Thursday, December 30, 2010

Books I Read in 2010

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
4. Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
5. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
6. Holes by Louis Sachar
7. Mr. Knightly's Diary by Amanda Grange
8. Percy Jackson & The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
9. Percy Jackson & The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
10. Percy Jackson & The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
11. Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
14. Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

Well, for those who remember last year, my goal for this year was 20 books, so I failed on that. However, last year I only read 12, so this is an improvement. Next year's goal will be the same as this year: 20 books.

If you have read something wonderful and want to recommend it for my 2011 list, please leave it in the comments section.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goodbye, Kindergarten

Well, Brynn is now a first grader. It sounds so strange coming out of my mouth, and yet it is so. Thursday was her last day of Kindergarten, and I was not emotional about it until one of the staff members walked her and Lauren out to the van and said with enthusiasm, "You did it, girls! You finished Kindergarten!" And then it hit me that it was over, and when she had to go back to school, it would be all day long and she would be coming home every day with tired eyes and only a few hours left in which to do homework, dinner and a bath before going to bed. And I started to bawl right there in the car line.

My friend Jenn and I (okay, it was her idea) had planned to take the girls for a little surprise right after school. We share the carpool duties--she takes them and I pick them up in the afternoon. So I did the (emotional) pick-up and then we went to the Dairy Queen, where Jenn and little brother were waiting for us. We all went in and had some fun snacks, ice cream cones, and silly bands. And we celebrated first grade, even though neither Mommy was very happy about the fact of it.

Brynn had a very good year, and we are super proud of her. No behavior problems--which was great--and she has just learned so much. She is reading now, and that still blows my mind. Today we took a little adventure to the bookstore to meet her current favorite personality from books... Junie B. Jones. It was really fun, and I hope to see her love of reading continue as she grows. It would be so fun to have that in common with her and read books together. She asked me the other day when she can read Harry Potter, and I told her we'd see about it when she was twelve. Hehe.

Katy is not to be outdone by her sister's achievments. Today at the Junie B. show, I said to her, "Isn't Junie B. so silly?" She responded with a grave tone, "And ruuuuuuuuuuude! I heard her say the word stupid." She shook her head as if she highly disapproved. It's true, stupid is not permitted at our house, but Katy is a fine one to call out poor Junie for inappropriate behavior. Katy is rarely asleep within 90 minutes of her bedtime and had been known to make belching noises in order to get a laugh. (We blame this last offense on influence from Uncle Chris and those Hutcherson boys.) :)

We cannot believe how fast the girls are growing. Pictures of Brynn from only a few months ago show a much more "baby" face than she is wearing these days, and Katy nearly knocked me over the other night when I realized Katy's shoulders were now higher than our kitchen table. I asked Jim, "Is she standing on something?"

We are planning visits to see all the family over the summer, and I will be making a trip to Milwalkee for a Southern Living At HOME (soon to be Willow House) convention. I am excited about this, but nervous, too... as it will be the first time I've really left like this since the kids were born. But it should be a fun summer, though I know it will fly. Hope yours is getting off to a good start as well!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Brynn came to me this morning and poked her head around a doorway with wide eyes. "Mommy," she said soberly. "Did you know there was more than one moon?" "I did know that, yes," I told her. "Okay," she said, and went back to watching PBS.

An hour later, in the car...

Brynn: We are on planet Earth.
Katy: No, we're not.
Brynn: Yes, we are, Katy. This whole big thing is a planet, like the whole world. And the one we are on is called Earth.
Katy: (exasperated) No, Brynna. We are on a road.
Brynn: Mommy, Katy says we are not on planet Earth.
Katy: But Mommy, we are on this road!
Me: You are both right. We are definitely on this road, and we are definitely on planet Earth.

Then Brynn proceeded to explain to Katy about the Earth and the planets and outer space.

Things I've learned today:
1. Kindergarten is turning Brynn into a smarty-pants NASA-nerd like her Daddy.
2. You can learn a lot from PBS.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here's a news flash: I'm not a very consistent writer when it comes to this blog. I have such good intentions though--does that count for anything? So let me think what's been going on around here... we've been enjoying the slow season for the golf industry, which means Jim has been off on Saturdays and even one day during the week (with pay). This has been so great; it feels like extra vacations days, and what's not to love about that? We are going to have quite an adjustment when he goes back to regular hours and overtime here in a few weeks, if the weather improves.

Brynn has lost two teeth in the last couple of weeks, which has been a lot of fun. Not to mention how cute she looks with the bottom ones missing. I need to get a picture and share it on here so you can all see. I hope to update the pictures here in the next week or so... maybe I will use a toothless one. She is still really enjoying Kindergarten, and it's hard for me to think of her being gone all day beginning only a few months from now. Crazy.

