Freckle Faced Girl

Finding Joy in Everyday Experiences

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Being an adult is really hard. 
I think that’s why I connect so much to children’s literature. When I read children’s books, I am immediately transported back to being a little kid. I remember waking up, excited to play and explore. I remember hiding out in my room and imagining. I remember finding book characters and feeling like they were my friends. I remember learning and living in worlds that were so different than my own. I loved every minute of my childhood. And, when I read a good picture book or a good Young Adult book, I remember those feelings. For a minute or two, I am not an adult who is struggling to figure out where to belong. I have joy and peace. 
I want other people to feel this way. I want to help kids discover joy in reading. I want to help them be able to feel imaginative and to learn about worlds that are so different from their own. I want to share beautiful books and surround myself with those life giving things. 
Luckily, for me, children’s books are not the only place where I am able to escape and find beauty. Books of all kinds provide that for me, and I have my childhood of reading to thank for that. If I hadn’t fallen in love with reading when I was little, I wouldn’t have been able to be an English major in college. If I hadn’t read picture books, I never would have wanted to read Shakespeare orJonathan Safran Foer. If I didn’t know that books were magical, I wouldn’t still get excited to go to the library and pick out new books to read. I wouldn’t randomly pick up new reads, like the one pictured above, and live a new adventure for a little while. 
Being a reader has shaped the adult that I have become. And, I know as I move forward in my career, I can’t continue to ignore that little reader who helped me become who I am now. Sharing, talking, and surrounding myself in books needs to be my plan as I think about my dream job. 
Being an adult is really hard, but I keep moving forward. I keep reading and reading and learning more about myself, one day at a time. 

Being an adult is really hard. 

I think that’s why I connect so much to children’s literature. When I read children’s books, I am immediately transported back to being a little kid. I remember waking up, excited to play and explore. I remember hiding out in my room and imagining. I remember finding book characters and feeling like they were my friends. I remember learning and living in worlds that were so different than my own. I loved every minute of my childhood. And, when I read a good picture book or a good Young Adult book, I remember those feelings. For a minute or two, I am not an adult who is struggling to figure out where to belong. I have joy and peace. 

I want other people to feel this way. I want to help kids discover joy in reading. I want to help them be able to feel imaginative and to learn about worlds that are so different from their own. I want to share beautiful books and surround myself with those life giving things. 

Luckily, for me, children’s books are not the only place where I am able to escape and find beauty. Books of all kinds provide that for me, and I have my childhood of reading to thank for that. If I hadn’t fallen in love with reading when I was little, I wouldn’t have been able to be an English major in college. If I hadn’t read picture books, I never would have wanted to read Shakespeare orJonathan Safran Foer. If I didn’t know that books were magical, I wouldn’t still get excited to go to the library and pick out new books to read. I wouldn’t randomly pick up new reads, like the one pictured above, and live a new adventure for a little while. 

Being a reader has shaped the adult that I have become. And, I know as I move forward in my career, I can’t continue to ignore that little reader who helped me become who I am now. Sharing, talking, and surrounding myself in books needs to be my plan as I think about my dream job. 

Being an adult is really hard, but I keep moving forward. I keep reading and reading and learning more about myself, one day at a time. 

Filed under reading forts

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Weekly Reads 3

Here is a really late weekly reads. I read faithfully last week, but multiple migraines in the evening made it hard for me to think about having more screen time. I even fell asleep before 9 a couple of times last week. 

Anyway, as part of Danny’s birthday adventure, we went to Yellow Springs and wandered around. Danny ate some pancakes, and we went in his favorite record store. We also went into a bookstore called Dark Star. We love that book store because it has the coolest graphic novels, and it has a funny cat who likes to be petted. They also have a lot of good used books. 

When we first walked in, Danny and I locked eyes on this book, and I impulsively bought it. 

Yes, this is the graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time

I’m sure you all have read A Wrinkle in Time, so I won’t bore you with a synopsis. But, I will say that it is really cool to see a childhood favorite book in a new format. I am a sucker for a cool graphic novel, and this one is pretty good. 

Honorable Mentions:

House Girl—This book was really interesting—it had two stories combined in one. One part talked about a slave girl who was a fantastic artist, and the other was a modern day lawyer who was investigating a case and discovered the art of the aforementioned slave. 

