Since I began frequenting the library last year, I have kept a running list of all of the books I have read (and would like to read). Below are my favorites from 2010, in no particular order. Happy Reading.
Lift by Kelly Corrigan
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
Fashionably Late by Beth Kendrick
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoutt
The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher
As a writer I own every kind of notebook imaginable, and I have them all over the place. I have pocket sized notebooks for jotting down ideas, stacks of spiral wide-ruled notebooks with tear out pages for outlining stories, and composition books for the actual writing, but my favorite notebook of all is a pink leather bound journal where I copy out (neatly) my favorite quotes and passages from books I have read. I have entitled it Words Worth Remembering, and when I need a little pick me up or inspiration, I simply open it up and re-read some of my favorite lines.
Below is a simple, but true one that reiterates a conversation I had with a friend over lunch. The question came up: “If you don’t live your life based on faith, what do you life your life based on?” The answer: more often than not (and often by default) – FEAR. As I continue to try to live my life based on faith, re-reading these lines is a good reminder that faith is ultimately the better choice.
“If you let fear make your decisions for you, fear will make good decisions – but only for it’s own sake, not yours.”
– from The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher
(one of my favorite books on my 2010 reading list)
Have a favorite quote or passage? Feel free to share it here or send me an email.
So I’ve finished my first two books of the New Year, and I’m glad to say that I thouroughly enjoyed them both.
#1 – White Apples by Jonathan Carroll
This was a gift from my younger brother (a hard cover copy – my favorite kind of book) and was definitely not something I would have chosen on my own seeing as I’m not a huge fan of the super-natural. The description is so well done, however (sometimes too well for my taste given the subject matter) that I couldn’t help but to be drawn in by the story. Carroll also does a great job of stretching the imagination when dealing with the connection between life on earth and the afterlife. It was also a nice change of pace from my usual genre of books. Thanks little brother.
#2 – The Other Mother’s Club by Samantha Baker
This was my first “nook” book, and as a true book lover, I must say that I was reluctant to even own an e-reader. While I still prefer a worn out library book with the plastic wrapping, I will admit, that with all of the traveling I’ve done in the past month alone, my nook has come in very handy.
Ok, so onto the book itself. I was intrigued by this book simply because it was about stepmothers (which I myself happen to be) and the challenges that come along with the job. While it does touch upon the many different types of stepmom’s, the book is more about the amazing bond that can form rather quickly between women and how an open heart has room to love everyone that enters it. Kudos to all of the wonderful stepmothers out there who tread lightly but still love with all of their heart.
I’ll start by admitting that another reason the sixteen inches of snow didn’t bother me as much as it normally would have is because I knew I was escaping in a few days.
I am now in St. Lucia for the week to attend the wedding of one of my best friends from high school. My daughter and step-daughter are here with me, and after a long day of traveling we decided to eat dinner at the hotel last night instead of venturing into town. It was “Italian Night”, which worked out well for all of us, but when we opened the menu and saw the prices, I could see the nervousness in deciding what to eat on my step-daughter’s face. I was shocked too, but told her not to worry about it and to get whatever she wanted since none of us had eaten a real meal all day. So, $17 for my tomato mozzarella salad, $30 for my fettucinni alfredo, $48 for her chicken and pasta and the kids menu items weren’t listed with prices, so I could only imagine what my daughter’s personal pizza was going to set me back.
Or so I thought. Turns out that the prices were all in Caribbean dollars and not US. So what I thought was going to be a $150 meal turned out to be only $60 US. Needless to say, I slept much better than I would have last night, and now I know to ask if I’m unsure about the prices (they use the same $ symbol). Hopefully this will come in handy when we do venture out to do some shopping. But for now, I’m happy sitting on our terrace after a few hours on the beach. I’ll try to bring the warm weather back with us when we return.
While I wasn’t thrilled about all of the shoveling that came along with 16″ and my daughter’s first snow day of the year, I was almost as happy as she was when I heard the news.
After two late openings (the first one led her to tears because she “really wanted the day off”) and one early dismissal, this past Thursday school was closed. And I had the added bonus of knowing this before I crawled into bed on Wednesday night. As a full-time working mom who rarely gets to sleep in, there’s something sweet about being able to go to bed without having to set the alarm in the middle of the week.
The first words out of Samantha’s mouth when she woke up on Thursday morning were “well?” followed by “finally!”, when i gave her the good news. The only downside to it all came this morning with the six phone calls between 6 – 8 am to alert me that she would have a late opening today as well. Guess it all has a way of evening out in the end.
This morning i rose at 5:45 am, got dressed, and hugged my teary-eyed daughter goodbye before heading to the airport for a work conference in San Diego. Now, fourteen hours later (I’m still on East Coast time) i am sitting in my hotel room in a plush robe after long, hot (and uninterrupted) shower proceeded by a few quiet hours spent alone reading on the beach.
Looking back, I can remember the first time I left my daughter at home while attending a conference for work. She was around two and a half years old, and up until then we had never spent a night apart. I remember feeling guilty for leaving, and then feeling even more guilty for enjoying those four days of down time from being a mom.
Now, with a few more years of experience under my belt, while it is still a bit difficult to part, I have come to realize that these “quiet moments” are not only necessary, but essential for both of us. They will help my daughter to realize that she can survive without mom for a few days, and they always help me to regroup and reload for the many challenges that motherhood will throw my way in the months ahead. And because God is good (all the time), these little breaks always come along just when I need them the most.
So, to Samantha – I love you and will be home to tuck you in on Sunday night, and to the rest of you – remember that we all need a little alone time now and again if we want to continue to be the best we can be to the ones we love most.
While I didn’t make any specific resolutions on the eve of the New Year, I was curious to see what the most common resolutions are each year. A quick internet search led me to the top ten, with 1-5 including; losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthier, getting out of debt, and saving more money. While these are all good goals, doesn’t sound like a plan for a very fun-filled year.
I’m more partial to the second half of the list, which included; learning something new, spending more time with family, traveling to new places, getting organized (which will help eliminate stress – #11 on the list), and volunteering in the community. These all seem like much more positive ways to start the year off on a good note and actually stick to a resolution for a change (think most people fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day, and who wouldn’t with chocolate front and center everywhere you go). So, here’s to your best year yet. May it be filled with new opportunities, new beginnings and all of the love and happiness your heart can hold.