Monday, November 12, 2012

Birthday Recap, Monday Reading, GOOD NEWS!

Helloooo everyone! I had a super fantastic birthday weekend filled with great company, great food, and good books! What more could a girl ask for, really? Here's a recap (and click the pics to see the bigger version)...

David came up Friday to meet Greyson, and we took him over to spend the weekend with Chuck and the Rockets. We proceeded to my night class where my student did not show up. Grr. And from there, we visited the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park. The lantern festival was nothing short of spectacular! If you're in the Dallas area, be sure to check it out. 


Click to embiggen. A peacock vignette.

"Temple of the Fairies" -- over 50 feet tall!
Saturday we were up relatively early. We spent some time opening gifts and chatting before we headed out for brisket and egg breakfast tacos at Taco Cabana (a quick fave of mine), and onward to Dallas for what can only be described as a birthday-sized "book store crawl." 

We hit up the flagship Half Price Books store (huge, awesome) and my favorite indie, A Real Bookstore in Fairview. In between there, we also made a stop at my favorite bakery, La Rosette, to grab a couple of cupcakes (cookies and cream for me, carrot cake for him) and some Oreo bonbons to share with my mom and her boyfriend, Rick. 

After that it was off to my mom's house for dinner. She cooked up a comfort food bonanza of Salisbury steak, loaded mashed potatoes, buttered corn, sweet Hawaiian rolls, chocolate cake, and Shock Top Pumpkin Beer. OMG, I haven't been that stuffed in a while! It was so so so so good. 


And while gifts are SO NOT THE MAIN EVENT, my family and friends spoiled me rotten. I appreciate all they do and that they really know me well and pay attention. I was thrilled!


David has been listening to me complain about not having anything to blend with! I've wanted to start making homemade veggie/fruit/yogurt smoothies to get some more vegetables in on Greyson (and myself), so he got me a Magic Bullet set!!!!  I also plan to start ordering bulk produce from a local vendor so I'll have an influx of tomatoes, jalapenos, and other goodies in my possession. Sounds like salsa to me! David also got me a Kohl's gift card (not pictured) which I plan to use to buy some new wall art for the house or maybe some kickass new pieces for my closet. 

Mom surprised me with a Visa gift card just as we were leaving for the bookstore. She also fed my owl addiction with an owl hook set for my keys and two owl storage bowls with tops. I love love love them, and can't wait to use the bowls and hang the hook set. 

Rick gave me two bottles of wine. He knows I'm not big on the dry, so I received a bottle of sweet red and a bottle of sweet white. Yay! 

My sweet friend Katy, who worked with me at my previous job, surprised me with a gift card for Fab.com. I bought a super awesome "Litograph" print for Greyon's room -- a blue and green depiction of "Jack and the Bean Stalk." The print is actually made up of the Grimm's fairy tale text arranged in such a way as to make the picture. I have another one for the office from Great Expectations

Heather surprised me with an e-book copy of Magic for Beginners from my birthday wishlist. :DDD

And I know you're wondering what I snatched up at the bookstore. It's been almost a year since I bought any physical books. Maybe one or two here and there, but no major hauls. Well that embargo is officially broken...


13 books for $15 kicks some serious tail. I love love love the Half Price clearance section. These beauties were $1 each. 
  • The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates -- have wanted forever!
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan - started reading in the bookstore a while back
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - recommended by Les and ignored for too long!
  • Forever by Pete Hamill - recommended by David eons ago
  • The Plague by Albert Camus - classic, wanna read
  • Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila by Jeannette Katzir - received for review, then lost!
  • I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles - have enjoyed her Arthur books and Who Cooked the Last Supper?
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn - good reviews from Aarti and others
  • Old School by Tobias Wolff  - wanted for a long time after I saw him interviewed
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - on the wishlist for a while
  • Angelology by Danielle Trussoni - recommended by Justin Cronin shortly after The Passage was released
  • Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna - loved The Birth of Love
  • The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - local author, ignored long enough!

I also looked for a couple of books at A Real Bookstore, but the ones I wanted were out of stock (Wolf Hall, The Knife of Never Letting Go). No worries...I'll be supporting my local indie when I buy an e-book copy of I'm Down by Mishna Wolff for our next Girls Night Out book club gathering. 


I'm still working my way through The Count of Monte Cristo and the Count Readalong (#countRAL). It's slow going, but it helps that I'm both listening to AND reading this one. I saw the paperback copy at A Real Bookstore this weekend and was eternally glad I snagged an e-book copy!



Want to share what you're reading? Join It's Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Sheila of BookJourney!

Finally, and THIS IS BIG!!!

