What 2020 Has Taught me (so far)

Grab a drink and let’s chat. It’s been a while.

2020

Be prepared, stay ready for anything. Back a few years now, when Atlanta, Georgia had its famous snow storm that shut down the city, I found myself part of that. My husband and I had driven my kids to Chicago to spend a month with my Mom while we packed our home in Georgia in preparation for our move to Texas. As soon as we crossed into Georgia it began to snow and we had no idea what lay ahead of us an hour or so up the road. The storm completely shut the city down. At 3 in the morning it looked like five o’clock traffic. We had three vehicle accidents and slept in our car outside of a gas station. I remember being cold and crying, because I was so afraid. I told myself that night that I’d make emergency kits so that when crap hits the fan we’d be ready. Fast forward to now, 2020, and I still hadn’t done that, though I’m in the process now. The world is crazy and people freak out when they are afraid. 2020 has definitely taught me to always be prepared. It’s okay to have a stock pile, buy a little extra and stash it away for later-you never know when the store will go days without being able to stock up on something again!

Never underestimate Light & Fluffy. I am taking place in ChickLitAthon, which is a month long readathon hosted by Sophie from All Things Equilateral over on Youtube and I’m making it a lifestyle movement all month long. Everyday I’m trying to consume books, podcasts, movies-something entertaining that gives me Chicklit vibes. So far I have been successful and let me tell you! It’s been wonderful and just what I need. I think what constitutes Chicklit is very broad but for me personally, I consider it girl stories and making it a point everyday to consume girl stories has 100% put more sunshine in my days. Never underestimate or apologize needing to consume what makes you feel good.

Take my meds and journal more; both are so good for my depression.

It’s okay to take a bath in the middle of the day just to relax and listen to a podcast. Absolutely okay.

There’s nothing wrong with dinners that consist of leftovers and frozen foods from the freezer. Cut yourself some slack; every night doesn’t have to have this huge meal you slaved over all day.

It’s okay to treat yourself to a night of binging the shows on your DVR. They have to get watched eventually; stop putting everything off for another day. Take advantage of now.

No matter your age, get on the trampoline with the kids! It is still fun and it will make them so happy to see you having fun on something they love. You don’t have to be in adult mode all the time. Treat yourself to fun that takes you back to summer days of your own childhood. For those few moments you can pretend to be a kid again with no worries-sometimes its the escape you need.

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On Lock Down Check In

Have I lost my mind yet..?

spring

I am holding up. I’ll be honest, initially when the word began to spread and sink in about the pandemic, my anxiety was through the roof! My oldest worried me because of her immune system, my middle child had a cold and I was trying to prevent the oldest and youngest from catching the cold my middle child and husband BOTH had. Oh, and yea in typical Mom fashion-I found time, from time to time, to worry about my own health. *insert wine drinking*

Okay, here’s what I’ve been doing to keep my sanity.

  • Completely taking advantage of the Hallmark weekend Christmas marathons. Currently this is their second weekend and I am loving it! Leave it to Christmas cheer to come through in the month of March and lift my spirits!
  • Staying on brand with Christmas, yes, yes I did, put Christmas lights back up in my living room. My kids love it for their night time Phineas and Ferb binges and I love it for late night kindle reading.
  • Cooking favorite foods. I made a delicious Mississippi pot roast a few days ago in the slow cooker and I am making a bit pot of spaghetti today! I can’t wait. There is something really calming about cooking. Add on the excitement of eating something you love, and this whole process has really taken my mind off the craziness in the world around me.
  • My mailbox is literally at the end of my street but let me tell you! That few minutes there and back, make me so happy. I enjoy my little bit of fresh air. It is a nice, quick way to get out of the house.
  • Try and be productive. Obviously, being an online college student I have things I have to do; discussion posts, reading for school, papers. Trust me, there are days where I have no motivation at all to do any of these things. If mentally, my head just isn’t in it then I don’t force myself but I do muster up the motivation later that day or the next day to use my time wisely and get things done! This goes for school, cleaning, laundry. Don’t force yourself if mentally you’re not up for it, but when you are feeling productive, immerse yourself in the feeling and make it happen!
  • And of course, reading. I have been seeing a lot of readers admit that they can’t concentrate on reading right now. My reading has been quite the opposite actually. I have been craving, fun, escapist romances, Graphic novels, and memoirs! I am so in the mood for travel romances right now which I typically gravitate to during spring and summer anyway, but with being stuck inside this year-those kind of stories are really calling out to me! If you’re not in the mood for reading, it’s okay! It’s understandable. There is a lot going on in the world right now. It’s okay.

