Friday, January 30, 2015

January 2015 in Review


 Can you believe January is at its end?  I have a feeling February will fly by too.  So much to do . . .

The weather has been: I have seen some beautiful sunrises as of late as I drive to work in the mornings. It has been overcast the last few days.  January brought some rain intermixed with some sunny days. I got caught in a late rainstorm yesterday evening. It came just after the sun had broken out from behind the dark clouds. The weekend is supposed to be dryer.  Maybe we will be able to go to the park.

I am listening to: Love Songs on the Coast. I know. I know. Pre-bedtime is for reading. I have been enjoying doing puzzles and listening to music on the radio most nights before bed lately. It has helped me relax and clear my mind. Anything to help me to fall asleep.  Now if only I could stay asleep.  I am also listening to my first audiobook of the year, Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park. It is slow going as I have a very limited window of time to listen each day, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I am watching: Many of the shows I follow are not yet back from their mid-season break. I am all caught up on State of Affair and Agent Carter (which I am really enjoying). Scandal came back this week, but I haven't yet watched the episode.  I am in the middle of season three of The Falling, and really enjoying it. I love the casting and atmosphere of The Falling. I binge watched the first two seasons while I was out on medical leave, and having to take it one episode at a time now is not as much fun.

I am reading: I am in the middle of reading Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall for an upcoming tour. It is a rather dark book (which I expected being described as Gothic and all that), and so far I am enjoying it.

I am thinking/feeling: Overall, January was a good month even despite illnesses and this week. I started back to work at the beginning of the year after seven weeks off on medical leave. I still wasn't feeling quite up to full physical health, but each week I have been feeling better. I have a post-op appointment this next week and am actually looking forward to filling out that questionnaire about how my life has improved since the surgery.  I just wish I could avoid stepping on that scale . . .

I had high hopes I would jump right back into exercising regularly once given the go ahead by the doctor, but that has not happened.  Not exactly. After weeks of sleeping in (until 7 a.m.), trying to get up in the mornings at 4:25 a.m. has proven to be a challenge. Not only that, but the first week I started, I overdid it and realized I really did need to take it slower. I'm working my way back up to where I was before the surgery.  I am confident I will get there eventually.

Since I could not be at work around the Christmas holidays, I treated them to lunch one day last week. We do a secret Santa Exchange, but they always pull together and get me a gift card or something.  This year, they really out did themselves. I don't normally like to talk about gifts I receive, but I have to share: one of them made homemade brownies for me (brownies are a particular weakness for me), another made homemade chicken enchiladas (she makes the best--and I love enchiladas), one made me a beautiful blanket with kittens all over it, and another is in the process of crocheting what looks like will be a gorgeous afghan (she isn't quite done with it, but included in the big box what she had done along with the ball of yarn still attached--isn't that funny?). I can't tell you how much I appreciate these gifts. I work with such a great team.

This past week was a difficult one. It was a rough week at work on many levels. Usually I can maintain an emotional distance from certain aspects of my job, but not so much this week. Add to that the death of a coworker's 4 year old grandson this week and a friend's loss of her beloved cat. My heart is heavy and aches for everyone who is hurting and grieving right now. It doesn't help that I always tend to become more emotional this time of year. My father would have been 72 years old January 30th.  As a result, I have been more sensitive than usual to bad news, even when it has little to do with me.  
(photo of my dad and I)

I am grateful for: My family. My loving and understanding husband who has made me feel so special in the last few weeks when I needed it the most.  My daughter whose out of tune/mixed up words version of Let It Go makes me smile and laugh every time.  And I am grateful for all of you, who keep coming back to visit.

The child this week: This month, Mouse has had a difficult time letting Christmas go. I suppose our letting her talk us into keeping the Christmas tree up all month doesn't help.  I also blame her wonderful teacher who was so busy working on other projects with the children during the month of December, that the December lessons were held over for January--and that included some very holiday themed projects. I'm proud to say my daughter was the only one who knew what Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are. At least only proud until I acknowledge that she knows this thanks to Special Agent Oso and Caillou.

When writing her name, which Mouse does with gusto and using many colors ("my name is a rainbow!"), she has taken to adding an extra line to her name near the end. It's not an extra "i". She's very firm on that.  No, it's a line.  Already asserting her individuality, that one.

Plans for the February: I am in the beginning stages of birthday planning mode for Mouse's 4th birthday this coming March. She has been talking nonstop about having a tea party for all her girlfriends (all the boys have to be dragons who swoop down and attack the tea party guests and chase them to Mouse's wooden house that my husband is supposed to build where the tea party will resume uninterrupted. The dragons can join, but only if they promise to be good. When asked why a girl can't be a dragon and a boy a tea party guest, Mouse was very adamant in putting everyone in their "appropriate" gender role positions--much to my dismay); however, she is very clear she doesn't want a tea party as her birthday party. She has gone back and forth between a Christmas party or a Lalaloopsy themed party for her birthday.  We shall see . . .

How did January turn out for you?  Does anything in particular stand out?  

What was your favorite January read?


January In Reading Mews:

Number of Books Completed:
5 (I am one book away from my Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal!)

