Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Challenge Accepted [Read Harder Challenge- My Recommendations]

How I Met Your Mother reference, anyone? 

After first hearing about it on Lisa's blog (and now seeing it on several others), I've decided I am going to participate in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge this year. Basically, you read 24 books in 24 different categories. I figure it will be easy since many of the people I take book recommendations from will be doing it too :) Plus it might force me to read a few things that I wouldn't have before. I thought it would be fun to share some of the books I've already read that fit into the categories, in case you are looking for some ideas. Even if you aren't doing the challenge, who doesn't love a good book recommendation? 

I definitely don't have one for every category, but at the end of this year, I will! 

Book that takes place in Asia: Shanghai Girls, The Pearl that Broke It's Shell

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture: Rabbit Proof Fence


A young adult novel: Under the Blood Red Sun, Eleanor and Park, Divergent, Monster, Wonder (I could go on…)


An audiobook: Yes Please (I actually read this but I think the audio book is the way to go for this one)

A collection of poetry: Brown Girl Dreaming (also could be an award winning book of the last decade)


A book that was originally published in another language: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (also it's young adult!)

Of course, you can use ALL of these books as a book someone has recommended to you. 

If you are participating in the challenge (or even if you are not), what are some books you either recommend or plan to read? Give me some ideas :) 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

10 Favorite Books of 2014

I'm a little behind on end of 2014 posts. I wrote this one while in Florida but for some reason it did not want to post from my iPad so I had to redo it, with far less explanations. I suppose that since I choose my job based on my love for teaching kids to read, it seems obvious that I love reading. I was worried that my transition into being a mom would mean that I wouldn't have as much time to read. I set my goal for 2014 low (20 books originally) and blew it out of the water… I think I read my 20th book in early April. In 2014 reading saved me from the monotony of nursing a new born and the challenge of middle of the night wakings. It was the one and only hobby I faithfully maintained this year. It has been such a great joy to get to read to Max and have him choose his own favorite books already. It always continues to be a joy to share great books with my students and teach them how to read. 

Here are some of my favorite reads from the year, in no particular order (though I do think #1 was my top favorite). Please share your favorite reads in 2014 in the comments :) 


2014books 6

(Just read it. So good.)


2014books 4


2014books 1


2014books 2


2014books 3


2014books 10


2014books 9


2014books 8


2014books 11


2014books 12

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 10 in 2014

I'm a little late, but I didn't want to skip a Top Moments of 2014 post. I'm normally not without words, but when I try to describe the past year, I can't figure out how to do it. Can I just say it had some wonderful moments and some really hard moments? Here are some of my favorites: 

*As always, if the photo looks professional, you can thank Caroline. 

Meeting Max. You knew that was coming right? 

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Introducing Max to the many, many important people in his life. He has many family members and friends that love him :) We got so many visits, and we met up with so many people. It was fun!

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Celebrating my 30th Birthday on a boat in Boston Harbor. We also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary on a boat in Boston Harbor, which was also a top moment. Let's just say, drinking beer on boats in Boston Harbor? 

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Mini Speed Boats also in Boston Harbor. There is a boat theme in my favorite things from this year. 


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Zac Brown Concert at Fenway Park

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Nightly Walks with Eric and Max. Or daily, or multiple times a day… ha ha. I also loved nightly story time. There is beauty in the routine. 

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Introducing Max to the many things and places we love. From our many Cape Cod adventures, to swimming lessons, to travel, to…everything really. 


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Jet skiing with dolphins in Florida. There was a LOT challenging about this trip… but I think it was probably all worth it for this 2 hour period. 

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The Kindergarten Kiddos. My thoughts on my job in 2014 were complicated. I guess you could say I had a love/hate relationship with it. It frustrated me. It saved my sanity. But my love for the kiddos did not change (though they also sometimes frustrate me, ha). I loved how invested they became in Max- they would interrupt my lessons to ask how he was doing. They drew him pictures and wrote him notes. Plus, they just continued to be 5 and 6. They told funny stories, they asked irrelevant questions. One struggled with his letters at the beginning of the year and then was a good sport when I forced him to do daily letter activities (several per day) until he learned all of them (in 1 month, amazing!) Another worked on writing his number 5 during play time. One said to me today, "I waited ALL vacation to give you this picture I made you. I missed school SO MUCH!" Love. 

Reading. I owe you guys a post of my favorite books from 2014. I read a lot more than I expected to this year and reading seriously kept me sane as I nursed for 1 billion hours and tried to fall back to sleep after middle of the night wakings. I might have gone a little crazy without my books! 

2014 was a good year, but I'm looking forward to an even better 2015! :)