Aug 31, 2013

Sisyphus, Part 2

Years ago, I wrote a blog post about how I felt like I was Sisyphus. That I was constantly pushing my rock up a mountain, only to have it fall down again--thinking that I was making progress and then something happening that made it feel like I was taking a major step backwards. In my pessimism, I thought that people didn't even think I was trying, that they saw me at the bottom of my mountain with the rock there, and they thought I was lazy.

And this might be true for some people. But I have learned this past week that there are people who think that I am strong. And that I'm brave. Even when I feel weak and cowardly. Because I keep trying. I keep pushing that rock. And sometimes I slip backwards, and sometimes it seems like I end up at the bottom again, but they know that I can do it, and that I'm trying, and they cheer me on and give me support.

And today, I'm really thankful for those people in my life.

Aug 13, 2013

Dear Baby E: I miss you!

Hey sweetheart! I just got back from a long weekend of getting to hold you, and let me tell you, I miss your warm little body in my arms.

Your Uncle, Bro, and I drove down to see you--and let me tell you, it's a long drive, and especially boring. But we had music, podcasts, and movies to keep us occupied; and, of course, food! Here's something you should know about road trip food: every Hinckley road trip includes two things, red licorice and Lorna Doone cookies. The licorice probably didn't get started this way, but part of the reason we always needed it was because I get carsick and when I was a kid the only way I could take chewable dramamine was if I ate it with licorice. I don't have a story about Lorna Doones, just that we always have them.

I'm not a good traveler, baby, so by the time we got to your mommy and daddy's I was pretty tired and strung out. But then I got to hold you and finally kiss your chubby cheeks. I rested you on my chest and I instantly felt more relaxed. You are a miracle, little girl.

Uncle Bro seemed a little stiff and uncomfortable holding you at first (you are pretty small), but by the end of the weekend, he had warmed up to you, and even found something that calmed you down.

You are kind of wiggly, except when you go into a deep sleep, and then you just go kind of limp. I think we kind of spoiled you, because by the end of the weekend, you did not like being put down, which was okay by me! But it wasn't good when we went for a ride--you didn't seem to like being in your car seat, though once you were fed and changed, as long as the car was moving you were okay. We stopped at one point to take pictures of a bridge, and I got in the car with you to let your mom have a look. I sang my special lullaby to you and gently shook your car seat (trying to imitate the movement of the car) and it calmed you down for a little bit. That made me feel good.

I introduced you to Jane Austen, too! I read the first 5 chapters of Pride and Prejudice, and the first time I read it, you stopped crying and listened to an entire page before starting again. That first line is pretty intriguing, isn't it?

I love you, baby girl. Can't wait to see you again in a month or so. You'll have changed so much!

Aug 1, 2013

July Book of the Month

Okay, so I just realized a conundrum: I have already talked about the best book I read this month in this post. So, there's that, and I guess I could leave it at that, but I would feel like I'm letting the interwebz down by doing that, so I guess I'll pick from the other books I looked at this month and choose a second best.

That would be a Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Belle Epoque, meaning the age of beauty, takes place in Paris during the construction of the Eiffel Tower. It follows a young girl who had escaped from her country life to go to Paris, where she tries to find a job. She finally finds a job, though it is nothing like what she thought it would be. Throughout the story she learns what lengths the rich will go through to raise themselves even higher, what it means to be beautiful, and what she is willing to do for her friends.

There's also a handsome bohemian musician. ;)

In all, it's a good period book which introduces a lot of great thoughts and concepts that are still a part of our society today. I like the backdrop of Paris, especially as the Eiffel Tower is being built--which most Parisians thought of as an eyesore, which is a great symbol for the main theme of the book. The characters are well written and their motivations are clear (from what I remember from the beginning of the month). I think this is a book that would fit teens 14 and up, and would be especially good for girls to read, because of the look at beauty.