'd had it before; it's my mom's recipe so I've had it since before I knew him and have made it a LOT of times, but I guess it'd been awhile). And I served it with homemade rice-a-roni. Delicious!

Friday, October 10, 2008

More to Ponder

Why is it that no matter how many times I read a post, as soon as I publish it I'll notice a typo? Why could I not spot it before hitting that "publish post" button??

Why is it that during work days, it seems to take forever until it's 4:00 and I'm home (or close to it), while days I'm at home I blink and it's after 4 already??

Why is it that I always, *always* manage to forget at least one thing I need from the grocery store? I use a shopping list, but there's always something that didn't make it onto the list or that my eyes skipped over on the list itself.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Infertility Part IV: Thankful...

I've covered what I've found to be the more blessings of infertility, as well as the hardest aspects of it, and what NOT to say. Now I'll conclude with a list of things for which I'm thankful in the midst of this.

  • That there have been so many blessings I've discovered along this journey.

  • That my husband is so great about it. He's never blamed me in any way, and, since most treatments are much more involved for me, he's letting me decide how far we'll go with testing and treatment.

  • My inlaws do not nag. I know they'd love for us to have a baby, but my mother-in-law has never said anything to me, and she got on my grandmother-in-law after grandma harassed us one Easter. Grandma hasn't said anything since. I'm not sure what my mother-in-law said to her precisely, but I'm amazed (and very thankful) that it worked. I wouldn't have thought anything would work for her.

  • That I have some great friends who let me talk to them about this frequently.

  • That I think I really have come to terms with the fact that I may never have a biological child.

  • That adoption may be possible.

  • That I don't live in a time or society where my only worth is determined by my fertility.

  • That we have friends and family who are praying for us through this.
This may seem short, but the first post did cover a lot of closely related items. I just wanted to make sure I closed my series on a positive note!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Menu Planning

I've already written about my personal cookbook (or, more accurately, both of them), and the portable file folders I use to store recipes I want to try.

What I didn't mention was the rest of my menu planning method.

Our weekly menu follows a rough plan - Sundays I generally cook something that provides leftovers. Often it's in the crockpot. Now that the weather is cooler, we'll have soup once a week, often on Wednesday. Friday is always an easy easy meal (or it's leftovers) because by the end of the work week I'm TIRED. I try to only have one meal a week that's beef-heavy, and aim for one if not two vegetarian nights. I usually only plan 5 nights worth of meals because we'll have sandwiches or go out or scrounge something other nights.

Oh, and I try to always check the weather forecast; if it's going to be really cold and drizzly one day, that day becomes a prime candidate for soup, etc. I also scan my calendar at the same time to make sure I remember if we've got anything coming up that will have an impact on our dinner plans. Last week, for instance, L had a work event Thursday night so wasn't home for dinner. I certainly don't want to plan a favorite of his if he won't even be around to enjoy it!

So, with all that in mind, when I start figuring out our menu for the week, I first look in the file folders to see what sounds good. I'll usually pick 3 new recipes a week, then go to my personal cookbook and fill in the other two from tried-and-true favorites.

This all sounds much more complicated than it really ends up being; I can usually plan a week's menu in 15 minutes, and create a shopping list from it in only 5 minutes or so after that.

A recent addition to my planning is adding the menu plan to my Google calendar; this way I can be at work and easily remind myself of what's on the agenda for that night or later in the week. I used to hand-write it on a calendar in my planner, but I find I prefer the Google calendar because I can easily move things around when we change the plan. And since there hasn't been a single week that we've followed the plan exactly, this is a huge plus. The electronic calendar has also let me find recipes on websites or blogs and just link to the page - I've got some ideas planned ahead that I found during blog reading and internet surfing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

  • The last of this summer's peaches.

  • Dark chocolate.

