Thoughts on U.S. Nationals

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It's been two and a half weeks since the U.S. Figure Skating Championships ended, and it's taken me about that long to process all of my thoughts on the competition. This is what I know...

  • Figure skating can still make me cry. As an Ashley Wagner fan, I wanted her to skate well, and it was so difficult to see her finish fourth. I'm glad U.S. Figure Skating put her on the team (she deserves it), but it would have been much easier (for her, for other fans, for my nerves) if she had finished in the top 3.
  • Jeremy Abbott has been one of my favorite skaters for years, but he never seems to put it together when it counts. He's been brilliant at Nationals in the past but finished ninth in Vancouver. I'm so glad he won the men's title for the fourth time at Nationals, and I'm hoping the best for him in Sochi.
  • I'll be on pins and needles watching Meryl Davis and Charlie White (above) skate in Sochi. Both of their programs are absolutely wonderful, and I'd love to see them cap off their season (and possibly their careers) with an Olympic gold medal.
  • Gracie Gold has the perfect name for an Olympic figure skater, and her skating is now backing that up. She's on the cover of the Olympic preview issue for Sports Illustrated, but hopefully the SI curse won't hit her.
  • Jason Brown makes me smile...and apparently a lot of other people agree (3 million+ hits the last time I checked YouTube). He's a star in the making, and if you take one thing away from this post, you should check out his long program on YouTube.

And that's what I have for now. I'm hoping to write a preview of the figure skating events before the Olympics start. so stay tuned. The 2014 Olympic Games are a little over a week away!

December 2013 Round-up

Merry Christmas

It's time (well, past time...) for another round-up post. Here are some of my highlights from December 2013:

  • Having PRK surgery on December 19 (not so much the actual surgery but the results). Things are still a little blurry but should get better over the next few weeks.
  • Decorating my apartment for Christmas. It's always fun to get everything out of boxes and display my Christmas-y treasures. Watching Sammy turn the tree with his tail was also amusing.
  • Spending a long Christmas break with my parents in Henderson. It was wonderful to celebrate Christmas with them and have several days just to relax and be with them.
  • Performing handbells at the Christmas concert at church. One of the songs we played was "Welcome Christmas" from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and we wore sleep caps and swayed during part of the song.
  • Enjoying a day off at the beginning of the month. I went to see Catching Fire and did some shopping.
  • Playing bells for residents of a local assisted living home.
  • Baking several batches of Christmas cookies throughout the month (and eating too much cookie dough in the process).
  • Meeting Michelle, my good friend and former co-worker, for dinner one evening. It was good to catch up with her since I don't see her every day anymore.
  • Celebrating Christmas Day with my family, the Smileys, and Mary. The dining room table was full!
  • Traveling out to West Texas with my parents the weekend after Christmas. While the reason for our visit wasn't good (we went there to attend a funeral), it was great to visit Breckenridge again after many, many years.

Books I read: Paris by Edward Rutherfurd; Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Movies I watched: Catching Fire, 12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks, Love Actually (DVD), It's A Wonderful Life (DVD), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (TV)

TV: Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Call the Midwife (Season 2 DVD)

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.

Project 365 | Week 52

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 has been good to all of you so far. My Project 365 seems to have ended with a whimper rather than a bang. Between driving back to Austin on New Year's Day, returning to work, and dealing with my adjusting eyesight, posting this last entry was pushed to the back burner. Before we move too much further into 2014, here are my pictures for Week 52 (plus Monday and Tuesday of this week):

No glasses
357/365: No glasses