I love reading your Mimi's blogs- they show how she wears her heart on her sleeve. Truly, her smile (like yours) and optimism are contagious. And I think her idea for Lent of passing on smiles and goodness is the best idea. Even better, I bet it would make people pass on those deeds to others. Can you imagine a world where people cared about each other, even strangers? Wow, your Mimi's words open up possibilities to dream about!
And so you can see that I enjoy reading these blogs as much as writing them because reading is the best ever! Reading is my greatest passion and way to feed my soul. It's a way for me mentally to take a vacation. Ellie, literacy is such a gift and a true freedom!!! I enjoy when people share what they are reading, as word of mouth is the way I've found my favorite books. So from here on out, your Mimi and I will add a link on the sidebar of this Blog to say what we are currently reading (and that may change daily, weekly, or monthly depending on how busy we are and sometimes we may be reading more than one book at a time since we can both be multi-taskers!).
My favorite genre of books is historical fiction. I love reading about characters living in a time period that seems so mysterious. My favorite books are Pillars of the Earth, The Help, Book Thief, The Red Tent, The Color Purple, and The Other Boleyn Girl. So Mimi, what are your favorites? You know, looking at my list, the books also have really strong female characters that drive the story. And historically, since women didn't have many rights, these authors give voices to those untold stories.
Another way that I de-stress is book club. A group of girls who share the same love of books get together on the third Wednesday of every month (and we have been keeping this tradition going for 2 years now). We discuss the books over great company, food, and drinks (usually we do more talking about our lives than the books). The coolest thing about book club is that each girl gets a chance to choose a book so I get introduced to a lot of different kinds of writing. But really Ellie, a night out with my friends (who are incredible women) gives me such energy and optimism (and to know that I'm not alone in my daily conundrums is also comforting)! I get excited for these nights because I laugh and relate in ways you can only do with other women. Even your Mimi plans her visits to see me to overlap my book club. And when I go out with my friends on these nights, you get a night with just your Daddy, whom you love very much!
As for you Ellie, your favorite books (aside from Mimi's book, Where Can They Be?, that she authored) are anything that sings (you will dance to the book's music in not quite the right rhythm) and anything that has texture (you love to feel the books). Aunt Shiloh gave you an Easter book with a pop-out bunny finger puppet. You kiss it and love it (and call it your kitty!). Gigi gave you a flip-up book and there is a page where you need to identify the little girl's lips. To do that you, have to lift up the picture of the sippy cup, which you try to drink from! The silliest is the singing Elmo book from Mimi and Poppy- you bounce along to the beat of the songs!
Dancing to the Elmo book!
But Ellie, I do wish we lived closer to your Mimi so she could read to you. I know she reads to you over Skype but sometimes it's just not the same thing. When I was little, Mimi would put voices to characters in books and make them come alive. Mimi was so good at this that when we lived next door to your Great-Great Gram Mundy, she would come out and sit by the window to hear your Mimi read to your Uncle Ryan and I. Reading is fun Ellie. Mimi, your Uncle Ryan, and I used to ride our bikes to the library when we lived in Philly. It's all about the adventure you put into it.
Books are magical; they make you use your imagination and dream. And this is why you will always see piles of books around the house- they are my to-read piles that are always bottomless because I'm forever adding to them! Let's make a deal that you and will set aside reading time with each other no matter how old and have our own book club. Someday, when we have a bigger house, I want to create a library. Nothing grand but a room with floor to ceiling built in shelves and two plush, cushioned armchairs with ottomans (and a table between the chairs for our tea) so we are perfectly comfortable when we read (and maybe a gorgeous Tiffany lamp to create just the right lighting in addition to the window, there is nothing like a naturally sunlit house)! Doesn't that sound a bit like heaven? We will fill the shelves with only our favorite books and those that we still want to read (although I tend to get so excited about books that I have fallen in love with that I pass them onto others so our shelves might be barren if I keep pushing my passion on people!). Your Dad would laugh at my dream room and think it might be a waste of space- he is so technological and I keep telling him there is nothing like the smell of paper, turning real pages, and getting immersed in a hardback book. I'm sure he thinks a NOOK or Kindle is long overdue for me but I can't make the switch (not yet anyway, who knows what time will tell!).
And as you get older, I can't wait to introduce you to new friends- Eloise, Madeline, Sister Bear and so many of my favorite children's book personalities that I read about when I was little. And I am anxious to meet new characters in books that have been recently written too!
Oh Ellie, I love everyday with you! Because really Ellie, I LOVE spending time with you. You are your own person already. I can already tell that you are going to be independent and stubborn (you never let me lead you around by the fingers to help you learn to walk, you just started on your own. When I do try to help you with something, like holding your bottle or adjusting your sippy cup, you refuse to take it anymore you little stinker!). You are smart and you are thoughtful. You say so many words now and you can already shrug your shoulders when I ask you a question you don't know (like where the kitty went!). You crack me up and I hope Mimi will take one of your adventures and write a new book!
Love you Gorgeous Baby Girl!
I hope with each of my visits this will become a special time for us Ellie and we always find exciting new books to venture into! Hey, here is an idea! Kimberly, how about during my summer visits to Denver, you, Ellie and I make a trek to Denver's Public Library to see what fun children's programs we can participate in and check out more fun books to read, read, read?!!!