The Bones of Paris— A mystery that combined Surrealist art, 1920’s Paris, and a macho detective. It wasn’t the best mystery I have ever read, but it was an interesting read!

And, here ends my latest Weekly Reads. I hope it helps you find something new and fun to read!

Filed under weekly reads

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28 years ago today

28 years ago today, in the middle of a raging blizzard, a little boy named Danny was born. 

This little Danny was always ready for adventure, and he brought joy with him wherever he went. 

Eventually, he stopped wearing yellow onesies, and he grew up to be a wonderful, bearded man who is a pie enthusiast, coffee snob, poetry nerd, best friend, and English teacher. Basically, he’s the bee’s knees. 

A year and a half after this little boy was born, a little girl was born in Ohio during a tornado warning. Is it a coincidence that two born under such extreme weather conditions would meet and fall in love? I think not. Here is a glimpse of that little girl. 

This little girl liked wearing bangs and pajamas, and she liked adventures, too. 

And, she could rock a pair of overalls. 

Eventually, this girl grew up, and she met her Michigan boy, and she still can’t believe that she got to marry him. 

So, on this very happy day, the silly Ohio girl is so thankful for her Michigander. And, she can’t wait to spend a lifetime of birthdays with him. 

The end. 

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5 Things:
1. Today, we started reading Romeo and Juliet. To celebrate, I wore my Shakespeare socks. I would like to say that these socks protected me from any shenanigans, but they were not full proof. I still had to deal with teacher things, but the socks did make me smile when I noticed them!
2. I gave Danny and early birthday present. 

I don’t know why I encourage his pie eating. I just can’t say no to him. 
3. I am completely obsessed with Scholastic. I am plotting a way to work for them—without having to interact with others or leave my couch. Wish me luck. 
4. Danny got a teapot and teacups. Things are about to get proper in the Kloosterman house. 
5. I started this blog post two days ago, but I had two major migraines, so I didn’t finish. Thanks for letting me finish this one—I will probably write another one today for Danny’s birthday!

5 Things:

1. Today, we started reading Romeo and Juliet. To celebrate, I wore my Shakespeare socks. I would like to say that these socks protected me from any shenanigans, but they were not full proof. I still had to deal with teacher things, but the socks did make me smile when I noticed them!

2. I gave Danny and early birthday present. 

I don’t know why I encourage his pie eating. I just can’t say no to him. 

3. I am completely obsessed with Scholastic. I am plotting a way to work for them—without having to interact with others or leave my couch. Wish me luck. 

4. Danny got a teapot and teacups. Things are about to get proper in the Kloosterman house. 

5. I started this blog post two days ago, but I had two major migraines, so I didn’t finish. Thanks for letting me finish this one—I will probably write another one today for Danny’s birthday!

Filed under teachernerd

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Weekly Reads 2

So, I am here again to share a weekly read with you. I had a big plan to share the book, Mrs. Poe, with you, but then, my weekly reads was hijacked by this book. 

After I finished up Mrs. Poe, I started Night Film, and I was hooked from the very beginning. 

This book is another mystery, but it is a far cry from the series I shared with you last week. This book is not one that I would share with every reader (it had a fair amount of swearing), but I really liked it. 

Without giving too much away, I will just share that this mystery starts when a famous director’s daughter dies. After her death, an investigative journalist, who lost all credibility five years earlier by trying to imply that the aforementioned famous director was involved in unsavory activities, decides to get his life back in order by investigating the death and proving that his assumptions about the famous director weren’t false. 

One thing that really drew me to the book was the fact that it had interactive elements. Throughout the book were pages which were designed to mimic different media pages. There were newspaper clippings, online articles, police files, web pages, and pictures. And, to add more media and technology, one can download a Night Film app which will unlock more secret content. 

The characters were also really interesting and compelling. I liked that they seemed to be like real people, and I liked following their journey. 

So, all in all, I would say that I really liked this book. I found the mystery really engaging, and it kind of reminded me of Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, but with no risque parts. 

