Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books I Read in 2013

The past few years I have been keeping track of what books I read. When I get to the end of the year, I set a goal to read one more book the following year than I did that year. Unfortunately, my goal this year was to read 31 books, and I only read 26. Still a good amount of books though. Here is my list from 2013, books with an asterisk (*) are ones I hadn't read before:

1. Pendragon: The Merchant of Death*      D. J. MacHale
2. Charly                                              Jack Weyland
3. A Light in the Storm*                      Chris Heimerdinger
4. Susceptible*                                      Racheal Ross
5. The Hobbit                                      J. R. R. Tolkein
6. Confessions of a Shopaholic              Sophie Kinsella
7. What To Expect: The First Year*      Heidi Murkoff
8. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More*  Roald Dahl
9. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan*              Sophie Kinsella
10. Shopaholic Ties the Knot*              Sophie Kensella
11. The Host                                              Stephanie Meyer
12. Redwall                                              Brian Jaques
13. Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion              Brandon Mull
14. Avatar: The Promise*                     Michael Dante DiMartino
15. Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy*     Brandon Mull
16. Warm Bodies*                                     Isaac Marion
17. The Candy Shop War*                     Brandon Mull
18. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace*     Terry Brooks
19. Prince Caspian                                     C. S. Lewis
20. Love, Stargirl*                                     Jerri Spinelli
21. The Hunger Games                             Suzanne Collins
22. Facing the Giants*                            Alex and Stephen Kendrick
23. Catching Fire                                    Suzanne Collins
24. Mockingjay                                    Suzanne Collins
25. Graceling                                            Kristin Cashore
26. Divergent*                                    Veronica Roth

Quite a fun list of books! Well, not all of them were fun. But I really enjoy reading and it feels good to see how many new books I read this past year! I have been working on branching out from just my normal Fantasy/Science Fiction novels that I love so much. I'm not necessarily branching out a lot, but I am learning to enjoy other genres as well. :)

Christmas 2013

This Christmas season was great! The biggest difference was that this year I didn't really care if I got anything, I just wanted Nigel to get some awesome stuff and have a good Christmas. Becoming a parent really changes your views on everything. 
I was able to spend the week before Christmas down in Kaysville with my family. Nigel was there with me, but Ross stayed in Logan because he had work. On the 21st, which is my mom's birthday, we had a family Christmas party with my mom's side of the family. It was great. There was a gift exchange and Nigel got some amazing toy cars. He loves them. Still. He is really crazy about his cars.
I came back to Logan Saturday night and then Sunday afternoon Ross, Nigel, and I headed up to Afton Wyoming to visit my in-laws. We were there until Christmas. It was really great. Nigel loved playing with his cousins and spending time with his grandparents. 
Christmas morning, Nigel got some matchbox cars in his stocking and didn't want to open any presents because he was already fine with his three cars. Later, I got him to come open another present and he said, "Car?" and opened it. When it was a shirt, he got mad and threw it with a loud "NO!" Apparently clothes are not fun to get even at such a young age. Nigel got really spoiled for Christmas this year. I also got spoiled. I got a lot of things from my list. Ross was not as spoiled, but did get a lot more than he asked for. He hates getting gifts. 
Here are some pictures from our wonderful Christmas in Afton!
Merry Christmas, boys!
Nigel loved those cars so much!
Playing with all of his matchbox cars that he got. He always lines them up like this.
Nigel loves his cool farm that he got from his Bateman grandparents! 
My haul, including my favorite video game, the Hunger Games trilogy, new sewing scissors, and a new purse. I really didn't expect to get so much stuff! 
Nigel has so much fun with his Woody and RC that he got from his Bredthauer grandparents. 
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Living in a World of Haters

