the great 2020 reading realization

Hello dear friends. We made it to another year. Though I am greeting 2021 with open arms, I am also giving it the side eye and greeting it with a dash of hesitation and nervousness because let’s be honest; 2020 was a crap show! Being a reader, I turned to reading a lot in 2020. It wasn’t about the escape really, it was mostly that comfortable companionship I’ve always felt when I spend time reading a book. I needed that last year. hah, literally yesterday! And while it did what it was supposed to do, I have thoughts! and now that we are in a new year, I definitely want to do better at things.

Case in point #1..yesterday I took a trip to Barnes and Noble. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind to buy but wanted to go browse their shelves. I’m in the mood for romantic comedies and chick lit and wanted to go see what they had. Well, I can’t enter Barnes and Noble and completely ignore the shelves smack dab in the front of the store upon entering. I can’t ignore shelf upon shelf of beautiful hard cover releases, I have to look. So, look I did! And a few titles actually caught my eye. What’s the issue? Summaries may sound good, the cover may be intriguing, it may even be an author I have been interested in giving a go. So, how do I ruin this perfect opportunity of possibly reading a new favorite book? I whip out my phone, go to goodreads, type in the title and start looking at the ratings and reviews. Here’s the thing: I love reviews. I have a select few reviewers who I trust and will legit haul or not haul a book based off what they have to say but, my issue is..this unsettling feeling that I am possibly missing out on a book that I could truly love all because I turned to the opinions of someone else to justify my buying the book or not. As someone who truly believes a group of us could read the same book together, but we are all going to read different books and get different things out of did I become so reliant on the opinions and reviews of others?

From time to time, I like to go into books knowing the bare minimum but I’m also a mood reader so I mostly read the synopsis to be sure the book is what I’m in the mood for. I miss the days where the synopsis was all I needed to decide to pick up the book. I wasn’t looking to find out what other readers had already said about it. If it sounded good, I read it. I want to get back to that. It sounds very cliche but honestly, a lot of my reading goals for 2021 center around taking it back to basics; attempting to be as much of a “normal reader” as possible.

My current reading mood is paranormal and romantic comedies. It just kind of hit me towards the end of November..I really wanted to read both of those subgenres so I am going to focus a lot of my reading on those for a while. Paranormal is definitely transporting me to other worlds and giving me the much needed mental escape and romantic comedies give me the dose of humor I need. I read over 250 books in 2020 but only had 12 saved as favorites. I am really hoping that by taking my time, savoring and spending time with books I’m truly in the mood for, that I will have more favorites this year. Maybe, maybe not; but in 2020 I rushed through so many books that again, I feel like I potentially missed out on new favorites.

I realized I was so focused on hustling through books to try and reach my 115 book goal and to constantly have a new book to talk about that I was picking up quick reads not necessarily because I wanted to read them but because they were quick and I wanted to feel accomplished. I wanted to feel that satisfaction of finishing something. 2021 is going to be all about going with the flow; if it takes an entire week to finish a book then so be it! Who cares? No one is telling me I have to finish a book a day. I’ve come to realize that no one is pressuring me to do anything. the pressure has all been pressure I’ve put on myself. so, cheers to taking it easy this year.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

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 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.






Friday Reads. new Life phases. making New Norms.

Hello and Happy Friday friends. Things have been changing. I’ve still been wanting to read, and have received some amazing book mail and hauled a few gems..but finding the time to read has become a bit difficult. The weekend is here though and I am determined to play catch up for my lack of reading this week, so let’s chat about my reading plans and what’s been going on.

friday reads

First things first, I am on my way out of the military after 14 years of service! I can’t believe a journey I began when I was 18, literally 3 weeks after graduating high school, is coming to a close. It is surreal, a bit frightening but also very exciting. My official last day is at the end of September, so I am enjoying some much needed vacation time before that day comes. I jumped straight into full time online student and stay at home..hence, the struggle finding time to read. I am a History student which constitutes quite a few reading assignments throughout the week. I am trying to figure out a routine so that I have a balance of reading for school and reading for leisure. 

This past week has been a mixture of reading for school, making soups in the crockpot, wine with friends and tons of Scooby Doo reruns with the kids. I have some catching up with reading I need to do.

My first read is Only Him by Melanie Harlow, book 2 in her One and Only trilogy.

Only Him

Friends who have read this already have admitted this isn’t their favorite from the trilogy. Confession: this is book 2, and it is the last one I need to finish in the series. Yes, another trilogy I’ve been reading out of order. I actually kicked off this trilogy by reading the last book first and it remains my favorite, but Only Him isn’t terrible. It is a second chance romance between two high school sweethearts, Dallas and Maren. One day Dallas just ups and leaves without giving Maren any kind of explanation and now he’s back. Melanie Harlow writes Dallas and his internal conflict so well. We really get to see what he believes about himself and how that impacts the story. It is very sexy but also really emotional. It has some family drama and amends that need to be made.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

the widow of pale harbor

Shame shame shame! The Widow on Pale Harbor is a buddy read I am an entire week behind on. I am determined to get it started today though. I am going into this one knowing as little as possible, I just know Hester Fox writes a wonderful mixture of gothic romance, horror and historical that’s kind of what I’m expecting from this one.

My third, really want to get read this weekend is Midnight At the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber


Midnight At the Blackbird Cafe has a stunning cover which gives off all the autumnal vibes. It was the cover I spotted out of the corner of my eye at the bookstore and drew me to it. I hauled the book and have the audiobook checked out from the library which I need to get to sooner rather than later because it is coming up due very soon. From what I’ve gathered there is some magical realism, romance and of course recipes all mixed in the story and I can’t wait to get lost in it.

My fingers are crossed that I can get started and make somewhat of a dent in these reads. My Melanie Harlow book I have about an hour left on the audiobook so I can definitely get it finished today. Here we are, five days into the month already and I haven’t finished a single thing. I do have an essay that’s due for class as well as the topic for my research paper which is haunting me. I don’t know what to do it on. My class is on the Vietnam War and it feels so manly. I want to do something about what the women were doing, I just can’t figure out what.

With this new phase in life, there will be some new posts coming to the blog. I will always make sure we are chatting about books but I try and be as transparent as possible on here, and I’d like to share bits and pieces and chunks of this new phase with you all too. Juggling staying home everyday with a three year old, full time online student with a love of reading is going to be interesting so I am going to share that with you all. Who knows, maybe a post will reach someone who can share their How To’s with me.. but yes, tons of ideas planned that I can’t wait to put out. We will chat again soon.

Until then, take care of yourselves.