Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Game 9: Pittsburgh Pirates



Ah, Game 9.

Game 9 makes me laugh. Previously we have had wonderful weather and timely first pitches at all 8 games.

Things changed a bit with good ole Game 9.

Game 9: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants - May 12, 2018

Mother’s Day weekend, dad and I set out to see the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has always wanted to go to that stadium, and Jeff has a big ole chunk of family in Pennsylvania (translation: I already had a hat), so it was kind of a no-brainer. Flights to Pennsylvania aren’t overly abundant in nature, so we headed out mid-morning on Saturday with a return flight at the crack-o-dawn (commonly referred to as 6a) on Sunday.


Plane selfie! Upgraded again. Fist pump. 

We landed around 2:30p and the game wasn’t until 7:05p, so we headed to the hotel, checked in, and went down to the Strip District (which my dad called the Strip Joint). The Strip District is near the business district of Pittsburgh, has a lot of restaurants and boutique type shops, and is about a 10-minute Uber away from the stadium. I had been there before with Jeff/my MIL, so we thought it was the perfect way to kill time before the game!

By the time we arrived it was about 4:30, so we walked around, bought some Pirates paraphernalia, and happened upon the one place my dad and I always seem to find ourselves: an ice cream parlor! I swear it’s like a gravitational pull. We don’t know how it happens…


While enjoying our ice cream we watched it sprinkle outside. We knew there was a chance of rain (and bought ponchos from the hotel just-in-case), so my dad ran across and grabbed us a $5 Pirates umbrella from the street. But by the time we finished our ice cream cones, the weather had cleared.

Or so we thought.

About 27 steps outside of the ice cream shop, the bottom dropped out. It was a full out monsoon. And the BEST part? (insert sarcasm here) Unbeknownst to me, the Strip District closes at 5p on Saturdays. So at 5:10, we’re outside running around like hooligans, only to find the doors to every coffee shop, bookstore, and clothing boutique locked. Wamp wamp.


Because sometimes you find yourself soaked from the knees down, your umbrella all but blowing you away like Mary Poppins, and you laughing hysterically wondering how on earth you found yourself in such a situation. So you capture the moment. :)

At this point the stadium had opened up, so we decided the best option was to have an Uber come pick up a couple of wet dogs (aka, us) and head to PNC Park.

Want to know something REALLY funny?
(insert more sarcasm)

Out of all 9 stadiums we had been to at this point, this one was (by far) the most open aired. I mean, it was hard finding any bit of shelter! Much less shelter enough to eat a hot dog!

We decided to head to our seats where the nice seat attendant wiped off our chairs with a dry rag. Note: the rag was dry for us at 5:30p, the rag did not stay of the dry nature by the time other guests arrived throughout the evening…

We sat down and decided to capture our token picture in the stadium (above) as soon as possible in the event there was another downpour. That's why there's virtually no fans in that picture. My phone shows it was taken at 5:51p. Still over an hour before first pitch. 

After we took our picture, we decided the sensible (and only other) thing to do was eat a hot dog. After we ate, as we're sitting there wet and cold waiting for the game to start, we joked that we had eaten hot dogs, taken our picture, seen the stadium, and that that was enough to check it off our list!  




THANKFULLY, when it started to rain, the rain hit all the chairs in front of us up to the very row in front of us. Somehow, we were far enough back (by one whole row) that we escaped the majority of the rain. Thus, we hung out for a bit. 

At this point the announcer told us that the game was officially delayed and they weren't sure for how long (never a good sign). 


This was our view for the majority of the evening. 




At one point they took the stakes out of the tarp and we thought we were about to have some action, but then they put the stakes back in. The crowd fussed, but about 5 minutes after they returned the stakes, we were hit with another beastly downpour. And our row did not survive this one.



So we busted out our ponchos and watched all the fans in the front few rows run frantically to the (little) shelter in the back of the stadium. Our seventh zero inning selfie looks a little different for Game 9!



Inclement weather texting :)

After the big downpour they removed the tarp and started prepping the field for the game. While this was mildly interesting (especially after watching absolutely nothing for over two hours), this prepping process took about 45 minutes! I would have never guessed. Such a high maintenance lil field.