  • Blueberry jam on toast.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hoping 21 Days = A Habit

I've blogged before about my dismal efforts at fitness, and over the last couple of weeks it's been hitting me that I really REALLY need to start doing something. I'm not taking care of the body God gave me, and my lack of self-discipline in that area is carrying over into other areas.

That said, I was happy to see Mrs. H is trying to walk for 21 days to get in that habit. Best of all, she's inviting others to join her! I'm going to give it my best shot, and am announcing it here hoping that the risk of possible shame will keep me going even if my natural inclination towards laziness would otherwise get me to quit.

So, a new widget on the side tracking my fitness time. I'm not promising to actually walk every day because the weather might prohibit it. But if I can't walk, I'll do something else instead and list it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 10:13, New International Version

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan

Last week's menu was kind of a bust - for various reasons we didn't really follow it much at all and ended up scrambling to find something for dinner most nights. Hopefully this week will be better!

Saturday - We'll be going out mid-afternoon for a relative's wedding reception (I'm not sure what it's called exactly; they got married out of the country and are having a party here for everyone who couldn't make the trip).

Sunday - I'm planning on a big cooking day that'll give lots of yummy leftovers. I've never made a recipe by Guy Fieri before, but I'm going to try two of his - Braised Pork Ribs and Italian Sausage over pasta, and a great looking Italian Deli Salad.

Monday - Durkee's chicken, because it sounds really easy.

Tuesday - Tortilla soup. I'm hoping to use some of the chicken leftover from Monday, assuming the flavors work (I've never had Durkee's sauce before so I'm not 100% sure it'll work).

Wednesday - Out to dinner with some in-laws who will be in town. No idea where we're going.

Thursday - Homemade pizza.

Friday - L won't be home for dinner, so I'll just eat whatever leftovers I can find.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Infertility Part III: What Not to Say

I've covered what I've found to be the more blessings of infertility, as well as the hardest aspects of it.

This week, the list of what NOT to say. I always assumed that people knew better than to say things like this, but sadly that is not the case. I've been shocked at how often these things have actually been said to me.
  • So, when are you guys going to start a family?

  • Don't you want to get started soon? 

  • What are you waiting for?

  • You're not getting any younger you know. Don't you want to have kids before you get too old to enjoy them?

    and, in contrast,
  • You're still young. What's the rush?

  • It'll happen. I'm sure of it.

  • I understand completely - it took us 3 months to conceive! I thought we'd never get pregnant!

  • For my second, it really took a long time to get pregnant. Six months!

  • Want mine?

  • You're so lucky you don't have kids. You get to sleep in and have so much free time and disposable income

  • Bet you're having fun trying!

  • I can't believe we're pregnant again already! We weren't even trying!

  • Ugh. I can't wait for this pregnancy to be over. I'm so miserable. I hate being pregnant. Nine months is endless!

  • You don't have kids? Why not??

  • People without kids are so selfish.

  • Haven't you started a family yet? Don't you want your parents to have grandkids?
Really, I don't think I'm that cranky about it, and I don't mind hearing about other people's pregnancies or kids. I'm happy for them. I don't expect people to tiptoe around me and never mention anything about it. Just a little awareness and sensitivity would be appreciated!

Part four next week: Things for which I'm Thankful.

Update: Because after a comment made me realize I wasn't explaining myself well (and I tried so hard, but do realize how I could be misunderstood).

Some of the comments above, yes, should NEVER be said. And some of the comments may seem harmless, but after they were said to me by people who knew we were having trouble, well, that stung. (specifically, the ones about getting started soon, giving our parents grandchildren, how easily they got pregnant, how they understood since they'd had "trouble" conceiving).

Some annoy me more than anything - I don't mind people asking if I/we have kids; we're of an age & marriage length where it's kind of expected. But if I say no and change the subject, it does bother me if people keep coming back to it. And that's when the "you don't have kids" and "why not" have happened; after they'd asked the general question nicely, I'd answered it in the negative and tried to change the subject, and they came back to it as if they hadn't quite heard me. Please, no, don't do that. If I say no and change the subject, please let me.

