January 29, 2016

Aoife O'Donovan - In The Magic Hour

Aoife O'Donovan has a new album, In the Magic Hour. I'm only just getting to know it; but I do think the title song is lovely, particularly this acoustic version.

January 28, 2016

Little Things...

A good book that makes me stay up too late. Coffee with cream. Clean sheets. Discovering new music. Dinner with friends. Watching six and seven-year-olds play basketball. An empty dishwasher and clean countertops. The X-Files! New haircuts on little boys. Daylight at 5PM. Avocados. A comfortable scarf. Sitting by the fireplace. Eucalyptus. Sleepy hugs. Emails from friends. Making plans. A few moments of silence.

January 19, 2016

Taking Stock - January 2016

What I am...

Watching - We finished Making a Murderer over the holidays. It didn't make me believe Steven Avery was necessarily innocent, but it sure did get me all enraged about the justice system. Since then, quite a lot of football. Go Patriots! (But only because the Bills didn't make the postseason.)
Wearing - Jeans, sweaters, and boots. Slacks to work. Easy, comfy, warm. But still cute. At least that's the goal.
Loving - My boys, even when they fight all day long and generally drive me crazy.
Eating - Tons of chocolate-chip walnut cookies. And kale, to balance things out.
Listening - Lots of Adele and Glen Hansard at the moment. Nathan is decidedly NOT a fan of Adele, and he's declared "Hello" to be his least favorite song ever. Well then. Maroon 5 seems to be more his speed. To each his own.
Wanting - New earrings. I only have a few pairs, and although I've never been big on jewelry, I do enjoy wearing a little something on my ears.
Reading - Well, I've already posted what I've finished.  I'm currently reading a book of short stories by Colum McCann called "Thirteen Ways of Looking".  Next up:  The Nightingale. (I've heard great things.)
Enjoying - The Martian movie. It was good, but I'm sure I would've enjoyed it more if I had not read the book. They left out a bunch! But it was fun and well done and who doesn't love Matt Damon?
Drinking - A lot of sparkling water. Kevin and I are taking a break from alcohol for the month of January. It feels good, but it's harder than I expected.
Thinking - That our election cycle is waaaaay too long in this country. Can we all vote now and get it over with?
Appreciating - The fact that my boys are old enough to clean toilets now. They do some cleaning every weekend, and it makes me happy. They shoveled the driveway yesterday too! Nice.
Planning - Vacations! We have three major vacations planned for this year, and they are all booked! Disneyworld, Cape Cod, and Dublin/Barcelona. A lot to look forward to.
Working - To incorporate more yoga into my week. I'm in a good phase. I did 30 minutes before work this morning, and my shoulders feel good.
Feeling - Pretty good about everything in my own life, which makes me feel like I should be doing more for others.
Noticing - It's been a mild start to Winter again this year, but there's talk of a storm this weekend.
Wondering - Is it going to be another Winter like last year?

January 18, 2016

Glen Hansard - Winning Streak

Love Glen Hansard's latest album, which made my favorites list of last year. I especially love this beautiful song.

Happy Monday all!

January 15, 2016

Friends and Good Conversation...

Is there anything better?

I went out to dinner with a group of mom friends last night, and at the end of the evening, my cheeks hurt from laughing. (I only classify them as "mom" friends, because we all met through our kids.) In addition to silliness and laughs, here are a few of the things we discussed:

- Two of the women in the group are from other countries (Peru and Portugal), and another one had never traveled outside the US at all. We talked about the meaning of the word "home" and about how the diversity in the United States can make it easier for people from other countries to not feel like an outsider.
- We talked about summer plans and child care and how expensive camps are. We work to go on vacations and to send our kids to camp so we can work. (That's not true, but it can feel like it when those big bills hit.)
- Six out of the seven work outside the home - some part-time, some full-time, but all of us understanding the challenge of the juggle. We talked about dinner challenges and bedtimes and commutes.
- One of the women is a widow. She has two boys, the same ages as mine, and her husband died of brain cancer four years ago. She also happens to be one of the most positive and fun people to be around - she's remarkable. She's going with a friend to a speed-dating event in a few weeks, which led to some interesting conversation about what kinds of questions she should ask.
- There is a tremendous amount of pride in our town. We love our schools and the community. We talked about local politics, the latest on school developments, what life will be like once our kids start middle school. (Only one of the group has a child already there.) We talked about bus schedules and homework and sports.
- Five of us have two boys. (One has a boy and a girl, and another has two boys and a girl.) That's a lot of boys! We talked about the saying "a son is a son 'til he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter all her life". As the mothers of sons, we got pretty worked up about it. Let's just say I really, really, really hope my boys choose their wives wisely, and I hope they don't settle down too far away.
It was a fun night, and I know we'll do it again. I'll also get to see this same group on the sidelines of the soccer field this Spring. 