Favorite Book of the Month: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (review pending)


Currently Reading:
  • Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Next Up:
  • Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
  • and probably a romance novel. Something with a happy ending. I need that right now.

Posts of Interest This Week:

© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

32 comments:

  1. Getting up at 4:25 would be a struggle. I'm glad to see you're feeling stronger as you get back into the groove. I'm so sorry to hear about all the sad news at work. I can't imagine losing a child so young.

    Mouse is an individual but such a cute and spirited one!

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    1. Kathy - Getting up so early isn't always easy. :-S I have to be at work so early though and before work is the only time I can really exercise. Finding the willingness to even do that took years to find. LOL

      Yes, Mouse is definitely an individual and a spirited one at that. :-)

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  2. Wendy, loved hearing about your January. Your stories and tales of your little Mouse are precious and I enjoy them so much! She reminds me of my little girl, who grew up to have her own opinions about everything and not always ones I agree with. LOL

    I understand about being a little sad around your Dad's birthday. Sigh. Our families that have gone on before us are always missed, aren't they? This week would have been my sister's birthday (Tues), her first since she left this life last April. We spent a lot of our years not being close at all, but that changed in the last couple of years of her life. I'm glad it did. I miss her.

    Take care of yourself and steady goes the exercise race. Enjoy your weekend and here's hoping you guys get to the park.

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    1. Kay - I'm always amazed at the stories Mouse comes up with. :-) She definitely has her own opinions. LOL

      I am sorry about your sister. I imagine this birthday was very hard without her. We always hope it will get easier, and I suppose with time it lessens, but we never stop missing them, do we? I am glad you and your sister were able to be close these last couple years.

      And you'll be proud of me! I woke up this morning and exercised despite my not wanting to. :-)

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  3. I find the idea of Mouse's proposed tea party--absolutely perfect! Exactly what a little girl her age would love. And I wager that the dragon-boys would love it as well!

    I'm not sure what my favorite January read would be, but Alan Turing: The Enigma Man is definitely on the list. Haven't reviewed it yet, still thinking about it.

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    1. Jenclair - The funny thing is, I'm trying to figure out if I can pull it off just as she's imagining it. My husband just looks at me like "You're not serious?!" We'll probably end up doing something much more simple.

      I look forward to your review of The Enigma Man!

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  4. Sounds like quite a month! Lots of both very good and bad. I love the cat blanket and it looks like Mouse is pretty fond of it too. Definitely sounds like you need to be taking it a bit easier. That's always easier said than done though. Your reading looks interesting this month. Have a wonderful February!

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    1. Katherine - Yes, definitely a mixed month. Mouse has put the cat blanket to good use as a tent and as an actual blanket. :-)

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  5. I am sorry you're coping with this difficult anniversary. I am always emotional around the anniversary of my mom's death (she'd be 74 now) and sensitive to difficult topics, which is tough since it happens to fall on 9/11. Glad your family is being extra awesome right now. ;-)

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    1. Irene - The anniversary of my dad's death falls on 9/11 too, so I understand.My grandmother's the day before that. I used to love my birthday, but it falls right before both and so now it's always bittersweet.

      I feel so lucky to have my family. :-)

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  6. So, out of all of that I am thinking 'Mouse is 4! All ready! It feels like she just turned 3!' But, there was a lot of other stuff in there, as well. I also really like the new look!

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    1. Kelly - Haha! Can you believe it? I refuse to say she's four until she turns four, hoping it will slow down time. She's always asking me when she'll be a big girl too, which doesn't help. :-)

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  7. I can't believe January has just passed by just like that. It just feels like yesterday we celebrated the Christmas and New Year holidays!

    I'm glad to hear you're recovering well, Wendy. It sure is tough waking up that early, and here I thought waking up at 5.30 is tough. ;-)

    I love Mouse's idea for her party. I could imagine my youngest asking the same should we hold a party for her. Just love their age at this time. :)

    Hope you and your family have a great week ahead!

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    1. Melody - January flew by, didn't it? Thank you, Melody. I am feeling so much better, thank goodness. My daughter says I wake up in the middle of the night--and I have to say, it sometimes feels like it. It's still so dark when I slip out of bed. Getting to bed at a decent hour is the hard part.

      I love her idea for her party too. I'm just wondering who is going to pay for it and pull it off. LOL I'll figure something out. It won't be exactly what she wants, but I don't think she'll mind.

      I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  8. I'm so glad you loved A Man Called Ove. ::Squeal::

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    1. Kristen - It was soooo good! Thank you for choosing that for the postal book club. :-)

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  9. Wow, those gifts sound so wonderful and thoughtful!

    Mouse's tea party sounds like so much fun! I like their cute imagination at that age. Let us know what idea you come up with for her birthday party.

    I hope you are able to get back to your regular routine soon. I don't think I can ever be up before 6. Well, maybe after some months, if I have to.

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    1. Athira - I loved everyone of those gifts. :-)

      I had planned to just continue our current tradition of hosting her birthday party at her school since all her friends will already be there. Then having a family party. I need to think about how I can incorporate everything together . . . LOL I am no good at party planning. This will be a challenge. You should see her guest list. She's invited all her friends, my friends, including my coworkers and their kids, my boss . . . It's never ending. I'm sure you are invited too!

