August Heart to Heart

I am still really struggling to admit it, but the truth remains, it is September. The struggle has been so real, its 11 days in to September🤦🏻‍♀️. August came and went in a big old blur.  Did it for you too? Though the cold mornings have been creeping in, I am not ready to trade my iced coffee for all the pumpkin things just yet. So I am going to tell you all about August from under a blanket while stubbornly sipping an ice cold coffee.

The Highs

Welcome to New Jersey

We had the best kind of busy this month with so many visitors!
First we welcomed some dear hoosier friends. We served alongside Conner in ministry a few years back and though Kristin has always felt like a great friend, this was the first time we were able to meet face to face!

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IMG_1105.JPGThe following weekend we had a sweet couple days with other dear friends from New Hampshire. We cherish every minute with Daniel and Natalie. They are the kind of people that make you feel right at home and let you breathe deep you know? They also the kind of people you have wacky pool competitions with.

Then to top it all of, we had the privilege of hosting miss Kinsley Marie after her first road trip! Mom, Dad, sister, brother, baby. My heart friends. Isn’t there something so sweet about sharing your places with the people you love who aren’t in that place with you? Does that even make sense? Regardless, it was so so good.

IMG_0785Not update update, she still loves her Uncle Bobby.IMG_0794
I dare you not to laugh at her mohawk, and the face though!IMG_5441
Her little legs never stop kicking out of the water, so you know she had a blast kicking away in the pool.

 She is the sweetest friends. Just a little love bug. But for the sake of authenticity, you know you cant always just get love and cuddles, sometimes you get a little bit of this mixed in.

Greetings from Michigan

At the end of the month we cashed in on an incredible Christmas gift from the Hubby’s parents with a week vacation to Lake Michigan. Stunning does not even cover it. We reconnected with family, we dreamed, we kayaked, we learned Euchre, and someone (me) bought a souvenir shirt that says “great lakes, unsalted and sharlkess.” yes, you are reading that right.

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The Lows

Hmm. . .

It was a busy month, but overall it was great. The one low I can think of seems to occur every year around the last week of August. An already wild and unstructured summer schedule seems to just go totally bonkers in that last week, anyone else? Honestly I get to the end of my rope with inconsistency by then so it feels like a punch to the gut. But if thats the worst thing August could throw at me I am in pretty good shape.

What I Read

 Hunger – Roxane Gay

I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.

So many emotions over this one. Roxane tells her story with such jarring and beautiful honesty. She walks in the tension of having grace for her body, yet wanting to change, embracing her story and the struggles she faces because of it, but also seeking to overcome. Roxanne definitely doesn’t hand you easy answers, but sets you up well to think for yourself.

 Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Lets not talk about how late I am to this party but OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK IS INSANE! I listened to it on audio, reached the first plot twist right before vacation and had to download it on my phone because I could not possibly wait a whole dang week. You know I watched the movie as soon as I finished! Get your hands on it for a captivating “for fun” read.

 The Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown

A synopsis from GoodReads “Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.”

The whole family listened to this on audio on our drive to Michigan (Edward Herman, aka grandpa on Gilmore Girls is the reader, and I for one would listen to him read an encyclopedia, he was made for it!) Its engaging, heart wrenching, and inspiring. We were all reading to take up rowing when we got home.

 Why Not Me – Mindy Kaling

Okay, I am going to be honest and say I didn’t love it. I am all about championing powerful women, and I appreciate Mindy’s honesty in some places, but in a lot of places I just wasn’t on her humor page. Still love her though.

 Woman Code -Alisa Vitti

Ladies, there is just so much to learn about our bodies. This book
1. Made me FURIOUS at the way women’s issues are handled in our culture and by standard medicine.
2. Made me sad that it wasn’t until my 26th year of life (and therefore roughly my 14th year of menstruating) that I got my hands on this information, and
3. inspired and encouraged me to know more about my body and work with it instead of against it. (If this interests you, I also highly suggest Taking Charge of Your Fertility)

What I Watched

Black Mirror – Again Hubby and I are late to the party, but we finally watched Black Mirror. I like to describe it as a modern take on “The Twilight Zone ” (but I have a feeling I got that description from someone else). If you want to be horrified about the future, empowered to live in the woods somewhere off the grid, and really think deeply about issues in our society, this is just the ticket.

