Summer festivities and joy in life

We’re a week into our large Summer Game here at Ann Arbor District Library (the library I work for) and it’s off to a great start!

It’s wonderful to see kiddos and adults alike who are excited and having fun; they’re just so joyful! 🙂 To me, the difference between being joyful and just being happy is how much it reflects in the eyes. A kiddo or an adult who’s having a fun time and is happy is still smiling and giggling/laughing, but it doesn’t always resonate in their eyes. When they’re joyful, it just lights up their whole face, including their eyes.

It’s not something I tend to see much during the school year. The school year is more seriousness and less joyful. But the minute school is out and the Summer Game starts (it starts the same day school lets out usually), the serious faces melt into joyful ones and it’s lovely to see.

While I love the Summer Game, I’ve found that I’m not quite as gung-ho about feeling like I must have all the points and be at the top of the leaderboard as I used to be. I found that being that driven took some of the fun out of it for me. Since above all, the Summer Game is supposed to be fun, I’ve scaled back my competitiveness to make it more fun for me.

I was working in the youth department this evening and it was fun to see all the kiddos that came through looking for the codes that are in the building (see my previous post about Summer Game for more explanation of codes and points). I was also thrilled to be able to help a mom encourage her children to read by letting her know that every minute they spend reading, they can enter those minutes they’ve recorded into the Summer Game system and they get 1 point per minute and an extra 100 points for finishing a book! It made me want to share the joy and happiness with all of my readers.

It reminded me how lovely the little things are and how much joy they can contribute to our lives. I had opportunities to snuggle with my adorable niece and sweet nephew individually today before work and it was just lovely. It made some of the not-so-great parts of today’s work day less annoying and easier to deal with. 🙂 Those little munchkins are part of the joy in my life and I’m grateful to have them and grateful they live nearby.

What are the little things in your life that bring you joy?


swirls of colors - red, pink, green, yellow, turquoise, etc. and a yellow smiley face in the lower left corner


Migraines and Summer Reading Games

Yes, I know, that’s kind of a crazy title. It got you reading more, didn’t it? 😉

This past weekend was almost a washout. I had a migraine both days (still do actually tho’ the pain is dull – damn heat and humidity).

Saturday, I had things that I really had to do. I volunteered Saturday morning (I’ll talk about where I volunteer another time) and thankfully my head wasn’t hurting too much yet.

Saturday afternoon, I had a “Celebration of life” party for a friend who passed away last month. We were college roommates way back when and then found each other on Facebook. Migraine or no migraine, there was no way I was missing that. I was glad I went. I was able to see another friend that I don’t get to see often and meet his family. The party was just beautiful. Ange was a huge sports fan so it was all decorated in her sports team colors – the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Red Wings, University of Michigan football, and the Detroit Tigers. They roasted a whole pig, had a bouncy house for the kiddos, plus horseshoes and other outdoor games. I’m really glad I went even if being out in the sun made my head hurt worse.

Sunday was definitely a washout. I stayed in bed most of the day. I finally got up around 5pm, watched some NCIS: New Orleans and sorted out a few papers. Even today, I don’t feel real great, but that’s going to be par for the course this week since it’s supposed to be in the upper 80s/low 90s almost all week here in Michigan. Yippie.

On the other hand, this week is kind of exciting. The library I work for has a HUGE Summer Game. It goes far beyond the “normal” Summer Reading program. There’s the classic game where kids read ten books and teens read five books and they each get a free book to keep. Adults read five books and get a fine forgiveness coupon. Then there’s the extended game. The extended game includes scavenger hunts in the library branches and in the library catalog for codes. You can submit those codes for points and then when the summer game shop opens, you can spend those points on things such as tote bags, picnic blankets, hats, t-shirts, etc. Sometimes the clues and scavenger hunts will take you out into the community to our local parks or specific neighborhoods. It’s TONS of fun and very addicting. Every event has a code throughout the summer as well, so the more events you attend, the more codes you can get! The more codes you get, the more points you get. The more points you get, the more you can get from the shop. It’s so much fun and I’m excited about it starting again! 🙂

It’s a LOT of work for many of my fellow librarians but as a patron, it’s just tons and tons of fun and I’m appreciative of all the work my colleagues put into it.

Does your library have anything fun for Summer Reading? Are you planning on anything else fun for the summer? 🙂


Little bits of organizing and progression

I decided that since I’m trying to organize my life better in other areas, that should include here too. I’ve gone through and made sure all of my reviews have the same formatting and look “the same”, which was a really good thing to get done and it did take a couple of weeks to do all that. However, it dawned on me about a week or so ago, that while I worked hard at the beginning of my blogging to move all of my reviews from Goodreads, Amazon, my library’s catalog, etc. here to my blog, I did not work as hard to make sure that the reviews were posted on all the other appropriate sites.

So that’s what I’m working on now, in little bits and pieces. I’m still reading and writing reviews (I should have one for Kate Carlisle’s newest book, Once Upon a Spine up tomorrow at some point), but I’m trying to get these little things taken care of so that publishers looking for my reviews can find them on the major websites and not just here on my blog.

Three bears - one with a vacuum, one with a mop and one dusting
©Cute Colors

Sometimes when one is working on re-organizing, it can feel like things aren’t moving along quickly enough. I mentioned that today to my current financial advisor who’s helping me find all the “leaks” in my spending so I can save more. He assured me that while it may not seem like it, I’m progressing practically perfectly. Small, steady progression that will be easy to maintain. That made me feel better.

My dad asked the other night if I was back sleeping in my own bed yet and I said no, feeling a little down that I haven’t progressed much beyond what I had done last weekend. But he actually responded with “Good! I want you to take your time on all this sorting and cleaning.”

Do you have ways to stop yourself from getting too discouraged that you’re not progressing “fast enough” when working on something? I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions!