What I Know For Sure

21531503Making it to the gym to work out to The Oprah Show was my motivation to get my butt out of work for a few years. On the rare occasion it happened, I enjoyed her honesty and confidence just as much as I enjoyed her guests.

What I Know For Sure is a book of short essays organized by themes—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power. Chapters are just a page or two, and each story offers powerful advice. Oprah included personal reflections and valuable takeaways. If you’re missing The Oprah Show or need an inspirational quick read, What I Know For Sure is that you’ll enjoy it.

Favorite Quote

11146187_809081599141199_2648732184386498456_nI’ve always loved the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This quote reminds me that this life is not for me, and listening to God’s plan will always make me happier than my own plans. It’s easier said than done, but here’s to doing my best.

If you want encouraging words included in your Instagram feed, follow @ifgathering.

I want to know more

US-passport-swimparallel-BYWow! Thanks for your votes on the travel destination poll. Every time I checked it I wanted to know two things. 1.) Why did you pick that destination? 2.) Who voted for what locations? I find it interesting who wants to see what parts of the world, so tell me more about your vote!

After meeting with the travel agent, we’re still narrowing down a few options. We’re late in the game planning, but we’re determined to get away at some point this summer to celebrate my 30th birthday and our 5-year wedding anniversary. We hope to have something booked by the first week of May, which is rapidly approaching.

Are you traveling anywhere this summer? What will you do there?

If You Could Travel Anywhere…

John and I are meeting with a travel agent this week to schedule some summer adventures. Although we have a few destinations in mind, I told the travel agent we’re open to her suggestions.

That being said, I’m curious to know where you would travel or what’s on your “must see” bucket list. If it’s not an option, comment below.


IMG_0790Since John and I stayed in town for Easter, we decided a coffee and cupcake date was the perfect start to our Easter weekend. That One Cupcake Place is my absolute favorite! No need for a basket full of sugar after one of those!

As for Easter, the weather was perfect. After Mass, most of the day was spent outside. Thanks to these two for helping me have a great holiday weekend!




Just because I can…

…doesn’t mean I should. 

IMG_0750Although I registered for a half marathon in May, I’m having second thoughts about running it. My feet hate my competitive drive. I didn’t even know my feet were bleeding until I bent down to untie my shoes when the run was over. It was not a pretty sight.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know this isn’t the first time I’ve struggled with this issue. I’ve tried three different brands of shoes and different socks. I think it’s just a fact that my body does not approve of running for more than one hour at at time.

Can I get some more 8k races, please? I’d like to keep my feet happy.

Rainbow Rowell

Author Rainbow Rowell is coming to Cedar Rapids this summer!

As a part of the Out Loud! Author Series, she will be one of three authors participating in the three Out Loud! sessions. The other authors are Maureen Corrigan, who I’m not familiar with, and Piper Kerman, who wrote Orange is the New Black. These three events are free and open to the public courtesy of our incredibly area libraries.

I’ve taken advantage of these events the last two years with my friend Tracie. We met Gillian Flynn in 2013 and Wally Lamb in 2014. With advance notice, read a Rainbow Rowell book now and make plans to attend the event. You need to register so they can plan accordingly, but again, it’s all free. Find dates and times here.

RowellI was reading Rainbow Rowell’s book Attachments when I heard the Out Loud! news, so I was beyond excited. I’ve read four of her books, and here are my recommendations in order.

  1. Eleanor & Park
  2. Attachments
  3. Landline
  4. Fangirl

From Goodreads: About the Author

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

Read up on Rowell in the next few months and bring your copy of her book to the Out Loud! event where she’ll sign it! I’ll see you there!