Oh boy, April was a total blur. Between 2 wedding showers, lots of wedding tasks and appointments, and a super busy month at work, I feel like my head is spinning. I know that May will fly by, too, but I am going to really try to soak up the joy and excitement of the weeks leading up to the wedding! We'll see how well I do at that!
On Being - Resilience After Unimaginable Loss. In this episode, the host of On Being, Krista Tippett, interviews Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, the authors of the new book Option B. Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband nearly 2 years ago. He had a cardiac event while they were on vacation in Mexico. In this book, she shares what she and her co-author have learned about resiliency after a tragic loss and how to support others going through tragic losses. Sandberg talks about how lonely she felt after the loss of her husband because people avoided talking to her at work, at school and in social settings. Or if they talked to her, it was small talk. People were afraid to ask her how she was doing out of fear that bringing up her husband would remind her that she lost him. But Sandberg says that no one needed to remind her that she lost her husband - it was on her mind every day. So by not talking about her husband, the loss of him felt unacknowledged. Our culture is so terrible at dealing with loss or difficult diagnoses. I'm planning to read this as I want to be better at supporting people that are going through difficult things.
With Friends Like These - Being Called Racist is White People's Kryptonite. In this episode, the host of With Friends Like These, Ana Marie Cox, interviews Criminal Defense Attorney Greg Doucette. Since he works in criminal defense, he has witnessed the racial profiling that happens in his county of NC first hand in his work with clients. However, the discussion about racial profiling is not anecdotal - it's supported by the details of arrests that have been made public. He also talks about leaving the Republican party and filing as an independent after being a very involved member because he feels he cannot support a party that supports Donald Trump (I feel the same way). You only need to listen to the first 45-50 minutes of the podcast to hear about the racial profiling as after that it delves into interracial dating.
April was a stellar reading month for me! Despite being super busy, I managed to read 8 books. People often ask me how I find so much time to read. The answer is that I make time for it! I watch very, very little tv and read for at least an hour before bed each night. I also was able to read more this month as I wasn't able to work out as much as I normally do thanks to my 2 RA flares. It's tough to pick a favorite - any of the 5-star books are worth checking out! My least favorite was Luckiest Girl Alive. It seems like this is a book that you will either love or hate. I hated it because I felt the protagonist was such an unlikable, manipulative person. If you can enjoy books with unlikable characters then you might like it, though!
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson - 5 stars (for book club with a coworker)
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild - 5 stars (advocacy read)
Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - 4 stars
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - 5 stars (one of my best reads of 2017)
March: Book Two by John Robert Lewis (amazing 2nd book of his Civil Rights Trilogy)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll - 2 stars
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (another one of my best reads of 2017)
Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash - 4 stars
When I wasn't flaring, my workouts were great and were a combination of running, sessions with my personal trainer and barre classes. When I was flaring, my workouts were non-existent. It was tough to miss nearly 2 weeks of working out the month before my wedding as I need workouts to relieve stress and to make sure I look my very best on my wedding day. Since I wasn't able to workout as much as I would like, I tried to be very careful about what I was eating which is way less fun than managing your weight by working out.
You've seen 2 of these 3 looks as they were from my bridal showers. I didn't buy either of these dresses as I already had them in my closet! I need to make a point to wear them more often as they are flattering silhouettes.
My other favorite look from the month was from the day of my haircut and color. We went with a lighter shade of brown that is closer to my natural color as I think it will photograph better with my untanned skin than the darker color I usually have my stylist use. My hair girl curled my hair so I would feel extra pretty when I left my appointment. In this photo I'm also wearing a new rain coat I bought in April! My friend got the same coat in green and then another coworker loved it so much that she bought it in navy! I got it on sale at Macy's and would highly recommend it if you are looking for a rain coat! Although you might want to buy it elsewhere as they are out of many of the sizes in navy online.