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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2017 Reading Goal & 2016 Reading Recap

In 2015 I set the goal of reading 20 books and far surpassed it by reading 54. You can see the full list of books I read in 2015 HERE. In 2016, I set a goal of 50. Little did I know, 2016 would turn out to be one of the toughest years I have had in a while, especially when it came to school. With my miscarriage, followed by my comprehensive exams in the summer, and a grant deadline in December, reading for pleasure was the last thing I wanted to do. So, to say this differently, I failed miserably and only reached 50% of my goal. I read 25 books in total.

My 2016 books included:
1. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Short Stories by Marina Keegan
2. Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica
3. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
4. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
5. The Circle by Dave Eggers
6. Night Owl by M. Pierce
7. Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls
8. Where the Bodies Where Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World that Made Him by T.J. English
9. Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington (my review)
10. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
11. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas
12. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
13. The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation by Melody Beattie
14. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
15. If I Run by Terri Blackstock
16. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Coping When Someone you Care About has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason
17. The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl
18. After You by Jojo Moyes
19. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
20. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
21. Life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson (my review)
22. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
23. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
24. At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
25. Grey by E.L. James

For 2017, I am setting the goal of 50 books again. I know this year will be interesting since we are expecting a life changing addition to our family in June. I'm hoping that participating in a few reading challenges will help me reach this goal with more excitement than I had last year. I'm also hoping to do a few more book reviews and hopefully to update you a bit on my progress throughout the year.

You can also follow along with me on Goodreads HERE.

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St. Louis Hot Chocolate 5K Review

Last weekend we made the trek to St. Louis for some birthday festivities, which included running in the Hot Chocolate 5K. I was initially hoping to do the 15K but this time of year in the midwest paired with being pregnant isn't exactly a recipe for a healthy 15K, so the 5K it was!

Overall: As a whole, I really enjoyed this race. I don't normally love novelty-type races because they're large citizen races and, as a result, are often a pain to navigate and participate in. However, this wasn't the case with the Hot Chocolate Run. Everything was well managed such that it didn't feel like there were as many people participating as there actually were. I would highly recommend this race.

T-Shirts/Swag: All participants got a nice zip-up hoodie for participating. As I mention below, since I was unable to make it to packet pickup I am still waiting to receive my hoodie. However, they appeared to be really high quality from what I saw. The 5K finishers did not get medals but the 15K medals looked great. Otherwise, the race after-party was full of great treats and these awesome mugs that included hot chocolate, hot fudge, and various dipping treats like bananas and marshmallows! The free race photos were also a nice perk.

Aid Stations: I only saw one aid station on the 5K route but they were stocked with sports drinks and water, plus chocolate! They had a ton of great volunteers with made the aid stations move smoothly, in my opinion. One additional aid station might have been nice, especially for the 15K runners who run the majority of the 5K course before turning off for the last 10K.

Course Scenery: The course scenery was about what you would expect in downtown St. Louis. The course started in a location that had a nice view of the arch and the rest took place on city streets. It definitely wasn't the most scenic part of St. Louis but it was still enjoyable!

Expo Quality: Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the expo since packet pickup is only held before race day and we live a few hours away. This is the one thing I dislike about RAM Racing: no packet pickup on race day! I usually don't mind it for larger races because it keeps the lines on race mornings minimal, but we had a crazy week which made it impossible to get out to St. Louis prior to race morning which meant I couldn't pick up my packet. I was able to get my bib at the information booth which was really nice and I was told I would be mailed my race jacket, which I have yet to receive.

Elevation Difficulty: Not bad. There were a few rolling hills but it is the midwest after all.

Parking/Access: Accessibility and parking weren't bad once we figured out how it all worked. There was no information about parking on race day on the website, so it was basically up to you to drive around and figure it out. The first lot we found was full but thankfully we were directed to another one right down the road. You had to pay for hourly parking but it wasn't too bad.

Race Management: Well done! Managing a race this large can't be easy. There were dozens of corrals that all started 2 minutes apart. Once the race actually "started" it still took 6 minutes for me to start, and I was corral D! As I was finishing, I saw the last corral starting. This definitely helped to spread things out on the course but I'm not sure how I felt about all the waiting. Otherwise, the race was well equipped and all runner needs were met! RAM usually does a great job with their events so I wouldn't expect anything different at this one!

See my review on Bibrave.com HERE.
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Whiting Fire Relief

Although we are thankful to those of you that have celebrated the joy of our announcement, we have some friends that need the support even more. The following post is from my husband:

My high school friend, McKenzie and her husband, Colton lost their home and all worldy possessions last night in a fire that completely engulfed their home.

As devastating as that is, it's nearly Christmas and they are having to figure out how to rebuild their lives instead of enjoying their blessings as the holidays approach. The thing that tugs on me is that I was concerned about having to pay for a water bill that was significantly higher than normal this month (despite the fact that it was probably a mistake on the part of the city). To consider something as small as that in the face of losing all the possessions you own, truly puts things into perspective and makes me grateful for everything that I have been given to steward by an amazing God. 

Luckily, things lost were only worldly. Husband and wife and animals are all safe and were never in any danger thanks to God's graciousness. However, that doesn't mean some of their basics are not in need of being taken care of for them. They need new cars, they need new clothes, they need new beds to sleep in, shelter from an increasingly cold winter and to know that God still loves them unconditionally. 

Please consider and pray about your own needs and if you can give and are willing to give. Five dollars for us means far less than it will mean to them at this time. And the goal of their GoFundMe is probably significantly lower than they need to replace everything they just lost. If you are unable to donate, please share this post on social media. 

I want to thank you for being a community willing to love on someone you probably don't know in a time when they need all the love in the world. 

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Baby Bear Coming June 2017

I wanted to stop by and share some happy news with you all. You all have been so supportive with all of the loss and grief we went through with our miscarriage and I am so grateful for that. For those parents still in waiting, we haven't forgotten about you and we continue to pray for your blessing alongside you.

Although we don't plan to share a lot about my pregnancy or the baby publicly, I wanted you all to know that God has answered our prayers and longing, and we are so thankful for everyone that cried, grieved, prayed and celebrated alongside us the last year or so. I am just past the 13 week mark and our due date is very close to my husband's birthday.

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JORD Watches Now Offers Wood Engraving!

Remember when I shared the perfect Father's Day JORD watch earlier this year? Well, I am excited to tell you that JORD is now offering wood engraving, just in time for Christmas!

We decided to get my step-dad an engraved JORD watch for Christmas this year as my husband CONSTANTLY gets compliments on his. We kept it simple and had "Merry Christmas, Andrew. Love, Matt & Cassie" engraved on the back of the Frankie Dark Sandalwood & Smoke and it turned out absolutely perfect. We chose this watch because it is minimal, but still professional and sleek looking. It was an ideal choice for my step-dad who is an engineer and works in the office and on-site. The watch is so versatile that it's great for both settings.

We have been really pleased with the quality of the JORD watches that we have purchased and every time the accessories just seem to get better. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the quality of their products and the durability of these beautiful watches. 

This engraved gift adds a nice personal touch and is only $35. The length of the engraving depends on the watch size, so be sure you select a watch that will fit the message you would like to add. If watch engraving isn't for you, you can also engrave the side of the beautiful wood box that the watch comes in for $45. Act now and order that perfect watch for your family member! Engraving can add extra time to your order, so don't waste any time!

I have some good news. Visit THIS LINK and enter your e-mail for a FREE $25 gift card, just in time for the holiday season!

Don't miss out on the chance to make someone's holiday a little brighter with a custom engraved watch!

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