as it turns out, I was pregnant all along, and other updates from the past few months

The last post I wrote, back in July (!), was a funny story about Target Lady asking me when I'm due when I was 0% pregnant.

The truth is, I had a very small sneaking suspicion that pregnancy was actually a possibility. But I was also in denial, despite crying at the zoo and gagging over bacon. Not even a week a later, a slew of pregnancy tests confirmed that as usual, James knows when I'm pregnant and I never do. And apparently Target Lady as well.

And I've been throwing up ever since!

For those who remember, my pregnancy with Gracie was the stuff of nightmares. Nonstop vomiting for half my pregnancy. Emergency room IVs. Losing a lot of weight. Lots of fun times.

This pregnancy has been only slightly less awful. But any improvement is a HUGE win for me, because usually a second pregnancy after an experience with HG means even more severe Hyperemesis. My only goal was to stay out of the hospital, and so far I've managed that. It's taken three nausea meds and a lot of prayer, but I will take what I can get.

I know a lot of people like to have their babies back to back, but I'm going to be a spokesperson for large age gaps between siblings. I knew that IF we had another baby, Gracie would need to be much older and somewhat self-sufficient in case I had a similar pregnancy. I couldn't take care of myself, much less a young toddler as well. She has been the perfect age for me to be pregnant again. She understands what's happening, she can get her own snacks, she's potty trained, she brings me my medicine, and she can even make me some food. She doesn't flinch when I suddenly start vomiting and she does what she can to help me feel better. She's taken better care of me lately than I have of her. She lives up to her name daily, full of grace.

This pregnancy has been so different from my first, and yet so similar. Last time I was blindsided by both the pregnancy and the severe morning sickness that hit only a few days later. This time I wasn't surprised by either. I mentally prepared myself as best as I could to be incapacitated indefinitely. It didn't make the intense nausea easier to bear, but it was nice to at least know what's coming. I went into a crazy nesting mode and cleaned and organized the house until I started going downhill. All of that has been completely undone as I've been unable to do any housework, but that's ok. Actually it's not ok, the messy house is driving me up a wall, but some day I'll be able to walk through my house without throwing up from random smells.

The point is, I've felt so much calmer this time around. Last time, I cried all night from every single emotion after seeing a positive pregnancy test. This time, I just smiled, went to bed, and had a great night of sleep. I'm less spastic about what I eat and drink (which isn't much at this point) and about the fact that I can't keep my prenatals down, I'm mildly less worried about the state of the baby, and in general just feel so much more at peace.

However, this pregnancy has been the same in that FOOD IS EVIL. All of it. If I smell it, I'm throwing up. I don't care what it is. There are no such things as cravings, only aversions. Being at war with food is the suckiest thing of all time. Even making eye contact with something in the freezer has had me running for the bathroom. The aversions started when I was 5 minutes pregnant and have only gotten more intense with time. I haven't eaten a meal in the same room as James and Gracie for months. Years ago, I once saw a pregnant mom say online that she craved spinach and grilled chicken her first trimester, and just how special it was that her body craved just what her little baby needed. I have laughed like a maniac at that ever since. This baby is built on nutella, pop tarts, and the occasional slice of pizza.

When I was 9ish weeks, Sarah came to visit. We had it planned before the morning sickness hit, and I was not about to cancel no matter how wretched I felt. Her pregnancy was even worse than my first, and there is NOTHING more therapeutic than spending hours talking to someone who knows what it's like to explain to people until you're blue in the face that yes, the nausea meds are working even though I'm still vomiting, because I'm alive! I've kept down food today! And no, I will not get magically better at 12 weeks (I got even sicker that week!), and no, there's nothing else the OB can do. This is just life with HG. Not having to explain your situation to someone is truly a breath of fresh air, especially when they don't mind if you're on the couch in your pajamas in the fetal position the entire time.

Gracie started preschool about 6 weeks ago, and it has been amazing for us both. Three mornings a week, I can come home and go back to bed and nap while she learns and plays with other kids. I was on the fence for months about registering her, and I don't know what I would've done otherwise. Preschool and the OB are the only two places I've gone since July. Before she started school, I spent an entire month at home. Literally did not leave my house once, for a full month. For sanity reasons, I don't recommend that. But if it kept me from throwing up, I was all for it.

