Books of 2016

Friday, January 6, 2017

5e2a0350-10c3-4b30-ba40-18bf764859f5So many books in 2016! Holy smokes and what not. I plan on reading a lot less in 2017 which sounds like a funny goal for someone that reads so dang much, but there is a reason. While I liked a lot of the books I read I don’t think I invested in them very much, looking over this list I could mix up the story line of two or three at least. I want to read for enjoyment and not just to pass time in the coming year. I also want to spend more time doing active things so if I get real serious on my book limit (which will be very hard, I am shooting for only 22 books in 2017) then there will be more time for other things, like writing, or creating something, or finding a second job, or working out.

Enough about that though, here’s the list of the books I read (and mostly remembered) this year.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series
Red Queen Series (3)
This Raging Light
Brain Maker
Saint Anything
All the Bright Places
The Museum of Intangible Things
The Dirty Life
How To Be a Person In the World
Present Over Perfect
The Disenchantments
The Book of Speculation
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Wild in the Hollow
Scary Close
Holding Up the Universe
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Harry Potter 3-7

Liked a lot:
Signs Point to Yes
Let’s Get Lost
The Lake Season
Start with Why
Since You’ve Been Gone
Notes from a Blue Bike
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Love Warrior
The 12 Days of Dash & Lily
Talking As Fast As I Can

Somewhat enjoyed -> whatever:
Reasons to Stay Alive
The Crown
Art Before Breakfast
Maybe in Another Life
You Are Here
Knowing Your Value
Woman Code
You’re So Money
The Geography of You and Me
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck
Outrageous Openness
The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living
Dear Emma
Adulthood is a Myth
Sane New World
Sleep Smarter
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
Now What?!
Loving My Actual Life
The Rules of Love and Grammar
Mystic Summer
The Museum of Heartbreak
The Islanders 1-8
Level Up Your Life
The Island House
Everything, Everything
Sex God


2016 in review

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
The single best thing… goodness, such pressure on a question. I don’t know that there is one big huge thing that happened that stands out, this year has been a lot of things working under the surface. I loved my time with Chelsea in New York, and sharing my city with Sarah and Dasha this summer. I am so stoked on the roommate I ended up with after some craziness, my salary that I got this year is nothing to turn my nose up at either.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
A relationship that I’ve been working through mentally.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Hearing myself say “I’ll do my best, but I’m never going to be perfect.” And feeling totally calm and accepting of that. (The conversation was in relation to God and faith and life and how it’s not a merit based system and I have to keep reminding myself of that.)

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Dealing with the feeling of having a bit of a sabbatical but not knowing what to do and trying to stay somewhat positive. A month off that didn’t really feel like a month off, in fact I forgot it happened.

5. Pick three words to describe this past year.
Listen (my word of the year worked!), dig, choppy

6&7 – About spouses, so N/A this year.

8. What were the best books you read this year?
I read 70+ books this year, started so many others and decided I didn’t want to continue them. There were many I enjoyed but these stand out the most.
Present over Perfect
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
Scary Close (2nd reading)
All the Bright Places
How to be a Person In the World
Harry Potter 6 & 7 (re-read)
Finding God In the Waves

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Sarah, the ladies of WD’s, the one with my counselor

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Allowing myself to be imperfect not just in theory and by logic but in feeling too.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I learned the beginnings of mindfulness, a practice that I see being very, very helpful moving forward.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I dug in and started questioning what my beliefs are, not just what I think and say they are but what is really going on underneath. I read books by several Christian authors, have another to either end this year with or start next year with. I questioned God, I got mad at God, I realized I was still operating under old beliefs of what God was and how he/she/it worked and I started questioning those. I allowed myself to feel and mentally speak to what I use to think were betraying thoughts. If God is all being and all knowing then He/She/Ze/It already knows what’s going on so I may as well make it an open conversation.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
It’s just coming now at the end of the year but I started getting really tired of my excuses about my physical health. I realize I’ve been saying the same things for three plus years of why I can’t do so many things I want to do and I’m tired of hearing myself talk. They are valid excuses, the road to getting better and being able to do some of those things if not all of them will be challenging to say the least but it’s far from impossible.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I backed off of some relationships but spent a lot of time working out different things I felt about them. My hope is that in the new year I will be able to come back to them with a better understanding of myself and my boundaries so we can rehabilitate and grow.
I learned to let people tell their own stories. It’s something I will continually work on, but I think it’s important. I want people to trust me, and I think they can, but I also realize that what I think is no big deal to share might be a huge deal to others.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
That I have the time and the freedom to work on my health with doctor’s appointments and health insurance. I also enjoy the steady income that has helped me work on budgeting.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook and crushes

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Going to counseling. Definitely.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
I learned that the previous assumptions I had about how life should be, ones I didn’t even realize I had, were not quite right and were causing more distress than anything else. There has been a lot of shifting and reconfiguring and deciding where I want to be working in the middle of that.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.
Neither of these are mine originally but they have been so very true: The only way out is through and the time will pass anyway.



Saturday, September 24, 2016



I’ve been holding on to these and adding to them for a while. Guess now’s as good a time as any to share!

And then Gala Darling kicked my ass in 30 minutes /// Throw Away Your Vision Board 

In the Messy Middle – yesssss!

You don’t need to find yourself.
“It took me a long time to figure out who I had been all along.”

Making me think about meditation and/or a prayer practice

And/or a yoga practice
“But yoga taught me this: When you pursue what you’re passionate about, you naturally find the space for gratitude. In my experience, if you make time for things you enjoy, the law of attraction comes into effect, and you naturally find yourself feeling more positive.”

And one more idea, any work out being a magical practice

I Loooooooooved Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: here’s an excerpt

Some iphone photography tips I haven’t read yet, well, a couple of them anyway…

Create instead of searching for the elusive happiness
Good and bad become irrelevant when the focus isn’t “what can I enjoy” but “what can I create?”

Some of the potentially awkward moments are the most important

A post about a slower life and a short list of amazing questions I want to ask myself again and again

Digital detox?! This might be a great idea.


Noticed: Salty Foods and Feeling Free

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A faded red hatchback waiting in front of me at a stoplight. A girl in the back with a Burger King crown, reaching to pull back the bag of food being passed from the front. It looked like summer break, I could practically smell the fries. The light turned green and they moved forward. Despite the food bag transfer they pulled into Taco Bell. Maybe the first bag didn’t hold enough, maybe this summer day was one for a fast food mission of epic proportions. I wanted to be there, in that car…I wanted my own crown, sitting in the back seat between my friends, listening to the song of the hour, passing salty foods and feeling free.


Instagram Love – Wide Open

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

instagram love wide open

@aurelbaker / @dogsonadventures
@mrsjennyhayes / @zackkore

I am constantly blown away by the pictures I find on instagram. Envy can show up alongside wonder. I want to live in so many of these photos, I want a SUV that I take on my road trips with room for my dog (I don’t need three) in the back, I want to see these teepees and swim in that pool. How do I get there? How do I commit my energy and my money to getting there?

Development by Brandi Bernoskie + Morgan Woroner