Saturday, January 31, 2015

And The Winner Is...

First of all, I would like to say thanks to all those who commented! I am so thankful to those of you who have been stopping by for a the last few years and am also grateful to those new people who stopped by recently for this giveaway. I hope all of you will come back often to read and say hello.

So, without further ado, the winner of "Home Is Where My People Are" is comment number 3, Meri. Congrats Meri and thanks again to all of you who left a comment. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Because January is Boring and I Watch Too Much TV

I feel like I've said this 100 times already, but I seriously think January is the most boring month; either that or I've become extremely boring. Either way, there's not been much going on which means I don't have much to tell you about. The majority of my conversations this month have been with my dog. Maybe I'm really going insane.

So, I filed my taxes today and I'm getting back a teeny tiny return from the federal government and just a tiny return from the great state of Alabama which is a heck of a lot better than having to pay a tiny or even a teeny tiny amount. This was the first year I've done my own taxes since I was a teenager. My friend Meri helped me figure out what numbers needed to go where and then I was able to submit and e-file. Who knew it was so easy? I'm sure it's more difficult for others. The funny thing about it is I spent about $67 filing on my own whereas in the past I've only had to pay the accountant $45. Oh well, at least it's done and I don't have to worry about that for another year.

Here's the thing I don't understand about people and taxes - why do some people wait until the very last minute to get this done? I'm guessing it's just procrastination or laziness or the fear of having to pay the government, I just like to go ahead and get it done so I can get my money back as soon as possible. On the occasions when I have had to pay, I always mail the payment close to the deadline, but if I am getting some money back, then send it on back ASAP is what I say.

In other news, I ordered the current season of Downton Abbey a few weeks ago and it was released on Tuesday and arrived at my house on the same day thanks to the magic of Amazon Prime. I thought I might try and refrain from watching the yet unseen in the United States episodes; but, alas, my willpower failed me and I promptly popped the discs in the player and watched three straight episodes. They were awesome and it was hard not to tweet about what I was seeing on my screen. I've got one more episode and the Christmas special to watch this evening and then, sadly, that's another season in the books for me. I can't wait for all my friends to see these next few episodes so I can finally discuss what's happening with someone!

There's a new Masterpiece Mystery that started a couple of weeks ago called Grantchester. It comes on after Downton and I must say I have really enjoyed it. We saw a preview of this show and some other new ones when we went to see Downton at the Space and Rocket Center and they all look really interesting. I'm not sure they will catch on like Downton has, but hopefully PBS will have some success with this new lot of shows.

I'm also really enjoying State of Affairs on NBC. It's like a Homeland for network television. Each week there's another twist and it all revolves around the CIA. I gotta be honest, watching these types of shows makes me think I missed my calling. I'm confident I would have made an outstanding CIA agent. 

This week one of my favorite shows says farewell. Parenthood ends its five year run on Thursday night and I will undoubtedly need a whole box of tissues to make it through the last episode. Considering I have literally cried in every episode of this series, I am quite sure I will cry from start to finish during the one hour show. It's so good and I'm so sad it's ending. 

To be honest, I could probably write on and on and on about television; but, I won't embarrass myself by letting you all know how many shows I watch and love and instead I'll just wrap things up here. What about y'all? Is there any show out there that you absolutely must see every week? 

Don't forget about the giveaway this week! Go here to enter!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blogiversary Number Six and A Giveaway

~~ This Giveaway Is Now Closed ~~

My blogiversary is this week! On Thursday, it will be six years that I've been telling you stories and boring you to tears here at The Chronicles of Nat. Some times the posts aren't so bad, other times, they leave a lot to be desired, all the time I am thankful for the five of you who stop by to read what I have to say; especially those of you who take the time to leave a comment. When I started blogging I think I secretly thought I would become a famous writer like The Pioneer Woman. Instead, I'm just the same gal I was six years ago, only a little older and hopefully a little wiser. 

This week to celebrate yet another blogiversary, I'm having a giveaway. Some of you are probably familiar with The Boo Mama blog. Well, Sophie has written another book called "Home Is Where My People Are" and although I haven't yet read it, I have no doubt it is absolutely delightful. So, in honor of my blogiversary, I'm giving away of Sophie's new book. If you'd like to be entered to win, just leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will stay open until Friday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be announced on Saturday, January 31 - provided I don't forget! 

