My first reads for 2016 show that I’ve definitely got a geeky side.
I read Volume 1 (issues #1-5) of Ms. Marvel this weekend in another attempt to see if I like comics. I’m still not entirely sure they’re for me but this was an interesting read and I’ve already requested the next volume. I know Ms. Marvel is important since the Marvel universe isn’t exactly populated by female, non-white, Muslim superheroes. Kamala Kahn is a teenage girl in Jersey City trying to balance American high school and strict immigrant parents when she suddenly finds herself thrust into the superhero role. I felt for Kamala as she is figures out who she is and how she fits into the world although I am hoping for a bit more on the origin story – what actually gave her her powers?
I also finished Armada on audio today. Armada follows a teenage gamer drafted into real war as aliens invade the planet. Just like Ready Player One, Armada was a treat for my ears from start to finish. Wil Wheaton reading Ernest Cline is definitely one of my favorite narrator/author combinations. While Armada is not nearly as good as RPO, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve heard others were disappointed but I never wanted to stop listening.
What was your first book of 2016?
This used to be my favorite time of the year to blog about books. I loved preparing my top ten reads of the previous year, my labor-intensive reading stats for the previous year (see 2012|2011|2010|2009), and thinking about my goals for the upcoming year. While I did share some of my favorite books from the past year, that is the extent of my 2015 recap.
I’ve talked a lot about my lack of reading motivation and the trouble I have prioritizing reading into my schedule. So, instead of setting a numerical reading goal this year (as Goodreads so badly wishes me to do), I am setting a very achievable goal of simply reading a little each day, even if it is just for ten minutes. This past year, I could go weeks without picking up a book and just writing that out makes me sad.
I’ve also set two other goals for 2016. Just like I want to get back to reading, I would like to get moving again. Again, finding the time/prioritizing the time is my difficulty so I am setting the bar low. I just want to workout a little each week, even if it’s just a weekend run or yoga class. My hope is with both reading and exercising, that some will lead to more.
My last goal is more definite. I will pay off the last of our consumer debt. We have one card left that still has a balance. I had really hoped we’d pay this off in 2015 but life had different plans for us. I know we can do it this year. Even though we will still have a mountain of student loans to tackle, this will be a huge win for us. I have other intentions for 2016. I’d like to continue focusing on things like minimalism and mindfulness. I want to use my phone less and pick up the real camera more. I’d like to be more present, both when I am at work and when I am at home. I want to be more patient with Evan. And,now that Kai demands less of my attention, I want to be more helpful to Ben.
What goals do you have for 2016?
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I usually spend it with my dad, either visiting him in Boston or having him visit here, but this year we were on our own. So we skipped the whole thing and went to Busch Gardens and had a family fun day.
And now we are ready for Christmas.
My love of this season seems to have infected Evan, who has been asking about Christmas since Halloween (despite attending a Jewish preschool where neither of these holidays are celebrated). He knows we are going to Michigan and he is anxious to see his grandparents and play in the snow. (Please let there be snow). Since we will be traveling at Christmas, Santa will be visiting our house a few days early.
So we put our tree up yesterday to maximize our time with it.
In the past, we’ve always decorated the tree while Evan was napping and then spent the following weeks trying to convince him not to steal/eat the ornaments. This year he was able to help us decorate and – so far – is doing a great job of not destroying the tree. He asked me to turn the lights on the second we came downstairs today and says it’s “beautiful.” I love this kid.
He is also tolerant of the Christmas music I’ve been playing even though it is not the Frozen soundtrack, which is usually the only thing he tolerates.
We have some fun activities planned for this Christmas season. We bought tickets for the North Pole Express at the Florida Railroad Museum. We’ll be hitting up the local parades and fake snow festivals, doing some baking, and we’ll go for our evening walks to view the Christmas lights.
I’ve also ordered the holiday cards and done most of our shopping already (this whole budget thing we’ve been doing makes Christmas shopping a breeze).
What are your favorite holiday activities/traditions?
It’s about time for me to check in here and give a quick update and promise to be back someday, right?
