Month: December 2016

Farewell 2016!

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It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already over, it was a great year, with some bad sprinkled in, as most years are. I see a lot of people flipping of 2016, but I’m choosing to pull all the good out and saying thank you for the blessings. I remember writing the farewell 2015 post like it was yesterday. I always do a recap and then make resolutions. I know some people don’t think resolutions work, but for me, I think they do, at least for awhile.

2016 Recap:

  • Peyton turned 1! Henry turned 4!
  • Henry played in his first season of T-Ball, he did great and loved it.
  • We lost our sweet pup Bella
  • Henry participated in VBS for the first time, he had so much fun!
  • We visited Michigan again. This year we explored Ft Wayne Zoo, Albion, Sleepy Bear Dune National Lakeshore, Muskegon and Grand Haven. We loved it. Beautiful areas!
  • We visited Turkey Run State Park and stayed in the Inn.
  • We went camping in Brown County, Peyton’s first camping experience.
  • Josh and I celebrated 5 years of marriage!
  • We met Vice President Elect Mike Pence! (This is not a Donald Trump endorsement).
  • I helped deliver my goddaughter Ahkianna in a car!
  • We conceived our 3rd child!

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Here were my goals for 2016:

 

  • Daily prayer (I definitely prayed a lot more this year! Still not as much as I should be praying, but I’m happy there was prgoress)
  • Set aside anger, lead with love (I feel like there was a lot I was able to let go of. I also decided that I don’t always have to respond/react. This helps with leading with love, instead of reacting with emotion).
  • Read 75 books (I only read 59 books this year, so I didn’t meet my goal. But I am still happy with that progress. That’s a book a week! I feel off the book wagon toward the end of the year, due to exhaustion/being sick).
  • Become organized/less clutter (Still a work in progress. I ended this year with cleaning and organzing  my laundry room and desk. Hoping for  more peaceful and less cluttered home in 2017.)
  • Healthy body, healthy mind (Before the 1st trimester struck, I had been running and/or working out in some other form almost daily. I was finally able to run without feeling like I was dying. That all changed when I hit about the 5th week and was basically couch ridden from week 5 to 9. I need to get back in the habit, I feel like Jabba the Hut).

 

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Here are some goals for 2017:

  • Schedule my days better, in order to be more effective in house work and playtime
  • Organized home (everything has it’s place and at least occasionally finds its home 😉 )
  •  Memorize more prayers/scripture
  • Workout to some degree daily
  • Blog more
  • Learn a solid photo editing program
  • Take photography more seriously
  • Read 60 books
  • Deliver a happy, healthy baby, quickly and safely (PLEASE LORD!)
  • Cuss less, love more

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June-December Book Reviews

I’m behind (6 months behind! Life got so busy (in a great way!).  We’ve been out doing all kinda of fun things, vacation, etc. So these reviews will probably be lacking.

 

breathWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about this book except for the way it made me feel: Get busy living. Kalanithi died while writing book. It’s one of those books you should read because it’s important to hear someone else’s story. Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, was diagnosed with lung disease just as he was coming off of 10 years of studying. One day he and his wife had a plan and the next day it was forever changed, but his life wasn’t over. He pushed himself to work, to live. He and his wife still decided to have a child, even knowing he probably wouldn’t live very long. This book is a good reminder that all of the little things matter, but that you must do them with great enthusiasm, because life really is short, it’s entirely unpredictable. Find your passions and pursue them, even if it’s just picking up a book and reading all day. Love one another fully, forgive and move on.

everythingEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

2.5/5 stars

If you don’t like depressing books, then don’t read this. This book was hard to stomach because it was so heartbreaking. It follows a Chinese-American family in the 70s, the favorite daughter is found in the local lake, drowned. No one knows what happened or why, but her family completely breaks. Her siblings who were already ignored before, are left even more alone while her parents are reeling from her loss and their own dysfunctions. These books always make me pause and ask myself what kind of parent I am and will be as my kids age. Will I continue to really see them? Hear them? I didn’t love this book, it wasn’t super exciting, nothing really happens. It’s more of a thoughtful book. However, the one thing I did appreciate about this book was the insight on what it means to be Chinese/part Chinese. I’ve never really thought much on this subject, but in the 70s (and I’m sure today) many misconceptions were placed on them and a lot of very racists things were said or enacted toward them. It is a subject I would like to read more on so that I understand the struggles they’ve encountered.

afteryouAfter You by Jojo Moyes

4.5/5 stars

The sequel to Me Before You, continues to follow Lou in the aftermath of Will’s death. Lou is out on her own, new job, new place and new faces. She suffers a severe accident which again changes her path of life. The question that was asked in the first book continues in this one: How can you live life to the fullest? Why are you wasting energy on things that don’t really matter? Good book, not as epic as the first. But still makes you want to change the way you choose to live.

goodgirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica

4/5 stars

(I’m writing this in December, I have no idea what this book was about). After rereading the synopsis, I remember how riveting this book was, it was so hard to put down, you just wanted to get ot the end so you understood what was happening and why. I remember my heart breaking at the end of this book, which is a great sign of a great book. It’s hard to go too much into it without giving anything away. It’s a thriller, a woman is kidnapped, held captive, you go into the captors mind, as well as the lead detective. You switch back and forth and get a good picture of what has taken place. Keep reading, there is always more to find out.

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The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison

5 and 3.5/5 stars

The first book in the Rosie series was definitely better than the second. I felt a lot of angst toward Rosie in the 2nd book, I almost felt like the author kind of just didn’t have a lot more to add to the story so he strung the story along too long. The main character, Don, is Autistic (Asperger), it’s not overtly stated, but it’s clear from other comments throughout the series. He’s got a good personality and is brilliant, he is easily likable, which is probably what makes Rosie easily unlikable when she is impatient with him. It honestly felt like she totally gave up in the 2nd book. I wanted to smack her and ask her, “Um, hello! You know who you married!”

Well, I honestly feel like I don’t have the time/patience to complete the rest of the reviews. That’s what I get for procrastinating for 6 months! But here are the rest of the books I read this year. 58 total (most likely 59 by the end of the year. My goal this year was 75 books. Happy with the progress.

booksHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by John TiffanyThe Last Anniversary by Liane MoriartyA Murder in Time by Julie McElwainTruly Madly Guilty by Liane MoriartyIn His Spirit by Richard J. Hauser S.J.The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth WareThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampBehind Closed Doors by B.A. ParisBefore the Fall by Noah HawleyThe Widow by Fiona BartonDivine Mercy for Moms by Michele FaehnleThe Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix SweeneyAll the Missing Girls by Megan MirandaTakedown Twenty by Janet EvanovichThree Wishes by Liane Moriarty

TOP 3 for 2016

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardMe Before You by Jojo MoyesReady Player One by Ernest Cline

BOTTOM 3 for 2016

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampThe Dinner by Herman KochFriendship by Emily Gould

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