My honorable mentions for this week are: 

Mrs. Poe—a really interesting account of Edgar Alllan Poe and his alleged mistress. It was weird to see that Edgar Allan Poe was a person, not just a character out of his stories or poems. 

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys—an interesting cookbook. Danny and I made her savory chicken pocket pies tonight, and they were great!

Flora and Ulysses—this is an youth book, but it’s pretty cute. It’s by Kate Dicamillo, and it is about a little girl who rescues a squirrel. 

Alright, so ends my second week of reads! I hope this gives you some ideas for your next library visit. 

Filed under weekly reads night film

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The week in wins and losses…

Losses:

1. I scratched my eyebrow while teaching, and a blizzard of dry skin flew off my person. 
2. The staff bathroom at work is broken, so I have had to awkwardly make eye contact with students as I head into a stall. Sharing a bathroom space with students has done wonders for my stomach issues, let me tell you.
3. We had to wait in our house for hours, waiting for a plumber to come and fix our sink.
4. My dad came to talk to my class, and he was instantly more revered than I ever will be.

Wins: 

1. I went in a bathroom, and there was video footage of a cardinal in the mirror.
2. Sherlock started again yesterday. So good, and I am reobsessed. 
3. Danny and I got some trophies at a thrift store, and we are going to spray paint them and turn them into bookends. 
4. I went to a stationary store this week and overdosed on beautiful cards. 
5. Finally, I made it through the week and am now one week closer to spring break!

The week in wins and losses…

Losses:

1. I scratched my eyebrow while teaching, and a blizzard of dry skin flew off my person.
2. The staff bathroom at work is broken, so I have had to awkwardly make eye contact with students as I head into a stall. Sharing a bathroom space with students has done wonders for my stomach issues, let me tell you.
3. We had to wait in our house for hours, waiting for a plumber to come and fix our sink.
4. My dad came to talk to my class, and he was instantly more revered than I ever will be.

Wins:

1. I went in a bathroom, and there was video footage of a cardinal in the mirror.
2. Sherlock started again yesterday. So good, and I am reobsessed.
3. Danny and I got some trophies at a thrift store, and we are going to spray paint them and turn them into bookends.
4. I went to a stationary store this week and overdosed on beautiful cards.
5. Finally, I made it through the week and am now one week closer to spring break!

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Weekly Reads

Since I am focusing on pretending that this is a real, professional blog, I figured I should write some columns on a weekly basis. That way, I can feel interested to write when I feel like nothing interesting is going on. 

My first column, I’m sure you aren’t surprised, is about books. I am going to share books that I have read, are currently reading, or want to read. They’ll probably be adult books since I read those most regularly, but they might also be young adult or picture. You’ll never know—that will keep us on our toes, I think. 

Remember when I told you my deep, dark, dirty secret about being addicted to PBS? Well, just to keep this openness alive, I am going to share another secret. I have some guilty pleasure books. Books that are embarrassing and not former all-star English major worthy. 

My favorite guilty pleasure books are mysteries written by Laura Childs. Here is an example of one. 

Before I tell you about these delightful gems, let me explain how they came into my life. 

It all started with my grandma. My grandma is the coolest lady on the block—she was a public school teacher, and she raised four kids while getting a Master’s degree and a doctorate. Then, she was a University professor for several decades. She is awesome. 

Somewhere along the line of her teaching/intellectual life, she decided to stick it to the man and read whatever she wanted, even if they weren’t classics. She loves a good mystery, and she used to just let them stack up around the house. Because I wanted to be like her, and I wanted to have books to talk about with her, I asked if I could borrow one. I think I was in high school when I first read one of these, and against all odds, I totally fell in love. And, I felt like I was sharing something special with my grandma. 

Anyway, back to the stories. Laura Childs has three different series spinning around. The first one involves a lady who owns a tea shop in Savannah, and she solves crimes in her spare time. The second involves a lady who owns a scrapbook shop in New Orleans, ands she solves crimes in her spare time. The final series focuses on three older women who own a restaurant/bookstore/knitting store and solve crimes in their spare time. 

Each series follows the same basic format—the women go about their regular lives, find a dead body, investigate against the police’s wishes, get stuck in a dangerous situation, and then save the day. But, they are pretty entertaining. There are recipes, references to designer clothing, and rocking parties. I, weirdly, can’t get enough and order them from the library as soon as they are announced. 