I don't take this pregnancy lightly at all. The older I've gotten, the more rampant infertility seems to be. The majority of women in my life have battled it in one way or another. The last thing I would ever want to do is grieve someone with my pregnancy announcement. I don't want to come across like I'm complaining about my morning sickness when I know so many would trade places with me in a heartbeat. The internet is so full of rosy pictures of pregnancy and no one seems to talk about how the first trimester (and sometimes the second, and the third) can turn your life inside out and affect every single aspect of it. I had no idea it could be as bad as it was until I experienced what I did with Gracie, so I like vocalizing the struggle in case anyone else is feeling isolated by it as well. I am grateful for this pregnancy with ever fiber of my being, as miserable as it has been at times.

So that's where I've been the last few months! I completely removed myself from real life and internet life out of pure necessity. A quick scroll on my phone would ignite the nausea like a flame on dry wood. When Gracie is in school, you can find me napping or watching Billy Joel concert videos and some of my favorite jazz pianists on youtube while weeping like a maniac over the spectacular majesty that is music. Pregnancy hormones are NOT A JOKE, my friends. I've been rewatching Downton Abbey with James in the evenings, and the first time I heard the theme song again, I burst into tears like I was reunited with a long-lost friend. I have no control over myself. Or my pregnancy dreams! Last month, I dreamed Kim Kardashian and I chopped up a dead body and hid it in the microwave. Rest assured, ever since that dream I've been every bit as worried about the state of my mental health as you are right now.

I'll stop rambling, mostly because I need to free up my hands to drink the strawberry milkshake James just brought me home as dinner #fitpregnancy. Stay tuned for photos of our gender reveal party!!!!!


I would never ever ever throw myself a gender reveal party. But last week I did dream I had one. Thankfully no one was dead this time; it only involved me eating an entire cake in one sitting which is somewhat realistic.


if you mean pregnant as in full of donuts, then yes. I am.

In the spirit of sharing silly stories again....I'm going to share a silly story. This story is powered by my iced coffee and grocery store donut that has already disappointed me because all the chocolate icing got stuck to the bag. I've also had to get up FIVE times to attend to my child since I started writing two sentences ago. That's the kind of Monday I'm dealing with over here.

So I had a rather terrible weekend. It's ok. Life is good--we are happy, healthy, and have more than we could ever need. But sometimes you just have a string of bad days and everything is dumb.

I was so profoundly tired last week that I daydreamed all week about sleeping in Saturday morning. Guess who woke up on her own at 6:30! I did. And then James woke up to discover his glasses somehow broke in his sleep? Before I knew it, I was crawling out of bed to go buy him superglue so he could try to fix them while we wait for new glasses to come in. He ordered new ones with transition lenses, and honestly I am so mad at him about this. We do not see eye to eye on the awfulness of transition lenses--pun intended.

Anyway, Saturday continued in a pretty terrible fashion, including a phone call from my MIL about another mandatory beach trip with her. It's fine. It's cool. Tomorrow will be a new day!

It was not a new day.

We got up for church and were so proud of ourselves for remembering to go the back way, since the main road we take is closed for construction. Then we realized the back way was also closed due to the Ironman race. We got to church 20 minutes late, and the doors were locked. The doors were locked! Someone found us pretty quickly and let us in--the locked doors were a total accident, but truly felt like all the powers of the underworld were trying to keep us from getting to church.

We grabbed lunch after and went to Target. We went to Target because you never run out of just one thing. No--we run out of toothpaste, toilet paper, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, shampoo, hand soap, trash bags, etc. all on the same day. Every time. Every few months I'll have a day where I run from cabinet to cabinet realizing we are out of absolutely everything, and somehow I didn't realize we were low on anything. Sometimes I wonder why I'm allowed to be an adult. It's a miracle if I find extra toilet paper in the house, but I ALWAYS buy new sour cream and then come home to realize I already have two containers of it in the fridge. Seriously--don't talk to my husband about the sour cream. It's A Thing right now.

I'm going to be real--it was a tense afternoon. It was hot outside, we were all tired, attitudes were plummeting. We get to the check out line at Target, James and I fighting with our facial expressions, Gracie is crying for a toy, and as I'm grabbing bags and putting them in the cart, the check-out lady speaks up.

"Oh! How much longer until your due date?"


"Your due date, not much longer?"

"....I'm not pregnant."

She grabs my arm and says "Oh my goodness! I just feel so bad. I made this mistake awhile ago and felt awful for months. It's just that you look like you're wearing a maternity top."

"Nope, it's just hot out and I wanted to wear a comfy dress."

I was so flustered that I tried to walk away without paying. That was way more mortifying than her assuming I'm large with child.