The Mayweather v. McGreggor Fight.
We watched it, it felt like a cultural necessity. It was more interesting than I was anticipating. That is all.

What I Listened To

Andrew Belle – Dive Deep
Andrew Belle dropped a new album, and hubby and I are digging it.

Some Things I Loved

Cold Brew Pitcher
With my love of cold java can you believe it took me this long to invest in one of these? I used to make cold brew by steeping the beans and water in a big bowl than used filters or a cheese cloth and it was so. much. mess and so. much. time. This thing is amazing.

What I am Looking Forward to

Routine

See “the lows.”

Back to school

I am taking a class this year and we kick off on the 16th. I always say my dream job would be to get paid to be a student, so you know I am counting down. The class is called Empower at Alliance Theological Seminary and it is specifically for women in the church. I feel like the timing could not be better for me and I just feel GOd moving in it deep in my bones.

All. The. TV.

Call me a loser, but I am STOKED for all our TV shows to return for the season.

Bobby’s World – Heroes – Coach Taylor

I present to you Bobby’s World, monthly musings from the one and only Hubby!  A few months ago he introduced us to his Hero series. Check it out here is you want a little refresher.


 

“Are you talking about him, again?

The unexpected question instantly stopped my intense conversation. I was immediately flooded with a sense of guilt and shame, but I felt a surge of pride rise above it. I looked at my co-conspirator, whose eyes were looking down at his shoes. I puffed out my chest and responded to Megan’s question with a classic, “Yeah? What’s the big deal?”

My middle school retort was returned with a mighty one-liner, “I just don’t get it… he’s not even real.”

What a blow. I was staggering from her profound point of truth, coming to terms with the fact that she was right while simultaneously reaching for something quick to respond with. I settled for a weak parting shot; a soft, emotionally-charged, “Well… he’s real to me,” and I walked away before Megan could throw another sick burn at me.

First, let me say that this story is probably highly inaccurate, as it is told from my perspective which is often relived and retold in a highly embellished and romanticized fashion. Nonetheless, this is how I remember Megan calling me out for constantly talking about one of my most beloved heroes. Yes, I admit he is not real, but as stated earlier, “He’s real to me.”

And I am not alone in my admiration (or in my belief/hope in his actual existence) for this next hero. Here are the words of a few of my close friends in their description of the legendary Coach Eric Taylor.

“…he wants good things for other people. That’s not usually sincere, but it is with him…”

“…the way he puts others above himself…”

“…he’s a man of character. He holds fast and stands up for his principles even when it’s going to cost him or it’s uncomfortable… He’s not perfect, but the things he says and does show his compassion for others… I want to be a man like that…”

“Coach Taylor has the immeasurable talent of being able to make even the lowliest of football players feel like the biggest asset to the team… and the ability to look into the eye of the struggle and say, ‘I will come out on the other side a stronger and better person,’… He isn’t afraid to fight for what he believes in.”

With references like that, you don’t need a resume.

Coach Eric Taylor is the central character on NBC’s beloved series Friday Night Lights. For those of you who have not yet revelled in the glory of that which is FNL, go to Netflix right now and watch the pilot episode. Straight shekinah glory. If you don’t have the time, you can watch the trailer here, but I strongly recommend you make time to watch the first episode. I’ll see you in forty-five minutes.

The story of FNL focuses on the small town of Dillon, Texas and its high school football team in all its glory. For better or worse, the town revolves around football, making gods out of its players and a place of worship out of its high school stadium. The series is full of characters who are consistently faced by their own demons; escaping generational cycles of uneducation, fatherly abandonment, the allure of significance and success in sports, physical tragedies, romantic infidelity, questions of identity and feeling lost, and the seemingly unquenchable desire to flee the small town of Dillon. Amidst this small town bubble of conflict, chaos and football, Coach Eric Taylor steps in. He is the proverbial rock of his family, team and community at large.

For me, Coach Taylor is so mythic, so legendary, that it is almost impossible to describe what makes him who he is. Anyone who has watched FNL before knows exactly what I am talking about. I beg your forgiveness for my feeble attempt at trying to describe “Coach.”

