December 2011 Round-up

About a month ago, I saw a great idea about doing a monthly "round-up" on the last day of each month on Ali Edwards' blog (the idea came from guest blogger Katie Nelson). In the round-up, you record the books you've read, the movies you've seen, the moments you'd like to remember, etc. during the last month. I thought it would be neat to try so I'm starting tonight. (And yes, it does bother me a little that I'm beginning this in December, but I wanted to get started now.)

What I Read...
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Yes, I'm hooked, and yes, I'm ready for the first movie in March. (I actually read the first one over Thanksgiving break.)
  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery: This is a childhood favorite that I decided to reread for the first time in 10 years. It's still wonderful.
  • The Breaking Wave by Nevil Shute: I finished this book a few days ago. While I didn't enjoy it quite as much as A Town Like Alice, it kept my interest throughout.
What I Saw:
  • New Year's Eve: I wanted something light and amusing, and New Year's Eve delivered.
  • My Week with Marilyn: I saw this movie this afternoon. It was good but not great. Of course, I don't know that much about Marilyn Monroe so I'm not sure how accurate Michelle Williams' portrayal was.
  • I also watched The Help; Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Part 2; Elf; Love Actually; and It's a Wonderful Life on DVD or TV.
What I Want to Remember:
  • Watching Esther graduate from the University of Houston.
  • Playing handbells at Arden Courts.
  • Attending the Christmas Eve service at church.
  • Taking Christmas photos for the Gozurs.
  • Helping serve food at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission with my family on Christmas Eve.
  • Watching Sammy play with his new toy at Christmas (and then drowning it in his water bowl when he got back home).
  • Sharing present time with my family (it was Esther's first Christmas with us).
  • Enjoying the first cookie exchange party at the office.
  • Seeing the Longhorns defeat the Cal Bears in the Holiday Bowl.
  • Finding many of my lost photos on Paul's hard drive.
  • Laughing as Mom found her "special" gift from Santa in her stocking.
  • Watching The Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet for the second year in a row.
What I'd Like to Forget:
  • Having car trouble on the same day I decided to wear a skirt and heels. And it was cold and drizzly. And we were taking our team Christmas picture that day. Fun times.
  • Getting sick a few days later. It was my first real cold in more than a year, and I did not cope well.
  • Watching Sammy climb out of his carrier about 10 miles outside of Henderson on the way home and proceed to explore the entire car — including the dashboard.
I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting, but I can't think of anything else right now. Here's to a wonderful 2012!

How to wrap a cat for Christmas

(I think this is the world's most patient cat.)

'Tis the season...

Today was the first day in almost a week that I felt like doing anything Christmas-y. Last week was most definitely not my week (car trouble + a cold + demanding clients will do that), but I felt practically chipper tonight. I decided to celebrate by making Christmas cookies for our office cookie exchange on Thursday and finally decorating my Christmas tree.

I tried out a recipe from Pinterest for red velvet cookies, and they taste pretty good even if the final product isn't that red.

I also had fun taking pictures of my newly decorated tree. (Please note: This may become the before picture if Sammy has his way.)

I finally figured out bokeh!

Kittens watching figure skating

This is quite possibly my favorite YouTube video ever.