2013 Books Recap

….and the winner is!

Kelly won. That’s not super surprising, right? I mean, I think we all knew that a few months ago. Kel, pick a topic and I’ll write you the blog of your choice, that’s your prize. Or, if you don’t want that prize, tell me what you do want. I’m pretty flexible.

Here are the stats from the year.

Total number of books read: 155

Average number of books read per month: 12.91

Average number of books read per week: 2.98

Month with the most books read: July (26 books)

Month with the least books read: March (5 books)

Best book I read in 2013: Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. This was no contest. But, if I had to pick a second place….I’d choose Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Worst book I read in 2013: This was harder…I’m going with Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep, of which I had zero expectations, it was just a bad book.

Total number of NEW books read: 128

Total number of rereads: 27

Total number of standalone books (does not occur in a series) read (including rereads): 35

Best new series: I have to choose the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, but honorable mention to the Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep (yes, the same author as the worst book of the year, good for her.)

Most surprising book: Even my answer to this surprises me. Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

Biggest disappointment: Losing Hope, Colleen Hoover by the slimmest of margins over Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.

And my final thoughts? This was FUN. I don’t know if it was fun for all of my readers, but it sure was fun for me. I came in 10 books shy of my own guess (165) so I’m pretty happy with that. I guess I know my reading habits pretty well after all these years. Mostly, I just love having these lists. It’s nice to be able to look back and see what I read, and my thoughts on it.

Also, if you want to see them, here’s the complete set of links to the monthly lists:













Okay, fine friends and readers, that is the final wrap for 2013. I will be doing this again for 2014. Take a moment and hit up the comments section with a guess as to how many books I’ll read in 2014. Let’s try for more than three guesses this year! You have a whole year of information now, I expect some stiff competition!

First Thanksgiving

This will be a blog about the Pilgrims.

Okay, that’s not true. This is about Thanksgiving this year, which was the first for my darling nephew Camden.

Mostly just photos, this was a pretty uneventful Thanksgiving.

Here is the beautiful table my mother set (and the beautiful girl my sister made!)
Two of my favorite children:

 And we wanted one good picture of the little guy on his first Thanksgiving.

Very cute, and two seconds later he grabbed the camera. Then he’d crawl away. As a full-fledged crawler, it’s so hard to get him to sit for a photo. Never had this problem with Arionna.
So my sister suggested I hold him.

Again, cute, but not the photo we were looking for.

Well, that’s pretty darling, but a little blurry around the edges.

And after that…I almost stopped. I figured they don’t get much cuter than that. But he was suddenly being cooperative, so…

Oh my. Holding the orange pumpkin and sitting and smiling? Yep, that’s the money shot. Such a cutie.

He was a HUGE fan of Thanksgiving dinner. He ate everything we put in front of him, didn’t flinch. The boy loves to eat. He just loves food…so long as he can feed himself. He just kept shoveling it in, over and over.

Later, Arionna made a Christmas Countdown Chain with Grandma and Uncle Zack. She gets so excited each morning to wake up and tear off the ring, getting her one day closer to Christmas.
Finally, just before Simon arrived and chaos ensued, we wanted one nice picture of Cam with his GiGi. We have a couple pics, but nothing really nice.

I definitely think that qualifies. Even she is slightly smiling.
I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful and that you were grateful for the things you have. I’m grateful, among other things, for you, my wonderful blog readers.
Happy Thanksgiving!

First Halloweens

Back in 2010, my sweet Arionna was celebrating her first Halloween. She was seven months old.

That was her little “costume” and I took a bunch of photos with her, many of her holding that pumpkin. She was singularly uncoopertive. Rarely smiled at the camera. But, regardless, these are my memories of her first Halloween and how cute she was.

Here’s the blog post from that Halloween. I did post a bunch, because of the first, and also because I bought her that little outfit.
This year, in 2013, as Camden celebrated his first Halloween, Emily mentioned she still had the jammies, and since they are roughly the same size/age, I was so excited to replicate that moment.
Here is Cam, at 8.5 months, on his first Halloween. This was AFTER trick-or-treating, so by all accounts he should have been tired and cranky…
photoInstead, he was happy as could be, and totally willing to let me put that pumpkin on his lap. (His hair was that crazy because we made him wear a hat for trick-or-treating…)

Eventually, he did grow bored and toss the pumpkin, heading straight for the camera….

And still so cute!
I’m delighted that these two could BOTH wear that little Halloween outfit and that I got to see them both. About as cute as little bats (and I kind of wish we had saved the little bat that Simon made from Arionna’s pictures!)
I wonder if she still has the same Thanksgiving outfit….

Things I Love -2013 Edition

Last year, to celebrate Valentine’s day, I posted my first Things I Love list. This is a tradition I want to continue. What is better than taking a moment to reflect on all the good in life?

Here we go (in no particular order):


Camden (yeah, okay, he gets to be first)


Sneaking kisses


Breathtakingly beautiful winter mornings



My dad

My mom. And happiness.


Mickey Mouse


French braids


Baby hair


Play time (and cousins)

Big families

Little families


Crazy Uncle Zack


New red shoes




Christian Kane
Christmas 2012


Oversized chocolate (and Valentine’s gifts)






It’s so easy to let the little moments slide past, today I choose to acknowledge that I am living a life filled with love and family, friendship and fun. I’m fortunate in my life and lucky in those that I love.

Happy Valentine’s Day