Sunday, May 19, 2013

What's New?

Why is it so hard to jump back into blogging after just a few short months of poor blogging stride? It seems the longer you go without regular blogging, the harder it is to just get going again. Well, to get going again, I've thrown together a set of lists. One is a list of things that are bugging me right now--mostly relating to blogging or my lack thereof, and the other is a list of things I'm pretty excited about lately. Nothing Earth shattering on any front.. just.. well, life. It happens. Oh and I also threw in two of my favorite photos from last week (taken with my iphone 4S). I think they're super adorable and I hope they make you smile as they did for me. :)

I took this photo last Friday morning while out on an early weekday morning bike ride. It was the cutest, coolest blimp I've ever seen in my life! Just darling. It made my day. ;)
It's a Despicable Me Minion blimp!
Things that are bugging me right now: 

  • Not blogging regularly OR keeping up with your blogs. 
  • Admitting that I'm not very good at read-alongs. Anna Karenina, The Winter Sea, Stardust and now The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I've not kept up on a single one of them, although I at least eventually finished The Winter Sea and Stardust, even if not on schedule. Currently working on Wind-Up, which I am determined to finish this month. It's long. And weird. And of course the read-along is over already.
  • I haven't written reviews for some really good books I've read lately. Unless you happen to visit me regularly on goodreads, you probably have no idea of what I've even been reading! 
  • I've barely participated in weekend cooking at all this year. I miss it! 
  • I've stopped chiming in with Joy's Reader's Workouts. I haven't even been logging my workouts on my little fitness journal blog, See How She Runs very well lately, either. 
  • I still haven't written a post on my fabulous little trip to Iceland back in March. 
  • It looks like I'm not going to get around to re-establishing my backyard vegetable garden AGAIN this year. And the deer are already munching the perennials that are barely a foot tall. Do I even want to battle them for a few handfuls of tomatoes? I don't know if it's even worth it. 
  • Finally, I'm not happy with my body image lately. I exercise all the time and eat healthy foods. Unfortunately I also love sinful foods such as baked treats and ice cream. Even homemade and made with natural ingredients, these foods do not promote weight loss. Duh. I know this. I even know what to do. I just need to find the discipline to put my money where my mouth is and practice what I preach. I'm really tired of being in this place. 

My girls had haircut appointments one evening last week. By the time we got out of the salon, a few of the streets downtown were closed to traffic for a car show. As we walked to our car, we spotted this darling little girl walking her dogs. So incredibly cute! (Her mom is just outside the frame of the photo.)
Just out walking her dogs
at the car show downtown. 
Things that I'm psyched about lately: 

  • Numerous exciting milestones for my girls this season--some have taken place already, but most are upcoming over the next several weeks. For Anna, my 14 year old: being awarded her Girl Scout Silver Award--the highest award a middle school aged scout can earn; her first semi formal dance; an overnight school field trip; her dance recital; and 8th grade graduation. For Maria, my 18 year old: her last school orchestra concert ever (she's been playing the violin since 4th grade!), senior prom, high school graduation and then off to college in September! 
  • Our upcoming summer vacation to some very faraway places. Excited but also a little nervous. More about our destinations soon. 
  • My Bingo card is filling up nicely (one of my 2013 Reading Challenges). I don't know why this makes me so happy, but it feels really good to check off those squares. I've checked off a few more since my update in April and the next update will be around July 1, but I'm making progress! Such a fun challenge. You guys should join in.. if not now, definitely next year. 
  • Speaking of reading, I've decided to re-read a favorite series of mine. Well, re-read the first couple of books in the series that I already read several years ago and then catch up with all the other books before the final book in the series comes out in August. Any idea what this series is?
  • I started using Feedly for following blogs. So easy to use, organized AND best of all? Everything is synced between my laptop and phone so I always know where I left off reading blog posts. I don't accidentally read stuff twice or miss anything! I mostly use it on my laptop, but it's the most fun to swipe and read on the iphone. What reader are you using these days? 
  • Instagram love. I'm having so much fun documenting my days with daily photos and it's also become another social community through which I've met so many fun and interesting people from all over the world. You know how blogging has connected you with people with whom you have stuff in common but you would have never met otherwise? I'm finding the same thing through instagram. It's been great.      
  • Spring has finally sprung around here! I love the warmer and longer days this time of year brings. More time to play outside.. for me this is primarily in the form of biking but also in yard work. I wish I could say I've been playing in the dirt planting and growing things, but at this point, it's mostly been more of the work variety--mowing the lawn and doing some residual clean up from last fall and winter.

So what's new with you? 