My favorite part is that she didn't ask if I'm pregnant or how far along I am, but just assumed I'm on the verge of giving birth. I'm no supermodel, but I also don't look 9 months pregnant.

Here, I'll prove it to you:

This was me, 9 months pregnant. I love this picture because 1. I was so pregnant I couldn't be bothered to take my pants all the way off to try a dress on, and 2. I was 38 weeks but so tired of the one or two shirts that barely fit that I bought myself a maternity dress that I then wore every day until I went into labor. If only you could see the cankles my pants are covering up. They were a thing of beauty.

And this was me last month. If you're new here, I'm the one in the black striped dress. That's also the dress I wore during The Incident. I'd say the two pictures are fairly different. My friend next to me in the blue dress is actually very pregnant, but you can't even tell. She always looks amazing.

For the record, I wasn't even offended. It is not worth getting offended over ridiculous things like this. This isn't me fishing for compliments, either. This is just another ridiculous moment of my life that made me question my favorite dress and whether or not I should be wearing it.

So naturally, I'm going to eat another donut until I actually DO look pregnant.


summer so far

I read back through some old blog posts the other night, and I kind of miss the days of writing about dumb things, like the time I dressed up as Seth Avett or the time someone asked me for my phone number, and I suddenly forgot it and could only remember my dad's old work number that I hadn't used in 10 years. Those were good times. I was so much funnier and more carefree back then! YOUTH. I feel weird putting my life online these days. I don't know if it's because I'm in my 30s now, or I'm a mom and want to protect my child, or not knowing who's reading, or the opposite issue of big lack of blog engagement these days, but I've started to feel more and more private and a little silly every time I write a post. But I'm going to ignore that today and write anyway.

It's been a wild summer around these parts. I'm not sure where to even begin.

+ June was ridiculous. We did a ton of yard work in preparation to landscape, mulch, and plant a garden. Then we had weeks upon weeks of torrential rain. My town is on a river, and the river flooded. It was like the days of Noah; people were literally getting around town on boats. Most of the roads out of town were under water, and all the fields flooded which means hardly any crops were planted this spring. The huge lack of cornfields this summer has been startling. Thankfully our house is perfectly situated and we were the rare lucky ones in town that didn't have a flooded house. There was one night, however, where we had a huge storm and flash flood that crept VERY close to the house. Most of our backyard was under water and it was dangerously close to the foundation, but we were fine. Anyway, it's almost August, and we haven't finished any of the yard projects. Once the rain stopped, it was too late for a garden, and a million other things came up and took priority. I am so tired of the state of our yard, but this summer has been a lesson in things that are out of our control. Actually, that's my whole life.

+ Toward the end of June, I took one of my nearest and dearest friends to a music festival with me. I hadn't seen The Avett Brothers in a few years, and she hadn't seen them ever and had been wanting to. We wound up seeing them, Old Crow Medicine Show (who I saw in NYC and they were awesome), and Alison Krauss. I said multiple times that I only knew one Alison Krauss song. As it turns out, I knew every song she sang. She completely blew me away. I also ran into one of my old guy friends from high school. We did that weird thing where we saw each other and tried to pretend we didn't see each other, but we kept accidentally making eye contact and finally just went for it. It was actually really nice to catch up, even though I was an awkward fool. We had the worst seats of all time, and we were so high up it made me dizzy, but it was the most fun night. Always go to concerts with a friend who sneaks in cookies.

+ I came home from the concert to find that James had built a shelving unit in the living room for me. I'd shown him lots of pictures on the interwebs of what I wanted, and he did an awesome job. We need some more shelves, I need to tweak some stuff and figure out how to hide cords, and we need to touch up some paint and add outlet covers, but I love our living room 200% more now. Especially with the piano on the opposite wall.

+ We had a nice, low key 4th of July. Gracie played in her kiddie pool, I went for a bike ride, we grilled, we watched Stranger Things, and we had friends over to watch the fireworks from our driveway. It was just a delightful day.

+ The next day, Gracie and I went to visit my parents for my mom's birthday. A mosquito was apparently trapped in my car, and by the end of the drive I was covered in bites from head to toe. Upon arrival, my dad was hit with a violent stomach bug. Two days later, my mom was hit with it too. For reference, both my mom and I had a stomach bug on our birthdays this year. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT. And Gracie had one on her birthday last year! Rude, honestly. I spent most of the week trying to help them, but mostly trying to keep Gracie away from the germs. And me, too. I'm still traumatized from my birthday stomach bug that knocked me down for two weeks. Let me reiterate how fun it is to take your 4yo to visit her grandparents who she's dying to see, and then tell her she can't see them even though they're in the same house. Sooooo fun, guys! I finally went to the store and bought her lots of coloring books and crayons to try to appease her. By the power of prayer and Lysol, the two of us made it through unscathed. Gracie distracted herself by dressing up my parents' cat. His name is Joe and he will be receiving many crowns in heaven.