The next picture on my phone is this one, when the game had finally started, taken at 8:50p. So almost a two hour delay, but almost three and a half hours since we had gotten to the stadium!

With our 6a flight the next day, we had a 4a wake up call, so we watched a couple of innings (that had some good action!) and then headed back to the hotel.

Here's what we decided:

Did it suffice as Game 9?
Absolutely. Again, we took pictures, we ate hot dogs, we saw some baseball as well as the stadium. It counted.

Do we need a return trip?
Yes. We feel like while it indeed counted for purposes of our ten games, we definitely need a "redo" to give PNC Park a fair shot.

Did we have a good time?
We laughed a TON at this "game." I mean the circumstances weren't great, but we chose to embrace them and laugh through them - so we had a really fantastic 24-hour jaunt to Pittsburgh. And one that gives us a great story to tell. :)

And that wraps up Game 9!

Today actually kick starts my weekend, and I'm off to Mississippi for our annual family reunion at the campground. So I'm going to chug this coffee and go throw more things I don't need in the suitcase - cause I'm an impulse packer with the best of 'em.

Have a wonderful rest of the week (and weekend)!


Click below for recaps of:

Until next time,
Katy
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pregnancy Progression: The First Trimester



I have two words for the first trimester: 

sayonara, sucker.

No one really talks about the horrors of the first trimester, or maybe I had it worse than most – but oh sweet Moses. The first trimester was just plum awful.

When we found out I was pregnant, I was a mere four weeks (if you missed that story you can read that HERE), so it was quite early on. And because I was miserably sick every day, time passed SO SLOWLY. I seriously thought I had to be about 23 weeks by the time the first trimester ended (spoiler alert: I was indeed only 14 weeks).

I initially was going to title this post “How to Survive the First Trimester” – and still think writing a post like that is good idea – because I would literally type that phrase in google at least once a week. No exaggeration. I was desperate for tips to survive. Not thrive, just survive.

So why was it so awful? Honestly it’s just because I was sick as a dog. Admittedly, in the past, when people have said they had morning sickness I would just brush them off and be like ‘eh they have a little nausea, they’re fine.”

FALSE.

If you have never had morning sickness, you're probably all "wow, she's being dramatic." But if you've experienced a rough case personally, then you are likely nodding vigorously with your hands in the air and saying all the amens. 

SOLIDARITY. 
(fist pump)


<One of my VERY favorite sonograms - she looks like a little gummy bear!>

Luckily, I was in between a job transition at my firm and was able to work from home. Which I did. For over a month. My sweet boss had mercy on me and when I offered to come in, simply said "there are some things that are just better taken care of in one's own private bathroom." Bless him.

But because I can't live like a hermit crab, I did get out some. And I sure did toss my cookies on planes, in traffic on the highway, and in public restaurants. YAY. 

I will say, what I wasn't expecting, was the 'debbie downerness' that came with it. I don't want to call it depression, because it was certainly not to that extent, but I was just down. All the time. I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to get dressed - all I wanted to do was sleep and escape into Netflix binge-watching. 

And on top of that, I felt SO guilty for being down! I was having a BABY! That is exciting and happy news! So then I just got mad at myself. It took me a while to admit all these emotions to Jeff, and he simply said "you puke all day long, I wouldn't be happy either."

TRUTH. So I stopped being hard on myself, turned back on Netflix and ate the only two things that ever sounded good to me: potatoes and my MILs green bean soup. 

The silver lining was that "they" say morning sickness is a sign of a healthy babe. I had several friends who had no morning sickness and had a lot of anxiety with the risk of miscarriage (understandably). I didn't really worry about that too much. I basically interpreted my extreme sickness with me growing an over-achieving Olympian or something.

I want to document each trimester, but honestly other than being sick, experiencing a fatigue like I've never felt before (my mom kept telling me I'd have energy again and I assured her I would never bounce back from the tiredness I was experiencing), and processing the medical stuff - there's not much to report!

Oh. And I also went to Japan. That's actually where the food aversions started... the thought of Japanese food still to this day makes me queasy. 

