Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where Does the Time go.....

I ask myself that question constantly. For a number of reasons. At the end of each day I try to figure out where all my time went. I feel like I'm constantly just about everything! Of course, I'm pretty sure it's mostly my fault. I've stretched myself so thin, you can barely see me sometimes!! I'm taking 18 hours of class this semester. Yes, I know. What was I thinking?? Well....I was thinking that as much as I love being a college student, I REALLY need to finish this degree and get myself back out into the world of the steady paycheck again. Money is TIGHT right now. Seriously tight, and I struggle with it on a daily basis. Mike's year is coming up quickly at FedEx, and we are hoping for full-time for him soon. We are also even looking at relocation. Memphis and San Diego are both huge FedEx depots, and there are always jobs coming open. But the girls are so against it, it's hard to even bring the topic up when they are around. I understand their frustrations....I really do. They have friends and school here, in the only home they've ever known. But economically speaking, Illinois is ranked at the bottom for jobs and at the top in families that are considered poverty level. A new start for all of us would be welcomed by Mike & I, but it would have to come with a serious paycheck for us to really consider it.

Back to is so fleeting these days. I'm working more hours than I have in a long time on top of my class schedule. And yet, I am making less than I did last year. But I keep put on that uniform and trying to make it work. Then there is the chauffeur aspect of my life. Each kid is completely immersed in activities, and I need a spreadsheet to keep up!! Ana made the travel softball team, and is in soccer. Practices and games seem to happen almost every day. If I had one child that would be great. But then there is Bella. She has taken to Jr. High like a fish to water. She shook off her disappointment of not making the school's softball team, and starting joining. She joined the speech team (which isn't really speech if you ask me. It was called Literary when I was in school). Being in band, she is now in concert band, mixed choir, and Show choir. Ah....she also tried out and MADE the school basketball team!! I am super proud of her, but she has practice for something everyday. Sometimes before school at 7. Sometimes after school....and can be there as late as 7. Pile on the homework, and she is as busy as I am.

Chad just got his learner's permit, and is ALWAYS bugging me to go driving. He decided he was going to focus more on school this year and didn't go out for football. However, he is joining the wrestling team again this year, and they are already starting workouts. Oh...and the girls! That boy has more would-be girlfriends than anyone I know!! They are constantly calling or texting or coming over. Sheesh. He just goes with the flow....he's going to Homecoming with his best friend, Carly. I just don't think he actually wanted to choose a date!

Time....I should be cleaning my house right now. Or doing laundry. Or grocery shopping. My house is close to being designated a hazard. And yet, here I sit. Another thing to put off. I have a paper due on The Crucible tomorrow. As well as my first set of Reading Cards for Child's Lit, a Humanities test on the Modern Assault.....and a group research project on the ancient Greek Playwright, Aeschylus. And that is just what I have due for tomorrow!!

Time.....I wish I had more to read for fun, though I have 40 books I have to read for Child's Lit!! Of course, some of those are actually picture books, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds at first. For the Newbery selections I just reread The Graveyard Book (always a favorite of mine), The Higher Power of Lucky, Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (EXCELLENT!), Holes, and I'm trying to finish Tale of Desperieux today. I'm going to be soliciting ideas for my next set of books. So get your thinking caps on!! I would love to be more involved with blogging, join me some challenges. RIP is going on, but I just don't have the time. I will try to pop in on all of you though and see how YOU are doing.
Time......sometimes I look in the mirror, and wonder "When did I get so old?" There are days I just feel my age in my bones. It seems like just yesterday I was in college the first time....or picking Chad up out of his crib. Where has it all gone?? How does it slip by so fast?? I guess if I had the answer to that, I would be a very rich woman. Doesn't keep me from asking though.  This past weekend, Mike and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary!    It has been a long 17 years, and we've had some good times as well as bad.....but I don't think I would trade them in for anything!

Time....I have to be at work in about an hour. So, I guess that means this post should end soon. Hopefully, there is some money to be earned today. And if not, then I just come home and start my paper. You know...that paper I should be writing instead of posting here!! I just felt the need this morning to try to re-connect with my friends. You know who you are. The people that are always there even when I seem to be completely ignoring you. Just know that I am not ignoring you....and you are all always close to my heart!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alas, Summer is Almost Over......

and still, I haven't been able to post! It seems that not blogging has left this big hole in my life. And yet, there seems to always be something that is taking my time away. I always thought not working full-time would mean I had MORE time to blog. Just doesn't seem to be the case. Ever since we moved the kids back to our house full-time, I have been non-stop on the go. When Mike and I both worked 3rd shift, the kids spent a majority of nights with my in-laws. It was the only thing we could do. They were too young to be alone at night. I missed them like crazy, even though I saw them every day. It just wasn't enough. Losing my job was hard, but not being with my kids was harder. It seems we are closer than ever. All that time apart really helped build some special bonds with those little rats....who are not so little anymore. Although sometimes I feel more like a chauffeur than a mom, I count my blessings every day.

