Friday, January 16, 2015

Currently: January Edition

Happy Friday!  I am so happy that I have a 3-day weekend ahead of me!  Here's what's currently on my mind these days!

Reading:  The Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie which is a book that I am reading to fulfill the "Book by an Author from Africa" category of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. This book is so heavy and sad as it deals with issues of domestic violence and child abuse but it is so good.  I am very surprised that it's classified by some as young adult, though, as I don't think I'd place it in the hands of a tween or teen.

Loving:  that I live driving distance from my parents.  Phil and I are driving up for the weekend tomorrow.  My dad is going to introduce Phil to ice fishing so that should be interesting!  He has fished in the summer so hopefully he'll like ice fishing.  My parents have an ice house that is heated so it's not like he'll be roughing it out in the cold. :)

Thinking:  about what I want to do for my upcoming birthday. 

Frustrated:  with my new employer's 401(k) match program.  I knew I'd be eligible for the company match starting on January 1st so I assumed I'd start getting that match during the first pay period of 2015.  Wrong!  Instead they deposit the match in February of the following year  so I won't see a match until February of 2016.  I think that is an awful way to administer a benefit (you miss out on the opportunity for compounded earnings growth over the course of the year).  I know a crappy approach to administering the match is better than no match at all, but I'm disappointed by how poorly they communicated their approach to matching (it's not explained in any of the benefit guidelines nor was it explained in the offer letter).  

Feeling: really over-tired this week.  It was a busy week as I've had social plans 3 nights this week that kept me out until after 9, so I am sure that is contributing to my tired feeling.  But you'd think those feelings of being over tired would result in me being able to sleep past 4 am.  Wrong.  I suck at sleep.  So much. 

Anticipating: our trip to Santa Barbara - we leave in less than a month!

Watching:  Parenthood (raise your hand if you sobbed through the episode that aired last week) and Top Chef.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, I love all of the finalists on Top Chef so I am very sad when someone has to go home each week as they are all so very talented!

Sad:  that today marks one year since Nora lost her mom.  I got to know her mom well as I stayed in her parents' home a couple of times when I visited Nora in St. Louis.  Her mom was this special, vibrant person who was so full of life.  Her life ended far too soon and it's just so unfair.  :(

Working:  on my list of organization/purging projects.  So far I have gotten through 2 out of 7 so I am making some progress!  I get Monday off for MLK Day so I am hoping to tackle 1-2 projects that day.

Grateful:  that the weather is warming up here. We had an awful cold stretch earlier this month so temperatures in the 30s feel SO GOOD.  I hope those crazy subzero wind chills are behind us but that is probably wishful thinking. 

Listening:  to podcasts any time I am walking, driving, or have downtime.  My favorites are Book Riot, Start-Up, This American Life and Dear Sugar.

Wishing: for more snow.  Yes, I can be grateful for warmer weather and wish for more snow at the same time (it's actually been to cold lately for a significant snow fall).  Now that I own cross country skis, I want to use them as much as possible but we need more snow as the trails are pretty bare right now. 

What are you grateful for, loving, and reading?


Lisa-Marie said...

I am grateful for my home, the food I eat, warmth. It is stormy in Scotland just now, and there are so many people who don't have even these basic needs.

Loving: Oscar's reaction to snow. It is hilarious. Also Oscar generally.

Reading: Wildwood, and The Miniaturist. Both great so far.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am also wishing for more snow, not only for selfish reasons (I want to go skiing!) but also because we need water in a bad way, and not just rain. It's best to have a good snow pack, so that once spring comes we have snow melt to keep us in water for the summer.... It's kind of cheating though, because it doesn't snow in San Francisco, so I can have my cake and eat it too, meaning I can go to the snow any time I want but I don't have to live in it!

I am also going up to my parents house this weekend! We will spend time playing games, hiking and working out in the fresh air. The last time I went there, I got such great sleep at night! I can't wait.

Gracie said...

My 40ik used to do the same thing - a once-yearly match deposit at the end of the year. Of course it makes sense for the 401k administrators, but it sure hurts us! Luckily that policy changed and we get per-paycheck matching with a once-yearly deposit of any above-match company contributions.

Jeanie said...

I've been thinking about Nora today, too, ever since I woke up. Yes, sad.

But grateful for Friday, a warm-up (maybe 20!)! Anticipating next week's two-day art workshops. Loving Rick's most recent loaf of Italian bread (unfortunately for the hips!) and reading a mystery by Sarah Caudwell that I started last night -- and can't remember the title (but it's good, though I'm hanging out with the dictionary as I read it!)

Linda said...

I'm reading Fun Home but am struggling through it. It's slow and it's triggering. It's my first book of the year. Eep. I'm already 2 books behind schedule.

I'm grateful for all my friends and family who continue to live and breathe even when life is rough. Going to the visitation of a friend's boyfriend who took his own life this week.

missris said...

Your parents have a heated ice house?! I had no idea that was even a thing :)

Emilie said...

Ouch, that match program does sound ridiculous. I had three nights this week with commitments as well and I feel a little burned out.

I am grateful for no snow! Total opposite from you, ha! We've had a mild winter so far (that does not include temps, it's been cooooold) and I hope it stays that way. I'm loving Shakeology - for the first time EVER I haven't been tempted to cheat on my meal plan and I think it's due to the extra protein I'm getting. I'm in the middle of reading The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. It's a heavy read but as always, I love his writing. I'm hoping for a good chunk of time on Sunday to hopefully finish it. Have fun this weekend!