However - there were some highlights, and that was sharing with our family, close friends, and then ultimately the "world!" THAT was fun. I'm smiling as I relive it :)

Jeff and I found out we were expecting the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. We were celebrating with my family on Saturday and his on Sunday. But when we found out (at about 9 o'clock at night, mind you), we had to devise a new plan. 

I didn't have plans to see my family again for another month, and I knew 1) I couldn't wait a month to tell them, and 2) I couldn't not tell them in person. So, we made up a story (lies lies, so many lies) to both sides of the family. We told Jeff's side that we needed to push back Easter lunch to Easter dinner (we went through so many potential "reasons" I don't even remember what we actually ended up telling them), and we told my family that Jeff's family had to postpone, so we were coming back down to my sister's house for lunch (because to make matters more complicated, my dad was leaving Dallas at 1p to go meet up with my brother in Houston - so timing was of the essence). 

Follow all that? 

I knew I wanted to do something creative to tell my family - whenever the time came - but I never figured I'd have less than 24 hours to think up something. And I knew it had to be clever - my sister catches on quickly. 

I finally decided to alter an Easter poem (if you know me you know I write poems for anything and everything), split it into 6 phrases, put each phrase in an Easter egg, and make everyone read a phrase, with my phrase being the "kicker." I also knew my sister would totally make fun of me for this, but that's per usual. I told her I had an Easter blessing idea I found on pinterest :) 

Here was the poem:

Jesus came to earth one day,
To show us how to live,
How to put each other first,
How to love and how to give.

Then He set about His work on earth,
That God sent Him to do;
He took our punishment on Himself;
He made us clean and new.

He could have saved Himself that day,
Calling angels from above,
But He chose to pay our price for sin;
He paid it out of love.

Our Lord died on Good Friday,
But the cross did not destroy
His resurrection Easter morn
That fills our hearts with joy.

Now we know our earthly death,
Like His, is merely just a rest.
We'll be forever with Him soon
In heaven, where it's best.

We thank Him for His sacrifice
And for this Easter lunch,
And also for this little one
He's adding to our bunch!

And then there was a moment of processing....followed by a LOT of screaming.

Jeff nonchalantly set up his phone on the counter before we sat down, so we got the whole thing on film. Here's the end... :) 



And yes, that blood curdling scream was Brooklyn, and then Easton got scared and asked for someone to hold him. Sweet boy. 

After lunch (I barely ate - so much adrenaline - scheming is hard!), we headed back home to prep for the next announcement. Luckily my sister had sent us with half of the eggs we dyed on Saturday, so we threw together a little egg basket, wrapped it up, and brought it to Jeff's parents to open before dinner. 



And then we breathed a big sigh of relief. I could never be a con-artist. 

So yes, sharing the exciting news was DEFINITELY a bright spot in the first 13 weeks, but considering I'm writing this as I'm 4 weeks into the second trimester - this next phase is muuuuuuuch better! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!
Katy




Monday, July 9, 2018

Game 8: Chicago Cubs


Why is it that the Mondays after vacation are the darn hardest?! We just got back from five days at the beach, and in theory, I should be all kinds of well-rested. And I was! ..Until this morning when my alarm went off for work. Wamp wamp.

Alrighty - we are going a bit retro today. We are going back to recap something from this past April. 

If you remember back before my writing hiatus, I had a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 30 (I just recently hopped into this new decade a few weeks ago). The complete list, including my successes and failures of said list, will come later, but one of the items on that list was to attend TEN out of state baseball games with my dad. 

TEN. That's TEN things within ONE bullet point. So I basically wanted to accomplish 40 things before I turned 30. Just wanted to make sure everyone understood that and I got extra credit. :) 

Long story short - one of the games we knew we wanted to attend was to see those Cubbies play at Wrigley. We had actually planned to see them last September, but the dad of one of my besties got wind of this and told us to wait and use their season tickets. 

<Which in hindsight was a total God thing because I was busy fighting cancer last September and there's no way we would have been able to go!>

So, at the end of April, my dad and I conquered Game 8 of our ten game stretch!

Game 8 - Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers - April 28th, 2018
And yes - we are wearing some mighty heavy winter wear. We'll get to that in a minute. 