As always, thanks for reading and good luck to those of you who enter!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is one of my most favorite passages from The Bible. It is also one of the very first passages I ever memorized. I learned in from Mrs. Phipps at Happy Hill Kindergarten and I always think of her whenever it is read. She no doubt taught hundreds, even thousands of children the 23rd Psalm and one child recited it at each of her Kindergarten graduations.

I have always found the passage comforting and feel it should be read more often than the occasional funeral. Recently when I was looking over the selection of books I could choose to review from Booklook Bloggers, I saw that one of the choices was a children's book of Psalm 23. I was anxious for the book to arrive so I could see the words of this beloved Psalm come to life on the pages of a book.

The book arrived today and it is absolutely wonderful. There are no embellishments of stories in the book, it is simply the 23rd Psalm and what's even better is it is the 23rd Psalm in the King James Version which is just how I learned it over 30 years ago.

Each page has the words of one sentence of the Psalm and then that sentence is illustrated on the page. The pictures are beautiful and almost every page includes a picture of a child such that the child to whom you are reading might be able to envision the Lord being their own shepherd and protector.

The book is a hardbound board book which is easily held in the hands of a child, and it retails for under $15 on Amazon. You may be able to find it at a lower price somewhere else as the list price on the actual book is $7.99.

If you are training a child to learn and love the Bible and you have Psalm 23 on your list, then definitely give this book a try. I think you and your child will love it.

More about this book from Booklook Bloggers:

Book Description
With illustrations that bring to life Psalm 23, the popular picture book is now available in board book format.
As a follow-up to his bestselling children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer, Richard Jesse Watson created Psalm 23. The soothing and familiar words of the iconic scripture are paired with the vibrant and child-friendly illustrations of Richard Jesse Watson, resulting in a board book edition of the acclaimed picture book that is pleasing to the eyes and soul. Using KJV text, this book helps familiarize children with real biblical text while also incorporating beautiful illustrations that help make the words of David come alive for even the youngest reader.
About the Author
Richard Jesse Watson has been making books for children since 1984. He collaborated with Ruth Bell Graham on One Wintry Night, and his version of The Night Before Christmas was a New York Times bestseller. Watson won the Golden Kite Award for his picture book, Tom Thumb, and his illustrations have also been selected for the Society of Illustrator’s Annual Exhibits. Richard and his wife, Susi, live in Port Townsend, Washington. Their children are following in his footsteps as writers and illustrators of children’s books.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Celebration at the Gym

It's been a long while since I've graced the doors of the gym considering the last time I worked out was before my knee surgery. I'd like to say I've missed it and really I guess I have, but I've also enjoyed sitting on my couch in the evenings and just generally being lazy. I'm enjoying it while I can because soon I'll be released from the doctor and won't have a good excuse to sit at home instead of breaking a sweat down at the YMCA. 

Tuesday night, I made a surprise appearance at the Women on Weights class. Monday was our trainer Josh's birthday and I thought it would be fun to surprise him with some goodies at the gym. I got in touch with two of the girls I work with who also take the class and asked if they wanted to pitch in. One made a cake, the other made some cookies and I made some Buffalo Chicken Dip and got a small tray of sandwiches from Jimmy John's. 

I gathered up the various goodies and arrived at the gym around 6:45 p.m. just as the girls were finishing up their last exercises. I do believe that Josh was super surprised. He had no idea I was coming, much less that I was coming with goodies in tow. After the girls finished up, Josh blew out a candle on his cake and we commenced to eating. Sadly, Josh had another client at 7:00 p.m. so he wasn't able to hang out with us for long.; but, we all had a good time stuffing our faces at the gym and celebrating Josh's birthday. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Photos from My Phone - January 2015 Edition

It's been a long while since I've done a "Photos from my Phone" post and since there's a whole lotta nothing going on right now, I figured this would be as good a time as any to post a few. 

I'm going to start with some photos from New Year's Eve. I set up a "photo booth" of sorts for the New Year's Eve party my parents and I hosted. The booth was basically just a large frame wrapped in Christmas lights and I had some props to go along with it. Truth be told, I think I should have gotten a larger frame, but hindsight is 20/20 they say. So, without further adieu, here are some photos from the New Year's Eve Photos Booth. 

