Thursday, December 26, 2013

Post Christmas Bliss

Christmas 2013 was a great success! Sam made out like a bandit and it was nice to have Christmas morning at our house. B and I made Christmas dinner together; ham, white & sweet potatoes, vegetables, gravy and rolls. The only mishap was slicing my finger on the mandolin. The potatoes were finger-lickin' good. Today, the kiddo and I are just relaxing. Actually, we're watching Bolt. It's one of his favorites. Christmas brought toys, clothes, and a radio (brought by Santa!) It was just a wonderful holiday. Last night, sitting by the fire, I was thinking about how blessed I am. It truly is a wonderful life.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

What’s your reading goal for 2014? If it’s to read more books, then this is the reading challenge for you! There have been 500+ readers who have wanted to outdo themselves so far. Are you up for the challenge?

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2014 than you did in 2013. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Books can be any genre (fiction, nonfiction, romance, mystery, etc.).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • To join the challenge, grab the 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, Libib, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge and your profile is not private. The The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.
I have decided to forgo the review link-up for 2014. If you plan to review the books you read for this challenge, link them up in your 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge post.

Levels:      Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
     Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
     Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
     I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

I'm going to start out with reading 50 books for the year 2014. I hope to read more than that, but I need a jumping point.

Book List
1. The Line by J.D. Horn (1/2)
2. Prodigy by Marie Lu (1/3)
3. Champion by Marie Lu (1/6)
4. Angelfall by Susan Ee (1/7)
5. Hidden by M. Lathan (1/9)
6. Lost by M. Lathan (1/10)
7. Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand (1/10)
8. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest (1/19)
9. A Shade of Vampire 2: A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest (1/19)
10. A Shade of Vampire 3: A Castle of Sand by Bella Forrest (1/20)
11. A Shade of Vampire 4: A Shadow of Light by Bella Forrest (1/20)
12. A Shade of Vampire 5: A Blaze of Sun by Bella Forrest (1/21)
13. Blood of the Lamb by Michael Lister (1/23)
14. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (1/24)
15. The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton (1/29)
16. The Mind Thieves by Lori Brighton (1/30)
17. The Mind Games by Lori Brighton (1/30)
18. Dead Center by Danielle Girard (2/1)
19. It Started With a Whisper by A.W. Hartoin (2/8)
20. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (2/9)
21. Frost Bite (VA #2) by Richelle Mead (2/10)
22. Shadow Kiss (VA #3) by Richelle Mead (2/10)
23. Blood Promise (VA #4) by Richelle Mead (2/11)
24. Spirit Bound (VA #5) by Richelle Mead (2/11)
25. Last Sacrifice (VA #6) by Richelle Mead (2/12)
26. Gilded by Christina Farley (2/20)
27. Concealed In Death by JD Robb (3/3)
28. Hidden by Catherine McKenzie (3/19)
29. The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston (3/20)
30. Fixed On You by Laurelin Page (4/8)
31. Found In You by Laurelin Page (4/8)
32. Forever With You by Laurelin Page (4/8)
33. Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts (5/21)
34. From The Moment We Met by Marina Adair (5/27)
35. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (5/28)
36. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (5/31)
37. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (6/7)
38. The Collector by Nora Roberts (6/10)
39. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (7/10)
40. The Source by J.D. Horn (7/15)
41. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (7/31)
42. Inamorata by Megan Chance (8/9)
43. Festive In Death by J.D. Robb (9/16)
44. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (9/17)
45. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg (12/1)
46. The Glass Magician by Charlie Holmberg (12/3)
47. Girl On a Wire by Gwenda Bond (12/28)

It's Only Been Three Years

Life happens when you're trying to plan, right? In the span of those lost 'internet' years, so many things have happened. In a sort of order, we bought a house, got engaged, planned a wedding, rescued a dog "Riley", and got married in early spring of 2013. Looking back at that birth picture makes me smile. Sammy is such a little man now. He walks and talks and laughs and plays. He jumps and sings and dances and dreams. He is so much more than I ever thought I could make. We are eternally grateful for our little family. So grateful, we want to add another!

Moving cross-country has brought me so much joy. I didn't know how it would work out when I was initially thinking of it, but I'm so glad I took the chance. No marriage/relationship is perfect, but we are happy and that's what counts. I think if I would have stayed in Illinois, my life would never have changed. I'd still be acting out. I am fulfilled in ways I never knew were lacking.

I still miss my family incredibly, but there have been visits back and forth to ease the withdrawals. In fact, I had one brother out in the beginning of November and a second brother here for Thanksgiving. It's been really incredible. We've all thrived so well. I'm incredibly happy with where our family is at this time. (Now, if only we could convince Dad to move to the East Coast too...)

I'm going to try to get back into the swing of blogging. I can't promise, (clearly, since it's been almost three years) but I will try.

Tis the season for cheer, after all.