Saturday, December 27, 2014

Celebrate This Year: Things I Loved in 2014

Visit Ruth Ayers Writes for the the link up for Celebrate This Week!

So, 2014 was not my favorite year.  Lots of things that weren't so happy.  But I decided to make myself think about the things about 2014 that were happy. Things that came into my life in 2014 that brought some fun or joy.  Thought I'd share.  Consider this like Oprah's Favorite Things list--these are some of my favorite new things from 2014.

How did I live in this world without theSkimm?  Yes, I read headline news and I try to keep up on the basics of what is happening in the world. But theSkimm made that so much more fun. The girls who write theSkimm are smart and very funny, in a clever way.  I now read theSkimm every morning before work. A great way to know what is up in the world and to smile a little while doing so. They explain things in a way that catch readers up on issues. Amazing how much more I feel like I know about what is going on in the world since I've been reading theSkimm.

I forget which month I started Stitchfix but what a happy thing it is!  I am not one of their best shoppers as I only usually keep one or two items from a fix. But what a fun treat. Such fun and easy shopping!  Every month, it is like getting a present in the mail and it has been a good way for me to try new styles and prints.

And thank goodness I discovered Glennon and her amazing book, Carry On, Warrior. I won't go into details on how, but this book found me when I needed it.  I listened to the audio which seemed to be like an extra treat.  And the book led me to Glennon's blog and to her Ted Talk and to one of my favorite posts of all time, Courage Today. Glennon (I like to call her my new BFF) got me through lots this fall without her even realizing it.  Definitely one of my best discoveries of 2014.

I put my friend Stella on a mission to be in charge of the Franki Beautification Program. At 50, it takes a lot of work and I feel that I am falling apart slowly.  Stella is a good friend so she agreed to help me out.  So, for my first step in the Beautification Program, Stella suggested a fabulous lotion from Lancome--expensive, yes, but worth every penny for how happy it makes me every time I use it.

I loved attending Nerdcamp for the 2nd time. And I loved that there was a Nerdrun. But my most favorite thing was being part of Team Saunter/Team Shortcut!  Can't wait to "run" with this team again in 2015!

I am a person who loses things all the time. Since I always do more than one thing at a time, I put things down without remembering where. Needless to say, I often lose my keys and I often lose them in my purse or in the bottom of some bag filled with books. But this year, I ordered one of Candis's amazing keychains from The Jones Market. This wristlet keychain is meant for busy moms who are lugging around babies and diaper bags and things. But even though I do not have a baby, I am always lugging around books and bags and things. And I often throw my keys in the bottom of whichever purse, bag or pocket is most handy. With this keychain, I can wear the key on my wrist until I can take a minute to THINK about putting the keys away. So when I am in Target, going from my car to school, etc. I keep keys right there until I can put them where I can remember where to find them. This little keychain has saved me hours of digging through bags wondering where I tossed my keys. And isn't it also adorable?  (Looks like they are totally sold out on the site--not surprising--but I imagine she'll restock soon. Follow The Jones Market on Instagram if you want to get advance notice of restock days!)

Voxer is another  new favorite. I always love ways to keep up with my friends but with Voxer I can actually hear the voices of friends who I don't get to see face-to-face on a regular basis. But I can have great conversations every day.  What a great app:-)

I met lots of great new people this year and was able to spend lots of time with some new favorite people.  Isn't it great when you meet new people who you love instantly?  I feel so lucky to be in this amazing circle of literacy educators and it is always amazing to meet people that share beliefs about kids.  This year, I got to learn, hang out with, and laugh with Katharine Hale, Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris. They are not the only amazing people I got to know better this year, but they are 3 that made a difference in my year.  And they make me laugh!

I am a huge Kate Middleton fan.  The Duchess is the best!  And I so loved her eye roll when being told to Keep Wrapping.

I'd highly recommend adding all of these things to your life in 2015!


  1. This post made me smile, Franki. Love it!

  2. This post reminded me to thin of all the great things in my life instead of dwelling on what needs to change. Thank you so much. Whenever I catch up with your posts etc, I make a point in my mind to find a conference you will be at so I can meet you IRL. You amaze me. Off to check out Carry On , Warrior!


  3. This is such a great post! I'm going to explore some of these things and see what I need to add! Concentrating on celebrations instead of struggles is a wonderful thing. Here's to a better year for you!!

  4. May have to check out the Skimm, but still like to read the Dispatch, especially when people I know make its pages! I have my keys on a lanyard for the same reason, and that works well. Stitch Fix sounds like fun, but for now I'll stick with the low cost equivalent-- the thrift store, where I have to be looking for jeans for my daughters anyway. Great post! Have to stay positive!

  5. I've been thinking about Stitch Fix for a while now and may take some Christmas money (because somehow even as an adult I get Christmas money :) and give it a try. Just signed up for theSkimm and I'm excited about that. Thanks for sharing these things and your thoughts on them.

    I worked with Glennon when she was teaching. Many of her third graders came to me in fourth grade. She was an amazing teacher. Her oldest and my oldest are close in age and went to the same babysitter for a little while, before Glennon stayed home. It's astounding to me to watch what she's doing now and to see others get to know her.

    1. Stitchfix is a fun try and you can keep nothing and only spend $20. Some pieces are very reasonable. (Others, not so much!)

      I love that you taught with Glennon. After I discovered Carry On, Warrior, I realized this was the ams Glennon who wrote Test Talk and that I had written the foreword to that book. Small world. She is definitely making an impact on many lives.


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