3 SERIES 1 ME

I’m currently in the middle of reading 3 different series.

I’ve read the first two books in the Everything We Keep series.

I’ve read the first book in the To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before Series.

I’m currently on book 4 of the Red Queen Series. You can tell which one kept my attention the longest. Actually that’s not true. The Red Queen series was just the most easily accessible from the library. I’ve had to search or wait for the other ones. I wonder where Rylan gets her impatience.

I’m not as much of a young adult fan as this list suggests but I’m enjoying the Red Queen (now on War Storm) much more than I thought I would. It’s very Hunger Games, Divergent, mixed with some fantasy aspects. I like it.

I like that after the first story she bounces around from different characters point of view. It adds some depth that I appreciate especially in a series. I’m not sick of the characters the way you sometimes get when you read 3-4 books with the same persons voice.

The anyone can betray anyone line carries over from the first book and its such a powerful statement, I have clung to it reading the books. I’ve read them all on my kindle and started one right after the other so honestly I couldn’t separate one book from the other! Its one gigantic book to me right now.

My biggest problem with it is that it makes me want to run. I really love the way she describes her love of running and it makes me want to get back into it. Also makes me want to train to fight to the death. All good things to help get me in shape right? Except I don’t want to stop reading to go do all the work out things its inspiring me to do. Book nerd problems.

The Everything We Keep series is really good as well. She finds herself on her wedding day at her fiance funeral instead. It goes through her trying to heal while getting messages that her fiancé is alive and in Mexico. I like the emotional ride of “what would I do in that situation” because I really don’t know. I kept trying to talk to Pat about it but he doesn’t care. I think there’s only been 2 books he’s ever asked follow-up questions about.

The second book is Everything We Left Behind. I actually enjoyed it even more than the first one. I can’t wait to read the 3rd book but feel like the second one wrapped everything up pretty nicely for me. I’m not sure where they are going to go from here.

To All The Boys I loved Before is very young adult. It really took me back to my high school days and how everything felt so monumental and each “relationship” was the beginning or end of the world. It was a fun trip down memory lane but I’m not sure I have the need to finish the series. It was a nice easy beach read but when I look at my list of book I want to read the rest of the series falls pretty low on the list.

***GOOD NEWS***

We got our generator in so if we lose power again, we won’t lose power! Also there’s another snow storm on its way. Pretty sick to death of the snow but super happy it rained all night and this morning its almost dark out and still pouring down rain.

It went from feeling like a shower to now its turned my back yard into a swamp. Guess what? I don’t care. I love this rain and the sound of it on our house. The 30 mile an hour wind I could do without. Waking up to see our front porch furniture on the other side of the house attacking Rylans playset was not fun. Then again I just left it there so it didn’t really matter… Don’t drive by my house right now its not pretty. But I’m inside cozy with my reading list so we’ll worry about it later!

 

 

 

 

BOOKS & RAIN

I’ve always referred to myself as a closet nerd. I don’t think I can do that anymore. I’m just an all out proud nerd. I don’t leave the house without a book. Ever. Even if its just my kindle (fully loaded with at least 3 books). I alternate between reading on the kindle and real books and am hard core obsessed with the library. I love that Rylan is too and is becoming more self sufficient there. The day we both sit and read together all day is going to be a huge life right of passage for me.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started book clubs. At least 5 times. 5 different failed attempts at connecting with people over books. I’ve also recently took a crack at starting a bible study and here’s what I’ve realized…. I’m not good at getting people together. I’m good at the idea of it but highly underestimate how hard it is to get any number of people together. I should know this by how little I see my closest friends!

Anyway I’ve stumbled across an app that runs this bible study for me. Its First 5 and its 5 min studies and I do it every morning. I try and post my thoughts and answers to the questions. Its the first 5-10 min of my day and feels amazing. I’m truly overwhelmed and grateful  for all of those who joined.

