Skiing/Snowboarding Trip with the Family

It’s Friday night, 10 pm, and I am writing posts to make sure there’ll be posts for you to enjoy while I am spending my time in the snow (and staying in an apartment with no internet connection -sobs). When this post goes online, I’ll probably be in the car on my way to a snowy mountain in France. It is a one week trip, and it will be the first time we’ll spend New Years Eve in another country (and without the rest of the family).

I’m looking forward to snowboarding all day, spending time with the family, catching up on some reading when I get back tired to the bones from snowboarding all day, and of course Après Ski! I’ve never done Après Ski before, me and my sister have always been a little too young to enjoy it fully, but we’re old enough now and we are determined to get the full experience *winks*

Lets hope I’ll get through this week without any snowboarding fails. Fails like face plants or landing on my butt one too many times. Believe me when I say that I’ve had lots of them over the years. When I get back I’ll write a post and tell you all about it, and do remind me, I tend to forget these things.

I really would’ve liked to take my laptop with me and update you guys on the go, but no internet is no internet, and without it there is absolutely no use to bring my laptop with me. So I have prepared a few posts and scheduled them. Which I am incredibly proud of, because I am absolutely horrible at planning and scheduling (Round of applause for all of you for pushing me to be more organized)!

I hope you all had a jolly good Christmas and that you’ll have a great week leading up to new years eve! And because I can’t really end this post on a serious note: here is my sister and I acting like true geeks and making weird faces.

ski mutsen lol

Post Christmas Pondering

My family just left and I am sitting on the couch still recovering from an overload of good food as Christmas music softly plays in the background. Armed with a hot cup of tea and wearing my Christmas-ish pyjama I can’t help but grab my laptop and write a post about my day. Today was great. Understatement: it was the bomb! I love the sight of my family opening their presents and realizing that I picked the perfect gift for them. The traditional turkey we prepare every year specially for this time of year (and turned out pretty damn perfect, if I do say so myself). Even better was the company: Both my grandparents joined us for dinner and I can’t help but feel so incredibly blessed that they are still around; my uncle; and of course my mom, dad, and sister.

To me, Christmas is all about family. It is about spending time with your loved ones and enjoying each others company. And for me, this year was even more special. 2014 has been a great year, but there have been times that we feared some of our loved ones wouldn’t have been here to celebrate Christmas with us this year. Which has been hard. I’ve always been a ‘the cup is half full’ kinda girl. There’s not much use to pondering over things that could have been, or things that might happen in the near future. Things are as they are, and it is important to live in the now and enjoy every single moment. And while I don’t let these things affect my every move, that doesn’t mean they don’t cross my mind, and when they do, it is hard and these thoughts scare me because they are very realistic.

2014 has been the year that I almost lost both my grandfathers. Both are sick. And I know they are old and have lived a full life, but still, these men are my rocks. And I can’t imagine life without them. The idea of losing them is so incredibly scary. So 2014, in a way, has been about living towards Christmas, hoping I would get to spend it with them for another year. While every moment I get to spend with them is special to me, Christmas is a whole other brand of special, a whole other brand of magic. And as I said before: Christmas is family, and when I think of family I think of my grandparents.

So yes, Christmas this year was everything. I got to play dress up and help my mother and grandma with their make-up. I got to prepare the Christmas dinner with my mom, dad, and sister (this year without my dad walking around the house with his arm stuffed completely inside the turkey- which sounds completely ridiculous, but was so incredibly hilarious). I tried to film putting the turkey in the oven, but failed to do so THREE times. My grandma brought apple pie; famous in our family, because yes it is THAT good.  My other grandma cooked soup, the one and only soup that we associate with her, because it’s that good and that soup is just grandma. We laughed and talked about ridiculously funny things of the past.

I got to take lots of pictures as memento’s to these beautiful memories I made today, because if I am realistic I don’t think everybody that was here tonight will be around for Christmas next year. Which makes me sad. But like I said: I am a ‘the cup is half full’ kinda girl. And because of this I choose to focus on the post Christmas bliss that I have going on right now. So I am going to make myself another cup of tea and browse through the pictures I took today, laugh about silly things, and enjoy that bliss until I fall asleep.

I love you all. Merry Christmas from me and my family! I hope you had a very special day, surrounded by all your loved ones, as well!

moi

Not A Slump & Not Too Busy But A Little Something Different

I haven’t been that active lately, have I? Don’t answer that. I know I haven’t been online as much as I used to be. Whether you believe it or not, I actually went a week without even opening my laptop during my hiatus. Then at night -when I was supposed to go to sleep- I would lie awake, pondering why I wasn’t as upset about that as I previously would have been. Because there was a time I would’ve been upset about that. So what’s going on?

It’s not a slump. Not a reading slump, because I haven’t stopped reading. I read one classic a week for my study, and then another one (or two) for recreation. Reading might’ve become a bit slower than usual, and I might have some trouble picking up a new book, but I still feel like reading, and I still read a lot. It’s not really a blogging slump either, because I have enough to write about and I have no trouble getting into a writing mood, but somehow I feel a bit indifferent.

It’s not the case that I am too busy to blog. I might have less time than less year, but that’s to be expected when you start university (and only had three classes the year before). Yes, I just had my mid-term exams: which I aced, but that was only a week. I have spare time! I don’t spent all my time studying!

Frankly, when I lay awake pondering, I had trouble finding an answer. And before I realised another week had passed without me opening my laptop and writing a new blog post. And then I felt like shit again, because I felt like I was letting my readers down. Not just you guys, but also myself. I love blogging! I do. So why aren’t I active?!