Go ahead and share something that's bugging you lately AND one thing that's got you excited too. 

I want to know!


  1. I hear you on the blogging. I am hoping now that summer is here I can do a better job. when I read posts like this, I feel inspired, though.

    I know what book series you are referring to, and I am so in! I also have a terrible record when it comes to readalongs, but maybe if we do it together, we'll have better luck.

    Excited to hear about your trip to Iceland, and your summer travels! We are heading to France in August. Can't wait.

    Enjoy the warm weather!

  2. I hear you about the blogging ~ I need to sit my butt down and write a good catchup post! Love your lists - and yes, that blimp did make me smile!

  3. First of all, it's okay that #winditup2013 is officially over. It was a no-stress read-along and so the timetable provided was just for those who need a little bit of structure. You read it at your own pace and I will be here to discuss it when you finish. But if you can't don't feel guilty about it.

    That picture of that little girl and her two Yorkies is just darling!

  4. I'm also using Feedly and generally like it - just still getting used to it! I've been using Google Reader for so long I think I'm just set in my ways :)

    WooHoo! Congrats to your daughter on her Silver Award! Probably too soon to ask her - but is she thinking about tackling her Gold Award?

    I've seen the Despicable Me blimp too! It flew past my apartment, I think because it was in L.A. for the Kid's Choice Awards.....

  5. Jessica I find it really challenging to be a consistent blogger. I try not to dwell on what everyone else is doing, but sometimes I really sit and wonder how some people stay on top of it so well. Anyway, I hope we both find a blogging groove that fits into our lives.

    Oh yay! I love that you knew what series I'm talking about. I was incredibly vague. Not to pressure you or anything, but I've already re-read the prequel novella and am about 1/3 way through the first book. It's my third time re-reading it and I love it more each time I read it! I'll make a post about it this week.

    Oh FRANCE! That's fantastic! I've only been to Paris (August 2011), but I'd love to go back someday and explore the countrysides.

    Catherine I think a simple catch-up post is sometimes the best way to sort of clear the slate and get going on the blog again. At least, I hope so! ;)

    Ti I know.. I haven't really felt any pressure at all to follow through with Wind-Up other than my own self imposed pressure. I would have loved chatting with the other readers as I read along, though.. I admit that I saved the twitter search for #winditup2013 and would sometimes scroll through everyone's tweets and be jealous that I wasn't part of the convo. Silly, right? But I am determined to finish it and write a review or at least a bit of commentary. I'm also thinking of reading Sputnik Sweetheart by mid July. We'll see.

    Isn't that little girl a gem? She had the sweetest face, too.. she was totally loving herself that moment and it made my heart swell.

    Wendy I'm still getting a little used to Feedly, too, but I do really like its features. Especially once I figured out how to NOT clear all the unread articles before reading them. lol! I came from a very archaic way of reading feeds via bookmarks in Safari that I did for maybe 6 years. It worked until Safari for the iphone stopped supporting bookmarked feeds about a year ago. Drove me nuts.

    Thanks for the Silver Award Congrats! I am already encouraging all of the girls about going for their Gold Awards in high school. (I'm one of the troop leaders). My older daughter stopped scouting after getting her Silver Award and regretted not continuing in high school. Were you a scout?

    Best. Blimp. Ever. Can't wait for the movie. So cute.

  6. I'm still being bad about blogging regularly. Oops? Congratulations on all of both your daughters milestones!
    It's good to "hear" from you!
    About the deer, I don't know if its true, but I've heard that if you place human hair clippings around your plants they will stay away. Worth a try?

    Best wishes for a great week.

  7. Christine: I was a Girl Scout! All the way through high school, although I never did make that commitment to get my Silver or Gold Awards. By high school I was mostly in it for working at camp (typically the Day Camp - leading a horde of first grade girls every summer LOL) and selling enough cookies so me and my two troop-mates could afford to rent a cabin for a long weekend :)

  8. I'm using Feedly too. Haven't figured it all out yet, but I will.

    So many things are happening for you. Congrats to Anna. Wow, I didn't realize that Maria is graduating high school. Where is she going to college?

  9. I'm so with you on the blogging. Like Jessica, I hope that with summer here I can be a little more on it, instead of on Steven all the time. Heh.

    Also, I must have missed the news about where Maria decided to go next year... and how awesome for Anna!

    We are stuck at home this year (my work project beckons until November) but next year I am leaving for somewhere most awesome. As soon as I figure that out, I will share, lol. Can't wait to hear about all your travels!!

  10. Such a nice, news-y post! I enjoy those, even if they are few and far between. Congrats on the milestones for both your girls! Exciting times, I'm sure.