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know I had a phone interview last week for a PR Director position at the university where I received my BA and MA degrees. I've been quietly optimistic after the phone interview, and I found out Friday that I'm a finalist for the job and I've been invited back for a face-to-face interview!!!! That will be Thursday morning. If you're a praying person, SEND 'EM UP! If you're not, I appreciate all crossed fingers and good wishes. :) 

This is a dreamy position, wonderful university, and it's close to home, allowing me to maintain more time with Greyson and a shorter commute. I'm hoping everything will fall into place to allow me the opportunity to step into this position. It's endlessly exciting, but I'll save the details for when/if there's a reason to celebrate. :) 

No matter what happens, I am truly blessed in every way. Even though there are tough times that crop up, I have a supportive family, a beautiful child, and good friends, including all of you who read here. It doesn't get any better. 

Thank you, all of you, for everything!







49 comments:

  1. The lantern festival looks beautiful!

    The Magic Bullet is one of the most amazing inventions on Earth. I have had one for a few years and it's such an easy way to make certain things, like your own chimichurri sauce for steak, a for-one-person smoothie, etc.
    This will help you with your noms!

    And of course, GOOD LUCK with the interview!!!!!!

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    1. It was amazing, Rebecca! I didn't know quite what to expect, but it certainly surpassed what I'd imagined.

      Definitely loving my bullet. I ordered some bulk produce (including tomatoes and onions), so I see a fair bit of salsa in my future!

      Thank you so much! The interview went great!

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  2. Happy Belated Birthday! It looks like you had a fantastic weekend :) And if there's ever a perfect time to break a book buying embargo, your birthday is it.

    Best of luck with your interview! Praying that it is a breeze :)

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    1. Thanks! it was a wonderful weekend. And I agree -- best time to break a book buying ban. lol

      Good interview; I'm happy!

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  3. Good luck with the interview -- so exciting! Fingers crossed and good vibes your way, etc. Also, your haul was amazing and I'm so covetous!

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    1. Thanks, Audra! I think it went well. Now I just hope they think it went well. :)

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  4. Sounds like you had a fantastic birthday and so exciting to get to go shopping for all of those books! Good luck with the job potential. I will be praying!!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! It was a blast shopping for books with wild abandon. I looove love love the clearance section! And thank you for the prayers. They're much appreciated.

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  5. Massive congrats on the job! I knew it wouldn't take long for you to find an amazing new job :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Sam! Crossing my fingers that today's interview went well enough to land it! Hoping hoping hoping!

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  6. Good luck & prayers sent & you will rock it!

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    1. Thank you, Angela! I think it went well. Now the waiting!

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  7. What a fantastic birthday, Andi! Books, cupcakes, more books, and a great dinner. :-) I'm praying that you get the job!

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    1. Thanks, Natasha! It was pretty decadent and wonderful. And thank you for the prayers! The interview went well. I'm not a patient when it comes to waiting for results, though. lol

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  8. Best of luck with the job interview on Thursday - I'll keep fingers crossed & shoot some prayers your way.

    My book club read Loving Frank a couple of years ago. The middle of it kind of dragged for me but if that happens, do NOT give it up. I even knew what was going to happen and it was tense.

    We also read The Heretic's Daughter and got to talk to Kathleen Kent. She's great and we were surprised by how much of the book is based on facts that have come down through her family.

    Belated birthday wishes - sounds like you had a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! I feel relieved that it's over and excited to find out how it'll all shake out!

      I can't wait to get back to Loving Frank. I remember the narrator's voice really grabbed me, and I liked the writing.

      Can't wait to get to The Heretic's Daughter. It was a One Read in my community though I didn't get to participate and see her speak at the time. Boo!

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  9. Sounds like the most perfect birthday EVER! Jealous of all those books and that you have a Half Price Books nearby. I've never been to one - Georgia doesn't have them! And super huge Good Luck on your Thursday interview!

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    1. Thanks, Brooke! It was pretty darn perfect. You need to make a trip to Dallas and I'll take you to the flagship store. I affectionately call it "the mother land" AND "the crack house."

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  10. Happy belated birthday Andi!! Sounds like it was fantastic :D And i'll be crossing everything I can for you for your interview :D Wishing you all the best of luck!!! You so deserve it!

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    1. Thank you, Chris! Thanks for those crossed parts and good wishes! It went well -- now we'll see what happens. :)

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  11. I am so glad that so many happy things have happened to you recently :-)

    I did not know Half-Price Books had a clearance section. I actually went to one near me recently and felt mildly ripped off. I gave them a ton of books and they gave me $20 (which caused most of my distress), and that enabled me to buy a cookbook I want that I could (and I hate to say this because it sounds SO HORRIBLE, but it's TRUE) could have gotten on Amazon brand-new for only $5 more. I don't think their prices are nearly as low as they should be considering how little they pay for books!

    That said, I obviously would feel better if I had checked out the clearance section, which I did not see in the one by me at all.

