Good morning! The sun is shining. The snow is not melting. The house is quiet – but that’s because Connor is still asleep. The Christmas cards are waiting for the mailman. All presents I need to mail are ready to go to the post office. The Christmas tree has an ever-growing pile of beautifully decorated presents waiting for Christmas morning. Holly suggested a Sherlock marathon today. It’s a great morning!
I cannot say the same about the rest of the week. First, there was the travesty of last night’s Big Ten Championship. It is going to take a long time to recover from that embarrassment. Then, there is the discovery that Connor is not doing well this semester. In fact, he is a few short weeks of kissing his dream colleges good-bye because his grades are that bad. He has made the decision that homework is stupid, and therefore he doesn’t have to complete it or turn in the stuff he does complete. He does not see that his test grades are a direct result of his lack of homework completion, and so the downward spiral continues. The fact that he recognizes what he is doing but doesn’t seem to care or is not willing to use some willpower to subvert his natural tendency to do anything but “boring” things is probably the biggest frustration Jim and I have these days. It is times like these where we both wonder where we went wrong and start racking our brains in desperation to not allow this supremely talented young man to throw away his future so drastically. Connor doesn’t want help, and we refuse to let him fail. As you can imagine, things are slightly tense between the three of us.
It really was not all bad this week though. I’ve been holding back some supremely good news that all came to fruition this week. First off, I am in a book!!!! Atria Books sent me a notice a few weeks ago that they were using some of my review for a blurb in the paperback version of I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. The release date for the paperback edition was this past Tuesday, and I came home to a lovely surprise from Atria of my very own copy of it. The thrill of seeing my name in a book, even if it is the name of my website, will never fade. Now, get thee to a bookstore and purchase a copy of this amazing spy thriller/murder mystery because it really is that awesome!
Then, I was invited to participate in a group interview with none other than David Baldacci! This was not something I was going to decline, so I bravely collated my list of questions for Mr. Baldacci and called into the teleconference number I had. It was a blast. I am planning a special post just about this special event later this week, so stay tuned!
Plans for the holidays keep moving forward. I addressed the Christmas cards last night. We have one more present for Connor to purchase, but that is the very last one I need. The rest are ready to go. Of course, I have not baked a single cookie yet, nor do I know if I am going to do so. Jim makes his great-grandmother’s shortbread so often during the holidays, and there really is no better cookie. Besides, I really am trying to keep things simple this season. Cookies are not so simple. I may just recruit the kids to make them this year. We shall see.
This is the first year where both kids openly admit to not believing in Santa – Holly has been keeping that little tidbit to herself for the previous two years – so it is both a relief and slightly bittersweet trepidation we all face on Christmas morning. I am still holding back the kids’ presents so they still get that Christmas Eve anticipation. I know it won’t be the same though, and I will just have to make my peace with it.
Speaking of Christmas and the holidays, have you seen Postertext yet? I cannot get over how beautiful the prints are or the fact that they make these haunting images with nothing but words from the books they represent. I honestly cannot pick a favorite. Of course, I would want ones of my favorite books, but there are others that are just so gorgeous even if I am not a huge fan of the novel. Either way, they would make a fantastic gift idea for the booklover in your family, don’t you think (Jim – hint, hint)?
Tomorrow starts week two of the busiest work schedule ever. Auditor visits, month-end close, physical inventory, 2015 prep, systems relaunch meetings…you name it, it is probably on my calendar for sometime over the next two weeks. It makes the work days pass very quickly but I have a constant flitter of panic that it is impossible to accomplish it all. I was planning on taking the last two weeks of the year as vacation, as I do every year, but with all of the changes and understaffing, it is still up in the air. It makes for a challenging month. I guess it is a good thing that I really do thrive on challenge. There is nothing I like better than accomplishing the seemingly impossible.
In case you missed it this week, Holly posted another review. I will admit her reaction to Mr. Baldacci’s YA fantasy novel she read and her excitement at the news that it is a series really makes me want to read it. Other posts this week included the following:
- Book Review – The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
- Book Review – The May Bride by Suzannah Dunn
- Book Review – Saint Brigid’s Bones by Philip Freeman
- Book Review – The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
- It’s Monday, December 1st! What Are You Reading?
- That’s What The Girl Read – The Finisher by David Baldacci
I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend and a peaceful Sunday. I’ll be puttering around the house, writing posts, and getting ready for next week in addition to rewatching one of the best series on television with my kids. Not a bad way to spend the day, if I do say so myself!
Congrats on the blog mention on the book. How great! Good luck with your work week. It sounds challenging.
Thanks, Susan! It was such a wonderful surprise when I got the note from the publisher.
And thank you! This time of year is hands-down the busiest two weeks of my entire work year. I always dread it, somehow manage to survive, and breathe a huge sigh of relief when I make it through to the other side. You just take it one day at a time…
Congrats on the blurb in the book – how exciting! Your productivity amazes me – my cards still await and I have presents to wrap – hoping that night before exams cramming feeling starts soon to get me motivated!
Oh, don’t be too impressed. I still have the kids’ presents to wrap. If I had a good hiding spot to put them once wrapped, I would get them done one of these nights. However, I imagine that I will be up late on Christmas Eve wrapping…as I’ve done ever since we first became parents!