So....what has been going on since I have been away?? Here, it's more of the same. The summer was spent attending numerous softball practices/games. Both girls played, only this year it was 2 separate teams. Both girls also spent 2 weeks at Kid's College. What an amazing experience for them!! They were both enrolled in a class called "Broadway Bound". Their instructor was a really talented lady. At then end of the session, the class put on a vaudeville style show with singing, dancing, poetry and skits. It was really good. Bella also took an art class. She loves art, and they did some sculpting, Batik and sketching. Ana, the little scholar, took a Chinese Language & Culture class. As the youngest there, she was still tops in her class. She wanted to learn a foreign language, and has now started with Mandarin Chinese. She's scary sometimes.

Me? Other than running them around all summer, I worked at the restaurant. I was going to take a class, but figured I needed the summer to decompress. Last semester was hard, being my first one back. I ended up on the Dean's List with a 3.8 GPA though. So I must have done something right! Fall semester starts in a week, so I'm working almost every day until then. Books aren't cheap folks! Damn. I'm in the hole almost $600 for the Fall's books. Financial aid is a strange thing too. As financially strapped as I am, I don't qualify for any type of aid yet. It's my last semester at the Junior College before I transfer. Since I already have a bachelor's degree, I have too many credit hours to qualify for aid. And that includes student loans too. Which sucks. I'm hoping once I'm enrolled at ISU, that will change. It has too, otherwise, I don't think there is any way I can finish without help. After taking to the registrar's office at ISU, I'm hopeful though.

My class load is even bigger this fall. 6 classes: Children's Lit, Shakespeare, Educational Technology, Education Psychology, Nature of Theater (need that extra Fine Arts Credit), and Early Western Civ (for my History minor). I wrangled my schedule to only have classes Tues/Thursday this time, so I will have more time to work (and study of course!) The kids are as excited to get back to school as I am. Chad will be a sophomore this year. I already got the letter about his "Behind the Wheel" Class. Driver's Ed!!!! I can NOT believe my baby is going to be driving. I'm still a little nauseous about it! Bella starts Jr. High this year. She got her schedule last week and it's packed full. Only 1 study hall on Friday afternoon! All the other free time goes to band, chorus and mixed chorus. Ana will be in 4th. She is almost as tall I am now!! Time has a way of speeding up the older you get. I may be a college student, but I feel so old sometimes. Especially when I look at my kids. It seems like just yesterday they were all in diapers. Now, I have one that is going to be driving soon!

Reading?? How I done any? This has been a good summer for books. I haven't really been blown away by anything lately, but I have read a lot. Mostly YA books. I reread both Hunger Games and Catching Fire, so I could finish the series with Mockingjay. As much as I loved the first two books, I found the end of the trilogy a little wanting. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale was an ok read. Although I liked the premise, the book was a little on the blah side for me. Fire by Kristine Cashore was a really good book. I liked it even better than Graceling. I read the second book in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book. I am constantly blown away by Jasper Fforde. His use of literary characters and word play is just so much fun. I read the first book in the 39 Clues series: A Maze of Bones. This one was written by Rick Riordan. The series itself is written by a number of authors. The premise is a hunt across the world for 39 clues that will lead the winners to something that will make them the most powerful people in the world. There are 7 teams of people, all members of the Cahill family. FUN series, though targets a younger audience than I usually read. What else? hmmmm....I started rereading The Dark Towers series by Stephen King. I read the first 4 books years ago, and I finally decided I needed to finish the series. So far, I've just read The Gunslinger, but will definitely pick up The Drawing of the Three soon. I just finished The Summoning (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong. Another good book, and another series I seem to have gotten stuck in. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison was also a great beginning to the Rachel Morgan series. That's all I can think of now, off the top of my head.