Katy is doing great as well, looking forward to her 3rd birthday party, a Minnie Mouse cake, and her turn to go to Build-A-Bear (our present for Brynn's 3rd as well). So that should be fun in a few weeks. She is trying to keep up with her big sister in every way: playing school, wearing princess dresses, enjoying Barbies, and trying to convince anyone who will listen that she, too, has loose teeth. The night before last she reportedly dreamed that an elephant came into their bedroom and sneezed on both their beds. We do not lack for entertainment around here, I assure you.

I'm doing well, too, working at Mom's Day Out and booking spring parties for Southern Living At HOME. I've been reading a lot lately, which has been nice. I used to think I didn't have time, but now I just carry a book around with me everywhere. I've learned I spend a lot of time waiting on stuff. So I read while I wait. I recently finished a reread of the Harry Potter series, and the first book in the Olympians series, which I liked enough that I will probably read the rest eventually. Now I've begun Mr. Darcy's Diary, which I am very much liking as I love Jane Austen, and especially Pride and Prejudice.

So that's it for an update, and I'm sure we'll have some fun stories coming your way soon. My apologies... I now realize this reads like one of those Christmas letters, with one paragraph for each family member. Not cool. I will do better next time.

Hope all is well with all of you who are still reading...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

another giveaway...

Don't judge me for pimping out my blog again. Look how gorgeous this jewelry is! Enter to win at my friend Traci's blog. Or don't, and then my chances will be better... mwahahahahaha!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Katy's turning into a bit of a bruiser. She's always slamming into stuff and getting hurt, but yesterday she tripped at Mom's Day Out and got a genuine bloody nose. (I'm so proud.) She's all right, but was apparently freaked out by the sight of the blood. While they cleaned her up and washed her hands, she just stood there with her eyes closed.

Funny story. Yesterday morning, Brynn came into my bedroom and perched herself on top of one of the pillows on the bed, cross-legged. She was wearing a tiara, chin held high. Katy was close on her heels, also climbing onto the bed, but curling up on the other pillow in the fetal position. I turned around as I was straightening my hair and raised an eyebrow in Brynn's direction. "I'm the queen," she explained simply. "Katy's my cat." Anyone care to guess which one of them assigned the roles?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Anyone into some super cute stamped jewelry? If so, pop on over to my friend Traci's blog Beneath My Heart and enter to win a $75 gift certificate to designer Lisa Leonard's online store. Her stuff is gorgeous! I'm crossing everything and hoping to win. Check it out.
Today in the car I experienced another "first" with Brynn. I can't decide if it's a good one or a bad one... maybe you can help. I checked the girls in the rearview mirror while on our way into Lexington this morning, and noticed Brynn appeared to be either sad or lost in thought. "Brynn?" I asked her. "Everything okay?" To which she said, "Yeah, I'm just thinking." Well, she's never said that before... but not too strange. "What are you thinking about?" I asked. She just kept staring out the window. "Nothing," she answered.

A little alarm went off in my head, but I tried not to panic. I just didn't expect this to start at five years old, this growing up to the point where I no longer have access to her every thought. What to do? I definitely could have made her tell me, but I decided this would not be the most relationship-building thing to do. So I didn't push it even though I really wanted to. Instead I freaked myself out thinking about how so many teenagers never talk to their parents. Healthy, huh?

In other news, the girls attracted some attention in Penney's this morning. We were racing through there in a mad search for Brynn's lost glove (so CUTE from a GAP sale about a month ago--ugh!), and the girls were singing. I actually didn't notice the song right away because, as I mentioned, MAD SEARCH. But then we passed this woman who looked at me and said, "How precious," with this big smile on her face. I figured I should pay more attention since these kids are mine after all. Hehe. They were singing that old Sunday School song "Be careful little feet where you go." Everyone knows that one, right? Well, from the elevator to the front door of the store, no less than three people either smiled big at me over it or actually commented after hearing what they were singing. I confess I usually quiet them down a bit in public places, but I didn't today. I figured something about it was kind of special, if even strangers were responding so sweetly. Besides, not only were they perfectly adorable (totally objective assessment), but it was a good reminder for myself and anyone else who might have heard them. After all, who among us doesn't need to be reminded once in a while to "be careful little tongue what you say" or "be careful little heart whom you trust," and especially, "For the Father up above is looking down in love." From the mouths of babes...

P.S. Yes, I'm still wondering what Brynn was thinking about.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Things I learned at the movies tonight...

1. I still love Matt Damon after all these years. He is just cool.
2. Rugby is a brutal sport. They don't wear helmets, people!
3. All I understand about rugby after watching Invictus is... see #2.
4. Quality sports movies always make me cry.
5. Never sit down on a public toilet without looking first.