    I'm glad you hear both you and Wendy like Feedly. I've been sitting back waiting to see which reader others are choosing. I'll make the switch eventually, probably around June 29, lol!

  11. Nice to see you back! It is really hard to find a balance with regular blogging and everything else. I'm working on it too.

    That blimp -- what a fun, unexpected surprise in the sky! it would make my day too.

    Congratulations to your daughter! We're a GS family too.

  12. Hey!!
    I hear you on the blogging. I have been spacing out so much this year because of my new job and right now I'm sleep deprived and with so much to do I don't even know where to start. It's sad.

    But, no matter, you got so many amazing things in your future!! All those milestones and fun things.

    Oh and the pictures was darling.

  13. Your lists are a great way to catch up! I struggle with regular blogging too (surprise surprise) so can totally identify. I've a couple of reviews that I need to get done for June, so some added pressure - gah.

    But - I'm really excited about the French Open starting this weekend + Wimbledon soon-ish (suspect my blogging will suffer even more, unfortunately).


  14. Brandy I think a lot of people have been in blogging slumps lately, so at least you're in good company. ;)

    Thanks for the Congrats on all these milestones we're hitting in our household lately. It's been so busy!

    I would not be surprised if human scent such as hair clippings would do nothing to deter the deer around me. I think they are too used to being so close to humans here that it doesn't phase them at all. But thanks for the tip!

    Wendy So awesome to hear you were a girl scout! Anna just told me she doesn't want to do it in high school after all.. I'm sad. :( I'm going to try to convince her to keep going, but I'm not sure where to draw the line at pressuring her to do so and allowing her to make up her own mind. It's one of those times when I feel I should push her. But if she really doesn't like it.. then I may do more damage than good by "making her" continue. I'm so torn.

    Dru Oh so cool you are using Feedly too! I like that I'm able to make quick work of checking off posts that I skim or pass and flagging the ones at which I wish to comment. Have you been using it on your iphone? It's fun there!

    Maria's going to Rutgers in September. My alma mater and where my husband works. We get an awesome deal on the tuition. ;)

    Lori LOL re: more time for blogging and less time for Steven!

    You didn't miss the news about where Maria decided to go next year. I actually hadn't mentioned it yet. I'll probably do a 'My HS graduate' post in June after graduation and do the old parent brag sheet. Ha! ;) But it's not a secret. She's going to Rutgers University.

    Phyl Glad you liked my newsy post and thanks for the good wishes for the girls! :)
    Is June 29 when Google Reader disappears? So weird that they're doing away with that.. it seems widely popular.

    Nicola O. Hey, thanks! Happy to hear you're a girl scout family, too! What level? Anna obviously will be a Senior GS in September. Any suggestions on how to get Anna enthusiastic about it again?

    Alex Hey sweetie! How has the new job been going? I think the sleep deprivation has a huge impact on my blogging, too. I usually have the focus to write blog posts during the day when I have the time.. but most days I get up really early in the morning to workout and then stay up too late at night (trying) to read and then when the next day comes around I'm too tired to blog in the afternoon and then repeat, repeat, repeat!

    bookdaze It sure is good to know you're not alone with the sporadic blogging, isn't it? I'd sure like to know how some folks do it all! Good luck with your June reviews!

    Enjoy tennis season! We used to follow tennis years ago. We went to the US Open for a few years in a row back in the 90s. My husband mostly follows football now (soccer). In fact tomorrow we're having a party at our house for some big European final. Lol! How sad that I don't know what it is. I just know I have to clean up the house for company and have snacks! Good wife. ;)

    Have a great weekend, everyone! xo

  15. Hello Christine, I hope your life is getting more stable now lol

    So, do you remember we agreed to read Sputnik, my Love this month? Do you want to start the same day and exchange thoughts after that or should we start discuss it, the last weekend of the month so we can have it read already?

    Waiting for your thoughts!!
    Have fun!

  16. Hi S.!
    I didn't forget about our pact to read Sputnik Sweetheart! Yes, let's give it a go for this month. I recently finished Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle so while I almost want a break from his stuff... I know Sputnik is a bit more straightforward (less surreal) and shorter so I'm game. Right now I'm finishing May's book club book. Kind of a pattern for me to finish the first week of the NEXT month. I just can't get it together! I'm going to try to get Sputnik from the library today. Let me get a hold of the book and look at the layout. Then maybe we can break it into two or three readings. What do you think?

    1. Well, the book is rather small, I haven't read anything by breaking it into stages... But say something when you have the book in your hands.Maybe we can update our reading in goodreads, it's easier to do so than in comments in the blog, no?



Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]