Well, no promises of being back are going to be found in this post. I am back to work in a few days and I think I’ll be lucky to find time to brush my teeth, let alone blog. But we’ll see.
So…yeah. Back to work. Can you believe it? I blinked and 12 weeks went by. Kai is an awesome little baby. He rarely cries, he smiles and coos whenever he is awake, and he sleeps from 10-7 with only one wakeup in between most nights. I’m not ready to leave him, but I’ve grown accustomed to food and shelter, so back to work I go (I actually like the work I do, I just wish I could do it AND be with Kai – have it all, right?).
I didn’t read as much during this maternity leave. There was a three-year-old to parent and netflix to watch, so the books took a backseat. Since I last talked about what I was reading in August, I finished Everything Leads to You and A Dangerous Place. I also finished The Woman Who Died a Lot and Landline. Maybe I’ll post my thoughts on them someday. I am currently reading Belzhar and pondering my next audio (maybe the new Judy Blume?).
I am off to watch Evan play soccer this morning. I hope you all have a lovely day.
PS – Excuse the large images. This is the smallest I can get them. If anyone would like to let me in on resizing images in WordPress. I’ve been lost since an update changed things awhile back.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of June and 36 weeks of pregnancy for me.
Someone just told me it seems like I’ve been pregnant forever. And, while I can’t imagine what would possess someone to say that to me, I have to agree. This pregnancy has felt long. It has been mostly unpleasant and I’m done. I really am thankful that I am still pregnant (unlike a lot of other people I know who recently had their babies early) and I need to make it 37 weeks to deliver at my birth center. But this baby can come anytime he wants after next Monday.
Thank you to everyone who left book recommendations on my last post. I still have no desire to read but I’m hoping that changes once the baby is here. I miss reading.
Life has remained busy. Evan just turned three and we threw him a superhero party to celebrate.
He also finished up his first year of preschool and is looking forward to summer camp (although we’ll both be home, we are sending him part time all summer). Ben is wrapping up his school year and I’m wrapping up my work before my maternity leave begins. My mom will be here in just a few weeks (she’s trying to make it for the birth but, as mentioned above, I not-so-secretly won’t mind if he comes before that).
June is sure to be an exciting month around here.
Unless this baby waits until July to make his debut.
*cries at the thought*
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there. Those of you currently nursing a baby, those of you busy chauffeuring your kids to soccer practice and ballet, those of you waiting for your grown children to call you, those of you anxiously awaiting the arrival of your little one, and those of you who still hope to be mothers one day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.
My boys have spoiled me this weekend by giving me some time to myself, so I am actually able to sit down and write this blog post.
This pregnancy has not been terribly comfortable for me, so I haven’t felt like reading or blogging or doing much else than watching Netflix or wasting time on BabyCenter. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have about 7 weeks or so until our little guy arrives. I haven’t done much prepping (poor second child), other than setting up the crib and changing table in my bedroom. I should probably wash some baby clothes one of these days. And figure our what we’re going to name him.
Evan will be 3 later this week. While this is hard for me to believe, I am having fun planning his superhero party. I am trying to go a little less crazy this year, but I just love birthdays and party planning so much. Damn, Pinterest.
Other than that, I am just working and parenting and going about life as normal as possible, just 30 pounds heavier and with a few more aches and pains.
I’ll try to be back with some bookish talk one of these days.
After posting about how claiming you don’t have time to read dismisses the choice you made that led you there on Sunday and then reading about everyone’s busy lives on Friday, I am back with a question for you all:
How do YOU make the time to read?
Do you get hours before the sun? Do you sneak a few pages here and there? Do you rely on audiobooks?
On Friday, I learned that my choice to sleep until 7am every morning (I love me some sleep) means that many of you are up an hour or two before me and that you actually find time to read/blog/relax before work. This seems incredible to me. I have no concept of a leisurely morning.
This makes me wonder what everyone else’s secret is. So, go ahead, share. I won’t tell.
It has always bothered me when I hear this phrase or its variations. When you are a reader, people often say this to you with an air of importance. Like you are living a life of leisure that allows for reading while they are busy with real life.
