Saturday, December 31, 2016

Monthly Recap vol. 40~ December 2016


As I alluded to in this post, we had a hard Fall. Stephen was unexpectedly laid off and we were sidelined by this shock. The process reminded me of our early years of marriage - and being poor just in general-I was just babysitting to make ends meet while Stephen worked remotely and went to grad school, etc. We definitely didn't have luxuries in those days so we had to live by faith! Everything was too tight with housing, etc to do otherwise. However, when you are used to a steady income, it's really difficult to trust that a trial could be better for you in the long term, but that's basically the breakdown. 
The whole story is that his entire office closed, and he was offered a position in San Francisco that he decided not to take. Fortunately, after some weeks of unemployment and just general flailing as a family, he was able to get another really good tech job here within about a month's time. We did have severance pay, but the flailing was emotional more than anything. He interviewed for eight different jobs before deciding to land with the one he did. We didn't know what would happen or what to expect, so we had to pray instead. We couldn't predict the time frame for getting a new job or if it would be better or the same or a pay-cut. We didn't know. However, his new job is a good job, fortunately. They offices in California and Switzerland, and this tech company is growing extensively right now. He has several old friends there (some of them long-term, some coming over from the same company), and because of his income, he is able to stop teaching Latin online in this coming year. All in all, the situation couldn't be better. It is more than we asked or imagined, and it is better than we hoped. 
The outcome was good, but the process... the process, ya'll. It was harrowing and dark in the month in between jobs when Stephen interviewed.  It makes me thankful for security, and it reminded me to trust God in the dark times and to hope for 'better days ahead,' as always. There are better things to come, and we don't have to worry about financing and providing for a new baby, or {insert financial worries/woes here}... because of God's *great* love.


I blazed through my monthly reading, thanks to absorbing choices and a couple of sleepovers with the Grands. ;-)

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  by Maria Semple

This feel of this book reminded me of The Rosie Project a little bit. It was a fun of-the-moment read, quirky, and the characters were just appealing enough to hold my attention.  It's a cute book with plenty of interesting self-aware rants about grown-up bullying, bad weather in Seattle, and the misunderstood architect.;-) The drawback of these bestsellers is that I sometimes doubt their staying power. That being said, should you read either of these books? They are both very good choices when it comes to new books. #Personalopinion. 4/5 stars

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I saw the movie first, but it had been a while. I liked the movie ok, but the real impetus to finally pick up and read this book were all the references to it in the GG revival! I couldn't believe how good the book was. I literally no matter how hard I tried. I had to slink away while Stephen watched a few Christmas movies with the kids, so that I could plow through until the bitter end.;)  Watching the movie first came in handy, because there were a multitude of characters that she meets on the PCT, and I think it helped me to visualize them better! Fun! note: her philosophy of life leaves much to be desired. She doesn't claim to be a Christian, and she goes into that- and the reasons for it- in her book. To me, many of the reasons she gives sound like excuses, but she is entrenched in her own philosophy, so naturally she isn't going to (or doesn't) see a way out of it. Sad. :-( and still: 5/5 stars for epic writing, fantastic storyline and storytelling, and chilling, roundabout incidents of personal growth. #readit

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Reading this was definitely a rite of passage, and I'm so glad i did. I feel like you *must* read it at some point to understand fully the race relations and race tensions in our country. Angelou is an amazing writer, and her voice and her perspective are a million to one. That being said, I am glad I read it when I did (as an adult), and I can see why it was banned, for sure. It has some mature and deep content that would have passed me by (or at best, just disturbed me) had I been too young for it.

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder and By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I needed some light reading after Angelou's memoir, so I got sucked into these two books from my childhood. They're re-reads, but I'm pretty sure these were the two that didn't stick with me like the others did.  I have enjoyed re-reading them and falling back into the Ingall's world on the prairie. Last December I re-read Little House on the Prairie because of the fun Christmas-y scenes. That gave me the idea and impetus to read some of LEW this December. By the Shores also includes some wonderful Christmas scenes. Good tradition. :-)

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is my homegirl, my main squeeze. In this bestseller from 2010, she paints the story of the Ferguson family: deeply flawed, raw, and real. This was a good follow-up, eventually, to I Know Why. There's a reason she is my very favorite author. Everyone in the world is deeply flawed, Anne Lamott is just honest about it. #perfectbirds #VERYgoodbook

I read six books this month, pushing my yearly count up to 52! ;-)


No Decemberists this months, sadly, but I've been reviewing the best from the year for another post I'm writing, so stay tuned for my favorite albums of the year.


"Persons reach out toward the multiplicity of created goods as a way to ground their identity. Given that all created goods are perishable, including the rational creature, humans recoil in fear and anxiety from the very goods they sought and have come to possess. Thus our impulses toward the good turn into the passions, those disturbances and upheavals in the soul that further corrupt and fragment the self."

This was awesome ;-)

Feast Day Celebrations: St. Lucy @ Sweet Little Ones Blog

Just precious!

Life Without Birth Control @ Catholic Mom (by Marissa Nichols)

 "To them, NFP means only one thing anyway: no birth control."

Just sayin'. This is actually a good articulation of why a couple would choose to walk this road. I identify with and resonate with so much that this author says;)

~Funny Things They Say~

Madeleine: (On St. Nicholas day) Did St. Nicholas come down from Heaven to give us these things?

The girls were jumping over a laundry basket in the hallway. Anders decided to sit on it, so they were mad that he was getting in their way. Madeleine waltzes up to him and belts out:
Madeleine {singing}: We wish you a merry Anders... and a happy new Anders!


We saw Sing in the theatre. I liked it, but I thought the plot should have revolved more around the characters' lives, and less on the theme of show-business. 

I have a low tolerance for good Christmas movies.  I get sick of some, and I think some are funny some years, and some years the humor offends me. Here's my guide to Christmas movie choices:

If you're sick of White Christmas, watch Miracle on 34th St.
Always watch: It's a Wonderful Life and The Nutcracker!!! {read a full post on this topic, here}
*unless you're reading on a Kindle*
(also: if you have bookish kids, they're also prepared to use almost anything as a bookmark, as well!;)

I think he meant "Abominable Snowman/ Snow monster"? ;)

ha, ha, ha ;-)

Linking up here & here


Michele Morin said...

Definitely not a fan of processes myself.

Your reading list has me hankering for an Anne Lamott fiction read. It's been a long time . . .

Tacy said...

Yes! I love her nonfiction, too!! ;-)