"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - (American) Thanksgiving Edition

This week is a Thanksgiving theme over at The Broke and the Bookish, so I've chosen to write about fictional families. There are some families in books that are so fun and sweet and I would totally want to be at their table for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are five:

1. The Weasleys from the Harry Potter series: I think we all saw that one coming. How much fun would it be to spend a holiday in the Burrow?!

2. The Bennets from Pride and Prejudice: Okay, Mary is awkward and Lydia is a handful, but I think it would be fun chatting with Lizzie and Jane and having a laugh at Mr Bennet's dry wit.

3. Lara Jean's family from To All the Boys I've Loved Before (and the sequel): I love the three sisters from this series. They are funny and quirky, and they fight but still love each other. I feel like they would be a blast to hang out with for Thanksgiving dinner. (Not to mention, Lara Jean would bake something delicious for dessert!)

4. Lou's family from Me Before You and After You: Sure, they've got problems, and they probably don't have much room around the table, but Lou is hilarious and her nephew and grandfather are a riot. I think they'd be welcoming and warm.

5. The Green Gables family from Anne of Green Gables: Yes, they're a non-traditional family, but Anne is such a riot and Matthew is so warm, and you know that with Marilla cooking, the food would be fantastic.

And five families that would make staying home alone preferable!
6. The Malfoys from the Harry Potter series: They're arrogant and they're racists (or the Wizard equivalent). Need I say more?

7. Any family in a Gillian Flynn novel, but especially the Camille's family in Sharp Objects: I'd rather impale myself WITH all those sharp objects than spend the day with this collection of people. Soooo creepy.

8. King Arthur's family as portrayed in The Mists of Avalon: I mean, the food would probably be great, but it comes with a healthy side dish of dysfunction.

9. The de Bourgh family from Pride and Prejudice: Colonel Fitzwilliam's comment sums it up: "My aunt does talk a great deal, but seldom requires a response." Considering I'm not a gentleman's daughter, I think it would just be an evening of awkwardness, even if I were granted a look at the famous chimney piece of Rosings Park.

10. The Karamazov family in The Brothers Karamazov: Way too much baggage and drama for my liking.

Happy Thanksgiving to any American readers! Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Book To Movie/TV Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

I've skipped a few TTT due to not really feeling the topics, but today's discussion at The Broke and the Bookish is a fun one. We're talking about which book adaptations we are looking forward to, or which ones are already out that we still need to watch. One thing about me is that I rarely watch movies. It's not for any philosophical reason. I just rarely get out to the cinema. I've seen one film in theatres this year so far... That said, here are some that I really need to make time for, one of these days:

1. Mansfield Park: There are several adaptations of this book, but I haven't seen any of them. I hear good things about the 1999 version, even if it's not loved by all Austenites.

2. Paper Towns: I quite enjoyed this John Green book, actually (whispers) more than I liked The Fault In Our Stars. I'd love to see the film.

3. Divergent: I'm just waiting for this to play on TV some days so I can convince my husband to watch with me.

4. The Remains of the Day: Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. How in the world have I not seen this film?

5. Life of Pi: I didn't particularly like this book, despite all the hype. However, I hear the film is wonderful and I really do want to watch it.

6. The Great Gatsby: I'm a sucker for Baz Luhrmann. He makes such gorgeous films.

7. Wolf Hall: Now that I've read both Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, catching the mini-series is on my radar, for when I'm not buried in school assignments.

8. Matilda: I adore this book, but the movie came out just before I turned 16, so when I was feeling way too old to see a kids' movie. I hear it's great though.

And finally two adaptations that I won't see until I've actually read the books:
9. War and Peace: One day, I will read this book. I swear it. I'd also like to see some of the film adaptations, as well as the upcoming BBC miniseries.

