A Year at Home.

happy place

One year ago today, we moved into our little house on a hill. After 6 months of demolition and renovation, moving in felt like a huge milestone. Thinking back on the reno, the things that seemed like a huge deal at the time, like picking the perfect trim color, didn’t really matter. Things that seemed insignificant, like the last minute installation of a recessed light in the shower, are the details that I appreciate every day! The house is still very much a work in progress, especially the yard and exterior, but it feels like home. I love that every tiny detail was chosen by me, for me.

There may end up being other homes for us in the future (and the jury’s still out on that thought), but I doubt that any of them will be quite as special as this one.

PS- For posts on the house renovation, click here! 

Eating my words.

Over the course of the past year, I have become the “owner” and doting mother of two lovely four-legged creatures with whom I share my house. I haven’t had a pet in a loooong time and never as an adult, so naturally I’m eating my words left and right over here. Here’s a list of things I said I would never, ever, in a million years do. Until now.

1. Wake up with a cat butt in my vicinity.
2. Compliment the fuzziness of said cat’s tail in my face.
3. Refer to my pets as “the girls.” Go ahead and barf now ;)
4. Refer to myself as “Mama!” in a high-pitched voice
5. Speak to a cat in baby talk. (ALL DAY.)
6. Allow a 50 pound dog to sleep with me. All up in my space!
7. Encourage the dog to “play nicely with her sister.”
8. Troll the yard at late hours encouraging the dog to do her business and responding with praise “Good girl! Pee pee!” when she does. Absolutely nauseating, I know.
9. Make homemade dog treats. They’re organic.
10. Spend twenty bucks on kitty litter without batting an eye. I have to be in a mood to spend that amount of money on a sweater at Target!

I’ll edit this list as the years go by and I become even more obnoxious ;) And what’s a post about them without a picture?

mama and little


The Best of 52 Books

I don’t typically engage in the making of resolutions – too inspirational perhaps? This year, however, I resolved to read 52 books before 2015. This was hardly a painful challenge, as reading is my hobby, but it wasn’t easy! With work, lesson planning, grad school, and new homeownership eating up lots of free time, I had to make a point to constantly be reading or thinking of what to read next. These were my favorite books of 2014. Some are old, some are new. I like to mix up my genres, so I’ve picked my favorite from several categories.

Best Young Adult – “Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell

The feelings. This book evokes memories of those uncomfortable high school years in the best way possible.

Most Interesting Nonfiction – “One Summer” by Bill Bryson

2014 was the year of Bill Bryson for me. He is truly one of the best authors I’ve read. This book details the happenings of the summer of 1927 – the Lindbergh flight, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Henry Ford, and the impending doom of the Great Depression. Perfect!

Best Travel Memoir – “The Kindness of Strangers” by Mike McIntyre

Travel memoirs might be my favorite. When you are stuck in the 9-5 (or 7-4 as a teacher), counting down the days until summer, it’s good to let your mind wander. This book chronicles the coast to coast journey of Mike McIntyre, a newspaper columnist, who travels with no money and no real plan. He relies on the kindness of truck drivers, preachers, prostitutes, drug dealers, hippies, and just about everything in between to get to the east coast.

Best Biography – “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” by Ben Montgomery

If you are looking to be inspired, this is a great place to start. Emma Gatewood was the first woman to through hike the Appalachian Trail. In 1955 – when she was 67! Even if you’re not interested in hiking, this is a story of resilience and dedication.

Longest and Most Long Overdue – “The Fiery Cross” by Diana Gabaldon

Man. 1,456 pages! I started the Outlander series several years ago and fell in love with Jamie Fraser. The new Starz adaptation of the first book inspired me to keep on trucking with the fifth installment. I think I’ll keep dragging this series out for years, because I don’t want it to end. That good!

Most LOLs – “The Antelope in the Living Room” by Melanie Shankle

I love reading Melanie’s blog, which I heard about from the Pioneer Woman, another favorite blogger. If you are married, or getting married, you should read this book. Husbands…. sheesh!

Here’s to 53 more books in 2015!