November was a busy month filled with birthdays, novel writing, karate classes, snowy days and Thanksgiving. It was not filled with a lot of picture taking. Going through my pictures from last month I discovered that making a collage was going to be pretty easy and that my post would not require a lot of time describing dozens of adorable pictures.
November faves included: pigtails, ballerina music boxes, cuddling with stuffed animals, pretty cotton tights, devious smiles, trying the new Hershey spreads (more on that soon) and a super cute picture of MM for good measure.
I did get some cute pictures but not many full sized frame-able ones, so that will be a goal for December for sure as well as the new year:
More pictures taken with REAL cameras.
Cell phone cameras are amazing and give me a lot of versatility but they are limited by file size and picture quality.
I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing these monthly photo round ups in 2014, but I’ll definitely try and finish it out for the remainder of the year. Want to catch up?
Can you guys believe it’s DECEMBER already? The year is nearly over and another month is officially behind us. I’m linking up with Emily @ Chatting at the Sky again to share the things I learned this month – such a fun way to look back at the previous month.
1. Sometimes losing isn’t really losing. Last month I learned that even when you have a great idea for a book and the writing is going okay, that you still might not finish a 50,000 word novella in 30 days and that THAT’S OKAY. I am only a little over 25,000 words in and it’s been a few days since I’ve pecked away at the poor thing, but I haven’t given up on the book at all, I’ve just been busy and I now have 25,000 more words than I would have had if I hadn’t done the challenge.
2. Urban dictionary is probably not an authoritative source on name etymology. But I still had a lot of fun reading the “definitions” of my name there last month when I was participating in one of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshops.
3. I never did learn where all the missing socks go but I had a lot of fun making up my own ideas. If anyone knows the answer, please do share!
4. I learned that spraying Orange Clove scented counter top cleaner from Mrs. Meyers makes me a VERY happy momma! Seriously, that stuff smells amazing!
5. We had an amazing Thanksgiving with new friends and old this year and I learned a little bit more about one of the local private schools that we’ve been thinking about sending the kids to in a few years if we can swing it financially. I’m very thankful for all of the strong friendships that we have forged in Wisconsin that help make it feel like home.
6. Some lessons it seems like I learn constantly. This month I learned for the umpteenth time that you can’t hold judgement against a company, person, product or anything really forever. With much vehemence, we switched our cell phone provider this month, moving to Verizon despite swearing up and down that we’d never go to them because of old complaints only to be very pleasantly surprised by their pricing, customer service and choices. We’ve been very happy with the switch and were once again humbled and reminded that generalized opinions about something are rarely useful or accurate.
7. We learned some very interesting things about Gallifrey and the last Time War this month. Spoilers.
What did you learn last month?
I hope that all of my American readers are enjoying a fantastic Thanksgiving today – and a fantastic Thursday to all of my readers regardless of geographic location.
I anticipate spending the day trying to make good choices at the dessert table and enjoying the company of our good friends who have graciously invited us into their home for the day. And probably telling our children to stop climbing that / eat your vegetables / no you may not have all the pie – that kind of thing.
Anyway, aside from being Thanksgiving, it’s also time for Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop. This week her prompts were:
1.) 10 best things about being a kid.
2.) A Thanksgiving memory.
3.) A Happy Thanksgiving wish!
4.)You saw it on Pinterest…does it really work?
5.) Something you’re thankful for…might as well keep this going this month!
I’m a little “Thankful List”ed out, so I thought I’d write about something less festive and prompt #1 was calling to me.
That’s my list – what would be on yours? What do you miss about being a kid? Let me know in the comments section below and don’t forget to link up at Mama Kat’s if you are playing along.
Seriously guys, is someone messing with me? Did someone change the date on my computer (and cell phone, tablet, and page a day calender)? HOW is it the 4th week of November already? It should NOT be possible, but since the impossible seems to have happened once again, let’s talk about the books on my nightstand, linking up with the lovely ladies at 5 Minutes For Books yet again.
Last month I read 5 books :
a classic, a book on writing, a YA dystopian book, a short memoir on potty training and a romance novel by an author I adore
This month my book club is reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. We’ll be discussing it in just two weeks and I’m only about 1/4 of the way through it according to my Kindle.
This book is intense and complex, with a plot and writing style that take a little getting used to. So for the first 25% of the book I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not and had a hard time committing to it, causing me to “cheat on it” with a lot of other books (read: the two books you see above after Allegiant and the book below that I’ll talk more about in a minute).
“What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?”
Somewhere around that 1/4 mark though the book started to settle into a rhythm or I got used to the rhythm it had been in all along. Either way, the book got better for me and I’m not longer quite so quick to put it down for a lighter read every night. Only some nights.
I’m also reading As You Do… by Richard Hammond, who you may know from Top Gear, a show that my husband adores and I occasionally enjoy watching with him, mostly for the antics of Richard Hammond. This book reads as though Hammond is actually standing next to you talking. His writing style is VERY similar to his talking style which I suppose could be a good thing or a bad thing but I consider it a good thing.
I’m not super far into the story but I am really enjoying it so far. It’s a collection of stories from his adventures on Top Gear and other ventures. I actually bought this book for my husband and he LOVED it so much that I felt inclined to read it myself. So far so good…
“The wry, honest and often hilarious chronicles of a very brave and clever TV presenter, Arctic explorer, and general drawer of the Short Straw..