Also--Joe even threw up multiple times while I was there. I don't know WHAT was going on in that house, but it was evil.

+ Once everyone was on the mend, we went to lunch one day. Gracie wanted mac n cheese, but when she took a bite she said it was gross. Mac n cheese is her favorite food, so alarm bells started ringing, but I also thought she was just being picky. I took a bite to prove her wrong. Oh, no. Something was wrong with that mac n cheese. We sent it back, and the server came back later and said the chef said something had gone wrong with the cheese and he had thrown it all out. Then he added "I hope you guys don't get sick." Do you know how comforting that is to hear right after the stomach bug went through the house?? Once again, we miraculously didn't get sick. We also went to the zoo and explored bookstores and coffee shops, so the trip was definitely redeemed to a degree.

I don't show my face much around here lately, so here's a photo of me enjoying some coffee. That's pretty much how I've gotten through the summer. I'm every bit as tired as my under eye bags say I am.

+ The day after we got home, our water heater died. The day we discovered it I was calm, cool (literally and figuratively), and collected. No worries, it will get fixed. We filed a claim with the home warranty plan we've kept because we knew this was due to happen. They were supposed to send a plumber over to diagnose the issue, but they couldn't find anyone. We called every day, and every day they said "it's taking an unusually long time to find someone to come." Every day, I got a little more cool (cold showers and all) and a lot less calm and collected. Heating water on the stove to sponge bathe with gets old VERY quickly. Finally, they said we need to find someone ourselves and they would repay us. Fine. Our plumber came that afternoon. He said we had the worst water heater ever made, it was way past its prime, replacement parts don't even exist, and because of the ridiculous way it was made, no plumber would or could work on it. The warranty company said, cool! Fine! We'll cover this. The claim just needs to go through the final approval process. They denied it. I appealed it. For the second time in a week and the third time in my life, I yelled at someone on the phone. I'm not saying I'm proud of this, but I am saying it happened. I'm also not saying I regret it. Our plumber even called for us to fight on our behalf. No dice. The next day, I called again. I was polite but firm. We have a child, I haven't showered in days, we need hot water, I have a mountain of laundry from a recent trip, we're paying you for this, etc. "Well, we actually don't cover water heaters. I mean, we do, but we don't cover replacements. Just the heating elements." Actual steam came out of my ears at this point. I was so hot from anger I could've heated the water myself. Gracie chose that moment to walk in the room and shriek an ear-piercing shriek. The woman suddenly said "You're a mom? So am I. You do need hot water! We will be sending you a check to go toward the replacement. I'm so sorry about all this."

You guys, sometimes it literally pays to have a disobedient child.

And for the record, I had tried multiple times to play the mom card, but apparently she needed to hear the tornado living in my house before she believed it.

As soon as we got hot water back, we had a heat wave and it was over 100 for the better part of a week. I had to laugh at the timing. But it's much better than losing hot water in the winter!

Also--as someone who puts off doctor appointments for 6 months because of the very real terror of calling to schedule the appointment, that was A LOT of phone calls in one week for me.

+ James got a new job. He's at the same company, but he's in a very different field now. It's been a big adjustment for all of us, mostly because he's in the office a lot more now--just normal hours, but he has a long commute and can't work from home here and there like he used to. The good news is, he never has to travel again for work or take phone calls at 8 or 9pm. It's a good trade off, and I think he'll be really happy. And it's a great job. The days have felt loooooong, though. Of course as soon as this started, every road he can take to work is closed indefinitely for construction. He's basically been gone for 12 hours at a time now. SUPER FUN.