So, I should have clarified that many of the statements bug me most of all when they're repeatedly said during a conversation that I keep trying to avoid. Or when, you know, they get hammered at us over Thanksgiving or Easter. Please don't put us into a situation where we end up telling you about our fertility issues; it just ends up making you feel awkward (it's happened) but when you keep repeating "why no kids?" "haven't you been married awhile" "don't you want a family" "kids are the best things ever - why wouldn't you want some of your own" it's likely that you'll end up having me tell you something you probably didn't want to know.

Maybe that's clearer?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random Things That Make Me Happy

BooMama started it, and here's mine:
  1. FALL. I am so with her on this one. I love it and have been waiting anxiously for it to arrive. As far as I'm concerned, we could skip right over July & August.
  2. Playoff baseball. (Go Rays!)
  3. College football. (Go USF!*)
  4. Pro football. (Go Bucs! And Colts!) (NFC/AFC makes it so easy)
  5. The NHL is almost here. (Go Lightning!)
  6. Going to conferences for work that end up being more like a vacation than real work.
  7. Going out to eat while traveling for work and having it be covered by my per diem. Why yes, I would like a cocktail before dinner.
  8. Music.
  9. My iPod.
  10. Podcasts.
  11. Facebook. Yes, I've discovered it and it's been fun finding some old friends.
  12. Baking season. (See #1 above)
  13. Christmas is coming!
  14. My sweetie won his fantasy football league and wants to buy me gifts with his winnings. Score!
  15. My new trash basket in my office.
  16. Being told one day that my hair looked really good. (Is there anyone that doesn't make happy?)
  17. Reading great books.
  18. Reading fun books.
  19. Learning new things.
  20. Being able to use all the parenthesis I want and not getting comments from my teacher about the excessive amount in my writing.
  21. Kind comments after writing the hardest posts I've ever written (one and two).
*My college football allegiances are complicated and go by a hierarchy; after USF the SEC almost always rules (except Alabama and Arkansas), but I do have favorites amid the SEC (Florida). The Pac 10 is always at the bottom, except for Oregon State. The Big Ten varies. Ohio State & Michigan are both loathed (Ohio State more, just because of their player's obnoxiousness over "THE Ohio State University" during NFL introductions) but I'll root for the Hoosiers & Purdue if they're not playing another team I like more. The Big 12 is kind of ignored. The Big East is all despised except for USF.   And Miami is always hated.  Please.  The "U".  Gahhh.)  Yes, I realize I am somewhat obsessed and possibly need help.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September Books

Barbara Cleverly - The Palace Tiger

Elizabeth Berg - Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True

The Apologetics Study Bible - Mark

Laura Stack - The Exhaustion Cure: Up Your Energy from Low to Go in 21 Days

The Apologetics Study Bible - Numbers

Grudem & Ryken ... - Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation

Kate Ross - A Broken Vessel

Deanna Raybourn - Silent in the Sanctuary

Nancy Twigg - From Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out

Bert Ghezzi - The Heart of a Saint: Ten Ways to Grow Closer to God

Tasha Alexander - And Only to Deceive

Margaret Kim Peterson - Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life

Psalms (HCSB)

Jenifer LeClair - Rigged for Murder

James M. McPherson - Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg

Jill Price with Bart Davis - The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science

J. A. Jance - Birds of Prey

John Dickinson - The Cup of the World

Jan Burke - Goodnight Irene

Jay Rayner - The Man Who Ate The World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner

Josefa Crowe - Growing Up Under the Swastika: Why Hitler Wanted This Girl

Justin Kaplan - When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age

John and Jean Silverwood - Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster that Saved Them

Jamie James - The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in Pursuit of Knowledge

J. A. Jance - Breach of Duty

Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan - Freedom Roads: Searching for the Underground Railroad

Jacqueline Winspear - Maisie Dobbs