The reality is that we are all busy with real life and we all prioritize different things. People who say, “I don’t have time to read” are really saying, “I choose not to read with my free time.”
I have less time for reading now than I once did, but that’s because I chose to have kids and prioritize parenting over reading. It isn’t because “I don’t have time to read.” And I could still read plenty if I chose to. My kid goes to bed by 7:30 and I don’t go to bed until 10:30. That’s 21 hours each week that I could be reading. Just because I’d rather sit on the couch and watch Friends reruns with my husband at the end of the day doesn’t grant me the right to say “I don’t have time to read” to someone who doesn’t make that same choice as me.
Would I have more time to read if I were a stay at home mom? Probably not, unless I prioritized reading over other things like, say, showering or having clean dishes or preparing activities to do with my kid. Would I have more time to read if I didn’t have a toddler? Not exactly. I might have more opportunities to read, but I would still be sacrificing other activities in order to do so.
I often feel like I don’t have time to read. But I know plenty of working moms who read a ton. They just don’t watch Friends reruns all night. It’s that simple.
It’s okay if you are the person who is making time to read or if you are the person who isn’t. Neither person is better.
The simple fact is that we all have the exact same hours in the day. Saying “I don’t have time to read” to someone who makes the time to read is, at best, inaccurate, and, at worst, insulting.
I didn’t mean to come back from a break and then immediately go another. Whoops. 2015 does not seem to be any less busy than 2014 so far, so we’ll see how this blogging thing goes. Does life just get busier and busier and busier? It seems like it.
Anyway, I finished my first and second books of 2015. Betsy and the Great World in print and Her Fearful Symmetry on audio. I started Grasshopper Jungle in print but there is no way I can finish it before my book club meeting tomorrow night so I think I may put it down in favor of something I’ve picked out on my own. Brutal Youth perhaps? Or the one review copy I have laying around from when I still thought requesting books was a good idea? I am debating my next audio. Her Fearful Symmetry took me ages (well, months, at least) to get through so I want to make sure I choose wisely.
I’ve got a lazy day at home, after a fun/busy day not at home yesterday, so I might be able to read a few lines. On Wednesday I am heading to Tallahassee sans famille for a meeting for a few days. Perhaps I can get some reading done then.
What are you all reading?
In January of 2005, right after Ben and I got married, I decided to read Anna Karenina. While I was reading that Russian chunkster, Ben read 8 books. He then challenged me to “catch up” to him, so we started actually tracking the books we read. This became an ongoing competition and it means that we can actually tally the number of books we’ve read in our entire ten years of marriage. As I was thinking about whether or not that would be an interesting post, I started thinking about other marriage statistics I could share. It became a fun task for us to think back and try to remember everything we have done together. I hope you enjoy reading this at least a little bit because we had a lot of fun compiling it.
- Books Read: 1079 (Michelle – 507/Ben – 572)
This means that Ben averages just over a book a week and I average just under a book a week. Of course, these averages are rapidly falling, but that’s pretty impressive, right?
- States Visited: 21
- Countries Visited: 10
- Homes Lived In: 4
- Months Lived Apart: 17.5
- Cars Owned: 3
- Pets: 2 (plus temporary custody of another)
- Kids: 1.4?
- Surgeries: 2 (Both Ben. Both ACL reconstruction.)
- Jobs: 18 (Michelle – 7/Ben – 11)
- Degrees Obtained: 2 (Michelle – JD/Ben – MA)
- Tweets: 76,953 (Michelle – 76,200/Ben – 753)
- Races: 12 (Michelle – 10/Ben – 6)(ran 4 together)
- Concerts Attended Together: 10 (This seems low and is based entirely on Ben’s ticket albums. We must have lost a lot of tickets along the way.)
- Sporting Events Attended Together: 44 (That’s a lot of Tigers games.)
- Plays/Musicals Attended Together: 6
And then of course there are all of the uncountable things, like the number of times we’ve laughed, the number of times we’ve cried, or the number of hours we’ve spent on the couch watching Netflix.
It’s been quite the adventure so far…