Colored lights on the tree. My comfortable bed. A warm fireplace. Hot chocolate. Playing new games as a family. Roasted veggies. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Marking items off the to-do list. Good new music. Those fleeting moments when the boys play nicely and get along. Soft slippers. Egg nog with a little cinnamon and/or nutmeg sprinkled on top.
November 27, 2017
There's a lot to catch up on, so I will probably have several of these over the coming weeks. Here we go...
Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance.
I found this to be a compelling read. I am often drawn to memoirs that provide a unique and different perspective. It's a way of being able to step into someone else's shoes and understand their way of thinking. The hype around this book was about understanding "Trump voters", or more generally, the struggling white working-class. That oversimplifies it, though. It's a worthy read, and one that you'll want to talk about with someone else afterwards.
Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly.
I loved this book. It wasn't quite as awesome as The Nightingale, but it was a beautiful story made even more meaningful, since two of the main characters were real. The story was inspired by these real women, and each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the three women characters. It takes place primarily during WWII, with the end of the story happening years later.
The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard.
I really wanted to like this book. Maybe it just wasn't the right time for it. I enjoyed the writing a bit, but I wasn't pulled in or affected by it. The book is written as separate essays, covering different times in one woman's life. It is very rare that I give up on a book, but about 3/4 of the way through this one, I put it aside. Life is too short to read a book that doesn't do it for you.
November 22, 2017
You know those friends who live far away, and who you don't talk to often enough, but when you do talk to them, it is as if no time has passed? Do you have those? I adore those friends. There's no need to spend too much time "catching up", and we can just dive into what's going on right now, and what compelled us to reach out. In fact, I'm going to make it a goal to call at least one of those friends tomorrow - on Thanksgiving - for no other reason than to tell them that I am grateful for them.
I've been away from the blog for a long time. My sister mentions this every time we talk - "no updates on the blog, I see", she says. "Yes, I know", I say. I haven't forgotten, I miss it, I will come back... And then life goes on. And then it can feel difficult to come back, because what do I say? Do I need to fill in the gaps? I missed an entire season! All of our glorious summer! Most of our soccer-filled fall! But I've decided to let it go, to jump back in to what's going on now.
Life is good. I have been working quite a bit, taking on more responsibilities and feeling good about what I'm accomplishing; but I did have the scales tipped way too far for a few months, and it has felt good to be able to come back up for air. I'm finding my balance again. It includes a decent amount of work, because I enjoy it; but it also includes time on my yoga mat, with my kids, listening to music, staying informed, and keeping up with my favorite entertainment (Stranger Things 2 was awesome).
And now the holiday season is upon us! I'm a little behind where I'd like to be, but I'll be fine. The shopping and the lists have begun. I've decided to take a break from holiday cards this year; mostly because I don't have any decent pictures, but also because it's nice to give myself a break. Maybe I'll be able to do more baking and cooking this year instead. I'd like to make some cranberry-orange marmalade again - it's my fave.
But first, Thanksgiving. My favorite day of the year. Time with family and good food and movies and relaxing and gratitude. I'm grateful for so much. My funny and cute partner for life, my sweet boys who still cuddle at 8 and almost-11, my warm and cozy house, my strong body that requires more maintenance these days but still gets me where I need to go... I have so much. Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving where you are, I hope you all take a minute to give thanks. And I'll see you back here soon. I promise.