Me and Brooke

 Me and my Grandmamma

My parents 

 Brooke and Bennett

 My Grandmamma and Naaman

My Grandmamma and my dad

This past year's New Year's Eve party was a return to the parties of my youth when my parents hosted their friends. We brought back all the old traditions which included a door prizes winner each hour. The midnight prize of a homemade sweatshirt made it's triumphant return. My mom used to make these each year and this year was my first shot. Sadly, I put an apostrophe where one need not be, but I suppose that just gives the shirt character. My friend Leah was the lucky winner of this shirt. I'm hoping she'll drag it for the next party and keep the tradition alive. 

Christmas to me just isn't the same without a Red Velvet Cake. When I was a kid, my Aunt Juanita made Red Velvet Cake at Christmas and I would often call her to be sure she was bringing it. It was probably one of my favorite things about the holidays. Now that I've taken over most of the cooking, I always make sure we have a Red Velvet Cake to enjoy - this is more for my benefit than any one else. This year, it had been raining and raining and raining and was still raining on Christmas Eve. If you're a baker, then you know that baking on a rainy day can sometimes be disastrous and that was certainly the case this past Christmas Eve when I tried to turn my cakes out of the pan. I ended up with a big ole pile of Red Velvet mess. Most of it was still eaten though and it did taste good which I suppose was the main point anyway. 

This next picture was taken on Christmas day as my dad was trying to pose for a picture with Pip. Clearly Pippa wasn't having it and the look on my dad' face cracks me up. Maybe we'll have better luck next time. 

The night of my knee surgery, I ended up with a house full of people, an impromptu party of sorts which was super nice and loads of fun. At one point, we put Pippa in the bedroom so we could all eat dinner. Up until this point, she had never bothered the Christmas tree and so it was a little surprising (and then again not) when she trampled under the tree and over presents to try and get back to us in the main room. I think my dad got a better picture than I did, but this is the one I have on my phone. Thankfully no presents were broken and all trees remained upright throughout the excitement. 

The last photo for today is of a Nothing Bundt Cake that some co-workers gave me a couple of days before my surgery. I'm really blessed to have such a great group of friends no matter where I go in life. 

That's it for this month's edition of "Photos from my Phone". I'm sure I have a lot more I can share, but I'll save those for another time. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hello, Vicky?

So, a while ago, as in some time in October or November, I received a comment from a lady named Vicky; at least, I'm assuming she's a lady. At any rate, Vicky commented on a post from 2011 about my trip to France. As it turns out, she is planning a trip with Custom Getaways and she wanted to ask me about my experience and asked me to contact her. However, she did not leave an email address or any other way in which I could reach out to her. So, Vicky, if you are stopping by here, please contact me via email and I will happily answer any questions you have about your upcoming trip to le Tour de France and I may I also add I'm crazy jealous. I think half of my heart will forever be in France and I get a little "homesick" for the motherland every July. 

Since there's nothing overly exciting going on in January, I thought I would update you on my knee because I'm sure you've been sitting there wondering to yourself how my knee is doing. The answer is great! Coming back to work after having two and a half weeks off was a little bit of an adjustment (in more than one way) and so it probably goes without saying that my knee has been a little sore in the evenings. I have walked a lot more since starting back to work and so there's been some swelling and soreness which is easily remedied with Aleve and a cold pack. There's still quite a bit of tenderness which feels like bruising which I'm sure will go away at some point. This tenderness is even worse when you hit your knee on a table, theoretically speaking of course. 

We finally got a dose of some decent weather over the weekend, but unfortunately, I didn't really get to enjoy it much. Saturday I spent the day inside waiting on the guys from Lowe's to deliver my washer. Plus, I was feeling really rotten and didn't want to do much other than lie around on the couch. I did let  in some fresh air along with lots of mud on Saturday afternoon when I left the back door open for a little while so Pip could go in and out freely. I also managed to finally take down the outside Christmas lights. Yes, that's right, I still had not taken them down. The weather has either been super cold or super rainy or a combination of the two and since I was trying not to get sick (funny how that didn't work out too well) I decided to wait until the weather warmed up to take down the lights. I have not turned them on since January 1 though, so that's my redeeming grace for leaving them up too long. I am glad to finally have them all put away. 

