Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - What a year!

I feel like I'm crossing over into some Star Trek year or something...Stardate 2010!! Wow! And I was just getting good at writing 2009 on the white board at school.

As this year wanes and a blue moon shines I want to remember some of the great memories of this last year...

  • I love carpooling everyday with Rich. He makes me go home on time and it's like a continual date. He enjoys the time waiting for me even more since he has his iPod linked up with podcasts and game applications.
  • Three weddings dominated 2009!! How can anything top that? At the Mesa temple, at a roller coaster theme park and at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas. New family to love. It's so cool.
  • Books are a great souvenir. I'm still relishing books from this summer's vacation. A great memory is the little lady who hand sold so many to us.
  • Our weekly date has been going on for more than 33 years now. We still love it. It's like an insurance policy. Taking others along with us is a blast too.
What I've learned
  • I can get rid of 100 books and still have full bookshelves.
  • Getting books in the mail brings out the kid in me! It's like Santa Claus!
  • I am a much slower reader than I used to be. I think I have 1st grade teacher brain...everything in short segments!
  • There are so many terrific books out there. I remember when I was in 6th grade and read all of the biographies in our school library. I will never come close to that again. The more I read of book blogs the more I realize that I will never even begin to read a small portion of the books I'm dreaming of.
  • I am terrible at Reading Challenges. I am pretty good at reading for my in-person book group however. I'll celebrate the positive.
My Favorite Books of 2009 (in no particular order)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  • North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baronness Emmuska Orczy
  • Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Resolutions/Goals for 2010
  • Read 8 of the 10 Book Group books this year.
  • Read from my shelves or the library this year.
  • Make personal scripture study more of a priority. So, put it first! No blogging, emailing, or other reading until it's done each day. (This one is going to be hard!)
  • Complete my ESL endorsement by June 2010. This will seriously cut into my reading time!!! (Note - I have already enrolled in a class starting in 2 weeks and then will start my last Spanish class in February!! I'm on top of this one - right now anyway!)
  • Walk 3 times a week - download reading podcasts, talks, Prairie Home Companion, or audio books to accompany me!!
  • Find the top of my desk!
  • Put my grades and gradebook on the computer!
Okay 2010, I'm ready for you to show me a little love...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Closing the Book

I used to be a bookstore manager. When I was hand selling books (which is one of my all-time favorite things to do) I would marvel at the fact that some people were afraid of reading a book that they might not like! "What if it offends me?" "What if there are bad words I wouldn't want to read?" "What if my child shouldn't be exposed to something like that?"

That always struck me as odd. My answer was always the same, "Just close the book!!" "You have the power." "You don't have to read everything you start."

Today I closed the book. I guess that's kind of figurative on my year of reading. It's the end of a busy year and my reading numbers are way down - darn you, day-job! But it's also what I literally did while I was reading a book while waiting for one of my sons at an Oral Surgeon's office.

My son is a daddy now, a grown man. Today I was just his "escort"; someone who would drive him to the appointment and then walk him woozily out to the car, "escort" him home, administer food and pain meds and wait until his wife got home to turn over the nursing duties too. Easy peasy stuff. I had just the book for the wait; a thin volume with an interesting story premise.

The waiting room was plush and comfortable. It was the perfect place to read a book on this overcast day. Perfect, perfect...

But my book reading was not going as planned. My uncomfortable button had been "pushed" a few times already. I had even resorted to my "glossing over" technique and was trying to skim over parts to see where I could pick up the story again when I finally hit a sentence by one of the main characters half way through the book.

"I guess it's a choice we make," she said.
"What's a choice?" I asked.
And she said, "How much of the world we let in."

It was then that I decided that I had the power all along. This just wasn't the book for me. Now I did what I told many people to do; I took my own advice and closed the book! There's too many books waiting for me out there to spend my time on a book that's not for me.

Abandoned: Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Currently Reading: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown & June Bug by Chris Fabry

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Limbo Week

The week between Christmas and New Year's has always felt like a week in limbo to me.

A week between the past and the future.

I'm not quite ready to commit to resolutions but I'm ready to start planning and plotting.(I'm making my lists and pondering over what to really commit to!) This week seems to be a gift of time; where everything stands still. No December rush, no January sprint.I like the odd feeling.

In my "time suspended" week I think I'll get a pedicure, take a walk, visit a friend in need, read in bed, clean a little, play at the park with a special someone, finish my report cards, read a little more, and soak up this moment to breathe.

Finished last night - Altared Plans by Rebecca Cornish Talley
Currently Reading - The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Night Before Christmas

Yes, it's the night before Christmas and although my "littles" are now "bigs" I am still wrapping last minute gifts and filling last minute stockings for them. It feels great! I'm up to 3 Christmas movies while I wrap!

I've hardly had more than a minute to read our Book Group read, The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown. We had a fabulous trip to Washington DC two years ago and I feel I am reliving it as I read. (minus the intrigue and danger!) I am blocking out time to read as we travel tomorrow...."I will remember my booklight, I will remember my booklight, I will remember my booklight!!" I have lots more books to read this vacation - I'm scheduling it now~!

We've thought about our Christmas traditions this year and have decided to start a few new ones.
  • As we travel we're going to read O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi aloud to each other. It was fun to find the book at the second hand store for only 75 cents!!
  • Tonight we're going to a Christmas service where a friend is singing, another new tradition to start. I can't wait for more carols and a performance that I'm NOT in!
  • Today we had pizza for lunch when our daughter and son in law came over. We loved that. What a fun tradition to start.
  • Tomorrow we are traveling to our oldest son's brand new house. Their tradition is to make homemade pizzas on Christmas afternoon and play games. I love that tradition! We'll join in and adopt that too! (I love pizza two days in a row!)
  • Hot cocoa and backgammon - we're dusting off this tradition from years ago and giving it a new twist. I'm enjoying the changes!!
  • Movies at the theater the day after Christmas!!! Bring on the popcorn and soda and ignore the malls!
Changes are not easy, I'll miss my kiddos that are not with me this year, but I'm determined to face the changes with a smile. I'm ready to make some memories....Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Best of 2009

I've been thinking of the Best of.... for quite awhile now and feel I'm ready to take a stab at a few of these... So here goes.

Best trip of 2009 - Hands down goes to "Roadtrip - the Incredible Journey (or 6500 miles with just the two of us!) We visited 5 states
and Canada! Golly, we are so blessed and the trip was amazing!

Best Restaurant Moment of 2009
A steakhouse in Butte, Montana. Our son proposed to his girlfriend after we finished a fantastic dinner!! What a privilege to be there. Thanks for the great food AND memories! By the way, try MacKenzie River Pizza Company if you're ever in Butte, Montana! Fantastic!
Best Book of 2009 - Can I choose two?!?! Please, please! I even polled my sister in law to see if she could help me break the tie, but she had the very same answers I did! So I am declaring it a dead heat! The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Two very different books with incredible voice!! They sucked me in from page 1. They are real winners!!

Best Night Out
of 2009 - Las Vegas with all of my kiddos!! A night on the strip with all of them was a highlight. Fun, mesmerizing; like Disneyland for very big people....just something to be experienced. We had a blast!! We were there for a son's wedding so we were all happy and jolly and ready for fun!

Best Album of 2009 - Rob Thomas' Cradlesong. As a matter of fact I'll listen to anything he sings! Can someone load up my iPod please?!?!

Best Memory of 2009 - A three way for sure...three weddings! It took my breath away as we added to our some ways it felt like childbirth all over again. The outcome is remarkably sweet and I cherish these new members of our family!

The year isn't quite over yet...there's more to enjoy, remember, and record.