Good Golly Miss Molly!

I like to joke that I chased my husband for 15 years before I caught him. That’s not 100% accurate but it’s not totally wrong either!

We met freshmen year and I was fascinated by him. He was a basketball and football player and he hung out with the cool kids. He was also painfully shy (he would argue now but it was true then). But that’s shyness made him mysterious and sexy. I hope he doesn’t read this cause it will go straight to his head.

Anyway we dated off and on, and while I always wanted him I’m glad he was a pain in my butt for a while. He says he broke up with me because he knew I was the one and if we stayed together in high school we wouldn’t have ended up together. Ummm nice try. Wasn’t born yesterday.

However he’s right. Please don’t tell him!!! Not only is he right I’m thankful he “choose” to wait until later for us to make it work. It gave me a chance to live my life and be wild and fun before we got married.

During my wild fun days my friend Jeanette and I would go up to the casino and play in poker games. We were two young girls who where seriously underestimated and often would win tournaments. We had a blast. We won money.

On top of being poker players we are both pretty avid readers (yes our husbands scored big time! Did I mean ruin we are also fantasy football enthusiasts?). She gave me the book Molly’s Game to read. True story about the 26 year old poker princess who was busted running high stakes poker games.

Great book! I loved her point of view and that it read like a novel so it kept me wondering what was going to happen. Overall the story shows that money doesn’t buy happiness and you develop a soft spot for the poker princess.

It also made me wanna play again. Yes I know the moral of the story was gambling is bad and doesn’t lead to good things and it can take you into super dark places. I get it. I also am trying to put together a group of girls to play!

For the record I’m talking $50-$100 buy in. Not $500,000 like she was dealing with. So no one here is going broke or ruining our lives.

Really I’m just excited to have another reason to get the girls together.

Wish me luck!

Everything Is Horrible And Wonderful

I read this memoir because I listened to the author on a podcast. At this point I can’t even remember which podcast but I loved the author and immediately put it on hold at the library.

The book is the story of her brothers struggle with heroin and the year following his death. She finds out about the addiction 3 days before her wedding! Its tragic, heartbreaking, funny, light, and covers all human emotion in one story.

She takes you on a journey through being there for her brother and what his addiction looked like to her and her family while she’s dealing with things of her own. It also follows the year after his death. She elegantly takes you through the stages of grief without actually calling them out and you feel the weight of her grief all the way to the end.

We recently had a loss in our family and I was instantly drawn to the say she describes the final stage of acceptance. It’s not accepting that the person has passed or that they are gone forever. Its accepting that the grief you are carrying is the new normal. You learn to want to live again and to not let it drown you but essentially its accepting your new normal in this world without them. You learn that when something happens that you want to tell them about, to smile at their memory and the fact that they would have enjoyed it.

She made you laugh through the book and made you feel like you knew him. I think he was amazing and I never even watched his shows. He said something that she loved and I am equally drawn to it. He said “we are all horrible and wonderful and figuring it out”. I think that’s the exact quote but I’m sorry if I got it a bit wrong.

But isn’t that the best quote ever? Doesn’t it describe everything in life? We are all horrible and wonderful. Life is horrible and wonderful and we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go.

We go through season and in every season things are horrible and wonderful. Even when things seem absolutely horrible (let’s be honest they do sometimes) there is something wonderful in that. Either in knowing that it can only get better from there or crying your eyes out only to have your 4-year-old ask you if you think she can fly if she jumped off the tall side of the couch. “No sweetie save the stunts for gymnastics please”.

Life is full of moments like that. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who know how to make me laugh when I’m crying. Whether its bringing up blasts from the pasts or jumping in with stories of their misery that are comical when it’s not happening to you. Thanks guys! I’d say misery loves company but I know you’re doing it to make me smile. Mostly to stop the ugly face crying I’m sure.

Ending on a happy note Rylan tried on flower girl dresses for us and holy moly! I wasn’t sure how she was going to be (let’s be honest she has a stubborn mind of her own). But she was brilliant! I brought in 3 dresses and the first one she came out like Cinderella and was turning and spinning and LOVING the attention! So much so that now whenever she puts on anything she likes me to go into another room so she can make an entrance and I can cheer. This happened last night when she put on PJ’s. She walked into the living room and did turns while we cheered and clapped. As I write this I’m a bit concerned we are raising a narcissist.

Eh screw it. One day people won’t do that. The time is now!

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!