Gah! So much for NaBloPoMo.

1379605_10153438625720134_469063407_nIt’s inevitable that I can never finish the month! Ah well.

This weekend was a busy one — Friday night youth group sleepover, Saturday morning little one’s ballet class, Saturday afternoon errand running, and then Saturday night we celebrated Jerry’s 43rd birthday with friends (until the wee hours of Sunday morning).

Sunday morning laundry, Sunday afternoon freezing our toes off at the Santa parade, Sunday evening watching the RIDERS! game. Followed up by a round of Sunday late-night marking papers for Monday morning.

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(and I wonder why I’m always so tired)

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have the energy to write something more stimulating! In the mean time, here’s a collection of links I’ve recently shared on social media:

juːθ

That’s the pronunciation for youth, in case you’re wondering.

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oh the good ol’ days

One of the best experiences I had growing up was being a part of my church’s youth group.  I honestly don’t think I would be who I am today if it weren’t for all the time spent with friends and leaders — going camping, hanging out, traveling, being silly, being serious — all of it. My youth minister and his wife still hold a place in my heart that no one will ever take the place of. I’m still friends with many people I grew up with in youth group.

And despite some of the theological baggage I’ve had to work my way through, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything — and this is coming from someone who pretty much rejects all of the religion I came out of.

Which brings me to where I am today. I’m back in a youth group! Except this time I’m not a member of it, I’m one of the advisors for it. One of the main ways I’m involved with the local Unitarian group in town is through my volunteering with the youth group. And, I LOVE IT.

It’s different than what youth group was like for me, in a traditional evangelical sense. UU youth are more autonomous, and the adults are there in an advisor capacity, not so much in a “leader”- sense. It’s the youth’s group, which means many of the decisions for activities and topics are directed by what they want to do.

At the end of this month I’ll be one of the facilitators for the OWL (our whole lives) weekend — OWL is the sexuality education program for UUs. This last August I went down to Boston to get trained to be able to deliver the program. The OWL curriculum is great, and I’m already looking forward to spending more time with everyone. (and part of me wishes I could gone through such a program in my formative years)

I’ve only been involved with these teens for a couple months now, and I can already say I’ve had my heart both inspired and broken. I’m inspired by how kind these kids are to each other, and how funny and insightful they can be (often simultaneously).  But I’ve also been heartbroken by seeing some of the difficulties and injustices they have to face — and I wish I could do more to make it easier for them, other than being there and listening.

My heart is full.

 

Just say no to epilogues.

Last night I stayed up especially late to finish the last book in the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant (by Veronica Roth).  In case you didn’t know this about me, I’m smitten with young adult books – especially those that are set in dystopic times. I think I’ll put this trilogy up among some of my favourites.

I’ve been following the series for a couple years now, so when the latest book came out, I (of course) had to reread the previous two in order to fully enjoy the final one. There’s something about reading a series of books multiple times and in quick succession. This time around I took some time to enjoy the storytelling process of Roth, and I loved watching how her characters (and her writing style!) evolved and strengthened as each book progressed.

By the end of Allegiant, I thought she had come up with a pretty close to perfect ending. UNTIL I TURNED THE PAGE AND SAW THE EPILOGUE.

Why? oh why? do authors feel the need to write epilogues? I don’t think I’ve ever read one that added anything useful to the storyline. I think back to the end of Crime and Punishment — which was a terrific ending! And then there was the insipid followup to the story in the attached epilogue. Yuck.

Then there was the cheesy Harry Potter epilogue tagged on at the end of THAT series. Also unnecessary.

I was talking to Jerry about my disdain for epilogues today, and he said something interesting — he said that maybe authors write these epilogues in order to continue their control of their characters after the ending of the story. It’s a control move!

Maybe that’s why I hate them so much — I’m okay with not knowing everything that happens after “the end.” In fact, I think I enjoy it more when there’s a little uncertainty, and I’m left having to fill in the gaps myself.

Have you ever read an epilogue worth reading? I’m open to suggestions! But I may be a bit of a hard sell.

Today was the annual Xmas photo shoot

Once a year we head over to a photo studio to get pictures of the little girl taken for the holidays. This year is an especially exciting one, since she’s missing her 2 front teeth!

Each year we’ve gone to get her photos taken, the service at the studio gets progressively worse — this year that tradition continued, and at one point the “photographer” left me to do my own editing on my photos (which, now that I think of it, was probably a good thing).

Anyway, out of the 60 rapid-fire shots that were taken, thankfully there were a couple that will work well for this year.

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Next year I swear I’m going somewhere else.

11.12.13

Can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that this will be the LAST annoying chronologically-consecutive date in our lifetimes?

(I’m resisting the urge to back-date this post to 8:09am. YOU’RE WELCOME.)

 

EDIT: Gah! December 13, 2014!!! I’m skipping that day on the calendar.

 

Another milestone

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I just love hearing her talk with that bit of a lisp.  And she still believes in the tooth fairy.

Remind me to hold onto these moments?

Progress!

So I could have wasted mucho energy tonight arguing over the internets. Instead, I smiled and just hit the “block” button and walked away.

Progress, people!

I’d much rather spend my 2nd night of my long weekend rewatching the Doctor than butting heads with someone with a hate-on.

‘night :)