He ranges widely over his life and times—a visit to Glastonbury with James May reminds of him of his early years of playing in a band and how and why he never quite made it as a rock star; the stunts and other perils that come his way like the Top Gear North Pole race (why is it Richard who is out in the howling elements in a dog sled while the others are in the heated cab of an all-terrain vehicle?), Africa where he falls in love with and repatriates a stray car, and the U.S. (once to be chased by rednecks in middle America, the other in pursuit of his hero Evel Knievel); his passion for cars, what he owns and why, and although he loves his wife why it is a toss-up whether he says hello to the wife or the cars first.
Balancing home and family with a crazy, peripatetic working life (or not, sometimes), the hamster is well and truly back on the wheel.”
The Last Word by Lisa Lutz – the latest in a story about a zany family of private detectives – “Isabel Spellman is used to being followed, extorted, and questioned—all occupational hazards of working at her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Her little sister, Rae, once tailed Izzy for weeks on end to discover the identity of her boyfriend. Her mother, Olivia, once blackmailed Izzy with photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994. It seemed that the Spellmans would lay off after Izzy was fired for breaching client confidentiality, but then Izzy avenged her dismissal by staging a hostile takeover of the company. She should have known better than to think she could put such shenanigans behind her.”
Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick – #6 in a series : “It’s a dream come true for Megan, who’s jet-setting to Paris for Fashion Week with Gigi. Meanwhile, back in Concord, Mrs. Wong decides to run for mayor, so Emma and Stewart team up to make her campaign a success. Jess and Cassidy are also hoping for victories, Jess in the a cappella finals with the MadriGals and Cassidy in the national hockey championships with her teammates. In the midst of it all, the girls—along with their Wyoming pen pals, who drop in for a visit over Spring Break—dive into Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. Some real life romance follows, as Becca may have found a Mr. Rochester of her own.”
Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle – After watching Sherlock on Netflix recently, I’m kind of obsessively looking forward to season 3 starting in the new year so it might be a good time to read some of his stories while I wait impatiently. My husband read a lot of them a year or two ago and I keep meaning to follow suit.
You can participate in What’s on Your Nightstand? in several ways. Choose what’s appealing to you:
However you choose to write about your nightstand this month, make sure you link up at 5 Minutes for Books!
It’s the last week of National Novel Writing Month and I’m both optimistic, pessimistic and realistic all at once.
I’ve only written 26,874 – a little over halfway done with less than one week left to hit the challenge goal of 50,000 words and it’s Thanksgiving week to boot (and with Christmas coming I have a million other little goals to attend to in addition to my normal work load as a wife and mother and home keeper).
Is it possible that I’ll finish? Yes, I suppose, but it’s not very likely. Admittedly, this is my own fault. In addition to the normal writing struggles like word block and my already anticipated time constraints – like my husband’s birthday last week which saw me baking and cooking a special dinner for him – I also frankly just goofed off a bit. My sanity required it and I let it happen. Shame on me or good for me? I’m not sure.
So why am I optimistic when reality and pessimism seem to indicate that I won’t finish the challenge? I still think I’ll finish the book either way and at the end of the day, that is more important. If enjoying the holidays and keeping up with my LIFE mean that I don’t write 50,000 words in 30 days – I am totally at peace with that as long as I keep writing.
Are you trying to write a novel this month? How is your progress going? Do you think you’ll finish on time?
How is it that I can finish all of her laundry and find no matching socks at all? Surely there were matches at one point, but where are they now?
Buried under her bed, in the bottom of the couch or hidden in her toy box?These seem like the likely scenarios but what if they are:
Traveling in time and space?
Being eaten by the washing machine?
Eloping in Vegas?
Being sacrificed to the gods on top of a volcano in Pompeii?
Running away with the dish and the spoon?
Finding themselves in Bali?
On a road trip with some college guy they met in a bar?
Enrolling at Hogwarts School For Witchcraft & Wizardry?
On a top secret mission for the CIA?
Having a torrid affair with one half of a pair of tennis shoes?
Working as assassins for hire?
Performing in a puppet show on off Broadway?
Learning to do the hula in Hawaii?
Where do you think all the missing socks go?
This month is rushing by faster than I can keep up with. Again. Still. I feel like I’ve been saying this all year. Every month I find myself writing, “Where did this month go? How is it over already?” Every day I look at my children and think “When did they get so big?”
When did her limbs get so long? How long has he been this tall? When did she learn to count this high? When did his vocabulary get so big? How do they keep on growing, faster than I can keep up with? Why didn’t I savor this moment longer and linger in these precious days?
My babies are getting bigger every day but they are also still pretty young, too, I suppose. Four and seven. It seems like just yesterday they were both being born, but I’ve been doing this parenting thing for almost eight years now so even though I still feel like a total newbie, I’m sort of an old pro.
Except in comparison to all those mothers of middle schoolers, teenagers or adults. To them, I’m sure, I ain’t seen nothing yet. I’ll be them someday though. In the blink of an eye they will be grown and gone, tweens then teens then adults and someday hopefully parents of their own small broods. I have lots of time left and no time at all.
The days are long and the years are short. It’s a cliche but it’s so true in these days that seem to drag on forever until I blink and it’s been weeks or months or years – these weeping angel days where time stops feeling linear and starts feeling wibbly wobbly… Fleeting. Rushed. Exhausting. Exhilarating.
(yes, I’m a nerd, shut up)