+ In a few weeks, we're getting all the windows in our house replaced. We knew this would happen eventually, but we didn't think it would happen so soon. Our windows are 55 year old wooden windows that are warped, dry rotting, covered in lead paint, and just AWFUL. Half of them won't even open, and it's a 17 step process to open even one of them. In the winter, they ice on the inside, and we decided we are just not going to survive another frigid winter with them. I was so naive about the window replacement process. Mostly the price. My WORD. The price. You could buy a second house for the amount you can spend on new windows. We have a one story house. It's not that big. Yes, we have large windows, but we still have a smaller house. Some of the quotes we received were so outlandish I laughed people out of the house. We had a full week of people traipsing through our house, measuring windows and commenting on every room of the house and trying to upsell us and overstay their welcome. It was EXHAUSTING. It was like inviting car salesmen inside. The man from the company we finally went with will never forget the afternoon he spent at our house. It was supposed to be an hour long appointment, max. It lasted THREE HOURS. Three hours of negotiating. I learned that I'm a good negotiator. I had no idea I had possessed those skills. I had him call his boss over and over for additional discounts. I could see him sweat from stress and the pressure I was putting on him. We're paying a fraction of the original quote he gave us. It's still an alarmingly high number, but relatively speaking, we got a bargain.

One of the worst parts of this whole process were the men who wouldn't negotiate with me, only James. James got stuck on a work call while one guy was here, and he kept saying he wouldn't talk numbers with me, only my husband. I was FURIOUS. I am just as capable at making financial decisions as my husband is, and we already discussed what we were comfortable spending. I firmly told him that, and he finally said he would write a number down and before he showed me he asked me "can you handle this?" He gave us a better quote, but we didn't go with him for multiple reasons, but the main one for me was how he treated me. Another man told me on the phone to make sure my husband was around to make the decision. I wanted him around so he could hear for himself and we could make the decision together. And ultimately, I'm the one who negotiated the great deal we got. SO THERE.

+ In between all these happenings, we've spent hours at the library, the splash pad, the zoo, and the park. I've been trying to fit in a play date or two a week. I've been reading a lot of books. SHOCKER. Gracie asked for her Pack n Play a few weeks ago??? She played in one at my friend's house when she babysat for me, and apparently Gracie got her thrills from being in an enclosed space. I thought, why not! So I got it out of storage and made her a blanket fort with it. SHE TOOK NAPS IN IT. Naps!! Two in one week! She hasn't done that in a year. She's way too big for it, but she doesn't care. I had completely forgotten what silence is. She plays with it every day and I don't even care that it's taking up most of the play area in her room.

+ Speaking of the library, Gracie has been doing her 4 year old research project on volcanoes. Last summer when Kilauea was erupting, I showed her a video of the lava. She was entranced. She asked about it again awhile ago, so we looked up volcano videos. She asked a million questions. We went to the library last week, and she walked up to the librarian HERSELF and asked where the volcano books are. We came home with every single one they had and read them at least twice a day. She can tell you all about the different types of volcanoes, the ring of fire, and the difference between lava and magma. She officially knows as much as I do, because I went through a similar volcano phase as a kid.

+ Someone sent me this mug, and it made my whole month. I've wanted this mug from Carrot Top Paper Shop for millennia, but I've never told anyone and can't figure out who sent it. There was a sweet note included, but no name! WAS IT YOU? If so, I love you. If not, I still love you.

Anyway, that's what we've been up to. What's new with you? Is anyone still out there? WHO SENT ME THIS MUG? Tell me so I can love you!


3 things

Just a heads up...from now on, my blog is going to be strictly made up of Myspace survey-type posts that I've stolen from Rebecca, because lemme tell you something. It's 4:30 pm. It's 95 degrees outside. I'm zapped from the one hour of outside time I managed earlier, I've given up on keeping my 4yo away from the TV, and I'm trying to busy my hands so I don't eat a donut. I foresee this being the situation for the rest of the summer. 

Three things I lost my MIND over this week
1. Seeing the Avett Brothers with one of my best friends. It was the best night.
2. I listened to my very first Jonas Brothers song this week. I've made it this long before succumbing to the fandom. 
3. There's a farmhouse down the street that looks exactly the way I imagine Green Gables--white with a green roof and green shutters. The other day I saw the woman who lives there (riding a vintage tractor, no less), and she has red hair. ANNE SHIRLEY LIVES.

Three signs I'll never hang in my house
1. *rolls up sleeves* WHERE TO BEGIN?! Those scripty "gAtHeR" signs that everyone hangs in their dining rooms. I HATE word art, which is ironic when you consider how much I love words and reading. Might as well hang up "POOP" over the toilet. 
2. My all-time favorite slogan to hate, Live Laugh Love. There was a vinyl decal of that on our living room wall before we bought the house. The first thing I did after closing was tear it down. If we had a fireplace, I would've burned it. 
3. Basically any kind of cheesy saying you can find on reclaimed barn wood at Hobby Lobby. I do make an exception for the wooden sign with the lyrics to Amazing Grace that's hanging in G's room. 

