January 2012 Round-up

It's time for my January round-up.

What I Read...
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: This book came highly recommended from one of my co-workers. It was magical and moody, but I never felt fully invested in any of the characters.
  • Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman: This was my Christmas book, but it didn't live up to my high hopes. It was more "chick lit" that I usually like, and once again, I didn't really like any of the characters.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I really, really liked this book. It takes place in Nazi Germany during World War II and is narrated by Death (yes, Death). The characters were all so unique and real, and the ending was simply heartbreaking.
What I Saw...
  • The Artist: I have never seen a movie quite like this one, and I think it deserves all the acclaim it's been receiving. It's my personal favorite to win the Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
  • We Bought a Zoo: This movie was sweet and fun. (And who wouldn't want to buy a zoo?)
  • The Descendents: As you can probably tell, I'm trying to see a lot of the Oscar contenders this spring. This movie was one that stayed with me a long time after I left the theater; I kept thinking about the characters and their reactions to different situations. I also thought George Clooney's performance was wonderful.
  • DVD: I rented Midnight in Paris, my favorite movie of the summer, from Redbox one night. It wasn't quite as charming as I remembered, but I would LOVE to take a cab and meet F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Cole Porter.
  • Television: Mom has gotten me hooked on Downton Abbey. The series is in the middle of its second season, and I'm loving every moment. I'm also enjoying the return of some of my other shows: Castle, Grey's Anatomy, and Ringer.
 What I Want to Remember...
  • Visiting the LBJ Library & Museum for the first time (or the first time I can actually remember).
  • Cheering during the UT-Kansas basketball game, even if the Longhorns lost.
  • Spending time with my co-workers at happy hour two nights in a row.
  • Watching Nationals this past weekend on TV (now I'm super excited to see some of the skaters again at Four Continents).
  • Working on my Project Life album.
  • Spending time with Mom, Dad and Paul when they came down to Austin one weekend.
  • Buying my new tripod with the gift card from work.
  • Finding a little girl to sponsor on Compassion International's website. Her name is Lilian, and she lives in Kenya.
  • Hearing the rain fall outside my bedroom at night. What a relief after our hot, dry summer!
  • Seeing Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Katie Hoff compete at the Austin Grand Prix.
A Few Images from January 2012...

Michael Phelps wins!


Reflections in Goodwill

Ice Network (Sammy stayed away from the water this year.)

UT vs. Oklahoma State