Rather than put these up as 4 different posts, I'm going to put them all under the same heading. I've grabbed this List Challenge from Rachel over at Romancing Rachel. If you want to see the rest of the list, including links to previously answered questions, take a look here.
2. Things you are grateful for
- My husband and my kids, definitely. They're the reason that I get up every morning. They are what keeps hope in my heart even when it's incredibly heavy.
- My friends. I couldn't ask for a better bunch of friends. They are there with advice, cheers, support, love... anything I need. Sometimes I don't even need to ask.
- Having a roof over my head. So many don't, especially after the devastation in Japan. I'm very grateful that the rain and snow are something I only have to worry about on the other side of the glass.
- That Rich and I make ends meet day to day. Sometimes it's not pretty, but we always get there in the end.
- That we sometimes even have extra money for things. I like being able to treat myself, my husband and my kids sometimes.
- That I live in an area with a fantastic library system. They have almost any book I could imagine wanting and if they don't have it, they are often willing to get it. They have a large selection of DVDs, CDs and audio books. They have something going on for kids at one of their branches almost daily. And they HAVE a lot of branches so it's never far to get to one within Davidson County. They have an awesome digital download system that I can get audio books from. And the people that work there are among the most kindhearted people I've ever know.
3. Places You've Been
Well, I lived in quite a few places. Upstate NY, Florida, NYC, Philadelphia and now Nashville. But there've also been a lot of towns and cities that I've enjoyed visiting.
- Washington, DC. - The first time I visited DC, I was in 6th grade and went with my Girl Scout Camp. I fell in love with it then. I visited with my Dad a couple times after that and, most recently, went with my husband for a get together of friends. I love visiting the various Smithsonians, the Library of Congress, and taking the Hop On/Hop Off bus to various locations. I'm hoping to bring my boys in a few year, when they can start appreciating it.
- Missoula, MT - I went to visit a friend that lived there and it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The mountains looked fabulous, the people were friendly and I just loved the atmosphere. I've often said that if I could, I'd love to retire there. I'm just not too sure how Rich would feel about it.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul - This was another visit to a friend a few years back. Honestly, the best part of the trip was driving up to the North Shore. We stopped to see a lot of waterfalls along the way. I'm still hoping to go back one year and take a lot more pictures.
- Chattanooga, TN - We went to Chattanooga for a convention a few years ago (before Pete but after Teddy, and when my step-mom was still alive - they watched Teddy for the weekend). We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and I want to go back! The stores were quaint, the hotel was fabulous and there was so much more that I wanted to see.
- Lake Tahoe, CA/NV - This was where Rich and I went for our honeymoon. It's beautiful, tranquil and just a lot of fun. There's really anything that you could want there - gambling across the line in NV, scenic tours, places to visit... we're hoping to go back some year.
- Las Vegas, NV - This was our trip for our 2nd anniversary. I was pregnant with Teddy, which made the flight not too pleasant. But it was so worth it, in large part because I got to see my Pipper, Noelle. We hadn't seen each other in about 13 years but it was like no time had passed. Plus, we got to check out a few shows (and I ended up being pulled up on stage for one of the adult shows!) It was just a blast.
4. Places You Want to Go
This list will probably be even longer. There are so many places I'd love to visit!
- Disney World - Ok, I have been there. Once when I was 5, once when I was a senior in HS and once when I was still living in Florida. But this time it will be a completely different experience. I'll be going with two kids that will be looking at the park with new eyes. And I want to share in their wonder.
- St Louis, MO - Not only do I have a few friends that live there, but there are a lot of interesting places I'd love to visit there.
- The Green Valley Book Fair - We have seen flyers for this every time we've traveled back and forth to NJ or NY. And every year, we swear we're going to find a way to get there. And some day, we will. We're tentatively planning on it for this summer.
- London - Not only is it a country in which I can (usually) understand the language that's spoken, but there are so many things in London and around Great Britain in general that I want to visit. I want to take the Ripper Tour, I want to visit one of the stone circles, I want to see anything and everything I can related to Doctor Who.... there's just too much.
- The Netherlands - Ok, I'll admit. The main reason I want to go here is to visit with friends. I have several friends there from a PbP game I was in a few years ago. And I want a chance to hug every one of them.
5. Books You've Read
Ok, this will NOT be an exhaustive list. And, I'm going to try to avoid the ones that I've read since I've been writing up my reviews here.
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - I read this one in college and was instantly impressed with it. There are so many layers to it, and so many things that hit you in the head like a baseball that I've reread it several times and found something new each time.
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - This book was introduced to me by my best friend in middle school and it shaped a lot of how I look at the world. It's Arthurian Legend, but from a feminist point of view. It's told from Morgan le Fey's point of view and she's an incredibly sympathetic character. It helps remind me that not everything is as you first suspect it is.
- Tiger Burning Bright by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey - I adore this book. Each author took a different point of view character in the book and wrote for that character (or, so it seemed to me. I don't know if I've ever read anything on it specifically). It's another strong female book, telling the story of how different aspects of womanhood can come together to overcome oppression.
- The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman - Rich introduced me to these novels, knowing that they would be ones I like. Set in the world of D&D, they follow a band of friends and adventurers that are forced into the role of saving the world. Tikka is, by far, my favorite character. I mean, how could I not like a redhead that hits villains with a frying pan?
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - I'll say up front that I will read ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman. The man is a genius. The Sandman graphic novels are my favorite, but The Graveyard Book is up there as well (and so is American Gods and Blueberry Girl and... and... and...) What I like about The Graveyard Book is that it's one of those wonderful books that are equally for kids and adults. The thought of a boy living in a graveyard, being taken care of by the ghosts because his life is in danger otherwise. Neil Gaiman is so good at being creepy without giving me nightmares.