 

Thanks for sticking around Babes, I hope you are taking care of yourself. Staying sane. Mentally taking care of yourself, are good on toilet paper and good on food. I am thinking of you, rooting for you.

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Identity Crises; New to Stay At Home Mom Life

My Post (5)

I have been living the stay at home mom life now since early September. I recognize I am very blessed to live the life I live. I am not currently working, yet am still (well, will be eventually) receiving a paycheck thanks to the GI Bill. So basically getting paid to be a full time student, which I am doing online from home. No doubt about it, I am blessed to live the life I’m living.

I joined the military three weeks after I graduated high school at 18. I just turned 33 on the 11th of November, so from the time I was 18 until 32 I’ve been working! I had two jobs while in the Air Force. One of them was a special job I only did for four years before returning to my primary job as a military police officer. Like any law enforcement job, it consisted of long days and nights, working holidays, training on your day off, fitting in workout time into your day to meet the requirement of staying in shape! That’s the life I became accustomed to. You wake up early, go for a run, pull a 12 hour day, come home and be a mom. Well, that’s no longer my life and honestly, I’m struggling a bit with who I am now.

I like to think that we are always in this state of becoming. To me, that keeps things interesting. Who wants to say they have it all figured out? When you’ve done something everyday since you were basically a kid though and all of a sudden you walk away from that or are yanked from it, what does that do to your identity? What happens to who you’ve grown into already at the intersection of this new phase of life?

At first I really sank my teeth into stay at home mom life the best way I knew how: I started reading blogs, I started following stay at home mom’s on youtube and subscribed to a few podcasts. I wanted to see what other women have to say.  Honestly, I haven’t taken much away.

I think it’s an on going process especially in my case where I’m juggling being home all day with my four year old and taking online classes. I have to find my balance and I think balance sometimes comes at the hand of trial and error. I’m learning that I’m not a night owl and feel way more productive when I wake up at 5 a.m. like I’m used to. I like to soak as much out of the day as possible, but it’s been a while now and I’ve read the books and binged the movies..I’ve dressed retired life nicely, it’s like..now what? What else is there? Especially being in this weird in between where I’m chasing one dream (of having a Bachelor’s) to pursue another, which is to teach one day. Who am I right now? I have heard from a few Mom friends who left careers to stay home and they experienced what I’m feeling as well, so in a weird way it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone in this.

My goal is to be as transparent as possible here on my blog, so I hope you all don’t mind, but I will begin incorporating a little bit of everything. I hope the right post reaches someone who needs it at the right time. There is already enough negativity and ways that people feel they don’t belong. If I can combat that in any way possible, I will keep trying..and I think the best way to start is by being honest. Things aren’t perfect. Life for me isn’t all glitz and glam. There are days when I don’t know if I’m the mess on the floor or the broom to sweep it up, but I aim to keep figuring it out as best as I can.

we will chat again soon. I’m rooting for you and am only a message away if you ever need to chat.

xx

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What’s Up

Hello friends. The blog has been silent since #Blogtober ended. No worries though, I have been hard at work to make sure there is a daily post in the month of December. I just wanted to pop in today to chat about what’s been going on.

