"only You can make every new day seem so new" ~Five Iron Frenzy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Up Around the Bend"

I couldn't quite decide which New Year's Resolution to write about this week. I don't really have much to say about any one in particular, so I'm just going comment on each of them.

New Year's Resolution #1

Work out 3-5 days/week

I'm doing pretty well at this one. Last week, I worked out three days. I would like to up that this week. My goal is to get to five days a week. I impressed myself with my last workout. I was surprised how much I could do, if I just pushed myself a little. It's made me realize that I haven't been nearly as hard on myself as I could be. So I'm going to continue to push myself, curious as to exactly how much I can actually do.

New Year's Resolution #2

Blog at least once a week

Well you tell me, have I been doing this? ;)

New Year's Resolution #3

Eat Healthier

I love how vague I made this one. Overall, I have been eating healthier than I have in the past - especially during this past holiday season (Halloween - New Years is my fattest time of the year, as I'm sure it is for many people).  My biggest problem is sugar, and I've been doing well at limiting the amount I have every day. A certain someone made this harder when she gave me a giant box of Snickers for my birthday. But I've successfully hidden them away and only allow myself one a week, max.

New Year's Resolution #4

Read at least one new book every month

I'm actually ahead on this one. I've knocked out both my January and February reads this month. Once I finished Out of Oz, I was anxious to move on for a couple reasons. I've been wanting to read The Hunger Games, and couldn't wait to start. I've also been wanting to re-read Harry Potter, and decided I could fit it in between my new books if I got through The Hunger Games quickly. 

I really liked The Hunger Games. I just finished the series today, and would love to comment on them, but I'm afraid of giving anything away to those who want to read them and/or watch the movies. Just know that if you haven't read them, you should. Recommended.

New Year's Resolution #5

Write down at least one thing everyday that I'm thankful for

I'll admit that this one is a lot harder than I thought it'd be. I bought this really nice, cute journal to write in - filling in each day with blessings rather than agendas. I thought at first that I should write in it each night before I went to bed, but this has proved to be difficult. Some days I just don't feel like being thankful. Now I'm beginning to wonder if writing in the morning would be easier, and what a better way to start off my day?


In other news, Adam has started doing P90X. He's also doing the nutrition plan/meal plans. We went shopping for them the other night and discovered all kinds of things ... like jicama ... and miso ... and where in the store they stock tofu.

My mom and little sister are coming to see me this weekend, and I can't wait to have some girl-time. I get far too little of it these days, especially since our only friends in this area, Nick and Brittney, moved to Colorado. Of course my older sisters are welcome to come too, but Bethany's probably working, and Kathie's probably busy being super-mom. No offense meant, she is a pretty awesome super-mom.

...Oh, you're probably wondering about the title of this post. I couldn't think of anything clever, so I just put the name of the last song playing on my Pandora list when I was writing this. Thank you, CCR. Thanks for the music.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working Out and Reading On

New Year's Resolution #1

Work out 3-5 days a week

I'll admit, I failed pretty miserably at this one the first two weeks of the new year. Nevertheless, I haven't totally given up on this goal.  I'm not one to admit defeat easily.  I worked out on Monday this week and completely intended to do the same Tuesday and Wednesday.  Ah me, ever full of "good intentions" ... it's the execution of those intentions that I have problems with ...

Still not admitting defeat.  Personally, I feel a little justified in skipping Tuesday and Wednesday. 1 - I still have 3 days left this week in which to fulfill my goal of "3-5" days/week, and 2 - Adam had the past couple days off. Since he works third shift, we don't often sleep in bed together. I therefore wanted to prolong this as long as I could. (I suppose I should clarify that I will only work out early in the morning - when no one else is in the gym. Extremely self-conscious, am I.)

Anyway, I do enjoy working out. It gives me a reason to get up out of bed, gives my body something active to do, and makes me feel great.  When I had my yearly check-up a couple weeks ago, my doctor did tell me that I should work out 5 days a week if I want it to do me any good. And I really, truly do. I am so very out of shape and being so makes me feel sluggish, weak, and achy. None of which I enjoy.

On another note, I have finished Out of Oz and it ended just about as well as it could.  It had a perfect blend of tied-up loose ends and some left (realistically) unanswered.  There was also just enough mystery to leave the fate of the characters to the reader's imagination. Love love love.

