2017 Reading List

Happy New Year! Last year I made my first ever 2016 reading list that ended up being mildly successful. I mean that it was successful in the sense that it actually helped guide me to carve out time to read, but I was too ambitious and thought I would be able to get around to more than I actually did. But! Here is was I was able to get through this past year:

 2016

The Way by Saint Josemaria Escriva

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Chiara Corbella Petrillo by Simone Troisi

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Throne, John Tiffany, and “JK Rowling”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse by Art Bennett

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wife by Sigrid Undset

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (the tiny Hogwarts library one, not the screenplay)

 

It feels so impossible to say the best book I read this year because almost all of these were amazing. I found so much truth and beauty in Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wife— like crying my eyes out worthy and One Hundred Years of Solitude was like nothing I have ever read before. All the Light We Cannot See was astounding. Pride and Prejudice was my first ever (I KNOW!) Jane Austen novel and I was blown away. The definite flop was Curse Child. Ugh, don’t get me started.

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Anywho, I am going to steer away from monthly goals because I realized I just bounce over to whichever book seems more appealing at the time so I’ll just keep it an undefined list. Here is what I am thinking for 2017:

 

2017

Little Women by Louise May Alcott (started in 2016)

The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Cross by Sigrid Undset

Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset

Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

The Sign of Jonas by Thomas Merton

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Emma by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Confessions by Saint Augustine

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by JK Rowling

 

 

Short and sweet, right? I didn’t want to be overly ambitious again because I wanted to leave room for my ever changing mind and not feel pressured to plow through a book in order to meet some goal. Just taking it easy breezy in 2017. I also stuck with many of the same authors because I guess when I know what I like, I stick with it but also I feel like before 2016, I had quite a lull in reading so I want to get many of these classics read. Excited to get going!

 

What’s on your list?

 

 

 

 

#2k16bigsur: part 2

Man, I am REALLY good at hammering out these trip recaps. Months back we took that trip to Big Sur? I even wrote out part 1 some odd ago? Anyway, let’s try to finish this out so you can watch the video (that’s all you came here for, right?)

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We left off with Prim barfing in the van. Luckily that didn’t last very long and her recovery was quick. We went to Mass at this little chapel a couple minute drive from the campground called St Francis of the Redwoods. They only have Mass there once a month and we happened to make it! We took up 50% of the room and 100% of the noise. It was so great.

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2016 Recap

2016 was a beautiful, but hard year of growth for me as a person. Plenty of hardship, but SO much goodness happened and here is a little (maybe not so little) monthly recap from this last year full of run on sentences and absolutely no fluidity.

 

January

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We also spent last New Years in Lake Arrowhead which was so amazing. The house was a masterpiece and the time to reconnect as a family was needed. I also got my dream hair via hair queen Shurie. I still can’t believe I went so short! We took Star Wars obsessed Ollie to see Force Awakens and it felt like something so special to take our kid to see a new Star Wars film. He said one of my favorite quotes he’s ever said ever right at the end of the film when the credits started rolling, “I still remember Jar Jar Binks”.

 

February

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Like practically every other family, Star Wars kind of took over. Some of Prim’s new words in her then small repertoire were “D2″ and “BB-8″. The top right is from a random day trip to LACMA which makes me feel a little bittersweet at how easy it was to just go wherever whenever before Ollie was in school full time. Plus look how cute 1 year old Primmy was. We went to Disneyland and the highlight by far was meeting Kylo Ren WHO WAS TERRIFYING. Just look at poor Ollie. Lastly, the great debate of 2016: Daniel’s possible RyGos spotting. If you witnessed the feud on Snapchat between us vs Blythe, then you know.

 

March

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1.5 year old Prim was just so funny. I think it was sometime around now when she started calling everyone “PooPooMan”. We took only the boys to California Adventure and it was AMAZING not having a napping baby with us. Radiator Springs Racers forever. Our Archdiocese acquired THE Bishop Barron over the past year-ish and attending Holy Thursday Mass with him as the presider was so beautiful and a highlight of the year. And Easter! Ended up being super hot and us having a swim party. Best.