Since school is starting in another week, and my for fun reading is going to be cut to a bare minimum, I have a stack of books I'm going to try to get through before I get back into all that homework. They include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead by Scott Kenemore; Enna Burning by Shannon Hale; A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett; Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Good, the Bad, and The Undead by Kim Harrison; The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong; and finally Fearless Girls, Wise Women, & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World by Kathleen Ragan. Let's see what I can get done in such a short time!!

On a sad note, we had to have my beloved St. Bernard, Rocco, put to sleep a few weeks ago. In all my years as a dog owner I've never had to make that decision before. And it SUCKED! But he was getting old and in constant pain from arthritis, lost most of his hearing...then started having neurological problems. By the end, he couldn't walk. He was way too big for us to have to carry outside anymore. It was heartbreaking for all of us, but the kids especially. Still breaks my heart to think about it.

Now...I want to hear from all of you! What is happening in your lives??? I've missed you all terribly and want to know.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Lady of Shallot

I have to be honest. I'm not a huge fan of poetry. Never have been. Sometimes, it just seems like too much work for the benefits. And I feel stupid reading poetry. Words that don't make any sense....why wasn't my time?

Then I read Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot...and everything changed. Since The Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge started, I thought this would be a good time to talk about it. I mean, this is a Fantasy poem about Camelot, Sir Lancelot, and an evil curse?? Sounds like it fits the OUaT bill to a tee!

Originally written in 1833, The Lady of Shallot has been depicted in many paintings (a few pictures I've added here), song, and verse. It is an incredibly beautiful poem, and if you haven't read it, DO IT. Take the word of someone that really dislikes poetry. It's worth the time. Fair maiden cursed forever to never be able to see the world, except through a mirror, spends her time weaving a magical web. Until she sees the beautiful knight, Sir Lancelot....and risks the curse to glance at him. Unfortunately for her, she can't escape the curse, even for Lancelot. It's actually incredibly sad to think that she risked everything for love....a love that was never returned. In fact, Lancelot never even had a chance to meet the Lady of Shallot.

"There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with color gay
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay to look down on Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath, she
The Lady of Shallot."

Then she sees Lancelot:

"His broad clear bow in sunlight glowed;
On burnished hooves his war horse trode,
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode, as he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror
"Tirra Lirra", by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left her web, she left the loom,
She made Three paces through the room,
She saw the water lily bloom
She saw the helmet and the plume, She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide,
The mirror cracked from side to side,
"The Curse is come upon me," cried, The Lady of Shallot."

Arthurian literature has always been something that has intrigued me. And after reading this wonderful poem, I know that I have to read more. This lovely poem made me cry the first time I read it. It brought on deep emotions, and I can see how it has stirred many an artist. The last picture, I found on the internet is a Steam-punk Version/rendition of The Lady of Shallot. So Cool. And if you have a few minutes, please listen to the Lorenna McKinnet video I posted at the end. She adapted this poem to music, and it is truly beautiful. It makes my heart ache.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Once Upon a Time....Again

Every once in a while you stumble across something out there in the great big blogosphere that changes you. Sometimes this something is little, like a new book that will take your breath away. Sometimes, it's less tangible, like a feeling that you get when you read a post that fires up your sensibilities. And sometimes, it's meeting a new person that you have so much in common with, it's like you've known them all your life. For me, when I stumbled across The First Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge, all of these things happened. This challenge literally changed my life. I had just begun blogging, and Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings hosted the first challenge. The month before I had read American Gods by Neil Gaiman....a book that literally did take my breath away. A few people had commented on my review, Carl being one of them. He told me about this challenge and suggested some more books that I might like. In that moment, one little comment literally changed the way I read forever. A relatively new reader of fantasy, I had little experience with authors in the genre. Hell, I had little experience with the genre as a whole. But once I joined the challenge, I found a whole new world out there. And in that world were people that definitely knew their way around. Those people acted as guides to me, showing me books and authors that I would grow to love. Short stories that excited me. And graphic novels that would rock my world. For this I am forever in your debt. Carl, Chris, Nymeth, Debi, and guys have led me down a path that has taken me to worlds and places I will never forget. And for that I thank all of you!! Your friendship and reading guideance has meant the world to me.

So....with my blogging "break" (if you can call it that) officially over, I find it incredibly ironic that it coincides with the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge V! There is NO WAY I would miss this challenge, even though I will be finishing up my first semester back! I can't guarantee that I will be able to complete the challenge. But that doesn't matter to me. What matters is that I do read some books, write some reviews, and follow along with everyone else. I definitely plan on trying to do the Short Story Challenge. And the movie Challenge. When the dust clears and the challenge is over, we will just see how far I make this year. I'm just happy to be back and be able to add my name to the little Mr. Linky....and hopefully transport myself to a few new worlds this year.