This post is about something that really bothers me. And I will admit that I have, in the past, been one of the "haters." Which is very sad. You may judge me as much as you want for this post, I don't give a crap. I'll just leave all you haters behind.
Why does the human race need to hate people all the time? We naturally look for the bad in those around us. We look for the things that make a book 'lame' or a movie 'stupid' or a singer 'pathetic.' But does this really even matter? Who gives a crap?
Let me use a few examples. I will start with Justin Bieber. He started singing in the year 2009, when he was 15 years old. So naturally, his voice was not completely puberty-itized. He sang high, but holy crap, could that boy sing. I hear so many things about Bieber, how rude he is, how immature he is, how he makes stupid decisions in life. Guys, he's freaking a teenager! Still! In March 2014, he will reach 20 years old. I did stupid things as a teenager. That's how life goes. You do stupid things and you learn from them. I feel so bad for Bieber, so much attention. Why does everyone have to point out his mistakes? I think it is absolutely ridiculous. Let me tell you something I like about Justin Bieber. He has an INCREDIBLE singing voice. I enjoy a good number of his songs, though not all of them. But when I do hear one of his songs, I am always amazed at how great of a voice he has. This young man is incredibly talented. And if he makes bad choices, who cares? He is a singer, not the world's savior.
Another very hated thing these days: The Twilight Saga. I will begin with the books. I have read the entire series 3 times. I LOVE these books! Stephanie Meyer, although not necessarilly the most skilled writer of all time, is a fantastic story teller. And that's what these books are, stories. Not real life. Fiction. So people get all hung up on how ridiculous and unrealistic it is. Fiction people. And a very fun and entertaining story. I love how Meyer is able to go so deep into a character's personality and help it shine through. That takes talent. I really love those books.
The Twilight Saga movies. I cannot even to begin to describe the amount of hate these movies get. People genuinely despise these movies. Here's one thing that REALLY bugs me bout them though, is the teenagers who loved the first two movies then got all embarrassed to be watching them because they would get made fun of for seeing the movies. What a cruel world! I personally do not own the Twilight movies, but I enjoy them. They are not the best movies I have ever seen, but I do find them entertaining. I think they are decent films. It makes me sad that they get so much crap. If you don't like a movie, you don't need to bring down the world telling people about how stupid you think it is.
And for another singer, I'll talk about Miley Cyrus. She's gotten pretty rebellious and crazy lately, which is ok. She can do what she wants as this is a free country. I think she is a decent singer, I liked a few of her older songs, but I'm not really into her newer style of music. And that's just my personality speaking. I do think that she has talent. And even though she does, everyone feels the need to degrade her and make fun of her and just hate her for how she chooses to live her life. Get over it, people.
So there's my post. So many people just want to hate, hate, hate, and forget to look for the good in others. The world is a beautiful and amazing place! Don't ruin it by degrading everything that isn't YOUR favorite. I know that there are people who do not like Justin Bieber, Twilight, and Miley Cyrus. This doesn't mean you should be a crap of a human being about them. Grow up. Be kind to others.
And speaking of haters, my favorite song by AWOLNATION is "Wake Up." In the chorus is one of my favorite lines, "We're leaving all the haters behind." Frankly, I don't like people that hate on each other. So I will leave them behind and keep the happy people around. :) Here's a link to the song if you don't know it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt7Y_Qwz_LU

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas List

So nothing too exciting has gone on for us lately, which is why I haven't been blogging. But I promised my dad I would put up a Christmas list for our family soon. Also, I like to do my Christmas shopping as early as possible, and I'm sure people out there do, too. So here is a list

Jamba Juice Gift Card
Model Airplane (one already put together, not one he has to put together himself)
Ice Cream
Orange Sticks and Raspberry Sticks

iTunes Gift Card
another Wii remote
the Hunger Games Trilogy (I prefer hardback, but paperback is ok)

Toy cars

Family gifts are things that really we would all like if you don't feel like buying all sorts of things for us. We decided earlier that we want animated Disney films. We don't really care which ones, but here is a list of the ones we already have, so DON'T GET THE ONES ON THE LIST! WE ALREADY HAVE THEM! Get us any other animated Disney movies, though. ;)

101 Dalmatians
A Bug's Life
The Incredibles
The Lion King
Meet the Robinsons
The Princess and the Frog
The Sword in the Stone
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Wreck it Ralph

I hope that everyone who reads my blog has a wonderful Holiday season. Remember not to play Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Washington Trip

On the 16th of October, my parents came and picked up Nigel and I to head for Washington. We were going to visit my favorite older sister, Sarah, and her family. The drive was hard for Nigel, but he did really well. We stopped in Baker's Town, Oregon that night. Nigel was very happy to get to the hotel. Then on Thursday we drove the rest of the way up. Sarah and Andrew had recently bought a house and it was beautiful. Nigel and his little cousin, Rachel, had fun together. They were very cute.
Nigel sure loves his Grandpa!
Binkie and a crochet hook in his mouth? At least he is entertained.
Playing at the hotel!
Nigel really loved stopping places and stretching his legs. Me too!
Nigel discovered how amazing ketchup is. He would lick it off his fries then dip it again.
Nigel finally fell asleep just half and hour or so before we arrived.
Happy Rachel at the park!
Nigel had so much fun, he loves climbing on play grounds.
Nigel also enjoys crawling through these tube things.
Two cousins all ready to go grocery shopping.

