Hi, Blogland

We three.

Hello, readers - is anyone still there? I decided to shake the dust off the blog. It's been a while.

I have a desktop computer again, which is my preferred way to blog. Alas, I'm still stuck with camera phone pictures.

I thought I'd do a quick catch-up on life here in Kansas. After this post, the focus may change a bit. You see, when I started this blog in the spring of 2012, I was mom to two little girls, ages 6 and 4. I had recently lost my bookstore job and getting used to the idea of being a stay-at-home mom.

Today, I am the mom of a 13-year-old 7th grader and an 11-year-old 5th grader. I work part-time at Little Sis's elementary school, where I am also the PTO co-president. This will change, too, as Little Sis starts middle school this August!

This blog is in flux, but I don't want to throw it away yet. Just bear with me as I adjust.

After this post, I may not feature the girls much anymore. You can keep up with us a bit via Instagram.

Big Sis is on her 4th pair of pointe shoes. Dance is her favorite thing in the world. She is in the junior repertoire company at her studio, and she recently danced en pointe as a party child and off-pointe as a ginger cookie in a new production of The Nutcracker. She still thinks about being a teacher someday, but she is also interested in law. As she tell me often, "I love to argue!"

She still loves to read. She rips through books like nobody's business. She is much better than I am about putting down books that bore her. Unfortunately, that means putting down a few of my recommendations. (Please, Big Sis, His Dark Materials is fantastic! Really!) She is still obsessed with Harry Potter everything, but she has also fallen in love with Libba Bray's The Diviners series. (One of my favorites, too!)

She loves '90s music. Nirvana, Beck, and Fiona Apple are among her favorites. Her favorite TV series currently on-air is The Good Place. Most of her favorites are canceled shows that she still rewatches via streaming: Friends, New Girl, 30 Rock, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and of course, Parks & Recreation. And while she is not a crier, she cries during the last episode of Adventure Time every time we watch it.

Oh! And I am so excited. Her dance studio puts on two recitals, one for the littlest dancers and one for the older dancers. The junior rep group dances the character roles in the little kid recital. This year's little kid recital is "Olivia at the Circus." She's dancing in an Olivia-themed recital! Longtime readers know how much I love Olivia!

Little Sis is no longer taking dance classes. Instead, she is trying her hand at theatre and violin lessons. She played Ms. Darbus, the drama teacher, in her performing arts magnet's production of High School Musical Jr. and killed it! She also played Maxine in the local children's theatre production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this year.

She is my fantasy buddy. For Halloween this year, she was Edward Scissorhands in a skirt. She adores anything Jim Henson and Muppet-related. Her favorite shows are Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and The Amazing World of Gumball. Classic rock is her jam, as she says. When she listens to music, it's usually David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Little Sis did attend her first grown-up concert. (Imagination Movers was still first, she says.) She saw The Breeders with me at the Orpheum! (Big Sis was supposed to go with me, but she was sick.) She loves books, but isn't much of an independent reader. While Wonder remains her favorite, she has lately started on R.L. Stine's backlist.

Oh, and it's Girl Scout Cookie season! Little Sis is a junior Scout, with a vintage uniform. (And pink hair. My mother dyed it for her for Christmas!)

Art is her favorite thing. You can follow her Instagram art account to keep track of what she's doing.

Now, for what I'm reading. 

This year, I decided to participate in a local, city-wide book challenge. I'm only two books into the challenge, because I've gotten side-tracked. Thanks to our recent Scholastic book fair, I'm devouring the latest Mary Downing Hahn books. I just finished The Girl in the Locked Room. Big Sis loaned me her hardcover copy of this one, which I just started:

One For Sorrow: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn.
Clarion, 2017.

It's total nostalgia on my part. I first read Wait Til Helen Comes when I was in 5th grade at Little Sis's school!

Speaking of nostalgia, I also checked this out from the library:

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction
by Gabrielle Moss. Quirk Books, 2018.
So many of my girlhood favorites made it in here: Baby-Sitters Club, Nancy Drew Files, Sweet Valley High (with a mention of Sweet Valley Twins), Taffy Sinclair and the Fabulous Five, Sleepover FriendsCandice Ransom's Kobie Roberts books, Wait Till Helen Comes, plus a couple that I read for a Pediophobia post a few years ago. The only series missing among the ones I loved is the Satin Slippers series by Elizabeth Bernard. I got a full set off eBay and re-read them right after college, but most of them are missing again. That series calls for a re-read, soon!

You can follow my "Bookstagram" account on Instagram, as well, if you want. It isn't beautiful, but I try to update it once in a while.

That is where I'll leave you for today.

I hope winter is treating you well. (If you're on the other side, I hope you're not frying this summer.) Let me know what you're reading and how you are!

Merry Reading!

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