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.

 

 

He’s Still My Best Friend

Not all people are animal people. But we are. Hard core. Our dogs are like members of our family. Yes its me saying this. The same girl who considers locking the cat out in the cold.

Just for the record the cat is now a family member. Now that I can let her out and she comes back and is actually calm and relaxed. She also comes in from being outside when I call her which is a bonus. So Reba can stay. And maybe snuggle me at night.

Anyway, Barry was 13 years old. Possibly a little older and had started to really slow down. The only thing harder than thinking about a pet dying is trying to prepare your 3 and a half year old. She’s pretty dang smart but kids have a way of surprising us.

I tried prepping her and holding her telling her “bubbas” was getting older and one day he wouldn’t live with us that he’d pass away and go run around with Jesus. She said “so we’ll just get a new bubbas”. Okay clearly I went about that wrong. So I just let it go.

Then Wednesday the 9th we had to put him down. He couldn’t walk and was clearly in so much pain it was hard to watch. He was having trouble breathing and wouldn’t even get up when I got home. He only attempted to walk when Pat got home.

It was the worst. I mean it was wonderful the way they have it set up. Our vet is the best and they have this beautiful yard you go to and they lay down a blanket and you get to hang with him for as long as you want while they sedate him first. Anyway its still the worst!

Pat and I were beyond devastated and still a few weeks later I’m barely able to write about it.

We had to tell Rylan.

I pull her in my lap and say “sweetie Barry passed away and went to heaven to be with Jesus”

Rylan: “so we’ll go visit him?”

“no sweetheart he’s up in heaven we wont be with him for a long time” I pull in her for a hug and tell her I know he was her best friend but before I can finish talking she pushes me away very angrily and yells  “HE’S STILL MY BEST FRIEND MAMA” and runs off down the hall.

Tears in both mine and Pats eyes we go to comfort her,except she doesn’t need it. She’s playing with her toys and is totally fine. To her Barry is still her best friend. That doesn’t change just because he isn’t with us in our house.

The last 3 weeks have been a grieving process roller coaster. Some days you remember things about him that make us smile. Some days Rylan comes in the house and says “I miss Bubbas”.

We picked him up from the vet where they very sweetly gave us his paw print in a ceramic circle the way new parents do their newborns feet. Ironically we have the kit to do Rylans and have never done it! Rylan looked at it with us and asked if Barry sent it to us from heaven. I’m letting her think he did.

Bailee our 7 year old lab was so devastated that Pat thought it was a great idea to go get another puppy. A 7 week old English lab we have named Hank. No matter how hard I protested that I wanted to name him Marshall, Rylan and I were out voted.

Hank has brought joy and is so fun but we are still devastated and learning to live without Barry daily.

Rylan is absolutely right. No matter what, no matter where, Barry is still our best friend.

Summer Fun

I can’t believe it. I’m loving summer! Yup you read that right!

We have planned quite a few things and have been having so much fun! A few Pinecrest trips already and a Pinecrest movie, Mammoth Lakes with the family, already a few lake trips and days on the houseboat.

I had a procedure so I haven’t been able to work out the way I was which is a bummer but I’m going to come back strong. I haven’t written much since Barry passed away but we got a new puppy. Which means I am also running low on sleep! Before I had my procedure I was taking Bailee for hikes and walks and can’t wait to start that again!

Its going to be so nice on Mondays to drop Rylan off at school and take her for a morning hike before it gets too hot! Pretty excited and she’s doing so good! She still pulls on the leash but is way better and I feel like she’s starting mature a bit. She’s a big sister now!

Its such a bummer that Pat has had to work every day since March! He still manages to make time for us because he’s amazing. But I still feel bad doing things without him. We aren’t going to his family cabin at Bucks lake this year. It doesn’t seem fair to do things and go there without him.

Rylan is loving summer so much too. Which is good! I don’t want her to inherit my dislike for summer the way she’s adapted my dislike of babies!!!

Her baby cousin is the cutest thing ever and yet at 2 months old she still acts like he’s a little terrorist out to ruin her life. He can’t walk, talk, or take her toys and yet when he’s around she goes into a kind of panic mode! Screaming and crying when he cries and clinging to me wanting to be in a different room than him at all times.

It was funny the first time. Its been 2 months. Its not funny anymore!

They came swimming with us and she whined and cried for 2 hours because he was there. NOPE! I let her cry. she had her floaty on and would get in the water and be okay until she looked at him. ugh. Its not like its a sibling but I love them we will be spending a lot of time with them! She needs to get over it!

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

You Have To Host

I’m a flake.

I don’t want to be. But its true.

I love making plans. The idea of doing all the things is very appealing to me and always sounds great. But when it comes to actually doing all the things I lose motivation, and to be honest I get a little anxiety.

My friend once told me she makes back up plans when she makes plans with me. I’m not even mad! I actually thought “well that’s smart!” followed by “I wonder what the back up plans are and if I want to do that”.

So I complain that we all don’t get together enough and then I don’t show up. Yes I suck so hard!

That’s my new years resolution this year. Get ready cause its a long important one. Spend more time with my friends!! What a crazy concept!  Seriously though I want to spend more time with the friends that make me happy. The ones that make me laugh, that I can cry with, that my kid can be a brat in front of and they wont judge me when I flick her in the arm. Not hard, just enough so she knocks it off.

This started with my sister-in-law around Thanksgiving. I was complaining about all my groups of friends never doing anything and never getting together. So she asked a ground breaking, life changing question of “do you ever host”?

No. Point blank. No. I live in a bird house with hardly any room to live let alone entertain.

She hosts all the time and has once a month things like book club, dinner club, moms night, family night, movie night, and I’m sure I’m missing quite a few more clubs/nights. I’m not even sure there’s enough nights in a month to fit all her “once a months”. But she does it and makes it look effortless. She always has something going on and has been part of my motivation to make things happen. In the friends department… career is still a hot mess.

Okay I’ll start reaching out. Hosting. But not at my house. I have to get creative about this.

I talked to one of my best friends about this. She agreed. She is always the hostess too and does an amazing job of it. Maybe I’ll “host” at her house next time! Any way she brought up another thing to think about in my new master plan at becoming a better friend. She said “if you want people to come to things you host you have to show up to things too”. Well said bff…… well said.

So I’m going to be a better friend and show up to things. No more flaking on people. I promise to come if I say I’m going to. Or at the very least be honest if I have no intention of coming.

I’ve already started this new me thing. I went to the casino last night (yup on a Thursday) to support a fellow instructor and watch her band play. It was great. I had a drink, I danced my bum off, and was home before 10. Brilliant.

Bonus: I shocked a few people in showing up! Reputations can’t be changed in a day so I don’t blame people for doubting me. Also I know there was no better back up plan since they were still going there no matter what.

The next thing I am trying to put together is a Paint & Sip party with a big group. Whoever wants to come can if not, next time.

Fun things to come for the new me. I’m open to creative suggestions!

Photo of some friends celebrating Jeanette’s birthday!