I thought it was a lost cause with the bible study. I thought I had to settle for being on my own reading and finding podcasts who talk about the book or interview the author. Left to share books and thoughts with friends in passing but never really getting into it. The closest I’ve come is my friend Heather who we frequently Marco Polo about books and my co-worker Terry who I often force to read books I’ve recently read so I have someone to talk to. Poor thing works with me by herself Fridays and has no where to go. Luckily we have the same taste in books. If I could just get her into a little sci fi…. I wonder if I could steal her kindle…

Sorry I’m back! I discovered through the recommendation on Instagram the podcast “what should I read next”… which lead me to the website Modern Mrs. Darcy . An online book club that has the connection and everything that I’m looking for! I’m in love with 3 episodes of the podcast I’ve listened to and have added at least 8 books to my reading list. I’m not sure if this is amazing or terrifying but I have a tingling feeling of excitement.

We’ve gotten more snow in the last few weeks than in the last two years or more (I’m bad with time. I say yesterday and I really mean 2 years ago). Thank goodness for real books cause our power keeps going on and off. When its not snowing its been raining which is heaven!

I’m on the last book of the Red Queen series and am really in a blissful state right now. Its been raining hard, I have a great book, I have a book club to look forward to, and a great podcast to hold me over till March when the next one starts. I can’t start in the middle of the month. I’m weird like that. I’ve also got some audio books going to keep my house super clean!

Sending happy thoughts to all my fellow rain and book lovers. You are truly my people! I’d ask for book suggestions but my list is so long I’m starting to get nervous.

 

 

 

FIRST 5 BIBLE STUDY

Thought I’d explain a little about my journey.

I grew up going to church as a Christian. My mom and I tried a few different churches and while I took in the messages I wasn’t fully committed.

As time went on I always had that in the back of mind as a moral compass and I’m forever grateful for that.

When I was pregnant and had Rylan I had a lot of anxiety. Possibly depression with it but mostly I was just scared all the time. I turned to God in a way I never have before. Prayers and tears and long talks in the middle of the night asking him for help. Of course everything got better and I’ll never forget the feeling of being comforted by him.

If you haven’t read my Jesus Culture post check it out. I went with my mom and her friends and fell in love. You can now live stream their services online which is awesome! I actually still listen to their podcast cause I can listen on the go in my car and while doing other things.

Anyway the past year I’ve thought a lot about getting closer to God and learning more. I don’t know nearly enough about the bible and that’s making it sound better than it is. I know next to nothing. Other that what I’ve heard in church and bible verses that stick with me on a person lever there isn’t much to go on. Not exactly an ideal bible study leader.

But I’ve talked to a lot of people who feel the same as I do. Wanting a bible study but are either intimidated, don’t have the time, don’t know where to start, or all of the above. I don’t feel like I have enough experience or knowledge to just blindly go at it. So after months of and months of prayer I think I have a direction on where to start.

Which is why I’m excited about First 5 . It’s an app that basically does bible study for us. I’ve started a group and invited a bunch of people (if your interested let me know). It gives you a plan for every day reading, most of which are super short and manageable before bed or first thing in the morning. We can chat and send messages to each other about the verse and share stories. I’d also like to get everyone together at the end for appetizers and drinks and discuss what we thought of the whole plan.

What I’m excited for is we can all be connected while studying on our own at our own pace on our own time and not feel pressure. At the same time knowing people are getting the same message and there to chat at everyone’s convenience.

I’m looking forward to this adventure with all of you and can’t wait to learn more and dive deeper in this spiritual journey.

Control Freak

I’ve recently discovered the library! I know I’m way behind the times but I started taking Rylan a few months ago and we fell in love. I came home with two books for me and two for Rylan and told Pat “guess what babe? I can read for FREE!!! Do you know how much money I’m saving on books?!” Which was stupid of me because his next question was “how much were you spending on books?”  Answer: trust me dahling you don’t want to know!

Anyway both Rylan and I love going on Tuesdays. Not during the kid play time though cause we aren’t ready to be that social. Although I’m going to start making her go. That lady tells stories way better than I do.

We go and she finds book and toys and I start a new book. I thought I was a slow reader, and I kind of am. But having a deadline to get the book back has made me realize I average a book every week, week and a half.

I’m currently reading a book and it mentioned that we are not actually scared of heights. We are scared that we will willingly jump.