      I start work early and so getting up early is nothing new. Getting up before 5 was the challenging part. I was doing it right before my surgery with little problem. I just need to work back up to it. I'm actually more tired on the days I don't exercise than on the days I do, so that's a motivating factor.

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  10. Love the bookcase with your cats as models:) Glad u are doing well Wendy, and it really sounds like you have some terrific coworkers.

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    1. Diane - Isn't that a great picture? I just wish they were closer together. :-) I work with a great team. It makes going to work easier, believe me!

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  11. So sorry that it's been a bit of a rough transition for you—remember to take baby steps, and soon it'll all start to feel normal again.

    Also, despite her gender normativity, LOVE your daughter's tea party idea! So very cute.

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    1. Shaina - Thank you. I have a tendency to want to jump right into things and forget I'm supposed to be taking it slow. I'm learning. :-)

      I love my daughter's tea party idea too, if I'm completely honest. I mean, who has dragons at their tea party? Sounds pretty awesome to me.

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  12. Wow, you must be a great person to work for! Sorry things have been tough lately. I know how hard this time of year is for you, missing your dad. He would still be so young! You'll get back on the workout schedule, just work it in a little at a time and you'll be there before you know it.

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    1. Lisa - I have a great team. :-) And thank you for your kind thoughts. This week has been better. I'm hopeful it will stay that way.

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  13. I'm sorry that the end of last month was so emotionally difficult. Hearing about the loss of children, even ones I've never met, always hits me particularly hard.

    Good luck planning Mouse's fourth birthday. My little one turns four in April, and she's been talking about her birthday party since December. Right now, she wants either a dinosaur or a bird cake (which I guess are both dinosaurs really!). By the way, my youngest also adheres more strongly to gender stereotypes than I'd like (and more strongly than her sisters did). It's just so pervasive in society.

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    1. A.M.B. - Hearing about children dying is a part of my job, but it never gets easier. And I know you know, especially being a mother yourself. Makes you hold your own kids even longer.

      Thank you for the good luck wishes for the birthday planning! I'll need it. I love your daughter's desired themes for her birthday--dinosaurs or birds are a good way to go. :-) As much as I want her to have her tea party, I think it might be better saved for number 5. I've been going back and forth about whether to have a separate party for her at home with friends than the one we have at her school. Her teacher lets us set up games and actually have a little party at the school for her birthday. We get a jumper and last year we had a popcorn machine. It's worked out great the past three years. All her friends are already there so we don't need to worry about anyone not being able to come. We bring cupcakes--we do everything we normally would for a home birthday, decorations and all. Then we have a separate family party at home. I could try to do a tea party at her school . . . But she's so adamant that she doesn't want a tea party for her birthday party. I'm not sure I can afford a separate party just for the tea party. LOL I may not have any hair left when this is over.

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  14. 4:25?!?!?!?! Yikes. I am happy when I get to bed by 11 and 12 is my norm. Gage gets me up between 6-7 and even that is too early, haha.
    It sounds like Mouse knows what she wants for her party. You have a bright one :)
    Hearing about kids who die is a struggle for me now that I have a young one, especially one who I can never seem to get healthy.
    Enjoy your thoughtful gifts!

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    1. Stacy - Mouse and I go to bed at the same time. I have an early time start time at work and since I have no time to spare in the evenings to work out, the only time I could fit it in is in the early mornings. Sounds like you get as much as sleep as I do though. LOL

      Mouse keeps changing her mind about what she wants to do for her party. :-) I really need to start working on it though. I'm running out of planning time.

      Having a child has definitely added a new dimension to the work I do. I hear about a child being hurt or killed who is Mouse's age and it's hard not to be affected by it. And then to hear about the death of a child happening to someone I know somewhat well . . .

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  15. I read 5 books in January as well!! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Under A Silent Moon as that is one that I enjoyed when I read it. Time goes so fast....I cannot believe that you are already planning Mouse's 4th birthday party. Then again my youngest just turned five this month which had me close to tears. How fast they grow! I hope that February is an amazing month for you and your family! (filled with a few good books of course)

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    1. Samantha - So far, I am liking Under a Silent Moon. I got to spend an hour of uninterrupted reading time last night with the book and it was glorious. How often does that happen? Not enough, I'm sure you know.

      I don't want to believe she'll be four next month. She's very adamant she's still three and I'm happy to continue with that thought. :-) And your youngest is give already? How did that happen?

      I hope you have a great month too!

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  16. I'm so glad you were able to get back to work but it is hard going back after being out for surgery. Take it easy and don't over do it! Your co-workers are so sweet. It's good to be surrounded by good people especially when there's been hard stuff to deal with. Wishing you a wonderful February and lots of fun in planning Mouse's birthday - It sounds like it will be a blast :)

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    1. Iliana - It has been hard in some ways, but in others it is as if I never left. I do miss spending all that time with my cats--and I know they miss the extra cuddle time with me.

      I do work with a great group of people. I'm very lucky in that way. It really does make a difference.

      I hope you have a wonderful February too!

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