Sage the Blog

2017 Reading Challenge Update I


I am currently participating in the 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. Throughout the year, I am hoping to do monthly(-ish) updates on my progress. I might also decide to do a few book reviews along the way, but, if you're interested, you can always find my reviews by following along with me on Goodreads.

2017 Reading Challenge
A book recommended by a librarian:
A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
A book of letters:
An audiobook:
A book by a person of color: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
A book with one of the four seasons in the title:
A book that is a story within a story:
A book with multiple authors:
An espionage thriller:
A book with a cat on the cover: A Man Called Over by Fredrick Backman 
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym:
A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read (horror): The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
A book by or about a person who has a disability:
A book involving travel:
A book with a subtitle:
A book that's published in 2017: Are you Sleeping by Kathleen Barber 
A book involving a mythical creature:
A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile:
A book about food: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (Completed in January; 4/5 stars)
A book with career advice:
A book from a nonhuman perspective:
A steampunk novel:
A book with a red spine: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Completed in January; 2/5 stars)
A book set in the wilderness: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (In progress)
A book you loved as a child:
A book by an author from a country you've never visited:
A book with a title that's a character's name:
A novel set during wartime:
A book with an unreliable narrator: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
A book with pictures:
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you:
A book about an interesting woman:
A book set in two different time periods:
A book with a month or day of the week in the title:
A book set in a hotel:
A book written by someone you admire: Adnan's Story by Rabia Chadry 
A book that's becoming a movie in 2017: All the Bright Places (Completed in January; 2/5 stars)
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (Completed in January; 4/5 stars)
The first book in a series you haven't read before: Vampire Academy y Richelle Mead 
A book you bought on a trip:

A book recommended by an author you love:
A bestseller from 2016:
A book with a family-member term in the title:
A book that takes place over a character's life span:
A book about an immigrant or refugee:
A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of:
A book with an eccentric character:
A book that's more than 800 pages:
A book you got from a used book sale:
A book that's been mentioned in another book:
A book about a difficult topic:
A book based on mythology:

*I still haven't decided if I plan to complete the advanced portion of the challenge.

Books read in 2017: 4
Progress towards reading goal for the year: 4/50 (8%)

As you can tell, I haven't been able to find books for every prompt yet. I would love recommendations if you have any! I hope to keep coming back to this space to update you all as the year progresses.

Would you consider joining me for the challenge? It's not too late! Get a printout of the challenge HERE

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Sage Synopsis v. 8


//T H O U G H T S 

Real talk: I'm coming to the realization that I'm currently lacking the deep joy that comes from a relationship with God. I think I got off track sometime around our miscarriage and that, paired with a lot of relational challenges in the church, really has me in a place where my faith is just lackluster. I have so much to be thankful for and I hate dry seasons like this, so I'm really trying to be intentional about spending time in the word and prayer. This last year has easily been one of the hardest years on me, so I'm hoping that 2017 looks up and that even if it doesn't, I can find true joy in Christ.

We're visiting with family in Charleston this upcoming week and I'm so excited to do some exploring! I also can't wait to see some of our sweet friends that live in the area while we are there.  

I have a new blog design in the works and I can't wait to see the finished product and share it with you all. Thanks Amanda!  

I've been reading a lot of "must-have" baby registry lists and somehow I still feel like I have a million and one things on our registry so far. Oops.  

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

Baby Bear Coming June 2017

10 Reasons I'm a Self-Proclaimed Tomboy.

//G O O D  R E A D S

Lessons From An Atheist: Toward A Better, Truer Christianity. As a former atheist, I'm really interested in Christian-Atheist relations and dialogues. I believe we have a lot to learn from each other. I have had this post from Scott Sauls on my to-read list for months and I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read it. 

I am planning to participate in the POPSUGAR 2017 reading challenge. Join me?! This might be cheating but I already started "a book about food" by picking up "Delicious!" by Ruth Reichl. It has been on my TBR list FOREVER and I'm absolutely loving it so far. 

//A U D I B L E S 

Since I have had a bit of a break from school I have been listening to a lot of podcasts (surprise!). A few new ones I recently discovered that I don't think I have shared with you all before include: Up and Vanished, Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?, and Accused. I think I need a crime podcast intervention.

//I N S P I R E 

How swoon-worthy are these photos from Charleston?! I'm already inspired by these pins


//B L O G G E R  L O V E 

The holidays can be a tough season for many. I'm one of those people that kind of struggle around the holidays so I really appreciated this post on 4 Simple Steps to Holiday Peace.

I hope you all have a lovely New Year's weekend! 

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2016 in Review


I'm with the majority of people that seem to think 2016 was a particularly challenging year. Although I'm so ready to start 2017, I wanted to do a quick little recap of 2016 for my records.


This year I have really struggled with relationships. New relationships, old relationships, ending destructive ones, and ones that have changed drastically. I don't talk a lot about what I'm going to school for or my specific training, so I took a risk and wrote a bit about building relationships and ending destructive ones.


In February I traveled home to Arizona and participated in the 2016 Sedona Marathon Series 10K with my mom. I really miss living in Northern Arizona so it's always a joy when I get to return. I'll be participating again in 2017 and I can't wait!

A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on

I actually didn't write a single blog post in March of 2016. Whoooops. However, in March we participated in True False Film Festival which is one of my favorite events of the year in our little town. My research also won first place at our Graduate Professional Council's Research and Creative Activities Forum! 


In April all of my childhood dreams came true and I saw Elton John live in Las Vegas. I can officially die happy now. I wrote a bit about how blogging felt icky to me lately. I hate that it still kind of feels that way almost a year later. I also talked a little about our journey with Airbnb hosting and wrote one of my top viewed posts of the year: Dear Atheist Self.


May was the start of my comprehensive exams crackdown (aka when I started to lose some of my sanity). Despite that, I still managed to run 20 miles for United Relay!


The comps crackdown and loss of my sanity continues. In June I traveled to New Orleans for a conference, which was a complete blast! We celebrated two years of marriage and I struggled with some family stuff. I also continued to do quite a bit of running with the Hospital Hill 10K at the top of my list! Despite this being a crazy year, I ended the year with 400 running miles which I'm really happy with.


Another month of blogger fails. I basically spent the entire month cooped up in our office staring at my computer screen. Joy! There were a few high points for the month, like a sweet friend from church bringing me study treats! At the end of the month we found out we were expecting.


The week before my comprehensive exams, we had a miscarriage. Despite this tragedy, I completed and passed my comprehensive exams on the first try! This was a really, really hard month(s) for us personally, professionally, and with our church. 


A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on

I continued to really struggle with our miscarriage well into September and beyond. I also attended by first MIZZOU football game and did a ton more running in preparation for my half marathon in October.


In October we had Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ, our favorite local music festival! The final day of the festival, we found out I was pregnant again. Cue a million mixed feelings. We visited some of our family in southern Missouri and I ran the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville at 6 weeks pregnant. I also wrote about my new understanding of why people don't talk about miscarriage.


A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on

Another month of zero blog posts. In November I struggled with a lot of fear and anxiety about losing my current pregnancy. Around the end of November when I was about 11 weeks, we finally told our families which was exciting but also scary. We also traveled home to Arizona for the holiday where we got to visit with family and I met my uncle and his family for the first time in my life!


We celebrated my birthday and shared we were expecting in June, 2017! I participated in a 5K at 13 weeks pregnant. We celebrated Christmas at home just the two of us which was really nice. 

What were the highs and lows of your year?
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