Downton Abbey started back about three weeks ago and it's about all I can do to not read message boards or episode recaps to find out what happens next. I have already pre-ordered the current season which will arrive next week and I'm afraid I will have no restraint when it comes to sitting down and just finishing up the season. So far, the season has been really good and the zingers from the Dowager Countess get better with each episode. It's certainly one of the highlights of my week. 

In other random and unrelated news, my dad and I are planning our next trip which will be this coming April. This time around we are heading to Washington, DC and plan to take in all the monuments, museums, etc. We went there when I was a kid, in 5th grade if I am remembering correctly, and it was one of the best vacations of my childhood. Since it's been almost 30 years since I've really visited and enjoyed the city, I thought we should go back and take it all in and I'm really looking forward to it. I think I will appreciate it all the more now that I am an adult and love history. 

Well, since I probably lost your attention a long time ago, I think I'll wrap things up here. I realize none of these things even remotely flow together, but I wanted to try and get something posted and try to get back in the habit of writing something lest this blog fall by the wayside and Erika has nothing to read on her lunch break. Hopefully more interesting days are ahead. Have a good evening, y'all! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's The End of Washing As I Know It

The end of an era came this week. My washing machine, a loyal cleaner and friend, washed it's last load of dog hair covered clothes.

A little over 13 years ago, when I moved to North Carolina for my first big girl job, my parents bought me a washer and dryer. I remember what a surprise it was. My dad had helped me move and at some point while I was sleeping or who knows what, he snuck out to Lowe's and bought the set for me and the next thing I knew I was the owner of appliances that could actually wash and dry clothes. No more laundromats or apartment laundry rooms or bumming the use of the washers and dryer at the school. I had my very own!

The set has lasted me all these years. I've washed countless loads of clothes, comforters, quilts, dog blankets, etc. etc. No doubt thousands of loads have been in and out of that Maytag machine. In the past few years, I've had to call a repair man three times to fix something that had gone awry with the washer. The past few months, I couldn't use the largest load setting because the water wouldn't cut off and would come spilling out of the washer. This woke me up from a nap on more than one occasion.

This past week, I put in some clothes to wash and the basket wouldn't spin the load, leaving the clothes soaking wet. The repairman came out and fixed what he thought was the problem, but when I went to do a load after his repair work, I was having the same problem and I think I knew in my heart of hearts that my machine had washed her last load of clothes. The repairman came out again and sure enough, the transmission was shot and it wasn't worth it to repair. Let me also take this moment to say how awesome my neighbor Jeff is - he came over both times to let the repairman in while I was at work. Seriously,  hit the jackpot with Jeff as a neighbor. He is the best.

So, Thursday, after my trip to the doctor, I ventured over to Lowe's to purchase a washing machine. Thankfully, they were offering 18 months interest free financing because otherwise I might be spending the next few months at the laundromat. I purchased anther Maytag, a top loader, basically the same kind I had before but obviously a model that's about 14 years newer than the one I had.

The guys from Lowe's came out on Saturday and took away the old one and installed the new one and I've been feverishly washing clothes ever since. Every waking moment has been spent washing clothes. That new washer is definitely getting a workout. The new one is quite a bit different than the old one. For one, there's no agitator which I guess is the norm these days. Also, the load is weighed when it's placed in the basket and that's how the machine knows how much water to use. It's all very new and fancy.

So, it's the end of a washing era and the beginning of a new one. I'm thankful that I was able to go ahead and buy a new one and very thankful that I once again have some clean clothes.

 The old

And the new

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thankfully, It's Not The Flu

I started a post earlier this week while I was on my lunch break and for two straight days I forgot to bring the contents of that post home with me to put on the blog and that is my excuse for not having anything posted since way earlier in the week. I'm not off to a good blogging start in 2015. Tuesday night I honestly didn't even think about opening my computer until it was time for me to go to bed and I realized I had not posted anything. Wednesday I had grand intentions of posting something but ended up with a fever and the worst chills I've had in ages and so I think it goes without saying I wasn't up for it. So, I'm finally managing to put something together for today so you won't wonder if I have fallen off the face of the earth. 