Coach Taylor is the hard-nosed coach figure that seems to be of a bygone era. He has no problem setting a fire under his players with some well peppered “motivational” talk. (You can check out some of his most powerful quotes here) He’ll let you know when you’ve messed up, and you’ll be better for it. His standards are high, and if they’re not met… well, there’s always next season. And by standards, I mean physical as well as moral. Character and integrity are not an afterthought of his athletes, they are an uncompromising expectation. Even with the immense pressure of having to win games in order to keep his job, Coach continues to cultivate an unwavering ethos of total excellence that lifts up everyone around him. And for many of the young men that play for him, that is just the kind of man that they need in their lives.

Coach is a father to many fatherless boys, both physically abandoned and emotionally neglected. The Art of Manliness perhaps said it best;

Coach Taylor loved to win football games. But watching the young players he coached mature and develop into good, strong men gave him even more satisfaction. Coach Taylor knew that many of his young players looked to him not only as a coach, but also as a mentor and father figure. Eric Taylor didn’t ask for that role, but he took it on because he understood that the greatest thing a man can do is leave behind a legacy of manliness by nurturing and fathering young men into manhood. (Brett and Kate McKay)

For some, Coach offered space on the couch when they had nowhere else to live. For others it was playing table tennis late into the night or throwing a football around out in the street. And for others still, it ranged from intense conversations calling them to step into their manhood or reverent silence as he stood next to them through their darkest moments. Any growth that these young men underwent is partially owed to the molding and shaping effect that Coach Taylor had in their lives. In fact, Tami Taylor (Coach’s’ wife) speaks this truth to him when she says, “You are a teacher first, and you are a molder of men.”

Speaking of which, one of the great successes of FNL is that I cannot talk about Coach Taylor without talking about his powerhouse wife, Tami Taylor. The guidance counselor at Dillon High and right arm to Coach, Tami is strong, passionate and focused. She keeps Coach in line and keeps him balanced in the decisions that he makes. Having two strong personalities in a marriage definitely makes for some very raw conflict between the Taylors, but both Eric and Tami are deeply committed to the marriage that they have. It is so refreshing to see marriage lifted up, realistically depicted and not bashed. It’s sad but it was almost shocking to see something so incredibly normal; a marriage of between a man and a woman who, though each flawed, have strengths in their own right and love each other deeply. For me, Coach Taylor represents a man committed to building a good marriage, even when it is not easy.

Consistently throughout the show, Coach Taylor is faced with situations that require him to dig deep and fall back on what he has committed himself too. He doesn’t always get it right, but more often than not, Coach Taylor is a man who refuses to abandon what he holds as deep convictions. His principles rise to the surface when pressured by the media, the school district and individuals of influence in the town and on the team. Ironically, Coach Taylor suffers some stretches of low public approval during his time as head coach of the Dillon Panthers. Often his decisions are second guessed and exploited by those that seek to cause him difficulty or get him fired. But popularity is not what he’s concerned with; it’s the integrity by which he coaches and the example he sets for others. In perhaps what is the greatest FNL quote, Coach Taylor says “Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself.” Coach Taylor certainly lost many-a-battle, but he refused to lose himself. Resolving to live by one’s convictions regardless of the outcome or by what others’ think or by what is popular is in high demand these days, and one of the greatest lessons that Coach Taylor has taught me.

Though I hate to admit it, Coach Taylor is not real. But writing this post had me thinking about some real life coaches and mentors that helped me become the man I am today. The influence of others in my life has been immeasurable, and the following people are only the tip of the iceberg with regard to who has helped to mold me. Here is to the real Coach Taylors of my life.

Coach Larry Strothers – The first real Little League coach I ever had. I played for him on nine separate teams over the course of my time playing baseball. He taught me that being great at anything had to begin with doing what is right, playing with class, integrity and sportsmanship.

Coach John DeJager – My JV baseball coach in high school. No way around it; our team worshiped this mountain of a man. He taught me what it really meant to be part of a team, part of something bigger than yourself and to lay down your self interests for others.

Mr. Sean Cosgrove – USI & AP Government teacher in High School. He’s the reason why I became a history teacher. He taught me to be a free-thinker, to love the Constitution, to care about people, and to live passionately for something in this life.

Dr. Stephen Bennett – My Old Testament professor at Nyack. He was foundational for my faith, helping to pull me closer to Jesus when I was far away. His Monday morning five-minute sermons did more for me than he will ever know.

Tim Binkele – Pastor of The River and my mentor for the last three years. Tim has helped me process an incredible amount of change and has continued to patiently listen and speak life into areas of my life that need it. He’s the kind of guy I want to be someday.