 

April

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Atlas turned 3! He always has seemed older than he is, so 3 was a long time coming. Looking back at these photos from earlier this year reminded me of how much of a paci guy he was! Biggest change of the year was us getting Poppy! She was sooooo little and fluffy in comparison to the raggedy beast she is now, jk jk. It was so silly watching her tiny little body trying to herd the kids all day long.

 

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7QT: Everything was the Best

1. Christmas Play

Ollie played an angel (as well as all the kinders) and my godson Francis starred as Jesus in Oliver’s school Christmas play and the entire show was just the sweetest, most precious thing. Kids forgot lines. The bigger kids only mumbled their songs. The curtain closed on top of the preschoolers. Just all the things that make a kid performance the best.

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2. Cocktail Party

Ya’ll, why is low key partying with close friends the best?? Clubs, nah. Fike’s house on a weeknight, ya. Blythe was throwing a white elephant christmas shout out to my birthday cocktail party and it was just the best. We couldn’t find a sitter that could stay the entire length of the party so we brought them and put them to bed at her house. LIFE CHANGER.

Rumor was circulating that the Harringtons just may stop by since they are in California and it happened!


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Anyway, we are toying with the idea of having a monthly dance party. Will keep you posted.

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28

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Today was my birthday. This year I turned 28. My birthdays have always felt really weird. Being born on Christmas Eve, my birthday has always been kind of pushed to the side because the next day is a far more important birthday. Growing up I hated it. I couldn’t help but feel overshadowed, plus mixed with my melancholic + self-preservation type 4 personality these feelings felt a lot bigger, but now I don’t mind my birthday being overshadowed because it should be. It helps me focus my attention to where it should be during this time of waiting that is Advent. Like Bishop Barron says in this podcast, we are meant to strip ourselves down during Advent and reform your lives because we all know our lives aren’t where they should be because we all fall into the pattern of self-absorption. What better way to remind myself to stop thinking about my life as MY project by having a not so usual birthday, but how my life belongs to God and to serve God’s purposes. It truly is a blessing and I finally see it as that. (Listen to that podcast as a birthday present for me, okie?)

28 feels like this in between age. It’s not that shocking anymore when I say I have 3 kids. I don’t get carded that often. But still I feel young. I often feel like I have no clue what I’m doing while also feeling so sure of myself and confident as a wife and mother, my vocation. I have been married for almost 7.5 years and a mother for almost 6. Saying that makes me feel older than 28. 27 was an eye opening year for me. If I write out a year in review, it wouldn’t say much because a lot of what happened to me was internal. I think I emotionally grew more in this past year than any other year in my adulthood. My faith got richer and deeper, more complex. My level of self-awareness through studying the enneagram and temperaments have allowed me to see these constant patterns in my life (and of those around me) and how to take action and fight my weaknesses and nourish my strengths. Physically I am at my healthiest and strongest I’ve ever been, even if each kid has blessed me with a little extra 5 pound package that I can’t seem to shed. I finally started taking care of myself though exercise, alone time, and my appearance by actually going out and getting my hair and nails done and using nicer products on my skin. The other day while I was buckling Atlas into his carseat and we were joking around and I had a huge smile on my face that now reveals all my emerging wrinkles, he put his hands on my cheeks and pulled my face close to his and said, “Mama, your eyes are cracking” with these sweet, loving eyes and a little smirk on his face. I was so surprised that I didn’t feel upset by the honesty of my child seeing and pointing out my aging features. I’ve prayed and prayed to be a woman that ages with grace. To not complain about my appearance or point out changes that come with getting older in a negative way, even if I feel not so happy about it on the inside. It seems almost silly to point this out now while I’m still in my twenties, but it’s something I want to be conscious of as these new qualities arise. I want to be that woman and give that example to my sons and especially my daughter. I want her to see the love, joy, and independence that comes with being a woman, wife, and mother and also to see that we don’t need to go at it alone because it is impossible without His grace to get us through times we need it most.

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I pray that 28 is as enlightening as 27 was and that I can share the Blessed Mother’s faith and courage that we are reminded of this Christmas season and pray to God “let it be done to me according to Your word”.

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And lastly I want to give the biggest and grandest shout out to my other half, Daniel, who makes sure I feel so loved and special every year on my birthday and made me lag on getting this post out because he was busy treating me on an overnight date out in the city. xoxo

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