Nigel got so much stair practice. He is pretty much a stair master now.
Cute cousins in the bath!
Nigel and Rachel in their cute new pajamas! They had to crawl all over the air mattress and cause a ruckus.
On Friday we all went to the zoo. Nigel had so much fun! He always wanted to get out of his stroller and look at things better, which is understandable. So I didn't have him buckled in so it was easier to get him out and in again. Then he decided to leap out of the stroller while we were walking. He ended up face planting and biting his lip. It wasn't too bad, but he sure was upset about it. Poor little fellow. On the positive side, my not-so-cuddly son cuddled with me for ten minutes while he cried. In the evening we ate at a restaurant called The Flaming Onion. It was delicious. We also looked at a cool toy store, which Nigel loved.
It was a very cold and foggy day at the zoo.
Hey, cute babies!
Nigel looking at the baby jaguar.
Nigel just wanted Grandma to hold him in the rainforest building. They had fun looking at animnals.
Nice gorilla, Rachel!

Nigel had a nice nap after his face-planting experience.
The orangutan was cold and had wrapped a sheet around himself. What a clever ape! And what a cute Rachel!
My awesome mom next to a komodo dragon. Those things are huge. The largest reptiles on earth, in fact.
Me striking an epic pose on the cement komodo dragon.
Nigel's little bit lip. Poor little fellow.
My goofy dad 'feeding' the brass otters.
Nigel enjoyed playing with his straw at the Flaming Onion.
Nigel loves to push things around and was very thrilled to find a shopping cart his size at the toy store.
Saturday was another fun day. We went and walked along the beach a low tide. We saw a lot of barnacles and a couple anemones. We also looked at the lighthouse nearby. Nigel loved walking all over. After that we all went and rode a ferry. Nigel thought it was so amazing, he just sat and watched the water out the window the whole time. It was pretty cool. That evening we had an early birthday celebration for Rachel. So much fun!
Holding a dead crab's claw. There were barnacles growing all over it.
Nigel had fun walking along the beach.
Grandma with Nigel.
Nigel wasn't up for posing with the beautiful ocean back there.
We found an old exoskeleton from a crab. It had grown out of it and it was still all intact. It was really cool.
The lighthouse and a ferry. Such a foggy day.
Sarah and Nigel ringing the dinner triangle. It sure was loud.
Nigel sleeping while we walked to the ferry. Sarah said he looked like Frodo all wrapped up in Shelob's webbing. This is partially true.
Rachel was having so much fun! She's such a happy girl.
This was hilarious because Rachel was giving Nigel and huge smile and he was just looking at her like she was crazy.
Eating chips and looking out the window.
Sarah, Andrew, and Rachel. Such a fun family!
Grandpa with Nigel, Andrew with Rachel, and Sarah in the back.
Titanic pose!
Cute momma and a cute girl!
Rachel did much better than Nigel did at opening presents.
Rachel and Andrew with their cupcakes!
Nigel was so confused when we started singing 'Happy Birthday.'
Brushing their teeth in the tub.
Sunday morning we left. It was a short vacation, but it was a lot of fun. We stopped in Seattle on the way back, which was pretty awesome. We drove for the rest of the day and stopped in Boise. Nigel did so great. He discovered, on this trip, that Cars is his favorite movie ever. We watched it three times on the trip. We also watched the first 4 discs of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was spectacular. 
Nigel, me, Sarah, Rachel, and Andrew.
Grandpa, Grandma, Rachel, Sarah, and Andrew.
Rachel was very sad that I was leaving. I was sad to leave her, she's such a good niece.
When I told Nigel we had to leave, he went and cried in the corner.
Watching Cars.
Grandma, Nigel, and I next to a bronze pig. 
Grandpa, Nigel, and I by the gum wall. It is covered with chewed gum. Weird.
Nigel loved the mirror at the hotel.