Since the game was a mid-day game, we decided we could do a morning/evening same day flight and be just fine. We hopped an early morning flight, received a complimentary upgrade to first class, and had a mighty nice little jaunt to Illinois! 

I'm clearly out of blogging practice, because mid-flight my dad reminded me that we hadn't taken a flight selfie. And if you recall from all the other games we've attended, we have always taken a flight selfie. Way to be, pops!



After a pretty quick flight and some turbulent landing, we headed into the airport where I tossed that entire complimentary breakfast I had just eaten because, well, #pregnant. 

We had a good hour or so before we had to be at the game, so we opted for the budget-friendly subway to take us to Wrigley. My dad snapped this on the ride...



This right here is the poster child for the first trimester. 
SO TIRED ALL THE TIME. 

But just for the record I had a fantastic nap. 

The subway let us off right at the field, so we (and thousands of our closest friends) headed into the ballpark. We sat in our seats, checked out the view, and then immediately headed to go get some hats. We have hats from every game we've been to and I am loving my little collection. :) 


Our seats were on the 8th row behind the visitor's dugout and the best view we've had so far! Huge shout out and thank you to the Kool family!

We've purchased hats at the ballpark before and it hasn't been any big deal, but we also haven't been to a game in 40 degree weather. That gift shop was PACKED with fans buying sweatshirts, blankets, and all sorts of cold-weather gear. Twas a big business day for the Cubbies franchise. 

We got our hats, hot dogs, and headed back out to the game. And I will say, having seats in the sun and wearing a ski jacket made for an extremely pleasant game! Being in Texas I've sat through some 100+ degree games and I would take a colder game in appropriate attire any day. 

And by appropriate attire, I mean...


I. Look. Good. 

My dad wore a peacoat and mittens and though this picture doesn't really show anything, I would laugh HYSTERICALLY when he clapped after a play. It was the saddest most muffled clap I've ever heard and it just really tripped my ticklebone.


We shared the seats with Kelsey's brother and his friend and had such a good time catching up!


I mean look at those sun rays! That sun was our saving grace that day! 

I will admit - no ice cream was consumed during Game 8. Which is very unlike my dad and me. But y'all we didn't even look for it. We stuck to hot dogs and peanuts and were quite content!


Obligatory seventh inning selfie :)

We enjoyed such a great game and a Cubs WIN!! Which was probably my favorite part of the day because we got to witness this: 



It's like the Sweet Caroline of Fenway. AND I knew all the words because it's also Kelsey's ringtone any time her parents call :)

CUBBIES WIN!!!!!!
Two happy kids right there. 



Afterwards it was a mass exodus leaving the ballpark, so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts, grabbed a coffee, and let the subway clear out before heading to the airport. Where I puked on the plane. Yet again. 

It was a quick but perfect day. And Game 8 was officially in the books! 

Stay tuned for Games 9 & 10, because - spoiler alert - WE HIT ALL TEN! 

Love this man and this little jaunt we started three years ago :)

Click below for recaps of:

Happy Monday everyone!
Katy


Monday, June 25, 2018

Pregnancy Progression: Finding Out



So the last time we talked about medical things (over on caringbridge), I was told I shouldn’t have children. If you haven’t read that post, I would highly encourage you to start there before reading this one.


But to recap in a nutshell, I was told by my oncologist in January that it was too risky, we didn’t know when the cancer was coming back, and if it came back while I was pregnant then things could get really bad. I then spoke with my OBGYN who told me to wait two years before trying to start a family. There were some dark days ahead, but ultimately Jeff and I decided first and foremost that our future family was the Lord’s call, but we would hold off on actively trying for a family for a year (primarily thinking that if we started trying and nothing happened then it obviously wasn’t the right time). We thought it was a good compromise.

Two months later, we found out we were pregnant.

It honestly never occurred to me that God’s timing could be sooner. In fact, to follow my OBGYN’s recommendations, we were actually trying NOT to get pregnant. But alas, God had different plans.

