200. Fun Size Candy Bars

I haven’t had a single trick-or-treater since I moved to my condo. I’m on the second floor, and you can’t shut off the outside lights – and people don’t make the effort to climb the stairs.

But I do believe in being prepared. So three weeks ago, I bought a bag of fun size 100 Grand bars. Surprise! That bag disappeared before I went to the grocery store again, and then the second bag disappeared. But now it’s Halloween, and I have an ample supply.

There’s something about fun size candy bars. They’re just the right size to really enjoy without feeling like you’ve just had a full meal of sugar. Yum!

199. Sparkles

This year, I’m reading my Project 52 posts one year after I wrote them.

Tonight I read about the year I was 19, and I was reminded of my Sparkle Theory. Basically, the Sparkle Theory is that each one of us desperately needs sparkles. It’s tempting to try to find them in romance. But there are plenty of other ways to find them – and if there’s not romance in your life, you need them all the more.

Tonight I’m sitting here alone on Friday night – and it’s just lovely to start remembering all the many sparkles in my life right now.

198. Four Bonus Months of Newbery Reading!

Yesterday, I read a comment on Heavy Medal blog that when the commenter was on the Newbery committee, they didn’t read many Advance Reader Copies except a few they picked up at ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Normally, I don’t have any ARCs for a given publishing year until Midwinter Meeting myself. Next year’s Midwinter Meeting is in February.

Last week, our youth materials selector sent me an entire box of 2018 children’s book ARCs. (Sent to the library to consider purchasing.) So she is granting me FOUR BONUS MONTHS of Newbery reading! (Btw, anything nominated by myself or another committee member, I will read the finished copy as well. But this gives me a headstart.)

Since I’ve been super eager to start reading since April – this is such a gift!

I’m not going to mention any titles or any opinions. But I am SO EXCITED to be reading for the Newbery!

197. My Balcony

Not only do I get to read lots and lots of children’s books in the next year and a half – much of the time, I get to do so on my beautiful balcony.

Today I spent the afternoon out on my balcony in my comfy chair with my feet up. I read some wonderful children’s books. The temperature was in the 70s. The sun was shining. Bright yellow leaves shone above me. The lake was glittering. Breezes were blowing.

It was an idyllic afternoon out on my balcony.

195. Newbery Committee!

Have I mentioned lately how happy I am to be on the 2019 Newbery committee?!

I was telling a new co-worker my story last week, including my difficult divorce – but I was able to lead into “And now I’m on the Newbery committee!” That would have never happened if I hadn’t gotten divorced – I was happy to work part-time without an MLS as long as I could afford to do that.

So now my story has such an exciting outcome, it’s just really hard to be angry about it.

And our Youth Services Selector says she has some 2018 Advance Reader Copies to send my way… so I can get started reading! Woo-hoo! I’m so excited about this…

194. Hiking

I do love going hiking. My kids know that, and agreed to go hiking with me, but I don’t know if they know that part of the reason I love to go hiking is that when I was a kid, the only time I got to do it was when we were on vacation going to Oregon. And often we would go to Silver Falls State Park to do it.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, the idea that I can walk out of my house and walk in the woods still blows me away.

But it was extra nice to hike at Silver Falls State Park on this vacation. And I really believe that I remember South Falls – and going behind the falls – from a much shorter perspective.

Anyway, it was a lovely day for walking in the woods with my kids. And they didn’t even complain when we got caught in a rainstorm at the end!

193. Playtime with my Little Nieces

The other huge highlight of my trip was getting to play with my preschool age and toddler nieces! There’s nothing like it for forgetting worries and bringing smiles! They are so very sweet!

Meredith (one year old):

Zoe (just-turned-two):

Arianna (four years old):

Alyssa (almost five years old):

Getting to spend time with these wonderful girls was a treat that will keep me smiling for months!