I don't have an exact list. And since money is EXTREMELY tight, I probably won't be able to buy anything new. But I have some books on my shelf that will definitely fit the bill....and maybe I'll even take a few out of the library to fill in the gaps. My reading list, while not complete, may include a few of the following:

  • Stories: All New Tales Edited by Neil Gaiman
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  • A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
  • Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
  • The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson Book 3) by Rick Riordan
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  • The Eternal Ones by Kristin Miller
  • Graveminder by Melissa Marr
  • Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • His Magesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  • Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
  • From a Whisper to a Scream by Charles de Lint

And these are just the books I have on my shelves. I will do my best to pick a few good ones. Any suggestions??

Once again, I just want to thank Carl. You might not realize how important you are to the blogging community. But you are. And I, for one, appreciate all the effort you put into your challenges. You are a good friend and I just want to say thank you!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break

Well, I knew going back to school was going to be hard. I just didn't realize HOW hard!! When I had classes before, I found the time to squeeze in a social life as well as studies. But now I have 3 kids, a husband, a part-time job and a household to run. It might have been a bit naive to think that I could handle 15 hours of class as well. BUT, I can honestly say I have never been happier! I may be sleep deprived and a bit mentally unstable some days, but I am doing well. Midterm grades are in and I'm carry 3 A's and 2 B's. I spent 13 years at Cat, locked in a cubicle and working for "the man". I loathed going to work. Especially the last 7 years. That is way too long to hate what you are doing. The Red Cross started out well. I liked the idea of working for an organization that helped people. Problem was, said organization was even more political than Cat. Who would have thought? And when push came to shove, being smarter and more educated than your supervisor is NOT a good thing. Some people just can't get over it. I know that sounds kind of arrogant. Not something I would generally say. But it was true, and when I tried to put in for a job that was a higher salary grade than my manager (even though it was in a different division), it was made pretty clear that I should learn my place. Unfortunately, that kind of thing doesn't fly with me....and I'm pretty sure it was the main reason for untimely layoff. Of course, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a chance to reevaluate where I was heading. It got me back to school. In a place where I am most comfortable. In higher learning. Sitting in a room with others, learning new concepts and ideas....discussing literature and history. Learning teaching techniques and child psychology. THIS is where I was meant to be. Even though the market for teachers is horrible right now (and Mike thinks I'm making a huge mistake), this is where I need to be. I'm happy. I enjoy getting out of bed in the morning and going off to class. I figure if I can't stay a student all my life, then I can become a teacher and spend the rest of my days in a classroom. Hopefully, it will all work out.

A few of the drawbacks include a lot of travel time (with gas prices going up this sucks) and a severe tightening of the budget. My lack of full-time income is going to be a tough one for awhile. I'm still working part time, but as anyone in retail or restaurants know, business is SLOW. It's been really hard trying to make ends meet, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon. I am going to do my best to finish as quickly as I can, but if push comes to shove and I have to get a full-time job again, I'm still going to finish. I have to do this for me. I'm going to do one more semester at the JC, before I transfer to ISU. It's closer and cheaper. I even have my classes picked out for next semester.....including Intro to Special Ed, Humanities, Sociology, Educational Psych, and Sexism in History. Once finished, I will transfer to ISU to get a degree in Secondary Education (I will have at least an endorsement in English, if not a degree....although lately, I have been contemplating History as well). One day at a time......

I have done a lot of reading lately, although mostly for class. In the last couple of months, I have finished Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, tons of short stories, Beautiful Creatures, Wither, Infinite Days, Nightshade, The Sea of Monsters, a re-read of The Hunger Games, and Full Dark, No Stars. I just got some books from William Morrow that look amazing....and I'm going to start dropping some reviews. It's time I got back into the reason I started blogging in the first place. Don't give up on me yet. I'll find the time.

Spring Break has come and almost gone. I have spent most of it cleaning. My house was a disaster, and although not completely done, it's starting to look like a home again. And, drum roll please....I have lost almost 30 lbs! I'd love to say it's healthy eating and exercise. But it started out as stress and a general loss of appetite. A lot of it was due to the pain from my back, neck, hips and joints. The pain meds took away a lot of my desire for food. But once I realized how much better I felt, I really kicked it up a notch. Now, I'm down 3 pant sizes and I am starting to feel great, pain aside. I'm working through most of it with some therapy and starting next week, acupuncture. Still taking way too many pain meds, but I'm hoping to start decreasing those soon. Included a picture of me and my babies (aren't they getting big?? sob!)

