Sunday, January 31, 2016

Let's Do This

January is about to be over and for that I'm pretty happy. I mean, I can't complain about the mild weather but the fact is that it's still cold and it's still winter so I'm eager to get on with it.

I've long proclaimed my disdain for the month of February. Why? Because it seems to drag despite being short, it has no silver lining of spring like March does and I tend to get sick in February too but I hopefully got that over with this month.

But in addition to the usual malaise of this upcoming month, it's also going to be very busy and tiring for me. I'm going to be working pretty much every weekday I'm off school, that in itself is a tough balance of trying to get all my school work done. Additionally, I have some other things I have to do like attend events for school and hopefully schedule some long awaited doctors appointments. But I'm consoling myself with the fact that making and saving money is a good thing and that I can do it this. I have a wonderful end goal in sight because come March, I'll have one week of school then spring break and then we're going on vacation! I'm so psyched, it's really wonderful to have that to look forward to during this month of strife!

I can do this, just 29 days of being the best I can be. I'm going to be the best Grace at work, at school, at home and even at the gym. I'll let you know how it goes!

-G-

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Book Review: My Sister's Keeper

 So if you haven't been to my book page lately, I'll fill you in. This year I'm going to be reading just one new book a month and the rest of the time, I get to reread my old favorites! Yay for that becacuse I love rereading so very much. And, each month I'm going to review a book I reread, because the more you read it the better you know it, right?


So for January, I'm going way back to a book and author I discovered when I was just 14 years old. Let me tell you, this book completely captivated me upon first reading. Here's what it's about: Anna Fitzgerald is the main character of sorts and she is a 13 year old girl who was born to be a genetic match to her cancer stricken sister Kate. She's underwent numerous procedures to help cure her sister and is now currently being ask to give her kidney. But Anna doesn't want to do that, for reasons the reader won't discover until the end of the book. She hires a lawyer and starts a lawsuit that throws the whole family of kilter.

The book switches around to several different narrators in addition to Anna, you have the steadiness of Brian, the dad, the harrowing flashbacks of Sara, the mom, angry older brother Jesse, mysterious lawyer Campbell and Julia, the guardian ad litem who has a past. 

Now onto the review.

Ok, so I've read a lot of Jodi Picoult since I was 14 and read this book and I have to say, I think this is one of her best. If you know anything about this author, it's probably that she's famous for twist endings that no one expects. This book definitely has that but it works better with the plot than some of her others where it feels thrown in and expected. The ending is sad, it's true, but it's also very beautiful and one of the merits of the book I think. As far as the writing, I don't think it's as good as I once did but it's not bad. There are just a lot of metaphors, a lot of comparisons, a lot of emotion that is sort of flowery in detail. Basically, nothing is ever just stated outright without embellishment. And that can be fine sometimes but all of the time it does get to be a bit much.

That being said, I think Picoult does an amazing job with the flashback narrations of Sara. You can tell she did a ton of research about what cancer treatment for kids looks like and she wrote about it in such a hauntingly realistic way. I also enjoyed Anna's parts and Anna's character in general becuase she felt like a very authentic 13 year old girl. Julia's were dull to me and almost unneeded and Brian's had to many facts in it that were attempting to be related to the story but sort of fell flat. Campbell's parts were good though, I like a little ere of mystery. And Jesse was very well written.

Finally, as strong as the epilogue is, the little opening italicized scene still confuses me. If you know whose point of view it's from and what exactly is going on, please let me know because it's puzzled me for years. I know it's either Kate or Anna talking but it doesn't make much sense for either of them. Oh well.

Overall, this really is a good book that tackles a lot of provocative subject matter. It definitely makes you think and it makes you feel real emotions, not just cheap tricks to make you cry. And don't see the movie, it is BAD and the ending is completely different from the book.

Rating: 8.7/10 

-G-

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Flutastic

I got the flu on Sunday.

By "flu" I mean fever, chills, body aches etc. Thank goodness not the stomach flu. But still, it was not fun. And this is the second time I've had the flu in four months. Boo for the flu. And I had to miss class yesterday so I felt bad about that in addition to feeling bad in general. Good news is, I'm all better! So today I've been catching up on readings.

Here's to hoping this is the last time I get the flu in 2016, or better yet, the only time I get sick at all!
-G-

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Everyone Has a Story

Yesterday, M and I along with four other individuals, gave our testimony at our young adult Bible study. I was really, really nervous because of my public speaking issue. But you know what? I didn't feel nervous in my head as I was waiting to go up, it was just my stupid body that was shaking and my heart was racing. I hate that feeling SO MUCH. But I opened with a little joke to ease tension and I only had that feeling that I wouldn't be able to speak for just a second. I actually think I did a good job sounding conversational and was able to easily go off script a few times. It was actually a great experience.

