Monday, January 26, 2015

Books I Read in 2014

Better late than never....I've been working on this post since December 2014...everything seems to be taking me longer than usual these days...this post being no exception. 

1. Best Book(s) You Read In 2014? 
The Kitchen  House by Kathleen Grissom-this book was wonderfully written, it made it wasy to visualize every single scene & made me feel like I was a part of book. Unbelievable. While I absolutely LOVED this book, it had more than its share of sadness.

2. Most Disappointing Book? 
War Brides by Helen Bryan...I only read 1/2, but I'm pretty sure that's all I needed to know that this book completely sucked. More details on my Goodreads page if you're interested.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book? 

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio...I had a feeling I would like this book since I've enjoyed prior work sby Jio, but this book was is the kind of book that makes you sad when it's over because you will miss the characters.  I love everything about this story!!!

4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2014? 

I recommended The Kitchen House and Goodnight June to everyone and anyone that asked for a good book to read. :)

5. Best series you discovered in 2014?

The only series I read this year was Amulet - which is a middle school graphic novel series. It was entertaining and I will probably read the next one that comes out, but I primarily read it because I just HAD to see what was so fascinating to the kids about these books. They are ok, but they're no Harry Potter. :)

6. Favorite new author(s) you discovered in 2014?
Sadly, I did not discover any new authors in 2014, though I did read a couple more books by Sarah Jio and realized that I REALLY enjoy her books, so I'm now making a point to read all of her works. So far, I've read 5 of her books.

7. Most thrilling, un-put-down-able book in 2014? 
I don't know about "thrilling", but I did have a hard time putting The Kitchen House  down. I'm still in mourning over having read that book and missing the characters.

8. Book you most anticipated in 2014? 
The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank. I look forward to summer, not only for the break from school, but for her latest work. Can't wait again for this summer's book...haven't found one I haven't loved yet. :)

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?


10. Most memorable character in 2014? 
June Anderson - from Goodnight June. She's so likeable, you can't help but be her cheerleader.
11. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
This is something I don't really pay attention to when reading...the style or author's choice of words...I'm following the story and generally a book is either "easy" to read or not. I don't into the "beauty" of the writing...ack -that's too deep for me and I'm far from an English teacher, so who am I to say least the author finished & published a book. Accomplishment enough.
12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014? 
I don't know about "impact", but  Goodnight June struck a lot of chords with me...lots of great quotes that left me in deep thought quote often.

13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
The Kitchen House! A co-worker told me about it a couple of years ago and while I added it to my list to read, I just didn't get around to it until now. It was released in 2010. I'm so glad I've read it now and it was a fabulous book.

14. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?

“We're each given one life, and it's our job to make it useful, beautiful, and fulfilling. There is no value in suffering through it, doing something we hate. There's no prize at the end for that kind of endurance. Just a spent life.”

― Sarah JioGoodnight June
15. Authors you want to read more of in 2014? 
Kathleen Grissom!! Her book, The Kitchen House - is one of the VERY few books I would of right now, this is her only book.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


avoiding  thinking about work after work hours. this school year has pummeled me, left me mentally exhausted, a bit "blue" and I'm to the point where as much as I LOVE responding quickly to an email, I'm so very close to taking work email OFF my PERSONAL phone. I've had enough emails from parents on Sunday nights. Or there's the one that came in on Friday of Christmas Break. At 5:30pm. What am I supposed to do w/that? There have been many others that have robbed me of "happy" moments and/or sleep and I've just about had enough of it.  

playing a lot of Trivia Crack. I do love that game, but it takes a bit more time than Words w/Friends, so I'm not sure how long I'll last with it, though I do enjoy it.

planning to let my hair grow a bit more than usual. we will see just how long I last with this plan...I'm looking at it more of a $$ savings plan than a change-my-hairstyle plan. Ha. That should keep me motivated longer.  :)  short hair=lots of cuts=lots of $$

hoping that my new every-other-day of running routine will finally aid in some weight loss. So far, it has not. 

learning that it takes me days to complete one simple blog post anymore.

wishing the scrapbook retreat weekend I just attended with my mom was about 10 days longer than it was. I was so happy & peaceful as I could leave the shitty pieces of life behind and enjoy the crafting time and activities with my mom. We scrapbooked until midnight on Friday and then stayed up in our hotel room until 130am on our iPads. We are such party animals!!

cherishing weekends. and this one will consist of only one day since I'm being forced to work 4ish hours on Sunday. Boo!

thankful for my kind, sweet-hearted little boy. and any & every moment spent with him.