<Pause: I am hesitant to write these words simply because I know how common infertility is and how many people I personally know that were/are affected by it. However, I do think it is pertinent to my ‘story,’ so I believe it’s important to share. Please don’t think I am insensitive to all the struggles out there. It broke my heart to tell some of my friends my news (I literally cried at them) – so please understand the disclaimer here!>

At the end of March I noticed I was late, but didn’t really think anything of it. In fact, I took a pregnancy test just to double check and it was negative. So I just kept be-bopping along with life. Then Easter weekend, we were driving home from my sister’s house and Jeff (jokingly) asked if we should stop and get another test. I told him no, and that I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed. Then as we pulled into our town we passed a CVS and I told him ‘eh, sure just stop here and I’ll grab one .’ We got home, I took the test as a fluke, and I didn’t even have to wait 15 seconds for that second pink line to show up.

And then my whole body went numb.

I ran into the kitchen (pretty sure I was stark white), didn’t speak words, and just stared at Jeff with a deer in the headlights look. He smiled and said “what? It’s positive?” And then we just started at each other. He started laughing. I started shaking. I had to sit down.
We just kept asking “what?” “how?” “huh?” over and over again. I mean, we’d been married for four months. I hadn’t (okay, still haven’t) even changed my name! I hadn’t (okay, still haven’t) even finished all my wedding thank you notes! (…Mom, they’re in process, don’t be mad!)

If I’m being honest, excitement didn’t set in for a good while. I was in a state of shock for the rest of the weekend, and by the time Monday rolled around, I was in complete fear. I felt like I had totally messed up. Being the rule follower I am, I completely broke the “rules” – and barely even followed them for a month. In the words of Michelle Tanner, I thought I was in biiiiig trouble, mister.

When I called my oncologist’s office that Monday morning, all my fears were compounded. The girl on the other end of the phone was in disbelief of how I could let this happen, and proceeded to remind me that I couldn’t undergo any treatment now. I quietly (and confusedly) asked if I needed any treatment right now, and she responded with “well, no, but if it spreads there’s nothing we can do. We can’t even do MRIs anymore. I don’t know how we’ll monitor you now. I’ll talk to your doctor and call you back.”

I proceeded to place my head on my desk and bawl my eyes out. Any joy was completely gone, and fear and shamefulness took its place.

To be honest, and we’ve talked about this before, I have always struggled with faith vs. science when it comes to medical things. I figure I don’t know jack squat, so what my doctors tell me is what is right. And a lot of times it is. My dad is in the medical field, after all. I believe in the practice of medicine. I also believe in a little bedside manner, but let’s not get off topic.

That fear ate at me for a while - and it still does to be honest. Not fear about being a mom (though fear of that whole labor thing is a whole different story!), but fear that the cancer is coming back. My oncologist has been supportive recently – well, more like he’s just not overly negative, but I still feel like I need to enter the office with my tail tucked in between my legs. My OBGYN has been super excited for me, but every now and then she’ll (albeit, jokingly) say “and you’re going to behave for the rest of this pregnancy, right?” Woman, please. Like I can control the cancer.

Since I can’t have MRIs every three months, I’m just having liver ultrasounds every three months. It’s not as good but it’s something. What they can’t monitor is my eye socket, so we’ll just have to wait until December for a full work-up. And that is where Satan attacks. I have awful nightmares of people chiseling away at my face because the cancer came back. And I honestly don’t know if it has.

So basically, things could get really bad if this sucker spreads. And because it’s such a rare cancer (except if you went to Auburn, apparently), we just don’t know much about it. Could it spread to the placenta? We don’t know. There are a LOT of unknowns here, and unfortunately, those unknowns have given a lot of my fears a foundation (whether they should or not).

What I DO know, and is the verse I have pinned up right next to my first ultrasound of sweet girl, is Psalm 127:

“Children are a GIFT from the Lord; they are a REWARD from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” Psalm 127:3-5

Part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought “ah, I got it. I’m having a little girl right out of the gates because I’m going to die pretty soon and she can live on as little me.” I mean – deep dark thoughts here, folks.

And then part of me hopes, prays, and yearns to believe that the Lord is just saying “for you, Katy.” 2017 was a rough year; so maybe this sweet little girl IS just a gift – no strings, no other shoe. It’s just so hard for me to grasp because I just feel so undeserving of something so wonderful, so quickly.