10. The Book Thief: It's on my to-read list, I promise!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

General Life Update

This is just a post to let people know how things are going in various aspects of our lives. I'm just realizing that there are people who read my blog because they genuinely want to keep up with me, and I haven't been doing the best at that, so I'm sorry. Here is what's going on in various areas of life:

School: I'm still in grad school, halfway through the fall semester. These past few weeks have been extremely busy with work, three classes, a practicum, and Bible study, and I'm a bit overloaded. Overall, though, the program has been great and I enjoy my classes. (Well, I enjoy most of them...) It has tremendously helped my emotional health to spend a lot of time in a place where no one thinks to ask/grill/interrogate me about when we will have kids, why we don't have kids, and various and sundry biological clock issues. I've met some great friends through my program as well. I will be finished in April, so I'm starting to think about when to apply for a job in my field. Yikes!

Work: I still work at my church, though I cut my hours back because of school. I am honestly praying about how long to continue in this position. I love my church, but I want to do the best I can at my job, and it's hard to do that when I am so drained by school, etc. We shall see.

Marriage: We had our fourth wedding anniversary last week. Time flies! Well, I don't know if it's flown by, honestly. There are days when I feel like we just got married yesterday, and other days when I look at photos from our wedding day and marvel at how young and unaware I was. I find special days bittersweet right now. I remember how I pictured my life at four year's married, and it certainly didn't involve being childless, a receptionist, or in school. However, our love for each other continues to grow and I am convinced that God will use these troubles to strengthen us if we let it.

Infertility: Well, it still sucks. I go through periods when this struggle is all-consuming and debilitating, and others in which it is just a constant pain in my heart, but livable. Today it's livable. We are not pursuing any treatment at this time for various reasons, but it is still a constant source of sadness.

Cat: Is great! My cat is a light when things feel dark. (God is a light too, of course, but He's not so cuddly.)
Gratuitous cat photo

Other random stuff: I've joined a new gym. It is frequented by absolutely hilarious older ladies who make me chuckle in the changerooms. I'm also really, really hoping that we'll be able to take a vacation this winter, because we desperately need some prolonged alone time.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Wishes for the Book Genie

I'm a little late, but I can't resist this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: Ten wishes we'd ask the book genie to grant us. I've basically gone as wildly unrealistic as possible. Here is my list:

1. More time to read. Like create extra hours in the day that are only accessible for reading, not for work or housework or whatever.

2. A VIP line for library holds, or preferential treatment for us frequent users.

3. A cloaking device so that I can laugh or cry to my heart's content while reading on the subway or read in public places without anyone talking to me.

4. Some kind of magic spell so my books to stay open to the right place, without me breaking the spine.

5. Some kind of magic so that big clunky hardcover books are not so heavy and fit easily in my purse.

6. Built in shelves with a sliding ladder, or basically my own library.

7. A beacon so that I can identify people who the same books as me while I'm out and about.

8. All the Harry Potter merch available. Like all of it.

9. To attend a recreation of the Netherfield ball. It could happen, right?

10. To be able to read my favourite books for the first time again and experience everything anew.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Infertility Chat: You're allowed to be sad.

I've been neglecting my blog lately. Yikes! This semester just started biting back and I've been stressed. However, despite having an exam to study for and a million things to do, I've got words flowing through my head and fingers right now, so I am writing.

The infertility community is... interesting. It can be life-giving to find your tribe, to realize you're not alone in your struggle. On the other hand, becoming involved in infertility groups or even just conversations about the journey can make you crazy. The questions. The comments. The need to justify your decisions. The feelings of comparison and jealousy and sometimes the one-upmanship. I feel the need to say something important and that is: You're allowed to be sad. Yes, you.

If you've "only" been trying six months, or one year, or five years. No matter how long you've been trying, you're allowed to be sad. It's hard.

If you haven't tried everything, and even if you're not sure whether treatment is for you, you're allowed to be sad. It doesn't mean you want it less or you're less deserving of a child.

If you don't want to pursue adoption, you're allowed to be sad. There is no law that infertile couples must adopt. It isn't for everyone, and just because you don't want to go that route doesn't mean you don't want a child enough.

If your spouse isn't on board for treatment, you're allowed to be sad. It's lonely to feel like you're not on the same page. Just because you won't strong-arm them doesn't mean you don't want it that badly.

If you have told everyone in your life about your infertility, you're allowed to feel alone (and sad). Having people know what's happening doesn't mean they truly know your struggle.