Well that made me think… is that really true? I want to know more about this. Since I read that we’ve driven over Sonora Pass and as I looked over some of the cliffs I thought of that statement. Being scared of losing control and just willingly jump. To be clear I was thinking about the statement… I do not want to jump.

I’d bungee jump… maybe even sky dive. Its not the jumping that would scare me its the hitting the ground and dying that’s scary. But I guess I understand the statement. Its that fear of loss of control. That fear that you could lose it and just jump.

I think a lot of our fear and actions come from fear of not being in control. I like order. I like to know what’s coming and what to expect. I like to know that if I plan ahead I know how things will go. But you can’t control everything.

I can’t control my toddler. That’s been made clear every day of the last 4 years. I can control certain things but overall she’s her own person with her own attitude and thoughts and ideas about how she does things. “I can do it mama” is said more than 10 times daily in my house. Yes baby I know you can, but we need it done before tomorrow.

I think New Years resolutions are stupid. Why do you have to wait for a certain date to make a change? Listen to Tony Robbins and make the change right when you decide to! In the middle of the day, or week, or year. Just do it!

So while I hate resolutions I do want to focus this year on not being in control. Just letting go and let whatever happens happen. What’s coming will come and we’ll meet it when it does.

I’ve already started this considering in the last 4 months we’ve been changing careers like 5 times! In one month we went from putting in applications to houses in San Jose to Pleasanton to buying a gas station and staying in Sonora.

Final decision by the way is staying in town and taking over the Chevron. Joining the family business and welcoming my husband to the life I’ve had all growing up in the gas station world. Welcome honey I hope you like it!

I wont lie taking over the gas station and joining the family business feels a little like looking over the edge and jumping. In a wonderful way. That fear mixed with excitement and the unknown. The best part is we have this amazing support system of family and friends that feels like a giant net to catch us. Tony Robbins says to learn from the best if you want to be the best and that’s exactly what we are doing. Learning from my grandparents, parents, and Aunt/Uncle. They are the best in the business and we are so fortunate to learn from them and have their support.

So CHEERS to jumping into 2019. wow that was too cheesy even for me! Sorry guys.

 

 

Jesus Culture

Pat: “sorry I just think its weird to drive that far for church”

Me: I get it you think its weird but we wanna go and the bible study girls swear its worth the drive. Its not like we are doing this every Sunday.

Pat: Alright see you around 12.

That was when he thought we were just going to Modesto for church. The Jesus Culture we went to is in Folsom. So instead of driving 45 min (which he thought was ridiculous) I was in fact, driving an hour an half.

The bible study girls were absolutely right. It was well worth the drive. Its not something I can afford to do every Sunday but its worth planning in advance to go to.

I hadn’t been to church in a really long time and this was exactly what I needed.

I fell in love with the worship. I’m not a huge live music person. So much so that if we are at a bar and they start setting up live music I start sweating and pay the tab and get the heck out of there. I don’t like it. BUT I like a legit concert with good music and that’s what worship felt like. A great concert environment with great music and great energy.

The message was even better if that’s possible. Love people. Ground breaking, mind blown, gooesbumps type of message. I loved that overall the message was not to be apart of a church but how to live better and love people better. It went right along with all my Tony Robbins things.

Its positive thinking and being kind and having faith in God. They are now doing a “Church I See” series in their sermons and I love that too. The church they see and that I want to be apart of is full of hope. It looks to the future and asks what we can do for our church not what the church can do for me. In that message alone it does a great deal for me. It switches my focus away from myself and thats extremely freeing and powerful.

Tony Robbins talks about saving your relationship. Suggesting that we do what we did in the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end. So I asked myself what was different in the start of my relationship? How as I different towards my husband. Well things were about him. Everything wasn’t constantly about me. Bringing it back to the start and seeing how you can make others happy will essentially make you happier.

After having gone to the church and having a hard time making it back there, I started listening to their podcast and continue to be inspired and motivated. I think the best quote that hit home for me was “Jesus didn’t rise from the tomb for us to be better at church, he rose for us to live a better life”.

I continue to listen to the podcast every week and feel pretty connected to this Church that even though I can’t make it every week I feel better after listening. So if anyone is up for a road trip to Church let me know!