Amber said...

I just started reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and so far I'm enjoying it! I got tired of Jodi Picoult for awhile there but then I loved the Storyteller and so far Leaving Time seems to be different than most of her books as well! I think I might read the Purple Hibicus as my 'book by an author from Africa' as well as the one I originally picked was a very slow book I couldn't get into and my new rule this year is if I'm not engaged after 50 pages I'm allowed to stop reading! There are too many good books out there to waste time on boring ones :)

I'm very grateful it's Friday today!

Carolina John said...

WTH? They only match on an annual basis? so if you don't work the entire calendar year you don't get to rollover the matched amount into the next ira? that blows. I'm pissed at my HR department right now too for screwing with our PTO benefits.

Shoshanah said...

That's how our company does the er match. Definitely could be a big deal especially if you leave your job in December or so and miss out on an entire year's worth of contributions. I think their rational is that they won't match if the company doesn't make a certain amount of profit, except that's never actually happened.

And I love this season of Top Chef. Mei is my favorite, and I'll be so disappointed if she doesn't make it through.

As for Parenthood, I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the finale. I did love last night's episode though! I just love the way everyone's story lines are coming together.

Marlys said...

We are so excited for you and Phil to come for a visit! I hope the fish are biting so we can eat a meal of walleye while you are here, but will have a backup plan if not.
I enjoy reading these posts as I learn new things all the time, like you are going to Santa Barbara? Or am I just forgetful? That 401k situation is frustrating! GRRR!

Stephany said...

The Purple Hibiscus is the book I think I picked for that category, too. I'll have to settle in for a dense read - good to know!

I'm grateful to have my mom as my workout accountability buddy because I am sure I would be skipping most of my workouts if not knowing she's waiting for me!

I'm loving the Florida weather. We dipped into the 50s this week, which is a cold front for us. Heh!

I'm reading a silly but fun romance novel. :)

San said...

I am so jealous you live driving distance to your parents ;) I wish I could just go for a weekend!

I can understand your frustration about the employer's 401(k) match program, but you're indeed lucky that they match at all. My employer doesn't :(

Becky said...

Agreed. That thing about your 401K is crap.

Sad too about today and what it means for Nora - I just want to put everyone I love in a bubble where nothing can hurt them ever.

Right now I am grateful for this little boy who somehow knows when I'm getting anxious and always manages to move in some way to let me know he's okay. I hope to never take that for granted.

I am loving this mini-nesting phase I'm going through. We've had stuff piled on our dining room table for awhile and tonight I cleared it all off, as well as implemented an easier system for how we sort our bills which I think is going to make life much easier!

Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I've been knitting more so I haven't been reading as much, and I'm trying to take my time with this book and not rush through it, so I think I'll be working on it for awhile.

Happy long weekend indeed! Hope Phil stays warm!

Abby said...

Have fun this weekend at Mom and Dad's! I adore winter weekends at the lakes..... So peaceful!

I'm glad you're finally getting some descent winter weather! Yay!

I forget that this is MLK weekend. Ryan mentioned he has Monday off, and I was very confused...I can't believe January is already over half-way behind us!

I am grateful that winter is here (very opposite of the rest of the country) - I'm really basking in those cool morning runs, because in a few months it will be hot again.

I am loving my evenings lately. I've been cooking lots of new recipes to de-stress, because work has been a negative place in my life lately.

I am reading "The Kitchen House".

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Grateful For - The warmer weather. It's funny how when it's freezing here, it's freezing where you are too, and when it warms up here, it also warms up in Minneapolis.

Loving - That our next vacation is only four weeks away! I can't wait!!

Reading - I just bought "Drop Dead Healthy", by AJ Jacobs (I like non fiction), so I will start reading that soon.

Jamie and Missy said...

Have you listened to the podcast, Serial? I'm only a few episodes into the first season, but it is so interesting. It's a spin-off of This American Life. I believe a new season will start sometime in 2015.

therapydoc said...

I'm grateful that it only took 10 minutes to put my grandson to sleep (the little tyke was tired). Just found this gold nugget of a blog. Will link over!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I amreading Broken Trust and it's blah.

Nora said...

Grateful for: the overwhelming kindness of my friends this past Friday/weekend. Just amazes me how lucky I am in the friend department.

Loving: SUN. We have sun and this past weekend it was warm out, like almost 60 degrees.

Reading: Attachments. I'm just now to the point where it's hard to put it down so I hope to do some serious reading this evening!

suki said...

Super intrigued by this ice fishing! :)

megabrooke said...

I think I'll do one of these this week too.
Thanks for sharing yours... it's always fun to get more of an insight into what people are currently doing in their lives...

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

What a crummy 401k policy. They tell you to wait until you're eligible and then you have to wait to see the benefit once you are eligible. It's not like you're vesting in the company or anything. Do they have a policy for what happens to your match if, say, nine months after you're eligible (but before a dime has been deposited in your account), you decide to leave?

I'm loving this season of Top Chef, too, and I'm totally with you on being sad when these last few contestants are voted off.

I've been running outside the past few days. Anything over 32 feels like a heat wave! Kind of ridiculous, but whatever, it feels great (especially on my lungs!).

I'm grateful for my company's successes last year and the trip to Cancun they're providing for all employees. I'm loving this warmer winter weather. And, I'm reading (yes, I'm reading!!!) The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.