My Post (2)

I turned 33 on November 11th and it feels great. I remember being younger and being so intimidated at the sound of turning 30! It sounded ancient but there is something really chill about the 30s. From what I hear, things only get better from here. The best way to describe the 30s is that you finally find this comfort in, it is what it is. I think we put these expectations on ourselves that by 30 you’re supposed to have x, y & z all figured out and your life is supposed to be totally put together when in reality that’s just not the case. I think for most of us, our 20s were a hot mess and it’s in your 30s that you start to sweep the floor and clean the mess up. And you’re chill about it, you’re not stressing about it. Things will get taken care of with time.

On my birthday I lounged on the couch, read romance novels and watched Hallmark Christmas movies. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My husband made delicious tacos for dinner and it was an amazing overall day.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to slow down, so I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve been reading and not worrying so much about putting my thoughts somewhere. That will come, but I am so happy right now just really trying to be in the moment of things.

I am back in School and it’s kicking my butt. I am currently taking two classes, History of Christianity and History of the American West. Both are interesting, but I’m not going to lie, I’d rather take one at a time. Being that I am paying for my online classes though with my GI Bill, I’m basically getting paid to be a student, so taking only one class translates to less money and my husband isn’t going for that! Especially when he takes like five at a time.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want my blog to look like in the new year. I feel like we are a constant work in progress but as I evolve, I want her to evolve too. We will figure it out. As for now though, I am going to finish watching Mountain Monsters and let the change come to me.

I hope all is well with you. We will chat again soon.

xx

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#Blogtober My Favorite episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Blogtober

A few years ago I hauled season one of Are You Afraid of the Dark on dvd. Growing up, this show was a big deal. Every Saturday night, my sister, brother and I would get our blankets..go sit in the living room and tune into Snick (Saturday night on Nickelodeon) to watch their Saturday night line up. Are You Afraid of the Dark was one of the shows they played and we watched faithfully, every weekend to see what story the Midnight Society was going to tell..

My favorite, to this day, is The Tale of the Prom Queen.

prom queen

These two high school guys are playing around in their local cemetery when they meet this girl named DiDi. They become friends and convince DiDi to help them in their pursuit in seeing if this local Legend is true or not.  Supposedly back in the 1950s, a local girl was waiting for her prom date to pick her up when he ran her over on accident before days later, driving himself into a local lake and drowning.

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The kids do their research in the library and learn that the legend is true. A girl named Judie was killed back in 1956 accidentally by her boyfriend. #Spoilers the boys eventually learn that the girl they’ve been hanging out, DiDi, is the nickname for Judie..who has been with them all this time. The only way she could leave the cemetery is if someone took her with them. She needed to do the digging to find out what happened to her boyfriend. Why he never showed up.

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Rewatching Judie get in her boyfriend’s 1950 something chevy after all these years, still fueled my ghost loving, romance loving heart just as much now as it did then. Rewatching it was so nostalgic and just reminded me of how much of a hopeless romantic I’ve always been. As a kid, I loved horror, so much..but even then I always loved if there was some kind of romance woven into the story. My ghost loving heart loved so hard, the thought of this ghost girl, every year waiting for her boyfriend to finally come and get her to go to prom. After this episode, anytime I heard In The Still of the Night by The Five Satins I associated it with Judie and ghost boo driving (finally) out of the cemetery to prom.

It’s cool experiencing this show now with my kids. They haven’t gravitated to it as much as some of the other shows from my childhood I’ve introduced them to, but I’m working on it. Bit by bit.

If you were a fan of Are You Afraid of the Dark, what was your favorite episode?

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#Blogtober How To Avoid A Reading Slump

Blogtober

(Insert horror movie score, so you know crap is getting real!) One of the worst things as a reader is the infamous and for some, inevitable, reading slump. I have friends who are very open and honest about experiencing them while on the other hand, I have friends who read basically a book for every day of the year, and don’t experience them at all.

For me as a reader, I don’t really experience them. When I feel a slump coming on it has more to do with the specific book I’m reading rather than I’m just not in the mood to read at all. So here’s what I do and I hope it helps.