So...I guess this is just one big post about how life is tough and a struggle and painful....and yet, I'm happier than I have been in years. Book reviews to start POURING out this week. Come back and see me!! Love you all!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Salon - The Longest Week Ever

The Sunday Salon.comOK....well, I know I said I was coming back to blogging. I meant it too. And I still plan on being back full-time, posting at least 3 or 4 times a week. But the past week has been amazingly full, and I haven't had a free minute!!

First of all, I have to thank each and every one of you. Not only did you restore my faith in blogging, but you welcomed me back open arms. THAT is the part of blogging that I have SO missed. What I didn't miss was the stress of posting a certain amount of times a week. Worrying about "stats", and whether my blog is "good enough" for certain publishers. Feeling pressured to read a book that I really had no desire to pick up. Feeling like I had to review all of the numerous book review requests that I received. But what all of you told me, and what I finally realized is this: That stuff doesn't really matter. I started my blog oh-so-many-years-ago for me. I wanted an outlet for all my creative juices, and a place to record the books I read. I was never a 1000-hit a day blog. I don't have millions of followers, and not the one that publishers immediately think of when choosing the Best Blogs.

BUT I think I have carved myself a nice little niche, with a few followers, some really good friends and, hopefully, some great discussion about one of my favorite topics: books. And that makes me happy. The funny thing is, even when I didn't even post for over 9 months, I still received tons of review requests. In my possession I have a least a full tote (if not two) of books that I received during my "sabbatical". I'm looking forward to getting back to reading and reviewing and blogging. I can't wait to catch up on all your blogs...and maybe even join a reading challenge of two. It's time...and I'm finally ready.

Of course, I alluded to the fact that this was a busy week. That is an understatement in the biggest way. Mike started working...which is great and wonderful...and he LOVES it. BUT, he has to get up between 2 and 3 am. And it never fails that I end up getting up too. His alarm wakes me, and I usually see him off. Then I try to get at least a couple more hours of sleep. I'm an incurable insomniac, so there are days when I just can't get back to sleep. Either way, I have to be up by 6 to shower before the kids get up. Chad has to be at the high school by 7:45. Band days, Belle has to be at school by 8. And Ana needs to be there by 8:45. The hours from 6 to 9 are just crazy trying to get everyone up, dressed, fed and ready.

Classes started this week, and I can honestly say I absolutely love them!! 4 classes and 1 online class. I'm so looking forward to getting into all of them. And for all of you readers, we are starting with the Romantics in Brit Lit. Poetry, so far by William Blake and Charlotte Smith. And listen to this: a huge project for this class includes creating a blog and doing a "salon" for a British Author!! I'm pretty sure I can handle that one!! I may be posting here on this blog, and am open to any suggestions you all have. I was thinking about Oscar Wilde or Thomas Hardy.....but would love to hear what you guys suggest!!

Frankenstein is my required reading this week in Lit111: The Short Story and The Novel. In fact, I actually picked this section BECAUSE of the reading list! The texts includes a book called Fiction 50, which is a collection of short stories by authors such as Agatha Christie, Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Alice Walker and Joyce Carol Oates. The other required reading is Frankenstein, The Haunting of Hill House, Dracula, Jane Eyre, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Eyre Affair.

Of course, getting back into the hang of studying has been a bit difficult. The last time I was studying this many classes at a time, I wasn't married. Didn't have kids or other responsibilities. I have a feeling this is going to be tougher than I originally thought. I really hope I can do it.

To top it all off, we had kind of a rough week. Chad is on the wrestling team this year. It's his first year doing it. His HS freshman football coach is the head wrestling coach, and actually suggested Chad try out for the team. Turns out, he's good. Real good. So good, in fact, this could lead to scholarships in the future. 2 weeks ago, he hurt his shoulder. We spent all day in the ER, but it was just a sprain. It put him out for a bit, which just killed him. Yesterday was the conference meet, and he was SO excited to get back to it. Then he hurt knee. Badly. We go to the orthopedic tomorrow, but his trainer is pretty sure he blew his ACL. Which is going to mean surgery and months of PT. He's devastated, but I told him at least it his freshman year. Actually, I'm kind of devastated for him. It kills me to see him so sad. He hasn't left his room since he got home from the meet yesterday.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to work last night. About 7:30, I was coming out of the back room carrying a bunch of plates, when I rounded the corner of the kitchen. Someone has spilt some balsamic vinaigrette (all greasy) on the floor, and I wiped out. I fell on my left hip, and hit my elbow hard on the metal counter. I jumped up pretty quickly, and went right back to work. But in about 15 minutes, the throbbing in my elbow as too much, and the swelling was pretty bad. They shipped me off to the ER too!! Good news for me is that I didn't fracture anything. It hurts like hell, is swollen, and is starting to turn ugly colors. But it won't keep me out of work too long.

This week it seemed like it was just one thing after the other. Belle is sick. I'm pretty sure it strep throat. Ana has had basketball and we've spent many hours studying multiplication tables. Chad's had a couple of doctor's appointments with his week it will be his knee. My washing machine took a dump, and now I have to go up the street to the Laundromat to do my laundry. Cross your fingers that I can hold it all together!

For now, I will let you all go. Check in frequently, I have a lot of books I'd like to talk about that I've recently finished, including the YA books Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Wither by Lauren DeStefano and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. Also the 1st 3 books in the Walking Dead Series. I also want to talk about the 9 new books that I've received the past few weeks, and the 3 that I got for my birthday. Till then, take care and I will be back soon!! Later!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Holy Shit. I honestly didn't realize how long it had been since I posted till I logged on today. For the last few months, I've contemplated a return to blogging....but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I don't know why. I took a much needed break. But when it was time to come back, I just froze. What if all my friends were gone?? What if I didn't have anything to say anymore? What if no one came back to read what I did have to say?? I just couldn't take the rejection.

Things in my life have changed immensely. So many changes, in fact, I don't know where to begin. First of all, my blog is in need of a change. A much needed face lift for starters. But I figure I should start with baby steps. So I'm starting with a post.

The summer brought on a change in our family dynamics. When Mike and I were both working 3rds, the kids spent time with Mike's parents. In fact, they spent more time with them than they did with us. At the time, it was good for us. The kids were taken care of, and we worked. And slept. But losing my job...and Mike getting laid off changed all that. Then a huge blow-up between Mike and his parents occured at summer's end.....and mentions of that little word custody thrown out there, and suddenly, it didn't work so well. In fact, it wasn't working at all. In August, the kids cleared all of their stuff from my in-laws and now they are in our house full-time. In fact, we don't actually speak to the in-laws any more. I thought around Christmas, we were going to patch things up, at least for the kids. But some words can never be taken back. I don't think there is enough forgiveness in the world for our families to ever come together again. And as sad as it sounds, I can live with that too.

My family and I have mended many fences in the last year. In fact, this was the first time in years that we spent the entire holiday together....and it was wonderful. I've missed them terribly. Although we had some issues in the past, my parents are so much more loving and forgiving than Mike's. They accept us for who we are, and that means the world to me.

Next bit of news....Mike got a job!! Not a full-time position. Yet. But awfully close. He just started as a material handler with FedEx. Even though it's only part-time, he has the most incredibly benefits! Medical, dental, vision, vacation, 401K, sick days, even tuition reimbursement! I'm so happy for him! He's looked for something for SO long. And this kind of just fell into his lap at the right time. He was told with hard work he could be made full-time within the first year. They NEVER lay workers off. This is a job that he can retire with. And once he is full-time, we can move with FedEx anywhere in the country. With the family issues we have right now, a move actually sounds good.

And me?? As of January 18th, I am once again, a full-time student! I am working towards a 2nd Bachelors in English/Secondary Education. I'm taking 5 classes this semester at the Jr. College, then transferring to ISU in the fall. I've wanted to do it for SO long but I never thought it would really happen. But I figured if I don't do it now, I never will. SO......I'm back to being a student again. And it makes me really happy. I went and bought my books last week. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was!

Like I steps. My reading has been all over the place lately. Not really reading all that much. With classes starting next week, not sure how much I will read that isn't on a syllabus, but I guess we will see. My reading list for the lit classes is pretty awesome. I have a semester of The Novel and The Short Story and also English Lit. Hoping for some great reading.

So....that's it for now. I'm in the market for a new look. Have to get on that soon. BUT....I am back. I have been reading your blogs lately, but haven't had the nerve to comment. Wasn't sure who would ever remember me!! Hopefully your lives have been wonderful the past 9 months I have been absent. I will do my best to catch up with all of you!!

Later!!! (and this time I do mean it!)