Last week I found out the circus is coming to town in late March. I knew it was coming to Birmingham this month so I got on the Ringling Brothers web site to see when the next trip to Huntsville would be. There was no date listed for when tickets were going on sale and so I checked back on Monday and discovered they had gone on sale last Thursday - the same day the Ticketmaster site said no on-sale ticket date had been set. I could seriously write a post about my hate of Ticketmaster because I've had a lot of frustrating encounters with that establishment the last few months. So, I'll put that in my pocket and perhaps bring it out on a rainy day. 

Anyway, I went to the VBC ticket office and got some tickets for me, my parents and Erika who I love to join me at the circus because we always have a big time. We are going the night of my mom's birthday and since she isn't as big of a circus fan as me and my dad, I had to make sure she would be okay with spending her birthday amongst the elephants and the Circle of Death and all the other grandeur of the circus. Thankfully she agreed.

We saw a bit of snow in North Alabama today and I kept waiting to see who would be the first person to leave work, but I think everyone stuck around. I did leave a little early so I could go to the doctor as I was concerned I may have the flu. I went to the Quick Care Clinic on Governor's which is the new extension of the one in Five Points. I saw the sweetest old doctor who liked to talk a lot. He apparently is forgetful as well because I waited in the room for 30 minuted before I finally got up and asked how much longer it would be. They thought the doc was just in the room talking to me, bless him, so they rounded him up and he gave me a diagnosis that wasn't the flu, thank goodness.  I got two shots, and some meds which they gave me for free since I had to wait for so long, unnecessary, but nice. 

After I left the clinic, I ran a final errand to Lowe's which will be detailed in a later post because it was the culmination of a separate and long story. I finally made it home where I am now typing up the post and will soon be shutting down the computer and sleeping the night away. 

Tomorrow (or today for you most likely) is Friday and the last day of the work week. I'm hoping the shots and meds will help me to feel better so I can at least enjoy some portion of the weekend. Plus, I've got a lot of things to get done this weekend and so I would like to feel well enough to get those things crossed off my to-do list.  Hope you all have a healthy and happy weekend as well. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm Sure This Post Will Captivate Your Attention...Or Not

It's January 2015 and I wish I could tell you I've done some really fun and exciting things this year, but unfortunately that would be a lie. It's just been a low-key kind of month as most Januarys are which is why there have been hardly any blog posts because it's rather difficult to write about a whole lot of nothing.

I'm writing this on the Monday night of the College Football Playoff National Championship game and you may find it hard to believe that I have not watched the first play of the game and it's half over. For me, I suppose the football season ended when Alabama lost and I have no vested interested in either of the teams playing tonight and so oddly enough, it hasn't peaked my interest. There must be something wrong with me.

I suppose since this is the first (and hopefully not last) post of the week, I can tell you about my weekend which wasn't too exciting. After work Friday afternoon I went to see a movie. I saw "Selma" and y'all, it was seriously one of the best movies I have seen in a long while and that's saying something because I have seen a lot of movies. The previews looked good and I expected the film to be as such, but it really blew me away and brought many a tear to my eyes. I cried the majority of the two hours and suspected I would which is the main reason I went to see this one solo. It brought up a lot of questions about this great state and that time in our history and I'm anxious to discuss these with some folks I know. Seriously, I cannot recommend this movie enough. The actor that plays Dr. King knocked it out of the park. If you are looking for a good movie, check this one out.

The majority of Saturday was spent out in Madison of all places. I am not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog or not but back in the fall, I was elected to the Board of Directors for Agape of North Alabama, a foster care and adoption agency. I'm so proud to be a part of this great work and honored that I was nominated and considered for the board. So, on Saturday, we had a board and staff "retreat" where we came together to discuss the year ahead among other things and we also enjoyed a delicious lunch together. Once that was complete, I came home and spent the rest of the evening on the couch watching TV and movies. I had free premium channels this past weekend so I was able to enjoy some free movies which was a nice bonus to the weekend.

Sunday was spent at church and that evening I enjoyed dinner with my cousins and my favorite Aunt Linda as we celebrated some birthdays. It was a great dinner and more than that I enjoyed spending some time with these people whom I love. I was supposed to go to a friend's house to watch Downton Abbey but the dinner ran long thanks to great conversation and so I went home instead and was able to watch it from the DVR. This season looks to be superb and I would expect nothing less.

