Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm baaaa-aaaaack!

Hello, readers!

I want to apologize for my long absence. February and March were tough months for me, so I'm hoping April improves, because I don't know that it can get much worse.

Quick recap:
  • My grandma passed away in the middle of February. It was difficult to go through, but I know I'm a better person for having known her. It was nice seeing family, but bittersweet :( She will be missed
  • I celebrated my 23rd birthday...the day before Grandma's funeral. Again, a little bittersweet
  • When I returned, I tried to make my life a little more normal. I worked, read, and neglected blogging. Oops.
  • The end of February, I found out my apartment is being sold. Where I live, one bedroom apartments run for $1,500+ per month. I love the community and want to stay, so I applied for a housing loan and was approved (woo hoo!)
  • I found a house and fell in love with it. It's the perfect starter home for Matt and I. While I would much rather not have to purchase a house, I would prefer to make money each month, rather than give my paycheck directly to my landlord.
  • Spring break for my college came. I'm a 12-month position, so I don't get a spring break :( I was so busy and got so far behind that I didn't catch up until this week.
  • The inspection for my house went well. Now it is contingent on the appraisal and financing. I have my fingers crossed that everything works out.
  • Matt came to visit for his spring break. I tried taking the week off, but worked almost 20 hours. I guess that's what happens when you're a one-woman show. Because I didn't work much and everyone else did, I fell even further behind at work. I just caught up this week.
  • Matt told me he will not be finishing school. We have decided he will move here and get a job. He'll return to school when he figures out what he would like to study and what he wants to do when he "grows up".
  • I spent this week stressing, working, not sleeping, and losing 5 pounds from stress. I caught up on some sleep, and am hoping to reduce my stress enough to where it is not controlling my life.
  • We have had two blizzards in the past 3 weeks. Another one is forecast for Sunday. WILL IT EVER END?!?!?
So, this is where I'm at. I hope that covers it well enough. As I said, it has been a yucky past couple of months.

Good news:
My best friend, Jessie Mae, bought me a book for my birthday! It's one I'd been wanting to read: Jodi Picoult's House Rules. In this novel, Picoult tells the story of a high-functioning autistic son to a mother who has sacrificed everything for him to have as much of a normal life as possible. Jacob, the son, becomes obsessed with different topics. His favorite topic: forensic science. When a close friend goes missing and the body turns up, police look at Jacob as their top suspect.

Emma, Jacob's mother, fights as much as she can to keep her son out of jail--even though she isn't 100% certain he isn't guilty. As is characteristic of Picoult's novels, the story is told through the eyes of several characters; in this case, Emma, Jacob, Theo (Jacob's younger brother, who doesn't suffer from autism), Rich (the police officer arresting Jacob), and Oscar (Jacob's inexperienced lawyer).

Picoult usually does a really good job of keeping the reader on their toes and questioning guilt up until the last page. Unfortunately, with this novel, I knew before the trial even began what had happened. I haven't figured out if that's because I've read so many of Picoult's books by now, or if this particular novel was easier to figure out than those previous? Either way, it was wonderful and scored a perfect 5/5 from me! Here are my stats:
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 532
2011 Reading Goal: 2,505/12,500

In this entire two month period, this was the only novel I read. I am highly disappointed in myself for that reason, but am confident I will catch up.

I hope you have all had a better two months than I have. If not, then we should throw a pity party together, because misery loves company! :P  Or, better yet--maybe we should find a book where the main character sheds light on a particularly challenging part of their life and use it as inspiration. I'll see you again soon, readers.

Side note: books purchased to date in 2011: ZERO! You should all be proud! :)


  1. We'll have to skype and catch up! I want pictures of your house so I know what you may get :)

    I have been battling pneumonia so my March was a little stressed. I developed it the day after my last final of college. Go figure. So now I am playing catch up. I missed an important training in Denver I needed to go to, so now am left to do it here at home. Not what I wanted to do.

    Anyways, your not the only one with the busy hectic schedule. But, you are probably the only one who can catch up as quickly as you do. ;)

  2. I finished reading James Patterson's "When the Wind Blows" and am now working on Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point". I don't know that I'll do a review for Patterson's book, but I'm already really excited for Gladwell's review :)

    It was nice to find you on here, Penny Ann :)

  3. Leah! Goodness so many things are happening to you. Congratulations on the house, though! =)

  4. This is my ALL-TIME favorite book! I am so glad you rated it a 5/5.


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