December Highlights

Happy New Year!! I know this post is a few days behind schedule, but I was taking advantage of some vacation time to relax and not worry about blog posts. Instead I was catching up on some reading :)

December was a pretty stressful month, actually, and I think a lot of that had to do with my reading goals for 2014. I’m a predictable procrastinator, and I pushed myself to read some bigger books near the end of the year because I didn’t feel like reading them months ago (I’m also a mood reader). BUT,  I was actually pretty satisfied with how I finished the year.

I read 9 books in December

That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but 3 of those books were Classics, one of which was in French! 

themessenger julesverne NorthandSouth
MontanaChristmas MatchMadeInTexas FullSteamAhead
aseparatepiece ThisisWhatHappyLooksLike PaperTowns

Most Popular Post From December

My post about my and my husband’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary received the most hits last month :)

Highlights from December

  • Christmastime!!! I love decorating the house for Christmas. Our tradition is to bake Christmas cookies and watch It’s A Wonderful Life after the tree has been set up and decorated.
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  • Visiting Mount Vernon for our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. We attended their special Christmas Illuminations event, and it was so much fun that we hope to go again this year!
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  • The Broke and the Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa Event. This was my second year participating in this event, and this year it was the best ever! I was so thrilled when I found out that I had received the event’s coordinator, Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, as my secret santa! I think I had more fun picking gifts for her than opening my own gifts! But my secret santa, Alana, did a phenomenal job at gifting me the perfect books! And she also sent me a dinosaur magnet and a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows necklace! So awesome, right??
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December’s Challenges

  • For me, the hardest thing about December was how busy and stressed out I was. Since I started my new job back in November, I’ve realized how little time I can devote to reading now. My commute is 1 hour-1 hour 30 minutes each way, depending on traffic, and so when I get home at night it feels like I have enough time to eat dinner and watch an episode of Supernatural with my husband before I either crash from exhaustion or force myself to go to bed so I can get up for work again in the morning. I’m still shocked that I was able to read 9 books this month, two of which were solely audiobooks. A couple of the Classics I would listen to from YouTube during my commute and then pick up the paperback at home. I’m hoping that we’re able to relocate somewhere closer to my job in January or February, but until then I will just need to come to terms with the fact that my job trumps reading :(
  • Reading Journey to the Center of the Earth in French! To cross off one of my 25 Things, I finished reading Jules Verne’s epic adventure in French last month. I had read the first half back in July (each July to celebrate Bastille Day, I like to read a Verne book. This is my patriotic side coming out, something that Americans delight in having while the French kind of laugh at), but I hadn’t finished it and I wanted to read it by the end of 2014 for my Back to the Classics Challenge. It was hard, but I managed to finish the book in 4 days (I could only read about 50 pages a day before my head started hurting).

Looking forward – January TBR

JanuaryTBR

What I’m Looking Forward to in January…

  • My husband had a phone interview last week and he has another interview tomorrow where he will be given a software test (he’s an engineer so it’s some type of design software). We’d appreciate prayers! He’s been unemployed for over a year now and it has gotten really hard on him.
  • I’m really looking forward to working towards keeping my bookish New Year’s Resolutions! So far, so good. I’m stressing out less about reading, and I’m NOT checking out books from the library until I’ve finished the ones I’ve been renewing since November. I’ve also avoided buying any books in the 4 days since New Years Day (hey, for some people, that could be a record).
  • I bought some yarn today and plan to crochet an afghan this month! I haven’t crocheted anything in about a year, and this is also a bucket list item I’ve put on my 25 Things list :) So expect a post in a few weeks about that!

What were some of your highlights from December? Any big wishes for January that you’d like to share? I’d love to know!

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30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 26-30

thankfulnessI have been rather busy this week and every night, by the time I get home, I have barely enough energy to put myself into bed. So my apologies for slacking so much on my thankfulness posts. I am still thankful for many things! So here are the last 5 posts of the month, all wrapped up nice and neatly in one simple blog post:

Holidays that revolve around family – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…it’s always fun to celebrate holidays surrounded by family (and family also includes close friends!). I’m once again thankful for being able to celebrate Christmas with my family in the States this year! It has been 2 years since I’ve seen most of them!!

Seasons – I LOVE seasons. In Florida our seasons are limited: there’s summer, hotter summer, and then if you live up north you’ll get a cold, dry winter for a couple of months in between a short autumn and an even shorter spring (literally less than 2 weeks). But where I live right now we have equal seasons! What a concept :) I just love seeing nature change constantly but slowly throughout the year.

Owning a car – You don’t really need a vehicle to get around over here in the Grenoble area, but it has been such a blessing to us to own a car this past year. We went for about 6 months or so without owning a car and I remember quite vividly having to walk to the train station every other week because half of the tram line was out of service during the summer. But now we have a car :) and we’re able to drive other people around as well, something that I have always loved doing since my freshman year at FSU when I was dependent on other people giving me rides. So thank You God for blessing us with a car!

Christmastime – I admit, we decorated our apartment for Christmas Monday night, the day after our first Thanksgiving celebration of the week. I will try to have that post up tomorrow hopefully :) I have already been listening to Christmas music since mid-November! I couldn’t stop myself after the first snow fell, but we abstained from buying a tree until this week so we could have 3 full weeks of Christmas decorations in our apartment before we leave for the States.

All of you readers! – And last, but certainly not least, I am very thankful for all of you who read and comment on my blog! I am thankful for the friends I have made and the conversations I have enjoyed having through the blogosphere. I’ve had this blog for nearly 2 years now, but until this year I didn’t really keep up with my posting but I am thankful for doing that now :)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and a wonderful November! May the rest of your year continued to be filled with thankfulness and blessings :)