But hey, isn’t that salvation in a nutshell? We get blessings every day – with the biggest blessing being on the other side of this earthly life – that we don’t deserve and shouldn’t receive. But because of that man on that cross – our merit doesn’t even have to come into play. Thank you, Jesus. …Literally.

So that’s the story of us finding out we were pregnant. Don’t get me wrong – there is a LOT of joy now. The big bad medical stuff just took us for a slight detour.

To close, Jeff and I would be honored if you would pray for us and our little girl. We need the cancer to stay far (far FAR) away. And selfishly, I would like it to stay away both during pregnancy and for the vast majority of this little girl’s life. Just pray that this pregnancy/delivery is as routine as a textbook, and that my doctors are blown away at the lack of (perceived) complexity.

And because we know who you are and how much your prayers have already impacted us in the past, I’m going to go ahead and say thank you on our behalf as well. :) Aside from this sweet gift arriving this December, YOU are our greatest blessing!

Love you all,
Katy (& Jeff)



Friday, June 22, 2018

Hiya stranger.




Well hi there. 

It's been a while. Over a year in fact. 

2017 was a crazy year, and I had to take a break from writing. Work was insane, I was planning a wedding, we found another street dog, the cancer came back, I had my left eye removed, I moved across the metroplex, and I got all married. 

That's just a lot. 

I didn't stop writing completely  - once the cancer came back I was updating regularly on my caringbridge (which, side note, I really need to stop having two different blogs for medical/personal because it's all the same story), but I definitely stopped writing for "fun." There just wasn't time. And that happens sometimes. Life throws you in a twister and you grab on to some things and have to let go of others. 

But alas, I've entered a new stage of life recently, and I feel like I have some extra time on my hands. And it wasn't until I was binge watching my third series on Netflix did I realize this, and realize that there was a lot more I could be doing with my days. (Though my Netflix phase was AWESOME). 

I've recently started a new job (same firm, just a different department), and it's allowing for a bit more "me" time. Which is good cause I love hanging out with myself. :) 

We also have found out we're expecting a sweet little baby girl this December (more on that later), and I really want to document all the things. I'm in a really sweet phase of life right now and I want to remember it. I am quick to write about the not-so-great cancer stuff (because Lord help me do I need those prayers!), but that doesn't have to discount documenting life's blessings. 

Admittedly, I also needed to stop blogging for a bit because it was turning into a self-induced pressure cooker. I felt like I needed to post something x times per week to call myself a writer and constantly be on the lookout for content that people might want to read about. 

Nope nope nope. 
(I'm literally shaking my head as I type this.)

I lost sight of why I like to write in the first place. Writing is my outlet. Writing is my hobby. Writing is my passion. And this blog is essentially my virtual journal/scrapbook. So now that I have a little more time and I've had a chance to re-focus, I want to re-introduce one of the things that makes me oh-so happy. 

Plus, I'm about to have a dang infant. That's COMICAL to think I'd try to post a certain number of times per week. COMICAL. You'll see me when you see me :) 

So I guess you could say this is my "I'm baaaaaack!" post. And I actually really hate those posts. But alas I just wanted to share a little (we're talking Reader's Digest version) of where I've been and why I'm here again. 

Happy Friday everyone!





Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May Book Review



Hello!

Okay, so I've been a little MIA. I'm aware. But y'all. Planning a wedding is NO JOKE. It's basically a full time job - and I already have one of those. Not to mention we're "revamping" Jeff's bachelor pad house so it's ready for some newlyweds come November. So, really, I have approximately 15 color palettes going through my head on the reg. Someone asked me my wedding colors the other day and I actually had to think about it.

BUT here I am today with four of my most recent reads. Granted, I've been rewatching Parenthood (and crying my eyes out), so these books have been over the course of the first part of the year, but it's fine. Everything is fine. :)


Also, they were surprisingly all hardback books this time (I normally read on my Nook), so today you get a fancy little cover picture. You're so welcome.

