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This is 31...

So this is 31.... 

There are all kinds of posts, Pinterest pins, articles, etc. on turning the big 3-0. And I totally agree, I really do think it was a liberating milestone. But this being 31 business... it's got a really different vibe and I am totally digging it... 

31 is...normal. It's "C'est la vie" and I am really okay with it. 

Today I turned 31. I started the day with coffee, checking work emails, chatting with my husband...it was supposed to be a normal Monday routine. I had a day of work, catching up on Girls (Season 6!) and laundry and then dinner with my family, which is everything I wanted. And then... spent the day at the doctor's office and hospital because it turns out, R2 didn't just hurt her arm like we thought on Friday, after further checking, it turns out she broke  it in 2 places. 

This is 31. Having normal every-day plans and going about  your business and when life steps in and throws you a curve ball, you just kind of reach your hand up and grab it- just like Geena Davis in A League of Their Own. And being totally okay with it. Broken arm? Been broken since Friday but didn't really notice because of the swelling? NO MOM GUILT ALLOWED, because it happens ALL the time. (I know because I asked the nurse at the doctor's office like 6 times). 

Waiting the last minute for Valentine's boxes? Instant mac and cheese. Never needing a wine cork. Mismatched socks. Seven half drunk bottles of water near your bed side table or rolling around in your car. 

Running up and down the stairs doing laundry all day because you don't have a clean pair of black leggings? This is 31.

Wearing ear plugs so that you can handle going to various basketball, football and wrestling tournaments without going nuts? This is 31.

Crying because the TV won't work and all you want is to watch Snapped while you cook dinner? IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK? This is 31.

Making your son go to his room because he wouldn't shut his mouth during Lady Gaga's Super Bowl performance? This is 31. 

Complaining to your husband that you never get to do anything fun but then the first time any social opportunity comes up, you secretly just want to stay home in your newly washed leggings? This is 31. 

Hearing that someone younger you work with hasn't seen Clueless, doesn't know who Pat Benatar is or doesn't catch Saved by the Bell references? This is 31. 

Buying yourself new Hunter boots "for your birthday present" but secretly wishing your husband still buys you something? This is 31...

Relieved that your 9-year-old and you can wear the same socks so there's less matching to do? This is 31... 

Posting a perfect photo that's edited with all of the filters for Instagram but showing the chaos behind what it took to get that one shot to your real friends on SnapChat? This is 31. 

Bring on the Xanax, the Pinot, the quiet time and the messy. This is your 30s. Sit back and relax a little.

"C'est la vie"

I Don't Have Time For That

Hi, my name is Jen and I am a bookworm who never has time to read. 
This is my pile. It's sitting on the arm of my reading chair crying because it's not getting any attention. I have no reviews to give, no thumbs up to send your way. Just a sad face emoji yearning for more time in my day. 

Also, since I have no time to sit and read for long periods of time, I have started Victoria AND the Fifth Letter and have put both aside because they haven't grabbed my attention enough or are moving slow. Give me the goods quickly!

Third time's a charm though because Idaho has me GLUED but it's also super sad. I read last night until I dropped the book on my face (please tell me this happens to you) because I fell asleep, not out of boredom but out of pure exhaustion. I'm listening to The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg-which is adorable just like I expected- her books are always charming. Next up is My Husband's Wife too! 

I am OVER THE MOON excited for the premiere of Big Little Lies on HBO and Girls - the last season- starts this weekend. 

And this weekend also brings two wrestling meets, 2 dance camp performances, over 60 Valentine's day treats to be made, a trip to the eye doctor and a much-needed gal's night in on Saturday night- pajamas required. Just writing that makes me want to take a nap. 

Then it's on to my birthday week, Valentine's Day and next week: Beauty and the Beast Live with all the ladies in the family. I am absolutely in love with the trailers of the movie. I can't wait to see it! 

Random things you need to know about also: Busy Phillips on Instagram, the Reese Witherspoon Bookclub & the Book Baristas Facebook Groups (the only reasons I ever get on there).

More things that are making me smile lately that you need to know about: Beard oil for men- beard culture- it's a thing and I love it. Bookstagram accounts featuring dogs, Lena Dunham's house in her 73 Questions with Vogue interview and BookRiot on Snapchat. And now I am beginning to realize but I never have time to read- I am obviously too busy doin all this other crap but I promise to focus next week, self, I promise! 

I'm leaving here with this amazing and spot-on quote: 

This is what I like to call short and sweet but I think that's what we all love isn't it? Short, sweet and to the point. Read those books, watch those movies and enjoy the weekend! 

Finally time to write.

If I had to nail down the reasons why I love to write, I would never succeed. I don't have enough time nor the attention span and neither do my kids but for some crazy reason tonight I find myself alone at 6:00 in the evening with a glass of red, Amazon Prime and the whole house to myself. 

