Monday, January 4, 2016

Where I've Been In 2015

I can hardly believe that my last post of 2015 was in July.  Yikes.  I’m sure a lot of you thought I’d given up on blogging.   I don’t think I have. I still want to review books, and I want to post discussion posts.  At times I wonder how relevant I am to the book blogging community.  I don’t take stunning Instagrams or make flawlessly edited YouTube videos, and I’m not constantly churning out clever features with stunning graphics that I designed myself.  But I enjoy reviewing and talking about books with you guys, and I’m lucky enough to still enjoy reviewing and talking about books at work, too.  I don’t talk a lot about my personal life, and when I sat down to write this post, I set out to explain what happened in the last third of the year to make me disappear.  At this point, though, I think it makes sense to just talk about what I did in 2015.

I remember feeling like January went on forever, which is weird because looking back at my Instagram, there were fun moments to it! Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner came to D.C. and I met them.  My best friend, her mom, and I also went to New York City for MLK weekend.  Our adventures included visiting an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, seeing Matilda on broadway (my dream), and going to the Death Becomes Her exhibit on Victorian mourning attire at the Met.  I also took a few hours to meet up with Estelle and Ksenia and visit Books of Wonder, where I finally bought a copy of Open Road Summer.

February was not my favorite month.  It started off with me having a great program for the kids at the library, and turned into a pipe bursting at my branch, which meant that I had to work at other branches in the system while the issue was fixed. I started reviewing for School Library Journal during that time, which was exciting!  I review picture books, middle grade, and young adult for them.  February was also the month I dove back into the world of online dating. On March 11th, a Wednesday, I went on a date with this guy named Seth.  We wound up going on a second date that Friday and realizing, yeah, we wanted to be in a relationship with each other. 

Right before I met Seth I went to NoVa Teen Book Festival for the first time where I attended lots of
panels and got books signed by Jason Reynolds, Marie Rutkoski, Rachel Hawkins, and Matt de la Pena. April included my birthday and was also the time of year when I started regularly visiting my favorite comic book store. I was also trying to train for a marathon that was supposed to be in September, but I gave up on this endeavor in June because while I like going on 7-8 mile runs, it took up a lot of time and was bringing me zero joy.

May brought about a lovely road trip to Ohio with three good friends for our college reunion. I went to Kenyon and absolutely adored it, and it was so nice to be back for a few days and see everyone again.   The other big news of the month was that after about five and a half years, my brother and his now fiancée finally got engaged!

June brought Emery Lord, Trish Doller, A.C. Gaughen, and Tiffany Schmidt coming to D.C. on tour.  I also attended my friend Kaitlyn and Aaron’s wedding.  I finished June and started July in Maine, where I vacationed with my family in Acadia National park.  My mom is from Maine and I always wanted to go to Acadia, so it was great to finally live that dream. I definitely recommend it if you can ever go. Shortly after returning from Maine, I got to see Taylor Swift in concert!  I’d always wanted to see Taylor in concert but had never had the chance to go before, so I was thrilled to go, and it was an amazing show.  Seth and I also went to Vermont for a weekend because both of his sisters were around, and we spent a relaxing weekend seeing a few sights, visiting Bridgeside Books, which his sister owns, and eating delicious food.  

Otherwise, the rest of July and August included a baseball game and a visit from my dad.  Seth and I had started talking about seriously looking for an apartment together in the fall, but had been browsing a bit earlier for fun and because D.C. rent is crazy high. One day in August we looked at an apartment that not only looked gorgeous, but was smack dab in between our two workplaces.  We were the first people to see it and were quickly approved.

I feel like I spent all of September either packing or working.  My books wound up taking over fifty boxes, and I just own a lot of stuff. I feel like I kept throwing stuff away and still having heaps I needed to pack.  We moved at the very beginning of October—a four day weekend involving movers, a trip to Ikea, and lots of furniture assembly.  We felt very fortunate that our cat made herself comfortable in the new place right away.  In fact, it feels like I spent a lot of October unpacking, but later that month we also went to a Renaisssance Faire and two of my friends came into town. We also had a pretty cool Halloween adventure. Earlier in the month I’d also gone to see Libba Bray, Daniel Skovron, and D.J. Older at Politics and Prose, an event so crowded I didn’t take pictures.  I also enjoyed setting up an amazing home library, if I say so myself.

In November, we had a housewarming. Leigh Bardugo came to town.  I went to an event with Becky Albertali and I.W. Gregorio. We cooked and ate a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner came back into town in December.  Seth and I had been talking
about starting the new year off by getting a second cat, but there was a kitten on the humane society’s website that we fell in love with upon meeting and adopted. We had just enough time to get her settled and help our older cat adjust before it was time to head off for Christmas with both of our families. It was so nice to see Seth’s family and mine, and I was relieved when we didn’t get stuck in Newark while getting ourselves from Vermont to Minnesota.  The past few days of 2015 found us getting ready to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve together.

I hadn’t realized what a busy year 2015 was until I sat down to type it out. Maybe in 2016 I’ll get better at balancing a fitness regime, work, and a social life.  Maybe not. We’ll see where blogging takes me in the coming year.


  1. I feel the same. I don't publish amaze-balls photos or words, but I enjoy writing my reviews, and that's why I write - for me. ~ Lauren

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