Parenting is hard, isn’t it? So hard to walk the line between pushing them and letting them start to do things for themselves. School is a non-negotiable, of course, but so hard to make them do something they don’t want to do! Ugh. I hope it gets better for you.
Congrats on your blurb! I’m jealous they sent you a copy. I got blurbed in the mass market paperback of Tigerheart by Peter David, but nobody sent me a copy. I still need to purchase one – I keep forgetting.
My shopping is done, and my mom does my wrapping, so I’m spoiled in that department. Not sure if I’m up to doing a Christmas letter this year, but I probably will. Just need to get motivated. I’ll probably end up sending it out as a note on Facebook and e-mail though, since postage is so stinking expensive!
Parenting sometimes just downright sucks. I’m sure it will all work out in the end but these battles are more taxing than anything I face at work. You are absolutely correct that trying to reach through that lack of desire or willingness.
I honestly wasn’t expecting a copy. In fact, I had already ordered a couple of copies of it for delivery. It was a very nice surprise. Atria has been amazing about it.
I didn’t do Christmas letters at all. I just sent out cards and wrote short notes in a few of them. I noticed last year that almost no one sent out letters with their cards. This year, I’m discovering a major lack of cards in general. It makes me sad, as if we are losing this last element of person-to-person written communication.
First off, congrats on that blog mention! That is really something! You must take a pic of it and share it. When I get the Persephone catalog, I often see bloggers I know in there and it’s pretty exciting.
Christmas. I still have stuff to do but I am not worried about any of it. I am just doing a little here and there. This past weekend I had hoped to get a least a little of it done but a surprise filling at the yearly cleaning threw me off. I just felt yuck after it.
Thanks, Ti! It is always cool to see people you know in print!
I think you have the right attitude about the holidays. That’s honestly all I did. I shopped online a little bit at a time. I tackled the cards while watching a football game, and I took my time wrapping presents. Nothing was overly taxing or lengthy. I usually work on big chunks of something at a time, so this was nice. Good luck!
Shopping done? Presents wrapped? Dang you are organized!
Purely out of necessity. If I weren’t organized, I’d be in a mental hospital!
Congrats on the book! That is so cool.
I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with your son. We only want whats best for our kids and I can’t imagine how hard it is trying to get through to him. My daughter is only 4 and I worry so much about her future already!
I’m so jealous that you have all of your shopping and wrapping done. My goal is to have mine done by this Saturday night. I hate waiting until the last minute. The OCD in me is going crazy right now.
I hope you have a good week, and hopefully you still get to take off those last weeks of the month!
Thanks, Brandie! It’s amazing how seeing your words in print can make you feel so great!
Every child is different, and I do not think we will have that issue with my daughter. This is in part because she is so unlike her brother; I also think she is observing what he is doing and our reactions and is storing it all for future use. At least, I hope so!
I did all of my shopping via the Internet. It’s about the only way I would ever finish. Good luck!
So much to comment on!! Your son reminds me of mine. As a jr in HS he finally realizes college is coming. His grades are better this year but it’s not been wonderful. Would you consider sharing the shortbread recipe?
I’m behind in shopping, wrapping and the cards should arrive tomorrow.
I know three people blurbed on I AM PILGRIM. I think I have to buy a copy!!!
Have a great week.
You absolutely MUST purchase a copy of I Am Pilgrim! I’ve already forced a few copies of it on friends and family!
I will have to ask my husband if he is willing to share the recipe. I don’t know how secret it is, if at all, but if I can, I definitely will!
Good luck! I just tackled mine a little bit at a time. I’ve had too many years of waiting until the last minute and cramming everything into a few days. It makes me resent the holidays when I do that.
Sorry to hear about your trouble with Connor. One of our sons was like that, just would not live up to his potential. School had been too easy before high school and he was sick a lot the first couple of years, but it mostly boiled down to just not being willing to do the work. Ten years later, it’s still one of my greatest regrets that we let him fall off track. Good luck and stay strong!
Thanks, Lisa! We are still fighting the good fight, even if he hates us while we are doing so. He’ll thank us eventually when he has his own children and understands we are just doing our duty as his parents.
Whew…as always, you are (seem anyway) busy, but I guess if you thrive on challenge as you say, that’s a good thing. Or can be anyway.
I hope it works out with Connor soon for you and Jim. I can imagine it can be frustrating.
Congratulations on the news with Baldacci. I’ll be honest that I don’t think I’ve read anything by him.
Hope you enjoyed Sherlock. The plan today was to do some reading: Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, but that didn’t happen yet. I’ll probably be getting to it tonight as my wife has to go into work at 8 p.m. instead of her normal midnight shift…if I don’t get caught up in a Criminal Minds marathon on Netflix. We’ll see…
We are busy, but I honestly don’t know what we do if we suddenly cleared the schedule for a month or two. At work, it would be dreadful. You do get used to the craziness after a while!
Thanks, Bryan! It has been a frustrating and exciting week.
We are enjoying Sherlock. This is our second time through the entire series. The whole family loves it, so it is one of the few things we enjoy watching together. Enjoy “Criminal Minds”! I do love that show too.
So pleased to hear about the lovely recognition and bookish news – but I hear you all too well with the struggle about school and homework with your son. My older son has just started secondary school and seems to be going through a similar rebellious period (at least I hope it’s a period, that it will end some day). Fingers crossed for both of us – good luck!
I am definitely hoping that your son figures it out before mine does!