We have a little bit of everything today: chick-lit, chick-thriller, an autobiography of one of my favorite people ever, and the final installment of a winter trilogy. And two of these books I couldn't put down.

Okay, we're starting with the winter trilogy. And while I am fully aware it's 300 degrees outside, I read it in January so it made sense. My suggestion would be wait until the weather cools off to read it, OR if you're going to Antarctica this summer on vacay, bring this book!

Winter Storms
by Elin Hilderbrand


Okay, so the past two winters I've read (and reviewed!) the first two books (Winter Street and Winter Stroll) of the series and loved them. It may seem weird to have to remember characters from year to year (since she wrote one every Christmas), but since she writes from the various characters' perspectives, you really feel like you get to know everyone. It's easy to just jump right back in.

BUT, now that all three books are out, YOU don't have to wait! Unless you're waiting for colder weather. This last book really ties up a lot of loose ends that kept you hanging in the first two. I'm quite sad this little series is over. If you're an Elin Hilderbrand fan (and who isn't?!) don't forget about these this fall!

Okay...now back to the summer beach reads....

It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover


I could not put this book down. It was really unlike any book I've read before. I called it a chick thriller because while it wasn't a murder mystery, it definitely had some really heavy parts that made you think. I always know a good book when I count down the hours at work until I get to come home and read, and this was definitely one of those. It'll stick with you for a while afterwards, too.

Now, fair warning - her writing is not PG. At some points I looked like that little wide-eyed emoji. I don't want to share the plot for fear of giving too much away (and you can read the synopsis on the back of the book), but if you're tired of the same ole same ole plot, give this one a try!


Talking as Fast as I Can
by Lauren Graham


So I read this book in a day.

Zero exaggeration.

Granted, I didn't get much else done that day, but I LOVED this autobiography. Because I LOVE Lauren Graham. Loved her in Gilmore Girls. Loved her in Parenthood. Love her in real life. Actually I don't know her but I'm sure I would. And she's dating Peter Krause (#parenthood) and it just gives me all the feels.

If you are a hard-core Gilmore Girls and/or Parenthood fan, you must read this book. She gives a personal account on both the shows and the Netflix sequel series and I was reading like a giddy school girl. She also shares tips on how she does it all. For instance, did you know she wrote a best-selling fiction novel? I DID NOT. Did you also know she and Mae Whitman (#parenthood) are teaming up to do the script write adaptation of The Royal We (#myfavoritebookeEVER). I DID NOT. I mean. This girl does it all. And she never takes herself too seriously.

What I got from this book? Lauren Graham IS Lorelai Gilmore. And that one little realization made me oh so happy. This is a perfect little plane read for your next trip!

This book has also inspired me to read one autobiography each month. Fiction is great and all, but you can just learn good stuff by reading about real live people :)

Save the Date
by Mary Kay Andrews



So I'm not going to lie. I bought this book for three reasons: 1) it's purple, 2) it has a title that is in sync with my life at the moment, and 3) it was on the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble.

However, I've also read one of her books in the past and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I figured I'd be a fan of this one as well!

If you love weddings, this is a great easy read for you. It's written from the perspective of a florist in Savannah (Southern weddings - heyo!) and walks through the ups and downs of running a small business, dealing with crazy brides and their mamas, and then of course - there's a love story in there too.

I honestly had the same thoughts I had when I read Ladies Night last June. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, really loved the writing, but the book was just really long. And not that I was bored during either book, she keeps you entertained, I just feel like it took me twice as long to read (since it was twice as long of a book).

Now, that being said, if you're going on a long weekend beach getaway and only want to bring one book - I would highly recommend Mary Kay Andrews! They'll give you all the feels, keep you busy during your trip, and you won't have to bring the whole library. Also, if you're a hard copy book person, several of hers rotate on the bargain shelf at B&N, so you can usually find one for less than $7.

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And those are my reads this month! (er - the past few months). I have a lot of travels for work coming up the next few months, so if you have any good reads be sure to let me know. Also, if I see you frequently, let me know if you want to borrow any of these bad boys. That's the beauty of a hard copy book. What's mine is yours - after I'm done with it :)

To see all my blogged book reviews, click HERE.

Until next time,
Katy