Without waiting for February to commence, I have immediately dug into The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm loving it so far ... but more on that later :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Out of Oz"

New Year's Resolution #4

(Yes, I know I'm going out of order)

Read at least one new book every month.

The book of choice for this month is Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire. It's the fourth and final book in the The Wicked Years series. 

I first read Wicked my sophomore year of college. I then continued to read the sequel, Son of a Witch and was less than intrigued. 

I didn't love the books the first time I read them, but decided to give them a second try. When I reread them, I was amazed by how much I had missed the first time.  These books are so steeped in symbolism and imagery that I needed gillyweed to swim through it all. How I missed this the first time, I don't know, but I was amazed. And I hoped and prayed that there would be a third book. If for no other reason than that Son of a Witch finished with no less than a dozen or so loose ends.

And there eventually was a third. A Lion Among Men did not disappoint. But with the closure of the book, there were still many loose ends and just enough of a cliff-hanger to make waiting for the next book pure torture. 


Picture it. Black Friday 2011. I was shopping with my mother-in-law at Meijer. We were casually meandering down the book aisle - she was looking for a certain book for one of her sons, I was browsing the titles. When my eye was caught by the name "Gregory Maguire." The name of the book: Out of Oz. Having been shopping since midnight, it took a moment before my brain clicked. ... The new book! The one I had been waiting for! This was it! I was ecstatic, mesmerized, reluctant to put it down. When my awesome MIL snatched it out of my hand and threw it in the cart. Yeah, she is awesome. Anyway...


Before Christmas, I began re-reading the first three books for a good refresher. I finally finished about 5 days ago (yes, I am a slow reader) and began the last book.  I'm about half-way through and cannot wait to finish. I'm struggling between feelings of hope (that all the loose ends and questions will finally be tied up and answered) and fear (that it will end with as many loose ends as it began).

On a personal note, I would not recommend the Wicked books to everyone. In fact, I would not recommend them to most people. They're pretty dark, pretty vulgar, and have a few pretty obscene scenes.

If you haven't seen the musical, it is none of the above. I highly recommend it. If you have seen the musical, and therefore want to read the books, be forewarned. When they created the musical, I'm pretty sure they just took a few of the main characters, one of the main plot lines, and watered everything down a good deal. And then proceeded to tell their own story. Not to knock the musical, I actually rather enjoy it. I just can't even compare the two. I get depressed when I try.

To conclude, with the help of my new Kindle - aptly named Glinda (and all the awesome free books on it), I already have a reading list lined up for the rest of the year:

The Hunger Games (Collins)

Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

Dubliners (Joyce)

Bleak House (Dickens)

Frankenstein (Shelley)

Grimm's Fairy Stories (Grimm and Grimm)

The Last of the Mohicans (Cooper)

Walden (Thoreau)

Little Women (Alcott)

Gone With the Wind (Mitchell)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Laundry Room Reflections


The new year is upon us and it's that time of year when (basically) everyone makes all sorts of new promises and resolutions that they're never going to keep. 

But it's a tradition, so why the heck not?

Here's my list of resolutions that I "only half intend to keep this time - just like last year" (from New Year's Eve by Five Iron Frenzy - seriously, if you've never listened to that song, you need to).

1. work out 3-5 days a week (wow, 3 days into 2012 and already failing at this one)

2. blog at least once a week (this is my first post since July...)

3. eat healthier (just vague enough that I may, technically, accomplish this one)

4. read one new book every month (this would be easier if I wasn't so avid about re-reading the books I already love)

5. write down one thing every day that I am thankful for (I actually bought a planner that I'm using specifically for this purpose - we'll see how long this lasts)

Despite my cynicism, I am actually quite excited about the prospect of blogging again, I'm loving the new planner I bought (I splurged on a really nice/cute one), and I really do need to exercise more and eat healthier.  Always the eternal optimist - I know I'll probably fail, but it's a new year, so why not at least try?

Another thought on New Years:

I know everyone gets reved up about the new year - it's a new beginning, a chance to start over and get things right, blah blah blah. ... but isn't EVERY day a new beginning? Isn't every morning a chance to start over and "get things right this time?'  Why wait around for a new year for your life to begin/again? If you don't like the way things are going, get up off your butt and do something about it. Now. Not 362 days from now. 

Just a thought.

As I am sitting in the laundry room.

Waiting for my clothes to finish.