Three

It’s been three years, and it seems to only get better with time.

This year has been another fun ride, but probably the most fun ride so far. We got our dog, whom we both love so much and has brought so much joy to our lives. We had job changes that have been for the better for both of us. We moved (again) and now can be home and having dinner before the sun sets. I imagine quite a few outdoor meals this summer.

We’re having a low-key celebration because we just returned from a perfect vacation in Maui. I imagine there will be a nicer than normal dinner and a good dessert. Thanks for three, my dear. Cheers for all the years to come!

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When All the Holds Come In

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the library and left with this pile.

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Obviously, I was very excited to dive into these books, but I had just walked away with a similar pile the week before. So, how do I handle this situation?

Well, I know that some of these books are in high demand and I will likely not be able to renew them, so I start there. I also realize that even though many others have liked these books, I may not. That allows me the freedom to just stop reading books that aren’t really catching my fancy and put them in the return pile.

And sometimes, I just can’t get to them all or finish the one I really like. I accept defeat and put myself back in the queue to receive it again. Usually, the second time around, it’s even better. I’m thankful for the library system, and how it tests my patience and how it forces me to pace my reading out. But there are some hold piles that are just too big for three weeks and life.

How do you request titles and avoid/deal with this situation?

The Fall Frenzy

As it does every year, the travel season for my work, no matter how much or how little travel I have, tends to knock all energy and inspiration out of me. The hours are filled with constantly checking my calendar to see what’s coming next, in the next hour, the next day, the next week. When I’m out, I’m constantly checking Yelp reviews so I don’t end up in a fast food drive-thru, which inevitably happens at least once a trip just because I’d rather eat in my room with HGTV. The Property Brothers were my constant companions this trip. I now find my self looking at house listings and thinking about how the space would look with two walls torn down.

Those are the tough parts of travel. I try to make it less tough by venturing out and enjoying the area. Last week, I was in Las Vegas, so I saw Britney Spears. It was more than a little ridiculous, but really fun, and I’m glad I went. It was like I was a teenager again. The next few days, I was in Reno, which doesn’t have as much excitement, but does have Lake Tahoe to the direct west. So I drove up to see the lake, and on my whole drive, I went from sunshine to rain to snow and to a beautiful rainbow in less than two hours.

Now, travel season is over. And as usual, I’m feeling antsy to write and to keep my blog going. This month, I’ve joined a group of my blogging friends to post 3 times a week. I’m always hesitant to tell everyone that I’m blogging for a challenge. It tends to make me feel pressured to find something to write about. However, I think I’m evolving a bit with what I want to talk about, beyond the books I’ve read. We might be seeing a few more life (mostly puppy) updates and a little bit more about other entertainment I’m consuming. I’ve also embarked on a new project with my best girl friends, so I’m looking forward to letting you know about that in due time. I think having a goal of writing more will let me experiment with how those things work within my little space on the Internet.

Still Here

I had a month when I didn’t read. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t find my space.

There were many things in that month that needed more of my attention and energy. But even though it was a month full of good/great/amazing/awesome change, it was hard because I wasn’t reading. I realized after that month that finding my space and energy and focus to read is much more important to me than I ever realized. And I am so happy to say I’m back there again.

I haven’t finished anything yet, but I’m in the middle of some amazing literature, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Because almost as much as I love reading, I love sharing with whomever is still here.

 

WeVerb14: Sing

What song or lyrics will be forever tied to 2013 in your mind? What songs are you excited to keep with you through 2014?

Sometimes, I can go months without hearing what the most popular songs are and then realize that I like them on their way out. And sometimes, I’m completely a slave to the radio and hope that this one song will come on, which it will inevitably do at least once on my commute. This year, I could not shake “Royals” by Lorde. It has embedded itself into my life. I find myself singing it over and over again in my head and even got the Pentatonix version of it. And yes, I would listen to both back to back, just to hear it twice. Jury is out on which version I prefer.

My favorite song of the year that I will carry into the future is “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. I’ve always loved Sara B, and I think “Brave” is a great anthem that will always be a part of my power playlists.

What songs do you associate with 2013? And what are you excited to keep listening to in 2014?

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WeVerb14: Compose

I found out yesterday that WeVerb is back! I participated in WeVerb12 at the end of 2012, and was sad to see that there wasn’t one for the end of 2013, but I was wrong. WeVerb14 is here! I will be loosely participating as I would like to reflect more on the future, rather than being caught up by thoughts of 2013. If you are interested in participating, or would like to read other entries, you may follow along at www.weverb14.com.

