Home Home Home

May 21, 2015

Book Club: A Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone GirlThe Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.


My review will come once I read it. I'm really excited! Does anyone else have this on their goodreads.com list???

May 18, 2015

My Voice on Pregnancy

Each mom has to overcome something during their pregnancy and after their little one is brought into this world.
Women who work out, run, lift, dance or anything along those lines, have to work their way back up to the stamina that they had pre-baby.

This being my first pregnancy, I never thought to ask the effect pregnancy would have on my voice, and the recovery that comes after. Musicians and singers get pregnant all the time and you never hear about the recovery. The rebuilding of technique and breath support.
The loss of range and stamina. The things that I know now, would have possibly changed the way that I handled my voice and pregnancy.

I gained 45 pounds by the end of my pregnancy with Jaxon. (It was probably closer to 50, but I stopped asking after 40.)
The weight gain itself didn't bother me. It’s just a number. I knew that I was carrying my extra weight fairly well. Most of it was my 9 pound little boy and all the trimmings that go along with that. I watched what I ate, but never paid any attention to how much of it I was eating. It wasn't anything outrageous, but I used the pregnancy as an excuse to snack.
All. The. Time.

I remember that women told me that breathing would get harder as a baby runs out of room in your belly.
No one could tell me the impact it would have on anything that needed those lungs to be at full capacity.
No one told me that singing would become nearly impossible at 8 months pregnant.
No one told me that a c-section ravages the muscles in your core that your diaphragm uses while singing (not that it could have been avoided.)
No one could tell me that it would take nearly 6-9 months for my breath support and stamina to come back.
My vocal coach was supportive of my drive and determination to get my voice back in shape and back to the level of musicianship and quality of sound I had pre-Jaxon. He didn't tell me, until last week, that he was very uncertain we would be able to get to that point.

I’m excited to say that I believe that I am back, if not better, than I was before I was pregnant.
It has taken a lot of hard work to feel as if I have control over my voice again.

Things I had to do:
  •  Be patient. Not only was I working on getting muscles back in line and working order… I was waiting for severed nerve endings to heal. 
  • Actively speak in a higher register, due to being lazy and using a low ‘man voice’ because it didn't require as much support.
  • Ignore when notes just didn't come out, and realize that it wasn't a failing on my part.
  • Start at the bottom of my range and solidify that my technique was intact and working for me before moving to a some placed higher in my range… Which sometimes took weeks.
  • Be diligent and patient.
  • Actively change where I was breathing from. I didn't have the little person to block things anymore and conscious adjustments had to be made to break that muscle memory.
  • Exercise and strengthen my core muscles.


Actually exercising to strengthen my core muscles was what I put off the longest.
I hate exercising.
Like, really.
It wasn't that it was ever really all that hard before, just tedious.
Now it’s hard and tedious.
I was doing it before Jaxon, when I was at the top of my game… So I’m back at it, and it seems to have been the missing link.

I’m thankful that I have been able to regain the level of musicianship and vocal range that I had before. There is nothing like being proud of what is happening in a lesson after a year of disappointment week after week, knowing what you are actually capable of.
Plus, some people never come back, vocally, from such a drastic change. Every little nuance with your body and your health becomes clear in the quality of your voice when you sing.
It’s all connected.

I do plan on having more children, so this has been a learning experience that I am tucking away to use when it comes time to pull it out and reference it again.
Hopefully I will be more prepared for the changes and be able to bounce back quicker next time.


Has anyone else had pregnancy, health issues or lifestyle changes effect something in their life that was completely unexpected?
How did you recover or cope?

May 15, 2015

100 Years of Beauty: Aging

Have you seen this video?

 It is super cute!
This engaged couple get the chance to see their future with the help of amazing makeup artists. 
Their parents say that they are excited about the project because they will get to see their children at ages that they would possibly/probably not be there to see.
What a treat for them!

The conversations at each of the reveals really warms your heart. 



What a cool idea!
I would love to be able to do a flash forward to see Jake and I as we age.
Shoot, I know he is gonna be a hottie.
So really, this is a flipped result of Jake and I he will age really well, and I'll be a mess. 
;)

What do you think of this project?

May 14, 2015

Book Club Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches

I have decided that I am no longer going to involve myself with trilogies or book series unless the first was a life changer.

When they are interesting, but not game changers, I get too involved and then about half way through book 2, I ask why the heck I'm reading it.

A Discovery of Witches was just that. A good book, but underwhelming.
One of my friends who reviewed it on Goodreads said, “I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the sequel. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading about the supernatural but found Twilight annoying/badly written/not adult enough.”
Hilarious!
I wasn't all that excited about the sequels… I read them, but reading about post-grad school Twilight wasn't quite my thing either.
I may need to go back to Anne Rice in order to erase the damage Twilight has done to my opinions of vampire novels.
Stick to the basics, Erin… Sheesh

I was pretty excited that I was actually reading a book. Since I had Jaxon, it’s been hard to read, because I only have the time during naps and after he goes to bed… If I don’t have anything else to do.
And I always have something else to do.
Laundry, dishes, cleaning, sleeping… Not necessarily in that order.

Hopefully I will get better about being more selective with my reading choice.
I’m glad that it was for book club, but now I think I may need to go back and read all the ones that I missed this past year.

Does anyone else find that reading is getting harder after having kiddos?
Has anyone else read the series?
What did you think about it?

Do you have any books to suggest?

May 12, 2015

Our Little Lumber-Jax

Jaxon is now 1 year old.

1 whole year has passed!

We chose to host a lumberjack birthday party.
It was mainly family and a very few close friends... But then again, with our family, 'mainly family' means 25 people.

It was really great to have everyone there in their flannel shirts. 
(It was a rainy day, so it was perfect weather for a little flannel.)

(For the record, I spelled Jaxon's name for the cake department at least twice...)
(Jaxon dove in to his smash cake before I could get a picture of it.)






It was a great time! 
I can't believe that it has already been a year with this happy little boy! 
 We are so unbelievably blessed!