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    1. Thanks, Aarti! Many happy things. I have nothing I could complain about. :)

      The sell-back price is pretty dreadful. I only go when I have 5+ boxes or bags of books, and I've gotten upwards of $100 before. The clearance section is gold. I hope you'll seek it out the next time you go. In most stores it's pretty small, but I never fail to find gems there, and they're always $1-5.

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  12. First of all, so glad you had a great birthday and I wish you a wonderful year ahead. Secondly, congratulations on the job call back. I hope it all goes well for you. That would be so great for you to have that opportunity. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carl! The interview went really well today. I have high hopes!

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  13. Yay! Lots of fun news in this post! First of all, I'll be crossing all of my fingers and toes for you..break a leg!

    Enjoy your bullet, everyone I know that has one loooves it.

    I want a mom cooked meal now, lol. Yum.

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you! I think those crossed fingers and toes might've worked in my favor. :)

      Loving the bullet so far. I've made a kickass smoothie of frozen berries, baby spinach, and apple juice with a little honey. Yum yum!

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  14. Totally awesome birthday extravaganza =) I will be praying for you for Thursday's interview. Great post, Andi!

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    1. Thanks, Marie! And thank you for the prayers!

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  15. Mad mad mad I missed your birthday to send you wishes and hugs. Still, I vicariously enjoyed the day via your post and photos.

    I am a praying person, and I will be praying for you on Thursday. So excited to hear the joy in your 'voice', and trusting Him for all good things in your life. xo

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    1. I'll take wishes and hugs whenever they come in, Bellezza! Thank you sooo much!

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I was relaxed and I think I was thoughtful (tongue twister). I prayed right up to the door and put it in His hands. :)

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  16. Belated happy birthday! I've only read LIttle Bee and Old School from your pile but they're both very good. You made me miss my mom!

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    1. P.S. Good luck on the interview! Will be praying for you. :)

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    2. Thanks for the birthday wishes and the prayers, Claire!!! I'm glad you liked Little Bee and Old School. I don't know too many people who have read Old School, but it looked too good to pass up.

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  17. Awww, sounds like quite a glorious birthday indeed! So glad, as you so deserve it! And yep, fingers and toes crossed--can't wait to hear that you snagged the job!

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    1. Thank you, Debi! It was wonderful. Thanks for your good wishes and crossed parts. I hope I can deliver that good news!

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  18. Oh yay!!! Belated birthday wishes! Sounds like it was great! Awesome book finds and best wishes on the potential position!

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  19. Oh my goodness, you were spoiled rotten for this wonderful birthday, and I wish I would have known...but I do now, so your package will contain an extra surprise that I know you will love. I will be praying for you on Thursday, and already sent a few prayers your way before commenting. Good Luck and Happy Birthday!!

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    1. Thanks again for the birthday wishes and prayers! Hugs!

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  20. I am glad you had such a wonderful birthday!! I have no idea what Fab.com is, but oh, wow, I want to check it out... Probably a bad idea... :)

    Good luck with your interview!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kelly! You will get totally addicted to Fab.com. Trust me!

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  21. What a dream birthday! Books, loved ones & good food - what could be better?

    Praying for you that all goes well tomorrow!

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    1. My thoughts exactly! Thank you for the prayers! They helped!

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  22. Sounds like a terrific birthday weekend! That temple is amazing looking! And what great finds for only $1!

    I read I'm Down a while back -- got it just because of that cover. Sadly, it didn't quite live up to what I was expecting but it wasn't awful by any means.

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  23. Dude! I missed your birthday!!! Oh well, looks like you survived without me. :-D Glad to see it was an awesome day full of goodies and good people!
    I should probably wish you a Happy Thanksgiving now...just to cover my bases. ;-)

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  24. I've been following all the news on FB, but wanted to post here, as well. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful birthday. Definitely well-deserved and so great to see all the love in your life right now. I'm still sending positive thoughts your way, too. The job sounds PERFECT!

    I mentioned the Lantern Festival to Amy and she wasn't aware of it, so hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can check it out next weekend!

    As far as that awesome stack of books, I'm so happy you are finally going to read The Sparrow. A friend just finished it and said it's one of the best books she's ever read. Kind of sad to see that it was on the clearance shelf, though... :(

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  25. I think I'm reading your posts out of order because I already know you had the interview... Hmmmm. Anyway, happy birthday again!! And I'm jealous about the Chinese Lantern Festival. I got a Groupon or something for it but didn't even bother asking Scott because I knew he'd say he wasn't interested. :( Your pictures are lovely and I'm glad you had a great birthday.

    That reminds me--need to get I'm down soon!! Maybe I'll pop over there today.

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  26. What a post full of great stuff! I have never heard of the Magic Bullet and just spent 10 minutes looking at them online. How cool! I just chose a food processor/blender set to get though and now I don't know what I want again!

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  27. Happy birthday, Andi! I've had "Forever" on my shelf for a while and really need to read it too.

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