December 2012 Round-Up

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! As the clock moves closer and closer to midnight, it's time for my final round-up of 2012. (You can see my other round-ups by visiting this page.)

What I Read...
  • Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford: I finally read the second book in my Nancy Mitford collection. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as The Pursuit of Love, but I thought the story picked up when cousin Cedric made his appearance toward the end.
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: I decided to reread this Christmas classic for the first time in several years. It's such a good story.
What I Watched...
  • The Life of Pi: I loved watching this movie while I was in San Antonio. It was my first 3D movie, and it was a truly beautiful film. (And I still love Richard Parker, the inspiration for our Parker's name.)
  • Finding Nemo: I went to see this at the discount theater with my friend Michelle. It was cute as always.
  • Les Miserables: Mom and I drove over to Kilgore to see this the day after Christmas. We both really enjoyed it and have had the music running through our heads ever since.
  • I got Moonrise Kingdom and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen from Redbox this month. The first was rather quirky, and the second was a nice, easy-going story.
  • I watched several of my favorite Christmas movies as well as a few new ones: Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Carol.
What I Want to Remember...
  • Spending almost a week and a half at home during the Christmas holidays. I haven't been home for this long since I lived in Boston.
  • Visiting San Antonio earlier this month. I enjoyed shopping and looking at the River Walk and Alamo decorated for the holidays.
  • Building "Kendra-land" (in Legos) when I stayed with Paul and Esther.
  • Taking Christmas card photos for Sarah and her family for the second year in a row. T. has grown up so much!
  • Seeing the decorated trees along 360.
  • Playing bells at the Christmas concert at church. It was wonderful to have Sarah, Michelle, and Dad there to hear me. (It was fun shopping with Dad the day before too.)
  • Shopping at the San Marcos outlets on my way home from San Antonio. I made it there right after the stores opened and left before they got too busy.
  • Enjoying the cookie exchange at work.
  • Designing and sending out my Christmas cards.
  • Exploring IKEA with Michelle. We discovered the best time to go is right before closing — no one is there!
  • Shopping downtown Henderson with Mom and Esther.
  • Attending the Christmas Eve service with Mom and Dad.
  • Going to the Christmas Day brunch at Art's.
  • Visiting Natchitoches and seeing the Christmas lights along the Cane River. (Shopping in Shreveport with Mom was fun too.)
  • Watching Texas beat Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. In a word, whew!
  • Enjoying the cheese nachos at Francisco's during our lunch with Mary.
What I'd Like to Forget...
  • The horrible shooting in Newtown, CT. I have no words.

You can see some of my pictures from this month by visiting my Flickr page.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and blessed 2013!

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.

Home for the Holidays

Family Christmas picture
As the song says, there's no place like home for the holidays. The last week has been wonderful as I've stayed with my parents in Henderson — and I still have a few more days to go! We've spent a lot of time just relaxing around the house, but we've also done some fun things away from home.

A few highlights:

Celebrating Christmas with Paul and Esther before they flew to Florida last Sunday.

Paul and Esther
Opening presents with Mom and Dad on Christmas morning. My favorite gifts this year were my new camera lens and my Instax camera. (Honorable mention to my state quarters.)

Mom and Dad on Christmas
Enjoying Art's Christmas Day brunch for the third year in a row.

Enjoying brunch at Art's
Seeing the snow fall down on Christmas night. We actually had a white Christmas! It was beautiful to see the snow covering the fields on the way to Kilgore the next day.

Watching Les Miserables with my mom. (Or as the woman in line behind us called it, "Less.") We both really enjoyed it.

Going shopping with my mom in Shreveport. We didn't have too much luck with clothes, but we enjoyed our lunch at Julie Anne's and looking around a store called Altar'd State.

Visiting Natchitoches and seeing the lights along Cane River. It was fun to try out my new lens as I took pictures of the scenery — even if it was really cold!

Festival of Lights

Bridge in lights

Mom in Natchitoches

Enjoying the lights

Natchitoches in lights

Lone Star
Working on some craft projects with my mom.

Meeting up with friends from Henderson and beyond.

O, Christmas Tree
I'm planning to savor the last few days of 2012 before heading back to Austin. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and can look forward to a splendid 2013!


Christmas Tree

Enjoying the twinkle lights on my Christmas tree (even if the tree seems to have an unlighted "belt" this year)

Watching Downton Abbey reruns on PBS — I'm so excited for Season 3 in January!

Addressing my Christmas cards

Looking forward to spending over a week at home for Christmas this year

Reveling in the fact that I'm finally caught up with Project Life (I haven't been able to say that since maybe sometime in August or September)

Planning to reread A Christmas Carol sometime this December

Making plans to watch several movies with my parents while I'm home (hopefully Les Miserables and Lincoln)

Needing to wrap the presents I've already bought

Hoping the presents I bought online make it in time for Christmas

Appreciating this special season and the true reason behind it

November 2012 Round-up

Well hello, December! I wasn't expecting you so soon, which is probably why my November round-up is a little late. Here we go...

What I Read...
  • The House of Velvet and Fog by Katherine Howe: This was one of my birthday books. I didn't enjoy this book as much as her first one, but it was fun to read a book set in Boston.
  • So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore: I bought this book while I was in Seattle because it was set in Boston (apparently that's a running theme through my book selections this month) and the North Shore. The book focused on bullying (sad) and historical mystery (fun). It was a pleasant read.
What I Watched...
  • Silver Linings Playbook: I didn't know quite what to expect with this movie, but I enjoyed it. It was interesting to see Jennifer Lawrence as someone other than Katniss. I also liked the random dance competition at the end.
  • Anna Karenina: I went to see this last Friday after work. It was difficult to follow at times because the movie looked like it took place on stage. I also got annoyed with Anna and Vronsky by the end of the movie.
  • Bernie: The whole family rented Bernie over Thanksgiving. It was fun to watch it together.
  • The Thorn Birds: I decided to rewatch this miniseries once everyone left after Thanksgiving.
  • Dancing with the Stars: It was fun to watch the conclusion of the All-Star Season this month. My two favorite couples finished first and second so I was happy. (And the Fierce Five showed up for the final show — I was impressed.)
  • TV: I continued to watch my other favorites, including Grey's Anatomy, Castle, Parenthood, Upstairs Downstairs, and Call the Midwife. I also enjoyed skating Sundays.
What I Want to Remember...
  • Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the second time. I even made the dressing this year, and I was thrilled everyone seemed to enjoy it.
  • Voting earlier this month and watching the election returns on TV. I even colored in my electoral map and everything.
  • Going to Canton with my mom the first weekend of the month. It was super crowded, but we had a lot of fun.
  • Playing bells at church. The whole family was able to hear me at the 11:00 service.
  • Discovering the grown-up grilled cheese at Panera Bread. Yum!
  • Receiving my new pots and pans in the mail.
  • Spending a lazy Sunday afternoon at the farm. It had been too long since I had farm time.
  • Finally finding a working photo booth. Mom indulged me by climbing in beside me.
What I'd Like to Forget...
  • Having my parking space stolen by a mean person in the Homegoods parking lot.
  • Getting my first filling in 20+ years. At least I was able to have a chocolate milkshake afterward.
  • Watching UT lose to TCU on Thanksgiving night.

I'm having a little trouble adding pictures tonight (apparently I've almost run out of storage on Picasa). You can visit my Flickr photostream to see some of my pictures from this month.

About My Monthly Round-Ups
At the end of each month, I take a look back and write a post about the month's highlights, as well as what I read and watched. To see all of my round-up posts, visit this page.