So here I am, writing. I don't even have a topic in hand so pardon if I ramble but here's what I am loving lately: 

Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon. I read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by  Therese Anne Fowler a while ago and have always been enchanted by Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and this is just the kind of binge-worthy show I have been craving. It's magic. My sister raved about The Crown and I did watch a couple of episodes but was craving something a little more fast-paced... Hubs and I are watching Shameless together too and I swear, if Deb and Carl were real, I would adopt them in a heart-beat. I am so in love with that series. 

As it happens, whenever the binge-watching goes up, the reading goes down but I did finish another Taylor Jenkins Reid: Maybe in Another Life. It didn't make me cry as hard as One True Loves but it was still really good. Next on my list is The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty, who's the sister of Liane Moriarty- the genius behind Big Little Lies and My Husband's Secret. I also listened to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck  (A MUST) and The Two-Family House on Audible in January. 

Let's see, what else am I loving lately? I'm loving that I gave up posting and looking at Facebook.  If and when I do log in, I go straight to my Book Club groups and try to stay away from the newsfeed as much as possible. I just can't stand seeing all the arguing and fake news. For now, I stick to NPR, Goodreads, Litsy and Instagram.

Today while I was checking out at Hyvee, I noticed someone had turned every single magazine cover with a certain political figure's face on it to face backwards. So instead all I saw were photos of pies, abs and Entertainment Weekly and I can't say I minded one bit. 

This month marks birthday month for me and since it's no longer a thing to celebrate after the big 3-you-know-what, I already took the liberty of buying myself a few new pairs of shoes and a purse to celebrate so the online shopping game has also kept me busy. What do you call window shopping online? Scrolling I guess. Whatever you call putting a crap ton of clothes in your shopping cart, leaving them there until you get emailed a coupon from the website enticing you to come back and finish the deal. Because that's what I call fun. And sending the most unflattering Snapchat videos to my girlfriends as possible, Facetiming my sister and following funny Instagram accounts like @omgthisissous and @beigecardigan. Entertainment for hours, I tell you. 

What have you been loving lately? 

What I've Been Reading Lately

I missed my monthly "Show Us Your Books" Round up with +Stephanie Mellor Doyle and +Jana Lynch and I was super sad, but I still wanted to talk about the books I've read lately because there are so many great ones! 

First up, one of my @BookoftheMonthClub picks for January:

As if I already didn't think the charm of NYC was magical, Lillian Boxfish made sure that I always would feel that way.

It's NYE, 1984 and Lillian, spry and sharp even in her mid-eighties, is determinedly walking the streets of New York City in order to have her annual NYE dinner at her favorite restaurant.

The books is simple in its intent: to show you the life and times of a woman who blazed the trail for females in a male-dominated industry in the late 1920s and early 1930s. But where it is simple in plot, the story also is filled with a magical tapestry of times gone by...of Lillian's life in its various stages and her dreams-the ones that came true and the ones that did not.

As a successful advertiser for R.H. Macy's, a poet and an author, Lillian is somewhat of a celebrity but as she has grown old, generations of gone on without her. The book finds her reminiscent, but not in a sad way, more of a prideful and accepting way that reassures the reader that Lillian is happy.

I loved Lillian's story telling- it's straight and to the point and very honest and observant. I love the landmarks and hidden gems she introduces as she walks through NYC...it's a wonderful read especially if you've been to the city and can recall the sounds of the honking taxis and the warmth of the cement sidewalk under your feet.

This book is a gem.

This is another @BookoftheMonthClub read and I love the premise: 3 twenty-somethings, all with various burdens to bare, decide to "get back to health" and live disconnected from the rest of the world in the middle of no where. They live off the land, create as little waste as possible and things get a little..weird. I started to think it was going to be a little like "The Girls" but I actually haven't finished it yet as I write this- I am about 3/4s the way through. I'll let you know how it turns out. So far, nothing crazy has happened but I am still obsessed about the characters. One girl fled to the house to get over an ex- she literally quit her job without telling anyone and disappeared. In the months that she was hiding out, her friend starting a relationship with her ex-boyfriend and now they've both shown up at the house as well. Things just can't go well after that, so we will see! 

PS If you want to try Book of the Month Club-Click here for a 3 Month Trial for only $9.99 a month PLUS a free tote! It's a great subscription type box because you get to pick your books and if you don't want any of the choices you can skip a month and then pick right back up the next. Easy! And I love the different choices of genres and BOTM always includes an extra gift in the box, they are the best! 

I think I talked about this a little bit in my best reads of 2016 but only because I finished it just in the nick of time. It's the best psychological thriller I've read in quite a while and I really liked it. The point-of-view, the twists, the screwed up characters...it's just a juicy story that I couldn't put down. It's the first book I have read in such a short amount of time. Since I took a week off work after Christmas, I read it all in just 2 days!  I even passed it over to the Hubs after I finished it and he hasn't put it down either. 

I am always reading a hardback, an e-book and an audiobook so here's my ebook of the month: 

Sweet Girl by Travis Mulhauser  - Drug dealers, snow and a lost baby. I'm hooked. 

I'm also listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and I am loving this. It's just the kick-in-the-pants attitude adjustment I need right now. 

What are you reading right now?