2019 Reading Challenge

52 books in one year

This year I made a lofty reading goal for myself: 52 books in one year. Honestly that’s a huge jump since I probably read like 10 last year, but I know that I can make the time to do it. The amount of unwinding with Netflix can definitely be replaced by reading real books, and I’m loving it so far. 52 books a year is about 1 book a week, but I’m not being too strict about it. I don’t care if I read one book in a month and 10 books the next month, as long as I get to 52 by the end of the year!

I’ve gotten more active on goodreads and I’m going to report on the books I’m reading here too! There aren’t any rules to what I read – I could read 52 fluffy chick books if I wanted, the goal is just to get reading! (Although I do hope widen my horizons, try some new genres, and improve myself along the way 🙂 )

Books I read: January 2019

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

I promised myself I would read this book before I watched the Netflix move, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a quick read, a great love story, and provides some great history. I LOVED the way it was written – I am all about telling stories in a creative way. All of the letters back and forth really captured the era and allowed you to really get to know the characters. She is a great character, especially for her time. The movie was pretty close to the book too, so it was a great combo. 5 stars from me. (You can click on the title to get the back cover summary to get intrigued.)

After Dark

I read this on the plane before we went to Tokyo. I wanted to get a taste of Japanese culture through fiction. Honestly, I didn’t love it. Maybe because I was jet lagged and half asleep when I read it, but it did not stick with me and I definitely didn’t feel like I got the best taste of Japanese culture. However, it was definitely an intriguing story that kept me reading. If you like a little bit of a metaphysical element / mystery, this book may be for you. I probably should just re-read it, I may understand it a little bit better as well. I think I definitely went into it with very different expectations which didn’t work for me.

That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family

If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you NEED to read this book. There were aspects that I loved and aspects that I think could be misconstrued, but I did love how he focused on the doctrine on every page and brought every aspect back to Christ. The examples of how his family treated him and loved him during every decision that he made were so good. He is not preachy or judgmental of the LGBTQ individuals and the decisions that they decide to make within the church. I do feel that that could have been more clear, because each person has such an individual journey and decisions to make. I feel that this is written for straight members of the church to be more understanding, loving, and accepting. This needs to be more normalized, and we need to be more open and accepting in our culture. For that reason, I feel like it is a book that can help members become more like the Savior in loving everyone, not judging, and being ok with not understanding everything. He gives such specific advice that it is completely useless to shun, disown, refuse to go to gay weddings, etc., because the individual knows what we believe! When we do that, we are being homophobic and not accepting. Anyways, I could go on and on. Just read it 🙂

Recommendations, please!

I have already read a few books in February and am well on my way to read and keep up with my goal! Please give me all the recommendations! I love a good story, good characters, and something that makes me think. I’m pretty much open to anything at this point, and I have a lot more books to read this year!


The First Trimester

It feels like a dream to even type in the title for this blog post. I’ve dreaded journaling anything about this trimester because of so much fear and doubt in my mind that it would be too good to be true. I don’t know how I’ve been so lucky to have gotten this far, but I am so grateful and still pinching myself every day that this is real life.

My doctor was super excited for me when I let him know the news. He was kind enough to schedule an ultrasound and check all of my bloodwork to make sure everything was going well at around 6 weeks.

The first time I started feeling nausea I was so excited! The first time I threw up I felt like such a victory. I don’t know who is happy about morning sickness (more like night sickness for me) but I’ve been trying to soak up every second of it.

About week 7 nausea hit. I was trying to stick to doing keto during my pregnancy, but as soon as I felt nauseous meat has been the last thing that I want to eat. Like NO meat for me. I only wanted to eat the blandest and carbiest foods for weeks 7-12. I’m talking saltine crackers, french fries (no salt), mashed potatoes, toast, cheese pizza, and more crackers. I’ve found that if I don’t eat every hour I feel sick to my stomach and wanting to make a trip to the bathroom. I’ve gained a little more weight than I’d like to admit, but I’m trying to be super kind to myself throughout the process. I will say it has been an insane emotional rollercoaster and relationship with my body that I’ll probably open up more about in a separate blog post. After having weight loss be my focus for so long, seeing my body gain weight has FREAKED me out. And seeing my clothes get tighter, it has been the weirdest feelings of guilt. But I’m focusing on the miracle that is the female body, embracing my chubby cheeks, and loving every moment that I can.

At week 10 I got to go in for what is called my “intake” appointment. Everything looked great still! Something that I thought was hilarious was that they started asking me about my birth preferences right away. The nurse explained the importance of skin to skin and then asked me if I would prefer for the baby to be cleaned and get a diaper before doing skin to skin, or if I would like to do skin to skin right away. I opted for right away, but I thought it was just hilarious because I hadn’t thought of anything like that yet!

I haven’t documented any “bump updates” because it feels other wordly too me, like if I do that it will jinx the pregnancy or something. But here’s a pic with me and my two babes just hangin out.

By the time I’ve published this, I’m at 18 weeks and now a few weeks into my second trimester 🙂 Time is going by oh so fast.



The Day We Found Out

I was 10 days late and in complete denial because I have been 10 days late before, and the result was always the same. My mom, ever so aware of my cycle’s patterns and schedule, kept calling me and asking me if I had taken a test yet. “No,” I answered, “not yet, but I will.” After saying that for a few days I knew I couldn’t put it off much longer. But the dread of only seeing one line pop up, the 2 minutes of hope while you wait for the allotted time, the thinking of “just maybe, just maybe this will be the month,” only to see your hopes crash down over and over again… I just couldn’t bring myself to test. Getting a period is so much easier than only seeing one line. The one line is a stab to the heart, a tear-jerker, and one that sends me down an emotional spiral that I hate going down. And I just knew this month there was no way I was pregnant since I had been traveling practically every week that month, and so it was basically impossible for me to get pregnant this month. I hadn’t even tracked if I had ovulated!

But alas, 10 days was getting a little long, and I had one last pregnancy test left before I had to go drop another $20 on the next batch. So I woke up Friday morning and peed on that stick. And I stared at it, and the tears started to well up immediately because I just couldn’t take it. But after a minute I blinked and I saw a faint line. I blinked again and my heart literally leaped out of my chest. I jumped off the toilet and ran to Dallin and woke him up and my hands shook as I handed it to him and I said, “am I going crazy? there’s a second line there, right?!” He looks at it and says “yep, there’s a second line. but don’t get too excited yet, anything could happen…” I interrupted and insisted that he run to the grocery store at 6:00 AM and get a digital test since supposedly those ones are more accurate. He dutifully ran over to Harmons and got me a digital one. The words YES+ popped up after a few minutes and I was in complete shock.  “How did this happen? The one month I didn’t pay attention to anything and traveled nonstop and drank more caffeine than I had in a lifetime. Literally, the last cycle possible to get pregnant before our IVF appointment, and we somehow conceived spontaneously without any intervention. After two and a half years worth of timed intercourse and shots and hormones and medications and diets, my body decided to do this by itself?”

After it all settled in I insisted that we kneel down and pray right then and there because I had promised God I would if I ever got a positive pregnancy test. We prayed with so much gratitude and hope, and plead to Heavenly Father this pregnancy would stick, it would be healthy, and that everything would go well. We prayed that if something were to go wrong, we would be blessed with peace and understanding in His greater plan.

Somehow I kept it together at work that day. I quit caffeine cold turkey resulting in the first migraine of my life, but it was one of the happiest days of my life.

More to come on everything else, but I felt this day and these moments deserved documenting.