Nic Lines – Church planter moving from the UK to NYC. One of the most incredibly intentional people I know, Nic has taken precious time to speak prophetically into my life and to call out the good in me through great conversations and practical exercises. A genuine, life-giving friend who lifts up everyone around him.

In the final episode of FNL, one of my favorite extended scenes (I’ve watched it close to 300 times, no joke, ask Meg), occurs when Coach Taylor squats down next to one of the key players on his team. He looks him in the eyes and says, “You may never know how proud I am of you.” The player responds, meaning every word, “You changed my life Coach.” Those words were not only the admission of one young man in Dillon, Texas whose life was steered away from violence and delinquency. For many viewers, we would say the same thing. I can honestly say that Coach Taylor makes me want to be a better man. He has offered me an image of a loving husband, a strong mentor and a good man. He has caused me to want to live my life with clear eyes and with a full heart, so that I might never lose.

And so, though I may have never played a single game for Coach Taylor and never will, I can and will always say from the bottom of my heart, in honor of the “Kingmaker” and epic hero to tens of thousands…

Texas Forever.

*Note* This blog post was produced while listening to the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. I suggest reading this post while listening to the soundtrack, or a playlist compilation by Explosions in the Sky, who contributed heavily to the soundtrack.

*Note* Here is an easter egg I came across for FNL fans everywhere. Enjoy! 

*Next Hero* Born of German immigrants, this steadfast and humble athlete would earn himself the nickname “The Iron Horse”  

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

June Heart to Heart

Hello sweet friends. We are ten days into July and we haven’t caught up about June yet! My oh my the Fourth of July festivities really threw me for a loop, in the best way of course.

How was your June? Did you enjoy the start of summer? What have you been up to? Grab yourself a nice cold drink and lets chat.

The Highs

You can call me The Godmother
Hubby and I have upgraded from Aunt and Uncle to Godmother and Godfather! We are so honored. We took a weekend trip to Buffalo, and when we walked into my parents house we, obviously, beelined it for Kinsley who was decked out in this super sweet onesie, asking us to take on the job!

Ty’s Graduation
One of my besties finished up his degree at NYU. Seriously I could not be prouder of him and Mariah for all that they accomplished as a team. I am in awe of how they sacrifice for each other.

Working an emotionally tough job is not easy. Going to college and maintaining a killer GPA is not easy. Doing all of that with your best friend 300 miles away is damn near impossible. They are heroes.

We had an incredible time celebrating him and reuniting with old friends. Not to mention Mariah is a kick-butt party planner.

The Lows

Stranger danger
June is a freaking hard month for teachers and their families. Hubby was busy with school trips, dances, graduation, retirements and all the parties. It is great fun, but it keeps us pretty disconnected. Don’t worry though, we had a little getaway the beginning of July to reconnect.

Moving
We said goodbye to our place on Pine and high tailed it for Bergen County at the end of the month. Seriously moving is absolutely the worst activity. We spent the entire month packing up slowly and moving a car load of boxes just about every weekend. I can’t say enough how thankful I am for family and friends that help us so selflessly. I am excited and hopeful for this next season, but we have really loved Montclair, so it was hard to say goodbye.

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Side note to compound the sadness, we spent our last day celebrating Montclair by going to all of our favorite places (this of course was not sad, in fact it was wonderful). The number one place on our list was The Corner, our favorite breakfast/brunch spot on Walnut street. Imagine the sound of our hearts crushing when we realized they were closed for a week of vacation. Womp womp.

 

What I Read

Women, Food, and God – Geneen Roth
I was wanting so much more from this book. I had read Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, and learned so much that I had high hopes for Women, Food, and God. Unfortunately it was less informational and more story telling. Perhaps if I had expected that I would have enjoyed it more. If food psychology is interesting to you, I would skip this one and go for Breaking Free From Emotional Eating.

Wonder Women – Sam Maggs
This one on my summer reading list. I am going to be honest, I didn’t read cover to cover, but thumbed through the women who’s stories caught my eye. Maggs is witty and relatable in her story telling, which made for a fun read.

What I Watched

Master of None
So this was a little hit or miss for me. I adored that Aziz Ansari is unafraid of dealing with issues that are not discussed enough and with intellectual humor. But, there were a few ideas I just couldn’t get behind and some issues I wish he would have went further with. But all in all, worth a watch if your looking for a light hearted but still thought provoking.