If it's a happy occasion for someone else, you're allowed to be sad. It doesn't mean you aren't excited for them. You can be happy and sad at the same time. It's called being real.

If you've already had children and are having trouble conceiving another, you're allowed to be sad. You don't feel like your family is complete, and that doesn't mean you don't appreciate your existing children.

The bottom line is, don't let anyone tell you that you aren't allowed to feel. This is your journey. These are your emotions. Infertility is lonely and hard and soul-destroying, and you're allowed to be sad about it. One day, when you're further along this rugged road, someone will come to you with tears in her eyes, and spill her story, and it will be your turn not to judge or to invalidate her story, but to simply say, "It's okay. It's okay to feel sad."

Monday, 28 September 2015

Overwhelm book cover reveal!

Today is a fun day! I mentioned last week that one of the books on my fall TBR list is Overwhelm by Layla Messner. Layla was my housemate in university, and I am honoured to be able to promote her book. Today I'm taking part in her book cover reveal, hosted by:


Here is the book summary:

Overwhelm by Layla Messner
Release Date: November 13, 2015

The living crystals that feed elemental power to Atlantis are exhausted. They give and give, but the Altantians just want more energy to fuel their magical city. Sixteen years ago, the crystals came up with a plan to make it all stop, a plan that revolves around three teens:

KALIOPE is a soulsinger, an empath with the power to sing the souls of the dead to their next lives. She just wants to grow up, but her mother won't let her.

DANICA is Kalipe's whipping girl. She gets punished whenever Kali disobeys.

CHIARAN is a firestarter, so reckless even his family considers him a monster.

When Chiaran arrives in Atlantis, he's the first fire person to set foot on the island in a hundred years. Kaliope naturally considers him an enemy and uses the last of her depleted power against him. But the battle reveals that the two have more in common than anyone could have guessed. 

Anyone, that is, except the crystals.

Three teenage antiheroes, a bisexual love triangle, and an island about to sink. 

Overwhelm is a darkly sensual fairy tale about growing up against all odds.

About the author:
Láyla Messner is a young-adult author and the founder of Chrysalis Sanctuary for healing childhood sexual abuse. She has an M.A. in embodied writing from Goddard College and her novels provide New Sexual Mythology for teens.

She believes that love is real. She does not believe in unsolicited advice or the word "impossible".

Author links:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Read - Fall 2015 Edition

Today over at the Broke and the Bookish, we're posting our TBR list for the autumn. I've had trouble paring this down, though with school, work, and a practicum, I don't know how much time I'll realistically have to read so much. Here is what I have so far:

Forthcoming Books:
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: I'm typically not one to pre-order books, but this one is coming my way as soon as it's published. It's Rowell meets Harry Potter, so what's not to like? Squeeeeee!

2. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: I've become slightly addicted to The Book Geek's reviews and vlogs, and this was recommended. I don't know that I've ever read a real Western, so I'm looking forward to the experience.

3. After You by Jojo Moyes: I feel like I'm likely to be disappointed by this book since I loved Me Before You so much... but I can't not read it.

4. Overwhelm by Layla Messner: Layla was my housemate in university, and I have pre-ordered her first novel (well, first to be published, anyway). Can't wait! I'm giving it as much book publicity as I possibly can.

5. Ms. Marvel: Last Days: I'm slightly obsessed with this series after reading Volume 1 for a graphic novels course this past summer. Cannot wait for the next one to come out on December 1! Although this one may not get read by the end of fall because I'll be getting it via the library.

6. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood: I love her. End of story.

I have a 50-book list courtesy of the Classics Club blog, although I'm not officially participating because I don't blog about my books. Nonetheless, I still am attempting to read those fifty books within five years (by June 2018), and I'm hoping to cover at least two before winter:
7. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne: I'm supposed to finish this by October 23 as part of the Classics Club "spin". 

8. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser: This has been on my TBR (and my Kindle) for ages, so it's high time that I actually read it.

9. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel: I absolutely loved Wolf Hall, so hopefully this one will be a winner for me too..

10. The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King: I heard him interviewed on CBC Radio and was fascinated by this book. Also, I am woefully uneducated about the issue facing Native Canadians, and am hoping to rectify that.