So, that sums up my past few days and I'm quite sure you are probably bored to death at this juncture of your reading. Like I said, there really hasn't been a lot going on; but February is around the corner which means my birthday week and so my fingers are crossed that I'll have something more interesting to write about soon. Otherwise, it's going to be a long year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Review: It Will Be Okay

It's the first book review of 2015 and I am really happy to share this one with you because I think this book is so good and provides such a great message. The name of the book is "It Will Be Okay - Trusting God Through Fear and Change" and it was written by Lysa TerKeurst.

I don't guess I've really ever thought about it, but I suppose trying to calm a scared or fearful child can be difficult at times - since I'm not a parent, it's not something I've thought much about. This book tells a story about Little Fox and Little Seed and the Farmer and how they all played a role in overcoming fears.

Ms. TerKeurst has written a brief letter in the beginning of the book explaining that as a mom she wanted to help her children overcome their fears and as a result she wrote this book. She also shares a page of wonderful Bible verses about how God is here for us and how he knows the plans he has for us along with others that are helpful and would be great to use as memory verses.

As for the book, it tells the story of Little Seed and Little Fox who become friends and who are both scared of change and become happy with the way things are. One day, Little Seed is planted and becomes scared and Little Fox finds the place where the Farmer has planted Little Seed and he lays there to keep Little Seed company. As you probably guessed, Little Seed becomes a tree and The Tree and Little Fox have a long and happy friendship. The book emphasizes time and again that the Farmer was watching over them the whole time which is just what God does for us.

The book tells the story of a beautiful friendship but also provides a larger and more important lesson of how God id here for us and there's no need to be frightened. Some of the sections of the book rhyme which I found to be adorable and even giggled at from time to time. In addition to the great story, the book is also beautifully illustrated and provides lots of colors and pretty pictures for children to look at while you're reading.

If you are looking for a new book for a small child, especially one who may have some anxiety or who might be fearful of certain things, then this book would be great for them. It's available from many retailers, including Amazon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First Day Back

Hello 2015! It's six days in and I've yet to post a thing. Apparently 2015 is off to a lazy start. What can I say? Yesterday (Monday) was my first day back in the "real world" after two and a half weeks off from work for surgery and Christmas break. Overall, it went okay, there's nothing really I can complain about. I thought the chirp of the alarm clock at 5:00 a.m. would be tough but I actually got up with no problem at all and even made it out the door on time. There was a lot of catching up to do at work since I had not turned on my computer once in the days I was away, but I didn't get overwhelmed which was my goal. I made it through the day without crawling under my desk for a nap which is quite an accomplishment for someone who spent most of her time off sleeping. 

After work, I went home and got some things gathered up to take to Bible study. This week our ladies Bible study group kicked off the new year with a new study and I think we are all going to love it. We had some great conversation and I think we could have talked all night, but about 8:30 p.m. I cut everyone off so we could do prayer requests and get out the door by 9:00 p.m. 

By the time I got home from Bible study, I was pretty worn out and my knee was a little sore. I'm quite sure I walked more on Monday that I have on any one day since my surgery. The facility where I work is quite huge and we have concrete floors so the combination of the two was a little much for my reentry to the world. So, I elevated and iced my knee when I was finally in for the night which helped immensely because when I woke up Tuesday my knee was no longer sore, thank goodness. I suspect this will be my routine for a while, or at least until my knee gets used to walking long distances again. 

There's really not much else to say about the first few days of 2015. I spent New Year's Day sleeping and that's not much of an exaggeration. I was asleep more than I was awake. This is one of the things I hate about New Year's Day because while I do love to nap, I don't like to sleep the whole day away and inevitably when I stay up on New Year's Eve, I spend all of New Year's Day recovering. This is called getting old. Pippa was rather worn out too and she slept even more than I did. We were quite the pair. We did a lot of sleeping on the 2nd as well because we were up late watching a certain football game on the 1st. So, I guess I could sum up the first few days of the year by saying I slept through them. Hopefully that won't be the case for the remainder of the year, although technically speaking, I wouldn't mind a nap right about now.