Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (…in other words, I’ll be seeing you…)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen Michele’s post and Sandy’s post about moving on from blogging. Saying goodbye. Making changes. I love both of those women, and am so glad that I will be able to stay in touch with them through Facebook. Coincidentally, their posts came at a time when I was trying to figure out what to do with my own little place in the book blogging world. My life has undergone so many changes in the past two years, and the biggest is coming on April 1st.

After 18 years as a stay-at-home, and sometimes work-at-home, mom, I am re-entering the work force. This is a huge big deal, in spite of the fact that this is a job I am completely comfortable with and that is only twelve hours a week away from the house. But to me, this signals an enormous sea change in our family’s home life. I have absolutely loved being a stay-at-home mom. Don’t get me wrong – there were days when I wanted to duct tape the kids to the wall, or shuttle them off to school so I could sit on the couch and read. No matter what choice you make for your family, even if you are certain it is the best choice for you personally, there are times of doubt and questioning. But there have also been sweet, sweet days: watching that spark of amazement in each child’s eyes as they sounded out their first words; cuddling up on the couch with piles of picture books; exploring science in the most messy ways possible; my one-year-old playing with math manipulatives while I teach his older sister about numbers. As the kids have gotten older, the scenes have changed. The picture books have become novels (hours and hours of reading aloud – my favorite memory of all!); the science experiments have gotten more sophisticated; the math has gotten harder (argh – algebra and geometry!); the conversations have become deeper and more meaningful. I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it for the extra money that would have been available had I worked outside the home.

But huge changes are on our horizon. Natalie will graduate in June – with both her high school diploma and an AAS Degree in General Business! She will be starting a Pharmacy Technician program the following spring. Noah will be entering Running Start in the fall, God willing. I will be down to only two boys to school; and can easily work our schedule around a twelve-hour work week. I am blessed that the perfect job was dropped right into my lap. Our church secretary is retiring after twenty years. Twenty years! I have been filling in for her occasionally since last summer, and began training in earnest the past month or two. I could not mention this in public however, until the church board approved me as secretary – and more importantly, as treasurer. I will work Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Our new pastor is firmly established now, and I know that he will be easy and fun to work with. And so our homeschool schedule will be turned topsy-turvy, with the kids doing their independent work in the morning, and us doing our joint work in the afternoons. The boys will also be learning more housework skills – a fact that they are thoroughly thrilled about, I can assure you. ;)

As I am looking forward to this new season, I am realizing that I need to let go of some things in order to keep myself from being overwhelmed. I know that many of you work full time and are involved parents, and so are probably rolling your eyes a bit at the idea of me being anxious about working twelve hours a week – but I know myself, and change has never been my strong suit. :) As I have looked at the things I spend my time doing, I have discovered the things that I am unwilling to let go of – and also the things that I can say goodbye to. Blogging is one of the latter. I have been toying with changing things up anyway: I stopped accepting review copies; came up with a new title; had Kevin start working on a design. But as time goes on, I have found that I’m not excited about it. It really is time to just let go.

I started blogging here at Books and Movies six years ago, in April of 2009. I have so loved my time in the book blogging community, and the friendships I have gained. Thank you to all of you who have enhanced my life in so many ways: the reading recommendations, the encouragement through health issues, the prayers and concern for Natalie during her Crohn’s summer. I am blessed to have shared this part of my life with you. I pray that you will all be blessed in the coming years. See you on Facebook! (If we are not already friends, feel free to friend me: Carrie Shannon Kitzmiller.)

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Fifty shades of random thoughts on Kingsman and reading and Benedict Cumberbatch

~ I don’t even know what to say about the fact that the movie-that-shall-not-be-named broke box office records this weekend. You may think that I object to that movie based on my religion and the sexual content (which does bother me a bit, to be honest), but the biggest reason I am appalled by it is because it portrays an abusive, controlling relationship as something sexy and romantic. Why are more women not taking a stand on this? Ugh.

~ All of the boys/men in my family were gone this weekend visiting Kevin’s mom in Portland, and so I had lots of me-time. On Friday night, Ben and Natalie let me be a third wheel, and we all went to see The Imitation Game, a movie I will proudly name and evangelize for. People, Cumberbatch is brilliant, and that movie is beyond good. Best I’ve seen in years. Go see it, if you haven’t already.

~ On Valentine’s Day night, since Kevin was gone and we already had our romantic weekend away, I went to the movies. By myself. I tried to use self-control and not shed disapproving glances left and right at all the people lined up for that other movie, and paid for a ticket to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was all kinds of entertaining. Over-the-top, violent, not politically correct at all – but all in good fun. And, come on, you know you want to see Colin Firth in a ballet-esque scene of violence in which he takes out an entire church of racist homophobes. I know you do.

~ Reading on a whim – that is my motto for 2015. I am simply relishing the freedom! I no longer have a to-be-reviewed shelf! I think to myself, “The Still Alice movie looks so good, but I still haven’t read the book. Hmmmm….” I click over to the library web site, put it on hold, and start reading it the day it arrives. Gasp! I could get used to this.

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day weekend.

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Weekend Update

Okay, so I wasn’t going to post any more of these here because Kevin has been working on the new site, but it’s not ready yet, because we’ve both been so busy. So here I am!

The latest:

~ We got our tax refund back and took our annual weekend getaway. It was heaven. We’ve also been doing some fun things with the kids and I have gone really crazy and bought new socks and underwear for the entire family! Oh, and I went to Barnes & Noble and bought three books: The Vacationers by Emma Straub, I Was Here by Gayle Forman, and All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry.

~ I am not going to talk about that football game last week.

~ I had a Walking Dead marathon day with my friend Traci yesterday; we watched all eight of this season’s already-aired episodes. It was so much fun, although I did dream about zombies last night.

~ I have been very busy with camp stuff and kid stuff and have not had nearly enough time to read. I did finish Authority (not as good as Annihilation, but still compelling), and An Unnecessary Woman, which was freaking amazing.

~ Watched three movies with Kevin over the weekend: Fury – horrible; This Is Where I Leave You – entertaining, but not great; and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – horrible.

~ Noah got a job at the local Zips. He is enjoying it so far.

That’s really all the news I have time for. I know it’s not much of an update, but I’m exhausted and really want to read while I can still keep my eyes open. I’ve been missing your blogs, and am hoping to get caught up on your weekend/currently/salon posts in the next couple of days. :)

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