Yesterday’s prompt was “Compose”. Write a haiku for 2013 and one for 2014.

2013:

Came with challenges

Escaped with literature

Sunshine as we left

2014:

Move forward not back

Craving peace and permanence

And also a pup

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The 10 Best Books I Read in 2013

I was struggling to write a recap of 2013, because I don’t want to. I was struggling to say something at the end of 2013 and then Allie wrote her top 10 books from this year post, and I thought it would be neglectful of me to not follow suit. Goodreads tells me I read 36 books this year (a lot for me!), and so I will reflect on which I loved most. And I can proudly say that I actually reviewed EVERY book I read this year, so you can follow each title’s link to the corresponding review. So in no particular order, here is the list of the top ten fiction books I read this year.

  1. The House at Tyneford
  2. Middlesex
  3. Me Before You
  4. The Language of Flowers
  5. The Book Thief
  6. The Girl You Left Behind
  7. The Night Circus
  8. Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
  9. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
  10. And the Mountains Echoed

And the two non-fiction books I read also left an impression on me, so they get an honorable mention:

  1. The End of Your Life Book Club
  2. Lean In

Happy New Year! I hope you find 2014 to be a good year, and that you can enjoy a few good books as well.

The Perfect Problem

If life were perfect, I would be able to read books, write in my journal, blog, work, exercise, and cook dinner every night. But life is actually way less than perfect for productivity. And sometimes, perfect sounds like pre-made salad and in bed by nine after reading five pages of a great book while fighting sleep (more nights than I care to share). And other nights perfect sounds like eating dinner on the couch while watching Sherlock (all done now).

But I think, tonight, perfect sounds like waking up my blog after a little slumber, and saying hello again.

Oh, 2013, What?

This new year certainly started with a bang (story to come), and just kept rolling. I can’t believe we’re 2 weeks into 2013, and I haven’t posted yet.

I didn’t know how I wanted the first post of the year to go. Usually, I start with a goal list, but since the 25 Before 25 list exists, I don’t see any point to add onto it. That could be a recipe for a crazy breakdown. Participating in WeVerb12 definitely helped me reflect on 2012, so there was no need to do one reflection post. I haven’t finished a book yet, so it couldn’t be a book review either.

So, what does that leave me with? For right now, not much. Easing into 2013 is no longer an option, so I’m just going to keep rolling with it. And I’m sure I’ll have something to say soon. And hopefully more pictures, because that is probably a goal I should add to my list that won’t hurt. 😉

#WeVerb12: Sacrifice, Empower, Connect, Capture, Aspire

Happy New Year! This is a catch-up post. I really let myself settle into holiday vacation and didn’t use my computer very often. But, I’m back and wanted to finish #WeVerb12 because I have enjoyed it so much. 

Sacrifice: What did you, as an individual, let go of to further the greater good this year?

As much as I love shopping, I think I truly grasped the concept of mindful spending this year. I’m not perfect, and I still wish for things sometimes, but I know that small things now will not be as meaningful as big things in the future. I’d much rather live that future with my husband and future family than enjoying some shoes for a few months now. 

Empower: What made you feel powerful in 2012? 

2012 was full of events that encouraged me and instilled in me more self-confidence. I don’t know that there was any one event that really empowered me. I think getting a promotion was a huge step for me. It really helped me to change my outlook on where I wanted to be professionally. I’m happy with what I have achieved so far and know there is so much more room to grow and learn.

Connect: With whom did you make the most worthwhile connections in 2012?

I was a much more social person this year, on the Internet and in real life. While I am happy for all the friends I have made, the most important connection I solidified was with E. We were married. I became his wife and promised to be his partner through life, and I think that is quite a worthy endeavor, don’t you?

Capture: Post a picture taken of you or or by you this year when you were happy.

This photo is everywhere in our lives because it is my favorite of the day. It helps me express the complete joy I felt that day, but especially in the moments right after we were married. 

Aspire: What is your biggest aspiration for 2013?

In 2013, I want to take steps to feel more settled. But since I can’t control everything, I also aspire to be patient and happy with the things that I have now. I aspire to do more things I see on Pinterest. And I aspire to take more pictures because it is too easy to forget the smaller memories in a year that has passed.

WeVerb was an excellent month of reflection, and really inspired me to write more and think about the year more critically. Thank you to the WeVerb creators and to the WeVerb contributors. I have enjoyed reading your posts and have enjoyed writing mine. Best wishes for 2013! I can’t wait to find out what this year has in store.

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