March’s Book and Bike Break Down

Catch up on what Mandi’s reading and how may miles she’s riding!

Booking and biking my way through 2020.


Books

6. The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia (historical fiction)
Ears deep in a search for that book that I can’t put down, I thought this one could be the answer so I grabbed it for $1.99 when it was a Kindle daily deal. It’s got an average rating of 4.28 on Goodreads with over 15,000 ratings. That’s incredible, but it just didn’t do it for me. I see that it has all the making of a good book, I really do, but it just dragged on and on. It had a solid beginning and end. The writing was heart-felt, but there was lots of wandering. 2.5 STARS

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (fantasy)
First, why is this 734 pages long? I genuinely liked the story, but, yeah, it felt long, and I’m not certain it needed to be that long. The idea of the Triwizard Wizard tournament was a fun twist from the first three stories. I also really liked that I could not figure out where this one was going the entire time. I like a book that keeps me guessing. 3.5 STARS

7. The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh (memoir)
I generally love a memoir, but this one was not deep enough for me. I won it at my library’s book bingo back when we were allowed to go to public things and read it this month because I thought it was a sure-fire answer to my search for that really good book since few memoirs have let me down. This one was interesting, at times, but I wish the author would have cracked herself open more. I think her experience is so unique, but the delivery was just flat. 2 STARS

8. The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane (young adult)
This cute, quick read (free from Prime Reading) was written by the same author as The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, which I read last month. I mostly saw a trend. Her thing appears to be writing about young adults who pave their way on their own. I don’t hate the concept, I just felt like this book mirrored much of the other I read of hers and was therefore overly predictable. It’s probably worth the read, but of the two I would recommend The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland before this one. 3 STARS


Biking

And now, onward with the goal to ride 2020 miles in 2020 on a bike.

2020 miles in a year means approximately 5.5 miles/day. I’ve been trying to do at least 8 each time I sit down, with the goal of 202 (10%) per month in these lead-off months. So far it’s happening! My total?

612 miles.

So far, only 26 of those miles have been outside (18 of them pulling a kid).

I can’t say for certain, but I would imagine my pace will quickly begin to change. COVID-19 is actually making it harder to find time to ride (as we quarantine, I don’t have childcare during the day, so I spend my days with the kids and my nights working). And then as it gets nicer out, I have hopes of riding more outside, but my plan was to front-load my year, knowing my outdoor riding would take me longer on account of pulling kids behind me.

In an ideal world, I’m not quarantining and can spend my free time riding… whether I’m pulling kids outside or riding at night inside. Nothing is really ideal right now, though, is it?

Hope you had a great March! Stay healthy everyone!

36 Days to the March

Could you donate a dollar per hour ($36 total) Win spent in the NICU?

Even the smallest donations help the smallest babes.

A COVID-19 update (have you had enough of those?) – I am so disappointed that the March for Babies, among most things in life these days, has been cancelled. While much of life has felt unstable, the same needs for moms and babies remain – the work of March of Dimes is no less important with the presence of COVID-19 (if anything, it’s MORE important). 

However, I can acknowledge that right now your hearts might be more heavily inclined to donate in other directions as some people are being denied basic needs. Donate to the organizations who are continuing to feed our community’s kids who rely on free and reduced lunches at school. Order takeout to eat the food the restaurants already have, help the employees who are losing their jobs as they knew them, and keep the doors of our favorite local joints open. Order curbside pickup from the shop your neighbor just opened and now might be struggling to keep open. Give extra to your church, as some are now unable to give the money your church might have been relying on.

And if you have extra, please consider still helping me reach that $1500 goal – we are SO close!


Friends,

We’re just 36 days away from our 3rd March for Babies (though this one will look much different from the others)! If you’ve been tracking with me, you might know that 36 is a special number for us – Win spent 36 hours (1.5 days) in the NICU. Please help us continue our mission to donate $1500 to March of Dimes for Win’s 1.5 days spent in the NICU! We’re getting close!

While 36 hours is nothing in comparison to Oaklee’s 69 days, those first 36 hours are absolutely crucial to the health and bonding of baby and mom. For the first 12 hours, I was not allowed to hold or feed Win. It was excruciating and, to be honest, I’m still furious about it. 

While we think it might have been possible, we’ll never know if Win could have thrived without a NICU visit. Our hospital followed protocol, as they’re meant to do, and sent Win to a place that could help him immediately should his low blood sugar become an emergency. Win only improved in his time there, but many (if not most) NICU babies face tumultuous stays. The NICU is a place of ups and downs and it takes a significant toll on families. 

When you join my donation to March for Babies you stand with me and thousands of people across the country who share your commitment to building a brighter future for us all.

You raise money to expand programs and educate medical professionals to make sure moms and babies get the best possible care. You advocate for policies that prioritize their health. You fund research to find solutions to the biggest health threats. And you support moms like me through every stage of the pregnancy journey, even when things don’t go according to plan.

Could you donate a dollar per hour ($36 total) Win spent in the NICU?

Even the smallest donations help the smallest babes.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who’ve already given…
Grandpa and Grandma G
Aunt Jenna and Uncle Josh
Aunt Sharon and Uncle George
Ryan and Becky Grasmeyer
Dan and Claire Larabel
Bill and Emily Madsen
Alesha and Jeremy Schut
Anne Jansingh 
Colleen Kondratek
Ethan Dean
Sarah Potter
Catherine Vlieger
Dale Waite

P.S. If you need a reminder of what March of Dimes does (and their further impact on our lives, personally), click here.

It’s a win/Win

Please consider donating (and praying) to keep babies safe and provide the care they need to go home with their families.

This year our goal is $1500… that’s $1000/day Win spent in the NICU (36 hours). Can you donate $15? Or even $150? Your donation is a win/Win. It supports March of Dimes, and it makes Win happy.

Friends, we’re at it again for our third year with March of Dimes’ March for Babies.

I hoped we would never march this march for Win, but here we are.

This year, we’ll march for our second NICU grad (and our first, too, of course). While we prayed and prayed we’d avoid the NICU and all the amazing March of Dimes resources this time around, we found ourselves there again in 2019. I won’t lie, at the time, we were filled with anger and frustration. We didn’t think Win needed to be admitted. And we definitely didn’t want to go back there ourselves. Hands down, the most emotional moment of my life was watching my first NICU grad meet her brother for the first time… in the NICU.

His stay was short, but many babies do not get that same narrative (his own sister didn’t), and some do not ever come home. 

We need to get to the bottom of this. We need babies to be born strong and moms to stay healthy. I don’t know how to make that happen on my own, but I know of an organization who’s more than qualified to do so as they’re already working on it…

Please consider donating (and praying) to keep babies safe and provide the care they need to go home with their families.

This year our goal is $1500… that’s $1000/day Win spent in the NICU (36 hours). Can you donate $15? Or even $150? Your donation is a win/Win. It supports March of Dimes, and it makes Win happy.

P.S. If you need a reminder of what March of Dimes does (and their impact on our lives, personally), click here.