This question drove me mad. And then I read Jamie’s post “Not A Slump But A SOMETHING” and I recognized myself in what she wrote. What she literally wrote in a tweet was the following. “I have to remember that I read because I want to & not for my blog.” And this is so true! It’s such a shame, but once I read this, I realized that it’s exactly what I couldn’t put into words myself.

I started this blog because of my love for reading. But along the way it became more about the amount of books I read and reviewed. I forgot the entire intention behind this blog. I love reading, and I want to share that with all of you. I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to read lots of books if I don’t enjoy the process of reading itself. Why should I stress about reading, most importantly, why should I stress about not reading enough? This blog is supposed to be fun. It should be fun to read for YOU, and it should be fun to write for ME. So who cares if I don’t read as much, or if I don’t post lots of reviews every week. I want my reviews to be substantial, but above all they should be fun!

And I think I’ve come to terms with this now. Yes, I want to post a bit more, because not posting anything isn’t the solution either. But I am okay with reading and posting on my own pace.

A little question for you

Have you ever had the same thing happening to you? How did you handle it?

I am still very much alive

I am still very much alive

Yes! It might seem like I’m not since I have absolutely abused my poor blog by not posting anything for almost TWO whole weeks. But I am still very much alive and I’ll start with explaining the weak and poor and horrid excuse as to why I haven’t been around as much. It is so much of a lame excuse that I need only one word to sum it up: university. Gah! I have officially survived my fifth week at university. And not blogging would be okay, if I could tell you that I have been buried alive with homework since the very fist day, but as tempting as it is, that would be a lie.

The lectures and tutorials – and yes, even the amount of homework – have all been surprisingly manageable. It is fun and interesting, and I’ll repeat: fun, but it’s also kinda tiring. So yeah, maybe homework as excuse was -in a way- faulty as well. Because really, after finishing my homework for the day, I am quite often left with some ‘me-time.’ The main problem is that every time I want to power up my laptop, and type away about this awesome idea I had for a blog post, I am so tired that I either take a nap or watch mindless television. Which I feel horribly guilty about. If I didn’t know any better, and didn’t enjoy my classes so damn much, I would say university is tampering with my awesome reading habits and seriously ruining those blogging habits I’d developed. However, I know that sounds immature and childish, because the only one messing that up is myself. So, this is what I am going to do:

done

Leave the homework alone for a day, stay away from my comfy bed and couch, and write! (thank you Sheldon, for providing the lovely image of me throwing away my homework! I am however not as daring, so yeah… my homework is still neatly stacked on the corner of my desk).

To keep you up to date: I am behind on my Goodreads reading challenge with nine books. Which is a development I’m really not happy about. A few months back I had to lower my reading challenge from 100 to 75, which I was incredibly unhappy with, and now am behind and no way am I lowering the number even further. So yeah, I am going to have to step up my game a bit (and it really isn’t really helping that I have my first exams coming up in two weeks).

To end this post on a happy and positive note: Do not despair (yay for dramatic language)! I have not forgotten you! I still love blogging and reading and I will push myself to not neglect my blog as much anymore!

When Suddenly You Can Talk Books Without Shame

When Suddenly You Can Talk Books Without Shame

You know that moment? When you meet someone new and after talking to them for a while you find out that they are readers? That they are not just readers, but ‘big’ readers like yourself. The moment that you feel baffled and overjoyed and start blabbering away about all kinds of books to make up for the time you couldn’t spent talking about books to ‘non-reader’  friends? I have had that happen to me only a few rare times. Of course I hit the jackpot in the ‘best-friend’ department, because she happens to be a booknerd as well and I can always ring her to geek out over books. And I of course I made some friends going to events (as rare as they are in the Netherlands), but in everyday life it remains something that doesn’t really happen a lot.

UNIThat is until you decide to study English Language & Culture in University. Whew. Insert deep breath. Suddenly talking books wasn’t that weird of a thing! You mention a book and instead of realising that you should’ve kept your  trap shut and wincing in advance for the horrified faces that are sure to follow (slight exaggeration maybe, but still, you get the memo), somebody actually responds with excitement. During Introduction Week somebody noticed the book I was carrying in my bag, and it ended up in a conversation that lasted for about an hour. They didn’t even blink when I opened my bag and pulled out a book.  I mean I knew I wouldn’t have time to read it (everybody knows that the whole introduction week is so busy and when you do get home all you want to do is sleep), but I still brought one because, well, just in case… I always do! Of course it did lead to some laughter when I shared that I’d brought a total of 5 books for the whole week. It was a slightly big amount… especially since at the end of the week I hadn’t read a single page (I was going through serious withdrawals at that moment). It is such a relief to not have to explain myself as to why I carry around a book.

It was actually a pretty fun to realize that others knew the books I mentioned. Even more fun was when they found out I had a blog and promptly opened it on their cell phones and scrolled through my posts. The feeling of hitting the jackpot after mentioning Rainbow Rowell and others responding with equal enthusiasm (or getting a text message asking: Fangirl or Landline? Because she’d already ordered Eleanor & Park). That feeling is awesome.

talkI didn’t realize it, but I am just so tired of people making comments about me reading so much. There’s just these little things people say, the way they act when they find you reading quietly in a corner, that gets old. I’m above it most of the time, best way is too just reply with some wit or keep quiet, but these small comments get on my nerves. So it’s quite refreshing to realize that people are actually interested in what you’re reading.

It’s not like I want to talk books all the time. It’s just having the option to talk about the book you’re currently reading, the book you just finished and are completely in love with, the book that shattered all capability of speech, or fictional crushes that make our hearts beat faster and you just need to gush about. Twitter and blogging friends are great for that too, I love my quality time online discussing books with all of you fellow booklovers , but nothing beats an actual conversation with friends. And boy am I glad that I found that in University!

Do you have any good friends that you can talk books with?