But beyond my own personal testimony, I was greatly moved by the others who spoke as well. In particular, there were two people that M wasn't super fond of and that I had only recently started to warm up to. Hearing their story, what they had been through and how they were growing, was very humbling. Everyone has a story, no one is the flat character that we make them out to be. No one is just annoying, or just angry or just sullen. How we view and judge others is not full-proof and it's not objective. Getting to hear such an intimate part of someone's life, as are most testimonies, totally convicted me to know that there is so much more to everyone than meets the eye. And that I am called to love everyone as Christ has loved me.

-G-

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Here I go...again

Well the spring semester starts tomorrow and although I enjoyed a veryyyy long break (longest of any university in the area!) I don't want to go back! Ha, does anyone ever? But really, this semester is going to be a little different and maybe a little scarier but I know I'll get through it and when it's over it will be summer! Oh how I long for May right now!

But...there will be good things happening in the next 3 1/2 months. Like Valentines day and the trip we're taking over spring break, E's birthday, Ruby's birthday, my birthday! So I can't wish time away. I have to learn to live and appreciate each moment.

On another note, I'm giving my testimony at my Bible study tomorrow. I have a fear of public speaking (I hate that about myself because I like to talk but in front of a group is a different story). I know I'll do fine, I just have to get started and I'll ease up. I think it will be really neat to share my story.

And on the final note, today is my mom's birthday! So we have a cake in the oven for her right now and we're going out to dinner later. The best part? Her, E and I have been watching America's Next Top model from Cycle 1 onward and today we start Cycle 4-my favorite one of all! If today has to be my last day of break, it sure is a good way to end a fabulous month.

-G-

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Third Book: DONE

Whew, just finished! It took about a year, which was way longer than it should have but that's ok. I still have to edit but yay!

It's been so blissful writing. I think one of the ways I'm happiest is in a quiet, empty house, listening to music (classical or Sia :) and writing. I just love it.

Alright, I'm off to relax and eat some chips and salsa. When M and E return home we're going to watch Child Genius which I completely forgot about until this week and now we're an episode behind so we need to catch up. And then tomorrow we're hosting a party for my mom and my favorite Uncle's birthday so M and I need to spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning. I can't say I mind as those are two things I'll admit to enjoy.

Oh and Oscar nominations came out today and I'm so stoked about all of them, a really good crop this year!

-G-

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Writing

Since I've been on break and after the holidays ended, I've had so much time to work on writing my book series and it's been glorious. I forget how much I love just writing pretty much all day long. It makes me so happy!

I'm about about be done with the third book and then I'll move onto the last. For those who don't know, I started writing a YA (probably middle school age) book series in the summer of 2014. I wrote the first two books in a matter of two months and then when school started, the third one was put on hold and I'm just finishing it now. I think this one was probably the hardest to write because I felt kind of stuck in certain parts, not sure what to do with a character or plotline but I got it figured out and now I'm at the end. I have big plans and ideas for the fourth book so I can't wait to get started on it though I suspect I won't have much time to work on it once school starts. I'll probably have it finished in late spring, after the semester ends.

Happy writing to me!
-G-

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goals for the New Year

I always write out a list of new year goals but unlike my summer ones, I find them a bit too personal to post on here. So instead, I'm going to sum them up into four parts: Spiritual Goals, Physical Goals, Academic Goals and Other Goals.

Spiritual Goals
I want to get serious about reading my Bible everyday.
Pray more, worry less. 
Serve others more and improve my attitude in doing so.

Physical Goals
Getting back to working out at least three times a week.
Running again when the weather turns.
Run a 5k.

Academic Goals
Make the deans list my last two semesters. 
Graduate!

Other Goals
 Continue to grow my hair out.
Buy a car.
Completely enjoy the Rio Olympics.
Have the best year of my life!

Not all of these will be easy, but I'm going to give them my best effort!
-G-

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcoming 2016

Wow, here we are in 2016! I can't believe it. I've decided that I'm going to make it "my year", we'll see how that goes!

I had a great new years spent with friends from Church. I would have had even more fun though if I hadn't been feeling sort of under the weather and I had to work New Years Day. So it was sort of a bummer but it was ok.

I am so enjoying break! I've just been having so much fun seeing movies, playing games and relaxing at home. Ahhhh, I love being off of school.

I'm working on my Year in Review so look for it in the upcoming posts, I'll probable set the date back to the 1st so find it there :).

One of my resolutions this year is to get back on the work out wagon and today I did just that. My new Nike shoes are a sure motivation and it felt good to be at it again. We're going to Florida in teh spring so I need to be in tip top summer clothes shape!!

Back soon!
-G-