Would I read these books while on public transportation? Probably not. But, do I enjoy reading them while in the house by myself? Yes. 

So, if you are in the mood for light mysteries with interesting characters, check out any by Laura Childs. 

So ends my first installment of Weekly Reads. Was it a worthwhile read? 

Filed under laura childs weekly reads

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On organization

As of late, my obsession has been organizing. I’ve gone through bursts of organization throughout my life, and my organizational desires are not equal throughout the house. I could live with three weeks of worth of clothes on the floor, but stick a stack of books in my path, and I will fall to pieces. 

Interestingly, as one who loves books with a passion and has spent all of her working life interacting with books, I cannot stand seeing books in the house. I hate stacks of books, and I hate bookshelves. Isn’t that weird? I like bookshelves in a library, and I like pretty, styled shelves on Pinterest, but I can’t actually stand looking at a bookshelf in our home. Thankfully, Danny and I have a huge refurbished kitchen cabinet with doors that holds all of our books. 

One of the areas of life that stresses me out the most is our cd collection in the car. The cds fall all over car, and I can’t find any music when I want it. It drives me crazy. So, Danny and I got some containers, and while I was organizing, I found some lost, but beloved cds. 

My favorite find was Greg Laswell’s cd, Landline. Greg Laswell, in case you don’t know, is married to Ingrid Michaelson, and he is awesome. His voice is low, and soulful, and rugged…well, you get the idea. I love it. And, to top it all off, he does duets with Sia, Sara Bareilles, Elizabeth Ziman, and, of course, Ingrid. 

I will confess that I hummed a few of his songs all day long, and then, I watched several of his videos tonight. I especially like ones where he and Ingrid sing together—you should watch them be in love together. It’s adorable. 

Greg is coming out with a new album in February. Maybe I can convince Danny to buy it for me for Valentine’s Day? We’ll see!

Filed under Greg laswell

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Do you ever have days where everything feels off? Today was one of those days for me. It wasn’t anything specific—I didn’t encounter any life shattering obstacles, but I still felt all topsy turvy. My hair has been feeling crazy lately (ok, for my whole life), my clothes don’t feel quite right, I’m not a famous blogger, I am having a hard time getting out of the house to have exciting adventures, and I really just wanted to eat some chicken soup today, but I didn’t. All of that compounded to make me feel like today was not a win. 
But, then I read this post from my new favorite blogger, Joy the Baker. I often feel like I am pretend best friends with bloggers that I follow, but I am pretty sure that Joy and I would actually be friends if we met in real life. That being said, you should probably read her blog, and while you’re at it, you can buy her cookbook and listen to her podcast. Both are the bees knees. 
Anyway, the gist of her post was that everyone feels topsy turvy, and we should just get over it and live in peace. Even though I secretly feel like I might look like a hobo, I should accept myself and let myself live in peace. 
And, if that fails, I should put blankets in the dryer and let Danny cover me in them. I might have done that yesterday, but I can’t really be sure. 

Do you ever have days where everything feels off? Today was one of those days for me. It wasn’t anything specific—I didn’t encounter any life shattering obstacles, but I still felt all topsy turvy. My hair has been feeling crazy lately (ok, for my whole life), my clothes don’t feel quite right, I’m not a famous blogger, I am having a hard time getting out of the house to have exciting adventures, and I really just wanted to eat some chicken soup today, but I didn’t. All of that compounded to make me feel like today was not a win. 

But, then I read this post from my new favorite blogger, Joy the Baker. I often feel like I am pretend best friends with bloggers that I follow, but I am pretty sure that Joy and I would actually be friends if we met in real life. That being said, you should probably read her blog, and while you’re at it, you can buy her cookbook and listen to her podcast. Both are the bees knees. 

Anyway, the gist of her post was that everyone feels topsy turvy, and we should just get over it and live in peace. Even though I secretly feel like I might look like a hobo, I should accept myself and let myself live in peace. 

And, if that fails, I should put blankets in the dryer and let Danny cover me in them. I might have done that yesterday, but I can’t really be sure. 

Filed under joy the baker