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 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!

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