Three things I neglected this week
1. Mopping the kitchen/mud room floor. Taking the term mud room seriously, because there are muddy footprints everywhere and I've given up.
2. Making a dentist appointment. Every day I wake up and tell myself THIS will be the day I call and make an appointment. Nope.
3. Weeding the flowerbeds. It's either been raining or 100 degrees. 

Three things I've tried recently
1. This Pink Lemonade dip. So refreshing! 
2. Allie Stuckey's podcast Relatable. I loved it.
3. Going on a walk mid-day sans sunscreen. 0/10 stars, would not recommend. 

Three house things I hate doing
1. Doing the dishes. We don't have a dishwasher, and at this point I'd rather do 12 loads of laundry a day than one load of dishes. 
2. Mopping the floor (see above)
3. Cleaning the bathroom.

Three things I wear all the time
1. Striped tees
2. Jeans
3. Birks

Three things I never wear
1. I could leave everything Rebecca had previously. Heels. They're a device of torture, and I'm already taller than everyone I know.
2. Cold-shoulder tees and crop tops----please stop taking fabric away from me and trying to charge the same price.
3. Belts

Three books on my kindle waiting to be read
1. I don't think I have anything waiting on my kindle, but my nightstand is another story. Digital Minimalism
2. Waiting for Tom Hanks
3. One Summer

Three things I have to do but don't feel like doing
1. Organize the toy chaos 
2. Meal plan
3. Call and have mulch delivered 

Three things I'm looking forward to 
1. The 4th of July
2. Visiting my parents 
3. FALL. I love summer more than I used to, but when it's this hot, I get heat exhaustion just looking out the window.  But then I think about preschool germs and *try* to enjoy the heat.


all about books

I'm stealing this from Rebecca! I can never pass up an opportunity to talk about books 

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I have no idea. I still have some books from my high school english classes. Actually, no. I just remembered I have Left Behind on my shelf. I read the entire series when I was 11. I have no idea why I still have that book, but I can't get rid of it for some reason.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Last night I started Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers. Before that, I read Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. The reviews aren't stellar, but I LOVED it. Next, I'll probably read Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday. I've been anxious to read it, but I'm struggling to get into nonfiction lately. 

What Books Did Everyone Like, but You Hated?

Girl, Wash Your Face, Me Before You, The Catcher in the Rye, and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Hated them all with a fiery passion. I read the Harry Potter series and was definitely entertained, but I just don't understand the all-consuming obsession.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Fantasy is not my thing!

What book are you saving for retirement?


Last page: read it first or wait ’til the end?

I used to flip to the end to make sure everything worked out alright. Now, the thought of a spoiler gives me hives!

Acknowledgment: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

I have no opinion on this. I'll skim it occasionally, but I don't really care. It's only interesting for the people who are mentioned.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Anne of Green Gables. I love her life (throughout the whole series, not necessarily the first book) and the way she lives it.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (place, time, person)?

The Little House on the Prairie books. I still remember reading them under the covers with a flashlight when I was a kid, and then reading them again a few years ago. Honestly, I'm ready to go through the whole series again. Anne, too!

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Umm...hmmm. I have a whole shelf of books I found in a used bookstore, one being a 1914 Louisa May Alcott book. I also have a Latin primer from the late 1800s. My college roommate found it somewhere and gave it to me when I was studying Latin. 

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason/to a special person?

Oh yes, many times! 

Which book has been with you to the most places?

My Bible? I have no idea.

Any ‘required reading’ you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later.

Well, it took more than two years, since I studied English in college and therefore had to suffer through lots of required reading that I hated. I reread The Great Gatsby as an adult, and while it will never be my favorite book, I liked it a lot more. I still need to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I was so bored when we read it in school. I'm the worst, I know. I still hate Shakespeare, and that will never change. I've read a few books as an adult that I didn't read in high school, but that are common required reading in HS (Jane Eyre, 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, etc). I'm glad I waited till I was an adult and could fully appreciate them.
Used or brand new?

Either. I love cracking open a brand new book, but old books are a favorite of mine. 
Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
Brooklyn. Didn't care for the book, but I LOVED the movie. 

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Yes. Lunch in Paris & Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard made me salivate. 

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My friend Ashley. She never steers me wrong. I also love AnneMarie's and Elena's reviews. I've picked up a lot of suggestions from them and always love them. 

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. outside of your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

1984. That sort of book was way out in left field for me at the time I read it, but it blew me away.

Now tell me your answers! I want to know.