feeling this is a loaded question lately. I'm wondering why one facet of my life can finally be decent/happy/almost peaceful and then another area of my life spirals out of control with unkind (rude) people & a miserable environment. I'm really quite tired of it. For the record, when you are stressed out, it DOES NOT give you free license to be shitty to everyone. By being shitty INCLUDES using a nasty tone of voice when responding to simple questions.

hoping to put together a fun & exciting birthday "party" of some kind for Ethan...first, we weren't going to do a party, then it became maybe a couple friends at our house, now it's a small party...just haven't figured out where. While I would love to save $$ and have it at our house, this is the downfall of working at a private school...our house is ridiculously small and certainly WAY smaller than other students' homes and the last thing I want is for that to become some sort of "issue" for Ethan...hard to believe but 7yos pay attention to "who has the coolest" (or not the coolest) house. This is also the downfall of a February birthday - too cold to do much outside and we'd love to have a killer pinata party, but again, can't do that indoors - at my house at least. :(

adoring bedtime routine time. seriously it's just about the happiest moment of my days. I want to just stay right there and have time stand still. To continue reading to Ethan and bedtime never actually arrives. Fabulous.

wondering why french fries have to be so "unhealthy"...I have recently deemed them my absolute most favorite food...seriously, I love them more than pizza or any other food. I could eat french fries for every meal. But I don't. Because then I wouldn't fit through the doorway.

remembering how much more enjoyable my childhood was compared to life as adult. Well, if that isn't completely depressing, I don't know what is. 

looking forward to running the Castaway Cay 5k in June. This is my current "return-to-real-running" goal. Meanwhile, I'm running every other day - only 2 miles (sometimes only 1 - like yesterday when I was super angry and didn't want to run at all). I'm walking on the other days so I'm always hitting my 10k steps on my Fitbit. Yay!!

listening I've returned to the 80s with Toto, Michael Jackson (!) and Journey lately. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc.). 

1) This has been a week straight from the depths of hell...I don't know who I pissed off, or why the bad Karma for me this week, but it's been a nightmare....7th grade boy farting in my class to get all to laugh, attitude from a 7th grade girl (this years 7th grade is usually pretty good), told I need to be at work extra early on Wed and while normally not a big deal, it is with a 6yo and being on my own during the week...then there was the banking issue I had to deal with Tuesday and Wednesday...there are a few more instances but suffice to say, it's not been a good week in my life and I'm ready for it to be over.

2) I'm really over doing career lessons and having (nearly) ALL the boys say they want to be an NFL player or some other professional athlete. I get it. I realize it's normal, but I'm over it. I'm ready for them to realize that it's probably not going to happen for them, but don't worry, I won't squash their dreams, I just make them choose an alternative career, you know, in the (off) event the professional athlete thing doesn't work out. Gasp! It probably doesn't help that a current NFL player is a grad of our school and comes to visit often. 

3) I am going on a scrapbooking event this weekend with my mom and I'm super excited. I rarely every get true "me" time so this will be really nice. I hope i get a lot done, as I'm quite behind in my scrapbooking projects. At the same time, I am feeling exceptionally guilty about going. Ugh. Can't win.

4) I've been running 2 miles every other day now since the new year. I walk on the alternating days so that I can reach my 10k steps (at least) each day. I haven't lost a single pound. Figures.

5) So happy we bought a treadmill off some friends of ours in December. I've been able to work out at home every night instead of fighting the "new years resolutions" crowd at the YMCA. It drives me nuts, I go all year long, no problem getting on machines and then in January it's jam packed and I have to wait for everything. I don't have time for that. I haven't gone to the Y at all yet this year. I'm thinking about going to Yoga class tonight...that's not typically as crowded as the cardio machines.

6) I'm still slogging through All The Light We Cannot See...It's a good story, I just feel like I'm walking in quicksand when I'm reading it...slow-going. I am determined to finish it.

7) Just finished reading TouchBlue. Good story. Good message. Great for my 6th grade girls book club.

8) I really need to read more non-fiction in 2015. I hardly read non-fiction, yet there are a few non-fiction books on my TBR list, I just seem to always choose the fiction books first. 

9) I'm still anxiously awaiting our first snow day of the year. We typically get a couple in January. Last year we got a bunch - it was great!! LOL!! It's going to be 50 and sunny on Saturday so I don't think we'll have snow then. 

10) So glad to have a 3 day weekend...I need the break, so what if we've only been back for 2 weeks. I'm worn out.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc.). 