What I Listened to

Invisibilia
This is a podcast I have loved for a while now, and this season did not disappoint. In general the ladies of Invisibilia deal with “the hidden forces that control human behavior” and this season was focused on how we perceive reality. Very interesting.

I also have not stopped listening to Chance. Your Welcome.

Some things I Loved

Packing plastic wrap. 
This is not a joke. If you are moving, this stuff will make the process so much easier. For. Real.

Chameleon Cold Brew
I am just about positive we would have killed each other moving without this sweet sweet medicine. Also, the vanilla. So. Good.

What I’m Looking Forward To

Summah, summah, summah time (which means all the trips to the beach, weekend getaways, and our 5 year anniversary!)

2017 Summer Reading

Summer starts on Friday in our house. Hubby is a teacher, so the last day of school means the official start for us.

This particular summer is a first for me though. Some of you are going to hate me for this, but this is the first one in my 26 years of life that I will work straight through. Seriously, privileged is an understatement, I know. Up until now I have been a student and/or employed by schools or teachers.

Alas, not this summer. But who am I kidding, I have a great job. To spite sticking out the summer 9-5, I am still excited to amp up my reading for the summer, because even if its only on the weekends there is nothing quite like a good book at the beach, or on the front porch, or by the pool… you get the picture.

Here are the books on my list (with affiliate links). Any quoted blurbs are curtesy of Goodreads. 

Mind Health:

 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman – Lindsey West
Umm, My name is Megan and I am a loud woman.
Also, I am a loud woman who has felt like I have had to hide myself and be small in order to survive.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.”

Quiet – Susan Cain
So remember that time I told you I am loud? Its true, but I also walk the line of introversion and know a lot of people who are introverted. This one has been a game changer for a few people I know and I have been antsy to get my hands on it.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.”

My bookshelf bonus :


You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
I talked a bit about this one over at the May heart to heart. Jen’s book is full of really helpful tools and tips if your looking to grow in your understanding and championing of self. Its definitely one to take the good and leave the bad, but absolutely worth the read.

“In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word.”

Spiritual Health:


The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery – David G. Brenner
I am going to be honest, I have to read this one for a class I will be starting in the fall, but I am pretty excited for it.

“Discerning your true self is inextricably related to discerning God’s purposes for you. Paradoxically, the more you become like Christ, the more you become authentically yourself.”

Mhmm, I could use some help figuring that out.


Yes, And – Richard Rohr
One of my life goals for the summer is bettering my practice of prayer and meditation. This looks like a good place to start.

“Yes, and…is an excellent daily prayer resource for fans of Richard Rohr’s work, and those who are looking for an alternate way to live out their faith—a way centered in the open-minded search for spiritual relevance of a transforming nature.”

My Bookshelf Bonus


 Jesus feminist – Sarah Bessey
We have chatted a bit about this one as well. While Sarah writes as woman for women, this book is a refreshing call to stop fighting and let our being speak for itself. Sarah also beautiful gives words to explain an often mis/under represented cross section of christianity.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices, Bessey shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her.”

Body Health:


The Real Food Athlete – Steph Lowe
I have been living the low carb life for a couple months now. I have read quite a bit about keto life, but nothing yet specifically combining keto and fitness.

 


Feeding the Hungry Heart – Geneen Roth
Geneen’s other book Women, Food, and God was a real eye opener for me. Disclaimer; I do not agree with her conclusions on “god” but that withstanding, her insight on the soul connection to food has helped me so much, I am ready to dig into another of her books.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Twenty years after its original publication, Feeding the Hungry Heart continues to inspire women and men, helping them win the battle against a hunger that goes deeper than a need for food”

My Bookshelf Bonus :


The End of Overeating – David A. Kessler
If your a fact nerd like me this book is one to get your hands on. Kessler looks at the problem of overeating both physiologically and psychologically with science to explain it all.

“Dr. Kessler met with top scientists, physicians, and food industry insiders. The End of Overeating uncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits—and how we can get it back.”

Social conscience:


Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
A dear friend gave me this book more months back then I care to admit. I have been staring at it on my bookshelf, yet somehow new ones have been piled on before I could get to it. Not anymore, its going to the top of the pile! Coates offers a unique lens to consider race in America as a father writing letters to his son.

“Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society.”


Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
If I am honest, it is way to easy for me to dismiss the perspective of the poor white American. Yet that voice has been dismissed over and over, and here we are. Its more important than ever that we listen to everyones experiences, not just the ones we relate to or prefer.

“From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.”

My Bookshelf Bonus:


Born a crime – Trevor Noah
For those who like to chuckle while they challenge their worldview, Trevor does an incredible job of getting you to laugh and really think deeply all at the same time. 

“The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.”

Just for fun:


He said She Said – Erin Kelly
Fiction is totally not my preference, but i like a good thriller when I want a tune out book. This one has been generating some buzz, so I figure I’ll jump on the wagon.

“In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.”

Wonder Women – Sam Maggs
There is so much power in story and this looks freaking awesome.

“Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future.”

My Bookshelf Bonus:

 

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
This is a long one, but don’t be intimidated. Roberts book reminds me of of Forest Gump in that he finds himself in so many places and situations that you wonder “how can one life experience this much?”

“Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas—this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart.”

Whats on your list?

Keep your eyes peeled for Hubby’s list coming next week.

Friday Finds 4.21.17

Friday, friday, friday friends!! I’ve got a busy Saturday checking out a seminary class and going into the city for a concert.

Hubby has grad school this weekend so Sunday will grant me some alone time to recover and work on some things.

Whats on your calendar for the weekend?

Here are a few things from the web;

  1. All the feels from this one, such a powerful picture.
  2. My name is Megan and I may be addicted to my phone, but not for long.
  3. Excuse me while I mop up all the drool.
  4. Loving this list of the most underrated places in every state. So nice to remind the world that there is more to New York than New York City and to New Jersey the dirty Jerz as seen on TV. Do you agree?
  5. This could be very helpful.

Lower Body AMRAP

 

Hey Hey friends.

Today I present to you, your first workout! The best part is, since you barely need any equipment, you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

You know, in case you need something to do during the apocalyptic blizzard that is going down tonight.

Today we are focusing on the lower body with a 20 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) workout. You can do this with just your body weight the whole time, with light weights in hand throughout, or with weights at the end for the deadlifts (like I did). You will also need a timer. I opted to go barefoot today to sneakily work some other muscles without much extra effort. (Here are ten benefits to trying it out too.)

Turn on your favorite workout playlist, set your timer for twenty minutes and complete as many rounds of ten reps of each of the following exercises until the timer runs out. (You will complete 10 alternating squats, 10 lunge taps, 10 side lunge etc. etc. repeating until 20 minutes is up)

lower-body-amrap.jpg

Here are those moves in more detail:

Alternating Squat to kick back:
With weight in the heels, lower to a squat position , making sure your knees do not go past your toes. Slowly lift up to standing. Keeping your core engaged squeeze your right glute as you lift your right leg. Drop foot back on the floor and repeat motion for the left side. Each side is one rep. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

Lunge tap – right :
With your right foot forward keeping your core engaged, lower into lunge position. Maintain a low lunge while taping your left foot to your ankle 10 times.

 

 

Lunge tap – left :
With your left foot forward keeping your core engaged, lower into lunge position. Maintain a low lunge while taping your right foot to your ankle 10 times.

 

 

Calf Raise :
Begin with your feet flat, lift to tip toes. Lift and lower as close to the ground without touching 10 times.

 

Side lunge to leg lift – right :
Begin standing, step out with your right foot, stick your but back as you bend your right leg, again being carful not to let your knee extend past your toes. As you lift back up, return to standing position and lift your right leg squeezing the glute and hip area. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

Side lunge to leg lift – left:
Begin standing, step out with your left foot, stick your but back as you bend your left leg, again being carful not to let your knee extend past your toes. As you lift back up, return to standing position and lift your left leg squeezing the glute and hip area. Repeat 10 times.

 

Romanian dead lift : 
Standing straight with your feet apart hip width distance and knees soft, slowly bend forward, maintaining a flat back, sticking out your glutes and feeling a stretch in the hamstrings. Pause at the bottom and slowly lift up. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

Repeat everything until the timer runs out.

 

A quick disclaimer, I am only a fitness enthusiast, not a professional. Feel free to comment or email with any questions. I also gladly welcome complaints of sore muscles or requests for more workouts. Happy sweating friends.