January 14, 2016

Recently Read...

The Martian, by Andy Weir.
I loved this book. It's funny, smart, and fast-paced. It is extremely science-y, so if you don't have at least a small interest in science, you may get bored by all the technical talk. I love science, and that only made it more appealing to me. Even if you skim through the science-speak, though, it's a thrilling ride. Kevin is reading it now, and I told him he has two more days to finish it, because I want to watch the movie this weekend. Matt Damon trapped on Mars? Yes please.

The Secret Chord, by Elizabeth Brooks.
I love historical fiction, and Elizabeth Brooks is one of my favorite authors in that genre. March, The Year of Wonders, Caleb's Crossing, and People of the Book - I thoroughly enjoyed all of those books. I enjoyed The Secret Chord as well. It is the full life story of the Old Testament's King David, narrated by his personal prophet, Nathan. It was a bit difficult to get into at first, especially since she uses the old version of the names (Natan=Nathan, Shlomo=Solomon, etc.). This makes it somewhat difficult to navigate. That said, it's a fascinating story, and although I knew the major highlights of his story, her storytelling brings David to life and gives us a completely different perspective on the stories we've been told. It's far from my favorite of her books, but I liked it overall.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.
This is a fascinating book. It is extremely well-researched, and the author does a fantastic job of using both psychological studies and experiments as well as personal stories to explain the differences between extroverts and introverts. It is said that 1/3-1/2 of all people are introverts, and it would be beneficial to everyone if these people were more represented and accommodated in our businesses and schools. I imagine a lot of the people that read this book are introverts, like myself, and the book is definitely targeted to us. I can imagine that an extrovert may be put off a bit as the author continuously talks about the many wonderful things about introverts, but I hope that doesn't dissuade them from continuing to read. It would benefit all of us - introverts and extroverts alike - to understand each other better.

January 12, 2016

A New Year...

I enjoy this time of year. Similar to September and the start of a new school year, there's a feeling of renewed optimism. A clean slate. An opportunity to both reflect on the year before and make goals for the new year.  

When I think back to 2015, I think of family and work and our routines and rituals. There weren't many big momentous occasions or adventurous trips or home renovations or life changes. We did have a few fun trips, including The Dominican Republic to celebrate Kevin's 40th, and San Francisco in the Fall. I do love going on adventures with my boys. Mostly, though, Kevin and I continued in our work, the boys continued in their school, we enjoyed our many traditions... It has been relatively stable and consistent, which suits me just fine. I'm not big on change.  

I turned 41, and I must say that 41 felt like a more difficult transition than 40 did. Turning 40 felt anti-climactic - I felt the same! However, I felt like I aged tremendously this year. Forty-one brought more obvious (to me) physical changes, and I feel now that I am solidly in my forties. I'm (mostly) okay with this, but I can't say I was totally prepared for it. 

Now that January is upon us, we are in planning mode for the coming year. We are doing some of the same things that have become annual rituals, such as Newport, and we're adding some adventures as well.  Disneyworld! I'm excited. Work continues, school continues - Aaron will be entering his last year at his current school. Work on the house is complete, but of course there is a never-ending list of home improvements to be made. I am feeling the usual start-of-year motivation to eat clean and exercise, although I refuse to cleanse or cut anything out completely. Brownies are too yummy and life is too short.  I appreciated this post on New Year's resolutions:  Be Good, Most of the Time

So life chugs along, steadily, too quickly at times. I enjoy both the looking back and the planning for the days ahead. I'm optimistic and feeling good about where we are. Happy days.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...