  1. Switch it up. Like I said already, when I feel a ‘slump,’ coming on, it is more the book I’m reading than anything. So I’ll switch it up. Regardless of how far into it I am, I may make the decision to DNF it. Or, I may mark my place where I left off and put it back on my bookshelf with the intentions of coming back to it later. But if it’s bringing on a slump, I’m not going to force myself to finish it and entertain the slump coming on. I want to read and I want to have fun with reading, so I just move on to something else.
  2. Sometimes, the switch up may come in the form of switching up how I’m reading the book. Maybe I’m into the book but reading it physically just isn’t doing it for me. This happens. I have began listening to certain audiobooks before where I wasn’t the biggest fan of the narrator and not being a fan was bringing on a slump. With one of my now favorite memoirs ever, I experienced this. The author narrated the book herself. I got about five chapters in and hated her voice. I switched from listening to the audiobook to just reading my physical copy and the book ended up being a five star read and I avoided a slump!
  3. Get excited about reading. When I’m reading a book that’s bringing the slumps on I get myself hype about reading again. Typically, I will get on Youtube and watch some of my favorite booktubers or I’ll listen to either a brand new episode of one of my favorite podcasts or a backlist episode I know I’ve loved. Sometimes I like to step away from reading but listen to someone else talk about what they’re reading. Seems weird, but it makes sense and it works. If this ends up being a spiral I’m down all day, that’s fine. I give myself the time I need and not force it.
  4. Reread. This one is tough because honestly, I’m not much of a rereader..however comma, a few months ago I felt a slump coming on. I broke out Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan which was a five star read for me the first time I read it and gave it a reread. I loved it just as much this go around as I did the first time, and I was back in my groove again. I think returning to those old favorites can be a big help when whatever you’re reading at the moment just isn’t cutting the mustard (as my Granddad used to say!)
  5. Lastly, sometimes you just need to treat yourself to a day or so of binging tv. It is insane the amount of paranormal ghost hunting shows I’ve been binging lately. Partly because it’s the fall and fall television is the best, but also because there are days when mentally I’m not in the mood for reading. So I’ll treat myself to a day of lounging on the couch chasing ghosts, watching Hallmark movies, watching Molly Yeh cook in her kitchen or whatever else I have saved on my dvr. It is okay. Once upon a time my brain couldn’t fathom watching tv all day when I had all these books to read but I want reading to be fun. It’s not a job, so taking a break here and there from it works for me. I may not read anything today, then when tomorrow comes..I’ve missed it and am excited about it again.

There are just some of my tidbits on what works for me. I would love to see how you combat reading slumps. Let me know what works for you. If you have had one, what was the longest it lasted?

 

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#Blogtober Hello..

Blogtober

Late to the party as usual, I have decided to partake in #Blogtober. I have been busy with school and adjusting to this new phase of life I’m in so while I’ve been enjoying reading everyone else’s posts, it didn’t hit me until recently to give it a shot for myself.

In truth November is my favorite month. It’s my birthday month and strangely, it’s the time of year I try to savor the most because I know that before I know it..Christmas will have come and gone. I say that but Halloween remains my favorite holiday with Christmas coming in a strong second. I just really, really love the days leading up to Christmas. Any who though.. welcome to day one of my spin on #blogtober. I already had some scheduled posts which will still pop up but other than those, I am going to try and stay on brand as much as possible. We will see what happens though.

Fall so far has been pretty amazing. So far, I’ve had one really crappy mental health day but other than that crap show, it’s been really nice. My days have consisted of slow cooker meals. Lounging on the couch watching Ghost Hunters, Are You Afraid of the Dark, or reruns of the Munsters. Reading Paranormal Romances..Right? Who am I? So far though, what I’ve read has been a lot of fun.

So *cheers* to ending October off right. I am so excited to see if I can complete this challenge of having a post publish everyday! I think I can do it.  Chat with you tomorrow.

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