Tag Archives: reading

Cures for crankypants

With less than a week to go before my due date, I’m going to admit I’m getting crankypants. I have, however, avoided wearing actual pants for months now. I got through pregnancy with one pair of maternity jeans, a pair of black dress pants and a hand-me-down pair of brown ones. I’m not really a pants person. Maternity leggings and tunics, though? Rock.

Every time I call my mom, I have to start the conversation “I’m not in labor, I’m just calling because…” I shouldn’t whine about third trimester aches and pains though, because it could be a lot worse and it’s a relief to still feel the baby moving around in there. Also, crankypants is better than downright CRAZY (dolphin-assisted birth, what?!), right?

Here are a few things making me less cranky:

Finishing a book.


I finished “Gold,” by Chris Cleave last night. I loved his book “Little Bee,”and although I don’t think this was at that level, it was a pretty quick read with a good plot twist. It’s due back to the library on June 10, a whopping 6 days after my due date, which kind of freaked me out.

Booking flights to Portland!


My Portland-based cousin is getting married in August and our extended family is flying out and staying in a bunch of Hood River vacation rental houses near each other. Joe and I took a trip to Portland in the summer of 2009 and I secretly thought he’d propose to me on our hike, but that came a couple of months later. If you go, we did 13 miles up to a lake and back on Eagle Creek and swam in Punchbowl Falls.) It’s definitely going to be different traveling and trading the backpack for an Ergobaby this time. The trip will also be right at the end of my maternity leave, which I’m sure will be a bittersweet time.

B-Bops & Beer.

Even though I couldn’t drink anything other than my BYO San Pellegrino at the YNPN Des Moines “Super Swag Social” happy hour we had tonight at 515 Brewing Co., it was super fun to see people come out for the event, which was planned by our social committee. My favorite was when this new Drake grad who is interested in working for a nonprofit wandered into the event and seemed so genuinely excited to find an opportunity to dip her toe into the whole networking thing. I’m meeting a bunch of energetic, genuine people through YNPN. Getting it off the ground has definitely been a highlight of spring.



The guy in the drive-thru asked if I was hiding a basketball under my shirt, natch.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, I love Des Moines

Book looks

How fun is this Fiction to Fashion blog that compiles outfits inspired by books?


Via Fiction to Fashion

I’ve heard good things about “The Fault in Our Stars,” and it’s going on my long to-read list for when I get in the mood to tackle things that are longer than a New Yorker article. I read this long but interesting article on reinventing a Scotch distillery last week while I was de-stressing in the bath.

I still have “Telegraph Avenue” on my bed stand, waiting to get started, and then Joe just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna,” and said he really enjoyed it and that I probably would, too.

I pinned this roundup of best book lists of 2012, if you’re looking for your next read.

P.S. I totally have yellow T-strap flats like the ones shown, although mine were by BC Footwear and way cheaper. They’re still my go-to footwear for an instant zing of sunshine. Here I am wearing them in one of our engagement photos:


Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Sweatpants Saturday

I’m sure Miss Manners would frown upon this, but I do love hanging out with friends around whom I feel I can lounge in sweatpants, even as hostess. Danny and Katy came over for breakfast, to get some work done on an upcoming YNPN Des Moines launch event (if you work or want to work at a Des Moines nonprofit, join us on Jan. 22!) and to play Settlers of Catan. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to know those two even better this past year.

Joe whipped up some delicious cornmeal waffles (he used this recipe but didn’t chill the batter overnight) with strawberry sauce and a side of bacon and we actually lit our fireplace for once. It was a cozy kind of day.


My evening was pretty lazy. In an attempt to stop obsessively pinning baby stuff (although I am pining for these wall decals for the nursery)/searching for used versions of things I’ll need on Craigslist, I downloaded The Night Circus and tried to read it while Joe watched football. I’m not quite swept up in the book yet, although it came highly recommended. So far, I’m a little conscious of how cinematically it reads (if it hasn’t already been optioned for a movie — I can see it as a Tim Burton film).


I hope your Saturday was equally relaxing.


Filed under At home, Books

Weekend ode to the couch

We fulfilled our weekend going-out plans — got snazzed up for the Pollack Ball (more on that later) and swung by Confluence Brewing’s grand opening and cheered on the marathoners who ran past this morning. But mostly I worked on a craft project and we hunkered down on the couch. There was lots of football on TV and a book in my lap. Joe made crockpot chicken cacciatore and a ridiculously amazing spent grain bread (modified from this recipe, plus an improvised crusted cheesy topping). I ate it for two dinners in a row.

And I read an entire book for fun this weekend, despite having a bazillion case studies due for my class next weekend. I am such a rebel. It was Anne Lamott’s “Imperfect Birds.”

Reading a book in one day or a weekend, or just a couple of sittings is so deeply satisfying. It’s this immersion experience that leaves you in a foggy sort of mood, like coming out of the movies. I still remember reading Matilda in one sitting after school one day, just draped over the couch, and how amazing and personal it felt — a deeper connection to a book than the typical pick-up-put-down.

I’ve been hearing about Anne Lamott’s books in a few different places, and I can appreciate how her writing ranges from lyrical to conversational and even slangy. The book also freaked me out about ever having to parent a teenager.

I haven’t gotten out of pajamas all day. Why would I, with a book to finish? When I wasn’t taking up the couch, Wilbur had himself a curl-up.

He knows how to do it.

1 Comment

Filed under At home

Into for August

No class for a few weeks in August means I’m soaking up the last of summer nights and reading for fun.

Wednesday night we enjoyed a book club discussion of “The Art of Fielding” with an amazing view from the roof of the AP Lofts. (I loved the book and it got unanimously high ratings from the rest of the group.)

Right now, I’m reading “A Hologram for the King,” Dave Eggers’ new book.

It’s good, a really fast read, and having traveled to the Middle East this spring, I feel like I get the context a little bit more. It’s not as exhilarating as Eggers other books (the main character is a middle aged depressed consultant); I’ve read a review that described it like a modern “Death of a Salesman” and I can see that.

Our Book Club chose “Gone Girl,” which Amber posted about the other day. The fact that our club is made up of a bunch of married couples might make this discussion particularly interesting!

Here’s a video from TEDxDesMoines to get you creating this weekend on all of your weekend projects. I think Rachel is awesome and am really impressed with what she’s been doing on the collaborative Art Beacon Des Moines.

Rachel was super nervous to do this talk, but she was one of my absolute favorites. I love her slides, too! I consider myself a creative person/maker and I could totally relate to what she was saying! I’m working on a quilt right now for Arin’s baby boy, and I’ll post some photos of that this weekend. Almost done!


Filed under Books, I love Des Moines