1) Warning...this episode of Bookishly Boisterous might be a little heavy on the whiny side. 

2) This is my first B&NSB post of the year and the crazy thing is that even over Christmas break I didn't have a chance to post anything...why didn't I have TIME during the break. That's nuts.

3) I've been reading All The Light We Cannot See for over a month now...of course, many of those days no reading of this book occurred, but I've been working on it. This is a book I was somewhat excited/anxious to read and yet while I do not want to abandon it, it also is not one I'm "dying" to pick back up. Yes, I want to finish it. Yes, those 500 pages seem mountainous at this point. I'm on page 164. 

4) I also just started reading TouchBlue...a middle school book - for book club with my 6th graders. They are such a voracious reading group, they will probably show up tomorrow having read the whole book over Christmas break and I'm on page 24. I may be in a reading funk?!?

5) Speaking of funk...I thought I was starting off 2015 with renewed energy and a more positive spirit, but that seems to have evaded me already, only 8 days into the year. Ugh. I am finding myself feeling sad, frustrated and sometimes even what, you the fact that I am feeling like I have NO time for anything except work, dinner prep, dishes, laundry, 1st grade homework, bedtime routine.'s draining me too. I'm so tired by the time I get in bed that I can barely do any reading. And let me also say by no means do I want this to seem like I'm "so busy" and am bragging about it...I would MUCH rather be NOT busy and have more downtime to sit on the couch with my son and watch some silly cartoon with him. I'm also way behind on my scrapbooking, more so than ever before and what is supposed to be a joy in my life, is turning into a stressor because I feel so far behind and have no time to put into it. I have mentioned quitting scrapbooking to my husband on various occasions and he always says "NO!"....which honestly, surprised me at first, but it's pretty neat that he is able to see the value in it...especially when I cannot. And he probably realizes I'm talking with my emotions in those moments.

6) Today's high temp is 28. It was 7 when I woke up. The entire county of public schools had a 2 hour delay as well as a few private schools. We of course, did not.  #anotherreasonwhyiaminafunk

7) The husband and I are going to see ANNIE on Broadway tour this weekend. So looking forward to a few "blast from the past" moments. We did see the new movie too and enjoyed it, but I must say that I'm more a fan of the original version.

8) Wow, I guess because I have no time for anything, I also have nothing interesting to post here. Can't think of another Bookish or Non-Bookish thing that is blog-worthy. The end.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bout of Books - Day 1 Update

Bout of Books

Let's just start with...I'm not off to a great start with this edition of Bout of Books...

I read a whopping 16 pages last night...yep, that's it. I had 2347321 trillion things to do after school, though I'm not sure why since I have been off work for 2 weeks.

Anyway, I'm currently reading All the Light We Cannot See and I've been wanting to read it for a while...I'm almost 200 pages in and so far it's "ok"...but it's not rocking my socks off like I thought it would considering ALL the "hype"....seriously it's been voted one of the top books of 2014 in more publications/websites than I can count...what am I missing?

On top of that, reading those 16 pages felt like I read 40. With the book being almost 500 pages, I probably won't finish it until March...though I sure hope it's sooner!!

Monday pages: 16  *sad face*

Friday, January 02, 2015

2014: In Numbers

Books read: 60, almost 61.

Miles ran: a few more than 15.5...thanks to the year of recuperating from THREE knee surgeries...just started documenting my runs in my NIKE app on Dec 27, but I did have a few other (very) short runs prior to this date...not bad really, considering I wasn't supossed to be able to start running until December 20th.

Trips taken: 5 (Folly Beach/Charleston (4x) &WDW)

Blog posts: 65 (only 1 more than 2012)

Pictures taken: I'd love to know but the process of finding out  would be very manual and I have neither the time nor the patience for it.

Pinterest projects completed: This one is debatable...I did a lot of Project Life pages and\or cards from inspiration from Pinterest, but actual whole projects would have to be two...(1) learned great technique for hanging a collection of pictures on wall and (2) chalk drawing on  driveway that says '1st grade' as summer came to an end and we prepared for the start of the school year.

Surgeries: 0 - hooray!!

Miles driven: I have no idea...probably somewhere around 12,ooo, which is the average anyway...didn't take any road trips in my car in 2014 as she's getting up there in fact, we had a little car breakdown on Dec 29 and looks like we may be heading into the car market very soon. Ugh and Yay!

Movies seen at the theater: This Is Where I Leave You. The Best of Me. Mockingjay. Night at the Museum: The Secret Tomb. Annie.