Happiness Is Relative

I read a post on Instagram a day or two ago and its stayed with me. Have you ever had that happen? Where you read something and like two or three days later you’re still annoyed by it?

I’m not the kind of person to comment on it and leave my opinion. Mostly because I don’t know this person so I’m sure they don’t care what I have to say, but also because I don’t want to be “troll”. Is that even the right word? I didn’t want to start a stupid argument over something that’s really just a difference of opinion.

Anyway back to the point. I follow the hash tag debtfreecommunity. I’m working on becoming debt free and want a better financial future that want is considered normal these days. This post said that they paid off all their debt and they weren’t happy. It was encouraging people to continue to live their lives and not to worry about paying off debt because it wont make you happy to be debt free.

Well no shit Sherlock!

Reason #3 I didn’t comment on the page…I have a lot to say about this!

Of course if you are a super unhappy person and depend on ANYTHING to make you happy, you wont be. Happiness is about perspective and gratitude and is something that you have to work at everyday. To expect that once you get all your debt paid off that angels are going to come sing for you and lift you up on a happiness cloud is ridiculous. YOU have to make yourself happy.

We are working our bums off to get out of debt and we really aren’t even in that bad! I can tell you when my car is paid off I will be the one singing and dancing and celebrating because I really will be so happy! Am I relying on it for my total happiness? Absolutely not! But its going to be a major bonus!

I’m also pretty dang happy with where we are now. We both make decent money and I was fortunate enough to have a job that let me come back an extra day occasionally. I am blessed to be able to teach Les Mills classes and get paid to work out. I’m happy that I get to spend time with my family and have great friends who understand when I say “No I can’t come out tonight I didn’t budget for it”.

That’s the magic word and I think that’s what this Instagram user had a problem with. If I had to guess anyway. I don’t know this person.

Getting out of debt is hard. You have to say no to things you want to do and things you really could afford. Depending on how you look at being able to afford things.

If you are using a credit card in the process we are in now you can’t afford it. For some people that doesn’t matter and good for you. I don’t have a problem with that cause its not my business. People use them then pay off the balance each month. I’d want to be able to pay cash for everything.

I can tell you that as of now I’m enjoying budgeting every paycheck down to the dollar and knowing what we can and can’t do. I get super excited when I budget and put money in savings or get to throw an extra $100 at the credit card or soon to be just my car payment. I love watching those balances drop!

Everyone is different just like every budget and financial goal is different. I just didn’t appreciate this person posting and discouraging people to become debt free. Its hard enough when we are all trying to stay positive and encourage each other. I don’t need the negative Nancy out there making things harder.

So to everyone on a budget with a goal just know you can do this! It will be worth it because you are worth it. You deserve the money you work for and shouldn’t have to give it away!

The Last Mrs. Parrish

I’m not sure I have words for how intense this book was for me!

I don’t even like suspense that much anymore. I think the best I can compare it to is how I felt reading Gone Girl. Amazed that someone’s mind can work that way.

I’m kind of jealous of it. That someone is that creative and cunning but at the same time I’m terrified of it. Just like after watching the first Saw movie. (I only say the first one and watched it through my fingers and cried..not my genre AT ALL). I was horrified that someone’s mind created that. While these actions weren’t real they really came from a real person. I find it hard to sleep when I put too much thought into that.

Same way with The Last Mrs. Parrish. Because while it wasn’t a cold blooded murder book, it was a thought provoking, mind twisting, suspenseful book that left me questioning every person I’ve ever met.

Also wondering if something like this were happening to me how would I survive? Would I be so paralyzed in fear and disbelief that I wouldn’t be able to do anything? Would my survival instincts kick in and make my brain think crazy thoughts to get me out?

I’d like to think instincts would kick in but the whole time I was reading my only thought was “Oh my goodness I would just die”.  That can’t be good.

I’m sure factoring kids would change that. Obviously I’d do anything for Rylan. That’s a powerful instinct so I’m sure we’d manage but holy moly was I impressed with this whole book.

I highly recommend it and look forward to any conversations about the craziness that is this book! Now I need to go find something happy and cheery and super Romantic Comedy to bring me back to a normal state where I can trust everyone again! Suggestions?

Memes courtesy of Instagram #randomhousememes