In 2017, I started out the year thinking I should spend more time reading than watching TV, and I cautiously hoped to read 30 books in the course of the year.
At the halfway mark, I had already read 22 books (thanks to the help of Audible, which definitely did some of the heavy lifting for me!). By the end of the year, the count was up to 52 books (woo! kicked it up a notch)! Additionally, I started read-alouds with my kiddos in the second half of 2017, and we read 6 chapter books aloud together as well as 2 books of poems. I will always cherish that time cuddling next to them on the couch and sharing the gift of story.
I have always been very fortunate in my life to be surrounded by readers. I have friends who regularly ask me what I’m reading as well as share ideas for a new page-turner. I belong to a book club. My parents’ house is full of bookshelves that are slowly buckling with the weight of all the books they are reading and want to be reading.
I am a firm believer that reading leads to greater happiness than just about any other activity.
My mom had so many pearls of wisdom for me when I was a kid. Most of the time, I probably rolled my eyes at her when she would repeat one of her classic phrases, but as an adult, some things resonate more clearly. Like this:
Garbage in, garbage out.
Luke even affirms this for us: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
With this in mind, I set a goal to read more books than I watch TV this year. *gasp!*
One month ago, my darling baby Caitlin turned 2!
Of course, if you ask her how old she is, she says, “Cake!”
Caitlin is a sweet and determined little girl. She always knows what she wants and what she doesn’t! It has been so fun watching her learn over this past year: just when I think she might take forever to figure something out, she takes off running (literally. at 13½ months. walking is for chumps). She studies everything around her, speaks in complete sentences, and stands up for herself. She loves hugs and being outside and picture books. She loves shoes and farm animals and helping with chores. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and grapes.
Caitlin loves nothing better than sitting in our laps and reading books, so we threw her a storybook party to celebrate her second year of life!
My son is smart and wily and creative. He is thoughtful and determined and energetic.
And he is 3 years old!
This year for Jake’s birthday, I really wanted to keep it simple. I wanted to spend less time worrying and preparing, and more time marveling at how my tiny baby turned into this enormous, articulate preschooler, a little boy with a strong will and a contagious smile!
Jake never hesitates when you ask him what his favorite foods are: ice cream and pizza. (Clearly I have been teaching him everything I know…) So this year we decided to have an ice cream party to celebrate what an awesome kid Jake is!