Downs and Ups

This week has been a series of “downs and ups.”

The Downs

Since beginning WW 2 weeks ago, I weighed in 5 lbs down! This was amazing. I was ecstatic. I began counting my calories last September but without significant loss of weight. My body was changing but the scale was not matching the deficit. I decided ton try WW because it takes are more holistic look at what you’re eating. It balances out the carbs with fiber and protein, so I gave it a try. SUCCESS! At the meeting, I earned my first charm, a lovely blue rectangle that signified I was part of the club.

The Ups

Unfortunately, my 35th birthday was the day after the weigh-in. I had it planned out though, I was prepared. I knew where we would go out to eat, Texas Roadhouse, my favorite, and I could even get a few bites of a shared dessert. It worked out so well until…my husband (who I love dearly) surprised me with Italian Cream cupcakes, my biggest downfall.

Cake…I could eat cake all day, every day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. It doesn’t matter.

depressed tina fey GIF by Saturday Night Live

So, after losing those 5 lbs, I am now only down 2 lbs. Here’s to two-a-days until I weigh-in Wednesday.


The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot by Robert K. Morgan

The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Robert K. Morgan, American hero and flyboy, tells his life story through WWII in The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot.

Before my review I must be honest about my connections to the story of Robert Morgan. I first fell in love with the movie, Memphis Belle and when picking a research project in college, chose the Memphis Belle, the plane and crew. I’ve also helped to restore the Belle when it was in Millington, TN with the Memphis Belle Association and when it came to naming my daughter, I could think of nothing else than the Belle and named her Morgan after the pilot.

Robert Morgan begins his story all the way back to childhood in Asheville, NC on the Vanderbilt estate. He fills the book with engaging stories of his childhood and eccentric upbringing. My favorite parts were hearing about his mother’s and Gloria Vanderbilt’s friendship. He also indulges the readers interest by telling of his whirlwind romance with the Memphis Belle, Miss Margret Polk and his heroics in serving both in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war.

I greatly appreciate Col. Morgan’s perspective looking back at his life. He does so without glorifying his accomplishes or exaggerating his mistakes but instead comes across as a grandfather telling his story as straightforward as possible. I appreciated the truth of his escapades rather than the conformed story the magazines and newspapers shared. He makes the WWII generation seem closer to the present generation by showcasing the true feelings of a young man going off to war.

This is a must read of those wanting an honest look at a war hero. Because of language and some adult content, I would suggest for older high school and adult. I appreciate the story more as I get older and am able to look back on my life with a new understanding.

Purchase the book here on Amazon.

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QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and in Life by John G. Miller

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and in Life

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability in Work and Life by John G. Miller, is a must read for those who want more out of life.

John Miller encourages those who want to get ahead in their personal and their professional lives to go the extra mile, and not wait for someone else to do it. While not profound, this short book is a quick read that will have people putting more effort into their life instead of getting away with doing the bare minimum.

Recommended for those who need inspiration and want to reach the next level. This would be a great gift for coworkers or grads.

Purchase on Amazon here.

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Last September I decided I had had enough! My local YMCA was hosting a “diabetes prevention” program and since it was free, I chose to make myself a priority and signed up. For twelve weeks, I attended nutrition classes and exercised. I pushed myself farther than I ever had before (well, at least since high school). My family changed their schedules; I changed our eating habits.

I learned so much from these classes but more importantly, I gained a sense of self. Do you ever find yourself wondering who you really are, or could be? “If only I was thinner….If only I was healthier….” Well, I found out.

I began the habit of going to the gym every weekday after I get off work and before my daughter gets home. Ill be honest, the scale has not yet reflected the substantial loss I’d hope to see by now but my body has changed, I have more energy, and I’m happier overall.

Since my program ran out, I’ve felt that I needed an extra boost. Cutting calories with increased exercise just wasn’t enough. I decided to join Weight Watchers. I had been on Weight Watchers before but never of my choosing, and this time, I’m ready.

My first meeting was a little anti-climatic. I had to wait in line to sign in and the people checking me in were not neat as enthusiastic as I was. Then I found a seat, pretended to be on my phone like everyone else, and waited some more for the meeting to start.

When the meeting started, I wasn’t impressed either. The leader kept talking in circles and asking for people to share and only got a bunch of chirping crickets instead. I know meetings can vary so I will give this one another try and then maybe switch to a different place.

However, I do think the points system will be great for me. I cut my calories and increased my exercise and had been tracking it but I still haven’t lost more than a few pounds. The points really cut back even more what I can eat but I have found some recipes I’m looking forward to trying. Check out for some of the great ones like stuffed french toast.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a great vacation read or if you just like teen romance, Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is a great choice.

After Lina’s mother passes away from cancer, her life is flipped upside down. She goes to Tuscany to live with one of her mother’s friends in hopes of learning more about this mysterious woman. Her mother’s friend, Howard, is the curator of the American Military Cemetery, and guides Lina through her discovery and being a support for her. Ren is a neighbor and fellow soccer lover. Lina and Ren’s friendship quickly turns into a budding romance, full of gelato and discoteca.

This is a must quick-read for vacations and those that love the Tuscan life. It is a very vivid book with real places the reader is taken to. I have even been to the discoteca (Space Electronic) that is mentioned in the book so that was a fun connection to have.

For fans of Tuscany, romance, coming-of-age. This book may not surprise you but it is enjoyable.

Purchase from Amazon, here.

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The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir by Alexandra Kuykendall

The Artist's Daughter: A Memoir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir by Alexandra Kuykendall is a person story of finding one’s identity in God, their father.

I heard Alex’s amazing story while at MomCon (a conference for MOPS International). I was blown away by her presence and peace. She knew exactly who she was and that knowledge came from God and being “the Artist’s” daughter.

The book was a good but I was already aware of the story so it was less revealing for me that it could have been. I also found it difficult to relate to parts because I know my father and he is such a strong and powerful person in my life. I think this book would have great for my mom who did not have a father growing up and had identity issues from that missing piece.

I would recommend this book to teens/young adults who did not have a strong father in their life. I believe they would be able to learn a lot about acceptance through the story.

Purchase on Amazon here.

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Navy Blues by Debbie Macomber

Navy Blues (Navy #2)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Navy Blues is the second in the Navy series by Debbie Macomber.

The story follows Steve, the big brother of the protagonist of Navy Wife, and his on-again, off-again love, Carol. Steve and Carol have been divorced for over a year after a five year marriage. They seemed to have cut off all ties but Carol is now feeling her biological clock tick and desperately wants a baby. She sets up a seduction of her ex husband but things don’t go as planned.

The writing in the book was fine but I didn’t fall in love with the characters the same way I did the first book. They were too flawed to get a good connection to them or to care about their story. I also felt this book was too dragged out and the cycle plot it was written in, became boring. I’m debating on reading on in this series.

Would not recommend.

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