Lately, From The Library

There's nothing like feeling settled enough in a place that it makes sense to start requesting items from the library because you know you'll have time to a) go pick them up before they get put away again and b) finish reading them before they're due back. I took baby Abe on his first trip to a Denver Public Library on Friday, picked up a stack of books, and paid a fine that was more than a year old while we were there. I felt like a whole new lady.

I'm working on reading a bunch of young adult/middle grade novels in an attempt to start a small business/make $50 or more using The Internet before the end of the year. More to come once I get through the pile in the picture. I really enjoyed The Turtle of Oman and have just started Rain Reign. I put that Rumpelstiltskin one on the bottom because I'm hoping it's going to be my favorite. I based that decision entirely on the cover. 

Have you read any of these? Reading anything else good lately? Want to be my friend on Goodreads?

Lately, From The Library

I've been checking out a lot of kid's books lately, in part because they're quick and fun (and I'm trying to finish 20 books before this baby comes - currently on number 18), but also because I recently embarked on a new potential business venture, which I will tell you more about before too long. Let's just say I may have found a way to do some of my most favorite kinds of teaching work on (mostly) my own terms. I loved The One And Only Ivan, didn't love The Fourteenth Goldfish, and have yet to start Junonia or Doll Bones. All four were written by Newberry Award-winning authors, which is why I picked them up.

All The Light We Cannot See is one that's been on my holds list since back in January - large print edition, even! - so I'm cranking through it as fast as I can before I have to return it. I've heard from a couple of different people that this story took a little bit to get into, but that they loved it by the end. I'm about 300 pages in and so far I'm interested and hopeful that it's headed somewhere satisfying.  

Have you read any of these? Love it or hate it? The underdog's on top?

Also, you guys. I only have 12 friends on Goodreads. Surely there are more of you over there. Come be friends with me!

Another Year Older (+ A Giveaway!)

Clockwise, from top left: 1. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg / 2. Bananas & Gap Teeth wrapping paper (photo credit: Ben Sellon) / 3. David Bazan & Passenger String Quartet Volume 1 CD /  4. Bookworm Card / 5. Not Without Salt Cookie Mix  / 6. Lucky In Blue earrings (photo credit: Rachel Ball)

**Update: Mary Rice is the big winner. Thanks to each of you who entered!

A couple of Saturdays ago Dann and I woke up early and headed to Dahlia Bakery to try their breakfast sandwiches. As we drove through downtown Seattle while the city slept, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for everything we’ve experienced here. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this place. 

It’s still hard not to drive distracted when there’s water to be seen through the windows and, on the days you can see them, the mountains on either side of the city are pretty spectacular. 

There were days in the last year when I thought I might never appreciate anything about Seattle, that it would never feel familiar or even a little bit like home. Those days have passed now, and I find myself wishing I had more days before this baby comes to get out and explore.

When I started thinking about all the things that have been significant to me in the last year, I quickly realized that most of them have something to do with this place. And since my blog is now another year older, I figured I should do a Seattle-specific giveaway to celebrate.

Each of the items pictured above has a Seattle story behind it, and I love the idea of sharing them all with one of you. One lucky person will win the lot.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what you love about Seattle or why you want these things or that you think I’m smart and pretty and funny. You know, whatever. I’ll choose a winner next Tuesday, February 24. (And if, for some reason, you're unable to leave a comment, please please send me an email or tell me on facebook or something. I don't want anyone missing out!)  

Seattle Bucket List = BUCKETED

One of the items on the Seattle Bucket List my friends created for me is "Volunteer somewhere", so when I got the monthly email from Book Larder soliciting help at their upcoming events, I picked one I thought would be fun and signed on.

The Spilled Milk podcast is hilariously delightful, so I was obviously pumped to get to help out at the live birthday extravaganza. All I had to do was show up early to help set up chairs, pass out cake, and stay late to help put the chairs away/sweep the floor. Plus they gave me a $25 store credit! Score.

I've been reading Molly Wizenberg's blog for years and, I have to admit, I was a little bit starstruck. But I had just read these wise words and figured it wouldn't hurt to tell her how much I've appreciated her work over the years. So I used my store credit to get a copy of her first book, asked her to sign it, and proceeded to tell her that I'm a big fan.

And then the sweetest thing happened. She asked me about my pregnancy and our baby and how I've been feeling with such sincerity. She told me about her experience at the hospital where we're planning to deliver and told me decidedly, "You can do it." She was as cool in person as I imagined she'd be. 

So there you have it, friends. Bucket List, BUCKETED.