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