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Showing posts from January, 2013

Lessons I Keep Learning

Monday seems to be my new day for posting. Happy Monday to everyone out there in blog land. I actually like Monday morning; it's the day I go in to work late so I can stay later in the evening. Once I get the older kids off to school I have a few hours to run errands, catch up on housework, and recover from the weekend before starting a new week. (Don't ask me how I feel about Mondays later tonight. A busy morning followed by 8 hours of work usually leaves me exhausted by 10). 

I've been re-learning a few lessons these past few weeks:

1. Not everyone is going to like me or like the things I do. I recently got called to be in the Primary presidency as the secretary. While I'm thrilled to be in a more active calling and I love being in Primary with the kids, I'm remembering what it is like to serve in a presidency and to be more exposed to the gossip/complaints/opinions of those in the ward. I've been running into similar problems at work, as my personality and my …

Yes, I'm a Real Person

I don't pay any attention to football, college or otherwise, and hadn't heard of Manti Te'o until his "fake girlfriend" story hit the news this week. I find the story oddly fascinating and have spent the week reading all kinds of articles about similar internet scams (good links here and here). The interesting thing to me is that so many people lie on the internet for no other reason than boredom, loneliness, and curiosity about how other people will react to them. There usually isn't any kind of tangible physical gain for the perpetrators, and often there isn't a tangible loss for the victims. It almost seems worse to me, though, to be stealing things like trust and intimacy rather than money.

These types of stories make me a little uncomfortable too because they bring to the surface the feelings I have underlying many of my internet interactions: is this a 'real' event? We are sharing ideas and writing intimately about ourselves, and my mind and…

Oh Hai Guys

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I kept waiting to post on my blog until things calmed down a little. And of course, they never did. I'm trying to convince myself that life will never just go along smoothly in any semblance of a 'normal' routine, and as I look back at the last seven years I've been writing on this blog I realize more and more that this is true. It has been harder during the last eighteen months doing this by myself; I miss having a partner to go through this with. Someone to help hold down the fort and clean up the messes, and give me a hug at the end of the day. But, I'm here and I'm doing it and most of the time I think I'm surviving all right.

December and the holidays went well from what I remember. The kids got great presents this year that they actually love and use. Buying presents is hard because I never know if the kids are going to like them or not. Some things I thought they would love have been total duds and others have worked out better than I imagined. Littl…

Reading Roundup: 2012

(previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

I read 97 books last year. I didn't think the total would be that many since my reading has slowed a lot during the last six months, but I read a lot at the beginning when I was reading Whitney finalists.

80 of the books I read were fiction and only 17 were nonfiction. That's a much smaller ratio than I have had in the past. It's partly due to all the Whitney finalists and also due to the fact that this year I have favored easier, fluffier books. I've still read some good ones, but I've been on a light reading kick for a while and nonfiction doesn't always fit into that very well. Only 27 of the books I read were by men and 70 were by women; that ratio has also been changing year by year. I think in this case the books by women category was weighted so heavily because I've read fewer nonfiction books (I tend to read more fiction by women and nonfiction by men), the Whitney categories I read tend to be dominated …

Reading Roundup: December 2012

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

This book was slow to start for me; Mitchell's writing style is dense, there were a large number of characters, and the author drops you into the action immediately without a lot of explanation of what is going on. After a taking a break from the book a few times, I managed to get into the story and I really liked it. It was nice to read a good, meaty book for a change.

Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This book was surprisingly meaty as well. I'm not sure why it's been marketed as YA because the characters are not teenagers and the story isn't necessarily a teenage-oriented one. Either way, it was a fabulous book with great characters and a really unique writing style. And it's one of the few books I've found that actually passes the Bechdel test. One of my favorites this year.

The Winds and the Waves by Dean Hughes

Dean Hughes is one of my 'comfort food' authors; I know I can always count on him …