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    Currently || December

    It’s my first blog post! Yay! *throws confetti* For this first post, I wanted to start off by giving a general overview of where life is for me right now, and I couldn’t think of a better way of doing that than by doing a Currently post first. I’ll be trying to do one of these posts each month as a baseline check-in, so here goes!

    Reading:

    It’s book release night! No joke, this is something I put in my calendar for each book that my favorite romance authors release. So, because I’m on Pacific time, at about 10pm tonight the last book of Kit Rocha’s Beyond series will be released—a pretty bittersweet moment for a reader like me, who found the series right around the time that the first book was released. It also means I’ll be up until at least 3am reading my Romance of the moment. The Beyond books are dystopian erotic novels that follow a gang of bootleggers as they find love and more at the start of a revolution. Raw and boundary pushing, but with a lot of heart and an incredibly deep sense of community loyalty.

    For Personal Development, I’m reading Self-Compassion by Kristen Neff as I explore ideas of self-care and self-worth, and I haven’t quite figure out my Non-Romance read for the moment yet, so that may have to wait for the new year!

    Yes, I generally always try to have 3 books going at a time.

    Listening to:

    Aside from holiday music, which I’ve been steady listening to for a little over a week now (Dec. 1st is go-time on the holiday spirit in our house), I’ve been especially loving cozy singer-songwriter songs lately. Like, more than usual (and that’s saying a lot, but it’s also been way colder and gloomier in this part of California this last month). I’ve always felt that I’ve been able to find a song for every mood, every emotion, every situation. Right now, it’s “Gonna Get Good” by The Once.

    Watching:

    It’s a toss up between HGTV’s Fixer Upper and a bunch of vlogs, actually. I’m going to admit, I’m not the biggest TV watcher. I’m way more of a reader (because, come on now, 3 books at once). Plus, a lot of the British vloggers I subscribe to—don’t know why or how this happened, but I just go with it—are doing Vlogmas right now which seems like the funnest and most exhausting thing ever. A video each day from December 1st through Christmas? What?! I mean, why?

    In any case, I’ve been watching a lot of Tom and Giovanna Fletcher and Zoella (her second channel) this December, all of whom are doing Vlogmas. And I’m also always watching Hailey and Bradley Devine from Somewhere Devine, who are American videographers and I pretty much love every video they’ve ever put out.

    Loving:

    Our advent calendar! I mean, who knew? I’d never actually heard of advent calendars until this year (British vloggers), and it took me a while to figure out what they even were, but Nate and I got one this past weekend after searching high and low because they were sold out at most places! But I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to make this a tradition from now on. Any excuse to eat chocolate (or get tiny little presents) and count down until Christmas, right? We even have a little competition going—first person to spot the day on the calendar gets to eat the chocolate. I’ve won ZERO times. Luckily, I have a sweet husband who lets me eat some of his chocolate anyway. He’s also started throwing me pity wins. I thought I’d have too much pride for that, but whatever.

    Chocolate is chocolate.

    Letting go of:

    2016. It’s no secret that this hasn’t been the easiest year, and this month has been all about unpacking all those rollercoaster ups and downs, sitting with them, and then letting go what doesn’t serve me anymore. Grief, sadness, weariness, unmet expectations, unrealized goals, feelings of unworthiness. You know, generally crap stuff. Just recognize them, understand them for what they are, and leave them behind.

    Trying:

    I’m trying to make my mother’s Lilikoi (which is what we call Passion Fruit, I think, in Hawai’i) Mustard Baked Ham this Christmas Eve. It’ll only be the second Christmas I spend away from my family, so I want to try a recipe that my mother also tried this year, just to feel a little closer to her. I’ll be taking the ham, and a pumpkin cheesecake that I’m also going to be trying to make for the first time, over to our friends’ place for a night spent with friends who have become like family, and trying not to be too homesick.

    Looking forward to:

    The third week of Stratejoy’s Holiday Council! I’ll say more about HoCo in its own post, but we’re about to enter Week Three which is action planning for 2017! As an action-oriented girl, this is a Big Deal—it’s where I’ll look at all the goals I dreamt up in Week Two and figure out how the hell I’m realistically going to get all of them done. After 2016 seemed to feel like it went so sideways, I’m excited to imagine all the goodness waiting in 2017.