This weekend was awash in nostalgia for me. This is not uncommon, I guess. I live in my hometown, and memories are inescapable. But Saturday morning, I bundled up my daughter and took her to the Chapel Hill Holiday Parade, which is one of my FAVORITE things in the world. Partially because it’s just so small town: Cub and Girl Scout troops, car dealerships carrying town council members, the local Jazzercise chapter. (I love, love, LOVE the Jazzercise people. They are in it every single year!) Also I heart the parade because when I was little, I marched in it as one of the Tarheel Twirlers, the baton twirling group I was in. I know, I know. I’ve never mentioned I can twirl a baton and that is because….I can’t. Anymore, anyway. I was, like, five. But I totally remember the parade, and how I walked the whole way even though there was a wagon in case we got tired. Then in high school and college and after I always made a point of hitting the parade, but I have to say it’s much more fun with a toddler. They throw candy, there’s Santa. Even in the cold it was hilarious. Even better, I usually attend with two of my best high school girlfriends and their kids, which is one of the best things about being here, seeing my daughter play with them. It seems like just yesterday we were slumming in front of the post office, being surly: now we are there with strollers and juice boxes. Ah, how life changes.

In other news, I’ve been doing a lot of reading both on the page and via audio lately. I just finished an ARC of Megan McCafferty’s new novel, BUMPED, which will be released in May. It’s really good, people. Futuristic but with the same biting voice as my beloved Jessica Darling, and plus, I HEAR there will be a sequel. Score! On audio, I just finished Portia de Rossi’s memoir, Unbearable Lightness, which is all about her eating disorder when she was on Ally McBeal. Not easy to listen to, but so great and thought-provoking. She really takes you down that rabbit hole with her, which is so brave. Now I’m on to Mary Karr’s memoir Lit, which is SO GOOD that I just want to keep driving, like, endlessly, because I don’t want to turn it off. It’s amazing. Next up on my reading list is Lorrie Moore’s “A Gate at the Stairs,” which I hear is fabulous as well. I have loved her ever since I read her short stories in college. “How to Become a Writer” was the first story I assigned to ALL my intro classes when I taught at UNC. It’s like a primer, that good.

Finally. I am not normally a big festive holiday person. But this weekend, with my husband gone at the marathon in Charlotte, and the weather super dreary, I needed a pick me up. So I went to iTunes to check out some holiday music. I’ve been holding off on buying Mariah Carey’s new holiday album, as I LOVE her first one (I am a nerd, but I know I am not alone). But then I heard her take on the Charlie Brown theme and was sold. So I got that and the Glee album. Oh, my goodness. SO GOOD! If you don’t want to splurge, go to Pandora and get the Mariah Carey Christmas channel. It could make Scrooge want to wrap a gift. No joke.

Okay, time for pizza with the husband to celebrate his 26.2 with knee issues AND a chest cold. He is a rock star. I am just inhaling carbs in his honor.

Have a good night, everyone!