So, while many of you were enjoying normal meh-type weekends rife with yardwork and cabinet-organizing and things of that nature, the Tates were, of course, busy doing awesome things. (This is actually in direct opposition to some of our usual weekends, which include thrilling activities like getting diplomas custom-framed and taking BOTH vehicles to the car wash. Yeah, that’s right – we live on the edge.)

This past weekend, we spent the day at the coolest, most amazing book club meeting in the history of the world. Ekpe Udoh, former Baylor superstar, NBA lottery pick and current Milwaukee Bucks big man, invited our whole Twitter book club to a meet-up in Dallas. Can you imagine – knowing me – the elation this event caused? Bringing together Baylor, basketball, Twitter and reading is a sure fire success in my book.

And, Ekpe was the consummate host. He treated us to lunch and dinner, took us on an educational outing, made us bond through an intense Fault in Our Stars sobfest and was all-around amazing. I really can’t imagine many people putting this much time and effort into arranging a celebration like this for their dear family members/friends. Ekpe is the kind of person who was willing to put this event together – and to bring together a couple dozen people he knew only through social media – and to be extremely generous with us and exceedingly thoughtful in the planning and execution processes.

When Ekpe was at Baylor, I remember reading about how he pushed his teammates to do more, to excel and to strive for excellence. I remember an article about how he added running as a team to their workouts, giving everyone extra incentive and motivation. That unforgettable season, which included an Ekpe triple-double, a buzzer-beating hook shot against Hartford and an Elite Eight run, solidly cemented me as a fan of Ekpe Udoh the basketball player. This past weekend made me an even bigger fan of Ekpe Udoh the person.

If you have a chance, watch for upcoming book club sign-ups on Ekpe’s Twitter account, or just jump into the conversation. It’s fun, thought-provoking and worth your while.

Also, while most of this post is about Ekpe, I have to give a bit of a shout-out to my fellow book club members. Who would have thought you could bring a group of people together from across the US and have them click together pretty much instantaneously? After the obligatory couple of minutes of eighth-grade dance wall-holding-up, we were all chatting away like lifelong friends. Special shout-outs to Brandon and Kelsey, the nicest and most down-to-earth brother-sister duo, Kristen, my fellow PR-ista (of whom I have total job envy – sports PR!), Elle, tearful reading-and-bonding partner, and Jan, fellow Baylor Bear, resident book club teacher’s pet and sharer of deep thoughts. I would keep going but there were too many amazing people there to list every single one. I can only hope everyone keeps reading so we can get together again!

So, what has your book club done for
you lately? If you’re not reading about Hazel and Augustus, crying, toasting champagne and loving life, you may want to reconsider and sign up for Ekpe’s Book Club ASAP!

Thanks again, Ekpe, for an amazing weekend!

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Baylor family represented well in the club!

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